Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Leaving for Charleston on Wednesday (tomorrow)
Well, we made our decision. This afternoon we'll do an oil change, haul the dinghy onto the foredeck, clean the inside of the boat, haul out the ditch bag, etc. and get ready to head north in the morning. As long as our starter works, we plan to leave sometime between 7am and 8am and head north from Nassau, around the northern end of the Berry Islands, turn west through the Northwest Providence Channel and then stop at West End on Grand Bahama Island. We'll be "buddy boating" with Shiver, and they need to pick up fuel before heading farther north (they have a 35gal tank vs. our 110gal tanks). Then we'll head northwest and catch the Gulf Stream, and then follow the path of the stream until we're about 75-100 miles from Charleston. If the weather is still good, we may continue north to Beaufort, NC. Otherwise we'll stop in Charleston for a few days. The Gulf Stream will give us a 2.5kt-4kt push in the direction we're going, so we can save many hours, if not a full day, of sailing/motoring. The total trip is about 540nm (620 miles) to Charleston, and I believe it's an additional 100nm to go to Beaufort (if we do that). If I'm estimating correctly, we should conservatively arrive in Charleston by no later than noon on Saturday. I haven't done the math to Beaufort, but I believe we'd have to slow down some so we could arrive there the next morning at first light.
I should be able to post some updates from our satellite phone along the way. Also, as always, follow along with our SPOT track. I've put an "artists rendering" of our approximate path below. Click on it for a larger version. The red is our standard path and the green shows the portion where we will be in the Gulf Stream.