You know how it is when your computer is spitting up, nothing is running quite right, it is way slow…often it gets much better if you just re-boot. Well a total re-boot was necessary for High ZZ’s upon leaving the friendly confines of the Pamlico Sound. Our best laid plans: 30-50 mi per day, warming by 5 degrees each week (based on long-term averages), arriving in FL by March 1…all dashed. You see bridges only open at certain times, the ICW is too shallow, even for our 5 ft draft, in many places to get through except at 1/2 tide or even higher, and the weather…well we already covered that issue. And then the ultimate happens…Shep lost his grounding virginity! Never, in 52 years of sailing had we needed to ask for assistance to get off of the bottom…until Lockwood’s Folly, an infamous ICW trouble spot that was being dredged as we passed. Two hours before low tide we ran up on a “sand ridge”, as the tow operator called it, built up by the barges pushing their way though shallow inlets. We were hard on it, tide flow pushing us on harder, with no way off for 4 or 5 hours (past sunset). At least we got back some of the towing insurance money we have been paying TowBoatUS for 30 years! It was at that point, everything wrong, stressed out (in retirement, really?), that a re-boot was called for. So here we are, enjoying a layover in Charleston, SC, thinking of all of the neat little places we can visit on the way if we just slow down and ignore “the plan”. You see the bridge operators, the weather, the tides don’t really care what your plan is, you just have to “go with the flow”!