Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wrightsville Beach, NC- Beaufort, SC

Beaufort, SC 32 25.81 N 080 40.47 W

This past week we have had perfect weather with daytime temps in the 80’s and evenings in the 60’s. Since our last post we have traveled 260 miles further down the ICW and are at the mid-way point to our Delray Beach destination in Florida. So here is a little re-cap of our travels.

We left Wrightsville Beach, NC last Thursday, 10/21 leaving North Carolina to stern and entered South Carolina. That night we anchored with about 9 other sail & trawler cruisers in the narrow, swift flowing Calabash Creek near the mouth of the Little River Inlet. As we make our way further south we are experiencing strong currents in the anchorages as most are in creeks with swift flowing waters and 6’-7’ tidal ranges. We have been told that this is the case all the way to the Indian River in Florida. We are grateful to have lots of heavy chain and a reliable anchor. For the past few days we have been traveling southbound and sharing the same anchorages with another catamaran, Lipari, a Fountaine Pajot 410. Randy from Lipari dinghied over that evening to introduce himself and chat awhile. He and his wife Janet are also making their way to Florida and then the Bahamas.

The Wacamaw River
 We upped anchor on Friday and traveled past Myrtle Beach with its many golf courses and resorts then through the remote cypress marshes of the Wacamaw River. We anchored behind Butler Island along with Lipari.This is also their first time down the ICW and we enjoyed sundowners onboard Carina as we discussed plans and anchoring options for the next few days.

Bald Eagle perched in a tree
along a river bank
Saturday we motored through the rest of the Wacamaw River and into the relatively open waters of Winyah Bay before the ICW turns back out into canals, rivers and coastal marshlands. We followed Lipari into our agreed upon anchorage behind Dewees Island near Isle of Palms.

Sundowners were interrupted while
anchored off Dewees Island to aid a
disabled power boat
 We were closer to the ocean than we have been for quite some time and were entertained by many dolphins that swan around our boat. Cocktails this evening were aboard Lipari. Shortly after arriving on Lipari, Mark and Randy assisted some local boaters whose engine was disabled – towing safely to the nearby dock.
We docked for 2 days at downtown
Charleston Maritime Center Marina
We arrived in Charleston, SC Sunday. Lipari continued on to Savannah. We decided to splurge and stayed 2 nights at the Charleston Maritime Center. Anchoring in Charleston is not recommended due to strong currents, poor holding and heavy boat traffic including large freighters and cruise ships. The Maritime Center Marina was very convenient to downtown historic sections, marine aquarium and groceries. We played tourist for two days while enjoying this beautiful city, touring historical buildings, mansions, graveyards, churches and the market area.
In the formal gardens outside the
Calhoun Mansion

The Circular Congregational Church.
and graveyard. Founded about 1681
by Charles Towne's original settlers.
Waterfront walk along Rainbow Row

We left Charleston on Tuesday traveling through what the locals refer to as “Low Country” down here. Down one river, through a canal cut, up another river…. so forth and so on. We anchored on swift flowing Wimbee Creek – that night the current competed with a strong southerly wind making us ride over our anchor with the tide changes. Once again we are thankful for heavy chain and our big anchor.

Kathy at a farmers market near the
Beaufort docks.

On Wednesday we traveled a short distance down to Beaufort, SC (pronounced Bu-fort …. not to be confused with Bo-fort, NC). This is a beautiful town on the Beaufort River that welcomes transient boaters. We reserved a slip at the Downtown Marina to make it easier to explore the town.
Typical Beaufort street scene:
Antebellum home with Live Oak tree
and Spanish Moss.  
We took a horse carriage tour of the town which was very interesting. Beaufort has the largest number of antebellum homes in SC and is the second oldest town only to Charleston. 457 homes & businesses have national historic recognition requiring a federal permit for any house improvements… even changing the color of the home. We enjoyed a delicious pizza at Panini’s on Wednesday night and then another great lunch at Plum’s on Thursday - both restaurant's outside dining decks overlooking the waterfront park.

The Beaufort waterfront park and the
Ladies Island Swing Bridge over the
Beaufort River (& the ICW) in back.

Tomorrow we depart Beaufort and make our way into Georgia as the miles and memories add up.

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