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The only impossible journey is the one you never begin…

This is the post excerpt.

I have always had a passion for boats and the sea and dreamed of one day doing a long voyage or living aboard a boat.  I was lucky enough to marry a woman that shared my sense of adventure and we spent many evenings talking about a trip like the Great Loop.  After owning several boats and having precious little time to use them given our hectic work schedules, we decided now is the time!  We opted to retire early and actually do the trip rather than talk about it.

 

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We purchased a 40 foot Mainship Trawler, naming her Blue Horizon for her Blue hull and hoping the weather gods will grant us fair skies for the trip ahead.  Our “plan” is to depart from our home port in Punta Gorda, FL around the middle of June,  traverse the Okeechobee Waterway to the InterCoastal Waterway and north to The Hudson River in New York.  Not sure how far we will get before leaving the boat and returning home for the winter months.  We will pick up where we left off in the spring and traverse the northern portion through Canada and the Great Lakes, down the Missippi and Illinois rivers to the Tennessee Tom Bigby waterway to Mobile, AL and finally making the last leg of the Gulf of Mexico to cross our wake.  Most “Loopers” do the 6000 trip in just over a year.

We invite you to follow along with us as we share our experiences aboard the Blue Horizon.

We were “Lucky”

We arrived in New Bern on Saturday to find the town in a state of optimism. It looked like a war zone to Amy & I but the people were so focused on the clean up effort that no one had time to be woeful. Thanks to John and Sara for preparing us with what to expect after the hurricane. They survived a direct hit from Erma in the keys after building a new home.

The smell was horrible and seeing stacked debris everywhere showed the extent of the flooding.

Just as we arrived at the marina, we received a note from Jeremy (the dockmaster) that power had been restored to a few of the docks and the rest of the marina would have electricity by Monday. We were one of the lucky ones.

Getting to Blue Horizon was bittersweet. While we had no visible structural damage, all our systems were down. My guess… this was probably due to being hooked to shore power and having the power cut without properly shutting down our systems. If correct, we would see the engine, electronics and power systems come back once the batteries had time to charge.

We soon found this to be the case and decided we could stay on the boat while we started the clean up.

We met our starboard neighbor “tank” who advised that he was one of the first on the dock after the initial onslaught of Flo. He said our starboard bow lines had both snapped and our bow was only a few feet from the sailboat on our port side. He immediately jumped on and added a bowline to square our vessel back in the slip. His kindness saved us thousands if not the entire boat. I couldn’t resist by saying “tanks” a lot!

Others didn’t fair as well. Here is the boat 6 slips down from Blue Horizon

Luck really played a huge part in how much damage boats sustained in Florence. The above boat was facing Northwest and we were facing opposite at Southeast. The 90mph plus winds pushed these boats into the dock while pushing ours away from the dock.

We worked all day Sunday getting Blue Horizon ship shape. We were rewarded with another beautiful sunset before a quick dinner in downtown New Bern

We were able to properly thank Jeremy and his team before leaving on Monday. These guys are true professionals and worked hard to minimize the damage.

After getting the topside canvas re installed (a 3 hour job that will humble even the most patient couple), we had one last chore… checking out the dinghy.

After some false starts and not so nice language (tank has heard worse), Little Blue did come back to life. Amy and I decided to do a quick tour to assess the damage in the harbor. See below:

Let me end by saying how much Amy and I appreciate all of your thoughts and genuine concern for us during this time.

We are lucky in so many ways but most of all we appreciate the support all of you have given us.

TRIP UPDATE

Another lengthy delay

Due to the damage done to the marinas and waterways in this region, we will stay put until the spring.

This is a marathon not a sprint… hang in there with us as we will depart late March for the northernmost part of the loop. We are looking forward to the Chesapeake, New York, Canada and the Great Lakes in the spring and summer.

Until then… Thanks Dale & Amy

Hang on Big Blue!!

It has been a very anxious several days since we first learned that New Bern may be in the path of Hurricane Florence. As you all know by now, that was an understatement!

Prior to Florence making landfall, we had a webcam aimed at B dock with Blue Horizon prominently in the center of the shot. Late in the day on Thursday, we saw the water come over the bank of the marina and then we lost the webcam entirely.

This is the shot from the webcam just prior to Florence making landfall. Blue Horizon is the fourth boat on the nearest dock facing the camera.

As most of you saw the news coverage from New Bern, the city was devastated with storm surge in the neighborhood of 10 feet plus. We also saw coverage of boats floating and docks virtually destroyed.

I am happy to report the footage we all saw was not of New Bern Grand. The city has three marinas and the other two were destroyed but New Bern Grand Marina remained intact only losing 5 out of some 250 boats.

Late yesterday, someone posted a picture on Instagram of the Marina and we saw Blue Horizon floating albeit a bit tattered. While I know we are not out of the woods yet, we have made it through the worst of it.

We just received an email from our Dockmaster. I cannot say enough about how this gentleman and his team did everything possible to protect our property and take every precaution. These guys came out on days off to secure boats and help with the boats where the owner could not be there (like us). They are the epitome of dedication, we learned that one of the staff lost his boat to the storm and yet he is helping us… Wow!

The current situation is that a curfew still exists for New Bern. It will take many days if not weeks or months to regain a since of normalcy. The town will need much help and support.

Our plans now are somewhat up in the air at this point. We have 3 immediate concerns:

1/ Get to the boat and check out all systems making the necessary repairs

2/ Assess the marina and dock along with services in New Bern (Being that we made it this far, I would think we are in decent shape here)

3/ Assess the situation on our route to Norfolk. Many of the marinas in this area will be out of commission or unable to take transient boats.

Given these concerns, it is likely that we will stay in New Bern and volunteer to help with the clean up efforts. Worst case scenario, we remain here until after the winter. Starting in April back on the loop.

So many of you reached out to Amy and I during this time and kept up with our situation. We both want to sincerely thank you. It is comforting knowing that we have so much support.

I was just looking back at the earlier blogs of the places we visited prior to New Bern. So many of these pictures no longer look as they did in July and August. Oriental, Beaufort, NC, Southport were devastated by Florence. Join us in keeping these wonderful people in your thoughts.

We will update everyone once we return to Blue Horizon in the coming days.

Update from Blue Horizon

Hi all… We are heading back up to New Bern to re board Blue Horizon.

The plan was to arrive Wednesday and provision the boat before departing Thursday with our ultimate destination of Annapolis, MD in the Chesapeake. Our route will take us through Belhaven, NC, north on the Alligator River to Elizabeth City which is the southern entrance to the Dismal Swamp (more about the Dismal Swamp in a future post). After we traverse the swamp, our next stop will be Norfolk, VA and we will stay there a few days to meet up with the crew of Blue Sky. From Norfolk, we will enter the Chesapeake and make our way up to Annapolis via St. Michaels and the Solomons. If time permits, we will take a side trip up the Potomac River to visit our nations capital. This leg of the journey will take us six weeks to 2 months depending on weather.

Speaking of weather…

Many of you have reached out to us already about the hurricanes that are approaching North Carolina and asking if this could impact our trip. The answer looks more and more like yes, unfortunately. MV Blue Horizon is docked at a wonderful marina in New Bern, NC called New Bern Grand Marina. Right now, the NOAA models show hurricane Florence on a direct path for New Bern.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make necessary arrangements for the impact, doing all we can to safely secure our vessel. We will not enter the area if it is being evacuated or otherwise unsafe to do so. Hurricanes are a ways of life on the coast so we will hope for the best.

We will spend some much needed time with family for the next few days and see what the weather holds in store.

Over the last six weeks we have visited the upper Peninsula of Michigan to scope out some docks that we will want to visit when we reach that part of the trip. It is simply beautiful up there and we are looking forward to the Great Lakes.

As is our annual ritual, we traveled to New York for the US Tennis Open with our friends Chip and Ellen. We always love that trip and commented on how lucky we were this year attending the Open on the only day that was under 85 degrees. Let’s hope our luck continues as far as weather goes. (Fingers Crossed!)

Thanks for keeping up with us and we will keep everyone updated with the latest to see what Florence has in store.

New Bern, NC

Amy & I arrived at New Bern on Monday and immediately started our typical docking chores. We both tackled the exterior cleaning first and then Amy started on the interior work while I started researching who we could get to do a little work on Blue Horizon. We also started to take inventory of what we have on board that we were not using. One thing that we have heard from other loopers is that you always bring stuff that you don’t use – this turns out to be true and we want to get the excess items off and use our space more wisely.

Bruce & Lydia arrived on Tuesday and we had “docktails” on board before dinner. We all took Wednesday to enjoy exploring and touring New Bern. This little town has a lot of history and was first state capitol of North Carolina. It was also the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. There are a lot of great restaurants within walking distance of the marina and the seafood here is fresh and delicious as you can imagine.

 

Here’s a few extra pics from our day of exploration in New Bern.

It was so great to have Bruce and Lydia share this part of the trip with us. Dear friends only enhance the experience of the trip and we are hoping to see a lot more friends and family along the way.

July 19th, 2018

We were lucky to find good contractors in New Bern with the help of the marina Dockmaster. Blue Horizon is going to have a little minor work done and some regular preventative maintenance. This will take a few weeks as some parts might need to be ordered before the work can be completed.

We decided to use this time to take a trip back to Punta Gorda to check on the condo and tie up some loose ends. We drove back via Atlanta and had a quick visit with our parents, proving to them – we really are doing okay.

What we have learned so far and other thoughts…

  • After only five weeks on the trip, we have already covered 1000 miles. This is a full sixth of the loop! At this rate, we would end up doing the loop in just over seven months – meaning , we are going way too fast! We missed Bald Head Island and Hilton Head among other places. I attribute this to the fact that we both just retired and I am plotting courses based on what we CAN do versus just taking our time. I am going to plot our courses with more time in between and making sure to hit all the spots we really want to see and enjoy.
  • We haven’t spent any time on the hook (on anchor). As we continue, we will find more anchorages in addition to the great marinas. Since I tried to splice the anchor chain to the rode myself, I wasn’t totally confident the splice would hold in strong winds. Finding a rigger is harder than finding a doctor that makes house calls. It is a lost art and they are booked out for weeks, but we will try to get this done over our break.
  • Do your own loop! The Gold loopers all tell us the same thing. Don’t do this trip based on the itinerary of others. Use all the information to develop your own schedule and course.
  • Water current trumps wind! My previous boating experience – including a lot of boating in the Gulf and offshore – was predicated on wind and tide. When given opposing winds and currents, the current is the primary concern. Docking in currents (ebb or flow) are best achieved during slack tide. It is amazing how fast a current can move a boat in the ICW.
  • It’s all about living in the moment. Really taking the time to enjoy the surroundings and people. We have met ordinary people that truly are extraordinary. We learned when you quit listening to the news and really get out and meet people, it will restore your faith in what is so great about our country.
  • Cruising is like life… You never know what is around the corner.
    During a particularly quiet part of the ICW a plane came toward us below the tree line. It was too quick for me to alter our course and Amy was able to quickly get a video of the plane. The FAA would ground this guy had he been apprehended. The plane would not be seen by FAA radar flying at this altitude – so no telling why he was flying so low.

Stay tuned…

We will be back on board in a few weeks and will continue the blog at that time. The next leg of our journey will take us through the Dismal Swamp, Norfolk, VA (end of the ICW MM1) and into the Chesapeake, Washington, DC and Annapolis, MD where we will likely leave the boat for the winter.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, calls, etc and for keeping up with our adventure. It is so nice knowing that our friends and family are with us, even if it is virtually. Until next time…. Dale & Amy Blue Horizon’s last sunset in the marina.

Oriental, NC

July 16th, 2081

Blue Horizon makes the local news!

We arrived in Oriental, NC yesterday with little over 24 hours here before leaving for New Bern. I would like to retract (or at least add to) my statement about where to visit in coastal Carolina. Oriental is a MUST SEE! It is known as the sailing capital of North Carolina but could also “the friendliest town in North Carolina”. As one long time resident told Amy & I last night at dinner “it is more of a village than a town”. It seems like the entire community revolves around boating.

Oriental still has a general store. They have bread and diesel oil on the same aisle, guess it is stocked by priorities. The owner had a plaque that read “Bad decisions make great stories”. Isn’t that the truth!!

We docked at the Oriental Marina & Inn which is right across the street from the Bean, a local coffee shop. You can meet about half the town at the Bean on any given morning and everyone speaks to you. While we were there this morning I guess the photographer for the local paper caught our boat and decided it was newsworthy. Online at http://www.towndock.net.

New Bern, NC

We departed Oriental this morning and, for the first time this trip, left the InterCoastal Waterway transiting 24NM up the Neuse River to New Bern, NC. We passed Cherry Point where Amy’s Uncle Tom was the Executive Officer of Squadron 513 called the “Night Owls” flying F4 fighter jets.

Under gray skies and no wind, it was a rather uneventful trip given long, straight legs, we let the auto helm do most of the driving.

The town of New Bern opens its bridge for Blue Horizon.

We are lucky and excited… Bruce & Lydia are coming from Atlanta to meet us tomorrow while in New Bern. For those who don’t know them, Bruce was my boss and mentor at Delta for many years. Amy and I became great friends with BT and Lydia since that time. We are lucky to have friends that know all your faults and still hang out with you anyway. We will discover the town of New Bern together for a few days and Bruce always has a pun or five to keep us in stitches.

Beaufort, NC (Bo-fert)

July 13, 2018

We were happy to leave Dudley’s Marina. Neither Amy or I slept due to the constant rocking from fishermen leaving at all hours of the night and seemingly happy to “wake” us (pun intended)! It is the first marina that we visited that I would not recommend and definitely would not return. All marinas are different and we like going from large city marinas to small towns. We love the difference and we look for the best in whatever town we are in. Some of the most memorable places are the “out of the way” places like Leland Oil in McClellanville, SC. They have the best shrimp dip we’ve ever had!

Anyway, back to Dudleys… It was neither quaint nor friendly. There is definitely a dock “etiquette” that almost all boaters adhere to… It’s such tight quarters and you are outside most of the time.

1/ You try not to use the finger piers of someone else’s docked boat. This is the equivalent of walking on your porch. If your boat isn’t docked there… Ask before you walk down.

2/ If we dock next to locals or folks who live aboard, they almost always greet us with a smile and a wave and ask if there is anywhere we need directions to, etc. Some have even offered cocktails, snacks, etc. It is a great atmosphere.

3/ It is customary to offer to help the incoming boat with lines. This keeps the occupants of the boat “in” the boat while docking and therefore much safer.

You get the idea….. So, here is what we witnessed both upon docking and departing from Dudley’s.

The current was raging when we departed and once the last line was free our boat was moving with no time to spare. I threw Amy the last line and jumped aboard, then scurried upstairs to take the helm as the boat was already in motion. Our “neighbors” watching the whole time. Amy said it was the fastest she has ever seen me move.

While it was a short trip to Beaufort, we had the current against us the entire time. It took an extra hour but we had given ourselves plenty of time so no worries. We are still plagued with the intermittent bilge pump issue and I am trying hard to channel my inner Bob Kirby mechanical ability to find the problem. My dad could fix anything with duct tape, pliers and a hammer. Unfortunately, I didn’t acquire those same skills so we will have someone look at it when we get to New Bern in about a week.

During our drive, it became very cloudy which we welcomed as it keeps the heat to a minimum. The clouds were so low we checked to ensure fog was not rolling in with more rain or weather. Boating in fog is the mariners equivalent of flying IFR (instrument flight rules). We have radar on board but I’d rather not use it in an area where we are unfamiliar.

Beaufort, NC

We arrived around noon and Beaufort, NC did not disappoint! They put us on an inside slip that lies about 20 feet from the town boardwalk. It is closer to downtown than we have ever been and a great people watching spot from our flybridge. We have a dozen restaurants to choose from that are closer than our mailbox at home. With all of it’s hospitality, charm and quaintness, Beaufort is like Blue Ridge, GA in a coastal setting.

We rode our bikes both days and put little blue  the dinghy to work on what was to be the longest ride we’ve done to date. We boated up Taylor Creek and kept a sharp eye on Carrot Island for the feral horses but there was far too much activity for them to be out and about, even docking on the island and walking up the boardwalk hoping to catch a glimpse. We are 0 for 2 on islands with wild horses on them. We did, however, witness some pretty wild antics from the restaurant / bar last night. Nothing blog worthy! As we sat topside, we had the benefit of free music and entertainment.

If there is one area that we would recommend to visit to get the real character of coastal Carolina, it would be Beaufort and New Bern (we will write about New Bern in a few days).

Hope you are enjoying your weekend, Dale & Amy

Swansboro, NC

July 12th, 2018

Today was a relatively short 34 mile trip through beautiful North Carolina coastal rivers, inlets and tributaries. This leg also included two bridges that we could not transit without opening and they only open once an hour. The first bridge opens at the top of the hour and the second opens at the half. We were told by the dockmaster at Harbor Village to leave fifteen minutes before the hour and you will arrive in time for the bridge to open the following hour. With that information, we left at 6:45am to catch the 8:00am bridge opening. We were there at 7:20am and had to contend with other boats and a strong current for 40 minutes. I should have plotted it myself and learned from my mistake. We only had to wait 15 minutes for the second bridge 18 miles up river.

After Camp LeJune Bridge (the name should have given this away) we noticed loud “booms”. We were in the area that the marines use for target practice. I remembered reading about this but didn’t realize we were there. We quickly checked the charts to find a number to call or something saying it was okay to transit. Soon after, we saw the sign below and the lights were not flashing. We did have a marine come down to check out the activity on the water. It could have been our very own version of the old Jimmy Buffett song Jamaica Mistaka.  (I envision Mike Davis laughing right now!) We must have seemed harmless since the soldier didn’t even have his gun handy.

We spent the rest of the day enjoying the trip watching the wildlife. The weather seemed even more oppressive than the previous days, so Amy and I took turns at the helm from inside the boat. We don’t normally do this since you are inside with the AC on and it seems a little like Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. Everyone needs a cheat day! This was ours.

Our day ended at Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro. Dudley’s is a quick stop that sets us up for our next real destination- Beaufort, NC (pronounced “Bo-fert). Beaufort is one of our top 5 places and we will be staying two days. The marina here in Swansboro is not in the best of shape and it is a fixed dock. As you can see below, we had a few friends waiting for us as we made our approach to the slip.

Once at the dock, we had a severe thunderstorm roll in so we borrowed the courtesy car early and “enjoyed” provisioning at the Wal-Mart. Dudleys & Wal-Mart in the same day… Wow! Must be the luxury part of the trip.

This is why we leave early so we can watch these storms from the dock rather than be caught in the middle of them.

Today is exactly 4 weeks since we started this journey. Thanks for being the virtual support crew. It means so much that you take the time to check on us and we really enjoy the emails and comments.

Somewhere South of Swansboro, NC

July 10th, 2018 – Southport, NC

It was really nice taking a day off from the water in Southport, NC. Southport is the quintessential coastal Carolina town, so much so that they have filmed many movies here including Safe Haven. We ate dinner at Fishy Fishy restaurant which was Ivans in the movie where Julianne Huff, the main character worked as a waitress. Great movie if you haven’t seen it.

Robert Creech, a long time local and the AGLCA Harbor Host, stopped by our boat and invited us and Blue Sky to his home for a chart briefing before we headed out for dinner. He has lived in Southport since 1972 and has a beautiful home overlooking the waterway and Bald Head Island. He and his wife Kay have completed the loop and now they leave every year after Christmas on their 43′ Jefferson named C-Life to winter in Ft. Myers. We look forward to hosting them upon their arrival this year. Robert is a wealth of knowledge and answered our many questions. He also gave us a briefing pack with recommended marinas along the ICW and his own thoughts about where to leave the boat for the winter. Kay gave us a Directional Bouy Reference Indicator. You see, the buoys change sides based on the circumstances. I always thought Red, Right, Return but that isn’t always the case. Smart captains take something small with red on one end and green on the other. They flip it over when leaving the ICW into a main channel as to not confuse the waterways. I missed one in Georgia and promised myself I would make something. Kay took a tongue depressor and painted one end green and the other red. In the middle, she wrote C-Life / Southport, NC. I love having this addition to the helm and have already used it twice today as we entered and departed a main shipping channel. I could have talked to them for hours but dinner plans awaited. When we arrived at the restaurant the parking lot was flooded up to the steps and they were putting makeshift walkways in place. When asked about this, the hostess replied “oh yeah, new moon high tide… happens every month”. These people adapt and the water is part of the fabric of the community. We could live here!

July 11th, 2018 – Harbor Village Marina – Somewhere south of Swansboro, NC

Today was supposed to be a leisurely trip up the waterway with little to no excitement. And, for the most part, that was the case. Immediately after we entered the main Channel leading to Wilmington, we met a LARGE container ship heading in the other direction. The rules of seamanship said I have the right of way…. The Law of Gross Tonnage (and common sense) told me to stay clear and let the big ship do whatever he wanted. Amazing that we all use the same waterways

We proceeded mid channel and were hailed by a 70 foot Motor Yacht asking if I would like a port or starboard pass. This is the way it is supposed to be done but so many times these days large yachts just blow past at cruising speed leaving other boaters to deal with the huge wakes they leave behind. I thanked the vessel and told him to pass on our port and while moving to starboard. The boat was a beautiful new Sea Ray and we all gave the customary wave as they past. About 45 minutes later, we were exiting the channel into Snow Cut that resumed the ICW. We had noticed the Sea Ray had turned around and was heading back in our direction. He turned in behind us heading up the narrow passage for the ICW. I said to Amy “Guess he missed his exit!”. He was too embarrassed to ask for another slow pass so he followed for about 6 miles. I finally hailed him and told him, yet again, to pass on the port side. It was the boaters equivalent to a walk of shame! It’s easy to make mistakes out here.

After that fun, we had another 2 hours of just enjoying the beautiful scenery where the ICW and the beach compete with each other. I noticed we had a bridge coming and the clearance was 18 feet and they only open on the hour. Unfortunately, we had two issues with this situation. 1/ We are 19’2″ high and 2/ It was ten minutes past the hour. We would have to wait 50 minutes before transiting. I called the bridge tender and she said the tide was going down and I had an extra foot in the middle of the bridge. If Amy took the helm and I stepped the mast down from the bridge, I “thought” we could make it under without having to open. The bridge tender offered to go out and spot us saying “y’all go slow in case I gotta waive you off”. Here is what it looked like as we cleared the bridge by a very narrow margin.

I don’t know how much clearance we actually had but I can tell you how much if felt like we had. It felt like I could touch the trucks passing above us.

The rest of the trip was happily uneventful all the way to Harbor Village. This is an out of the way marina that rarely takes transients. We will eat whatever we have left on board and turn in early. Our trip today was just under 40NM and took 5 hours on the dot to complete. Not bad time considering the currents.

Have a great day from… Somewhere in NC!

Southport, N.C.

July 9th, 2018

We stayed in Myrtle Beach’s Barefoot Marina & Resort last night. While it was nice, the boat traffic was relentless and we witnessed weekend boaters in all their glory. We dinghy’d across the river for dinner with the crew of Blue Sky and turned in early since today was to be a long one.

We woke up at 2am to a very warm boat. Both AC units had gone off and I was getting a reading on the unit basically saying no water could get to the AC units. The cause could run the gamut of something as easy as picking up a plastic bag on the intake or as bad as a faulty AC pump. I would not find the answer at 2am. I tried to go back to sleep but no dice.

We were up at 6am for a quick departure. The charts warned that we would encounter rocks below the surface for the next 12 miles. We met a boater last night who just picked his vessel up after 2 months having been repaired due to this part of the ICW. For that reason, we decided to depart at 6:30 to give us the benefit of more water below us. The sign below was the first indication of the potential challenge ahead.

We only saw a few places that caused us alarm and we proceeded very slowly during those spots. It’s one thing “bumping” bottom and another hitting it at cruising speed!

This is the part of the ICW that we start to see the big trees and the rivers feed into the Atlantic. The current is so strong in some areas we either feel like we are flying or barely moving. I was so concerned about the AC issues and rocks that I barely took the time to enjoy where we are and the beauty of it all. Here are some shots from todays journey.

We crossed another state and made it into North Carolina! Our first stop in the Tar Heel State was the Southport Marina and I certainly made an entrance. With three dockhands standing by, I had to go around and make a second attempt at the dock. All this after Amy made an impeccable 20 foot throw of the bowline.

We did however, end the day with a bit of good news… The AC issue seems to have been a foreign object clogging the AC intake because when we hooked up the power and turned the AC on to check, the issue had self corrected. We are cool again!

Here are the numbers so far… Days – 22 Miles traveled – 848 Hours at the Helm-122 Locks – 8 Bridges Opened 11 – Rodney Dangerfield type arrival docking – 1 (and a half)

If we had driven a car for the same number of hours that we have at the helm we would have already gone coast to coast… Almost twice

Georgetown, SC

July 7th, 2018

Our trip yesterday had several options for an overnight so we chose Georgetown, SC as it is the third oldest city in South Carolina and a marina smack dab in the middle of the historical downtown district.

Sometimes you just get lucky!! Our trip was nice and we had no real areas of concern. We did have rain but it was light and not convective. Once docked at HarborWalk, we took a stroll downtown and noticed a lot of activity. I asked a shop owner what was going on and she advised that they were having a concert tonight and not just any local performer. It was “The TAMS”! For those of you old enough to remember, the TAMS were one of the original beach music bands with hits like “Be Young, Be Foolish, and Be Happy”. How great to experience Carolina Beach Music in a Coastal Carolina town! I knew that it could not be the original TAMS but it was second and third generation decedents of the original band members and they did put on quite a show.

We had a quiet night at the dock and pulled out at 8am bound for Osprey Marina on the southern edge of Myrtle Beach, SC, a 30 mile trip. We wanted to get this leg completed early as we knew the weekend warriors will take the waterways after lunch.

We are keeping a close eye on the tropical depression expected in a few days and definitely keeping us on inside the AICW. No open water Atlantic runs in the near future. We will study Marv’s Weather Bouy Forecast very closely over the next few days with only short legs planned for the week. Worst case is that we hold up in Myrtle Beach or Southport for a few days. Be safe and have a great weekend.