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  #11  
Old 05-20-2007
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2007
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st augustine inlet

Last week I sailed a boat down from Jacksonville for a guy and caught a perfect NE wind which fairly spat me down the coast at 7kts. Weather was forecasted to be good with scattered showers and a low stalling above Savannah GA. About even with Mickler crossing (Ponte Vedra) an unforecasted foul storm blew over from on shore and quite roiled things up -- big rollers were up from the long NE fetch, and the storm brought rain and lightning.

Since I had to motor up from 25 miles down the St Johns river first before making the jetty at Mayport, I would make the inlet at about 10pm. I would NEVER attempt the inlet at night without much local knowledge. For some reason none of the lighted markers were working, and a spotlight solved that once inside.

But here is the most important thing to remember at any tide. Dredging spoils were dumped on the north edge of the channel off the beach. In the day time you can see the waves breaking on the dredgings which are shallow enough to walk on. You MUST come in at a right angle from at least 1.5 NM out, STRAIGHT into the channel. Do not "cut the corner" from either direction. Do not attempt it at night without first acquiring local knowledge. And as pointed out above, it is rather narrow, though big enough when you are familiar with it.

Once inside, the seemingly large, friendly-looking harbor is not a free sailing lake. Shoals move around in there. Think of the channel as a Y with the left branch going south towards a raising bridge (Bridge of Lions) and the intracoastal, and the right branch going up under the Vilano bridge up intracoastal North. Going straight will get you in trouble with anything over two feet of draft. The right branch is a bit close to shore but stay with the markers. There is a fixed hazard marker towards the beginning of the "Y branch" that many mistake for a channel marker and go aground on the high bottom there, instead of letting it go by to port.

Hope this helps but you probably already went through it by now!
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Old 07-25-2007
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The channel is quite straight forward now. Straight in, lots of water. Shoals a bit on the red side where the ICW joins it, once you get in past the rocks on the south side. The real question is the Bridge of Lions. Lately they've restricted the openings to a couple of times a day. Towboat US is very helpful if you require a bit of local knowledge when you get there.
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Old 07-25-2007
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Hope this helps but you probably already went through it by now!
PBzeer's long past that point, believe he's currently on the hard in Oriental NC having bottom work done.
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Old 07-25-2007
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Got that right TB. St Augustine was straightforward, in and back out, as Vasco said. I didn't go in St Augustine itself, anchoring in Salt Run, just inside the inlet. That was not a good anchorage. Very soft, gooey mud that wouldn't hold my CQR at all.

On the hard at Deaton's Yacht Service, Oriental, NC
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2007
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John,

The inlet is fine in settled weather. I just used it in June. Don't remember the depths precisely but that's because they never seemed threateningly shallow. We draw about 4.5 feet, though. There are tow operators you can call on VHF who can give you the latest advice.

Peter Swanson
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Old 11-17-2008
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What's the Skinny Now

How Skinny is the water these days at St Augustine inlet. Any one have some recent info?

Thanks
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  #18  
Old 11-17-2008
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Mike...there were reports of buoys off position and as of 11/12 the buoys were back on position and the inlet should be navigable as charted. No shoaling reports anywhere I could find. I can't imagine you guys having any problem wth it.
Also...PONCE inlet is reported newly dredged and good depths just in case you need another option!
Glad to see you guys making progress...hope the girls are enjoying the trip!
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2008
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Dockage in Ft. Lauderdale

Dockage in FtLauderdale can be pricey. If you get there early there are town moorings just south of the Los Olas Blvd. bridge. They are first come, first served and there are only a dozen or so. You pick one up, if it's available, and go over to the Municipal dock to pay. I forget the price, but it's a lot less than a dock at the megamarina a litttle farther south.

As far as St. Augustine, the inlet is very busy but, if you have a good chart and pay attention, it's not hard. You have to keep to the north coming in and then the channels go right and left, with a big shoal area in the center. You really have to pay attention because there are lots of bouys and the channel location sometimes isn't really obvious. The downloadable NOAA charts are great and always up to date if you have a suitable chartplotter. I'm not sure if the sticky with the printable charts is still in this forum, but I looked at them and they can be downloaded and printed if you have a printer.

Dick Pluta
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  #20  
Old 11-17-2008
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Cam,
Thanks. We're liking the outside much better than the ICW in most places, but wanted to stop at St. Augustine. I thought we shouldn't have a problem if the weather was fine, and a favorable tide.

As a matter of fact today we arrived at Cumberland Island (as you suggested) from Charleston on the outside. We'll be here a couple of days before heading to St. Augustine.

The girls are finally getting the hang of the home schooling. They just realized that if they work hard they can be done with school in just a few hours rather than letting it take all day long.

Dick,
I just downloaded a new chart, with corrections, and it says the same as last year's download: "The bar is subject to freuent changes, Entrance bouys are not charted becasue they are shifted frequently in position" I do love the free charts for download though, they make a nice little back up. they're also pretty good for planning too. I've been using Offshore Navigator Lite or Raymaraine RayTec Navigator to read them. Do you have a better option?

Thanks for your help.
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