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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Southport, NC - now have proof that bikes can't swim.



 The trip up the AICW (Atlantic InterCoastal Waterway) is always interesting. We never know what we are going to see. For many days now marshes have been the only sight for miles. The scenery is changing. 
This boat was along the AICW on the way to Southport, NC.  It looks like it has been there for some time. Wonder what happened....

I am sure you can tell by now, I cannot see too many shrimp boats. Aren't they amazing! The names are most entertaining!

Nice to know the Old Ferry Seafood owner has a sense of humor!

As we cruised, we could see the homes that were built on the ocean. The strip of land between the AICW and the Atlantic is quite narrow.

This is a huge home with "sticks" for the first floor.

I had to take this picture of the dunes. The view reminded me of my hometown, Holland, MI.



Marina office of St. James Marina. A great restaurant is in the building as well. On Friday night the restaurant was packed. We enjoyed dinner with former
Loopers, Leslie and Harry, who have a slip in the development. Wayne and Ruth from High Spirits met them on the Loop when in Canada.

Here we are nicely backed into the slip. There were 3 other Grand Bank 42's in the Marina.


Typical home in the St. James development. Each home is different and tastefully done.

Once again, Jim is in the engine room.  We changed the oil in the transmissions while a the Southport Marina.  It is important to change the oil when the transmissions are warm, so we planned to change the oil as soon as we arrived in the Southport Marina.  In this picture, Jim is taking a sample of the oil in the transmission before we change the oil. Very informative to review the analysis of the oil from oil change to oil change. We had the oil tested at purchase and it revealed one of the transmissions needed an overhaul.


Provision Company is a small restaurant on the water serving fresh seafood. Our order was taken at the counter and we were instructed to go to the cooler for our drink and they would deliver the food to our table. Whatever the customers drink is added to the bill based on the honor system ( includes wine or beer) and you pay on the way out the door.

Provision Company was busy at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The waitress is doing an incredible job. How does she carry all those dishes and keep track of the food?
This picture was taken immediately after the bike swimming test. The dock was really "rocky" and my bike fell into the water. My 25 year old bike never learned to swim and sank to the bottom before we could catch it. Jim got the boat hook and "fished" it out. We were REALLY lucky to find the bike on the bottom. The current in this area is really strong. Jim gave my bike a fresh water bath, some WD40 and we were on our way. We probably won't test the bike's swimming skills again.

Buddy has been running next to Jim's bike. We are giving his as much exercise as possible. Buddy brought his kennel when he returned to the boat after his 3 month vacation in Michigan with his nephew Vernon. Whenever we leave the boat without Buddy, he willingly goes into his kennel. We are having fewer problems with missing items on the boat. Since I am the photographer, you don't see BooBoo, who is riding in his baby carrier on my chest. He rather enjoys the bike rides perhaps more than Buddy. Haha Buddy!
This home was built by a Blockade Runner during the Civil War. He made gobs of money as a Blockade Runner and built this home on the River.
Large homes and small homes line the streets of Southport. Most of the homes in the city are from the 1800's or early 1900's. So charming!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Myrtle Beach, SC - rain, rain and more rain!

We left Georgetown, SC with the threat of rain and winds. Review of the charts for our 50 mile voyage showed we would be in a narrow river or canal for the entire day.

Part of the day was in the pouring rain. Difficult to see through the Eisenglass and the driving rain.
The scenery is starting to change. No longer are we seeing the marshes we have seen for so many days, but we cruised through our first cedar marsh. We had seen marshes of trees with deep water in the Panhandle of Florida, but not on the East Coast. The water is dark with tanin.

The cedar forest lines the Waterway.
Along the AICW (Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway) are beautiful homes in this area. There are homes and developments waiting for the economy to improve. Some of the homes on the waterway are incredible.

Small home along the Intercoastal in Myrtle Beach.

Jim bought a pair of new sandals. Here is proof of his shopping.
Jim and Wayne found a tractor in one of the stores. Here they are talking "tractor".
Wayne and Ruth are enjoying the warm weather. Perhaps they should consider wearing more conventional clothing.
Jim, Bud and Boo our for a late night "walk". Do you see little Boo?

Ruth and I begged the Harbormaster to drive us the 3 miles to Walmart. The Cruise Guide stated they would drive us.  We took advantage of the opportunity.

We enjoyed dinner with Jerry and Carolyn from Sassy and Wayne and Ruth from High Spirits. We had not seen Jerry and Carolyn for many months.
The Barefoot Landing Marina is located on the East side of the Waterway. Barefoot Landing Resort is located directly across the Waterway on the West side. Confused yet? We are! We had our mail sent to Barefoot Landing a week ago. We were lucky and picked the Marina that had our mail in hand. We love reading our magazines we received, but Jim is still awaiting his Passage Maker. The perfect Looper magazine!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Georgetown, SC, charming southern town/

Though this building may not look like much, people were working inside the building cleaning fish.
Many of the ports along the ICW have fishing fleets of varying sizes.
 
  Georgetown was originally settled in 1526 as the earliest settlement in North America by Europeans. The colonists stayed a short time and the next settlement was in 1670 by the English. As in many other southern cities, indigo became the cash crop from 1745 to 1775.

This house was built in 1903.

After the American Revolution, rice became the staple crop along the rivers and rice plantations were established on the five rivers. By 1840, Georgetown produced nearly half the total rice crop of the US. This wealth produced lovely homes and gracious hospitality that lasted until about 1860. Today, Georgetown is the 2nd largest seaport in South Carolina.

We stayed at the Boat Shed Marina on the Sampit River. We rather enjoy small, friendly marinas. They have only 25 total slips with 5 being transients. (Yes, we are transients.) Ruth and I walked into Georgetown and found a charming downtown along with charming homes from the early 1700's.
Boat Shed Marina dock. Room for only a few boats.
Jim and Wayne conferring on Jim's stuffing box and Wayne's non-working diesel engine.

Merried with Her and Scopeta, who we have known for some time, were at the neighboring marina and invited us for cocktails. We enjoyed seeing them again and sharing sea stories.
This building is on the dock at the marina. Charming!

Meanwhile, Jim worked on the stuffing box as it is leaking like a faucet and Wayne from High Spirits lost an engine and had to come in one one engine. He changed the fuel filters and cleaned all the lines. Not a pleasant job in the engine room when it is 80 degrees outside. High Spirit has suffered with fuel problems since they started the Loop in Ontario. They even resorted to pumping all the fuel out of the tanks and having the tanks scrubbed while in Snead Island. Apparently there are still issues.

Traveling on the Loop is a constant mechanical project. We truly take it in stride and help each other as much as possible.

On to Myrtle Beach. Weather forecast is for rain and wind. If I were sailing I would say "Great", but when Looping we say "not so great".

Monday, April 25, 2011

Charleston packed full of history!

The scenery continued to be marshy and water flat. Made for a nice trip. So odd to see boats "across" the marsh as we wind our way through the marshes.
Marsh, marsh and more marsh.

These boats are winding and twisting through the marsh.

Northern Spy is a 1954 Huckins. The yacht was restored and repowered with Volvo IPS drives in Rockport, Maine. Jim and I visited the Huckins Plant where Northern Spy was built in 1954. Huckins continues to build boats in the same style today in Jacksonville, along the Ortega River.

Mathis Trumphy, 1919. Innisfail available for charter.

Mega Dock means a long walk to doggy territory.
 
Sailing ships and power boats line the Mega Dock at the Charleston City Marina.


South Carolina State Flag
 We arrived in Charleston with High Spirits and located the Mega Dock, City Marina. It is a huge marina, though our preference would have been the Charleston Maritime Marina. Because of the Easter Holiday, the marina was full. They only have 25 slips and 1/2 are in water...that isn't deep enough.

We see these small cruise ships is many harbors, including those along the St. Johns River in Northern Florida.
These few days have been packed full of good fun. We visited by tourist boat, Fort Sumter on an island in the middle of the Harbor. The Fort was built following the War of 1812. Granite was imported from England to build up a sandbar, located in the harbor.  Fort Sumter is best known as the place where the first shots were initiated that started the Civil War.

The canons were found in the harbor and archaeologists took years to remove the salt from the cannons before they could be displayed.

The Hunley is in a fresh water tank in North Charleston.

This is the replica. The submarine remains in a fresh water tank and should be ready for display in two more years.

My favorite was the H. L. Hunley Research Center.  The Hunley is one of history's great maritime mysteries. On February 17, 1864, eight men entered an experimental vessel with a mission to sink the USS Housatonic. On that day, the H.L. Hunley became the first successful combat submarine in world history.

The Hunley rammed her spar torpedo into the hull of the Housatonic, causing the hugh warship to sink in 3 minutes.  After completing the momentous feat, the Hunley crew signaled their success to shore, but were never seen again. To this day we do not know why they disappeared.

After being lost at sea for more than 130 years, the Huntley was located in 1995 and raised in 2000 by a crew organized by Clive Cussler. The sub was brought to the Charleston naval base and scientists continue to work to unlock the mysteries of the Hunley.The crew members were buried following a 4.5 mile horse-drawn caisson procession through downtown Charleston. Hundreds of journalists came to Charleston to cover what was called the last Confederate burial.  As you can see, we thoroughly enjoyed the visit, though it took a long cab ride to the Research Center. Visits are only scheduled on weekends as the scientists continue to investigate the Hunley during the week.

Jim and Wayne in the replica which is 10% bigger than the actual submarine. The replica was built for a movie starring Donald Sutherland.

Ruth and I had to give it a try. It was REALLY difficult. How did they get 4 miles out when it is so incredibly difficult? Being in the right place for an outgoing tide would help, but there was only so much oxygen....

Next we "cabbed" to Patriots Point and inspected the submarine USS Clamagore. The 322 foot diesel powered submarine was commissioned in June, 1945 and spent her 30 year career operating out of Key West, Charleston and New London, CT. She was decommissioned in 1975. The torpedo room was most interesting. Crew bunks surrounded the torpedoes and were located almost on top of each other.

Uss Clamagore

The other ship we toured was the USS Yorktown, "the Fighting Lady". She is the 10th aircraft carrier to serve in the US Navy. She was commissioned in 1943 and played a significant role in the Pacific offensive in late 1943 that ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945.The ship is huge, but one can still not imagine carrying a crew of 3500 and 90 planes. She served in the Vietnam War and recovered Apollo 8, the first men to reach the moon. Decommissioned in 1970, she was towed to Yorktown and dedicated as a museum.

USS Yorktown.


Boo, on the other hand, rides in his baby carrier. Since Mom is the photographer, this is the best picture we have of BooBoo.

Before and after zinc. Jim replaced the zincs before we left Michigan and needed to be replaced again, obviously!
Buddy and his Dad are getting a good workout. Will Marley, I mean Buddy ever settle down and be of those perfect yellow labs?
 Jim was again in the engine room checking things out. The impellers do not need to be replaced, but the zincs in the heat exchanger on the diesel engine, for example, need replacement. Zinc anodes are used as underwater protection against corrosion. When a boat has anodes, typically of zinc, they will corrode before other metals because zinc has more active voltage. There are zinc anodes attached to the hull, on the propeller shafts and other places, besides the engines.