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    • Healy Report: Alternate Route, St. Andrew Sound, GA AICW Statute Miles 685-690

      Several route options to navigate St Andrew Sound, especially in foul weather, have been posted on Cruisers Net. Type St Andrew Sound in our Homepage Search window for those reports. Experienced cruisers and frequent Cruisers Net contributors Jim and Peg Healy share their ships log and navigation watches as M/V Sanctuary travels south on the FL/GA Waterway. Thank you Jim and Peg!

      About 2012, I plotted an alternate route across the northern part of St. Andrews Sound, but I never had the nerve (conditions) to run it.  Last year, Bob Sherer (Bob423) published an alternate that was nearly identical to mine.  To test the route, I wanted high tide and good sea conditions.  Today was the day.  High tide, bright sunshine, SSW 15 – 20.  I could feel Claiborne [Claiborne Young, founder of Cruisers Net] looking over me as I motored forth, laughing and chuckling approvingly!
      Here are my tracks southbound through St. Andrews Sound at today’s high tide:

      The alternate route is 6 statute miles from Jekyll Creek back to the Cumberland River.  The route is significantly more protected that the ICW route.  Note also, the “ICW Route” I follow is NOT the charted ICW route; I cut the bottom of Horseshoe Shoal, but I don’t recommend that unless the captain knows the route and tides well.As luck would have it, just as I turned off the main ICW route, I passed a sailboat running under power.  OK, I travel ever so slightly slightly faster than most sailboats, but when I rejoined the main ICW route in the Cumberland River, that sailboat was still behind me, just about where I’d left him.  I’d guess I didn’t lose more that 10 – 15 minutes taking the alternate route, and I never saw less than what would be 10 feet depth at MLLW.  I did pass two ActiveCaptain hazard markers.  Neither were representative of what I actually saw.  So my net is, keep this alternative route in mind for those days that aren’t so ideal on St. Andrews Sound.  It works.The actual .gpx route can be downloaded from, which is Bob Sherer’s website (Bob423).  It’s name is BStAndAlt. [Also try Thank you Hank}
      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the AICW’s Passage Across St. Andrew Sound

      Comments from Cruisers (3)

      1. Jon Bryant -  March 17, 2020 - 8:56 pm

        Transited St Andrews Sound yesterday March 16. NE wind 20 to 25 knots. I followed the ICW route, it became terribly rough. Steep four to six foot waves with a period of 2 to 3 seconds. In a 31 foot sailboat it was nerve wracking. So of course today I see the alternate route. Lesson learned, check Cruisers Net and Bob 423.

        Reply to Jon
      2. Larry Shick -  November 1, 2019 - 8:25 am

        You meant

        Reply to Larry
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