Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 South Carolina Here We Come!

Wow, we are going to have another great day to travel.  Only one trouble spot left in the state of Georgia to worry about and soon we'll be in South Carolina!   We left the Redbird Anchorage close to 8 am to get to Hells Gate.  Such a perfect name for a short .8 mile channel of water that creates havoc for many boaters that attempt to pass here during a lower tide. It's only 4.8 miles away from Redbird but we're not quite sure of how the current will be running on the  Ogeechee River....since the tide is coming in, it's probably going to be working against us.

We thought we'd be the first sailboat to pass through Hells Gate but when we got out into the river we talked to sv/Kokomo and sv/ Grace.  Kokomo cruised this winter in the keys with our friends on sv/Euphoria and in the fall we kept playing hopscotch with Grace and sv/ Release.  This morning, Kokomo actually is in the lead and wient through the pass first.  They reported seeing no less than 7.1 feet in the cut.  All six sailboats  made it through without incident and early enough to get a swift current up to Thunderbolt, Ga and across the Savannah River into the next trouble spot, Fields Cut.
2 ospreys on nest
Isle of Hope Marina

Thunderbolt Marina

Of course Happy Hours II got behind a tug pushing a barge while motoring up Fields Cut.  I guess that was to our benefit because the tug's captain knew the waters and we could follow him.  He motored exactly where our Active Captain's suggestions recommended boaters to navigate.  That gives me even more faith in the Active Captain program!!  Once across the Savannah River, we are now in South Carolina. Wow, we navigated through Georgia in 2.5 days!!  What can I say about Georgia?  It's the state of 'sounds'...Cumberland Sound, St. Andrew Sound, Jekyll Sound, St. Simons  Sound, Doboy Sound, Sapelo Sound, St. Catherines Sound,  Altamaha Sound, Ossahaw Sound,and finally, Wassaw Sound.

We  weren't sure where we were going to stop but Kokomo hailed us on the VHF.  They were docking at Harbor Town Yacht Basin at the southern end of Hilton Head Island.  They wanted us to join them so we could meet each other officially.  Our mutual friends, Al and Colette, had spoken to them abut our traveling today...hopefully it was all good!  So we decided this would be a cool thing to do.  I called the marina and reserved a slip.  About 15 minutes later, the wind  had us motor-sailing 8.8 kph. Wow!  Why do we want to call it a day at 1 pm?  We couldn't pass this speed up with the opportunity to cover  more miles than normal. I called the marina backed and cancelled our dock and then hailed Kokomo and let them know we decided to move on. Hopefully, we'll meet later on somewhere on the ICW!

Where should today's adventure take us?  Billy and Eileen, sv/Circe, had talked highly of Port Royal Landing Marina near Beaufort, SC.  They had stopped here on their way south and recently on their trip back north.  This marina has a great deal....stay 2 nights and get the 3rd free!  Even though we were only going to spend one night, I called to see if they could take us.  Yes!  We docked along the face dock at 5 pm with the assistance of the dock master...we are getting so spoiled when it comes to docking!!   We've stayed at many marinas where they give the cruisers a goody bag.  We soon discovered that Port Royal also welcomes their transients with a bag....chocolate lighthouses, 2 bottles of wine, and a Doziers Water Guide magazine of marinas with great visuals of each marina...just a few of the goodies. On top of all of this, they have great shower facilities!  Chuck and I both love our showers so when we stay at a marina, this is a special treat....the showers were wonderful here!!  The on site restaurant was also a luxury as well as  having cheap prices and good food.

long metal dock at Port Royal
Office at Port Royal

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