So one of the day to day events in the ICW is bridges. Some days we go through one and some days we go through 6. They vary in restrictions (rush hour closings, scheduled openings) and styles. Today we went through an unusual kind of bridge...a pontoon bridge. Sitting on pontoons in the water the bridge section is driven to the side at a scheduled time= on the hour every hour. We try to time the bridges so that we get there just in time, if we don't we have to jockey around in front of the bridge and wait. This can be challenging when you have current, wind and other boats. Charles has proven himself up to the task and manoeuvred many a bridge. The protocol when approaching a "open on demand" bridge you would call them on the VHF radio, it goes like this:" Sunset beach bridge, sunset beach bridge, sunset beach bridge, this is the south bound sailing vessel Alice, over" reply: " Sunset beach bridge" us again: "we would like to request and opening at your earliest convenience. over" reply: "roger that, Captain, standing by on 1-3" us: "S/V Alice standing by on 1-3". Then we proceed through and thank the bridge tender. So if we don't come to a pontoon bridge here are some of the other types of bridges out there: swing bridge, lift bridges, bascule bridge, singe or double and of course the ever more popular fixed bridge (clearance 65 ft). Today we just did the pontoon bridge but tomorrow we have two bridges as we make our way towards Georgetown, SC.
Okay, so the saying goes, if your in the intracoastal, your either aground, have been aground or about to go aground. Today we decided to run just over the South Carolina border to a little river called Calabash Creek. The creek is across from an inlet and the ICW is famous for shoaling at the inlets. We attempted to go in the creek and promptly ran aground. Just one day earlier Charles had decided that we needed to have a BoatUS membership because there is a lot of shoaling and because South Carolina and Georgia lost their funding for dredging the ICW. Low and behold we were aground in the ICW and promptly called BoatUS, who happened to be right there and thanks to a nice young guy named Brian we were of the shoal and he even guided us in to the creek to anchor. We thanked him profusely and threw in a jar of homemade jam ( I knew I brought that for a reason!) and all parties left happy.