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

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

    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

    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

    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

  • Alternate Route Suggested for St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Mile 690

    Marker #32 - Click for Chartview

    In addition to Umbrella Cut (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=128619) and other alternates (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=118925) to avoid the infamous R32 in often turbulent waters, Captain Ehlen offers the following suggestion that is an “around your elbow” route, but seems straight forward.
    THE SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET WANTS TO MAKE IT CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING THE ALTERNATE ROUTE SUGGESTED BELOW BY CAPTAIN EHLEN. However, now that we have a first-hand account from Captain Richard Ross, cruising aboard the ARGUS cooperative research vessel, Chez Nous, this route is CERTAINLY on our radar to research in the near future!
    Even the adventurous among us should not have the tiniest thought of trying to run the channel east of #7 without an up to date and well functioning GPS chart plotter aboard.

    I haven’t tried this myself, but looking at the charts it seems to me that there is a deep water alternative.
    When heading south, at red #2 at Raccoon Key Split, turn to starboard SW above Horseshoe Shoal. Follow markers 3,4,5 and 6, then turn to port after G7. Head east until back on the ICW between FG33 and G33A.
    I hope someone has comments, good or bad, about this alternative.
    Wade Ehlen

    Here’s a posting from “the archives” that describes the route I recently suggested. Posted on 11-02-2011
    “We went through the area yesterday. It was beyond awful in the Sound, so we turned to starboard up the Satilla River to marker 8, turned to port and worked our way through the deeper water back to Cumberland River. This is NOT the charted alternate route, but much shorter and worked for us. It was about 2 hours after high tide and we were able to make it through. We draw 5′. Not flat, but the giant elephants in St. Andrews made it a no-brainer for us.
    Take a look, and good luck!
    Stephanie Wakelin M/V September Song”
    Wade Ehlen

    And, finally, HERE IS THE FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF THIS ALTERNATE ROUTE WE HAVE BEEN SEEKING, and from a veteran cruiser, piloting an ARGUS cooperative research vessel, no less. We have pasted a shot of the channel near marker #7, showing the ARGUS soundings. Click on the chartlet to be taken to a Chart View page of these waters, with the ARGUS layer automatically activated!

    We have taken this route twice, and it does avoid the worst of marker 32. The charted depths are fairly accurate, and the only shallow spot is a sharp bump just south of marker 7. Take it slow there, as the bottom rises quickly from 12 ft to about 5 feet MLW, then immediately drops back to 12ft. Click on ARGUS to see the exact spot.
    Richard Ross M/V Chez Nous

    Came though the same route as Chez Vous early December. Winds ENE 15-20. Good alternative… had same observations. Draft:5.5ft
    Doug Jacoby

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

  • Rough Passage Through Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statue Mile 690

    Marker #32 - Click for Chartview

    The unpleasant passage experienced by Captain Gorham and crew is the reason we continue to look for alternate routes to avoid the infamous R32 in St. Andrew Sound (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=130801). SSECN has heard similar horror stories and has had a Navigation Alert posted for Marker #32 for some time now.

    We had a wild ride southbound through the Sound on November 30, 2013 in our 26 foot Glacier Bay cat. Conditions were a lot rougher than I anticipated, and visibility got bad due to spray and the occasional breaking wave over the bow. We shaved marker 32 close on the western side, and had 10 foot depths that dropped very quickly to 35-40 feet almost immediately after we passed the marker. There were solid breaking waves on the big shoal to the east of the marker at the time, so I suspect it was close on to low tide.
    Jonathan Gorham
    M/V Top Cat

    I talked to a ferry captain that crosses the sound twice each day 365 days a year and he advised that a Northeast wind was the worst for the affect on the waves and current. A Northwest wind would be second worst and then next worst would opposing winds and tides, i.e. West winds with incoming tide or East winds and out-going tide. South winds being most favorable.
    Sonny Reeves

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

  • IMPORTANT – More on Marker/Charting Confusion and Increased Shoaling on AICW’s Passage Through Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound (St. M. 690), 8/10/12

    OK, ALL AICW cruisers bound through southern Georgia within the next six months (at least), LISTEN UP! It appears we have a serious problem on the AICW’s passage through often ROUGH St. Andrew Sound, south of Jekyll Creek/Island. The data detailed below was sent to the Cruisers’ Net by way of fellow cruising guide author, Captain John Kettlewell.
    Captain John, a good and long-time friend of yours truly, and I have been in close touch about this St. Andrew Sound situation, and compared notes. Unfortunately, neither of us has had occasion to research this portion of the Waterway for a good two years, so WE COULD REALLY USE SOME LATE BREAKING INPUT FROM THE CRUISING COMMUNITY CONCERNING THIS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SITUATION! If you have cruised the St. Andrew Sound section of the AICW within the last 4 months, PLEASE e-mail me directly at CruisersNet@triad.twcbc.com, or click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below!
    With that being said, it appears to both John and myself, that the charted shoal north and northeast of marker #32, may well have built out almost to the northern edge of this aid to navigation. Thus, if any vessel attempts to pass #32 to its northern or eastern sides, that sad sound of keel meeting sand (or mud), will be the result.
    As Captain John notes below, the marker numbering scheme, and the placement of the infamous (and ofter incorrect) magenta line in these waters is truly bizarre. John suggests, with good reason, that #32 might now be an inlet marker, and should be passed to its safe, southern side when cruising east to west through St. Andrew Sound Inlet. I agree with John that this seem plausible, BUT, conversely, the numbering suggests #32 is in fact an AICW marker.
    Our collective best advice at this point, is to be SURE to pass #32 to its western and southwestern flanks, without straying too far from this aid to navigation. Under no circumstances should you attempt to pass #32 to its northerly side. Ignore strangely placed marker #31A. From #32, southbound AICW craft should point to eventually come abeam of marker #33 well to its western side. Note that it’s a long gap between #32 and #33!
    OK, AGAIN, we need to more input on this situation. PLEASE let us hear from you! The SSECN is declaring a Navigational Alert for these waters!

    Update as of 12/2013

    We had a wild ride southbound through the Sound on November 30, 2013 in our 26 foot Glacier Bay cat. Conditions were a lot rougher than I anticipated, and visibility got bad due to spray and the occasional breaking wave over the bow. We shaved marker 32 close on the western side, and had 10 foot depths that dropped very quickly to 35-40 feet almost immediately after we passed the marker. There were solid breaking waves on the big shoal to the east of the marker at the time, so I suspect it was close on to low tide.
    Jonathan Gorham
    M/V Top Cat

    Earlier Contributions:

    I came through traveling north on 10/13/2013 at mid-tide following the Magenta Line as usual. No problem. Saw 60′ between Stm 690 and R32 dropping to 16′ just past R32.
    James H. Newsome
    Contributing Writer – Southwinds Magazine
    s/v Roma – Coastal Cruising With Hugh & Suze

    Well, we know that r32 is off station. It is actually north east of the charted position and located on the edge of the shoal that goes bare at mllw; so any vessel with 5’ or more draft can be in trouble. It’s a money maker for Sea Tow.
    The troubling issue is why the course line is drawn incorrectly to the west of that buoy but actually provides a guide thru safe water? Did NOAA know it’s off station and just drew the line incorrectly to give us a hint? Interestingly, if you look at a chart that’s about 10 years old ; you will see the course line is drawn on the correct side!. When a person is piloting the sound for the first time; what should they believe; the buoy or the course line? That could be an interesting debate between husband and wife and/or Captain and owner! I didn’t see any notices to mariners about the buoys location.
    Pete

    Here is what I am guessing, but do not know without some further research. The R32 may now be positioned as a red-on-right marker for those returning from the ocean via the inlet, therefore they want you to leave it to starboard when inbound from the ocean, but in reality you need to leave it to port when headed south on the ICW. This would mean in addition to its red color it should have a fluorescent yellow square on it indicating that it is considered a port-side beacon for the ICW (when southbound). Though according to the most current Light List, those markings are not the case so I may be wrong in this guess. Or, you could be right in that the buoy is simply off station. I will try to find out more and get back to you.
    John Kettlewell

    Claiborne:
    Take a look at the following messages with regard to R32 in St. Andrew’s Sound. For some reason the magenta line on the chart is on the wrong side of the buoy and has been for years, but this fellow says that now the R32 is on the edge of the shoal to the NE and if for some reason you do leave it to starboard when southbound it will put you aground. Do you have any information on the area you can share?
    John Kettlewell

    And, as usual, the cruising community is responding by sharing useful information! There just aren’t any better folk than cruisers!

    Between 2009 and 2011, my wife and I made 4 transits of the sound on our sailboat, which draws 5 ft.. Our last was north bound to NJ in late March 2011. We were traveling with another boat and followed him through. We both treated Red “32” as an AICW bouy and passed close to port, because of the narrow channel. I always monitor closelly my nav instruments and and don’t rememmber the exact depth, but I am sure it was double digits. Everything seemed routine and no different than previous transits. Red ” 32 ” appeared to be in its usual position. As far as the magenta line is concerned, it is not unusual to see it out of place.
    I would add that the sound and behind Jeckel Island are some of the more challenging parts of the waterway and have my respect and full concentration. I remember the crossing well, because the wind was from the SE and blowing around 18 to 20kn kicking up quite a sea. I felt like I was in a washing machine.
    John and Honey Funston
    Hielan’ Lass II

    All Sailors
    We passed thru this area July 23 2012 bound for our home port of St Augustine. Our observations were :
    First , R32 was east and somewhat north of our chartplotter position
    Second , It was half flood tide and depth sounder showed 6 feet on that side ( we left it to starboard per ICW southbound )
    Third , G31A was nowhere in sight
    We have had several nasty storms along this coast in June ( Berrell ) and in July ( Debbie ) and others without names.
    Notices have been posted to be watchful for missing marks, etc.
    Our sailboat,Santana, draws 3 feet 8 inches which is becoming desireable around here Safe sailing to all.
    Captains Matt and Margaret
    PS On the same trip, we encountered 2 , yes 2, funnel clouds in the St Simons/ Brunswick inlet on July 19 and turned around and went back out to sea. They were not forecast!

    We passed St.Andrew Sound red 32 northbound in April this year and kept it close to port as we made the turn. We draw 5 feet and depths were not a problem. The breakers to the northeast were very obvious, very visible. The mark may have shifted since then as there have been two TS’s that have blown through this area in late spring/early summer.
    Steve and Sheila Kamp
    S/V Carolina

    We transited this area last spring and twice last year. We always pass on the southwest side of R32 approximately where the magenta line shows on your chart. We have been skeptical of the channel between G31 and R32 for a years.
    Walter and Ellen Solomons
    M/V Rachel

    In January of this year (2012) we were headed south and kept R32 on the Starboard side, on our return trip in April we kept it to port. We draw 5 feet and had no problem. We did stay close to the mark both times. We do not have a chart plotter, and had a 10 + year old chartbook so gave no thought of passing R32 on the “wrong side.” If I remember correctly, it does have an ICW yellow triangle on it.
    John and Georgie Jackson

    Passed through here the 6th of May and did pass to the West side of “32″ as I always do having a draft of 3′. I do this as it allows for a more gradual turn and I never see less than 10′ and this is not overly close to the mark. Has anyone reached out to the local towing services or the USCG for their input???
    Donovan (EOS, TC-44)

    Jim Reed's tracks

    We passed this area on 4/16 going north and got very confused and concerned about the water depth. About 6 ft. I believe we took R32 port side on the way back whereas we might have cut it going south. I have my fairly detailed track files for the trips if they are desirable but they do not show the depths recorded.
    Jim Reed

    We transit this route several times a year. Last transit was June of this year heading north to Brunswick. We have a full keel 6ft draft sailing vessel and usually time our passage close to high tide due to transiting Jekyll Creek. We always pass R32 on the east side of the buoy as the CG stated (the Magenta Line is incorrect in the turn). It is a tight turn and particular attention should be paid to the alignment of G 31A and G 31 as you round R 32 keeping it to port (heading north). It is a little unnerving due to the quick depth change (deep to shallow) but there was at least 15 ft of water at high tide in June. Pretty much the same for the past 3 years. Hope this helps.
    Capt. Jesse Price s/v Wind Dust

    December 18, 2013. Note the Local Advice!
    Passed 32 today. Steered a course from 31 to 32 heading south and passed about 100 ft on the wrong side of 32. Minimum depth at 32 was 15.8 ft. With tide at 6.1 ft over mlw. Locals at marina also advised passing on the wrong side.
    Terry, Orient Moon

  • Caution Needed if Anchoring in Jekyll Creek, AICW Statute Mile 685

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the Heat

    Jekyll Creek ICW Marker #24 - Click for Chartview

    The shallow waters north and west of marker #24 are not, AND NEVER WILL BE, an SSECN recommended anchorage, but as Captain Reeves observes and documents, they are getting a lot of use. Given the narrow, constantly shifting channel that barges must navigate in Jekyll Creek, cruisers choosing to anchor north of marker #24 will be wise to put out a short scope and to stay well west of marker #24. Our thanks to Captain Reeves, from Jekyll Harbor Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST SPONSOR! – for pointing out this potential hazard.
    The Anchorage at Red 24 south of Jekyll Harbor Marina is getting a lot of use this season. My concern is when boats anchor to the east of the marker R24 and are in the ICW. You know we have a lot of BIG barge traffic on this part of the ICW. I am attaching pictures from last night that show a boat anchored in the ICW east of the marker. One boat did not have an anchor light. We had a boat hit 2 years ago by a barge, just the corner! The owner was saved but lost his boat. He was anchored near the public dock east of R24.
    Cruisers are welcome to anchor and visit the Marina in their dingy for shore access or to use the public dock. Of course they are always welcome at the Marina. Call Tow Boat US or the Marina for local knowledge.
    Stop by and visit with us we will be in The Office.
    Sonny Reeves

    Anchored Vessels South of Jekyll Harbor Marina

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

    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

  • Depths of As Little as 4.5 Feet (MLW) Found on the AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch (St. M. 683) – Captains Mark and Diana Report

    Our good friends, and SSECN strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of “On The Water ChartGuides” (http://www.onthewaterchartguides.com/), give us an updated, graphic report below, relaying what they discovered as they navigated through the Jekyll Creek section of the AICW, south of St. Simons Island and Brunswick, Georgia on 11/21/13! Note that the Doyle’s soundings were taken near high tide, so to calculate MLW depths, you must subtract 6.6 feet from their soundings depicted below. Applying this correction, Diana and Mark noted soundings of “4.5 to 5.5 feet at MLLW! CLEARLY all cruisers should transit this AICW Problem Stretch at mid to high tide!
    Incidentally, Diana and Mark have recently published a new edition of their immensely popular “ICW CruiseGuide.” Click on the book graphic to the above left for more details, and to place an order!

    Hi Claiborne,
    As you said on our ICW Google Hangout with Wally Moran the other night, Jekyll Creek is yet another Georgia ICW Trouble Spot.
    With depths as low as 4.5 to 5.5 feet MLLW, Diana and I wanted to share with SSECN readers the printable graphic below of our November 21st survey report and depth-annotated track.
    Best,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
    m/v Semi-Local
    http://www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

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

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

  • Update on Conditions at Jekyll Harbor Marina and Jekyll Creek, 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. The report below is from our good friend, Sonny Reeves, who keeps us updated on all things Jekyll. All Waterway cruisers, north or southbound, will pass Jekyll Harbor Marina and Jekyll Creek has been a Problem Stretch for some time.

    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.

    Hi Larry,
    Here is an update for the creek and Marina at Jekyll Harbor. Sunsets have been very nice and the weather has been cool with some warm days. We have had a lot of transients and right now the face dock is full with all inside slips full. Many leave today to start their journey South.

    Jekyll Harbor Marina Face Dock

    We heard a distress call on 16 and the Coast Guard responded but no one replied. Some one hit the dsc switch on their radio after the call but the CG could not trace it because the device was not registered. St. Andrews Sound to the South can be quite rough in bad weather. Call the Marina or Tow Boat for local knowledge when in doubt.
    Many boats are anchoring in the creek near R24 get real close to the ICW channel. One was clearly in the channel last week. This is a dangerous place to anchor if you are not out of the channel. See pictures of the barge attached. Several of these barges come through at varying times.

    AICW Tug Passing Jekyll Harbor Marina

    Specs for Sun Commander http://www.tugboatinformation.com/tug.cfm?id=3516
    Note that the barge is drawing very little unloaded, but the Tug “Sun Commander is a 62 ft boat with an 8 ft draft. The tug Captains know the creek and stay in the channel not necessarily on the “Line”
    I took the pictures of Sun Commander at around 8:15
    Note the attached tide chart showing the depths when the Sun Commander went through the creek.
    http://www.tides4fishing.com/us/georgia/jekyll-island-marina-jekyll-creek
    Hope this helps,
    Sonny
    The Office
    Jekyll Island Georgia 31527

    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

    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

  • 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

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