Beaufort, SC

23-24 April 2015

We needed to wait for the marina to open this morning so they could run the lock for us. When we went out the lock it was approaching low tide, so it was a drop of about 8′ for us. The lock is slightly wider than our boat and about 60 feet long so we sat quietly in the middle and did the slow drop. This was a surprise set of locks, our next ones will be in Virginia in a few weeks.

A pretty plain trip of about 20 miles. There is a long stretch of “no wake” from the end of Parris Island (where the Marine Corps Base is) through Beaufort. Once under the Beaufort swing bridge we headed up to Lady’s Island to the marina there.

This part of South Carolina is called the “Low Country” there are a large number of islands and marshes. Little rivers and streams wind around. It’s an interesting ecosystem with lots of smaller sea life and birds. Susan’s parents have lived in this area for years and it’s very pretty.

We met up with her Mom and Sister and had lunch in the historic section of Beaufort. The place was a bakery that also made really great soups and sandwiches. After lunch we got a short driving tour of some of the historic homes. Most of the summer residents were plantation owners that came to Beaufort because of the constant summer breezes. There were lots and lots of huge homes nestled back behind huge trees. A popular tourist attraction is to be driven around in horse drawn carriages.

The afternoon was taken up by hair appointments and laundry, the mundane tasks of life even continue while living on a boat. We’ve been lucky the last month we’ve had access to good, cheap and close by machines.

Dinner was with Susan’s Mom at the Johnson’s Creek Tavern. It’s one of those small places at the end of the island. Mostly local residents eat there. It was busy since we arrived at the end of Happy Hour. They make really good oysters. We thought they were local, but they come from Apalachicola!

In my quest for dive bars I walked down the street to the Fill-In Station. It’s your classic dive place with a bar, a pool table, old music videos playing on the TV. Out back is a huge deck that has a great view of the river. They also serve food, Thursday is Pork Chop night. Two large pork chops and two sides for $5. It’s a local favorite. I got there and got offered the last order of chops.

On Saturday we had the pork chops from last night. They were good, but I’m going to guess the coating was much crispier last night.

We get mail about once a month and try to catch up on the important items, that took a good chunk out of the morning. This will be our last mail drop until we get home at the end of May. Then it was off to bank, shop, etc. We’ve been pretty good about the junk food, but there is a Sonic next door and the temptation for Hot Dogs and Limeade was too hard to resist.

We drove out and picked up Susan’s Mom and went to the home of an old family friend. They live out on the water with a great view. They have a Boston Whaler Mischief, one of the 200 made. It’s a cool little boat built for two, but skims along the water.

Dinner was at the Dockside. Susan and her Mom went with the fried clams and oysters (also from Apalachicola) I had the crab cakes and Low Country Hush Puppies. We got to watch a pretty nice sunset.
One of the things I like about small marina’s is they make people feel like family. This week a boat showed up and it was Robin’s birthday on Friday. So the marina organized a pot luck dinner supplied some beer and everyone was invited. I went out to the fire pit to talk and meet some of the other boaters. Lots of really nice people. There were still people up at 2AM when I looked out.