We did it. We finally snuck away…
About a week and a half after going back to the marina/boat yard to get Luna Sea’s new batteries ordered and installed, we quietly untied our dock lines and sailed over to an anchorage for the night.
Wait. It wasn’t quite that easy. When we were waiting on our batteries, Mark was “working” in the boat yard. I say “working” because he was like a freakin’ kid in a candy store. He was giddy each morning as he scurried up the dock to help. And really, working on boats is fun – especially when they are not your own.
There was a lot of work to be done, post Hurricane Matthew, and we were both more than happy to help. We spent the last three years with our boat there, and the crew is more like family than friends/co-workers. The least we could do while we were there was to help put the boats on the hill (out of the water) back in after the storm (people often have their boats hauled out of the water for protection during a hurricane). And then they had to haul the boats that were damaged during the storm and get to work repairing those. Several boats also needed a tow to the boat yard – often out of the marsh or dangling from mangled private boat hoists. It got pretty ugly in our area with the hurricane, and lots of boats paid the price.
We finished the install of the batteries on Monday, and the installation of the solar charger controller on Tuesday. Wednesday I let slide – because it was nice to have time to do some last minute provisioning while he played with boats – and we wanted to make sure those new batteries were working. But Wednesday night I may have threatened Mark with a plank walk if he didn’t wrap it up already. It’s time to sail!
There were so many wonderful going away parties in the weeks that led up to our first time leaving the dock, and we were so happy to get to sneak in a little Bonus Time with some of our friends while we took care of our dead house bank. But I couldn’t take any more goodbyes, and convinced Mark to slip away silently. And so we did. We headed over to a little anchorage near Tybee Island for the night.
I have probably mentioned this before. Maybe not. But I get seasick. Yep. This girl right here – who has been prepping for this trip/lifestyle for YEARS gets seasick. I first found out on our honeymoon – so it’s not really a surprise. It usually lasts a few days, then BLAM! Good to go.
That first night just happened to be a rolly anchorage. I mean, the boat was rocking and rolling. Not quickly – like from a boat wake, but sloooowly, back and forth and up and down and side to side and ALL-of-the-directions-with-no.end.ever.
Fortunately (?) my least favorite activity is hurling. I will do any and everything NOT to puke. That night I had to get crafty. I tried sleeping in bed. I tried sleeping on the couch. Eventually, I just ended up heading into the cockpit and sleeping outside. With a little blanket tent over my face to keep the mosquitoes away. It was actually quite nice.
Well that was an unplanned tangent. Back to Sailing!
Friday we picked up the anchor and sailed on down the coast – out the Wassaw Sound and then into the Ossabaw Sound. We anchored up a creek that runs along Bradley Point – a beautiful area with a beach where locals hang out on the weekends – accessible only by boat. We stayed there for 3 nights – and even had some friends come out Sunday to visit the island with us for a few hours. They hadn’t seen it since before the hurricane. It’s changed pretty dramatically.
Monday we got up before the sun and made a break for it. We rode the outgoing tide to the ocean, turned right and headed on down the coast to St. Catherine’s Island. It took us a while to pick out an anchorage – the sand bars have shifted post-hurricane, and we had to poke around a while to find a safe spot. It was Beautiful. There was one other boat anchored somewhat nearby – and we were a bit off the ICW, so there was some traffic. But we were far enough away that the boats (mostly heading south!) weren’t a bother. There were SO MANY DOLPHINS. It was crazy. They were feeding at sunset – and you could just hear them all around. I lost count after a while.
Today, leaving from that gorgeous anchorage – again before the sun came up, we decided to try something new to us. Mark was on the bow, raising the anchor, while I was at the helm (this part is normal). We managed to leave anchor and sail out of Sapelo Sound just under the power of our sails. So magical. No engine, just sailing along watching the sunrise over the Atlantic. We even made it all the way down the coast to the St. Simon’s Island inlet – under sail power only. We cranked on the engine during the last 20 minutes, while we picked out the perfect spot to drop anchor. And here we sit. Another gorgeous spot.
We didn’t have any cell coverage until today – so no internet. I was able to get a couple of Instagram posts up when I stood on the bow and held the phone juuuust right (which cross post on Twitter and FB, thank goodness) so no one would send out a search party. But we are in the land of cell service again, and taking full advantage!
This next week, while we hang out and wait for the fast approaching magic date of November 1st, we will visit with friends, eat good food, play at beaches and explore this little island. I love that we have time to really see it and enjoy it before heading further south. (Our insurance requires us to stay north of latitude 31 until November 1st, due to the high risk of hurricanes. Don’t worry, we’ll amend the policy for next season!)
Feel free to follow along on our little adventures! The next post should be all about the lovely island of St. Simon. Then we are heading quickly down the remaining Georgia coast and the Florida coast and hopping over to the Bahamas! I cannot WAIT to get to the beautiful clear blue waters of the islands.