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
If you haven’t cruised this segment of the Waterway, this report from Coastal Living will definitely whet your appetite to steer that way.
This area of shoaling is between Fernandina and St. Johns River at the intersection of the Waterway and Ft. George River.
FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – GUNNISON CUT AND SISTERS CREEK
Shoaling has been reported between Gunnison Cut Light 72 (LLNR 38265) 30-26-57.881N, 081-26-53.346W and Sisters Creek Light 75 (LLNR 38305) 30-26-18.540N, 081-27-14.400W. Estimated depth was 5.5ft at mean lower low tide. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11489 LNM 18/17
This reported shoaling from experienced cruiser, John Wampler, is northwest of Nassau Sound. Thanks you John!
Shoaling in South Amelia River at position N30* 33.1 W081* 28.0 south of Marker 42 mag bearing 172* at 0.4 miles. +1.2 feet above Fernandina tide datum. Charted depth is 11 feet. Published course goes right over shoal. Bumped while floating over shoal. Draft 3.4 feet. Reported to USCG ANT JAX.Click for Photo
Every now and then a fellow cruiser goes out the way to correct a situation that poses a hazard to other boaters. Joe Plunkett is just such a Cruiser Helping Other Cruisers. Joe’s efforts chronicled below have caused the USCG to relocate markers in a shoaling zone that has existed for years. Hats off to Joe Plunkett! This is Seamanship at its best.
This is the e-mail I sent to the USCG back in December in response to the request for public comments. It is gratifying to see that a problem of long standing is now being addressed.
Joe Plunkett Read More
From: Joseph T Plunkett CPA
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:57 PM
Subject: CG 7th District LNM 07482016
To whom it my concern:
I wish to comment In regard to the proposed elimination of Fernandina TRUB 2 and establishment of Fernandina Beach Daybeacon 2 (LLNR 37988) in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29.03.486W.
On September 4, 2016 at approximately 13:30 hours I ran aground in the Amelia River while piloting Happy Hagar, my 40’ Burns Craft Sun Deck Motor Yacht. The point of grounding was in the vicinity of 30-39-104N/081-29-089W. Time was approximately 1.5 hours after high tide. The shoal in this area is unmarked. The USCG Station at Jacksonville, Florida should have a record of my contact on that day. The grounding resulted in the loss of our portside prop shaft and prop, bending of a prop strut and a bent port side rudder post. I was successful removing the boat from the shoal and stemming the flooding from the loss of the shaft. I anchored my vessel and waited approximately two hours for a tow from Towboat US from Brunswick. Total damage including yard repairs and towing may exceed $20,000. The missing shaft and prop are on the bottom of the Amelia River somewhere in the vicinity of the grounding.
While awaiting the tow I observed an outboard powered boat run aground in the same area. The outboard powered vessel was able to free itself from the unmarked shoal by trimming up their motor while throwing up a rooster-tail of sand. I have no information as to what damage, if any, that vessel may have incurred.
The Towboat US operator informed me that the problem shoal has been present for at least nine years. I have attached a photo of my chart plotter showing Happy Hagar’s track up to the point of grounding, at anchor after the grounding and while under tow heading toward Fernandina Beach Marina. The chart plotter image is shown as course-up with the top of the picture being SSW. The end of my track extending furthest south would be the point of grounding. The chart indicates a depth of 12-15 feet at that point. I have also attached a photo of a sailing vessel that grounded in the same area taken by Towboat US, date unknown.
I ask that you consider relocating Daybeacon 2 to the vicinity of 30-39-104N/081-29-089W, the point at which I grounded, subject to conducting your own survey. The existing Fernandina TRUB 2 could be replaced by a semi-permanent Daybeacon 4 in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29-03.486W.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my comments.
Joseph T. Plunkett
M/V Happy Hagar, Official Number 660256
Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of 2014 (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702).This shoaling lies c. two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek. Our thanks to Joe Plunkett for sending this 9/2016 report.
Now Joe sends us a welcome new report on changes in the Nav Aids around the shoaling.
And Joe adds in response to Bob’s question:
I copied the following from the the District 7 Local Notice to Mariners, Week 10-17:
FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – FERNANDINA BEACH- ST. JOHNS RIVER – FERNANDINA BEACH
The following changes have been approved to the Aids to Navigation System in St Johns River, Fernandina Beach:
Fernandina Beach TRUB 2 will be permanently discontinued
Fernandina Beach Daybeacon 2 (LLNR 37988) will be established in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29-03.486W
When I passed through the Amelia River south of Fernandina last week I noticed a new red temporary marker had been placed at or near the location where I grounded last September. I did not take note of the number on the temporary channel marker. Back in September there were three channel markers identifying the channel: a green #1 at the northeast end, a green #3 and a temporary red #2 at the south/southwest end of this section of the Amelia River. There are now four channel markers: The original green #1 at the northeast end of the channel, a new red temporary marker near the location of my grounding, the original green #3 and a new permanent red marker replacing the old temporary marker at the south/southwest end of this section. I did not note the numbers on the new markers. I do not find these new markers on my charts. I use Navionics on my chart plotter and updated the Navionics chip the evening before departing Fernandina heading south. I expect the changes have been or will shortly be published in the Notices to Mariners.
Encountered less than 3′ at near high tide 300 meters north of Temporary Red #2. Time was Approximately 1330 Hours on 9/4/16. Pulled out port shaft attempting to get off. About ninety minutes later while awaiting tow, observed outboard run aground near same spot. With outboard trimmed up, operator was blowing substantial amounts of sand.
You must favor the green side when approaching Green #3 from the north or departing Green #3 from the south. Came through this area northbound in late June and did not have any trouble.
Joe Plunkett aboard Happy Hagar
Waterway construction can provide welcomed distraction as well as navigational concerns. Bill Murdoch sends beautiful photos of four bridge constructions/removals currently ongoing from Myrtle Beach to Miami. And “one picture is worth a thousand words!”
Thank you Bill!CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS!
Memorial bridge in Daytona is almost gone as well. It was a little confusing to figure out where we should pass through the construction work, but in the end we went through the old partially destroyed fendering system with no problem. (2/13/17)
Our confusion at the Daytona Memorial Bridge came from both a tool box and from the general state of disarray in the construction area. A Greenlee tool box seen end on looks quite like a green daymark.
Our thanks to Wally Moran and community leaders for assisting in having a dinghy dock restored at Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. Fernandina Harbor Marina, heavily damaged by Matthew and offering only limited service, is right in the heart of the many wonderful things to do and see in this special port, see http://cruisersnet.net/160351 and call for latest information, 904-310-3300.
Officials in Fernandina Beach decided on Friday to put a dinghy dock in place [at Fernandina Harbor Marina], as I was advised Friday by the president of the local Chamber of Commerce, who sent me the following note she received from the marina – Read More
Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fernandina Harbor Marina HURRICANE DAMAGE AND CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Fernandina Harbor Marina is closed. No dockage, no mooring field and no fuel. Their answering machine message gives no projected re-opening date. Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, that puts you right in the heart of the many wonderful things to do and see in this special port. Many cruisers are going to be disappointed. Our thanks to Wally Moran for this alert!
From their website:
October 12, 2016 – Transient Season Questionable Read More!
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!
Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, shares his perspective on Fernandina, FL, home to two SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS. Thank you Jim!
Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of 2014 (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702). Our thanks to cruising writer Robert Sherer, New Intracoastal Waterway Cruising Guide, for sending this survey and waypoints to guide you through the shoals.
Fernandina Shallows with two GPX routes for 9 to 10 MLW
The shallows south of Beach have been a bane on cruisers schedules for years and yet there are two deep water paths through the hazard. The problems are the two unmarked shoals: one in the middle of the apparent route as you turn south around G1 and another one on the east bank just south of G1. The third shoal just north of G3 now has a red buoy to mark its location. If buoys were placed to direct boaters away from the shoals, then there would be no issues having a 10 MLW passage through the area.
After a dozen passages through the area, I mapped out a green side route for 9 MLW that many have used successfully. Last fall the Coast Guard asked Taylor Engineering of Jacksonville, FL to do a survey of the area and recommend a new route so the appropriate buoys could be relocated to provide safe passage. I was given a copy from Bill Aley of Taylor Engineering along with waypoints. This fall I used those waypoints to verify a 10 MLW route. So now we have an embarrassment of riches, two paths through the shallows, each one with 9 to 10 MLW.
The Taylor Engineering Survey is shown below:
Contrast that chart with a NOAA ENC chart below showing both the survey route (dotted line) and the green side route I posted earlier shown in blue which I’ve taken many times for 9 MLW.
Note the differences in the two routes as you round G1. The survey route (dotted line) would seem to take you into the shallows if you believed your chart but it doesn’t, the chart is wrong (shifted). Just look at the Taylor Engineering chart with their route plotted on a satellite view. At some point the buoys will be moved to direct boaters through the dotted line route.
I have two GPX files available, one with the green side route and one with the survey route (dotted line). With either the Fernandina shallow passage should no longer be a problem although it does appear that the survey route has more leeway in route width, besides we will be following that route at some point in the future anyway when the Coast Guard marks the new route with buoys.
The GPX files (standard disclaimer, user assumes all responsibility):
– For the Taylor Engineering Survey: tinyurl.com/gvmwrmd
– For the Green side passage posted earlier in the year: tinyurl.com/hnvfjo2
5/20/16 Bob received this reply today from Bill Aley of Taylor Engineering:
Thanks so much for the information and the route verification. We’re still working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard to get the buoys moved, and to do some minor maintenance dredging to get a nice clean channel through the area. I hope for all of this to be done by this fall. The information that you provided will be very helpful in my ongoing coordination with the Army Corps and the Coast Guard.
The log of Traveler takes us to Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, that puts you right in the heart of the many wonderful things to do and see in this special port.
5-7-16 Now at Fernandina Harbor Marina. On inside of breakwater (face dock) where anyone would want to be unless too big. Joshua, dock hand, very good—LISTEN to him as the current can be interesting– especially at fuel dock. Saw a nice crash between 2 60+’ boats even after the negligent one was warned off. But again, one of my top 5 places to stop. If u have bicycles, then in for a treat. So many things to see and do here. Fresh seafood store right on the docks and the restaurant there is great!!! Marg’s even better than Coastal Kitchen at St Simons! One of the busiest marinas we’ve seen– in a nice way. Lot of foot traffic on the docks and the historic town is right across the railroad tracks for anything– especially lot of wonderful places to eat– or ice cream!! Only concern was that we came in fairly close to low and the south end of the breakwater- where you have to enter- is very shallow. Stay very close to the south end of the breakwater. Wifi not good at all but we were warned about that.
Charlie and Jackie on Traveler.
Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of last year (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702). Our thanks to geologist, Bill Aley, for sending these surveys to assist in guiding you through the shoals. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=153488 for further advice.
And, thanks to Robert Sherer, we have the lat/lon locations of the turns indicated in the survey below with WP1 being the first heading south:
Note corrections to WP 2 and 4 below, thanks to Mike. Note also that our chart centers on WP 4.
This posting is what prompted me to email Taylor Engineering asking for more detail, namely the waypoints for the route turns. I wanted his numbers rather than trying to interpolate from the chart. He was gracious enough to provide them. Perhaps we can nail this section of the ICW so it will never again cause agitation for boaters!
At the request of the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), I’d like to share the attached figure with you. The figure illustrates an area of shoaling in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within Nassau County, FL that is a potential navigation hazard.
The PDF file depicts some very recent mapping that shows naturally deep water to the west and south of the currently marked channel in this area. Taylor Engineering is currently working with the FIND, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US Coast Guard to relocate the federal channel and corresponding red channel marker #18 and green channel marker #1 to direct navigation traffic towards the deeper waters.
Bill Aley, P.G.
Taylor Engineering, Inc.
10151 Deerwood Park Blvd.
Bldg. 300, Suite 300
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone (904) 731-7040
Direct (904) 256 -1313
The entrance channel leading to Amelia Island Yacht Basin, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, cuts into the Waterway’s eastern shore, immediately north of the Kingsley Creek Railway Bridge and just south of Waterway marker #13. Only gasoline pumps are out of service!/p>
Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of last year (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702). Our thanks to cruising writer Robert Sherer, New Intracoastal Waterway Cruising Guide, for sending these charts and waypoints to guide you through the shoals.
There is a 10 ft MLW path through the shoals south of Fernandina that I took on October 28, 2015.
Depart channel 300 ft before R16 aiming for the tongue of deep water shown on chart (Garmin) at a heading of 275M for 17.8 MLW.
Run along the 12 ft contour line next to shore until the tongue of deep water ends as shown on the chart, then aim for G1 which will be at 245M, pass by 30 ft for 13.4 MLW, higher along the way.
Important: do not turn immediately around G1 (shoals), continue for 170 ft, then turn due south for 500 ft before turning towards deep water as shown on charts on the green side close to shore. Run just outside the 12 ft contour line down to G3 and G5, 200 ft off. 10.4 MLW entering the 12 ft contour line, deeper after that.
This passage is difficult because you’re avoiding three shoals:
– one is in the middle of the marked channel in the bend that’s down to 3 MLW
– the second one comes out off the eastern shore just south of G1
– the third one is further south coming off the western shore
None of these are marked.
After six years of passing through here, I’ve settled on the above description, it works for no less than 10.4 MLW. The depths were adjusted for not only the tides but also for the higher than normal water levels as reported by the Fernandina weather station. This passage would be easy if buoyed properly, the route has been constant for the pass five years.
A chart of the route:
For those wanting the exact path, here are the waypoints with the usual disclaimers (things can change on the ICW)
N 30° 39.804
W 081° 28.596
N 30° 39.805
W 081° 28.730
N 30° 39.853
W 081° 28.938
N 30° 39.803
W 081° 29.082
N 30° 39.713
W 081° 29.084
N 30° 39.613
W 081° 29.030
N 30° 39.409
W 081° 28.968
N 30° 39.254
W 081° 28.970
N 30° 38.824
W 081° 29.024
Author of “2015 ICW Cruising Guide” available on Amazon.com
Daily blog at fleetwing.blogspot.com
The entrance channel leading to Amelia Island Yacht Basin, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, cuts into the AICW’s eastern flank, immediately north of the Kingsley Creek Railway Bridge, and just south of Waterway marker #13. Skipper Herl’s report relates a visit before dredging was completed, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=139385
Amelia Island Yacht Basin
The crew there is great and the restaurant “The Galley Pub” was very good. Just stopped in to get a snack but ended up with a huge juicy hamburger and all the fixins. Yum-yum.
They are in the process of dredging [now completed] the canal and basin to improve the depth but did not know what the time line would be for completion.
Here’s an article with which we can easily identify and a nice tribute to our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association. Published by Joe Weston in the Columbia Daily Tribune, Columbia, Missouri. Fernandina is home to Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
Early morning on the Intracoastal Waterway
By JOE WESTON
Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 12:00 am
Columbia native Sally Tull Logan and her husband, Clay Logan, are in the midst of an ambitious boat journey called the Great Loop. The Loop involves circumnavigating the eastern half of North America by water, with most of the passage being on the Intracoastal Waterway, or ICW.
Loopers, as they are called, live on their boats for the entire journey, which might be in the 3,000- to 5,000-mile range, depending on side trips. I was fortunate to join them in the Florida Keys last year and on the ICW from Jacksonville, Fla., to Charleston, S.C., this year.
Being on the water affords opportunities for many spectacular sunrises and sunsets, as well as treacherous storms. This scene was more subdued but still beautiful, as sailboats in the lifting fog reflected the sunrise at Fernandina Beach, Fla. The only motion was a solo bird hunting for unsuspecting breakfast at dawn.
My family has been vacationing in Fernandina for more than 50 years and it gets better every year, as Skipper Pink obviously confirms! And a berth at Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, puts you right in the heart of the wonderful things to do and see in this special port.
We never go there without eating at LuLu’s, nuff said.
The palace bar, where the ship captains of yesteryear drank, don’t let the bar (front room) fool you, the opening behind the bar that looks like a kitchen opening leads to other rooms and entertainments. 2-3 years ago now I think when we were there last.
My family has been vacationing in Fernandina for more than 50 years and it gets better every year, as Skipper Dammeyer confirms with his discovery of a great bakery. And a berth at Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, puts you right in the heart of the wonderful things to do and see in this special port.
Just made a great find. The favorite bakery of passing cruisers up Center Street closed a couple of years ago, but a new one just opened 4th of July in Fernandina. Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop had lots of treats and sweets. Open from 10-7, and located at the corner of 5th and Ash, one block South of Center street, around the corner from the court house. The crew at Timoti’s Fish Shop sent us over there for desert. Cruisers with a sweet tooth stopping at Fernandina will find it worth the walk from the marina.