Sunday: I had arrangements with John Whidden for a round of golf at Sanctuary Country Club on Cat Island. The weather forecast calls for heavy winds and rain starting around 2 pm so we should be good with a 9:30 am starting time. When he shows up the other two guys aren’t with him and he tells me they bagged it because of the forecast. Just as I’m getting into his car, I get a text from Vic asking where we are because they’re in the area and want to stop over for lunch! Being confused by this text I decided to call him back to see if he texted the wrong number. He told me they had gone on a last minute cruise out of Port Canaveral Florida and were driving back home and wanted to stop by for lunch. I gave him directions and told him I’d be done playing in time to meet him back on board Kailani.
We got to the club at 9 am and teed off as a twosome at 9:10. The first nine holes we were alone on the course and played in 1 hour and 15 minutes! But on the back nine we caught up to a threesome and it took us a little longer. For the first time out this year, I was pleased with my game and we both enjoyed the time golfing together. We had a bite to eat at the club, then John drive me back to the marina.
Vic, Stephanie, Blaine, Tara and Charlee showed up around 3 pm and we had a great time visiting with them. They stayed over night and were able to have breakfast with us as we celebrated our 41stanniversary on Monday. The stormy weather wasn’t too bad since there were tornado warnings associated with the storm, so we lucked out. However Monday’s forecast called for high winds and small craft warnings, so we stayed put for another day and got all our laundry done and plan for tomorrow’s cruise.
Tuesday: We leave the dock at 8 am due to concerns with shoaling about 40 miles north of us. We plan to get thru the shoaling safely and then find a suitable anchorage. There are many boats out today all with the same goal of getting thru Dawho Creek at close to high tide. We all make it thru safely and Kailani starts looking for an anchorage. We don’t find one that satisfies both of us and soon we’re 4 miles from St Johns Yacht Harbor, so Tracy gets on the phone and calls them. Thirty minutes later, we’re tied up at the fuel dock for the evening.
Wednesday: We plan for another nice day of cruising to end with an anchorage, just short of the McClellanville Shallows so we can attack that 4 mile stretch at high tide tomorrow. The cruise is very calm and we’re pulling into Awendaw Creek for a much anticipated night at anchor. At 2:30 pm the anchor is set and we’re settled in for the evening, Tracy must try the area for fishing. I get some sun on the bow. Soon Tracy is yelling for me to help her as something is taking all her line! I’m able to tighten the drag enough to hold the fish, but she’s tired, so she hands me the pole so I can try to reel in this whatever! I start working the rod and line and get back ¾ of her line onto the spool before he makes another hard run and this time ‘he’s gone under the boat’ (Jaws). But I’m able to get some more line in and get him out into open water again. I’m just starting to think I’ll be able to get him to the surface and he tugs like he’s never tugged yet and the line gives up! Tracy is convinced she had a shark on the line. I got some info from other boaters and a local about the fish I had on the line earlier and best we can tell is that it probably was a Redfish in the neighborhood of 40-50 pounds! -tc Just as fast as the fish left, the heavy winds came and we were rocking and banging. The anchor held, but the bow was creaking and I was afraid the stress was going to break the pulpit. So we pulled up anchor and decided that even though it was dead low tide, we had to go thru the shallows and dock at Leland Marina for the evening. Tracy called them and they had room for us.
We went at idle speed and miraculously, we only saw 6.2 feet for the shallowest depth (we need 4 feet). It wasn’t until we turned into Jeremy Creek to get to Leland Marina that we saw 4.2 feet, but still we made it. Along the way we met up with Stu aboard Rendova (we had docked together in Port Royal Landing). So he followed us into Jeremy Creek, but he got stuck and had to wait 20 minutes for six inches of water to rise under his hull before he could get into the marina. After Stu one more boat pulled in and counting the vessel that was already there when we docked, there were four vessels all together at the dock enjoying life and grateful to be tied safely at the dock.
Thursday: We still have small craft warnings, but Jeremy Creek is relatively calm and high tide will greatly help us navigate the next leg, so most everyone else decided to stay put, but we left aiming for a nice anchorage in Cow House Creek directly opposite the Wacca Wache Marina. The winds never become an issue during the 50 mile cruise, however as we’re looking for a spot in the extremely crowded anchorage location the winds kick back up and the spot is not as protected as we had planned because the winds are now out of the north and they were supposed to be out of the west (would have been protected). So we picked a spot, dropped the anchor and after putting out 100 feet of chain in 10 feet of water, I tugged on the anchor to set it and it wouldn’t set. Since this has never happened to us before, we don’t really have an idea why it happened, but we had had enough and we called Wacca Wache for a slip and headed over for a safe night tied up at the dock.
Deck 383, the marina restaurant, is having a first anniversary celebration with free dinner food and cake. So we go there for the dinner and music and eat with our friends and AGLCA Harbor Hosts, Tom and Brenda ahey.
We’re now 383 statute miles from Norfolk
Friday: Today we cruise up to Ocean Isle Marina and cross from South Carolina into North Carolina making South Carolina our first state completed on the loop. At Ocean Isle, we’re welcomed back by Tim Moon the Owner and we also meet three other couples in transit. One is Ron and Debbie, looping aboard Bucket List and another is Ted and Brenda aboard Favrile. Ted and Brenda are a hoot and filled with comical life stories.
Saturday: Ron and Debbie head out early (6:45 am) so we miss saying goodbye but Ted & Brenda are going south to Savannah and enjoy the same style of cruising as us meaning, they enjoy their morning time with coffee and more comical conversation. We end up chatting until 10 am with them and they have a six hour cruise ahead of them, we’re only looking at a three hour cruise. So Favrile and Kailani leave the friendly docks of Ocean Isle Marina at 10 am with Tracy heading north and Ted heading south. As we’re cruising, we decide to call ahead to Steve Wallace at Zimmerman and see if he can look at some of our nagging issues at the helm, specifically, the lagging port transmission and the port tachometer that reads inconsistently. The tachometer issue has prevented us from engaging the synchronizer so getting that repaired will be good. Steve says to pull into A17 at Southport Marina, which is Zimmerman’s slip for transient repairs and he’ll meet us onboard Monday morning to troubleshoot the issues. We land at Southport Marina at 1:10 pm after negotiating Shallotte Inlet and Lockwood Folleys Inlet. We fuel up and get a pumpout, then settle into our slip for the weekend.
We’ve already made contact with Joy and Marc, our great friends from the southern trip.
They’ve landed back in the states after spending two months in the Bahamas aboard Coral Seas and are now driving up from Fort Pierce to Annapolis to pick up their truck that’s been parked for six months. They arrive and bring along two large pizzas that we devour and have a great time reminiscing about their time in the Bahamas and our time on the ICW.