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By Rene Vidmer - Allentown, Pennsylvania - USA

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Stage 8: Folkston Georgia - McClellanville S. Carolina

After several hours of more-of-the-same on the St. Marys River, the river finally widened enough for me to get around the fallen trees and branches using my brand new motor. Sand bars however, would now become a problem as they often had no more than an inch or two over them, so it was get out and pull. As it snaked its way toward the East Coast and the Atlantic Ocean the river grew increasingly wider and deeper, the towering pines and cypress gave way to lowland marsh and sawgrass, and the going got easier and easier. The last fifty miles or so to the coast saw cottages starting to appear on the river banks, and bustling Fernandina Beach (the Northern-most town in Florida) not far up ahead. After a month in "Deliverance" country, I was approaching at least some semblance of civilization again. The run up the coast to Hilton Head, Charleston and McClellanville was uneventful, easy going, under fair skies. Very civilised. McClellanville is a return to the 1940s. Dirt roads lined with magnificent oaks and dripping moss, handsome houses with wraparound porches, and a populace whose laid-back attitude barely conceals a truly generous spirit.

April 26 to May 10, 2011 (in orange)
St. Marys River; finally free of obstacles.
You see that? What is that? Is that a croc or a log? Low water table = exposed roots.
I suppose this isn't the worst example of architectural mayhem that have exploded on the waterways in the past few years, but it's up there. Needless to say, they're all sporting For Sale signs.
Fernandina's (Florida) Shrimp Festival brings out a parade of sorts. Leland Oil docks, McClellanville S. C.
Leland Oil docks, McClellanville S. C.
Church in McClellanville.

Stage 9: McClellanville SC. - Baltimore MD.

There are many open roadsteads, inlets, sounds and bays on this coast, and the going can get pretty hairy at times. The strong Northerly winds I feared never materialized - light Southerlys giving me smoothish waters instead. So, except for a thunderstorm or two, this was an unevenful leg.

Square-Rigger in Hampton

Roads (North of Norfolk)

The lifting fog reveals an eery labyrinth of dead rees and stumps in Pamlico Sound.
Sometimes there is nothing but a thin strip of sand between you and the ocean; and sometimes not even that.
Patching up, and refitting in McClellanville, SC In S. C. all boats come complete with dog.

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