Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Here in the ICW ...

The Arthur Ravenel Bridge leaving the Charleston Harbor
Kintala and her crew have now logged two days of ICW travel. We were hoping to avoid “The Ditch” until ducking behind Cape Hatteras. Somehow though, sidetracked by the Islands, we are running out of days to get to our tropical baked selves to places north. Weather on the outside has winds from the exact wrong direction pushing uncomfortable waves directly across our path. If we didn't need to be where we need to be when we need to be there, we would be sitting out a wait in places warm and fun; Fernandina Beech, or Vero. Maybe Savannah. But press on we must, with The Ditch being the only workable alternative.

The first day, from Charleston to a place called Awendaw Creek, was a really good day. I know. A “really good day on the ICW” is an oxymoron, but it is true. Deb planned things perfectly. High tides provided deep water when and where we needed it, and a following current had us making tracks at better than six knots for most of the way. Good stuff indeed. What a difference 2000 miles and nearly two years of experience can make.

Getting a knot of help from the staysail while motoring.

The run today, this time to a place called Bull Creek, was a bit less good. Schedule and distance meant running some pretty skinny water at low tide. Skinny, as in “0.0” on the depth gauge skinny. I much prefer a readout that says “Last 990”.

Here's an idea, we should dredge the entire ICW to a depth of 1000 feet. Years of work for thousands of skilled operators of machines, engineers, managers, supply, accountants, and lawyers (lots and lots of lawyers). Not only would the ICW be so much easier to navigate and billions of dollars get pumped through family budgets and back into the economy, but all that extra depth wold help off-set some sea level rise. Maybe Florida would get a few more years before Miami is east of waterfront property? And all that excavated dirt could be put to lots of good uses, maybe build a break water around the Dinner Key Mooring Field, or buy Miami a few more years by building them a moat.

Not too many people headed north yet. We have only seen about 3 other boats.
I know, crazy idea. But well within the realm of crazy for some who are running for President of these United States. Some of those folks are Young Earth Creationists who ALSO think that climate change is a vast conspiracy concocted by scientists to keep oil companies from making a fair profit. They also claim that racism has been eradicated in this country and that women really do make the same amount of money as men for doing the same job. Dredging the ICW to 1000 feet? Small potatoes, light-weight, barely noticeable crazy in comparison. Someone should write a position paper, they can even keep the credit. (Can you tell we are back in the land of “news”?)

The anchorage at Awendaw Creek. Really like this place.

In addition to the thin water we experienced this morning, we also enjoyed the forgotten joys of a passing cold front. In the Islands “cold front” really means rain, wind, and a day slightly less warm than the day before. In the US, “cold front” means “&*)&^ its COLD! Layers, mittens, caps, and fowl weather gear were the uniform of the day for those in the ICW. Well, except for those in trawlers. They waved, shirt sleeved and cold drink in hand, from behind the closed doors of steering stations, wipers clearing the rain from their view. Wimps. (Or just smarter than me, not sure which at the moment.) After ten plus hours of mostly easy motoring, it was still a relief to drop the hook, come in out of the rain, and use a little extra water for a long, and very hot, shower. One must admit that the Beast does a really good job of heating up water, so even a day of motoring has an up side.

Sunrise in the haze at Awendaw Creek

We hope to press on in the morning but there is some concern about the weather. One forecast has winds gusting in the 30s. There is a swing bridge ahead that will not swing if the wind is over 25. So we may have to spend the day parked here, which is not a terrible idea. If we have to spend a day parked somewhere, I have seen a lot of places not nearly as pretty as this. At least, it was pretty when we came in. Now, well after sunset, with a low overcast dropping rain all around, mostly what it is is DARK, really quiet, and cold. All of which should make for a pretty good night of sleeping, here in the ICW.

Seen parked along the ICW


S/V Island Bound said...

Glad to see you are making good progress going north. Sorry we missed you guys in the islands. Perhaps we will see you up north this summer! Still love your blog!!

Latitude 43 said...

I would be happy if they just maintained the ditch at 9 ft.

Safe travels. Stay warm.