Garmin addresses ActiveCaptain’s future in email, AC Community is coming to Navionics

20 Apr

Despite our phone conversation with Garmin cartography manager Ken Cirillo, the company had still not officially declared their plans for ActiveCaptain in writing.  That changed today with a  Garmin email to AC captains beginning: “ActiveCaptain Community will continue to be a free online site…”  That statement echoes what we were told by Cirillo, along with his assurance that Garmin remains committed to working with AC partners (i.e. independent app developers). And there’s more official good news in the email.

Since Garmin acquired Navionics the obvious question has been, will Garmin integrate ActiveCaptain Community into the Navionics Boating app?  ...

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One step forward, two steps back

20 Apr

Well, if you’re following the tracker, you’ll know that Mo and Randall left for San Francisco yesterday. And very quickly turned around and came back. What’s the problem? Well the AIS antenna (tested before he left) apparently is not doing what it’s supposed to do. Sailing 9000 something miles back to San Francisco with no radar to see what’s out there just seems like a bad idea. Team Figure 8 thinks that maybe the mast (probably actually) went for a swim during the various knockdowns and the atenna is just busted. So back to the store (thanks Darryl) it ...

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CRUSHED BY HIS BOAT: Brit Dies in Bizarre Spring Commissioning Accident

20 Apr

crushed by boat

Every time I work on a boat hull propped up on the hard I think of this: what if it falls over? Even worse, what if it falls over on top of me? Then I chase that errant bit of evil paranoia from my mind. Nah, can’t happen! But apparently it can. Witness this alarming news-bit from Great Britain. Kevin Keeler, age 56, crushed to death on Monday by his new-to-him 29-foot Westerly, Ginny Kwik, at the Weymouth Sailing Club in Dorset as he was preparing to launch it after a quick haul-out. He’d only bought the boat three ...

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Gadget’s new battery, the Chrome Pro Series iGel

19 Apr

Chrome-Pro-YTX5L-BS-iGel-battery-cPanbo

This was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps you recall how I built a solar-charged bilge pump system into Gizmo’s beloved Fatty Knees 9 tender Gadget in early 2016. Well, it has worked very well but also taken some abuse, and the already seasoned 3AH motorcycle-type battery died last December. There were a great many choices on Amazon (even with the same YTX5L-BS model name ;-), but if you want the amazing technology seen above, get the Chrome Pro Series iGel (somehow only $22.50 with shipping in January).

Yes, that is a built-in voltage tester, and if you hold down ...

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INDEX: Updates Northbound Along the ICW 2018

18 Apr

Known Trouble Spots Along the ICW

How to Access up-to-date Information on the ICW

The ICW North Bound Migration Begins

Updates: The ICW North Bound

Updates the ICW: Hell Gate

ICW: Ramshorn through Watts Cut

ICW: New Route for Dawho Creek

ICW: South Of McClellanville STM 430 To STM 435

Lockwoods Folly Inlet Crossing STM 320

Jacksonville St. Johns River Crossing STM 741

St Andrews Sound. STM 689

New River Inlet Crossing STM 247

Isle Of Palms STM 460

Mason Inlet Crossing  STM 280

Norfolk Southern RR Bridge On The Pasquotank River STM 48

Shallotte Inlet Crossing STM 330

Ramshorn

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Fort George River ICW crossing. STM735

18 Apr

Just north of  the St. Johns River at Jacksonville FL  is a new spot to keep clear of.  There is shoaling building in from the east at the mouth of Garden Creek.  We saw 7.2 feet at +3.8 feet of tide.  This shoal has 3.4 feet at low water.  Stay slightly to the red side of center and you’ll see 12 feet.  The shoal clearly shows in the Navionics Sonar Chart. Because we had  significant tidal help our track shows we intentionally crossed one of these shoals to confirm the depths shown on the Navionics Sonar Chart....

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Watts Cut STM 505 

18 Apr

We have been keeping an eye on Watts Cut for a couple of years.  There seems to be a shoal building. Half way between G137 and G 135 we saw depths which would work out to  6.3 feet MLLW.  There will be less water if you stray from center.   If your boat draws over 5.5 feet it would be wise to transit Watts Cut on a rising tide.

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Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff STM 518

18 Apr

Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff  between R 180 to R184 is shallow and narrow.  Our track through here was along the visual center of the cut.  On our track between R184 and G 181  the shallowest we noticed would be 6.1 feet MLLW.

This is significantly better than the 4.5 feet saw heading south, which tells us that that the track you take may yield quite different depths.  Recommend that you have some tidal help and transit on a rising tide. R172 to R 168 we stayed in visual center NOT chart center.  There is over 10 feet MLLW.

As you get ...

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Buttermilk Sound STM 659

18 Apr

Buttermilk Sound R208 There is a distinct shoal building into the ICW.  It is located about 400 feet SE of R208. At 31 8.744 N   and 081 20.984W.  It shows clearly on the Navionics Sonar Charts.  If you are using NOAA charts or other cartography, you might just put a warning waypoint on your charts. Being that it is on the red side of the channel this is more of a concern headed south when  you naturally stay closer to the red side of the ICW.

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Jekyll Creek STM 681.5

18 Apr

This has been a shoal area for several years.  But there is 9 feet of tide here so with a little planning it is easy to transit. Our observations, after a number of transits over  the past few years, is that if a tug and  barge goes through at near low tide, the channel is deeper.  This was the case in the spring of 2016, but it filled in again.  In November of 2017 the best water we could find was only  about 3.5 feet.  A barge went through in mid-February 2018 and our passage on March 19, 2018 showed  ...

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