United States
Camp Bay

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    • Day 5

      Wiscasset to Georgetown, SC

      November 2, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 55 °F

      We said when we bought Ballyhoo that we would stop doing overnights but, leaving Maine as late in the season as we choose to, we have to grab the good weather windows when we can, regardless of the timing. In this case, leaving mid afternoon Tuesday October 17th looked like a good opportunity to get a head start on a weather system that would stop us by the end of that week.

      Still learning our new boat, we were grateful to have calm conditions for our first big offshore run down to the Cape Cod Canal, through Buzzard's Bay and down Long Island Sound. 24 hours got us through NYC to Sandy Hook Bay to anchor for the night, then we had an atypically easy run down the New Jersey Shore until we got about 2 hours outside of Cape May. The winds kicked up and we had to go through the Cape May Inlet with wind against current, our first experience with Ballyhoo in rough conditions. As usual, we enjoyed the town for several days while we waited out weather.

      We debated going through the Chesapeake but chose, instead, to save a few days and go back offshore for what looked to be a good window to get down to Norfolk. We knew if we pushed a little that we could get there during daylight hours. Again, we were blessed with great conditions and made it to our anchorage well before dark.

      We chose the Dismal Swamp option again and were surprised at how many other boats were doing the same as it's usually the less travelled route. The lock master was able to get us all into the first lock, but we were packed in like sardines with boats on both sides and rafted in the middle. There were only 3 of us left going all the way through that day so we anticipated getting in and out of the second lock more efficiently. Unfortunately, there was a mechanical issue with the gate of the lock and we were stuck on the north side of the bridge with nowhere to tie up. We dropped anchor expecting to stay there until morning but at around 5 pm the lock master opened the bridge for us and allowed us to tie up on the bulkhead for the night. By the time of the first lock opening the next morning, the repair was adequate enough to get us through almost on schedule.

      We had pleasant conditions from Albermarle Sound all the way to Beaufort, NC. We anchored in Taylor Creek for the night then went offshore from Beaufort to the Masonboro Inlet. Ready to stretch our legs and wanting to take advantage of the temperatures in the mid 80s, we stopped in Wrightsville Beach, dropped the dinghy and enjoyed a couple of days there.

      We had one more chance to enjoy a beautiful anchorage before the cold front and stopped for our first time at the Bird Island Preserve, right on the NC/SC state line. From there we headed to Georgetown where we have been waiting out the cold since Tuesday in the marina. We've enjoyed reacquainting ourselves with the town as we realized we haven't been here in 10 years!

      Getting used to going faster has presented us with a new learning curve. Especially challenging has been trying to figure out how to courteously pass other boats. Ballyhoo throws quite a wake so learning when to pull the throttle back and when it's okay to pull ahead again is requiring our full attention at this point. So, even though our days have been shorter, we seem to be getting just as tired!

      Temperatures are better tomorrow so we'll head toward Charleston with no particular destination in mind. We have more flexibility now so we're trying to not be in a big hurry!
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