Myrtle Beach

Trip Start Dec 01, 2007
1
4
35
Trip End May 31, 2008


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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Saturday, December 8, 2007

We had a good run down the ICW today to Myrtle Beach.  As I expected, the ICW continues to be plagued by shoaling (shallow water).  The US Corp of Engineers manages the waterway and is supposed to provide depths of 12 feet or so.  But as it happens, our brilliant government has provided little or no funding for keeping the waterway up for several years.  As a result, boaters and commercial vessels can find water as low as 3 feet depending on the location.  So we must be diligent to avoid grounding in these areas.  Many are published and visible on the Internet or other sources and many are not 

Our most interesting spot today was when we heard a call on the radio that stated that there was an area of thin water three miles ahead and four boats were anchored to wait for higher tide.  We had been traveling with a vessel named Irony: a 50' steel trawler handled by a professional captain.  His boat was a bit faster than ours so we let him take the lead.   I heard him talking to the various boat anchored in the middle of ICW as we came up.  "You guys are anchored illegally in the middle of the channel.  I'm going through.", he said.  I decided to follow Irony as he wove his way past the anchored sailboats.  As we followed his every turn, I watched the sounder go from 7 to 6 to 5 and then up to 6 again.  As the ICW is mud bottom, I never felt in danger.  In fact, I wondered why the other boats had decided to anchor and not at least try.   After about a half mile of picking through the shallows, the sounder started to read 8, 9 and then 10 feet again.  We had made it easily.  Why not try?  Its only mud. 

We had started at the usual 0630 sunrise so we had been going for a long time.  When I calculated the ETA of the various marinas we had a big gap between one at 345 and the next one at 8pm.  We pulled into a very nice place at 4pm and called it a day. 
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