Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Thursday, June 19.  We spent the day at The Landings.  We weren't up to doing touristy things, so Kay did the laundry at the quarter-free laundromat (aka Hanley's home).  Pearce gave up warring with Verizon about digital, roaming, and whatever, and sent off the latest Log episodes from Jerry's internet access.  Then we just schmoozed, read, and talked.  In the evening we went to a fish-house on a creek and had steamed oysters and various entrees.  We enjoyed this quiet layover that included a visit with friends.

Friday, June 20.  When the low tide at 8:30 am finally came up a few feet, we were able to leave the Yacht Club.  We headed back out on the ICW, up Skidaway Creek, and two hours later we were approaching the Savannah River.  There was a kind of funny boat up ahead.  It looked like a paddle-boat (side or aft), but it was missing the wheel.  It was really pretty -- red and blue -- and we discovered that it was the "Julliet Gordon Lowe" and probably a tour boat/fund-raiser for the Girl Scout Founder and her Association which is based in Savannah.  After we passed her, Kay suggested that we go upriver for lunch in Savannah, but Pearce was in charge, so we continued across the River and up the ICW.  After a sandwich and a beer, Pearce decided that it was time to take a nap, so Kay took over, cruised past Daufuskie Island (the isolated home of descendants of slaves that is now being developed by major investors.)  Did you read "The River is Wide" by Pat Conroy?  Teacher "Conrac" tried to make an impression on the children who had been ignored by education.  We crossed Calibogue Sound and headed up toward Hilton Head.  We are taking notes of places where we will spend some time on our return trip, and this is one of them.

The cruising books talk about places to go, places to stay, places to watch out and avoid.  When Pearce and Kay find a boat-building harbor, we always have to take a second look, because creating and producing something new and different for all of us boaters to appreciate is part of building new ways to enjoy our boating lives.  We passed Palmer-Johnson's plant north of Savannah.  A Sea-Ray plant was just a mile or so on up the ICW.  We have wondered what our reception would be if we stopped in each of these places to watch their production.  We had a wonderful and informative trip through the Silverton plant in New Jersey last year when we bought the new 38'.  We'd really like to know how each builder specializes his specs to create his different models.

Port Royal Sound comes after Hilton Head Island.  This is a really BIG piece of water.  One of the early explorers who tried to establish a colony in 1562, Jean Ribault, said that all the ships of the world could fit into this body of water.  That's quite a statement about the size, in spite of the fact that the world was a bit smaller then.  We headed out and across the Sound --  it was a bit rocky and roll-ey.  The tide was going out and the wind was coming in, so we rolled across the inlet, and we surfed down the waves as we headed back toward the mainland.

We are anchored in the harbor at Beaufort, SC.  Dinner tonight was shrimp -- we have been going past the many shrimp boats on their way out or in from the fishing grounds.  We finally passed some boats tied up at a wharf with a sign "shrimp for sale."  Kay bought two pounds of very large shrimp which she cooked for dinner tonight (and some for another meal.)
Saturday June 21.  Today was again sunny and bright.  The wind had changed last night, bringing in some cooler air.  Pearce needed a jacket during the early hours.  The sun warmed up the day, and we enjoyed watching all the boats out to play.  When we were near an inlet, they were going out to fish, and when we were surrounded by marshes, they were fishing at the creeks.  Occasionally we would pass a boat anchored while the occupants swam, and several times we passed whole flotillas of boats anchored near a shoal while the swimmers frolicked and floated.  Pearce liked to point out that there seemed to be several males for every "moss-back".

The area along the South Carolina coast seems to have the highest/lowest tides -- from 6 to 9 feet difference.  The docks are at the end of long piers extending well out across the marshlands to the navigable water, and they sit far above the water at low tide.  Some of them are inaccessible by water at that time.  You can look back through some of the marshes and see docks with boats in slings that seem to have no way to get out to the waterway.  We saw one little creek that was completely dry.  The red and green marks were high and dry on both sides, and we could look straight up the creek and see every lump and bottom bump.

Pearce drove today while Kay set up her sewing machine.  She had some mending and a patriotic apron to make that just might get finished for the Fourth!  The v-berth cushions are only half-way done, so that's a real project yet to come.  We decided to go through Charlestown harbor and anchor of the ICW on the other side.  It was the end of the day, and all the boats were returning from their fishing at sea.  It was quite daunting to look out toward Fort Sumter and see them all rushing in at top speed.  They seemed to come in waves of 6 or 7 at a time.  Pearce had suggested that we go into a marina and have dinner in Charlestown, but Kay said we had too much fresh food.  She'll take him up on the invitation (for several nights) when we return.  We have several guides on things to do and places to go.  By the way, Marilyn and Margaret, we heard someone calling the Evening Star as we were approaching Charleston.  We were out of range of the reply, but we'll get the marina/boat dock for our return trip.  Maybe we can go visit, too.

We are anchored in Inlet Creek just off of the Isle of Palms.  A few small craft have passed us as they took the back road from beach to mainland, but otherwise it is very quiet.  Dinner tonight is easy.  Pearce will make a Caesar Salad, and Kay will top if off with the other half of the shrimp.

Sunday, June 22.  Pearce spent some time trying to figure out why Kibon was listing to port.  He checked all the tanks and discovered that the port diesel tank was more full than the starboard one.  Since there are valves that should equalize the flow, including a crossover from one tank to the other, it seemed strange.  He opened the valves, and we leveled off.  A phone call to previous owner Gregg brought the answer that he had the same problem.  He would open the crossover every evening when they stopped in order to level the boat.  He worked on the problem for quite a time.  Maybe we'll resort to the simple solution of just leaving the crossover valve open.

Today's trip was in clear, sunny weather.  The wind was a northerly which made temperatures delightful.  Phone calls to family and friends in the Northeast made us appreciate this delightful weather.  We passed by many boaters out enjoying the weekend.  The trip this morning up to Georgetown was very reminiscent of a trip along the State Channel in Great South Bay.  Not that there were those huge cruisers who bounce the slower boats around.  The boats were small, some fast, some slow, all very courteous.  The scenery was marshland all around.  We passed some gorgeous houses and some comfortable summer homes.  The area through Andersonville, SC was hard hit with hurricane Hugo in 1989.  All of the houses are built up on stilts now with covered areas below to take the brunt of wind-blown tides.

After we passed Georgetown, we entered the Waccamaw River.  It is wide and deep with cypress swamps lining the shores.  Boating people must just adore this area.  They are everywhere in every kind of boat -- powered by paddles, wind, and motor.  The shoreline varies from the swamps to stately homes and some condos.  We passed close by to many osprey nests -- some with mom and pop and babies and some with only mom on the nest.  One of the islands is supposed to be a nesting area for eagles, but we were not fortunate enough to see any.  There are some new marinas that are combining local and transient traffic.  I wish I could say we gave them our dollars for the night.  Instead, we are anchored in Prince Creek, which is supposed to be "one of the prettiest, most secluded anchorages anywhere."  It is lovely, we can't see the houses that are purported to be somewhere in the woods, and we have been buzzed by only two bass boats.  Maybe we'll get their wake-up call in the morning.


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