Friday, May 27, 2016

Home at Poughkeepsie Yacht Club - at OUR dock - Blog will resume 9/15 2016

Always an impressive sight from the harbor
The night at Atlantic Highlands was calm until the ferry started running at 6:00 am. Still, it was a quiet night until then and even at that it settled down shortly thereafter. We hauled anchor at 7:30 and headed north. The wind was out of the south and the tide was due to turn in our favor around 9:30 am so we had hopes of riding all the way home to PYC, 89 Nm north. First of all, the favorable tide was late (it's never early!) and we didn't catch the tide until 1/3 of the way north. Still we were making good time, ran into a storm, which washed down the boat and then left us with a beautiful evening. We arrived at PYC 11 hours later.
The Hudson River is used by true ocean going ships

Reaching PYC the tide was still behind us with a 0.4 kt push which makes the entry into our face dock tricky since we share it with another boat right in front of us. As usual Ann handled the docking at the helm and I handled the lines. Luckily, we had two friends from the club who volunteered to help which made the docking easy.

We had a late dinner and we're set for the night. I think there may be a few people joining us in reading the blog for the first time due to the link published at To them I say Welcome. Unfortunately, you've signed in for the last blog of the season. The blog will restart 9/15/2016 for our seventh trip down the ICW to Key West and back. There may be a few random blogs during the interval as I work on the update to my book published last year - 2015 ICW Cruising Guide that can be found on The update will, imaginatively be called the 2016 ICW Cruising Guide! It will be an update on all the ICW hazards but many features will be added of interest to ICW cruisers such as additional details the Fernandina Shallows, Jekyll Island shoaling, Hell Gate (all with GPX files for waypoints) and how to plan to use the Cape May Canal with its 55 ft bridges along with tips, updates on how to prepare for the trip and much more. I'll detail the improvements and updates during the year as I do the update. I hope to have it completed by mid July.

Back home at PYC
Meanwhile, please look at the left on the blog under the heading "Cruising Tips". Topics of interest to cruisers are available there as permanent listings. For those who have already purchased the guide, I would eagerly ask for suggestions for improvements.Just send them to my email address: Lastly, I've learned that the most difficult project of all is getting reviews. A review, good or bad, is good information to the author and for other people to read, feel free to become a reviewer. 

Happy sailing during the summer as I slave over Fleetwing to get it ready for another trips down the ICW to Key West. The trip was fun and I hope you enjoyed coming along. Remember my motto, I make all the mistakes first so you don't have to!


Unknown said...

Anne & Bob,
Elaine and I are glad you are back home safe and sound. We plan to be in Hudson, NY again this Summer, while S/V Elle & I waits for us in Deltaville. Have a great Summer and we'll see you on the water next September.
Fair winds & Smooth sailing,
Elaine & Lawrence Leonard S/V Elle & I

TimC said...

Congratulations on your safe arrival and thank you for taking the time to document your journey. I've followed for the first time this year and learned a ton.

Bob423 said...

TimC, good to hear from you! Be sure to look at the column at left on the log site, "Cruising Tips" , lots of good stuff. See you in September.

TimC said...

BTW - We're in St Petersburg. Have you ever ventured up FL's west coast during your winter runs south?

Anonymous said...

Bob/Bob423/Poughkeepsie Bob,

Various AICW cruisers we have met refer to you as above. We, again, thank you for your very precise comments.

As we went south from Long Island to Florida for the first time last Fall, we were very conservative, and passed all AICW trouble spots at near high tide, even though we draw just 5 feet. Coming north, we passed through, using your suggested routing, at much closer to low tide, at times. We did gently plow mud for about 150 feet just north, heading north, of R40 at McClellanville, when we should have had about .8 above MLW. Our magenta line (Navionics) was a bit left of visual center. Oh well...our first grounding.

At some point, you may have tried, or may wish to try, avoiding the Ashepoo Cutoff at dead low (when northbound) by going south on the Coosaw River into St Helena Sound and, avoiding the five(!) Active Captain shoal markers, go into the Ashepoo River inlet to Fenwick Cut. This worked well for us, as the tide was favorable for going south, and then reversed nicely to take us up to Fenwick Cut. We watched two boats anchor at Patriot Lucy to wait for the rising tide while we enjoyed sailing south on the ebb. The Ashepoo River by Fenwick Island was as charted, depth-wise. Obviously, this is a longer trip, but, if the tide and weather cooperate, a nice one.

Thanks again for the help, and Regards, Jim

Bob423 said...

TimC, We've enjoyed Key West so much that we've never ventured up the west coast. We had friends that did and they enjoyed it greatly. However, the two month stay at Key West is hard for us to pass up.

Jim, R40 at McClellanville is notoriously difficult as is the entire stretch. The problem is that it is now obvious where the channel is. You have to stay off the marks but even that is not good enough. This last time I did have success following the magenta line as shown on my Garmin chartplotter and it took some rather strange turns but always found the deepest water. Unfortunately, the magenta line is not in the same place on all charts! You would think that with all the millimeter accuracy of the GPS satellites and modern charting all that would be fixed by now, not true. For some particularly difficult passages I've published GPX files (Fernandina Shallows, Hell Gate, Jekyll Island) which may help address the lack of accurate charts. I guess I could do one for McClellanville too but it would be a long GPX list. By the way, there's nothing special about the charts by Garmin - sometimes they work and sometimes they are the worst of the bunch. I have two charts at the helm, the Garmin on the chartplotter and NOAA ENC (digital) charts. I constantly compare the two while underway. For example, through the Jekyll Island passage, the NOAA ENC charts are dead on in finding the channel but the Garmin charts would lead you into shallow water.

The Ashepoo cut is certainly shallow, I usually just wait for enough tide, two feet or higher to sneak by 4 ft 9 in keel through. It's the southern entrance that's the lowest and I've plowed through there at times, the bottom is very soft.

Which brings me to another point. I followed a boat with a 6.5 ft draft through McCLellanville last year and he was still moving when I was reading 5 ft in places at low tide (this was before I found the Garmin magenta line to be better)! He said he "felt the bottom" but it was so soft, it didn't stop him.

Tune in next year by 9/15, we're going again we hope.

Bob423 said...

I meant to say, "the channel is NOT obvious" instead of "the channel is now obvious" typos are hard to catch!

Anonymous said...

Bob and Ann,

We enjoyed your blog postings and vicariously sailing with you this year very much. We also found your notices and various tips very worth while. We're glad you made it home safely and without any unpleasant incidents save something of a lack of Spring during the Spring. The next time you come south, consider a visit up the west coast, at least as far as Boca Grande. I think you'd enjoy it and there's only one longish passage, from KW to Marco Island, but it's really not too bad, especially so if you sail with a full moon.

N'any case, take care and have a good Summer.

Scott'n Kitt
s/v HyLyte

Bob423 said...

Scott'n Kitt, I'm glad you found the blog useful. We already have our two month reservations in Key West for 2016!

Doug Peterson said...

We are northbound now in GA drawing 5' so we very much appreciate all you are doing!
I read here on your blog you were going to post or had posted the GPX files for Little Mud and Hell Gate. Am I looking in the wrong places? I can't find them on AC or this blog...
Anyway, THANKS much again!

Doug and Victoria

Bob423 said...

Doug and Victoria, I just added a "Page" on the blog with all the GPX files in one place, including the one for Hell Gate. I'll add more detail later, including how to get them into the iPad apps (Charts and Tides and the Garmin Mobile app).