Beaufort, SC

We have been in Beaufort, SC, for a few days now while we wait for a good offshore weather window.  It looks like we might get it on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and we’re itching to move along.  Our plan is to do an offshore overnight from Beaufort to Cumberland Island National Seashore near St. Mary’s, Georgia.

The temperature during the day has been in the mid-50s, and at night it drops to the mid- to low-40s.  We’re okay at night with blankets and our trusty hot water bottle, but it’s about 50 degrees in the boat when we wake up.  This morning it was 48 degrees in the salon when I got up, and that was certainly . . . invigorating.  One thing that has made our lives much better has been our portable “Mr. Heater” propane heater.  It uses one pound propane bottles and can raise the temperature a good five degrees in the boat, just enough to make it pleasant.  We’ve gotten so accustomed to the cooler temperatures that when we go in a business heated to a normal temperature, we’re ripping off our coats because we’re so hot.

Beaufort is a lovely little town, but there’s only so many quaint streets, antebellum houses, and expensive shops you can wander before it starts looking a little bit the same.  I’m probably jaded after having just come from Charleston, which has many similar sights.  One thing I have learned after staying here is that Spanish moss can grow on pretty much anything:  trees, wires, power poles, you name it.  This whole town is draped in it.

I would call Beaufort a two-day stop, one for touring and one for running errands.  The library in Beaufort is great; it has fast, free wifi and lots of seating.  There are many great places to eat; we particularly liked the lunch menu at Low County Produce and at Plums.  Both had typical low country favorites like pimento cheese, she-crab soup, and shrimp burgers, and both offered very fresh food with good service.

There are no grocery stores within reasonable walking distance of the Downtown Marina; the nearest is Bi-Lo, and it’s about 1.8 miles away along streets that have no sidewalk due to road construction.  Fortunately, the Downtown Marina has a courtesy car available to mooring customers, too.  We have been using it each day to make a variety of runs.

The non-tourist area of Beaufort appears to be having a building boom.  There is a new-looking Walmart Supercenter across from a Lowe’s Home Improvement about 2.5 miles from the marina. In that vicinity is also a JC Penney and Belk’s.  We found that area easy to access by car.

Beaufort has been a fun stop, but it’s time to move southward, hopefully to some warmer temperatures.

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This tree is so old that there are cables running from the horizontal branches back to the trunk.  This might be the only tree in Beaufort that isn’t smothered with Spanish moss.

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