Cruising

Hell Gate STM 602

18 Apr

The very name of this short ¾ mile stretch of the ICW strikes fear into the hearts of many cruisers. It needn’t. While at 3’6” it is the shallowest section of the ICW we have seen, with 7 to 8 feet of tidal range, it is very easy to plan your transit with plenty of water.

Northbound we find that the anchorage at Duplin Creek is a nice place to stay, good shore access at a dinghy dock and miles of roads to hike.   It is 40 nautical miles south of Hell gate and is a good staging point for ...

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Mason Inlet Crossing  STM 280

18 Apr

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Little River SC, to Cape Lookout NC

Mason Inlet Crossing  STM 280

The coastline between Little River and Cape Lookout faces south and east.  Whether it is the prevailing southeasterly or stormy nor’easters, this coastline is a lee shore with big waves and surf.  The shallow grade of the beach creates a wave break which is much sought by surfers. These same conditions, create longshore sediment transport, and as the sand moves along the coast, propelled by the relentless wave action, at each break in the beach sand is pushed inland towards the ICW. Veteran ICW cruisers have watched ...

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Sullivans Island STM 460

18 Apr

There is a 5 foot shallow spot in the ICW about 0.3 miles south of G117A near Sullivans Island . Heading south last November we found the shoal and marked it.  Coming north March 28, I was looking for it to get an update.  I was proceeding at about 4 knots because the state of the tide was 0.1 foot below dead low water, and we draw 4.5 feet. A sailboat from Maine was catching up to me.  I called him on the VHF to let him know there was a shoal ahead.  He said he was well aware of ...

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South of McClellanville STM 430 to STM 435

18 Apr

 

The chart below covers this shallow stretch. It starts at G47 Awendaw Creek and ends at G35A Jeremy Creek, McClellanville. From G47 to R42 just stay in visual center to have depths of 8 to 20 feet MLLW.  Between R42 and G39 we saw several spots showing as little as 6.5 feet and we had +3.1 of help.  This means that these areas would have 3.5 feet MLLW. Through this stretch we attempted to follow the best available water as shown on the Sonar Charts. That seemed to bring us right down the visual center of the channel. We ...

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Ramshorn Creek STM 570

18 Apr

Just before you get to the Savannah River, there is  new shoal building.  It was first noted in the fall of 2017.   As you pass G39  and R40  there are reports of shoaling  near the red. It is recommended that you stay on the green side if your draft is over 6 feet.  On our track  on the green side we saw 7.3 feet MLLW.

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UPDATE 4/26, Shallotte Inlet Crossing STM 330

18 Apr

Good News!  The emergency dredging is now complete and this section should be deep and easy to transit.  This is one section of the ICW where the Navionics Sonar charts are incorrect.  The best navigational approach here is to just use your eyes and follow  the navigation aids. Betweeen R82  and R80, previously the worst stretch you will have 10 feet at MLLW.   The USACE survey indicates another shoal area  between R N76 and G75,  our notes showed 9 feet MLLW  on April 2,  2108 .

The picture on the left is the  USACE survey  on the NOAA chart. I ...

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Mason Inlet Crossing  STM 280

13 Apr

Little River SC, to Cape Lookout NC

The coastline between Little River and Cape Lookout faces south and east.  Whether it is the prevailing southeasterly or stormy nor’easters, this coastline is a lee shore with big waves and surf.  The shallow grade of the beach creates a wave break which is much sought by surfers. These same conditions, create longshore sediment transport, and as the sand moves along the coast, propelled by the relentless wave action, at each break in the beach sand is pushed inland towards the ICW. Veteran ICW cruisers have watched for years as sediment was pushed ...

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Isle of Palms STM 460

12 Apr

There is a 5 foot shallow spot in the ICW about 0.3 miles south of G117A near Sullivans Island, SC. Heading south last November we found the shoal and marked it on our charts.  Coming north March 28, I was looking for it to get an update.  I was proceeding at about 4 knots because the state of the tide was 0.1 foot below MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water), and we draw 4.5 feet. A sailboat from Maine was catching up to me.  I called him on the VHF to let him know there was a shoal ahead.  He said ...

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New River Inlet Crossing STM 247

10 Apr

Pay close attention as you cross the New River.  This is a really deceptive trouble spot. This ICW inlet crossing is both visually confusing and has a significant shoal.  Visually, whether you are northbound or southbound N”12A” appears to line up with the Red ICW aids.  The ICW aids are numbered 70, 72, 74, and 76.  Unless you are watching the marks and reading off the numbers you will be lulled into running over to N “12A” thinking it is the mark where you turn.  This will put you aground on the shoal which has built across the ICW from ...

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