Days 2 and 3, April 26 and 27, 2012:  We leave Georgetown at 08:00 in beautiful sunny weather, a brisk breeze from the southwest, and four-foot following seas. I know that once we get past the Socastee Bridge into the Waccamaw River the water will be flat calm. The scenery gives way to marsh with cypress stands then to forest that comes down to the water’s edge. The cypress at water’s edge boasts “Full Service.” The fine print says  “ unbending props.” Birds abound. Pellies, royal terns, gulls dive for their morning meals. Ms. Osprey sends out her warning call as we approach her nest atop a nearby marker.

As we approach the waterway behind Litchfield the real ditch begins and the flora changes radically. The water is black with tannin and groves of cypress and Tupelo gum trees dip their toes at the edge. We must be vigilant for stumps below the surface in the rising tide for the ditch is still tidal. We make the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club near Little River, our overnight residence, at 14:00.

A word about the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club. Entrance is pictured below. This is a superior stopping point with many amenities, good security, nearby shopping for provisioning, and low fuel prices. They advertise low fuel prices and they mean it. Moreover, the place is cared for. Condos surround the 500-plus slip harbor. The boardwalk makes for a nearly two-mile brisk walk around the harbor. There is a restaurant for fine dining on the premises as well as a bar with pickup munchies.

After having negotiated The Rock Pile immediately before Myrtle Beach without incident on the rising tide we decide to chicken out before proceeding north in the Little River area. Myrtle Beach is over-populated with condo farms and high rises wrapped around golf courses and man-made harbors dug out from the island and the mainland. Some  individual homes are opulent while others are—well, you can see for yourself on the other side of the ditch.

There is lots of activity along the waterway. A longline fisherman chats with his broker while another seems down on his luck! A dredger is at work. Somebody is selling crabs.

We make the Southport Marina after only a short run. This is another first class harborage, a short walk into town, restaurants, and, yes Rose, shopping. Our intention is to lay over and take a day of rest and walk about the town. Our old friends, Gordon and Sharon Murray have retired to St. James near Southport. We will visit with them and do some provisioning.

Our plan is to leave Southport on Sunday with the incoming tide to go up the Cape Fear River. Tidal currents are very strong and we want to take the five-knot boost as far as we can go with it. We have discovered that fuel prices in North Carolina are about 15 percent higher than we have experienced in South Carolina.