Charleston, SC (Friday, 10/27)
We left the Wacca Wache Marina just after 8:00, with no wind and a little fog in the low lying areas. There was no one else yet on the water to disturb the pristine beauty we got to experience. We cruised through the rest of the Waccamaw River, passing the “School Bus Ferry” and “Paaty’s General Store”.
Soon the ICW leaves the Waccamaw River and took us into the low country of South Carolina. It was a beautiful day and we could see so far on the water.
Along the way, we once again passed the unique motor vessel “Oceanis” whom we first saw on the Alligator-Pungo Canal in North Carolina. They are just one of hundreds of boats heading south for the winter, although this one is quite unlike any others we have seen.
Another interesting thing we saw today was the boat “Storymaker”. We have heard of people riding stationary bikes on their boats, but never witnessed one doing so while under way until today.
Our travels also took us past Georgetown; a place we have stopped at before and actually spent 2 nights on our trip north. But for this trip we would not be stopping and instead we had reservations to go to the Isle of Palms (IOP) marina just north of Charleston and right on the ICW. Our plans were to then stay at the Bristol Marina in Charleston on Saturday & Sunday evenings; allowing us to get to church and to see our friends at Coastal Carolina Yacht Sales (CCYS). They are the one who sold us our boat.
We were making such great time and the IOP is so close to Charleston we wondered if we were doing the right thing staying there. We also saw that there were high winds forecasted for Sunday night and we needed to consider this in our future travel plans. So we revamped our itinerary and called to see if we could get into Bristol Marina a day early. We had to wait for a response, and in so doing we pulled off the ICW just before IOP and anchored in Seven Reaches Creek to await the call-back. If we could go into Bristol we would press on as it was less than 10 more miles and only 1:00 in the afternoon. If we couldn’t, then we would go to IOP as planned.
Shortly after we pulled into the anchorage a boat from Barrier Island EcoTours” pulled up and it was full of young students. The guide stopped near our boat and pulled up a crab trap. He was close enough that we could hear his lecture about the life of a crab, how they shed their shell and what they eat. He went on to other areas of the creek and to explain other parts of the ecosystems that make up this area and the salt life.
About the time the guide left, we received a call-back to let us know it was ok to come into Bristol Marina in Charleston. So we pulled up the anchor and headed that way. As we were approaching the IOP marina we noticed a familiar motor yacht on the outside dock; “Corporate Approved”. We know this boat from our Great Loop adventure when we met the owner (Brian Donovan) at Coinjock, NC in 2015. We later saw him at the AGLCA Rendezvous in Norfolk, and thereafter went to his marina (Shady Harbor) in New Baltimore, NY on the Hudson River. We attempted to hail him on the VHF radio but the IOP dockmaster came on and let us know he was not on the boat for a few days. We took a picture of his boat, emailed him and he instantly responded to us, informing of his plans to keep the boat at IOP for a month, then moving it to Marathon for the winter. In the meantime, we called the IOP to cancel our reservation for the night. What a small world this cruising life is.
So we headed through the area around Sullivan’s Island and into Charleston Harbor and passing the downtown area to our right (starboard). AS the ICW turns left and heads south, we continued on up the Ashley River to Bristol Marine. We were delayed briefly at the US 17 Bridge before realizing we could make it under the stated 14’ clearance (it was more like 16’). It’s a good thing as they require a 24 hour notice before they will open. We later learned that all the Back Cove and Sabre boats at CCYS can clear the bridge without require an opening.
After tying up and settling the boat we went to check in and visit our friends at CCYS. Craig and his daughter Maria (pronounced Ma Rye AH) are great people and we really enjoy seeing them. Of course Mark talked with Craig about the Sabre 45 we saw at the Newport Boat Show and Craig is willing to find one for him. He suggested we go to Hilton Head and look at the one he has being prepped for delivery at Windmill Harbor Marina, one of our favorite marinas.
That evening we decided to order a pizza from D’Alessandro’s – a place we used in the past. They would deliver to the marina which is not convenient to any restaurants, and would require a short Uber ride to get to those in the downtown area. It was a Friday evening and this was a perfect ending to our perfect day.
Charleston, SC (Saturday, 10/28)
Denise started the day with a run to downtown Charleston. Knowing there is a half marathon now 4 weeks out and she had not run very long at all this summer, she managed to get in 6 miles. Not near enough, but fine for now. Her run took her along the Ashley River Waterfront, through neighborhood streets and then to White Point Gardens and The Battery. She turned around and headed back towards the marina, but diverted to the area around Colonial Lake where she did a loop around the small lake (pond?) and headed back to the marina. Here are some of her pictures from the run:
Once Denise was back on the boat, we made plans for the day. Our internet connection was poor and therefore we were unable to spend any time updating the blog. Instead we took time to lay out an itinerary for the coming days and made marina reservations. One of the changes we made was to stop in Hilton Head at Windmill Harbor so Mark could see the Sabre 45 Craig had mentioned. But if we were going to go to Hilton Head we had to leave on Sunday, not Monday as gale-force winds were expected for Sunday afternoon and evening. This meant we had to leave Charleston early Sunday morning.
With this in mind, we took an Uber to Saturday evening mass at Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where we have been before.
From there we walked to Poogan’s Porch for a dinner, and as the wait for a table in the dining room was long we opted for seating in their bar area at a community-type table. We met a couple from Montreal who were vacationing and who took a picture of us.
After an Uber cab back to the marina, we prepared the boat for an early morning departure and went to bed.