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    • NEW ARGUS Layer – How It Works

      It’s easy to peruse ARGUS data on our Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net “Chart View” pages. Below, we provide several examples of how to make use of this neat, new tool. It might be a good idea to print out the rest of this posting, so you can easily follow the step by step instructions below.

      Please go to:


      This link will take you to a Chart View page, centered on coastal Georgia’s Little Mud River section of the AICW. As anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the Waterway already knows, this is the worst of the worst when it comes to AICW Problem Stretches.

      Now, look just above the chart image, and you will see a series of check boxes striking out from the left margin. Just under the “Diesel Prices” checkbox is a NEW selection, labeled “Argus (MLLW).” Click in this checkbox.

      Voila, a lot changes on the chart image you are viewing. First, look at the pop-up “ARGUS Legend.” You will see that depths are depicted by colored circles, and the legend shows which colors indicate which depths.

      Now, move your pointer over the chart image, and drag it to the south. Notice the “Red” circles near the southerly end of Little Mud River. It’s easy to see where the shallowest water is located.

      Now, just to continue this example, follow the track of the AICW by dragging the chart image south and west as the Waterway crosses Altamaha Sound, and then moves west to Buttermilk Sound. You will see the Argus sounding circles wherever depths are less than 12 feet. Notice that hard by the two Navigational Alerts we have previously established in these bodies of water, ARGUS found less than ideal depths! Kind of nice to see confirmation of our earlier work!

      Suppose the ARGUS data is hiding some relevant piece of info on the chart. Just click in the ARGUS checkbox again, and presto-chango all the ARGUS data, including the pop-up legend, disappears.

      Let’s try another example on for size. Go to:


      This link will take you to a Chart View Window centered on a portion of the AICW between Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine, Florida.

      Now, once again, click the “Argus(MLLW)” checkbox. The pop-up “ARGUS Legend” appears as well as the ARGUS sounding circles. Notice that one of the ARGUS cooperating research craft explored the anchorage on the southern tier of what we call the “Pine Island Loop.” You can see exactly what soundings this vessel discovered.

      For an ever better look, click the “+” mark on the zoom slider on the left, upper side of the chart image. Now, you really get a detailed image of what soundings were found in any particular part of this anchorage.

      Finally, let’s journey to:


      After following this link, you will see an image of the southernmost section of the Western Florida ICW, known as the “Miserable Mile.” Yet again, click in the “Argus (MLLW)” checkbox, and check out the recorded depths along the “Miserable Mile.” You can see the Waterway has some problems near Picnic Island!”

      And, that’s how it works! Please feel free and encouraged to bring up Chart View images of the coastline(s) of interest to you, turn the new ARGUS layer on and off, and check out the ARGUS soundings data.

      What a GREAT tool, and we are honored, along with our EarthNC and SURVICE – ARGUS partners, to bring this capability to the cruising community. Just take a moment to read the cautions below, and then it’s off to the races!

      A Few Words of Caution

      Even though our ARGUS data will be continuously updated, things could, and very well may, change between visits to any particular waters by an ARGUS cooperating research vessel. It is also possible that an ARGUS cooperating research vessel got lucky, and found deeper water than you may encounter by deviating only slightly from their track.

      Thus, the ARGUS data on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net should be used as another navigational tool, albeit a very useful one, but NOT as your sole means to find the depths your vessel needs to stay off the bottom!

      You will also note that the “ARGUS Legend” informs all users that the depicted soundings are “Tide Corrected,” and that “Soundings Over 12 ft [Are] Not Displayed.” This latter stricture is due to a current limitation in the number of data points which can be displayed in Google Maps. The easiest way to overcome this limitation was to exclude soundings deeper than 12 feet, as 12 foot depths are plenty deep for 99.9% of all cruising craft.

      Simply stunning. Yet one more reason to think that charts alone are just not enough. Thanks so much.
      Ted T.

      Pretty neat, thanks!
      Capt. Sterling

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