Monday, November 11, 2013

Thursday, November 7th

We have 3 trouble spots that we have to content with this morning.  Lots of sailboats have been getting hung up at the two inlets, Lockwood’s Folly Inlet and Shallot’s Inlet.  In fact these two inlets that cut into the ICW canal have been notorious for shoaling. 

Our plan is to leave St. James marina at 7:30 am to hit these inlets 1-2 hours before the high tide.  Al is leading today.  In fact by the time we got to Lockwood’s Folly, our friends on sv/Willoway and sv/Dancing with the Wind, caught up with us.  So there were 4 boats passing through in single file…drafts of: 4’6”, 5’, 5’2” and 5’6” and in that order.  We all made it through without any incident hugging the R46A and R48.  We saw no less than 13’ of water.

Once we passed under the fixed bridge-Holden Beach Bridge-Denise and Dick passed us and so did Dancing with the Wind.  Dick looked to be in a big  hurry and we thought for sure he would pass Euphoria also.  He stayed behind and allowed Al to continue to lead through the next trouble spot….Shallot Inlet.   The sv/Whisper who we met in Elizabeth City went aground here a few days ago with 3 other sailboats.  Two of them hit and there was damage to both boats.  Tow Boat US came out to pull all the boats off the shoals…..they charge $250 per hour from the time they leave until they return to their dock!  It pays to spend the money for unlimited tow service!!!Once again we were warned to hug the red cans  and we all did.  The lowest water that we saw was 12.9’ but again we timed our passage to be near high tide….and all was good…..

It’s very cloudy again today and there are chances of rain showers.  It rained all last night, so maybe we‘ll be lucky and won’t get wet.  The temperatures are very pleasant….67 degrees while passing behind Ocean Isle at 10:30 am….and it’s suppose to go up to 74 degrees.  We finally got to South Carolina at 11:30.  I’m not sure how far we’ll travel  today but I checked the charts  and we’ll be passing under lots of bridges…both fixed and swing.  Once we got to the Little River Swing Bridge, we caught up to Willoway and Dancing with the Wind.  They were hovering around waiting for the next opening.  Sometimes it doesn’t pay to go fast!! Ha ha!  Once they got through the  bridge, they sped out again.

 Soon we came to the third trouble spot.  Nineteen miles of rock-edged canal with 2.3 miles within called the ‘rock pile’.  Some reviews that we read said that many boaters feel this is the worst part of the ICW.  Well, then they haven’t traversed the Erie Canal!  The two are really quite similar.  Chuck and I didn’t see what all the hoopla was about.  The down side was that there was so much debris floating….leaves, twigs, and logs.  There was a hazard that could have created a dangerous situation…someone’s entire dock was floating in the canal! 

No anchorages along this stretch again, so we’re staying at the Osprey Marina(a 58.3 mile day).  This marina is shortly after the Route 544  Fixed Bridge.  That makes a total of 15 bridges today….3 in North Carolina and 12 in South Carolina  and 13 were fixed while 2 were swing!  Many of these bridges were at Myrtle Beach, SC.  Oh, and while passing by the Grand Dunes area, a golf ball plopped in the water right beside our boat!  There were many golf courses  and high rise condos along the canal today and you won’t believe this!  The one golf course had cable cars that ferried golfers from the parking lot on one side of the ICW to the clubhouse on the other side…..67 feet in the air.  Wow!!

Grand dunes

Golf cable cars
Bridge at Grand Dunes

Once we docked at Osprey Marina, we discovered that Willoway and Dancing with the Wind were also spending the night there.  So we all met on the deck that overlooked the marina to spend the evening together.  We all commented on the bag of goodies that the marina gives to each of the transient boats.  Very nice!

Last stretch of the ICW before the Osprey Marina!
Rt 544 bridge

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you guys have this tide thing all figured out. Sure is different than Lake Erie isn't it?