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    • Beaufort SC to Install Mooring Field and Upgrade Downtown Marina Docks, AICW Statute Mile 536.5

      The Downtown Marina Of Beaufort, SC, 1006 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 524-4422 or Marker #239 on ICWThe Downtown Marina of Beaufort – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – lies north of unlighted daybeacon #239, a short distance west of the Lady’s Island swing bridge, in the heart of beautiful downtown Beaufort, SC. The article below is reprinted from the May 17th Beaufort Tribune.

      An improved mooring area in the Beaufort River and upgraded electrical connections will make Beaufort more appealing to visiting boaters through a $100,000 federal grant received by the City of Beaufort and the Downtown Beaufort Marina.
      `For boaters who travel up and down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Beaufort will be a much more appealing place to stop for a night or two or three,’ Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said of the marina upgrades and new mooring field. `For too many years we’ve overlooked this important part of marketing our city to the boating community.’
      Work is expected to run from July 1 through December. The U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services are the federal funding agency for this Boating Infrastructure Grant. Key elements in the project include:
      · Installing two step-up transformers to increase the electrical voltage from 208 to 240 volts on the marina’s outermost dock which serves visiting vessels. The improvement will provide better customer service and make the marina more attractive to larger vessels traveling the Intracoastal Waterway
      · Installing 16 professionally-managed moorings for transient boats in an approved area of the Beaufort River, in the area already used as the city’s `harbor.’ Such mooring space isn’t available between Charleston and St. Augustine, FL. The new moorings will replace the approximately 12 randomly placed anchoring and also will involve removal of dilapidated boats which will improve water quality
      · Replacing two existing but rusting electrical disconnect systems at the marina and installing new disconnects in stainless steel housings.
      The mooring buoys will either be fabricated by a marine contractor or purchased through a vendor. The most cost effective approach will be the one selected. The buoys will be installed by a licensed marine contractor under the supervision of an engineer, said Libby Anderson, Beaufort’s planning director.
      The project is part of the capitalization of the Downtown Marina, which is City-owned but managed by Griffin Enterprises. Capital costs are part of the lease agreement with Griffin Enterprises.
      The mooring field and electrical upgrade project received endorsements from the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, Beaufort Sail & Power Squadron and local boaters.
      Because of its location within the historic downtown area and proximity to historic and tourism amenities, the Downtown Marina attracts a significant number of transient boaters. During the spring and fall, the major seasons for transient boaters in South Carolina, the marina typically hosts 10 to 20 boats per night, according to the marina management company.
      The Downtown Marina has approximately 1,140 feet of pier devoted to transient boats and can accommodate 38-40 boats of 26′ in length. Currently, there are no mooring facilities in the Beaufort area.
      Transient boats desiring a mooring must either dock at the Marina’s transient piers, if room is available, or continue to 65 miles north to Charleston, or 240 miles south to St. Augustine, Florida. A mooring field with associated professional management will increase the opportunities for boaters moving through the area.
      While some boaters prefer moorings, many desire the conveniences offered by dockage at the transient pier. The Downtown Marina falls short is satisfying the electrical needs of large, modern, well-equipped vessels ‘“ largely because the electrical service at the marina was installed in the 1970s.
      `This grant will help make our marina, and downtown Beaufort, a better choice for boaters as they travel the Intracoastal Waterway. They are a tight-knit community and word spreads fast about marinas with good, or bad, service,’ Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said.
      `When these boaters enjoy our restaurants and shops, when they enjoy our Waterfront Park, we want them to share their experience and to come back frequently. Some of them may even decide to relocate here. This is another investment in our future,’ he said.
      Submitted by John C. Williams, APR, City of Beaufort.

      Please note that there is also a mooring field in Fernandina Beach, which is closer than St. Augustine.
      Paula Spence
      M/Y Sea Eagle

      I prefer anchoring. I have excellent, well maintained gear and I am very professional in how I use it.
      I may as well sell it all, the way things are going’¦anchoring will be about as useful as knowing how to use a sextant on the ICW ‘“ useful only in the most unforeseen emergency.
      It seems every municipality has their hands out to take what they can from the transient boaters. Am I the only one getting sick of this?
      Wally Moran

      Wally from WallyWorld!
      Keven R. Quinn

      I agree with you Wally,
      A key difference is that I’m a fulltime resident here in Beaufort. I pay tax here, State, county and city. I have to pay to park downtown, what next will the city have a walking tax for foot traffic in the city limits? I have been sailing for quite some time. I had rather anchor out over a paid slip. The ICW should not be fare game for any city or county to levy tax in the name of whatever they want to in the betterment of the community. Bill the viewer of the great esthetic view our sailboats give, Hell you don’t tax the painter you charge the art center participant, right? Do you really think all sailors are rich? Most of us gave up the rat race in life to get away from this kind on force. Most of us spent all of our money on the vessel and good ground tackle so we could anchor out and hold well to the bottom as we go to town and spend our money in your towns. Early estimates I read in the Beaufort Gazette were as much as $200 a week. The average `hook sailors’ annual budget is only $15 to $18,000 a year. You put another $2500.00? Add 10% to your budget all at once. Can you still have the car payment? The trip to the mountains? The river is not yours Beaufort, its ours.
      Good day, Cpt. Curt

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

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

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Ron -  July 3, 2015 - 7:37 pm

        I see some pretty absurd comments here. Any cruising or anchoring guide will show dozens, perhaps hundreds of anchorages along the AICW. And of course there are many more not listed in books Even in Beaufort, there are decent anchorages both north and south of the mooring field. We often anchor south of the marina and mooring field just past the sandbar.

        Perhaps one of the reasons for establishing a mooring field is to get rid of derelict boats or boats whose owners “store” them for free on the public waterways.

        If your budget cannot accommodate mooring fees, that’s understandable but it’s not the town or city’s responsibility to provide free storage for your boat.

        Reply to Ron
    • Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Anchorages

      The discussion below is copied from the Cruisers’ Forum, and relates to the several anchorage opportunities adjoining an island which lies withing dinghy distance of Key West Bight. The charts name this isle, Wisteria Island, but all the locals refer to it as Christmas Tree Island.

      We are currently behind Wisteria Island. The whole area is surrounded with boats. North of the Island east and west. The cityKWB marina maintains dinghy dock for 26 a week or 80 a month. Just pick a spot with enough swing, lotta boats.

      Anchoring on the south side of wisteria (christmas tree) island will give you some shelter from the north but it’s rolly from wakes (especially in the early morn. when the charter boats go out). Holding is fair but use caution. It’s a short dink ride across the channel to the harbor where the dink dock is (payment enforcement haphazard… meaning you never know so just pay). note: going back across the channel in a northerly blow can be extremely rough and wet.
      Also remember that K.W. has been pirate country for centuries… and still is. Use common sense and you will have a great time.

      Just off of Christmas tree is the place to be. It’s convenient to the municipal docks & out of the way. There are areas where there is 8-10 inches of sand over limestone, and you will think you are dug in well but will drag like a mother in the first squall, so make certain you’re dug in.
      Also, an open hatch is considered an invitation. A closed hatch with a big lock will generally be left alone.

      Just take care that your anchor does not get stuck in the many custom made moorings around the island. I picked up an engine block once trying to haul anchor. Many derelict boats with questionable ground tackle all over.
      Be careful of the shoal in the middle that looks like a great empty anchor spot.
      However once you navigate all the above it is a great spot very close to KW and a much better location than the city mooring field. Never had issues with `piracy’ in the many years I have gone there. Might be dumb luck though but I do lock up when I leave the boat.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Eastern Anchorage

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Northwesterly Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Wisteria/Christmas Tree Island

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    • May, 2012 Report from Hell Gate, AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 602

      The AICW follows the narrow, man-made canal known as Hell Gate between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers. These waters have been an “AICW Problem Stretch” for years. Fortunately, dredging during the summer of 2009 had kept depths decent until December of 2010 when reports of new shoaling began. Looks like the surrounding shallows are once again beginning to creep into the channel. Effective immediately, cautious captains should begin to time their traversal of Hell Gate for mid to high tide.

      Entered Hells Gate, abeam of “92” at 1348, about 1 hour after low tide. Strayed a little to far to the red side at the edge of the channel and got as low as 7.5′-corrected to center channel and saw from 8′ to 14′ to “87” at 1355, where it dropped off to 10-12′. There is a nun “90” in the cut that may not appear on some charts. Passage should not be a problem, even at low tide.
      Michael J. Horowitz aboard ALTAIR

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Hell Gate

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

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    • Detailed Report on AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 515)

      Earlier reports have indicated depths of 5.8 feet at dead low in this perennial “AICW Problem Stretch” south of Charleston, SC.

      Abeam of “186” at 1137 and followed the magenta line around to abeam “185”, entrance to the Ashepoo-Coosaw cutoff, and depth dropped to as low as 8.1′, then bounced between 8.1′ to 8.5′ abeam of “184”. Low tide prediction: 1339, +0.14′-probably have at least 6′, + or -, at LT. Dredging would help.
      Michael J. Horowitz aboard ALTAIR

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Ashepoo/Coosaw Cutoff

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

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    • Historic Roanoake River Lighthouse Now Perched Atop Its New Home in Edenton, NC Dockage Basin (Western tip of Albemarle Sound)

      Old Roanoke River Lighthouse Now Set In New Edenton Harbor Home

      The historic community of Edenton, North Carolina lies near the western extremes of often choppy Albemarle Sound. Edenton is actually the state’s oldest town, though Bath, NC makes that claim based on incorporation dates. Edenton plays host to a wealth of historic homes and structures. We always feel that a visit to Edenton is like stepping back into America’s Colonial and Revolutionary past. And as Jim and Talley affirm, a visit to this city is well worth any cruisers’ time and effort.
      Earlier, we reported here on the Cruisers’ Net that the historic Roanoke River Screw Pile Lighthouse had been restored, and was slated to be perched atop a series of pilings in the Edenton City Dockage Basin (see /?p=81847). Well, as you can see form the photo on the right of this posting, taken 5/15/12, while it looks like some construction is still ongoing, this old sentinel has now been set atop its new home! How utterly appropriate that this historic structure has been returned to its natural habitat, perched atop a series of “screw pilings!”
      And what are “screw pilings” you may ask. Well, they are simply pilings that have been “screwed” into the bottom strata!

      If Manteo looks like Norman Rockwell, then Edenton looks like Walt Disney. This is the idyllic little town main street leading up from the simple little harbor. Something like you would expect to find forgotten in some New England fishing village. There are houses dating from 1750’s. There are monuments and statues celebrating battles before our countries revolution. Formal English gardens open to the public for all to see. There are a couple of back yards that go on forever. Everywhere you look you see residential architecture depicting taste and grandeur, not efficiency and mass production.
      This little town is anxious for the cruising community to frequent. They are improving the harbor, and restoring the old light house. They’ve moved it to sit atop new screw pilings as it was designed to be installed. Maybe the last square light house to sit on screw pilings. There is a large light cupola at the top of the house. With a good light in there, you will be able to see it from all over the eastern end of the Albemarle Sound and Chowan River.
      Great walk around town. There is a really outstanding hardware store. The dock master has a courtesy car if no one else is using it, and there is a Food Lion just a mile up the road.
      Ya got to come see this town. It’s great!
      Jim and Talley Powell

      And just across from the lighthouse is the 1758 Cupola House Museum and Gardens. Please do come to visit!!
      sally francis kehayes

      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 sturdy network of girders.
      Allegria had a front row seat in Edenton’s terrific town harbor (first two nights free).
      Gregory Han aboard Allegria

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For the Edenton City Docks

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Edenton, NC

      Click Link Below to See Additional Photos of the Roanoke Lighthouse Newly Perched Atop Its New Home at the Edenton Town Docks

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    • Swan Point Marina Reopens Under New Ownership/Management (Statute Mile 247)

      We are very pleased to report that Swan Point Marina, located just south of the AICW/New River/New River Inlet intersection has reopened under new ownership/management. According to a telephone conversation I had this morning (5/17/12) with co-owner, Jason, transient dockage is available, complete with 30-50 amp power hookups and fresh water connections. Overnight transient dockage rates are a very reasonable $1.50 per foot, per night. Mean Low Water depths on the entrance cut run to 4 1/2 feet, but the interior dockage basin has just been dredged to 6 1/2 foot MLW soundings. One nearby restaurant will dispatch cars to retrieve cruisers from the marina, and then return them to the docks after dining. Note that neither gasoline nor diesel fuel is sold here now.
      So, all in all, it’s a really good thing that another transient friendly marina is now to be found between Swansboro and Wrightsville Beach. Stop by and give Jason some business, and tell him that you read about his newly reopened facility here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net!
      If anyone has had occasion to spend a night or two at this new iteration of Swan Point Marina, PLEASE share your experience by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below!

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

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

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    • Sunset Beach Fixed Bridge Clearance Gauge Corrected, AICW Statute Mile 338, Sunset Beach, NC

      The new Sunset Beach Bridge with a fixed clearance of 65ft MHW replaced the old pontoon bridge. The correction noted below is the result of comments from cruisers regarding the accuracy of the clearance gauge (see article below). Our thanks to Mr. Gregory of the USCG and to Mr. Carroll of the NCDOT!
      Mr. Gregory,
      We have adjusted the vertical clearance gauge to show the vertical clearance to the bottom of the Navigation Light. The tide was near low and at the time of measurement, just less than 70′ of vertical clearance existed. Thanks for making us aware of the situation, feel free to inform us of any other issues that come up.
      Trevor Carroll
      NCDOT Division 3
      Bridge Maintenance Engineer
      5501 Barbados Blvd
      Castle Hayne, NC 28429

      Excellent to see Cruisers’ Net has the ear of those able to make changes. Thank you!

      Click Here To Read a Recent Posting Re Sunset Beach Bridge

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

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

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    • Darien, Georgia Looks to Attract Cruisers (7 nautical miles off the AICW, near St. M. 652)

      Back in February, of 2012, I visited the small, but surprisingly bustling community of Darien, Georgia by land yacht. I was impressed with the number of restaurants, the waterfront wine shop and the very welcoming attitude towards myself and cruisers in general. Now, with FREE 48-HOUR DOCKAGE, the city of Darien is making a real push to lure mariners along the 7 mile cruise from Darien River’s intersection with the AICW, to the town waterfront. And, with a well marked channel, featuring 12+ feet of MLW water, this is now a decidedly enticing proposition.
      We would LOVE to hear from fellow cruisers who have made the trek to Darien’s waterfront. If this accurately describes you, please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

      Hello Claiborne,
      I don’t know how long ago it was that you were here but we have made a great deal of improvements and added a lot of businesses near the waterfront. We are going all out to provide dockage, information and assistance to the cruisers in Darien and this is a big step. We really appreciate this and I am looking forward to seeing it on the Cruisers Net.
      Thank you,
      Captain Phillip

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For the Darien City Docks

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Darien City Docks

      Click Here To Read a Local News Article About the New 48-hour Free Dockage in Darien

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    • Photos of Leland Oil Company’s New Floating Docks (McClellanville, South Carolina – AICW, Statute Mile 430)

      Back in April (2012), we published several reports from fellow cruisers detailing the very welcome new, floating docks at McClellanville, South Carolina’s Leland Oil Company (see /?p=81422 and /?p=85795). I had always wanted to recommend stopping in McClellanville, as this idyllic village is a real throwback to yesteryear, with its moss shrouded lanes, and quaint homes that look as if they just stepped out of the early 1900’s. However, until these new docks were added, the roughness of Leland Oil Company’s dockage facilities were a real trade-off against the community’s other charms. Now, while no-one will ever mistake this facility for Fort Lauderdale’s “Pier 66,” we can recommend a stop here!
      Just a few minutes ago, the dockmaster at Leland Oil Company transmitted a series of photos detailing his new docks, You can see one to the right. Follow the photo gallery link below to check out the rest!

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    • Freedom and Jeff

      This has absolutely NOTHING to do with cruising, but if you are an animal lover like yours truly, and particularly if you or a loved one suffers from the scourge of cancer, then don’t dare miss this moving tale! As someone whose first-rate, first-mate has been, and still is, heroically fighting “never smokers lung cancer” for 4 years, I cannot read these words and see these images, no matter how many times they pass before my eyes, without getting choked up.
      Please go to:


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