Back to the Sunshine State
31 October 2018 | Palm Beach
While at Belhaven we cleaned and stowed the lines and anchors we used in the storm and put the sails back on. We also enjoyed a night out at Georgies place for some good seafood. The next day we were off to Oriental and found a spot on the free dock there. We walked around town and enjoyed beer and music at a new brewery. The music was from two guys we have known but not seen in a long while. One is a ER physician and the other a photographer, and both are excellent musicians. It was a night of good beer and Irish Shanties. We were taken aback by the damage to the town with all sorts of debris and trash lying at the roadside, but everyone seemed fairly upbeat and ready to move on to rebuild.
After a couple of days we headed on down the ICW to Morehead City and out the Beaufort inlet to Cape Lookout and anchored behind the dunes to wait for weather to head on south. We saw some of the horses on Shackleford Island on the way in, so they managed OK in the storm. We had a couple of days to roam around and visit the lighthouse and beach and even jumped in for a swim. We got the green light to leave and pulled anchor at midnight to head for Charleston. The first hour or so were fine but soon after the wind began to build as expected but then even more than expected. Soon we were sailing downwind in 35 knots with gusts to 40 and only a scrap of jib out to keep the boat in the water. We were fairly flying and had to work to get things balanced so the wind vane would steer the boat, but after a while we were good. The next evening things began to lie down and we started adding sail until by the time we hit Charleston in the morning, we had a full main and jib.
We anchored off the battery and then spent a couple of days exploring the neighborhoods of Charleston and revisiting old favorites. We ate at Jestine’s Kitchen and Fleet’s Landing, two of our favorites. Fleet’s Landing has the best Shrimp and Grits I’ve ever had.
We then got an early 4 AM start to head down to Beaufort ,SC and the home of old cruising friends Alan and Cathy Rae. They are Ocean Cruising Club Station Hosts for Beaufort and very generously offer their dock and help/advice to cruisers who stop by for a visit. We see them in Maine every year we are up there. We came in via St. Helena Sound and all the marks were on position and the soundings unchanged by all the storms. We had a nice visit and restocked the larder, and were off to take advantage of a short window to Fernandina Beach.
So it was out Port Royal Sound after topping off the tanks with some cheap(er) SC fuel. We had a sleigh ride down to St Mary’s Inlet, with gusts to 35, but all behind us. It made for a quick but exciting ride. We entered the inlet in the predawn hours and anchored at the Cumberland anchorage for a couple hours of sleep before moving over to a mooring at the Fernandina Marina. We stayed a couple of days to wait out weather and have a visit with old cruising friends Eileen and Larry, circumnavigators and sailors extraordinaire. After the cold front passed we had a couple of days for sailing so we were off again heading south.
We had another wild ride for about 30 hours before the wind died and we fired up the engine to get into Lake Worth Inlet at daybreak of the second day. Now we’re anchored in Old Port Cove in our favorite spot and have already started the festivities with brother Denny and wife Shannon. We plan to be here for several days with a list of repairs needed after pressing hard to get back down here. After we plan to head back to the west coast and spend the Holidays in Anna Maria and a few months working on Allegria to give her some much needed TLC.
Look for some new pictures in the gallery. The picture above is the light at Cape Lookout.