Monday, May 27, 2013

Making Our Way to Charleston

(Quick note...Of course with all the other repairs we've had done recently...my computer died. Had to buy a new one. Oh, and by the way...Windows 8 is a piece of garbage. Its obvious they are trying to move to a cloud format by doing things like scrolly screens and having "apps" instead of programs but it is ponderous in invasive. Hell, even turning a computer off is a pain in the neck.    Sorry. Had to vent.)

Day 1 Cowen Creek

We pulled out of Isle of Hope Marina about 8:15. The conditions were interesting in that while it was very sunny and what you'd expect for Memorial Day weekend, it was on the coolish side. We started out piloting from the flybridge but after awhile we moved to the lower helm. It was funny to see people in their runabouts out on the water all wrapped in towels and what other cover they could find.

It was a very routine day in every respect. We moved out of Georgia just south of Hilton Head, South Carolina, and continued up to our anchorage for the night at Cowen Creek which is just a few miles south of Beaufort. As I mentioned previously we stayed at this anchorage last year and found it to be a good one. We anchored roughly at the same location.

All is well. The generator and charger are behaving and we are expecting a peaceful evening.

Day 2  South Edisto River

We had a bit of an "Oh crap!" moment as we were leaving Cowen Creek. The windlass didn't work. After a short time I located the breaker and it had tripped. Turned out to be no big deal.

Again the cruise was very routine. Both of us were surprised that there wasn't more boat traffic on the water for a Memorial Day weekend. Our anchorage for the night was on the South Edisto River in a wide area just a bit further north of where the ICW leaves the river through a cut. The current was very strong and there wasn't any real wind protection to speak of. But the anchor held very firm and it was non-event. (Btw, it's pronounced EH-dis-to instead of eh-DIS-to. We were corrected by some local boaters over the radio.)

One of my goals has been to see the Milky Way. And that isn't easy when you are surrounded by the large glowing auras of metropolitan cities. They fill the night time sky with too much ambient light. Even seeing a full star-lit sky is difficult. But at this anchorage I was optimistic. I mean to tell you, we were out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I would be able to at least see the vastness of the universe open up above my head, and maybe, just maybe I would get to see the Milky Way. But alas, it turned out to be a full moon so its brightness dominated the sky. To top that, off to the north I could still see the glow rising from Charleston some thirty miles away.

Day 3 Into Charleston

It is 5:02 am on Memorial Day, 2013 and we are already awake doing what we do to blow off time before the sun rises. The night was peaceful with the boat swinging the full 180 degrees back and fourth with the changing tide-driven current on the South Edisto River. When we entered the area and dropped our anchor our bow was pointing roughly southwest with the current through the low tide at 4:30 pm. After a period of slack water the stern of the boat starting swinging around the opposite way until the bow was pointing to the northeast until 10:30 pm. Then it swung back to the southwest. We should start to swing back again shortly. For you mariners I would rate this as a three star anchorage but only with calmish conditions. There is zero wind protection, two knot currents and an eight to ten foot tide swing. But the depth is good and there is plenty of swing room. There were a few crab pot floats but they were easily avoided. But you have to enter
during low tide (plenty of depth to do this) or between the tides. The floats get sucked under the surface at high tide.

Update 3:00 pm, Arrived in Charleston 1:00 pm - The cruise up to Charleston was routine...at least until we actually approached Charleston. This being Memorial Day every yahoo from the great state of South Carolina had their boat out on the water and it was mayhem. Big boats, little boats, ski boats, cruisers, dinghies, sailboats, all scurrying about all the way up to and through the beautiful Charleston harbor. For those of you who are not boaters there is a thing called "The Rules of the Road". It is the uniform, codified and Coast Guard certified rules on how boats are suppose to operate on the water. They cover everything from how to read and follow the aids to navigation to how boats are suppose to interact with each other, such as overtaking, passing, and who is the stand-on and give-way vessels. Those last two points are particularly important and their direct land-lubber equivalent would be knowing who has the right of way when driving a car. But if any of the boaters that we encountered today had any idea what these rules were it was a complete surprise to us. Boats were dodging and weaving and generally taking incredible risks. They were maneuvering in totally willy-nilly ways. It was scary. Now most states have a requirement that you take a boater safety course to learn the rules. Some states even require boat operators to have a quasi-license. But when we pulled into our slip at Ashley Marina I asked the dockhand something along the lines of, "Don't people have to take a boater safety course in South Carolina?" He kind of chuckled and said, "No sir. They do not. Can you tell?" Yes we could.

We have a high expectation of Charleston. We passed through here last year and we have been looking forward to our return. We know that One September and Good Karma are here because they are docked a few slips down from us. Sareanna might be here. The dockhand seems to think they left earlier today though. Perhaps Jim's Joy is here too. We knew from our communication with Katherine of Good Karma that they were taking a tour of Charleston this afternoon so we haven't actually talked to anyone yet. We're hoping that we all go out to dinner tonight to see if we can get kicked out of another restaurant.

Just kidding about the last bit. We haven't actually been kicked out of any restaurant...yet.

1 comment:

Craig A said...

On our last trip to Charleston we had a wonderful meal at a restaurant called California Dreaming on Ashley Point. Beautiful view of the boats on the Ashley River.... of course you guys see boats all day long For us, we were mesmerized!