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Old 28-09-2010, 21:32   #1
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C&D Canal - Underwater Pile ?

Coming up from SSCA yesterday, motoring through the C&D canal I came to a spot with a bit of a tight turn. I could see a barge behind a power yacht and a small sailboat. All coming my way. If you look at chart 12277, go to
N39 32 07
W75 46 54

I was heading East, the power boat, sail boat and barge where ahead of me in that order.

The barge must have been crowding the North shore because I lost sight of him for a while. I could see the sail boat heading my way and I wanted to give him as much room as possible so I hugged the South shore. Obviously I was concentrating on the unfolding scene when, as the barge was developing back into full sight, I hit something - HARD. It lifted us fully a foot out of the water and we slid right back in, slightly a canter. 5.8 knots.

I called the Coast Guard and reported it. They said they would check their charts and see if there was an obstruction about there.

An obstruction???? In the C&D canal??????

Now, after the fact, looking at the chart I must have wacked the "pile" that lies at that location. If it was the pile I hit it fair and square with my keel. Thank God for steel. She draws 6-1/2, we were at the top of an extra high tide.

No I'm not gonna make excuses for not seeing that note "Pile." I was looking after business not playing video games on the chart plotter.

To my mind a "Pile" is something that sticks above the water. I can tell you there is no "pile" of that definition there. There may well be a "submurged pile," in fact I'm pretty well sure of it.

This hit, taken in a differently constructed boat, could have been catastrophic. This "thing" what ever it is, probably lies within a foot or two of the water at low tide.

Now all of this is conjecture, all I know for sure is that I wacked something stouter than 22 tons of steel just in front of the small old cemetery with the big brown cross headstone.

I am going to go over these charts and mark any other similar "obstructions" before transiting again. You may wish to use similar caution.

BTW, I never heard to CG make an announcement about any potential danger.

Sometimes I feel as though God likes to reach down and thwack me with his finger on the back of the head once in a while, just for kicks. WTF???
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Old 29-09-2010, 02:10   #2
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If there is an obstruction it would come out in the weekly notice to mariners,,,,,,available for download, if it was something not charted they would most likely notify the canal pilots
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Old 29-09-2010, 02:17   #3
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there is a book with all the chart symbols that you can purchase, forgot the name at the moment,,,,the pile can be above or below water,,,, as I am looking at the chart online, not the best indicator,,, it does show a depth of 6 feet at that spot,,,,
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Old 29-09-2010, 05:38   #4
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You are speaking of "Chart 1" which can be downloaded for free.

Piles are found in F22 (Ports) for exposed piles (the symbol used) and K43 (Rocks, Wrecks, Obstructions) for submerged piles.

The depth gauge on my boat read 43' before and after the "event." I had looked at the sounder just seconds before striking and again, obviously once my eyeballs stopped shaking. I think my sounder is a little off vertical and is on the Port side which would favor a higher reading. But 6' would be nearly a shear wall.

Also, I think that the 'pile' was further off the bank than indicated. But, I may have been fooled due to the high tide. It's all subjective.

Just be aware and be careful.
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Old 29-09-2010, 06:38   #5
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You said that the barge was ahead of you and the rest of the text implied that the barge was moving in the same direction as you. A large deep draft vessel can certainly stir up the bottom enough to shake up a large dead head log. You might have just gotten "lucky" and came into contact with a large log on its way back to the bottom.
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Old 29-09-2010, 07:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
.

If it was the pile I hit it fair and square with my keel. Thank God for steel. She draws 6-1/2, we were at the top of an extra high tide.
One day, I'll have me one of those
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Old 29-09-2010, 11:29   #7
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Jeff,

Sorry for the confusion - I was headed East, all three other boats were headed West, they were all coming in my direction. That is why I was crowding the lane, to give the little guy as much room as possible.

The power boat was nearly abeam, the smaller sail boat was a couple of hundred yards ahead, then the barge coming up behind them.

I had relatively still water.
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Old 29-09-2010, 12:54   #8
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Any chance of doing a screen capture and posting a picture of where it is?

Very serious. Glad it went ok for you.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 29-09-2010, 13:17   #9
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Let's see if this works. Just right of center, over Bethel.
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Old 29-09-2010, 13:30   #10
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screen shot i think

Hadn't used open cpn before. Started playing with it. Very nice. Here is where I see this happening. looks like 6' water and a piling.
glad all was well
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Old 29-09-2010, 13:39   #11
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Let's see if this works. Just right of center, over Bethel.
THAT's your problem - you were using Fugawi!!
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Old 29-09-2010, 15:12   #12
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Nope, I've got Fugawi as a back up on my lap top. Using a Raymarine C-80 plotter.

And, it may look like 6 feet of water, but when I struck I had 43. Well, not EXACTLY where I struck, or I wouldn't have struck.

I just don't think I was that far over.

Whether or not I did something stupid is immaterial. I think others could have done the same thing. I just wanted to point out a "got-cha" so someone else can avoid the same issue, possibly with worse results.
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