We left Myrtle Beach on Wednesday morning under cool, overcast conditions. Although we had to go through 3 bridges today, 2 opened very politely on demand and we actually made the opening of the third without any timing difficulty. The trip took us through Myrtle Beach, under the tram that takes golfers to the other side and under the Grande Dunes bridge (where Judy & Danny live.)
We also traversed the ‘rock pile’ which sounds very treacherous in all of the guides but looks rather docile. The rock pile is a narrow section of the waterway that is surrounded by sharp, rocky edges. You have to announce on the radio when entering the rock pile section to ensure that you don’t run into any commercial traffic. There isn’t enough room for a boat to cross paths with a large boat or barge.
After leaving the rock pile section and crossing through the Socastee swing bridge, we entered the Waccamaw river. Everyone says that this is the most beautiful section of the waterway and we agree (compared to as much as we’ve seen of it!) The river is deep, wide and winding with cypress groves on both sides and very little development. We saw large trees covered in Spanish Moss (which is neither Spanish or moss but a member of the pineapple family according to the guide.)
We had 2 possible plans–either anchor out or keep going into Georgetown. We decided to push on and arrived at the Harborwalk marina in Georgetown by 4:30pm. I was surprised to see that we went 51 miles today. Usually it’s very tiresome to motor all day long–maybe I’m getting used to it!
As we passed under the bridge and entered Georgetown harbor the sun finally came out! We tied up at the marina and checked in only to find out that they were under construction and had torn down their head/shower facility. The guy pointed out 2 porta-potties as their facilities. WTFFFF! And this was all for an Annapolis price of $1.75/foot!!!!
Resigned to roughing it, we took showers on the boat and headed into town a few blocks away and found Georgetown to be a lovely little town with historic buildings, shops and restaurants all along the streets. We dined at the River Room restaurant where Skip had SC Grouper with collards and mashers and I had the house speciality, shrimp & grits. Now we’re really in the south!! We topped it off by sharing a dessert of sauted pound cake in caramel sauce with vanilla ice cream-yummy! (Thanks, Em, for showing me how to get pictures from my cell phone into my PC!)
We stayed in Georgetown on Thursday to walk around town and enjoy the nice weather. I even put on shorts today for the first time since we left the Chesapeake Bay. We searched the main street for a coffee shop and found the perfect one–Coffee Break Cafe. The place was newly openned and the owners were very friendly and welcoming. We both enjoyed delicious home-made croissants with our coffee.
We really enjoyed the day walking around town and checking out the shops and historic homes. There were many cute antique shops (Siri – take note!) and a nice deli with a good variety of food. There is also a nice harbor walkway that goes for several blocks along the water. The walkway has signs that say “Don’t Feed the Alligators”. I looked but didn’t see any. The harbor view looks out over cruising boats, shrimp boat, a steel mill and a paper mill. It’s nice to know that industry is still alive and well in this small town. The paper mill smell is a bit noxious but I’m sure people who live here get used to it.
For the rest of the afternoon, Skip worked on the travel plans–he puts the route into the chart plotter which makes it very easy for us to montior our progress. I defrosted the icebox which allowed me to excavate the bottom and remove any questionable food. I also put in the ice cube trays. I don’t like them very much but the lack of ice keeps us from drinking mojitos!
Tomorrow, it’s onward towards Charleston. We should get there by the weekend…