I couldn't resist doing another blog to show where we are
spending tonight on the boat.
We ran out of time to get where we could anchor safely and
because we don't ever want to travel this waterway at night, we just stopped in
our tracks, threw out the anchor and here we is.
We ran out of time because this is the most nerve racking
traveling one could imagine. The water in the dredged portion is never
even 20 feet deep. Mostly about 12-16 feet. Also the channel is very
narrow and easy to wander out of. It is well marked, however the aids to
navigation are far apart, so it is easy to wander a bit. Both Judy and I
have bumped once today. Judy got us hard aground when she got no more than
5 feet out of the imaginary boundary of the channel. We had deflated the
dinghy so I had to pump that back up, all the while the tide is going out fast
so if I can't get an anchor set for kedging, we were there for the
I got the dinghy ready and in the water when I spied a guy
on his dock next to us about 200 feet away. He knew we were aground
because apparently lots of people do it regularly. I hollered over and
asked if he could launch is boat off the boat lift and tow us off. He
It took him what seemed forever to get his keys to the
boat, get it off the lift, start the engine and motor slowly out to us. At
one point, after he had lowered the boat into the water, he started the motor
but couldn't make it budge off the lift. I could see the boat wasn't all
the way in the water and floating. I shouted to him to lower it a bit
more. He thanked me for the tip. All the while the tide is
going out and there is less and less water underneath is.
At long last he got close enough to take my line and then
proceed to just wrap it in circles around his cleat. I thought oh,oh, it's
going to come undone and maybe caught in his prop.
After a few aborted tries, he got the boat at the correct
angle to the way I wanted us pulled off and then gave it the guns.
Surprisingly, we came off very easy. I thanked him profusely and kept
All of this took about an hour and it was this last hour
that has kept us for getting to our destination.
There is a terrific current in the channel due to the
tide, which is going out. We are only in 7.8 feet of water and we draw 6.5
feet. The tide is almost one meter (3 feet) so I am sure we will be on the
bottom at some point tonight.
I have a lot of admiration for those brave souls who do
the Great Loop which is A LOT of ICW motoring. This is a waterway that
requires constant navigation. Fifty feet to the right or left and you
are out of the channel in many spots and you are hard aground. There
isn't much time to look around and see the sights. Which, for the most
part are just single family homes anyway. Many have enormous docks
that sometimes stretch 100 yards or more to get in no more
than 6 feet of water. Some must cost as much as a home to
build. They all have a gazebo at the end along with a fancy boat lift that
can take care of boats up to 25 feet or so.
Tomorrow is another day and hopefully one not so
stressful. We only made 52 miles today. If we could have been on the
outside in the Atlantic it would have been 100 miles. The weather is still
rotten for sailing north. Winds are blowing 20-25 kts right out of the
I am sending this from the boat using somebody's wifi
which I can pick up. I can't even see a house so this is one powerful wifi
adaptor and antenna.