Charleston was the best of the best! It was wonderful to see our friends Ben and Sallie Du Buisson again and we were very lucky that they managed to get us a slip at Carolina Yacht Club. The marinas in Charleston were totally full – there was a huge storm that came through on Thursday night and all the transient boats were ducking for cover!
Charleston is a magical city. Despite many visits, there is always something more to see. They do Halloween in style!
Our friends Di and Terry Clarence came and joined us for five days to get a taste of the Waterway. They also go back a long way with Ben and Sallie and we have a great time reminiscing about the old days (are we codgers or what?!?) We ate spectacular food, as you do in Charleston. We took a horse and carriage tour and then walked around the city – thank goodness for digital photography as there is no end to beautiful photo opportunities.
After Charleston we anchored out for the night and Gary and Mel had us all over for a spectacular rack of lamb dinner – no pictures sadly, we were having too good of a time! After that we headed to Beaufort SC (Bew-fort, as opposed to Beaufort NC, Bow-fort) and then to Hilton Head. We hadn’t realized that the South Carolina Yacht Club was closed on Mondays, so we Ubered to a restaurant on the water and ate fish and chips watching a most spectacular sunset.
This “house” (mansion?) overlooks the lock at Windmill Harbour where we stayed in Hilton Head.
Leaving Hilton Head and heading to Savannah GA we noticed a lot of birds feeding. Looking closer, we saw that among them were Roseate Spoonbills, which you don’t often see. I was very happy that one of my photos featured a stork, an egret and a spoonbill together! (I’m a point and shoot photographer – later I enlarge them to see what I captured!!
A spit of land with major erosion, and then we came across this dredger and we got a lesson all about balls and diamonds – how Garth remembers this stuff is beyond me!
More birds and then we were in Savannah for a sad farewell to Terry and Di. It was wonderful having them with us and sharing what is so special about the trip south.
Anchored out that night – another glorious sunset and then more gorgeous scenery. We took a side route down to St. Mary’s Sound (another score for the shallow draft PDQ) and it was idyllic! Not a soul around and just natural beauty.
Then you get to St. Mary’s sound which is where the submarine base is. Nothing natural about what happens around here. A big sub in for repairs (we thought), the degaussing pen which removes magnetism from the subs, and a brightly painted workboat.
The current rips through the sound, and fortunately it was with us. Garth wanted to record this speed (top left) for posterity! Our normal high speed is about 14 knots with max at around 16.
Crossing the sound took us into Fernandina Beach FL – recognizable by its paper mill as you arrive. Another big front was coming – we stayed there for three days with rain and wind blowing solidly at 25 knots with gusts of up to 50!! We were glad to be safely tied up and managed to get some cleaning done, as well as braving the weather to make it to a coffee shop for breakfast and a wonderful prime rib dinner at the Rusty Pelican. We were given the ultimate cruiser’s treat when we were picked up by Graeme and Nicola Nichol, South African friends of Jonathan and Anne who told them we were in Fernandina. They took us to a grocery store and then to their home where we did laundry and they spoiled us with delicious sous vide salmon while we shared stories and found so many common threads in our lives. It is a tradition that is appreciated so very much – in fact, they are paying it forward from when it happened to then when they started cruising and were embraced by cruising folk in Fort Lauderdale. Who, it turns out, were South Africans Lorraine and Rob Miller! We knew Lorraine and Rob when we were in the Caribbean sailing in 1978/79!!!! What a very small world.
The next blog will cover Florida and our crossing to the Bahamas – this morning (Friday 12th) we find ourselves in Vero Beach, rushing to our friends Dick and Carol Tuschick in Stuart where we will get all of our last minute provisions, covid tests, beer and wine and be ready to take advantage of a hopefully perfect crossing day to the Bahamas tomorrow. It will be close – will keep you posted!!