Today the Rally fleet was welcomed by the Beaufort Yacht & Sailing Club. If you’ve visited Beaufort, you may not have noticed this club because it isn’t located in town. But from the town waterfront, if you look across the Beaufort River and to the southeast, you can see the club’s mooring field along the western shore of Lady’s Island.
Because BYSC is a couple of miles from Downtown Marina of Beaufort, club members kindly volunteered to carpool the fleet over. We started the afternoon with our usual 100-mile navigation briefing. This was our fifth (of six) briefing. Co-leader Mark Doyle explains what’s ahead for our fleet: an overview of the miles, our strategy for any trouble spots (Fields Cut tomorrow), mooring and anchoring recommendations, and a tide and weather overview.
Everyone listens diligently but when all is said and done, most people care about one most important question: “What time do we leave tomorrow?” In other words, what time do we need to crawl out of bed? Once again, it’s up with the sparrows for some because of the rush-hour restrictions on Lady’s Island Bridge. The bridge needs to be locked down before 0700 hours for the local rush-hour traffic. And the remainder of the fleet also needs to giddyup to play the tide for the shoaling at Fields Cut just north of Savannah.
By the end of the briefing, we all needed a stiff drink. Time for the happy hour hosted by and joined by club members. Beaufort Yacht & Sailing Club is a very active club with about 800 members. It serves both as a social club for the area and has a juniors sailing program and a summer camp. The club hosts an impressive 20 regattas each year!
The Beaufort Chamber of Commerce graciously provided a catered dinner for the now-hungry fleet and club members. How did they know that the SAIL Rally fleet had many oyster connoisseurs? From Hampton to Southport to McClellanville to Charleston, some members of the fleet have been sampling regional oysters. Tonight was “Lady Oysters” on the half-shell, followed by pulled pork, Gouda mac-n-cheese, and braised collard greens. The food was to die for, catered by a local restaurant already discovered by several members of the fleet the night before: Saltus River Grill.
We closed out the evening with a showing of The Big Chill, filmed right here in Beaufort. Yesterday, most of the fleet toured the filming locations. There on the silver screen was all the beautiful scenery and architecture of Beaufort.
The SAIL Magazine Rally would like to thank the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce, the Beaufort Yacht & Sailing Club, and Beaufort Tours for welcoming the fleet. A big thank you to Robb Wells, VP of Tourism, to Alan Dechovitz, and Club Manager Mitch McGuigan and his wife Mary (former cruisers themselves on m/v Together) of BYSC for hosting the event, and all the volunteers at BYSC for spending part of their day or evening with us.