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East Coast Alerts - January 26, 2006

By Tom Neale - Published January 26, 2006 - Viewed 1079 times

NOAA Charts Online:
The boating community is abuzz with information about the free NOAA charts available online. The USCG Local Notices just made this announcement: NOAA has posted all 1,000-plus of its U.S. nautical charts on the Internet at www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/OnLineViewer.html. They can be viewed using any Internet browser. Each chart is up-to-date with the most recent Notices to Mariners. Use these on-line charts as a ready reference or planning tool--then use one of NOAA’s printed or digital charts for actual navigation.

Sunken Hazard in MA:
The USCG 1st District LNM 02 and 03 announce that the F/V HIZZONE, A 55' wooden western rig, burned and sank in 35' of water off Wellfleet, MA in (Position Approximate) 41-48.96N 070-06.46W. Part of the F/V's rigging may be exposed at low water. The wreck has been marked with a temporary high flyer buoy. Mariners are urged to use caution when transiting the area.

Dominion Boulevard Bridge, aka Steel Bridge, Mile 8.8, Revisited:

Fellow Boaters take heed: Now is your chance to address this recent change in a bridge opening schedule that you’ve been complaining about. Because of these restrictions boats often miss the lock in Great Bridge resulting in their traveling at night in this difficult portion of the ICW. They also get caught in further restrictions passing through other Norfolk Bridges as they head north. These restrictions adversely affect safe passage of slower moving vessels that need openings. If you can attend the hearing, do it. If you can’t go, write a letter!

The Fifth District USCG LNM 03 advise that the Coast Guard is reopening the period for public comment concerning the drawbridge operation regulations; AICW, South Branch of the Elizabeth River, at mile 8.8, in Chesapeake, VA, because the Dominion Boulevard (US 17) Bridge is utilized frequently and members of the public have communicated to the Coast Guard that they would like to make additional comments. Comments on the interim rulemaking should be forwarded to COMMANDER, FIFTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT (oan) 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704, attention (obr), no later than March 10, 2006. A copy of Public Notice 5-1060, which describes the reason for the reopening the comment period, can be obtained by writing to the address above or by calling (757) 398-6222.

The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting to provide a forum for citizens to provide oral comments relating to the drawbridge operation regulations for the Dominion Boulevard (US 17) Bridge. The meeting will be open to the public. This meeting will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 1, 2006, at the Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322-5598. Written material and requests to make oral presentations should be forwarded to the above address attention (obr) no later than February 28, 2006.

Following is the previous and current interim schedule for the Dominion Boulevard (aka Steel Bridge), Mile 8.8 AIWW (previous to the following “previous,” this bridge opened on request weekdays between the two rush hour closures, year round):

PREVIOUS
CURRENT (INTERIM )
   

WINTER OPERATING SCHEDULE*

(After Labor Day – Before Memorial Day)
From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Opens on demand for all vessels

SUMMER OPERATING SCHEDULE*

(From Memorial Day – To Labor Day) From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Opens hourly on the half-hour. Commercial vessels must provide a two-hour advance notice for an on-demand opening.**

RUSH HOUR RESTRICTIONS*

From 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Need not open. Commercial vessels must provide a two-hour advance notice for an on-demand opening.**

*MON TO FRI, EXCEPT FEDERAL HOLIDAYS

YEAR ROUND OPERATING SCHEDULE*

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Opens every hour on the hour. Commercial vessels must provide a two-hour advance notice for an on-demand opening.**

ON SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS AND FEDERAL HOLIDAYS

From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Opens every hour on the hour. Commercial vessels must provide a two-hour advance notice for an on-demand opening.**

RUSH HOUR RESTRICTIONS*

From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Need not open. Commercial vessels must provide a two-hour advance notice for an on-demand opening.**

*MON TO FRI, EXCEPT FEDERAL HOLIDAYS

**BRIDGE WILL OPEN ON DEMAND FOR VESSELS CARRYING HAZARDOUS LIQUEFIED FLAMMABLE GAS OR OTHER HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; AND OPEN ON DEMAND AT ALL OTHER TIMES.

Drawbridge Regulations Online:
If you ever want to check a drawbridge schedule online, go to
www.gpoaccess.gov. Click on “Federal Register”, then “e-CFR”, then “Title 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters”, then “1-124” (Coast Guard), then “117” (Drawbridge Operation Regulations), then look for the state where the bridge is located.

Dredging in Baltimore, MD:
The Fifth District LNM 03 reports that the following dredging will take place in Baltimore Harbor: The Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co Bucket Dredge No. 54 will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Brewerton Angle, Curtis Bay Channel, Curtis Creek Channel, Dundalk Marine Terminal West Channel, Dundalk Marine Terminal Connecting Channel, and Dundalk Marine Terminal East Channel with dredge material transported to the Hart-Miller Island site. Weeks Marine Dredges No. 550 and 551 will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Craighill Angle, Brewerton Channel Eastern Extension, Tolchester Channel, Dundalk Marine Terminal Connecting Channel Berthing Area and the Dundalk Marine Terminal East Channel Berthing Area with dredge material transported to the Hart-Miller Island site. Cottrell Contracting Corp. will be conducting dredging operations at Poplar Island Southern Access Channel with dredge material transported to the Hart-Miller Island site. All dredging operations are scheduled to be completed on or about 30 February 2006. The dredges can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. Mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredge, floating and submerged pipelines, buoys and wires. Mariners are requested to exercise extreme caution and no wake when approaching, passing and leaving a dredge operation location and to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Road.

Albemarle Sound NC Change:
The Fifth District USCG LNM 04 states that on or about 17 February, 2006 Albemarle Sound Entrance Light “AS” (LLNR 37055) will be discontinued.

NC Dredging:
The same LNM as above also states that Cottrell Contracting Corporation in Chesapeake, Virginia advises that the Dredge RICHMOND and associated equipment will be conducting dredging operations at Figure 8 Island, Mason Creek, and Banks Channel. Dredging operations are expected to be completed by March 31, 2006. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. Mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredge, floating and submerged pipelines, buoys and wires, exercise extreme caution and no wake when approaching, passing and leaving a dredge operation location and to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Roads.

East Florida ICW Updates:
Following are a few observations:

The Matanzas Inlet area of the ICW has been recently dredged, but seems to be filling back in again. We followed the markers in place and found a least depth of 5.8 ft MLW close to 80A.

Palm Coast area has seen a huge amount of development with a new marina and residential community across the ICW from Palm Coast Marina, and teardown and new construction at the Palm Coast Marina, which is still open for transients, despite construction.

Shallow areas near Ponce Inlet: We found around 6.5 ft. MLW between “2A” and “3A” at Mile 839.7. Between “34” and “35” at Mile 845.5, New Smyrna Beach, we found around 6.5 ft. MLW depth. We have previously seen boats aground in both places.
There was dredging in the ICW in the New Smyrna area, but not at the shallow parts above. The anchorage at Rockhouse Creek, Mile 842 is currently limited in space: there was a tug and dredging equipment at the island on the southeast side which is apparently being used as a fill site. Dredge pipes lined the ICW, but we saw no working dredge.

For the first time ever we saw the NASA Railroad Bridge, Mile 876.6, close as we approached. It remained so for about ten minutes while a three car train passed. Its regulations state that it will remain closed for five minutes after the train has left the bridge.

Watch for possible construction delays at the Rt. 528 Bridge, Mile 894, just to the south of the Canaveral Barge Canal entrance. We were delayed here for around 1.5 hours on January 13. There should be announcements to the effect in the daily Broadcast Notice to Mariners from Sector Jacksonville (We heard none and the person we spoke to at the Canaveral CG Station knew nothing about it).

Many of the high rise bridges in the Indian River appear to have new tide boards on their fender systems; most of them show less than 65 ft. vertical clearance. Many of these new tide boards have scum and barnacles up to the 64 or 65 ft. line, while the older fenders that they are attached to have scum and barnacles a foot or two higher. Because the water level here is influenced by wind and rain, not tidal currents, this indicates to me that when the water level is up to its sometimes higher level, there will be less vertical clearance than currently shown on the tide boards, by a foot or two. Proceed with caution.

There is a sunken sailboat just south of Marker “69” at Mile 939.5, along the eastern edge of the channel. It is marked with a green “WR” Marker.

The Crossroads at St Lucie River had about 11.5 Ft MLW. It has been recently dredged.

Miami Beach Enforces New Anchoring Regulations:

The following is excerpted from an email we received from cruisers waiting in Miami Beach for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas:

The Miami Beach Police have started enforcing the 7-day anchoring ordinance you have previously reported on. Yesterday, Jan 16, anchored boats were visited one-by-one and informed of the ordinance, asked for photo ID, and asked to sign a document stating that they were informed of the ordinance. Each boat is assigned a case number, and was given a copy of the ordinance (although I had to ask for a copy). At the end of the 7-days (within a 30-day period), any boat still anchored (even if relocated within the city jurisdiction) will be cited and have 48-hrs to remove the boat. If not removed, the boat will be impounded. The owner/agent will have to pay for the towing and storage charges, as well as a fine (amount not disclosed) in order to recover the boat.

At this time there are about 30 boats here waiting for the "window" to cross. The young officers are pleasant and understand that cruisers are just "passing through", but explain that they have to apply the ordinance to all boats. They stated that it was the few "derelict" and live-aboards that caused the ordinance to be enacted. They encouraged us to move to the area west of Palm and Hibiscus Islands (near the Miami Yacht Club) when our 7-days were up, as that is City of Miami and is not restricted.

Bimini, Bahamas:
The Compleat Angler Hotel, built in the 1930’s and famous for its collection of Hemmingway memorabilia, burned down on Friday, January 13, 2006. Owner Julian Brown died trying to put out the blaze. Hemmingway lived here from 1935 to 1937, while working on To Have and Have Not, and is said to have based his The Old Man and the Sea on his experiences in Bimini. Alice Town and Bimini will not be the same.

This information is not to be used for navigation. Consult the latest charts and Local Notices to Mariners and use prudent seamanship. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive any and all claims which may arise from that use.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale





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