Cruising

One month Till Departure.

7 Jun

 

I’m again the caretaker of a floating vessel. Whenever Satori is in the water she occupies a place in the back of my mind. I flip through the mooring lines, fenders, seacocks; the boat next door with the sketchy looking shore power cable. A boat in the water is a creature that requires care and attending to.

Other than a strange airlock in the injector pump, the boat largely was recommissioned without much drama. I also remembered how to drive it, making a solo back into the slip look like I knew what I was doing. Backing a boat ...

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Comparing “Aqua Map Master” and “Navionics Sonar Charts” while Navigating the ICW Between Charleston and McCellanville, SC

19 Apr

This section of the ICW is called the “South of McClellanville” section. It is one of the longest and shallowest trouble spots on the ICW. The following is an overview of this stretch of the ICW between Awendaw Creek and Jeremy Creek.  While there are some places with 8-10 feet of water, there are also stretches with less than 5 feet of water at MLLW. If you drift out of the “channel” you will find water less than 3 feet.  So, what defines the channel?  How do you find it?

We transited this section for the eleventh time on March ...

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South of Fernandina STM 718 March 24, 2019

17 Apr

 

For some reason the section between STM 717 and STM 719 is confusing to some. It needn’t be.

Northbound after exiting Kinglsey creek you are in the Amelia River.  Stay to the east side past R2. The charts show the deepest water on the lower east side. I have used the  upper west side  at the G2 bend of the river for about 5 years, as the water is deeper along the western shore  The eastern channel has at least 8 feet of water at MLLW. The western channel has 12+ at MLLW .  This is one place you ...

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Bogue Sound STM 210-213

8 Apr

 

A significant shoal  has been growing at R12 and R10A.  The picture below is from Aqua Map with the USACE survey of March 6, 2019. We drifted off center because we were being passed buy a 55’ motor yacht right at the worst section.  He did not have these USACE charts and was not aware of the shoal.  He was quite surprised to slow down and suddenly realize he was in very shallow water.  The water was so shallow the motor yacht could not accelerate onto plane until the water got deeper in about 100 yards east. We had ...

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New River Inlet April 6, 2019

6 Apr

The ICW path through the new River Inlet has  changed over the past few years.  Starting in 2016 it now includes a “dip” at R72A.  The path between R70 and R76 is now called the “Dip Route”.  The marks can be confusing, and the stress is compounded by strong cross setting  currents.

Southbound, R12 and R12A add to the confusion.  They mark the New River Inlet Channel and are not part of the ICW.  They have however caused great confusion. R12A is in direct line with ICW R70 and R72 which leads some southbound boats to pass R72A to port ...

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Price Creek SC STM 448 March 31, 2019

5 Apr

There has been a shoal building off R86 about 8 miles north of Isle of Palms. The NOAA charts do not provide enough detail to help you know which side of the shoal to pass. Most guidance says to stay east of the shoal. We have made several trips on the west side of the shoal.  In looking at the  Aqua Map Master USACE surveys as we planned our route last week, the surveys have no information on water depths east of this shoal. Based on that decided to go west of the shoal March 31:

  1. We have tracks of
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Isle of Palms SC  March 2019

5 Apr

The 6 NM stretch of the  ICW behind Isle of Palms has about 9 channels between the marshes and the ocean which cross the ICW. Each of these crossing has the potential to create shoals. If you look at the attached screen shots, you can see that each of these inlet crossings has developed the  classic pattern of shoals on the ocean side which results in the M shaped route you must follow as you pass many inlet crossings along the ICW.

Although it was dredged in early 2015, we have noticed that this shoal stretch is getting worse with ...

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Lockwoods Folly April 3, 2019

4 Apr
This has been a tough ICW trouble spot for the past couple of years. Dredging has just been completed (there are pipes and barges still onsite) and the channel marks have been reset. As of today, it is a simple straight shot. Just stay between the markers for 12-14 feet at low tide. I can attest to the low tide depth, we came through at dead low this afternoon. 
We are using 4 different charting  and navigation systems. We have NOAA charts running on a PC, Navionics charts  in the Raymarine chart plotter, Navionics sonar charts in an iPAd. And ...
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Winter Warmth

18 Mar

Photo courtesy of Mark Royce

Hiatus: noun, a pause or gap in a sequence, series or process.

That word pretty much sums up the offseason for sailors. If you’re in Florida, read no further. If you’re south of the Chesapeake or on the West Coast you may be lucky enough to keep your boat in the water or know friends who do. For Northerners, once the boat’s on the hard, in the backyard or the barn or wherever it spends the winter months, then you must find a way to fill the long months till launch day. For a ...

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RORC 600 #2 – Cheeseburgers and Making Lemonade

28 Feb

When I left off in the last post, the team and I on Isbjorn were preparing for the start of the RORC 600 offshore race in the Eastern Caribbean.

On the Saturday before the start of the race, the crew arrived and we went out for the first of two days of practicing. In Antigua, and really all the Eastern Caribbean Islands, the ocean is only a 10-minute boat ride away, unlike my native Chesapeake Bay where it’s 100 miles or more to find the open ocean. This was the first time I had been in the ocean since our ...

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