Sunday, October 23, 2016

Georgetown - at Dry Stack Marina

You had to watch out for torpedoes coming at you (partially sunk speed buoys) 
After learning the bridge was open late Saturday, we just had to leave early on Sunday morning. As you might imagine, there was a flotilla of sailboats headed south. There were five in our group and most were doing max rev, as fast as possible. We all slowed down when we approached the area of the bridge and the flooding. I did not take any pictures, I really didn't want to take photos of other people's miseries, it seemed impolite. You could see just how far up the side of the houses the flood went, at least to the windows on the first floor. For many houses, that's all there was, just one floor. The lawns were all flooded and this was after a lot of the flood waters receded.

Georgetown is a great town to walk through
Sure enough, the Socastee Swing Bridge was operating and today they had a nice lady tending the bridge, I guess the regular guy is on vacation? We were strung out a bit so she held the bridge open for all five of us to get through. The clearance at the 544 bridge was 60 feet today with a 1.2 ft tide. No other bridge had lower than the 544 bridge. Approaching the Socastee Bridge, we bucked a 2.0 to 2.5 kt current all the way. The water was surprisingly clear of debris. We only saw a few small logs here and there, mostly clear water.

Our dock at Dry Stack Marina
Once we reached farther down the river the current reversed and now were we doing 10.2 kts which is almost a 3 kt current! All the floating buoys in place for speed control were under water. Several patrol boats came by in the opposite direction, one was a Coast Guard  boat, checking to be sure we were not producing a wake in the critical areas. We slowed down in all those places anyway.

And, of course, the sunset (over the paper mill)
We are now ensconced at Dry Stack Marina in Georgetown. In talking to the owner, he said they recorded a max gust of 102 kts during Matthew and the water level stretched out into the street by the office. He had a temporary office set up where I paid my bill. We took an evening walk through town and it looked untouched but the water was still high although not over the walkway. There were a lot of sandbags around but by now they were not doing anything, the water had receded from the max height.

Our plan is to reach Tolers Cove Marina Monday night and provision and do a laundry (isn't that fun...) They have a service where they will take you to the nearest supermarket and even a laundromat at no cost, nice folks. The marina is just on the south side of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. We will be going through all the shallow spots at dead low tide just to add to the excitement, wouldn't want things to start getting dull.