Port Royal Landing Marina, Beaufort, SC
Position: 32 23.698N, 80 40.673W
Posted by Bill
We left Charleston on the 10th and took the ICW to Bass Creek just north of Beaufort, SC. We were debating to go offshore for a 30 hour trip from Charleston to Fernandina Beach, FL. We had an almost perfect forecast of winds around 10 knots and seas 2-3 feet until you hit the southern part of Georgie, and there was a potential of seas of 6 -8 feet. That was a clue to go the ICW route instead of offshore. You have to be willing to deal with 2 times the forecasted waves and wind in an offshore situation. We have taken offshore routes with the best of forecasts only to have our asses kicked.
I was really kicking myself after the decision to go “inside” because the forecast was so good, and we could be in Fernandina in 1 day versus 4 or 5 using the ICW. Plus we could avoid all of the shoaling and tide planning associated with the ICW. Friends of ours took at outside run from Hilton Head, SC to Brunswick, GA, just north of Fernandina that same night and got their asses kicked. The forecast fell apart and they had a really rough passage. Glad we took the route we did!!
In Bass Creek I did some planning, both offshore and ICW to get the rest of the way to Fernandina, and was leaning toward ICW passage skipping Beaufort and saving a day of travel. It was going to involve 4 days of anchoring. Then, in the morning, the hose that we use to wash down the anchor chain as we bring it up broke at the base that connects into the deck. I figured no big deal, just use one of our garden hoses…except it doesn’t fit onto the threads of the deck fitting. Plan B…I remember a spare deck fitting in our spares inventory. It came with the boat but we never really checked it out. Sure enough, a standard garden hose fitting will screw into it. So I try it and the deck fitting leaks…damn! After several other random trials, we have nothing that will work for an anchor wash down. This is not good, because any mud, sand, crap that we pull up with the anchor ends up in our bilge. Not only does it make a mess, but it smells bad after a few days.
So…I pull up my plan B, which involves stopping in Beaufort and pushing the schedule back one day. If we go to Port Royal Landing Marina, where we stayed for a month last year, we know we can use the courtesy car and shop a solution for our anchor wash down dilemma. All of the other tide schedules can work through Georgia, which is full of shoal areas.
We pull into the marina, get the car, go to the hardware store first. With their help, we determine that the threads on the wash down fitting are metric and will not match anything in their store. We also buy larger and tighter O-rings for the spare wash down fitting that leaked, hoping that this may make this one a viable solution. We also buy a new hose. We then stock up on liquor because South Carolina has much cheaper liquor than any other state on the southeast coast. A quick stop at the grocery store and we are on our way. Then we go to West Marine and engineer a fix to the old wash down fitting with hose adapters, a piece of hose, and hose clamps…just in case the other solution doesn’t work. So, after 5 hours and $40, we have 2 potential solutions.
Back at the boat…we find the 2nd set of O-rings does the trick for the spare wash down fitting and we are back in business! Time for a beer!! Then time for dinner! Now we can anchor on!
The plan is to leave first light in the morning tomorrow, around 6:30. Hoping currents allow us to make our shoal areas at the right tide level and that we can make Fernandina Beach in 4 days. Another typical day in the life of cruising.
For more about Beaufort and Port Royal Landing Marina, search the blog with the search box above. We stayed a month here last year and there are many posts and pictures.