Monday, October 15, 2012

St. James Plantation - at a dock

St James Plantation Marina - well protected
There was the threat of thunderstorms all day today and we had two bridges to pass through. One only opened on top of the hour so you had to time it right or you circled around for an hour waiting for the next opening. None of the bridges in Florida are like that but apparently South Carolina doesn't care all that much for boaters passing through regardless of any economic benefit. I'm sure that if it was legal for them to charge a toll, they would.

So we left at 8:30 am in plenty of time we thought to make the first bridge but found a 2.5 kt current against us which I didn't expect. There are no current tables for the ICW. In general an adverse current is canceled by a favorable current as you pass on either side of an inlet but not in this case! It was adverse all the way to the first bridge by rev'ing the diesel to top speed we just barely made the bridge. When we called the bridge tender, he was skeptical that we were going to be able to make it - but we proved him wrong. If you're late by 30 seconds, he won't open the bridge!

despite the economy - they are still building here!
We had planned ahead so when we reach the Cape Fear river we had a 2.5 kt outgoing current in our favor. We reached top speeds of 10.4 kts! However, as luck would have it, you don't get something for nothing so we had 15 kts on the nose (wind against current) which produced entertaining waves over the bow to keep our interest up.

Finally we turned the corner and were back in the ICW and the waves calmed down. We made the whole trip without running into a thunderstorm but we see a line of them approaching us from the west so we'll get hit eventually - but at least not when we were on the water.

St James Plantation is a marina where all the condo and house owners have a slip per their contract but they will rent out empty ones to transients. It's fully protected with no wakes and no way for any wave action to reach us and also very little direct wind action. When a line of thunderstorms is approaching, it's good to be here. On Tuesday we're headed for Barefoot Landing Marina for a rest, some shopping and a night out at Greg Norman's restaurant. Wish us luck negotiating the "Rock Pile"!!