Category Archives: sailing

Charleston Harbor to Bohicket Creek via The Intracoastal Waterway


The vessel – Bavaria 39, 6 foot draft, 56 foot mast

The captain – my husband

The crew – moi

Upon leaving the Charleston Harbor there are two bridges to deal with. The Ashley River Bridge and the Wadmalaw Island Bridge.

The Ashley River Bridge has clearance of 65 feet at high tide but upon approach it looks A LOT shorter. I just knew we were going to clip the mast and I thought I would have a heart attack. We didn’t. I didn’t.

What I learned – Trust the charts.

The Wadmalaw Island Bridge has a clearance of about 20 feet so you need the help of the “bridge-keeper”, she who opens the bridge on the hour or whenever you pick up the radio and ask nicely.

What I learned – On that part of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) there is ample room, and ample depth, thank the lord, to perform spectacular boat pirouettes in order to kill some time before the bridge traffic can be stopped and the bridge opened up.

After the bridge drama it’s possible to sit back and enjoy the scenery as you motor down to Bohicket Creek. It’s impossible to sail this stretch as the waterway is very curvy and very shallow.

ICW from the boatdead tree ICW

What I learned – Stay in the channel and keep your eye on the depth gauge no matter how many dolphins make an appearance.

To get into Bohicket Creek the vessel must be steered out of the ICW and into the Edisto River where the water opens up and you have a little bit of time to relax after white-knuckling the helm through the narrow and shallow channel. But soon it’s back to a steady hand on the helm as you maneuver into Bohicket Creek. The creek is just as pretty as a picture, complete with a tiny little shrimp fleet.

shrimp boats

What I learned – Approach to the marina is easy with plenty of deep water thus making docking doable without creating a public spectacle.

The Bohicket Marina is quiet and family-friendly. It has a great little restaurant and an okay little store stocked with essentials like beer and bait. The view of the sunset over the marsh is spectacular from an al fresco table at the restaurant. The guys on the dock are young and cute and wear matching blue t-shirts and can assist you with just about anything … except getting a receipt for overnight dockage … and locating the two courtesy bicycles … and paying attention when fueling your boat. But they’re friendly and funny, so it’s all good.

What I learned – I’ll go back to Bohicket.

sunset Bohicket





British Virgin Islands – Day 1


Home is a 36 foot Beneteau.  We slept aboard last night, still in the marina at Wickham’s Cay.  Just had a boat orientation with a chap named Carlton, photos later as I can figure it out. Next task is chart briefing, then we’re on our own.
Weather – cloudy
Forecast – haven’t checked
Captain’s mood – alert

the law of large


as a mere bystander in this epic tale i have derived that 99% of becoming certified to sail a big boat involves “how to stay out of trouble”. 
hours and hours are spent on tedious things like water currents, channel markers (incredibly confusing); lights (red, green and/or white) – together, alone or combination – they all mean different things; depth gauges (very important); and all sorts of other stuff that, ignored, would make a nice little outing morph into a potential disaster. 
make that certain disaster.

and the last thing good capt will wants is a disaster on his boat! 
speaking of capt will, he is so cute, 27 years old, owns the charleston sailing school, employs several other captains to teach, (he fired the one that crashed his boat into the bridge) and maintains three boats, er sloops. he is also chief provision gatherer, laundress, mechanic, secretary, and carries many other titles that i cannot fathom (note nautical term).
yesterday as we came back in from a jaunt, the tide and current provided not-so-perfect conditions for parking this 44 footer into the slip at the marina.  capt will took over the wheel and the throttle and whipped this baby into the slip – in reverse.  meanwhile, our new neighbors in the adjacent slip were enjoying an evening beverage and watching the sun set.  later they were still wide-eyed at the sudden flurry of activity upon watching an approaching boat heading right toward them, backwards, but settling, ever so delicately into the slip.  we are in good hands.

i got to sail!!

soon-to-be-certifiable , oops, i mean certified

wind machine?


i ascended the staircase, i.e. shin buster, from the salon (real term) and entered the classroom on the porch (probably not a real term).
on my way out for a stroll and not wanting to interupt …


capt. will asked me to put a quarter in the wind machine while i was out – i’ve scoured this marina with a pocket full of quarters and there is absolutely no wind machine – he must be thinking of another marina 🙂

pupil, tired pupil

staircase / shin buster

no place for sissies


… or whiners
… or people who are accustomed to a bathtub
… or people who are accustomed to a real mattress
… or people who bruise easily
… or people who are claustrophobic

this morning rob asked if i’d had enough coffee as he was poised to dump it down the drain.
“do i look like i’ve had enough coffee???”
he poured me another cup, patted my sore back, kissed me on my dry, cracked cheek and happily went off in search of capt. will

how fortunate for all of us that i am not one of those people mentioned above!

little kitchen sink

master suite

note kitchen sink is about the same size as the cave, er master suite!!

it’s all good!
we take the big boat out into big water today.
capt. will has provisioned us very well.
i’m reading a good book and enjoying the scenery, although not simultaneously.

ahoy, y’all !!

good day


rob passed his little test so we’re on to bigger things tomorrow.  he starts with capt will first thing and they will go over chart work. this was new to rob. he has not studied the chart work part of the text book.
guess what he is doing right now ….
we met a couple from rock hill – their boat is totally cool – geothermal heat and AC.
didn’t see assistant russell this afternoon – the mast must be ship-shape.  🙂