We finally got a new laptop so Randy can update the blog but he’s been so busy updating the boat he hasn’t. So I thought I’d step in and fill in a bit.
We left Wilmington and motored down the Cape Fear River to Bald Head Island. We had planned on visiting some of the interesting shops and looking at the lovely homes but George, our auto pilot, was a bit grumpy and didn’t want to work, so Randy fixed that in the heat . To tired and hot to go traipsing around town, we were lured into the marina bar for a drink and some tuna.
From Bald Head Island our next destination was a lovely sail to Myrtle Beach where we stayed at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club. The dock master and staff were all very kind and friendly as were the other boaters. When we arrived Randy noticed some marks under the anchor.
Dave and Yvonne, down the dock from us, offered to take us to the grocery store and West Marine. We ended up spending the whole day with them and having a great time.
Myrtle Beach to Georgetown was another lovely day.
Georgetown is quite historic with lots of lovely shops and restaurants. There were thunderstorms late in the day, everyday. The clouds were particularly ominous our second day here. It solidified our decision to get down to Brunswick before September when the worst of hurricane season kicks in.
Next stop, Charleston. The Mega Dock was mega and we were at the very end of it and walked past mega mega yachts on our daily trip to the showers. This time Randy was able to go downtown to see the Straw Market and go to a really great rib joint, Nick’s (but the big sign outside just says Pig). At one point it poured rain, and I mean torrential buckets so heavy the water was running a couple inches deep. We spent our time keeping dry in The Pepper Palace, we seem to find them everywhere we go. Nope we were not within running distance to a bar so the Pepper Palace it was. Forty five minute is long enough to pick out 6 jars of very spicy condiments (buy five get the sixth free….).
Charleston to Skull Creek Marina, Hilton Head. The original plan was to anchor out a little farther north but the day was beautiful , sailing was great and we were making good time. It looked like we could make it to Hilton Head before dark and the radar showed no red, orange, or even yellow heading towards us, so onward. We hailed Scull Creek Marina that we would be in in about 45 minutes. We’d been there before and were just going to tie up to the fuel dock for the night and be on our way in the morning. They didn’t need to stay after hours, we’d be able to tie up ourselves. Just as we entered the channel the Coast Guard announced on the VHF that there was a thunderstorm moving at 25 knots from Charleston to Savannah. Oh Oh! We thought we could out run it. In a sailboat? what were we thinking? When we realized it was going to catch up to us before we got to the marina, we decided to try to get back to open water instead of between two stone jetties and some rocky shoals. Nope, it was too fast. It hit us and we turned back into the wind (which was back up the channel). Randy had the motor pushed as far as it would go and we were sitting still and then moving backward, very slowly, but backward none the less. Randy (trying to keep me from looking up and freaking out) kept asking if we were in the channel, so I had my head down looking at the electronic charts on the iPad that show where the boat is. I did look up at one point, couldn’t see the bow of the boat but happened to see the reading on the anemometer that said 72 then dropped to 61. That means the wind was gusting to 72 knots and hour. The boat would heel to one side and then the other. For the most part the wind was coming straight out the channel at us but it was swirling. There was lightening around us and you could hear it sizzle when it hit the water, yikes! Wish I’d thought to video it, but we were kinda busy all of a sudden. The storm let up and the sun came out through some odd looking clouds that made for a gorgeous sunset.
We made it into the dock but it was after dark. Thank goodness we’d been there before. Even though the next day was beautiful, we stayed to chill for an extra day. Our nerves were a little rattled but we know that we can, and our lovely Moorahme can, withstand a rough and stormy ride. I’m very grateful that Randy kept me busy and I stayed calm(ish) and that Moorahme is such a sturdy girl with a big engine, and that George (Auto pilot) is a strong and hearty worker.
Hilton Head to Brunswick- we just want to get “home”. It was an early start in the dark.
We made it in, in the dark, we can make it out. It was a little harder in the morning but we did it with me on the bow looking for markers and Randy inside blinded by the screen on the electronic chart.
The weather was very calm, Yay!, and we arrived in Brunswick at dusk (well at least it wasn’t dark). The next morning we were greeted by Cindy who had a slip on Dock 8 saved for us. Dock 8 the party dock.