American River, home of the brave
Reviewed Nov 2017
This was my final stop-off point of a winter delivery trip in 2017. I arrived in the middle of the night from Robe, SA, cold and tired. It should have been a routine navigation exercise but I was found lacking.
The approach to the township of American River is up a channel in the top end of a fairly shallow bay on the North coast, the sheltered side, of Kangaroo Island. By day the channel is easily identified by marker poles to port side only, red topped. At night the poles have to be found by torch light and there is sometimes a bit of mist in the air, however the red tops are reflective painted so not too hard to locate.
I only missed one pole, the very last one, right up in the edge of the town basin, and it was very hard to find against the backdrop of the town lights. Missing it meant I went softly aground into a muddy bottom, however the tide was just past its lowest and was going to come in and float me free. I decided to anchor, grab a few hours sleep while the tide came in and the sun came up, then move onto a mooring.
Everthing went to plan apart from geting the anchor up. Nothing I did could budge it free and eventually I radioed for assistance. It turned out that I had hooked the main power supply cable to KI with the anchor and was in peril of shorting out the supply, which would have lost power to the whole island, while I would have fried rapidly on the end of the chain.
The Coast Guard arrived quickly with a well equipped boat and a perfectly trained crew. Two crew came aboard my vessel, a 28 foot keel boat, at their risk and expertly and confidently handled the situation. I can't praise their professionalism enough.
The rest of the stay was uneventful in comparison, and I look forward to spending more time there in future - under an assumed name.
A small solar light on the top of the township end of the run of marker poles would earn this spot a 5 star rating. I assume my own rating by the CG would not be as high, given my situation.
Support services second to none
Very friendly locals
sheltered moorings and anchorage
unlit channel markers