East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Attention Long Island Sound, NY Boaters:
The First District USCG LNM 01, the first for 2006 announces that the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound is conducting a study of the aids to navigation system in the Plum Gut waterway. This study will help the Coast Guard ensure that the aids to navigation system in the area supports safe navigation and the efficient flow of commerce.
If you have any questions regarding the rulemaking process or the proposed regulation, please contact LTJG Douglas Miller at 203-468-4596, or at djmiller@sectorlis.uscg.mil. Your participation in this survey is critical to an effective study of this waterway.

Salt Ponds, Hampton, VA Update:
We have an update from a fellow boater in the Hampton, Virginia area who reports that scoop dredging continues at Salt Ponds, even though the USCG Local Notices for the Fifth District no longer report it, and that the channel depth is now approximately seven ft. when the gauge reads one ft. above MLLW. See the posting by “Doghouse” on the BoatUS Messageboard, East Coast Alerts, December 29, 2005,
https://my.boatus.com/forum/. If you are planning a visit to Salt Ponds, call one of the marinas to get the latest information: Salt Ponds Marina Resort: 757 850 4300, Southall Landings Marina: 757 850 9929. Our thanks to “Doghouse.”

Chart Additions:
The following statement is being added to many charts for the Mid Atlantic and Southern States.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Note; Hurricanes, tropical storms and other major storms may cause considerable damage to marine structures, aids to navigation and moored vessels, resulting in submerged debris in unknown locations. Charted soundings, channel depths and shoreline may not reflect actual conditions following these storms. Fixed aids to navigation may have been damaged or destroyed. Buoys may have been moved from charted positions, damaged, sunk extinguished or otherwise made inoperative. Mariners should not rely upon the position or operation of an aid to navigation. Wrecks and submerged obstructions may have been displaced from charted locations. Pipelines may have become uncovered or moved. Mariners are urged to exercise extreme caution and are requested to report aids to navigation discrepancies and hazards to navigation to the nearest United States Coast Guard unit. (NOS NW-11776)

York River, VA Channel Closure:
Our earliest cruising ground was the lower Chesapeake Bay. It can get very cold there in January, but we and a few other die-hards sometimes sailed year round in those days, except when iced in. If you’re into that sort of thing, be aware that “PRECON MARINE, Inc. will be installing a fiberoptic cable between Yorktown and Gloucester Point across the York River west of the Coleman Bridge. Installation will be accomplished by directional boring under the channel and plowing across the remainder of the cable path. Plowing operations will involve the use of anchors which will require the closing of the channel for periods of time that does not interfere with commercial use of the waterway. The construction supervisors will maintain close contact with the York River Bridge control house and will schedule the channel closures to prevent unnecessary delays to river traffic. Operations will commence the first week of January and continue 24 hours a day for 7 to 10 days stopping for necessary transit of marine traffic.” This is announced in the USCG Fifth District LNM 01, the first of 2006.

Dredging in Hampton Roads Area, VA:
The Fifth District USCG LNM 02 for 2006 reports two dredging operations beginning in Hampton Roads: The Dredge CHARLESTON will be conducting dredging operations in the Newport News Channel between 25 January and 31 March, 2006. A pipeline will run from the project area to the Craney Island Disposal Area. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

The Dredge PULLEN will be conducting dredging operations in the Norfolk International Terminal (North) between 25 January and 31 March, 2006. A pipeline will run from the project area to the Craney Island Disposal Area. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

As always, 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.

Dredging at Bald Head Creek, NC:
This is off the ICW and the Cape Fear River, but close enough to the popular Bald Head Island Marina and Cape Fear Inlet to be of note: The USCG 5th District LNM 02 also reports that the Southwind Construction Co. Dredge 1716, assisted by the JENNIE LEA II, will be conducting dredging operations at the mouth of Bald Head Creek between 10 January and 31 January, 2006. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Dredging at Oregon Inlet, NC:
The LNMs 01 and 02 stated that “the Dredge LEXINGTON will be conducting dredging operations in Big Foot Slough Channel between 29 December 2005 and 10 February, 2006. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Okeechobee Waterway Locks Normal Ops:
The USACE has discontinued high discharges through the Caloosahatchee Locks, initiated after Hurricane Wilma in late October. The locks at Ortona, Moore Haven and Port Mayaca are now operated on demand daily between 0600 and 2130. Phone numbers follow: Moore Haven: 863 946 0414, Ortona: 863 675 0616, and Port Mayaca: 561 924 2858.

Broward County, FL Bridge Schedule:
The expected implementation of a new opening schedule for the busy Broward County, FL (Ft. Lauderdale area) bridges is on hold for the time being. It is now expected to begin in approximately eight months, or late summer 2006. It is reported that it will be similar to the test schedule in effect for a few months in early 2005. Information is available from the USCG 7th District Bridge Branch in Miami.

New ATN Numbers in Miami Harbor, FL (Government Cut):
The USCG 7th District LNM 02 announces that the following changes will be made in Miami Harbor: MIAMI MAIN CHANNEL BUOY 12 (LLNR 10545) will be changed to Lighted Buoy 14 displaying Flashing Red 2.5s characteristics. The aids to navigation in Miami Main Channel will be renumbered starting with Lighted Buoy 6A to 8, Lighted Buoy 8 to 10, Lighted Buoy 10 to 12, Buoy 12 to Lighted Buoy 14, Lighted Buoy 14 to 16, Lighted Buoy 16 to 18, Light 17 to 19, Light 22 to 20. The work is schedule to be completed the week of 13 February 2006.

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