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Goodbye Florida, Hello Georgia and South Carolina

Posted by on May 5, 2012
This will be a catch-up post, because the blog has been lagging behind a bit.

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.

Life aboard

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.

On the way from St. Simons Island to Savannah, Georgia.

 

Osprey nests, often with young aboard, have been a common sight along the way.

 

Waiting....and waiting.....for that final span to be put in place.

 

But the dolphins kept us entertained.

 

It was a tight fit getting past when we could go.

 

Savannah is laid out on a grid pattern, with frequent and tranquil squares throughout.

 

This house was used as the set for the movie 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'.

 

Most unusual downspout decorations here - we've never seen anything like this in our travels before.

 

One of the eclectic pieces of art we saw in Savanah.

 

More about pirates - apparently Robert Louis Stevenson wrote 'Treasure Island' in this house.

 

New friends Marsha and John, experienced Great Loopers from Ontario, who we have been cruising with for the past few days.

 

Our anchorage at Bass Creek - yes, we are afloat!

 

John and Marsha's boat, Kadadi, anchored in Bass Creek.

 

Aft view of USS Yorktown - it's a very big ship.

 

Looking up toward the bridge of the USS Yorktown.

 

 

Ria with a Tomcat on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown.

 

Pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park (we learned that the pineapple was the international symbol of welcome - who new?).

 

Mansions along The Battery, from Charleston's successful past.

 

Market Hall in the French Quarter is four buildings filled with local artisans - woven baskets from local marsh reeds is a speciality.

 

Cobblestone street scene, Charleston.

Tomorrow we continue north, exact destination uncertain.

 

8 Responses to Goodbye Florida, Hello Georgia and South Carolina

  1. Lion & Kaarina

    Great to follow your progress and all seems to be going your way!
    Surprised Dick didn’t tell you about the bridle…
    One thing I have always wondered when seeing people (usually the commodore) struggling, trying to pick up a mooring buoy from high up on the bow, is why not ease past and pick it up from the much lower stern… having prepared a line from the bow running OUTSIDE the stanchions… then take the line up to the bow. Once secure the captain can take over.
    I have not tried it since we don’t use mooring buoys here in Finland and we don’t have the hight to worry about. Be interested to know what you think or whether you have already tried it.
    Cheers for now!

    • john-and-ria

      Hi Lion,

      It’s good to hear from you. Are you getting ready to go sailing in Finland soon? We hope it turns out to be an early season for you!

      I’ve now figured out that the pre-fashioned bridle that came with the boat works well when we’re at anchor. For the mooring buoys we’ve encountered here though (all of which have a long rope with an eye which can be retrieved with the boat hook), a line passed through the eye and secured at each bow cleat seems to work best. Mind you, when the wind is blowing hard it’s more of challenge either way, and your suggestion for a ‘stern capture’ might make it easier. We’ll try it and let you know.

      Keep us posted on how you’re boating season is going.

      Cheers,

      John

  2. John Allen

    Wow. You have made great progress on your trip! I have been to most of those places and love them. Jealous of your adventure. Weather looks terrific and you both looked tanned and relaxed. look forward to hearing and seeing more. All the best

    • john-and-ria

      Thanks John – pleased to hear you’re enjoying the blog.

  3. Doug

    Way cool! Nice pictures, my two favourites, “His Idea” in the weeds and the “Reclining Fruit”! I am sorry you are having such a suffering time, you both look so stressed and out of sorts…NOT! Looking forward to the next installment.

    Cheers,

    Doug

  4. Roy and Sue

    Hi John and Ria, we have been following your excellent blog and adventure closely. We’re looking forward to experiencing it first hand! Roy and Sue

    • john-and-ria

      Hi Roy and Sue,

      Thanks for checking in to let us know you’re following along. We’re looking forward to having you join us for some of the adventure.

      See you soon….

      John & Ria

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