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.