This is a post of Saga’s Journey home, Day 2. I have included Facebook posts, in blue.
January 21 Kelly Sullivan Wyatt
7:00AM near North Myrtle Beach, SC
Good morning, swing bridge! We’ll be there soon!
Today Kevin and I left North Myrtle Beach (ICW mile 354) at 8:00. We had to wait for the swing bridge to … well, swing. The operator told us to “come on”, but when we got close, there were still cars crossing the bridge. So, we had to circle back and wait. Once we were through, we proceeded at a pretty slow rate — approx 4.5MPH. That would put us at our next destination (Southport Marina, ICW mile 309) after dark. With concern, we pushed on. We soon got up to over 6MPH using motor and jib sail, so our eta went back to between 4-4:30.
January 21 Kelly Sullivan Wyatt
near Carolina Shores, NC
Kevin and I pulled out of Barefoot Landing Marina at 8am. Late for sailors, I know, but we both got some much needed rest and actually slept better than either of us had in the last week.
After we left the “rockpile” stretch of the ICW, I read that we should have radio checked to see if there were any barges coming that we would have to avoid in the narrow channel. Oops. We believe that we just crossed the state line. Hoping to make Southport Marina before dark.
It was a pleasant day and the ICW was a straight shot, so I was able to take a number of pictures along the way.
All went well until Lockwood’s Folly Inlet. Hmmm. You can read about the trouble at Lockwood’s Folly here (and you can and learn why it is called Lockwood’s Folly here).
I guess we should have. We were going through while the tide was ebbing, it is a narrow channel with rip-rap along the channel’s edge on the west side and an assortment of channel markers. We drew our line, carried on…. and found ourselves grounded. Dang.
We called Boat US and inadvertently gave then the name of the previous inlet, where they could not find us. Once we got that straightened out, we had to sit tight for about 45 minutes waiting for help. The marine patrol came by, and I guess they thought we would be ok, because they left. We were a nice un-channel marker for the southbound sailboat that soon came by. While we were waiting, Saga listed more and more to her starboard side… I took a picture at 25 degrees, and she listed even more than that at one time.
While Kevin was … indisposed… Saga suddenly shifted more upright. He… composed… himself and ran on deck to see if we were breaking loose. Sadly, Saga soon settled into more of an incline.
I was not freaking out — I knew we were safe, but I was almost in tears thinking that if we listed too much and Saga took on water, we’d lose her right then and there. I was upset at the cruelty of that to Saga and to Keith’s memory.
Fortunately, the towboat US fellow came along soon after (“Kevin– why is his boat so SMALL?”). Kevin let him know that Saga was an older boat and asked him to be gentle. So he hooked lines up to her bow and stern and proceeded to wash the sand out on her starboard side, and… WHAT, pull her more to her starboard side??? Yup, he gently tugged at her bow, gently tugged at her stern, washed out sand, lather, rinse, repeat. And then…. slowly… slowly… faster… faster… Saga up-righted herself and we were pulled off the sand. We were towed past the inlet, tested the motor, the rudder, everything we could and proceeded on.
Next on our plate was a *beautiful* rainbow. Yup, a rainbow. What does that mean on an otherwise sunny day? Yup, rain. It started to come on strong and Kevin suited up in rain gear (thanks, Kenny, for your dry sack full of surprises). I asked him if that is like carrying an umbrella — we wouldn’t need it. Well, we DID need it, but just for a few minutes.
It was about that time I saw a pod of dolphins. They probably came up to see what fools were NORTH BOUND in January! I was not able to get a picture of them. I kept my hand on the tiller. Soon after that we heard the rumble of thunder and some lightning. But, no more rain, and the storm stayed a good bit away.
Our two-hour delay put us into Southport after dark. We had to search for the channel markers that were not lit by flashlight for several miles, and we had to find the marina by flashlight. But, we made it around 6:15. There was no one to help us dock the boat, but Kevin did a fantabuous job of docking without dock-side assistance.
Once we got the boat settled and I collected my belongings (including Kevin’s warm hat OOPS), we went and had some wonderful pizza. We left Kenny and Kevin at the Marina around 8:00 and arrived home, traveling through snow and rain, around 11:00.
The final days of Saga’s journey home hopefully will be documented by Kevin and Kenny. In some ways I was sad to leave. It was fun time on Saga, something I never had with Keith, but some time with Kevin that I will always cherish.