Sunday, January 29, 2017

Beaufort to Kilkenny Creek - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Beaufort to Thunderbolt

We got a slip in Beaufort ($80) because we were cold from the day's run and we badly needed showers.  (We must sound like wimps!)

From out boat, I captured this image of the Ladies
Island Swing Bridge at sunrise in Beaufort SC.

In the morning we went out for an early breakfast at a coffee shop along the waterfront--it was a nice treat!  (I don't recall all the restaurants along Beaufort's waterfront when I stopped here 25 years ago--they must have been developed in the last 25 years.)

Throughout the day (Saturday) the cold wind was blowing out of the west at about 15 knots.  We already had two side panels of our cockpit enclosure up but we added two more to totally enclose the cockpit except for the stern panel.  I'm so glad we had these along with us--it was a last minute decision to bring them.

This photo shows the additional side panels we added
to our cockpit enclosure while underway.

The highlight of our day's journey was going aground in Field's Cut in South Carolina just before it approaches the Savannah River.  We went aground at low tide.  The current from the rising tide was pushing us further aground and the 15-knot wind was pushing us further aground too.  I attempted to take our secondary anchor out by rowing it in the inflatable dinghy but I couldn't row against the strong tidal current and I would be guessing on the direction to take it.  We tried to call TowBoatUS on the VHF radio since we have (Gold) towing insurance but they didn't answer.  Eventually, we managed to flag down (using a horn blast and waving our arms) a guy in a pontoon boat who was able to pull us into deeper water, which was to our starboard.  (Our next step would have been to mount the outboard engine on the inflatable dingy and run the anchor way out away from the boat to kedge us off but, again, I would be guessing on the direction to take the anchor.)

This grounding episode really brought to light the inadequacy of the charts to depict where the deeper water was located in those places were there were no day marks or buoys.  (At times, I was able to read the water's surface where flow was heaviest--this is where the deeper water is located.)  The only preventative measure we could come up (later in the evening) with is not traveling in these cuts (between different bodies of water) at low tide.  Later, I added waypoints in the chart plotter where the deep water was located so that I wouldn't go aground in the same area on our return trip.

The black line shows our boat's track through Field's Cut
and the red X's are the waypoints I added to
avoid grounding in the future.

We pulled into Thunderbolt Marine (a very nice marina!) at about 5:30 PM.  We didn't plan on staying in a marina again tonight but it was a welcomed refuge.  The outside temperature reached a low of 42 degrees and on the water with the wind chill factor, that's cold!  We were very glad to have our A/C with reverse cycle heat during the night.

This is s/v Rainy Days at the face dock
at Thunderbolt Marine.

Thunderbolt to Kilkenny Creek

On Sunday morning at first light, a fellow sailor left the marina heading south on the ICW but we decided to stay in the marina until a little after 10 AM because we really needed more rest.  We filled our water tanks and got diesel fuel while in the marina.  I was ready to just stay put but Maggie convinced me to get moving--I'm glad she did!

Our day on the ICW went really well.  We passed by Isle of Hope GA. (I remembered this town from 25 years ago and the nice setting along a bend in the Skidaway River but I didn't remember the marina.)

This is a photo of Isle of Hope Marina in Georgia.

Later in the day, we ran into Hell Gate, a very narrow and somewhat shallow cut between the Ogeechee River and the Little Ogeechee River.  It was like Field's cut from yesterday except is was less than a mile long and we were through it (at near low tide) before we knew it.  We have to be more careful with this area on our return trip and plan to do it at high tide.

Several times during the day today Maggie had to clean our
windshield from the salt water that splashed on it.
The high winds caused waves which
caused the splashing.

We had planned on only traveling 30 miles today and anchoring in Kilkenny Creek.  We found a good anchorage in 11 feet of water at near low tide.  When we anchored the wind was still blowing 10 to 15 knots out of the west but it died down as the sun set.

This is the bank in Kilkenny Creek at low tide.  There is
absolutely nothing around our anchorage.

Tomorrow, we continue our journey south along the ICW.  Stay tuned for more...

Thanks for following our blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment