Monday, April 15, 2013

Never on a Weekend (Well, Hardly)

We have a rule that we never travel inside on a weekend, especially if the weather is good. Every owner of a small "go-fast" boat is out zooming around enjoying their free time. It's typically a zoo and few seem to know or care about things like the rules of the road, the effect of a wake, etc. So we try to stay put somewhere.

We timed our departure from the Lightkeepers Marina so that we would reach Shallotte Inlet at high tide. We had numerous hazards to deal with and the one near Shallotte Inlet was the worst. Oh, and it was Saturday and the weather was spectacular.

As we approached the inlet we saw several floating buoys marking the best water. The channel was very narrow but we had hit high tide so we felt pretty good. There were many boats zooming in and out and around the inlet. A beach on the ocean side was lined with small boats and dogs and children were playing. All and all it was a lovely scene.

I noticed a couple of kayakers meandering at the edge of the channel and put my hand on the throttle to pull back. We have kayaked for many years and know how unsettling a sudden wake can be.

Then they turned in front of us right into the channel. Well, alright, I would have waited to cross behind us but I just pulled back the throttle to give them time to cross. Nope. They turned and started paddling up the middle of the channel. I waited a moment to see if they would turn and continue across. Nope. Now I was concerned, we don't exactly stop on a dime.

So I blew a short blast on my horn. The second kayaker looked back and kept on paddling. We were still moving at about 3-4 knots although I was out of gear. I blew a long blast. Again he looked back but kept on paddling. I told Jeff he'd better go out on the bow and tell them they had to move.

"You need to move out of the channel."

The kayaker said, "No, you have to stay out of our way," and kept on paddling. Now I'm getting ready to go in reverse.

"You're in the middle of a restricted channel and we're a deep draft boat. We can't move out of the channel. You need to get out of the channel to let us pass."

"You're on the wrong side of that red."

"No, we need to be between the red and the green or we'll run aground."

"No, you're wrong. You need to move out of our way."

So finally Jeff said, "We can't changed course and our boat is a lot bigger than yours. Plus there are other boats coming behind us. You either need to move or you're going to get run over."

They finally moved off the channel trailing a string of curse words. We looked at each other and said, "Never travel inside on a weekend."

If you're interested in what a trip down the ICW looks like, Jeff has been playing with his latest toy - a weatherproof camera that can do time lapse. Here's 30 nautical miles along our path including the kayakers (if you're quick enough to see them)...


Leigh said...

Insane! We are enjoying our trek up the ICW so far (still in GA), and thankfully have not met too many people ignorant of the rules of the road (or just plain rude). Those kayakers obviously did not have their own interests (read: safety) at heart!

Dave Gibson said...

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Gone With The Wind .... on safari said...

great job, you guys are aces. what about a bit of time lapse dog cam as well. keep up the good work . i really enjoy reading your blog and i get my dog fix as well

MV Red Head said...

From the first day we got Dylan, I took a picture of him each day wherever we were at 5 pm. A couple of years ago I put together a time lapse of those images:

And here's an outtake from an early shot: