Monday, July 7, 2008

Jewell Island Anchorage

Ahoy mates its me Matt. Today I played my gameboy before we leave Port Smith to go to Jewell Island. I read my Star Wars book the Way of The Apprentice and finally finished it. We anchored around 3:10 Went depth finding and found that our depth finder on the G.P.S. on the boat was broken!!! Then we had a nice ride around the anchorage (I drove). More tomorrow on Matt's Blog.

We left Portsmouth around 8:15 and noticed a boat tipped on its side, it had hit a shallow spot that was clearly marked on he charts and was waiting for high tide (perhaps a warning?, see below). We continued motoring north to Jewell Island, arriving 3:15, 7 hours of motoring for about 50 nm. We did have some wind out of the southwest but it wasn't enough to get to our anchorage in time for our happy hour. However, the big excitement was the depth sounder. As we entered the anchorage, we noticed the depth sounder reading about 40 feet. Odd, I thought, since the cruising guide said the anchorage was only 10 feet at low tide. We went deep into the anchorage, past all the other boats looking for a good spot secure in the knowledge that we had enough depth per the readout on our depth sounder. Luckily we had a 10 foot high tide. We saw a few shallow readings and decided to return to the head of the anchorage to find a better spot further out. I got in the dinghy and used the depth sounder I had installed and measured the depth to be only 20 feet at high tide (10 feet at low). That sounded more like the cruising guide and meant that the depth sounder on the boat was malfunctioning! Had we stayed further in we would have been at least bumped bottom or worse (or maybe like that boat in Portsmouth tipped on its side). We had been in major ports until tonight but tonight is when the depth sounder decided to call it quits! Only when I can't conveniently get to a marine store for a new sounder does it decided not to work! I guess it's sort of like heading out in a direction only to find the wind directly on the bow, a law of nature when it comes to boating I guess. Well, it applies to depth sounder malfunctions too. We'll sail by the charts and see if I can pick up a new one in Boothbay or Rockland. Oh well, typically boating problems.

The Jewell Island anchorage is long and narrow (see photo) with just enough room for boats to anchor all in a line. I had thought it was bigger but not so. Still, there was enough room for us once we figured out we had to anchor further out. We'll spend an extra day here and explore the island, Matthew can't wait to go in the water and explore the trails. The anchorage appears very well protected with no wave action so we ought to be comfortable.