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Intracoastal Waterway Norfolk to Miami 2010 Moeller 0071743051

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The
Intracoastal Waterway
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Jan and Bill Moeller
Revised by John Kettlewell
The
Intracoastal Waterway
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA,
TO MIAMI, FLORIDA
The Complete Cockpit Cruising Guide
Sixth
Edition
International Marine / McGraw-Hill
Camden, Maine New York Chicago San Francisco Lisbon London Madrid Mexico City Milan New Delhi San Juan Seoul Singapore Sydney Toronto
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Copyright © 1979, 1984, 1986, 1991, 1997, 2004, and 2010 by Jan and William Moeller, John Kettlewell All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the
United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval
system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
ISBN: 978-0-07-174305-1
MHID: 0-07-174305-7
The material in this eBook also appears in the print version of this title: ISBN: 978-0-07-162376-6, MHID: 0-07-162376-0.
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TERMS OF USE
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To Jan and Bill Moeller who created the i rst edition of this book—in 1979—a guide that has inspired and educated thousands of snowbirds over the course of the last thirty years.
—John J. Kettlewell, 2009
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Contents
Preface to the Sixth Edition xi
1
The Intracoastal Waterway: What’s It Really Like? 1
2
How to Use This Handbook 14
3
Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Albemarle Sound, North Carolina 33
Norfolk, Portsmouth, and the Elizabeth River, Mile 0.0 to
Mile 11.5 33
Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, Currituck Sound, and North River, Mile 11.5 to Mile 65.0 42
Great Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route: Deep Creek, Virginia, to Pasquotank River, North Carolina, Mile 7.2 to Mile 65.0 49
4
Northern North Carolina Sounds and Rivers 56
Albemarle Sound, Mile 65.0 to Mile 79.1 57
Crossing Albemarle Sound from the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Route 59
Alligator River and Alligator River–Pungo River Canal, Mile 79.1 to Mile 126.6 62
Pungo River and Pamlico River, Mile 126.6 to 149.7 67
Goose Creek and Bay River, Mile 149.7 to Mile 166.8 70
Neuse River and Adams Creek, Mile 164.7 to Mile 191.5 72
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5
Southern North Carolina 78
Adams Creek Canal, Core Creek, and Beaufort, North Carolina,
Mile 191.5 to Mile 202.3 79
Morehead City and Bogue Sound, Mile 202.3 to Mile 229.0 85
Swansboro to New River Inlet, Mile 229.0 to Mile 246.0 90
Topsail Sound, Wrightsville Beach, and Myrtle Grove Sound,
Mile 246.1 to Mile 296.9 92
Cape Fear River, Mile 296.9 to Mile 308.8 96
Southport, North Carolina, to South Carolina Line, Mile 308.8 to
Mile 340.8 100
6
South Carolina State Line to Charleston 103
Little River to Waccamaw River, Mile 340.8 to Mile 375.3 104
Waccamaw River, Mile 375.3 to Mile 402.7 108
Winyah Bay and Georgetown, Mile 402.8 to Mile 410.5 111
Estherville Minim Creek Canal to Charleston Harbor, Mile 410.5 to Mile 464.1 114
Charleston Harbor and Charleston, Mile 464.1 to Mile 469.4 117
7
The Low Country of South Carolina 123
Wappoo Creek to Beaufort, Mile 469.4 to Mile 534.7 124
Beaufort, Beaufort River, and Hilton Head Island, Mile 534.7 to
Mile 575.8 131
8
Georgia 139
Savannah to St. Catherines Sound, Mile 575.8 to Mile 617.5 139
St. Catherines Sound to Cumberland Sound, Mile 617.5 to
Mile 705.9 146
Cumberland Sound, Mile 705.9 to Mile 715.0 157
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9
Northern Florida 160
Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Tolomato River, Mile 715.0 to Mile 775.6 161
St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, and New Smyrna Beach, Mile 775.6 to Mile 855.0 166 10
Central Florida 180
Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River to Vero Beach, Mile 855.0 to
Mile 953.1 181
Indian River, Fort Pierce, St. Lucie River, and Jupiter, Mile 953.1 to Mile 1007.2 191
11
Southern Florida 199
h e Palm Beaches to Fort Lauderdale, Mile 1007.2 to
Mile 1061.3 200
Fort Lauderdale to Biscayne Bay, Mile 1061.3 to Mile 1078.7 210
New River 212
Biscayne Bay to Miami, Mile 1078.7 to Mile 1095.0 218
Miami River 224
Appendix A Intracoastal Waterway Charts 226
Appendix B Post O ces 227
Appendix C Inside Route Distances: Norfolk, Virginia, to Key West, Florida 229
Index 232
This page intentionally left blank xi
Preface to the Sixth Edition
W
hen my wife, Leslie, and I rst headed south on our own boat in 1985, we were excited and a bit apprehensive. We had heard a bit about the Intracoastal Waterway, and we had read most of the books we could get our hands on, but what we needed was a step-by-step primer on just how to do it. How did one go through a lock? Where could we get fuel? What were the opening bridge schedules? Where could we anchor?
Luckily, Jan and Bill Moeller had created just such a guide for us, and an earlier edition of this Cockpit Cruising Handbook helped show us the way. What a revelation—a guidebook that boiled it all down to a simple mile-
by-mile format, giving us all the critical information we needed at a glance. Subsequently, this clever design, in several editions, has always been onboard our boats, helping to make more than twenty trips up or down the ICW safe and enjoyable.
After cutting our Waterway teeth, with the help and inspiration of what became to us just “the Moellers’ Guide,” Leslie and I created e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook: Norfolk to Miami, which is now in its fth edition. h erefore, it is with great pleasure that I have had the opportunity to work on this update of Jan and Bill Moeller’s pioneering work. In addition to the many updates I’ve made throughout the text, I have added descriptive material to give more of a avor of what the ICW is like, and in many cases I’ve added navigational information. I hope you enjoy this new material and nd it useful. h e guide’s mile-by-mile format could not be improved, however, and we have retained it in the hope that your rst or your twentieth trip along the ICW will be as easy as possible.
h ere is sometimes a tendency to view navigational information as xed in some permanent database, but the reality is, we can only provide the latest information we have at the time of writing, and everything is subject to change and modi cation. h e area covered in this guide is particularly subject to hurricanes and other strong storms that can destroy aids to navigation, promote shoaling, change channels, and open new ones. In recent years budget shortfalls have reduced maintenance dredging in some areas to the point that some boats have di culty passing through. Marinas are bought and sold, and some are being converted to private, resident-only yacht clubs. New businesses spring up, while others change hands and names. Don’t be surprised if you encounter these changes—we hope you look at that as part of the adventure!
John J. Kettlewell
2009
1
C H A P T E R 1
The Intracoastal Waterway:
What’s It Really Like?
O
cially, it is called the Intracoastal Waterway. O cially, it runs from the Annisquam River in Massachusetts, north of Boston, all the way down the East Coast and along the shore of the Gulf Coast to Brownsville, Texas. O cially, it was constructed to provide a protected route for vessels that otherwise would have to travel on more exposed bodies of water.
Actually, it is called, variously, the Inland Waterway, the Ditch, Inside, the Intercoastal, or the ICW. Actually, when most people refer to this waterway, no matter what name they call it, they are referring to the section that stretches from Norfolk, Virginia, to Miami, Florida. And, actually, many miles of this waterway o er no real protection at all, since it includes such open bodies of water as Buzzards Bay, Block Island Sound, Long Island Sound, Delaware Bay, and the Chesapeake Bay—not to mention the Atlantic Ocean o the New Jersey Coast. (h e o cial Intracoastal Waterway follows an inside route along nearly the entire length of the New Jersey coast, but depth of channel, overhead clearances, and frequent severe shoaling make it unusable for all but small, shoal-draft boats.)
h e truly protected “inside” section of the Waterway, and the one most mysterious to those who have never traveled it, begins at Mile 0 in Norfolk Harbor and ends at Mile 1095.0 in Miami. h is is the part of the Waterway that this book covers.
W
ATERWAY
M
YTHS
Myths abound about the Waterway, and, it seems to us, the di culties of traveling along it have been publicized disproportionately. Even those publications and articles that extol the Waterway have an uncommon amount of “buts” and “howevers,” implying that you must be ever alert in order to T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
2
avoid problems. In truth, the Waterway is fun to cruise and will present no more problems than any other body of water to anyone who uses good judgment, can read a chart, and has a properly equipped boat.
h e home ports of many rst-time Waterway travelers are on the large bodies of water mentioned above, which are part of the o cial Intracoastal Waterway, and the home ports of many others are in the Great Lakes. Open bodies of water are familiar to both groups. When they are on their boats in such waters, they know what to expect and they proceed with equanimity. It is the more con ned sections of the Waterway that tend to cause concern—
the “real” Intracoastal Waterway with its reportedly narrow channels, many bridges, shallow depths, and heavy commercial tra c. What many don’t realize is that when they reach the “real” Waterway, they have already left the worst of it behind them.
Upon hearing the Waterway referred to as a “ditch,” many people interpret the word literally, envisioning a narrow canal. Perhaps they have read accounts of dodging tree branches that overhang the Waterway, and of traversing narrow land-cuts and canals. h is all contributes to a feeling that one will be closed in when on the ICW. Some have the impression that the Waterway is lled with hazards and obstacles and spanned by bridges that open only on the whim of the bridgetenders.
Even the names of some of the places on the Intracoastal Waterway are enough to trouble someone’s mind about the trip: Great Dismal Swamp, Alligator River, Lockwoods Folly, Cape Fear River, Mosquito Lagoon, Haulover Canal, several Hell Gates. And then there are all the many creeks that are a part of the ICW in some sections—the very word “creek” bringing to mind something small, shallow, and narrow.
W
ATERWAY
M
YTHS
D
ISPELLED
Well then, if the Waterway isn’t a narrow, shallow, tree-choked, hazard-
lled obstacle course, what is it? h e answer is, it is water. Water in wide sounds where the shore isn’t visible (like parts of Long Island Sound), water in canals and land-cuts (like the New York State Barge Canal and the Cape Cod Canal), water in rivers (like the Hudson and St. Clair Rivers), water in creeks (like the many branching o from the Chesapeake Bay), and water in bays (like the Great South Bay on the south shore of Long Island). It is deep water, shallow water, blue, green, gray, and brown water. It is tidal and nontidal water. It is water formed by the wind into waves of varying heights, short and steep chops, and cross-seas. It is water that is millpond-still and water with currents ranging from strong to weak. h e waters that make up the Intracoastal Waterway are really no di erent from the waters anywhere else where boating is done.
h e part of the Waterway that isn’t water is the land along its route. h is is beautiful, fascinating, and rarely commonplace. From Virginia to Florida, you’ll pass from a temperate climatic zone to the subtropics. h e vegetation T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
3
along the way will re ect this: holly, sweet gum, magnolia, and cypress trees, clumps of mistletoe in tree branches, live oaks draped with Spanish moss, palmettos, palms, Australian pines, and mangroves. If you aren’t traveling too fast, you’ll see an incredible amount of wildlife: birds of many kinds, including thousands of migrating swans in the fall, alligators, turtles, snakes, bears, deer, raccoons, muskrats, dolphins, mullets, and perhaps even a tarpon or a manatee. h e Waterway passes through or near towns, cities, and sites that have gured in the history of the United States: Norfolk, Wilmington, Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, and St. Augustine; Forts Fisher, Frederica, and Matanzas, and the Castillo de San Marcos. h e earliest settlers sailed through the waters of the North Carolina sounds. During the Revolutionary War, along what would become the Waterway’s route, battles were fought by such men as Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox; General Nathanael Greene; and the infamous Sir Banastre Tarleton. h e Civil War began when Fort Sumter, South Carolina, was red upon. And later in the war, the naval battle between the ironclad ships Monitor and Merrimac occurred near Norfolk.
Only someone with little imagination could fail to be intrigued by some of the things to be seen along the Waterway: pirates’ hideouts; the mysterious, haunting Marshes of Glynn; bleak swamps with stark dead trees; dense stands of majestic cypress mirrored in still, dark waters; impenetrable masses of junglelike twining vines; ruins of plantations and manor houses; old cemeteries with moss-covered stones shaded by ancient oaks; piles of strangely out-of-place ballast rock dumped by long-forgotten ships; abandoned rice elds; and huge heaps of shells—piled there by whom, or what?
Boats in berths and at anchor in Georgetown, South Carolina.
T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
4
Incredible as it seems, even with this wealth of things to see, some people nd the Waterway trip boring. h ese are often people who hurry down the ICW as fast as their boats will carry them, not knowing or caring about the country they are traveling through. h ose who enjoy the Waterway the most are usually interested enough to learn something about it. We never cruise an area without reference material about it, as well as books for identifying the ora and fauna that we might see.
W
ATERWAY
C
ONCERNS
If we have dispelled any doubts about the Waterway itself, you may still be concerned about commercial tra c, bridges, shallows, and overnight facilities. Be assured that Waterway tra c will cause no trouble if common sense and good judgment are used, and if the Rules of the Road, which apply on the Waterway as elsewhere, are observed. Commercial tra c is infrequent, and it is highly unusual to meet more than one commercial vessel at a time. h e most-
feared confrontation seems to be meeting a tugboat with barges in a narrow place and being forced out of the channel. We note the few places where such an encounter could be a problem, but chances are you’ll have these places all to yourself. No one piloting a tug on the Waterway wants to cause a problem for anyone else. In fact, most commercial skippers go out of their way to make things easy for those in pleasure boats. In some extreme cases, they go so far out of their way that they go aground. Generally, they won’t cause you trouble if they can avoid it; they are more inclined to help than to hinder you.
B
RIDGES
Of the approximately 141 bridges that cross the Waterway’s main route, about 77 need to be opened for most pleasure boats to pass through. We say “approximately” and “about” because new high-level bridges are being built as we write, and some opening bridges are being eliminated. Dividing 77 into the 1,095 miles covered in this book tells us that we’ll encounter an opening bridge, on average, every 14 miles or so. Fortunately, this is not the case along most of the Waterway; unfortunately, however, opening bridges are spaced much closer than 14 miles apart in southern Florida. After an 80-mile stretch in central Florida without any opening bridges at all, you’ll encounter no fewer than 38 of them in the last 130 miles! (If you need to open the 55-footer at Fort Lauderdale, make that 39.) Of these bridges, 32 are restricted, which means they open at certain times. h e only way to avoid these bridges is to head to sea through an inlet and travel in the Atlantic Ocean for a short distance.
F
UEL
AND
O
VERNIGHT
S
TOPS
h e longest stretch on the Waterway proper between marinas where you can obtain both gasoline and diesel fuel is about 87 miles, in Georgia. h e T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
5
second-longest distance between fueling stops is about 50 miles in North Carolina. (We note where these stretches begin.)
As for overnight stops, there is usually at least one marina or anchorage every 20 to 25 miles. If you can’t make it from marina to marina, there are plenty of anchorages within an easy day’s run, even for slow boats, although determined Waterway cruisers wanting to anchor every night might some times have to settle for less-than-desirable spots. In the past, some communities in southern Florida instituted time limits and permits for anchoring in a few places, though in 2009 the Florida legislature passed a law that limits the ability of communities to institute anchoring restrictions outside of the designated mooring elds.
In the busy seasons (spring and fall) it would be wise to call ahead on your cell phone or your VHF radio to make advance marina reservations, especially in southern Florida. Reserving space in other areas where there may be several marinas isn’t absolutely necessary, but in places with only one marina, a reservation assures you of a berth. Reservations or not, marina operators usually make every e ort to accommodate transient boats.
If you are a member of an accredited yacht club, you may be able to stay at some yacht clubs along the way. Call ahead to nd out if transient space is available, especially at big-city and southern Florida yacht clubs. Expect to pay for dockage at a yacht club just as you would at a marina. A few yacht clubs will accept transients who are not yacht club members. Some so-called “yacht clubs” are actually commercial marinas and/or residence communities, and they often have space for transients.
T
IDES
AND
C
URRENTS
On the ICW, you’ll have to be aware of tides and the swift currents that accompany them, especially in the Carolinas and Georgia. In Georgia you’ll encounter high tides 8 to 9 feet above maximum low water, and the swiftest currents on the Waterway. Currents can a ect the time it takes to travel from one point to another, and they must be taken into consideration when anchoring and docking as well as when approaching bridges that must open for your vessel. A current runs more swiftly in narrow or con ned sections, especially at bridges where the bridge fenders or supports reduce the area through which the water has to ow. A rm hand on the helm is necessary when passing through bridges in a swift-current area. Remember, a boat traveling with the current has the right of way.
In some sections of the ICW, catching a favorable current could save you time and fuel. h e most critical of these sections is in the Cape Fear River, where the current can be as swift as 3 knots on the ebb. But in many areas of the Waterway, in the Carolinas and Georgia for example, you won’t be able to calculate with much accuracy the direction of the current in any given time period. In the course of a day’s run, whether you have a slow boat or a fast one, you’ll pass so many inlets from the ocean that the currents will switch from favorable to unfavorable Tide rips will be encountered in a few places, but a section with tide rips is never extensive and can be passed through quickly.
T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
6
several times a day. h ese currents, however, tend to cancel one another out, and you can usually cover a normal day’s run for your boat.
h ere are a few places, notably Elliott Cut in Wappoo Creek, near Charleston, and Snows Cut near Carolina Beach, where planning for a slack or mildly favorable current will make your day much more pleasant. Both cuts are narrow, rock lined, and can experience current ows that are strong enough to stop low-powered vessels. Conversely, going through with the full blast of a favorable current may make for a rather wild and uncontrolled ride.
W
EATHER
h e Intracoastal Waterway can be traveled in any of the four seasons. h e summers are hot and humid from Norfolk to Miami. Even though the temperature rarely climbs to 100°F in Florida, we have been as uncomfortable there in the summer as any place we’ve cruised. We think it is due to the intensity of the sun. One miserable July we traveled north on the ICW, passing through Florida, Georgia, and South and North Carolinas, all of which were experiencing record-breaking temperatures. Even though the thermometer read about the same in each state, we found that we weren’t quite as uncomfortable in the Carolinas as we had been in Florida. We decided it was because we were moving farther north, “away” from the sun.
A normal winter anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line is not too cold, especially in places along the water, which has a tempering e ect on both hot and cold weather. On occasion, we have been comfortable outdoors without a jacket in January as far north as Wilmington, North Carolina.
Spring and fall are the best seasons for cruising the Waterway. h e weather can be delightful, with warm days and cool nights, but this combination often produces fog, which can occur on the Waterway just as quickly and just as thickly as anywhere else. A bright, clear morning is no indication that fog won’t occur later. If the conditions are right, a dense fog can close in within minutes, without warning, so you must be prepared for it.
Spring and fall may be the best seasons to travel the Waterway as far as temperatures are concerned, but they are also the busiest. More pleasure-boat tra c is coming and going; consequently, marinas and anchorages are more crowded.
As to winds along the Waterway, in the summer they are generally light to nonexistent except for a possible onshore afternoon breeze in some places near the coast. From the middle of December to the middle of February, heavy winds occur frequently. Winds are not often so strong that you can’t travel, but they can blow with enough force to make for an uncomfortable passage. One mild winter, when the temperatures were delightful for traveling, we had gale winds on an average of every third day for an entire month. January has the most days with high-velocity winds.
Florida experiences a unique pattern of winter winds that begins with what is called a norther—a strong wind that blows out of the northwest. As T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
7
the wind shifts slowly into the northeast, the velocity diminishes slightly. Next, the wind shifts farther into the east-southeast, diminishing even more. As it moves through the southern quadrant, wind force drops to no more than a light breeze. When it again goes west of south, building from the southwest, and eventually coming strong from the northwest, the whole sequence begins again. h e complete cycle takes about three or four days, and cruising people learn to plan their runs accordingly. It is not at all unusual for the northwest winds to reach velocities of 40 to 60 knots.
Very high winds can cause as much as a 5-foot variation in the water levels in both tidal and nontidal waters. Most winds, though, cause only a 1-foot or less variation.
If boating people encounter bad weather in home waters, they don’t think much about it; they are secure in their knowledge of where to run for shelter, and they know how their particular body of water will act in a given type of weather. Take it from us: all along the Waterway you’ll nd plenty of places to run to or stay put in if bad weather hits. h is handbook points out the safe spots, and also warns you if weather may be a problem in any area.
O
THER
N
AVIGATION
M
ATERIALS
It is not sensible to try to cruise the Waterway (or any place else for that matter) without charts. Small-craft charts (also known as strip charts), issued by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are the charts that cover the Waterway. As of this writing, they cost $20.75 each, and you’ll need ten of them to cover the Waterway from Norfolk to Miami, for a total cost of $207.50. (A list of all the NOAA charts for this portion of the Waterway is found in Appendix A. A few other charts you’ll need if you go to places we mention o the Waterway are included in the list.)
For about one-third the cost of individual charts, you can purchase the chartbook companion to this book: e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook: Norfolk, Virginia, to Miami, Florida, 5th edition, edited by John and Leslie Kettlewell (International Marine/McGraw-Hill, 2008), hereafter referred to as e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook (or simply, the Chartbook). h e charts in the book are reproduced directly from the NOAA charts. Charts of the major inlets and alternate routes are also included.
Of course, many of you will have onboard a dedicated chartplotter or a PC-based navigation system that utilizes electronic charts and GPS, and you may have found these devices provide a great way to navigate in your home waters. In our opinion, when on the Waterway it is far easier to use the chartbook referenced above or the paper small-craft charts. It is critical to have your charts at the steering station at all times, and to be able to view the charts easily in full daylight. At the same time, it is also critical to be able to easily ip back and forth through the charts in order to plan your day, time arrivals at bridges, and to prepare for upcoming navigational di culties. h ese processes are much handier using the chartbook.
All along the Waterway you’ll i nd plenty of places to run to or stay put in if bad weather hits.
T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
8
In addition, some electronic products do not provide the same level of detail found on the paper charts. h ings like side rivers, road and land features, and even soundings may be missing. Even if you do nd yourself using electronic charting on the ICW, be certain to have a paper backup of some sort. Despite the many navigational markings along the Waterway, it is very di cult and dangerous to navigate without up-to-date charts.
Be aware that even the latest editions of the NOAA charts, and consequently the reproductions of these charts used in any of the various chartbooks and electronic chart products that cover the Intracoastal Waterway, don’t always contain the latest information. We know of one bridge that had been completed two years before the latest NOAA chart was issued, yet the chart indicated it as being under construction.
A few of the marinas and anchorages we list are two miles or more o the ICW channel. Nearly all the marinas and anchorages we list are included in the Chartbook, but there are a few that are so far o the main channel they don’t appear on the charts. If you intend to use one of these marinas, we suggest obtaining the additional chart you need for the area.
It is best to have the Chartbook or the speci c charts you need before you arrive at the northern end of the Intracoastal Waterway in the Hampton Roads area. Although they are normally available at many places in the Hampton Roads vicinity and along the ICW, there is always the chance that a sales outlet may be out of what you need, especially during the peak migration seasons. Electronic charting products are even harder to nd.
Using the Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook is easy. It is spiral bound for convenient use in the cockpit. Simply open it to the page you want, fold it back, and put a rubber band around the book to keep the pages from blowing. Or you can keep it in a jumbo-size zippered plastic bag.
h e NOAA strip charts are printed on both sides and are unwieldy when you are unfolding and refolding them in an open cockpit on a windy day, and it is not uncommon for one to blow away. If you use a strip chart, open it to the section needed and secure it to a clipboard. No matter what type of chart you use, it is handy to have some sort of marker on the chart that can be moved along the route as you go. Some boaters use a small, heavy object, but we prefer to use a movable arrow. We make the arrows from small, uorescent, self-stick notes, and cut the sticky end to a point. We simply pick up the “arrow” and move it along as we progress. When the arrow wears out and won’t adhere anymore, we make another one. We’ve seen some nice colored plastic paper clips that can be slid along the sides of the charts and serve the same purpose.
Other publications that are useful for cruising the ICW are, in order of importance, (1) Tide Tables: East Coast of North and South America;
(2) Tidal Current Tables: Atlantic Coast of North America; (3) Coast Pilot 4: Atlantic Coast, Cape Henry to Key West; (4) Light List Volume I: Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine, to Little River, South Carolina; and (5) Light List Volume II: Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Little River, South Carolina, to Rio Grande, Texas. T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
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We wouldn’t consider making the trip without the annual editions of the Tide Tables and Tidal Current Tables, but we have often traveled the ICW without referring to Coast Pilot 4 or the light lists. Many GPS (global positioning system) units also provide tide and current information.
We use two bookmarks in both the Tide Tables and the Tidal Current Tables. One is placed at the pertinent reference station’s page, and the other marks the page with the stations in our locality. Using markers eliminates the nuisance of having to turn pages back and forth. It’s an easy method for quickly nding what we want.
Coast Pilot 4 has a section covering the Intracoastal Waterway and other sections for the Atlantic Coast. h e coastal sections contain information about major harbors, such as Charleston and Savannah. We keep two bookmarks in Coast Pilot 4 too—one in the Waterway section and one in the corresponding coastal section. As we travel, both markers are moved to the pages covering the areas we are entering.
E
QUIPMENT
Most cruising boats will already be equipped with the necessary items for cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, but if you’re out tting a boat, it should have the following basic equipment: VHF radio, air horn, compass, depth-
sounder, GPS unit and/or chartplotter, anchor(s), long docklines, and fenders.
A VHF radio is a necessity for communicating boat-to-boat, calling bridgetenders, and receiving weather reports. Channel 16 is for hailing and emergencies only. Channel 13 is the calling channel for commercial craft. When you need to pass a tug, call on Channel 13 to announce your intention and ask the captain on which side he or she prefers you pass. Information about the use of a VHF radio for calling bridge tenders appears in the section on bridges in Chapter 2. You can use the air horn for signaling bridge tenders who don’t respond to a radiotelephone call. h e air horn can also be used for other signaling, such as when overtaking another vessel when radio communication is not practical or possible.
Marinas commonly monitor Channel 16, so reservations can be made using your VHF, but because of the radio’s short range, a marina can be reached only when you are a few hours away. In the busy seasons that may not be enough notice to guarantee dock space. Cell phones are useful all along the Waterway, but there are remote areas where you won’t be able to get a good signal.
In an emergency, your rst line of communication should be the VHF radio, which can reach the Coast Guard or other rescue craft directly. When contacting marinas and other marine businesses, however, you’re usually better o trying to use your cell phone. We have listed many phone numbers of marine businesses in this guide.
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Every boat should have a corrected compass before it is cruised anywhere. A compass is either necessary or useful on just about the entire Waterway except for those sections that run through land-cuts. Like everywhere else on the water, a compass is a necessity when navigating in fog or when visibility is otherwise reduced.
A depth-sounder is needed and should be monitored closely to see that you are staying in the center of the channel. It is also needed in fog and when venturing into an anchorage, which in most cases won’t have any aids to navigation. Radar can be useful in fog, and a GPS unit and chartplotter are handy on the few open bodies of water along the ICW, but neither is really necessary. Since most boats these days have a GPS onboard we have included a few GPS waypoints where they are needed, though that is seldom on the ICW. In the con ned parts of the ICW a GPS can also be used to pinpoint your location when there are few markers, but you are almost always within sight of one or more of these. A GPS-based chartplotter can be very useful for keeping track of where you are, even though most of the time you will be using eyeball navigation. However, we have found that it is far easier to keep track on a paper chart page, and it is nice to be able to easily scribble notes in the margins.
Binoculars are handy anywhere for sighting aids to navigation from a distance, but they are especially valuable on the Waterway for reading bridge gauges and the signs on restricted bridges that list the opening times. Although this book contains all the bridge restrictions, they change frequently, so you should check our listings against the signs posted on the bridges.
Carry at least one, preferably two, good, heavy anchors with adequate lengths of chain, properly stowed and ready for immediate use, even if you don’t plan on anchoring overnight during your trip on the Waterway. You may have to anchor for other reasons, and may need to do so quickly. For example, let’s say your boat’s engine quits as you’re approaching a bridge that must open for your boat, and a swift current is sweeping you into the bridge. h e only way to avert certain disaster is to get an anchor over fast. If you don’t plan to anchor overnight, 100 feet of anchor line is the minimum you should have. If you do plan on anchoring, 150 feet is the minimum practical length. Some anchorages may have a 10-foot depth at mean low water, but 18 feet at high tide. Anchoring in these places with a seven-to-one scope would use all but 25 feet of a 150-foot line. Use two anchors in some of the narrower anchorages where there is little room to swing and in anchorages where the tidal current will change direction one or more times while you are anchored. In this situation, one anchor should be set upcurrent and the other downcurrent. If you plan on anchoring overnight, you’ll need to display an anchor light.
It is likely that you’ll tie up somewhere in sections of the Waterway that have a considerable tidal range. Although most marinas in these sections have oating docks, it would be prudent to have at least four docklines, each In the coni ned parts of the ICW a GPS can also be used to pinpoint your location when there are few markers, but you are almost always within sight of one or more of these.
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measuring one and a half times the length of your boat. h ese will be long enough in case you have to tie up to a non oating dock in a place with a 9-foot tidal range.
Have at least two fenders large enough to protect your boat. One or two fender boards are even better because they can be used in more versatile ways than fenders.
Don’t travel at night if you can avoid it, but if you do run after dark, you’ll need a powerful spotlight. h e Waterway is di cult to run in the dark even though critical junctions, bends, and curves are usually marked with lighted aids to navigation. A spotlight can be used to locate the unlighted markers and buoys, nearly all of which have re ective markings on them, and to illuminate the shore or sides of the channel. Land-cuts may have debris oating in them that you may not see unless you use a spotlight to sweep the channel ahead. Running the Waterway after dark is very tiring because of the intense concentration needed.
Some means of heating the boat’s cabin is often welcome in the late fall and early spring. An electric heater can be used at a marina, but if you plan to anchor a lot, you’ll appreciate a source of heat not dependent on electricity, such as a diesel or kerosene marine heater or a propane catalytic heater. Using the cooking stove during meal preparation is often enough to take the chill o , but don’t use the stove as a heater. If a heating device other than an electric heater is used and it is not vented, be sure to crack a hatch or open a porthole slightly to allow oxygen to be replenished in the cabin.
A bicycle is handy to carry even though many towns along the Waterway are small enough for sightseeing and running errands on foot. Many marinas have a courtesy car for transients, but with your own transportation, you can come and go as you please. You won’t have to wait for the courtesy car if it is in use, and you won’t have to feel rushed about returning it.
Even in a sailboat, much of the Waterway will be cruised under power, so your boat’s engine should be in good condition. If anything should happen to your engine, you can have it repaired, or get the parts to x it yourself, at many places along the Waterway. It is not necessary to carry any more spare parts or tools for cruising the ICW than you would carry for any extended cruising.
M
AIL
, E-
MAIL
, AND
W
I
-
FI
If you want to receive snail mail along the way, have it sent to the post o ce of your choice, addressed as follows: Your Name, Name of Yacht (the name of your boat), c/o General Delivery, City, State, Zip + 4 Code, and mark it “Hold for Arrival.” Private mail services are available, but the General Delivery option o ered by the U.S. Postal Service is the least complicated and the most convenient. General Delivery mail is usually held for 10 days, but having mail addressed so that postmasters know it is for someone on T h e I n t r a c o a s t a l Wa t e r wa y: Wh a t ’ s I t R e a l l y L i k e?
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a boat may encourage them to bend the rules a bit if you don’t pick it up within the designated time period. Appendix B contains a list of some post o ces convenient to the Waterway.
Most of us use e-mail extensively, and it is possible to drastically reduce the amount of snail mail (bills and such) that you must receive. Most of the ICW has decent cell phone coverage, though you may nd it di cult or impossible at times in the remote parts of Georgia. You certainly will never be more than a day away from possible cell-phone reception, but don’t expect the same level of service found in major metropolitan areas. In addition, many marinas, restaurants, and other businesses o er free or low-cost Wi- Internet. On our last cruise down the ICW we did not receive a single mail package, instead relying on getting our bills and correspondence via e-mail. Many cruisers have installed special cell phone or Wi- antennas for even better marine reception. In some harbors you may be able to access shoreside Wi- even from the anchorage! S
PEED
L
IMITS
When cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, pay strict attention to posted speed limits and No Wake signs. Many areas are patrolled. In some places, a vessel’s passage is timed, and violators of the speed limit may have a surprise waiting for them at the end of a nautical speed trap. In e ect, a “No Wake” sign is a speed-limit notice, since your speed must be slow enough so that your boat will create no wake. We’ve heard tales about some wake-makers on the ICW who have been shot at by angry waterfront homeowners.
P
ROJECT
D
EPTHS
h e project depths of the Waterway are 12 feet from Norfolk, Virginia, to Fort Pierce, Florida; 10 feet from Fort Pierce to Miami, Florida; and
6 feet in the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. h e water is often considerably shallower in some locations. In fact, if your vessel draws 6 feet or more, you could occasionally nd yourself aground in midchannel. With a draft of less than 6 feet, you may bump or mush through in spots, but in general no groundings should occur if you make sure you stay in the channel by carefully watching your charts, compass, and depth-sounder, and checking each aid to navigation.
But some travelers on the ICW occasionally let their attention wander and nd themselves “on the hill.” h e most common groundings occur when the person at the helm of a fast-moving powerboat either does not see the next marker in line or tries to shortcut it. Such a high-speed grounding can do a lot of damage to struts, props, shafts, and even the hull itself. Should you go aground, an 8-foot boathook marked with waterproof tape at your boat’s draft and a couple of other half-foot increments will be useful for sounding deeper water.
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In recent years there have been many reports of shoal spots, particularly in the Carolinas and Georgia. Dredging has simply not been done with the frequency or to the extent that it was in the past. In this guide we try to point out many of the problem spots, but be aware of the possibility of grounding in other areas as well. Prudent boaters will monitor the radio (Channels 13 and 16) for warnings from other craft, and we hope that you too will warn others if you encounter problems.
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C H A P T E R 2
How to Use
This Handbook
T
his handbook is designed to be used at the steering station or in the cockpit of a boat in conjunction with the NOAA Waterway charts or with a chart atlas such as e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook mentioned in Chapter 1. On Waterway charts, distances are indicated in statute miles (land miles) instead of nautical miles. h e statute miles are measured along the channel line—the solid, magenta line that usually appears in the center of the channel.
h e channel line is crossed at 5-mile intervals by a heavier magenta line. h e numerals that appear above this line represent the cumulative mileage from Mile 0 in Norfolk, Virginia, southward to Mile 1095.0 in Miami, Florida. (“St M” preceding the numerals stands for statute miles.) Along most of the Waterway itself are corresponding mileage signs—much like those you see along an interstate highway—except that there are no mileage signs in Georgia and Florida.
Some of the mileage lines on the charts are not precisely 5 miles apart; some are as much as a half-mile short of 5 miles. Most measurements in this book were taken from the charts, and if you are using the Coast Pilot 4 in conjunction with this handbook, the mileage in the Pilot for a given place may di er.
In some places the channel line does not appear to follow the center of the channel. When it is o -center, favor the side of the channel favored by the line. Be especially careful in areas where dashed lines appear on either side of the channel line; such lines indicate that the channel edges are subject to shoaling.
h e material in this handbook is separated into two categories: Descriptive Material and Navigation Information. Every chapter and each section within a chapter begins with Descriptive Material, which is followed by Navigation Information. Read the Descriptive Material to get a big-picture “feel” for the upcoming section—you’ll nd useful and sometimes necessary information about the Waterway and the places along it. h en use the Navigation Information for nitty-gritty details as you proceed mile-by-mile down (or up!) the Waterway. At the beginning of each Descriptive portion you will nd a page cross-
reference for the beginning of the matching Navigation portion. When you Ho w t o Us e T h i s Ha n d b o o k
15
turn to that Navigation page you’ll nd the heading you’re looking for set o by lines above and below it (see example below). h e heading contains the name of the section, the mileage at which it begins and ends, and whether southbound boats leave the aids to navigation to starboard or to port. h e latter clari cation is necessary because there are some areas of the Waterway where red aids, for example, which are normally left to starboard by a southbound vessel, are left to port instead. h is information is on the chart, of course, but sometimes it goes unnoticed until you are in trouble—
aground, usually. h e last line in the heading contains information about currents or lack of them in that section of the Waterway. It is helpful to know in advance when you’ll have to contend with currents. In most cases we have given the estimated average maximum current velocity for the ood and the ebb. Many sections of the Waterway have currents—often quite swift—but few tabulations of these will be found in the U.S. Government’s Tidal Current Tables, so we have estimated their likely speed from our own experience. Keep in mind that most of the currents given are our estimates, and all of them are averages. h e velocities you encounter might be appreciably higher or lower.
In some places where there is no tide and therefore no tidal current, you might nevertheless encounter a wind-driven current, and this is mentioned where it occurs. Wind currents ow in the direction of the wind and at velocities proportional to wind speed.
Here and to the right is an example of a Navigation Information heading:
Navigation ADAMS CREEK CANAL, CORE CREEK, AND BEAUFORT, NORTH CAROLINA
Mile 191.5 to Mile 202.3
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Wind current, changing to tidal current in Core Creek.
Entries on the Navigation pages are in boldface type so they can be seen at a glance; these entries are preceded by a number that represents the cumulative mileage, to tenths, from Mile 0. By referring to the numbers, you’ll nd it possible to correlate all Navigation entries with their corresponding locations on the charts. h e Navigation entries are concise and contain only important facts. Note that there may be two or more entries for a given mileage.
Pay special attention to “Cautions” and “Notes” within the Navigation sections as they contain material of particular importance.
By subtracting one mileage from another, whether going south or north, you can quickly and easily nd the distance between two points. You don’t need to measure any distances.
You may nd this format handy in another way: add the number of miles your boat can cover in a normal day’s run to the mileage at the beginning of that day’s run. h en turn ahead to the page where that mileage, or one that approximates it, appears, and you can nd information about facilities in the vicinity of where you’ll end your day.
h e information for southbound travelers is given precedence over that for northbound boats because the majority of people making their rst trip Ho w t o Us e T h i s Ha n d b o o k
16
on the Waterway will be going south. Northbound travelers will use this book starting at the back, at Mile 1095.0. All information for those who are northbound appears in parentheses immediately following the information for southbound boats.
Some particularly important and mileage-sensitive descriptive material is included within the Navigation sections. h is material is indented.
Most charts are oriented with north at the top, but this is not the case with many of the Waterway small-craft charts. h ey are strip charts showing only the Waterway and very little else, and the ICW does not run in a straight north-south direction. It runs east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, and many other compass points in between. Because of this, it is sometimes di cult to quickly determine a given direction on the chart, so we have chosen to refer to most places, usually marinas and anchorages, as being to your left or your right, instead of giving compass directions. (Compass directions are too complicated and confusing to use for quick reference; “right” and “left” are directions everyone understands instantly. When we refer to the side of a boat on which aids to navigation are passed, we use the proper “port” and “starboard” references.) For example:
50.9 Mariner’s Wharf to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Water and trash only.
h is entry shows that at Mile 50.9 (in this case on the Dismal Swamp Canal route), a marina is located to your right if you are southbound and to your left if you are northbound. Some marinas and anchorages may lie a short distance o the ICW. Any mileage gure enclosed in parentheses represents the distance to something that is o the Waterway proper. All such entries are in the same bold type as the other navigation information entries, but they are indented. For example:
613.5 Junction to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) for anchorage and marina in Kilkenny Creek.
(0.8) Anchorage in 15 feet of water.
(2.2) Kilkenny Marina to left. 912-727-2215.
After you have traveled 0.8 mile up the Kilkenny Creek channel, you’ll i nd an anchorage in 15 feet of water; the marina is 2.2 miles up, and it will be to your left whether you are southbound or northbound, since this channel is common to both.
h e distances to places o the Waterway channel are measured at right angles to the magenta channel line. h e distance o the Waterway is to the protected part of the anchorage unless otherwise noted. Some routes can be shortcut to save a little time, but consult the chart and the relevant descriptive copy before trying a shortcut.
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M
ARINAS
Most pleasure-boat facilities are indicated on the small-craft charts by a magenta number with a line extending from the number to the point where the facility is located. (A listing of all the numbered facilities, with the services and supplies available, is printed on the chart or its folder and in an appendix in e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook.) Unfortunately, these government listings contain many errors and may be out of date. In this guide we have updated as many marina listings as possible, but be aware that things change frequently. Nearly everywhere a marina entry appears in this book, on the chart you’ll see a number with a line extending from it that pinpoints the marina’s location, but we don’t identify any marinas by these chart numbers; we use only a marina’s mileage to locate it. Any marinas not listed in this book are either small-boat, shallow-water marinas that don’t take transients or are private residence/marina developments.
In general, transient marina facilities listed here will o er all of the following eight items unless otherwise noted:
1. Dockage for transients
2. Gas and diesel fuel
3. Electricity
4. Showers and restrooms
5. Six-foot depth in the approach
6. Six-foot depth alongside
7. Laundry
8. Holding-tank pumpout
h ese items are necessities for many ICW cruisers, though a pumpout is not needed every night. When a marina does not have one or more of the items on this list, the lack is noted in the description. Whenever possible we have included a phone number for the dockmaster, but most marinas also monitor the VHF marine radio—usually Channel 16. In addition, many places o er wireless Internet, or Wi- access. Chances are if the marina doesn’t have Internet access, a local business or library will. Keep in mind that marinas are upgrading all the time, and these listings may be somewhat out of date. Due to this constant upgrading, for example, we have stopped listing the level of electric service (50, 100, or more amps) and whether or not cable TV is available. If there is a service you must have, we suggest calling ahead to assess current o erings.
We must emphasize that this handbook is not a marina guide as such. h at is why we provide a relatively short list of services. Marina services and supplies not on the list—such as propane, kerosene, groceries, ice, courtesy car, and major and minor repairs—have not been included because these are among the things that are added or eliminated from time to time depending on management decisions. But any large marina is usually well stocked with supplies and provides a full range of services, even if it is in the boonies.
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If a marina is in or near a town, you can usually obtain what you need from the town, which may be accessible by foot or bicycle. Or you may make use of the courtesy transportation that some marinas provide. Some grocery stores along the Waterway will make deliveries to marinas. If you are reasonably careful in your planning, you won’t run out of a necessity when you are far from a replenishment source. Since the majority of marinas don’t have hauling facilities, this service is not one of the eight in our list of basics. But because it may sometimes be important to know the location of the nearest haulout facility, we note the marinas that can haul a boat that is up to at least 30 feet and 8 tons. When only the word Hauling appears in a listing, it means the hauling facility is a lift. If the type of hauling facility is instead a railway or crane, the type will be noted.
We list a number of repair facilities on or near the Waterway. Some of these may not provide overnight dockage unless the boat is being worked on at the facility. h eir services may include some of those typically o ered by marinas, but if these are available only to repair customers, we don’t mention them. Some facilities provide both marina and repair services, and these are listed as Marina/repair facility followed by the usual format—i.e., any of the eight basic services that the marina doesn’t o er will be noted, followed by the hauling information. If a repair facility allows you to do your own work, that fact is noted. An entry incorporating all of the above may look like this:
1019.8 Rybovich Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), through marked channel. Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 561-840-8190.
We have listed some restaurants that have docks. Some allow boats to stay overnight, and some charge a fee for this, but check with the restaurant to learn their policy.
h e yacht clubs listed are those that will accommodate transient members from other yacht clubs, or they are commercial marinas that use the term “club” in their name.
We don’t list rates for dockage because these change often. As of this writing, basic daily rates at marinas run from about $1.25 to about $3.75 per foot. You may be charged extra for electricity and pumping out. If you anchor, you may incur a charge to tie up your dinghy to a marina dock (in St. Augustine, for example).
h e marina names we have used are the latest ones we know about, but marinas change owners frequently, and so do the names of their marinas. h us, what is shown in this handbook may be di erent from what actually exists. One marina we know of has had four name changes in six years.
A
NCHORAGES
Not every place a vessel can anchor is listed. As a general rule, we have included only those anchorages we feel will provide a relatively safe, protected, worry-
free overnight stay. Exceptions to these criteria are noted in individual entries. Ho w t o Us e T h i s Ha n d b o o k
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Another deviation from these criteria is our listings of anchorages in Florida from Mile 951.0 south. h ere we have listed nearly all possible anchorages because there are so few of them.
Many of the included anchorages are those in which we, or reliable sources, have anchored. But safe anchoring really depends on your own assessment of whether an anchorage is protected from winds, waves, and tra c, along with your anchoring technique and what ground tackle you use. h e description following each anchorage, if one is called for, highlights what you need to be aware of. Most listed anchorages have 7 feet of water
at mean low tide because even in nontidal areas, winds can lower (or raise) the water level as much as 2 feet—and more than that in extreme conditions. Constant and sometimes rapid silting is ongoing in many anchorages, and
7 feet of water may not exist when you get there. Pay close attention to your depth-sounder when entering all anchorages. In some shallow, just-o -the-
channel anchorages, wakes from passing boats and suction from barges can bounce your boat on the bottom.
An anchor light should be used every time you anchor, whether or not required. h e light o ers some degree of protection when the anchorage is adjacent to a busy channel, and if you make using the light a part of your regular anchoring routine, you won’t have to remember to show one where
it is required. In some Florida anchorages you may receive a citation from the marine police if you are not displaying an anchor light.
Make sure you watch the depth when entering anchorages.
An anchor light should be used every time you anchor, whether or not required.
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20
Underwater stumps and snags exist in many ICW anchorages, so it is a good practice to buoy your anchor, though that can add the danger of someone else snagging your buoy, which will trip your anchor.
Where anchorages are so numerous that listing them all would only cause confusion—especially in the creeks and rivers of the Carolinas and Georgia—we have omitted many candidates. Listed or not, however, any potential anchorage in an area of great tidal range and swift currents (such as the Carolinas and Georgia) should be assessed with the following criteria in mind:
1. Don’t anchor on a bend of a river or creek, because the water is usually deeper there and the bottom may be scoured hard, resulting in poor holding ground.
2. Check the chart for the type of bottom. A hard bottom is not good holding ground.
3. If a creek or river is not a loop connected to the ICW at both ends, there will be less current in it.
4. Entrances to creeks and rivers may be shallower or deeper than the charted depths. h e same may be true of the spot in which you decide to drop the hook. Use the tide tables to calculate how much water will be under your boat’s keel at low tide.
5. Determine whether your boat can swing with the currents on just one anchor, or whether you should put down two.
6. Determine whether the anchorage will be exposed to wind sweeping in over any great fetch. A strong wind blowing against an opposing current can create a nasty situation.
If you plan to anchor often, it may be useful to go through this book and mark on your chart all the anchorages we have listed. Use a waterproof marker in a color that stands out from the other colors on the charts.
A
IDS
TO
N
AVIGATION
Daymarkers make up a higher percentage of the aids to navigation on the ICW compared to buoys. Most of these daymarks are about 15 feet high and mounted on piles. Odd-numbered markers are green squares and even-numbered markers are red triangles (see photos). Instead of a pile, some markers are mounted on a dolphin, which is usually three piles wired together at the top, often in the form of a tripod. A few aids to navigation are on structures called skeleton towers. Most of the skeleton towers on the ICW are in North Carolina, in wide bodies of water such as Albemarle Sound and the Neuse River.
On the charts, markers and buoys are represented by di erent symbols. Odd-numbered markers are shown as green squares, even-numbered markers as red triangles. No matter what the color of the aid, if it is a lighted Waterway marker, it is indicated on the chart with a symbol that looks like Ho w t o Us e T h i s Ha n d b o o k
21
an exclamation point. Unlighted red and green buoys are designated by a diamond shape in the appropriate color with a small outline circle on one end of the diamond showing the buoy’s swing circle. Lighted red and green buoys are also shown as diamonds, but on both, a larger, solid red circle replaces the smaller outline circle on the end of the diamond.
When an aid is at a junction where two channels intersect, it is usually a buoy. h e topmost color, red or green, indicates whether the aid is to be passed to starboard or port.
An Intracoastal Waterway square green marker.
An Intracoastal Waterway triangular red marker.
A green lighted marker on a dolphin.
A typical skeleton tower structure (with an equally typical ock of cormorants and gulls perched on it).
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Sometimes the chart will show a daymark where there is, in reality, a buoy. Where this occurs, it usually means that the marker has been destroyed and has been temporarily replaced by a buoy. h ese temporary buoys, being lower in the water, are not as visible as the taller daymarks.
You may see some aids, usually buoys, with a number and the letter “A,” such as “20A.” h ese are often in the vicinity of an aid with the same number. h e “A” indicates shoaling, usually behind the aid.
When the numbering of markers or buoys changes sequence, we have noted this at the mileage where the change occurs. It can be disconcerting to run past aids to navigation numbered up into the hundreds, only to come upon one, still in line with the others, that is numbered “1” or “2.” Occasionally you may nd a missing number in a sequence of markers that are otherwise consecutively numbered. We have not mentioned these; we only note where the numbering starts over again.
Every Intracoastal Waterway aid, no matter what type, has a yellow re ective device on it: a horizontal stripe, a triangle, or a square. Where the ICW bisects or follows another major channel (usually a ship channel entering from seaward), all the aids to navigation for that channel, which may be buoys or markers, also have either a yellow triangle or square on them.
When following the ICW channel from north to south, any aid of any shape or color with a yellow triangle should be left to starboard, and any aid of any shape or color with a yellow square should be left to port (vice versa for northbound travelers).
A good example of this situation is at Georgetown, South Carolina, on Chart 11534, or page 79 of e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook. When you’re headed south, ICW red lighted marker “94,” near Mile 403.0, should be left to starboard as should red lighted marker “W.” But the next red aid, lighted marker “40,” and those red aids following it until red lighted buoy “30” is reached, should be left to port. h ese red aids are for the Winyah Bay ship channel, which is also the channel the ICW follows for a short distance.
So that you won’t have to be on a constant lookout for these triangles and squares (which are hard to see from a distance), we note any places where an aid for another channel may be mistaken for an ICW aid, listing the mileages, the aids that are there, and the side on which they are to be passed.
Sometimes a navigation aid shown on the chart will be reported as missing. We don’t indicate any of these “missing” aids because, by the time you make the trip, the aids probably will have been replaced and others may be reported as missing.
R
ANGES
Ranges on most bodies of water are in place to guide commercial vessels, but many ranges on the ICW are quite important to even those in pleasure boats. We list by mileages where a charted range begins and where you leave the range—that is, the point where it no longer applies to your course. If you Every Intracoastal Waterway aid, no matter what type, has a yellow re ective device on it: a horizontal stripe, a triangle, or a square.
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have had no experience with ranges, practice running them every chance you get; then, when you come to the really important ones, you’ll be an old hand at it. Most ranges are indicated on the chart by ne dashed lines that are easy to overlook. You may want to draw over the dashed range lines with a pen in a contrasting color so they will be easier to see.
A range is composed of two structures, one in front of the other, with a daymark on each. h e rear structure is elevated so that when the two daymarks are in line, the rear one is easy to see. When you are lined up on a range, the front daymark is in line with the rear daymark—and you know your boat is in the deepest part of the channel, which, incidentally, is not always the center of the channel.
The vessel approaching this front range will have to be steered slightly to port to line up the two daymarks. The daymarks on this range are the most common type along the ICW: three vertical stripes, which can be of several color combinations.
The vessel is now “on” the range. Note that the daymark on the front slatted structure is mounted on the right side of the structure. When a boat is “on” this range, or any other range, the daymarks are lined up—the structures are not.
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A front range is one that you are approaching, and when you are “on” the range, it will lie ahead of your boat. A back range is one you are going away from, and it will lie astern. As soon as a point is reached where a range applies to your vessel, and the front and rear daymarks are not lined up, you’ll need to make a course correction to get them in line in order to keep your boat in the safe part of the channel. Always steer toward the direction of the front daymark to line up on a range. h is applies to both front and back ranges. The vessel has wandered o the range in the opposite direction from that shown in the photo above and will have to be steered slightly to starboard to line up the daymarks again.
These two range marks are not quite in line. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
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When following a back range, it is necessary to look over your shoulder often or have someone tell you whether you are on or o the range. (See photos.)
In the course of traveling south or north on the ICW, you’ll encounter both front and back ranges. A front range for the southbound traveler is a back range for those northbound and vice versa, but when you’re southbound not all ranges are front ranges, and when you’re northbound not all ranges are back ranges.
When a range is uncharted it has been so designated; however, some ranges that are listed may have been removed, and new ones may have been added. Get into the habit of glancing ahead and astern for ranges.
You may see ranges made up of a number of uorescent orange ags on sticks. h ese appear in areas where dredging is in progress or where shoaling has occurred. h ey have been placed there by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or by the dredging company. h ey don’t pertain to and should not be used by pleasure boats.
C
OURSES
Some courses are indicated on the charts, but if a course does not appear and we think one may be useful, it is noted in the appropriate place.
h e compass rose, which appears on each page of the NOAA charts and most pages of e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook, indicates both true north (outer ring) and magnetic north (inner ring) and can be used to calculate Dredging in progress.
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courses. But a magnetic course taken from a compass rose is exact only for the year shown in the center of the rose. In each succeeding year in which that same chart is used, the magnetic variation will be di erent. h e di erence is usually not great enough to be of concern if you are using charts one or two years old, but if the charts are older than that, the variation should be calculated so you won’t end up steering a course that could be several degrees o .
All variations on the ICW are westerly, which means that they must be added to true courses to get magnetic courses. (If a variation were easterly, it would be subtracted to convert true to magnetic.)
When we indicate a course, we do so in degrees true. h e reason for this is that true courses never change and thus never become outdated. To obtain the compass (steering) course, both the magnetic variation and the deviation of the compass (if any) must be added to or subtracted from the true course. As a reminder, when we provide a course, the word true is italicized.
L
AND
-C
UTS
In some places, the Intracoastal Waterway goes through a land-cut—a section that is, in e ect, a canal. Many of the cuts are as straight as an arrow and uniform in width throughout. Some have a few wider spots, but not wide enough to permit you to anchor safely. h ey range in length from 1 or 2 miles to over 20. We have given the mileages where signi cant land-cuts begin and end, and their length. If one of these is coming up on a day’s run, plan your run so you’ll be sure to get through it before dark.
I
NLETS
If you want to travel outside in the ocean for a portion of your journey, and you have the proper inlet chart (included in e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook), you can use any big-ship channel to reach the ocean. h ese channels are deep and well-marked, and emanate from the major cities on or near the Waterway.
A few other inlets are suitable for use by pleasure boats, and we list these where they occur. Don’t use any inlet we don’t mention unless you have up-to-date o cial information about its conditions. We wouldn’t trust local knowledge, because it may not be reliable.
B
RIDGES
h e mileage of each bridge location is given, followed by the name of the bridge. Some bridges have given names; others are designated only by the highway or railroad line they serve. When a bridge is in a town, we have often added the town’s name to the name of the bridge to aid in locating it on the chart. h e NOAA chart always shows the name of a town, but it rarely lists the o cial name of the bridge or the route number of the highway that Don’t use any inlet we don’t mention unless you have up-to-date o cial information about
its conditions.
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passes over it, but these are included in e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook. Within the bridge name, we have included whether it is a highway or railroad bridge. Examples include Core Creek Highway Bridge and Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge.
After the name, we list whether it is a xed or opening bridge. Six types of opening bridges span the ICW: single bascule, double bascule, single-pivot swing, double-pivot swing, lift, and pontoon. All of these have to be opened to permit most pleasure boats to pass through. h e accompanying photos show all six types.
Single-bascule bridge. Most of these are railroad bridges. Sometimes they are not opened as far as the one shown to the left, leaving a narrower passage for sailboats and their masts.
Double-bascule bridge. Most of these bridges have more vertical clearance at the center than at the sides when closed.
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Single-pivot swing bridge. You can always tell which draw to use by looking at the fenders. In the photo above, the fenders are only on the right draw.
Double-pivot swing bridge.
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Lift bridge. This is one of the massive lift bridges that span the Elizabeth River in Norfolk.
Pontoon bridge. A pontoon bridge is nothing more than a barge with hinged ramps on each end, which can be raised and lowered. A cable opens and closes the bridge. After the bridge is open, wait until you see that the cable is slack and dropped to the bottom of the channel before proceeding through the opening. In this photo, the bridge is about one-quarter open and the cable is faintly visible under the left ramp. The only remaining pontoon bridge on the ICW is at Mile 337.9.
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Next in a bridge listing is the closed vertical clearance. In the case of a lift bridge, the raised vertical clearance is also given. Horizontal clearances are not included, because they are not limiting for most pleasure boats. Double-
bascule bridge listings show the vertical clearance at the center only.
Single-pivot swing bridges may have a passageway on each side of the swing span or on just one “draw,” either to the right or left of the swing span. (Where it is important, we have noted which draw to use.) Double-pivot swing bridges, of which there are very few, open in the middle, and each side swings on a pivot toward its adjacent shore, leaving a single passage through the middle.
Except for two lift bridges in Norfolk, all railroad bridges are either single-
pivot swing or single-bascule types—the latter being the most predominant. At Titusville, Florida, you’ll nd an automatic single-bascule bridge, the operation of which is described at its mileage—876.7. Most railroad bridges remain open unless a train is coming.
If you want to communicate with a bridgetender, call with your VHF radio on Channel 13 in Virginia or North Carolina or on Channel 09 in South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida. If you receive no answer in a reasonable amount of time, try Channel 16. If you can’t raise the bridgetender on the VHF radio, use your horn to signal your intentions. h e proper horn signal for opening a bridge is one prolonged blast followed quickly by one short blast. Don’t expect a bridge to open for you just because you are milling around in front of it. Bridgetenders aren’t mind readers.
Tenders sometimes don’t answer a VHF radio request, and they rarely acknowledge a horn signal. Sometimes the only way you’ll know if you have reached the bridgetender is if the bridge opens within a reasonable time. If it does not, try signaling both ways again. If the bridge still doesn’t open, call the Coast Guard on your VHF radio; someone in the Coast Guard o ce can use a land line to call the bridgetender and resolve the situation. Don’t call the Coast Guard until you are sure the bridge is not in a restricted period—a period during which it will not open at all or will open only at scheduled times. Don’t call if you can see that tra c on the bridge is heavy. Bridgetenders on bridges with restricted openings are allowed to delay openings for 10 minutes to accommodate late-arriving boats.
Most xed bridges on the ICW have a 65-foot vertical clearance. Exceptions are the Julia Tuttle Bridge in Miami, Florida, at Mile 1087.2, which has a clearance of 56 feet, and the Wilkerson Highway Bridge at Mile 125.8, which is actually 64 feet high at mean high water. h e Wilkerson Bridge is in a virtually tideless area, so mean high water is the usual level of the water unless strong winds raise or lower it. h e twin highway bridges at Mile 720.9, in northern Florida, have a charted clearance of 65 feet but are reported to be closer to 64 feet, but they are in tidal waters. Some pleasure-
boat facilities are beyond the xed 56-foot-clearance bridge over the Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina. (See Mile 469.2 [0.6].)
Depending on combinations of wind and tide, the clearance under some 65-foot xed bridges may not be 65 feet. Many bridges have a tide scale on If you want to communicate with a bridgetender, call with your VHF
radio on Channel 13
in Virginia or North Carolina or on Channel 09 in South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida.
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one of the supports, so you’ll be able to see the actual clearance at the existing state of tide. If you are in a sailboat with a mast that has marginal clearance under a xed bridge, use binoculars to check the tide scale before you get too close to the bridge so you can take evasive action if necessary.
Every year we nd that more bridges have restricted operating hours—
the greatest number being in Florida—and there is little consistency about the restricted hours. Some are closed during rush hours, some open on the quarter- or half-hours, others are restricted for di erent hours in certain months. To add to the confusion, the restrictions change often. Just because a bridge once opened at certain times, don’t assume it is still operating on that schedule.
We have done our best to give you the most current information on restricted bridges’ operating hours. We are sure, however, that some of this information will have changed by the time this edition is in print. If what you encounter doesn’t agree with what appears in these pages, please remember that the information was current when written.
An example of one of the most complicated restricted bridge listings is shown below:
470.8 Wappoo Creek James Island Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 33 feet.
RESTRICTED: April 1 through May 31, weekdays, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
June 1 through September 30, weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
October 1 through November 30, weekdays, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
April 1 through November 30, weekends and legal holidays, 9 a.m. to
7 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
December 1 through March 31, weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
h e word RESTRICTED is followed by the dates when the restrictions apply. Next are the days the restrictions are in e ect. Weekdays means Mondays through Fridays, except legal holidays. Daily means every day year-
round. Occasionally you’ll see di erent restrictions for weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and legal holidays.
h e restricted days are followed by the hours during which the bridge is restricted, and the times it will open during the restricted hours, if any. Bridges open on demand at any time not listed in the restrictions, and also when a bridge listing shows no restrictions.
Since most bridges spanning the Waterway (the one at Great Bridge, Virginia, being a notable exception) open on demand anytime for commercial and o cial government vessels, you might occasionally slip through with one of them, but don’t count on it. Once such a vessel is through the bridge, the bridgetender usually begins to close it immediately.
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To avoid the sections of Florida where many restricted bridges are relatively close together, some boaters use a suitable inlet to reach the ocean and run down the coast. It is 22.6 miles from the inlet at Port Everglades, at Fort Lauderdale, to the Miami harbor entrance at Government Cut. h e outside route bypasses nine opening bridges, including seven with restricted hours, as well as the xed 56-foot-clearance bridge on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
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C H A P T E R 3
Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Albemarle Sound, North Carolina
I
f you are southbound through the Chesapeake Bay, ahead of you lies the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. You may have heard people calling it “h e Ditch,” and that is to some extent an accurate description. You may have heard others raving about the warm welcome you’ll receive in the Carolinas, while other sailors may have warned you about the lack of actual sailing, and both of those things are true, too. “h e Waterway,” as many call it—or simply, “the ICW”—is many things you may have heard of, and it is more. Above all it is varied and full of contrasts.
h e rst 50 miles or so—from Hampton Roads to Albemarle Sound—
show nearly every aspect of this unique waterway that you will encounter over the course of the next 1,095 miles: the busy commercial and naval port of Norfolk; the wild, peaceful waters of the upper North River; the winding and eerie Great Dismal Swamp Canal; the wide, open waters of Currituck Sound; sheltered safe anchorages o Buck Island, Goat Island, and other places named by long-forgotten explorers; comfortable and helpful marinas and repair facilities (like the Atlantic Yacht Basin in Great Bridge, Virginia) where your boat can get anything it needs; bridges of all types, including bascule, lift, and swing; and the only locks on the main ICW channel. It is unusual that a network of waterways like the ICW will reveal its character so completely right from the get-go, but the ICW does this for you up ahead. h e rst 50 miles are both an appetizer and a primer for what is in store. Enjoy, observe, and learn.
NORFOLK, PORTSMOUTH, AND THE ELIZABETH RIVER,
Mile 0.0 to Mile 11.5 ALBEMARLE AND CHESAPEAKE CANAL, CURRITUCK SOUND, AND NORTH RIVER,
Mile 11.5 to Mile 65.0 GREAT DISMAL SWAMP CANAL ALTERNATE ROUTE:
DEEP CREEK, VIRGINIA,
TO PASQUOTANK RIVER, NORTH CAROLINA,
Mile 7.2 to Mile 65.0
Norfolk, Portsmouth, and the Elizabeth River
MI LE 0.0 TO MI LE 11.5
For Navigation, see page 38.
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Major and minor channels funnel boaters from the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay into the well-marked mouth of Hampton Roads, between Old Point Comfort to the north, on the Hampton side, and Fort Wool on the Norfolk side to the south. Ahead is the wide James River channel, but your destination will require a turn to the south into the Elizabeth River, leading to Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Mile 0 of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Many boaters planning to travel south on the Intracoastal Waterway will have already passed through New York Harbor, so cruising through a busy harbor such as the Hampton Roads and Elizabeth River won’t be a new experience. Others, though, may nd the hectic activity of this harbor a bit disconcerting. h ere is much to see and much that will demand your complete attention for safe pilotage in this, one of the busiest harbors on the East Coast.
h e Hampton Roads entrance is well marked with many lighted aids to navigation, lighthouses on both sides, and numerous landmarks. If anything, the profusion of aids to navigation is almost too much, sometimes making it di cult to sort one channel from another. h e water is deep for the most part, and it is often possible to skim along just outside the large navigation buoys in order to avoid close encounters with commercial and military vessels. As you enter Hampton Roads, the rst sights you’ll notice are the many moving and anchored freighters from all over the world. You’ll see U.S. Navy ships of all kinds, from huge aircraft carriers to sinister-looking submarines—
some mothballed, some active. h ere are always ships being sandblasted and painted along the waterfront—some in giant drydocks, others a oat. h ere are ships being loaded and unloaded and ships being cut up for scrap. In the midst of it all, scurrying up and down the harbor, are tugs—large and small, military and civilian—pushing or pulling ships and loaded and empty barges. h e VHF radio will crackle with constant warnings, greetings, orders, and acknowledgments, and it is well worth your while to pay attention. Patrol boats will make sure you stay in the channel and well away from all Navy ships.
You may see a helicopter or two along with other aircraft, both civilian and military, ying overhead. Ashore, cranes arc through the air disgorging cargo from the ships at dock. Some of these mammoth cranes’ control cabs, more than 100 feet above the ground, are as big as a two-car garage.
Accompanying this visual overload is a great cacophony of noises and smells. For safety and ease of maneuvering, sailboats should travel under power through this area, though you may not be able to hear your own engine’s noises because of the surrounding racket. h e many exotic odors include some that smell like hot wires burning. You may nd yourself doing an uncommon amount of checking to reassure yourself that the smells and noises that assault your senses are drifting in from your surroundings and not oating up from your own engine room.
h e unremitting clanging, banging, scraping, grinding, and roaring of the waterfront will be punctuated by the tooting of various vessels. Listen carefully for tugs and their horn or whistle signals. Often, a tug that is backing out of a slip is not visible, but its signal can be heard—usually one long blast 35
No r f o l k, P o r t s mo u t h, a n d t h e E l i z a b e t h R i v e r
or four quick toots. Be sure to monitor VHF Channels 13 and 16 to stay on top of what everyone is doing, and you may be asked to wait a minute or to move to the other side of the channel.
Like all large harbors, Norfolk’s Elizabeth River experiences its share of oating debris, so a careful watch is in order. h e river also has a moderately swift current. You will traverse about 10.5 statute miles from Fort Wool, at the entrance to Hampton Roads, to Mile 0, between downtown Norfolk on the east side and Portsmouth on the west, where the Intracoastal Waterway begins. About 7 miles from Fort Wool, o Craney Island, the current’s average velocity is 1.2 knots. Some 6.5 miles south of Craney Island, at the rst of Norfolk’s bridges that must be lifted or otherwise opened to permit passage of most pleasure boats, the average velocity of the current is only 0.6 knot, but this is still something to reckon with if the current is pushing you toward a bridge that is closed or closing. And, of course, the current will slow you down appreciably if it is against you.
h ere are good marinas and anchorages along the shores of Hampton Roads, the Elizabeth River approach to Mile 0 in Norfolk, and the various side channels you can see from the deck and on your chart. h ere’s a decent and usually empty anchorage in a small basin just to the west of Fort Monroe, on Old Point Comfort. A little farther west is the channel leading into Hampton, Virginia, with several private marinas, a friendly city dock, and some tight anchoring room opposite. Hampton is a good place to provision and prepare your boat for the ICW.
Willoughby Bay, strategically located on the south side of the Hampton Roads entrance inside Fort Wool, is a good place to duck into if night is falling or if you need to rest before tackling the busy harbor ahead. You’ll nd a protected anchorage with good holding and a couple of marinas that o er fuel and other services. Past Willoughby Bay, after you make the turn south around Sewells Point into the Elizabeth River, you’ll see the Lafayette River with the Norfolk Yacht Club to port, with some relatively peaceful room to anchor. Or you can continue another couple of miles on the Elizabeth River, leaving Craney Island and Lovett Point to starboard before tucking into the Western Branch, where you’ll nd a marina and a diesel-engine repair facility before you reach the 45-foot vertical-clearance xed bridge. If you can clear the bridge, you’ll nd quieter water and good anchoring opportunities farther up the Western Branch.
Mile 0 is both a starting point for your southbound adventure and a destination in its own right. h ere is a popular anchorage near the naval hospital on the west side (the Portsmouth side) of the Intracoastal Waterway, opposite the Waterside marina complex on the Norfolk shore. Proceed cautiously into the anchorage area from south of red buoy “36”—the water shoals rapidly to the west and is usually dotted with crab oats.
h ere are usually lots of snowbirds anchored in this area, and it can sometimes be di cult to nd a good spot with adequate swinging room. On the other hand, the holding is good in typical ICW mud. You can usually Ha mp t o n R o a d s, V i r g i n i a, t o A l b e ma r l e S o u n d, No r t h C a r o l i n a
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nd room to anchor on the western fringe of deep water, deploying a second anchor if you’re worried about swinging into the shallows. h e water near the shipping channel is deeper—up to 20 or 30 feet—which is about as deep as you’ll nd on the ICW. Due to the heavy commercial and pleasure-boat tra c and the workings of a busy seaport city, this is not a peaceful spot and there is never a dull moment.
You can dinghy across the harbor to the east side and the Waterside complex, which includes a marina. Ask in the marina where to tie up. You can also tie alongside the Waterside bulkhead that faces the main shipping channel, but your dinghy will be constantly jostled by heavy wakes. Another option is to dinghy south down the ICW to the rst little basin on the Portsmouth side of the channel. You can then tie up and walk around some pleasant streets with small cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Waterside Marina has a busy city feel, with all the restaurants looking right down your hatch and lots of tra c coming and going, including several large tour boats. In a blow, however, it can be much more comfortable than the anchorage. Tidewater Marina, on the Portsmouth shore opposite, is generally quieter. h ough it is less convenient to downtown Norfolk, there are frequent ferries across the harbor. Also, Tidewater provides fuel and marine services.
Provisioning is possible on both the Norfolk and Portsmouth sides, but it is easier to do this necessary chore farther north up the Chesapeake Bay or at smaller towns south on the ICW. Outside the waterfront tourist areas, both cities deteriorate into rough-around-the-edges inner-city neigh-
borhoods and industrial areas, so it is best not to wander far from the waterfront.
Waterside has a small shopping mall, complete with pleasant but very busy restaurants. It is a good place to run the kids, get your ice cream x, or take someone out for a special dinner, but for more extensive shopping you should head a few blocks inland to the MacArthur Center, featuring all the usual major mall stores.
When leaving Norfolk to head south on the ICW, a cruiser’s major consideration used to be negotiating the awkward schedule of the Jordan Bridge at Mile 2.8. h is bridge is no longer in use, however, and will eventually be replaced by a new high-rise xed bridge. Just north of it, the railroad bridge at Mile 2.6 is usually open but can drop at a moment’s notice, messing up a planned early arrival at the Gilmerton Bridge (Mile 5.8), which is restricted. Note that all ICW distances are measured in statute miles, or land miles, not the nautical miles that are used to measure distances at sea. Major landmarks, bridges, marinas, locks, and other points of interest in this guide are labeled using statute-mile positions. It is a good idea to set your GPS to read in statute miles per hour.
h e many lights of Norfolk provide su cient illumination for a yawning-
hour start—be sure to have your running lights on. Rouse yourself with su cient time to get your anchor up, wash o all the stinky harbor mud, and 37
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proceed the 5.8 miles to the Gilmerton Bridge if you want to beat its 6:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m. restricted time. No matter how early you arise, you’ll soon be hurried along by the sound of someone’s anchor chain rattling in. h ere is usually a string of bleary-eyed boaters clutching co ee mugs and heading for the bridges.
If you are lucky you can trail close behind a tug-and-barge combo that is proceeding through Norfolk Harbor at a pace slow enough to keep up with—though many of them move too fast for most sailboats. In this case, you may be able to use the commercial vessel’s priority openings at all the bridges.
h e Old Virginia Railroad Bridge at Mile 3.6 is usually open, but it may close, which is another factor that can mess up your plans for the Gilmerton Bridge. But if all goes like clockwork, and you aren’t delayed by a malfunction of one of the bridges, and you reach the Gilmerton Bridge before it closes, you’re nearly home free in your e ort to make a timely start down the ICW. If you plan to follow the main route, you may need to slow down at this point to avoid getting to the Steel Bridge, Mile 8.7, at an awkward moment. It is closed altogether between 7 and 9 a.m. and between 4 and 6 p.m., and the only openings the rest of the day are on the hour. As you can see, timing these restricted bridges can be a tricky prospect. If you’re not in a great rush, you can skip all this early-morning stu and go for the 8:30 a.m. opening at the Gilmerton Bridge. Passing under a lift bridge in Norfolk, Virginia.
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You’ll notice the right-hand turn for the Great Dismal Swamp Canal at Mile 7.2, just beyond the highway bridge (65-foot clearance) at Mile 7.1. If you want to use this alternate, shallow, more scenic route, call the Deep Creek lock at 757-487-0831. If the lock tender does not answer, you’ll hear a recorded message stating when the canal is open, what the present channel depth is, and the opening times of the two locks on the canal. Alternatively, you can get this information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by calling 757-441-7500. h e o ce is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
In years with little rainfall, the Great Dismal Swamp Canal may be closed for weeks or months at a time. Sometimes the canal is open all summer but closed from fall to spring; the exact closing date depends on the water level. Generally when the canal is open, its two locks operate only four times a day, at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m., though in recent years the canal has remained open but with reduced numbers of lockings in order to save water. h e lock tenders also operate the bridge that is adjacent to each lock, so time must be allowed for the tenders to drive from one location to the other. h e speed limit in the canal is 7 miles per hour.
Further information on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal route is at the end of this chapter, following the navigation information on the main route.
If you intend to use the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal route, the main and busier option, the current you encounter and the time it takes for all the bridges to open will a ect the time of your arrival at the Great Bridge Lock at the head of the Virginia Cut. h e lock opens in conjunction with its associated bridge, but from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. the bridge opens only on the hour for all vessels, including commercial craft. At other times it opens on demand. h e lock will accept southbound boats from 20 minutes after the hour to 20 minutes before the hour, while northbound boats can enter the lock only after the hourly opening of the bridge. If your destination for the night lies beyond the town of Great Bridge, you should try to time your arrival at the lock so that you won’t have to travel after dark. h e lock is 11.5 miles from Mile 0. If you need information regarding the lock, call 757-547-3311 and you’ll hear a recorded message that may include the information you want, or you may be able to speak directly to the lock tender, who will answer the call if not engaged in duties. For more on transiting the lock, see pages 42 and 45.
Navigation 0.0 Mile Zero at Red Lighted Buoy “36.”
This is the beginning of the Intracoastal Waterway. Behind the buoy, on Hospital Point, is the Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
0.3 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), of hospital.
Anchor as close to shore as your draft allows. Be aware that this anchorage is exposed to the wakes of passing tra c in the heavily traveled channel.
NORFOLK, PORTSMOUTH, AND THE ELIZABETH RIVER
Mile 0.0 to Mile 11.5
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—0.9 knot; ebb—1.2 knots.
Mile 0.0
– Mile 0.3
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No r f o l k, P o r t s mo u t h, a n d t h e E l i z a b e t h R i v e r
0.4 Tidewater Yacht Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling. 757-393-2525.
Enter between the two breakwaters. Slip assignments are made from the o ce on the fuel dock. Restaurants are at the marina and at the adjacent Holiday Inn. The marina store is a good place to obtain charts. No supermarkets are near the marina, but downtown Portsmouth is within walking distance.
0.4 Junction for marina in the Eastern Branch, Elizabeth River to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
(0.2) Waterside Marina to left. No fuel. 757-625-3625.
The Waterside complex includes many specialty shops and restaurants, and special events are held here throughout the year. A few steps away is W. T. Bromley, where you can purchase charts and other nautical publications.
0.6 North Harbor to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
A passenger ferry runs from here to the Waterside Marina in Norfolk [see Mile 0.4 (0.2)] every half-hour. Pleasure boats can tie up at the North Harbor dock for 2 hours.
0.7 High Street Landing to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
Free dockage is available here, but you can’t stay overnight. Shops, restaurants, and museums are within walking distance.
1.1 Ocean Marine Yacht Center to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling. 757-399-2920.
2.6 Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Bridge. Lift. Vertical clearance, 6 feet down, 142 feet up. Usually open.
This is the i rst of two huge railroad lift bridges within 1 mile of each other that are usually open, but if not, they must be raised for most pleasure boats. It’s an awesome feeling to watch these massive bridges lift for your tiny vessel alone (and all pleasure boats are tiny in relation to these bridges), yet they do, and they lift promptly unless a train is coming. In that case, you may have to wait 20 minutes or more before the bridge is lifted. The old Jordan Lift Bridge at Mile 2.8, which used to have di cult early-morning restricted hours, is no longer in operation and is slated for removal in 2009.
If you’re on a sailboat and have never before encountered a lift bridge (there is one over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, if you came that way), it probably will look as if the bridge hasn’t been raised high enough to clear your mast, no matter how tall or short the mast is. It takes a good many years of passing under bridges to believe that your boat will clear them. It appears as though they will wipe out your mast about a quarter of the way down. Put your faith in the bridgetenders—they’re good at knowing how high to raise the bridges.
2.8 Jordan Highway Bridge. Lift. 145 feet up. Being dismantled in 2009, with a new high-level bridge being built nearby.
3.6 Norfolk & Western Railroad Bridge. Lift. Vertical clearance, 9 feet down, 135 feet up. Usually open.
This bridge is normally in the up position. It is manned only when trains cross it, which is generally twice a day. If down, it won’t lift until the train passes.
3.9 Red Lighted Marker “2.”
Mile 0.4
– Mile 3.9
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ICW Southern Branch Miles 0 to 5.8, showing the four bridges in this section.
41
No r f o l k, P o r t s mo u t h, a n d t h e E l i z a b e t h R i v e r
5.8 Gilmerton Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance,
11 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
5.8 Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical
clearance, 7 feet. Usually open.
This bridge and the Gilmerton Bridge (above) won’t be visible until you’re nearly ready to pass through them, because they are on a bend of the river. They are so close together that both must be open before you venture through. Going south, the highway bridge is the i rst of the two, and it won’t open unless the railroad bridge is open, which it usually is unless a train is coming. It is easy to see when the railroad bridge is in the open position. Except during the restricted hours, the bridges open promptly, but if they do not, there is plenty of room to circle and wait. The average velocity of the current here is 0.7 knot.
7.1 Interstate Route 64 Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical
clearance, 65 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens with 24-hour notice. Call 800-305-5799.
7.2 Sign at junction of Great Dismal Swamp Canal route (to the right) and Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal route (straight ahead). See page 49 for information on the Dismal Swamp route.
At this point, you have a choice of two routes to Albemarle Sound. You can use either the Great Dismal Swamp Canal (if it is open), or the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal (Virginia Cut). From this junction to where the routes rejoin across Albemarle Sound, just north of the entrance to the Alligator River at green lighted marker “1AR,” the Great Dismal Swamp Canal route is 74.9 miles long (or 71.8 miles if you use a shortcut option that saves 2.4 miles in the crossing of Albemarle Sound, see page 62), and the Virginia Cut route is 72 miles long. There are convenient stopover points about halfway down each route. If the Great Dismal Swamp Canal is not open, the portion of the sign that refers to it is supposed to be covered with another sign saying “closed.” Call the Deep Creek Lock tender at 757-487-0831 for information on depths and locking schedules.
8.7 Dominion Boulevard “Steel” Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 12 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Otherwise, on the hour from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Gilmerton Highway Bridge and the Norfolk and Western Railroad Bridge at Mile 5.8—both in the open position. Mile 5.8
– Mile 8.7
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42
North of the highway bridge at Mile 7.1, the character of the Waterway changes from industrial to more typical ICW scenery. Marsh grass lines both banks, wading birds work the water’s edge, and the channel begins to meander like the river it is. At Great Bridge, Mile 11.5, you’ll encounter the rst and only lock on the main ICW route (there are two locks on the Dismal Swamp Canal). Don’t let this lock intimidate you. Total rise and fall is generally a foot or two, and there is little in the way of dangerous current. h ere are small docks on either side of the lock where cruisers tie up to spend the night, walk to a nearby Chinese restaurant, or shop along the busy road that passes over the bridge. Both the lock and the bridge open on the hour, and the openings are coordinated to move boats through.
h is lock is good practice for other, more di cult locks farther south, in places like the Okeechobee Waterway in Florida. Call the lock tender on VHF Channel 13 for instructions and for information on which side you’re likely to be tying up. Get your fenders and docklines ready on that side, but be prepared for a quick switcheroo if the lock tender changes his plans. If you can, hang fenders and deploy lines on both sides to save you some fast work. h e south side of the lock features slippery plastic fendering that is perfect for most pleasure craft. Once you get the green light, approach the lock at dead slow and keep monitoring the radio for instructions. Never crowd the boat ahead, and wait until they are completely tied up before you slip in behind. It is best to turn your engine o in the lock to make it easier to hear instructions and to avoid lling the lock with fumes.
One person should always take in slack on the bow line, and another should handle the stern line as the boat is gradually lifted up. Be careful not to pull too hard, as that would force the other end of the boat away from the lock wall, causing the other person to pull even harder to compensate—and pretty soon you’re in a tug-of-war.
Immediately south of the lock you enter about 8 miles of land-cut called the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. h is cut joins Norfolk’s Elizabeth River to the North Landing River. Several bridges along the way have restrictions, so it pays to watch your progress by noting your speed and the time when you pass various known points.
In general, this northern portion of the ICW has been well dredged, and you’ll usually nd more than 8 feet of water in the channel. h e only di culty, until you get used to ICW piloting, can be staying in the channel. h e canal is long and straight, which you would imagine makes it easy to Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, Currituck Sound, and North River
MI LE 11.5 TO MI LE 65.0
( For Navi gati on, see page 45.)
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A l b e ma r l e a n d C h e s a p e a k e Ca n a l, Cu r r i t u c k S o u n d, a n d No r t h R i v e r
follow, but it is surprisingly easy to wander gradually o to one side or the other until you nd yourself among the stumps and snags near the banks. A good rule is to look periodically over your stern—your wake will tell you how good your course track is. Around Mile 20 the canal ends, and you enter the more winding waters of the North Landing River.
h e river is well marked. h e many red triangular daymarkers (and red lights) are left to starboard when headed south, and the green squares (and green lights) are left to port. In a few places this scheme changes due to con icts with other channels, and these will be noted in this guide. Near Mile 29 you’ll pass through Pungo Ferry, where a high-level bridge crosses the Waterway. h e marina there is out of service as of this writing, but this can be a heavily tra cked area on weekends, with small powercraft darting about. At Mile 30 the river opens up wide, but watch out for the sharp left-
hand turn in the ICW channel.
In the wide and often windy North Landing River, be sure to glance periodically over your shoulder to make sure your boat is not wandering from the center of the channel, even if your bow is headed toward the next mark. h e best depths are in midchannel, and it is usually best to avoid passing close to markers, which tend to be placed on shoals and at corners. You’ll pass into North Carolina near green marker “63,” before Mile 35. h e North Landing River becomes even wider and more open at this point, and strong winds can push your boat out of the channel. Submerged pilings line Tug and barge on the North Landing River in North Carolina.
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44
the east side of the channel, so whatever you do, don’t wander over that way. h ere’s a ferry crossing just south of Mile 40 near green marker “95,” and it would be possible to head west of the marked channel there to drop the hook in 6 or 7 feet of water.
h ough you’ll see lots of lighted markers, night running is not recommended. At night, when you can’t see the banks clearly, it is devilishly hard to stay in the center of the channel. Plus, lighted markers are close to a mile apart along many stretches, with intervening channel and hazard markers being unlighted daymarks.
A helpful aid to navigation is a sh nder that illustrates the trend of the bottom you are passing over. If the graph starts climbing, try turning a bit away from the nearer channel edge to see if you can nd deeper water.
After Mile 40 you’ll be crossing Currituck Sound before entering Coinjock Bay. h is area is wide open and can get quite rough in strong winds. h ere are few places to duck out of the channel, even for shallow-
draft boats, though it is possible to head east from green marker “115” with 4 to 6 feet of water. At Mile 50 the settlement of Coinjock anks both sides of the North Carolina Cut, which connects Coinjock Bay to the North River. Two marinas, both o ering reasonable prices on fuel, ank the Waterway—watch the current when approaching their long xed docks. h is is a good place to ll your tanks—the next reasonably convenient opportunity isn’t until Mile 84, at the Alligator River Marina, and the next fuel stops after that are in the Pungo River and Belhaven, around Mile 135.
You may come across boats low on fuel or completely out. h ese unfortunate boats often hail from regions such as New England where there is a marina every few miles. Even though Sea Tow and Tow Boat U.S. do come out to places like the Alligator River, you may be in for a long wait in an uncomfortable position if your tanks run dry. Plan your fuel stops and check your gauges frequently.
A good spot to end the day is tucked in north of Buck Island at Mile 56.6. Enter from east of green marker “53,” proceed slowly, and watch for crab oats. h ere is surprisingly good protection, and this is a worthwhile place to wait out a strong wind blowing up the southern, open portion of the North River. You may need two anchors to limit your swing. It’s also possible to anchor south of Buck Island, around Mile 57, particularly when a norther is blowing.
h is may be your rst typical ICW anchorage. You are surrounded by marsh and wildlife, with only a few distant lights indicating that there is someone else in the world. You begin to feel the tension of your early-
morning start fade with the setting sun.
After a peaceful night with your anchor buried deep in secure ICW mud, you once again must tackle pulling up the chain through all that black ooze. A washdown pump and hose are ideal for this, particularly if one person can do the washing while the other handles the windlass. Some 45
A l b e ma r l e a n d C h e s a p e a k e Ca n a l, Cu r r i t u c k S o u n d, a n d No r t h R i v e r
manage with a bucket and a sti brush on a long handle. Always ll the bucket before you begin, so you can periodically wash your hands if they get muddy and slippery. Stop every few feet to wash and scrub the chain, or you’ll send lots of mud into the anchor locker. It is a small price to pay for secure holding.
With the North River getting wider and wider, you’ll find conditions ahead getting rougher in a blow. Another good anchorage is in the mouth of Broad Creek, near Mile 61. Head west from the Waterway near green marker “163” and proceed cautiously, as you should whenever outside the marked channel. The farther in you go, the better the shelter becomes, but also the shallower the water. Four miles south, at Mile 65, you’ll be entering Albemarle Sound, but that will be covered in the next chapter.
Navigation ALBEMARLE AND CHESAPEAKE CANAL, CURRITUCK SOUND, AND NORTH RIVER
Mile 11.5 to Mile 65.0
Red aids to navigation to starboard.
(NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: No tidal current; wind current only.
11.5 Entrance to 8-mile-long land-cut known as Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal.
11.5 Great Bridge Lock. 757-547-3311.
Locks like the one at Great Bridge present no problem to pleasure boats; the lift is only 2.7 feet at maximum (usually less), and there is no turbulence. If the lock isn’t open when you arrive, you can request an opening by calling the lock tender on VHF Channel 13 or by signaling the lock with a horn—two long blasts followed by two short. Watch the signal lights, and enter only on the green. The red light is always on when the lock gates are closed. When the light is red, do not approach closer than 300 feet. The opening of the gates produces some turbulence and a slight surge outside the lock, hence the 300-
foot limit. Before entering the lock, be sure you have docklines secured bow and stern and fenders ready to hang on the side indicated by the lock tender for mooring. Approach the lock wall as you would any other dock. The lock tender is always ready to take your lines. He or she may ask for your boat’s documentation number, so have it handy. Because the bridge below the lock opens only on the hour, boats may enter the lock only from 20 minutes after the hour to 20 minutes before the hour. Do not attempt to leave the lock until the gates are completely open.
The Great Bridge Lock is a tidal guard lock that lifts vessels into non-
tidal waters. From here on, no tides of any signii cance will be encountered until just above Morehead City, North Carolina, nearly 200 miles down the Waterway. The actual rise and fall of the tide in the waters along this 200-mile stretch is a half-foot or less, and the water level depends mainly on the force and direction of the wind. In nontidal areas it pays to be more cautious about exploring places o the channel, because you can’t count on the rise of the tide to help oat a grounded boat.
11.8 Bulkhead tie-up on both sides of the canal.
Mooring along these bulkheads is restricted to 24 hours. Groceries or other supplies can be obtained in the town of Great Bridge, and a restaurant is close by. This is the only large shopping area you’ll encounter until you reach the towns of Beaufort and Morehead City in North Carolina.
Mile 11.5
– Mile 11.8
Ha mp t o n R o a d s, V i r g i n i a, t o A l b e ma r l e S o u n d, No r t h C a r o l i n a
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12.0 Great Bridge Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 6 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour.
If the bridge tender knows you’re approaching the bridge but won’t arrive exactly on the hour, the opening may be delayed up to 10 minutes past the hour, but it won’t be delayed just because a vessel is visible in the approaches. The bridgetender needs either a call on VHF Channel 13 or the proper horn signal to indicate that you will be passing through the bridge and aren’t planning to tie up at facilities located on either side of the Waterway.
12.2 Dock to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
You may be abl
e
to tie up overnight at this free dock.
Mile 12.0
– Mile 12.2
Boats ready to be locked through at the Great Bridge Lock, Great Bridge, Virginia.
Free dock, Great Bridge, Virginia.
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12.2 Atlantic Yacht Basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Marina/
repair facility. Hauling—lift and railway. 757-482-2141.
This is one of the largest and best of the marinas and repair facilities along the Waterway. Boats large and small, power and sail, are all given equal treatment by friendly and helpful personnel, which is not the case at some facilities on the ICW. The town of Great Bridge is as close to the Atlantic Yacht Basin as it is to the tie-up at Mile 11.8.
The water in this canal and elsewhere in the Carolinas has an unusual color said to be caused by the large amount of tannic acid that seeps from the juniper and cypress trees along the banks. Attempts to describe the color often equate it to black co ee, strong tea, dark beer, or Coke. After periods of high winds or heavy rain, narrow land-cuts such as this one can accumulate huge amounts of debris, ranging from clumps of weeds and small tree branches to great tree trunks. When you encounter debris i elds while underway, put the engine in neutral and coast through. That way the prop isn’t spinning, and by moving at a slow speed you reduce the chances of damage if you hit anything.
12.6 Great Bridge Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
13.7 Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 7 feet. Usually open.
15.2 Centerville Waterway Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 757-547-4498.
Depending on the wind, the depth alongside may be 5 feet.
Busy boatyard in Great Bridge, Virginia.
Mile 12.2
– Mile 15.2
Ha mp t o n R o a d s, V i r g i n i a, t o A l b e ma r l e S o u n d, No r t h C a r o l i n a
48
15.2 Centerville Turnpike Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 4 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
17.5 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 8-mile-long land-
cut known as Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal.)
19.5 Green Lighted Marker “1.”
20.2 North Landing Route 165 Highway Bridge. Double-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 6 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
24.6 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), opposite green lighted marker “23.”
Enter and anchor with caution to avoid wrecks that may or may not be visible.
28.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), opposite green lighted marker “41.”
Use caution when entering. It has been reported that this bight has silted in and depths are less than 4 feet. In the summer the bight is active with water-skiers. 28.5 Pungo Ferry Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 757-721-3299.
28.6 Route 726 Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
28.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), below red marker “42.”
Enter below the small island, but use caution, as depths may be below 4 feet.
30.3 North Landing River widens out.
The wide section of the North Landing River runs for 18 miles. Where the river borders Currituck Sound, it is about 5 miles wide, but the water is so shallow that even strong winds don’t build up much of a sea. Strong winds can cause leeway, however, and your boat may drift into shoal water to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left), or into submerged pilings on the left (NORTHBOUND: on the right), if you allow yourself to wander out of the channel. The channel is wide and well marked.
33.9 North Carolina state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 13. (NORTHBOUND: Virginia state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 13.)
41.0 Ferry crossing from Currituck to Knotts Island.
41.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) in area of water 6 to
7 feet deep.
48.3 Entrance to 3.1-mile-long land-cut known as North Carolina Cut.
The trees along the shore are typical of coastal North Carolina: pine, sweet gum, magnolia, holly, and cypress. Clumps of mistletoe can be seen in the branches of many trees. The dark brown water re ects it all like a mirror.
49.4 Midway Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 252-453-3625.
49.5 Coinjock Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 252-453-3271.
Both marinas here feature low fuel prices, and there is a popular restaurant, too.
50.1 Coinjock Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
51.4 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 3.1-mile-long land-
cut known as North Carolina Cut.)
Mile 15.2
– Mile 51.4
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56.6 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in 7 feet of water above Buck Island, near green lighted marker “153.”
58.4 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in 7 feet of water between green lighted marker “157” and marsh.
Avoid the shoal near “157.” This anchorage is exposed to southerly winds.
61.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in mouth of Broad Creek, 2.0 miles of ICW channel.
This anchorage is exposed to easterly winds.
The information for the Great Dismal Swamp Canal route begins below. Albemarle Sound information begins in Chapter 4.
Great Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route: Deep Creek, Virginia, to Pasquotank River, North Carolina
MI LE 7.2 TO MI LE 65.0
( For Navi gati on, see page 52.)
h e Great Dismal Swamp is not dismal at all, and today it doesn’t even look like a swamp. It got its name from what local folk used to call any swampy land—a “dismal.” h e canal was surveyed by George Washington in 1763, and it was used continuously for commercial tra c after it was completed in 1805. In those days, a ferry ran along the busy canal from Norfolk to Elizabeth City.
h e canal is lined with trees, some of which bloom in the spring and most of which have vines intertwined in their branches. In the summer, many miles of this route resemble a dense jungle, far from civilization. You’re jolted back into the modern world when, through breaks in the foliage, you get a glimpse of tra c on busy Route 17, which runs parallel to the canal for some distance. In the few picnic areas beside the highway at the edge of the canal, people often look surprised to see a large boat passing only a few feet from their tables.
At the end of the long land-cut that is the canal, you enter the beautiful Pasquotank River, which, at its northern end, is no wider than the canal itself. h e river winds and twists its way to Albemarle Sound, widening all the way, until it is nearly 4 miles across at the entrance to the sound. h e river’s upper reaches pass through wonderfully wild country. Unless you meet other boats, you’ll be alone with the birds and any other wildlife that you may be lucky enough to see.
h ough its name is rather forbidding, this alternate route is one of the most loved portions of the entire ICW. Unfortunately, in recent years there have been many summers of low water leading to travel restrictions (the locks need lots of water), shallow depths, and limited lock openings. h is has been compounded by a lack of dredging and maintenance of the channels, Mile 56.6
– Mile 61.2
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50
meaning that you are very likely to hit snags or even the bottom if your boat draws close to 6 feet, which is the controlling depth.
Call the lock tender ahead of time to learn the latest conditions and current locking schedules. h e route is well worth the extra e ort.
h e rst stretch, from the junction at Mile 7.2 to the Deep Creek Lock at Mile 10.6, follows winding and poorly marked Deep Creek itself. It’s generally a peaceful and pretty run, especially after leaving industrial Norfolk. You might nd it possible to pull over in a few wide spots to anchor, though the best overnight anchorage is just before the lock if you want to make the rst lock opening the next morning.
You will see some large dolphins (pilings lashed together) just prior to the lock. Tying up between two of these requires some maneuvering, but that’s better than spinning around all night, possibly going aground or getting your lines tangled. h e pilings tend to be oily and dirty, so use old lines.
Lock procedures here are just about as described for the Great Bridge Lock at Mile 11.5 on the main route, but the rise is much greater here—up to 12 feet at times! You start at the bottom of a deep trench, only to rise slowly upward until you can once again see the countryside.
h e friendly lock tender makes all this a pleasure. He’ll answer any questions in person or on VHF Channel 13, and if you’re headed south, he’ll probably ask you to bring him back a conch shell to add to his collection.
After the lock gates open, you should proceed slowly to the bridge at Mile 11.1, giving the lock tender time to travel down there and open it. You may be able to tie up alongside before the bridge (ask the lock tender), or you can use the bulkhead to your left just after the bridge (NORTHBOUND: to your right just before the bridge).
Several boats can tie to this bulkhead, and it can be an agreeable spot, depending on who you run into. h ere used to be a bar here with redneck overtones and some patrons who could turn aggressively rowdy as the evening wore on, but things may have improved. h ere are no facilities.
For the next 21 miles or so you’ll be traveling on one of the oldest canals in America, which, as mentioned, was surveyed by George Washington. Trees line the banks, and sometimes the treetops meet above your masthead. Many a masthead has brushed through more than one branch while the crew wasn’t paying attention. Along the banks you’ll see sunning turtles, egrets, herons, ducks, and possibly some small four-footed animals. h ere aren’t many signs of civilization until you reach the “Farmer’s Bridge” at Mile 20.9 (if it’s still in operation) and then the free dock at the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center at Mile 28.
You might be surprised to nd yourself spending the night at a highway rest stop, but that’s what you do at the Visitor Center. It also serves as a rest area for Route 17 land travelers, though you would hardly know it from the peaceful docks. It’s a great place to stretch your legs, walk the dog, get some fresh water, or pick up tourist information in the center. h ere are usually several fellow ICW travelers at the docks to shoot the breeze with.
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From here to Mile 32 at South Mills, the channel seems to narrow even further, making passing situations awkward. Take it slow and everything will be OK, but keep in mind the bridge and locking schedules at South Mills up ahead.
h e lock tender usually likes to open the bridge (before the lock) 10 to 15 minutes prior to the posted locking time, so it pays to arrive early. If you have to tie up and wait for the bridge and the lock, you can usually nd a spot alongside the bridge fendering.
At the lock you’ll be dropping 9 to 12 feet into the Pasquotank River, but locking down is usually easier than locking up. h ough some don’t particularly like the location, it is possible to anchor in a wide spot just after the lock, with a nice view of a pig farm ashore. h is can be convenient if you caught the last daily lockage and your boat speed won’t allow you to reach Elizabeth City before dark.
h ough at rst you enter long, straight Turner’s Cut, you soon reach the winding Pasquotank River at Mile 36.7. h ere are quite a few unmarked side creeks and little channels that might tempt the inattentive boater, but you’ll soon be aground if you try any of them. h ere are no markers until green marker “19” located at Mile 41.5, conveniently warning you to stay o the shoal water on that side of the Waterway.
h e Goat Island anchorage, at Mile 43.2, is often reached just before or just after dark due to delays in locking through, and it is a welcome spot. Just don’t rush your entrance, as it is shoal. Feel your way in slowly, starting south of marker G “11.” h ere should be 6 feet of water in most of the anchorage.
h e railroad bridge at Mile 47.4 has a rather narrow opening of only 42 feet, which can feel like about half that if you’re approaching in a catamaran. Try to avoid arriving at the Elizabeth City Bridge, Mile 50.7, during one of its restricted times. h ere is plenty of room to wait safely if you do get delayed. Once you call the bridge on VHF Channel 13, you may hear back from one of the volunteer dockmasters ashore, waiting to help you tie up to the courtesy docks just past the bridge on the right.
h is is the location made famous by the “Rose Buddies.” h e original buddies, Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer, have passed on, but they’ve left behind them a legacy of hospitality that is not beaten anywhere on the Waterway. Townspeople still provide and maintain free public dockage, and more often than not, once you’re tied up, they greet you with an informal wine, beer, and cheese party on the docks. Many a female crewmember has been delighted to receive a signature fresh rose—hence the name.
To top it all o , Elizabeth City o ers convenient and nice shopping and restaurants, all within an easy walk or short cab ride from the docks. h e only possible drawback is that the slips, consisting of pilings and short xed docks, were created prior to the era of today’s big boats. Some of the pilings are less than 11.5 feet apart. Other slips are wider—ask for advice, and if you have a wide monohull or a catamaran you can ask for permission to tie alongside Ha mp t o n R o a d s, V i r g i n i a, t o A l b e ma r l e S o u n d, No r t h C a r o l i n a
52
the bulkhead near the restaurant. Both of these places can be rough if strong winds are funneling up the wide Pasquotank River, but boaters rarely have to leave the docks because of this.
h ere are a couple of low-key marinas and repair facilities just south of the free docks, so take advantage if there is something your boat needs. If headed south, you’re about to enter the wide waters of the Pasquotank, the potentially nasty waters of Albemarle Sound, and then the deserted Alligator River and Alligator River–Pungo Canal.
Navigation 7.2 Sign at junction of Great Dismal Swamp Canal Route (to the right) and Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Route (straight ahead, see page 42).
The Great Dismal Swamp Canal’s controlling depth is about 6 feet, although shallower depths may be encountered, especially at the entrance of the Lake Drummond feeder ditch about halfway down the canal. The speed limit is
7 miles per hour. When the canal is open for transit, the locking hours may vary, but usually the two locks in the canal are both opened at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. For the latest information call the Deep Creek lock at 757-487-0831 (or on VHF Channel 13). It is not possible to make the
40-mile run from Deep Creek Lock to Elizabeth City in one day unless you lock through at 8:30 a.m., but there are places to tie up or anchor along the way.
10.5 Anchorage in channel a short distance before (NORTHBOUND: after) the lock.
This is a good anchorage for passing the night or waiting for the lock to open. It is possible to tie up to the large dolphins, but be aware that your lines are likely to get rather dirty.
10.6 Deep Creek Lock.
See Mile 11.5, Great Bridge Lock (pages 45), for locking procedures. Because the lift into nontidal waters in this lock is 9 feet, more turbulence is created than in the Great Bridge Lock. Be sure to use fenders. Southbound boats should have lines and fenders on the starboard side, and northbound boats on the port side, since mooring is against the northwest wall. If you arrive before the scheduled lock opening, you may tie up to the dolphins or anchor just down from the lock. The lock tender also operates the drawbridge 0.5 mile from the lock, so time must be allowed for the tender to drive from one to the other.
10.6 Entrance to 21.6-mile-long land-cut known as Great Dismal Swamp Canal.
10.7 Town dock to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
There are no facilities at this dock; it is simply a place to tie up overnight. Check with the lock tender for the depths alongside and the proper approach. (If you can’t contact the lock tender for information, use care in approaching the dock.)
11.1 Deep Creek Highway Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance,
4 feet.
GREAT DISMAL SWAMP CANAL ALTERNATE ROUTE: DEEP CREEK, VIRGINIA, TO PASQUOTANK RIVER, NORTH CAROLINA
Mile 7.2 to Mile 65.0
Red aids to navigation to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port) in Deep Creek.
Red aids to navigation to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard) in Pasquotank River.
Current: No tidal currents; wind current only.
Mile 7.2
– Mile 11.1
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Gr e a t Di s ma l S wa mp C a n a l A l t e r n a t e R o u t e
11.2 Dockage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This is just after the bridge. As many as three boats can tie to the wall overnight. Shopping and restaurants are nearby.
20.9 “Farmer’s Bridge.”
The bridge is a long ramp on rollers that can be pulled across the channel. Before the bridge is put in place, the bridgetender makes a call on VHF Channel 13 to check for boat tra c. If you should i nd the bridge deployed across the channel, you can have it “opened” by giving the proper horn signal.
21.5 Feeder ditch to Lake Drummond to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
Watch for a shoal making out from the right bank (NORTHBOUND: left bank) just south of the feeder ditch. If the shoaling is severe, the deepest part of the channel is marked with ags and stakes on each side.
24.6 North Carolina state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 13. (NORTHBOUND: Virginia state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 13.)
28.0 Great Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 252-771-8333.
Free overnight tie-up is available at the visitor center’s 150-foot i xed dock (no tide), with 6 feet of water alongside. Services include toilet facilities (available 24 hours a day), water, and Internet access. The visitor center monitors VHF Channel 16. As of this writing (2009), it is open Tuesday–Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
32.0 South Mills Highway 17 Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
32.3 South Mills Highway 17 Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 4 feet.
As at Deep Creek, the lock tender also operates the drawbridge and must be given time to drive from one to the other.
Boats embark on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal after passing through the bridge at Deep Creek, Virginia.
A boat passing through the opened Deep Creek Bridge.
Mile 11.2
– Mile 32.3
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54
32.4 Tie-up to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No facilities.
32.6 Tie-up to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), outside lock. No facilities.
32.2 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 21.6-mile-long land-
cut known as Great Dismal Swamp Canal.)
32.2 South Mills Lock.
Call the Deep Creek Lock for information on depths and locking times: 757-
487-0831. Boats moor to the west wall, so southbound boats should have lines and fenders on the starboard side and northbound boats on the port side (just as for the Deep Creek Lock). Boats are raised or lowered about 9 feet, the same height as at the Deep Creek Lock. (NORTHBOUND: See Mile 11.5, Great Bridge Lock, for locking procedures, and Mile 7.2 on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal route for the canal’s lock-opening indicators.)
32.8 The basin to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left) is not an anchorage.
The channel to this basin leads to a logging operation, and tugs and barges use it night and day. If you must anchor to await the lock opening, anchor in the main channel just below the lock, above the entrance to the basin.
33.1 Entrance to 3.5-mile-long land-cut known as Turners Cut.
36.6 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 3.5-mile-long land-
cut known as Turners Cut.)
36.7 Entrance to the Pasquotank River.
None of the few aids to navigation in this twisty river are lighted except those just above Elizabeth City, so navigation after dark is di cult and should not be attempted.
41.5 Green Marker “19,” leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
This is the i rst aid to navigation in the Pasquotank River—4.8 miles from where the river begins.
43.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), above Goat Island, behind green marker “13.”
Enter with care, as depths may be less than 6 feet in places.
47.2 Lamb’s Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No pumpout. 252-338-1957.
The wind can a ect the depth alongside. Call for conditions.
47.4 Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 3 feet. Usually open.
47.7 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in unnamed creek with 9 feet of water.
50.7 Elizabeth City Twin Highway Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 12 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., opens on the half-hour.
50.9 Mariner’s Wharf to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Water and trash.
At this friendly free courtesy dock located in downtown Elizabeth City, dockage is limited to 48 hours. This is where the famed “Rose Buddies” greeted visiting boaters for years, and townspeople still carry on the tradition of throwing welcoming parties for visitors. Within a half-mile are a supermarket, laundry, hardware stores, and several eating establishments. A bank is across the street. A mall is 1.75 miles from the dock.
Mile 32.4
– Mile 50.9
55
Gr e a t Di s ma l S wa mp C a n a l A l t e r n a t e R o u t e
51.1 Elizabeth City Shipyard to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling/
repair facility. 252-335-0171.
51.2 The Pelican Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 252-335-5108.
A good seafood restaurant is next door.
Information about crossing Albemarle Sound from the Great Dismal Swamp Canal route appears in Chapter 4.
Mile 51.1
– Mile 51.2
56
C H A P T E R 4
Northern North Carolina
Sounds and Rivers
A
head lie some of the most feared and loved waters along the entire Waterway. h e sounds, wide rivers, and large bays of North Carolina provide both exhilarating sweeps of oceanlike expanses and the perils of shoal water close to shore. Albemarle Sound, the Alligator River, the Pungo River, and the Neuse River can provide wonderful cruising, especially for sailors. In places the only land you can see will be indistinct on the horizon, especially on a hazy day, which happens frequently.
h ese are also some of the wildest waters along the ICW. You’ll pass near a few small towns, but for almost 150 miles there is no town of any size directly on the Waterway. Some of the anchorages are completely out of sight of any house, power line, tower, or even light. And if you happen to be the only boat in one of our recommended spots, you will experience the perfect de nition of a “lonely anchorage.” h ere are few marinas, fuel stops, or repair facilities along this stretch, although there is always one less than a day’s run ahead, even if you’re in a sailboat.
You will be surrounded by tea-colored water that has been stained with tannin from the mazes of tangled roots in the forests along the shores. h e water is almost fresh in places, and if you don’t mind diving into the inky blackness below the surface, it can be wonderfully refreshing after a long, hot day at the helm. Just don’t dive too far—you won’t be in water more than 17 to 18 feet deep, even in the middle of Albemarle Sound, and you’ll probably be anchoring in water around 6 to 9 feet deep. And yet, once you’re farther south on the ICW, you’ll look back fondly at the wide and “deep” waters in this part of the Waterway.
Here, as in Virginia, the great contrasts of the ICW provide challenges followed immediately by balm for frayed nerves. A little planning to avoid the bad stu and a exible attitude to wait for the good stu will secure for these waters a fond place in your memories.
ALBEMARLE SOUND,
Mile 65.0 to Mile 79.1
CROSSING ALBEMARLE SOUND FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP CANAL ROUTE,
Mile 51.2 to Mile 78.6
SHORTCUT ROUTE ACROSS ALBEMARLE SOUND FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP CANAL ROUTE,
Mile 51.2 to Mile 78.6
ALLIGATOR RIVER AND ALLIGATOR RIVER–PUNGO RIVER CANAL,
Mile 79.1 to Mile 126.6
PUNGO RIVER AND PAMLICO RIVER,
Mile 126.6 to 149.7
GOOSE CREEK AND BAY RIVER,
Mile 149.7 to Mile 166.8
NEUSE RIVER AND ADAMS CREEK,
Mile 164.7 to Mile 191.5
57
A l b e ma r l e S o u n d
Many scary stories are told about Albemarle Sound. You will hear tales of bad weather, broken boats, and sinkings. “Watch out for Albemarle Sound,” was a constant refrain when we were headed south on our rst trip. But in our logbook for the date of our crossing, October 24, 1985, we nd only the following entry: “Motorsailed most of the way, and made it across feared Albemarle Sound without incident.” h e sound can be bad in adverse weather, but it probably won’t be if you follow our advice below. In truth, this large body of water has no better or worse conditions than any other sizable expanse of water.
As with other large sounds or bays, you must pick your weather for crossing. Pay attention to weather radio forecasts and be wary of thunder squalls. Wind speeds in these squalls can be considerable, presenting a danger even to the most seaworthy craft; and the storms are accompanied by dangerous lightning and torrential rain that can blot out visibility. h e basic rule is not to attempt a crossing if winds are predicted to rise above 20 knots, and to be prepared for heavy seas. Lonely anchorage somewhere in northern North Carolina.
Albemarle Sound
MI LE 65.0 TO MI LE 79.1
For Navigation, see page 59.
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
58
Because Albemarle Sound is fairly shallow and the winds have a long fetch from all directions, the sound can quickly kick up a short, steep, uncomfortable sea that seems out of proportion to the speed of the wind. When winds of 15 knots or more have been blowing from almost any direction for several hours, a nasty cross-sea comes in at about 45 degrees to the wind-generated waves. When a strong wind is blowing, take into consideration any leeway you may be making and alter your compass (steering) course to compensate for it.
h e more typical crossing made early in the day, however, will be blessed with calm wind and seas because you listened to the weather forecasts and planned accordingly. If the visibility is good, you’ll just barely be able to spot the widely spaced markers leading across the sound. Have your binoculars next to the helm.
Fog is not uncommon in the spring and fall. As you approach the sound, you can often see what looks like a dense bank of fog lying across the length of it. Sometimes it is as dense as it appears, but other times it is wispy, light stu . You can’t be sure until you’re into it. If a boat is crossing the sound ahead of you, you may be able to get a report via VHF radio on the density of the fog.
While waiting for fog to lift, you can anchor o the channel in the mouth of North River if you’re coming from the Virginia Cut route, or in the mouth of the Pasquotank River if you’ve used the Great Dismal Swamp Canal route. But if it is too windy to cross the sound, it will be too windy to anchor comfortably in either of these rivers. Stay put in a marina or in a protected anchorage farther up either river. Northbound travelers can wait out fog and high winds in the Little Alligator anchorage at Mile 81.9.
When the weather is hazy you’ll want to be running compass courses and using your GPS, along with radar if you have it. h is guide includes GPS waypoints for the major marks on the big bodies of water, including the crossing of Albemarle Sound. Even on a clear day they make handy guideposts by which to judge your progress. You want to plan your arrival at the lower end of the Alligator River, around Mile 104.5, so that you either arrive in time to anchor before dark or have time to get all the way through the 22-mile-long Alligator River–Pungo River Canal—there is no safe place to anchor or tie up in the canal.
Crossing the sound is good practice for what will become your daily routine on the ICW. You have to start the day with a good idea of where you’ll end up by nightfall, taking into account likely delays at restricted bridges, slow-speed zones, and for fueling.
h ere is only one convenient fuel stop between Coinjock, Mile 50, and Dowry Creek, Mile 131.8. h e middle fuel stop is at the Alligator River Marina, located just north of the bridge at Mile 84. In other words, be prepared to run about 82 miles without fuel or expect to stop at the Alligator River Marina.
For sailors, both Albemarle Sound and the Alligator River can provide pleasant opportunities to raise the sails and use them. More often than not, sailors will nd that motorsailing, rather than pure sailing, will be necessary to reach a desired destination prior to nightfall, especially in the late fall 59
Cr o s s i ng Al b e ma r l e S o und f r o m t he Gr e a t Di s ma l S wa mp Ca na l R o ut e
when the days grow ever shorter. Sometimes you can be lucky and enjoy spectacular sails on both bodies of water, making much better time than would be possible under power, but it is also possible to experience a nasty slog through wind and waves right on the nose.
In high winds, the bridge over the Alligator River will not open. If you have doubts about the situation, call the bridgetender on VHF Channel 13 before you begin to cross the sound (see Mile 84.2).
h e chart listed below, Chart 11553, Albemarle Sound to Neuse River, is the only one you’ll need for Albemarle Sound, but it includes just the portion of the sound that Waterway travelers will use to reach the Alligator River entrance from the Virginia Cut or the Pasquotank River.
Navigation CHART 11553 ALBEMARLE SOUND TO NEUSE RIVER
65.0 Entrance to Albemarle Sound.
66.4 Green Lighted Marker “173,” 36° 08.5’N, 75° 53.6’W. Steer
203 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “1AR,” at the Alligator River entrance.
On this 12.7-mile-long leg you’ll pass the markers listed in the following entries. To help in identii cation, there is a detailed description of each. In reduced visibility, all the markers are often di cult to see.
69.5 “North” or “N” Lighted Marker, 36° 06.1’N, 75° 54.7’W. Black-and-
white-checked diamond daymark on pile. White light: isophase (equal interval), 6 seconds.
75.7 “S” Lighted Marker, 36° 01.1’N, 75° 57.6’W. Red-and-white-checked diamond daymark on pile. White light: ashing, 4 seconds.
79.1 Green Lighted Marker “1AR,” 35° 58.1’N, 75° 58.8’W at the Alligator River entrance. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 023 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “173.”)
In the fall and spring, you’ll see many ocks of migrating ducks, geese, and swans in Virginia and North Carolina. You might see literally thousands of swans on both sides of the Waterway, looking like a long line of surf on either side. The large brown and white birds you see year-round along much of the Waterway are ospreys. You may already have seen their huge nests on some of the Waterway markers—the birds like to build them there as well as in the topmost branches of dead trees.
ALBEMARLE SOUND
Mile 65.0 to Mile 79.1
Special aids to navigation.
Current: No tidal current; wind current only.
Mile 65.0
– Mile 79.1
Crossing Albemarle Sound from the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Route
MI LE 51.2 TO MI LE 78.6
For Navigation, see page 61.
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
60
You’ll no doubt be getting an early start when leaving the free docks at Elizabeth City, Mile 51.2 on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Route. However, there is always someone who woke up earlier and you’ll soon be playing follow the leader down the Pasquotank River, headed toward a crossing of Albemarle Sound.
Once again, it is critical to pay attention to the latest weather reports, as the sound can be a nasty place in winds over 20 knots. See the previous section for further information on navigating and crossing Albemarle Sound.
As you proceed south on the Pasquotank River you are very likely to see a couple of interesting sights to your right. First up, near Mile 55, you’ll see signs of activity at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. If you’ve been boating for a while you’ve probably read of the heroic exploits of the air crews from here, as they y well o shore to save boats and ships in trouble. h e station averages around 360 search-and-rescue missions each year. Don’t be surprised if you see one of the big H-60 Jayhawk medium-range recovery helicopters or C-130 Hercules long-range surveillance aircraft taking o or landing.
Next up, around Mile 57, you’ll see some really large buildings o to your right that are part of an airship (blimp) facility that dates back to prior to World War II. Due to their size these hangars are prominently charted. h e largest airship hangar, still in use, dates to 1942. It is 960 feet long, which is longer than the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship. You may notice some of these lighter-than-air ships tethered to a pylon on the ground, or ying nearby.
Osprey landing on an ICW marker. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
61
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Other than these attractions there really isn’t much that is distinctive to use as landmarks as you head downriver. h e river gradually widens and the markers are no larger than typical ICW daymarks—compass courses and/or GPS may be needed if it is hazy or foggy.
A good shortcut across Albemarle Sound is well described in the navigation section (below), and Waterway veterans frequently take it. It departs from the “1PR” at the entrance to the Pasquotank, Mile 66.5, and heads about 171 degrees, true, to the “1AR,” marking the entrance of the Alligator River at Mile 78.6 (Mile 82.1 on magenta line route, or Mile 79.1 on main ICW route). Boats drawing up to 6 feet can take this route, and it is quite a bit shorter. Use GPS waypoints if you’re taking the shortcut as you really can’t see much in the middle of Albemarle Sound to help with the navigation. Keep your eyes out for crab trap oats.
On the magenta line route on the charts, the Albemarle Sound markers listed above at Miles 69.5 and 75.7 are farther away from your course. Measuring from the charted course line for this route, the northernmost marker is 2.5 miles away, the middle marker is
1.6 miles away, and the southernmost marker is 0.7 mile from the charted course line. The distance across the sound on this route is 14.1 miles. Because this distance is different from that of the crossing coming from
the Virginia Cut Route, the mileage at green lighted marker “1AR” across the sound on this route is not the same as the mileage on the route from the Virginia Cut. Navigation 51.2 Departure point in Elizabeth City for charted course across Albemarle Sound (see Mile 51.2 below for shortcut route). Steer 115 degrees, true, until green lighted marker “5A” is abeam to starboard.
55.5 Green Lighted Marker “5A.” Steer 136 degrees, true, until red lighted marker “2” is abeam to port. (NORTHBOUND: Steer
295 degrees, true, until you reach Elizabeth City.)
64.5 Red Lighted Marker “2.” Steer 110 degrees, true, to Pasquotank River Entrance Light “PR,” 36° 09.4’N, 75° 58.6’W. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 316 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “5A.”)
68.0 Pasquotank River Entrance Light “PR,” 36° 09.4’N, 75° 58.6’W. When the light is abeam to starboard, continue steering 110 degrees, true, for about 1.5 miles, to avoid crossing the shoal with 8- and 9-foot depths making out to the east of the light. Then alter course and steer 188 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “1AR,” 35° 58.1’N, 75° 58.8’W, at the entrance to the Alligator River. (NORTHBOUND: When the Pasquotank River Entrance Light is abeam to port, steer 290 degrees, true, to red lighted marker “2.”)
CROSSING ALBEMARLE SOUND FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP CANAL ROUTE
Mile 51.2 to Mile 78.6
Mile 51.2
– Mile 68.0
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
62
82.1 (Mile 79.1 on main ICW route) Green Lighted Marker “1AR,”
35° 58.1’N, 75° 58.8’W. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 008 degrees, true, across the sound to the Pasquotank River Entrance Light “PR,”
36° 09.4’N, 75° 58.6’W. NOTE: When the light becomes visible, do not steer for it. Continue steering 008 degrees, true. This will put you about 1.5 miles east of the entrance light when it is abeam to port, and well away from the shoal with 8- and 9-foot depths making out to the east of the light.)
If you wish, you can use the following shortcut route, which lessens the distance across Albemarle Sound by 3.5 miles. CAUTION: Do not use this route when it is windy. It passes through a shoal with only 7 feet of water, and the depths in wind-generated wave troughs will be less than 7 feet. On this route, the Albemarle Sound markers are farther away than on the charted route and may not be visible. For example, the southernmost marker is the closest to the shortcut route, and it is 2.2 miles away.
51.2 Departure point in Elizabeth City for shortcut route across Albemarle Sound. Steer 115 degrees, true, until green lighted marker “5A” is abeam to starboard.
55.5 Green Lighted Marker “5.” Steer 136 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “3,” passing the marker to starboard, about
0.3 mile of . (NORTHBOUND: Steer 295 degrees, true, to
Elizabeth City.)
62.2 Green Lighted Marker “3.” Steer 144 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “1PR,” 36° 09’N, 76° 01.3’W at the entrance to the Pasquotank River, passing the marker to starboard about 0.5 mile of . (NORTHBOUND: Steer 316 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “5A.”)
66.5 Green Lighted Marker “1PR,” 36° 09’N, 76° 01.3’W. Steer 171 degrees, true, 12.1 miles across Albemarle Sound to green lighted marker “1AR,” 35° 58.1’N, 75° 58.8’W. (NORTHBOUND: Pass green lighted marker “1PR,” 36° 09’N, 76° 01.3’W, to port about 0.5 mile of , then steer 324 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “3.”) 78.6 (Mile 79.1 on main ICW route) Green Lighted Marker “1AR,”
35° 58.1’N, 75° 58.8’W. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 351 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “1PR,” 36° 09’N, 76° 01.3’W at the entrance to the Pasquotank River.)
SHORTCUT ROUTE ACROSS ALBEMARLE SOUND FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP CANAL ROUTE
Mile 51.2 to Mile 78.6
Alligator River and Alligator River–Pungo River Canal
MI LE 79.1 TO MI LE 126.6
For Navigation, see page 65.
Mile 82.1
– Mile 78.6
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A l l i g a t o r R i v e r a n d A l l i g a t o r R i v e r – P u n g o R i v e r C a n a l
In recent years the entrance channel markers to the Alligator River have been shifted to follow the shifting sandbars. h ere are now some zigs and zags o of Middle Ground, Mile 80, and Long Shoal Point. Study your charts carefully at that point, and take it slow until you know you’re headed toward the right mark.
In some places on the ICW it is possible to look across a loop in the channel to markers on the other side, when the actual channel takes a swing to port or starboard. If in doubt as to where to go next, get out the binoculars and make sure you’re headed toward the correct mark. h is is the case at Mile 79.1—you can see red and green markers o in the distance up ahead of your bow that look like they’re the ones to head for, but in reality you need to look to the sides for the correct marks. One year we watched a fast, luxury powerboat blast across to the wrong marks, only to get hung up on the shoal. We later saw them being towed into a repair yard near Beaufort as the crew bailed with buckets. h is is a good reminder to consult your charts and guides ahead of reaching an area.
h e mouth of the Little Alligator River, Mile 81.9, is an emergency anchorage, but it is really too wide open for much shelter in a strong blow. Be very careful if you head in as there are a lot of snags and crab oats, and the shoal edges are not marked. h e Alligator River Bridge, Mile 84.2, is on demand, but won’t open with winds over 34 knots. You probably shouldn’t be out there in winds over 34 knots anyway. If there are thunderstorms and even waterspouts in the vicinity, there might be a temporary delay in opening. h e bridgetender will work with you to minimize any delays, and the bridge may open just as you are beginning to take your sails in, allowing you to pass through with full sail up (engine running for safety).
West of the bridge, to the right when southbound, on the north side, there is a channel leading to the Alligator River Marina. It is reported to have good fuel prices. CAUTION: If you elect to carry on, the next fuel is at Dowry Creek, Mile 131.8.
h is is one place it is important to call the marina prior to taking the long channel in. Let them know you’re coming, what your draft is, and whether or not you need fuel. If weather conditions are deteriorating, consider this the best option for shelter between Mile 50 and Mile 105. Waterway veterans say this marina is a pleasant place to spend a night or two!
h e Alligator River is big and wide, and if you’re sailing after leaving Albemarle Sound, you’ll probably continue sailing right on down to the entrance to the Alligator River–Pungo River Canal at Mile 105. h is is one of the few ICW stretches where staying in the channel isn’t critical, as depths of 8 to 10 feet prevail. It is possible to cut channel corners if it means you can hold your sail set, but there is a greater possibility of hitting a snag when o the main route. In general, it is best to stay in the channel, or at least 100 feet or so outside of the channel—there is a potential to hit an old, broken o ICW marker when traveling along the edge of the channel.
On the other hand, there really aren’t any good anchorages until just before the entrance to the canal. On a calm night you might want to try No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
64
pulling o to one side or the other, which some boaters do. Cruisers used to venture into shallow Milltail Creek, near Mile 88, but it is not for a large boat. Similarly, it might be possible to work your way into h e Straits, entered near Mile 95, but it isn’t worth it in all but shallow-draft boats.
If it’s getting late, there is a bit of deeper water north of Deep Point, Mile 102, that in years past was used as a transfer point for tugboats and their barges. h ere used to be a large mooring ball for the barges, but it was gone in 2006. If there is any light, a better anchorage is in the deeper water o Tuckahoe Point around Mile 104.5. Proceed cautiously into the anchorage area as there are many shoals and snags. You are likely to hook your anchor on some sunken log or stump here.
h is is a peaceful spot to end your day, with nothing but dead trees, birds, and marsh all around. Even if you arrive here early, don’t head into the Alligator River–Pungo River Canal unless you’re sure you can make the 22 miles to the other end before dark.
h e Alligator River–Pungo River Canal, not surprisingly, connects the Alligator and Pungo Rivers. At 22 miles, it is the longest canal cut on the ICW, though most of the way it resembles a very straight river more than a canal. Its banks are lined with marshes and cypress forests, and you might see hawks and eagles overhead, though we doubt you’ll see an alligator.
An early morning start at Tuckahoe Point may be precluded by fog. Do not head into the canal in dense fog or at night. It is possible to run parts of the canal in the fog and when it is pitch black, with only a few distant navigational lights indicating where to head, but it isn’t pleasant! h e sides of the canal are lined with submerged tree stumps and old snags, and it is very easy to wander over far enough to hit something really hard, which many Waterway veterans have done.
h e snags can be real hazards if you don’t stay on the centerline. We once wandered o center making around 5 knots only to come to an instant and profound stop. For months afterward we were nding drawers and shelves on the boat where everything was packed tight at the forward end. It was lucky no one was hurt, and the sailboat, with heavy lead keel, was able to take the shock.
Another time we headed slowly into the canal as the fog lifted, and there we found another sailor who had dropped his hook due to the zero visibility. Unfortunately, the anchor snagged on something on the bottom, and it took two of us running lines across the cockpit to pull the anchor up using the sheet winches. Slowly an enormous stump emerged from the tea-brown water and then at the last minute tipped over, releasing the anchor, which came ying straight at the boat and us, like it had been attached with a giant rubber band. We ducked and the anchor ricocheted o the boat. Don’t anchor in the canal if you can help it.
h e Fair eld Swing Bridge, Mile 113.7, has been removed and replaced by a high-rise bridge, eliminating the old problem of making a once hourly opening. You’ll occasionally see docks along the canal, but there are no good places to tie up or drop the anchor in an emergency. Tugs and barges do pass through here, so if you have to anchor, do so o to the side and be prepared to move.
65
A l l i g a t o r R i v e r a n d A l l i g a t o r R i v e r – P u n g o R i v e r C a n a l
h ere are few landmarks to identify your location, so you may want to refer to the GPS. Lines of longitude cross the canal at nearly a right angle, so it is easy to gure out where you are. A couple of markers after Mile 120 can sometimes be confusing. Be sure to leave to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right) both the danger sign and the Green “59AR” found near Miles 121 and 122.
h e Wilkerson Bridge at Mile 125.8 is rather notorious for o ering less than 65 feet of clearance. h eoretically, the ICW standard is 65 feet, but several bridges do not appear to meet the code, at least during some states of wind or tide. h is bridge is now charted at 64 feet, which is probably closer to the truth. h ere is no astronomical tide at the Wilkerson, but wind-driven changes in water level reduce clearance to 63 feet or less at times.
Navigation 79.1 (Mile 78.6 on Dismal Swamp shortcut route) Green Lighted Marker “1AR,” 35° 58.1’N, 75° 58.8’W.
CAUTION: Due to shoaling, the channel into the Alligator River has been relocated in recent years, and the markers must be followed carefully. Be sure to leave Flashing Green “3” to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard) and then note that a rather hard turn is made to the left (NORTHBOUND: to right when heading from “3” to “1AR”) to leave Flashing Green “5” to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard), prior to taking another turn to the right (NORTHBOUND: to left when heading from “5” to “3”) to leave “6” to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port). Then pass between Flashing Red “8” and Flashing Green “7.” 81.9 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Little Alligator River, 2 miles of ICW channel.
Enter above red lighted marker “10.” Stay about 200 yards o the southern sharp point of land at the entrance to the Little Alligator River. Anchor in 7 feet about 0.5 mile inside the point (see map).
ALLIGATOR RIVER AND ALLIGATOR RIVER–PUNGO RIVER CANAL
Mile 79.1 to Mile 126.6
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: No tidal current.
Anchorage in Little Alligator River.
Mile 79.1
– Mile 81.9
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
66
84.0 Alligator River Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
252-796-0333.
CAUTION: The next place where fuel is available is almost 50 miles away, at Mile 131.8.
84.2 Alligator River Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 14 feet.
The bridge is not required to open in high winds. If the bridge won’t open, southbound boats can either anchor in the Little Alligator River anchorage or dock at the marina just north of the bridge. Those northbound may have to use the anchorage at Mile 102.2.
100.5 Green Lighted Marker “37.” ICW curves to the right (NORTHBOUND: to left) around Newport News Point.
Do not take private channel charted to left of Flashing Green “39.”
102.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), opposite Deep Point and Green Marker “43.”
This anchorage is exposed to southeast winds and is subject to wakes, and occasionally we have seen a tug and barges use this spot.
103.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), behind red lighted marker “46” of Bear Point.
104.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), of Tuckahoe Point.
Enter leaving Grassy Point astern and steer toward the tree in the water, about 100 yards o Tuckahoe Point. Anchor o the point or cautiously feel your way farther in. Leave the anchorage the same way you came in to avoid the charted submerged piling. Sunken logs may be present on the bottom, so buoy your anchor and proceed carefully.
Boats tied up at the Alligator River Marina. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Mile 84.0
– Mile 104.5
67
P u n g o R i v e r a n d P a ml i c o R i v e r
105.0 Entrance to 21.3 mile land-cut: Alligator River–Pungo River Canal.
CAUTION: Do not enter canal if you can’t make the other end, 22 miles away, prior to dark. There is no safe place to tie up or anchor in the canal. Stay in mid-
channel because of submerged stumps, debris, and bank erosion—mainly at the southern end. In the northern section, the banks are densely wooded. In the middle, the vegetation thins out and gives way to swamps and patches of marsh grass on either side of the canal. In the summer, swamp mallows as large as dinner plates are in bloom. In the fall, the canal is very colorful, with green loblolly pines contrasting with red sweet gum leaves and golden-
yellow marsh grass.
114.0 Fair eld Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
121.2 “Danger Sign.” Leave to port (NORTHBOUND: leave to starboard).
122.0 Green “59AR.” Leave to port (NORTHBOUND: leave to starboard).
124.0 Shoaling reported. Favor the right side (NORTHBOUND: left side).
125.8 Wilkerson Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 64 feet.
CAUTION: The vertical clearance is 64 feet—not 65 feet. The clearance may be as much as 2 feet lower when strong wind tides occur.
126.3 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 21.3 mile land-cut: Alligator River–Pungo River Canal.)
(NORTHBOUND, CAUTION: Do not enter canal if you can’t make the other end, 22 miles away, prior to dark.)
Typical scenery along a section of the Alligator River–Pungo River Canal.
Mile 105.0
– Mile 126.3
Pungo River and Pamlico River
MI LE 126.6 TO MI LE 149.7
For Navigation, see page 68.
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
68
A confusing switch occurs right after the Wilkerson Bridge at about
Mile 126, and at a place where you need to take extra care to stay in the channel. Green markers are now to starboard and red markers to port, when headed south, because the buoyage scheme is designed for those returning to port by heading up the Pungo River. h is is stretching the convention a bit, as the port of Belhaven is rather small, and only a few people live along the headwaters of the Pungo River. In any case, be on your toes for this color switch. h ere was around 10 feet of water along the green side of the channel in 2006, but until you’re past green marker “23” proceed cautiously. Don’t cut the corner at green marker “23” as it is a favorite place to go aground. Similarly, be careful not to cut corners the rest of the way down the Pungo—
the markers are there for a reason!
A great, protected anchorage is at Mile 127.5, just o the Waterway from green marker “23.” Head in as far as you want, watching for the usual crab pots. You’ll see a few lights from homes o in the distance, but chances are you’ll be by yourself or with one or two other boats. We’ve sat here comfortably in some big blows from the north, not wanting to brave the Alligator River when headed northbound. Holding is good, though it takes awhile to work your anchor down to rm bottom.
Fuel prices are reported to be good at the friendly marina located in Upper Dowry Creek, Mile 131.8. Northbound boaters should make sure they’ll be able to reach the Alligator River Marina, Mile 84, on their remaining fuel. h e town of Belhaven, at Mile 135.7, has several marinas you’ll know about due to their large billboards alongside the Alligator–Pungo Canal. One of the marinas has a well-advertised smorgasbord, if that is your sort of thing. h e anchorage opposite town doesn’t o er a lot of shelter if the winds are whistling in from the northwest, and there seems to be constant harbor tra c. Many cruisers love this town.
Navigation 126.6 Green Marker “27PR.”
CAUTION: Be sure to leave this marker to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port). The numbers on the aids to navigation decrease from this point until you reach the Pamlico River at Mile 145.8.
127.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), of Green Marker “23” in Pungo River.
Anchor upriver, well o the ICW channel. Due to the lack of trees on shore, the anchorage is not protected from high winds, but provides good shelter from waves when a sti norther is blowing. This is the last good anchorage before entering the canal if northbound.
131.8 Green Marker “15.” Departure point for Dowry Creek Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 1 mile of ICW channel in Upper Dowry Creek. 252-943-2728.
PUNGO RIVER AND PAMLICO RIVER
Mile 126.6 to 149.7
Red aids to navigation to port. (NORTHBOUND: to starboard.)
Current: No tidal current; wind current only.
Mile 126.6
– Mile 131.8
69
P u n g o R i v e r a n d P a ml i c o R i v e r
(NORTHBOUND, CAUTION: The next place fuel is available is almost 50 miles away, at Mile 84.0.) 135.0 Green Marker “11.” Departure point for River Forest Shipyard to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 1.8 miles of ICW channel in Tooleys Creek. Repair facility. Hauling. 252-943-2151.
When you reach marker “1” o Tooleys Point, leave it to port.
135.7 Flashing Green “1BC.” Junction with channel to town of Belhaven. Red markers to starboard in Belhaven channel.
Belhaven is where you’ll begin to see many shrimp boats.
(1.3) River Forest Manor Marina to right. 252-943-2151.
An excellent dinner bu et featuring Southern specialties is served nightly in the marina restaurant. Be sure to try the oyster fritters. (1.5) Anchorage to left, opposite Red Marker “8.”
This anchorage is exposed to northwest winds and can be very choppy. The holding ground is not good.
(1.9) Belhaven Waterway Marina to right. No fuel. Hauling—
railway. 252-944-0066.
135.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Pungo Creek,
2.7 miles of ICW channel, behind Windmill Point.
140.4 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Slade Creek,
2.3 miles of ICW channel.
Enter this unmarked creek carefully to avoid the shoal water on each side of the entrance.
Boats enjoying the quiet of the anchorage at Mile 127, the north
end of the Pungo River. (Patricia
Todd-Dennis photo.) Mile 135.0
– Mile 140.4
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
70
140.5 River Rat Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) in Jordan Creek. 252-964-6100.
Approach depths around 4.5 feet.
145.8 Pamlico River Light “PR,” 35° 22.6’N, 76° 33.6’W, bearing a triangular-shaped daymark with horizontal red and green bands, red band topmost, with a red re ective border and a yellow re ective triangle on a tower. Leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
The next marker that must be picked up is across the Pamlico River and blends into the shoreline. It is di cult to see, but you can steer a compass course and pick it up easily. From Light “PR,” steer 223 degrees, true, for 4.1 miles until reaching green lighted marker “1,” 35° 20.4’N, 76° 35.7’W at the entrance to Goose Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 043 degrees, true, from green lighted marker “1” to Light “PR.”)
In the fall, when there are plenty of days with northerly winds, a sail down the Pungo River and across the Pamlico River can be exciting. Watch out if the wind is sti from the southwest as the last leg from Mile 145 to 150 takes the winds and seas right on the nose. If faced with such a beat, take solace that you are gradually working your way toward shelter in Goose Creek. Similarly, strong northerly winds can pile up the seas on the Goose Creek entrance channel, making for a rough but short stretch. When approaching Mile 150 be sure to line up carefully on the ICW channel to avoid shoals on either side. Goose Creek is picturesque, with seas of waving grass and probably a passing shing trawler or two. It is also home to thousands of crab oats and millions of biting bugs, at certain times of the year.
You can anchor in many places, just outside of the ICW channel. Feel your way in to a depth you are comfortable with. You’ll probably be in the midst of a bunch of crab oats. Better protected (with more bugs) anchorages are up Eastham Creek or Campbell Creek, opposite each other around
Mile 154. Eastham Creek is home to several larger shing boats, so anchor well away from the channel markers. h ere are no towns nearby—just you and nature.
h e anchorage in the mouth of Campbell Creek, Mile 154, is one of the best, due to the utter lack of other boat tra c. h is spot also provides fairly good shelter in a strong northwest blow, and there is plenty of shelter from the south. If thunderstorms or worse are brewing, it’s better to wait here than attempt a crossing of the Pungo River (northbound) or the long trek down the Neuse River (southbound).
Goose Creek and Bay River
MI LE 149.7 TO MI LE 166.8
For Navigation, see page 71.
Mile 140.5
– Mile 145.8
71
Go o s e C r e e k a n d B a y R i v e r
You should have a peaceful night in Goose Creek, if you have good bug screens. Very quickly you’ll pass into a straight land-cut that is mostly natural along the sides. h e Hobucken Coast Guard station is located just north of the xed bridge, which replaced an old swing bridge that caused delays in the past. Be sure to minimize your wake when passing the Coast Guard base.
Just south of the bridge there is a commercial shing dock on the western side of the Waterway where some people tie up for the night for a modest fee. h e docks are rough and the current can be swift, so approach with caution. Another straight land-cut leads to the head of Gale Creek where there are a couple of possible anchoring opportunities, but only in an emergency. In an emergency or if you are out of options, you can drop the hook in a tiny loop of deeper water opposite green marker “23” and just outside of a marked cable area—it is hard to avoid the cable, the crab oats, and the shoals, and the area has been marked with “no anchoring” signs at times. h is area is exposed to wakes.
At Mile 160.9 the route quickly passes into the wide-open waters of the Bay River, which feels more like Bay than River. You may want to use your GPS and compass courses to sail between the widely spaced lighted marks. Leave a healthy bit of room when passing these marks, as they are right on the shoals.
If the weather is turning bad, this is the spot to turn around and hightail it back to the dock at Hobucken or one of the anchorages in Goose Creek. h e Neuse River, up ahead, is big, exposed, and can be one of the roughest pieces of water on the ICW. On the other hand, it can also be a wonderful sail if winds are favorable.
Navigation 149.7 Green Lighted Marker “1,” 35° 20.4’N, 76° 35.7’W.
153.7 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Eastham Creek,
0.2 mile of ICW channel.
Shrimp boat tra c sometimes passes through this anchorage. Watch for crab oats.
154.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in the mouth of Campbell Creek.
157.0 Hobucken Coast Guard Station to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
157.2 Hobucken Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
157.3 R. E. Mayo Company to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
This is a commercial facility. Pleasure boats are accommodated if space is available. Electricity, gas, and diesel fuel are available. This is a good place for southbound travelers to lay over if bad weather is predicted for the Neuse River (see below).
157.6 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in head of Jones Bay.
Don’t use this anchorage unless your boat draws less than 5 feet.
GOOSE CREEK AND BAY RIVER
Mile 149.7 to Mile 166.8
Red aids to navigation to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port) in Goose Creek only.
Current: No tidal current; wind current only.
Mile 149.7
– Mile 157.6
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
72
160.9 Green Lighted Marker “27,” leave to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard). Steer 124 degrees, true, to Neuse River Junction Light. 162.5 Green Lighted Marker “3,” leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
164.7 Green Lighted Marker “1,” of Maw Point, leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
h e Neuse River is another large body of water that can be as bad as or even worse than Albemarle Sound in a blow. h e river, like the sound, is shallow and prone to the same kind of steep uncomfortable seas, so wait for the right weather before venturing into it. It is common to see porpoises in the Neuse.
At Maw Point there is no protection from the northeast and waves rolling down Pamlico Sound, and there is very little protection from any direction. Strong winds funnel up and down the Neuse, creating short, steep seas with depths hovering in the low 20-foot range or less. At Mile 164.7 there is a shortcut across Maw Point Shoal, from green lighted marker “1” to red lighted marker “2,” but the o cial route takes a long detour out around the Neuse River Junction marker. h e shortcut is a bit shallower with plenty of crab oats, but you should have no trouble taking 6 feet of draft across.
If the forecast says “small-craft advisory” for the Neuse River, the forecasters mean it. On the other hand, a strong norther can make for an exciting sail down the river. Just be prepared for rough conditions—if it is blowing hard you don’t want to be towing your dink. No matter what the current conditions, monitor the radio for pop-up thunderstorms when the weather is warm.
Again, you may need your GPS and compass to nd the widely spaced marks that are located on the ends of various shoals.
h ere are good anchorages and marinas up Broad Creek, Mile 173.5, with a well-marked entrance. h ere will be lots of crab oats and bugs in season. Anchor with good shelter near the small marina to the right. h ere are several top-notch marine facilities up Whittaker Creek, Mile 181, but there is not much anchoring room inside. h is harbor puts you ashore within walking distance of downtown Oriental. Many people, from near and far, store their boats at docks and on moorings in the creek and in Oriental harbor—in fact the town boasts of more sailboats than residents. Oriental’s anchoring space is very tight, but there is a free public dock, a couple of marinas and a yacht club, and some nice small shops Neuse River and Adams Creek
MI LE 164.7 TO MI LE 191.5
For Navigation, see page 73.
Mile 160.9
– Mile 164.7
73
Ne u s e R i v e r a n d A d a ms C r e e k
and restaurants. Lots of cruisers have found this town charming and have settled in the area, either permanently or part time. If you can squeeze under the 45-foot xed bridge there are some good anchoring opportunities farther in.
h is is one small town where you are not a stranger if you’re on a sailboat. h e folks here have a lot of big-town services available for boaters, and they know how to get anything done that isn’t on site. h e only drawback to doing major repair jobs here is that you can’t easily get anywhere without a rental car, which you can nd in New Bern.
One time when we were leaving our boat in Oriental, we paid the son of one of the marina managers to drive us to New Bern where we could rent a car. He was cheaper than a taxi, and it worked out great.
When you leave Oriental, or when you’re just heading down the Neuse toward Adams Creek, you’ll nd that the markers are hard to sort out from a distance. h e green lighted marker “1AC” is rather oddly located, presumably to guarantee deep water for the tugs and barges you’ll see from time to time. If you really want to go to “1AC,” use the GPS waypoint, otherwise it is safe to cut the corner a bit and head directly for the markers at the entrance to Adams Creek. Just be sure to take a bit of a swing away from the shoal making out from Winthrop Point.
Follow the center of channel carefully until you’re past red lighted marker “4,” where the deeper water widens out a bit. h ere’s a range up ahead that keeps the tugs in the deeper water, and you can use it if you want but the channel is deep and wide.
A popular anchoring spot is east of green lighted marker “9.” In 2007 there was a sunken sailboat in the anchorage, with the mast sticking well out of the water. Shallow draft boats can work their way even farther back into Cedar Creek for better protection in high winds. If you want to bypass this anchorage, check your time and make sure you can make a marina or the anchorages at Beaufort, Mile 205, before dark.
Navigation 164.7 Green Lighted Marker “1,” of Maw Point, leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
NOTE: It is possible to take a shortcut from green lighted marker “1” to red lighted marker “2” o the end of Maw Point Shoal. Give green lighted marker “1” a wide berth as it is shoal near the marker, then head about 150 degrees, true (NORTHBOUND: 330 degrees, true, from “2” to “1”), toward red lighted marker “2.” This area can be littered with crab oats to dodge, and it is somewhat shallower than the o cial ICW route, which heads out and around the Neuse River Junction Light (below).
166.8 Neuse River Junction Light, 35° 08.8’N, 76° 30.2’W, bearing a triangular-shaped daymark with horizontal bands of red and green, red band topmost, with a red re ective border, and a yellow re ective triangle on a dolphin. Leave to starboard. NEUSE RIVER AND ADAMS CREEK
Mile 164.7 to Mile 191.5
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: No tidal current; wind current only.
CHART 11541—NEUSE RIVER TO MYRTLE GROVE SOUND
Mile 164.7
– Mile 166.8
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
74
(NORTHBOUND: Leave to port and steer 304 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “27,” at Mile 160.9.)
This light is located in 12 feet of water at the end of Maw Point Shoal. From the point, in good weather, you’ll see the skeleton structure of the Neuse River Entrance Light to the left, almost 3 miles away. CAUTION: After you make the turn at the light o Maw Point Shoal to go up the Neuse River, do not confuse the Neuse River Entrance Light “NR” skeleton structure with the skeleton structure you’ll see almost dead ahead. And do not mistake the dead-ahead skeleton structure for red lighted marker “4.” This skeleton structure, marked “W Bn,” is a daybeacon o Piney Point Shoal in 4 feet of water. Red lighted marker “4” is about 700 yards to the left of the daybeacon on a piling. This is an area where many boaters end up in shoal water because they don’t pay close attention to the chart. The course from the Neuse River Junction Light to red lighted marker “4” is 207 degrees, true. The several structures to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right) look like some kinds of aids to navigation, but they are uncharted towers in a military restricted area. You may see planes practicing bombing runs here.
172.2 Red Lighted Marker “4,” 35° 05.1’N, 76° 32.7’W, and daybeacon on skeleton tower, leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
When the marker is abeam, steer 238 degrees, true, which will put you abeam of green lighted marker “7,” 8.5 miles away. In this distance you’ll pass only one other marker—red lighted marker “6” o Gum Thicket Shoal. (NORTHBOUND: When abeam of red lighted marker “4,” steer 027 degrees, true, to the next ICW aid, Neuse River Junction Light, Mile 166.8.) 173.5 Departure point for anchorage and marinas in Broad Creek to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 3.0 miles of ICW channel.
(2.7) Anchor anyplace beyond Green Marker “3.”
(3.5) Grace Harbor Marina at River Dunes to left. 252-670-5987.
(4.5) Boone Docks to right. 252-249-3625.
(5.0) Ensign Harbor to right. 252-249-0823.
174.6 Red Lighted Marker “6,” 35° 03.8’N, 76° 34.4’W, leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
Below you will see four separate entries for Mile 180.7, which are designated (A), (B), (C), and (D). Entry (B) contains directions to facilities in Whittaker Creek, and entry (C) contains directions to facilities in the town of Oriental. If you are not putting in to either of these places, southbound travelers need use only Mile 180.7(A), and skip over all the entries until Mile 183.9. Entry (D) for Mile 180.7 is for northbound travelers only.
180.7 (A) Green Lighted Marker “7,” 35° 00.5’N, 76° 39.6’W, on Garbacon Shoal abeam to left. Steer 215 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “1AC,” 34° 58.5’N, 76° 41.8’W.
Green Lighted Marker “1AC” is 3.2 miles from this point and may be di cult to see, so the course may be helpful.
180.7 (B) Green Lighted Marker “7,” 35° 00.5’N, 76° 39.6’W, on Garbacon Shoal abeam to port. Departure point toward red lighted marker “2,” marking the entrance to the three facilities in Whittaker Creek to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 2.3 miles of ICW channel.
Mile 172.2
– Mile 180.7
75
Ne u s e R i v e r a n d A d a ms C r e e k
Approaches and the entrance to Oriental, North Carolina.
No r t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a S o u n d s a n d R i v e r s
76
Note that the red lighted marker “2” and the marked channel to Whittaker Creek are south of the creek’s entrance.
(2.3) Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor. 252-249-0666.
(2.5) Sailcraft Service. Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself.
252-249-0522.
(2.5) Deaton Yacht Service. Repair facility. Hauling. 252-249-1180.
When departing from Whittaker Creek, the next ICW aid, being over 3 miles away, is di cult to see, so steering a course will help in locating it. The course is given for departing from green lighted marker “1” at the Oriental channel entrance (this is just a short distance away to the south, and easy to see from the Whittaker Creek entrance). See the paragraph before 180.7(D) for instructions.
180.7 (C) Green Lighted Marker “7,” 35° 00.5’N, 76° 39.6’W, on Garbacon Shoal abeam to port. Departure point for facilities and anchorage in the town of Oriental, to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 2.4 miles of ICW channel.
(2.4) Anchorage behind breakwater.
(2.6) Oriental Marina. No pumpout. 252-249-1818.
(2.6) Oriental Harbor Marina, to left near bridge. 252-249-3783. (2.7) Town dock. No facilities.
Space for only one or two boats and limited stays allowed.
(2.7) Oriental Yacht Club to left. When leaving Oriental, the next ICW aid, green lighted marker “1AC,” is di cult to see because it is 2.8 miles away. Steering a course of 187 degrees, true, from green lighted marker “1” at the entrance to the Oriental Channel, will line you up with green lighted marker “1AC.” You can shortcut this by steering 171 degrees, true, which will bring you to green marker “3” at the entrance to Adams Creek. CAUTION: On the shortcut, pay close attention to your depth-sounder because the shoal area making out from Winthrop Point may extend farther than shown on the chart.
180.7 (D) Green Lighted Marker “7,” 35° 00.5’N, 76° 39.6’W, on Garbacon Shoal.
(NORTHBOUND: When the marker is abeam to starboard, steer 058 degrees, true, to red lighted marker “4,” at Mile 172.2. The distance between these two markers is 8.5 miles. On the way, you’ll pass only one other marker—red lighted marker “6,” o Gum Thicket Shoal.)
183.9 Green Lighted Marker “1AC,” 34° 58.5’N, 76° 41.8’W, for Adams Creek Entrance, leave to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard).
Steer 131 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “3” at the entrance to Adams Creek. [NORTHBOUND: Above you will i nd four entries for Mile 180.7, which are designated as (A), (B), (C), and (D). Entry (A) pertains to southbound travelers only. Entries (B) and (C) contain listings of the facilities in both Whittaker Creek and the town of Oriental and the distances to them from the main Waterway channel. If you intend to put in to either of these places, the channel entrances, which are close together, are di cult to see from green lighted marker “1AC,” so steer 007 degrees, true, to line up with green lighted Mile 180.7
– Mile 183.9
77
Ne u s e R i v e r a n d A d a ms C r e e k
marker “1” at the Oriental Channel entrance. If you’re going to Whittaker Creek, just north of Oriental, once you reach the Oriental channel, you’ll be able to see red lighted marker “2” at the entrance to the Whittaker Creek channel.
If you are continuing on the Waterway and not putting in to Oriental or Whittaker Creek, steer 035 degrees, true, for 3.2 miles. At this point, green lighted marker “7,” at Mile 180.7(D), will be abeam to starboard.]
185.1 Green Lighted Marker “3” at entrance to Adams Creek.
Channel turns fairly sharply to the right toward red lighted marker “4.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 131 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “1AC.” If heading for Oriental or Whittaker Creek, a shortcut route departs from here. Steering 351 degrees, true, will bring you to green lighted marker “1” at the entrance to Oriental channel. CAUTION: On the shortcut, pay close attention to your depth-sounder because the shoal area making out from Winthrop Point may extend farther than shown on the chart. See also Mile 183.9.)
185.4 Red Lighted Marker “4.” Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
The front section of this range is on green lighted marker “7.” The rear section is on the shore to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right).
186.9 Green Lighted Marker “7.” Leave front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A.”)
187.7 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Cedar Creek, behind Green Lighted Marker “9,” 0.3 mile of ICW channel.
CAUTION: There was a wrecked sailboat in this anchorage in 2007.
187.7 Green Lighted Marker “9.” Begin back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “B.”)
The front section of this range is on green lighted marker “9.” The rear section is on shore—the same rear structure as for “A” range, Mile 185.4.
189.7 Green Lighted Marker “13.” Leave back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “B.”)
Mile 185.1
– Mile 189.7
78
C H A P T E R 5
Southern North Carolina
I
f you’re southbound, you may at rst be happy to leave behind the wide-
open waters of the Neuse, but soon you may nd yourself looking back fondly on not having to travel strictly from marker to marker. Ahead lies more typical ICW cruising: rivers and occasionally shallow sounds strung together with the odd land-cut or canal.
You will also sense a change in the weather, particularly if you are headed south in late October or early November. h e Gulf Stream begins a big meander toward Europe o Cape Hatteras, which you are now south of. h ough the Stream lies well o shore, it exercises a distinct warming in uence on the weather south of Hatteras. You will encounter a few frosty mornings, but the sun will usually have you shedding layers by midmorning and quite possibly sweating after lunch. h is increase in water and air temperatures is apparent in the marine and terrestrial life around you: porpoises, pelicans, and palmettos are now seen every day.
From this point, too, the ICW begins to keep periodic rendezvous with a string of interesting small towns, which are sometimes right on the Waterway and other times nearby on well-traveled side channels. h e regular appearance of these towns and the somewhat greater populations of boaters along this stretch provide incentives for increased numbers of marinas, fuel docks, and repair yards. From Adams Creek to h underbolt, Georgia, at Mile 583, you will rarely have to travel more than 10 or 20 miles between friendly, helpful marine facilities.
If you haven’t already run across it at Elizabeth City, Belhaven, or Oriental, you will now learn about real “Southern charm.” h e Carolinas are at-out friendly. You might stop for fuel and end up getting a ride to the grocery store. You’ll probably be shaking hands with the clerks at the hardware store. You may stop in a town for the night, get invited to dinner or to play a round of golf, and end up spending a week. From Beaufort and Morehead City to the Florida line, you’ll experience an ever-increasing range of tides and the swift tidal currents that accompany them. h e tidal range is about 3 feet at Beaufort and Morehead City but increases to 8 feet or more by the time you reach Georgia.
ADAMS CREEK CANAL, CORE CREEK, AND BEAUFORT, NORTH CAROLINA,
Mile 191.5 to Mile 202.3
MOREHEAD CITY AND BOGUE SOUND,
Mile 202.3 to Mile 229.0
SWANSBORO TO NEW RIVER INLET,
Mile 229.0 to Mile 246.0
TOPSAIL SOUND, WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, AND MYRTLE GROVE SOUND,
Mile 246.1 to Mile 296.9
CAPE FEAR RIVER,
Mile 296.9 to Mile 308.8
SOUTHPORT, NORTH CAROLINA, TO SOUTH CAROLINA LINE,
Mile 308.8 to Mile 340.8
79
A d a ms C r e e k C a n a l, C o r e C r e e k, a n d B e a u f o r t, No r t h C a r o l i n a
As you proceed into Adams Creek, the current will gradually increase until you feel like you’re sailing downhill. h e sides of the creek become steep, adding to the feeling of sliding down a water slide. h ere is a tiny basin at Mile 194.2 that is home to an equally tiny marina that has fuel. h e xed bridge south of Mile 195 eliminates the hazard of waiting for the old opening bridge while the current was pushing you toward it at 3 or
4 knots. Just south of the bridge is a large marine facility where a lot of cruisers haul out for major re ts and repairs. h e yard has a lot of do-it-yourselfers, as well as skilled professionals that can do just about anything. Just remember that you are far from civilization here, and you’ll need access to a car to get to stores and supplies. h ere’s a somewhat more upscale boatyard a few miles farther on that specializes in large motoryachts and sport shing boats.
h e Core Creek Range north of Mile 200 can be useful while trying to stay in the narrow channel with shoals on both sides. Don’t cut the turn at green marker “23” or you’ll hit the shoals. Dolphins (the marine mammals) will frequently welcome you as you proceed into the Newport River. You’ll want to take a turn to the east at red and green Marker “RS,” which is south of green marker “29.” Leave “RS” to your right (NORTHBOUND: to left) as it functions as a red marker for the Russell Slough Channel. If you are skipping Beaufort (why do that?) and proceeding on to Morehead City, then leave “RS” to your left (NORTHBOUND: to right) as it functions as a green marker in the main ICW channel. h e Russell Slough (pronounced “slew” in this part of the world) route is now much deeper than the old channel to Beaufort that started near green lighted marker “35.” h e old route was always very tricky, with strong currents hitting you right on the beam and shallows on either side. h e Russell Slough route is much easier. Just be sure to proceed past green marker “7” before turning toward Gallant Channel and the northern entrance to Beaufort.
h is Beaufort is pronounced “Bo-fort;” the town with the same name in South Carolina is pronounced “Bew-fort.” With its developed waterfront, Beaufort, North Carolina, is a popular stopover for boaters.
Town Creek is crowded with moorings, a marina, and many anchored boats. If you turn toward the bascule bridge, the markers are fairly clear with green daymarks to port and red ones to starboard. However, there are several black and white danger and shoal markers in Town Creek that aren’t very clear as to their meaning. h e shoals and rocks basically cover the south portion of the creek, with limited anchoring room north of the shoals.
Adams Creek Canal, Core Creek, and Beaufort, North Carolina
MI LE 191.5 TO MI LE 202.3
For Navigation, see page 82.
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
80
If you’re in doubt as to where the shoals are, check the area out in the dinghy or ask for local knowledge. If you can tuck in here, the anchorage is better protected than the one in Taylor Creek, and you have no current to deal with, though it is a longish dinghy ride into town.
To get to Taylor Creek, proceed through the bascule bridge, which currently has restricted hours that mostly limit it to hourly and half-hourly openings (see the navigation section for more details). h ere is often a swift current under the bridge, so hang back until you’ve got a safe opening, but be sure to let the bridgetender know you want an opening. Just milling around does not tell the bridgetender you want to go through.
Just south of the bridge is a small cove where some shing boats base, and the main channel swings to the east and along the Beaufort waterfront. A fuel dock will come up quickly to port, then the friendly town docks. h e fuel dock is the place to get gas, and diesel can be pumped to every slip at the town docks.
If you decide to head in to a dock, be sure to get complete instructions from the dockmaster and watch the wind and current, which rips through the marina. h e docks are on the main boardwalk, so you’re right in the center of action.
Gunkholers can nd a decent spot to anchor opposite the town docks, south of the green channel markers yet north of the abrupt shoals. Much of the area is occupied by moored boats and long-term anchorers. You’ll de nitely need to use two anchors here, set in the classic Bahamian moor with one anchor upstream and the other 180 degrees the other way. h is will hopefully limit your swinging room to the safe area and keep you outside the channel. h e Coast Guard frequently patrols the area to make sure the channel is open. h ere is also a bit of room to anchor just outside the channel east of the Out for a sail in Beaufort, North Carolina. 81
A d a ms C r e e k C a n a l, C o r e C r e e k, a n d B e a u f o r t, No r t h C a r o l i n a
light that forms the back half of the range for the Beaufort entrance channel. You can continue up Taylor Creek to nd some wider spots where anchoring is possible, though you need to limit your swinging room due to the docks. h ese anchorages are very picturesque and pleasant if the weather is calm, but when a sti blow is expected you will certainly nd yourself tangling anchors with all the other boats packed in. h e wind pushes one way, the current pushes another, and pretty soon there is a wild dance going on.
h ere is a public dinghy dock east of the marina, near the post o ce, where you’ll see lots of dinks tied up. Watch the oyster shells on the pilings that can slash an in atable. h ere are trashcans near the dinghy dock.
h e post o ce is across the street, and bars, restaurants, a laundry, and shops are a short pleasant walk up the waterfront street. h is is a very nice strolling town, where you can both shop and just take a look at the old homes, churches, and graveyards. h e North Carolina Maritime Museum is a 10-minute walk up the street. Go to the museum to sign up for the free courtesy car, which you can take to several large supermarkets and other stores just outside of the main downtown area. Also, the museum has a logbook where you can sign in and look for your friends. It is easy to take the courtesy car or a taxi over to Morehead City where there are some larger chain stores.
h e beach opposite town and near the anchorage is home to many wild ponies, which often come down to the water’s edge to graze. You can land to get a closer look, but they are quite skittish. Many Waterway veterans consider Beaufort a must stop. h e restaurants and shops are great, the maritime museum is fascinating, the anchorage is picturesque, and the people are friendly.
Some cruisers opt to head outside into the Atlantic Ocean at Beaufort Inlet, which is one of the best on the North Carolina coast. It is a favorite hopping-o point for Bermuda and the Caribbean, or just for a run down There are anchoring opportunities up Taylor Creek in Beaufort, North Carolina.
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
82
the coast. Keep in mind that Frying Pan Shoals extend well o shore, forcing you farther out than you might want if bound down the coast for Southport, Winyah Bay, or Charleston. An o shore run can speed up your trip, but many have found that you often arrive just as quickly traveling by day on the ICW, after considering the time lost going in and out of the inlets, catching up on lost sleep from running 24 hours, or waiting for an appropriate weather window.
h e Radio Island Channel out of Beaufort toward the inlet is winding and frequently subject to shoaling, dredging, and remarking. Be sure to go all the way down past red lighted buoy “2” before turning to the northwest to head back toward the main ICW channel and Morehead City. h e Morehead City Channel is deep and is frequented by large oceangoing ships, so be alert. h e large Fort Macon Coast Guard base is across the channel on the south side.
Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina.
Navigation 191.5 Entrance to 5.5-mile-long land-cut: Adams Creek Canal. (NORTHBOUND: End of land-cut.)
(NORTHBOUND: From here, no tides of any signii cance will be encountered until you’re north of the Great Bridge Lock at Mile 11.5. The actual rise and fall of the water level in this long stretch is a half-foot or less. The water level mainly depends on the force and the direction of the wind.)
194.2 Sea Gate Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). May be shallow inside. 252-728-4126.
ADAMS CREEK CANAL, CORE CREEK, AND BEAUFORT, NORTH CAROLINA
Mile 191.5 to Mile 202.3
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Wind current changing to tidal current in Core Creek.
Mile 191.5
– Mile 194.2
83
A d a ms C r e e k C a n a l, C o r e C r e e k, a n d B e a u f o r t, No r t h C a r o l i n a
195.9 Core Creek Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
196.1 Bock Marine to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Marina/repair facility. No fuel. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 252-728-6855.
197.0 Green Lighted Marker “19.” End of land-cut, entrance to Core Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 5.5-mile-long land-cut: Adams Creek Canal.)
This is full tidal water. Watch that the currents don’t set you out of the channel in this shallow section. From here until you reach northern Florida, currents must be considered, especially when approaching bridges. 197.2 Jarrett Bay Boatworks to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Marina/
repair facility. Hauling. 252-728-2690.
197.5 Red Lighted Marker “20.”
199.6 Red Lighted Marker “24.”
200.9 Green Lighted Marker “RS,” marking the beginning of the Russell Slough Channel. Proceed ahead on the main ICW channel to Morehead City (jump to Mile 202.3) or, if you wish to visit Beaufort, take Russell Slough Channel to the left.
Russell Slough Channel is the preferred approach to Beaufort when south-
bound. Although this deep-water channel is well-marked, the compass courses included in the following 200.9 entry may be helpful. CAUTION: The old channel to Beaufort, starting at green lighted marker “35,” headed toward Town Creek, has shoaled in considerably and is no longer safe to use.
200.9 Green Lighted Marker “RS.” Departure point to left for Russell Slough Channel to marina and anchorage in Town Creek, and to marina and anchorage in the town of Beaufort.
Pass between green lighted marker “29” and Marker “RS” and steer a course of 170 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “5.” (NORTHBOUND: Pass green lighted marker “29” to right and rejoin ICW.)
(0.9) Red Marker “4.” Favor the left (NORTHBOUND: right) side of the channel.
(1.1) Green Lighted Marker “5.” Steer 227 degrees, true, to red/
green lighted marker “RG.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer
350 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “29.”)
(1.7) From Red/Green Lighted Marker “RG,” steer 137 degrees,
true, to red lighted marker “12.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer
047 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “5.”)
CAUTION: The old channel heading northwest from red/green lighted marker “RG” to green lighted marker “35” in the ICW channel has shoaled in and is no longer safe to use.
(2.3) Red Lighted Marker “12” at the entrance to Town Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 317 degrees, true, to red/green lighted marker “RG.”)
(0.3) Town Creek Marina straight ahead. Hauling. 252-728-6111.
(0.3) Anchorage
Stay clear of the marina approaches when anchoring. The anchorage is often crowded and not as close to downtown Beaufort as the anchorage o the town docks noted below.
Mile 195.9
– Mile 200.9
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
84
(2.3) To continue to Beaufort, turn right and pass red marker “14” to starboard and follow the channel under the bridge and into town.
(2.7) Beaufort Channel U.S. Route 70 Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 13 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Otherwise, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
(3.1) Departure point for Radio Island Channel to right. If southbound, use this channel to rejoin ICW. Beaufort facilities straight ahead.
(3.2) Finz Grill and Bar and gas dock to left. 252-728-7459.
(3.5) Beaufort Docks to left. Diesel only (gas at Finz). 252-728-2503.
(3.5) Anchorage to right in Taylor Creek, opposite Beaufort Docks.
The anchorage, along the south side of the channel, is usually very crowded, and there is a strong reversing tidal current, so two anchors to control swinging are almost mandatory. There is a public dinghy dock near the post o ce. This area has become crowded with moorings, but it is possible to anchor farther down Taylor Creek, using care not to swing into the channel or onto the shore.
NOTE: When you leave Beaufort headed south on the ICW, it is preferable and shorter to go along the east side of Radio Island, where a marina is located, and then take the Morehead City shipping channel back to where it joins the ICW at the State Port Terminal. [NORTHBOUND: For the Russell Slough Channel route: When departing Beaufort, leave (3.2) Finz gas dock to right. Pass through (2.7) Beaufort Channel U.S. Route 70 Highway Bridge. Continue to (2.3) red lighted marker “12” at the entrance to Town Creek, where NORTHBOUND directions continue.]
(3.1) Beaufort junction with Radio Island Channel.
(0.2) Red Marker “10.” Pass this and all other red aids in Radio Island Channel to port.
(0.6) Olde Town Yacht Club. 252-726-3066.
You don’t have to be a member of a yacht club to stay here.
(1.4) Green Lighted Marker “1BH,” at southern entrance to Radio Island Channel. Pass to starboard.
Turn right at the marker, staying well clear of the rocks and pilings on the south end of the island, and pass to starboard red lighted buoy “22” in the Morehead City Channel and all the other red aids in this channel. From here, it is 1.1 miles to Mile 204.2 on the ICW. If the current is with or against you when leaving Beaufort, it will be the opposite, and stronger, when you enter the Morehead City Channel. The many types of ranges in this area are all primarily for ships entering from seaward. Coming from Beaufort, red lighted buoy “2” is the departure point for those wishing to use Beaufort Inlet, 1 mile away. (See Mile 204.2 for more information.)
The Fort Macon Coast Guard station is opposite green lighted buoy “21,” in the Morehead City Channel.
Mile 200.9
– Mile 200.9
85
Mo r e h e a d C i t y a n d B o g u e S o u n d
h e only wide body of water in this section, with the exception of the Cape Fear River, is Bogue Sound. It is very shallow—so shallow that if you picked your tide, you could walk across its 2-mile width in spots and never be more than waist-deep in water. Many commercial shell sh harvesters do their work standing in the water. Much of the water is a tropical green color. h is is the rst place you’ll see live oaks in abundance and some palmettos.
At night, when it is still, you may hear a strange crackling sound that seems to be coming from underwater on your boat’s hull. It’s nothing to worry about. Tiny shrimp-like creatures called “krill” are feeding on the growth on the hull. Depending on the location and season, the noise can be disturbingly loud, and it often goes on all night. You may not experience this until you are farther south, but when you do, remember it is the krill feeding, not your boat coming apart.
If you bypass Beaufort and continue south of the Russell Slough Channel, you’ll soon be at the entrance channel leading o to the right (NORTHBOUND: to left) to the Morehead City Yacht Basin, a well-sheltered spot. After passing under a high-level bridge and through a railroad bridge that is usually open, the ICW channel takes a hard right turn to pass in front of the State Port Terminal, where large ships are docking and undocking at all hours.
h e ICW crosses the Morehead City turning basin to the lighted marker “MC” at Mile 205. A side channel leads north to the Morehead City waterfront and a small anchorage o the town.
Morehead City and Bogue Sound
MI LE 202.3 TO MI LE 229.0
For Navigation, see page 86.
Anchorage near Morehead City, North Carolina.
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
86
Morehead City has a famous seafood restaurant and other interesting businesses, though we have never found the harbor as charming as Beaufort. h e town puts on a tremendous reworks display every July 4th, and you can anchor just outside the ICW to watch it along with hundreds of other boats. In July 2007 the reworks set the small island across from town on re, with the towering ames adding an unplanned dimension to the spectacle.
h e Atlantic Beach Bridge at Mile 206.7 is supposed to o er 65 feet of clearance, but frequently does not, due to wind-driven depth changes. If you are close in height, approach this bridge very cautiously. h ere is room to anchor and wait just outside the channel, but you’ll be exposed to wind and wakes.
Bogue Sound is long, exposed, and shallow, and side channels into the marinas are often silted in. It pays to call the marina for the latest depth information. Stay in the ICW channel by watching over your stern to make sure you’re lined up. To keep from going aground it is possible to weave from red mark to green mark in order to stay in the narrow deep water—weaving like this gives you something to point the bow at. You’ll see people wading in the shallows next to the Waterway. Peletier Creek and Spooner Creek have marinas, but they are probably too tight for anchoring. Around Mile 225 and the Emerald Isle Highway Bridge there will be lots of small, local shing craft, especially if the weather is rough in Bogue Sound. You’re now back in fairly sheltered waters as you approach Swansboro, though you will feel strong currents due to the proximity of Bogue Inlet, which is not usable.
Navigation 203.7 Morehead City Yacht Basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left),
0.6 mile of ICW channel. 252-726-6862.
The best water is to the left in this channel.
203.9 U.S. Route 70 Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
203.9 Beaufort and Morehead Railroad Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 4 feet. Usually open.
203.9 Radio Island to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
The three marinas you may notice on the north side of the island don’t take transients.
204.2 ICW turns to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), at the State Port Terminal. At this big-ship terminal, be on the lookout for ships and tugs leaving the docks or turning in the basin, and allow for strong currents here.
This is the departure point for Beaufort Inlet, straight ahead (NORTHBOUND: to right), 2.5 miles away via the Morehead City Channel. This is the i rst inlet adjacent to the ICW since Norfolk, Virginia. It is a good all-
weather inlet and a popular jumping-o place for sailors headed down the coast or o shore to the Virgin Islands. [NORTHBOUND: To reach a marina on MOREHEAD CITY AND BOGUE SOUND
Mile 202.3 to Mile 229.0
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—0.9 knot; ebb—1.1 knots.
Mile 203.7
– Mile 204.2
87
Mo r e h e a d C i t y a n d B o g u e S o u n d
Radio Island at Mile (3.1) (0.6), and facilities in the town of Beaufort, follow the Morehead City Channel toward Beaufort Inlet for 1.1 miles. At the south end of Radio Island, after passing red lighted buoy “22,” turn left and pass between green lighted marker “1BH” and red lighted buoy “2,” staying well clear of the rocks and pilings on the south end of the island. From here, it is 0.7 mile to the marina, and 1.3 miles through a marked channel to Beaufort. For Beaufort facilities, see the second entry for Mile 200.9 and below it (3.2), and two entries at (3.5). To continue north, use Russell Slough Channel.]
204.8 Entrance to right alongside State Port Terminal (NORTHBOUND: to left), for channel to Morehead City facilities.
Enter between the southwest corner of the State Port Terminal and red lighted marker “MC.” Favor the terminal side until you reach green marker “3” and leave it to port as you enter the channel. It’s best to leave the channel the same way you entered. The western entrance channel is marked, but reportedly has less than the charted 4-foot depth.
Along this channel are several facilities and restaurants, all to the right. If you wish to stay overnight at a restaurant dock, check with the cashier to see if you can. Many of the docks here are reserved exclusively for charter i shing boats.
(0.3) Portside Marina. 252-726-7678.
(0.4) Dockside Yacht Club. No fuel. 252-247-4890.
(0.5) Sanitary Fish Market Restaurant. 252-247-3111.
(0.6) Morehead Gulf Docks. 252-726-5461.
Tug and barges, sailboats, and powerboats along the ICW in North Carolina.
Mile 204.8
– Mile 204.8
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
88
Beaufort Inlet Channel and the Morehead City Channel.
89
Mo r e h e a d C i t y a n d B o g u e S o u n d
At this fuel dock, which caters primarily to powerboats, you may stay overnight and have an electric hookup, if space is available.
(0.7) Capt. Bill’s Waterfront Restaurant. 252-726-2166.
(0.8) Russell Yachts. Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself.
252-240-2826.
206.0 Red Lighted Marker “4.” Junction with unusable shoaled channel to Morehead City docks. (NORTHBOUND: See Mile 204.8.)
206.7 Atlantic Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
CAUTION: Certain combinations of high tides and strong winds can cause the bridge clearance to be less than 65 feet.
209.2 Departure point for facilities to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Peletier Creek.
The depth in the marked approach is reported to be 5 feet, with 6 feet in the basin. Check with marinas for latest channel depths. The tide range is about 2.5 feet.
(0.5) Taylor Boat Works to right. Repair facility. Hauling—lift and railway. 252-726-6374.
(0.5) Coral Bay Marina. 252-247-4231.
(0.5) 70 West Marina. 252-726-5171.
(0.5) Harbor Master Marina to right. Repair facility. Hauling. Diesel only. 252-726-2541.
210.5 Spooners Creek Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling. 252-240-2050.
From green lighted marker “9,” turn into the marked channel that leads to the marina basin, which is part of a new condo complex. A large shopping area with many restaurants is 1.5 miles from the marina.
225.9 Emerald Isle Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
Along Bogue Sound, gulls often sit or stand on spoil banks (left over from dredging) that just break the surface.
Mile 206.0
– Mile 225.9
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
90
227.6 Junction with channel to Bogue Inlet to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). This inlet is used by shallow-draft local boats only.
227.6 Swansboro Coast Guard Station, of the ICW on Bogue Banks above Bogue Inlet.
Prior to Mile 229 at Swansboro you’ll see several largish marine facilities with fuel close to the Waterway. It is possible to round red buoy “2” (a small nun) and anchor south of the bridge in Swansboro, but the current blasts through and you’ll need two anchors. h ere’s also a marina here—watch the current while docking.
If the wind is against the current, be prepared for an uncomfortable night of wild swinging. You can cautiously proceed west into Queens Creek from near green lighted marker “49.” h ere is a marked channel and depths may allow for 6 feet of draft.
At Mile 235.4 you’ll enter the Safety Zone associated with the Camp Lejeune Firing Range. A sign and tra c lights let you know if you can safely pass, and a patrol boat will be out if you can’t. h is ring range is active, and boats have had to wait up to a couple of hours. You’ll see the blasted wrecks of tanks, jeeps, and other vehicles, and, if you’re lucky, an amphibious ghting force might motor across the ICW as you pass—no kidding, watch for amphibious vehicles approaching the sides of the ICW channel.
h e Onslow Beach Swing Bridge, Mile 240.7, tends to be slow opening, and it usually opens only on the hour and half-hour. Couple that with possible delays at Camp Lejeune and you might be pushing sundown as you approach Mile Hammock Bay at Mile 244.5. h is dredged basin is within the Camp Lejeune training area, and the rst thing you’ll notice is a mock-up of a small ship on the port as you enter. Stay well away from the north shore and launching ramp as the military uses that area frequently. h ere is no landing.
h e holding ground in Mile Hammock Bay isn’t the best—in fact, it’s downright lousy! It consists of very ne mud that doesn’t want to grip your anchor. If you can, use your heaviest anchor and let it settle for an hour or so before backing down. h at delay gives the anchor time to sink through the soft stu down to rmer holding. After doing this, boats have been able to ride out some big winds, while others were dragging.
Also, be sure not to head too far east where the dredged area suddenly ends. Being the only decent anchorage for many miles, there is frequently a crowd of snowbirds in the anchorage. Don’t be surprised if you are disturbed Swansboro to New River Inlet
MI LE 229.0 TO MI LE 246.0
For Navigation, see page 91.
Mile 227.6
– Mile 227.6
91
S wa n s b o r o t o Ne w R i v e r I n l e t
by the clatter of helicopter blades in the middle of the night, but you might not be able to see anything as the troops frequently rely on night vision equipment.
South of Mile 245 the New River Inlet area is notorious for shoaling. Couple that with currents hitting you from various directions and little shelter from the wind, and you might find yourself aground. In 2005 the red side of the channel carried 6 feet of water, 2 hours before high tide. Be sure to avoid heading up the New River Channel to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left) at red buoy “72B”—it appears to be the main channel, but isn’t. Turn southwest, then south to pass close to Swan Point, where there is one of the cheaper fuel docks on the Waterway.
Navigation Before leaving Swansboro, whether you have stayed there overnight or are just passing through, you’ll need to know if Camp Lejeune’s artillery range is active. h e ring range begins at Mile 235.4 and ends at Mile 239.7. You won’t be able to pass through the range until ring is over. You can receive this information on VHF radio from the Fort Macon Coast Guard at Morehead City on the Notice to Mariners’ broadcasts at 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. (Tune to VHF Channel 16 for the announcement for the broadcast; after that you’ll be instructed to switch to VHF Channel 22A for the information.) h is broadcast can be heard as far north as about Mile 150 and as far south as about Mile 280. If you miss the broadcast, call on VHF Channel 16 if you’re within range of Fort Macon Coast Guard, which is near Mile 205, or telephone 252-247-4570 for information. Delays are usually a few hours long, except when the marines are engaged in amphibious maneuvers. h en the ICW may be closed for days, but it will be open at intervals for accumulated tra c to pass through. See also Mile 235.4.
228.3 Dudley’s Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. Hauling—railway. 252-393-2204.
229.0 Casper’s Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.1 mile of ICW channel. 910-326-4462.
Red buoy “2,” to the right, indicates the marina’s channel, but don’t steer for it. Instead, steer for red lighted marker “46C” until the channel entrance is abeam. Some boaters anchor above the marina o the right side of the channel, but this area has a swift current and poor holding ground. If you do anchor here, use two anchors, and set them well.
229.7 Begin uncharted front range. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range.)
230.2 Leave uncharted front range. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range.)
233.5 Begin uncharted front range. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range.)
235.1 Leave uncharted front range. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range.)
SWANSBORO TO NEW RIVER INLET
Mile 229.0 to Mile 246.0
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1 knot; ebb—1.2 knots.
Mile 228.3
– Mile 235.1
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
92
235.4 Camp Lejeune ring-range tower.
This tower is at the northern entrance to the 4-mile-long i ring range; the southern tower is at Mile 239.7. When i ring is taking place, the towers are usually occupied (with binoculars, you can see marines in the tower quite clearly) and ashing red lights and/or red ags should be displayed. You may be waved through, but if no one indicates that you should proceed, don’t venture into the range when any signals are evident. During i ring, a warning sign at both ends of the range at the edge of the Waterway, which may have a red ag ying from it, notii es boaters to tune to AM radio frequency 530 for current information. In addition, manned picket boats are stationed in the ICW at each end of the range. Personnel on the boats can often advise you about when you can pass through.
239.7 Camp Lejeune ring range sign, end of ring range.
(NORTHBOUND: Beginning of ring range. See Mile 235.4 and paragraph at the beginning of Swansboro to New River Inlet section.)
240.7 Onslow Beach Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Use right draw (NORTHBOUND: left draw). Vertical clearance,
12 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
244.5 Red Lighted Marker “66” and entrance to the anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in dredged basin in Mile Hammock Bay, through a marked entrance channel.
245.4 Green Marker “69.” Begin uncharted front range. (NORTHBOUND: Leave uncharted back range.) 245.9 Leave uncharted front range. (NORTHBOUND: Begin uncharted back range.)
246.0 Red Marker “72B.” Junction with channel to New River Inlet to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), and channel in New River to Jacksonville, North Carolina, to right (NORTHBOUND:
to left).
Watch for crosscurrents here except at slack water. At this junction there are no green markers in the ICW channel. The visible green marker is for the channel that goes up the New River. The inlet is for small local boats only, and the New River is shallow.
h e Surf City Swing Bridge at Mile 260.7 opens only on the hour and tends to be slow. It is possible to anchor o the ICW around Mile 265, just inside Topsail Beach. h e marked channel is not very well marked and is prone to shoaling, so proceed cautiously. Mile 235.4
– Mile 246.0
Topsail Sound, Wrightsville Beach, and Myrtle Grove Sound
MI LE 246.1 TO MI LE 296.9
For Navigation, see page 94.
93
To p s a i l S o u n d, Wr i g h t s v i l l e B e a c h, a n d My r t l e Gr o v e S o u n d
Figure Eight Bridge at Mile 278.3 is on the hour and half-hour, and the Coast Guard is studying (2009) the idea of making this a once-an-hour, on the half-hour, bridge. h at would make for three bridges in a row that only open once per hour in a span of less than 23 miles. h at would make timing di cult, particularly for sailboats that are limited in their top speed.
South of Mile 278 the sides of the ICW get really shoal all the way down to Wrightsville Beach, particularly south of Mile 280. h e markers are widely spaced along here, exacerbating the problem. Stay in the middle of the channel unless you have to pull over to let other tra c pass, and then do so slowly and carefully. Keep in mind that the Wrightsville Beach Bridge is on the hour, and you may have to ght a strong current to get there.
The Wrightsville Beach Bridge at Mile 283.2 is for a busy road, so don’t expect much sympathy if you’re running late for the hourly opening. If you arrive early, it is hard to find enough room to wait while fighting the current and dodging small-boat traffic. It might be worth it to go back up the ICW and drop anchor temporarily. The south side of the bridge is even busier, with several popular marinas and fuel docks lining the Waterway. Be vigilant for boats coming and going from these docks.
h e marked Motts Channel to Wrightsville Beach comes up quickly on your left south of the bridge. More marinas line the creek, and they are a bit easier to get into and out of than the ones on the main ICW channel, with less current and more room. h e anchorage area south of the bridge, just inside Wrightsville Beach, is pleasant and popular. Many cruisers use Masonboro Inlet, but it is not as safe as Beaufort or Cape Fear. h e channel that leads directly from the inlet to the ICW is prone to shoaling. h ere are some small markets and some popular restaurants near the Wrightsville anchorage.
h e Waterway is shoal near where the inlet channel comes in at Mile 285.2. h ere are other shoal spots from here down to Carolina Beach, especially near Carolina Beach Inlet (not for casual use). At Mile 295 a channel branches o left to Carolina Beach. In Carolina Beach, after green marker “5,” you can anchor o the eastern side of the channel, but proceed cautiously as not all shoals are charted accurately. h e bottom has less-than-ideal holding, but usually a couple of tries will nd a spot that works. h e water is surprisingly deep—watch out for the 30-foot spots. Carolina Beach is a busy, popular tourist area. h ere are homes and businesses all around the anchorage, but things are reasonably quiet at night and you are in a no-wake zone. h ere is a proposal to turn the anchorage into a mooring eld.
If you can catch a fair current through Snows Cut, starting at Mile 295.2, you’ll sluice through and be spit out into the Cape Fear River. A couple of red and green markers try to keep you o several rocks located on either side of Snows Cut.
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
94
246.5 Red Lighted Marker “2.”
246.8 Swan Point Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. Hauling. 910-327-1081.
247.1 New River Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. 910-327-9691.
252.3 Beach House Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
910-328-2628.
252.4 North Topsail Beach Route 210 Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
260.7 Surf City Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 12 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour.
263.7 Junction with Topsail Sound channel to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This channel is subject to severe shoaling. The facilities along the beach are suitable for only shallow-draft boats.
264.1 Anchors Aweigh Boatyard to right near marker “90” (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 910-270-4741.
267.3 Harbour Village Marina to right near marker “94” (NORTHBOUND: to left). 910-270-4017.
278.3 Figure Eight Island Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 20 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
Navigation TOPSAIL SOUND, WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, AND MYRTLE GROVE SOUND
Mile 246.1 to Mile 296.9
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1 knot; ebb—1.2 knots.
Slips at the Beach House Marina. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 246.5
– Mile 278.3
95
To p s a i l S o u n d, Wr i g h t s v i l l e B e a c h, a n d My r t l e Gr o v e S o u n d
In 2009 a proposal is being considered to reduce openings to only one per hour, on the half-hour. NOTE: It is important to check your time here so as to make the on-hour opening at the Wrightsville Beach Bridge at Mile 283.1.
280.0–283.1 CAUTION: The edges of the Waterway are shoal here. Stay in the center of the channel for best water. Check your time for arriving at the Wrightsville Beach Highway Bridge.
283.1 Wrightsville Beach Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 20 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour.
CAUTION: There is heavy boat tra c in the vicinity of the bridge. There are several marinas just south of the bridge, and boats will be attempting to dock or leave the dock; also there are strong currents.
283.2 Wrightsville Beach Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Hauling. 910-256-6666.
283.2 Bridge Tender Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No showers, no laundry, no pumpout. 910-256-6550.
A restaurant and cafe are on the premises.
283.4 Dockside Restaurant and Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No showers, no laundry, no pumpout. 910-256-3579.
283.4 Junction with Motts Channel to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), and departure for Wrightsville Beach marinas, a good anchorage, and Masonboro Inlet. When entering Motts Channel leave red marker “24” in the channel to port and green marker “25” to starboard. Masonboro Inlet is a good one to use in fair weather and is the only usable inlet between Morehead City and the Cape Fear River.
Southbound boats after passing through the bridge in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Mile 280.0
– Mile 283.4
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
96
(0.3) Atlantic Marine. Primarily sales and service. 910-256-9911.
(0.5) Seapath Yacht Club and Transient Dock to left. 910-256-3747.
(1.5) Anchorage to left, below xed bridge. Two anchors may be needed due to wind and current.
(2.6) Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard Station to left.
285.2 Junction with Shinn Creek to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), and access to Masonboro Inlet and Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard Station.
288.1 Masonboro Yacht Club and Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) in Whiskey Creek. No fuel, no pumpout. 910-791-1893.
295.0 Tide rips.
295.1 Oceana Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 910-458-5053.
295.2 Anchorage in Carolina Beach Harbor straight ahead (NORTHBOUND: to right), 0.5 mile of ICW channel.
Anchor south of the island to the left, past green marker “5.” A mooring i eld has been proposed for this location.
(0.7) Carolina Beach Municipal Marina.
This facility was recently rebuilt and may be able to o er some transient space.
295.2 Entrance to Snows Cut.
This cut is very narrow with a swift current running through it. It is wise to consult your tide and current tables to i nd a slack or favorable current. In the summer, it is busy with many water-skiers and runabouts. It is a colorful place; the high banks are composed of sand in every shade from bu to a vivid rusty orange and are topped with bright green pines.
295.7 Carolina Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
296.8 (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to Snows Cut. See Mile 295.2.)
CHART 11534—MYRTLE GROVE SOUND AND CAPE FEAR RIVER TO CASINO CREEK
The current in North Carolina’s Snows Cut can be swift, and the tra c can be heavy. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Cape Fear River
MI LE 296.9 TO MI LE 308.8
For Navigation, see page 98.
Mile 285.2
– Mile 296.8
97
C a p e F e a r R i v e r
h e current in the Cape Fear River is considerable, and if it is with you, you can make very good time—unless there is an opposing strong wind. In that case, it will slow you down and give you a wet passage as well. h e river can be very rough in strong winds. h e ship channel is full of large vessels proceeding to and from Wilmington, farther up the river.
h e red aids are to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port) until you reach the main channel of the Cape Fear River. h en, until the junction with the ICW, the red aids are all to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard). Both large container ships as well as tug and barge tra c are common on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
98
When in the main channel, it is helpful to use your compass to nd the aids to navigation that concern you, so we have given the true courses between each one. Your chart may not agree with our entries as to which are markers and which are buoys, but the numbers on the aids should be the same. You’ll see more di erent types of ranges here than anywhere else along the Waterway. Although they are big-ship ranges, we have included those that pertain to the main channel. h ey may be either front or back ranges. Because the ranges may be hard to nd, you can use your compass (steering) course to locate them and also con rm that you’re on the proper course. We nd it helpful to use a contrasting color and mark the chart with lines that connect the two markers for each range.
Most of the way to Southport you can stay just outside the shipping channel, still in water greater than 20 feet deep. h at will keep the big ships happy. h ere is a large Restricted Area on the west side of the river near Mile 300 that is o limits to boaters.
h e main shipping channel takes a hard turn to the east on its way to Cape Fear Inlet, one of the best on the coast. If coming in from o shore, be aware that strong onshore breezes can create rough seas when they hit the current coming out of the river.
Navigation RED AIDS TO NAVIGATION TO STARBOARD (NORTHBOUND: TO PORT)
296.9 Green Lighted Marker “163,” begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”) Also junction with secondary channel to Wilmington to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
The city of Wilmington, 13.5 miles north of the ICW, o ers facilities for visiting yachts. Of interest are the historical areas on the waterfront, the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial, and the shopping and restaurants at Chandler’s Wharf.
(9.0) Wilmington Marine Center/Baker Marine to right. Marine Center: No laundry. Baker Marine: Repair facility. Hauling—
lift and railway. 910-395-5055.
(13.3) J. W. Brooks Landing to right. No fuel, no showers,
no laundry, no pumpout. 910-251-6635.
(13.4) Wilmington City Docks to right. No fuel, no laundry,
no pumpout. 910-520-6875.
(14.5) Cape Fear Marina/Bennett Brothers Yacht to right. Marina/
repair facility. No fuel. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 910-458-7770.
297.1 Carolina Beach State Park Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 910-458-7770.
297.4 Green Marker “167.” Steer 205 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “33.” Leave front range “A” and begin back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “B” and begin back range “A.”)
CAPE FEAR RIVER
Mile 296.9 to Mile 308.8
Red aids to navigation to starboard and to port.
Current: Average maximum ood—2.0 knots; ebb—2.2 knots.
Mile 296.9
– Mile 297.4
99
C a p e F e a r R i v e r
299.0 Junction with the main channel to Wilmington to the right (NORTHBOUND: to left) and to Southport to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right).
RED AIDS TO NAVIGATION TO PORT (NORTHBOUND: TO STARBOARD)
299.1 Green Lighted Buoy “33.” Steer 180 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “31.” Leave back range “B” and begin back range “Orton Point.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 025 degrees, true, to green marker “167.” Leave front range “Orton Point” and begin front range “B.”)
299.9 Green Lighted Buoy “31.” Steer 195 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “28.” Leave back range “Orton Point” and begin back range “Lower Midnight Channel.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 360 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “33.” Begin front range “Orton Point” and leave front range “Lower Midnight Channel.”)
301.1 Red Lighted Marker “2S.” Junction with restricted side channel: no entry.
301.7 Red Lighted Buoy “28.” Steer 185 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “27.” Leave back range “Lower Midnight Channel” and begin front range “Reeves Point Channel.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 015 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “31.” Leave back range “Reeves Point Channel” and begin front range “Lower Midnight Channel.”)
303.0 Green Lighted Buoy “27.” Steer 205 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “25.” Leave front range “Reeves Point Channel,” and begin front range “Horseshoe Shoal Channel.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 005 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “28.” Leave back range “Horseshoe Shoal Channel” and begin back range “Reeves Point Channel.”)
303.6 Channel to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) to ferry dock at Federal Point.
304.1 Green Lighted Buoy “25.” Steer 226 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “20.” Leave front range “Horseshoe Shoal Channel” and begin back range “Snows Marsh Channel.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 025 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “27.” Leave front range “Snows Marsh Channel” and begin back range “Horseshoe Shoal Channel.”) 306.7 Entrance on right (NORTHBOUND: on left) to ferry channel in Price Creek.
307.1 Red Lighted Buoy “20.” Steer 236 degrees, true, to entrance to ICW channel. Leave back range “Snows Marsh Channel” and begin back range “Lower Swash Channel.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 046 degrees, true, to green lighted buoy “25.” Leave front range “Lower Swash Channel” and begin front range “Snows Marsh Channel.”)
This route takes you well inside red lighted buoy “18.”
Mile 299.0
– Mile 307.1
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
100
308.5 Continuation of Cape Fear River Channel to seaward to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) and junction with ICW to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Leave back range “Lower Swash Channel.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 056 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “20.” Begin front range “Lower Swash Channel.”)
(2.9) Bald Head Island Marina to left. 910-457-7380.
To reach this marina, proceed seaward on the Cape Fear River entrance channel until you’re abeam green lighted buoy “13.” The marina is across the channel to the left.
308.5 (NORTHBOUND: See paragraph under Cape Fear River heading.)
Southport has several good marinas, and the town is charming. h ere may be some anchoring room in the rst basin, which is where the commercial shermen dock. South of Mile 310 there used to be an anchorage in Dutchman Creek, but the entrance has silted in. h ere is a new marina a little farther on at Mile 311.
If you’re northbound, this is a good place to think about where you’re going to spend the night. h ere are no really sheltered anchorages between Southport and Carolina Beach, and the Cape Fear River can be very rough when a strong wind is against the current. And then after Carolina Beach,
Southport, North Carolina, to South Carolina Line
MI LE 308.8 TO MI LE 340.8
For Navigation, see page 101.
A dawn departure out of Southport, North Carolina. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 308.5
– Mile 308.5
101
S o u t h p o r t, No r t h C a r o l i n a, t o S o u t h C a r o l i n a L i n e
it is another dozen miles up to the anchorage at Wrightsville Beach. h ere are marinas in Southport that might be a good option if light and weather are conspiring against you.
Similarly, southbound boats need to take a good look at timing to avoid getting stuck until after dark with no anchorage in sight. h e pontoon bridge at Mile 337.9 only opens once per hour, and the next anchorage isn’t until the Little River at Mile 342.
Lockwoods Folly Inlet, Mile 320, is always shoaling up the Waterway. If the sh are running, you may have trouble staying in the channel due to all the little shing boats blocking the way. h e worst area for shoaling is usually between red markers “46” and “48,” but there was good water in 2005. h ere may be intermediate, and more temporary buoys, marking the best water in this area.
Shoaling is also likely around Shallotte Inlet, Mile 330, with the same caveat to look for the small, temporary buoys that get moved with each shift in the channel. To compound matters, there are strong currents around these inlets that can sweep you out of the channel into the shoals.
h e Sunset Beach Bridge, Mile 337.9, is the only pontoon bridge over the Waterway. h e bridge oats on a barge that is pulled o to one side with cables. It opens only once an hour, which is easy to miss as you have a long stretch north of it with no bridge schedules to observe. h ere is room to anchor in the ICW north and south of the bridge if you have to wait.
Be sure to wait for the bridgetender’s signal before proceeding through the opening—you have to wait until the cable sinks to the bottom! h ere is no clearance under this bridge when it is closed.
At Mile 340.8 you pass into South Carolina—look for the dashed line on the water!
Mile 308.8
– Mile 319.9
Navigation 308.8 Green Lighted Marker “1,” leave to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), entrance to ICW channel.
Swift currents often occur at this point.
309.0 City Pier to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Possible 24-hour dockage.
309.3 Southport Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling.
910-457-9900.
A restaurant is on the premises, and a small general store is across the street.
311.0 South Harbor Village Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 910-454-7486.
311.8 Yaupon Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
315.0 St. James Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 910-253-0463.
319.9 Blue Water Point Motel and Marina in channel toward inlet on left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 910-278-1230.
Shoal in approaches and dockside. Requires local knowledge.
SOUTHPORT, NORTH CAROLINA, TO SOUTH CAROLINA LINE
Mile 308.8 to Mile 340.8
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.2 knots; ebb—1.4 knots.
S o u t h e r n No r t h C a r o l i n a
102
320.0 Lockwoods Folly Inlet section.
Watch out for crosscurrents, tide rips, and shoal water. Temporary buoys are sometimes used to mark the channel.
323.5 Holden Beach Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
910-842-5447.
323.6 Holden Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
329.0 Shallotte Inlet section.
Watch for crosscurrents and shoaling. Temporary buoys may mark the channel. Don’t confuse aids for the inlet with ICW aids.
330.5 Tide rips and breakers very close to ICW channel edge.
333.7 Ocean Isle Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
335.6 Pelican Pointe Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No showers, no laundry, no pumpout. 910-579-6440.
337.9 Sunset Beach Highway Bridge. Pontoon. No vertical clearance. CAUTION: Do not pass through draw until the cable has dropped and the bridgetender has signaled it is OK to proceed.
RESTRICTED: April 1 to November 30, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Opens on the hour.
June 1 to September 30, weekends and holidays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., opens on the hour. The bridge may not open during extreme low tides.
340.8 South Carolina state line between markers “115” and “116.” Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 09. (NORTHBOUND: North Carolina state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 13.)
Heading toward the South Harbor Village Marina in Southport, North Carolina. Mile 320.0
– Mile 340.8
103
C H A P T E R 6
South Carolina State Line
to Charleston
T
he transition from North to South Carolina is nearly invisible if you aren’t following a guidebook and chartbook closely. h e two states are similar in many ways, though South Carolina, as one might expect, is a little more “Southern.” To many southbound boaters the biggest change will be the continued gradual warming of the weather. You might have worried about snow in New Bern, North Carolina, but you’ll probably get nothing more than a chilly night in Charleston.
h e northern South Carolina portion of the Waterway goes through a number of changes in quick succession, from the typical ICW anchorage at Little River to the narrow land-cut through busy and developed Myrtle Beach, into the remote and winding headwaters of the Waccamaw River, and then to somewhat industrial but also friendly and interesting Georgetown. You can experience the complete range in one or two days of ICW travel.
h e highlights of this section in our minds are the wild stretches of the Waccamaw River and the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, north of Charleston. In the Waccamaw the ICW meanders through a forest of cypress and other trees draped with moss, and you’ll look for eagles and hawks overhead and alligators in the water. Cape Romain is true Low Country—a huge swath of barely-above-the-water marshland as far as the eye can see, with enormous ocks of migrating waterbirds lling the sky or resting on the water.
And then there’s Charleston. You owe it to yourself to stop there, if for no other reason than the food. Here is the place to splurge and take your special other out to dinner. h en stroll the cobblestone streets and admire the 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Visit the old slave market. Buy some sea grass baskets. Take a horse-drawn tour of the town. h is top half of South Carolina has it all.
LITTLE RIVER TO WACCAMAW RIVER,
Mile 340.8 to Mile 375.3
WACCAMAW RIVER,
Mile 375.3 to Mile 402.8
WINYAH BAY AND GEORGETOWN,
Mile 402.8 to Mile 410.5
ESTHERVILLE MINIM CREEK CANAL TO CHARLESTON HARBOR,
Mile 410.5 to Mile 464.1
CHARLESTON HARBOR AND CHARLESTON,
Mile 464.1 to Mile 469.4
S o u t h C a r o l i n a S t a t e L i n e t o C h a r l e s t o n
104
h e rst thing to note about being in South Carolina at Mile 340.8 is that all the bridgetenders from here south monitor VHF Channel 09. h is is easy to forget and may lead to you fumbling a bit at the rst opening bridges.
h e second thing to note is that you’ll start to see more and more golf courses along the ICW, including one between the pontoon bridge and Little River. People will be driving golf balls out into the ICW close enough to hit your boat—obviously not Tiger Woods practicing.
Little River Inlet, heading o to the left at Mile 342, is used heavily by local shing boats, but we do not recommend taking it without local knowledge. Cruisers anchor in the Calabash River north of where Little River Inlet enters from the south. Be careful! h ere is a red marker “2” that marks the ICW, and there is a red marker “2” that marks the channel up into the Calabash River. Don’t leave the ICW marker to starboard if you are headed up the Calabash. h e ICW marker does have a small, yellow triangle on it, but it is hard to spot from a distance. h e entrance to the Calabash anchorage is prone to shoaling. Anchor along the red side of the channel after red marker “2,” and be prepared for a fair bit of current.
South of the Calabash you start to see more marine facilities on both sides of the Waterway, along with heavier day-use boat tra c. h e ICW runs just inside North Myrtle Beach and then the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach itself.
An anchorage in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina.
Little River to Waccamaw River
MI LE 340.8 TO MI LE 375.3
For Navigation, see page 106.
105
L i t t l e R i v e r t o Wa c c a ma w R i v e r
At Mile 347.3 you’ll encounter the slow-opening Little River Swing Bridge (VHF Channel 09), with a narrow opening and plenty of current. You are now approaching the section of the Waterway known as the “Rock Pile,” due to the many rocks and ledges lining this land-cut. Billboards advertising prop and strut repair and towing services indicate that you should take your steering seriously here, especially from about Mile 350 to Mile 353. Be a complete road hog and go right down the center unless there is other tra c, and go slow when you can’t stay in the dead center. A current will often hurry you along, adding to the anxiety.
Just over the high sandy banks to the left (NORTHBOUND: to right) are the gaudy attractions of a typical seaside resort—roller coasters, water slides, motels, fast-food eateries, restaurants, high-rise condominiums—all closely packed together. h e “Grand Strand,” as it is called, is all part of booming Myrtle Beach. h e area has experienced a lot of development in recent years, and new construction pops up all along the ICW.
h e banks along the cut are being constantly eroded by the wash from vessels. Trees on the “new” edges of the banks have the soil washed out from around their roots; later they join the casualty list, lying on their sides at the bottom of the bank until they are cleaned away by the snag boats of the Corps of Engineers. If you look closely at the sandy banks, you will be able to see tiny landslides as small chunks of the banks break away.
You’ll pass the Grand Strand Airport and various Myrtle Beach resorts as you head south. At Mile 354.3 the Barefoot Landing Bridge (on demand) alerts you to the upcoming Barefoot Landing Marina and shopping and dining complex. Barefoot Landing o ers oating dock space (no longer free) along the left side (headed south) of the Waterway. Dock space can be tight during the snowbird migration seasons, though cruisers are usually good about trying to squeeze in one more boat. You have to leave room for a local tour boat at one end of the dock, and at the other end there are shallow rocks. Be careful making your approach with the possibility of strong currents. In past years there was less than 6 feet of water in places along the dock (soft mud), but this may have been improved.
Barefoot Landing is a lovely shopping/dining/entertainment complex. Separate buildings are connected by winding walkways, decorated with local plant life and running water. A sign tells you not to feed the alligators that apparently lurk in one of the ponds. We particularly enjoyed the large bookstore and several choices of gourmet ice cream.
Now that you’ve had your civilization x at Barefoot Landing, you’re heading into one of the wildest stretches of the Waterway, the Waccamaw River. At rst, you’ll be continuing in a narrow land-cut until about Mile 365, so stay alert and stay in the middle of the channel. You’ll pass under several high xed bridges, under an aerial tramway on cables (for golfers) at Mile 356.4, past some more xed bridges and a couple of marinas, and then through a railroad bascule bridge at Mile 365.4 (usually open). After the railroad bridge, the ICW takes a big bend to the right, and then straightens out to the left for the approach to the Socastee Bridge, which has historically been slow to respond for some reason. It is supposed S o u t h C a r o l i n a S t a t e L i n e t o C h a r l e s t o n
106
to be on demand, but we have waited here for quite awhile with no signs of activity and no response to our radio calls. Hopefully, the situation will have improved by the time you get there.
Soon after the bridge the route joins the Waccamaw River, which is narrow and twisty at this point. Pay attention to where you are and which marker you are passing, as there are little side loops o the main channel that can lead you astray. A small marina at Enterprise Landing, Mile 373.2, sells fuel, but the entrance channel is very narrow.
Cruising along the Waccamaw River. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Navigation 342.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Little River. Departure point for town of Calabash.
Anchor o the dolphins shown on the chart near the edge of the water and out of the channel. Watch for shoaling o marker “2.” CAUTION: There are two marker “2s” here! One marks the entrance to the Little River to the right (NORTHBOUND: to left), and the other marks the main ICW channel. Many party i shing boats are berthed up the river in Calabash, and they leave early in the morning to head out Little River Inlet. Their wakes can be severe. The town is famous for Calabash-style seafood.
342.0 Red Marker “2” marking the ICW channel.
342.0 Junction with channel to Little River Inlet to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This inlet is shallow, with shifting shoals and buoys to match. It should be used with great caution and local knowledge.
LITTLE RIVER TO WACCAMAW RIVER
Mile 340.8 to Mile 375.3
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—0.9 knot; ebb—1.2 knots.
Mile 342.0
– Mile 342.4
107
L i t t l e R i v e r t o Wa c c a ma w R i v e r
344.3 BW’s Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) opposite Marker “9.” Fuel. 843-249-1941
345.1 Cricket Cove Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) opposite Marker “11.” 843-249-7169.
346.0 Coquina Harbor facilities in basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Lightkeepers Village Marina. 843-249-8660.
Coquina Yacht Club. No fuel. 843-249-9333.
You don’t have to be a member of a yacht club to tie up at this facility and the one below.
Myrtle Beach Yacht Club and Marina. 843-249-5376.
347.0 Anchor Marina in basin to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 843-249-
7899.
347.1 Nixon Crossroads Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
347.2 Harbourgate Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 5.5 feet of water in approach and alongside, no pumpout. 843-249-8888.
347.3 Little River Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 7 feet.
347.3 Entrance to 26.9-mile-long land-cut: Pine Island Cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of land-cut.)
Rocks are common along both sides of the cut until about Mile 363.2. Within the cut is an extremely narrow 3-mile section called the “Rock Pile,” featuring prominent rocky ledges on both sides of the channel. The Rock Pile starts at Mile 350.1 and ends at Mile 353.1. Because there is not enough room to safely pass a barge in the cut, most tug captains call on VHF Channel 16 or 13 before entering the cut to i nd out if any tra c is coming from the opposite direction. Pleasure-boat operators should make a similar radio check. 348.2 Dock Holiday’s Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
843-280-6354.
Some of the rocks in the Rock Pile. Mile 344.3
– Mile 348.2
S o u t h C a r o l i n a S t a t e L i n e t o C h a r l e s t o n
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350.1 Beginning of Rock Pile section. (NORTHBOUND: End of Rock Pile section.)
352.1 VORTAC circular structure at Myrtle Beach Airport to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This structure is mentioned only as a reference so you will know where you are. Other than the bridges, it is the only obvious, identii able object on land that you can see from within the cut.
353.1 End of Rock Pile section. (NORTHBOUND: Begin Rock Pile section.)
354.0 Barefoot Landing Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 31 feet.
354.3 Barefoot Resort Yacht Club and Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 843-390-7928.
354.4 Barefoot Landing Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
843-663-0838.
This is a marina/shopping/restaurant complex where you can dock your boat. It is newly renovated with power, water, etc.
355.6 Conway Bypass Highway Twin Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
356.4 Aerial tramway cables across ICW. Vertical clearance, 67 feet to cable cars.
357.0 Grande Dunes Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
357.0 Marina at Grande Dunes to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
843-315-7777.
360.5 Grissom Parkway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance,
65 feet.
365.4 Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 16 feet. Usually open.
365.4 Highway 501 Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
368.1 Hague Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Hauling.
843-293-2141.
The marina is on a channel behind a small island and has two entrances. Both have 7 feet of water, as does the channel.
371.0 Socastee Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Use left draw. (NORTHBOUND: Use right draw.) Vertical clearance, 11 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
371.1 Route 544 Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
373.2 Osprey Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 843-215-5353.
374.2 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 26.9-mile-long land-
cut: Pine Island Cut. IMPORTANT: See Mile 347.3 before entering cut.)
Waccamaw River
MI LE 375.3 TO MI LE 402.7
For Navigation, see page 110.
Mile 350.1
– Mile 374.2
109
Wa c c a ma w R i v e r
h e Waccamaw River is a beautiful section of the Waterway. It is an area of swamps, marshes, endless deep creeks, and dense forests. Some of the inhabitants of this part of South Carolina still speak the old Gullah dialect. On both banks are abandoned rice elds with now unused canals overhung by live oaks draped with long strands of Spanish moss. Many types of birds are present. A bird that is close to extinction—the ivory-billed woodpecker (a large bird, not to be confused with the slightly smaller pileated woodpecker)—
is said to live in this area. h e marina at Bucksport has fuel, water, and a restaurant. h e long xed dock is a bit rough in places. Boats can anchor in a loop of deep water just north of the marina. h is place used to be known for its fresh sausage, and we would regularly stop for some, though we haven’t done so in years.
h e river and the ICW gradually widen and straighten out somewhat, but you still need to stay on your toes to avoid heading down the wrong side channel. Some of the side channels are deep enough to navigate and make for interesting anchorages. It will be just you and the swamp. h e rst really good side channel is Prince Creek, beginning around Mile 380.9, rejoining the main channel around Mile 383. Another good side channel anchorage is Bull Creek at about Mile 381.5. At Mile 383.4 is a well-
thought-of modern marina complex, with a good anchorage in the mouth of Cow House Creek opposite.
Cruising along the Waccamaw River, South Carolina.
S o u t h C a r o l i n a S t a t e L i n e t o C h a r l e s t o n
110
While anchored anywhere in the Waccamaw area, be sure to use an anchor light at night. Local shing boats speed through these creeks and channels at all hours, often without running lights.
You will nd the sense of isolation extreme in some of these creeks and anchorages—some may nd it a bit eerie at night. Moss hangs from the trees, the sh will occasionally jump, and you’ll probably have the spot all to yourself. We love it.
Around Mile 390 the river really opens up, and the banks of solid forest give way to sweeps of marsh grass in places. You can pass either side of Butler Island south of Mile 395, but the marked channel hugs the eastern shore. Before Mile 400, watch out for a midchannel shoal with green lighted marker “90” on it. Pass under the Lafayette xed bridge at Mile 401.1, and then be careful to sort out all the markers before committing yourself.
Navigation 375.3 Junction with Waccamaw River to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), below Enterprise Landing.
375.6 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in bight of Waccamaw River opposite green lighted marker “29.”
377.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Old River behind red lighted marker “36.”
377.3 Bucksport Plantation Marina and Restaurant to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. 843-651-2994.
380.9 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Prince Creek.
WACCAMAW RIVER
Mile 375.3 to Mile 402.7
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—0.8 knot; ebb—1.1 knots.
The marina store at Bucksport. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 375.3
– Mile 380.9
111
Wi n y a h B a y a n d Ge o r g e t o wn
381.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Bull Creek.
Go well past red lighted marker “48” before making the turn into the creek.
383.4 Wacca Wache Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
843-651-2994.
388.1 Reserve Harbor Yacht Club to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
843-235-8262.
388.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Thoroughfare Creek.
394.4 Heritage Plantation Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel. 843-237-3650.
395.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), behind Butler Island.
Watch for stumps. Anchor o the north end of the island.
401.1 Lafayette Highway 17 Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
Georgetown is a favorite Waterway stop for many. In this small town, everything you might need is within walking distance of all the marinas—
downtown, supermarkets, all kinds of restaurants, and banks. In past years, a larger grocery store has driven cruisers back to the waterfront with their loads. h ere’s even a nice playground at a public recreation area.
As you walk to these places, you can see more colonial houses in a small area than anywhere else along the Waterway. h e houses are clean and well kept, with beautiful gardens and trees. You can stroll along any of the streets on a summer’s evening when the residents are sitting on their porches, and feel as if you lived there; they exchange pleasantries with you as if you were someone they had known for years.
A paper mill, one of the largest in the world, and a steel mill at the head of the harbor are both a good distance away from the marinas, but sometimes you can smell the paper mill’s distinctive odor, and occasionally you can hear some clanging from the steel mill. h ree channels join up ahead around Mile 402.8, and things can get confusing. Give red lighted marker “94” and the next one, lighted marker “W,” a wide berth as they are on the edge of shoals. h e “W” marks the junction of the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee rivers. You can take a little shortcut in a westerly direction across to red lighted marker “42” marking the channel into Georgetown, but give the mark a wide berth. h e proper course is to head down toward red lighted marker “40,” leaving it close to port, and then making the turn up toward Georgetown, leaving red lighted marker “42” to starboard.
Leave the lighted marker “S” to port to head into Georgetown—the left fork of the channel heads to the industrial plant that you’ll see belching Winyah Bay and Georgetown
MI LE 402.8 TO MI LE 410.5
For Navigation, see page 112.
Mile 381.5
– Mile 401.1
S o u t h C a r o l i n a S t a t e L i n e t o C h a r l e s t o n
112
smoke. Various marinas line the Georgetown waterfront, and several of them o er fuel and water. One of them has very competitive prices. h e charted clock tower is near a waterfront park and boardwalk where you can safely tie your dinghy up. Cruisers anchor anywhere opposite the boardwalk and farther back toward the ICW. Watch out—it shoals rapidly toward the island and to the west toward the smokestacks. Some complain about the holding here, but we have never had a problem. Unfortunately, the city is contemplating putting a mooring eld in the area that may eliminate anchoring.
South of Georgetown the ICW channel follows the wide waters of Winyah Bay. Winyah Bay entrance is one of the better inlets on the coast, and it is very well marked. However, a big current ows out of the bay, and if there is a strong onshore breeze, seas can be very rough. In the ICW you’ll have red buoys to port until the ICW splits o to the right after red lighted buoy “30.” Opposite “30” you’ll see a marked channel into a marina at Mile 406.
A xed ICW marker, red lighted marker “96,” is on the western bank, but don’t approach too close as it is on the shoal. h e same goes for “98” and “100.”
Navigation 402.8 Red Lighted Marker “W.” Departure point to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), for marina on the Great Pee Dee River. Give the marker a wide berth when making the turn—it’s on the end of a shoal.
(1.4) Georgetown Landing Marina (843-541-1776) to left, prior to a bridge with 20 feet of vertical clearance.
A restaurant is on the premises.
402.9 Red Lighted Marker “40.” Junction to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), to channel to Georgetown, 1.4 miles of ICW channel.
WINYAH BAY AND GEORGETOWN
Mile 402.8 to Mile 410.5
Red aids to navigation to starboard and to port.
Current: Average maximum ood—1.6 knots; ebb—1.7 knots.
Red lighted marker “40” on the Waccamaw River, South Carolina.
Mile 402.8
– Mile 402.9
113
Wi n y a h B a y a n d Ge o r g e t o wn
(0.6) Red Lighted Marker “S.” Leave to port. (Channel to left is for commercial use.)
(1.2) Hazzard Marine to right. 843-527-3625.
(1.2) The Boat Shed Marina to right. 843-546-4415.
(1.3) Harborwalk Marina to right. No laundry, no pumpout.
843-546-4250. This marina is the closest to downtown.
(1.5) Anchorage of the town.
Make sure the anchor is properly set; the bottom is reported to be poor holding ground. Opposite the anchorage is a public dinghy dock. There is a movement to place a mooring i eld in this area.
403.0 Red Lighted Marker “40,” leave to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard).
All the visible ranges in Winyah Bay are big-ship ranges.
406.0 Red Lighted Buoy “30,” leave to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard).
Junction with Western Channel of Winyah Bay to ocean. The ICW channel proceeds to the right toward red lighted marker “96.”
406.0 Belle Isle Marina in basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
843-546-8491.
406.3 Red Lighted Marker “96,” leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port).
The anchorage o of Georgetown is increasingly full of moorings. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 403.0
– Mile 406.3
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At Mile 410.5, the ICW makes an abrupt turn into a narrow land-cut—stay well away from red lighted marker “2,” which is on the shoal at the mouth of the entrance to the Estherville Minim Creek Canal, a 5-mile land-cut. h e ferry crossing at Mile 411.5 may or may not be active, but if the ferry is present it can move very fast. Watch for bald eagles in the trees along the sides of the canal. We’ve watched multiple eagles in here while simultaneously motoring down the ICW without going aground.
h ere’s a good anchorage in Minim Creek, Mile 415.5, right after the canal. It is a typical ICW creek anchorage: narrow, lots of current, and bugs that will carry you away at sunset. h e Waterway tends to be narrow, yet deep, from here all the way to McClellanville at Mile 430. Around Mile 425 you’ll be entering the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, so have your bird books and binoculars handy. In the migratory seasons, you’ll see huge ocks of birds moving north or south, just like you. We have always seen more birds in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge than in any other place on the Waterway: oystercatchers, gulls, loons, plovers, terns, hawks, sandpipers, dowitchers, herons, cormorants, mergansers, and other kinds of ducks.
h ere’s fuel available in McClellanville, Mile 430, but the town is mostly dedicated to the workings of its large commercial shing eet. A marked channel out to sea begins at Town Creek, opposite McClellanville, and it is possible to anchor up Five Fathom Creek. Show a good anchor light for the many trawlers that frequent the area. Other good anchorages include Harbor River at Mile 435.7, Price Creek at Mile 448.2, Whiteside Creek at Mile 451.5, and Inlet Creek at Mile 461.1. h ere are numerous other possibilities. All will be current swept, probably requiring the use of two anchors.
Price Creek, Mile 448.2, is one of the better anchorages as the entrance is relatively easy (proceed cautiously in midchannel), the creek is wide, and the depths are moderate if you can nd the 12-foot spot. h ere is tons of current, but one hook will do ne unless the wind is blowing hard. You’ll be surrounded by marsh as far as the eye can see.
Early mornings in Price Creek are frequently foggy during the fall snowbird season, so sit back with a nice hot cup of co ee and relax. It is not worth it to struggle down the Waterway in the fog; it usually burns o by 10 a.m. at the latest. One reason to stop early in Price Creek or leave late is that the Ben Sawyer Bridge at Mile 462.2 is closed weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Leaving Price Creek Estherville Minim Creek Canal to Charleston Harbor
MI LE 410.5 TO MI LE 464.1
For Navigation, see page 115.
115
E s t h e r v i l l e Mi n i m C r e e k C a n a l t o C h a r l e s t o n Ha r b o r
mid-morning will mean a nice early arrival in Charleston—after others have cleared the anchorage, but before the new arrivals ll things up again. Keep in mind that the Ben Sawyer Bridge is also closed weekdays between 7 and
9 a.m. On the weekends it opens only once per hour.
At Isle of Palms, Mile 456, homes and businesses begin to line the Waterway, and there is a marina with easy access and fuel. Keep in mind the latest schedule at the Ben Sawyer Bridge. h ere’s another popular marina to the right after the bridge.
Navigation If you use any of the anchorages from this section on, well into Florida, the six points about anchoring listed in Chapter 2, page 20, will apply. You may wish to reread them to refresh your memory and perhaps mark the page for future reference.
410.5 Red Lighted Marker “2,” entrance to 5-mile-long land-cut: Estherville Minim Creek Canal. (NORTHBOUND: End of
land-cut.)
This short land-cut has a narrow spot about halfway through where passing a barge could be di cult. We have often heard tug captains calling on VHF radio to i nd out if any boats are in the narrow spot. You might do the same. Call i rst on Channel 13; if no answer, try Channel 16.
411.5 South Island Ferry crossing.
Signals indicate when the ferry is crossing. The canal is so narrow that the crossing is very quick.
412.7 Channel narrows.
413.5 Channel widens.
415.0 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 5-mile-long
land-cut: Estherville Minim Creek Canal.)
415.5 Anchorage to right or left in Minim Creek.
416.0 Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
417.1 Red Lighted Marker “12.” Leave front range “A” and begin front range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A” and leave back range “B.”) 417.4 Leave front range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “B.”)
418.0 Departure point 0.2 mile above red lighted marker “18,” for anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in North Santee River. Don’t use this anchorage in strong winds.
420.1 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in South Santee River, 0.3 mile from the mouth.
420.3 Entrance to 10-mile-long unnamed land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of land-cut.)
430.0 Junction with Jeremy Creek to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), to town of McClellanville.
(0.3) Leland Oil Company to right. No laundry, no pumpout.
843-887-3641.
ESTHERVILLE MINIM CREEK CANAL TO CHARLESTON HARBOR
Mile 410.5 to Mile 464.1
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.1 knots; ebb—1.3 knots.
CHART 11518—CASINO CREEK TO BEAUFORT RIVER
Mile 410.5
– Mile 430.0
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116
Although this marina is crowded with local craft, space is usually available for transients, but you may have to raft up with other boats.
430.1 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Five Fathom Creek via Town Creek.
Enter this anchorage through well-marked Town Creek. At red lighted marker “20” in Town Creek, turn left. Anchor about 0.2 mile up Five Fathom Creek. You should always use an anchor light, but it is doubly important that you do so here. Shrimpers work all the creeks in this area at all hours. During the day, you can look across the vast expanses of the marsh in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and see shrimp boats that look as if they are sailing on a sea of grass.
430.3 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 10-mile-long unnamed land-cut.)
435.7 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Harbor River.
Go 0.7 mile down river, around the bend, and anchor in 10 to 15 feet of water. This is not a suitable anchorage in strong northeast winds.
435.7 Entrance to 28.1-mile-long unnamed land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of unnamed land-cut.)
The middle section of this cut is not a true land-cut—it is narrow, with shoal water on both sides of the channel.
448.2 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Price Creek.
Take your departure from red lighted marker “86” to turn into the creek. By so doing, you will avoid the small island at the mouth of the creek, which is submerged at high tide.
451.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Whiteside Creek.
Anchor between the two pockets of deep water.
It is not entirely clear whether this was an intentional or unintentional grounding. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Mile 430.1
– Mile 451.5
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454.7 Anchorages to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Dewees Creek and Long Creek, to left of Dewees Creek.
You will see palm trees in ever-increasing numbers beginning in this section. They are often growing wild. South Carolina is the Palmetto State, and most of the palms you see here are cabbage (sabal) palmettos—the state tree. Perhaps you will notice, as we did, the lack of palms on the Isle of Palms and the profusion of them on the mainland.
456.8 Isle of Palms Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 843-886-0209.
458.9 Isle of Palms Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
461.1 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Inlet Creek.
Shoaling may be present at the mouth of the creek. Submerged pilings are present, so buoying your anchor is a good idea.
462.2 Ben Sawyer Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 31 feet. (Bridge under reconstruction late 2009.)
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Weekends and legal holidays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour.
462.3 Toler’s Cove Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
843-881-0325.
463.8 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Begin 28.1-mile-long unnamed land-cut. See Mile 435.7.)
463.8 Green Lighted Marker “127” at sharp bend.
The next ICW aid, red lighted marker “130,” is not visible until you round the corner.
463.8 Begin back range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “C.”)
464.1 Red Lighted Marker “130.” Junction to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), with channel to Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek.
464.1 Leave back range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “C.”)
Charleston is located on a peninsula between the Cooper and Ashley Rivers. It is an especially good stopover for boats cruising the ICW. Some of the pleasure-boat facilities are in the Ashley River, and one of them is beyond a xed highway bridge with only 56 feet of vertical clearance. h e average tide range in Charleston is 5.2 feet.
For some reason, the buoyage as the ICW enters Charleston Harbor confuses many, as the route zigs and zags a bit. It is helpful to pre-plot some compass courses across Charleston Harbor, which is full of intersecting channels with overlapping marking systems. h e o cial ICW route crosses over to red lighted buoy “2” in South Channel, but it is a bit out of your way. It is perfectly possible to cut more directly across the harbor, being sure to give a wide berth to the charted submerged rocks Charleston Harbor and Charleston
MI LE 464.1 TO MI LE 469.4
For Navigation, see page 120.
Mile 454.7
– Mile 464.1
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and daybeacon marking them. h ere is also a large shoal extending well o the Charleston waterfront, so it is usually best to head for lighted buoy “BP” to avoid all dangers. From “BP” follow the marked ship channel past the large Coast Guard base to the large, exposed anchorage area opposite the city marina.
Anchor outside of the channel, where space and shoals permit. h e bottom has reasonable holding, though there is a lot of old junk, including some abandoned moorings, to snag your anchor. You may need two hooks if the wind is strong, as there is plenty of current. If you can clear the 56-foot bridge you can nd some anchoring room up the Ashley River between the bridges. h ere are charted cable areas to avoid.
Dinghy across the active channel to the City Marina, which is enormous and popular. If docking, be sure to ask for instructions as the current ows strongly through all the docks. In 2005 there was a dinghy dock located at the southeastern end of the marina, toward the Coast Guard base—ask another cruiser for directions as the marina docks are a maze of dead ends.
h e best way to see Charleston is by walking or bicycling, and it’s easy to do. From the marinas to the Battery, the distance is about 1.8 miles. It is about the same distance across the entire peninsula, but the downtown stores and many of the old houses are only about a mile from the marinas. h ere is a lovely long walk along the waterfront, past the Coast Guard station, then down tree-shaded streets of old homes, ending at the waterfront park. A jitney stop is at the City Marina, and you can ride it to anywhere in the city. You can also take guided bus tours, or rent a car to see the sights.
h e old market is full of interesting local crafts, and streets on either side have good restaurants. h is is one of the best eating cities anywhere, and a lot of the seafood is caught locally in the Carolinas.
h ere’s a very good convenience store in the gas station near the marina, with a good wine selection. Large supermarkets are a taxi or bus ride away. h e next good shopping opportunity is only about 66 miles farther on in Beaufort (pronounced “Bew-fort”), so there isn’t a great need to load up here. h e downside to Charleston is the exposed and often restless anchorage—
get out if winds are forecast to get much above 20 knots, particularly when they come from the southeast. A boat on the ICW north of the Ben Sawyer Highway Bridge.
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Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.
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464.1 Red Lighted Marker “130,” entrance to Charleston Harbor.
In reduced visibility, red lighted buoy “2,” across the harbor, may be di cult to see. If so, steer 229 degrees, true, to pick it up (NORTHBOUND: steer 49 degrees true to go to red lighted marker “130”), and allow for the considerable current if it is not slack water.
464.1 Departure point for facilities in Cooper River.
After leaving the ICW at red lighted marker “130,” steer 229 degrees, true, for about 0.4 mile, then alter course and steer 307 degrees, true, until green lighted buoy “27” and red lighted buoy “28” can be seen. These buoys mark the big-ship channel to the Cooper River. (2.5) Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina at Patriot’s Point.
843-856-0028.
Follow the ship channel until just past red lighted buoy “34.” The marina is to the right, adjacent to the Naval Maritime Museum. At the museum you can tour the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and several other navy ships.
(2.5) Charleston Maritime Center. No laundry. 843-853-3625.
Follow the ship channel until green lighted marker “35” is reached. Pass it to port. Steer toward the city, and the marina is ahead.
Several miles farther on upriver is a marina and repair facility, but to reach them, you will need Chart 11524—Charleston Harbor.
465.0 Red Lighted Buoy “2.” Steer 270 degrees, true, to red-over-green lighted junction buoy “BP.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 049 degrees, true, to red lighted marker “130,” to continue on the ICW.)
To the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right), at a right angle to the course, is the small island on which Fort Sumter is located. Pleasure boats can tie up at the tour-boat dock on the island when the tour boat is not there. You can’t stay Navigation CHARLESTON HARBOR AND CHARLESTON
Mile 464.1 to Mile 469.4
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—2.4 knots; ebb—2.7 knots.
The new bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 464.1
– Mile 465.0
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overnight at this dock, however. You can use it only while visiting the fort. Across the harbor entrance, opposite Fort Sumter and on Sullivan’s Island, is Fort Moultrie, another famous, historic military installation. Fort Moultrie is not accessible from the water.
467.2 Red-over-Green Flashing Buoy “BP.” Steer 297 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “3,” in the Ashley River at Mile 468.9. (NORTHBOUND: Steer 090 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “2.”)
(NORTHBOUND: To visit facilities in the Cooper River [see Mile 464.1 (2.5)], take your departure from buoy “BP,” and steer 356 degrees, true. It is 1.4 miles to the Charleston Maritime Center. On this course, you will pass between the mainland and Shutes Folly Island. To reach Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriot’s Point, alter course to the right when abeam of Charleston Maritime Center, to pass green lighted marker “35” to starboard. Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriot’s Point is straight ahead.)
468.9 Green Lighted Marker “3.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 117 degrees, true, to red-over-green ashing buoy “BP.”)
469.1 Charleston Coast Guard Station to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
469.3 Red Lighted Range Marker, at entrance to Wappoo Creek. Continuation of the ICW.
At anchor in Charleston, South Carolina. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 467.2
– Mile 469.3
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469.3 Junction with Ashley River to right (NORTHBOUND: to left),
for three marinas and two anchorages upstream.
(0.1) Anchorage to left.
Drop your hook in the triangle formed by green buoy “5” and the two range markers, in the designated anchorage area. This anchorage is exposed to wakes, can be rough in high winds, is subject to strong currents, and is rather poor holding ground. The moorings in the anchorage are no longer available for transients.
(0.2) Charleston City Marina to right. 843-723-5098.
At times a current of 3 knots or more sweeps through the marina, and docking can be tricky, though it has been greatly improved in recent years. This is the only marina in the Ashley River that can accommodate a sailboat with a mast higher than 56 feet. A restaurant and various marine-oriented shops and businesses are in the marina complex.
(0.5) Mark Clark Expressway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 56 feet. CAUTION: Do not attempt to reach the facilities beyond this bridge if your boat has a mast taller than 56 feet.
(0.6) Harborage at Ashley Marina to right. 843-722-1996.
The current in the river can be 3 knots or more; allow for it when docking.
(0.6) Anchorage to left.
This anchorage is exposed, and a swift current runs through it.
(0.7) Ripley Light Yacht Club to left. 843-766-0908.
Unlike the other marinas in the Ashley River, this one is across the river from downtown Charleston, at the end of a short entrance channel and is therefore out of the current.
The City Marina, Charleston, South Carolina. Mile 469.3
– Mile 469.3
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C H A P T E R 7
The Low Country of
South Carolina
S
outhbound boaters are now entering “river-sound country,” so named by Carl D. Lane in Go South Inside (International Marine, 1977; now out of print). Lane added, “h is area is cut by many large sounds and rivers trending in an east-west direction. h ey twine and wind and intertwine—like a basket of basking snakes.” h is Low Country region also features the occasional hummock of land, seldom higher than 5 or 10 ten feet above a normal high tide and often many feet below water when a big hurricane sweeps through the region.
A direct hit by a hurricane is rare, but strong coastal storms or a brush with the perimeter of a hurricane can raise or lower water levels in the creeks in dramatic and hard-to-predict ways. One winter, in Beaufort, South Carolina, our oating dock in a marina was rst raised almost to the tops of the pilings and then dumped down into the mud when the wind switched direction—the entire marina went aground for a period!
You will see unmistakable high-water marks at eye level on the land and man-made structures in towns along the Waterway, where some past hurricane did its business. Subtler natural forces are at work every day, bringing ever-
higher tides as you move south (close to 9 feet at springs at Beaufort) and a wonderful mixing of fresh and salt water that creates an abundance of sea and land life. You will see wooden shrimp boats working the creeks and heading out to the shallow coastal waters, while around every twist in the Waterway you will pass local shermen, often as they’re pulling dinner out of the channel. Some of them may be shing for a local restaurant, and you will nd the freshest possible seafood in many eateries around here.
h e abundance of life extends to the air, too. Huge ocks of birds y overhead, while waders step gingerly along the channel edges. Unfortunately, yers of the unpleasant insect variety can make life miserable at times. One tiny bug, which the locals call gnats, may be better known to you as no-
see-ums. h ese miniature dive-bombers can descend suddenly and painfully, WAPPOO CREEK TO BEAUFORT,
Mile 469.4 to Mile 534.7
BEAUFORT, BEAUFORT RIVER, AND HILTON HEAD ISLAND,
Mile 534.7 to Mile 575.8
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sometimes requiring the use of a bandanna and sunglasses in order to function even brie y outdoors. h ese insects seem to come and go in waves—you will be cursing them one week, and the next they are gone—but they will be back!
It is interesting how little civilization there is between Charleston and the Florida border, several hundred miles away. h e low marshlands are too insecure for large urban development, and only a few smallish towns cling to patches of higher ground. In recent years a few newer developments have sprung up, but only after the laborious importation of additional soil to pile atop some marshy promontory. As luxurious as some of these communities and resorts are, they have only a tenuous toehold on the land and can easily be swept away by the reach of a Caribbean hurricane. h is gives the region a somewhat di erent perspective on the future and the past, which is marked by dramatic mileposts of storms and high tides.
Luckily, a typical ICW trip in the fall or spring will take place either before or after the hurricane season, and chances are you will be able to enjoy the beauty and charm of this region without fear of a mighty blow.
Unfortunately, an early-morning departure from Charleston is often thwarted by the restricted schedule of the Wappoo Creek Bridge, Mile 470.8—during the peak migration seasons it is closed from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Sometimes you can luck out and follow a tugboat or other commercial vessel through, but be sure to be tight on its tail. h is restriction frequently results in boats jamming up north of the bridge waiting for the 9 a.m. opening. Be careful, as the room to dilly dally around while waiting is very restricted, and though the bridge is slow to open, once it does things move very fast and they don’t like to wait for stragglers.
h ere is usually a strong current running down the creek. Up ahead, Elliott Cut is a narrow rock cut with extremely strong currents sluicing through—low-powered boats may not be able to stem an adverse current, so time your arrival carefully. A possible anchorage, if you have to wait, is at Mile 471.5 in the tiny strip of deeper water behind the little island north of green marker “9.” Another hazard in Elliott Cut is the likelihood of encountering another vessel heading the other way—those with the current have the right of way in such a constricted space. It is narrow enough so you don’t want to have to pass a tugboat in there. If in doubt, call ahead on the radio and monitor VHF Channel 13 for any commercial tra c.
Boats are quickly spit out into the wide Stono River, and it is easy to get confused about which way to go. h e ICW channel south is the one to the Wappoo Creek to Beaufort
MI LE 469.4 TO MI LE 534.7
For Navigation, see page 127.
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right (when headed south), and your rst markers are green marker “19A” and red marker “20.” To the left, near the bridge, is a two-part marina. h e Stono River ICW channel is well marked with ranges as it is used heavily by tug and other commercial tra c. You probably won’t need the ranges to stay in the wide and deep channel. h ankfully, the John F. Limehouse Bridge, Mile 479.3, has been replaced by a high bridge.
After the bridge, the Waterway begins to narrow down, but it remains generally well marked and deep. A possible anchorage is up Church Creek, Mile 487.6. h e charted mud ats don’t show at high tide, and the anchorage is a bit exposed and deep. Around Mile 490 the channel takes a big bend where you’ll see a large tugboat and commercial shipyard, with big boats hauled out and under repair. h is is now the Wadmalaw River. h e river gets wider and wider, and then the ICW takes an abrupt turn at White Point into the Dawho River. h ere tends to be shoaling beginning near red lighted marker “110,” and you should proceed with caution through all the marks to past green lighted marker “119.” h is stretch is wide open and can be rough with a strong northwest breeze, which is common during a frontal passage.
Several narrow land-cuts take you through to the South Edisto River. When entering or leaving these cuts, try to stay in the middle of the channel and don’t cut too close to any marks—there tends to be shoaling near the ends of narrow cuts that spill out into wide rivers. h is advice pertains all the way south into Florida.
You’re in the true South Carolina Low Country now, crisscrossed by small rivers and creeks, with often enough water in them for navigation but few, if any, navigation aids o of the main channels. Acres of marsh grass surround you, and not much else. In the distance you may see the mast or ybridge of another boat seemingly headed the opposite direction, but possibly just on a di erent loop in the river or channel.
A wide-open anchorage can be found by turning north after leaving Watts Cut, Mile 504.3, and heading into a big bend of the South Edisto River. When in this bend the water is quite deep in spots, but eventually shoaling takes over the northern side of the channel. In strong winds from the north, move up close to that bank of the river for better protection. h e only shelter is provided by low marsh grass and the steep riverbanks, which at low tide provide better protection.
You’ll possibly experience a strange Low Country anchoring phenomenon here. Despite being anchored in a narrow creek, surrounded by steep mud banks and tall marsh grass, your anchored boat will be reluctant to drift out of the strong current in the middle of the channel, even with the wind pushing you sideways. h is is advantageous, though if the wind gets strong enough, it can push you toward the shallows, or get your boat spinning around its anchor.
Heading down the South Edisto can be rough during a fall cold front, but the river twists and turns, somewhat reducing the buildup of any T h e L o w C o u n t r y o f S o u t h C a r o l i n a
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seas. Use the charted ranges to stay in the deepest water. At Mile 509 the river is very wide, and boats can anchor on the north side, well o the main route. South of Mile 510 the ICW takes an abrupt turn into Fenwick Cut, and then another abrupt turn to the west into the Ashepoo River. Try to line up with the center of the Ashepoo Coosaw Cuto as the turn can be quite shoal. h ere may be shoaling in the Cuto too.
At Mile 515 you enter Rock Creek for a short stretch, then back into another part of the Ashepoo Coosaw Cuto . h ere tends to be shoaling near green lighted marker “177,” where there was less than 7 feet in the Cuto in 2005. h ere was further shoaling to less than 5 feet near red lighted marker “184” and green marker “185” at the end of the Cuto —stick close to “184” for better water.
A nice anchorage is found in Rock Creek north of green lighted marker “177.” Proceed cautiously, as the creek is shoal in spots. For really good protection, proceed around the bend in the creek, between the charted 22- and 8-foot spots. There was good water on the outside of the bend in 2005, but it was very shallow on the inside of the bend. h ere are some trees around to break up some of the wind and add some variety to the sea of waving marsh grass. h is anchorage can be very useful if there is a big wind funneling up or down the Coosaw River, which is more like a large bay or sound. Northwesterly blows in the fall can make the Coosaw very rough.
Coming out of the Fenwick Cut. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
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Take it easy leaving Rock Creek to avoid piling up on a shoal. At the entrance to the Coosaw River, be sure to take a wide swing out around red lighted marker “186.” h e shoal appears to have extended right out to the marker.
You may need to use compass courses and the GPS in the Coosaw River. h e marks are far apart and hard to spot. h e wide-open waters get rough when strong winds funnel down from the northwest—wait out a big blow in Beaufort or Rock Creek. At Mile 521 there is a possible anchorage in Bull River, which is wide and deep, but there won’t be much shelter in a big wind. At low tide there will be some protection from the banks, but at high tide you’ll be right out in the wind. At Mile 521.5, a marked channel leads south to the Morgan River where there is a rather remote marina with good facilities. h ere is tons of room to anchor in the Morgan River, but not much shelter.
Sams Point, Mile 524, is on Lucy Point Creek. It is possible to nd some shelter just before the bridge, and you’ll probably see several local boats anchored there. h ere are no facilities. Keep an eye out for eagles in the Coosaw—they sometimes perch on the ICW markers. Depths are good even outside of the marked channel, so sailors can fudge things a bit if needed to keep the sails full. Get lined up again before green lighted marker “203” and the entrance to Brickyard Creek. A range will help you stay in the channel.
Brickyard Creek soon gives way to the Beaufort River. (Again, this Beaufort is pronounced “Bew-fort,” while the one in North Carolina is pronounced “Bo-fort.”) h e town is one of the highlights of the ICW trip and is not to be missed, which justi es making this a short day so you have plenty of time to get the boat situated in a good spot—you’ll probably be spending at least a few days here.
Navigation CAUTION: Watch for strong currents at every bridge and in narrow sections of the Waterway. Be especially careful when approaching bridges with the current, and allow for the current if the bridge must open for your boat. In this situation, when you are nearing a bridge that hasn’t opened, one of the best maneuvers to make is to reverse your direction and head into the current. If you circle, you may make more leeway than you anticipated when the boat is broadside to the current. Watch for cross-
setting currents that may be present at some bridges and where inlets, rivers, or creeks intersect the Waterway. Boats traveling with the current have the right of way. In this section, you won’t be able to predict the currents accurately; there are too many rivers emptying into the ocean, too close together.
469.9 Mark Clark Expressway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 67 feet.
WAPPOO CREEK TO BEAUFORT
Mile 469.4 to Mile 534.7 Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.8 knots; ebb—2.2 knots.
Mile 469.9
– Mile 469.9
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470.8 Wappoo Creek James Island Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 33 feet.
RESTRICTED: April 1 through May 31, weekdays, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
June 1 through September 30, weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
October 1 through November 30, weekdays, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
April 1 through November 30, weekends and legal holidays, 9 a.m. to
7 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
December 1 through March 31, weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
CAUTION: There are swift currents in the vicinity of this bridge.
471.5 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), behind island.
472.2 Entrance to 0.4-mile-long land-cut: Elliott Cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of land-cut.)
CAUTION: Although this cut is very short, we call your attention to it because of the rocks along the sides and the swift currents that run through it. It is best to pass through near slack current.
472.6 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 0.4-mile-long
land-cut: Elliott Cut. See Mile 472.2.)
472.6 Junction with Stono River and a marina (in two parts) to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
(1.1) St. John’s Yacht Harbor to right. 843-557-1027.
(1.2) Stono River Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
(1.3) St. John’s Yacht Harbor to right. 843-557-1027.
472.9 Green Marker “19A.”
Favor the left side of the channel until reaching green lighted marker “21.” A shoal is steadily building behind red marker “20.” 473.6 Green Lighted Marker “21.”
Don’t pass this marker too closely, as it is on the edge of a shoal. Favor the right shore after passing it. (NORTHBOUND: Favor the left shore until you reach green marker “19A.”)
474.0 Green Lighted Marker “21A.” Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
(NORTHBOUND: Favor the left shore until you reach green lighted marker “21.”)
475.2 Leave front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A.”)
475.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), east of range “A” front marker.
This anchorage has no protection from wakes.
475.8 Begin back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “B.”)
476.3 Ross Marine, Inc., to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Repair facility. Hauling. 843-559-0379.
476.7 Leave back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “B.”)
477.2 Begin back range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “C.”)
477.8 Leave back range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “C.”)
Mile 470.8
– Mile 477.8
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Wa p p o o C r e e k t o B e a u f o r t
478.2 Begin front range “D.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “D.”)
478.9 Leave front range “D.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “D.”)
479.3 John F. Limehouse Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance,
65 feet.
479.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), behind small island.
Enter around the northeast end of the island.
487.6 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), behind green lighted marker “77,” 0.5 mile of ICW channel in Church Creek, opposite New Cut Landing.
487.6 Begin back range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A.”)
488.6 Leave back range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “A.”)
489.7 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Oyster House Creek.
The entrance has shoaled to 4 feet at low water. Enter to the left of center to avoid a sandbar on the right. Use your depth-sounder to i nd the deepest water for anchoring.
490.0 Stevens Towing Shipyard to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
843-889-2254.
Commercial boats are built and serviced at the boatyards, but a large pleasure boat can be hauled in an emergency.
496.6 Red Lighted Marker “110,” at entrance to Dawho River.
496.7 Junction with North Edisto River and departure point for one marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Chart 11522—Stono and North Edisto Rivers required.
The Bohicket Marina and Yacht Club (843-768-1280), with all facilities, is located in the Bohicket River, 7 miles from this junction. Although this marina is o the ICW, it can break up the run to Beaufort, South Carolina, which can be a long one for a slow boat on a short day.
498.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Dawho River.
Anchor behind red marker “118” in 7 to 16 feet of water. Avoid anchoring in any of the bights in the river because they have shoaled. The anchorage is rather unprotected from winds.
501.4 McKinley Washington Jr. Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
504.3 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in South Edisto River.
Anchor around the bend in 10 feet of water.
505.0 Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
506.2 Leave front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A.”)
509.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) near mouth of Alligator Creek.
509.2 Begin front range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “C.”)
509.9 Leave front range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “C.”)
511.2 Red Lighted Marker “162.” Entrance to 0.5-mile-long land-cut: Fenwick Cut.
Pay special attention to the markers at the entrance and exit of the cut to avoid moving out of the narrow channel.
Mile 478.2
– Mile 511.2
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511.2 Red Lighted Marker “162.” Departure point for one marina in South Edisto River straight ahead (NORTHBOUND: to right after exiting Fenwick Cut). Chart 11517—St. Helena Sound required. Edisto Marina (843-869-3504), with all facilities, is located o the South Edisto River to the left in Big Bay Creek, 6 miles from this junction. This is another marina o the Waterway, and again mentioned because you may want to put in there to break up the run to Beaufort, South Carolina.
511.7 Red Lighted Marker “164.” End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 0.5-mile-long land-cut: Fenwick Cut. See rst Mile 511.2 entry.)
515.0 Red Marker “172.”
CAUTION: Don’t take a shortcut from red marker “172” to red marker “176.” From green lighted marker “173” follow the left bank until you begin the range at Mile 515.6.
515.6 Begin unnamed back range. (NORTHBOUND: Leave unnamed front range.)
(NORTHBOUND: After leaving the range, follow the right bank until reaching green lighted marker “173.”)
516.2 Leave unnamed back range. (NORTHBOUND: Begin unnamed front range.)
516.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Rock Creek above entrance to Ashepoo Coosaw Cutof .
518.3 Red Lighted Marker “186.” Entrance to Coosaw River.
Shoaling is reported at the marker, so give it a wide berth. From the marker, in bad visibility, steer a course of 262 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “189” across this 4.7-mile-long stretch of wide, deep water.
The north side of the South Edisto River. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 511.2
– Mile 518.3
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521.5 Departure point to the left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for marina in Morgan River, 4.7 miles of ICW channel.
When abeam of green marker “1” at the entrance to Parrot Creek to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), turn left (NORTHBOUND: turn right). Follow the markers in the creek until you reach red marker “6.” Turn right into Morgan River. The marina is 2.1 miles farther on, on the left.
(4.7) Dataw Island Marina. Repair facility. Hauling. 843-838-8410.
523.0 Green Lighted Marker “189.”
(NORTHBOUND: In bad visibility, steer 082 degrees, true, to red lighted marker “186.”)
527.4 Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
528.7 Leave front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A.”)
530.6 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Brickyard Creek.
Carefully watch your depth-sounder when entering.
h e coauthor (John K.) and his wife arrived in Beaufort low on fuel one fall. h e bridge broke down so we couldn’t pass; we tied up at Lady’s Island Marina, were invited to h anksgiving dinner, ended up spending two years, and we had our rst child. So watch out—you never know what can happen in the Beaufort Triangle, as we call it.
h e rst good anchorage, Mile 535, is rather removed from town, but it o ers reasonable shelter and you won’t have to contend with other boats. Enter the charted deep water opposite green marker “233,” then loop back north inside the shoal charted up to red marker “232.” h e shoal dries at low tide and provides good shelter from wakes most of the day. Plus, it’s fun to play on the sandbars at low tide.
A better storm anchorage is up Factory Creek, entered just before the Ladies Island Bridge. Line up with the bridge and proceed cautiously around green marker “1” in Factory Creek—there is a big shoal extending from “1” out toward the ICW channel. Near the next marker there is a public boat launch, which is a good place to land a dinghy. h e ramp is very active, so you may want to anchor farther in, but the creek does narrow. h e marina is no longer quite as welcoming to anchored boats as it once was, but you can land for a fee. h ere’s a pleasant restaurant located next to the marina where you may be able to tie up temporarily. If you anchor past the marina, be sure to use two anchors to stay in the narrow deep water. Strong currents tend to keep boats in the middle, even if strong winds want to blow you into the marsh. Farther in, depths drop and docks line the creek.
h e boat ramp and marina are both fairly close to a large supermarket, several restaurants, and other shopping. h is is not a bad place to stock up, Beaufort, Beaufort River, and Hilton Head Island
MI LE 534.7 TO MI LE 575.8
For Navigation, see page 135.
Mile 521.5
– Mile 530.6
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The route of the ICW down the Beaufort River, showing the Ladies Island Swing Bridge.
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though you will be walking alongside busy Route 21 to get anywhere. You can walk over the bridge into town via a narrow sidewalk from which you get a vantage point to observe the operations of the swing bridge and boats passing by on the ICW.
h e Ladies Island Swing Bridge is restricted, so plan accordingly. h e stretch from the bridge to past the next xed bridge is a no-wake zone that is heavily enforced. Beaufort’s Downtown Marina is on the north shore of the channel, located in a pleasant waterfront park. West of the marina is a oating free dock that can be used for dinghies or temporary tie-up when loading groceries and so forth. h e main anchoring area is located o this dock and farther to the west. h e waters are deep and then suddenly shoal to the north—be careful near the edge.
Expect to share this anchorage with lots of other boats, most of them on two anchors or moorings to deal with the strong currents. If a strong blow is forecast, it’s best to move to someplace with fewer boats. We were here one night when one boat put its bowsprit through another boat’s canvas work. A possible alternative is the strip of deep water across the ICW from the main anchorage area. Enter the deep water by proceeding down the ICW past red marker “241A,” take a wide swing below the marsh island, then loop back north into deeper water. Local shing boats zip through here at night, so be sure to show an anchor light.
A word of caution around here and all through the Low Country—be wary of oyster shells. h ese delicious critters are wonderful to eat, but the shells can slice your dinghy or your legs to ribbons. Don’t go wading through deep mud. Some of it holds you like quicksand, and all of it has the potential to hide razor-sharp clam and oyster shells. h e same thing goes for your dog. Also, be careful when tying up an in atable dinghy. With the great tide range here, shell-covered pilings are likely to be exposed at low tide.
Although Beaufort (we’ll remind you again, it is pronounced “Bew-fort”) is just a short distance from Charleston, you’ll notice a distinct di erence in the architecture of the old houses. Many of the houses in Charleston have a porch that runs from front to back on one side of the house, while many of the Beaufort houses are built in a style common in the West Indies. h e rst oor is elevated over a high basement, where the kitchen is located, and a wide verandah often runs along three sides of the house. Some of the houses are set on the blu s overlooking Beaufort River.
Beaufort is friendly and convenient. h e waterfront park is great for strolling, playing on the grass, or swinging in the playground. Several nice shops and restaurants open onto both the park and the main street on the other side. Some favorites include a bookstore, a hardware store, and a toy store. h e library is a block away and the post o ce a 10-minute walk inland. It is a longer walk to larger grocery stores, but only a few dollars to take a cab back. Or, ask around the marina someone is bound to be headed that way—Beaufort is that kind of town. Propane tanks can be lled at a hardware store on Ladies Island, and probably in other places as well. Outside T h e L o w C o u n t r y o f S o u t h C a r o l i n a
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of town you’ll nd a large Wal-Mart and other stores. h is is one of the most convenient supply ports on the ICW, so take advantage.
A further Beaufort option is the marina in Port Royal at Mile 539.4 near the xed bridge. Some snowbirds make this their nal destination, and there are lots of friendly liveaboards there. h e marina is farther from most stores and restaurants, but it has its own popular eating spot.
Currents in the Beaufort River run strong and its wide waters can get rough, but not as rough as upcoming Port Royal Sound. South of Mile 540 a side channel from Port Royal enters. It is possible to anchor up the channel, past the commercial dock. h e channel is heavily used by local craft on weekends. Markers now indicate the main shipping channel for Port Royal, so you’ll mainly have large green buoys to starboard (headed south) and red buoys to port. h e main route passes Parris Island, site of a huge and famous Marine Corps training base. At night, you may notice tracer re and ares, and hear gun re o in the distance.
Many anchoring opportunities are found up Cowen Creek, Mile 544. Enter well south of the leading range marker on Cowen Spit. You’ll have to feel your way around several charted shoals, but there is generally plenty of water. If you have a detailed chart, you can head well up Cowens Creek to other more sheltered anchoring options.
At green lighted buoy “27” the ICW branches o to the west to cross Port Royal Sound and the mouth of the Broad River. Give the red lighted marker “246” (back to ICW red) on Parris Island Spit a wide berth, then take a compass course across to the red nun and the daymarkers at the entrance to Skull Creek, which leads to Hilton Head. Some people think this is the roughest stretch of the ICW, and you may agree if a strong northwest wind is funneling out of the Broad River. We’ve encountered oceanlike breaking waves on the crossing. At least it’s short.
Skull Creek meanders past various marinas on Hilton Head Island, and there are good places here to get fuel right next to the main ICW channel. After the xed bridge you’re into Calibogue Sound, which quickly widens out into a big body of water. It tends to not be as rough as Port Royal Sound as northerly winds come across the land. At about Mile 564 you can head south to the entrance to ritzy Harbourtown Marina or to Broad Creek. Harbourtown’s entrance is marked by a distinctive 90-foot lighthouse, right next to a PGA golf course. It is surprising to see local commercial shing boats on Hilton Head, but you will see them up Broad Creek, along with several marinas, as well as anchoring opportunities.
Hilton Head Island could be called a real estate “undevelopment.” Many of the houses on this exclusive island don’t intrude into the natural landscape; they blend with it. h e shops are stocked with all sorts of the most elegant (and expensive) goods. It is a fun place to visit, with lots going on. h ere 135
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are world-class golf and tennis tournaments, waterfront music competitions, and of course tons of restaurants. h is is one place where a bicycle is a real pleasure, as there are many paved bike paths.
h e ICW takes a swing to the west at Mile 565. Daufuskie Island is the setting for Pat Conroy’s book e Water Is Wide, though today a good portion of the island has been transformed from poverty-stricken backwater to ultra-
exclusive resort. h e story tells of Conroy’s early teaching experiences on the island, which was isolated from the rest of the world at that time.
Anchor up Bull Creek, Mile 565, if you need to. At the south end of Ramshorn Creek, Mile 570, there always seems to be shoaling near green lighted marker “39,” and all across the entrance to the anchorage in the New River—
enter with caution. Red lighted marker “40” is located right on the shoal. h ere are many anchoring opportunities in the New River and the Wright River.
In general, proceed cautiously from here to the Savannah River as there are many shoal spots, particularly in the cuts. h e worst shoaling in 2005–
2007 was in the north end of Fields Cut, with deeper water on the green side of the channel. From midchannel to the red side there was less than
5 feet of water. h ere is reported to be shoaling near red lighted marker “50,” just before the ICW crosses the Savannah River and enters Georgia.
Navigation 534.7 Marsh Harbor Boatworks to left. Repair facility. Hauling. 843-521-
1500.
535.9 Junction to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), with Factory Creek and a marina and an anchorage.
A shoal extends from marker “1” toward the bridge. Give the marker a wide berth, especially near low tide.
(0.7) Anchorage between boat ramp and marina. Use two anchors.
(0.8) Lady’s Island Marina to right. 843-522-0430.
This marina is close to several grocery stores, restaurants, and other shopping.
(1.0) Anchorage above the marina.
Use two anchors here.
536.0 Ladies Island Highway Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 30 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. From 9 a.m. to
4 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
Because of very swift currents, stay clear of the bridge until it is fully open. This bridge takes some time to open up.
536.3 Downtown Marina of Beaufort to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 843-524-4422.
The historic district, chamber of commerce, and shopping are within a short walk. Swift currents can make docking exciting.
BEAUFORT, BEAUFORT RIVER, AND HILTON HEAD ISLAND
Mile 534.7 to Mile 575.8
Red aids to navigation to starboard and to port.
Current: Average maximum ood—1.4 knots; ebb—1.8 knots.
(NORTHBOUND: Before leaving Beaufort, see Mile 496.7 and second Mile 511.2 entry.)
Mile 534.7
– Mile 536.3
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536.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), immediately below marina.
Considerable current runs through the anchorage, there are numerous moorings, and it is exposed to wakes from Waterway tra c. After 72 hours vessels are asked to register in the marina. There is a public dinghy oat.
539.4 Port Royal Landing Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
843-525-6664.
539.6 Beaufort River Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
541.6 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 1.3 miles up Battery Creek above the turning basin of the town of Port Royal.
541.8 Green Lighted Buoy “41.” Leave to starboard (NORTHBOUND:
to port).
NOTE: Continue to leave green aids to starboard until after passing green lighted buoy “27.” Those in pleasure boats need not run the several big-ship ranges in the 6-mile-long channel of the Beaufort River below this point.
The island to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left) is Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Training Base. More marines go through boot camp here than at any other Marine Corps base.
544.2 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: straight ahead), in Cowen Creek, 2.0 miles of ICW channel.
Enter creek below front marker of range “C” and anchor o Cat Island. 547.7 Green Lighted Buoy “27.” (NORTHBOUND: Pass this buoy and all other green aids to port until you reach green lighted buoy “41.”)
Boats in Downtown Marina of Beaufort, South Carolina. Ladies Island Swing Bridge is in the background.
CHART 11507—BEAUFORT RIVER TO ST. SIMONS SOUND
Mile 536.4
– Mile 547.7
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548.6 Red Lighted Marker “246.” Steer 264 degrees, true, to red buoy “2.” 551.0 Red Buoy “2.” Steer 274 degrees, true, to green lighted marker “3.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 084 degrees, true, to Red Buoy “246.”)
552.3 Green Lighted Marker “3.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 094 degrees, true, to Red Buoy “2.”)
553.5 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Skull Creek.
At red lighted marker “6,” turn left (NORTHBOUND: turn right) into the creek. Anchor either above or below Seabrook Landing. 554.8 Skull Creek Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Hauling. 843-
681-8436.
555.7 Hilton Head Boathouse to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Small boat oriented. 843-681-2628.
555.7 Hudsons on the Docks restaurant, with some dockage.
843-681-2772.
557.1 Hilton Head Harbor to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
843-681-3256.
557.5 J. Wilton Graves Twin Highway Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
558.0 Begin back range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A.”)
558.4 Leave back range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “A.”)
558.5 Windmill Harbour to left. Hauling. 843-681-9235.
In this area of high tides, this marina is virtually tide-free because it is entered through a lock. Persons aboard entering boats, or the marina’s personnel, can easily operate the lock. The marina is the home of the South Carolina Yacht Club.
563.8 Green Marker “1.” Junction with Broad Creek to left (NORTHBOUND:
to right), to marinas and anchorage.
It has been reported that a channel into Broad Creek exists between Bram Point and Buck Island, but it should be used only with local knowledge.
(4.2) Anchorage above or below Opossum Point.
(4.6) Palmetto Bay Marina to right. Hauling. 843-785-3910.
(5.0) Broad Creek Marina. 843-681-3625.
(6.0) Shelter Cove Marina to right. 843-842-7001.
564.0 Harbourtown Yacht Basin to left (NORTHBOUND: to right),
0.9 mile of ICW through marked channel. 843-671-2704.
The entrance is marked by a distinctive 90-foot lighthouse tower. Once inside, you are in the midst of a lot of tourist activity.
565.0 ICW mileage markers end here. Georgia and Florida have no mileage markers.
565.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Bull Creek, 0.8 mile of ICW channel.
Enter 0.2 mile northeast of red lighted marker “34.”
567.5 Freeport Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), opposite Marker “36,” on Daufuskie Island. 843-785-8242.
567.6 Melrose Landing Marina on left (NORTHBOUND: on right).
843-686-3315.
Mile 548.6
– Mile 567.6
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570.3 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in New River.
CAUTION: Watch for shoaling near green lighted marker “39” and all across the entrance to the anchorage.
572.8 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), 0.5 mile of ICW channel in Wright River of Turtle Island.
Give green marker “43” a wide berth before turning into the river.
575.8 Red Lighted Marker “50,” with shoaling near the marker. Georgia state line at Savannah River. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 09. (NORTHBOUND: South Carolina state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 09.)
Mile 570.3
– Mile 575.8
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C H A P T E R 8
Georgia
S
outh of Savannah, which is well worth taking time to see, you will be heading into the most remote and least populated portion of the entire ICW. Towns are so few and far between that, when you see one, you will welcome it as a sign that you haven’t sailed o the end of the world. Unfortunately this is also the least maintained portion of the Waterway, and in recent years the soundings on the charts have come to function more as historical records than up-to-date readings. Shoal sections abound, and it is quite likely that you will either run aground or nd yourself going to the aid of someone else who has. Fortunately, a grounding is more inconvenience than danger. You will encounter nothing but soft ICW mud, and with the help of this area’s signi cant tides—the highest on the entire Waterway—it is relatively easy to get back a oat if you are patient.
h is section of the ICW can try your patience in other ways as well. h e channels wind and twist so much that it is easy to lose track of exactly where you are, until you nd out you’ve cut some corner or missed a turn into a creek, and the mud banks have reminded you and your keel.
On the other hand, it is a great pleasure to anchor all by yourself in some swath of marshland with no lights visible on the horizon, and to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of wildlife and maybe the current sweeping by your rudder. Some nd this region almost too lonely, and it has become even more so in recent years as the channels have shoaled.
It pays to monitor the VHF radio closely on this stretch. You will hear from fellow boaters as they nd the latest shallow mud, and it is important to relay similar information when you are the rst to discover it. h e boaters’ “grapevine” can be a highly e ective tool for sharing the absolute latest information on Waterway conditions.
SAVANNAH TO ST. CATHERINES SOUND,
Mile 575.8 to Mile 617.5
ST. CATHERINES SOUND TO CUMBERLAND SOUND,
Mile 617.5 to Mile 705.9
CUMBERLAND SOUND,
Mile 705.9 to Mile 715.0
Savannah to St. Catherines Sound
MI LE 575.8 TO MI LE 617.5
For Navigation, see page 142.
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When crossing the Savannah River, be sure to listen on VHF Channels 13 and 16 for warnings from large commercial tra c. Proceed out of the ICW cautiously to cross the river, so as not to cut in front of some big vessel in the shipping channel. A strong current will hit ICW travelers on the beam while crossing the river. In 2005 there was severe shoaling to less than 5 feet from red lighted marker “2” to red lighted marker “6”—stay o the red marks! You’re now in Georgia, which features some of the worst shoaling on the ICW, but it also has large tides allowing you to wait for better water.
Waterway travelers who want to sightsee in Savannah can stay at one of the marinas in h underbolt or Isle of Hope, both of which are suburbs of Savannah, and use the convenient municipal bus system or a taxi to reach the city.
A 9-mile side trip up the Savannah River to Savannah is worthwhile, though there is no place to anchor. h ere are marinas along the waterfront right in the midst of everything, which can be both fun and noisy. Large ships pass within a few feet of the exposed dock, and strong currents can make docking exciting.
Located right in the heart of downtown has its advantages, particularly because Savannah is a beautiful walking city. Savannah was laid out by General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, and features many squares, fountains, and statues. Of the four historic cities within the last 175 miles (Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah), we think Savannah is the most beautiful, and it competes neck-and-neck with Charleston as a great eating city. h e houses are elegant, and many of them face the lovely small parks that dot Bull Street. You can spend many pleasant hours visiting the shops, restaurants, and the nautical museum located in the renovated ve-story warehouses on the waterfront. As in Charleston, you can take a guided tour of the city.
h ere used to be a good anchorage in St. Augustine Creek, Mile 578, but now tour boats use this channel. h e waters are deep right to the banks. A little farther on, a small-craft channel enters from the north—it provides a shortcut to Savannah if coming from the south, but a low bridge crosses it.
h e Causton Blu Bridge, with restricted openings in the morning and evening, is in a narrow spot with plenty of current. Note that Georgia bridges now monitor VHF Channel 09, like bridges in South Carolina and Florida. Before and after the xed bridge at h underbolt are many marine facilities with full repairs and fuel available. h is is one of the largest concentrations of marine repair and dockage options north of Florida. Be sure to check the current before approaching any dock in this region.
Also, be sure to check your fuel level when headed south of h underbolt and Isle of Hope—there are very few fuel stops in Georgia, and many of them are miles o the main channel. See Navigation for more information.
Anchor in the Herb River at Mile 584.2. h e entrance is unmarked, but it is fairly easy to line up on the center of the channel by using green lighted marker “37” as a back mark. Favor the south bank of the Herb River for better depths—you’ll see local docks on that side. For better protection, proceed around the bend in the river to where there is a charted 7-foot spot. Shoals 141
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begin to creep in from the sides if you pass the 7-foot spot, but it is possible to continue farther up if you want to.
We carry heavy anchor gear and lots of chain, but the Herb River is one of the few places on the entire ICW where we have ever dragged anchor. We didn’t actually move very far, but our anchor managed to twist itself out of the hard bottom with the swirling current. I suspect we just happened to drop the hook in a bad spot, because this rarely happens with good ICW mud. You may want to use two hooks.
h is is a good area to cover some miles. h ere’s just one bridge to deal with and most of this stretch is deep. You’ll be passing through classic Georgia marshland, with few signs of civilization, and even fewer marine facilities. Check your fuel situation carefully. South of Isle of Hope, Mile 590, there’s not much in the way of marine facilities until Golden Isles, Mile 675. h ere is one marina up Delegal Creek, near Mile 600, which is reasonably convenient.
Soon after the Herb River, the ICW turns south into the Skidaway River. h e Wilmington River continues on out to the ocean, and there is a deep, fairly well-marked, bridge-free channel that is used by large boats using the marine facilities at h underbolt. It is possible to anchor near the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, near red lighted marker “42” and Mile 588, but this is just a wide place in the ICW.
At anchor near the south bank of the Herb River in Georgia.
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A small designated anchorage area at Isle of Hope, Mile 590, is full of moored boats, but there might be room to anchor. Make sure you won’t swing into the ICW channel. See the notes above about the fuel situation south of Isle of Hope. Skidaway Narrows Bridge comes up at Mile 592.6, and it is restricted, with early morning limits weekdays. Keep that in mind if you’re trying to get an early start from Isle of Hope. h e next opening bridge isn’t until Florida at Mile 720.8, and that railroad bridge is usually open. Probably, the next opening bridge you’ll have to contend with won’t be until Sisters Creek at Mile 739.1—that’s 146.3 statute miles of freedom! h e former anchorage in the Moon River, Mile 594.7, appears to have shoaled right across. h ere is also shoaling near green lighted marker “79” where the Burnside River joins the Vernon River—you can collect rivers in Georgia.
South of Mile 600, Hell Gate (which isn’t very hellish) connects to the Ogeechee River. h e ICW takes a hard turn to the west after Hell Gate. Take wide swings around all marks, which tend to be right on the shoals or on the banks of the rivers. Next up is the Florida Passage (shoaling) leading to the Bear River. Redbird Creek at Mile 606.9 is a good anchorage. Cane Patch Creek, Mile 608.5, is also a good place to hook up. You’ll see tons of other deep creeks in Georgia—
some of them are probably better than the anchorages recommended here, but we haven’t tried them all. We only recommend ones that we know rsthand or have obtained information on from a reliable source. Another anchoring spot is up Kilkenny Creek, Mile 613.5. h ere’s also a marina with fuel up the creek a couple of miles.
Navigation CAUTION: It’s a good idea to ll your fuel tanks before leaving h underbolt or Isle of Hope because the next marina with fuel that is directly on the Waterway is about 100 miles away. But along this stretch you can obtain both gas and diesel fuel at six marinas located at distances ranging from 2 to 6.3 miles o the Waterway proper.
575.8 Red Lighted Marker “50,” junction with Savannah River. City of Savannah to right with several marinas. Inlet to ocean to left.
To continue on the ICW, turn slightly to the right after passing red lighted marker “50.” Then, before reaching red lighted buoy “36” in the Savannah River, bear slightly left at red lighted marker “2,” to enter the short Elba Island Cut. CAUTION: There may be large commercial tra c in the Savannah River channel that will not be able to stop or avoid smaller pleasure craft.
To reach the inlet, turn left at marker “50.” To reach the four pleasure-boat facilities in downtown Savannah, turn right at marker “50.”
The facilities in Savannah are in order to the left: River Street Market Place Dock (912-398-6038), River Street Downtown Savannah (912-232-4252), and SAVANNAH TO ST. CATHERINES SOUND
Mile 575.8 to Mile 617.5
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.3 knots; ebb—1.9 knots.
Mile 575.8
– Mile 575.8
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The Elba Island Cut, Causton Blu Bridge, Thunderbolt, the Herb River, and Turner Creek.
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Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel (912-944-3615). The River Street docks put you right in the middle of everything—maybe too close for a good night’s sleep if things are hopping. To the right and opposite the downtown area is the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort (912-201-2000). All four are about 9 miles from marker “50.” Currents are swift, so pick a favorable current if you venture upriver, and keep the current in mind while docking.
576.3 Red Lighted Marker “2,” entrance to Elba Island Cut. (NORTHBOUND: Exit from Elba Island Cut.)
(NORTHBOUND: To continue on the ICW, bear slightly to the right when crossing the Savannah River, then bear slightly to the left to reenter the ICW at red lighted marker “50.” To visit Savannah, make a left turn at red lighted marker “2.” To reach the inlet, bear right at green lighted buoy “35.” See Mile 575.8 for facilities.)
CAUTION: Elba Island Cut has had shoaling problems in recent years, and there is a strong side current.
578.5 Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
578.8 Leave front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A.”)
578.8 Begin front range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “B.”)
579.1 Leave front range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “B.”)
579.9 Causton Bluf , Sam Varnedoe, Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., opens at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.
582.4 Hinckley Yacht Service to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Hauling. 912-629-2400.
582.4 Savannah Bend Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No pumpout. 912-897-3625.
582.5 Thunderbolt Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
582.8 Bahia Bleu Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. 912-354-2283.
583.1 Thunderbolt Marine to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Marina/
repair facility. No pumpout. Hauling. 912-356-3875.
A short walk away you’ll i nd two restaurants and a sandwich shop.
584.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Herb River,
0.5 mile of ICW channel.
Favor the left side of the river when entering.
585.5 Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for an anchorage and a marina in Turner Creek, and a marina in Wilmington River.
(1.3) Turner Creek: Anchorage.
(2.0) Turner Creek: Sail Harbor Marina and Boatyard. Marina/repair facility. No fuel. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 912-897-2896.
(4.2) Wilmington River: Landings Harbor Marina to right.
912-598-1901.
589.8 Isle of Hope Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Recently renovated. Hauling—railway. 912-354-8187.
Mile 576.3
– Mile 589.8
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590.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
Anchor behind and between red markers “46A” and “48.” Expect to i nd moored boats here and very little space to anchor. Keep clear of the ICW and marina channels.
592.6 Skidaway Narrows, R. C. Roebling Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., opens at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.
594.7 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) in Moon River,
0.3 mile of ICW channel southwest of Marsh Island.
The anchorage is only about 6 feet deep at low water. May be less water.
597.0 Green Lighted Marker “79,” with shoal water near it.
600.9 Red Lighted Buoy “86.” Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) for marina in Delegal Creek.
(2.0) Delegal Creek Marina to right. 912-598-0023.
Follow the marked channel, staying close to red buoy “4” as you pass it.
601.8 Begin back range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A.”)
This is an area with swift currents.
602.2 Leave back range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “A.” See Mile 601.8.)
605.5 Departure point for marina in Ogeechee River straight ahead (NORTHBOUND: to right).
Turn into the river north of red lighted marker “98,” at the entrance to Florida Passage.
(4.8) Ft. McAllister Marina and Inn to left. Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 912-727-2632.
606.9 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Redbird Creek.
Anchor around the i rst bend of the creek.
607.3 Begin front range in Florida Passage. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range in Florida Passage.)
Shoaling in Florida Passage.
608.5 Leave front range in Florida Passage. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range in Florida Passage.)
608.5 Anchorages to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Cane Patch Creek and Buckhead Creek, both about 1.4 miles of ICW channel.
610.2 Begin front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A.”)
611.0 Leave front range “A.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A.”)
611.8 Begin front range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “B.”)
612.2 Leave front range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “B.”)
612.9 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Big Tom Creek.
613.5 Junction to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) for anchorage and marina in Kilkenny Creek.
(0.8) Anchorage in 15 feet of water.
Shrimp boats frequent this creek at night.
(2.2) Kilkenny Marina to left. No pumpout. 912-727-2215.
The location of this marina is shown on Chart 11511—Ossabaw and
St. Catherines Sound, but in this case it is not absolutely necessary to Mile 590.0
– Mile 613.5
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have a chart to reach it. About 1 mile up Kilkenny Creek is a fork; take the right fork, favoring the right bank because of a shoal that extends quite a distance out from the left bank. The marina is about a mile from the fork.
Coastal Georgia has more deep, long creeks and rivers than the South Carolina Low Country. By looking at the chart, you can see how they thread their serpentine courses through the marshes. From a boat, your view is of marsh grass, sky, and your own small ribbon of water. h e grass reaches toward in nity except to the west, where occasionally a dark line of far-distant trees de nes the horizon. Often we have been anchored in one of these creeks and have seen, miles and miles away across the marshes, the mast of another boat anchored in another creek.
h e marshes are especially beautiful in a light mist, which creates an otherworldly landscape of grays and muted greens, sometimes relieved by a solitary egret—its white feathers appearing almost uorescent against the marsh grass. h e nineteenth-century Georgia poet, Sidney Lanier, was captivated by the Marshes of Glynn near Brunswick:
Somehow my soul seems suddenly free
From the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin,
By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the Marshes of Glynn.
Maybe you will fall under the spell of the marshes, too.
h e Bear River soon widens out to St. Catherines Sound, which is wide open to the Atlantic if a big east wind is coming in (rare). Still, you may feel ocean seas as the ICW crosses the sound. Be careful to take a wide swing around the markers prior to Mile 620, and don’t shortcut across—there are shoals. h e anchorage and alternate route down Walburg Creek are attractive, but getting out the south end of the creek without going aground is tricky. St. Catherines Island, next to the Walburg anchorage, is wild and attractive.
h e main ICW heads down the North Newport River to where Walburg Creek comes in around Mile 623. h en it follows Johnson Creek, with a good anchoring spot up Cattle Pen Creek at Mile 625. Johnson Creek goes into the South Newport River, with a shoal that extends south from near red marker “132.” Green marker “133” is right on the bank as is “135.” h e next set of markers has recently been moved to avoid the shoal building out from the west shore, and note that there are shoals to the east also. Sapelo Sound is wide open to the Atlantic, and you’ll see breakers on the shoals.
h e Waterway turns hard to the west to head up the Sapelo River—stay well o the markers. h e Front River is next and then a narrow land-cut, St. Catherines Sound to Cumberland Sound
MI LE 617.5 TO MI LE 705.9
For Navigation, see page 149.
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Creighton Narrows, leads into the Crescent River, Mile 643, which is an anchoring opportunity. h en it’s Old Teakettle Creek with an anchorage in Shellblu Creek at
Mile 644. You’ll see day ranges in this area—some in good repair and others not. Use them if you can. You need to take a wide swing to the south before entering the New Teakettle Creek anchorage, favoring the east shore at rst and then opping over to the west shore before Mary Creek comes in from the right. New Teakettle is wide and surrounded only by marsh grass. h e wind whistling across the marsh can keep the bugs down somewhat, and the shelter from seas is good. Plan your next day carefully as several severely shoaled spots are coming up. Use Georgia’s 8- to 9-foot tides to your advantage.
Retrace your steps from New Teakettle to Old Teakettle and watch for the sharp turn into the North River. h ere are anchoring possibilities in almost every side creek, which could come in handy if the tide is not with you for the passage into the Little Mud River. Be careful to follow the Rockdedundy River ranges, trying to stay in the deeper water, but there was less than 3 or 4 feet of water at low water in the Little Mud River in 2005. Using the tide and care, you should be able to get through.
Leaving the Little Mud, there is shoaling into Altamaha Sound and the Altamaha River. In 2005 there was shoaling to less than 6 feet between red lighted marker “202” and red marker “206,” and there was more shoaling in Buttermilk Sound. A shrimper on Sapelo Sound, Georgia. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
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O the Mackay River, around Mile 665.8, a side channel branches o heading toward Fort Frederica National Monument. You can anchor in the creek and dinghy ashore to see the old fort.
h e two routes rejoin around Mile 673.4. h e main ICW channel passes west of Lanier Island under a high bridge. A long shoal extends well south of the island, requiring an equally long detour if you’re headed up into the anchorage o Golden Isles Marina.
If you continue on across St. Simons Sound, be prepared for possible big waves rolling in from the ocean. h e Waterway route cuts across to red lighted buoy “20” marking the shipping channel, and there is a range that you can follow down to Jekyll Creek. If in doubt as to where you are, tend to the west to stay in deeper water and away from dangers—a submerged jetty extends out into the sound from Jekyll Creek.
Jekyll Creek has shoaled to less than 6 feet, particularly south of green marker “13.” In 2005 there was better water on the green side of the channel. Shoaling continues down to the bridge and beyond to red marker “24.” Some folks like to anchor south of the bridge, but the area is narrow and exposed to wind and wakes.
We ordinary folk can now dock our boats at Jekyll Island, which at one time was the exclusive domain of the Jekyll Island Club, whose members included Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Morgans. h ey sailed to “their” island in their huge yachts (Morgan’s Corsair IV was 343 feet long) to spend the winters in their vacation “cottages,” enjoying the mild climate that is typical of the Georgia Sea Islands. When the cottage of the Crane family (who still manufacture plumbing xtures) was built—before 1900—it cost half a million dollars. It has 22 rooms and, appropriately, 20 baths—but no kitchen. None of the cottages had kitchens since all meals were cooked and served at the clubhouse.
Near green lighted marker “25” the Umbrella Cut route leads o to the west to rejoin the ICW near Mile 695.7. h e alternate route is a possibility for shallow draft boats that want to avoid the worst of the seas crossing the mouth of Jekyll Sound, but deeper craft will want to follow the main channel.
Jekyll Sound is another big one, with the ICW route appearing to take you out to sea before it loops back around red lighted buoy “32.” Shallow draft boats can shortcut this buoy a bit, but those drawing around 6 feet should go all the way to the buoy. h e route now enters the Cumberland River with the northern end of Cumberland Island to the east. You can anchor in a deep patch of water inside ashing green marker “37,” with no shelter from a northwester.
h e Brickhill River branches o to the east around Mile 696, just after the alternate Umbrella Cut ICW route rejoins the Waterway near red marker “40.” h e Brickhill is generally deep, but it can get tricky as there are no markers. In late 2005 there was deeper water to the east side of the river until after the rst big bend, then it was best to stick to the middle.
Eventually the Brickhill takes a big bend back toward the east, a small bump to the north, then a big bend curving south then west. h e Plum Orchard Dock is located in this big bend where it heads in a north-south 149
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direction. Anchor a bit north of the dock in around 8–10 feet of water, with some shoaling on the western side of the river. h e dock provides access to Cumberland Island National Seashore, various restored and not restored mansions, and numerous trails. A $4 per person user fee is asked for and voluntarily collected in a box near the dock. A ferry brings day visitors out from St. Marys, but at night most people leave, making this a quiet spot.
Be sure to hike the many trails, visit the beautiful unspoiled Atlantic beach, watch for armadillos and wild horses, and admire the ruins and mansions. h is is a not-to-be-missed island, but you can also visit via the dock located farther south that is described in the next section.
Anchorage on the Brickhill River, Georgia.
Navigation h is section contains not only the most ranges, but also the most critical ones. In the 63-mile stretch beginning at Mile 643.0 and ending at Mile 705.9, you’ll encounter 18 ranges. You may want to mark on your chart where this section begins. When you are underway, it will be impossible for you to gure out the mileages (even though they are all listed here) where ST. CATHERINES SOUND TO CUMBERLAND SOUND
Mile 617.5 to Mile 705.9
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—2.1 knots; ebb—2.2 knots.
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each range begins and ends, but you really don’t need this information. Just be aware that, usually, as soon as you leave one range, you begin to follow another. It may be helpful to use this book and check o each range as it is completed. (Use a pencil so you can erase the checks and mark new ones if you make a return trip.)
617.5 Red Lighted Marker “112.” Entrance to St. Catherines Sound and departure point straight ahead for anchorage in Walburg Creek, 3.1 miles of ICW channel.
St. Catherines Sound is wide and exposed, and can be rough with an opposing wind and current. To continue on the ICW: When you reach red lighted marker “114,” turn right leaving the marker to starboard, and steer 233 degrees, true, to the mouth of the North Newport River, leaving all succeeding red markers across the sound to starboard. When you reach green marker “117,” leave it to port, giving it a wide berth.
To reach the anchorage in Walburg Creek, you can either follow the dashed channel line around the seaward end of Middle Ground or take a shortcut straight across Middle Ground shoal.
CAUTION: There is a charted shoal spot down to 3 feet on Middle Ground shoal. Remember to allow for current in the sound.
After you’re in the creek, anchor across from the northernmost houses on the left bank. Don’t anchor in the bend of the creek; it is very deep and the current is swift. This is a favorite anchorage of shrimpers; one night we shared it with 18 shrimp boats, but there was plenty of room for all.
CAUTION: The southern entrance to Walburg Creek has shoaled to about 4 feet, so you may not be able to use it at low water. If you don’t want to chance the southern entrance, you can go back out into St. Catherines Sound to rejoin the ICW.
623.0 Red Marker “124.” (NORTHBOUND: Departure point to right, across shoal water, to anchorage in Walburg Creek, 2.9 miles of ICW channel. See description above.)
(NORTHBOUND: To continue on the ICW, after passing green lighted marker “119” in the North Newport River, favor the middle of the river until green marker “117” is abeam. Then steer 047 degrees, true, to pass red lighted markers “114A” and “114” to port, and bear left. See Mile 617.5 for information about St. Catherines Sound. If you enter Walburg Creek to reach the anchorage from this point, read the instructions at Mile 617.5, paying particular attention to the “CAUTION.”)
623.6 Departure point to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) for Half Moon Marina in North Newport River, 6.1 miles of ICW channel. No laundry, no pumpout. 912-884-5819.
The marina’s privately marked channel is tricky; steer from marker to marker and bank to bank until you reach the marina.
630.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Wahoo River,
1.5 miles of ICW channel.
Take your departure from green lighted marker “135,” steering 295 degrees, true, to avoid the 4-foot shoal just before the entrance to the creek. During a ooding tide, take care that the current doesn’t push you onto the shoal. Mile 617.5
– Mile 630.0
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When past the shoal, alter course to the right and steer for the mouth of the river. 632.0 Red Lighted Marker “138.” ICW turns to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left), when abeam of this marker.
643.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Crescent River.
Shrimpers travel through here both day and night.
643.0 Begin front range “A,” in Crescent River. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A,” in Crescent River.)
643.2 Leave front range “A,” in Crescent River. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A,” in Crescent River.)
645.0 Begin front range “B,” in Old Teakettle Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “B,” in Old Teakettle Creek.)
645.5 Leave front range “B,” in Old Teakettle Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “B,” in Old Teakettle Creek.)
646.8 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in New Teakettle Creek, 0.5 mile of ICW channel near mouth of Mary Creek.
649.5 Departure point for anchorage in Duplin River to left (NORTHBOUND: straight ahead, slightly to left), 1.2 miles from ICW channel above Marsh Landing.)
CAUTION: Note the overhead power cable with 38 feet of vertical clearance
2 miles from the mouth of the river. Boats anchored here have been known to drag into it.
649.5 Begin front range “A,” in North River. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A,” in North River.)
A trawler anchored in Cattle Pen Creek, in Georgia. (Patricia Todd-
Dennis photo.)
Mile 632.0
– Mile 649.5
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650.0 Leave front range “A,” in North River. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A,” in North River.)
652.3 Begin back range “A,” in Rockdedundy River. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A,” in Rockdedundy River.)
652.8 Leave back range “A,” in Rockdedundy River; begin back range “A,” in South River. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A,” in South River; begin front range “A,” in Rockdedundy River.)
653.2 Leave back range “A,” in South River. (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “A,” in South River.)
CAUTION: In recent years the Little Mud River has shoaled severely. On our last trip there was only about 3 to 4 feet of water at low tide, but using the 9-foot tidal range around here we were able to get through with little di culty. Follow the ranges carefully, and listen for advice on the VHF radio from those who are ahead of you.
655.5 Begin back range “B,” in Little Mud River. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “B,” in Little Mud River.)
656.5 Red Lighted Marker “198.” Leave back range “B,” in Little Mud River. ICW turns sharply to right. (NORTHBOUND: to left. Begin front range “B,” in Little Mud River.)
656.6 Begin back range “A,” in Altamaha Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A,” in Altamaha Sound.)
657.3 Leave back range “A,” in Altamaha Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “A,” in Altamaha Sound.)
658.9 Begin front range in One Mile Cut. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range in One Mile Cut.)
659.9 Leave front range in One Mile Cut. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range in One Mile Cut.)
661.6 Begin back range “A,” in Buttermilk Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A,” in Buttermilk Sound.)
662.2 Leave back range “A,” in Buttermilk Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “A,” in Buttermilk Sound.)
662.2 Begin back range “B,” in Buttermilk Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “B,” in Buttermilk Sound.)
662.6 Leave back range “B,” in Buttermilk Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “B,” in Buttermilk Sound.)
663.2 Begin front range “A,” in Wilson Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A,” in Wilson Creek.)
664.0 Leave front range “A,” in Wilson Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A,” in Wilson Creek.) 664.2 Green Marker “27.” Entrance to Hampton River to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), to a marina and an anchorage. Shoaling is reported at the entrance to the river, and also at green marker “21,” just before the marina.
(0.5) Anchorage.
(4.9) Hampton River Club Marina. No laundry, no pumpout.
912-638-1210.
Mile 650.0
– Mile 664.2
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664.9 Begin front range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “C.”)
665.4 Leave front range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “C.”)
665.4 Begin front range “D.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “D.”)
665.7 Leave front range “D.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “D.”)
665.8 Junction to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), with north entrance to Frederica River, which is an 8.6-mile-long alternate ICW route, and anchorage.
The exit, at the southern end of the river, is reported to have shoaled to 5 feet.
(4.2) Anchorage below Fort Frederica National Monument.
Anchor in the straight sections of the river. The remains of the old fort can be seen from the water. Dinghy landing on the fort property is currently prohibited.
NOTE: When leaving the river at the southern end to rejoin the ICW in the Mackay River, avoid the shoal extending into Manhead Sound from the point of land between the Frederica and Mackay Rivers.
666.1 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) in Wally’s Leg,
0.3 mile of ICW channel.
Favor the left bank when entering.
667.7 Begin front range “A,” in Mackay River. (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range “A,” in Mackay River.)
668.1 Leave front range “A,” in Mackay River. (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range “A,” in Mackay River.)
673.4 Southern junction with Frederica River. (NORTHBOUND: Alternate ICW channel in Frederica River, and anchorage
4.6 miles of ICW main channel. See Mile 665.8.)
Fort Frederica National Monument.
Mile 664.9
– Mile 673.4
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674.5 Mackay River/Lanier Island Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
The magenta line indicating Mile 675 may be omitted on your chart. The mileage line should appear about 0.5 mile below the bridge.
677.0 Green Marker “1.” Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for marina and anchorage on the east side of Lanier Island.
(2.1) Anchorage.
Although this is a Coast Guard–designated anchorage, the hard bottom makes for poor holding ground, and the current often exceeds 5 knots.
(2.4) Golden Isles Marina to left. 912-634-1128.
Take care in docking because of swift currents.
677.7 Red Lighted Buoy “20.”
A course of 217 degrees, true, will take you up the Brunswick River and between the structures forming the Brunswick Point Cut range. Before reaching the structures, you may be able to see the Jekyll Island Range, which is for big ships, and you can follow this range to the ICW entrance at Jekyll Creek.
679.4 Junction to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), with channel to town of Brunswick, 6.9 miles up the Brunswick River, and facilities in East River.
Brunswick is an old historical town and an interesting side trip. The NOAA chart includes Brunswick, but some of the charts in book form may not.
(3.5) Sidney Lanier Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance,
185 feet. (3.9) Green Lighted Buoy “1.” Departure point for facilities in East River.
A boat at anchor on the Frederica River, Georgia. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
CHART 11489—ST. SIMONS SOUND TO TOLOMATO RIVER
Mile 674.5
– Mile 679.4
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(2.4) Brunswick Landing Marina to right. 912-262-9264. This facility is located in downtown Brunswick, and all sorts of stores, including a grocery, are within walking distance.
(3.2) Brunswick Landing Boatyard. Repair facility. Hauling. Contact marina.
680.7 Red Lighted Marker “2.” (NORTHBOUND: Steer 037 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “20” down the Brunswick River.)
680.7 Begin front range, “Jetty Range.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range, “Jetty Range.”)
681.0 Leave front range, “Jetty Range.” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range, “Jetty Range.”)
682.4 Begin back range in Jekyll Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range in Jekyll Creek.)
CAUTION: Jekyll Creek is reported to have shoaled to 5 feet on the centerline and to less depth on both sides of the channel. Time your passage through the creek to coincide with half-tide or higher.
682.9 Leave back range in Jekyll Creek. (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range in Jekyll Creek. See Mile 682.4.)
683.5 Jekyll Wharf Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
912-635-3152.
684.3 Jekyll Creek Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
684.5 Jekyll Harbor Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
912-635-3137.
(NORTHBOUND: NOTE: Check your boat’s fuel before leaving the vicinity of Jekyll Island because the next marina with fuel that is directly on the Waterway is about 100 miles away. But along this stretch, you can obtain both gas and diesel fuel at six marinas located at distances ranging from 2 to 6.3 miles o the Waterway proper.)
686.0 Departure point to right for 15.1-mile-long alternate ICW route, and anchorages 3.5 miles of main ICW channel. (NORTHBOUND: Enter alternate route at Mile 695.7.)
This is a good route to use in bad weather because the main ICW route, marked to the east by red lighted buoy “32,” is in the Atlantic Ocean for a short distance. Both the ICW here and the Cumberland River for 8 miles south of red lighted buoy “32,” are exposed to northeast and southwest winds, which are often strong. In a hard northeast blow, we have seen steep, short, 8-foot seas in the Cumberland River on the way to green lighted marker “43” at Mile 698.0.
To use the alternate route, follow the dashed channel line up Jekyll Sound to green lighted marker “A5” for the entrance to Umbrella Cut, then follow the dashed line to the exit in the Cumberland River at Floyd Creek at Mile 695.7. The last reported depth at maximum low water in Umbrella Cut was 6 feet; in Umbrella Creek and Dover Cut, 3.5 feet; and across the Satilla River in Floyd Cut, 5 feet. But at high tide you’ll have about 8 more feet under your boat’s keel, so time your passage so you’ll transit the alternate route at half-tide at least, and plan so you’ll go through on a rising tide.
The anchorage is above marker “A8” to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left) in Umbrella Creek.
Mile 680.7
– Mile 686.0
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687.0 Green Marker “29A.” Departure point for crossing St. Andrews Sound.
Red lighted marker “2,” to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left), 0.5 mile o the ICW channel is for the Satilla River channel. The next red aid on the ICW is red lighted buoy “30.”
688.2 Red Lighted Buoy “30.”
Steer 128 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “32,” leaving green lighted buoy “31” to port. Here the Waterway makes a sharp turn to the right, leaving red lighted buoy “32” to starboard, not to port as the magenta line on the chart indicates, and green buoy “31A” to starboard. Keep your eye on the buoys; they may be relocated slightly, so the given courses may be approximate.
689.6 Red Lighted Buoy “32.” (NORTHBOUND: Waterway turns sharply to the left. See Mile 688.2. Steer 308 degrees, true, to red lighted buoy “30.”)
694.0 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) inside of green lighted marker “37.”
Feel your way into depths of 7 to 10 feet near the shores of Cumberland Island. This area is exposed in northerly winds.
695.7 Red Marker “40A.” (NORTHBOUND: Departure point to left for entrance to Floyd Creek for alternate ICW route and anchorage. See Mile 686.0.)
695.8 Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) for northern entrance of Brickhill River.
The abandoned lighthouse on the northern end of Little Cumberland Island, Georgia. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 687.0
– Mile 695.8
157
C u mb e r l a n d S o u n d
It is possible to carry a draft of 6 feet all the way down the Brickhill River, and there are many pleasant anchoring opportunities; however, there are also numerous shoals. In the i rst big loop of the river, in general there is better water on the outside of the bend. Charted shoals and depths are fairly accurate. There is good anchorage in the southern part of the river, near the Plum Orchard Dock, which gives access to Cumberland Island National Seashore. You can tie up your dinghy on the inside of the dock, but be sure not to block access for the small ferry. There is a small fee for day use.
697.7 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Shellbine Creek.
703.6 Red Lighted Marker “60A,” marks southern entrance of Brickhill River. (NORTHBOUND: See 695.8 above for information on Brickhill River route and anchorages.)
703.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Crooked River,
0.8 mile of ICW channel.
705.2 Begin back range “F,” in Cumberland Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “F,” in Cumberland Sound.)
705.9 Leave back range “F,” in Cumberland Sound. (NORTHBOUND: Begin front range “F,” in Cumberland Sound.)
We like Cumberland Island National Seashore so much that we usually spend a few days on the island, but if you tire of the anchorage in the Brickhill River, we will describe one farther on.
Leaving the south end of the Brickhill River can be a bit tricky—don’t head out toward the main ICW channel too quickly or you’ll encounter a shoal. Wait until you’re near red lighted marker “60A” before joining the channel, and, as always in the ICW, proceed cautiously when o the main channel.
At Mile 705 you can get on the Cumberland Sound Range leading you down to the Kings Bay submarine base. You’ll see patrol boats near the base, and they will de nitely chase you away if you get too close. Do Not Enter Kings Bay!
At Kings Bay the ICW joins the main shipping channel, so you will now have green buoys to starboard and red ones to port all the way down to the Fernandina Beach channel.
h e Cumberland Sound channel is wide, deep, and well marked. To get back up into the deep water along the Cumberland Island shore, you’ll have to rst go south to around red lighted buoy “34,” then head along the shore of the island to a wharf located just a bit south of latitude line 30 46' North. h ere is now a charted private lighted marker “E” that may mark the end of the shoal, but play it safe and use “34” as your turning point.
Cumberland Sound
MI LE 705.9 TO MI LE 715.0
For Navigation, see page 158.
Mile 697.7
– Mile 705.9
Ge o r g i a
158
h ere is good anchorage north of the wharf, and if you need better protection from the northwest, go behind the marsh islands even farther north. However, this area is generally quite exposed and can develop big seas in a hard blow. If that is the case, you’re better o using the Brickhill River anchorage (last section). Or, you might want to retreat to St. Marys or Fernandina Beach.
From the Park Service wharf you can follow trails over to the Atlantic beach or head south to Dungeness where there are the ruins of several mansions. We were particularly intrigued by the parking lot full of 1920s and 1930s cars and trucks, all rusted in place as if they were just abandoned all at once. h ere is a small voluntary fee for day use of the island.
At the south end of Cumberland Island you have several options. You can head out into the ocean using the St. Marys River entrance, which is deep and safe. You can head upstream to the town of St. Marys, Georgia, where cruisers gather every h anksgiving for a large potluck feast. h e small town is walker friendly and o ers good facilities near the anchorage. Most ICW travelers will opt to head south to Fernandina Beach, the rst town in Florida. Navigation CAUTION: Ahead lie several ICW markers and ranges for the big-ship channel leading to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Proceed carefully and don’t mistake any range structures for ICW markers.
After passing between ICW green marker “79” and red marker “78,” southbound vessels enter the big-ship channel and will leave all red aids to port until past red lighted buoy “30.” (NORTHBOUND: Beginning with red lighted buoy “30,” all red aids will be left to starboard until reaching green marker “79” and red marker “78,” at which point you will enter the ICW again.) We have listed some ranges to help in distinguishing them from the many buoys and markers in this section.
708.0 Green Marker “79,” ICW channel bears left (NORTHBOUND: bear right).
CAUTION: The entrance to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is a restricted area, and patrol boats will be on scene to prevent any unauthorized access. Monitor the VHF radio to be alerted to any naval activity. You may have to wait if a submarine is approaching or departing.
708.1 Begin back range “E.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “E.”)
708.8 Leave back range “E,” begin back range “D.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “D,” begin front range “E.”)
710.3 Leave back range “D,” begin back range “C.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “C,” begin front range “D.”)
711.7 Leave back range “C,” begin back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “B,” begin front range “C.”)
CUMBERLAND SOUND
Mile 705.9 to Mile 715.0
Red aids to navigation to port. (NORTHBOUND: to starboard.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.5 knots; ebb—2.2 knots.
Mile 708.0
– Mile 711.7
159
C u mb e r l a n d S o u n d
712.2 Green Lighted Marker “29.” Departure point to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) for marina and anchorage in St. Marys River.
A visit to the quaint historic town of St. Marys is an interesting side trip.
(5.1) Lang’s Marina to right. No laundry. 912-882-4452.
A restaurant is on the premises, and it is a pleasant walk to other small shops and restaurants.
(5.1) Anchorage of marina.
Every Thanksgiving a large number of transient boaters gather here for a big potluck feast.
712.2 Begin back range “A,” leave back range “B.” (NORTHBOUND: Leave front range “A,” begin front range “B.”)
713.7 Green Lighted Buoy “25.” Pass to starboard and turn right. Pass Unnamed Lighted Front Range Marker in Cumberland Sound to starboard, and proceed ahead to rejoin the ICW in the mouth of the Amelia River.
714.1 (NORTHBOUND: Leave Unnamed Lighted Front Range Marker in Cumberland Sound to port. Pass green lighted buoy “25” to port, and turn left. See paragraph under Cumberland Sound heading above.)
714.1 Florida state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 09. (NORTHBOUND: Georgia state line. Bridgetenders monitor VHF Channel 09.)
Mile 712.2
– Mile 714.1
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C H A P T E R 9
Northern Florida
F
lorida at last! h at’s how some boaters feel after plowing through the channels and possibly the mud of Georgia. h ere is a pronounced change in the character of the Waterway in northern Florida, from winding to relatively straight, and you are on a slippery slope from the modest-sized towns and developments in the north to a gradually increasing urbanization as you head south.
You will meet reminders of what the Waterway was like up north and hints of what it will be like farther south, in the Miami area. You will enjoy the amenities of civilization: marinas, fuel stops, repair facilities, restaurants, and places to walk are always at hand. You will also appreciate the opportunity to anchor most nights, the relative absence of bridges with restrictions, and a gradual reduction in tides and currents as you head south. You will begin to encounter some new Waterway challenges, however, such as cities with anchoring restrictions, mooring elds, and sometimes by-
the-book marine patrol o cers. If you’re in a fast boat, you will have to be on constant watch for slow-speed and manatee zones, but northern Florida is only a teaser of what you will encounter farther south. Prices for marine services in northern Florida begin to rise with the increased demand here, but bargains are still to be found, and both the variety and the quality of services increase as you head south.
In the fall, when we reach northern Florida, we always seem to notice a change in the weather. Perhaps this is only the power of suggestion, or perhaps it is because the Florida peninsula sits between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and we are out of the path of the weather patterns that sweep across the states to the north. Whatever the cause, the days seem warmer and the winds balmier, no matter from which direction they come.
h e Waterway in northern Florida runs through marshes, land-cuts, and wide rivers. It passes a variety of towns and cities, from the oldest continuously occupied city in the United States, St. Augustine, to new developments erected where nothing but swampland existed until recently, to populous Daytona Beach on the shallow Halifax River.
FERNANDINA BEACH, JACKSONVILLE BEACH, AND TOLOMATO RIVER,
Mile 715.0 to Mile 775.6
ST. AUGUSTINE, DAYTONA BEACH, AND NEW SMYRNA BEACH,
Mile 775.6 to Mile 855.0 161
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When you’re headed across Cumberland Sound toward Fernandina Beach, a large structure, the forward part of the St. Marys channel range, marks the turn from the shipping channel into the ICW. Leave the structure to starboard when headed south. h e industrial Fernandina waterfront begins around Mile 715, and a huge commercial fuel dock at Mile 716.6 o ers what may be the cheapest diesel around. h e popular marina basin is at Mile 716.8. An anchorage area opposite the marina, on the west side of the ICW, is popular but current-swept and rather exposed in a blow. For better protection, head up the Bells River a bit. h e anchorage o the town may soon be converted to a mooring eld.
In years past, if the wind was from the right direction, the incredible smell and fumes from inland pulp mills would at times blanket Fernandina. Once, in the middle of the night, we were overcome to the point of pulling up our anchor and leaving in the dark. h ankfully, possibly due to stricter pollution controls, we have not noticed such an overpowering stench in recent years, but don’t be surprised if you whi a bit of “something” in the air.
Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Tolomato River
MI LE 715.0 TO MI LE 775.6
For Navigation, see page 163.
A commercial dock at Fernandina Beach, Florida. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
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h e ICW channel is commercial and deep as it passes Fernandina, and then rather suddenly you’re back into a more riverlike channel that winds through the marshes. At Mile 719.8 it is possible to anchor in the Amelia River, which can be handy if the railroad bridge is closed in Kingsley Creek (it is normally open). When the bridge closes there is little room to maneuver or wait, and there is a swift current that may be sweeping you down toward the bridge. Keep tuned to VHF Channel 09 in Florida for bridge information.
Another good anchorage comes up around Mile 726. h ere is a deep channel inside a marshy island north of red marker “36.” Proceed cautiously and sound your way in as far as you dare toward the mouth of Alligator Creek. h e anchorage channel is a shortcut used by local craft so be sure to show an anchor light.
h e Waterway then enters the South Amelia River, which soon merges with the Nassau River. Watch for a sharp turn in the ICW north of the bridge across Nassau Sound. An additional red marker “46A” has marked the turn in recent years. You’re now in Sawpit Creek. h ere’s a possible anchorage in the Fort George River, Mile 735, and then you enter Sisters Creek. h e Sisters Creek Bridge tends to be on the ball and will open swiftly, but watch out as the channel soon crosses the St. Johns River shipping channel. h is is another place where you should monitor VHF Channels 13 and 16 for any warnings from shipping. h e St. Johns River inlet is one of the best in Florida.
Crossing the St. Johns River you’ll have the current right on the beam, and it is easy to get carried out of alignment with the upcoming ICW entrance. Keep in mind the submerged breakwater to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right), and heed all the marks. h ere are a lot of shoals outside of the channel.
h e northern part of Florida is surprisingly undeveloped along much of the Waterway, but as you head south more and more buildings and marinas will encroach on the channel. You will get a small taste of the development to come as you pass through Jacksonville Beach at Mile 747.4. h e McCormick Bridge has recently been replaced with a high-level xed bridge. h ere is a marina near the bridge that has fuel.
A long land-cut passes through Palm Valley, with most of the homes and docks on the east side of the Waterway. h e Palm Valley Bridge at Mile 758.8 is now high level. h e land-cut gives way to the Tolomato River, and residential development gives way to marshland. Enter the Pine Island anchorage from about 100 feet south of green marker “25,” Mile 765. Proceed cautiously as the area is shoal at the entrance and on both sides, but you should be able to nd plenty of room in 10 to 12 feet of water. In a hard norther, proceed cautiously farther around the bend (favoring the outside of the bend) toward the charted Booth Landing. Pine Island is a surprisingly comfortable harbor in a blow, and the surroundings are lovely and peaceful. It is not clear who or what lands at the landing, but it is doubtful you’ll see anybody other than a sherman or two. h is is the last good anchorage before reaching St. Augustine at Mile 778.
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A reminder about bridges: All but two xed bridges on the ICW in Florida have an o cial clearance of 65 feet. However, due to tide and wind conditions there are times when some of these bridges will have less than that. Notable exceptions are the twin highway bridges at Mile 720.9 that may o er as little as 64 feet at times and the Julia Tuttle Causeway Highway Bridge, in Miami at Mile 1087.2, which has a clearance of 56 feet.
For those wishing to travel o shore along the Florida coast, or to depart for the Bahamas, the best inlets to use are St. Marys, St. Johns River, Canaveral, Fort Pierce, Lake Worth at Palm Beach, Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale, and Government Cut in Miami. h e many other inlets in Florida may be hazardous for mariners who are not familiar with them, and several of these inlets are crossed by low bridges.
715.3 Tiger Point Marina and Boat Works to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Repair facility. Hauling. 904-261-3158.
Favor the south side of the creek when entering.
716.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) behind red lighted buoy “10” in con uence of Bells River and Lanceford Creek.
This anchorage is subject to strong currents and a great tidal range. There is not much wind protection either. Use adequate scope, and be sure that at low tide your boat will have enough water under the keel when you swing. There is talk of putting a public mooring i eld in this location.
Navigation FERNANDINA BEACH, JACKSONVILLE BEACH, AND TOLOMATO RIVER
Mile 715.0 to Mile 775.6
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.5 knots; ebb—1.7 knots.
The municipal marina is one of several in the Fernandina Beach vicinity. Mile 715.3
– Mile 716.4
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716.6 Florida Petroleum Corp. 904-261-3158.
Boats can tie up overnight at this fuel dock.
716.8 Fernandina Harbor Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
904-491-2090.
This marina is usually crowded. Call ahead on VHF Channel 16 to i nd out if space is available.
718.1 Green Lighted Marker “1.” The ICW makes a sharp bend to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right) at this point.
719.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in the Amelia River, 0.7 mile of ICW channel.
720.7 Amelia Island Yacht Basin to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Hauling. 904-277-4615.
This is at the end of a narrow channel o the Waterway.
720.8 Seaboard Coastline Railroad Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 5 feet. Usually open.
720.9 Twin Highway Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 64–65 feet.
CAUTION: It is reported that these bridges have a vertical clearance of as little as 64 feet at mean high water, though they are charted at 65 feet. If your mast is close to 64 feet tall, it would be prudent to pass under at mid-tide or low water.
721.2 Red Lighted Marker “14,” begin front range, “Kingsley Creek Cutof .” (NORTHBOUND: Leave back range, “Kingsley Creek Cutof .”) 723.0 Leave front range, “Kingsley Creek Cutof .” (NORTHBOUND: Begin back range, “Kingsley Creek Cutof .”)
726.0 Green Lighted Marker “37.” Departure point to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), for anchorage in Alligator Creek, 0.3 mile north of ICW channel.
728.3 Green Lighted Marker “45.” Pass this to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard) to stay in deep water.
728.9 Red Lighted Marker “46.” Give this marker a wide berth because a shoal is behind it.
729.4 Entrance to 10-mile-long section of narrow, shallow, short land-
cuts and dredged creeks. (NORTHBOUND: End of narrow section.)
732.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in bight opposite green lighted marker “53,” 0.2 mile of ICW channel.
CAUTION: The entrances to this bight have shoaled in substantially.
735.0 Red Lighted Marker “72.” Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for anchorage in Fort George River, between markers “3” and “5” in the river, in 10 feet of water.
An anchor light is required here due to boat tra c.
739.1 Sisters Creek Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 24 feet.
739.4 End of narrow section. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 10-mile-
long section of narrow, shallow, short land-cuts and dredged creeks.)
Mile 716.6
– Mile 739.4
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739.5 Junction with St. Johns River.
CAUTION: Large commercial vessels use the St. Johns River, and they should be given the right of way, as they cannot leave the marked channel.
The city of Jacksonville is to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left),
16 miles upriver; the inlet to the ocean is to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right) 5 miles away. Jacksonville and other towns farther upriver have many marine facilities, but they are too far o the Waterway to be considered for an overnight stop. The Waterway crosses the St. Johns River and curves slightly to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right).
740.0 Red Marker “2” and Green Lighted Marker “1.”
Pass between these aids in the normal manner; be sure you don’t confuse any range structure for ICW aids. Markers indicate a submerged breakwater to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right).
742.0 Wonderwood Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
744.7 Atlantic Boulevard Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance,
65 feet.
CAUTION: Currents are very swift at the bridge itself, yet not noticeable when approaching it from either side. The ood ows in a southerly direction and at right angles to the bridge with a velocity of 3.5 knots at maximum. The ebb ows at 10 degrees o the channel line at a velocity of 5.5 knots.
747.1 Palm Cove Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling.
904-223-4757.
The marina is in a basin with a marked entrance channel, and there is about
4 feet of water alongside. 747.4 Beach Marine to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 904-249-8200.
A restaurant is on the premises, and a shopping center with a supermarket is nearby.
747.5 B. B. McCormick Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance,
65 feet.
749.2 Oak Landing Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
Stay in the center of the channel beginning at this point until you are near Mile 755.5. Pilings and snags on either side of the channel may be submerged at high water.
750.1 Entrance to 10-mile-long land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of
land-cut.)
The east side of the channel is lined with small houses and camps. Each one has a small dock with benches or chairs placed on it. On a nice day, the residents are out in force, i shing from the docks.
758.6 Red Marker “2.”
758.8 Palm Valley Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
760.1 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 10-mile-long land-cut.)
765.0 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), below Pine Island.
Enter south of green marker “25,” and proceed cautiously to avoid crab oats and shallow water extending in a bar south of the island. It is possible to work your way all the way into a sheltered anchorage o of Booth Landing. We have not tried the northern entrance to this anchorage. This is the last sheltered anchorage prior to reaching St. Augustine.
CHART 11485—TOLOMATO RIVER TO PALM SHORES
Mile 739.5
– Mile 765.0
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One good reason to use the Pine Island anchorage, other than the fact it is beautiful and peaceful, is to arrive in St. Augustine early enough to get a good spot. h is is easy to do as the Waterway is generally wide and deep all the way to the Vilano Beach Bridge (high level) at Mile 775.8. You’ll see a few boats on moorings around Mile 774, and there is room to anchor in this wide part of the Tolomato River, though it would be entirely exposed to wakes.
Be on your toes and have your chartbook handy for the short stretch between the Vilano Beach Bridge and St. Augustine—this is a popular spot to run aground due to inattention. You’ve been warned! h e primary cause of confusion is that the Waterway takes a zig out to the east toward St. Augustine Inlet and the ocean, and there are only rather small nun buoys marking the route. Be sure to loop all the way around Red Buoy “60” before zagging back to the west toward St. Augustine. h en be sure to leave red buoy “2” to starboard (headed south) while not straying too far to port. Dragger anchored near St. Augustine, Florida.
St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, and New Smyrna Beach
MI LE 775.6 TO MI LE 855.0
For Navigation, see page 171.
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To add to the confusion, a daymarked channel to the south leads past Conch Island into the popular Salt Run anchorage area. h e green lighted marker “1” is for the ICW route, and the green marker (unlit) “1” is for Salt Run, but, of course, they are right next to each other! A sti current adds to the fun.
Having negotiated this tricky turn, adequate markers lead the rest of the way to the Bridge of Lions, which seems to be always under repair. In 2009, the bridge was undergoing major reconstruction, limiting the anchoring space and maneuvering space on either side of the bridge. In any case, the channel through the bridge is very narrow, the current runs swiftly, and the bridge is often delayed in opening. Plus, there may be special construction opening restrictions—check with the bridgetender by radio when you get within range. With Route A1A crossing the bridge, there is usually a lot of land tra c, and the restricted schedule of the bridge re ects the need to keep the cars moving. You’ll see big tra c snarls around the bridge whenever it opens.
A good anchorage is found north of the bridge and right o the Castillo de San Marcos, a large stone fort, which was the rst major European claim in the New World. It is usually safer to anchor as far north as possible, getting away from other boat tra c, keeping in mind the rapid shoaling opposite the fort. In a northerly blow you’ll see boats swinging wildly at anchor, Approaching the Bridge of Lions Highway Bridge, St. Augustine, Florida.
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and collisions and tangles are inevitable due to the strong current. Use two anchors to limit your swinging room.
h ough the Salt Run anchorage and the main anchorage o the marina are now slated to become mooring elds (2009), this area north of the bridge may remain available for anchoring. It would be a shame if this popular Waterway city eliminated most anchoring, thereby cutting o access to visitors who don’t want to pick up a rental mooring or tie up in a marina, if you can secure a reservation.
Make sure you have the right of way through the bridge—boats coming through with the swift current have the right of way. Don’t try to pass another boat in the narrow opening. Immediately after the bridge is the very popular city marina, which is frequently booked solid for weeks in advance. Currents run swiftly through the marina, so be careful when docking. h e marina o ers a dinghy dock for those at anchor (pay the hefty fee in the fuel dock o ce), with access to nice showers and laundry machines. Be sure to register your dink with the dockmaster.
h e anchorage area is located south of the marina and south of the large waterfront restaurant. Leave plenty of room for large vessels to approach the marina docks. Lots of long-term liveaboards crowd the anchorage area, and it is hard to get a good spot. h ere always seems to be one or two wrecks littering the bottom. If you arrive in the morning, hopefully you’ll be able to take the place of a boat leaving. Be very careful as there are shoals and rocks Anchorage o Castillo de San Marcos at St. Augustine, Florida.
169
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extending well out from the eastern shore of the anchorage area. Some boats anchor as far south as red marker “12.”
h e only good spot to dinghy ashore is at the city marina, with the daily charge, though there are discounts for longer stays. You’ll see a few dilapidated dinks tied along the seawall to the east, but they are constantly banging into the concrete or they’re left dry at low tide. We’re not sure of the legal status of tieing up a dink there.
St. Augustine is a popular spot, if you can ignore some of the tourist traps, with its old fort, historic buildings, and many shops and restaurants. You’ll probably enjoy this unique old city founded by the Spanish in 1565. h e restored part of the city and Castillo de San Marcos are the least commercial and well worth a visit. If you’re here in mid-December, you’ll nd the houses in the restored district tastefully decorated for Christmas with southern greenery, and the city has a grand evening ceremony when all of the holiday lights are turned on to the sound of canon re from the fort. Because St. Augustine is a popular place, the marinas are always crowded and reservations are advisable. h ere always seems to be some festival or celebration going on. Despite the crowds, you’ll have a great time strolling the narrow cobblestone streets, enjoying the many great places to eat (try the French café), and just viewing the old architecture. St. Augustine is a favorite stop of many.
Meandering the back streets of
St. Augustine, Florida.
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Supplies are not easy to get in St. Augustine. Ask at the city marina store if there is something you need and they can tell you where to go, though it may be a cab ride away. h e marina store carries basic needs like milk, wine, beer, snacks, and charts. A hardware store and post o ce are within walking distance. A great used marine gear store is a long walk or a bike ride from the waterfront. Other good marine services are scattered around the area. Several good boatyards and marinas are located up the San Sebastian River, and if you’re there you can walk back to the downtown area easily.
If the weather has been bad, you may be anxious to leave the dubious shelter of the St. Augustine anchorage. Several times we have left the harbor or the marina during storms only to nd that it was much more comfortable underway on the ICW. h e Waterway is generally wide and deep, though somewhat winding as it heads south on the Matanzas River. h ere are some rather exposed anchoring opportunities in wide spots of the river or side channels.
A bascule bridge at Crescent Beach opens on demand, and you’ll approach Matanzas Inlet around Mile 793. h e ICW tends to be shoal as it passes the inlet and Fort Matanzas—watch for small temporary buoys marking the best water. Marineland is a prominent theme park that has fallen on hard times near Mile 797. h e marina has been closed and roped o . h e ICW enters several long land-cuts, including Fox Cut around Mile 804. Watch for rocks and shoals along the sides of the cut. h e Flagler Beach Bridge at Mile 811 is high level, and the L. B. Knox Bridge at Mile 816 is on demand. h e ICW now enters the northern part of the Halifax River. Shallow-
draft (under 3–4 feet) boats can attempt to anchor o of a small side channel entered near Mile 821. h e marked channel leads to Tomoka State Park, and it is frequented by outboard-powered boats.
h e Halifax River gradually widens out, but the channel remains near arrow straight, with only a few slight changes in direction. Just follow the many daymarkers and plan ahead for the various restricted bridges at Daytona Beach beginning at Mile 829.7. You’ll begin to see more and more development alongside the Waterway as you head south.
h e bridge gauntlet at Daytona Beach has been eased in recent years with the introduction of the high-level Seabreeze Highway Bridges, replacing the old Broadway Bridge. h e Main Street Bridge, at Mile 829.7, is rst up, but it’s on demand. h e Memorial Bridge at Mile 830.6 is still restricted, and you may have to wait in a narrow area with lots of boat tra c. Be patient and the bridgetenders will do a good job of clearing the tra c.
h e city of Daytona Beach runs a popular marina in a basin on the west side of the ICW south of the Memorial Bridge. h ere are several deep spots to anchor between the bridges, and you’ll probably see some boats there, but this area is used less and less due to lack of space.
For less congestion and more swinging room, there is a small patch of deep water to the east of green markers “39” and “39A.” Enter this area by leaving the ICW north of red marker “40,” using the marina channel as a back range, then feel your way north into the deep patch. You’ll probably 171
S t. A u g u s t i n e, Da y t o n a B e a c h, a n d Ne w S my r n a B e a c h
bump into some 5-foot spots on this route. Keep in mind the various charted pipeline and cable areas.
Another anchoring option is the patch of deep water northwest of red marker “44.” You’ll be able to hear the fabled Daytona Speedway if car races are on. Many cruisers love the Daytona Beach area; however, none of these anchorages is a good berth for long-term use. If you want to stay in the area, check out one of the marinas or try the Seven Seas Marina located a few miles to the south in Port Orange. h e city is talking about creating a mooring eld.
h e Waterway continues south in long straight stretches down the middle of the Halifax River until south of the Port Orange Bridge. Just north of the bridge is the Seven Seas Marina, which is popular with cruisers though it’s not in the center of action like the marinas in Daytona Beach.
h e Halifax River begins to meander a bit south of Port Orange, and then passes a shoaled channel at Mile 839.6 that leads to Ponce de Leon Inlet. At Mile 843.5 a short, wider, deeper channel approaches the inlet, the Coast Guard station, and several marinas near the inlet, from the south.
h e inlet is a fairly good one, with a well-marked channel, the Coast Guard station, and a breakwater. You’ll begin to feel swift currents in the ICW, and be careful if waiting for the George E. Musson Coronado Beach Bridge, Mile 845. It’s got an odd schedule, opening on the hour and every 20 minutes, which can leave you waiting in the current and wind for a bit. Luckily, there is a fair bit of room to maneuver, both north and south of the bridge, but there are shoals, particularly on the west side.
South of the bridge the ICW takes a hard turn to the right (west), and it is possible to get confused with the Sheephead Cut channel running south of the island. In the ICW channel there has been shoaling after red buoy “34,” with better water closer to the north shore of the ICW. Sheephead Cut is no longer a good anchorage due to the busy channel through it.
In New Smyrna Beach there are several marinas along the north shore of the Waterway o ering dockage and fuel, and there is some dockage available at a city park north of the xed bridge.
South of the xed bridge you’ll note the Smyrna Yacht Club to the right and several possible anchorages to the left. We’ve seen boats anchored in the deep-charted patches.
Navigation 775.6 Basin with facilities to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.4 mile of ICW channel, through marked entrance channel.
The St. Augustine Yacht Club, numerous marine vendors, and various restaurants are located in this basin and on Camachee Island. A stay here is more sheltered and quieter than downtown. The city is 2 miles away.
(0.4) Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor. 904-829-5676.
(0.4) Camachee Yacht Yard. Repair facility. Hauling. 904-823-3641.
775.8 Vilano Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
ST. AUGUSTINE, DAYTONA BEACH, AND NEW SMYRNA BEACH
Mile 775.6 to Mile 855.0
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.9 knots; ebb—2.0 knots.
Mile 775.6
– Mile 775.8
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St. Augustine, Florida, showing both the Vilano Beach Fixed Bridge and the Bridge of Lions Bascule Bridge.
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776.5 Red Buoy “58E.”
CAUTION: Many people cut across the shoals here and i nd themselves aground. Note that the ICW channel takes a turn toward the inlet passing green lighted buoy “59” to port and red buoy “60” to starboard before taking a hard turn back to the right to continue on to St. Augustine via red buoy “2” to starboard and green lighted marker “1” to the left. (NORTHBOUND: After leaving red buoy “2” to port, be sure to head all the way out and around red buoy “60” before turning to the left and continuing up the ICW.)
776.8 Green Lighted Marker “1.” Departure point for entrance to Salt Run to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), to marina and anchorage.
To enter Salt Run, leave green lighted ICW marker “1” to starboard, and green marker “1” in Salt Run channel to port.
(0.8) Conch House Marina Resort to right. 904-829-8646.
(0.9) Anchorage below old jetty.
The city has plans to put a mooring i eld in Salt Run.
778.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) above the bridge.
Anchor o Castillo de San Marcos in 12 feet of water. This is a better anchorage than the one below the bridge because currents of lesser velocity run through it, but two anchors are usually necessary to avoid swinging into other boats. This anchorage is frequently used by commercial i shing boats.
778.2 Bridge of Lions Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet. New bridge under construction.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour except at 8 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. Weekends and legal holidays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour. NOTE: This schedule may be modii ed while the new bridge is under construction and there are temporary closures.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument as seen from the ICW. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 776.5
– Mile 778.2
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778.3 St. Augustine Municipal Marina to righ t (NORTHBOUND: to left). 904-825-1026.
CAUTION: Strong currents sweep through the marina and can make docking di cult. Ask the marina attendants for advice and assistance. A public dinghy dock is located inside the marina, and for a daily fee transients can utilize the dock and the marina facilities. This is one of the most convenient laundry facilities along the ICW for those that are anchored out.
778.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
Considerable current sweeps through this anchorage, and the holding ground is only fair. Use two anchors, stay out of the marked ICW channel, and observe the buoys marking the no-anchoring zone in front of the marina. This area is likely to be very crowded. The city has plans to install a mooring i eld in this location.
779.8 Fish Island Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No gasoline, no laundry, no pumpout. 904-471-1955.
779.9 Junction with San Sebastian River to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
The river is 2.8 miles long and lined with boatyards where commercial vessels are built and repaired, along with three facilities for pleasure boats.
(0.9) Saint Augustine Marine to right. Repair facility. Hauling—lift and railway. 904-824-4394.
(1.2) Oasis Boatyard and Marina. Marina/repair facility. No fuel, no pumpout. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 904-824-2520.
(1.9) Oyster Creek Marina to left. No fuel. 904-827-0520.
The anchorage to the south of the Bridge of Lions Highway Bridge. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 778.3
– Mile 779.9
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780.3 State Highway 312 Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
786.5 ICW bears to the right at green lighted marker “43” of Butler Beach.
The markers visible to the left are for a private development on the beach.
788.7 Crescent Beach Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet. 792.2 Red Marker “80.” Begin 2.1-mile-long section of shoaling and cross-setting currents. Follow the small red and green buoys marking best water. (NORTHBOUND: End of shoaling and cross-
setting currents.)
The cross-setting currents are the strongest, and the shoaling severe, where the Matanzas River begins its passage to Matanzas Inlet. Aids to navigation in this area are changed as warranted, so there may be more, or di erent, markers than those shown on the chart. Follow them carefully.
The structure to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right), on Rattlesnake Island, is Fort Matanzas, where more than 300 French Huguenots were killed by the Spanish in 1565. Matanzas is Spanish for slaughter.
794.3 End of shoaling and cross-setting currents. (NORTHBOUND: Begin 2.1-mile-long section of shoaling and cross-setting currents. See Mile 792.2.)
796.0 The old Marineland Marina, charted and located between green lighted marker “87” and green marker “89,” remains closed in 2009.
Mantanzas Inlet, Florida. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Mile 780.3
– Mile 796.0
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799.8 Entrance to 8.4-mile-long land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of land-cut.)
802.8 Palm Coast Resort Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
386-446-6370.
803.0 The Marina at Yacht Harbor Village. 386-597-5030.
803.1 Palm Coast Parkway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
808.2 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 8.4-mile-long land-cut.) 809.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) in a side channel to a cement plant and a boat factory.
Don’t anchor in the side channel. The channel, which provides access to a boatbuilding plant, is used frequently. Don’t go ashore—you’ll be trespassing on private property.
810.6 Flagler Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
816.0 L. B. Knox Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance,
15 feet.
819.7 Red Lighted Marker “2.”
821.0 Departure right (NORTHBOUND: left) for shallow-draft anchorage in Tomoka Basin.
Locally marked channel departs the ICW above green lighted marker “7.” Only 3–5 feet of water.
824.9 Ormond Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
829.1 Seabreeze Highway Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
829.3 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
There may be room here for one or two boats, but no longer recommended due to lack of room and boat tra c.
829.4 Caribbean Jacks Bar and Restaurant to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). May be shallow alongside—check with marina. 386-523-3000.
829.4 Loggerhead Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
386-523-3100.
829.7 Main Street Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet.
830.1 Carlton Black Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
830.6 Memorial Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
RESTRICTED: Mondays through Saturdays, 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., opens at 8:15 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.
830.7 Halifax River Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), at head of basin 0.3 mile of ICW channel. No fuel, no pumpout. 386-255-7459.
830.7 Halifax Harbor Marina, to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
386-671-3601.
The marina is located in downtown Daytona Beach with a supermarket a few blocks away. The well-known Daytona International Speedway is on the other side of town. If there is a race on, you can hear it on the ICW.
831.0 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) below bridge.
Enter by lining up your stern on the entrance channel to the Halifax Harbor Marina, and proceed cautiously across shoal water to the charted deeper patch along the shore.
Mile 799.8
– Mile 831.0
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831.3 Daytona Marina and Boat Works to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Hauling. 386-252-6421.
832.0 Red Marker “44.” Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), just of ICW channel.
The anchorage is northwest of the marker and exposed to wakes. Avoid the charted cable and pipeline areas, but buoy your anchor anyway.
835.2 Seven Seas Marina and Boatyard to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Marina/repair facility. No pumpout. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 386-
761-3221.
835.5 Port Orange Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
836.7 Adventure Yacht Harbor to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
386-756-2180.
839.4 Green Lighted Marker “1.”
839.6 Junction with shoal north entrance of channel to Ponce de Leon Inlet.
Shoaling makes this entrance virtually unusable. If you want to reach the facilities in the channel, or use the inlet, it’s best to enter at the south channel entrance, at Mile 843.5.
843.5 Green Marker “19,” junction to left (NORTHBOUND: straight ahead), with south entrance to channel to Ponce de Leon Inlet. (NORTHBOUND: See Mile 839.6.)
CAUTION: Although this entrance is subject to severe shoaling, it is dredged frequently; nevertheless, use extreme caution.
(0.4) Anchorage to left, opposite New Smyrna Beach Coast Guard Station.
The Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Courtesy Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
Mile 831.3
– Mile 843.5
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(0.8) Ponce de Leon Inlet.
This is not a good inlet for strangers to use even though locals use it all the time. (1.5) Lighthouse Boat Yard to right in marked channel. Marina/ repair facility. No laundry, no pumpout. Hauling. Do-it-
yourself. 386-767-0683.
(2.1) Sea Love Boat Works to right. Repair facility. Hauling. 386-
761-5434.
(2.8) Inlet Harbor Marina and Restaurant to right. 386-767-5590.
845.0 Coronado Beach, George E. Musson, Highway Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 24 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour and every 20 minutes.
845.3 Riverview Hotel and Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel, no pumpout. 386-409-2042.
845.5 Green Lighted Marker “33” to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), channel bends to right (NORTHBOUND: bends to left).
CAUTION: The channel through Sheephead Cut is no longer a good anchorage due to private docks and small-boat tra c. The main ICW channel has been prone to shoaling, and there may be temporary buoys marking the best water.
846.1 North Causeway Marine to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No showers, no laundry. 386-427-5267.
846.1 New Smyrna Beach City Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 386-427-4040.
846.5 Harris Saxon Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
A lighthouse on the Ponce de Leon Inlet. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Mile 845.0
– Mile 846.5
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847.0 Green Lighted Marker “45.”
NOTE: Possible anchorage in the deeper water between “45” and bridge, but we have not checked this out. We have observed boats anchored in this area. Due to the current, two anchors may be needed.
847.5 Smyrna Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
386-427-4040.
A vessel coming out of Coronado Beach, George E. Musson Highway Bridge. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 847.0
– Mile 847.5
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C H A P T E R 1 0
Central Florida
T
he Intracoastal Waterway runs along the Indian River in central Florida. h is region is the ultimate destination for many snowbirds. h e sun is hot, marinas are plentiful, there are many things to do ashore, and the congestion isn’t quite what it will become from Palm Beach south. h is area even o ers some ne sailing at times in the wide waters of the Indian River or close along the Atlantic shore. It is quite feasible and often desirable to pop “outside” in a sailboat, so as to limber up those sailing skills while traveling overnight and making good time. If headed south, just be sure to stay inside the Gulf Stream to avoid ghting a 2- to 3-knot current.
h e decreasing latitude and the decreasing distance between the coast and the Gulf Stream conspire to rapidly warm up the weather, which explains the abundant fruit groves you can see and sometimes smell ashore. h ere can still MOSQUITO LAGOON AND INDIAN RIVER TO VERO BEACH,
Mile 855.0 to Mile 953.1
INDIAN RIVER, FORT PIERCE, ST. LUCIE RIVER, AND JUPITER,
Mile 953.1 to Mile 1007.2
Watching manatees from a dock in Titusville, Florida.
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be a nip in the air when a cold front passes through, but this only makes the area even more desirable for those used to more northern climes.
One hazard becomes more and more abundant as you head south—
manatees. h ese lumbering beasts are found in certain parts of the ICW channel, which are sometimes well-marked with warning signs, and often you will see them around docks and marinas. Be careful! h e animals are protected, and they will damage your boat if you hit one. A good spot to observe manatees is in the Titusville yacht basin.
h ough many bridges cross the ICW in central Florida, a lot of them are high-level xed bridges that will not impede your progress. A few are restricted, however, as noted in this book, and these can have an impact on your day’s travels. Timing them will be good practice for southern Florida, where restricted bridges are the norm. An interesting feature of both xed and opening bridges is the possible anchoring areas created on either side of the causeways leading to them. You have to pick the optimal side based on wind direction, but these can be useful places to stop, and some causeways feature parks ashore where you can land to stretch your legs.
After leaving New Smyrna Beach you’ll be in the Indian River North, but this narrow body of water bears no resemblance to the main part of the river, which looks more like a sound or bay. It is 4 miles across at its upper end, narrowing to 1.5 miles over its 120-mile length. h e famous Indian River citrus fruit is grown in groves along the shores.
Until around Mile 860 the channel is between many small islands and even more spoil islets—piles of dredged sand and mud that now have grass and trees growing on them. h is all keeps the Waterway well sheltered, but if big winds are blowing things can get rough farther south. From Mile 860 to Mile 869 you are in the wide but shallow waters of Mosquito Lagoon. Shallow-draft boats can nd anchoring opportunities behind some of the spoil islands. Depths outside of the channel are not reliable, but there are charted areas with 6 or 7 feet of water and deeper boats may want to anchor if running late and the weather is calm.
At Mile 869, where you can see the huge buildings at the Space Center o in the distance, the ICW takes a hard turn to the southwest and enters the Haulover Canal, with a bascule bridge (on demand) crossing it. h e canal is frequented by manatees, and you should keep a good lookout. You may see bald eagles here. h e entire canal is a slow-speed, no-wake zone, and the bridgetender will let you know it.
Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River to Vero Beach
MI LE 855.0 TO MI LE 953.1
For Navigation, see page 185.
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A lone sailboat on Mosquito Lagoon. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
A “Caution Manatee Area” sign in Haulover Canal.
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Small boats tie up in a tiny basin located in the canal after the bridge. If a strong southwest or northwest wind is blowing, be prepared for heavy seas when leaving the canal into the wider reaches of the Indian River. h e automatic railroad bridge at Mile 876.7 is usually open, and alarms ash and sound if it is going to close. h is bridge is not manned, so don’t bother trying to contact an operator on the radio. It is possible to anchor south of the bridge in patches of deep water that parallel the bridge causeway. h is anchorage would be an option in the case of strong north winds.
Few sheltered anchorages exist in or along the Indian River, but you can anchor in the lee of any of the several causeways that cross the river. We have not listed all of these anchorages; they are obvious on the chart, and the weather determines which is the lee side. We’ve had to pick up anchor and move to the other side of a bridge causeway when the clocking winds of a cold front moved through. Tucking your boat in behind one of the causeways lined with graceful Australian pines makes for a pleasant anchorage.
Titusville comes up on the west side of the ICW at Mile 878.1, just before the opening bridge. A marked channel leads into a protected basin with several marinas, but there is no anchorage in the basin itself. h e marinas are located in a strategic spot for those wishing to rent a car and visit Disney World or the Space Center. h e marinas have good walking access to the town’s grocery stores, restaurants, and other shops. h e fuel dock is easy to approach and sheltered, with no current. h ere are several nice places to eat here.
The anchorage near the swing bridge in Titusville, Florida. (Patricia Todd-
Dennis photo.)
C e n t r a l F l o r i d a
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h ose who like to anchor grope their way into shallow mud both north and south of the channel into Titusville, with deeper boats anchored well out toward the ICW where there is charted deeper water. Unfortunately, these locations o er almost no shelter in strong northers, or strong winds from almost any direction. During bad weather it is best to anchor in the lee of one of the bridge causeways or pick up a berth in a marina.
h e Titusville Bridge is closed weekdays 6–7:15 a.m., preventing a crack-
of-dawn start, but it will soon be replaced with a high-level bridge (2009).
h e Indian River continues very wide and deep for miles. h is is one of the best sailing stretches on the entire ICW, so take advantage. A large deep patch of water is located outside of the Waterway northeast of the Addison Point Bridge at Mile 885. h is deep area allows sailboats to approach the low shore and shallows to the east, which is a favorite anchoring spot for those wishing to observe a space shuttle launch.
At Mile 893.5 the Canaveral Barge Canal joins the ICW. Cape Canaveral inlet is one of the best in Florida, and is well sheltered in even a hard northerly blow. It is a favorite place to pop outside and sail down the coast as long as north winds prevail. With a typical fall northwester, you’ll have a broad reach down the beach with calm seas. Keep in mind that the Gulf Stream comes in very close to the coast by the time you reach Fort Lauderdale, but chances are the norther won’t last that long anyway.
h ere are well-sheltered marinas and all services located at various points in the Barge Canal—some of them advertise themselves as hurricane holes.
A popular anchorage is located at Indian Harbor Beach, Mile 914.1, inside charted Dragon Point. h e giant green dragon statue located on the point has collapsed and there is talk of reconstruction, but old ICW hands still refer to this place simply as “h e Dragon.” Anchoring space is limited by many boats on moorings, shallows, and the proximity of a marina and other docks. North of the swing bridge there are anchoring opportunities in the Banana River. If you can get situated, there are nearby stores and restaurants.
Around Mile 925 depths begin to drop o outside of the main channel, and you may want to anchor in the deep water patches located outside of the various spoil islands. h is is the last good anchoring opportunity for about 22 miles, unless you have shallow draft. You’ll have to judge the weather carefully as the area is very exposed.
Local shing boats that can clear the 37-foot bridge use Sebastian Inlet, Mile 936, with popular marinas nearby. Around Mile 943 the Waterway enters the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is wild and peaceful. South of the xed bridge the ICW is now lined with buildings to the east in what used to be a lovely, undeveloped stretch of forest and farmland. Jones Fruit Dock, Mile 945.7, used to be a fun, funky, and cheap tie-up for cruisers, but now the fruit farm is gone and apparently some of the charm. h e dock is now publicly owned, but we believe transient overnight dockage is still available.
A good anchorage is found at Mile 947 between Hole in the Wall Island and the small spoil island that has red lighted marker “110” on its north end. 185
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Enter south of the spoil island and sound your way in to anchor in peace and quiet and 6–7 feet of water. Staying here would mean a good early arrival in Vero Beach, sometimes necessary if you’re trying to secure one of the popular rental moorings there.
It’s just a few miles from Hole in the Wall to Vero Beach, which is justi ably one of the most popular spots for cruisers to winter over. h e city mooring eld is approached via a marked channel at Mile 951.7, located just north of the xed bridge. Call the harbormaster for directions and a mooring assignment. Rafting is common on the moorings, but you may enjoy the cruiser crowd. Vero Beach has become known as “Velcro Beach” among the cruising fraternity, because so many people arrive planning to spend a night only to stick around for a while.
Navigation 856.2 Emergency dockage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
The water at the two docks here is very shallow.
856.6 Red Marker “2.”
Mosquito Lagoon begins to widen out in this vicinity and is almost 3 miles wide before the Waterway channel leaves it. In the vicinity of Oak Hill, a small town on the western shore of the lagoon, you’ll get your i rst glimpse of the tall vehicle-assembly building at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, nearly
20 miles away. This featureless monolith dominates the landscape until you are several miles south of the space center.
868.3 Green Lighted Marker “45,” entrance to Haulover Canal to right.
A strong wind through this narrow canal may cause currents of up to
1.5 knots, and the water level may vary as much as 2 feet. Note that the sides of the canal are rocky. CAUTION: The entire canal is a slow-speed, minimum-wake zone, as well as a manatee zone. It is very likely you’ll see some of these large and slow creatures in here.
869.2 Allenhurst-Haulover Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 27 feet.
869.7 Entrance to Indian River.
The markers are widely separated in this area. If you have trouble seeing them, you can use the highly visible white tanks on the far shore of the river as a range since they are in line with the channel. From this point to after the channel turns south, it is subject to shoaling, so proceed with caution.
870.3 Green Lighted Marker “1.”
876.7 NASA Railroad Bridge. Automatic single bascule. Vertical clearance, 7 feet. Usually open.
This is the only opening bridge without an attendant on the entire Waterway. The bridge is open unless a train is coming. When open, ashing green lights are displayed. When a train is due, the lights change to ashing red and a horn continuously sounds a sequence of four blasts. Eight minutes after the red light and horn signals commence, the bridge will close, as long as the MOSQUITO LAGOON AND INDIAN RIVER TO VERO BEACH
Mile 855.0 to Mile 953.1
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: No tidal current; wind current only.
Mile 856.2
– Mile 876.7
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Large vessels and small pass through the Allenhurst Bridge on the Haulover Canal. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
The “Candy Cane Stacks” visible in Titusville. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
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scanning equipment shows nothing under the bridge. We have witnessed the bridge closing, and there should be plenty of time to get out of the way.
878.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) above or below red lighted marker “26.”
This area is open and exposed to wakes, but is deeper than the anchorages on either side of the channel into the Titusville Basin.
878.1 Facilities in Titusville basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
These facilities are the closest to the Kennedy Space Center.
(0.6) Titusville Municipal Marina. 321-383-5600.
(0.7) Westland Marine. Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 321-267-1667.
Across the busy highway from this basin is a shopping center with a supermarket, and there are several nice restaurants in town. If bad weather is brewing, the marina o ers much better shelter than is available in nearby anchorages. Watch for manatees in the basin.
878.1 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), north and south of marked channel to basin and above the bridge at Mile 878.6.
Dinghies may be landed at the Titusville Municipal Marina [Mile 878.1 (0.6)] inside the basin. Anchoring in the basin is not allowed.
878.6 Max Brewer Highway 402 Bridge. Single-pivot swing. Vertical clearance, 9 feet. (Being replaced by high-level bridge in 2009.)
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
882.7 Kennedy Point Marina and Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 321-383-0280.
The privately marked entrance channel begins near green marker “39.”
883.8 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), behind green lighted marker “41.”
Watch for the 2-foot shoal when entering. This is an unprotected anchorage, but it is popular with boaters who wish to watch shuttle launchings.
885.0 NASA Causeway Twin Highway Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 27 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
From here, you’ll travel 79 miles without encountering any opening bridges.
885.0 Anchorages available on both sides of bridge causeway.
893.5 Green Lighted Marker “67,” junction with Canaveral Barge Canal Channel to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
The canal leads to the Canaveral Inlet, which is a safe one for pleasure boats. CAUTION: The entire canal is a manatee zone requiring slow speeds and minimum wake.
(1.5) Harbor Square Marina to right. Diesel fuel only. No laundry. 321-453-2464.
(1.8) Christa McAulif e Route 3 Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet. VHF Channel 09.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Daily, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., 3-hour advance notice required to open.
(2.2) Harbortown Canaveral Marina to right. Hauling. 321-453-0160.
Mile 878.0
– Mile 893.5
C e n t r a l F l o r i d a
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One of the anchorages near the Addison Point/NASA Causeway. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Warning signs help remind boaters of the presence of manatees.
189
Mo s q u i t o L a g o o n a n d I n d i a n R i v e r t o Ve r o B e a c h
(6.2) Barge Canal Lock. VHF Channel 13, or use pull cord.
The lock operates only between 6 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., during which times it will open on demand. Don’t enter the lock until signaled to do so. Tie up on either side to the plastic fendering. Very little movement and very gentle.
(6.6) Highway 401 Triple Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet. VHF Channel 09.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Daily,
10 p.m. to 6 a.m., 3-hour advance notice required to open.
(6.7) Scorpions New Port Marina to right. Hauling. Specializing in catamarans. 321-784-5788.
(7.0) Cape Marina to right. Hauling. 321-783-8410.
(7.0) Port Canaveral Yacht Club to right. 321-784-2292.
(7.5) Sunrise Marina to right. 321-783-9535.
(9.3) Canaveral Inlet.
This is one of the best all-weather inlets on the Florida coast.
894.0 City Point Twin Highway Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
897.2 Cocoa Village Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel. 321-632-5445.
897.3 Cocoa Twin Highway Bridges. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
897.4 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) outside of charted cable and pipeline areas.
909.0 Palm Shores Route 404 Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
910.7 Windward Harbor Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
321-254-1490.
914.1 Departure point for facilities in Banana River to left inside Dragon Point (NORTHBOUND: to right).
CHART 11472—PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH
A manatee seen from the Telemar Bay Marina. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 894.0
– Mile 914.1
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As soon as you enter the Banana River around the end of Merritt Island, all the facilities will be on your right. The large, green, concrete dragon on the tip of Merritt Island has collapsed. Favor the dragon side as you enter the Banana River.
(1.2) Anchorage Yacht Basin. Marina/repair facility. Hauling.
Do-it-yourself. 321-773-3620.
This marina, and the marina and anchorage given below, are close to a large shopping center with a supermarket.
(1.4) Anchorage of the marina.
(1.5) Eau Gallie Yacht Club. 321-773-2600.
(1.6) Telemar Bay Marina. Marina/repair facility. Hauling.
321-773-2468.
914.4 Eau Gallie Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
914.8 Departure point for facilities in basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
(1.0) Eau Gallie Yacht Basin. No fuel. Hauling—railway.
321-242-6577.
(1.1) Waterline Marina. No fuel. 321-254-0452.
915.2 Red Lighted Marker “2.”
916.6 Intracoastal Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.6 mile of ICW channel. Hauling. 321-725-0090.
918.1 Melbourne Causeway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
918.7 Departure point for Melbourne Harbor Marina in basin to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.9 mile of ICW channel. 321-725-9054.
921.0 Depart to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) for Palm Bay Marina
(321-723-0851) and Pelican Harbor Marina (321-723-0851) inside a 15-foot bridge.
Melbourne Causeway i xed bridge over the ICW in the Indian River. A sailboat is anchored in front of the trees on the right.
Mile 914.4
– Mile 921.0
191
I n d i a n R i v e r, F o r t P i e r c e, S t. L u c i e R i v e r, a n d J u p i t e r
934.0 Sebastian River Marina and Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.5 mile of ICW channel. New facility. 772-664-3029.
937.7 Capt’ Butcher’s Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.5 mile of ICW through marked channel. No laundry. 772-589-2552.
Five-foot depths in approach and dockside.
937.7 Fins Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 772-589-4843.
937.8 Captain Hiram’s Resort to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.5 mile of ICW channel. 772-589-4345.
Five-foot depths in approach and alongside.
943.2 Wabasso Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
This used to be one of the prettiest parts of the Indian River. It narrows down, and many islands are on either side of the Waterway channel. Most are heavily wooded with Australian pines and mangroves. In recent years this area has become much more developed.
945.7 Jones Fruit Dock to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). Now publicly owned.
This dock used to be owned by a fruit farmer who welcomed transient boaters to tie up and visit his plantation to purchase some very fresh fruit. The area is now heavily developed, but the dock and land are now publicly owned, and there are plans to maintain transient boating access. There may be overnight dockage available.
947.0 Green Marker “111” and departure to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) for anchorage behind small spoil island.
948.7 Loggerhead Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
772-770-4470.
Marina channel starts near green lighted marker “121.”
951.7 Junction with channel to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), to Vero Beach marina and moorings 0.4 mile of ICW channel, in Bethel Creek.
To enter this channel, pass between green lighted marker “139” and the bridge. Leave green marker “3” to port and leave red lighted marker “2” to starboard.
(0.3) Vero Beach Yacht Club to right. 772-231-2211.
(0.4) Vero Beach Municipal Marina and moorings to right.
772-231-2819.
Moorings are located both to the north and south of the marina in 6 feet of water. Anchoring is prohibited in Vero Beach. The town moorings must be used, and a fee must be paid. You may have to raft up with other boats on the moorings. A shopping center is nearby, and there is a good bus system.
951.8 Vero Beach Merrill Barber Highway 60 Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 66 feet.
Indian River, Fort Pierce, St. Lucie River, and Jupiter
MI LE 953.1 TO MI LE 1007.2
For Navigation, see page 194.
Mile 934.0
– Mile 951.8
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South of Vero Beach the Indian River once again opens up into a wide body of water with little shelter from strong winds. Various side channels lead o to resorts or residential developments. At Mile 960 you’ll see the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute located on the west side of the ICW. Fort Pierce comes up at Mile 965, with many marinas and services. Some boats anchor south and west of the opening bridge in a patch of deep water. h e inlet is one of the better ones on the Florida east coast. h ere are several marinas in the channel to the inlet. It’s also possible to anchor o the channel that leads east past Causeway Island from south of the xed bridge. h ere’s a small basin at the end called Faber Cove. Be careful of the strong currents in the vicinity of the xed bridge. It is reported that Fort Pierce has a 96-hour anchoring limit.
h ere aren’t many anchoring opportunities south of Fort Pierce until you reach the Jensen Beach Bridge (high level) at Mile 981.4. Anchor in the deep water northwest of the bridge causeway. A public park provides access to shore and a chance to stretch your legs. Anchor southwest of the causeway if a strong norther is coming through. A high-level bridge has replaced the Indian River (Ernest Lyons) Bridge at Mile 984.9.
h e Waterway is prone to shoaling where it crosses the St. Lucie River (to the west) and St. Lucie Inlet (to the east). If headed into Manatee Pocket, a near hurricane hole, be sure to get lined up with the channel before turning the corner and heading west—don’t cut too close to the red marker “2.” You will often see private towing company boats hovering in the vicinity, just waiting for someone to get confused, go aground, and then call for towing help.
Manatee Pocket is shoal (5–6 feet) and lined with boatyards, but it o ers near perfect protection in several wide spots well inside. We’ve endured some really nasty storms while anchored in here—one included ve tornadoes in the vicinity. Some of the marinas here don’t really welcome sailboats, and you’ll be able to tell by the lack of same. Stuart is nearby, and some people gure out how to get into town to purchase supplies.
Heading south on the ICW, the route heads into a land-cut at Mile 990 that is also a slow-speed manatee zone, at least for parts of it. You’ll encounter one of the annoying habits of some Florida boaters here. With many speed zones, high-speed boaters have developed the habit of blasting along until the last possible moment, and then accelerating the instant their stern clears the end of the speed zone, regardless of any other Waterway users. Needless to say, this throws some large and unpleasant wakes.
At the end of the land-cut, the Waterway widens out into pretty Peck Lake. You can leave the ICW just south of green lighted marker “19,” to feel your way toward shore where there should be at least 6 feet to anchor in. h e entire shore is state and federal park, so it is undeveloped and lovely. Just over the dune is a wild Atlantic Ocean beach, with the surf crashing to lull you to sleep. h is is one of our favorite Florida anchorages, but you’ll have to share it, especially on weekends.
h e shoreside scene quickly changes south of Peck Lake as you pass Jupiter Island and Hobe Sound. Each mansion appears to have been created 193
I n d i a n R i v e r, F o r t P i e r c e, S t. L u c i e R i v e r, a n d J u p i t e r
Speed signs are not always obeyed by Florida boaters—use caution.
A favorite Florida anchorage at Peck Lake.
C e n t r a l F l o r i d a
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to outdo the next, and most come complete with gorgeous yachts tied up at the backyard dock—or is the ICW the front yard for these folks? h is is where you begin to feel a bit guilty about those dingy topsides, or that scratch on the bow. By now your boat will usually have a curling yellow ICW mustache from all the tea-colored water you plowed through up in the Carolinas. For some of us Waterway travelers, that is a badge of honor.
Hobe Sound navigation is generally easy—just stay in the channel. Be sure to pay attention to the charts and this guide as you approach Jupiter Inlet, with its profusion of bridges, twists, turns, and side channels.
h e rst bridge is on demand, and then the Waterway takes a hard right, away from Jupiter Inlet, meaning that strong currents ow through here. h e many marinas and the popularity of the inlet area for sport shing keep the ICW busy. h e Federal Bridge is also on demand, but there isn’t a lot of room to wait around in the current and you have to plan ahead for the restricted Indiantown Road Bridge at Mile 1006. Again, there’s not a lot of room to wait, there’s going to be a current, and there will probably be other boat tra c.
Of course, from here south, it only gets busier!
Navigation 953.1 17th Street Causeway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
964.2 Riverside Marina and Boat Works to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Marina/repair facility. No fuel, no laundry. Hauling. Do-it-
yourself. 772-464-5720.
The marked marina channel begins below red marker “180.”
964.8 North Fort Pierce Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 26 feet.
Less than a mile away is Fort Pierce Inlet, and from here to Miami the Waterway is again a ected by the tides and the tidal currents from various inlets.
965.1 Junction with channel into Taylor Creek and marinas to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
(0.3) Harbortown Marina to right. Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 772-466-7300.
(0.4) Cracker Boy Boat Works to left. Repair facility. Hauling.
Do-it-yourself. 772-465-7031.
(0.5) Taylor Creek Marina to left. 772-465-2663.
965.6 Port Consolidated Petroleum to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Fuel dock only. 772-461-1020.
965.6 Junction with Fort Pierce Inlet channel and facilities to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This is a well-marked, deep-water inlet. CAUTION: Currents running in and out of the inlet attain a velocity of 3 knots. Cross-setting currents of much higher velocities have been reported.
INDIAN RIVER, FORT PIERCE, ST. LUCIE RIVER, AND JUPITER
Mile 953.1 to Mile 1007.2
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—2.1 knots; ebb—2.3 knots.
Mile 953.1
– Mile 965.6
195
I n d i a n R i v e r, F o r t P i e r c e, S t. L u c i e R i v e r, a n d J u p i t e r
(0.8) Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station to right.
(0.9) Fort Pierce Inlet Marina to right. No fuel. 772-464-8451.
(1.0) Pelican Yacht Club to right. 772-464-2700.
965.8 Peter P. Cobb Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
CAUTION: Strong crosscurrents exist at this bridge. On the ebb, be especially careful about making leeway if you turn into the Fort Pierce City Marina below the bridge.
966.2 Departure to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), to marina and anchorage next to Causeway Island.
(0.7) Harbour Isle Marina to left. 772-461-9049.
(1.3) Anchorage in Faber Cove.
Shoaling is occurring at the bend in the channel nearly opposite Thumb Point. There may be only 5–6 feet of water in anchorage. Anchorage is reported to be limited to 96 hours. 966.5 Fort Pierce City Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
772-464-1245.
The relocated entrance channel starts from below red marker “188.” The downtown section of Fort Pierce is adjacent.
979.4 Nettles Island Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), 1.3 miles of ICW channel. 772-229-2811.
The marked marina channel starts near ICW green marker “215.”
981.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in 7-foot depth.
981.4 Jensen Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
982.0 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Enter below the shoal south of red marker “220.”
982.9 Four Fish Inn and Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
772-334-0936.
Enter the marked marina channel near red mark “222.”
984.9 Indian River Ernest Lyons Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
985.1 Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 772-225-6989.
986.9 Red Lighted Marker “240,” junction with St. Lucie Inlet channel to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) and St. Lucie River channel to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) leading to Okeechobee Waterway and the west coast of Florida.
CAUTION: Strong crosscurrents occur at this junction with the St. Lucie Inlet and the St. Lucie River, so great care must be taken to avoid grounding. Don’t confuse green marker “17,” which is a marker for the channel from the inlet, with ICW markers. (NORTHBOUND: Look for green marker “239,” on your right, after passing green buoy “3.” Green marker “17” is not an ICW marker.) Note that the ICW markers change numbers here. After red marker “240,” the next ICW markers are red marker “2” and green lighted marker “3.” Note also that two markers are numbered “2”—red lighted buoy “2” marks the entrance to the St. Lucie River, and is not an ICW marker. The inlet should not be used without local knowledge.
Mile 965.8
– Mile 986.9
C e n t r a l F l o r i d a
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St. Lucie Inlet to Manatee Pocket, showing the anchorage in the latter.
987.8 Red Lighted Buoy “2,” departure point to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), for facilities in Manatee Pocket, and anchorage in St. Lucie River.
(0.7) Manatee Pocket
Sail sh Marina of Stuart to right. Powerboats only. Hauling. 772-283-1122.
Finest Kind Marina to right. No laundry, no pumpout.
772-223-4110.
Mariner Cay Marina to right. 772-287-2900.
Pirate’s Cove Resort and Marina straight ahead. 772-287-2500.
Hinckley Yacht Service to left. Repair facility. Hauling.
772-287-0923.
Mile 987.8
– Mile 987.8
197
I n d i a n R i v e r, F o r t P i e r c e, S t. L u c i e R i v e r, a n d J u p i t e r
Manatee Marina. 772-283-6714
A. J. Boatyard. Repair facility. Hauling. 772-286-5339.
Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club. 772-221-1900.
(0.8) Anchorage in the wide part of Manatee Pocket for a few boats may be possible if you can limit swinging room to not block access to the many docks and marinas.
(1.7) Anchorage in St. Lucie River behind Sewall Point.
Anchoring is reported to be limited to 72 hours.
992.0 Green Lighted Marker “19” and anchorage in Peck Lake to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
Enter from just below green lighted marker “19” and proceed cautiously toward shore. You can dinghy ashore in this public park and walk across to a gorgeous wild beach on the Atlantic Ocean. This is probably the closest access on the entire ICW to an ocean beach. This area is popular on weekends.
992.2 Loblolly Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel, no pumpout. 772-546-3136.
995.9 Hobe Sound Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
998.0 Anchorages to right and left of ICW channel for 2.5 miles.
Any anchorage in this area will be exposed to wakes since they are all just o the channel.
1001.5 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), below Conch Bar.
Peck Lake provides a safe anchorage should you encounter inclement weather and desire to wait it out, as these boats are.
Mile 992.0
– Mile 1001.5
C e n t r a l F l o r i d a
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1002.2 Jupiter Hills Lighthouse Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel. 561-744-0727.
1002.2 Blowing Rocks Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
561-746-3312.
1002.3 Seagate Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Gas only.
561-746-2600.
1004.1 Jupiter Highway 707 Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
1004.2 JIB Yacht Club and Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
561-746-4300.
1004.4 Green Lighted Buoy “1.” Junction with Jupiter Inlet to left (NORTHBOUND: straight ahead). Opposite green lighted buoy “1” is red buoy “2,” and at this point, the ICW turns to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left).
This is not a good inlet to use.
1004.7 Jupiter Seasport Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No pumpout. 561-575-0006.
1004.8 Jupiter Federal Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 26 feet.
1005.1 Green Marker “7.”
This aid marks the sharp turn to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right) of the ICW channel. The bridges to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left) are over the entrance to the shallow Loxahatchee River.
1006.0 Indiantown Road Highway Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 35 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, on the hour and half-hour.
Dinghy ashore at Peck Lake to let the kids romp on this Atlantic Ocean beach.
Mile 1002.2
– Mile 1006.0
199
C H A P T E R 11
Southern Florida
L
ush, plush, elegant, rich, luxurious, opulent: such words don’t adequately describe some of the communities you’ll encounter in southern Florida. You have to see them to get the full impact, and see them you will in this section of the Waterway. Jay Gatsby would have loved it here. An aura of wealth seems to ooze from every side, not just from discreetly sequestered mansions worth millions and from ossy high-rise hotels and condominiums, but from the waterfront itself. Each marina and yacht club is as much a resort as any of the fanciest vacation hotels. Huge yachts line marina and yacht club docks as well as the private docks that seem to accessorize every waterfront home. h e word “boat” won’t do for most of these mini-luxury liners. If you harbor an inferiority complex about the size of your boat, this is not the area to visit; you’ll be made acutely aware of how small it is.
Many marinas provide services you may never even have considered, such as valets and maids. Every kind of marine service imaginable is available from companies located right on the waterfront. You can pull up to their docks to have repairs done or gear installed, or you can have a boat designed by one waterfront company and built by another a short distance away.
Because one town ows into another without obvious break in this section of Florida, you’ll likely nd at least one marina in each town that is located “downtown.” Restaurants and shopping are nearly always convenient. Anchoring is subject to myriad confusing local regulations and restrictions, and anchorages, which are few, are crowded. As of 2009, the Florida legislature passed a law that prevents municipalities from imposing arbitrary local anchoring regulations. One feature of the law is the creation of ve “trial” mooring elds in towns yet to be named. Should this happen, bear in mind that anchoring room can become severely restricted by statute in a mooring eld, or even eliminated altogether due to the room taken up by moorings. Marinas, too, can be crowded in southern Florida, but overnight dockage can usually be found. If you plan to stay for the season, you may have to make reservations a year ahead. Because many of these marinas and yacht clubs are THE PALM BEACHES TO FORT LAUDERDALE,
Mile 1007.2 to Mile 1061.3
FORT LAUDERDALE TO BISCAYNE BAY,
Mile 1061.3 to Mile 1078.7
BISCAYNE BAY TO MIAMI,
Mile 1078.7 to Mile 1095.0
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
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directly on the Waterway, they are disturbed by wakes from the heavy tra c, and some are therefore undesirable for long-term stays.
h is area is exciting and interesting to see for the rst time, but once is enough for many boaters. It becomes a chore having to contend with the many restricted bridges and the low-speed limits, which are strictly enforced in these heavily patrolled waters. “No Wake” signs mean what they say. h ey often mean, too, that you won’t be able to reach a restricted bridge in time for its opening. Boating isn’t really a pleasure when the tra c is bumper-to-bumper, and that is often the condition here.
South of Jupiter there is a brief respite from congestion—you will see several marinas and the Don Ross Bridge, but the Waterway is reasonably wide and activity not too hectic. When you get to the PGA Boulevard Bridge at Mile 1012.1 in North Palm Beach, however, tra c congestion picks up rapidly.
At PGA and south, there is almost so much activity—with multiple marinas and side channels spilling out onto the Waterway, people calling on the radio, various marine patrols circling, commercial boats jockeying for position, and bridges that have delayed openings—that it can get confusing at times. Just be sure to time your arrival at the various restricted bridges so you don’t have to circle around amidst the chaos.
From Palm Beach south most of the bridges have some sort of restriction. In recent years there has been a trend to restrict more bridges, while at the same time simplifying the restrictions themselves. Now, many of the restricted bridges are on an easy-to-understand hour and half-hour, or quarter- and three-
quarter hour, schedule. h is saves a lot of confusion, but doesn’t necessarily speed things up.
In general, you can’t travel as far in a day in southern Florida as you did farther north, especially if you have a mast that requires all the bridges to open. No matter what your cruising speed, reduce your daily mileage quota by 20 to 25 percent to take this into account. On a bad day it might take 8 or 10 hours to go 30 miles.
Once through the PGA Bridge you’ve got the Parker Bridge coming up at Mile 1013.7, with a di erent restricted schedule. With the distance between the two bridges and their schedules, along with inevitable delays, more often than not you can’t perfectly time the openings at both bridges. Luckily, there is a fairly wide spot at the turn above the Parker Bridge where you can wait. Just south of the Parker Bridge is a basin to the right with an easy-to-
approach, though usually busy, fuel dock. Keep this in mind if you are anchoring in the northern part of Lake Worth, as the marina there does not The Palm Beaches to Fort Lauderdale
MI LE 1007.2 TO MI LE 1061.3
For Navigation, see page 203.
201
T h e P a l m B e a c h e s t o F o r t L a u d e r d a l e
have fuel. h is is one of the easiest places to top everything o before heading to the Bahamas. No matter what the price of fuel you pay in the United States, it will be more in the Bahamas.
At Mile 1014.2 a marked channel branches o to the left leading to the marina and the anchorage area in north Lake Worth. Anchor in the east part of the area to avoid some sort of anchoring restrictions that are occasionally enforced in the other half. However, in season this anchorage will be chock full of boats waiting for a weather window to cross to the Abacos from Lake Worth Inlet.
In recent years there has been submerged debris around the edges of the anchoring area—stick to the middle for best water and better holding too. You can ride out a big blow from west to north to east here, but the anchorage get’s quite lumpy when it picks up from the south.
h ere is a creek at the head of the harbor, and you can dinghy around a corner to tie up at a road bridge—don’t worry, you’ll see lots of other people doing this. At very low tides there isn’t quite enough water to motor all the way to the tie-up point, but at high tide your dinghy may be completely a oat and you’ll have to wade to get to it. Lock your dinghy, as there have been many thefts here over the years.
Just a few blocks away from this dinghy landing is a big supermarket and other good shopping—some of the best access in Florida. A West Marine is a The anchorage south of Peanut Island on Lake Worth is a popular spot for cruisers heading over to the Abacos in the Bahamas. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
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long walk to the north, but it is doable. You can also nd auto parts, tax help, eyeglasses, a dentist, and you name it.
Heading south from north Lake Worth you are likely to encounter some big, rude, sport shing boats that blast by throwing enormous wakes, and there doesn’t appear to be an enforced speed zone here. Around Christmastime there is a nice decorated boat parade from Palm Beach north, and many boats anchor along the ICW to watch it all.
h e Blue Heron Bridge at Mile 1017.2 has been reported by some to o er less than its charted 65 feet, but that is probably due to an especially high tide. Use care if you have a high mast.
h ere are facilities and possible anchorages between Peanut Island (not developed) and Singer Island, but we have always found the area too crowded and hectic for our taste—it is close to Lake Worth Inlet and the ocean.
If you are planning a midnight departure to the Bahamas, try anchoring south of the inlet at Mile 1018.4 in one of the areas described in Navigation. Just be aware of all the charted, and confusing, cable areas. We have anchored here several times, studiously avoiding where we thought the cable areas were, but then we’ve noticed others anchoring right in the middle of the charted cable areas. h e Palm Beach Sailing Club at Mile 1019.7 o ers dinghy dockage and shore access to those anchored out.
Even if you’re not Bahamas bound, sailors should strongly consider taking the outside route from here to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, or farther south. From here on to the end of the ICW you will be contending with numerous opening bridges, usually restricted, strong currents in narrow places, an almost total lack of good anchorages, and lots of boat tra c.
On the other hand, a trip on the inside route will take you through a unique condo canyon of development that alternates between tacky and terri c, over the top, and under construction. You will encounter numerous ICW-side restaurants where you can stop, tie up, and have lunch, while your boat provides the local color for other patrons. We’ve gotten stuck behind some malfunctioning bridge and used the opportunity to pull into one of these waterside watering holes instead of circling aimlessly. If you want to run the canyon, you’ve got to go with the ow.
h e dearth of anchorages is somewhat compensated for by the riches in marinas, and surprisingly you don’t have to be rich to use them. We have often just pulled into one or another marina and found a reasonable transient berth for a night or two, sometimes tied up next to a large luxury yacht. Several marinas specialize in long-term winter transients, and we can see why, with all the things to do ashore, the nearby ocean beaches, and the great shelter.
Moving south on Lake Worth can be surprisingly low key for quite a few miles, except for the occasional big-wake boat. h e channel is wide and the lake is much wider, giving a nice sense of space as you observe ritzy Palm Beach on the shore. h e next few bridges are restricted, so watch your time.
As things begin to narrow you reach one of the few remaining, southern Florida, on-demand bridges at Lake Avenue, Mile 1028.8, but Lantana 203
T h e P a l m B e a c h e s t o F o r t L a u d e r d a l e
Bridge soon comes up with restrictions. Some folks like to anchor south of the Lantana Bridge, and this is probably the best spot until you reach the upper reaches of Biscayne Bay. We can’t recommend any of the anchorages from here down to Miami. All of them are either too close to the main ICW channel for comfort, or they are in side basins and channels with poor markings and limited depths, while being hemmed in on all sides by buildings. To top it o , the local authorities all seem to have a di erent idea on how to limit or eliminate anchoring, so don’t be surprised if you get a visit from a police boat—especially if you stay more than overnight. In general, if you are polite and your boat looks in good order, you will not have a problem spending a night or two. h e new Florida anchorage law gives you the right to do so.
On the other hand, the possible anchorages are important to note in case of a bridge failure, engine problem, or the sudden onslaught of bad weather.
Just prior to the Boynton Beach Bridge at Mile 1035 you enter a
30-plus-mile-long land-cut that is the beginning of the ultimate condo canyon section. Again, take advantage of what is here. Stop in a marina, eat out, spend some time shopping, or wait out some bad weather in a comfy spot instead of lumping around up in the north Lake Worth anchorage with everyone else.
h ere’s not really a lot to note navigation-wise from here to Fort Lauderdale, except for the nice possibility of an overnight anchorage in Lake Boca Raton, Mile 1048 (shoal and not much room). It’s rather weird anchored with high rises on all sides, but we found they broke up the wind during a big storm.
h ere’s a lot of current at the bridges around Boca Raton, and they are mostly restricted, so use great caution. If you have a strong current on the stern, check your bridge schedule, and stay well back until you know the bridge is opening.
Navigation CAUTION: All through this section, until you reach the wide part of Biscayne Bay, there are many ocean inlets that a ect the current in the Waterway. Be prepared for swift current at every bridge. When crossing an inlet channel, watch that the ood or ebb does not push you out of the ICW channel.
1007.2 Marina Club at Jonathan’s Landing to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 561-747-8980.
This is a private membership marina.
1008.0 Admirals Cove Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
561-745-5930.
This facility is located above green marker “21.”
1008.6 The Bluf s Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 561-627-6688.
1009.3 Juno Beach Donald Ross Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 35 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on hour and half-hour.
THE PALM BEACHES TO FORT LAUDERDALE
Mile 1007.2 to Mile 1061.3
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1 knot; ebb—1.2 knots.
Mile 1007.2
– Mile 1009.3
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
204
1009.4 Loggerhead Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
561-627-6358.
1011.6 The Ways Boat Yard to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself. 561-622-8582.
1011.8 Seminole Boat Yard to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself only. 561-622-7600.
1011.8 Soverel Harbour Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left),
0.2 mile of ICW channel. 561-691-9554.
1011.9 PGA Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 561-626-0200.
1012.1 PGA Boulevard Route 74 Twin Highway Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 24 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1012.8 Harbour Point Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel. 561-799-9590.
1013.7 North Palm Beach Parker Twin Highway Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
1013.8 North Palm Beach Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
561-626-4919.
1014.0 Entrance to Lake Worth.
Note the dashed channel line, indicating shoaling along the channel edges, for the whole length of Lake Worth. The markers are far apart in some sections of the lake, so take care not to steer, or make leeway, out of the channel.
Lake Worth tra c is often busy. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Mile 1009.4
– Mile 1014.0
205
T h e P a l m B e a c h e s t o F o r t L a u d e r d a l e
The Blue Heron Boulevard Highway Bridge, Peanut Island, and the Lake Worth Inlet Channel are all found near the busy port of Palm Beach.
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
206
1014.2 Green Lighted Marker “27,” junction to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), with marked channel to marina and anchorage in north end of Lake Worth.
(0.5) Old Port Cove Marina to left. No fuel. 561-626-1760.
(0.9) Anchorage to right of channel.
A full-service shopping center with a supermarket is next to the bridge at the north end of the lake. Be sure to padlock your dinghy when you go ashore; several dinghy thefts have been reported. This is a favorite spot to wait for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas. A West Marine store is within walking distance.
1016.5 Lake Park Harbor Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
561-881-3353.
The marked entry channel begins near red lighted “34.”
1017.2 Riviera Beach Blue Heron Boulevard Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
CAUTION: High tides may reduce the vertical clearance to less than 65 feet; check the tide gauge on the bridge before proceeding.
1017.5 Junction to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), with unmarked channel to facilities on Singer Island. (NORTHBOUND: See Mile 1018.6.)
(0.4) Cannonsport Marina to left. 561-848-7469.
(0.5) Buccaneer Marina to left. No showers, no pumpout.
561-842-1620.
(0.7) Sail sh Marina Resort to left. No pumpout. 561-844-1724.
1017.5 New Port Cove Marine Center to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No showers, no laundry. 561-844-2504.
1018.0 Riviera Beach Municipal Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 561-842-7806.
Lake Worth Channel Inlet Channel and Peanut Island at Lake Worth, Florida. The ICW is behind the island. (Courtesy of Palm Beach County Convention and Vistors Bureau.)
Mile 1014.2
– Mile 1018.0
207
T h e P a l m B e a c h e s t o F o r t L a u d e r d a l e
1018.2 Cracker Boy Boatworks to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.1 mile of ICW channel. Repair facility. Hauling. Do-it-yourself.
561-845-0357.
1018.3 U.S. Customs service dock to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
1018.4 Junction with Lake Worth Inlet Channel to inlet, Coast Guard Station, and three anchorages to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This is a good inlet to use for going outside. Access to all the anchorages is from the inlet channel. The Lake Worth Coast Guard Station is on the inlet channel, on the south side of Peanut Island.
(0.8) Anchorage to left of Lake Worth Inlet channel.
Pass inlet channel red lighted marker “8” to port on the way to the anchorage west of Singer Island. (0.4) Anchorage to right of Lake Worth Inlet channel, west of Palm Beach.
Observe charted cable area.
1018.6 Green Lighted Marker “1.”
(NORTHBOUND: This is the departure point to the anchorages described at Mile 1018.4 and the marinas on Singer Island described at Mile 1017.5.)
1019.7 Palm Beach Sailing Club to right. Dinghy dock, water, restrooms, shore access. 561-881-0809.
1019.8 Rybovich Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), through marked channel. Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 561-840-8190.
1021.7 Palm Beach Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. 561-655-1944.
1021.8 Palm Beach Flagler Memorial Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 17 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
1021.9 Palm Harbor Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No pumpout. 561-655-4757.
1022.7 Royal Park Route 704 Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 14 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1022.8 Town of Palm Beach Town Docks to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel, no laundry. 561-838-5463.
1024.7 Southern Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 14 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
1028.8 Lake Worth Lake Avenue Highway Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 38 feet.
1030.5 Loggerhead Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
561-582-4422.
This facility and the next are located near red marker “38.”
1030.6 Murrelle Marine. Repairs, hauling, do-it-yourself. 561-582-3213.
1031.0 Lantana Ocean Avenue Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 13 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
CHART 11467—WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI
Mile 1018.2
– Mile 1031.0
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
208
1031.1 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), just south of Lantana Highway Bridge. The depth of water is more than shown on the chart. 1032.7 Palm Beach Yacht Center to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 561-588-9911.
1033.0 Swift currents.
CAUTION: From this point until you enter the land-cut at Mile 1034.4, the ICW channel is a ected by the swift currents at Boynton Inlet. They can run as much as 8 knots in the inlet itself. Easterly winds generate the currents that a ect the Waterway the most. The channel is shoal on both sides, so mind your helm.
1033.1 Gateway Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 561-588-1211.
1034.4 Entrance to 30.6-mile-long land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: End of land-cut.) This is really a long, narrow section, rather than a true land-cut. Many sections of the cut are bulkheaded, and the shore is lined with an unbroken wall composed of condominiums, hotels, and private houses—some of the most beautiful and expensive in Florida. It is so coni ned that it is almost like traveling on a city street rather than cruising on a boat.
1035.0 Boynton Beach Ocean Avenue Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1035.9 Southeast 15th Avenue Briny Breezes Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
1038.0 Shoal indicated by red marker “52A.”
The shoal is on the north side of the marker. Favor the left side (NORTHBOUND: right side), of the extremely narrow channel to avoid the shoal.
1038.7 North Delray Beach George Bush Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 9 feet.
1039.6 Delray Beach Atlantic Avenue Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 12 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1040.0 Delray Beach Yacht Club to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel, no pumpout. 561-272-2700.
1040.6 Delray Harbor Club Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No laundry, no pumpout. 561-276-0376.
There are many shops and restaurants in the vicinity.
1041.1 Delray Beach Linton Boulevard Highway Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 27 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
From here south, canals interrupt both sides of the Waterway. Some are short and straightforward, some are long and curving, some lead to intricate canal networks that look like a maze. Most of the canals are crossed by bridges so low that only a runabout can get under them.
1042.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in circular
man-made lake.
Mile 1031.1
– Mile 1042.2
209
T h e P a l m B e a c h e s t o F o r t L a u d e r d a l e
CAUTION: The depth of the lake is 6 feet, but the depth over the bar at the entrance is only 5 feet. If your boat can’t clear the bar at low water, take advantage of the 2-foot tidal range and enter at high water. 1044.9 Spanish River Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1047.5 Boca Raton Palmetto Park Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 19 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1048.0 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) in Lake Boca Raton.
The best water is in the northern portion of the lake, and there are shoals.
1048.1 Boca Raton Resort and Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel, no pumpout. 561-447-3474.
1048.2 South Boca Raton El Camino Real Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 9 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and every 20 minutes.
CAUTION: Because of the adjacent Boca Raton inlet, swift currents are present.
1049.9 Red Marker “2.” This marker is located at the exit for the Hillsboro Drainage Canal channel to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left), and is not a Waterway marker.
CAUTION: The canal serves to drain excess water from Lake Okeechobee. When water is being discharged, it creates a hazardous current in the Waterway.
1050.0 Deer eld Beach Hillsboro Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
CAUTION: When the current, which is considerable, is running from the discharge of the Hillsboro Drainage Canal, don’t approach the bridge until it is fully open, and use su cient speed to avoid being swept into the left fender (NORTHBOUND: right fender).
1050.1 The Cove Restaurant and Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No showers, no pumpout. 954-427-9747.
1052.0 Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 954-942-6688.
The marina is in a small side canal below red marker “68.”
1053.5 Lighthouse Point Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
954-941-0227.
The marina is in a basin opposite green lighted marker “69.”
1053.8 Green Lighted Marker “71.” Junction with Hillsboro Inlet to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This is not a safe inlet to use without local knowledge. The bridge over the inlet opens on the hour and every 15 minutes.
1054.8 Merritt Boat & Engine Works to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility for powerboats only. Hauling. 954-941-5207.
1055.0 Pompano 14th Street Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 15 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour. Mile 1044.9
– Mile 1055.0
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
210
1056.1 Sands Harbor Resort & Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 954-942-9100.
1056.2 Atlantic Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 15 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1056.8 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in Lake Santa Barbara, 0.3 mile of ICW channel.
This anchorage and the one below are popular and apt to be crowded. On weekends, small boats create heavy tra c.
1056.9 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), in Lettuce Lake.
This anchorage is exposed to wakes.
1059.0 Fort Lauderdale Commercial Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 15 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1060.5 Oakland Park Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
As you arrive in Fort Lauderdale you’ll notice a nice state park on your left (NORTHBOUND: to right) prior to the Sunrise Boulevard Bridge at Mile 1062.6. You’re quite close to the ocean here. h is spot marks the beginning of a particularly busy section of the ICW. You’ll soon pass through the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge, and then you will quickly come upon the Fort Lauderdale mooring eld (to your right, or NORTHBOUND: to the left) and possible anchorage area, followed quickly by several large marinas. Anchoring may be limited to 24 hours. h en, near the huge Bahia Mar Yachting Center, there’s a fork in the channel with the right prong leading o into the New River, where there are more marina facilities hiding behind various opening bridges.
h e city of Fort Lauderdale runs several marinas and the mooring eld (see the Navigation section). h e tie-ups in the New River are particularly sheltered, and some of them are rather convenient to shopping or interesting parts of town.
Heading around a big, busy bend you’ll come across more busy marinas and fuel docks, and some really large yachts tied up or maneuvering for space. h e Lauderdale Marina fuel dock to the right (NORTHBOUND: to left) is one of the easier to approach in the area, and even though it is super busy, we have always found the sta helpful and courteous. Imagine what this area was like before they built the new 55-foot-high opening bridge at 17th Street! Fort Lauderdale to Biscayne Bay
MI LE 1061.3 TO MI LE 1078.7
For Navigation, see page 211.
Mile 1056.1
– Mile 1060.5
211
F o r t L a u d e r d a l e t o B i s c a y n e B a y
Now, at least, most of the boats don’t have to wait for a bridge opening, but the biggies still do.
South of the bridge you’ll be crossing the busy commercial shipping turning basin for Port Everglades and the channel to the ocean—watch for tra c and listen on the radio. Continuing south from Port Everglades, the Waterway quickly narrows down again into a condo canyon. h ere’s not a lot to note in this stretch until you get to a channel at Mile 1077.5 that leads o to a possible anchorage in Maule Lake.
Just beyond is the North Miami Beach Sunny Isles Bridge at Mile 1078, guarding the entrance to the Bakers Haulover Inlet area, which will be covered in the next section.
Navigation 1062.3 Anchorage in Sunset Bay to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), above yacht club. Limited to day use at this time.
1062.4 Coral Ridge Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel, no laundry. 954-566-7886.
This club, like many others in Florida, o ers reciprocal docking privileges to members of other clubs in the Florida Council.
1062.6 Fort Lauderdale Sunrise Boulevard Twin Highway Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 21 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1063.3 Green Lighted Marker “3.”
1064.0 Las Olas Municipal Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel. 954-828-7200.
This is one of the facilities owned and operated by the city of Fort Lauderdale.
1064.1 Las Olas Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 31 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
1064.2 Anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
Anchoring may be limited to 24 hours. If you wish to stay longer, you should use a city mooring, for which a fee is charged. You can stay on a mooring for up to 30 days during a calendar year. The fee includes use of a dinghy dock on the north shore. Check with dockmaster at the Las Olas Marina for information (954-828-7200).
1064.3 Hall of Fame Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel. 954-764-3975.
1064.5 Bahia Mar Yachting Center to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
954-627-6309.
This is one of the most elegant, well-run marinas to be found anywhere. It is the site of the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Shopping is nearby, and the beach is a short distance away.
1065.0 End of land-cut. (NORTHBOUND: Entrance to 30.6-mile-long land-cut. See Mile 1034.4.)
FORT LAUDERDALE TO BISCAYNE BAY
Mile 1061.3 to Mile 1078.7
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.4 knots; ebb—1.6 knots.
Mile 1062.3
– Mile 1065.0
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
212
1065.0 Junction with New River.
The ICW channel curves around to the left (NORTHBOUND: to the right). The New River channel is almost straight ahead (NORTHBOUND: see Mile 1065.3). Don’t mistake the red and green marker “A” junction marker for a channel marker. To continue on the ICW, leave the junction marker to starboard (NORTHBOUND: to port); if using this entrance to the New River, leave it to port.
1065.3 Junction with southern entrance to New River.
To use this entrance to the New River, southbound travelers will make a sharp right turn. For those northbound, it is nearly straight ahead. Leave red lighted marker “20” to starboard.
h is pleasant river has more than 20 marine facilities in a stretch of 4 miles, including all kinds of marinas and yards, do-it-yourself and otherwise. It is spanned by several bridges, some of which are restricted. h e rst bridge over the New River at Southeast 3rd Avenue is restricted and won’t open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. h e next bridge, at Andrews Avenue, will open only when the railroad bridge just below it is open. h e Southwest 12th Street Route 82 Bridge in the South Fork has the same restricted schedule as the rst bridge. Another restricted bridge, Route 84, passes over the South Fork, but all of the major facilities are before this bridge; it won’t open without 24 hours advance notice. h e other bridges over the river include two opening bridges that aren’t restricted, and twin xed spans that have a vertical clearance of 55 feet.
If you plan to stay in Fort Lauderdale for any length of time, you might consider stopping rst at the New River Downtown Marina (another city facility) about 2.5 miles from the river’s entrance—if space is available. h e dockmaster’s o ce (954-828-5423) is on the left, before the Andrews Avenue Bridge. h e rates are reasonable and, from this base, you can check around to nd where you might want to stay on a long-term basis. h e freshwater New River might be the place—tied up for the winter next to your own palm tree. h e city also runs Cooley’s Landing (954-828-4626) marina farther up the river. You’ll nd plenty of boaters around who can give you information about the services and policies of the various yards, and you can check out the yards yourself. h e facilities in the river are close to all kinds of shopping. Lots of boaters prefer to stay in the New River because it isn’t as gaudy and raucous as other parts of this crowded southern section of the Waterway.
1065.6 Lauderdale Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
954-524-5500.
The channel for the marina starts near red lighted marker”24.” The club is a member of the Florida Council (see 1062.4).
New River
Red aids to navigation to starboard.
Mile 1065.0
– Mile 1065.6
213
Ne w R i v e r
Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades, showing the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge and the Brooks Memorial Bridge.
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
214
215
Ne w R i v e r
Cruising the New River in Fort Lauderdale. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photos.)
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
216
1065.8 Lauderdale Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Hauling. 954-523-8507.
The marina is located opposite green lighted marker “27,” in a very busy spot. The large fuel dock is easy to approach, but be aware of all the other boat tra c.
1065.9 Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). No fuel, no pumpout. 954-463-4000.
1065.9 Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No pumpout. 954-728-3578.
This is another elegant marina. The services provided are many of those found in i ne hotels. No less than six restaurants are located in the marina complex.
1065.9 Cable Marine East in canal to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). Repair facility. Hauling. 954-462-2822.
This facility is located at the end of the canal next to the Hilton Marina.
1066.0 Brooks Memorial (79th Street Causeway) Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 55 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
NOTE: This bascule bridge has a closed vertical clearance of 55 feet. Many boats can clear it when it is closed.
1066.1 The Sails Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). No fuel, no pumpout. 954-525-3484.
This is a new megayacht-oriented facility on the former site of the Best Western Marina.
1066.4 Green Lighted Marker “29” and Red Lighted Buoy “30.” Entrance to Port Everglades turning basin.
Note that the ICW channel passes between these two markers in the normal way—green to port and red to starboard (NORTHBOUND: green to starboard and red to port) as you continue across the turning basin.
1066.5 Junction with Port Everglades Inlet to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
Port Everglades is large enough and deep enough to accommodate large ships, and it is busy with freighters and cruise ships. All the activity is coni ned to a relatively small basin, so there is much tra c to contend with. As if this weren’t enough, sometimes the current causes whirlpool-like swirls. This is the inlet to use to avoid the eight opening bridges and the i xed 56-foot vertical clearance bridge in Miami. It is about 20 miles from here to the Miami Harbor entrance.
1066.7 Green Lighted Marker “11.”
Marker “11” is actually a marker for the inlet channel coming in from the ocean. Green marker “1,” just south of it, marks the entrance to a small basin where the Coast Guard is located. Both green markers should be left to port (NORTHBOUND: to starboard) when following the ICW. 1067.4 Fort Lauderdale Coast Guard Station to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
1068.6 Entrance to Dania Cut-of Canal and marinas to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
Mile 1065.8
– Mile 1068.6
217
Ne w R i v e r
(1.0) Harbor Towne Marina to left. Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 954-926-0300.
(1.0) Playboy Marine Center to right. Do-it-yourself yard.
954-920-0533.
(1.2) Royale Palm Yacht Basin to left. Repair facility. Hauling.
Do-it-yourself. 954-923-5900.
(1.3) Derecktor of Florida to right. Repair facility. Hauling.
954-920-5756.
1069.4 Dania Beach Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1070.8 Hollywood Sheridan Street Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
1072.1 Hollywood Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 954-921-
3035.
1072.2 Hollywood Beach Boulevard Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the hour and half-hour.
1073.0 Loggerhead Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
954-921-3035.
Located in a small basin entered near red marker “42.”
Mile 1069.4
– Mile 1073.0
Port Everglades tra c includes massive cruise ships and small powerboats. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
218
1074.0 Hallandale Beach Boulevard Highway Twin Bridges. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
1075.2 Loggerhead Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.2 mile of ICW channel. No fuel. 305-935-4295.
1075.9 Turnberry Isle Marina Yacht Club to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.2 mile of ICW channel. No fuel. 305-933-6934.
1076.5 Golden Beach Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
1076.7 Anchorage to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), behind green lighted marker “49.”
It would be prudent to buoy the anchor, since this is a cable area.
1077.5 Red Marker “54.” Junction with channel to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) to Maule Lake. (0.5) Entrance to Maule Lake.
Anchor anywhere in the lake, except stay clear of the 5-foot spots.
(0.9) Williams Island Marina to right. 305-937-7813.
Located in a small basin to the north of Maule Lake.
(1.0) Loggerhead Club & Marina ahead. Marina/repair facility. Hauling. 305-945-0808.
1078.0 North Miami Beach Sunny Isles Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 32 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., opens on the quarter- and three-
quarter hour. Weekends and legal holidays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., opens on the quarter- and three-quarter hour.
Bakers Haulover Inlet, Mile 1080, is heavily used by local boats, but it is crossed by a 32-foot xed bridge. h e ocean inlet does however spew sand and mud into the ICW channel, causing perpetual silting around the area of red marker “6A.” h is is also the departure point for the anchorage within a park that is within sight of Miami’s lights at night. h is is probably one of the nicer anchorages close to Miami, if you can negotiate the shallows getting in. h e park closes up at night, so it is peaceful.
You’re now entering the upper part of Biscayne Bay, which forms Miami Harbor. h e Navigation section describes the alternate channel along the inside of Miami Beach, but the main ICW route is easier to follow and deeper, without too many restricted bridges. In fact, even though the city itself is large and busy, the Waterway here is quite pleasant, and it is fun to see all the big-city sights as you oat by.
CAUTION: At Mile 1087.2 you reach the lowest xed bridge over the ICW proper, the Julia Tuttle Bridge, with only 56 feet of vertical Biscayne Bay to Miami
MI LE 1078.7 TO MI LE 1095.0
For Navigation, see page 220.
Mile 1074.0
– Mile 1078.0
219
B i s c a y n e B a y t o Mi a mi
clearance. If you need more, you’ll have to go outside from Fort Lauderdale to Miami.
h e next bridge south, the Venetian Causeway, has a channel to its north that can take you to another bascule bridge on the causeway, which lets you through to a potential anchoring area near Watson Island and the Miami Yacht Club. You can use the yacht club dock and facilities for a fee. If you are considering anchoring, watch out for all the charted cable areas between Miami and Miami Beach.
If heading out to sea, you’ll have to pass Dodge Island one way or another. h e channel north of the island is a Security Zone, and you may be prohibited from passing if there are ships in the channel. Listen to the VHF and watch for patrol boats. h e largest cruise ships enter here, along with huge freighters, and megayachts.
h ere is an alternate Fishermans Channel south of Dodge Island that is ne for most pleasure boats, and it tends to have smaller commercial tra c, hence less congestion. Either route will take you by huge Miami Beach Marina, the closest to Government Cut and the ocean. Due to the proximity of customs, this can be a good place to check back into the United States if you have been sailing overseas.
h e ICW continues on to the high-level Rickenbacker Causeway at Mile 1091.7, with a channel heading o to a marina with berths and rental moorings, and a possible anchorage in the charted Marine Stadium. h ere are various shoals and obstructions in the stadium, but it can be a surprisingly comfortable spot if you can get anchored.
South of the Rickenbacker you suddenly emerge into the wide, but shallow, waters of Biscayne Bay between Key Biscayne and the Coconut Grove/
Dinner Key area. h ere are major marinas on both sides, with more than a few anchoring opportunities too. Miami is one of the most approachable major cities by sea in a small boat, and it is great fun to be snugly anchored up while watching the twinkling lights of the busy city. h ere are plans to put in a large mooring eld o of Dinner Key.
Finally, at Mile 1095, you reach the end of the coverage in this ICW book. We say “ nally” because at this point you are probably a bit tired of dealing with constricted channels, restricted bridges, reduced speeds, limited anchoring spots, and condo canyons. We usually are by that point, though when spring comes it all seems interesting again!
At Mile 1095 you can take your departure for the Cape Florida Channel, and the tiny anchoring basin inside Cape Florida. h is spot is named No Name Harbor. For a modest fee you can anchor overnight and go ashore during the day. It is possible to take buses into Key Biscayne or Miami, and this is not a bad reprovisioning spot, though not as convenient as some others.
We have come to the end of our ICW journey, which we know has been an exciting one for you as it has always been for us. From here you have the wonderful Florida Keys opening up before you or possibly a Gulf Stream crossing to the Bahamas, and maybe someday to Cuba. Fair winds!
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
220
1078.7 Red Marker “2.”
1079.5 Green Lighted Marker “5.” Junction to left (NORTHBOUND: to right) with channel to Bakers Haulover Inlet and facilities, and channel to Indian Creek straight ahead (NORTHBOUND: to right).
Bakers Haulover Inlet should not be used to reach the ocean without local knowledge. The inlet is crossed by a i xed bridge with 32 feet of vertical clearance.
The ICW channel, which turns to the right (NORTHBOUND: to the left), is subject to shoaling and has been reported to have a depth of less than 6 feet at times. The worst section begins around red marker “6A” and continues to a point a short distance below green lighted marker “9,” but exercise caution until you are past green marker “13.” Don’t allow the current, which can be considerable, to push you out of the channel.
(0.2) Haulover Beach Park Municipal Marina to left. No showers, no laundry. 305-947-3525.
(0.6) Bakers Haulover Inlet to left ( xed bridge, vertical clearance 32 feet).
1079.9 Red Marker “6A,” departure point for anchorage to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), in North Biscayne Bay.
Enter the anchorage about 75 feet north of red marker “6A.” Keep an eye on your depth-sounder to avoid the shoal areas both to the north and south of the marker. Proceed into the larger basin to right with charted depths of 14–16 feet. There will be lots of activity during the day, but at night this anchorage is very peaceful.
1080.4 Junction to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), with unmarked channel to Indian Creek and Bakers Haulover Inlet ( xed bridge, vertical clearance 32 feet).
1081.0 Departure to right (NORTHBOUND: to left) near red marker “12” for marked channel leading to Keystone Point Marina in New Arch Creek. 305-940-6236.
1081.3 Miami/Bay Harbor Islands Broad Causeway Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 16 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., opens on the quarter and three-quarter hour.
1081.8 Departure point for Miami Beach Channel to left (NORTH-
BOUND: to right). Enter just below green marker “15.”
From this departure point, it is 9 miles to the tip of Miami Beach. If you intend to travel the entire distance, your boat must be able to clear the two, 35-foot vertical clearance i xed bridges—one about two-thirds of the way down at the Julia Tuttle Causeway, and the other at the far end at MacArthur Causeway. Aside from the i xed bridges, there are two bascule bridges, but only the bridge at the Venetian Causeway is restricted.
The channel’s controlling depth is 7 feet, but there are a couple of spots around red marker “16” with depths of 4 to 6 feet.
The channel is not a good place to anchor because of the numerous pipeline and cable areas, and also the hard bottom, which makes for poor holding ground. A single suitable anchorage is between Rivo Alto Island Mile 1078.7
– Mile 1081.8
Navigation BISCAYNE BAY TO MIAMI
Mile 1078.7 to Mile 1095.0
Red aids to navigation to starboard. (NORTHBOUND: to port.)
Current: Average maximum ood—1.2 knots; ebb—1.3 knots.
221
B i s c a y n e B a y t o Mi a mi
and Hibiscus Island just north of MacArthur Causeway, near the charted “Monument.” This is a noisy place because of the tra c on the causeway.
(2.2) East 79th Street Causeway Bascule Bridge. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
(2.3) North Bay Landing Marina to right on Treasure Island.
(2.8) Side channel to continuation of Indian Creek and Fontainebleau Marina (305-538-2022) to left, 3.2 miles down the creek. This is a megayacht marina with very high rates.
The bascule bridge over the channel on the east side of Allison Island has a vertical clearance of 11 feet. It opens on demand.
(5.5) Fixed bridge, 35-foot clearance, on east end of Julia Tuttle Causeway.
(6.7) Sunset Harbor Yacht Club to left. No fuel. 305-398-6800.
(6.9) Green/Red Marker “S.” Leave this marker to starboard to enter the 2.7-mile-long channel on the north side of the Venetian Causeway Bridge to rejoin the ICW at Mile 1088.6.
(7.0) Venetian Causeway Bridge. Bascule. Vertical clearance, 5 feet.
RESTRICTED: Weekdays, opens on the hour and half-hour.
(8.5) Anchorage of Watson Island, behind MacArthur Causeway and near the Miami Yacht Club. It is possible to register at the yacht club to use the dinghy dock and other facilities for a fee.
(8.6) Miami Yacht Club to left. 305-377-9877.
1084.4 Pelican Harbor Municipal Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right). 305-754-9330.
1084.5 West 79th Street Causeway Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 25 feet.
1085.3 Palm Bay Club & Marina to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), 0.5 mile of the ICW. 305-751-3700.
1087.2 Julia Tuttle Causeway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 56 feet.
CAUTION: The vertical clearance can be less than 56 feet during certain combinations of high tides and high winds.
1088.6 Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center to right (NORTHBOUND: to left). 305-377-3625.
1088.6 (NORTHBOUND: Junction with deep-water channel to Miami Beach Channel to right, on north side of Venetian Causeway. See Mile 1081.8 for information about the Miami Beach Channel and the indented entries below it for the facilities along the channel.)
1088.7 Venetian Causeway West Highway Bridge. Double bascule. Vertical clearance, 12 feet.
RESTRICTED: Daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., opens on the hour and half-hour.
1088.9 MacArthur Causeway Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
1089.0 Lighted Markers Art “B” and Art “A.”
These markers are for the turning basin. ICW markers continue at red lighted marker “50” on the opposite side of the basin.
Mile 1084.4
– Mile 1089.0
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
222
Port of Miami including the Venetian Causeway West Bridge and the Dodge Island Bridge.
1089.1 Junction with Government Cut to left (NORTHBOUND: to right).
This is the main big-ship inlet channel to the ocean. SECURITY ZONE: Note the charted Security Zone between the MacArthur Causeway and Dodge Island. This area may be prohibited when two or more cruise ships (or other ships requiring special security) are in port, or you may be allowed to pass north of the security vessels along the causeway side of the channel. For instructions, monitor VHF Channel 16 when in this area.
(2.8) Miami Beach Marina to left on southwest tip of Miami Beach. 305-673-6000.
There can be signii cant current running through this marina. Ask the dock attendants for assistance when approaching the fuel dock or a slip.
Mile 1089.1
– Mile 1089.1
223
B i s c a y n e B a y t o Mi a mi
1089.5 Port of Miami Dodge Island Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 65 feet.
1089.5 Port of Miami Dodge Island Railroad Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet. Usually open.
1089.5 Port of Miami Dodge Island Highway Bridge. Single bascule. Vertical clearance, 22 feet. Usually open.
1089.6 Miamarina at Bayside to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
305-579-6955.
This is a beautiful marina in the heart of downtown Miami that caters to transient boats. 1090.0 Junction with Miami River to right (NORTHBOUND: to left).
View of Government Cut and the Dodge Island Bridges. (Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.)
Cruising along Government Cut in Miami. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.) Mile 1089.5
– Mile 1090.0
S o u t h e r n F l o r i d a
224
h e Miami River is much like the New River in Fort Lauderdale except that, of the two, the New River is by far the more attractive because it is less commercial and much quieter. As in the New River, the banks of the Miami River are lined with marinas and repair facilities of all kinds. Check locally to nd out their policies, and we advise you to make a visual inspection of any place you plan to use for a long stay or a haulout to be sure it is the sort of place you want.
h e Miami River runs through downtown Miami and has 13 bridges over it and its o shoots. h e vertical clearance of the two xed bridges is 75 feet. h e other bridges are opening bridges, and they all have the same restricted hours: Closed weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. h ere are no restrictions on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, h anksgiving, and Christmas. When a special event is scheduled at the Orange Bowl, however, the bridges from Northwest 5th Street to Northwest 22nd Street may be closed to marine tra c at times. h ese closings are published in the Local Notice to Mariners.
Currents are strong on the ebb and cause swirls at the bends of the river.
1090.0 ICW channel is only 7 feet deep for a distance of 0.5 mile from this point.
1091.6 Rickenbacker Marina to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), 0.5 mile of ICW channel. 305-361-1900.
In addition to dockage, this marina o ers rental moorings for $40 per night (2009).
Dinner Key Marina in Miami. (Patricia Todd-Dennis photo.)
Miami River
225
Mi a mi R i v e r
1091.6 Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for anchorage in Marine Stadium Basin of Virginia Key.
Follow close along the north side of the bridge until past the shoal areas. Bear right into the basin. There is a large dry-storage facility run by the City of Miami called the Marine Stadium Marina (305-361-3316).
1091.7 Rickenbacker Highway Bridge. Fixed. Vertical clearance, 76 feet.
Finally, you are released from narrow shoaling channels into the wide waters of lower Biscayne Bay.
1093.6 Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for channel to marina in basin at Northwest Point on Key Biscayne.
(2.2) Crandon Marina. No showers. 305-361-1281.
1094.0 Departure point to right (NORTHBOUND: to left), for Dinner Key Channel and marinas, 0.3 mile of ICW channel.
Dinner Key is the location of several marinas and repair facilities including the huge Dinner Key Marina (305-579-6980). It has no fuel, but it can be obtained at some of the other facilities.
The only place anchoring was allowed was in the 7-foot area that juts out into Biscayne Bay above the narrow crescent-shaped island, but this area has been converted to a mooring i eld (2009) and there may no longer be room to anchor.
1095.0 Departure point to left (NORTHBOUND: to right), for anchorages at Key Biscayne.
(1.5) Hurricane Harbor anchorage.
(2.5) Anchorage in oblong basin of the Cape Florida Channel.
The boaters who use this popular anchorage call it “No Name Harbor.” It is contained within Bill Baggs State Park. A charge is imposed for anchoring overnight or during the day, and anchoring is limited to 3 days a month. The park o ers nearby beaches, lighthouse tours, and acres of woodland for jogging, bicycling, and strolling. Those in anchored boats are prohibited from going ashore from sundown to sunrise. Two supermarkets and other stores are about a mile away on Key Biscayne. These stores are also close to the Hurricane Harbor anchorage listed above. These supermarkets are the most convenient for boaters in the Miami area. Bus service to any part of Miami, including the airport, is nearby on Key Biscayne.
An aerial view of the very large Dinner Key Marina in Miami. (Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.)
Mile 1091.6
– Mile 1095.0
226
A P P E N D I X A
Intracoastal Waterway Charts
N
ote: all the Intracoastal Waterway charts are National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) small-craft charts. NOAA charts also form the basis for e Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook: Norfolk, Virginia, to Miami, Florida, 5th edition (International Marine, 2008).
12206 Norfolk to Albemarle Sound via North Landing River or Great Dismal Swamp Canal
11553 Albemarle Sound to Neuse River
11541 Neuse River to Myrtle Grove Sound
11534 Myrtle Grove Sound and Cape Fear River to Casino Creek
11518 Casino Creek to Beaufort River
11507 Beaufort River to St. Simons Sound
11489 St. Simons Sound to Tolomato River
11485 Tolomato River to Palm Shores
11472 Palm Shores to West Palm Beach
11467 West Palm Beach to Miami
Below are charts needed for facilities o the Intracoastal Waterway. For information about the facilities, see the mileages in brackets.
12245 Hampton Roads [see Miles –11.8 to –3.9]
11524 Charleston Harbor [see Mile 464.1 (2.5)]
11522 Stono and North Edisto Rivers [see Mile 496.7]
11517 St. Helena Sound [see Mile 511.2]
227
A P P E N D I X B
Post O ces
I
f a community has more than one post o ce, usually only one station will accept General Delivery mail. In many cases, especially in large cities, that station may not be convenient to the Waterway. In certain communities, some marinas in the town are closer to a General Delivery station than others.
We believe the post o ces listed below are within walking distance of at least one marina in the town, but this could change. To check the current status of a particular post o ce, or if you need more information, contact the individual post o ce in question. We have provided street addresses and phone numbers below.
h e best way to contact a post o ce is to telephone during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. Keep in mind that some post o ces are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Opening times may vary. We have provided phone numbers and street addresses for these post o ces, but you can also obtain current information on the U.S. Postal Service Web site: www.usps.com. You can also call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777).
Mail should be addressed as follows:
Your Name
Yacht So and So
General Delivery, Hold for Arrival [I usually write this on the package in several places]
Street Address
City, State, Zip + 4
It is important to include the street address and Zip + 4 code to direct your mail to the speci c post o ce you want, and not another one within the same zip code. h ere are certainly other post o ces you can use— nd them on the USPS Web site. For more information on post o ces, see pages 11–12.
List of U.S. Post O ces, using o cial punctuation and abbreviations (no periods):
228
P o s t O f f i c e s
89 Lincoln St
Hampton, VA 23669-9998 757-722-5543
431 Crawford St
Portsmouth, VA 23704-9997 757-397-2758
306 E Main St
Elizabeth City, NC 27909-4426 252-335-7770
614 W Old County Rd
Belhaven, NC 27810-9998 252-943-2364
809 Broad St
Oriental, NC 28571-9781 252-249-0454
701 Front St
Beaufort, NC 28516-2229 252-728-4821
664 W Corbett Ave
Swansboro, NC 28584-8450 910-326-5959
206 Causeway Dr
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480-1735 910-256-0159
206 E Nash St
Southport, NC 28461-3936 910-457-4633
1101 Charlotte St
Georgetown, SC 29440-9998 843-546-5515
83 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401-2202 843-577-0690
501 Charles St
Beaufort, SC 29902-9998 843-525-9085
724 Charlie Smith SR Hwy
Saint Marys, GA 31558-9998 912-729-3301
401 Centre St
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034-4288 904-491-8102
99 King St
St Augustine, FL 32084-9998 904-825-0628
220 N Beach St
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-3302 386-258-9352
229
A P P E N D I X C
Inside Route Distances: Norfolk, Virginia, to Key West, Florida
(See page 230.)
230
I n s i d e R o u t e Di s t a n c e s: No r f o l k, V i r g i n i a, t o K e y We s t, F l o r i d a
231
I n s i d e R o u t e Di s t a n c e s: No r f o l k, V i r g i n i a, t o K e y We s t, F l o r i d a
Index
A
Abacos, 201
Adams Creek, North Carolina, 73, 76–77, 79, 82–83
Addison Point, Florida, 184, 188
Admirals Cove Marina, 203
Adventure Yacht Harbor, 177
aids to navigation
daymarkers and buoys, 20–22, 21
ranges, 22–25, 23, 24, 149–50
air horns, 9, 30
A. J. Boatyard, 197
Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, 38, 41, 42–43, 45, 48
Albemarle Sound, North Carolina
characteristics and navigation of, 52, 56–62
route to, 33, 45, 49
shortcut across, 61, 62
skeleton towers, 20
Alligator Creek, Florida, 162, 164
Alligator Creek, South Carolina, 129
Alligator River, North Carolina, 2, 44, 52, 56, 58–59, 61, 62–67, 68
Alligator River Marina, 44, 58, 63, 66, 68
Alligator River–Pungo River Canal, North Carolina, 52, 58, 62–67, 68
Altamaha Sound, Georgia, 147, 152
Amelia Island Yacht Basin, 164
Amelia River, Florida, 159, 162, 164
anchorages
charts and, 8
in Florida, 5, 19, 181, 199, 202–3
in Georgia, 20
listings of and criteria for, 18–20, 115
near bridges, 181
in North Carolina, 20, 56
regulations and restrictions, 5, 199
in South Carolina, 20, 125
tides and currents, 10–11, 20
typical characteristics, 35, 44–45, 141
Anchorage Yacht Basin, 190
anchor buoy, 20
anchor light, 19, 110
Anchor Marina, 107
anchors and anchor rode, 10–11, 44–45
Anchors Aweigh Boatyard, 94
Ashepoo Coosaw Cuto , South Carolina,
126, 130
Ashepoo River, South Carolina, 126
Ashley River, South Carolina, 30, 117, 121, 122
Atlantic Marine, 96
Atlantic Ocean beach, 192, 197, 198
Atlantic Yacht Basin, Virginia, 33, 47
B
back range, 24–25
Bahamas, 163, 201, 202, 206, 219
Bahia Bleu Marina, 144
Bahia Mar Yachting Center, 210, 211
Baker Marine, 98
Bakers Haulover Inlet, Florida, 211, 218, 220
Bald Head Island Marina, 100
Banana River, Florida, 184, 189–90
Barefoot Landing Bridge, South Carolina, 105
Barefoot Landing Marina, 105, 108
Barefoot Resort Yacht Club and Marina, 108
barges, 4
bascule bridges, 27, 30
Battery Creek, South Carolina, 136
Bay River, North Carolina, 71–72
Beach House Marina, 94
Beach Marine, 165
Bear River, Georgia,
142, 146
Numbers in bold indicate pages with illustrations or charts
232
I n d e x
233
Brunswick Landing Boatyard, 155
Brunswick Landing Marina, 155
Brunswick Point Cut, Georgia, 154
Brunswick River, Georgia, 154–55
Buccaneer Marina, 206
Buckhead Creek, Georgia, 145
Buck Island, North Carolina, 33, 44, 49
Buck Island, South Carolina, 137
Bucksport, South Carolina, 109
Bucksport Plantation Marina and Restaurant, 110
Bull Creek, South Carolina, 109, 111, 135, 137
Bull River, South Carolina, 127
buoys, 20–22, 21
Burnside River, Georgia, 142
Butler Beach, Florida, 175
Butler Island, South Carolina, 110, 111
Buttermilk Sound, Georgia, 147, 152
Buzzards Bay, 1
BW’s Marina, 107
C
Cable Marine East, 216
Calabash, South Carolina, 106
Calabash River, South Carolina, 104
Calibogue Sound, South Carolina, 134
Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, 171
Camachee Island, Florida, 171
Camachee Yacht Yard, 171
Campbell Creek, North Carolina, 70, 71
Camp Lejeune Firing Range, 90, 91, 92
Bock Marina, 83
Bogue Banks, North Carolina, 88, 90
Bogue Inlet, North Carolina, 86, 90
Bogue Sound, North Carolina, 85, 86, 89
Bohicket Marina and Yacht Club, 129
Boone Docks, 74
Booth Landing, Florida, 162, 165
Boynton Beach, Florida, 203, 208
Bram Point, South Carolina, 137
Brickhill River, Georgia, 148, 149, 156–57, 158
Brickyard Creek, South Carolina, 127, 131
Bridge of Lions, Florida, 167, 172, 173, 174
bridges
anchorages near, 181
clearances, 27, 30–31, 163, 218–19, 224
communication with bridge tenders, 9, 30, 104, 138, 140, 159
currents around, 127
on ICW, 4
ICW myths, 2
names of, 26–27
organization of material in book, 26–27
restrictions on openings, 4, 10, 30, 31–32, 200
types of, 27, 28, 29, 101
Bridge Tender Marina, 95
Broad Creek, North Carolina, 45, 49, 72, 74
Broad Creek, South Carolina, 134, 137
Broad Creek Marina, 137
Broad River, South Carolina, 134
Broadway Bridge, Florida, 170
Brooks Memorial Bridge, Florida, 213, 216
Brunswick, Georgia, 146, 154–55
Beaufort, North Carolina, 3
characteristics and navigation of, 78, 79–82, 80, 81, 83–84, 89
charm of, 86
pronunciation of name, 79, 127
Beaufort, South Carolina, 3
characteristics and navigation of, 118, 123, 131–34, 132, 135–36
pronunciation of name, 79, 118, 127
Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, 81–82, 89
Beaufort River, South Carolina, 127, 133–34
Beaufort Triangle, 131
Belhaven, North Carolina, 44, 68, 69, 78
Belhaven Waterway Marina, 69
Belle Isle Marina, 113
Bells River, Florida, 161, 163
Bennett Brothers Yacht, 98
Ben Sawyer Bridge, South Carolina, 114–15, 118
Bethel Creek, Florida, 191
bicycles, 11, 135
Big Bay Creek, South Carolina, 130
Bill Baggs State Park, 225
binoculars, 10
birds, 59, 114, 123
Biscayne Bay, Florida, 203, 218, 219, 220, 225
Block Island Sound, 1
Blowing Rocks Marina, 198
Blue Heron Bridge, Florida, 202, 205, 206
Blue Water Point Motel and Marina, 101
Blu s Marina, 203
boat parade, 202
Boat Shed Marina, 113
Boca Raton, Florida, 203, 209
Boca Raton, Lake, Florida, 203, 209
Boca Raton Resort and Club, 209
I n d e x
234
Centerville Waterway Marina, 47
Channel 09, 30
Channel 13, 9, 30
Channel 16, 9, 17, 30
channel depths, 12–13, 116
channel line, 14
Charleston, South Carolina, 3
architecture in, 133
bridge clearances, 30
characteristics and navigation of, 115, 118–22
Charleston Harbor, 117, 119
City Marina, 118, 122
Elliott Cut, Wappoo Creek, 5
o shore run to, 82
things to do in, 103–4, 118
tides, 118
weather, 103
Charleston Coast Guard Station, 118, 121
Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina at Patriot’s Point, 120, 121
Charleston Maritime Center, 120, 121
chart markers, 8
chartplotter, 10
charts, 7–8, 14, 16, 20–22, 25–26, 226
Chesapeake Bay, 1, 34, 36
Christmas boat parade, 202
Church Creek, South Carolina, 125, 129
Civil War, 3
Coast Pilot 4, 8–9, 14
Cocoa Village Marina, 189
Coconut Grove, Florida, 219
Coinjock Bay, North Carolina, 44
Coinjock Marina, 48, 58
color of water, 47, 56, 194
commercial tra c, 2, 4
compass, 10
compass rose, 25–26
Conch Bar, Florida, 197
Conch House Marina Resort, 173
canals, 26
Canaveral Barge Canal, Florida, 184, 187, 189
Canaveral Inlet, Florida, 163, 184, 187, 189
Cane Patch Creek, Georgia, 142, 145
Cannonsport Marina, 206
Cape Canaveral Inlet, Florida, 163, 184, 187, 189
Cape Cod Canal, 1
Cape Fear Marina, 98
Cape Fear River, North Carolina, 2, 5, 85, 93, 96–100, 97
Cape Florida, Florida, 219
Cape Florida Channel, Florida, 219, 225
Cape Marina, 189
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, 103, 104, 114, 116
Captain Hiram’s Resort, 191
Capt. Bill’s Waterfront Restaurant, 89
Capt’ Butcher’s Marina, 191
Caribbean Jacks Bar and Restaurant, 176
Carolina Beach, North Carolina, 5, 93, 96, 100–101
Carolina Beach Inlet, North Carolina, 93
Carolina Beach Municipal Marina, 96
Carolina Beach State Park Marina, 98
Casper’s Marina, 91
Castillo de San Marcos, 3, 167–68, 169, 173
Cat Island, South Carolina, 136
Cattle Pen Creek, Georgia, 146, 151
Causeway Island, Florida, 192
Causton Blu Bridge, South Carolina, 140, 143, 144
Cedar Creek, North Carolina, 73, 77
cell phones, 9, 12
Conch Island, Florida, 167
Conroy, Pat, 135
Cooley’s Landing, 212
Cooper River, South Carolina, 117, 120, 121
Coosaw River, South Carolina, 126–27, 130
Coquina Harbor facilities, 107
Coquina Yacht Club, 107
Coral Bay Marina, 89
Coral Ridge Yacht Club, 211
Core Creek, North Carolina, 83
Core Creek Range, North Carolina, 79
Coronado Beach, Florida, 171, 178, 179
courses, 25–26
Cove Restaurant and Marina, 209
Cowens Creek, South Carolina, 134, 136
Cowen Spit, South Carolina, 134
Cow House Creek, South Carolina, 109
Cracker Boy Boat Works, 194
Cracker Boy Boatworks, 207
Crandon Marina, 225
Craney Island, Virginia, 35
creeks and rivers, 2, 20
Creighton Narrows, Georgia, 147
Crescent Beach, Florida, 170, 175
Crescent River, Georgia, 147, 151
Cricket Cove Marina, 107
Crooked River, Georgia, 157
cruising under power, 11
Cuba, 219
Cumberland Island, Georgia, 148, 156, 157–58
Cumberland Island National Seashore, 149, 157
Cumberland River, Georgia, 148, 155
Cumberland Sound, Georgia, 157–59, 161
Cumberland Sound Range, Georgia, 157
I n d e x
235
F
Faber Cove, Florida, 192, 195
Factory Creek, South Carolina, 131, 135
Fair eld Swing Bridge, 64
Farmer’s Bridge, 50
Fearing, Fred, 51
Federal Bridge, Florida, 194
Federal Point, 99
fenders, 11
Fenwick Cut, South Carolina, 126, 129–30
Fernandina Beach, Florida, 157, 158, 161–62, 163–64
Fernandina Harbor Marina, 164
Fields Cut, South Carolina, 135
Figure Eight Island Bridge, North Carolina, 93, 94–95
Finest Kind Marina, 196
Fins Marina, 191
Finz Grill and Bar, 84
Fishermans Channel, Florida, 219
sh nder, 44
Fish Island Marina, 174
Five Fathom Creek, South Carolina, 114, 116
Flagler Beach Bridge, Florida, 170, 176
Florida
anchorages, 5, 19, 181, 199, 202–3
anchor light requirements, 19
bridge clearances, 30, 163, 218–19
bridge-opening restrictions, 31–32, 200
bridges, communication with, 30, 140, 159
bridges in, 4, 181
ICW characteristics through, 159,
180–81, 199–200
mileage signs, 14
state line, 159
Dockside Yacht Club, 87
Dodge, Island, Florida, 219, 222, 223
dolphin, 20, 21, 50
Don Ross Bridge, Florida, 200
double bascule bridge, 27
double-pivot swing bridge, 28, 30
Dover Cut, Georgia, 155
Dowry Creek, North Carolina, 58, 63, 68–69
Dowry Creek Marina, 68–69
Dragon Point, Florida, 184, 189–90
dredging, 12, 25
Drummond, Lake, Virginia, 52, 53
Dudley’s Marina, 91
Duplin River, Georgia, 151
Dutchman Creek, North Carolina, 100
E
Eastham Creek, North Carolina, 70, 71
East River, Georgia, 154–55
Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, 190
Eau Gallie Yacht Club, 190
Edisto Marina, 130
Elba Island Cut, Georgia, 142, 143, 144
electronic charts, 7–8
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, 51–52,
54–55, 60, 61, 62, 78
Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Station, 60
Elizabeth City Shipyard, 55
Elizabeth River, Virginia, 29, 34–35, 39, 42
Elliott Cut, South Carolina, 5, 124, 128
email, 12
engines, condition of, 11
Ensign Harbor, 74
Enterprise Landing, South Carolina, 106, 110
equipment, 9–11
Estherville Minim Creek Canal, South Carolina, 114, 115
currents. See tides and currents
Currituck Sound, North Carolina, 33, 44
Customs, U.S., 207, 219
D
Dania Beach, Florida, 217
Dania Cut-o Canal, 216–17
Dataw Island Marina, 131
Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, 135, 137
Dawho River, South Carolina, 125, 129
daymarkers, 20–22, 21, 23–24
Daytona Beach, Florida, 159, 170–71, 176–77
Daytona International Speedway, 171, 176
Daytona Marina and Boat Works, 177
Deaton Yacht Service, 76
Deep Creek, Virginia, 38, 50, 52, 53
Deep Creek Lock, 50, 52
Deep Point, North Carolina, 64, 66
Deer eld Beach, Florida, 209
Delaware Bay, 1
Delegal Creek, Georgia, 141, 145
Delegal Creek Marina, 145
Delray Beach, Florida, 208–9
Delray Beach Yacht Club, 208
Delray Harbor Club Marina, 208
depths, channel, 12–13, 116
depth-sounder, 10
Derecktor of Florida, 217
Dewees Creek, South Carolina, 117
Dinner Key, Florida, 219, 225
Dinner Key Marina, 224, 225
ditch, 1, 2
dockage rates, 18
Dock Holiday’s Marina, 107
docklines, 11
Dockside Restaurant and Marina, 95
I n d e x
236
fuel and overnight stops, 4–5, 8, 17–20, 44. See also anchorages
G
Gale Creek, North Carolina, 71
Garbacon Shoal, North Carolina, 74, 75, 76
Gateway Marina, 208
General Delivery mail option, 11–12, 227–28
George E. Musson Bridge, Florida, 171, 178, 179
Georgetown, South Carolina, 3, 22, 103, 111–13
Georgetown Landing Marina, 112
Georgia
anchorages, 20
bridges, communication with, 30, 138,
140, 159
cell phone coverage, 12
depths, channel, 12
fuel and overnight stops, 4
ICW characteristics through, 139, 146
mileage signs, 14
ranges, 149–50
state line, 135, 138, 159
tides and currents, 5–6, 139, 140
weather, 6
Gilmerton Bridge, Norfolk, 36, 37, 40, 41
gnats, 123–24
Goat Island, North Carolina, 33, 51, 54
Golden Beach, Florida,
218
Golden Isles, Georgia, 141
Golden Isles Marina, 148, 154
Goose Creek, North Carolina, 70–72
Go South Inside (Lane), 123
Government Cut, Florida, 32, 163, 219, 222, 223
GPS (global positioning system) units, 9, 10
Florida (Cont.):
weather, 6–7
winds, 6–7
Florida Keys, 219
Florida Passage, 142, 145
Florida Petroleum Corp., 164
Floyd Creek, Georgia, 155, 156
Floyd Cut, Georgia, 155
uorescent orange ags, 25
fog, 6, 58
Fontainebleau Marina, 221
Fort Fisher, 3
Fort Frederica National Monument, 3, 148, 153
Fort George River, Florida, 162, 164
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 32, 163, 184, 202, 203, 210–16, 213, 214, 215, 217
Fort Lauderdale Coast Guard Station, 216
Fort Macon Coast Guard Station, 82, 84, 91
Fort Matanzas, 3, 170, 175
Fort McAllister Marina and Inn, 145
Fort Monroe, Virginia, 35
Fort Moultrie, 121
Fort Pierce, Florida, 12, 192, 194–95
Fort Pierce City Marina, 195
Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station, 195
Fort Pierce Inlet, Florida, 163, 194
Fort Pierce Inlet Marina, 195
Fort Sumter, 3, 120–21
Fort Wool, Virginia, 34, 35
Four Fish Inn and Marina, 195
Fox Cut, Florida, 170
Frederica River, Georgia, 153, 154
Freeport Marina, 137
front range, 24–25
Front River, Georgia, 146
Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina, 82
Grace Harbor Marina, 74
Grand Strand, South Carolina, 104–6, 108
Grassy Point, North Carolina, 66
Great Bridge, Virginia, 31, 33, 38, 42, 46–47
Great Bridge Lock, 38, 45, 46
Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, 2
Great Dismal Swamp Canal, Virginia, 12, 33, 38, 41, 42, 49–51, 52–54, 53, 58
Great Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center, 50, 53
Great Pee Dee River, South Carolina, 111, 112
Great South Bay, 1
Greene, Nathanael, 3
grocery stores, 18
groundings, 12–13, 116
Gulf Stream, 78, 180, 184, 219
H
Hague Marina, 108
Half Moon Marina, 150
Halifax Harbor Marina, 176–77
Halifax River, Florida, 159, 170–71, 176–77
Halifax River Yacht Club, 176
Hallendale Beach, Florida, 218
Hall of Fame Marina, 211
Hampton, Virginia, 35
Hampton River, Georgia, 152–53
Hampton River Club Marina, 152
Hampton Roads, Virginia, 8, 34–35
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, 192
Harborgate at Ashley Marina, 122
I n d e x
237
Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook (Kettlewell and Kettlewell), 7, 8, 14, 17, 25–26, 226
Isle of Hope, Georgia, 140, 141, 142, 144–45
Isle of Hope Marina, 144
Isle of Palms, South Carolina, 115, 117
Isle of Palms Marina, 117
J
Jacksonville, Florida, 165
Jacksonville, North Carolina, 92
Jacksonville Beach, Florida, 162
James River, Virginia, 34
Jarrett Bay Boatworks, 83
Jekyll Creek, Georgia, 148, 154, 155
Jekyll Harbor Marina, 155
Jekyll Island, Georgia, 148, 155
Jekyll Island Club, 148
Jekyll Island Range, Georgia, 154
Jekyll Sound, Georgia, 148, 155
Jekyll Wharf Marina, 155
Jensen Beach, Florida, 192, 195
Jeremy Creek, South Carolina, 115
Jetty Range, Georgia, 155
JIB Yacht Club and Marina, 198
John F. Kennedy Space Center, 181, 183, 185
John F. Limehouse Bridge, South Carolina, 125, 129
Johnson Creek, Georgia, 146
Jones Bay, North Carolina, 71
Jones Fruit Dock, 184, 191
Jordan Bridge, Norfolk, 36, 39, 40
Jordan Creek, North Carolina, 70
Julia Tuttle Bridge, Florida, 30, 32, 163, 218–19, 220, 221
Horseshoe Shoal Channel, North Carolina, 99
Hudson River, 1
Hudsons on the Docks, 137
Hurricane Harbor, 225
Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina, 195
Hyatt Regency, Savannah, 144
Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, 216
I
Indian Creek, Florida, 220, 221
Indian Harbor Beach, 184
Indian River, Florida, 180, 181, 183–98
Indiantown Road Bridge, Florida, 194, 198
Inlet Creek, South Carolina, 114, 117
Inlet Harbor Marina and Restaurant, 178
inlets, 26
inside-route distances, 229–30
Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)
beauty of, 2–3
bridges, 2, 4
characteristics and conditions on, 1–4, 26, 33, 56–57, 78, 103, 123–24, 125, 133, 139, 140, 146, 159, 180–81, 199–200
commercial tra c, 4
depths, 12–13, 116
fuel and overnight stops, 4–5, 8, 17–20, 44
inside-route distances, 229–30
myths about, 1–4
names for, 1
protection provided by, 1
purpose of it, 1
route of, 1
weather, 6–7, 78
wildlife along, 3
Harbor Master Marina, 89
Harbor River, South Carolina, 114, 116
Harbor Square Marina, 187
Harbortown Canaveral Marina, 187
Harbor Towne Marina, 217
Harbortown Marina, 194
Harborwalk Marina, 113
Harbourgate Marina, 107
Harbour Isle Marina, 195
Harbour Point Marina, 204
Harbourtown Yacht Basin, 134, 137
Harbour Village Marina, 94
hauling facilities, 18
Haulover Beach Park Municipal Marina, 220
Haulover Canal, Florida, 2, 181–83, 182, 185, 186
Hazzard Marine, 113
heating appliances, 11
Hell Gate, 2
Hell Gate, Georgia, 142
Herb River, Georgia,
140–41, 143, 144
Heritage Plantation Marina, 111
Hibiscus Island, Florida, 221
High Street Landing, Virginia, 39
Hillsboro Drainage Canal, 209
Hillsboro Inlet, Florida, 209
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, 216
Hilton Head Boathouse, 137
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 134–35, 137
Hinckley Yacht Service, 144, 196
Hobe Sound, Florida, 192, 194, 197
Hobucken Coast Guard Station, 71
Holden Beach Marina, 102
Hole in the Wall Island, Florida, 184–85
Hollywood, Florida, 217
Hollywood Marina, 217
horns, 9, 30
I n d e x
238
Lane, Carl D, 123
Lang’s Marina, 159
Lanier, Sidney, 146
Lanier Island, Georgia, 148, 154
Lantana Bridge, Florida, 202–3, 207–8
Las Olas Boulevard Bridge, Florida, 210, 211, 213
Las Olas Municipal Marina, 211
Lauderdale Marina, 210, 216
Lauderdale Yacht Club, 212
L. B. Knox Bridge, Florida, 170, 176
Leland Oil Company, 115–16
Lettuce Lake, Florida, 210
lift bridge, 29, 30
Lighthouse Boat Yard, 178
Lighthouse Point Marina, 209
Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club, 209
Lightkeepers Village Marina, 107
Light List Volume I, 8–9
Light List Volume II, 8–9
Little Alligator River, North Carolina, 58, 63, 65
Little Cumberland Island, Georgia, 156
Little Mud River, Georgia, 147, 152
Little River, South Carolina, 101, 104, 106–7
Little River Inlet, South Carolina, 104, 106
Little River Swing Bridge, South Carolina, 105
Loblolly Marina, 197
locks and lock procedures, 42, 45, 50
Lockwoods Folly Inlet, North Carolina,
2, 101, 102
Loggerhead Club & Marina, 176, 191, 204, 207, 217, 218
Long Creek, South Carolina, 117
Juno Beach, Florida, 203
Jupiter Hills Lighthouse Marina, 198
Jupiter Inlet, Florida,
194, 198
Jupiter Island, Florida, 192, 194, 198, 200
Jupiter Seasport Marina, 198
J.W. Brooks Landing, 98
K
Kennedy Point Marina and Yacht Club, 187
Kennedy Space Center, 181, 183, 185
Key Biscayne, Florida, 219, 225
Keystone Point Marina, 220
Kilkenny Creek, Georgia, 142, 145–46
Kilkenny Marina, 145–46
Kings Bay submarine base, Georgia, 157, 158
Kingsley Creek, Florida, 162
Kingsley Creek Cuto , Florida, 164
Kramer, Joe, 51
L
Ladies Island Bridge, South Carolina, 131, 132, 133
Lady’s Island Marina, 131, 135
Lafayette River, Virginia, 35
Lake Avenue Bridge, Florida, 202
Lake Park Harbor Marina, 206
Lake Worth, Florida,
200–202, 201, 204–7
Lake Worth Coast Guard Station, 207
Lake Worth Inlet, Florida, 163, 201, 202, 205, 206, 207
Lamb’s Marina, 54
Lanceford Creek, Florida, 163
land-cuts, 26
Landings Harbor Marina, 144
Long Island Sound, 1, 2
Long Point Shoal, North Carolina, 63
Lovett Point, Virginia, 35
Low Country, 123–24, 125, 133
Lower Midnight Channel, North Carolina, 99
Lower Swash Channel, North Carolina, 99–100
Lucy Point Creek, South Carolina, 127
M
MacArthur Causeway, Florida, 220, 221,
222
MacArthur Center, 36
Mackay River, Georgia, 148, 153–54
magnetic variation, 25–26
mail, 11–12, 227–28
Main Street Bridge, Florida, 170, 176
Manatee Marina, 197
Manatee Pocket, Florida, 192, 195–97, 196
manatees, 160, 180, 181, 182, 185, 188, 189, 192
Manhead Sound, Georgia, 153
Marina at Grand Dunes, 108
Marina at Yacht Harbor Village, 176
Marina Club at Jonathan’s Landing, 203
marinas, 4–5, 8, 9, 17–18
Marineland Marina, 170, 175
Mariner Cay Marina, 196
Mariner’s Wharf, Elizabeth City, 54–55
Marine Stadium Basin, 219, 225
Marion, Francis, 3
Marshes of Glynn, Georgia, 3, 146
Marsh Harbor Boatworks, 135
I n d e x
239
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, 157, 158
Nettles Island Marina, 195
Neuse River, North Carolina, 20, 56, 70, 71, 72–77, 75
New Arch Creek, Florida, 220
New Bern, North Carolina, 73, 103
New Cut Landing, South Carolina, 129
New Jersey, 1
New Port Cove Marine Center, 206
Newport News Point, North Carolina, 66
New River, Florida, 210, 212, 213, 214, 215, 224
New River, South Carolina, 135, 138
New River Downtown Marina, 212
New River Inlet, North Carolina, 91, 92
New River Marina, 94
New Smyrna Beach, Florida, 171, 178–79, 181
New Smyrna Beach City Marina, 178
New Smyrna Beach Coast Guard Station, 171, 177
New Teakettle Creek, Georgia, 147, 151
New York Harbor, 34
New York State Barge Canal, 1
night travel, 11, 44
Nixon Crossroads Highway Bridge, South Carolina, 107
No Name Harbor, Florida, 219, 225
Norfolk, Virginia, 3
bridges, 30, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41
characteristics and navigation of, 33, 34–37
depths, channel, 12
mileage, 14
navigation, 38–41
Miami River, Florida, 223–25
Miami Yacht Club, 219, 221
Middle Ground, Georgia, 150
Middle Ground, North Carolina, 63
Midway Marina, 48
mileage signs, 14, 137
Mile Hammock Bay, North Carolina, 90–91, 92
miles, 14, 37
Milltail Creek, North Carolina, 64
Minim Creek, South Carolina, 114, 115
Monitor, 3
Moon River, Georgia,
142, 145
Morehead City, North Carolina, 78, 82, 84, 85–90
Morehead City Yacht Basin, 85, 86
Morehead Gulf Docks, 87
Morgan River, South Carolina, 127, 131
Mosquito Lagoon, Florida, 2, 181, 182, 185
Motts Channel, North Carolina, 93, 95
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, 117
Murrelle Marine, 207
mustache, ICW, 194
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 103, 104–6, 108
Myrtle Beach Yacht Club, 107
N
Nassau River, Florida, 162
Nassau Sound, Florida, 162
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) charts, 7, 8, 16, 25–26, 226
nautical miles, 14, 37
Naval Maritime Museum, 120
Marsh Island, Georgia, 145
Marsh Landing, Georgia, 151
Mary Creek, Georgia,
147, 151
Masonboro Inlet, North Carolina, 93, 95, 96
Masonboro Yacht Club and Marina, 96
Matanzas Inlet, Florida, 170, 175
Matanzas River, Florida, 170, 175
Maule Lake, Florida,
211, 218
Maw Point, North Carolina, 72, 73
Maw Point Shoal, North Carolina, 72, 73–74
Mayo Company, 71
McClellanville, South Carolina, 114, 115–16
McCormick Bridge, Florida, 162, 165
Melbourne, Florida, 190
Melbourne Harbor Marina, 190
Melrose Landing Marina, 137
Memorial Bridge, Florida, 170, 176
Merrimac, 3
Merritt Boat & Engine Works, 209
Miamarina at Bayside, 223
Miami, Florida
bridge clearances,
30, 218–19, 224
characteristics and navigation of, 218–25
depths, channel, 12
Government Cut, 32
mileage, 14
Port of Miami, 222, 223
restrictions on openings, 224
running outside to, 202
Miami Beach Channel, Florida, 220–21
Miami Beach Marina,
219, 222
Miami Harbor, Florida, 216, 218
I n d e x
240
North River, Georgia, 147, 151–52
North River, North Carolina, 33, 44–45, 58
North Santee River, South Carolina, 115
North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, 94
Northwest Point, Florida, 225
No Wake areas, 12, 200
O
Oak Hill, Florida, 185
Oasis Boatyard and Marina, 174
Oceana Marina, 96
Ocean Isle Highway Bridge, North Carolina, 102
Ocean Marine Yacht Center, Virginia, 39
o shore travel, 26, 32, 82, 202
Ogeechee River, Georgia, 142, 145
Oglethorpe, James, 140
Okeechobee, Lake, Florida, 209
Okeechobee Waterway, Florida, 42, 195
Olde Town Yacht Club, 84
Old Point Comfort, Virginia, 34, 35
Old Port Cove Marina, 206
Old River, South Carolina, 110
Old Teakettle Creek, Georgia, 147, 151
Old Virginia Railroad Bridge, Norfolk, 37, 40
One Mile Cut, Georgia, 152
Onslow Beach Swing Bridge, North Carolina, 90, 92
Opossum Point, South Carolina, 137
orange ags, 25
Norfolk & Western Railroad Bridge, Norfolk, 39
Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Bridge, Norfolk, 39, 40
Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge, Norfolk, 41
Norfolk Yacht Club, 35
North Bay Landing Marina, 221
North Biscayne Bay, Florida, 220
North Carolina
aids to navigation, 20
anchorages, 20, 56
bridges, communication with, 30
depths, channel, 12
friendliness of people in, 51, 72–73, 78, 81
fuel and overnight stops, 5
ICW characteristics through, 56–57
sounds in, 3
state line, 48, 53, 102
tides and currents, 5–6
weather, 6
North Carolina Cut, 44, 48
North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort, 81
North Causeway Marine, 178
North Delray Beach, Florida, 208
North Edisto River, South Carolina, 129
norther, 6–7
North Harbor, Virginia, 39
North Landing River, Virginia and North Carolina, 42, 43–44, 48
North Miami Beach, Florida, 211, 218
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 104
North Newport River, Georgia, 146, 150
North Palm Beach, Florida, 200, 204
organization of material in book, 14–16, 26–27, 30, 31
Oriental, North Carolina, 72–73, 74–77, 75, 78
Oriental Harbor Marina, 76
Oriental Marina, 76
Oriental Yacht Club, 76
Orton Point, North Carolina, 99
Osprey Marina, 108
osprey nest, 60
outside, running, 26, 32, 82, 202
overnight and fuel stops, 4–5, 8, 17–20, 44. See also anchorages
Oyster Creek Marina, 174
Oyster House Creek, South Carolina, 129
oyster shells, 133
P
Palm Bay Club & Marina, 221
Palm Bay Marina, 190
Palm Beach, Florida, 163, 180, 200, 202, 203–8, 205
Palm Beach Sailing Club, 202, 207
Palm Beach Town Docks, 207
Palm Beach Yacht Center, 208
Palm Beach Yacht Club, 207
Palm Coast, Florida, 176
Palm Coast Resort Marina, 176
Palm Cove Marina, 165
Palmetto Bay Marina, 137
Palm Harbor Marina, 207
palm trees, 117
Palm Valley, Florida, 162
Palm Valley Bridge, Florida, 162, 165
Pamlico River, North Carolina, 70
Parker Bridge, Florida,
200
I n d e x
241
ranges, 22–25, 23, 24, 149–50
Rattlesnake Island, Florida, 175
Redbird Creek, Georgia, 142, 145
Reeves Point Channel, North Carolina, 99
R. E. Mayo Company, 71
repair facilities, 18
reservations, 5
Reserve Harbor Yacht Club, 111
restaurants, 18
Revolutionary War, 3
Rickenbacker Causeway, Florida, 219, 225
Rickenbacker Marina, 224
Ripley Light Yacht Club, 122
River Forest Manor Marina, 69
River Forest Shipyard, 69
River Rat Yacht Club, 70
rivers and creeks, 2, 20
Riverside Marina and Boat Works, 194
river-sound country, 123
River Street Downtown Savannah, 142, 144
River Street Market Place Dock, 142, 144
Riverview Hotel and Marina, 178
Riviera Beach, Florida, 206
Riviera Beach Municipal Marina, 206
Rivo Alto Island, Florida, 220–21
Rock Creek, South Carolina, 126–27, 130
Rockdedundy River, Georgia, 147, 152
Rock Pile, 105, 107–8
Rose Buddies, 51, 54
Ross Marine, 128
Royale Palm Yacht Basin, 217
Rules of the Road, 4
Russell Slough Channel, North Carolina, 79, 83, 84, 85
Port Everglades, Florida, 32, 163, 211, 213, 216, 217
Port Orange, Florida, 171, 177
Port Royal, South Carolina, 134, 136
Port Royal Landing Marina, 136
Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, 134
Portside Marina, 87
Portsmouth, Virginia, 35, 36, 40
Post O ces, 11–12, 227–28
Price Creek, North Carolina, 99
Price Creek, South Carolina, 114–15, 116
Prince Creek, South Carolina, 109, 110
publications, 6–9
Pungo Creek, North Carolina, 69
Pungo Ferry, Virginia, 43, 48
Pungo Ferry Marina, 48
Pungo River, North Carolina, 44, 56, 67–70, 69. See also Alligator River–Pungo River Canal, North Carolina
Q
Queens Creek, North Carolina, 90
R
radar, 10
Radio Island, North Carolina, 84, 86–87, 89
Radio Island Channel, North Carolina, 82, 84, 86–87
railroad bridges, 27, 30
Ramshorn Creek, South Carolina, 135
Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Training Base, South Carolina, 134, 136
Parris Island Spit, South Carolina, 134
Parrot Creek, South Carolina, 131
Pasquotank River, North Carolina, 49, 51–52, 54, 58, 59, 60, 61–62
Patriot’s Point, Charleston, 120, 121
Peanut Island, Florida, 201, 202, 205, 206
Peck Lake, Florida, 192, 193, 197
Peletier Creek, North Carolina, 86, 89
Pelican Harbor Marina, 190
Pelican Harbor Municipal Marina, 221
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, 184
Pelican Marina, 55
Pelican Pointe Marina, 102
Pelican Yacht Club, 195
PGA Boulevard Bridge, Florida, 200, 204
PGA Marina, 204
Pine Island, Florida, 162, 165–66
Pine Island Cut, South Carolina, 107–8
Piney Point Shoal, North Carolina, 74
Pirate’s Cove Resort and Marina, 196
pivot swing bridges, 28, 30
Playboy Marine Center, 217
Plum Orchard Dock, 148–49, 157
Pompano Beach, Florida, 209–10
Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida, 171, 177–78
pontoon bridge, 29, 101
Port Canaveral Yacht Club, 189
Port Consolidated Petroleum, 194
I n d e x
242
Sams Point, South Carolina, 127
Sam Varnedoe Bridge, Georgia, 144
Sands Harbor Resort & Marina, 210
Sanitary Fish Market Restaurant, 87
San Sebastian River, Florida, 170, 174
Santa Barbara, Lake, Florida, 210
Sapelo River, Georgia, 146
Sapelo Sound, Georgia, 146, 147
Satilla River, Georgia, 155–56
Savannah, Georgia, 3, 139–45, 141, 143
Savannah Bend Marina, 144
Savannah River, South Carolina, 135, 138, 140, 142, 144
Sawpit Creek, Florida, 162
Scorpions New Port Marina, 189
Seabreeze Highway Bridge, Florida, 170, 176
Seabrook Landing, 137
Sea Gate Marina, 83
Seagate Marina, 198
Sea Isle Marine & Yachting Center, 221
Sea Love Boat Works, 178
Seapath Yacht Club and Transient Dock, 96
Sea Tow, 44
Sebastian Inlet, Florida, 184
Sebastian River Marina and Yacht Club, 191
Seminole Boat Yard, 204
Seven Seas Marina and Boatyard, 171, 177
70 West Marina, 89
Sewall Point, Florida, 196, 197
Sewells Point, Virginia, 35
Shallotte Inlet, North Carolina, 101, 102
Sheephead Cut, Florida, 171, 178
Russell Yachts, 89
Rybovich Marina, 207
S
Sailcraft Service, 76
Sail sh Marina, 196
Sail sh Marina Resort, 206
Sail Harbor Marina and Boatyard, 144
Sails Marina, 216
Saint Andrews Sound, Georgia, 156
Saint Augustine, Florida, 3, 18, 159, 162, 165–70, 166, 167, 168, 169, 171–74
Saint Augustine Creek, Georgia, 140, 143
Saint Augustine Inlet, Florida, 166, 173
Saint Augustine Marine, 174
Saint Augustine Municipal Marina, 174
Saint Augustine Yacht Club, 171
Saint Catherines Island, Georgia, 146
Saint Catherines Sound, Georgia, 146, 150
Saint Clair River, 1
Saint James Marina, 101
Saint Johns River, Florida, 162, 165
Saint Johns River Inlet, Florida, 162, 163, 165
Saint John’s Yacht Harbor, 128
Saint Lucie Inlet, Florida, 192, 195–97, 196
Saint Lucie River, Florida, 192, 195–97, 196
Saint Marys, Georgia, 149, 158, 159
Saint Marys River, Georgia, 158, 159
Saint Marys River Inlet, Georgia, 163
Saint Simons Sound, Georgia, 148
Salt Run, Florida, 167, 168, 173
Shellbine Creek, Georgia, 157
Shellblu Creek, Georgia, 147
Shelter Cove Marina, 137
Shem Creek, South Carolina, 117
Shinn Creek, North Carolina, 96
Shutes Folly Island, South Carolina, 121
signaling devices, 9, 30
Singer Island, Florida, 202, 205, 206, 207
single bascule bridge, 27, 30
single-pivot swing bridge, 28, 30
Sisters Creek, Florida, 142, 162, 164
Sisters Creek Bridge, Florida, 162
skeleton towers, 20, 21
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 141
Skidaway Narrows Bridge, Georgia, 142, 145
Skidaway River, Georgia, 141
Skull Creek, South Carolina, 134, 137
Skull Creek Marina, 137
Slade Creek, North Carolina, 69
Smyrna Yacht Club, 171, 179
snail mail, 11–12, 227–28
Snows Cut, North Carolina, 5, 93, 96
Snows Marsh Channel, North Carolina, 99
Socastee Bridge, South Carolina, 105–6, 108
South Amelia River, Florida, 162
South Carolina
anchorages, 20, 125
bridges, communication with, 30, 104, 138, 140
depths, channel, 12
friendliness of people in, 78
I n d e x
243
Tiger Point Marina, 163
Titusville, Florida, 30, 180, 181, 183–84, 186, 187
Titusville Municipal Marina, 187
Toler’s Cove Marina, 117
Tolomato River, Florida, 162, 166
Tomoka Basin, Florida, 176
Tomoka State Park, Florida, 170
Tooleys Creek, North Carolina, 69
Topsail Beach, North Carolina, 92, 94
Topsail Sound, North Carolina, 94
Tow Boat U.S., 44
Town Creek, North Carolina, 79–80, 83
Town Creek, South Carolina, 114, 116
Town Creek Marina, 83
Treasure Island, Florida, 221
Tuckahoe Point, North Carolina, 66
tugboats, 4
Turnberry Isle Marina Yacht Club, 218
Turner Creek, Georgia, 143, 144
Turner’s Cut, North Carolina, 51, 54
Turtle Island, South Carolina, 138
U
Umbrella Creek, Georgia, 155
Umbrella Cut, Georgia, 148, 155
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 25, 38
U.S. Coast Guard, communication with, 9, 30
U.S. Coast Guard stations
Charleston Coast Guard Station, 118, 121
Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Station, 60
Sunny Isles Bridge, Florida, 211, 218
Sunrise Boulevard Bridge, Florida, 210, 211
Sunrise Marina, 189
Sunset Bay, Florida, 211
Sunset Beach Bridge, North Carolina, 101, 102
Sunset Harbor Yacht Club, 221
Surf City Swing Bridge, North Carolina, 92, 94
Swan Point, North Carolina, 91
Swan Point Marina, 94
Swansboro, North Carolina, 86, 90, 91
Swansboro Coast Guard Station, 90
swing bridges, 28, 30
T
Tarleton, Banastre, 3
Taylor Boat Works, 89
Taylor Creek, Florida, 194
Taylor Creek, North Carolina, 80–81, 84
Taylor Creek Marina, 194
Telemar Bay Marina, 189, 190
h oroughfare Creek, South Carolina, 111
h umb Point, Florida, 195
h underbolt, Georgia, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144
h underbolt Marine, 144
Tidal Current Tables, 8–9, 15
tides and currents
anchorages, 10–11, 20
bridge clearances, 30–31
currents around bridges, 127
on ICW, 5–6, 15, 78, 139, 140
publications on, 8–9
wind and, 7, 65
Tide Tables, 8–9
Tidewater Yacht Marine, 36, 39
South Carolina (Cont.):
ICW characteristics through, 103
Low Country, 123–24, 125, 133
state line, 101, 102, 135, 138
tides and currents, 5–6
weather, 6, 123
South Carolina Yacht Club, 137
South Channel, South Carolina, 118
South Edisto River, South Carolina, 125–26, 129, 130
South Harbor Village Marina, 101, 102
South Mills, North Carolina, 51, 53–54
South Mills Lock, 54
South Newport River, Georgia, 146
Southport, North Carolina, 82, 99, 100–102
Southport Marina, 101
South River, Georgia, 152
South Santee River, South Carolina, 115
Soverel Harbour Marina, 204
speed limits, 12, 192, 193
Spooner Creek, North Carolina, 86
Spooners Creek Marina, 89
State Port Terminal, Morehead City, 84, 85, 86–87
statute miles, 14, 37
Steel Bridge, Norfolk,
37, 41
Stevens Towing Shipyard, 129
Stono River, South Carolina, 124–25, 128
h e Straits, North Carolina, 64
Stuart, Florida, 192,
195–97, 196
Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club, 197
Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, 121
I n d e x
244
VORTAC structure, Myrtle Beach Airport, 108
W
Waccamaw River, South Carolina, 103, 105, 106, 108–11, 109, 112
Wacca Wache Marina, 111
Wadmalaw River, South Carolina, 125
Wahoo River, Georgia, 150–51
Walburg Creek, Georgia, 146, 150
Wally’s Leg, Georgia, 153
Wappoo Creek, South Carolina, 5, 121, 124, 127–28
Wappoo Creek Bridge, South Carolina, 124
Washington, George, 49, 50
water color, 47, 56, 194
Water is Wide, e (Conroy), 135
Waterline Marina, 190
Waterside Marina, 35, 36, 39
Watson Island, Florida, 219, 221
Watts Cut, South Carolina, 125
Ways Boat Yard, 204
weather, 6–7, 57–58, 78, 123
Western Branch, Virginia, 35
Westin Savannah Harbor Resort, 144
Whiskey Creek, North Carolina, 96
White Point, South Carolina, 125
Whiteside Creek, South Carolina, 114, 116
Whittaker Creek, North Carolina, 72, 74–77, 75
Whittaker Creek Yacht Club, 76
U.S. Coast Guard stations (Cont.):
Fort Lauderdale Coast Guard Station, 216
Fort Macon Coast Guard Station, 82, 84, 91
Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station, 195
Hobucken Coast Guard Station, 71
Lake Worth Coast Guard Station, 207
New Smyrna Beach Coast Guard Station, 171, 177
Swansboro Coast Guard Station, 90
Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard Station, 96
U.S. Customs, 207, 219
U.S. Navy ships, 34
U.S. Postal Service, 11–12, 227–28
Upper Dowry Creek, North Carolina, 68
V
Velcro Beach, Florida, 185
Venetian Causeway, Florida, 219, 220, 221, 222
Vernon River, Georgia, 142
Vero Beach, Florida, 185, 191
Vero Beach Municipal Marina, 191
Vero Beach Yacht Club, 191
VHF radio, 9, 17, 30
Vilano Beach Bridge, Florida, 166, 171, 172
Virginia
bridges, communication with, 30
state line, 48, 53
Virginia Cut, 38, 58, 59, 61
Wi- Internet access, 12
Wilkerson Highway Bridge, North Carolina, 30, 65, 67
Williams Island Marina, 218
Willoughby Bay, Virginia, 35
Wilmington, North Carolina, 3, 6, 98,
99
Wilmington City Docks, 98
Wilmington Marine Center, 98
Wilmington River, Georgia, 141, 143, 144
Wilson Creek, Georgia, 152
Windmill Harbor, South Carolina, 137
winds, 6–7, 57–58, 65
Windward Harbor Marina, 189
Winthrop Point, North Carolina, 73
Winyah Bay, South Carolina, 22, 82, 112, 113
Wright River, South Carolina, 135, 138
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, 93, 95–96, 101
Wrightsville Beach Bridge, North Carolina, 93
Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard Station, 96
Wrightsville Beach Marina, 95
Y
yacht clubs, 5, 18
Yaupon Beach, North Carolina, 101
Yorktown, USS, 120
Автор
Vladimir Pavlov
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waterway, 2010, intracoastal, miami, norfolk, 0071743051, moeller
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