Sunrises are the only silver linings around the dark cloud of getting up early, which makes it good that Dana has a camera. Otherwise we’d have no photos, because Doug tries to avoid those silver linings. Anyway, we had another good one yesterday morning at Thunderbolt.
We pulled out just after The Lower Place passed us, which almost proved immediately disastrous as Charlie wandered off into shallow water apparently just to see if we’d follow. We did, but fortunately realized our foolishness in time.
Normally we have no issues with bascule bridges because the horizontal clearance is wide enough for at least two boats our size. It becomes a tad more dicey when one arm is broken, which has been the case more than a few times so far. We managed to sneak through the first one of the day, but just barely.
A couple of hours or so later, Charlie radioed back to let us know something big was coming fast around the corner on the Savannah River. Yup. That’s big.
We entered the river just off his stern. Yup. That’s big.
The captain said he wasn’t the boat we needed to watch. A different Evergreen cargo ship was heading the other way. We shot across the river—meaning we crawled across the river—as fast as possible. Whew.
Hey, is this red channel marker in the right spot? It can’t be. It’s way too close to the shore. Nope, it’s correct. Just have to squeeze through. The Lower Place made it so we followed them on through.
Just then we looked behind us and saw a cityscape where there isn’t a city. The second Evergreen container ship. Look closely.
Onward, past a bunch of Hilton Head marinas and mansions and stuff.
Just before Beaufort (rhymes with Viewfert), South Carolina, we skirted Parris Island. Home of the Marine Corps training base. Collectively we know it’s a veritable forge, spitting out modern warriors. We know this because Doug has watched a lot of war movies. Marines are awesome. Thanks for your service.
Also thanks to the perfectly-timed slack tide, which allowed us to docked up easily in a spot that’s normally filled with rushing current. Gonna take some planning to get out of here when they put another boat 3 feet off our bow, but sometimes what we lack in skill we make up for with misplaced confidence.
This morning on our way to breakfast the Santa Maria was on the fuel dock.**
That was interesting, but not the best part. The best part was when they tried to pull along the riverfront dock after fueling and got caught in the current and unintentionally spun 180°. That caused the crew to run around—literally—to change the fenders from port to starboard as the ship careened towards land. They all were yelling in Spanish so we couldn’t understand them, but the tone suggested profanity of the type Misty Pearl’s crew uses when the same thing happens to us. Then they got off the boat and acted like it all was intentional. Just like we do.
Here’s the thing about Beaufort. It’s chock-full of history. For example, the local Anglican church dates to 1724. Anglicans are funny because their head is the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Archbishop of Canterbury” sounds like a character from an animated Disney movie. But the church and the old graveyard are pretty cool.
The first official germ of secession was planted inside the Maxcy-Rhett House just across the street from our marina. Can’t get much more historical than that.
The union army took over another home to use as Beaufort headquarters. It’s also still here, along with nearly a hundred antebellum buildings. Thank goodness Sherman didn’t get down this far.
We went around to look at a bunch of the other historical stuff but there’s still more exploring to do. Plus we need to go to Target.
We’re planning to head up to Charleston on Saturday if the weather allows.
* The original title for this post was “You’re so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece.” Dana said it was a dumb title because absolutely nobody but Doug knows lines from Full Metal Jacket or would get the connection to our travels. It’s possible, of course, that some people don’t recall the entirety of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman’s epic speech welcoming newcomers to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. It’s worth watching again. Although not by anyone offended by graphic vulgarity.
** Not the Santa Maria that served as Christopher Columbus’ flagship, of course. That one didn’t take diesel. Plus it sank in 1492. This is just a neato Spanish replica, manned and womanned by what appeared to be Spanish college kids.