July 11 — Marsh Mellow (and melting)

Our last day in Brunswick was Friday, and it was a good day. For starters, I was able to fix both the outboard motor and the bilge pump with the new parts that arrived – so Madge is all set for the cruising ahead. We have seen no recurrence of the black stripe on the hull, so it is apparent that the engine repairs fixed the oil leak, and the bilge cleaning got enough of the residual oil out so that we are definitely not pumping anything over the side. Not only does that keep us from getting fined, but we try to be as green as possible when we sail — and most other times, too — and it just wouldn’t do to have a dirty boat.

We also got a lot of chores done during the day, thanks to the helpfulness of some of the live-aboards staying in the marina who had cars. We were able to get rides for supply runs, and also to eat out at least once in a place that actually had air conditioning. While I was working on the boat, Suzy was out gathering supplies. In preparation for our departure, I topped off our fuel tanks, as well as the jerry cans on the rail. We are now at our full complement of fuel. I got a chance to try out my new measuring stick for the diesel tank, and it seems to be marked up pretty close to the actual fuel levels in the tank. When it got too hot to do anything else, we went ashore. I headed for the showers and Suzy went to the laundry – both of which were air conditioned.

We made it to our last Happy Hour a little late, but still found all the friends we had made. We said goodbye to them all since we were leaving early Saturday morning. We traded boat cards and talked about possibilities of meeting up again later. We tried to stay inside until at least the sun went down. Even so, it was too hot to eat when we got back to the boat, so we made do with the big lunch plus the snacks at Happy Hour, and tried our best to stay cool until the temperature dropped enough for us to go to sleep.


We left early Saturday morning heading for the Duplin River behind Sapelo Island. As it has been since we left on this cruise, our view is mostly of vast expanses of water or salt marshes, backed up by pine and oak trees. At Sapelo, it was just as hot as it was in Brunswick; however, early in the evening some thunderstorms moved through north and south of us. We didn’t get the rain, but we got the wind and the clouds, which helped a lot to knock down the temperatures. We almost had a pleasant evening. We got to see a bunch of stars, and sat out on deck for quite a while before turning in.


Our next stop after Sapelo Island was Big Tom Creek behind Ossabaw Island. Once again, we were in a secluded area with nothing around us but the marshes. We had the breezes, but absolutely no clouds. Since the sun doesn’t set until around 8:30 pm, and it gets low enough to get under any covers on the boat by about 6:00 pm, it’s nearly impossible to stay on deck for the last two hours before the sun goes down. At eight thirty, we come out from under our damp towels and high-speed fans to quickly put together a light supper, and sit in the cool breeze until we’ve revived enough to realize how the heat has utterly sapped all our strength, and we fall into our bunks.


Today we moved to the Cooper River behind Daufuskie Island in South Carolina. Once again, we are in a secluded spot surrounded by the marsh. On our way, we passed through Hell Gate (appropriately named for some scary shallow water), crossed the Savannah River (ships the size of city blocks have the right of way, so look out!), and had a delightful transit of Walls Cut escorted by a brace of dolphins swimming and jumping right next to the cockpit for about a mile. Unfortunately, between the glare of the water, the sun on the iPhone screen and sunglasses, all we got was a still photo of the water instead of the five minute video of some amazing close-up dolphin action. I don’t care what Steve Jobs said, you can’t read an iPhone screen in bright sunlight, and Suzy and I are both seriously peaved that we don’t have a record of these dolphins. Anyway, once again we are at anchor, waiting for the sun to drop behind the horizon so we can have a little bit of comfort before turning in.

Tomorrow we will arrive at the Downtown Marina in Beaufort, SC, where we will catch a mooring ball for a couple of days and visit our friends from M/V Dubhe, who live nearby.