Thursday, November 26, 2015

Six degrees..., not the thermometer reading (although it felt like it yesterday morning), but Karinthy's theory - six degrees of separation. Karinthy proposed that any two people could be connected in the world by just six acquaintences and the more we cruise, the more I believe it.

Northern Star and their 63-1/2 foot mast. Yikes!
This morning we got up early and, after a brief hug and goodbye with friends David and Nancy at Barefoot Marina, we were off down the ICW by 7:00am. We needed to clear the infamous Lockwoods Folly Inlet when the tide was still at least at mid level. Our preparation paid off and we transited the problem spot with 8 feet depth being the least we saw anywhere. We enjoyed a crisp but warming morning with cups of coffee and then hot chocolate, and I switched out my wool hat for my baseball cap for the first time in days. We watched as the shadow of our mast slid over the remnants of colorful fall leaves along the shore, and tracked the bridge clearances for our friends on Northern Star who would be following shortly with a 63-1/2 foot mast.

The current was favorable, allowing us a 6-1/2 knot forward speed toward our day's destination of Butler Island. About 20 miles out I realized that we were going to arrive at our destination by 1:40 and started to take a look on the charts to see if we might be able to go a little farther to another anchorage. Just as I began to look, we hear a call on the radio, "Sailboat in the ICW passing Bucksport Marina, we're having a $.75 per foot dock special to Boat US members and that includes a free Thanksgiving meal at 2:00. Why don't y'all come on in and join us?" We looked at each other and, after a very brief discussion, decide to take them up on their offer, in spite of the early time. We had passed this place multiple times and always said, "Some day we should stop there. It looks like a neat place." It was the day.

We were greeted by the owner Jeff and his son, Jeffrey who caught our lines and got us secured. The place is a scenic stop on a side creek off the Waccamaw River in the middle of absolute nowhere. The docks are well-maintained and easy to get to, the facilities clean, the people friendly, and you just can't beat their prices. I spent the few hours until the 2:00pm dinner relaxing on the wide deck in the sunshine enjoying the panoramic view of the Waccamaw and planning some new routes to accommodate the change in plans.

The dinner guests for the free Thanksgiving feast included some other cruisers, some folks from the full-time liveaboard dock, some full-time residents of the RV park that Jeff also owns and manages, and some town folks from nearby Bucksport. After filling our plates from the large spread, we sat at a table and began to introduce ourselves to the others seated there. Within minutes we discovered that the folks across the table from us were from Tim's home town, went to his high school, had family who lived on his parents' street and knew some of his siblings. In the middle of nowhere. In South Carolina. On a dock that we almost passed by. On Thanksgiving. At a dinner that a marina manager provided free to friends and passers by.
Life is just too weird, and I guess that's one of the best things about cruising, that chance to snag some unexpected opportunity that we might have missed otherwise. So we leave tomorrow morning to continue our trek down the ICW toward Charleston, thankful for this life. Our tummies full we have smiles on our faces and, oh, it's finally a whole lot warmer than 6 degrees.

The dock at Bucksport Marina

The Captain's Lounge across from the docks where the dinner was served

The on-site restaurant and more docks
The Waccamaw River

Northern Star going through The Rock Pile stretch of the ICW

Kintala's mast shadow sliding over the trees

I'll take one!


Unknown said...

Glad to read that you are on the move

s/v Odin the Wanderer said...

Bucksport was our safe haven after stumbling through Myrtle Beach on a weekend in 90F heat. We were there the week before the powerboat races.

Unknown said...

Glad you guys are making progress and finding free meals along the way.