Thursday, March 7, 2024

day four - with and against the tides

We start the day going nowhere fast.  There's a very strong flood tide running.  Will wait until the slack tide gets closer at 9:00.

I walk a few blocks to a bagel shop.  It is so tucked away in a corner building I miss on the first time around, find on the second pass up the street.

I order a blueberry muffin, asking that it be warmed up.  I expect them to microwave it but instead they slice it in two, put some butter on it and sear it on a griddle.  An excellent way to start the day as I enjoy the muffin down by the waterfront.  

Cast off at 9:10, sails up at 9:20 under blue skies. Masses of floating spartina drift out on the river.  I make the mistake of following the path of a local power boat.  They cut to the east of the marked channel.  Heading that way I glance out Navionics to see that I am sailing over a marsh that is hidden by the high tide.  I turn back west to the marked channel.  9:50 heading downriver at 2.6.  A light overcast comes in and it feels a little chilly, I slip on my foul weather bibs.  Wind comes and goes, the ebb tide is helping us as we work our way south on the Beaufort River.  11:00 off Port Royal.  11:15 hints of warm breeze.  Doing 2.5 thanks to the tide.  Suddenly the southwest wind fills in, making 5.0 knots.  I feel the centerboard touch bottom, check the gps and it shows I should have 17 feet of water.  Some shoaling maybe?  

Soon lighter wind and I wonder how I will sail against the ebb tide once I round Parris Island Spit.  To find out I round up and attempt to sail against the tide, barely making a knot.  Better wait on the tide a bit.  Navionics shows an anchorage behind a marked shoal just northeast of Parris Island Spit.  I sail over there and drop the anchor in about 10 feet of water, the shoal blocking the tide so much that SPARTINA sits right over the anchor.  That's fine.  Lunch and a short nap waiting out the tide.

1:30 full sail, making 4.4 with wind and the ebb tide.  Making 4.8 rounding the spit with choppy water as the tides from both side of the spit collide.  I use the crab pot floats as my depth finders, staying just outside the line of markers.  2:00 the centerboard touches bottom, I raise both the cb and the rudder blade to skip across the shallows.  The cb touches again just before we slide off into the deeper water on Port Royal Sound.  

The ebb tide is still running, making 1.8 against the current.  2:15 making just 1.2, SPARTINA in pointed to the northwest but the gps track shows us sliding southwest across the sound towards Hilton Head.  That's fine, the tide will eventually turn.  

It is just a beautiful afternoon, I've got hours of daylight left to sail and I'm escorted by a school of dolphins.

Entering the Chechessee River at 3:45, the tide has change and is now in my favor.  I head for a creek north of Mackay Creek.  Navionics shows depths of four to eight feet at the entrance to the creek, gps show two to three feet.  I soon find out that gps depths are accurate.  Sailing back out of the shallows I turn toward the entrance marker for Mackay Creek.  It is a beautiful winding creek with plenty of depth and plenty of room to anchor outside of the marked channel.  Anchor down at 5:20.

19.48 NM


No comments: