Charleston, SC to Fernandina Beach, FL

We enjoyed a wonderful stay in Charleston, SC.  We stayed at the City Marina, “Megadock”, downtown.  What a facility! It is the largest floating dock marina on the East Coast.  I can testify to that after my 1/4 mile walk to the bathrooms!!!Expensive but really accomodating.  Daily shuttles to West Marine and a shuttle that ran on the hour anywhere you wanted to go.  We arrived at 8:30 on December 28th.  We planned on being there a couple of days.  We needed some parts at West marine and needed to re-provision for some basics.

Things we have run out of: papertowels (instantly!) I have had to buy these at every stop!

And believe it or not we were not able to get Bisquick from North Carolina until we went to a big market in Charleston.  They sell a self rising buisuit flour everywhere, but not bisquick.  We were thankful to find Harris Teeter’s in Charleston.  It was open 24 hours!!! A little pricey, comparable to Stop & Shop at home or even Whole Foods, but fresh organic veggies and beautiful fruit! Lots of nationwide brands…and they had Bisquick. I bought two.

For the other sailors out there, Harris Teeter’s is on East Bay Ave., and only a 5$ Cab ride from the marina.  Worth every penny!We made it our last stop on a day of Aquarium and shopping on King Street (where Mariah found and American Apparel Store – made her day), then we walked to Harris Teeter’s and shopped and called a cab.

We had planned our next jump off-shore from Charleston.  We were waiting for the right weather window to jump put.  Our destination was Fernandina Beach Florida which would be a 30 hour trip at 6 knots.  We left Charleston on 12/30 around 1pm. This was to be our roughest trip yet.  The seas were more than predicted, probably 10-12 footers (maybe more?), and very swelly. The wind was on our back so we motored. (read deisel fumes blowing into a swelly cockpit). 

Things I did wrong:

Did not prepare meals ahead of time – thought I would have time to prepare them once underway.  Heavy Seas prevented me  -or anyone from being down below for more than a minute or two at a time.

Did not keep snacks out in a handy place.  We have found that any corn products really keep our tummies settled, corn chips, fritos, doritos, corn muffins etc. Once again, down below digging for snacks.

Did not fill water bottles ahead of time to leave in the cockpit to keep everyone hydrated, which meant several trips down below to make teas, waters, and get snacks.

In the future, NO MATTER THE FORECAST, I will have all of these things prepared ahead of time and in the cockpit for easy access.

I became nauseaus instantly, did not throw up for a long time.  Michael on the other hand was fine for awhile, threw up one time, then was fine.  Mariah was sick also, she threw up twice and I sent her to bed.  James was starting to not feel well, so I sent him to bed as well.  THis left Michael and I in the cockpit.  Poor Michael was at the helm all night, I was worthless.  I could stay at the helm at the most tweny minutes, then would have to lay back down.  Well by 5am I finally got sick.  Now for those of you who know me, you know I dont just get sick once.  I am sick for 24 hours. This held true…

Thankfully by sunrise, my kids were up, were able to fetch some breakfast for themselves and Michael, and left me sleeping on the floor of the cockpit.  A pathetic sight I’m sure. The seas had diminshed to 2-4 feet (like they were supposed to be). But at that point the damage was done. There was no help for me.

They took the helm during the day for Michael, who laid in the cokpit napping with them while they followed the waypoints.  What brave children I have. James was so proud of himself.  I was proud of  both of them.  They knew exactly what to do, what to look for, when to notify Dad of anything, depth changes, ships on the horizon etc….

THe one thing that was really cool about this leg of the trip, and what we were looking forward to was the possibility of seeing some Right Whales.  This is their migration path and time.  And, we traveled through a protected calving region for the Right Whales, but alas, no sightings this time.  But the usual porpoises kept us company. I will never lose my excitement for a porpoise jumping up next to the cockpit.

We finally entered the channel for Fenandina Beach around 3pm and it took the better part of an hour to get into Fernandina Beach.  The warm balmy breezes greeted us as soon as we made our way past the jetty.  All of the crusing guides say the same thing.  It may be psychological. it may not be, but when you arrive in Florida the air instantly changes, it was warm, muggy even, tropical breezes, Mariah’s hair got curly and palm trees everywhere.  We were definitley in Florida! It took us 29 days to get here.  But it was worth it!  Fort Lauderdale here we come!

We so look forward to all of the family and friends we have here along the way. Jacksonville, Ormond Beach, Melburne Beach, Fort Pierce, West Palm.  We are sorry to have missed our friends wedding in the Keys New Year’s Eve.  Congratulation’s Scott and Susie!

There is no other way I would have wished my New Year’s Eve to be, in a warm marina, with my wonderful, brave family ringing in the New YEar.  I dont have many resolutions any more, my life is wonderful, I am thankful I live the way I do today.  My only hope when I return “home” is that I am able to live as FULLY in the moment then as I do know.  Living each moment listening to the sound of the waves, feeling the wind on my face, listening to my children’s voice, not just their words, but the tone of their voice.  Really hearing them.  Working as one with Michael, being a true team, behind the helm or anywhere. I have never been so grateful for my husband as I was this trip.  His confidence in our boat’s ability to carry us safely through those seas was untested. His confidence makes me confident.  Being physically unable to help him was so disappointing to me, however, he was right there, ready and willing and able to stay at the helm the whole time.  Living on this boat, in this very small community gives me this precious gift.   I pray I can keep this gift close and remember it every day of this coming year.

Happy New Year Everyone,

Love to all,


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