|North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia Eastern Florida AICW
I. ARGUS Solution Sets UPDATED Just in Time for the Fall, 2012 Cruising Season
Once again, the strategic partnership between the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net, EarthNC and Survice Engineering's ARGUS Project, is yielding BIG dividends!
We are very pleased to announce that, effective immediately, the latest "solution set" from the ARGUS Project is now LIVE on the Cruisers' Net's "Chart View" pages. As always, this superb data is being made available to the cruising community at NO CHARGE. You don't have to buy anything, join any organization, nor even provide a user name or a password! How's that for an "offer you can't refuse!"
What this means is that, right now, as we near the height of the Fall, 2012 cruising season, not only do SSECN users have the very latest ARGUS AICW sounding data available, BUT the various ARGUS cooperating research vessels have begun to provide significant sounding data for anchorages and marinas OFF the Waterway. As time goes forward, this off-the-AICW data will grow, and become of even greater navigational significance to the cruising community!
Let take a gander at a few examples, and these will also serve to instruct those users who have not yet made use of our Chart View ARGUS layer!
First. let's look at the AICW as it passes through Jacksonville Beach, in northeastern Florida. Follow this link:
After this page loads, first find the "ARGUS (MLLW)" check box just above the chart image, in the second (moving left to right) vertical row of check boxes. Click in the "ARGUS (MLLW)" checkbox, and the ARGUS legend will appear, as well as the color coded sounding circles, indicating MLW adjusted depths gathered by the ARGUS research craft.
Notice the channel, north of the McCormick bridge, cutting into the westerly banks, and leading to SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, Palm Cove Marina. Similarly, identify the eastward running cut, immediately north of the bridge providing access to Beach Marine. See how this new ARGUS data gives you good depth indications for both of these facilities.
Now, let's see how this same process works for the Pine Island Loop anchorage, hard by the path of the AICW, between Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine. Please go to:
Once again, click the "ARGUS (MLLW)" checkbox to activate the ARGUS layer. Then, notice there are two entrances into this anchorage. We have always recommended the southerly passage. Check out how the ARGUS research vessel almost got into trouble while checking out the northern entrance.
Want to see more. Well, let's take a look at the Toomer Creek Anchorage, north of Charleston, South Carolina. Please follow this link:
Once again, activate the ARGUS layer by clicking in the "ARGUS (MLLW)" checkbox, and then notice how an ARGUS research craft has sounded the route from the AICW to the Toomer Creek Anchorage.
And, there are many, many more examples. Pan north or south, or go to the red, vertically stacked menus on the upper right side of all SSECN pages (except Chart View), select the coastline of your choice, and then click on " . . . Chart View" ("NC Chart View" for example). You can then select a port of call, open that Chart View page, click/turn-on the ARGUS layer, and pan/drag the chart north, south, east or west. What could be better? We hope the cruising community will make maximum use of the ARGUS data displayed on the Cruisers' Net, programmed by our strategic partner, EarthNC, and provided at no charge to cruisers courtesy of Survice Engineering. It's a winning combination!
| Western Florida
II. Punta Gorda, Florida "Harbor Happening" Slated For 11/17/12 - COME ONE, COME ALL!
We are very pleased to do our part in helping to promote what may just be the single most important event in the boating and cruising history of our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, the city of Punta Gorda, Florida.
As you will read by following the link below, this very special day will feature a mass aerial group shot of every cruising (and other type) craft that can be squeezed into the Peace River, along the Punta Gorda waterfront.
The city of Punta Gorda is working VERY HARD to attract and make welcome the cruising community. You might say this event is the real kick-off of that effort.
LET'S TRY AND GET AS MANY OF OUR BOATS AS POSSIBLE TO PUNTA GORDA ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, TO BE A PART OF THE GROUP PHOTO! You can then join all the fun and festivities at the community's two waterfront parks (again, follow the link below).
Sounds like an absolutely wonderful day. Wish we could be there, but you CAN!
| Okeechobee Waterway, Eastern Florida, Western Florida
III. Operating Times of Okeechobee Waterway Locks Change
Our "man in the know" in Stuart, Florida, Captain Ted Guy, has just informed the Cruisers' Net that operating hours of all five locks on the Okeechobee Waterway are being changed November 13, 2012. These five locks and their positions are:
St. Lucie Lock - Mile 15.1
Port Mayaca Lock - Mile 39
Moore Haven Lock - Mile 78
Ortona Lock - Mile 93.5
W.P. Franklin - Mile 121.4
Note that "Statute Mile" markers run east to west (from Stuart, FL to Fort Myers, FL) on the Okeechobee Waterway.
To discover the new hours, please visit:
IV. Report from Calabash Creek Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 342
Calabash Creek lies to the north of the Waterway, just south of the SC/NC state line. This popular anchorage can get very crowded during the spring and fall transient season, but if you can find a spot and avoid the shallow water, described in the article linked below, your vessel will be ensconced in one of the only accessible anchorages for cruising size craft between Southport, NC and South Carolina's Waccamaw River.
On the other hand, for many years now, there has been a shallow water problem when entering this stream. Recently, Captain Pat Carter had an up close and personal experience with this entrance bar. Check out his account at:
V. Anyone Want to Be A Dockmaster (Hidden Harbor Marina, Brunswick, Georgia)
Well, we've never before had anyone contact the SSECN, seeking help to fill a dockmaster position. However, since Hidden Harbor Marina has been a long time SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, we are happy to help out!
If you are interested, I suggest getting in touch with Captain Ronson directly. His contact info is supplied below.
As we discussed, I am looking for a marina/facilities manager as Joe and his wife Nell are " goin cruisin" on his trawler. Attached is a list of what he and Nell do. They currently live on site in an apt. above the clubhouse, but a new manager can live aboard his boat if he wishes also. Let me know if you have any questions, feel free to call me.
Hidden Harbor Yacht Club
50 Hidden Harbor Road
Brunswick, GA 31525
Follow this link to discover the duties for this dockmaster position:
VI. Western Florida ICW/Siesta Key Daybeacon # 16 Destroyed, Statute Mile 78, Sarasota Bay
The missing aid to navigation described in the article linked below, cherry picked from the latest Local Notice to Mariners, lies along the eastern flank of the Western Florida ICW, in the heart of Sarasota Bay. Fortunately, there are no shoals nearby, but, as you will read, the remains of the old marker are now "exposed above the waterline." It will be a happy day in the Western Florida cruising community when this marker is replaced!
Full details at:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=99047
VII. Two Florida Keys Aids to Navigation Destroyed
According to twin articles just published on the SSECN, and cherry picked from the latest Local Notice to Mariners, we have not one, but two markers in the Florida Keys which have been destroyed, and are yet to be replaced.
The northernmost marker denotes Hawk Channel, south of Angelfish Creek,and west of Basin Hill Shoals. THE REMAINS OF A STEEL PILING ARE CURRENTLY PROTRUDING 3 FEET ABOVE THE WATERLINE at this ATON's position.
So, if you are cruising or plan to cruise Hawk Channel between Miami and Key Largo, run, don't walk to:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=99031
That's not all. West and South of Marathon, near Bahia Honda Key, we have another Hawk Channel aid to navigation which has been run down, leaving, you guessed it, multiple steel pipes sticking "2 to 3 feet" above the waterline. Again, Florida Keys cruisers should spare no effort to visit, without delay,:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=99037
VIII. Detailed Report on AICW Passage Report Through Little Mud River Problem Stretch
Little Mud River is almost universally acknowledged to be the worst section of the entire AICW run from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL. This "AICW Problem Stretch" lies some 21 statute miles north of Brunswick, Georgia. Earlier depth soundings from other cruisers have confirmed our recommendation to navigate this stretch at mid to high
Whenever the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net receives a thoughtful, in-depth report about the Little Mud River passage, we consider it to be important news. And, that's just what we received this past week, courtesy of Captain Jim Cobb, cruising aboard Palmetto Moon.
ALL cruisers southbound on the Georgia portion of the AICW will want to check our Jim's "words of wisdom" at:
| North Carolina/AICW
IX. Cruising Community Responds Magnificently To Our Request for Information Concerning Two North Carolina AICW Problem Stretches
On 10/8/12, we published a special SSECN Alert, requesting information from the Cruising Community concerning two perennial problem stretches along the North Carolina portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Well, as usual, the cruising community has responded magnificently, and our questions are pretty much answered.
In the first instance, our staff thought they noticed a magenta line charting error at the intersection of the Waterway and the northern mouth of the Alligator River. Looks like we were right. Check out:
We had also received a single report about shallow water, hard by the AICW/New River/New River Inlet intersection, south of Swansboro, NC. We were a bit surprised by this data, as no-one else had noted less than ideal depths (at least since a 2010 dredging project was completed here). Well, we now have an answer for what is most likely happening on these waters. Check it out at:
X. Reminder: Live Fire Exercises At Camp Lejeune US Marine Base Can Disrupt Traffic on North Carolina AICW
We recently received and published a rather interesting article from the Commanding General of the US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, about disruptions of AICW traffic between Swansboro, NC and the Waterway's intersection with New River and New River Inlet.
The warning is somewhat general in nature, but it is still required reading for all mariners plying this section of the North Carolina AICW.