Departing Charleston

Finally it was time to leave Charleston and continue our way back up to New Jersey. To leave from the City Marina can be challenging depending on wind and tide, so I was planning my departure carefully and in the beginning it looked good.

We were planning to leave close to slack tide and with no wind forecasted. Unfortunately another boat arrived the day earlier and put us in a tight spot (imagine you get your car parked in with one in front and one behind). Until now I do not know why the marina placed the boat  so close to us as it had a lot of space behind (and they were leaving 1 hour after us). The owner of the boat was very friendly and told me that he is able to help me when we are leaving. So I felt comfortable leaving with no wind, not much current and 5 ft in front and about 12 ft in the back. Usually I would always depart against the current or wind (if exists), but this time I thought that backing out without wind and current would be better as I have more space to swing the bow towards the dock. I asked our friendly neighbor to go on his boat and if we come too close he can fend us off.

So off I went, the dock hand used a spring line to get the stern out and then backed up. Out of a sudden the boat moved more sidewards than backwards and as I hesitated to push backwards, our boat hit the neighbors boat. Our neighbor was not able to fend off. Luckily no damage on the other boat and some scratches on our gelcoat.

Just a flesh wound

So I learned some valuable lessons after I debriefed the departure with the harbor master afterwards over the phone:
– even the slightest current can push the boat going in the same direction
– if someone wants to help to fend off, make sure he has a fender in his hand
– if there is more space, tell people to move the boat
– Pre-brief departure with Dockmaster rather than de-brief 

The rest of the journey to North Myrtle Beach was uneventful. It took us about 90min to get out of the ocean, which was a bit rough  but once we set course North it was smooth sailing until the little river inlet. 

At Myrtle Beach Yacht club we were greeted by our friend Jamie (who owns the same boat as us), unfortunately his wife was away. This was a good opportunity for a boys night with beer and fish and chips. 

I learned so much from Jamie to fix things on our boat that we might need some more dinners to pay him back :-). Before we left we enjoyed a BBQ together – until next time wonderful friend

Another pleasant surprise was the visit from our NJ friend Stacy’s parents. Ann and Joe are living near Southport and showed us the beautiful Myrtle beach. There was a very yummy ice cream shop we tried out – our first this year.

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