soundings are the most confident way to find your way through. I always have one of the 3-piece extendable boat hook/pole on board. Extended it is almost 14 feet long. I mark with magic marker every foot up the pole. Then as the dinghy
moves forward slowly I stab the water with the pole and read the depth
. If a shallow obstacle is encountered, I stop and start stabbing the pole in the water in wider and wider circles around the shallow spot looking for the "deep water" if any. The GPS
idea is good but you can also just take notes as to any reference things on land and how far left or right you need to be in the channel to avoid the obstacle.
- - And with the pole you can "feel" what the bottom actually is. Soft mud, hard mud, soft/hard sand or rock.