Despite our phone conversation with Garmin cartography manager Ken Cirillo, the company had still not officially declared their plans for ActiveCaptain in writing. That changed today with a Garmin email to AC captains beginning: “ActiveCaptain Community will continue to be a free online site…” That statement echoes what we were told by Cirillo, along with his assurance that Garmin remains committed to working with AC partners (i.e. independent app developers). And there’s more official good news in the email.Read More
Well, if you’re following the tracker, you’ll know that Mo and Randall left for San Francisco yesterday. And very quickly turned around and came back. What’s the problem? Well the AIS antenna (tested before he left) apparently is not doing what it’s supposed to do. Sailing 9000 something miles back to San Francisco with no radar to see what’s out there just seems like a bad idea. Team Figure 8 thinks that maybe the mast (probably actually) went for a swim during the various knockdowns and the atenna is just busted. So back to the store (thanks Darryl) it ...Read More
Every time I work on a boat hull propped up on the hard I think of this: what if it falls over? Even worse, what if it falls over on top of me? Then I chase that errant bit of evil paranoia from my mind. Nah, can’t happen! But apparently it can. Witness this alarming news-bit from Great Britain. Kevin Keeler, age 56, crushed to death on Monday by his new-to-him 29-foot Westerly, Ginny Kwik, at the Weymouth Sailing Club in Dorset as he was preparing to launch it after a quick haul-out. He’d only bought the boat three ...Read More
This was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps you recall how I built a solar-charged bilge pump system into Gizmo’s beloved Fatty Knees 9 tender Gadget in early 2016. Well, it has worked very well but also taken some abuse, and the already seasoned 3AH motorcycle-type battery died last December. There were a great many choices on Amazon (even with the same YTX5L-BS model name ;-), but if you want the amazing technology seen above, get the Chrome Pro Series iGel (somehow only $22.50 with shipping in January).
Yes, that is a built-in voltage tester, and if you hold down ...Read More
If ever there was a year not to go to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), this year is it. Or is it? Yes, the BVI got trounced by Hurricane Irma back in September. Yes, there was a huge number of boats lost. And yes, many of the areas best known resorts such as The Bitter End Yacht Club and Peter Island Resort and Spa, have been forced to close their doors and sit out the season until repairs are made. Despite all this, the British Virgin ...Read More
Just north of the St. Johns River at Jacksonville FL is a new spot to keep clear of. There is shoaling building in from the east at the mouth of Garden Creek. We saw 7.2 feet at +3.8 feet of tide. This shoal has 3.4 feet at low water. Stay slightly to the red side of center and you’ll see 12 feet. The shoal clearly shows in the Navionics Sonar Chart. Because we had significant tidal help our track shows we intentionally crossed one of these shoals to confirm the depths shown on the Navionics Sonar Chart....Read More
We have been keeping an eye on Watts Cut for a couple of years. There seems to be a shoal building. Half way between G137 and G 135 we saw depths which would work out to 6.3 feet MLLW. There will be less water if you stray from center. If your boat draws over 5.5 feet it would be wise to transit Watts Cut on a rising tide.
Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff between R 180 to R184 is shallow and narrow. Our track through here was along the visual center of the cut. On our track between R184 and G 181 the shallowest we noticed would be 6.1 feet MLLW.
This is significantly better than the 4.5 feet saw heading south, which tells us that that the track you take may yield quite different depths. Recommend that you have some tidal help and transit on a rising tide. R172 to R 168 we stayed in visual center NOT chart center. There is over 10 feet MLLW.
As you get ...Read More
A story of fun, adventure and a bit of mishap
For the most part, the boating season here on the Chesapeake Bay is pretty much toast. Oh, there are still a few boats running around and of course the diehard racers are still out there but for all practical purposes the season is over. Last week however, we had a nice stretch of indian summer with unseasonably warm temps in the mid-seventies, clear blue skies, and plenty of sunshine. This, along with the fall foliage being just about at its peak, served up the perfect conditions to head out onto ...Read More
Buttermilk Sound R208 There is a distinct shoal building into the ICW. It is located about 400 feet SE of R208. At 31 8.744 N and 081 20.984W. It shows clearly on the Navionics Sonar Charts. If you are using NOAA charts or other cartography, you might just put a warning waypoint on your charts. Being that it is on the red side of the channel this is more of a concern headed south when you naturally stay closer to the red side of the ICW.
This has been a shoal area for several years. But there is 9 feet of tide here so with a little planning it is easy to transit. Our observations, after a number of transits over the past few years, is that if a tug and barge goes through at near low tide, the channel is deeper. This was the case in the spring of 2016, but it filled in again. In November of 2017 the best water we could find was only about 3.5 feet. A barge went through in mid-February 2018 and our passage on March 19, 2018 showed ...Read More