March 16, 2010
We woke early (only thanks to the alarm), had our breakfast of tasty muffins delivered by the marina (a wonderful perk for staying here) and I made a last check of the NOAA weather before we headed out. While we had really hoped to go outside, the forecast told us not to – winds 10-15 out of the northeast (automatically add ten knots to the forecast). We’d had enough of the wind and waves on our bow, and with temperatures only in the high 50’s to low 60’s, we opted for the inside journey, knowing we’d be adding another day to our trip. We were resigned to it though as weather conditions have not been our friend on this trip.
At least the sun was shining although the wind was piping up into the 20’s. We didn’t have much protection from the marshes, but being behind the dodger and in the sun as I was, it wasn’t too bad. Bill had on his six or seven layers and was doing pretty well at the helm. We were making good time as the current was with us for most of the day and we were speeding along at 7 knots or more. Just as we were about to enter the infamous Little Mud River a dolphin sounded and blew on our starboard side where I was sitting. Bill and I both jumped about a foot, and the spray from its blow hole splashed the book I was reading. (S)He sounded again, but this time we were ready. I think dolphins have a real sense of humor and probably get a kick out of startling boaters. Since we were just past high tide we made it through the Little Mud River with no problems. The slog across Sapello Sound was long and cold with the wind funneling through from the east, but we made it. The current really swirls where the North and South Newport Rivers enter the ICW as well as other streams. We passed the Wahoo River where we had anchored on our way down early in the afternoon and decided to continue on, as we had St. Catherine’s Island on our right. I got the binoculars out to look for those elusive exotic animals that are supposedly on the island, but all I saw were a few wood storks and sea gulls. As the afternoon progressed, the clouds came in and we both began to feel the chill, Bill more so than me as he was at the helm most of the day. Finally we came to St. Catherine’s Sound and decided to make for Walburg Creek on the off chance that we’d be able to go outside and be home in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It was one of our longest days on the water on this entire trip so we were glad when we got the anchor down on the first try. We were the only boat at the anchorage and were treated to a gorgeous sunset, though we viewed it mostly through the port holes only heading up top to snap a few photos.
The temperatures fell as rapidly as the sun and we prepared for a cold night with temps in the 40’s – this seemed like déjà vu. We had leftover spaghetti for dinner, and watched my favorite show The Biggest Loser (thankfully we had NBC). Since there is no cell tower close by for my air card, I’ll post this tomorrow. The weather forecast on NOAA says we’ll be traveling inside tomorrow. Sixty-two miles to Hilton Head, but we can’t take another long, cold day especially with rain in the forecast, so it looks like our ETA will be Thursday.