24. Biting Bugs, A New Friend, and I Put Out the Mailbox

Oh, hey. Long time no see. Sorry it took me a little while to get caught up. I’ve been right out straight for the last week. How are ya? How’s your ankle doing? Better, I hope. You look nice today, by the way.

Anyhow, I’m glad I waited that extra lovely day at Georgetown. The next morning arrived with perfect cruising weather. It was flat calm, the sun was out, and the temperature was comfortable AF, as the kids say.

The worry I’d had about being able to get out and around the big 65 foot Fleming in front of me had been reduced significantly. This was mostly because there no longer was a big 65 foot Fleming in front of me. This taught me the valuable lesson that if you ever have a problem, you should always just ignore it, and it will go away all on it’s own.

After filing my flight plan, and receiving clearance from the tower to taxi to the active runway, I rousted ol’ Perkins, and sneaked out into Winyah Bay. I was in a winning mood that morning. I’d really enjoyed my stay, I was well rested, and I was reveling in the glorious weather. It felt great to be on the move again. My high spirits continued even after the sky clouded over and the wind picked up about half an hour after departure. It threatened to rain, but never did.

We caught a very fair current, and made cracking good time down through the cuts and wildlife reserves. We even broke our previous speed record, and saw a steady 10.5 knots for a while. I didn’t get a picture to prove that, because the moment I would have thought to take that picture, turned out to be the same moment I realized that I would be arriving in McClellanville about an hour sooner than I expected, and that I’d need to slow down and get my ass in gear to get ready for arrival.

The entrance to Jeremy Creek is a skinny and shallow one, and with the work barge that was spudded down inside the entrance, and the ripping current, I had to point pretty far upstream to line it all up right, and shoot the gap. This was a lot more fun in Sylphide than it would have been at work. If I’d been in that situation on my other boat, some poo would have come out.

I was greeted at the Leland Oil dock by the very friendly dockmaster, and her sidekicks: a man that looked like Sam Elliot, and a three legged dog called Cinnamon. I was also greeted by my first swarm of noseeums.

The bloodthirsty bastards kept me inside most of the day, with one exception. In late afternoon, a small green sailboat made it’s way in, and I went out to help Sam Elliot catch a line. I was immediately intrigued by the skipper of this craft. He was a single hander, and I guessed he was about my age. He was slight of frame, and bushy of beard. His blond dreadlocks were crowned with a black Greek fisherman’s cap. I welcomed him to Gnat City, and let him get settled in.

I enjoyed a quiet night in with a movie, and caught up on some bloggery.

The next morning’s forecast called for another day of gales, so I decided to stay for a second night. The wind came as promised, and kept the biting bastards at bay. This allowed me to actually go outside, where I found my new neighbor filling his water tanks. I struck up a conversation, and we aimed compliments at each other’s boats. It didn’t take long before we realized we enjoyed each other’s company, and I invited him over for a tour of Sylphide. We ended up spending half the day talking about everything from our fathers, to our favorite Looney Tunes episodes, to the native Princes he’d befriended in the islands of the Pacific. We ate soup, and I told him about the people he reminded me of that I’d previously enjoyed knowing. It was a fine way to spend half a day, and I hope to do it again.

By this point in the trip, I’d realized that my original plan to get ‘somewhere in Florida’ probably wasn’t going to pan out. The late start I’d gotten, and the slow progress I’d made, and the longer stops in more places than I’d expected, all meant that I was quite a bit ‘behind schedule.’ I put that in quotes because I really never had a schedule, which has been one of the best parts of the whole trip.

I decided that Charleston might be a pretty good place to call home for a while. I’d never been there before, and had always wanted to check it out. I’d known several people who’d liked it so much that they decided to move there. So I called ahead to find a place to call home for a month or so. I’d assumed I’d stay at the Charleston City Marina, it being the biggest outfit around, and so ideally located. They said they didn’t have any room for me at the advertised monthly rate, but if I wanted to pay the full nightly transient fee of three thousand dollars per month, they had plenty of room for me, and I could stay as long as I liked!

I declined this generous offer, and made a reservation across the Cooper River at the Charleston Harbor Marina instead. It was less than half the price, and that would include use of all the resort’s amenities, and I was really looking forward to it.

I departed McClellanville bright and early, so as to time my arrival at Charleston Harbor for slack tide, which is what they recommended. I’m glad I did, as I didn’t have a ton of extra room when I made my way in. We got secured, and by mid afternoon, we were all paid up for a month, and had already made some friends on the dock. I’m very much looking forward to spending some time getting to know this place. I like it a lot already.

All snugged in at Charleston Harbor

3 Responses

  1. Sylphide is looking good Dave! We are really looking forward to our visit ?
    Also, I was happy to hear no poo came out during your trip. Hahha

    1. All in all, I’m in a pretty Ideal situation really. It’s a quite pleasant way to spend a quarantine. I stocked up on shit tickets a while ago, so I’m all set! So far all of the marinas I’m heading for are staying open, but we’ll see what happens.

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