This past week has flown by, hasn’t it? It seems like I just posted the last blog yesterday, but it was a week ago already. A lot has happened in the past week but it has all been good stuff. We hope the week for you was good too! For those of you in Michigan we feel bad for you for having snow and such cold weather already. It seems early to have snow yet, but some years it just happens. Thankfully I’m sure it will not stick around and you’ll even have some warmer days in November.
It has been chillier by us at times as well. It has gotten down to the high-40’s for a couple of nights but otherwise stays in the mid-50’s at night. During the days the temps have been in the high-60’s to low 70’s which has been quite nice. The past week has probably been cloudier than sunny but when the sun is out it feels wonderful. The reports are that Michigan is supposed to be very cold this coming week, and it looks like we may have some cold days as well down here. I saw one forecast that put us at a high of 49 degrees next Wednesday, but we’ll have to wait and see. We also hope to be a lot farther south by then so that forecast may not even pertain to us. Hang in there, Michigan!
This evening we are at anchor in a little creek called Walburg Creek just off the ICW by the St. Catherine’s Sound inlet to the Atlantic. We anchored last night by Hilton Head and wound our way down the ICW today. We are now in Georgia and the ICW winds all over the place! The current also changes all over depending on which inlet to the ocean you are near and how the water is running at that spot. It seems for the most part we have been pushing against the current most of the time and when you are only going 5.8 – 6.0 knots/hour it seems to take forever to get anywhere. But I do have to say that at times we are going with a stronger current and our SOG will get up to 8.2 – 8.4 knots/hour so it typically all averages out. We went 54 nautical miles today in 7.75 hours so we did average 7.0 knots/hour over the day which isn’t bad. It was a bit windier today with NE winds of 12 – 15 at times but because we are winding all over we can’t put a sail up. Last year we went around most of Georgia out on the ocean but the forecast today was 3 – 4 footers building to 4 – 6 footers, so we didn’t go out. Our experience is that when they say 3 – 4 footers they really mean 4 – 6, and when they say 4 – 6 footers they really mean 6 – 8 so we didn’t want to be out in that!
We arrived at Lady’s Island Marina in Beaufort, SC, this past Saturday and ended up staying there for four nights. It was wonderful to be there again and have access to stores, laundry and a wonderful facility and staff. This is the marina where we had the boat for a month this past May to travel back to Michigan for my Mom’s birthday. During this visit we wanted to start getting provisions for the Bahamas and we ended up having help! You may remember the great couple we met almost a year ago in St. Mary’s, GA, by the name of Tonya and Dave Nelson. She is the baker and owner of The Hen House Bakery that was in St. Mary’s and we met her by stopping in at her store. She ended up making a pecan pie for us and we had her and Dave out to the boat while in St. Mary’s as he is an avid sailor – when he can find the time. We have maintained contact with Tonya and Dave and their family and even met them for lunch again this past May in St. Mary’s as we traveled north.
Dave is a chaplain in the military and is now advancing his education by attending classes in the Washington DC area and Tonya and their three girls are now living back in the house they have owned in Beaufort, SC – only about a mile and a half away from our marina! Tonya graciously offered to help us in any way we needed so we took advantage of that and she took Sharon to the store and helped fill grocery carts full of non-perishables for the boat. She also made us another pecan pie and banana bread loaves! Thanks so much Tonya! On Monday afternoon Tonya and her girls, Reagan, Reese and Ryn, came out to the boat for brownies and to tour the boat. Dave even called in so we could talk with him on speaker phone. We have been so blessed to get to know this family! If you’re ever in Beaurfort, SC, and are looking for great baked goods and wonderful people, check out The Hen House Bakery!
While at Lady’s Island Marina in addition to getting provisions and doing some minor projects on the boat we did take time to enjoy the area. We got in a great walk across the Lady’s Island Swing Bridge to downtown Beaufort and even stopped in again at our favorite coffee and scone shop: The Common Ground. As you go across the bridge to the downtown proper area it’s almost like you step back in time to walk along the waterfront and then see the homes that were built so many years ago all shaded by ages-old trees all adorned with Spanish Moss. We even had the chance to meet a gregarious older woman Sharon met in the knit shop who shared with us her enjoyment in volunteering for the local Habitat for Humanity. With great animation and swinging of hands and body she would tell us how she uses the staple guns and chop saws and how much she loves helping out! How cool to meet up with some of the locals!
After a refreshing stay at the marina it was time to throw off the lines and head south again. We’re not really sure when the next time we pull into a slip will be so we also bid adieu to shore power again probably until we get back from the Bahamas. We may end up in a slip somewhere in Florida on the way down for a night or two, but are not really planning on it as we’d like to keep going on to the Bahamas as well as slips are just so expensive in Florida. We’ll see!
After fueling up at Port Royal Marina just south of Beaufort, we were on our way. It felt good to be on the way again and to be heading south. As we traveled along we talked about how different it is this year after already having been to the Bahamas and back via this route. Last year we didn’t feel like we knew anything about what we were doing and how to manage tides, currents, weather, etc. and this year it is quite different. This is our third passage of the ICW, having gone down and then back up already, so we feel a lot more comfortable with knowing what is ahead and places to stop, etc. We still watch the charts carefully as the shoaling and currents change constantly but at least we feel more comfortable with the ICW.
We hope to reach Florida in the next couple of days and then continue our way down to Miami. We’ll probably stay a couple of days at St. Augustine as that is always a great city to spend some time. But then we’ll just keep heading south and see where we end up and when. It will be interesting to see where we’ll be for Thanksgiving this year! We’ll let you know!