6 May, 2016

On the morning of the 5th, we were off the dock by 06h45.  The skies were clear.  Temperature 57 degrees.  Wind 20 knots out of the northwest.  We wanted to make some miles, so decided to run offshore to Wasaw Sound, about 80 miles away.  Our course would keep us within 10 miles of shore, and there were numerous inlets for us to sneak in to the ICW if it got too snotty.  By 12h00, the winds were a steady 27 knots, and we decided to enter Doboy Sound, and get back to the ICW.  Two miles from shore, we promptly ran hard aground in an area that was charted to be 14 feet deep.  We were on hard, and the tide was falling-not a great situation.  Every 5th wave or so was a big one that lifted us, then slammed us to the bottom.  It was very unnerving, but we were able to use this to our advantage.  I didn’t want to back up, for fear of damaging our rudder, but obviously there was deeper water behind us.  As we rose, we used our bow thruster to inch the bow a foot or so to the side.  By degrees, we did a 180, and were able to motor out, following our plotter, duplicating our exact course, only in reverse.  Back in deep water, we sucked it up and rode the waves.  In spite of the wind and waves, my darling girl baked some fresh bread.  The aroma filled the boat, calming my jangled nerves.  We entered Wasaw Sound at 18h00.    Anchor down in Herb Creek off the ICW at 19h15, cocktails were in order.  We had a restive night, as the wind and the reversing current were at odds.  The anchor chain rattled and banged, seemingly all night long.

Even though there had been lightning all around us when we turned in, the rain never came.  When we woke up, there were actually defined river banks, as the tide was lower than the evening before.  With the sun rising on this crisp, clear morning (53 degrees), we were on our way by 06h43.  We traversed one of the shallowest stretches of the ICW at nearly high tide, and coasted through.  As we neared the Ashley River and Charleston, the boat traffic got heavier on this beautiful Saturday morning.   Our morning arrival had been planned with the state of tide in mind.  Several years earlier, we had visited the Ashley marinas from land, and had made note of the fierce currents running through them.  Since that time, fellow cruisers had shared anecdotes about boats getting sideways, and many mishaps due to these currents.  The best laid plans………  When we arrived, the current was clipping along at about 2 knots.  No problem, Suz had talked to Ryan the day before, and he told her that they would put us on the face dock, obviating the need to maneuver inside the tightly packed docks.  When we called on the VHF, we were told that no, all of the spots on the face were occupied, and that we’d need to come on in and take a slip (also, it was Ryan’s day off).  Pucker time.  Long story short, there was no story.  With Suzanne’s expert guidance, and the dockhand’s quick hands on the lines, the Girl (17.5’ beam) was in an 18-foot-wide slip without a scratch.  I felt like I needed a drink, but didn’t stretch the five o’clock rule, as it was only 10h30.  We spent the rest of the day getting Alizann spiffed up for company.  Suzanne’s niece, Emily, will be visiting for sips before we go out for dinner tonight.  Tomorrow, 2 of my nephews, Cam and Evan, also living in Charleston, will be over before we head out to dinner with them.


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