The 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.
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.
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.