Day 3 - Charleston - Southport/Georgetown
Early start to use the out flowing tide down the river and back out to sea - continuing our journey northwards for Southport, passing the foreboding part submerged rocks that line the breakwater for Wynah Bay. A fresh southerly wind today 10-12 knots - sails set with a small reef in the main and the boom preventer. Then came the weather alert on my phone - a strong northerly gale approaching rapidly! A call to Southport marina to discuss a shelter in Little River inlet - not advised. Our best option was to push forward for the safety of Southport. As night fell we were 10nm south of Southport when gale force winds came from the north. Nothing to do but reef the sails, leaving only the "pocket handkerchief" for a main and a heavily reefed job for forward steerage into the now building waves. Then came the horizontal rain - cutting, biting into one's cheek - it was cold and wet! After 5 hours on the helm we made only 1nm north - eventually deciding to leave on auto-pilot, slightly of the wind with a leeway out to sea - went below to dry out and rest. Keeping watch for shipping on the AIS and visual at regular intervals we battled through the night in 27+knot winds and 12-15ft seas. Magic Friday held her course, rode the waves and kept us safe!
Phil and Di