Friday, June 15, 2012


I think we left you in Georgia, well, finally, we actually left Georgia today! Woo-hoo! Let's see, we only spent seven days getting through this rate, we'll be in VA by, say July? UGH! As usual, the best laid plans....

There is no accounting for weather. After the dreadful day we spent offshore from Jax to Cumberland Island, we were really hoping for a good weather outlook to have a good experience offshore. It just didn't present itself. We actually headed out the St. Mary's channel and had to turn back it was so rough. As for the ICW not being an option in GA, sometimes there's just no other way. So we have been inching our way through the shallows, one low spot after the next. We did manage to go offshore one day, from St. Simons Island to Doboy Sound...altogether about 36 miles, but we avoided Mud River which is a messy little spot to get through. It was a beautiful day and restored our faith a bit in the offshore experience. Have some pics that will follow.

I could list the "CAUTION" spots we've had to traverse, but it wouldn't mean much to most of you following along with us, and it would make this a very, very, very long post. Suffice it to say that we have spent every day checking tide charts, reading updates online, consulting guides, timing distances and holding our breath through one skinny spot after another. Some days start at 5 am or shortly thereafter to try to catch the tide, others (like today...along with the early start) include motoring around in circles for 2+ hours waiting for a bridge to open or anchoring for a couple of hours waiting for the tide to come in to a known problem area.

We are celebrating several things today! In addition to leaving GA, we stopped for fuel and water. This may sound fairly commonplace, and generally would be, but, although we had plenty of fuel, we had not filled the water tanks since leaving Jax. WATER WAS LOW! Hot showers are available again! It was Nirvana! We set foot on land (well, docks anyway) for the first time in 10 days, rinsed the salt off the dodger, unloaded the huge bag of trash accumulating and residing in the dinghy, and chatted with some very helpful marina workers. Of course, being so out of practice, Barb did try to fill one water tank that was not technically a water tank. It started with a "W" so who looked closely enough to know it was the waste tank. Filled up really fast! No real harm done, but we will need to get to a pump out to take care of that soon!

A few missteps along the way just keep it interesting, right? With all the information, updates, charts, guides, and electronic marvels, some things just can't find a category to fit into. How one could miss the ICW entirely and head up some limited channel would be one of those. Tom ran below for a few minutes and left Barb at the helm. While trying to decipher just where the turn came in for the approach to the bridge, she realized that Tom had us headed up a channel that was not part of the ICW. Turns out, the electronic marvel totally neglected to mark that part of the ditch, and, if not for the paper charts and a little curiosity, we would have had a very different outcome to our day! Tom recalls that being an issue 5 years ago in the same spot...only difference is that we didn't have the updated electronic marvel then. Of course, that recollection came after the fact.

Today we managed to hit every single skinny spot at nearly low, or low tide. It was a tense day, but we actually made it through all of them. If Jupiter aligns with Mars tomorrow (and pigs fly), we may make Charleston. We'll be starting very early, but will probably have to wait for the tide to turn at Dawho River, making it pretty nearly impossible for us to make Charleston. So, keep your fingers crossed for us...we need all the help we can get. Meanwhile, we are looking for good offshore days that coincide with our proximity to a useable about pigs flying!

Are we having fun yet? Some days you have to laugh to keep from crying, others are just too crazy for anything but a good laugh. Keep smiling, and thanks for traveling with us (even though you may have gotten the better hand in that deal).