|I. Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net Forms Strategic Partnership With On-The-Water Chartguides
It is with sincere pleasure that the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net announces a strategic partnership with Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and principals of "On-The-Water Chartguides." Diana and Mark will be making detailed, regular contributions to the SSECN, and providing a depth of detail concerning AICW Problem Stretches, anchorages, and occasionally even marinas, that can simply not be duplicated.
For years we have informally worked with the Doyles, exchanging information and advice, and have perused, with admiration, their "Managing the Waterway" paper guide books. Like many other members of the cruising community, we have been equally fascinated by their written works concerning marine electronics and electronic charting. One and all are invited to click the "On-The-Water Chartguides" sponsorship panel above to learn more!
Now, this dynamic duo has once again taken to the water full time, and the Cruisers' Net is/will be the lucky recipient of their observations and undoubted writing skills.
In fact, we have already posted three articles authored by the Doyles that ALL Southeastern USA cruisers will want to peruse without delay:
1. Find out the latest info about the worst of the worst when it comes to AICW Problem Stretches, Georgia's "Little Mud River," by visiting:
2. If you have ever contemplated anchoring off the AICW/Coosaw River, north of Beaufort, South Carolina, on a body of water known as Wimbee Creek, THINK AGAIN! Learn all about what Captains Diana and Mark discovered the hard way at:
3. The Hell Gate AICW Problem Section, south of Savannah River and Isle of Hope, Georgia, was dredged in 2009, but shoaling started rearing its ugly head anew as early as 2010. Read the detailed observations taken by Mark and Diana on these waters at:
For those who would like to know more about the Doyles and their philosophy of cruising and cruising guides, the duo have supplied the following business and biographic sketch:
Captains Mark and Diana Doyle are authors of the popular cruising guide and electronic charting series, Managing the Waterway. They also write for professional, boating, and nature publications. Mark's first roundtrip of the ICW was in 1987, and since then their boat inventory has included a C-Dory Pilothouse 22, Catalina 30, C&C 30, Allied Princess 36, Vagabond 47, and PDQ 36 catamaran. They have sailed extensively between Canada and the Bahamas, including the Gulf of Mexico, Inland Rivers, and all five Great Lakes.
With their son recently off to college, they are now living aboard full-time and surveying on their PDQ 34 power catamaran, returning them to true "cruising" cruising guide authors! To reflect this, they are changing the name of their cruising guide series to On the Water ChartGuides.
The Doyles' guides emphasize piloting and navigation-presented in an organized and consistent mile-by-mile format. As ad-free publications, they have always included balanced marina and anchorage coverage. Each guide's interpretive vignettes also have been popular, delving into the stories, wildlife, and history along the way, making cruising more than just ticking off the miles.
Look for their publications to continue to integrate the high-tech tools of electronic charting with their rich cruising guide content. Their Chicago-to-Paducah guide included actual laptop charting software screenshots and geo-tagged digital photos.
Their next book, On the Water AnchorGuide for the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), marries official NOAA charts with depth-annotated tracks, soundings, and cruising guide information for 280 anchorages between Norfolk and Miami.
This On-the-Water content is like looking over these captains' shoulders as they cruise!
II. Lots and Lots of North Carolina Cruising News
Maybe it's just the time of year, or maybe it's because the first-rate, first-mate, and I are just back from a cruise along the North Carolina coastline, but we have a whole bevy of Tar Heel news to call to the attention of the cruising community in this Alert. There's so many interesting stories, we are going to present a "shopping list" of articles below. Pick and choose which are of particular interest, but, really, each and every posting is worth your time and attention.
1. Peruse our latest North Carolina photo album, with this volume centered on the charming river village of Oriental, North Carolina:
2. Our "North Carolina Marina Directories" listings now contain photo gallery links for most facilities. For several months now, between other projects, we have been busily at work assembling photo galleries for the vast majority of NC marinas. Now, at the bottom of our on-site-verified listing of services, prices and stats for Tar Heel Marinas, SSECN visitors can follow a "Click Here For Photo Gallery" button and peruse a host of photos picturing each facility, most beginning with a Google Earth image of the marina in question.
For example, follow this link to the "NC Marina Directory" listing for Southport Marina. Scroll to the bottom, and click on the Photo Gallery link:
3. Check out an on-site account and a photo gallery of what must be the most unique (and the least expensive) AICW dockage facility on the North Carolina coastline. And, did I mention these good folks are the latest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR:
4. A visit to our very favorite dining spot in Beaufort, NC, a port of call chock full of great dining, found new visual and libation enhancements. Check out Spouter Inn's new looks and bar at:
5. Speaking of Beaufort, we were also able to visit and review an immaculate new grocery store and deli, located within a ONE BLOCK walk of the Beaufort Town Docks. Now, I know many don't consider grocery stores to be exciting, but, really, Taylor Creek Grocery is worth a look:
6. Dangerous air quality is plaguing the central North Carolina coastline due to a huge forest fire burning near New Bern, North Carolina. Full details at: 7. Two recently published SSECN articles center on the cruising attributes of the AICW Alternate Dismal Swamp Route. The second story linked below also features a lively discussion of the Dismal Canal Route vs the North Carolina Virginia Cut (a. k. a. the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal):
III. Potentially Hazardous Conditions at Gilmerton Hwy Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 5.8
A brand new SSECN posting as of today, 6/22/12, describes the potentially hazardous situation as cruising vessels wait for the Gilmerton Highway Bridge to open (closed vertical clearance 11 feet). This span, which crosses the Waterway just south of Norfolk, VA, "features" a 3 hour no-opening interval during the afternoon. The attending currents can be, shall we say, a bit challenging.
Full details at:
| IV. Panama City, Florida Plans Redevelopment of Its Downtown Marina|Thinking back on the many years and the multiple editions of my "Cruising Guide to the Northern Gulf Coast," I can honestly attest that the best run and best managed municipal pleasure craft facility between Carrabelle and New Orleans is, without a doubt, the Panama City Municipal Marina.
Actually, the city of Panama City owns two marinas, but the one we are speaking of her lies just across the Northern Gulf ICW from Panama City Inlet.
Well, as seems to always be the case, the best are getting better. Check out the plans to expand and enhance this already fine facility at:
| V. SSECN Presents Schedule of Cruiser Friendly July 4'th Fireworks Displays|
Will you be cruising coastal Southeastern USA waters over our nation's birthday this July 4'th. Well, if so, and you enjoy fireworks displays, and what red blooded American doesn't, check out these two articles put together by SSECN Senior Editor, Captain Larry Dorminy:
Fourth of July Fireworks Events along the East Florida Waterway:
Fourth of July Fireworks along the North Carolina AICW:
| VI. Update on AICW Markers in Shoal Area on Sawpit Creek, South of Nassau Sound, Statute Mile 731|Apparently, the "gods of shoaling" have decided that our time cruising on the AICW, south of Fernandina Beach, Florida is not sufficiently exciting by just dodging the shallows and ever moving markers while crossing Nassau Sound. No, indeed, now we have to also deal with shoaling along the track of the AICW a bit farther south as the Waterway wends it way through Sawpit Creek. Siggghhh!
Fortunately, there's an easy way to bypass this difficulty. Learn all at:
That's all for now, Good luck and good cruising to all!
Claiborne S. Young