Nothing against the great State of Georgia, but it's convoluted waterways and shoals are not suited for Sea Bird's 5"1" draft. So we both changed into adult clothes (where are mine?) and went outside from Fernandina Beach to Charleston, SC. This is our longest outside passage to date. The weather forecast called for calm seas and light and variable winds. At one point it was blowing over 20 with higher gusts and waves were at least four feet on the beam (side) of the boat. It made for an uncomfortable passage for Sea Bird's crew (Sea Bird handled it, as always, with aplomb). Not too horrible, just not what we were expecting. We left the fuel dock in Fernandina Beach at 10:00 am and a short 29 hours later, we pulled into the Charleston Maritime Center docks. Very little sleep was had by either the Captain or the Admiral, so after a quick visit to Tommy Condon's Irish Pub, we crashed about 8:00pm for some well deserved rest.
Overnight passages at sea are awe inspiring. The stars are amazing, like being in a real life planetarium. (Wait. We were.) Sunsets are spectacular, and when the sun comes back around, sunrises are equally so. Hours alone with your thoughts while the off watch sleeps, in the midst of grandeur. Just amazing.
Today was spent on the ICW. It's pretty in it's own right. We arose early. In a whirlwind flurry of activity, we rinsed the salt off of Sea Bird (salt spray had encrusted everything), washed some clothes, fueled up, and headed out against the incoming tide. This particular section just north of Charleston is known for shoaling and so must be taken near high tide. I wanted to get there just before high tide, so if we ran aground we could simply wait for the rising water to float us off, instead of being panicked because the water was falling. We made it through just fine, and anchored in our old spot near mile marker 450, just far enough north to make an overnight run to Murrells Inlet where we were to meet up with friends the next day.
Then I realized my mistake. We were actually too far south to make it in one day.
After some consternation and some phone calls (What? You won't be there until WHEN?) we pulled anchor and went several more miles north to get a start on tomorrow's run.
So today, we anchored twice. I think we can make it from here. And I promise to pay more attention to the navigator from here on.
Here are some pictures.