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    • Skidaway Narrows Bridge OPERATIONAL!, AICW Statute Mile 592.5


      Our “onsite reporter”, Roger Long, gives us the good news that the bridge has been repaired. Capt. Long had been anchored in the immediate area waiting for an opening since early Saturday. Thank you, Roger! However, he warns that more problems with the old bridge may arise before the new bridge is completed. Skidaway Narrows Bridge crosses the ICW at Statute Mile 592.5. A new high-rise bridge is under construction immediately north of the old bridge.

      Opened Sunday evening 12/23/12. In view of the big head shaking gathering by a bunch of people who looked like they had been pulled from church and family activities, I expect there will be more uncertainty about this bridge in its short time remaining.
      Roger Long

      Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Skidaway Narrows Bridge

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

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    • Possible Shortcut From St. Catherine Sound to Walburg Creek Anchorage (St. M. 619)

      It might help to understand the posting below, if you were first to take a look at the portion of chart which depicts the northern entrance to the excellent Walburg Creek anchorage, from St. Catherine Sound. As you will see, there is a long shoal charted as “Middle Ground” which thrusts into the western flank of the creek’s entrance.
      The classic way to avoid these shallows has been to continue cruising east, as if you were going to follow the St. Catherine Sound Inlet to the open sea, and then curl back around to the south and west from a position east of marker #7.
      What Captain Long is attempting to do, as described below, is find a way to short-cut the long cruise east to get past #7. Looks like he may have found a way for the moment, BUT, as he notes, depths in this region are subject to rapid and uncharted changes. Cutting the corner may be a risky proposition, and the responsibility to take such a chance rests entirely with each individual captain!

      When coming across Saint Catherines Sound in a stiff breeze as I did yesterday, it’s tempting to cut across the long shoal that forms an extension of the north bank of Walberg Creek if you plan to seek shelter there. It’s also tempting at the end of a long run to this beautiful spot.
      BobT’s friends in Second Wind ran the magenta line which goes far out into the entrance of the sound to the ocean. This left them with a hard slog under power back up to the creek. It also could have left them in a dicey situation if their engine hadn’t started, being carried out to sea by two knots of current. It would have been tough in those conditions to set sail and beat to windward in the nasty chop.
      There have been a lot of changes in this area and the chart is pretty much fictional now. Since it was calm this morning and I planned a very short day, I decided to do a quick survey. My soundings are in red, corrected to MLW with the tide data in my Garmin chartplotter.
      The highlighted track shows my attempt to feel my way along the 8 foot sounding line. There are some 10 foot spots along that track but I was shy about pushing right in with a lot of current behind me. When I found the 5 foot spot earlier on, the depth change was quite fast.
      Roger Long

      And, here is some additional info from Captain Long:

      You should probably mention that I took the shortcut over the 9 foot, now 32 foot soundings and went very near the 5 foot sounding early this year and didn’t notice the depths being significantly different than the chart. I may not have been paying as much attention but this appears to be an area subject to fast changes.
      Roger

      Click Here To View the Georgia Anchorage Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Walburg Creek Anchorage

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

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    • A Word of Caution about Adverse Currents at AICW/St. Augustine Inlet, Statute Mile 777.3


      Marker #60 - Click for Chartview

      Capt. Burnham offers compelling words of caution which should be taken seriously during falling tides at the intersection of the Waterway and St. Augustine Inlet at statue mile 777.3, especially at marker #60 where the channel makes a dogleg turn. And, no matter how often it happens, as any displacement hull vessel operator will relate, it is a strange sensation in the pit of your stomach when Mother Nature, in the guise of a crossing tide, unexpectedly wrests your boat from your control! While Capt. Burnham’s remarks pertain to St. Augustine Inlet, such adverse crossing tides can occur at a number of inlet/Waterway intersections.

      We were cruising north from the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine and planned a short daysail north up the AICW and back again. On a ebb flowing tide, two currents collide with the eastbound flow through the St. Augustine inlet. The southbound AICW ebb current and the northerly ebb current from Salt Run. A vessel traveling south on the ebb current of the AICW that desires to continue westward to the Bridge of Lions, will be swept past floating RED AICW marker `60’³ into the path of a vessel heading eastward from the Bridge of Lions toward the inlet. This is not a narrow channel but the eddies created on an ebbing tide will cause a southbound vessel on the AICW to momentarily lose steerage at this right hand turn UNLESS the Captain APPLIES SUFFICIENT POWER to maintain forward momentum. Exercise CAUTION if you are leaving St. Augustine and you see vessel traffic coming from the north on the AICW. If that southbound vessel turns westward away from the inlet into the ebbing current it will lose the apparent speed of the southbound current as it turns right around the floating RED AICW marker `60’³ and MAY be swept into the path of the eastbound vessel if caught in the eddies. This is especially true for displacement hulled vessels and vessels not at planing speeds. Give these southbound vessels ALOT of room to make their turn to the west.
      David Burnham

      Thank you Captain Burnham. We plan to be heading south through this area in mid-January.
      Brian Walter

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Inlet/AICW Intersection

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    • Things Have CHANGED On Troup Creek, Georgia (Statute Mile 670.5, just north of Brunswick, Georgia)

      Just this past week, I was reminded of one reason why, several years ago, I made the transition from authoring paper cruising guides, to publishing all the data I gather on the world wide web. This tale begins when I received a very polite e-mail from the owner of Hidden Harbor Marina, a very nice facility on the shores of Troup Creek, just off the AICW, a short hop north of Brunswick, Georgia.
      A visiting cruiser had informed the owner that in my “Cruising Guide to Coastal South Carolina and Georgia,” I had less than nice things to say about visiting this body of water. Turns out the CGSC-GA edition in question was at least six years old, and, at that time, there was a seriously scuzzy, combination bar and marina perched on the shores of Troup Creek. Hence my less than glowing recommendation.
      Happily, those days are LONG GONE, and there is every good reason for cruisers to visit the facility which now occupies these shores, Hidden Harbor Marina. And, to bring this discussion full circle, that is one of the real problems with paper cruising guide. They often hang around far past their “sell-by” date.
      So, if you have old editions of my cruising guides or anyone elses, use them for a bon fire, and get the latest edition of all your guide books, or better yet, get your data on marina, anchorages and bridges right here, on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net!

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

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

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    • Little Shark River Southern Fork Anchorage

       Looks like Captains Ken and Pat are reporting on (or near) the second anchorage we recommend on Little Shark River moving upstream from the stream’s mouth. In our “Western Florida Anchorage Directory” (follow link below), we recommend dropping the hook north of the “island,” but, hey, Little Shark River is one of those places where you could spend a month, and never exhaust all the anchorage possibilities!

      I wish we would have spent more time exploring the Everglades. We did anchor in Little Shark River, and enjoyed exploring in the dinghy.
      We went up the mouth of the river, turned right at the T, and anchored below the first Island. Very nice spot!
      Ken & Pat Goewey

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Little Shark River Southern Fork Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Little Shark River Southern Fork Anchorage

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    • Dismal Swamp Canal Re-Opened! AICW Alternate Route

      Dismal Swamp Canal Bridge

      The Great Dismal Swamp Canal Bridge, which crosses the Waterway at statute mile 28, has been closed for maintenance for several weeks and, except for small craft, the repairs essentially closed the Dismal Swamp Canal to navigation. With repairs now completed, the Dismal Swamp Canal is once again open for navigation. The AICW Alternate Dismal Swamp Canal Route southbound departs the primary AICW south of Norfolk at Statute Mile 7.2 and begins officially at Deep Creek Lock at Statute Mile 10.6.

      Supt. Joy Greenwood reports the bridge repairs have been completed and the Canal has reopened for transient boating traffic. Please help us get the word out!
      Thank you!
      Donna Stewart, Director
      Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
      2356 US Hwy 17N
      South Mills, NC 27976
      Phone ~ 252-771-8333
      www.DismalSwampWelcomeCenter.com

      Larry and Claiborne,
      Thanks for sharing the message. We were only closed for four and a half days due to hydraulic work on the bridge which crosses over the Canal to the Dismal Swamp State Park. We had a boat make the 1:30pm locking at Deep Creek and stay with us last night. If you’re still traveling south, we would love to see you.
      Donna Stewart

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dismal Swamp Canal Swing Bridge.

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    • Higher than Normal Tides Lower Vertical Clearance at Hwy 802/McTeer Bridge, Beaufort, SC, AICW Statute Mile 540


      Highway 802 Bridge - Click for Chartview

      The moon and higher than normal tides this year have been causing problems for our tall masted friends. There are tide gauges missing from a number of bridges in NC and SC. The Coast Guard Chief of Operations of Bridge is aware of the missing boards and hopefully, they will be replaced and/or corrected soon! In the meantime, keep an eye on the tide tables for the particular area and proceed with caution at mid-tide through all the fixed height bridges.
      The notices to report damage posted at most bridges generally refers to damage occurring to the bridge – usually the fender system – and not, unfortunately, for damages to vessels.

      NO GAGE ON THIS BRIDGE FOR HEIGHT.
      We were told by Port Royal Landing that there was only 63 foot of Clearance at High Tide on 12-12-12.
      (There is a notice to report bridge damage.)
      With a phone number???????
      Debra Baas

      We passed through this bridge on 12/7/2012. No tide gauges. Most of the sixth fenderboard was showing above the water (we were told that if the top of the fifth was showing there was 65′ 5’³ of clearance). Predicted tide at the Beaufort Island tide station then was +1.2 feet. Out 66′ tall antennas passed under the bridge without touching.
      John Kremski

      The critical piece of information that’s often hard to come by is the relation of tide height (relatively easy) to MHW. MHW for a location is printed on some smaller-scale charts, but I haven’t seen it presented by chartplotters or applications (e.g. Wxtide32). We can get MHW indirectly from the NOAA Tides & Currents Datums pages. Careful though! The tabulated numbers are not based on MLW or MLLW, but on `station datum’ so there’s a little extra math. But it sure would be useful to have something more portable that doesn’t require Web access.
      There’s no substitute for ACCURATE clearance boards, though.
      As a footnote, with a mean sea level rise per annum of about 2mm, a bridge built 50 years ago at 65′ clearance would have lost about 4’³ of that.
      Larry Shick

      Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Highway 802 Bridge

      Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Port Royal Landing

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Highway 802 Bridge

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    • Saturday Farmer’s Market in Fernandina Beach, FL (Statute Mile 716.5)

      Fernandina Beach is the first port of call after crossing south from Georgia into Eastern Florida. This community features a GREAT downtown business district with LOTS of good places to eat and shop. Now, we hear there’s a weekly farmer’s market here as well!

      [There is a farmer’s market in] Fernandina beach Florida every Saturday morn @ 7th street and main.
      Ellen Langer
      Roy DeLong
      M/V Our Turn

      Yes, there is a fabulous farmer’s market in historic Fernandina Beach, just blocks from the charming waterfront. Open every Saturday on lovely Amelia Island in NE Florida (except for Shrimp Festival Weekend) rain or shine, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The Market Place features organic fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, breads and other baked goods, seasonal surprises, light entertainment, and so much more! (Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome to join you for a stroll through the friendliest Farmers’ Market in Florida.)
      For more information visit http://www.AmeliaIslandMarketPlace.com.

      Judie Mackie

      As a local, I go there every Saturday. Yesterday I purchased some organic vegetables and range fed beef. The pricing is in line with regular stores but the quality can’t be beat.
      Mike

      My Personal Chef supplies deliciously prepared soups and entrees at the Fernandina Beach Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. This is great for cruisers because all our products are made from fresh ingredients, packaged and frozen for convenience to store on your boat. Since we do not use plastics and cardbord boxes our meal items will not take up precious space in your galley. The Market is a few blocks down Center Street-walking distance from the marina. Come by and see what we have!
      Lauri Russell from My Personal Chef

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fernandina Harbor Marina

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

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