November 15, 2009.
Ida finally took her wind and left. We were actually very lucky as far as Ida went, the bulk of the rain and nastiness barely skirted our hidey hole in Factory Creek. She really seems to have beaten the crap out of the Carolinas and the lower Chesapeake Bay. But anyway, she’s gone.
On Saturday the winds on the ocean were supposed to be from the north at 15 and drop to 5 to 10 while veering from the west as the evening progressed. We pulled our hooks and rendezvoused with Mojo who was just passing through Beaufort. Mojo was another boat that we had met up in Annapolis this year. Bill on Alibi II had hurt his back and Lee on Krasna had a few boat chores to take care of so they opted to stay in Beaufort for another day or two.
We went through the Ladies Island Swing Bridge, made a quick stop for fuel and water and were soon riding the ebb tide down and out Port Royal Sound. The ebbing tide spit us into the ocean and we set sail for the Saint Mary’s River which is the border or Georgia and Florida. Of course, the wind only lasted for 2 hours and we soon found ourselves motorsailing southward. That’s how we spent the night, alternating between sailing and motorsailing. The good thing about that was we were making great time, such great time that we soon adjusted course for the inlet at Saint Augustine, Fl.
What a difference a year makes. Last year this very same jump was definitely our worst night on the ocean. Ever. There was a decent forecast for inshore waters with possible gale warnings offshore. Evidently, the weather hadn’t read the forecast because we sailed right into the heart of a gale. We had huge seas towering over the boat, including big waves straight into the cockpit, tremendously cold and alone. This year was practically balmy, long slow rollers and the company of a dozen other boats on a spectacular night at sea.
The inlet at Saint Augustine was a little entertaining. The boat several hundred yards ahead of us cut one of the marks close and was caught in the crest of a wave and almost broached right onto the huge floating mark. Just watching him I had skid marks in my shorts, I’m sure he was knee deep in his own excrement. It was more than a little hairy for him but the inlet treated us well and we were soon safely anchored.
Boat Name of the Day: It was a toss up between Luff Affair and Breezy Rider. Both were unusual and made me grin…..