As we sit here @8:30PM in the Waccamaw River, I can’t help but think how serene it is. Thinking back to where we began this morning, it was just 6:45AM. It’s a reminder that when your boat moves at 7 kts & you need to cover lots of ground, you’ll be putting in long days at the helm. We used to sail for 12 hours with no bimini top in the beating sun. Now, a bit older & wiser, I hide from the sun in the pilot house. That’s not Kelly, she’s a sun worshiper. While underway during the mid-day heat, we closed the portholes and hatches to the bugs and ran the genset & AC. I know, SHAMEFUL, but Oh the coolness was a welcome reprieve against the heat and insects as we made our way down a very shallow ICW in SC.
Here is the AM sunrise in Charleston, SC.
As we made our way through the harbor, that very same sun became my biggest obstacle as we headed East. FYI: Don’t pick a course directly into the sun
We passed this “Habah Monstah”
But riding up the ICW involves paying attention to the water depth which soon dropped from and average of 12′ to under 6′. When you see the water get “thin” you slow down to prevent grounding in a way that you may not be able to power off the shoal.
I’d love to say as a captain that I never run aground but if you push hard, you’ll eventually run aground. The trick is to do it slowly. When the water is 6′ or less we proceed at low speed. We often zig zag back and forth as we move forward seeking a path to deeper water. Running aground is just a fact of life in the ICW.
Yes at 4’6″ we are aground. As a captain you learn to watch the depths and if you do run aground, do so gently. You’ll need to use that 26″ prop and 330HP to pull the bow of your 36K lb boat off the shoal that you just plowed onto. Go too fast and you’ll ground more than just the bow. It’s also comforting to have a full keel that keeps your prop above the mud and sand.
After backing off and finding deeper water, we passed this house that just made me think .. how cool. It’s completely enveloped in trees and shrubbery. Maybe it’s a secret hideout?
Even more surreal were the clouds. It’s easy to find beauty in these!
We set a date of 5/18 that we need to be in RI. Every Captain knows NEVER to do that. However, that is our fate. It means that we stress about getting the boat to a particular location on a particular day. Many times that can end in disaster because you are pushing too hard and not respecting mother ocean and the weather. We have already pushed past many other boats who chose to stay in port and I think they have the right idea. That said, we are hoping Mother Ocean will be kind to us when we need to run outside from Norfolk, VA to NYC. The anchorages are far apart and not the most protected on that leg of the journey.
But tonight, tonight it’s like a mirror on the Waccamah River. The dogs are in my lap and they are snoring away.
While the river is beautiful the sunset is amazing..
As we get ready to retire for the night and glance up at the night sky, the stars seem to be close enough to touch. Time to contemplate life and existentialism. . We Love feeling small in the cosmos…