I. Two In-Depth Anchorage Reports For North Carolina AICW Waters
Our good friends and SSECN strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and principals of On The Water Chartguides (http://www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com) have been at it again. During this past week, we published not one, but two excellent, in-depth articles authored by the Doyles, detailing anchorages along the North Carolina portion of the AICW
A. Goat Island Anchorage (Statute Mile 43.5, AICW Dismal Swamp Alternate Route) - Not only do Diana and Mark explore what is arguably the best overnight anchorage on the AICW Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route, but they also make a good case for "Doin the Dismal." ALL cruisers who have even a notion of undertaking this ecologically fascinating AICW Alternate Passage, run, don't walk to:
B. South River Anchorages (off North Carolina's Neuse River, near St. M. 178.5) - While successful entry can be just a tiny bit tricky for first timers, South River provides what is, for my money, the best set of anchorages off the Neuse River. We particularly like to drop the hook off the long deserted community of "Lukens," or, if time is not a concern and/or heavy weather is in the offing, Eastman Creek is almost idyllic!
While Diana and Mark don't cover all the South River anchorages we list in our Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net North Carolina Anchorage Directory, they have caught the best ones, and they list one on Big Creek that I've never tried, due to the presence of a commercial fish processing operation!
Get the full skinny at:
II. Follow Up on Marker/Charting Confusion and Increased Shoaling on AICW's Passage Through Georgia's St. Andrew Sound (St. M. 690)
Back on 8/10/12, we published a string of messages on the SSECN about shoaling and marker confusion/problems on the AICW's passage through often ROUGH St. Andrew Sound, south of Jekyll Creek/Island (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=94169). We asked for additional input from the cruising community, AND WE GOT IT! This series of messages was featured in our 8/17/12 SSECN Alert, and more of you clicked through to this posting than any other linked in this Alert!
The real originator of all this important information was my good friend and fellow nautical writer, Captain John Kettlewell. Well, while all this was in progress, John was querying the USCG and the NOAA charting people, and also getting a response. With John's permission, we have reproduced those messages.
If you are a year round southern Georgia cruiser, or if your vessel is bound south this fall, you'll want to check out:
And, for a discussion concerning "a way around" the difficulties on St. Andrew Sound, please visit:
| North Carolina
III. Proposed Beaufort, NC Anchorage Requirements (Statute Mile 201)
We are troubled to report that the hitherto super cruiser friendly community of Beaufort, North Carolina, is considering a proposal that would require all vessels anchored in Taylor Creek or Town Creek, to register with the local police department. The idea behind this registration is not some sort of time restriction, as is so often the case in the Sunshine State, but a means that would allow the city to require removal of anchored boats from Taylor Creek within 12 hours if a hurricane threatens these waters.
The SSECN has now published two stories (both linked below) concerning this potentially alarming proposal originally put before the Beaufort, NC Board of Commissioners on 8/13/12. The results of that first look was to table the issue for further consideration, and then bring the matter up anew at the next scheduled August 28 meeting. This welcome delay was probably due to vocal objections by local cruisers to the proposal as originally written.
As part of my editorial/introductory comments to the SSECN's first article addressing this matter, I noted that, reading between the lines, it looked as if the intent of the proposed regulations are not so much to prevent damage by vessels which break free during really heavy weather, as to provide a way for the city of Beaufort to get a handle on the abandoned/derelict vessels moored in Town Creek and Taylor Creek.
Since I wrote these initial remarks, the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net team has checked into this situation, and discovered that Beaufort does indeed have a problem with derelicts. Some of these "vessels" will probably never move again, unless it's in front of hurricane force winds, as some of them are not well secured at their moorings.
The tricky challenge is to draft regulations which will help with the derelict/abandoned vessel problem, while NOT IN ANY WAY PENALIZING legitimate cruisers who want to anchor and visit Beaufort for a few days to a few weeks!
First, let me ask all cruisers who can possibly do so, to attend the August 28 meeting. Follow the second link below to discover time and place.
The Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net is on top of this situation, and will bring you further reports just as soon as new info become available. So, for the moment, PLEASE visit:
IV. Two Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net Sponsors Provide GREAT Dockage Deals for the Fall/Winter 2012 Transient Season
Who doesn't love a bargain, and, with the cost of boat ownership being what it is, the news from two of SSECN's South Carolina Sponsors is particularly welcome!
First, check out Myrtle Beach Yacht Club's new, less expensive transient dockage rates. This facility, which is really more a commercial marina than a yacht club, occupies the northerly banks of Coquina Harbor. The entrance canal to the harbor cuts into the northern banks of the Waterway, opposite marker #13.
Want more savings (and who doesn't), well check out Captain Nick McGinty's GREAT deals on winter dockage at Charleston City Marina. What a wonderful bargain for a really first class marina!
V. AICW/Cumberland River Light Destroyed and Underwater Piling Could Be A Nav. Hazard (Statute Mile 695)
The SSECN has just published an article which describes a destroyed AICW aid to navigation south of Georgia's St. Andrew Sound. This missing marker is the fourth, moving north to south, in a series of green daybeacons on the south shore of the AICW's run through Cumberland River, exactly at Statute Mile 695. This article, cherry picked from the latest Local Notice to Mariners, reports that the remains of marker #39 could be a real navigational hazard.
The Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net is declaring a "Navigation Alert" for these waters! Full details at:
VI. Florida Keys Inside Route Discussion
Over the week of August 13-18, several posts appeared on the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) Mail List concerning the general cruising characteristics and depths of the Florida Keys Inside route. These messages have been reproduced on the SSECN. Incidentally, the entire Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net bunch highly recommends the T&T list if you own one of these roomy, fuel efficient vessels.
Just to add my 23 cents worth, I have always considered a 5-foot draft to be the cutoff for safe cruising of the Florida Keys inside route. On numerous occasions, I have sounded 5-feet directly between the markers in the Key Largo region, particularly where the main channel passes the marked entrance to Tavernier Creek.
If your vessel draws 5-feet or preferably less, don't let these soundings discourage you. Some of the most wonderful anchorages, not to mention the views, you will ever enjoy lie off the FLK inside route!
Learn what a whole host of your fellow cruisers think about this passage at:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=94823
VII. Good Words for Bucksport Marina (Statute Mile 377)
Many good words about newly renovated (and under new ownership) Bucksport Marina and their on-site restaurant, continue to be recorded here on the Cruisers' Net! And, of course, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS NET SPONSOR!
Just this week, we had another grand review of this revitalized establishment. Check out these words of wisdom at:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=94793
VIII. Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage (Statute Mile 711.5)
We dearly love the anchorage off Cumberland Island's so-called, "Sea Camp Dock," located a short hop off the AICW in extreme southern Georgia. Going ashore and just experiencing the lush, maritime forest, walking to the beach, and/or exploring the old Carnegie mansions, well, it just doesn't get any better than this! Don't miss a just published, really superb review of this memorable anchor down spot by Captains Mike and Mary Dickens!
Please check out:
IX. Security Zones and Bridge Changes Due to GOP Convention - Tampa, Florida and Nearby Waters
As I am tapping this missive on the keyboard, Tropical Storm Isaac is tracking its way north and northwest through the Gulf of Mexico. While most of Florida's western coastline is being spared the brunt of this storm, there is still plenty of wind and drenching rainfall to deal with! Of course, a little later in the week, the situation along the Northern Gulf coast could prove to be very different.
We are keeping a close watch on Isaac, particularly as to any impact on the coastline from the Florida Panhandle to New Orleans. We will bring you developments as they occur.
In the meantime, cruisers in the Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay region, may feel it's OK to stick their noses out by tomorrow. And, if you do, there are security zones and changed bridge regulations to deal with, courtesy of the GOP convention now taking place in downtown Tampa.
Full coverage of these navigational changes can be found at: