Gale Force winds in Charleston

Thu 15 Dec 2011 22:24
We had happily sat in the anchorage for nearly a week, but were very aware that a forecasted gale was coming through.  As the wind picked up to 35 knots, Nimue held firm, although we did need to let out more chain.  Then the usual fun and games started:- a pilot house yacht with large davits had been at anchor nearby without anyone on board for a few days and appeared to be on short scope i.e not much anchor chain.  I looked out at one moment and saw the boat taut on it’s anchor, but within a matter on minutes it had disappeared.  I looked around, only to find it had drifted onto the boats moored alongside the main pontoon at the City Marina.  Well you can imagine that folk were coming out from everywhere to try to keep the boat from causing any damage, but unfortunately it did!   It gauged a large dent into a brand new fishing sports boat and damaged another.  However, within a matter of minutes the marina launch came to the rescue and the boat was pulled off to safety.  It was later taken away to some distant point down the river.  I’m sure the owner would have been given a very large bill!
Ashley River anchorage in Charleston.  Scott Free in the left foreground
The yacht that broke anchor and drifted onto some pretty expensive boats!
The day after the gale and winds forecast N/NE 10-15knots, we departed for the 300+ nm to Fort Pierce.  It was daylight, as we headed out of the anchorage for the 16nm trip to the Atlantic, which gave us the opportunity see some of the sights we had not seen on our night arrival.  First into view, Fort Sumter, a masonry sea fort located in Charleston Harbour and is best known as the site upon which the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired at the Battle of Fort Sumter.  Finally we could marvel at the beautiful Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River connecting downtown Charleston to Mt. Pleasant. The eight lane bridge opened in 2005 and has a main span of 1,546 feet (471 m), the third longest among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere. Our first impressions of it’s appearance, was that it looked like a large ‘spiders web’!


Fort Sumter


The splendid Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge