Cruising

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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RORC 2019 Caribbean 600 Race Part One

17 Feb

Here I sit typing words into the internet while 37,000ft over the Caribbean sea, winging my way towards Antigua. What an amazing age we live in! Internet connectivity while going this fast over such a lonely stretch of the planet still blows my mind. 

I’m on my way to Antigua to help out on Isbjorn, a Swan 48 that is being campaigned by my good friend Andy Schell. I’m to be a cook on the race, keeping one half of our 12 person crew fed and happy. The race we will be sailing in is the RORC 600. It’s a 600 mile ...

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From the Editor: Cold Comfort

25 Jan

Sometime on a pitch-black night off the New Jersey coast this past November, I was having serious reservations about cruising under sail. The promised 15-20 knot northerly had morphed into a 20-25 knot easterly with prolonged gusts in the low 30s, and the sea state was, to put it charitably, confused—“a cement mixer,” as one of the cruisers who followed us into Atlantic City later that day described it. I’ve sat out 50-knot blows in the Gulf Stream that were a hayride by comparison. In those long hours between 0200 and dawn, I would have given almost anything to be ...

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And We’re Back!

21 Jan

Ahoy! Readers of this blog will have almost certainly noticed a slight gap in posts as of late. The news is that while living on the boat in Baltimore last summer and fall we were also hard at work rebuilding a home on the foothills of the Appalachian outside of Baltimore/Washington, D.C.  After being on the water for two-plus years we decided it was time to head inland and live in the shadows of oak and poplar trees that adorn our patch of earth. 

In the same way that rebuilding a boat demands almost a singular focus, the home build took all of our ...

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Why Give Up?

11 Dec

Larry Cheek’s essay on not giving up sailing will strike a chord with any of us who are looking back at 60. Like it or not, there comes a time when, as Leonard Cohen put it, you “ache in the places where you used to play.” That’s no reason to quit, though. Sailboats, no matter their size, have never been easier to handle than they are now. Spars are lighter than ever and with modern fibers, so are ropes. Sails roll away in minutes. Sheets can be trimmed at the press of a button. Ground tackle that would give a ...

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It’s in the Bag

22 Oct

Photo courtesy of Rozalia Project

Not so long ago, if ever I wanted to feel depressed all I had to do was leaf through my collection of boatyard bills. Now all I have to do is look over the side and count the bits of plastic floating by. Like a constantly unfolding traffic wreck, I can’t take my eyes off it: a plastic bag here, a drink bottle, a candy wrapper there. There is no end to it. Walk along the shore and even in a pristine New England town the highwater line is speckled with pieces of plastic.

Not ...

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