Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry Report on AICW/Browns Inlet AICW Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 237)
Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-29-2013
The AICW stretch south of Swansboro, NC, where the Waterway runs behind ultra shallow Browns Inlet is shaping up to be the single worst North Carolina section of the AICW during the fall, 2013 transient season. Of course, the Waterway’s intersections with both Lockwoods Folly Inlet and Shallotte Inlet, south of Southport, NC, are pretty bad as well, but at least dredging is planned for these latter areas later this year.
We asked SSECN strategic partners, Captain Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com), to take an in-depth look at this AICW Problem Stretch, during their fall, 2013 journey south. As you will see in their report below, this cruising duo has done a wonderful job of putting together a plan to keep to the best depths, at least for the moment. Depart from this plan of action, and you can find your vessel is less then 3 feet of water at MLW!!!
Passed Browns Inlet at 10 AM [10/29/13 - Editor], that was at exactly low tide, and found the problem spot without any effort. We passed mid way between the mainland side and floating green “61A” and found depths of 2.9 to 3 feet. Of course we draw 4 feet. Passing red “60″ stay well to the mainland side and the channel will carry 9 feet as you approach green “61A”. Passing “61A” consider the mid channel point the ocean side of the deep water and the shore the mainland side of the channel. That will get you through just fine. The shoal is abrupt as it goes from 8 feet to 2.9 in a short boat length.
Chuck and Susan
Trawler Beach House
We just passed Brown’s Inlet statue mile 237 as the US Coast Guard was repositioning G61A around 11:15 Oct 31/13.
We passed through this spot on 11/8/13 about mid-tide and observed red floatie “60″ and green floatie “61A”in nearly a straight line heading southbound. The owner of Caspers Marina in Swansboro said these markers had just been reset. We passed close aboard the red, turned to starboard, rounded the green about 100 ft off our port side,
and then returned to the main channel. Our lowest sounding was 6.3′. Three other vessels with 5′+ draft passed through following the same route with no problem. I don’t think I would want go through at low tide.
Jake Smith S/V “Ginger’s Mercedes”