It will come as absolutely NO surprise to any member of the Southeastern USA cruising community when I say that the Atlantic ICW has become a trouble plagued superhighway for vessels of all descriptions. And, of course, the reason is shoaling along any number of points in the Waterway's north to south (or vice-verse) run.
We at the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net have decided to take a bold step to help the cruising community work through these Waterway difficulties during this fall, 2007 transient season. WHAT WE HAVE DONE IS TO PROVIDE A SERIES OF SIX DETAILED, ON-THE-WATER VIDEOS WHICH COVER WHAT WE BELIEVE ARE THE SIX MOST PROBLEM PLAGUED STRETCHES OF THE ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY! In these videos, we suggest clues as to the best ways to bypass or safely cruise through the various hazards, and in all instances, we show you where we found the shallowest water.
WE ARE PROVIDING THESE VIDEOS TO THE CRUISING COMMUNITY AT ABSOLUTELY NO CHARGE! That's right, all you need do to begin checking out the detailed data contained in our "ICW Problem Stretch Videos" is go to http://www.CruisersNet.net
, and then peruse the navigational buttons along the left side of the page. There, you will see a new category entitled, "Cruisers' Net Video Channel." Under this heading will be links to all six of the "ICW Problem Stretch Videos," and an introductory video. May we be so bold as to suggest that during your first visit to the Cruisers' Net Video Channel, watch our introductory video. This short presentation will provide a good overview of what we have tried to accomplish.
Our videos run on Windows Media Player. PLEASE NOTE* THAT YOU MUST PRESS THE PLAY BUTTON TWICE!!!!!!! More detailed instructions are included on the introductory pages. After pressing the "Play: button for the second time, there will be a delay before the video starts to play. How long a delay depends on the speed of your internet connection., With a business class cable modem, we have seen delays as short as one second, while a mid-speed DSL connection yielded a delay of 10 to 15 seconds.
Of course, all cruisers should recognize that channels and aids to navigation change, often without any notice. While our ICW videos provide insights into what we found during our September, 2007 visit to these troubled waters, THINGS COULD BE VERY DIFFERENT BY THE TIME OF YOUR ARRIVAL. Aids to navigation are frequently shifted, added to, or deleted entirely. Bottom strata changes, and depths could also be quite different. As time goes by, the likelihood of such alternations grow exponentially. We strongly suggest that cruisers do NOT attempt to make use of the info contained in our ICW video series later than December 31, 2007.
Also, Do NOT rely solely on the information contained in our ICW video series. Failure to follow on-the-water reality, even when it differs from the information contained in our video series, is the sole responsibility of captain and crew!
WE HOPE TO MAKE OUR "ICW Problem Stretch Videos" A REGULAR SEMI-ANNUAL FEATURE ON THE SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET VIDEO CHANNEL. You can help in this process by identifying other sections of the Waterway for possible inclusion in our Spring, 2008 series of Waterway videos. PLEASE send your suggestions to CrusingWriter@CruisersNet.net
Good luck and good cruising to all!
Claiborne S. Young
Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net