Editor’s note: the Drivin’ South category of blog posts details our trip from Annapolis, MD to Fort Lauderdale, FL along the Intracoastal Waterway. Because many of the themes covered in earlier Drivin’ South posts repeated during the second half of our trip, we’ve decided to create a single post to cover the journey from Charleston to Fort Lauderdale with the highlights and lowlights summarized.
Highlight: Hidden Harbor Marina in Brunswick, Georgia.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Highlights Between Charleston, SC and Fort Lauderdale, FL
The trip from Cat Island to Charleston is a relatively easy single day run. I encountered plenty of shoaling as I left Cat Island but enjoyed extremely scenic views while navigating between them. Continue reading Drivin’ South: Cat Island, SC to Charleston, SC
There were three legs to this trip which are best consolidated into a single entry in the interest of brevity. My first stop was the Southport marina in Southport, North Carolina where I spent a day and a half getting an oil change, a cooling system service and doing laundry while hiding out from a bit of spirited weather. Southport Marina was a very good place to stop – I’d highly recommend it.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Wrightsville Beach, NC to Cat Island, SC Single Handed
At the conclusion of this leg, I arrived in Wrightsville Beach in a state of elation that is difficult to describe. I was on an emotional high not because everything went right during the trip, but because a bunch of shit went sideways on me in a big way, and I found that I’d stood up to all of it. Continue reading Drivin’ South: Beaufort to Wrightsville Beach Single Handed
If the spirited run from Tangier Island to Hampton Virginia marked the high water mark for high winds during the journey to Fort Lauderdale, our trip from Belhaven to Beaufort marked the calmest day we encountered. We navigated the Pungo River in a flat calm that was almost not to be believed. Just as with the Albemarle Sound, that was a good thing, as the Pungo is a large, exposed body of water that looked like it could be choppy in a big breeze.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Belhaven to Beaufort, NC Double Handed
Sometimes on a voyage this long, the operational “To Dos” of running the boat start to really pile up, so on October 28, a week to the day after the voyage began, Brian and I piloted a short trip to Bellhaven so we could free up some hours for a variety of chores.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Alligator River to Bellhaven Doublehanded
Brian flew in to join me for this leg and the two that followed it. It was great to have some company and YES – I did indeed get that hot breakfast I’d been dreaming about while standing a wheel watch! Afterward I went below and luxuriated in a hot cloth wash down and shave while Le Saberage kept making miles south. Continue reading Drivin’ South: Coinjock to the Alligator River Double Handed
For those heading down “The Ditch” from the Chesapeake, the intracoastal waterway really begins with a passage through Norfolk Virginia. Here travelers will enjoy the awesome spectacle of our nation’s Navy warships. I got an extra treat by enjoying a sunrise timed just perfectly as a backdrop to my photos.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Hampton Virginia to Coinjock Single Handed
After two years of dreaming our moment has arrived! On November 29 Le Saberage pulled into Fort Lauderdale and tied up!
We’ll continue to post articles with highlights for each leg of the trip, but we thought it only appropriate to post a quick note celebrating our arrival and outlining some of the more fun trip superlatives. Here they are:
Voyage Calendar Period: October 21, 2016 to November 29, 2016.
Voyage Duration: 40 days, less 8 day break for a trip home = 32 days
Passage Days: 24
Lay Days in Port: 8
Miles Covered: ~1,140
Average Miles / Day: 47.5
Days in Intracoastal Waterway: 15
Days in Open Ocean Or Bays: 9
Engine Hours Logged: ~163
Days Traveling Via: Motoring Only- 11; Sailing or Motorsailing – 13
Nights Spent On: Slip – 20; Anchor – 10; Mooring- 2
Miles Single Handed: 767 (including all ocean and open bay passages; ~2/3 of total)
Days Single Handed: 16 (2/3)
Miles Double Handed: 373
Days Double Handed: 8
Grounding Scares: HELL YES
Mechanical Problems Causing Passage Delays: 0
Mechanical / Technical Problems Needing Work Arounds: 3 or 4
The evening of Sunday, October 23 found me feeling a bit anxious about Monday’s forecast. As I sipped my evening scotch I listened to the weather over the VHF and looked online at Sailflow. The very same 20-25 knot westerly winds that I could hear whistling unrestrained through my Sabre’s rig were forecast to persist the next day – at least until 11am or so. At that point the forecast called for the winds to clock to the right and to moderate. If I left at dawn – which was necessary if I was to ensure a pre-dusk arrival in Hampton, Virginia – I would be leaving the tight Tangier inlet in a brutal chop and would need to beat straight into that same steep chop for 4-5 hours before the wind moderated and I could reach under more civilized conditions. Continue reading Drivin’ South: Tangier Island To Hampton, Virginia Single Handed