Be aware that the channel silts up during the winter, and actually forms a sand bar that needs to be dredged in the spring, before boats can leave the marina. Unless you are planning to leave before May 15, this should not be a problem. The canal is usually fully open by the end of May.
Some unhappy boats had to wait from April 15th for 4 weeks before the canal opened. Once again, it is all a matter of managing expectations and being aware of what to expect.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 31-May-2009
The entrance channel is scary to say the least. You can call the marina to send out a pilot boat, but call in advance to avoid delays.
After waiting a while for the pilot, I thought I could see my way in, so I canceled.
The channel forms a dog leg. From the clearly visible red and green sea buoys you approach the beach and pick up some small mooring type buoys some of which have flaking paint.
It seems logical to begin with, having orangy-red buoys to port, then you come to the last buoy off the breakwater, which is yellow and assume this to be a starboard mark, but the fisherman on the breakwater beckoned me to leave it to port and pass between the buoy and the breakwater.
You are safe, once you are in the cut, even though it looks very narrow with sand banks sticking out from the pier, but I always had a meter or more below my 1.8m keel.
Next time I would call the pilot.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 07-Dec-2007
Port mark?? (Hazard)
Sea buoys (Navigation)