SAIL the ICW

New River Inlet April 6, 2019

6 Apr

The ICW path through the new River Inlet has  changed over the past few years.  Starting in 2016 it now includes a “dip” at R72A.  The path between R70 and R76 is now called the “Dip Route”.  The marks can be confusing, and the stress is compounded by strong cross setting  currents.

Southbound, R12 and R12A add to the confusion.  They mark the New River Inlet Channel and are not part of the ICW.  They have however caused great confusion. R12A is in direct line with ICW R70 and R72 which leads some southbound boats to pass R72A to port ...

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Price Creek SC STM 448 March 31, 2019

5 Apr

There has been a shoal building off R86 about 8 miles north of Isle of Palms. The NOAA charts do not provide enough detail to help you know which side of the shoal to pass. Most guidance says to stay east of the shoal. We have made several trips on the west side of the shoal.  In looking at the  Aqua Map Master USACE surveys as we planned our route last week, the surveys have no information on water depths east of this shoal. Based on that decided to go west of the shoal March 31:

  1. We have tracks of
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Isle of Palms SC  March 2019

5 Apr

The 6 NM stretch of the  ICW behind Isle of Palms has about 9 channels between the marshes and the ocean which cross the ICW. Each of these crossing has the potential to create shoals. If you look at the attached screen shots, you can see that each of these inlet crossings has developed the  classic pattern of shoals on the ocean side which results in the M shaped route you must follow as you pass many inlet crossings along the ICW.

Although it was dredged in early 2015, we have noticed that this shoal stretch is getting worse with ...

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Lockwoods Folly April 3, 2019

4 Apr
This has been a tough ICW trouble spot for the past couple of years. Dredging has just been completed (there are pipes and barges still onsite) and the channel marks have been reset. As of today, it is a simple straight shot. Just stay between the markers for 12-14 feet at low tide. I can attest to the low tide depth, we came through at dead low this afternoon. 
We are using 4 different charting  and navigation systems. We have NOAA charts running on a PC, Navionics charts  in the Raymarine chart plotter, Navionics sonar charts in an iPAd. And ...
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The Magenta Line, a path, not a route.

2 Apr

 There is no official source (NOAA, USCG, USACE) which suggests that the magenta line should be treated as a chartplotter route.

The ICW was laid out in 1913. Chartplotters were not very accurate 100 years ago! To aid pilots running down the coast, a magenta colored line was drawn on the charts to indicate which rivers, creeks, sounds and canals were all interconnected to provide an inshore route between the Chesapeake and FL. The Magenta line was merely like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs. It is merely a means to find the path. The captains in those days monitored their

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St Johns River Crossing at Pablo Creek STM 740

2 Apr

We have traversed this section 4 times in the past 2 years. We use NOAA charts updated daily in Coastal Explorer and we use Navionics Sonar Charts. For some reason the NOAA charts in this intersection are all dated 2015. I am not sure why the charts on the NOAA site have not been updated. But Navionics Sonar charts have steered us through here every time with no issue. And while Aqua Map base maps are NOAA (and show the NOAA 2015 charts), they have recently added the USACE surveys as part of their Aqua Map Master app. The USACE ...

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North Carolina ICW Inlets Crossings Updates 10/19/2018

20 Oct

For the past 5 years I have been monitoring the ICW.  My drive is largely enlightened self-interest.  We transit the ICW route every year. Over time, we have developed a small  group of like minded travelers with whom we have shared notes and observations.  The sources I have come to rely on are the USCG Districts 5 and 7 weekly Notice to Mariners, and the USACE Wilmington NC and Charleston SC, district web pages.  I also have learned  a lot from, and shared  content with Hank Pomeranz of Southport SC, Bob Sherer (AKA bob423 and a small fleet of experienced ...

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The USCG is Moving ATONS

9 Oct

 

ATTENTION: The posts regarding the post hurricane inlet crossing have used the USACE surveys layered on NOAA charts. The USACE surveys indicate the locations of the ATONS at the time of the survey. In many cases the USACE ATON placement does not agree with the NOAA charts, because the USACE ATON placement is more recent than any other chart system. When viewing the charts posted, please note that the way points are specific points placed near the USACE ATONS wherever I can, to make the transit easier. But the ATONS may indeed not be where your charts show them ...

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Tide Management

6 Oct

October 6, 2018

Now that all the historically problematic NC inlet crossings have been surveyed by the USACE post Florence, the ICW run south is starting to look passable for most boats. (NOTE: the Socastee Swing Bridge will not be operable for a couple of weeks.)   Managing the tide will be important. In Lockwoods Folly, the surveys indicate that you might see as little as 4 feet of water at MLLW.  You want to be crossing Lockwoods on a rising tide due to the 4′ shoal between R46 and G47. At high tide you have an extra 4-5 feet of ...

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Shallotte Inlet Crossing and Lockwoods Folly Inlet crossing

3 Oct
With these latest surveys by the  USACE, Wilmington District all of the previously known  ICW inlet crossings shoal areas in North Carolina have now been surveyed post Florence.  While there are some changes  in several of the inlet crossings, they are all passable  if you  follow the ATONs.  Proceed on a rising tide and with caution.
Between Georgetown and Charleston  the previously noted  shoals are still present.  Between Charleston and Beaufort, we have reports of recent dredging, but there are no surveys from the USACE Charleston District.  Assume the previous shoal areas are still present until you can verify that
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