Monday, February 19, 2024

calling ahead to the marina

Me:     Good morning.  I’m on the creek about a mile north of you.  I would like a slip for the night.  Maybe two. I’m on a 19’ yawl.  I’ve stayed there before, I should be in your system.  

Lady at the dock house:   Very good.  Could I have your email so I can look you up in the system?

I give her my email. 

Dock house:   Is this Steve Earley?   I don’t see a 19’ boat in our system.  All I see is your 30’ boat SPARTINA.  

Me:   I’m on SPARTINA.  It is a 19’ boat. 

Dock house:  It says here that it is a 30’ boat.  

Me:  That’s because you are going to charge me for a 30’ boat.  That’s your minimum size so I pay for 30’ for a 19’ boat.  

Dock house:   ….(long pause)….Oh, I see.  Yes we have a slip for you.  

Me:   Very good, thank you.  

Friday, February 16, 2024

cheers to chance meetings and fleeting moments

About a year ago I briefly met Kelli in Isle of Hope, Georgia.  It was before dawn, I was on SPARTINA and she was on a paddle board.  Later she sent me a beautiful photograph (below) of SPARTINA sailing out of the anchorage.  How nice!  

Yesterday morning, a windless morning, I was motoring out of my anchorage on the Herb River to the Skidaway River. There on the bow of a large power boat was Kelli waving with both arms.  It was a fleeting moment, Kelli headed in one direction and me in the other.  This made me smile.  She later sent a photograph of SPARTINA under power (above).   We exchanged texts, talked about meeting in person next year.  We’ll see.  But for now, cheers to chance meetings and fleeting moments.  They are the unexpected pleasures of sailing a small boat. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

leaving Skull Creek

Cast off this morning from Skull Creek after a couple very enjoyable days visiting friend Webb Chiles.  It was 43 degrees this morning and I had six layers on to stay warm.   Webb braved the cold weather to come down to the docks, help me cast off and take a few photos.   Thanks, Webb, for the hospitality.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

not happy about what?

 I’m not happy about it, but I’m waiting out the wind on the back side of a front and will be spending another day in Hilton Head.  With the wind and tides it would be a rough, wet sail just to make a few miles. 

But let me say that again: “spending another day in Hilton Head.”   That is with Webb, a good friend, in his waterfront condo.  What, exactly, am I not happy about?  Life is good!

Back on the water tomorrow.  

Monday, February 12, 2024

the sail so far

Arrived in Hilton Head yesterday morning  after five days on the water.  Winds have been at times good, sometimes light and occasionally non-existent.  Tides have been stronger than my past experiences, something I get for sailing close to a new moon.  Enjoying Webb’s hospitality now on Skull Creek.  A great pizza dinner last night to go along with an exciting Superbowl.  Rainy today with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Webb tells me there is also a gale warning.  Should be back on the water tomorrow.  


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

hurry up and wait

Bone chilling morning rigging Spartina.  Dark cold and windy.  Why was I the only one at the ramp?

Had the boat loaded and in the water at 8:00. 

Dropping off the truck and trailer at friend Pete’s house I received a call from  state natural resources officer.  She politely but firmly suggested I get back to the ramp and get off the dock asap.  For the record, I wasn’t blocking a ramp, I had motored Spartina around to the non-ramp side.  But yeah, there is a time limit on the docks.  

Now anchored about a half mile down Wappoo Creek, waiting out the tide at Elliott Cut.  Should be sailing a little after noon.  

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

southern diners

Made it to Charleston in a little over seven hours.  Not too bad. Cold and lots of wind during the drive.  Too windy, as I expected, to rig, launch and sail.  Tomorrow should be better.  

My thanks to Barry, connoisseur of all things Southern, for his tip about the McClellanville Diner.   Perfectly fried shrimp on the Po’ Boy.  And friendly service too!  Great way to start the trip. 


Friday, February 2, 2024

Monday and Tuesday

Above is the forecast for Monday near Charleston showing a storm passing through.  Below is the forecast for Tuesday with the rain having moved offshore but there will still be plenty of wind, gusts in the mid-30 mph range.  Will have to see if that wind forecast holds for the next couple of days.

So maybe drive down Monday, launch Tuesday.   Or worst cast, drive Tuesday, launch Wednesday.  We'll see.  I pause at the phrase worst case.  I'm mean I'm going sailing for a few weeks.  I'm not sure there is a "worst case" there.  

Thursday, February 1, 2024

waiting out the weather, tracking map

 I'll make the final decision Saturday morning but as of now it looks like I won't drive to Charleston until Monday, launch and start the trip on Tuesday.  As of now forecasts show thunderstorms rolling through Charleston Sunday night followed by gusts in the 40+  mph range on Monday.  Tuesday appears to be a much better day to begin the trip.

Here is the link for the tracking map.  Or you can copy and paste the URL below.  It won't show any positions until I launch.