Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!
We picked up two more virtual crew members this week. Welcome aboard Debra and Picklesnan.
A ladies team first day catch in the fish tournament.
The crew had their traveling clothes on this week as they made way from Beaufort, South Carolina to Beaufort, North Carolina. They anchored out all but one night, and spent the week travelling with a buddy boat, Satisfied Frog. They made the following stops along the journey:
Click on the link to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, and a summary of the day’s experience.
The voyage of discovery did answer the following question this week:
This week’s video shows Still Waters II traveling with a bow escort of dolphins and following Satisfied Frog thru a swing bridge. Enjoy! (Watch for the dolphin to surface twice for a breathe of air.)
The crew set out for an eight hour cruise this morning. They were in the process of making time towards New York City as quickly as the weather will allow them, so they can spend the summer cruising the Erie Canal. They arrived at an area just south of Snows Cut which leads into Charleston.
Along the route, they were greeted by several dolphins which are always fun to watch.
The skipper also noticed this gator practicing his backstroke.
The crew travelled with Satisfied Frog this week. This is her passing thru Fenwick Cut.
The day ended with a beautiful sunset. Ahhh, the beauty of burnt orange.
Today the crew met favorable tide and current conditions and were able to knock out almost eighty miles thru the last of the salt marsh that the ICW offers as scenery. The crew arrived at their pre-day anchor spot way ahead of the anticipated time, so they decided to push on to the north side of Georgetown.
Somewhere along the route, the two boat flotilla grew to three boats. The third boat transited some very skinny water by McClellanville. There are seven shoaling hazards in just under two miles of travel. The skipper was glad they came thru at high tide, but the low water level alarm still went off several times, making for a nervous skipper. After the safe passage, the third boat peeled off and docked at Georgetown.
Our two boats continued and dropped the anchor off the Waccamaw River near Butler Island.
However, the skipper found time to take only a few pics to document the days travel.
The Battery of Charleston in the background.
There were many Pelicans out flying today. The skipper enjoys watching them glide just above the water.
At the end of the day, the crew got to witness another beautiful sunset. Red sky at night, sailors delight. Should have good weather again tomorrow.
The crew weighed anchor and headed into the Waccamaw River which winds its way thru a swamp just south of Myrtle Beach. The run thru the swamp and Cyprus trees was a welcome relief from the days of salt marsh.
A look at the swamp.
Saw these ladies out for a morning row.
Cruised by this Osprey nest to see a baby chick. Looks like mom was giving a speech about ‘failure to launch’ on the chicks first flight. What is the worst thing that can happen mom? Oh nothing to worry about darling, there are just alligators down there swimming in the water. They mean you no harm.
After cruising thru the swamp, the crew was greeted by the numerous boat docks that line the waterway heading into Myrtle Beach. Most of the docks have signs warning boaters that they are responsible for their wake and the damage the wake may cause. So it is a slow go thru the area.
This guy has a strange since of humor I suspect.
At the end of the day the crew anchored near Bird Island Inlet just on the North/South Carolina state line..
Today the goal was to make Carolina Beach and take a mooring ball for the night. The skipper was hoping the timing might work out to stop at Southport for a quick lunch at the Dead End Saloon. However, upon arrival at Southport, the best decision was to press on and take advantage of the current going up the Cape Fear River. Just have to put this stop on the ‘next year list’, and try to make it on Tuesday for half price burger day.
There were several inlets that had to be passed by on the journey today. These inlets present hazards due to shifting sands and shoaling. The skipper slows down and honors the markers because the Coast Guard seems to be moving them all the time to mark the safe passage. Sometimes the charts and the actual marker placement are not the same. In these cases the skipper always honors the actual marker placement in the water. So far, this strategy has always met with success.
The Lockwood Folly Inlet
The Carolina Beach Inlet
After both boats were moored, they decided to dinghy ashore and walk around town. They learned that Thursday is summer concert and fireworks night, what a deal.
Headed to shore.
There was a small donut shop in town, supposedly known for great donuts. The skipper said they were pretty good for an afternoon snack. He did not let the snack get in his way for the fried flounder and shrimp he shared with the Admiral for dinner. After eating they headed back to the dinghy dock and witnessed a few boats pull in with their catch-of-the-day.
Looks like this boat had a good day fishing.
They all played a couple of games of Joker on Satisfied Frog, and then ended the day with a short fireworks program.
The challenge for the run today was to negotiate timing three bridges to minimize waiting. The skipper adjusted speed frequently to make the bridge openings, and at the end of the day they only had to wait about fifteen minutes for the bridges. Most of that time was wasted at the last bridge at Surf City. The crew was getting a little worried when the bridge finally opened eight minutes late with the bridge tender apologizing for the late opening. Seems he could not get the bridge to cooperate and open.
They passed thru a few more of those hazardous inlets again. But because the path was well marked the crew had no issues.
The New River Inlet
There was a bunch of shallow water to work thru today, also. This is a good example of why you want to stay in the channel. This boat was probably only 50 yards off the marked channel. If you did not know better, it looked safe to travel over there.
Some shallow water
After a successful journey, the crew dropped anchor at Mile Hammock Bay. The crew took the dinghy over to Satisfied Frog to play a couple of more games of Joker to round out the evening.
During the week, the crew was not sure if they would be able to stop in Beaufort, North Carolina or not. The Big Rock Fishing Tournament is in full swing. Who knew this was the largest tournament of its kind in the U.S. Along with the Big Rock, there is also the Keli Wagner Lady Angler tournament running. There are 130 boats in the Big Rock and 38 entered in the Ladies tournament.
With a little help from our friends, we were able to secure Saturday and Sunday night dockage.
On the way to Beaufort though, the crew took an unscheduled stop in Swansboro. After weighing anchor and clearing the Onslow Beach Bridge, the crew was about an hour ahead of schedule for their arrival in Beaufort. To kill a little time, the crew docked at the Swansboro Free Dock and walked to Yana’s for some fruit fritters. To their surprise, the annual arts festival was gearing up. Berrlin and the skipper had fruit fritters while the ladies shopped the art festival.
Debra and the mermaid
After getting back on the boat, it was off to Beaufort, for a hopeful no current dockage experience near 1300. As it worked out, the crew arrived just in time to experience slack current and the easiest dockage in these waters ever. The current can really rip thru here and the skipper wanted no part of that after last years bad experience.
All in all a good day and a good week of cruising.
The Admiral did witness some ladies bringing in their catch for the day. A 16.5 pounder.
At this point, the weather looks good for Monday and Tuesday to cruise some of the large open waters such as the Neuse River, Pamlico Sound, Pungo River, Alligator River, and Albemarle Sound. Therefore the crew will make two long days to travel to Elizabeth City and get that open water behind them while the weather window is open. Then they will cruise the Dismal Swamp Route to Norfolk. They hope to cross the Chesapeake Bay on Friday, and end the week in Onancock on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.