Tuesday July 28th Day 8 – Charleston.
Our second day in Charleston started off stormy and pretty much stayed that way the whole day! We completed a couple of chores and then took the marina courtesy shuttle into town. We had lunch at the Brown Dog Deli before visiting the Slave Market Museum. We had been once before about 7 years ago but wanted to go again as a refresher. This museum focuses not on the international slave trade but on domestic (internal) slavery. We were a bit startled by one of the displays that detailed the slave ship Lawrance. Unique in that it is the exact spelling of our last name – with the second “a” instead of “e”.
Afterwards we walked over to the Charleston Market and bought a couple of ice creams at Kilwins before getting an Uber back to the marina. We went back into town this evening an had an excellent meal at Hank’s Seafood Restaurant – in fact we reckon it was the best meal of the trip so far.
Wednesday July 29th Day 9 – Charleston to Winyah Bay.
We awoke to another stormy day but the forecast called for it to be less so north of Charleston. So we waited for a couple of rain storms to pass through then went north through the inlet running from the pilot house. We watched as storm after storm hit Charleston behind us, but we stayed ahead of them. It was a choppy sea though, with sharp swells.
At lunchtime Sian went below to prepare lunch. Just as she was coming back up the steps from the galley a swell hit us and Sian was tossed back into the galley, hitting the countertop on the way down. She was holding the handrail at the time but the swell was so sharp that she couldn’t hold on. She ended up with a nice bruise on her thigh and sore hand and forearm.
The seas did calm somewhat an hour before entered Winyah Bay inlet. We had an easy entry and anchored beneath the Georgetown lighthouse. We took Bella for an off-leash walk on the long soft sand beach.
Thursday July 29th Day 10- Winyah Bay to Little River.
We had an excellent and very quiet night at anchor. It was a short run today so Sian took Bella to the beach again for an hour. Bella had a lovely time running free ahead of her on the shore. We then headed back out the inlet and had a excellent run north to Little River inlet on a calm Atlantic Ocean – totally different from yesterday.
We tried booking a slip at Ocean Isle Marina and Yacht Club but they told us that sands blown in from recent storms had reduced their dockside depth to four feet at low tide, and we need a minimum of six. So we back tracked for two miles on the ICW and tied up on the face dock at Cricket Cove marina. We noticed plenty of no wake signs, but people were still blowing past at speed. A large number of jet ski groups flew past relentlessly. Paul asked the dockmaster about it and was told that the signs were unofficial! It was a rocky evening tied up to the face dock and Bella was worried by the movement of the boat. We went up to Snooky’s restaurant and had excellent shrimp and cocktails, then later return for a very nice dinner. Thankfully traffic died down and it was a quiet night at the dock.
Friday July 30th Day 11 – Little River to Bald Head Island.
We had another short run today. We wanted to stop at Bald Head Island and see our cruising friend Betty Robinson. Offshore conditions were not forecast to be comfortable so we ran up the ICW. Paul and Theresa on Soulmate (folks we met in Charleston) had emailed us to say they were at Safe Harbor Marina in Southport and we passed them and their beautiful sailing cat on the way. They came out to wave as we passed. We wanted to enter Bald Head Island marina at slack tide as their entrance channel could be difficult in a strong current. We were ahead of schedule so we stopped at St James Plantation Marina for fuel. As we exited the ICW into the Cape Fear River we found heavy seas running from the inlet. In fact when we called the marina to say we were nearing they warned us that conditions were “a little salty”. However we got in OK. Our friend Betty picked us up in her golf cart and took us to her beautiful home perched on the sand dunes of the island, and cooked us a wonderful dinner finished off with homemade ice cream.
Saturday July 31st Day 12 – Bald Head Island to Wrightsville Beach.
We had another short run of just three hours to the Wrightsville Beach Marina. We wanted to visit with our cruising friends the McCarleys who live in Rayleigh but keep their Hatteras 63 in Wrightsville Beach. They were going to come stay on their boat for the weekend and meet us. Given that it was a summer Saturday the waterways were extremely busy and we were looking forward to getting off the water by lunchtime! After we tied up Suzie McCarley picked us up and took us over to the supermarket for fresh veggies and fruit. We then joined John and Suzie on their 63 foot Hatteras fora wonderful dinner, completed with peach pie.
Sunday August 1st Day 13 – At Wrightsville Beach.
We awoke to an email from Paul and Theresa on Soulmate saying they were here in Wrightsville Beach. We went out to our cockpit and saw that they were tied up directly across he ICW from us at the Bridge Keeper Marina! We called across to them as they were leaving later in the morning. We had a relaxing day in Wrightsville Beach. After Sian took Bella for her walk at the local park we walked over to the Gulfstream restaurant right by the marina for breakfast. Then Sian did a couple of loads of laundry while Paul filled the fresh water tanks.
Sian walked the dock and talked to the couple on the 80 foot Marlow “Scott Free” tied up in front of us while Bella stood on our foredeck and kept an eye on their dog!
John and Suzie joined us for a while in the afternoon and then we went up to the Bluewater Grill for dinner. On the way we passed the beautiful 53 foot Selene Slip Away in the marina and chatted with the owners who had just bought her and were on their way to cruise the Chesapeake.
Monday August 2nd Day 14 – Wrightsville Beach to Myrtle Beach.
Another shortish day’s cruise today (we are getting to like the idea of shorter days!). It was amazing the difference between Saturday and Monday regarding the number of boats on the water! The temperature had dropped as well from the 90s to the 80s! We had an uneventful pleasant run through Carolina Beach, the Cape Fear river into the ICW at Southport. We were tied up at our slip at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club by 3pm. We went up to Clark’s Restaurant for dinner overlooking the marina and Sonas.
Some more photos from week 2;