Well today we will be attempting to cross through Hell’s Gate! It was tough pulling away from the dock at Thunderbolt Marina. The current and wind kept pushing both boats back into the dock. Al and Chuck were both thankful they had backed the boats down the fairway. Having to back out would have added one more kink to the situation!
We made it to Hell’s Gate one hour before low tide. Listening to the VHF radio, we know there is one sailboat grounded. A ketch made it but dragged through the sand/mud at the south end…..and he drew 4 foot! Rafting is becoming part of our day while traversing the ICW in Georgia. Other boats are dropping their anchors too. It’s definitely going to be a low mileage day….we can’t make any distance by anchoring for 3 hours!!!!!!
Finally, 2 hours after low tide, we took off for Hell’s Gate. The name even suggests doom and gloom!! On our way to the north opening, it started to rain and the visibility took a turn for the worse. We weren’t sure if fog was moving in but we hoped it would wait until we got to our anchorage. We really hugged Euphoria’s stern. As it turned out, the cut wasn’t very long but it is .8 miles of a major shoaling hazard for boaters! The day markers were really close to the west shore for awhile and then the channel mover out into the center. All went well.
We were hoping to make 30 miles today even though we got a late start. Once through Hell’s Gate and across the Ossabaw Bay, we motored up into Redbird Creek. By 4:30, we had traveled only 24 miles. Tomorrow should be a longer day!!
At anchorage in Redbird Creek!