After 10 weeks off for a family emergency, we’ve continued our travels north on the Atlantic ICW.  We are well behind our fellow Loopers and there are advantages and disadvantages to that.  We miss their company and occasional docktail sessions, but there is little competition for limited slips. There was also the huge problem of mid-summer heat and humidity limiting our sleep but we remedied that a few days ago by buying and installing a “window AC unit” in our aft bdrm hatch. Best boating decision of 2022 so far!!

Leaving Jacksonville where the boat spent 10 weeks at the Ortega River Marina was a welcome change, but the dock master Paul, crew member Clay and other boat buddies will be long remembered for their kindnesses and kinship. North of JAX, we began entering the salt marshes of coastal GA and SC. They were beautiful and endless (and best of all, free of new housing developments)! Loved the town/marina at Brunswick Landing, the fresh shrimp at Sunbury Crab Co., And the history and beautiful waterfront in Beaufort SC (say B-you-fert) where we spent 4 days.

Salt marsh views
At anchor on July 4th in our own serene spot on Steamboat Creek.

We had our own quiet 4th at anchor and then headed into Charleston for several days. It’s a great city, but our chosen marina wasn’t really pedestrian or dog friendly and we were docked among several “mega yachts” – more than 125′ in length. Nevertheless, we put on lots of miles walking the downtown and nearby residential areas. We moved on to tiny Maclellanville with its huge shrimp boat fleet, historic, picturesque Georgetown SC, passed quickly through the over-developed Myrtle Beach area, and on into North Carolina.

Charleston post-4th festivities
Part of the McClellanville shrimp fleet
Storm clouds brewing in Georgetown SC
Zeke admiring the tranquil scene and watching squirrels play in the live oak tree.
Moonrise in Southport NC

We and Zeke are enjoying the mix of cedars, cypress, and salt marshes along the ICW and are now seeing more sandy beaches. Carolina Beach, where we hooked onto our first mooring ball for the night and dinghied to shore several times, even allowed dogs on the beach! We are now in Beaufort NC (say Bo-fert), another very walkable town with a historic waterfront and wonderful homes with huge porches.

Early morning at Carolina Beach

From here in Beaufort (at Mile Marker 203 along the Atlantic ICW) we’ll have a few more beautiful NC stops and then we’ll be making a major decision to either travel through the Dismal Swamp to reach Norfolk VA or take the traditional ICW route to that destination at Mile Marker 0. After Norfolk, we’ll be plotting our own route north through Chesapeake Bay for awhile. It should be beautiful, but it can also be tricky due to weather conditions that can run the gamut from wind, rain, fog, to sunny skies in a matter of hours. More adventure awaits!