We left Port Royal at 1:00 PM to begin our overnight offshore leg to Brunswick. We were raring to go as we were pretty tired of getting pounded into the transient dock by the prior days’ strong winds.
It was a beautifully sunny and brisk day when we left, and the winds were forecast to be 10-15 knots. Since we only had a few hours of daylight remaining after we left the marina, we put one reef in the main. Ironically enough, this turned out to be totally unnecessary as the winds never got over 5 knots all night.
Another ridiculously beautiful day on the water.
We don’t like to eat dinner in the dark, and since the sun set at 5:15 PM, we ate an early dinner in the cockpit. As I am prone to sea sickness, I always make our offshore dinners ahead of time so I’m not below for too long. I have a few standards that are hearty, easy to premake, store well, and reheat easily in one pot. Usually it’s black beans and rice with cheese and The World’s Best Sofrito (thanks, N!), penne pasta with garlic and olive oil, or vegetarian green chili. This time we had sandwiches because we had eaten an enormous lunch from a takeout Chinese place in Port Royal.
Winter sailing means short days, but the sunsets are sure worth it.
After dinner, we started our three-hour watches at 6:00 PM. I really like the three-hour schedule as I find it gives me a large enough chunk of time to get some decent rest but pushes the boundaries of how long I can stay awake and alert. Going below and sleeping comfortably in a sea berth is the key; we have set up a lee cloth on the starboard settee with lots of pillows and a comfy blanket, a flashlight and headlamp, and a kitchen timer for an alarm clock. It’s like heaven.
The Captain usually takes watches from 6:00-9:00PM, midnight to 3:00 AM, and from 6:00 AM on. I take 9:00-midnight and 3:00-6:00 AM. I catch an hour-ish sleep in the cockpit at 6:00 AM so that I can help the Captain spot buoys if we are entering an inlet and then get up to make coffee and greet the day.
It was a beautiful night’s motorsail. The sky was clear and absolutely packed with stars. We left the cockpit enclosure up to knock down the chilly wind and keep us comfortably warm. Boat traffic was minimal except when going past Savannah, but it can get so boring that the smallest thing seems very exciting.
The entry into St. Simons Sound Inlet from the ocean is straight forward, and the transition to Brunswick Harbor Inlet is roomy. This was our first time coming in to St. Simons Sound Inlet, and it’s a breeze.
The St. Simons Island Lighthouse is still operational. It was built in 1810, destroyed by Confederate troops to prevent its use by Union forces, and then rebuilt in 1872.
We were heading for Brunswick Harbor Marina, which is easily located by passing under the Sidney Lanier Bridge and hanging a right.
Some of our neighbors on the way to the marina.
We were planning on staying only a few days in Brunswick before heading offshore to St. Augustine, FL, but the offshore weather is getting ugly again. Instead, we will be staying in Brunswick at least through this week and will make our next leg a three-day passage from Brunswick to Ft. Pierce, FL.
In the meantime, we are enjoying the amazing hospitality at this marina (which will be its own post) and are looking forward to our first Cruisers’ Thanksgiving celebration among our tribe.
The journey from Port Royal, SC, to Brunswick, GA, was 21 hours for 106.9 nm.