East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Miami Beach, FL: Seven-Day Liveaboard Anchoring Law Passes:
As discussed in our East Coast Alerts of May 5, 2005, last night, May 18, 2005, was the final reading and vote by the City Commissioners on the seven-day limit for liveaboard boaters anchoring in the waters of the City of Miami Beach, FL. We hear that it passed, but we don’t yet have the details of the final wording of the ordinance. We’ll keep you informed. Look for another posting soon.

Spa Creek Bridge (Annapolis, MD) to Close at Night, July and August:
That busy bridge across Spa Creek, connecting Downtown Annapolis and Eastport, will be sandblasted and painted in the middle of its busiest season. From July 6 through August 31, 2005 it will be maintained in the “closed to navigation” position during the nighttime hours from 10 p.m. till 5 a.m.

Rudee Inlet Shoaling Confirmed Again:
Coast Guard 5th District Local Notices to Mariners 20/05 (May 17, 2005): “The City of Virginia Beach Survey of Rudee Inlet, dated May 13, 2005, indicates a least depth of 8 feet, MLLW, across the channel approximately 200 feet east of the south jetty.”
As we have mentioned before, while this is adequate depth for passage by many boats using the inlet, shallow conditions in ocean inlets can present serious problems in rough weather and large ocean swell.

New Updated Cruising Guide to Coastal North Carolina:
Author Claiborne Young has announced that Watermark Publishing has released “a thoroughly and extensively updated, much anticipated, sixth edition of our long popular Cruising Guide to Coastal North Carolina. This volume is still the one and only guidebook devoted exclusively to the coastal waters of the Tar Heel state.” List price is $26.95 (plus S&H and 7% sales tax for NC residents)

This edition, he says, includes new anchorage and marina summaries at the beginning of each chapter, new anchorages, and updated navigational information, GPS waypoints, and a list of marina URL’s. We’ve enjoyed all of Claiborne’s guidebooks, with their local knowledge, background and history.

Watermark Publishing also produces a spiral bound North Carolina Chartbook keyed to work with the new guidebook. Usually priced at $75, they are offering a special package of both for $82 (plus S&H and 7% sales tax for NC residents) through 6/30/05.

To order, call 800-803-0809.

Alligator River Entrance Channel Dogleg, Mile 80:
The new markers at the northern entrance to the Alligator River are very confusing. While the old channel was a dredged cut with a straight line of green markers, the new channel follows the naturally deep water, with a dogleg to the west. Southbound, after passing “1 AR”, look to the west-southwest to locate G“3”. R “6” and G “5” are then to the southeast of G“3”. The remainder of the entrance markers define the tricky channel off Long Point Shoal.

Coastal North Carolina--Spotty Dredging Takes Its Toll:
We noticed when we passed on our recent trip up the ICW, and the Coast Guard 5th District Local Notices 19/05 (May 10, 2005) and 20/05 just confirmed that, “Due to shoaling the aids to navigation in the following inlet have been discontinued: Bogue Inlet, New River Inlet, Shallotte Inlet and Lockwoods Folly Inlet.”

Keep in mind that these are not a part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, but the small coastal inlets that connect the ICW with the ocean. While some money has been allocated for their dredging by the US Army Corps of Engineers, it is much less than is needed to keep them navigable. While they are used mostly for recreational purposes by local boaters, they are important to local commercial fishing and charter businesses. Further, there is a US Coast Guard Station located just inside Bogue Inlet.

The Local Notices also advise that “There has been a report of shoaling in the vicinity of Hatteras Inlet Lighted Buoy 4 (LLNR 28650) and Lighted Buoy 6 (LLNR 28660) extending into the channel. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when transiting this area.”

Onslow Beach Bridge, Mile 240.7, Closes at Night:
The same Local Notices quoted above report that “To facilitate sandblasting and painting operations, mariners are advised that the Onslow Beach Swing Bridge across North Carolina Cut, at AICW mile 240.7, at Camp Lejeune, NC, will be closed to navigation each day from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., on June 1 to June 30, 2005. Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly.”

When we passed through this bridge a few days ago, it was very rusty and obviously needed new paint. We were alarmed at how slowly it operated. It looks as though it could use a replacement, but with this painting, we assume we are not likely to see a new one for a while. Onslow Beach Bridge is owned and operated by the US Marine Corps.

Georgetown, SC (Mile 403) Dredging:
USCG 7th District Local Notice to Mariners, 19/07 (May 10, 2005) advises that “the dredge RICHMOND will be conducting dredging operations in the Georgetown Harbor, Sampit River and Upper Winyah Bay vicinities. All mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredge, pipelines, barge, derricks and operating wires about the dredge. All operators should be aware that the dredge and pontoon lines are held in place by cables, which are attached to anchors some distance from the dredge and pontoons.”

ICW Blocked: Causton Bluff Bridge, Mile 579.9, Remains Closed:
Yes, it’s still closed. We went out at St. Simons Sound, GA and in at Port Royal Sound, SC. Luckily, the weather was perfect and the current in our favor entering that long channel into Port Royal Sound and up to Beaufort. The shortest distance around is between the Savannah River entrance at Tybee Roads to the north and the Wilmington River via Wassaw Sound to the south. The time estimate for repairs is “30 days, more or less,” from the middle of last week.

Jekyll Creek, GA, New Entrance Channel Markers, Mile 680.5:
The new marking system at the northern entrance to Jekyll Creek is confusing. Southbound, the first set is especially difficult to locate since the boards are actually placed on the structures of range markers, and the green is not visible till one has passed that range marker. Like the Alligator River entrance discussed above, it seems to mark the natural flow of deeper water, rather than a straight line cut as before. There is still the straight-line dredged channel past the jetty that is submerged at high tide. This dangerous part is marked with a series of red markers and a few additional greens as well as the Jetty Range.

Addison Point Bridge (Mile 885, Indian River, FL) Construction:
USCG Local Notice to Mariners, 19/07 (May 10, 2005) advises that “The NASA Parkway (SR 405) Drawbridge, mile 885.0, Addison Point, Florida is on single-leaf operations until September 27, 2005, due to construction. A double-leaf opening is available with a four-hour notice to the bridge tender.”

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