I knew there must be a down side to life aboard and I think I have found it. Hot summer in Florida!! No air conditioning!! Can’t swim in ICW!!
Well, we are heading north as fast as we can go, but have temperatures above 95 every day.
The last letter left us in Cape Canaveral. We headed off shore there and sailed 175 miles to Fernandina Beach coming in the St Mary’s River. That took about 28 hours. There was a dolphin show just as the sunset. A group of about eight spotted dolphins dove and zoomed under the boat and rode our bow wave for about 45 minutes. It was wonderful. There were thunderstorms all around us and a heavy weather warning called for our area, but we lucked out and had nothing close to us.
We anchored for a day or two at Cumberland Island and explored the ruins there and walked for miles on the beaches and in the woods. We saw many of the feral horses and got quite close to one of them.
The weather was not favourable for the next few days, so we continued in the ICW through Georgia. I had forgotten how yucky the water was in the ICW – it looks more like mud than water. No more swimming for me. The sounds allowed us to do some motorsailing and we made good time, arriving near Savannah in 2 days. The plan had been to stay and tour but due to the heat, we pushed on. Before we left, we had our first sighting of alligators! Definitely, no swimming for me!!
At Hilton Head, we spent our first night at a dock in many months ( March in Spanish Wells ). There was a pool at the marina, and I soaked for several hours in it as my laundry washed and dried. That night we had a pot-luck dinner with Tundra ( Brian and Kathy Marsh ) and Passages ( Ian & Betty ).
The next day took us to Beaufort SC for a re-stocking of groceries. Up early again and pushing for Charleston. But, due to a couple of close encounters with the bottom ( Tundra and us were both aground – we got off but they had to wait an hour for rising tide ), we didn’t quite make it. We anchored just a few miles short, but it good position for the bridges in the morning.
We arose early and headed for Charleston & bridges. While waiting for the second bridge, we heard a radio call from Silent Running. Doug & Rose are spending the summer there at Ashley Marina.and her sister lives nearby.
That night we anchored in Minum Creek just as a violent thunderstorm was crashing around us. The wind howled for a while but the anchor held just fine.
We arose early again and motorsailed against current all day. We past Georgetown and anchored just south of Myrtle Beach. The boat traffic was terrible as it was a weekend. The same thing happened the next day as we passed through Myrtle Beach. We met boats with waterskiers, tubers, high speed bass boats, and many PWC’s ( sea maggots ). Even canoes and kayaks. People that weren’t on the water, were in the water and very close to the narrow channel. We were very glad to finally stop for the night on a free dock space in Southport NC . Tundra anchored closeby. The next morning we ran into some friends from Grand Harbour, Marilyn & Bruce from Reflection. They have just moved to Southport and they kindly took us to the grocery store as it was five miles away.
We left late that day trying to play the currents correctly for the trip up the Fear River. And it worked – at times we were traveling at 9 kns. We anchored in Carolina Beach for the night.
The next day we had 3 bridges that were on restricted time schedules but we still managed to make 60 miles and anchored in Mile Hammock Bay. This bay is on the army base and we could hear shooting of automatic weapons in the distance. Another violent thunderstorm hit us at dark. One of the other boats dragged their anchor but we held fine.
Another early morning and off again – towards Beaufort NC and beyond. This time it was our turn to be aground – twice in one day but we got off each time. We anchored for the night just below Oriental. As Tundra was later arriving than us due to a fuel stop, we offered drinks, snacks and dinner. We pooled our resources and had a lovely evening.The next day, June 25 th, we sailed to a spot north of Oriental where friends of Brian and Kathy live. I think a few days of rest are in order. We will utilize their phone to send our e-mail finally.
We entered the ICW at mile 965 on June 7th and are now at mile 160. That’s 800 miles. We have taken a couple of days off but have mostly kept moving.
Here we will telephone a few yards to find somewhere to store Windswept IV for a month or two. We should be in the Chesapeake by early July and home soon after that. Mid-July at the latest.
Hope to see y’all soon
Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA