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

  • 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!

    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.

    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,
    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.

    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

  • Advice on AICW Passage through Cumberland Dividings (Statute Mile 704)

    Retriever, like many other cruisers, advises passage within 2 hours of high tide, preferably a rising tide, while cruising through this “AICW Problem Stretch.” The crew of “Retriever” also cautions against staying glued to the magenta line of your chartplotter. Look at the markers!

    Passed through the Cumberland Dividings about 2 hours before MHW. Look at the markers – not your chartplotter, it’ll take you into the marshes and shoals to the east. The only “issue” was at the sharp right turn at the bottom of the Dividings (all the reds are clustered together). Retriever saw 6′ – so would not of wanted to traverse that stretch at low tide considering those South GA tidal variations…

    And, from Captain Pascal regarding this same AICW Problem Stretch:

    I’ve always timed passage just past high tide since i usually stop before Little Mud River and timed that entire section around the tides (70MY, 6+ draft)
    So far I’ve always found only 7 to 8′ MLW thru Cumberland Dividing but this year (Oct 30th) I went much further to the green side than before and never saw less than 12′ or so.
    The key after G59A, southbound, is to stay on the green side, and aim for that ghost round island seen on the chart across from R60. at that spot, you will have 13′ MLW

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

  • Report on AICW/Jekyll Creek Depths (near Statute Mile 683)

    This is good news and good advice in light of recent reports of decreasing depths in Jekyll Creek.

    Submitted on 2010/10/26 at 6:22pm
    Just traversed Jekyll Creek an hour before MLW (according to my “Charts and Tides” App on my iPhone – highly recommended!). I have a Beneteau 40 that draws 5′3 – came within inches of touching but never did. When you approach Green #19, stay in the exact center of the water you can see (there is hundreds of feet of exposed mud to either side of you at close-to-low tide). Great advice from the Jekyll Harbor Marina! It’s still pretty skinny (at low tide) from there to the bridge, but again – with a 5′3 draft I never touched…

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

    Click Here For Another Report on Jekyll Creek

  • Pleasant Visit to Jekyll Harbor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 684.5

    Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatJekyll Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, is on the east side of the Waterway, just south of the 65 foot Jekyll Island Bridge. For those of us who remember when Jekyll was accessible only by boat, there will always be a certain mystery about this historic island. Don’t miss the on-site Sea Jays restaurant at this facility. They do a “Low Country Boil” which makes for some truly fine eating!

    The staff and manager couldn’t be more helpful. The concrete face dock parallels the current so, making arrival and departure much easier. We enjoyed being a short bike ride from the historic district and spent several days exploring the island.
    Doc aboard s/v Sweet Pea, Island Packet 32

    Here’s an update since we decided to stay for a while rather than push on. Jessie, the new dock master, is busy with lots of maintenance and upgrade projects: replacing the wooden walkway to the floating docks, more powerful WiFi with repeaters to push the signal below decks, revamping the showers, and generally putting things in tip-top condition. They’ve started a boaters reward program with coupons for free laundry tokens, discounts on dockage, free bicycle use. No hassle to join, just give them your email or even just the boat’s name. Friendly community of cruisers, many of whom return year after year. There’s often an impromptu party on the dock around sundown that may then migrate to Sea Jay’s to listen to the live music.
    Doc aboard s/v Sweet Pea, Island Packet 32

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

  • Report of a Good Passage through Cumberland Dividings (AICW Statute Mile 704)

    The Channel through Cumberland Dividings has been a Georgia Problem Area for some time. Click on the links below for a Chart View of the area and further comments from fellow boaters.

    Submitted on 2010/07/15 at 8:57am
    We came through Cumberland Dividings yesterday at a mid-high tide and never saw less that 12′.
    Captain Susan Parker

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

  • Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage (Statute Mile 711.5)

    Wow, talk about an anchorage with promise. That’s just what we have with the waters abeam of the so-called, “Sea Camp” docks on the Dungeness – Greyfield Channel. Getting here is made MUCH easier with a well functioning GPS chartplotter aboard, but after dropping the hook, dinghy ashore to Cumberland Island, and experience the incredible, untouched maritime forests, historic homes and one of the best beaches anywhere. These lands are now a Federal park, and it is to all our good fortune that this entire isle is safe from rampant development. Don’t dare miss this one!!!

    Great anchorage and spot to visit. We visited the island and would like to do it again on the next trip.
    Holding was good for us despite reports of problems by other cruisers. We experienced a calm anchoring, but the anchorage is exposed to just about all wind directions. Wind with opposing current could make for a bumpy time.
    Dick Litchfield

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

  • Going “Outside” Around the Georgia Coastline Can Have Its Difficulties

    There’s has been a lot of discussion recently about going offshore to bypass the troubled Georgia AICW (principally Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek). However, below we hear from Ted Jones, former editor and co-owner of the late, great “Coastal Cruising” magazine, that going outside can lead to its own set of perils!

    Log April 29th & 30th, 2010 ~ Fernandina Beach, FL to Ashepoo River, SC:
    1200: We cleared St. Mary’s Inlet and set a course, close on the wind, for St. Andrew’s Sound sea buoy intending to stop at Beaufort. However, when we got there we were told there was no dockage available because of a weekend festival. We were dog tired from sailing all night, but as it was early we decided to continue on toward Charleston. But that gets ahead of an eventful passage.
    1400: We motorsailed in the light easterly breeze until it filled in from the SE in the early afternoon as predicted. It was a delightfully sunny afternoon, and we both enjoyed sitting on the cabin top (safety harnesses clipped on) leaning against the dinghy while “Ralph” steered. We secured the engine and enjoyed “silent running” for a change. Ted wasn’t sure how long Ralph could steer without the engine running. We would find out.
    1600: We set four-hour watches with Malla taking the first.
    2000: Ted had an uneventful evening watch. When Malla took over we decided to dog the midnignt to 0400 watch each taking two hours. When Ted checked the GPS, it had stopped working, giving us a position which was hours old. Never mind, we had a good DR working so were not concerned. However, it would be important to confirm our position at the several sea buoys along our course line.
    0200, April 30th: Ted took over from Malla. It was easy sailing with the wind aft and Ralph steering. Malla confessed that it was difficult for her to stay awake.
    Ahead, Ted could see the telltale characteristics of a sea buoy (flashing the morse code for the letter “A”) and wanted to be sure it was the Tybee Roads sea buoy and not St. Andrews. It was soon apparent that it was the former as four ships could be seen headed toward it on a crossing course. Not wanting to cross ahead of fast moving ships, Ted hardened up to parallel thier course in the reciprocal direction. Two ships flashed passed and could be seen rounding the sea buoy. The other two ships were moving more slowly, so we wore around to sail parallel to them and make positive identification of the sea buoy and let them pass so we could resume our course for St. Andrews and have a definite point of departure.
    We were well ahead of the lead ship of the last two when it sounded the danger signal. The radio had been crackling below, which Malla heard someone calling the “sailing vessel in the Savannah River ship channel.” As she knew we were offshore and not in the Savannah River, she did not think they were calling us. I was to busy on the helm to go below and use the radio, and I had not brought the hand held VHF on deck, which we use to contact draw bridges, so could not immediately reply. I held my course toward the sea buoy and again the ship sounded the danger signal. I tacked away.
    Meanwhile a third set of running lights appeared bearing down on the sea buoy. And as we were in the process of keeping clear, this set of lights came along side and Ted could see that it was a pilot boat. Now able to leave the helm for a few seconds, Ted dove below and located the hand held radio in the dark and called the pilot on channel 13. He was pretty irate and wanted to know what our intention was and where were we headed? I told him it was out intention to keep clear of the ships and to resume my course once they had passed. Meanwhile, the first ship of the last two had commenced a 360 degree turn and balled me out on the radio for causing him to need to do that. The fourth ship apparently followed suit with a 360 degree turn.
    It was a very unfortunate set of circumstances which could have been prevented had I been able to use the radio. However, since we had not responded, the closest ship could not know of our intentions and initiated a turn to avoid us. (I have been on the bridge of a large ship and shared the frustration of its captain as small boats darted unexpectedly apparently into harms way. The pilot of a large ship needs to know that smaller vessels intend to keep clear.)
    I was clearly at fault for not being able to communicate, and sincerely regret the inconvenience and possible danger I had caused. We continued to sail south, away from the sea buoy until we were well astern of the fourth ship, then resumed our course for St. Andrew’s Sound, some 10 miles further north.
    0400: By now it was Malla’s turn again to take the watch. We had been steering 025 degrees, on average, since leaving St. Mary’s Inlet, and had recently corrected to 030 to allow for leeway. Now, before turning in, I rechecked the heading between Tybee Roads and St. Andrews and was surprised that it turned out to be 060 degrees. I accepted this, told Malla to steer 060 and expect to see the MO-A in an hour and a half, and lay down to rest.
    0600: When St. Andrews had failed to appear we carried on for another 15 minutes, as I concluded that we had steered a course leading us out of sight of the sea buoy and changed course to intercept the coast.
    0730: We finally spotted what we thought was the sea buoy and changed course to intercept the channel. The “sea buoy” turned out to be another sailboat with a red channel marker astern of it. Then we saw the inner range marker, checked the chart which showed shoal water northeast of it, and hardened up to pass the range marker on its west side.
    0930: In a call to the Beaufort town docks we were told that there were no slips to be had. After talking it over between us, Malla and I decided to continue on toward Charleston, by-passing Beaufort regretfully, and tired as we were, we’d seek out an anchorage where we could make Charleston in one more day’s run.
    1500: Ted selected a creek well off the ICW as a suitable anchorage. We actually passed it and had to double back, but it was deep and protected from the increasingly strong SE wind. The current was strong, so we set a second anchor toward the middle of the creek, and, the next day being Saturday, we remained there, out of harms way from the thundering herds, until Sunday. Despite the strong currents, it was delightful.
    Ted Jones

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