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Old 15-05-2024, 08:38   #1
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ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

First time out on the Atlantic side of the ICW, and was wondering to what extent I need to account for adverse currents on this stretch of the ICW. I saw one posting mentioing 5 knots; at 5 knots of adverse current we'll be nearly at a standstill. Do we need to time our legs so that we're only traveling towards an inlet on an ebb tide, or at least so that half the leg is fighting the current and half is with it? Any recommendations from anyone with knowledge of these waters?
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Old 15-05-2024, 08:45   #2
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

5 knots of current....nah, I don't think so....you might see 0.5 -1.0 knots in the immediate ICW vicinity of Ponce Inlet.
Currents run a little stronger in the inlet cut, but nothing an average sailboat can't handle.
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Old 15-05-2024, 09:24   #3
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Some other advice.
The ICW around Ponce Inlet shifts constantly and ICW markers may not necessarily tell you where the deep water is.

If your draft is 6' or more, I'd advise going thru' there at a crawl and try to time your passage on a rising tide.
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Old 15-05-2024, 10:59   #4
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Basically, timing all the currents within the ICW is a fool's errand. They switch back and forth as you pass various inlets. For example, the tide may be ebbing, pulling you along toward the inlet, and then when you pass it suddenly you are fighting the current. Not sure of any official speeds, but most of the time you will not be fighting anything above 1 knot and usually much less. Personally, I prefer fighting the current near some of the inlets where there is shoaling so that my approach to going aground is very slow!
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Old 15-05-2024, 11:21   #5
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Appreciate the input. It's good to know that we won't be spinning our prop only to stay in one spot!


We only draft 3' so I'm not particularly worried about that part of it. It looks like most of the drawbridges are in south florida so I'm going to plan 40 mile days @ 4 knots with no more than 2 drawbridges in a day.


Swat me with a pool noodle if that sounds unrealistic.
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Old 15-05-2024, 11:26   #6
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Are you going south or north? Going north from Ponce all the way to St. Augustine there are just a few draw bridges. One in Daytona and two between Daytona and St. Augustine. Going south there one between Ponce and Vero Beach and it is right away after you coming from the Ponce inlet going towards Titusville.

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Old 15-05-2024, 11:36   #7
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

With only a 3' draft, you should not have a problem anywhere that I know off.

However, I would plan my day's run as to where you might stop for the night...marina....anchorage....mooring, etc...this will dictate your day's run.

South Florida is where the ICW traffic starts to get quite thick, so be aware of that. Lotsa powerboats, take their wakes in stride, as swearing and cussing will do little good.

There are numerous ICW guides available which will detail trouble areas, anchorage spots, bridge openings, etc, and you should consider getting a guide.

Finally, most important piece of advice I can give you. Become a member of BoatUS or Towboat. Yearly membership is very inexpensive. These folk will come get you out of a jamb pretty much anytime, anywhere with a simple call on vhf. Without this membership their aid can cost an arm and a leg.
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Old 15-05-2024, 11:39   #8
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Already have BoatUS, heading north, will see if I can pick up the Southern US Waterways Guide or subscribe to the app.


I like books, you don't have to plug them in...
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Old 15-05-2024, 11:54   #9
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

There is some current, but nowhere near 5kts. As you enter, you'll need to follow the channel south, then take the Ponce De Leon Cut.

On your way in, there is some shoaling that is close to the reds 8a, 8b and 10, so give them plenty of room. Particularly if the wind is out of the East.

At the turn to Ponce De Leon Cut there is a Green/Red at the turn that you want to keep on your Stbd. The green is for the cut, the red is for the river. You wouldn't be cutting that marker coming from the north. So heading south, R12 is to Stbd, then you make the turn and R18A is to port.

It makes sense when you look at the chart.
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Old 15-05-2024, 12:18   #10
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
Some other advice.
The ICW around Ponce Inlet shifts constantly and ICW markers may not necessarily tell you where the deep water is.

If your draft is 6' or more, I'd advise going thru' there at a crawl and try to time your passage on a rising tide.
The markers at Pounce are good if you stay in them. Been going in/out with no problem with a 6'3" draft for years.

The current then on the other hand can rip and beware conditions of tide/current aganist a tong wind
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Old 15-05-2024, 12:47   #11
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

We aren't planning on heading in/out the inlet, just motoring/motorsailing north along the ICW to Saint Augustine so mostly concerned about adverse current along the waterway.

The tide table for the inlet for our estimated passage is:

High Tide: 7:34am (2.4)
Low tide 1:41pm (0.3)
High Tide: 8:06pm (3.3)
Low Tide: 1:23am (0.0)

Forecast winds (for what it's worth this far out) N-N-E @ 7 knots.

At least on paper, that doesn't look bad at all.
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Old 15-05-2024, 13:22   #12
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Tides and currents along the ICW will not be the same as those noted for the inlet and will vary by several hours.

The easiest and simplest way to note tide height and current strength is to note the watermarks on the channel marker posts. You can't miss this feature as the tidal range is clearly marked by oysters shells and other detritus.

Additionally, you'll be able to see the current swirling around these posts, letting you know if you have the current with you or against you. and you'll get some idea of the water velocity.

Don't overthink this process.

You should be able to make Ponce to St. Augustine in a day.
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Old 15-05-2024, 13:33   #13
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloroxbottle View Post
We aren't planning on heading in/out the inlet, just motoring/motorsailing north along the ICW to Saint Augustine so mostly concerned about adverse current along the waterway.

The tide table for the inlet for our estimated passage is:

High Tide: 7:34am (2.4)
Low tide 1:41pm (0.3)
High Tide: 8:06pm (3.3)
Low Tide: 1:23am (0.0)

Forecast winds (for what it's worth this far out) N-N-E @ 7 knots.

At least on paper, that doesn't look bad at all.
Along that route the biggest current you will see is at New Smyra and you need to watch the current doesn't take you out of the channel when you turn to port after the Munsen Bridge. There is lots of current at STA itself. I don't where you are going in STA, but be aware of how the wind and current have you to not end up hitting Bridge of Lions there.

Be aware of the Haulout Canal south of Titisville if the wind is blowing hard north or south to not get blow out of the narrow channel. Use you depth gage and the center is 12' and if you are getting to less than 10' you are out of the channel!
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Old 15-05-2024, 14:54   #14
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Appreciate all the advice. Approaching from the south, we will come under the SR312 fixed Bridge and turn into the San Sebastian River to get to our haulout pit.
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Old 15-05-2024, 15:12   #15
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Re: ICW Currents Titusville -> Ponce Inlet -> Palm Coast -> Saint Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloroxbottle View Post
Appreciate all the advice. Approaching from the south, we will come under the SR312 fixed Bridge and turn into the San Sebastian River to get to our haulout pit.
Apologies. I thought you were coming IN Ponce.
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