Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jekyll Island Anchorage - At anchor

They really couldn't be going through Jekyll at low tide!
This was our vacation day from getting up early to catch the high tides. We didn't get off until around 9:00, headed for the Jekyll Island anchorage. As with all our anchorages, it has easy shore access in the form of a public dock. Not many people use this anchorage because it is charted as too shallow even though Active Captain describes it correctly as having 8 to 12 ft of depth at low tide.

The tide was really low!
Along the way we passed two tugs with dredging pipes between them, one in front to direct the pipes and one in back to negotiate turns. We thought nothing much of it until we saw them approaching the notorious Jekyll passage at low tide! I measured the depth of the channel at 4.5 ft then. I got in my dinghy and followed them thinking that they, perhaps, knew the deep water passage through the shallows. Well, to make a long story short - they plowed their way through. The water behind the rugs, where I was at, was churned up mud. I couldn't find their draft listed on the internet but did see a range of anywhere form 3.5 ft to 15 ft.

Having fun around marker G19, they were stopped several times, the sailboat waited and waited and waited
When I followed them through the channel, I could see they often stopped (or more accurately, were stopped). Their response was to do what we all do, turn up the rev's. Muddy water was spewing out the aft and eventually the tugs with their load slid forward. It was interesting to see them negotiate the turn by marker G19, they took up the entire width of the channel. They did make it through, somewhat to my surprise, but they had a lot of horsepower.

Nice place for us
On Wednesday we have a daybreak start to reach Little Mud River before losing the tide. The river has only 4.5 ft of depth and I would like a little more leeway than trying to pass at dead low. We'll wind up at the Wahoo River anchorage that night and go for Savannah the next day.

And it ended with a nice sunset
One caution today: the Cumberland Divides turn is missing two red markers, R60 and R60A. They are crucial to negotiating the passage safely. I passed through and didn't notice they were missing until I saw 4.5 ft on the depth sounder and this was with a 6 ft tide! I then woke up and slid over to the green side for deeper water. The caution has been posted on Active Captain, see the posting for details.