Saturday, November 18, 2017

Isle of Palms to Beaufort SC — 2017

—Blogpost written by Bob

Isle of Palms to South Edisto River

We made a detailed plan for today and refined it a couple times before enacting it. Our original plan was to leave at 10 AM and catch the 11 AM opening of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Then we would motor to Charleston, anchor, and wait for slack tide in Elliott Cut (1:10 PM), catching the 1 PM opening of the Wappoo Creek Bridge.  As the morning wore on, we got more conservative with our transit time estimates.  Before we knew it, our departure time was one hour ahead of our original plan. (I guess that is what happens when you have too much time to think!  We can calculate distances accurately but boat speeds are hard to predict.)

The Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge, just south of Isle of Palms,
opened for us and two other sailboats at 9:30 AM

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Southport NC to Isle of Palms - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Stay Over Day in Southport NC

Last night we attended the skipper's meeting on weather and navigation by Hank of Carolina Yacht Care.  Hank does a thorough job of going over the weather prediction and the navigation trouble spots encountered south of Southport.

Southport Marina before sunrise on November 11.
The ICW is in the far background
of this image.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Beaufort NC to Southport - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Stay Over Day in Beaufort NC

We decided to stay two night at Beaufort Docks.  It was a nice break from anchoring out, even though we don't sacrifice much and we both enjoy the beauty and solitude of anchoring out.

Beaufort's waterfront is full of restaurants and shops.
The boat docks are to the right of this image.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Coinjock to Beaufort NC - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Coinjock to Alligator River

We had a fantastic prime rib dinner last night with mashed cauliflower (like mashed potatoes) and a salad at Coinjock Restaurant—this restaurant is well worth the stop here.

Due to the cool, windy weather, no one wanted to be seated
outside at the Coinjock Restaurant last evening.  The
mast in the background is that of s/v Rainy Days.

We left our slip at Coinjock Marina, along the North Carolina Cut on the ICW, at 6:45 AM on Sunday, November 5. (We turned our clocks back one hour last night, so it felt like 7:45 AM.)  We had to wait until the boats left in front of us and in back of us so we could safely get out—we were packed in like sardines in a can. Power boats with remote-controlled bow thrusters have such an advantage in tight quarters!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Solomons Island to Coinjock - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Back to Solomons Island

On November 1, we left our anchorage in Mill Creek with calm water and no wind and headed out of Solomons harbor and, then, into the Patuxent River.  As we got to the mouth of the Patuxent River the wind was clearly building out of the south—before we were a couple miles into our trip toward Reedville, we turned back to the Solomons.  We were only making 5 knots of boat speed (at the most) and we realized we could not have made our destination for the day during daylight hours.  So, we rented a slip along the "K" T-head at Zahniser’s Marina for the night.  We did laundry and some grocery shopping, as well as getting much needed showers.

Here, we are tied up to "K" T-head
at Zahniser's Marina.

Today, we were reminded that we must check the marine weather before heading out--not just make a judgement on the weather conditions from our protected anchorage and using Weather Underground.  This delay cost us a day of progress.  Even though we are really not on a schedule we want to make it through the Alligator River Bridge before it is closed for maintenance (between November 6 and November 17).  The Alligator River Bridge is approximately 171 nautical miles away--that's a little over 4 days at the rate we are moving south.  We have to speed up!