Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Work in Progress at Crisfield and Onancock


The town of Crisfield is still reeling from the effects of last year's Hurricane Sandy, but Somers Cove Marina is fully operational, with the same easy access off the channel into its well-protected basin. On a visit earlier this month, we found the recently installed floating docks for transients a breeze. And the fuel dock and pump out are just a short hop away. Dinner at Waterman's Inn was excellent (as always), and there are others nearby that we passed up reluctantly. The ice cream shop next to the public pier has a great place to tie up small boats and dinghies. The pier itself, however, is closed while it is entirely rebuilt. It should be back in use this spring.


On a stop by Onancock's Wharf, also this September, we found that construction was still underway to the new dockmaster's office, restrooms and shower facilities. Meanwhile, transients will find the hard-working dockmaster in a small trailer at the edge of the marina and will have to depend on their own boats for the other amenities. Things should be back to normal this spring.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Notices to Mariners Updates: August 30, 2013

Piankatank River, Gwynn Island Bridge closure

Mariners are advised that structural rehabilitation and tender house modification will be conducted at the VA State Route 233 (swing) Bridge over Milford Haven at Gwynn's Island near Hudgins. The construction work may require four 24-hour periods where the drawbridge will be unable to open to navigation between October 1 and March 31. Closings will be broadcast during local notices to mariners. Vertical clearance of the swing bridge closed is about 12 feet mean high water.  (Tom Hale of the Waterway Guide has reported that the bridge mechanics broke down August 25, and that the bridge will remain closed until repair work can be completed.) 

Gilmerton Bridge Demolition Update

Mariners are advised that bridge demolition work continues on the old Gilmerton (US13/460) (36.775082° -76.294999°) Bridge, at AICW mile 5.8, across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Va. To facilitate the demolition work, mariners are advised that until December 31 PCL construction will be placing an environmental containment cell around the old bascule pier and its fenders on the east side only. The channel-ward side of the containment cell will be rigidly connected to the existing fender system with 8" x 8" timber fenders attached, effectively reducing the channel horizontal clearance from to 124 ft. During installation and removal there will be a 60 ft-wide barge in the channel, which can be moved, with a 1 hour advanced notice. PCL can be reached via VHF channel 13 and 16 or via the Gilmerton Bridge tender on VHF channel 13. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting this area.

I-64 High Rise Bridge No Openings

This will not affect those who can manage a 65-foot vertical clearance. Mariners are advised that the I-64 Lift Bridge (36.757734°-76.296228°), at AICW mile 7.1, across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, at Chesapeake, will be closed to vessels requiring an opening to facilitate maintenance of the moveable spans from 7 a.m., on Friday, September 13, through 5 p.m., on Sunday, September 15, and again from 7 a.m., on Friday, September 20, through 5 p.m., on Sunday, September 22, 2013. Inclement weather dates will be from 7 a.m., on Friday, September 27, through 5 p.m., on Sunday, September 29. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate as usual.

Yorktown Weapons Station Dredging

The Dredge MOBRO 112 will be conducting dredging operations at the Yorktown Weapons Station (37.254729° -76.532382°) until September 30. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Lafayette River Dredging

The W. F. Magann Corp. will be conducting dredging operations in the Lafayette River outside of the navigational channel, opposite the Norfolk Yacht Club (36.904974° -76.308199°) until November 30. The assisting tug CAPTAIN REESE will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Norfolk Naval Base Dredging

The Dredge LEXINGTON will be conducting dredging operations at the Norfolk Naval Base Piers 1 through 12 until November 1. A submerged pipeline will cross the channel at Elizabeth River Lighted Buoy 11 (LLNR 9525) (36-55-51.573N, 076-20-11.249W) and Elizabeth River Channel Lighted Buoy 12 (LLNR 9530). The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16.

Choptank River Artificial Reef Construction

Mariners are advised that artificial reef construction operations are scheduled to conclude in the Choptank River on October 5, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Artificial Reef Program, has been deploying about 300 reef-ball structures at a permitted underwater site located between the Sen. Frederick C. Malkus, Jr., Memorial Bridge (U.S. 50, in case you don't recognize the name) and the Bill Burton Fishing Pier (southern), within the 300-foot long charted fish haven near the Dorchester County shoreline.

New Aquaculture Sites

Metompkin Seafood has established regulatory markers in the Big Annemessex River to mark the corners of two aquaculture sites. All markers are white with an orange (red) diamond and worded "DANGER".
A. Big Annemessex River- East: Warning Marker A 38 03 17.1N, 075 47 50.6W. Warning Marker B 38 03 27.1N, 075 47 53.0W. Warning Marker C 38 03 29.4N, 075 47 46.8W. Warning Marker D 38 03 45.6N, 075 47 35.6W. Warning Marker E 38 03 44.0N, 075 47 21.3W. Warning Marker F 38 03 19.2N, 075 47 45.1W.
B. Big Annemessex River-Moon Bay: Warning Marker A 38 03 53.9N, 075 47 54.3W. Warning Marker B 38 04 03.4N, 075 48 13.9W. Warning Marker C 38 04 21.8N, 075 48 13.9W. Warning Marker D 38 04 09.9N, 075 47 39.4W. (5th District LNM Week 32/2013)
And in the Little Annemessex River here:
A. Little Annemessex River- Lower West: Warning Marker A 37 59 00.30N, 075 52 00.60W. Warning Marker B 37 59 28.40N, 075 51 52.40W. Warning Marker C 37 59 35.80N, 075 52 10.90W. Warning Marker D 37 59 38.60N, 075 51 58.60W. Warning Marker E 37 59 30.40n, 075 51 43.20W. Warning Marker F 37 59 03.20N, 075 51 52.90W.
B. Little Annemessex River-Upper West: Warning Marker A 37 59 42.00N, 075 51 27.70W. Warning Marker B 37 59 42.00N, 075 51 35.50W. Warning Marker C 37 59 35.80N, 075 51 35.80W. Warning Marker D 37 59 28.70N, 075 51 28.70W.
C. Little Annemessex River-East: Warning Marker A 37 59 41.12N, 075 51 22.10W. Warning Marker B 37 59 45.96N, 075 51 17.82W. Warning Marker C 37 59 41.52N, 075 51 07.15W. Warning Marker D 37 59 38.54N, 075 51 09.68W.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dock of the Bay closing

We just received word that owner Larry Thaner has decided to close his popular dock bar and restaurant, Dock of the Bay on Millers Island, Md. He announced yesterday that he was putting the business up for sale. —jas

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What Happens to the Cruise Guide in the Deep Dark Dregs of Winter?


From the Cruise Guide Editor:

Skipper the Ship's Dog and I may be burrowed deep into the duvet in the forward berth, waiting for spring and a season of brave new adventures on the Bay, but I and all the other CBM Guide Gremlins are already hard at work on the 2014 edition of the Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay.

So this would be the perfect time for you too to come out of hibernation just long enough to send us any updates you know about to the 2013 Cruise Guide. These would be any openings and closings around your neck of the Bay—restaurants, marinas, parks, boat ramps, and so forth—as well as any changes in navigation or (shudder) mistakes that we've made. Has your local Back Creek silted over into the channel or has it been dredged recently? Found a new anchorage you'd like to share? Or found an old favorite not so good any more? Let us know. Photos are more than welcome too.

We're planning a number of big changes to this edition that we're pretty excited about, including new clean and beautiful charts. Easier to find marina listings. New cruises. And our usual hundreds and hundreds of updates. But don't worry, the Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay will still be what it always has been: the most complete, accurate and practical-yet-lyrical guide to all of the Bay, from Port Deposit on the Susquehanna to Rudee Inlet on the Atlantic.

So here's your invitation to make a contribution. Send me an email at jody@ChesapeakeBoating.net or hit the Reply button below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask those too.

Meanwhile, keep warm and dream of spring.

Jody Argo Schroath

Friday, December 7, 2012

Temporary closures in December

Still planning a trip south? Both the Norfolk Southern Railway bridge over the Elizabeth River's East Branch and the Dismal Swamp Canal Bridge in South Mills, N.C., will be closed entirely for several days in December. For the schedule of both closings and the other Notices to Chesapeake Mariners, go to the Chesapeake Bay Magazine's Notices to Chesapeake Mariners webpage here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Notice to Mariner Updates

MD Chesapeake Bay

Radar Sensing Operations near Solomons

Mariners are advised that a series of on-water radar sensing operations are scheduled to occur in the Chesapeake Bay on September 19-21 and September 26-28. The dynamic tests will occur in an area south of Solomons, MD and will involve using surface vessels (a moving platform and moving targets) to test an automated detection and reaction system. The target vessels used in the test may be small, low-profile watercraft. Operations will be based out of Solomons. Interested mariners can hail on scene vessels on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 16. Questions or concerns may be directed to WatchStander, LLC at telephone (703) 742-0310, or U. S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore at (410) 576-2693.

VA Elizabeth River, Southern Branch

Closure of Gilmerton Bridge Postponed

The early September closure of the Gilmerton Bridge on the Elizabeth River has been postponed until further notice, according to the Captain of Port Hampton Roads. The closure, which had already been postponed once, was to place the lift span on the new bridge. If you are planning a trip south, check with www.gilmertonbridge.org for the latest news. It is quite likely that the closure will indeed take place later this month.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Gilmerton Bridge Closure

The Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads is establishing a Safety Zone while the new center span for the Gilmerton Bascule Bridge are being transported and put into place. The announced dates for this transit are now from September 5 at 6 a.m. until September 9. The alternate weather dates are September 10-14. The Safety Zone will encompass the transportation of the bridge’s new center span from the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River at the Campostella Bridge to the Gilmerton Bridge site on the Southern Branch. The Safety Zone is all waters within 200 feet either side of the Gilmerton Bridge. Concerned traffic are requested to avoid the transiting area and may contact the bridge on VHF-FM channel 13. Chart: 12253.
 Ed’s note: This closing date was originally set for August, but was changed because of construction delays. So these dates may well change again. We’ll let you know as soon as we know.