Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beaufort SC and Savannah GA

Friday morning the decision was made to hold tight in Charleston because we had 25 kt winds blowing us against the dock. By 9:30 the wind had calmed to 15kt, still blowing us against the dock, but the tide had changed and it was in the opposite direction of the wind and the decision was made by the captain to GO. After careful maneuvering and backing out of the harbor through a 50 ft. opening we were off to Beaufort SC. When we arrived at Downtown Marina the wind was blowing and the tide was running hard. We approached the dock at about a 25 degree angle and Stephanie threw the dock hand a line which he tied off to the bow. I swung the stern into the dock and another line was secured. The bow line was left long so we needed to bring in the bow. After 3 men (and no boys) pulling on the bow line and Stephanie running the 24 hp bow thruster, the wind and tide would not let it budge. We decided to just leave it there and pull it in when the tide turned in a couple of hours. We discovered after messing with the bow that one of our helpers was Todd Lanning from Life's 2 Short, with Brenda his wife whose blog we have been following for some time, but had never met them. "It is said that we only have so many days on this earth.......but the ones you spend at sea don't count against you" Todd and Brenda quit their jobs, sold everything and started cruising for the next few years, then will return to work some day. We met them for dinner at 7:00 and exchanged stories and had a great time with them. We ended up leaving the restaurant at 11:00. When the bill came I checked to make sure they didn't charge us hourly rent on the table. We promised to stay in touch from time to time and meet up again somewhere on the water. I hope it works out because we really enjoyed them. Today, Saturday we left at slack tide 7:00 AM and headed for Savannah. (Thunderbolt Marina) When we arrived at the Savannah shipping channel there were 5 ships all jockeying through the channel (another traffic jam) and as you can see from the picture we squeezed through between ships. We arrived at Thunderbolt and had an uneventful docking, as the dock hand said, "a soft touch". Tomorrow we will finish the last leg of this trip and arrive at our home dock early afternoon. The trip was fabulous and we will have many great memories. It is going to seem so weird after living and loving every minute of life aboard September Song. She is such a great ship and it has been wonderful sharing adventures and life with the love of my life, my partner and my best friend, Admiral Stephanie. Keep checking back and I will keep you posted on the casting off of the lines for our next adventure aboard September Song.

September Song (can't wait for the next adventure) out

Two ships passing in opposite directions in the shipping channel to Savannah

Tight, but they made it

Ships in the channel as we cross on the ICW
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Charleston SC

The decision was made to go to Charleston Maritime Center Marina because the weather forecast was for strong winds out of the NE and all the anchorages are out in the middle of no where in the marsh lands. Speaking of marsh lands, the trip today was beautiful, winding through the marshes of South Carolina where some of the marsh lands seem to go on forever. Birds were everywhere today by the hundreds feeding in our wake, sitting on docks, and hanging by September Song all day. Can you blame them, she is a beautiful ship. We met up with a dredge on the move north as we transited south through a narrow channel. I don't know how they navigate some of the narrow 90 degree turns on the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) in this area. I guess that is the reason for a tug in front, one in the middle, and one on the end.

We met this train (dredge) moving north. Three tugs, two barges, and the dredge all tied together in a narrow channel

Beautiful marsh lands in South Carolina

Birds, birds, and more birds (don't poo on our boat)
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The marshes are taking on their fall colors

Time to repaint. not the bird, the sign

Birds feeding in our wake

Miles and miles of marshes in South Carolina. you can see forever
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Birds following September Song

Traffic jam in a narrow part of the ICW

He takes his half out of the middle

Boat grave yard
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Fort Sumter guarding the entrance to Charleston Harbor

A regatta was going on when we arrived

Charleston SC sky line as we come into port

The admiral in the co-pilot chair on the fly bridge
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Georgetown, SC

We took Bee and Bop (the bikes) out and headed to bee bop around the town. Georgetown is another one of those little towns that has kept the downtown going strong. It's great to see all the home grown business (not just a bunch of T shirt stores) that have taken over the old buildings. The residential area around the town is beautiful with its oak tree lined streets and old homes. We had lunch in town, purchased a couple things we couldn't live without (including a visit to the chocolate shop) and had a great day exploring. It's great being on a boat because you don't buy things you don't need. It's not like living in a house. Storage is for thing you use, not store. Tomorrow we head south again and our schedule is we have no schedule so we don't know where we will be tomorrow night, could be at anchor, could be a marina.

September Song (good day in Georgetown) out

Tree lined streets

Great old buildings

Downtown Georgetown
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Georgetown has a boardwalk along the waterway on the back side of the stores and restaurants

The old movie theater is still in business
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Waccamaw to Georgetown

Today we cruised the Waccamaw River to Georgetown and as always the Waccamaw was a beautiful trip. I hope you enjoy the pictures. After we arrived at Hazzard Marina, tied up, walked the girls and returned to the boat it started to pour down, lightning and all. Timing is everything. I asked the question, why the name Hazzard? The previous owner's last name was Hazzard. (two zz's) Nice marina and helpful dock hands. With the weather we stayed on the boat, had a quiet dinner and will turn in early. Tomorrow we are going to take an extra day here and explore Georgetown.

September Song (a beautiful day on the Waccamaw) out

Entering the Waccamaw River

The chart plotter shows how the Waccamaw River twists and turns. At every turn you get another gorgeous view. Notice the left side of the plotter. September Song's trip log shows 3421 nautical miles.

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The Waccamaw River is a fresh water river so water hyacinth flourish

Cypress trees line the shores

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A great day makes you forget the bad day before

Monday we left South Harbor at Southport NC and headed for Barefoot Landing At Myrtle Beach SC. Yes, South Carolina. The trip is winding down and what a great trip it has been. I hope you all enjoyed it. Tentative schedule is to arrive at our home dock this Sunday. Don't be sad, we will take you with us to Florida this winter which will include the Key's, East Coast, West Coast and then on to the Bahamas in the spring. Not much to tell about Myrtle Beach because it was just an overnight stop and while we were there we had to take care of some business and UPS some stuff. Myrtle Beach is one of the places we stopped this Spring during Bike Week. After we finished our business we finished the day with a short walk to the Ice Cream Store where the four of us pigged out (or should I say dogged out) on ice cream.

September Song (a much better day) out

The pontoon bridge to Sunset Beach NC

The bridge opening

The bridge open

The man who runs the bridge. It is a process of dragging the bridge to the side by cables and then lowering the cables to the bottom before you can pass. Take a last look because the locals lost their fight to save it. The new 65 foot bridge is under construction.
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This dock is so long you need to pack a lunch

Stack em high
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

60 miles from hell

Today started out as any other day in an anchorage. Beautiful sunrise, raise the anchor, clean the mud off the chain, and head out. The first bridge we came to we were 10 minutes late and it only opened on the hour. We had to hang out in the channel for 50 minutes. It's not easy holding a 47 ton boat in a channel 150 ft wide with a current waiting for the bridge to open. The second bridge we only had to wait 15 minutes because it opens on the half hour. The third bridge we had to wait 45 min. with dozens of little boats buzzing around at Wrightsville Beach, an area from hell on a weekend and a channel that is about 100 foot wide. Two hours before and two hours after we had boats buzzing from in front and from behind. Next we headed for Carolina Beach where we were going lick our wounds and anchor for the night. When we arrive at an anchorage we do a 360 to check the depths. When we headed in things were fine with depths around 25 feet, then 37 feet, then another 100 feet and the depth alarm goes off and before we knew it we were grounded. Shrimp boats were no more than 150 foot from us so how could this be? after much wiggling, thrusting with the bow thruster, and a lot of churned up mud we were free. This was the only anchorage in the area so the decision was made to go to a marina another 15 miles away. We slugged our way through a 3 knot tide, 15 knot winds and big waves on the bow in a wide open area of the Cape Fear River. finally arrived at 5:30, a 9 hour day from hell.The whole day the depth sounder was going off (it is set for 6 foot under the running gear) because this whole area of the ICW (inter coastal waterway) in North Carolina is shoaled in. Not all days on the water are great, just most of them. The day ended well with a nice marina, nice Dock Master, a long island ice tea, dinner at the marina restaurant and last but not least, a great dinner partner.

September Song (Mama said there would be days like this)out

The day started out beautiful but then it was down hill from there

This was in someones front yard

Beaches were packed including cars

3 knot tides
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