May 13

Walked another beautiful little town this morning. Stopped back by the boats for the Sarvers & went to the “Independent Seafood Co” to buy fresh shrimp.  We shopped in all directions then met at the Thomas Café for lunch. Loopers recommended it as the “best” Shrimp & Grits they had ever had and yes, they were very good! Brad & I rode bicycles in the afternoon. Founded in 1730 Georgetown is the 3rd oldest city in SC. There are over 50 houses within a mile of us that are at least 100 years old & some as old as 250 yrs.  From here they shipped rice, indigo & lumber throughout the world. In 1840 Georgetown supplied ½ the total rice crop of the U.S.  The Civil War & a series of hurricanes wiped out the rice & indigo, but lumber remains & the paper mill still bustles. They also have a steel mill here but today’s paper said “Closing indefinitely in 60 days.” Times are hard everywhere, but locals say they will concentrate on their tourism industry now & that might be an improvement for the community as a whole. In the Revolutionary War, the skirmishes between Francis Marion, the SwampFox, & the British troops took place here. The character Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson)in the movie “The Patriot” is based on Marion’s life.  This is a big port for little ships and has a lot of history. We cooked shishkabobs on the bow of “Salvage Crew” & watched as the Cat “Island Rhumb” pull up to our dock!  It was John & granddaughter Alexa taking the boat back to home waters.  Our friend Darlene (from the Bahamas) went in for test when she got back to the states & had 4 heart by-passes on April 30th.  We had been keeping up by e-mail but were thrilled to get first hand info on Darlene this evening from John. So glad to hear she is doing great! (Did I mention that she is a Realtor, oh yeah, we are made of tough stuff!!!)

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 14 

Out at 7am for a leisurely cruise up the Waccamaw River (did not notice any pottery at any time on either side of the river). It was a little overcast this morning so it was not as hot as it has been. The scenery has changed once again. No more grassy marshlands like we have seen since Jacksonville, FL. There is some elevation to the river banks and lots of trees, more like home. We arrived in Myrtle Beach, SC around 1:30pm and secured along side the “Barefoot Landing Marina”dock. Myrtle Beach, Home of the Shag. We’ll have to see if we can find the “Hang Out” & get into a dance contest!!!!!As we have traveled we just missed the Seafood Festival in Savannah, had to leave just before the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, narrowly missed boat shows, art festivals, musical events,etc. in other cities, but I want you to know that we have nailed  Myrtle Beach Bike Week and there are motorcycles everywhere to prove it. Dinner at T-Bonz ! Go Red Wings! Left Andy & Mary there to cheer their hockey team to the play offs!

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 15  

Starts out blustery, turns out beautiful! We have a down day here in Myrtle Beach so we make the best of it. The Barefoot Marina is in the middle of a huge outlet shopping center so shopping was a must.  Also, Alabama (the band) got their big break here & credits this community for their success. They built a big theatre here & Randy Owens still returns to entertain here (although most of the time there is a country review & the occasional artist is booked.  Myrtle Beach reminds me a lot of Panama City Beach, FL only the sand here is like Silly Sand (very fine) and it’s gray.  We had a fabulous dinner of Lobster Bisque, Cheese Biscuits & Crab Cakes (compliments of the purchases we made at the gourmet store in Georgetown). And it was completely WONDERRFUL!!!!

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 16

We left the dock at 7am to travel 8 miles North to the best diesel fuel price in the area, $1.99/gallon. Had an unusual bridge that we had to wait 40 minutes on.  It only opened on the hour because it is actually a “barge bridge” that they have to unhook & motor out of the way. Surprising to see in this day & time. Arrived Bridgetender Marina, Wrightsville, NC at 4pm. Long day on the water but lots of nice scenery, ever changing. From the narrow channel referred to as “The Rocks” (for obvious reasons)  through lots of trees slowly changing to sand dunes. As we ran closer to the coast the water turned a lovely blue-green as opposed to some of the river water we have been in lately that was brown with tannin. Being Saturday, there was plenty of boat traffic & people out enjoying the day along Southport, Carolina Beach & Cape Fear River. We are here for one night & will be on the go early tomorrow as well.  Beaufort, NC tomorrow (that’s pronounced Bo’fort with a long O)!!!!

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 17 

Out at 6am. We really don’t like to travel this fast because you just can’t do justice to the towns we are passing through. But it ends up being a trade off. If we tarry along the way

here we will not get to stay long at some of the locations that we know require more of our time. Nice travel until about 11:30am. Black clouds had been off our stern and they finally caught up with us. (Note: We left on Oct 16th and have not traveled in a pouring rain until today.) Well, 7 months into the trip, we are traveling in a pouring rain today. But the visibility was never worrisome, and before we got to Beaufort, it cleared up and we were able to dock without a weather problem. Ran into friends here on “Northern Lights” and “Darling”. We got 2 hours of nice afternoon and we made a plan with “Good News” to eat out tonight.  And then the rain set in again.  After about 30 minutes of discussion, Mary decided to cook and we had a wonderful meal aboard ‘Good News” instead of getting drenched trying to walk up to one of the restaurants.  Tomorrow is a fun day. Some of our friends that we met & traveled with to Southern Italy 2 years ago have places along this coast. We are looking forward to seeing them here tomorrow!!!

 

 

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 18

I can’t believe it. Woke up this morning at 4am with a stomach bug! I had so been looking forward to seeing Marlene, Lillian, Brenda & Wanda, friends we met & traveled with in Italy 2006. I didn’t raise my head from the pillow until after 1pm while Brad went to lunch with the girls at the “Beaufort Grocery” a darling little restaurant on Queen Street.

I was feeling better by late afternoon so Marlene had us all to dinner at her beach house at Atlantic Beach. What a treat to finally get to visit and enjoy a seafood feast that included boiled shrimp & crab cakes.  Tomorrow is Lillian’s birthday! It is the second birthday we have celebrated with her, the first one being in Italy 3 years ago.

What a tribute to great friendships. These four have been friends for many years & been there for each other through thick & thin. They have shared happy & sad together and are a special kind of family...the family you choose!!! They all live about 4 hours away but they have had places here at the beach for many years & shared many vacations, weekends & holidays together here.  Happy 70th Lillian!
We sure can't tell you have enjoyed that many years by looking at you!

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 19

As the rains passed through the last few days, the temps have dropped with lows in the 50’s, highs in the 70’s and today there are gale force winds in the Sound. Our plan was to go to Oriental, NC today but it looks like we may need to wait for the winds to lay down a bit. So we spent the day seeing the town of Beaufort, visiting it’s museums, cemeteries & churches. Had a nice lunch and stopped for ice cream in the afternoon. The “Beaufort Girls” joined us for a drink at 5 and we went to one of their favorite places for dinner, The Bistro by the Sea in Morehead City. It was fabulous. We have had such a delightful time seeing the girls again and appreciate them coming down to the beach to meet us fulfilling a promise we made to each other 3 years ago when we told them we were planning to do “The Loop”! There is a saying: Some Individuals dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them !!!  

 Fulfilling this dream has made us fill good about the accomplishment and we thank the girls for celebrating that with us.            

 

 

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 20

Forecast for tomorrow are significantly better than the last few days so we will leave for Oriental, NC in the morning (Thursday). “Good News” left yesterday morning, arrived safely in Oriental and are a few days ahead of us now.  Our delay meant that we had to spend an hour this morning rearranging our marina reservations.  It will take us about a week to get back on our planned schedule. The “unplanned” circumstances that happen while cruising remind me of these wise words. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Everyday continues to be a ball regardless of where we end up.  This morning we borrowed the “courtesy clunker” and found our way to a Super Walmart!!! Those are Great when you haven’t seen one in a while. Had a quick lunch on the boat & finished walking this lovely historical town. We are amazed at the number of tourist this area attracts. There are sightseeing buses and tour boats full of people almost hourly now that the rain is no longer a threat.  Learned a lot about Edward Teach, Black Beard, the English Pirate. He established his base here in 1718 by bribing the current governor of the colony for amnesty & raided Charleston from here aboard his vessel “Queen Anne’s Revenge” (we have Looper friends with a boat of the same name) . British Naval forces finally caught up with him & he totally lost his head proving that what goes around, comes around.  Ye all shall reap what ye  sow.     

 

 

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

May 21 

If I write a book I may call it “Living Large in Small Spaces”.  It is interesting to live in such close quarters with your spouse & you tend to notice things about them. For instance, I never knew that when Brad gets irritated with me that he stomps his feet.

Has he been in the next room stomping his feet all these years???  As in all things, I have the choice to use this information in a positive way rather than a negative one! Is it worth it to live in this “altered state” of limited space doing the Loop? By all means yes. I walk out on the deck & the sea breeze hits me in the face and I once again say to myself  “There is just not a bad place to be on the water, it is all beautiful.” The fact that I sometimes stomp a little myself remains my secret. Short jump to Oriental, NC & we got here around 10am. We are thrilled that “Good News” & “Headquarters” are still here. Brad & I toured on our bicycles and then all the girls did a bicycle tour & we didn’t get back to the boats until 4:30. Beautiful sunny day with perfect temps to be enjoyed. Docktails on the bow of “Salvage Crew” and dinner at the recommended “M&M” Diner. It was a lovely night with good friends.  All is well here on the “Brad Salvage- Life Is Good Tour—sponsored by Miller Lite”. 

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.