Well, we go back to enriching rental car companies today. Ground transport has been a challenge on this trip. With our arrivals and departures fluid; with a combination of our cars, rentals, and marina loaners; it has felt almost like my USAF TDY (travel) life.
This last segment for 2008-9 starts with a one way rental from Hertz to Charleston airport (CHS) then a one way rental from Enterprise from CHS to Beaufort and the marina loaner for provisioning when we get there.
Why? The City of Beaufort wouldn’t allow us to leave the Tahoe at the Marina (unlike Titusville) while we make our way north, and there were no secure parking areas in town — none. Hertz would only let us drop off at Hilton Head Island Executive Airport (HHH — an hour away) if we went all the way to the Beaufort area. It was twice as expensive for the car and required an $80 per person shuttle from HHH to Beaufort. Enterprise doesn’t do one way rentals that cross state lines. So we have our own version of the The Great Race.
We plan to be back on the Bay in early June but have to make a dash home in mid-May for Janet to run a fund-raising auction she committed to a year ago. Yes, this involves a rental car from Myrtle Beach and back…
Our November departure last year put us behind the pack. But it did make securing marina tie-ups simple. Reservation policy was pretty much “call us on the radio when you can see us.”
Not so now. Now, we are at the front or even a little back in the north-bound pack. Calling two weeks ahead has gotten, “it’s a good thing you called” responses from each marina. We spend a bit less than 1/3 of our time in marinas. When we do it’s driven by logistics (water, laundry, fuel, garbage) or land outings.
Marinas are expensive and in 2/3 of the cases don’t quite live up to their advertising or the “glam” shots in the cruising guides. So far, the assessments from The Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net run by Claiborne Young have been closest to reality. This blog/bulletin board/forum just touches the surface of how useful and integral the internet has become, and Claiborne is a jewel.
Last Topic for Today
The Corps of Engineers and the Carolinas get kudos for dealing with the trouble spots this winter*. All we referenced in Segment One are gone — dredged away. But nature moves things around constantly. Now, shoaling is reported at Brown’s inlet where it joins the ICW all the way south to Onslow Beach at Camp Lejuene (hence the picture above). So, Semper Vigilans piloting and navigation still apply (as it should always).
*Georgia’s “Hell Gate,” thanks to government procurement moving like the geologic side of nature, will now be dredged in time for next year’s southern migration. Given what we saw passing through there, we can imagine this pass being impassable by sailboats and larger trawlers at anytime but high tide and its shoulders by the end of May.
Time for my green tea and Cheerios…