If you haven't been following along with your favorite marine traffic app/website, today we motored 50 miles (our longest yet) from Savannah, GA. This puts us in the middle of nowhere. Or about 30 miles from Jekyll Island where we plan to anchor tomorrow.
For tonight we anchored in New Teakettle Creek. The journey here was about half through narrow channels and half across large sounds with large waves. Okay, probably only 2 foot waves but they rocked the boat pretty good. Currents also seemed mostly against us. We happened to follow another sailboat by 1 or 2 miles for the first half of the day, which was our first time having a travel buddy...kind of fun!
We are on the move in search of warmer weather. We are tired of dressing like skiers instead of sailors! The good news is, you can track our progress as we move down the ICW!! Just search for Prairie Tumbleweed in any marine tracking app or website. Here we are on one site, for example.
Today we left Charleston City Marina just after 10:00am and hurried towards the bridge which only opens once an hour on the half-hour. We were fashionably early so completed three slow circles in the channel and then went through.
For the 6-hour 35 mile trip (like Medora to Dickinson 😁) we had 1 knot favorable currents about half the time and 1 knot unfavorable for most of the rest. Lots of dolphins along the way. We only saw two speedboats; no other vessels in motion. We made it to the anchorage at the predicted time of 4:30. Alligator Creek is the name. On the map they show the anchorage being a little ways up a narrow section of water but on arrival it looked smaller than the Little Missouri so we didn't drive up into there (past visitors have commented that they also just anchored right outside of the creek). We just dropped anchor in the river at the mouth of the creek.
Tomorrow we will go 21 miles to Beaufort, SC. We will either anchor or get a spot at the dock based on how cold we get tonight. We don't have any climate control unless plugged in to shore, and the lows are about 40.
Today we motored from Charleston City Boatyard to Charleston City Marina, about 14 miles. It was sort of cold at 50 degrees. We had some electronics issues so weren't able to use the old chartplotter as planned. The phone works fine as a backup.
Our next stop is Alligator Creek where we plan to anchor tomorrow. This will be 35 nautical miles and we travel at 6 knots so a reasonable 6 hours of travel time. About 20 minutes into the trip we have to go through a bridge that has its first opening for the day at 9:30 and then only at one hour intervals after that. Also we will go through our first bridge that is sort of close to our mast height. It has a 67 foot clearance at high tide and our mast is 60.5 feet plus a couple feet of flexible antenna.
Here at the marina we did some laundry and a ton of dishes that we had put off doing because we were low on water. We walked the docks a little and happened to find the catamaran La Vagabonde, sailed by the couple who have the most popular sailing YouTube channel of the same name.
We are tied up at the "Mega Dock" which they said is one of the largest floating docks. 480V 3-phase power is available here so they must have some serious yachts come in. This is where we have seen the yacht Adix from the road, as described previously.
We did a bunch of boat cleaning and repairs yesterday afternoon after Susan Axvig and Randy Axvig arrived. Then this morning a few more things and preparing the boat for travel. We left the boatyard dock just after noon and headed to the Charleston Maritime Center to get diesel and water.
Docking there was challenging with a narrow opening to go through and then the current pushing us away from the dock. It took a few approaches, one of which included ramming the dock at significant speed. Anna and Susan were knocked over even...not good, but at least we didn’t hit the nearby boat with worried-looking occupants.
After filling the tanks we then went through Ben Sawyer bridge, which opens by swinging horizontally. A short ways further down the ICW we pulled into Inlet Creek and dropped the anchor for the night. Aaron and Randy took the dinghy for a test ride and then we had tacos for supper.
The forecasted low is 55F so it will be a little bit chilly.
We got put in the water yesterday afternoon. Today the wind came up and is blowing down a stretch of the river and sending decent waves to loudly slap against the bottom. Anna feels seasick at the dock. Louise is lazily lounging like normal. Aaron has lost his balance twice, falling toward the front of the boat (it is rocking substantially end to end too).