Friday, October 21, 2011

Barefoot Landing Marina - We Survive The Rock Pile

The ledges are just off the channel - not that far!
As windy as it was yesterday, it was just as calm in the opposite direction today. Ann was at the wheel as we backed out, avoiding two large pilings on either side - then a burst forward to turn the bow, a straightening of the wheel to avoid turning too much (to avoid the piling on the return trip) and then another thrust forward to turn the bow again - straightening again to avoid the piling on the opposite side of the fairway, then a final thrust forward to complete the turn and we were free. Ann did well. Meanwhile, I retrieved all the lines and hung them by the cleats for use later in the day at Barefoot. I think it's important that all members of the crew can handle the boat, even in tight situations and you can only learn by doing.

These are visible, many ledges are located about 3 ft under water, closer to the channel
We learned that in building the ICW, they unexpectedly ran into rock in this section. As the money started to be used up from the heavy going, they compensated by making the channel narrower. It's deep enough, just narrow. If you stray from the centerline, rock ledges await on either side as punishment for your transgression. Heaven forbid that you ever meet another boat coming in the opposite direction! This narrow section with rock ledges on either side is called the Rock Pile.

Barefoot Landing Marina is one long dock, over 1000ft long
So as we approached the entry into the Rock Pile, Ann got on the VHF and called twice on channel 16 and again twice on channel 13, asking if anyone one was headed north through the Rock Pile. Receiving no answer, we proceeded forward. However, we were part of progression of three boats and we were in the middle - and carefully paid attention to being on the centerline of the channel. Even so, it's rather daunting to see the multiple ledges just visible on either side, not that far from you. Regardless, we made it through without mishap and without meeting another boat headed north which made us happy.

Adjacent to the marina is the shopping area surrounding a small lake
Barefoot Landing Marina is a shopper's paradise for those who like outlet stores. All the major brands are represented along with others I've never heard of but all the stores look well kept and interesting to look through. It's also the home of Greg Norman's Australian Grille restaurant and I took Ann out for dinner there tonight, very good. We'll be here for another day so Ann can make good use of all the shopping opportunities. After being shopped out, we plan on leaving Sunday for points south.