Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

I like to put my favorite picture at the very top of my posting...this is the one! Oops, still trying to turn it the right way?????  We had so much fun holding this tiger...details below.

This posting is really more about our travels and sites along the intracoastal waterway (ICW) from Charleston, SC to Southport, North Carolina.  It's been sunny everyday with a threat of high winds, but these protected waters really block the brunt of it and waves never reached but a mild chop.
This freighter followed us out of the Charleston harbor as he headed to the Atlantic Ocean. Always impressive to see so close to us.
 The Ben Sawyer Bridge as it opened for an oncoming sailing vessel.
 This sailboat is docked, tied and grounded purposely! 
 With two vessels on land you wonder if and how they'll ever be back in the water?
 We actually docked the boat at a natural reserve area. It was calling for 30 knots winds through the night and we thought it might be safer to hang with all the alligators we spotted right next to the boat!!!
 The trailing birds were scouring for a meal that we did not deliver. They'd follow us for miles and miles to no dismay. As our boat travels through the water it must stir up the fish (we found some dead ones on the swim platform).  This must be great fishing for them.
 A one car ferry transport across the ICW seemed very popular.
Once at our next anchorage in Bull Creek, the winds were strong so we decided to have a badly needed toy clean out day.  The kids brought a ton of toys so we got all of them out, sorted through and was actually able to stow it all away.  Pictured here are maybe half of them!!
 Morgan and Craig made work of painting 'Negotiator' on the back of our aft box.  You can't read the name as it appears on back of the cockpit as the dinghy is in the way.  Already we've had many people call us by name now. 
 27 hats!!  You would think that we actually wore hats everyday. My dad is a big hat collector and many of them came from him.
 A good time to shoot the gun when you're in the middle of nowhere.  The kids loved it and Craig had fun with them.

 The trampoline helps exert energy when we're anchored out. 
 Our sunrise was beautiful and water so perfectly calm. 
 Before we reached Myrtle Beach there were gondolas over the ICW for a local golf course.
 We stayed at Barefoot Landing Marina which was right next to a lot of fun shops, restaurants and attractions.  This picture is to show you the new letters on the aft deck. 
 The outdoor shopping was fun, but feeding these huge hungry fish was better - just ask the kids.
 Amazing to see these tigers playing.  We went to T.I.G.E.R.S. which is The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species.  It was located in the large shopping complex in Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach.
 We had fun holding a four year old monkey and the kids giggled with excitement.
 The best part was holding the tiger, Kumara.  Morgan held the bottle very still and the whole experience was short but memorable.  We've never had the opportunity to do this and couldn't pass it up.
 When we left Myrtle Beach the next four miles is considered the "Rock Pile" and it was a rather narrow area with built up rocks all around.  It is strongly advised to stay in the middle of the marked channel.
 Even the rocks out front were painted pink and purple.
 This abandoned boat says "oil = suicide" and then a circle and line through B.P.
 The stern view was hard to explain what happened and seemed to have been hit?
 This boat was 20 feet from a gasoline dock and next to a nice marina....you do wonder what happened?
 We talked with this really nice guy on 'Windemere' from Massachusetts who took his wife and lobster boat all the way to the Bahamas for the winter. Notice the back doesn't even have a transom.  He claimed it was the best trip ever and had many questions about our looping adventure. He called us a real 'frontier family.'   I can't imagine what the accommodations are like in a working lobster boat. He's heading home now for the season.
 Once we arrived in Southport we took advantage of a free dock at the city marina.  There's barely four feet under us at low tide and this fixed dock won't be traveling the 5 foot tide we'll experience through the night.  You can't expect much when it's free, but you can barely even walk down this thin little dock. We're happy to be here!

The restaurant downtown is called Fishy Fishy Cafe and notice the Tow Boat on the roof of the lower building. 

 We walked the historic town and found an abundance of very old restored homes. 
We will stay in Southport, North Carolina at the Cape Fear Inlet for now.  Weather forecast is tornado warning, severe thunderstorm warning, high surf advisory and rip current and coastal hazard with 29 mph winds from southwest and gusts 45 mph.  The boats a rockin and rollin....will keep you all posted..