Brunswick Landing Marina, GA

Hurricane SANDY, 3 days after we dock!

Known as a HURRICANE HOLE, a safe place to dock your boat during hurricane season, Brunswick Landing Marina is truly a safe place, well built and very solid. Since we ran down the east coast early, during Sept and Oct, we had planned to make this our destination. We booked a dock here months ago, before we left the Chesapeake Bay and we have been running for Brunswick from the first day we left.

Lucky for us, we had great weather all the way south, and we were able to arrive here a few days early, which turned out to be perfect due to Hurricane Sandy. Brunswick is as far west as you can go on the east coast, plus the NE flow of the Gulf Stream tends to divert the path of hurricanes away from this spot. Brunswick Landing Marina, GA is THE place to store your boat during hurricane season. We feel lucky to be here and we feel safe leaving our boat here as we fly to Arizona for a family wedding.

Here is a photo essay of Brunswick Landing Marina:

Island Spirit docked on pier #4
Notice the CONCRETE floating docks….full length….NICE
Massive dock cleats….notice the heavy dock lines…
Thank to GREG!
Docks ride up and down via these rollers

Powerpost, cable TV and water. Notice the concrete pilings

15 PIERS, 20 boats per pier…WOW…this place is massive
Ramps lead up from docks to a dock house on each pier

FREE WIFI on each dock house

Car parking right at the docks within steps of each pier.

Island Spirit in dock, mainsail lashed, double dock lines

Bath house and clubhouse between piers # 8-9
Bath house at pier #1 also
Clubhouse, library book share, TV, lounge

Clubhouse continued… tables and sofas for cocktail parties

FREE LAUNDRY ….yes, that is right…..FREE

EACH Dock House has a nice grill, table and chairs

Inside slips are for the large catamarans which means…
.. there are 30 spots like this.
The north end can take larger boats and more cats as well.
GOOGLE MAP of Brunswick Landing Marina
Pier numbering begins at the south #1 and #14 at the north
Northernmost Pier #15 has many single slips also part of the marina!

View Larger Map

If I were looking for a place to dock our boat during hurricane season again, this would be the spot. Many cruisers make this their starting point for cruising for the winter. For example: Arrive here, to your decommissioned boat before Nov 1. Set up your boat, install your sails and canvas, clean up the boat, provision, prepare. Depart ASAP for points south, South Florida, Bahamas, etc. Sail all winter, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March, April, May. Come back to Brunswick June 1, dock here and decommission the boat, putting it away until Nov 1. Now, go home or do land based travels and family visits and then start again. This is what many cruisers here are doing, because it is such a safe place to leave your boat in hurricane season, June 1 to Nov 30. We are glad to be here!

Offshore Beaufort to Brunswick

Sunset the night before we departed Beaufort, SC

Beaufort SC to Brunswick GA via offshore is a 104 nm trip. Traveling at 5-6 nm / hr, this can take some time. The real challenge on a leg like this one is not the coastal sailing, it is the tides at both inlets. Tides on the Georgia Coast are 7 to 8 feet and the current associated with these tides can run at 2-3 knots.

So a sailboat that motors at 5-6 knots will need to run with the current, adding this extra speed as opposed to running against the current. Considering two ocean inlets 70+ miles apart and figuring out the time and distances for exiting one inlet on the out flowing tide and making the next inlet on the inflowing tide can be a fun (and lengthy!) discussion.

iPad and Navionics, we use this for tides, currents and backup nav

Radeen is really good at these calculations. We use our iPad with Navionics software for currents and a piece of paper and pencil and we go at it. We find the max current at each inlet and run a route on the computer for assistance, and then we calculate our speed and time of arrival for each point.

With the anchor up at 4 pm, we were able to run the tide out to sea by sunset, then sail the 70 miles of sea overnight and make the next inlet at 8:30 am for the inflowing tide. We arrived Brunswick GA as scheduled and docked around 11 am. We were tired from only sleeping 2-4 hours while offshore, so we took a long afternoon nap. Offshore sailing takes days to get into a rhythm, and so with a short run of only one night, you never really get into a good sleep pattern. Imagine driving all night till 11 am the NEXT day, and then finding your way around a strange town and parking your car in an unfamiliar parking garage. This will give you a clue as to what we just accomplished!

Here are some photos of the area

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at Beaufort, SC
Spanish Moss on the harbor trees

Island Packet friends:
Larry & Gerry IP37 Galileo, Hayden & Radeen with
Marjorie and Jeff, IP45 Far Niente
Cruising Island Packet Friends,
Sam and Carolyn of IP-485 Malaka II
connected with us in Beaufort for breakfast and a long walk.
Sunset as we exited Port Royal Sound for sea
One of the last sea buoys leaving Port Royal Sound near Hilton Head
Set course for Southwest down the Georgia Coast
Our NIGHT view with a moon – very bright! Notice the red instruments.
Daybreak, sunrise 8 miles off St. Simons Sound, GA

Commercial Shipping outbound as we enter the tight inlet motor sailing

Pelicans greeted us at Green #15….thank you
Sidney Lanier Bridge, 185 feet of clearance
as we approach Brunswick, GA

Now, we are in Brunswick, GA which has been our destination since departing Rock Hall on Sept 27th. We will secure the boat here (during hurricane season!) and fly out of Atlanta to Phoenix AZ for a family wedding. We are very excited to visit our family…..can’t wait….

New Page for Sunrise Sunset Photos

Sunrise, Elizabeth City, NC on a COLD Oct morning!

We have heard from many readers about our great photos of sunrises and sunsets, so we have decided to make a new page dedicated solely to this topic. The new page can be accessed here, or from the menu bar at the top of the page. As we capture new sunset or sunrise photos, we will blog about them and archive the best photos on this new page. The photos will be organized in reverse chronological order with the most recent photo at the top. We look forward to continued sharing of this cruising life aboard Island Spirit….

Sincerely, Hayden and Radeen

A Date in Charleston, SC

Radeen and Hayden heading out

Charleston, SC, is a special place to go out on a date and take in the city. We always try to make time to revisit and re explore this town. This is a place that has so many fantastic pubs, wonderful restaurants, colleges and interesting people to meet. Just walking down East Bay Street presents you with this vibrant city life. We decided to return to Blossom on East Bay Street where we had such a great time last year with our buddies, Eric & Patricia and Carey and Bobbi. We miss them this year and wished they were here. So out we were, just the two of us….Here are a few photos of our “Date Night.”

An interesting view of the Ravenal Bridge over the Cooper River

Radeen, aboard Island Spirit

East Bay Street, where the action is. A great street to explore.

Typical lovely garden dining, Charleston, SC

Out for a morning walk around Charleston, SC

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church steeple against a beautiful blue sky

Typical Charleston, SC buildings on Broad street

This “Date Night” ended up being multiple days with multiple pubs, restaurants, shopping, and enjoying city life. We need to get out of here before we take up permanent residence here. We do love cities….next town….Beaufort, SC.

Georgetown, SC contrast

Radeen enjoying the Georgetown, SC waterfront

Completing the Waccamaw River run southbound, it is always a must to turn into Georgetown, SC. Diversity abounds in this quaint Lowcountry town, from a friendly main street to the Independent Seafood Co Op to the industrial smoke-belching paper factory.

Everywhere you turn there is something of interest. The waterfront, named Harbor Walk, provides free daytime public docking and dinghy docking and a beautiful, long boardwalk backed by pubs, shops and great restaurants. It is interesting to imagine Georgetown when it was a commercial hub for the surrounding plantation owners, who became extremely wealthy from growing indigo (before the Revolution) and rice (until the Civil War).

Photos of and around Georgetown, SC

Waccamaw River southern end, where the trees are larger and more open
Waccamaw River, just north of Georgetown, SC
Georgetown, SC shrimp boats
Morning light on shrimp boats as we depart Georgetown
Georgetown Paper Factory
Egret working the salt marsh
Bald Eagle overlooking the ICW (photo credit to Radeen!)

When traveling by sailboat, there is beauty everywhere to observe. Georgetown, SC is a place of diversity and beauty. It is comfortable here, and the people are kind and helpful. There really is a different atmosphere “down south” and we feel this here in Georgetown. Tonite we are anchored in Whiteside Creek (see our map pins) and then onto…Charleston!

Waccamaw Beauty 2012

A photo essay traveling southbound from Myrtle Beach, SC into the Waccamaw River Valley. I will allow my photos to tell the story and to show the beauty! (I shot 149 photos today, here are the best 11)

Good Night from Bull Creek, Waccamaw River, SC

Retail Therapy in Myrtle Beach

View across the ICW at Barefoot Landing, N. Myrtle Beach, SC

What is it about docking at an outlet mall in North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing, that seems so entertaining? Many boaters think this is tacky, commercialized and really crazy…but we find it rather enjoyable. The dock is 500 feet long with side tie, and is part of the Barefoot Landing complex where there are outlet stores, restaurants, theaters, and tigers, oh my! Yes, they even have tigers here!

So, we dock, shop, walk, observe and enjoy because, as far as we know, this is the ONLY place where cruising boats can dock at a mall….Thank Goodness!

                                         Here are some photos of the day (I shot 99 today)

Got Pilings? Tide is low, down 5 feet, but tops are this high for hurricanes.
When a storm hits, the waters can rise 10-15 feet in this area!

Good friends Debbie & John met us for dinner at St. James Plantation
Debbie, Radeen, John & Hayden

An egret works the low tide for morning breakfast

Waterman raking the low tide for clams

The morning sun back lights a snowy Egret

Brrrrr, it is COLD in the AM, note the hoods on these fisherman

Canal homes of Ocean Isles Beach, NC

Little River Swing Bridge, stops traffic and opens for Island Spirit, the only boat passing through

Radeen brings back the rewards from plundering the IZOD store

Radeen models her new IZOD fleece
The rest were summer shirts…because where we are going…we don’t need fleece!

Once again, we have enjoyed the Barefoot Landing dock. We walked the grounds several times, enjoyed the 27 acre lake, window shopped, and bought a few new shirts. It is a fun stop, certainly different, and one not to miss for us. Tomorrow we enter PARADISE, the Waccamaw River Valley, where we will drop anchor and sleep in total isolation. What a contrast to today’s retail adventure!

Beaufort to Wrightsville Beach

A Google Map of this section

This is an interesting section of the ICW, from Beaufort, NC to Wrightsville Beach, NC. Sights range from the commercial shipping of Morehead City to the firing ranges of Camp Lejeune Military Base where 40,000 Marines train each year to the beach resort town of Wrightsville Beach.

This area is also known for its natural beauty and diversity, with several national forests close to the Waterway, the Rachel Carson Reserve and nearly endless magnificent beaches.

Here are some photos to show this diversity…

Orange Lifeboat on the launch ramp of a commercial ship in Morehead City 

The same bulk carrier being loaded

Notice the underwater bulb at the bow of the ship.
The waterline will be the bottom of the blue paint when fully loaded!

At anchor in Mile Hammock Bay, Camp Lejeune, a simple dinner of salad, chili and red wine after a breezy day.
(Thus the wild hair!)

Figure Eight Island Swing Bridge just north of Wrightsville Beach

Island Spirit at anchor, where she is fully loaded and STILL has a waterline!

This is what $1,000,000 dollars will get you in Wrightsville Beach, NC
3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 blocks off the beach!

At Johnnie Mercer Fishing Pier. Cold front day, winds 15-20 North, chilly Canadian Air…brrrr
The cold does not stop Wrightsville Beach surfers, paddle boarders, swimmers and walkers
who all take to the beach. This is a very active town.

Architecture Study: Typical restored original beach house from early 1900’s.
Though cloudy and cool, we had a pleasant trip from Mile Marker 200 to 284, covering 84 miles in two days.

Kate & Greg

Kate, Greg, Hayden & Radeen in Beaufort
With Doodles Gracie and Lucy
There are special people in this world and then there are REALLY SPECIAL PEOPLE who make a difference in people’s lives. Our trip through Beaufort is always diverted to enjoy a visit with our very special friends, Greg and Kate, who are some of the most gracious and generous people we have ever met. They host us at their home, prepare fabulous meals, drive us around to the grocery story, take us out for fast rides on their powerboat, help us with laundry, and entertain us with great conversations and stories of travels and adventures. Greg and Kate run the blog Tails from the Highway where they post travel reports as they explore the West and Southwest via their 37 foot fifth wheel camper. They were also IP350 owners (boat named ei”Lean) and that is our original connection together via the IPY fleet. Now, they are very dear friends. It is nearly impossible to move on, but we must. THANK YOU BOTH for everything!

Here are some photos from our visit

Kate and Radeen on their lovely porch, enjoying champagne
Note the rosy cheeks and happy smiles!
They surprised us on approach to Beaufort in Kate’s new boat….Greg really spoils her 🙂

Hayden and Greg …Cheers!

Kate spoiling us with a delicious Italian meal

Kate and Greg’s T-top next to Island Spirit

The Need for SPEED, Yamaha 150 doing about 35!

Kate spoils us again with another fantastic dinner
How will we ever leave????

Island Spirit in the view from their window

One of two Doodles, Gracie is the lap dog and will be your best friend

Thank you again for your generous hospitality, Greg and Kate!  We will see you in the spring!

350 KISMET Photoshoot

Good friends Laurie and Jim on 350 KISMET hoisted a Code Zero Sail on the Neuse River and I was lucky enough to motor up and take a few (215) digital high resolution photos.

Being nicknamed “PhotoBoy” I could not resist taking a ton of photos. What a fun time.

Here are a few of the best…