96.3 miles in 2 days – Anchoring in Swansboro, NC

Sometimes you just have to have a couple travel days.  We did not see very many attractive anchorages along the ICW while traveling from Carolina Beach to Beaufort North Carolina, so we opted for a long 67.5 mile, 6 hour day on April 22nd to reach Swansboro, followed by a 28.8 mile day to Beaufort, North Carolina. 

Looping Training: How to decide where to stay? Our tools for locating anchorages and marinas are Active Captain, which is linked to our Navionics navigation software, Waterway Guide, a hard book and also website, the AGLCA website, and most importantly the AGLCA Facebook forum.  All these resources have great comments from fellow boaters describing the weather protection, bug situation and nearby sights. 

On the way from Carolina Beach to Swansboro, we passed all sorts of interesting sites:

  1. An oyster farm
  2. Serious dredging operations
  3. A very large and scary barge passing us at an impressive speed in a narrow section of the ICW: Hallalujah feels pretty small next to this guy! 
  4. Local guy raking for oysters

, docktenders

We saw so many interesting sites (to us anyway), that it takes two Photo Blocks in this blog Next grouping includes:

  1. House on an island. Will it last through the next hurricane?
  2. Not very good picture of a dolphin. We’ve seen so many, and yet they are camera shy.
  3. Swing bridge!
  4. Firing Tank at Marines Camp Lejuene. Notice the sign is not flashing, so we don’t have to dodge live ammunition!
  5. Burning fields and tons of smoke. This brought on an eerie feeling for Steve and I given the horrible fires in our home state Colorado all last summer and fall. We were assured they were CONTROLLED burns.

Upon reaching Swansboro, our first goal was to get fuel at Casper’s Marina.  $2.35/gallon versus $3.05/gallon is a big difference when you purchase 250 gallons!

There were two great things about this anchorage.  The first were the no less than ten dolphins that greeted us.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get great pics as I was setting the anchor. The second great thing was that we anchored close to Irrational Exuberance.  We did not meet the owners of this boat during our anchorage, but we pulled in next to them the next day at Beaufort Yacht Basin and have been enjoying Loren and Lisa, as well as other common looper friends for a couple days!  We are beginning to cross paths repeatedly with a few looper boats.  This is what all loopers talk about after they’ve completed the loop:  you meet people, continue to cross paths with them, and get to be great friends.  We look forward to that with several folks we have met!

From Swansboro to Beaufort North Carolina on April 23rd: We elected to only stay one night at the Swansboro anchorage because we expected the winds to pick up for the next few days. We wanted to get to a secure marina to ride this out. 

Weather Training: We use PredictWind to help us determine our schedule.  Mostly we care about wind speed, gusts, wave height and interval.  PredictWind compares six different weather applications.  With this in mind, we traveled 28.8 miles to Beaufort Yacht Basin on April 23rd to beat the strong winds.  Again, lots of ICW scenery.

Rounding the corner of the ICW into the Beaufort Inlet, we passed the North Carolina State Port Terminal.  Not much action was going on in the freight yard, but the fishing boats were thick in this area!  We cruised through at least 15 small fishing boats.  Wonder what they caught?

We were happy to arrive at Beaufort Yacht Basin around 1 o’clock on April 23rd.

Meeting Tracy and Mark in Carolina Beach

SPECIAL THANKS TO TRACY AND MARK! We were so excited to hook up with Tracy and Mark Dirks in Carolina Beach on April 21.  We haven’t seen the Dirks in about 25 years!  You guys look exactly the same, and it was wonderful to catch up.  We hope we can do this again, and maybe even have you as guests on Hallelujah!  You have a beautiful home in Kure Beach and such a special area to enjoy.

CAROLINA BEACH MUNICIPAL MARINA ARRIVAL: It has been at 6 weeks since we have manuevered into a marina slip. In northern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, the ICW marinas have more face docks rather than slips due to the fast and changing currents as well as tide shifts up to 8 feet.  There are some slips, but I think these are for the more experienced locals.  At Carolina Beach Municipal Marina, we had our chance again.  Although we timed our entry for slack tide, this “very protected” bay had wacky circular current and gusty wind while we attempted.  Upon our Channel 16 request to dock, the dockmaster warned us that another yacht had just docked, but only after six frustrating tries.  He suggested we check it out, but to wait on a mooring ball for things to settle down if we liked.  We tried twice, and had a little success, but with the neighboring boat very close, and six people watching/helping us, we elected to go for the mooring ball.  After consideration, we decided to stick with the mooring ball for 3 nights.  This was a great decision, as it was much prettier out in the bay.  Also, we were only 70 feet from a dingy dock which itself was only 500 feet from beautiful Sandpiper beach on the Atlantic.   

April 19th, after settling on our mooring ball, we immediately dropped the dingy to visit Napa Autoparts to purchase new transmission oil.  After some grunts and hard shoving Steve loosened and cleaned a filter that had not seen the light of day in 20 years.  Changing out the oil and even taking samples to get it analyzed was a great relief for him.  FYI, we did not have any delay when shifting into gear since Steve and Rick cleaned the valve back at Enterprise Inlet.  The next day Steve repeated the entire process on the Starboard engine with the aid of a very large socket wrench on loan from Tom’s Marine. What a great help!

FUN WITH THE DIRKS! Tracy and Mark showed us around Carolina Beach and Kure Beach on April 21st.  Between their lovely home, the beach, the sites, great restaurants and friendly locals, it is easy to see why they are choosing to spend the majority of their time now in Kure Beach.  We so much enjoyed introducing them to Hallelujah via the dingy, sharing dinner including an amazing fried green tomato stack at Soul Flavor, and then a drink at the eclectic Fat Pelican.  Tracy was even so kind to help us do a few errands the following day as well as a few more local sites.

WE’RE COMING BACK! Carolina Beach is now on our list of favorite Loop destinations.  Between the boat work and visiting with Tracy and Mark when they weren’t working, we enjoyed coffee at Majik Beanz, walking on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and Sandpiper beach and dinner at Stokes on Carolina Beach Harbor.

I also had a fabulous bike ride and hike at Carolina Beach State Park while Steve was finishing the oil change out on the second transmission.

Our last night in Carolina Beach Steve and I had a fun date at the Sea Witch, enjoying the music and tuna tartar nachos.

Another travel day

The cruising was good on Monday morning, April 19th, from Calabash Creek to Carolina Beach. The scenery is definitely beginning to look more like the Outer Banks, the Carolina we are a little more familiar with. The homes are closer together, and smaller: MAYBE, they may even be affordable now?

WARNING: Way too many pictures coming!

Leaving Calabash Creek Anchorage:

I enjoyed wording with Dylan Davenport while at Circle Graphics. He ran the Raleigh Consumer Products division while I ran the same in Longmont. Dylan is born and bread North Carolina, from his wonderful accent, friendly support, and love of all things baseball and fishing. So, I had to contact him, as I know he spends plenty of time on the shore. It was fun to take pics and connect with him, even if only by text. I learned his place is near Ocean Isle Beach, so of course I had to share a pic of Ocean Isle Marina, and discuss the local boating hazards. Also, FYI, in the pic you can see DougOut, which is the home of some of our looper acquaintances. You always take photos of friend’s boats and forward to them: We seldom see our own boats when on them!

I was very busy this day, Monday, taking pics. Both the homes and the environmental landscapes were changing. I also captured some interesting boating events!

  1. Cool fish head!
  2. We saw huge sections of pipe traveling down the river. There were several tugs pulling up to 10 sections of 250 foot long pipe each. 

As we were planning, we chose not to stop at Southport because we did not see any interesting anchorages. As we passed on our way to Carolina Beach, the town does look like they have some fun there!

  1. Pull up the fish nets! What a tough way to make a living.
  2. Want to go to the Fishy Fishy Cafe?
  3. Another dredge.
  4. Need some fuel for your massive boat?
  5. The Carolina Beach to Southport Ferry.
  6. Carolina Beach Inlet

Calabash Creek

We anchored one night, Sunday April 18th at Calabash Creek. We rushed al little on the Waccamaw and also at Calabash Creek, as we wanted to get to a marina so that we could verify the transmission issue was solved, and also were a little worried about threatening winds headed our way so wanted to be secured.

From Enterprise Inlet to Calabash, and on to Carolina Beach, the river got busier. Most likely becuase it was the weekend. Local boaters are not as aware of the river dynamics including how currents affect larger boats. It can be a little frustrating! An example: We are traveling at about 900 rpm, which if there were no current would mean we would be at an idle speed. However, here, we were running with the current, so were going 10 mph. Usually we have to be at 1500 rpm to go this fast! There are two little motor boats right in the middle of the narrow river, hardly moving. They have no VHF radio, and refuse to look backwards. We can’t slow down anymore or we will lose control and start to go sideways due to current. We need to pass them, but because of traffic going the other way, we can only do this if they move more to starboard. At the same time, we are approaching a bridge! We make it through the bridge safely, but with frustration. Finally we manage to get around them. Soon, we see a very large (3x our size) paddle boat in front of us. Thankfully, the paddleboat captain is more aware. She contacts us to arrange for us to pass her. She notifies us that there is a dredge ahead of her, which will require her to take just about then entire River’s width to pass. She asks us to hold behind until she can get past the dredge and then we can pass. Thankfully, all that goes well, but we “big boat” captains agreed on radio that weekends are a rough time on the River. I would like to have had pictures of this, but navigation takes precidence over pics!

Calabash Creek was a pretty anchorage, very close to another small shrimping community. After a fine anchor set, we took a comfortable dingy ride and had a tasty dinner in town. In the Carolinas, particularly North Carolina, hushpuppies are a staple. They are sooo tasty, however I am starting to realize that you can get tired of them when they are served with every meal!

Three Anchorages in Two Nights on the Waccamaw

I review the photos we’ve taken and try to determine why they are interesting.  In most cases, I think it is because the site is so foreign to Steve and I.  The tugs, research vessels, and container ships are so unlike and yet similar to a semi you would see along Colorado Interstate I-70.  The eastern plains of Colorado are so different from the continual low country marshes of South Carolina and yet they are similar in their desolate beauty.    

The Waccamaw River is Gorgeous! We enjoyed 3 nights and 4 anchorages starting April 16th on the only fresh water river on the ICW.  Each anchorage was beautiful.  As I look at pictures of the places we’ve enjoyed, I wonder if they start to look very similar.  Maybe in a photo they are similar, but for sure every time we pull into an anchorage, a new town, or drive down a different river, it is overwhelmingly exciting.  Each day we are amazed at the sites we see.

Our first anchorage on the Waccamaw River was at Butler Island. 

Just when we think we know what we like, our experiences help us to find something we like even better!  We thought 2 nights at each stop, whether at a marina or anchorage was the best length of stay. That might not be the case!  Maybe it’s better to just go with the flow.  Plans can change based on bad weather, sure.  But they can also change because we see a beautiful anchorage, or a town or restaurant dock that looks like fun.  Enjoy the moment! 

We are learning to relax.  This is not easy; I think as many newly retired folks know.  Our boat voyage is amazing, as we are learning to “do what feels good and right”.  If we want to stop after 10 miles at Butler Island anchorage, then so be it!  Enjoy the Waccamaw River!

All of a sudden, we feel so at home.  The surroundings are familiar!  We think it is because the Waccamaw River is fresh water, whereas all other waters we and Hallelujah have been on are salt.  Can it be that the fresh water even makes our passage smoother, the air clearer, the mood calmer?  Oh well, I think I’m getting a little esoteric or just weird.  The point is, we have very much enjoyed our time on the Waccamaw.

At Butler Island we felt so excited about the fresh water, we had an absolutely refreshing plunge into the water!  Thanks to Marco Polo, the Millers and Brandenburg’s got to share the exhilaration with us!  NEWS ALERT: On April 24th, we learned that alligators are very prevalent in the Waccamaw River. Our assumption that they don’t like fresh water is completely wrong. So, maybe swimming wasn’t the best idea?

Today we traveled to Thoroughfare Creek, still in fresh water.  Although we did not swim ourselves, we were the parents “eavesdropping” on the 16 – 60 year old party groups along the shore.  The music, noise, and screaming boats zooming by was a little much for us after all the quiet we have had lately, yet the scenery and even the excitement was fun to observe.  We enjoyed watching the different local Saturday groups come and go:

1st: Young family group, kids rolling down the sand dune into the water.

2nd: A few boats with couples about our age:  sedate couples, happy to sleep on the couches on their boats or under an umbrella.

3rd: Four boats containing 30 “20-something” s.  This is where we felt like we were eavesdropping on our children.  Music was the loudest with bass booming for a long time! We did not disapprove or approve, merely watched! 

4th: Finally, after they left, the high school boys came, complete with racing boats and rifle practice. 

All this ended with beautiful silence other than birds chirping as we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset just Steve, me and God.  Amazing!

The Thoroughfare Creek anchorage was overshadowed a bit by our latest boat worry.  Yesterday Steve noticed that the port engine transmission is taking up to 15 seconds to engage.  Sadly, this has somewhat consumed Steve, and stopped him from really enjoying the nature around us.  However, our owner manuals, AGLCA (Looper) and Carver User’s Group Facebook groups are amazing.  Steve started posting questions and concerns at about 2 pm today and by 9:30 tonight has had several responses not to mention personal calls with individual boat owners that have had similar problems and are offering advice.  He’s also called Volvo Engine dealers near our next marina as well as wonderfully supportive dockmasters at our next marina willing to support any way they can.  This boating community is just amazing.  Support is everywhere around us!

The transmission trouble led to our third anchorage, at Enterprise Inlet.  Enterprise Inlet was only 16 miles from Thoroughfare Creek.  Steve texted and emailed Rick Lawrence on Inked Mermaid, and we agreed to meet them at their anchorage for a little team troubleshooting.  Rick happens to be a recently retired Diesel Engine Sales Engineer.  As with many technical sales guys, his eyes just lit up with the challenge as he and Steve worked through the problem.  Long story short, they became familiar with the Volvo Penta electronic diagnostic module and cleaned out a never before touched filter on the transmission.  They did find some aluminum shavings in the filter which is not encouraging, but we no longer have the delay when Steve puts Hallelujah in gear!  We enjoyed a relaxing lunch after their work was done. And, we still enjoyed the most amazing scenery along the river!

Leland Oil Company at McClellanville

April 14th – 16th we stayed in McClellanville South Carolina. I wrote this post the day we left, but of course did not get it posted in a resonable time frame. As originally written:

We just left McClellanville this morning, April 16th, after 2 peaceful nights at their small, quant, quiet and friendly dock.  We met two other loopers here, one the first night, one the second.  Limited dock space allowed for a maximum of 3 transients boats, in addition to the 20 shrimp boats.  Leland Oil Company provided us with FREE laundry, which was wonderful and rare!  We enjoyed sharing a little looper time with Ken and Karen on Island Girl until the noseeums chased us inside.  You’ve got to learn to make friends fast in the low country, as it’s a race to see who can get to know each other quicker: you or the noseeums.  Generally the noseeums are winning!

I had a great walk around the mostly run-down but beautiful homes.   Amy and I talked as I walked, which was fun as we like walking around Fort Collins discussing the architecture and yard features there.  Video chats and Marco-Polo are a wonderful cure for homesickness! 

McClellanville’s boasting rights revolve around a 1000+ year old live oak tree, one pretty good seafood restaurant, and pickled shrimp!  We definitely enjoyed all of these wonders.  We purchased shrimp dip, crap dip, and pickled shrimp at the Carolina Seafoods.  To end the mystery, I would say Carolina Pickled Shrimp is the Low-Country version of Ceviche.  In Guayabitos Mexico, one of our local friends shared his recipe for ceviche, which included ketchup and orange soda.  That specific ceviche is very close to Carolina Pickled Shrimp.  It’s a little sweeter, much more tomato liquid, then we prefer, but still very tasty and worth the investment.  The dips were not bad either!

We had dinner at T.W. Grahams which served an amazing grilled shrimp and black eyed pea salad as well as fantastic crab & shrimp chowder.  Steve focused on his burger, as he has had his fill of fried seafood for a while.  Our favorite here was the awesome pecan pie:  can’t leave the South Carolina without it!

Immediately next to T.W. Grahams we found this interesting Grey Seal Puppet sign and storefront with interesting puppets hanging inside. It was closed so we couldn’t go in. I googled them later, finding this to be a puppeteering company with several locations throughout the Carolinas. Their puppets and performances take place throughout the US, most notably on Sesame Street!

We completed 2 projects while at this dockage:  the most important, is fixing the forward shower which has been leaking.  We had to regrout the full shower, and then pull away a good chunk of rotted paneling at the base.  Hopefully we have fixed the leak and also made it so that if leaks occur again, it will not lead to rotted walls!  Steve also added weather stripping on 3 of our outside “doors”, so our aft deck should stay drier during storms.  As Hallelujah is 20 years old, she is providing Steve with continual projects which I think he finds more fullfilling rather than frustrating.

Shem Creek deserves it’s own post

So, it’s 3:30 now and we haven’t eaten lunch.  We are walking away from the USS Yorktown, AWAY from the water taxi. Hangry is threatening, but I convinced Steve we needed to walk 1.6 miles to get to the Vickery Bar & Grill at Shem Creek based on a recommendation from a woman on the water taxi this morning.  Despite Steve’s knees screaming, he was willing, and the end result was worth every  ouch! 

Shem Creek has a picturesque mix of shrimp boats and tourist area.  We enjoyed a fried green tomato tower, grouper fingers, and a healthy salad.  This was by far the best fried grouper we have had while owning our boat.  I think it was the cornmeal breading. 

Shem Creek had a charming boardwalk which I of course walked.  No worries for Steve, as Vickery had a great sand picnic area next to the canal that we enjoyed for at least 2 hours more.  At this point, it was way too late, and way too long of a walk to get back to the water taxi, so instead we enjoyed an uber to return us to our marina.  Thankfully, ubers were readily available in Charleston!

We left Charleston Wednesday April 14th seeking a pump-out location.  (Oooh! How rude and smelly!).   Covid hits every aspect of our lives!  Thanks to a supply shortage, every close marina to us had broken pump out systems.  This is a huge risk, as what are boaters to do?  As I called one marina, they suggested we drive 3 miles off shore and dump in the ocean.  Well even if that is allowed that far off shore, we are not going there!  My call to the fourth marina resulted in a place we could dump!  The positive part of this is that we were reminded to go with the flow, and realized that we can make unplanned short stops throughout the day if we chose, because we have enough skill now at docking.  We were relieved of our “baggage” at Toler’s Cover Marina which had a very narrow fairway, but we navigated with no problems. This also led us to veer off our charted route to get close to Fort Sumter National Monument. Got some good pictures of this Civil War Era remains as well as CIVIL WAR ERA Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney.  Of course, also got to see some more container ships pass by!

April 11 – 14 in Charleston,SC

Charleston, SC is said to be the sister city to Savannah, Ga I think.  These girls are both beautiful, however I think I could spend more time in Charleston.  While in Charleston, we didn’t do any Revolutionary War or Civil War Museum tours.  Instead, we enjoyed a horse drawn carriage tour, and then walked among beautiful circa 1800 antebellum homes.  Old town Charleston civic design consists of home lots much closer together than in Savannah.  No problem said the antebellum architects:  we’ll just turn our designs 90 degrees!  You still see double porticos (porch) and beautiful columns.  These are 90 degrees to the street.  The homes are only one room wide, but could be more than 60 feet deep.  The single room width allowed for ventilation from the porch through the room and out the back windows.

Also, as always there are many stately churches of all different denominations.  We walked 5 miles one day enjoying the architecture, Battery Park, a couple restaurants for snacks.  Our 5th mile left us 2 miles from the marina, so we ubered back to relieve our legs.

Our marina tastes are different than many boaters.  We like the smaller marinas with character.  Charleston’s marina was that!  Our marina companions where a 200 foot tour boat, a 100 foot old school schooner, about 10 local sailboats, and 3 transients like us.  This was the Charleston Maritime marina, owned by the city of Charleston.  State facilities must abide by covid rules, which means service is greatly diminished, resulting in no showers or laundry facilities.  Additionally only one water tap and no pump out facilities working.  We did have electricity, so no worries.  The cost was less than other marinas, and I really liked the location, so for me the lack of facilities and service just added to the memories, and not in a bad way.  We also had at least three container ships passing each day, which I thought was SO COOL!!!  As you will see, my picture taking now includes too many bridges, factories, and now container ships! The best positive for Charleston Maritime Marina is it’s location immediately next to the historical Charleston area.  We didn’t even need our bikes to sightsee! 

How could I forget Harris Teeter!   We were 2 blocks from the Harold Teeter grocery store, which is a branch of Kroger.  Finally, a good grocery store! We rejoiced over the frees veggies, excitedly rubbing our fingers over the crisp leaves and firm stems since they were not wrapped in plastic as they are at Publix and Winn-Dixie! Boneless chicken breasts were $1.79/lb rather than $3/lb!  They have Orvil Readenbacher’s Avocado Oil Microwave popcorn!!!  There is a store brand organic almond milk!  And, even after all this excitement, our total was still much lower than at Publix or Winn-Dixie.  The one thing I forgot to look for was Key Lime pie.  We may miss getting that as  Winn-Dixie and Publix both had the most delicious and cost effective pies down in Georgia and Florida. 

In Charleston we may have hit our limit for raw oysters. We didn’t get any bad ones or anything like that, we’ve tried enough of the local oysters to decide that they are not all that flavorful. So we will shift our dining decisions away from the oyster bars.

Charleston sight see was propablably Steve’s favorite so far, and I would say also my favorite museum.  Touring the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier was amazing.  The exhibits were informative and the self guided directions were so well done!  The Yorktown had one of the longest lives of any aircraft carrier.  It first served in WWII, then in the Korean and Vietnam war, then finally picked up the Apollo 8 shuttle before finally becoming a museum in the 1970s. 

The self-guided tour took us through all of the sections of the ship including engine rooms, navigation stations, crew quarters, kitchen, canteen, dental and sick areas, plus landing platform and maintenance areas.  During Yorktown’s tenure she had numerous retrofits which were pretty cool learning about just because they were completed in less than 3 months each time, including expanding the landing  decks. 

An example of a really informative sign: how to make chocolate cookies for 10,000!

I can’t just drop my Lean/World Class Manufacturing interest. Every work place needs a status board. I found them all over the USS Yorktown. This was my favorite, as it made it easy to see status of the key equipment. Complete with key: green-operatring, yellow-standby, red-secured, blue-inoperable. You just rotate the secured marker to show status.

We took a water taxi from our dock to the Yorktown location.  We were on the first taxi at 9:30 in the morning.  We didn’t get off the Yorktown until after 2 pm, it was that interesting!  From there we skipped a WWII destroyer and chose to walk through a Veitnam War interactive experience.  This wass very well architected to give the imprestion that the visitor is the solder.  There wer sound affects, a cawithin a camp setting and also a replica of a war zone.  It was very emotional.  I think this was an effective way to share just a little of what our vets experienced. 

From Here to There

We traveled 48.8 miles to anchor at Church Creek – 2 on our way from Beaufort SC to Charleston SC on April 10th. Some days are more exciting than others on the loop. Our time traveling was nothing but peaceful and uneventful this time. The landscape changes from day to day, and sometimes even hour to hour. It’s amazing how open and desolate parts of the ICW can be.

Our time at Church Creek is like having a nice relaxing Sunday at home, which we are on Hallelujah!

After staying only one night at Church Creek, we motored 21 miles to Charleston. Along this stretch we had some very narrow sections. AGLCA and Bob423 facebook groups give all sorts of warnings about run aground worries in this area due to the narrow channel: Our experience has been that if we just pay attention to your Navionics chart plotter which shows the expected depth and channels and also watch our depth monitor, all goes great.

Covid-19 Vaccinated in Beaufort County, SC

First thing, before you commit a faux pas, it is “BYOO-fert”, as in “beautiful” Beaufort SC.  That “other town” in North Carolina is “BHO-fert” North Carolina. 

We arrived at Beaufort South Carolina for an extended stay, meaning 4 – 5 days, between April 6 and April 10.  We think this is a good thing to do every few weeks or so.  The extended stay allows for mail and other shipments to catch up with us.  We also have a chance to do repairs, and exercise our sea legs.  We resided at the Safe Harbor Beaufort Marina, using a mooring ball for 2 nights, and then get a slip for 2 nights.  This helps to reduce expenses.  This marina was immediately next to historic downtown Beaufort and the picturesque Henry C Chambers Waterfront Park complete with relaxing swings on the waterfront!

If you read the earlier Fernandina Beach blog on mooring balls, they can be UGLY!  However, if you follow standard procedure, it appears they can be easy.  I hooked this mooring ball on the first try, using a 16’ long boot hook while hanging between the bow railings.  Worked like a charm!  We enjoyed our ball and the other loopers next ball over. 

We dingyed in to Beaufort each day for walks through the historic town and the Beaufort Historic Museum at the 18th century Beaufort Arsenal.  We had a great docent share information with us here regarding history from ancient cultures through the revolutionary war, civil war, and reformation. 

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.  However, Beaufort folded to the Union Navy within less than 4 hours about 2 weeks later. This smart decision resulted in no injuries and no structure damage to homes and 10,000 freed slaves.  All of the plantation owners deserted their land AND slaves and headed inland.  This left thousands of former slaves with no where to go.  The Port Royal Experiment where northerners came to Beaufort County and helped to establish schools, paying jobs, and governing systems focusing on teaching, training and integrating the newly freed slaves.  This worked well from 1862 – 1865, including distributing land to former slaves.  When President Lincoln passed in 1865, Beaufort County began losing the support of Northerners and slowly segregation started to return. We also toured the Penn Center, which was the first high school where African Americans could get a high school degree, rather than only being allowed to attend school through 8th grade.  Martin Luther King wrote his “I have a dream” speech while staying at the Penn Center.  The Penn Center continues today as a location for peaceful Civil Rights discussions.  Unfortunately, our Penn Center photos have been deleted somehow!

Beaufort’s picturesque homes are also the sight of many famous movies including Forest Gump, The Big Chill, The Legend of Baggar Vance, Radio, Forces of Nature, Last Dance, The War, Chasers, Gone Fishin’ and Undertow.  The homes and maritime forests are so beautiful, so you can see why the producers keep coming back!

We have now received the COVID-19 Vaccine!  While moving towards Beaufort, I searched this nicely done South Carolina scdhec.gov site to learn locations and allocations by vaccine type.  Our plan was to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine so that we only had to coordinate once.  The web site gave phone numbers and Facebook information to easily get on several wait lists, only needing to provide name, birthday and phone number.   Quickly, we realized we could get a shot that very afternoon.  Our only problem is that the location was 50 miles away: hard to understand car driving proximity where you are on a boat!  Beaufort has a sever shortage of uber drivers, taxis, and car rentals.  After much frustration, we hired a limo and driver to take us to the clinic, wait, and then return us to the marina.  At $140, this was a bargain compared to our other options.  Best news is that our vaccination is now complete:  One and done!  Both of us had chills, aches, and I had a low-grade fever, but that passed after around 36 hours and we’ve got the card to show we are good!  We are hoping that will help us as we move towards the more crowded, risk adverse communities in the north eastern US and Canada, should the border be opened. 

While in Beaufort, we did end up renting a car from Low Country Car Rentals, as I was on their wait list while seeking transportation for the vaccine.  We decided that the $70 twenty-four hour rental was still a good deal to help us with provisioning and getting to the Penn Center which was actually on St Helena Island.  I just have to say, South Carolinians are very friendly.  The owner of the car rental agency gave me a ride back to our marina, saving us a $15 uber ride.  Thank you!  Would Avis have provided that service?  SUPPORT THE LOCALS!

Beaufort has some great little gift and clothing stores:  On one of my “walks”, I purchased a fun sleeveless jumper that will keep me cool and stylin’.   I did get a good amount of walking miles on my tennies in Beaufort.  Steve also got a little in, but his joy is more about fixing the aft head for the second time!  We had to get parts shipped in twice, although on the second order got a steel valve rather than plastic.