North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Eastern Florida - AICW
I. ARGUS Data Now Being Updated Continuously By Two Research Craft Heading South Down the AICW
Back on 10/11/12, we brought to the attention of the cruising community BIG news about the updating of our "ARGUS" data layer (on our site's "Chart View" module). Once again, the strategic partnership between the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net, Survice Engineering's ARGUS Project and EarthNC (Earth Nautical Charts), was yielding BIG dividends!
NOW, THERE IS EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS ON THIS FRONT! And, as always, this superb service 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!"
First, let's hear directly from ARGUS's creator, Captain John Hersey, of Survice Engineering:
The new ARGUS ICW solution set that you posted in the article about on your website (see http://cruisersnet.net/argus-solution-sets-updated-just-in-time-for-the-fall-2012-cruising-season
) reflected all new data gathered through September of 2012. Since then, as the two ARGUS research vessels, Altair and Chez Nous, have been moving south, we've been updating this ICW solution set daily to reflect their incoming soundings. This test of near-real-time updates provides Chez Nous (the follower in this case) with the benefit of Altair's observations from the day before, as well as your other readers with the same updated look at current conditions as both vessels travel south.
John OK, please allow me to translate. Where before, updated ARGUS data was being fed into our EarthNC generated "Chart View" pages on a more or less quarterly basis, now, this data is being updated DAILY as the two research vessels, Altair and Chez Nous, work their way south down the AICW.
As usual, an example is worth another thousand words, so let's look at a real instance of how this new data has been integrated into the existing ARGUS sounding information.
Please follow this link, which will open a Chart View page centered on the AICW, just south of Fernandina Beach, Florida:
Take a look at the voluminous sounding data recorded on this section of the Waterway, NOW FRESHLY UPDATED BY THE JUST GATHERED SOUNDINGS SUBMITTED BY ALAIR AND CHEZ NOUS! THINK THIS MIGHT JUST BE A SIGNIFICANT TOOL IN ANY NAVIGATOR'S ARSENAL! We think so too!
Be advised that I have set this link to automatically open our Chart View module's ARGUS layer, but if you were normally going to any of our Chart View pages, it would be necessary to find the "ARGUS (MLLW)" check box just above the chart image, in the second (moving left to right) vertical row of check boxes. After clicking the "ARGUS (MLLW)" checkbox, the ARGUS legend will appear, as well as the color coded sounding circles, indicating MLW adjusted depths gathered by the ARGUS research craft.
One question we are often asked is how our users can easily access our Chart View pages. Well, of course, by clicking on ANY of the chartlets in our various marina or anchorage directory listings, you will be taken to a Chart View page automatically centered on and zoomed to the marina or anchorage in question. You can then drag the chart in any direction, and for any distance you need to reveal more waters of interest. HOWEVER THERE IS ANOTHER, VERY USEFUL WAY TO FIND YOUR WAY TO OUR CHART VIEW PAGES!
Locate the red, vertically stacked stacked menus on the right side of all Cruisers' Net pages, and then select your coastline of interest, "South Carolina" for example. Click on "South Carolina" and a drop down menu will appear. Now, locate "SC Chartview" and click on this menu item. A sub-sub drop down menu will appear, with a list of South Carolina's ports of a call. To continue this example, click on "Georgetown, SC." A Chart View page will open, centered on Georgetown. Activate the "ARGUS" layer by clicking the ARGUS checkbox, and look at all the good, just updated sounding data on the Sampit River, bordering the downtown Georgetown waterfront. Again, you can then drag the chart in any direction, and for any distance you need to reveal other waters of interest.
This feature works in exactly the same fashion for all our coastlines. not just South Carolina. Take a few moments to give it a try.
We know the cruising community will find this updated ARGUS data to be very useful. Please join with me in thanking Survice Engineering as well as EarthNC for making this service possible, partnered with the Salty Southeast Cruiser' Net. OK, go to our site and check those latest soundings.
| Southern Virginia, North Carolina, Eastern Florida
II. A Host of Excellent "Cruising News" Articles Authored by Captains Mark and Diana Doyle Just Published
SSECN strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water ChartGuides, have been busy boys and girls of late. They have showered our site with a whole series of superb articles about our Southeastern USA cruising grounds, ranging from Hampton, Virginia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Some of these stories are expansions taken from the Doyle's superb, recently published two volume "AnchorGuide for the Intracoastal Waterway" series, which is HIGHLY recommended by the entire Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net bunch. Other articles are taken from their own, recent on-the-water. ALL are well worth your time!
A. Downtown Hampton, Virginia Public Pier: Great as it Ever Was! - read how even a tornado cannot keep this cruising destination down and out for very long.
Please go to:
B. Detailed Review of North Mouth of Alligator River AICW Problem Stretch - Captains Diana and Mark present a detailed look at this perennial AICW Problem Stretch, including confirmation of earlier navigational advice on how to safely navigate these troubled waters:
C. BLAST OFF! Florida's Indian River Anchorage - get the full scoop on how where you can anchor on Eastern Florida's wide Indian River for a really up close and personal view of future US space shots from Cape Canaveral:
D. Anchorage with Shoreside Access in Ft. Lauderdale: Middle River (St. M. 1063.4) - think the "Venice of America," a. k. a. Fort Lauderdale, Florida lacks public anchorages with shoreside access. Think again, and read:
| Eastern Florida
III. Missing Aid to Navigation South of Fernandina Beach, AICW Statute Mile 718.5
Get the full poop on a just today published article, cherry picked from the latest Local Notice to Mariners, about a critically placed, missing AICW aid to navigation, south of Fernandina Beach, Florida. All southbound cruisers in northeastern Florida, as well as year round eastern Sunshine State captains, will want to run, not walk, to:
| South Carolina
IV. AICW Channel North of Charleston, SC Harbor, Between the Ben Sawyer and Isle of Palm Bridges, DOWNGRADED From Navigation Alert to AICW Problem Stretch
We are pleased and honored to report that the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net has dedicated friends at the various Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters who work hard to keep the cruising community informed about newly developing problems on the AICW. And, that is just what Captain Mike Verdolini has done by recently forwarding an official November, 2012 AICW depth survey linked below.
After taking a gander at this survey, you will quickly see that the Waterway, north of Charleston Harbor and the Ben Sawyer Bridge, between Inlet Creek's northeastern mouth and Swinton Creek, has developed some SERIOUS shoaling problems!
In fact, how do MLLW soundings of 0.8, 1.1 and 2.5 foot along the AICW's southern/southeastern flank grab you? Think this survey might justify a bit of your attention?
We think so to, so PLEASE visit:
VI. Dredging to Begin 11/16/12 at Browns Inlet/AICW Intersection Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 237
The AICW channel moving south from its intersection with shallow Browns Inlet, to a point just north of the Onslow Bridge, has been shoaling badly for the last several years. During the fall of 2011, "spot dredging" was undertaken by the US Army Corps of Engineers between the AICW/New River juncture and Browns Inlet. That improved depths for awhile.
HOWEVER, beginning this past summer and particularly moving into the fall, 2012 transient season, depths have been a very real problem here. To temporarily address this issue, as we reported on 10/1/12 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=96937), the USCG moved several of the markers closer to the mainland side of the channel to better outline the deeper water, but shoaling remained a concern at this critical intersection.
Now, as you will read in the article linked below, the twin intersections of the AICW and Browns Inlet are set for dredging, beginning 11/16/12 (TODAY!), and stretching until 12/16/12! HOORAY, this is is welcome news indeed!
Get the full story at:
VII. Skull Creek Marina Fall, 2012 Dockage and Repair Specials (Statute Mile 555)
VIII. Lots of Western Florida Cruising News
The Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net just loves to publish articles from our fellow cruisers centered on the western coastline of the Sunshine State. These are waters truly worthy of the cruising community's interest. In fact, if you won't tell anyone, a certain nautical writer I know will be spending his Thanksgiving on Gasparilla Island.
Here are some just published Western Florida "Cruising News" articles:
A. Praise for Tarpon Springs and Turtle Cove Marina, off the Anclote River - read a review of one of the most interesting marinas in northwestern Florida, located in the fascinating village of Tarpon Springs:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=101564
B. Royal Palm Marina Lends Aid When Needed, Western Florida ICW - Statute Mile 46.5 - check out how this facility, located along the passage through Lemon Bay, recently came to the aid of fellow cruisers:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=101530
C. Good Words for Port St. Joe Marina, Port St. Joe, FL, Florida Panhandle/Northern Gulf Coast - here's another laudatory review of one of the most praised marina facilities in the Florida Panhandle:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=101589
IX. Praise for Georgia Waterway and Report from Hell Gate AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 602
AICW cruising veterans are all too used to hearing negative comments about the Georgia portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. And, with stretches like Little Mud River, it's easy to understand why this is the normal state of affairs.
Now, however, Captains Glen and Jill Moore present a thoughtfully different point of view, namely, why cruisers SHOULD include the Georgia coastline in their cruising itinerary.
And, as a bonus, this cruising duo includes a detailed report on the AICW passage through the AICW/Hell Gate Problem Stretch, south of Isle of Hope, Georgia.
Really, everyone, this is a good read. So, please check out:
Eastern Florida - St. Johns River
XI. "The Crab Shack" on Sixmile Creek (off the St. Johns River, south of Green Cove Springs)
There was a recent discussion on the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list about the famous Crab Shack Restaurant, just off the St. Johns River, south of Green Cove Springs. Over the years, we've had many postings on the Cruisers' Net about this WONDERFUL place to slake a healthy appetite. From time to time, though, it's good to recall this St. Johns River dining attraction!
For full details, including professionally researched data on entering Sixmile Creek, please visit:
XII. Barrier Island Project Takes Shape at Fort Pierce City Marina (Statute Mile 966.5)
As reported earlier (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=86625), SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR Fort Pierce City Marina is undergoing a massive project to construct barrier islands which will protect the marina's harbor from heavy weather. What a far reaching, cruiser friendly project, from a far thinking marina. Really, Fort Pierce boasts one of the best municipally owned marina operations it has ever been my privilege to review.
BE SURE to check out the eye-popping photos in the article linked below. You will quickly understand the vast scope of this very worthwhile project!
| South Carolina
XIV. Port Royal Landing Marina Plans Cruisers' Thanksgiving Celebration 11/22/12 at 1:00 PM (Statute Mile 539)
I had the very good fortune to visit with Captain Tom Wilson and his fine staff at SALT SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, Port Royal Landing Marina, during the weekend of 11/2 to 11/4/12. After being treated like visiting Royalty, I then addressed the Palmetto Cruisers regional MTOA group. A good time was had by all, particularly this fellow!
I was impressed once again by what a great job Captain Tom and his fine staff do at Port Royal. Truly, this is a marina that cruisers can visit with confidence.
And, Port Royal is sponsoring a Thanksgiving feast for cruisers. Wish the "first-rate, first-mate" and I could be there.
If you are lucky enough to be in this neck of the Waterway on Thanksgiving, run, don't walk, to what I'm sure will be a bountiful celebration, AND take advantage of the 3 nights for the price of 2 special (see article linked below)!