November 28-29, 1999 -- We weren't Planning to Leave

When we woke up this morning, we knew that we had missed our weather and time window for the day to get to Southport. There was just to much to do for us to leave. We had to put the sound shield back on the generator, we had to secure everything and get the boat ready for the ocean.

We completed rigging everything sometime around noon. Mike was hungry so we figured we would head into town to get a pizza. Mike also wanted to check out the sea state by taking the dink down to the inlet, I talked him out of this since looking at it today would tell us nothing about tomorrow. As it turned out, the pizza place was only open at night. As we headed back to the boat I reminded Mike that he wanted to check the sea state, hoping that this would take his mind off of the fact that he has been trying to get this pizza for three days.

We arrived at the inlet to a totally unexpected sight. The waves were down to less than three feet, and the wave period was exceptionally long. I looked at Mike and asked him if he was up for a trip to Charleston. He thought that it was a little to late for us to leave. I reminded him that it would be a 22 hour trip, so even if we left at 3:00 PM EST, we would still be in Charleston by 1:00 PM EST on the 29th. We both decided that we probably would not have a more opportune time to leave since the seas where to start building over the next several days as Gale conditions developed, so we headed back to the boat to get it ready. We had a deadline, we needed to be underway in less than thirty minutes.

We set to the last of the work that needed to be done, securing the dinghy on deck, taking down the antenna and day time anchor ball, completing the deployment of jack lines and finally, raising the anchor. We completed everything in record time, and got underway at 2010 GMT (3:10 PM EST).

We headed out into 2 foot rolly seas with SSE winds of 7.5 knots, just enough to give us a slight boost from the sails while motoring. But, we were in the ocean with our sails out! Does that count as sailing?

At 2245 GMT, we saw three dolphins playing in the rollies. Other than that, we never did see any other wild life.

The moon rose at 0405 GMT. I was on watch at the time. When it first started coming up, it looked as if it was a giant luminescent ship. It wasn't until I looked through binoculars that I realized it was the moon, and then I was transfixed. It was so huge!

It hit me, again, as we were nearing Charleston that, "Wow we are actually doing this!" In some ways, I still can't believe it. We are taking our home down the East Coast with us! It is an amazing feeling.

As we were pulling into Charleston, we were hailed by Tom and Mel aboard Chez Nous. They had listened to us making reservations at the town marina and wanted to know if they had a dinghy dock. We passed on our information to them and then returned to VHF channel 16. Then we were hailed by 3 boats in succession, Buena Suerte, Effy and Wyndom. Buena Suerte wanted to let us know the information on the dinghy dock and availability of a shuttle provided by the marina. We chatted for a few minutes before returning to 16. Effy and Wyndom hailed us at approximately the same time, and we wound up having a three way conversation.

After everything settled down on the VHF, we called Chez Nous to relay to them the information that we had received from Buena Suerte. At the end of our barrage of VHF talk, I turned to Mike and commented on the change in this entry from the last few. It was nice to talk to folks that were already here.

We pulled in to dock at the city marina, as near shore winds of over 30 knots are called for and everything we have read and herd from folks is that holding ground here for anchoring is poor. We quickly secured the boat, connected electric, and cleaned up from our passage. After checking in at the dock office we had lunch out and then came back to the boat for a nap.

After a short nap to recover some, Mike woke up and then woke me up so that I would be able to sleep later that night. We went out and had drinks on the aft deck, as we where sitting there a lone dolphin went slowly swimming by.