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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!Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaAmelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island Florida
Dockside Cafe - Marathon, Florida on Boot Key Harbor 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 LunchThe 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 Regatta Pointe MarinaFULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOME

Archive For: Georgia – News4 – Jekyll Creek to St. Marys River

  • A Successful Navigation of the Umbrella Cut, Alternate Route to St. Andrew Sound, Georgia

    Umbrella Cut - Click for Chartview

    Floyd Creek - Click for Chartview

    The alternate route discussed below by Captain Byron is the Umbrella Cut Route which 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.

    11/25/13 Six years ago when we were headed south we used the Umbrella Cut successfully to avoid crossing St. Andrews Sound when the seas were running high. This year the winds were 20 knots from the northeast and we wanted to try it again but were surprised that there was no recent info. We checked with locals and decided to try it on a mid and rising tide. We found it is still a viable alternative. We timed our approach for 2 1/2 hours before high tide. Our boat is a 34 foot trawler with a 4 ft draft. There was a strong following sea and as we made the turn into the cut we were pushed out of the channel where we saw 7 ft. That gave us pause but we kept going and found nothing less than 9 or 10 all the way through. We stayed midchannel away from the markers and kept to the outside on unmarked curves. We transited the alternative route all the way through Fields Creek without incident. As we exited and rejoined the ICW shortly behind us came a 45 foot boat out of the channel as well. I hope this observation is helpful.
    Connie Bryon

    We also took the umbrella cut October 14, 2012 due to seas being up. We went through at low tide and had only 1 depth alarm at 3 feet which I cleared immediately and the depth went back to 6 feet. Most of the passage we had depths of 5 to 8 feet. We stayed in the middle of the waterway when there were no markers. I was concerned about using the cut with the horror stories out there. We stoped at Jekyll Harbor Marina to ask the locals about the cut. They said they use it all the time and I would have no problem. We also had a 40+ foot sport fishing boat follow us through at low tide.
    Richard Clagett

    Thank you all for the great post up, as we say on the big river. Am planning on going north on the AICW this coming spring and it has been very helpful hearing from light draft vessel operators!
    Capt. Jerry Robbins

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Northern End of Umbrella Cut

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Floyd Cut

  • Good Words for Jekyll Harbor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 684.5

    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.

    Every cruiser going north or south along the Georgia ICW will pass Jekyll Harbor Marina, just below the bridge to Jekyll Island at AICW mile 684. There is always a concern about currents or water depth as I pass this marina so I know looking over a marina is the last thing I want to do; I just want to get safely out of the area. Recently things were different and I needed a place to weather out a storm near St Andrews Sound and called the folks at Jekyll Harbor. They couldn’t have been more accommodating in every way possible. Not only did they do a great job of
    snatching me off the waterway in strong currents, they arranged a van to take several of us to dinner over at the Club that night. Their dock prices are reasonable and the staff is most helpful. The General Manager, Scott Todd, has even offered that if 6 or more boats come in together, he will personally cook supper for everyone. Make a note of that offer for the Spring migration northward.
    Stay safe,
    Tom

    We too stopped at Jekyll Harbor on our way to Charleston last month. I was pleasantly surprised at the service and the shuttle available. We didn’t have any issues with the strong current because they put us on the outside of the lay along dock. I also recommend this as a convenient stop either north in the spring or south in the fall.
    Bill Borchet

    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

  • Manatees Spotted from Jeykll Island (Georgia) Bike Trail, AICW Statute Mile 684.5

    Jekyll Harbor Marina - Click for Chartview

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatThis new Jekyll Island bike trail, described below, just adds another to the many reasons to stop at this historic and quite lovely isle. Jekyll Harbor Marina lies along the easterly banks of the AICW’s passage through Jekyll Creek, immediately south of the 65-foot fixed bridge. These good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. Thanks to Captain Crafton for this delightful report and for an earlier report on the bike trail, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=113962

    Yesterday, while taking the tour of the island along the new path that connects Jekyll Harbor Marina to the historic district and beyond without having to be on the roadway, we stopped at a small tidal creek and were delighted to see manatees feeding on the marsh grass. Manatees visit Georgia from April through October. We normally are here after that so we had not seen them in this location before. But what a sight: a baby and 2-3 adults munching away on the grass leaning out over the water. The new pathway traverses a marsh area with stunning views of the environs. While staying at the Jekyll Harbor marina, transients may borrow their bikes or walk the path to the historic center. It’s a mile + or -. Georgia DNR would appreciate a call and/or photos of any manatees or sea turtles you may see while transiting this area
    Martha Crafton
    Sandpiper

    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

  • Good Depths found in Cumberland Dividings, AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 704

    Cumberland Dividings has been a Problem Stretch for several years due to constantly shifting shoals and boaters’ ill-advised adherence to the erroneous magenta line in this area. Captain Poovey brings us good news and good advice.

    Passed through here this morning (10/10/13) from the North at 11:15 AM (3.5 hrs past low tide). I steered a course to within 25 feet of Green markers “59A”, “62″, and “63A” and saw nothing less than 21 feet.
    The rule here should be “stay away from the Red side!”
    Bob Poovey m/v Threadbare

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Cumberland Dividings

    Click Chartlet Below To Open A Chart View Windows Zoomed to the Location of This AICW Problem Stretch”

  • Report from Jekyll Creek, AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 683

    Jekyll Creek - Click for Chartview

    Cruisers who navigate through Georgia already know that the Waterway’s trek through Jekyll Creek is one of the real “problem stretches” between Little Mud River and the Georgia – Florida state line. And, the shallowest spot is found abeam of marker #19. Captain Poovey confirms increased shoaling at that spot.

    I now think this location is the worst for low water on the waterway!
    Passed through here today from the North at 9:25 AM (two hours past low tide). Steered a course close (50 ft.) to Green “19.” One hundred feet north of the marker I lightly touched the bottom on two occasions. I draw 3’7″.
    Last June on my northern passage I showed 6+ ft. at very close to low tide.
    Bob Poovey m/v Threadbare

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch

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

  • Report from St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Mile 690

    Marker #32 - Click for Chartview

    Captain Bell offers advice in response to a Navigation Alert posted in August of 2012 – http://cruisersnet.net/?p=104973 – and there have other recent reports, including http://cruisersnet.net/?p=118925.

    Today I ran the magenta line to G31 then turned south and headed directly to the light house on Cumberland island until I cleared the shoal area. I never saw less than 10 feet of water calculated at MLW. At the time of my passage I had 14 feet with 4 feet of tide.
    David Bell

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of G31 and R32

  • A Case Made For Cruising the Georgia Portion of the AICW

    Click Chartlet Above to Open a Chart View Page Centered on Jekyll Harbor Marina

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatThe author of the article below, Captain Sonny Reeves, is a frequent SSECN contributor and a live-aboard cruiser at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Jekyll Harbor Marina, located immediately south of the Jekyll Island Bridge. We always think his opinions are worth considering, even if you don’t entirely agree with his arguments.
    We think Captain Sonny makes a very good case for NOT bypassing the Georgia portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, IF and only if you have the time to play the tides, and are willing to take extra navigational care.
    In an earlier posting (9/6/13) here on the SSECN, Captain Sonny gives more good advice, AND provides a homemade video, of how best to navigate the Waterway channel through the Jekyll Creek AICW Problem Stretch (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119133)
    Also, don’t miss Captain Sonny’s discussion below of the shoreside Jekyll Island delights. Clearly, this is a GREAT place to visit, and access is easy enough from Jekyll Harbor Marina!

    Hi Capt. Claiborne,
    I am seeing a lot of discussion from ICW boaters on the Georgia ICW. Please don’t fear the ditch! Yes, there is shallow water! Yes, you do have to pay attention and watch: The tides, the depth, the shore, the markers, other boaters with their head in their rear locker and currents. Our tide range runs to 8 ft. twice a day. We do have many very nice places to stop and visit: Blackbeard Island, Cumberland Island, and Darien are wonderful this time of the year as it cools off towards November. I and my wife are legal liveaboards at Jekyll Harbor Marina. We travel up to Charleston and down to St. Augustine often.
    http://ontheofficewautoteacher.blogspot.com/2013/05/brickhill-river-ancorage-cumberland.html
    Here on Jekyll Island we enjoy the miles (27 and counting) of very safe bike trails; the trail via the maritime forest to the old village is awesome!, Millionaires Village, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Driftwood Beach, fresh Georgia Shrimp, (Reds are Running!) fishing and all the amenities of Jekyll Harbor Marina: grills, hot tub, pool, free loaner car, bikes and the new ships store. Jekyll Island is a state park and very safe.
    Our world famous Shrimp and Grits Festival is coming up Sept 20. Please don’t fear the ditch in Georgia. Many barges with tugs that draw 8 ft pass by north and south at low tide. As long as those commercial barges get through the shallow spots the Army Corp of Engineers is not going to try and dredge. None of the states on the ICW that I know of can afford to dredge the ditch.
    Call Capt Wes or Capt Scott at Jekyll Harbor Marina for local knowledge
    Too many cruisers bypass this beautiful section of the world with its unique character because of the rumors perpetuated by those that don’t know.
    Enjoy!
    Sonny Reeves

    Claiborne, We did a recent blog post on just this subject, http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2013/06/should-you-avoid-georgia-icw.html . It will also be published in the Defever Cruisers upcoming magazine. Georgia is one of our favorite sections of the waterway.
    Chuck Baier

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

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

  • More Excellent Advice and Video, UPDATED as of 9/6/13, for Successful Passage of the AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 683)

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatBelow, you will find a summation of a  7/16/13 conversation with a southern Georgia captain , AND a 9/6/13 note (AND VIDEO) from Captain Sonny Reeves, who lives aboard at nearby SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Jekyll Harbor Marina. Both captains have long and up-to-the-minute experience with the AICW passage through Jekyll Creek. We think their collective advice is good, at least until the channel changes again.
    Any of you who have taken the time to study our SSECN “AICW Problem Stretches Directory,” particularly for the Georgia coastline (see http://cruisersnet.net/category/ga-aicw-problems/) already know that the Waterway’s trek through Jekyll Creek is one of the real “problem stretches” between Little Mud River and the Georgia – Florida state line. And, the shallowest spot is found abeam of marker #19.
    Our 7/16/13 conversation with the local captain, who wishes to remain anonymous, advises mariners to pass NO MORE THAN “20 or 30 feet” west of #19 (OFF THE MARKER), and Captain Sonny advises to “stay [within] 50-75 [feet] of the marker [#19]. By following these procedures, acceptable depths can currently be maintained, at least as of 9/6/13. Apparently, the real problem comes when cruisers attempt to follow the “magenta line,” and consequently pass farther west of #19 than they should!
    OF COURSE, the AICW channel through Jekyll Creek is subject to continual change, and this advice, even though thoroughly steeped in local knowledge, should be taken with a proverbial grain of salt, and all captains should proceed through this stretch of the Waterway with more than the usual caution. Any groundings which might happen in Jekyll Creek, and any damage that might result from those incidents, are the sole responsibility of the vessel’s captain. (Don’t you just love “legal-ese!:)
    And, of course, smart skippers will time their Jekyll Creek passage for mid to high tide.
    Wise navigators will also make an advance telephone call to the good people at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR Jekyll Harbor Marina (912-635-3137) to check on the very latest Jekyll Creek conditions. Both Captain Scott and Captain West can give you the latest. Now, that’s what I call SERVICE to the cruising community!!!!

    In Captain Reeve’s video, linked below, he is traveling south. Note that AICW marker #19 lies on the east side of the Waterway. north of the fixed bridge at Jekyll Harbor Marina.

    Hi Capt,
    I checked on Green 19 today [September 5, 2013]. The best advisement I can give the season/s Snowbirds is to stay [within] 50-75 [feet] of the marker. Come through at mid to high tide IF they know the channel and mid to low if they don’t so they can see the channel and low water. The channel is narrow with mud banks on both sides. Today I saw no less than 7 feet weaving in the channel staying 50-75 feet from the visible banks of mud and markers. Most depths are 8-9 ft even off the marker Green 19.
    Any Capt. coming through can call Tow Boat US or the Marina at Jekyll for local knowledge.
    Video of Check: http://youtu.be/FQjWdt2VROk
    Sonny Reeves

    Unless you can do this stretch on a higher rising tide, I suggest just going outside from St. Simon’s cut and come back in at Fernandina, and just miss the problem area.
    Beverly Feiges

    In concert with Beverly Feiges (above) the last time we traveled the ICW thru Georgia we decided to avoid the state completely on the way back north, outside from Fernandina to Savannah River. If GA doesn’t care to make their waterways safe, we have no interest in spending money in the state.
    Richard Becker

    I wanted to respond to Richards posting about avoiding Georgia because they don’t maintain their waterways. It really isn’t the state of Georgia that isn’t maintaining the waterway. They would love to have the dredging done and have lobbied hard for it. The Corps Of Engineers is responsible for dredging the waterways and maintaining them and they have not received any funds for dredging in years. So if you’re upset with someone be upset with Congress, budget cuts, sequester and more, but not the state of Georgia. This is one of our favorite sections of waterway and we play the tides and do what we need to when we transit. Of the approximate 90 miles, only small sections are a problem. This [same] applies to Florida and the Carolinas. Each state has their problem stretches. It’s all part of the adventure. Add to the blame list, the environmental regulations the Corps must deal with. If they received every dime they needed for dredging in Georgia, they couldn’t do most of it anyway because environmental regulations make it near impossible to dispose of the dredge material. We’ve written many blog posts and articles on the Georgia ICW and for us, it’s a don’t miss.
    Chuck and Susan. Trawler Beach House

    Came through Jekyll creek yesterday [9/8/13], timed it for high tide and saw 11.7′ at 19. Good advice to transit at no more than two hours off high.
    Jim Bulluck

    We also passed through this area in January and again May of this year. On our January passage we called ahead to the Jekyll Harbor Marina for some “local knowledge”, as this has been a known trouble spot for years.
    We stayed mid channel while transiting the section north of the Marina, with the recommendation to stay 50′ from ’19′, going through about mid tide. The result – no drama.
    Take away from this is utilize the Jekyll Harbor staff for assistance, and avoid navigating the creek at MLW.
    As for the comments regarding state’s responsibilities for dredging, in the absence of Federal funds several states have funded dredging on their own. This is in acknowledgement of the financial benefits derived from the ditch, both from recreational boaters as well as commercial interests. Georgia was one of the worst stretches along the ICW and though I love the area, I will do without the stress and go outside next trip – avoiding the state entirely.
    Gregory Yount

    Note: If you should choose to go offshore in the next few weeks, be sure to read this Navigation Alert http://cruisersnet.net/?p=122812

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Page Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch
    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Jekyll Harbor Marina

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

  • New Cumberland Island, Georgia Anchorage (near Statute Mile 711.5)

    Paradise Yacht SalesThis really useful article on a previously undiscovered (at least by us) southern Georgia anchorage comes to us from Captains Mike and Mary Dicken’s, owners of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Paradise Yachts (http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/). The cruising blogs recorded by this well-oiled nautical team usually result from helping new boat owners deliver their recently purchased craft to home port. Wow, talk about service AFTER the sale – it doesn’t get any better than this. You will be seeing LOTS of excerpts from Captains Mike and Mary’s web blogs here on the SSECN. This is superb info, and we are glad to have it available to our readers.
    This particular blog entry deals with a little used anchorage, hard by one of our very favorite places to visit throughout the Southeastern USA, Cumberland Island. This little piece of paradise features a colorful history, rich maritime forests, and a beach second to none! Truly, fellow cruisers, it doesn’t get any better than this!
    While we usually anchor in the “Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage,” that is referred to as “Anchorage A” in Mike and Mary’s account below, their “new” anchor down spot looks to be well worth a try!
    Has anyone else anchored here? If so, we would like to hear from you. Please share your experiences by e-mailing us at EditorialDirector@CruisersNet.net.

    The State of Georgia offers some excellent cruising if you will take the time to explore. One of the finest places is Cumberland Island, which is Georgia’s southeast most barrier island.
    The purpose of this blog post is to make you aware of a rarely used anchorage at the island.
    The anchorage that is commonly used, [noted as] “A” on the photo, is on the western side of the island itself not far from the shore. This anchorage is often crowded with motor yachts, trawlers and sailboats, especially on holiday weekends. The anchorage offers a good holding mud bottom in about 12 feet at low tide. The anchorage offers good protection from NE winds.
    The other anchorage that is rarely used is located [labelled as] “B” on the photo. It offers protection from westerly winds in about 17 feet at low tide. In the past 10 years I have never seen a boat in there besides myself. This anchorage also offers you protection from the frequent run abouts that love to throw wakes while you are at anchor in anchorage “A.”
    To navigate to anchorage B, cruise until you are just off of the Dungeness docks then turn N-NW. You will see a marker about 100 meters ahead with a sign reading “wreck”. Proceed forward keeping the marker on the starboard side about 50 feet. You will have from 12-15 feet of depth. Once clear of the marker, remain about 150 feet off the shore where you will have plenty of water.
    Mary and Mike Dickens

    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

  • Passage through the Brickhill River, off the AICW Statute Miles 696 to 704

    Brickhill River Southern Entrance - Click for Chartview

    Brickhill River Northern Entrance - Click for Chartview

    The Brickhill makes a pleasant, parallel detour east of the Waterway, with a north departure at Waterway marker #40 and rejoining the Waterway at Cumberland Dividings, markers #62 and #63. There are two anchorage recommended in the Brickhill – see links below. As Capt. Winters relates, Plum Orchard Mansion provides a good day-time stop, and you anchor within sight of this historic homplace – see link for the “Southern Brickhill River Anchorage” below.

    We just came thru here and took the Brickhill all the way thru after docking at the Plum Orchard pier for a couple of hours, and agree with this posting. Go slow and your depth finder will tell you which way to go. The Brickhill was easy all the way using normal navigation techniques (chart watching and outside of curves)
    John Winter

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Northern Brickhill River Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Brickhill River Northern Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Brickhill River Southern Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Brickhill River Southern Anchorage

    www.nps.gov/cuis/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm‎

    Plum Orchard Mansion on Cumberland Island

  • Another Look a the Umbrella Cut AICW Alternate Route Bypassing St. Andrew Sound (Statute Miles 686 to 696)

    Image Courtesy of Jim and Peg Healy

    As I’ve said before here on the SSECN, Jim and Peg Healy are some of the most trustworthy contributors on not only our web site, but many other nautical mailing lists and sites as well. And, that’s why I’ve decided to include the note below, even though, as Jim says, the passage in question occurred in 2008. Nevertheless, the included screen short is useful, and, according to my own experience, the “tight” spot at Dover Cut is still very much an issue.

    Here’s [a] screen shot of a wider view of the area that shows our transit of the Alternate ICW Route behind St. Andrews Sound. That one, dated November 19, 2008, we did at high tide, and I would not recommend it except – at a minimum – within +/- two hours of high. There is one spot, at Dover Cut on the chart, that is very tight and shallow. Ralph Yost has been through that area recently. He’d have more current info on Dover Cut. I’ve taken the liberty of copying him on this note (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119014).
    Hope this is useful.
    Jim and Peg Healy

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on Umbrella Cut

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Northern End of Umbrella Cut

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Floyd Cut

  • A Possible AICW/St. Andrew Sound Shortcut (near Statute Mile 690)

    Image Courtesy of Jim and Peg Healy

    One of the most discussed topics here on the SSECN concerning the Georgia portion of the AICW for the past two years, has been the passage through St. Andrew Sound, south of Brunswick, GA and Jekyll Island. First of all, to follow the Waterway, you must journey rather far out into the Atlantic Ocean, and, if that weren’t cause enough for concern, there are marker numbering issues and shoaling near marker #32 to worry with. We have had an SSECN Navigational Alert in place for this portion of the Waterway since 8/10/12 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=104973).
    Of course, there is a “way around” this difficult passage. Cruisers can opt for the so-called, “Umbrella Cut” alternate route, BUT this passage adds length to your cruise, and most importantly, it is narrow and SHALLOW in places at low water.
    In regards to the posting below from Captains Jim and Peg Healy, their message conveys an intriguing alternative. On the one hand, it avoids the shallow depths, of the Umbrella Cut Alternate AICW route, and it also bypasses the long cruise seaward to marker #32. And, Captains Jim and Peg are highly experienced cruisers who have a knack and a reputation for delivering accurate information.
    HOWEVER, there is NO guarantee that the eastern tip of Horseshoe Shoal will not have built farther to the east by the time of your transit, and it is certainly possible that you might encounter shallower depths than what Jim and Peg, or the NOAA charts, report.
    Therefore, we advise that ONLY adventurous mariners, and those whose vessel is equipped with a well functioning GPS chart plotter, undertake this shortcut, and, even then, be sure to proceed with the greatest caution!

    Attached is a screen shot of what we do in transiting St. Andrews Sound. Sanctuary draws 4-1/4′ and we find this route carries 7′ or more at low tide. The red lines on the screen shot are various transits of St. Andrews Sound before we established the black “route” in 2009. There are several more tracks buried under the route line.
    You can see that we went all the way out to R32 one time, early on. Too rough. We don’t do that any more.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

    And some additional data just received from Jim and Peg:

    So, anyway, here’s some additional info for our previous message. The date of the red GPS track line for our trip out past R “32″ on the .jpg I sent you yesterday is April 9, 2007. For the other red track lines – those that “short-cut” across Horseshoe Shoal – dates were: April 23, 2008, May 16, 2009, November 9, 2011, April 24, 2012, November 27, 2012 and April 24, 2013. This gives you some season-to-season and year-to-year history on that track across the tail of Horseshoe Shoal.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

    Hi Capt.’s,
    We have taken your route in our sail boat and now our trawler, both draw 4 ft. since we first saw it recorded. Don’t recall when? Last time was four crossings in May and two in June 2013. The Floyd Creek, Umbarella Cut will work. We have never used it in our trawler but have taken the dingy, an 11 ft Boston Whaler to survey the creek. The cuts are hard to follow at high tide and do have skinny water in several places. The path you advise still is not for the faint of heart if the wind is out of the East and over 15 KTS. Watch the tide and stay safe.
    Sonny Reeves

    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, 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 & Janet

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

  • More on Alternate Route Around Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Miles 686 to 696

    Umbrella Cut - Click for Chartview

    Floyd Creek - Click for Chartview

    Captain Yost’s comments were prompted by a discussion of markers in St. Andrew Sound on the AGLCA Forum [ http://cruisersnet.net/?p=118925 ]. The alternate route he mentions is the Umbrella Cut Route which 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.

    We just came southbound through this area and took the inside route through Floyd Creek. It was a falling tide, about half way down. We draw 4ft. Made this decision because the tide was outgoing and the wind was strong S and SE which meant wind against the current in the sound and we would have been broadside to the waves for about an hour. Made it through the inside Floyd Creek route without incident. The worst part was at red “A8″ at the turn off of Umbrella Creek.
    Ralph Yost

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on Umbrella Cut

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Northern End of Umbrella Cut

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Floyd Cut

  • Advice for Navigating AICW/Cumberland Dividings Problem Stretch and Brickhill River, Statute Miles 696-704

    Cumberland Dividings - Click for Chartview

    The Brickhill makes a pleasant, parallel detour east of the Waterway, with a north departure at Waterway marker #40 and rejoining the Waterway at Cumberland Dividings, markers #62 and #63. Captain Conrad’s advice on entering the Brickhill refers to the southern entrance. Cumberland Dividings has been a Problem Stretch for several years due to constantly shifting shoals and an erroneous magenta line on many chartplotters.

    Claiborne,
    After watching a sailboat go hard aground yesterday and laying on its side most of the afternoon, I would like to offer an alert for the AICW mile marker 703 near Cumberland Island and its intersection with Brickhill River. When northbound, stay well to the eastern, outside edge of the marked channel including going between a charted marshland and G59A. That is well off the magenta line but it is deep water, a minimum of 11 feet. It is also a major safety issue to go through these waters at a mid to rising high tide. If going into Brickhill River, stay on the northern edge of the junction as yesterday’s sailboat found bottom only a few feet from where we found 10+ water depth.
    Stay safe,
    Tom Conrad
    Nordic Tug 42 True North
    Currently in Brunswick, Georgia

    Very good advice Capt Tom. You can also call Boat US and they will give you local knowledge as you travel about a specific location problem or best practice for the current conditions. We cruise that area and shoaling can be a problem.
    Seeya,
    Sonny Reeves

    We just came thru here and took the Brickhill all the way thru after docking at the Plum Orchard pier for a couple of hours, and agree with this posting. Go slow and your depth finder will tell you which way to go. The Brickhill was easy all the way using normal navigation techniques (chart watching and outside of curves)
    John Winter

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Cumberland Dividings

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

  • Good Advice from St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Mile 690

    Marker #32 - Click for Chartview

    As long as I can remember, the Waterway’s infamous R32, between Cumberland and Jekyll Islands, has been one of those “hold your breath” portions of the day’s run. Captain Conrad offers suggestions and also requests information about a possible alternate route.

    Claiborne,
    After reading your navigational alert [ http://cruisersnet.net/?p=104973 ] last night, I took good notes today as we crossed northbound St Andrews Sound near Jekyll Island and mile marker 690. You are correct, R32 is getting a shoal running near its eastern side and taking it on your port side when northbound will be dangerous. This route is also way out into the Atlantic where any wind and waves make a smooth passage a rare event. What I have done in my dozen or so crossing is make certain to arrive at a mid tide or higher. This is a good strategy with much of the Georgia ICW. With that advantage, I will line up next to G35 and run a line to the eastern most of three water towers on Jekyll Island (it is a small water tower). Until it is moved again, that is the same as lining up on R30. Today, with a slight rising tide, we saw nothing less than 10 feet of water depth while cutting across the eastern end of Horseshoe Shoal.
    Another interesting alternative that I have never tried is leaving the ICW just north of R34 and heading west toward the Satilla River using a junction point just south of G7 and R8. If any of your readers have tried this route, I would be interested in learning about their success. It would certainly be an easier route into Jekyll Island channel.
    Stay safe,
    Tom Conrad
    Nordic Tug 42 True North
    Currently in Brunswick, Georgia

    Do you mean the “tank” more or less at the same latitude as #19 in Jekyll Creek?
    Chris and Janet

    I suppose but it is hard to tell since chart updates don’t do a good job of land based nav aides like water towers. If visibility is good, the eastern most of the 3 water towers on Jekyll Island will be apparent. If visibility is bad, use R30 or wait for a better day.
    Stay safe,
    Tom

    Image Courtesy of Jim and Peg Healy

    In regards to the posting below from Captains Jim and Peg Healy, their message conveys an intriguing alternative. On the one hand, it avoids the additional length and, at places, shallow depths, of the Umbrulla Cut Alternate AICW route, and it avoids going all the way out to #32 in the briny blue. And, Captains Jim and Peg are highly experienced cruisers who have a knack and a reputation for delivering accurate information.
    HOWEVER, there is NO guarantee that the eastern tip of Horseshoe Shoal will not have built farther to the east by the time of your transit, and it is certainly possible that you might encounter shallower depths that what Jim and Peg, or the NOAA charts, report.
    Therefore, we advise that ONLY adventurous mariners, and those whose vessel is equipped with a well functioning GPS chart plotter, undertake this shortcut, and, even then, be sure to proceed with the greatest caution!

    Attached is a screen shot of what we do in transiting St. Andrews Sound.  Sanctuary draws 4-1/4′ and we find this route carries 7′ or more at low tide.  The red lines on the screen shot are various transits of St. Andrews Sound before we established the black “route” in 2009. There are several more tracks buried under the route line.
    You can see that we went all the way out to R32 one time, early on.  Too rough.  We don’t do that any more.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of R32

  • The Good and the Less Than Good About Jekyll Harbor Marina (Statute Mile 684.5)

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatAfter reading the interesting listing of pros and cons below, we think you will agree that the positives of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Jekyll Harbor Marina, far outweigh the negatives!
    This first-class facility flanks the AICW passage through Jekyll Creek, immediately south of the Jekyll Island high-rise bridge.

    Cruising News:
    What we like about being on our boat at Jekyll Harbor Marina:

    The Hot tub is Hot! Thanks Terry!
    The pool is always shaded by beautiful Live Oaks adorned with Spanish moss and is always Cold!
    The showers are clean! Thanks V! The new renovations are nice. Thanks Randy!
    The docks float and are concrete, the potable water is clean and each slip has a connection with a dock box.
    The WiFi is strong enough for NetFlix! Thanks Doc!
    The facedock is always full of interesting transients.
    The Parking is close by and shaded by the beautiful Live Oaks!
    The new bike trail is safe and goes over to the old mansions and “The Club” or the beach connecting to 25+ miles of bike trails.
    The market, post office and other stores are a short bike ride away.
    The fishing is great! Especially aboard the “FatBoy” Thanks Alex and Brian!
    The dock hands are experienced and helpful. Thanks Wes!
    The staff are respectful, professional and helpful. Thanks Megan!
    Our neighbors are wonderful friends.
    The Marina host potlucks and cookouts! Thanks Scott!
    Angie makes the best BBQ Ribs ever!
    The Jekyll Bubble actually exists! We have watched storms go around us. Last major storm was 1898.
    Riding bikes through the Historic District early in the AM. Nice because there are almost no people. Riding on the beach early, nice because you see turtle tracks and the Sea Turtle Center marks the nests.
    The marina is scheduled for dredging soon! Thanks Scott!
    We have a onsite surveyor and delivery Captains! Thanks Frank and Lynn!
    We have Boat US onsite! Thanks Rich!
    Music and drinks on the dock for Sundowners.
    Our boat insurance rates are lower here than 60 miles south in Florida.
    We don’t smell the paper mills in Brunswick.
    Shark tooth hunting. Shelling. Watching the Bald Eagles and seeing Deer, Alligators and Raccoons on the bike rides.
    We have the most awesome sunsets over the marsh.
    The State park is a gated, state trooper patrolled community.
    The beautiful beaches are mostly deserted during the week days.
    Drift Wood Beach is remarkable in it’s beauty.
    Cumberland Island and other great anchorages are a short boat trip away.
    We are safe and secure at our homeport.

    What we don’t like about being at Jekyll Harbor Marina:
    The no see ums that swarm when the wind dies down. The good side is they keep the “Disneyland” type tourists from visiting!
    The water in the ICW is dark brown from the silt and tannin. The good side is If the water was clear and there were no bugs then the place would be developed worse than any tourist trap in Florida.
    One of the Live Oaks fell and crushed a car we were fond of, but the insurance paid off so we could buy another. Thanks State Farm!
    Idiots that speed on the island!
    Idiots that speed on the water!
    Idiots that don’t stop or slow down for people on bikes even in the crosswalks.
    Fishing and catching stingrays.
    We fear that developers will some how get control and their greed will destroy this Jewell of the Golden Isles.
    It is 30 miles to downtown Woodbine Georgia the home of Capt. Stan’s Smokehouse. This restaurant needs to be onsite. We all have to die from something and I choose BBQ and fresh oysters! The onsite restaurant just does not get the message.
    The new traffic gate seems to slow the trip back on to the island instead of making things more efficient.
    Tourists that walk the dock looking into the boats and generally being annoying.
    Tourists that throw their trash out on the roads, beach and the water.
    There is no music on the docks since Andy and Diana have gone to the Chesapeake for the summer.
    Captain Sonny

    In regards to the note below from Jim Smiley, PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE REPLY from Jekyll Harbor Marina dockmaster, Scott Todd! We think this clarifies the entire situation, and, may we add as an editorial comment, that the entire Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net team is very impressed with Captain Todd’s management of this fine facility!

    I agree with most of the positives, but need to add a couple of negatives . . . several years ago we were at the dock when a tropical storm was approaching. At that time (and maybe now) the marina had a contract with a large river cruise liner. On the morning of the storm the cruise ship decided to return to the marina to ride out the storm. Three boats (included ours) were . . . told to leave. The result was that we were kicked off the dock in 30 kts of wind. No fun crossing GA sounds in that kind of wind. After a very trying day we anchored safely in Cattle Pen Creek. Since that incident we have not stayed at the marina unless the tides were unfavorable for doing Jeckyl Creek.
    Jim Smiley

    To All Boaters:
    My name is Scott Todd, the new manager of Jekyll Harbor Marina. I want to thank Sonny Reeves for the very kind words about Jekyll Harbor. Jim, I would also like to comment on your concern however, I can’t speak for what happened prior to my arrival. Let me start off by saying we do NOT nor will we ever have a standing contract with any boat or company that would supersede any other vessel or owner. However, we do protect vessels that have reservations at our Marina. The cruising company that you are referring to makes their reservations in November each year for dockage during the Spring. When those ships arrive for their reservations we honor that reservation. Likewise, if we gave any transient boater their reservation, we view that as a contract. Unfortunately some times boaters decide to stay longer at our marina due to weather, when that happens I still have to honor reservations made prior to the bad weather. It really puts us in a delicate situation but rarely are we put into that position. Furthermore, we won’t ask boats that had reservations to leave, we would be forced to ask the vessels that stopped in due to weather first. Having said that, it is also our policy now to warn vessels when they check in during inclement weather if it appears there may be a potential issue similar to the above. Jim, I would love to talk to you further regarding this matter so if you would please call me at your convenience at (912) 635-3137 so that I could make this right in your eyes. Once again Thank You all for your positive feedback but thank you even further for the opportunity to answer your negative ones.
    Scott Todd
    Jekyll Harbor Marina

    Hi Jim,
    Sorry to hear that story. Please do come by and meet the new dock master Scott Todd. I will know you and others will be impressed with this young man. He is vast improvement over both of the other DMs we had here. I have been here off and on for the past six years and I would not stay if I had to put up the other dock master.
    Thank you,
    Sonny

  • Report from Cumberland Island, GA, off the AICW Statute Mile 697

    Brickhill Northern Anchorage - Click for Chartview

    Our good friend, Sonny Reeves who lives aboard his boat at nearby Jekyll Harbor Marina, shares details below of a recent trip to magnificently undeveloped Cumberland Island. This isle is found south of St. Andrews Sound, and hard by the eastern flank of the AICW. For the full report, go to http://ontheofficewautoteacher.blogspot.com/2013/05/brickhill-river-ancorage-cumberland.html

    Anchored in the Brickhill river around the bend from the primitive campsites. No cell service, no internet. Lots of green flies. Ran off the solar panels and inverter with no problems. Towed the dink. Caught bait and fished but only caught small sharks, Walked to beach saw alligators and an armadillo. Very nice would like to spend a few weeks at the different anchorages in cooler weather. Had a strong south breeze all week. Saw more horses than people.
    Sonny Reeves

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Northern Brickhill River Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Brickhill River Anchorage

  • Umbrella Cut Alternate AICW Passage (Statute Miles 685.5 to 695.5)

    On 4/22/13, as part of a NE Florida – Georgia Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 695.5 to 685.5 – anyone cruise the alternate “Umbrella Cut” AICW passage to bypass St. Andrew Sound this spring? If so, what depths did you discover? Is this passage still a viable alternative for cruising size craft?

    Responses follow: (UPDATED on 5/16/13, with the detailed report from Captain Kevin Quinn below)

    Cruising News:
    I would like to report to you about my horrific day cruising back to Savannah GA from St. Augustine FL on Wednesday the 1st of May 2013 in my Catalina C36 MKII draft 4’3”. The main point of my report is the “Alternate ICW back route around the infamous St. Andrews Sound. Well the weather was as bad as I have seen in years, the wind never dropped below 30 knots all day. I have crossed St. Andrews Sound in rough weather before and the crossing is never good not even in low winds. We were getting bad reports all day from boats that crossed St. A. Sound, none were good. Two things convinced me to go the back way; one the ICW in the Cumberland River was worse than my previous crossings of St. A., two it was one hour before high tide. I fought the Cumberland River above and below the waves to get to the Red “40” Dayboard and was glad to make the port turn into Floyd Creek and the Red “A34” Dayboard. Once in Floyd Creek the water calmed and was flat. There was plenty of water but never having gone that way I kept a close eye on the depth gauge. When I turned into the wind at the Green “ A31” Dayboard the waves were only one foot high but the wind was ripping the tops of the little buggers and throwing them at me horizontally. I could see another sailboat about a mile in front of me. So I felt if he did not stop I would be OK. At the Green “A27” There is a wreck marked and it is visible at high tide. When I was between the wreck and the “G A27” I marked 9 feet of depth. Now if you subtract 8 feet of tide from that, at low tide there will not be much water there. At the “G A21” I also showed 9 feet at high tide. Crossing the Bulkhead there is open water again 4 foot waves and good depth. There was good water and depth all the way to Dover Cut. I entered Dover Cut at the Red “A14” Dayboard. It looks small and intimidating on the Chartplotter and when you are in it, it is as small and curvy as it looks. But it is deep. That is till you get to the end and it does shallow up. The “R A8” and “G A9” are side by side at the entrance to Umbrella Creek and there I marked 9 feet and that is at high tide. Now all the charts I looked at have some warning about the low water in the Umbrella Cut but there I marked 18 feet all the way. From there it is a straight shot across Jekyll Sound to the back side of Jekyll Island but still it was a rough crossing on that day. St. Simon Sound was rougher than any of my St. Andrews Sound crossings and St Simon is completely closed in and protected.
    So I made it and it took two hours from the Red “A34” to the Green “A3”. My recommendation is that you can go the Alternate ICW route around St. Andrews Sound as long as it is two hours before or right at high tide. Even the locals like long time sailor Barney Riley at Golden Isle Marina say they never go that way. There is no local knowledge, I asked Barney, BoatUS and “Down” the Army Corps of Engineers Hydrostatic boat that happened to be in the area sounding and they all said they had no knowledge and had never been that way. The “Down” did say they had a boat assigned to that area and hoped to have some data soon.
    Kevin Quinn

    Came thru here on 4 17 13. Dead low tide. We draw 3 and one half. Saw several spots of 1 or two feet under keel. Also saw a bear cub along the way.
    Greg and Donna
    on The Lady in Red

    Would use St. Andrew Sound in place of Umbrella Cut even if I had to wait out weather for the Sound. 40 foot boat with a 4.5 foot draft.
    Raymond W. Smith
    “Fire Dog”

    My wife and I utilized this alternate route northbound while bringing our GB42 home in June,2012.
    We were at near- low tide. We took it slow. We experienced a “light” grounding in a spot that just looked like it was going to be trouble. We were going slow enough to back off and “nose” our way thru by searching for deeper water. At higher tides, for those who want to avoid the “sloppy sound”, this is a great alternative. We would always use this route– unless we have our vessel stabilized.
    We still have a hole in our after cabin panelling from a table lamp we forgot to secure, when we came thru the sound and experienced the chaos that the wind, tide and waves can cause.
    Clyde Lee
    Diane Willis
    1987 GB42 CL
    “Friendship”

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Umbrella Cut Alternate AICW Passage

  • Jekyll Island Bike Trail, Jekyll Harbor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 684.5

    Jekyll Harbor Marina - Click for Chartview

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatThis new bike trail just adds another to the many reasons to stop at Jekyll Island. Jekyll Harbor Marina lies along the easterly banks of the AICW’s passage through Jekyll Creek, immediately south of the 65-foot fixed bridge. These good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR and and the marina is home to our good friend, Sonny Reeves, who keeps us posted on all things Jekyll!

    Hi Capt, The bike trail is set to open soon and will run all the way to Jekyll Harbor Marina. I rode beach trail, circled back thru the old village and then rode the new trail across the marsh this morning at dawn and it is great. I saw deer, raccoon and alligators. Jekyll Harbor Marina has free loaner bikes for all cruisers and guest. Come ride over 25 miles of island trails.
    Sonny Reeves

    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

    Bike Trail - Look for the Deer

  • Chartplotter and Charting Issues at Cumberland Dividings AICW Problem Stretch, (Statute Mile 704)

    Cumberland Dividings - Click for Chartview

    Cumberland Dividings, just north of where the AICW intersects the southerly reaches of the Brickhill River, has multiple problems. First, some charts and chartplotters show the magenta fairway line running on the western side of the red markers in this area. Those who blindly follow this erroneous magenta line will run aground every time. Also, and perhaps even worse, the Waterway is shoaling badly along its western flank, north of marker #63.

    AICW MM704 Cumberland Dividings Problem
    We transited this area northbound this afternoon. I was watching a Garmin chartplotter (new 2011) and the newest NOAA raster chart displaying on a laptop at the lower steering station sent to my Nexus via a VPN connection. Even the newest NOAA raster chart shows the magenta line to the west of the red daymarks (the real channel is to the east side of the daymarks). The daymarks are properly marked with the ICW triangle. A sailboat following us failed to honor the red daymarks – fortunately they stayed very close to the red (even though they were was leaving them on his starboard side) and made it through. The most current NOAA ENC chart has the correct course passing over dry land based on our track.
    This same problem has existed since at least 2005 or so. How long does it take NOAA to correct a chart?

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Cumberland Dividings

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

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