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    • More on Wilkerson Creek Bridge, Alligator/Pungo Canal, AICW Statute Mile 126

      Our thanks to Skipper Dammeyer for sharing his experiences and advice with these two bridges in reference to an earlier report, /?p=125800. Wilkerson Creek Bridge, at Statute Mile 126, is generally accepted to be only 64ft and SSECN has recommended a low wind water level for vessels needing the full 65ft clearance. Fairfield Bridge with a vertical clearance of 65ft crosses the ICW at Statute Mile 114, west of the charted Fairfield Canal.

      We passed under the Fairfield and Wilkerson bridges yesterday Sept. 29 and dragged our antennas under both. This is our third trip South on the ICW with our Catalina 445, with air draft of theoretical 63′ 10’³. We did several tricks to heel the boat over and didn’t do any damage. There are no bridge boards at Fairfield and Wilkerson was reading just below the middle of 64. We did not expect to touch Fairfield, but were prepared to heal at Wilkerson. Water levels are high right now so know your air draft and be cautious.
      Rick Dammeyer

      And this Facebook local knowledge comment from Skipper Friedrich:

      There is no lunar tide in this area, so you cannot plan ahead for low water here. The wind tide can be a foot or more. We have experienced high water here in Belhaven for several weeks.
      Dave Friedrich

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Wilkerson Creek Bridge

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

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Fairfield Bridge

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

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. John Kettlewell -  October 2, 2014 - 11:41 am

        I have seen as little as 62 feet showing on the board at the Wilkerson Creek Bridge, though that is unusual. If you need more than 60 feet it is important to measure your air draft over the water line very carefully, because there are several places on the ICW you may encounter extra low clearance during times of unusual tides or wind conditions. The good news is that the location of the Wilkerson bridge is very sheltered and you should be able to approach the bridge at slow speed and under good control. However, it is a long way back to Norfolk if you can’t make it, and it is not a good place to anchor and wait. It sometimes takes many days for the water level to subside.

        Reply to John
      2. Ron Cousino -  October 1, 2014 - 8:27 pm

        Skipper Dammeyer,
        Just saw your postings on the Wilkerson Creek Bridge, not surer if you are south of Oriental yet, if you are here’s hoping you have a safe an uneventful journey without any further bridge issues, but if you are still north of Core Creek bridge; FYI….. went thru there twice on the 27th, tide board was reading 64′ on a still rising tide, my antenna also scraped and again on the 29th with 3 hours before high tide, was reading 65Ft., still scraped. also could not get under the Morehead City bridge as it was reading 63′ had to go back and go thru the Beaufort draw bridge.
        Point being we have had unusually prolonged high water for the past two weeks, from a steady NE winds driving more water from the sound creating higher “wind tides ” higher than normal, but as I saw today it is closer to normal water levels in the New Bern / Oriental areas,
        My mast is the same height as yours, and would love to hear of your “tricks” to heel the boat over to reduce the static height.
        Capt. Ron

        Reply to Ron
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