East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

East Coast Tips by Mel Neale

North Carolina Dredging:

Maintenance dredging by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at New River Crossing, NC (Mile 246) in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway has now been completed (September 16, 2004). Controlling depths are now surveyed at13.1 ft and 10.8 ft at MLW.

The USACE Wilmington, NC has posted an updated shoaling map of the AIWW in NC. It does not reflect the completion of the above dredging.

Lockwood’s Folly Inlet Crossing (Mile 321.5) will be dredged next, with a completion date in October, 2004.

Hurricane Notes:

Navigational Hazards
Any time you are operating a boat in waters recently affected by a hurricane, assume that there may be new shoals, sunken boats and piers, broken pilings and other hidden debris that could damage your boat.

Florida Marinas
For those of us who plan to cruise south this winter, sadly there will be fewer slips available in Florida for a while. The most publicized example of course is the beautiful Fort Pierce City Marina, viewed by millions on all the TV networks. It hits very close to home for me, as I was there less than a week before Frances to do photography for an article about the marina and the city for a major boating publication. I rode around the docks in a marina golf cart and took numerous photos of the boats, docks, buildings, and the happy people having a good time on a Saturday afternoon at the centerpiece of the revitalized downtown of Fort Pierce. And I again saw a boat very special to me that was docked there—the former Chez Nous that we raised our children aboard for 20 years. Her new owners have lived aboard her there for several years. We watched her on the TV news reports and saw photos of her on the BoatUS website. She fared much better than most, but appeared to be trapped by other boats and docks. We hope for the best.

Marina docks in the Sebastian area of the Indian River are reported by news media to have major damage: Capt. Hiram’s, Fins (this one was also on TV), and Sebastian River Marina. I saw the Intracoastal Marina in Melbourne on CNN; it appeared to be heavily damaged. The docks at Cannonsport Marina on Singer Island in the Palm Beach area are reported to be severely damaged.

Frank Herehold, Executive Director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, has told us that they are putting together a request to the Florida Legislature to streamline the permitting process so that damaged marinas may rebuild as soon as possible.

Dismal Swamp Canal Update:

The Dismal Swamp Canal is open on its normal schedule, at least through the end of December, 2004. There is still uncertainty as to its continued operation after that time due to lack of funding. Call 757-441-7500 (USACE Norfolk District) and follow the prompts for Dismal Swamp Canal information.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale