Avoid Channel Leading from Cape Fear River Marker #41, to the AICW at Marker #162A, Just West of Snows Cut (near St. M. 299), 8/1/11
Coming south from Wilmington, Manfred is not the first cruiser to be tempted to try this shortcut channel to avoid going the extra 5 miles south and then northeast to rejoin the Waterway just west of Snows Cut. The three legs of the channel are charted at 11ft, 10.5ft, then 2ft!! Manfred is absolutely correct when he recommends this shortcut only to “zero” draft vessels.
We are declaring a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Navigational Alert for this so-called channel!Cruising News:
Cape Fear River Shoal
Following the ICW from south to north, between St M 300/ St M 295 in the Cape Fear river. An excursion to Wilmington NC was made. Coming back to the ICW, from Wilmington, a small channel is marked from G41` to ICW R 162A` leading to the ICW, east of the main river channel.
At marker ‘ž1` we were on ground, showing 3 Â½ feet, 2 hours after high water. Calculating back to high water at this day, the depth would be only 5 Â½ feet. This passage can not be recommended at any time, only boats with “no” draft may use it with excessive care.
Skipper Manfred Rausch aboard SV Balimara, Bonn Germany
I too fell victim to this shortcut, having no problem navigating this at flooding tide going up river, tried it on the way back, and at red 4 found 3 feet needing 4. Sea Tow had to thread the needle to get to me with his motors tilted. Think markers need to be removed, or at least re-worked.
Skipper Mike Williams aboard s/v Chardonnay