Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
This cantankerous aging railway bridge in the heart of downtown Jacksonville requires constant upkeep and has plagued boaters with its numerous maintenance lockdowns and its closed vertical clearance of 5ft (!!) severely restricting river activities on the popular St. Johns.
Florida East Coast Railway requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Florida East Coast Railway Bridge, St. Johns River, mile 24.9, Jacksonville, FL. The bridge is a single leaf bascule railway bridge with a five foot vertical clearance in the closed position. The bridge currently operates under 33 CFR 117.325. The deviation period is from 7:00 a.m. on January 11, 2017 to 6:00 p.m. on February 10, 2017. During this period the Bridge is allowed to remain closed to navigation from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday January 11th , from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday January the 12th, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday January 13th , from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday January the 18th and Thursday January 19th , and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday January the 20th, 2017. Additionally, the bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation from 7:00 a.m. Monday January 30, 2017 through 6:00 p.m. on Friday February 10th, 2017.
The Coast Guard coordinated this closure period with the bridge owner and the waterway users. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies; the small boat span can be used as an alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in closed positions. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation. Chart 11419 LNM 51/16
As stated below, this Slow/No Wake Zone is east of the Main Street Bridge in downtown Jacksonville. No date for completion is given.
FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER – TERMINAL CHANNEL: Slow/No Wake Zone, Precaution Area.
Superior Construction will be conducting demolition and construction operations on the wharf structures located approximately 1,500 feet east of the Main Street Bridge on the north side of the St. Johns River, near downtown Jacksonville’s old shipyards. Read MoreThe Captain of the Port Jacksonville requests all mariners transiting the river east of the Main Street Bridge and adjacent to the north bank docks of the old shipyards, to proceed with caution and transit at a minimum safe speed to reduce wake.
The work is scheduled to commence on or around January 6, 2017 and will continue over the course of several months. The demolition and construction work will normally take place on weekdays during daylight hours. The operations will involve several commercial vessels, including the use of crane and material barges to remove concrete debris and drive piles. There will be a continuous transit of loaded barges from the work site to the north bank shipyard docks near the mouth of Hogan Creek. Additionally, work vessels will be moored along the project site at night. If
additional information is required, the Project Superintendent can be reached via landline at 904-292-4240. Jobsite operators will be monitoring marine VHF Channel 16. Chart 11491 LNM 51/16
Green Cove Springs City Dock is on the St. Johns River between Jacksonville and Palatka. This facility should NOT be confused with Green Cove Springs Marina, which sits a bit farther upstream, in the heart of the old Navy Base. Our thanks to David Burnham for this report.
Damage to the floating docks on the Green Cove Springs City Dock has closed this access to the city until further notice, at least until repairs have returned the floating docks to a useable condition. There is no date specified when work will commence or be completed. However, NO TRESPASSING signs ARE posted. There is a locked gate across the middle of the pier preventing access to the shore from the floating docks.
12/7 And a follow-up to a question about the damage:
Matthew was very hard on the wood docks all along the northern portion (south of Jacksonville) of the riverfront. Most old docks were torn away by the wind and waves and smashed into the nearby docks which in turn broke apart and caused even more damage to other docks further south. The debris was piled up along the roadways for weeks as waterfront owners who lost their docks collected someone else’s dock that washed up on their shores.
Doctors Inlet is on the west side of the St. Johns just south of Orange Park. If you have knowledge of these uncharted markers, let us hear from you.
Good morning – We live on the west shore of the St. Johns River (FL) just north of Doctor’s Inlet, and have just recently noticed what appear to be new flashing markers (3 red, one green) near the east side of the river, north of Mandarin Point and just north and east of the flashing green “11” on chart 11492.
They are not charted, and I can’t find them on any recent notices to mariners. Anybody know anything about them? Thanks.
Hurricane Matthew: Scenes from Friday afternoon
Located on the Ortega River just above the Roosevelt Blvd. Bridge and just upstream of the intersection of the Ortega and St. Johns Rivers, Ortega River Marina is especially convenient to the Riverside section of Jacksonville. This report comes from our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.
Ortega River Marina. Paul Howe is the dock master at 912-661-3437. We keep our PDQ there in the summer and fall and are very happy with it. ORM (it used to be Ortega Yacht Club Marina) is a smaller marina than “Landing”, with clean bathrooms and laundry, a small pool, and friendly, helpful boat owners. ”Read
Only a mile or so upstream from downtown Jacksonville, Ortega Landing is the first facility on your starboard as you enter the Ortega River from the St. Johns. This report is from our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
The Ortega Landing Marina is a great spot. I have kept my boat there for the past three years and am very pleased. Modern floating concrete docks, spotless bathrooms, swimming pool, and an experienced staff make this an excellent choice. Contact the Dockmaster, Bruce, at 904-387-5538.
Blue Ocean Sails (BOS) is a developing non-profit, educational organization, based in NE Florida, whose mission is to support, facilitate and assist students, educators, citizen and research scientists in all endeavors associated with marine science education and research. BOS is worthy of our interest and support.
Friends of Blue Ocean Sails – this is the first quarterly newsletter summarizing the ongoing development and activities of Blue Ocean Sails (BOS).
Mile Point is on the north side of the St. Johns River just east of Sisters Creek where the Waterway crosses the river. This construction will continue until November of 2016.
Corps asks boaters to SLOW DOWN, use caution
Jacksonville, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asks boaters to slow down and use extra caution within the Mile Point construction area on the St. Johns River.
“We’ve seen some close calls here on the water because people are speeding through the area,” said Corps Construction Project Engineer Mike Lyons, Jacksonville District.
“The Contractor is lifting 50,000 pound objects for construction of the west leg training wall, and a large wake within the construction zone while these objects are suspended can cause damage to equipment and harm to personnel. These wakes also make it difficult (and dangerous) for the crew boats shuttling construction personnel to different areas within the work site.”
The construction zone contains a variety of large vessels, including a crane barge, an excavator barge, several support barges and a dredge with pipelines, in the Chicopit Bay and Intracoastal Waterway on the St. Johns. Some areas are restricted to construction personnel only due to public safety concerns.
The Mile Point project will improve vessel navigation by rerouting the navigable waters in the Chicopit Bay and the Inter-Coastal Waterway system. Mile Point is where the St. Johns River meets the Intracoastal Waterway, resulting in difficult cross-currents at ebb tide. This restricts port navigation, causing delays and shipping inefficiencies.
Longtime cruiser and SSECN Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, shares his knowledge and experience in these observations on this portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Thank you Jim!
The Main Street Bridge with a vertical clearance of 38ft (charted at 40ft) crossed the St. Johns in downtown Jacksonville. Except for weekends and holidays, these limited openings will affect cruisers wanting to explore the upper St. Johns.
FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER – MAIN STREET BRIDGE: Bridge Repairs.
M&J Construction has advised the Coast Guard that they will be working on the Main Street Bridge across the St Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida from June 6, 2016 through April 6, 2017. The bridge operations schedule has been temporarily changed to allow the time needed to complete these repairs; therefore from June 6, 2016 through April 6, 2017, Monday through Friday except Federal holidays the Main Street Bridge will only open at 12 midnight, 4:00 a.m., 6:45 a.m., 12 noon, 4:15 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays, Federal holidays, Jaguars game days, the weeks leading up to the Florida/Georgia and ND/Navy football games, and for any other unforeseen event that would seriously impact navigation the bridge will operate on its normal schedule. There will be floating equipment in the vicinity of the bridge; but they do not anticipate restriction navigation during these repairs.
Chart 11491 LNM 23/16
This report comes to us from good friend and avid cruiser, David Burnham, whose home port is Gulfport on Boca Ciega Bay, Gulf Coast. Renegades on the Water is on the eastern shore just south of Fruitland Cove between Little Lake George and Lake George of the St. Johns River.
We cruised our 28′ Catalina sailboat (3’9″ wing keel) down to Renegades Marina and RV park this past weekend. Because Renegades has 4 transient slips next to their GAS and DIESEL dock it should probably be added to the list of St Johns River Marinas. These slips appear to have 4-5′ of water depth although we did not get to sound all of them, only the one we used next to the fuel pier.
WE DID run aground on the shallows west of Renegades while approaching the fuel dock but backed off and came in again just a little to the south between the two charted shallow areas you encounter when coming in to Renegades from the north. Our chart plotter showed 6′ (or less) where we touched the bottom so we added a 3’9″ sounding to our Navionics Android GPS chart…
We ran aground AGAIN as we left Renegades the next afternoon, while following our inbound track on the chart plotter (no, NOT the SAME spot).
The best approach to Renegades if you draw more than 3′ is to go south to the green navigational mark just past Renegades, then turn East and approach from the southwest to stay south of the shallow areas that are to the West of Renegades…
Great Tiki Bar and really good food and drinks… http://renegadesontheriver.com/db/
This range light relocation is just east of the Waterway’s diagonal path across the St. Johns River and would be of interest only to those cruisers traveling upstream to Jacksonville and beyond.
FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER – MILE POINT: Mile Point Upper Range Front Light (LLNR 7287) Relocate
Mile Point Upper Range Front Light (LLNR 7287) has been relocated to 30-22-43.834N 081-27-10.552W. The range has a 360 degree arc of visibility to both Mile Point Upper and Lower Range traffic. While proceeding up river, the additional green light will be visible to the west of the existing Mile Point Lower Range Line. Mile Point Upper Range Line has not been affected. Mile Point Lower Range Light will be relocated beginning 18 April with an estimated completion date of 22, April 2016. Mariners are advised to exercise caution while transiting the area.
Chart 11491 LNM 16/16
Only a mile or so upstream from downtown Jacksonville, Ortega Landing is the first facility on your starboard as you enter the Ortega River from the St. Johns. Sonny Reeves’ blog report is so good, it could easily be one of our FOCUS ON postings. Detailed descriptions and beautiful photos. Enjoy! And thank you Sonny!
Experienced cruiser, David Burnham, offers good advice concerning bridge approach. So many of our mechanical bridges are old and not always maintained properly due to funding cuts. David’s word to wise: go slow and be prepared to stop or come about, not easy when approaching with current. With a closed vertical clearance of 38ft, the Main St. Bridge crosses the St. Johns in downtown Jacksonville.
REMINDER: Don’t yell at the Bridge Tender! Such mechanical delays are RARELY, IF EVER, the fault of the Tender.
Passed through the Jacksonville, Florida Main Street Bridge on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016.
CAUTION: the bridge is experiencing some delay upon opening.
As the bridge started to lift, I came about and began heading toward the bridge to minimize the time required to stay open but the bridge stopped going up after about 5-6 feet and there was a minute or two delay before the tender was able to get the bridge to continue opening.
Until this is repaired, be aware not to approach the bridge until a safe clearance height is apparent as the water currents in the area of the Main Street Bridge can be swift at times.
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Main St. Bridge
Skipper Burnham is responding to a lengthy posting/replies that Claiborne did way back in 2008, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=1237. It is nice to know that the Outback Crab Shack is still in business and that the bucket of beer is still cold. Plow on Skipper!
The Shands Bridge at GCS limits access to the Outback Crab Shack’s 1500 foot floating dock to southbound sailboats with mast heights lower than 45 feet, although at very low tides I have been able to clear the span with the 45′ 9″ mast on the Camper Nicholson 33′. However, I have to “power thru” the muddy shoal at the entrance to Six Mile Creek on the eastern shore with my 6′ 6″ draft fin keel so there are a few 6″ wide “channels” at the entrance of Six Mile Creek leading to the floating dock at the Outback Crab Shack.
I have read a review that pans the seafood and service at this converted bait shop/biker bar, but they probably didn’t arrive by motorcycle or boat, and forgot to order the bucket of beer before ordering their food. I’m not a big fan of crawdads or chicken wings or overpriced seafood but I’ve never left the Shack hungry or sober and the service is better than the average biker bar.
Huckins Boat Yard is located on the northern shores of the Ortega River off the St. Johns River, just upstream of the Roosevelt Boulevard Bridge with a 45ft vertical clearance. Skipper Alderman joins other skippers in praising Huckins Boat Yard. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=146584 for photos of their work.
Huckins is the best. We had a fuel tank replaced by them and some more work done to the Leprechaun 440 EB Sea Ray and I can’t say enough about them. They are the top of the line service and very reasonable on their price. Richard and Justin were the best and PJ was on top of everything and Trishia in the office could not have been better. If you need repairs, get it there you will not be sorry.
With a name like “Hawg Wash,” this BBQ has to be good! For a 2013 report on Waleka, FL, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=110746.
If you visit Welaka make sure you get to Hog Wash for THE Best smoke hog in the STaTe. U will not be disappointed. I promise uuuuuuu
Address:413 Elm St, Welaka Fl, 32193. Tel: 386-524-4036. E mail: email@example.com.
Astor Bridge Marina is located in a cove on the eastern shore of the St. Johns River, south of the Astor Highway Bridge. Here is another of Skipper Reeves’ reports from the St. Johns – thank you Sonny!
Easy stop on the river! Owners will give you a map to the awesome creeks and beautiful springs to explore in your small boat. Blue Creek is like the Amazon! Laid back old Florida marina. Limited supplies at ship store but the store across the creek has some grocery items and will take larger orders and fuel. Great people on the River! The marina is well protected, more of a basin, easy in and out. Turn in beside the Castaways Bar and Grill just South of the bridge. Can’t give the local restaurants a high mark at this time, check Trip Advisor for my reviews. Ask the dockmaster how to take your dink to Parramore”s for lunch. Town is a little more than a walk away. The focus here is on fishing and it is very good here for bass and more. Watch for gators. There is a large field for walking the dog. Some liv a boards very helpful! There are cabins for rent and the owners are good people. When we stayed during May 2015 the office is closed on Wednesdays.