It’s always bittersweet saying goodbye to friends. On one hand you know you’re going to miss them and on the other hand you know that family lies ahead in the voyage. So we said our goodbye’s to Doug and Pat from Sanctuary and headed out of Port Canaveral for Charleston. We chose to make the run outside because if we went up the ICW it would take eleven days to reach Myrtle Beach. By going outside it took us four days, thus cutting off a weeks travel time. Total time outside was forty hours and 302 nautical miles, then two days up the ICW to Myrtle Beach.
The day started with us motorsailing on a rhumb line to Charleston Harbor as long, rolling swells swept under us. After a few hours it was apparent that the wind was slowly shifting and we had two options. One being staying on the rhumb line, dropping the sails and motoring, or two, changing course and still continue to motorsail. I chose to alter course and motorsail. Now the new course would run northwest to a point about midway to Georgia and ten miles offshore before changing course to the northeast and heading more or less straight toward Charleston. Imagine a course shaped like a sideways “V”. This course was working great until late afternoon when the wind shifted once again. The shift was to the north which allowed us to run a straight line once again. That was the last course change we made as the wind held steady and blew from 10-18 knots the rest of the way in.
The highlight of the trip had to be the dolphins and the sunset on the first day out. Of course just being out on the open ocean was a highlight in itself. We encountered dolphins over and over again throughout both days. They would come in from every direction and play all around boat. They would jump and leap beside the boat and then race up to the front, crossing the front of the boat back and forth. At one point when we had following seas the dolphins could be seen surfing right along with us! I guess the total count for both days would be in the neighborhood of about 60-80!
Around midnight on the second day we entered the channel at Charleston. This is a pretty straightforward entrance as long as you remember to enter before buoys 17 and 18. The jetty runs out to these buoys and can be hard to spot at night. Once in the channel we followed it around to where it connected to the ICW, which is right in front of the Charleston City Marina. At 2:30am the hook was down and we splurged and slept in until 10:30. After a quick breakfast and coffee it was off to the marina to top off fuel and continue to make our way north. Now that we’re in Myrtle Beach the biggest issue we’re having is with the darn cold weather. They’re calling for to it to be in the 30’s tonight and 40’s tomorrow. All of a sudden heading back south looks mighty tempting! 🙂
Here’s a couple of links to video I took of the dolphins playing around the boat