Position 32 46.722N, 079 57.228W
Posted by Bill
Well, the last 2 weeks have been pretty crazy. After the hurricane we headed to Cincinnati to my Mom’s memorial service. It was nice to see all of the family, but a sad time for everyone. Then we headed back with 1 week left to finish all of our boat projects and get the boat provisioned (liquor, groceries and spare parts). The good thing was, the weather has been absolutely beautiful since the hurricane. I kept running into set backs with the boat projects, not having the right tools or all of the parts, and I found several other projects that needed to be done while working on the list. The weekend before we left, I finished installing the wind generator, changed the oil in the engine, changed the fuel filter, rebuilt the head (toilet) in the bathroom in our cabin. During the install of the wind generator I found 3 other things that I also got done. 1) The packing gland needed to be adjusted where the prop shaft comes through the hull. This is a normal maintenance item, but requires working in a very small area with corroded hardware. It took forever! I realized after several hours that I had to replace the packing material. This is usually done with the boat out of the water because the packing keeps water from coming in to the boat where the shaft comes in. Having never done this in the water, I wasn’t sure how much water would rush in before I could complete the process, so I was apprehensive. I talked to the maintenance manager at the marina to make sure he could rescue us if something went wrong, and then took it on. It was a manageable amount of water and other than the difficulty of working in the small area the project went well. It took much longer than expected on a project that wasn’t even on the radar. 2) While working on the packing gland, I noticed that the bolts that hold the prop shaft to the transmission were all very loose. This is not good at all and could have resulted in a major issue had they come completely loose or sheared off, so they got tightened up. 3) While running wire for the wind generator, I noticed that the hose which drains the propane locker was cracked and leaking water directly on to the battery charger/inverter…NOT GOOD!!! Fortunately I caught it before there was any major damage or a fire. Replacing this hose was a major pain in the ass. You have to crawl under the chart table and work through a door that is about 18″ square, in an area that is full of wires. Doing most of the work requires you to contort yourself in positions your body doesn’t bend, and feel blindly through the process because you can’t look while you work. In the mean time, Tricia was re-inventorying everything stored below, getting groceries, and organizing everything. She is amazing at doing that, and it is extremely important to be organized and have everything stowed properly. The week before shoving off also included a run to Myrtle Beach for liquor and groceries, and a run to Wilmington for Costco, Trader Joes, and Harbor Freight. Those took one day each. I don’t know how we got it all done, but we were exhausted.
We took on fuel and shoved off on 11/1, and stopped in the Little River inlet for the first night, position 33 52.321N, 078 34.191W. We are traveling with Matt and Shirley on Sofia Jeanne, and Larry and Diane on Horizon 2. We rafted together on anchor and had a great time making dinner and enjoying cocktails on the hook. We rafted to Sofia Jeanne because they now have the best anchor…a Rocna. That anchor is amazing, sticking right away, resetting quickly in a tide change, and holding all 3 boats. We took turns making dinner for the first 3 nights and the first night was Matt and Shirley. When they started to make dinner, the propane solenoid stopped working, which stops the flow of propane to the stove…go figure. Fortunately, Tricia insisted we buy a spare, and after much difficulty Matt had it in place and started dinner. At the same time, I noticed an engine hose starting to show signs of a leak and had to borrow their rescue tape to keep it from developing further. This is the benefit of friends and traveling together!
Us at the anchorage:
The next night we stopped at a really nice anchorage called “the hill” which was about 3/4ths the way to Georgetown SC. It was really beautiful. Position 33 30.887N, 079 08.625W. Here is a picture of the hill:
On the 3rd day we anchored in Awendaw Creek, at position 33 02.069N 079 32.403W.
On the 4th day we stopped at Isle of Palms Marina just outside of Charleston, at position 32 48.379N, 079 45.618W, so that we could arrive the next day in Charleston during slack tide. The currents in the rivers in Charleston are wicked and very difficult to dock in, so we always try to get there and leave at slack tide (no current before the tide change). We partied with our friend Terry who lives there and enjoyed being in a marina after 3 days on the hook (this means real showers!). Yesterday we came in to Charleston City Marina close to slack tide, position 32 46.722N, 079 57.228W, and then went downtown for happy hour, hitting several of our favorite spots. If you follow the blog, you know that Charleston is our favorite city on the east coast. We are never disappointed! We usually dock at the Charleston Maritime Center on the east side of downtown, but the hurricane caused enough damage that it is still not open, and we got reservations at the city marina. This is called the Mega-Dock and rightly so. It is around 40 acres of dock on the west side of the city. Look at it in satellite mode of Google Maps. It is a little further away from the places we normally go but still not too far. They also have a courtesy shuttle. Here is the view from one end of the Mega-Dock:
There are dozens of huge yachts here. The amount of money on the docks boggles your mind. Here is one of the cool sailing vessels:
We have seen quite a bit of hurricane damage as we get further south. It will be interesting to see Hilton Head and the surrounding area, as they were particularly hit hard. Today we work on boat maintenance and tomorrow we start south again. We are taking it easier than normal and traveling around 40 statute miles per day instead of our usual 50 to 60 miles. It has been nice getting to an anchorage late afternoon versus dusk and relaxing more. Unfortunately Larry and Diane are heading back to Southport and not continuing south with us. They are fun and we will miss them! Here we all are at Isle of Palms: