Monday, December 21, 2009

Beaufort, South Carolina to Brunswick, Georgia

As I write this I am comfortably ensconced in Brunswick Landing Marina, Brunswick Georgia. It's a beautiful, well run marina and my new 424 buddy, Lee Yonkers is berthed just across the finger from me! But getting here was not so easy, my friends.

It's a tale of heavy winds, driving rain, freezing temperatures and long, lonely watches.

When I left Beaufort, SC it was drizzling, overcast and generally depressing weather. But I had the current with me! The day had been forecast to have heavy rain, gale or near gale force winds and to continue for two days with awful weather to be outside in. You lot in the mid-Atlantic states and New England have some idea. It was the day Washington, DC got two feet of snow. Incidentally, I would have paid to see that. But I digress.

Anyway, it was just wet for most of the trip until I crossed the Savannah River. Then all hell broke loose! The wind was steady 28-30 knots with gusts to 35 or so. Of course, right on the nose... As I passed Thunderbolt the seas (and given this is a narrow stream) were three feet with the tops of the waves being blown off. The only good thing was that for some reason the wind was 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the rest of the day! Man, I forgot what 30 mile per hour rain feels like - it hurts!

A half hour after it started it was over and I pulled into the Isle of Hope marina for the night. Naturally, as I tied up to the dock, the wind died, the sun came out, and the temperature remained fairly warm. That night it was cold. I'm glad I had a heater aboard! The marina is very nice - new concrete floating docks and all.

The next day dawned cold (ice on the docks) but clear and I was off at 0710. I was pushing to get to Brunswick GA so I wanted as much daylight as possible. So after a day of mostly going into the wind against the current I arrived at the Darien River where there's a small but fairly well protected anchorage.

There was another boat already anchored when I arrived. There was also a fairly strong current. I managed to alternately amuse and worry him as he watched me drop the anchor, drift too close, pull the anchor up, move a little farther away and try again. This happened twice before I finally figured out how to manage the current and wind to drop the anchor just where I wanted it.

Sunset was spectacular! The night was cold but bearable and like being on land it was so calm. I was only about 20 miles from Brunswick so I lounged about until 0800 and puttered on off to Brunswick Landing Marina. The wind was much lighter than the day before but it wasn't until noon or so when I got to the marina when it started to warm up.

With much help I tied up across the finger from a 424 organization member, Lee.

So here I am at Brunswick Landing Marina in Georgia. I'll be here for a couple of weeks during Christmas week and New Years week before I travel on.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

See you on the water!

No comments: