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.