Chesapeake to Savannah: October 17 - 30, 2006

We left the boat at Atlantic Yacht Basin, in Chesapeake, VA, while we where in Spain.   Arrived back at the boat after some 21 hours of flying and/or sitting in airports, followed by 3 additional hours waiting for our luggage to catch up with us, followed by what would normally be a 3-hour drive from Washington, DC to the boat, but that was in fact closer to a 4-hour drive since the driver (Chuck) had to make many stops to prevent falling asleep at the wheel.   So it was about 2:30 AM when we arrived back at the boat, at a time that our bodies perceived to be 8:30 AM.   We had been up for about 30 hours!  We spent the next day (10/17/06) recovering, and had a very pleasant visit with John and Evie on Eldridge C that evening.   The next day we departed around noon, and almost immediately hit a submerged log.  Chuck didn't see it at all, but Barb saw it bob up behind the boat after we passed.   Immediately picked up a bit of a vibration which worsened with increased rpm's.   We kept going.  Spent the night at anchorage a little south of Coinjock, at the very spot near Buck Island, NC, where Jack and Jo on Bodacious had been smeared August 2005 by a swarm of little bugs that left a horrible green stain on their boat.  Guess what?   They are still swarming in October.   We were very distressed to discover green stains the next morning.   Memo to selves:   NEVER ANCHOR AGAIN IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF COINJOCK.   ENJOY COINJOCK'S DOCK AND HUMONGOUS PRIME RIB FOR TWO FROM NOW ON!

10/19 we stopped temporarily around noon at Alligator Creek Marina to refuel -- they having the cheapest fuel ($1.99/gal) immediately along the ICW that we know of.   Then proceeded further south on the Alligator River to Tuckahoe Point, where we were joined at the anchorage by Phyllis and Tom on Cocoon.  They had us over for Prime Rib and Phyllis' famous Yorkies!  It was so good to again see our cruising friends from last winter in the Exumas -- and Phyllis' cooking remains as superb as ever.  The next day as we were leaving Tom radioed that Barb had left a sweater on board, and since we had already put our dinghy back up on our top deck, it was decided that Chuck would inch up to their boat and they would hand off the sweater.   Hmm.  Probably should have discussed that idea in a little more detail, and maybe planned it out a little more.   We didn't hit them, but Barb reports that we missed them not by yards, not by feet, and maybe not by inches plural.   Chuck has played and replayed the episode in his mind, and thinks he now knows what he should have done.   Whew!   That was a close one.  

Oh, another noteworthy aspect of Tuckahoe Point:  it apparently is exactly on the path for training flights of fighter jets.  The anchorage looks wild and rural and isolated, but when three or four jets repeatedly roar over at low altitude and extremely high speed, it sure doesn't sound isolated.

Anchored 10/20 off the Neuse, just north of Oriental in Broad Creek, where we found very welcome and very helpful local channel markers.   Pulled into Mile Hammock near nightfall on 10/21, where we discovered  Joe and Trina on Snow Goose, and were shortly joined by Seth and Judy on Steadfast.  Everyone was too tired to lower a dinghy, so we contented ourselves with brief waves and shouted greetings across the crowded anchorage.  The next night we tried to inch our way through the falling rain into the little anchorage at Pipeline Canal just past Southport, but when we touched bottom trying to make room for ourselves, we decided to exit and instead take a slip at the nearby South Harbour Village Marina, even though we knew that since it was Sunday the Village's fabulous Italian restaurant would not be open.   Joe and Trina soon showed up as well, and we joined them aboard Snow Goose for the cocktail hour (which turned into 2 or 3 hours.)

We got an early start the next morning (10/23), and had excellent luck with the bridges.   Arrived at Barefoot Landing before 1 PM, and gladly claimed our reservation, since a) we like the place -- especially since electricity and water are now provided and rafting up is no longer permitted, and b) a cold front with accompanying high winds were due, and c) Chuck had come down with a lousy cold and did not feel so very chipper.   Snow Goose and Steadfast soon pulled in as well, and we enjoyed the happy hour appetizers together at the adjacent bar/restaurant that evening.   They departed the next morning, but since all three reasons still seemed valid to us, we stayed an extra day.

Anchored in South Santee River on 10/25, and Church Creek the next night.   Strange thing here (MM 488.2).   Felt a peculiar "jolt" in the evening, but then nothing.  Thought maybe a small log had floated by and bumped us.  Next morning, discovered that the chain was stuck on something.  Not the anchor, but the end of the deployed 125' of chain that was closest to the boat.   So close, that we couldn't even get it up far enough to remove the anchoring bridal.   The windlass couldn't break it free, nor did it help to back up.   Finally got it to break loose by going forward at an angle.  So apparently the jolt had actually been the consequence of the chain snagging on whatever was down there.  Had used the anchorage before, and find it strategically located, but we'll try to avoid that exact spot next time.

As we approached Beaufort Downtown Marina later that day (10/27), we learned that good friends from Savannah were also headed that way.  Ed and Gwen on Ol' Friend were among a small armada of boats from The Savannah Yacht Club that were cruising to Beaufort for the weekend in order to attend a multi-day tour of homes.  Ernie and Kathy were also in the group, and they graciously invited us to join the group on Friday and Saturday night for cocktails on their new Saber Trillium.   It blew like crazy on Friday night -- it was good to be tied securely to a dock.

We anchored (10/30) in a favorite spot: Bull Creek, just north of Daufuskie Island.   Timed our departure the next morning to arrive at Delegal Creek Marina on a rising tide with the tide halfway in, and secured our slip without incident.   As we passed Savannah we saw Air Force One arriving at Hunter Army Airfield with President Bush.   With elections coming very soon, he apparently discovered a pressing need to visit Georgia in order to honor some student at nearby Georgia Southern University.

Phyllis making her fabulous Yorkies

Cable car going over ICW south of Barefoot Landing

Party aboard Trillium at Beaufort, SC with friends Ed & Gwen, Ernie & Kathy, and a surprising number of other members of SYC.

Air Force One w/Bush onboard flying from Charleston to Savannah as we cruised down the ICW