06/07/2009, Charleston, SC
June 5th Charleston, South Carolina
After coffee I removed our old toilet and installed the new one. There were a few problems as always, but had the job done in about an hour and a half. After getting cleaned up, we hauled all of our laundry in to shore and took over the little laundromat which a joins a small restaurant close by.
Kim used 5 washers and Kathy had 4 so there was no room for anyone else and luckily, no one else came in. After getting things started we walked over to the restaurant side and order a huge breakfast.
At one point Kim and Kathy went back to move clothes to the dryers and about the time we finished with our meals most of the clothes were finished.
Back at the boat with clean clothes, I began the process of removing our refrigeration system. It took most of the afternoon to get the old one out. Kathy walked up to the office about 4 to pick up the evaporator section which was to arrive today and returned with it in about 10minutes.
We worked until about 9pm, but by then had the thing operational. The boat was a mess with tools everywhere and nothing in its proper place but we quit anyway and went to bed.
06/07/2009, Charleston, SC
June 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grand Cay,bacos to Charleston, SC
06/07/2009, Grand Cay, Bahamas
Happy Birthday Ellie
Chris Parker warned of a low pressure system building just about the time we were planning on arriving in Charleston so I went over to "Fine Lion" to check with Steve. He brought up some grib files and buoy weather and sure enough we could see the same information as Chris. However, it appeared that the system would be to the north of our arrival point and not very well organized at that point in time .... the gribs were showing 20 knots at the worst.
I returned to help Kathy get "Sapphire" prepared for the ocean and some breakfast before heading back into the harbor to check on fuel. The tanker was there and fuel was no problem. I picked up some ice at the store and we dinghied back out through the rocks to our anchorage.
The cut form Grand Cay to the ocean showed a short section of 1.5 meter water. Since we were at dead low tide at the time, we decided to wait until it turned to depart. At 12:15 we could see the change. Anchors were up and we were off .... slowly, watching the sonar and we never saw dangerous depths. It proved to be an interesting cut (as are most of them). It was a couple of miles long and narrow in places. The shallow spot was not really that shallow and we had no problems motoring between Grand and Walker through the reef and into blue water.
We had sails up in expectation, but with only 5 knots of wind from the south, we were motoring. There was a minor swell from the east that gave us a little rock from side to side, but for the most part it was comfortable
With our fishing gear out we set a course 10 degrees west of our rum line to Charleston 355 miles away. (The rum line was 358 degrees T) There were a few storms in the distance but nothing that we had to alter course for...
.....Nothing changed for about 36 hours. We sat around, cooked ate, read, worked on puzzles, and tried to sleep. It was extremely hot in the cabin with water temps and air temps about 86 and the engine adding at least another 10 degrees. I had a hard time sleeping, with none the first day but a little on the second.
I took over for Kathy on our second night out at about 11 pm. She was riding the Gulf Stream averaging over 9 knots for her shift and cut the length of our trip by 4 hours. At around midnight became cloudy. There was lots of heat lightning to our east and a few squalls forming to our west. By about 2am as we exited the stream, a squall was approaching from the west. Steve and I talked and decided that rather changing course to avoid it, we'd just let it take us and see what happened. As it approached the wind picked up to about 25 knots and I ran out the staysail. We were making about 10.5 knots with following seas for the better part of an hour and sailed ahead of the squall which passed harmlessly a couple of miles behind us. Then the wind faded back to its normal 5 knots and motored on...
As we approached Charleston the Coast Guard came on the radio with a weather warning for the area. We had been watching the line thunderstorms for an hour or so and were debating whether or not to stay in the ocean or make a run into the harbor. In either case we were going to get hit. There didn't seem to be much lightningand we could see no water spouts with the front so we headed in....we were hit about 2 miles off the channel with winds of about 40 knots and lots of rain. We could still see though and had no problems working our way into the harbor and the 5 miles up the Ashley River to our slip.
We called in to the Marina as we approach and were given directions to our assigned slip. The current was running up stream about 2 knots and as we put our full keel perpendicular to it entering the fairway, slid sideways so fast that there was no way we were going to make the slip.
I backed out to reconsider while the dock hand called for more assistance. On our second attempt, I was able to snake us diagonally across the fairway in reverse and docked like I knew what we were doing.
A little later we wandered over to the main office to check in and found two of the three packages that we had ordered last week. We hauled them back to the boat and began reading the directions for our new toilet and refrigerator.
We joined Steve and Kim for dinner at Salty Mike's, which is located at the Marina and listened to some music.
May 31... Manjack Cay to Spanish Cay
We left Manjack about 9am headed up to Spanish to top off our fuel tanks. We're getting far enough away from civilization that gas stations are rare. We slipped between the squalls most of the way but did run into one that we couldn't dodge. It was a downpour with absolutely no visibility for about 15 minutes. No wind but lots of rain. We anchored off the marina and waited a couple of hours for the next round of storms to pass us by.
Later we ran into the marina for 6 gallons of diesel and some ice. It seems like a nice place. As we move north, most of the marinas cater to fisherman who zip over from Florida for a few days.
We had planned on moving a little more to the north but by the time we returned from the Marina it was too late so we settled in for the night.
June 1... Spanish Cay to Grand Cay
We were up early and left the anchorage at Spanish around 7:30. There was no wind so we motored north and west most of the morning. At some point we felt a little wind on our beam and rolled out the jib. We couldn't really sail, but it did give us a lift of about a half a knot. Later, as it picked up we did much better.... but it remained a motor sailing day.
We arrived at Grand Cay at about 3:30. It is right next door to Walker's Cay which is famous for fishing and fishing shows. Walker's has been closed due to hurricane damage for the last four years and most of the fishing folks have migrated to Grand. We headed in to replenish the diesel that we had used today and found an interesting little village centered on Rosie's Store, Marina, Cabins, Restaurant, and Bar.
There were three docks with mostly sport fishing boats tied to them. There was no diesel until tomorrow so our take-off will be delayed.
We ran over to "Fine lion" to pick up some chicken from their freezer that we wanted to get fried up for our trip. We chatted for a while and then returned to cook some pasta and sauce... and parboil our chicken.
We watched some video and went to bed reasonably early.