Maik taking a much needed nap on our first nice day.
When we purchased our little Island Packet last year in Deltaville, Virginia, we were excited and scared to move it ourselves down the ICW because we did not have much experience sailing. Although we had been taking lessons on our local lake, we didn’t feel that it was sufficient, because sailing on a lake is so much different from sailing on costal waters.
Even with the issues that we knew the boat had (e.g., engine issues, nonfunctioning head, no running water), we motored down the ICW until we reach Beaufort, NC, were we went about 40 miles offshore so that we could get to our destination of Charleston SC. We spent two days offshore and reached our destination early in the morning. Tis ICW trip was not enjoyable because it was very cold at the time, we ran aground 3 times, and the scenery was not that nice. We had expected a much more pleasant trip.
A Trip to the Bahamas
W hen we planned our trip down to Abaco, Bahamas this past December 2013, we took the ICW off our list of routes, because of our previous bad experience. We left on Sunday 12:00 pm, December 22, 2013. The weather was not too bad at first, but it was cold. Our first day offshore quickly turned into a nightmare. The waves were high and the winds weren’t so great either. Benny, Midnight (Our standard poodle puppy) and I got really sick. We couldn’t seem to keep anything in our stomachs. Maik was the only person who did not get sick.
To make things worse, the boom fell down because the line holding ( the lifting topping) it up snapped. We motored back to the very first marina we could find to fix the boom. I had to climb up the mast to help fix the line. Since I am not very good with all the terminology when it comes to boat parts, here is a picture that I took while I was up the mast, which could explain why the line snapped. There should be a wheel-like white piece around the inside of the piece pictured below (I think this piece is called a sheave). That wheel piece must have broken off, which cause a lot of strain on the line.
The very next morning after we fixed everything, we continued our trip offshore. Again, the weather was unbearable, so we ended up stopping at a Marina in Hilton Head were we spent Christmas eve and Christmas day. We really enjoyed our time at the Marina even though it was closed.
There were liveaboards at this marina. One of the residents provided the code to the showers for us to take some nice warm showers. In his word, he said “this is just a sailor helping another sailor”. It really put us in the Christmas spirit when he gave us those codes. Although, we have a water heater on board, we do not have a lot of water holding capacity, so for the three of us to take a nice warm shower, the tanks would empty quick. We ate dinner at the marina restaurant and enjoyed all the boats decorated with Christmas lights.
Attempting the trip one last time.
Leaving the Marina.
Maik and Benny coming back from shopping
Marina we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
The day after, Christmas we decided to continue on our journey to the Bahamas but again bad, weather, and engine problems caused us to decide to just end the trip altogether. There was a small vessel warning and wind of 20 to 25 knots and 6-8 foot waves. We decided to turn around at Tybee Island, GA. We took the ICW all the way back home. The trip back wasn’t that bad. We were glad we didn’t try to cross the ocean in those conditions. A friend of ours with a 60 foot boat, who left not too long before us told us that the weather was very rough for him, but he did make it to the Bahamas.
Maik taking a break
Midnight thinks my head is her pillow.
In the future, we will wait for better weather to try to attempt a trip like that again. Since we didn’t get to the Bahamas we ended up going to Asheville, NC instead and visited the Biltmore Estate. Although, it wasn’t warm, we still enjoyed ourselves and got to see the first snow of the season.