July 14, 2013 by Last Star blog
Chantal to Charleston
Well, you know the saying, the best laid plans…well, we had planned on moving up to Isle of Hope from St. Simons and spending a few days in Savannah then heading to Charleston. That should have taken about 5 days. We were checking the weather, as cruisers do (like a crack addict) and Hank sees that Chantal is a tropical storm and the most likely path puts it hitting Brunswick, Georgia just 4 days from now. OH, LOVELY, I ADORE HURRICANES ON THE BOAT! All plans are now to run, run, runaway (yes, we heard that one too in the bar the other day) to Charleston and skip Savannah. Now this puts everyone’s plans in a tizzy as we were are moving up our Charleston plan by a week and Cole is trying to head our way from the DC area! Instead of a leisurely sail we spend the next three days with each day being 12 hour marathons.
It was a lot of ICW.
It was a lot of rain.
What we did see and I wasn’t fast enough with the camera were: dozens of dolphin families, bunches of hot pink flamingoes, shrimpers, and 3 alligators (ee gad). There were also a gazillion no-see-ums and a fair amount of dragon flies.
Could have used an army of dragon flies, seriously, I was hiding under the covers one morning trying to find a bite-free zone. At one point in the night one was in my ear and I had visions of the Twilight Zone episode with ear wig, needless to say it took me a while to fall back asleep. For some reason, mosquitoes don’t bite me but they love Hank and no-see-ums love me…but not my husband. Hmmn? What does that say about our natures???
There is a real beauty to the ICW, when it is not raining it is a winding meandering river through lush green marshlands teeming with wildlife. The graceful egrets hunting along the water, cranes stalking the flats at low tide, pelicans making their bombing runs, and of course the dolphins. I tried to capture some of the beauty , the photos never do it justice.
Some of the downsides of this kind of sailing(cruising) is navigating through very narrow and shallow passages. One was called Hell’s Gate. We had seen someone run aground there on our way south, we called SeaTow and asked for some local knowledge. The called gave Hank the skinny on just how to maneuver our way through…we made it. However, here we had no intel, and we did run aground. Luckily, a motor boat guy came hauling ass my us and gave a snarky wave and smirk. We both and looked at each other and knew he was our chance off the mud! As his wake hit us, Hank yanking hard to starboard and with the extra foot of water from snarky boy we were afloat and back in the game! Yeah, no waiting for the tides. Gotta love the karma.
We are finally here in Charleston, arriving in a downpour and Hank with a terrible cold (day 1). This is the first time either of us have been sick since we started this adventure last September. Amazing really. I am hoping to head to the grocery store, as soon it stops pouring. Chantal decided to peter out and just be a rain event. I am sorry we humped so hard to get here but am happy to have a/c and be well protected from the rain. I have no idea how much blogging we will do here, as we are here for two weeks. How much Charleston can I tell you about? Hopefully I will manage to keep my footing on my way over the tracks to the Publix. Wish me luck.