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Old 09-21-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
loose_cannon
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Inlet Knowledge

A good idea from another thread....

Quote:
Originally Posted by inletsurf
You all know what? A "port knowledge" or "inlet knowledge" thread might be great for doing the same as above, except for all inlets/ports in FL. Put it in the general spearfishing forum. Have one person responsible for each inlet, and do it like above with main route, or optional routes pending weather, and highlight sandbars and shallow areas.


Meet Ponce de Leon Inlet. I've lived, fished and surfed in this area my entire life and have thousands of entries and exits in boats rarely exceeding 20' LOA. Like most inlets and passes, it can get interesting when the outgoing tide meets an onshore wind.



The red highlighted track is the area where current and wind have the most effect on the water. You may encounter stationary waves on the outgoing tide and there are often many boats anchored on the tip as well as the entire inlet-side of the north jetty...depending on the sea state, of course. The south side should be avoided. Vessel traffic can be heavy on the weekends, especially in the morning and afternoon when the larger charter boats are traversing the area.
Although the actual channel goes due east out past the jetty tip and is marked/lighted, I try to enter and exit the channel from the north around where the trackline indicates because it gets you out of the flow and rough water quicker.

If you are going to the south, clear the bell buoy (No. 2) before making your turn. That leaves plenty of deep water between you and the shoal on the south side of the inlet known locally as "Shark Shallows". You don't ever want to get in this area by accident.



Offshore view.

Cover my ass part: A mistake entering or exiting Ponce Inlet can and will end your life. The illustration is for general knowledge and shows my personal preference for entering and exiting Ponce Inlet. Furthermore, my opinion is in no way shape or form a substitute for experience.


How about Sebastian next?

Last edited by loose_cannon; 09-21-2006 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

very nice thread. Maybe a few more for the wierd inlet or exit to the sea for folks to learn from.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

I'll do one for Sebastian soon, when I get a little more time. Thanks LC!
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:20 PM   #4
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Edit- Thanks for the resize Roland

That looks like it could get interesting for sure. Here in Panama City there is nothing to getting in and out of the pass except avoiding all of the other boats and one bottle neck. Wind and Tide aren't too much of a concern. Here are the three areas where the most shenanigans are likely to happen.

A- The boat ramp at St. Andrews State Park has pretty heavy traffic in and out during the Summer. Stay near the fishing pier before making your turn for the pass and throttling up. It is too shallow unless you are beyond the pier!

B- Deep Water Point. This is a pretty bad bottle neck since you often cannot see around the point to what may be coming right at you. Most of the charter boats are based around the marinas and docks west of the state park they will be coming through here in force during the appropriate times of day. Stay to the right and do not hog the middle. Be ready do dodge wave runners coming straight at you while looking over their shoulder. Know if there is a boat behind you before letting off the throttle.

C- The Kiddy pool at Shell Island. Note the long sand bars. If you are in more boat than a pontoon based craft you will have to hug the jetties from seaward to get in and out safely.

In general, avoid the seaward ends of the jetties when returning. There are large numbers of craft that try to dolphin watch here and will be more focused on them than the boats around them. Also there are large numbers of "fisherman" who anchor inside the pass and try to fish. It is much safer to come in through the center of the channel and only worry about the wave runners.
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Last edited by PatMyGreen; 09-22-2006 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:52 PM   #5
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Good post Pat. That bottleneck at point B is no joke. From the deck perspective of the dive boat we were on it looked to be a nice little place for for small boats to get smacked.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:11 PM   #6
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

loose kudo's for putting inlets idea to form... turn around... pat, pat, pat. inlet bend over... j/k

Ponce is as easy as any other inlet when its calm, stay in the channel which is well marked and you'll be fine, but to add a couple of piloting issues when Ponce is angry, never turn around either direction at the farthest thirds of the inlet, (loose's red area) stay on course outgoing or incoming the entire way through and out beyond the mouth markers, or into the ICW before attempting an about face. Keep ready on the throttles, and just as you would heavy seas, throttle up the wave and then throttle down backsiding so you don't launch, which is real bad in Ponce, 'cause if you get sideways, you could get into trouble very quickly when its big and tide is ripping. You need to clear the current and large rollers, (it does'nt break, but rolls big and fast with a very short period when rough) as mentioned relative to the tide, currrent, wind, and traffic.

Straight in and straight out through them with purpose is the best course.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Excellent idea and thanks for starting this. I am going to lock the thread. There may be some editing as more information comes in to keep everything condensed. Thanks again for the great idea!

I'll see about putting some info up for Fort Myers!
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

John Biggs, I will do up the Seb. inlet one like LC did above, when I am ready I'll post it where you want me to. I'll even show existing tracks overlaid on an aerial shot as an average, as well as 2 alternative routes based on swell, tide and wind.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:06 PM   #9
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Central west coast the short ride to open water is through Bunces Pass. WARNING DO NOT TRY TO TAKE THE SHORT CUT ACROSS THE SAND. This is the one of the pass'es for Fort Desoto. It does shift a little so watch where the waves break. If its flat calm keep them eyes open.

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Old 09-21-2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Hey Steve...I think I'll chop up all the commentary and get everything organized once we get a little more organized, but I like the idea and like the aerial as well as the track overlaid...Very clean and easy to read and understand. It's going to help out people like myself with limited knowledge of these channels and inlets immensely. Good stuff!

I'll look for it when it comes.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:15 PM   #11
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Minor suggestion on the threads also, simply because "General" is a national kind of thread, and may get huge with all reporting areas nationally, maybe it would serve better and be more usable if the local inlets where in the appropriate sections, East Gulf, Miami etc.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:22 PM   #12
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

I think that is a good idea.

If you guys could input some ground rules on what should be shown I will work an outline post for each section, stick the thread and make it a little easier to find a local channel or inlet.

I'll chop up the thread once we get everything together.

thanks!

john
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:30 PM   #13
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

The GPS lat/lon for the outer marker, or Home Buoy of the inlet would'nt hurt. Specific hazards, and any needed piloting info wood be good to. Maybe even closest transient anchorages inside, and closest public ramps.

I'll add it for Ponce to my comment above shortly so you have less chopping to do.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:12 AM   #14
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

This is by no means a complete listing of US Inlets, but it has some good aerial shots.

http://www.oceanscience.net/inletsonline/usa/usa.htm
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:40 AM   #15
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Re: Inlet Knowledge

Well after several discusion (over a year) with the folks at Erdman we finally get

The best SI cam ever







Here is one for Sebastian Inlet. It is a recent picture to.

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