Pooles Island Restricted Area Clarification - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 09-16-2010
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Question Pooles Island Restricted Area Clarification

I recently started sailing out of Middle River, MD. The chart clearly shows a restricted area beginning at Pooles Is. encompassing an area up to the Susquehana Rv.
I am seeing a lot of boats, power and sail, going between Pooles Island and the mainland (Ricketts Pt.). It is clearly within the restricted area. This route would save a lot of time going north or coming south back to the Middle River area.
Whats the deal??
Jim
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Old 09-16-2010
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Lets check out the chart:

Chart 12273

Well, the restriction on chart 12273 says:
"ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS RESTRICTED AREA 334.140 (see notes A and C)"

remember that number, 334.140

Note C:
"CAUTION- Unexploded ammunition or ordnance (duds) may exist within the limits of the restricted area"

Note A:
Navigation regulations are published in Chapter 2, US Coast Pilot 3. Additional revisions to chapter 2 are published in the Notice to Mariners..... etc etc etc.

So we go to the US Coast Pilot 3, Chapter 2:

http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/n...3ed-Ch02_3.pdf

Go to page 143-144 for the full official explanation. But the main points are:

§334.140 Chesapeake Bay; United States Army
Proving Ground Reservation, Aberdeen,MD.
(that number looks familiar!)

(b) Authority delegated Commanding Officer. The
Commanding Officer, Aberdeen Proving Ground, has
been delegated the authority by the Secretary of the
Army to designate from time to time by suitably posted
bulletins or announcements, the conditions under
which the public, including food fishermen and
crabbers, may enter restricted waters of the Aberdeen
Proving Ground.

(2578) (1) The following water areas are closed to the public
at all times:

see list of fully restricted areas too long to copy and paste

(2585) (2) The remainder of the restricted areas will normally
be open for authorized use (including navigation
and fishing) during the following hours:
(2586) (i) Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.;
(2587) (ii) Weekends, 5 p.m. Friday to 7:30 a.m. Monday;
(2588) (iii) National (not State) holidays, 5 p.m. the day
preceding the holiday to 7:30 a.m. the day following the
holiday.



(5) Authorized use. Authorized use as used in this
section is defined as fishing from a vessel, navigation
using a vessel to transverse a water area, or anchoring a
vessel in a water area. Any person who touches any
land, or docks or grounds a vessel, within the boundaries
of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is not using
the area for an authorized use
and is in violation of
this regulation.

(2590) (4) A fleet of patrol boats will be positioned at the
perimeter of the restricted water zone boundaries (except
in extreme weather conditions such as gales or
ice) during periods of testing to prevent unauthorized
entry. If necessary to attract attention of another vessel
about to penetrate the restricted area, the patrol boat
may operate a distinctive rotating blue and red light,
public address system, and sound a siren, or by radio
contact on shipshore FM channel 16 and citizen band
channel 12. Buoys will mark the restricted waters
along the Chesapeake Bay perimeter during the period,
normally 4 June through 1 October annually.



long story short, you may go through during allowed times. if you try to go through when they don't want you to a patrol boat will let you know. and don't try to set foot on dry or subaqueos land (that means no getting grounded). sorry, no self guided tours of Pooles Island Lighthouse.
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Last edited by Sapperwhite; 09-17-2010 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-16-2010
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Oh, and be careful, pay attention to the charted shoal jutting out towards Pooles Is. from Robins Pt.!
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Old 09-16-2010
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Rarely is the channel between Pooles Island and the 'mainland' ever restricted for passage. Only once in 30+ years have I ever been unable to make that passage. Pooles Island hasnt been used as an artillery impact area for many many years (probably WWI). In the unlikely event that there is active firing at Pooles, an APG patrol boat will stop you if you are in the active restricted areas.

That said, If however you see large splashes and explosions in the water next to your boat ... consider the restricted area to be 'active'. ;-)
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Old 09-16-2010
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Sapperwhite: thanks for the info and 'link'. The boat I saw pass thru the restricted area did it on a Wed. afternoon, so I assume there was nothing going on for a patrol boat to intercept him. I know the passage will save me a lot of time going north......but then a nice sail around Pooles Is. might do just fine.
That shoal is well marked with a Grn Can #1....I am now sailing a 3' draft keel W/a 3' board.....when in doubt I pull up the board. I now go places that a 5'6" keel would not permit.
Thanks again to all for the info..
Jim
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Old 09-17-2010
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Good post Sapper. FWIW, earlier this summer I inquired with a phone call to APG if we could anchor for the night on the Bush River, answer = NO
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Old 09-17-2010
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found this .. may be of interest.. Chesapeake Chapter, US Lighthouse Society - Our Lighthouse Heritage - Pooles Island
funny how the military gets to "litter" when everyone else has to go "green" Nothing green about old bombs sitting around.

"the island was used for bombing and shelling practice from 1918 through the early 1960's. There are many unexploded bombs and shells all over the island."
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Old 09-17-2010
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Makes for a nice wildlife sanctuary ...and last I checked the Bush & Gunpwder Rivers had some of the best ratings from the CBF.

http://www.eco-check.org/reportcard/chesapeake/2009/


Last edited by T37Chef; 09-17-2010 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-08-2010
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I really find that little cove on the east side of the island inviting. It's a shame they don't clean that place up. What a nice place that would be to have as a boaters park!
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Old 10-08-2010
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It is active on occasion; I've been chased out of the restricted area before. Watch for the blue and white boats, generally hovering near the yellow markers. Also, monitor 16.
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