McClellanville, SC

11/23, 1046.2, NE20-25>30, 55/52, cloudy - We awoke at 5am to a chilly 39-degrees and went about our usual morning of breakfast, rowing Murphy to shore, stowing the dinghy, and getting underway around 7am. My fingers turned burning cold loading “Coquille” aboard. Dobbs motored us out Thorofare Creek into the Waccamaw - no anchor snags this time. Even though the wind was astern at 25 knots, it was directly over the transom and we didn’t feel like messing with the pole and preventer in the biting cold. The #2 battery needed a good charge, too, so we motored. Short daylight hours and long evenings at anchor use power quickly. Right now, we get about two nights at anchor and a day without motoring and then it’s time to charge.

We were both in the cockpit to start but then Dobbs sent me below to warm up. He gets hero points for helming all the way down Winyah Bay to the Minim Creek Canal. I kept him stocked with snacks and tea. The breeze was so strong, at times Grace heeled like we were under sail. Once past the pontoon bridge at the canal entrance, I took over steering.

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The Santee Swamp is one of my favorite stretches of ICW. I love looking out over the vast expanse of grasses, and there is a multitude of bird species to watch. Dolphins, too. Today it was harder to appreciate the beauty with the wind bearing down and the full moon tidal flow. I had to cross the South Santee River sideways, bow pointing upriver to avoid being set out of the channel downstream.

At Casino Creek, our speed over ground exceeded 8 knots! We briefly contemplated continuing on to Isle of Palms Marina, but it’s situated on a lee shore for today’s and tonight’s big wind (gale warning). McClellanville is sheltered by land and trees to the NE, and the current inside the creek is minimal.

 Grace is peeking out at the left-hand side of this photo.

Grace is peeking out at the left-hand side of this photo.

Lacey greeted us at the dock - she’s moved back to the area to help her Dad with the family business (Leland Oil Co.) and raise her children in a small, close community. Her thoughtful touch is apparent - she cares about this place deeply. The bathroom has been renovated with new flooring, fresh paint, and new shower stall panels. She’s eager to freshen up other things too, while still keeping the place very much the same.

 A rocking chair, a tree swing on a live oak…these are fine amenities.

A rocking chair, a tree swing on a live oak…these are fine amenities.

Dobbs and I took Murphy on a walk through the streets of town, admiring gardens and unique architecture.

Then I took a steaming hot shower in a bathroom with a heater so warm I overheated myself! For dinner, I made penne pasta with kale, dried tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella topped with parmesan. The day has passed by quickly and there are still dishes waiting to be washed. I’m ready to curl up with a book instead. I am so tired of being cold and the wind blowing. My morale is a little low from the stress of trying to find a spot where the boat is secure day after day. I should appreciate the dock tonight, but I’m distracted counting the days until we can stop, be warm, and take a break for a couple weeks. I keep reminding myself to live in the moment and just keep putting one foot in front of the other and the time and distance will pass.