The “AICW Problem Stretch” at the intersection of northern Fields Cut and Wright River was dredged three years ago and was more or less clear through the end of 2012. However, as recent reports confirm and as Captain Lawrenson experienced, shoaling is once again a real problem at this intersection.
We grounded badly on May 24, 2013 about 30 feet short of the north exit of Fields Cut running northbound (about where the line runs through the chart next to the N on the insert chart). I had 4.0 to 4.5ft MLW about 10 feet to the red side of the center line. As it was a negative 1.0 tide and I draw 4.5 ft., we sat for 1 1/2 hours in 3.5 Ft of water and swatted flies.
After we came free (about + 0.5 ft from MLW) I went back towards Savannah a short way. A trawler passed us and despite my warnings promptly went aground just past where we had been (they also drew 4.5 ft.). I then turned back and went north again, strongly favoring the green side – about 75% (half way between mid channel and the green shore) and had 7.0 ft. or better past the grounded trawler and all the way out of the cut splitting the markers outside the cut.
The shoal is like hitting a brick wall from the Savannah side. I had 11 ft. and then stopped abruptly, aground. It was so sudden I thought I had snagged something – no warning. All the locals including the Bloody Point Ferry (Savannah to Daufuskie) that passed us three times strongly favor the green side.
On the other end, (Savannah River Side) we came through just fine favoring the red side (1/3 from red bank, 2/3 from green bank) at the entry where the cut bends right after the northbound entry from the Savannah River – 7.5 ft or better at about MLW. Stay away from the jetty on the green side and don’t follow you plotter line.
I am a sailor, not a marine professional, and this is what I recall happening to us. Hope this helps others.
July 8, 2013
Every time I went through S.C. Field’s Cut this weekend there were sailboats aground in the middle of the north entrance of the cut at low tide. Either they don’t read anything don’t know anything or don’t believe how far to the east side of the cut you have to go. I know people are afraid to try this but to go through the north end of the cut you have to stay all the way to the east side of the cut: that means 25 feet from the dirt if you cannot reach out and touch the grass you are not close enough. Do not worry if your GPS or Chartplotter shows a covered and uncovered place here. Look at the water and the mud bank. You will find a channel here where all the water goes out of the cut and it is 10 feet deep at dead low tide.
Captain Kevin R Quinn
Did have serious problem with north side of Fields Cut, went aground in middle part of channel before turning south into Fields. Hard grounding with quick stop.
M/V Amazing Grace