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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
R. E. Mayo DocksRiver DunesMcCotters Marina, Washington, NCEdenton, NC - the prettiest town in the South!910-269-2380 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. Nautical Wheelers - New Bern NCLocated 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 fishing
Bridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCManteo 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 boardwalkMorehead City Yacht BasinOur 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 MarinaToucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NCDowry Creek MarinaPort City Marina - Wilmington, NC

Archive For: NORTH CAROLINA – All Cruising News

  • 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 stating that talks are underway to negotiate a settlement forestalling the closure. Go to

    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.
    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

    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

    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 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 .)
    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.
    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
    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, 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

    AICW North of Ben Sawher Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge (see

    Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (see

    Intersection of Wright River and Northern Fields Cut (see

    Fields Cut (see

    Hell Gate (see

    Little Mud River (see

    Jekyll Creek (see

    AICW Channel Through Cumberland Dividings (see

    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

    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,” 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

    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.
    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.”

    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.

    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 ( and and, despite recent dredging (, we still advise that no one attempt to make use of this inlet channel without very specific local knowledge!

    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

  • 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,” (
    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

  • 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,

    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

  • Boatyard Recommendations for Central NC Coast

    This discussion of mechanics and boatyards comes to us from our friends at Trawlers Forum ( and, while the list contains both pros and cons, it does not reflect the opinion or endorsement of Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. However, we invite you to add your favorite NC mechanic or boatyard to the list!

    For diesel repair, we have had a lot of great results with Coastal Diesel in New Bern. Prompt, on-time scheduling and a team of very good mechanics. They are basically a mobile service and will come to you. It can be pricey, but once it’s done, it’s done. They just rebuilt my mechanical injector pump last week and rebuilt my genset last year. Good bunch of guys.
    Deaton Yachts in Oriental is a good all-around yard. The complaints we’ve heard from there was that their time management isn’t that great. They have trouble meeting work deadlines. In disclosure, we have used their mobile service, but have not hauled out there. They have an onsite parts department and that’s a huge plus.
    Wayfarer’s Cove in Arapahoe, NC is a good general yard. It’s a bit isolated from civilization and the yard, with its dirt lot instead of gravel, leaves you boat very dirty, plus, power hook-us are spotty. They have one of the best fiberglass guys in the area that works there. Tom runs the place quite well and is an honest guy. He will quote you a price and stick to it. If he falls short anywhere, it’s that he’s a bit edgy and sometimes hard to get in touch with. No email either.
    I have called Bach Marine on several occasions, but have never used them. They always came in with the highest quotes and Kenny, while very knowledgeable, I have felt that I would have the same issues that I have with Sailcraft. Just a bit too “old school” with billing and communication.
    Our new guys are True World Marine and Lightning Yachts. Both are boat builders (or former). They are both located in the marine industrial park where Jarret Bay is. True World is a very neat and well kept yard with good power and new facilities. Lightning Yachts is a repair place just up the road that can do about anything with boats. Both respond quickly to emails and will take the time needed on the phone to make sure all bases are covered.
    Chuck Courtney is a mobile guy (Power and Sailboat Repair). He’s a good honest guy, but is very busy. I have used him a couple of times and he’s been good. I don’t think he’s the best engine guy (I would use Coastal for that), but he’s an good electrical guy.
    If you want to do some snooping around, go visit Morehead City Yacht Basin and see who’s working on the boats there. Ask Mike (dockmaster) and ask for some recos.
    Hope this helps.
    Tom & Bess Beaty
    m/v Skinny Dippin’

  • Severe Grounding at AICW/Mason Inlet Intersection, Statute Mile 280

    AICW/Mason Inlet - Click for Chartview

    The SSECN has imposed a “Navigation Alert” for the intersection of the AICW and Mason Inlet since August 5, 2013, and a warning has appeared concerning these waters in a USCG Local Notice to Mariners (see We have had also several additional reports of shoaling on these troubled waters since our Nav. Alert was issued (see Below, Captain Sonia and crew confirm the need for extreme caution in any passage through the Waterway/Mason Inlet intersection.

    We grounded there with a 5,5ft draft. While our rudder was free, our keel was stuck and our depth sounder showed 5 ft. We could however not move. We were towed by Seatow and fell onto our side and was towed for about 60 feet on our side before stabilizing. Our rudder was bent and our boat twisted, which resulted in serious damage. As we understood from both Seatow and Boatus, the barges create pockets with walls over an extended area. Be very careful and pass within 20 feet of the docks [red side].

    Not having been there I can’t speak for this particular grounding, but in many similar situations I have seen and been involved in on the ICW the best course of action when aground is to put an anchor out towards deep water and wait for tidal help before trying to get off. Near Mason Inlet there is usually at least 3 or 4 feet of tide. Many times I have pulled my own boat off of groundings with no damage by doing this. Often you can pull the bow around towards deeper water as the tide helps and then winch yourself in the right direction. Generally, within the ICW you are sheltered from wave action and there is no great danger in simply waiting. On the other hand, trying to tow a boat off that is hard aground often leads to damage. Of course if the boat hit near high tide and/or you are in an exposed location that would alter your choices.
    John Kettlewell

    We came through this area, southbound about one hour after low water on 1/23/2014. We were aware that this was a problem area and were moving very slowly. As we proceeded the depth started to decrease very rapidly. We kept moving towards the red side and finally found enough water, we draw about 3 1/2 feet, to get thru. We did kiss the bottom once. This is not the place to be at low water.
    David Boxmeyer

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Mason Inlet

  • High Praise for Spoon River Restaurant, Belhaven, NC, AICW Statute Mile 136

    Belhaven Waterfront - Click for Chartview

    These reviews of Spoon River restaurant come to us from our friends at Cruisers Forum ( Spoon River Restaurant has only been in business a little over a year and is open seven days a week. They are located just off the waterfront and are listed as:
    Spoon River Artworks and Market
    263 Pamlico St, Belhaven, NC ‎
    (252) 945-3899
    And their Facebook address is:

    My wife and I just had dinner at Spoon River restaurant in Belhaven, NC.
    It was one of the top 5 meals I have ever had a chance to sit down to. To put things into perspective, I regularly eat at the finest chophouses and seafood restaurants in the world entertaining clients and enjoying the fruits of our sales channels…. on the company dime… DC, NY, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philly, DC, London, MX City, Paris, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Dubai, etc… So, we spare no expense. I am a snob and this makes me highly qualified in this regard
    The encore to this awesome meal was the pricing which BLEW us away. For 2 person meal that would have easily cost us 250 in DC, including a very good bottle of wine, full meals, and deserts that were so big we could not finish them…. 75.
    So, we highly recommend the unexpected pleasure in Belhaven.

    We live nearby and can second that report.
    We had lunch there this fall and were quite impressed both with the food, and with the reasonable prices.
    My only suggestion would be for an improvement in the wait staff. The young gentleman that served us could certainly have been more attentive.
    Still highly recommended!

    We had three meals at Spoon River (northbound in the spring and back in the fall) and we are just constantly amazed by the quality, presentation and service they provide. Small town, BIG surprise. We will be back.
    Win Benbow

  • High Praise for Sailcraft Service Boatyard, Oriental, NC, AICW Statute Mile 181

    Whitaker Creek - Click for Chartview

    Sailcraft Srvice Boatyard is a full service boatyard located at 1218 Lupton Dr, Oriental, NC 28571, (252) 249-0522.
    The yard lies on the western side of Whitaker Creek, just east of Oriental Harbor.‎

    I have traveled down the AICW for the past four years from Northport ny to fla. I have a catalina c 400 2005 sail, mystical paradise… I stop by every trip to have all my maintenance work done at sailcraft service in whittaker creek oriental nc. the service provided and the facilities are fantastic. from the owner manager Alan to the mechanics and office crew Shannon etc, the quality of service is phenominal.. it is a full service or do it yourself yard. prices are fair quality is tops. THe yard is walking distance of everything in town. They occasionaly lend a support vehicle in extreme cases. Tony Pozun NY

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Whittaker Creek

  • Oriental In-Water Boat Show April 11-13, Neuse River, Oriental, NC, AICW Statute Mile 181

    Click Charlet Above to Open a Chart View Page Centered on Oriental

    Oriental Harbor, on the Neuse River, is a very popular cruisers’ destination.

    April 11-13 The Oriental Rotary Club presents the largest in-water boat show between Savannah and Annapolis. Expect to find 100 exhibitors showing new and used watercraft of all types – sail and power, yachts to kayaks, cruising and fishing – with many in the water for sea trials. A large array of maritime and nautical goods and services will also be presented. 2014′s show will again feature a Nautical Flea Market and a free water taxi to and Oriental’s town dock. New this year will be a Down East craftsman who will build a 14 foot rowing and sailing skiff on-site. The skiff will be given away at the show.
    Paul Olson

    Oriental Harbor - Photo by Town Dock - "Look at all the available space!"

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Oriental Harbor

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

  • Pumpout Log Required or Enforced in NC?

    If you have any recent information about NC’s log requirement, let us hear from you. Apropos to this discussion is the new Key West regulation requiring a pumpout log ( And apropos to both situations is this ongoing discussion on Trawler Forum concerning a pumpout log requirement – or lack thereof – in NC. Got to:

  • Praise for South Harbour Village Marina, AICW Statute Mile 312

    South Harbor Village Marina - Click for Chartview

    Here are good words for South Harbour Village Marina from the Skipper of Second Base, as originally posted on Cruisers’ Forum. South Harbour Village Marina is one of the southernmost marinas in NC, south of Southport.

    I gunk hole as much as I can to keep costs down. With a big cold front, I pulled in for a couple nights at South Harbor. It was a record low and despite the challenges the cold weather brought they take care of business no matter the conditions. This is a good stop for 3 things- waiting on the weather window coming in, or heading out, from Cape Fear, and catching a football game at the Dead End bar & grill which is right at the dock and open 7 days/nights even off-season. The other advantage is they are directly on the AICW and not one meter off the route. A welcome oasis after all the inevitable current and traffic on the Cape Fear River.
    When you get off the river, try to stay on the outer transient dock – get your fuel right there and enjoy the best, sunny views.

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For South Harbor Village Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of South Harbour Village Marina

  • S/V Primadonna Located in Bahamas

    A search for a number of weeks in response to a request ( by Oriental merchant, Pat Stockwell, has finally located the errant sailing vessel, Primadonna. Our thanks to Steve Petty for this story from TownDock, see

    SV Primadonna has been located although the crew may have been detained:
    “SV Primadonna, aground at Booby Cay Island in the Bahamas. It is a tiny island of 300, not normally on tourist / cruiser lists. Apparently the vessel & crew entered the Bahamas without checking in with authorities. Pat Stockwell tells ( he was told the Primadonna crew may have been arrested – Bahamian authorities are harsher about the rules than they are in the USA. The photo was taken from a US Coast Guard helicopter – the Coast Guard patrols the Bahamas as part of a cooperation agreement with the Bahamas to fight drug trafficking. ” —
    Steve Petty

    If this is the Booby Cay that is just a bit east of Rose Island, which in turn is east of Nassau, it isn’t all that remote and I suspect the Primadonna crew will be in the not-so-comfortable confines of Nassau jail. Unfortunately, one bad apple like this can severely impact the reputation of the entire cruising community, as we have seen with the so-called “derelict” boat issue that has been used to create anti-anchoring ordinances in Florida and other places. When in reality the vast majority of the cruising community are themselves totally opposed to this type of behavior.
    John Kettlewell

    I doubt that these two would go anywhere near Nassau because of the entry fees into the Bahamas. I believe that they are aground between Booby Cay and Conception Island in the Bahamas. Conception Island is in a remote area and is a National Park in the Southern Bahamas. Very few cruisers visit.
    There are two anchorages off Conception Island, one is located South of Booby Cay. The entrance to this anchorage is from the Southwest. If they tried to enter from the Northeast, between Booby Cay and Conception Island, the route is very shallow and full of rocks.
    It’s too bad they did not sink in the really deep water a few miles from where they are. Word is that they were headed for Haiti or one of the French Islands. With any luck the Bahamas officials will confiscate their boat and throw them both in jail.
    The good news is that they are gone from the US and are now someone else’s problem.
    Dave Boxmeyer

  • Praise for Belhaven Waterway Marina, Belhaven, NC, AICW Statute Mile 136

    Belhaven Waterway Marina - Click for Chartview

    Belhaven Waterway Marina is on the northeast side of the channel into Belhaven and Pantego Creek which lies to the west of Waterway statute mile 135.

    Stayed here on 12/31/13. This was our first stay here but it won’t be our last. I Like this marina best in the Belhaven area. Nice couple running this Marina and they keep it very clean. It’s right downtown with several restaurants close by. We spent New Year Eve at Jacks. It is a great restaurant and bar.
    Danny Styons

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

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

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