We head out of Southport and up the Cape Fear River towards Wilmington, but the ICW veers off towards Carolina Beach which is where we were headed to catch a mooring ball and spend a long weekend. A little surprised to find a duck begging for a handout in this anchorage. Carolina Beach mooring field is a terrific stop along the NC coast. Very protected and easy shore access. Larry the harbormaster is the best! He is easy to work with and very responsive. After finding the shore access - there are two for this anchorage. One gets you close to the Carolina Beach Dive Bar. True to its name it a great dive bar with great food and drinks! The Second access gets you two blocks from public beach access. So Beach time it is.
This weekend passed way to fast and we are off again headed up to Mile Hammock anchorage and Camp Lejuene. But first we catch some great sites along the way and plenty of Osprey. And one Bald eagle that chose and interesting place to build a nest. We are close to Camp Lejeune when Dee says there is bridge from the back gate leading to Sneads Ferry. This is gate Dee went through many times during his station at Camp Lejeune. We catch site of some barracks before rounding the bend and heading into the anchorage. It was just beautiful here. You could hear the ocean all night, Except when the marines were practicing. We watched them set up and set out into the woods and listen to their wars games into the night.
The next morning we head north and through the live fire area across the ICW where the marines also practice. Thankfully not today…… but an interesting area to cruise through. We continued to see marine corps osprey flying and Live osprey some with a catch all along our course. We pass through swansboro , the Bodie Sound and Morehead City before making Beaufort, NC…. We spot another endeavor, Pappillon passing through Beaufort as we try to find a spot to anchor we can be happy in as we prepare for the sun to go down and the Memorial Day Weekend ahead. Tomorrow the fun of Beaufort, NC begins…..
We head out of Georgetown and up the ICW into the swamplands of the Waccamaw river before Myrtle Beach area. We needed to stage to cross through myrtle beach because it is narrow and no place to anchor until we cross into North Carolina. So we enjoy the river and the osprey as we head up to anchor in near enterprise creek and the split of the Waccamaw and the ICW. At the time I didn’t realize we were anchored in the river and now off the ICW. It was a busy afternoon but we enjoyed the sun and even better the great sleep in this quiet anchorage. The morning waters were a lake until Next Adventure came from further up river. We would learn as we anchored together in NC that they have another little secret anchorage further up stream that the boaters from the boat ramp don’t bother as much.
The next morning we watched the osprey hunt and the alligators cruise the waters before we pulled anchor and headed through myrtle beach. Check out the turtles sunning on the logs. We first hit the MB area when we find the Socastee swing bridge. One of two we will navigate today on each end of this tight stretch. As we cruise through Myrtle Beach we see another 36 endeavor Maggie and Me. We catch some interesting pictures along the ICW of this bar on the dock, check out those seats, low tides so do they use this boat, and cool signage to help boaters find their way. Then we catch sight of the Broadway at the Beach area and the Grand Marina which leads up along restaurant row. At Barefoot landing Chris and Al, friends of my parents come out to catch a glimpse of us passing by and take this video footage.
At the time we did not know about the Rock Pile area but have since read about it and realized that was why there were so many rocks! We saw this guy having fun anyway as we squeezed through this area.
Finally we reach the little river swing bridge and pass into a very busy area ……. And yes, an elephant in the yard of your pink house only along the ICW.
Finally we spot our anchorage known as bird island. This was a must stop for me and we are now in NC! We have owned Journey for 2.5 years, and have Mooresville, NC on Journey as our home port, but this is the first time we have had her in NC. Our anchorage is in an area is the southern most point of sunset beach, NC and the little river inlet. Why did I want to stop here. I wanted to leave my mail in the Kindred Spirit mailbox. So once Journey was safely anchored we headed in to see if we could find a trail over to the beach and search for the mailbox. There she is. The mailbox is made famous from the Nicholas Sparks book, Every Breath, which is set in Sunset Beach, NC. Yes, you can leave your mail or notes to loved ones in the box. There are so many websites to read about this mailbox, so I will just post them at the end and you can enjoy the discover as much as I did after reading the book. I know I am sappy sentimental romantic but I just had to visit and leave my mail.
Back to Journey for sunset cocktails and a beautiful view our first night on Journey in NC. We met the crew of Next Adventure here who took this great shot before they pulled anchor. WE were not far behind as we had a short hop up to Southport. Once again catching some great sites along the ICW like this dock cover that needs that dock bar we saw in SC.
What do you do when you take the wheels off your home and you live on the ICW, well raise it of course. We cruised along until we passed through the holden beach area and caught site of this small airport. Look up the sky divers are coming back down. We cruise along another narrow stretch as we enter the Southport area.
We had looked at the anchorage situation in Southport which was a little suspect so since we have Shelby and her 25hp engine we Anchorage south of the town in Dutchman Creek. A great little spot only downside it is near a boat ramp and the boaters don’t really care about their wake. Our first encounter was with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Two great guys admiring our boat. They came aboard and checked us out and got a Journey tour. A few recommendation to us before they headed back out. This anchorage enabled us to run up to south port and explore. First Stop Fishy Fishy Cafe which had some great decorative signs. Then off to explore the town which is small and really didn’t take that long. WE did enjoy the walk by the water. On the way back to Journey I got some shots of the Bald head lighthouse and the Oak island lighthouse. Back at Journey we found once again an osprey nest was nearby. South port is done so we wave goodbye to the town and head up the cape fear river towards Carolina beach.
We are secure in our slip at the Maritime Marina in Charleston harbor with a beautiful sunset and view of the Cooper River Bridge. This marina is very close to downtown area, and a great deal especially if you stay a week, but you will rock and roll when the big cargo ships go by. The next day Liberte arrived in Charleston so let the fun began. We enjoyed exploring Charleston on our bikes seeing the beautiful homes and streets, churches, and a stop for some adult ice pops!
The Bridge was beautiful every night and finally for mothers day we decided to bike the bridge over and back. This resulted in a beer of course, and learning that our grand baby would be al little girl. After getting back to Journey, we decided with Mark and Cheryl from Liberte that we should have a dive bar tour. Recovery room was our second stop and here are a few shots, but overall it was a great night of fun, laughs, drinks, and greasy food. Before heading out Dee and I enjoyed an evening at a rooftop bar to celebrate our anniversary.
We head out of Charleston Harbor and see the sights one more time as we enter the ICW and head toward Geogetown. Along the ICW we found it really interesting to see such big expensive homes on one side and then right across these cute little homes, I am choosing the cute little home. Another odd sighting was a life boat from a cruise ship I guess tied up at the dock. Really you never know what you will see along the ICW.
We spotted Kulana in the swamps near Charleston in an anchorage we will return on our trip back south. Kulana is now the Inked Mermaid and we are so excited for Rick and Christi. We just met them in Key West and this boat will be theirs during early next year.
We cruise through more low country of south Carolina we see beautiful landscapes and even this home with no road. We caught and passed Liberte once again. We saw an alligator and dolphins. I was watching the dolphins and noticed the osprey in the tree, but while videoing this event where both must have been fishing, I actually caught neither hitting the water. I did get the osprey flying away and I believe he was empty handed. And more alligators, we were for sure in the swamp land of SC. The first of two bald eagles we will see between Charleston and Georgetown.
As we near the Waccamaw River and Winyah Bay we pass Yawkey Wildlife Center that has a unique ferry type bridge that only closes when someone needs to cross the ICW so it was open when we passed by but just after we were through and the sailboat behind us it closed. We head up river now to Georgetown and see our second bald eagle in flight along the water.
We anchor and wait for Liberte who arrive just for several nights, so they rafted up with us. Time to explore Georgetown which is very boater friendly and has a great little historic district by the water with shops, restaurants and more. After Mark and Cheryl left we continued to explore and walk each day around Georgetown. Noting some of the historic homes and the stories they tell. A beautiful evening in May we enjoyed a wine and chocolate on the deck for our official anniversary. As we watched the osprey fly we realized it was time to fly the drone. Islena arrived with Mike and Mimi on board. They stopped to overnight here in Georgetown and we enjoyed happy hour and some laughs together and was able to get some shots of her in the harbor with Journey. The view of Georgetown each night was special and beautiful. The waters were so still this while we were here. We met the guy on the sailboat next to us and he came over to give us some pointers on fishing around the Georgetown area. Before he headed out Dee flew the drone one more time and got some really great shots of Georgetown and Journey. Good night and Good Bye Georgetown. We loved our stay.
We headed out of Savannah on a busy Sunday morning and passed two lighthouses first the Cockspur Island Lighthouse and then just off the coast line Tybee Island Lighthouse. The cargo ships were just getting too close and we headed out of the channel as soon as we could to get out of their path. Once again the Pelicans dropped by to see if we were fishing and once again we disappointed them. It was a short trip up to Port Royal Sound as we headed into Beaufort, SC to anchor.
We specifically chose this entrance to pass by Parris Island which holds just a few memories for Dee. Parris Island is a marine corp training depot and the only other one is in California. Dee’s journey began on a bus ride at night because everyone arrives at night and stands on the yellow footprints. Dee spend his 3 months from January 5, 1985 to March 28th. He was in the second battalion of the three and plattoon 2020. He describes it as a tearing down and building up of mind and body. It was definitely a life changing experience to earn the title of Marine. He is forever in a brotherhood of long history.
After passing through the Parris Island area we begin to spot some beautiful homes and our first view of Beaufort, SC. We chose to anchor in Factory Creek across from the town and our friends of Liberte saw us on Nebo while over in town and decided to join us in our anchorage. This was the beginning of weeks of traveling, laughing, and breaking break together. The next morning we all took our bikes ashore and were off to explore Beaufort, SC and the beautiful homes and history of this area. We were able to get some pictures of the house in the movie The Big Chill and will later get another view from the water when we head out of Beaufort. We ended our ride with a walk and rest along the boardwalk.
As we headed back to our boats we caught site of some dolphins with their young. We read that this area was a nursery for young dolphins and we enjoyed watching them many times the few days we were in Beaufort, SC. This was a great anchorage with really friendly neighbors.
Liberte headed out ahead of us as we knew we would catch them somewhere along the way. They also planned a detour for some fresh seafood. As we were leaving the area we passed the Marine Corp Air Station Beaufort at Merritt Field and the boys were practicing. We finally caught Liberte and spotted some more military activity and another bald eagle just hanging out.
Not far from our anchorage just south of Charleston in Church Creek we passed a famous house from a Nicholas Sparks movie, The Notebook. Super excited to find this gem. We anchored just in time before the storm. Liberte had to pull over and drop their anchor as this passed. Before the sunset Liberte made it to Church Creek and the sunset did not disappoint.
The next morning we were out early as we had reservation in Charleston, Sc for a week. Liberte would not join us until the next day at the Maritime Marina. We head into Charleston Harbor and see this beautiful city from the water. Enjoy the video and photos!
After the storms parked us on the free dock in Jacksonville, we were joined by several more boats. We spend two nights on the Jacksonville free dock at Sister’s Creek and meet some great new friends some that we will cross paths with again and again. One of the first we met was Stella who I really think believed she as a little lap dog. She sat in everyone’s lap. But this was her mom Michelle on Agape.
We enjoyed cocktails after the storms past north of us and met Mark and Cheryl on Experiencing Liberte, Paul and Michelle on Agape, and David and Amy on Selah Way. They each left the next morning, but Dee and I grabbed our bikes and took bike ride across the bridge over the ICW and ran into the A1A ferry crossing. Bikes were free so why not. We crossed the St. Johns River and rode our bikes around Mayport and then out to North Beach. We stopped for Ice Cream before heading back to Journey. That evening an Endeavor joined us on the free dock, Gypsies Palace and we enjoyed seeing their beautiful 48’ boat. The next morning we waved good bye to the dock and headed to Georgia and Cumberland Island.
We caught another great shot of a Bald Eagle before passing thru Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island . We knew were in Georgia when we say Fort Clinch and crossed St. Mary’s Inlet.
https://www.floridastateparks.org/learn/history-fort-clinch - According to the Florida State Parks website The entrance to the Cumberland Sound and the St Mary’s River has been of vital importance to the people of Florida for close to 300 years. Construction of Fort Clinch began in 1847, by civilians and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the coast of southern Georgia. However, by the outbreak of hostilities at the start of the Civil War, only about two-thirds of the fort had been completed and cannons had yet to be mounted on the walls. The years of neglect began to tell on the old brick walls, as pieces crumbled and sand began to pile inside thanks to Atlantic storms. Fortunately, a few people recognized the significance of this historic site, and Fort Clinch became one of the Florida’s first state parks in 1935.
We were welcomed to Cumberland Island by Agape giving us some much needed advice about anchoring and the crazy tides in Georgia! We dinghy ashore to get the lay of the land and ran into Mark and Cheryl who were headed back to Experiencing LIberte. They said just take our bikes, so off we went to explore Cumberland Island find the wild horses and see the ruins of Dungeness.
https://cumberlandisland.com/ - The history of people on Cumberland Island is rich, varied and linked to the Island’s complex natural habitat. No one really knows how long human beings have used its resources for survival, or been inspired to create art, or simply taken solace in its awesome beauty. We know people populated the coastal region of what we call Georgia as early as 2000 B.C. and that they enjoyed its diverse and delectable food sources, including oysters, crabs, fish, deer, and bear. History that has a more specific record starts with the early Spanish missions in the 16th century. In the 1730s, James Edward Oglethorpe laid out two forts, one on each end of the Island. In the 1750s, aspiring planters came to the Island once slavery was allowed on its shores. After the American Revolution, prestigious families, such as that of Nathaniel Greene, became interested in Cumberland’s natural resources; the first mansion was built on the site we now know as Dungeness. The Civil War had a profound effect on the Island’s human history, and Reconstruction saw both speculators and freed slaves trying to wrest a living out of the chaotic devastation the war had caused. In the early 1880s, Thomas Carnegie and his wife, Lucy Coleman Carnegie, came to the Island and established the family’s presence, which exists to the present day.
Back on board in time for happy hour aboard Selah Way before we all head out the next morning further north. Selah Way joined us in the ocean. It was a beautiful day on the water as we cruised up the Georgia coastline. Enjoying this beautiful day and singing a tune or two. On our trip up We saw Turtles, dolphins, jelly fish, pelicans, and an osprey with its catch. We will not take it from you I promise. We made our way into Kilkenney Creek to anchor putting us some 30 miles south of Savannah where we would stop and catch up with good friends we met in Key West, Inkie and Gernot. The dolphins were excited to see us. Selah Way had cut into an earlier inlet but as the sun began to set I got a call from Amy on Selah Way. They had hit bottom in the inlet and had some issues with one engine or shaft. Running on only one and wanted to know how our anchorage was because they needed a spot. So as the sun went down they putted on in to join us. They pulled out early and we were right behind them. We found a leak in our shaft seal overnight and wanted to get to the marina to better access our issue. So off we went. Here is the beginning of miles and miles of military activity along the Eastern coastline from Georgia to North Carolina.
Of course we can’t forget all the shrimp boats and then this story: We came across this crew flagging us down wanted us to pull them off the bank. They had no idea the depths along the shoreline. Obviously they were not watching the extreme tides of Georgia. I offered to make a phone call and they said that had been done so we wished them well but of course I needed a picture.
Amy and David are safely hauled out and heading North for a few weeks while the boat is worked on but stopped by to share little beers with us before heading off. The next day we headed off to explore Savannah and found a mixologist and enjoyed some of the sites of Savannah. We spotted Experiencing Liberte the next morning finally catching up after following the ICW all the way through Georgia. We are in Savannah to see Inkie and Gernot who is joining us on board for a night on Journey.. So much fun and so many laughs. While hanging on the boat we spotted Carolina girl, another Endeavour. The next morning we headed into Savannah with Inkie and Gernot and met their daughter, Ilke who is studying culinary in Savannah. Some more good times and laughs before they headed back to Dublin, Ga and we head further north into South Carolina. The cargo ships were pretty active for a Sunday morning which we did not expect but finally out in the blue ocean and headed up towards Parris Island and Beaufort, SC.
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