October 28, 2010.
We’ve been sitting in Oriental for a solid week, doing chores, socializing and waiting for a weather window. A window seems to have opened just a smidgen.
Theres a front predicted to come through early on Friday morning. Right now the wind is hard from the southwest and as a result the water has all blown out of Whittaker Creek and we’re sitting firmly on the bottom. As the front passes through the wind will shift and blow at close to 30 knots out of the north. This should refloat us and enable us to get underway.
We’re about 4 hours from the ocean so we’d like to get moving as soon as we’re once again floating. The rub is that the window is a short one. 24 hours of wind from the north followed by a few hours of no wind before it clocks around and comes from the southwest once again.
Charleston is about 210 miles away so we have to haul ass to get there before the wind comes around on the nose. The thing that’s bothering us is that we need to get going as soon as the front comes through but the wind is forecast to be up near 30 knots. The thing with predictions is that it could be 10 knots higher or 10 knots lower.
2 years ago making this same jump we absorbed a serious ass kicking and don’t want to risk a repeat performance. We found ourselves surfing huge seas at between 8 and 13 knots with an apparent wind reading of 35 knots. Combine the apparent wind speed and our boat speed and we were found ourselves in winds in the low forties. Which, if you’ve never experienced it for yourselves, SUCKED bigtime, especially in the dark for hours on end.
So of course we’d like to wait for the wind to drop a bit before heading out but then the window is sure to close on us. It’s a dilemma; we’ll play it by ear and see what happens.
As it stands now we’ll head out as soon as we’re floating. We’ll stop for fuel on Adams Creek and head out the inlet. If its doable we’ll head for Frying Pan Shoals and on to Charleston. If its too snotty we’ll head to Point Lookout to hide in Lookout Bight until the wind drops to a manageable level.
We’ll be accompanied by Fine Lion, Sapphire and Savage Son. Theres another dozen cruising boats here in town and I wouldn’t be surprised to see we have some more company as we try to take advantage of this window.