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    • Florida Marina Liveaboard Discussion

      For the last week or so, there has been a lively discussion on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association forum ( about the issue of liveaboards, particularly as this issue relates to facilities in Florida. All of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are aware of the importance of this issue to the cruising community, and will soon make available a comprehensive, professionally researched list of marinas where liveaboards are welcome. Until that happy event, listen to what our fellow mariners have to say by following the link below! This discussion is just too lengthy to post in its entirety here.


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    • A Little Nautical Humor – Picture Mix-up

      Here’s a little ditty sure to bring a BIG SMILE to the face of all regular SSECN visitors. And, it’s a good example of why a professionally moderated nautical web site is a good idea!
      This all began when we received the note and photo below:

      As many of us know, the Albemarle can be a handful. A lazy cruise through the Alligator-Pungo Canal makes it all worthwhile.
      Clyde Lee & Diane Willis
      Aboard Friendship 1987 Grand Banks 42

      I took one look at this pic, and dispatched the following e-mail to Captains Clyde and Diane:

      Hello Clyde and Diane:
      Your photo looks an awfully lot like the Dismal Swamp Canal to me, and not the Alligator – Pungo Canal. Am I wrong?

      And, just this morning, received this reply:

      Oh My. The next-to-the last editor let one pass. Diane was organizing pixes and sent this one over to me mislabeled. I — yes– I must take full responsibility given the number of times I have done the “North Carolina Loop” from our base @ Atlantic Yacht Basin. I shoulda recognized it. Hope you won’t think too little of thus retired newsman.
      Clyde Lee

      Well, Clyde, trust us, we do NOT think “too little” of you, particularly having made similar mistakes myself more times than I can count. One incident that comes to mind occurred in the first edition of my “Cruising Guide to Eastern Florida,” in which, somehow, Jupiter Seasport Marina was located a couple of miles from where it actually resides. Boy, did I have egg on my face for an entire year about that one, until a new edition of CGEF was released!
      Oh well, when any of us find the perfect person, be sure to let me know. Until that occasion, let’s all just keep on doing the best we can!

      And, reaction from Captains Diane and Lee after we published the above:

      Thanks for the posting. I am sending the link to our cruising (and non-cruising) friends…especially some former fellow co-workers. Diane and I spent many years –too many to admit to–as television news anchors. Some of our fellow journalists sometimes gave us “front liners” a little friendly ribbing from time to time…claiming that anchors sure can read, but don’t know how to write! (Don’t you believe it. Diane has 7 Emmy Awards for her global documentary work, of course, I have none!)
      We enjoyed your response to our posting!
      Keep up the great, great work. I check out your website nearly every day! It keeps me afloat when I can’t feed my cruising addiction. And when we are cruising, we take copious notes gleaned from your website regarding problem areas, fuel prices, marina and dining suggestions. And of course, we have your books.
      Clyde Lee
      Diane Willis
      1987 GB42

      Words to live by,
      `Trust But Verify’
      Thanks for the inclusion,
      Despite my confusion.
      We will make sure to say Hi the next time we attend one of your presentations, which we always enjoy.
      Clyde Lee
      Diane Willis
      1987 GB42

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    • Uncharted Markers/Shoals on AICW/Ashepoo River, Statute Mile 512

      Click for Chartview

      Even the latest chartplotters cannot keep up with aids to navigation added to mark shoaling, and it can be confusing to approach a marker that often just does not make sense when looking at the chart. Thanks to Capt. Butler for bringing these uncharted markers to our attention!

      New red nun 166 in Ashepoo River to mark shoal and the QR168 where you make the hard turn to port for the cutoff. Also noticed a new G175 in place of the range in Rock Creek.
      Karen Butler

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Ashepoo River

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marker #175

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    • “Report” from Matanzas Pass Entry Channel, Fort Myers Beach, FL

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Capt. Armstrong provides “‘nuf said” about the entry channel into Matanzas Pass where shoaling has drastically shifted the deep water. Click link below for a recent Navigation Alert posted on Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.

      Hi Claiborne,
      Lastest info on Matanzas Pass…don’t follow “red, right, returning”…safe to outside green markers #5 & #7, depths 8′ to 13′ on the tides.
      Capt. Art Armstrong
      State of the Art
      In God We Trust

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Matanzas Pass Channel Light #5

      Click Here To Read Earlier Comments about shoaling in This Area

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    • Another View from Jekyll Creek/AICW Problem Stretch, AICW Statute Mile 683

      Click for Chartview

      Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatThe AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch has had shoaling for some time now with reports of depths below 5ft at low tide. Mid to high tide passage is recommended. Sonny provides us with another perspective on this very shallow creek.

      I am going to disagree with everyone. The creek at Jekyll is tricky but if you follow the channel, look at a sat or google earth view and you will see it! Not the magenta line.
      We have several barges come through each week at differing tides and they draw 8 ft. I have a picture of the barge going through the bridge at Jekyll Harbor Marina at low tide with a draft of 8 ft.

      Yes there is some shoaling at G19 and St. Andrews sound but we go out and in with our 4 ft draft fine at low tide. Boat US will advise you also to stay in the channel! They say the people that get in trouble are out of the channel.
      I hope this helps.
      I want cruisers to know that the ICW passage here is safe and passable if they are aware and careful. Jekyll Island is a very nice place to visit or stay as they transit the ICW heading south for the winter.
      Sonny, Jekyll Harbor Marina

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

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

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    • More on Avoiding Marker #32 in St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Mile 690

      Captain Healey’s excellent description of his passages through St. Andrew Sound has been prompted by the lengthy discussion (see referenced link below) of the Waterway’s dogleg turn at Marker #32 and he offers an alternative route to avoid Marker #32 where the water can get very rough because of its proximity to the open ocean.

      Hi Claiborne,

      Reference: SSECN link: /important-markercharting-confusion-and-increased-shoaling-on-aicws-passage-through-georgias-st-andrew-sound-st-m-690/, dated August, 2012.

      I guess I missed this discussion when it was hot. At the risk of “getting myself in trouble,” I confess that I do not go east as far as R”32″ when we transit the area of St. Andrews Sound. Instead, we skirt the eastern end of the charted shoal that extends westward from the mouth of the Satilla River towards the inlet. That shoal is labeled “Horseshoe Shoal” on the chart. I know my path is off the charted magenta line, but as we all know, the magenta line is only a guide, and often wrong as waterways have changed since it was first created.

      I have attached two screen shots (Vector and Raster chart views from Coastal Explorer). The screen shots show both our “preferred route” (black line) and 4 of our tracks (light red lines) as recorded over the past several years. The tracks are dated: 4/23/ 2008, 5/16/2009, 11/9/2011 and 4/24/2012. In settled conditions, we go out at Doboy Sound and come back in at Fernandina or Jacksonville. That skips a lot of Georgia shallow water, and it’s easy-out, easy-in. That’s why there are some migrations that don’t show tracks.

      To my personal knowledge, the depth of the “shortcut” that I’ve shown has been stable over at least the last 5 years, and generally carries 3′ – 4′ more water than charted, adjusted for tidal range at the time of our passage. We have transited that route at several tide stages, and I’ve never had occasion to worry about depth. We draw 4-1/4 ft, and have never seen less than 7.5′-8′ in that area. My one concern would be if seas were up from the east. In 2′ – 3′ seas, at low tide, I’d just swing a little farther east around the tail of Horseshoe Shoal. Or, take the route through Floyd’s Creek. In any case, it “is not* necessary to go out to R”32” before turning south to the ICW off Cumberland Island.

      I am not advocating or encouraging others to do what I do. Every captain has to decide what’s right for them. But, this is what I have done and it has worked well for us. We’ll be headed south in another 3-4 weeks. I will let you know what we find.

      Hope all is well! Jim

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
      Currently at Rock Creek, Pasadena, MD
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

      St. Andrew Sound - Click for Chartview

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Donovan -  September 23, 2012 - 5:50 pm

        Yep; that’s exactly the route I’ve been taking, with the same observations. Nice graphic!

        Reply to Donovan
    • No More Tax-Free Diesel for Transients at Tidewater Yacht Marina, AICW Statute Mile 0, Norfolk, VA

      Tidewater Yacht Marina

      Top Rack Marina

      Tidewater Yacht Marina is located on the west side of Town Point Reach in the Norfolk, VA harbor, hard by AICW mile zero. . Their website is

      Top Rack Marina is just north of the Steel Bridge in the Virginia Cut at Mile 8.8. Their website is

      Hi Claiborne,
      Figured SSECN readers would appreciate an update on Tidewater Yacht Agency’s (STM 0.3) previous loophole policy of selling diesel to transiting out-of-state boaters tax-free.
      Unfortunately, those days are gone. We visited there this week and were told they now were only selling tax-free to charter and international vessels.
      Not all bad news … heading south, Top Rack Marina (STM 8.4) prides themselves as the lowest-cost option in the area and continues to beat local competition by as much as 50 cents per gallon. Nice!
      Best and see you On the Water,
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Town Point Reach

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

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    • Carolina Beach Mooring Field Once Again Considered, Captains Mark and Diana Report (Statute Mile 295)

      On the Water GuidebooksThe newly established Carolina Beach Mooring Field, just south of Snows Cut, has been getting a lot of electronic ink here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net of late. First, we published an article that was partly critical of this facility (see /?p=95509), followed by a laudatory look at the field (see /?p=97015).
      Now, we are fortunate to present an in-depth article by our strategic partners, Captains Diana and Mark Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water ChartGuides. With all this data in hand, cruisers can now make an informed decision as to whether the Carolina Beach Mooring Field is a good spot to spend the evening, or not.

      Hi Claiborne,
      As many of your readers know, the Carolina Beach town moorings aren’t free anymore … but they’re still a great deal!

      Until the town of Carolina Beach found a company to manage their moorings, boaters were welcome to tie up for a night or two at no cost. The moorings, ten of them placed in the well-protected bight of Carolina Beach at STM 295.1, now cost $20/night.

      On the upside, you can now make a reservation in advance by calling 910-667-0004. The moorings are for boats 26 to 50 feet in length and the maximum stay is 10 days.

      If the moorings are full, don’t overlook Carolina Beach’s two excellent nearby anchorages. The south anchorage has slightly better protection and is closer to the town dinghy dock than the north anchorage. Both spoil island anchorage areas are very deep, as charted, but moving to the edge affords more reasonable anchoring depths.

      I’ve included a sample page from our new ICW AnchorGuide series to show the locations of the moorings and the two anchorages.

      The town maintains a free dinghy dock at the southern end of the bight. It has excellent access to nearby restaurants, tourist shops, and of course the beach.

      Sea Merchants Food Store, an excellent independent grocery store, is located only a few blocks away (910-458-7409). And Carolina Beach State Park, with a visitor center and jogging/hiking trails, can be reached with a pleasant walk ‘Žup pedestrian-friendly Harper Avenue.

      Here are pictures of the mooring field and Sea Merchants grocery store.

      Best and see you On the Water,

      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Carolina Beach Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Carolina Beach Mooring Field

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    • Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier Publish “The Great Book Of Anchorages”

      Susan and Chuck are good friends of, and frequent contributors to, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. Captain Susan is the former editor of “Waterway Guide,” where Chuck was General Manger. More recently, Chuck has been doing stellar work for MarinaLife and, of course, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.
      We are pleased to help promote their new, paper publication, “The Great Book Of Anchorages.” This is the first volume in an eventual six volume series.
      Coupled with Mark and Diana Doyle’s superb two-volume “AnchorGuide for the Intracoastal Waterway,” not to mention the wealth of professionally researched data in the Cruisers’ Net’s various Anchorage Directories, the cruising community now has almost an embarrassment of riches when it comes to professionally gathered resources on where to drop (and NOT drop) the hook!

      The Great Book of Anchorages
      Media Information, For immediate release.
      Sarasota, Florida ‘“ September 4, 2012 — Publishers Chuck Baier and Susan Landry announce the formation of Beach House Publications and the first in a series of new and comprehensive anchorage books. Chuck and Susan have been long-time active cruisers for decades with tens of thousands of miles under their keel. They’re both freelance writers and have been published in most major boating publications including Soundings Magazine, Southern Boating, Good Old Boat, Sail, Bluewater Sailing, Marinalife Magazine, Cruising World, Live-Aboard Magazine and a host of Internet sites. Chuck is the former General Manager and Susan the former Editor of Waterway Guide. Chuck provides important navigational notices and safety information to boaters through the Marinalife website. Susan has been compiling and editing their first publication.
      Beach House Publications and The Great Book of Anchorages series was conceived and born on a laptop in the forward cabin of their current Marine Trader trawler, Beach House. The first in a series of anchorage books, Hampton Roads/Norfolk to The Florida Keys, Including The St. Johns River, has been decades in the making. Research began over 20 years ago with a first trip down the Atlantic ICW from the Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Keys and continues today. The information contained in The Great Book of Anchorages is the result of all of those many years of searching for the best anchorages along the way and the desire to share that information with other boaters. Having been users of almost every major boating cruising guide and involved in the publication of one of the larger guides, there was one aspect that seemed to be constantly missing. That missing aspect is detailed anchoring and free dock information. The Great Book of Anchorages now fills that missing information in a new easy-to-use format.
      This is the book most marinas are going to hate. The Great Book of Anchorages may very well become the standard for anchorage books to follow. Boaters can finally do an entire cruise without any marina stops or choose when they want to find paid dockage. The books are designed for information on anchoring and free docks and nothing else. It doesn’t pretend to be a cruising guide or combination cruising guide and anchorage information.

      Over 530 anchorages and free docks in the first edition.
      Anchorage and free dock details with color chartlets from NOAA charts.
      Mile-by-mile anchorage locations with GPS waypoints.
      Easy-to-use format and indexing for quick reference.
      Discussions on types of anchors and anchoring techniques.
      Suggestions for planning your next trip.
      Save time and searching with anchorage locations at your fingertips.
      Save thousands of dollars in dockage fees.

      If you would like more information on The Great Book of Anchorages series or interview Chuck or Susan, call us at 713-244-4686 or email

      Susan Landry, Publisher/Author/Editor
      Chuck Baier, Publisher/Author

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    • Southport Marina Has Dredged to 6 and 8-Foot Depths (Statute Mile 309)

      Southport MarinaLooks like this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR just got even better! We highly recommend a stop here as you are cruising south this fall, or just spending a night away from home base, while exploring the waters of southeastern North Carolina. And, after you coil the lines, it’s an easy walk of several blocks to Mr. P’s Bistro (910-457-0801). YUMMMMMM!

      Southport Marina ‘“ Southport NC – We are excited to let all boaters know we have completed our dredging project that began in early spring. All interior marina slips have been dredged to a low tide depth of 6′ and our transient dock and approach depths average 8’. Make sure you make Southport Marina a stop on your next cruise!
      Vanessa Jenkins, MIRM

      Southport Marina is a great stop. Numerous other waterfront restaurants are all within walking distance. The grocery store is a little further. Atlantic Marine is a handy store as well.
      David Craft

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

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

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