Would you cruise an area called the “Rock Pile” at high tide or low tide? Our first instinct said wait for high tide to have plenty of water. Kurt called a local marina for local knowledge and was told – “best to travel through this area at low tide- then you can see the rock ledges”. May 3rd could be a stressful day on the water!
First up, a swing bridge. And a sign we haven’t seen before- Hurricane Procedures! The day is getting better!
FOUND MISSING MARKERS
Can anyone help identify these vessels? They are unmarked, and have waked us a couple times over the past few days. They zip up so quickly and roar past!! They crew are in camo, and just give us a wave as they fly by. Here they are passing Enterprise in front of us.
Our Active Captain app provides notes and reviews from other cruisers along with details on navigational warnings. Today we are traversing the Rock Pile at mile 349. It is a stretch of rock lined ICW canal.
Folk lore says that the government didn’t expect so much rock when they were blasting through this section- with funds being depleted, they chose to make it more narrow than planned. Now we have a deep enough channel, but the sides are rock ledges. Many boats have drifted off the marked channel and ran aground or onto the rocks. You can see in the photo the rocks are just beyond the channel markers.!
At high tide, the water would be three feet higher and the rocks would be under water! It worked well to pass them at low tide when they are visible above water.
Of course, the down side is that the channel is also more channel, so we were slow and steady through the 3 or 4 mile stretch, and glad we did not meet any oncoming vessels.
MYRTLE BEACH YACHT CLUB
Myrtle Beach stretches along the coast here- we chose to stop at Myrtle Beach yacht Club after traveling 30 miles in 3.5 hours. Located at mile marker 348, we were disappointed when the dockmaster said we are no where near a beach.
This club is located about 25 minutes from the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area, and 25 minutes from the entertainment area at North Myrtle Beach in the other direction. By cruising along the ICW, we did not see any appealing portion of a tourism attraction. There is a pool and nice restaurant so all is good. When the guidebook says “remote Location” we will know what to expect. One night stay and we are back on the water.
ST JAMES PLANTATION MARINA
Yeah! We just crossed over the border into North Carolina!
Our next stop is another “remote location”. Located several miles before Southport, this is a planned retirement community with a marina. No pool, one restaurant and stormy weather. I bit of a sterile environment- many clusters of homes and condos for retirees.
Located at mile marker 315,we had traveled 31.6 miles in 4.5 hours. Thursday night the winds were howling and the rain was falling. We stayed Friday night to wait for calmer winds and water before heading on.
After a rain day, it seems a good time to step up and put some miles behind us. That means passing by Southport sadly, and aiming for points north. Stay tuned for more adventures.