11/11/2009, rlND Cumbe
November 1st and 2nd, 2009 Charleston, SC to Fernandina Beach, FL
We had the anchor up at 10:00 but since it was daylight savings time day... there was some question as to whether it was 10:00 or 9:00 ... Kathy was having none of it and we left at what seemed to me as 11am....(Hmm0
The current pushed us through Charleston Harbor at 8 knots and we took the short cut in the sea wall to the south. ( I wouldn't do it again we saw 7 feet where the charts say 12) Once on the ocean we set sail and moved briskly to the southeast. (Wimp)
The seas were fine and we held a broad reach down the coast most of the day. The wind was supposed to clock to the north but was late by a few hours....all the better for us.
At dusk we were treated to one of the most spectacular sunsets we have ever been privileged to witness (we could not eve take pictures that would do it justice). The winds (and the temperature) were perfect all night and we made excellent progress southward. Kathy and I both got some real sleep on the overnight, which isn't usually the case.
I rousted Kathy at 4am to take the helm because my dozing in the cockpit was becoming increasingly prolonged. When I returned a few hours later, the sun was up and we were making good progress. We added sail, flying everything that we had on the boat and were averaging 7.8 knots for the 3 hours before entering St. Mary's Inlet at Fernandina.
After following the intrarcoastal south to Fernandina Harbor Marina to top off our tanks, we motored back to Cumberland Island to anchor for the night. Our plans being to continue south in the morning since moderate north winds were forecast for the next few days.
November 3rd, 2009
The wind blew all night in our anchorage and the boat rocked in the waves. I really didn't get the sleep that I needed. The alarm went off at 5:30 and we were up listening to the wind in the rigging. I just wasn't up to heading out for another 24 hour stint on the ocean with high winds so I called "Fine Lion" to proclaim a potential lay day. It didn't take much to talk them into a day off....
We put things away and found some broken slugs in our jiffy reefing system that needed attention. The afternoon was spent reading and resting.
11/01/2009, Charleston, S.C.
October 29th and 30th, 2009 Wrightsville Beach, NC to Charleston, SC
11/01/2009, Wrightsville Beach, SC
We had a leisurely morning and made sure that everything was lashed down before weighing anchor at the prescribed time of 9:30....It was a little later than that really because we had a misaligned mizzen halyard that needed fixing before we could raise the mizzen (which we like to do before raising the anchor).
Anyway, we left Wrightsville Beach in the company of "First Edition" and "Fine Lion" around mid morning. The Masonborro Inlet was easy, dodging fisherman was the worst of the issues but nothing like Beaufort where they jockey to make sure that passage is a trial.
The wind was basically behind us out to the cut in Frying Pan Shoals- about 35 miles away and sailed ... and sometimes motored, our way out into the ocean. The pass through the shoals is interesting in that it is about a ¼ a mile wide with minimum depths of around 18 feet. The interesting aspect is that less that 200 yards away there is water 2 feet deep.......35 miles off shore.
From there was around 100 miles to Charleston on a heading of SW. With a NE wind of 20 knots and above, it proved to be a slip sliding night surfing down 8 footers. Good speed but not lots of sleep. I went below at about 7 and returned to watch at midnight. Neither of us could actually get to sleep for the rolling around on every wave.
It was a long night, but the moon was out and it was not scary in the least. An adolescent sparrow flew in about 40 miles off shore and made a home for the night in the cockpit, departing as we entered Charleston Harbor around 9 am the next day.
We anchored off the Mega-dock, took showers, got some food, and promptly fell asleep.
Later in the afternoon I dinghied over to "Fine Lion" who had taken a slip at the City Docks and spent the afternoon replacing their anchor rode.... the old rusty chain was just not working like it should in the gypsy.
We had a nice supper ... pork chops again, watched some video and hit the sack ...way early.
October 28th, 2009 Mile Hammock to Wrightsville Beach, NC
At about 4am the wind woke me and I went up to the cockpit to see if we were holding firm in the soft mud here in Mile Hammock. We were fine, but it appeared that "Fine Lion" wasn't so lucky. They were slipping backward toward another boat and had to re-anchor. After watching the GPS for a while it appeared that we were ok so I set the anchor drag alarm and went below. It was too late to go back to bed so I worked on the computer, occasionally popping up to check things.
The New River Inlet is just around the corner from here and always seems to be a problem, with shoaling changing from month to month. I read the most recent reports on the Cruiser's Net about the area and checked out the Corps of Engineer's survey of the area.
Finally it was light enough to take off and we were on the good old ICW by around 7:30.
Besides the shoaling we found ourselves in the old..."Will we make the next bridge?"game. The first was 15 miles away and only opens on the hour. One of the functions of the new GPS is that we can mark a spot ...such as a bridge in the distance, and it will calculate our arrival time given our speed over land. It works well- today the only problem was traffic. There were times that we needed to go faster but couldn't get around the sailboats in front of us.
As it turned out we made all the bridges including the 1:00 opening at Wrightsville Beach. We both filled up with fuel and then anchored next to "First Edition" whom we had met a couple of years ago and are good friends. Probably better friends with Kim and Steve.... but it really doesn't matter.
We chatted most of the afternoon and then went to shore to a Mexican Restaurant where I had my first fish taco two years ago. Everyone had a good time and we all made plans to weigh anchor at 9:30 am for an overnight to Charleston. We should have lots of wind from the right direction.