Thursday, December 11, 2008

High Winds, High Hopes and Ducks

In case you haven't noticed, it's been rather windy here in the Carolina's the last 24 hours. I know this as fact having been tossed out of my rack in the middle of the night due to very sudden move to port.

It takes quite a bit of wind to push 63 feet of motoryacht around while tied to the dock. Wind, as in steady at 18 with gusts to more than 24 knots.

Speaking of weather:

Coast Guard Sector Charleston is reminding duck hunters to exercise caution while on the water throughout South Carolina for the upcoming five-day duck season which begins today due to expected inclement weather along the coast.

Sector Charleston also reminds boaters that they should file a float plan before leaving on their boat and let friends or family members know where they are going and when to expect them back.

Boaters are also reminded to know the limitations of themselves and their vessel before heading out during inclement weather. Boaters should ensure their VHF marine radio works properly and that they know how to use it; boaters should also ensure they have properly working signaling devices aboard, such as, flares or sound producing devices. Life jackets and warm clothing should also be brought along.

This all sounds like pretty dull advice, but the fact is every year someone gets injured, even shot during the oh so short duck season in the Carolina's. So don't get in a boat with a loaded gun, and clear your weapon before you get underway.

I for one won't be hunting ducks during the next five days. I'll thank Ducks Unlimited for that. Years ago ducks along the "Eastern Flyway" aka Atlantic Flyway numbered in the millions, but Ducks Unlimited raised a bunch of money and exploited the "Mississippi Flyway" by convincing farmers to leave vast sections of their fields for the ducks.

Ducks not being dumb, looked at the two routes south and elected to go the route that offered the better meal plan along the way.

I know you might think I'm crazy but years ago the ducks around Seabrook and Kiawah this time of year used to be so thick they would block out the sun during the late afternoons.

Without the large farms and vast expanse of "feeding grounds" along the east coast Ducks Unlimited has altered nature while trying to "do good".

But I have high hopes that the future of ducks in the Carolinas will be brighter as more and more conversation land is set aside and we become more aware of how delicate the balance of nature really is.


  1. You seem to keep great track of the traffic in and out of the harbor. I saw a fighter jet on a barge on the ICW a few days ago heading south under the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Any idea what it was or where it was headed?

  2. I wish I'd seen that! I don't have even a guess, though Beaufort would seem logical with the MCAS right on the ICW.

    But it would be easier just to fly it if it was operational.

    So I'd guess it is for a static display, which could be headed anywhere south.

    Thanks for the post!