II. Caution Required at New Bridge Construction south of Norfolk, VA, AICW Statute Mile 3
Want to avoid a really messy and difficult clean up job on your pride and joy (that's your vessel, folks, not your "other half"). Well then, if you are cruising the AICW in the Norfolk, VA region, run, don't walk and follow the link below!
By the way, the fixed bridge construction which is the subject of this posting lies between the old Jordan Highway Bridge (mile 2.8) on which demolition was begun last fall, 2011 and the Norfolk and Western Railroad Bridge at mile 3.6.
III. Swan Point Marina Reopens Under New Ownership/Management (North Carolina AICW, Statute Mile 247)
We are very pleased to report that Swan Point Marina, located just south of the AICW/New River/New River Inlet intersection has reopened under new ownership/management. According to a telephone conversation I had on 5/17/12 with co-owner, Jason, transient dockage is available, complete with power hookups and fresh water connections. Overnight transient dockage rates are a very reasonable $1.50 per foot, per night. Many other marina services are also available (follow link below), BUT neither gasoline nor diesel fuel can now be purchased at Swan Point. Of course, there is always New River Marina, just next door, which consistently features some of the best fuel prices in coastal North Carolina.
So, all in all, it's a really good thing that another transient friendly marina is now to be found between Swansboro and Wrightsville Beach. Stop by and give Jason some business, and tell him that you read about his newly reopened facility on the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net!
If anyone has already had occasion to spend a night or two at this new iteration of Swan Point Marina, PLEASE share your experience by following the link below and then clicking the "Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge" link at the bottom of the posting!
For full details on Swan Point Marina, please visit:
| IV. Darien, Georgia Looks to Attract Cruisers With 48-hour FREE Dockage (7 nautical miles off the AICW, near St. M. 652)|For many of you, Darien, Georgia represents an entirely new port of call. To reach the town waterfront, cruisers must depart the AICW, north of Brunswick and Little Mud River, and then cruise 7 miles upstream on (what else) the Darien River. Having just visited here personally back in February of 2012, I can attest that many will find this side trip memorable and worthwhile.
During my visit, I was impressed with the number of restaurants, the waterfront wine shop and the very welcoming attitude towards myself and cruisers in general. Now, with FREE 48-HOUR DOCKAGE, the city of Darien is making a real push to lure mariners to the town waterfront. And, with a well marked channel, featuring 12+ feet at MLW, this is now a decidedly enticing proposition.
We would LOVE to hear from fellow cruisers who have already made the trek to Darien's waterfront. (Is this beginning to sound familiar) - Please follow the link below and then click the "Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge" link at the bottom of the article.
To find out much more about Darien and its newly inexpensive city docks, please go to:
| V. New Cruising Craft Friendly, Floating Dock at Leland Oil Company Marina, McClellanville, SC, Renders This Port Far More Accessible|
Ever since I penned the first edition of my "Cruising Guide to Coastal South Carolina and Georgia" back in the 1980's, I've had a soft spot in my heart for the backwater community of McClellanville, South Carolina. Perched on the shores of Jeremy Creek, just off the AICW between Winyah Bay and Charleston, this is a community that time has seemingly forgotten. A stroll along the sandy, moss draped tree shrouded lanes, set amidst the quaint, historic homes, is enough to lower anyone's blood pressure.
On the other hand, the one and only marina in McClellanville USED TO be one of the most forgettable facilities in the Palmetto State. Then, a couple of years ago, new owners took over, and slow progress began. From earlier reports on the Net, we have learned that the owner/dockmaster will take time to drive you to nearby stores
I personally visited McClellanville and Leland Oil last fall, and first heard that by the spring of 2012, a new, first-class floating dock would be in place. We are very pleased to report that this promise has come to fruition. Follow the first link below to check out multiple reports from fellow cruisers concerning the new, improved version of Leland Oil Company Marina. The second link gives access to a series of photos whereby you can check out the new dock for yourself.
Please go to:
| VI. Free Waste Boat Pumpout at Tarpon Basin Anchorages Praised (FL Keys Inside Route, St. M. 1139.5)|Tarpon Basin is crossed by the FL Keys Inside Route, just south of Blackwater Sound and Dusenberry Creek. There are at least 3 good spots to drop the hook here, and creative skippers will find more.
A couple of years ago, Monroe County established a pump-out boat serving vessels anchored in Tarpon Basin, and the locals chipped in with a dinghy dock on the nearby shoreline (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=24226).
Recently, Captain Mary Dixon, a regular contributor to the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net, reported on this welcome and useful waste pump-out service.
Read her report at:
| VII. GREAT News - Restaurant Now Open Beside Marineland Marina (Statute Mile 796)|
The best just keep getting better. Marineland Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, has been racking up a whole series of impressive reviews here on the Cruisers' Net and elsewhere since this facility reopened in 2011 after a long absence. Now, one of the only former drawbacks to staying here has been remedied. Looks like there's now a good lunch spot just across the road from the dockage basin. Must give this spot a try when next our travels take us to these waters!
Check out the full details on this new dining possibility at:
| VIII. Sunset Beach Fixed Bridge Clearance Gauge Corrected, AICW Statute Mile 338, Sunset Beach, NC|
The new Sunset Beach Bridge with a fixed vertical clearance of 65ft MHW, replaced the old pontoon bridge in 2011. Since that time, numerous reports here on the Cruisers' Net and elsewhere have shown that the vertical clearance tidal gauge affixed to the new span was inaccurate. Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net Senior Editor, Captain Larry Dorminy, has been tireless in his efforts to bring this discrepancy to the attention to the USCG and the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation.
Congratulations Captain Larry! Your efforts have borne fruit! Check out the full story at:
| IX. BIG News in the Florida Anchoring Rights Struggle - St. Augustine's Anchorage Regulations Challenged in Federal Court|OK, let me be very clear on this. The challenge to St. Augustine's anchorage regulations, which were put in place as part of this community's participation in the Florida Pilot Mooring Field program, is a fluid, ongoing and confusing situation. Nevertheless, it has the potential to be ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT developments in the Florida anchoring rights struggle in many a year. Or, it could just be a blip on the radar. Only time will truly tell.
It serves no purpose for me to repeat the extensive information here that you can glean on this series of events by following the link below. So, let me just briefly state that, as near as I can understand it, St. Augustine's regulations are being challenged in FEDERAL court, based on the proposition that ONLY the FEDERAL government can regulate navigation on our nation's waters. And, just about everyone agrees that anchoring is an act of navigation.
Should this court case be won by the local cruiser bringing the suit, and there is, at this point, no firm indication one way or the other which way this thing will go, it could mean that every city and county in Florida, not to mention the state government itself, would be banned from imposing any sort of anchorage regulations. Or there could be a very different result, perhaps somewhere in between.
This is not an entirely new idea. Something like a decade or go, a cruiser who was issued in ticket in Stuart, Florida for anchoring, took the city of Stuart into Federal Maritime Court, and won his case. The city had to pay the cruiser's legal fees and damages to the plaintiff. Strange how that case did not set more or a precedent!
If I may, let me close with one additional editorial comment. Should this court case result in a total ban on anchorage regulations by cities, counties and the state government in Florida, I, personally, would have mixed feelings. Anyone who has followed my writings for the last 20 years knows that few have championed Florida anchoring rights more than this fellow. And, I continue to believe that cruisers should have the right to anchor for reasonable periods of time without any sort of hassle. HOWEVER, there is also no denying that Florida does indeed have a problem with abandoned vessels and derelicts (vessels that will never move again, and on which people "live"). This latter situation could be made worse by such a ruling.
So, as I said, a fluid situation that will bring out mixed feelings in many of us, BUT definitely a situation which many will want to follow and learn more. So, if this accurately describes you, don't pass go, don't collect $200, go directly to:
| X. Historic Roanoake River Lighthouse Now Perched Atop Its New Home in Edenton, NC Dockage Basin (Western tip of Albemarle Sound)
The historic community of Edenton, North Carolina lies near the western extremes of often choppy Albemarle Sound. Edenton is actually the state's oldest town, though Bath, NC makes that claim based on incorporation dates.
Edenton plays host to a wealth of historic homes and structures. We always feel that a visit to Edenton is like stepping back into America's Colonial and Revolutionary past.
In April of 2012, I personally posted an article on the Cruisers' Net describing how the historic Roanoke River Screw Pile Lighthouse had been restored, and was slated to be perched atop a series of pilings in the Edenton City Dockage Basin (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=81847).
Well, as you will see by following the link below, this old sentinel has now been set atop its new home! How utterly appropriate that this historic structure has been returned to its natural habitat, perched atop a series of "screw pilings!"
If you are at all interested in coastal North Carolina cruising and/or history, you won't want to miss a visit to:
| XI. Matecumbe Bight Anchorage (FL Keys Inside Route, St. M. 1166)|Matecumbe Bight Anchorage is located off the Florida Keys Inside Route, just south and west of Lignumvitae Key. This is not a spot where you want to be if fresh northerly winds are in the offing, but there's good shelter during times of southerly breezes.
I'm familiar with the "creek" described in a recent Cruisers' Net posting authored by Captain Dixon. It's a tiny, SMALL CRAFT ONLY cut-through from the Lignumvitae Channel. During daylight hours, I've used this passage myself as a short-cut, but running it after dark at planing speed, well, the thought of this activity gives me the shudders.
To learn how this small passage figures into anchoring on Matecumbe Bight, check out:
| XII. Bridge Pointe Marina (New Bern, NC on the Trent River) Closed For New Dock Installation - July, 2012 Projected Completion Date|When I saw a recent Cruisers' Net posting from Captain Ed, in which he observed that the docks at New Bern, NC's Bridge Pointe Marina were completely empty, we immediately telephoned this facility to find out what was up. Dockmaster Ron Cox answered my telephone call, and when I asked if his docks were empty, he replied, "Yes, they are much easier to manage that way." After a mutual chuckle, Dockmaster Ron told me that all vessels had been moved out, in preparation for a complete dock replacement. Projected completion date is July of this year, 2012!
So, between today, 5/10/12, and the above described project's completion, look to tie up elsewhere in the old Colonial Capital of North Carolina. You might consider SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, Galley Stores Marina!
Full details at:
| XIII. Submerged Tree in Alligator/Pungo Canal, AICW Statute Mile 119.9| The Alligator River stretch along the North Carolina portion of the AICW is noted for "deadheads" and other floaters which hang around for days and weeks, sometimes causing considerable damage if hit at high speed. Thanks to a recent Cruisers' Net posting, courtesy of Capt. Mustad, cruisers can learn about a specific zone in which to be extra cautious!
Hopefully, the object in question will have drifted or been towed away before you arrive. HOWEVER, if your intended track takes you anywhere near Alligator River for the next month or so, be SURE to go to:
| XIV. Good Depths and Gasoline Found in Everglades City (south of Marco Island - Western Florida)
We were very glad to hear in a recent posting by Captain Steve, that he discovered good depths moving upstream on the Indian Key channel to Everglades City. Some other cruisers have reported thin soundings at low water along certain stretches of this channel.
And, while Steve did discover some self service gasoline to pump, that does not solve the problem of finding Diesel fuel in Everglades City. Has anyone found a place to purchase diesel here??????
So, thankfully, that's all for now, Good luck and good cruising to all!
Claiborne S. Young
Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net