C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Back in the ICW

As evening approached on the 21st we were 26 hours out from Charleston, SC and 24NM west of the St. Mary's Inlet.  The sailing during the day went smoothly with C'est la Vie averaging around 6 knots, winds slowing shifting from a close reach to a beam reach, and Otto managing the helm.

Throughout the afternoon we watched cumulonimbus clouds building over the mainland to our west.  As the sun vanished behind the towering clouds, NOAA began to issue severe thunderstorm warnings. 
It took some creative investigative efforts to deduce the locations of the storms over land - NOAA kept refering to mainland cities and counties.  Minimal inland information is  included in our digital or paper charts.  We did finally confirm that the worst of the storms, 60mph gusts and marble sized hail, was moving east southeast about 40 miles off our bow.  If we continued our present course we would likely cross paths - no thanks!

At 19:33 we jibed C'est la Vie and set a course due west in hopes of slipping in behind the storm once it passed to our north.  More cells and warnings appeared before us.  In preparation we stowed the genny, double reefed the main, and started the motor. 

Around 22:00, as lightening cleaved the night sky on three sides of our position, it became clear that our offshore jump to Charleston or beyond was not to be. 

The St. Mary's River Inlet offered our best option for refuge.  At 01:13 we rejoined the ICW.  At 02:00 we were working to set the anchor off Cumberland Island admist a thunderstorm with 5 counts (5 seconds between seeing the flash of lightening and hearing the crack of thunder.)

The storm passed our anchorage with minimal impact and sleep came quickly for our weary crew.

We slept in are are now motorsailing northward in the ICW along in the Georgia Low Country.

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