We don't anchor out often. Marinas offer chances to get off the boat and explore a new place. But this anchorage was beautiful. Quiet and protected from the wind. We dropped the anchor and watched the birds swimming close to shore. Before we knew it they were standing...in the same place. That's what happens when the tide goes out. Ha. The sunrise the next morning was breathtaking.
Did you notice the Scout sock? We put the sock over the burgee (flag) at night or the sound of it flapping in the wind drives us crazy. It's small boat, we don't need crazy.
Windmill Yacht Club, Hilton Head
The entrance to this yacht club is a small lock. After our experience with big locks this one was just plain fun. And the marina was full of expensive boats. Big, expensive boats. We weren't intimidated at all...cuz Nellie May is so cute. We had lots of people walk by and tell us so.
We went to dinner at the Clubhouse. Since we weren't dressed up (?) they put us in the bar area. Still pretty fancy, and the buffet dinner was fantastic.
Beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina
We loved this place. The marina is right downtown with good showers and laundry facilities, and there were many restaurants within walking distance. The city has a wonderful waterside park with porch swings that whisper "sit...swing...stay awhile and just watch the boats go by," so we did!
The best part was the carriage ride/tour around the historic district to see all the antebellum homes.
Charleston, South Carolina
We spent a week in Charleston at the Charleston Harbor Marina. It is the fancy marina with 2 pools and a hot tub. The sun was out for 2 days and then it rained and cooled off. So instead of sunbathing we played tourist in Charleston. We took the water taxi across the bay to downtown Charleston. We started our "tourist" afternoon with a horse-drawn tour. Then we walked back to the museums we wanted to explore. There was so much to see!
Even though we are a small boat there are times when we have to have a bridge open for us as we travel on the ICW. This is what it looks like when a railroad swing bridge opens to let us through.
It never gets old to see this happen.
Southport, North Carolina
We love Southport. This is where the movie Safe Haven (Nicolas Sparks novel) was filmed. We watched the movie and then took a golf cart tour of the filming locations. It sounds hokey but our guide was a fountain of information about the filming because he was one of the local "extras".
The Maritime Museum was great, including the submarine periscope.
Beaufort, North Carolina
Remember "Beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina"? Beaufort, North Carolina is pronounce Bow-fert. The locals will correct you if you get it wrong...
I am all about the showers at marinas. This time I saw something I have never seen before. This is what it looks like when you take your dog into the shower with you. Not quite sure what to think about that...
Lamb's Marina in Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Think Mayberry...that is the feel in Lamb's Marina. We had just crossed the Albemarle Sound and were looking for a place to rest and wait out the huge wind storm that was predicted. This little marina was off the river and very quiet, and everyone we met there was a true character. We were the only transient boat. And we got lots of comments ---"how the heck did you get here from South Dakota?"
Mr. Bill, the habormaster, drove us the 10 miles into Elizabeth City to Lowes for some parts. Then he shopped with us. A truly nice guy.
Meeting local people is one of the hightlights of this trip for us.
The Great Dismal Swamp
The Great Dismal Swamp sounds creepy, right? It was gorgeous. It's hard to describe the quiet on this stretch of water. The reflections were almost hypnotizing.
It is a State Park with a free dock. We tied up and went to the visitor center for information and map of the area. Then we took a hike through the swamp on the elevated dock walkway. It has been cold enough there that the bugs aren't out yet. When it warms up I think they could carry you away. I'm serious.
AGLCA Spring Rendezvous
Twice a year the America's Great Loop Cruising Association hosts a conference for people who are either planning to do the Loop, on the Loop right now or have finished the Loop. This conference hosted over 300 people for 4 days of classes, meals and fun activities. The above picture shows the nearly empty marina before all the Loopers showed up.
Your name tag told people if you were in the Planning stage, In Progress, or Completed the Loop. As you can imagine, the Planners out numbered the rest of us. And they were full of questions! We gave tours of Nellie May two afternoons. So many people were interested in how we live on our 25 foot Ranger Tug. It was fun to show her off and share the excitement.
Tim and I started this adventure 8 months ago. We have over 3,800 miles under our keel. It was fun to share what we have learned with the Planners, and it was really fun to reconnect with other In Progress Loopers that we met along our trip but haven't seen for months.
Old friends, new friends and time off the boat. It was good.
Tim and I started our Great Loop Adventure on 9-11-2017 in Ottowa, Illinois. We put the boat on a trailer and drove 9 hours from our home in South Dakota to Heritage Harbor Marina in Ottowa to put her in the water. Tim's brother, Dan, drove the truck and trailer back to our house. Thanks Dan!