48 hours. Our longest time at sea yet. We left Charleston with the outgoing tide, and at 11:11 am, on 11-11-11, we were passing Fort Sumter and kissing in the cockpit while doing a whopping 7.5 knots. Life is good! And our sailing on that numerically historic day of 11-11-11, was stellar. Remember what I said awhile back about sailing being so much work? Well, sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s not! We had one of those days where we trimmed the sails on a nice close reach, put on the autopilot, and flew steadily and easily along at 6 knots for 10 hours straight, relaxing in the lovely sunshine. That’s my kind of sailing!!
Then we were becalmed. The wind just shut off and we were left there in the moonlight drifting. We didn’t even mind that much, it was so calm and peaceful just being out there in the magical full moon light in such calm water. After a few hours of drifting along VERY slowly, we finally decided to just anchor and go to sleep. We dropped the hook a few miles offshore, not too far from the Beaufort inlet, in 20 feet of water. Once stopped, the boat started rocking quite a bit in the gentle swell, so we snoozed for just a few hours and at dawn started off again, motoring slowly across “Lake” Atlantic. We managed to do a very slow spinnaker run in the faint breath of breeze for a few hours, going V E R Y S L O W L Y, and feeling v e r y r e l a x e d.
The creature of the day on Saturday were “mushroom” jellyfish. We passed through a whole migration of them. If you multiply 11 x 11 x 11, that’s how many jellyfish there were around our boat at any given time on Saturday afternoon. There were thousands of them, floating by on their own journey to who knows where. I call them mushroom jellyfish, because they look like mushrooms, especially the kind of mushrooms you see in Chinese take-out food that come in cans. But I’m sure they have a more official name than that.
We saw two beautiful sunsets and two beautiful sunrises. That is one of the best things of being out there on a sailboat, you see lots of sunrises and sunsets! Here is one!
Eventually the wind came back, and we sailed merrily along again until well into the middle of the night, when we were again becalmed. We motored the last few hours into the St. Mary’s inlet. We decided to go in there because I really wanted to go to Cumberland Island, and we realized that the easiest access to the island is from that inlet. St. Mary’s inlet is the border of Florida and Georgia, and we are feeling pretty stoked to have made it this far south! This leg of our ocean journey has been our most relaxed one yet, and it inspires us to do more! Now we are talking about just “skipping” Eastern Florida entirely and heading straight down to the keys from here on the ocean. Hopefully the weather will continue to be on our side for that! Recently we have been blessed with wonderful weather, especially compared to our journey south last year at around this same time, when we were dressed in 5 layers of clothing at all times and really suffering from the cold. This year the weather has been so much more pleasant and we are all that much more appreciative of it!!
We arrived into a nice anchorage just off of Cumberland Island just before noon, feeling happy and pleased with our trip. Now off to explore the island, which we missed visiting last year and have been looking forward to checking out for a whole year now!