Hinckley Yacht Services -- Thunderbolt, GA
I was delayed leaving Beaufort yesterday by strong current and 30-knot winds at 7 am. No one was stirring until the marina opened at 8:30. Single-handed and parked with boats close to me forward and aft, I could not easily get away without someone handling the lines for me on the dock.
While winds were strong and cold heading down the Beaufort River, I was snug in my pilothouse with no problems at all. Planning to be in the ICW all day, I did not think to batten down as I would going to sea. So I was somewhat shocked at the severity of the wind and seas when I entered Port Royal Sound. The seas were only about three feet, but with a short period and mostly right on my nose. I heard cabinets and drawers flapping around and the sounds of everything falling off the counters in the galley and saloon, but there was little I could do single-handed, especially since my autopilot has not been functioning well.
Nothing was harmed, but it was a long bashing ride across the sound until I reached the calm behind Hilton Head. From the south end of Hilton Head I normally go out a ways into the ocean and then turn into the Savannah River ship channel to come in and rejoin the ICW. Given the wind and seas, I opted to stay in the waterway route that goes behind Daufuskee Island and through Walls Cut and Fields Cut. Following Bob423's tracks (discussed in my 11/29/20 entry), I had no trouble, but it was nearing low tide and I found a couple of areas with just seven feet of depth. It was a little close with my six-foot draft boat, but I never touched bottom.
I arrived in Thunderbolt at 2:45 pm, where the boat will stay for a few days for finishing up some of the recent electronics work and fixing a few other squawks. There's always something.
It's good to be home with my bride and dogs. I should get the boat back up to The Ford Plantation sometime next week. Thanks for following along.