Rhode Island to Florida - Day 11
We went to bed at Bucksport Marina with the water freezing on the docks and decks... surprisingly we woke to find that it had warmed up a bit... the temperature was above freezing for the first time in days... :)
We departed from Bucksport at 0645 hours and headed out into the Waccamaw River. In the spring and summer this is a beautiful area to cruise through... it's a narrow river that winds around like a snake with thick vegetation on both banks and not a sign of civilization anywhere... but I must say that this particular day the Waccamaw River was not that beautiful... the water had a deep brown muddy color and the surface was full of debris... weeds, branches and logs... and the banks because it is winter was a dingy gray rather than the rich green color in the spring and summer... :(
The good thing was we did have a good current on our stern so we moved right along and before we knew it we were passing Georgetown. Up to this point the winds were non existent... then suddenly as if someone flipped a switch we had 20 knot winds on our bow and within 30 minutes they had built to a steady 30 knots with gusts into the 40's... it did not get rough as the area is fairly protected.
We soon were a few miles below Georgetown and leaving Winyah Bay and turning south into a narrow stretch of the ICW more like a canal than anything else and this is where we lost our boost of current that had been on the stern pushing in excess of 8 knots most of the morning... now with the wind at 30 knots plus and the current squarely on our bow we slowed to what seemed like a snails pace... 5-6 knots and we carried these speeds the rest of the day.
We arrived to the Charleston area at approximately 1800 hours... and approaching the Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge... it was not opening due to the high winds... it has a 30 foot vertical clearance so we were able to lower the VHF antennas and proceeded under the bridge easily... SAILS requires 29 feet vertical clearance with the VHF antennas down so we had a foot to spare.. :)
We proceeded on past Charleston and down the ICW entering Wappoo Creek that leads to Elliott's Cut... we were only going as far as the Wappoo Creek Bridge and stopping at the Charleston Crab House dock located just under the bridge and to the port(left)... The cruising guide stated that they had a 75 foot dock that was FREE to stay overnight. YIPPEE a FREE dock is always nice. Anyway, as I passed under the bridge and looked to port(left) for a 75 foot dock... what did I see was a dock maybe 50 feet long... SAILS is 45 feet and we filled the entire dock. We were secure to the dock at 1900 hours.
So we are at the Charleston Crab House dock (N32°45.960' W079°58.479') for the night... having traveled 12 hours and 15 minutes and covering 81 nautical miles for the day... the dock has no power or water but it's nice to be able to walk Beecha without having to use the dinghy... which so far this trip we have not had to use the dinghy to take Beecha to land.... good thing as it has been way too cold... :)