We decided to run early this morning to beat the impending massive rains coming this way. They are due by the afternoon. I think we were up and out before the shrimp and fishing boats this morning. We passed them in Georgetown Harbour and made our way to the ICW only 5 minutes away.
The course for the day seems like a nice ride. We were against the tide however, as it is just coming down, the ebb is still in our favour. We enter Waccamaw River where we are pleased to find deep water of over 20 feet. It’s a meandering river with little development so the trees are stunning. We pass several fishing boats and early ICW travelers. This river is so familiar. It has the dark waters reminiscent of Northern Ontario with high standing deciduous trees dotted with the odd palm. The tide seems extra high this morning as trees and low branches are in the water. It has been stated that some areas received over 2 inches of rain overnight and smaller rivers have flooded. Today there is an expectation that in the next couple days over 5 inches will fall.
As the travel down, the river we see more development and more small recreational boats. We passed our first tow and barge since leaving the panhandle of Florida. We plan to stay at Barefoot Marina in Myrtle Beach tonight. I’m loving this river a little too much and dreaming of an anchor spot along her many ox bows (small inlets along the rivers). Several folks have done just that as we pass many anchored travelers. We were a little surprised to come around a bend and see a Schooner banked and marooned. We are guessing it was put there by the small resort on the other bank. However, there is a little motorboat tied to her and a fellow is inside. Maybe a liveaboard in a unique ship and setting. Either way it is a very cute sight to see.
As we get closer to Myrtle Beach the houses become very distinctive. Some large homes, mansions actually, are on the high shores. Some with Spanish influence, some with very bright colours and some tiny next to those estate homes. It is obvious the city awaits us. There are several miles that we go slow past the boathouses, boats and structure along the shores as it narrows. Still very wide and deep but our wake is a bit too large to go fast. Closer to our marina the depths do dip to 12-15 feet on the river.
We settle into Barefoot Marina where we are tied down as the rain starts. Ken joins us stating that he and his wife did the loop a couple years ago. He offers some great advice of the waters north. It was nice to meet someone that has done this portion of the loop with so much knowledge and places to rest when needed. Ken offers to take Scott to West Marine to pick up some supplies including the inverter.
Today the sun was not out and the wind was low. The cloud cover is thick so temps are in the high 70’s today, but its morning. I’m sure with the up to 30 mph gusts expected and the rain things will change to high humidity and seemingly higher temps. Upon Scott’s return, inverter in hand, it turns out we have dinner plans. A nice drive around the city and area and dinner with Ken and his wife, Lois. In the meantime we decide to have a dip in the pool available here. It’s the largest salt water pool in South Carolina but the weather isn’t cooperating. The winds picked up and dark clouds were upon us. We did manage to make it to the hot tub just prior to it shutting down with lightening.
Ken and Lois picked us up at the marina entrance and we were off for the tour. Seeing the golf courses, downtown, the beach, and the home of the Masters Mini Putt course. Who knew there was such a following for mini putt? We had dinner at Flynn’s Irish Pub where the food was amazing and the prices were great. The company with our new Gold Looper friends, Ken and Lois, was exceptional. We cannot thank you both enough for the great hospitality, tour and indispensable knowledge of the north loop experience on the Atlantic.