Cumberland Island, Brunswick, and Beaufort

By aaron.axvig, Fri, 07/03/2020 - 06:31
Anna and Louise on the beach with a horseshoe crab

We motored almost 60 miles to Cumberland Island--a long day!  The next day we went on a long walk on some of the trails there and along the amazing beach.  And the day after we traveled to Brunswick, GA to see our friends Leanne and Mark.  After we anchored near the marina they had us over to their catamaran to visit.  For supper we walked into downtown to find something but not much was open so we went back to their boat and made burgers.  The next day we made the difficult decision to travel on even though we would have loved to stay and visit more.  The holding for our anchor in that spot was not great and storms were forecast, the marina was fairly hostile about us taking our dinghy to their customers' (our friends') boat, there was no other dinghy shore access, and it was very hot.  It was best to keep moving, but only barely.

After a late start at about 11:00am, we made it maybe 5 hours until inclement rain made it seem wise to anchor in a creek that was actually only about a half mile short of where we had been thinking about stopping.  Of course we were still not fast enough and had to do the anchoring in light rain.  That and the next two nights were all spent kind of in the middle of nowhere; Darien Creek, St. Catherine's Island (we noticed magnolia trees/blossoms for the first time here, but did not spot any lemurs), and Skull Creek.

From Skull Creek it was just a short hop to Beaufort, SC.  We found a great nook just south of the city waterfront and ended up spending a little over a week there.  At low tide there was a great sandbar for Louise to play on.  There is a great public dock there so we really enjoyed the town.  One day we rented bicycles and rode on the Spanish Moss Trail which is a "rails to trails" trail...very flat as a former railroad.  Anna dropped her ring off to get a matching band made.  I did a lot of OpenStreetMap editing.  I replaced the air conditioner run capacitor and got the EasyStart working so that we can reliably start our air conditioner using the generator.  It rained a fair amount.  We called the marina to pay for a mooring ball so that we could use their laundry facility; none were available due to maintenance but they were nice enough to let us use the laundry anyways.

Eventually it was time to move on again to so we headed for Charleston.  We stopped short because of a long stretch of opposing tidal currents and approaching storms.  So the next day it was a relatively short day.  At one area called Elliott Cut the tidal current really flows fast.  Our timing was a little off so it was 1.5 knots against us and there was a bridge a couple miles up that had a restricted opening schedule.  A catamaran entered the cut just before us and wasn't going fast enough to make it through the next bridge opening.  He didn't respond to many hailing attempts on the radio so I ended up passing him in the cut.  We had very good maneuverability due to the opposing current but it was still pretty tight in there!  About halfways between the cut and the bridge he hailed us so I was able to explain and apologize for my aggressive driving.  And the bridge opening worked out--we were there on time and he was able to make it through too even though the bridge tender did yell at him on the radio to speed it up!

The anchorage in Charleston was rougher than I liked and I didn't feel like staying there so we motored on the next day to Georgetown.