Conditions: Cloudy and 46° to start, partly sunny and 54° to finish. Winds light, waters calm.
Distance traveled: 66 statute miles
Time underway: 6 hours 44 minutes
Average Speed: 9 kts
Max Speed: 12 kts
Fuel used: 56 gallons
The front that stalled out over the Carolinas with gale-force winds lasted for three days. Things lightened up slightly on Sunday but with Monday forecast to be calm, we were quite comfortable with the idea of taking three lay days before getting underway and into the home stretch of this trip. We got a good start on the day and said farewell to Georgetown, which will always be a favorite stop of ours. While it was a cloudy start to the day, the wind machine had been turned off and we had a delightful run to Charleston, the worst of the conditions being a bit of fog for a short time with one mile visibility which isn’t bad at all.
While the mood of this leg might seem to be set by the gray skies, which hung over us for most of the day, the calm winds and waters made for an incredible ride.
There are two particularly notorious stretches in this leg, Minim Creek and McClellanville. But armed with excellent knowledge and tools (and a rising tide) we didn’t even break a sweat. This was a good year for the ICW with a lot of much-needed dredging going on and McClellanville is, for the moment, a non-issue.
The dredge was at the northern edge of the problem area and its Captain was directing boats on how to proceed by him. We will always hail a dredge for instructions but very much appreciated this Cap’s proactiveness.
We were originally planning to stop just short of Charleston in Isle Of Palms where friends from up north are keeping their boats for a bit but after the lay days and with favorable weather we opted to press on to the Megadock at Charleston City Marina, always a good stop even if we don’t leave the property.
Tide was fairly slack when we pulled up, which is a good thing as it can really run along the docks in the Ashley River. Unfortunately, things got away from the delivery Captain who pulled up behind us in a fairly new 65’+ Princess Yacht. We were quite surprised to see him approaching at a very odd angle and were then not surprised by the horrible sound of crunching fiberglass when his starboard bow had a solid encounter with the dock. We were too busy dashing off of OLOH to help the dockhand reign him in to capture it on video but it was something to see and hear.The best part of stopping in Charleston was a visit with an old friend of the Captain’s who he hadn’t seen in more than fifteen years. Thanks for coming over to OLOH, Dana!
Travel Day 16: Charleston To Beaufort
Conditions: Cloudy and 49° to start, sunny and 62° to finish. Winds WSW 5-10kts, waters calm to a light chop.
Distance traveled: 67 statute miles
Time underway: 6 hours 55 minutes
Average Speed: 8.4 kts
Max Speed: 19 kts
Fuel used: 64 gallons
We were awakened at around 5:30 am by the sound of nearby bow thrusters as the gaggle of delivery captains shoved off before first light, presumably to jump out into the ocean and run all the way to Florida, a reasonable undertaking in decent conditions. After a beautiful sunrise, we were underway from Charleston City Marina by 7:20 am with the slack tide. The slow-go out of Charleston goes on for a good part of the first fourteen miles with a lot of floating docks and boats in the water. But our leisurely pace allowed us to arrive at each of the problem spots on a rising tide and navigate through them stress-free.
We are now definitely in the home stretch of Phase 2 of our Southbound ’19 Adventure with only two legs to go before we settle in for the holidays. From Charleston Harbor, it’s easy to head out into the ocean for points south and the forecast was for calmer seas. It’s about twenty miles longer to run offshore from Charleston to Beaufort rather than take the inside ICW route. But with a few more “problem” areas and many miles of no-wake zones, the time underway can pretty much be a wash between the two and running in the ocean can be a lot less stressful if the conditions are right.
Given the favorable tides we expected to have throughout the day and having just come off of several days of unsettled weather which could leave the ocean more rough than forecast, we opted to stay inside and take the day as it came.
While there are plenty of wild and seemingly untouched stretches of nature, there are also plenty of developed areas with a lot of houses and docks to check out.
Beaufort is another one of those places that will always have the feeling of coming home for us. Port Royal Landing Marina is run by our dear friend Michele and she and her husband Gene and their daughter Alex are some of our favorite people. We also spent a month at the marina when we took OLOH on its maiden voyage south two years ago so we got to know the area well.
One more leg to go as we make our way to Hilton Head Island next. See you out there…
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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6