Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I hate the Intracostal Waterway

1. It is not an idiot free zone. While crossing St. Catherine's Sound in 30 knot winds I was cut off by a passing sailboat. I told him on the radio that I did not appreciate him cutting 15 feet in front of my bow in a 1/2 mile wide sound and was told that he gave me a "safe pass." He then proceeded to cut across my bow again, but this time he was a couple of hundred yards ahead. Branko pointed out that this same boat had cut him off in a narrow turn exiting Mile Hammock back just a few days earlier. And it was the same boat that had an argument with a bridge tender. First he rushed past us, then he complained that we had not kept up so he would have to wait for the bridge, then he kept asking the bridge tender to open the bridge when he was still 1/2 mile away. Of course the bridge tender won that argument.
2. Re "1" I think we both took some pleasure when we heard on the radio that he had run aground. Fortunately for him it was on a rising tide.
3. Any similarity between the charts and the channel is pure coincidence. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. Its like driving thru a speed trap with your attention on the speedometer. Except on the boat it is the depth gauge. Try that for 10 hours a day.
4. The channel is narrow and subject to shoaling. We have been fortunate in that during the days we have stayed inside to avoid the strong adverse winds offshore high tide has been centered around the daylight hours. Since the Georgia tidal range is 6 to 9 feet this gave us a greater margin for error. Now as the high tide times shift toward evening we find that the early morning runs are very stressful.
5. The distance between point "A" and point "B" is frequently much longer than a straight line. We left downtown Savannah and headed to Thunderbolt for fuel, a distance of about 10 miles on the ICW. As the bird flies it is about 1.7 miles.
6. And 7,8,9,... See reason "1"

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