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    • AICW/Jekyll Creek – Captain Jane Reports (Statute Mile 683)

      Our “fearless, roving reporter,” Captain Jane’s, report below is one of the most in-depth looks at the AICW/Jekyll Creek “Problem Stretch” we have had her on the Cruisers’ Net. EVERYONE who will be traversing these shoal plagued waters this fall, or even during the spring of 2011, will want to take a CLOSE look at the account below!

      So, is it Jekyll Creek or Hyde Creek? Is it ridiculously shallow and perilous or fine or something in between?
      There are two well-publicized schools of thought on approaching Jekyll Creek. One is that it is so shallow you should only go near high tide on its way up. The other is that you should go at low tide so that you can see where the channel is. Other advice is to favor the Green side of the channel and some say the opposite.
      A recent November morning, several boats ahead of us on first-light parade out of Duplin River and neighboring Georgia anchorages chose the low-tide option which happened to be when at normal cruising speeds most of us would arrive there. As the captain of the fastest boat in the group said over the VHF: We’ll let you know if we get stuck.
      We compromised, throttled back and took Jekyll Creek at two feet above MLW. We chose neither the green nor the red side of the channel and observed the ranges with great fidelity and respect. We found nothing less than 8 feet of water and we practiced no form of complex intuition or sorcery. We also heard of no boats going aground ahead of us and presume the early morning group did just fine. While we were safely docked at Jekyll Harbor Marina, we did hear two vessels hail Towboat US for advice on Jekyll Creek and the Towboat US response was that there is a 3 foot spot at MLW and it’s best to transit Jekyll Creek at mid-tide rising.
      We know that each transit is a little different and it’s not always easy to know if you were really in the middle of the channel — we could have been lucky. However, in our experience in the Spring of 2010 and November 2010, Jekyll Creek is actually Jeckyll and not Hyde.
      Wait a minute — that’s not a picture of Jekyll Creek! Correct! Who has time to photograph Jekyll Creek with all the ranges and depth sounder “just in case” worship? This is a photograph of Faith Chapel in the Jekyll Island Historic District, among the homes and playground of the millionaires of the early 20th Century. Think of this as incentive to take the inside passage and transit Jekyll Creek. We encourage you to stay an extra day or arrive early enough to get in a visit to the historic district. It makes for a delightful afternoon. We recommend borrowing bicycles from the marina or walking (it’s about a mile) or asking one of the marina staff for a lift to the district. While there is a trolley tour, we’ve heard that walking is more fun and gives you an opportunity to enter buildings that are not part of the trolley tour. The Goodyear Cottage is home to the Jekyll Island Arts Association and features monthly exhibits. Through November is a show called “Blackberry Creek” featuring local artists — painters, sculptors, potters, and more. It’s a great opportunity to pick up holiday gifts — mugs, bowls, knitted hats, scarves … creativity abounds and your purchase helps support the artists and the arts association. In December, the gallery features the “Advanced Members Show.”
      A favorite of our afternoon self-guided walking tour (with suggestions from one of the employees at the museum) was the Jekyll Island Faith Chapel. Built in 1904, Faith Chapel features charming architecture and wooden gargoyles and a signed Louis Comfort Tiffany window. This little architectural jewel is open from 2 to 4.
      Captain Jane
      S/V Lady Jane

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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the AICW/Jekyll Creek

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    • Report of Low Water in Kingsley Creek, AICW Statute Mile 720

      The area Captain Casper references is in Kingsley Creek stretch of the AICW, just out of Amelia River and approximately 3 miles south of Fernandina Beach. Tidal range in this area can exceed 5 feet, so caution most be used as you approach the Twin Highway Amelia Island RR Bridge at Mile 721.

      Cruising News:
      While Northbound At 11:AM Nov/10 2010, we encountered 7 ft depth North of the Green 13. We were near high tide at that time.
      Captain Clarence Casper

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Twin Highway Amelia Island RR Bridge

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

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    • Dewees Creek Anchorage – Captain Jane Reports (Statute Mile 455)

      Sunset at Dewees Creek

      Here’s another superb story from our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar. Her story below concerns anchoring on Dewees Creek, This somewhat complicated, but undeniably anchor rich complex of creeks intersects the AICW south of marker #109. As Captain Jane notes, there are seaward and land-side branches of Dewees Creek. The western arm, in particular has many possibly havens, including on on charted Long Creek.

      Even if you think you’d rather be in a marina, this is an anchorage that could change your mind. There are at least four separate anchoring areas — and that’s without going up the creek and exploring — and there’s plenty of room to maneuver.
      First, you have two options, West off the AICW or East off the AICW. We did not personally explore the Eastern option but observed a large sailing catamaran take the turn, go past the ferry dock at Dewees Island and drop the hook pretty much exactly as Skipper Bob suggests. She was still there in the morning where we’d last spied her — so we presume it was a good spot. From the Waterway, this Eastern choice appears a little less picturesque than the Western option and you do have Gray Aggie taking people back and forth to Isle of Palms, a feature that is neither a plus nor minus in my book.
      We chose West just because it looked pretty. We found lots of deep water, just as charted — even the numbers we thought were typos such as a 71 which we were sure would be 17 were accurate. Had you been listening in on us, you would have heard us both say, with great surprise: Nope, it’s really 71!
      The Western option offers you at least three obvious choices without wandering far off the AICW — you can go straight ahead (which we did), take a port turn or take a starboard turn, each to what appear to be fine anchoring spots. Going straight ahead, we found that the depths drop to 20 and just past the first creek arm to port, we found depths of mid- to high teens — perfect for anchoring. There is so much room here, we felt very comfortable, even if a parade of boats were to join us as Isle of Palms Marina and some in Charleston, too, were full. As it turned out, only four vessels joined us for the night. One right near us in the main section of the creek as you can see in the sunset photograph. Another chose the slender arm that heads South. Two other boats took the first turn to North.
      It was a breezy night and we found holding excellent. The currents aligned us for a splendid sunset and in the morning conveniently spun us so we faced east for an equally splendid sunrise coming up over the ocean as we reentered the AICW.
      It doesn’t get better than this.
      Captain Jane
      S/V Lady Jane

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

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

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    • More Praise for Sunbury Crab Company Marina (Medway River, near St. M. 620)

       Panoramic View of the Sunbury Harbor Relaxed Laid-Back Atmosphere Fresh Steamed Blue Crabs caught Daily Homemade Crab Cakes and Crab StewRestaurant offers a Full-Service BarSunday Home-Cooking LunchThe Sunbury Crab Company Marina lies off the AICW along the western shores of the Medway River, on the charted Sunbury Channel, north of Dickinson Creek. And they are A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      We spent last night, November 12, 2010 at Sunbury Crab Co. We were the only boaters here. Very nice people, although no one greeted us at the dock, no problem docking ourselves. Elaine, the owner, was great, she even let us take showers in her house! Had a hearty seafood dinner at the restaurant and really enjoyed the southern hospitality. Will come back for sure! Was worth the diversion off the ICW.
      Captains Wendy & Lee
      aboard Peacemonger headed for Captiva.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Sunbury Crab Company

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunbury Crab Compay

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    • ALERT! Be Aware of Pedestrians on AICW Fixed Bridges

      This warning refers to the Seabreeze Bridge which crosses the AICW at Statute Mile 829, but a similar situation could occur at any fixed bridge!

      Wednesday evening, November 10, 2010, we accompanied another boat southbound into Daytona Beach, FL. North of the city is a 65′, twin span, high rise bridge called “Seabreeze.” Two (apparently teenage) males were on the bridge throwing “lemon sized” rocks at boats passing through. The boat I was traveling with was hit twice. His boat has a fiberglass pilothouse roof, and there was no apparent damage. No one was hurt. Sanctuary has a canvass top, so we stopped short of the bridge. It was getting late, and chilly, and after a few minutes, the “youngsters” lost interest and left. Police were called on both VHF radio and 911, but did not respond in the 15 minutes we were on scene.
      So, just a heads up to those who might be in the area. And, I guess, more generally when traveling. Scan bridge spans with binoculars, and be wary if people appear to be waiting for you to pass through.
      Captains Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Seabrezze Bridge

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    • “Dragons” in Oriental, NC (Statute Mile 181)

      Our “fearless roving reporter,” Captain Jane Tigar, is once again on the AICW, and filing stories for the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. Captain Jane’s first installment below deals with her home port, Oriental, North Carolina.
      Watch out for “dragons” in this otherwise charming riverside village!

      I’m biased and admit our hailing port is Oriental, NC. I also admit we might have passed her by had our first Lady Jane not needed repairs an hour north of Oriental on our maiden ICW voyage a decade ago proving there’s an advantage to everything.
      Bias aside, don’t pass Oriental by even if you don’t need an emergency repair by the reliable and friendly folks at Deatons boat yard, or a good dinner at the Steamer or M&Ms or the upgraded Toucan Grill or breakfast at Brantley’s where some mornings a baker stops in selling fresh baked fruit and lemon meringue pies.
      Stop in Oriental if for no other reason than because it is the only place in the world — we are quite sure of this –where you can observe an actual nesting site of the rare elusive North Carolina dragon.
      Anchor out just out by the bridge or use the free town dock if you can snag a space. Walk across the street to The Bean, an essential local and cruisers hang out featuring coffee, tea, ice cream and breakfast pastries and, drum roll … Free wifi!
      But I digress.
      Don’t go up to The Bean yet. You are really close… Facing The Bean, look to your left, in the tall grasses until you find this official wildlife sign … Now you are on your own to catch sight of the rare North Carolina dragon.
      Good luck and let us know if you enjoyed your visit in Oriental, NC, a must-visit stop on the ICW.
      Captain Jane
      S/V Lady Jane

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    • Red Marker Added in Northern Fields Cut, AICW Statute Mile 573

      The area Captain Monsein describes is the infamous Fields Cut which is the very last stretch of the AICW in South Carolina and, despite dredging last Spring, continues to shoal in spots. It is gratifying that the USCG has recognized the shoaling and added a temporary marker.

      In vicinity of Dafuskie Island, South Carolina: while southbound on ICW at buoy 49- there is a ” local temporary” red marker marking a sand bar. Be sure to honor this unusual marker.
      Also- while southbound, just north of the Savannah River crossing after passing Dafuskie Island, there is significant shoaling with depths as low as 6 feet at low tide. Use caution in this area!
      Captain Skip Monsein

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Section” Listing For The Intersection of Wright River and Northern Fields Cut

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Section” Listing For (Southern) Fields Cut

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Windows Zoomed to the Location of Fields Cut”

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    • Myrtle Beach Yacht Club Recommended (Statute Mile 346)

      Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is unmatched for its Lowcountry charm and gracious hospitality. Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is the rearmost facility on Coquina Harbor. The entrance channel for this body of water indents the northern banks of the Waterway, opposite marker #13. MBYC is known for having some of the best fuel prices on the Waterway, AND they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR.
      Oh yes, in addition to the Officer’s Club restaurant mentioned below, don’t dare miss the adjacent Umberto’s Restaurant. The chops served here are legendary up and down the AICW!

      SweetPea is now located at Myrtle Beach Yacht club mile marker 345.9 and and will remain here till after the Thanksgiving holiday. Though we have just arrived I can say this the people here are very friendly and the Officers Club (restaurant) is excellent ! Those boaters heading south if you land here for a night or extended stay stop in and see us. The entrance of the harbour is marked by a lighthouse.
      Jim and Dale McGovern
      aboard SweetPea

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

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    • More Shallow Depths South of McClellanville at AICW Statute Mile 431

      As you approach the southside of McClellanville on the AICW, please heed earlier advice to favor the red side, especially in the stretch between markers 37 and 38. Please open the links below for more information and a Chart View of this area.

      After anchoring in the South Santee River we headed for Isle of Palms yesterday morning ( 11/5/2010 )’¦ we traversed the McClellanville stretch 2 hours after high tide (falling) all seemed well in the middle of the channel until we sited depths in the 5 foot range in 3 different places through that run ‘¦ all in mid-channel ‘¦ had our water tanks been full, we’d have grounded for sure.

      Transited the area today about 2 hours before low tide. While we did see the occasional 8′ or 7.9 we saw nothing approaching 5’ while following the channel. The channel does indeed favor the red in general (that is, it is NOT in the center of the water) but it was quite possible to transit in relatively low water.
      Captain Leigh

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the “Alert” Section of the AICW South of McClellanville, SC Where The Shallow Water Described Above Was Encountered

      Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on this Area

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    • Possible Marker Confusion at AICW/Crooked/Brickhill Rivers Intersection, AICW Statute Mile 703

      Captain Botkin is responding to this week’s Spectacular Grounding photo posting and the Georgia AICW stretch to which he refers is the Cumberland Dividings, long a trouble spot for shoaling. Take his advice: look at the marks and be sure that they are AICW marks with either a gold square or gold triangle! Also, click the link below for Captain Adam’s explanation of ICW markers.

      There’s a similar situation at about MM 703 where the Crooked River intersects the Brickhill River just south of the Cumberland Dividings. R62 looks like a marker for the Brickhill River, but it’s not. The chartplotter shows you aground, but you must honor all these red markers as ICW markers. Turn off your chartplotter! And ignore the magenta line!
      Captain Danny Botkin

      We will be going thru this tomorrow morning timed with a higher tide’¦.but thought I would let you know that a power boat ended up aground there at r60 for several hours and there was a lot of talking to southbound boats by Tow Boat US who was waiting for some tide to come in and help float them out of a bad situation’¦..wakes from passing boats evidently had washed them even further into trouble’¦.we could not see this from our anchorage but listened. We were aground here last year and have copious notes on our paper and elect. charts. Beware as of Nov 7th 2010 this continues to be a real problem.
      Captains Sami and Barry

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Cumberland Dividings

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Section” Listing For Cumberland Dividings

      Click Here To View An Article on ICW Markers

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