Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Changes in Florida's Pilot Program

I've been following this insanity quite closely and some good news has finally come out of it - sort of. Key West has been removed from the pilot program, so it continues to operate under the auspices of state law 327.60, which states that no municipality can set up anchoring ordinances outside of a regulated and permitted mooring field. Small beans, yes, but we take what we can get - before the cities of Florida take it away from us. Thanks to Charmaine at BARR - Boaters Anchoring Rights and Responsibilties for the news.

Jekyll Creek, GA

It's unfortunate that such a pretty area is bedevilled by such shoal water. Brunswick, where I'm currently staying for a few days, is between Little Mud River, the subject of my last post, and Jekyll Creek, the subject of this one. So - what's with Jekyll Creek? Well, for starters, it shoals to 3.5 feet at MLW, the same as LMR to the north. Thus, you want to go through this area - and it isn't very long, perhaps a half mile at most - on a rising tide. Also, watch your depthsounder closely, because the magenta line does not mark the deepest water. You may find yourself doing some hunting if you're not close enough to high tide. You can always call one of the area marinas or towing companies for local information on where the deep water can be found. Just remember this: those birds you see standing off to the side? They don't have really really long legs... The GOOD news is, locals are concerned and are speaking to their local politicians about doing something on their own, since funding hasn't been forthcoming federally to deepen these two problem areas. The concern locals have is that a lot of business is bypassing this area, going outside to avoid the tricky areas. I can understand that, because as much as I love this area, I suggest to cruisers that if they have concerns about depth, this is an area to avoid. I'll make a point to advise you when dredging of these two spots is scheduled.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Little Mud River, GA

Hi everyone - just came through Little Mud River on the ICW, it's in Georgia. The controlling depth is suitable for canoes, paddle bikes and small turtles....ok, it's not quite that bad, but at 3.5 feet at MLW, it's pretty shallow. I suggest that you go through here at half tide rising to be safe. Hell's Gate wasn't too bad, but I'm pretty sure I saw six feet and that's getting pretty shallow for most of us in a tricky cut. The lat long for the north entrance to Little Mud River is 31° 21 47N, 81° 20 09W. Make certain that you go wide around the curve at the north end, the deepest water is to the outside.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Titusville Opens Mooring Field

Titusville has now opened a mooring field. The field has 50 moorings, with 25 each on the north and south sides of the channel into the Titusville Marina. The field, according to local sailors, is clearly marked with yellow buoys. The $15 daily fee includes restrooms and showers, laundry, pumpout, dingy dockage and vehicle parking. 

Titusville Marina advises us that anchoring will be allowed to the north and south of the boundaries marking the mooring field. Depths are from 5 - 6 feet according to the marina, with some deeper sections. Dinghy dockage when anchoring is $5 daily.
First Timers' Guide has requested a map showing the mooring field which we will post as soon as we receive it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Write on the Water

For those interested in some interesting reading from other boating writers, check out Write on the Water.
It features a variety of interesting topics, plus my own latest piece, Icons and Irony, in which I speak about meeting some of my own personal icons at the 2011 Annapolis Sailboat Show - Lynn and Larry Pardey among them - and what being an icon is all about - at least, in my opinion.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Town Creek, Beaufort NC - problem.

October 16, 2011 New ICW cruiser Greg Lebreton and family on Off 2 C report a possible obstruction in Town Creek, Beaufort NC - they found themselves hung up in 13 feet of water with 6.5 foot draft, but were able to get off with a bit of effort. The lat/long is N34.43.476 W7639848 - we advise boaters in this area to proceed with caution as this is directly in front of Town Creek. Greg further reports that the anchorage as reported in Skipper Bob was fine. Any cruisers with further information or updates are encouraged to post the information here for our fellow cruisers.

South from Beaufort NC to Southport

Mile 229, at Caspar's Marina

Many people are unsure of where they can safely and comfortably anchor when they head south from Beaufort NC. Here's the scoop! Your first viable anchorage is at mile 229 - at Caspars Marina - when you come in, make sure you aim for red 46C, then turn in to the channel to starboard. Don't come in too close to red 2. Holding is ok, but be sure you set the anchor well here, there's a lot of current. You might want to stay at Caspars for the night, up to you. Nice marina, GREAT showers.
Next anchorage is Mile Hammock, at 244.5. This is within the military range, no going ashore, there will likely be a number of boats in here but lots of room. Good protection. Let the anchor settle here for a while before you back down on it, the bottom is a bit silty. There is an anchorage at 264.5, well off the ICW, I've never used it. Word is, it's shoal.

Wrightsville B
I go on through to Wrightsville beach from one of the previous two locations. Keep in mind, the bridge schedules here are difficult -note the openings and try to get your timing right or expect to wait for quite some time at each one. Get fuel at Seapath Marina, they'll permit you the use of the loaner car for groceries, etc. There is a West Marine close by, and a handy propane refill place. If you need propane, this is as easy as it gets until Florida. You can anchor out opposite the Seapath docks, or go around to the anchorage by the bridge. If you do, stay well clear of the green marks, tends to be shallow.

Southport, Cape Fear River

When you head for Southport from Wrightsville Beach - make sure you come to the Cape Fear river at about an hour AFTER high tide at Southport. That way, you get to ride the tide downriver and make good time. Snow's Cut will be against you because it empties via Carolina Cut, but it's only a mile. In Southport, you can tie up to the docks at the restaurants for free, provided you eat there. The anchorage is small and shoals at about 5 feet, although there has been talk of dredging it, so tie up and relax. Southport is very pretty and worth exploring. NAPA nearby if you need marine parts.