Saturday, October 31, 2009

Charleston, South Carolina to Beaufort, South Carolina

Saturday, October 31, 2009 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!! BOO! Island Hopper departed the dock at Charleston City Marina this morning at 7:45 AM for an early morning journey. Skies were sunny, temperatures going into the mid 80's and the wind NE at 10. The fog came in and the visibility went to zero. There were strong currents that made the radar spin with the shift of Island Hopper's bow. These conditions lasted for 2 1/2 hours. The boats on the waterway formed a line and kept in contact to help each other keep the course. Around 11:00 AM the fog finally began to burn off. Island Hopper arrived at Downtown - Marina, Beaufort, South Carolina after a 69 mile trip.

The Fog On The Water

The Fog Becoming More Dense puts at your disposal everything you need to know to enjoy your Beaufort vacation to the fullest. Located on Port Royal Island, this unique southern town has been described as magical, mystical, and alluring by filmmakers and actors who spent time here producing the award-winning motion pictures: Forrest Gump, The Prince of Tides, and The Big Chill.

Captain Kevin's Radar Screen

Kevin & Ed at the Ice Cream Shop
A Beautiful Historic Home In Beaufort
Bronze Statues

Tricker Treaters At The Marina

After tying off the crew walked around the town of Beaufort. It is a beautiful and quaint town. They ate dinner at Plums on the waterfront. (

Plums Restaurant

Things To Know About Beaufort... Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, this unique southern town has been described as magical, mystical, and alluring by filmmakers and actors who spent time here producing the award-winning motion pictures: Forrest Gump, The Prince of Tides, and The Big Chill.

A Day In Port At Charleston, SC

Friday, October 30, 2009
Today was a relaxing and enjoyable day in Charleston. Barb and Ed Daniel from Cincinnati boarded Island Hopper at 11:30 PM. Debbie, Barb, and Ed went to the store for provisioning. After delivering the groceries to the boat, the entire crew went into to to explore.
Tonight Mark and Amanda Daniel (Ed and Barb's son and daughter-in-law who live in Charleston) came to the boat for drinks. Then everyone went to Magnolia's for some low country dinner. It was a wonderful meal and evening.

Magnolia's Restaurant

Debbie, Ed and Barb

Debbie, Barb, Ed and the Black Cab Taxi Driver

(British Taxi)

Ed's Next Boat

Hey, Holger......Recognize the Name.

Georgetown, SC to Charleston, SC

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Anchored For Fun In The Sun

Homes Along The Water
Bridge Into Charleston, SC
A View Of Downtown Charleston From The Water
Just One Of the Many Stately Homes On The Waterfront
Island Hopper left Hazzard marine at 8:30 AM. Fog and then cloudy skies, 70's, Winds NW 5. Arrived in the Charleston City Marina, Charleston at 1:30 PM after traveling 69 miles today. Island Hopper was put towards the end of the Mega Dock. From the boat to the end of the dock was approximately 1/2 of a mile. Poor Tate. Kevin and Debbie took the van into town for a 7:15 PM reservation at High Cotton restaurant. They had a fabulous meal. After dinner they walked around downtown and tasted the free pralines. Charleston is a beautiful and vibrant town.
Charleston's culture and love for the good life has its roots in the man for which it is named, England's King Charles II. A Charleston historian has written that the king was, "one of the most hedonistic of English monarchs," and that the colonists came, "to recreate the luxurious, cosmopolitan, pleasured-filled world of Restoration England...inhabited by a landed gentry."
The British founded Charleston in 1670 on what is now Charles Towne Landing, on the western bank of the Ashley River. The colonists aboard the English ship Carolina originally planned to settle at Port Royal, but the chief of Kiawah Indians convinced them to move farther north Within ten years, they had relocated to what locals refer to as "the Peninsula," or the site of current downtown Charleston. Not two years later, there were nearly 100 houses built, perhaps foretelling the ongoing real estate boom.
The culture is a me'lange of influences. The English ideas soon blended with those of the French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution. Many came by way of Barbados and added a Caribbean flair to the city's lifestyle. The Spanish were here, and slaves certainly had a huge impact on the population from food to the arts and language. Gullah, a patois of all the languages, is still spoken on the sea islands.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, North Myrtle Beach, SC to Georgetown, South Carolina

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Debbie Almost Cried When She Saw This Boat Across the Dock in Myrtle Beach

Mimi is missing Ella terribly....

Ella Francis( Our Precious Granddaughter) saying,

" Where is MY breakfast and where is MY Mimi???"

Mimi only hopes she hasn't forgotten her favorite song...

Who's.................Mimi, Mimi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Island Hopper left the dock at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club at 8:30 AM headed to Georgetown, South Carolina. It was a cloudy and damp day in the morning, but skies cleared and became sunny in the afternoon. WInds SW 15 - 20, and the temperatures were in the low 80's. The enire trip today was on the ICW. The waterway is narrow and encased on both sides by beautiful homes and boats. Goin Ashore Georgetown... Georgetown's small-town facade coupled with surrounding natural beauty belies the historic and economic significance of the area. Its downtown is a national historic district, where visitors can stroll the streets, admiring the city homes of former plantation owners. There is great affluence in this small town. You can tell by the high end stores and quaint shops. The town also has many good restaurants. Debbie & Kevin decided to revist the Rice Paddy Restaurant for dinner. They ate here when they were taking the boat north and had a fabulous dinner. (
Rice Paddy Restaurant
Debbie at the Market in Georgetown, SC

Captain Kevin's Shirt (It says it all...)

First Mate - Best Mate In Her Chair

Wrightsville Beach, NC to Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, South Carolina

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wrightsville Beach Marina

Wrightsville Beach Marina Restaurant & Bar

Island Hopper departed the dock at 8:25 AM for North Myrtle Beach. It was a dreary, windy and rainy day. Winds N 10 -15. Island Hopper went outside 75 % of the 80 mile journey.

The Marker of Every Captain's Dream

A Gray Day On The Water

Sand Dunes

OOPS! Where NO Captain Wants To End Up (Literally)

The Lighthouse At The Entrance To The Myrtle Beach Yacht Club
Island Hopper arrived at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club at 4:10 PM. It was a light mist, so the crew went for a short walk. After the skies cleared Kevin and Debbie strolled the boardwalk around the three local marinas. There was only one restaurant nearby, so the crew ate dinner aboard.
Notes from Captain Kevin...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Morehead City, North Carolina to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today started out as a rainy and dreary day. Island Hopper departed the dock at 8:25 AM since it would be a long, and at times a run and wait day. There were three bridges with timed opening schedules. Today's journey was 78 miles, all of which were on the ICW. The winds and seas were too much for an outside voyage. Skies cloudy and rainy, Winds North 10 -15. Island Hopper arrived at Wrightsville Beach Marina at 4:05 PM. Captain Kevin did an awesome job docking the boat into the slip with strong currents and gusty winds. Tate was glad to see land. Wrightsville Beach Marina is a beautiful setting on the water. The first floor is a bar and the second floor houses the restaurant.

Goin' Ashore

Wrightsville Beach is old school, a family-style beach that has matured that makes it the envy of other seaside communities. Here you'll find parking meters and public rinse stations, fishing piers and municipal parks, soccer fields and surfing and a whole lot of sunning. Wrightsville doesn't lure people here with perforated coupons from a welcome center vacation packet. Guests flock here because they discovered that it is a great place to retreat, relax and rinse away the stress of mainland living. Just beyond the bascule bridge spanning the ICW lie the perks of the affluent. Gated communities and golf courses, townhomes above upscale shops, and five star restaurants. Traveling down the ICW the homes on the waterfront are massive and beautifully manicured. Wrightsville's best attraction is the beach itself. Framed by the two inlets and shadowed by both old and new cottages, the sand and the surf remain the best parts of the town. Masonboro Island, just across the inlet, is a protected wildlife preserve and makes a pleasant day trip.

The crew decided it would be a nice night to eat on the boat. Wine, good food, and great company. No we are not having guests!!!!!

Belhaven, North Carolina to Morehead City, North Carolina

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fishermen on the Waterway

Island Hopper departed the dock at 8:oo AM headed to Morehead City, North Carolina. Temperatures were only in the high 60's, Winds NE 15 -20 and Seas 2 -3. Today was a 70 mile trip. Island Hopper crossed two sounds, Pamlico River and Neuse River before arriving at Morehead City Yacht Basin in Morehead City, NC at 1:15 PM. After fuel and a boat wash, the crew ventured on foot into the town. There were numerous restaurants, antique shops and a few specialty gift stores.
Morehead City Yacht Basin

Morehead City and its sister city Beaufort, NC are two of the most popular stopovers between Norfolk, NC and Florida. This commercial and sportfishing center operates a large fishing center fleet year round. This seaport is also a port of entry, with Custom inspections available. While other towns boast of their "Cute and Quaint" coastal charm, Morehead city serves as a major port of entry, but its not the freighters that draw boaters to town. It's the fish: king mackerel, yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, sailfish and amber jack. HISTORY... The area was originally called Shepherd's Point and marked the confluence of Newport River, Bogue Sound and Beaufort Inlet. However, Govenor John Motley Morehead envisioned a great commercial hub, so he designed a town built arounf city blocks with a system of alleys between each block in the form of an H. In this way all houses and businesses could be serviced from the alleys. Each block contained 16 lots and much of the "Philadelphia plan" remains today. Lots were sold to the public. Around the same time, rail service reached Shepherd's Point, and soon the town had grown to more than 300 citizens. The war interrupted Morehead's grand vision and his project faltered, but after the war the railroad allowed local fishermen to provide fresh seafood to markets in the Piedmont and the state capital. The hurricane of 1899 drove the residents in Diamond City off Shackleford Banks, and many found their way to Morehead City. These fishermen became the nucleus of a fishing industry that continues to thrive, shipping to retaurants throughout the country. Morehead City Today.... With its famous boat-to-table seafood restaurants, one of North Carolina's two state ports, and a charter fishing fleet that brings the waterfront to life each afternoon, Morehead City is a true demonstrator of coastal flair. Morehead City is an ever-growing community with the busy state port as its cornerstone, where military ships and freighters from all over the world can be seen coming and going on any given day. Downtown, visitors and residents enjoy fresh seafood and other fine fareat well-knownrestaurants. Art galleries, gift shops and other offerings make downtown Morehead City as residents' and visitors' paradise, however recent pushes to breathe more life into the downtown district have set an even higher horizon for this burgeoning coastal town.

Thanks to Sirius Radio the crew listened to the Bengals game and had a glass of wine prior to dinner. GO BENGALS!!

Kevin and Debbie chose a small chef owned restaurant, "Chefs 105" for dinner. ( Andy Hopper (no relation), the chef/co-owner, was previously a chef in Chicago and Greenville, NC. The food was wonderful. All fresh and local ingredients. Kevin said the Rockfish was superb. A nice brisk walk back to the boat ended a wonderful boating day on the North Carolina Coast. LIFE IS GOOD!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Day In Belhaven, NC

Saturday, October 24, 2009
Island Hopper stayed in port today due to strong winds SW 20-25 gusting to 30. Debbie & Kevin did laundry and rode their bikes (Over 4 miles round trip) to the Lion King for groceries. It was a lazy and relaxing day on the boat. Thanks to Sirius radio the crew listened to the UC Bearcats game. GO CATS!!

Coinjock, NC to Belhaven, NC

Friday, October 23, 2009

Island Hopper departed Coinjock at 8:05 AM.Temperatures were in the low 80's, winds SW 15 -20, and the seas were 1 -2. It was a beautiful and sunny day to be on the water. Island Hopper arrived at Belhaven Marine Center at 3:00 PM. It was a very pleasant voyage.

When Daniel Latham built a hunting and fishing camp in 1868 on what is now the River Forest Manor, Jack's Neck was little more than a small settlement inhabited by a few farmers and fishermen. In time, the town changed its name to Belhaven, and a half-dozen lumber companies began supplying wood products produced from the local mills. With the addition of a rail spur from the Norfolk and Southern Railroad, and the port's location near Pamlico Sound, the town soon became a vital transportation artery for the distribution of goods throughout eastern North Carolina. Many of the grand homes built in the later 1800s and early 1900s remain standing today. The finest of all is River Forest Manor, completed in 1904. (Debbie & Kevin went through the manor and it looks tired and needs exterior painting and interior updating.) The first owner of River Forest Manor was John Aaron Wilkinson, president of Roper Lumber Company and vice president of Norfolk and Southern railroad. Italian craftsmen were commissioned to carve the ornate ceilings, and by 1904, the mansion was complete with carved oak mantles for each of the 11 fireplaces, sparkling cut glass leaded into windows, crystal chandeliers glittering from the ceilings, tapestries placed above the mahogany wainscoting in the dining room and two baths so large that they included over sized tubs for two. Today the building is a country inn, restaurant and marina. ( Seafood and farming remain a major source of income for residents in and around Belhaven, but change is coming as local and national developers look to reshape the banks of the Pungo River and Pantego Creek. Day Beacon, a new waterfront town home community located just inside the breakwater on what used to be the old Belhaven Waterway Marina, is one of the first to offer upscale living. After docking the boat Kevin and Debbie jumped on their bikes to explore the town. The downtown is full of empty store fronts. The economy has really hit this small town. It was actually sad to see the amount of closed businesses since their last visit 15 months ago. They made dinner reservations at the Back Bay Cafe. Riding through the neighborhood was a pleasant view of the waterfront and some lovely homes. The Back Bay Cafe is located in "Wines and Words". It is a wine store and bookstore. The owner's wife is the chef. Debbie & Kevin had a wonderful bottle of French Beaujolais, and a very enjoyable meal of salmon and ribs. This small restaurant was truly a find.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Portsmouth, Virginia to Coinjock, North Carolina

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Ocean Alexander on the Water

Island Hopper traveling with the pack to the locks.

Island Hopper departed the dock at 7:45 AM. An early departure was necessary due to the number of bridges on today's journey. Temperatures were in the upper 70's , winds SW 10 - 15, and smooth water on the ICW. There were 10 bridges and the Great Bridge Locks.
19 Boats in the Great Bridge Locks
Island Hopper traveled 50 miles and arrived at Coinjock Marina at 1:00 PM. (
A Local and His Standard Poodle Playing On The Water
A few hours after docking Island Hopper, a voice calls out, "Where in the Hell is Coinjock?" (The marina store actually sells shirts with this saying.) The crew looks out the door and sees Becky and Ron Evans, friends from Cincinnati. Becky and Ron are originally from the area and stopped by the marina on the way to their home in North Carolina. They heard Debbie & Kevin would be coming to Coinjock and decided to stop by and see if Island Hopper was at the dock. Small world!
Becky & Ron Evans
The marina is in a remote area, so Debbie & Kevin went on a 4 mile bike ride in the neighborhood around the marina. The marina has the world famous "Dockside Restaurant", home of the 32 oz. Prime Rib. Kevin and Debbie ate at the restaurant bringing the boat north, so they opted to eat dinner aboard the boat.

A Beautiful Sunset Over Island Hopper