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Nautical Wheelers - New Bern NCRiver DunesEdenton, NC - the prettiest town in the South!R. E. Mayo DocksLocated on the Southern Outer Banks in beautiful Atlantic Beach, NC, Anchorage Marina boasts a protected, deepwater harbor, making it a perfect spot for deep sea fishing as well as sound fishing910-269-2380 The new 82-slip Deep Point Marina is located on the Cape Fear River in Southport, NC, and offers fuel and transient dockage, as well as daily, monthly and annual slip rentals. The marina is adjacent to the new Bald Head Island Ferry Terminal, which houses a snack bar (open seasonally) that offers grab-and-go food options, soft drinks, beer, wine and coffee. In addition, the Deep Point Marina is convenient to Southport's shopping, restaurants and historic district, and offers easy ocean access. McCotters Marina, Washington, NC
Manteo Waterfront Marina is now run by the Town of Manteo.  It boasts 53 slips that can accommodate boats up to 140 feet.  The marina is situated right next to  historic downtown Manteo on a boardwalkToucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NCPort City Marina - Wilmington, NCOur marina  is your boating access to Albemarle Sound, the largest freshwater sound in the country—55 miles long and 15 miles at its widest point. Placed strategically at the mouth of Yeopim Creek, the marina is just beyond the high insurance line saving boaters significantly on their insurance rates.Southport MarinaDowry Creek MarinaBridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCMorehead City Yacht Basin

Archive For: NORTH CAROLINA – All Cruising News

  • Dismal Swamp Route Recommended, AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center – Click for Chartview

    The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, is located on the east shore of the like-named Canal at Statute Mile 28.
    The Dismal Swamp Canal State Park Bridge, with 0 ft vertical clearance, is a small, pedestrian foot bridge that crosses the canal just south of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center. This span had malfunctioned, and could not be opened. However, this situation has been remedied and the Dismal Swamp Canal is now open to navigation.

    These good comments about the Great Dismal Swamp Canal come from our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association’s forum.

    Re: Dismal Swamp or other route:
    The Great Dismal, by all means. Passed thru that way last July in our 30′ Trawler, draft 3.4 feet. A great way to prepare for the hustle & bustle you will encounter at mile Zero and further north. Teems with wildlife and is almost empty of people & waterfront homes. It is anything BUT, Dismal.
    May you have fair winds and following seas,
    Bill & Bonnie Sweeney
    The Elissa II

    We like the Great Dismal Swamp route so much, that unless the canal is closed, we always take the canal route. The stops at Elizabeth City free town docks, South Mills, the Welcome Center and the docks south of Deep Creek Lock, all free, make this a must do. The canal transit itself it beautiful. Here are a couple of our blog posts that might give you some details.
    http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2013/07/elizabeth-city-north-carolina-harbor-of.html
    http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-great-dismal-swamp-canal-and.html
    Chuck Baier

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • New (Second) Free Dock in Oriental, NC, Neuse River, AICW Statute Mile 181

    A phone call to TownDock.net confirmed the new free dock which is located just to the southwest of the fuel dock at Oriental Marina and Condos. The dock is c. 70ft in length and for now does not have amenities, although adding water, electric and a restroom, as well as more length is being discussed. SSECN is grateful to Skipper Valinoti for bringing this new facility to the attention of our readers, just in time for the Spring Migration!

    Has anyone reported on the new, additional, free town dock?? It is located to the right of the Oriental Marina and is about 80 ft long with room for 4 cruising boats depending on length. Presently there are not any ammenities. However, it is planned to have heads and showers along with a pump out.
    Joe Valinoti

    Truly a shame that (south) Florida doesn’t treat cruisers the way places like Oriental do. Seems you almost have to go north out of FL to get that southern hospitality…
    Wally Moran

    The new dock is quite nice and solid looking. Only problem is that the south side of the dock is partially blocked due to the Lady Deborah, a large shrimper being docked on the next dock to the south. According to one of the locals, the Lady Deborah hasn’t moved from this spot in a quite a while.
    If you don’t have too wide a beam you’d fit just fine, but it would be tight, not to mention if you have two boats on this side the one closer to shore would be blocked in.
    All in all, well done Oriental. Free town docks like this should be the norm, and not the exception.
    Rick Morrow

    Stopped at the new pier the day after they finished it. Was the first Trawler to use it i was told. A very nice well built pier. The Rest. At the Marina there has great food and drink. Oriental is always a great stop free pier or no free pier.
    The “Fire Dog” & Crew
    Raymond W Smith

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Oriental Marina and Condos

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Oriental Marina

  • North Carolina Mariners Museum Annex, Beaufort, NC Now Offering Transient Dockage, Near St. M. 201)

    NC Mariners Museum Annex Docks - Beaufort, NC

    NC Mariners Museum Annex Docks – Beaufort, NC – Google Earth

    The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net just received an e-mail from former “Coastal Cruising” magazine contributor, Captain Brent Creelman, who now works with the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, North Carolina. As you will read below, the museum annex, which lies at the intersection of the Gallants Channel and Town creek, north of the eventually to be replaced (with a high-rise) Grayden Paul bridge, near 34°43.669′N,76°40.054′W, is now offering transient dockage for visiting vessels. The transient rate is a VERY reasonable $1.00 per foot, per night!
    While power and water connections are available, there are no other shoreside facilities, and it will be a hefty walk (or a very quick taxi ride) from this facility to the many delights and dining attractions in downtown Beaufort. Mariners should also be advised that to reach these docks, they must either navigate the Bulkhead Channel from Beaufort Inlet, and then pass through the restricted Grayden Paul Bridge, or run the somewhat iffy (but still very do-able), Russell Slue – Gallant Channel route from the AICW to a point just short of Town Creek.
    martimemuseumannexdocksEven with those mild disadvantages, many cruisers will be understandably enticed by the dockage rates featured at these docks. If interested, drop Captain Creelman an email, or give him a call!

    Ahoy Fellow Mariners!
    The Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort invites transient vessels and historically significant craft to visit and be our guests at the museum’s expansion site on Gallants Channel just north of downtown.
    The facility has deep water wharfs running some 1,500’ and floating docks with 10 slips and a 100’ face dock.
    The Friends of the Museum is offering a very reasonable short term dockage rate of just $1/foot per night, or $10/foot per month.
    Water and power are available but there are no shore side facilities at this time. There is ample parking on site.
    Located less than a mile from the AICW the site is well protected, has plenty of water depth, and is just a mile from Beaufort’s Front Street.
    Brent Creelman
    Director of Operations
    Friends of the Museum
    brent@maritimefriends.org
    252-728-2762

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Annex Docks

  • Southport Marina, Zimmerman Marine and Carolina Yacht Care Combine to Offer Free Weather and Navigation Briefs During the Spring, 2014 Transient Season (St. M. 309)

    Southport MarinaCarolina Yacht CareNow here is an absolutely wonderful idea and a genuinely invaluable service to the cruising community, courtesy of TWO SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, Southport Marina, and Carolina Yacht Care. Late every afternoon from April 2 through June 15 (2014), join Skipper Hank Pomeranz, co-owner of Carolina Yacht Care, on the docks at Southport Marina for an informal discussion of upcoming weather events. Hank is a retired US Navy meteorologist, and you can bet his information will be extremely valuable, based on the most up to date National Weather Service information available.” I can’t think of a better way to spend a late afternoon while northward bound on the AICW than exchanging information with Hank and fellow cruisers.

    Skipper Pomeranz will also be covering AICW navigational issues, using both Local Notice to Mariners, and information from the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. We promise to keep Hank well supplied with the latest Waterway information, courtesy of both our own research and data submitted by your fellow cruiser!
    Who knows, I may even pop down to Southport from time to time and participate in these sessions. Hope to see you there!!!!!

    navbriefwelcomeHeaded north through Southport, NC this spring? The two things we hear most in discussions amongst cruisers are concerns for coastal weather, winds and seas and navigation issues on the ICW. Well Southport Marina, in historic Southport NC, decided to do something about it.
    Teaming with Carolina Yacht Care (cYc) and Zimmerman Marine, Southport Marina invites you to join them during the Spring 2014 transient season for daily “Weather and Navigation Briefs on the Dock” – a free, one of a kind service geared towards transiting boaters. These informal discussions are an opportunity for you to join fellow cruisers at the end of the day for a presentation and interactive discussion on weather and navigation issues for the next leg of your journey.
    Retired US Navy meteorologist, cruising sailor and owner of Carolina Yacht Care – Hank Pomeranz, will host the daily discussions. Hank will review the current National Weather Service advisories, watches and warnings, analyses and forecast charts and discuss the resultant forecasts for winds and seas, precipitation, temperatures, fog and severe weather potential for the Carolina coast north of Southport.
    On the ICW navigation side, Hank will draw from the US Army Corps of Engineers surveys, Notices to Mariners, recent fellow cruiser postings in cooperation with Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net and local knowledge.
    And, you won’t have to memorize everything presented. They’ll have handouts you can take back to your boat and review at your leisure.
    Briefings will be held daily from 2 April 2014 through 15 June 2014 at the marina docks.
    Daily “Weather and Navigation Briefs at the Dock”: yet another great reason to stop and stay with us at Southport Marina.
    Hank Whitley, CMM
    Marina Manager

    And, here are some additional comments, courtesy of Skipper Pomeranz:

    masoninletsurveyWith regards to the briefs, the Navigation portion draws information from several sources – SSECN, USCG, USACE, cruiser comments, etc… “We” (meaning those of us who are performing services to our cruising brethren) have this unique opportunity to be standing in front of some of them daily and talking specific navigation issues.
    I want to take advantage of this one on one and make a strong point that, as our fellow cruisers continue their journeys, their feedback into the knowledge base is critical in helping those who follow. They will leave here with a chart snippet and description from SSECN relevant to known or suspected problem areas. They will also have the latest USACE survey image for those areas.
    Armed with that info, we will ask them to “pay it forward” and send an email describing their passage through the worrisome areas…an email to me, so that I can immediately update the daily brief and an email to SSECN, so you can have it for the biweekly Alerts and your website.
    I will emphasize that reports from cruisers need to feature specific info…Date, tide level, draft, etc. Nothing is more frustrating than reading through comments without that info.
    Hank Pomeranz

    Hank Pomeranz has worked with us since we brought our Bristol 47.7 Frances to Southport from Maine in November 2013. He has proven to be highly conscientious and reliable with yacht services and has gone the extra mile for us at every turn. Hank is a real asset to local mariners. Having been caught by afternoon weather in small boats around front and in the river since 1969 – we will look forward to his information and thoughts on the weather and sailing and ICW conditions.
    Van and Emily Beck

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

  • Good Words for Edenton, NC – off the AICW on Western Albemarle Sound

    Click Charlet Above To Open Chart View Page Centered on Edenton, NC

    Edenton, NC - the prettiest town in the South!Edenton, NC, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, holds a special place in my own heart. During my younger days, this historic community often served as a “base of operations” as my Father and I searched the waters of all the nearby rivers for that elusive quarry known as the largemouth bass. If Edenton actually sat along the track of the AICW, it would be as popular as Beaufort.

    Another 2 day dock courtesy city in North Carolia is Edenton. Another beautiful stop.
    Alan

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Edenton Harbor (City Docks)

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Edenton Harbor (City Docks)

  • Elizabeth City, NC’s Mariners Wharf City Docks Adds New Bathroom and Shower Building (St. M. 50.5, Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route)

    ecshowers1

    Entrance Into New Elizabeth City Showers

    We are very pleased to report that SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Elizabeth City, NC has just opened a new bathroom and shower facility immediately adjacent to the free (for 48 hours) Mariner’s Wharf city docks. What a GREAT addition to what is already one of the most cruiser friendly communities to be found ANYWHERE!

    New Restroom and Shower Facilities Now Open in Elizabeth City
    Recreational boaters who cruise into Elizabeth City, N.C., now have a place to freshen up and take a hot shower. Just in time for the spring travel season, new heated restroom and shower facilities have just opened in the Mariners’ Wharf Building at Mariners’ Wharf.
    Just steps from the docks, the new facility includes separate men’s and women’s restrooms, one large shower room with a commode and sink, as well as a second shower room that is accessible for people with disabilities. The restrooms are free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There is a $5 cash fee to use the showers, payable at either the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau office or the Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. office. Both offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
    One of the New Elizabeth City Showers“We take our city’s reputation as the “Harbor of Hospitality®” seriously, and we hope our boating visitors enjoy these new amenities,” said Charlotte Underwood, director of the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.
    Offering free 48-hour dockage for recreational boaters, Elizabeth City is located in Northeastern North Carolina on the Intracoastal Waterway, halfway between Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. For additional information, call Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or visit DiscoverElizabethCity.com. For up-to-the-minute info on happenings and events visit ElizabethCityHASIt.com

    What a great city! I’ve been visiting by boat since back in the day when the original Rose Buddies greeted everyone at the docks, and I go out of my way to return the favor by purchasing groceries, eating out, and patronizing other local businesses. One of my favorite ICW stops and a great reason to take the Dismal Swamp route.
    John Kettlewell

    AMEN! Kudos to Elizabeth City!
    Another 2 day dock courtesy city in North Carolia is Edenton. Another beautiful stop.
    Alan

    Of course Alan is speaking of another SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Edenton Harbor City Docks, off the AICW on Western Albemarle Sound. For a complete report on Edenton, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=126199

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Edenton Harbor (City Docks)

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Edenton Harbor (City Docks)

  • Dredging Underway at AICW/Shallotte Inlet Intersection, Statute Mile 330

    AICW/Shallotte Inlet Intersection - Click for Chartview

    AICW/Shallotte Inlet Intersection – Click for Chartview

    The much needed dredging of this AICW Problem Stretch is certainly welcome news, especially with the completion date occurring before the heart of the Spring, 2014 transient season.

    NC – MYRTLE GROVE TO LITTLE RIVER – CAPE FEAR RIVER TO LITTLE RIVER/AICW – SHALLOTTE INLET CROSSING
    The Dredge WILKO will be conducting dredging operations in the AICW at the Shallotte Inlet Crossing from 20 March until 13 April, 2014. The dredge and assisting vessels MISS LEANNE and PROUD MARY will monitor VHF-FM channels 13, 16 and 78. A Floating rubber and submerged polyethylene pipeline associated with dredging operation will traverse southwesterly and upland along west shoreline of Shallotte Inlet to the Ocean Isle Fill Placement Area near Shallotte Blvd. Pipeline, vessels and established crossings will be visibly lighted and marked with floating buoys
    in accordance with Coast Guard regulations. Mariners are urged to use extreme caution in the area, transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake, and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made with dredge plant. Chart: 11534 LNM: 11/14

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Shalotte Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • UPDATE: Hope for Vidant Pungo Hospital, Belhaven, NC, AICW Statute Mile 136

    Belhaven NC – Click for Chartview

    Vidant Pungo Hospital is a private, not-for-profit 49-bed acute care hospital on the waterfront in Belhaven. Scheduled to be closing on April 1, 2014, there is now a possibility that the hospital facility may be saved. Roger Long sends news from StoryofAmerica.org stating that talks are underway to negotiate a settlement forestalling the closure. Go to http://www.storyofamerica.org/belhaven1

    March 17, 2014
    There is hope for the hospital.
    Roger Long

    March 12, 2014
    Cruisers with potential medical issues should be aware that may soon be over 100 miles from emergency care even after they get ashore in the Pungo Canal area.
    http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/medical_desert_emerging_in_coastal_nc
    Roger Long
    S/V Strider

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Belhaven, NC

  • Dredging Confirmed in Shallotte Inlet, near AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 330


    Confirmation of dredging in the inlet near this Problem Stretch intersection is certainly welcome news. This dredging project is slated to include the intersection with the Waterway. For more news on the dredging projects in this area, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135383

    Came thru Lockwoods Folly today and there was a dredge working at the inlet. It did not appear that they had gotten to the ICW problem yet. There was also a dredge at Shallotte inlet but the ICW problem was still there. Passed thru both areas within an hour of high tide heading northbound.
    Jake Smith

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Shalotte Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Lockwoods Folly Inlet Dredging Underway, AICW Statute Mile 321

    Lockwoods Folly/AICW Intersection – Click for Chartview

    Confirmation of dredging in the inlet near this Problem Stretch intersection is certainly welcome news. This dredging project is slated to include the intersection with the Waterway. For more news on the dredging projects in this area, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135383

    Came thru Lockwoods Folly today and there was a dredge working at the inlet. It did not appear that they had gotten to the ICW problem yet. There was also a dredge at Shallotte inlet but the ICW problem was still there. Passed thru both areas within an hour of high tide heading northbound.
    Jake Smith

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Lockwoods Folly Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • More thoughts on New NC Registration Fees

    Captain Kettlewell is responding to a lengthy discussion from last fall about NC’s attempt to require documented vessels to obtain NC state registration after 90 days in their waters. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=123607 If you have any recent information about the new fees or answers to Captain Kettlewell’s questions, let us hear from you.

    Has the NC registration fee come to pass and is it in force? Just curious, how much do the “ad valorem property taxes” amount to in reality for say a boat with a market value of $50,000? I realize the rates and assessments are different in different counties and towns, but I have never been able to get a straight answer as to how much average boaters pay in the end. Is there a source for that information by county? That could be a factor for people wishing to keep their boats in NC. I know that SC property taxes are quite hefty on boats.
    John Kettlewell

  • Update on S/V Primadonna?

    A lot of us would like to know the outcome of this foreign vessel and crew saga (See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=132140 .)
    If you can provide a postlude to the story, please do so!. Thank you, Captain Kettlewell, for asking!

    Anyone have an update on what happened to Primadonna and crew?
    John Kettlewell

    Strange you should ask, today (2-26-14) Town Dock from Oriental, NC has an udated article as well as links to many back articles. http://towndock.net/
    John Y Jackson

  • Good Words for Topsail Channel/Island Anchorage, near AICW Statute Mile 265

    Topsail Island Channel - Click for Chartview

    Topsail Island Channel – Click for Chartview

    Topsail Channel Anchorage lies northwest of the charted marsh island southwest of the Topsail Channel’s unlighted daybeacon #14.

    Just off the ICW with an easy entrance and exit. We found 10 foot of water at one hour before high tide. As you enter stay pretty close to the markers until you get up to the docks, at that point favor the dock side. We anchored just south of the charted shoal between the marker and the line of crab pots to the west. There is some high speed traffic past this point, but that stops when the sun goes down. You can hear the ocean surf. 4 bars on Verizon Air Card. If you are northbound, this is a good place to stay and than catch the Surf City Bridge opening, 3 miles north, the next morning.
    Dave Boxmeyer

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Topsail Island

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Topsail Island

  • Praise for Bridge Pointe Marina, off the AICW, On the Trent/Neuse River, New Bern, NC

    Bridge Pointe Marina – Click for Chartview

    Bridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCBridge Pointe Marina, a new SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, flanks the southern banks of the Trent River (off the Neuse River), opposite the downtown New Bern, NC waterfront. This fine facility re-opened last Fall after more than a year of rebuilding their floating dock system which sustained major damage in hurricane Irene in August of 2012. As you can see from the comments from Skipper Fay and Mike, the rebuilding has been a big success!

    Bridgepoint is a gem. Jessie the dockmaster is outstanding as is the staff at the hotel. Very helpful. Unless you can caught a ride with the “crowd at dock” taxis’ do not seem to be regulated very well, as you never know how to prepare for charges as they are private and not metered. New Bern lacks dinghy docks which is sad for the downtown merchants, walk or bike across the bridge. Beautiful town.
    Fay and Mike

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bridge Point Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bridge Pointe Marina

  • Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crisis – A MAJOR Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Editorial

    CYheadshotreducedAtlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crisis
    How Did We Get Here And What Can Be Done
    A MAJOR Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Editorial
    by
    Claiborne S. Young

    Fellow cruisers, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway faces a maintenance crisis, the likes of which we have not seen since the mid 2000’s. Portions of the AICW in South Carolina and Georgia are now all but impassable at low tide for the vast majority of cruising sized vessels. Something must be done about this state of affairs, and done SOON!

    Of course, all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are well aware that the Waterway has shoaling problems. A goodly portion of every day is spent researching, geographically cataloguing and publishing reports from members of the cruising community about waters along the AICW which have less than ideal depths, sometimes grounding depths. Four weeks ago, however, we discovered that we were missing the forest for the proverbial trees, or, put another way, we weren’t really in touch with the big picture of Waterway problems. Now, all that has changed, and changed in a big way!

    This process began wtih a telephone call from Skipper Chase Fields, dockmaster at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Isle of Palms Marina, located directly off the Waterway, north of Charleston, SC. Chase expressed concern about low water depths along the AICW stretch which passes just north and west of his facility. And, with good reason!

    As reported in an earlier SSECN posting (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=125717), the latest US Army Corps of Engineers survey shows 2 ½ foot MLLW depths on portions of the Waterway channel as it passes north of the Isle of Palms and east (you can think of that as “north”) of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Yikes

    Skipper Chase asked us what the chances were of getting this stretch dredged in 2014. This was our “call to action,” not only to answer Chase’s question, but also to discover how the Waterway had come to this point.

    And so, we set off to interview Brad Pickel, Executive Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, various officials in the USACOE, and other US Congressional sources who have asked us not to reveal their identity.

    What we learned is not only very interesting, but it is also VITAL KNOWLEDGE for each and every cruiser who ever intends on cruising the length of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Let’s start with how the Waterway got into this condition.

    Prior to 2008, the AICW was also having some real shoaling issues. Then, along came the “stimulus package” which the first Obama administration was able to push through Congress. Whatever you may think of this bill, it did funnel more moneys than had been available for years into the USACOE coffers, and the AICW received a whole raft of much needed dredging. Except for two trouble spots in southern Georgia (Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek are special situations), the Waterway was, all of a sudden, in the best shape it had enjoyed since at least the early 1990’s!

    And, for the next year or two, some additional dredging took place courtesy of what’s known as “earmarks.” These are, or more precisely, “were,” additional funding appropriations which were inserted into bills which had nothing whatsoever to do with the projects that were funded.

    Then, as part of the so-called reform movement in our Congress, earmarks were abolished. Now, the Waterway had to sink or swim on specific bills introduced and passed to maintain its depths. Quite simply, no such bill has ever made it through either the US House or Senate since the abolishment of earmarks!

    Needless to say, we asked, “Why?” and were somewhat taken aback by the answer. From sources whose identity we will exercise our First Amendment rights to protect, we were told that the lack of funding for the AICW is an up close and personal example of the total, partisan gridlock now logjamming the US Congress!

    We’ve all heard about this sorry state of affairs on the news, so amply sponsored by BOTH political parties, but, WOW, talk about bringing a situation to light in a venue that really HURTS; that’s just what we have front and center with this lack of Federal funding for AICW maintenance.

    Furthermore, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has been informed that there is 0% CHANCE OF BREAKING LOOSE ANY FEDERAL MONEYS FOR WATERWAY DREDGING DURING 2014, AT LEAST! And, the future of any Federal Waterway funding seems problematical, to say the very least!

    So, we have the following “AICW Problem Stretches” which are simply going to get worse and worse:

    AICW Channel South of McClallanville, SC to Awenday Creek (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=56218)

    AICW North of Ben Sawher Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=101792)

    Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5480)

    Intersection of Wright River and Northern Fields Cut (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5487)

    Fields Cut (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5479)

    Hell Gate (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5478)

    Little Mud River (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5477)

    Jekyll Creek (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5476)

    AICW Channel Through Cumberland Dividings (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=36781)

    Now, those who are very perceptive may have noticed that none of the “Problem Stretches” listed above reside in the states of Florida, or North Carolina. Herein lies HOPE for the future of the AICW!

    Since the 1930’s Florida has had a state agency known as the “Florida Inland Navigationa District (or “FIND”), which is funded by a portion of the taxes collected from all state citizens. Put in its simplest terms, where the Federal government does not dredge the Florida portion of the Waterway (and other coastal waters such as inlets), “FIND” does!

    Far more recently, my home state state of North Carolina made a bold move in 2013 to improve both maintenance of the AICW and inlets along the Tar Heel coastline. A new bill was passed by the legislature in Raleigh which diverts a portion of the revenues collected by both boat registration and taxes paid on marine fuel purchases, into a fund to dredge coastal waters. Along with some Federal hurricane relief moneys courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, this new law has resulted in currently underway dredging projects which will address ALL AICW Problem Stretches along the North Carolina portion of the Waterway. A completion date for all this dredging activity is slated for early April, 2014 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135383).

    Unfortunately, as I have been preaching for the last 15 years (at least), if the AICW becomes unnavigable in one place, that disrupts the entire semi-annual “snowbird migration” cycle. And, the entire Southeastern USA pleasurecraft industry, including marinas, repair yards, boat manufacturers and equipment suppliers, is predicated on this twice a year movement of vessels north or south on the AICW.

    So, no matter how good the condition of the Waterway in North Carolina and Florida might be, there are still two other states in the middle. If the AICW deteriorates in SC and GA, the migration will be disrupted, and we are back to proverbial “square one.”

    What must be done is to convince the state legislatures in South Carolina and Georgia to undertake a similar plan of action as that adopted by North Carolina in 2013. Until and if the situation in Washington is straightened out, our sources tell us this is the only viable plan of action.

    How can members of the cruising community help? First, as you are cruising south or north on the Waterway, or just doing some in-state exploration of your home waters, and you observe depths that are less than what is expected on the AICW, SEND THE SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET THAT INFORMATION AT YOUR EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. We will not only make sure fellow cruisers share in your observations, but, working through the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, we can use this data as “ammunition” with the South Carolina and Georgia legislatures.

    Secondly, we urge you to spend a whole, whopping $25.00 and join the Atlantic Intracoasal Waterway Association (“AIWA,” http://www.atlintracoastal.org/join-aiwa). These good people are taking the LEAD in lobbying the Palmetto State and Peach State legislatures to do their part in taking care of the AICW. THE AIWA DESERVES THE SUPPORT OF EVERY CRUISER WHO PLIES THE WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY!

    Finally, and on a personal note, so my late Mother told me, I have been cruising the Waterway since I was 2 years old (really don’t remember that first trip or two), and I grew up making the semi-annual trek from North Carolina to Fort Lauderdale in the fall, and then reversing the process come spring time. I can’t imagine Southeastern USA cruising without the AICW, and I bet you can’t either.

    Let’s all do our part to preserve this magnificent resource, and save it for future generations of cruisers.

    Thanks so much for your time and attention. Good luck and good cruising to all!

    Great article. Thanks for bringing this important issue to light. We are Florida residents and understand the positive impact that FIND has had on maintaining the intracoastal waterways for use by all.
    For the last 20 years, FIND has been very proactive by purchasing land for dredge material management sites that will be needed in the future to provide for proper maintenance of the ICW. The taxes are actually collected only from residents of the 12 counties located on the east coast of Florida. The board of FIND is comprised of a member from each county. FIND has been doing great work, and is an excellent example of how government agencies, when properly run, can have positive benefits.
    Thanks again for your article.
    Lenny Schelin

    Claiborne,
    On behalf of the AIWA Board of Directors (who are copied on this email), we truly appreciate your efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in your major editorial (link #1 in the alert below). We also appreciate our partnership in spreading the word in other emails and newsletters.
    Please let me know how I can be of further service to you and our waterway cruisers.
    Respectfully,
    Brad
    Brad Pickel
    Executive Director
    Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

    What used to be somewhat lovingly called “The Ditch,” is rapidly become “a ditch.” Where I grew up, that was wadin’ water.

    We no longer bother going north of Brunswick and once we can get insurance in FL we probably won’t even go that far north. We would rather pay the outrageous premiums than persistently endanger the boat traveling farther north. We don’t expect the waterway to be an amusement park tunnel of love, but we do expect national infrastructure to be managed for national benefit. At this point a new magenta line is moot unless it comes with the caveat, “use only at highest tides.”
    Chris

    We had planned to go from New Bern to Cumberland Island, and return in March and April. It now looks like it will be trouble than it is worth. A few trips to Ocracoke and other “local waters” will probably be it.
    Sorry South Carolina and Georgia will get no revenue from us this spring.
    John and Georgie

    We sail from Fernandina to Beaufort, skipping all the problem spots. Taking all our money with us.
    Ted

    Suggest you also submit your letter to several boat magazines to see if one or more might publish them. Southern Boating comes to mind as well as Soundings.
    Tom Wemett

    Claiborne, excellent article and I hope the powers that be pay attention to it, but as one who does the ICW twice yearly at a minimum, the ICW is not (yet) impassable, despite comments such as I see here from others.
    With proper planning, the trouble spots in SC and GA are easily passable, even by deep draft boats. It shouldn’t require this level of caution, no – but for those such as John and George, or Chris, above- perhaps it’s better that they remain in their local waters and spare the rest of us the difficulty of saving them when their lack of navigational skills lands them in trouble.
    Regardless of all this, SC and GA do need to ‘get on board’ and dredge their waters as required.
    Wally Moran

    Joined AIWA today…great suggestion.
    Wonderful eulogy for Jack Dozier…he was one hellva good guy.
    Jim Schofield
    BoatU.S. (retired)

    There is a huge difference in the support for maintaining the ICW between Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas because of the fact that the ICW is what gives millions of Floridians waterfront property. Anyone who has traveled the coasts of Florida’s knows that much of it is a channel between rows of waterfront homes. Those homeowners provide lots of political clout and lots of tax dollars for maintaining their lifestyle, whereas there is no significant political or monetary constituency for the Little Mud River area in Georgia. You’ll note that the more populated the area the better maintained the ICW is, in general. In the past the ICW was much more of a commercial highway for barge traffic. As recently as the 1980s, when I first started doing the ICW, a lot of the excitement was dodging enormous barge strings. That business has gone away, and with it the political clout those large businesses had. Sportfishing is still big business, but many of those folks are much less concerned with shallow channels than cruising boaters, which are such a tiny group that they have no political clout. Not sure what the solution is.
    John Kettlewell

    I could be wrong but have felt that South Carolina and Georgia have also been parsimonious on the waterway marker expenditures. In so many spots it is just an educated guess as which side of the ditch to favor.
    Beverly Feiges

  • Shoaling Reported in Hatteras Inlet Channel, Pamlico Sound, NC

    Hatteras Inlet – Click for Chartview

    Hatteras Inlet lies well off the Waterway, on the eastern edge of Pamlico Sound. This narrow, unstable seaward passage cuts the southern reaches of Hatteras Island and the northern strands of Ocracoke Island. We have had Navigation Alerts posted in this inlet for some time (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=76962 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=76962) and, despite recent dredging (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=123320), we still advise that no one attempt to make use of this inlet channel without very specific local knowledge!

    NC – CAPE HATTERAS – HATTERAS INLET – SHOALING
    Shoaling to a depth of 2.0 feet MLW has been reported between Hatteras Inlet Buoy 2 (LLNR 28645) and Hatteras Inlet Buoy 4 (LLNR 28650). Chart: 11555. LNM: 06/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hatteras Inlet

  • Dredging Begun at Lockwoods Folly/AICW Intersection Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 321

    Lockwoods Folly/AICW Intersection – Click for Chartview

    Dredging at this Problem Stretch is certainly welcome news at this perennial shoaling area. For more news on the dredging projects in this area, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135309

    NC – MYRTLE GROVE SOUND AND CAPE FEAR RIVER TO CASINO CREEK (AIWW)– LOCKWOODS FOLLY – DREDGING
    The Dredge WILKO will be conducting dredging operations at the Lockwoods Folly Crossing on the AIWW from 11 February until 23 March, 2015. The dredge and assisting vessels MISS LEANNE and PROUD MARY will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. A floating and submerged pipeline will traverse southwesterly along the west shoreline of the Inlet to the Holden Beach Fill Replacement Area. Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge, booster, floating (pontoon) and submerged pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires associated with dredging and marine
    construction operations. Operators of vessels of all types should be aware that dredges and floating pipelines are held in place by cables, attached to anchors some distance away from the equipment. Buoys are attached to the anchors so that the anchors may be moved as the dredge advances and the location of the submerged pipelines are marked by buoys on each side of the channel. Mariners are cautioned to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Road when approaching, passing and leaving the area of operations, and remain a safe distance away from the dredge, booster, buoys, cables, pipeline, barges, derricks, wires and related equipment. Owners and lessees of fishnets, crabpots and other structures that may be in the vicinity and that may hinder the free navigation of attending vessels and equipment must be remove these from the area where tugs, tenderboats and other attendant equipment will be navigating. Dredging projects are usually conducted twenty-four (24) hours a day seven (7) days a week, all fishnets, crabpots and structures in the general area must be removed prior to commencement of any work. A NO WAKE transit is requested of all vessels passing the dredge. Chart: 11534. LNM: 06/14

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Lockwoods Folly Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Ice Cream Shop Recommendation in Southport, NC, AICW Statute Mile 309

    Southport, NC - Click for Chartview

    Southport, NC – Click for Chartview

    iceCruising with our pre-teen daughters in a small trawler with limited refrigeration meant that ice cream was the most sought after commodity whenever we went ashore, regardless the time of day. I wish we had had the recommendation offered by Skipper Susan Landry, co-owner of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com)
    After you come down the Cape Fear River, preferably not in rolling, breaking waves with wind and current opposed, and you pull into the Provision Company for some nice fresh seafood, why not top off your meal with, wait for it, ice cream! All you have to do is walk out the front door of the restaurant, which by the way has great food and service, turn left and you will see ICE CREAM, in big letters at Flava’s. You can’t miss it. This day’s selections would be Rocky Road for the hubby (chocolate all the way) and Birthday Cake for me. I have a confession to make. I really have a thing for Birthday Cake ice cream. You get the painfully sweet icing part, usually blue, little bits of yummy cake and, if you are lucky, some crunchy bits of brightly colored white chocolate. My granddaughter and I share this passion. I tried their Birthday Cake and it was good. A nice end to a seafood meal.
    Susan Landry

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport, NC

  • Dredging To Begin in Shallotte Inlet, near AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 330

    Please note that this dredging project is in the inlet proper, not the Waterway intersection. However, dredging of the Inlet/Waterway intersection is scheduled to begin soon, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=135309

    NC – CAPE HATTERAS TO LITTLE RIVER INLET – SHALLOTTE INLET/OCEAN ISLE INLET – DREDGING/BEACH NOURISHMENT
    The Dredge E. W. ELLEFSEN will be conducting dredging operations and beach nourishment at Shallotte Inlet from 14 February until 31 March, 2014. Dredged material will be transported to the beach via a submerged pipeline. The dredge and assisting vessels will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and16. Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge, booster, floating (pontoon) and submerged pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires associated with dredging and marine construction operations. Operators of vessels of all types should be aware that dredges and floating pipelines are held in place by cables, attached to anchors some distance away from the equipment. Buoys are attached to the anchors so that the anchors may be moved as the dredge advances and the location of the submerged pipelines are marked by buoys on each side of the channel. Mariners are cautioned to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Road when approaching, passing and leaving the area of operations, and remain a safe distance away from the dredge, booster, buoys, cables, pipeline, barges, derricks, wires and related equipment. Owners and lessees of fishnets, crabpots and other structures that may be in the vicinity and that may hinder the free navigation of attending vessels and equipment must be remove these from the area where tugs, tenderboats and other attendant equipment will be navigating. Dredging projects are usually conducted twenty-four (24) hours a day seven (7) days a week, all fishnets, crabpots and structures in the general area must be removed prior to commencement of any work. A NO WAKE transit is requested of all vessels passing the dredge. Chart: 11520. LNM: 05/14

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Shalotte Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Good Advice for Navigating Motts Channel, Wrightsville Beach, NC, AICW Statute Mile 283.3

    Motts Channel - Click for Chartview

    The Motts Channel cuts into the southeastern/eastern flank of the AICW, a short hop south and southwest of the Wrightsville Beach Bascule Bridge, just past the host of marina facilities which congregate south of this span. This channel is often used by cruisers heading for Seapath Yacht Club, and on their way to and from the very popular anchorages on the Banks Channel, which comprises the eastern extreme of the Motts cut.
    Over the years, the west end of the Motts Channel, near markers #25 and #23, has shoaled and periodic dredging has been required. Captain Booke’s advice is in response to an earlier Navigation Alert for this channel, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=105878

    There is plenty of water coming off the ICW into Motts Channel if you put your boat against the southern shore. Mid Channel is usually shallow.
    Henry Booke

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Motts Channel

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