SPECIAL EAST COAST ALERT
The cruising area of the US east coast and Bahamas is one of the most popular and, in my opinion, among the best cruising areas in the world. It is our neighborhood on “Chez Nous.” We’ve cruised thousands of miles every year in the area. From time to time I’ll give you alerts and other important information about developments and issues here. I’ll also continue the general cruising tips which are relevant wherever you cruise.
Shoaling along the east coast ICW in shallow draft harbors and inlets is reaching severe levels. This problem exists for many harbors, inlets, and waterways on both the east and the west coasts. Lack of funding for US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredging projects and other maintenance is the immediate cause, although the problems behind this are complex. I’ll discuss this fully at another time. You can get background information by reviewing two very helpful articles on the subject by Ryck Lydecker, Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs of BoatU.S., in the November 2001 and May 2004 issues of “BoatU.S. Magazine”.
Here are some trouble spots in North Carolina to look out for, and to WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN ABOUT. You can find help for writing your congressman (and other information) on the web site of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, www.atlintracoastal.org. We’ll give you information about other areas with upcoming columns. We’re starting with the North Carolina section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) because our observations have been that this area is experiencing particularly severe problems.
These are MLW depths, which can be shallower during spring tides (new and full moon) and with strong winds. We have observed these or had them reported to us within the last month. Some, where noted, are from USACE surveys. The ICW project depth in this area is 12 ft. This information is given in the hope that it may be helpful to you and your friends if you are in the particular areas. This information is not to be used for navigation, and you should know that the depths and channels may change substantially. Use this with caution and at your own risk, relying on current charts and official navigation resources, and prudent seamanship.
North Carolina: 12 ft project depth (3-5 ft tidal range)
For more tips, see www.tomneale.com
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale