Saturday, 10 November 2007

Driving down the ditch

After an early morning departure from Beaufort, we joined the parade down the ICW. There are a few opening bridge in the first 80 miles. Some open every hour (except morning and afternoon rush hour) some every half hour, and some on demand. The bridges regroup all the boats. Everyone is very courteous, even waiting a few extra minutes for the slow boats (us) to catch up. The power boats, some 75 – 100ft come up on you really fast. Usually a brief radio conversation takes place and we slow down, they slow down, pass us, we turn inside their wake and then they speed up and go. That way they don’t throw a big wake at us and knock our boat around. We continue to see dolphins periodically, and more and more pelicans. These are very interesting birds to watch. Each of the next 3 mornings after Beaufort, Janine and I wake, take the dog for a quick walk and are underway by 0630 am. It gets dark between 5:30 and 6 at night so we need to be at a dock or anchored by then. One of the nights we found a restaurant right on the canal that offers free moorage to customers. This is a perfect excuse to get a free dock or a free dinner out, however you want to justify it. As I write, it is Thursday and we are anchored up a side creek, just off the ICW about 60 miles north of Charleston SC. It is very quiet and although cold, lows to mid 30s Fahrenheit, it is clear and dark. The stars are out by the millions. We hope to make Charleston tomorrow. Some of the families we left in Beaufort were planning to sail “Outside” direct from Beaufort to Charleston. They were leaving Wednesday aft/night and should be in Charleston on Fri. The forecasted weather has been 10 – 20 knots of breeze from the north so the sail should have been very nice. Charleston should be fun, Janine and I were there a few years BK (before kids) but it was ridiculously hot and humid so we did not see much. We need to do some shopping, a Costco run and start loading up on all the things we need before we cross to the Bahamas.

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