Friday, August 31, 2012

Charleston to Brunswick 2012 Day Four

#1we did not magically sail through the marsh area
We had the anchor up and moving at 7:20.  *Notice a trend?  A little later each day.  Hey, we are on holiday!  The sailing was smooth but check out the above and below.
#2 Magenta line would have run us aground

Notice anything weird?  No, we did not run aground but would have it we would have been blindly following the chartplotter.  Those are terrific tools and we are happy to have and use them.  However, nothing beats a sailors eyes, ears and common sense.  *Hey Compy Comp, didn't we discuss (argue) about this very thing recently?
The stretch we cruised a few times above Little Mud River
Our next thin water challenge was Little Mud river.  Damned, if we didn't come up to it at falling/near low tide.  Yeah, bad planning but there wasn't really a way to do it otherwise unless we were going to take another day.  Just above the Little Mud River run a big Sea Ray goes bombing by so I hailed him.  "Sea Ray headed south on ICW above little river, this is the sailing vessel off your starboard."  He came on so I asked "Captain, are you headed through Little Mud River?"....Long pause...."Um, let us check the chart and get right back to you."  They were and we asked them to radio back the depths.  But in the mean time I was cracking up.  Some big ass powerboat with a New York homeport.  "Hey Joe, I got a new powerboat.  Want to bomb down to Florida on the ICW with me.  Yeah, I don't know what I am doing but I have electronics and a pink line to show the way."  I know that isn't true but it just seemed that way so I giggled on it for the rest of the day.
Cap10 Tom ready to head through Little Mud River
He reported back 5'9" but then radioed back again to say he saw 5'1" so we waited.  We were going to anchor off in one of the creeks but decided instead to cruise back and forth just above Little Mud River run.
Entrance to Little Mud River
It was good practice in patience and maneuvering.  The depths above were pretty thin as well.  Finally, we saw the bubbles moving in the other direction and went for it.
Yep, muddy banks.  Lots of them
Tom had the helm this time.  He did great, especially because he spared me any details of what he was seeing in depth unless I asked.  He did have a 5'5" but we never touched.  Yay!
Look closely at the pink pelican on the left.  He was!
After Little Mud River, we pushed on through all the way to Brunswick.  It was well after dark when we finally hit St Simon Sound.  Generally we would never do this but we felt like we knew it well enough from being there before on s/v Honey Ryder for 6 months and with our sailing buddy Paul previously.  Plus we had our numerous electronics and AIS.  However, I will say thank goodness for all the above because the sound looks like a Xmas tree with all the red and green lights for the various shipping channels, range markers, shore lights, etc...  But we still used the paper charts and binocs as we cruised along.  Of course we are doing great until some mini car carrier comes hauling ass out of Brunswick.  By mini I mean only 6 football fields long vs 10.  And yeah, he had his proper lights on but those things are so big and dark otherwise.  WE LOVE YOU AIS!  It was still a bit of a "OMG" moment.  I hailed him - as he hadn't said a peep to us as he barreled toward us.  He calmly replied to my hail "please stay out of the channel."  Okay.  Thankfully there was enough water to pull off to the side and let car carrier Darth Vader by.  Next on the AIS was a tug.  But he wasn't moving toward us very fast.  WTF?  Oh wait, binoc look behind us out the St Simon channel....Oh shit....he comes Darth Vaders big brother, Dark Lord-grand car carrier!  Hammer down time for us.  The two car carriers had an interesting time passing each other which gave us time to get the hell out of dodge on up to Brunswick Landing Marina.  We pulling into the fuel dock at 9:30pm.  68 mile day.  Whew!  We had a terrific trip.  The ICW is certainly interesting and challenging. 


Charleston to Brunswick 2012 Tides and Current

For a couple of long time sailors from Kansas, tides and current continue to be a new and .....exciting challenge for us.  Anchoring in the various creeks off the ICW, we had to take into account the current and tide when anchoring, as well as all the other normal things like depth, wind direction, bottom, etc...  When we anchored in Big Tom Creek, we decided to anchor into the wind, thinking it would win over flood tide.  *Actually, we misread the waves because of wind direction as the tide/current.  But NO.  Tide/current won out so we had a nice little ride around the other direction until we finally settled in.  It was soooo weird to watch the current flood in and yet the little waves from the wind push the other way.  "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."  

Charleston to Brunswick Day Three

Morning was SO quiet in our little anchorage in Bull Creek, close Hilton Head.  We got anchor up and moving at 7:05. 
ICW Smoothies for breakfast!  Mashed bananas, greek yogurt (finally available to us this stuff!) and juice.  No rum.  It's morning people!  No Magic Bullet blender needed, just some arm power.  Actually a good little morning workout. 
More hovels along the ICW.  It's so interesting to see all these homes from the vantage point of the waterway.
We waved hello to Tammy and Rick s/v TammyAnn as we cruised past Turner's Creek location of Sail Harbor Marine and Boatyard.  That is where we stayed last year when we had the tuna tower built/added to s/v Honey Ryder.  The high rise on the right in the picture below is where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.  The Boykin brother's told us so.  They grew up there.  Apparently all the New York, New Jersey mobsters used to come down there and hang out, including Hoffa.  It seems one evening, after closing, a huge outdoor dance floor (concrete pad) was poured overnight.  In ONE evening.  The local rumor has it that Jimmy Hoffa is six feet under that dance floor.
RIP Jimmy Hoffa
For those following along at home, the stretch through Isle of Hope was really, really thin.  And it wasn't even low tide.  Our depth alarm went off big time.  Man, is that sucker loud.  Took me a few mins to figure out how to turn it off.  We are a bit rusty at boat electronics, alarms, systems, etc...(.it's been too long since we were on s/v Honey.)  Luckily Tom was at the helm when it shrieked.  Smart husband that he is, he didn't share with his depth sensitive wife the low depths he was seeing on the depth meter prior to the alarm.  But we never touched bottom.
Sailing Chef Salad
Knowing Hell Gate has super thin water even at high tide, we pulled off on the Vernon River at Possum Pt dropped anchor and had some lunch.  After this nice break, we proceeded down to Hell Gate to find a tug coming through and then another tug pushing a barge.  The second guy asked us to wait while he came through (D-uh) so we circled.  He made it through but churned up the bottom in a spot or two.  His guess was 5'5" for depth at that time....our keel depth.  So we took a leisurely stroll back up the ICW a few markers to let the tide rise a bit more and then went for it.  I had the helm.  The wind and current coming off the sounds on each side made it tough to stay lined up.  And then the corkscrewing required between marks and worrying if I was turning too soon, too late or cutting a corner added to the fun.    I saw 8'7" at one point.  It was nerve racking but we made it through without a bump.

Funky little crab or shrimp boat
We tucked into Big Tom's Creek around 6:30.  Big thunderstorms had built by then and radar looked like we would really get hit.  The wind build up and we prepped for a bit of a blow....snarfing down leftovers, storing stuff, grabbing foulies, head lamps (it was dark by then), big spotlight, and camping out in the cockpit on anchor watch as the storms got closer and closer.  But we only got very light sprinkling and cooler temps.  Once again we watched the storms slide by which was fine by us.

Charleston to Brunswich 2012 Day Two

Anchor up at 7am.  The rain that we eluded the day before caught up with us today and we had rain showers off and on throughout the day.  It wasn't too bad and gave s/v Honey Ryder a much needed wash down.  She had a fine layer of bridge dust from the big bridge in Charleston.  No lie.  The locals in the marina there call it "bridge dust."
Eric's Island
Fenwick Island - inside joke!
Cut through Fenwick -allowed it for the $$ no doubt!
There are some really nice houses on the ICW.  This might be a new way for appraiser Tom to do his drive by appraisals.

We made the noon opening at the Ladies Island swing bridge in Beaufort SC.
It took a while for it to swing completely open
Green on the starboard side?  When heading south on the ICW?  Beaufort River/Port Royal - yes but look closely.  Can you see it?  The little yellow sticker with the triangle shape.  yeah.....I couldn't see it either until Tom spotted it through the bi-knocks.
see the little yellow ICW sticker?
Maybe our RV friends (Peterson's, King's, Hunsinger's) should check this spot out.  It looked pretty kewl.  Maybe we can meet them there on s/v Honey Ryder sometime.
Good motor coach destination
Locked (ie gated harbor) at Hilton Head.  The AIS went crazy with some of the big yachts  hidden inside there. Whatever.  As if tides and currents aren't enough.  How in the world would one deal with a gate/lock?   I know, there is a lock/gate person but it all seems like a lot of hassle.
Gated Marina?????
Iconic Hilton Head lighthouse.
Hilton Head Lighthouse
Anchor down at 5:50 at st mile #565 - Bull Creek, a quiet little creek (but deeper than most) not far from the above light house.   49.5 nm total today.  We got the anchor set and were just relaxing when some small thunderstorms moved through.  Nothing too bad however I did put as many of our electronics as I could possibly manage in the oven because of the lightening.  *Does that even work?  But the Tstroms skirted by us and we only had sprinkle and some cooler wind.
Dinner was Sabrina's Lazy Chicken Cordon Bleu over rice w/broccoli. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Charleston to Brunswich 2012 Day One

Headed out
We slipped the dock lines at 8am.  NE wind pushing waves in with ebb tide out made the harbor entrance a choppy ride out.  Oh well.
Wing on wing
Once we made the turn south we pretty much had a broad reach / run.  We always set a preventer just because and with the occasional big swell surfing up behind us and knocking the boat and boom askew, we were glad we did.   The only jibes were controlled and intentional.
Breakers at entrance of the inlet
Our destination North Edisto Inlet.  We opted for a sail down the coast vs messing with the Wappoo Creek bridge opening and fast moving currents through Elliots Cut, south of Charleston Harbor.  Plus we were dying to get some sailing in!  A few missing buoys along with shoaling and breakers made  getting in the inlet a little bit of an adventure but we did fine.
Rain rain go away
Rain clouds filled in all around but we never experienced a drop all day.
Typical ICW in this area
Once we were on the ICW headed south, the smell of the fresh pine trees was incredible.  We found we had the whole ICW all to ourselves with the exception of a few local fishermen. 
We anchored at statue mile #510 - a nice wide bend in the ICW with extra room in the bend for anchoring.  Again...just us.  We enjoyed a salad along with shrimp and grits.
Sailor's appetite is always good

A good day!
Day one sunset

Bye Bye E Dock and Charleston Harbor Marina

We met some terrific characters in the marina.  We will miss all of our new made friends.  Thanks for taking such good care of us and all the laughs.
Mayor Rick with all his toys
E Dockers at play
Mac out for an evening sail on his gorgeous boat 
But all it's time to move on.
Ready for departure the next morn
So we wrapped up our boat chores, prepped the boat, left our slip for the fuel dock and then took a transient slip on A Dock so we could easily escape the next morning.

Back On The Boat

New anchor bag for 3rd anchor made by Sabrina
We are back to our beloved s/v Honey Ryder finally.  This time to move her south.  But not before some boat chores and general maintenance. 

Cap10 Tom got to try out his Bday gift - the Mast Climber and get the ultimate workout as a mast monkey.

The radar deflector had to be hung again after last season.  No easy didn't even look easy from my casual vantage point on the foredeck. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Love

I think the phrase is "you never forget your first love."  This was my first boat.  I took her to college  (K-State)with me and then to KC after college.  She has been part of the fleet through all these years.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Addition to the Fleet

Tom has actually had this folding kayak for a couple years but only used it on a limited bases because the Hobie Mirage was always at the lake, handy and ready to go.
Some pending deck maintenance meant that all the "stuff" stored under the deck needs to be move out temporary, including this kayak.  Tom hauled out the folding kayak and gave her a good scrub.  I have yet to try it and we have been discussing getting it out anyway.  We are hoping/planning on getting some practice  paddles in soon at the lake.
I didn't realize there are so many pieces and parts.  The plan is to take this along on s/v Honey Ryder for some fun exploring.