Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Charleston to McClellanville

A change in metrics. We've run aground 3 times. Technically, that's inaccurate, since we touched the bottom of the ICW three times, but that all happened within a thirty minute period. So we're counting it as one.

Gotta say, this changes my position on global warming. When my boat is struggling in a well marked channel I say melt those icebergs!

We knew today would be through some very shallow waters. Russ monitors looper chats and we were prepared for the run into McClellanville, which is notorious in its depths, or lack of them. That's was why we left Charleston at 11 am. Low tide would be around 1 pm. Our arrival would be around 3 pm, mid-way to high tide. Should be perfect.
Sunrise in Charleston. You can see Cat-n-Dogs on the right

However, they were dredging (again with the dredgers!) a thin section about a third of the way en route. As we approached we could see a boat tilted nearby. As You Wish had run solidly aground. Her crew hung out on the back, reading and biding their time, waiting for a rising tide to save her. But she loomed like an omen near the channel.

There was a boat ahead of me (Water Dog) and a boat behind me (Wanderlure). Both Russ and I watched where Water Dog traveled, since they draft more than us, surely that would be safe. But somehow we missed their path by a few feet, and that was all it took. We bumped and stuck a bit. I backed out and turned, but the wind pushed us back in. We bumped again. This time I backed out and kept it in reverse until I was well and clear. By then Wanderlure caught up with us so we let her pass. Then I tried to follow her, and danged it! Again, we bumped. I almost panicked. Where was I supposed to go??!! I was able to back out, easily. All of this is in soft mud, so nothing was being harmed. In fact, the channel is a little deeper now.

Behold, the bimini!
We noticed that Wanderlure had stopped -- we thought maybe she ran aground. She hailed us, saying the dredge was moving so she was waiting until they stopped. So did we, although nervously, worried that I'd drift back over some mud. Eventually she moved and we followed her, coming close enough to the dredge to have a quick conversation with its crew. 

I have to say that one of our many navigational aids contains pretty recent depth information. Up until today, it was very accurate. But what we saw on the chart and experienced didn't quite gel. Nerve racking.

Note to loopers: Leave Charleston at a rising tide!

By the time we reached the section of the channel we knew would be an issue, the tide had come up (as planned) and our depths were excellent -- 7 to 9 feet below our hull. 

In addition to the tidal charts, we chose McClellanville for their seafood. There's a restaurant here that many say is one of the best on the loop. They are only open for dinner on the weekends, however, and their lunch service ends at 3. We arrived close to 4.

We took the rest of the afternoon to install the new bimini. So, there's that. Now we're really ready for some sunny days.

Nope, don't wanna be there.

1 comment:

  1. Obhh, not a good picture for a. mother to see!,, stay safe! Love you both, miss you. Mom


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