Friday, December 11, 2009

Charleston, SC to St Augustine, FL

It was another cloudy day but this time with a brisk north wind so it was cold, even the dockhands were wearing pants, jackets and gloves. My captain and I pulled away from the Charleston City Marina fuel dock before noon on Thu, Dec 10th for what would be about a 200nm trip. As typical we would sail offshore but not too far in order to avoid the strong opposing current of the nearby Gulf Stream.

Winds of 25kts (gusting to 30) carried us on a beam reach for 200nm (from harbor entrance to harbor entrance) in 24hrs, likely a record we’ll never break for this passage. I’ll admit there were times during the dark of night that I wished we weren’t going quite so fast—it felt more like a train ride than a sail. Once the sliver of a moon appeared to cast a bit of light on things, my fear disappeared.

During the morning we were treated to an acrobatics show by possibly the largest dolphins we have ever seen. Unfortunately my best photo (shown below) doesn’t do justice to their enormous size.

A wise man once told me “centerboards were built for Florida” but until now I always thought he was joking. Even with the centerboard up our draft is 7ft, which in Florida means we are greatly restricted as to where we can safely go. This was the first time we kept an Ockam display set for depth during an entire passage.

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