Monday, June 29, 2015

Bumping Along The Bottom - The ICW Waccamaw River to Beaufort,NC.

Wandering Star - wandering up the Waccamaw River, South Carolina

We pulled in from our ocean going passage at Charleston, South Carolina to make our way up the ICW – the small, inland body of water that runs almost all the way from New York to Florida. These waters are, for the most part, very protected. It means a lot of motoring and a lot of concentrating as we navigate through very narrow and often shallow areas working out the heights and directions of currents.  But it takes us through one of our favourite waterways – the Waccamaw River. Already we have had our fair share of bumping along the bottom as South Carolina is notorious for not maintaining the 12ft channels. Luckily so far we have always bumped bottom at low tide and have always just floated off.
We love the wildlife of the waccamaw river

The Waccamaw River was wonderful as always.  Tall trees line the banks of the serpentine river and you feel like you are million miles away from anywhere. I saw my first alligator just before we dropped anchor and ran over our trip line for the anchor – forcing Sim to brave the brown murky waters to unhook the line from caught on our rudder.  But what a beautiful spot, just meters from the banks were lily fronds gathered with huge butterflies and dragonflies, eagles and osprey, terrapins and alligators. The wildlife was abundant. Though the water was murky brown it was fresh and cool so we washed the salt from our decks and cooled ourselves off with it.

It seems the whole southern US east coast has been suffering from a heat wave and we have been melting in temperatures in the high 30’s. It has been relentless and quite uncomfortable. Amazingly we have spent our first two weeks in the US without seeing one lightening storm – however they are back to their daily afternoon occurrences again.

Can you see the lightening strike? One of just many!

We have covered 240nm on the “inside” route;  travelling from South Carolina up into North Carolina past wild marshland and urban areas, through countless bridges and past wonderful wildlife (except those irksome green head flies!) and some amazing properties that line the ICW. To where we are now in the familiar waters of Beaufort, North Carolina where we spent so long last year hauled out.  We are here to catch up with our old sailing buddies from “Opus” who we traveled with six years ago in the East Caribbean on our old boat Alianna. Because the forecast according to our weather guru was expected to be “violent” – his words, we decided to spend a few days at Town Creek marina just a mile outside of historic Beaufort.  It’s been great to catch up with our old friends and spend some time in this cute town hanging out at The Old Dock House – listening to live music. But it’s time to press on as we have a fair way to go yet before we make our destination of New York.

We have seen more pelicans and dolphin in just two weeks in America then
six month in the Bahamas!

An early morning start up the intra-coastal waterway

Its so refreshing to be traveling up rivers after all our beach time in the

If only it weren't so hot!

Another early start in the Waccamaw River.

We stopped for fuel at Osprey Marina - at $2.21 its the cheapest we have found
in a long time.

Dragonflies everywhere

Terrapins swimming about.

Can you see the terrapin on the log?

We motored through a narrow stretch known as "the rock pile"

We went under a lot of bridges.

And we are getting use to the storms again! :-(

A squall passes over Wrightsville Beach, NC

So many ICW markers are homes to Osprey

Wandering Star in Town Creek Marina

Showers, laundry, courtesy car and ships store...what more could we need?

....a cool veranda to hang out on with our buddies.

For whom the bell tolls? Sim and myself, Jennifer and Linda

Jennifer, Linda, Sim and Jim in downtown Beuafort

Everything has a nautical theme in town


Jennifer and Linda

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