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Archive For: East FL – 2 – St. Johns River, Including Jacksonville, Palatka and Sanford

  • Healy Report: Waterway/St Johns Intersection, AICW Statute Mile 740

    The Waterway crosses the St Johns River west of Mayport, FL at Mile 740. Our continued thanks to Peg and Jim Healy for sharing their observations and advice. The Healys are dating themselves and showing their sense of humor with the reference to Will Robinson.

    Sanctuary and Crew spent the night last night on the docks at Jim King Park, Sister’s Creek, north side of the St. John’s. We departed Southbound this morning, 11/2/2017, at 07h15, at first light.

    ALERT, Will Robinson! ALERT!
    The ICW on the south side of the St. John’s is Pablo Creek.We had been warned that the markers at the entrance of Pablo Creek had been relocated, so fortunately, I was on the lookout.READ MORE!

    Indeed, they have been significantly moved to the west of the old route; maybe 500 feet. Moved west to the point that many versions of charts of the area are undoubtedly wrong! My Garmin chart plotter had me transiting several shoal islands. Be alert with Garmin BCM on hand held iDevices. Following is a screen shot of what is there now. THE BLACK LINE IS THE CURRENT ROUTE. The red track lines are previous transits, showing the OLD ROUTE. In the low light of an early dawn, this could be quite a surprise for the unsuspecting…

    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Rock Creek, Pasadena, MD
    Monk 36 Hull #132
    MMSI #367042570
    AGLCA #3767
    MTOA #3436

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of AICW/St. Johns Intersection

  • LNM: Destroyed Manatee Signs, St. Johns River, FL, 9/27/2017

    These destroyed manatee signs are on the west side of the St. Johns off Black Point.

    FLORIDA – JACKSONVILLE – ST. JOHNS RIVER: Hazard to Navigation, Manatee Signs
    The U.S. Coast Guard received reports of two (2) partially submerged Manatee zone signs in positions 30-12.99N / 081-39.906W and 30-16.312N / 081-41.909W in the vicinity of the Ortega River in St. Johns River. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11492 LNM 39/17

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at St. Johns River

  • Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams rescue more than 100 people in Jacksonville

    united states coast guard


    Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams rescue more than 100 people in Jacksonville

    Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)
    Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released) Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released) Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released) Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released) 

    Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams rescued more than 100 people Monday in Jacksonville.

    The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma. 

    Coast Guard Flood Punt Team from Marine Safety Unit Paducah, Kentucky, saved 91 lives and 41 pets.

    Coast Guard Flood Punt Team from Marine Safety Unit Huntington, West Virginia, saved 18 lives, 5 pets and conducted 150 wellness checks.

    Coast Guard Flood Punt Team from Marine Safety Unit Sector Lower Mississippi River, Tennessee saved 9 lives, a pet and conducted 900 wellness checks. 


    For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



  • Curfews Imposed Across Northeast Florida


    Jacksonville, FL – Curfews have been imposed in many parts of Northeast Florida because of Hurricane Irma.

    The curfew for Jacksonville’s beaches started Saturday night at 10PM and continued through 6AM Sunday. That will continue until further notice. Alcohol sales have also been prohibited until further notice.

  • LNM: Coast Guard closes the Port of Jacksonville, Fernandina

    Coast Guard sets port condition Zulu, closes the Port of Jacksonville, Fernandina

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Effective 8 p.m. Saturday, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) set port condition Zulu for the Port of Jacksonville and Fernandina and all other terminals and facilities due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds of generated by Hurricane Irma that may arrive within 12 hours.

  • Vessel Safety Checks, May 27, Mayport, FL, St. Johns River, off the AICW

    Mayport is at the mouth of the St. Johns River east of the St. Johns/AICW intersection.

    News Release
    May 25, 2017
    U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Jacksonville
    Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Jacksonville
    Office: (904) 714-7606/7607
    After Hours: (305) 318-1864

    Media Advisory: Coast Guard Auxiliary to hold vessel safety check demonstration in Jacksonville

    WHO: Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary

    WHAT: A Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel safety check demonstration

    WHERE: Mayport Boat Ramp, 4870 Ocean St, Jacksonville, FL 32233-2428

    WHEN: Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP no later than noon Friday with Coast Guard Public Affairs at 305-318-1864.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are scheduled to hold a vessel safety check demonstration Saturday for the media at Mayport Boat Ramp.

    The event is being held as a part of National Safe Boating Week.

    A VSC allows Auxiliarists to ensure a boat, kayak, canoe or even a paddleboard is seaworthy. Auxiliarists also check other equipment aboard, such as fire extinguishers and signal flares, to ensure their proper function and make recommendations to boaters on what they should have aboard.

    This service is offered to the public for free. Anyone interested in scheduling a VSC can do so at the following link:

    National Safe Boating Week is an annual campaign held toward the end of May to reemphasize the importance of safe boating practices and the use of boating safety equipment. Events are held throughout the country to educate the boating public and offer boating advice.

    For more information on NSBW, visit:

    For breaking news, follow us on Twitter @USCGSoutheast.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Mayport

  • Restricted Dockage at Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville, FL, St. Johns River

    Jacksonville Landing is on the north side of the St. Johns, midway between the Main Street Bridge and the Acosta Bridge. This complex is a downtown shopping mall/food court with a stage area for special events and concerts and normally features its own dock for visiting pleasure craft. Now experienced cruiser, David Burnham, reports very limited dockage due to damage from Hurricane Matthew.

    Update 3/9/2017:
    Arrived at the Jacksonville Landing to find no docking signs posted as the floating docks have not been repaired since last October’s Hurricane Matthew. Read More!

    Only a very small section, east of the river ferry dock section, and nearest the Main Street Bridge was available for docking while waiting for the bridge to open.
    I arrived after 4:30pm and had to wait until the next opening at 8pm instead of 6pm. Best to call the Main Street bridge tender to find out the latest opening schedule.
    Update 3/9/2017: After October 2017, Hurricane Matthew ruined most of the floating dock space at the Jacksonville Landing and only a very small section close to the Main Street Bridge remains open for docking now.
    David Burnham

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jacksonville Landing and Main St Bridge

  • LNM: Shoaling at AICW St Johns River Crossing, Statute Mile 740, 2/23/2017

    This Waterway shoaling is building on the northeast side between Green Markers #5 and #7, just south of the Waterway crossing of the St. Johns River.

    The Captain of the Port Jacksonville advises all mariners transiting in vicinity of Pablo Creek and Mile Point on the Intracoastal Waterway, that a shoal is forming on the northeast side of Pablo Creek. The shoal extends from east of Pablo Creek temporary Lighted Buoy 5 (LLNR 38360) to southeast of Pablo Creek Temporary Buoy 7 (LLNR 38370) and encroaching to the south and west of Pablo Creek. Minimum depths of 7 ½ feet are recorded in this area. Mariners transiting this portion of Pablo Creek with draft concerns are advised to navigate with caution while passing through this area. Chart 11489 LNM 08/17

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at AICW/St Johns River

  • LNM: Change to Lake George South Range Light, St. Johns River, FL

    Part of this popular Waterway side trip, Lake George has adequate depths through the long straight channel across the lake, but this range light is a big help as you enter the south exit where depths decrease drastically.

    FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER – LAKE GEORGE: Changes to the Aids to Navigation System
    Lake George South End Range Front Light (LLNR 8775) has been changed to a lateral aid named Lake George Light 14 displaying Fl R 2.5s characteristics, 5NM range, TR on pile. Chart 11495 LNM 04/17

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Range Front Light

  • No Wake Zone, east of Main Street Bridge, St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL

    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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Main Street Bridge

  • City Dock Closed Due to Hurricane Damage, St. Johns River, Green Cove Springs, FL

    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.
    David Burnham

    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.

    Click Here To Read More Information about Green Cove Springs City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Green Cove Springs City Dock

  • New Markers in St. Johns River? Orange Park, FL

    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.
    Bill Healy

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St Johns Marker #11

  • Praise for Ortega River Marina, off the St. Johns River, Jacksonville, Fl

    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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Ortega River Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ortega River Marina

  • Good Words for Ortega Landing, off St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL

    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.
    Howard Entman

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Ortega Landing Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ortega Landing Marina

  • Blue Ocean Sails Newsletter

    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).

    Read More

    QUICK LOOK ASTERN – Blue Ocean Sails enjoyed a very successful Ocean Sampling Day 2016 in June coordinating with NOAA/AOML and the European OSD Consortium to bring OSD/MyOSD to NE Florida. The local area response was beyond enthusiastic at all levels and volunteer sampling groups from Flagler College, St Johns River State College, Sea Grant 4-H Marine Ecology Club and University of Florida, Whitney/Osborne Laboratory conducted ocean water sampling from both coastal and offshore sample sites, processed samples and shipped them to Europe for microbe DNA analysis.
    OSD 2016 was a great kickoff to the Blue Ocean Sails primary mission – support, assist and facilitate marine science research and education for students, educators, citizen and research scientists. Throw in a 6 hour offshore sail on Sea Breeze, our Irwin 43, and you see in OSD 2016 a perfect example of what Blue Ocean Sails strives to be.
    PRESENT POSITION – Blue Ocean Sails is currently in discussion with the St Johns County school district exploring options to bring the NOAA Global Drifter Buoy Program into the classroom for both elementary and secondary students. Blue Ocean Sails will set sail from St Augustine, FL this October and deploy a NOAA drifter buoy 75 to 100 miles offshore in the core of the Gulf Stream incorporating classroom lesson plans and STEM activities for students and teachers.
    Work continues to upgrade Sea Breeze’s systems to improve her offshore capability for hosting students, educators, citizen and research scientists onboard in local waters and for a 3 to 4 week cruise to the Abacos, Bahamas next year – hopefully supporting a yet to be developed survey/research project in support of deserving students, educators and/or scientists.
    ON THE HORIZON – Blue Ocean Sails seeks to develop an active Apex Predator Tagging program in association with the National Marine Fisheries Services ongoing program. Growing out of relationships formulated during OSD 2016, Blue Ocean Sails also seeks to begin discussions soon with Flagler College, Whitney Marine Science Laboratory and the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project exploring opportunities to support, assist and facilitate ongoing programs, projects and studies.
    As Blue Ocean Sails continues to gain significant operational traction, enthusiastic support is coming from all levels of the marine science community. I haven’t yet begun to outline the unending variety of programs on the drawing board designed to champion marine science at all levels; programs such as ScholarShips for Students, Dolphin Sails, Ocean Awareness Sails, Students – STEM – and the Ocean, Marine Baseline Studies, Extended Offshore/Inshore Research Sails, Ocean Literacy Sails, Skippers for Science and much more.
    CHARTING THE COURSE – Blue Ocean Sails is growing – and we need you! Please see the letter below requesting anyone interested in becoming actively involved with organizational and program development to please contact me ASAP. Options for active involvement include becoming an advisor to Blue Ocean Sails and even sitting as a member of the inaugural Board of Directors as we move towards formal incorporation and apply for 501(c)3 non profit status.
    Blue Ocean Sails is excited to get even more involved – supporting, assisting and facilitating marine science education and research! We offer free use of a 43′ offshore capable sailboat that can be your “research vessel”! Tell us how we can be of best use supporting your projects and programs and consider volunteering to help formalize the organization and its programs.
    BLUE OCEAN SAILS IS GROWING – and needs you!
    Are you interested in marine science, marine science education, sailing or the ocean? If you are that person, please contact me. I’m seeking discussion with individuals interested in contributing ideas, discussion points, thoughts and relevant input in order to help shape the continued development, direction and growth of Blue Ocean Sails.
    We now need the ideas and involvement of others who are passionate about marine science, education and research in order to continue the growth and development of Blue Ocean Sails as a viable, contributing educational organization.
    You don’t need to be a research scientist or tenured professor to provided valuable ideas, input and suggestions. You only need to have a passion for the ocean and a desire to volunteer to help steer the development of a non-profit, educational organization focusing on marine science education and research along with sailing and boating activities.
    Near term, I envision talking with interested individuals over the next couple months, discussing ideas and gauging interest levels. Then the next step will likely be a group meeting of interested individuals as we begin to discuss options for forming a board of directors and advisory committees. Formal incorporation of the organization will follow as appropriate.
    While BOS is initially St Augustine based, the vision is to develop an organization that serves the marine science community both far and wide. As such, Im casting this net far and wide. Please don’t think you can’t participate if you live outside NE Florida – it’s a big ocean; it touches us all.
    This is an opportunity with a wide range of involvement – from as little as tossing in a few ideas, all the way to sitting on the inaugural Blue Ocean Sails Board of Directors. You decide how interested you are, how you’d like to participate – there will certainly be something for every level of interest and involvement.
    Contact me if you’re interested in helping with the development of Blue Ocean Sails. I’ll answer your questions and provide an executive summary of our progress and plans thus far.
    Please get involved – I need your ideas – I need to talk with you!
    Best regards,
    Mike Alyea
    Blue Ocean Sails
    St Augustine, FL
    FMSEA/NMEA member since 2016

    St Augustine Record OSD/BOS news article –
    Ponte Vedra Recorder OSD/BOS news article –
  • St. Johns Boaters Asked to Reduce Wake, Mile Point, east of AICW/St Johns River Intersection

    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.


  • Captain Jim Healy Discusses the Waterway from Charleston to St. Augustine

    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 entire region from Charleston to St. Augustine has high tidal ranges, ranging from 5′ at St. Augustine to as much as 9′ in Savannah/Beaufort/Charleston.  Those high tidal ranges create swift tidal currents, and especially for first-times, docking is easiest in the 1/2 hour before and after slack.
    There are many areas of shallow water in the region.  The very best resource for current data on low water and caution areas is available via  Two other  websites that all ICW travelers should know about are and  I’m sure you are familiar with the Waterway Guide book series.  The “Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net” (SSECN) is  really a boating group.  It was founded by Claiborne Young.  After Claiborne’s untimely loss, the group continued in operation.  The Cruiser’s Net website specializes on the US Southeast.  There is some duplication of material between the WWG site and the SSECN site, but there is unique value to both.  Both are excellent resources for fuel prices, marinas and anchorages.  These websites would make a good sidebar for any ICW article.  Two of these websites require registration – SSECN does not – and all three are free, and all are very useful to ICW boaters.  Both WWG and SSECN also have smart phone apps that duplicate and augment website information and are very useful on small-format devices.
    There are some generalizations that apply to the region, including the stretch from Georgetown, SC all the way south to below Fernandina Beach.  In some of those areas, boats drawing more than 4′ will want to consider not traveling at low tide; especially celestial low tides.  The Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for dredging the ICW.  USACE is funded by state congressional delegations.  In recent years, the money congress allocates to dredging has been diverted to “more pressing needs,” and so many areas of the ICW are shoaling, and in fact, the ICW resource is slowly being lost; well, allowed to die, really, by congress.  There is a not-for-profit called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association.  The Executive Director is Brad Pickel;  That would make another sidebar for any article on the ICW.  There are some local knowledge bypasses around some shoal areas.  All of the cruising sites above can provide additional detail.
    Renting a car in any of these venues greatly expands what a boating visitor can see and do.  Some, but not all, marinas have courtesy cars.  Generally they can’t be used for long periods, but they are useful for re-provisioning when needed.
    Hope this helps.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Ft. Myers, FL
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