Monday, March 13, 2023

day one - under cover of darkness

Up at 4:00 a.m., at Wappoo Cut boat ramp and 5:00 a.m.  SPARTINA rigged and loaded by 6:00, I wait for more light to back her down into the water.  Once in the water I moved the boat around to the outer side of the floating dock so that I don't block the ramp.  I drive to friend Pete's house, getting there a little earlier than expected.  He had kindly offered to store my truck and trailer during the trip.  I had planned to catch a LYFT back to the ramp but Pete offers to take me.  How nice!  At the ramp Pete comes down to SPARTINA for a photo and then wishes me well.

Cast off 8:15 against the last of the ebb tide.  Cool, clear and not much wind.  8:35 raise the mizzen at Elliott Cut, I notice the current is still running but it will be a flood tide soon.  8:45 through the cut and on the Stono River, full sails but only making a knot in light winds.  9:15 a little more wind.  Off the starboard bow dolphins feed on a school of fish while seagulls hover above.  

Soon more wind, 2.9 kts and then 4.2 as the winds fill in.  At green marker "21A" gps shows 4.4 to 4.8.  It is not just the wind that is moving us.  I can see the flood tide rushing around the marker and pushing west on the Stono River.  10:05 jibe to starboard, the cool breeze is on our stern.  Making 3.8 as the river curves to the WSW.

10:35 past green marker "37" and we jibe to port near Rantowles Creek.  Rough water where the creek enters the Stono River, two tides battling it out.  

11:10 gusts on the stern and making over 5kt.  Guy on a dock yells "Slow down, this is a no wake zone," then smiles and waves.  Soon 5.4 with more gusts.

Noon we pass green marker "59" and I can see we crossed the head of the tide, the current is now against us.  

12:50 get stalled in a narrow stretch at the north end of Wadmalaw Sound.  The wide sound hits a bottle neck with a strong current, even with sails full and pulling we hold still for a few minutes in the flood tide.  1:35 making 2.4 on the sound.  

2:20 the wind swings around, now forward of beam and making 3.7 kts.  3:00 sailing close hauled and the tide is with us once again.  

3:35 turn into Toogoodoo marsh, we follow the curve of the creek as it heads north then turns west.  Wind is against the tide and very choppy.  Anchor down 4:15.  Evening the wind drops and the water calms.  I leave the rudder and cb partially lower, bring down the mizzen sail.  SPARTINA rides quietly on the running tide.  

 22.72 NM for the day

Spaghetti and a cup of mango for dinner

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