The Hyatt dock is a popular boating dock along the Savannah River that many tourists and boaters use if they are staying at The Hyatt or just stopping by River Street for some lunch.  If you’re sailing along Tybee Island, park your boat and grab a burger!Amelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaJeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatAdventure Sailing - Authorized Amsoil Dealer and DistributorLocated directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187Boca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaPort of Call, St. AugustineRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by Boaters
Nolan LabsFernandina Harbor MarinaRegatta Pointe Marina Panoramic View of the Sunbury Harbor  Relaxed Laid-Back Atmosphere Fresh Steamed Blue Crabs caught Daily Homemade Crab Cakes and Crab StewRestaurant offers a Full-Service BarSunday Home-Cooking LunchDockside Cafe - Marathon, Florida on Boot Key HarborThe FROLI System, developed in Germany has made a big hit with the USA  recreation and leisure travel market. Nickle Atlantic will be at the Annapolis Sail Boat Show, October 8 - 12, in Booth FULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOMEBridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NC

All Georgia Cruising News

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-21-2009

PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!

Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of Georgia cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO NARROW YOUR SELECTION of GA cruising news to those messages which pertain to a specific geographic sub-region, locate the RED, vertically stacked menu, on the right side of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages. Click on “Georgia.” A drop down menu will appear, with a blue background, Now, click on “GA Regional Cruising News.” A sub-drop-down menu will now appear, listing 4 Georgia geographic sub-regions. Select your waters of interest, and after clicking on your choice, a list of messages will appear, confined to the sub-region you have picked!

Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings

Light Blue Background Denotes Postings Concerned with “AICW Problem Stretches”

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Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-15-2008

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HIGH WATER Warning for South Georgia and North Florida ICW

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-22-2014

Take Heed! all our tall masted friends! Check carefully those height boards on all the fixed bridges. Thank you Chuck and Susan for sending this notice from Cruisers Forum.

Many rivers and sounds in south Georgia and north Florida are at or near flood stage so bridge clearance may be a problem for tall masts for the next several days.

bridge webasso

Chuck Baier and Susan Landry

Temporary Research Buoys in Sapelo, Doboy and Altamaha Sounds, off Georgia AICW

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-16-2014

Sapelo Sound - Click for Chartview

Sapelo Sound – Click for Chartview

Doboy Sound - Click for Chartview

Doboy Sound – Click for Chartview

Altamaha Sound - Click for Chartview

Altamaha Sound – Click for Chartview

Please note the reduction in available draft in channels near the temporary buoys, “Due to the equipment placed in the (3) channels, drafts will be reduced by as much as 2 feet.” Heed the warnings and stand clear of the buoys!

GEORGIA – SAPELO AND DOBOY SOUNDS, ALTAMAHA SOUND: (7) Temporary UGA Research Buoys
The Department of Marine Science at the University of Georgia will place (7) bottom mount frames with scientific equipment in (7) locations. R/V SAVANNAH will deploy the bottom mount frames and equipment. The goal is to monitor coastal water flow, temperature and salinity. Buoys will remain in place for approximately one year and serviced quarterly by R/V SAVANNAH in July, September and December 2014.
Mooring locations listed below. The moorings placed in the sounds are placed inside the trawl line and away from the ICW.
(3) Sapelo Sound moorings
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-32-28.45N 81-12-28.7W
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-32-13.5N 81-3-16.2W
Round Yellow Buoy in position 31-31-45.85N 80-42-36.4W
(1) Doboy Sound mooring
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-22-35.38N 81-17-8.5W
(3) Altamaha Sound moorings
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-19-13.7N 81-17-51.4W
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-18.54.8N 81-11-28.25W
Round Yellow Buoy in position 31-17-41.86N 80-45-45.8W
Due to the equipment placed in the (3) channels, drafts will be reduced by as much as 2 feet. Mariners are to avoid close proximity, or any other interference of these Buoy’s. For further information contact the U.S. Coast Guard, Waterways Management Branch, MSU Savannah (912) 247-0073. UGA POC: Dr. Daniela Di Lorio Daniela@uga.edu
Chat 11508, 11510 LNM: 15/14

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sapelo Sound

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Doboy Sound

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Altamaha Sound

St. Andrew Sound R32 Missing, AICW Statute Mile 690

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-31-2014

ICW Marker #32 - Click for Chartview

ICW Marker #32 – Click for Chartview

A phone call from USCG ANT Jax confirmed that Waterway marker R32 has broken free and was off-station until recovered this week. A temporary marker will be put in place on Thursday, April 3, 2014. The position of the temporary marker will be: 30 59 19.37N, 81 24 14.26W which is slightly more easterly than the original. Our thanks to Skipper Walter for giving us this alert.
St. Andrew Sound has always been a subject of much discussion because of the seaward location of Marker #32, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=134944

I came across St. Andrews Sound yesterday [March 28] to find R32 gone and G31 moved. You have probably sent an alert on this long ago and I missed it but thought I would mention it anyway in case it is new.
Brian Walter

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at St. Andrew Sound R32

More Good Words for Hidden Harbor Yacht Club, AICW Statute Mile 670.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-31-2014

Hidden Harbor Yacht Club – Click for Chartview

Hidden Harbor Yacht Club is a transient friendly facility, located  on Troupe Creek. This body of water intersects the AICW, immediately north of St. Simons Sound, near markers #237 and #238.

We stayed here 3/26/14. The facility is really clean, and the docks are very accessible. The staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. The views across the marsh are beautiful! The outdoor shower is completely enclosed and would be quite a treat after a long, hot day on the ICW.
RJ

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Hidden Harbor Yacht Club

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hidden Harbor Yacht Club

Entrance Light Missing at Northern Entrance to Umbrella Cut – Alternate Route Bypassing St. Andrew Sound, Georgia

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-29-2014

Umbrella Cut – Click for Chartview

As described below, a temporary lighted aid to navigation currently marks the northern entrance to Umbrella Cut, which is an alternate AICW route designed to bypass often ROUGH St. Andrew Sound.
A westward swing takes you northbound from Mile 696 in Cumberland River through Floyd Creek, across the Satilla River and into the Little Satilla to rejoin the AICW at Mile 686 in Jekyll Sound. This is often considered the route of choice when the primary Waterway route through St. Andrew Sound is kicking up.
If southbound, do NOT confuse Umbrella Cut with Umbrella Creek where severe shoaling has occurred. More discussion of this alternate route, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=128619

GEORGIA-AICW-ST SIMONS SOUND TO TOLOMATO RIVER-ALTERNATE ROUTE: Hazard to Navigation (UPDATE: 02/27/2014) TRLB.
Umbrella Creek Light A5 (LLNR 37425) is destroyed. The remains of the steel pile is partially submerged and is a hazard to navigation. A TRLB, Fl Q G, 4NM is marking the remains hazardous pile. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution when transiting the area. Chart 11489 LNM: 12/14

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Umbrella Cut

Successful Passage through Little Mud River AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 655

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-26-2014

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. SSECN recommends navigating this stretch at mid to high tide only, as Skipper Lancaster was savvy enough to do. For a comprehensive report from Little Mud River, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=128659

I hit Little Mud River just after low tide. Following the guidance I anchored for 2 hrs. Went through on a rising tide 6 minimum except for the SW entrance which was 4’8″, more water on the E Side.
Keep up the good work, I check regularly.
Sliding behind Hilton Head Island right now.
Steve Lancaster

In early March, we timed our north bound departure from Brunswick to traverse Little Mud at high tide, and saw nothing less than 11 feet all the way through. This river is too shallow to pass at low tide, but because the tide here is approx. 8 feet, there is lots of water when the tide is up.
A captain who follows SSECN advice to pass at mid to high tide should not have any problems.
Richard Ross MV Chez Nous

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Little Mud River

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

Report from Dungeness Greyfield Anchorage, Cumberland Island, GA, AICW Statute Mile 711.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-25-2014

One of our favorite side trips along the southern Georgia portion of the AICW is to leave the Waterway at marker #34, and cruise up the Cumberland Island channel and anchor opposite the “Sea Camp Dock” in the Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage on the west side of Cumberland Island.

A well protected anchorage. Tide is about 6 ft. Seacamp dock is the most popular, but further N is quieter. Park entry is $4 for seven consecutive days.
Steve Lancaster

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage

More Praise for Sunbury Crab Company Restaurant and Marina, Medway River off AICW Statute Mile 620

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-12-2014

Sunbury Crab Company Marina – Click for Chartview

 Panoramic View of the Sunbury Harbor  Relaxed Laid-Back Atmosphere Fresh Steamed Blue Crabs caught Daily Homemade Crab Cakes and Crab StewRestaurant offers a Full-Service BarSunday Home-Cooking LunchSunbury Crab Company Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies off the AICW along the western shores of the Medway River, on the charted Sunbury Channel, north of Dickinson Creek.

We stopped here in May of 2012 on our way north during our Great Loop trip. Elaine welcomed us at the dock and invited us up for a couple of free beers. We were disappointed to find the restaurant closed the day of our visit, so Elaine called her sons, opened the restaurant just for us and cooked us a wonderful meal. True southern hospitality and a very gracious lady. Don’t miss Sunbury Crab Co.
Joe Apicella

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Sunbury Crab Company

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunbury Crab Company

Recommendations Sought for Wet or Dry Storage on GA and SC Coasts

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-03-2014

A lot of you have probably been in the same situation as Skipper Len. If you have recommendations for storage of his 28ft sailing vessel, let us hear from you or you may contact Len at his email below.

Searching for affordable dry or wet storage for 28 ft. sailboat from st. Marys to Charleston and points in between.
Or a boat yard with crane for loading sailboat on trailer and use a rv storage facility.  lencad@gmail.com
Thanks, Len

Lang’s Marina in St. Mary’s GA is a good option. I’ve not used this boatyard but understand they will allow owners to work on their boats there, which is a rarity in GA.
http://www.langcharters.com/Lang_s_Marina.html
Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles is an excellent dry and wet storage marina with a public boat ramp across the road from the marina. They do not normally lift sailboats but can handle boats in your size. The staff is awesome. Just ask for the manager, Chris Ferguson. He is very nice. This is my home marina.
http://www.morningstarmarinas.com/golden-isles
Probably the least expensive option is Two-Way Boat Yard near Darien. This is where I have my boat work done. It’s not pretty, but they do good work and will work with you better than any place I’ve dealt with.
http://www.twowayboatyard.com/
James Newsome

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Langs Marina

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Langs Marina

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Golden Isles Marina

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Two Way Fish Camp

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Two Way Fish Camp

Praise for Sunbury Crab Company Restaurant and Marina, Medway River off AICW Statute Mile 620

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-27-2014

Sunbury Crab Company Marina – Click for Chartview

 Panoramic View of the Sunbury Harbor  Relaxed Laid-Back Atmosphere Fresh Steamed Blue Crabs caught Daily Homemade Crab Cakes and Crab StewRestaurant offers a Full-Service BarSunday Home-Cooking LunchSunbury Crab Company Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies off the AICW along the western shores of the Medway River, on the charted Sunbury Channel, north of Dickinson Creek.

Although my visit to Sunbury Crab Company and Marina has been over a year ago, I feel compelled to submit kind words and a hearty recommendation for this excellent marina and restaurant whenever I find the opportunity.
Everyone is always looking for a little local knowledge and treasured stopovers when traveling the ICW. Sunbury is one such place that flies below the radar of most cruisers. Located along an isolated stretch of the GA coastline and several miles up the mostly uncharted Medway River, the marina & restaurant are not well known. One trip there and you will never pass this stretch of the ICW without making Sunbury Crab Company & Marina a regular stopover.
The marina & restaurant are owned and run by Elaine and Bernie Maley and their sons. They literally catch the crab from the river, cook them, bring to your table, mix your drink, and do it all! During weekend visits I think Bernie even plays in the band. I wrote a review for TripAdvisor and called this place a little piece of heaven and the keys all bundled together. For Elaine and her family it is their paradise, and they are willing to share with everyone who stops by.
I suggest calling ahead to make reservations. Calling is much better than email for some reason. After the first couple miles off the ICW the Medway River is not marked. There is a tricky crossover point with 5′ or less water at low tide. After my visit there I marked the channel on a chart and sent to Elaine. It is now posted on their web site.
There are many good articles and reviews about Sunbury Crab Company on the facility’s web site. Believe every word you read! While the crabs are excellent, I think the boiled shrimp are the best I’ve ever eaten – and believe me I’ve eaten a lot of shrimp!!
James Newsome
Contributing Writer – SOUTHWINDS Magazine

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Sunbury Crab Company

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunbury Crab Company

Comparing Brunswick Landing Marina, AICW Statute Mile 680 and Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles, AICW near Statute Mile 676

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-26-2014

Brunswick Landing Marina – Click for Chartview

Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles – Click for Chartview

Recently, SSECN has received reports and opinions on Brunswick Landing Marina and Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135526 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135528) Now Skipper Newsome provides a fair and comprehensive comparison of the two facilities.

Both BLM and Morningstar at Golden Isles are great marinas. Over the past 14 years I’ve spent 6 years at BLM and 8 total years at GIM. I’m currently located at GIM and overall prefer it, but it is strictly a personal preference as to what you are looking for in a marina.
DIFFERENCES:
Pool– GIM has a pool, BLM does not. this is very important to us.
Captain’s Lounge – BLM has a newly expanded GREAT Captain’s Lounge with free laundry facilities. GIM does not have Captain’s Lounge but does have an open air Observation Deck with covered roof and grill. There is a laundry room, but it is coin operated.
Restaurant – BLM has no restaurants on the marina property, but there are a few in the downtown area. The walk from the marina to the downtown is reasonable if you’re on the first few docks, but not so much if you’re on the docks closer to the Captain’s Lounge. GIM has a restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, on the property. It is very good, but a little pricey.
Staff – This is the real difference in my opinion. BLM has recently hired marina manager who was the Commodore of the local sailing club. He is doing a great job, but otherwise the staff there is limited to one lady. I have pulled up for gas there and never had her put down the cell phone or quit smoking cigarettes to even help me dock, pump gas, or cast off. GIM has a highly professional staff who are on duty 7 days a week from 7am until 6pm or whenever is needed. I’ve seen them leave after 9pm because they were waiting on a transient to arrive.
Current – No comparison here either. BLM doesn’t have a current, it’s all over at GIM. Depending on your docking skills this is important. While it’s nice not to have a current to deal with, I personally prefer a current. I’m a better skipper because of learning to deal with current at GIM.
Docks – Top notch concrete docks at BLM, and well maintained wooden docks at GIM. No dockboxes at BLM. Large dock boxes at GIM.
Managers – Both marinas have excellent managers. I know both personally, and suggest that you contact them for a tour of their facilities.
Golden Isles Sailing Club – I’m a member and there are members at both marinas. If you’re a sailor then I invite you to join. Great activity all year long with excellent racing opportunities. Some of the member will appear to be a little standoffish, but most are very friendly. It’s one of those things where you just have to walk up, introduce yourself, and then go make your presence known on the race course.
Parking – More than enough at BLM. Not enough at GIM, but you can always find parking.
Access to St. Simon’s Sound – As already pointed out you are very close to open water at GIM. It is a haul from BLM, but not unreasonable. Because BLM is located further inland it is more protected from strong ocean wind. BLM is also very hot in the summer. At low tide you are below the level of the land and it can be like a sauna. GIM is closer to the ocean so if there’s a breeze you will feel it.
Social – Both marina do have active boat owners who are regular visitors to the docks. Social interaction depends a lot on which dock you’re on. I was located on Dock 9 at BLM and for some reason there were very few active boaters there. Seemed like most were just moving up from Florida during hurricane season. I’ve found a much more active social interaction at GIM, but I know it exists also at BLM. In particular the GISC (Golden Isles Sailing Club) members tend to occupy two or three of the finger docks.
There are other differences but these are the ones I consider important. Hope this helps.
James Newsome

To be fair, BLM has TWO full time staff, and is single handed only two low traffic days a week. Our arrivals and departures and pump outs have all been handled by both staff together.
Secondly, BLM has virtually zero current. GIM extends well across a tidal channel that makes all but slack water arrivals a big challenge — not really an issue if one doesn’t come and go.
Chris

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Brunswick Landing Marina

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Brunswick Landing Marina

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Golden Isles Marina

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crisis – A MAJOR Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Editorial

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 02-21-2014

CYheadshotreducedAtlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crisis
How Did We Get Here And What Can Be Done
A MAJOR Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Editorial
by
Claiborne S. Young

Fellow cruisers, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway faces a maintenance crisis, the likes of which we have not seen since the mid 2000’s. Portions of the AICW in South Carolina and Georgia are now all but impassable at low tide for the vast majority of cruising sized vessels. Something must be done about this state of affairs, and done SOON!

Of course, all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are well aware that the Waterway has shoaling problems. A goodly portion of every day is spent researching, geographically cataloguing and publishing reports from members of the cruising community about waters along the AICW which have less than ideal depths, sometimes grounding depths. Four weeks ago, however, we discovered that we were missing the forest for the proverbial trees, or, put another way, we weren’t really in touch with the big picture of Waterway problems. Now, all that has changed, and changed in a big way!

This process began wtih a telephone call from Skipper Chase Fields, dockmaster at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Isle of Palms Marina, located directly off the Waterway, north of Charleston, SC. Chase expressed concern about low water depths along the AICW stretch which passes just north and west of his facility. And, with good reason!

As reported in an earlier SSECN posting (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=125717), the latest US Army Corps of Engineers survey shows 2 ½ foot MLLW depths on portions of the Waterway channel as it passes north of the Isle of Palms and east (you can think of that as “north”) of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Yikes

Skipper Chase asked us what the chances were of getting this stretch dredged in 2014. This was our “call to action,” not only to answer Chase’s question, but also to discover how the Waterway had come to this point.

And so, we set off to interview Brad Pickel, Executive Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, various officials in the USACOE, and other US Congressional sources who have asked us not to reveal their identity.

What we learned is not only very interesting, but it is also VITAL KNOWLEDGE for each and every cruiser who ever intends on cruising the length of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Let’s start with how the Waterway got into this condition.

Prior to 2008, the AICW was also having some real shoaling issues. Then, along came the “stimulus package” which the first Obama administration was able to push through Congress. Whatever you may think of this bill, it did funnel more moneys than had been available for years into the USACOE coffers, and the AICW received a whole raft of much needed dredging. Except for two trouble spots in southern Georgia (Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek are special situations), the Waterway was, all of a sudden, in the best shape it had enjoyed since at least the early 1990’s!

And, for the next year or two, some additional dredging took place courtesy of what’s known as “earmarks.” These are, or more precisely, “were,” additional funding appropriations which were inserted into bills which had nothing whatsoever to do with the projects that were funded.

Then, as part of the so-called reform movement in our Congress, earmarks were abolished. Now, the Waterway had to sink or swim on specific bills introduced and passed to maintain its depths. Quite simply, no such bill has ever made it through either the US House or Senate since the abolishment of earmarks!

Needless to say, we asked, “Why?” and were somewhat taken aback by the answer. From sources whose identity we will exercise our First Amendment rights to protect, we were told that the lack of funding for the AICW is an up close and personal example of the total, partisan gridlock now logjamming the US Congress!

We’ve all heard about this sorry state of affairs on the news, so amply sponsored by BOTH political parties, but, WOW, talk about bringing a situation to light in a venue that really HURTS; that’s just what we have front and center with this lack of Federal funding for AICW maintenance.

Furthermore, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has been informed that there is 0% CHANCE OF BREAKING LOOSE ANY FEDERAL MONEYS FOR WATERWAY DREDGING DURING 2014, AT LEAST! And, the future of any Federal Waterway funding seems problematical, to say the very least!

So, we have the following “AICW Problem Stretches” which are simply going to get worse and worse:

AICW Channel South of McClallanville, SC to Awenday Creek (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=56218)

AICW North of Ben Sawher Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=101792)

Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5480)

Intersection of Wright River and Northern Fields Cut (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5487)

Fields Cut (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5479)

Hell Gate (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5478)

Little Mud River (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5477)

Jekyll Creek (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5476)

AICW Channel Through Cumberland Dividings (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=36781)

Now, those who are very perceptive may have noticed that none of the “Problem Stretches” listed above reside in the states of Florida, or North Carolina. Herein lies HOPE for the future of the AICW!

Since the 1930’s Florida has had a state agency known as the “Florida Inland Navigationa District (or “FIND”), which is funded by a portion of the taxes collected from all state citizens. Put in its simplest terms, where the Federal government does not dredge the Florida portion of the Waterway (and other coastal waters such as inlets), “FIND” does!

Far more recently, my home state state of North Carolina made a bold move in 2013 to improve both maintenance of the AICW and inlets along the Tar Heel coastline. A new bill was passed by the legislature in Raleigh which diverts a portion of the revenues collected by both boat registration and taxes paid on marine fuel purchases, into a fund to dredge coastal waters. Along with some Federal hurricane relief moneys courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, this new law has resulted in currently underway dredging projects which will address ALL AICW Problem Stretches along the North Carolina portion of the Waterway. A completion date for all this dredging activity is slated for early April, 2014 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135383).

Unfortunately, as I have been preaching for the last 15 years (at least), if the AICW becomes unnavigable in one place, that disrupts the entire semi-annual “snowbird migration” cycle. And, the entire Southeastern USA pleasurecraft industry, including marinas, repair yards, boat manufacturers and equipment suppliers, is predicated on this twice a year movement of vessels north or south on the AICW.

So, no matter how good the condition of the Waterway in North Carolina and Florida might be, there are still two other states in the middle. If the AICW deteriorates in SC and GA, the migration will be disrupted, and we are back to proverbial “square one.”

What must be done is to convince the state legislatures in South Carolina and Georgia to undertake a similar plan of action as that adopted by North Carolina in 2013. Until and if the situation in Washington is straightened out, our sources tell us this is the only viable plan of action.

How can members of the cruising community help? First, as you are cruising south or north on the Waterway, or just doing some in-state exploration of your home waters, and you observe depths that are less than what is expected on the AICW, SEND THE SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET THAT INFORMATION AT YOUR EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. We will not only make sure fellow cruisers share in your observations, but, working through the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, we can use this data as “ammunition” with the South Carolina and Georgia legislatures.

Secondly, we urge you to spend a whole, whopping $25.00 and join the Atlantic Intracoasal Waterway Association (“AIWA,” http://www.atlintracoastal.org/join-aiwa). These good people are taking the LEAD in lobbying the Palmetto State and Peach State legislatures to do their part in taking care of the AICW. THE AIWA DESERVES THE SUPPORT OF EVERY CRUISER WHO PLIES THE WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY!

Finally, and on a personal note, so my late Mother told me, I have been cruising the Waterway since I was 2 years old (really don’t remember that first trip or two), and I grew up making the semi-annual trek from North Carolina to Fort Lauderdale in the fall, and then reversing the process come spring time. I can’t imagine Southeastern USA cruising without the AICW, and I bet you can’t either.

Let’s all do our part to preserve this magnificent resource, and save it for future generations of cruisers.

Thanks so much for your time and attention. Good luck and good cruising to all!

Great article. Thanks for bringing this important issue to light. We are Florida residents and understand the positive impact that FIND has had on maintaining the intracoastal waterways for use by all.
For the last 20 years, FIND has been very proactive by purchasing land for dredge material management sites that will be needed in the future to provide for proper maintenance of the ICW. The taxes are actually collected only from residents of the 12 counties located on the east coast of Florida. The board of FIND is comprised of a member from each county. FIND has been doing great work, and is an excellent example of how government agencies, when properly run, can have positive benefits.
Thanks again for your article.
Lenny Schelin

Claiborne,
On behalf of the AIWA Board of Directors (who are copied on this email), we truly appreciate your efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in your major editorial (link #1 in the alert below). We also appreciate our partnership in spreading the word in other emails and newsletters.
Please let me know how I can be of further service to you and our waterway cruisers.
Respectfully,
Brad
Brad Pickel
Executive Director
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

What used to be somewhat lovingly called “The Ditch,” is rapidly become “a ditch.” Where I grew up, that was wadin’ water.

We no longer bother going north of Brunswick and once we can get insurance in FL we probably won’t even go that far north. We would rather pay the outrageous premiums than persistently endanger the boat traveling farther north. We don’t expect the waterway to be an amusement park tunnel of love, but we do expect national infrastructure to be managed for national benefit. At this point a new magenta line is moot unless it comes with the caveat, “use only at highest tides.”
Chris

We had planned to go from New Bern to Cumberland Island, and return in March and April. It now looks like it will be trouble than it is worth. A few trips to Ocracoke and other “local waters” will probably be it.
Sorry South Carolina and Georgia will get no revenue from us this spring.
John and Georgie

We sail from Fernandina to Beaufort, skipping all the problem spots. Taking all our money with us.
Ted

Suggest you also submit your letter to several boat magazines to see if one or more might publish them. Southern Boating comes to mind as well as Soundings.
Tom Wemett

Claiborne, excellent article and I hope the powers that be pay attention to it, but as one who does the ICW twice yearly at a minimum, the ICW is not (yet) impassable, despite comments such as I see here from others.
With proper planning, the trouble spots in SC and GA are easily passable, even by deep draft boats. It shouldn’t require this level of caution, no – but for those such as John and George, or Chris, above- perhaps it’s better that they remain in their local waters and spare the rest of us the difficulty of saving them when their lack of navigational skills lands them in trouble.
Regardless of all this, SC and GA do need to ‘get on board’ and dredge their waters as required.
Wally Moran

Joined AIWA today…great suggestion.
Wonderful eulogy for Jack Dozier…he was one hellva good guy.
Jim Schofield
BoatU.S. (retired)

There is a huge difference in the support for maintaining the ICW between Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas because of the fact that the ICW is what gives millions of Floridians waterfront property. Anyone who has traveled the coasts of Florida’s knows that much of it is a channel between rows of waterfront homes. Those homeowners provide lots of political clout and lots of tax dollars for maintaining their lifestyle, whereas there is no significant political or monetary constituency for the Little Mud River area in Georgia. You’ll note that the more populated the area the better maintained the ICW is, in general. In the past the ICW was much more of a commercial highway for barge traffic. As recently as the 1980s, when I first started doing the ICW, a lot of the excitement was dodging enormous barge strings. That business has gone away, and with it the political clout those large businesses had. Sportfishing is still big business, but many of those folks are much less concerned with shallow channels than cruising boaters, which are such a tiny group that they have no political clout. Not sure what the solution is.
John Kettlewell

I could be wrong but have felt that South Carolina and Georgia have also been parsimonious on the waterway marker expenditures. In so many spots it is just an educated guess as which side of the ditch to favor.
Beverly Feiges

More Good Words for Brunswick Landing Marina, AICW Statute Mile 680

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-11-2014

Brunswick Landing Marina – Click for Chartview

Brunswick Landing Marina, a very popular facility with long term resident cruisers, actually sits well off the direct path of the AICW, flanking the eastern banks of Academy Creek, just off Brunswick River, near the heart of downtown Brunswick, Georgia. The discussions below, comparing Brunswick Landing with Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles, were copied from Cruisers Forum (http://www.cruisersforum.com/).

We just bought a Hunter 380 and are moving to St. Simons Island within the year. We need to move our new boat up from St. Mary’s Island and are undecided as to whether we want to keep it at Brunswick landing Marina or Morningstar Golden Isles. The difference is about 10 minutes further drive to Brunswick from our house on SSI, but probably at least an hour to open water by boat. BLM is slightly cheaper and offer more “free” amenities. Any opinions from people who have had experience at either/both marinas? Any thoughts on the social aspects? Customer Service? We plan to be in one or the other by the second week in April.
Thanks,
Dave

Stayed at BLM for about a week a couple of years ago. Great marina, good pizza close by, farmers market on Saturday. Understand you don’t want any work done on your boat by them.
Finistere

Also no experience with MGI but kept my boat at Brunswick Landing for three months and was very happy with the stay. Management was friendly and laid back, prices very reasonable, facilities were clean.
The only negative, the place is huge. If you’re on the last dock towards the end of the pier it’s a bit of a hike to the restrooms or even the parking lot.
Have also heard that this is not the best place to get boat work done.
Problem going to the Brunswick Landing showers, the hike is mostly down a really long pier (at least if you’re on the last dock up the river) so not a good place to ride, even if allowed by the marina (most don’t).
Skipmac

I suggest a couple of cheap bicycles for the commute to the showers, etc. You can find them for ~$10 at GoodWill, yard sales, etc. We have had a pair of bikes passed around our marina for years. Kind of fun to track where they end up.
Dale Hedtke

Have stayed at both…
Morningstar is a hike to the showers/restrooms too.
BLM is closer to shopping I believe but still a mile from grocery, West Marine. A car is the equalizer and I believe Morningstar has a loaner (on a tight leash).
I’ve never spent more than a night at Morningstar so I don’t have a feel for the residents of the marina…BLM has a large nmber of regulars and a local sailing association out of it for a whole gang of friends and activities (my friend in current commodore).
pseelnd

When we spoke to the lady who is dock master at BLM she indicated that the former Yard Manager is no longer in that capacity and they have a new one who is great. They were aware of the reputation for bad customer service on having work done and have tried to address it.
Thanks,
Dave

We spent a couple months at BLM a few years back:
If you are concerned about the hike to the showers, ask for a slip closer up or at least compare slip locations they are suggesting in both marinas. Odds are there isn’t a huge difference.
We looked at GI but without a car it’s pretty isolated. BLM won out for convience to walk to things. (if you have a car this may be less of an issue).
BLM is better protected. We tried to anchor near GI one time and with a strong south wind, it looked pretty bouncy.
BLM has the advantage of being right next to the shrimp docks and farmers market.
GI’s big advantage is distance to the open ocean for a sail boat. If you are weekending and have a car, that might win out.
Valhalla360

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Brunswick Landing Marina

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Brunswick Landing Marina
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Comments on Morning Star Marina at Golden Isles, AICW near Statute Mile 676

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-11-2014

Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles – Click for Chartview

Morningstar Golden Isles Marina is located on the Frederica River, between Lanier and St. Simons Islands, south of the charted 9 foot bridge. Depart northward from the Waterway south of ICW marker #247 and Frederica River marker #1. The comments below come to us from Cruisers Forum (http://www.cruisersforum.com/).

Spent quite a bit of time at Morningstar Golden Isles off and on, I like the staff and it’s really convenient for a day sail. Good restaurant on the premises plus I like St. Simons Island more than Brunswick.
Sail Fast Live Slow

GI’s big advantage is distance to the open ocean for a sail boat. If you are weekending and have a car, that might win out.
Valhalla360

I have docked my sailboat at MSGIM for 7 years. They have a top notch staff and an outstanding sunset without the mill. The restaurant is fine dining. Dunbar Sales (on site) provides excellent service, especially if you do not live in the area.
Russell Wright
S/V Tuesday

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Golden Isles Marina

Ice Cream Shop Recommendation in Savannah, GA, Savannah River off the AICW

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-08-2014

ice

Savannah Waterfront – Click for Chartview

Ice cream is often the most sought after commodity whenever going ashore, regardless the time of day. When in Savannah, enjoy the recommendation offered by Skipper Susan Landry, co-owner of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com)

It is well worth the trip up the Savannah River to sample Leopold’s Ice Cream. They have been in business for almost 100 years and all of the ice cream is made on the premises from their own secret recipes. A short walk down Abercorn to Broughton Street from the waterfront will have you there in no time. This place is a feast for the eyes and ears as well with 10 cent jukebox and original décor.
Susan Landry

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Savannah Waterfront

ARGUS View of Marker #32, St. Andrew Sound, GA, AICW Statute Mile 690

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-02-2014

Marker #32 – Click for Chartview

Much discussion has taken place regarding Marker #32 at statute Mile 690 in St. Andrew Sound, most of which has involved alternate routes to avoid Marker #32. Below, John Hersey, ARGUS Project Leader for SURVICE Engineering Company offers two ARGUS perspectives of the waters surrounding Marker #32.

argus

argus2

More on Alternate Route to Avoid R32 in St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Mile 690

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-25-2014

Marker #32 - Click for Chartview

Captains Chris and Janet are responding to a recent posting relating a very rough passage that adhered strictly to the magenta line through St. Andrew Sound (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=130811). Their suggested route below comes complete with a chart. We would like to hear from others who might have made a similar cut close to Horseshoe Shoal to the west of Marker #32. Note Chris and Janet’s very wise tracking of tide during their crossing.

Unless seriously constrained by draft or schedule, a 6 kt boat passing through Jekyll Creek at high tide can cross the outer end of Horseshoe Shoal well to the west of both #31 and #32. We made our first transit of this area 30 minutes after high tide at the Jekyll Marina Station and never saw less than 12 feet on the shoal with wave conditions moderated.
Heading south [from Jekyll Creek], when the magenta line crossed Latitude 31 on the chart, we turned for the old tower on Little Cumberland Island. When the water depth plummeted (west of #32 by 0.6 nm) we turned to intercept the magenta line off #33. This became our standard route.
Caveat, we are unhurried cruisers with 5.5 foot draft. We arrange our days to pass Jekyll, Crooked River, Amelia River #1, and Sawmill Creek #49, each, an hour before high tide.
Chris and Janet

We have taken a similar path six times across Horseshoe Shoals with our 3ft draft Great Harbour trawler. Our route is more north/south right along 081 25.0 W. We’ve always seemed to transit at half tide or better on both ebb and flood tides and are careful to not let the strong current set us east or west. Correcting for the tide we’ve always seen depths that concur with those charted (7 to 8ft mlw). We don’t turn away from our N/S heading until the depths drop off. Have been hesitant to share this as we are each responsible for our on navigation and have different risk tolerance. With a 3ft draft we are probably more tolerant of 7ft charted depths even in area’s where the significant tidal currents can change the bottom quickly.
Roger Arrowood

Hi All,
I think Capt Chris and Janet have my chart plotter :)
That is the course I take every crossing of that sound. Good job explaining how to BTW. As always you are welcome to call for local knowledge at Jekyll Harbor Marina or Tow Boat US. We have several Captains that cross the sound each day ferrying clients to Cumberland and can report on conditions. Hope this helps!
Sonny Reeves

Jan 18 2014
We can confirm the above comments on this route.
Came thru 1 hour before high tide with 5.5 ft draft and never saw less than 12′ of water.
Randy Tice

We have crossed this path many times most recent was Jan 12 going South. Always cutting the corner at the angle shown. As soon as we pass R30 we start turning to the light house. We draw 4 ft and have crossed at low tide.
Sonny Reeves

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Andrew Sound

Praise for Jekyll Harbor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 684.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-14-2014

Jekyll Harbor Marina - Click for Chartview

Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatJekyll Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, lies along the easterly banks of the AICW’s passage through Jekyll Creek, immediately south of the 65-foot fixed bridge. All Waterway cruisers, north or southbound, will pass Jekyll Harbor Marina.

Jekyll Harbor Marina is a great spot right on the ICW to spend the night, or spend several months. We are spending the winter here. Great facilities – pool, restaurant, bicycles available, dog friendly, the staff is friendly and always ready to help, and the General Manager, Scott Todd, makes it all run like a well oiled machine. If they don’t have what you need just ask and they will do everything they can to make your visit a pleasant one.
The Island is not to be missed – oozing with history, awesome dog friendly beaches, beautiful golf courses and miles of scenic bike paths.
Alan /Kathy Morris

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Jekyll Harbor Marina

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jekyll Harbor Marina