Thursday, May 2, 2013

Getting to Charleston

We left Cumberland Island and spent three full days motoring for ten to twelve hours each day through winding canals surrounded by reeds. This was generally accompanied by loads of wind, in excess of 20 on the nose of course and billowing into the cockpit. We are now wearing fleece, long pants, and winter coats. The water is very shallow at low, but we are lucky to be hitting at or near high tide. But on a rising tide the current is against us so we cannot move at our regular speed unless we pick it up and burn fuel. We anchored at Buttermilk Sound by pulling off the waterway, Buckhead Creek which was lovely and protected with some trees, slightly off the ICW, and by Spanish Point just before Beaufort, SC, lots of water and room.

On Sunday the 28th we had a full day getting to Charleston, one of my favorite towns that is a pain in the neck to get to. On the waterway heading north you need to pass through Elliott Cut, which although shorter than our Hell Gate in New York, is more ferocious, narrow and swift. We logged 11 knots and were happy to be headed in the direction of the current. Coming in from the inlet you will never get a favorable current, it's a rule, and it will take about 20 years to get to the marina.

The City Marina was full, so we did not have the luxury of having the newspaper thrown on the deck before we woke up, so we tucked into the Charleston Harbor Marina and Resort. Although we did not use many of the amenities, you can get a paper if you walk to the office and get it, the laundry is adequate and one of the dryers works without quarters, and the casual restaurant is better than cooking. We had good help with the lines and at slack tide and a wind that helped us dock, all was well. In different conditions it could be a sideshow unless you are on the face dock. The fuel dock is inside the breakers.

With thunderstorms coming by that night and predicted for the next day, we decided to stay another and went shopping. I found very cool earrings at One of a Kind, but for two hours looked around for the natural mineral shop I had forgotten the name of, hoping to pick up a Mothers Day present and something for Willow. Only as we were running to pick up the shuttle did we see it. Damn.

Incidentally there is a free shuttle that has a varied schedule, not as frequent as on the hour out of the hotel. But it does run after nightfall so you could get dinner in town. And the water taxi is another option, but at $10 for the day.

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