(Im)perfectly Spaced

Imperfectly SpacedTomorrow we enter really high/low tide territory. Here in Pablo Creek the tide ranges about 3 feet — a bit more, now that it is full moon spring tides — about the same as the Bahamas.

HotSpotOur first obstacle, in Sawpit Creek just 16+ miles north, sees about 5.4 feet.

HotSpotThe next, and other 13 miles farther north, in the Amelia River sees 6 feet.

HotSpotFourteen miles farther north in the Crooked River it will be ~8.5 feet.

HotSpotAnd finally, 18 more miles along, in Jekyll Creek it will be ~8 feet.

What’s important about all this is at low tide, all but one of the obstacles is impassable for us, and we ~never cross a serious obstacle on a falling tide. [A favored marina in NC is inaccessible for a lot of folks right now because the dredging to deepen the harbor dislodged old pilings etc that now extend up to within four feet of the surface while the dredging project was intended to provide 7 feet at low tide. Folks have found these with their hulls, not their depth sounders.]

Were it not for the obstacles, Brunswick is just under 11 hours away on the ICW. A long and tedious day, but doable. Because of the obstacles, the trip is better done offshore, but this year we would find ourselves fighting a strong flood to leave and strong ebb on arrival with up to 3/4 kt of surface drift from the NE while offshore — the opposite of what we experienced last year.

The ICW trip could be done in two days, but because of the spring tide currents and the timing of the tides one of each day’s obstacles would be met at a bad time.

So we are going to take four days. This means 3+, 2.5, 2.5 & 2.5 hours of travel on each day (currents depending). At first this seems silly. But we don’t have to be in Brunswick before 1 June. Arranging our travel like this allows us to meet each obstacle an hour before high tide. And the weather forecast just doesn’t come much better. We might even get breezes light enough I can grill something.

HotSpotSadly, all but one of the obstacles derive from the federal government failing to maintain the infrastructure.

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