Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Beaufort, SC ("Bless your heart.")

Anchored in the middle of nowhere
Charleston to anchorage:  Today, we are headed for "nowhere."  It's 66 miles to Beaufort, SC so we decided to split the difference and anchor at one of the multiple recommended anchorages in the middle.  We pulled away from the dock at 7:30 am only to realize the second bridge doesn't start opening until 9:00 am.  Dang.  We both missed that.  So coffee & breakfast while sitting in the middle of the river.  At least it's slack current.

We had a nice day on the water.  We saw few other boaters.  We had a nice breeze.  When we arrive at the anchorage we have the place to ourselves.  It's serene marsh with a breeze and we are rewarded with a beautiful sunset.  One trawler will join us in the evening.  It's cool enough to get a decent night sleep with a breeze blowing  in the hatch.    

STATS:  Total time 6:36, total mileage 31.8 NM, average speed 4.8 kts
Another bridge

Beaufort Bridge
Anchorage to Beaufort, SC:  The Captain raised the anchor (yep, it was "set" good!) and the First Mate took the first shift.  Today's route is very windy and full of shallow, narrow cuts that connect several rivers.  It's a peaceful, scenic day on the water with only the occasional fishing boat.  It's forecast to be over 90F again, but we have a nice headwind to keep us comfortable (Amelia never moved from her spot on the settee because we left the hatch above her open).  First mate failed again.  I neglected to notice the swing bridge was before, not after the mooring field.  We slowed down for 45 min to time our arrival.  This made it a little warmer in the cockpit in the middle of the afternoon but still tolerable.  A call ahead on the radio confirmed which mooring ball we should shoot for.  It was an easy pickup (although another different setup:  mooring ball with pendant attached underneath with two floats and plastic protecting the pendant from barnacles) but I forgot to set up a line for the bridle and the Captain quickly came up and helped tie us off.  On the way back, I see a trail of bloody toe prints.  Apparently when he ran up on deck barefoot, he cut himself.  Where are your SHOES?

The dinghy is immediately deployed, we check in at the marina office and are directed to the nearest air-conditioned bar called Hemingway's (that we passed up and had to back track).  It's 3:10 and they just quit serving food and the bartender doesn't know how to make a Hemingway/Papa Doble.  Don't worry--she was nice about it and we taught her!  We receive a message on Facebook, that a friend used to fly out of Beaufort when he was in the Marines, which reminds the Captain of the movie The Great Santini and the author Pat Conroy. We settle up and step outside, only to be standing in front of a bookstore with a Pat Conroy poster.  I purchase his cookbook.  We end up at Luther's for dinner, and the Captain grabs my book and start reading.   We return to the boat and begin to contemplate our mooring ball.  For some reason, a combination of current and/or wind has us sitting 90 degrees to the mooring.  We take drinks out to the trampoline to study this and after swapping out the bridle (no effect) we give up and go to bed.  I was awakened at 1:30 am by distant lightning and after checking the weather on my iphone, decide to head out on deck to tidy up.  Kayak flipped over so it won't fill with water, canvas "windshield" closed to protect the cockpit, sun shade stowed and throw a few loose items down below.  When I turn around,  Amelia is in the cockpit with me.  Dang it!  Get back in there.  "OK, OK Mom.  Don't have a heart attack.  Gheez.  I thought we were hanging out."
I don't know what to say about this.  He wanted to make the blog?

This mooring ball will drive us crazy

Day 2:  About 5:00 am, the lightening is closer and it starts to sprinkle, so we both head out to recheck everything.  The Captain goes back to bed, but when it starts pouring I give up and get up--it's loud in our berth when it rains.  Did dishes, checked Facebook, made coffee, watched us swing around in the wind.  (Before bed, the Captain had put on a new band-aid but couldn't find it in the morning.  While opening up the canvas, he said, "Found it!  And it's covered in cat hair!"  Ewh.)

It's cooled off after the rain, so I make a breakfast scramble then off to borrow the courtesy car ($140 worth of West Marine gift certificates are burning a hole in his pocket).  He comes away with 2 new spark plugs & a cup holder--this West Marine doesn't have the anchor shackle he wants either.  I make a quick run into Piggly Wiggly and we're back to the marina for showers.  We head back home for lunch.  In the heat of the afternoon, we dinghy back into town for ice cream and air conditioning (ie. book store).  Amelia's new fall back spot when it gets warm is now the spot right in front of the companionway.  If you get up from the salon or step in from the cockpit, you won't see her.  Watch your step!

A gorgeous French bluewater sailboat shows up.  They call the marina and ask the price of a mooring ball.  They wave off as a storm approaches and anchor next to the mooring ball field.  We go down to eat and come back to see them pick up a mooring.  OK.  Then while messing with our bridle, we look up and they've left the mooring ball and gone out to reanchor.  Interesting.  Better than TV (well, there's only one TV channel here so we don't have TV)

The Captain has been complaining about the small propane tanks for our grill only making about three meals.  While sitting outside reading this afternoon, I discovered the problem.  He lights the grill and walks off.  After about 15 min, I said, "How's my dinner coming?"  CRAP.  Yep, there's your problem.
A South Carolina Low Country Boil

Day 3 Fri:  We head into town early for a carriage ride, lunch at Plum (my first Low Country boil since we arrived in SC) and quick run to Kmart (distilled water for the batteries and seafoam for the fuel tanks).  We retire to the boat to lay under fans in the afternoon heat.  While dinghying back out, we see Tow Boat bringing the French sailboat back to to reanchor.  Interesting.  The wind picks up and we move into the cockpit for afternoon reading.  Amelia joins us for her greenies from Dad and to get brushed by Mom.  Dinner is raspberry smoothies.  An episode of Lost and Big Bang Theory followed by a very comfortable nights sleep--nice breeze, no rain, minimal mooring ball noise.
Amelia takes the helm  "Where are the keys to this thing?"

Day 4 Sat:  The little Cape Dory 22 next us has a fishing skiff come over and help them move to a mooring ball.  Guess the engine doesn't run?  Then they head back out to some floats he left--apparently his anchor was snagged or maybe his only engine, an outboard went overboard?  We don't know what happened because we dingied in for showers and another West Marine run (Captain's salon fan went out.  Emergency!)  We spent the afternoon opening and closing hatches as three different storm cells moved through although it never actually rained (because the Captain went out and sprayed the decks down with soap, therefore NO RAIN!)  Not as hot today, so Pasta con Broccoli for dinner.
Angel Oaks that touch the ground and grow back up

The Big Chill house

Day 5 Sun:  We stay one more day to avoid being on the ICW on a Saturday.  We're also trying to time our next few stops so we aren't in a big town during the 4th of July (crowded anchorages, lots of drunks on the water).  It's even cooler this morning, only 77F when we get up, so we dinghy in for a walk.  The Captain swings through the bagel shop and then we walk around the point to see more of the houses from our carriage ride.  The Captain wants to see the Big Chill house and we find it nestled back from the road, behind a big gate facing the water.  I bet it's a beauty.  We are getting behind on our film list.  We need The Great Santini, The Big Chill & Forest Gump (we'll skip Prince of Tides since I'm not a Barbara Streisand fan and the Captain didn't think it was Nick Nolte's best film).  Barbara Streisand story:  she requested the military cease flying over her movie set (during the Gulf War).  They ceased for the day then sent 2 F-4's over her house at 2:00 am with afterburners.  Apparently, the origin of the phrase, "That sound you hear is the sound of freedom."  Baahahhhahha. 

For the last several days we've been "sailing" on our mooring ball.  It's actually pretty funny to watch from shore.  It looks like Odin is out for a day sail and he floats around in the current and contrary wind.  However, an interesting thing developed when I walked forward to the bow one day and saw the mooring ball, which had floated back and was sitting against our hull (the bumping sound is annoying) was sucked under our hull (and was now between the hulls which isn't a big deal, but really loud when it hits the hull right next to your head when your asleep!)  The boss didn't seem too worried.  We tightened up the bridle, tried taking off the bridle, then tried a different bridle set up until finally he rigged a riding sail from a tarp ("Quit Horsing Around" by Good Old Boat).  I was skeptical, but after 3 tidal changes the mooring ball hadn't been sucked under the hull.
A beautiful private garden

Beaufort, SC is a great stop.  Lots of history, lots of great restaurants, a good town to wander through on a walk, a good bookstore, coffee shop and ice cream shop.  (The only downside is the grocery store is 2 miles so the courtesy car of dinghy in the bikes).  Highly recommend.

I'm not a big clothes shopper.  However, the women here look so fashionable and "breezy" walking down the street in 95F heat.  Apparently anyone can pull off sleeveless and low cut with the right clothing.  I actually popped into a boutique or two (but it will be Savannah, before I buy my first "gauzy", sheer sleeveless tank top).  Now I just need to even out the farmers tan.  I already have some cute sandals.

A beautiful Beaufort, SC sunset

Recommended reading:  Anything by Pat Conroy.  Good Morning, Lowcountry! by Harriet McLeod.

Movies:  The Great Santini, Prince of Tides, The Big Chill, Forest Gump. (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, if you want to prepare for our visit to Savannah, GA)

Low country boil (Frogmore Stew):
6-8 oz unpeeled shrimp per person
1 1/2 ears corn per person
5 oz Hillshire kielbasa per person
Old Bay seasoning)
(Don't add potatoes.  It will make the shrimp too slippery to peel)

Cook in a big pot with roughly twice the volume of water as ingredients.  Add Old Bay seasoning.  Boil sausage and corn for 12 minutes.  Add the shrimp or cook separately for 2-2 1/2 minutes.  Drain.

No comments:

Post a Comment