Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The boat's draft exceeded the water's depth...

This can be a problem and was for us today. As I stated before there are some very shallow places in Georgia along the ICW. Usually if you are careful, and watch your charts, you can avoid most of these. Today however was different. The channel at statute mile marker 704... is totally silted in. The only way to get through is to disregard your chart plotter, and stay closer to the green markers...beginning with 59a. On my chart plotter there is an island that doesn't exist at 59a and it shows a shallow area that is deep enough to get through. We hit the shoal going very slow but we were unable to get off. We had to wait 2 hours for the tide to lift us off the shoal. It was soft mud...no problem, and I was able to give several other boats directions to get around the shoal. I was told that people run onto this shoal everyday. Once we were off the shoal I crossed over the island that didn't exist, and into the shallow area that was actually over ten feet deep, and continued our journey. The electronic devices that we have on Serenity are great, but they are not perfect. Sometimes you have to trust you eyes, or in today's case your instincts, and disregard the electronics. I can see where depending on them too much can limit what you learn to do yourself...not a good thing when they are wrong or not working. Before calculators people had to learn arithmetic, before chart plotters sailors had to learn to navigate. Many of our modern conveniences are helpful, but I fear they are "dumbing us down."
 After our minor inconvenience we traveled to Cumberland Sound, and we are anchored next to Cumberland Island. Tomorrow we are going to get a slip in a marina. We have not been off the boat...other than to walk on a fuel dock since Thanksgiving. This is our fifth night on the hook in a row. We will need to fill the water tank, and get a pump out. We may also need to go to a restaurant. The day after tomorrow we plan to be in St. Augustine where we will spend a couple of days.  By the way...it was 73 degrees today! Finally...

 Another beautiful sunrise on the water.
 This is from a good distance but we watched the Coast Guard drop someone from the helicopter to the boat. I guess they were practicing.
 A couple of Navy Ships
 A patrol boat stayed between us and the Navy ships.
  Navy boat garage
Sun going down...


  1. Hmmm...some of the boats we have been looking at have up to 5ft 6in drafts - sounds like we would be stuck in some areas of the ICW.

  2. David,
    You would be better off in areas of southern Georgia traveling at mid to high tide.


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