Water levels are low and weeds are high. Making an interesting trip through Presquile Bay.
If you are planning on going through the Murray Canal anytime soon be extra careful of the abundance of weeds near the West entrance of the Murray Canal.
Since there are no red lateral buoys here I usually hug close to the green buoys. But this time we got snagged by weeds. We only draw five feet with a shoal draft keel. We were going Westbound and our speed started to slow and I could feel the wobble in the wheel. I move to about 10 feet away from the buoys and it was much better. By the time you pass buoy MP7 it started to clear up but there were still lots of chunks floating around.
Our friends with a CS40 passed through this area a few days earlier. They have a slightly deeper draft with a wing keel. They said they plowed a good section of weeds up but it then got caught up in the prop shaft causing the engine to stall. They ended up grabbing a knife, jumped in the freezing waters and cut the weeds free. It was about 8 or 9 degrees Celsius! Props to them for taking the polar plunge to de-weed their boat! (sorry I couldn’t resist, I’m hooked on bad dad jokes these days)
How I clear the weeds
This my method, with little experience, that seems to work. When I feel the boat slowing down in weeds or start to feel the wobble in the helm as the rudder catches the weeds I stop the engine, neutral for a few seconds then give it a good shot in reverse. One sharp turn to port or starboard and then ease back on forward throttle. If it’s persistent and not too bad then I continue to push through until I get to a deeper, less weedy, section. And then repeat the process above except come to a full stop and go backwards a little bit.
Let me know your method for clearing in the comments!
Get a line cutter or weed cutter attachment for your prop. This will help shred any vines that start to coil around your prop shaft.
Captain Lang has a different method. It involves a mask, mirror, pole and a toilet bowl cleaner!