IMG_0107Yes, today, Saturday, 3 February 2018, we crossed the border from South to North Carolina. There was no big fanfare and to be honest, until Paul looked at the chart we weren’t sure. Unlike on the highways, there are no big signs that state, “Welcome to North Carolina” “Radar detectors are illegal”.

IMG_7249We have been to Georgetown SC; I thought this was the place Anna and David used to visit for sailing whilst at Old Dominion University but I was wrong. This Georgetown is a quaint, very historic town and as it turns out, has a great place for the dogs to run. Not sure if they are supposed to but it was so cold there was no-one else around to complain. The beach we found was oyster shell free and the water was clean. There is a lovely shop called “Sweeties” which sells homemade fudge (not too sweet) and handmade sea salt dark chocolate covered caramels which are almost half as big again as those you get from Whole Foods. Needless to say, fudge and caramels are all gone.

IMG_7240Thursday was windy and cold but dry fortunately. We planned the tides correctly and the current cooperated, ie it pushed us on our way. It did mean leaving at dawn though which was OK. Osprey Marina was our stopover place. In the middle of nowhere and really quiet except for the frog chorus. It is really quite tiny which made maneuvering tricky. We needed to fuel up and pump out.

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That bit was relatively easy – it was a straight shot in to that dock with a port (left) side tie. However, even if we weren’t docking for the night we still had to turn around. Yep, this boat turns on a sixpence/dime. Paul is getting remarkably good at moving the boat in close quarters. The only ‘problem’ with this marina was that from where we were docked to where the showers were located was about a quarter mile walk. Needed to really plan bathroom breaks.

IMG_7253Had four low swing bridges to pass through on Friday on our way to Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, North Myrtle Beach. We missed the really popular bit of MB; maybe next time. Again this marina was a challenge. The wind was blowing quite hard out of the marina, so to us it was a head wind. We squeezed our way between the different docks full of boats all the way to the most inshore bit and then had to do a sideways skid to park. Paul got the boat sideways and skidding but then a wind gust hit and we stopped. Hmmm. We eventually managed to crab sideways enough to reach the dock. Always a challenge.


After assessing the food supply in the fridge, I decided an Uber ride to the nearest Publix was in order. I had thought I might shop on Saturday (today) but I had called today’s marina and they said their nearest stores were at least 5 miles away. Unfortunately there is a distinct lack of Starbucks in either place. (Of course, we could just go to the Tiki Bar.)


The black blob in the water is a deer swimming across the ICW

We negotiated Pine Island Cut, more commonly referred to as Rock Pile. This cut is quite narrow with rock ledge edges, not the soft muddy sand we have had all the way up so far. The notes about one of the particular hazards, a rock pile, stated that “… never mind the fact that it is a no-wake zone, the pontoon boat came zooming past us and stopped … very abruptly and then proceeded to sink.” OK, let’s avoid that one.


Oyster beds

As I have already mentioned, today  we crossed state lines, at Little River Inlet. At the time we were fighting squirrly currents so didn’t notice. I called St James Marina as we approached on the radio – no response – and telephone (left a message). We decided, if all else fails, we would just pick an appropriate spot and ask for forgiveness later. Just as we were turning into the marina entrance channel, the radio chirped and the dock master gave us instructions. We are actually on the end of the T-dock right as you come into the marina so if someone forgets to turn the corner, we will be t-boned. Hope it doesn’t happen. Great wooded trail for the dogs.

On our predawn walk this morning, the sky was amazing. Over on the eastern horizon, the first loom of light was a deep blood red color; quite intense.

img_2903.jpgimg_2902.jpgFinally today, the people at St James Marina and condos are super friendly. As Paul was finishing off securing the boat, a gentleman came up and tried to present him with a buff folder. Paul’s first reaction was not to accept it as, for some reason, he thought it might have been a subpoena but then the gentleman explained that he had taken a couple of pictures of the boat as we came down the cut, printed them off and was now giving them to us.

Tomorrow, we will be passing Cape Fear. I think there is a movie set at Cape Fear starring Robert De Niro. Scared me silly; I didn’t watch the ending.

Thanks for reading.