Derelict Boats in Georgetown, South Carolina

Georgetown is situated on what appears to be an old meander of the Sampit River, before the channel broke through to create its current, straighter course to the Waccamaw River. If this is the case, Georgetown would probably be sitting on an oxbow lake if not for dredging by the Army Corps of Engineers. Regardless of how it was formed, Georgetown’s main harbor, just off downtown, abuts a narrow channel and is sheltered by a small island. There is also a second anchorage to the west of the island, near a large mill. The downtown waterfront has been redeveloped in recent years, with a walkway along the river and two public docks for day useage and dinghies.
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Negotiating the Rock Pile on the Way to Georgetown, South Carolina

Once we had the engine running and pumping water, we re-stowed all the gear in the lazarette and raised the anchor. Slowly making our way out of the Calabash an hour or two after low tide, we felt our way towards the ICW’s R “2” marker so that we could avoid the shoal at the mouth of the river. Seeing depths quickly shallow to seven feet, I was barely making way when a large head boat came around the bend upriver and barreled towards us. As I continued to try to pick our way across the shoal, the head boat came up fast on our port quarter blasting its horn repeatedly and, just before passing us, throttling back, abruptly reducing their speed. I was grateful they had eliminated their wake, because it would have surely caused us to bounce off the bottom, but had no idea what they were thinking. They could see us for a few hundred yards before they took any action, and their signals neither indicated they wanted to pass nor consisted of the five short blasts warning of imminent danger. As our hearts raced and I continued to try to stay afloat, they eased by us to port, easily clearing the bar with their local knowledge and shallower draft.
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Engine Problems in the Calabash River

The following morning, when we awoke on the Calabash River, we intended to get going early as we had a number of miles, and the dreaded Rockpile, to cover before we arrived in Georgetown, South Carolina. Moreover, we wanted to get to Georgetown early enough to enjoy a few beers and dinner ashore. We quickly got the cabin situated and figured we would eat breakfast underway. All ready to go, I turned the key on the engine, but rather than it effortlessly turning over, only a little clicking occurred. I waited a few seconds, and tried again with the same result. Finally, on the third try, the engine started with only a moment of hesitancy.  The instant relief quickly disappeared, however, as we realized there was no water coming out the exhaust, meaning the engine was not being cooled. More than a little concerned, I shut down the engine and started to troubleshoot.
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Snows Cut, Deep Point Marina, and Calabash River: South from Wrightsville Beach on the ICW

The first day my Dad joined me on the boat, we went from Wrightsville Beach to Calabash River on the border between North and South Carolina. On the whole, it was an easy forty-five mile day, though we did have a little bit of stress passing through Snows Cut and coming into Deep Point Marina for gas and a pumpout. But the most challenging part of the day was anchoring at the end of it in the narrow confines of Calabash Creek.
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North Brother Island in the East River

Today, Margaret and I drove up to Madison, Wisconsin with some of her students for a conference, so I did not get around to finishing my daily post (besides the driving, I was distracted by too much good beer and cheese in this city!). But I did want to share this New York Times article on the history and possible future of North Brother Island. Anyone who has transited the East River will remember North Brother, just east of Rikers. As you are heading downriver, North Brother appears just before you start slipping down into Hell Gate. Its trees and tangled vines, barely hiding the remains of a few buildings, really captured my imagination as we passed by. The guidebooks, as well as the Times article, detail how Typhoid Mary was quarantined on the island in the early twentieth century. But the article also goes into some other aspects of North Brother’s interesting history and details the potential, and difficulties, of building a park on the island. It is a short piece, but well worth the read for anyone who has slipped passed North Brother on an ebbing current.

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Choosing a Sailrite sewing machine

sailrite

Today we bit the bullet and bought a Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Premium sewing machine.  We have been procrastinating for a long while now, putting off the purchase for as long as possible.  What made us finally commit today, you ask? Sailrite was running a boat show special, 10% off any walking foot machine, and when we considered the sizeable investment that we would be making in the machine, 10% translated to a lot of rum money!
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Audrey Paige – Another Bayfield 36

I just found this post that I wrote back when we were still looking at boats. Since the boat is still for sale, I figured it might be useful to some folks out there if I put it up. I had written up my comments on the boat shortly after we saw it, but I guess we were still waiting to put the pictures in and for Margaret to add her comments when we both got sidetracked with Bear.

While we were en route from Indiantown to Harbortown Marinas, we realized we would be done looking at the four boats Wally was showing us by the early afternoon. So, we decided to call another broker and see if we could get on one more boat before we headed back across the state again to my folks’ place. The Fort Pierce-Stuart area seems to be the epicenter of used boats, not just in Florida or the United States, but really the entire world. So, we had a couple boats to choose from once we consulted our spreadsheets. Margaret was still rather high on the Bayfield, so we decided to inquire about a well outfitted model in Fort Pierce that had just been reduced by 18,000 dollars. The broker had no problem fitting us in that afternoon, so it would be a five boat day.
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Anchoring Aboard Bear: Our Anchor Snubbers

As we got Bear ready to depart the dock in Branford, Connecticut, we had a long list of things that needed to be done. Of course, the list was not anywhere near completed by the time we took off. One of the things that remained was to devise some method of snubbing the anchor. A snubber would take the pressure of the anchor off the windlass, keep the chain from jumping out of the gypsy, and help ease our motion when the winds kicked up enough to pull the catenary out of the chain. All of that, I realized, was important, but, having previously only anchored with rope rodes, I really had no idea what our snubber should look like. And, I am sorry to say, it took me the better part of the summer to figure it all out despite seeking advice from various cruising books and the internet.
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Anchoring Aboard Bear: Our Anchoring Routine

Regardless of whether we were anchoring with the Bruce or the Rocna, we went about dropping and setting the hook in the same fashion. We honed our routine slightly as the summer went on, but, for the most part, Margaret and I anchored the same way that we have on charter boats and, for that matter, the same way I did on my Catalina 22.
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Anchoring Aboard Bear: Our Rocna and a Nasty Squall

The instructions included with the Rocna say that you need to be careful when using it because the anchor can set so quickly that unsuspecting crew might be jolted. Margaret and I had a good laugh at that one while still on the mooring in Annapolis. Then we headed across Chesapeake Bay to St. Michaels, anchoring with the Rocna for the first time in the narrow confines of Fogg Cove. Choosing a tight spot between a channel marker, another anchored boat, and the docks of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, we dropped the hook and, while idling backwards, felt ourselves come to a sudden stop. The experience was not dramatic enough to pull us off our feet or really even justify the warning in the instructions, but it was noticeable compared to the slow drag and set that we were used to with the Bruce.
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