Warning: Folks who love Myrtle Beach maybe should skip this part of the post.
Myrtle Beach was Dirty Myrtle back in the Stone Age when Doug visited for Spring Break. Then a few years ago Georgetown’s (the university) softball coach booked a team hotel here for a tournament and all the parents got rooms and prepaid and we showed up, checked in, and promptly forfeited the full cost and went to a Marriott because the joint was a dump. Actually it was a dump that gave dumps a bad name. There should be a law setting standards for the term “resort.” At a minimum those standards should require the absence of dirty floors and cockroaches in the rooms and vomit in the elevators. So mostly we aren’t interested in Myrtle Beach, but the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club had room for us over the holiday weekend. As previously stressed, however, at least the marina isn’t actually in Myrtle Beach. More importantly, it’s an awesome place with awesome people.
Before we could get to Myrtle Beach though, we first had to leave Georgetown (the village in South Carolina). At about 6:45 the tide was going out, giving us a nice current for getting off the dock. Fire up some Robert Earl Keen on shuffle and we’re off.
Wait a second here. Now we’re going against that same current, cruising at about six knots. Six knots seems way slower than 75% of our normal speed. But what the hell. Like REK, we got us a ticket to the end of the line. Wanna feel the air and breathe the countryside. Even at six knots.
Most of the trip was up the Waccamaw River, which mostly meant cypress swamps and no shallow bits. Just gorgeous. Which gave us time to read up on things like the Waccamaw River, which is a part of a huge wildlife habitat. According to one resource, this is “[c]onsidered one of the finest blackwater rivers in the Southeast.” Whoa now! On a boat, black water has a particular meaning, and that meaning is dramatically inconsistent with “clean drinking water, scenic landscapes, diverse fish and wildlife, [and] outstanding recreation.” In fact, cruising through “black water” is almost as disgusting as staying at a Myrtle Beach “resort.” But we gambled that maybe there’s room for inconsistent definitions and plowed on enjoying the scenery. At six knots.
Here’s Emma Todd, oddly docked along the river.
Her new owners are looking for a Captain. Schooners on the ICW go even slower than six knots, however, so we’re not offering our services. Plus we don’t know how to sail.
Kudzu. Yup, we’re in the south.
Although so far we’ve mostly avoided the annoying pests we anticipated, we hit a few swarms as we approached Myrtle Beach.
Three girls with no idea what they were doing came directly at us in fits and starts, literally making us stop to avoid a collision. The Law of Gross Tonnage apparently was not a part of the rental orientation, and most of these jackasses don’t seem to grasp basic physics. Thank God we’re not going to be traveling over the next few days when even more insanity is all but certain.
Hey look! Gypsy Rose’s house still is standing!
We rather assumed that by now the nice people in the nice house with the tastefully painted white dock would’ve accidentally burned it down.
Despite successfully docking hundreds of times, every time we approach a slip in a strange marina, it looks impossibly small. And the wind kicks up. And the current increases. Getting into the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club was no different. The guy on the radio cheerfully claimed that there was “plenty of room” for our sixteen-foot beam in B21, which is barely over seventeen-and-a-half feet wide. But we have ten-inch fenders. Which left only a few inches to spare. And the wind was kicking up on the beam as we lined up. And the current felt like it was increasing although we’ll admit it probably wasn’t. We made it in, but just barely, although as usual after we were in it didn’t look nearly as close.
Someone at Avis should be imprisoned because of the rate we had to pay, but we still rented a car for a few days. If we’re going to be here, we might as well try to explore a little, run some errands, and find some pickleball. Check, check, and check. The pizza in Murrells Inlet was delicious, the Costco had everything we needed, and this morning was an excellent day for pickleball. Money well-spent on the rental car.
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. We’ll start the celebration, of course, just like we imagine the patriots of the Revolution did back in 1776. With pickleball. Then there’s some hoopla at the marina, which we’ll probably try to watch from the comfort of our back porch.
Invest 97-L indeed became an issue when it turned into Elsa. Not the Elsa who—after being rescued from her ice castle by a snowman and a reindeer—discovered that true love conquers evil and then gave us the title for this post, of course, but the big storm whose trajectory apparently is impossible for the experts to predict but looks to involve us.
Although our plan is to leave on Tuesday, we’ve agreed with the marina that if things look even a little bad we’ll just stay nice and tied up where we are. If we’re gonna be stuck somewhere, this marina is about as good a place as possible.
Know who isn’t fazed by storms?
That’s right. The same numbskull types we saw in Charleston are hanging out here as well. At least this basin is only about ten feet deep, so the search for bodies shouldn’t be too difficult.
Oh yeah. Happy Canada Day to our friends from The Great White North as well. Take off, eh! It’s a beauty way to go.*
*During high school—before returning to his country roots—Doug was a huge Rush fan. Geddy Lee’s greatest musical contribution, however, may have been his collaboration with famous hosers Doug and Bob McKenzie. Also, RIP Neil Peart.