Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Playing the waiting game

The mud flats east of Charleston
One of the things they never tell you in Cruiser 101 is how much time you'll spend sitting around waiting. If you have a sailboat with a five foot or better draft like we do, especially one that doesn't maneuver in broadside winds or currents like Kintala you'll have to plan around those winds, tides, and currents to move pretty much anywhere. We're sitting in Cooper River Marina in Charleston and our next jump is going to be in the ICW due to approaching weather. The next portion of the ICW happens to be the Mud Flats, a notorious portion that lays 3 feet deep at low tide for several miles. This means that we have to be at the entrance to it at mid tide to high, when the depth is up 3 feet and will leave us with just one foot under the keel. By the time we finish the transit of it the tide will be mid tide to low, the same three feet up from low, and we hopefully will not go aground. In 2013 when we transited this portion we did the same thing and still managed to plow  rift in the mud for over a quarter mile. So we sit, catch up on blog posts, do weather planning, top off the water tanks, carry out the trash, and wait.

We had a good time here. The marina is way out in the middle of nowhere and would not be a very good place to provision if you didn't have a car, but the scenery is pretty and the on-off access to the transient docks is excellent. It's also a great place to exercise these boat-stagnant legs since there's an elevated walkway from the transient docks to the parking lot that spans nearly a half mile. Last night we walked out to meet a long time blog follower, Scott, who lives here in Charleston and whom we had missed in 2013 when we originally left due to scheduling conflicts. We shared an excellent meal at a local Mexican restaurant and got to know Scott and hear his plans to move his boat to New York to be closer to his sons. It's one of the weird things about this lifestyle documented by the blog. There are people who know so much about us of whom we know so little, but it presents such a tremendous opportunity to meet new friends. We look forward to hearing updates on Scott's voyage soon.

Our waiting is starting to bring on some pressure of a deadline, something that we hate and try to avoid at all costs. Deadlines are dangerous to boaters of all kinds and, while we thought we allowed sufficient time to get to Annapolis before our May 16th flight out, the weather may have some other ideas. It certainly seems it will drive us onto the ICW, something else we're not keen on. So for now, we sit and wait.

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