St. Mary's GA to Charleston SC - Outside overnight
08 May 2013 | Charleston SC
Dean - overnight - Clear- Wind building
8 MAY 2013 - ST. Mary’s (Fernandina Beach, FL) to Charleston SC
We pulled the anchor up at about 0800 hours in Fernandina Beach FL, and headed for the St. Mary’s River outlet to the ocean. We put up the mains’l right in front of the range marker; fell off the wind, and hauled up the foresails…. The ocean had a swell to it of about 2 feet, and a 1 foot chop on top of that… So it was nearly as predicted…
We talked with our buddy “Dream Catcher” who was motoring up the inside (AICW)…to tell him about the outside conditions. Course 035 Speed 6.3 knots (C035/S6.3). Running the “3 mile line”… (Although mostly we’re 7 to 8 miles from the coast -- near enough for telephone signals, but too far for reliable data…. But we did change course, and approach the coast so we could see NCIS tonight….)
One has to have some priorities in life!! J
The one bit of excitement Tuesday Afternoon (right before the DoDA Network on the SSB – 8152 kHz at 1700 hours)… We lost the “Yankee” (our biggest headsail)…. I had just gotten up from an hours nap; came into the cockpit; turned toward the bow, and literally watched the heads’l fall out of the forestay FOIL!
Wow… !!! So… it was an ‘all hands on deck moment’ to prevent the heads’l from going overboard; That being accomplished – figure out why it fell…. That was easy… the Yankee Halyard chafed through right at the snap-shackle. Bummer!
OK… what now…? WELL… after changing course, and sail trim, a bit, because of a major change in wind direction… Susan and I put the AB into the hove-to configuration (basically standing still, but with sails still up, (back winded jib – helm locked toward the wind)).
So…while the boat was hove-to, we took the Spare Halyard and attached it to the top roller furling bearings, and while I raised the roller furler bearings, Susan fed the Yankee sail back into the forestay’s foil. And we were working again with all sails flying… yeah!!!
We did have to cut a small piece off the heads’l bolt rope… as it was jamming in the foil… Guess we need to take it to a sail loft this summer…
From sunset to midnight everything went fairly well…. Then just after passing Tybee Roads (Savannah River) I had a “bit of a go” with a very large freighter… He was plainly visible on radar as I approached him… I was certain we were on a collision course… So I changed course to let him pass to our bow… good idea, right ?
He did pass to our bow… and I returned to our normal course… and speed. Then, the frieghter immediately turned 180 degrees and headed back out to sea… right towards the AB…. WTF!!!!
WE can’t normally out-run freighters…. So now what… I changed course again to at least parallel his, slightly off to his starboard side… to see what his intentions were…
And I increased our speed with the motor…. His position stayed the same relative to AB’s course and speed…. NOT GOOD!!! … as sometime I must turn to port… and cross his bow to maintain course to Charleston…. About 15 minutes later…The freighter ceases to make way… and we outrun him…. Whewwww! Turns out he was trying to orient the freighter to give the Savannah PILOT a lee-side stairway (1 meter above the sea)…. Go figure! So… I put the AB back on course, and continue with the night run around Georgia, and most of SC. Hectic 15 or 20 minutes…. !!!!!
We passed Port Royal Sound entrance about 0120 hours… So we were well into South Carolina waters, as I wrote the bulk of this ( 0423 hours) . I saved this document for uploading in the AM, when we anchor at Charleston, SC.
Morning/Afternoon 8 May 2013
As it turns out… the the ocean wasn’t going to let us go into the Charleston Harbor without a “good-bye” slap on the rear…. The winds increased all morning after sunrise, until we entered the harbor with 24 knot winds, and 4 to 5 foot waves on our beam…. Quite the wild ending to a passage…
Unfortunately, we were caught between two problems… getting off the ocean as quickly as we could, and trying to wait out the ebb tide coming out of the Charleston Harbor…
We elected to go in the entrance jetty against the outgoing tide…. So with those 5 foot waves slapping our beam, and 20+ winds in the mains’l, and stays’l…. we entered… our Speed over the Ground went from 7.0 knots in the ocean, to 4.2 in the entrance channel… a fight!!!
Anyway… once inside we doused sail, and elected to start down the ICW toward Winyah Bay… We’re now anchored in DEWES creek about 6 miles north of Charleston. AND the wind is still howling…