Madcap Sailing

24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida
28 October 2016 | Madcap in Ft Pierce, Florida and crew in Halifax, Nova Scotia
06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida

Wind and Rain

02 December 2009 | Georgetown, South Carolina
Beth / not so cold but WET outside
Tuesday morning, we left before 0700 to get a good start on our long journey. We left with 2 possible destinations in mind. The best one would be Charleston. But with the threat of severe weather starting anytime after midnight, we were aware that our more probable destination would be the Winyah Bay inlet and Georgetown. That's how it turned out. We didn't want to risk getting caught out there when the wind and waves picked up. It seems like we are ALWAYS trying to avoid bad weather.

We had good currents down the Cape Fear River and out past Bald Head Island. Once outside, we were disappointed to find that there was not enough north in the forecasted NE wind to allow us to sail. So - we put the sail up to help stability but the wind stayed pretty much behind us all the way. We'd move it a little this way and a little that way but it wasn't very satisfactory. While it was lovely not to have to worry about shoaling and bridges, it was frustrating to have all that big water and be in too much of a hurry (because of weather) to tack back and forth and just sail.

There was not one single other boat out there in the wide ocean except for a shrimper just outside Cape Fear. We were about 20 miles off the coast for much of the day and at one point I got up and yelled - Is anybody there? Imagine my surprise to see a dolphin leap right beside us about 20 seconds later!! Other than that one reply, I heard nothing else but the engine. (The pic shows a tiny bit of another one)

We turned in the Winyah Bay entrance channel about 8 o'clock and proceeded to follow the lights. Three intense hours later, we dropped anchor in Georgetown. The channel is well marked, and although there were some cross currents in the river, we weren't at peak ebb so it was never a problem. It seems strange, but those last 3 hours were actually the best part of the trip - we were concentrating and active and successfully navigating. It is an awfully long way in at this end, and leaving from Carolina Beach made a long start to the trip too. Stopping at Bald Head Island and jumping out from there makes more sense, but we want to go there sometime when we can stay a few days. Doing the trip from Cape Fear to Charleston also makes more sense, but I already mentioned the weather...

So here we are in Georgetown. It poured rain a couple of times during the day and we kept swinging with current and wind. While we were uneasy, it didn't seem bad enough to move to a dock although we spent too much of the day fussing and worrying. A few hours after we had decided that we were dug in well enough, the wind came up more strongly and we realized that even if we hadn't dragged, we were still stretched too far out into the channel. By this time (4:30), all the face docks were filled with motor yachts, it was starting to get dark, and we circled around looking for a spot to re-anchor. A fellow on a mooring ball called out that the vacant ball next to him was usually home to a 41 foot Beneteau and we could use it. After some debate, that's what we did so as I write this, (9pm) we are swinging around on it.

We've seen a few flashes of lightening, and there is enough wind to keep us rocking on the ball - one gust (35 knots) just knocked us sideways and the rain is lashing down. Jim has the engine on and is trying to take some of the strain off the mooring. A bad night looks to be still in the reports. I guess we'll see. We generally figure that we'd rather be on our own anchor than an unknown mooring, but Georgetown is this guy's home port so we hope he had good local knowledge.

We went for one fast walk around town to get a little exercise - first time off the boat since Beaufort on Saturday evening - but couldn't really stay ashore because of worry about wind.

On the good news side, the Ben Sawyer Bridge is not closing tomorrow, so we can make the shorter inside trip to Charleston over the next couple of days and then get the heck outside and down to Fernandina Beach.

This just doesn't feel like fun right now. It seems like we have had one incident after another - limiting weather windows over and over again, water tank, fridge, dragging anchor. I know it can always be worse - far worse - but tonight is a morose night!
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
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51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011