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
Our thanks to author James H. Newsome for submitting this request for comment from the USCG, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=148206 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=148506. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before September 4, 2015. Requests for public meetings must be received by the Coast Guard on or before September 4, 2015.
The open comment period for the change of schedule on Ladys Island Swing Bridge is available on the Federal Register at the link below. Please consider posting posting on Cruiser’s Net as soon as possible.
On May 6, we posted this Update on the Ladys Island Swing Schedule, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=148206, in which the new restrictions applied M-F only. Today we received another update from our good friend, Mike Ahart of Waterway Guide, that increases the restrictions to seven days a week.
The temporary deviation for Ladies Island Swing Bridge in Beaufort SC does apply on weekends and holidays, to the consternation of the bridge tenders and all the sailboaters waiting hours for a bridge opening on a Sunday morning!
I had talked to the tenders when the new schedule started, and they said, despite the notice, that it would not apply to weekends/holidays…well, I guess they were “corrected.” Another strange thing is that the notice applies to all vessels, including commercial. The bridge tenders raised a stink about that, since the tugs and barges are on schedule and cannot stop – so, apparently, the Coast Guard is allowing the bridge to open on signal for tugs and barges, despite never changing or issuing a notice to reflect this (at least not one I have managed to find).
BTW: On CruisersForum.com, someone cited a posting at SSECN from 2010…but also pointed to the current bridge listing.
Mike Ahart, News Editor, Waterway Guide
UPDATE: A courtesy call from the Downtown Marina of Beaufort, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, confirms that, despite objections from local marina owners and Waterway cruisers, the new restrictions to the opening schedule of Ladys Island Swing Bridge took effect on May 3rd. The new schedule is as follows:
M-F Closed to navigation 6:30AM to 9:00AM and 300PM to 6:00PM
Opens ONLY on the top of the hour from 9:00AM to 3:00PM
All other times opens on demand
Weekends and holidays opens on demand.
Click Here for the story behind the news.
Our good friend, Mike Ahart of Waterway Guide, shares this reply he received from the Bridge Branch of the 7th District. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147494 for a lengthy discussion of the newly proposed opening regulations.
Good Morning Mr. Ahart,
This office is conducting in-depth internal discussions pertaining to this request and we’re committed to ensuring the most reasonable regulation is promulgated. No permanent changes have been made to the existing regulation to this bridge other than temporary changes listed in the LNM (see below). All notifications of changes, temporary and permanent, will be presented to the public and our main distribution is through Coast Guard NAVCEN: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmMain.
Please feel free to call or email with any other concerns.
USCG D7 Bridge Branch
And this from Michael Lieberum, 7th District Branch Management:
Good Morning Mr. Dorminy,
Thank you for the email, the Coast Guard is very interested in what the marine community has to say.
In this case, CWO Chris Ruleman from Coast Guard Sector Charleston has the lead on this project and he would be able to address any concerns you may have.
Seventh Coast Guard District
Bridge Management Specialist
Ladys Island Swing Bridge has had conflicts between road traffic and vessel openings for several years, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=35995. Our thanks to good friend, John Kettlewell, for sending along this article from Sounding’s Trade Only section, prompting several well-said comments. With a closed vertical clearance of 30ft, Ladys Island Bridge crosses the waterway at Statute Mile 536.
See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147653 for a 4/3 response from USCG 7th District.
Coast Guard seeks limits on bridge openings in South Carolina
Posted on March 23rd, 2015
Motorists won’t have to stop as much for openings of a major South Carolina barrier island swing bridge, but operators of large recreational vessels might have to find a new route.
The Coast Guard is planning a trial run in April to limit the number of large boats that pass through the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge in tourist destination Beaufort, S.C.
Known locally as the Woods Bridge, the swing bridge connects downtown Beaufort with Lady’s Island and the outer Sea Islands in Beaufort County. Because of the presence of the Intracoastal Waterway, the bridge is required to open frequently for boat traffic to pass through.
Details of the trial period are pending from officials with the Coast Guard bridge division in Miami. However, local officials believe it will include restrictions on the hours when non-commercial vessels can pass through.
“If it’s a commercial vessel, it’s one thing, but if it’s a pleasure boat, it’s another,” city interim manager Bill Prokop told The Beaufort Gazette.
Log-book records show that the swing bridge opened nearly 4,000 times during a two-year period, with 660 of those for commercial boats.
In October, Beaufort County and Beaufort city officials sent a letter to the Coast Guard bridge branch requesting a change in when and why the bridge opens, county engineering director Rob McFee said. The vehicle traffic delays cause an estimated $2 million loss annually for the community because of lost time and other economic factors, the letter said.
County and city officials requested restrictions on the passage of non-commercial boats during daytime rush hours.
“Not only do the drawbridge openings affect daily traffic and local economics, it also has a dramatic effort on emergency response. A revision in the opening schedule could potentially resolve many of the resulting daily impacts,” the letter stated, according to the paper.
I’m a resident of Lady’s Island and an active cruising boater. The issue involving the proposed limiting of the Woods Bridge to two waterway openings during the day is ludicrous. Much of the issue involving increased auto traffic out onto Lady’s Island is brought about by allowing the building of big box stores out on the Island. The cost to build a road over a bridge is very high, so why do we encourage increased traffic loads on our bridges by bringing people from the mainland to an Island to shop?
The Woods Bridge is already on a restricted opening schedule during rush hours and on the hour and half hour during the rest of the day. Many sailboats typically spend a night in Beaufort. It’s a two day run for them from Charleston, and a full day run from Savannah, so they arrive late afternoon and leave early morning, and need the bridge opened so they can head north or arrive going south. If they miss these two opening times, they are screwed!
Let’s be good county/city planners, and keep the big box stores off the Island and keep the auto traffic down so we can keep the AICW functional.
Consultant, Marine and Industrial Lifting Systems
We are active boaters who depend on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (A-ICW) for safe travel north and south each spring and fall. We have recently become aware of a proposal requested by the City of Beaufort, SC, which would limit the opening schedule of the Woods Bridge (Lady’s Island Bridge) in Beaufort, SC, to just two openings during the business day. This letter is based on my understanding that the City of Beaufort has proposed a schedule of openings at 10h00 and 14h00 daily, so essentially, every four hours.
For the USCG Bridge Branch, allowing such a schedule is not consistent with the public interest and would be a violation of the public trust and public responsibility. It would also be a seriously negative precedent for the United States’ network of Federal Intracoastal Waterways.
For the City of Beaufort, it demonstrates an utter disregard for the needs, safety and wellbeing of ICW users. It is irresponsible of the City of Beaufort to propose such restrictive conditions on top of already severe restrictions. Whatever happened to the City’s promise years ago to return to a 1/2 hours opening schedule after the completion of the second span of the south bridge?
Improperly planned over-deveopment on Lady’s Island is not justification to confiscate access to the public trust waterways of the United States. The dual bridges at the south end of Lady’s Island provide access for emergency responders. The second span was justified in part based upon just that access. If emergency response capability on Lady’s Island is inadequate, that is the fault of inadequate city and county planning, not the fault of waterway users. South Carolina has utterly failed to maintain it’s waterways, and many areas near Beaufort have become impassible at low tide in throughout the region. The entire ICW region from the Savannah River in the South through Georgetown in the North has been allowed to shoal and presents a serious hazard to navigation interests at low tide. Being confined by daily waterway closures in Beaufort affects the safe transit of boaters through the entire 200 mile region.
Having to deal with the natural tide cycle against an artificial schedule of man-made waterway closure creates potentially dangerous conditions. The passage of summer thunderstorms does not respect the time-of-day. The proposed confiscatory schedule creates a severe hardship for waterway users. Weather, poor waterway maintenance and short hours of daylight create dangerous conditions for waterway users forced to out-wait lengthy waterway closures.
This proposal is inappropriate and disrespectful of the public trust for federal waterways.
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
Well said Jim. You’re one of the many “regulars” that use the AICW every spring and fall. If Wal Mart wants to build a store on Lady’s Island, maybe Wal Mart should build a third, high bridge, out to the Island, not create over taxing of the existing bridges such as to further restrict bridge openings.
Hope to see you as you pass through Beaufort in a few weeks.
Consultant, Marine and Industrial Lifting Systems
The Beaufort City Anchorage is a mooring field managed by the Downtown Marina of Beaufort, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! For more on the recently installed mooring field, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=88324
We’ve anchored at Beaufort SC several times…. and each time I swear we’ll never do that again…. Love the town, but the currents are swift, and the bottom, at least where we’ve anchored in the past is HARD…. With a lot of scope out, you do PULL IN… but you spend all you time wondering if just the tip of the anchor (Manson supreme) is all that’s “IN”…. Two days ago, with high winds, and lots of fetch (waves)… We watched the two boats in front of us… (toward the town) drag anchor, tangle and go ashore… WE decided to pull anchor and leave…. or possibly suffer the same fate…
Recommendation… TAKE a mooring ball or slip if going to Beaufort… or leaving the boat…. We understand from the dockmaster that Beaufort WILL be putting in more moorings…. with better (as in larger) spacing…
Over the last three years, Ladys Island Marina has been undergoing big improvements in the marina portion of this property under the direction of owner, Kelly Ryan, and these improvements have been confirmed by the recent positive comments SSECN has received. Ladys Island Marina is located in Factory Creek just east of Ladys Island Bridge.
Thanx, Larry, that spot [Jekyll Creek] has been troublesome forever. I’m glad you found our observations useful; we’ve gotten so much assistance from this site over the years that its wonderful to be in a position to pay it back, and keep Claiborne’s vision alive.
BTW, can’t say enough good things about Lady’s Island marina (SM536). Quiet, well-maintained, many services within easy walking distance (groceries, hardware store, liquor store, nice bakery and many restaurants, etc). Very accomodating management/dockmaster Steve is going cruising, new dockmaster TJ started on Monday and he’s clearly committed to carrying on the cruiser-friendly tradition. Loaner car and/or bikes. A ***woodshop*** for doing boat projects!!! Longish walk or short bike ride across the swing bridge to historic downtown.
We’re waiting on a part for our autopilot, expected in next Friday. We’ll be staying another week, then if weather permits we’ll be doing a single overnight and bypassing Georgia.
Many thanks to Skippers Lunsford for providing very recent reports from six shoaling areas between Myrtle Beach and Beaufort. Three of these areas have been designated SSECN Problem Stretches and their descriptions are listed below.
For a recent report on McClellanville, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=144354
For a 2013 ACOE survey of area north of Ben Sawyer Bridge, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=125717
For a 12/2013 report on Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129101
For an alternative to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=134342
Hi there. We just came through this area in the last week, a bit ahead of the pack, so thought we’d pass on what we found at the traditional trouble spots to help those who come behind us (a copy of what we posted on a couple of Facebook groups). Thanx for all you do.
Dan and Jaye Lunsford
SM 349-352 The Rockpile: This stretch has numerous rock ledges on the sides of the channel so its important to stay in the middle. Not quite as scary as it sounds, but its the first time on the journey that the ICW is anything but mud if you do make a mistake. The ledges are very easy to see at low tide, and there is plenty of water depth even at the lowest tide. On weekends it can be crowded with power boats who may want to pass you if you are a slower sailboat and there really isn’t a lot of room to move over.
SM 430-435 McClellanville: Time the tides here if at all possible. If you’re really motivated you can tiptoe your way through; we saw 6′ MLLW, but so much simpler to just give it a couple of hours.
SM 460 shoals before Ben Sawyer bridge: 4′ MLLW, so its really important to time the tides here. Favor the north side of the channel from before G117A to G119.
SM 471 Wappoo Creek Bridge: This operator is REALLY a stickler for time; bridge is closed during rush hour opens every 1/2 hour during the middle of the day (check the complex operating schedule) but if you aren’t waiting at the bridge before the opening, the operator will not hold even a moment but will make you wait for the next one.
SM 501-504 Watts Cut: Although not listed as a traditional trouble spot, there are numerous shoals to 6′ MLLW along this reach. In a slow sailboat it’s hard to time the tides to have water here, and also water at the next trouble spot.
SM 517 Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff: Stay at least a couple of boat lengths off G177 at the entry (“square the corner”) for 10′ MLLW. At the exit, R184 was reported destroyed; a new temporary drop aid (floating can) was placed there on Friday — we met the Coast Guard small boat that was doing the work on their way back. Slightly favor that NW side between R184 and G185, but time the tides if necessary, we saw 5′ MLLW here briefly.
Doesn’t it do your heart good to know that there are still folks out there who will take risks to lend a helping hand. Bravo Citizens of Beaufort!
Live-aboard boat saved from swamping by Beaufort sandbar’s good Samaritans
By ERIN MOODY
firstname.lastname@example.org July 31, 2014
Cherrie Wiles was in a panic Sunday as she watched the tide rise on the sandbar in the Beaufort River and overflow the Opal May, the 32-foot trawler she and husband Sparky Jones call home.
But then help — or a miracle, as she calls it — arrived in the form of four young men.
“They just looked at me and said, ‘Cha Cha, don’t panic. We’re going to get her out,'” she recalled.
Wiles said she and her husband have owned the 1972 Grand Banks trawler for three and a half years and made it their home full-time starting in February.
Over the last three years, Ladys Island Marina has been undergoing big improvements in the marina portion of this property under the direction of owner, Kelly Ryan. Ladys Island Marina is located in Factory Creek just east of Ladys Island Bridge.
New owners this year [actually three years!]. Rates are $1.25 per foot. Tried hailing them on VHF, but both were out working on another boat. Finally got their attention and was helped into the dock by Steve. Good location with many businesses within walking or bike riding distance. They have complimentary bikes. I also got a free ride to a local gas station to fill up jerry can with diesel! Deciding to stay an extra day.
The vertical clearance of some Waterway bridges has been at issue for some time, especially during periods of extreme high tides. Skipper George relates a recent incident of “bridge too low and mast too tall!” His advice to contact Port Royal Landing Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is very good advice. This fine facility is located directly off the AICW’s run south from Beaufort, SC, on the western shoreline, just north of the McTeer Bridge and south of marker #244.
We turned back today, unable to negotiate the bridge at high tide with our 64 foot mast. Call Port Royal Landing Marina for for a reading as you approach the bridge. 1 843-524-4422.
Beaufort, SC, will begin fining or removing boats remaining in the Beaufort City Anchorage, just to the west of the Downtown Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!. This anchorage has been designated as the location of a city mooring field since 2011. Today is the last day of a 30-day period during which boats anchored in the proposed mooring field to remove their vessels, be fined or agree to rent a buoy in the new field. Our friend John Kettlewell sends us this story from the Beaufort Gazette:
The city will be Installing 16 professionally-managed moorings for transient boats in an approved area of the Beaufort River, The new moorings will replace the approximately 12 randomly placed anchoring and also will involve removal of dilapidated boats which will improve water quality. In years past as many as 500 visitors come to the fine city of Beaufort South Carolina. They come for the charm of a small seaside village and the simplicity. They come because it quaint and has that non-commercial touristy cost usually associated with most waterside cities like Hilton head, Daytona, and Panama City Beach.
As someone who has cruised to Beaufort many times, and who lived and worked there for several years, I lament the passing of another anchorage on the ICW. I will say that the anchorage was notoriously difficult, with strong currents and nasty exposure in bad weather. It was not ideal, but those of us who prefer to use our own anchoring gear will now be bypassing this spot and likely the downtown area. Factory Creek across the way still has some anchoring room, and it is also possible to anchor north of the bridge outside of the channel. However, neither area provides convenient access to downtown. Plus, I strongly suspect, as is the case most places moorings are put it, that they will not pay their way and the city taxpayer will be burdened with another expense.
As more and more cities and counties go broke, this kind of thing is going to become more and more common.
It’s a lot more fun to go where you are wanted, rather than just tolerated, or looked at as a cash cow.
The Bahamas just keep looking better and better.
Ice cream is often the most sought after commodity whenever going ashore, regardless the time of day. When in Beaufort, enjoy the recommendations offered by Skipper Susan Landry, co-owner of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com)
Beaufort has their ice cream shop, Southern Sweets Ice Cream Parlor, hidden in the Old Bay Marketplace on Bay Street. Across the street from the waterfront, you will enter the mall. Near the entrance on the right, tucked quietly away, is the ice cream parlor. They have many selections to chose from and this is a true, old-fashioned store. Marilyn and Jack Sheehy started the parlor in 2001 and are wonderful hosts. They serve Greenwood ice cream and Marilyn has even added a lunch menu with homemade salads. Stop by to say hello and sample one of the many flavors. You are also invited to create your own frozen concoction and have it named for you.
Here are good words for Downtown Marina of Beaufort as originally posted on Trawler Forum, http://www.trawlerforum.com/. A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, Downtown Marina is located north of AICW marker #239, a short distance west of the Lady’s Island swing bridge, in the heart of downtown Beaufort.
I like the Beaufort Downtown Marina. They are right downtown with several restaurants very close by. Blackstones is best for breakfast. They have a loaner car for grocery shopping. If you want to anchor or take a mooring ball, you can tie up to the park wall during the day, but not overnight. Tides are pretty swift in that area.
Don on “Moonstruck”
Glad to hear that Captains Bill and Laura Bender had such an enjoyable stay at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Port Royal Landing Marina. This fine facility is located directly off the AICW’s run south from Beaufort, SC, through the Beaufort River, on the western shoreline, just south of marker #244.
Kindred Spirit III enjoyed a delightful evening at Port Royal Marina. We’ve been to Beaufort, SC, many time but never to PRM. It isn’t convenient to downtown Beaufort but there is a loaner vehicle, of which we and another couple, took advantage. The town is cycling distance and the marina has loaner bikes. A Doc in a Box and CVS are [within] walking distance. The staff was absolutely wonderful, kind, and genuinely caring. If you’re a paying customer, 2 nights gets you one free. The restaurant adjacent to the marina has GREAT burgers. The marina has wifi, book exchange, captain’s lounge and ship’s store.
Bill and Laura Bender
A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Lady’s Island Marina, in Beaufort, South Carolina, lies along the southern shores of Factory Creek, which enters the AICW/Beaufort River immediately east of the Ladys Island swing bridge.
Bill’s Liquors & wines – Beaufort, SC – located within walking distance of Lady’s Island Marina (great place to stay).
Although not a brewery but a liquor, wine and beer store, Bill’s has a growler filling station in the beer section and always has 8 micro brews available in 32 oz and 64 oz growlers. Stopped by today and they had a beer tasting scheduled for this afternoon for Westbrook brewery beers, out of Mt Pleasant, SC.
They also had Allagash Blonde Ale, Harpoon IPA, Southern Tier Pumking, Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan, Thomas Creek Up the Creek Extreme IPA, Red Hare Rauchbier, Blue Moon Belgian White.
They will also give you a taste of any beer at the station.
Well, of course, the Downtown Marina of Beaufort (SC) is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. Naturally this facility’s far seeing management comes up aces in being an environmentally responsible facility! Congratulations to Rick and Mandy Griffith on their marina’s recertification as a “South Carolina Clean Marina.”
At the same awards ceremony, Downtown Marina in Beaufort, SC received its recertification of its Clean Marina status. The marina, under the stewardship of Rick Griffin, CMM, has met the high standards of the program continually since 1998.
“Becoming a Clean Marina involves using best management in all phases of the marina’s operations, SCMA President Iggy del Valle said in congratulating the recipients. “It isn’t an easy process and, in some cases, involves added expenses.” The marinas go beyond normal regulatory requirements in managing potential pollutants, keeping their facilities as “green” as possible and educating their customers on better environmental actions to keep our waterways clean.
On 4/30/13 as part of a South Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:
Statute Mile 536.5 – who has anchored in the field northwest of AICW marker #239, hard by the Beaufort, SC waterfront? Were you able to dinghy ashore easily at the city dinghy dock? Did you find enough shelter in this field for a comfortable stay during fresh winds?
I have anchored there several times in the last 20 years. Although the current runs very swift, the bottom is good holding, but you need to leave plenty of room to swing. Depths usually are around 12 to 15 ft.
The dingy dock is long and easy to get to. Tie up on the back side as the outside is for day boats. Then, you are right down town Beaufort. There are several good restaurants along Bay St. with entrances on the front or the back overlooking the water. Panninis , Luther’s , Plums are all good.
Philip W. Mullins (Phil)
Tricky mooring field and you have to go to the parking space at the City Marina for going ashore ! GREAT town !!!!
Barbara and Ernie Roberts
Statute Mile 536.5 – who has spent a night or two at either of the principal Beaufort, SC marinas – Downtown Beaufort Marina and/or Lady’s Island Marina. Please give us a full report.
Tied up at Lady’s Island Marina from 4/19 to 4/25/13. Small marina, average facilities, good protection. Ernie, dockmaster, is the only marina person but gets help from other live-aboards to assist in docking. Entrance to creek is shoaled on north side. Stay close to causeway and south shore going into creek. Good, very busy restaurant on site but only open for evenings. Walking distance, 5 blocks, to almost any shopping or service you desire, including numerous restaurants. Our overall choice for a Beaufort marina, but not an easy choice to make.
Rock Chalk stayed at LIM on April 13th. The people were great- loaned us 2 bikes to cross bridge into Beaufort. We ate at Dockside restaurant and enjoyed our meal- typical port food. Our only complaint was the incredible number of no-see-ums! The pilot house was
covered in the morning and we had so many bites. Not sure the marina can do anything about that.
Shelley Colby on Rock Chalk
Lady’s Island marina is open to transients, but has limited services. The marina converted to private ownership dockominiums some years back. Owners who don’t have a boat in their slip rent spaces through the on site manager. The marina doesn’t have a ships store or fuel. On the plus side, it’s in a well protected location and there is a nice seafood restaurant adjacent to the marina.
Rapid Roy, S/V “Gideon”
Response to the above posting by “Rapid Roy” from the management of Lady’s Island Marina:
One of the reviews (Rapid Roy s/v “Gideon”) said our slips are individually owned (as condos) and are rented by LIM. That’s not accurate, tho I can understand the confusion. Only the slips in 3 of the 5 docks that make up the marina are individually owned. LIM manages those docks/slips for the condo ass’n.
LIM itself owns all slips in the 2 docks that are next to the boathouse and manager’s office and these are the slips that we rent out to transient and longer term guests.
Since one of your readers mentioned it I wanted to clarify the situation. Thanks.
There is a new Dockside [Restaurant] (same owner [as the Dockside in Port Royal]) that has reopened the restaurant right next to the Lady’s Island Marina. Same excellent food. Easy access if staying at the Lady’s Island Marina or a walk/bike across the “swing bridge” from Beaufort.