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    • Susan Leaf Photo Gallery Now Available

      Visitor at Toogoodoo Creek, South Carolina

      Over the last several years, we have been privileged to publish some absolutely outstanding images in the SSECN’s “Photo of the Week” section. More than a few of these noteworthy images have come to us courtesy of Captain Susan Leaf. Now, Susan has been kind enough to share a very special collection of her favorite photos with the cruising community. Don’t dare miss clicking on the “Click Here For Photo Gallery” link below to peruse these memorable pics!!!!
      In regards to Susan’s interest in nautical photography, she writes:

      I’ve been interested in photography since art school, mainly for painting ideas. When I and my husband, Elden, became full time cruisers in 2010, I decided digital photos would be a great way to share our journeys. Thus began the collecting and arranging of thousands of photos of our trip up and down the East coast from North Carolina to Florida. The further we went, the more varied and beautiful the subjects. The collection will continue to grow as we plan on exploring the west coast of Florida and the Bahamas in the coming years.
      Susan

      So, don’t delay, click away:

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    • Thoroughfare Creek Anchorage (off AICW/Waccamaw River) – Statute Mile 389 – Captains Mark and Diana Report

      On the Water GuidebooksNow here’s a really useful article from our strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water ChartGuides. Sometimes we all, or at least I do, get so wrapped up with memories of an anchorage’s natural beauty, rich history and superb shelter, we forget there may be another side to the story.
      And, indeed, that is just the case here. Along a river replete with wonderful spots to drop the hook overnight, Thoroughfare Creek vies with Bull Creek for the best of the best in this region. And yet, as you will see below, there may be certain times of the year when a disadvantage or two may show up in these waters. Read on!

      The Waccamaw River in Summer: More PWCs than Mosquitoes
      Thoroughfare Creek October 15 Versus June 15
      We often revel in the changing seasons. Every transit is different depending on the weather, the seasonal cloud formations, the patterns of bird and mammal migration, and the colors of the wooded shores or saltmarsh expanses.
      But here’s a seasonal change we weren’t expecting: the Waccamaw River in summer.
      For most experienced ICW cruisers, the Waccamaw River is one of their favorite cruising grounds. Anchorage after peaceful anchorage, typically the only boat tucked into a surreal cypress setting draped with Spanish moss. Birds call from the dark swampy woods and ospreys whistle from their huge stick nests.
      But that’s the Waccamaw River of early spring or fall. Come summer, especially on weekends, this waterway that is part of a national wildlife refuge becomes a playground for the jet skis, pontoon boats, and Baja cruisers from nearby overflowing Myrtle Beach.
      Don’t believe us? We witnessed quiet Thoroughfare Creek anchorage (STM 388.8) become a speedway for party boats to access the sandy bluffs at charted Belin, known to locals as “Sandy Island.” It looked like Coney Island!
      So we gave up on anchoring in Thoroughfare Creek, deciding to press on along the magenta line. We departed the Waccamaw with the company of a noisy jet skier, zig-zagging back and forth right off our stern using our wake to “catch some air.”
      Sheesh …
      Best and see you On the Water!
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
      http://www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

      I live in the area and often anchor in Thoroughfare Creek for the evening. It is a beautiful and very special spot. Fortunately for most cruisers, it is quiet and serene during the normal passage times. Just plan to forget it on the weekends from Memorial Day through Labor day’¦.Before and after that, it’s all yours!
      Geoff Groat

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For the Thoroughfare Creek Anchorages

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

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    • Praise for “Those Who Help When You Need It”

      Captain Parky offers thanks for the many folks that cruisers encounter who just know how to help when and where they are needed.

      Subject: Help When You Need It
      Cruising News:
      We cruisers are always grateful for the kindness of strangers. Those who take us to the nearest grocery store or library. Those who give us good advice on local attractions or events not to miss. Those who will help us repair our engines no matter where we are and those who will find a badly needed part at reasonable cost. In these days of `Buyer Beware’ America, the following gentlemen in the Hampton Roads and Outer Banks area would be on my personal list for a Congressional Medal of Honor.
      1) Robert the Lock Keeper at Deep Creek Lock who never fails to give up to date advice about the Dismal Swamp and offers a cup of fresh made coffee and cake to start off your day at the 8.30am opening.
      2) At Manteo City Marina ‘“ kind and friendly Dockmaster Carl Jordan who helps all boaters find what they need to make their visit a pleasure. See www.manteowaterfront.com or call (252) 305 4800.
      3) Bob McBride, Owner of Mile Marker ‘0’ marine store at Portsmouth City Dock seven days a week. Bob will give you a ride to Walmart or find that badly needed part within four hours. See www.marinesuppliesportsmouthva.com or call (757) 673 4816.
      4) It’s not often that a fully experienced diesel mechanic will travel 50 miles to fix an engine or quickly polish your diesel fuel for reasonable prices. Based in Coinjock, Ken Moore does that and much more no matter where your boat is. See www.marinepro.com or call (252) 457 0016.
      These people will help you avoid the more prevalent outfits who think boat owners are made of money and cannot do without their national chain stores and overpriced marinas. We all know who they are! 🙂
      Cap’n Parky
      MV Pisces

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Virginia Bridge Directory Listing For Deep Creek Lock

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

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

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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Mile 0

      Click Here To View Our Full Port of Call Entry for Coinjock, NC

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    • Excellent Report on Nine Foot Slough Channel into Ocracoke, NC, Pamlico Sound

      Nine Foot Shoal Channel

      Nine Foot Shoal Channel has been slowly losing its depth for the last year or so. As you consider using this route into alternate route to Ocracoke, keep in mind that this channel is named a “shoal channel”! Note too, that the primary entrance from Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke and Silver Lake Harbor is the Big Foot Slough Channel, which the vast majority of cruising craft and both Ocracoke car ferries use! However, Captain Ben seems to have found a route through Nine Foot Shoal Channel.

      Cruising News:
      Hi Claiborne –
      I type this sitting in Silver Lake on the hook at Ocracoke. Glum overcast day, but relaxing none the less. We came through a whopper of a storm on the Pamlico to get here, but not the worry as we all came across ok. Just a little annoying following sea to bully the boat around. Lightning is the only scare on the Pamlico in a storm and we were fortunate in that regard.
      Anyway, on to the report of the title. Nine Foot Slough always worries me a bit because who knows what you’re going to find. But I think I found a good strategy. Reports of 5-1/2 feet concerned me from other cruisers. I am happy to say our lowest was 7 feet at low tide.
      We came through at around 430pm on Saturday, July 21 at low tide. From #8 to #6 I measured 7 feet of water this is lowest we saw. From #6 to #5 I saw the water increase in depth from 8 feet to 13 feet. At #5 it was 10 feet. From #5 to #4 I saw the water go steady around 10 feet. At #4 it was 9 feet. Between #2 and #1 it was 10 feet then increasing to 11 feet. In the main channel the water increased to 17 feet.
      The strategy is this: At the #8, I could see the water tower dead ahead, middle of the channel near #4 I plugged that into the autopilot or, when I was piloting manually I headed straight for it. My depth readings are based on that path and we had no trouble at all. Hopefully no fall hurricane disrupts that path, but in this occasion, it worked for us.
      On a separate note we had an decent if unspectacular meal at Jolly Roger’s Pub, a bit overpriced in my humble O for average fare (lots of fries with my humble mackerel). We figured we made up for the average fare with a very nice view. Not bad food, just ok. Probably next visit would just order appetizers and beer. Ocracoke beautiful as always.
      Cheers,
      Capt Ben and his Motley Crew.

      I sail over to Ocracoke 3 or 4 times each year, and I sailed to Ocracoke the week after Capt. Ben was there. I tend to agree about the Jolly Roger. It is really more of a spot for beer and music on the waterfront ‘“ and the food is pretty average.
      A better bet for beer and burgers is the bar at the docks of the Anchorage Inn & Marina. Great burgers, and if you go there in late afternoon you get to watch the headboats come in to unload and weigh their catch, and the pelicans congregate to get the scraps.
      I find the Back Porch Restaurant to be the best restaurant on the island; I’ve never had a bad meal there and the Crab Bignette are to die for.
      Another good bet is Dajio; the food is great (though I think the lemongrass vinnegrette would be better than the Balsamic Vinnegrette on the Dajio Salad (which has chirozo, fried parmesan cheese bits, and grilled scallops). Dajio also has an outdoor bar and music 2 or 3 times each week.
      For breakfast/brunch try the Flying Melon Cafe. The Panne Perdu (really light and fluffy New Orleans style french toast) with blueberries is to die for. I thought my girlfriend would want to go there every morning before we sailed home.
      Rick Brass
      s/v Imzadi

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To Nine Foot Shoal Channel, Big Foot Slough Channel, Silver Lake and Ocracoke

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    • More AICW Shoaling Reported Near Isle of Palms, (Statute Mile 460)

      From earlier reports and as Captain Bell confirms, the water gets thin between AICW markers #111 and #119, north of the Waterway’s entrance into Charleston Harbor. While not yet designated an SSECN Problem Stretch, we have established a Navigation Alert for these waters and caution should be exercised through the AICW channel past the Isle of Palms.

      Three days ago we had to wait for one hour past low water, which was `0’³ tide, to pass between 117A and 119. Our sailboat has a five foot draft. We made two slow attempts to pass but ran aground mid channel and west or land side of mid channel. NOTE: while we waited for an hour past low tide we made an attempt to bypass the low spot by going around the Atlantic side loop. The chart shows deep water, which there is until you are 100 yards from 119, then there is a shoal that is less than four feet. So back to 117A you go.
      David Bell

      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

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    • News From Downtown Beaufort Marina (Statute Mile 536.5)

      We had the happy occasion to visit in person with Captains Mandy and Rick Griffin, proprietors of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Downtown Marina of Beaufort, on 7/18/12. We gathered a whole raft of new and updated information.
      First of all, Captain Mandy updated us on the often changing opening schedule of the nearby Lady’s Island Bridge. You can check out the updated regulations at /ladyaeâ„¢s-island-bridge.
      Next, we discovered that Downtown Beaufort Marina is running a new, 3-month dockage special. Those who commit to a 90-day stay will pay an appealing $13.50 per foot, per month!
      Captain Mandy also updated us thoroughly on the downtown Beaufort Restaurant situation. And, we had the happy opportunity ourselves to dine at Plums for lunch, Blackstone’s Cafe for breakfast and Breakwater Restaurant for dinner. No comment on what all this eating did to my waistline, but all three meals were SUPERB. Downtown Beaufort has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to GOOD dining.
      You can check out all Captain Mandy’s other restaurant tips by following the link to Downtown Beaufort Marina’s listing in the SSECN South Carolina Marina Directory, below. Just scroll down to the “Restaurant Recommendations” field.
      Next, Captain Rick give us the GOOD news that his facility has received a $100,000.00 community assistance grant. This money will be used to upgrade the marina’s dockside power, particularly the 50-amp hookups, and establish a mooring field west of the dockage basin. Due to the permitting process, the power upgrades are probably six months away, and planning studies are just getting underway for the mooring field. Nevertheless, this is great future news for an already first class facility!

      We can say without hesitation that this marina, operated by two of the finest folks in the business, is a great place to visit. We would not take anything for our time spent there and miss the whole crowd down there immensely. Everything you need is close by. Stop in and tell them that Dan and Patsy said hello.
      Dan and Patsy Traylor
      Winston-Salem N.C.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Downtown Beaufort Marina

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

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    • Good News from Leland Oil Co. Marina – McClellanville, SC (St. M. 430) – Captains Mark and Diana Report

      On the Water Guidebooks

      Leland Oil Co. Marina

      Here’s another excellent report from our strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, owners and originator of On The Water Chart Guides. This article concerns Leland Oil Company Marina, located on the waters of Jeremy Creek at McClellanville, SC. This facility lies about half-way between Winyah Bay and Charleston Harbor.
      As has been previously reported here on the Cruisers’ Net, and made clear once again below by Captains Diana and Mark, McClellanville Oil Co. Marina may just be “the” most improved facility in the SC Low Country. Even so, no-one will ever mistake this place for Pier 66, or Morehead City Yacht Basin, BUT with things as they now stand, we can recommend a stop here for those who want to experience a last, little piece of South Carolina Low Country, small town, charm!

      T. W. Graham & Co. Seafood Restaurant

      Hi Claiborne,
      Diana and I were through McClellanville last month and thought you’d like an update on what Dwayne’s up to at Leland Oil.
      ICW veterans have long known about the shrimp boat docks at McClellanville, SC (STM 430.0).
      In the past, you’d trade beer to raft up for the night In the tiny harbor of Jeremy Creek. But, of course, you’d have to stay up with the shrimpers to drink the beer ‘¦ and then untangle your boat at oh-dark-thirty so they could get off to work and you could catch a few hours of sleep before moving on.
      Now there is a more “civilized” alternative. Last year, Dwayne Merritt at Leland Oil put in floating docks to provide a place for recreational boats to tie up for the night, allowing them to keep their beer … and get some sleep.
      We recently stayed at Leland Oil and saw first-hand the new floating docks. Very nice! And Dwayne continues to make this facility more welcoming to cruising sail and power boats.
      McClellanville is worth a saunter, a quiet village of well-kept houses clustered on a few blocks near the shrimp docks. With its small streets, lack of traffic, and friendly residents, walking the town feels like going back a few decades.
      There is one stop in town, the local seafood restaurant, T.W. Graham. In true small-town style, it has abbreviated hours but is worth the wait. FRESH-FRESH seafood!
      Best and see you On the Water,
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Leland Oil Co. Marina
      www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

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    • New On-site Restaurant Now Open at Dolphin Cove Marina, Ashley River, Charleston, SC

      Dolphin Cove MarinaDolphin Cove Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – overlooks the Ashley River’s eastern shores north of unlighted daybeacon #16, northwest of the charted “R TR”. To reach this facility from the AICW’s run through lower Ashley River, your vessel must pass through/under the Ashley River Memorial/US 17 twin bridges.
      Dolphin Cove is sometimes overlooked by cruisers who opt for the Charleston City Marina or, on the Cooper River side of Charleston, the Charleston Martime Center or Charleston Harbor Marina.
      And, there is certainly nothing wrong with that plan of action. After all, both Charleston Harbor Marina and Charleston City Marina are SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS!
      However, if you seek a quieter, lower energy setting to coil your lines, consider Dolphin Cove, farther upstream on Cooper River. To access the principal Charleston historic and business districts, you will need a rental car, or a taxi ride, but now Dolphin Cove offers an on-site dining option, as you will discover below. PLEASE give the HydeOut a try, and tell everyone the SSECN sent you!!!

      Subject: We have a bigger dock! Restaurant now open!
      Cruising News:
      The HydeOut (843-745-0426) at Dolphin Cove Marina is now open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week! See our website at www.hydeout-charleston.com for more information. We have 22 dedicated boatslips for your use to enjoy your dining experience.
      Jennifer Carter

      The shrimp sandwich is amazing! And you’ll love the fried green tomato sandwich if you like something lighter. Either way, the service is great, the food is fine and the setting is sublime. The whole family enjoyed it so much that we’ll be returning tonight (second time this week).
      Paula

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

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

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    • ARGUS Confirms Shoaling on AICW Problem Stretch – AICW Channel South of McClellanville, SC to Awendaw Creek (St. M. 430 to 435)

      Perhaps the #1 advantage of being Survice Enginnering’s ARGUS Project’s strategic web partner, is that the SSECN is the FIRST to receive shallow water updates from the various ARGUS volunteer research vessels traveling Southeastern USA coastal waters. And, that’s just what’s happened here!

      Now, it isn’t exactly a surprise that the ARGUS equipment aboard M/V Elixir has just reported finding less than optimum depths along the path of the AICW south of McClellanville, South Carolina. After all, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net declared these waters as an “AICW Problem Stretch” several years ago! However, it’s certainly nice for ARGUS to verify this data, and even to pin-point the shallowest spots!

      Take a look at the first graphic below, and note the color coded ARGUS “solution sets” along the track of the AICW immediately southwest of marker #37. This stretch of the AICW lies just southwest of Jeremy Creek and McClellanville. As you can see, Elixir discovered some 6-foot MLW depths right along the mid-width of the AICW channel. Still enough for most vessels, but definitely getting on the thin side:

      And, then we have a second set of ARGUS soundings (“solution sets”) depicted in the graphic below, just a small hop farther to the southwest (northeast of marker #40). Again, LOTS of 6-foot MLW depths noted here:

      PLEASE NOTE that these depths (“solution sets”) are so NEW, they are NOT yet depicted on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Chart View “ARGUS Layer.” That will be corrected on our next update from Survice Engineering, due to be received soon. However, we thought this data was so interesting, it was worth calling to the attention of the cruising community even before this update is received and processed!

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW Channel South of McClellanville, SC to Awendaw Creek

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

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    • Shoaling MAY No Longer Be An Issue At the AICW/Little River Inlet/Calabash Creek Intersection (Statute Mile 342)

      The shoaling reported earlier at the three way intersection of the AICW, Little River Inlet and Calabash Creek seems to have abated. Captain Bell offers good advice concerning the markers through this area.

      At the border of North And South Carolina, Heading North, We passed R4 and R2 right on the magenta line provided by Navionics on our chart plotter. After passing R2 we began to favor the outside or green side of the turn heading north. We were at .25′ of tide and did not see less than 11′ of water. Not a problem area.
      David Bell

      We transit this area almost daily and have had no troubles. The 2 casino boats that turn at this intersection leaving and returning from Little River Inlet have probably helped to keep the area clear of any shoaling. They draw around 8-9′.
      Capt. John Schwab

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

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