We were off the dock at 7:30 in a lovely sunrise with the moon still showing on the horizon. Shortly after, we noticed white smoke coming out of the exhaust so we pulled into the ne y marina which luckily was not very far down the ICW. Bob the diesel engine guy replaced the gasket in the engine intake strainer and poof, the smoke was all gone. Th
We got through the two tricky areas just fine but being a very nice Saturday there was an incredible amount of “pleasure craft” traffic. Read that as lots of fast motor boats zipping around and not giving a shit about the amount of wake they were creating for the slower moving boats. The area we were going through was quite highly populated so I’m sure that contributed to the traffic.
The final tricky spot I was concerned about is called Rockpile – sounds lovely doesn’t it. When the Army Corps of Engineers were working on the ICW, they encountered this area of granite so they blasted a channel wide enough for traffic on the ICW. The granite sides of this channel are still there and are visible only at low tide. So it’s important to stay in the middle of the channel and hope you don’t meet a barge coming towards you! In fact, it’s recommended that you announce that you’re entering the Rockpile on channels monitored by commercial traffic so they will either wait until you’re through or tell you to wait until they are through if they are already in the channel. There are curves in the channel, which is about four miles long, so you can’t see what is coming towards you. Our Rockpile trip was fine, we were passed by a few motor boats but traffic had reduced significantly once we got closer to Rockpile.
Were staying at a marina a short distance from the Rockpile so all in all, a good day.