April 8, 9, 10, 11

April 8, 9…. St. John’s Yacht Basin…Charleston, SC

This was a gorgeous place. Gorgeous. I would return here in a heartbeat. Numerous slips, newer floating docks, deluxe toilets/showers/laundry, huge pool and pool deck, magnificent boater’s lounge with grand view of the river. Ahhhhh. Minimal hurricane damage, but the bridge leading to the place was destroyed so the restaurant closed and autos are required to park a quarter mile away and walk the distance on those lovely piers to the marina.

We drove the courtesy car into town and took a horse drawn carriage tour of the city; it was a different from other tours. There are so many carriages touring that the city required a lottery system for each area of the town to be accessed. Otherwise there was so much buggy traffic it interfered with autos and pedestrians and homeowners. Our tour was interesting, but nothing like the one in Beaufort where we were shown the entire town by a lovely local girl who regaled us with lovely stories about the place and stopped often for photo opportunities.

River Walk Charleston

Charleston, in my opinion, is a cross between rowdy New Orleans and gentile Savannah: narrow streets, beautiful old homes built like row houses deep into the block with large gardens to the back, exclusive shops in the center of town, cobbled streets to the river, French Quarter with it delicate ironwork and ivy-strewn brick facades. Wish we could have spent another day.

April 10…Harborwalk Marina, Georgetown, SC

Moving along. Loved this trip through salt marsh, embedded with pine and juniper. Miles and miles of marshland preserves and inlets. Our marina sets on the town of 9,000. Three miles to any grocery. 1 mile to any quick stop. We are very tired traveling so fast to get to Norfolk by April 20. It’s challenging to find the energy for touring when your body cries for rest instead. We stayed one night is Georgetown and saw little of the town. It was small and quaint. There is so much important history on the east coast, that we cannot take it in quickly. We passed Fort Sumter coming out of Charleston. Imagine! Fort Sumter! Idaho is a young country.

South Carolina, played a central role in the state’s headlong rush toward secession. Fort Sumter is where the Civil War essentially started.  When the Union tried to resupply the fort and the South fired on the fort, the war was inevitable. We had to scurry past without seeing it all. Same with Georgetown from the years of early settlement, through the Revolutionary War and up to the onset of the Civil War there is a monument, statue, or historic building on every corner.

April 11…Osprey Marina

We are docked deep in the country on the Waccamaw River. We moved out of the salt marsh prairie into deeply forested riverbanks of a Wilderness Refuge. It refreshed our souls to see pine. We turned into a narrow canal off the ICW and continued through dense tree-lined shores until it opened up into this pristine, picturesque harbor. Just perfect. What a sweet surprise. The best night’s sleep in months. Quiet and serene.

Things to see along the way…

 

 

 

 

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April 3-8, Beaufort, SC

We arrived on a calm, hot Monday intending to stay through Tuesday, however the weather reports warned of severe weather and high winds so we stayed another day and another day and right on through to the weekend. 45 mph winds and tornado warnings kept us in harbor. We cannot always stay on the Intercoastal Waterway as it weaves among the countless barrier islands, and to find a marina we must drive up one of the numerous rivers leading into these amazing towns …. I’m challenged to discover new adjectives!

High tide, ramp. Notice the barnacles…
STEEP
Low tide, nearly level.

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway near Marker 239, we are staying in the heart of one of South Carolina’s oldest and most beautiful cities (they all are). Within 300 yards of our boat we find restaurants, hotels, B&Bs and a variety of other shops located in a lively business district. We took a horse-drawn carriage into the historic neighborhoods winding though shady lanes under moss-strewn oaks. Stately antebellum mansions display the city’s Southern charm and grace. The Riverfront Park adjacent to the harbor meanders along the Beaufort River, with a grand vista of the marsh islands and intersecting waterways.

Beaufort is a National Historic Landmark District. Birthed 450 years ago when French explorer Jean Ribaut sailed into Port Royal sound, the second-deepest natural harbor on the East Coast. French, Spanish and English explorers struggled to colonize the area. We learned that 25% of the United States’ east coast marshland water is in Beaufort County. With hundreds of square miles of tide water and grassy marshes to explore we get out in the dinghy as often as the weather allows. It’s great fun.

Several movies were filmed here: Glory, Forest Gump, The Great Santini, Prince of  Tides.

Beaufort National Cemetery was established two years after the Civil War began. One of six national cemeteries built in 1863 for Union soldiers and sailors.

March 30-Apr 2

We anchored in Thunderbolt Marina in the town of Thunderbolt outside Savannah. Clean and tranquil with discreet lighting, this is a small marina with an adjacent service yard for enormous boats. Opposite shore is salt marsh, very peaceful. Gated campus with 24/7 Security Guard Two large gazebos with nice furniture, large park that winds along the riverfront where dogs can run. No slips, but a long concrete floating dock where boats are docked on both sides. Excellent guest building with large cheery laundry, Toilet/Shower rooms with mirrored dressing area between. The Dock Master is a soft-spoken man who operates alone and is very inconspicuous. Many Loopers arriving every day. Nice to have pals.

The boat needs an oil change and other 100-hour maintenance keeping us here several days so we rented a car to navigate around this most historic city.

Savannah from the bridge
The bridge

We rented a car and drove into gorgeous, glorious Savannah. There is so much to absorb we will need to do it in more than one day. There are many places we cannot take Inky and we must leave him alone in the boat when we go to museums or take tours. We feel it’s cruel to leave him trapped for more than 4 hours, and it really inhibits our exploration of these magnificent places we’d like to investigate. You can’t experience Disneyland is a few hours! We’ve almost decided not to try. We have to rent a car, drive long distances to the venue, rush through the many exhibits, then rush back to Inky. It’s hardly worth it. Some rare places, like the Kennedy Space Center, offer air-conditioned kennels, but still we don’t enjoy the full experience because we worry about our dog. It’s a continual issue.

Tree lined streets

Cobbled road winding down to the river

 

River street

Established in 1733, Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and the location of one of the largest National Historic Landmark districts in the country. It’s an eccentric city  with Old World glamour and romance, culture, and entertainment. We chartered a trolley tour of the  architecture, its 21 historic squares showcasing fountains and statues and obelisks dedicated to its many heroes.

The salt marsh creates gobs of floating dry reeds around which we must continually navigate; don’t want it in our propeller. There is a plague of no-see-ums here. We have scratched ourselves raw. Sorry can’t get a picture….