Saturday, December 03, 2005

Greetings from Savannah, GA!

Sorry for such a delay in updating. Such are the vagaries in finding the web.

Now let’s see…where was we? Oh yeah! We made our way still on the Intercoastal to Charleston, SC. A very nice town. Charleston sits on a peninsula and we anchored off of the southern shore of that peninsula with a number of other boats.
During that first night it began to rain. And then it rained harder. As I was listening to the rain in my bunk I heard some other water running and it seemed to be coming from inside the boat. I went into the main salon to investigate and there, to my surprise, was a waterfall coming through one of the ports! I don’t mean a drip. I mean a waterfall. I hollered and Sue got up and the two of us are each holding two pans and/or buckets. It’s two in the morning, the wind is howling and these buckets are going to fill rapidly and then what? What to do except to indulge in hysterical laughter for a bit at how ridiculous we looked! I decided that this port for whatever reason needed a little awning to keep the water that was washing across the deck from coming in so I went out into the cold, windy night with my trusty roll of duct tape. This stuff is the stickyist stuff in the world…unless it gets wet! Still after about using half a roll I had managed to fashion an awning of sorts that guided the water past the port and on down to the deck. Sorry, no pictures! We began to mop up the water inside the boat and put on the NOAA weather radio where we hear the phrase, “…conditions are right for tornado formation on Charleston Bay.” That’s not what you want to hear at 2 in the morning! We decided that since there was no real tornado watch or warning just ‘right conditions’, we’d stay with the mother ship and sit anchor watches until morning. Wind and rain continued through the night but no tornadoes.

We were supposed to go into Charleston City Marina on the following day but predictions of high winds made us take her in before those built up. Nobody really wants to see Scott moor this boat in 25 knot winds! The Charleston City Marina features their Mega Dock. OK so what’s a mega dock? I’ll tell you…it is a floating concrete dock that is ½ mile long. We are docked at the far end! That is a long walk to the shower! Lots of neat sailboats and powerboats here. Seems like everybody stops here on their way south. The marina runs a free shuttle bus to town which is on the north end of the peninsula. We used that the next day to explore downtown Charleston. Lots of old houses, lawyers, and real estate offices. Hmmmmmm? This picture shows the marina at low tide. During high tide (7 feet higher) most of the grass is covered!

We left the boat at this marina when we went to Indiana and Chicago for Thanksgiving. Gracie was left in charge of the boat as none of the vets had room for boarding. She did fine and John the deck hand came and fed her part way through our absence.

Upon our return we considered heading out to sea and getting out of the Intercoastal but days of predicted south winds forced our hand to stay on the ‘inside’ and continue south that way. So, from Charleston we headed back down the ICW. At one point the wind came up on our nose at about 25 knots! Luckily the current was with us or we would have been going backwards for a bit. As it was we were only making 2-3 knots for awhile and because the current and wind were opposing each other, at times crashing into 4 foot waves.

The anchorages in this region of the ICW are strange and wonderful. Imagine wide open fields of tall brown grass with rivers running through it. You can anchor in many of those rivers off of the ICW which is what we did at a place near Pine Landing on the South Edisto River…get out your atlases! In anchorages like these there is NOTHING around. No houses. No lights. Strange indeed at night and easy to get disoriented but the stars are wonderful! (Imagine this scene at left in total darkness except for the stars. Spectacular and creepy at the same time)

Next day we made the town of Beaufort S.C. which has a very nice anchorage area just past the swing bridge into town. Nice town but again, you find lots of little shops but rarely anything you need! Did find oil and some needed charts at the marina in town. Best thing about the anchorage…DOLPHINS SWAM RIGHT THROUGH IN THE EVENING! Ok, we are totally queer for dolphins but really they are so cool!

At this point we are trying to make it to Savannah in two days which is easy to do. Another anchorage as I just described in the Wright River about 14 miles from Savannah and we were infested with dolphins! Lots of pelicans and other sea birds to watch as well. This is great anchoring! At one point Sue was looking south and said, “Hey, those buildings are moving!” (See photo at left.) What looked like a skyline was an inbound container ship in the Savannah river that we were seeing over the tree line! It's not coming this way, right!?! We had to share the river with a couple of these ships on our way to Savannah the next day but we’ve become pretty used to that! In fact when arriving in Savannah we had to respond to a hail from the YM Hamburg freighter who suggested we let him pass and follow behind since another very large freighter was coming out our way. Needless to say, we did just that. The picture to the right shows the two monsters passing. We didn't want to be the meat in a freighter sandwich!

Savannah itself is a wonderful town. You can tie up at the city dock for $1.00/foot which is about as low as it goes anywhere. From there you can walk beautiful Savannah. Interesting layout in that every couple of blocks there is a little square/park with big old mansions around it and a statue of somebody or another from either the civil war (sorry, I mean the war of Northern aggression!) or revolutionary war.

It's hard to find blatant references to slavery in the south and probably for good reason. One exception is a statue by the water with a very nice poem by Maya Angelou.

Huge live oaks fill these squares with shade. Best of all we got to hook up with our dear friend Kay from Chicago who was in Savannah on business. What fun to go walk around with a good friend while on our adventure!

Tomorrow we will head for a little town/marina called Thunderbolt to top off our diesel. After that looks like Monday or Tuesday could be ideal for heading out of the Wassaw inlet to the ocean and make for the St. Mary’s River in Florida which is really Fernandina Beach and thereby skipping the rest of Georgia. Some have told us that Georgia is not maintaining the ICW so well and people are running aground a lot. We are anxious to go sailing anyway and this 100 mile run to Florida ought to be just the thing.


Gracie Liberation Front said...

So nice to see Sue with Madame Meow. Hubba Hubba Right Arm.

Chairman Meow
The GLF!

deborah said...

Charleston and Savannah, doesn't get better then that. We spend a vacation there with the girls and just loved it. Snow is all around us here and tomorrow temps wil be in the teens. Hows the weather on the coast?

Victor Megaro said...

Visit St. Simon Island or Jekyl Island if possible.

Scott said... is just perfect. Perfect that is if you like 30 degree nights 25 knot winds and 2-3 inches of rain!