SAIL the ICW

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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St Andrews Sound. STM 689

9 Apr

St. Andrews Sound.  This sound is to be respected.  It is often rolly with swells coming in off the ocean. When there is a strong east wind and outgoing current, it is not unusual to see 4 foot waves at times.  If the conditions are poor on your northbound leg, stay an extra day at Fernandina Beach or Cumberland Island.  If southbound spend a day or two at Jekyll Harbor Marina and let the conditions improve.  Jekyll Island is  beautiful.  It is easy to bike and explore.  The marina has a golf cart for transients to borrow.   CAUTION: R30 and ...

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Jacksonville St. Johns River Crossing STM 741

9 Apr

We crossed the St. Johns River northbound in mid March. This area at the north end of Pablo Creek, where it meets the St. Johns River, was dredged and re buoyed in 2016.  Here again, some the buoys are not correctly shown on the latest updated charts NOAA 11491 (2/03/2018) making this section confusing.  The buoys are in the same locations we saw them in early February and for both transits through here we just followed the USCG ATONs.  G1 and R2 are correct as are R8 and G9.  However, R6 is no longer there and several other buoys have ...

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Lockwoods Folly Inlet Crossing STM 320

9 Apr

The good news here is that although the channel shifted after the 2017 hurricanes, the water is deep!   The bad news here is that G47A and G47 are both missing.  If you have updated your charts their expected location will be found on the chart. If you drive your boat through here following the aids to navigation as shown on the charts you will see water depths greater than 10 feet all the way through here.  When you get over near R36 be prepared to experience cross setting current!...

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ICW: South of McClellanville STM 430 to STM 435

4 Apr

South of McClellanville This long-standing shoal stretch has not dredged itself. It seem to be filling in at a slow rate, and in the past year has shoaled another 3-6 inches.

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 6.6 feet and we had +3.1 of help. This means that these areas would have 3.5 feet MLLW. In ...

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