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Old 01-16-2020, 08:08 PM   #1
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Great News - The AICW At Matanzas Inlet!

We cruised down to Palm Coast on Tuesday. I was following a fifty-footer with a smaller trawler behind me approaching the Matanzas corner. I believe many of us know that infamous corner of the AICW well!

The lead boat started to make the turn and stopped dead in the water. I thought oh, he is just confused by how close the markers are pushing him to the beach on the western side.

So I radioed him and offered to go through ahead so he could follow. I made the turn and saw what he saw - no more can buoys - in fact no markers at all along the whole turn, where there were previously five or six greens showing the way through. I told him that it could be they finally dredged this thing away, but if so why didn't they put the markers down showing the new channel? I suggested he follow me and I would follow the previous path through as I knew we would be fine doing that and I had the bread crumbs on my plotter. The two boats followed me and we got through with good water beneath.

When I got to Palm Coast I asked at the marina if the corner had been dredged and they told me it had. I asked if there was a reason they hadn't put any markers in and they didn't know.

So today when coming back I switched to the forward looking sonar, slowed down and when straight up the middle. At 45 minutes before low tide I had between 11 and 13 feet all the way through! Glory be!

Great news for those travelling through there! But they need to get those markers back in before the snow birds start heading north as there will be a ton of confusion as that shoaling was pretty severe before.

I also wonder how long it will be before the inlet currents start the shoaling again.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:17 PM   #2
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The 81 A, B, C markers were all discontinued for dredging in late 2019 (See the District 7 Local Notice to Mariners beginning week 42/19 and still active). 81 D has been gone since early 2017 and not replaced. Good safe tracks (.gpx) are available thanks to Bob and Ann Sherer (see the ICW Cruising Guide by Bob423 FaceBook group, or get the Guide itself) and other cruisers who came south this season.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:19 PM   #3
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Yup, they were dredging the hell out of it and the waterway South when I came through in November. They ran several miles of dredge pipe South and up the next channel. Looked like they were doing Beach replenishment at the old A1A beach. Wished they had dredged the Matanza inlet channel in the process.

Ted
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Yup, they were dredging the hell out of it and the waterway South when I came through in November. They ran several miles of dredge pipe South and up the next channel. Looked like they were doing Beach replenishment at the old A1A beach. Wished they had dredged the Matanza inlet channel in the process.

Ted
You mean to the Ocean or just to the anchorage by the fort?

No way any of us are going under that bridge and even if we could the rapids through there....
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:31 PM   #5
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The 81 A, B, C markers were all discontinued for dredging in late 2019 (See the District 7 Local Notice to Mariners beginning week 42/19 and still active). 81 D has been gone since early 2017 and not replaced. Good safe tracks (.gpx) are available thanks to Bob and Ann Sherer (see the ICW Cruising Guide by Bob423 FaceBook group, or get the Guide itself) and other cruisers who came south this season.
Don't need to now!
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:28 AM   #6
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You mean to the Ocean or just to the anchorage by the fort?

No way any of us are going under that bridge and even if we could the rapids through there....
Most of the way to the bridge. Looks like a nice anchorage and a good place to dinghy ride from to the ocean on calm days.

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Old 01-17-2020, 08:04 AM   #7
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It is a good anchorage and has good water and holding (last time we were there anyway). It is a popular weekend spot to hit the beach etc.
The issue with getting to the ocean side is not just the low bridge but the narrow channel that the current runs through under the bridge. We went through there on the big RIB once and it was a serious rip. Never again!
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:17 AM   #8
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That anchorage south of the fort is a lovely little spot. I would be wary of it on a falling tide combined with strong NW winds. A lot of water has to squeeze through there to return to the sea, so the current does indeed rip. Matanzas Inlet itself is a tricky little bugger - strictly local knowledge, even in a small boat.
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Old 02-04-2020, 05:32 PM   #9
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Good info, as I'll be bringing a 55-footer through there in April southbound.
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