Wed 7 Dec 2011 23:28
Having come back down the Chesapeake and the ICW, we waited nearly a week for a weather window to leave Beaufort NC for Charleston SC.  The problem is the number of weather fronts coming up the US East Coast, giving strong southerly winds.  Once these have gone by, we take advantage of the northerly winds and head south.
We left Beaufort, expecting northerlies of 15-20 knots, subsiding to 5-10 knots by the time we reached Charleston.  We had a very bumpy exit from Beaufort, despite wind and tide with us and then turned down the coast with 2 reefs in the main and reefed headsail.  The 220 nm trip took 34 hours from ‘door to door’, but the first half we had up to 30 knots of wind and 3 metre following seas.  The wind slowly died and we motored the last hour into Charleston harbour.
We have now been anchored in Charleston for 6 days and the last 4 have been waiting for another weather window to head south.  Today we had a gale in the harbour and up to 35 knots of wind in the anchorage.  The forecasted winds are due to subside overnight and there are signs of the wind dropping as I write this.  Providing the winds have subsided sufficiently we will be setting off in the morning in 10-15 knots of northerly winds, which are forecasted for the next couple of days.  Destination – SOUTH, as quick as we can and to some warmer climes!!