Saturday, April 24, 2010

Landfall on Toogoodoo

Docked on Toogoodoo Creek, SC
I began Jimmy Carter’s biography, “An Hour before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood,” as we left Georgia waters a few days ago, and I’ve been imagining his childhood way of life. I’ve become enamored with the names of several rivers and islands we’ve been on or near: Ogeechee, Coosaw, Sapelo, Ossabaw, and so on. Last night, I watched a PBS special on the Congaree, Santee, and Wateree. Lots of "ee" waterways!

But my all time favorite name is Toogoodoo Creek—an Indian name, but no one seems to know the meaning. It’s a long creek with plenty of water, halfway between Edisto and Charleston—and coincidentally the family home (for 4 generations) of Bill and Susan Stevens. Pete hadn’t seen his Clemson fraternity brother, Bill, for 40 years until we got together over dinner last October on our way south. That’s a cool story in itself if you want to read about it in an October 2009 posting. "I can see your anchor light" was the cover story a few months later in their SAE fraternity newsletter.

Lem's Bluff Plantation
But now we have “Toogoodoo Chapter Two,” after staying with Susan and Bill last night in their Lem’s Bluff Plantation home on Yong’s Island, SC. Pete had even had a fraternity party in this home 40 years ago! One of their sons was off working in the family’s towboat business, but younger son Robert met us in the whaler at the opening of the creek to lead us in. The cruising guide indicated plenty of water, but better safe, than sorry. We soon tied up to their brand new dock, and began the "nickel tour" of the grounds and house.

The last 18 hours recreated what I’ve been reading in Jimmy Carter’s book, especially sitting on their “poach” last night enjoying wine before the no-see-ums drove us inside for dinner.

Bill and Susan--and Captain Pete
The oldest portion of this historic home was built in 1842 and enlarged first by Steve’s parents in the 1960s and later by Susan and Bill. The painted tiles around one fireplace were painted by Bill’s grandmother many years ago, copied from a recently discovered children’s book of nursery rhymes.

We thoroughly enjoyed their “Southern hospitality” along with the unique setting and other “tenants” (2 donkeys, 2 horses, 2 dogs, and 1 cat). Following Susan around on her animal feeding duties was a hoot. She promised us a donkey’s loud braying at dawn, but they must have understood that company was around, or that it was Saturday and their breakfast would be delayed. I had also hoped for a ghost, but no go there either.

Susan and Bill couldn’t believe that Lem’s Bluff Plantation got its own paragraph in Claiborne Young’s Cruising Guide to Coastal SC and Georgia. She only knew that the home was built sometime in the 1840s but not the specific year! They got quite a kick out of learning this from a cruising guide.

Two Democrats discuss politics.

We are now heading to Charleston and a slip at  Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Patriot's Point. We'll meet up with Jim and Susan Brinkley tomorrow (after a round of golf if it's not raining), accept another night of Southern hospitality at their lovely home, and drive to Columbia on Monday to see Pete's parents for a quick visit. At this rate, we'll never get back to Williamsburg, but we're sure having a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Moving north through South Carolina

All alone on Bull Creek, SC
We've anchored for two nights--last night in Bull Creek across from Harbortown Lighthouse in Sea Pines, and tonight in another deseted creek.

Both are marsh anchorages and we're becoming more fond of them. At first we compared them to snug little creek hidey hole anchorages in the Chesapeake, and were disappointed they were soooooo open.

But now we're enjoying the constant chatter from the clapper rails that I wrote about on our way south. They are more vocal as the tide drops, and tides around here are about 6 feet. Then too, the dolphins like to swim by the boat, and we have only seen them out on the Chesapeake Bay, not in snug shallow anchorages.

Hold your breath

Paper mills are so "fragrant"!
Paper mills are not my favorite sight because of the odoriferous winds that can accompany them. I sometimes wish my sense of smell was not so discerning.

But menhaden processing plants win first prize. We thus avoid anchoring in Reedville, VA.

Obsessed with cemeteries??

I wanted to see the Bonaventure Cemetery (visible from the ICW just north of Thunderbolt) that was very involved in the bestseller, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," as a voodoo site.  [see earlier post during St. Mary's visit]

Another famous angel
I thought the famous statue in the book was the angel, but it turned out to be "The Bird Girl" which is not even there anymore. So here's the angel and the Bird Girl (now in a museum).

Look familiar?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On our way to Bull Creek anchorage in South Carolina

"Looping" in this little boat?
I haven't posted in many days. Not much to write about except lots of dolphins along the way--and they are very camera-shy. I haven't been able to get a good photo of any of them either.

But get a look at this very tiny sailboat that is doing the loop. Now this is camping on the water!

The Georgia portion of the ICW reminds us of the Chickahominy back home since it meanders back and forth. That makes sailing rather difficult.

After staying in Golden Isles Marina in St. Simons (and a great dinner at the Coastal Kitchen), we had anchored out in Georgia on two nights, first in the Wahoo River with only one other sailboat, and then alone in Redbird Creek.

Remember Sunday School?
Yesteday we got a slip at the attractive Isle of Hope Marina (just outside Savannah) because we planned to meet Bill Wessinger, one of Captain Pete's Sunday school friends from Columbia, SC. a "few" years ago. We hadn't seen Bill in 25 years or so--not because Pete had dropped out of Sunday school, but because Bill and Karen were living in Isle of Hope, just outside Savannah. We enjoyed catching up with Bill last night over docktails.

We just had a delightful walk around Isle of Hope by the waterfront. Lots of Southern mansions that have been backdrops in many movies because the streets look soooo Authentic South. I have never seen so many humongous live oaks in one place! The Spanish moss drops my blood pressure, so I'm now very mellow as we move north. Hope to stay near Daufuskie Island across from Hilton Head tonight.