Sunday, April 28, 2013

St James Plantation Marina - at a dock

Do NOT stray out of the channel!!  There's more ledges just under the surface.
We left Barefoot Landing Marina with some trepidation, as always, since from there we enter the Rock Pile. It a section of the ICW where the original construction teams that dredged the ICW route ran into rock ledge. It was unexpected and very time consuming. They were still expected to meet their target costs so they compensated by making this section of the ICW relatively narrow. It's deep enough in the middle but if you stray to either side, you encounter very unforgiving rock ledge. There are many stories of boats that moved slightly to one side or the other to avoid oncoming boat traffic with disastrous results. The rock ledge takes out props very easily on power boats without a keel.

Ann does all the piloting now when coming into a marina (which leaves me on the bow to take photos like this)
So when we were about to enter the Rock Pile, Ann called ahead and announced our entry and asked for any comebacks on other boats also about to enter from the north. Receiving no replies, we proceeded north. It appears that most boats no longer announce their intention on entering the Rock Pile, too bad, it was a good practice, especially if there's a commercial vessel coming in the opposite direction. They easily take up the entire width of the channel!

We're at the left on a face dock
At any rate, we encountered no other boats coming in the opposite direction. The rock ledges on either side were most intimidating! We made it through two very shallow places but with having 5 ft of tide under us, they were no problem - but they kept the adrenal level high nevertheless.

We are now in the St. James Plantation Marina which is part of a 6000 acre, 2000 home development. The area is absolutely first rate. The homes are immaculate in design and plantings. I can see why it attracts people but we're not interested - we like our Fleetwing too much. We plan on leaving Monday morning but the forecast is not good. There is rain predicted all day long with 100% certainty. If the forecast holds true, we'll delay a day and leave on Tuesday instead which is supposed to get clear. If we delay, they our trip north will also be delayed day for day so stay tuned.