28 November 2016
The trip south this time was amazingly fast because of perfect weather (the sailor who is in no hurry will have the best weather) and because some of the places where we wished to stop were heavily impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
From NC to Cape Canaveral, FL there was continual coastal damage and pockets of heavy damage from the hurricane. Hundreds of boats were beached in the storm, hundreds of piers were destroyed or heavily damaged, many coastal marinas, restaurants and hotels were closed, and of course, many homes were damaged from direct impacts of wind or falling trees. In SC, we passed a section of the waterway, just south of Myrtle Beach, where homes were still flooded more than 2 weeks after the hurricane. As we were leaving the SC flood zone, we had a 4 knot current (flood waters) pushing us down stream. The hurricane damage was spread along 900 miles of coastline. I am not aware of any media coverage of the full scope of this disaster, but the damage is very significant.
This damage prevented us from stopping and visiting, Charleston, Fernandina Beach, and St. Augustine. A number of places had just reopened as we arrived or the list would be longer. The waterway, itself, was remarkably debris free considering the damage to coastal structures.
The weather on this trip was picture perfect every day. thus, we had no weather delays and covered 1000 miles to the Harbor Cay Club in Marathon, FL, in less than a month.