East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Causton Bluff Bridge, GA, Mile 579.9, OPEN:
The Causton Bluff Bridge, closed for repairs since April 18, 2005 following a truck accident, passed a final inspection on June 16, 2005 and is OPEN for both vessel and vehicular traffic as of 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 17. I just talked to the bridge tender, who said that traffic is flowing and sailboats are waiting in line. With repairs like this, sometimes glitches happen. We’ll let you know.

Chub Cay Club Marina, Bahamas--Closed:
Chub Cay Club Marina is closed for renovations as of now, until March 2006. This Berry Island resort with its enclosed basin is an important refuge for Bahamas bound cruisers. It is also a Customs and Immigration Port of Entry. It has been a favorite stop and safe haven for us since our first Bahamas trip more than 20 years ago. The office says that there will be no dockage or fuel available, but the restaurant and shop will be open (if you anchor in the often rolly anchorage and dinghy ashore). Customs and immigration clearance will only be available for those arriving by plane.

Georgetown, SC, Mile 403, Moorings or Not?

We heard a report on the Ham Radio Waterway Net a few days ago that Georgetown Harbor in South Carolina was full of moorings and that there was no space to anchor there now.

Georgetown is a lovely small historic town, and it has been friendly to transient boaters. There are several marinas, but some of us prefer to spend the night at anchor. The harbor has a poor holding bottom of very soupy mud. Last time we tried it, we had to reset in four or five different places to finally get the anchor to hold.
Hazzard Marine in Georgetown has been advertising the moorings in guidebooks for several years now. I called Hazzard Marine on June 12, 2005 for an update. They reported that the moorings had been placed but then removed, and that they would probably not be reset for another two and a half or three months.
We’ll keep you posted.

Ponce Inlet (Daytona Beach/New Smyrna Beach area), FL:
The Coast Guard (7th District LNM 07/22) has announced that the following changes will be made in Ponce de Leon Inlet:
PONCE DE LEON INLET LIGHTED BUOY 2 (LLNR 615/9515) will be relocated to approximate position 29-04-46.000N/080-53-29.000W. Displaying Flashing Red 2.5 second characteristic.
PONCE DE LEON INLET LIGHTED BUOY 3 (LLNR 9525) will be relocated to approximate position 29-04-39.000N/080-53-47.000W. Displaying Flashing Green 4 second characteristic.
PONCE DE LEON INLET LIGHTED BUOY 4 (LLNR 9530) will be relocated to approximate position 29-04-45.000N/080-54-00.000W. Displaying Flashing Red 4 second characteristic.
PONCE DE LEON INLET LIGHTED BUOY 5 (LLNR 9535) will be relocated to approximate position 29-04-37.000N/080-54-07.000 and changed to unlighted Buoy 5.
The work is scheduled to be completed the week of July 11, 2005.

Cape Canaveral Maintenance Dredging:
USCG 7th District LNM 07/24 dated June 15, 2005 announces that there will be maintenance dredging in the Canaveral Harbor Entrance Channel, Trident Access Channel, Trident Turning Basin, Middle Turning Basin and West Turning Basin, Canaveral Harbor, Brevard County, Florida. Tugs and scows will transport the dredge spoils. Sand suitable for beach fill will be deposited into the Nearshore Placement Area. Unsuitable material will be deposited into the Ocean Disposal Area. The dredging will operate on a continuous basis twenty-four (24) hours a day seven (7) days per week until completion on or about September 5, 2005. The dredge and attendant plant will have all required USCG lighting for nighttime operations. All mariners are advised to use extreme caution and transiting the area at their slowest safest speed. The dredge #551 will monitor VHF Channel 13 and 16 for safety and maneuvering information. For further information contact Mr. Charles Balentine at (985) 875-2525.

Hobe Sound Bridge, FL, Mile 996.0 on Temporary Schedule:
The Hobe Sound Bridge in the Jupiter area of Florida is now on a temporary schedule, rather than the usual “open on request.” It will be on a twenty-minute schedule from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily until August 5, 2005. This bridge will open on the hour, twenty minutes after the hour and forty minutes after the hour. This schedule has been implemented to assist vehicular traffic in this area due to repairs to the South Bridge of Jupiter Island (Jupiter Lighthouse Bridge) in the open position.

Jupiter Lighthouse Bridge (Jupiter SR 707), FL, Mile 1004.1:
The Jupiter Lighthouse (SR 707) Bridge, Jupiter, Florida is being repaired. Scaffolds are attached to the open bridge leaf and extend two feet into the channel. This work is expected to be completed by July 31, 2005. See above.

Attention Miami Bound Boats: Fisherman’s Channel Dredging:
Miami is the staging point for many of us for our Bahamas cruising. First we had frequent closing of the main channel through Miami at Government Cut when cruise ships and other large vessels arrive and depart. This is a Homeland Security measure that we all understand and appreciate. Then to the north, the City of Miami Beach is restricting our anchoring so that many of us must now depart for the Bahamas, often in the dark, from other anchorages to the south. The deep-water route that we usually take from the southern Key Biscayne or Virginia Key anchorages passes through Fishermans Channel, past Lummus Island, and out through Government Cut. (The shallow water route through the Cape Florida Channel to the south of Key Biscayne is tricky for night-time departures, and is not very deep, especially with ocean swell running.)

If you are planning any trip to or from Miami between now and October, take note of the following from the USCG 7th District Local Notices to Mariners, June 7, 2005, LNM 07/23:

Dredging/Blasting Operations:
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company has commenced a deepening project at Fishermans Channel and Lummus Island Turning Basin on the south side of the Port of Miami. The drill boat APACHE has begun drilling and blasting operations in an area within a 1600 foot radius of Latitude 25 deg 46’N and Longitude 080 deg 10”W. The dredge TEXAS will be excavating the area and pumping the dredge spoils into scows that will be towed to a 1500 foot diameter disposal site offshore at Latitude 25 deg 45’N and Longitude 080 deg 3’W. The dredge and drill boat will be lighted as per USCG regulations. Channel 13 and 16 VFH will be monitored for safety and maneuvering information. This operation will continue twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven days per week until completion on or about September 30, 2005. All mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting this area. For further information please contact Mr. Roy B. Woods at (786) 316-0965.

This operation is one that I would certainly want to avoid, or at least be aware of especially if I were to plan a night departure from Miami.

“Dredging for Beaches” All Over Florida:
In the same USCG Local Notices quoted above and in the three previous to that, we have noticed that dredging for the purpose of Beach Replenishment in many localities in Florida is taking place this summer. The notices are too numerous to quote all. The dredging is being done from channels already deep, like Port Everglades, or from offshore, with no benefit to pleasure boaters. And all it takes is one strong tropical system to undo a season of replenishment.

The beaches we have recently noted as being replenished are: Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, St. Augustine, and Ft. Pierce in North and Central Florida; John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, Dania, Hollywood Beach, and Hallandale Beach in South Florida; and Venice and Hideaway Beach in Collier County on the west coast.

Change in USCG SSB Marine Weather Broadcast Schedule:
The 7th District LNM 07/24 announced the following changes, effective on June 15, 2005. Coast Guard Communications Area Master Station Atlantic (Call Sign NMN) and Coast Guard Communications Station New Orleans (Call Sign NMG) currently make High Frequency Voice Broadcasts at the times indicated and will either change to the new times listed or remain the same. All times listed are Zulu (Z) or Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).
Current Schedule New Schedule
0330 0330
0500 0515
0930 0930
1130 1115
1600 1530
1730 1715
2200 2130
2230 2315

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