Once More Into The Breach: Back on the ICW

After two months at the dock, I was getting really antsy to get back to cruising. Dock life with its easy access laundry and groceries, obstructed sunsets, light polluted night skies was really getting to be a drag. Then, there's the rummaging about for sweaters and down comforters as Autumn temperatures sneak in. We just need a 24 hour weather window and we'll be in balmy Florida.

Weather forecast: strong cold front, gusty winds, thunderstorms. 
Anchorage possibilities: uncertain protection, uncertain dog walk ability, uncertain internet connection for work. 
Route between the dock and the nearest anchorage: shoals and adverse currents. 
Prognosis: We'll run aground, back off, hit a log, get struck by lightning, drag into the bushes, all while having no internet, getting fired, and the dog abandons ship into the marsh and away from us. We wouldn't blame him. 

Huh. Dock life isn't so bad, is it?
Rainy Days
We delayed a day to let the cold front pass and only have to deal with 15 instead of 20 variables. Baby steps.

We left.

We encountered:
  • Low tides
  • Passing boats yelling at us about 3 foot depths ahead
  • Fear and terror as we approached the shoal and our depth started dropping
  • Relief as we never saw less than 6 feet
  • Confusion when our companion ran aground twice
  • Good old fashioned fighting about where to anchor
  • Confusion over tidal drop and if we would run aground in the night
  • Manic calculations with excessive glaring
  • How hard is it to calculate 13-7=6? Hard. 
  • Wine drinking
  • Dolphins
  • Rain
  • Muddy dog walk
  • Good internet for work
  • More rain
  • Dolphins seem to be harassing us now
  • Sunsets
  • Sleepless nights as the dog wants to rampage 
  • Sleepless nights as our anchor alarm is set to go off with each wind change and current change
  • Sleepless nights as we are forced to stay up watching the stars reflect in the still water while phosphorescence makes our anchor bridle glow. 
    ICW Cruising
    Peaceful Nights
    South Carolina Low Country. Can you spot Independence?
    Dog Walk
    Rainbow at Sunset
Time to check the weather for our trip south. 
Prognosis: there are no 24 hour weather windows. Cold fronts and warm fronts will literally just move back and forth over our exact location, stalling out, raining, storming, for eternity. The tide is always low and the shoals are always there. The current will always be against us. We will face land walk uncertainty and internet insecurity. We'll never have a full nights sleep again. 

And yet? We love it. It's good to be back on the ICW. 
What do you love and hate?

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  1. What did you do to the dolphins to make them harass you? Cruising certainly has it's ups and downs. We've only run aground a couple of times and it was easy to get back off. I have nightmares about running hard aground.

    1. We're always asking ourselves: would we be aground in the next boat? It's going to be an interesting experiment. There's so many dolphins in South Carolina! Its crazy!

  2. It's wonderful to read the larks again! I missed it! I don't miss the good old ICW though. I remember going under a bridge and being "almost" sure we could pass under. We did and without ping it ;-)

    1. :-) Oh man, I don't know how some sailors do it - especially if they have a high mast and a deep draft. Having a short mast and shallow draft is still enough to nearly do me in on a daily basis!

  3. I love how you take Hastings for a walk with your purse hanging over your shoulder. And I hate . . . purses. I really do. I carried one back in the 90s for a bit, but it never suited me. It's all backpacks and back pockets for me! The thing is, though, David could really use one -- the guy brings more junk with him when we go somewhere than anyone I know.

    1. :-) I guess I'm a David! Even for a quick dog walk, I want: dog bags, dog water, radio and cell phone (in case the engine dies and we get sucked out the inlet and can't row against 4 knots of current and end up in Bermuda). All my purses fell apart on the boat so I've been forced to sew my own with waterproof materials, waterproof zips, and stainless hardware. It's pretty tiring being me!


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