Friday, April 8, 2011

Beaufort, SC

Thursday, April 8 to Friday April 9
Passage from St. Augustine, FL to
Port Royal Sound and  Beaufort, SC
Distance Traveled:  164.92 nm
Miles to get Home:  814.47nm
Total Distance Traveled:  3507.00 nm

We woke at 625am and listened to weather.  It's still to be from  SE clocking to SW at the most 13 kts so we decided to go with our plans and go out St. Augustine Inlet to Port Royal Sound and up river to Beaufort, SC and maybe beyond.  We dropped the mooring ball at 734am in sunny blue skies and flat water as  the wind direction was 235 degrees at 1.4 kts.  By 815am we were out of the Channel in the ocean and by 9am the wind had clocked to 50 degrees (NE) at almost 3 knots.  The water was still flat but had 2ft swells from the East causing Changes to rock back and forth so I started to get seasick.  I took a Marezine, had a 30min nap and was ok again for the rest of the trip.  I tried something new in that I made a chart to keep track of our speed, the wind, course direction and any notes during our long passage to more easily to be able to see trends.    The highest wind we encountered was 16 kts during my watch (figures) and the lowest was when we released the mooring ball.  The wind was mostly from starboard until it clocked to the and port between 3-6am on Phil's watch.   The ocean was at the a little choppy with at the most 2-3 foot swells and flat with 1ft swells as the night progressed.  The night did not get too cold but we had a heavy dew so both of us wore our light rain pants and foul weather jackets.  I had out my fingerless gloves for part of the night (I know I'm a lightweight :P )  We entered the Port Royal Sound Channel  at 704am on my watch and I brought Changes all the way into the ICW.  I had a good sleep from 3-6am so let Phil sleep until he woke at 9am.

Our big excitement for the evening was when a little yellow bird landed in the boat about 630pm.  Poor thing was so far out to sea and kept landing and then taking off again.  It landed on Phil and then me.  Finally it went down below in the Cabin.  Phil thinks that he felt it land on his head when he was sleeping at 2am but I couldn't find it when I went below.  This morning when putting things away, I found it dead on the port settee.  Poor thing!!  I think it just used up all it's energy and didn't have anything to eat to keep it alive.
On steering wheel

Phil's finger

Yellow Bird on my shirt under glass
bird on Phi'l collar

We passed  S/V Saltydogs a Cat while it was still daylight and  then pass S/V Mon Ami when it was dark.  There were a couple freighters and a Naval vessel but nothing that we had to worry about changing our course for.

Shortly after Phil woke at 9am, we decided to see if we could stay with Rick and Carol Butler on their dock in Lady Island, SC and he said yes - would be great to see you again - tie up and plug in electricity when you get here, which we did at 1204pm after 28 hrs from the start of our passage.  Surprisingly, we are doing well energy wise and didn't take a nap.  Instead, Rick let us borrow his truck so we went to downtown Beaufort and checked out a knitting store, walked around downtown and got a muffin/coffee & tea and ate them outside on a patio.  Then we continued to walk around town.  Phil really loves this area and I like how it looks too.  After his early working years going to paper mills, he's wanted to move to SC.  Well see when we're done cruising.  On our way back, we stopped at Food Lion and got some groceries.

We took sun showers and then went up to the house for happy hour which Al and Cathy, next store also came to.  We had a great time talking about our travels and everyone also talked about when they were cruising.  We are so glad that we saw them again!!
Butler's pier to dock at low tide
Changes at Butler's dock 

Now as I'm writing in the blog, we are fighting the little sand gnats.  We had the screens in, but they came in droves when we took down the Farouck and they got in the cabin.  We have killed many - they are about the size of large sand and sure due bite.  I put on my long sleeve spf shirt to help and they have taken to liking any light colored surface, which the ultrasuede is one of.  At least they are easy to killl there but it has made it a little difficult to post as I'm slapping various parts of my body and crushing them on the ultrasuede.

Tomorrow we are going to Charleston, SC and get together with John and Karen Gag.  We'll stay there a day or two at the most and then continue our way north.  They are predicting winds 15-25 knots on Monday, so we'll be sure to be somewhere safe for that.

Feel free to call us as we like to catch up after being gone so long.

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