Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Toler's Marina - at a dock

We are in amongst the yellow grass. It's a nice place with very helpful dockhands.
We left Georgetown around 8:15 or so and headed for the ICW passage through the Isle of Palms. This part of the ICW is notoriously shallow but we had done it before and found we could even make the passage at low tide with our 4 ft 9 in keel. However, that was not the case today where we were finding as low as 3.9 MLW in spots. Adding to the problem was the west wind. It will blow water out and lower the average water depth by as much as a foot. I use the Charleston water monitor to see how the water depths are running. It shows a graph of actual vs predicted water depth. The actual is shown against the predicted (from tide tables) and if the actual is less than the predicted values, then you can expect the water depth to also be less than predicted at nearby locations such as the Isle of Palms. Such was the case today which showed that the water depth was 1/2 foot less than the tide from tide tables. For an area like Minim Creek, that's a big difference!

We timed our passage to have a 4 ft or greater tide so even so we found shallow water at MLW, we were fine with our 4 ft 9 in keel. Still, it was unnerving to find such a change from last year whien I routinely had  6 MLW.

A sunset on a clear night, no clouds
The last obstacle was to reach the Ben Sawyer Bridge before the 4:00 to 6:00 pm closure for traffic. We barely made the schedule, arriving at 3:45 pm and got through. I can't understand it  but we had an adverse current all the way from Minim Creek to the bridge. How can the current consistently flow against you through the changes from rising tide to lower tides and through all the inlets? Well, it was not enough, we still made the bridge on time.

We will be here for another day for our last provisioning (marina provides a free ride)  before continuing south.  At least the weather remains pleasant although it has turned colder with the north wind.