November 9, 2010.
Its cold, get me the hell outta here. We spent a few days in Beaufort basking in the bluish glow of a television. Actually, several televisions. If you’re Jonesing for some football and if you’re in Beaufort, SC then Luther’s is the place you want to be.
Bob and I met on Saturday while the girls did a little shopping. We solved most of the world problems and watched a little college football. As luck would have it Luther’s also shows professional football on Sundays. Who woulda thunk it?
In spite of the fabulous football watching opportunities it was time to get underway and head south. Christy & I pulled the hook and went through the 1000 hour opening of the Ladies Island Swing Bridge. The Savages were waiting for us and we set sail and headed down the Beaufort River.
As we expected, the tide changed in our favor an hour into our trip out to the ocean. We spent the last 2 hours headed to sea with a 2 knot boost. The forecast was for NNW winds in the 10 to 15 knot range. I know it’s hard to believe but the predictions were wrong. Drastically wrong. We were depending on 5 different weather forecasts that all coincided. Coincidentally, they were all wrong.
Instead of sailing along before a NNW breeze we found ourselves motorsailing into 20 knots from the SW for the first 4 ½ hours. Finally at about 1730 hours we shut off the engine and headed towards Saint Augustine. Instead of the broad reach we were envisioning we found ourselves close hauled and beating into 15, 20 and finally 25 knots of wind.
We pounded through one 3 foot wave after another. Finally, mercifully the wind started to veer a bit for us. Eventually the wind came around enough that we found ourselves broad reaching along under reefed sails at 7.5 knots. We entered Florida sometime in the early morning darkness. Another big plus about doing the offshore overnighter is that we got to skip the radical tides of Georgia where a simple grounding can turn into a parking event. Imagine this scenario in your sailboat.
We entered Saint Augustine inlet at 1000 hours and went through the Bridge of Lions and were soon safely tied up to one of the marinas new mooring balls. After washing as much salt off the boat as we could and relaxing for a bit we headed in to town to stretch our legs and to have a Welcome to Florida cocktail. We found the happy hour at a place called Pizza Alley to be just what the doctor ordered, 2 glasses of chardonnay, 2 Miller Lites and 2 slices of pizza for $9.50. After that delightful culinary bargain we headed home and found ourselves tucked in and off to dreamland by 1930 hours for 12 hours of sleep.