It’s All In The Name
08 November 2018
We were up well before the sun on Wednesday morning to prepare for our offshore jump to Charleston. Tuesday afternoon was fairly windy so we had decided to stay in the nice protected anchorage in Carolina Beach instead of staging 12 miles downstream. Had we moved it may have saved us time in the morning, however, the thought of a sleepless night in an exposed spot didn't appeal to us. Besides we knew we would have to adjust our ETA in order to arrive off the Charleston entrance at daybreak.
The Cape Fear River is aptly named for it's entrance between Frying Pan Shoal and Bald Head Shoal. I first came through here years ago with Skip Tetro, Ron Hannah and Chris Pickering surfing in on a Morgan 41 as we ran from approaching bad weather. This time we departed in much tamer conditions however, it was still intimidating as we motored out the cut past the shoal. The 2 foot deep bar is right beside the channel and even in 10 knots of breeze it creates quite the surf.
Once out in the ocean we set sail, settled into a groove and punched in the ETA for Charleston and discovered that we would be there at 2:30 in the morning. Way too early, however, we knew the wind would eventually shift and drop so we enjoyed the day and decided to adjust our speed later. As expected, after dark the winds calmed and we motored sailed through the night in company of "Stray Cat" who were enroute to Charleston as well. After midnight a huge line of thunderstorms rolled up the coast and seemed to surround us but fortunately nothing came very close to us. However, forecasts are only forecasts and the wind veered to the west, right on the nose and blew 15-25 knots. In no time the waves were 5 feet or so, but very short and steep making it a rough ride. Luckily, we were early and were operating at a reduced speed, so despite taking a few waves over the bow Dagny just kept plugging along. After a long night we arrived at the harbour entrance at daybreak, only to slow once again to let a German cruise ship steam by at 14 knots. We wearily dropped the hook at 7:30 to wait for a slip to open up at the marina. We plan on spending a day or two at the Charleston City Marina before moving on.
Today's picture is of one of the pumpout boats at the marina, the other boat is called Grateful Head.