May 7 - 12: To Charleston - 1st Leg Home


Our time in the Bahamas had wound down and our journey home was beginning. On Monday we said goodbye to Treasure Cay and dropped anchor at Green Turtle Cay for the night on our way to Great Sale Cay which would be our departure point from the Bahamas. I had hopped to get one last dinner at my favorite restaurant in Green Turtle...Ballyhoo but the weather did not cooperate. Instead we enjoyed dinner with our friends David and Joy who joined us on board for a lovely lobster dinner and her homemade cake for dessert...Yum!

The next morning we both headed off for Great Sale Cay and dropped anchor there among many other boats, all waiting until morning for their crossing to the U.S. After a brief visit with David and Joy, our evening was spent on final prep for our crossing. Food was made and bagged for quick meals and snacks in case the weather gets bad, items strapped down, safety lines attached on the deck, motor removed from the dingy, and we finally dropped in bed.

In the morning we slipped away early from the bay. Today we are hoping to stretch our ocean voyage to 3 days and two night, hopefully making it all the way to Beaufort, North Carolina. This will be a new one for us....if it works. With the predicted winds and our yacht loaded with extra fuel it should we will see!

Our first day went exceptionally well. The wind was doing exactly what was predicted. Along with the Gulf Stream we were being pushed so fast that we were flying along at 8.5 to 9 knots without our engine even running. Perfect to save on fuel consumption!

It wasn't long though before seasickness kicked in for me. What we thought was resolved with my pills, turned out to still be a problem. A second dose (not ideal) finally got me functional with only a throbbing headache to deal with. Since I am used to migraines this was not too bad.

Our first overnight was not bad at all, just a little boring. At 150 miles off shore there were very few boats around. By morning the next day we began our curve north still quite a ways off shore but by afternoon the wind wasn't shifting to the west as predicted but we still had plenty of buffer.

With our target still for Beaufort, we made our way along the coast, too far off shore to see land but great for fishing. Not expecting much, Andrew tossed a fishing line out the back of the boat. After dragging the line and removing clumps of weeds, Andrew almost gave up...and then...he caught something!  

A 3' Mahi was on the hook and what a spectacular fish! It put up an incredible fight. After a great deal of effort Andrew finally got it to the boat only to have the line break and his lovely catch swim away. An unbelievable disappointment.

As evening set in, our path crossed with a Celebrity Cruise ship. It slowed and adjusted course to pass behind us on its way to Charleston. The encounter inspired Andrew to check our status. The wind had still not changed as predicted making our fuel lower than expected. After a few calculations we made the decision to change course and head to Charleston as well. 

Another evening set in and we began our 2 hr shifts. Tonight would be a bit more interesting with boats crossing our path since we were now closer to shore. The evenings were getting colder, a sad reminder that the warmth of the Bahamas was fading behind us. 

In the morning we prepped for our arrival to the U.S., chopping and freezing fresh fruits and vegetables so that we had nothing fresh on board when we checked in with immigration.

As we Charleston became visible on the horizon, calls were made to the various marinas checking for space. Mega Dock, where we stayed before, was completely full so instead we decided to pay the extra fees to stay at Charleston Harbour Resort & Marina.

The inlet was busy with pleasure crafts, cargo ships, fishing boats and yachts on their way in and out of leaving a wake large enough to toss the boat significantly. The sudden shift in our quarter tank of fuel immediately stalled the boat propelling us forward without any ability to steer the vessel.

While I attempted to guide the boat from the helm, Andrew rushed below and primed the engine enough to get it running again. Returning to the helm, I prepped the anchor to drop in a shallow area away from marine traffic so that we could add more fuel from our Jerry Can reserve. 

It wasn't long before we were on our way again, arriving in Charleston Harbour. We refilled our tanks and found our way into our slip...the drama and exhaustion of our journey melting away as we collapsed in bed after a light dinner on board. Although we had not gone as far as expected, we had covered an incredible distance in a very short period of time.

The next day we enjoyed the amenities of Charleston Harbour Resort & Marina. After a complete exterior clean for the boat, we loaded up laundry and got it going while we lounged by the pool. A welcome break after a long journey. A little sun, change a load of laundry and back to the pool. A perfect day of rejuvenation before heading on our next leg in the morning.

Our misty 6am departure was absolutely stunning and calm as we drifted past the Marine museum aboard a massive aircraft carrier and nearby submarine moored near the resort and marina. Today we will do our next leg on the ocean...Charleston to Beaufort, North Carolina, and a little closer to home. Can't wait!