Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Great Dismal Swamp to Charleston, SC

Wendy and I have always loved the east coast and now being able to see it from the water as we traveled down the ICW was incredible.  Much of the waterway through upper NC is not very developed so we loved the remote areas and the natural life.  We began to enjoy being out at anchor instead of in marinas, even though I worried at each new sound to make sure that all systems were good with Forever Exploring.   We soon got into a pretty good routine of traveling each day, and tried to balance some stops along the way with our mission of getting South.  

Elizabeth City, NC - Great shrimp dinner at Quality Seafood and we bought fresh shrimp f or another meal.

Dowery Creek Marina, Belhaven, NC - Restocked with groceries, got a run in and ran the heat, yay!  We planned to stay the next day for their Thanksgiving pot luck dinner, but decided to move along and after a day's travel, we anchored and celebrated Thanksgiving at sunset with Larceny bourbon on the flybridge... perfect.

Carolina Beach, NC - We planned to stop at Wrightsville Beach, but the on-coming yacht traffic made us nervous to make the left turn at the draw bridge, so we kept straight!  Carolina Beach was great and we picked up our first mooring ball.  We had read quite about how to pick up a mooring ball, but with zero wind, it was uneventful.  Then we lowered the dingy for the first time by ourselves, having our scoot around transportation was exciting and it took us to breakfast out the next morning.

Charleston, SC - Approaching Charleston, we ran aground just north of the Sullivan's Island Bridge.  Actually, a dredge was working the area and I got confused on which side of his yellow buoy to go on.  The rising tide assured us only about 15 minutes of embarrassment, and soon we were off... another first!   It was great to see my nephew Lex and his girlfriend Sara who joined us in Charleston for lunch.  
Two days at anchor across the Ashley River for the Charleston City Marina provided for a trip to the grocery store and lunch with Lex and Sara.

We got pretty good at setting the anchor, hand signals and all.  The previous owners had made a good harness to spread that load of the anchor chain to the front hawse pipes.

We love our waterfront view, and we looked forward to the incredible sunsets each day.

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