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    • Good Words for Hidden Harbor Yacht Club (Statute Mile 670.5)

      Hidden Harbor Yacht Club, which gladly accepts transients, is located on Troup Creek. This body of water intersects the AICW, immediately north of St. Simons Sound, near markers #237 and #238. The message below is copied from the AGLCA Forum.

      This is a great little marina in the Troup [Creek] [known as Hidden Harbor Yacht Club] about 1 mile off the ICW. Plenty of water on approach and alongside. I figured to report to the forum on it. No fuel here but pump out available and 20/30/50A power with floating dock. The managers, Kev and Judith, could not be more accomodating and the facilities are the cleanest we have seen since Lake Michigan. There is excellent shopping close by and they have a courtesy car – a Mini Cooper S to get you there!
      At $1.50/ft/day plus electric, it is great value for money and I recommend it as a stop to all Loopers.
      Phil Johnston
      Loopy Kiwi

      I too stayed at Hidden Harbor Marina on the Troup Creek on April 8 [2013]. I would definitely recommend this marina. Kev and Judith go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable. They have a nice boater’s lounge, scenery is great, and for a buck donation you can do your laundry. Just off the ICW, so no wakes.
      Ken Westby
      aboard Roundabout

      Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Hidden Harbor Yacht Club

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hidden Harbor Yacht Club

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    • Strong Tidal Currents on AICW/Elliott Cut/Wappoo Creek Lead To A Change in Plans

      The appealing account below is excerpted from our good friend, Captain Wally Moran’s site, “LiveBloggin’ the ICW (http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/). We will be hearing a LOT more from Captain Wally as he follows the AICW during the next several weeks/months. Give his blog a look-see. It is well worth the time of any true cruiser!

      Somedays you simply might as well sleep in. Today would have been a good day for that, and when the alarm went off at half past six, I thought about it. Today appears to be the last day of the winter that just won’t end – cold, dreary, drizzley with a cold and biting wind out of the north. Tomorrow’s forecast is sunny and high 60s. I headed out for Elliot Cut, naturally at the very height of the ebbtide. Elliot Cut is a difficult cut at the best of times if the current isn’t with you, and the current today was between 3.5 and four knots. My boat speed was down to .9 knots at one point – and hovered between 1 and 1.4 knots for almost the entire cut.
      Waiting till the tide switched wasn’t really an option if I wanted to make any distance, as it didn’t reverse itself until nearly 1 pm. I’d lose half the day, so onward I struggled, making three boat lengths a minute. To put that into perspective, normal would be 15 to 18 boat lengths per minute.’¨Slowly, oh so slowly, Gypsy Wind struggled…I was grateful that this cut is fairly short, less than a half mile…and finally, we came through into the Stono River. Now the wind that I hadn’t felt inside the cut bore down. It was brisk – a Canadian word meaning ‘˜really damn cold!’
      The tide was still against me but less strong so I was now making about 4.5 knots while watching the wind push mist along the water. This wasn’t fun. Then I noticed poor Aduana shivering and that decided me – I turned around, the speed shot up to 6 knots even as I dropped the engine speed to idle, and we returned to the anchorage to spend the day sensibly, rather than struggle in the cold and wet.
      Cruising is supposed to be fun, and sometimes we forget that in the rush to get somewhere. So, excuse me while I take the pup ashore and we play ball and she chases some squirrels. After that, I’m going to put together a video about what an average day cruising the ICW is like, so those of you who haven’t done this yet can get an idea of how good it can be.
      Do I know how to have fun or what?
      Posted by Wally Moran at 3:45 PM

      We have been through Elliott Cut -Wapoo Creek Bridge many times. No problem with current, They have always been managable. I do put out a Security Call on Both VHF 13/16 for commercial traffic. Transited the cut on 4-19-13 on a flooding tide. Dropped the Antenna’s and took our 30 ft Air draft right under the bridge with no opening necessary any
      restrictiions is not a problem if you just check your cruising guide and plan your arrival accordingly.
      Capt Bob Kovach

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Wappoo Creek and Elliott Cut

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    • AICW Shoaling in Northern Fields Cut, AICW Statute Mile 574

      Northern Fields Cut - Click for Chartview

      The “AICW Problem Stretch” at the intersection of northern Fields Cut and Wright River was dredged three years ago and was more or less clear through the end of 2012. However, as Captain Colburn relates from personal experience, shoaling is once again beginning to occur.
      This posting at first created quite a ruckus here at the SSECN, as Captain Colburn originally recommended favoring the “red” side of the channel. Heretofore, the shoaling at the northern end of Fields Cut, always seemed to build from the northwest side of the passage, between the northern mouth of Fields Cut, and marker #48. We wondered if the new shoaling was coming in from the southeast, rather than its traditional direction from the NW, and sent out a special “Alert” soliciting more information from the cruising community.

      SHORTLY AFTER ISSUING THIS SPECIAL ALERT BASED ON CAPTAIN COLBURN’S ORIGINAL RECOMMENDATION TO FAVOR THE “RED” SIDE OF THE CHANNEL, WE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING CLARIFICATION, AND HAVE CHANGED HER ORIGINAL TEXT ACCORDINGLY!!!

      Yikes! What was I thinking??
      I can’t say I’m sorry enough, but I meant to favor the GREEN side of the channel. Please amend my recent report on the intersection of the Fields Cut north end with the Wright River.
      Patrece Colburn

      April 7, 3:30PM
      North end of Fields Cut ‘” stay way over on the GREEN side of the channel coming out of the cut (northbound).
      After spending the last hour or so aground in the center of the channel at low tide, I could recommend staying close to the [GREEN] side of the channel. A sail boat was also aground with us. We waited for the tide to come up and both freed ourselves under our own power.
      Patrece Colburn

      Claiborne,
      I transited Field’s Cut in late Jan. 2013 and found the shoal dead in the middle of the channel on the north side. I was pulled off by Boat U.S. Savannah, very expertly may I say. We entered the cut right in the middle of the channel and about 100 yards or so, ran aground. The tide was ebbing, but not dead low.
      We were on the bar about 30 minutes before a boat passed us near the south side of the channel and shouted the deep water is to the “green ” side.
      Unfortunately, we discovered a fuel leak from a corroded injector and had the Boat U.S. captain take us to Thunderbolt Marina where we spent 2 weeks getting it and one other injector fixed.
      Instead of continuing on south, we decided to return to Charleston, SC and lick our wounds.
      On the way back north, we paid particular attention to Field’s Cut and stayed on the “green” side and had no problem.
      Our Boat US captain said a new shoal had been forming for a couple of months.
      Then northwest side of the channel is not the side to transit. There is some deep water on that side of the shoal,but finding it may be difficult.
      Captain Phil Mullins
      S/V Katash
      Isle of Palms, SC

      We were the sailboat aground at the north end of Fields Cut during low tide April 7, 2013. We had followed the advice to favor the red side and ran aground. The trawler that ran aground with us was close to the center of the channel, on the magenta line. The deepest water was while hugging the green side of the north end of the channel and going close to G47 going into the Wright River. We were traveling northbound.
      Roger Globig

      AllEZ! MT50 with 5 ft draft. Transited Hells Gate on 4-14-13 at 2 hours into a rising tide. Transit time 4 minutes.
      Water 8-10 ft. (5 ft under our keel) Fields Cut Transited on 4-14-13 @ 12:25 Noon Entered from South going North
      5 ft draft we had 10 feet under the keel. We were 1 hour into a falling tide. Just stay in the middle and do some
      cruise planning. Follow you Depth sounder. No Drama, just planning.
      Capt. Bob

      We just passed thru Fields Cut on 4/19/2013 and found no problems. We carried over 10 feet MLW for the entire cut. As a point of interest we changed sides (going north favoring Red to favoring Green) at about 32 04.611N and 080 56.836W.
      John Holmes

      Here are my GPS tracks going and coming last December. My draft is only 4’-3″ but I start paying attention whenever the depth gets under 8. I don’t remember any particular concern on either transit. There are lots of other stretches that seemed worse.
      Roger Long
      S/V Strider

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Northern Fields Cut

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

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    • Excellent Report from Darien, GA, Darien River, departing the AICW at Statute Mile 653

      Darien, Georgia - Click for Chartview

      Here is a much detailed report of a popular off-the-Waterway side trip:

      Those of you still in FL or just reaching GA should give Darien, GA some consideration. It is a quaint little shrimping town N of Brunswick and well worth the stop. About 7 miles off of the ICW, the town offers free dockage for 48 hours. Floating concrete docks are conveniently located right downtown and power is free also. There are 3 pedestals, each with twin 30A power. The free dockage is limited to the outside dock which can hold about 4, maybe 5 typical cruisers. There are 3 of us here now. The town makes this offer to attract cruisers of course and all of the town really makes you feel welcome. Great food within walking distance – we’ve tried Skippers, B&J’s, and The Purple Pickle so far, all outstanding. Fort King George is an interesting historic site and the town has great bicycle trails around the perimeter of the city and within. The historic Butler rice plantation is 1 mile south, Piggly Wiggly is 1.2 miles away, and a well-stocked Hardware/Marine Supply store is a couple of blocks away. With the storms rolling through, they are allowing us to stay an extra day without charge so we just want to put in a plug for a town that wants our business and is really making a great effort to get us here. We think the Blessing Of The Fleet is scheduled for next weekend so you might call and confirm availability for that time.
      Wayne and Rhonda McManus
      “Help Me Rhonda”
      44 Gulfstar

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

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

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    • Good Dining in Waleka, Florida (St. Johns River)

      The SSECN published a recent article about the free city dock at the charming St. Johns River village of Welaka, Florida, south of Palatka (see /?p=108289). Now, in the note below, Captain Mike Rizzo seconds the recommendation for dining at Cafe Bleu, apparently within easy walking distance of the town berths.

      Welaka has a town dock that you can tie to and there is a great little cafe for lunch and dinner called Cafe Blue. Everything is freshly made even the bread.
      Mike Rizzo

      Couldn’t agree more! We stay overnight at the (FREE!) town dock every year, and Café Bleu is right there next door. Their parmesan encrusted grouper was some of the best fish I have ever had. I believe they are only open Thursday through Monday though
      Jonathan Graham

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Welaka, FL

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Pete baleyko -  August 6, 2015 - 2:42 pm

        If you visit Welaka make sure u got too Hog Wash for THE Best smoke hog in the STaTe U will not be disappointed. I promise uuuuuuu

        Reply to Pete
    • Frederica River Anchorages (off the AICW on Frederica River Near St. M. 666 – Northern Entrance)

       Frederica River flows east and south from the AICW marker #229, and re-intersects the AICW at marker #241. Over the years, we have received MANY conflicting reports here on the Cruisers’ Net about shoaling at both the Frederica’s southern and northern intersections with the AICW. Many have gotten through without a problem, while others reported thin water.
      I suspect that the tides have a lot to do with what’s going on here. The tidal range in these waters is greater than 6 feet, so it’s easy to see that if your vessel and enters or leaves the river at mid to high tide, chances are you will not have a problem, as interior depths are generally good, except possibly on the inside shores of some bends in the river.
      The reason for spotlighting attention to this river is the real possibility of anchoring within sight of the Fort Frederica National Monument. As of two years ago, there is dinghy access from the anchorage to the National Monument, and, I can tell you from personal experience, this historical attraction is well worth your time. By all accounts, don’t miss the little movie presentation. It’s surprisingly well done.
      So, the best advice is to time your entry and egress for mid to high tide. With this plan, you should be able to visit the Frederica River anchorages (follow links below) with a minimum of difficulties.

      Has anyone recently anchored in the Frederica River opposite the Fort? Also has anyone traversed the entire length of the river? Comments on Cruisers.net indicate some shoaling on the North end. Other comments indicated this as a good anchorage but are not too recent.
      Maureen Mezei

      No problem in the Frederica River if you follow the channel. Like any “soft bottom channel”, DO NOT GO DOWN THE CENTER OR FOLLOW THE MAGENTA LINE! Take the outside of the turns as the tide flows “out”.
      We went through the Frederica River at near low tide three weeks ago. In the “channel” no less than 12′ of water, in the center many dry sand bars. If you run the ICW through marsh channels of northern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in the center or on the Magenta line you will also run aground at low water, read the banks, study the tide chart and determine if the current is coming up “in”, or going down “out”, then you can determine what side of the channel you want to be on, works every time.
      Chuck Gorgen

      Chuck’s advise is excellent. the last time we were in there the northern entrance was about 3 1/2 feet at low tide. Don’t know about the southern entrance.
      Chuck Baier

      Stay to the SW side of channel, outside curve, as you leave or enter ICW at north end. You’ll find shallow water in center to inside of curve. Steep drop off on outside curve, so find 6-8′ of water and come back towards center and follow curve. Should be able to follow 6-8′ depth at the radius of curve shown on your chart. There’s probably more water further to the outside of the curve, would expect near 12′ based on depths we found in the rest of the river, but quickly goes to nothing, which you will see at low tide and not at higher tides. 6-8′ of water is plenty for any of us to get through.
      Chuck Gorgen

      Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Frederica River Anchorages

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Frederica River Anchorages

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    • St. Marys, Georgia READY To Greet Cruisers

      St. Marys, Georgia is a beautiful, charming village, with also doubles as the southernmost port of call on the Georgia coastline. There is a small city dock that can be used for dinghying ashore, and Langs Marina, located in the heart of downtown St. Marys, offers transient dockage, though, it must be noted, they also have some of the scuzziest showers along the AICW.
      All the town dockage is within easy walking distance of multiple GOOD dining attractions, particularly Langs Restaurant, and many historic sights, including unforgettable Orange Hall.
      It’s a pleasant cruise of several miles off the AICW, up St. Marys River (which acts as the coastal state line between Georgia and Florida), to the town waterfront. It’s well worth your time to make this journey!
      We were surprised yesterday, to see the following message on another nautical mailing list:

      Orange Hall - St. Marys

      Take St. Marys, GA off your favorites list. They got pretty beat up by Sandy last fall and haven’t repaired the damage.

      Well, that was a surprise to us, so first thing this morning we were on the telephone to the good people at the St. Marys Visitor’s Center, and confirmed that ALL damage has now been REPAIRED, and the town is ready and EAGER to greet the cruising community.

      And, several fellow cruisers have already chimed in with similar info:

      St. Marys is a wonderful stop, with several very good restaurants, the submarine museum, a park along the river, and many many homes and churches on the National Historic Register, all within walking distance. The marina has floating docks which are older but fine and very safe, and I saw no evidence of any hurricane damage.
      Larry and Anne
      Great Laker

      Sandy caused no damage to St Marys, Ga. We are just fine. Come see us—Azaleas have just finished blooming and warm temps are on the way.
      Mike
      S/V Makai

      We were in St Mary’s a few days after Sandy made landfall in NJ and observed no damage whatsoever.
      Mark and Bev MacMahon
      Calypso

      Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Langs Marina

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

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    • Economic Woes for Gibson Dry Dock and All Boatyards

      Captain Burnham refers to his earlier posting on Gibson Dry Dock, /?p=68591, and provides insight into the financial state of boat repair/storage yards during this time of economic downturn.

      Thank you for allowing me to post on your excellent web service site.
      I kept my comments about Gibson Dry Dock brief in order to keep from posting an advertisement. Tom Kight is a good friend I often crew with but the depression is hitting his boat storage yard especially hard this year with fewer Canadians coming down to store their boats for the summer in his Dry Dock. The Florida residents are also feeling the economic pinch and too often are giving up their boat titles for the storage fees they owe. This does not benefit the Dry Dock as these boats are often neglected and bring very little money at auction. The sad effect is that now the Dry Dock has to be selective as to the condition of the boats that are hauled out of the water lest they become the property of the Dry Dock. It is becoming common that an owner will have their boat hauled out, strip it of its engine and valuable parts and abandons the hulk. I have no doubt that this happens at other boat storage facilities also.
      Gibson Dry Dock also has the problem of being south of the ill conceived 45 foot high clearance of the Shands Bridge at Green Cove Springs which limits the size of sailboats cruising south on the St Johns River. The boats that can make it under the Shands Bridge barrier are enthuiastic about finding Gibson’s and spead the word about what a great place this is to keep your boat and get it ready to sail again.
      David Burnham

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Gibson Dry Dock

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    • Praise for Longboat Key Club Moorings, Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 77.5, Sarasota, FL

      Step off deck at Longboat Key Club Moorings and come ashore to our Four-Diamond beachfront resort offering a private white-sand beach, 45 holes of challenging golf, the Island House Spa, six on-site restaurants, the award-winning Tennis Gardens and so much more.

      Longboat Key Club Moorings - Click for Chartview

      Longboat Key Club Moorings guards the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the city of Sarasota, and south of Longboat Pass. And, of course, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

      LBK Club Moorings is top notch facility! We wish we had planned to stay longer so we could have taken advantage of all they have to offer. Dennis Matthews’ (Director of Marina Operations) staff are all very helpful, friendly and go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. Facilities are 4Star, clean and very well manicured. Very accomodating shuttle service to St Armand’s Circle. Will definitely be back for a longer stay in the near future. Make your reservations in advance and request `H’ dock for short stays (closest to facilities, pool, ship’s store).
      The Kellys

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Longboat Key Club Moorings

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Longboat Key Club Moorings

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    • Don’t Dare Miss Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant New Jewfish Key Anchorages (Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 85)

      Not only is the food really GOOD at Moores, but it is also located within sight of the excellent anchorages, just off the Western Florida ICW, behind Jewfish Key. Follow the links below to learn more about the nearby anchorages, but, at whichever place you drop the hook, don’t dare miss dinghying to Moore’s Stone Crab!

      Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, Longboat Key, FL – Great seafood (Oysters). Accessible by boat; located In the bight, east of G-ICW, just south of Longboat Pass, north of Sarasota Bay; overnight docking is free to patrons; no services. Can also anchor off the restaurant in a well-protected bight if you get there early; room for 8 – 10 boats; very busy with locals on weekends.
      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

      Best oysters in Sarasota. Sit at the bar with Barb; you can’t go wrong.
      Whit Sibley

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Jewfish Key South Side Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Jewfish Key South Side Anchorage

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Jewfish Key Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Jewfish Key Anchorage

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