10/2106: Boat Delivery-Trip down Intracoastal Waterway to Florida: Day 1

2016 was a year of perseverance for Waccamaw River Tours.  Our large pontoon boat was shipped to Tavarres, Florida for refurbishment and was not ready for the 2016 season.  So we leased another passenger pontoon boat from Florida for the season.  We, also were hit by Hurricane Matthew in October.  Downed trees and massive flooding from the hurricane, shut us down for the rest of 2016 season.  We have been cleaning up.  It is amazing how much firewood one tree can create.  Our boats, floating dock and buildings came through just fine but our permanent dock leading out to the floating dock/boats was under water from the flooding.

This lead to us shutting down early for the season and returning the leased pontoon boat Loxahatchee Queen II to her home in Tavarres, Florida in October.  We decided to take the boat by river rather than be trucked which made for an adventure along the Intracoastal Waterway heading south.  The weather was going to be real nice without any rain for a week or more & temperatures in the 70's.  So off we head on the water from our docks at Waccamaw River Tours to Palakta, Florida where the boat will be trailed out by Trident Pontoons, Inc. We brought our tent, air mattress and Rick's dog "River".  Since you guys love adventure & seeing nature & life on the river,  I took my camera with me to photograph the trip.  So come along as I blog about the boat trip and become part of our journey down the Intracoastal Waterway from Myrtle Beach, SC to Palakta, Florida.

We set out on our boat trip in on Oct 27, 2016 (Thursday) from our docks at Waccamaw River Tours.  To give you perspective,  the Loxahatchee Queen II is a 38ft open pontoon with an aweing and a port-a-potty bathroom.  It was more like a camping experience but camping on a pontoon boat.  We slept in a small tent with an air mattress, ate out of a cooler that had to be iced daily and cooked on a small propane grill.  Each evening, we would dock at a marina since navigating the ICW at night is not an easy task.  River dog enjoyed these defueling stops and excursions to find the perfect blade of grass in which to make her nature calling deposits.  Capt. Rick learned quickly that he needed more doggy bags. 

Day 1:  Myrtle Beach, SC to Charleston, SC:  It was a beautiful day.  Morning temp in low 50's that warmed up to upper 70's by mid-day.  Several other boats traveling the ICW south so we felt we were in good company as boaters are a friendly sort and willing to help each other.  We could see damage from Hurricane Matthew especially of docks and trees down.  Occasionally, some of the homes had some damage but most of it was fixable (shingles).  We all we lucky, it could have been worse. The flood waters had receded so you could not see that damage from the river.  The view of the world from the river is beautiful.  Water can be calming and peaceful.  It is mostly Natural Wildlife Refuge from Waccamaw River Tours to Georgetown.  Georgetown was stinky from the paper mill.  Smoke billing from its stacks.  Such a beautiful river sight polluted by industry.  We stopped in Georgetown, SC to fuel up then back on the ICW.  We made it to Charleston, SC to the Harborage Ashley Marina for the night.  We had travelled about 90miles.  It was noisy under the bridge at the marina.  I was thankful that I brought some earplugs.  The bathing facilities were nice and clean here.  Loved seeing Charleston from the river.  Beautiful city rich in history!

Capt. Rick Lanigan and River.  She is his best mate.  Leaving Waccamaw River Tours heading south on ICW towards Florida.  Oct 27, 2016

Capt. Rick Lanigan and River.  She is his best mate.  Leaving Waccamaw River Tours heading south on ICW towards Florida.  Oct 27, 2016

Charleston, SC.  Battery with the bridge and cruise ship in background.  Day 1 Oct 27, 2016Photo by Kim Carlson

Charleston, SC.  Battery with the bridge and cruise ship in background.  Day 1 Oct 27, 2016Photo by Kim Carlson

Charleston, SC:  Sunrise at Harborage Ashley River.  Day 2 begins Oct 28, 2016

Charleston, SC:  Sunrise at Harborage Ashley River.  Day 2 begins Oct 28, 2016