Stono River, anchored north of Red "80"

11/24, 1055.8, 68/45, SW15-20>NW15-20>10, rain then fog, then partly cloudy -

 Preparing to cast off before dawn in pouring rain, wind, and fog.

Preparing to cast off before dawn in pouring rain, wind, and fog.

Dobbs earned hero points again this morning for motoring us through full-moon- and storm-swollen waters. The banks of the ICW were completely submerged in many places and the dead marsh grass and drift wood floated in clumps. The breeze was up, out of the SW this morning - quite miserable conditions. I worked on our travelogue down below, preferring not to witness the ocean washing over the marsh and all the debris.

When I took over at 10:30am, we had land to both sides of us and a distinct canal. Then fog settled in, though it never got bad. I could always see at least a half-mile ahead. The cross-currents were ferocious, requiring careful attention. We made the 1pm opening of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. The fog cleared into a bright blue sky and sunshine.

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We were all ready to sail across Charleston harbor, and we did try, but the first tack beating on a full moon ebb flowing out the inlet was enough to convince us it wasn’t practical. We would have been lucky to hold our position. We took in sails and went back to motoring. At first, our forward progress was 2.5 knots. By edging toward the shoals north of the ship channel, we gained a knot back.

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  Castle Pinckney  with the Cooper River Bridge in the background.

Castle Pinckney with the Cooper River Bridge in the background.

As we steamed up the Ashley River, the wind was really whipping right down the river. We turned into Wappoo Creek and cleared the bridge at 3:15pm. Elliott Cut was at full tilt - 4 knots pushing back at us, swirling and peaking like whitewater. I couldn’t watch it all, so I monitored our speed and progress from below. Initially we were making 1.5 knots.

As the cut got a little wider near the western end, we picked up speed in tenth-knot increments. The whole thing is only a half-mile long, thank goodness. We continued under motor on the Stono River until we spotted a very nice sand bank to the north of red “80”, and that’s where we’re anchored, outside the channel to the north. “Child of the Wind” is 3/4 mile back, anchored to the south of the channel - there’s another nice sandy beach across from there.

We launched the dinghy, shared a snack, and then I rowed Murphy to shore. The beach is sand with only some small oyster shell clusters, and then there’s actual high ground with hard-packed sand and shrubs and trees. I saw two campfire circles. It’s a pretty spot. I rowed back to Grace and shortly after started on dinner - I was hungry. I made bean soup with tomatoes and okra.

 I started soaking the beans before sunrise this morning.

I started soaking the beans before sunrise this morning.

The bilge pump came on twice this evening. Dobbs checked the stuffing box and it was dripping fast, so I dug out the tools and he tightened it down. All is well. Grace is sitting quietly and the wind is light. I think I’ll sleep well tonight.