Brown Mustache time again..
07 May 2009 | Charleston, SC (N32 46.506 W79 56.935)up the ICW to Awendaw Creek, SC (N33 02.049 W79 32.258)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We'll we're back on the Inter-Coastal Waterway again. After coffee, showers, topping off the water and diesel and last minute garbage run we picked up our belts and checked out. This is truly a terrific marina. They throw a newspaper on board every morning and just so many little touches just make it a special place.
The weather still wasn't any good - still forecasting TStorms and showers with 4-7 ft seas building to 12 ft seas so we decided to just stay on the ICW instead of going outside again. It will take longer (slower) on this route, but its safer. We both decided that we'd make more headway this way as opposed to waiting for 4-5 days for a weather window to go back out - soooooo we should be on the inside now all the way to the Chesapeake. It may be slower and more tedious, but we'll get to sleep nights instead of sitting at the helm every 2-4 hours. Passage making isn't for everyone I guess - I like my sleep. It'd be different if we had another person probably - then each 4 hour shift would allow an 8 hour off period for sleep or other stuff (like catching up on a blog).
We pulled out of the marina against the tide and current - it was pretty stiff blowing us back on the dock but we skirted out okay by 11:43am. By 1:00pm I had run aground at the Ben Sawyer Bridge... Can you say welcome back to the ICW? How embarrassing. We raced up to the bridge to make her 1:00pm opening and I was so busy watching the swing bridge to see if she was going to open or not for us (she said she would) because it was now 1:01pm that I ran into the shallows and stuck! You'd think I was trying to plow snow. Just as I did, the bridge tender came on and said Capt'n you'd better watch it. Wayne said - yes, we are now aground; so don't need that bridge opening now...
What to do... forward, backward, high speed, low speed. Time to sit and wait for the tide to come up (it was low tide) and wash us back into the channel. Wayne kept watch for any boats that might "wake" us off but none did, while I went below and made some sandwiches for lunch. Back up topside we spotted a sailboat coming our way. They hailed the bridge tender that they weren't heading towards it but in to the marina so not to hold the bridge up waiting for them. The Tender told them that we were aground but if and when we got ungrounded, she'd open for us. They found this funny and laughed to hear the sailboat was aground. The other sailboat was none other than Serenity (one of the boats at the Mega Dock) so my cheeks were really flaming listening to the conversation. We'd just managed to get free at 2:15pm when Serenity hailed us, but I couldn't talk because I was trying to reach the bridge tender. We made contact shortly after that and discovered that they're heading up the ICW to Annapolis. We'll probably run into each other along the way. They asked us what our draft was, and we told them and theirs is 5 ft. I explained my error and told them they were fine as long as they stayed in the channel... The Bridge Tender was good for her word and opened for us at 2:15pm which I really appreciated since she didn't have to (she opens on the hour except between 7-9am and 4-6pm - no openings).
We continued on and I was more than happy to let Wayne have the helm the rest of the day! At 5:30 the winds really whipped up and clouds started building and we were both glad we stayed on the inside instead of going back out. Who wants to deal with 4-7 ft waves building to 12 feet? Not us... I guess I'd rather run aground and be embarrassed by someone laughing than out there or still back at the marina.
6:25pm we pulled into an anchorage up Awendaw creek at mile marker 436. It's pretty in it's own way. Marshland, river, fish jumping all over the place, small blue dolphins fishing, crab pots and one other boat (Amazon) here. The current is pretty strong and the winds are growing. It was suggested by Skipper Bob's book to use 2 anchors here but we have a pretty good set with one. We backed down on it to 2000rpms and it's holding quite well. Time for a brown mustache again...
Time to make dinner - Flat Iron Steak with Potatoes Augratin, 9 grain bread and wine. We have a beautiful sunset again - more pictures. I should make a book of sunsets and sunrises...