Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 246    Carolina Beach State Park Marina,
Carolina Beach, NC      MM   297
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sunset at the marina

Goofin Off, Dream Catcher, Jeremiah, and Seamoore

The marina is virtually empty

Storm threats, including tornados, covered the area.  Tornado warnings were in effect until 4:00 p.m., but we were lucky.  The storm moved north of us, and we encountered only strong winds, not even any rain.  Since we were safely tied at the dock, we enjoyed a day of relaxation.         
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 245    Carolina Beach State Park Marina,
Carolina Beach, NC      MM   297
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trail in Carolina Beach State Park

Each couple of the “Looper Train” spent the day on their own.  It was a beautiful day to enjoy the park, so the 2 of us took a walk on the trails that are maintained by the state of North Carolina.  We looked for the famous Venus Fly Traps on the Fly Trap Trail, but were not able to spot any.  We rode our bicycles to town, ate lunch at Michaels, stopped at Walgreens, and picked up a few groceries at Food Lion.  Carrying all of our supplies on our bicycles was a challenge!   But we made it back in time for happy hour on Goofin’ Off.  The other 3 couples grilled tuna on Seamoore, but we opted for homemade tacos on Dream Catcher.       
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 244    Carolina Beach State Park Marina,
Carolina Beach, NC      MM   297
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

 Carolina Beach boardwalk

Shops along the boardwalk

A quiet day to work around the boat – including lots of laundry.  It’s nice to get caught up.  In the afternoon we rode our bicycles to the downtown boardwalk area.   There were lots of souvenir stores, restaurants, and rides for the kids.  The boardwalk runs right along the beach on the Atlantic Ocean. 
A bad storm is predicted on Thursday, so we all decided to stay at the Carolina Beach State Park Marina for 2 more days.  We are well protected, and we’re not sitting out a storm at an expensive marina.     
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 243    Carolina Beach State Park Marina,
Carolina Beach, NC      MM   297
Monday, April 25, 2011

 Lighthouse along the way

 Abandoned boat along the ICW

 Another boat caught at low tide

 Looking to the Atlantic along the ICW

A lone person walks along a sandbar near the ocean

Dinner at Michael's

Up and at em’.  All 4 boats of “The Looper Train” were off the docks by 7:30.  We arrived at Carolina Beach State Park about 2:30.  At $30 a night, including electric and water, we can’t beat the price.  However, the check-in process was extremely tedious, taking at least ½ hour per boat.  (They even required the engine make and size!)    There was no restaurant on site, so we all got on our bicycles and rode about 2 miles into town to Michael’s Restaurant.  Great food!  They are winners of the International Chowder Cook-off, and the award is well deserved.  It was dark when we finished eating, but we managed to find our way back to the boats with no problems.       
Total miles:   57       Total bridges:  9        Total locks:  0

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 242    Barefoot Landing Marina,
North Myrtle Beach, SC      MM   354
Sunday, April 24, 2011

 Dream Catcher at Barefoot Landing

 Boardwalk to the shops at Barefoot Landing

Heather stops by Dream Catcher

We relaxed during the day.  In the evening we all gathered on Seamoore for appetizers and dinner.  Linda (Jeremiah) made a delicious main course of tilapia on orzo with salsa.  One of our best meals on the loop!   Everyone brought a dish, and Carlton grilled the fish.   A unique Easter dinner! 
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 241   Barefoot Landing Marina,
North Myrtle Beach, SC      MM   354
Saturday, April 23, 2011

 Grande Dunes bridge

Cable cars carry golfers over the ICW from the parking lot to the golf course at Myrtle Beach 

We called Barefoot Landing Marina in the early morning and got the last slip available for the night.  We arrived about 4:30, got checked in, had appetizers on Seamoore, and walked to T-Bonz for dinner.  Excellent food at good prices. 
Last April we attended the AGLCA rendezvous in North Myrtle Beach, so we explored the area at that time.    Next to the dock is a shopping complex built around lakes with connecting boardwalks.  It includes a large variety of tourist stores, clothing stores, restaurants, and more.  It’s a fun place to visit.   
Total miles:   49       Total bridges:  11        Total locks:  0

Day 240    Georgetown Harborwalk Marina,
Georgetown, SC     MM 403
Friday, April 22, 2011

Brenda, Linda, Linda, Jeff, Rich, Jim at The Old Fish House

We left Charleston in the late morning and traveled in the rain most of the day.  It was only the third day of our trip that we have traveled in the rain.  We arrived to sunny skies at Harborwalk Marina where Seamoore, Goofin Off, and Jeremiah had docked the previous day.  Heather was visiting Becky and Carlton, so the 3 of them opted for a “fancy” dinner.  The rest of us walked downtown to the Fish House for “casual”.     
Total miles:   66       Total bridges:  2        Total locks:  0

Days 238 - 239 Charleston City Marina,
Charleston, SC     MM 469
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our tour guide Mary Margaret

Typical front door that opens to the porch rather than the house

Original Charleston prison where life expectancy was 3 months

 Charleston City Market

 A popular fountain where the public is welcome to play and cool off

 Old Exchange and Dungeon
The guides dress in period costumes

One of several animated characters on the Dungeon tour

Typical cobblestone street in Charleston

 Brenda in front of the Heywood-Washington home

Front door of the Heywood-Washington home. 
Pull the doorbell (on the right) to ring it

Kitchen in one of the out buildings

Garden in the backyard of the Heywood-Washington home

We arrived in Charleston late Wednesday afternoon.  Since Seamoore, Goofin’Off, and Jeremiah had previously visited Charleston, they left early Thursday morning.  We took the marina’s free shuttle to the Charleston historic district.  We again took a horse-drawn carriage ride, but it was entirely different from the rides we took in St. Augustine and Beaufort.  Carriage rides in Charleston are a huge industry with numerous businesses competing for the tourists.   Only 20 carriages are allowed on the streets at one time, so we had to sit in a line of carriages until others finished their tour.  We were then given a “lottery-drawn” course to follow which ensures that each carriage company has the same chance to get the best tour route. 
After the carriage ride we walked to the Old Exchange and Dungeon.  It includes part of the original city wall.  During the Revolutionary War, the British used the building as a prison.  They never discovered that the patriots had hidden barrels of gun powder behind the walls.  After the war George Washington visited Charleston, gave a speech on the steps of the Exchange, and attended a party here. 
We also visited the Heywood-Washington home.  It was originally the Heywood family home, but after Washington stayed there while he was in Charleston, the name was changed to the Heywood-Washington home.   
Total miles:   67       Total bridges:  5        Total locks:  0

Day 237   Downtown Marina,
Beaufort, SC     MM 536
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Docked at Beaufort City Marina

At low tide Jim points to where high tide will reach in a few hours

 Notice the ramp in the background at low tide

 Looking down the ramp to our boat at low tide

The ramp to our boat at high tide is level

Our tour guide Bonnie with Rocky

 One of many beautiful Southern homes on our tour

Spanish moss covered tree grows to the ground

Lunch at Luthers with Carlton, Becky, Linda, Rich, and Jeff

Beaufort (pronounced BEW-fort as opposed to Beaufort, NC which is pronounced BO-fort) is a beautiful town with a lot of history.  We took a horse-drawn carriage ride and heard the story about “The Great Skedaddle”.  During the Civil War as the Union troops were about to occupy Beaufort, most of the residents left their homes.  The Union auctioned off  the homes to the highest bidder.  When the war was over, the residents returned to claim their homes.   They took their case to court, but the government upheld the new owners saying that the original owners were not part of the U.S. when they left their homes, so they had no protection under U.S. law. 
Our guide also explained that the slaves cooked meals in kitchens that were separate from the main house due to fire hazards.  So that the slaves could not eat some of the food on the way to the house, a law was passed requiring them to whistle as they carried the food.  The whistling attracted dogs, so another slave had to throw balls of dough for the dogs to keep them from barking for the food.  And that’s how we got the term “hush puppies”!    Not sure if that one’s true, but that’s her story!  
Total miles:   19       Total bridges:  2        Total locks:  0

Day 236   Skull Creek Marina,  
Hilton Head Island,  SC     MM 555
Monday, April 18, 2011

Dinner at Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island

We left Georgia and crossed another state line into South Carolina.  Yeah!  Our accomplishment for the day!    We enjoyed dinner at the Skull Creek Boathouse with Becky, Carlton, Linda, and Jeff.  There was a long wait since the restaurant was packed with crowds from a golf tournament.  But it was worth the wait with lots of good food.    
Total miles:   35       Total bridges:  3        Total locks:  0

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Days 234 - 235      Isle of Hope Marina,
Savannah, GA     MM 590
Saturday April 16, 2011 – Sunday, April 17, 2011
Full moon at Savannah

 Heather, Linda and Rich

Becky, daughter Heather in town for a visit, and Carlton
We spent a couple of days working around the boat including cleaning, laundry, paperwork -  and catching up on the blog! 
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 233       Isle of Hope Marina,
Savannah, FL     MM 590
Friday April 15, 2011

River Street

 River Street

 Yummy taffy made at this store

Savannah River Plaza

World War II memorial

 Savannah has the second busiest cargo ship docks on the East coast

Looper boat docked at downtown Savannah with a car on the deck

Smallest house in Savannah

The only gold leaf City Hall dome in the US

Savannah Cotton Exchange

City Exhange Bell Tower

 Oldest tree in Savannah - over 500 years old

The doors and shutter are painted the color haint - haint blue and it haint green

 Fish shaped downspout

Two sets of stairs - one for men and one for women so that women could hold up their skirts without men seeing their ankles

Each boat in the Looper Boat Train made their own plans for the day.   We caught the 8:43 bus from the marina to historic downtown Savannah.   It turned out to be an hour long ride with countless stops along the way.   We finally arrived downtown, walked a couple of blocks to “Old Savannah Tours”, and purchased an all day pass that allowed us to get on/off of the trolley at any stop.  The tour guide explained a lot of the history of Savannah.   Numerous movies have been filmed here including “Forrest Gump”.  At one of the stops “Forrest” actually got on the trolley for a short conversation with the driver.  It was a great impersonation.   Unfortunately, we were so surprised that we forgot to get a picture! 
We got off the trolley at the last stop and walked the famous River Street with all of its shops and restaurants.  We also walked to the Market District and then decided to ride the complete trolley tour once more.  A different driver had different bits of history to share, so it was another interesting ride.  We opted for a taxi ride home instead of the bus.
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 232       Isle of Hope Marina,
Savannah, GA     MM 590
Thursday April 14, 2011

 Low tide reveals someone's bad day from the past

Arriving at Isle of Hope marina

The “Looper Boat Train” arrived at the Isle of Hope marina a little after noon.  We took the courtesy van to Walmart and then to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Driftaway. 
Total miles:   28       Total bridges:  1        Total locks:  0

Day 231      Walburg Creek anchorage,
Walburg Creek, GA     MM 618
Wednesday April 13, 2011

 Seamoore leads the way into the horizon

One of many jellyfish at our anchorage

Seamoore led the way followed by Dream Catcher, Goofin Off, and Jeremiah on what we dubbed “The Looper Boat Train”.   We had a long day and decided to anchor at Walburg Creek.  When we got close to the anchorage, Dream Catcher took the lead and dropped the hook.  The original plan was for all 4 boats to anchor together, but the winds and currents were both very strong, so only Seamoore tied to us.  Goofin Off and Jeremiah anchored a short distance away.    

Total miles:   66       Total bridges:  3        Total locks:  0
Day 230    Jekyll Harbor Marina,
Jekyll Island, GA     MM 684
Tuesday April 12, 2011

The waterway switchback makes Seamoore seem to float on grass

 IGA on Jekyll Island

 Dinner at SeaJays

Richard, Jill, Becky, Linda, Jeff, Carlton, Brenda, Jim
Strong winds and storm threats caused us to study our charts and decide to take the alternate route from Cumberland Island to Jekyll Island.  The main ICW route requires traveling out to the Atlantic Ocean at St. Andrew Sound.  The alternate ICW route snakes around small waterways and comes out on top of the sound.  We encountered a couple of shallow spots on the alternate route, but arrived safely at our destination.   We were greeted by Jill and Richard (“Finally”) who have just completed the Loop.  Congratulations, Jill and Richard!  We also discovered that Linda and Rich (“Goofin Off”) were here with their friends from home.
Along with Becky, Carlton, Linda, and Jeff, we took the courtesy van to the grocery store which is currently located in a trailer.   The entire downtown area is being renovated, so most of the businesses have moved to temporary locations in trailers.  We also drove through the historic district of the island.
The 6 of us were joined by Jill and Richard for dinner at SeaJays.  
Total miles:   33       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 229     Cumberland Island anchorage,
Cumberland Island, GA     MM 710
Monday April 11, 2011

 Boat repair yard

 Boat repair yard along the ICW

Another very, very long dock from house to boat

 Dingy at the dock with our anchorage in the background

Moss covered trees on Cumberland Island

 Boardwalk to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean

 Brenda on the boardwalk to the beach

 Museum on Cumberland Island

 Dream Catcher, Seamoore, Jeremiah at anchor

Sunset at Cumberland Island

Goofin Off left Palm Coast early since they were planning to meet some friends from home at Jekyll Island.  Along with Seamoore and Jeremiah, we left Palm Coast about 8:30 and arrived at Cumberland Island anchorage about 1:30.  Seamoore dropped the hook, and we tied on one side with Jeremiah on the other.  Jeremiah made 2 trips in his dingy to take all of us (including the dogs) to Cumberland Island.  We walked about ½ mile to the beach.  The trees and sand dunes are beautiful, but the island is famous for wild horses.  Unfortunately, the only evidence of horses that we saw was the stuff that we didn’t want to step in. 
The island is part of the National Park Service.  A small museum explained the history of the island which included the site of 2 estates, built 100 years apart, both named Dungeness.   The later estate was owned by the younger brother of Andrew Carnegie.  Thomas Carnegie, his wife, and 9 children had a totally self-sustaining estate with a staff of 200.  The area is called the Dungeness Historic District. 
The 6 of us had a delicious dinner of steaks, baked potatoes, and salad on Seamoore.      
Total miles:   37       Total bridges:  6        Total locks:  0
Day 228      Palm Coast Marina,
Jacksonville Beach, FL     MM 747
Sunday April 10, 2011

"Finally" on the way to crossing her wake to complete the loop

We left St. Augustine about 9:30 and started for Jacksonville Beach.  Along the way Seamoore hailed another looper boat called “Jeremiah” (of course, it’s green for the bullfrog and their dingy is named Kermit).   “Jeremiah” was traveling about our speed and after some conversation, decided to stop with us at the Palm Coast Marina.  We all arrived about 1:30, and we met Jeff and Linda who are traveling on “Jeremiah” with their dogs Molly and Snickers.    In the evening we went to dinner with Becky and Carlton (Seamoore), Linda and Rich (Goofin Off) and Linda and Jeff (Jeremiah) at a Mexican restaurant called La Nopalera.  

Total miles:   30       Total bridges:  6        Total locks:  0