It was a great trip, a great adventure. No, I did not reach the intended destination. What I regret more than anything is missing out on some wonderful sailing weather. Had the mizzen not broken I would have crossed Sapelo Sound, Doboy Sound, Atlahama Sound and Buttermilk Sound in one day. I would have been near Brunswick, the two-thirds mark on the trip by that evening or early the next day. It was just not meant to be.
Currents, yes there were some strong currents. Elliot Cut, which I had been warned about, was impassable for me with the full opposing tide. The Ashpoo River Cutoff, a series of four connecting waterways, also had some strong currents where the water "boiled" at the intersections. But other than those two places I really had no problems. Yes, currents, but as long as I had decent wind, they were not an issue at all. I sailed with them, against them and across them and it was fine. In fact it was kind of fun.
The temperatures were comfortable. On cool and/or wet days I wore my drysuit with layers underneath, sometimes including a wool sweater and wool socks, to compensate for the temperatures, I believe I could have handled anything down to 40 degrees during the day with clothing and gear I had on board. Typically the temperatures during the day were between 50 and 70, very comfortable.
Bugs? Not an issue. A few gnats showed up at sunset one evening, then disappeared. A few mosquitos one evening, not enough to be a problem.
I did not see an alligator or a manatee (probably too cool for manatees at that time of year). Lots of birds and flocks of ducks.
The winding rivers were spectacular. With wind on the stern it was like a slalom ride down the creeks as they curved to port and starboard.
The wood for the new mast should show up Tuesday. I hope to cut the strakes with their "V" shaped groove and lay up the mast Wednesday, plane and shape it on Friday. Finish coat it with clear epoxy and Bristol varnish after that, then put the hardware in place.
Weather of course varies but I am convinced that March is the perfect time to make the sail from Charleston South to the Florida line. Guess where I hope to be next March.