Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wandering Up The ICW


Traveling up the Waccamaw River, South Carolina
We have travelled through three states via the ICW and an overnight sail on the outside (the ocean). Up through Georgia with its tall grassy marshland lining either side of the waterway; we spotted our first alligator; went hard aground and had to wait for the tide to lift us off and battled daily with the irksome, biting horseflies.  We anchored in rivers near trees and fields so green and golden and lush, with shrimp boats keeping us company for the night. Almost every day highlighted with storms and lightning.  
The grassy banks of Walberg Creek by St Catherine's Inlet
With a good forecast in hand we took to the ocean via the slightly nail biting and shallow St Catherine’s Inlet.  Not one drop of rain, nor one lightning strike did we see for the entire trip. We battled with no wind, cursing the forecast, ghosting us along at under 4kts, then too much wind kicking up big seas and hurtling us forward at over 8kts at times.  We hunkered down and settled into a pace for the night, a red disc of a sun setting on a hazy horizon.  It’s always so difficult to sleep that first night at sea – we were up and down and kept busy with traffic – big ships coming out of Savannah and Charleston.  By morning with another red disc rising in the sky and on a long tack into Winyah Bay in South Carolina we were completely worn out. We passed Georgetown lighthouse and anchored two miles up the channel that afternoon, grateful for a peaceful, settled evening.

The sun setting on Walberg Creek
It feels like a life time ago but it was only yesterday we travelled 70 miles up through South Carolinas’  ICW, a roaring current carrying us most of the way. The Waccamaw River is truly stunning, tall trees twist and turn with the serpentine river and I think this is the America I want to see.  Osprey, vultures and eagles make nests in the lofty trees or ICW markers.  It is all so green and refreshing. Then it all changes as we pass big houses,  and  the channel narrows and we have 20 miles to pass through an area known as ‘’The Rockpile” – where as you may have guessed rocky outcrops line the narrow sides of the channel. We don’t drop anchor until 7pm that night – and just in time for an impressive lightning show that lasts most of the night.
The Waccamaw River
Today we have travelled 50 miles crossing the border from South Carolina into North Carolina, we have both battled and been carried by the fast currents.  We poked our nose into Southport to see if there was room to anchor but the small basin was already full of local boats.  These legs of the journey have been hard as the distances between good anchorages grow further apart, our budget not allowing for the well placed marinas.  In Carolina Beach we compromised and picked up a $20 mooring for a night of peaceful sleep.
Sim checking the depth with a lead line after we went hard aground

The troublesome *biting* horsefly

See ya later *alligator*

Our neighbours for the night

Georgetown lighthouse at Winyah Bay Inlet, South Carolina

ICW markers in the Waccamaw river with Osprey nests
 
More Osprey nests

And still plenty of dragonflies

And birds of prey

Holding our breath as we have less then a foot of clearance

Going through a swing bridge where we must request an opening

Big houses on the ICW

Sim and the kitty

 

Egret wading in the shallow water just meters from our boat.
 


3 comments:

  1. So envious, we remember it like it was yesterday. Enjoy yourselves ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we had such good company last time ;-)

      Delete
  2. So envious, we remember it like it was yesterday. Enjoy yourselves ��

    ReplyDelete