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Old 05-11-2015, 07:55   #16
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Re: St.Augustine Inlet - Opinions

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
The correct terminology is slack water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slack_water

For example, at the St. Augustine City dock the slack water occurs about 35 to 40 minutes after the low or high tide.
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
You can look up NOAA's US tidal current predictions -- including slack water times -- here:

2015 Tidal Current Predictions - NOAA Tides & Currents
NOAA Current Predictions - Current Predictions (Beta)

-Chris
As far as I can tell NOAA doesn't have current data for St A inlet. If you compare St A beach to city dock tide data, you can see they're fairly close with city lagging a bit and not quite hitting the amplitude of the beach data. That suggests to me that the slack in the inlet should slightly lag the high and low tide times. More importantly the current while still flowing at high and low, will be fairly weak. "Somewhere in the middle" will be near a full-strength current. IIRC, I went in following the high tide, and found the current manageable.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:09   #17
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Re: St.Augustine Inlet - Opinions

BTW if you enter at night, which I will never do again, realize that the bouys/channel markers are NOT lighted in the inlet. You have to be sure to keep the red marks on your starboard as you enter the area marked by the rock breakwater on your port. Do not mistake a lighted mark in the icw channel (G 59 I think) as a starboard channel mark. If you steer to it you will find yourself almost on the beach where you will wonder why all those car lights are coming so close (early morning fishermen).
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:14   #18
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Re: St.Augustine Inlet - Opinions

BTW if you enter at night, which I will never do again, realize that the bouys/channel markers are NOT lighted in the inlet. You have to be sure to keep the red marks on your starboard as you enter the area marked by the rock breakwater on your port. Do not mistake a lighted mark in the icw channel (G 59 I think) as a starboard channel mark. If you steer to it you will find yourself almost on the beach where you will wonder why all those car lights are coming so close (early morning fishermen).
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:11   #19
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Re: St.Augustine Inlet - Opinions

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
As far as I can tell NOAA doesn't have current data for St A inlet. If you compare St A beach to city dock tide data, you can see they're fairly close with city lagging a bit and not quite hitting the amplitude of the beach data. That suggests to me that the slack in the inlet should slightly lag the high and low tide times. More importantly the current while still flowing at high and low, will be fairly weak. "Somewhere in the middle" will be near a full-strength current. IIRC, I went in following the high tide, and found the current manageable.
Yes, its called a hydraulic current I think? The city dock is a calculation that NOAA makes to predict the tide levels, there are only a few buoys they actually have tide data from.

It really is 35 to 45 minutes after the low and high tide at the city dock. I lived next to that dock for 4 months last year. Its been measured by the city for years now. However, it varies from location to location by just a few miles. The inlet has a different slack water than the city dock, which is on the ICW just inside the inlet. You can always tell when its slack water because the boats on the mooring all go wonky from each other - facing different directions.

But when navigating the inlet, the current going into our out of the inlet is not the main concern, its just inside the inlet where the ICW crosses the inlet. Its a choke point and causes the current to speed up. That is where most vessels go aground. Outside the inlet you just need to be aware of the reefs by following the markers carefully. Boats go on the reefs there as well but not as often.
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Old 05-11-2015, 20:23   #20
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Red face Re: St.Augustine Inlet - Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
The navigation problem is not mainly the shoals or the buoys (which BTW - there are several off station right now) - there is plenty of depth for the most part. Its the fast current that winds its way inside of the inlet where the ICW crosses the inlet.

Its easy to find yourself being pushed toward the shoal on either side against a 3 knot current if you do not watch yourself going in or out. Don't assume that if you have visually lined up the next marker that you are heading in the right direction. You will often need to crab walk your way through. It happens really fast...like 30 seconds between practically no current and having a 3 knot cross current.

Try you best to come in at slack tide, as either a rising or ebbing tide can be deadly. I've seen the markers almost completely submerged by the swift current.
Concur and add to ZBOSS, The tide is something else. I had a heck of time getting a 32 hunter off the dock. When we anchored in any of the rivers all the way to Ga. the tide would give a good one at night, around 2am banging the suger scoop transom on a 2 point anchor, too skinny to swing. 2 to 3 knots I'm guessing. It was exciting to say the least, because the skipper couldnt sleep and we had to get up and spin er around.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:51   #21
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Re: St.Augustine Inlet - Opinions

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Concur and add to ZBOSS, The tide is something else. I had a heck of time getting a 32 hunter off the dock. When we anchored in any of the rivers all the way to Ga. the tide would give a good one at night, around 2am banging the suger scoop transom on a 2 point anchor, too skinny to swing. 2 to 3 knots I'm guessing. It was exciting to say the least, because the skipper couldnt sleep and we had to get up and spin er around.
Yeah, people get in through the inlet, think they are safe, and let their guard down. Next thing they know they are 20 feet from the rock seawall and aground.

Making this inlet more confusing is Salt Run, which not the ICW but is the first "ICW looking passage" you see on port when you come into the inlet. You need to go PAST Salt Run and towards the three dolphins you can see in the distance.
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