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    • Good Words About A New Sponsor – Spotless Stainless

      Well, of course, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      This is a great product! Just spray or wipe on let it sit for 30 minutes and rinse the rust away. It sure beats polishing. JUst rinse very well with fresh water.
      Our Lord’s Blessing
      Ed & Bonnie
      S/V Almost Heaven

       Spotless Stainless is the simplest and most effective way to remove rust and the

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    • Great Stay at Marineland Marina (Statute Mile 796)

       The Town of Marineland has opened its ports with a brand new marina facility creating a destination for boaters on the Intracoastal Waterway between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, FL.What a GREAT posting about our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! And, oh yes, I was just here a few weeks ago myself, and I agree completely with Captains Pilon and Salette!

      I arrived at Marineland Marina a month ago for what I thought would be few days. Why? What happened to my migration south? Maybe I should not tell you this ; I worry you all make this change’¦
      I tell you this as it comes to my mind, no particular order, nor by importance:
      – It is clean, perfectly clean.
      – It is new, brand new marina
      – Prices are VERY affordable. In fact, on a monthly basis, it is MUCH cheaper than moorings you will find in St-Augustine, even for bigger boats.
      – Free (yes as in 0.00$) laundry
      – Staff is great. They all go further than expected to make sure you like Marineland Marina. I know first hand.
      – Marineland Marina is across the A1A road to a beach, large, miles long, and super quiet. I go there everyday for a walk and most of the days I am alone / or we are 3 or 4. In fact on this few miles beach stretch the most people I saw were 6!!! This is rare in Florida, rare in USA, just rare everywhere.
      – A1A route is super quiet here. Except Marineland and few houses for rent, there is not much around
      – Bike path on this A1A stretch (5 miles north, 5 miles south) is very wide and secure and quiet!
      – Many parks and reserves at walking distance
      Other info:
      – The Publix is about 4 miles away
      – Many restaurants deliver to Marineland Marina
      – You can visit Marineland, the other side of the street
      – They organise kayak tours, right here at the marina
      – Nice restaurant / bars at bicycle distance
      – Be sure to mention to Chris the draft of your boat. Most slips are more than 6 feet but some (3 or 4 slips) have less than 5 feet mlw.
      – They have nice floating docks for transients.
      – Pet friendly marina
      How come it is not more known? I think because Marineland Marina has been abandoned for 10 years until they completely rebuilt it 6 month ago / most of cruising guides you have on board are out-dated’¦
      Marc Pilon and Andrée Salette
      Sv Ma Muse, still at Marineland Marina for few more weeks

      Just wanted to echo everything Marc and andree said, marineland marina is a great facility, we too dropped in for a day or 2 and are now staying a month. The beach is beautiful and this stretch of the ICW is unspoiled and borders a huge nature reserve with many creeks to explore by dinghy and plenty of wildlife to see.
      Can’t recommend it enough.
      Helen and Dickie

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

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

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    • Kudos for the Dinner Key Mooring Field (South Miami, near Statute Mile 1094.5)

      Wonderful news to hear that the Miami/Dinner Key Mooring Field is being operated in such an efficient, cruiser friendly fashion. Cruisers can now put this facility on their list of stopovers with confidence!

      After reading the reviews I was skeptical of this marina. However the mooring field is a different division of the marina and you can tell it in the pride and we care attitude of James and his helper (sorry I did not get his name). After talking with James on a Sunday afternoon on our way down he gave us preliminary instructions and assigned us a mooring ball. Upon entry one call on the radio and James gave us final instructions and then made a stop to check if everything was okay. The next morning without a call his helper stopped by with the pumpout boat to see if we needed a pumpout and we did. After that we checked in. James gave us info about the marina, showers, places to eat and where to get supplies. These two guys made for a great experience. I’m sure they would always go out of their way to accomodate the customer.
      S/V indecision
      Capt. Mike

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Dinner Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dinner Key Mooring Field

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    • Markers Still Off Station in Capri Pass (just north of Marco Island, and south of Naples, Florida)

      We had two earlier reports here on the Cruisers’ Net that marker #11, on the Capri Pass channel was off station, and issued an SSECN Navigation Alert for these waters (see /?p=77958). Captain George’s report below confirms that this marker is still not where it should be as of 1/16/02!

      As of 1/16/2012 this marker is still off station and is very near marker #2 as entering from seaward. In the daytime it is not that confusing, but coming in at night, tired from a long passage and unfamiliar with Capri Pass could cause some confusion.
      s/v John Galt

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at the Position of Marker #11 at Capri Pass

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    • More on Shoaling in AICW – Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 515)

      With his 6.25 ft draft, Capt. Pascal keeps a very sharp eye on the Waterway’s trouble spots and we can rely on the accuracy of his reports and the depths recorded here coincide with earlier reports of 5.8 feet at dead low in this perennial “AICW Problem Stretch” south of Charleston, SC. Penny’s report of Jan 23 suggests that the channel is shifting with the renewed shoaling.

      I found shoaling to have worsened significantly over the summer in the southern section between the Coosaw and Rock creek. I follow the exact same path and found depths to be almost 2 ft shallower than back in May. I had planned to arrive with 3′ of tides remaining and ended up squeaking by with just a ft under the wheels (6.25 draft). This is definitely a play-the-tide stretch for most and close to Lil Mud River level.
      Everything else so far is pretty much unchanged since spring.
      Here are my notes:
      MM516 Ashepoo Coosaw Southern section, 6′ to 7′ MLW most of the way but some 4.5 to 5′ MLW spots just north of R184. This is down almost 2′ from this spring on the same line. Make sure you come in or exit the southern end of the cut at an angle as shown on the charts (by R184/G195).
      A new can G177 has been added by the FL G 177 to mark the shoal.
      Note that the northern section of the cut off bet R166 and R172 is no problem, over 12′ MLW.
      Capt. Pascal Gademer

      Cruising News:
      Just came through the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff roughly two hours after high tide, +5.8′, and the lowest depth readings were 10.8′, suggesting there would be only 5′ at low. Looks like severe shoaling; suggest transiting with this in mind.
      So far, in our transit south this year from Sandy Hook to Delray Beach, this is the first serious shoaling we encountered.
      Mike Horowitz aboard ALTAIR

      Just came through the Ashepoo Coosaw cutoff 3 times in the last 6 weeks. At the southern end near the Coosaw river, I saw 6 ft. at dead low tide. Favour the red side going south.
      The other two times I came through at mid tide rising and had no trouble. My vessel draws 5 ft. Hope this helps.
      Phil Mullins

      Just cleared the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff 1 hour after high tide with a 5 ft draft. Lowest water reported was 12 ft. near red 184. The new green can 177A is off station. Currently in the grass about 100 feet south of green day marker 177.
      Dick White aboard M/V Emerald Lady

      These updated reports are pretty accurate except showing even more shoaling as green markers 169 and 177 are standing in grass with 20-30 feet of sand/mud on the bank at just before low tide. Depth sounder went off more times than I care to count. stay exactly between R 184 and G 185 then hug south bank to avoid extending shoal just after before heading to R 186. Favoring red as mentioned in another report put us in the mud for a quick thrill.
      Penny aboard Penelope

      Click Here To View Another Recent Report from This Trouble Spot.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Ashepoo/Coosaw Cutoff

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

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    • Proper Passing Techniques on the AICW

      The discussion below is copied from the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association mailing list!
      Faster boats passing slower vessels on the AICW, or any confined waterway for that matter, is a topic that brings on endless debate, and, very often, bruised feelings between captains and crews. The messages below make some excellent points, but, believe me, this source of contention will probably never be solved completely!

      I don’t want to upset anyone. But I have a 26′ boat and plan to travel the ICW. I know at times its hard to see the names on boats when approaching them. I normally would call and ask for a side to pass and if I can do a fast pass. With my boat I think my wake is less if I stay on plane rather then down in the water but fast enough to pass. Not to mention fuel to slow and go. Like I said I don’t want to upset anyone and I will follow the rules of the road. I hope to make alot of new friends and someday soon to
      move up in size.

      Dave we wrote a post in our blog on the changes we have seen on the ICW over the past 20 years and addressed that very issue. The post can be read at You are correct that in many smaller boats, staying on plane will cause less wake. Many boaters feel if you pass from a distance it will also cause less wake. Quite the opposite is true and the closer you are when passing, the less affect your wake has if you do it right. Here is an excerpt that describes our procedure for passing…
      “In the interest of informing those unfamiliar, the rules of overtaking state that if you can not safely pass another vessel, you do not pass. Common courtesy from the boats that can’t travel very fast (you know who you are) dictates that you slow as much as possible to allow boats that can go faster (you know who you are) to pass safely. Those boats that can travel faster (you know who you are) must slow to a safe speed and reduce their wake so as not to cause damage or injury on the other vessel. Here is the procedure we have used successfully over the years without any complaints. We always approach the slower vessel dead astern of them and slow down to match their speed. We then call the vessel ahead to let them know we are there, which side we will pass on and ask them to slow down so that we can pass. We then pass as close in to the slower vessel as can be done safely and then move directly in front as soon as it is safe to do so. Once we are in front of the vessel we have passed, we can increase speed and go on our way with little inconvenience or discomfort to the other crew. It is a very simple procedure, but one that many have not yet mastered. Why can’t we all just get along?”
      If we pull astern of a boat and they don’t answer the radio we usually give a blast or two on the horn depending on what side we want to pass them. If they don’t bother to answer the radio or slow down we continue on at a slightly faster speed and when we pull along side we ask them verbally to slow down if they want a smaller wake. It has been a topic of discussion amongst boaters for some time.

      Having travelled the ICW on our Loop, I am constantly amazed how people think they don’t have a wake if they are on plane. Sit in a trawler or a sail boat and find out how much wake there various boats can throw up. Radio the boat ahead and if you can’t find their name they generally will know you are coming behind them and reply. They will also slow down to allow a minimal wake pass. I can’t count the number of times I was waked and had things flying around the interior cabin and sending a message to the boat telling them I appreciated their wake. Lots of fun too, if you are at the upper helm. Courtesy is always good form!

      I have taken the boater’s safty course. I have just found that most large boats don’t slow down and the wake I make just to over take them is 3 times larger then the one I make on plane. I know that on plane there is a wake but not near as large as when I’m slightly over idle passing. Please I’m not trying to be disrespectful and I will bid by the rules of the road.. It gets frustrating for both parties big or small..I know I have come off plane when a large boat is coming at me only to have him maintain speed so I think what’s the sense.

      Proper Passing Distance:
      Although this topic is directed towards proper passing, let me take this opportunity to pass on (no pun intended) my knowledge about proper passing distance. Two years ago, I asked a Georgia DNR Officer what his most frequent moving violation ticket was written for. His response “Improper passing distance”. Georgia has a 100′ rule as do most states. Here is a copy of the rule:
      Improper Distance is not maintaining a proper distance while operating a boat or PWC or towing a person on water skis or any similar device. Specifically, it is illegal to:
      Operate a boat or PWC or tow a person on water skis or any similar device at greater than idle speed within 100 feet of a:
      – Moored or anchored boat or any boat adrift
      – Dock, pier or bridge
      – Person(s) in the water
      – Shoreline adjacent to a full – or part-time residence
      – Public park or beach or a swimming area
      – Marina, restaurant or other public use area
      – Run around or within 100 feet of another boat at greater than idle speed unless you are overtaking or meeting the other boat in compliance with the rules for encountering other boats
      – Follow closely behind another boat, jump the wake of the other boat or change course or direction in order to jump the wake of another boat
      Many waterways, canals and rivers on the ICW will cause us to encounter these “100 foot” meeting or passing situations and there are several hunderd miles of locations where we will be within 100 feet of a dock (private or commercial). While this quote is from the laws in Georgia, most ICW bordering states have similar rules on passing distance. Unless I am in fairly open bays, lakes, or wide rivers, I usually slow down to idle speed whenever I am in a passing or in an overtaking situation. I always slow down to idle if I am within 200′ – 300′ of fishermen, canoes and kayaks.
      Douglas Townes

      This rule is important, especially in Georgia where the compliance to the basic ICW standards are generally ignored by those responsible for their maintenance. At low tide, the controlled water depth for the ICW should be 12 feet minimum and the controlled width should be 150 feet minimum. Since much of the way at low tide is impassible for vessels drawing more than 3 or 4 feet at dead center channel and with the channel widths at mid-tide being less than 50 feet, it is beyond critical to slow to pass. Should
      apply this rule to the ICW passages Florida (west coast), Georgia and New Jersey.
      Bob & Kemba DeGroot

      Thanks for asking the question. As you can see, some of us have some not-so-good experiences with impatient and/or ignorant passers. Here in Miami, sometimes I feel like holidays are like figure 8 racing. On the ICW, coming under the Richenbacher Causeway Bridge to enter Biscayne Bay, I was passed by a 60 to 70 ft. yacht with twin jets while still under the bridge. He throttled up about half way through the no-wake area of the underpass, and left the whole place in a huge turbulence of bubbles. It was all I could do with full throttle, full rudder and bow thruster to keep me off the bridge wall, coming within a foot or so. If he looked back, it was probably to laugh along with the rest of the party crowd on the huge rear sun deck. I’d love to find him aground someday. Anyway, I appreciate your respectful attitude, and hope you keep our stories in mind when your
      blowing by us slowpokes.
      Lawrence Giles

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    • Tarpon Basin Anchorage (Florida Keys Inside Route, near 1139.5)

      The exchange of anchoring information below is copied from the AGLCA mailing list, and organization that all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net continue to HIGHLY recommend.
      The SSECN Florida Keys Anchorage Directory actually notes (at least) three good, anchor down spots in Tarpon Basin. Captains Dave, Alan and Jean, speaking below, seem to refer to what we term the “Tarpon Basin Interior Anchorage.” Follow the links below to check out all three possible anchorages!

      I am looking for Good/Safe anchorage (overnight) along the route from Key West to Miami.
      Saltie, Mainship 40′

      Try Tarpon Basin at ICW mile 1140 at red daymark 48A.
      Alan & Jean Lloyd

      There are many options and Alan’s is an excellent recommendation. There is a dinghy dock in the NE section of the [Tarpon Basin] cove. Picnic tables etc. next to the community building.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Tarpon Basin Interior Anchorage

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For Tarpon Basin Northern Anchorage

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For Tarpon Basin Southern Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Tarpon Basin

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    • Turtle Cove Marina – Tarpon Springs (Anclote River)

      Now, here’s a new one on us. A check for chart 11411 seems to indicate that the marina spoken of so glowingly below, is located on Spring Bayou, which runs off the southern shores of Anclote River, just west of downtown Tarpon Springs. For many years, this was a shallow body of water, and that is why our on-the-water research never led us to this facility.
      That will soon be changed, however, as I will be on the scene here during the first part of February, 2012, and you can bet a visit to Turtle Cove Marina will be on the top of my list. In the meantime, if anyone who has visited here has MLW depth info, PLEASE click the “the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

      We are presently at the best marina we have encountered so far and that is saying something. Many friends had warned us about the perils of getting into the city dock and the poor facilities and then I saw a chance posting about a looper who had stumbled onto Turtle Cove Marina. I looked at it on Google Earth and said why not. You ease up the Anclote River to Red 50 and turn right just past the marker. Next take the first left and be sure to hug the boats on the port side through the turn as there is a shallow spot. You will dead end at Turtle Cove which has an artificial island in a cove with slips all around . Floating docks, great electrical. I have never seen better pedestals in a marina. It all looks brand new. Secure facility with locked gates. You get a key. They have a clubhouse and pool too. Gas at pumps and diesel with one day notice delivered direct to your boat by a truck that drives on the island and backs up to your slip. Ed is the owner and Peter is the dockmaster. The marina is one short block behind the town. No current, no wind, no problem. $1.50 per foot for loopers and BoatUS. Pumpouts at every slip. Can you believe this? And it is all a hidden treasure. You can call them at 727-934-2202. If you want to see it on Google Earth it is at 827 Roosevelt Blvd. I give it an A+.
      Rusty and Jan Carlisle

      I’ve always been a great fan of the [Tarpon Springs] municipal marina because it’s so close to the main drag on the island. However Turtle Cove sounds almost too good to be true. I know “the Judge” wouldn’t lie to us. After three times at the municipal dock, with its problems just to be close to “Hellas Greek Resturant” its Turtle Cove next time!!!
      Thanks Judge!

      Lisa and I are docked (for a week) at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs Florida. Based on prior posts on this forum, I thought I’d add our two cents worth as it relates to our positive opinion. Turtle Cove is the place to be in Tarpon Springs if you like these amenities:
      1. New floating docks
      2. Free washer and dryer
      3. Easy walk to sponge docks, restaurants and downtown
      4. $1.50 per foot or discounted weekly stay (we’re paying .75 per foot for
      a week)
      5. Hot tub & swimming pool
      6. Free pumps outs
      7. Marina will also make arrangements for a fuel truck to come to your boat
      8. Free truck and trailer storage (we have a trailerable Ranger Tug)
      Jim & Lisa Favors
      Ranger Tug R27 ‘“ Kismet

      This is indeed a nice spot with wonderful amenities as described in the post below. Ed Spaeth the GM / owner is a very welcoming individual. It was a real treat to be met & welcomed by Ed & his team after our long crossing from Carrabelle.
      Note that the approaches to this marina are not as difficult as it would appear from the posts below. Proceed up the Anclote River to red 50 and turn to Stbd and then closely hug the port shoreline passing closely to the vessels tied to shore. Avoid the shallows on the Stbd side of the channel as you enter.
      There are a number of larger boats in the marina area that likely draw more than 5 feet.
      From the marina it is a short walk into the center of town with grocery stores and bars. The floating dock area where we had tied up was very nice and new. It was however quite a long walk maybe 200 yards to the showers, laundry & clubhouse facilities
      The rate of $ .75 per foot (per day?) for weekly stays for Loopers as posted below is incorrect. The correct rate is $7.50 per foot per week. That meant that instead of $199 per week for our 38 footer we were looking at $285 per week. We required a stay of between 2 & 3 weeks. On the very positive side If you pay for two weeks you can stay the next two free. Sort of like pay for 5 days stay for the next 2 free and equally pay for 2 weeks and stay free for the next two weeks I believe?
      The Looper daily rate is 1.50 per day per foot which is a discounted rate from the normal $2.00 per foot per day rate
      Here is a link to the marina’s site

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Tarpon Springs and Spring Bayou

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    • Excellent Okeechobee Waterway Discussion

      One of the most extensive and interesting discussions concerning the Okeechobee Waterway I’ve ever encountered, has appeared on the “GL” (Great Loop) mailing list, as of early January, 2012. I’ve cherry picked some of the best messages, and reprinted these on the Net’s “Okeechobee News” section. Follow the link below to access this posting, which is far too lengthy to reproduce here on our Home Page.
      As you will see, there are different points of view about this passage and the marinas along the way. Also, contained within these messages is a wealth of good cruising info, and superb cruising tips, from a small army of veteran skippers.
      We STRONGLY suggest that everyone who is contemplating a cruise across the Okeechobee, particularly first timers, read ALL the messages contained in this extensive posting. You’ll then have a very good idea what to expect while cruising the Okeechobee Waterway!

      Click Here To View This Excellent Posting Concerning the Okeechobee Waterway

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    • Baird Creek Adventure, Upper Neuse River, off the AICW near New Bern, NC

      Baird Creek, charted as Beard Creek,liess on the north shore of the upper Neuse River north of Wilkinson Point. As Cat. Ben points out, it is marked by a single marker #1. All of us who have done any gunk-holing will enjoy this delightful tale of keel versus bottom, which will also explain why this particular creek is NOT in our North Carolina Anchorage Directory. Thanks for sharing, Capt. Ben.

      Cruising News:
      The long keel, forever hallowed be its name.
      I may not lay claim to being the dumbest boater, but I strive for the top-five.
      In North Carolina, we have three types of bottoms, pecan-sandy, chocolate-pudding mud, and occasionally rocky-road-oyster shoal. Hungry yet? We love to gunk hole. It’s almost not an adventure if I cannot jump out of the boat and pull it along with the rope or kedge the anchor. Where’s the fun in being sensible? Markers in our waters are usually inaccurate because last month’s hurricane made a shoal where the channel used to be. Soft groundings come with the territory.
      What has saved us in our limitless search for shallow waters and low-cost barnacle scrapings has been our beloved full keel. That and our craft tops out at about eight knots. With a wind. In shallow waters I have the deep sagacity to reduce speed to around 3 knots, so as not to bump anything too hard. One day, I hope to be a smarter captain, but our current mode of gunk-holing has provided hours of adventure, angst, and amusement to my first mate, and I for one refuse to deprive her of the joys of seeing mud churn off our stern. She’s become quite the expert at spotting it.
      On our last adventure, we decided to explore the deep reaches of the Northern Neuse River on Baird Creek just after Thanksgiving. It is marked by a single green “1” daymark and a smattering of private PVC pipes with colored tape jammed in the ground. If you were a golfer, you would call this one hazard-filled course. For a boater it generally tracks around 5 feet deep if you are mostly lucky and very careful. Ours is a single-screw trawler with the aforementioned full keel. Believe me, this captain needs it. Drawing a hair over 42 inches of water, I make it a point to scout out sailboat masts in any unfamiliar harbor, because it’s a good bet that that captain will need a full five feet to knock around in there. Seeing a few masts, we gingerly entered Baird Creek in the afternoon, threw out anchor and proceeded to lounge a bit. I had some minor wiring repairs to do with the generator, so went about that a little after some engine cooling.\
      Around dusk we fired up the generator, only to realize the repairs made did not fix the root problem, which was the transmission of current from the output leads to the rest of our craft. Including the Two-cycle AC (It’s November and a little chilly. After some mutual frowning and head-scratching, my first mate advises me that with the low temperature forecast, we might do better comfort-wise back at our slip, about 10 miles up the Neuse. So after some long deep breaths, inhale/exhale style – to draw in air for the work ahead of course, I agreed with my mate and decided to get about hoisting the anchor.
      Now, this is where the real adventure begins – Anchor, up, no worries. Despite scrubbing and rinsing we still brought a good amount of chocolate pudding aboard as we pulled chain in the dark. In addition, what I failed to notice upon coming into little Baird Creek, was that the wind had shifted to the North, blowing water up the Pamilco Sound and draining the Neuse a bit – lowering the water with one of the Neuse’s famous – or infamous – wind-tides. Our depth finder gets psychotic under 4 feet and we start showing about 700 feet of water whenever this happens – so 700 feet showing usually means we’re near a touch-point, and we were seeing this. We get going about a hundred yards and feel the slow, gentle shudder of bottom. OK- no good. Adrenaline and dismay. We back off a little, free ourselves, and try in a different direction. OK, not so bad, but not for long. We find bottom again. Gentle shudder. Chocolate pudding again. It’s pitch black out except for the small lights of the relatively few homes on Baird Creek. So we back off again and track slowly and surely very close to some of the homes with modest piers. This seems to work. Eventually, gingerly, and nervously we were able to exit Baird Creek with our running gear and some portion of our wits intact. But I can assure the reader any future trip there – in or out – will be in daylight and with a south wind keeping the water high in the Neuse. For Baird Creek – boater beware!
      Thanks once again to King Neptune for providence and our long keel for its patience – it’s saved us from ourselves many a time.
      Capt. Ben
      M/V Sand Castle
      Neuse River

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

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