Heading South on the ICW
Hi Mike......The further I went, the lazier I got about emailing. The days were busy and due to questionable wiring (?battery cables?), I was not often able to run my laptop without running the engine. By evening time, I sure didn''t want to listen to the engine any more than I had to, so I didn''t do much emailing.
After North Myrtle Beach, the current was fair and so was the wind, so Georgetown was an easy reach the first nice day. But Charleston was a bit far for the day after that so, in company with my Canadian friends, we anchored in a wide inlet about 20 miles short of Charleston; Charleston the next day.Anchored in Wappoo Creek, behind an island, just past the James Island (Folly Beach Road) bridge. A friend picked me up there and I was able to do laundry and refill one of my propane tanks; the new fireplace was really using up the propane, but the cabin was nice and warm.
The Limehouse bridge, 10 miles south of Charleston had very restricted openings, due to construction of the new 65'' high fixed bridge, so we had to go through around three the next afternoon and ran about eight miles in drizzle, anchoring for the night in Church Creek, at the south end of John''s Island.
Then began the most challenging weather of the trip. As we left Church Creek the next morning, you could see the fog hanging in the trees about a mile or so to the east. Continuing down the river towards Edisto Island was OK for a while, but by the time we got to the more open water of the North Edisto River, the fog had reduced the visibility to 100 feet or so. Normally, under such conditions, I would anchor and WAIT! However, I was following my Canadian friends; they had radar, but they were zigging and zagging all over the place; I couldn''t figure what they were doing, but I had to keep them in sight. They were going much too fast for conditions, but eventually found each of the necessary marks (I had essentially committed to following them in the reduced visibility, so I had no choice but to continue). I learned later that they were NOT USING THEIR RADAR, but rather using their computer navigation program......not smart....but there I was. The fog alternately opened up and closed down; I radioed them that we had best anchor, which we finally did on reaching a wide spot in the South Edisto River, near Fenwick Island. It was forecast to blow hard that night and the next day; by the time the fog cleared away, there was no choice but to remain anchored for the balance of the day and that night. The afternoon was eerily quiet; you could hear every noise on shore, including the crackling, echoing gunshots of the hunters not far away.
By nightfall, it had begun to blow from the northwest; by midnight, it was blowing harder, so I put out my 22-lb storm anchor as well as the Fortress working anchor; by morning it was howling, probably blowing 25 to 35, occasionally gusting over 40; the water was in a rage, the currents coming from every which way, flying spray and spume, the two boats spinning like tops around their anchor rodes.......but we had plenty of room, so we just rode it out. I baked a meatloaf and had a fine meal; by early afternoon, it had abated to about 20-25 and the Canadians chose to move on; their destination was only another 10 miles or so, to a friend''s dock at Parrot Creek, off the Coosaw River. I chose to remain until the next morning; being alone and not-25-years-old, I simply didn''t want to wrestle with two anchors under those conditions.
It was still blowing 15-20 the next morning, but the waters were a lot calmer and in a half hour, I had my anchors up and was under way. I had a fine motor-sail up the Coosaw River and stopped at Beaufort for fuel and water by shortly after noon, then headed down the Beaufort with a fine fair current, anchoring before dark in Bull Creek, just across Calibogue Sound from Hilton Head Island....a fine day''s run of over 55 miles, including the midday stop for fuel. I arrived at Sail Harbor Marina in Savannah early in the afternoon; a slip was waiting for me (my friend Jerry is the manager)....it was nice to spend a few days, including Christmas, just relaxing and walking.
I left on the 27th.....tell you about that soon....