Sunday, July 6, 2014

What the hell are you doing?

Leaving Charleston we entered the ICW at near low tide. Stupid move? Read on.

This area is notorious for shoaling and we were told that they recently dredged the area. Cool! Off we went. It was a little dicey going through the turns but we were doing fine. We were just about to get out of the "bad area" when the depth started dropping. When it got to six feet I went into neutral but the current carried us into the ground. Ugh. No problem, I'll just back off and try another route. We angled from one side of the channel to the other and no deeper water could be found. Again we bumped and again I was backing off when I saw some boats coming up behind us.

A large power yacht came quickly upon us and moved to go around. We were moving slowly backward away from the shoal trying to find deeper water. The guy went wide to port and zoomed past only to be stuck hard in the muck. OK, that was interesting. I wonder what he thought we were doing? Lunch break? Stop for a swim?

Next up is a sailboat. I was looking behind us as I was still trying to maneuver in the current and this woman on the sailboat looks over the side at me and gives me the WTF hand waving thing. I give them the slow down hand waving thing, and then the answer your radio hand waving thing, but they continue on. I now hear the woman yell "What the hell are you doing?!" Now I'm pissed off because I keep thinking that these people are stupid or arrogant. When I see a sailboat not moving forward and maneuvering backwards in a channel ahead of me I get a little indicator light flashing in my head that reads "WARNING! SLOW THE FK DOWN!" Apparently the bulb was blown in theirs as they blew past us and they all had smug looks on their faces staring us down. They were about twenty feet off our starboard side and I casually said "Very shallow up there. You have a radio?"

The WTF woman just glared at me as they passed and she leaned over to say something to her husband when...

YES! They abruptly stopped, spilling drinks and iPhones and heeling nicely to their port side. Black smoke came out the exhaust when the captain called for warp factor ten and buried himself deeper onto the shoal. The smug looks were replaced with frowns and looks of concern but I never got the look back so I could give them my WTF gestures.

All three of us sat there until the tide came up and then we all peeled off and went on our way. The gesturing sailboat kept the RPM's up so as to avoid any eye contact with the smiling captain of the Kelly Nicole.



  1. That piece north of Charleston is notorious for being 3-1/2 ft at low tide. We only transit it from hour before high to hour after high. It can be challenging to arrange that with anchorage and daylight issues, but it's worth the peace of mind.

    S/V Kintala

  2. Revenge is sweet! Kinda like waving when you pass or mutually sit at stoplights next to former tailgating weavers. Glad the rising tide floated your boat.