Beaufort SC and IPAs

Capt Mahty

The storms blew over us all night in Charleston Harbor. The large catamaran beat us off anchor by leaving in the dark. When I weighed anchor it came up muddy and with wooden debris possibly from an old sunken dock or similar? 

Fort Johnson Anchorage Debris

We cleared the debris and pulled out behind MV Gratitude but quickly fell behind her. She was moving at about 8 knots and we had the current against us and were ok to simply keep up 7 knots. 

Trying to keep up with MV Gratitude

We would be making way through Southern South Carolina’s ICW and it’s all about the tide in this area. Unfortunately, we were running into low tide. 

Big Tides in Southern South Carolina

You can see 7-8′ tides in these creeks and we were coming up to Watt’s Cut an infamous shallow cut. As we approached we saw a sailboat stalled out in Watts Cut. They were trying to find the deepest water in which to travel. 

Watt’s Cut – SHALLOW

We hailed them to pass and wanted to offer that they simply follow us but they only answered our hail enough to pass then must have been too busy finding the deep.

As we passed we both said, Is that boat that orange?

That’s One Orange Sailboat

We had to move over in Watt’s cut to get past the dredge that was in operation. We saw 5.8′ of depth just enough to slip through.

Watt’s Cut Dredging Operations

After getting by the dredge called “Tenacious” you can here my 6′ shallow water alarm going off. We had passed a SV Knee Deep who happily let us go first and requested that we hail them if we saw 6′ or less of water. 

We ran at a fast cruise of 8 knots trying to make Beaufort SC before Downtown Marina closed at 5PM. The currents were with us and we arrived with plenty of time to fuel up before they closed. 

267 Gallons of Diesel and a $5 pumpout

This lovely 55′ Fleming trawler pulled in after us.

55′ Fleming 

We got to watch as one of the sailors attempted to row his dinghy down current to chase his boat fender that was quickly getting away from him. Another sailor jumped in his motorized dinghy and quickly came to his rescue. There was no way once he retrieved his runaway fender that he was going to be able to row against the current in the Beaufort River. It was comical as they tried to make their way back. It took them a minute to figure out that both of them should be in the motorized dinghy and simply tow a lightweight dingy behind them. 

No! I think it’s THAT Way!
Waterfront Park, Beaufort, SC

We crashed through the back door of Plums restaurant for some burgers and IPA.

I found out later those were $7 drafts 

The next day we found our way to Q’s on Bay which had a larger selection of Craft Brew IPA. 

I’ll have one of each!

The crew was all smiles 

We awoke the next AM and the loaner car was out so we grabbed some more ice, dumped the trash, filled the water tanks, and made some breakfast. 

Our leg from Charleston, SC to Beaufort, SC looked something like this.. Not really as I did not take the time to figure out how to draw a finger line while staying on the ICW which snakes it’s way through many different creeks in these parts. But I think you’ll get the general direction. 

W02L018 – Charleston, SC – Beaufort, SC

Miss Dixie

We awoke this morning around 5AM. Still dark, our Adams Creek Anchorage was flat calm. I snapped a photo in time to catch both the red buoy & green can illuminated.

5AM Adam’s Creek

We stopped here in Adam’s Creek about 20 NM short of Beaufort, NC. It was a nice 60 degree day and the Patriots game was about to start @1PM. GO PATS!

However, let me take you back to how yesterday started. We weighed anchor in Campbell Creek and made our way @5kts out the 8 ft shallows.

Exiting Campbell Creek

We were a headin’ for the “Dog Ear”. That’s not an official term but if you look at the bathymetric charts long enough you’ll see it in the depth contour line.

A dog’s ear?

We had slipped past a still sleeping Canadian sailboat who was properly displaying the US flag above their homeland flag while in our waters.

We were back in Goose Creek and heading South past the USCG station and RE Mayo Seafood with their docks full of shrimp boats and ‘snowbirds’ as we ICW Travellers are often called.

USCG Station Hobucken

Shrimp Boats

RE Mayo Seafood & Docks

Soon we were turning to port to enter Adam’s Creek where we would drop anchor just feet off the ICW. We sat in the pilothouse watching the parade of boats heading South go by.

The Verizon cell service is 3G (not the faster LTE) so it would be like the internet of the 80’s.

We setup the OTA (Over The Air) TV antenna with hopes of getting the Patriots game in HD. However, North Carolina was only giving us Gospel TV and the PBS “Remembering Miss Dixie” bluegrass tribute concert.

PBS Remembering Miss Dixie tribute concert

Miss Dixie Hall was a prolific song writer who wrote more bluegrass songs than anyone else, some 500 songs. Many sung by country hit-makers from Johnny Cash to Miranda Lambert.

Miss Dixie and her husband Tom Hall

Miss Dixie will be remembered as a kind soul who devoted her life to animal rights as much as bluegrass music.

Yesterday’s short leg looked something like this.

W02L012

Okeechobee Waterway

Leaving Fort Meyers Beach we navigated our way out of the Northern entrance Channel.

FMB Channel 2

We made a last-minute decision to skip Captiva Island in favor of entering the Okeechobee Waterway.

Upon entering the Caloosahatchee River we passed many interesting sights.

Like these folks who just beached the boat and were enjoying the day.

Beached Boat 2

Then this house boat that I think had mannequins on the upper deck and an “Open for business sign”

House boat 7

Soon we were looking for a place to anchor and found a nice little turn in the Caloosahatchee right next to FPL – Florida Power and Light Power plant.

FPL 1

at night the Plant could be seen against the night sky.

FPL NIght 7

The next morning we weighed anchor and headed further down the river. We passed many houses..

Some homes for sale included an airfield so you could simply fly in for the weekend.

Airfield 5

Some farms had cows.

Cows 12

Some had horses.

Horses 1

Some like this home had a beautiful blue hulled Flemming trawler docked on the river.

Flemming

We passed under and requested a few bridge openings.

One particular bridge required contacting a woman over the VHF and waiting for her to walk out to the center of the bridge and have her swing the bridge open. She was very nice and wished us a safe passage as we motored through.

We soon passed this young girl who seemed to be hiding from the world.

Girl hiding

We had to passed through many Locks. Some were a walk in the park but one was full of DRAMA.

At one lock, I was working the lines by myself when I realized that I could not cleat both bow and stern and run fast enough between them to slip the lines. As the water poured into the lock chamber it pushed our full keel away from the concrete lock wall and I lost hold of the bow line. MV Simple Life instantly started to go sideways in the strong current. I had to quickly let go of the stern line and run for the helm. I quickly got the boat in gear and reversed the sideways spin.

Next the thrusters shutdown due to thermal overload and left me with a full-keel and a single engine, fighting to keep the boat from hitting the lock walls or the boats behind us. It was a drama filled full forward / reverse, hard over from stop to stop with the wheel. Kelly came running up and asked what she could do but at that point there wasn’t anything to be done but keep the boat from smashing into the walls, boats, or lock doors. By the time the drama ended, a lesson had been learned. I’ll call that “experience” one day. Never take the lock lines of the cleats and place the fenders as far forward and stern as possible and lastly, use the boat hook to fend-off the concrete walls as the boat twists in the current.

I don’t have a video of the moment of drama but I do have this videos of much more serene lock passings.

We arrived at Lake Okeechobee before sunset but had to tie to a dock because the last lock was closed for the evening. We tied to a small dock next to the larger Moore Haven City Docks. We had to google to find the small dock owner’s name and phone number. We called and found out that he was out-of-town on a family emergency but we found a way to pay him through the DockWa app.

The next morning we shoved off the dock but had to wait for a train bridge that was in the down position.

Since we were waiting on the train anyways, I decided to pull into a marina near the bridge and see if they had any ice. What an interesting stop. I walked up to the marina shack and found a group of men just kicking back in chairs sharing some beer and watching the day pass. They greeted me with a smile and complemented my docking skills. I reminded them that when you have a bow & stern thruster it can make a spinning docking maneuver look easy. They were so friendly, I sat down and talked with them for a while. The marina owner explained that he recently purchased the marina and I asked why he was not on ActiveCaptain.com? He said he was sure that he was on AC but after I showed him I had the latest copy of the AC DB and he was not on it.

AC Moore Haven

The friendly gentleman asked if I could help get him into AC. I spent some time trying before finally emailing AC with my request and I received an email back from Karen Siegal, who I recognized as one of the co-founders of AC. I explained that AC as well as DockWa were two applications that will drive 90% of all transient docking business and we departed with a bag of ice and some fishing gear that I purchased while there.

Once in Lake Okeechobee it was beautiful. Full of amazing trees, birds and alligators.

Lake Okeechobee was very windy and choppy. The crossing had spray hitting the pilothouse windows be inside we were warm and dry.

Out the back you could watch the brown lake water as it boiled up from below.

There are two Easterly routes to the St Lucie river on the Eastern side of Lake O. We decided not to take route #2 often called the Southern Rim Route as it traverses the small towns on the south lake shore. Instead, we took route #1 which crosses in somewhat of a straight line directly to Port Mayaca lock on the Eastern shore.

Okee 68

Upon arrival at the Eastern shore, the lock was closed so we simply dropped anchor right next to lock entrance channel.

Okee Anchor 1

The sunset was amazing. We watched as it slowly sank beneath the lake. Then it was gone.

The next morning we entered the St. Lucie river and passed several interesting sights.

At one point the weather turned bad and local radar images showed we were getting hit with some strong winds and rain. We lowered the flags and closed the windows and pushed on till it passed over us.

weather-radar.png

Soon we exited the St. Lucie River right at the Saint Lucie Inlet and found a nice little anchorage spot just North of the inlet.

Marriott Anchorage

Next stop Vero Beach.

Old Dogs and New Tricks

I wanted to provide an update on the dogs and the poop situation!  The great news is they have both learned to successfully use the artificial turf!  I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks!  Happy, our 7 year old and Chief Brody, our 6 year old Boston Terriers are now signaling when they need to go out back and do their “business!”  We’ve temporarily called the companionway the “Poop Deck.”

In naval architecture, a poop deck is a deck that forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear, or “aft”, part of the superstructure of a ship.[1]

The name originates from the French word for stern, la poupe, from Latin puppis. Thus the poop deck is technically a stern deck, which in sailing ships was usually elevated as the roof of the stern or “after” cabin, also known as the “poop cabin”. In sailing ships, with the helmsman at the stern, an elevated position was ideal for both navigation and observation of the crew and sails.

I really thought it meant something else but that’s my juvenile humor!  Regardless, the captain is thrilled to leave the dingy safely on the fly bridge and let them do their business on the “Poop Deck!”  Then we’re running around for treats like they are puppies again while congratulating them for going to their designated area!!!  Boy, they have it made!