Originally Posted by Afrinus
Is this the best inlet to use? -----
Looking at the charts
, after entry one can go immediately north, go west or go south.
The west channel looks too shallow and the north seems strangely void of markers.
The plan is to go south first and then turn and follow the main channel back north.
This plan right now is only based on not seeing channel markers in the North channel - Any thoughts here.
The only real worry about using St. Augustine Inlet is the perennial shoaling problem on the ICW in the area of Matanzas Inlet.
The inlet itself is also subject to frequent changes. As previously recommended, best to check with the local towboat service(s) for current
info on those two areas.
As far as Ponce Inlet, I would say it's about the same degree of difficulty as St. Augustine. Check with the local towing service
for current info.
Once you get inside the inlet I recommend going South until you reach the ICW and then turn right. There are markers at this juncture of the inlet and the ICW which are occasionally moved, which require strict attention so as to differentiate between inlet markers and ICW markers.
As you noticed, the Western direction is too shallow. There's a sandbar the locals call "disappearing island", which is quite the party spot at low tide.
Going up the North channel is not advised unless you can find a local boat
with the same draft
going your way. As you said, it's not well marked. When I went out that way some years ago as you left the ICW the deep water
was very close to the Eastern shore. That's very with a capital "V". There are also some shallow areas to avoid where that channel meets the inlet.
If it was me I'd use Ponce Inlet on a rising tide and go South to the ICW.
Have a great trip.