Mill Creek to Burns Island Channel

I got up at the crack of dawn to get on up to Goose Pond to meet up with the other folks who had already spent the night there. I was really locky that there was no fog on the river this morning. Usually it is like pea soup at that time. I went into the Goose Pond Marina to hand out the laminated itineraries.

At about 8:30 we pulled out of Goose Pond for the really long run up to the north end of Bridgeport Island. The cruise had started in earnest.

These cooling towwers have really distinct shading.

The run was a bit windy and chilly. We all put up jibs to help speed us up. As it turned out the other boats were slightly faster then me. They displaced around 12k lbs while I displaced around 17k lbs. All had similar sized engines and various types of propellers. Each was running at a different RPM. I was moving at 2500 RPM. All had various degrees of fouling on their bottoms but they probably did not match my 5+ years of it. I'm not sure how much faster than that I wanted to push the engine. But things turned out ok.

The Commodore radioed the CSX Railroad Bridge ahead. Once I pulled up I went on through without slowing down or waiting.

The little ferry for folks going to Bridgeport Island

We arrived at the north end of Bridgeport Island with the idea of two boats anchoring. Then one boat would slide in the middle to make a raft. Finally the other two would pick either side to tie on.

We noticed a fresh set of channel markers laid out neatly. One person commented that it looked like a runway. I sighted down the red bouys and noticed that they were in an almost perfectly straight line.

Active Captain had advised us that this was a good anchorage spot.

As is generally practiced we set the anchors with sufficient scope then tested by backing down hard to make sure they grabbed. The anchors failed to grab time after time. After about 30 minutes we gave up and headed to the channel for our next anchoring option.

It's always neat to be passing under the Shelby Reinhart Bridge

We quickly came to Burns Island. Again Active Captain made good recommendations about this spot.

We tried setting anchors there with similar dragging results. Apparently the bottom was either solid rock or cobble stones which would not hold an anchor.

Finally after much discussion we agreed to look for trees to tie up to. I found a dead tree sticking out into the water. I noticed the trunk was still attached to the shore. I put a line down around it. Then I picked up the loop and cleated it off to the bit. I pulled on it a bit to assess how steady it was. I lowered my anchor as insurance.

The dead tree saved the night. The anchor was added insurance.

We had planned for a Brunswick Stew raft-up but some folks took a raincheck.

I got out a Back Packer Pantry meal which turned out to be two servings.


0607 - pulled up anchor and got u/w

0707 - passed mm 373.2

0801 - arrived Goose Pond

0833 - departed Goose Pond

0851 - entered main channel

0903 - passed power lines

0930 - raised jib

0949 - passed mm 384.1

1007 - passed under Rt 35 bridge

1125 - passed mm 393.7

1249 - passed mm 401.3

1344 - stinky smell (probably a paper mill)

1355 - passed Widows Creek Steam Plant

1427 - noticed that none of the other boats still had jibs up

1448 - south end of Bridgeport Island

1450 - mm 412.5

1505 - Mystic T called CSX Railroad Bridge on VHF channel 13. They had not responded on 16.

1514 - passed under CSX Railroad Bridge no delay

1520 - passed mm 414.6

1528 - passed mm 415.5

1545 - passed mm 416.9

1630 - we failed to anchor at Bridgeport Island so we head up river.

1703 - passed under blue arch bridge.

1720 - entering south end of Burns Island side channel

1815 - anchored by tying to a tree. There was very little wind and the boat floats down current.