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Old 11-21-2009
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St. John's River from Atlantic to Green Cove Springs...

Has anyone on the forum transited the St. John's River from the Atlantic through Jacksonville, Florida to Green Cove Springs? Looks like a five or six-foot tidal range at the mouth of the river. It also looks very, very busy. Any first-hand experience would be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on moving my boat through there during the first week of December.

Last edited by sailhog; 11-21-2009 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 11-21-2009
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It's fairly straightforward. The river is well marked and once you get up to Main Street Bridge it gets real quiet. There is a free dock there just past the bridge on the right side going up. Also you can tie up at the empty marina at the stadium for free. It's only busy when there's a football game or when a boat show is on. The only thing is that the current, especially at ebb, is very strong and if you hit the tide wrong it'll be slow going. One thing to remember, when you enter the river at Mayport your GPS will not function as the naval base there jams the signal. It's a deep, wide river, just stay to the side to keep out of the way of commercial traffic. Lots of car carriers etc.
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Old 11-21-2009
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Piece O Cake

Like Vasco said. No Problem. The river traffic is not bad at all. I have never had any problem with the GPS at Mayport. I travel this area allot. Plan on at least 10 hours to get to Green Cove Springs. I would suggest staying at the City Marina or anchoring behind Exchange Island. Out of the way and good holding.
The river narrows in downtown Jax. The current rips through there at about 3 knots. Try to go with the tide. There is one lift bridge in Jax. The Main Street Bridge which opens on the hour between 7:00 PM and 7:00 PM weekdays . After hours it opens on demand. The rest of the bridges are all at least 65 ft. Past Green Cove the bridge is 45 ft with an additional 2 feet in the middle.

Once through Jax the river opens up to 3 miles wide average depth in the channel is 13 ft. If you get out of the channel it's usually no problem as the bottom is soft mud.

If you need more help call me at Green Cove Springs Marina and ask for Capn Dave
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Old 11-21-2009
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I am in GCS's right across from the 2 cruise ships. Stop in, and say hello.......i2f
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Old 11-22-2009
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This area has been our homeport since '72. There's a good anchorage at the east side of Blount Island 200-300yds. up "Old River" near the houses on the starboard just past the manatee sign. There's plenty of room to stay out of the way of the large commercial traffic. The Main St. Bridge, as referenced above is not on an "on the hour" schedule, but will open on request except for morning and afternoon weekday high traffic hours,- 7-9am & 4-6pm. Just past this bridge to starboard is a floating city dock with free docking for up to 72 hours. The tide range south of Jax decreases to 3' and 2' nearer Green Cove Springs. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 11-22-2009
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
Has anyone on the forum transited the St. John's River from the Atlantic through Jacksonville, Florida to Green Cove Springs? Looks like a five or six-foot tidal range at the mouth of the river. It also looks very, very busy. Any first-hand experience would be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on moving my boat through there during the first week of December.
I have sailed it a good bit. At Mayport it has a lot of traffic , some times large Navy ships are coming in or out. The inlet is well marked and in good conditions is not a problem. When you get past Mayport about 4 miles in you are at the Jacksonville port docks to starboard and the Danes point bridge, unless you have a full rigged ship you will not have to worry about mast clearance. From there you are about 6 miles from Jacksonville. When you get to downtown Jax the river get narrow and the tide runs fast. There is a marina downtown for fuel, be careful of the fast tide. The marina is to port and there is a river walk to starboard ,you can tie up the and go to the restaurants and spend the night. After that you have the CXS RR bridge, It seems to be always down when I get there. When you pass the RR bridge you are home free the river gets a lot wider and the rest of the bridges are 53 foot clearance. Its about 35 miles on down to Green Cove Springs ,they are on the starboard side of the river. The marina is at the old Navy docks. It's good sailing on the river. SEE YA.
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Old 11-23-2009
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Originally Posted by smillinjack View Post
I have sailed it a good bit.........When you pass the RR bridge you are home free the river gets a lot wider and the rest of the bridges are 53 foot clearance...........
Note:There is only one bridge, the Buckman Bridge, between the Railroad Bridge and Green Cove Springs. This bridge has a 65'MHW clearance, not 53'.
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Old 11-23-2009
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Note:There is only one bridge, the Buckman Bridge, between the Railroad Bridge and Green Cove Springs. This bridge has a 65'MHW clearance, not 53'.
Try it some time when we have a bad Northeaster and a big high tide and see what you have.
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Old 11-24-2009
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Thanks so much! Appreciate everyone's feedback, and I look forward to possibly meeting up with a couple of you when we're in the neighborhood.

Cap'n Dave, I plan on dry docking the boat at Green Cove Springs Marina for a couple of months, if you all have room for me. I'll drop you a line in the next couple of days.
Thanks again,
Dwight (Sailhog)
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Old 11-24-2009
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Originally Posted by smillinjack View Post
Try it some time when we have a bad Northeaster and a big high tide and see what you have.
12 feet above mean high water! It will never happen. Mandarin and Orange Park would be under water. It would require at least a category five and we won't be out there cruising under the Buckman.
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