Friday, November 14, 2008

Things that go bump in the night (&day)

Mile 345.9~Myrtle Beach, SC ~Tuesday night – our second night at anchor in Wrightsville Beach, NC – the wind came up – I couldn’t sleep there was so much noise. Our dingy was banging against the side of the boat and our chain was dragging against the bob stay. "Heron" is a double ender – meaning it’s pointed at both ends. We often are facing a different way than other boats in the same anchorage. When the tide and the wind are opposing e can be sideways and the chain will rub against the metal stay that goes from our bowsprit to the hull of the boat. There was another bang and thumping and Don figured out that our tiller had come untied as well. Don got at about 3AM to give the dingy more line so it wouldn’t hit the boat and retire the tiller – went back to bed. About ½ hour later Bump ~ I said "Is that the dingy – it sounds louder?", we heard Greg’s voice and scrambled out of the V-berth so see "Argonauta" along side. We thought his anchor dragged but it was just another case of his boat going one way and ours the opposite and they gave a pretty gentle tap for such a big boat. No damage and some laughs in the morning except when Greg couldn’t get the two anchors he put out untwisted from each other.
Wed Nov 11th writing this @ 1:50 PM Shallotte Inlet anchored: "There are times we have to run at low tide – the tide changes every six hours and our days running the boat are usually 6 –10– today we were off at 6:30 had 63 miles to cover. By 12;30 it was low tide. Two of the trickiest spots on the ICW ( there are actually quite a few ) . The first one ~ Lockwoods Folly we hit an hour ago at exactly low tide – the boat "Onward" in front of us went hard aground,(the bottom is sandy ) and was cross ways in the channel. A local barge was trying to pull him off . We sneaked our way through with some shouting help from the local fisherman who we anchored in the channel. The interesting thing is that low tide at Shallottes Inlet – one hour up the road has low tide exactly one hour later than the Folly – We are a group of 5 boats and proved that gettng through the inlet at dead low can’t be done. "Tiana" a 6’ draft boat in the lead went hard aground –we were next and hanging back to see what he said – we had also received help from people who went through yesterday – one of whom went aground. Greg wanted us to inch through – we told him go ahead – he did and I have the lovely photo of him aground. Greg’s boat is on the right "Tiana " is on the left – if you call it 9 and 3 o’clock – the channel is @ 12;00 so you can see they are not moving. One of the boats behind us a 31’ Southern Cross called "Star" went chugging on with his sail up – we told him we powered down and it’s shallow ahead with boats aground – he only draws 4 ½ feet - he could have cared less and he poled a bit when he hit ground with the sail up ! Why he could listen to what the rest of doing – we can’t figure. We are now waiting for high tide – we were able to drop our anchor as did "Onward" behind us in plenty of water. "Onward" free from his grounding at the Folly was happily in his dingy reading the bottom depths to help us all get through. Greg and Michelle are bouncing around on the sand bar waiting for higher tide and the Southern Cross who would be the first one off has called Sea Tow - very entertaining and a beautiful spot – 16 more miles to go which can take us as much as 3 hours – gets dark at 5:30 so we are hoping the tide moves right along."
Greg and the southern Cross floated off after about 40 minutes and squeaked through with about 6 feet of water. With the captain of Onward still in his dingy we lifted anchor and tried to thread the needle only to find ourselves on the sand bar. Don tried to back off and it wouldn’t go. The dingy was in front of us and he was reading 7’ of water so we powered up and ere able to pull across the sand bar and around the buoys – Tiana got stuck one more time but then got off – Onward now knew the zig and the zag and led a new comer through and we all met up at the next bridge and had a good laugh.
We have seen a lot of commercial traffic and always hav to give way to them – these large shrimp boats take up a huge portion of the channel ! We pulled into a marina in Myrtle Beach at just dark. It’s fun being out as the sun sets because it is so pretty but it was along day and it was hard to see the small channel markers in the little marina we were going to. We had just time to shower and do laundry – then to bed to be up early for the next long day from Myrtle Beach to Georgetown SC…… Margaret

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