2000, November 21- ICW to Patriot Point
"November 21, 2000"
We hear about a sailboat aground up near Isle of Palms. Unfortunately the tide is falling so it will be awhile before they get off - there are 6-7 foot tides here.
Bob goes to the head, and a power boat passes us, and immediately the depth sounder goes crazy. It looks like we are running aground. One second it is 6.8, then 5 feet, then 4.5, then 6.0. With two examples of sailboats aground behind us, this isn't unlikely, but I can't find the deep channel.
Eventually Bob comes back and we figure that the power boat stirred up the mud and debris so that the depth sounder couldn't read the bottom correctly
We passed mile marker 440 at 9:05. The Charleston Marina is at 464 - 24 miles to go. We pulled in the jib at 10:15, just before some gusts of 22 to 25 knots hit us. The sheet got crossed on the other winch as Bob was pulling it in so the result was that it was furled really tight.
We passed mile marker 450 at 10:20. We saw a boat on the wrong side of the marker, and thought it was EQUINOX, so called him on the VHF. He was highly indignant that we would think he was aground, and he was down by Isle of Palms already. The sailboat aground was CASTLEWINDS. Bob said if they pulled out their sail it would probably heel them enough to get them off. But the tide is rising and will probably float them off anyway.
A little later, we passed the boat that we heard originally was aground and it was CRIMSON CLOUD, a boat with red topsides. A ferry crosses about 11:10. There are a lot of little birds on the mud flats poking around for food
We go under the new bridge (which is now finished) at 11:40, and I call the Ben Sawyer bridge. They say the bridge is not able to open, and they will let us know when it is fixed. So Bob slows down. Then they say come on down and it will open. So Bob speeds up. Then she says the guy hasn't come out from under the bridge yet (her own private troll?). So Bob doesn't know what to do. The wind is against us but the current is with us, and it is hard to control the boat even in a slack current with no wind.
.The other problem was that the bridge monitors channel 9 and the charts said 13 and 16. And the hours indicated that it either opened on demand or on the hour.
We thought we might catch up with COSMOS at the bridge because we heard them calling someone on the radio, but evidently they and EQUINOX were already through the bridge. Eventually we got within about a half mile of the bridge and it started to open, so we put the pedal down. There were two boats waiting ahead of us, so we went through in a timely manner behind them at 12:18. She blew the closing horn as we were within the bridge.
Charleston harbor was very very windy and with white capped waves, and with a lot of big ships. The dodger was immediately splattered with spray. We made our way up the Cooper River, among ships like horizontal skyscrapers, and tugs which seemed to be heading in improbable directions. We came to a barge which was dredging, and went on the north side of the orange mooring balls.
I called the marina on the radio, and they gave us directions to get into the gas dock. We were there by 1:00 and got 25 gal of diesel, and then went into a slip after 37.4 miles at 6.4 mph for a total trip to date of 546 nm.
There is a tremendous amount of current in this marina and with the wind it was very difficult to get into a slip. The harbormaster picked the slip that it would be easiest for us to get into, and his helpers aided us all they could. We found it was a lot cheaper to stay for a week, and that meant that we got a regular slip and did not have to stay on the outer dock where you are subject to wakes and more wind and current than the inner slips.
It is windy and there is a current, so it is hard getting the boat positioned in the slip so we can get off, and yet so that it doesn't overhang the pier in the front. Bob and I have to pull as hard as we can together to hold the boat in position so the lines can be adjusted, and then Bob had to move really fast to secure the lines before I have to let the boat slip forward again.
We are in the last slip on C dock. It proves to have only 50 amp service, and we need 30 amp.
We walk up to the office, and get a splitter, and the information. The showers are up at the Hilton Hotel. We walk up there and get lunch/dinner - barbecue sandwiches which are very good, with cole slaw and potato salad. Also hot tea. I download some pocketmail, and we use the bathrooms, and then come back to the boat.
Bob starts to mend some of the bimini curtains where the thread has dry rotted. There is only one sail shop in this area, and they can't handle anything this week. He also tries to rent a car, but they are all reserved. I called Kathy and told her we were here, and asked them to come tomorrow morning. Rob will be working tomorrow afternoon, and she will be working Thurs and Friday
Our TV cable won't reach to the box here either, but I think we'll get almost as much TV from the antenna. They only have 11 channels. We watch TV and have hot cocoa and go to bed.