Fernandina to Port Royal 5/12/2016

Took off yesterday from Fernandina, plan was to go outside to St. Simon’s Island. It was sunny, warm and a 10knt wind from the south east. Past the St. Mary’s Inlet breakwater and turned north. First I had to get past the pickets on patrol, gathering all the illegal shrimp. I set a course and passed two crossing shrimpers by passing in front of them by about 1/4 mile. By then I was into the nice warm day and gentle 2ft seas, so I decided I would go for Port Royal, SC, 120 miles. Being on my own I agreed with the mutiny. Then I put up the sails and charted a new course, 32 Degrees Magnetic. That would end up right at the entrance to Port Royal Sound. ETA at the buoy was 12:30 AM. Didn’t have to trim much, I was doing 7 knts and was happy to let the autopilot hold the course. As I was passing Wassaw Sound the sun was getting low. Not wanting to have to take down the sails alone in the dark I struck them and went on under power. Getting past the Savannah River entrance (Tybee Roads) I was confronted with a sight I had never seen, two white lights high above the horizon with a green light a little lower. It was too dark to see anything else, and in my position it didn’t look like it was moving. So I powered on at 6nkts. A few minutes later I looked again and it looked to be closer, and the green light moved to the left. It was moving! I “put the pedal to the metal ” and got past the entrance only to look back and see an empty car hauler about 1/2 mile back crossing my stern, those suckers are huge. Made it to the entrance to Port Royal within 15 minutes of the original ETA, but then the fun started. First and weather report came over the VHF radio (The radio automatically switched to the weather channel because it was a serious weather alert) Thunderstorms ahead, but don’t worry, there’re well inshore, Then I saw the clouds off to my left and right and a roll of clouds streaking between them. And the lightning started. It was weird lightning, yellow, not white. And it was going from cloud to cloud, and cloud to ground. And it was all around. The wind came up to about 30knts and when I passed under the cloud roll I could swear my mast cut through them. I was sure I would be hit. But as quick as it came it passed behind me. a total of 1 hour of shear fear, then calm. I passed the rest of the voyage quickly and set my anchor just before the Lady’s Island Drive High Bridge. 19.5 hours, 120 miles, Avg 6.3KNts

1 thought on “Fernandina to Port Royal 5/12/2016

  1. WOW!!!!! wish i were with you though all that excitement. something you’ll never forget. glad you’re safe and sound now.

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