Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid
Great question, Don. Active Captain on my Bluechart says there is a 25' bridge clearance. But that's at high water,......
I've been under at high tide in a 17' Whaler on multiple occasions and if I had to shoot from the hip I'd say 22-25 is definitely in the ball park. IIRC the NOAA chart does show the clearance? It feels lower when you go under it..
Problem is that at low water you can have just 1' of water or bare mud on a drainer. We've had to wait on a drainer and usually drop hook in the little cove behind the island just to the East of the bridge....
Even if you lost 10' of tide for a 35' stick you won't have the draft to get through there. When you come out the other side, (East Side) there are a lot of erratic rocks in the mud that don't show up on the chart. IIRC one flat shows as just mud but it is pretty strewn with wheel-barrow sized rocks. My buddy Chris has some of them marked on his GPS.... When we come back through at a normal low we sometimes can't get through. We will wait but still need to tilt the motor and we're stirring mud....... I don't think that whaler draws much more than 9" - 10"...
We are usually trying to make a run from Contention Cove in Surry to Bar Harbor and back in one day, in a 17' foot Whaler. This is really our only route if we want to stay dry (ish) and not be on the boat all day..
If you have a tabernacle it can be done in a sail boat but without one you're going to need a pretty stubby stick..
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-26-2013 at 04:15 PM.