Awandaw Creek/Week 70!


Happy Halloween from Adventures Await!  We don’t really think we’ll have too many trick-or-treaters stop by our boat this evening since we are seemingly in the middle of nowhere at anchor in Awandaw Creek, but we’ll keep an eye out for them!  This is an interesting anchorage that is just off the ICW.  It has very good holding in thick mud but all around us all we see is marshland.  Unfortunately it is quite windy and there are no trees to break up the wind.  But our anchor is holding well and we should be able to get a good night’s sleep.  There was one other boat here when we arrived this afternoon so we’ll have to see if they leave early tomorrow like we plan on doing. 

Last Friday we had a good trip from Wrightsville Beach anchorage to Calabash Creek.  We traversed down a section of the Cape Fear River and then turned off the River to continue on the ICW at Southport.  Later down the ICW we encountered a very shallow area called Lockwood’s Folly.  It is advised to not go through there at low tide, but that’s exactly what we did.  There were a couple of other boats we went through with and watched where they went, and the lowest depth we saw was 9 feet.  There is an ocean inlet right there so shoaling occurs because sand is pushed in and around because of the ocean swell.  A bit farther down we were following a boat called Providence, and as he was calling out depths for us on the VHF we watched as the stern of his boat lurched up and he became grounded and stopped dead.  He was just off the main channel and was able to swing his bow around a bit but still was not able to free himself.  We passed by him slowly and offered to help, but he told us to continue on as the tide was rising and knew he would soon be off.  He also acknowledged it is hard to free another boat in an area where there is unseen shoaling and didn’t want us getting stuck too.  He was also planning on anchoring at Calabash and he did arrive about 45 minutes after we got there.  He said he had called Towboat US but just as they arrived the tide had gone up a little and another boat’s wake helped get him free.  Come to find out, we had seen him and his boat many times down in the Exumas and he too was headed that way again – this is his 16th time down the ICW!

Calabash Creek is just a small creek right off the ICW and is a beautiful place to anchor.  There are two boats in that area that have washed up on the shore that apparently have been there for a number of years, but this time there was a smaller sailboat wedged up on shore.   As the 6 foot tide rose in the Creek the boat actually refloated itself and “wandered around” in the current but would again become grounded when the tide went out.  The sails were still on it but the boat looked in bad shape so we’re not sure how long it has been there.  Certainly strange to see abandoned boats around like that.

On Saturday we made the remaining 28 miles to Osprey Marina with no incident.  There were a few bascule and swing bridges we had to get through but there were no shallow/shoaling areas we needed to be worried about.  A year ago on our way down the ICW with the Rally we stayed at Osprey Marina so it was nice to stop there again.  At Osprey they have the most inexpensive diesel on the ICW as well as the least expensive slip rates so what they don’t make in price they make up by volume as it seems everyone stops there.  The diesel was $1 per gallon cheaper there than it was in Wrightsville so we did well in using diesel from our jerry cans earlier to fill up at Osprey.

Fellow Rally members, Tom and Trish Vitaz, now own a condo in Myrtle Beach and have their boat in a slip at Osprey Marina so it was great to spend time with them.  They also allowed us to have some things shipped to their condo prior to our arrival so that was great. 

They invited us to their condo that Saturday evening and treated us to a wonderful meal as well as use of their washer and dryer for some laundry.  Cool!  It was good to catch up with them and hear all that has been happening with them.  After they brought us back to the boat after dinner it was still very warm and muggy.  The temps that day were in the low 80’s and the next day was projected to be that warm as well with about 90% humidity.  Since we were plugged into shore power (Yay!) I turned on our air conditioner to make it more comfortable.  Unfortunately I was able to figure out quickly that the a/c was not discharging water so had to shut it off.  The a/c is water cooled and needs water flowing in order to not burn out the compressor.  We had this issue in Beaufort, SC, this past May where I had to dig out a small shrimp that had gotten stuck in the intake line.  This time I could see that the strainer was totally empty of water and it should have been totally filled.  Of course we discovered this right before we went to bed so I may have spent a lot of time during the night worrying about it and trying to reason what was going on.  Not good to do something like this right before going to bed!  J

To make a long story short, even though I thought something was again blocking the intake hose, I discovered the strainer was empty because it was full of trapped air.  When we put the boat back in the water this past August after repainting the bottom I should have cracked the strainer top open a bit to allow air to escape and water to fill the strainer and lines.  Right next to the strainer, which keeps the water going into the lines free from grass and stuff, is the a/c water pump.  When I turned the power on the pump just didn’t sound right, although I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to sound like.  So even though there was now water in the lines the pump wasn’t working.  Great! 

After much research on how much a new water pump was and how I could get it I started to look closer into how the pump functions.  Thankfully I was able to go online and found out this pump is not self-priming and should not be run dry.  Hm…  So I took the pump almost all the way out and found a broken elbow connector which resulted in not having a water tight seal.  Osprey staff took me to a local hardware store where I found exactly the right elbow connector (Whew!) and after installing it I figured out how to prime the pump with water and reconnect everything.  I turned the a/c on, and it worked!  Yahoo!  No need to buy a new water pump and I learned a whole lot about priming pumps!  And the pump had only been run a matter of seconds being dry before I fixed it so I don’t think that affected anything at all.

Monday evening we had Tom and Trish out to our boat for dinner and had another wonderful evening with them.  They are trying to sell their 35’ Endeavor sailboat at the Marina so if anyone is interested I can connect you with them! 

Tuesday morning we threw off our docklines at the marina and left for Georgetown, SC.  We definitely hit ground for a few seconds in leaving the holding area where our boat was at Osprey but we were able to power through it with no apparent damage.  But I still hate the feeling of the keel hitting bottom!

We arrived at Georgetown, SC, and anchored right off the quaint little town.  It is quite a shallow area in which to anchor and at low tide the depth was reading only 6 feet.  But we only need 5, so all was good!  (Yikes!)  Sharon had researched the area before we arrived and she was able to get Max to a vet there to get his shots for the Bahamas all up to date.  It is great to get this set already so once we get ready to cross over all we have to do is get him to a vet for a quick check and not have to worry about shots. 

We had a good two night stay in Georgetown and left this morning to come to the anchorage in Awandaw Creek.  We went through a notorious shallow area with shoaling by McClellenville, but as it was just past high tide we had no issues at all.  There were also three dredges dredging that whole area deeper so that was helpful.

We will be leaving tomorrow morning to travel past Charleston, SC, to go to an anchorage called Steamboat Landing for the night.  On Saturday we will be back to Lady’s Island Marina in Beaufort, SC, where we will be staying for a few days.  We hope to start some provisioning for the Bahamas and the stores we need are all close by.  We’ll let you know how it goes!

Adventures Await!!

P.S.  No trick-or-treaters showed up.  More candy for us!


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