ICW Southbound – MM 777 to 830 – Day 11

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

Sadly, tomorrow is our last day aboard Drift Away for this trip. We are headed to Daytona Beach, Florida today and tomorrow we will pull the boat out and drive the 13 hours home to Virginia. We wanted to make the most of our day though and started early down the Intracoastal. It was again fairly straight and easy other than a few more reminders of storms. Along this stretch, we saw the most masts and abandoned boats than any other stretch of the trip. There is something very eery and unnerving about seeing just the mast of a sail poking thru the water.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

Once we got settled at the beautiful Halifax Harbor Marina, we headed to the infamous Daytona Beach. We had another interesting Uber ride that seemed to last forever because it was bike week or big truck week or something. Isnt there always some kind of “week” in Daytona Beach? We finally made it to blue water and white sand and enjoyed lunch at Ocean Deck. The restaurant has been around for ages and although its known to be a bit wild it was the perfect mix of entertainment and family friendly. Its also LITERALLY on the beach and you can put your toes in the sand while you eat and drink. We then took a walk along the sand to some awesome shoppes and the biggest Joe’s Crab Shack I have ever seen.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We love Sloppy Joes in Key West so we decided to grab dinner at the one in Daytona Beach. While it was every bit different than Key West it was still a great time and offered a good view of the water. The local crowd there was very friendly and one gentleman who was photographing beach scenes from the Sloppy Joe’s deck even bought Peyton a toy from the gift shop.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Tomorrow, we are getting up at first light to pull the boat from the marina, load it on the trailer and make the trip home. We really hope you have enjoyed our travel journey and stay tuned for the next adventure!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
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Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

ICW Southbound – MM 747 to 777 – Day 10

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Today we traveled 30 miles to St. Augustine, Florida. The trip was easy, fast and straight. That seems to be a common theme in Florida! Just before crossing the beautiful “Bridge of Lions” in St. Augustine, we passed a gorgeous tall ship named The Schooner Freedom that does day charters and sunset sails. It looked so majestic in the middle of the water with all its sails flying high.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Just past the bridge we settled in at St. Augustine Municipal Marina and even though they were hit hard by Hurricane Irma, we managed to get a nice interior spot (something we have come to treasure after Thunderbolt!) It seemed everywhere we went there were reminders of Mother Nature. Whether it be damage from Hurricane Irma and 2016’s Hurricane Matthew or the still lingering Tropical Storm Alberto who seemed to give us a good shower each day.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We enjoyed another great meal at a place called Harry’s New Orleans Cuisine and then walked the old cobblestone streets. There were several shops and restaurants along the street. A downpour hit us again and we dipped into a spot called Prohibition Kitchen. I wish we had been able to spend more time here! It was dark but open with a rustic and cool 1920’s vibe. We had a quick appetizer to let the rain pass and continued our walking touring of St. Augustine.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

St. Augustine is rich in history and it shows on every corner. Explorer, Ponce de Leon claims to have discovered “La Florida” near what is now St. Augustine and its also believed to be one of the locations of his famous Fountain of Youth. Lesser known stories tell of Ponce de Leon discovering a current that pushed his ships northward more quickly than other currents and this current was later named the now well known Gulf Stream. I really wished the rain hadn’t been so heavy this day as there was SO much more to explore than we had time for in one day.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

ICW Southbound – MM 717 to 747 – Day 9

 

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We had another short 30 mile journey to Jacksonville Beach, Florida this morning. It was an easy, fast ride and we arrived early enough to enjoy the day there! We settled into Palm Cove Marina and then went to lunch along the beach. We had a great meal at an open air cafe, Ocean Grille and Bar, and watched the waves crash while we ate. It was obvious we had made it further south as the color of the water was getting bluer and bluer.  

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

After lunch, we spent a while relaxing on the beach and then went back to the marina. Palm Cove has very nice facilities, including a really nice pool that their transient guests have access to. If you stumbled upon this blog looking for ICW tips and recommendations then I highly encourage you to look for marinas with pools if you are boating with kids!! Its really a deal breaker with our child. On such hot days, it was so nice to relax, play and cool off in the pool. While we are underway, we don’t have AC power to run the Air Conditioner and don’t use the generator, therefore it gets really hot on the boat everyday. Many afternoons it would take several hours for the boat to cool down once plugging back into shore power. Finding ways to cool off is a must.  

Our Marine Air Conditioner is a Mermaid Marine 5200 BTU AC Unit with Reverse Cycle Heat. This particular unit is roughly 20 years old and isn’t cooling as well as it used to. I’m guessing it needs a recharge, but it uses the older Freon that is difficult to come by nowadays. I would love to hear from someone knowledgeable about Marine AC units on whether we can recharge this unit or if it needs to be replaced. The coils and filter are clean, but we’re not getting super cold air out of the ducts. It can’t keep up during the heat of the day. Complicating things, this is not a factory installation, so the two ducts were routed with limited access and probably aren’t in ideal locations for cooling the boat. I also believe this 5200 BTU unit is slightly undersized for our 27 ft. cruiser.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

After a few hours at the pool, we showered and then went to dinner. There is a restaurant onsite at the marina called Marker 32. This restaurant was a bit fancier than we would typically take our rambunctious child to but the atmosphere was loud so we went for it. I’m so glad we were able to eat there as the food was phenomenal! Everything seemed fresh and well prepared. After our meal we went back to our boat to relax and unwind from a great day.

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ICW Southbound – MM 685 to 717 – Day 8

 

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise and I couldn’t resist another opportunity to take the golf cart to several small shops that are part of the Beach Village shopping complex. It had a wonderful mix of souvenir shops, beach apparel and outdoor stores. There were also several restaurants and a Westin with a Starbucks! After window shopping, we headed back to the boat to prepare for our next 37 miles to Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. We left on a rising tide and even though the miles were short the journey was long. Just past Jekyll Island we had our first and my least favorite sound crossing at St. Andrews Sound. Even though its a very large sound it is known to be shallow and isn’t recommended for boaters headed into the ocean who are traveling outside. The magenta line also took us to the edge of the open ocean, before taking a 90 degree turn to head back inland. We saw several small fishing boats cut off the corner but we decided after reading several charts and books to stay with our line just to be safe. It was a bit unnerving to be in the open ocean however!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

After a successful crossing we started the journey past Cumberland Island. The island is known as one of Georgia’s largest barrier islands with beautiful marshes and unspoiled beaches. It is rich in history and looked like a great spot for a day trip or camping on another occasion. We added it to our ever  growing list of places we would never have known about and now want to visit thanks to these Intracoastal trips. It is quite a long island with most of our trip today just west of its marshy shoreline. As we cruised thru the skinny channel we noticed what appeared to be a hunting cabin up ahead. I pulled out the binoculars and, as we got closer, we discovered Cabin Bluff. It was originally founded in the 1800’s as the first members-only hunting club in the US. It became Cabin Bluff in 1928 and served as a hunting and fishing lodge for wealthy southerners and northerners alike. Today it is the perfect corporate or large family retreat. Although we weren’t able to get too close, we could see a gorgeous dock and beautiful, rustic facilities. It appears to have a pond on the property, a pool, tennis courts and even a golf course.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We continued meandering thru Fancy Bluff Creek and on to Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. According to my waterway guide, this area is very restricted and you must not only pay close attention to the channel markers but also stay alert for the safety boats who are in the water patrolling with the submarines. If a sub was in the water during that time, then you would be escorted thru the area by one of these boats. Oh joy! As we got closer and closer, we ran into another Navy dredger. Double Joy! Philip, the ever mindful captain, slowly navigated us thru the treacherous waters following all the different and lesser known waterway markers as I babbled on in his ear telling him everything my Waterway Guide book said to do.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We made it through and found ourselves finally in Florida and the beginning of Amelia Island! We crossed the Amelia River and marveled at how industrial the island appeared to be. Soon after, we passed the downtown marina, Fernindina Harbor Marina, where we had hoped to stay. However, thanks to Hurricane Matthew and what seems to be a two-year cluster of government red tape, they only have 3-5 slips available at any given time. We instead went a little further down the island to the gorgeous Amelia Island Marina. Not a moment to late, we pulled into our slip and it started to pour down rain again, more remnants from TS Alberto. Once the rain finally passed, we showered and Ubered back up to the town of Fernindina Beach.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Another small, cute town with shops and restaurants, we walked around and explored a bit before having some Mexican for dinner. I could eat Mexican every day and we hit a jackpot at Pablo’s Mexican Cuisine. We then went up to the second level of the Salty Pelican and watched the boats pass by on the ICW. Peyton loved watching the train and walking around the fledgling Fernandina Harbor Marina.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

ICW Southbound – MM 618 to 685 – Day 7

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Today we have a longer cruise to Jekyll Island, so we awoke early and headed off a little after sunrise. The trip was about 70 miles, we wanted to be able to hit the beach and explore Jekyll, so arriving early was a must. We had several open ocean crossings and lots of big water, resulting in a bumpy trip. Saint Simons Sound was certainly the roughest water we encountered on our way to Jekyll Island. We also passed many bigger boats including a caravan of 3 boats about 60ft each. We wondered if they were delivering the boats somewhere or what their story was. Either way, bigger boats usually meaner bigger wakes so we slowed a lot to not get rocked.

We arrived at Jekyll Harbor Marina around lunchtime and immediately hopped off the boat to eat at its new Restaurant, Zachary’s Riverhouse. I had the most delicious shrimp salad sandwich as we overlooked the waterway and watched all the passing boats. We also noticed our 60ft friends, docked on the outside of the marina’s face dock, and its occupants heading off to what appeared to be an afternoon of golf. The marina was the second in two days that had a pool, unfortunately this one was closed. The marina also offers free golf carts (why is golf carting so much more fun than a car??) in 1.5 hour increments, so we headed out for some sand and beach instead of the pool.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
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Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

The beach was not what we were expecting. It looked exactly like hot cocoa and similar in warmth. We were already hot from the days journey and we weren’t able to stay long in the beating sun.

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Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

On the way back to the boat, we stopped by the grocery store for some re-provisioning and necessities. We had another thunderstorm hit around dinnertime so we opted to have dinner on the boat, relax and plan for the next day’s journey.

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Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

ICW Southbound – MM 583 to 618 – Day 6

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

We awoke to sunnier skies and started our 35 mile trek to Sunbury Crab Company Restaurant and Marina. A place known to be eclectic with a Key West vibe and amazing crabs that the family catches themselves. We had an easy trip meandering through smaller waterways with lots of marsh and pretty trees.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We exited the ICW and went a few miles west, up the Medway River, to Sunbury. As long as you follow your markers, its an easy journey. We got to Sunbury around noon and even though the restaurant was closed (we had MULTIPLE people tell us how good it was and we were so bummed) the family who owns it were still so welcoming and hospitable. They were definition of southern hospitality. Even though it was Memorial Day and they were officially closed, they invited us to the pool where we took a much needed dip and cooled off.  We instantly felt like we had known this family for a long time and a quick internet search reveals that many people have similar experiences here.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We then went back to the boat for some chores (always things to do) and then showers. We had dinner on the boat since there are not any options nearby, except the Crab Company. We got invited back for an after dinner jam session which sounded fun. Everyone in the family seems to be so musically talented! We watched Peyton play in the pool again while we listened to the impromptu concert. I can’t say enough about how wonderful and accommodating this family was to us! We definitely plan to make a stop here again but we will make certain the restaurant is open!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

ICW Southbound – Thunderbolt: Part Two

 

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We were on the outside of the dock in the ICW channel which meant we had no protection from boat wake and river current. As the rain got worse so did the wind and we quickly found ourselves rocking back and forth at uncomfortable lengths. Philip dashed out into the rain and onto the dock to add lines and fenders. We ended up with all four fenders out and six lines trying to hold us to the dock. As we sat there rocking, we noticed the outline of a police boat on a nearby dock that had been previously tied to portside now ran in a 45 degree angle from its previous position. It also looked like the twin engines on the boat were seconds away from smacking the dock. We took our spotlight and tried as best we could to assess the situation. We contemplated one of us going and trying to possibly resecure the boat but the walk to get there was pretty far in the pounding rain. We finally resorted to calling the emergency line for the marina and let them know what we thought had happened.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

A few minutes later we see a flashlight beam headed towards the unsecured boat. After many minutes of the flashlight beam dancing, we finally see the boat slowly move back into its proper position. The dockmaster was even nice enough to call us back and let us know that the boat had indeed snapped a line and the stern was swinging freely around the dock. We were glad all boats seemed safe again and went back to watching the boat rock. It was a miserable sleepless night.

ICW Southbound – Thunderbolt, GA – Day 5

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

“Red sky in morning, sailor’s take warning”

We originally planned to end up in Thunderbolt, GA today so it was nice to wake up and already be at our day’s destination! Thunderbolt is a small little marine town on the outskirts of Savannah. Thunderbolt Marina has a long standing tradition of bringing fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts to your boat every morning. They were amazingly delicious and still warm!

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

After pre-breakfast donuts, we took an Uber (one of many we took this trip…I could write a whole separate blog post on those adventures) to our favorite breakfast eatery in Savannah, B. Mathews. B. Mathews Eatery is on a quaint corner right in the heart of Savannah. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner but we have only ever indulged in their breakfast. The food is always fresh, homemade and delicious. If you ever find yourself in Savannah, I highly recommend a stop! We then walked along historic River Street, popped in and out of some shops and walked along the waterfront. We had been denied a slip reservation at River Street Marketplace Docks, right on the Savannah River and right in town. We were told our boat was too small and it was too dangerous. Once, I saw the current in the river I was glad we were not staying there. (Little did I know how our night was going to be).

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We strolled through the streets of Savannah with Forsyth Park in mind. With all the mossy oak trees and gorgeous old houses it’s so easy to get lost meandering through the streets. Peyton played at the park for a bit, then we ubered to lunch at The Wyld.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

The Wyld was another must see on my list. They were a short distance off the ICW up the Herb River with a gorgeous long dock. We originally planned to boat there but since we were already off the boat and another rainstorm headed our way we decided against it. I found The Wyld a few years ago doing bachelorette party research and have wanted to go since. It met my requirements of outside seating (pretty much the entire restaurant is outside), water views, and good seafood. The staff were so friendly and the atmosphere was chill and authentic. I could have stayed all day. TS Alberto struck again though and it started to rain as we finished up lunch, so we headed back to the boat after a quick and soggy West Marine stop.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

We enjoyed another dinner onboard and settled in for our nightly relaxation.  TS Alberto again had other plans for us and we spent the next several hours riding a bucking bull called Drift Away. Stay tuned for the next post where we ride the waves, pounding rain and avoid a catastrophe from a boat that broke loose.

ICW Southbound – MM 536 to 583 – Day 4

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

The next morning I awoke to Philip chatting with our boat neighbors. They were a sweet couple who had been up to Norfolk, VA and were now making their way back home to western Florida. They were planning to stay in Beaufort a few days as they were in no hurry to get back. They weren’t going to be able to cross the Okeechobee Waterway and Lake Okeechobee until mid June due to maintenance on the locks. They were a wealth of information and shared their knowledge of stopovers etc. with us. After getting fuel, we were off towards Daufuskie Island, a small, sleepy island just south of Hilton Head Island. Along the way, we planned a quick stop in Bluffton, SC for breakfast and some shopping. However, the beginning was slow going, shallow water, and many slow spots. We decided to skip Bluffton so we could get to Daufuskie earlier.  Being Memorial Day, we heard they would be very busy and I wanted to make certain they had a spot for us. The only access to the island is by private boat or ferry and the docks tend to fill up before noon on holiday weekends. Golf carts are the predominant form of transportation on the island, though there are some cars and trucks as well. It was the one place I really wanted to explore during our trip and I really didn’t want to miss it!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

The island is known to have “more turtles than humans” and was first settled by Indians who named it Daufuskie, meaning “point of an arrow” as the island is shaped like an arrowhead. Part of its charm are the old buildings, school houses and dirt roads. Nowadays, it seems one family is keeping the tradition alive and owns the only marina, only ferry service and only winery on island.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We made it to Freeport Marina and Old Daufuskie Crab Co. about 11am and it was already packed!  There was boat after boat on the docks and some smaller boats were beginning to raft up on the face dock. Live music flowed down to the docks from the restaurant, inviting us up to listen. We eagerly obliged. After lunch, we rented a golf cart to explore the island further. Our first stop was, Daufuskie Island Rum Company, a local rum distillery in the islands interior. It sat in a small simple building overlooking a pond with many lily pads.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We then meandered thru the moss covered oaks to the Silver Dew Winery, which just so happened to have a grand re-opening that day! The winery had previously grown their own grapes but lost them all during Hurricane (by then Tropical Storm) Irma. The owner ended up buying grapes from Oregon and transported them all the way to Daufuskie Island. The winemaker then got to work in the tiny “wick building” of nearby Bloody Point Lighthouse. We sampled their Riesling which was the perfect amount of sweet and dry and strolled thru the vineyard and grounds towards the lighthouse.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

Next, we made the short drive to the beach and put our feet in the water. Philip found a sand dollar for me in the surf while Peyton planted a “baby palm” (as she called it) at the edge of the waves. It was a perfect day and I can’t wait for a Daufuskie weekend in the future!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

It was getting late into the afternoon at this point, so we hopped back on the boat and headed for Thunderbolt Marina, just outside of Savannah. We had originally hoped to stay at Daufuskie but with Memorial Day and only four overnight slips we had to keep moving. Thunderbolt was just a short trip south and we were soon settled into our spot on the face dock for the night. We had dinner on the boat and rested up for the next day of sightseeing in nearby Savannah!

ICW Southbound – MM 469 to 536 – Day 3

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We awoke to fair skies and lots of excitement to start our 9 day, 361 mile journey to Daytona Beach, FL. We were anticipating some rain, thanks to Tropical Storm Alberto, but we were hoping it wouldn’t be a washout.  Even though we left later than we hoped, we were excited for the day’s run to Beaufort, SC. There are many little cuts, dredged channels connecting two waterways, on the trip to Beaufort. We quickly came to the first cut at Wappoo Creek, where we put the boat in the water earlier in the week. The next cut, Elliott Cut, is known for its swift current, especially during ebb tide. We traversed both cuts easily this time, thanks to slack tide. We then passed a house from a famous movie that I was sad to have missed on our last trip. It was a bit hard to see because of the trees, but it was definitely the house that Noah built for Allie in The Notebook. I love a good love story!! It is a private residence, however, so this was as close as I figured I would ever get.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
IMG_20180525_111446

We made it through 3 of the 4 cuts without trouble, on the 4th we came upon a dredging operation that looked like it was taking up the entire channel. I had just read in my Waterway Guide that this particular cut was known for constant shoaling, so while it was good to see a dredger, we had no idea what to do. We slowed to idle to assess the situation.

To make matters worse, we were in horse fly country. These awful, aggressive horse flies, that have a mean bite, started attacking us. I’m sure the dredge operators got a great laugh watching us dance and swat at the bugs while trying to figure out how we were going to get around them. The dredge is usually on a barge with a tug boat with many buoys surrounding it to support pipes and equipment used for excavation. In this case, the buoys appeared to take up all of the channel, except for about 10 feet right on shore. 

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

After many bites, a few unsuccessful VHF hails, and much frustration, we decided to slowly approach and see if we could pass to the west. Thankful it was a rising tide, we went for it. You may not be able to tell in the picture but we kicked up some mud from the bottom. Welcome to the Lowcountry! Lets hope we don’t encounter another one soon. Just after we exited the cut we passed a north bound tug pulling what appeared to be very long pipes up the channel. He appeared to be headed in the direction of the dredger and I would have loved to have been a biting horse fly on the wall to see how he made it past!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

After all our successful cuts, we crossed St. Helena Sound and entered the Coosaw River. We made our way towards Morgan Island, also known as Monkey Island, that I have written about previously. With more time and a dinghy, I was anxious to get closer to see some monkeys! We left the magenta line and traveled down a smaller river towards where I was hoping a monkey spotting would occur. Unfortunately, with a rain storm quickly approaching, we decided we shouldn’t travel any further down the creek. We quickly resumed our trip to Beaufort, hoping not to dock in the rain.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:S,Date:2017-10-21,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

We made it to The Downtown Marina of Beaufort, missing the storm, and settled into our slip for the night. We grabbed showers at the marina before heading to dinner. With the Gullah Festival going on, there was no shortage of food choices. We opted to go to Plums, a restaurant along the beautiful waterfront with outdoor seating and good seafood. (All my requirements when eating in a coastal town). We took Peyton to the park and walked along the waterfront before heading back to the boat for planning and limin’.