Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Darien City Docks lie along the northern banks of the Darien River, hard by the charted 31-foot fixed bridge, in the heart of downtown Darien, which is 7 nautical miles off the AICW via the fully marked Darien River Channel, featuring minimum 14 foot depths. Recent repairs to the docks add to the attractiveness of this lovely river port.
We just spent a couple days on the town dock in Darien GA. We were greeted by the most friendly dock master David. Darien had been on our list of places to visit for quite some time. We highly recommend this side trip – about 6 miles off the ICW. This town is very boater friendly and the people were welcoming. They have a great coffee shop Blondies, one block from the marina. We also received a complimentary glass of wine one night while visiting the Waterfront Wine & Gourmet, who also had live entertainment and a great wine selection. We are some if the best shrimp we’ve tasted at B&J Seafood. We visited King George Fort and the Rice Plantation. Well worth a visit. A must do!
Ron & Tina Main
Skipper Dammeyer offers good advice concerning air clearance on fixed bridges: check local knowledge. Several factors – tide, wind, excessive rainfall – can affect clearance above the water surface and height boards may not always be accurate. The F. J. Torras Causeway, Mackay River Bridge crosses the ICW at Statute Mile 674, south of unlighted daybeacon #242.
At MM 674.5 we arrived at the Torras Causeway Bridge about an hour before High Tide to find the South Bound bridge board missing. A trawler reported that the N.B. Bridge Board read only 63′ so we circled with our 63′ 10″ air draft and went sight seeing for three hours.
When we finally went through the N.B. Board read 65′. The dock crew at Morningstar said there had been some confusion over clearance as one
of the boards had slipped, but we are not clear as to which one. Tall masts are advised to check local knowledge if approaching at or near high tide. We’ve waited for tide to fall at this bridge on previous trips.
31 10.282 North/081 25.494 West
The AICW follows the short and narrow, man-made canal known as Hell Gate between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers. These waters have been an “AICW Problem Stretch” for years and mid to high tide is recommended for vessels drawing 5ft or more.
SSECN is glad to hear that Skipper Dammeyer and our friends, the Salemnos, stopped at Sunbury Crab Company Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! which lies along the western shores of the Medway River, on the charted Sunbury Channel, north of Dickinson Creek
We passed through Hell Gate this morning about 2 1/2 hours after low. Favoring green 89 by about a boat length we saw 6 1/2 to 7′ for just a few yards and then the water deepened again. On the way in I tried to cut behind the shoal at the Northern approach as marked on the chart, but the water went to 8′ and less, so I turned around,
went back to the river and made the turn just before the north green in plenty of water. This seemed to be consistent
with what boats in front of me were reporting.
PS we just tied up with Carmen and Cathy at Sunbury Crab.
This reported missing marker, at the intersection of North River and Back River, is north of Little Mud River, often acknowledged to be one of the worst sections of the Waterway from Norfolk to Miami. This “AICW Problem Stretch” lies some 21 statute miles north of Brunswick, GA and SSECN recommends navigating this stretch at mid to high tide only, especially with a missing marker!
Red marker 188 near ST mile 652 is missing. We saw it adrift in the channel this morning 10/07/2014 near and slightly south of marker 190.
Little Mud River is often acknowledged to be one of the worst sections of the Waterway from Norfolk to Miami. This “AICW Problem Stretch” lies some 21 statute miles north of Brunswick, GA and SSECN recommends navigating this stretch at mid to high tide only, as confirmed by Skipper Schmidt’s observations. Please see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=142873 for recent changes to navigation aids in Little Mud River.
Came through little mud river mile 655 today at low tide. 4.5 feet just before beacon 194`
We have made it through the Mud River at 30 minutes past low tide with a four ft draft. We did kick up some mud. May 2014.
Brunswick Landing Marina, a very popular facility with long term resident cruisers and many positive comments from your fellow boaters, sits well off the direct path of the AICW, flanking the eastern banks of Academy Creek, off Brunswick River, near the heart of downtown Brunswick, Georgia. This rate reduction is just in time for the Fall migration!
Just wanted to inform you guys that we’ve reduced our transient rates from $2.00 down to $1.50/ft.
Keep up the great work!
Robert Torras, SR
Brunswick Landing Marina, a very popular facility with long term resident cruisers, sits well off the direct path of the AICW, flanking the eastern banks of Academy Creek, off Brunswick River, near the heart of downtown Brunswick, Georgia.
I recently had Brunswick Landing Marina prepare for trucking across the country a 50′ cutter rigged sloop. Jim Hamrick the new General Manager and his crew did a excellent job in hauling and prepping this large and heavy vessel for shipping. I would certainly use this group again in the future. The yard is a little dusty being a dirt service but the crew is very knowledgeable and attentive.
I asked Stephen to let us know how the shipping adventure went and this was his reply:
Sunbury Crab Company Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies off the AICW along the western shores of the Medway River, on the charted Sunbury Channel, north of Dickinson Creek.
If you haven’t tried it, PLEASE …. Take a brief trip up the River off I C W to Sunbury Crab just south of Savannah, and enjoy a bit of old Key West, and old Florida, in the heart of beautiful “down east Georgia ” with Barney and Elaine. Great place to hang out with some of the best food ever. If you are not on your boat, it is to reach by car too. This is a must ” experience !!”
First Mate Sue
Darien City Docks lie along the northern banks of the Darien River, hard by the charted 31-foot fixed bridge, in the heart of downtown Darien – Darien is found 7 nautical miles off the AICW via the fully marked Darien River Channel, featuring minimum 14 foot depths. Repairs have been completed on the docks and they are open for visitors. Our thanks to all who have contributed to this information.
June 26, 2014
The Darien docks have been repaired and are open effective June 24. The damage was caused by an unidentified vessel. Six new pilings had to be installed as well as numerous minor items.
THE 48 HOUR FREE DOCKAGE PROGRAM IN BACK IN ACTION INCLUDING FREE POWER AND WATER. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. THANKS FOR THE HUNDREDS OF CRUISERS WHO HAVE VISITED.
QUESTIONS? Called “dockmaster Dave” at 912-223-8855 or email@example.com
Bon voyage to all
Received a message today [6/21] from a member of the McIntosh County Industrial Development Authority that the “docks are ready for visitors from the ICW however, the power will not be available until sometime on Monday at the earliest.”
The earlier report of damage:
The city marina in Darien, Georgia has been damaged due to a boat crashing into the outside dock. We arrived there late afternoon on June 13th in route from Savannah to Saint Simons Island and were told by an unidentified person on the dock that would could not dock there as it was closed. There was a pontoon boat at the end of the dock and two sailboats on the inside. All appeared unoccupied.
I docked the boat and spoke with this person who got someone on the phone that was supposed to be in charge. After some discussion he agreed we could stay on the dock away from the damaged area. It was late in the day and we did not wish to look for a suitable anchorage as there were none close by. The shore power did not work but we did have access to water. There are no showers or restrooms at this marina.
We had not called the marina in advance as it is not used by many transient boaters and did not believe there would be in problem. In the future I will call. I do not have any information on when the marina will be repaired and re-opened.
The AICW follows the short and narrow, man-made canal known as Hell Gate between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers. These waters have been an “AICW Problem Stretch” for years.
Came thru “HELL GATE” in the dash lines connecting Ogeechee River with Little Ogeechee River at Racoon Key on a half tide (+3′) and bumped with a 3.5′ draft boat.
This Local Notice to Mariners was posted by our friend Susan Landry in Liveaboard Sailboat. For notes on a recent successful passage through this Problem Stretch, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=137920
Georgia, Little Mud River, Navigation Aids Changes
The Little Mud River is probably one of the best known problem spots along the Georgia ICW and most boater find it needs to be transited at mid to high tide. The following is a report of Nav aid changes…
The following changes will be made to the aids to navigation system in the AICW in Little Mud River.
Little Mud River Range Front Daybeacon A (LLNR 36855) will be permanently discontinued.
Change Little Mud River Range Front Light B (LLNR 36880) to Little Mud River Light 196 – displaying Flashing 2.5s Red, TR on pile.
Little Mud River Range Rear Light B (LLNR 36885) will be permanently discontinued.
Altamaha Sound Daybeacon 197 (LLNR 36887) will be established in approximate position 31-18-33.850N / 081-18-53.130W and SG on pile.
As part of this project, the Coast Guard will be evaluating the waterway. If needed , additional lateral aids will be installed to assist the mariner transiting this area. This action is currently scheduled to start the week of March 3rd, 2014.
Charts 11507 11508
Big Tom Creek cuts the eastern banks of the Waterway, south of flashing daybeacon #105A. Skipper Bruce put the hook down in the anchor spot nearest the Waterway. For some interesting comments on this anchorage, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=85709
Anchor here whenever I get the chance on my trips up and down the ICW. The hook sets first time, every time. Plenty of swing room. Bugs in the evening some times but sometimes no. The dolphins swim round the boat and you can hear them till late at night. I put the hook down exactly where it shows on the chart above.
Brunswick Landing Marina, a very popular facility with long term resident cruisers, actually sits well off the direct path of the AICW, flanking the eastern banks of Academy Creek, just off Brunswick River, near the heart of downtown Brunswick, Georgia.
This is a very large live aboard approved marina with nice floating concrete dockage in a very protected off shoot of the Brunswick River. The heated and cooled cleaned daily secured private showers and bathroom facilities are very, very nice, and the washer & dryers free as well as wifi on every dock as well as 2 captain’s lounges, 24hr security on site, however not a swimming pool. Many insurance companies have 31 lat (Florida line) as navigational limit during Hurricane season. Thus many cruisers leave their boats here for the summer season due to it’s protected location just across the line within their navigational insurance coverage limits.
Brunswick is worth a look around as it has a beautiful old court house and several older homes. St Simons is a class A inlet as well as St Mary’s. It is located at the Gateway to the Golden isIs with St Simon’s and Jekyll, and Cumberland Islands, short drives away and well worth a visit. However, you will need to contract with a diver for regular cleaning as hard growth will occur here. No very close supermarket however the Food Lion and West Marine is approx. 1 mile away and there are downtown restaurants within walking of the marina. Brunswick is a nice southern
town that is undergoing an economic downturn but still has much to offer. The barrier islands of Georgia also offer beautiful unique cruising (i.e. Darien, Altamaha,) if the itch to move the boat hits you.
Enterprise rental car are available and JAX only 40 mins. drive time.
M/V Carolyn Ann
If you have recommendations for a boatyard in the Brunswick area, let Mike and SSECN hear from you!
Brunswick Landing Marina, a very popular facility with long term resident cruisers, actually sits well off the direct path of the AICW, flanking the eastern banks of Academy Creek, near the heart of downtown Brunswick, Georgia. For a discussion comparing Brunswick Landing with Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135526
Where is a good alternative full-service yard? We just moved in and are concerned about the pattern of comments regarding the Brunswick Landing Marina. Thank you.
Please note the reduction in available draft in channels near the temporary buoys, “Due to the equipment placed in the (3) channels, drafts will be reduced by as much as 2 feet.” Heed the warnings and stand clear of the buoys!
GEORGIA – SAPELO AND DOBOY SOUNDS, ALTAMAHA SOUND: (7) Temporary UGA Research Buoys
The Department of Marine Science at the University of Georgia will place (7) bottom mount frames with scientific equipment in (7) locations. R/V SAVANNAH will deploy the bottom mount frames and equipment. The goal is to monitor coastal water flow, temperature and salinity. Buoys will remain in place for approximately one year and serviced quarterly by R/V SAVANNAH in July, September and December 2014.
Mooring locations listed below. The moorings placed in the sounds are placed inside the trawl line and away from the ICW.
(3) Sapelo Sound moorings
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-32-28.45N 81-12-28.7W
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-32-13.5N 81-3-16.2W
Round Yellow Buoy in position 31-31-45.85N 80-42-36.4W
(1) Doboy Sound mooring
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-22-35.38N 81-17-8.5W
(3) Altamaha Sound moorings
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-19-13.7N 81-17-51.4W
White buoy with orange reflective tape “DANGER KEEP AWAY” in position 31-18.54.8N 81-11-28.25W
Round Yellow Buoy in position 31-17-41.86N 80-45-45.8W
Due to the equipment placed in the (3) channels, drafts will be reduced by as much as 2 feet. Mariners are to avoid close proximity, or any other interference of these Buoy’s. For further information contact the U.S. Coast Guard, Waterways Management Branch, MSU Savannah (912) 247-0073. UGA POC: Dr. Daniela Di Lorio Daniela@uga.edu
Chat 11508, 11510 LNM: 15/14
Hidden Harbor Yacht Club is a transient friendly facility, located on Troupe Creek. This body of water intersects the AICW, immediately north of St. Simons Sound, near markers #237 and #238.
We stayed here 3/26/14. The facility is really clean, and the docks are very accessible. The staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. The views across the marsh are beautiful! The outdoor shower is completely enclosed and would be quite a treat after a long, hot day on the ICW.
Little Mud River is almost universally acknowledged to be the worst section of the entire AICW run from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL. This “AICW Problem Stretch” lies some 21 statute miles north of Brunswick, Georgia. SSECN recommends navigating this stretch at mid to high tide only, as Skipper Lancaster was savvy enough to do. For a comprehensive report from Little Mud River, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=128659
I hit Little Mud River just after low tide. Following the guidance I anchored for 2 hrs. Went through on a rising tide 6 minimum except for the SW entrance which was 4’8″, more water on the E Side.
Keep up the good work, I check regularly.
Sliding behind Hilton Head Island right now.
In early March, we timed our north bound departure from Brunswick to traverse Little Mud at high tide, and saw nothing less than 11 feet all the way through. This river is too shallow to pass at low tide, but because the tide here is approx. 8 feet, there is lots of water when the tide is up.
A captain who follows SSECN advice to pass at mid to high tide should not have any problems.
Richard Ross MV Chez Nous
We stopped here in May of 2012 on our way north during our Great Loop trip. Elaine welcomed us at the dock and invited us up for a couple of free beers. We were disappointed to find the restaurant closed the day of our visit, so Elaine called her sons, opened the restaurant just for us and cooked us a wonderful meal. True southern hospitality and a very gracious lady. Don’t miss Sunbury Crab Co.
Although my visit to Sunbury Crab Company and Marina has been over a year ago, I feel compelled to submit kind words and a hearty recommendation for this excellent marina and restaurant whenever I find the opportunity.
Everyone is always looking for a little local knowledge and treasured stopovers when traveling the ICW. Sunbury is one such place that flies below the radar of most cruisers. Located along an isolated stretch of the GA coastline and several miles up the mostly uncharted Medway River, the marina & restaurant are not well known. One trip there and you will never pass this stretch of the ICW without making Sunbury Crab Company & Marina a regular stopover.
The marina & restaurant are owned and run by Elaine and Bernie Maley and their sons. They literally catch the crab from the river, cook them, bring to your table, mix your drink, and do it all! During weekend visits I think Bernie even plays in the band. I wrote a review for TripAdvisor and called this place a little piece of heaven and the keys all bundled together. For Elaine and her family it is their paradise, and they are willing to share with everyone who stops by.
I suggest calling ahead to make reservations. Calling is much better than email for some reason. After the first couple miles off the ICW the Medway River is not marked. There is a tricky crossover point with 5′ or less water at low tide. After my visit there I marked the channel on a chart and sent to Elaine. It is now posted on their web site.
There are many good articles and reviews about Sunbury Crab Company on the facility’s web site. Believe every word you read! While the crabs are excellent, I think the boiled shrimp are the best I’ve ever eaten – and believe me I’ve eaten a lot of shrimp!!
Contributing Writer – SOUTHWINDS Magazine