Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pungo Pots

One of our favorite anchorages on the ICW is after the Pungo River on the South end at STM 127.4. We were there on our first trip south from NY. It’s a quiet spot with relatively deep water and room for many boats. It’s not the most protected spot but if it’s not blowing stink it’s OK. We like it because it’s quiet. There may be a few yahoos shooting the bark off of trees and the occasional dog barking but for the most part it’s just you and the fish.

After our adventure with “Snakes on a Chain” at the north end of the river, Deb was determined not to anchor there again so we were pretty excited to pull off the waterway and spend a peaceful night in a favored spot. We came out of the river and glanced to the north towards our refuge. Pots! Crab Pots! Hundreds of crab pots littered the area as far as the eye could see. Our hearts sank and for once I was the calm one while Deb swore like a sailor. It was late in the day and we were tired. We had motored to  the point where we would turn into the anchorage and I said, “Let’s go in and look around.” Deb said, “It’s full of F@#&ing pots!! They are everywhere!” You wouldn't believe the field of pots we saw. We were ready to give up and just find a spot off channel for the night but I thought why not give it a shot.

We bobbed. We weaved. We worked our way toward a spot that looked good while watching the depth sounder. The target area showed promise. It looked full of pots but as we got closer a clear spot opened up for us right in the middle of a small cove surrounded by pine trees. Yes! We tucked in and dropped the hook in mud and settled in for the night. What are the odds that the very spot that was most protected was empty of pots?

After a night with dead bugs staining the deck and motoring in fog, this was a pleasant ending to a long day. I slept like a teenager after his first pot party and snack run.

It’s amazing how time on the water has reduced our anxiety over some things like crab pots. Well, for me anyway. When we first started out I was freaking out over all the damn pots everywhere. They used to drive me nuts because everywhere we wanted to anchor or sail there were pots to dodge. I know some of you folks reading at the time were like, chill dude!

I still want to avoid them and snagging one means I have to get in the water with a knife, which would probably lead to being in the water with blood. Being in the water with blood usually means you will have company. I like to swim alone thank you. 

Now I see pots as a sign of shallow water. They keep you honest on the ICW. There were a few times I was almost out of the channel on a turn, but the pots kept me in deep water. We have even anchored with pots all around us, which I really do not like but hey, we all have rights to the water. I remember one crabber getting all pissed off one morning because a sailboat next to us literally backed up over his marker. He was shouting some unintelligible nonsense about keeping the hell away from his pots. I couldn't help but laugh. I saluted him with my coffee mug. How’s it feel asshole. 

Recently in Florida I got all worked up about dodging a pot in mid channel. “Bastards can’t be laying pots here!!” Turns out I was avoiding a coconut.

Life out here sure is amusing and amazing. We continue to gain experience and learn something new with every day. We are now suffering anxiety over the upcoming crossing of the Gulf Stream. I'm sure we will over plan and lose sleep over it until we actually do it. Next year at this time we will be giving advice on how to, or how not to do it. Until then we have projects to complete and some quirky technical issues to solve. 


1 comment:

  1. No anxiety necessary. Just pick a good weather window and you'll be fine. Hopefully we can buddy boat.

    S/V Kintala