Sunday, April 26, 2015

Georgetown, SC - at a slip

"Pirate", our gecko is still with us! We see him about once per day
Today was a true adventure in boating on the ICW. We started out in good cheer from the Maritime Center at 8:00 with the intention of making the 9:00 opening of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. For some reason she decided to open the bridge in advance of the scheduled top of the hour and we got through at 8;30. Now that can either be a plus or minus depending on the tides. Low tide was at 9:00 am and we went through on a falling tide, never a good strategy along the Isle of Palms. We ran into (literally) a low spot of only 3 ft at low tide. Since we require 4 ' 9" to float, we came to an abrupt stop! We tried going around the low spot on the left, then on the right but there was no going around the shoal. a 90 ft power boat drawing 6 ft kept us company, waiting for a higher tide.

So I motored slowly back to the Ben Sawyer Bridge and back while more sailboats joined the attempt to pass. After an hour or so, another boat attempted to pass and barely made it with a 4 ft draft (after the tide had come in a foot). So we followed a boat drawing 4' 7" and we struck bottom again but powered through the shoal which was across the entire width of the channel.

Georgetown is the home of a large fleet of shimpboats
The rest of the passage was made with a rising tide reaching 4 ft so there were no more problems. It's just another example of how little South Carolina cares for ICW boaters. As far as they are concerned, the ICW could silt in entirely and they would be happy. So much to taking care of a heritage system entrusted to them. Georgia is no better. Only Florida and North Carolina take care of their portions of the ICW.

We also endured a rain storm with winds reaching 30 kts but it passed before we reached our destination at Georgetown, Dry Stack Marina. We always stop here whenever we can. It's close to downtown and close to one of the few fish markets along the ICW.

We are headed for Barefoot Landing on Monday and will probably spend a few days there since storms are due in mid-week. No rush, we'l get home when the weather permits.


Anonymous said...

I also sail a Beneteau 423, only with a 7' keel. That sandbank after the Ben Sawyer cost me a day and an outside trip this week. What a pain!