We had reservations to be at Downtown Marina in Beaufort, SC and the weather was not looking good. With 25 knot winds and gusts to 35 knots.
As we rounded Hilton Head Island the only thing my radar saw was rain.
Our route would look something like this:
There were only a few locations where I knew we would have to face the wind if just for a short bit. When we rounded Hilton Head and came out of Skull Creek to cross Port Royal Sound inlet was one of them.
The weather worsened just as we were crossing Port Royal Sound Inlet. High winds shutdown the Lady Island swing bridge but luckily we have a reservation @ Downtown Marina in Beaufort, SC just feet from the shutdown bridge.
Waves maybe 3-5’ with the occasional 6-7’. The challenge was that I was hitting each new wave in under 2 seconds and having to work the throttle to slow down from say 6 kts to 4 kts for the larger waves. Being an unstabilized trawler we headed into the waves (rather take them on the beam) till we got a little shelter from the Northern side of the Inlet. Then we had to turn and run at 10 kts with the waves on our stern.
As we approached Downtown Marina the Lady Island Swing bridge was shutdown due to high winds. Docking in high winds and strong currents makes for an interesting learning experience but the dockhands and fellow boaters came out in the driving rain to help catch lines. We had to put out extra fenders to keep the waves from smashing us into dock but it was time for a beer and to sit back and watch the storm.
The next day we observed the rushing sounds of water around the boat and took a short video of the current alongside the dock.
Beaufort, SC is a wonderful stop and we always enjoy the local restaurants like Plum and the gastro pub, Old Bull Tavern
We’ll use the time here to re-provision the boat and get ready for another week of anchoring out as we attempt to push North into North Carolina.
We weighed anchor in the AM and headed out of Toogoodo Creek. We followed the sinuous path that was spotted with shoals. During a VHF communication with a passing boat, the captain warned of shoals of only three feet ahead. We quipped back that MV Simple Life has a 4’10” draft (actually 4’8″ dry but after filling the tanks she sits a bit lower in the water) and that out to make things interesting. There were times when we were down to 3 kts as we hunted for deeper water but we made it to the Coosaw River as planned. What I had not planned on were the 25 knot wind whipped waves. Making matters worse, the current was flowing against the waves making them steep and breaking. Happy, our Boston Terrier, was not “happy”. She hates a lumpy ride. I had not bothered to check the weather in the AM. I was proceeding with the belief that while we were on the ICW, I could simply check the weather periodically. Even though I was aware of the Small Craft Advisory, I figured we’d never feel the full force of it while running “inside”. I was wrong. The Coosaw River runs West directly into where the 25 knot winds were coming from. We were forced to slog our way 8 miles in about an hour as the windshield wipers washed away the spray off the pilothouse windows. Not a bad ride thanks to the pilothouse.
Once we turned to port into the Beaufort River the tree-lined banks offered us some wind protection. Though even in the Beaufort River, the flags on the banks were out-straight.
When we hailed Downtown Marina in Beaufort, SC. Dockhand Troy gave us our slip assignment and caught lines as we neared the dock. We slipped just in front of the beautiful sport-fishing boat pictured below.
Without hesitation we hopped off the boat and ran for some refreshments. We found Luther’s to be an amusing bar where the locals were.
First IPA of the day and it put the smile back on my face.
We decided to check out a few more places so we hit up a fancy place called “Saltus River Grill” and while Kelly was eying their filet mignon, the only IPA on tap was terrible so I cleverly talked her into a restaurant called “Plums” that was two buildings away and served Stone IPA. Plums had amazing food and when we could not eat another bite, it was time to stroll back to the boat and check on the dogs. On our way we walked through Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. I snapped the pics below as the light got low.
The next day I used the “courtesy car” to run to a local liquor store to stock up on Captain Morgan & some local IPAs
Precious cargo secured and it was time to replenish the fuel I used and get back home. For my brew-night pals, here is the list of local IPAs that I will be sampling and then reviewing using the Untappd app.