Week 27: Two Offshore Hops to North Carolina

We left St. Augustine on May 9th under gathering clouds, thrilled to be underway again. Offshore conditions were ominous, so we motored up the ICW toward Amelia Island. 

Bascule bridge opening
Awaiting our turn to leave St. Augustine via the Bridge of Lions.

The sky cleared as we moved along, and we enjoyed abundant dolphin sightings. There were plenty of boats on the water, especially near a few waterside restaurants along the way.

Boats double and triple rafted
Boats were double and triple rafted by this Florida restaurant.
R/V Atlantic Explorer
The 170-foot R/V Atlantic Explorer docked in Jacksonville, FL, was impressive to behold.

After a night at anchor in Nassau Sound, we were on our way early Sunday toward St. Simons, to hop offshore for a 24-hour trip to Charleston.

The entrance to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Ships at the entrance to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in St. Marys, GA.

The first part of the offshore to Charleston was a rather slow slog, but the wind filled in nicely around 8 a.m. on Monday, delivering a nice beam reach run under sunny skies into Charleston, early enough to turn north on the ICW and make it through the Ben Sawyer Bridge before its 4-6 pm rush hour closure.

We anchored in Dewees Creek, greeted by a dolphin as we’ve been at each anchorage this week! The joy they provide is always so energizing and special.

Dolphin swimming in ICW
A dolphin feeding next to Vinyasa as we motored the ICW toward Georgetown, SC.
Allan at the helm
Allan at the helm along a marshy South Carolina stretch of the ICW.

On Tuesday we traveled a few hours further north and pulled into Awendaw Creek, a particularly scenic fair-weather anchorage with no signs of civilization in sight other than the occasional mast traveling down the ICW. 

Sunrise on Awendah Creek
Sunrise on Awendah Creek.

After dinner at anchor on Wednesday, Allan noticed a red Coast Guard helicopter kept circling our boat near Georgetown, SC.

Moments later, the VHF crackled with word about a Coast Guard rescue of an injured crew member aboard a working vessel. We monitored the radio as a USCG boat pulled up besides the commercial boat, quickly transported the injured man aboard their vessel and then assisted as he was hoisted into the Coast Guard helicopter.  The Coast Guard’s seamless coordination was comforting to witness over the radio waves.

Thursday, eager to get back out to sea, we set out via Winyah Bay toward Beaufort, NC. Daytime conditions were lovely, with leaping dolphins as a bonus. That helped balance out an extremely rolly overnight. The wind was light and swirly, and each time Vinyasa dipped into a trough between swells, she wallowed. The only bright side? A breathtakingly luminous crescent moon rise shrouded by light clouds at 2:45 am.

I’m uploading this post from an anchorage in Adams Creek, near Oriental, NC. The forecast calls for a week of stormy weather, so we’ll be tucking in tomorrow at a marina in New Bern. May you be safe from storms of all kind this week as well!

3 thoughts on “Week 27: Two Offshore Hops to North Carolina”

  1. I have really enjoyed your narrative and photos of your amazing adventure! Your writing is beautiful! Be safe on these last days, there may be a little weather this weekend! God bless you!

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