The storm thankfully missed us last night. Although we did experience some high wind gusts and heavy rain from an outer band it was by no means serious and we stayed safe and dry. We departed Harbour Village Marina this morning at 6:31am and pointed south. Today was just a picture perfect day of cruising the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
The only obstactle for today’s route was Cape Fear in North Carolina. It’s a large body of water and even though the waterway is technically protected, we had high sustained winds and wanted to hit it with the current. Although that was probably our best option to go through with the current behind us, the wind was coming towards us and with the wind and current opposite, a nasty chop was produced. Despite the chop, we only had 10 nautical miles before we ducked into truly protected water for the rest of the day so it was manageable.
Past Cape Fear, traveling was just beautiful. The sun was shining and we were surrounded by sandy beaches and beautiful scenery.
We saw a few boats parked up at a beach and we were making great time for the day so we said screw it and beached the boat on a side beach next to the channel. We then took a quick walk on the beach and snapped some photos.
Along with our scenic cruising we covered some serious ground. Through 11.5 hours of motoring we covered 120 nautical miles.
We held 16-18 knots most of the way today since we were in smooth and protected water. With the exception of the occasional no wake zone, we were moving south fast.
Despite our success today we had a major fail. We were slowed down by a large choppy river when the wind picked up and that saw our speed drop from 16-18knts to 7knts. From this slow down we just missed the operating hours of all the nearby fuel docks. We made it to the marina just fine with about 2 gallons left but the fuel docks open up at 8am tomorrow and we’d like to leave by at least 6am. So, we did what we had to do once we got to the marina:
Thankfully, there was a cart at the marina to push the gas cans in but we walked over a mile round trip to the nearest gas station and filled up three of our four portable tanks with 15 gallons of gas. We also were able to buy some ice for the cooler which we needed regardless which was convenient. It wasn’t too heavy with the cart and actually ended up being a nice walk. But, it was definitely a boaters walk of shame resulting from our timing/planning failure…whoops.
Before we had to walk to get gas, we got some dinner at a place just 200 feet from the dock and it was definitely nice to avoid another freeze dried meal.
The weather isn’t looking too good for tomorrow or the rest of this week all along the east coast but we predict about four to five days of travel until Jacksonville and we can handle a few days of rain if it means Florida.
It feels surreal we’ve made it this far to South Carolina and the fact that Florida is within a few days reach seems too good to be true. The idea was always abstract: New York to Florida in a wooden boat we were gonna build over the summer. Although we hit all kinds of major, major setbacks, I can’t believe its all come to fruition and that crazy idea is really happening.
Well we’ll push on deeper into South Carolina tomorrow as we eye Georgia and then Florida. Hopefully the rain isn’t too bad and we can stay relatively dry.