Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Fri 30 May 2014 13:46

Date: Friday 30th May 2014

Time: 11:32

Position: 32:47.23N 79:54.546W


At around 3:30 in the morning I was on watch whilst Jim was asleep.  There was no moon and it was quite dark.  However in the dim light given off by the navigation lights I could see flying fish jumping around the boat.  After a short while they were joined by much larger creatures, namely dolphins jumping out of the water and feeding on the fish as they flew by.   Even though it was only just visible it was a magnificent sight and continued for about an hour.  I went forward onto the bow and sat and watched the display.  The silver scales on the flying fish shone quite brightly in the reflected light, whereas the dolphins were just ghostly white shapes as they left the water.  The sound of their breathing and splashing was quite loud though.


Here’s one of the flying fish that made a navigational error and landed on the deck:






An earlier phone call with Chris Parker, the person who advises on weather forecasts, had predicted that strong winds were building around Cape Hatteras but more importantly they would be blowing from the north.  Not only would this be the wrong direction for us, but the combination of strong northerly winds working against a Gulf Stream pushing northwards at 4 knots would produce some pretty unpleasant seas. 


Rather than push on to Norfolk I decided to pull in to Charleston in the hope that they would soon blow through and allow us to continue on our way.  We arrived at around 11:30 in the morning and made our way to the marina at Patriots Point.  I would have preferred to have gone to the City Marina but they were full and could not accommodate us.  Just before we arrived at the entrance to the port we caught a fish, a Spanish Mackerel which Jim landed and filleted.


The spanish mackerel (before it became lunch):







Patriots Point was an excellent marina with attentive staff.  We stopped at the fuel dock to replenish the large volume of diesel we had consumed motoring most of the way from Nassau and were then directed to a berth.  A strong river current runs through all of the berths so this required a careful approach.  After a short wait the customs and immigration staff arrived to process us, all of which progressed without incident.  The officers were polite and helpful and didn’t even confiscate any of our food.