1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: November 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just WHO is in charge of the weather here?

I know I'll get no sympathy from my Canadian friends over this, but just who is in charge of the weather we've been having on the ICW?
Every year, I swear I'll head south early enough to avoid the cold. This year, I'm further south than I've ever been at US Thanksgiving, I'm in South Carolina, and it's going down to 27° tonight. Last week, we actually had a colder night than that, and the week before, it was into the lower 30s. In ten years, I've not ever seen it get this cold, this early. I figure there's a cold front wandering around 'up there' in the sky, heading south from Canada, and looking down saying "Where's Wally?"
This is NOT fair...and to anyone smiling impishly at this, keep in mind, in just another week or ten days, I'll be in Florida, wearing t-shirts and shorts...that is, provided this cold doesn't follow me there!
Orion's Blog - Victoria BC - (link)

Recently, I've been hearing from a LOT of people with questions about their cruising plans or even current issues. That's a good thing, and I'm happy to answer any and all questions - that's what that little box, down there on the right hand side of the page, is for. See how it says 'Contact'? "Get in Touch"....
If you've got questions, I may have an answer for you, or can suggest a place for you to look if I don't know. And although I know this is really hard to believe, but I don't 'know it all' - and there's an ex-girlfriend here who need to stop laughing at this point, thank you. Some people....but I digress.
I just received my schedule for the Toronto Boat Show, at which I'll again be speaking. I'll post that in the near future, and I hope to see all of my Canadian friends there, even the Dock Six folks from Port Dover.
Also, be watching SAIL Magazine for a regular series of 'Cruising the ICW' tips which I've written and which will be starting in February. This series of short tips will address various cruising issues for first time cruisers. Although the putative topic concerns the ICW, most of you will find useful information wherever you plan to cruise.
Some recent ICW warnings have been posted by Mark Doyle (On the Water Chartguides) to Southbound Escapees Association facebook page. Check them out if you're heading south and want to avoid a grounding. Other sources for information would include Waterway Guides and the Salty Southeast Cruisers Net.
Lastly - I've edited the webinar we did on the ICW - ICW Tune Ups and Tips - with Mark Doyle and Claiborne Young. Here it is, below....
Ah, the sun is coming out again.....time to go play ball with the pup. Enjoy folks, and a Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cruising reality....

Provisioning, fuel, laundry - all part of cruising, just as they're a part of everyday life. When cruising however, it's simply getting to the store that can be a problem. That's when places like Seapath Marina really rock. They make a courtesy car available for you to do your chores. The first time I was here, they had a monstrous Pontiac Bonneville in the most horrific shade of plum purple I've ever seen. Reminded me of the car I took driver training in at 16, but I digress...
Sunny today, some wind out of the south, so a good day to get these things done....later everyone. In the meantime, here's a sunset for you to enjoy...

Friday, November 15, 2013


....but WAIT! There's more! YES, MUCH MORE....here's a link to another 700 free YES I SAID FREE!!! marine manuals that you might find useful - 700 FREE MANUALS!
These manuals include a wide variety of marine related equipment, from engines to autopilots, Force 10 stoves and radars.....Lots of Yanmar manuals, and Westerbeke as well as Perkins and Universal - and most important of all - Jabsco toilet manuals. If you have a Jabsco 20120 head, you'll be thanking me!
Have fun kiddies!
Oh - more free stuff! In Swansboro, at Bogue's Inlet, there is a new 'free' dock. It's the restaurant just past Caspar's Marina, with room for two boats. As in Southport, as long as you're having a meal or drinks, you're welcome to tie up. Water and power (15 amp) included. In January, they are adding another 10 slips, so next spring, this will be almost a mandatory stop.
Swansboro is a pretty town, worth taking a look around. They've already got Christmas decorations up in the streets and it's quite attractive.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Looking For a Boat Manual?

Sail Magazine, in conjunction with its parent company AIM Media and Vessel Vanguar, has made more than 16,000 operating manuals available - for FREE! You can read the entire press release here at Passagemaker, and the link from SAIL is here: Link to Free Manuals.
I'd have written more, but the weather has cleared up, the sun is shining, and it's time to move on to my next ICW destination. Later, gators!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Prone to Seasickness?

Ever been seasick? I've never been, but I had a crewmember once who was, and it was awful. I recall thinking it would be a kindness to shoot the poor guy. I suspect he would have agreed.
So in today's emails, I receive not one, but TWO emails about preventing seasickness. Both are new to me, and both are quite fascinating.
The first is a pair of specially built glasses - the explanation for them is here on this page - and there is more information here on this page, although the translation from the French isn't very good. If you speak the language, you might prefer to read it in French.
Nonetheless, a fascinating idea, and if it works, a huge blessing for those who suffer at sea.

The second solution is outlined in Spinsheet, the Chesapeake Bay's sailing magazine. Essentially, it involves putting an earplug into your non-dominant ear. Apparently, this stops the conflict between your visual and auditory senses and your sense of balance that causes seasickness. The article is here.
The writer has asked that people try this method and report back to him at Randy Williamson. He will report back in a future article on his findings.

In other news, we've worked the kinks out of the technical problems with the webinar. The ICW TuneUps and Tips webinar will be held on Monday evening at 7 pm eastern. You can link to the webinar at ICW TuneUps - and some very good news, ICW expert Claiborne Young, of the Salty Southeast Cruisers Network will be joining us, so expect a great webinar, and lots and lots of good information. Bring your questions, we'll see you on Monday.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ICW "Tune Up" Webinar tonight at 7!

If you haven't yet heard, tonight, November 5 at 7 pm, Mark Doyle and I are hosting an online seminar on Cruising the ICW. We hope to answer any questions that those doing their first cruise might have and help with any problems or concerns. And for those not yet underway, we'll be more than happy to answer your questions. Tonight, at 7 - here's the link to signup: Google ICW TuneUp
Please join us, we're looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Seats are Filling Up!

Exciting news - the seats for tomorrow night's ICW Google Hangout webinar are filling up - we've got participants from as far away as Oz and the Dominican Republic.
Mark Doyle and I will be answering your questions on the ICW and YOUR own trip south this year, or to come, so if you have questions, sign up here at ICW Hangout, and join us Tuesday, November 5, at 7 pm eastern, for a fun, information filled seminar.
You can post questions during the seminar on the Hangouts page, or you can use the contact page here on LiveBloggin' to send them to Mark and I. We'll focus first on the newbies' questions, then move on to general ICW questions.
And folks, if you could do me a favour, since I'm running low on time - please share this event on your Facebook pages, and also on various websites and forums you belong to so that as many as possible will hear of it - thanks!
Meanwhile, here are some places to look forward to...
Wild horses on Radio Island, Beaufort NC

Yep, you read it right....

In case you missed it the first time....

Isle of Hope.....very pretty small town in SC

Sunday, November 3, 2013

ICW Hangout Tuesday Night.....

Ahoy All! I'm here in Oriental, just met a bunch of folks coming down the ICW, and some of them are struggling - badly. So I'm going to do a Google Hangout on Tuesday evening at 7 pm, eastern time, to provide some help and advice.
This will be a Q & A format with the goal of giving new cruisers the opportunity to ask questions about what is causing them any concerns on this trip, and to provide answers and, where necessary, reassurance and handholding, or even referrals to the appropriate experts or businesses that can assist.
The link to this hangout is ICW Google Hangout, and I'll be forwarding more details as we develop the program.
Please help me out here by sharing, reposting and publicizing this news to fellow cruisers - and also make mention of it on the various sailing forums you belong to - Cruisers Forum, Sailnet, Salty Southeast Cruisers, Active Captain, Waterway Guides - and so on. That way, we'll maximize the number of people who can participate and need some help and guidance.
More later - and see you Tuesday at 7!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shoaling Inlets Report - Lockwood's Folly, Shallote's Inlet

The following information is from Chuck and Susan on m/v Beach House - they are the publishers of The Great Book of Anchorages, which can be purchased through their website, www.tgboa.com
As everyone knows, Beach House and crew always transit any ICW problem areas exactly at low tide. That way we don't have to hurt our brain figuring out depths at mean low water. Today was no exception as we traveled through Lockwoods Folly and Shallotte Inlet. Here is a report on what we found for depths as we travel south on the ICW.

Lockwoods Folly
We found plenty of depth favoring the red side until we arrived at the inlet from the north. At green "33" depths were about 18 feet. At red "36" we favored the red side and found 14 feet. As we passed "36" the depths came up to 11 to 12 feet. Still favoring the red side, as we approached green "39" the depths were 10 feet. Passing green "39" at mid channel we found 20 feet. At red "40" we found 17 feet at mid channel. Passing red "42" mid channel we had 14 feet. As we approached the floaters we favored red marker "46A," stood off about 20 feet and found 10 feet. From red "46A" to red "48" we found 6.2 feet very briefly, then depths returned to 7 feet, then 8 feet as we passed green "47A." As we passed red "48" the depths dropped off to 9 feet until just before we reached the first pier passed the inlet where we encountered only 6.9 feet mid channel. Once past the first pier the depths dropped to 12 feet and all was good.

Shallotte Inlet
This was the surprise. Coming north a few months ago we had no problems. As we approached the inlet from the north we favored the ocean side from green "71" to "75". At red "76" we passed about 30 feet off the marker and found 13.5 feet. At green "77" mid channel depth was 18 feet. At red "78" mid channel reading was 17 feet. At red "80" about 15 feet off marker it was 17.5 feet. At red "80A" we were 10 feet from the marker with 8.9 feet of depth. Just past "80A" depths dropped to 12 feet. At mid channel between red "80" and green "81" the depths suddenly came up to 5.3 feet. Reaching green "81" about 50 feet from the marker we found depths of 9.8. At red "82" about 30 feet off the marker, depths were 10.9 feet. After passing red "82" by about 50 feet, depths dropped to 15 feet. From that point on it was smooth sailing, or motoring, depending on your perspective. All depths were at low tide for the day. We hope this will be of value to those that follow in our wake. We'll keep everyone posted of any issues as we move south.