Saturday, January 25, 2014

the low country

The Beaufort, NC to Beaufort, SC idea has caught my attention to the point that I'm thinking of adjust ing the spring cruise down from a two week trip to a nine day trip, saving those days for a fall trip down the coast.  The schedule at the office is in flux these days, I won't be able to make a more decision until things settle down a bit.

I have started doing a little research for the trip.  Amazon offers the chart book above for a little over $50.  It appears to have all the charts I would need, but my guess is that it is at that price it is probably not waterproof.  Paper charts are useable, but waterproof charts are a plus on an open boat.  

Amazon also lists a couple of waterway guides, above and below, that offer a lot of detailed information about anchorages, navigation, marinas, etc.  Useful information, but probably designed for bigger boats and a different sort of cruising lifestyle.  

The photograph at the top of this post and the one above are from the low country of South Carolina, stolen from by friend Barry's blog.  In the search box at the top of his site I typed in "Beaufort" and found a little treasure trove of information about the area.  My favorite entry is called Salt Marsh Prairie and talks about the huge expanse of salt marshes along the South Carolina coast.  I'll quote two paragraphs below (if I'm stealing photographs, I might as well steal words too).


Seemingly endless expanses of salt grass stretch from horizon to horizon, dotted with distant hummocks - small islets of pine, live oak and palmetto.  These spartina marshes range all along the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Florida, but there are more here than anywhere else - covering 600 square miles in South Carolina along.

You can wind through the creeks for hours at a time here, and never see a single other person.  The marsh is full of life, and its very monotony is beautiful in ways that are almost surreal.  In the summer, armies of fiddler crabs clatter across the mud through the reeds, making a sound like rain.  Oysters, clams and worms snap shut with a squirt, making little fountains as you pass.  Dolphins wander up the creeks in small pods, driving schools of fish up onto the mud, sliding up the banks after them.  Shrimp and blue crabs, catfish, dogfish and sting rays.  Mullet jump sometimes completely over the boat.

-Barry Long


It sounds as if the low country was made for me, or maybe I was made for for the low country.

Barry, who has visited the area years and has family living in the area, has offered guidance and hospitality for the trip.  And my friend Chip, of Charleston, who has sailed his Welsford-designed Pilgrim in the area, has also offered assistance.  Thanks guys, you'll be hearing from me as plans evolve.



Anonymous said...

That's a pretty good description of the marshes of the lowcountry (south of Georgetown). Hope the trip works out for you. I am happy to help any way I can. My wife and I have lived on a smalll island right in the middle of some of those marshes for 30 years now. You never get tired of it!

Steve said...

Thanks, Chip. I hope it works out too.


Steve said...

Steve, sounds like a great trip to me. I follow along from down here in Charleston not far fron the ICW. My family and I am happy to help with anything we can.

thanks, Pete, maybe I'll see you this fall.