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Fort George River Anchorage

Posted by admin | Posted on 04-19-2007

Fort George River Anchorage
Statute Mile: 735
Lat/Lon: near 30 26.460 North/081 26.285 West
Location: lies just west of unlighted daybeacon #5 – the westerly entrance to Fort George River, from the ICW, lies east-southeast of flashing daybeacon #72
Minimum Depth: 6 feet minimum in the channel
Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels only as large as 36 feet
Foul Weather Protection: Fair, except with strong eastern winds in the offing

Rating:

Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
Centered on the Location of This Anchorage:

 

Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (10)

We rode out a tropical storm about 6 1\2 years ago anchored off the plantation house and the sandbar. The storm was an early season storm that caught us off guard, forming and coming across Florida in 24 hours!! We weathered the storm fine; one boat drug anchor and re-anchored, another shredded their roller furled jib. Not a hurricane hole for sure!
Larry Sherman

On another subject, I would like to recommend that folks don’t anchor east of Kingsley Plantation House near the Kayak landing. We had successfully anchored there before, but on this trip, we anchored mid-channel in 16+ ft of water at high tide. During the night a NE wind came up and blew is up onto the beach which slopes more gradually than the shore in front of the house. Suffice it to say, we spent an uncomfortable couple of hours sitting in the dark on the high side of our trawler watching the starboard side of the boat go down with the tide. We have been blown to the south side of the river in front of the house and still had enough depth.
From now on we will anchor in front of the house!
Jean Thomason

Stayed here 4 16 13, easy in and out, good depths, not great wind protection , but
we held fine.
Greg and Donna
on Lady in Red

Had no trouble exiting ICW to Ft George River. Anchored overnight 11/30/2011 opposite plantation main buildings by mark “5″. Depths 10′+, good holding. Dinghied to park dock just before ranger closed the gate to it at 1630. At dawn, slack tide left it to the wind to push us close to the southern shore. Started engine to keep us off. Tidal current took over again and gave us time to walk the plantation, before leaving mid morning. Recommend this anchorage.

We anchored here winter of 2011. Came in at low tide. Sticking close to the southerly shore. Anchored initially just to the east of the plantation. We experienced a great deal of boat traffic. Center cockpit fishing boats racing through. Felt like we were taking up the whole river. I was not comfortable with it. Picked up and moved just to the south east of green #18 Chart showed a little 5 ft deep area .We draw 3’10″ did a lot of sounding around to pick a spot as close to the north shore as possible. Felt better about it then being in the center of the channel. That night the “Flounder Barge” spent about 3 hours around the plantation. For those not familiar with the “Flounder Barge” from what I could tell it looked like a giant air-boat, with a huge generator on it. This was to power the billion candle spotlights used to search for the flounder. Being not only the loudest machine man has ever made. It appears to be one of the deadliest. It skims the shallow areas looking for prey. On the deck stand what seem to be drunken college kids with spears which they stab at whatever looks like something that might be alive on the bottom. The only thing louder then the generator and giant fan are the hoots of a successful kill. It was a tough night to sleep.

On 4/9/2010 we entered Fort George River from the ICW, passing closely to the ICW (R”72″) marker at the mouth and favoring the southern shore all the way past Kingsley Plantation. At dead low tide, we never saw less than 7 feet. We anchored just beyond the plantation and went ashore witht he dinghy for a very informative visit of a unique piece of American history. Lots of no-see-ums and it is a main thoroughfare for a bunch of center-cockpits in a hurry, but they are gone after dark. Lots of current too, but a nice anchorage and lovely spot.

We’re presently in this anchorage, with two boats near G “3″ and three closer to G “5″. We arrived at about half tide and found the bottom coming up uncomfortable quickly (6′ draft) as we approached the dock (shown as two pilings in the chart) for Kingsley Plantation (marked “ruins”), a National Park Service site. We opted for the bight on the north shore near the G “3″. There’s more swing room and holding is good. One source suggests following a line between Fl R “72″ and R “2″ to enter the river – don’t. It leads through a charted shoal. Instead, favor the north shore and follow current charts. Otherwise, this is a standard issue SE GA, NE FL anchorage with lots of marsh, no-see-ums, and tidal currents – but it sure is pretty.
About the plantation – this is a good trip ashore. The park closes at 5PM but the dock closes at 4:30PM; “closes” means a ranger comes to the dock and chains the gate shut. Curiously, the same sign announcing the 4:30PM closing time also states that docking is limited to 59 minutes (one wonders what bureaucrat dreamed that up…). Plan your visit accordingly.

After leaving St Mary’s, Kittiwake stopped here for the 3rd time in 5 years. No trouble getting in , with tide rising (about mid-tide, almost full spring Nov 1), but had vibes. Sure enough, aobut 4 AM, front came through with some NW and N wind, and Kittiwake was heading for the plantation docks. Up the hook, ride around in the dark and settled in a little further West until enough light to start traveling. Can’t figure out anything I could have done different, but next time will try to Talbot River anchorage (oxbow on W side of ICW, just N of Ft George River anchorage) – not as much water or room – but talked to the folks anchored there overnight, it had better protection from NW and N in the south end.

Subject: Fort George Depths
Cruising News: Today, two hours before high tide we entered the Fort George River. In less than an eighth of a mile we were aground in the center of the channel. Exploratory moves north and south did not reveal water that would float our boat at low tide (we draw 5.5 ft). It looks to us as if there is a three foot +/- bar across the river mouth now.
Chris Wain

I e-mailed Captain Chris and asked for more details, and whether he could have mistakenly left the channel. He was kind enough to immediately reply:

Claiborne,
Anything is possible, but we stuck at 30:26.876 -81:26.720 . It may be that the channel was south of that but we didn’t find it. We have a policy of not ancoring upstream of anything we can’t cross at low tide, so we moved on to the open spot off Harrison Creek. Given the slick calm last night and E’ly this morning it was fine. The only traffic was dolphins.
Chris

Comments on Fort George River from other fellow cruisers:

We spent the night at Kingsley Plantation February 15 this year on our way to the Bahamas. We went in with the tide under us with no problems anchoring in front of the plantation house near where the chart says ‘ruins’. Then next day (quoting from my February 16 log) “Got up both anchors and left the river at dead low tide with no problems.” Our boat is a Crealock 34 and draws 5 ft.
Bill Murdoch
Irish Eyes

Subject: Fort George River Anchorage (Statute Mile 735)
Cruising News: Subject:Fort George River Depths
AMARSE was anchored in the Ft. George River Anchorage the night of 04/15/09. Departing early in the morning of 04/16, we saw nothing less than 8.8 feet total depth even across the river mouth. The GPS tide chart indicated that we were 1.8 feet above MLW so that should have yielded at least 7 feet of water at MLW. We followed Skipper Bob’s advice to use the a range line using the
R72 on the ICW and the R2 on the George River as range markers to intersect the waterway. We also followed his advice to favor the the southern shore on the George River to G5. I believe that this is a very good anchorage spot and don’t forget to use your window screens to avoid feeding the voracious “No-See-Ums”. (YMMV)
Fred Reed
M/V AMARSE
Marine Trader Sundeck Draft 4 1/2

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