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those are tough navigating situations
few years ago since I live in NC thought will go south for the winter via ICW.
after a week found it impossible for one person to keep an eye on the markers, the chart plotter, the depth finder, never mind a paperchart either on the nav station below or trying to unfold it on the cockpit.
Turned back.
 

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YIKES.... insane to try to navigate in such narrow channels with commercial traffic like this.
This is what the Great Loop is. About 6000 miles of it. St Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes, Mississipi, Gulf Coast ICW, Atlantic Coast ICW, New York State Canals. Have to cover about 500 miles a month to stay in season.

Its right on the top of my list of big trips when I find the time.
 

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Don't always believe your chart plotter. Morning after a front came thru i rounded a corner in the ICW to see a sea of red and green bouys. It looked like someone had tossed a box of red and green Christmas ornaments out on the water. All mixed up. I chocked that up to the hairy night before thinking the storm had broke some of the markers loss, so I depended on the chart plotter. Plotter indicated channel was to port, off I went only to run aground on an ebbing tide. The bottom was sand, I could see it clearly as the boat leaned over. No problem, its lunch time anyway and we aren't going anywhere for the next 4 to 5 hours. Beware of Lockwoods Folly Inlet on the ICW.
 

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Don't always believe your chart plotter. Morning after a front came thru i rounded a corner in the ICW to see a sea of red and green bouys. It looked like someone had tossed a box of red and green Christmas ornaments out on the water. All mixed up. I chocked that up to the hairy night before thinking the storm had broke some of the markers loss, so I depended on the chart plotter. Plotter indicated channel was to port, off I went only to run aground on an ebbing tide. The bottom was sand, I could see it clearly as the boat leaned over. No problem, its lunch time anyway and we aren't going anywhere for the next 4 to 5 hours. Beware of Lockwoods Folly Inlet on the ICW.
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good luck
I ran aground looking at a red marker firmly planted on a sand beach!!!!
share your thoughts, is almost like been in Mexico, the traffic lights and ICW markers? merely suggestions.
 

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More ifo:eek:st Dispatch interview: RE: White Widow at Chain of Rocks t. LOUIS — Michael Weber and his girlfriend were embarking on the sailing trip of a lifetime, when — like many a sailor before them — the mighty Mississippi River left them high and dry just north of downtown St. Louis. Weber, 63, a retired Marine and former businessman from southwest Michigan, was taking his 44-foot sailboat, the “White Widow,” down the river for what was supposed to be a yearlong trip to the Florida Keys and Bahamas. “I was just chasing the dream in my retirement,” Weber said. “I’d been preparing for this trip for two years.”But Weber’s dream was at least temporarily dashed when on the afternoon of Oct. 5 his Hunter 44 DS sailboat became firmly stuck on a 10-foot Chain of Rocks river dam. And nearly three weeks later, it’s still there. To the wonder of many locals, Weber’s boat has remained marooned in the middle of the Big Muddy just south of the Chain of Rocks Bridge while his insurance companies haggle over what it will take to remove the vessel from the treacherous stretch.“It’s a beautiful boat,” Weber said this week. “I just hope I get it back soon.” Trip from HellThe back of the sailboat lists its home port as Hell, Michigan. “That’s a real town, but I actually live a little bit out from Hell,” Weber said. “But that sounded better on the boat, and living in Michigan in the winter is a kind of hell. I was ready for some southern exposure.”Weber said he’s been boating and sailing most of his life but has stayed on the open waters of Lake Michigan and the ocean. “I’m not a river boat guy,” Weber said. “But we figured out going down the Mississippi was a convenient way to get to the ocean and the Florida Keys quicker.” Weber and his girlfriend left Sept. 28 from Chicago. The trip began as relaxingly as they had imagined, short of a run-in with five jumping carp that flopped into the boat’s dinghy near Peoria, Weber said. But the couple really ran into trouble when Weber missed an exit sign for a canal that allows boaters to navigate around the river’s rough terrain and concrete dams at the Chain of Rocks.“I thought it was a sign for a turn into a marina or something like that,” Weber said. Weber continued on and said he spotted no warning signs or buoys before the dam and rocky area.“By the time I got up to the rocks, the current was very strong, and it’s a sailboat, so I only have a 56-horsepower diesel engine,” he said. “So I crammed on the reverse, but it can’t do much.” The boat was swept up and pushed sideways by the current.“One thing I know is you don’t want to go down a river sideways,” Weber said. “So I knew we were in trouble. I coasted and ended up stuck there with no way of getting off.”Weber was hesitant to leave his boat but called for a rescue from the St. Louis Fire Department Water Rescue and U.S. Coast Guard. A helicopter from TV news station KTVI (Channel 2) captured their escape from the White Widow. “I looked up and was like, ‘Really? The news helicopter?’” Weber said. “I knew then people are going to wonder what idiot put that boat there. It’s humbling and embarrassing, but, you know, I made a mistake and I’m owning up to it.”No movementWeber said it’s going to take a barge, a crane and a tugboat to free his beloved sailboat. A crew of towboats attempted to remove the boat right after Weber got stuck, but it became clear a crane was needed to lift the boat off the dam. A barge with a crane arrived on Oct. 18 from Florida to finish the job, but Weber’s insurance carrier, Progressive, pulled the plug on the operation. “They got the maritime lawyers involved, and there were concerns about their liability,” Weber said. Weber said he watched from land when the companies called off the attempt to get the boat, while onlookers took drone footage of the vessel and wondered about who could have gotten the boat stuck like that. “I didn’t tell them it was my boat,” Weber said laughing. “I wanted to stay incognito.” Now though, Weber is worried that the longer the boat remains stuck, the more damage the $130,000 vessel might take. “I know at least we have a lovely pot of au gratin potatoes that’s now splattered on the floor, so I’m sure it’s not smelling great,” he said. “Besides that, I don’t see any major damage from the exterior.” Weber, who is back home in Michigan, said most of his possessions, including nearly all his clothes and his guitars, remain in the boat. “I could really use a guitar right now with all this going on,” he said. “I'm not a millionaire. This was where I am planning to live for the next year, and basically everything I have is in there.” Weber is hoping a third attempt to free the White Widow will happen in the next week, and he is optimistic it might still run. Once it's unstuck, repaired and cleansed of potatoes au gratin, Weber plans to continue his voyage to the Bahamas. “I really put the last couple years of my life into this,” he said. “I’m not giving up on the dream yet.”
 

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Bummer. Missed the sign for the cut. A few take aways.

1) before embarking on a major voyage in unfamiliar waters, it's worth while to make a detailed voyage plan and make notes about known hazards in a format that is easily accessible on the water.

2) in inland or near coastal waters, review the days passage and make note of critical course alterations and known hazards, including weather.

3) leverage technology. A $30 autoroute app could alert a skipper to a major river hazard.
 

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Then a storm came along, water rose, and one morning his boat was no longer there, and has not yet been found.
I wondered at the time, how a 44 boat disappeared. So it's Great news that it survived and he has a chance to get her back. !!

Challenging recovery. Barge, Tug and Crane make sense, How to stabilize them in the current and then getting lifting straps on her, Tricky. If insurance co. backs out, does this become a salvage claim?
 

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I wondered at the time, how a 44 boat disappeared. So it's Great news that it survived and he has a chance to get her back. !!
A storm washed the boat away subsequent to the interview given above and it hasn't been located or recovered. Probably fully submerged and resting on the bottom by now. Some of the last photos taken before that show the bow submerged so there was never really a chance it would have been pulled off without significant damage to the hull, keel, rudder, and running gear.
 

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You would think the boat could be spotted by following the oil/fuel slick back up river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
No, it probably got holes torn in the bottom rocking around on the rocks for 2 weeks, then got blown loose by the storm and sank. This is on the very muddy Old Man River Mississippi. The water is heavily silted, and already has plenty of diesel fuel floating on the surface. And the boat could have sank with the fuel tank in tact, so the oil spill will be very slow and gradual. Most of the water in that Wild on dredged part of the river is 10 ft. The boat will appear sometime next summer when the Army Corps of Engineers lets the water level drop some.
 

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A couple of shots of a similar cut we have in our neck of the woods. Big river with rapids and a narrow canal that every one needs to squeeze over into.

This first shot the ship over taking me is squeezing me over onto the river bank, my prop wash was muddy. Being under 20 meters, I am obligated to not impede his navigation in a narrow channel. He is about 700 feet long.

View attachment 141283

This next shot shows the overtaking guy had no choice but to squeeze me, because he is getting squeezed by another big ship exiting the canal. Now, I have no idea if the guy with the Hunter was distracted by commercial traffic or not, but it's a possibility so I am happy to give him the benefit of the doubt because I don't know how much he had on his plate when he missed the cut :) View attachment 141284
Is the traffic as heavy on Sundays? I went through shipping channels off NYC once and was warned like crazy about how hard it would be and to keep alert and so on and on. But we happened to go through in the wee hours of Sunday morning and there wasn't any commercial traffic. I wonder if you could schedule your navigation for light traffic times and when those might be. Of course, currently there probably aren't any light traffic times because of the Covid shipping catch-up, but normally...?
 

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Commercial traffic never really slows down here. In a lot of ways I prefer the commercial traffic to the week end warriors. We have a summer spot on this section of river so we are out sailing with the ships all the time. Most of the time they don't really bother us. Kids like seeing them.
 

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Heh, this is timely because I am in STL (just now leaving) for a conference and was up in the arch on Wednesday, marveling at a sailboat (no guess as to size, but 30-40' seems reasonable) tootling along down the river (with the mast up!). I wouldn't have though the air draft of the bridges would allow for that, but guessed that it must below a certain point - haven't had a chance to pull up the ENC viewer yet and check things out more.

I went looking for information about what is considered the "fall line" for the Mississippi, and it seems like (from descriptions) STL is situated more or less at the Fall Line (and the confluence of Missouri and Mississippi) - is that right? Obviously the river is so heavily engineered as to render the idea of a single fall line irrelevant.
 

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YIKES.... insane to try to navigate in such narrow channels with commercial traffic like this. Probably full of coal or some dirty fuel
Been there, done that. Shipping traffic has to be dealt with the same as weather... not a damn thing you can do about it and it can force you into a bad spot. I watch the AIS, radar and keep the Mark I eyeballs scanning to try to predict and react in a timely manner.

Also, just curiosity... but what does it matter what they were carrying? How does that impact this situation at all?
Not one bit that's how. A ship is a ship irregardless of cargo, and they cannot turn or stop in any reasonable amount of time... smaller boats can.
 

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Been there, done that. Shipping traffic has to be dealt with the same as weather... not a damn thing you can do about it and it can force you into a bad spot. I watch the AIS, radar and keep the Mark I eyeballs scanning to try to predict and react in a timely manner.

Also, just curiosity... but what does it matter what they were carrying? How does that impact this situation at all?
Not one bit that's how. A ship is a ship irregardless of cargo, and they cannot turn or stop in any reasonable amount of time... smaller boats can.
doesn't make a difference... just bitching
 

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doesn't make a difference... just bitching
OK, I get that I guess. I disagree, as it was not pertinent to the discussion but whatever... I just have reached my personal limit on Politics and all the Climate BS.
I do however accept and support your right to ***** all you want. Gods know I do.
The wife says I'm a Level 5 Curmudgeon... =]
 
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