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Old 11-07-2016, 16:33   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Boat: Gemini, 1993 #379 34' Shearwater
Posts: 134
Flagler Bridge in Palm Beach Fl, and Boca Inlet

Flagler Bridge in West Palm Beach just South of Lake Worth Inlet is closed for several more days for construction. I went by this weekend - no one is working on the new bridge, nothing is happening, and no one of the various bridge tenders knows anything.

It is just closed - seems to be part of the new South Florida "we hate boaters" campaign.

The old bridge remains operational and the new bridge is down, blocking the channel - but no one is there working on anything.

If you are headed South, your alternative is to go out of the ICW at Lake Worth inlet and, if you are a sailboat, head back in at Boca or Hillsboro inlets.

Both these inlets are local knowledge and very difficult in anything but calm seas and calm high tide.

Boca inlet is especially difficult at the present time. Between the "red (2)" and "green (1)" just outside the jetty rocks are BREAKING WAVES. These are a new hazard apparently caused by a bar that has developed in the channel.

On either side of the channel are unmarked but charted shallows - been there, hit that.

Today I entered Boca inlet by clearing the new bar to the South and just missing the shallows. This approach involved 3 to 4' swells but no waves - not for the faint hearted.

If you choose not to wait for Flagler Bridge, I would advise against entering Boca inlet in a sailboat, Hillsboro inlet is marked poorly, but is passible. If you choose to enter Boca inlet, go well past the light until you can see well into the inlet and follow in a local boat. There is a false inlet just North of the real inlet and you can not make the false inlet in anything drafting more than a kayak.

If you choose to wait for the Flagler bridge, you might use your time to write your congressman. The anchorage North of Peanut Island is an excellent place to wait and the free docks at West Palm Beach provide a freely trolly/bus to and from PUblix and many, many nice places to shop or dine.
Capt. Stuart Bell
Ranger R-25
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