Note: Although this posted today, it was actually written early Thursday, Nov 7
Hilton Head Island, SC. Anchored in Broad Creek, just outside of the Broad Creek Marina
Weather: High 60s/low 70s (in both places) during the day; high 40s and 50s at night
• Spiced Rhumb
• Far Nientes (this will resonate with my old high school friends as we had a club of the same name. Meaning: Do Nothings!)
Since we left Charleston, we have been experiencing the phenomenal tides that are typical of this area plus a bit more due to some unusual weather. Tides here usually run 8-9’ but now there is an additional 1 to 1.5’ above the normal. In the course of a day we see the water around us at “flood” cover an amazing amount of what is usually ‘land”. And at the other end, at “ebb”, or low tide, there is sometimes so little water in the channels, creeks and rivers that we’re navigating with only a few feet on either side of the boat to maneuver.
Imagine what that is like to anchor in! If you don't get it right you can finish up sitting on the bottom, lying over on your side when the tide goes out. Or there is not enough anchor rope out when the tide comes up, so the anchor drags and the boat moves - into who knows what. So far we have been lucky and were able to anchor when the tide was low so we knew what we were dealing with.
The other challenge we deal with in this part of the country (in the ICW) is current since we’re in so many rivers. The current is strong, and great if we’re going in the same direction- we just FLY along, sometimes at 2 knots faster than normal speed. If we’re against the current, it is a slog to get through, slowing our time considerably. We find ourselves checking to see if we are dealing with head or tail currents by using the pilings and markers along our route. They show the water streaming past, going in the direction of the current.
It’s a far cry from our tides in the Chesapeake Bay which are on average about 2'. There are occasional situations when a constant wind blowing in a certain direction stops the Chesapeake Bay from flowing back out to sea; then the high tide can be significantly above normal as you saw in an earlier posting where Wendy was wading across our jetty. Interestingly the owner of our marina, Buddy, says that in the last 40 years he has seen the average water level rise at least 2'!
For the moment, we’re enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our Canadian friends, Leo and Lana, in their winter quarters in Hilton Head. It’s a beautiful island. Tomorrow I’m off to visit daughter Naomi, her husband, Jesse and our newest grandchild, Amaia.