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Author Topic:   Oyster Beds
Bullbay posted 06-19-2001 01:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for Bullbay   Send Email to Bullbay  
Was down at the coast this weekend and we had a great trip down to Beaufort from Wild Dunes and return. But I got smart after getting back through the Charleston Harbour and decided to take the senic route. Unfortunately I made a wrong turn and the next thing I knew I was in 8" deep oyster beds. The sound of the scraping against my carefully restored,waxed and pampered 89 Montauk hull was sickening as well as the sound of the trimmed lower unit going through the beds. We got out and had a heck of a time turning it around and bringing it back out. The lower unit looks like it is 11 years old rather than 1 year and the hull is badly scratched. The say "if you use them you will bruise them", but I am still nauseous and in the recovery stages of shock. Lessons are learned all the time, and they are usually costly.
Bigshot posted 06-19-2001 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
JohnT posted 06-19-2001 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnT  Send Email to JohnT     
Ouch! This thread and several recent stories (here and elsewhere) of mariners falling overboard are making me anxoius to have my little electronics upgrade project completed (including Humminbird 200DX depthfinder, automatic kill switch).
stagalv posted 06-19-2001 05:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Sorry to hear about that Bullbay. Things like that happen seem to happen from time to time even when you think you are being careful. Oh well, this is how we learn! Rex
Whaler4me posted 06-19-2001 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler4me  Send Email to Whaler4me     
I think all of us have had a similar experience if we admitted it. The important thing is that you are OK ! Boats are much easier to fix than people are, and usually less expensive. I am sure your Whaler will be back in top condition in no time.
compounder posted 06-19-2001 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Bullbay, I live in the Beaufort area, so I am intimately aquainted with oyster rakes,mud banks and sand bars. Luckily, I have never had my Montauk hull on the oysters. I have explored most of the local area with my small aluminum boat and it has the scars to prove it.

Just wondering, exactly how did you get into the mess? Did you have a chart? Depthfinder?


jimh posted 06-19-2001 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In northern Lake Huron's beautiful and remote North Channel, home to the amazing pink granite rocks called the Benjamin Islands,
they have a saying:

"If you haven't been to the Benjamins,
and you haven't hit a rock,
then you haven't been to the North Channel."

We have been to the North Channel.


Whalerdan posted 06-20-2001 12:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Its definitely tricky down here. I've hit the bottom many times but have been lucky it was only pluff mud.
SWarren posted 06-20-2001 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for SWarren  Send Email to SWarren     
When you go up shallow creeks that are marked oyster beds, you need to slow down or turn around before you have any problems. Espically if it is low tide and you can see them!!!!
Jurisproodenz posted 06-20-2001 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
About eight years ago south of Charleston on the ICW, I was tooling along at about 15 knots, just over the hump, in my Mako 21. We were a bit to the right of mid-channel, but still WELL within the channel and near dusk. I grounded into an submerged oyster bed.... (So much for the charts and nav aids). In trying to remove myself and boat therefrom, I cut my foot severely (through shoresiders -- like butter)and needed a lengthy emergency room visit when at last we got off the oyster bed. No VHF response. No mobile phone signal. No houses near. No other boaters.

Ultimately, we had to wait for the tide to remove us - while I continued to bleed. Luckily, my father (who was with me) is a surgeon ... fixed me up with electrical insulation tape, but the boat was a mess, both in the cockpit and below. The first aid kit, CG certified was a joke.

I was "shocky" when I eventually got to the hospital. By the way, oyster cuts are REALLY painful and full of toxins. The oysters also cut into the glass roving and really scored the lower unit. Thus it was expensive all 'round. So you have my empathy, deeply and profoundly.

A tip: buy the most complete and expensive first aid kit you can get your hands on. Then take a course to learn how to use it -- you never know. I was lucky.

Bullbay posted 06-20-2001 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bullbay  Send Email to Bullbay     
Compounder - I have a depth finder and thought I had been in that Creek before. I intially ran up on a sand bar where two guys were at their dock working on their boat. (This channel has houses around it and boats and docks.) The guys observed and told me to stay to the right of the channel and we would be OK. We did and we apparently made a wrong turn as the channel got smaller by the time we worked our way back the tide had gone down enough to bring the beds into play. Also my depth finder is on the back of the boat - it tells you after the fact.
stagalv posted 06-20-2001 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
During the winter (mild) in the Galveston Bay area the northern weather fronts will come through and blow out alot of water from the bays, lakes, bayous, etc.. During that time you can usually see oyster beds, sand bars and the like that are usually not exposed. Not only in while in the boat but also driving a car over bridges. I always try to take a good look around when the water is real low with the idea that I will remember where the shallow spots are.
Whalerdan posted 06-21-2001 07:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
SWarren- very few of the creeks have the oyster beds marked, but your right about slowing down in them. The trouble is, you can be out in what you think is the wide open and be in 2 or 3 feet of water. What seems to work is if you are in a unknown area, any area, go slow and watch the depth finder. When it starts to get shallow stop. The oyster beds always seem to rise up gradually from the bottom. This won't work for submerge objects though.
Whalerdan posted 06-21-2001 07:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
SWarren- very few of the creeks have the oyster beds marked, but your right about slowing down in them. The trouble is, you can be out in what you think is the wide open and be in 2 or 3 feet of water. What seems to work is if you are in a unknown area, any area, go slow and watch the depth finder. When it starts to get shallow stop. The oyster beds always seem to rise up gradually from the bottom. This won't work for submerge objects though.
Macman posted 06-21-2001 07:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
Had a similar experience last week. I was fish crazed and got into some very skinny water at low tide. No excuse..lack of attention on my part. We have mussel beds here( Maine) probably similar to oyster beds. The hull never hit bottom but the lower unit sure did. Plenty of scratches and a lesson learned!Ouch!
Clark Roberts posted 06-21-2001 08:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Re. Jurisproodenz's post above: I am constantly in the water (wading, launching, pulling boat off sand or oyster bar) and seem to scratch/cut myself frequently even though I try to be careful. I carry a small squeeze bottle of rubbing alcohol "IN MY POCKET" at all times for flushing any oyster scrape or cut IMMEDIATELY! Once back in the boat I repeat and put on first aid cream and a bandage if needed. I can't overstress how important it is to treat oyster and similar cuts at once...stop what you're doing and get with it! The next morning, when you see the redness and feel the throbbing pain will be too late... Other things that can ruin a boater's day are: Catfish spike wounds, stingray spike wounds (like a hot cigarette pressed into skin.. also has a neurotoxin that is deadly.. of course my brain is already mostly gone-heh, heh).. barnicles, etc...etc... As I look at the bandaid on my right index finger, I wish you Happy and infection free Whalin'.. Clark... Spruce Creek Navyh
SWarren posted 06-21-2001 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for SWarren  Send Email to SWarren     
A lot of the creeks behind Sullivans Island SC are marked for oyster harvesting, and public beds ect, the paticular creek my father was in had them marked, because I saw a picture that was taken shortly before the mishap and the sign was visible over his right shoulder. What can you expect when a budweiser can is also visible on the console!!!! There is an are called Gray bay behind Goat Island Sc that is slam full of oysters. At high tide you can not see them at all, at low that is all you see. I learned that lesson in my old 13 sport.
andygere posted 06-21-2001 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The tidal bay inside of Nauset Inlet in Eastham and Orleans (Cape Cod) has constantly shifting sandbars, and is peppered with musselbeds. Some of the channels are marked, but none of the locals trust them. They simply aren't checked and moved quickly enough to keep pace with the shifting sand. The lobstermen mark the channel with radar reflectors, and these markings are reliable, providing you are right on top of them! That said, when boating in this type of water, an encounter with the bottom can happen to almost anyone. I was lucky in that during all those years all it cost me was a dinged up prop on my old 13. I had many close calls, and several walk-offs (when you hop over the side and walk the boat off the shoals). You have my simpathy Bullbay, and I will be evaluating the contents of my first aid kit this weekend.
whalernut posted 06-21-2001 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
We don`t have the Oyster beds in Lake Erie, but I have had some close calls with monsterous Logs and Trees floating in the Lake. Hit some of these and it could be you`re life!I keep my eyes really peeled! Regards-Jack Graner.
chad posted 06-21-2001 11:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for chad  Send Email to chad     
I read an article about the bacteria, vibrio vilnificus. Ugly stuff. The article is from a Louisiana journal at Look in the saltwater area. It will make you think twice about your first-aid kit and open wounds.
Jurisproodenz posted 06-22-2001 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
You are not kidding about that bad bug!! After reading the suggested pages on v. vulnificus, what happened it terms of treatment I received makes more sense. The doctors (and dad) merely told me that oysters were "full of toxins" and bad news.

When I did get to the hospital after the oyster cut, they went bananas "lavaging" (cleaning out) the wound. Shot me full of various vaccines, and left a "drain" in the gash.

For those who might be interested, the specific treatment suggested is doxycycline -- the generic name for Vibramycin. It is a great all-round anti-bug drug. DO NOT go out in the direct sun after taking it: it tends to make you very photosensitive -- you'll burn like crazy. Also, eat before taking it -- otherwise you'll feel terrible.

SWarren posted 06-22-2001 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for SWarren  Send Email to SWarren     
When I get cut by oysters out on the water I clean the cut out with Beer and salt water and use super glue to seal the cut. Guess I had better think again. But I always have those two items on the boat.

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