Made it all the way to New Bern. What a fantastic trip it has been. The ICW is so beautiful and unspoiled. It is truly a treasure.
I think that many of the crabs who live in the waterways have come to think that the areas immediately adjacent to and beneath the ICW are safe havens from fisherman. Why else would these same fisherman put so many of their crabtraps directly in the waterway?
We spent the better part of the last day and a half avoiding a lot of these traps. They were everywhere. The traps are identified with less than colorful buoys/markers that float on the surface of the water. They are connected to the traps, which lie on the bottom, by rope lines. If you run over one, you risk fouling your props. If that happens, you have to get down in the water (yes it is very cold) swim under the boat to the props and cut the line loose with a knife. I am just not sure that Kim would enjoy that.
Anyway, upon arrival at New Bern, an alert fellow boater pointed out to us that we had picked up a passenger along the way. Floating off the starboard side of the boat was part of buoy that belonged to someone's crab trap. It had gotten caught on one of the stabilizer fins that sticks out the side of the hull. Depending on the strength of the rope and the speed of your boat, catching one of these things can do a lot of damage.
My first thought was of course, 'boat units'. The damage to the boat could have been significant. The other issue was removing the stowaway. The water in a marina is pretty yucky. There is a certain amount of oil and fuel floating around and who knows what else other people are dumping off their boats overboard into the water. Getting down in the murk to free this thing wasn't going to be pretty. Besides, Kim had just blow dried her hair.
In typical boater fashion, the people beside us in the next slip had just come over to greet us when this discovery was made. They immediately offered their dingy for us to use so that we could paddle over to the side of MAYA to see if we could free the marker. As it turned out, I was able to pull right up to the stabilizer fin, reach down into the water and cut loose the offender with a sharp knife. There was also no damage done so those 'boat units' could be put back into escrow until next time.
It was sad putting MAYA to 'bed' so soon. Our first trip was too short but we had to get back to the grind. Counting the days until we can be full time mariners will occupy our thoughts for the time being. Even now, we are planning and dreaming of adventures yet to come.