Thursday, March 17, 2011

Manatee Pocket – At Hinckley on a dock

Not a Hinckley - but notice the helicopter on the aft deck!
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, my oil leak returned after being banished for about 6 weeks by the last repair at Hinckley in Savannah. It’s actually more like a seepage than a leak but it’s not right and ought to be fixed. Hinckley does warranty their work so I took Fleetwing to the first Hinckley marina on the way north here in Stuart.

Turning north out of Hobe Sound where we had anchored for the night, we found the water to be on the thin side but plenty for us, about 7.5 ft MLW at the lowest point in the ICW just south of Stuart, we only draw 5 ft. However, coming into Manatee Pocket was another story. We had a 0.8 ft over low tide to help us over the low spots and we needed every inch of that help. We saw two dredge barges on the way in with big red signs directing us as to what areas to avoid. Even with all that help I saw the depth sounder dip below 5 ft along the way! Luckily, we never came to a halt but we must have skimmed the bottom several times. No barnacles under my keel!

Notice the "raised waer line" at the bow - sitting in mud!
Hinckley is almost at the very end of the harbor and it got thinner the longer in we came. We took the dock indicated by Hinckley as high tide was passing and shortly thereafter, we were sitting in mud. At least we had a very stable platform for making repairs! The mechanic came aboard and looked at the leak but won’t be able to start until Friday morning. Last time the repair took 1.5 days and hopefully they’ll work on Saturday so I can start north again on Sunday morning (at high tide!!)

Meanwhile, we’re sitting on the back of our boat in a Hinckley marina surrounded by Hinckley yachts – beautiful enough to take your breath away. There are nine Hinckley picnic boats within view around me (they go for $900,000 new) and several gorgeous sailboats, just stunning.