Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-21-2009
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Mason Inlet separates Figure Eight Island and Wrightsville Beach and intersects the Waterway at mile 280.5. SSECN has had a Navigation Alert posted for reports of shoaling at this intersection since August of 2013. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120325.
On Nov 13, 2013 at approximately 1:00 pm (mid tide) our keel bumped & then slid over shoaling on the “ocean side” of ICW channel very near G121 (Mason Inlet) . Our IP350 sailboat has a draft of 4′ 3″. We were very surprised as we had checked this cruiser site for any problem areas and found no mention of problems in this area.
In light of Captain Murtha’s last comment, SSECN would like to remind everyone to always check our Navigation Alerts, which can be reached both via our top of the page menus, and by way of the red, vertically stacked menus on the right side of all (except Chart View) SSECN pages. You can also set a bookmark for http://cruisersnet.net/alert-region/010-all-nav-alerts/?sort=date (though, do note that this “ALL Navigation Alerts” page is sorted chronologically by publication date, while the regional Nav. Alert pages (e. g. “EF Nav. Alerts at http://cruisersnet.net/alert-region/035-ef-nav-alerts/?sort=geo) are sorted geographically!
Came through Mason Inlet [intersection with ICW] yesterday 2 hrs after low tide. Two boats already grounded near floating green can. Bumped as started through further toward red but grounded and backed off only to bump again. TowboatUS near by came to pull off and led through. Ignore floating green, less than 4 ft of water with rising mid tide. You need to be as close to red side docks as possible then angle back to channel past G23. TowboatUS captain said this location had started shoaling badly 2 days ago.
11/19/13 – We traveled the area AICW at Mason Inlet at MLW. We had 2.9 feet of water under our boat, we draw 5’7″.
The Carolina Beach Mooring Field lies south of the AICW channel, and also south of Snow Cut’s easterly entrance, in the harbor channel leading to Carolina Beach commercial district. SSECN continues to receive good reports on the mooring field and the services provided. Another recent cruiser said that Randy even offered to take their trash ashore.
A very nice anchorage/mooring field. Depths are 18-25 ft (with a lot of current), so I’m glad there are mooring balls.
Randy came out at 5pm to collect the $20 and gives us the lay of the land. Although the mooring field was not full you might want to call him in advance …(929) 667-0004.
Overall, a very pleasant stop.
Looks like the major dredging project which took place some two years ago at the AICW/Carolina Beach Inlet intersection, south and west of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and north and east of the Snows Cut canal, is still holding. Hooray, at last some good news!
Our good friends, and SSECN strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of “On The Water ChartGuides” (http://www.onthewaterchartguides.com/), give us an updated, graphic report below, relaying what they discovered as they navigated through the AICW/Carolina Beach Inlet intersection on 9/03/13.
Note that the Doyle’s soundings were taken near high tide, so you must subtract 4 feet from the depths portrayed on the Doyle’s graphic, to discover MLW soundings.
Incidentally, Diana and Mark have just published a new edition of their immensely popular “ICW CruiseGuide.” Click on the book graphic to the above right for more details, and to place an order!
Diana and I are continuing our survey reports with depth-annotated tracks for ICW Trouble Spots.
This one is for the ICW and Carolina Beach Inlet intersection.
Pretty smooth sailing this season with depths ABOVE 8 FEET MLLW.
Hopefully, SSECN readers transiting the area will find these reports useful.
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
This is not the first reduction in clearance required for Snows Cut Bridge repairs, where SSECN has had a Navigation Alert posted for many months. This reduction is to 59ft and vessels needing 65ft will definitely need to wait for low tide to pass safely. Snows Cut Bridge crosses the canal of the same name connecting the Waterway between Masonboro Sound and the Cape Fear River, at Statute Mile 295.7, west-southwest of marker #161.
Mariners are advised that rehabilitation work will be conducted at the US 421/Snows Cut Bridge across AICW mile 295.7, at Carolina Beach, NC beginning October 1, 2013 through January 1, 2014. To facilitate the work, a snooper truck will periodically reduce the available vertical clearance to approximately 59 feet above MHW. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. Chart 11534
There have been so many changes/extensions due to construction associated with this Waterway bridge that it is easy to forget the specifics. In a recent Local Notice to Mariners, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=113212, the current vertical clearance is stated as “approximately 18ft at MHW”. Captain Kipnis had hoped, as would we all, for a more precise tide board.
This morning, as we went under the bridge, northbound, at 8:30, we noticed that a sign that said “Vertical clearance lowered for bridge construction.” The boards read 17′ at center and the tide was about 1.3′. Clearance is supposed to be 20′ . Was there more clearance in the center or is something weird going on?
The Carolina Beach Mooring Field lies south of the AICW channel, and also south of Snow Cut’s easterly entrance, in the harbor channel leading to Carolina Beach commercial district. As you will see below, Captain Spence relays welcome improvements in service to mooring users in this field.
We stayed here a year ago, and I was not looking forward to a second visit. We were only spending one night and after an 8 1/2 hour day I didn’t feel much like launching the dinghy from the second deck in the wind just to go pay our mooring fee. I was very happy to read that they now send a boat out each evening to collect fees. And great news – a second dinghy dock on the beach side with access to the beach is supposed to open in about two weeks!
The AICW shoaling reported below, in this article cherry picked from the Local Notice to Mariners, seems to lie along the path of the Waterway where it passes west of ultra-shallow Mason Inlet, hard by marker #131 and north of Wrightsville Beach, NC.
We deeply suspect only a part of the AICW channel is really 3.4 feet deep at MLW, or we would have hear FAR more about these shallows before now. HAS ANYONE ENCOUNTERED shallow depths while cruising the Waterway in this region. If (or if not) so, PLEASE share your observations with the cruising community by either making use of the “Comment” function below, or sending e-mail to EditorialDirector@CruisersNet.net. Many thanks in advance!
NC – NEUSE RIVER TO MYRTLE GROVE SOUND – NEW RIVER TO CAPE FEAR RIVER – SHOALING
Shoaling to a depth of 3.4 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of New River- Cape Fear River Buoy 121 (LLNR 39597).
US 74 Bridge has a closed vertical clearance of 20ft [18ft until March of 2014] and crosses the Waterway in the heart of Wrightsville Beach. Originally scheduled to end May 1, the reduced horizontal clearance of these repairs will not affect most cruisers, but the movements of the barge and crane might. Obviously, the 24hr closed-to-navigation dates below will affect vessels requiring more than 20ft vertical clearance.
July 24, 2013 – note that according to this latest notice, posted below, the S. R. 74/Wrightsville Beach Bridge will be COMPLETELY CLOSED to all vessels from early evening, Monday, August 19 to to early evening August 20. To translate that, if you need to get through the Wrightsville Beach Bridge on the evening or during the nighttime of Monday, August 19, or anytime Tuesday, August 20, before 7:00 pm, you are out of luck!
NC – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY (AICW)
To facilitate mechanical repairs, mariners are advised that the S.R. 74 Bridge across AICW mile 283.1, at Wrightsville Beach NC will now be closed to vessels requiring an opening beginning at 7 p.m., on Monday, August 19, 2013 until and including at 7 p.m., on Tuesday August 20, 2013. In the event of inclement weather, the alternate dates and times will begin at 7 p.m., on Monday August 26, 2013 ending at 7 p.m., on Tuesday August 27, 2013. During this closure period, emergency vessel openings will be provided if notice is given to the bridge tender at (910) 256-4519 or via marine radio on channel 13 VHF. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.821(a) (4). Currently in the closed position to vessels for structural repairs, the available vertical clearance is reduced to approximately 18 feet above MHW. Vessels that can pass under the drawbridge without an opening may do so at any time. Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly and use extreme caution when transiting the area. Chart 11541
NC – NEUSE RIVER TO MYRTLE GROVE SOUND – (AICW) – NEW RIVER TO CAPE FEAR RIVER – WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH – BRIDGE REPAIRS
1. Bridge rehabilitation on the US 74/76 Bascule Bridge at mile 283.1 on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina has been extended until March 1, 2014.
2. To facilitate repairs a crane barge will reduce the available horizontal clearance in the navigable channel from 90 feet to 50 feet. A one hour advance notice is required to remove the barge from the channel for vessels requiring greater than 50 feet horizontal clearance to safely navigate through the bridge. The US 74/76 bascule bridge tender can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 or 16 to arrange removal of the barge from the channel.
3. Mariners are urged to transit the area with caution at slow no wake speeds.
4. For any comments or questions, contact the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Waterways Management, (252) 247-4525, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolina Beach Mooring Field is off the Waterway in the harbor channel leading to Carolina Beach commercial district. The mouth of the harbor is south of Snows Cut’s eastern entrance.
Raft off’s not allowed at Carolina Beach mooring as of 5-18-2013 even if all pays the $20. While there two local boats one hooked to ball other rafted off hooked to ball for less than an hour and were charged $20 each one was no more than 50 yards from his marina also the tender told me that the $20 is per calendar day if you are there on 18th is $20 still there on 19th another $20 not for a 24 hour time period as I left to help my friend get his boat back to marina and received a call stating that I would be sent a bill from Carolina Beach for $20 when told I was not staying that is when he told be it was not a 24 hour period. Just FYI for anyone else stopping by Carolina Beach mooing. Did enjoy my stay there as it was my first over nite trip and raft off with newly purchased sailboat.
Despite dredging of these waters in December of 2012, it appears that shoaling is beginning to re-occur at this Waterway/Masonboro Inlet intersection.
Going north on the ICW There is a Green marker [#129] at the entrance to Shin Creek. near Wrightsville beach , NC, followed by a red. There is a shoal coming off the red marker #128] far into the ICW, 4.2 ft at low tide. stay to the green side near the bank from the red to the green marks. I found it the hard way.
Henry Booke aboard Penny-wise
While Capt. Grooms certainly had a “one of those days” experience, most recent reviews on Carolina Beach State Park have been positive, unlike the one below. The tight quarters of the marina do need to be considered when electing to dock here, especially for a wide beam, as Capt. Grooms will attest.
Yes, almost empty marina. When I called, I was told they had plenty of room on a t-head for my 34 ft. PDQ power cat with a 17′ beam. Told to go to c dock, turn around, and dock on outside. There is absolutely NO space to turn around, and the only reason we averted a catastrophe was thanks to two fisherman who pushed us off and caught our line. Current is swift going into marina, unlike what guidebook says. The workers are courteous, but know nothing about running a marina, and saying that they were only paid minimum wage and were not allowed to help with docking. They acted like they’d never seen a catamaran, and told us they didn’t know how wide it was. Now we’re here, docked on the outside finally, and praying that we can back out of here when we get better weather. Huge trawler right in front of us, narrow entrance, huge pole in the middle for an unknown reason. So worried yesterday about tearing up my boat or someone else’s, while staff just watched. Worst docking experience I’ve ever had.
The water really races out of Snow’s Cut into the river leading to a really strong current.
Since this marina is really a State Park, they are just not equipped to run it like one [a marina]. A good opportunity for privatization.
Occasional over-nighter at CBSP Marina
Statute Mile 282 – who has navigated Shinn Creek, from AICW marker #129, to Masonboro Inlet? Did you find sufficient depths in Shinn Creek? What about Masonboro Inlet itself? Please describe you passage through this inlet, and what you observed.
After a rough night at sea, from New Bern to Bald Head Island, we went in Masonboro Inlet a little before 8:00 am. There was a crane, rock barge, and tug in the inlet. Only comment is you need to be lined up straight to the inlet before you get there to see the location of the small buoys that mark the channel, follow them at mid channel depth about 14 feet (min).
At the marker for Banks Channel, green/red (I think ) “WC” look for the green straight ahead (#1), ignore the water to the left, continue on past green 3 and look for a small green can (?) which is 129 AICW, as another guide suggested take this as a green for Shinn creek, pass on left with good clearance and you are in the ICW. It looked confusing as I approached because of the house behind it. I thought it might be a private buoy, but read the number when I got close enough.
The depth was not a problem minimum at least 10 feet.
In late April 2013 we used the Mott Channel to enter the anchorage by the bridge in Wrightsville Beach. Late the following afternoon we navigated the Banks Channel and the Masonboro Inlet. The channel and the Inlet were well marked and easily navigated. We did notice the barge, but at that time it was anchored at the junction of the Shinn Creek and Banks Channel. We didn’t see any depths less than six feet.
On 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:
Statute Mile 295- who has picked up a mooring at the Carolina Beach Mooring Field south of Snow Cut’s eastern entrance? Did you find the field easy to enter? What sort of mooring ball condition did you observe? Did you find anywhere to dinghy ashore? If so, did you find any good dining attractions in the town of Carolina Beach?
The mooring field is easy to enter, with plenty of depth. The mooring balls are large, but the pendants are small and slimy. The dinghy dock is a long, long way down, at the end of the harbor. The moorings do provide a secure place to spend a night or to visit Carolina Beach for a day or two. At $20/night, they are over priced compared to other moorings. At the same price, St. Augustine offers a laundry, captains’ lounge, and quality heads/showers.
Glen and Jill Moore
DeFever 40 Last Dance
We have stayed in Carolina Beach on the mooring balls on 2 occasions. The mooring ball fields is easy to enter right off the channel. The mooring field is less than 10 minutes at no wake speed off the ICW. The tethers on the mooring balls seem short (maybe 5 ft) so it’s easier to grab the tether from the side of the boat rather than from the bow. The city sends a boat to collect the mooring fee about 6 PM each evening.
The City of Carolina Beach has a dinghy dock at the end of the channel which is less than 1/2 mile away. There is also a restaurant at the end of the channel that has a face dock. From the dinghy dock it is an easy walk to the beach.
Knot So Fast
On 5/9/13 as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:
Statute Mile 280- who has traversed the Motts Channel in Wrightsville Beach, to the Banks Channel, and anchored south of the 8 foot bridge on the Banks Channel? Did you encounter any less than ideal depths on the western end of the Motts Channel? Did you find sufficient shelter when anchored on the Banks Channel? Did you dinghy ashore at the public park, and, if so, did you find any good shoreside restaurants in Wrightsville Beach?
There is plenty of depth; however, leave plenty of scope. The current is strong, and the anchorage is open to the south. We did dingy to shore and walked around Wrightsville Beach, but did not eat ashore. There were a number of resteraunts some of which were closed for the season. Call ahead!
Anchored below the bridge in Banks Channel on 5/7/13. Have anchored there several times. Left on 5/8 by way of Motts channel in morning at high tide with plenty of water. Will not consider entering by Motts channel near low tide. Confirmed potential problems with Boat US last fall.
Seapath Yacht Club lies northwest of Motts Channel’s unlighted daybeacon #21.
Located on Motts Channel, which is just south of the Wrightsville Beach bridge, the marina is on the north side of the channel about a tenth of a mile east of the ICW. This marina provides dockage for transient boats primarily on its long floating face dock. Fuel is available and stores and restaurants are within walking distance.
This marina is particularly useful as jump off point prior to the five bridges when going north on the ICW, or as an end of day port if making an offshore run from the Beaufort Inlet to the Masonboro Inlet just south of Wrightsville Beach. Access via the inlet to Banks Channel and Motts Channel makes it easy to reach Seapath. The only difficulty (that is well known) is that Motts Channel has a tendency to shoal where it meets the ICW (see Cruiser’s net report).
This marina is between the Surf City Bridge and the Figure Eight Island Swing Bridge near ICW red marker 94. It too offers a bail out point on those long days when bridge timing and travel speeds do not work out well. There are floating docks in this marina, which primarily caters to private slip holders. There are a few transient docks and fuel is available. There are no restaurants or stores nearby.
With a 20 foot closed vertical clearance, the closure of the Wrightsville Beach Bridge, from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am DAILY, will be a real problem for late afternoon and early morning cruisers! And, note this schedule change runs from April 16, 2013 thorugh the remainder of 2013, and into the spring of 2014! Make your cruising plans accordingly.
Also, note the reduction in closed vertical clearance from 20 feet to 18 feet between 4/16/13 to 7/27/13!
NC – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY (AIWW)
Mariners are advised that the S.R. 74 Bridge at AIWW mile 283.1, at Wrightsville Beach, NC will be closed to navigation each night, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., on April 16, 2013 through March 1, 2014; except, vessel openings will be provided if at least two hours advance notice is given to the bridge tender at (910) 256-4519 or via marine radio on channel 13 VHF. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.821(a)(4). In addition, a containment system is positioned under the draw span until July 27, 2013 reducing the available vertical clearance to approximately 18 feet above MHW. Vessels that can pass under the drawbridge without an opening may do so at all times and the drawbridge will be able to open in an emergency. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. Chart 11541
Despite dredging in the intersection of the Inlet/Waterway, as well as the Inlet itself completed in May of 2012, shoaling has begun again in this narrow inlet. This shoaling should not affect, at least for the time being, the depths in the Waterway intersection.
NC – NEUSE RIVER TO MYRTLE GROVE SOUND – NEW TOPSAIL INLET – SHOALING
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineer survey conducted 10 January, 2013 indicates shoaling to a depth of 4.5 feet MLW in the vicinity of New Topsail Inlet Buoy 3 (LLNR 29995). Chart: 11541.
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. The Motts passage serves at least two important purposes for cruisers.
First, it provides access from the AICW to cruiser friendly Seapath Yacht Club (Marina), and secondly, it is the most direct route to the very popular anchorages on Banks Channel. Over the years, the west end of the Motts Channel, near markers #25 and #23, has shoaled and periodic dredging has been required. Judging from Capt. Mike’s report, dredging is once again needed.
January 12 came down Motts channel [traveling west] from Banks channel to icw and hit pretty hard mid channel 2 hours before low tide approx 100 feet from actual intersection. My intent was to catch Wrightsville Beach Bridge, and continue north to my slip. I have traveled at all tides for 6 years with 4 foot draft through same spot and never came close to grounding. Fyi stay close to green marker when approaching this spot.