Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lost in the James Island Wildlife Refuge

A successful over night expedition, featuring following winds, fair weather, beer, and returning with the same number of sailors that we started out with. All good statistics.

We could be anywhere...

October 5
My long-time climbing buddy and I loaded up and sailed the 25 miles from Deale to Slaughter Creek, mostly under spinnaker in lightish wind, but generally enough for 5-7 knot speeds. Pleasant. Plenty of time to solve the worlds problems and puzzle out some light air sailing improvements. We had not teamed-up on the boat for over a year, so there was some re-learning, of course. All good--and how I hate that over used cliche.

The goal, the purpose for coming, was to do a more satisfying exploration of the James Island Wildlife Refuge by kayak. I'd been there before, but never with sufficient time to explore deeply. Arriving just after noon, we had plenty of time...

... To get lost.

We didn't actually get lost. We paddled steadily for 3 hours, through narrow guts and across open ponds,
through breaks in the reeds, and in open fairways. When returning, we chose a generally parallel path that didn't waste much distance but never backtracked. And yet, no matter how I study the Google and Bing images, I can't begin to plot where we went. Some explorers we are.

However, we found satisfaction with our remaining athleticism; our aging bodies held up though miles of sustained paddling with no apparent strains and with no real soreness the next days. The only evidence of the mileage was feeling dead tired that evening, but that's what beer is for.

October 6
A small craft advisory breeze, always behind the beam, made for a quick return. A few reefs in the main and a full genoa kept her well balanced, heading for the barn. Almost dull, in fact, so we intentionally sailed just past the harbor, beating back up into the breeze for 5 miles, just for the expereince. We sailed higher and knots faster than a pair of 36- and 40-foot monohulled cruisers, dispelling or at least for today, suspending, the myth that cruising cats can't go to weather.

A success, over all, if I could just figure out where we were....

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