South of Fernandina STM 718 March 24, 2019

17 Apr


For some reason the section between STM 717 and STM 719 is confusing to some. It needn’t be.

Northbound after exiting Kinglsey creek you are in the Amelia River.  Stay to the east side past R2. The charts show the deepest water on the lower east side. I have used the  upper west side  at the G2 bend of the river for about 5 years, as the water is deeper along the western shore  The eastern channel has at least 8 feet of water at MLLW. The western channel has 12+ at MLLW .  This is one place you ...

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Bogue Sound STM 210-213

8 Apr


A significant shoal  has been growing at R12 and R10A.  The picture below is from Aqua Map with the USACE survey of March 6, 2019. We drifted off center because we were being passed buy a 55’ motor yacht right at the worst section.  He did not have these USACE charts and was not aware of the shoal.  He was quite surprised to slow down and suddenly realize he was in very shallow water.  The water was so shallow the motor yacht could not accelerate onto plane until the water got deeper in about 100 yards east. We had ...

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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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