November 12, 2011.
We left Minim creek at first light with a bold plan. Not really, but it sounds cool. Anyway, we wanted to get down past Charleston if at all possible. The mileage is doable its just that the bridge just before Chucktown can be a pain in the ass with it restricted hourly opening schedule.
Color us blown away when we arrived and the bridge tender told us he was on request. Cool, open sesame. From there it was a quick 7 mile jaunt across Charleston Harbor to the Wappoo Creek bridge. The Wappoo is closed in the morning from 0600 to 0900 for rush hour on weekdays. We wanted to get through the bridge before tonight’s rush hour closing from 1600 to 1830 so we could avoid so many wasted hours of daylight in the morning.
We made it handily and after traversing Elliots Cut we settled in for the night along the marsh grass bank of the Stono River. As forecast the wind jumped up to 35 knots from the west northwest but we were snug as bugs. A plus in our chosen spot for the evening was some free wifi. By 10 AM every day lately I've been in shorts with no shirt as the weather has been so pleasant. When I checked the weather for the area on the internet I was disappointed to see that temps were forecasted to fall to 30º the next night.
With that harrowing thought in mind we set off even earlier the next day in an effort to get south. A long day would put us in Beaufort, SC. After about 15 miles I heard a guy calling his buddy on the VHF. It seemed his buddy had gone out of Charleston inspite of the less than enthralling forecast, light winds with huge seas. His buddy said that while the wind was light, the waves were in fact only 1 to 2 footers.
With that in mind we made the semi rash decision to skip taking the Slawson Cutoff to the ICW and headed down the Edisto River for the ocean. At 1100 Veranda once again felt the Atlantic’s chilly embrace. The wind was about 12 knots out of the northwest and the seas were basically flat.
We had a pleasant sail until about 1830 when the wind completely disappeared. We cranked up the engine and motored for the next 20 hours. Skipping the meandering Georgia ICW saved us 60 miles so even though we had to motor it was well worth it. Out on the water the night temps never fell below 40º so that was a bonus as well.
We entered the inlet at Saint Augustine at 1430 on Saturday. The remnant swells from Sean and the new curving inlet made the entrance a bit puckering but we were through quickly and anchored just north of the Bridge of Lions in Saint Augustine.
We're tired, we're warm, we're in Florida, we're happy and we're outta here tomorrow.