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BCYC South 2012-13

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  • 19 Nov 2012 8:15 PM | John Loving

    Spent Friday night anchored in Beaufort, SC. We then moved to the Downtown  City Marina Saturday morning and the ‘fleet’ arrived shortly after.  BackYakkers Anne and Paul Lambdin drove over from their winter home in Hilton Head to have lunch with us.  We all had a wonderful walk around town taking advantage of their local knowledge.

    Beaufort is our favorite stop alone the trip. Each year we are delighted to see how this little town is thriving.  The group enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Panini’s (the old town bank) together.

    After much study and discussion about the weather Compass Rose and Fandango left for another day on the ICW.  Made it through Port Royal Sound with very little discomfort; winds were north at a lot and seas maybe 2-3' off the stbd quarter.  No rain all day but did have 15/20 mph winds. We took it very slow exiting Fields Creek to cross the Savannah River as we could see that there were two VERY large ships moving on the river here at high speed crossing just about the same time we would be crossing.  Like the Chesapeake Bay ships, they are moving a lot faster than they look!

    We anchored in Herb Creek in 29 ft at high tide but it is rushing out fast.  We put out 150 ft of chain, which equates to about 5-1 scope and, except for our swing with the strong current, we held in place.

    Today we did a 9 hour/70 mile day.  Spent the day winding through the Spartina Grasses of Georgia.  Rafted up with Fandango in Queens Creek at high tide.  Colin and Chris served a wonderful Pork Roast dinner on their boat.  When we were leaving we realized that the tide had gone down to dead low; we could smell the muddy marshy banks along the creek.

    Tomorrow we will be up early to cruise another 9 hrs to Fernandina Beach...Florida!!

    John & Pam

  • 18 Nov 2012 11:51 AM | WILLIAM W FALK GERALDINE FALK

    Aside from the trip itself, we may all remember this big adventure as the "Rotten Weather Cruise"!  We had light rain and cool temps yesterday (11/17); rained some overnight and got cold; continuing to rain and be cool today coupled with fairly brisk northerly winds.  So . . . the less hearty among us decided to spend one more night in Beaufort, a truly beautiful coastal town.  Compass Rose and Fandango departed earlier and Fandango reported rough seas on the Port Royal Sound but much kinder ones on the Savannah River.  Fandango will continue on to St. Augustine where they will rejoin us.   Meanwhile, we are hoping to spend Thanksgiving Day anchored near Cumberland Island, on the FL-GA border. 

    We left Charleston 2 days ago, riding a favorable tide for much of the day and making 10-11 mph.  Traveling with Quaich for most of the day, once we got past a group of sailboats, we hardly saw a soul while crossing 50 miles of marsh.  We then anchored in Bass Creek, about 16 miles from Beaufort.  It was a good snug anchorage but the radical rise/fall of the tides continues to get a lot of our attenteion.   We anchored in 12' of water and later saw this rise to over 18'.  Setting the hook demands lots of anchor rode (line).  We anchored separately and dinghyed to Quaich for dinner.  Decided that this wasn't such a great idea when dinghying back in pitch black conditions with a lot of current -- kind of say a prayer and rely on the Honda outboard!

    The Lowcountry offers miles and miles of gorgeous scenery -- once you are close enough to see it.  Live oaks, Spanish most, palmettos, palm trees, houses old and new.  We have just over 400 miles left before getting to Stuart. 

    Today's plan?  Karen is making meatloaf.  G is making mac and cheese.  Madi is making dessert.  And we will be watching the Ravens-Steelers game.  Go Ravens!

  • 17 Nov 2012 5:26 PM | Colin Soucy
    Fandango and crew remained in Charleston, SC for two days so that we could visit with Colin's sister.  We had a great time with her and enjoyed our brief time on land as landlubbers.  Even though we were off the boat and on solid ground, I swear the ground was moving!  Saturday morning, we left for Beaufort, SC, at 0830 and had a good run with a following current instead of the usual foul tide, and made it to Beaufort by 1:30!  The current and wind was stiff but cooperated during the docking process and no boats or egos were damaged.  It is nice to have a fleet-footed little boat!!!

    Our night on the hook in the Waccamaw River was interesting, in part because of the scenery and in part because of the conditions -- strong winds and current.   Compass Rose had us and Fandago on its anchor.  In the morning, Lovings showed us how their chart plotter recorded us meandering all over the place (using the Man Over Board [MOB] function.   But the anchor held!   We got off at daybreak, heading for Charleston.  Tug for Two was on its own most of the day and miracle of miracles, we got there safely!   Saw bald eagles, including one that picked up a fish right in front of this and then returned to its huge next in the top of a dead tree by the shore.   The Waccamaw is a kind of wild, undisturbed place with miles of undeveloped land, cypress trees and brown (tanin-laden) water.   We passed by the Waccamaw Neck, the wealthiest place in the U.S. pre-Civil War, all due to rice plantations.  After the war, carpetbaggers bought the old plantations and turned them into hunting preserves.  And now?   Gated,expensive housing developments.   The joys of capitalism!

    Yates and other sailors made it under a bridge where every time you approach one there is a whole back-and-forth on the ship's radios about the height boards (boards with numbers from low to high 60s).   The larger sailboats all seem to need about 63 feet and the bridges are often 65.   So sailors reporting a "pinging" of their radio antennas on top of their masts are common and, I'm sure, heart-stopping for the sailors.   John Loving says that he has a video of the Yates going thru one such bridge.

    For us, with a draft of only 3'6", the heart-stopping moment came when we experienced an unusually low tide.  We heard the sailboat ahead of us (by about 1/2 mile) report seeing "under 5'".   We were being followed by 2 sailboats and a motor yacht so I dutifully reported the depths I was seeing.   Scary.  On the plus side, it's wonderful to see how boaters help one another.  The sometimes nasty behavior of "ragmen" and "stink potters" seems almost entirely missing from the ICW where one hears people asking for permission to give a "soft pass" (no wake from a powerboat) and receiving a thansk and "have a nice day" in return.  Of course there is still the occasional jerk who passes producing a huge wake and never lets you know they are coming or responding to your complaining call to them after they have left.

    Last night, as Soucy's reported, we were all anchored in a very exposed creek (the Amdewah).  I've noticed that "creeks" in NC and SC are not like what we are used to in Merryland.   Here, a 'creek' is sometimes as wide as a river.  The Amdewah wasn't that wide but with its exposure and high tide, it made for a worrisome night.   We anchored yesterday in 12' of water.   We woke up to find it showing 20 feet!  Everyone thought they had dragged their anchors.  30 knots of wind plus a strong current and waves beating against our boats had us all working hard to raise our anchors and get underway.   We saw lots of grass floating on the river and were glad to see smaller waves when we got in the river.  

    We found out that Charleston is having an annual sailing regatta so, much to our disappointment,  there was no room at the inn for us at the Charleston City Marina or other walkable places.   So . . . we wound up getting slips at the Cooper River Marina, about 5 miles from downtown.  This would have been fine but the current there had been the year's highest tides and the current was flowing thru the marina at about 4 kts.  Kranzers and Yates were anchored on the outside, in the river where they experienced the full brunt of the current.   Imagine seeing your boat produce a wake when it's sitting at the dock!  It was so cold and worrisome, given the wind and current, that we ate on Tug for Two.  G fixed a Louisiana-style jambalaya.   True BakYakkers, we proved once again that good food, good company and plenty of wine conquers all!  

    Tomorrow morning, the marina is running us to a local Harris Teeter (high-end grocery store) to reprovision and by late morning we will be underway toward Beaufort, SC (the place where they filmed Prince of Tides).   Stay tuned! 


  • 15 Nov 2012 8:25 PM | John Loving

    This is our eleventh trip on the ICW (five round trips plus this one) and it has not been the ‘normal’ trip south for us.  First, Hurricane Sandy held everyone in place for 4-5 days.  Then the next Nor’easter put another hold on the southbound trip for 3 days.  Weather is always a variable on the water but a hurricane in November?  Still we feel very fortunate after the devastation and despair in NJ and NY.


    We have had the great good fortune to travel in company with the Falk’s (“Tug For Two”), Yates (“Indy”), Kranzer’s (“Quaich”) and Soucy’s (“Fandango”) on this trip.  It is always enjoyable to cruise with another boat but doubly (or quadrupley) so when we have been such long time friends.


    We are south of Charleston, SC having slogged against the current for most of the last two days.  Going through Elliott Cut just south (actually west) of Charleston, we encountered a strong ebbing current.  With the diesel at almost full power, we were able to make 3 kts!  Thought we would never get through it.  We are now over half-way to Stuart, FL.

    John and Pam

  • 15 Nov 2012 4:18 PM | Colin Soucy
    Southport.  Colin and Bill Falk watched football on Tug For Two while the rest of the gang gathered on Fandango to watch Cape Fear.  Karen brought popped corn and an amazing array of candies and we settled down to watch the film.  The consensus of the group was that the remake with Robert DeNiro is much scarier than the original with Mitchum.  We all noted that the emotion and clue to what was going to happen next was signaled by the appropriate music score.  It was a lot of fun regardless.
    Falks and the Soucys ate dinner at the nearby Fishy-Fishy restaurant while the others gathered for some of Pam Loving's delicious shrimp and grits.  We all should be gaining weight on this trip because the gals are terrific gormet cooks!
    Leaving Southport, the group anchored out in the Wacoma River.  Fandango leaped ahead and scouted the area and staked out an anchorage until the rest of the flotilla arrived.  Dinner was held on Indy and as always, the food was superb.  The camaraderie and wine flowed easily and all had a good time.  The next morning we cruised all day and anchored out in Awendaw Creek.  When Fandango arrived, the tide was low...we had 10 feet under our keel but by morning there was 17 and the 4 foot bank was GONE! We could see the grasses poking up which made the area look like you could navigate between it and what looked like a grassy pasture...but in reality, you would be trying to cruise over land, not the cove.  It was windy, cold, and rainy.  Indy remained behind for an additional 30 minutes or so to take advantage of the lowering tide.  The rest of us proceeded toward Charleston, SC.  The evening on the creek was okay, but in the wee hours of the night, I had to get up to check the anchor to assure myself that we were not dragging anchor nor any other mischief was afoot.  There were the most unusual groans and thuds and squeaks that set my imagination to flight.  We are at Charleston now berthed next to Tug For Two.  Indie and Quaich are also safely in port with us.  The weather is not good for walking about the town...also, we are 8 miles from town because, due to a Regatta, there were no other options closer to town.  Colin and I will spend two nights here, visiting with his sister.  The group is going to leave tomorrow.  The plan for us, is to catch up with them in Beaufort, SC.  Hope the weather improves.  I am tired of being cold and wet...well, actually, it is warm, dry and pleasant inside Fandango, but the crew (me) has to to go outside the boat to handle lines and such.  Who'd a thought?

  • 13 Nov 2012 5:53 AM | Anonymous


    A new slate of officers was elected and plans for the new boating year were the focus at BCYC’s annual meeting November 4th at the Fleet Reserve Club.  The new officers to be installed at the Commodore’s Ball January 26th are: Commodore: John Loving; Vice-Commodore: Bill Kranzer; Rear Commodore – Bob Higginbotham; Fleet Captain – Guy Collins; Secretary – Bonnie Hetzel; Treasurer – Mary Bowie; and, Board of Governors: Terry Bidnick and Colin Soucy were elected to join Ted Edmunds, Jamie Ritter, Shay Collins and Mary Ross.  A BCYC fleet headed South later in November; The five boats and crew were: Bill and Geraldine Falk, on Tug for Two; Colin and Chris Soucy on Fandango; John and Pam Loving on Compass Rose; John and Maddie Yates on Indy; and, Bill and Karen Kranzer on Quaich.  The five captains, all military veterans, celebrated Veterans Day, November 11th at Wrightsville Beach, NC.  On December 6th, many Club members plan to join the Annapolis Midnight Madness events.  For those remaining in the Annapolis area, December 16th will be the occasion for a Holiday Brunch at Oyster Cove Villa, Grasonville, hosted by JJ. Sullivan Jr. and Juliana Nedd.

    Left Wrightsville Beach at 8:30 this morning.   Had a nice, easy trip to Southport, just over 20 miles away.  Entered the Cape Fear River, a huge expanse.  Sad to leave our green water for brown but got to keep truckin'.   Staying in Southport because another lesson in this kind of travel is that while one might want to anchor out almost nightly, it's not always possible.  So sooner than chance a "no room at the inn" experience with few options other than continuing to search for a suitable anchorage, we are staying at Southport Marina, a large, very nice, well run place.  Loads ot cruisers in here, including people who've just come in from a few days in the ocean or are about to enter it for the run to the Bahamas.  Again washed off salt residue and for the first time since we left home, G did our laundry.  Pam had told us to bring $50 in quarters, so today we started using them.  Walked around Southport which is very nice small town.  Many of the homes are "historic", having plaques on them with names and dates.  Re the 'historic' part, most of the dates are early 1900s but still, cute well cared for dwellings.  G went into a gift shop and came out without buying anything so a big success so far!   Tonight, Karen has organizd a "Cape Fear" movie night, complete with popcorn (which I can no longer eat) and candy (which I can).  

    Tomorrow, we will start our push toward Charleston.   Plan on anchoring out the next 2 nights, including one night in what is widely reputed to be the most beautiful river of the entire trip, the Waccamaw in South Carolina. 



  • 12 Nov 2012 4:39 PM | Colin Soucy
    It is great having the entire flotilla together at last.  Colin and I spent one night in Wilmington, NC while Quaich and Indy waited for Tug For Two and Compass Rose to arrive in Mile Hammock Bay.  For those who have not stopped there, Wilmington is a very nice city.  We tied up at the City Dock and were treated to a concert.  Across the river. an Oyster Fest was in full swing with live rock and roll bands playing all afternoon and late into the night.  We walked around town and toured the railroad museum and then settled in for the night.  We were awakened at 0310 by a soft thump-bump, squeak-squeaka-squeak!  Colin was up like a shot and I followed closely behind.  He turned on the lights and I struggled with the door.  There was a thief on the boat trying to steal our dinghy!  He immediately jumped off of the boat and ran as fast as his legs could carry him down the dock, up the ramp and over the gate.  Now, on retrospect, it might have an awful lot of fun for us if we had instead sneaked stealthily up and watched him.  Colin's method of securing the dinghy is rather convoluted and not easy...but the best part was this:  the dinghy had a leak and it was only half inflated.  Once the fool got the boat in the water, presumably, he would have hopped in to start the motor only to find that it wouldn't float and find himself awash.  I envisioned grabbing the boathook and keeping him away from shore and Fandango's stern steps until the police arrived.  Heh-heh.  But...I guess it was better the way it ended up.
    Today, the entire fleet is together at the Southport Marina and we are planning to watch "Cape Fear".   Should be a lot of fun.

    Captain Loving had all the Backyakkers up and going at dawn today, bound for Wrightsville Beach, NC.   Something i had never experienced nor really planned for was having to "time" one's arrival at a series of bridges which open at fixed times (hourly, on the hour and half hour, etc.).  So we were all full-bore trying to make a 9 o'clock opening -- and we did.  Then, push on for the next bridge, an 11 o'clock opening -- worked again.   Then . . . well, literally drift for nearly one hour with current and occasional engine power carrying us about 5 miles to the next bridge, an hourly one.  About 8 boats jockeyed around trying to hold their places and not run into one another.  Some of the captains knew precisely how far, how fast, etc. to time the opening.   Worked again.   We passed some beautiful homes, looking out across marsh grass and sand dunes, homes, and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.  All during our trip there were small (18-25' fishing boats) running by us.  When we cleared the Wrightsville Beach Bridge we were greeted by some huge sportfishermen (these are boats, not individuals!).  We entered a creek which brought us to our anchorage, near another bridge and with easy access to downtown Wrightsville Beach.   There are about 30 boats anchored in here tonight.   The best one we saw when we entered the anchorage was one of our own -- Fandango (Chris and Colin).   We dinghyed over to the dinghy dock; walked around the very small shopping area; went to the beach; took a group picture; and had margaritas and Mexican food at a lively local eatery.  For the first time since some of our group left Annapolis the day after the annual BCYC crab feast, all of the BCYC South fleet was together!

    btw:  somewhere along the way today, the water became a beautiful green color.  And tonight, the lights from nearby houses, hotels, the boats, and the bridge are reflecting on what is, for now, a glassy smooth water surface.

    One other thing:  today is Veteran's Day.  And as a sign of our generation of cruisers, all of the men were military veterans.   Yesterday, anchored at Camp Lejeune -- Semper Fi, y'all. 

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