From Amelia Island, I headed off-shore to Jekyll Island. It was a beautiful day, and the temptation to go out into the Atlantic, instead of up the Intracoastal Waterway, was just too strong. The waters were calm, and it was a peaceful day. I arrived at Jekyll Island around lunchtime, and spent the afternoon riding my bike. Offshore, in the Atlantic, it is easy to set the auto pilot to head a course, and relax. I headed out as the tide was going out, and back in with following seas through St. Andrew's Sound. The breakers were fairly steep, so it felt like surfing.
|Fishing ship in the shallow waters, near the inlet.|
My first stop in South Carolina was Beaufort, after a very long day. I stayed at Lady's Island Marina, where TJ, the dockmaster, was very helpful and accommodating. When I called, he said that docking could be tricky with the strong current, but he would help in whatever way he could, including running someone out to my boat to help me. I replied that I would see how it went as I approached the marina. I checked out a picture of the marina on my iPad, then I explained my plan for docking to him. I headed up into the current and crabbed my boat into the fairway sideways. Docking went smoothly, and it was good to know that he was ready and available for anything I might need. The following morning, he came down to my boat and helped with my lines, even though I left before they opened.
|Lady's Island Marina|
|Sunset from Lady's Island Marina|
|The lighthouse at the north end of Folly Beach|
I had almost four hours to head up the ICW, where I found an anchorage spot. I cut it close, anchoring just as the sun was setting. Two other sailboats were already in the anchorage. The following morning as the sun came up, I was headed north and the two sailboats headed south.
|Anchorage at Graham Creek|
Leaving at dawn, my favorite part of the day, I headed home to Southport!
|Grand Dunes Bridge in Myrtle Beach, at sunrise.|
People say, "Wow, you went fast!"
... Me and the older guy on the bike were going about the same speed. I only traveled on days, which I felt the weather and sea conditions would be good. There were many days spent in towns along the way, waiting for a good weather window.
|The older dude on his bike, and me trying to catch up to take his picture!|
... Brave is doing it with someone else! I have been doing things on my own for over twenty years, I have it down. Being with someone else is something I need to work on, and takes much more courage.
"Did you get lonely?"
... I guess I had my moments, but they were few and far between. I had a lot of support, both on the water and off. For the most part, this journey was done with other people, who share a similar passion. There were times it was shared with people I met along the way. I am grateful for the handful of people who came on my boat during any part of this trip including my Mom (in New Jersey), my son (from and to Southport) , Joie (Annapolis), Jim (Waterford), Michael (Canajoharie) , Mike (borrowed from Shiver me Timbers) , random guy at the Big Chute Railroad Lock, Jim (Bluenoser), and Lolly (Knot So Fast). Of course, I can't even begin to list all the people I met along the way, who gave a helping hand, advice and friendship.
"You should have a gun on your boat! What will you do for safety?"
... I didn't stay in places where I didn't feel comfortable. I know I can be naive, but I also listen to my gut instinct. Steve, from Atla, once texted me, "Tanya, are you intentionally avoiding the free places?" I texted back, "Yes, sometimes I am." Other people urged me to have mace or wasp spray. I had a dive knife, which could have served many purposes. Gratefully, I never needed it for anything. Not only did I feel safe, I generally felt I was around people who were watching out for me and protective of me.
"It doesn't seem like you could have stopped anywhere along the way."
... There are many places I didn't stop, and certainly, I didn't stop at all the many places people recommended or that I had thought about going. I found it easier to be flexible. There were some great little towns, which weren't on my list of places to go, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There were small marinas, which had great people. It was all good! In any given day, I might have picked a few options on places to stay. I have always tried to have a plan A, B, C... etc... and sometimes the entire plan gets scratched. There were places I stayed one night, and places I stayed a few days.
"What did you eat?"
... a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! I also ate in restaurants, cooked on my boat, and generally ate the same kinds of food I would have on land. The most different food I ate, was the gator empanada. One of the most interesting restaurants was Henry's Fish House, up near Perry Sound, where the only parking was for boats and seaplanes. If you ask where the best butter tarts are, I would tell you Campbellford, Ontario.