1. Brown’s Inlet at Camp Lejeune is not a navigational problem for the fall or 2017. I note the USACE made some survey updates dated 2017-10-03 (my birthday), but I can say that I did not see a present or emerging issue when we passed that area on 2017-10-06.
2. Call the range office at Camp Lejeune to confirm the next day’s firing schedule. We were told that boat’s would be allowed allowed to transit on the ODD HOURS. Slow boats (I run 7.3 knots/8.5 mph through still water) can leave Swansboro around 06h15 to arrive at Onslow Beach Bridge for the 08h00 opening. At that point, you’re through the live fire zone before the start of the Marine’s play time.
3. The information for the New River Inlet crossing in ActiveCaptain from Bob423 and the USACE is correct. The suggested A-ICW route for New River drops south (east) at the inlet. As of 2017-10-06, the markers have not been moved and do not reflect the correct route. Some charts show a shoal there, but in real life, it is very clear that you’ll have plenty of visibility and room. Be careful of swift cross-currents; I was being timid, and operating at reduced speed/power. I got swept rapidly inland towards the New River by strong incoming cross-currents from the inlet. Ebbing currents could be hazardous too. This route was reliable, but check again in the spring, because it had several sand piles on the bottom and did not look like it would last long as the best route.
Lime line is Bob423; black route is USACE route I laid in for my own use.
4. Sanctuary and crew transited Snow’s Cut on 2017-10-06 at 1-1/2 hour before low tide. We found R”162″ relocated very dramatically to the south shoreline of the cut. So much so that it appears off-station. We verified it is an ICW marker, carrying a yellow triangle. Southbound, take R”162″ to STBD. We found at least 10 ft of water between the marker and the shore, but estimate the marker is only about 40 feet from what would be expected to be the green side of the channel in that area.
Lime line is Bob423; black route is mine.
5. ALL BOATERS should look at the website for the Wilmington Division of the USACE. They maintain surveys of all of the inlets in their district, which include all of the most challenging inlets in North Carolina (Shallottes, Lockwood Folly, Snow’s Cut, New River, Brown’s). Download the .pdf’s and set up the best route in your chart plotters or navigation software. They are your best chance to find the deepest and safest water in these areas. The website for the .pdf files is: http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Hydrographic-Surveys/Inlets-Crossings/.
6. Sanctuary and crew transited Lockwood’s Folly this morning, 2017-10-10, 09h00, 1/2 tide rising, +3.0 feet. I followed a route that “split the difference” between Bob423’s route and the 2017-07 waypoints from the USACE. The route takes you within about 100 feet of a large, prominent sand bar with people fishing. The incoming current was at max flood, at least 2 – 2.5 knots. We learned at New River that we’d need full power to manage that cross-current. Furthermore, the markers in the water still mark the old “north” route through the Folly. All in all, the transit is an act of faith. The standers-bye were AMAZED watching us just two boat lengths from them. Our faith was rewarded; the route works well. We saw one sand pile that was 10.5 feet, so the route would carry 7.5 feet at MLLW. This is probably a temporary alternative, as the currents will undoubtedly shift the route by spring.
There are comments in the Lockwood Folly ActiveCaptain thread from a few days ago that suggest the marked north route is about the same depth as we saw on this alternate route. That being the case, I’d recommend to less experienced people that they go with the marked route. To follow the alternative route without markers as physical reference points, you really need a route programmed into a chart plotter and an autopilot accurate enough to closely follow the unmarked alternate in strong cross-currents. The only other choice would be to run at slack where less than full power is needed.
Lime line is Bob423; fuscia line is USACE; black route is mine; blue highlighted line is our actual track.
7. Sanctuary and crew transited Shallotte Inlet this morning, 2017-10-10, 10h15, 2/3rds tide rising, +4.0 feet. The route has only one small change from last spring. G”81″ has been relocated about 100 feet toward the north shore. This makes the course a slight slalom. We saw one sand pile at 10 feet, so about 6.0 feet at MLLW.
The blue highlighted line is our actual track. From it, you can see where we diverted toward shore to pass G”81″ at a distance of 10′ – 12′.
8. USCG Sector Charleston is transmitting a “pan pan” for a storm-damaged dock with debris in the ICW at “Mile Marker 24,” presumably in South Carolina. The North Carolina/South Carolina border is approximately StM 331, and the Rock Pile is StM 553 – 557. So, there is no “Mile Marker 24″ in S. Carolina. We decided they must mean lateral marker R”24.” There is a R”24″ south of Myrtle Beach in the ICW, and it did have a board or two tied to the marker’s piling. There was no evidence of a damaged dock in that area. There is no more than the normal amount of flotsam in the water so far this season.
Hope this is useful.
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Socastee, SC
Monk 36 Hull #132