66 Miles on the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW)
Day 1 - Charleston to Steamboat Creek
We woke up this morning (Thursday, Jan. 26) planning to spend the day in Charleston. The boat was caked with salt from the off-shore passage and we needed fuel so we headed to the Charleston Marina right across the river. As we started to pull up the anchor we realized we had gotten tangled in one of the anchors from a mooring ball close by. We had to get the dinghy down of the davits while using the motor to keep the boat stationary and the tangled up anchor within reach. Mike then jumped in the dinghy and pulled himself around to the bow to untangle us. Easier said than done, but all in all, it went pretty smoothly. We then motored over to the dock for fuel. We tied up, filled up the diesel and sprayed Tomorrow down. That was a job! We then discussed continuing on, since we were full of water and diesel and clean. We decided to head down the ICW towards Beaufort, the dark side to us being from Bofort. We turned right and hit the throttle to make a bridge opening by 11am, it was quarter till. Just as we passed the bridge we saw many shore birds and a huge osprey's nest with mom and dad standing close by. That was not even the highlight of our bird watching - we happened to see a couple of bald eagles very close by as we rounded a bend in the river. Spectacular! We continued down the ICW past many glorious mansions of Charleston, their million dollar view was breathtaking, and it was our pleasure being part of the view for a while. The sun was bright and the wind was cold, but as the river narrowed every now and then the wind was totally blocked, the sun was warm and the sights were plentiful. We enjoy the nature here tremendously - there are so many things to be thankful for and the water is so captivating with the diamonds dancing on it.
We traveled in all about 27 miles and headed up Steamboat Creek for a sheltered anchorage. The dolphins were right off our bow pulling in to the creek and the pelicans were fishing all around us. Just before sunset Mike saw another bald eagle and some babies. The quiet here is unbelievable. "Serenity now" is right, you can't even hear the water running by and we have barely seen another boat all day. This place is paradise in it's own way. I guess I would say that about a lot of places after the offshore passage the other day! We had some dinner and fixed the autopilot, Yeah!! Otto is back, and we've taken back all the nasty things we said about him. We are planning on going for Beaufort (SC that is) tomorrow. Good Night...
Osprey sighting as we motored under a high rise bridge out of Charleston
You'll have to trust us that this is a Bald Eagle, one of 5 or 6 we saw on this stretch. These are their winter feeding grounds.
Kate, the Queen of the ICW
Motoring into Steamboat Creek where we'll anchor for the night
A sea of marsh grass
A flock of Snowy Egrets
Relaxing on the bow, taking in the sunset
A view from the bow
God is our pilot, Animal is our co-pilot
and..... Good Night
Day 2 - Steamboat Creek to Beaufort, SC
This morning Mike woke up at 3:30am raring to go, Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! He let me sleep until 7am Thank God! There was a hard freeze warning overnight down in the 20's. This morning was chilly and we ran down the creek with the tide headed for Beaufort, SC. We went down many winding rivers today with splendid views and beautiful shore birds. The hooded mergansers were the most striking ducks and we saw dolphins numerous times. There was lots of shallow water and caution areas to look out for, but we did not run aground at all, what an accomplishment! We arrived in Beaufort, SC for the 1:30pm swing bridge opening. We pulled up to the town docks for some fuel and Hallelujah we only spent $16 on diesel after 2 days of motoring, Great! Tomorrow got another bath and we topped off the water tanks. The anchorage was right next to the dock, so we headed over and dropped the hook. Then we lowered the dinghy and took off for shore for the wireless connection! We walked around taking in the gorgeous scenery and incredible homes, Mike got some fantastic shots! The Spanish moss was so picturesque in all of the live oaks. I had a bit of a craving for Southern Pralines, but we made it back to the coffee shop that had pralines too late. We had decided to head offshore the next day and I needed some sugar for the more than 30+ hours offshore. Mike volunteered to head for the Chocolate Factory, Wow! He never does that, so we are supplied for the offshore passage. We have vowed if it may possibly be our last meal it will be good. We had a great dinner and hoisted the dinghy. The lines were wearing on the dinghy, so we reinforced it with some reflective tape. We are getting ready for offshore and Mike did fix the auto pilot, Yeah! One of our hatches is leaking so we need to do a little repair. The wind generator also blew a fuse, so we are still trouble shooting it. We do have 4 hours of motoring down the river before we head out to sea. Mike will be busy fixing things and I will be navigating. If we need to duck in early there are plenty of options, but we may go all the way to St. Augustine. Pray for fair winds and following seas. We are so blessed, we truly feel your prayers and positive thoughts. Thanks to all of you and God Bless!
Found free WiFi in Beaufort - Jackpot!
Dinghy ride back to the boat after some time in Beaufort
Planning for the next offshore passage
One happy skipper