East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, FL Closure Schedule Revision:

They’ve done it again. This is the THIRD schedule.

We have been advised of the following information by Laurie Sanderson, Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project, info@FDOTBridgeofLions.com.

Restriction/Closure Times
March 29 -April 6, 2006 7:00 am to 1:00 pm & 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Channel restricted to 55 feet wide. Full channel openings with 2 hour notice.*
April 7, 2006 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Channel closed for 8 hours. Full channel openings with 2 hour notice.*
April 14, 2006 7:00 am to 11:00 am Channel closed for 4 hours. Full channel openings with 2 hour notice.*
April 24-27, 2006 Full Closure – 24 hours a day Bridge will be blocking the channel and not functioning. Small craft, less than 24 feet vertical clearance, will be able to pass under bridge.
April 28 - May 12, 2006 Intermittent Closures – 4 hours maximum between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm Bridge blocking channel during installation and testing of controls and balancing. Three 4 hour closure periods each day with opening provided with 2 hours notice.*
*Requests for a channel opening according to the above schedule should be made to the Bridge Tender via marine radio on Channel 9.

For questions regarding this notice, please call (904) 825-3647. The above schedule has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

NOTE: We passed through the Bridge of Lions on Tuesday, April 4, 2006. We were asked to wait for an extra five minutes while a weight was lowered into place at the top of the new lift. We waited more than a half hour for this procedure to be completed. The bridge tender then on duty, a gentleman named Malcolm, was very professional and helped smooth out the boat traffic jam afterwards. As we found out, there will likely be other delays than the ones published. This is a complicated process.

Fernandina Harbor Marina, FL, Mile 716.7:
We’ve received reports that it is closed till further notice due to dredging, but that the fuel dock will be open during the process. Phone is (904) 491 2090. I tried to verify this by calling them but only got a recording. No one has returned my call. Dredging is certainly needed as the interior of the marina has been bare at low tide for years.

Barefoot Landing Marina, SC, Mile 354:
This formerly free dock is still in the process of being renovated. The date for opening of Phase 1 (the northern part) will be April 7, 2006. The cost will be $1.25 per foot per day. There will be electricity, water and cable TV. The southern part will be completed shortly. They expect to add on to the northern end (Phase 3) with new docks extending towards the Barefoot Landing Bridge. The dockmaster can be reached at (843) 663 0838.

Shoaling at Ponce Inlet Area, ICW, New Smyrna Beach, FL:
The reports are true. There was a lot of shallow water when we went through on April 3, 2006. Our depth sounder showed just over 7 feet low tide depth in the vicinity of “34” (Mile 845.5) where it has been shallow for years.
Between “18” and Ponce de Leon Cut Junction Daybeacon (Mile 843.5) we found around 6.3 ft low tide depth. But the Ponce de Leon Cut Junction Daybeacon is now a tiny floating can, mostly green at the top, with a tiny stripe of red at the base. The shoal does cross the entire ICW and the depth comes up very quickly when northbound.

The series of floating markers at the northern intersection of Ponce Inlet and the ICW (Mile 839.7) showed between 6.3 feet and 6.8 ft low tide depth, with the shallowest being between “2” and “3”.

There is around a 2.5 ft tidal range in the area. We passed on a neap tide. Spring tides will produce shallower depths at low tide.

There is an extensive dredging project in the New Smyrna Beach area. The anchorage at Rockhouse Creek (Mile 842.3) is diminished in size due to land moving equipment and tugs and dredge pipes located there. It is definitely not as pretty as it used to be.

Matanzas Inlet Crossing the ICW:
On April 4, 2006 (around Mile 793) there were four small green cans in place: “81A”, “81B”, “81C”, and “81D” as well as one small red nun, “80A”. We found a least depth here of 5.3 low tide. Again, this was a period of neap tide. Full and new moons would produce shallower depths. There is about 4.8 ft tidal range in the area.

Dredging in Myrtle Beach Area, South Carolina ICW:
The USCG 7th District LNM 14 advises that the Santee Marine Construction Company has commenced a dredging project in the Intracoastal Waterway one (1) mile south of the 501 bridge (Mile 365.4, aka Combination Bridges) at Arrowhead Grande, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The dredge pipeline is anchored approximately fifty (50) feet from the bank on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway. Rear of dredge encroaches temporarily into the channel during initial dredging of each area closest to the channel, this will occur only during daylight hours of operation between sunup and sundown. The dredge MISS MARGO and its accompanying tug, pipeline and other equipment will be on scene and can be contacted on VHF Channel 13 and 16 for safety and maneuvering information. This operation will continue on a daily basis from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, seven (7) days per week until completion on or about April 30, 2006. For further information contact Mr. Mark Morningstar at (803) 309-5550.

North Carolina Shoaling Areas Recently Surveyed by the USACE:
The following are the sites of the most recent surveys of the areas that continue to shoal in the North Carolina ICW. These are areas where inlets from the ocean cross the ICW and the moving water piles up shoals. While there has been emergency dredging in the past, shoaling continues. Mother Nature moves on.

New River Crossing (Mile 246): Here the reported controlling depth is 5 feet, following the given waypoints. It’s a good idea to pass here at mid tide rising. Check AIWW - Tangent I Section 2 - New River Crossing for the latest, dated February 22, 2006.
The Carolina Beach Inlet Crossing of the ICW (Mile 293.5) has been more stable, with a reported controlling depth of 12 feet. See it at
AIWW Tangent 1 Section 4 (Station 0+00 - 110+00) - Carolina Beach Inlet Crossing.

Lockwoods Folly Inlet Crossing (Mile 321.5) shows a reported controlling depth of 7 ft on February 15, 2006, following the given waypoints. Check it at Cape Fear to Little River Tangent 11 ( Lockwood's Folly Inlet Crossing )

Morehead City Railway Bridge Schedule:
This bridge adjacent to the fixed bridge at Morehead City is usually in the open position. USCG 5th District LNM 14 advises mariners that vessel openings will be restricted at the R110 Railroad Bridge (Mile 203.8) across Newport River at Carteret County, NC. To facilitate structural repairs, from April 19 to 21, 2006, vessel openings will be provided each day on the even hours beginning at 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the same period, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., the drawbridge will be maintained in the open-to-navigation position.

Info to Use Up North:

Coast Guard Group Woods Hole has changed names to Coast Guard Sector Southern New England. Mariners wishing to contact Coast Guard Group Woods Hole should make hail outs to Coast Guard Sector Southern New England.

These regulations were put into effect following 9-11, but those visiting the area for the first time, as many of you will this summer, should become familiar with them.

All vessels transiting the Port of New York/New Jersey shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Designated on-scene Patrol Commander. Upon being hailed by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of the vessel shall proceed as directed.


  • Within 150 yards of Liberty and Ellis Islands;
  • United Nations, in the East River along the Manhattan shoreline from 125 yards offshore at the Queensboro Bridge to 175 yards offshore at East 35th Street;
  • Within 25 yards of all bridge piers or abutments, overhead power cables and tunnel ventilators in the waters of the greater NY area and along the Hudson River;
  • Within 100 yards of all anchored or moored Coast Guard vessels,
  • Around Piers 84-96, Manhattan, bound by the following points: the northeast corner of Pier 96 where it intersects the seawall, thence to approximate position 40°46-23.1"N, 073°59-59.0"W, thence to approximate position 40°45-55.3"N, 074°00-20.2"W (NAD 1983), thence to the southeast corner of Pier 84 where it intersects the seawall, thence along the shoreline to the point of origin; and
  • The Indian Point Nuclear Power Station on the Hudson River, within 300-yards of approximate position (41°16-12.4-N, 073°57-16.2-W). All vessels transiting the Hudson River in the vicinity of Indian Point are subject to random Coast Guard boardings. The New York Naval Militia Vessel PRIVATEER and patrol boat (call sign P-231) are moored to the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant providing water front security. Mariners are requested to pass the Power Plant at a no wake speed, while the vessels are moored at the pier.
  • All waters of Bowery and Flushing Bays within approximately 100 yards of La Guardia Airport;
  • All waters of Bergen Basin north of 40-39-26.4-N;
  • All waters of Thurston Basin north of 40-38-21.2-N;
  • All waters of Jamaica Bay within approximately 100 yards of John F. Kennedy Airport; and
  • All waters of Eastchester Bay within approximately 100 yards of Rodman Neck, south of City Island Bridge.


  • All waters between the Military Ocean and Global Marine Terminals west of the New Jersey Pier Head channel;
  • Within a 25-yard radius of every waterfront facility, as defined in 33 CFR 6.01-4; and
  • Within a 100-yard radius of any passenger ship, or vessel, or barge carrying petroleum or chemical products in bulk;
  • All waters of Newark Bay, around Port Newark and Port Elizabeth, bound by the following points: from the NJ Turnpike Extension Bridge (approximate position 40-41-46.5N, 074-07-20.4W), following the Western edge of the Newark Bay Channel, South through Can Buoy #19A, Lighted Buoy #17, Can Buoy #15A, Lighted Buoy #7 and the west to approximate position 40-39-21.5N, 074-09-54.3W.

Additional waterways information regarding Coast Guard Sector New York Area of Responsibility is available online in the –Waterways Management- section of the Captain of the Port New York Zone.

Sure Sign of the Summer Season: Troy, NY, Lock Opens:
The US Army Corp of Engineers has announced that the Hudson River Troy Lock will open for the navigation season at 6:00 A.M. on May 1, 2006. Mariners are advised to contact the Lock on marine channel 13 or by telephone at 518-272-6442 to request passage when they are in the vicinity of the Lock. The Troy Lock will operate seven days per week between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. Commercial traffic may request passage during non-scheduled operating hours by contacting the Lock at 518-272-6442 at least 24 hours prior to requested passage.

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