Charleston, SC. To Southport, NC. – Thursday, 4/23/15
Well we have officially entered our 3rd of what will be 22 or 23 states on the Great Loop.
We left Charleston yesterday a little later than planned so Denise could get in a short run before leaving now that she has her shoes (YEAH – thanks Kim). The run included a park near our marina, around the Citadel campus and into their football stadium.
Once she got back we untied the lines and headed north to Georgetown, SC. A small town on the ICW that we knew nothing about, but discovered a little gem. This is your quintessential small town America with a clock tower (now the rice museum) and old fashioned angled-parking in front of the stores.
The stores are all unique and cute, and we ate dinner at a terrific restaurant (Alfresco Bistro) that gave us leftovers for another meal. This town also has a waterfront near the marina with restaurants that overlook the small harbor and a very nice boardwalk with two parks that border the beginning and ending of the waterfront. There is a paper processing plant that now does all types of recycling (we think) and works 24/7 – which we could hear going all night long. However, it didn’t stop us from getting a good nights sleep.
The marina is first class, with the cleanest bathrooms and friendliest dock master (Larry) we have yet to experience. Great Place! You should visit this town by car if you get the chance.
Today we took the ICW from Georgetown, SC to Southport, NC for a total of 84 nautical miles (nm). It took a lot longer than normal as there are many “no wake” zones in the upper part of South Carolina, especially around Myrtle Beach, but we were tied up to the dock by 3pm, the boat washed by 5pm, and our showers and drinks in hand by 6 pm. It was windy and cool, but a second day of pure sunshine!
The motoring up the ICW in South Carolina provided some very diverse scenery. We started out with typical South Carolina low-country marsh and grassy area. Then we saw trees and it began to look more and more like parts of north Florida, with pine trees and cypress. Finally lots of big homes not unlike Charleston area, or condominiums with private docks.
But the funniest thing we have yet to see on the ICW was the Waterway Hills Golf Club in Myrtle Beach. The course is built with half the holes on each side of the ICW, and then golfers and their bags use gondola (aerial trams) to cross the ICW. This has got to be a “bucket list” course to play for any golfer!
As we moved from South Carolina to North Carolina, the ICW became more and more populated with houses along the way and each with private docks. Most of these have boat lifts that keep their boat out of the water. However, since a boater is still responsible for their own wake, you must slow down to prevent damage to others property.
This slows the journey quite a bit in our go-fast boat, and has Mark clamoring to go off-shore for part of our future trips. Denise keeps reminding him he will get the chance in New Jersey where it is required in order to get to New York.
We also passed a swing bridge that had to open for us (and other boats) and two small inlets that were quite squirrely to get through due to tidal currents. The second one was the most stressful for Denise who was driving, as there were 3 barges and active dredging going on in a very narrow channel. Of course our boat handled it well as did the Captain!
As far as the weather goes: well we could not have asked for two better days. It has been cool (in the 60s – low 70s) and we have had cloudless skies of pure blue. I know the Florida people will find this hard to believe, but we have had to use our heater at night and Denise frequently wears a long-sleeve shirt during the day – it is always cooler on the water.
Other sites we have seen:
Tomorrow we will stay in Southport for a few hours to experience the town, and then move the boat 22 miles to Wrightsville Beach for a night at anchor. Our plan is to go from there to Morehead City so we can be close to an airport; Denise has to go back to Atlanta Monday – Wednesday next week and Mark will stay on the boat to take care of things there (like laundry, grocery shopping, repairs, etc.).
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