Day 1, April 25, 2012: After more than two years of planning we embark on our Great Loop Adventure. One of our friends opined that we would not have space for all our clothes. She was spot on; we fit only the treasures from two walk-in closets at home into one hanging locker and the equivalent of one dresser—with room to spare. “Yes, Marilyn, the jewels are in the lockbox at the bank. She is going naked!” Our goal for the day is Georgetown, SC. We leave the marina on an incoming tide at 08:00 under overcast skies. Photos are courtesy of friend Samuel. By the time we reach the waterway behind Sullivan’s island the sun is brilliant and chasing away the morning chill. We get a boost from the incoming tide and, as a welcomed bonus, water under our keel in the under-dredged areas behind Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms. North of Garris Landing the tide is high enough for us not to worry about the shoals up to McClellanville. We pick up other travelers—Skooch, homeport Philadelphia, PA, and Shunpiker, homeport Council Bluffs, IA.
We are treated to a pod of dolphins bubble fishing in the South Santee and an American bald eagle beating a hasty retreat with its prize stirred up by the dolphins. As we enter Winyah Bay at 14:00 the breeze has freshened to a steady eighteen knots from the south southwest. Georgetown Landing marina is just off the mouth of the Waccamaw River and open to the south with its facedock parallel to the stream. The dock is not sufficient in the building breeze to block the swells coming in Winyah Bay. We made the mistake of docking bow-to-wind and thought that the slapping against the hull would keep us up all night. I tried loosening and doubling the lines but nothing changed. It turned out to be a useless maneuver because neither felt the motion or heard the water slapping the hull.