You ran aground? Bummer.

29 Nov

Motoring down the ICW from Swansboro to Southport, NC we have discovered that extreme vigilance to the depth gauge is required. The dredgers cannot keep up with the sand and silt flowing in through all the inlets, and what appears to be a well marked channel can quickly drop from 14 to 4 feet. With the low tides during daylight the past few days, it has been rough  weaving through the shoals.

As a sailboat, we are slower than many, and Andy (being the gentleman captain) likes to slide a bit to starboard and allow the speeding motor boats to zip past us. Yesterday, he called one such motorboat, Easy, via VHF and they decided to pass on our port. After the pass, Andy was turning to pull back into the center of the channel while Easy thanked us. Suddenly, our comfortable 9 foot depth dropped off and our starboard hull ran aground. Instead of the radio “your welcome,” Andy’s blurted response was, “and we just ran aground.” Easy’s reply? “Bummer.” That was it! Radio silence. Andy and I stared at each other in amazement at this reaction.

After a few moments, Easy came back on and amended his cold bummer with the statement that he could “turn around if we needed him too, but it would be dangerous and we would have to be careful.” Fortunately, by fiddling with the engines a bit Andy was able to twist us off the shoal so we could continue on our way unassisted.

Now, just to be fair to Easy…he sat in the middle of the next bridge for an extra five minutes holding it open for us, so we wouldn’t have to wait another half hour for the next lift. Lesson learned? I think we’ll just let them risk going around us instead of sidling over…even a few feet.

3 Responses to “You ran aground? Bummer.”

  1. Tasha December 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Man, can I ever sympathize! Just the other day we ran aground 3 time in the channel between Cumberland Island, GA and Fort George! It sucks!

    • four2tango December 2, 2012 at 12:00 am #

      It is a bit nerve wracking isn’t it? Thanks for the comment! Checking out your site. Love Catalinas…gorgeous boat.


  1. Damn you shoals. Damn you all to hell. « Life Aboard S/V Tango - November 29, 2012

    […] hope that we would not come to a halt against our will. I had already run aground the day before (Read Robin’s article) and I did not want to repeat that […]

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