Sunday, November 22, 2015

Beaufort (That's A 'Bew' Not A 'Bow') - And Trip Up The Mast.

A trip up the mast 
It was an easy motorsail from Cape Lookout to Winyah Bay. And because we made such good time we decided to keep going down the ICW, the 'inside' route, halfway to Charleston. Although just one night at sea should be relatively easy we always find it quite tiring - and are never really able to sleep much that first night. We had vessels who only turned their lights on when we were close enough to see their superstructure and ships that should have shown up on the AIS (automated identification system), that didn't. In fact thinking about it our VHF radio that shares the antenna with the AIS had been very quiet as well. Sim surmised the most likely problem was a connection at the top of the mast and as he is not keen on going aloft - up I went. A little wiggle and grease (technical terms of course) seemed to improve both the radio and the AIS. While up there I did a cursory rig inspection, checking for hairline cracks or corrosion and found a clevis pin that looked suspect. I think I mentioned that Sim does not like going aloft and while I am happy to, battling with a split pin and all that entails, is, let's just say above my paygrade.
Just another day on the ICW
While we thought about it, we decided not to use the sails but carry on down the ICW, past Charleston with an over night anchorage in Wapoo Creek and another in Bass Creek. We are now in the land of endless marshland and golden grasses. Occasionally there are banks of trees but this area is called 'lowcounrty' for a reason. The days turned from bright and sunny with blue skies to grey and drab with endless showers and  mist to navigate through, our world completely colourless. 
Our world withiout colour
We arrived in Beaufort (pronounced bewfort), South Carolina (at least 300 miles difference to Beaufort pronounced bowfort), North Carolina on Friday. Sim manned up enough to climb the mast and change the rigging part and do another inspection. He did very well considering his fear, so we went ashore for a slap up lunch at Plums in town to reward him. 
Sim - very bravely working aloft.
Beaufort is another cute historic town with large verandah'd houses preserving wealth from a bygone era. Resturants, art and antique shops and the obligatory fudge and ice cream shop's occupy Bay Street. It is known for its military establishments and literally lined with trees dripping in Spanish Moss that add to its surreal charm. We like it here but unless you have wheels - there is not much in town that would keep us here long.
Trees drapped in Spanish Moss give Beaufort a magical charm
Tomorrow we will continue to slowly migrate south, through South Carolina and into Georgia. These next few days we will be travelling through some of the shallowist parts of the waterway. We may decide to hang out in Hilton Head to pick up some food (no supermarkets in Beaufort) and wait for favourable tides, or maybe we'll head offshore for the stretch down to Florida if it warms up a bit..


Moi et Him walking about Beaufort.

Some of the homes in the 'historic' part of town

A very nice B & B

Many of the homes are very grand.

And very patriotic

Beaufort is on Port Royal Island in the heart of 'Sea Islands' - a chain of tidal and barrier islands on the SE atlantic coast

There are always plenty of pretty churches around.

Looking out across the anchorage in Beaufort

The Municipal Marina are very helpful and friendly although fuel is pricey here. Moorings are $20 a night or you can anchor and use the showers for $1 - and the laundry is open to the public

The obligatory sunset

And the 'red sky at night'

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