Monday, October 28, 2013

Back in the mud

After a whopping 13 NM in 4 1/2 hours of being under way Kintala, for the first time since low water in Lake Carlyle, sits in the mud tied to a pier.  The pier is at the Centerville Waterway Marina; literally just feet off the ICW and the Centerville Turnpike swing bridge.  The "turnpike" is the two lane road that runs into town.  The bridge deck is open steel grating.  Every vehicle that passes howls a slightly different note from the tires; not all of them in the same key.  Unless the traffic lessens as the sun goes down it is going to be a long, noisy, night. We had hoped to get further today but
the next place deep and wide enough for Kintala

to lay at anchor is some 35 nm from here.  With the first bridge on the ICW not opening until after rush hour in the morning and a total of nearly 50 miles from there to the place after this, having enough daylight to make the whole run seemed unlikely.  So, in keeping with the plan of sneaking up on this cruising thing as deliberately as possible, we called it a day when we got this far.  Which is okay.  This place (except for the bridge noise) has its charms.

Like everyone else we tried to pick an anchor up time this morning that would have us at the first bridge at the scheduled opening on the half-hour.  Somehow Kintala still managed to be in the front of the small pack of 4 boats motoring past the billions of dollars of Navy Hardware hanging out around here.  Numerous police and Navy security boats watched us go by (at least one sporting a small machine gun mounted to its deck) and I chucked at the idea that those following were doing so under the impression that we knew what we were doing.  As it turned out the very first railroad bridge which, all available information suggested, was nearly always open, was in fact closed.  I powered down a couple of hundred yards back and the next boat in line coasted past.  When the bridge opened he was in the lead; a totally fine turn of events as far a we were concerned.  A few bridges later and our little group had grown to include 7 sailboats and 3 power yachts.

It turns out bridges and locks are easy.  For your first time down the ICW hang out at the first bridge, join the que, and just motor along.  Everyone goes about 6 knots, if someone gets pushy at a bridge just let them go (two passed us at one point drawing a quick rebuke from someone on the radio -  though I didn't really care), traveling in the group was easy, low key, and kind of fun.  Saying that though I hope, by next year, that we are ocean sailors and Kintala is an "outside" kind of boat.  This is an interesting thing to do and I wouldn't want to have missed it.  But I'm not sure why I would want to do it again.



1 comment:

corsair28r said...

lol .. you are on what mile of the ICW and already tired of it, dreaming about an outside boat :-)

Calm down ...enjoy the ICW and when the weather is MUCH nicer, more south, more warmer, go outside.
I would be tickled pink to anticipate whats around the next corner. And I told you that 75 % or more of the cruising life is motoring ... you didnt believe me
just relax and go with the flow and enjoy, that old westerbeke will become your friend in no time.