Saturday, November 14, 2015

West of Watts Cut

Sunrise on Lynx
We had planned to leave early, close to slack tide to avoid the sometimes considerable current that can rip through the docks here. It turned out the wind was a bigger problem and I erred by tossing the bow line before I had enough speed to neutralize the current on our nose. As we backed out of our slip the wind caught us and pulled us backward. I did not have enough space to negotiate around other boats and the long face dock, behind us. The wind pulled us back and pinned us against the vacant end of the dock. So before I could make the situation worse, we move the fenders to the port side of the boat and tied up to the dock. The wind held us hard against the dock. We considered staying another day until the winds die down. Eventually, I figured out that if I tied our aft port (left side for you landlubbers) cleat to the dock near the middle of our boat the wind would hold us in place with only that line. I then place a bunch of fenders all the way back on our port side. With the help of two dock hands I backed down hard to get the boat to pivot against the fenders. While still tied to the dock with the one line, the bow swings away from the dock, into the wind. With the boat restricted from actually moving backward, by the dock line and the two dock hands pushing the bow, I was able to get the bow away from the dock and pointed into the wind. At that point I powered up the engine forward and as we move forward, away from the dock, the dock hand tosses us the line. We quickly got out of there as another boat was waiting for our dock space.

Leaving Charleston
This was our first cool day in a while, felt like fall, a cool dry breeze from the north. Later in the afternoon we get stopped by the local Sheriff and Coast Guard for a “courtesy safety inspection”. There must have been about 5 people on the Sheriff's boat, being a Saturday I think they were out having fun. Since there were not many boats on the move, we were their entertainment. Two officers boarded us as we were moving and performed the safety check. We passed, but did not even get a sticker to display.

Boarding Party

Around 3:00 PM we pass through another shoaling area that had lots of dire warnings on Active Captain. Unfortunately we were passing through at low tide and I expected we would run aground and have to wait and hour or two for the rising tide to allow us to continue on. One of the most reliable observers on Active Captain listed the lowest point corrected to low tide at 4.4 feet. The lowest we saw was 6.9 feet, actually at low tide. The most useful comments on Active Captain are from people who actually pass a problem spot at low tide, because if you make it through, you have to find the deepest channel for your particular keel depth. At any higher tides you have a much wider channel to get through on, but not necessarily at the deepest point of the channel. I hate it when people on Active Captain, comment “I went through here at high tide without at problem” - BFD! Don't waste my time with stupid, useless information.

Late in the afternoon we anchor west of Watts Cut away from the ICW in a very remote area. Very calm protected area. With no wind and a bit of current the boat hardly moved. I could take time lapse night photos of 10 seconds or so without the boat moving enough to blur the picture.

Night time glow of Charleston in the distance

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