Conditions: Chilly, 61° to start; 81° to finish, Sunny. Southeast winds 5 mph, seas light roll.
Distance traveled: 71.3 nautical miles
Time underway: 7 hours 15 minutes
Average Speed: 9.9 kts
Max Speed: 10.6 kts
So, Wednesday, we decided to head to Charleston, South Carolina. Little did we know what this trip would have in store for us. First, we decided to do an ocean run from Georgetown to Charleston, another first for us. Stacy and Robert, it seems, really like to run the ocean since you don’t have to slow for boat traffic, bridges or worry about running aground. It was nice to be able to run the boat without having to keep a constant eye on the depths and have to worry about shoaling. You do have to be sure to check weather before you do this and Wednesday looked like it was going to be the perfect day for it. We left Georgetown about 8 am and headed for the ocean!
Beautiful blue skies and no waves to speak of, just some gentle rolls. We traveled about 12 miles off the coast and there was nothing to see but sky and water. I was really hoping to see some dolphins or even whales, we did see one school of dolphins but that was it. Although it was the dolphins I was looking for, we did get the opportunity to see the largest group of ‘jelly fish’ I’ve ever seen. They looked like little jelly balls rolling through the ocean, just riding the waves. We saw hundreds of them on the run to Charleston.
We made it to Charleston about 3:15 pm. We were staying at the Charleston City Marina. There was a strong tide and we had to travel down a narrow ‘dead end’ run to tie up. Between the wind and the tide, it was a little gut wrenching traveling so close to all of the boats on the ‘mega dock’. It was even worse when the Dock Master requested that we throw a stern line first to make sure that we didn’t slide into the boat in front of us. Once again, we didn’t use the bow thruster because John didn’t really have confidence in it.
We tied up and John went over to help Robert who had an issue with his engine exhaust. The Stacy Lynn had developed an exhaust leak on the engine riser. Investigation revealed that this leak could put an end to his trip if we couldn’t get it repaired. The exhaust line had worn through and was exhausting into the engine room. The guys decided that there was nothing further to do until the next day, so we decided to enjoy the evening on the boats and explore Charleston the next day since we planned to stay two nights.
Thursday, we awoke to a weather alert for Charleston regarding south winds at 15-25 mph with gusts to 35. This was coming from Hurricane Zeta. We were stuck on the dock. No one was moving, gusts were measured at 40 mph and the Ashley River was being whipped into a frenzy. More bad news, the mechanic said that the exhaust line on Robert’s boat wasn’t repairable, he recommended that we remove the line and send it out for re-fabrication. (maybe three to four weeks.)
John and Robert had a Captains meeting and came up with a repair plan. Since we were stuck with bad weather for another day, they decided on a less than professional plan that involved muffler patch, wire and a tin can. With supplies ordered and delivery scheduled for Friday morning, there was nothing that could be done the rest of the day.
So we decided to make the best of the rest of the day and got the marina shuttle van into town and walked around for a bit. We had reservations for a carriage ride but due to the high winds (which spook the horses) our carriage ride was cancelled.
That night we met with some of Robert’s and Stacy’s friends who live in the area and had an excellent dinner at Magnolias, an upscale restaurant in the French Quarter. Magnolias is an upscale southern cuisine restaurant but for me and my most decidedly un-southern palate it was a challenge to navigate the menu. Our friends enjoyed pan fried chicken livers, low county bouillabaisse, jambayala, and buttermilk fried chicken with grits as the favorite side dish. These folks love to eat! I however, had a Caesar salad and John had grilled salmon.
Anyway, after a poor night’s sleep, winds still howling at 40 mph, we got up and did a few errands. Stacy and I made use of the marina shuttle van and did some grocery shopping and a much needed run to the liquor store! John helped Robert install his repair plan and we kept an eye on the weather.
There looks like a small window of opportunity to make it to Port Royal, near Beaufort SC. If all goes well, the next stop will be Georgia.