The ICW trouble spots develop anywhere an inlet or river crosses the ICW. At every change of the current, sand moves into and out of the ICW channel. Most of the changes are gradual. Whether gradual, or cataclysmic due to passing storms, you do want to have up to date information on the conditions at each of these inlet crossings as you move along the waterway.
Having identified the historically recognized trouble spots in a previous post, now how do you access up to date information and changes?
1. Update charts on your tablet or phone frequently.
2. Update your charts on your chartplotter. NOAA updates dozens of charts every week. Surprisingly, it does not take much bandwidth to download the charts, and we have been able to do it easily with a MiFi or tethered cell phone.
3. If you are a BoatUS member, BOATUS EAST COAST ALERTS A free service, produced by Mel Neale. It is a very concise accumulation of the most pertinent changes taken from the USCG Notice to Mariners in Districts #5 and #7
4. Crowdsourced content;
a. Active Captain – This crowdsourced data indicates hazards along the waterway.
b. Salty Southeast Cruisers Net https://cruisersnet.net/ . Covers most of the important Notice to Mariner updates.
c. Waterway Guide Explorer Waterway Guide has some out of date content, however, the alerts are geo-located on charts, which until you have cruised the ICW 3 or 4 times, you will find helpful.
5. USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) Surveys. There are 5 USACE Districts along the AICW.
a. Norfolk, VA,
b. Wilmington, NC.
c. Charleston, SC.
d. Savannah, GA.
e. Jacksonville, FL.
Take the time to create a folder on your browser for all or the above websites and others you find helpful. These websites will be key to snagging the latest information on ICW conditions.
In the picture attached we see the December 2018 USACE Wilmington District survey of the New River Inlet Crossing, with waypoints too.
Follow the ICW Facebook page HERE!