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DIRECTIONS.—The channel from sea to Wilmington is a dredged cut from 300 to 400 feet wide, the currents have considerable velocity, the dredged channel across the bar is subject to a gradual change in position, and strangers are advised to take a pilot. Unless with a local pilot, vessels do not run the river at night; sailing vessels require a towboat.
i. FROM NORTHWARD.—The safer course, and the one generally used by large, deep-draft vessels, is to pass outside of Frying Pan Shoals gas, whistling and submarine bell
buoy. From Cape Lookout Shoals light vessel a 230° true (SW. 34 W. mag.) course for 78 miles will lead to Frying Pan Shoals gas, whistling and submarine bell buoy, or a 238° true (SW. by W. 38 W. mag.) course made good for 84 miles will lead to Frying Pan Shoals light vessel.
From Frying Pan Shoals gas, whistling and submarine bell buoy steer 297° true (NW. by W. 3/8 W. mag.) for 12 miles to Frying Pan Shoals light vessel. Then steer 2900 true (WNW. mag:) for 7 miles to a position 3 miles southward of Frying Pan Shoals whistling buoy. Then steer 338° true (N. by W.34 W.mag.) for 1442 miles, passing 11/2 miles westward of Frying Pan Shoals whistling buoy and to the gas and whistling buoy off the entrance of Cape Fear River.
1A. FROM SOUTHWARD.-The principal danger southward of Frying Pan Shoals is the broken ground extending off between Cape Romain and Winyah Bay, on which there is a depth of 334 fathoms near the wreck of the Hector lying 11 miles from shore. The wreck is marked by a gas and whistling buoy. Another wreck 142 miles northward is marked by a red and black nun. Deep-draft vessels should pass outside of this broken ground, giving the coast a berth of over 12 miles, and this is the safer course for all vessels at night. When clear of the broken ground the course can be shaped for the gas and whistling buoy off the entrance of Cape Fear River. When approaching from the southwestward in daytime the water tanks on Fort Caswell will generally be picked up before Cape Fear lighthouse.
Currents.-Except with northeasterly winds, some overrun, probably amounting to 0.5 knot at times, may be expected in approaching from southward. (See currents on page 33.)
2. SEA TO SOUTHPORT.-The channel over the bar is subject to change, and strangers should be guided by the buoys and range lights. The successive surveys show that the Middle Ground is gradually moving southward and encroaching on the channel marked by the Bald Head range lights. The ranges leading into the river had recently been moved to conform to the channel changes due to the encroachments of the shoals and they now lead through the best water, although further shifting of the shoals may be expected.
From a position 50 yards northward of Cape Fear River entrance gas and whistling buoy, 2 C. F. (flashing white), steer in on the New Channel range, course 58° true (NE. by E. 12 E. mag.). When nun buoy No. 4 is abeam, steer 96° true (Ě. 34 S. mag.) with the Bald Head range (pyramidal skeleton structures, white day marks) in line ahead. After passing can buoy No. 5 starboard slowly to meet Smith Island range. Bring it on line ahead on course 32o true (NE. by N. mag.). Do not cross this range to the westward in the vicinity of can buoy No. 5A. When abeam of Fort Caswell range front light star
board, and bring that range (rear light, Bald Head lighthouse) on over the stern, on course 334o true (NNW. mag.). Hold 200 yards eastward of the range when passing can buoy 7A coming back when abeam of Fort Caswell. Leave Battery Island light (red structure) about 250 yards on the starboard hand. Then haul gradually northward and pass the small islet just southward of Southport at a distance of about 300 yards, and the wharves at a distance of about 200 yards.
3. SOUTHPORT TO REEVES POINT.-Pass the wharves at Southport at a distance of about 200 yards, pass midway between can buoy No. 9 and a yellow nun buoy, and steer 56° true (NE. by E. 14 E. mag.) with lower Swash Channel range lights in line ahead until up with nun buoy No. 64. Above this point the aids marking the edge of the dredged cuts should be passed at a distance of about 200 feet.
From nun buoy No. 6A steer 45° true (NE. 14 E. mag.) for 214 miles with Snow Marsh Channel range lights in line ahead. When can buoy No. 13 is abeam, steer 24o true (NNE. 38 E. mag.), with Horseshoe Shoal Channel range lights (Lower Swash Channel front in line with Bald Head lighthouse) in line astern, for 1 mile until up with can buoy No. 13A. Then steer 5o true (N. 58 E. mag.) for 1 mile, with Reeves Point Channel range lights in line astern, until abreast nun buoy No. 10.
4. REEVES POINT TO CAMPBELL ISLAND.-From nun buoy No. 10 steer 15o true (N. by E. 58 E. mag.) for nearly 142 miles, with Lower Midnight Channel range lights in line ahead, until abreast beacon No. 17. Then steer 359o true (N. 18 E. mag.) for 142 miles, with Upper Midnight Channel range lights in line astern, until abreast can buoy No. 19.
From can buoy No. 19 steer 315o true (N. by W. mag.), with Orton Cove lower range lights in line astern for nearly 34 mile. When 250 yards southward of nun buoy 12, haul slowly northward and leave it 200 feet on the starboard hand.
When past the buoy, steady on course 24o true (NNE. 38 E. mag.), with Orton_Cove upper range lights in line ahead, for 34 mile. Pass Orton Point at a distance of about 150 yards and when nearly up to the wharf just above Orton Point steer 13o true (N. by E. 38 E. mag.) for 11/4 miles, with Lower Liliput Channel range lights in line ahead.
Continue the course until abreast can buoy No. 23 and then steer 352o true (N. 12 W. mag.) for 15/8 miles, with Upper Liliput Channel range lights in line astern until abreast nun buoy 16A. Then steer 2° 30' true (N. 1/2 E. mag.) with Keg Island Channel range lights in line ahead.
5. CAMPBELL ISLAND TO WILMINGTON.-Continue on the Keg Island Channel range, and when beacon No. 25 is abeam steer 3300 true (NNW.38 W.mag.) for 58 mile, with Big Island Channel lower range lights in line astern. When beacon No. 25A is a beam steer 307° 30' true (NW. 38 W. mag.) for 38 mile, with Big Island Channel upper range lights in line astern.
Pass between buoy No. 22 and beacon No. 25B and steer 334° true (NNW. mag.) for 112 miles, with Lower Brunswick Channel range lights in line ahead. When buoy No. 26 is abeam steer 11° true
(N. by E. 14. E. mag:) for 7/8 mile, with Upper Brunswick Channel range lights in line ahead.
When abreast buoy No. 27 steer 5o true (N. 34 E. mag.) with Fourth Eastern Jetty range lights in line astern for 1 mile. When buoy No. 29 is abeam steer 336° true (N. by W. 18 W. mag.) with Upper Brunswick Channel range rear light astern for 14 mile, and when buoy No. 28 is abeam steer 2o true (N. 38 E. mag.) for 78 mile, with Clarks Island range lights in line astern.
When buoy No. 30 is abeam steer 18° true (N. by E. 78 E. mag.) with Eagle Island Light astern for 1 mile, and then follow the wharves on the eastern side of the river at a distance of 50 to 100 yards.
COAST FROM CAPE FEAR TO WINYAH BAY.
From Cape Fear the coast trends first in a northwesterly direction, then curves gradually westward and southward to the entrance of Winyah Bay, That part of the Atlantic Ocean bordering on this curved coast is known as Long Bay. The coast is 80 miles in length between Cape Fear and Georgetown lighthouses, and consists of a sand beach, with numerous small sand hills, separated from the heavily wooded mainland by small streams and marsh; from offshore the woods appear to extend to the water. The coast is clear and 4 fathoms can be taken as close as 112 miles from the beach; the 10-fathom curve is from 18 to 21 miles offshore, and inside of it the water shoals gradually as the shore is approached. There is no inside passage; there are three inlets, with shifting bars, that can be entered by light-draft vessels with local knowledge.
Western Bar Channel, close to Oak Island at Fort Caswell, is used considerably by small craft from Cape Fear River bound westward along the coast. It is good for about 6 feet at low tide, but is not buoyed. The best water lies from 100 to 150 yards from shore southward of Fort Caswell, and from there the channel through the shoals trends about 256o true (W. by S. mag.): Abreast the life-saving station the shore should not be approached closer than 1/4 mile.
Lockwoods Folly Inlet is about 11 miles westward of Cape Fea. River. The depth on the bar is 3 feet at low tide, and there are no), aids; the passage over the bar to the river is said to be difficult. Lockwoods Folly River is navigable for a draft of 5 feet at high water for a distance of 18 miles to Supply post office. The head of navigation is Lockwoods Folly Bridge, about 4 miles above Supply. The range of the tide is 442 feet near the inlet and 2 feet at Supply.
Shallotte Inlet, about 1842 miles westward of Cape Fear River, has a depth of about 3 feet at low water on the bar. Shallotte River is navigable a distance of 101,2 miles to the closed bridge at the town of Shallotte; boats without masts might go a few miles farther. Where the river is most obstructed, from 2 to 312 miles above the inlet, a channel has been dredged along the western bank. There is a depth of 3 feet at low water to Whites Landing, and 2 feet in the next 2 miles to Shallotte. The range of tide is about 412 feet near the inlet and 3 feet at Shallotte. Tubbs Inlet, 5 miles westward of Shallotte Inlet, had a depth in 1916 of about 4 feet in an unmarked channel across the bar. There is a landing and store 1 mile from the inlet, to which a depth of 5 feet can be carried at high water.
Little River Inlet, South Carolina, is about 27 miles westward of Cape Fear River. The opening, about 114 miles wide between spits, is partly filled by Bird Island, which is 34 mile wide. The main channel is close westward of Bird Island; in 1921 there was a depth of 4 feet at low tide on the bar, but the channel changes in depth and position. The channel across the bar is marked by buoys which are shifted as the channel changes. Boats up to 7 feet draft go to the wharf at the lower end of Little River, a town on the river of the same name about 31/2 miles above the entrance. A branch making eastward is known as Calabash Creek. The river is obstructed by shoals and difficult for a distance of 114 miles below the wharf to the lower sawmill. The entrance is marked by a prominent, high, white sand dune on Waiters Island, on the west side of the inlet and a beacon on the western part of Bird Island.
From Little River Inlet to Murrells Inlet, a distance of 3142 miles, the coast trends southwestward, sweeping in somewhat 'from a straight line joining the two points. For about 5 miles west from Little River Inlet the coast is backed by a strip of marsh lying between it and the woods on the mainland, and the same is true for about the same distance to the northward and eastward of Murrells Inlet. For the rest of the stretch the woods rise immediately back of the beach, which shows the usual stretch of sand, with many hills more or less conspicuous. In this stretch of coast there are many inlets, but none with sufficient water to make them of any commercial importance.
Myrtle Beach is a summer resort with railroad communication on the beach on the east side at the mouth of Eight Mile, or Wither, Swash, nearly 20 miles west-southwestward of Little River Inlet and 311/2 miles north-northeastward of Georgetown lighthouse.
Murrells Inlet communicates with Main and Drunken Jack Creeks, which drains a considerable extent of swamp lying between the coast and mainland.
North Inlet, about 7 miles northward of Georgetown lighthouse, is connected by both Town Creek and Jones Creek with Winyah Bay; Jones Creek, the southerly thoroughfare, is easier to follow and is good for 6 feet at high tide. In 1921 there were two openings about 12 mile apart. The southern entrance had a depth of about 3 feet on the bar, is the easier to enter, and the only one that should be used by strangers. The high sand dunes between the two inlets are the most prominent in this vicinity. Strangers are advised not to enter with a greater draft than 3 or 4 feet, and then only with a smooth sea and on a rising tide. The best water in 1921 led southwestward of a wreck, showing above high water, just outside the entrance. The appearance of the water is the best guide. When inside, haul southward to pass midway between the sand spit and the marsh, and follow the marsh on the starboard hand southward through Jones Creek. One mile below the inlet Jones Creek bends west-southwest, then south; beyond this last bend keep to the left at all openings. From the southern end of the creek steer about 218° true (SW. 1 S. mag.) for red buoy No. 4 in Winyah Bay. The average rise and fall of the tide is 4.5 feet.
Georgetown lighthouse, near the south end of North Island, east side of Winyah Bay, is a white tower and dwelling. The light is fixed
white, 85 feet above the water, and visible 15 miles. Storm warnings are displayed near the lighthouse. A radio compass station is close southeastward of the lighthouse.
Winyah Bay South Jetty light structure is a black, pyramidal, skeleton tower on a mound at the end of the south jetty, entrance of Winyah Bay. The light is flashing white (flash 0.5 second, eclipse 4.5 seconds), 30 feet above the water, and visible 11 miles.
is the first opening of any importance southward of Cape Fear River. In 1921 there was a depth of 18 feet or more in the channel over the bar, and inside the bay a channel 13 feet deep is available to Georgetown.
The city of Georgetown is situated on the north bank of the Sampit River, just inside its mouth; it has considerable trade in lumber, naval stores, and cotton. It is the terminus of a branch of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The river trade to the Santee, Waccamaw, and Peedee Rivers is considerable.
Waccamaw River empties from northward into Winyah Bay just above Georgetown; it has low-water depths of 12 feet to Bucksport, 30 miles; 9 feet to Conway, 44 miles; and 2 feet to Reeves Ferry, 102 miles. At high-water stages 3 feet can be taken 26 miles farther up the river to Lake Waccamaw, the head of navigation. The most important landing is Conway.
Peedee River empties into Winyah Bay just westward of Waccamaw River; it has low-water depths of 9 feet to Smiths Mills, 45 miles, and about 342 feet to Cheraw, 145 miles, but above Caines Landing, 86 miles, the river is obstructed by snags.
Black River empties from northward into Peedee River about 31/2 miles above its mouth; it is navigable for river steamers for a distance of 44 miles. Mingo Creek empties into Black River, about 22 miles above its mouth; it has a low-water depth of about 8 feet for a distance of 10 miles to Hemmingway Bridge, the head of navigation, but there are many sharp bends.
Little Peedee River empties from northward into Peedee River from 30 miles above Winyah Bay and is navigable at high-water stages a distance of 41 miles to Gallivant Bridge for vessels of 242 feet draft. The head of navigation is Little Rock, 98 miles above the mouth of the river. At low-water stages the river is nearly dry.
Sampit River is entered from Georgetown Harbor through a dredged channel 100 feet wide and 1642 feet deep, or a 14-foot channel 200 feet wide, which leads through the extensive shoals obstructing the mouth of the river. The depth in the river channel for a distance of 212 miles above the dredged cut is 18 feet, and this is the depth abreast the city of Georgetown. The principal landing above Georgetown is Sampit, about 10 miles above the mouth of the river.
The Estherville-Minim Creek Canal, having a width of 40 to 50 feet and depth of about 6 feet at low water, connects the Santee River with Winyah Bay. The entrance to this canal is about 7 miles below Georgetown and 3 miles above the quarantine station. There has been a shoaling at the entrance to the canal, to 21/2 feet at low water.