Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Easy morning, anti-swamping

I woke up this morning to birds chattering and squawking (crows) and tooting (the one pictured above) right outside the open hatch. I opened my eyes and saw the belly of a blackbird fly over. Evan came over from the computer, where he was checking the weather conditions for the day, and told me that there would be strong winds today, 20-25 knots (10-15 is fine, 20 iffy, 25 gale-like). We could go out and have an uncomfortable six hours going through marsh stretches of the ICW, which are completely exposed to the wind without any real treeline barriers, hoping that the wind wouldn't blow us, despite our best efforts at the helm, out of the channel and into some shoals.

That's the worst-case scenario, of course. Actually, that's just the tip of the worst-case scenario iceberg. The rest of the worst-case scenario is swamping: one gets grounded in a shoal at high tide, the water level falls as the tide goes out, leaving you stranded like the bird in my picture, the boat's keel gets wedged deeper into the mud bottom at a strange angle, and by the time the tide turns again, the boat is so stuck that it lacks the buoyancy to float back upright with the rising water, which instead floods the boat and causes extensive damage.

Swamping would have been unlikely today, but we're still going to wait out the windy day. The next two days are forecasted to be cold and rainy, and we'd prefer to arrive in Charleston in good weather, hop off the boat, fresh as daisies, and stroll around town all day. So we'll be here in McClellanville for a few days more. Corn muffins, huevos rancheros, lots of reading and writing, full seasons of Weeds and the Wire...I'm pretty happy.

This is home for the next couple of days.

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