UPDATE #4 04/27/06 - 05/02/06
#4 4/27/06 thru 5/02/06.
all of you have already read through our email updates that covered the
period 4/1 thru 4/26.
We have heard from some of you that you enjoyed hearing about our
trip so far
send us your comments, thoughts, and ideas via email.
We are very interested in hearing from ya’all.
Augustine, FL to Drum Island anchorage near the Cumberland National Seashore
6:40am, the anchor had been retrieved and AMARSE was underway again headed
friends, Mike and Karen aboard MI-T-MO had alerted us to the buoy placement
at St. Augustine inlet.
The ICW markers actually look like they might be inlet channel
markers when in fact they are ICW markers that mark a shoal area.
This little bit of local knowledge helped us pass this area in the
early morning light with no problems.
It was a beautiful sunrise.
We are feeling the effects of tidal currents more and more as we
the tidal ranges increase, so do the effects of current.
These currents increase even more in places where the channel
we approach some bridges, the current can also create areas of turbulence
that moves the boat around quite a bit.
Of course, a current from the stern will increase your speed over the
ground and an opposing current will slow you down.
We started by heading into the current but before long we were being
helped along by the flow.
By 11:30am, we had crossed the St. Johns River near Jacksonville and
were headed through Sisters Creek.
Around 2:30pm, we were arrived at Fernandina Beach, Florida.
This is the furthest northeastern city in Florida and also the home
of Florida Petroleum.
Cruisers have long planned to refuel here due to the reduced prices
for diesel fuel. The
place is really a commercial refueling dock that sells mostly to the shrimp
boat industry. The
docks are somewhat intimidating.
We arrived at near low tide.
The current was running out quite strong and the winds were driving
right into the docks at 20 to 25.
The docks are thirty foot high wooden pilings that appear as a bunch
of huge telephone poles spaced about 6 feet apart.
The flat portion of the dock is way up there when the tide is low.
Anyway, we had a relatively smooth arrival at the dock.
We loaded up with fuel and filled our water tanks too.
The price was OK, but not as good as I remember.
departure from the dock was a challenge with the wind trying to pin us to
the dock pilings. We
managed to get underway safely but incurred more stress that we desired.
minutes, we entered the St. Mary’s River and crossed into the State of
decided to anchor a little early since a more secure anchorage was
motored up behind the eastern side of Drum Island to a location near the Sea
Camp headquarters of the Cumberland National Seashore.
We joined several other boats nearby that were seeking shelter from
the strong winds and currents.
It turned out to be a pretty good choice.
The tidal range from high to low was 9 feet.
There are two highs and two lows everyday here.
We arrived at 4:15 pm just after low tide so we experienced the
highest tide and the lowest tide again before we departed on the rising
this anchorage, the current moves the boat in opposition to the wind thereby
making it a little bit bumpy and noisy from the waves slapping on the hull.
Judy prepared a class-A dinner tonight.
A crisp green salad dressed with blue cheese, a sautéed medley of
chicken breast morsels, caramelized onions, and sliced mushroom buttons,
accompanied by potatoes Au Gratin served at the salon table was fit for a
was undoubtedly a culinary experience of the N-th magnitude.
The sunset that followed foretold of a lovely day tomorrow.
near mile 711 from Norfolk, VA.
Coordinates N30 46.181 W081 28.316
Island, Georgia anchorage to Wahoo River anchorage
0635, it was anchor aweigh for AMARSE.
The chain came up pretty clean but the Fortress anchor was quite
muddy thus indicating that it was well set.
We departed the Cumberland National Seashore Sea Camp and backtracked
to the channel. We
were traveling the Cumberland River.
Nearby, there are huge buildings for nuclear submarines.
The US Navy operates some kind of degaussing facility here.
It has something to do with removing the electrical and magnetic
charges that these vessels accumulate while they travel submerged for long
periods of time. As
I understand it, this place can neutralize the conditions and help make them
hard to detect. Whatever
really happens here, they have some of the hugest structures that you can
quite windy and as we entered St. Andrews Sound and we were jostled around
by the 2 to 4 foot seas.
The waters calmed as we passed into Jekyll Creek and behind Jekyll
Simons Sound showed us only 1 to 2 foot seas while sporting winds of 20
Simons Island and Lanier Islands are famous resort areas world renowned for
like the Mackay River, Buttermilk Sound, Little Mud River, Doboy Sound, Old
Teakettle Creek, Front River, Sapelo River, and Sapelo Sound have such
interesting names and typify the rapidly changing nature of the inland
During one section, we were literally attacked by very large flies. We have heard them called “horse flies” and “green-heads”. I don’t know what they were, but there were many, many hundreds of them. Judy took to killing them like an “angry Marine”. She was really good at it and seemed to be enjoying it a little too much. I think I will be a little more careful not to entice her to be aggressive. A body could get hurt. She would often proclaim to have killed several with one swift strike of her swatter. I tried my hand at it too, however, Judy is like the “Donald Trump” of Fly-Killers and I was merely the “Apprentice”. We exited the ICW at mile 630 and headed up the Wahoo Creek for several miles and dropped the “hook” for the night at 5:30pm. The waters here are fairly deep so we selected a spot about 16 feet deep at low tide and expected the increase of about 10 feet. It is quite interesting since you can see the form of the river and marshes at low tide but all evidence of the land disappears at high tide. It is a little weird and prompts anchor checks every couple of hours to ensure that all is well with current switches and the like. The grill seared some great smoked sausage as Judy prepared Fried rice, applesauce, and a tossed salad.
N 31 35.967 W 081 13.289.
Creek anchorage to Ladies Island anchorage, Beaufort, SC
was powered up at 6:40am.
We had to backtrack to return to the ICW and rejoined it at mile 630.
More great names of waterways like Johnson Creek, North Newport River
and into St. Catherine’s Sound.
The wind was honking at about 30 knots.
This combined with the size of the Sound made for some angry seas.
The waves were short coupled and fairly steep at 4 to 6 feet.
As AMARSE would crunch into the next wave, the spray would break
heavily on the bow and send a huge spray of water over the boat.
Some of the spray would come up over the windshield and over the top
of the bimini enclosure.
It sure is nice to have this full windshield and top.
Things settled down as we came into the Bear River, through the
Florida Passage, and the Ogeechee River.
When we came to “Hells Gate”, we encountered some very rough
were gentler on the Vernon River, the Burnside River, Skidways Narrows, and
the Wittington River.
As we passed through the areas near Savannah, Georgia, we passed the
Hinckley Dock and there was “Integrity”, a 36’ Monk trawler.
Bill and Ruth have just finished their yearlong cruise around the
Great Loop. Their
cruising notes and updates were informative and inspirational for us in
planning our cruising dream.
To them, I say “THANKS” and “CONGRATS” in following their
dream to conclusion.
We navigated through Elba Island Cut and at 1:20pm, we crossed the
Savannah River into Fields Cut.
We are now in the State of South Carolina.
Passing Hilton Head Island, we caught a nice view of the famous
lighthouse marking its southern tip.
We passed Parris Island in late afternoon.
This is home to the US Marines basic training site or “Boot Camp”
as it is known. This
is where “boys become men” and “those men become Marines”.
Our trawler cruised a little passed Beaufort, SC, under the Ladies
Island Swing bridge and into “Factory Creek”.
Here is your geography lesson for the day.
There are two Beaufort locations on the East Coast.
One is in South Carolina and the other one is in North Carolina.
The one in SC is Beaufort and pronounced “Buew-Fort”.
The one in North Carolina is Beaufort and pronounced “Bo-Fort”.
The way I remember is “No(rth)” is “Bo”,
No is Bo. What
do you think of that?
found a narrow, little cut to anchor in at 6:40pm and we felt very shielded
from the strong winds.
The tides would again be in the ten-foot range.
More anchor checks were warranted throughout the night and I’m
happy to say that we stayed put.
Our position is coordinates N32 25.425 W080 39.105.
We sparked up the grill and dined on Salad, Chopped Sirloin with
mushroom sauce, and creamy mashed potatoes.
I like it “too much, man”.
Island anchorage, Beaufort, SC to Dewees Island at Hamlin Sound
lots of thick, heavy mud now cleaned from the anchor, we were idled out of
Factory Creek at 6:55am.
It was a great place to stay as the wind was blocked and no slapping
water on the hull of the boat.
We were both surprised at how much wind there was when we rejoined
the channel. It
was a “blowin’ ‘bout 20 ta 30, good buddies”.
The Beaufort River changed to the Coosaw River somewhere along the
way and then after traversing the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, we motored along
the Ashepoo River.
River names changed to Dawho, North Edisto, Wadmalaw, and Stono
were somewhat startled at one marker when a very fast sport cruiser came
heading right for us at full speed.
Our guess is that he wasn’t paying close attention and didn’t see
us. I kept
thinking he would turn away but did not.
Things didn’t look good, so I gave AMARSE full reverse to take all
way off and thanks goodness because the cruiser passed right across our bow
and would surely have hit us had we continued.
When the guy saw us, you could see the shock in his eyes as he
sheepishly waved to us.
Oh well, luck blessed us again.
A real strong current in Elliot Cut brought us very swiftly, like 12
and 13 miles per hour, out into Charleston, SC.
Here the river runs swiftly and we observed the US Coast Guard trying
to round up a couple of sailboats that had seemingly dragged anchor and
drifted off. No
one was aboard them and at least one of them had some significant damage to
the bow pulpit railings.
We opted to continue on to points north.
We got a nice view of Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil
War were fired. The
Charleston River was a little rough but the waters calmed as we rejoined
protected waters north of Charleston.
We exited the ICW around mile mark 454.9 and turned west of Hamlin
Sound to look for good anchorage.
It would have been okay but we opted to explore the east side for
more protection. A
location between Big Marsh Island and Dewees Island seemed to offer more
comfort from the stiff easterly winds.
We made a total of four anchoring attempts before we found a spot
that we felt comfortable in.
Thanks goodness for the new windlass that we installed in Houston.
Without it and the washdown pump, our life would be a lot more
was 5:45 and we were ready to rest from this windy day on the water.
Dinner was planned that was reminiscent of my youth.
We chose to prepare some “homemade” Clam Chowder.
In my teen years, a friend, Russ Mattson, and I would frequently cook
onion rings and New England style Clam Chowder on Sunday nights.
My recollections of those years prompted a repeat performance of the
chowder portion. Happy
memories make more happy memories.
Tired and full, we slept well and only interrupted by the obligatory
anchor checks every couple hours.
All went well in our sheltered surroundings.
Monday and May
Island anchorage to Georgetown, SC.
morning is anchor up and not too much mud on it.
Somewhat surprising in that one of our previous attempts yesterday
brought up huge clumps of sticky, clay mud.
Departing at 6:30am gives us a beautiful view of the sunrise.
It’s quite cold out with the temperature only 49 degrees.
The fresh, hot coffee is very welcome as is the hot oatmeal breakfast
served on the flying-bridge.
Judy often tells me how happy she is and today she seems wonderfully
warms under a couple of blankets and enjoys this cruising life.
I join her in this happiness and love the sights, sounds, and
excitement of traveling at trawler speeds.
As we traveled up the Harbor River passed McClellanville, we were
passed by a bunch of boats all traveling together.
It appears to have been a SeaRay Club.
There were 15 to 20 boats all from this manufacturer and ranging in
sizes from 25 to 44 feet.
The radio came alive from one mad woman on a sailboat ahead.
Her comments were not very nice toward these boaters that were
leaving a pretty substantial wake.
We think that she must have become quite scared as her boat rocked
about in the waves behind the speeding boats.
We felt that the group had been respectful to us and we understand
that they have a difficult time reducing their wake waves to real low.
As she continued to vocalize sharply at the group, an unknown voice
commented, “ Power boaters Rule – Sail boaters Drool”.
resulted in a period of silence on the radio.
I’m sure there were a lot of chuckles from that little comment.
enjoyed the mostly calm waters of the South Santee River crossing, Four Mile
Creek canal, the North Santee River, The Estherville Minum Creek canal, and
the Western Channel of the Winyah Bay.
A little bit after noontime, we proceeded in to the Sampit River
entrance to Georgetown, SC at mile 403.0.
We cruised and perused the area of Old Town and then proceeded up the
Sampit River to Johnson’s Marina where fuel was to be quite a bit cheaper.
Well, when we got there, the marina was very remote and no one was
around to assist us.
We called again and we were told that it would be at least an hour
before anyone would be there to help us.
As we waited, we rinsed a lot of the salt accumulation off the boat
and filled our water tanks.
As the time dragged on, we decided to leave and find another place
more receptive to our business.
We called and made arrangements at the “Boat Shed Marina”.
The crew was standing by to help us dock and they were about the
friendliest bunch of guys that we have yet encountered.
We fueled up and decided to stay docked for the night.
We walked to the historical district with many homes dating back to
its founding in 1730.
It is a delightful area.
We enjoyed a late lunch at “The Old Fish house” restaurant. (the
locals call it “the Tuna”)
I had flounder and Judy had shrimp, both seafoods were claimed to be
from local waters.
The meals were served with black beans and rice, as well as cole
beers were very cold and just like we like ‘em.
strolled more of the historical district and then headed back to the boat.
We stopped at a little waterfront seafood shop called Independent
bought two pounds of some locally caught shrimp.
They had all kinds of great seafood.
Back at the docks, we chatted with Larry and Darlene on “Adventure”,
a SeaRay 500, 50 footer from St. Louis.
Another nice couple on a Defever 49, “Monet”, bound for
Annapolis, MD was tied up near us.
I think their names were Don and Pam but my memory fails quickly with
folks with “boat cards” are appreciated because it reinforces the
walked back downtown after dark and enjoyed the lights of the homes and in
the trees along the shops.
Back at the boat, we enjoyed a tuna sandwich to fill in from the late
slept very, very well without the frequent interruptions of anchor checking.
It was cool and comfortable in the mid 50’s.
about 6:50 when we heard a rapping on the boat. The
folks on Monet were ready to get underway and were soliciting our help in
casting them off. Larry
from “Adventure” was there to assist also.
Soon we waved Good-bye to this lovely, big trawler.
talked Larry and Darlene into joining us for breakfast at Thomas Café.
It was very excellent and the omelet was as good as I’ve ever had.
Judy had the French toast.
The conversation was fun and soon our friends had to leave to head
for Myrtle Beach where they will golf with friends for several days.
decided to use the morning to evaluate the new GPS installation.
I assembled the tools, components, and hardware necessary to install
the unit. Disassembly
of the older unit and the assembly of the new unit proceeded but required a
lot more wiring that I had expected.
With lots of stuff to do, we decided to stay right here in this
lovely place another night.
Judy worked on various projects such as flag repairs, cleaning, and
even designing and fabricating a screened cover for the rear companionway.
What a talented gal she is!!
The GPS is now up and running.
I will leave the final installation of the bundle accessories to
another time and place.
I remounted the XM radio receiver to make it a nicer installation.
We cleaned and polished all the plastic isinglass on the bimini
enough work for one day, that’s for sure!
time and then a much-awaited dinner.
Judy peeled and then sautéed those fresh shrimp tails and served
them with al dente, farfelle pasta.
To make things extra special, she fixed her fabulous, southern-style
corn muffins. No
restaurant would dare to compare with this culinary treat.
to sleep and to dream….
is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY". Our website
is: www.amarse.net .
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thoughts and comments and ideas. Thanks
Reed and Judy Law
Fred H. Reed
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