Now leaving Beaufort North Carolina (Monday May 9, 2005)

Had two great days of cruising – covered over 300 miles. Seemed like very long days but we were still into port by 3:30”ish. Left before 7 a.m. both days. Stayed at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach SC Saturday night. It was a free tie-up similar to the Landing in Jacksonville, with lots of shops and restuarants. The waters we traveled on Saturday reminded us of being in the St. Johns River – lots of wildlife, few houses, tea colored water and very easy to navigate.

Sunday was a different story, water was much more challenging, lots of shallow spots. Some places the channel marker was only in a foot of water and you could see the sandbars next to you. Saw one guy high and dry on a sandbar…will post a picture when we get a chance. The water on Sunday was lots prettier – very clear in places…but the boat was crusted over with salt when we got in yesterday. Last night we stayed in Beaufort NC at the Beaufort Docks. It was a little pricey, but a beautiful tie up.

Passed another AGLCA boat, “Joken” on our journey Sunday. Had a chance to say hello. They were traveling less than 10 knots, so we cruised on by. It’s been nice having the speed.

By noon today (Monday, May 9th) we’re heading north toward Bellhaven NC. It’s a shorter day…we need one of those already. Will upload some pictures when we have better Internet access. We’re blogging in the Beaufort Library. Will send more details when we get another connection.

Still in Beaufort SC

Thursday & Friday May 6th & 7th
Woke up to rain and windy weather on Thursday morning. Decided to stay put. Got over 2″ of rain on Thursday. Spend the day continuing to organize the boat, baking cookies, and reviewing the charts. Turns out there’s two other Loopers (AGLCA members) at the marina (“Another One” and “Traveller”). Both boats were from Iowa, but this was their first encounter. Enjoyed talking and visiting with them.

Friday morning the winds had calmed somewhat, but from the looks of the radar, we’d be catching the rain if we headed out. There’s a “Taste of Beaufort” festival that starts today near the marina, so we decided to hang out another day here and give the weather a chance to improve. They’re giving lots of sunshine for the next few days. We’ll jump up early tomorrow and try to make up some time heading north. We have some narrow passages to go through and have been warned that there’s 24 boats from the Charleston Sea Ray club headed here tomorrow for the festival…so we’ll have lots of oncoming traffic and wakes.

Jekyll Island to Beaufort

Wednesday, May 5th
Cool morning, little cloudy…woke early, pulled off the dock at 7 a.m. Little stressful getting our bearings. As we passed Sapelo Sound and St Catherine’s Sound the water had a pretty good chop to it. Made Savannah about noon. Took an hour lunch break then headed north. After going through a couple more sounds where the wind was starting to kick the waves up and after navigating Hells Gate, we decided we that was enough for the day. Arrived at Beaufort, SC about 3:30.

Jax to Jekyll Island

Tuesday May 3rd
High tide was at 5:30 a.m. so were got up a little after 5:00 to finish last minute details for being away for 3 months. By 8:00 we were on the boat ready to go. Water was calm, still high and the sky was blue. We both left out in long pants and jackets, but quickly shed them. Hour meter just had 21.1 hours on it so we are still in the breaking in stages. Last minute things that got loaded were just tossed aboard. They’ll have to wait until we reach Jekyll to be stowed away.

Fueled at Fernandina City Dock. We are always amazed at what a nice facility it is there to not have any more water than what they have for dockage. Guess they have to continually dredge. Saw the wild horses from a distance as we passed Cumberland Island and a few dolphins swimming gracefully in the water.

Arrived early, about noon, at Jekyll Island. It was such a beautiful day we hated to stop so early. Sky was completely clear, was as still as glass and the temperature was perfect for cruising. But, we had cousin Chris and family who were vacationing at St. Simons Island from Michigan and we’d planned to rendezvous with them. After cleaning the boat, lunch and final organizing, Chris, Brenda, and the girls came by the boat. Had dinner and a drive around the Island with them. To bed by 9:30 for an early departure on Wednesday.

Underway

As we put the last things on the boat last night, the dolphins were swimming around out front. We’re sure they were saying their good byes. MemoryMaker is loaded…really loaded. We’ve filled every nook ‘n cranny. We have the bikes strapped onto the back of the swim platform. Tides up, water is smooth as glass out in front of our dock. We’re off!

Less than 48 hours from departure. David has spent most of the day organizing and putting things away on the boat. Never seems to be enough space. Most of the food is packed. Barbara’s clothes are all on board. There’s excitment in the air!