Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sunday and Monday, April 6-7, 2014 Osprey Marina, Just South of Myrtle Beach, SC

What a great night!  We were very well protected up in the mouth of our Jericho Creek anchorage. The winds were gusting to 20 mph last night while the Waccamaw River was swift and choppy.  Our anchorage stayed calm and Happy Hours II turned only when the tide turned.  So, we both got a very restful sleep!!

Today's trip will be short...only 21.5 miles up the Waccamaw to
Osprey Marina.  Thunderstorms are moving in this afternoon and tomorrow with strong winds.  I called Osprey Marina on Friday in preparation for the bad weather.  We have reservations for tonight and Monday night...possibly longer if the weather doesn't move out of the area! Osprey is very protected. It's up a narrow pine tree lined canal  into their marina basin.  Richard, one of the dock hands, informed me that this is a hurricane hole.  Boats from up north have standing reservations to move their boats here if a hurricane is predicted to hit in their neighborhood.

When we set off, the skies are cloudy and not a blue patch of sky in sight!  The temperature when we got up and raised our anchor is 53 degrees.  The high for today is only 59.  What a change from the warmth of last week.!!!Once again we aren't seeing many boats.  When we motored out of Jericho Creek into the Waccamaw River, we had a trawler cross our path going north....fast.  Other than that, it's just Chuck and me.  Our engine is working real hard because of the 1.6 kt current flowing toward us.  Oh well, we can't get perfect conditions...tide, current, winds, temps...all of the time!  We are only going 3.7 kph.  It's a good thing we don't have far to go.  :)

I love this part of the ICW.  North of Georgetown, the Waccamw River narrows.  There are tall pine trees and live oak trees lining both shores.  Every now and then, we can see trees blossoming with white or pink flowers....maybe they're dogwood trees.  The water is so peaceful here because the trees are blocking the winds.  It's almost like we are motoring through the swamps...so where are the alligators?  This river is also teeming with ospreys and their nests. We see them flying, catching fish, sitting with their chicks. Awesome!! Their nests are either in the tops of dead trees or on top of the day markers.

We arrived at R26 at 12:30.  Just south of this day marker (or ICW
mile 373) is the entrance to Osprey Marina.  The 1/4 mile channel turns east and opens up into a tranquil boat basin.  We stayed here on our way down with sv/ Euphoria, sv/Will-o-Way, and sv/ Dancing with the Wind. We were given slip B27 which is the dock that Euphoria had last fall.  This marina charges $1 per foot until day 4, then it drops to 25 cents per foot which makes this marina very popular to cruisers. What a deal!!

I called the Scatori's Restaurant for dinner.  They will pick us up at 5:45 for $10.  We'll eat, grocery shop at Lowe's next door, and then they'll take us back to our boat.  We can't beat that!! We were told another couple will be riding with us.  We both got to the pickup point at the same time.  Jim and Pat Rossman are on a  Mainship trawler, mv/ARiverDerci.  They are from Minnesota and are 'Loopers'.  They started their trip 2 years ago in a motor boat but decided they wanted more conveniences....so they purchased the trawler in Florida. They are now on their way home.  Anyhow, we hit it off and ate together at the restaurant, shopped, and then rode back to the marina together....

We woke up to a very cloudy morning but we still haven't gotten any of the
predicted thunderstorms. As for the winds, we are so tucked back among the tall trees, we can't feel an ounce of breeze!  Since we are staying today, we are taking advantage of being at a dock with power and getting some chores done. Chuck's going to defrost the freezer while I do 4 loads of laundry.  I'm hoping the machines are free and there isn't a line up since it's Monday, wash day!  By the time I brought the first 2 loads of dry clothes back to the boat,  Chuck had also filled the water tank and scrubbed the boat....we don't have the ICW smile on the bow anymore...for awhile!!

So far, this has been a crazy day.  I started with a long sleeve Tshirt, went to a short sleeve,and finally a sleeveless top. It definitely feels like the 'calm before the storm'!  After our chores and lunch were finished, we walked the marina's drive and back, stopping off to visit with the goats.  These goats winter at Osprey Marina but are from Goat Island, north of here.  They'll be returning for the summer in a few days.  Talk about curious...as soon as we got close to the fence, the herd of 30 boats came running over to us.  I'm sure they thought we'd have food for them...surprise...only some grass that we pulled!!  Ha Ha...

Once back to the boat, the sun came out and we finally spotted the infamous local alligator that we've been hearing about.  The marina has applied for a permit to shoot it because it's not afraid of people or dogs. In fact, the boaters that are  docked out on the new channel docks have to ride in the provided golf carts near where this 'gator' likes to sun himself!!  Yikes, and we were going to walk over on that trail.   All afternoon the 8 footer pops up at different locations....his entire body on the bank, or his head and eyes here, there, everywhere!  Now I'm getting paranoid about even walking our dock.  It sits low to the water and from what we've seen on tv, this gator could get up on the docks if he really wanted to.

Finally we can feel the front of the storms approaching.  It's really cooled down and now the rains have moved in.  We have tornado warnings until 9 pm tonight.   At least the rain waited until evening when we have all our jobs done and are happy to be on the boat. We ordered a pizza from Scatori's.  They do a fabulous take-out business.  We had to wait 1 hour for the delivery.  The pizza was well worth the wait and $5 delivery charge.  There was only one slight problem.  Chuck watched the delivery boy go to C27 instead of B27.  By the time  Chuck flagged him down, our cardboard box was getting wet.  Oh well, at least the pizza was dry.  It looks like we might have to stay one more day....

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