Man, you have no idea how good it feels to type “South Carolina” instead of “Florida”.
Not that we didn’t love Florida — because, oddly, we did. I say ‘oddly’ because somehow we both had the impression that Florida was going to be a swamp-land of alligators and old folks… but actually it’s a beautiful place with all sorts of charming towns and rivers of dolphins and manatees and streets of peacocks and sweet places to explore. I can see why people ‘snowbird’ here.
Oh, and the streets of peacocks? Can’t make that up!
We also had some pretty awesome big manatee interactions…
And one good side-effect of all the thunderstorms and time we had in Florida is that Jon and I both had some good project opportunities. For my part, I used the last of the hand-me-down sunbrella (thanks Anam Cara!) to make a rain-protecting-wind-scoop for the hatch (so we don’t have to be shut inside a sauna while it downpours outside)…
(So far it seems to be working)
And Jon — closeted-inner-crafter that he is — did the most amazing job wrapping our wheel in beautiful black leather…
How nice is that?? We’ve both fallen in love with the cockpit again 🙂
But we had to leave the sunshine state eventually!
To get to South Carolina we decided to go ‘on the outside’ and do a nice easy 2-night passage. We left with the VHF blaring its awful weather warnings (we have one of those models that starts shrieking when they issue a weather warning, you know? which is great in theory — you won’t miss a weather warning — but also REALLY awful to wake up to in the middle of the night!).
Anyways, the VHF was yelling something like “frequent severe thunderstorms with damage-producing winds will be prevalent. wind gusts up to 40 knots can be expected, and sailboats especially should take refuge” but we had a good weather forecast (other than the thunderstorms!) so we were going. Captain’s orders 😉
We actually got pretty lucky on the thunderstorm front. One bad squall each day, with more wind and rain than anything else… and almost no rain or lightning at night which was a blessing.
As we sailed along the coast, we’d pick up random bars of cell phone signal, and I’d gleefully send out little updates. It was all good until I got a little cocky…
“Should be in South Carolina tomorrow morning!” <— Big Mistake.
Never, ever, ever count your sailing chickens before they hatch.
Cuz at around 3:00 am last night, I thought I could smell something a little off… sort of like coolant, maybe? But I hate chasing random smells at night, so I ignored it. That backfired. At 4:00 am, when I woke Jon up, the first thing he noticed was that the engine was running a little warmer than usual. Within a few minutes of us watching, the temp gauge continued to climb… *shudder with dread* and *sigh that you’ve been here before* …all bad things happen at 4:00 am.
This prompted some mad engine-diagnosing by my awesome husband (advice to my future daughters: don’t marry a man that won’t jump into engine issues at 4:00 am)… a plugged up strainer was part of the problem, and a leaking heat exchanger was the other part…
Very long story short, we had an endless morning of bashing into headwinds (because if the engine isn’t cooperating then the winds definitely won’t either!), making 1-2 knots towards our destination that was 18 miles away. As we bobbed and rolled and crashed and went nowhere we wanted to go, I told Jon that I was trying to channel some inner yoga mantras, like “there is only this moment, and this moment is all there is” as I tried to keep us moving at any speed… “but what if this moment just SUCKS??” was Jon’s reply 😉
Anyways, patience is the answer to everything. We made it in eventually, and now we’re just tired and happy happy HAPPY to be anchored. In South Carolina!
You guys are so cute in that photo! I am very jealous you are in South Carolina!!! I have always wanted to go there. Have fun! xoxo
Very good looking wheel project. Great photo of the squall
You’ve just barely missed us in Savannah! Enjoy – the marshy landscape really is beautiful and the people are friendly. Have fun!
We are happy you made it this far and hope you will be avail for a visit here in Wilmington. Cheers! CARYN AND GARY