There is another marker off to the right...don't miss it

The lighthouse is the entrance to Myrtle Beach Marina

A view along the Waccamaw River

Our recent companions

That channel does not exist like it appears on the screen

The restaurant dinner bag

Thanksgiving for mariners here

November 30, 2014

November 24th, Monday: The bad weather ceased over the night time and today we took a fellow named Mark up on his offer to ride us to shop. Mark is in a power Cape Dory 28 and is at this marina to have a bow thruster installed. He hails from Rhode Island, so he and Lisa have some common memories to mull over. Southport Marina is home to Zimmerman Marine, which is apparently a highly esteemed place to have work done. It is a nice day to walk around this quiet place. Lisa washed the rugs too. There is a great public pier and much to read about the nautical history as you wander around. As the six o'clock hour approaches we go to "Hank's" weather and ICW talk again. The weather is only supposed to be good for one day and then turn medium ugly again on Wednesday. Hank is a dooms dayer on the state of the ICW south of here. I know he's only reporting what others who have gone before us report, but my question to hank was, "so the first 309 miles of ICW we did was the easy part and it gets bad from here on out, is that what your passing along?". His response was tempered, "No, if you did that you'll be okay". But really...., he's talking about a six knot current and a bridge that's prone to not opening upon demand, south of Charleston. He also has a yacht maintenance business, which helps prepare boats for ocean voyages....humm, I wonder. Naaah. So, there are a multitude of restaurants and we walk to one called "Fishy, Fishy", where the parking lot was completely flooded in the am from the rain but it's okay now. Good food and we are...poof, done.

November 25th, Tuesday: We are on the move. Staying in this awful ICW again. The ride wasn't bad, except the rain came early. It rained pretty steady for a couple hours, thankfully our "Keith Hanlon" canvas job is superb. We wouldn't even know it was raining as we putt along. There are a couple spots, where a little local inlet intersects our pathway that, holly cow!!, current and shallows jump up and cause extreme alertness, if not shear anxiety. They are short lived. We are staying at the Myrtle Beach YC tonight along with Scott & Sally, and Scott & Theresa. Therefore, as all our vessels left Southport together, all will be coming into tonight's spot together. Scott, in the Pacific Seacraft is the lead boat and we are there. I hear some radio transmissions. It is a privately marked entrance and the lady told me it is well marked, just be sure to stay in the channel. The radio transmissions indicate the Pacific seacraft is stuck, like beached...okay, aground, if you must. They radio us and advise to stay wide of them they are stuck at the entrance. It is time, and we see markers. A "2" on a sign, but it is a white sign, and there is a three beyond that and another post that looks like a marker, but nothing is on it. Okay, I see, go wide of the Seacraft...and through...people are yelling, no, no, no. Thump, and an ugly sucking kind of feeling occurs. A application of the reverse gear and...nothing. Hey, us too. What is up with that. Well, we're here. Some private power boats are already trying to help Scott to no avail. It dosen't look good so we don't hesitate as it is getting dark soon. "Hello, Tow Boat US, this is Terry, Hi, Can you come for me and my buddy?" Scott had called for them on the radio, too. These guys need capes, I'm telling you. Young man "Tom" is there in about 20 miinutes and although it takes 55 minutes to get the Pacific Seacraft free, it only took us 12 minutes to be freed. We got into our slip at the crack of darkness, not our assigned slip, but an empty one which turned out to be okay. So we go and evaluate those posts. The white one is outlined in red, so it's a red. There is another post, which we never saw, way around to the south which has a white "1" on it with a green outline. We needed to go beyond the entrance and return making a curved approach. Who would've guessed. Directions could have been more explicite, or the captaining better. Forget it for now. Tom's coming over to complete our "Tow Boat US" paperwork. I know about this, for I have experience. I'm running aground every six weeks, so far. Forget that "Deep Creek" one, I was exonerated by "Southern Grace". It's official. Tom was very nice and stayed aboard to tell us about "The Rock Pile" which is down stream a bit. Oh yes, The rock pile...that was one of Hanks scares too. So, the rock pile is a section of ICW that had stone effecting the path, so it was blasted out and the sides of the narrow waterway are just jagged rocks. Stay in the middle (like we don't always stay in the middle anyway?) for four miles from mile 349 to 352. Oh, and be sure to call ahead (a securite call) in case a barge is northbound. You both won't fit in that area together. That's when we leave here, forget it for now. Let's just enjoy our boat that's floating here today. Tom leaves, and we do boat food and...done poof. We were planning on leaving Thanksgiving morning, not tomorrow.

November 26th, Wednesday: Windy, Chilly and blustery morning. Thanksgiving tomorrow. An ancorage we talked about at "Prince Creek" isn't sounding so good anymore for tomorrow. Crap, where's my adventure spirit hiding. The restaurant here is putting on a dinner for the marina tomorrow. Our friends, we find out, are staying. I guess that settles it. We are staying too. It is pretty cold, but Lisa does more laundry and we again go examine the entry to this place to see how badly we missed the marks. I don't feel too bad, the nice lady could have adjusted her delivery of directions to indicate the entrance is from the south. The "green" is leaning over and the number "one" is on two sides but not visible from the direction we approached. Good, I feel better. Anyway, this days ends with more boat food and we are looking forward to Thanksgiving. p o o f.

November 27th, Thursday: A Much better temperature day and again we walk around and meet some other marina folk who all have a story. One man, I meet tells me his boat is "for Sale". He came from New Zealand to get it and now wants to sell. What happened, I ask. 'Have a son in Idaho and went out to visit him, while here, and met my grandson for the first time. Now I have to move to Idaho. Can't explain it he says". Oh, I see, said the blind man. One of those unexplainables in life. The meal we set for five o'clock and all works well. There was fine food, some local music, and quite a few people there from the marina. It wasn't opened to the public, only marina folk. Lisa saves some turkey for a sandwich later and we walked the nearby docks. We met some people who invited us in for some conversation in their condo, who confirmed the channel needs attention in their opinion. Now we're off to gobblegobblepoofland we go.

November 28th Friday: We are up and set to go by 8:30, an easy out and through that famous channel with ease. Oh yes, this is "rock pile" day. It is located between "Little River" bridge and "Barefoot Landing" bridge which both have to open for us. The first one opens on request without issue and we are calling on the radio asking about commercial traffic northbound, to see if we need to wait or not. No responses. Is that comforting? Must be, as no one will be responding to advise they're not there. Onward we go. We do see the rocks and they are impressive compared to the edges of the ICW as we know them. As you would expect, they are, yes, Rocks. Rocks like you may see around Seneca Lake. But soon they are gone and that threat is over. We are through the the "Barefoot Landing" bridge too and a few more shallow spots and here is mile 373 the "Osprey Marina". This marina is closed but we were told to go to "C" dock when they returned our call. Lots of others were told to do things here too, as there is a bunch of boats all attempting to dock at once. We were leading a few boats so our spot was open because we entered early. There are no employees on duty so it all has to work out boater by boater, to land, without ugly incident. It works. I think there was a couple of bad feelings but no fisticuffs. So it was successful. Our neighbor here is "Forrest" in a 42 foot Island Packet and he is with Jack and Pam from Newport, Rhode Island, who is a friend of Tim Norton's, who was traveling with my friend Nick on the Moody who we saw in Beaufort. That's how is goes along this pathway. We eat boat food again and it is downright chilly here for tonight. We look forward to moving on again and hitting Georgetown. Tom, our Boat US friend, said his father likes the Harborwalk Marina in Georgetown. So we will believe it too. poooof.

November 29th, Saturday: We do wake up to frost on the deck. Slippery. Everyone from yesterday is basically doing the same thing. The powerboat folks need fuel, most of the sailboat people don't need fuel. There is a minor frenzy of people getting going, and we are one of them. It is semi-orderly and we are gone. So are our traveling companion boats too and we are out on the Waccamaw River for the day. This River will get bigger and bigger throughout the day until we hit the beginning of the Winyah Bay, that's when we will be at Georgetown. The Waccamaw is nice, as it gets to a steady 15-30 foot deep for the last part of the day today. We see the US Highway Route 17 bridge, knowing that we turn shortly thereafter. Now the River is very wide. Not very deep out of the channel though. We have to follow a couple markers properly to make it work. Two channels are merging and we are making an acute right turn to get into the Sampit River and putt-putt into the Georgetown Channel. Slowly, ever so slowly, watching and "binocularizing" the scene, while looking at the expanded charts. Un-huh, it looks okay so far. There are lots of vessels anchored here and it isn't exactly clear which is the main course to steer to be on the higway, so to speak. It is a constant 7-8 feet deep. Big water. We call on the radio and also discover a power boat who can't go as slow as us, is headed to the same dock we are. Good, we follow until it is very clear where we are headed. An inside the floating face dock starboard tie, is for us. Our dock master is right here and all full of help. We're done easily. We are in Georgetown and Lisa knows where the fabric shop is and we must get there before before 5:30. It is only 3:45, we're good. Off we go, downtown, which is all of 100 yards away. We see both of our traveling buddies on Front Street too. I guess we are all trying to catch the stores before they close on this saturday knowing Sunday may not be a shopping option. We return for a respit and we pick a little restaurant for ourselves and off we go to the Five Rivers Tavern. The "Five Rivers" are Black, Sampit, Waccamaw, Great Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee, so I read at the restaurant. A fine meal for the three of us. Two in chairs and one in a bag. Walking back, it is quiet here and we are done...poof. So, Denis was kidding. He did not buy a 47 foot Hunter. It was all a spoof for his buddies, I guess. Denis is still on the Chesapeake Bay, almost to Norfolk. We talked to him a couple days ago for this information. Finally, someone slower than us. Better not make these judgements yet...we're still on the move.

November 30th Sunday: We are trying to do a little laundry but the dryers are malfunctioning due to coin overload, which seems like a good problem but the owners of the machines are not here. Pending solution right now. We are staying until tomorrow and do not know whether we are going outside the ICW or not. More thought is required. Our friends from Chesapeake City Rudy & Christine, they called to say they are in Key Largo. Holly Cow. He had eye surgery in Annapolis and still are way down there. They were in a trawler which went 8 knots on a good day. Hummm. Okay, off to the laundry issue to shake the dryer and settle the coins. Should take a pry bar. No.

Stayed tuned for the next adventure of the LeeSeaAnne


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