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Old 18-03-2018, 11:15   #1
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John's Pass Dangers

Hi All,

A few days ago, while making the approach to John's Pass in Madeira Beach, Florida, I ran into a sand bar. I was gob-smacked, as my chart plotter indicated that I was in the marked channel. With sandy bottoms and sometimes treacherous currents, we in Florida are used to shoaling "surprises," but this was beyond that. I draw 3.5 feet. A review of my track data confirmed that I was in the marked channel. Curious, I consulted a local captain who knows these waters well. He told me that heading west, the first two red channel markers (QR "4" and Fl R 4s "2") accurately defined the channel.However, he said that in proceeding westward from there, he first heads SSW from Fl R 4s "2" until that marker is due north off his starboard side, and then begins a slow, swooping turn toward the outermost channel marker, Mo (A) "JP." This is to say that he is operating 75-100 yards SOUTH of the marked channel; and indeed, that's where I had to coax my cat to get off the sand bar. I also note that there is a misplaced green marker "C" directly between the two inner red markers that violates the "red right returning" rule. Summer boating season is almost here. If funds can't be allocated to dredge the channel along its marked path, can't the markers at least be moved to reflect existing topographical realities?
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Old 19-03-2018, 07:50   #2
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

Report this ATN to USCG
https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=atonOutageReport

USCG Station St Petersburg can set temporary buoys once they have knowledge of the conditions
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Old 19-03-2018, 07:55   #3
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

I went through that pass one time, many years ago, in a twin inboard, and had to make the decision to go outside the markers because the water color didn't match what the markers were saying. After we got through, and got my butt cheeks unclinched, I vowed to never use John Pass again.
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Old 19-03-2018, 16:13   #4
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
Report this ATN to USCG
https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=atonOutageReport

USCG Station St Petersburg can set temporary buoys once they have knowledge of the conditions
Already done, thanks for your reply.
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Old 19-03-2018, 17:13   #5
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

Quite common to have channels not correctly marked due to changes. Three years ago entering Round Hill Creek at 1770 in the North Queensland, we followed the channel markers and hit bottom. We soon got off and then anchored nearby.

The next day, the Queensland Maritime came and changed the green (starboard) marker to red and moved it about 30 metres out. Now the channel went on the west side of the waterway rather than the east side. Apparently had been like that for six months and took them that long to correct.
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Old 19-03-2018, 17:37   #6
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

Known problem at JP

happens elsewhere too. Last year I watched USCG 47 go aground mid channel off Lake Ontario. Another local channel is well shoaled and unmarked. The locals know but woe be to visitors.
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Old 19-03-2018, 18:15   #7
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

Two new sailors lost their boat there a month or two ago.

You hadn't heard?
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Old 19-03-2018, 19:45   #8
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Re: John's Pass Dangers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Two new sailors lost their boat there a month or two ago.

You hadn't heard?
Yes, I had, Stu, but I didn't want to Monday-morning-quarterback that. I don't know if the position of that outer marker was even contributory to their wreck.
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