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Wild Raven Adventure

Brunswick (Georgia) to Charleston (South Carolina) / April 5 - 17, 2015

5-6 April 2015

Rest day. We had the opportunity and pleasure to spend some time with Solange, Laurier and Chloé. Thank you again to the three of you for all you have done for us; the drive to the grocery store and the excellent supper. :)

At Brunswick, we started to experience a lot more no-see-ems. We will have to put up with them, we have been told that the worst months are still to come. It did not get cold enough this winter to control the spread of these insects. We have heard that they will be with us all the way to Virginia.

April 7, 2015

We left the campground under a cloud of flies, leaving in our wake our new friends. There was thick fog, the kind you can cut with a knife. We paid extra attention to sounds to make sure we would not be in the path of one of those big ships used to transport cars (up to 5000 new cars in one ship). The bridge over the Brunswick River looked superb in the mist. It was just beginning to disperse when we were about 1km upstream.

We traveled by beautiful scenery and worked hard all day against the tide. A fisherman came to advise us to wait 5 hours for the next tide change, but despite his advice, we continued to paddle along the edge of the shore and crossed in curves to avoid the strongest current. We arrived at Broughton Island in the late afternoon. Access to the island was not easy because of low tide. There was mud, characteristic of the area, on which we could barely walk. We had to use strategy and brute force to succeed in hoisting the canoe onto the mud and out of the water. Once done, we started to empty it to set up our camp.

The island is beautiful, hilly and sandy. There are pine trees with hundreds of cones on the ground. There was a good wind until early evening so we were not too bothered by flies.

April 8, 2015

We paddled a great distance today because there was no place to stop along the way. The islands are made of mud and are prone to flooding. They are covered with grass. The islands are low, hence they are marsh land. We had in our sights, when we started our day, an island which we had been told we could camp on. After 54km, paddling most of the day against the current and fighting the wind, we arrived at Little Wahoo Island. What a disappointment! There was no place to set up camp! We did not have any choice but to stay here. It was late and the only other solution would have been to sleep in the canoe. We looked again at the tide forecast. It will be a small tide tonight (70%), so we decided to set up camp at a place that normally would be flooded, close to the beach. According to our estimates, the water should not rise to the tent. After a good dinner with wine (that Pierre had bought in anticipation of my birthday), we went into our tent, hoping for a good night and crossing our fingers that we would stay dry.

April 9, 2015

Thankfully, we did stay dry all night! The water came close to the tent (about 1.5 feet or .5 metre), but the ground remained dry. During the night, I had to get out of the tent. What horror! It was around 2:00 am and when I got out, I was attacked like never before! There were so many no-see-ems! My skin was burning from their bites! They were everywhere! It took us 30 minutes to kill them all when I crawled back into the tent. The interior of the tent was covered! In the morning Pierre could hardly prepare breakfast. We ate in the tent. The kettle was full of flies like our unwashed plates of last night (see pictures).

Before leaving this morning, we searched again for a place we could sleep tonight. It's not easy to find a place. On the way, we made a call and found out we had no place to stay for the night. There were no primitive sites or islands where we could go and all the campgrounds were full. We took a chance and paddled to Kilkenny Marina. Fortunately, we got the okay to set up our camp. We were so relieved, otherwise we would have been sleeping in the canoe tonight. Georgia has not been easy on us as far as camping goes, even primitive camping spots.

The marina here is family owned and the owners are very nice. The land around the marina belongs to the family and there are some nice houses. One of the houses belonged to Henry Ford and many artifacts are still in the house. Cannonballs, dating back to the Civil War, were found in the house during its renovation.

April 10, 2015

We called everywhere ... no place to stay tonight or the following days. Fortunately, and luckily, King and Sharon of "Blue Moon" were not far away and they offered to pick us up here at the marina. They offered for us to spend the weekend with them at Isle of Hope, located close to Savannah. We were so happy to see them again and honestly we felt relieved, we really had no place to go. We had a contact in Savannah, Robin and Kip Ruhl’s friends, but the distance was too far to be covered in a day.

We left Kilkenny late in the morning. Jasmine was super happy to see her friends again. She quickly fell into her habits and routines on the boat. She knows them very well by now!

We arrived at Isle of Hope Marina without any problems and King maneuvered a skillful docking at the pier (it was a difficult "parking" job). There are several beautiful old houses on the street along the waterfront. The trees are huge and moss hangs from their branches giving a special atmosphere to the streets. We learned that long ago, people had decorative metal pineapples in their living rooms. When the pineapple was removed, it was the sign for the visitors to leave and go home.

11-12-13 April 2015

We spent a wonderful weekend with our friends. We visited Savannah, which we found charming. There are places where the sidewalks are crooked and seem original. There are several colonial houses and many stories about the town. In some sections of the city, there are streets built with stones from Europe. These stones were used as ballast in the holds of ships. When the boats arrived in Savannah, they unloaded the stones to be able to change their precious cargo and sail back to Europe.

During the weekend we also planned the rest of the trip. We are close to the border of South Carolina. To our disappointment, we again did not find many places where we could stop at night. The distances are too great between each point, especially since we also have to consider the tides. From the information we have, from here to Myrtle Beach, the trip is not realistic in a canoe. We brainstormed other solutions, but did not have to think very long. King and Sharon, once again, offered for us to stay with them on the boat. We were very concerned about how we would proceed, we thought about walking, finding a boat or .... We are so grateful to King and Sharon! Thank you!!! So it's a plan, we will travel on Blue Moon to Myrtle Beach!

April 14, 2015

We left Isle of Hope relatively early. We had 54 miles to go to get to Beaufort, South Carolina. Along the way we confirmed our decision. There is no place to camp! We saw one place where we could have slept (located about 60km from Isle of Hope), but after that, nothing. We are still in marshy land. The next place to stop for us would have been 85km after Hilton Head Island (which was 60km from Isle of Hope).

The atmosphere on the boat is pleasant and the company enjoyable. We have fun and are grateful to be here. We also have the chance to pilot the boat, this allows King to work (he still has a job and is working while traveling).

Beaufort is a nice little village. You can easily walk into town to see the old houses. This area is full of history. We learned that in this village and the region, there was at one point more than 10,000 slaves who worked on the cotton plantations. Later in history, a hurricane killed nearly 2,000 people. There were also 241,000 soldiers who trained in this area during World War II. More recently, several scenes from the movie "Forrest Gump" were filmed here, all the scenes that took place in Vietnam and one where Jenny and Forrest played under a tree.

April 15, 2015

Even today, we confirmed that we made the right decision to not paddle this section. There is nothing, but nothing, not one place for us to camp! The day was very windy with gusts between 50 and 60 km/h. It was very cold in the evening. We were not unhappy with the cold, we have suffered enough lately from the heat while paddling. We sailed through beautiful landscapes and we were pleased to be able to look over at the marsh islands, which we have paddled through since entering into Georgia. We also saw an alligator crossing the river ahead of us.

April 16, 2015

We arrived at James Island (Charleston) at St John Yacht Harbor marina. It has been very windy today, although a little less than yesterday. The current was against us and it took several hours to cover a short distance, even in the trawler. Our initial impression is that people are really nice, smiling and welcoming. The marina is super clean and the facilities are 5 star. In the afternoon, we took Jasmine to see a veterinarian. We were delighted by the service that the staff gave us. Wow! Thank you to Maybank Animal Hospital for their excellent service and hospitality. Thank you to Dr. Jacqueline Brewer and her assistant Jessica. What a great visit! Jasmine has been bitten by ticks, and she was due for some annual vaccines. We learned that the drugs Jasmine was taking as a prevention against ticks, do not work here. She is better protected and we are happy about it.

April 17, 2015

King and Sharon rented a car today. We took a tour of downtown Charleston. We loved this beautiful city, full of history. We greatly enjoyed our visit. During the weekend, there was also a sailing regatta. We could watch the races from a distance. Honestly, this city charmed us. This city played an important role in slavery because it was used as a port of entry for slaves. They were sale at the public market. In addition, Charleston had a strategic and defensive role during the Civil War.

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