A good motor-sail to Charleston

Define “good”. For me, the fact that the word motor-sail follows the word good, tells it all. Any offshore hop, especially an overnight, with winds too low to sail, but enough to motor-sail, lands on my top five list. Russ would have preferred to sail, but the forecast of SE 10-15 faithfully predicted for days, crapped out to SE 5-10 forcing (aw darn) us to motor-sail the entire 163nm. We did this motor-sail using one engine plus saving 50nm versus traveling inside on the ICW. Both got enough sleep to last us through the day once we arrived at the Charleston Maritime Center 10:30 on Wed.

An even better “good”, was an event we didn’t expect to witness. No sorry, not a whale sighting, although the Coast Guard announces the “right whale” warning with an aggravating frequency, but a whale of a submarine!  The one we’d heard of on Monday, apparently had gone out and now was returning as we motored out Cumberland Sound/St Mary’s channel into the Atlantic. What a splendid and unique sight. Vessels are required to keep 500 yds away so we made sure to be outside the channel.

Submarine with escort vessels

Submarine with escort vessels

A few minuts later, the papermill smoke from Fernandina visible.

A few minutes later, the papermill smoke from Fernandina visible.

During the night we passed by Tybee Roads, the entrance into the Savannah River. I slept through the fun Russ had altering course a few times for the cargo ships coming and going. AIS is the best thing since sails, for a boat. When that green triangle pops up, sometimes as far as 10 miles away, you can keep your eye on the ship. Touching the symbol brings up information about the vessel, such as name, speed, heading, time to nearest approach and destination.  If you really want to keep track of it because your paths might cross, you can select “activate” which enlarges the triangle and displays speed and name. After that nonsense, I took the helm while Russ caught some zzzzzs.

Ah, feel the breeze in my face.

Ah, feel the breeze in my face.

We look at one another

We look at one another

Every time we make an overnight jump offshore, a feathered visitor stops by. The photo on the right was taken through the Strataglass, so kinda hazy.

We also spied a snoozing sea turtle who quickly awoke and dove below the surface. Dolphins of course and Northern Gannets.

Morning dawned peaceful with a lovely sunrise and about the calmest waters I’ve seen offshore. Entering Charleston harbor was easy, with only a couple of cargo ships to admire.

Sunrise at 7am, about two hours south of Charleston

Sunrise at 7am, about two hours south of Charleston

Mr Very Long steams past us up into the harbor

Mr Very Long steams past us up into the harbor

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3 thoughts on “A good motor-sail to Charleston

  1. If only the fishing vessels would all have AIS. Saw one today with it; maybe others will join in. The run from Norfolk to NJ would only be half as bad if those guys had AIS too.

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    • It’s my understanding that all commercial vessels have to have it but they don’t actually have to turn it on! Doesn’t make sense to me. Perhaps with the fishing vessels at least it has something to do with protecting ‘their’ fishing grounds and not wanting competing vessels to know where they make their catch.

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