N 32 46.585 W 79 57.294
I woke up at 0630, made my espresso, and watched the sunrise. It was a clear sky, and cool at 45 degrees.
The boys were all waking slowly and up at 0800.
I climbed into the dinghy and pulled the cover off the engine, wanting to make an attempt to clear the clogged cooling lines myself before unmounting the engine to take it into a shop. I hoped the pump hadn't been damaged by running dry or pumping sand. There was mud and sand in the lines that were pushed out as I ran a stiff bit of stainless wire through them. I put the lines back on and started the motor. Success ! There was once again a steady stream of water coming out.
I grabbed a quick shower before we untied our lines from the dock. We were back under way at 0910. Our goal was to press on all the way into Charleston today.
We passed the spot at Harbor River where we had our hard grounding yesterday at 1020. I took the helm and made sure we stayed on the starboard side of the channel this time.
Our autopilot, Jeeves, was acting up a bitr. Given our misadventure from the day before and lots of shallow water we kept seeing on the depth sounder I had Eugene Jr. on the helm constantly. I kept a close eye on the chart plotter as we went and gave him constant update on where the channel should be according to GPS.
Noonsite: N 33 02.378 W 79 32.692
We saw lots of dolphins on the ICW. It seemed they were trying to show us where the water was ahead of us as we came across many sticky parts of the ICW here on the way in to Charleston. This was the shallowist part of the ICW we had seen, and we crawled along at low speed picking our way along. There were many places where we took care to avoid the cross currents as we went.
I tried repeatedly to hail the Ben Sawyer Memorial Swing Bridge as we aproached just before 1500 hrs. We finaly called Sea Tow for local knowledge, and they advised us to get ahold of the US Coast Guard about the bridge not responding. USCG station Charleston gave us the phone number for the bridge tender and we called her up. Her radio wasn't working, but she said she'd open as soon as we got up there.
Sea Tow had advised us of a sticky spot where many sailboats had run aground at The Cove, rounding a corner just before breaking out into the deep water of Charleston Bay. We managed to get through there without any more problems and were soon out into the deep water of the bay.
We started our search for our old neighbor, Captain John Arless and his boat, 'Sailvation'. If you're a Sea Tow member you might have read about Captain Arless in the June issue. John was working as a Captain for Sea Tow Beaufort, North Carolina. He'd been credited with saving some lives when two men managed to get thrown from their boat in Beaufort Inlet.
Sea Tow had told us they had talked with him on the radio the day before, when he'd called for a radio check after installing a new antena higher up on his mast. We looked through each of the commercial anchorage areas before heading up to the special anchorage on the Ashley River. No luck, 'Sailvation' was nowhere to be seen. We wondered if he was anchored in the Stono River, off of Buzzard's Roost. I tried to hail him on ch. 16 a few times, but got no response.
We put our anchor down in the special anchorage on the Ashley River at 1620 and settled in for the evening. There were a lot of boats with cabins lit. Many were transients, others were on moorings and had obviously been anchored there for a while. There were a few boats washed up in the grass and trees on the southwest shore, abandoned after huricanes. A mast stuck out of the water where a boat had sank and never been recovered.
We sniffed a few wireless networks on our laptops, but couldn't connect to any free ones. 'Mysterious Ways' hailed us on the radio. They were docked at the City Marina. Eugene Jr. started thinking this might just be where he wanted to settle in and go back to school...
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(c)Copyright 2006 by Eugene Kashpureff