Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crossing my Wake

On Friday, October 24th, I crossed my wake. Here is the blog for the last few days of this adventure.

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.
From Jekyll Island, I headed to an anchorage for my second, and last night in Georgia.  I had some birds following my boat for a while, like I have seen them follow fishing boats.


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
My next stop was Charleston!  Another beautiful day, and another great day to go off shore.  As I headed to Charleston, I passed Folly Beach, where I purchased my boat, Annabelle, a couple years ago.  Although, I didn't technically cross my wake, I felt I had come full circle.
The lighthouse at the north end of Folly Beach
Although I have been through Charleston, I had never really taken time to be a tourist in Charleston.  I stayed at Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriot's Point, where I have friends, Tina and Doug.  I enjoyed having dinner with them, and Doug took me in the morning over to Downtown Charleston.  Throughout the night and into the morning, we had howling winds.  When I woke up, I quickly realized the current and winds would be too strong for my boat to leave the dock.  In the early afternoon, when we came back from downtown, the tide was slack and the winds had subsided.  I had already paid for my second night, but decided to take my opportunity to leave my slip and head north.  Almost Home!!!!  Three hours by car, but three days by boat!

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
From the anchorage, it was a long day north to Myrtle Beach.  I could not make it as far as the famous Barefoot Landing Marina before dark.  I called around 4:45 p.m. to Grand Dunes Marina, asking if I could tie up to their fuel dock after they closed.  It turned out to be an easy place to tie up, the transient dock is an extension of their fuel dock.  I pulled in at dusk, which gave me enough time to rinse off my boat, before having dinner, on my last night.

Leaving at dawn, my favorite part of the day, I headed home to Southport!

Grand Dunes Bridge in Myrtle Beach, at sunrise.
As I approached Southport, Towboat John brought my son, Dean, to my boat, so he could be with me as I crossed my wake.  He boarded just south of town.  Southport Marina was not able to accommodate my boat, so we headed a couple miles further to Deep Point Marina.  We passed my neighborhood pier, where Glen and Beth took pictures, and headed to my new slip.  At the marina, I was welcomed home!  Officially, a Gold Looper!!!!





Random Thoughts:
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!

"You are so brave to have done this yourself."
... 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.



13 comments:

  1. So enjoyed following you on your adventure. You are an amazing woman. Hopefully our paths will cross one day. Until then, fair winds and following seas...

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  2. Congratulations Tanya - you are an inspiration. We hope to follow in our footsteps - er, wake! one day.
    Beth & Phil - Tucson

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  3. WOW!!! What a great adventure!!! Im from Montreal, Quebec and i follow you all the way! I was planning to do the Loop in 5 years but now i just cant wait.... Thanks you for all the beautifull story`s!!!! Alain

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  4. Finally finished reading your blog. I had my Ranger 21 tug on the Trent Severn Waterway this past July and kept hearing about you. My trip started at Macedon, NY on the Erie Canal, I went to Swift Rapids (lock before Big Chute) and returned. I was in Fennelon Falls on July 3. We must have crossed paths when I was headed back toward Trenton. I first met De De on the Erie Canal and then several more times on the TSW, I first met Ta Ta at Peterborough and saw them for the last time in Orillia when I was headed back. I follow De De on facebook and Ta Ta on their Spot page.

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! What's next?
    By Miller
    Daycare
    Heber Springs, AR

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    1. Thank you. I don't know what is next. It feels like I am in Limbo right now.

      It would have been great to meet you along the way, I was always looking out for other Ranger Tugs. I am glad you got to follow along with DeDe and TaTa. If you are ever in Southport, send me an email. It is a great little town.

      Tanya
      tkbinford@gmail.com

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  5. Tanya, thanks for publishing this blog. It's really something that you made that journey by yourself and in 7 months. Like you, we have a Ranger Tug R25 Classic. We've thought of doing the loop but it's doubtful we ever will. In September as you were closing in on completing your trip, we were on the Erie Canal for a vacation cruise. Our trip ended abruptly when Deb's appendix ruptured and she had emergency surgery followed by a couple of months of hospitalization and inpatient rehab. She has an ileostomy that will be reversed in mid January so our boating adventures are on hold for awhile. But reading your blog and seeing what you encountered and how you managed it all got us back in the boating spirit. One question. You had a GoPro camera when you were getting started. What happened to it during the rest of your trip?

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    1. First, I hope Deb recovers well.
      As for the GoPro camera- Like many of my ideas before I started, it wasn't as practical or easy as I imagined. The times I would have wanted to use it, I was too busy driving the boat. For instance, I was the first one into the Petersborough lift lock, on the 200th anniversary. I had gotten there early, and set up the GoPro, but then when it was time to head into the lock, I didn't have time to mess with the camera. If I had someone aboard with me, I would have used it.

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    2. Thanks... Deb has done well so far although she was seriously ill from the infection and spent several days in intensive care before turning the corner. She has also lived with MS since 1985 so her strength to deal with this was limited to start with. But she has bounced back and while not looking forward to more surgery, she is looking forward to getting the ileostomy reversed. I understand the problem in trying to use the GoPro and run the boat. I solved that in a fashion by mounting the GoPro on the rail outside the helm window so I could easily turn it on and off. If you go to this page on our website www.getaweigh.com/erie-canal.html you can see how that works when we went through locks 34 and 35 on the canal.

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  6. I've arrived at Deep Point for the summer.
    Hope our paths cross.
    Alex
    Yacht A Fun

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  7. and I worry about going it alone ?????

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  8. احصل الان علي افضل الخدمات من خلال توكيل كاريير في مصر الذي يقدم احدث الطرق في اعمال الصيانة وباقل الاسعار من صيانة كاريير المعتمده تواصل الان مع رقم صيانة كاريير للحصول علي الخدمة .

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  9. تعرف الان على صيانة كاريير الان , وباقل الاسعار التى لا احد يقوم بتقديمة الان فى مصر من توكيل كاريير الان , وباقل الاسعار الممكن التى تقدمة الشركة الان فى مصر , وباقل الخصومات الرائعة

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  10. خصومات الان على كافة مكافحة البق الان , وباقل الاسعار المختلفة التى لا احد يقوم بتقديمة الان , وباقل الاسعار من مكافحة الصراصير الذى الكثير يعانه من كثيرنا الان فى كافة المحافظات , وباقل الاسعار الممكن التى تقدمة الشركة الان فى مصر

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