11. Georgetown to Myrtle Beach, SC

After one night in Georgetown, I left northbound to Myrtle Beach. It promised to be a nice day with thunderstorms building in the afternoon. The distance was just short of 42 nm and the weather held till about an hour after arrival.

It was an easy trip till just south of Myrtle Beach. There travel slowed way down due to all the homes and no wake zones. No really narrow water or significant shallows. Near Pawleys Inlet there was a very interesting vessel at anchor – vert pretty.

Shortly thereafter we came to the second swing bridge of the trip so far. Since FL there have been very few bridges that required opening for us and all of those have been lift bridges. As I recall, the only other swing bridge was on the first day and just south of Sarasota. I was so nervous then that I couldn’t devote any concentration towards taking a pic. No longer am I nervous about the protocols involved with calling a bridge tender, lock-master, fellow boater for permission to pass or a marina. This bridge was fairly busy and the wait for the bridge to pivot completely out of the way was about 15 minutes – holding the boat in place. Actually this boat is very easy to handle in slow and close quarters. Without all the bridge canvas, it presents a rather small sail profile to the wind and it’s 45,000# a rather large anchor profile to wind and tide. And with its big 4 blade dual props and great torque (moving the boat 3’ with every revolution) compensation for wind and current is simple.

Reaching MB I encountered another water hazard. Jet skies. Dozens of similarly painted jet skies which seemed attracted to cutting in front and the across my even minimal wake. Then they’d disappear out of sight behind only to come roaring back. You really can’t hear them coming so their appearance from behind could be startling. It looked like a swarm of flies on the water.

Near the northern end of MB, I arrived at Grande Dunes Marina. Grande Dunes is a basin off the ICW with slips for a couple hundred boats. It includes a large hotel complex, pools and restaurants (even a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) and there I found the source of all the jet skis. They have fleet of them and pontoon boats for guest rentals.

Pontoon and jet ski rental at the Grande Dunes Hotel & Marina – looking north
And looking south

They radio’d that I’d be in slip G2. Oops. Slip one is against the concrete wall where all the pontoons were. There was a 35’ boat in G1 boxed in with the line of pontoons off his bow and blocking my maneuvering room. The pier deck is also about 35-40’ long which meant that if I went bow in, I couldn’t get off the boat from the rear cockpit or transom (by far the easiest way to get on and off at a floating dock). So that meant I have to stern in and with a dockhand waiting to catch a line, I didn’t have time to think. Get in close, swivel the boat 180 degrees and back in! Phew. EZ, PEAZY.😰😓🤭🙄

And I’m learning what to do with the excess line off the dock cleat. Here are the bow and forward spring line tails off the forward deck cleat#

There was still time after arrival to grab some pool time and then dinner before the rains came. The ‘price of admission’ to the hotel pool was an ice cold Bud at the pool bar and though not much of a beer drinker, it was great. Ubered that evening to Capt George’s buffet for crab and more crab. It’s one of the better buffets that I’ve been at – been here a couple of times, their outlet at the Outer Banks twice or more and in Norfolk once.

And then the rain came and as I write, it’s been 3 nights.

Rainy day entertainment along with my Kindle.

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