November 2, 2013.
When you arrive in Beaufort, SC by boat there is a choice to be made. The problem is most people don't realize that there is a choice. You can go through the Ladies Island Swing Bridge and anchor just past the town or you can stay in the City Marina. The plus side to either of these choices is that you're right down town so the shops and pubs are only a moment from your boat.
One of the negatives with this choice is that when the wind blows there are a lot of other boats around and not everyone knows what they're doing when it comes to dropping the hook. My opinion might be a bit biased because we had a mental midget on an Island Packet drag into us here years ago when his paper clip anchor let go. He was very upset that his bow light broke when his boat raked down our starboard side and ripped our lifelines off. Yes, I wished evil upon him. There’s also the fact that anyplace you might want to provision at is quite a good distance away.
|You know its a bargain if you catch the Veranda tied up there.|
The other not so obvious choice is to turn into Factory Creek before going through the bridge. Factory Creek has no factories and is quite nice. You approach close to the bridge and turn to port giving the creeks Green #1 a wide berth and head up the creek. After you pass the Ladies Island Marina you can anchor right in the center of the creek for the next half mile or more. Or if a marina slip fits your needs you can stop at the Ladies Island Marina. The people there are awesome and the marina is clean and a bargain.
According to one of the popular waterway guides the Ladies Island Marina is one of only six marinas on the east coast that only charge a dollar per foot. They have laundry
|Clean, private showers are located off the laundry room.|
They have lender bicycles, floating docks and shop space you can use if you have projects to knock out. There was a guy there with his dink in the shop sewing up some new chaps for his dinghy. It's a short walk or bike ride to a Publix grocery store, a hardware store, drug stores, bakery, fabulous liquor store and food. You can splash your dink and still be downtown after a 5 minute dinghy ride. Christy wanted to groom Tucker so Steve produced a folding table that was just the right height and she had her grooming salon open in no time.
|Tucker gets the spa treatment|
Steve told us about a place nearby that serves terrific food at a ridiculous price. We were on the fence about going when he insisted we accompany he and Gloria to The Filling Station for dinner. Later that evening Steve and Kim from the Fine Lion rounded out our group as the 6 of us made the very short walk to the nearby pub.
From the curb The Filling Station doesn't seem like someplace you'd stop for dinner. It looks more like a good place to drink some tequila and maybe score some crystal meth. Once inside though its a nice little bar complete with pool table and Southern Rock playing on the juke box. We walked straight through the bar and out onto the back deck. Wow, what a view. Off to one side is an outdoor barbecue based kitchen. There a small window in the side of the bar where you order your drinks.
We picked a table and settled in to decide what to order. Actually, I kid. You see, it was Thursday. Three nights a week there is only one choice on the menu. Wednesday is hot dogs and hamburgers, thats the choice. When you order, you get a hot dog AND a hamburger plus beans and another side. It turned out that Thursday was pork chop night. So I guess we're having pork chops.
Steve was telling us that the food was great and there would be plenty of it. He wasn't kidding. You have to walk over to the food area and tell them how many dinners you want. When it was ready the cook brought our food to the table and it was bizarre. The plates were cartoonishly large and covered with food. The pork chop was as big as my head. This pig must have been gargantuan. There was a heaping side of sliced potatoes in a cream sauce that I'm sure wasn't “heart healthy”, a couple of tablespoons of corn and a pile of grilled green beans. All 6 of us were still making jokes about the amount of food in front of us when the cook brought over a seventh plate. Evidently “pork chop night” entitles everyone to 2 pork chops. Since our plates were already overflowing with food she had a separate plate with another 6 pork chops for the table.
The price of this meal? Five dollars. No kidding. McDonalds costs more than that. Five freaking dollars for 2 giant pork chops and all the sides. Thirty dollars for dinner for 6. Drink prices were good too.
The most expensive night of the week is Friday. Its T-bone steak night on Friday and 10 dollars will get you a huge T-bone and all the sides that would satisfy Fred Flintstones carnivorous needs. Between the dollar per foot slip fee and the dinners at The Filling Station visiting Factory Creek can be pretty friendly to your wallet. And if you want to catch your own dinner bring a cast net and grab some shrimp from beneath the floating docks right there in the marina.
|Tell them the Verandas sent you.....They'll probably let you stay anyways|