Cruisers entering the St. Augustine Inlet at night will have a new navigational aid available as they pass Porpoise Point.
The infamously tricky inlet received a new, red-lighted (No. 6) buoy to alert boaters of the shallows near Porpoise Point, where it is not uncommon for skippers to run aground.
“The Inlet is not a good inlet to go in and out of without local knowledge, and it’s more challenging at night,” said Sam Adukiewicz, harbormaster at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina told TheSt. Augustine Record. “The new marker will definitely make it better.”
Prior to the addition of the red-lighted buoy, captains entered the inlet inline with green-lighted buoys on the left and red reflective on the right. The issue with the red reflective markers was that they became very hard to see when not illuminated under direct sunlight.
It is also important to note that the navigational markers in the area of the inlet do not appear on charts as they are constantly being shifted around by the U.S. Coast Guard to stay up to date with shoaling in the area.
Jay Bliss of the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District said the demand for a lighted red marker is nothing new for visitors of the inlet. “A lot of people have wound up landing at Porpoise Point, and it’s been a pretty tricky maneuver,” Bliss said. “We’ve been pointing out to the Coast Guard for at least the last 10 years that it’s something that we needed.”
The question was not so much about need as it was about funding. With monies available, the new buoy was installed an lit just last month.