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Cruisin' down the Ditch

July 13th, 2011

Paid my dockage fee, which I must say they were pretty proud of considering the services they provided and the state of the facility. ($1.40/ft, $4.15/gal for gas and No Ice/ Really?).
Out early and make my way down the ditch. The wind was blowing the same nasty direction as yesterday so I decided not to make that mistake again. The disadvantage of dodging bad winds is that you are subject to the heat. It was extremely hot so I put the canopy for some shade.
It was beautiful moving along at high tide being able to look across the marsh grasses. At one point there were higher banks with large tubes protruding from them. I assume they were some kind of flood control but in the back of my mind I wondered if they were some kind of secret military installation. It is amazing how the mind can wander when you spend that much time driving so slow.

I passed through Isle of Palms and it was quite pretty. It is always nice to pass though a populated area, it is a good change of pace from the never-ending marsh views. Passed a lot of boats heading north and even leap-frogged a bit of the channel with a Army Corps of Engineers boat that had a laptop and gps unit on board. They would take some measurements for a short distance, I would pass them, they would speed up to pass me and make some more measurements, etc.

I next came upon a swing bridge and radioed the bridge operator to confirm I had enough clearance to make it below without tearing the masts off my boat. After confirming I proceeded cautiously just in case. It always seems like there is a lot less room between the top of the mast and the bottom of the bridge when viewed from the deck of the boat. It is a phenomenon that I both enjoy and fret.

After doing a search on my gps it appeared that I would be able to make Edisto Marina by 7 or 7:30 pm just before sundown. I called the marina and the guy said there was room for my boat at the fuel dock if I were to come in after they had closed for the night. He also said there were showers and a restaurant on-site. I took note and relaxed a bit knowing I would be able to get a nice cool shower, a good meal and be able to top off my gas tanks that were getting low.
It was still quite hot and I was thankful for the canopy top. As daylight was starting to fade I made my way up the creek and was excited to stop for the day. As I rounded the bend to where the marina was supposed to be I was surprised to see nothing was there but a small boat landing. I was confused and did a few circles to think. I noticed some locals at this small boat landing in the middle of nowhere and drove over to them to find out what the deal was. It turned out that the Marina was another 10 miles away and that my gps was inaccurate. By now the sun was getting quite low in the sky and it was obvious that I wouldn't be able to make it to Edisto Marina before dark and I would have to anchor somewhere. So much for my shower, meal and gas.

I found a nice wide creek and did a few circles to check the depths before going about setting the anchors. After the anchors were set about the same time the sun was setting I reflected on how hot is still was. Did I mention it was hot? Well, it still was. My generator was acting up so there was no way to turn on the air conditioner for a cool nights sleep. I hung up the solar shower bag and hosed down to cool off. I made a light snack and opened some of the wine from the other night to relax. I made my phone calls for the night, relaxed for a bit and then tried to sleep in the cabin. After tossing and turning for a while before grabbing a sheet and a pillow and moving out to the mesh trampoline on the front of the boat. I finally fell asleep and woke up around 1:30am and moved to the cabin to get away from the bugs. I slept well knowing that the next day I would finally arrive home in Hilton Head.

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