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    • Welcome and Much Appreciated Words About the SSECN and ARGUS From Captain Milt Baker

      Captain Milt Baker

      Sometimes someone says something so nice about the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, we just have to share it with all who visit our site. And, it’s especially exciting when the someone who give us such welcome compliments is one of the most respected names in cruising circles.
      For those of you who don’t already know Captain Milt Baker, this fine gentlemen, along with his first-rate, first-mate, Judy, was the founder and long time CEO of Bluewater Books and Charts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the years, Captain Milt and I have shared more than a few sea stories, and I have been the happy recipient of some much valued advice.
      So, many, many thanks Captain Milt. See you on the Waterway!
      Please note, this message originally appeared on the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) list.

      Mark Doyle’s post about transiting Hell Gate and depths there prompts me to post this.
      When the weather kicks up offshore many of us along the East Coast end up slogging along the Intracoastal Waterway, and I recently learned of a new resource to help us stay in deeper water along the ICW. It’s a new service offered by Claiborne Young on his Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.

      To quote their news release:
      “The Salty Southeast Cruisers Net (SSECN), SURVICE Engineering, and EarthNC, Inc. announced today an exciting new partnership that will provide SSECN users with the benefit of 25 million soundings acquired and processed with the ARGUS (Autonomous Remote Global Underwater Surveillance) system. The Salty Southeast Cruisers Net ( is the FIRST web site to offer easy access to ARGUS data.
      “Effective immediately, users of the SSECN’s Chart View pages can click a simple checkbox, thereby opening a new ARGUS layer, set over up-to-date images of the NOAA nautical charts. Once selected, the ARGUS layer will display color coded markers which depict the tide corrected solution of soundings gathered by ARGUS cooperative research vessels. . . .”

      While the new service is not a panacea, I spent an hour or so spot-checking the SSECN’s published soundings along portions of the ICW where Bluewater recently traveled and found them consistent with the depths I found. While spot-checking is just that and doesn’t guarantee accuracy of all soundings, this crowd-sourcing of ICW soundings is new arrow in the cruiser’s quiver and I, for one, plan to use the new service for route-planning whenever we’re taking Bluewater (with her 6’2″ draft) along the ICW. If you travel the ICW in your Nordhavn I recommend that you investigate this new and easy-to-use free service.
      For further information:
      Full disclosure: Claiborne Young and I have known one another for at least 20 years, but we have no current business connection and have done no business together for more than a dozen years. I believe he works hard to provide useful services to the cruising world, and I’m particularly impressed with this new service he and his business partners are offering.
      Milt Baker, Nordhavn 47 Bluewater, Cape May, NJ (and waiting for weather)

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