Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Favorite Anchorage Backfires on us!

Let's start at Toler's Cove Marina Wednesday night in Mt. Pleasant, SC just across from Charleston.
We had another lovely sunset over the marsh land, looking across the water to Charleston.

We left Toler's in the morning on Thursday to head to the Price Creek Inlet where we enjoy anchoring behind Bull Island.  We only had a short 14 miles of easy cruising with plenty of high tide.  We passed this house that seems to only be accessible by boat.  What an interesting way to live!

We took the dingy over to Bull Island near to low tide because that is the best time to walk a beach. And yet another deserted and lovely beach to walk.

And this is what I harvested from the beach!!  Over all a great walk! 

We got back to the mother ship just at low tide and noted she was not floating.  She had been pushed toward the side of the creek by the breeze and current. She was not hard aground, just a bit mired in the mud! 

So Al used Victory Lap to pull her off while I reeled in some of the anchor chain to pull the bow closer to the center of the creek. The anchor had not dragged and was holding well.  Per the captain, we let some of the anchor chain out because I had pulled quite a bit in. We settled into a quiet afternoon and night and went to bed at around 10, which was about when the tide was the highest.  No problems, all seemed fine for a quiet night.  Then suddenly we both were awake at 1am and not sure what woke us up.  We dashed up to the salon and realized the boat was hard aground so we quickly dressed.  In that short time, the boat started to tilt toward the port (left) side enough so walking in the boat was a challenge. We hailed the Coast Guard by radio and they in turn called Towboat US for us.  Since the tide was lowering, towing us off was not possible until the morning so we had to settle into our chairs and wait.  The Coast Guard called us every half hour to make sure we were safe and that was a comfort.  As the tide continued to lower from 1am to 4am we simply passed the time pinned into our chairs which are on the port side.  It was stressful but we were not in any real danger.  

This was taken when the boat was at the steepest angle.  Over the helm station you can see the radio mike hanging at an odd angle.  If you turn the picture so the cord is perpendicular to ground where gravity would naturally pull it, you can get a bit of understanding of how steep our floor was.  Also note the angle of the curtains as they were pulled toward the middle of the salon.  

Sitting and watching the mike tilt further was not a fun experience!  And knowing we had 3 hours before the tide would even begin to rise didn't help.  And tides change based on a sinusoidal curve so when 4pm came, it was a very slow rise of water height until about 7am when the boat finally began to right itself.  At that time, Al was able to get into the engine room and noted we had taken on quite a bit of water.  He set up an emergency bilge pump to assist the regular bilge pump and got the generator running to keep our batteries charged. He called Towboat who didn't want to dispatch a boat thinking we floated onto the bank so would float off.  But 30 minutes later, they called back and since Al was tending to the bilge, I answered the phone and told the guy I was stressed and we needed a boat sent out from Charleston to tow us off.   So they did dispatch at boat at about 8am. 

This is a view of our starboard (right) side which was raised up onto the mud bank. 

This is the stern and swim platform from the starboard showing the port side was lower in the water. The tide was rising and the boat had water underneath except for the starboard stern. 

This was taken from the port side, tough to see so much grass when the tide was at past half rise! 

Yeah!  Towboat arrived at 9:20am and we were off  the bank in 10 minutes, had the anchor up in another 5 and we were on our way.  No damage to the steering, bilge was dry and other than being exhausted, we were safe and once again cruising!  We proved that loopers are obstacle removers who deal with each issue and overcome them as they go. And we got out of the anchorage close enough to high tide to get through another shoaling area to get to the charming town of Georgetown, SC.

We enjoyed anchoring around the corner from all of these marinas and used the great dingy dock in the center of town.  Since we like to pay ourselves off with good food after a job well done, we enjoyed both dinner take out from a fabulous Italian restaurant and breakfast on Saturday at a cute coffe shop the next morning. We liked Georgetown and slept like logs for about 11 hours on Friday night!!  Whew! 

So on Saturday we cruised another 20 miles up the lovely Wacamaw River to anchor in Cow House Creek for a quiet night.  We now have anchored successfully 2 nights and are getting over the anchor jitters.  Today, we crossed the river about 1/4 mile to settle into the Wacca Wache Marina for a month.  We have decided to go home for the month of May.  We want to drive to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 with Erik and it makes sense for us to go home earlier so Al can see an orthopedist that I highly respect to treat his increasingly painful hip.  I look forward to doing some volunteer physical therapy with my favorite girls while Al gets the medical care for his hip.  Plus we will have a month to enjoy time with our son and home based friends. Since Al still has a small gas bubble in his eye, we need to drive home so we will make a side trip to meet our sweet grand niece, Ainsley! This will be a fun road trip for family time.  Don't look for blog posts for the next month.  We will be safe on land!! 


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  2. Hey Jane! Just read your post.....hope you can come in the clinic and say Hello! :-)

  3. Quite an exciting end to April...hope you will have some PHONE time this month. Would love to chat and by the way...belated HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!