April 27 - May 2, 2012... South Carolina Sojourn

We left Charleston to get out into the creeks. Our first stop was still close to the city, but we anchored in the marshes of Inlet Creek where we broke out the kayak to explore. The kayak became our primary means of local transportation and we took it over to Isle of Palms, a beach community. There we beached the kayak and walked to the county park where sea turtles were being released by the SC Aquarium. The 73-pound loggerhead had been injured by a boat, and the Kemps Ridleys and hybrid green/loggerhead were saved from freezing in Boston, and flown to Charleston to be rehabilitated. A huge crowd showed up for the release, cheering the turtles down the beach.

After the weekend we left for the Harbor River anchorage near McClellanville, hoping to do some more marsh kayaking. We motored through what we have dubbed, "the land of the long dock" as people stretch their boat docks hundreds of feet from their houses to reach navigable water in the marshes. But, upon arrival at the anchorage, we discovered that our stuffing box was leaking way too much water, so we picked up the anchor next morning and chugged up to Georgetown to see if we needed to have it repacked. [Stuffing box - what's that? A stuffing box is where the prop shaft exits the bottom of the boat. It is supposed to keep water on the outside. Ours wasn't.] This unexpected stop at Hazzard Marina turned out really well when we learned that the packing nut only needed to be tightened. The tense day softened into a wonderful evening as we walked through this beautiful, historic town, and settled into a terrific dinner at the Rice Paddy restaurant. Oh, and let's not forget the added benefit of land showers at the marina!

Wednesday morning after picking up some fresh shrimp and other special provisions, we left the dock and turned up the Waccamaw River. Here we had enough space and depth to comfortably unfurl the jib for an assist to the motor. The view completely changed as we moved further inland. The forests changed to pines; the cypress swamps just gorgeous. The seabirds disappeared and osprey nests started to appear in the high trees and on the markers. Osprey pairs were tending to young in the nests, though we didn't see the chicks. This night we chose to anchor in Prince Creek, a completely uninhabited stretch of water off the Waccamaw. Another peaceful place where the only sounds are bird calls and the wind in the trees. We may never pick up the anchor...we think we have enough food to last a month...

Inlet Creek: +32° 47' 0.06", -79° 49' 30.06"
Harbor River: +33° 2' 4.08", -79° 32' 26.22"
Georgetown: +33° 21' 38.64", -79° 16' 47.94"
Prince Creek: +33° 34' 52.80", -79° 5' 49.56"

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