Where are we?
Today will be our third day in Charleston, South Carolina, where we are anchored in the harbour of this famous southern maritime city.
As our familiarity with His Idea grows, we’re finding that we have more free time on our hands, for blogging, reading, domestic chores, etc. Routines are being established (we’re writing this at 7 am, because we now get up with the sun), we’re figuring out the various boat systems (often through trial and error, even though the documentation on board is very good), and things are generally more efficient now. For example, the captain is getting comfortable with the generator (a godsend, as it blesses us with air conditioning when anchored, almost a necessity given the very hot, steamy weather we’ve had since the beginning) and the inverter (still a work in progress, because it’s really just another g.d. computer!). For her part, the admiral has learned how to use the on-board washer/dryer (also a godsend – see comment about hot, steamy weather).
Meals have been very easy. We have a decent sized fridge/freezer, which allows us to buy frozen prepared foods that can easily be heated either in the microwave or frying pan, and there are always ‘one pot wonder’ nights for things like chili or soup. We’ve also been in certain locations when it’s Saturday farmer’s market day. The selection of fresh produce, specialty prepared frozen foods, and baked goods has been excellent.
We’ve also eaten out of course, to sample the regional cuisine. Our favourite so far – fresh shrimp and grits at Tubby’s( in Savannah). Excellent!
All-in-all, domestic life aboard feels pretty relaxed.
Navigational and operational stuff
This section is mostly for the mariners. Skip to the next section if you couldn’t care less about bearings, speed made good, fuel flow and the like (the captain thinks this is all very fascinating, the admiral not so much).
- Current position – 32 degrees, 46 minutes, 878 seconds N; 079 degrees, 57 minutes, 612 seconds W
- Direction travelled – generally northwest so far, although our heading varies widely as we traverse the winding rivers of the ICW (our course is definitely not as the crow flies!)
- Statute miles travelled on the ICW to date – 533 (we have now passed the halfway mark for the section from Stuart, Florida to Norfolk, Virgina, where we will transition from the ICW to the waters of Chesapeake Bay)
- Fuel consumed – 151.5 Imperial gallons; with side trips we are averaging about 3.7 mpg; average cost for diesel has been $1.15/litre; current cost per mile for fuel is about $1.40.
Where have we visited since Florida?
Since leaving Florida on April 29 we have visited St. Simons Island and Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, with an additional overnight stop at Bass Creek (off the Coosaw River, about midway between Savannah and Charleston).
The ICW largely ran parallel to the coast in Florida. In Georgia and South Carolina it has twisted and turned, up one river and down another (occasionally connected by a man made ‘cut’), sometimes close to the Atlantic and then quite far inland. In much of this section we have been surrounded by miles and miles of marsh, the closest land being low islands somewhere in the distance. We found the Georgia section to be surprisingly uninhabited, perhaps seeing only a boat-accessible vacation home or fish camp for considerable distances. Some of the passages (e.g. Little Mud Creek, a telling name), were narrow and very shallow, our lowest recorded depth being 3.3 feet. However, for the most part, the ICW is well marked by frequent day markers, ranges, and other aids to navigation. With the aid of our electronic chartplotter, paper charts and guide books, so far we have gone astray only once (a scenic if unintended detour that caused no major harm).
Savannah and Charleston have both revealed their unique southern charms. Savannah is a riverfront city whose wealth was based on cotton and rice production. Charleston is a maritime city famous for being at the start of the U.S. Civil war (at nearby Fort Sumpter), and has a large U.S military presence (we understand it remains the largest local employer). Charleston is also home to Patriot’s Point, a memorial which honours the U.S military history from the Civil War to the present day, and it was here that we visited the USS Yorktown. Both cities have many elegant and graceful streets, and homes remaining from the 1700’s and 1800’s, when they were among the richest cities in the United States.
Tomorrow we continue north, exact destination uncertain.