Nov. 11-15, 2017: Hanging Out in Port Royal, SC

We were planning on staying in Port Royal for three days, but unending offshore winds convinced us to stay an extra few days.

Port Royal is due south of Beaufort and just north of Parris Island (of Marine Corps fame).  Both Beaufort, which we visited earlier this year, and Port Royal are on Port Royal Island.  Port Royal was one of the earliest British settlements in what was to become South Carolina.  We have been watching season four of Black Sails, which is a television series about pirates, and in the episode we watched last night, the embattled governor of Nassau is fleeing to Port Royal.  How cool is that!

If there’s one thing that this area never seems to lack, it’s strong current.  Add the honking winds that have been blowing, and it’s been quite a rodeo here at the dock.  The transient dock at Port Royal Landing Marina consists of two facing docks that also house the gas and diesel pumps in the middle.


There we are in front, bracketed by large and gorgeous motor yachts.

We chose to be on the outside of the dock because coming to the inside meant a little more maneuvering than Kestrel can easily manage.  Being on the outside of the dock means no protection from waves, and man, have we ever had waves.  I was making enchiladas one night and seriously considered unlocking the gimbal on the stove so that it could swing freely and keep my sauce from slopping out of the pans.


These poor fenders really had their work cut out for them.  Not only were they squished from the incessant waves, but it was cold, so at one point they seemed like they were about an inch thick.

This has been primarily a “business” stop rather than a sight seeing stop.  We visited Beaufort earlier this year, and while we walked through downtown and ate lunch at Low Country Produce this trip, that was about it.

Port Royal would not be a good stop for cruisers needing to provision without access to a car, but fortunately, the marina has a courtesy car.  With a car, there are tons of resources for the cruiser:   groceries (Publix, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, Walmart), hardware stores (Lowes Home Improvement, Graco Hardware), pharmacies, and propane refills (Graco Hardware).

Port Royal Landing Marina is a very nice marina and one I would stop at again.  The staff is exceptionally friendly, and the docks (both floating and fixed) are in top shape.  There’s Valvtect diesel and gas on site, two washers and three dryers ($1.25 each), immaculate bathrooms with two showers, and a small ship’s store.  The wifi is okay but nothing to write home about.  There’s a small lounge with a book and DVD exchange.  The marina is located in a small residential community that is really lovely.  The standout, though, is the staff—they are remarkably helpful and genuinely nice.


A view of half of the marina and the Ladies Island Bridge.


This is the view from the docks looking inland.  It’s a truly lovely area.

As much fun as we’ve had here, it’s time to move on.  The winds have died enough for us to head offshore to Brunswick, GA, today.  We will arrive tomorrow and have a whole new city to explore.