Sunday, December 9, 2012

GA Waters: Thunderbolt to Golden Isles

We woke up to fog this morning and having a long day scheduled, left the dock before 7. It was almost light by then and the visibility wasn’t too bad. We figured the rising sun would burn off the fog. It didn’t, but our radar works really well, to the point were you can actually see a flock of seagulls approaching the boat.

This is the marker at the entrance to infamous Hell’s Gate. It’s foggy, the channel is very narrow and shallow. The captain, rarely requiring my assistance, asked that I stand beside him and read the depth out loud. It went quickly from 13 ft to 7 and then 5 and after 2.3 went to -------. I have never seen a straight-line depth finder before, it was an eerie experience. We draw about 4 ft, we never touched bottom but we must have stirred some mud back there! And then the depth reading came back at 3.3 and increased steadily. Dicey indeed, and low tide isn’t until 2 hours from now.

An hour later, the tiny power boat carrying a wheel chair in the bow and that has followed us closely in the fog, came up alongside. The three men aboard took their hats off, bowed deeply several times and waved their thank you’s to Alchemy, her captain and electronics. Nice touch, anytime gentlemen!

The captain told me yesterday that today would be a long day. “There is nothing in GA” was his words. Well, this is after we have traveled through NC Camp Lejeune area with nothing but brush and shot-up old tanks and SC low-country with marsh after marsh after marsh. My big-city girl self thought “how bad can it be”? He was right, there is nothing here. The only thing worse than travelling on the ICW through GA, is travelling on the ICW through GA in fog. Six hours of it. When we travel north into GA in the spring, we WILL listen to the weather report before we cast off.

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