Our last post ended sharing our experiences in early October. At that point Hurricane Maria had just dissipated, and with only one more month of hurricane season left, we hoped we’d be spared any more drama. Thankfully, no other major storms impacted us and, God-willing, it will stay that way.
Our sail from Charleston taught us that weather apps lie. We had planned to do an overnight sail to Little River, South Carolina, but what had been forecasted to be a pleasant sail turned into a 6 – 8 foot wavy seas mess. I fared the worst, but the girls weren’t feeling great either. Even though the seas calmed a bit in the afternoon, we ditched the overnight plan and found calm water in the massive Winyah Bay inlet for the night. Its about this time that I start to question whether or not I like sailing.
We left early the next morning and found calmer seas and great wind. (I also learned that I can double the amount the seasickness meds I’m taking.) We reached the Little River inlet with sunlight to spare. We had planned to stop at an anchorage further up river, but Eric noticed a few boats anchored in a shallow cove behind the sandy inlet island, so being the flexible planners that we are, we changed course and went there. It was beautiful! A great beach was only 100 feet away. The kids were ecstatic. Of course, we had to check it out, so we dinged over to explore the beach. The kids found some crabs hiding in the marsh grass. We wanted to stay on shore longer, but we were hungry and exhausted from a great day of sailing.
The kids woke up early the next morning super motivated to get through school because they wanted to go back to the beach. There’s nothing like doing your schoolwork while longingly looking at the beach to help speed up progress. Cloe finished school before Tali, so Eric had her hop on his back while he paddled them on this surfboard to shore. They were going to explore the ocean side of the island and report back. While Tali and I were finishing up, we noticed a huge storm cloud heading our way and moving fast. We quickly closed all the hatches and took down the clothes that were drying on the lifelines. Just as the wind picked up, we see Cloe and Eric booking it around the corner, running our way fast. Unfortunately they weren’t fast enough to beat the rain, or the drop in temperature. Eric put Cloe on the board and swam her back to the boat. We made hot chocolate to warm everyone up. Thankfully it cleared up quickly so Cloe was able to show us what they found…a great body surfing beach!
Leslie and Carl were returning from the Annapolis Boat Show and would be stopping by for a visit on their way home. The dingy ride to the nearest dock was by far our longest, around 20 minutes. When they got to the boat, they shared their boat show experiences with us and we shared our awesome new anchorage with them! Pops, Eric, and the girls went body surfing while Les & I relaxed on the beach. Their visit was a quick one, but we snuck in a grocery store trip and a fabulous dinner at Snookys. Interesting to note, this restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license, but they’ll give you alcoholic beverages for free while you’re there. Very strange, but much appreciated, and the food was fantastic…and that’s not the free drinks talking.
We stayed in Little River longer than planned because we fell in love with the anchorage. It’s exactly what the kids and I hoped cruising would be: school in the morning, water play in the afternoon (here, mostly boogie boarding and body surfing), and star gazing at night. We even tried crabbing off the back of the boat, but only caught 2, so instead of feasting on crab, we grilled the chicken legs we were going to use as bait.
About this time the temps had dropped significantly. 50s doesn’t sound very cold, but when you live on a boat…mornings are frigid. The girls literally had 4 layers of clothes on to keep warm. With the temp change also came some wind, so Eric decided to brush off his windsurfing skills. In our next post, he will share his experience with you.