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Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
Port City Marina - Wilmington, NC
Georgetown, South Carolina
Zimmerman Marine
  • Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Garners Welcome Recognition on

    If you have never heard of, let me just quickly say that it is, without a doubt, the premiere, on-line marine electronics blog/web site in the world. Founder and editor, Ben Ellison, is a force to be reckoned with in the world of marine products and services. His web site/blog is carefully watched by almost all the “heavy hitters” in the marine industry.

    So, it was with tremendous excitement and satisfaction when we learned earlier this week that Panbo had honored the SSECN with a very laudatory review of our web site in general, and our implementation of the ARGUS sounding data in particular.

    Ben Ellison

    Equally encouraging was Ben’s comparison of the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net with some of our competitors. After reading his article, we think you will agree that the SSECN comes off very well indeed.

    You can read the entire Panbo review at:

    However, for those who have limited time, please allow us to present some snippets from Capt. Ellison’s article:

    “As a guy who may actually cruise the Intracoastal Waterway this fall (as opposed to last year, when I only talked about it!), I’m delighted that there’s so much competition to collect and share relevant information about it. A particularly notable development is the way has teamed with Survice Engineering and EarthNC to overlay the former’s “Argus” volunteer-collected and tide-corrected depth data onto the latter’s slick online charting engine, along with lots of other valuable CruiserNet info.”

    ” . . . at least on my Internet connection changing layers, panning, and zooming are all quite snappy. What you’ll see is some current ICW depth detail that could be darn useful for visualizing the issues ahead, especially as it’s color coded.”

    “Also seen on the screen above is some anchorage info that might be helpful to someone who didn’t want to overnight at the Coinjock marinas just north of this spot. These are not shown on ActiveCaptain, which may well be because CruiserNet is edited by Claiborne Young, who used to write print guides to the ICW and is now enthusiastically trying to provide the same thorough coverage online and with reader assistance. As wonderful as pure crowd sourcing can be, I’ve always thought that there was still room for pros . . . “

    Many THANKS to Ben Ellison for these wonderful words. It’s not hard to understand why we find this development to be tremendously exciting

  • ARGUS Data Updated

    On 5/11/12, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net proudly announced a tri-partnership with Survice Engineering and EarthNC, which resulted in our web site being the first readily available web portal to display ARGUS sounding data. Suddenly, SSECN users could click a simple checkbox, thereby opening a new ARGUS layer, set over up-to-date images of the NOAA nautical charts. Once selected, the ARGUS layer displays color coded markers which depict the tide corrected solution of soundings gathered by ARGUS cooperative research vessels. ARGUS is another invaluable resource for the Southeastern USA cruising community, helping to make all mariner’s time on the water a safer and more enjoyable experience.

    Now, we are also very pleased to announce that Survice Engineering has just provided us with a new “solution set,” bringing fresher and even more numerous sounding data to our ARGUS chart layer. Our good friend, and EarthNC co-founder, Virgil Zetterlind, has worked through the weekend to implement the new Survice Engineering sounding data, and, as of this morning, 6/4/12, all new information is fully integrated into our system.

    If you have not yet tried our new ARGUS layer, or just need a refresher on how to take advantage of this wonderful new capability, please follow this link:

    Everyone please take advantage of and enjoy the safer cruising experience that ARGUS brings to all of us!

  • Dismal Swamp Canal Fallen Tree Reprise

    On Tuesday, May 22, we received a much appreciated note from Captain Jeffrey Siegel of, which warned of two trees which had fallen across the Dismal Swamp Canal. By the time this message was opened only a few hours after receipt, the SSECN was also directly copied on a reply from Donna Stewart, Director of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, to Captain Siegel. Donna’s original note is reproduced below.

    Thank you for the notice, we had not been contacted. I just spoke with my ACOE contact at 4:10pm. The Elizabeth II was brought into the Canal this morning. There were two trees down at MM18 and MM21- the second being a large oak tree.
    He has just called back and states they plan to be completed in about 15 mins.
    We are experiencing a severe storm here as well for the past hour. Thank you for the heads up. I posted a note on your site to say the same. Unfortunately, communication lines do not always work.
    Thank you,
    Donna Stewart, Director
    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center

    Within a few minutes we posted a notice on the SSECN describing the problem and its speedy resolution. All had returned to normal on the Dismal!

    Then, a few days later, Director Stewart forwarded a note authored by Captain Norman Loev, describing the series of events surrounding this incident, and bearing a gracious compliment directed towards the US Army Corps of Engineers. We wanted to reproduce this note on the SSECN right away, but have waited until Donna and the USACOE obtained permission for us to publish Captain Loev’s remarks. That permission has now been secured, so please take a few minutes to peruse Captain Loev’s account. I will then have a few editorial remarks to make afterwards:

    This message is intended to compliment the responsiveness of the people associated with operating and maintaining the Canal which we have transited 17 times in the past 12 years. We spent Sunday evening, May 20, 2012 in our 38ft Sabre sailboat tied up at the Visitors Center. The next morning (5/21/12) we were the lead boat of another sailboat and three trawlers heading north to make the 1100 lock thru at Deep creek Lock. At approximately mile 22 we hit a submerged tree and were stopped dead. I had difficulty getting past it because it extended all of the way across the Canal. I did eventually force my way past it on the extreme west side of the canal with a lot of bumps and grinds because I was hung up on it. We then saw another tree further north that was leaning into the center of the Canal which we would have hit with our mast had I not looked up in time to see it. I reported both of these by cell phone (too far away for VHF) to Robert, the Deep Creek Lock tender. After we exited the lock I was amazed to first hear on VHF and then see the Vessel Elizabeth on its way into the Canal to begin clearing these obstacles. I understand that this has been successfully completed.
    I want to commend all of you for your very quick response to this situation. We believe that the Swamp in a very valuable piece of American history and should be maintained and used.
    Norman M. Loev

    As you can see, the heroes in this series of events, were, first, Captain Loev, who so promptly informed the Deep Creek Lockmaster of the problem, then the lockmaster “Robert,” who contacted the Army Corps of Engineers without delay, and, particularly, the USACOE who dispatched a repair vessel, apparently equipped with a crane, almost IMMEDIATELY!
    The cruising community owes a huge debt of gratitude to Captain Loev, the Deep Creek Lockmaster and the Norfolk, VA office of the US Army Corps of Engineer. So, THANKS, to all three parties for resolving this obstructing and potentially dangerous situation in very short order!

    Anyone who has ever met Rob, at the Deep Creek Lock, would know that he would respond immediately to this situation and see that it was dealt with properly.
    Wally Moran

    Thanks to all……….in my 23 years as Director, retired last year, of the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center I could always depend on the USCOE for their understanding dedication and workmanship on the Dismal Swamp Canal. Robert has tremendous passion for the Canal and always does an outstanding job. Also, thanks to the crew of the Elizabeth. Just remember boaters, always continue working to make sure the Canal has funding to remain open. We have been very fortunate over the past years and want future fundings to continue. Happy crusing to all the boaters and thanks for using the Dismal Swamp Canal! Always remember to do the DISMAL!
    Penny Leary-Smith

  • Beach House Marina to Close, Surf City, NC, AICW Statute Mile 260.5

    The approach channel to Beach House Marina cuts southeast from the Waterway, southwest of unlighted marker #69, and just northeast of the Surf City swing bridge.

    Cruising News:
    Check for closing news on Beach House Marina, Surf City NC.
    Capt Mike Wilmington NC

    And this from the Pender-Topsail News and Voice and WWAY:

    SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — A marina in Surf City is closing, but the tenants are not the only ones affected. As the Pender-Topsail News & Voice was first to report, Wells Fargo, which owns Surf City Beach House Marina, delivered the news to people who keep their boat there yesterday.
    “It’s been a pleasure being able to promote our entire village,” business owner Capt. David Luther said. “That’s gone now.”
    For Luther and other tenants of the Beach House Marina, the past few days have been a whirlwind. Luther found out Tuesday he has to move his boats, one of which he lives on, by June 19. It’s a tough situation for him as he runs entertainment cruises from the Belle of Topsail and the pirate ship Raven.
    “We’ve gotten very involved with all the businesses around here, because surprisingly enough, this marina feeds business,” Luther said. “We get back in at 8 p.m. because we do a sunset cruise, and at 8 p.m. you have been out having a good time, what do you want to do? Go somewhere else.”
    Capt. Luther and his business are not the only ones affected by the closure of the marina. There are also those who own and live on boats here that will have to relocate.
    “I really don’t have any plans,” tenant David Avery said. “We’re looking and trying to find out. We’ll probably have to moor here for a while until we find another place to go or figure out what’s going on… at least till my daughter gets done with school.”
    Tenants have signed leases, and Capt. Luther even bought $30,000 worth of advertising promoting the location. They say it’s a nightmare they wish was not happening.
    “I put everything I had into this, and then for them to come and give me 20 days to get the hell out, that’s painful,” Luther said.
    Surf City Mayor Zander Guy says he does not want to see this happen. He says the town is looking into alternate options for the boats.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Beachhouse Marina

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

  • Good Words for Inlet Marina (Statute Mile 775.5)

    Small, but super-friendly Inlet Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR), overlooks the eastern shores of the AICW, just north of St. Augustine Inlet, and only a hop, skip and a jump south of the Vilano Beach Bridge. While Captain Jay lacks transient dockage, Inlet Marina boasts some of the best fuel prices around, and when it comes to enthusiasm for welcoming cruisers, these good people are in the very top tier!
    Don’t forget, you also can restock your galley while the tanks are being filled at a nearby (within walking distance), newly opened Publix Supermarket, only two blocks away. What’s not to love!

    Great fuel stop and a nice new restaurant.
    Friendly service with easy entry and exit right on the ICW. Best fuel prices in St. A with the noted discounts.
    Love the afternoon music at Beaches the attached restaurant.
    Jason Martin

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Inlet Marina

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

  • Interesting Strategy When Your Vessel Is Being Boarded by Law Enforcement Personnel

    Captain Robert Lucas, aboard S/V Aquitaine, has sent us a very interesting idea about a strategy that cruisers might employ when their vessel is boarded by Law Enforcement. The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net neither endorses nor takes issue with the strategy set out by Captain Lucas. All we will say is that it’s certainly interesting!
    I’m linking to the full article below, as it is lengthy.

    I tried this and it worked.
    Took about fifteen minutes of discussion, but the officer, after making three phone calls, said he was not authorized to sign any document. He wished me a “good day” and left.
    Captain Robert Lucas
    S/V Aquitaine
    Bradenton, FL

    Click Here To Learn about Captain Lucas’ Novel Approach to Being Boarded

    BRAVO! and bravo again! I always wondered just which bureaucrat or politician gave up our Fourth Amendment rights regarding unreasonable search. My guess is that printers are humming already (if you’ve got one aboard). I hope we can find some more results of this tactic!
    Capt Mike
    S/V Blue Skye

    Captain Lucas:
    In checking the regs, I found:
    Coast Guard may go aboard any United States vessel at any time, anywhere to conduct a documentation and safety inspection.
    A search of a U.S. vessel beyond this type of inspection is subject to limitations under the United States Constitution. If a search extends beyond this narrowly defined scope, a court may be asked to evaluate the legality of the search by balancing the individual’s right to privacy in the specific circumstances of the search against society’s interest in detecting criminal conduct.
    Captain Whitney

    Cpt. Lucas does not state which authority he is re. to…
    USCG, FMP, county?? Presumably it’s th CG but… I am reasonably sure that Cpt. Whitney is correct in his assessment. Still, just the novelty of being presented with such a doc. might cause enough confusion w/ officer on the scene and higher-ups to make them pause. I do think, though, that this would certainly be useful in the case of boarding by auth. other than CG. No lawyer I, but seems reasonable. Imagine what would happen if everyone demanded the signing of such a doc. every time some auth. wanted to board a vessel.
    Gov’t. of the people…by the people!!!!
    Dr. W. W. Waldrope

  • Photos of Roanoke Lighthouse Being Moved to Its New Home in Edenton Harbor

    Earlier, we ran a series of photos showing the historic Roanoke River Screw Pile Lighthouse, freshly perched atop its new home overlooking Edenton Harbor and Town Docks (see Then, just today, we received a fresh set of photos from Captain Greg Han, showing the lighthouse being moved to its new resting place. Excellent pics!

    Cruising News:
    Recently the Roanoke River lighthouse was installed in its permanent home at Edenton harbor. A party atmosphere took over the town park while the crews readied for the transfer from land to a platform over the harbor waters. House moving is a slow and careful business so the crowd thinned considerably by the time the crew was ready. The house was rolled across the divide inch by inch on a study network of girders.
    Allegria had a front row seat in Edenton’s terrific town harbor (first two nights free).
    Gregory Han

    Follow the Photo Gallery link below to check out these images for yourself!

  • Update on Bradenton Beach Anchorage (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 87)

     The anchorage under discussion below lies just south of the Cortez Bridge, west of the ICW.
    Two important notes need to be considered when evaluating this anchor down spot. First, successful entry can be very tricky for first-timers, AND the city of Bradenton Beach has twice tried to regulate this anchorage, first by creating a mooring field, and later by city registration of boats. Both attempts failed, but who knows what may happen here in the future!

    Bradenton Beach anchorage update: As of 5/12, the city has made no further blatant efforts to harass boaters. As a member of the “Mooring Committee” I can say that the city has no interest in really developing a boater friendly community.
    Still, I recommend to everyone that, rather than avoid areas of “conflict ie. St Pete, St. Augustine, etc., they use these areas and RESIST (nicely, of course) the erosion of navigation rights.
    As for the notion of the city “noticing the reduction of boating visitors and responding accordingly”, the city of B.B. would be quite happy if no one EVER anchored a boat in “their” waters.

    I respectfully disagree with this assessment of Bradenton Beach. I kept two boats there for the better part of a year…the first a 24-foot sloop…then a 29-footer…A friend of mine protested the 15 dollar/year fee for using the mooring field.The mooring field was illegal but I think that the reason he fought it is the slow erosion of rights and I am glad now that he did. They backed down on advice from their lawyer and I think that even though 15 dollars/year for showers and dinghy dock is a small price to pay for a decent facility with access to free trolley up and down the whole island…I think that the costs would slowly have risen over time and a bad precedent set. Having said all that…I DO NOT think that they hate boaters and liveaboards here…especially now that some of the riff raff has cleared out. The depths are overall poor for bigger boats…the approach in front of the fishing pier is a sad joke…but there is a back door further south beyond the sand shoals you can come in from if you keep going south after coming thru the bridge from the north about 3/4 mile and then come back in…at a NW angle…All in all…this is a decent area to keep your boat for awhile…amenity-speaking…but not for more than a few months IMHO… case it wasn’t was BB city comission that backed down…on advice of their attorney and they dropped the $15/YEAR sticker fee…
    Morgan R

    Hi Morgan and all,
    I did not say that B.B. “hates” boaters and liveaboards. I said that the city has no real interest in developing a boater friendly community. I base this on my own experience with the mooring committee and the council. My belief is that this is due to a lack of familiarity with the subject as well as a lack of funds to promote the area.
    I approached the city about a year and a half ago with the idea of establishing a yacht club for the purpose of promoting the area to boaters and managing the amenities and dinghy dock and to provide assistance/info to visitors re. anchoring, sanitation, etc.
    The city seemed receptive to the idea. They have strongly indicated that they would like the “anchorage community” to self regulate. This indicates, to me at least, that city has no real interest in reaching out… they would prefer that “we” do it.
    As I could not find two other qualified people to willing hold the required offices to charter a legit club, as well as volunteer time to such, I abandoned the idea. I would be most happy to revisit the subject with the city if there is enough interest.
    If the CITY were truly interested in reaching out to the boating community, I feel they would have made more/better effort to do so to date.
    I urge any and all to visit B.B. as Anna Maria IS. has some nice things to offer cruisers.
    Note: riff raff is in the eye of the beholder.
    There are still a few boats that are derelict or nearly so.
    If anyone in the local area is interested in organizing a fully chartered club, please contact me. My # is 512 903 4498
    Very Sincerely,
    Dr. W. W. Waldrope

    Thank you for the info. Last time we came through we anchored on the East side of the ICW because we could not figure out how to get into the anchorage. We anchored without problem in about 10 feet of water. The ride to the dinghy dock was a little long and there were boat wakes to crash through. BB was a great place to visit and would gladly paid a fee for the shower and/or dinghy dock but free was good.
    Frank Cushing

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Bradenton Beach Anchorage

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

  • Shifting Sands In St. Augustine Mooring Field, AICW Statute Mile 778

    Recent reports of shoaling at some of the moorings in the St. Augustine Mooring Field were confirmed by phone today, but according to the City Marina spokesperson, the shoaling is continuous and constantly changing. Currently there are moorings with as much as 15ft and some with 0ft. However, the moorings are always assigned and you would be assigned a mooring according to your draft. Thus the necessity to contact the City Marina at 904-825-1026 before picking up a mooring pendant.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

    We used the south mooring field at St.Augustine the weekend of April 1, 2012. We approached from the south, hailing the City Marina as we came under the high bridge just south of the San Sebastion River. The marina advised to stay in the ICW channel until abeam of specific day beacon due to shoaling and then gave precise guidance to our mooring ball. We had two very pleasant,secure, nights on the ball as a front passed through with severe thunderstorms, and were able to observe close up the ” Blessing of the Fleet”.
    The mooring field to the north of Bridge of Lions did not have any observable shoaling problems.
    We topped off diesel at the Inlet Marina and visited the Publix grocery.
    Steve Kamp, S/V Carolina

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For St. Augustine Northern Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For St. Augustine Southern Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Mooring Fields

  • Report on Conditions in the Great Dismal Swamp Canal, AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate RouteNavigation in the Canal was halted two days ago by storm damage, but rapid-within-hours response by the Army Corp of Engineers soon cleared the debris. Now our good friend, Donna Stewart, Director of the Welcome Center, brings us up to date on the water conditions of the Canal. The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center is A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    As you know, we had a large downed oak tree at MM 21 on May 22nd. I understand there was a tree leaning into the canal at MM18 as well. My ACOE contact, Joel Scussel-Operations Manager, told me both of these obstacles have been cleared. They are patrolling the canal for other obstructions. We had another boater report a few dead heads yesterday which we passed on as well. Joel shared with me today that it would be great, for future reference, to instruct boaters to report any problems encountered by nearest Mile Marker location as well as coordinates to the lock operator. This could facilitate speed in response time. We are also glad to relay any problems as well. Sometimes our area reflects distorted GPS coordinates. I’m not sure if this is from the legend of the meteor hit which created Lake Drummond or the mystical qualities of the Dismal Swamp…….alas, it is a problem sometimes.
    The beauty and bane of our beloved Dismal Swamp Canal is the fact these tall lush trees forming a tunnel of green for the passage through our dark mirrored waters, also prove a liability if a storm blows them into those same dark, mirrored waters. The ACOE also does a delicate dance with the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to maintain balance in Lake Drummond and the Dismal Swamp, (and outer lying waterways) as well as the Dismal Swamp State Park, whose bridge will not operate when water levels are off. When anticipated waters are expected from excess rainfall, they also try to manage the waterway to prevent major flooding with release from their spillways into the local outer creeks and rivers. Again, this is not an exact science, but a sophisticated chess match with moves and checks. All of this creates our Dismal Swamp experience.
    Unfortunately, we cannot control Mother Nature and the ACOE does a wonderful job in assisting with quick response times when made aware of any problems. We also all operate within budget constraints which can limit the ability to fulfill our wish list of improvements. I am grateful for the good working relationship we have with the ACOE in trying to manage problems as quickly as possible. It is our hope to have each visitor has a wonderful, enjoyable, safe passage through our waters.
    I appreciate your passing any of this information to your readers. We all want the most correct information to our boating public.
    Donna Stewart, Director
    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
    2356 US Hwy 17 N
    South Mills, NC 27976
    Phone ~ 252-771-8333

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

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