It’s hard to believe we skipped all of Georgia and went straight from St. Augustine to Charleston. We left early Monday morning and traveled 32 hours overnight to arrive in the Charleston City Marina at around 3pm on Tuesday. The trip in daylight was easy enough. We motor-sailed because the wind was light and on the nose. I kept a sharp lookout for sea life and tallied 7 large turtles, a pod of dolphins, a handsome duck, something with a black fin that was trolling slowly (a shark?) and 2 small yellow birds that landed briefly on our lifelines for a rest and then moved on.
As evening approached the wind started to veer around to the southeast and build. By nightfall we had 10-15 knots directly behind us. With the main sail let out, we continued to motor-sail to help steady the boat in the seas. I was doing okay during the day but didn’t eat very much. By the time it turned dark I started feeling seasick. There’s nothing worse…I was pretty miserable. I think I have the hardest time when I can’t see anything and the boat is moving around a lot.
We took turns keeping watch. Skip was doing most of the work as I had trouble staying awake. (I think it’s ironic that I have difficulty staying awake when I usually have difficulty falling asleep!) It was a beautiful night. The almost-full moon rose at around 10 pm and stayed with us all night. We could hear and sometimes see dolphins swimming alongside the boat–magical! By morning we were both very tired but happy to see the sun rise. It’s much less scary to me in daylight. I kept asking Skip, “Are you really sure you want to do this for days across the ocean?” He thinks it will be different with steady watch-keeping in a larger, more ocean-going boat. I hope so because I certainly couldn’t do it!
As we approached Charleston we were flying along at over 7 knots. Unfortunately the tide was ebbing through the inlet so it was a long slow trip to the marina–about 8 miles away. Poor Bailey didn’t use his potty mat until we were safely inside the harbor. Boy did he look relieved. He also didn’t eat or drink very much. I felt terrible for him–he was not a happy camper.
We’re happily tied up to the inside end of the Megadock right behind Lady of Lorien. We had a celebratory beer upon arrival and enjoyed a light dinner on board LOL. All of us crashed early. I slept like the dead and didn’t wake up once–very unusual for me.
Mike and Angie gave me some helpful advice about preparing for an offshore trip and avoiding seasickness. I plan to keep some notes for the next time (although I swore to Bailey that I would never do it again!) Some suggestions are:
- Try and eat normally even if you don’t feel like eating. Pack pre-made sandwiches and meals in a box that can be easily grabbed out of the icebox.
- Keep snacks available in the cockpit
- Figure out an easy way to make coffee in the morning. We couldn’t face it and drank some cokes–not the same…
- Drink plenty of water
- Use a lee cloth down below to aid sleeping. I’ll have to make one and see if it makes a difference as it was too rolly to sleep below that night.
- Rig the preventer lines (even if you don’t think they will be needed.) We could have used them when the wind came behind us but it was too rough to go forward to run them.
Also, as a note for Skip, make sure your compass light works. Ours doesn’t and at one point at night the auto-pilot went off and Skip had difficulty getting his bearings. He crossed in front of LOL and almost got us T-boned! It was not pretty…
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast this morning at the restaurant close to the marina. They make the best grits! Angie and I took the shuttle to Harris Teeter while Skip waited for a refrigeration guy to come and look at our DC system. It hasn’t been working and we’ve been using the engine-driven unit. It works great but now that we can plug into electricity, I don’t want to have the engine running at the dock!
Just as a brief re-cap of our journey, we left Vero Beach after another wonderful Italian meal with Jim O’Neill and Jim and Binnie at Scampi Grill. Jim came earlier in the afternoon and took us to Publix where I wondered down the aisles gawking at the food and re-stocking some of our supplies.
From Vero, we traveled to Titusville and anchored just past the lovely new high-rise bridge. Yay! That’s one less swing bridge on the waterway. The next day we made it to Daytona and the following day to St. Augustine. It was an uneventful journey. We followed several sailboat through the Matanzas inlet area without any problems. The Coast Guard is good about moving the temporary buoys that mark the channel as the bottom continues to shoal.
Early morning glow near Titusville
We met up with our friends Mike and Angie on Lady of Lorien at the Camanchee Cove marina in St. Augustine. It was great seeing them again. We parted ways back in mid-February at Staniel Cay when we headed south to Georgetown. They’re busy getting their boat ready for the trip back to England in May. Skip is going to crew for them and I’m flying over to meet them–no oceans for me!
Tonight we’re going to visit Justin and Cat. Can’t wait to see how big Joshua and James got over the winter! There are some strong winds coming in so it looks like we’ll move again on Friday. We’re still planning to get home by April 15th and the shortcut to Charleston gave us plenty of days to ‘play’.