Beaufort to Charleston

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018:

I spent the morning writing while Jane organized and got some exercise. We finally left the boat at the mooring ball and rode (rode not rowed) the dinghy in to further investigate Beaufort.

First up was a rather lengthy walk to have lunch at Herban Market. It was simple and simply incredible.  Jane had a taco salad and I chose the BLT wrap.  Both selections were whole-food, plant based and were fully appreciated.  That necessitated some more walking around the pleasant town of Beaufort during which we did a little shopping followed by the 4:00 pm carriage tour.  Our tour guide/carriage driver was a Beaufort native and seemed to have a complete knowledge of the history.  Beaufort is so charming because Sherman did not burn it.  All the local population fled before it fell to the Yankees and so the town was used for most of the Civil War as a Union installation.  Once in the historical section, one of the first antebellum homes we stopped at was the Stoney House.  I wondered and imagined that it could have been built by an ancestor of my friend Laurence Stoney from Charleston.  I’m hoping to see Laurence when we get there.  Our guide related a most interesting story about a slave named Robert Smalls who, during the Civil War, stole a Confederate gunship, sailed his family to freedom turning over the ship and information to the Union, and later became a member of the House of Representatives.  Most interestingly, he was able to return to Beaufort after the war and buy the house of his former master for the unpaid taxes.  When the former lady of the house returned and thought she still owned the home, he took her in and never told her any different, caring for her as long as she lived.

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After, at the Old Bull Tavern we enjoyed libations and black-eyed pea hummus with grilled pita bread.

We had a bouncy ride back in the dinghy since the wind had picked up, but I set the throttle at lickity-split and we only touched the tops of the white caps.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018:

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Beautiful sunrise over Beaufort this morning.

By 0855 we were underway in the ICW. The weather forecast shows SW winds of 10 to 15 knots with gusts to 20 and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.  I got some pictures of the historical homes along the river.

Within an hour we had entered the Coosaw River and by 1030 made it to St. Helena Sound. It was a warm day and when the captain gets hot – layers are shed.

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As we entered Tom Point Creek at 1345 to anchor, the wind had picked up and it was getting cloudy, but we had Pandora-provided Beatles on the stereo, so we were undaunted.

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We located the best spot to anchor with some wind protection provided by the trees. The creek is a little narrow here and it makes me nervous.  Even though the tide change creates current, we anchored in 13 feet of water with just over 5 feet of help from the tide.  I have become so confident in our Manson Supreme anchor that I only put out 62 feet of rode.  Normal anchoring guidelines recommend the depth plus the height to the bow sprit (in our case 6 feet) to be multiplied by 7.  So it would be 13+6=19; 19 x 7 = 133 feet of anchor rode.  I’ve got out less than half of that due to my concerns about the narrow creek.

There were only a couple of houses, but they were well up the creek so it is very private here.  Apparently, some well-heeled creek dwellers live here. There was no boat traffic on the creek with the exception of one crabber that came in right behind us checking his traps and continued on up the creek.  I wondered how far up the creek his traps run, because we anchored at 1400 and it was happy hour before he came back by.  I love these anchorages with the expansive surrounding marsh.  They are so private and quiet.

As the tide dropped the creek got even narrower.  DSC_0959

As I was readying the shower on the fantail, a small dolphin announced his arrival with whooshes from his blow hole feeding, no doubt on the falling tide. I’ve heard about the technique they use around here called strand feeding, but I have yet to witness it.  We ran the generator for hot water and I showered on the stern (no pics of that.  You’re welcome) while Jane bathed inside due to the no-see-ums.  The carnivorous little bastards love her.

Thursday, April 5, 2018:

Low tide was around 0720 so we pulled up anchor at 1010 (from the same spot we dropped it), and pleasantly, it emerged clean. The morning was clear and cool with light winds out of the east.  We enjoyed a short cruise for the 25.6 miles and arriving with the tide, gently docked at St. Johns Yacht Harbor in the Stono River just south of Charleston at 1317.  SJYH proved to be a great choice in terms of restroom and laundry facilities, but can be a difficult spot to obtain an Uber.  We ran into Ken and Ruth from Horizons. Jane borrowed the courtesy car to go grocery shopping while I cleaned up the boat.  There was no Publix nearby, but she did well by visiting both Food Lion and Harris Teeter.  Later we were able to catch an Uber and went to Basic Kitchen for dinner.   Another excellent restaurant with great healthy vegan options.

Friday, April 6, 2018:

We decided it was time to go into Charleston for the day and thought it would be fun to go by dinghy. From SJYH it is only five miles to the City Marina going through Elliot Cut.  It takes about 15 minutes to deploy the compact inflatable and another 20 minutes to make the trip.  We stopped by the Post Office to mail some things and visited their Postal Museum.  It’s free so why not?

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We walked further and settled on lunch at Basil Thai.  Excellent.  My friend, Harry Benedict works as a tour guide on the Gray Line bus tours and signed us up for his 3:00 run.  We were the only ones on the bus and received a tour unavailable to the public.

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Charleston has so much history and Harry is truly an expert.  He dropped us back off at the City Marina where our dinghy was secured.  We stopped into Salty Mike’s for a beverage and to catch up on the Masters Tournament before motoring back to SJYH.

It was a warm sunny day, but we were glad to have our windbreakers for the ride back as it was cooling off and the 9.9 hp Tohatsu zips it right along.

Saturday, April 7, 2018:

Jim and Debbie Anderson came all the way from Columbia to visit and showed up at 10:00. We imbibed bloody marys on board before going over to Charleston Crab Company for lunch.  It is always great to visit with such good friends.

While we were at lunch the cruise ship American Star reappeared and steamed by under the bascule bridge.  Is this ship following us, or what?! Once back at the boat, the rain started and we played Jenga while reminiscing and catching up.   They left around 4:00 and Jane and I got a nice nap before round two.

Our old kindergarten classmate Patty Potter Baucom and her husband Mike came to pick us up for dinner at 7:00. We had expected to host them on the boat, but since it was still raining, we jumped in and went with them to the Maybank Public House for drinks before dining at Wild Olive (truly fine dining).  They wouldn’t let us pay for anything and dropped us off with a gift bag of really nice wine (Rombauer!!) and goodies.  Old friends are best and Patty is too sweet.  I think we got back to the marina around 11:00.  It was a long day, but filled with love.

Sunday, April 8, 2018:

Patty is not done with us and has Mike pick us up while she is preparing lunch. They have a gorgeous home on Seabrook Island on the marsh with a tidal creek.  We enjoyed BM’s on the dock (that’s bloody marys, you sicko) and some awesome corn chowder to stifle the chill.  After lunch we stopped by to see Bohicket Marina and that looks like a spot I’d like to visit next time.  After returning to SJYH we caught an Uber ride over to a reception on the city dock at St. Bart’s Yacht Sales for Loopers.  It was good to see so many familiar faces and meet some new folks.  I got to meet the captain of Ariel who anchored behind us in New Teakettle Creek and teased him about it.  We returned to our vessel in time to watch the end of the Masters and our little HD antenna brought in the CBS station for us clearly.

Monday, April 9, 2018:

It is rainy and cold. Jane did lots of laundry (including sheets and comforter) and defrosted the fridge.  I did some maintenance in the engine room.  Overall just a slimy day with the cold wet weather.  Finally, we went out to see a movie (The Leisure Seeker) at the Terrace Theatre. Couldn’t get an Uber for the 4PM show so had to wait until the 7PM showtime.  It’s a very poignant movie about an older couple (our age) struggling with dementia and cancer starring Helen Mirin and Donald Sutherland.  We both loved it. The Terrace Theater is one of those fancy theatres where you can get wine to go with your popcorn. And senior tickets were only $8.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018:

We had thought we’d be leaving today, but the weather is not cooperating. It is still rainy, cold and a little windy.  I’m not one to get in a hurry, so we’re staying put for today.  We did a good deal of route planning and finding spots to anchor or dock through to Norfolk.  As a result of our next intended marina not having room for us tomorrow (will still be cold anyway) and we can stay here for free because it will be the 7th night, we are opting to stay through Thursday morning before shoving off for points north.  The highlight of the day was my Howey classmate, Laurence Stoney, a Charleston native, came to pick us up and took us over to the Tomato Shed for lunch.  What a great place.  He had worked at the packing shed out back in the summers as a teen.  The comfort food was just what was needed. I hadn’t seen Laurence since school (1969) and it was very cool to spend some time with him again.

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