Charleston, SC, to Thunderbolt, GA

Charleston, SC

Monday, November 10, 2003

While Bob went to work, we borrowed his car and moved our gear, clean clothes and lots of good food on to the boat. Bob left work early and we picked him up and returned to the house to get Pat. Finally, the four of us returned to the marina and had a nice visit on board before saying our good-byes to Pat & Bob.

Bill decided to wash our sleeping bags at the marina laundry. Later, we joined Bill and Susan of Osprey at a local sports bar to watch the Packers and the Patriots trade fumbles in the cold rain and snow at Green Bay. We left at the half to get some sleep before a planned early departure.

Charleston, SC

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Morning dawned clear but dense fog immediately shrouded the sunrise and stubbornly refused to clear until nearly noon. Since we’d already stayed at the marina for six days, the weekly rate kicked in and effectively gave us the seventh night free. We decided to stay. Besides, it turned out to be a really nice day!

Bill attended to an additional coat of varnish for our sorely neglected bright work while Sandy explored a bit more of downtown Charleston. That evening we hosted happy hour on our boat for Osprey and prepared a light dinner of soup.

Charleston, SC, to Mosquito Creek, SC

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

We left Charleston Wednesday morning … a bright clear day that eventually hit 80°. We pulled away from the dock about 8:30 to be in line for the 9:00 opening of the Wappoo Creek Bridge, which leads to the notoriously swift currents in Elliott Cut and into the Stono River. With winds, again from the south at 10-15 miles per hour, we motored the entire day to our anchorage where we joined about eight other boats in Mosquito Creek. It was a very pretty anchorage in a narrow creek with a few homes and B&B Seafood along the shore. We were tempted to launch the dinghy to buy some fresh fish. But, it had been a long day and we settled for our own grilled pork tenderloin, roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Mosquito Creek, SC to Beaufort, SC

Thursday, November 13, 2003

We pulled the anchor about 7:00 am. to go the short distance to Beaufort, SC. It was a beautiful morning with stiff southerly winds. We motored the short distance to Beaufort, SC, tying up at the Downtown Marina about 11:00. The winds continued to build.

Beaufort, SC, Waterfront
Beaufort, SC, Waterfront

Beaufort is a pretty riverside town, well kept and full of up-scale shops and waterfront restaurants. We washed the accumulation of salt spray from the boat and from our own bodies. While Sandy took a walk Bill got a much needed haircut … the first time someone other than Kathy Davis had cut it in many years. (Sandy even offered to go along to hold his hand!) We then when shopping for replacement sunglasses for Bill. Seems he had a tough time lately hanging onto them. He’d reverted to an old pair of B&Ls after he lost his Maui Jims overboard while racing in Havre de Grace. Those had been purchased in Auckland, NZ, when his fell apart right in front of the local Sunglass Hut. Now, he’d sat on the old pair and was reduced to a really inferior pair. The new Maui Jims are nice, but pricey!

That evening we retired to Luther’s on the water for a drink before heading back to the boat for dinner.

Beaufort, SC, to Thunderbolt, GA

Friday, November 14, 2003

We woke to a pretty but chilly morning, barely 40! Bill lit the propane cabin heater before visiting The Common Ground for his morning cup of coffee. Leaving Beaufort, we headed for Thunderbolt, near Savannah, arriving about 3:00. Just before Thunderbolt, we passed the riverside Bonaventure Cemetery made famous in “Midnight of the Garden of Good and Evil”.

Thunderbolt Marina used to be the Georgia home of Palmer Johnson Marine, builders of premier, world-class yachts. Although Palmer Johnson recently relocated to Savannah, proper, there were still several huge yachts in evidence at the marina which still does repairs on such vessels. To give you an idea of size, one was refueled while we were there. It took 16,000 gallons of fuel!

Here we hoped to connect with two packages. One was a knotmeter paddlewheel replacement for the wrong part that had arrived at Sandy’s brother’s house. The more important package was the three replacement lifeline stanchions that had been broken when we dragged anchor in Wrightsville Beach. When we inquired, though, there were no packages! Maybe they’ll arrive Saturday, we thought.

Thunderbolt Marina
Thunderbolt Marina

Not to worry, though. We had a great happy hour under the huge over-water gazebo, meeting a bunch of fellow cruisers. Then it was sautéed ham-steak with Sandy’s cold quinoa salad creation and applesauce. Delicious!

Saturday, Thunderbolt, GA

November 15, 2003

We shared a cab with Bill and Susan to the Visitor’s Center in downtown Savannah, then headed our separate ways on walking tours of the city. It’s beautiful! The unusual street grid design provides the largest number of public squares of any city in the US. They are beautifully maintained as small parks. Many of the streets are divided with gardens. Parks, gardens and streets are all generously wooded with live oaks and other species … a delightful place to walk. Of course, there are many famous buildings, mostly well cared for, some open to the public.

The day was beautiful and we took advantage of it by touring much of the city, including many of the squares and several churches. Especially beautiful was the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Of course, we couldn’t miss the “Jingle Bell Church”, where James Pierpoint composed the famous Christmas carol. He was music director of this church in the 1850s when he composed the song.

St. John's Church in Savannah
St. John’s Church in Savannah

When our legs and feet gave out, we had lunch in the Cotton Exchange on the waterfront. Sandy couldn’t resist purchasing a praline for dessert in one of the local candy shops. After touring a few more locations, including the Market area, Bill discovered that he’d misplaced his cell phone. We returned to the location but … no phone. Damn!

We returned to Thunderbolt and our boat by bus and reported the missing phone. Our inquiries about the packages we were supposed to receive indicated that nothing had arrived. Will we have to wait here another day? We considered the question as we consoled ourselves over dinner aboard.

Thunderbolt, GA

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Our exciting morning began with a couple loads of laundry. Then it was off to get a replacement cell phone and some groceries. The Verizon store was about six miles away. The dockmaster gave us a lift to the store where we took care of the cell phone. We then walked a couple of blocks to a grocery store, bought the list and called a cab for the ride back to the marina.

We looked over boats at the docks and struck up a conversation with Wally & Mebs Gillam aboard Gadzooks!, a PDQ 34 catamaran trawler who we’d been next to in Beaufort, SC. They’d purchased the boat a few weeks earlier at the boat show in Annapolis. They were taking it south to be loaded on a boat carrier to eventually be delivered to their home in the San Juan Islands between Washington state and British Columbia. Talk led to cocktails which lead to dinner. We walked to nearby Tubby’s Tank House for dinner. If there is such a thing as “good fried food” … this is “good fried food”! We should note, too, that we’re both spoiled by the plentiful sweetened iced tea served by virtually all restaurants in the south.