Hilton Head, SC

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Oct 29 Leaving Swansboro we made it to North Myrtle Beach and found a nice peaceful marina after a day of fighting shallow spots along the ICW. The next day we had an enjoyable motor-sail to Georgetown, having decided beforehand we would anchor in the town anchorage and go ashore. Only problem with the plan, all the anchoring spots were full, we almost pulled an overnighter (Ocean run) but then decided to crowd next to the anchored boats and anchor for the night. There were several older nasty looking boats (derelict) next to us and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving the boat unattended for the evening so we didn’t make it into town.

Oct 30 From Georgetown to Charleston, we looked at the charts and decided it was too shallow in many places along the SC ICW, the ocean looked fairly calm so we left the ICW and went in the Ocean. We had a strong current pushing us along plus a breeze so we could sail most of the way. Upon arriving in Charleston around 4:30 we once again looked for a place to anchor, it seems all the good spots were taken around the Coast Guard station so we pushed a little further. The next obstacle was the swing bridge on Wappo Creek, which would not open again until 6:30, so we waited and waited, the bridge tender was 5 minutes late opening and the current was push us into the bridge. Yikes! Finally we made it through and stopped at St John’s Marina for the night, then decided to stay 2 nights and used their courtesy car (free) to go grocery shopping and of course West Marine. Next we figured it would be an easy run to Beaufort, SC but the tides were against us just a little past half way it was dead low tide and there was a shoal then prevented us from going any further. So we anchored there on the South Edisto River along with a dozen other cruisers. Bright and early next day, I mean early the sun was barely up yet, but the tide was high and off we went. Even with 8 foot of tide the depth gauge was showing 10 feet in spots on that shoal, which means at low tide it was 2 feet, we need 4 and a half! Our friends tell us we have to stop at Hilton Head Island which is not far past Beaufort. I spoke with the dockmaster and he guided us into the gas dock because we need fuel first. The north winds was blowing so hard on the side that the boat was pinned to the dock, we were stuck there for the night. We got off the boat and walked around Hilton Head Plantation, we had plans to enjoy a nice dinner out at a restaurant. The only one close by was Ole Fort Pub; it was a bit too pricey for our wallet. So back to the boat we walked for a very rocky night. Next morning it took some thoughtful planning to get off that dock.

On Nov 2 our friends Dan and Melissa on Slow Dancing were starting a sailboat rally from Portsmouth, VA to Tortola, BVI called the Caribbean 1500. They have a Spot and also a Rally provided satellite tracking device so we can see exactly where they are in relationship to the other boats. About a day into the race/rally I see they are coming back, I looked on the website there was no information as to why they turned around. Once close to shore I spoke with Dan and he said a crew member got a 12 hour bug/flu, after turning around they were committed to returning, they will retry on Wednesday.

Nov 4 For us after getting off the dock at Skull Creek Marina, we headed south hoping to make somewhere half way through Georgia. The wind was gusting to close to 30 knots; listening to the NOAA weather reports it was going to get worse. We are in no hurry and since we didn’t get to really see Hilton Head we decided to have another stop only not a Skull Creek, a little further south at Palmetto Bay Marina. Tomorrow we plan on getting transportation and see more of the island. Tonight Happy Hour starts at 4 and Virginia has discovered Blue Moon beer and of course any beer is good for me. So stay tuned.

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