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

  • New Wine, Coffee and Gift Shop in St. Marys, GA, off the AICW from Statute Mile 713

    St. Marys River flows into the northern tip of Cumberland Sound just north of Fernandina, FL, and serves as the coastal state line between Georgia and Florida. The town of St. Marys is an easy trip up the St. Marys River, departing the Waterway at flashing green marker #29, statute mile 713.

    Subject: New Wine, Coffee & Gift Shop in St. Marys, GA
    Cruising News:
    Hi – One of my customers suggested that I let you know that we just recently opened a new Wine, Coffee & Gift shop in downtown St. Marys, GA. We have free WIFI, too, and craft beers. Oh, and did I mention our wonderful pastries and cheese, hummus and other appetizer plates? We are just a short block from the dock. Come visit! Hours are Tues-Sat. 10am-8pm and Sundays 11am-6pm.
    We hope you all have a wonderful time in St. Marys during the Thanksgiving festivities and look forward to meeting you.
    Thanks,
    Sue Gokalp, Manager
    The Blue Goose on Osborne
    126 Osborne Street
    St. Marys, GA 31558
    www.bluegoosewineandcoffee.com
    912-409-2165

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To St. Marys GA

  • Expect Rough Waters Across St. Andrew Sound (Georgia AICW, near St. M. 689)

    The choppy water problem while running the AICW’s passage across Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound results from the Waterway’s passage practically out into the briny blue, in order to clear Horseshoe Shoal, which occupies the Sound’s mid-width. Recognizing the potential for very dusty crossing here, the US Army Corps of Engineers has provided an alternate route, known as Umbrella Cut, BUT low water depths on this passage can run as thin as 4 1/2 feet.
    The exchange of views below has been copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) list.

    My progress south will take me across St. Andrews sound on Wednesday. Marine weather forecast for the area is NE 10-15 knots seas 4-6 off shore, choppy inland. What would you expect the sound to be like?
    Bob
    Chateau de Mer

    Any east wind will cause issues particularly if in opposition to the tide e.g. ebb. There is an alternate route that is doable depending on stage of tide and draft of your boat. 6′ in St Andrews is very short and mean. Enjoy the Golden Isles and cut the shoal at your own risk if crossing the sound.
    Joe
    M/V “Carolyn Ann” GH N-37

    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

    We traveled through this route [Umbrella Cut] today about one hour after a 7′ high tide. We draw 6′ and never saw less than 5.5′ under our keel. Nice alternate to the breakers rolling in the sound.
    glebreton

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the AICW’s Passage Across St. Andrew Sound

  • GREAT NEWS – Live Aboard Cruisers Now Welcome in Georgia Waters

    The message below comes to us from Charlie Waller, owner of Isle of Hope Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and past president of the Georgia Marine Business Owners Association.  Charlie and his organization have been working tirelessly to get the archaic, often ignored, but still a threat, regulation limiting boat owners to a 30 day stay aboard, changed.  Congratulations to “GAMBA,” and everyone else who worked for this change.
    As Charlie explains below, now, by filling out a simple form, cruisers can stay aboard for up to a year in Georgia waters! Finally, a real victory for the cruising community!!!

    Claiborne,
    Good News!
    The State of Georgia has just modified the Live-Aboard rule so that it will be legal and practical to say on board your boat in Georgia for more than 30 days. A rule change will allow boaters to fill out a simple form to receive permission to be onboard for up to one year in Georgia so long as the boat is docked at a marina that meets the state’s minimum requirements for pump-out facilities. Isle of Hope Marina and just a couple of other marinas currently meet those standards, but I expect that other marinas will upgrade their facilities to take advantage of this rule change. I am heading a committee that will be working with the DNR to finalize the application form in the next few weeks. The rule change will be effective January 1, 2012.
    Charlie Waller
    Isle of Hope Marina

    Below, we present a wide cross section of responses from the cruising community to this change in Georgia’s live-aboard regulations, As you will see, some cruisers are very appreciative, others question why any regulation is needed and/or justified, and at least one fellow captain points out the process of applying to live aboard in Georgia waters for more than 30 days is not necessarily “simple.”

    We had a similar problem in Washington State years ago. The head of our DNR just flatly wanted no live aboards at all. We formed the Washington Live Aboards and fought and won. The big issues now is raw sewage being dumped and soap when washing your boat.
    The best advise I can give is get together with the marina owners and managers, develop rules dealing with sewage and pump outs. Be proactive and get in front of the issue. Getting teamed up with marinas gives you more credability and greater influnce.
    Final thought, don’t bad mouth the state and govermental officals its difficult to further your point of view if they’re pissed at you.
    We work closely with Seattle, Tacoma and Everett and they are all pro live aboards and help keep DNR in check.
    Detlev Willoughby
    President Tacoma Live Aboards, VP of the Washington Live Aboards

    The Seattle situation is still evolving, but it is shaping up to be about greywater. The City of Seattle has proposed limiting liveaboards (where marinas will accept them) to 25% of available slips. Current LABs will be allowed to stay, but once they leave the marina can’t rent to another LAB until they come below the 25% cap. The City has also proposed imposing a fee on marinas that accept LABs and additional administrative burdens. We all know that this will discourage private marina owners from renting to LABs and that the costs will flow downstream. My question re the Georgia situation is: what happens at the end of one year? That’s a good development for cruisers wanting to stay more than a month, but what’s the impact on full time residents of the state?
    Gail L.

    I think the title of this piece should be changed to “Liveaboards now tolerated at a few marinas in Georgia.” The word “welcome” does not come to mind. Like other long-term cruisers I prefer to anchor out, which means I won’t be living aboard in Georgia waters any time in the near future. By the way, I still highly recommend the beautiful ICW waters of Georgia for those who like to anchor and get away from it all–just don’t stay in one place for more than 30 days.
    John Kettlewell

    THANKS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL CRUISERS
    Bill

    Thanks Charlie!!!
    Betsy Basch

    Oh Goddie! The awful is now only bad.
    Why should I need a States permission to live on my boat? And why should I be forced to pay for dockage to do so?
    I use a composting head and had have no need for pump-out facilities. My water and electric needs are also self met. I much prefer to live on the hook.
    Bad precedent to set or accept. My opinion is that Georgia is still a place to pass through until this law is totally abandoned.
    Philip

    Charlie has done a great job along with many other people to help the liveaboard community.
    We & MANY others each year just go off shore to avoid Georgia since they still JUST DON’T get it. They need to make their portion of the ICW navigatible at ALL tide levels. Our money their loss!
    We feel sorry for all the businesses that are struggling, but until Georgia catches up with the rest of the world we & many others will just go off shore & NOT put up with the hassel!
    Mike M/V Elan

    Actually it is a little more complicated than just “filling out a simple form”. The 30 day law has not changed, now you must file for an extension of the 30day rule. You have to file for the extension to the Commissioner of the Georgia DNR. The commissioner, in his or her sole discretion, may grant or deny any request for an extension of time to occupy a live-aboard.
    Again it is not just a simple form you must meet the following Eligibility requirements:
    1. No live-aboard may be occupied in Georgia coastal waters subject to the jurisdiction of the CMPA for more than 30 days during any calendar year unless the live-aboard owner has been granted an extension of time in writing by the Commissioner.
    2. The applicant shall submit a written request for an extension to the Commissioner.
    3. The Commissioner shall promptly consider any written request that meet the following requirements.
    a. The applicant submits the request on the application form provided by the Department to the Commissioner, c/o the Coastal Resources Division, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520.
    b. The Coastal Resources Division receives the request at least 15 calendar days prior to the requested extension start date.
    c. The applicant certifies that the live-aboard has a secured mechanism to prevent discharge of treated and untreated sewage.
    Examples of secured mechanisms considered to be effective at preventing discharge include, but are not limited to, closing the seacock and padlocking, using a non-releasable wire tie, or removing the seacock handle (with the seacock closed).
    d. The applicant certifies that they will not discharge any sewage, treated or untreated, into Georgia coastal waters subject to the jurisdiction of the CMPA.
    e. The applicant certifies that the live-aboard is capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water and is capable of safe, mechanically-propelled, navigation under average Georgia coastal wind and current conditions.
    f. The applicant identifies the eligible marina at which the live-aboard operator will moor the live-aboard.
    g. The applicant provides written documentation of a slip rental agreement with an eligible marina.
    h. The applicant states the reasons for requesting the extension and the period of time for which the extension is requested.
    Doesn’t seem that simple to me! Is working with the government ever simple? When you give them all that information you have given them all they need to through you out of the state and band you from ever entering the state on your way to Florida.
    What about the fines when you break one of their laws?
    There is no fee or tax this first year!
    What other state do you have to go before a Commissioner to live in that state?
    Kevin R. Quinn

    I don’t see this as a victory for cruisers at all. It is a victory for the marinas. Many of us anchor whenever possible and stay away from marina life and all its distractions and expense. Trust me, I will continue to go outside and bypass Georgia altogether. My dollars are much better spent elsewhere.
    Jerry Simpson

    At long last. Thanks to all who brought this about. It makes sense.
    Diana Prentice

    I have to agree with the other posters–the title of this blog entry is complete propaganda. Shame on you for trying to spin this as some great win/win situation for boaters. As if we are too stupid to figure out for ourselves what the real facts are! Pathetic.
    That form is the opposite of simple, INO. And way too intrusive, asking too many questions that have zero to do with the idea of living for a while in Georgia waters.
    The sad thing is, that with this guy ‘fighting’ for us boaters, we can expect that the status quo for Georgia to boaters will continue for the foreseeable future. The Georgia ‘solution’ isn’t a solution at all, as obviously made note of ad nauseum above by most boaters responding. So I agree, we will continue to avoid lingering in Georgia waters. I can’t imagine how much money the marinas lose in Georgia because of the attitude of the State.
    Alan Avante

    Go to the bahamas instead. I was going to cruise North for a change, but with Georgias new regs and St. Augustines new 10 day anchoring limits upcoming why should I spend my money and time where I am not wanted. Please do not spend money in any places that are not cruiser friendly.
    Dave C.

  • Good Passage through Umbrella Cut Alternate AICW Passage near Statute Mile 696 to 686

    The Umbrella Cut Route northbound takes you 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 passage which passes through St. Andrew Sound, and almost out into the briny blue, is kicking up.

    We used the alternate route on 9/19 heading south. We entered Umbrella Cut at almost exactly mid tide, according to the tide chart, but more likely equivalent to about 2/3 high tide due to a strong NE wind and our observations. We traveled at about 7-8 kts all the way through and took about an hour. Our depth readings were 10′ at A5 and A6 at the entrance to Umbrella Cut, the lowest on the whole route of 5.5′ at A10, 8.5′ at A24 to A26, and 7.5′ just south of A26.
    Our boat is a 44′ long Endeavour TrawlerCat with a 3′ draft.
    Ralph Small, M/V AmmyBoo

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

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on Umbrella Cut

  • Report of Good Depths, AICW/Cumberland Dividings Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 704)

    This troublesome stretch that lies at the intersections of the Brickhill River, Crooked River and the Waterway, and we are happy to report good depths for now, especially in contrast to the shoaling in the spring.

    Just to reassure that there are apparently no adverse changes since spring, we passed thru here on 9/21 heading north at 1 hour past low tide, per tide chart. The lowest reading we had was 15′ at R 60. The readings from R62-G63 to G59A were all just over 20′.
    I ran approximately 100′-150′ off the Red markers and about 50′ off the Green markers. As others have said, forget your chartplotter and charts here, just keep your eyes on the markers which were all in place on the 21st and keep to the Green side.
    Ralph Small, M/V AmmyBoo

    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

  • Passage Report from Jekyll Creek/AICW Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 683)

    The AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch has had shoaling for some time now with reports of depths below 5ft at low tide. Mid to high tide passage is recommended. Carl provides us with another passage report through this very shallow creek

    I passed this problem spot yesterday (17 August) Northbound in my 35 foot sportfisherman which draws 3 feet. I got distracted and veered slightly east of the channel, just south of “19″. Realizing my mistake I headed due West, but then seemingly couldn’t find a channel. There was a brief period where I showed 11 feet but that vanished quickly and I was forced to navigate through lots of 8 foot water at least to Marker 19, and possibly a short distance further. What is impressive about this is that the tide at that moment was +6.3 feet, nearly high tide! That means there’s only 1.7 feet of water at low tide.
    Skipper Carl

    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

  • Reports on AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 683)

    The AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch has had shoaling for some time now with reports of depths below 5ft at low tide. Mid to high tide passage is recommended.

    I followed my usual path thru Jekyll but found less water than on previous trips with as little as 5′ mlw in spots. Either I messed up on that run or shoaling got worst over winter. I’ll keep playing the tides…
    Captain Pascal

    We traveled this stretch on 4/27/11 at 1 hr.before low tide mid channel and saw no less then 7′. Follow the range markers listed as RW on the charts around the curve past Jekyl Wharf Marina.
    Capts.Steve & Di Koch

    May 2011: came thru northbound and 7′ MLW was the lowest reading i found mostly near G19 and along the range. I passed about 150′ off G19 then turned right on the range. Stayed on the range till past R16 (passed about 75′ away).
    No depth issue between the bridge and the wharf. You just have to take it slow and found the best water as the “channel” is very shallow. On a previous run in April, I did find some 5′ spots around G19 not far from where i passed on this trip.
    Pascal aboard MY Charmer, 70′ 6+ draft

    May 28, 2011. Northbound on a 50′ trawler with 5 foot draft. Passed marker 20A at 4:56 pm. Passed marker 10 at 5:19 pm
    20A depth 14.1 feet
    20 depth 13.3
    19 depth 13.4
    17 depth 13.7
    16 depth 14.1
    13 depth 14.5
    11 depth 17.6
    10 depth 22.3
    I hope this is useful.
    Darrel Peters Aboard “Present Moment”

    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

  • Entrance to Umbrella Creek Shoaling, Off the AICW at Statute Mile 687, 5/8/11

    The primary mouth of Umbrella Creek, with anchorages close to the alternate Umbrulla Cut AICW Passage, lies off Jekyll Sound west of the Waterway, departing statute mile 687. Umbrulla Creek’s entrance should not be confused with the Umbrella Cut AICW route, which lies north and west of Umbrella Creek. Our nearby recommended anchorages for these waters can be reached via Umbrella Cut, thereby avoiding the shoaly entrance to Umbrella Creek, from Jekyll Sound, as described below.

    May 7th, 2011
    We tried to enter the umbrella creek to drop the anchor, the sandbar at the entrance is not 8 feet as shown on the chart, our echo sounder showed us less than 5 feet . Further north, the area is shoaling as well, care should be taken!
    Manfred

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Anchorage Directory Listing For Alternate Route Anchorages

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

  • A Visit to Lang’s Marina in St. Mary’s GA, off the AICW from Statute Mile 713

    The St. Marys River flows into the northern tip of Cumberland Sound just north of Fernandina, FL. The town of St. Marys is an easy trip up the St. Marys River (Georgia-Florida state line) departing the Waterway at flashing green marker #29, statute mile 713.

    St. Mary’s is a little gem with super friendly people and good food. Doc’s was a cool place with live jazz one night. My wife liked the martini bar at Seagle’s. Lang’s Marina was a great bargain at $1.00 per foot, docks were in great shape with very helpful folks who were tied up there. On the down side, the marina bathrooms appeared to have last been cleaned several months earlier. Also, the $15 price for pump out was over the top and had to be paid in cash directly to the marina dockmaster. Hmmm.
    Skipper Bill Brubaker

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Lang’s Marina

  • Report and Advice on Jekyll Creek, AICW Statute Mile 683

    As many of you already know, the Jekyll Creek section of the AICW, south of St. Simons Sound, is one of the worst “AICW Problem Stretches” on the entire run from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL.

    5 ft at almost low tide on 3/24/11 40 ft inside G19. Channel very narrow. Go very slow.
    Skipper Stephen

    I cruise this section of the AICW often. If you are heading south I would hit Jekyll Creek at mid tide and rising because you will want to hit the Brickhill River (south end) and AICW at high tide. Because that is a very bad section as well.”
    James Rogers

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

  • Cumberland Island (off the Southern Georgia AICW, near Statute Mile 711.5)

    The best way to visit Cumberland Island is to leave the AICW a short hop north of marker #34, then work you way north along the wide, but mostly unmarked Dungeness Greyfield Channel which parallels the western shore of Cumberland Island. Drop the hook off the Park Service dock, also known as the “Sea Camp Dock,” and dinghy ashore. Once there, get ready for some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable!

    I would also add Cumberland Island just before Jekyll. You have to anchor, but you are only a very short distance from the dinghy dock. Great history, estates, hiking and a wonderful beach on the ocean
    side, plus the wild horses.
    Jack Robinson

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia 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

  • Another Grounding in Cumberland Dividings/Brickhill River Intersection, AICW Statute Mile 704)

    Cumberland Dividings has long been an “AICW Problem Stretch.” This portion of the Waterway lies between Brickhill River and Crooked River.

    Another southbound cruiser has gone aground at the infamous AICW/Brickhill River Intersection (M.704). And, Fl R 4s 12FT 3M “60” is missing again.
    Use caution at this mark. Southbound: after G”59″ stay on the green side and swing wide towards “60A” to avoid the shoal where “60” should be. DO NOT FOLLOW the magenta line and ignore the charts that show you on dry land. When all the day marks are in place it really isn’t hard to navigate.
    Pete Peterson

    It is important here to not look at your charts or chartplotter for clear guidance. Look to the marks themselves for a clear path and favor the green side if your draft 5 foot or more deep.
    My friend grounded just north of this spot where the Brickhill bends back to the south and the chart shows a depth in the bend of 33 feet. The bar extends northward into the inside of this bend further than the chart shows. Stay to the north side of this bend especially at low tide.
    David Burnham

    Click Here To View A Recent Article on the Cumberland Dividings Stretch of the AICW

    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 The AICW/Cumberland Dividings Problem Stretch

  • Report on Umbrella Cut Alternate AICW Passage near Statute Mile 696 to 686

    The Umbrella Cut Route northbound takes you 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 St. Andrew Sound is kicking up.

    We used Floyd’s Cut to bypass St. Andrew Sound last spring in 2010 when the seas were predicted to be nasty. We left Fernandina in time to hit the cut just about at high tide so it was still rising a bit. It took about 45 minutes to go through and we were out before the tide started to go down. The least amount of water we had under our keel at one point was just under 6 feet. The depth sounder did read .9 at one point, but for a brief second, nothing we didn’t see on the ICW channel in spots. We draw 4.7. The most water under our keel was 25 feet! We asked for LOCAL KNOWLDEDGE BEFORE WE WENT.
    It is a very pretty ride, saw deer and wild boar, and would definitely do it again, only when the tide is right!
    Barbara and Jim Benjamin aboard M/V Golden Lily – Nordic Tug 42

    And, a clarification from Captains Jim and Barbara:

    In regards to 6 feet under our keel: We WERE in 6 feet of water at the lowest point with just under 2 feet under our keel. The route was well marked with buoys and on our chart and GPS.
    Barbara and Jim

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

    Click Here To View Our Most Recent Posting on Umbrella Cut

  • More Groundings on the AICW’s Run Through The Cumberland Dividings (Statute Mile 704)

    Almost a year ago, Cruisers’ Net designated the Georgia section of the Waterway known as the “Cumberland Dividings,” as an “AICW Problem Stretch.” It is so gratifying to have our advice not only confirmed but heeded by an alert skipper. And thank you, Capt. Shires, for your warning about being glued to the magenta line, either electronic or paper!

    January 15, 2011 about mid-tide rising we came through Cumberland Dividings with a 4ft draft, two power boats in front of us had gone aground (with 4.5′ and 3.5′ draft) and a sailboat in front of us (5′ draft went middle of the red and green and lost water, also could not cross over to the green side as he encountered a shoal in the middle. He had to backtrack out and follow us through. We followed the advice on this site and hugged the eastern shore very close to the green markers and the bank and had no problem (we did go right over the charted but non-existant “island” mentioned here). We did not observe the Red marker “1A”, nor did the sailboat coming behind us see it. We saw no additional floating markers anywhere. Anyone following the chart plotter and trying to avoid hitting the invisible island will end up with no water! Thanks for the great advice!
    Capt Ed Shires
    aboard IIDolphins

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To An “Alert Position” in the AICW/Cumberland Dividings

  • A GREAT Visit to the Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 711.5

    About three miles off the Waterway, departing the AICW near statute Mile 711.5, this anchorage lies east of Drum Point Island and hugs the western shore of Cumberland Island. As Captain Hough notes below, cruisers anchored here can easily dinghy ashore and enjoy the magnificent maritime forest scenery on Cumberland Island, as well as visit several old estates. Even if you usually patronize marinas, don’t dare miss this anchorage!!!!

    We stayed here for three nights, November 18-20. We rate it as the best reason to deploy the dinghy anywhere on the AICW. The holding was great, there was plenty of room – there were 15 sailboats plus multiple powerboats at one point during our stay – using many different parts of the anchorage. It would probably hold twice that many.
    Going ashore and walking to the beach with our picnic (honor charge, $4/person, worth every penny) was one of the highlights of our trip south. There is reasonable protection from the east, less so from the west, and relatively little from north and south, but if you are well set you would be okay.
    Captain Leigh Hough

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

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

  • Praise for Jekyll Harbor Marina and Staff (Statute Mile 684.5)

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatJekyll 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 one heck of a friendly stop!

    Jekyll Island and the Marina are very special. The new dock master, Jessie and staff are working hard to improve everything. The new walkway, clean showers and pool area under the live oaks are the nicest on this coast. A bike ride to the beach or the historic district is in order when you dock here. No problems with depth at the docks and the channel is clear. Jessie and the staff cooked a wonderful thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings plus homemade Clam chowder for the cruisers docked here on Thanksgiving.
    Sonny

    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

  • AICW/Jekyll Creek – Captain Jane Reports (Statute Mile 683)

    Our “fearless, roving reporter,” Captain Jane’s, report below is one of the most in-depth looks at the AICW/Jekyll Creek “Problem Stretch” we have had her on the Cruisers’ Net. EVERYONE who will be traversing these shoal plagued waters this fall, or even during the spring of 2011, will want to take a CLOSE look at the account below!

    So, is it Jekyll Creek or Hyde Creek? Is it ridiculously shallow and perilous or fine or something in between?
    There are two well-publicized schools of thought on approaching Jekyll Creek. One is that it is so shallow you should only go near high tide on its way up. The other is that you should go at low tide so that you can see where the channel is. Other advice is to favor the Green side of the channel and some say the opposite.
    A recent November morning, several boats ahead of us on first-light parade out of Duplin River and neighboring Georgia anchorages chose the low-tide option which happened to be when at normal cruising speeds most of us would arrive there. As the captain of the fastest boat in the group said over the VHF: We’ll let you know if we get stuck.
    We compromised, throttled back and took Jekyll Creek at two feet above MLW. We chose neither the green nor the red side of the channel and observed the ranges with great fidelity and respect. We found nothing less than 8 feet of water and we practiced no form of complex intuition or sorcery. We also heard of no boats going aground ahead of us and presume the early morning group did just fine. While we were safely docked at Jekyll Harbor Marina, we did hear two vessels hail Towboat US for advice on Jekyll Creek and the Towboat US response was that there is a 3 foot spot at MLW and it’s best to transit Jekyll Creek at mid-tide rising.
    We know that each transit is a little different and it’s not always easy to know if you were really in the middle of the channel — we could have been lucky. However, in our experience in the Spring of 2010 and November 2010, Jekyll Creek is actually Jeckyll and not Hyde.
    Wait a minute — that’s not a picture of Jekyll Creek! Correct! Who has time to photograph Jekyll Creek with all the ranges and depth sounder “just in case” worship? This is a photograph of Faith Chapel in the Jekyll Island Historic District, among the homes and playground of the millionaires of the early 20th Century. Think of this as incentive to take the inside passage and transit Jekyll Creek. We encourage you to stay an extra day or arrive early enough to get in a visit to the historic district. It makes for a delightful afternoon. We recommend borrowing bicycles from the marina or walking (it’s about a mile) or asking one of the marina staff for a lift to the district. While there is a trolley tour, we’ve heard that walking is more fun and gives you an opportunity to enter buildings that are not part of the trolley tour. The Goodyear Cottage is home to the Jekyll Island Arts Association and features monthly exhibits. Through November is a show called “Blackberry Creek” featuring local artists — painters, sculptors, potters, and more. It’s a great opportunity to pick up holiday gifts — mugs, bowls, knitted hats, scarves … creativity abounds and your purchase helps support the artists and the arts association. In December, the gallery features the “Advanced Members Show.”
    A favorite of our afternoon self-guided walking tour (with suggestions from one of the employees at the museum) was the Jekyll Island Faith Chapel. Built in 1904, Faith Chapel features charming architecture and wooden gargoyles and a signed Louis Comfort Tiffany window. This little architectural jewel is open from 2 to 4.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the AICW/Jekyll Creek

  • Possible Marker Confusion at AICW/Crooked/Brickhill Rivers Intersection, AICW Statute Mile 703

    Captain Botkin is responding to this week’s Spectacular Grounding photo posting and the Georgia AICW stretch to which he refers is the Cumberland Dividings, long a trouble spot for shoaling. Take his advice: look at the marks and be sure that they are AICW marks with either a gold square or gold triangle! Also, click the link below for Captain Adam’s explanation of ICW markers.

    There’s a similar situation at about MM 703 where the Crooked River intersects the Brickhill River just south of the Cumberland Dividings. R62 looks like a marker for the Brickhill River, but it’s not. The chartplotter shows you aground, but you must honor all these red markers as ICW markers. Turn off your chartplotter! And ignore the magenta line!
    Captain Danny Botkin

    We will be going thru this tomorrow morning timed with a higher tide….but thought I would let you know that a power boat ended up aground there at r60 for several hours and there was a lot of talking to southbound boats by Tow Boat US who was waiting for some tide to come in and help float them out of a bad situation…..wakes from passing boats evidently had washed them even further into trouble….we could not see this from our anchorage but listened. We were aground here last year and have copious notes on our paper and elect. charts. Beware as of Nov 7th 2010 this continues to be a real problem.
    Captains Sami and Barry

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

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

    Click Here To View An Article on ICW Markers

  • Report of Good AICW Depths in Cumberland Dividings (Statute Mile 704)

    Captains Bob and Helen continue their detailed reports from their southward voyage through Georgia.
    Note that the so-called Cumberland Dividings portion of the AICW lies south of Jekyll Island and St. Andrew Sound. These waters are one of our perennial “AICW Problem Stretches.” And, while Captains Bob and Helen had no problems, note that their passage was taken one hour after high tide!!!! And, these waters have an (approximately) 8 foot tidal range, so you must subtract at least 7 feet from the readings below to discover what depths would be encountered at MLW! Even with these calculation, clearly Captains Bob and Helen found a track with plenty of water, even at MLW. Others have not been so lucky, so we suggest you click the link below to our “AICW Problem Stretch Directory” listing for these waters!

    Larry, after a great run through Jekyll Creek we figured we had time to do the Cumberland Dividings with a High Tide at 1500 (Same as Jekyll Creek). Entered Cumberland Dividings at 1 hour after high tide. Draft 5 ft
    G57=24 ft
    G57A =13ft
    G59= 16ft
    R60 = 16ft
    R62= 23ft (at 1625)
    G65 = 17.3 ft
    Exit 1630 Good Run. Good Water. With good water we did go to the Green near R60 and R62 from previous reports but did not have to go that far as we had good water. If folks play the tides there would not be such negative reports.
    Captains Bob and Helen

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

  • Detailed Report on SHALLOW Depths in Jekyll Creek, AICW Statute Mile 683

    Captains Bob and Helen continue their detailed reports from their southward voyage through Georgia.
    As many of you already know, the Jekyll Creek section of the AICW, south of St. Simons Sound, is one of the worst “AICW Problem Stretches” on the entire run from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL.
    Note that Captains Bob and Helen’s reading below were taken only a hour before high tide. With a tidal range of approximately 8 feet, that means we must subtract at least 7 feet from the soundings below to discover what depths would be at MLW. Notice that means there would be 1 FOOT of water near marker #18 at low tide!!!!!!!!
    Clearly, cruisers MUST plan to traverse this section of the AICW as near to high water as possible!

    Larry, we hit Jekyll Creek about 1 hr 15 min before high tide.
    Jekyll Creek, High Tide 1503. Entered Creek at 1345 Draft 5 ft
    R8 = 18.6 ft,
    G9=18.6 ft,
    R10 = 13ft,
    G..11=13 ft,
    G13=13ft,
    g17=13ft,
    R18=8ft,
    G19=13ft
    R20=13ft (Time 14:04),
    R20A=11.5 ft,
    R24=16 ft,
    Exit Creek 1415
    Good Run down the middle of the marks. You need to play the tides Mid-to High
    Captains Bob and Helen aboard M/Y ALLEZ

    And, Captain Pascal chips in with the notes below. Though he doesn’t say it, I deeply suspect his readings were taken near high tide as well.

    I came thru Jekyl on the Oct 30th (70′ MY, 6+ draft) and noted the following:
    10′MLW all the way from northern creek entrance to G13
    At G13, I aimed straight for R16 until about 200′ north of being abeam of the range marker, then turned to port to intercept the range. on this path, the shallowest water i found was about 7 to 8′ MLW just before the range and then on the range, all the way to G19 which I passed about 100′ away.
    The key here, like many other places is to go slow and feel your way thru for best water as the channel is very narrow. it’s easy to stray off just 30′ and find very shallow water.
    Pascal

    G19 on range found 2.7′ corrected for MLLW. [Transit Jekyll Creek] Definitely [at] 1/2 [tide] or better.
    Captain Ed Potter

    11/3/10 9:30 am local, low tide today is at 12:47pm
    PASSED GREEN #19 mid channel & saw 8.5 ft the rest of the cut the readings were around 11 ti 12t.
    Mike & Barbara aboard M/V Elan

    Well,clearly different cruisers are finding very different depths in the AICW/Jekyll Creek. See Captain Rogers note below.
    I suspect these soundings differ because some are lucky enough to find the best water, while others are encountering shallows “in the AICW channel.” Jekyll Creek is still, in our collective opinion, the #2 problem stretch on the entire run from Norfolk to Miami (with Little Mud River as the #1 problem)

    We came through Jekyll yesterday(11/3/2010) an hour before low and saw no less then 8 feet. I called Jekyll Island Marina and talked with them before transitting because of what I had read. They said they had seen no problems and depths were good and just stay in the channel. They also said going through at low was a good idea because you can definitely see where the channel is. I used the range marks and they were right on.
    Richard Rodgers

    Click Here To View the “AICW Problems” Entry For Jekyll Creek

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