Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 07-05-2012
As part of our continuing strategic partnership with Captains Diana and Mark Doyle, originators and owners of On-The-Water-ChartGuides, we present a detailed report below concerning the perennial AICW Problem Stretch, found at the intersection of the Waterway and shallow Shallotte Inlet (a short hop north of the NC – SC state line).
As you will discover after reading Mark and Dian’s excellent article below, the good depths produced by dredging this past January – February, 2012, are holding thus far. Do note, however, the Doyle’s advice about passing close aboard the various red aids to navigationa lining this intersection.
The good depths found by Mark and Diana will almost surely change as time goes forward, but as of June, 2102, all seems to be about as good as might be expected at this AICW Problem Stretch.
Diana and I transited northbound past Shallotte Inlet June 17th, about mid-tide and falling. Shallotte Inlet (Bowen Point) has a Spring Tidal Range (STR) of 5.4 feet. Our plan was to transit, strictly surveying the Magenta Line, but honoring the aids.
The screenshot shows the approach with slightly varying, but good depths (15-20 feet at 2.2 feet above MLLW).
The ICW-Shallotte Inlet junction itself held lower but still reasonable depths (13-18 feet at 2.2 feet above MLLW).
Past the junction, there were increasing depths (18-23 feet at 2.2 feet above MLLW).
Our course line was steady, along the Magenta Line, presumably marking the deepest water.
A few observations on the ICW-Shallotte Inlet junction:
1. Following the Magenta Line, you are pretty aggressively running red navaid to red navaid. It appears the dredging/charting directive was to follow the Magenta Line and then place red dropaids pretty much on that line.
2. You are much closer to the northern shore than I think one would normally run if you were, “splitting the aids and trying to stay mid-channel.”
3. With the lowest soundings of 13- to 15-feet, at this height of tide, Shallotte Inlet currently seems to be reasonably safe to transit, along the Magenta Line, even at low water.
Again, no recommendation being made here. Just sharing data. Captains are responsible for their decisions and outcome.
Best and see you On the Water,
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle