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Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

[EXPIRED] Dangerous Navigational Mistake on St. Johns River, 6/8/11 (near intersection with Trout River)

The Cruisers’ Net has just been contacted by Captain David Kurdley (http://www.oldmillcove.com) about a potentially dangerous situation which might arise for captains and vessels cruising downstream (east) on the St. Johns River between Jacksonville and the AICW/Mayport. This is a bit of a complicated matter, and it will probably make more sense if you can follow along while referencing chart 11491.
First, find where the St. Johns intersects with Trout River, and then look across on the opposite shore, east of St. Johns River marker #63. You will spy a very long, unmarked “channel” which eventually leads east and southeast from Reddie Point to Mill Cove.
Captain David informed us that some downstream bound captains, either by mistake or by way of trying to take a shortcut, are leaving the main St. Johns channel hard by charted Reddie Point, and following this errant, Mill Cove Channel. Vessels that take this route INEVITABLY RUN AGROUND AS THEY COME ABEAM OF PAULINE ISLAND, IF NOT SOONER, AND, THE LOCAL TOW BOAT SERVICES ARE UNDERSTANDABLY VERY RELUCTANT TO TAKE THEIR VESSELS INTO THESE TREACHEROUS WATERS TO PULL OFF GROUNDED CRAFT!
There is a good reason that boats run aground in the Reddie Point – Mill Cove “channel.” The purpose of dredging this channel WAS NOT TO MAKE IT NAVIGABLE. Rather it was dredged in order to slow or halt silting in Mill Cove by increasing tidal current. That objective has been accomplished, but that does nothing for navigational purposes.
The bottom line is that ALL CRUISING VESSELS need to avoid the Reddie Point – Mill Cove “channel” like the proverbial plague, and simply stay in the main St. Johns River channel. To accomplish this objective, be SURE to pass west of marker #63 and northwest of marker #61!!!
Click the link below to open a Chart View page centered on these problem waters.
And, if you are one of the unlucky ones who’ve had trouble in the Reddie Point – Mill Cove channel, please let us hear about your experience by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the St. Johns River West of Reddie Point

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