Saturday, May 31, 2008

Myrtle Beach, Sc to Wrightsville Beach, NC

Leaving Myrtle Beach Yacht Club
Saturday, May 31, 2008 "Island Hopper" departed Myrtle Beach Yacht Club at 6:50 AM. We left early due to the falling tides. Winds were SW 10 - 20 with the temperatures in the mid 80's. We traveled on the outside for 2 1/2 hours for 45 miles and then went 35 miles on the inside. The outside was choppy and rough, but the inside was smooth traveling. We arrived at Wrightsville Yacht Club at 11:30 AM. We were glad to arrive early because we had laundry that we wanted to get done. After our boating chores we walked about 1 1/2 miles toward the beach. We soon realized that it was miles to the beach and we turned around and went back to the yacht club. We ate dinner at the restaurant next door called Bluewater. It was a beautiful day to relax. Tomorrow will be another early morning due to the bridge openings and the low tides.
Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach invites you to slip your shoes off and just enjoy the vacation atmosphere. Blow up a beach ball and taake a dip, and promise yourself you won't look at your watch all day.
Scenes Along The Way

"Island Hopper" docked at Wrightsville Yacht Club

Friday, May 30, 2008

Georgetown, SC to Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, Myrtle Beach, SC

Friday, May 30, 2008 - Happy Birthday "Best Bird Dog Tate" !!!! Today is Tate's 11th Birthday
"Island Hopper" departed the dock at Hazzard Marina, Georgetown, SC at 9:00 AM. Debbie served Kevin homemade omelets prior to leaving. Skies are overcast, but clearing with winds NE 5 and a temperature of low 70s. This is perfect weather to travel. Today we will be traveling approximately 58 miles on the inside to the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club located in Coquina Harbor. ( Myrtle Beach Yacht Club guards the Harbor's northerly (innermost) shores, near 33.51.905 North/078 38.325 West. In spite of its name, this nautical establishment is a first class marina that accommodates many transient craft that choose to visit Cocquina Harbor. This facility boasts what just may be the best fuel prices on the South Carolina Waterway. Captain Kevin is hoping this is the case.
The Grand Strand - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach entered the 20th century as a quiet, untamed parcel of South Carolina coastline, but Frank Burrough and B.G. Collins changed all that. The duo teamed up to create a lumber and navel supply company in Conway, and they purchased thousands of acres of coastline between the North Carolina border and Murrells Inlet. While Burrough and Collins were buying, they noticed that northern resort areas were drawing big crowds - and big earnings. So the entrepreneurs expanded their plans to include a resort destination. Word spread and before long tourists started arriving by train to enjoy the mild, sandy vacation spot. Named after the many wax myrtle bushes that sprouted along the coast, Myrtle Beach grew like a weed. Big businessmen from around the country viewed Myrtle Beach with dollar signs in their eyes. Large scale resorts popped up seemingly overnight. Landscapers chiseled out golf courses and developers installed everything they could think of to make this a vacation hot-spot: shopping centers, amusement parks, restaurants, theaters, and night clubs. Surprisingly the gaudiness of Myrtle Beach's main drags is not apparent from the ICW. There are no bright lights or high-rise hotels along this stretch of water. In fact, it is hard to believe that until the turn of the century, all of Myrtle Beach was one like the peaceful, unassuming shoreline of the ICW. That has actually been one of the biggest pleasures of the boat trip. Looking at small towns and the history that created them.
We arrived at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club at 2:30 PM, took on 250 gallons of fuel, (No they don't have the cheapest prices in South Carolina!!!!) and went to our assigned dock space. We can see the lighthouse from the dock.

We walked to the restaurant next door to the MBYC. Umberto's is a little restaurantat Coquina Harbor. Tomorrow will be an ealy morning. We will be leaving the yacht club at 7:00 AM due to bridge openings and low tides.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Charleston, SC to Georgetown, SC

Thursday, May 28, 2008 "Island Hopper" left the marina at 8:50 AM. The weather was rainy and in the low 70's. There were light winds and calm water as we traveled on the inside. We arrived at Hazzard Marina in Georgetown, SC at 2:00 PM. The skies were clearing and the sun began to peep through the clouds. After getting the boat secured and some chores accomplished, Debbie & Kevin walked about 2 miles into the town to do some sightseeing. The town is quaint with many antique stores, small shops and about a dozen restaurants. The city has created a nice Harbor Walk along the water to the Kaminski Museum.
Hazzard Marina

Harbor Inn in Georgetown

A Quaint Shop on Front Street

The Harbor Walk

Facts About Georgetown, SC Georgetown is South Carolina's third oldest city behind Charleston and Beaufort. Situated on a peninsula, Georgetown is surrounded on three sides by water. On the east by Pee Dee, Black and Waccamaw Rivers, on the west by Sampit River, and on the south by Winyah Bay formed by the convergence of these rivers. As a bustling pre-Revolutionary seaport, sailing ships docked here bringing manufactured goods from Europe and leaving with the trade products of the low country - indigo, rice, and cotton.In 1729 Elisha Screven laid the plan for Georgetown and developed the city in a four-by eight block grid. Referred to as the "Historic District" the original grid city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and still bears the original street names, lot numbers, and many of the original homes. Front Street is lined with quaint shops and restaurants, many with decks overlooking the harbor.
The Rice Museum (
We ate dinner at Rice Paddy Restaurant on Front Street. Again we had a wonderful southern meal.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sightseeing in Charleston, Sc

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 We took the 10:00 AM shuttle from the Charleston City Marina to downtown Charleston. It is just a 10 minute shuttle ride. As soon as we arrived near the market area we took a carriage ride through the downtown area. It was a great way to see the city. Walked about 5 miles through the town and saw beautiful historic homes, historic buildings, the waterfront, Charleston campus and the Marion Park.
Debbie & Kevin Playing and Sightseeing in Charleston
We had dinner tonight at Magnolias. It is a famous restaurant serving low country food. We had a wonderful dinner. ( Another great day in Charleston, SC.

Debbie Outside Magnolias

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beaufort, SC to Charleston, SC

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 Departed the dock at 9:00 AM. Again we had to wait for the higher tide for later cuts in our travel. T emperatures today are in the low 80s with SW winds 5-10. It is a very sunny day. The The Dawho River is a beautiful passage to travel by boat. The water just runs into marsh land.
A Beautiful Home on the Waterfront
Mother Osprey and Baby in the Nest on the Water
We arrived at the Charleston City Marina at 3:00 PM. The marina is at Mile Marker 469.5 on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Heading into Charleston
Just Another "Small" Yacht on the Dock in Charleston
Things To See and Do In Charleston Charleston is a city that fully represents southern style: beautiful church spires, open-air markets, horse drawn carriages, and many homes of grand designs, fronted by porticoes and verandas of course, ringed with stands of palmettos. We took the shuttle in to town and had drinks at the Pavilion level of the Market Pavilion Hotel. ( The bar is on the pavilion level and allows you to see high above the beautiful town of Charleston. After a glass of wine we to to High Cotton for dinner. Both restaurants were suggested to us by a couple we met from Charleston and a few natives from Beaufort.(
Debbie Outside High Cotton Restaurant

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hilton Head Island, SC to Beaufort, SC

Monday, May 26, 2008 - HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!! "Island Hopper" departed the dock at 9:50 AM heading to Beaufort, SC. We waited to leave for higher tides. Tides in this area is running around 6 feet. Temperatures are in the high 70s. It rained briefly this morning, but the skies are now overcast with blue skies peeping from behind the clouds. We will be traveling 28 miles on the inside. Winds are mild SW 5-10. Current is .9 of a mile per hour. Along the waterway we saw many beautiful homes. Some were historic homes and others were newly built. It was a very picturesque ride.

We arrived at the Downtown Marina of Beaufort at 12:30PM. The marina is located in the heart of the historical district and is a well-appointed facility.

Debbie using the well-appoinrted laundry facilities
Beaufort History The long and colorful history of Beaufort stretches back to early exploration and colonization by the Spanish empire. The first European to visit the region was apparently Francisco Cordillo, who landed at Port Royal Island in 1520. It was he who named the nearby cape St. Elena, which with the passage of the years became St. Helena. In 1557, the Spanish attempted to establish a base in the area, but the colony failed. In 1562, an adventurous Frenchman named Jean Ribaut led a group of French Protestants to the New World. The colonist built a settlement on nearby Parris Island and named their small town Charlesfort. For a time all went well, but the colony was doomed to end in tragic and grimly failure. Promising to return as soon as possible, Ribault sailed back to France to obtain needed supplies. When the dynamic leader arrived in his mother country, he found the French nation torn asunder with religious conflict. He traveled to England hoping for aid, but was thrown in prison and vanished from the canvas of Beaufort's early history. Meanwhile, the Parris Island colonists were quickly running through their supplies. So the colonists decided to set sail for France. Spanish soliders returned to Parris Island in 1566 and built Fort San Felipe. With the burning of St. Augustine, FL, by Sir Frances Drake in 1566, Spanish efforts to maintain a foothold in the lands lying about modern-day Beaufort were brought to an end. In 1660, following the restoration of the English monarchy, Britain sent an expedition under William Hilton to explore the Carolina coast. Beaufort and Port Royal were occupied by British forces in 1779. Prosperity returned around 1790 with the rise of Sea Island cotton. Until 1860, the long-staple plant brought fabulous wealth to Beaufort, as it did to the surrounding Sea Islands. In 1893 , a hurricaneof astonishing violence struck Beaufort. The town and nearby island were covered with 12 feet of water, and winds of more than 100 miles per hour wreaked havoc. Prosperity finally began a long awaited return to Beaufort during World War I with the establishment of the Parris Island Marine Base nearby. The event was followed by the establishment of thePort Royal Port Authority in 1955 and the opening of a major shipping terminal at Port Royal in 1958. With the historic restorations and a beautifully landscped waterfront. Beaufort's future as a tourist attraction appeared bright. Beaufort Today The Beaufort downtown Bay Street shopping district, virtually next door to the Downtown MArina of Beaufort, boasts a colorfularray of gift shops , restaurants, and a surprising number of art galleries. Thereis much to see and do in the historic district.
Historic Downtown Beaufort

Local Art

More Local Art

Island Hopper at the Dock in Beaufort

We walked into town around 7:30 PM and had dinner on the porch of Plums.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Day in Paradise - Exploring Hilton Head Island, Sea Pines

Sunday, May 25, 2008 Today is a day to just relax and play on the island. This morning we walked around Harbour Town and took in the sights. It is a lovely planned resort community. Kevin went to the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse while Debbie toured the shops. Later in the day Debbie got some sun while Kevin rented a bike to tour the island. Today is sunny and in the low 80s. The humidity is down and it is a beautiful day to be outdoors.
The Harbour Town Manatee
The Crowleys came to the boat for cocktails at 5:00 PM. Kevin and debbie had dinner at Quarterdeck. Another great seafood dinner.
Papa Joe and Joey

St. Simons Island, GA to Hilton Head, SC

Saturday, May 24, 2008 We got up early and left the dock at 7:15 AM. The weather prediction was for the winds to build in the late afternoon to 20-25 with rain possible. The temperature was in the 70s when we left St. Simons Island. Seas were 2-3 with winds variable 5-10, butbuiltto 10-15 for a time then became calm as we approached Hilton Head Island. Never did experience high afternoon winds as predicted. It was a great day to travel. As we were approaching Hilton Head the water was filled with Jellyfish. The dock master said that it is the time of the year for them and this type does not sting. We arrived at Harbour Town Yacht Basin, Hilton Head at 12:30 PM after traveling 100 miles.

Debbie washing the salt off "Island Hopper"

Harbour Town Yacht Basin Marina Harbour Town yacht Basin is South Carolina's premier yachting resort. The famous lighthouse

is visible from the Intracoastal Waterway. For almost four decades, Harbour Town has been a celebrated landmark for sailors cruising the Intracoastal. It is more than a marina, offering all the pampering services of a fine hotel. You can play golf at Harbour Town Golf Links or Tennis at the Racquet Club. There are five miles of sandy beaches. The slips are just steps away from scores of fine restaurants, shops and lounges. Harbour Town is like no other yachting destination in the world. Hilton Head Island Hilton Head is a bustling year-round resort, named after 17th century explorer William Hilton, and is the best known of South Carolina's sea islands. As the largest barrier island on the Atlantic Coast, it is amply endowed by nature and history and offers something something nearly year-round for everyone, including a choice of excellent marina resorts. English Navy Captain William Hilton "discovered" Hilton Head Island, first spotting this remarkable piece of real estate in 1663. While the island wouldn't take on a reputation as a first-rate resort destination until a development boom in the 1950s, it was used extensively before that, mostly for growing crops such as Sea Island cotton, sugar and indigo. Despite its relatively recent development, Hilton Head does boast a number of historic sites, including two Civil War forts and Baynard Ruins, which once3 was a prosperous plantation. Today, this boot-shaped island is an incorporated town of about 42 square miles, with 2 miles of ocean beach and approximately 30,000 residents. While it is a fully modern resort island, Hilton Head's strict zoning laws - limiting signage and building materials used - help preserve its distinctly charming feel. Even the island Wal-Mart is tastefully hidden behind lush foliage and a discreet sign. Thousands of acres of Hilton Head Island remain today as untouched forest and marshland, with abundant wildlife, making Hilton Head a natures lover's dream. Access to the wildlife sanctuaries is carefully controlled, but you can go exploring on winding nature paths and catwalks and then view one of the lookout stations. Our friends from Cincinnati, Pauletta and Joe Crowley came to the boat around 2:30 PM. We put together plans for the evening. We ate dinner with Pauletta and Joe, their son Joey and his wife Karyn, and their two children Joe Joe and Joslyn, along with their daughetr Colleen and her husband Colin. We had dinner at a great owner chef restaurant called Stripes.

The Crowley Family
(Front) Joe holding Joey, Grandma Pauletta holding Joslyn, Coleen and Colin
(Back) Karyn and Papa Joe
After dinner we went to Harbour Town under the old oak tree and listed to a singer, Greg Russell. It was a wonderful and relaxing evening with friends.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fernandina Beach, FL to St. Simons Island, GA

Friday, May 23, 2008 We left Fernandina Beach at 9:00 AM., an hour earlier than our scheduled departure due to the weather forecast of heavy rains this afternoon. Winds SW 5-10 changing to 10 - 15 and the seas 1-2. Besides the chance of rain, it is another great boating day for traveling on the outside. Around 11:00 Am the rain started moving in on us. The winds picked up, but Captain Kevin held the course. We arrived at Golden Isles Marina at PM.
St. Simons Island is the largest of Georgia's Sea Islands. St. Simons is steeped in history. In 1736 General James Oglethorpe established Georgia's first military outpost at Fort Fredrica, which is now a national monument. During the Revolutionary War, the island's oak trees were milled locally and used in war ships, including the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides." During the 19th century, dozens of antebellum plantations were constructed on the island. The highlight of historic St. Simons Island is Christ Church and Cemetery. Still in use the church dates back to 1883. Methodist church founders John and Charles Wesley held the first services under the oak trees in 1736. Today St. Simons Island is a popular tourist destination. Golf and tennis are replacing beachcombing. The Village Pier section of town showcases St. Simons Island's friendly, laid back, small town atmosphere. Neptune Park, between the fishing pier and the lighthouse, is a relaxing spot to walk, picnic or sit in the shade and people watch. In the Village Pier area there are a concentration of tourist oriented shops and restaurants, but no grocery or drug store. Dining choices range from ice-cream to full-service dining.
Debbie waiting to go to diner in the marina's loaner car
We took the car into town and had dinner at a wonderful restaurant, Halyards. ( Our plans for tomorrow are to leave prior to 7:00 AM, for an early start to Hilton Head, South Carolina.

St. Augustine, FL to Fernandina Beach, FL

Thursday, May 22, 2008
We left Comachee Marina at 8:45 AM heading to Fernandina Beach, FL. The temperature were in the low 80s with some cloud cover. Winds were westerly 5-10 and the seas were a calm 1-2. It was smooth traveling on the outside.

Leaving the marina and looking over to historic St. Augustine.

Historic downtown

Wooden Cross On the Shore of St. Augustine

U.S. Warship 80 Heading To Jacksonville, FL.

Tate taking one last glance over the charts for Captain Kevin

"Island Hopper's" initial approach into Fernandina Beach, FL.

We arrived at Fernandina Harbor Marina at 12:20 PM. We made great time on the outside today.

Boats docked at Fernandina Harbor Marina

Fernandina Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach is a captivating small town. The cheery downtown has almost a Disney flavor to it...but it's real. Tree lined streets and ornate facades suggest a trio into our past, while the fleet of shrimp boat along the St. Marys reminds visitors that this town is alive and thriving. While under Spanish ownership, most of what Fernandina attracted was riff-raff. Smugglers and pirates carried out their shady trades in the St. Marys River and Cumberland Sound. Runaway slaves hid out in this area, and rogues, rapscallions, and scalawags also made it their haunt. The Spaniards seemed to have little interest in such a place, but somebody wanted it - President James Madison. In fact, he wanted all of Florida. A group of Madison's revolutionaries captured Fernandina in 1812. The vagabond Gregor McGregor, with assistance from some revolutionaries in the mid-Atlantic region, advanced on Fernandina as the Spanish surrendered with nary a word. Florida was independent, but not for long. Mexican pirate Luis Aury recaptured Fernandina within a week, making it a pirate sanctuary. This lasted until December of 1817 when the United States took over the territory. No fewer than eight different flags have flown above Fernandina, making it the most diversely disputed parcel of land in the nation. The pirate influence is evident today as you see many statues of pirates throughout the town.

Fernandina Today

Centre Street's brick sidewalks more than beckon visitors to take a stroll. The town's historic district, a showcase of Victorian architecture , spans 50 blocks. Much of Fernandina's history of ever-changing political control and culture is captured within the Amelia Island Museum of History.

Downtown Fernandina

Tina & Dick Devoe aboard "Island Hopper"

Tina and Dick Devoe came aboard "Island Hopper" at 5:00 PM for cocktails. They later drove us through the town and then out to Amelia Island where they live in The Plantation. We went to their beautiful new home on a golf course. The Plantation is a gorgeous with lush foliage and many canopies of trees. It is unlike most of Florida, with a Hilton Head feel. They then took us to a local outdoor seafood restaurant where we had a wonderful meal with great company.