I was awakened at about 5 this morning by the boat rocking and rolling in the wind at anchor. The anchor did indeed hold through it all. It was raining and a couple of severe storms were headed my way. As luck would have it the cold front was fast-moving and took the severe storms off the coast while they were still south of me. As a result of the weather, my plans to get away at 7 am were dashed, so I had a leisurely morning before hoisting the anchor at around 8:30.
The delay left me pushing hard to get through the shallow areas while the tide was high enough to avoid dragging my bottom. I finally got through the last tough spot at 12:30, just in the nick of time. I saw a couple of areas with depths of under eight feet. My draft is six feet so I had little room to spare.
One of the results of this race to avoid low tide this morning was my arrival in Beaufort at precisely dead low tide this afternoon around 3 pm. I had planned on spending the night at Lady's Island Marina but the charted 9-foot channel to its dock proved to be only about five feet deep today. This was likely caused by both the low tide and the very strong winds driving water out of the area. I made three probing passes at the entrance but ran into mud each time. So I am instead at the Beaufort Town Docks, right downtown.
The ride was comfortable on my 50-ton ship, but there were winds gusting to 35 knots all day. In the open areas of the large rivers the chop kicked up a lot of spray. I ran the windshield wipers nearly all day, and the boat will need a bath as soon as weather permits. The low tonight in Beaufort is expected to be 36°. Right now the wind is at about 15 knots, so the wind chill is, well, chilling.
Having dined last night on sardines and crackers at anchor in the rain, I was looking forward to the onsite restaurant at Lady's Island Marina. Unfortunately everything I would like in Beaufort proper is closed on Monday night. I do have the makings of a cheese omelet on board, which will have to do tonight.
I will shove off early tomorrow and expect to be in Thunderbolt by tomorrow afternoon. There are a few loose ends that my electronics guy, Mike King of Coastal Marine Electronics, needs to deal with before I bring the boat back home to Ford probably next weekend.