The sounds of the night...the chirps, whistles and rattles of birds in the marsh, the delicate splash of small fish falling back into the water, dolphins surfacing for air, the rush of the tide against the hull.
Sail off anchor 6:35, wind and running tide in my favor. Chilly, I layer on a long-sleeve tee shirt. A short distance down Rock Creek I turn to starboard for the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut. There is a tide line as we make the turn, the helping tide is now against us. With light wind on the stern and the tide on the bow we hold steady in the cut. I start the outboard and move at idle speed to the Coosaw River.
7:30 slip on a sweater against the cold. Steak and eggs for breakfast, buffalo bar and chocolate sea salt Rx bar. Full sail on the Coosaw River and we make 2.5 against the tide. Peaceful morning. A lone dolphin swims by, crabbers working the pots to the NW. 8:00 the sun reaches over a cloud bank, feels good. More wind, making 3.0. Then less wind, 1.8. It doesn't matter on a pleasant morning.
The centerboard touches a shoal, I've slipped out of the channel, turn to port for deeper water. 9:35 entrance to Brickyard Creek in sight. Just after 11:00 pass Brickyard Point, crossing a tide line the current is in our favor. The tiller shakes as swirling waters grab at the rudder. 11:25 more wind, 3.0.
The creek turns to the east, wind on the nose and the tide is now against us. Main and jib down, under power.
The creek bends to the south. Once again I feel the shoal touching the cb, out of the channel. Back in deeper water we pass beneath the Lady's Island swing bridge.
Docked Beaufort waterfront 1:00, $56 for the slip overnight. A man on a sailboat tied up nearby asks if I am on a cruise. "Charleston to Jacksonville" I say. "That's a cruise."
An afternoon of exploring town, lunch at Luther's Rare and Well Done. A visit to the book shop where I am not surprised to find an entire section of Pat Conroy books. Laundry, resupply of water.
Back to Luther's Rare and Well done for a salad for dinner and a glass of wine (ok, ok, two glasses of wine) on the patio while I caught up on the log.