The Beaufort, NC to Charleston, SC leg of our journey can be summed up like this: rain, rain, rain, shoal, shoal, shoal, slow, slow, slow. After our previously detailed inaugural grounding on our second day out of Beaufort, we worked our way back into a shallow creek near Topsail Beach (where I ran aground for just a minute) and dropped the hook.

What Jon was looking at when we ran aground next to Camp Lejeune

The next day we made it to Southport, anchored right smack in the middle of the harbor full of boats in slips, and celebrated not running aground all day with dinner in town. It was Friday night and the Yacht Basin Eatery had live music which we could still hear when we got back to the boat. It was almost enough to drown out the sound of the phantom shallow depth alarm that had been beeping away in our heads whenever it was not sounding in reality.

Thirty-three miles later on our fourth day, we crossed the border into South Carolina where we anchored on the Calabash River and were immediately greeted by some curious residents. One allowed himself to be filmed while we tried to fish from the dinghy.

Around 10pm the wind suddenly gusted up enough to have us heeling over at anchor. It’s rather disconcerting to feel the boat tipping over when the sails aren’t even up and nothing can be done to right it. Since we hadn’t been sailing for quite some time, we weren’t worrying about stowing things securely and the sudden heeling knocked a fair amount of items out of place.

In the morning we were met with wind, rain, and fog, along with a fair amount of debris in the water from the night’s storm. I avoided running into something that looked like a telephone pole in the water while Jon climbed over the side to pump water out of the dinghy. As the fog cleared a bit, we found ourselves surrounded by various McMansions along the channel through Myrtle Beach and the odd band of golfers wandering close to the bank.

This was the standard view while we were near Myrtle Beach.

Even the bridges are fancy.

Though we also saw the place where buoys go to die.

As well as life-size replicas of Shamu.

 

We continued on to the very beautiful Waccamaw River for our next anchorage. Here we didn’t have to worry as much about shallow spots and were free to enjoy the scenery. We wound our way through the forty mile stretch of cypress swamp, which was made a little less scenic in the morning due to the fog, but we’ll take just about any conditions over shoaling shallows.

Good thing it’s not a full moon, I can hear the opening chords to Thriller.

222 miles and six days away from Beaufort, we escorted some confused dolphins through the mud to our last anchorage before we would reach the vicinity of Charleston.

After calling all of the marinas near the city, we of course decided on the cheapest option where we could safely leave the boat tied up for awhile. Though all of the rain, wind, fog, and shoals had us wondering whether we would make it in time, we pulled into the Isle of Palms Marina the day before Thanksgiving. Perfect timing to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and two nights with my aunt and her family in Goose Creek.

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