Well, we left Southport, NC a little later than expected and thought we might head out to sea at Little River. However, that was only a 4 hour day and the inlet was very shallow, so we made the decision to keep right on going down the ICW until 4pm when we would set anchor for the night wherever we were. WELLLLL !! What a mistake that was, as I'll go into later.
We are getting very tired of traveling through swamps and never ending swampland and really can't wait to get clear of it.
We saw our first pelicans today but not much else in the way of wildlife.
Why are we getting tired of this swamp stuff .... you follow the ICW marker buoys ... Nothing to see but really brown water and trees growing in the swamp ... and turtles sunbathing on the stumps.
The ICW is no longer straight but winds through narrow passages of not much water.
As we rounded one bend in the river we came upon a sign announcing the Osprey Marina and its' gas prices. Basically, you entered between a couple small buoys and a break in the trees. This small marina turned out to be the prettiest we'd seen and at a dollar per ft, it turned out to be a great deal.
So, now we get back to Myrtle Beach. The ICW passes around the back of Myrtle Beach with its' hundreds of golf courses and very large homes. We really can't understand why they have such magnificent homes. Here's a couple of photos of some of the standard homes in the area.
Really it was a nice change from the same old swampland from the week before.
As we progressed further down the ICW, the houses started to disappear and you wouldn't believe what we were into again .... That's right ... MORE SWAMP! Only this time it was more like a huge 60 mile grassland that they call a marsh. No tree, no houses and every now and again, you'd look a way out and see a sailboat sitting in the grass about 2 miles away. It had motored up one of the creeks through the marsh and anchored for the night.
This thing is huge. You can see horizon all around you and there is absolutely no protection from the strong wind that blows through. Around 5pm we finally found a small creek with 12 feet of water in it and tried to anchor for the night. Unfortunately, the wind was strong and the bottom hard with oyster shells, thus the anchor would not set.
The sun was quickly setting so Jan & I decided to make a run for the Charleston area as it would have been suicide trying to navigate the swamps in darkness.
As the sun started to go below the horizon we could see a bridge ahead and knew we must be close so, we put the pedal to the metal, as they say and at 8.5 knots we made it to the Isle of Palms Marina just before it really got dark. After a very long day, times were good. We had a great dinner and a bottle of wine, then sat back and listened to the live entertainment playing Jimmy Buffett music. We had arrived in the south.
Today, October 8th, we checked the weather and see that a tropical storm is enroute up from the Miami area that will shed rain and a lot of wind on us until Tuesday, so we decided to hunker down here, rented a car and drove into Charleston.
First we had a short stop at the vast beach they have here and as you can see it was very windy.
What a great day. We love this city. Everything is so old, clean and tourist oriented. On our narrated bus tour of the city we saw many, many old civil war era homes, the downtown market and the slave markets of the early 1800's. This place is so rich in history.
Nearly all the homes are "single homes" and they're called that because they are very narrow across the front but deep down the sides. They are only wide enough to have one single room. These homes look like they are built sideways with long balcony's called "piazza's" (pee-at-zas) down the full side of the house ... and always two stories of them.
In Charleston, they have a free trolley bus system which runs about every 10 minutes so there's never a long wait.
The day was nicely finished off with a very fine dinner at ... "THE BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP COMPANY" ... and what would it be without a bucket of Cajun shrimp and a large cold beer.
The inside of the restaurant had many items used in the movie including the white suit that Tom Hanks wore, and a description of the sets used to film the movie in the Beaufort area of SC ... NOT Greenbow, Alabama. Ron just had to purchase that big red ball cap with the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company crest on the front.
We finished our day with a couple phone calls home and a great Skype call to Jill, Mike and the kids.
As I siad, with the storm that is coming we're just going to hunker down till Tuesday when it passes.
Tomorrow, we take our rental car for a drive to Savannah, Georgia for more sight-seeing.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO OUR FAMILY & FRIENDS IN CANADA !!