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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: SC – ALL CRUISING NEWS

  • Dredging NOT in the Forecast for Ashepoo/Coosaw Cutoff AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 517

    This extract, cherry picked from a recent Local Notice to Mariners, refers to the AICW Problem Stretch known as the Ashepoo – Coosaw. This man-made canal connects the AICW between Rock Creek and the Coosaw River.
    Some two weeks ago, the SSECN posted an IMPORTANT “Navigation Alert” about severe shoaling at the northeastern end of the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff, near marker #177 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918). A little later, we also published reports by fellow cruisers that soundings had also deteriorated at the southwestern tip of the Cutoff (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120036).
    Partnered with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association and the South Carolina Marine Association, we subsequently asked for the help of the cruising community in securing a “special appropriation” to have these waters dredged (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120893).
    The official notice below confirms that dredging cannot take place here due to budgetary restrictions. Until and if the money is found to deepen this AICW Problem Stretch, either wait for high to mid-tide or see Tony Constant’s recommended alternate route: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120938

    South Carolina-AICW-Winyah Bay – Charleston Harbor-Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff: Severe Shoaling

    The ACOE of Charleston, South Carolina had just finished an official survey of the AICW from Charleston, SC to Beaufort. Two patches of severe shoaling exist; the first appearing at the northeastern tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff near Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O LT 177 (LLNR 35195). The other area is at the southwestern tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O between Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O DBN 180 (LLNR 35195.3) and Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O DBN 185 (LLNR 35205.2). Further information can be found on the ACO Charleston website at http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/ The ACOE has no future plans for dredging due to budget restrictions. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution.

    Claiborne,
    We just got the alert and request to contact our legislators with regard to the AICW shoaling problems in South Carolina. We live right on the AICW in Hilton Head, and frequently see the long dredge strings being towed back and forth between Florida and North Carolina. We’ll get their attention when shoaling is so bad that they can’t move their dredges to all those other places where they do dredge!
    K. C. Moore, Jr.

    And, messages like the one below are the result of not keeping up with AICW maintenance dredging:

    We have decided to cancel our trip South this year for this very reason. Probably would have been our last since we are turning 70 this year. How sad to watch this wonderful waterway be ignored, when it means so much to so many.
    It truly saddens me to see all that’s going on … or not going on … in our wonderful country.
    Please keep up your good work of keeping people informed and, hopefully, safe !
    Best Always,
    John

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the Northeastern Tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, Near Marker #177

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff

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

  • Important – Alternative to AICW/Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 517

    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 historiCaptain Constant’s (dockmaster at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Port Royal Landing Marina) report below is yet another confirmation of the many reports we have posted on the SSECN about AICW shoaling in the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120036). And, just last Friday we appealed to the Cruising Community, for help in lobbying the South Carolina US Congressional delegation for a “supplemental appropriation” that would allow the US Army Corps of Enginners to dredge the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff, and the AICW, north of Charleston, where it passes behind shallow Breach Inlet (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120893).
    Captain Constant’s  suggested alternate route to avoid the Cutoff seems valid, and his is Local Knowledge – always good to have! Cruising south, the “bypass” would begin by turning southeast on the Ashepoo River (downstream), at the southern end of Fenwick Cut, then continuing downstream to Combahee Bank in St. Helena Sound. After CAREFULLY bypassing the “Combahee Bank” shoals, this route then turns northwest and heads for the Coosaw River, rejoining the Waterway near statute mile 519.5, west of marker #186.
    Unfortunately, both the route around the “Combahee Bank” shoals, and the AICW route near the point of rejoining the Waterway west of #186, are very sparsely marked, and the open waters from St. Helena Sound could kickup with an outgoing tide and easterly wind. THE USE OF A WELL FUNCTIONING GPS CHARTPLOTTER IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED WHILE TRAVERSING THIS ALTERNATE ASHEPOO-COOSAW CUTOFF BYPASS ROUTE!
    In spite to these challenges, until and if dredging is accomplished in the Ashepoo – Coosaaw Cutoff, this alternate passage may be preferable to the shallow depths in the Cutoff, particularly at low water.
    SSECN would like to hear from ANY other cruisers who have made use of this Ashepoo – St. Helena Sound – Coosaw River alternate route. PLEASE share your experiences with our fellow cruisers. You can use the “Comment” function below, or send e-mail directly to EditorialDirector@CruisersNet.net. Thanks in advance!

    I’m the dock master at Port Royal Landing Marina in Port Royal, SC. The shoaling going on just north of Beaufort at the Ashepoo-Coosaw cutoff is too low to navigate at low tide now with most trawlers and virtually all sailboats. How the dredges get through I don’t know.
    One alternative to dredging this area is to move the ICW one inlet closer to the ocean. If you go east out the Coosaw River to the Ashepoo River you will see its inlet at Otter Island. This inlet is a natural river with fresh water influx and is about 20′ in depth at the mouth at one point is about 15′ then back to 20′ at the Fenwick Cut. If traveling south you would take a left when clearing the Fenwick Cut and travel close to Otter Island into the Coosaw River.
    I live across the sound from this water and it is the way us locals travel now.
    Tony Constant

    Captain Constant offers further advice on the Ashepoo/Coosaw Rivers junction at Combahee Bank.

    When entering the Ashepoo River From the Coosaw River you should be closer to the beach at Otter Island than to the port channel marker. The shoal is shoaling there as well but not near as hard. As a rule I use, when north bound, if I see 12′-15′ of depth I will steer to starboard until I see about 20′.
    The Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff’s bottom is V shaped, meaning the channel is in the middle of the cut. 6-8 months ago it was much deeper with 9′-10′ of depth last year. Capt Ted took a 45′ trawler through about a month ago and only found 3′ of depth.
    Tony Constant

    Well this is a bad thing with the cut off! But, it would be nice if reporting vessels would post the state of the tide in their reports. If Capt. Ted had 3′ at low water very bad, but if there is 5′ at high water, not so bad. Cygnus ll draws 3’4″
    Capt. Mike Wright

    We did take this alternate route a couple of years ago when heading north at low tide. We decided to avoid the cutoff and go the long way around. It worked well with our 6′ 3″ draft. The only advice I would give is to give the Combahee Bank plenty of respect. It would appear to be shoaling further southeast.
    Captain Richard

    Does this alternate route turn up the coosaw river north of combahee bank or do yu have to go around the bank on the southeast end?
    Jake Smith

    In answer to Captain Smith’s question above, we recommend rounding Combahee Bank, by carefully passing to the east and south of this shoal, staying well south of the one unnumbered, but lighted marker which denotes its position. Then, set a course to the northwest, passing southwest of marker #12. Use your chartplotter to keep to the wide channel while continuing northwest to rejoin the AICW, west of marker #186. Hope that helps to answer your question!

    Fenwick Cut - Click for Chartview

    Combahee Bank - Click for Chartview

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fenwick Cut

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

  • Tender Woes at Little River Swing Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 347, Myrtle Beach, SC

    Little River 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.

    Upon arrival at the swing bridge at approximately 11:00 pm on August 10, 2013, our boat could not make it under the swing bridge. We waited patiently for approximately 10 minutes while we watched the “swing bridge” worker walk around in his operations office as well as look out the window at us. Although even knowing that he saw us waiting, we gave him the benefit of the doubt and politely touched our horn one quick time to try to make certain that he saw us. Well, as soon as we did that, he turned off his lights in his office as if he didn’t exist! So, we were at a loss as what to do and luckily I had my phone to try to locate a website with information about the bridge. Fortunately, I found the site with a contact number and we called it only to get harassed by the man working that night. He told us to put the top of our boat down…which we could not do because it is a permanent metal frame…then he preceded to asking multiple questions as our boat name and where we were from…but what really was unprofessional was the comment from him and I quote, “This is the last thing I need at midnight!” What a very bad and frustrating ending to what was a perfect day. I would hope the inconsiderate, unprofessional, and very rude man will be dealt with according!!!
    Sharon Walker

    And, just in case you thought that cruisers could not make a difference by posting their experiences here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, SSECN Senior Editor, Captain Larry Dorminy, forwarded Captain Walker’s note above to Michael.B.Lieberum, USCG Chief of Operations Section, Bridge Branch. We received this very encouraging response:

    I will advise the bridge owner of this unprofessional behavior. If the vessel owner would like to make a formal complaint, they can email me with the details, this would allow this office to formally issue a complaint to the State of South Carolina, the bridge owner.
    Mike
    Michael Lieberum
    Seventh Coast Guard District
    Bridge Branch
    Chief of Operations Section

    I hope they do file a complaint. We have been cruising the ICW for many years and this bridge/bridge tender has always been a problem. Nastiness has been the order of the day here!
    Bobbie Blowers

    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

    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

  • Good Words for Windmill Harbour Marina, AICW Statute Mile 558

    Windmill Harbour Marina, Hilton Head SC

    Windmill Harbour Marina - Click for Chartview

    Windmill Harbour Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – sits hard by the southwesterly mouth of AICW’s passage south down Skull Creek, on the shores of Hilton Head Island, south of marker #27 (on the easterly banks)

    We are docked in Windmill Harbour Marina.
    This is a great hurricane spot with a lock so no tides or currents, and homes all around the marina for wind protection, but the marina association discourages full time liveaboards for more than 14 days a month.
    Stay safe,
    Tom and Patsy

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

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

  • More Reports of Shoaling on “AICW North of Ben Sawyer Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge” Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 460)

    It’s no accident that the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association is pushing very hard to have this Problem Stretch dredged (which they term as “behind Breach Inlet”), and, along with the AICW’s passage through the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5480 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918), the US Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston, SC have made dredging these stretches their #1 priority. Now, we just have to find some money/”supplemental appropriate” to get the job done!

    We traveled this section 8-2-2013 leaving McClellanville just as the tide started back up at the marina dock. Traveling on plane in an express cruiser we saw 8 to 11 ft under our hull most all the way. The last mile or so going into Isle of Palms I did see readings down to 5 and 6 ft. Keep in mind we traveled mid channel by the “sticks” paying no mind to any “pink lines ” on the chart plotter. Magneta lines can be a good guide but nothing beats eyes on the sticks and following the marked channel.
    David Doyle

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW North of Ben Sawyer Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge

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

  • Good Words for Leland Oil Company, McClellanville, SC, AICW Statute Mile 430

    Leland Oil Company - Click for Chartview

    Recently renovated Leland Oil Company sits on the northern shores of Jeremy Creek, in the heart of McClellanville, hard by the stream’s charted turn to the west.
    Like Captain Dick, we find McClellanville, to be one of the most delightful stops on the AICW, and, yet, it’s known to only a few cruisers. Stop for awhile and make the acquaintance of this village that time has forgotten. You won’t be sorry!

    Came in to McClellanville to get out of the rain. The Leland Oil Company was empty as this is not the time that Cruisers go north. the attending Dock master, Rutledge, was wonderful. Loaned his truck to us to go to the diner for lovely fish/shrimp dinner. we were to leave the next morning but the radar showed nothing but big thunder storms. We decided to enjoy this lovely place for another day and do some engine oil change. Found a problem which led a series of folks that found the right guys to fix the situation. Such good and talented people in the small out of the way places. When I commented to the young man working on the problem I asked him how he learned to do these things his comment was “we are in the middle of nowhere so we have to know.”
    I highly recommend this stop to all. floating docks are wonderful as well with the huge tides.
    Capt Dick

    Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Leland Oil Company Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Leland Oil Company Marina

  • Important – Shoaling WORSENS on Southwestern End of the AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Prolem Stretch (Statute Mile 517)

    On 7/28/13 (a weekend no less), the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net received a telephone call from Captain Mike Verdolini, (Civil Engineering Technician, Navigation Branch, South Atlantic Charleston), at the Charleston, SC branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Captain Mike informed us that the Corps had just finished an official survey of the AICW from Charleston, SC to Beaufort. Two patches of severe shoaling had turned up, which he thought (quite rightly) should be brought to the IMMEDIATE ATTENTION of the cruising community.
    By the way, before going further, let me just say how honored we are that the US Army Corps of Engineers turned to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net as their FIRST MEANS to get this important information into the hands of cruising captains.
    One patch of NEW shoaling appeared at the NORTHEASTERN tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, near marker #177. We have put up a separate posting/Navigational Alert, about these shallows at http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918.
    The other area of concern appeared on our old friend, the “AICW Problem Stretch,” at the southwestern tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff (Statute Mile 517), between markers #180 and #185.
    As you will see in the below graphic, supplied to the SSECN by the USACOE, low water depths on the southern-southeastern side of the channel, from the interior reaches of the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff, to a point southwest of marker #185, run from 5.6 to as little as 2.6 feet. SOMEWHAT BETTER DEPTHS CAN BE MAINTAINED BY FAVORING THE NORTHERN AND NORTHWESTERN SIDES OF THE CHANNEL, but even with this plan of action, low water depths of as little as 4.7 feet are quite possible.
    WE NOW STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL CRUISERS WHO PILOT VESSELS DRAWING MORE THAN 3 FEET, TIME THEIR PASSAGE OF THE AICW/ASHEPOO COOSAW CUTOFF STRICTLY FOR TIMES OF MID TO (PREFERABLY) HIGH TIDE!
    WE ASK THE HELP OF THE CRUISING COMMUNITY TO HELP US DISTRIBUTE THIS VITAL INFORMATION TO OUR FELLOW CRUISERS. If you belong to other nautical lists or forums, please direct members of such associations to this posting at http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120036. Both year round Palmetto State cruisers, and those cruising south on the AICW this fall, need to be well aware of this new hazard long before they actually arrive on these waters.
    The entire Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net team promises to keep a very CLOSE EYE on this developing situation as we move into the fall, 2013 transient season. We will bring you fresh info just as soon as it is available. In the meantime, everyone take care on these waters, and, again, please let us hear about your experiences at #177!!!!

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

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

    Sir,
    In response to your call for feedback from cruisers who recently traversed the Ashepoo Coosaw cutoff:On Monday, 24 June 2013, I traversed this area southbound at dead low tide. I encountered very shallow water, around 3.5 feet, all the way from marker 180 to 185. My sailboat with a wing keel is aground when my sounder reads 4.3 feet, but the bottom seemed to be soft mud and I was able to plow through it, although at severely reduced speed because of the viscosity. (I had increased the engine speed to maximum rpm.) My position was the “magenta line” which travels down the middle of the cut in this area. Having passed marker 185 and into the Coosaw River, the water deepened and I was out of trouble. The tide tables predicted water depths to be 1 foot below mean low tide on this day.
    Peter Denoncourt
    S/V Kite

  • VERY IMPORTANT – Extreme AICW Shoaling at Northeastern Entrance to Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff, AICW Statute Mile 516, 6/29/2013

    On 7/28/13 (a weekend no less), the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net received a telephone call from Captain Mike Verdolini (Civil Engineering Technician, Navigation Branch, South Atlantic Charleston), at the Charleston, SC branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Captain Mike informed us that the Corps had just finished an official survey of the AICW from Charleston, SC to Beaufort. Two patches of severe shoaling had turned up, which he thought (quite rightly) should be brought to the IMMEDIATE ATTENTION of the cruising community.
    By the way, before going further, let me just say how honored we are that the US Army Corps of Engineers turned to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net as their FIRST MEANS to get this important information into the hands of cruising captains.
    Back to the survey, one area of concern is our old friend, the “AICW Problem Stretch,” at the southwestern tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff (Statute Mile 517). We are publishing a separate article about the worsening shoaling here, near marker #185 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120036).
    HOWEVER, what really got both Captain Mike’s and our own attention were the survey results depths, hard by marker #177 AT THE NORTHEASTERN ENTRANCE TO THE ASHEPOO-COOSAW CUTOFF (hard by the Waterway’s intersection with Rock Creek)!
    As you will see in the below graphic, supplied to the SSECN by the USACOE, low water depths of as little as 1-foot, are now to be found hard by the northern side of marker #177. YIKES!!!!
    These grounding depths can be bypassed by not approaching #177 closely, and favoring the NORTHERN SIDE of the AICW channel from a point 200 yards or so east-northeast of #177, to the point where the channel swings farther to the southwest, and enters the main body of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff. Again, as shown in the USACOE survey snippet below, even at low water, minimum 6.5 foot depths can be held by following this plan of action.
    Of course, this all sounds much easier on paper (or, in this case, on the screen), than when you are on the water. Clearly, the passage from Rock Creek into the northeasterly entrance of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff (or the other way around), is now an area that demands MAXIMUM ALERT from all cruisers, and the most cautious navigation of these waters.
    There are two aspects of this shoaling that we find particularly troubling. First, this is the first we have heard about shoaling near marker #177, and, secondly, Captain Verdolini informs us that there is no immediate budget available to dredge this troubled section of the Waterway.
    WE ASK THE HELP OF THE CRUISING COMMUNITY TO HELP US DISTRIBUTE THIS VITAL, BREAKING INFORMATION TO OUR FELLOW CRUISERS. If you belong to other nautical lists or forums, please direct members of such associations to this “Navigation Alert” posting at http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918. Both year round Palmetto State cruisers, and those cruising south on the AICW this fall, need to be well aware of this new hazard long before they actually arrive on these waters.
    It almost goes without saying, but we are going to say it anyway, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is declaring a Navigational Alert for these waters, and I have no doubt this Alert will remain in effect, until dredging finally takes place along this stretch of the AICW.
    We would also very much like to hear from members of the cruising community who have cruised the AICW within the last thirty to sixty days between Charleston and Beaufort (or the other way around). Did you find shallow depths near #177? What did you find to be the best means to bypass this shoaling? PLEASE send your data to EditorialDirector@CruisersNet.net. Your fellow cruisers can’t wait to hear from you!
    The entire Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net team promises to keep a very CLOSE EYE on this developing situation as we move into the fall, 2013 transient season. We will bring you fresh info just as soon as it is available. In the meantime, everyone take care on these waters, and, again, please let us hear about your experiences at #177!!!!

    Note Soundings to the West of Left Pointing Red Arrow

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the Northeastern Tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, Near Marker #177

    Update as of 7/30/13 – After publishing the article above, we immediately brought this situation to the attention of Brad Pickel, Executive Director of our strategic web partner, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Assocation (http://www.atlintracoastal.org/). As you will see from his message below, Brad took action immediately, and we HOPE the meetings he describes will shake loose some additional funds for dredging these problem waters SOON!

    Thank you Claiborne. I have followed up with the Charleston District and the message you heard was correct. This area along with Breach Inlet are priority areas for maintenance, but there are no funds currently available for these efforts. If funds were to become available, it would be through a supplemental or emergency appropriations bill. Some of our board members and I will be meeting with representatives of Senator Graham and Senator Scott’s staff tomorrow and we will definitely bring these concerns to their attention. I will let you know of any additional feedback I receive on this topic.
    Respectfully,
    Brad Pickel
    Executive Director
    Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

    And, responding to our request for information from the cruising community, several captains have responded. Note that all either swing wide of #177, or came through at half to mid-tide. SMART!

    Sir, in response to your call for feedback from cruisers who recently traversed the Ashepoo Coosaw cutoff:
    On Monday, 24 June 2013, I traversed this area southbound at dead low tide. I did not encounter the shoaling your alert mentioned near marker 177, but I stayed wide of that marker.
    Peter Denoncourt
    S/V Kite

    We passed marker 177 today 8-3-2013 at about half falling tide. The marker was on dry ground. However there was plenty of water ( 15 to 20 ft ) if you take the turn wide. Of a much greater concern was the rest of the cut to marker 185, in some places we only say 5.2 to 5.7 ft under our boat while on plane. I can only imagine there is very little water in this cut at full low tide. Be very cautious when transiting this area.
    David Doyle

    We passed marker 177 northbound around June 1st of this year at near mid-tide. I had noticed a shoal off 177 before at low tide so our strategy was to “square the corner”. By this I mean we continued into Rock Creek unitl mid-stream before turning starboard and we would continue at the middle of Rock Creek when southbound until turning to port only when we are centered at the Ashepoo-cut off Canal. ‘best of luck, Aythya crew
    Stewart Force

    CAVALIER cruised the AICW north past markers 177 and 185 on 23 June 2013 about 2 hours past high tide. We draw 5 feet and at no time saw less than 7 feet at both areas. We stuck to the center of the channel. No issues.
    Jeanne and Terry

    Regarding the Marker 177 at Ashepoo cut-off and Rock Creek. I passed this point at medium tide about June 1st of this year without noting a problem. I have seen a shoal off 177 before at low tide and my strategy has been to “square the corner”. By this I mean proceding to the center of Rock Creek before turnng starboard when northbound & proceding to the center of the cut-off canal before truning to port when southbound. Hope the conditions of the waterway are maintained. Thanks for your alerts,
    Aythya crew

    Passed marker 177 southbound yesterday afternoon at low tide. Swinging wide of the marker at about mid- width of the cutoff there was over 20 ft of depth until well past the marker. Much shallower at the western end past #185.
    Tom Divers
    M/V Tanqueray

  • News from the Marina at Dock Holidays, Myrtle Beach, SC, AICW Statute Mile 348

    Marina at Dock Holiday - Click for Chartview

    Dock Holidays has long been a favorite with my family and many others. There’s an adjacent bus stop to take you into downtown, a supermarket just across the street and you are within an easy bike ride of the beach. Located about a mile south of the Little River swing bridge, the marina’s canal offers calm waters from the passing AICW traffic.

    Dock Holidays is alive and well.
    Same GREAT service is still be provided by Dock master Rhett Dickson. There are now TWO bars on site, along with TWO fishing boats and PWC rental. Rates are inexpensive and it is above the salt line.
    Capt Mark J. Chest

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For The Marina at Dock Holidays

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dock Holidays

  • Another Depth Report from Fields Cut, AICW Statute Mile 575

    Fields Cut South - Click for Chartview

    Fields Cut lies just 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 Quinn’s report brings good news about recent depths at dead low tide.

    I was traveling in my Catalina along with a Lagoon 380 through Field’s Cut on the 7th of July 2013 we agreed to take different lines through the cut at dead low tide. Now we are not paying attention to the magenta line on this chart or any other chart we are dividing the water way in half right down the middle. The Lagoon went through traveling toward the Savannah River and stayed just to the ocean side of the middle of the cut and he marked 7 feet at the low point. I went through just to the inland side of the middle of the cut and marked 10 feet at dead low tide.
    Captain Kevin R Quinn

    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 the Location of Fields Cut

  • More on Grounding in Northern Fields Cut / Wright River AICW Intersection Problem Stretch,Statute Mile 574

    Northern Fields Cut - Click for Chartview

    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.
    William Lawrenson

    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.
    Carter Hopkins
    M/V Amazing Grace

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

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

  • Good Experience at Cricket Cove Marina, AICW Statute Mile 345

    Cricket Cove Marina - Click for Chartview

    Cricket Cove Marina flanks the ICW’s northern banks, immediately east of flashing daybeacon #11, in the heart of Little River, SC. Moving south from North Carolina to the South Carolina portion of the AICW, Crickett Cove is the first marina you will come across in Palmetto State waters.

    I have stayed at Cricket Cove in 2003, 2005, 2011 and most recently 6-8-2013. Tropical Storm Andrea had just passed through the area and winds were a good 20 knots out of the S. Arriving at Cricket Cove at low tide 3:30 PM, Siskiwit grounded approximately 15′ off the fuel dock. We thew a line to Brian and asked him to simply cleat us off as we’d wait for half tide. My depth sounder showed 5.9′ at that moment. High tide that evening was 8.9. This was a first for Cricket Cove and they report they will be dredging in the fall of 2013. Its a great marina, good food, friendly folks, cheap diesel and due to the inconvenience offered a discount on the face dock. Not a big deal, but when one calls in advance and providing that we are 6′ draft, there should be greater awareness of expressing the conditions one is to find upon arrival.
    Henry Young

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

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

  • Quick Review of Charleston Maritime Center (Cooper River, near Statute Mile near 465)

    Unlike SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Charleston City Marina, located on the Ashley River, the Charleston Maritime Center is found on the Cooper River side of the Charleston peninsula. This facility is very popular, but there is usually some rolling at your slip, due to strong tidal currents.

    So much to see and do and the Charleston Maritime Marina people were wonderful and worked with us. Our bikes came in handy and got to see a lot of the beautiful parks and history. The rolling at the docks wasn’t great, but for the most part a great place to stop as not too far from anything and could walk to so many places.
    Karen & Dennis Baldger
    360 Sundancer
    “Shell Seakers”

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Charleston Maritime Center

  • Report on Depth at AICW Passage Through Southern Ramshorn Creek, AICW Statute Mile 570, June 19, 2013

    Ramshorn Creek - Click for Chartview

    Last year’s shoaling near marker #40 at the southern foot of the Ramshorn Creek, north of Fields Cut, prompted a Navigation Alert and this area remains one requiring keeping a keen eye on your depth. The addition of another marker, as Captain Bell reports, should help.

    Cruising News:
    A red buoy has been added opposite G39. I found that the water depth between the two was less than six feet MLW. I was mid channel when I pass the two markers that are less than 100 feet a part.
    Dave Bell

    We just came thru here at near low tide and quite frankly, I think this spot is worse in some respects than many of the others that get more press (Hell’s gate, Mud River). The red buoy mentioned above is correct, however, at low tide, this buoy was setting on dry ground. As you approach from the south, yo can easily drift too much to the east at “G39″ and be on bottom, meaning as you pass “G39″ and think you need to turn to the right (starboard) as you enter the creek, then you are stuck on bottom. But, if you are at above low tide and see the red marker floating there and get too close to it, you are on ground and if a falling tide, then “oops”. This is especially tricky if the winds are blowing either easterly or westerly. We tried to help a boat get off, but it was too windy, but fortunately for him, it was a rising tide. We passed within 5′ of him (yes, five feet) and had 7.5 feet. only a few feet away is the red marker (nun).
    John Winter

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at the AICW’s Route Through Southern Ramshorn Creek

  • Flashing Red Marker #36 on the AICW/Waccamaw River REPLACED

    Click Chartlet Above to Open Chart View Page Centered on AICW/Waccamaw River Marker #36

    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 communityWe have just heard some GOOD news from Captain Dan Virga, onboard his vessel at SALT SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Bucksport Marina, Flashing marker #36, whose destruction caused us to issue an urgent SSECN Alert on 6/5/13, HAS NOW BEEN REPLACED by the USCG.
    Hooray, all is back to normal on the AICW’s run through beautiful Waccamaw River!
    We have cancelled the SSECN Navigation Alert for these waters!

    Mr. Young,
    Just wanted to post an update regarding the missing marker in Bucksport SC. Marker No. 36 . The Coast Guard has replaced the temporary marker with a permanent marker now.
    Sincerely,
    Capt. Dan Virga

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To Marker #36 On the AICW/Waccamaw River

  • Good Words for Sunrise Bistro on Johns Island, Charleston, SC

     Charleston City Marina Dockage SpecialsSunrise Bistro will require automobile transportation to get to, but it definitely sounds worth asking a favor of a friend or the cost of a taxi. The City Marina courtesy van does not go out to Johns Island.
    Please note that Charleston City Marina is a VALUED SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Cruising News:
    Claiborne,
    As we continue our voyage north we had the occasion this weekend to dock at the City Marina in Charleston. As a frequent visitor to Charleston and its fine eating establishments, we are always eager to uncover another favorite.
    Our escorts for this foray were Ed and Cindy Kridler of Charleston. Ed is a great guy and the District Commander of District 26 of the United States Power Squadrons.
    Our destination was the Sunrise Bistro at 1797 Main Road on Johns Island. The building is not much to look at but just wait until you go inside.
    You are warmly greeted by Brittany or the co-owner Jessica Welenteichick (the spelling is correct).
    Sunrise Bistro is normally open for breakfast and lunch but on Friday and Saturday they are open for dinner also.
    We started with hushpuppies wrapped in bacon. Holy Moly Claiborne, Hursey’s and the Mayflower restaurants would really be jealous of these gems which are served with Cajun honey butter. You just can’t stop eating them.
    For my entrée I chose one of the few remaining braised pork shanks with mashed potatoes, asparagus and Newcastle sauce. Quite simply Claiborne it was one of the finest meals I’ve had in and around Charleston.
    Other selections prepared by Chef Brian Appelt include Chef’s Home-Style Meatloaf with scalloped potatoes and asparagus in a carmelized onion demi glaze.
    Bistro Short Ribs over grits and wild mushroom demi glaze was a great hit with another of our party.
    Other offerings include Shrimp and Pepper-Jack Grits, Honey Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Pan-Seared Grouper (in garlic olive oil), Candied Rosemary Salmon and Creole Pan-Seared Pork Chop.
    The rest of the menu may be found at www.sunrise-bistro.com. Claiborne, this one is really special.

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

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

  • Another Update – 4-Foot Shoaling Reported (6/1/13) at AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 515

    Earlier reports have indicated depths of 5.8 feet at dead low in this perennial “AICW Problem Stretch” north of Beaufort, SC. Captains Cordello, Horowitz and Raynor all confirm our recommendation to take this passage at mid to high tide.

    June 1, 2013
    Ditto to the above comments. Arrived at Asheepoo Coosaw Cutoff at dead low tide on June 1, 2013, and plowed into mud with a depth under 4′. Waited for 2 hours and got through with 6′. Wish I’d have looked at the alternate route down the Coosaw River and up the Asheepoo to Fenwick Island. It adds 4 miles but would have been a lot faster and less nerve-wracking.
    Bill Raynor

    April 20, 2013
    We just came thru Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff on 4/20/2013 and the reported shoaling has gotten worse. We consistently saw 4.5 feet at MLW and one 3.9 foot at MLW. There appears to be an easy by pass by going down the Coosaw River toward St Helena Sound and up the Ashepoo Rv. We have not tried this route but will on the trip south next fall.
    John Holmes

    Oct 12 we also transit the Ashepoo/Coosaw Cut on a falling tide, just 2.5 feet above mlw, what we saw was exactly what was reported between markers 184 and 185 there would have been only 4.5 feet of water, strongly suggest going at mid to high tide.
    Doug Cordello

    Southbound, 3 November 2012. Exited the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff (“185″) at 1735. Low tide at 1818, +1.27′. Saw depths as low as 6 1/2′, so when you do the math there is not a lot of water at MLLW +0.0. At 1600 +2.8′, 1700 +1.8′, 1800 +1.2′, so check the daily tables and plan your passage accordingly.
    Mike Horowitz
    ALTAIR

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Ashepoo/Coosaw Cutoff

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

  • Report from AICW Problem Stretch North of Ben Sawyer Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge, Statute Mile 460



    Statute Mile 460 - Click for Chartview

    The AICW is shoaling badly along its southern and southeastern flank between the Ben Sawyer and Isle of Palms Bridges. MLW depths of as little as 2 feet have been noted by an official November, 2012 US Army Corps of Engineers survey.

    I came through this stretch at exactly low tide on June 2, 2013. I stayed to the preferred north side, but bumped bottom and plowed mud almost continuously from G119 to just before Isle of Palms bridge. I draw 5.5′ and made it, but don’t recommend it.
    Bill Raynor
  • Detailed Report on Little River Inlet, South Carolina Navigation (near Statute Mile 342)

    Well, what better information can one get on an inlet other than an account from a professional captain who pilots a large, deep draft ship through the seaward passage in question on an almost daily basis. Hats off to Captain Henry Young for obtaining this report, and passing it along to the cruising community.
    Little River Inlet lies south and east of the Waterway, right at the North Carolina – South Carolina state line, and just a stone’s throw north of the marinas at Little River, SC. The “Big M” gambling ship is stationed at a dock just south of AICW/Little River Inlet intersection. We have seen it dockside during many of our passages through northeastern South Carolina waters.

    Cruising News:
    Transiting my Offshore 40 with 6′ draft N and requested local knowledge on Little River Inlet and received this detailed response from the Captain of the “Big M”
    Henry Young

    Sir:
    The M/V Big M Casino has a draft of 8’-0”. At a low tide of -.9, which is the rarest of low tides, we have been close to the bottom in a couple of places but have not hit. At middle to high tide just stay in the channel.
    At low tide, The worst spot is near green #19 near Tilghman Point. There is no good route through there. The channel is wide but the shoaling goes all of the way across. At low tide you still have 8-9’ though.
    The next bad spot is on the approach from Tilghman Point to the Calabash Crossroads. Stay slightly to the green side middle.
    As you approach the jetty, outbound, don’t go too near green #5. Give it a little extra room and head straight to #4 in the jetty fairway. Outbound, there is some shoaling to your right. Outbound exiting the jetties stay to the right and head to about 150yds to the right of the sea buoy. Do not go to the left. You are good to go anywhere from there.
    Hope this helps.
    Captain William (Bill) Jacobson, Master
    M/V Big M Casino

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Intersection of the AICW and Little River Inlet

  • Shoaling Reported Inside South Jetty, Charleston, SC near AICW Statute Mile 469, 5/21/2013

    Dynamite Hole – Click for Chartview

    Dynamite Hole is a marked channel opening in the south jetty, at the ocean side entrance to Charleston Harbor. The shoaling location is described below by Captain Mullins.
    Local mariners often use this route as a short cut, particularly when entering Charleston Harbor from the south. ALL captains who contemplate taking this passage should read the message below with the greatest care!

    May 1, 2013
    There is a large shoal that has grown on the seaward side of Ft.Sumter adjacent to the Dynamite Hole area. We found it and spent 6 hours high and dry and had to be pulled off by Tow Boat US. There has always been a shoal about half way out from the ship channel while trying to go through Dynamite Hole, but it has been about half way between the green side of the channel and the cut itself. Now, this shoal has extended to about 100 ft. to starboard of the green channel marker while making passage offshore. We were not trying to go through Dynamite Hole when we hit, but were just to starboard of the green channel marker.
    We hit it under full sail and hit 4 times before we stopped on a falling tide.
    It is not marked by any buoys or signs and is not shown as a danger area on my GPS charts.
    The prudent sailor should stay in the shipping channel until at lease half way through the jetties going to sea.
    Philip W. Mullins (Phil)
    S/V Katash
    Isle of Palms, SC

    Hi, how close in time were you to low tide? I’ve gone thru Dynamite Hole a couple of times. Are you suggesting not using it any more or to go past the marker (as you head out to sea) marker on starboard and then turn south and head thru the cut in the jetties. Looks like that would avoid the shoaling.
    Skip Hardin.
    S/V Platypus

    Cruising News:
    Re the question “how close to low tide did you go aground” It was about 2.5 hrs before dead low tide. You can still go out Dynamite Hole, but I would pass Green “21” to seaward then turn south to Dynamite Hole, keeping the cut well to your west as you progress to the cut.
    Phil Mullins

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at South Jetty

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