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Bells River Anchorages

Bells River Anchorages
Statute Mile: 716.5
30 40.700 North/081 28.777 West (downstream anchorage, just north of intersection with Lanceford Creek)
30 41.366 North/081 29.084 West (anchorage short of river’s turn to the west ‘“ after passing through this turn, the river splits)
30 41.316 North/081 29.581 West (anchorage on western fork of Bells River, east of charted Tiger Basin)
Location: these anchorages are located along the splintered course of Bells River ‘“ this stream intersects the ICW abeam of the Fernandina Beach waterfront, hard by flashing buoy #10
Minimum Depth: 7 feet in the unmarked channel
Swing Room:
sufficient room for vessels as large as 45 feet in downstream anchorage
sufficient room for vessels as large as 42 feet in anchorage short of river’s turn to the west
sufficient room for vessels as large as 38 feet in anchorage on western fork of Bells River, east of charted Tiger Basin
Foul Weather Protection: Fair in downstream anchorage ‘“ open to northern winds; Good in both upstream anchorages


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Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (3)

  1. George -  November 18, 2012 - 9:30 am

    We have anchored our 60′ LOA Hatteras with plenty of room in the north/south stretch of Bells River three times, twice below the charted shallow spot and once above. This is one of our favorite stops and we coincidentally rode out some bad weather in the fall of 2008 there. As noted there are some soft places, so take the time to get a good set.

    Great dinghy dock facility, but be courteous and check in with the marina. We had a very good experience with the marina when our generator had an issue, they quickly made a spot for us and got us a local tech pronto.

  2. John Stevenson -  February 6, 2011 - 5:55 pm

    Rode out a 4-day storm in May, 2008 in the branch of the Bells that turns south between the two upstream anchor marks. Anchor did drag a couple of boat lengths when the winds went over 40 kts, then reset (44 Bruce on a 21000 lb ketch). Otherwise secure and at worst moderate seas. This storm dumped so much water in N. Fl that at high tide the Bells River became the Bells Lake. All of the marsh land that forms the banks were under several feet of water. The tops of the marsh grass was under water. With no channel marks in this portion of the river I would have had to blindly trust my chart plotter to re-anchor if the Bruce had not reset. Bottom line: A good anchorage, but if a really bad storm is coming I would now try to get into one of the marinas on Amelia Is. See also: for more details on my adventure.

    John – SV Sarah

  3. Joanne S. Woodward -  November 7, 2009 - 11:07 am

    We stayed in the “downstream” anchorage and it was fine with a good anchor and plenty of rode. A bit spalshy ride to town but that is what the dink is for. Great lunch intown. Another ruiser said the marina facilites (available to us on anchor, too) were really nice.

    J. S. Woodward – MV-Avalon


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