Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Back Inside

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
33 40.862 79 02.512 W

We're back in from the sea, tied up at Osprey Marina for two days.

Things were very gentle on The Atlantic this trip.  We had to motor 30 of the 40 hours that we were out.  But now comes the frustration.   The forecast for tonight and the next two days were for southerly winds 20-25 knots.  Ideal for continuing up to Beaufort NC.  But the same forecast also calls for a severe front with thunderstorms and tornado warnings.  We would not want Murphy to catch up with us with a severe storm just as we were crossing Frying Pan Shoals.  So we chickened out.

Why here?  Because our arrival time at the mouth of the river coincided with slack tide before flood.  Bucking outgoing tides in these rivers can be tough.

Another reason for coming in, 48 hours at sea seems to be our limit nowadays.   Too long out with too little sleep and fatigue creeps in while judgement creeps out.

By the way, we had a bit of unnecessary drama this morning.  For two days, we have been hearing the Coast Guard give warnings about a hazard at the entrance to Winyah Bay. It said, "Buoy 8 is off station.  It is stuck in the channel between buoys 5A and 6A and underwater."  Well, that's pretty scary.  How do you avoid hitting it if it is in the channel and hidden?    So in we came, dead slow speed and with Libby posted in the bow as a lookout as we approached 5A and 6A.   Nothing seen, no problem, and another 100 yards beyond, there was buoy 8 on-station right where it is supposed to be.  The whole hazard report must have been bogus.  I called the Coast Guard and told them.

By the way, 24 hours after departing Mayport, Libby calculated that we bypassed 360 miles of ICW.  That is 7 days at 50 miles per day.   Our rule of thumb that one day's sailing on the outside makes the same progress as one week on the inside on the ICW seems to be accurate.

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