Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventures!
Eric here with the latest travels of Still Waters II. This update will also include the road trip to OKC where the crew got caught in a traffic jam that resulted in an overnight stay on I22.
Lastly, since my last update, Jay S. has joined on as a virtual crew member. Welcome aboard and enjoy the cruise Jay!
Summary of week:
The crew departed Jekyll Island and made a two-day run to the Isle of Hope Marina in the suburbs of Savannah. The crew then took a road trip to Oklahoma City to watch the Women’s College World Series. On the return trip to the boat they picked up a granddaughter who will cruise with them for a couple of weeks. On Saturday, they picked up some friends from the Savannah airport and made an afternoon cruise to downtown Savannah.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
The crew departed Jekyll Island and headed further north along the ICW. It is only about 100 miles to Savannah from here so the crew plans to split the trip into about a 55-mile run and a 45-mile run.
There is very little between Jekyll Island and Savannah but miles and miles of Georgia salt marsh. The crew saw very few other boaters out on the water.
The crew did follow a conversation over the radio between a recreational boater and the Coast Guard. The boater ran out of gas and was looking for the Coast Guard to deliver some fuel. The Coast Guard only helps boaters in distress, such as a boat actually sinking. The Coast Guard asks tons of questions on their one-size-fits-all checklist and then tells the ‘not in distress’ per Coast Guard standards boater to call a commercial tow company such as Boat US or Sea Tow for help.
After a good day of cruising the crew pulled up in the Wahoo River to anchor. This was the first anchor stop since the boat repairs. When they went to deploy the anchor, ………, well nothing happened. The skipper checked under the helm for any loose wires, found one, plugged the wire back in, and still no anchor power. The skipper then jumped down in the engine room and found the anchor switch turned off. Turned the switch to ‘on’ and the anchor windlass began to work. Imagine that.
This was a nice place to anchor except the huge flies that decided to buzz the boat. The flies got so bad that the crew had to retreat from the sundeck and go inside the boat. Unfortunately, when the sun went down the wind died down also. This was one hot night with temperatures only falling to 72 just before daybreak.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Another beautiful warm day to cruise. The good days far outnumber the bad days, but the brain only seems to remember the bad days where there was some kind of ordeal to overcome. Luckily our crew has not had many bad days on the water.
Again, there were not many folks on the water until the crew approached the marina on the outskirts of Savannah. Then the boating traffic significantly picked up.
The Coast Guard had their hands full today though. They dealt with another boater who ran out of fuel and a boater who ran hard aground. Once again, the Coast Guard asked all their questions and then suggested the boaters call a commercial tow service.
With more people on the water there were many folks using Channel 16 to just chat which is a big no-no. The crew is in the Charleston Sector for Coast Guard response. The Charleston Sector has a very short fuse when it comes to this inappropriate radio use.
The Coast Guard was constantly broadcasting a message that basically said “Channel 16 is for emergency and hailing purposes only. Boaters using channel 16 should switch to a working channel. Boaters using channel 16 for routine communications disrupts the Coast Guards ability to receive emergency calls. This is Charleston Sector monitoring and recording Channel 16. Over”
It seemed like someone would get on the radio and misuse channel 16 every few minutes or so. This would cause the Coast Guard to parrot their above message, yet again.
The skipper thought about, but did not act on this thought. Make an announcement on Channel 16 following the Coast Guard parrot message such as, “the Coast Guard repeating this long message every 5 minutes prevents the Coast Guard from receiving emergency messages. Over”
The crew just continued to monitor channel 16 as they motored on to the marina. The crew safely docked and secured the boat at the Isle of Hope Marina to end a wonderful uneventful Memorial Day cruise.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The crew rented a car and started towards Oklahoma City. The drive was going fine until 2215, about 30 miles south of Memphis. All of a sudden there was nothing but red brake lights as the traffic came to a halt. After about 30 minutes, the traffic in the opposite direction was also stopped. After an hour, a medical helicopter landed, then left after another 30 minutes.
The skipper thought that the traffic would start moving after the helicopter took off, but an hour later there was still no movement on the highway. As 0100 came and went motorists began making themselves comfortable for the night in their cars. The truck drivers all disappeared from their cabs and made themselves comfortable in their sleeper cabins.
At 0500, the skipper woke up so he decided to take the mile stroll to the blinking lights to get a firsthand look at what was going on. When he arrived at the road block, he found three police vehicles blocking all the traffic lanes and shoulder. He also noticed the smell of asphalt. On closer inspection, he noticed that the road crew had cut about a twenty-yard-wide section out of the road, shoulder-to-shoulder. The road crew had laid new asphalt and were now in the process of rolling and compacting the new road surface.
The skipper walked back to the car and within twenty minutes he noticed the blinking lights were all off. He then realized that some vehicles were actually moving up ahead. Only problem now was that most of the folks were all still sleeping in their vehicles. The skipper managed to back out between a few cars and an 18-wheeler and get over on the shoulder. He then followed a Fed Ex truck up and out of the maze of cars on the highway. The Fed Ex truck was also blowing his horn as he passed the sleeping motorists and fellow truck drivers.
All-in-all this was one of the most bizarre nights ever on a highway.
Thursday, June 1 thru Tuesday, June 6, 2017
The crew spent most of the time watching the softball games to determine the College Division 1 Champion. The 2017 champs turned out to be the University of Oklahoma.
The crew also spent quality time with their softball family.
Wednesday, June 7 thru Friday June 9, 2017
The crew made a trip south to go pick up one of their granddaughters from Bryan/College Station and then headed east back to the boat.
Just west of Baton Rouge, the crew once again ran smack dab up on an all stop traffic accident. An 18-Wheeler had gone off the road and was laying on its side in the trees. This time the crew managed a whole six miles in two hours before clearing the accident scene and getting back up to cruising speed.
This resulted in a 0200 arrival back at the Isle of Hope Marina. Friday was spent making the boat ready for the next leg of the journey north.
Saturday, June 10, 2016, 2017
The skipper was scrambling a bit on Saturday morning to make final arrangements for the day’s activities. He needed to go to the Savannah International Airport to pick up two friends who were scheduled to land at 1045 a.m. He also needed to return the rental car to Enterprise before the office closed at noon.
After returning the rental car, he used the marina loaner car to make the run to the airport. The friends plane was on time and he managed to arrive at the airport within ten minutes of the guests getting their bags at baggage claim. The skipper and guests returned to the marina where they put their luggage on the sundeck. The Admiral had a large lunch spread waiting for them so they took the time to eat lunch before shoving off the dock.
The run was enjoyable as the crew and three guests made the three-hour run to downtown Savannah by boat. Upon arrival in the Savannah River, the crew met a large commercial ship that was making 12 knots. The large ship overtook Still Waters II in no time.
Then a dinner riverboat arrived up ahead as the crew continued to push towards Savannah. They cruised by Old Fort Jackson and then over to the Waving Girl Monument before crossing the River and docking at The Westin Savannah Harbor Marina. Two of the guests are staying at the Westin while Kim attends the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Emergency Preparedness Conference.
When the crew and guests were about to board the water taxi to cross the river to find a restaurant to eat at, Kelly noticed Tim E. also waiting in line for the taxi. The skipper went up to Tim to say hello and before you know it Tim had invited himself to dinner with the group of five. Well, maybe it was actually the other way around, the skipper invited the group of five to join Tim. Either way, it was great fun spending time with Tim.
Next Week –
The crew plans to leave Savannah on Monday and hope to make Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing by the weekend. The skipper said something about an Elk Burger with his name on it at Fuddruckers’s.
Loop On – The water goes on forever and the adventure never ends.