Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Awendar - at anchor - we hit bottom!

See the moon (upper right). It looks like we're in the middle of the ocean but it's an inlet
The winds finally subsided and full sun was predicted for the day so we set out from Charleston. Ann has been spending a lot of time a the helm when coming and leaving docks. There's only so much you can learn from discussions, you need to get a feel for the boat and how it responds with various shades of current and wind. This morning we had  2.5 kt current from the aft and a 10 kt wind at almost the same angle. We had a relatively narrow opening to exit the marina and limited space for any turnaround maneuver. So I cast off and held the forward line until the aft of the boat swung out into the current and hopped aboard. Ann backed it out the marina entrance and we were off, she did well!

The section of the ICW from Charleston to Georgetown is one of the most shallow areas of the ICW. It is a requirement that you transit at near high tide unless you enjoy white knuckle adventures. So while I was tooling along with a falling tide and near one of the many inlets, I was swept towards the ocean side (green side) and ran aground. Looking at the chart, I was only about 35 ft to the green side of the ICW recommended route line but that was enough to find a 4 ft shoal even with a 3 ft tide! Luckily, I was able to back off and swing over to the red side for deeper water. Now, fully alert, I paid better attention to the currents near openings in the ICW channel and stayed in the middle with no further incidents. Even so, I was on a falling tide and didn't want to test the second half of the shallow passage to Georgetown so we anchored at Awendar for the night.

End of the day, nice!
Yesterday we had chicken wings as an appetizer and Ann dropped one in the cockpit. Quicker than a flash, Hoolie scooped it up and gulped it down. Ann tried to find it in his throat with her fingers but Hoolie had already swallowed it whole. Now chicken bones are not good for a dog, they can splinter and cause problems so we're watching Hoolie carefully over the next few days. So far, so good.

We'll leave Wednesday morning at high tide to take the teeth out of the shallows north of us and come into
Georgetown. This area is not good for inland anchorages, it's alligator country. We're okay here since we're so close to the ocean but along the ICW further inland, it problematical. It wouldn't be a problem if you didn't have to go ashore but as you know, we must.