Our longest passage yet!
I wanted to expand on our experience during our passage from Beaufort, NC to Charleston, SC. It is amazing what you see and experience out in the deep blue! Here’s a recap of conditions:
- approximately 220 miles – took us 39 hrs
- at the furthest point we were close to 40 miles off shore
- we had a following sea (waves coming from behind us) and a light northerly wind
- because of the light wind, we motor-sailed the entire way
- sea conditions started out as a washing machine but ended in super cycle!
- no one was sea sick, although I did come the closest to-date!!
All in all we feel like it was successful – maybe our best passage so far. We did not intend on motoring the entire way, but it beat bobbing around while waiting for some wind. We had budgeted 48 hrs to get there, so arriving in 39 was a win! The sky was so clear and beautiful, the stars actually seemed to twinkle. I saw at least 5 shooting stars and one seemed so close I should have heard the plop when it hit the water!
During our first day we were hailed by a US War Ship – which is both cool and creepy. He just wanted to let us know they were performing exercises that day in the range to our starboard and to stay away from them to our port. ‘Can we hold our current course?’ was our question . . . answered with a yes. We did see a few container ships as we passed Southport but other than that we seemed to have the ocean to ourselves.
The second day the afternoon conditions grew from washing machine to super cycle, making me a bit uncomfortable. I was in the middle of telling Nick this as a dolphin jumped straight out of the water just behind the boat, paused, and dove back in – completely taking my mind off the conditions I wrestled with. Each time I have feared, dolphins have shown up . . . think it is Someone telling me something??
As we approached Charleston night fell. It was pitch black as we entered the shipping lane. To make the turn we also had to be broad side to the waves – making them even more uncomfortable. We were reefing the main just as we entered when we met a container ship leaving port. We lined up to pass port to port, then hit their wake . . . sending us to look at the stars, then the ocean! Boy they kick up a wake after they pass the jetties!! Whoo! I was so happy to finally get behind the jetties and in between the islands so the water calmed down. It took us close to 2 hrs to travel the 6 miles or so because of the outgoing tide. We arrived at the fuel dock and stayed there until slack tide the next morning before moving to our friends slip.
We had a great time while in Charleston and wound up staying for a week. We got to go aboard Welcome – a 60 ft replica 1790’s schooner for an afternoon cruise, visit with our friends there and made a trip to Trader Joe’s! I also got a chance to visit with my friend Cheryl from my UK college days!
All to say that this passage increased our comfort and my confidence in ocean travel! Each time we experience something, it makes the next time that much easier!!