Charleston, SC

Tuesday, October 15, Day 98

We raised anchor at 732am and shortly after had a Beneteau 423 SV Fleet Wing pass us just before we enter Winyah (win ee ah) Bay surfing down the waves. About 845am we entered the more sheltered waters of the ICW for Phil to add 10 gals of diesel to the tank. Once Phil took the helm, I made pancakes. We are in our 2nd of 4 quarts of the maple syrup we got from George’s family in Ohio and wished that we had taken double what we did. Hint hint :). Only kidding. The current has changed for and against us depending where we are in relation where we between the rivers and creeks that empty into the ocean. As we cross one, we may get a boost — until we are far enough past it to then get the negative current until we get close to the next creek so we can get another boost. Our speed was between 8kts or 4.5kts and usually not too much in the middle.

When we did the timing of leaving, we neglected to take full account of going through the Ben Sawyer Bridge which is closed 4-6pm for rush hour traffic. We saw it in the distance and hoped that we were close enough to SV Serena to go through with her, but it was not to be so we anchored in Conch Creek at 415pm about 3/4 mi from the bridge to wait the 2 hours until the bridge would open. We checked out when was sunset; could we make it to the Charleston Maritime Center to dock for the night? We decide that we probably had enough daylight with sunset at 645pm to make it so we had leftovers for supper (chicken & rice for me and brats, cabbage and potatoes for Phil) then raised anchor at 549pm to go through the 6pm opening. The bridge operator thought that us waiting 2 hours wasn’t enough and made us wait more not passing through the bridge until 609pm. Remember we are concerned about having enough light to get where we want to go and have found that 5-10 min makes a difference when cutting it on the closer side.

We came into the harbor at 620pm, passed the ship BBC Nile at 627pm and dock about 655pm at the end of the sunset. For my Northern Friends, the further south you are the faster the night comes, not like back home. Who do we see but SV Flightwing a few docks down the way. We talked to Ann and her husband and find they will be here 3 days and go to Key West for the winter. Even though the Dockmaster has gone home, we were given the bathroom code and the all important WiFi code to use and we’ll check in tomorrow morning.

Sunset coming into Charleston Harbor

Sunset coming into Charleston Harbor

Charlestown Maritime Center with the Tall ships at dock

Charlestown Maritime Center with the Tall ships at dock

I took advantage of the excellent WiFi and watched The Voice episodes and Phil did his thing on his side of the boat, which is watch SV Seeker videos.

Wednesday October 16, Day 99

We each have an agenda for how we will spend our 1 day in Charleston. I will work on laundry at the free, our favorite 4-letter word, laundry at the Marina and walk to the Apple Store to get my iPad serviced and hopefully replaced. The home button has not been working on an intermittent basis and getting worse that past 2 weeks. Phil is going to take advantage of the fresh water available at the dock, the real reason we docked here at $1.50/ft, to clean the salt off Changes. The sign for the laundry states that it opens at 815am, which I find is wrong because when I go up at 810am someone has a load of laundry in one of the 2 washing machines. darn! I have a 930am appt at the genius bar so Phil will have to help put clothes in the dryer.

Checking the route to the Apple store on King St. <1 mile away, I start walking enjoying looking at the homes and the plantings along the way. Once there after a short wait, I find that they don't have me listed as having the extended 2-year warranty I paid for. After a call to Phil to see if we brought the receipt with us, YES we did, I schedule an appt to return at 11am with receipt in hand. I get back to the boat with enough time to take a shower as the clothes were just put in the dryer late enough they aren't ready to be folded. Phil continues to clean the boat done with the deck and now standing in the dinghy to wash the topsides and the SS Stanchions. It sure is nice to have a warm shower with room to shave which is pretty impossible in our head. Sorry if TMI but it's life on a boat.

I returned to the Apple Store just on time and find after they try for over 30min to get their insurance underwriter to cover my iPad, that my insurance is only with MicroCenter in Mayfield, OH where I bought it and there is no store anywhere close to where I am to service this warranty. I have to call them and find out they have to ship me a box with paid shipping to mail to them so they can evaluate my iPad and then MAYBE send me a new one. Apple said it's a hardware problem, not a software problem and can be only fixed by being replaced. I asked them to send the prepaid return box to Rick Butler in Lady's Island, SC and hope they get it there before we have to leave.
LESSON LEARNED, only buy your extended warranty from Apple or you will have hassles. Too bad my 1 year warranty expired on 9/2/13.

Back to the boat, we get ready to leave having been given extra time at the dock since the boats that have a reservation are arriving at 4pm. They are really NICE here and we appreciated the extra time at the dock. 2pm we go over to the gas dock, fill up with diesel and get a pumpout to cast off at 223pm to go around the south eastern end of the Charleston peninsula. We have too many miles to catch the 3pm Wappoo Creek Bridge so roll out the head sail at 246 pm to sail over. The current is strong, so even with our best efforts to go slow(head sail rolled in and engine off) we have to turn on the engine to counter the current while we wait for the 330pm bridge. We enter Elliott Cut at about the right time, that being half way on the rising tide to catch the positive current NOT too fast. Phil saw a max GPS speed of 8.9kts to our 6.34 kts boat speed. Here are photos looking behind and then forward as we near the end of the cut.

Elliott Cut looking behind boat

Elliott Cut looking behind boat

Looking at the West end of Elliott Cut

Looking at the West end of Elliott Cut

We had decided once through the cut to continue on to Church Creek with a backup anchorage a few miles earlier if we needed it, which we didn't but I felt more comfortable having the backup as I wasn’t sure we’d get there before dark. Continuing the favorable current we started with, we entered Church Creek with a trawler on a mooring ball and a Gemini Cat at anchor. Even though we had anchor more than 200' away from the cat, they expressed concern that we were too close when it came for the tide to change as they swing on anchor differently. We didn't move but reassured that we would keep a close eye on the situation at slack tide and move if needed. It wasn't needed as we expected but understand their concerns. We do try to be good "neighbors" and understand not everyone has the same comfort level on the distances between boats.

Tomorrow we continue on to reach Lady's Island (Beaufort), SC and Rick Butler's dock. We really enjoy visiting him and Carol and will probably be rafting off SV PattyD.

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