After leaving Georgetown the winds picked up during the day and we saw green water with foamy whitecaps along the waterway. We were surprised to see a large flock of white pelicans. They’re bigger than their relatives, the Brown Pelicans, and do not dive for their fish as the Browns do. Instead they work in flocks to herd their prey to the shallows. These birds normally winter on the west coast of Florida or along the Texas coast. And we’re seeing more and more of them. . . wonder why?
We had a moderate passage across the inlet where the Cooper and Ashley Rivers rush into the Atlantic to our south – it’s always confused seas where those three bodies of water meet. Charleston was right there, to our north. We had hoped to stay in that historic city for several days, but we’ve lost so much time along the way with delays that we’ll just keep going.
We stopped that night at the St. John’s Yacht Harbour, which is a beautiful marina west of Charleston on the Stono River. The setting is in the marshes. When I commented on the rich gold of the autumn marsh grasses to one of the people who live aboard there, she looked around, a little surprised. She said, “Well, people say we don’t have fall colors here, but I don’t know. It’s pretty.” Yes indeed. . .
Another early departure the next day, this one without hitting anything, and we were off to Beaufort, South Carolina. This particular Beaufort is pronounced “Bew-furt.” The one in North Carolina is “Bo-furt.” Evidently they were both named for the same English earl, and no one can explain the different pronunciation. We stopped in “Bew-furt” last fall and saw the Christmas boat parade, and next day the hours-long Christmas marching parade. It was a spectacular window into small town America.
This year we decided to stay across the river at the Lady’s Island Marina. A charming smaller marina with very personable marina managers, we know we’ll go back there. I took advantage of the free laundry (YES!!) and then we went out to dinner.
Although there’s a bar/restaurant on the premises, it was suggested that we walk down the road to the “Fillin’ Station,” where they have $4 burgers on Wednesday night. Okay. . . this was SMALLER small town America! We first tried the door with a handle, but the guy in the pickup truck out front said we should use the other door. In the other door there was an empty hole where the doorknob had been. . . okay. That might have been a giveaway, but we went in, into the darkness. There were a few Coors Lite and Yeungling signs lighting the space, and some Christmas lights along one wall.
The charming lady bar tender told us they had no waitress, but if we wanted to order food we should go “over there.” Over there was out another door onto the deck, where there was much laughter, smoking, and a lot of beer. In a lean-to on one side was a big charcoal grill, a counter in front of it with all the fixin’s, and a gnarled older gentleman who looked like he might have been homeless. Other than on Wednesdays, when he cooked the burgers.
We ordered. $4 for a big cheeseburger, a small hot dog, a scoop of excellent potato salad and a bowl of cold baked beans. It was DELICIOUS! Thursday nights they do pork chops, and Fridays the steak is $10. There is no menu, what they got is what you get.
Off again early morning, Thursday, and we were in Georgia. After almost 78 miles of circuitous cruising, we were at anchor in the silence of Kilkenny Creek. You do have to wonder; did they kill Kenny here? Small streams running through the marsh grasses form the shadows and landscape of this place, and we were treated to a lovely sunset.
Friday, after another 77 miles through the choppy Sounds and narrow, shoaling channels of Georgia, we anchored next to Little Cumberland Island. A peaceful, somewhat exposed anchorage, we had another even more beautiful sunset. We were rocked to sleep by the waves that were leftovers from St. Andrews Sound to our north.
Woke at 2:45 am to turn off the heat and take off the blankets. The air was still, water flat. Looks like we’ve finally gotten to the warmth of the SOUTH!