19 October 2011


Kedge (kej)
- verb (used with object)
1. To warp or pull (a ship) along by hauling on the cable of an anchor carried out from the ship and dropped.

We had our first true ICW day today. We hit bottom on two different occasions and the second time required the quick dispatch of Chronos and the bow anchor. (Going aground is a popular pass time and topic of conversation on the ICW due to various states of maintenance and rapid shoaling of the channel.)
How did we get into such a situation in the first place you ask? We have been using three navigational references on this trip. First, paper charts - for the ICW in a handy spiral bound reference. Second, the same government charts via a computer program called GPSNavX which plots your location on the chart as you go and provides lots of handy waypoint and route info. Third, an iPhone app called Navionics (which sources the screen shots I often add here). Early in the day as we happily motored through what both electronic charts showed as land, we decided this would be a day to depend on the buoys and our eyes.
As we looked ahead for a place to anchor for the night, protected from the SW and W winds which were expected to gust to 30 as a front passed over we noted a nice creek with charted depths of 15 and 16 feet. We noted that it was just before day marker "23".

The thick yellow line on the chart is our track.

So we turned into the phantom creek and felt our way along with the depth sounder. 6 feet, 4, 3 (we are aground at 2 on the depth sounder)... Then 2.1, then blank. So we turned away from the island thinking that perhaps we had left the channel between the wrong grass islands... Nope. Aground. We were able to back and retraced our route to the ICW proper. Okay. Let's anchor in that 6 ft spot we first saw. No. Promptly ran aground and backing wasn't doing the trick. We already knew the tide was outgoing so time was short. Enter the kedge. Anchor in dinghy. Row toward channel. Drop anchor. Pull boat to anchor. Just that easy. Kairos is designed with a wide shallow keel the full length of the boat, deeper aft. This design allows her to pivot on the deeper aft section as her bow finds deeper water and she can then drive off.

Photo of the offending water between marker "23" and land

What a story, we have been baptized by kedge and can now join the ICW cocktail chat. The best part of the day? It was in Florida!

No comments:

Post a Comment