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    • Tide Boards Missing on Croatan Sound Channel Bridges, off the AICW

      Croatan Sound Channel Bridges

      Croatan Sound connects Albemarle Sound to the north and Pamlico Sound to the south via a broad channel crossed by two sets of fixed bridges. The older, northernmost span has a vertical clearance of 45ft, and has LONG been the bane of sailors who must use the far more difficult Roanoke Sound – Old House channel to cruise south from the AICW/Albemarle Sound to Pamlico Sound, or the other way around. The southernmost twin Highway 64 bridges feature 66ft of vertical clearance, and one might think with their installation a few years ago, the older span would have been removed. For whatever reason, this has not come to pass.

      There are also no clearance boards on either of the bridges that cross the Croatan Sound.
      Keith s/v SAGA

      Note that both the NCDOT and the USCG have been apprised of the missing tide boards in Roanoke Sound and Croatan Sound. See article linked below.

      Click Here To Read an Earlier Posting on Missing Tide Boards

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Croatan Sound

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    • Beaufort, NC Town Commissioners Take NO Action on Proposed Anchoring Registration Requirements at 8/28/12 Meeting

       The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has published two previous articles about a controversial proposal that would require all boat owners who anchor in Beaufort, NC’s Town Creek or Taylor Creek, to register their vessels with the Beaufort Police Department (see /?p=94843 and /?p=95293). Please note that the status reported in the second linked article has now been superseded by the information below.
      Thanks to generous input from “Cartaret County News-Times” ( Managing Editor, Ms. Beth Blake, and reporter Ben Hogwood, we can report that the Beaufort Town Commissioners took NO ACTION on these controversial proposals during their meeting of 8/28/12. Instead, a committee has been appointed to further study the matter. This special group met on 8/20/12, and apparently no agreement was reached.
      Our “reading of the tea leaves” here at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is that these proposals may now just wither on the vine and never be heard from again. Then again, that might not be the case at all. All cruisers please be assured that we are watching this situation closely, and will bring you news of any new developments as soon as they occur!
      For now though, cruisers can still anchor on the popular waters of Beaufort’s Town Creek and Taylor Creek with no worries. How nice!
      You can read the full text of Ben Hogwood’s “Cartaret News Times” article at:

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Outer Town Creek Anchorage

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Inner Town Creek Anchorage

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Taylor Creek/Beaufort Waterfront Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort, NC

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    • Sixth Edition of “The Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook” Released

      We are pleased to help promote the new, updated sixth edition of “The Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook,” authored by yours truly’s dear friends (and frequent SSECN contributors), Captains John and Leslie Kettlewell.
      I truly don’t think there is a better paper chartbook for the AICW anywhere than this one. John and Leslie, kind of like this fellow, have been at this for 25+ years. So, not only do you get the latest charts, but you get the benefit of all their experience as well.
      So, if you are in the market for a paper chart book, run, don’t walk to your nearest bookshop and pick up a copy of the just released sixth edition!

      August 27, 2012

      New Sixth Edition of ICW Chartbook Released

      The new sixth edition of The Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook, published by International Marine/McGraw-Hill, is now available at major book and marine stores. The book was created by chart editors John and Leslie Kettlewell, who have been doing the “Ditch” for more than 25 years.
      The new edition includes all the latest NOAA charts, at full scale and in full color, all in the unique “flip-chart” format that has made this book so popular. Just start at page one and proceed down the entire 1090 miles of the ICW, flipping from page to page, all in order. This is still the handiest way to navigate as you proceed down the Waterway, but if you also use an electronic chart plotter this book is a perfect companion to it. Let the electronics keep track of exactly where you are, while you use the chartbook to look ahead and plan for what is coming up. Or use the chartbook to look for a marina, fuel dock, or anchorage for the night. New in this edition, the locations of marinas are identified right on the charts, and then a separate marina listing appendix provides GPS coordinates and the marina phone numbers. The best way to make marina reservations, get pricing, or to get the latest approach information is just to give them a call on your cell
      phone. Of course, like in the past, hundreds of great anchorages are marked on the charts, and brief descriptions are in an appendix. The sixth edition features many new anchorages.
      All the major alternate routes, like the Dismal Swamp Canal and Umbrella Cut, are included, as well as charts to get you in and out of all the major inlets.
      It would cost many hundreds of dollars to purchase all the paper charts needed to match the coverage in the chartbook, and you still wouldn’t have all the unique local information and the handy mile-by-mile, flip-chart format.
      John Kettlewell is a long-standing member of Boating Writers International, and he and his wife, Leslie, have been cruising the waters between Labrador and the Caribbean for more than 30 years. They are members of the Taunton and Cuttyhunk Yacht Clubs, and they currently keep their motorsailor in New England.
      For more information contact: John J. Kettlewell,

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    • Eye Witness Account of How Tropical Storm Isaac Impacted Riviera Dunes Marina (off Tampa Bay on Manatee River, Palmetto, FL)

      Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersAfter reading the account below, it makes my very proud that Riviera Dunes Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      From: “First Matey”
      Subject: Isaac Preparations and Riding Out of Storm
      We were tenants at Riviera Dunes Marina, Palmetto, FL, during the approach and passing of T/S Isaac. This marina has a reputation for being a great place to be during a storm because of its location five miles up the Manatee River off Tampa Bay (thus tidal surges have a lot of space to fill before getting too drastic etc.), but being there during this one was most revealing. Doc Craig, the marina manager, had his crew use lines that the marina owns, (three strand nylon with sizes for each size vessel) actually double line every vessel in the marina. See photo that shows owners lines and the white marina lines…

      The marina staff started several days before the storms forecasted arrival in accordance with marina storm preparation “SOP”. Several captains volunteered to help to make sure that all vessels were properly fendered, tied, and prepared for the storm. I have never seen this in my years of cruising, although it is such a great thing to offer, I am sure it exists in some other places. I understand this marina has a special offer to insure a slip during a storm for any captains who may want to insure a spot for the ultimate protection of this 360 protected marina harbor.
      As you know, Bradenton – Palmetto, did not get much of the storm effects. Actually the wind is blowing more today, Tuesday, August 28th than it did during the day the storm was to pass. None the less, no damage, no nicks, in fact all is well and in place.
      Our prayers are with everyone who remains in the path of Isaac and hopefully all will fair without harm.
      We are in love with this area up the Manatee. Palmetto is a slice of old Florida and Bradenton has all that one could want with a beautiful river walk park. It is just nice. And we actually enjoyed riding out Isaac here with the fine folks who run Riviera Dunes, especially their Dockmaster and marina manager, Doc Craig and his lovely wife Linda.
      Our prayers are with everyone who remains in the path of Isaac and hopefully all will fair without harm.
      Thanks for all you do Claiborne in getting good info out to all.
      “First Matey”

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Riviera Dunes Marina

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

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    • More on Opposition to Mooring Pilot Program for Sunset Cove Anchorage, Keys Inside Route, Buttonwood Sound – Key Largo, FL

      Sunset Cove - Click for Chartview

      Sunset Cove is one of the most popular anchorages in the northern Florid Keys. This haven is located on the waters of southeastern Buttonwood Sound, in charted Sunset Cove, near statute Mile 1143 off the Florida Keys Inside Route.
      The excellent report below, written by Florida Keys Keynoter reporter Kevin Wadlow appeared on and is reprinted here with his permission. KeysNet website is and is a good source of local perspective on all things in the Keys.

      Boaters Oppose State Pilot for Sunset Cove
      A managed anchoring area proposed for Key Largo’s Sunset Cove fails to meet requirements for a state pilot program, says a staff report to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Monroe County’s draft ordinance to create several new managed anchoring zones reaches the FWC board at its Sept. 5 meeting in Tampa.
      FWC Division of Law Enforcement staff who reviewed the county plan endorsed it, “contingent upon the Sunset Cove Managed Anchorage Zone provision being removed.”
      A pilot program for five Florida coastal areas was enacted in 2009 to “explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-liveaboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields.”
      Sunset Cove lies about 50 miles from the nearest existing mooring field, FWC staff said.
      “Staff understands the Sunset Cove provision was originally added to the ordinance due to the amount of public comment received from residents” in a June 2011 meeting,” the report says. “Unfortunately, Sunset Cove is 45 to 50 miles from the Marathon mooring field… These were the mooring fields identified as part of Monroe County’s original application package for the pilot program.”
      “There is also strong opposition from the boater groups on this provision,” the report says.
      The FWC board members must approve local ordinances created under the pilot program. The board can amend or overrule its staff recommendation.
      Monroe County officials only recently received the FWC staff report, said local Marine Resources Administrator Rich Jones.
      The Keys ordinance also designates managed anchoring zones in the Lower Keys at Boca Chica Basin, Cow Key Channel and Key West Harbor; and in Marathon’s Boot Key Harbor and Sister Creek.
      “Monroe County did something unique” by requiring proof of monthly sewage pumpouts for boats in the managed zones, FWC staff noted. A photo used in the state report to illustrate septic problems shows a toilet seat positioned over an open hole in a boat’s deck, with ocean water visible below.
      Monroe County rules also would bar boats from the managed areas if they “exhibit pre-derelict vessel conditions” such as being unable to navigate, or appear to be in imminent danger of sinking. Of 39 comments received by the FWC on the Monroe County anchoring law, 18 were logged as “negative” with 12 being “positive.”
      Kevin Wadlow

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Sunset Cove

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunset Cove Anchorage

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    • Reminder of Alternate Route(s) Around Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound, AICW Statute Miles 686 to 696

      Captain Ehlen’s comments and this reminder were prompted by a discussion of markers in St. Andrew Sound, see link below. The alternate route he mentions is the Umbrella Cut Route which takes you northbound from Mile 696 in Cumberland River through Floyd Creek, across the Satilla River and into the Little Satilla to rejoin the AICW at Mile 686 in Jekyll Sound. This is often considered the route of choice when the primary Waterway route, which passes through St. Andrew Sound and almost out into the briny blue, is kicking up. A third option northward would be to turn to starboard (ESE) out of Floyd Cut into the Satilla River and follow the markers northeast, west of Horseshoe Shoal, to rejoin the Waterway east of Raccoon Key Spit. Strong winds out of the southeast across St. Andrew would make this route uncomfortable.

      There’s a second, `alternate’ ICW route that heads away from St. Andrew Sound and is shown on the charts. Longer, shallower water (go on a rising tide) but avoids going out towards the ocean in bad conditions.
      There appears to also be a third option, but it isn’t as well buoyed and I don’t know if the charted depths are still correct.
      Wade Ehlen
      MT 36 Shady Lady
      New Bern NC

      Click Here To Read An Ongoing Discussion of St. Andrew Sound

      Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on Umbrella Cut

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Northern End of Umbrella Cut

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Floyd Cut

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    • Myrtle Beach Yacht Club Lowers Transient Rate, AICW Statute Mile 346

      Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is unmatched for its Lowcountry charm and gracious hospitality. Myrtle Beach Yacht Club on Coquina Harbor has been a great stopping place and a friend to cruisers for years and this rate reduction is certainly good news for the fall migration!. Naturally, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      Cruising News:
      MBYC has lowered it’s transient dockage to $1.25/foot with a Boat/Us discount of .25 cents
      Bud Coonfield

      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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    • South River Anchorages (off North Carolina’s Neuse River, near St. M. 178.5) – Captains Mark and Diana Report

      Eastman Creek anchorage. Hang a left at the duck blind!

      On the Water GuidebooksWhile successful entry can be just a tiny bit tricky for first timers, South River provides what is, for my money, the best set of anchorages off the Neuse River. We particularly like to drop the hook off the long deserted community of “Lukens,” or, if time is not a concern and/or heavy weather is in the offing, Eastman Creek is almost idyllic!
      While Diana and Mark don’t cover all the South River anchorages we list in our Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net North Carolina Anchorage Directory, they have caught most of the best ones, and they list one on Big Creek that I’ve never tried due to the presence of a commercial fish processing operation!
      Of course, all the info below is taken from the Doyle’s just released, two volume paper set of AICW AnchorGuides. Learn more at

      Hi Claiborne,
      Admit it, how many times have we all anchored off Oriental’s waterfront or at nearby Cedar Creek along Adams Creek?

      Hardy Creek's end-of-the-road dinghy landing and shore access

      If you’ve had enough ice cream at The Bean, what about trying something different next time you have a few days in the area?
      Off the Neuse River is the lovely South River, at STM 178.1, a worthwhile 6- to 9-mile detour off the ICW’s Magenta Line. Reminiscent of Chesapeake Bay cruising, South River has many anchoring options, varied protection, and scenic wooded shorelines.
      Here’s a quick overview of two anchorages “on the way” and then our favorite, Eastman Creek.

      Hardy Creek Anchorage
      This is the South River anchorage closest to the ICW, so it’s a good place to stop if you don’t have time to continue up South River until the next day. Pet owners will particularly like this stop, with easy shore access at a street-end bulkhead (look for three street signs), good for an evening walk through a quiet rural residential neighborhood.

      Big Creek
      Moving further upriver to explore South River, Big Creek is much more protected than Hardy Creek. It’s a quiet anchorage in a broad spacious river set in wooded marsh, with an easy entry off South River. But no shore access and, lately, a reputed 11-footer. Alligator that is!

      Eastman Creek
      If you like quiet, scenic, solitude, then continue up the South River (9 miles off the ICW) to Eastman Creek. It’s worth the detour’”presumably the quest for a bucolic anchorage is what motivated you to explore the South River in the first place!

      Shrimpers working the South River

      Other than a prominent house at the creek entrance, it’s a pristine setting of marsh and woods. There’s no shore access, but you can splash the kayaks, dinghy explore, or toss in some fish lines.
      And Diana has an insider naturalist’s tip for you if you visit this anchorage in the early spring: Take your sundowner on deck at dusk and listen for a nasal “peent” call followed by an eery winnowing noise. Those are male American Woodcocks, aka timberdoodles, doing their “sky dance” aerial courtship displays. If you look closely you may actually spot a bird zig-zagging downward. The winnowing noise is created by the rushing air vibrating their tail feathers as the bird plummets from about 300 feet in the air. It’s one of the unique sounds and spectacles of spring’”which you can view from the box seats of your cockpit or flybridge.
      Best and see you On the Water,
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River/Hardy Creek Anchorage

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River/Lukens Anchorage

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River – Eastern Shore Anchorage

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the South River/Eastman Creek Anchorage

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

      Well, clearly I’m a little behind the times when it comes to Big Creek (see below). I know what happened. After encountering an unhappy smell here years ago, we have always just anchored elsewhere on South River, and have not stuck our nose in this sidewater for many years. I’ll know better now!

      I live on Big Creek and I can assure you that any commercial fish processing operation is long gone. Nothing here but a few homes and the 11 foot aligator.
      Dave Boxmeyer

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    • Follow Up on Marker/Charting Confusion and Increased Shoaling on AICW’s Passage Through Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound (St. M. 690)

      Back on 8/10/12, we began a string of messages here on the SSECN about shoaling and marker confusion/problems on the AICW’s passage through often ROUGH St. Andrew Sound, south of Jekyll Creek/Island (see /?p=94169). We asked for additional input from the cruising community, AND WE GOT IT! This string of messages was featured in our 8/17/12 SSECN Alert, and more of you clicked through to this posting than any other linked in this Alert!
      The real originator of all this important information was my good friend and fellow nautical writer, Captain John Kettlewell. Well, while all this was in progress, John was querying the USCG and the NOAA charting people. With John’s permission, we have reproduced those messages below.

      Can you explain the current positioning of Buoy R32 in St. Andrew Sound, Light List III #37385 [30°59.3230N / 081°24.2378W, 30.988716 / -81.403964]? On the ICW charts the magenta course line is shown to the west of the buoy; however, it appears to be a starboard side marker for the ICW (headed south). Someone has reported to me that if they leave the R32 to starboard when southbound it puts them right on a shoal, which is charted to the northeast of the buoy on chart #11489 ( ). It appears that both the buoy may be off station and the chart incorrect.
      I am the author of the Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook, and other ICW guides and publications.
      John J. Kettlewell

      Mr. Kettlewell,
      We are checking into your inquiry. It may take a few days as I’ve had to reach out to the field unit.
      Lee Dragon
      Local Notice to Mariners
      Seventh Coast Guard District
      Aids to Navigation (Dpw)

      Please see the email below from Mr. Kettlewell regarding the magenta line in the ICW St Andrews Sound area chart 11489.
      The buoys are St Andrews Sound Buoy 31A (LLNR 37384 [30°59.3047N / 081°23.9754W, 30.988411 / -81.399590]) and St Andrews Sound LB 32 (LLNR 37385 [30°59.3230N / 081°24.2378W, 30.988716 / -81.403964]). The ANT team believes the magenta line to be incorrect and needs to be moved to go between B31A and LB32. It does make for a sharp corner, there is not much room between Horseshoe
      shoal and the North breakers. They continued by saying the area is a just a bad corner and the magenta line needs to be moved to the east of LB32. The sector will engage the ACOE regarding shifting shoals, etc.
      I hope this information helps.

      And, Captain Kettlewell’s final word to the SSECN concerning the above message:

      See below [above, in this format – editor]. This doesn’t really answer the question to my satisfaction, but apparently the CG thinks the marked channel is correct.

      We transit this route several times a year. Last transit was June of this year heading north to Brunswick. We have a full keel 6ft draft sailing vessel and usually time our passage close to high tide due to transiting Jekyll Creek. We always pass R32 on the east side of the buoy as the CG stated (the Magenta Line is incorrect in the turn). It is a tight turn and particular attention should be paid to the alignment of G 31A and G 31 as you round R 32 keeping it to port (heading north). It is a little unnerving due to the quick depth change (deep to shallow) but there was at least 15 ft of water at high tide in June. Pretty much the same for the past 3 years. Hope this helps.
      Capt. Jesse Price s/v Wind Dust

      We had occasion to pass r32 on 9-6-12 at 7:45 a.m. heading South in a 48′ sailboat drawing 6′ . The buoy is on station according to our gps and it has a square yellow icw marker that’s well hidden from view if a vessel attempts to round it to the East. We passed the buoy by about 75′ to the West as the magenta line suggests and had a minimum of 12′ at low tide.
      No signs of coast guard nor any other government agency.
      Best Regards

      I transited from the St Marys to Jekyll Island via the outside (St Andrews Sound) on Labor Day weekend. Many of the buoys are either missing or off position. For example, N2 is missing and 31A is off position and on its side. Local boaters indicate that the buoys become entangled in shrimp shrimp nets and once the are freed they are just left in the new position. Shoaling has occurred to the east of the channel. I found that transiting from the outer marker (C Sta) to the following points provided a safe passage at low water for my 6 ft draft: N30 55.331 W081 20.260, N30 57.095 W081 21.555, N30 57.774 W081 21.864, N30 58.750 W081 22.296, N30 58.846 W081 23.224 then straight for R 32 (staying just to the west of R 32) then proceeding north up the ICW.
      Joe Blanchard

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    • Doin’ the Dismal — Dismal Swamp’s Goat Island Anchorage (Statute Mile 43.5, AICW Dismal Swamp Alternate Route) – Captains Mark and Diana Report

      Looking westerly into the Goat Island oxbow anchorage from G11

      On the Water GuidebooksI could not agree more with Captains Diana and Mark. If you are not in a hurry, and are willing to take a small chance of encountering semi-sunken debris, then by all means “Do the Dismal,” as AICW veterans would say. Cruising the canal, particularly early in the morning is a very unique ecological experience. The water is the color of coffee, with just a hint of cream, and morning mist can often be seen rishing from these colored depths. The canal is bordered by almost all-natural shores, overlooked by tall cypress trees trailing their beards of grey moss. South Carolina’s Waccamaw River justifiably has the reputation as the most beautiful stretch between Norfolk and Miami, but I, for one, think the Dismal has a good claim on being #2!

      Hi Claiborne,
      We always advise cruisers … don’t take the name too literally. The “Dismal Swamp” is in fact a stunningly beautiful alternative route through the lowlands (okay, swamps) of Virginia and North Carolina.
      Every boater should do the Dismal at least once, for the experience as well as a change of scenery over the Virginia Cut Route.

      Goat Island Camping Platform where you can go ashore to explore or land a pet

      Goat Island Anchorage is located along the Dismal’s Pasquotank River, just before you reach the bustle of Elizabeth City. It’s your chance to experience the swamp for a peaceful night at anchor, tucked safely behind mosquito screens. Listen for owls and frogs, seemingly in the wilderness, but safely within earshot of homes hidden along the oxbow canal.
      It’s an ideal anchorage: wide and deep yet boasting all-around protection. You can anchor anywhere in the oxbow behind Goat Island, selecting a spot to get the best protection for the night’s forecast.
      Goat Island even has a small dock with a boardwalk (the Goat Island Camping Platform) where you can go ashore to explore or land a pet.
      The anchorage is well-positioned for both north- and southbound staging. Only 7 miles to the south, you can treat yourself to dockage at one of Elizabeth City’s free options: Mid-Atlantic Christian University Docks, Jennette Brothers Bulkhead, or the Elizabeth City Courtesy Docks and Bulkhead.
      And cruiser-friendly Elizabeth City is the perfect pit stop, with many stores and restaurants, and free rides to and from the local supermarket.
      Best and see you On the Water,
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Anchoarge Listing For the Goat Island Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Goat Island Anchorage

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