Barnegat Bay’s Double Creek Channel is well know for shoaling and shifting sand bars. It was closed before (in recent years) and it looks to be closing up again. There’s two areas of potential navigation hazard in Double Creek night now. Small shallow draft boats have no issue however at lower tides, vessels which drawl some water have had issues… hard groundings.
Here’s a Notice To Mariners.
The best way for medium and large size vessels is always Oyster Creek Channel.
South End Of Double Creek – Hazard A On Chart
The southern end of Double Creek Channel at the elbow is pinching off again. For many years this area has shoaled. It was dredged a number of times, but never enough. At the time of this post there are two danger buoys at the site alerting mariners of the shallow water here. The area is very narrow with little to no room for error.
North East End Of Double Creek – Hazard B On The Chart
On the northern eastern portion of Double Creek Channel, west of the tip of the Dike, there is shoaling in an area inside of the marked channel. It is marked by two danger buoys. Proceed with caution!
South Side Of The West End of Oyster Creek – Hazard C On The Chart
Many small boats navigating westerly through Oyster Creek with a southern destinations short cut off to port in the areas of buoy 37-39. No more! There is a new sandbar (sort of mini-island) that was made from the dredge materials removed from Oyster Creek. It is not in the channel however it will catch some off guard.
Navigate With Caution
Mariners must always navigate with caution. Be aware of shifting sediments which impact the entire bay. Each spring it’s best to review your common routes and adjust waypoints accordingly. This way when navigating in conditions with limited visibility you are aware of the dangers. It’s always good to have a handle on the lay of the land.
I hope this alert helps save someone from grounding and possibly injury to boat or passenger. Recently a friend witnessed a mid-range center console hit bottom (Hazard A) running on full like a brick wall. It’s no joke!