Beaufort NC

We had a nice stay here, a pleasant place, nice marina with helpful personnel. Took bunkers as well, 1000 gallons at $2.48 / gallon.

It used to be Blackbeard’s port and there was certainly a lot of pirate memorabilia around.

The first night, after a catch up snooze we went to a steak house on the water front. Great steak with a help yourself salad bar that you could visit as often as you wished.  Lois was dead keen to go again but the next night when we tried they said the place was fully booked by the marine corp. I was a bit suspicious, I wonder if her 37 visits to the salad bar had anything to do with it.

A quiet stay which we needed.

Beaufort NC

On arrival we were met by a boat load of Officers from the US Coast Guard, USCG. Their mission was to deliver a message from the Customs & Border Patrol, CBP.

It seems we had not been properly reporting in and a CBP Officer had seen Kapowai in Charleston. As we had sailed before they could visit they had asked USCG to keep an eye open for us.

CBP were pleasant but firm, reporting in on arrival at each state was a requirement with penalties for not doing so.  They advised where to get the information etc and we have done so since.

As USCG were on board they also did an inspection which Lois did with them showing all the safety equipment, environmental plans and such like. They were happy and gave us a clean bill of health.

Hitch Hiker

When we tied up in Beaufort there was much amusement on the wharf, here is why:


A sturgeon we were told, no idea when it jumped on board or why it couldn’t get off again.


ICW – Charleston to Beaufort NC

After passing Fort Sumter we left the main ship channel and entered the ICW. The first part was supposed to be the tricky bit. However we did that OK and were soon in the ICW proper. There was a swing bridge almost immediately.


A short distance along was another bridge, half way between we ran aground for the first time. Rising tide, sat there waiting and eventually floated free. Soft mud so no problems but immediately went aground again.

Eventually a helpful boatie ran some soundings and told me where to go – one hurdle passed.

Inlets are the problem, they disturb the ICW flow and this causes sediments to build up.

The ICW north of Charleston follows the coast, basically a channel between the barrier islands on the seaward side and the mainland. Where necessary dredged.





and fellow users:


All went well until dark, there was no anchorage to be found as the channel was deep but you were stuck in it with no water outside.

We missed a bridge opening, ran aground trying to find a spot to anchor, sat for awhile in the dark until a big tug and barge went past. Their enormous powerful searchlight showed us where we were and we backed off without problems. Back to the bridge which opened this time and we were off again.

As dawn broke we were running happily through Camp Lejeune, a huge Marine Corp training ground, when we ran aground again opposite an inlet. This time doing 9.4 knots, both of us crashed onto the instrument panel and half the alarms on the boat went off.

Backed off OK, soft mud, sounded round and no leaks so found the channel and off we went again.

Arrived in Beaufort at 1200, 30 hours after leaving Charleston. Bed on arrival, or so we thought.

Departing Charleston

We departed Charleston, you guessed it, early one morning.

We went up the river first for a look at the suspension bridge and the carrier USS Yorktown before heading back down the river and then turning off and entering the ICW.

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At the entrance to Charleston Harbour is Fort Sumter. It was the Confederate State’s attack on the Fort’s federal garrison that started the US civil war.



Not much to say here, the marina was called City Dock but forgot to mention which city. We were on the ‘mega dock’ and it was very long. The staff all had golf carts to zoom round in, we had to walk.

Thunderbolt to Charleston

Early the next morning (I always leave early because it drives Lois nuts – she’s a morning person) we left Thunderbolt and headed up the ICW to the Savannah river, thence to sea and the usual thumping from the the NE’ly wind. Another boat left Thunderbolt 30 min before us and went all the way to Charleston on the ICW and were there at 1630. We arrived at 2230.

Stuff this, I’m going ICW.

Lunch at Savannah

At some point in our trek round Savannah the geo-spatial grid collapsed leaving my wife dis-orientated.

Instantly my sense of direction developed over 37 years of sea-faring took control and we soon arrived here:


This is their list of beers on tap:

One member of the Kapowai crew sampled the WILD WACKY WIT:


The other, with supreme dedication, heedless of any consequences, with great fortitude and in the finest traditions of merchant navy tried the rest.

I pronounce them delicious.


The marina at Thunderbolt was an easy 15 minute taxi ride to Savannah. Savannah survived the civil war relatively intact so many of the buildings remained. It was built on a grid system based on 22 squares.

Thanks to my wife’s sense of direction and connection to the local geo-spatial grid we visited 43 of them.

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