Posted for our offshore friends wisely avoiding Oregon Inlet.
NC – SEACOAST – CURRITUCK BEACH TO WIMBLE SHOALS – HAZARD TO NAVIGATION – OBSTRUCTION Read More
Posted for our offshore friends wisely avoiding Oregon Inlet.
NC – SEACOAST – CURRITUCK BEACH TO WIMBLE SHOALS – HAZARD TO NAVIGATION – OBSTRUCTION Read More
Please note that “Alerts” listed in this section are arranged in a rough, north to south geographic format.
“Alerts” are messages from your fellow cruisers which pertain to navigational problems or changes along the waters of the North Carolina coastline. These “Alerts” are real concerns for North Carolina mariners, and might range in subject matter from new shoaling to a missing aid to navigation.
“Alerts” should be differentiated from our “AICW Problem Stretches” section. “AICW Problem Stretches” are sections of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway that seem to have perennial problems. Even after dredging, shoaling tends to reappear within a relatively short period of time.
If you have arrived here, seeking information about AICW long-term concerns, be sure to also check out our “NC AICW Problems” section by going to the red, vertical menu on the right side of all Net pages (except Chart View pages). Click on “North Carolina” and a drop down menu will appear. Now, click on “NC AICW Problems.” A page will open listing all the problem stretches along the North Carolina portion of the Waterway.
11/12 NOTE: Recent reports indicate that Marker #61A is now on-station. Good News!
The AICW stretch south of Swansboro, NC, where the Waterway runs behind ultra shallow Browns Inlet, is one of the single worst North Carolina sections of the AICW. These groundings are a result of marker 61A being off station, which – UNTIL THE USCG MOVES IT! – must be passed on its east side rather its normal west side. See surveys below. Our thanks to author Bob Sherer for sending these reports, surveys and advice.
Just came through, G61A is still off station. It’s about 20 ft from shore. I passed it to starboard going south. Actually I just ignored it and followed the ACOE waypoints [see surveys below] and found a minimum of 7.4 MLW. However, the ACOE waypoints form a “W, like two “S” together. The only way to accurately do the W is with the waypoints. The W maneuver avoids a 5 ft spot you might go over when returning to the channel after the S route.
This valuable Marine Safety Information Bulletin is sent to us from Officer Burrill of the NC Sector USCG. And Officer Burrill also wishes us all Happy Holidays!
This bulletin is to notify mariners about several areas on the AICW where a shoaling hazard to navigation exists and to provide the mariner with valuable information to transit these areas safely.
Mariners are advised that shoaling conditions exist 6at AICW Mile Markers 237, 271, 280 and 321 in North Carolina. Severe shoaling has restricted the federal channel depths and horizontal clearances of the AICW in the following locations:
AICW MM 237 – Browns Inlet Intersection in the vicinity of Bogue Sound – New River Buoy 61A (LLNR 39223) – 200 yard shoal extending into the federal channel with depths varying from <1′ to 5′ at mean low water – Approximate position is 34º35’49.20”N, 077º14’30.80”W to 34º35’52.70”N, 077º14’26.90”W
AICW MM 271 – Howards Creek Intersection in the vicinity of New River – Cape Fear River Buoy 99A (LLNR 39548) – 350 yard shoal extending into the federal channel with depths varying from <2′ to 5′ at mean low water – Approximate position is 34º21’18.00”N, 077º40’53.00”W to 34º21’13.00”N, 077º41’02.00”W
AICW MM 280 – Masons Inlet Intersection in the vicinity of New River – Cape Fear River Buoy 121 (LLNR 39597) – 250 yard shoal extending into the federal channel with depths varying from <1′ to 4′ at mean low water – Approximate position is 34º14’52.70”N, 077º46’58.40”W to 34º15’00.00”N, 077º46’51.60”W
AICW MM 321 – Lockwoods Folly Inlet Intersection in the vicinity of Cape Fear River – Little River Buoy 47 (LLNR 40225) – 250 yard shoal extending into the federal channel with depths varying from <1′ to 5′ at mean low water – Approximate position is 33º55’14.80”N, 078º14’10.60”W to 34º55’15.50”N, 078º13’58.80”W
Mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed and proceed with caution when navigating in these areas. Shoaling conditions increase the potential for groundings. Any grounding of a vessel poses a significant risk to injury to those onboard and a risk of substantial damage to a vessel. There have been and continue to be groundings in these identified locations.
It is highly recommended that all mariners conduct proper pre-voyage planning when intending to transit these areas and do so at the high tide, in daylight hours, ensure vessel drafts are adequate to transit the AICW and do not attempt to overtake or meet other vessels in these hazardous areas.
These areas are subject to continual and sometimes rapid environmental changes. Mariners are highly encouraged to obtain the most recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington, North Carolina District hydrographic survey information, centerline waypoints and controlling depth at: http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/HydrographicSurveys/AIWW.aspx
Some aids to navigation on the AICW may not be charted and may be marking best water outside of the federal channel due to continually shifting shoals. Consult Local Notice to Mariners, 5th Coast Guard District for the latest positions and status of aids to navigation at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict®ion=5
The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to monitor the conditions of AICW and update mariners as necessary. To report any aids to navigation discrepancies or hazards to navigation, please contact the Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-2200.
LCDR Derek J. Burrill
USCG Sector North Carolina
Chief, Waterways Management Division
This reported shoaling is at the intersection of New River channel, New River Inlet and the Waterway at Sneads Ferry, NC. The markers noted are ICW markers, not Inlet or New River markers.
NC – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY-BOGUE SOUND-NEW RIVER
Hazard to navigation – shoaling has been reported to a depth of 3 feet between the Bogue Sound-New River Buoy 72A (LLNR 39300) and Bogue Sound-New River Buoy 72B (LLNR 393003) and depth of 4 feet at Bogue Sound-New River Buoy 74 (LLNR 39305) on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Mariners are advised to transit the area with caution.
Chart 11542 LNM: 05/15
Late breaking information as of late May, 2014, shows that, very much in keeping with the reports below, shoaling has built up rather alarmingly from the seaward side of the AICW channel, near marker #99A. It appears that, at the current time, the best plan is to traverse this section mid-way between #99A, and a new dock which will be spied abutting the northwestern banks. HOWEVER, it is also possible to get too close to the mainland shoreline.
We strongly suggest that all cruising craft traverse this troubled intersection at idle speed, and preferably as near to high tide as possible!
Good luck, you may need it!
And, before we close, MORE INFORMATION IS NEEDED FROM FELLOW CRUISERS WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY TRAVERSED THIS INTERSECTION. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO USE THE “COMMENT” FUNCTION BELOW, OR CLICK THE “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THE RIGHT SIDEBAR ON ALL (EXCEPT CHART VIEW) SSECN PAGES!
New Topsail is a problem a hundred yards before 99A till you clear 99 by the same distance. On 4-22-14 our sailing vessel with a 4′ 3″ draft was temporarily grounded on the green side of the channel. This happened very near low tide. Passage is no problem at this time if vessels run the red side of the channel close to the many docks on that side. At the time of our grounding another sailboat with a draft of 6′ 7″ ran the “red side” without a problem.
We were able to hoist our sails to free the vessel and also passed through staying close to the various docks on the red side (extreme left side of marked channel).
Transiting Topsail Sound today at 11:26 AM. Sailboat was hard aground inside the channel at green marker 99A, Topsail inlet area. He called us and advised taking green with wide berth. The skipper was awaiting tide and expected to be able to get off by @ 2:00 PM. We passed by and saw 6 feet abeam of him.
SV Simple Life
Transited this area 5/22/14 about 8AM. G 99A was waaay over on the north/mainland side, only about 150′ from the shore where a dock is under construction. We honored the buoy, squeezed in between the buoy and the construction, and saw 8′ depth (reduced to MLW). The current LNM lists 99A as “damaged” but not “off station.”
Just in case it hasn’t been reported, as of 5/15/14, there is extreme shoaling just north of Wrightsville Beach, NC at marker number 99A, where Black Mud Channel enters the ICW. Vessels drawing more than 3 feet, maybe less, must stay to the extreme west side of the channel. This is the red side, but no red marker is located at this position.
Rudy and Jill
Black Mud Channel – 5 foot draft sailboat transited one hour before high tide on 5/17 and saw only 7 feet on extreme left side of the channel off the docks.
We passed here headed north on 5/27/2014. We were directly in between the green marker, and the new dock, and had 6′ under our boat at low tide. The channel is quite narrow. The green buoy will look out of place as it is so far toward the red side, but it is not.
AICW Black Mud Channel MM 270
We can confirm that 99A has been moved. On June 1/14 We passed half way between 99A and the docks, and saw 8ft MLW. This passage is very narrow.
Richard Ross M/V Chez Nous
I later passed by markers 99 and 99a at exact high tide (1425). I have a four foot draft and passed through the area without incident. I honored the green markers at about 20 feet. During the passage I never showed less than 9 feet of depth. There is a boat docked at marker 99a with its bow protruding into the new channel.
One boat can easily pass while two could be a problem.
Thanks again for your great service.
Nordic Tug 37
Dozens of boats running aground near Mason’s Inlet.
This shoaling is at the intersection of Mason Inlet and the Waterway near Howe Point.
****NC – NEUSE RIVER TO MYRTLE GROVE SOUND – NEW RIVER TO CAPE FEAR RIVER****
An area of shoaling has been reported IVO of New River – Cape Fear River Buoy 121 (LLNR 39597) in the AICWW St M 280 near Mason Inlet Crossing. ACOE reported a depth of 2.2ft at MLW. Mariners are urged to use caution when transiting this area. NC BNM 357-16 Chart 11541 LNM 28/16
With a closed vertical clearance of 20ft, and a very restrictive opening schedule, the Wrightsville Beach Bascule Bridge crosses the AICW at Statute Mile 283, southwest of marker #125. This is one of the most irksome spans on the entire North Carolina section of the AICW, and now we cruisers are going to have to contend with adjoining shallows north of the span!
Note that the shoal described below, on the “green side” lies on the Waterway’s eastern flank, north of the Wrightsville Bridge. As Captain Hardy advises, ALL captains should be SURE to wait for a bridge opening in mid-channel, and make every effort to avoid a drift to the east. Otherwise, you WILL be giving the local Sea Tow captain some business!
We ran aground at the bridge just north of the one mentioned here. We were racing the clock to be there on time, and being the only boat, the bridge tender did not open it for us, even though in the three minutes it took him to open the beige, we would have been in perfect position if he had started the opening at three. In backing out from the bridge, we ran aground on the east side. Worse than that, we ran aground again after going through the next bridge and hugging the shoreline to port coming around the corner to head for our night’s anchorage. didn’t bother looking at the chart; it seemed so simple, just stay close to the boats and head for green marker 23. Wrong! We ran up on the plainly marked shoal. this destroyed many years of boasting about almost never running aground, twice in one day!
At least 4 boats we know went aground while waiting for the Wrightsville Beach bridge to open in the past few days. The shallow spot is on the green side when approaching the bridge from the north. There aren’t any markers at the shoal but boaters should stay in the center of the channel when waiting for the bridge.
Giving other boaters a tip when traveling south at the wrightsville beach bridge…. stop in center of channel before you get along side the false palm tree north and East of the Bridge and before coming along side of Green marker to port also for those anchoring in Banks channel and you are heading south following the shore south to just passed the Coast Guard Station on your port turn starboard at red and green marker keeping it to starboard following the green markers to ICW and turning south at floating green marker you are now in ICW.
The Motts Channel cuts into the southeastern/eastern flank of the AICW, a short hop south and southwest of the Wrightsville Beach Bascule Bridge, just past the host of marina facilities which congregate south of this span. The Motts passage serves at least two important purposes for cruisers.
First, it provides access from the AICW to cruiser friendly Seapath Yacht Club (Marina), and secondly, it is the most direct route to the very popular anchorages on Banks Channel. Over the years, the west end of the Motts Channel, near markers #25 and #23, has shoaled and periodic dredging has been required. Judging from Capt. Mike’s report, dredging is once again needed.
January 12 came down Motts channel [traveling west] from Banks channel to icw and hit pretty hard mid channel 2 hours before low tide approx 100 feet from actual intersection. My intent was to catch Wrightsville Beach Bridge, and continue north to my slip. I have traveled at all tides for 6 years with 4 foot draft through same spot and never came close to grounding. Fyi stay close to green marker when approaching this spot.
Despite dredging of these waters in December of 2012, it appears that shoaling is beginning to re-occur at this Waterway/Masonboro Inlet intersection.
Going north on the ICW There is a Green marker [#129] at the entrance to Shin Creek. near Wrightsville beach , NC, followed by a red. There is a shoal coming off the red marker #128] far into the ICW, 4.2 ft at low tide. stay to the green side near the bank from the red to the green marks. I found it the hard way.
Henry Booke aboard Penny-wise
I too fell victim to this shortcut, having no problem navigating this at flooding tide going up river, tried it on the way back, and at red 4 found 3 feet needing 4. Sea Tow had to thread the needle to get to me with his motors tilted. Think markers need to be removed, or at least re-worked.
Skipper Mike Williams aboard s/v Chardonnay
A recent report (http://cruisersnet.net/156435) from Hank Pomeranz of Carolina Yacht Care describes the shifting channel at this Problem Stretch. Marker 47 sits on the eastern tip of Holden Beach at the intersection of the Waterway and Lockwood Folly Inlet. SSECN has for years recommended mid to high tide for passage through this risky section.
NC – LOCKWOODS FOLLY (AICW MILE MARKER 321) – SHOALING
Mariners are advised that an area of shoaling exists at AICW mm 321 in the vicinity of Lockwoods Folly inlet at Cape Fear River-Little River buoy 47 (LLNR 40225). A 300 yard shoal extends across the federal channel with depths varying from 1 to 5 feet at mean low water. Buoys have been placed to mark deeper water around this shoal. Mariners are highly recommended to transit this area with caution at slow no wake speeds and do so at high tide.
Chart 11534 LNM 21/16
With two recent groundings at this AICW Problem Stretch, we are upgrading these reports to a Nav Alert. Until dredging is done, slow speed and mid to high tide is recommended for this intersection. Thank you Michael and Ken for sharing these incidents and SSECN is glad neither of you sustained damage in the grounding, other than your pride!
Coming south 16Aug16 at +1′ above low. Draw 4′. At idle speed ran hard aground in mid-channel just past green buoy. C-Map charting [updated Sep15] shows channel angles sharply toward red at the green buoy — should have followed its suggestion. My mistake was to “stay mid-channel.” The bottom raised VERY quickly, almost a wall. After backing off, saw above 10′ in area on line between reds.
We were also headed south through this stretch on August 14. We draw 3 feet. Just past the green we also ran hard aground. We were in the channel toward the red side as recommended, but not quite on the line between the two reds. There was no warning on the depth meter before it was too late. We were able to get off eventually using bow and stern thrusters and some wakes from passing small boats. We didn’t incur damage except to our equanimity.
Captain Ken Hirsch
Keeping in mind that rapid changes in shoals at inlet intersections is not unusual, RodC offers this January 2016 ACOE survey:
Latest ACOE survey for the area – clearly shows the traditional channel is ~100% shoaled to between 2 and 4ft MLLW. What channel there is (or was as of 1-16-2016) is just to the outside on the RED side of the marks.
Shoaling in the inlets may well mean shoaling in the intersection of the inlet with the Waterway. Pay particular attention to the NC Problem Stretches that involve these inlets: Bogue, Browns, New River, Carolina Beach, Lockwoods and Shalotte. Details of these Problem Stretches are found in the links below.
NC – COASTAL INLETS – HAZARD TO NAVIGATION DUE TO SHOALING
Mariners are advised that shoaling conditions exist at the following North Carolina inlets:
New River Inlet
Carolina Beach Inlet
Lockwoods Folly Inlet
Shoaling conditions increase the potential for groundings. These inlets are subject to continual and sometimes rapid environmental changes. Mariners are highly encouraged to obtain the most recent USACE Wilmington, North Carolina District hydrographic survey information, centerline waypoints and controlling depth at:
Mariners are advised to use caution when navigating in these areas and passage through the inlets is not recommended without local knowledge of the area. The aids to navigation in these inlets may not be charted and may not be marking best water due to continually shifting shoals. Consult Local Notice to Mariners, 5th Coast Guard District for the latest positions and status of aids to navigation. To report any aids to navigation discrepancies (missing, damaged, off station, extinguished lights), shoaling, hazards to navigation, or discrepancies on bridge lighting, please contact Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-2200. LNM: 23/15
Old House Channel connects Pamlico Sound and Roanoke Sound and forms the main/bridgeless, non-AICW northbound route into Manteo, NC. Oregon Inlet is a most unreliable and downright dangerous passage from southern Roanoke Sound out into the briny blue. Despite recent dredging in Old House Channel (March, 2013), shoaling is re-occurring. Please see Note C on Chart 12205 regarding frequently shifted navigation aids in these channels.
NC – CURRITUCK BEACH LIGHT TO WIMBLE SHOALS – OREGON INLET – OLD HOUSE CHANNEL – SHOALING
Shoaling to a depth of 4.0 ft MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Old House Channel Buoy 11 (LLNR 28275). Chart: 12204.
Bayview Reef is a NCDENR estuarine reef consisting of 28,000 tires located in the Pamlico River, a short jog southeast of Bath Creek’s southerly entrance. The reef is marked by markers AR-291A, B, C and D and the chart notation: Obstruction Fish Haven. This “reef” is being expanded.
The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is declaring a Navigational Alert for these waters!
The State of NC is expanding the Bayview reef and adding concrete structure that will reduce safe passage to under 5 ft mlw. It is similar to the marked areas on most charts with some expanded areas near Bayview shore. Cruisers that have “cut” the corner going to Bath now will have problems if they draw more than 5 ft.
Paul Minor, Harbor Marina, Bath
Southern Shores, NC is north of Kitty Hawk and the waters are north of the Wright Memorial Bridge and used primarily by shallow draft vessels. Daymarker # 7 is part of the entrance channel into the Southern Shores Harbor.
NC – PAMLICO SOUND – SOUTHERN SHORES – SHOALING
Shoaling to a depth of 1-2 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Southern Shores Daybeacon 7 (LLNR 31300). Chart: 12205.