St Andrews Sound. STM 689

9 Apr

St. Andrews Sound.  This sound is to be respected.  It is often rolly with swells coming in off the ocean. When there is a strong east wind and outgoing current, it is not unusual to see 4 foot waves at times.  If the conditions are poor on your northbound leg, stay an extra day at Fernandina Beach or Cumberland Island.  If southbound spend a day or two at Jekyll Harbor Marina and let the conditions improve.  Jekyll Island is  beautiful.  It is easy to bike and explore.  The marina has a golf cart for transients to borrow.   CAUTION: R30 and ...

Read More

Jacksonville St. Johns River Crossing STM 741

9 Apr

We crossed the St. Johns River northbound in mid March. This area at the north end of Pablo Creek, where it meets the St. Johns River, was dredged and re buoyed in 2016.  Here again, some the buoys are not correctly shown on the latest updated charts NOAA 11491 (2/03/2018) making this section confusing.  The buoys are in the same locations we saw them in early February and for both transits through here we just followed the USCG ATONs.  G1 and R2 are correct as are R8 and G9.  However, R6 is no longer there and several other buoys have ...

Read More

Lockwoods Folly Inlet Crossing STM 320

9 Apr

The good news here is that although the channel shifted after the 2017 hurricanes, the water is deep!   The bad news here is that G47A and G47 are both missing.  If you have updated your charts their expected location will be found on the chart. If you drive your boat through here following the aids to navigation as shown on the charts you will see water depths greater than 10 feet all the way through here.  When you get over near R36 be prepared to experience cross setting current!...

Read More

ICW: South of McClellanville STM 430 to STM 435

4 Apr

South of McClellanville This long-standing shoal stretch has not dredged itself. It seem to be filling in at a slow rate, and in the past year has shoaled another 3-6 inches.

The chart below covers this shallow stretch. It starts at G47 Awendaw Creek and ends at G35A Jeremy Creek, McClellanville. From G47 to R42 just stay in visual center to have depths of 8 to 20 feet MLLW. Between R42 and G39 we saw several spots showing as little as 6.6 feet and we had +3.1 of help. This means that these areas would have 3.5 feet MLLW. In ...

Read More

ICW: New Route for Dawho Creek

2 Apr

Dawho Creek STM 495 has been a growing area of concern. It has shoaled to less than 6 feet at MLLW and you do not have to be far of course to see less than 5 feet. There are USACE surveys through Dawho Creek from the fall of 2017. They show a deep-water route to the north of the marked USCG channel. Bob Sherer, more well known by his Active Captain handle of bob423, has plotted waypoints along this new route. Bob asked me to beta test the route March 27. Here is our track, waypoints and depth findings along ...

Read More

Pass the Bananas

21 Feb

Photo by Mike & Robin Stout

We sailors can be a superstitious lot, and who can blame us? We head off into terra incognita every time we hoist our sails, in the sense that we can never be entirely sure what’s going to happen next. We have a much better idea, of course, than our forebears: meteorologists of the world, take a bow.
But for most of human history, going to sea was a leap into the unknown. Those who did so knew there was a solid chance they would not return, so who could blame them for a little ...

Read More

Rebuilding the Compression Post Part One

10 Jan

Below is how I removed and rebuilt the compression post on Satori, the most comical part of this project was cutting expensive and important parts of the boat apart with a sawsall…


I looked at the compression post, wondering how I was going to grind out and remove something that was almost exactly the height of the cabin top. I figured if I cut the post in the middle I could easily remove the top half and have some leverage on the bottom half when I’m grinding out the epoxy encapsulated plate holding the post to the keel.

compression post top plateNext, I ...

Read More

A Sailor’s New Year’s Resolutions

2 Jan

What was that about reefing sooner, and just look at that dinghy…

Things undone, things still to do; what are your resolutions for the New Year? Here are some of mine.

1. Deep-clean the engine

OK, so this one was held over from 2017. And 2016.

2. Make it a rule to reef earlier

The screams and crashing of crockery from belowdecks get tiring after a while.

3. Don’t tow the dinghy in open water

Those oars were expensive.

4. Install a holding tank gauge

Do I really need to explain why?

5. Go up the mast to replace the ...

Read More

Passage notes: westbound across the Caribbean

13 Dec

Sailing wing and wing

_DSC2312Totem is sailing toward sunsets again. Turning towards the Dutch Antilles from Martinique was more westbound than south. This passage brought back more than a familiar angle for sunrises and moonsets: it’s also…

  • downwind sailing for the first time in 18 months
  • first passage with more than one night at sea in 18 months
  • a nearly full moon! so nice on a passage, and something we had a knack for mis-timing
  • new destinations, instead of retracing a track

The 470nm distance was slightly awkward. It’s just long enough to necessitate a third night at sea. The benefit is a chance ...

Read More

Sailing Stories Season 2!

1 Dec

We’re off to the races with season two of Sailing Stories Podcast! This season we’ve captured the audio version of Yves Gelinas book, Jean-du-Sud & the Magick Byrd. It was just translated into English and released at this year’s boat show, Yves was on hand at the show signing copies and hanging out. We moved Satori down to Back Creek for the third year running and Yves stayed aboard for the duration of the show. It was the least I could do for the hospitality he showed us during our time in Quebec! 

We’re up to Episode seven, season two of Sailing Stories. ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group