Nightime was calm as forecast and as the changing tide turned us around 180 degrees we couldn’t feel it happening. Around 2am the calm was interrupted, and so was my sleep, by movement caused by a boat wake rocking us side to side. I heard the distinctive drone of engines, maybe a tug and barge, or the first of two………….cruise ships!
Woke up Wed at 6:40, Russ does his usual scan for other approaching boats and spots a cruise ship heading south on the ICW and in 30 mins she’d pass right by us. AIS shows she’s the Independence approx 150 LOA moving along at 10kts. We delay departure until she’s close, then raise the anchor and fall in behind. Compared to yesterday, today was a lazy cruise through Georgia’s mid-section, sunshine, boats of all kinds and one poor guy with a broken waterpump under sail while waiting for SeaTow. This section, while easy to travel through, is kinda in the middle of nowhere. Later in the afternoon we’d begin the southern section of GA where you’ve got to be very mindful of the channel. Beginning at Beaufort the monohulls who draw more than 5 ft tend to disappear from the picture; many will wait for good weather (NW 10-15) to jump outside and miss Georgia completely.
Many areas of Georgia have a 6-7 foot tide change which wouldn’t be so bad if the ICW was dredged to, say 8ft MLW. Not gonna happen when the state ain’t got the funds to do it. One notorious stretch is the Little Mud River where depths go as low as 5 ft at MLW and the section in general reads about 6 ½ ft on average. It’s not a section you choose to transit at low tide, unless your draft is less than 5 ft. We don’t pay much attention to the tide, although at times we make plans based on the current, which at
times can run over 2kts. Soooo, we arrive at the bad section – guess when? At low tide. But we are behind a monohull and a motor yacht and if either one finds the mud bottom we’d get some warning. All slowed down to a fast crawl and made it through. You will also find more range markers in GA than anywhere else we’ve seen and when the water gets skinny a wise captain
will use them.
We anchored in another creek, Jove Creek and had two other boats with us. Quiet and serene and a good view of the ICW so we could watch boats passing by. Sounds kinda boring- but when there’s not much else to do and the AT&T 3G signal isn’t strong enough to tether to do much… Enjoyed a gorgeous sunset- never tire of those and at 6:30pm the Independence came by all lit up, headed for Brunswick. She’d spent the day – well not sure where but we saw her at a dock along the way.