Calabash River north of Myrtle Beach to Georgetown
Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
58Trip End Jan 05, 2008
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Not a good start to the day leaving the anchorage at Calabash River. Anchor party gave reqest for customary kick astern to break out anchor and forgot how close the boat astern was anchored. They had dropped their anchor right up astern due to lack of space of us - a practice that our skipper will not follow. A minor allision occurred but luckily the Lifesling functioned as a fender and there was no damage other than a minor distortion of the pad-eye for one of our lifeline pelican hook rings where it hooked on the other boats Danforth anchor. This was not what we wanted to put us in the mood for transiting the rock-pile where rocky ledges at the edge of the waterway make the channel both narrow and dangerous especially if one meets large vessels coming the other way. We then came up to to two tugs pushing and pulling an unwieldy dogs breakfast of dredging equipment. We had a swing bridge coming up and then the rockpile. We manged to sqeeze past before the bridge as the tugs were going rather slowly.
Just before we started transiting the rockpile we came up to a Hatteras motor-sailer we had seen on previous days going south with us. She was aground just before a location where a bridge was under construction. The day was becoming more stressful. We passed her at slow speed and entered the rockpile around low water which is suggested so that one is able to see the ledges. We had another boat in front of us and when we actually saw the ledges it all became less daunting. We proceeded on to the Waccamaw River. For the first few miles of this section anchorages are a bit thin. We passed a recommended oxbow with two other boats in that could hold about 4 boats but a some people were fishing from a small powerboat where we wanted to anchor. We touched bottom coming into look at the oxbow from the other end and decided to go Bucksport where the guides say there is an anchorage. The anchorage at Bucksport looked very marginal due to a marina having encroached into the area. As it was only half an hour from sunset. We went back up to the oxbow and anchored in the southern entrance to it just out of the ICW.
A still and unventful night and passage planning for the next day was to make an easy run to Georgetown. Once we got past Bucksport we saw that really there are many places to anchor and Skipper Bobs anchorages is not really the the last word on the subject. The Waccamaw is a wide deep river with many places to anchor but use of a trip line would certainly seem advisable as there are probably in most places a lot of old timber dead heads and snags sitting on the bottom. On the approach to Georgetown we saw the Hatteras motor sailer going in so presumably she was refloated without too much damage. We arrived at Georgetown Harbor Walk Marina early in the afternoon, took fuel and then backed through a 90 degrree turn past the boat that was already tied up to our slip with no fumbling whatsoever. This impressed the Caliber 40 that came in after us and turned short round inside the slips rather than backing in. (would that all manoeuvures always go exactly as planned!) After we were all fast the boat we had seen aground just south of Wrightsville beach arrived.Overheard conversation about transmission problems so perhaps grounding caused by this?
No head or showers at this marina as they are to be constructed. Rafiki's shower is a blessing and it is actually preferable to take a shower on board so this was not a problem. After a late lunch we had a run ashore and hopped in a little tour wagon being towed by a small jeep. The town is very historic and despite the the nearby steel and paper mill quite scenic. Duing the tour we stopped and went into an old AME church, our guide told us the history of the freed slaves who founded the church and ran the school and told us in a very moving way that it was from this church as newly weds that Michelle Obama's grandparents had travelled to Chicago to begin their new life, never imagining that their granddaughter would live in the White House one day. After the tour we walked about a mile to the Piggly Wiggly (a south east grocery chain) to buy stores. The lady behind us at the checkout had been intrigued seeing us putting everything in back-packs and asked us where we going and offered us a lift. This was gratefully accepted. We stowed the provisions and then went for a walk along Front street. All the shops had closed but the delicatessen opens in the morning at 8 so we will stock up with beer in the morning before we go. We then had a very good meal at the the River Room restaurant with Monday night half price wine and oh de shwimp were so good.
A very pleasant town and well worth the visit despite the cautions in the written guides of smells from the paper mill and dust from the steel works.