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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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    • Cruising Southwestern Florida Coastline With a 5-foot Draft

      Here’s an interesting discussion, which originally appeared on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum (an organization we continue to heartily endorse) about cruising the western coastline of the Sunshine State, between Sarasota and Captiva Island, with a 5-foot draft.
      My experience having researched this coastline since 1992, which reflects the remarks below by Captains Gina and Chuck, is that 5-feet of draft will be fine for most marinas and many anchorages. There are some exceptions, and if your vessel has 6-feet of draft, it can start to get a bit tricky!
      The message below from our good friend, Captain Chuck Baier, former General Manager for Waterway Guide, is particularly useful. Most (but not all) of the marinas he mentions as being too shallow are not even listed in the SSECN’s “Western Florida Marina Directory” as they are too small and shallow to really serve cruising size craft. Nevertheless, this is superb information!

      My husband and I are chartering a 50′ Trawler for a week out of Sarasota. We are beginning to seriously look at various style trawlers available as we get closer to retiring and beginning a cruising lifestyle for awhile. My question is, as I am studying the waters in this area, Given the depths and tides, am wondering if we are going to have trouble getting in/out of marinas etc. with a draft of 5′ Any suggestions as to how best navigate this area and where to stay would be appreciated.

      It shouldn’t be a problem. We made the trip from Cape Coral to Tarpon Springs and back last year. We draw 4 ft and our friends who traveled with us draws 5ft (a 53 ft Carver). Marinas were fine. South of Sarasota we stayed at Crows Nest (Venice) and Palm Island Marina. We did the whole trip inside via ICW (except for the section north of Tampa where the ICW ends) and didn’t have a problem. Between Sarasota and Captiva we did have to watch the tides through Lemon Bay as it can get skinny there.
      Enjoy your trip. It’s a beautiful area. It’s been our cruising area for 15 years.
      M/v Island Time
      Cape Coral, Fl

      We traveled the entire west coast of Florida on several occasions with a 6 foot draft. There are some shallow areas but be sure and have
      current charts and you won’t have any issues. Most marinas will be accessible to you. If you get to Sanibel, Adventures In Paradise Marina might be a problem. On Pine Island Sound, Four Winds Marina will be a no go and Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort will also be iffy. In Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda Marina and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club are very shallow. In Lemon Bay, Stump Pass Marina is shallow and in Little Sarasota Bay, Turtle Beach Marina will be too shallow. In Sarasota, the problem marinas will be Sara Bay, Sarasota Cay Club and Cannon’s Marina. Some of these will be too small for you but might be considered for fuel stops. If in doubt, call ahead and ask. Other than that, pay attention to your charts and if the chart says it’s shallow it is. There will be plenty of available anchorages if you want to get away by yourselves.
      Have a great trip.
      Chuck Baier

      Mary ‘” We live in the city of Punta Gorda at the far northern end of Charlotte Harbor and sail our Ericson 38 sloop drawing 5’1’³ throughout the waters you indicated. I would agree with the comments above with the added mention of northerly winds particularly in the winter months which result in lower than normally predicted tides. Come on up Charlotte Harbor to Punta Gorda for a visit to a really quaint, beautiful waterfront community.
      Noel Hyde

      We live in Punta Gorda and have a 35′ Compac, fully loaded we consider her a 5 foot draft. We have had no issues in this area along the coast line, nor have we had any with the ICW. There are areas that you have to watch the markers and aids to navigation in the ICW, but outside is `clear sailing’ so they say. You should have no problems being you have major power, but like everyone mentioned above, follow your charts and if at all possible, get some local knowledge when going into a new marina or channel or canal. Relax and enjoy!
      Lynda Leonard s/w Choctaw Brave

      Careful attention to charts and the depth sounder will keep you out of trouble.

      Most of the ICW is trouble free with 5’ if you stay in the channel. There are many places to go and some you cant but they are usually obvious. A week is not a very long time to explore the area. Sarasota is north of the middle of the SW Florida cruising area of Clearwater to Naples and the keys. You wont have time for the keys unless you want to do long days and short stops.
      Going north, Marina Jack in Sarasota, St. Petersburg muni marina, and Clearwater beach are all easily accessible with the only trouble spot being near marker 40 near longboat pass. To the south Venice, Boca Grand, Cayo Costa anchorage (no marina), South Seas resort, ( entrance a little shallow) Ft Meyers, Ft Meyers beach and Naples are all different and interesting. Narrow or shallow entrances are common but should not be a problem with proper attention. Check for current information on this site as conditions do change from charted depths.
      IMO for the best sample of area cruising go south, take your time and stay in the ICW. It is a shame to miss the St. Pete waterfront but you cant do everything in a week.

      Fortunately, most of the shoreline of the Gulf from Louisiana to Florida is soft albeit shallow. Keep one eye on the charts and the other on the tide tables. Frustrating as it ma be, sometimes the different tide charts seem to not agree. Live with it.
      I have sailed the Gulf along Florida’s West coast for the past 14 years and have ‘˜found’ most of the shoals. I could have avoided them with little bit of caution but was able to free myself with no injury or damage and sailed away with minimal delay and another sailing story.
      I think the Gulf coast has some of the best anchorages of anywhere I have been. Very well protected, plentiful and shallow. I don’t like to anchor in more than 8-10′ of water- too much work to haul the anchor and to figure swinging area.
      Always FOR SAILtoo

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Tom van Straaten -  March 23, 2017 - 5:54 am

        With our Grand Banks 46, what is the fastest way from Palmetto to Ft. Meyers?

        Reply to Tom
    • Florida Keys “No Anchorage Buffer Zones” Identified

      As part of the discussion of new Florida Keys Anchorage regulations (see /?p=96458), we noted:

      “3. In Marathon and Keys West, “no anchorage buffer zones” have been established around the city mooring fields.”

      This factoid prompted the following, well considered question from Captain Peter TenHaagen:

      Curious about the status of Sister Creek south of Boot Key Harbor as a legal anchorage spot?
      Peter TenHaagen

      That got us to thinking that we really should research the location and size of all the “no anchorage buffer zones” established by the new Florida Keys anchorage regulations. So, after some digging, below we have reproduced the wording from the actual ordinance:

      So, to answer Captain TenHaagen’s question directly, it looks as if the waters of Sister Creek, are NOT included in the “No Anchor Buffer Zones,” as these are more than fifty feet from the Boot Key Harbor mooring fields.

      And, finally, here is a very hard to read map, which, if you can see them, shows where the official mooring fields are located in Boot Key Harbor. This map does NOT show the “no anchorage buffer zones,” but clearly the waters of Sister Creek are more than 50 feet from the fields.
      Notice, HOWEVER, the map does show that Sister Creek IS PART OF THE MANAGED ANCHORAGE AREA, so, conceivably, the creek’s waters could be further regulated in the future!

      Not an expert on the area, but my recollection of Sister Creek is one of VERY limited swing room.
      Bill Dixon

      We anchor in Sister Creek Regularly to let the Boy Scouts on our Eco Adventure trips with Florida Seabase Kayak the amazing loop trail through Whiskey Creek. For a temporary anchorage it is fine, however you must be careful not to block the channel, there is a lot of boat traffic. There is also a strong tidal current.
      Captain Harold Ochstein

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    • What Constitutes “Secure” Overboard Discharge Valves in the Florida Keys

      As part of the discussion of new Florida Keys Anchorage regulations (see /?p=96458), I made the comment:

      “. . . for many years now, all of the Florida Keys (Monroe County) waters have been a NO DISCHARGE ZONE. That means, among other things, that ALL vessels must regularly pump out their waste tanks, and Lectra San type devices are NOT acceptable. And, along with these long-time regulations, comes the possibility of legal boardings by any law enforcement agency to make sure that overboard discharge vales are PADLOCKED SHUT and all other MSD regulations are being observed!”

      In response to these remarks, Captain John Cover chimed in with this well considered observation and question:

      In your comments you state law enforcement officials will be able to board vessels to insure overboard discharge valves are “padlocked shut”. I am not aware of a change in the Florida MSD regs that require “padlocking” as the only means of securing the valve. At last reading my impression is that the valve must be “secured”. I spoke to Lt. Dave Dupree (FWC Monroe County) a few years ago and he advised locking, wire ties, removal of the handle or similar solutions to prevent accidental discharge. Has there been a regulation change I am unaware of or is there one in the actual new proposed regulations?
      John N. Cover,
      s/v Shadow,
      Hudson, Florida

      My reply:
      Captain John:
      No, as far as I know there has not been a change in the “secured” requirements of overboard discharge valves. I used the term “padlocking” because my research has consistently shown that just chaining the overboard valves is NOT sufficient, and can result in ticketing. I suspect your research is also correct, in that wire ties and removal of the handle would also be considered “secured.” However, with that being said, what we have always done while cruising in the keys is chain and padlock our overboard discharge valves. This plan has passed multiple inspections over the years.

      The US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists several specifically acceptable means (not an exhaustive list if you read the language carefully) of securing an overboard discharge in a No Discharge Zone (NDZ) such as the Florida Keys. The applicable CFR can be found under:
      Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
      Subpart A’”General
      Browse Previous
      § 159.7 Requirements for vessel operators.
      You can find the complete CFR language online at:

      `Secured’ also can be realized for those vessels with `key operated flushing to holding tanks’ if the key is removed from the system and stored safely away from the head.
      Capt. Ken Wright

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    • From Boat/US: Boaters Overstaying Their Welcome Could Find Themselves in Hot Water with the Tax Man

      This article is reprinted from a release on September 11, 2012

      NEWS From BoatUS
      Boat Owners Association of The United States
      880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
      BoatUS Press Room at

      Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,
      Photo Available at:
      Photo Caption: BoatUS says boaters should be aware of local taxes when they cruise.

      Boaters Overstaying Their Welcome Could Find Themselves in Hot Water with the Tax Man

      States Go After Visiting Cruisers

      ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 11, 2012 – Staying too long in one place can ruin a good thing. At least that’s the case with boaters making lengthy journeys, who are finding themselves targets of cash-hungry states when they stay too long and are subject to various taxes. But how can boaters prevent overstaying their welcome? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has online state tax information at that will help keep them on the right side of the law and out of hot water with the taxman.
      In most states, a privately-owned recreational boat must be registered in the state where it is principally used, and any sales and use taxes paid to that state. A problem arises when the boat leaves this principal-use state and enters a new one, for a long visit, extended cruise or lengthy repairs. This could include “Snowbirds” – boaters who head south each winter in search of warmer climates.
      BoatUS says boaters may be subject to various sales, use, excise, or property taxes when they remain in one location for a consecutive number of days, or over-stay their visit for a certain number of aggregate days per year. This “grace period” is often 60 to 90 days but as little as 30 days in two states (CO, NH). Also, if the principal state’s sales and use tax is not comparable to the tax in the state the boat is visiting, the second state can levy their own tax making the boat owner liable for the difference.
      To help boaters understand this issue, BoatUS’ online map at highlights state sales and property tax rates with links to state tax departments, as well as registration information and “grace periods”.
      In the past, BoatUS has heard about tax authorities walking the docks, inspecting marina records and aggressively enforcing tax codes. “We believe boaters should pay their fair share of taxes, and travel to other states with their eyes open about timelines and potential tax assessments,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “Boaters should keep record keeping such as log entries, marina and fuel receipts or repair contracts while traveling. These documents are critical for boaters to keep, and are often the only way to fight an unjust tax bill,” added Podlich.

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