Hello fellow adventurers and virtual crew members! Eric here reporting on the latest movements of Still Waters II.
Our crew departed Savannah, GA on Sunday August 2 at 0950 and made way towards Beaufort, S.C. The Savannah River is the border between Georgia and South Carolina, so it did not take long for the crew to venture into their third state. This passage to Beaufort included 2 sounds, 2 bridges, and 48 more miles of rivers bordered by mud and sea grass.
On Monday, August 3, our crew pushed north to the historic town of Charleston, SC. It was only last November that our crew came to Charleston for a one day seminar on the Great Loop, still with a J.O.B. and no boat. My how things have changed in the last 6-8 months. The run to Charleston was 66 miles of rivers interrupted by 5 bridge crossings.
Run to Beaufort Prior to departure, our skipper jumped on the free water taxi and took the round trip on the Savannah River, 3 stops to get back to the beginning. This allowed the skipper to get some shots of Still Waters II tied up along the river front.
Other than the rain that dogged the crew most of the morning, the trip was uneventful. This coastal area of South Carolina is referred to as the ‘low country’. A couple of characteristics of the area is the pungent odor which hangs in the air due to the marsh mud that is exposed at low tide. The second is the endless expanse of marsh grass. As the crew has moved north, the marsh is beginning to be broken with large live oak trees with huge canopies and hanging Spanish moss.
Upon arrival at Beaufort, our crew decided to swing from a mooring ball for the night. They picked T-3, moved in, the mate snagged the line, and the line was not what they were expecting. As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.” One consistent thing about boating is everything seems to be different. No universal standards. The skipper quickly looked around the mooring field to see how other boats were tied on while the mate tried to keep the strange mooring line in hand. The skipper developed a strategy and the mate executed without problems. There is a day dock beside the marina that is free to use, so after a few minutes of rest and allowing time for the marina to dock a few boats that all arrived at the same time, the crew motored over to the day dock and went ashore.
They walked down the little town, looked at some historic homes, and did some window shopping. They roll up the welcome mat early on a Sunday evening. They wandered down to the water front park and found a large porch swing and took in the sites. After a bit, they noticed the weather was changing for the worse and more rain was headed their way, so they got back on board the boat and motored back to the mooring ball for the evening. Run to Charleston Just outside the marina where the crew moored, there is a swing bridge that does not operate from 0700 to 0900 to allow people with a J.O.B. to get to work on time without interruption from the boaters. The first opening is at 0900, so the crew followed a sailboat through the bridge at the first opening. Still Waters II followed the sailboat for half a day. After 35 miles, the sailboat made a U-turn and headed back to Beaufort. Our crew pressed on to Charleston. The only real excitement came near the end of the trip when they entered Elliot Cut at idle speed. With the engines in neutral, they were making 9.3 knots just carried by the current though the narrow cut. With engines in idle, it made control of the vessel a little tricky as they floated towards Charleston. Thanks to Geoff’s training, our skipper was able to steer through bumping the engines rather than being a wheel weanie. When they popped out into the Ashley River, the marina was right there. All they had to do was find there docking assignment. They were put on the Mega Dock, so named because of some of the mega yachts tied up here in Charleston. Makes Still Waters II look like a canoe. Shore Excursions Provisioning seams to always be harder than it should. The crew needed a few items from the grocery store, so our skipper found a Piggly Wiggly only 2 miles away. As luck would have it, a condo development is being erected smack dab on top of the old Piggly Wiggly. A check of the map app, showed a Publix’s only 2 miles further down the road. So off in search of the new shop. Upon arrival, the goods were procured and the trip back on the bicycle was started. Somehow, the 4 mile round trip turned into a 10 mile trip with 4 large bridge crossings. Good thing the mate sat this trip out. She would not have been impressed. The mate took time to go walk down historic Charleston. She loves the old houses and churches. She wandered around for several hours in the historic section. She reported that the young girls were buying loads of stuff at some stores called “Forever 21” and “H&M.” Last bit of news today is a report of a little boat maintenance by the skipper. He had been warned of this nasty job and was not looking forward to its eventual completion. That’s right, time to change out the duckbill check valves. These little rubber parts just so happen to be in the sewer line from the head to the holding tank. It just does not get any nastier than that. A couple of hours latter, the duckbills were changed out and the skipper was in need of a shower. A little history that our skipper must have forgotten. The H.L. Hunley was the very first submarine to sink a warship. Happened back on February 17, 1864 during the war of northern aggression. Within the hour she also sank here in the Charleston Harbor killing her 8 crew members. Interesting enough, but more intriguing is that this was her third sinking. She initially sank August 29, 1863 during sea trials, killing 5 crew members. She sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all 8 crew members, including Horace Hunley. She was found in 1995 and has been raised again in 2000 and is currently in a pool of water as restoration is in progress. Run deep, run silent. The crew hopes to get some good pictures of Ft Sumter tomorrow as they motor north to Georgetown.