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    • Tom Hale Comments on Confusing Area South of Fernandina Beach, FL AICW Statute Mile 719.5

      Our thanks to Tom Hale for his insight on this troublesome area south of Fernandina. See NAV ALERT of April 14th.

      For some reason the section between STM 717 and STM 719 is confusing to some. It needn’t be.
      Northbound after exiting Kinglsey creek you are in the Amelia River. Stay to the east side past R2. The charts show the deepest water on the lower east side. I have used the upper west side at the G2 bend of the river for about 5 years, as the water is deeper along the western shore The eastern channel has at least 8 feet of water at MLLW. The western channel has 12+ at MLLW . This is one place you do not want to follow the NOAA magenta line. It takes you right across the shoal in the middle of the river. At the northern end of either channel you will turn sharply to the east. At this point there are two green ATONs G1 and G1A. As of t4/15/2019, up to date NOAA chart show both G1 and G1A, a steel pole driven firmly into the river bottom with green day boards. As you turn the corner you must follow the south bank of the river. Stay away from R18,16 and 14 as they are marking a shoal. Both the sonar charts and USACE surveys show this south side of the river as the preferred route. Stay along the shore until you are past the paper mill. Then head towards Fernandina Beach Marina.

      Southbound is equally simple. Pass Fernandina Beach Marina and then hug the east and south shores past the paper mill. Head west past G1 and G1A to the western side of the river and turn south along the western shore. The attached Sonar Charts give a clear picture of the route. The USACE survey only covers the section north of G1.

      Tom Hale

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    • NAV ALERT: Shoaling/Buoy Confusion Reported South of Fernandina, FL AICW Statute Mile 719.5


      Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years prompting numerous comments. Shoaling with a shifting channel and the resulting USCG relocation of ATONS leads to frequent confusion, even among local boaters. The troublesome area lies c. two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek. See Update on ATONs from 2018. Our thanks to Larry Shick for this Alert.

      The local TowBoat/US operator was doing a land-office business today pulling boats (including us) off the sandbars of the Amelia River south of Fernandina. The current NOAA S57 charts show markers (south to north) 1B, 1A, and 1. 1B is waaay off to the west. The advice from the local TowBoat/US operator for northbound boats is to favor the east side of the channel, ignore 1B, then pass 1A and 1 within about a boat length, leaving them to starboard as you would any northbound green, and then you’re good to go up the river from there. We got some misleading?/confusing?/incomplete? “local knowledge” which told us to pass northbound close to marker 1, with no mention of 1A, and we wound up on the putty as a result at near low tide.
      Larry Shick

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Light #1

      Comments from Cruisers (4)

      1. Mike Cam -  April 19, 2019 - 2:34 pm

        The Schick comments are accurate in my opinion. This year northbound I called the TowBOAT/US operator ahead of time. He had towed me off at low water the two previous years. Stay well to the east until half way (approx) between G1B and G1A then aim to curve around 1A and 1. Then stay away from the Reds until past the mill.
        I also advise ignoring 1B. Here is an area I disagree with Bob423 although we both contribute to the same waterway publication. The comments about the tow operator are uncalled for and inaccurate.
        It's easy to mis-hear or mis-understand complicated directions while trying to visualize what you will see.

        Reply to Mike
      2. Thomas Hale -  April 17, 2019 - 3:50 pm

        For some reason the section between STM 717 and STM 719 is confusing to some. It needn’t be.
        Northbound after exiting Kinglsey creek you are in the Amelia River. Stay to the east side past R2. The charts show the deepest water on the lower east side. I have used the upper west side at the G2 bend of the river for about 5 years, as the water is deeper along the western shore The eastern channel has at least 8 feet of water at MLLW. The western channel has 12+ at MLLW . This is one place you do not want to follow the NOAA magenta line. It takes you right across the shoal in the middle of the river. At the northern end of either channel you will turn sharply to the east. At this point there are two green ATONs G1 and G1A. As of t4/15/2019, up to date NOAA chart show both G1 and G1A, a steel pole driven firmly into the river bottom with green day boards. As you turn the corner you must follow the south bank of the river. Stay away from R18,16 and 14 as they are marking a shoal. Both the sonar charts and USACE surveys show this south side of the river as the preferred route. Stay along the shore until you are past the paper mill. Then head towards Fernandina Beach Marina.

        Southbound is equally simple. Pass Fernandina Beach Marina and then hug the east and south shores past the paper mill. Head west past G1 and G1A to the western side of the river and turn south along the western shore. The attached Sonar Charts give a clear picture of the route. The USACE survey only covers the section north of G1.

        Reply to Thomas
      3. Bob Keller -  April 14, 2019 - 9:26 pm

        Your problem is not with the markers but rather with the Tow Boat operator who provides false information. Happened to me about 1.5 years ago before the ATONs were relocated. Called him ahead of time and he told me to stay to the east near marker 1 and we did and hit bottom. Did not get stuck but learned afterward that you actually have to stay to the west. Follow bob423 route and do not call the local Tow Boat operator!

        Reply to Bob
    • BOLO: 32′ Center Console, Light Blue, stolen from Jacksonville, FL

      This just posted on St Augustine Cruisers’ Net.

      Michelle Bennett shared a post.
      Admin · 2 hrs
      Keep an eye out for a 32′ Seacraft light blue hull color, twin 275 Mercury outboards named “Reel Cracker”. It was stolen while on it’s trailer somewhere in the Jacksonville/St Aug area last evening.

      1 Facebook Likes, 1 Facebook Reactions

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

    • Update on ATONs South of Fernandina Beach, FL, AICW Statute Mile 719.5


      Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years prompting numerous comments. This shoaling and shifting channel lies c. two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek. Our thanks to Geologist Bill Aley for this permanent buoy update. 

      Following up on some conversations we were having this past April, we are happy to announce that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has finally placed permanent navigation aids to mark the new channel alignment in the problematic navigation area of the Intracoastal Waterway just south of Fernandina, FL.

      Attached is the notice from the USCG and a rough map showing existing and new permanent navigation aids in the area.

      Unfortunately, they did not mark the shoal that is north-west of green marker #3. This shoal is still a potential hazard to any boaters who may navigate directly from marker 3 toward 1B, especially at lower tides.

      Happy Thanksgiving.

      Bill Aley, P.G. | Professional Geologist

      Taylor Engineering, Inc.
      10199 Southside Blvd., Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32256
      Main: 904-731-7040 | Direct: 904-256-1313 | Cell: 904-545-1137
      www.taylorengineering.com
      Destin | Jacksonville | Sarasota | Tampa

      R 061925Z NOV 18

      FM USCGC HAMMER

      TO COMCOGARD SECTOR JACKSONVILLE FL

      INFO COGARD ANT JACKSONVILLE BEACH FL

      CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL

      COGARD STA MAYPORT FL

      BT

      UNCLAS

      PASS TO OFFICE CODES:

      INFO CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL//DPW//

      SUBJ: ATON CHANGE/IATONIS UPDATE//

      1. FERNANDINA BEACH BUOY 1A CONVERTED TO FERNANDINA BEACH DBN 1A POST

      DREDGING PROJECT.

      2. RECOVERED BUOY. ESTABLISHED (01) 50FT SPW IN 12FT. INSTALLED (02)

      03 SG-SY.

      3. POSN INFO: 30-39-46.403N 081-29-05.218W (30°39.7734N / 081°29.0870W, 30.662890 / -81.484783)

      4. REQ MPP BECOME AP.

      4. REQ BNM

      BT

      ————————————————————————————————————————–

      R 061914Z NOV 18

      FM USCGC HAMMER

      TO COMCOGARD SECTOR JACKSONVILLE FL

      INFO COGARD ANT JACKSONVILLE BEACH FL

      CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL

      COGARD STA MAYPORT FL

      BT

      UNCLAS

      PASS TO OFFICE CODES:

      INFO CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL//DPW//

      SUBJ: ATON CHANGE/IATONIS UPDATE//

      1. FERNANDINA BEACH BUOY 1B CONVERTED TO FERNANDINA BEACH DBN 1B POST

      DREDGING PROJECT.

      2. RECOVERED BUOY. ESTABLISHED (01) 50FT SPW IN 20FT. INSTALLED (02)

      03 SG-SY.

      3. POSN INFO: 30-39-36.578N 081-29-09.609W (30°39.6097N / 081°29.1601W, 30.660161 / -81.486002)

      4. REQ MPP BECOME AP.

      4. REQ BNM

      ———————————————————————————————————————————-

      R 061920Z NOV 18

      FM USCGC HAMMER

      TO COMCOGARD SECTOR JACKSONVILLE FL

      INFO COGARD ANT JACKSONVILLE BEACH FL

      CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL

      COGARD STA MAYPORT FL

      BT

      UNCLAS

      PASS TO OFFICE CODES:

      INFO CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL//DPW//

      SUBJ: ATON CHANGE/IATONIS UPDATE//

      1. AMELIA RIVER BUOY 18A CONVERTED TO FERNANDINA BEACH DBN 18A POST

      DREDGING PROJECT.

      2. RECOVERED BUOY. ESTABLISHED (01) 50FT SPW IN 13FT. INSTALLED (02)

      04 TR-TY.

      3. POSN INFO: 30-39-52.597N 081-29-07.909(30°39.8766N / 081°29.1318W, 30.664610 / -81.485530)

      4. REQ MPP BECOME AP.

      4. REQ BNM

      —————————————————————————————————————————————-

      R 061907Z NOV 18

      FM USCGC HAMMER

      TO COMCOGARD SECTOR JACKSONVILLE FL

      INFO COGARD ANT JACKSONVILLE BEACH FL

      CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL

      COGARD STA MAYPORT FL

      BT

      UNCLAS

      PASS TO OFFICE CODES:

      INFO CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL//DPW//

      SUBJ: ATON DISCREPANCY CORRECTION

      A. COGARD ANT JACKSONVILLE BEACH

      1. FERNANDINA BEACH DBN 2 (LLNR 37987)

      2. CAUSE: ALLISON. RECOVERED TRUB. REBUILT AID IN

      18FT OF WATER USING (01) 50FT SPW. INSTALLED (02) 04 TR-TY.

      3. POSN INFO: REBUILT ON AP.

      4. REQ CANX BNM

      BT

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Temporary Buoy 18A

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Bill Aley -  November 21, 2018 - 2:22 pm

        Happy cruising everyone. Hopefully this area is now more clearly marked for your cruising pleasure. Please keep aware of the still dangerous shoal on the west bank, south of marker 1B and NW of marker 3. Plenty of deepwater exists on the outside of the bends in this area.

        Reply to Bill
    • Healy Report: Fernandina to Problem Stretch Matanzas Inlet/AICW Intersection, FL AICW Statute Miles 716-792


      Experienced cruisers, Jim and Peg Healy, continue to generously share their observations and advice as they make their way south for the winter. Here’s another good distance day and a good depths day. Also another report of a Problem Stretch that isn’t a problem this year! Thank you Jim and Peg! .

      Came through Fernandina Beach at low tide. The nasty curve south of the paper mill into the South Amelia River is clearly marked with floating laterals. It’s the same path that was good last spring, and it carries 8′ this fall. Just follow the markers.

      Came through the Matanzas Inlet [intersection with ICW], next day, also at low tide. There are lateral markers there, and they are correct. A couple have been moved somewhat towards the shoreline from the spring. I followed the visual center between the markers and the shoreline. The route is exciting because visually, you are very close to the shoreline. Follow the curve of the shoreline; do not cut from marker to marker. Saw no less then 7.5′ on that route. South of the inlet, where the Matanzas River straightens out, the markers are farther apart and the water is just a bit more shallow. Saw 7′ at MLLW in that short area.
      Jim

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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    • LNM: ICW Shoaling Reported, South Amelia River, AICW Statute Mile 726


      ICW Buoy 34 sits on the northern shoulder of the Waterway at the southern end of a narrow channel of the South Amelia River.

      FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – SOUTH AMELIA RIVER: Shoaling
      The U.S. Coast Guard has observed shoaling in South Amelia River in the vicinity of South Amelia River Daybeacon 34 (LLNR 38100) in position 30-34-15.435N / 081-28-00.227W (30°34.2572N / 081°28.0038W, 30.570954 / -81.466730) . The shoal has extended southwest in the channel.
      Chart 11489 LNM 33/18

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    • LNM: Update on ATONs South of Fernandina Beach, FL, AICW Statute Mile 719.5


      Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years prompting numerous comments. This shoaling and shifting channel lies c. two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek. Our thanks to Geologist Bill Aley for sending this buoy update. Note that these temporary buoys are not charted in our charts.

      Here is the latest update from the local U.S. Coast Guard district: Three temporary navigation aids were placed last Friday, however, the old Navigation Aids will not be removed until sometime next month based on availability of their construction platform. Info for the newly placed navigation aids is as follows:

      1. TEMPORARILY ESTABLISHED AMELIA RIVER BUOY 18A
      A. SET 5NFR IN POSITION 30-39-52.591N / 081-29-07.904W (30°39.8765N / 081°29.1317W, 30.664609 / -81.485529) IN 14 FEET OF
      WATER USING 45 FEET OF 1/2 INCH CHAIN AND 135LB DORMOR.

      2. TEMPORARILY ESTABLISHED FERNANDINA BEACH BUOY 1A
      A. SET 5CFR IN POSITION 30-39-46.402N / 081-29-05.211W (30°39.7733N / 081°29.0869W, 30.662889 / -81.484781) IN 15 FEET OF
      WATER USING 45 FEET OF 1/2 INCH CHAIN AND 135LB DORMOR.

      3. TEMPORARILY ESTABLISHED FERNANDINA BEACH BUOY 1B
      A. SET 5CFR IN POSITION 30-39-36.579N / 081-29-09.632W (30°39.6097N / 081°29.1605W, 30.660161 / -81.486009) IN 15 FEET OF
      WATER USING 45 FEET OF 1/2 INCH CHAIN AND 135LB DORMOR.

      Bill Aley, P.G.
      Professional Geologist
      10151 Deerwood Park Blvd.
      Bldg. 300, Suite 300
      Jacksonville, FL 32256
      Phone (904) 731-7040
      Direct (904) 256 -1313
      www.taylorengineering.com

      And the Local Notice:

      FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – AMELIA RIVER & FERNANDINA BEACH: Temporary Aids Established
      The following aids had have been temporarily established after completion of dredging operations resulting in a channel shift to the west.
      -Amelia River Buoy 18A in position 30-39-52.591N / 081-29-07.904W
      (30°39.8765N / 081°29.1317W, 30.664609 / -81.485529)
      -Fernandina Beach Buoy 1A in position 30-39-46.402N / 081-29-05.211W
      (30°39.7733N / 081°29.0869W, 30.662889 / -81.484781)
      -Fernandina Beach Buoy 1B in position 30-39-36.579N / 081-29-09.632W
      (30°39.6097N / 081°29.1605W, 30.660161 / -81.486009)
      Chart 11489 LNM 06/18

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Temporary Buoy 18A

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    • Services Report from Fernandina Harbor Marina, Fernandina, FL, AICW Statute Mile 716


      Fernandina Harbor Marina

      Our thanks to Vicki Lathom for this brief, but informative, report. Fernandina Harbor Marina, A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, was damaged by Matthew, but is now offering limited service as Vicki Lathom notes below. The Marina docks and restaurant are right in the heart of the many wonderful things to do and see in this special port. For latest dockage information, call 904-310-3300.

      12 mooring balls. Five slips available. Restaurant open. No fuel
      Vicki Lathom

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fernandina Harbor Marina  

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fernandina Harbor Marina

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Gwyn Vernon -  December 4, 2017 - 12:06 pm

        We just anchored at Fernandina Beach for 3 nights and had a wonderful visit. New is a Island Hopper Shuttle which picks you up at City Hall and can take you to beach, Walmart, Publix and Winn Dixie for $1.00. A great improvement for crusiers! The hours are limited to 10am to about 4 PM. Another great find was a new bicycle rental place for $15 a day with delivery to the marina. Call Steve at 904-742-4740.

        Reply to Gwyn
      2. glenn -  December 2, 2017 - 3:31 pm

        Fuel is available a few miles south at Amelia Island Marina, also check with them or Tiger Point for overnight slip with power

        Reply to glenn
    • 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. 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
      http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
      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

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    • Healy Report: Pay Attention!

      Experienced cruisers, Jim and Peg Healy, have been generously sharing their observations and advice as they make their way south for the winter. The photos below attest to the healy’s advice to pay attention! Thank you Jim and Peg!

      PAY ATTENTION TO THE WATERWAY. Here are two interesting pictures.
      First, DSCN8150 shows a sunken boat IN THE CHANNEL AT FERNANDINA BEACH.

      Second, DSCN8155 shows what can happen when you mistake a Range Marker for a Red lateral on a falling tide.

      It was an interesting day.
      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Rock Creek, Pasadena, MD
      http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

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    • Healy Report: South Amelia River, Fernandina, FL, AICW Statute Mile 717


      The Waterway’s channel through the bend in the Amelia River described by Jim and Peg Healy has long been a source of shoaling and channel shifting. The good news is that, as this post is being written, dredging should be underway to realign this pesky channel, see this week’s Local Notice

      Sanctuary and crew departed Brunswick, GA, southbound, at 08h40 on 11/1/2017. The weather was clear, winds light and variable, seas flat, low humidity. A great welcome to Florida in November!

      Fernandina Beach, FL at the South Amelia River – We transited that area at 13h30, just a few minutes off low tide. The tide station at Fernandina Beach, Amelia River, Florida reported +0.4 ft. On the route we followed, we saw one sandpile at 7.8 ft, with the majority of the area at 8.5 ft. The control depth on the route we followed is 7.8-0.4=7.4 ft at MLLW. Not bad. Screen shot attached. Our route is in black. Our actual track is the blue highlighted line. The route recommended by Bb Sherer (Bob423) is shown in lime. Screen shot “Fernandina” shows that area, attached.

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Rock Creek, Pasadena, MD
      http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

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

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    • Curfews Imposed Across Northeast Florida

      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.

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    • LNM: SHOALING, Sisters Creek, AICW Statute Mile 735


      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°26.9647N / 081°26.8891W, 30.449411 / -81.448152]) 30-26-57.881N, 081-26-53.346W (30°26.9647N / 081°26.8891W, 30.449411 / -81.448152) and Sisters Creek Light 75 (LLNR 38305 [30°26.3090N / 081°27.2400W, 30.438483 / -81.454000]) 30-26-18.540N, 081-27-14.400W (30°26.3090N / 081°27.2400W, 30.438483 / -81.454000) (30°26.309N / 081°27.24W, 30.438483 / -81.454) . 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

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

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    • Shoaling Reported in South Amelia River, AICW Statute Mile 727


      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.

      John Wampler

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

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    • A Cruiser Helping Other Cruisers!


      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.

      Gentlemen:
      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

      From: Joseph T Plunkett CPA
      Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:57 PM
      To: D07-SMB-DPWPublicComments@uscg.mil
      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 (30°38.9115N / 081°29.0581W, 30.648525 / -81.484302) .

      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 (30°40.7333N / 081°30.4834W, 30.678889 / -81.508056) . 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 (30°40.7333N / 081°30.4834W, 30.678889 / -81.508056), 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 (30°38.9115N / 081°29.0581W, 30.648525 / -81.484302) .

      Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my comments.

      Joseph T. Plunkett

      M/V Happy Hagar, Official Number 660256

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    • Update on Groundings South of Fernandina Beach, AICW Statute Mile 719.5


      Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of 2014 (/?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.


      3/4/2017
      Problem area 300 meters north of old temporary red #2 in Amelia River south of Fernandina Beach has been addressed. Passed by this area on 3/3/17 and noted that the USCG has installed a new marker [Red 2] at the sandbar I grounded on 9/4/16. [See LNM below for [position] USCG requested comments in December replacing temporary red marker#2 with a permanent marker. I used the opportunity to comment and am pleased to see the USCG response. Semper Paratus.
      Joe Plunkett

      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 (30°38.9115N / 081°29.0581W, 30.648525 / -81.484302)

      And this:

      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.
      Joe Plunkett

      9/4/2016
      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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Light #3

      Comments from Cruisers (3)

      1. Bob -  March 5, 2017 - 11:52 am

        Can you indicate where the red 2 temporary mark and the new permanent mark is located? Is it near green 1 or green 3? Thanks.
        bob

        Reply to Bob
      2. Joe Plunkett aboard Happy Hagar -  March 3, 2017 - 10:18 pm

        Problem area 300 meters north of old temporary red #2 in Amelia River south of Fernandina Beach has been addressed. Passed by this area on 3/3/17 and noted that the USCG has installed a new marker at the sandbar I grounded on 9/4/16. USCG requested comments in December replacing temporary red marker#3 with a permanent marker. I used the opportunity to comment and am pleased to see the USCG response. Semper Paratus.

        Reply to Joe
      3. Wally Moran -  October 23, 2016 - 2:37 am

        This should not be a problem area if people just pay attention to their charts – there is lots of water on the eastern side of this area – from G1 to G5. I went through at low tide about five weeks ago, and I draft 5 feet. That’s the third time in the past year I’ve passed through here btw.
        Basic arithmetic tells you that with a tidal range here of 7 feet, this boater was clearly out of the channel to find only three feet.

        Reply to Wally
    • Photo Journal Update – Waterway Bridges by Bill Murdoch

      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!

      The bridge construction in Myrtle Beach is moving along apiece with staging extending in to both sides of the waterway. One photo [below] is as we were passing through the construction area and the other photo is taken over our stern looking north at the bridge. (2/1/17)

      Carolina Bays Parkway Bridge

      See /162534

      The old bascule bridge at Sisters Creek is almost no more. Traffic is on the new span, and crews are working both above the water and below to remove the old bridge. We squeezed through the gap between the construction barge and the red side fendering. (2/11/17)

      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.

      This time it is Flagler Memorial in Palm Beach. They have been replacing this bridge for a couple of years. It is sort of like building a new school house on the site of the old school house with school still in session… it is a mess. Anyway, on February 21 we arrived at Flagler Memorial Bridge in Palm Beach right as the span was closing. After an hour wait, the bridge (one leaf) opened for us, and we passed through. It was a tight fit. The old bridge support and its fender system were to starboard, and the closed leaf was close by to port. Here is a picture of the bridge after we have come through. Sorry for the drab photo; it was not a Kodak day.

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of SC31 Bridge Site

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sisters Creek Bridge

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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Flagler Memorial Bridge

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    • Good News from Fernandina Harbor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 716


      Fernandina Harbor Marina

      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 /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 –
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      A message from Joe Springer at the Marina:
      Just wanted you to know we have rearranged boats in the marina and now have a dingy dock area set aside.
      This will allow those vessel that are in the harbor, at anchor, a place to come ashore and visit our downtown area.
      This area is for dingy boats under 10′ in overall length.
      Joe Springer
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      So – there is now a way for those passing through FB to get ashore and enjoy the city, and just in time for the Thanksgiving crowd coming out of St. Marys, GA.
      Note – marina itself is closed, and mooring balls are not available. The only option here is to anchor, or take a slip at one of the other, far less convenient to downtown, marinas. Fuel could be an issue for some and this needs to be noted.
      I did promise the Mayor and others on town council and the Chamber that I would see to it that this change was publicized both on my own social network, and with major online boating media.
      Wally

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fernandina Harbor Marina  HURRICANE DAMAGE AND CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fernandina Harbor Marina

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