We’ve actually been traveling a bit since the last post. We are now dealing with rain and thunderstorms vs. the intense heat of late July.
We left Southport on Thursday July 28th and had a really good trip. The wind was 5-10 mph for most of the trip. When we crossed the NC/SC border we were looking for a welcome sign and rest stop like on I-95 but did not see one😀.
The only negative we faced were the jet ski’s. They were everywhere, cutting in front of us or blowing by us with no concern for their safety.
So far we have not touched bottom until this trip. The Lockwood Folley inlet has a lot of shoaling. There is so much shoaling the channel follows a question mark vs. a straight line. As we were making the last turn back into the channel a pontoon boat was anchored just off of the marker and I missed the marker. We cut the channel shallow and bumped the sand bottom twice. The boat is fine but we were a little shaken up.
We ended up staying at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club in Little River, SC for a week due to technical problems. Because of the weekend traffic on the ICW we stop for the weekends. Jan’s best friend Susan Gentry has a place in Sunset Beach so we got to spend time with Susan and her husband Gary. Susan also drove us everywhere we needed to be all week. This was a great help to us.
Monday morning we got fuel at the fuel dock before we were to take off. The chart plotter would not work. The screen turned on one time with a bunch of crazy lines acros the screen. This thing was cooked. Our chart plotter is our gps that tells us where to go and where the deep water is. We went back to our slip and started researching our options. If you need a new chart plotter Little River is a great place to be because 12 miles away in Sunset Beach, NC is The GPS Store which has the best prices on chart plotters in the US. Our old chart plotter was a used Garmin 545 which served us well. We got a Garmin 547 which is the newer model and paid $429 saving almost$300 dollars. The Garmin 700 series of chart plotter starts at $800, I really like my $400 chart plotter!
We stayed an extra day cleaning the boat and setting up the chart plotter. I was able to hard wire the unit to our steering pedestal and in the process clean up some sloppy wiring in the pedestal. I also soldered the wires for our NMEA 0183 connection to our vhf radio. I’m not going to explain that last sentence, it would be to complicated. All vhf radios have a red button that calls the coast guard in an emergency telling them who you are, what boat you have and exactly where you are. My red button works now and that is a big deal. I also got the NMEA 2000 connection to work so our depth finder talks with the chart plotter and the alarm should sound when we go into shallow water.
When we travel Jan plots course on the chart plotter and charts a course on the Garmin software on the iPad. We also have a chart book with sticky notes reminding us of places to use caution. We will spend 2-3 hours planning our next journey. It took Jan 5 hours to download software on her laptop, go to town and get a micro sd card, load updated maps on the chart plotter and finally plot our course from Little River to Osprey Marina south of Myrtle Beach. We finished at 11pm.
Wednesday morning we took off bright and early. We’ll talk about this trip on our next post.
More to come,
Jan and Matt