Subject: Re: Inter-Coastal Waterway
Hi Ziners:

Eons ago when I was in high school, my English teacher would often respond to poor expression by rolling his eyes and state that he was looking forward to retirement and cruising the Inter-Coastal Waterway to Florida. I never saw his boat, but I imagined that it was a classic wooden cruiser not dissimilar to today's Grand Banks Trawlers.

In any event, last weekend I spent 5 days (long weekend) on the ICW on a much too fast boat (20 knots) cruising the ICW between Norfolk, VA and Myrtle Beach, SC. What a blast!

For the sailors among us, the ICW is measured in statute miles and every 5 or 10 miles there would be a mile marker stating the southerly mileage. Most of the snowbirds heading south were in trawlers (max speed 12 knots) or sailboats (max speed 8 knots). It is an incredible voyage.

Our second stop, Oriental, NC, has a population of 800 people and 3,000 boats. According to the locals (at difference with the official explanation), a boat sunk off the shore in the 1700's. Several days later a name board washed ashore. A local woman hung the name board on a tree. The name was SS Oriental. The name stuck. If you go there, then there are only two places to stay. Not because of my recommendation, but there are really only two places to stay. We stayed at the Oriental Marina Hotel. We stayed on the second floor (first for our European comrades) because Hurricane Isabel wiped out the ground floor rooms. The Oriental Marina Hotel also sports the outdoor Tiki Bar which opened for the first time since the hurricane (and we were there!).

More later, but I have to comment on Southern hospitality. It is great. Southerners will bend over backwards to lend you a hand. On the other hand, I still can't stand grits.

Tom in Carlisle detuning my new South Carolina accent.