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Old 15-04-2009, 12:18   #1
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Ft Pierce Inlet Info ?

The last time I went into ft Pierce inlet I thought I was white water Rafting! It was 20min after low tide and still ripping. Is anyone familiar with this inlet and can tell me best time (Tide wise) to enter. We are looking at crossing over from the Bahamas soon and would like an uneventful experience.
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Old 15-04-2009, 12:51   #2
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Was the wind anything with east in it? We have used it a couple of times, and no issues. Had your problem coming into St. Augustine with an ebb, and a N.E. wind of 25knots. It too was white water rafting.......lolololol......i2f
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Old 15-04-2009, 13:14   #3
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Dr. Dave (maxingout) would be your best resource for a clear understanding of the Ft. Pierce area.

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Old 15-04-2009, 15:22   #4
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No wind at the time. That inlet drains a large area so I assume that low tide at the ocean does not mean it is not still emptying out. I was looking for some local knowledge on when it gets slack or close. Either high or low.

Thanks!
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Old 16-04-2009, 07:36   #5
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When the Going Gets Good.

A dead low tide is not a good time to try that or most any inlet. One wants either slack water high or low (I prefer low as one can better see the shoals), or on a flood, which "stretches out" the seas. At "low tide", the ebb is still running strongly into the approaching sea, which piles up the waves and slows one's VMG over the bottom--holding one in the wash bucket, so to speak.

For example, at Ft. Pierce Inlet, this morning's low tide is 0800 (US EDST). At the same time, however, the Ebb is running at 1.7 knts, 72* True, right into the on-comming Stream which is running northerly at 2 knts, and being opposed by a 10 knt northwesterly wind. That makes for a very lumpy, slow transit. At mid-day, however, there is slack water high in the inlet--and an easy passage.

FWIW...

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Old 16-04-2009, 08:04   #6
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svHylyte, Thanks. That was exactly the info I was looking for. Every inlet has its variables and I always try for a slack high or incomming when possible. I am looking at Monday pm arrival and will adjust my departure acordingly or stand off untill conditions are optimum.
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Old 16-04-2009, 08:26   #7
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Good post, HyLyte, I've been trying to convince my wife that low & High tides and slack currents do not mean the same thing for years. My best analogy is to think of yourselt waiting in a long line at a traffic light. The delayed response means that you may be moving when the light ahead is red and staying still while it's green. I know the best time to run up and estuary is more likely after high tide when many people think from that time all the water is rushing out. 'so not true! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 16-04-2009, 09:21   #8
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Good to Go!

Will--

On Monday (4-20-'09) at Ft. Pierce Inlet (roughly N27 28.200 W80 17.300) slack water low will be at about 1430 (US EDST). The flood will reach a maximum of 2 knts or so, heading about 270* True, at about 1700 and hold for about 30 minutes. Slack water high will be at about 2000. High tide is predicted to be at about 1730 at 2.5 feet with either low water at 1130 before and 2400 after. (The foregoing based upon Tides and Currents V2.5b) You can use the rule of 12ths for both tide and currents for your given time of transit.

Passage weather is predicting southerlies in the range of 10 knts or so on the 20th and the wind looks like it will have been from the southeast or so for the preceding 24 hours so the Stream should have been laid down a bit and perhaps a bit more water will be blown into the pass so you should have no difficulty.

FWIW...

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Old 16-04-2009, 09:43   #9
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From our limited experience- The inlets are much smoother when you can time the wind with the current. East wind with an outgoing tide and a West wind with an Incoming tide. The washing machine we know as inlets will lie down at the turn of the wind tide.

depending on your draft- high slack or low slack are optimal. The 1st two hours are pretty slow however. Avoid the 3rd hour of the tide like the plague. The current runs 3+ knots and the inlet will be at it's worst.

Fort Pierce has a long jetty and a long stretch before you hit the ICW but you can turn out of the inlet almost right outside the jetty. Fort Pierce is pretty shallow all around the ICW- check your maps and follow the markers and 6' draft will be fine in the ICW.

The gulf stream is pretty close offshore- literally within 3/4 mile offshore you get the benefit.

St. Lucie and Fort Worth are also very good inlets. Avoid Jupiter inlet- even powerboats avoid this inlet- narrow and turbulent.

all the best-
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Old 16-04-2009, 23:05   #10
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I went through the Fort Pierce inlet at eleven oclock at night without a problem. I did not attempt to time the entry, and I was lucky. If it was too rough, I would have turned around and held position offshore until the inlet was safe to enter. It was easy to follow the buoys and markers in the dark as the channel is well marked.

Since I have two engines and my catamaran is a relatively stable sailing platform, sometimes I don't pay too much attention to the state of the tide. If I had a single engine, I would probably be much more conservative about entering inlets where the loss of the single engine could result in disaster. I think I should be more careful.
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Old 17-04-2009, 04:07   #11
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Locations, Information & GPS Numbers For Southeast Florida Ocean Inlets
South Florida Inlets - Inlet Location Information & GPS Numbers - St. Lucie, Jupiter, Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton, Boca Raton, Hillsboro, Port Everglades, Miami
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Old 17-04-2009, 10:21   #12
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I went into that inlet at 3AM on a flood. I draw close to 7.5 feet. The only problem was finding the markers with all the lights in the background.
From my experience you wanna go when the wind and current are alligned. Generally I time any of those inlets on a flood, since easterlies are prevailing.
Westerly winds are usually too weak to disturb the flood, unless its a tropical system.
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Old 10-10-2010, 14:36   #13
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Boca Raton Info?

Seeking info on Boca Inlet (South Florida) and anchoring in Lake Boca please. Without starting a new thread does anyone have info/experience on above? Will be in a 42' sailing cat with 4.5' draft. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:57   #14
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The inlet at Boca Raton is not one that I would choose. There are shifting sand bars both inside and outside the inlet that shoal to from 1 to 3 feet at low tide. Currents through the S-curved pathway can reach 7 knots and there is a bascule bridge to deal with within the inlet. This inlet is mostly used by sportsfishermen with local knowledge. There are much safer choices north and south; however, while traveling on the ICW there is a satisfactory anchorage at Boca Raton (Rat's Mouth) between two more lift bridges that are subject to strong currents. This anchorage doesn't have much space off to the northeast & out of the current and care must be taken to aviod the charted shallow areas. 'not my choice!
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Old 13-10-2010, 12:51   #15
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I agree, I would not try Boca Inlet. Just trying to hold the boat in the tide waiting for the bridge to open is bad enough, but add the shoaling and it is very bad.
Lake Boca however is a very nice anchorage. There is a shoal in the center of the lake that at low tide is exposed, so you need to work your way around the perimeter. I find the north east side the best place to drop an anchor.
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