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Old 04-04-2020, 07:43   #1
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South Carolina situation

Most or all of the states on the AICW have some sort of "recreational" boating restrictions or boat ramp/beach/sandbar/spoil island/rafting-up restrictions. But all except for SC seem to have made some exceptions, or at least recognition of cruisers who live aboard.

South Carolina's latest governor's order on the state's waterways seems to only allow for "continuous movement" and stopping or anchoring only for fishing for food. No rafting and keep your distance at that.

Does anyone have any news or updates on this? Have cruising groups and BoatUS or other advocates been able to make any headway at all with the governor's office with this? Best I can figure, violation of the current order is a misdemeanor with $100/citation per offence, and a max 30-days in jail

We are trying to shelter in place on the hook in SC where we are now and since before the order. Our budget doesn't allow staying at a marina even before the stock market slumped or our renter told us he is out of work and won't be paying us any rent.

So far no sight of any LEOs on the water, much less anyone telling us we must move or not be here. The nearby boat ramp and pier shore access has been baracaded up though.

Difficult times for cruisers. Except for the seasonally cold weather it would have been much better for us to have already made it up to the Chesapeake, as Maryland's order seems to specifically allow for cruisers/liveaboard vessels sheltering in place. It is a bit late for that now.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:20   #2
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Re: South Carolina situation

My understanding for access is that if you have private access to the water you may use your boat for recreational purposes, no rafting or anchoring. There are cruisers anchored near my marina(st Johns yacht harbor) and each day there are different ones here, implying that they are continuing to move through the state. I would think that as long as bridges are opening you would be ok to transit as long as you donít go ashore.
So far my marina has not shut down their fuel pumps, that could change though.
Hope this is helpful in your decision.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:56   #3
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Re: South Carolina situation

Put out a fishing line.
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:25   #4
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Re: South Carolina situation

We don't have a watermaker. Access to water is a major consideration for us. Keeping moving means always having ro worry about finding a new place to go ashore to source more fresh water.

It is understandable that locals are becoming more and more reluctant to allow "newcomers" from god only knows where to come ashore and possibly expose them and their communities to the virus coming in from the "outside."

Sheltering in place, demonstrating that you and your crew have been in the locality for longer than the standard quarantine period, and are not sick or showing symptoms is a valid strategy over continuing to travel. This is especially true when one has no specific destination, home port, or new safe harbor elsewhere as a goal.

We have nowhere specific to go, having always wandered with the seasons, cruising the US/Canadian East Coast. We left Florida before we got thrown out of the Keys for being "snowbirds" and definitely before the hurricane season, the extreme heat, and the bugs.

We are a simple basic boat. No heat or AC. No generator or even refrigeration. We usually simply followed the seasons and have always kept moving in the past, atopping only for a few weeks max at the northern or southern ends of our migration before turning around to head the ither way. Last fall we were in Montreal for a few weeks. This winter saw us in Marathon.

With more and more strict lockdowns coming, and difficulties finding water or welcome ashore, keeping moving no longer seems like a good option. A few weeks ago SC seemed like a good place to shelter in place for a month or so. In retrospect, it is the only state to have refused to officially acknowledge us cruisers who live aboard as a viable shelter in place notion.
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:20   #5
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Re: South Carolina situation

The SC governor has not issued a shelter at home order, but many municipalities have. For cruisers, where I live (Charleston) has a shelter-in-place order as does Mt. Pleasant. Public access boating ramps are blocked, as you noted, but shelter-at-home does not mean you are restricted to home. Exercise is allowed as is necessity shopping. As you noted, you will need water and I assume a pump out unless you put out to sea and back. Grocery stores are delivering, but there is a long wait--maybe 5 days.

IF you are near Charleston, I'd moor or anchor on the Ashley River in the field opposite the MegaDock. Both mooring and anchorage. Marinas are selling fuel and if you can get that, you can also get water. I'm sure you could pull alongside and run a hose. Worse case transfer with jericans.

For groceries, about a long block away is a Publix on the corner of Lockwood Blvd and US 17. 5-10 minute walk. It is a new store, so it may not yet be on Google but the staff at the MegaDock will know.

You are also slap in the center of the medical district if .....
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:15   #6
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Re: South Carolina situation

I know that my answer would be if a LEO came up would be very respectfully, calling him Sir etc even if you could be his Father that this boat is home, and we are sheltering one place.
Be very polite and ask what should you do, cause you thought you were doing the right thing.
I figure the worst he would do is to tell you to leave, under the idea of making you someone else’s problem.
Almost always it seems from watching others confrontations, it goes sideways when they become belligerent and start stating they know their rights etc.

But then there is the LEO that for whatever reason is really pissed at something, and your going to take its place.
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:20   #7
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Re: South Carolina situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I know that my answer would win if a LEO came up would be very respectfully, calling him Sir etc even if you could be his Father that this boat is home Sir and we are sheltering one place.
Be very polite and ask what should you do, cause you thought you were doing the right thing.
I figure the worst he would do is to tell you to leave, under the idea of making you someone elseís problem.
Almost always it seems from watching others confrontations, it goes sideways when they become belligerent and start stating they know their rights etc.

But then there is the LEO that for whatever reason is really pissed at something, and your going to take its place.
That is the plan, and the hope. Being cast back into the sea to be someone else's problem is the fear.
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:35   #8
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Re: South Carolina situation

I doubt being cast back into the sea, but you May have to move out of his district, whatever that is.
It’s my belief that if your boat looks clean, isn’t ragged and filthy with a two ft beard around the waterline etc, covered in junk and you don’t look like a drug addict or a drunk that usually you will be treated differently than someone that they consider a vagrant.
I know I sound harsh, but it does seem to be the truth
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:12   #9
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Re: South Carolina situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHeron View Post
We don't have a watermaker. Access to water is a major consideration for us. Keeping moving means always having ro worry about finding a new place to go ashore to source more fresh water.

It is understandable that locals are becoming more and more reluctant to allow "newcomers" from god only knows where to come ashore and possibly expose them and their communities to the virus coming in from the "outside."

Sheltering in place, demonstrating that you and your crew have been in the locality for longer than the standard quarantine period, and are not sick or showing symptoms is a valid strategy over continuing to travel. This is especially true when one has no specific destination, home port, or new safe harbor elsewhere as a goal.

We have nowhere specific to go, having always wandered with the seasons, cruising the US/Canadian East Coast. We left Florida before we got thrown out of the Keys for being "snowbirds" and definitely before the hurricane season, the extreme heat, and the bugs.

We are a simple basic boat. No heat or AC. No generator or even refrigeration. We usually simply followed the seasons and have always kept moving in the past, atopping only for a few weeks max at the northern or southern ends of our migration before turning around to head the ither way. Last fall we were in Montreal for a few weeks. This winter saw us in Marathon.

With more and more strict lockdowns coming, and difficulties finding water or welcome ashore, keeping moving no longer seems like a good option. A few weeks ago SC seemed like a good place to shelter in place for a month or so. In retrospect, it is the only state to have refused to officially acknowledge us cruisers who live aboard as a viable shelter in place notion.


Nobody has been thrown out of Boot Key Harbor in Marathon for being snowbirds. In fact the city marina is still open and bending over backwards to accommodate the boaters in a safe fashion.
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:25   #10
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Re: South Carolina situation

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I doubt being cast back into the sea, but you May have to move out of his district, whatever that is.
It’s my belief that if your boat looks clean, isn’t ragged and filthy with a two ft beard around the waterline etc, covered in junk and you don’t look like a drug addict or a drunk that usually you will be treated differently than someone that they consider a vagrant.
I know I sound harsh, but it does seem to be the truth
Understood. We are a working cruising boat operating year-round. We typically travel the entire East Coast each season in better times. A month ago we were in BKH, last August we were in Montreal. Ordinarily we rarely spend enough time for grass to grow on our bottom, but we don't bother too much with polishing the canal beard off of the bow with 45 year old gelcoat either.

We certainly do not look like derilict liveaboard harbor trash. We got our fill of seeing that in BKH this winter for a month, which was a few weeks too long IMHO. Nice place to visit, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be stuck there, hurricanes or no. It's definitely not on our short list for cruising next year, or our scene.

SC is as far as we got for this emergency, and now that we've been here for a couple of weeks I sincerely hope we can continue to shelter in place without being given a bum's rush. Maybe in the coming days SC will nuance their recent waterways closure to more closely emulate the rest of the AICW. One can only hope... failing that let's hope for intelligent policing from the guys on the ground (or on the water, as the case may be.)
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:37   #11
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Re: South Carolina situation

Often there are pretty serious rules put in place that aren’t policed as their isn’t a perceived problem, but when there is, then policing can be severe.
Everywhere has some kind of homeless ordinance, but the homeless are not often messed with if the General public doesn’t think they are a problem. Not saying we are homeless just that came to mind.
But in areas where they think there is, I think they are.
Long way of saying that so long as you fly under the Radar and don’t anchor out in front of someone’s house etc, and cause no problem, it’s likely you will simply be ignored.

Assumption is that the law makers and authorities have a whole lot more on their plate right now than worrying about some single boat sitting by itself at anchor, not near any neighborhood etc.
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:40   #12
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Re: South Carolina situation

Where are you in SC?
We’re in Beaufort - you can get water & fuel at the Beaufort Downtown Marina without any issues. I just spoke to one of the SC DNR officers today about the restrictions at the boat ramps. Specifically, I told them that having no car, I take our dinghy to the White Hall boat landing and then walk from there to the Food Lion/ Publix to pick up groceries and wanted to know if that was still ok to do. He assured me that none of them would bother me nor would the Ladies Island sheriff department. They are only cracking down on the yahoos that are still trying to raft up and party on the various tidal islands...YMMV!

We too have decided to simply stay put - 2020 will be remembered as the year we spent in Beaufort, SC.
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:44   #13
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Re: South Carolina situation

I honestly believe the last thing any police officer, whether on land or water, wants to do is interact with humans.
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Old 04-04-2020, 16:40   #14
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Re: South Carolina situation

[QUOTE

We certainly do not look like derilict liveaboard harbor trash. We got our fill of seeing that in BKH this winter for a month, which was a few weeks too long IMHO. Nice place to visit, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be stuck there, hurricanes or no. It's definitely not on our short list for cruising next year, or our scene.QUOTE]


Good, Iím sure nobody in BKH will miss you either. Iím sure thereís a place out there that will meet your high expectations, and will take you in as family.
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Old 04-04-2020, 19:24   #15
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Re: South Carolina situation

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Originally Posted by BlackHeron View Post
We certainly do not look like derilict liveaboard harbor trash. We got our fill of seeing that in BKH this winter for a month, which was a few weeks too long IMHO. Nice place to visit, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be stuck there, hurricanes or no. It's definitely not on our short list for cruising next year, or our scene.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Good, Iím sure nobody in BKH will miss you either. Iím sure thereís a place out there that will meet your high expectations, and will take you in as family.
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