Grand East Coast Tour – Final installment

Day 6

We gave ourselves an easy day on day 6.  We reckoned we’d deserved it after the particularly long previous day – another 12 hour day if my calculations are correct.

For day 6 our target was to be Charleston.  This was a short hop of 120 miles, which should take just under 6 hours.  The sun was peeping over the horizon, the sea was flat and we motored on, singing away to the iPod for all we were worth.

I particularly wanted to stop at Charleston as I had been once before and was really quite impressed with the place.  The French influence on the architecture is plain to see and refreshingly different too.  The food is equally novel, although shrimp & grits at dinner that evening was most definitely something I’m glad I tried but I’m not in a hurry to order again.

Sadly, we didn’t venture into town to see the lovely architecture as yet again we wanted an early start and felt an early night would be prudent.  Therefore, I don’t have any pictures of Charleston for you but I do have one of a fishing boat that looks as though it should have starred in a Hitchcock movie…

© Richard Corbett 2012

Day 7

Another trip down the ICW, was the decision we came to the following morning.

As much as we both wanted to keep going down the outside, the weather had turned and it was just too rough.  However, what should have been a fairly uneventful trip suddenly became very exciting!

I spotted a Sealine F44 moored up in a marina!  How fantastic is that?

© Richard Corbett 2012

We slowed right down to take the picture and then after a big smile and a wave we were back on our way to Beaufort, which was to be our stop for the night and most likely the last stop in South Carolina; State #8.

Day 8

Early start again, would you believe and we’re off down the river.  No coastguards, no tree stumps, no shallow channels, just a wide, fast empty river – 20nm later, we pushed our nose out into the Atlantic.

I wish there were all sorts of exciting anecdotes for this penultimate day of the trip but sadly it was an uneventful cruise.  8 hours on a heading of 185 degrees and we came across the entrance to Ponce de Leon inlet.

The most notable incident of day 8 for me, was the return of the dreaded ‘Noseeums’.  I was positively eaten alive as we tied up to the pontoon – my legs and arms were covered in little red dots for days afterwards.

As much as day 8 was unremarkable the start of day 9 was much more exciting.

Day 9

© Richard Corbett 2012

This is turned out to be a Delta IV rocket with a GPS IIF-3 satellite, launched for the U.S. Air Force from Cape Canaveral – only 40nm down the coast from where we were in Ponce de Leon

Yet another calm day at sea meant we were on course to reach Fort Lauderdale before sunset.  It was going to be a long day, given that Ponce de Leon to Port Everglades is 200nm give or take, so a midway stop at West Palm Beach was required.

You should know that you can get the most brilliant cheese-burger from the restaurant right by the fuel dock at the Riviera Beach marina!

Yes, another non-event trip – except for the cheese-burger of course…

OK, boat full of fuel, stomach full of cheese-burger and we’re off again.

40nm and we pulled into the Port Everglades channel.  The 4 red and white striped chimney stacks, which have now disappeared as they were knocked down in early 2013, are hardly the prettiest sight in the world unless you’ve just done 1392nm, consumed 2433 US gallons of diesel, averaged 16 knots, passed through or around 10 US States, run for 92 hours, over 9 days… and then they are more than a brilliant landmark seen from miles out to sea; they are manner from heaven in fact!!!

© Richard Corbett 2012

I bet you’re wondering about the boat?  Bloody marvellous!  She looked after us the whole way – protected us from the weather, hot or cold, windy or wet.  She was comfortable and spacious, light and airy.  The engines?  The engines never missed a beat, not once!  This boat gave us the confidence to set out into the Atlantic, knowing that 6, 7 or 8 hours later we would arrive at our destination.

Do yourselves a favour, if you are into cruising and you get a chance, take a look at a Sealine!

***

This has been another Captain Corbett’s Adventure.  If I’m not on Jersey teaching a private tuition Day Skipper theory or Yachtmaster theory course, then I’m either spending time with someone on their boat, giving them the confidence to take their boat out with their family and friends on board or I’m off somewhere exotic delivering a boat. Either way, I’ll write it up and put it on the Blog for you all to see, so keep popping back to see my most recent adventures.

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