A Travellerspoint blog

Are We There Yet?

That Depends on What the Meaning of "There" Is!

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We hit Charleston on Saturday, 11/29/08. According to my official "Captain's Log 2008" this Sunday is day 19 of the trip. We've come approximately 300 miles and Key West is still more than 700 miles away.

The weather has been terrible... way too cold; temperatures have been 12~15 degrees below average. Al Gore: where is global warming when I really need it? On Thanksgiving day we preparing to get underway between first light and sunrise. The boat, the mooring lines, the dock.... everything was coated with a 1/4-in. of ice. We wanted to sail overnight to Charleston but the prospect of 12-hours of darkness with temperatures at/below freezing in an open cockpit with 15 knot winds was too much for either one of us... we wimped out and drove the boat down the ICW. I guess that it's called irony when the cold weather prevents you from doing the things that will get you away from the cold weather, or something. Anyway, when we left Oriental I thought that we had brought too much warm clothing; today I think that it was not half enough.

We did take the boat out one day to sail; the weather was actually too nice and the wind died. I think that we're both ready for more sailing and less motoring.

There have been good surprises, like getting the heat pump fixed. We had another one on Thanksgiving Day. We stopped at a marina near Georgetown, SC. When the dock master and his wife returned from their dinner with friends, they decided that their gift to us would be a free stay. This picture was what we saw on Thanksgiving evening. Our boat is the one on the outside of the dock. I might rather have had turkey and dressing, but the view was truly one for which to be thankful. You might notice Carol standing on the side of the boat. Ask her if she was enjoying the view. Heritage_P.._Marina.jpg

We did finally have warm enough weather to anchor out one night. We pulled in to the anchorage and checked Skipper Bob, the ICW anchorage authority. The recommendation for this location was to put out two anchors. We had never done this and decided that this was a good time to try a technique that we'll need later. Predictably, chaos ensued; the Three Stooges could not have written a screwier script. The upshot was that one anchor wouldn't set, and the other one wouldn't break loose and we had the line from one foul the propeller. So, over the side I go, wet suit, weight belt and mask into the cold water. Did I mention that I don't like being in cold water? After about 30-minutes I managed to free the line from the propeller; boat, line and LLoyd Bridges don't-wannabe are all doing fine. The wet suit must work pretty well; I expected to come out of the water a skinny, shriveled, black popsicle, but I was OK.

When we finally recovered both anchors they were covered in something I had thankfully managed to forget: pluff mud. It's great for growing rice but our nice white boat is now pluff mud brown; with the wind and rain it got onto everything. Pluff Mud --- don't leave South Carolina without it... because nobody in SC wants it.

We've seen a lot of porpoises, probably Harbor Porpoise, but I've never been able to get a picture of them; they're pretty quick and don't pose very long. Birds were rare in NC, too cold I guess. These two pelicans in Morehead City were not having a peak experience. Pelicans_i..ad_City.jpg
In SC we've seen more birds, like this osprey, along with lots of blue herons and a couple of snowy egrets. Ospreys_in_Nest.jpg

When we got underway on the Friday after Thanksgiving it sounded like WWIII, a constant barrage of gun shots. It finally dawned on me that it had to be duck season in SC. The SC boys must be really good shots or the ducks are really smart because we haven't seen any ducks.

The plan in Charleston is to hang around a couple of days, rent a car to do some errands and, finally, pizza and the new James Bond movie. Then it's off again for points south and, PLEASE!!!!, warmer climes.

Posted by sailziveli 18:23 Archived in USA Tagged boating

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