getting to be

Posted by Charlie Jones on Jun 2, 2007

We ran aground just outside the ICW after dark one night by following the wrong bank and missing a curve.

Our batteries were down and when we talked to the CG they asked about a cell phone- we continued our discussion with them on that so we could save the ships battery for running nav lights by not having to transmit on the VHF.

Afterwards we could here them on the VHF warning the barge traffic that we were aground, outside the channel and needed no assistance.

We went aground about 2000 and finally kedged ourselves off around 2300 as barges and tow boats slid past us on a dead slow bell, 50 feet away.

It was nice having the cell phone aboard. However, later we found there were HUGE stretches of the Gulf ICW that had zero cell phone coverage and the phone would have been useless. We are supposing this was due to tower damage following Katrina and Rita, as most of the dead areas were in far eastern Texas, Louisiana and western Mississippi. Once we got past Gulfport eastbound, we had pretty fair cell phone coverage again.

Lesson here is don't rely on that cell phone. There are places where they just don't work. But the VHF along the coasts will almost always find at least another vessel. Of course on the gulf coast, that'll most likely be a tow boat which isn't bad becasue they are professional seamen and will offer assistance if they can.

In Response to: Re: one bit of incorrect by Jim E on Jun 1, 2007