July 08, 2008
We left Dock Holidays a little after 6:00 a.m. on the 4th of July, which was one of the best decisions we have made on this trip. There was little or no traffic as we left the marina. Bill checked to see if there was any commercial traffic in the “Rock Pile,” and there was one tug, but he wasn’t pushing a barge, only a “mike,” whatever that is, which we determined was something smaller when we finally passed him. We saw lots of jet skis and small boats, but none that were running. The tug boat and a couple of fishing boats were all we saw on the water until we approached the Socastee Swing Bridge, only about two miles from our destination. Then, there seemed to be a little community with rental jet skis and docks, and the traffic began to pick up. We turned into the Osprey Marina channel before we had suffered through too many speed boats, but the traffic was definitely picking up.
Osprey Marina turned out to be a real gem. We fueled up and were docked beside a huge sports fisherman that was undergoing refurbishing. The marina was isolated from the waterway so we had no wakes and no loud motors to contend with. We basically hung out for two days. The marina was really welcoming, though; they gave us a block of cheese and crackers, a coozie, a whistle attached to a key-keeper, a magnet, matches, and a postcard. We met more nice people, but no more sail boaters. Seems as though power boaters are the preferred mode of travel. I was able to get in a little bit of aerobic exercise, which possibly offset the French toast and sausage from the grill, but I doubt it. Anyway, it’s a great marina and deserves consideration for anyone traveling the Waccamaw. Bill worked on the hose leading to the engine that was weeping and “fingers crossed” seems to have solved the leaking diesel problem. Mr. Fix-It scores again. When Bill was washing the boat, his watch, which has lost its little pin in the band several times, which he found and replaced, popped the pin out again, and he watched it sink into the inky water. Since it is water proof, it is probably still ticking!
Loaded up with ice, we set off on Sunday around 10:00 to go to our anchorage in Bull Creek. We knew it was still 4th of July weekend, but we thought things would be settled down, and they were. We arrived at Bull Creek in about an hour and a half; then, we spent another hour and a half trying to get the anchor to hold. We had about 6 attempts until we finally felt we were partially secure. All the while, there were small boats and jet skis coming and going on the sandy beach off our port side. We watched and watched the track line on the GPS, but were pretty uneasy. We waited for the tide to turn to make sure we were holding fast. Finally, the jet skis and motor boats left the sandy beach, the anchor seemed to be holding, and we cooked steaks, heated up a previously cooked baked potato, made a fruit and spinach salad, and read our Jack Reacher books until we couldn’t stay awake any longer. Did I mention that the water pump is again acting up, so we relay our showers using “water on” and “water off” commands so the pump doesn’t burn out completely.
We left Bull Creek a lot easier than we entered. Pulling up the anchor took about 5 minutes as opposed to 90 putting it down. The weather was cloudy and stormy and the sky was looking worse by the minute. We got the cushions down below and Bill’s slicker out before the rains came. It rained off and on most of the day with many lightening strikes. We briefly saw one rainbow, but the rain quit and the sun began to shine as we approached our anchorage – the South Santee River. I called the City Marina in Charleston to make a transient reservation for the next night, and found to my dismay that the yearly Bill Fish Tournament was going on and no reservations were accepted. Luckily, we were able to secure a slip at Isle of Palms north of Charleston. Have I mentioned that our timing on this trip is really exceptional?
After reaching South Santee River, we threaded our way in among the numerous crab pots and anchored in approximately the same place we were before. We had a spectacular sunset and ate Dinty Moore Beef Stew. The tide there was quite strong and the wind blowing from the opposite direction created opposing forces, but when the tide changed, we straightened out and seemed to be anchored securely, so we spent a peaceful night. A big trawler came part of the way up the river around dusk and anchored, but even its generator wasn’t enough to keep us awake.
We left the anchorage early and proceeded back to the ICW. We passed the house of my sorority sister, Bonnie, on the waterway, but she wasn’t home when I called. However, she called her husband, and he was fishing on the waterway. He said he saw our sailboat, so Bonnie called me back to tell me where he was. When we reached him, we had a nice time getting acquainted with him as we both idled along for 10 minutes. Then we waved good-bye and continued to Isle of Palms. The horse flies were thick as thieves and we spent the day killing as many as we could in between bites. I decided I’d count how many casualties I inflicted, and I was up to 58 confirmed dead by the time we got to the marina. I don’t know how many Bill got, but certainly got his fair share. They inflicted their own punishment, though. When we were in Bull Creek, I discovered I had tiny little red bites on both feet, but particularly my right one. Bill said they looked like seed tick bites, but where does one come across seed ticks on a sailboat? Then I remembered that when I went on my 2 mile walk at Osprey Marina, I stopped to look at a herd of goats in a fenced-in pasture. I didn’t get close to the fence, but I did walk in the grass, so I guess I picked up a few hitch-hikers. Anyway, my right foot looks like an extremely bad case of measles, and my left like an average case. In any event, they both itch like crazy, and I’m sure it will continue for days to come. This is a really nice marina and we both enjoyed nice, long showers with “water on” for long periods of time. We are anticipating Bonnie’s arrival to join us for dinner, and know we’ll have a great evening visiting with her.
Because we didn’t make it to Charleston, our ETA for Hilton Head looks like Friday, but I’ll try and keep you updated. We are SO ready to be home.