Our offshore route from Southport to Georgetown was a comparatively short one (90 nm), so we didn’t have to leave Southport until mid-afternoon on November 5. We spent the day on small chores and left Southport at 1530 hours. The days are getting shorter and shorter, and we only had a couple of hours of daylight. I love leaving for overnight trips late in the day; somehow the trip always seems shorter.
We had another calm night of motorsailing with no other boats around. We rotated three hour watches starting at 1800 hours and passed a peaceful, uneventful night.
Winyah Bay was a new inlet for us, and I can see why it’s considered an all-weather haven. It’s large, well-marked, and not too twisty. We got a spot at Georgetown Landing Marina, which was also a new marina for us. Even though we timed our arrival for slack, the current was ridiculously strong. The Captain did an amazing job getting the boat up to the face dock without smashing it, us, or the other boats around.
The trip from Southport, NC, to Georgetown, SC, was 18 ½ hours for 90.6 nm.
We stayed in Georgetown for two more days. We had never been there before, and it was worth the trip. Georgetown Landing Marina mostly caters to fishing charters but also has a long facing dock for transients. The floating docks are in generally good shape, and the dock hands are quite helpful and friendly. Both diesel and gas are available, and there’s two washers and dryers ($1.50 each). The restrooms are clean and have two showers each. There is a small ship’s store, and the marina is on the grounds of a Hampton Inn. All in all, it’s a nice place to stop, and at $1.50/ft, it won’t break the bank.
Georgetown Landing Marina is about a fifteen minute walk, all along sidewalks, to the tourist part of town on Front Street. On the way is a terrific marine and fishing supply store called The Boat Shed; we spent quite a bit of time there looking at fishing supplies and debating the new Yeti LoadOut Bucket:
me: $40 for a freaking BUCKET?
sales staff: But it’s really sturdy.
me: It’s a five gallon bucket. They cost $5 at Home Depot.
sales staff: It has a rope handle. You can add special lids and inserts. It’s a Yeti.
me: IT’S A BUCKET.
the Captain: We’ll have one by Christmas.
Front Street is a cute collection of very old buildings with the usual tourist stores.
The clock tower building houses the Rice Museum. Yeah, like the grain.
You cannot tell from this picture, but these buildings are very old and very well-preserved.
It also has a river walk that runs parallel to Front Street.
The river walk is well-maintained and quite pleasant. Most of the restaurants and stores that abut the river walk have an entrance so that you can come in from the river walk or from Front Street.
Someone with a great sense of humor had this hanging from their boat docked along the river walk. I’m not sure what’s better, the peg leg, the sash, or the skeletal parrot.
On the advice of our dockhands, we ate at Thomas Café twice over two days: breakfast the first day and lunch the second day. It’s a low-key diner with unbelievably good food at low prices.
Thomas Cafe is actually packed at this point, but everyone is sitting in the booths.
Everyone that was in there was clearly a local, and did I mention the food? Anyone that’s spent five seconds on this blog knows two things about us: we walk everywhere, and we love to eat. Thomas Café was the highlight of our trip to Georgetown.
The Captain reports that this was the best shrimp and grits he’s ever had in his life. And it came with a side of fried green tomatoes. Enough said.
We visited the South Carolina Maritime Museum, which was a lovely collection of ship models, artifacts, and expository signs. We planned to go to the Rice Museum, but we ended up skipping that this time. Mostly we walked through town and through the residential areas.
The neighborhood that we walked through was filled with stately old homes. And I mean old–like 1800s old. Some of them were flamboyant like this one, but all of them were gracious and full of period details.
On our last day we called it an early night to prepare for the next day’s offshore journey from Georgetown to Port Royal, SC.