Leaving North Carolina, we knew that the next two states, South Carolina and Georgia, were going to offer unique experiences, but also very shallow waterways and, yes, lots of bridges.
So, lots of planning.
And I do mean lots! Somehow, we have to find a route for the day that meets the following requirements:
And, it is working. So far, the score board is: 0 bridges touched with our mast, 0 times gone aground, 0 times Ocean has had to cross her legs because we couldn’t get her to shore. 😊
But it isn’t just a slog of a journey. No, we have just about completed South Carolina and we have seen some truly wonderful places and sights as we motor down the ICW. Dolphins continue to be a real treat and, gosh, when they get really close alongside our hull…well, that is magic. We also see lots of bald eagles and pelicans and incredible terrain and vistas.
Having a dog, especially one that isn’t quite yet trained to do her business on deck, we need to go ashore. And this is where the beauty of some of our anchorages really gets uncovered. In towns, we get to see a bit of the local flare. Feral cats along the Waccamaw River, a beach made entirely of oyster shells, large plantation oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them, and beautiful country homes. And always, I mean al-ways, people chatting with us about Ocean. We meet so many people who want to pet her, tell us about their dog or just give us a wave and say “that is one beautiful pup y’all have”. Incredible.
Most days are amazing but not all days are easy. Boat issues that spring up out of nowhere are our biggest stressor. Not only do we have to manage “the moment” i.e. getting the boat to a safe place where a proper assessment of the issue and cause can be done, but we actually need to solve the issue. Boat mechanics are not readily available so most fixes fall on us (i.e. Mike). Some issues are a constant worry (like our bow thruster or our alternator misalignment) but others pop up, are resolved and we move on (like our starboard helm suddenly becoming non-functional). We don’t have any specific expertise in this stuff but, man, Mike will be able to teach a master class when we complete this journey! He is a great problem solver and that skill has been key in keeping us going. He uses a unique blend of mechanical ingenuity, common sense, stubbornness and ego (will not be defeated) to somehow put us back in the forward position. Honestly, most days I am in awe.
So, yes, this journey so far has been a challenge but the rewards come daily. We are looking forward to getting to Georgia with its very shallow sections. Many sailors choose to go out into the Atlantic rather than deal with Georgia. Not us. Next week we will have Georgia on our minds 😊.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.