A Marina That's As Luxurious As It Is Convenient Close to Myrtle Beach with clear sailing to the Atlantic. The Harbourgate Marina Village is your  gateway in North Myrtle Beach to all the excitement aBoaters are our business and our only business. We are located directly on the ICW, and offer Exceptional Lowcountry facilities and hospitality. The Beaufort/Port Royal area is a beautiful and historiDataw Island Marina, 100 Marina Drive, Dataw Island, SC 29920 Mile Marker 521, 843 838 8410VHF 16 & 68   Located on the Sampit River, Harborwalk Marina is only a boardwalk away from Georgetown's Historic District, great food, shopping, etc. A safe harbor from bad weather and located in calmSeaside Luxury at its bestLadys Island Marina - Beaufort, SCThe Downtown Marina Of Beaufort, SC, 1006 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 524-4422 or Marker #239 on ICWWelcome to The City Marina The City Marina Wins Jack Nichol Award for Design See our feature on The Visitors Network Located on mile marker 469.5 of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the Charleston City Marina features 19,000 feet of linear dock space covering 40 acres of water.  The marina was named 2005 National Marina of the Year (Marina Dock Age Magazine), and offers state-of-the-art amenities and facilities to promise an enjoyable stay.  The City Marina's MegaDock extends 1,530 feet and is the longest free standing floating fuel dock in the Southeast.  These features, and Historic Downtown Charleston location, make The City Marina one of the east coast's most popular marinas.
Harbour Town at Hilton Head, with its familiar red-and-white-striped lighthouse, is a fine resort marina with an enormous number of amenities.At Bucksport cruising visitors will discover all new docks, new power pedestals, a newly reopened on-site restaurant, clean – climate controlled showers and laundromat, as well as a warm welcome for the cruising communityIsle of Palms Marina is located on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway, northeast of Charleston at Mile 456.5 and south of ICW Marker 116.  50 41st AvenueMyrtle Beach Yacht Club is unmatched for its Lowcountry charm and gracious hospitality. Transients Welcome - Under new ownership - Located at mile marker 354 in Myrtle Beach South CarolinaOsprey MarinaWindmill Harbour Marina, Hilton Head SC

All South Carolina Cruising News

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-21-2009

PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!

Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of South Carolina cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO NARROW YOUR SELECTION of SC cruising news to those messages which pertain to a specific geographic sub-region, locate the RED, vertically stacked menu, on the right side of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages. Click on “South Carolina.” A drop down menu will appear, with a blue background, Now, click on “SC Regional Cruising News.” A sub-drop-down menu will now appear, listing 11 South Carolina geographic sub-regions. Select your waters of interest, and after clicking on your choice, a list of messages will appear, confined to the sub-region you have picked!

Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings

Light Blue Background Denotes Postings Concerned with “AICW Problem Stretches”

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Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-15-2008

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Charleston In-Water Boat Show at The Bristol Marina, Ashley River, near AICW Statute Mile 469

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-16-2014

bristol4

Bristol Marina – Click for Chartview

 

If coming by boat, you can tie-up at the City Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! or at the Harborage at Ashley Marina and walk a few blocks upstream to get in some major daydreaming about a new boat at the beautiful Bristol Marina, April 25-27, 2014. If coming by car, ample parking is available next door to Bristol Marina at Brittlebank Park.

bristol
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Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For The City Marina

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

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Ashley Marina

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

WARNING: More Tender Woes at Little River Swing Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 347, Myrtle Beach, SC

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-12-2014

Little River Swing Bridge – Click for Chartview

With a closed vertical clearance of 7ft, Little River Swing Bridge crosses the Waterway at Statute Mile 347 just north of the Marina at Dock Holidays.

Susan and Tom Constantine phoned SSECN today to relate another incident of the bridge tender at Little River Swing Bridge refusing to open, creating a dangerous situation and resulting in damaged steering gear on their vessel. The owner of this bridge was contacted in August of 2013 with complaints about the unprofessional and inconsiderate behavior of the tender. (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120963). Whether the tender was the same person in both cases, we do not know, but the Constantines can certainly verify the risk to which a vessel is exposed when ignored by a tender. This is an “On Demand” opening bridge.
On April 11, the Constantines were approaching Little River Swing Bridge from the south in a 50ft trawler, motoring with a swift current and following wind. They were within sight of the bridge in open position and requested that the tender hold the opening so they could pass through safely with the current. The tender refused to hold the bridge open, then made the trawler wait 25 minutes fighting current and wind. The Waterway is narrow and rock lined at that point and, in attempting to turn 180 degrees against the current, the trawler struck a submerged object and bent the starboard rudder.
The Constantines have contacted several South Carolina departments and the USCG and have asked SSECN to warn spring migration cruisers of a potentially dangerous situation at this bridge. This posting will be forwarded to Officer Michael Lieberum, Seventh Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, Chief of Operations Section.
If you have experienced such unprofessional behavior at this particular bridge, please let us hear from you! As you can read from some of the comments below, not everyone has met with discourtesy from the tenders at Little River Swing Bridge.

We ask our fellow cruisers to please notify Larry Dorminy at SSECN if you heard any of our VHF 09 transmission to the bridge tender on 4/11/2014, at approx. 1045, regarding the opening of this bridge.
If any other cruisers/boaters have had issues with this bridge, we ask that you please notify SSECN. This situation needs immediate attention before someone is seriously injured, or worse.
Talking with the locals at the marina at which we are hauled out for repairs, problems with this bridge tender’s attitude, and his denial of requests for openings is well known. Safe and happy cruising.
Susan and Tom Constantine

We had a similar problem with the bridge tender on October 8, 2012. We requested the bridge to open, the tender at first did not answer, after repeated calls the tender finally answered. Since we were a small boat (22 C-Dory) the tender wanted us to come up to the bridge and determine if we could get under without opening. We were headed south with a swift current towards the bridge so I did not want to approach close to the bridge without it open. I knew I could get under if I took down the antenna and anchor light. So that is what we did and proceeded with the bridge closed. I did not think was the safest approach, dismantling the boat to go under a bridge while underway, however I did not want to continue discussing this with the tender.
Richard Clagett

This post is concerning. My home port is Lightkeepers Marina in Little River. I have been back and forth thru LR Swing countless times over the past 13 years while there. I have simply never had issues with LR Swing. In contrast, I have always said to other cruisers that LRS is one of the most accomadating bridges on the ICW. The tenders are always very accomadating, super polite, for me and I can never remember waiting more than a few minutes. Sorry for your experience.
John Beaver

We have cruised through the Little River Swing Bridge many, many times north and southbound and it has always been pleasant passage. Sunday, April 13, 2014 being the latest passage. There have also been times when i have heard Boaters not being so pleasant with the Bridge Tenders causing them to get a little agitated with the Boater. A “10″ for the Little River Swing Bridge. Keep up the good work.
The “Fire Dog” & Crew
Raymond W Smith

This is not to defend slow or sloppy bridge tenders, and we all have had our share of them. However, at least in the case of the C-Dory he may have been right.
In my annual migrations I have had a few tenders get me what I considered too close, but all in all they seem to have gotten better over the years. I have never liked approaching a bridge with the current behind me and make it a point to stay well back until the tender calls me up to go through.
Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS
Subpart A—General Requirements
________________________________________
§117.11 Unnecessary opening of the draw.
No vessel owner or operator shall—
(a) Signal a drawbridge to open if the vertical clearance is sufficient to allow the vessel, after all lowerable nonstructural vessel appurtenances that are not essential to navigation have been lowered, to safely pass under the drawbridge in the closed position; or
(b) Signal a drawbridge to open for any purpose other than to pass through the drawbridge opening.
[CGD 91-059, 59 FR 16563, Apr. 7, 1994]
Jim Davis

Jim,
Thanks for letting me know about the “Unnecessary Opening of Draw” regulation, I was not aware of it. The question I have is about the light I had to remove to go under the bridge. This light is the all-around white light required for navigation at night and/or in poor visibility conditions. In addition the light was not attached to a hinge so it could be easily lowered, it had to be unscrewed from the boat. When I went under the bridge it was during daylight and excellent visibility conditions. From my reading of the regulation, I would not need to remove the light at night or in poor visibility conditions. In these conditions the bridge opening would not be unnecessary.
My question is to what extent does a boat operator need to go, lowering or removing equipment, in order to comply with this regulation?
Richard Clagett
Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Little River Swing Bridge

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Little River Swing Bridge

Cruising the Upper Waccamaw River, off the AICW to Conway, SC

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

This wonderful article by long-time cruisers and long-time friends, Peg and Jim Healy, is from their blog “Cruising Aboard Monk 36 Trawler Sanctuary, Cruising Adventures in Another Life.”

sanctuary

Conway, SC; Upper Waccamaw River

DSCN1074Sanctuary and crew made our first visit to Conway, SC, on the Upper Waccamaw River, on October 29 and 30, 2013.  On the advice of the dockmaster at Osprey Marina, we departed the ICW at Enterprise Landing, at daymark G”1.”  The channel in that area is narrow, and shoals to 7-1/2 feet for a short distance.  Once past that area, the river widens and become a magnificent cypress swamp meandering stream.   Navigation planning was only slightly more complicated than usual.  “Standard” NOAA charts do not cover the upper Waccamaw.  The rule is, as always when upbound, “red, right, returning.”  The river is adequately marked with clearly visible daymarks.  Navigation is straight forward.  We stayed to the middle of the river on longer, straighter stretches, and favored the outside radius of turns and switchbacks.  From the ICW at Enterprise Landing to Conway, a cruise of approximately 16 StM, there are three shoal areas: first, just above G”1,” second, in the vicinity of R”12,” and third, in the vicinity of R”16.”   We never saw less than 7-1/2 feet in any of these areas.  There is a tidal ebb and flood, but these  currents are insignificant for cruising boats.

DSCN1094We stayed at the Conway City Marina.  The marina “basin” is on the west shore of the river.  Upbound, the marina entrance is on an eastward curving bend in the river.  The tidal range is about 18 inches.   Reports published elsewhere of shoaling across the marina entrance are correct.  Local guidance is to favor the green center-quarter of the marina entrance when entering and leaving the enclosed basin embayment.  We were in the red-center quarter upon arrival, and even though we arrived virtually at high tide, we plowed through soft mud in the immediate area (50 feet) of the basin entrance.  The second day of our visit, we chose high tide to relocate to another dock.  By favoring the green center-quarter at the entrance bar, we observed that the shoaling carries to the green side, but we cleared it in about 5-1/2 feet of water.  There is rip-rap on both the green and red outside-quarters of the entrance, so caution and slow approach speed is advised.

DSCN1106The Conway City Marina is a residential facility, not primarily a transient destination.  As first-timers to the area, we had excellent telephone support from the attendant, and we were certainly made welcome.  There is no docking assistance provided.  The marina offers three docking locations.  One is a floating face dock inside the marina entrance channel.  There is a small resident river tour boat on the north end of that dock, and there is also room on that dock for 2, 40′ cruising boats.  It’s actually a 1/4-mile walk to the office from this dock.   Outside the marina, 1/4-mile upstream of the entrance channel on the west shore of the Waccamaw, there are two 40′ floating docks immediately below the SC Rt. 905 road bridge.  These docks are part of an extensive and beautiful River Walk system.  It’s a 1/2-mile walk to the marina office from these docks.  All of the docks have 30A and 50A power.  None have potable water available.  The docks themselves are aging, and in a generally dilapidated state of repair.  Cleats on the in-river docks are loose and somewhat small for cruising boats.  That said, the in-river docks do have two obvious advantages: first, approach depths are better, and second, the walk to the town is much shorter and easier.  It is a very long walk to anywhere from the dock located in the marina entrance channel.

The City of Conway is the Horry County Seat (pronounced “Oar-ie;” the “H” is silent).  There is A LOT of government here in Conway; a lot, including a large jail complex and the county courthouse.  Discount coupons (“Discover Conway Downtown Shopping Card”) for visitors are available at the Visitor’s Center, 903 3rd Ave; (843) 248-1700.  Get several cards, because you give up the coupon when/as you use them.  History and architecture buffs will enjoy the city.  There is a 2-1/2 mile riverwalk and park complex for walkers/joggers.  There is a walking Heritage Trail of beautiful 19th century homes and the historic downtown.  The locals are friendly.  There are several good restaurant choices, and several nice, unique shoppes.  Grocery shopping and the post office are not within what I consider to be walkable distance.  Bikes would be an asset here.

Northern portion of Upper Waccamaw at Conway, SC

Northern portion of Upper Waccamaw at Conway, SC

When Sanctuary and crew made this side trip to Conway, in October, 2013, the daymarks in the river were in good condition.  In December, 2013, the USCG announced plans to permanently discontinue the lateral daymarks on the upper Waccamaw River.  There are, however, some large tributaries and embayments that intersect the river; some are large enough to be confusing to first time cruisers in the area.  Since there are no NOAA charts of the upper Waccamaw that cover the River, I superimposed Sanctuary’sGPS track on a road map of the area.  I hope this will be useful in portraying the through-route of the river to Conway.

Southern Portion of Upper Waccamaw at Enterprise Landing, StM 375.

Southern Portion of Upper Waccamaw at Enterprise Landing, StM 375.

Clicking on these picture graphics will display them in a full-screen view.  Further clicking will magnify them and allow scrolling.  They are of high enough resolution that detail should be easily visible.

Despite some facility limitations and walking-distance challenges, this river trip is exquisite.  It is unique, beautiful and well worth the effort.

Also see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=132447 for an earlier discussion of the Upper Waccamaw by the Healys.

More Good Words for Barefoot Marina, Myrtle Beach, SC, AICW Statute Mile 353.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

Barefoot Marina – Click for Chartview

Transients Welcome - Under new ownership - Located at mile marker 354 in Myrtle Beach South CarolinaDon’t confuse Barefoot Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, with Barefoot Landing Transient Dock, which is located on the eastern (ocean) side of the AICW in Myrtle Beach, while Barefoot Marina guards the western banks.

Barefoot Marina gives you nice showers, a pool and a nice restaurant.
Ron

I live on my boat in Barefoot Marina. Nice place. Clean facilities, good location, low rates.
KJ

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Barefoot Marina

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

Barefoot Landing Transient Dock and Jet Skis, AICW Statute Mile 353.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

barefootBarefoot Landing Transient Dock adjoins the popular Barefoot Landing Outlet Center and overlooks the ICW’s southern banks, a short hop west of the Barefoot Landing Bridge.

I have stayed there and at Barefoot Landing by the outlet stores. Face dock every time. I’ve never had a problem with wakes, it’s a no wake zone. If jet skis bother you, travel from here to Little River in winter or heavy rain. The ICW here is polluted with them [jet skis] and for most of the operators, this is the first time they have ever driven a boat.
Ron

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Barefoot Landing Dock

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Praise for Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, AICW Statute Mile 346

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is unmatched for its Lowcountry charm and gracious hospitality.

Myrtle Beach Yacht Club – Click fro Chartview

Myrtle Beach Yacht Club on Coquina Harbor has been a great stopping place and a friend to cruisers for years. Naturally, they are A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

Sitting in Myrtle Beach Yacht Club as I write….. now our favorite stop in Myrtle unless we need supplies. It has a nice Laundry with computers, swimming pool and is set back off the intracoastal. 2 good restaurants on site and Little River is the actual location but only about 6 miles North of Barefoot.
2 night stay was $87.50 for a 40 footer with 50 amp service….friendly resident boaters.
Guru

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

A Good Visit to Charleston Maritime Center, Cooper River, near AICW Statute Mile 465

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-12-2014

Charleston Maritime Center - Click for Chartview

Charleston Maritime Center – Click for Chartview

The Charleston Maritime Center is found on the Cooper River side of the Charleston peninsula within walking distance of downtown Charleston. This facility is very popular, but there is usually some rolling at your slip, due to strong tidal currents and passing wakes.

We just spent two weeks here. This is a great place to stay. It is right in downtown Charleston and you can walk or take the free trolley just about anyplace. The price is right and the marina people are very friendly and helpful.
They provide free wi fi and laundry. There is only a single bathroom and that is only available during the marina hours.
Space is limited as the place has shoaled in pretty good so unless you draw almost no water most of the slips are not useable. The only drawback are the wakes from the many tugs and ships operating in the harbor.
David Boxmeyer

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Charleston Maritime Center

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Free Pumpout Boat in Ashley River Anchorages, Charleston, SC, near AICW Statute Mile 469

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-10-2014

Charleston City Marina - Click for Chartview

Charleston City Marina – Click for Chartview

Welcome to The City Marina The City Marina Wins Jack Nichol Award for Design See our feature on The Visitors Network Located on mile marker 469.5 of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the Charleston City Marina features 19,000 feet of linear dock space covering 40 acres of water.  The marina was named 2005 National Marina of the Year (Marina Dock Age Magazine), and offers state-of-the-art amenities and facilities to promise an enjoyable stay.  The City Marina's MegaDock extends 1,530 feet and is the longest free standing floating fuel dock in the Southeast.  These features, and Historic Downtown Charleston location, make The City Marina one of the east coast's most popular marinas.

Charleston Waterkeeper’s Pumpout Program has been in operation since November, 2013 and dispatches out of Charleston City Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS NET SPONSOR! Service is primarily in the Ashley River anchorages just off the Waterway and the quote below explains how contact is made with the pumpout boat. More more information, see http://charlestonwaterkeeper.org/pumpout-program/?utm_source=Contacts&utm_campaign=0a22560a63-2014_February_Newsletter2_5_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4b986f571f-0a22560a63-26071177

How It Works
To request a pumpout call (843) 608-9287. If you are a new client please let us know.
If you are a returning client we will put you on the pumpout schedule for the next week. If you are a new client you will receive a phone call from Charleston Waterkeeper to gather the information we need to provide you with pumpout service.

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For a pumpout, call (843) 608-9287. To contact Charleston Waterkeeper, call 843-607-3390 or email info@charlestonwaterkeeper.org

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Charleston City Marina

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Recommendations Sought for Wet or Dry Storage on GA and SC Coasts

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-03-2014

A lot of you have probably been in the same situation as Skipper Len. If you have recommendations for storage of his 28ft sailing vessel, let us hear from you or you may contact Len at his email below.

Searching for affordable dry or wet storage for 28 ft. sailboat from st. Marys to Charleston and points in between.
Or a boat yard with crane for loading sailboat on trailer and use a rv storage facility.  lencad@gmail.com
Thanks, Len

Lang’s Marina in St. Mary’s GA is a good option. I’ve not used this boatyard but understand they will allow owners to work on their boats there, which is a rarity in GA.
http://www.langcharters.com/Lang_s_Marina.html
Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles is an excellent dry and wet storage marina with a public boat ramp across the road from the marina. They do not normally lift sailboats but can handle boats in your size. The staff is awesome. Just ask for the manager, Chris Ferguson. He is very nice. This is my home marina.
http://www.morningstarmarinas.com/golden-isles
Probably the least expensive option is Two-Way Boat Yard near Darien. This is where I have my boat work done. It’s not pretty, but they do good work and will work with you better than any place I’ve dealt with.
http://www.twowayboatyard.com/
James Newsome

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Langs Marina

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

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles

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

Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Two Way Fish Camp

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Two Way Fish Camp

Vertical Clearance Still an Issue at McTeer Bridge, Port Royal, SC, AICW Statute Mile 540

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-01-2014

Highway 802 Bridge – Click for Chartview

Boaters are our business and our only business. We are located directly on the ICW, and offer Exceptional Lowcountry facilities and hospitality. The Beaufort/Port Royal area is a beautiful and historiThe 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.
Jim George

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Highway 802 Bridge

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Port Royal Landing

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Highway 802 Bridge

Shrimp Boats Finally Removed from Jarvis Creek, AICW Statute 560, Calibogue Sound, Hilton Head, SC

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-28-2014

Jarvis Creek – Click for Chartview

Jarvis Creek and its anchorage opens on the eastern shores of northern Calibogue Sound, south of Jenkins Islands and east of flashing daybeacon #1.
In August of 2013, SSECN posted an article from The Island Packet of Hilton Head about two shrimp boats hopelessly grounded in Jarvis Creek (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=121417). Ironically, one shrimp boat was attempting to rescue a second shrimp boat grounded in the creek when the rescue vessel also grounded. Despite numerous immediate attempts to free the two vessels, now six months later, as we read in the article below from The Island Packet, sent to us by Captains Chuck and Susan Baier, both vessels are being dismantled and removed by crane and barge. A sad ending indeed.

http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/02/27/2972675/work-begins-to-remove-boats-from.html

August 2013

August 2013

shrimp2

February 2014

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

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 02-21-2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bridge Construction to Begin, AICW Statute Mile 372, Socastee, SC

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-19-2014

SC31 Bridge - Click for Chartview

SC31 Bridge Site – Click for Chartview

This new high-rise bridge will be part of an extension of SC31, Carolina Bays Parkway, which is already under construction. Bridge construction is expected to begin in April of 2014 and will cross the Waterway just south of the two new high-rise bridges at Socastee.
Construction equipment and barges COULD be an impediment to northward bound, spring 2014 AICW traffic. PLEASE let us know if your travels through this section of the Waterway are in any way impeded this spring (or thereafter)!

SOUTH CAROLINA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – CAPE FEAR RIVER TO CASINO CREEK – MYRTLE BEACH – SC 31 (CAROLINA BAYS PARKWAY) BRIDGE: Bridge Construction.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation has hired Flatiron Constructors Inc. who has started building the SC 31, Carolina Bays Parkway, Myrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina. This project is anticipated to be completed by May 17, 2017 and will involve some waterway restrictions/closures. These restrictions/closures are anticipated between April and October 2014 and will be published in future Local Notice to Mariners. Mariners are advised to use caution transiting through this area as various floating equipment will be in the vicinity throughout the project.
Chart: 11534 LNM:07/14

sc31a

For more information on this construction, go to this article from Myrtle Beach Online:
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/03/06/4075846/extension-of-sc-31-will-close.html

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of SC31 Bridge Site

Beaufort, SC, Preparing Mooring Field by Clearing Anchored Vessels, AICW Statute Mile 537

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-10-2014

The Downtown Marina Of Beaufort, SC, 1006 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 524-4422 or Marker #239 on ICW

Downtown Marina – Click for Chartview

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:
http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/02/08/2937028/monday-is-deadline-to-move-boats.html

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.
Curtis

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.
John Kettlewell

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.
R. Holiman

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Beaufort City Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort City Anchorage

Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Downtown Marina

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

Ice Cream Shop Recommendation in Beaufort, SC , AICW Statute Mile 536

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-08-2014

ice

Beaufort Waterfront – Click for Chartview

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.
Susan Landry

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort SC

Ice Cream Shop Recommendations in Georgetown, SC , AICW Statute Mile 403

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-08-2014

ice

Georgetown Harbor – Click for Chartview

Ice cream is often the most sought after commodity whenever going ashore, regardless the time of day. When in Georgetown, 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)

I can not count how many times we have been into Harvest Moon ice cream in Georgetown, but there is a second shop, Sweeties, there as well. When nothing but a cold cone will do, either of these shops will fit the bill. Both shops are right on Front Street. The selections are plentiful and again, service with a smile. Who wouldn’t like working in an ice cream shop??
Susan Landry

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Downtown Georgetown Waterfront

Alternative to AICW/Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff Tested, off Statute Mile 517

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-23-2014

Combahee Bank - Click for Chartview

In reponse to an SSECN posting on an alternate to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120938), Captain Mullins and crew took the Round-your-elbow route into St. Helena Sound to avoid the Cutoff and did so successfully.

On our trip south on an Ocean Alexander 58, 4 ft. draft, we determined that we were going to transit the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff at low tide so we decided to turn left, heading south, after we passed through the cut at Fenwick Island. The Ashepoo river had 20 to 25 ft. of water in the middle and we followed it to the mouth, exited and went out in the St. Helena sound, turned north and bypassed the problem stretch all together. I would recommend this route for anyone with a 4 or 5 ft. or deeper draft heading into that area.

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Combahee Bank

Good Advice on Northern Fields Cut, AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 575

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-23-2014

Northern Fields Cut - Click for Chartview

The intersection of Northern Fields Cut and the Wright River lies north of the intersection of the Waterway and the Savannah River. Shoaling there has always been an issue and even with last year’s dredging, shallow depths might be expected. However, Captain Mullins offers good advice for a clear passage.

Just helped take a Ocean Alexander 58 through Field’s cut at low tide.(4 ft. draft) Entering the cut from the north going south, you must stay close to the green markers on the left for the first 150 yds, then edge over to the red side until you approach the Savannah River and exit close to the Red side.
We had a fish finder screen aboard and when we entered the cut, we could see how the bottom jumped up about 100 yds from the north entrance.
There was a sailboat in front of us that tried to stay on the Green side all the way and had run aground 4 times by the time we caught up with him.
Phil Mullins

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Fields Cut

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