May 19 to May 22 2012

May 19, 2012

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12 hours later we finally woke up still feeling really groggy. I think it will take a few days to recover from this adventure. We had coffee and began to debrief the past week where we realized we are lucky to be alive. It was a team effort no doubt but we could not have gotten to safety without Steve’s helmsman abilities. He negotiated each wave for hours and hours keeping Diana on course. He remained calm on the outside – as he revealed his own panic on the inside – and got us through. Once my momentary panic attack subsided I was back on track again and part of the team. Diana performed outstandingly!! For a 33 year old boat we never doubted her strength and ability. Steve and I are still in a shock about the whole experience and think it will take a few days to come down.

The Edisto Marina is a wonderful place with warm, friendly and eager to help staff. Needless to say, they were eager to hear our story and we were eager to tell it! Before we left the fuel dock we filled up our water and fuel tanks. Larry, a manager and Cpt Charles helped us get to the our assigned slip. We got offers to take us to the grocery store if we needed it. Larry let us know the marina has a complementary washing machine and dryer for marina guests. So, after lunch, I got started on laundry while we got the boat back in order.

By early evening, we had the boat pretty much in order, cleaned and smelling good once again and I was on my fifth load of laundry before the marina closed. Larry offered to turn the dryer on in the morning for me – how fantastic!!

We met a couple who were vacationing here, Frank and Karen who we spent an hour or so chatting with on the dock over a nice drink. We parted ways and Steve and I spent the evening finally chatting with family and eating pizza J

May 20, 2012

I was up early to get the laundry finished. The manager today was Steve. I walked into the store where he let me know he turned the dryer on for me and advised me the Larry had called with a message for us. He said to check the weather as it appeared Tropical Storm Alberto was fast approaching today and we may want to stay another night or so til the weather passed. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went back to the boat to tell Steve. He quickly got on the internet to discover the weather we were caught in was Tropical Storm Alberto forming a 120 miles off shore on the 18th of the May!!! This is what we were caught in.

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Satellite image of Tropical Storm Alberto on May 18th

We decided to stay another night to wait out the rest of the storm, finish our laundry and get some groceries. Our new friends Karen and Frank stopped by the marina to check on us and offered us a ride the grocery store. We gladly accepted and we spent the afternoon together over lunch and groceries at the Piggly Wiggly.

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Steve with Karen and Frank at their place they rented from a friend

The winds picked up as Alberto moved his way south. Steve secured the boat with more lines. We settled in with supper, rum and a move very contempt to be safely secured to a dock at the Edisto Marina.

May 21, 2012

We woke up to sunny skies and no wind!! Tropical storm Alberto was downgraded today so we can get moving once again. Steve plotted our course while I finished the blog and uploaded it.

We will take one more shower before we leave at slack tide around 1500hrs. We are headed to Charleston to check in with Customs and Immigration so we can get their stamp of approval to continue our way North.

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We are happy to be back state-side not only to escape the weather but for the wildlife!!!

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A Great Egret on our dock - beautiful

We have seen dolphins every day since back in the states and today was no exception – they are everywhere J So are the pelicans, cormorants, terns and so on. I broke out the bird book so Steve and I can reacquaint ourselves with the different species.

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Look familiar? This is a port buoy on the ICW

It feels good to be back on the ICW, we will complain about it in a few days but until then we will enjoy its safety and lush scenery. It sure is a refreshing sight after spending almost five months in the Bahamas which is barren in comparison. Both have their charms but it sure is nice to breath in the earthy air of the Carolinas. Everything is so GREEN and full of life. Flocks of birds are flying, fish are jumping and the dolphins are hunting.

We motored for about five hours and anchored in Tom’s Point Creek around 2000hrs just in time to watch the sunset.

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Sunset at anchor in Tom’s Point S.C.

May 22, 2012

Birthday Announcement!!!!  It is my sister-in-law, Catherine’s birthday today and since we aren’t in the Bahamas anymore we did a few extra messages in the sand before we left J

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“Bonne Fete Catherine, Bahamas”

Up early in an effort to get to Charleston by early afternoon. We had a lovely day enjoying South Carolina’s beautiful scenery. We are overwhelmed by the amount of trees, the picture-perfect homes with their perfectly manicured lawns decorating the ICW.

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Property along the ICW to Charleston

I was able to secure a dock at the Charleston Maritime Centre for the night. We stayed there in October on our way down and liked it so much we wanted to revisit. It is moderately priced and located right downtown. We contacted the Customs and Immigration office about an hour from our destination so they could meet us on the dock.

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Busy Charleston S.C. near the City Marina

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Steve keeping an eye on a tug boat pulling a barge

By 1400hrs, we were tied up at the marina where two customs officers were waiting for us. They did not board us but simply asked us to fill out some paperwork and verify our passports. It was that easy to clear into the United States. We are free to continue our way north – yippee!

We took advantage of the facilities; did a little laundry, had a nice long shower then headed to Pearlz Oyster Bar for fish tacos!! It did not disappoint J

Tomorrow we start the long 420 mile journey to Norfolk, VA. We anticipate the trip to take about eight days or so…