Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Moving South



Just over the Georgia line, finally, a day in which we removed our gloves during the afternoon. I didn’t wear my waterproof pants either. Nights are still in the 30s, but our nests are fully feathered and I’m feeling the warmth just over the horizon (or is that the loom of Savannah?). A lovely anchorage in an unnamed creek off the Bear River; a few quiet moments in the few daylit minutes left, listening to the birds in the marsh, whose voice boxes ratcheted and wound down like a pinball machine, then to an airplane droning past, and to gunfire in the distance, automatic, Doug said.

This stretch of the waterway is full of ‘alerts’ mostly about shoaling in the dredged cuts that connect the rivers, so we’re extra-careful. I like going at low tide, because I believe we’re sure to get off when the tide comes in, and I have that feeling longer. Doug says he’d rather not run aground in the first place, but he too wants ‘insurance’, so in his world it would always be halfway into the flood. At high tide, I get nervous, he gets happy.

The prospect of visiting our friends Lynn and George, off St. Catherine’s Sound, for Thanksgiving was enticing, but a shoal at the mouth of her creek made me anxious. We arrived nearby at the middle of the ebb, and used the luxury of spare time for a calming reconnoiter. It took half an hour to dig out the Avon and blow it up, mount the outboard, and load our kit, which includes a little fish finder/depth sounder suction-cupped to the transom.

We spent an hour zigging around checking our possible routes. Then, cautiously, but now with some assurance, and the added insurance of the rising tide, we did the deed.

At the dock we checked the electronic chart, to find that what we had done was exactly what we would have penciled in as the optimum route. This was despite some apparent changes in both nearby shoals. Lovely as the vast sea of marsh grass is, and it's one of my favorite landscapes, it's hard to get your bearings there. If that crabber moves his floats before we leave, especially the blue one, I'll miss them.

1 comment:

Sally said...

From Sally: I can so remember leaving the Chesapeake Bay on Thanksgiving 2005 headed to the Caribbean. 40k winds down the bay at night (I was actually huddled down below) freezing even there, wondering what I had got myself into), Tom and Wally Miller at the helm all night. Two days later we started to shed layered clothing, one by one, until you barely remember how cold it was don't you. I absolutely loved the photo of the spider's web on the boat in the rain. You HAVE to submit it for a competition, or at least submit it to a magazine. I wonder if there is a Western Caribbean version of "The Compass" sailors rag?? Love Sally