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A great southern USA welcome!

Zlippp – a kind of swishing sound caused us to focus immediately on the bow of the boat. The jib was whizzing down the tack and into the sea! Maggie and I were enjoying a pleasant 8.5 kt broad reach, with a good 2 knots of tide from the gulf stream on our 475nm trip from the Bahamas to land fall at Charlestown. We were both in the cockpit and before we could do anything the lovely new genoa was in the rolling sea!- the top shackle had sheared and the furler was stuck at the top of the fore stay. An hour later, with some nifty positioning in reverse we managed to heave the 81 m2 of genoa onto the deck and get it tied down.

We continued with main and the cutter and rolled into the long approach to the Charleston estuary after an easy 3 day downwind sail. Over the next few weeks we were to develop a new skill – docking with a river tide ripping through the berth! When you turn a corner you can go from been in reverse trying to slow down to 6kts to 0 kts and full throttle trying to make headway, add a cross wind blowing you off the pontoon and it can be interesting. Charleston was our first experience of this, so it was not a very graceful landing but thanks to the lovely marina crew on shore ready to take out lines we got safely berthed and had a celebratory beer and tequiala.

First job was fixing the Genoa ( which required some angle grinding), and a good rig check.Charleston’s old town was beautiful – tree lined streets with fabulous woodern clad large houses. A relaxing place, with a great feel about it. (that was until we tried to cycle our bikes across the freeway – wow it was busy). Charleston marina staff were terrific. Within 24 hours they organised a rig check, got me a spare raw water pump and provided a load of engine service items I had been trying to get for a few months. – Great boatyard service. Their tips on where to eat and drink were spot on too, and with a free courtesy bus into town we enjoyed

Next stop was Georgetown – another great southern welcome. The lovely Debbie gave us a fabulous walking tour – this lady seemed to know every family in town and the history to their house. She also was able to recount ghost experiences throughout. – Walking in the lovley tree lined streets listening to her stories in 85 degrees made for a very pleasant few hours.

The weather now dictated that we either did a short hope to the next town and weighted or just went for a three day sail around Cape Hatteras and headed for the Chesapeake. We pointed our nose out to sea and decided to go for it – Chesapeake here we come.