Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bridges on the ICW

It is difficult for most sailboats to make more than 50 miles a day on parts of the ICW. As you can imagine there are numerous bridges connecting the outer islands with the mainland. As most were built in the 1930s -1950s they tend to be the swing variety. They open on the hour and sometimes the half hour and stick tightly to the schedule.

Just as you leave South Carolina heading North at Sunset Beach there is a floating bridge that opens on the hour. The main span is on pontoons and every hour if there is boat traffic they swing this bridge open. It will be gone in a year as they are building a new concrete bridge next to it.

The new bridges are concrete permanent fixtures with a 65 ft clearance. It is spooky going under them around high tide it looks as though the top of the mast is going to strike. Le Chat Beaute, like many cats, is 62 ft above water at the top of the mast. Add 2 ft for antenna and lights and it becomes close.


Most of the waterway in South Carolina is wild and protected. It was not unusual to see chains across small creeks abutting the waterway designed to prevent boats from entering the wetlands. The only way to travel is by small boat as the surrounding wetland is almost impenetrable.

During the War between the States the Union forces tried to take the Carolinas from the sea by using the wetlands. From the picture you can see this would be very difficult. Think malaria, bugs, and venomous snakes not to mention being up to your knees in the muck all the time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Travelling the ICW

Moving through South Carolina the ICW is a wild place with an abundance of wild life and solitude. As you approach the small towns people become evident. Usually the jet ski is the first thing you hear/see. But, it is between the civilized spots where this place is really marvelous. I anchored just off the main channel one night and could here what I believe are baby ospreys begging to be fed. It is common to see the nest as part of the navigation aids all along the waterway.

As you pass a town , people have made their nests as well.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wynah Bay, SC

After leaving Charleston I set sail in light winds for points north. The winds were light (10kts) SW so it was a very comfortable sail with a one foot swell. The gribs forecast the wind to go northerly so I decided to duck into the ICW for a day or two to continue my way north.

The anchorage at Wynah just east of the ICW was beautiful and serene..........until sun down then the mozzies attacked with a vengence. Coils and spray were hardly effective as I must have been the first fresh meat in awhile. Eventually the sun went down and the majority left me in peace for the night.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One more Ship

This story would not be proper without including a picture of the Spirit of Charleston. It was a light wind day(10 kts) and I asked the skipper why all the sails were not deployed as it would have made a great sight on the river. They had paying guests on board for the Harbor Fest and tacking would have been problematic with all the extra people on board.

Tall Ship Repair

My last post stated one of the tall ships had carried away the foremast above the trucks. It was a Russian four masted Barque. A beautiful vessel. In order to turn through the wind when they returned to Europe repairs to the attachment of jib sails would need to be made. It also appears some damage to the courses happened when the portion of the mast carried away. Here are some pictures of the repair process. In the above photo you can see a man working on attachment of the stays.