Farther south. 20 March, 2012
I saw our first wild palm tree today, at around statute mile 428 on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), just a couple miles above McClellanville, SC. I had been looking for them since leaving Baltimore last fall. They were to be my indicator of truly being back down south.
We were looking for an excuse to stop in McClellanville, but could find none. It used to be producer of canned oysters, but nobody buys canned oysters these days so that industry dried up. Shucks.
We met our first barge of the trip. I recall our concerns about meeting barges when we first set out several years ago in areas of heavy commercial traffic. It is pretty much a non-event. They throw virtually no wake, which made me think of erosion from wakes. It is easy and worrisome to see the damage caused by boat wakes, but the barges don’t contribute much to this. Neither do the sailboats. Power boats of all sizes throw substantial wakes depending on their size, hull design and speed. A big boat can throw a small wake and vice versa. The worst we’ve seen come from a variety of boats referred to as sport fishermen. Those wakes can roll us violently if we don’t turn to catch them bow on, and you can see the wake ripping along shore as it progresses along. It won’t surprise me to hear of imposed speed limits someday just to prevent erosion.
Other sights of the day? Pelicans diving into the water around us. Storks and other long legged long necked birds fishing in the shallows. Dolphins rising around the boat. Bright light green spring leaves on trees and shrubs. A couple on another sailboat cuddling under a blanket in their cockpit to watch the sunset.
We passed an anchorage where we stopped in April of 2010 when headed north for Ben’s graduation in DC. We saw notes on the chart indicating the previous owner had anchored there in April of 2005 when he brought the boat south from Maryland.
Many boats passed us heading north. Their sterns showed home ports in MD, RI, MA, ME and other states. We’re still watching for our first Canadian.
Barbara had a heavy workload today. She relieved me briefly at the helm a couple times, did some domestic chores such as cleaning the portlights, took care of some of our business items on line, made tasty sandwiches and veggies for lunch, did a little light reading, took a nap, helped with anchoring, and prepared a nice dinner, and worked on a wiring project for our dinette light as electrician trainee for the vessel. She also brought me a cold beer after we anchored, and a couple libations as the evening wore on. The poor lady needs a vacation!
I have a couple updates to pass along. The first is to Craig Johnston. He and his wife Barbara graciously accepted us as crew several years ago from St Helens, OR, down the west coast to San Francisco Bay, and then again from the Royal Kingdom of Tonga to New Zealand. Craig was involved in destructive testing of Nike products. Well, Craig, I’ve been involved in my own version of destructive testing of a pair of size 14 Nikes for several years. I thought they were finally ready to die when a flap of sole started working loose. Upon further inspection, they seem to holding up surprisingly well. I mentioned to my bride that I would ask you what to use to re-attach the loose sole material and she suggested I should buy a new pair and not be such a cheap so and so. However, I’m starting to see this as a challenge, so recommendations would be appreciated, Craig.
The second may appeal to Sean and Jeanne. The Westerkins starts right up every time and runs 40 PSI oil pressure and 180 temp and purrs along by the hour.