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News & Events for Chesapeake Bay
Fernandina Beach Shallows Still a Problem
Date Posted: 2018-03-09
The shallows south of Fernandina have a long history of agitating boaters. There are at least four unmarked shoals that can catch the unwary captain. Until recently, the buoy placement did not provide guidance around the shoals. A deep-water path was surveyed in 2016 for which I posted waypoints used by many boaters successfully. In November of 2017, the deep-water path was further dredged, making it the official ICW channel. Three new buoys were added and all was thought to be fine. However, it appears there’s more than one way to interpret how to pass through those buoys and there have been a number of groundings.
Shown below is a chart showing the new buoys. The blue line is a route that appears to honor the buoys but may encounter a shoal from G1 to G1A. The red line is the route recommended by the Coast Guard after the dredging of 11/2017. The red line route follows the centerline of the channel survey after the dredging.
A chart of the entire red line route is shown below. A GPX download of the route is available in the Nav Alert listing on the Waterway Explorer.
It is highly recommended that the GPX route be loaded into a nav program due to the lack of enough buoys to guide you through around the shallows.
Waterway Guide is continuing its assessment of this channel and will publish updates as they become available.
View location on the Waterway Guide Explorer