Monthly Archives: November 2016

Scooting Through South Carolina

Wow, sorry for the delay, but it’s been super busy here! Not only are we moving fast, but Frank’s mom, Jackie, came to visit.  I have not had time to write!

Here is the quick version:

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Our trip from Charleston to Beaufort was very pretty.  This section of the ICW included narrow cuts, lined by houses as well as open marsh areas.  Apparently the weather is great for many kinds of trees and plants because we saw a variety.

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The Spanish moss was prolific.  Sometimes it added a delicate beauty, gently blowing in the breeze but other times the Spanish moss was reminiscent of a dark and frightening scene in a scary movie.

As soon as we arrived in Beaufort, we took a carriage tour through the town.  The guide was excellent and we learned about the history of the town and some of the famous folks who lived there or passed through.

We learned about the “Great Skedaddle,” which occurred at the beginning of the civil war.  Union troops were sent to take over Beaufort as it was a strategic port, but the citizens did not want to accept occupation, so the town skidaddled before the troops arrived.  When Union soldiers steamed into port, they found a beautiful southern town that was completely deserted.  Beaufort was taken without a single shot being fired.  No war damage was inflicted on the structures so many beautiful, historic buildings still exist.

Beaufort is also one of the major sites used in filming “Forrest Gump.”  There were several cute stories about Tom Hanks and his time in the town and the location of some of the scenes.

We strongly recommend a tour if you visit Beaufort.

Hilton Head Island was our next stop.  The rest of the rally stayed in a beautiful marina that was accessed using a lock.  LIB’s beam is greater than the width of the lock, so we stayed in a different marina called Skull Creek.  Despite the name, this was a very pretty place.  Skull Creek Marina is within the Hilton Head Plantation gated community which is a huge development of homes, parks, golf courses, etc.  We had a fabulous time exploring the area on our bikes.

South Carolina has a very large tidal range.  Using photographs, Skull Creek was a great place to demonstrate how much difference the tide makes …

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High tide at Skull Creek

tidesThe same area at low tide.

Here are a few pretty views from South Carolina.

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Sunset on Hilton Head

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A different scene on the ICW

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This boat was anchoring right near us when the dolphins arrived.

(Sorry about the blurry pic…)

TINY FACTOID:   Spanish Moss absorbs food and water through its’ leaves from the air.  It does not damage the host tree although sometimes the moss becomes so thick, the shade it creates on the tree may slow the tree’s growth rate.

Also, Spanish moss was often used as mattress stuffing but it must be properly prepared (boiled and such) because chiggers and other bugs live in the moss.  One story we heard is that Spanish moss was the cause of the first ever recall in the automotive industry.  It seems Henry Ford used Spanish moss in the seats of early Ford cars and urban legend has it that the moss seats had bug troubles!

I have not been able to verify this, but it’s kinda funny.

 

 

 

Charleston ~ Big, Beautiful, Old.

Charleston is a lovely and large city.  We visited once years ago traveling the conventional way of airplane and automobile.  I enjoyed Charleston more that first trip than I did this time.  But that isn’t the city’s fault, it has more to do with Charleston feeling so big compared to the places we have been recently.

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Hotel cottages around a small pond were a pretty backdrop for walking Captain.

We docked at the Charleston Harbor Marina which is across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston.   We were placed on the bulkhead furthest from land and we were pretty isolated from all of our rally members. The walk to shore felt like a quarter of a mile!  I was reminded of our stay in Puerto del Ray, PR and that large marina.

Also, we have enjoyed fabulous, sunny, warm weather and Charleston is where we first felt a turn in temperature.  That alone is enough to put a damper on our enthusiasm.  I am amazed at how wimpy Frank and I have become about cold weather, but we just don’t like it much.  And we didn’t really pack that much cold weather gear.

The marina provided shuttle service into Charleston and a water taxi also picked up from our marina, so it was easy to get into Charleston.

Our first afternoon in in the city, we tried to get a walking tour but had missed times didn’t work, so Frank found an online tour and acted as our tour guide.  While he did a fine job of navigating and identifying the important buildings, tour guide Frank was thirsty after only 45 minutes and required a stop in a brewery to refresh his speaking voice. 😉

That pretty much ended our tour, but we still had a great time.  Here are several pictures from our walk.

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The Pink House

This building is supposedly the second oldest structure in Charleston.  Built in the 1690s, it was originally a tavern for sailors visiting the port. I found the iron work, especially the lantern above the door remarkable.

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Hallway to a sunny courtyard.

I can’t remember the facts about this building, so maybe some Charleston person can tell me (Annie?).  I believe at one time the rooms off this hall were court rooms, but today it appears to be a residential building of some kind.  Regardless of its’ use, the age was apparent by the wood and construction.  I found the way the sun highlighted the bright, green hanging plants enchanting.

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Fountain at Waterfront Park

The pineapple fountain seems to be more photographed than this one in Waterfront Park of Charleston, but I thought the way the water was caught in this shot particularly interesting.

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Dappled sunshine on ballast stone streets.

Charleston is full of cobblestone streets made from ballast stones.  Ballast stones were placed in empty ships to balance them as they crossed the ocean. Once the ship arrived in port where it was picking up cargo, the ballast stones were thrown out and replaced with cargo.  The ballast stones were then used to build streets in many port cities.

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I liked the look of this ivy covered doorway and steps.

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Right near our dock on Patriots Point was the USS Yorktown (CV-10) an aircraft carrier which was renamed to honor the Yorktown (CV-5) destroyed at Midway in June 1942.  Also at the Patriots Point Museum is the USS Laffey (DD-724), the most decorated WWII era destroyer still in existence, and the USS Clamagore (SS-343) a cold war submarine.

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A close up to give you some size perspective.

Frank spent a long afternoon exploring this museum and catching up on his WWII history while I wandered around Charleston.  Now and then it’s a good idea to spend some time apart when you live on a boat.

Leaving Charleston provided some equally beautiful views.

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Stately commerce buildings

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And stately residential buildings

One very special happening during our stop in Charleston was a visit from Annie S. Annie is a fellow sailor who resides in Charleston.  We first met Annie in the BVI when LIB joined in the first sailing gathering of the Women Who Sail Facebook group.  Annie was on one of the WWS sailboats and Let It Be joined the rally in several BVI spots.

It was awesome to catch up my WWS friend and hear all that is happening in her boating life.  We shared a delightful dinner on LIB and spent the evening jabbering away. Thank you so much, Annie, for making time for us! (Can’t believe we didn’t take a picture!!)

Next city on our ICW stop is Beaufort, SC….

Eating Our Way Through Georgetown

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Sun up in a deserted Georgetown, SC

Georgetown is a darling little town. I am pretty sure I could live here if I didn’t live on a boat.

The day we arrived, the town was hosting Taste of Georgetown and, for a donation of $20. each, we strolled and ate our way along the main street sampling food from the sidewalk tables as we acquainted ourselves with the town.

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Captain was prepared to catch any food that dropped!

The following day there was another fundraiser, this one for a local school.  One more $20 donation bought all the steamed oysters you could eat.  I didn’t partake, but I think Frank ate for a solid three hours!

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At one point, Frank and several of our rally buddies took a break from eating proclaiming they were “stuffed.”  But not five minutes later the streamed crab was brought out and suddenly everyone found room for more food!

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The East Coast equivalent of “football fare?”

One skill Frank and I have learned while living on LIB is line splicing. We have found this very useful and have completed several projects, such as replacing our life lines, because we have this skill.

Always one to share knowledge, Frank hosted a splicing class on LIB.  Eight or nine boats were represented at the class and before it was over everyone had ideas for new boat projects. (Yippee!) I played TA to “Professor Frank,” which means he taught the class and I got to flit around and answer questions when I could.

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Professor Frank oversees line splicing.

The next scheduled marina is Charleston which is about 60 miles from Georgetown. Several members of the group, including us, broke the trip into two days and anchored overnight at Whiteside Creek, just a smidge off of the ICW.

My photo card stopped working so I don’t have pictures, but we had a stellar time.  Frank, Captain and I dinghied down a tiny cut with tall grass on both sides.  I feared we were going to suddenly come to a screeching halt because the engine got stuck in shallow water, catapulting Captain and me out of the dinghy OR as we moved through the reeds an alligator would jump right into the boat!

Thankfully neither happened, but we did scare a bunch of mullet fish that literally jumped out of the water to avoid us.  Captain was hopping from one side of the dinghy to the other trying to catch the jumping fish.

I SO wish I could have captured that on film!  I’m certain Frank was reliving his past when he and friends would fly through the bayous of Louisiana.  I was holding onto the dinghy and Captain telling Frank to slow down.  But actually ~ it was exhilarating and beautiful.

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Photo credit to Diane Mercaldo.

Once back at Whiteside Creek, we joined the rally group for a dinghy raft up. We shared drinks, snacks and conversation as the sun set behind us.  Sundown brought much cooler temperatures, so everyone zipped back to their respective boats.

The next morning we were up early and motored toward Charleston.  The Charleston Harbor looked huge when we left the narrow ICW and the city itself will be hard to cover by foot.

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Charleston looms large

Be prepared, Charleston is such a pretty town with it’s French Quarter and long history, that the next post will be full of photos if I manage to capture what we see.

In the mean time, here are two pictures from this week…

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Has Forrest Gump been here?

This random, happy pirate made me smile as we made our way down the ICW.  I hope you smile too.

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Serenity becomes visible at sunrise.

 

 

Another ICW Week Already?!

Phew, this week has been full of F~U~N!  It started with our return to Beaufort, NC.  We really love this little town. The people are so welcoming and we have such fond memories from our first visit in July.

Other than the usual, provision, clean the decks, walk the town and eat in restaurants, we took a ghost tour!

Seeing as how Beaufort is proud of its’ pirate history and it was very close to Halloween, we thought a ghost tour would be a perfect way to learn some history and hear some scary stories.

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Jacob weaves a tale.

We signed up for the Beaufort Ghost Walk 7:30 pm tour. Our guide, Jacob, was an excellent story teller who wove history and pirates and fear into an entertaining 70 minute walk through the oldest parts of Beaufort.  I highly recommend this tour if you are up for a bit of walking and history.

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Final stop, Beaufort graveyard.

On our motor to Beaufort, we noticed our steering had a bit of extra vibration in it, so Frank dove in and checked things out. Glad he did because our port rudder was 40 degrees different from the starboard rudder.  It appears the set screws for the port side rudder were completely stripped off and our rudder was not working properly!

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After diagnosing the problem and securing parts, Frank and Bill, of s/v Our Log, went to work fixing the rudder.  Together they through bolted the tiller arm to the rudder post.

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Our rudders are now in alignment and the port rudder connection is much sturdier and steering and docking are MUCH easier!

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Bill and Frank with the rudder arm repaired.

Thank you a ton, Bill, for sharing your expertise and time with us.  I know Frank appreciated talking with you about the repair as I was no help and you are so knowledgable!

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On the morning of Halloween, we left Swansboro, NC very early. Our reward was seeing these dolphins playing in our wake!

Frank and I got into the swing of Halloween and sported our costumes most of the day.

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There was quite the traffic jam at one of the bridges so we offered to move ahead and lead the way since we have such low clearance without our mast.

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Unfortunately we did not hear the warning about a shoal near one of the markers and LIB ran aground!  Yep, happy halloween to us ~ we get to join the “we have run aground” club!

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I am quite certain the TowBoat U.S. driver thought we had been drinking when he saw Frank standing on the deck in his shark costume!

Thank God we didn’t have any damage to LIB and Steve, the TowBoat driver, was able to free LIB from the shoal.

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Thanks for the help, Steve!

On Halloween evening we met up with Mindy and Ron of s/v Follow Me for some ‘reverse trick or treating.’  Essentially this meant we gathered our goodies, jumped in our dinghy and visited boats in the anchorage to deliver treats!  Our candy was appreciated but the mini shots Ron and Mindy dispensed were very well received.

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Ron, Frank, MG and Mindy on Halloween.

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We saw “snowbirds” Susan and Kevin on s/v Radiance.

The ICW is a thousand mile display of variety.  Each day we see changes in vegetation that can be anything from low lying marsh grass to towering bald cypress trees decorated with Spanish moss.  We see small towns, wildlife preserves and prosperous cities.  The variety keeps the travel interesting as we navigate.

The navigation itself is very different from our ocean experience because the water is shallow and the traffic is greater.   I find reading the water difficult because there are no depth hints based on the color of the water and the water is not clear.  The land signals I am accustomed to, such as deeper water near sharp banks, do not exist either.  How am I supposed to know which side of a canal is deeper when both sides look alike?

The upside is that eventually I will get much better at reading charts and daymarkers, but for now I rely heavily on Frank for guidance.

Here are some photo highlights from this week…

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Swing bridge opening.

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Almost all the way open.

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Only this small strip of land separated the ICW and the Atlantic Ocean.

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Waccamaw River late afternoon.

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Nope this area isn’t flooded, it’s the fuel sign at the entry to Osprey Marina!

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Did MaryKay relocate to the ICW?

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Of course I’ve included one sunset.

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