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Halftide Rocks


Halftide Rocks

Keep your keel on your boat where it belongs!

If it's high tide and you are about to pass in front of the American Yacht Club while following the channel upriver, you may be tempted to turn toward the club house and shoot across the open water and into the AYC mooring area only a short distance away. DON'T! Lurking a few yards to the south of green can C-17 are the aptly named Halftide Rocks, which are quite an obvious hazard about three hours after high tide. These rocks have claimed more than their fair share of fiberglass, wood, lead, and propellers - not to mention whole boats. Be especially careful at night since the channel here is quite narrow.

a map showing basic approach to Halftide Rocks

Your Best Approaches

Depending on tide, here are the best methods to use in avoiding the hazard when approaching the club or mooring field

When you are heading upriver, be aware that the riverís current on an ebb tide (current downstream against you) can run very fast, so it is advisable to run past green can C-17 for some distance before attempting the port turn toward the clubhouse. Even then, you should crab against the current by keeping your bow pointed to the right of the club. With a flood tide (current upstream with you), it is safe to turn soon after passing C-17. Unless you know the area, it is also not advisable to cross behind the rocks into the eastern end of the mooring area; it does shoal in places.

When you are headed downriver (from the direction of Newburyport downtown), the approach to the AYC clubhouse is unobstructed as long as you turn to starboard toward the club well before reaching green can C-17. Once approaching the mooring area, either pull up to the AYC floats or hail the AYC Launch on channel 72 for assistance in finding a guest mooring.

If you are bypassing the AYC, just stay in the marked channel between green can C-17 and the concrete day mark (R-18).

As always, for your own safety, we recommend the use of reliable navigational charts and aids, as well as good sense and seamanship.

This page was updated 2007-03-12 12:38:26 by Tom Lochhaas, Editor