With the reported groundings and marker confusion at this intersection (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=144468), it is definitely wise to follow the advice given below by Skipper Brass: “pay close attention to the charts and keep a watchful eye out for the markers – particularly the floating ones – instead of following the Magenta Line in this stretch of the ICW” – just as SSECN has advised by many months!
From a January 19 Navigation Alert:
On Saturday January 17, we experienced a hard grounding with bent shafts (2) and destroyed props (2) at this location. Knew about previous reports but marks were not where the deep water was. Strong current must have moved them. We are now on the hard waiting for shafts and props.
Shame that this continuing problem is not addressed Our current bill is $26,000 to be removed back from the bar, and about $80,000 for shaft abd prop repairs! Navigation marks are not maintained!
Just happens that I may have been the next boat to pass the location of this grounding. At 10:20 AM on 17 January, I was delivering a boat to Charleston and came up on a large powerboat stopped in the middle of the ICW at 34-35.847N, 077-14.568W. The stopped boat had passed us a few miles further North, headed southbound at around 20 knots.
As I approached the spot, SeaTow came up and began setting up to unground the boat. It seemed to me that the boat had been on course directly from R60 to G63, which are the prominent daymarks before and after the inlet, and from the appearance of things the boat had been traveling pretty fast.
This is a traditional problem area in the ICW, and both my Active Captain software and the Garmin plotter on the boat I was delivering sounded alarms for the hazard.
Floating marks G61A and R62 were both in the location shown on my chart software, which is well over to the north side of the waterway (Starboard if you are heading south) and only about 75-100 feet from the shore. Made me quite nervous as we went by, but we saw 8 to 9 feet of depth in the channel at about an hour before local low tide.
Object lesson is: pay close attention to the charts and keep a watchful eye out for the markers – particularly the floating ones – instead of following the Magenta Line in this stretch of the ICW.