Since I haven’t written in over a month I guess I should probably post something. Especially after everywhere we’ve been to including Charleston for almost a month. Our trip up from St Simons Island was almost uneventful. Because of the following seas the auto pilot still gave us a bit of trouble, but only briefly and nothing serious. We sailed the entire way which was nice for a change.
We enjoyed almost everything about our stay in Charleston. The town is very beautiful. The transportation system is good. The people very nice. Decent anchorage with lots of dolphins. Just about everything you would want in an extended stay except… The water there is very murky and full of barnacles, real strong currents, and the police are not overly friendly to cruisers. (more on that later) The water in the Ashley River is the color of a strong tea, and it takes no time to stain your white boat. You can’t dive on your boat to clean the bottom because the visibility is one foot at best. Other than that and the ticket Anna got in our little dinghy we loved it.
Some of the things we did in Charleston include; carriage tour, aquarium, ghost tour, farmers market, toured the downtown (numerous times) made solid friendships with some locals (Rob & Laurie, Will & Lynn) and cruisers just passing through. We dragged anchor so far Stray Catz almost hit the dock, and a real cool plantation tour. On top of all that we had our first visitors trek down here from TN and met up with a CS friend who lives in Charleston. During all that we did manage to get some repairs done. We purchased a life raft, and got a little sailing in too. One thing we didn’t do much of which I’m sure will disappoint many, is take pictures. I don’t understand it either. We know it’s an issue and we’re working on it.
After Charleston we headed up the coast to a little town called Wrightsville Beach, NC. Very cool spot to anchor there about a block from the beach by land, but very protected. Kylan skipped home school a couple of days to take surf lessons, and we met some really cool people at The Annex and Surf City. Thanks you guys for everything. The water there was clear enough to clean the bottom of Stray Catz where I discovered about an inch thick layer of barnacles on the props and bottom of the boat. We stayed there two weeks because the generator’s raw water cooling system stopped working and it overheated and melted the muffler. Always something needing repaired.
From there we went to Beaufort, NC and spent a day and a couple of nights before heading out to Cape Lookout, NC. The approach into the anchorage at Cape Lookout got very exciting when I started smelling smoke. We forgot close a portal in one of the berths and unknowingly Anna turned on the inverter which sent 110 volts through the boat where a camera battery charger was plugged in and it shorted and started to melt. In case there is any doubt, it is terrifying to smell smoke on a boat at sea. No major damage, but we have a really good excuse for no pictures 🙂
From there we did our longest trip yet and sailed for 50 straight hours to Hampton, VA. I wished I could say we sailed the whole way, but alas the wind did not cooperate and I didn’t want to make a 4 day trip out of it, so most of it was motoring. In fact it was so calm at one point we shut down the engines and everyone jumped in the ocean. I would post pictures of that, but there might be children reading this. That and the no camera thing. The alternator went out on that trip, so I had something else to fix in Hampton.
We’re currently anchored at Smith Point, MD. Which is right at the junction of Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. We’re on our way to Washington, DC where we will celebrate Anna’s birthday on the 22nd. Your all welcome to join us, before we head over to Annapolis, MD, which is about a four-day trip by boat, but only 30 minutes by car. We have a few seminars to go to in Annapolis and Hampton before we head back south again in late October.
I do have some pictures that I want to share, but it’s late and it takes some energy to post them properly. I will share later. I promise.