close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

NP69A. East Coast of Central America and Gulf of Mexico Pilot. 4 edition 2006

код для вставкиСкачать
NP 69A
RECORD OF AMENDMENTS
The table below is to record Section IV Notices to Mariners amendments affecting this volume.
Sub−paragraph numbers in the margin of the body of the book are to assist the user when making amendments to this volume.
Weekly Notices to Mariners (Section IV)
2006 2007 2008 2009
IMPORTANT − SEE RELATED ADMIRALTY PUBLICATIONS
This is one of a series of publications produced by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office which should be consulted by users of
Admiralty Charts. The full list of such publications is as follows:
Notices to Mariners (Annual, permanent, temporary and preliminary), Chart 5011 (Symbols and abbreviations), The Mariner’s
Handbook (especially Chapters 1 and 2 for important information on the use of UKHO products, their accuracy and limitations),
Sailing Directions (Pilots), List of Lights and Fog Signals, List of Radio Signals, Tide Tables and their digital equivalents.
All charts and publications should be kept up to date with the latest amendments.
NP 69A
EAST COASTS OF CENTRAL
AMERICA AND
GULF OF MEXICO PILOT
Western Caribbean Sea
Gulf of Mexico from Punta Tirbi to Cape Sable including Yucatan Channel
FOURTH EDITION
2006
PUBLISHED BY THE UNITED KINGDOM HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE
ii
Crown Copyright 2006
To be obtained from Agents
for the sale of Admiralty Charts and Publications
Copyright for some of the material in
this publication is owned by the authority
named under the item and permission for its
reproduction must be obtained from the owner.
Area previously covered by:
West India Directory Volume I
First Edition 1829. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West India Pilot Volume I
Second Edition 1861. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Third Edition 1872. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fourth Edition 1883. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fifth Edition 1893. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sixth
Edition 1903. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West Indies Pilot Volume I
Seventh Edition 1912. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eighth Edition 1923. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ninth Edition 1929. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tenth Edition 1941. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eleventh Edition 1956. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . East Coasts of Central America and Gulf of Mexico Pilot
First Edition 1970. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Second Edition 1993. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Third Edition 2003. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii
PREFACE
The Fourth Edition of the East Coasts of Central America and Gulf of Mexico Pilot has been prepared by Mrs Susan C. Harland. The
United Kingdom Hydrographic Office has used all reasonable endeavours to ensure that this Pilot contains all the information obtained by
and assessed by it at the date shown below. Information received or assessed after that date will be included in Admiralty Notices to Mariners
where appropriate. If in doubt, see The Mariner’s Handbook for details of what Admiralty Notices to Mariners are and how to use them.
This edition supersedes the Third Edition (2003), which is cancelled.
Information on climate and currents has been based on data provided by the Met Office, Exeter.
The following sources of information, other than UKHO Publications and Ministry of Defence papers, have been consulted.
British
Lloyds Register Fairplay Ports and Terminals Guide 2005
Lloyds Ports of the World 2005.
The Statesman’s Yearbook 2005
Whitaker’s Almanack 2005
Mexico
Derrotero de las Costas del Golfo de Mexico (2001)
United States
Charts.
United States Coast Pilot 5, Atlantic Coast: Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands, 33rd edition. (2005)
United States Sailing Directions (Enroute), for the Caribbean Sea, Volume 2, 8th edition (2004)
Dr D W Williams
United Kingdom National Hydrographer
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
Admiralty Way
Taunton
Somerset TA1 2DN
England
2nd March 2006
iv
PREFACE
to the Second Edition (1993)
The Second Edition of the East Coasts of Central America and Gulf of Mexico Pilot has been compiled by Commander C.E.K.Robinson,
FRICS, RN, and contains the latest information received in the Hydrographic Department to the date given below.
This edition supersedes the First Edition (1970) and Supplement No 13 (1992), which are cancelled.
Information on currents and ice has been revised by the Meterological Office, Bracknell.
The following sources of information, other than Hydrographic Department Publications and Ministry of Defence papers, have been
consulted.
British
Guide to Port Entry 1991−92.
Lloyds Maritime Guide 1991.
Lloyds Ports of the World 1991.
Lloyds Shipping Information Services.
The Statesman’s Yearbook 1990−91.
The South American Handbook
United States
Charts.
United States Coast Pilot 5, Atlantic Coast: Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands, twenty third edition.
United States Sailing Directions (Enroute), for the Caribbean Sea, Volume 2, fourth edition.
Cuba
Derrotero de la Costas de Cuba, primera edition.
J.A.L. MYRES
Rear Admiral
Hydrographer of the Navy
Hydrographic Office
Ministry of Defence
Taunton
Somerset
England
31 July 1993
v
CONTENTS
Pages
Preface iii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Preface to the Second Edition (1993) iv. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contents v. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Explanatory notes vii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Abbreviations ix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glossary xi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index chartlet facing 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 1
Navigation and regulations
Limits of the book (1.1) 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Navigational dangers and hazards (1.2) 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Traffic and operations (1.6) 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charts (1.17) 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Navigational aids (1.23) 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pilotage (1.30) 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Radio facilities (1.35) 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regulations (1.46) 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Signals (1.66) 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Search and rescue (1.70) 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Countries and ports
Costa Rica (1.78) 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicaragua (1.88) 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Honduras (1.96) 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Guatemala (1.105) 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Belize (1.113) 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cuba (1.122) 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mexico (1.123) 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . United States of America (1.132) 15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Principal ports and anchorages (1.165) 18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Port services − summary (1.166) 20. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Natural conditions
Maritime topography (1.170) 21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Currents and tidal streams (1.172) 21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sea and swell (1.182) 26. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sea water characteristics (1.186) 26. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Climate and weather (1.187) 33. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Climatic tables (1.220) 47. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meteorological conversion table and scales (1.238) 66. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 2
Through routes 69. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 3
Punta Tirbi to Cabo Camarón 77. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 4
Cabo Camarón to Punta Gorda 91. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 5
Punta Gorda to Cabo Catoche 109. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 6
Cabo Catoche to the mouth of Río Grande 125. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CONTENTS
vi
CHAPTER 7
Río Grande to Calcasieu Pass 163. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 8
Calcasieu Pass to Horn Island Pass 205. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 9
Cape Sable to Cape San Blas 225. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 10
Cape San Blas to Horn Island Pass 247. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . APPENDICES
Appendix I — Vessel Bridge−to−Bridge Radiotelephone Regulations 273. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix II — United States − Ports and Waterways Safety − General 274. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix III — Navigation Rules for United States Inland Waters 279. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix IV — United States Navigation Safety Regulations 283. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix V — United States − Regulated Navigation Areas − Extracts 288. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix VI — United States − Danger Zones and Restricted Area Regulations 291. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix VII — United States − Oil and Hazardous Material Transfer Operations 295. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix VIII — United States − Vessel Traffic Management Regulations 297. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix IX — United States − Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf and South Atlantic Regulations 301. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix X — United States − Navigation Regulations 302. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix XI — United States − Inland Waterways Navigation Regulations 303. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix XII — United States − Deepwater ports: Operations 304. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DISTANCES TABLE
Table of Distances − Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico 307. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INDEX
Index 308. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Admiralty Sailing Directions are intended for use by vessels of 150 gt or more. They amplify charted detail and contain information
needed for safe navigation which is not available from Admiralty charts, or other hydrographic publications. They are intended to be read in
conjunction with the charts quoted in the text.
This volume of the Sailing Directions will be kept up-to-date by the issue of a new edition at intervals of approximately 3 years, without
the use of supplements. In addition important amendments which cannot await the new edition are published in Section IV of the weekly
editions of Admiralty Notices to Mariners. A list of such amendments and notices in force is published quarterly. Those still in force at the end
of the year are reprinted in the Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners.
This volume should not be used without reference to Section IV of the weekly editions of Admiralty Notices to Mariners.
CD−ROM
Status. A compact disc is provided at the back of this volume. The paper publication of Sailing Directions satisfies the requirements of
Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. The CD version does not satisfy these requirements and should only
be used in conjunction with the paper publication and any amendments affecting the paper publication. Where any discrepancy exists
between data on the CD and in the paper publication of Sailing Directions, the paper publication (inclusive of amendments) is to be relied
upon.
Disclaimer. Whilst the UKHO has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the data on the CD was accurate at the time of production, it
has not verified the data for navigational purposes and the CD is not suitable, and is not to be relied upon, for navigation. The use of the CD for
this purpose is at the user’s own risk. The UKHO accepts no liability (except in the case of death or personal injury caused by the negligence
of the UKHO) whether in contract, tort, under any statute or otherwise and whether or not arising out of any negligence on the part of the
UKHO in respect of any inadequacy of any kind whatsoever in the data on the CD or in the means of distribution.
Conditions of release. The material supplied on the CD−ROM is protected by Crown Copyright. No part of the data may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise
without the prior written permission of the UKHO. The copyright material, its derivatives and its outputs may not be sold or distributed or
commercially exploited in either an original or derived form without the prior written permission of the UKHO. For the avoidance of doubt,
the supplied material, its derivatives and its outputs shall not be placed, or allowed to be placed, on a computer accessible to Third Parties
whether via the Internet or otherwise. The release of the supplied material in no way implies that the UKHO will supply further material.
References to hydrographic and other publications
The Mariner’s Handbook gives general information affecting navigation and is complementary to this volume.
Ocean Passages for the World and Routeing Charts contain ocean routeing information and should be consulted for other than coastal
passages.
Admiralty List of Lights should be consulted for details of lights, lanbys and fog signals, as these are not fully described in this volume.
Admiralty List of Radio Signals should be consulted for information relating to coast and port radio stations, radio details of pilotage
services, radar beacons and radio direction finding stations, meteorological services, radio aids to navigation, Global Maritime Distress and
Safety System (GMDSS) and Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) stations, as these are only briefly referred to in this volume.
Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners contains in addition to the temporary and preliminary notices, and amendments and
notices affecting Sailing Directions, a number of notices giving information of a permanent nature covering radio messages and navigational
warnings, distress and rescue at sea and exercise areas.
The International Code of Signals should be consulted for details of distress and life-saving signals, international ice-breaker signals as
well as international flag signals.
Remarks on subject matter
Buoys are generally described in detail only when they have special navigational significance, or where the scale of the chart is too small
to show all the details clearly.
Chart index diagrams in this volume show only those Admiralty charts of a suitable scale to give good coverage of the area. Mariners
should consult NP 131 Catalogue of Admiralty Charts and Publications for details of larger scale charts.
Chart references in the text normally refer to the largest scale Admiralty chart but occasionally a smaller scale chart may be quoted where
its use is more appropriate.
Firing, practice and exercise areas. Submarine exercise areas are mentioned in Sailing Directions. Other firing, practice and exercise
areas maybe mentioned with limited details. Signals and buoys used in connection with these areas maybe mentioned if significant for
navigation. Attention is invited to the Annual Notice to Mariners on this subject.
EXPLANATORY NOTES
viii
Names have been taken from the most authoritative source. When an obsolete name still appears on the chart, it is given in brackets
following the proper name at the principal description of the feature in the text and where the name is first mentioned.
Tidal information relating the daily vertical movements of the water is not given; for this Admiralty Tide Tables should be consulted.
Changes in water level of an abnormal nature are mentioned.
Time difference used in the text when applied to the time of High Water found from the Admiralty Tide Tables, gives the time of the event
being described in the Standard Time kept in the area of that event. Due allowance must be made for any seasonal daylight saving time which
may be kept.
Wreck information is included where drying or below-water wrecks are relatively permanent features having significance for
navigation or anchoring.
Units and terminology used in this volume
Latitude and Longitude given in brackets are approximate and are taken from the chart quoted.
Bearings and directions are referred to the true compass and when given in degrees are reckoned clockwise from 000° (North) to 359°
Bearings used for positioning are given from the reference object.
Bearings of objects, alignments and light sectors are given as seen from the vessel.
Courses always refer to the course to be made good over the ground.
Winds are described by the direction from which they blow.
Tidal streams and currents are described by the direction towards which they flow.
Distances are expressed in sea miles of 60 to a degree of latitude and sub-divided into cables of one tenth of a sea mile.
Depths are given below chart datum, except where otherwise stated.
Heights of objects refer to the height of the object above the ground and are invariably expressed as “... m in height”.
Elevations, as distinct from heights, are given above Mean High Water Springs or Mean Higher High Water whichever is quoted in
Admiralty Tide Tables, and expressed as, “an elevation of ... m”. However the elevation of natural features such as hills may alternatively be
expressed as “... m high” since in this case there can be no confusion between elevation and height.
Metric units are used for all measurements of depths, heights and short distances, but where feet/fathoms charts are referred to, these
latter units are given in brackets after the metric values for depths and heights shown on the chart.
Time is expressed in the four-figure notation beginning at midnight and is given in local time unless otherwise stated. Details of local time
kept will be found in Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
Bands is the word used to indicate horizontal marking.
Stripes is the word used to indicate markings which are vertical, unless stated to be diagonal.
Conspicuous objects are natural and artificial marks which are outstanding, easily identifiable and clearly visible to the mariner over a
large area of sea in varying conditions of light. If the scale is large enough they will normally be shown on the chart in bold capitals and may be
marked “conspic”.
Prominent objects are those which are easily identifiable, but do not justify being classified as conspicuous.
ix
ABBREVIATIONS
The following abbreviations are used in the text:
AIS Automatic Identification System
ALC Articulated loading column
ALP Articulated loading platform
AMVER Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue
System
°C degrees Celsius
CALM Catenary anchor leg mooring
CBM Conventional buoy mooring
CDC Certain Dangerous Cargo
CVTS Co−operative Vessel Traffic System
DF direction finding
DG degaussing
DGPS Differential Global Positioning System
DW Deep Water
DSC Digital Selective Calling
dwt deadweight tonnage
DZ danger zone
E east (easterly, eastward, eastern, easternmost)
EEZ exclusive economic zone
ELSBM Exposed location single buoy mooring
ENE east-north-east
EPIRB Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
ESE east-south-east
ETA estimated time of arrival
ETD estimated time of departure
EU European Union
feu forty foot equivalent unit
fm fathom(s)
FPSO Floating production storage and offloading
vessel
FPU Floating production unit
FSO Floating storage and offloading vessel
ft foot (feet)
g/cm
3
gram per cubic centimetre
GMDSS Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
GPS Global Positioning System
GRP glass reinforced plastic
grt gross register tonnage
gt gross tonnage
HAT Highest Astronomical Tide
HF high frequency
HMS Her (His) Majesty’s Ship
hp horse power
hPa hectopascal
HSC High Speed Craft
HW High Water
IALA International Association of Lighthouse
Authorities
IHO International Hydrographic Organization
IMO International Maritime Organization
ITCZ Intertropical Convergence Zone
JRCC Joint Rescue Co−ordination Centre
kHz kilohertz
km kilometre(s)
kn knot(s)
kW kilowatt(s)
Lanby Large automatic navigation buoy
LASH Lighter Aboard Ship
LAT Lowest Astronomical Tide
LF low frequency
LHG Liquefied Hazardous Gas
LMT Local Mean Time
LNG Liquefied Natural Gas
LOA Length overall
LPG Liquefied Petroleum Gas
LW Low Water
m metre(s)
mb millibar(s)
MCTS Marine Communications and Traffic Services
Centres
MF medium frequency
MHz megahertz
MHHW Mean Higher High Water
MHLW Mean Higher Low Water
MHW Mean High Water
MHWN Mean High Water Neaps
MHWS Mean High Water Springs
MLHW Mean Lower High Water
MLLW Mean Lower Low Water
MLW Mean Low Water
MLWN Mean Low Water Neaps
MLWS Mean Low Water Springs
mm millimetre(s)
MMSI Maritime Mobile Service Identity
MRCC Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre
MRSC Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre
MSI Marine Safety Information
MSL Mean Sea Level
MV Motor Vessel
MW megawatt(s)
MY Motor Yacht
N north (northerly, northward, northern,
northernmost)
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Navtex Navigational Telex System
NE north-east
NNE north-north-east
NNW north-north-west
No number
nrt nett register tonnage
NW north-west
ODAS Ocean Data Acquisition System
PEL Port Entry Light
PLEM Pipe line end manifold
POL Petrol, Oil & Lubricants
PSSA Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas
PWC Personal watercraft
RCC Rescue Co−ordination Centre
RMS Royal Mail Ship
RN Royal Navy
Ro-Ro Roll−on, Roll-off
RT radio telephony
ABBREVIATIONS
x
S south (southerly, southward, southern,
southernmost)
SALM Single anchor leg mooring system
SALS Single anchored leg storage system
SAR Search and Rescue
Satnav Satellite navigation
SBM Single buoy mooring
SE south-east
SPM Single point mooring
sq square
SS Steamship
SSE south-south-east
SSW south-south-west
SW south-west
SWATH small waterplane area twin hull ship
teu twenty foot equivalent unit
TSS Traffic Separation Scheme
UHF ultra high frequency
UKHO United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
ULCC Ultra Large Crude Carrier
UN United Nations
UT Universal Time
UTC Co-ordinated Universal Time
VDR Voyage Data Recorder
VHF very high frequency
VLCC Very Large Crude Carrier
VMRS Vessel Movement Reporting System
VTC Vessel Traffic Centre
VTMS Vessel Traffic Management System
VTS Vessel Traffic Services
W west (westerly, westward, western,
westernmost)
WGS World Geodetic System
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WNW west-north-west
WSW west-south-west
WT radio (wireless) telegraphy
xi
GLOSSARY
Spanish words found on charts and in sailing directions
Spanish English Spanish English. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . abra cove, creek, haven, opening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . abrigo shelter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . adentro inner, inside adj. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aduana custom house. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . afuera outer, outside adj. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . agua water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aguada watering place. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . agudo,−a sharp, pointed adj. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aguja needle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . albufera lagoon, pond. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aldea village. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . alto,−a tall, high adj. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . altos heights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . alturas heights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . amarillo,−a yellow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ancho wide, broad adj. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ancla anchor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ancladero anchorage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ancón open bay, roadstead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . angostura narrows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . archipiélago archipelago. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arena sand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arenal extensive area of sand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arrecife reef. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arroyito brook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arroyo stream, rivulet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . astillero shipyard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . atalaya watch tower, high viewpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . atraque alongside berth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . azul blue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . babor port (side). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bahía bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bajamar (BM) low water (LW). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bajo shoal, below, under, low. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . baliza beacon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . banco bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . barlovento windward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . barra bar (of a river etc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . barranco precipice, ravine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . barrera barrier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . blanco,−a white adj, target n. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . boca mouth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bodega storehouse, warehouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . boquerón wide mouth, opening or entrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bosque wood. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . boya buoy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bravezas heavy rollers or ground swell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bravo,−a exposed to heavy seas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . brazo arm (of the sea). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . buque ship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cabeza shoal head. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cabezo summit (of a hill). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cabo cape. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cadena chain (of mountains etc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cala narrow cove or creek. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . caleta cove. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . caletita small cove. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . caletón large cove. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . camino road. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . campo tract of country. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cañadón glen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . canal channel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . canalizo narrow channel between islands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . canto bluff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . capilla chapel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . carbón coal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . carrera narrow channel, usually with. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rugged sides and swift current
casa house. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cascada waterfall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . caserío hamlet, group of houses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . castillo castle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . catedral cathedral. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cayo cay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . centro centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cerrito hillock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cerro hill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chico,−a small. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cima summit, crest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cinco five. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ciudad city, town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ciudadela citadel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . colina hill, hillock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . collado hillock, elevation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . colorado,−a reddish in colour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cono cone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convento convent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cordillera mountain range. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . corona crown, summit, crest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . corriente current. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cortadura cut, cutting, very narrow channel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or defile
costa coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cruz cross. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cuartel barracks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cuatro four. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cuesta sloping ground, hill, hillock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cueva cave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cuña quoin, wedge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dársena basin, dock, backwater. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . desembarcadero landing place. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . desembocadura mouth of a river. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dique mole, dock, embankment, levee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . doble double. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dos two. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . duna dune. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . duque de alba dolphin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . el definite article (masc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . embarcadero wharf, landing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . embocadura mouth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . enfilación transit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ensenada bay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . entrada entrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ermita hermitage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . esclusa lock (canal or basin). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . escollera rubble breakwater, wavetrap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . escollo shallow rock, reef awash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . espigón spur, arm of mole. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . estancia ranch, country estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . este east. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . estero creek, inlet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . estoa slack water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . estrecho strait, narrows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . estribor starboard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . estuario estuary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fango mud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . farallón stack, steep rocky islet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . faro lighthouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fiordo firth, arm (of the sea). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . flujo flood tide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fondeadero anchorage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fortaleza fortress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GLOSSARY
xii
freo strait. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . frontón wall−like cliff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fuerte fort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . garganta narrow passage, sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . golfo gulf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gran, grande large, great, big. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gris grey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . grupo group (of islands etc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hacienda farm, plantation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . herradura horseshoe−shaped (bay). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iglesia church. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . isla island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . isleta islet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . isletilla small islet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . islita small island, islet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . islote barren islet, skerry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . islotillo, islotito small barren islet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . istmo isthmus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . la, las definite article (fem). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lago lake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . laguna lagoon, pond. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . laja flat rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . largo,−a long. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . levante eastern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lodo mud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . loma, lomada hillock, knoll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lomo ridge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . los definite article (masc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . malecón quay, mole. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mar sea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . marea tide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . margen shore, river bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . marisma marsh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . médano dune, sandhill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . medio middle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . meridional southern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mesa, meseta tableland, plateau. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mogote hummock, islet, isolated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . above−water rock
molino mill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . monasterio monastery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . montaña mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . monte mount, mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . montículo knoll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . moreno,−a brown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . morro headland, bluff, head of. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . breakwater
muelle pier, jetty, mole. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . muelle de atraque alongside berth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . muralla wall of mountains, cliffs etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . naufragio wreck. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . negro,−a black. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . norte north. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nuevo,−a new. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . obscuro dark. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . occidental western. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oeste west. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oriental eastern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . orilla shore, edge, river bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oscuro dark. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pampa grassy plain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pan de azúcar sugarloaf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pantano swamp, marsh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pardo,−a grey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . paredones wall, bluff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pasaje passage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . paso pass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . peña rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . peñasco large rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . península peninsula. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . peñón rocky mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pequeño,−a small. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pescado fish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . petón pinnacle rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . picacho sharp peak. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pico peak. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . piedra stone, rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . piloto pilot (official). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . placer shoal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . playa beach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pleamar (PM) high water (HW). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . población town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . poblado village. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . poniente western. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pozo well, deep hole in seabed or river. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . práctico pilot (official). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . promontorio promontory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . puebla village. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pueblecito small town, village. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pueblo town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . puente bridge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . puerto port, harbour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . punta point. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . puntal narrow point. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . quebrada ravine, gully, cut, gap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rada roadstead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rampa ramp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . recalada landfall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . redondo,−a round. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . reflujo ebb tide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . refugio refuge, shelter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . regato torrent, stream. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . restinga reef, spit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ría fjord−like river, estuary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . riachuelo rivulet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ribera shore, river bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rincón inner angle or corner, small cove. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or corner in a large bay
río river. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . roca rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rocalloso,−a pebbly, stony. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rodado landslide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rodal shoal, usually rocky and of some. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . extent
rojo,−a red. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rompeolas breakwater. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rompientes breakers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . roquerio rocky shoal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . salinas salt pans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . san, santo, santa saint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . seco dry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . seno bight, sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . septentrional northern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . serranía mountain ridge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sierra mountain range. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . silla saddle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sotavento leeward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sucio,−a foul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sud, sur south. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . surgidero anchorage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tenedero holding ground, anchorage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tierra land. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . torre tower. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tres three. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . un,−a one. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . valle valley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . varadero slipway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GLOSSARY
xiii
vega plain n. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ventisquero glacier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . verde green. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viejo,−a old. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vigía lookout. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . villa town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . villorio hamlet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . volcán volcano. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vuelta bend in river or channel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EAST COAST OF THE
UNITED STATES PILOT VOL. II
NP 69
JAMAICA
CUBA
PANAMA
HONDURAS
NICARAGUA
GUATEMALA
MEXICO
UNI TED STATES
GULF OF CAMPECHE
C. Sable
Houston Ship Channel
GALVESTON B.
C. Gracias á Dios
Seranilla Bk.
Pedro Bk.
Isla de Roatan
C. Catoche
BELIZE
C. San Blas
SOUTH AMERICA
PILOT VOL. IV
NP 7A
WEST INDIES PILOT VOL. I NP 70
G U L F O F M E X I C O
xiv
COSTA
RICA
3851
1220
1225 3849
376
2579
396
1218
3867
2710
3853
2145
3850
3852
2866
1217
3936
486
4401
4401
0206
3
3
2
2
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
East Coasts of Central America & Gulf of Mexico Pilot
NP 69A
Chapter Index Diagram
1
LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPERTAINING TO NAVIGATION
While, in the interests of the safety of shipping, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office makes every endeavour to include in its
hydrographic publications details of the laws and regulations of all countries appertaining to navigation, it must be clearly understood:−
(a) that no liability whatever will be accepted for failure to publish details of any particular law or regulation, and
(b) that publication of details of a law or regulation is solely for the safety and convenience of shipping and implies no recognition
of the international validity of the law or regulation.
EAST COASTS OF
CENTRAL AMERICA
AND GULF OF MEXICO
PILOT
CHAPTER 1
NAVIGATION AND REGULATIONS
COUNTRIES AND PORTS
NATURAL CONDITIONS
NAVIGATION AND REGULATIONS
LIMITS OF THE BOOK
Chart 4400
1.1 1
Area covered. This volume contains Sailing Directions
for all the waters of the W Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
between a line joining the following positions:
Latitude
N
Longitude
W
Cape Sable 25°07′ 81°05′
Thence W to 25°00′ 83°00′
Thence SSW to Cayo Buenavista
22°24′ 84°27′
Thence S to Cabo Corrientes, including
Golfo de Guanahacabibes
21°46′ 84°31′
Thence SE to 19°00′ 81°40′
Thence SE to South−West Rock 16°47′ 78°12′
Thence SSE to 15°00′ 77°00′
Thence SW to Punta Tirbi 9°26′ 82°21′
2
Thence the coasts N and W, E and SE round the coast
of Central and North America back to Cape Sable
(See Chapter Index Diagram).
NAVIGATIONAL DANGERS AND HAZARDS
Chart 4400
Coastal conditions
1.2 1
Much of the coast is very low−lying, backed by
extensive lagoons and marshes. This is particularly so in
Nicaragua, Belize, Mexico and on the Gulf coast of North
America. In such areas it is almost featureless. There are
few aids to navigation, other than in the approaches to
ports. Most of the offshore banks hardly rise above water
and, where they do, such features are often only 1 or 2 m
high.
Storm damage
1.3
1
Mariners are advised to verify their position, at all times
using all available means, and cautioned not to place undue
reliance on aids to navigation in this area, as severe storms
and hurricanes can cause aids to navigation and structures
to be damaged or destroyed. Lighted and unlighted buoys
may have moved from their charted positions, be damaged,
CHAPTER 1
2
extinguished, sunk, or otherwise made inoperative or
unreliable. Wrecks and submerged obstructions, including
pipelines, may have become uncovered or moved due to
the forces generated by the storm. Local Authorities should
always be consulted for the latest information.
Navigation among coral
1.4 1
Great care is necessary in the vicinity of the various
cays and banks as some of the charts are based on old or
imperfect surveys and new shoals are frequently reported.
2
The edges of the banks are often steep−to. They should
be approached with caution and given a wide berth at
night, as the currents are variable and there are few
navigational aids.
See The Mariner’s Handbook for remarks on navigation
among coral reefs, rates of coral growth and erosion.
Floating hazards
1.5 1
The Central American states export large quantities of
timber from the many rivers and both large and small
ports. Floating logs and other timber debris should be
expected off the entrances to rivers and ports.
TRAFFIC AND OPERATIONS
Fishing
1.6 1
The coastal waters and offshore banks are especially rich
in the number of fishing grounds. Large numbers of fishing
vessels, from the size of canoes to large trawlers, may be
encountered throughout the year.
Exercise areas
1.7 1
Large sea areas off the coasts of Florida have been
designated as exercise areas for United States forces. See
The Mariner’s Handbook for general information on
Exercise Areas.
Designated lightering zones
1.8
1
Zones have been established for oil and hazardous
material transfer operations. The following lightering zones
are designated in the Gulf of Mexico and are more than
60 miles from the baselines from which the territorial sea is
measured:
Southtex−lightering zone.
South Sabine Point−lightering zone.
Gulfmex No 2−lightering zone.
Offshore Pascagoula No 2−light lightering zone.
2
For co−ordinates of the areas, maximum operating
conditions and operations see Appendix VII.
See also Appendix VI − United States − Danger Zones
and Restricted Area Regulations.
Marine exploitation
General information
1.9 1
Numerous oil structures, submerged wells, mooring
buoys, stakes and pipelines exist off the coasts of
Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The heaviest
concentrations of these structures are found between the
Mississippi Delta and Galveston Bay, and extend up to
70 miles offshore.
Caution: Within the Oilfields inshore of a limit shown
on charts 3849, 3850 and 3851, or covered by other larger
scale charts, the platforms and associated infrastructure may
have been omitted due to their complexity and frequency of
change. Use of the Safety Fairways (1.10) is recommended.
2
Generally structures are lighted as follows:
Structures outside the 5 fathom contour show quick
flashing white lights visible from all directions for a
distance of at least 5 miles; more than one light may be
displayed. Fog signals consisting of a horn sounding one
2−second blast every 20 seconds are sounded when
visibility is less than 5 miles.
3
Structures between the 2 fathom and 5 fathom contours
show quick flashing white lights visible from all directions
for a distance of at least 3 miles. Fog signals are sounded
from the structures when visibility is less than 3 miles.
4
Structures along the coast in depths of less than
2 fathoms and within the bays and sounds show either
quick flashing white or red lights visible from all directions
for a distance of at least 1 mile. These structures are not
usually equipped with fog signals.
Structures on or adjacent to the edges of navigable
channels and fairways, regardless of location may be
required to display lights and fog signals for the safety of
navigation.
5
Associated structures within 100 yards of the main
structures, regardless of location, are not normally lighted,
but are marked with red or white retro−reflective material.
Mariners are warned that uncharted submerged pipelines
and cables may exist in the vicinity of these structures, or
between such structures and the shore.
6
Full details of the structures likely to be encountered
and the signals they display are given in The Mariner’s
Handbook. Further detailed regulations for the marking of
offshore structures are contained in 33 CFR 67.
The Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, publishes
an annual list giving the position and details of each known
offshore structure. The list is available on request.
Shipping Safety Fairways
1.10 1
Shipping Safety Fairways have been established in Gulf
of Mexico. Their purpose is to provide unobstructed
approaches for vessels using US ports. They are defined as
lanes or corridors in which no artificial island or fixed
structure, whether temporary or permanent, will be
permitted. Temporary underwater obstacles may be
permitted under certain conditions. Shipping Safety
Fairways which do not link to the main system, since they
extend only a few miles offshore, are established in the
approaches to some minor ports.
2
The use of Shipping Safety Fairways is not mandatory
but is recommended.
Fairway anchorage
1.11 1
Fairway anchorage means an anchorage area contiguous
to and associated with a fairway, in which structures may
be permitted within certain spacing limitations, normally
2 miles.
2
The main system of Shipping Safety Fairways and
associated anchorages and the oil structures within the
anchorages are shown on Admiralty charts. However, not
CHAPTER 1
3
all the fairways protecting the approaches to minor ports
are shown due to the scale of the chart.
Intracoastal Waterway
General information
1.12 1
The Intracoastal Waterway is a toll−free canal system, in
two sections, cut behind the coastline, passing through
existing bays, bayous and rivers, providing a protected
route for small craft, small vessels and barges. It extends,
from Caloosahatchee River to Anclote River, Florida, and
from Carrabelle, Florida to Brownsville, Texas.
2
The construction, maintenance and operation of the
waterway is under the supervision of the US Army
Engineer Districts of Jacksonville, Mobile, New Orleans
and Galveston.
Distances along the Waterway are measured in statute
miles.
3
Cable ferries still cross the Waterway at several places.
Generally, the cables are suspended during crossings and
dropped to the bottom when the ferry docks. However,
since procedures may differ in some cases mariners are
advised to seek local knowledge. They should not attempt
to pass a moving cable ferry.
See Appendix III for Navigation Rules for US Inland
Waters.
Aids to navigation
1.13 1
Waterway aids have characteristic yellow markings in
addition to the standard markings to distinguish them from
open−water aids. Buoys and single piles have a yellow
band at the top; daymarks have a yellow border. Where the
Intracoastal Waterway coincides with another waterway
such as a river marked by the standard system, special
markings are used consisting of yellow triangles and
squares painted on a conspicuous part of the aid. Such an
aid, marked with a yellow triangle, must be left on the
starboard hand when traversing the Gulf Coast Intracoastal
Waterway from E to W, regardless of any other
characteristics; one marked with a yellow square must,
under similar conditions, be left to port. Aid diagrams are
available from the US Coast Guard.
Charts and depths
1.14 1
A special series of charts is available from the US Coast
and Geodetic Survey. See the latest editions of these charts
and Local Notices to Mariners for controlling depths.
Caloosahatchee River to Anclote River
1.15 1
Distances over the 150 mile route are measured in
statute miles from position 26°31′N 82°01′W, near the
mouth of Caloosahatchee River.
Depths. The Federal Project Depth is for a channel
2⋅7 m deep over a width of 30 m.
2
Cables and bridges. Minimum clearances are: overhead
cables 23⋅8 m at Mile 38⋅5; horizontal bridge opening
15⋅5 m at Mile 63⋅0; vertical bridge 45⋅4 m at Mile 98⋅1.
Tides. The diurnal range is from 0⋅5 to 0⋅9 m. The time
and height of tides are greatly affected by winds.
Carrabelle to Brownsville
1.16 1
Distances over the 1059 mile route are measured in
statute miles east (E) and west (W) from Harvey Lock,
New Orleans.
Depths. The Federal Project Depth is 3⋅6 m, over a
width of 38 m.
Cables and bridges. Minimum clearances are: overhead
cables 18⋅6 m at Mile 533⋅0W; horizontal bridge opening
22⋅9 m; vertical bridge 14⋅6 m at Mile 533⋅0W.
2
Lock dimensions. Minimum lock lengths are: 126 m
lock Mile 0⋅0 (Harvey), 190 m at lock Mile 6⋅5E (Inner
Harbor Navigation) and 231 m at lock Algiers Alternative
Route Mile 0⋅0 (Algiers). Minimum lock widths along the
main route of the waterway are 22⋅8 m and along the
alternative routes 17⋅0 m. Minimum depth over the sill is
3⋅6 m at Mile 0⋅0 (Harvey) and 3⋅3 m at the Old River
Navigation Canal Lock, Atchafalaya River Route Mile 0⋅0.
3
Tides. The diurnal range is from 0⋅1 to 0⋅8 m. The time
and height of tides are greatly affected by winds. A strong
N wind will lower the level by as much as 1⋅1 m. A strong
S wind will have the opposite effect. Severe hurricanes
have raised water levels by up to 3⋅0 m above LW.
CHARTS
Admiralty charts
1.17 1
The charts of Miskito and Campeche Banks are based
mainly on surveys made between the years 1830 and 1844
by Captains R.Owen and E.Barnett of the Royal Navy.
Charts of the N coast of Honduras and Belize are from
recent United States and United Kingdom surveys,
respectively, as are those of Yucatán Channel.
2
Knowledge of many of the charted offshore banks and
dangers has been built up over the years from numerous
ships’ reports. Some of these features have been surveyed
to modern standards, but others have yet to be examined. It
is probable that significant dangers remain uncharted.
3
British Admiralty charts and publications can be
obtained from Admiralty Chart agents listed in Catalogue
of Admiralty Charts and Publications published annually.
Foreign charts
1.18 1
In certain areas where the British Admiralty charts show
insufficient detail for navigation close inshore these Sailing
Directions have been written using foreign charts. These
are not quoted as reference charts in the text, which has
been written on the assumption that mariners wishing to
navigate in these areas will have provided themselves with
suitable charts on which to do so.
2
Foreign charts may be obtained from the publishing
authorities shown in this volume and in the Catalogue of
Admiralty Charts and Publications. These charts are not
issued by the Hydrographic Department nor are they
corrected by Admiralty Notices to Mariners.
3
The Mexican hydrographic organisation, which
undertakes surveys of the larger Mexican ports, was
established in 1961.
United States charts of Gulf of Mexico are based on US
Government surveys.
Other Central American countries rely mainly on US
and UK Government charts.
CHAPTER 1
4
Publishing authorities
1.19 1
United States charts and publications of the National
Ocean Service (NOS) and unclassified charts of the
National Geospatial−Intelligence Agency (NGA) can be
obtained from chart agents in US and foreign ports, or by
mail order from the following address:
Federal Aviation Administration,
National Aeronautical Charting Office,
Distribution Division (AVN−530),
6303 Ivy Lane, Suite 400,
Greenbelt, MD 20770–6325,
USA.
2
Mexico: Mexican charts are published by Dirección
General de Oceanografia Naval, Calle Pedro Sainz de
Baranda, Edificio “B” 1/er Nivel S/N, Col Los Cipreses,
Delegación Cayoacán, C.P. 04830, Mexico D.F.
Datums
Horizontal datum
1.20
1
British Admiralty and United States charts are
referred to North American Datum (1983) (NAD83). For
practical navigation purposes this equates to World
Geodetic System (1984) (WGS84).
Vertical datum
1.21
1
Depths. On British Admiralty charts the chart datum is
MLLW.
United States charts are reduced to MLLW, as are all
Admiralty charts covering US waters. As a consequence
mariners using these charts should be aware that predicted
and actual depths less than those charted may routinely
occur. For further details see Table V of Admiralty Tide
Tables.
2
Tidal, meteorological and seasonal factors acting
individually or in combination, may give rise to abnormally
high or low water levels. See The Mariner’s Handbook for
further details.
3
Drying heights on British Admiralty charts are shown
as being above chart datum.
Elevations on British Admiralty charts are shown as
being above MHWS and on United States charts are shown
against MHW.
Depths
Depth terms used in US waters
1.22
1
The controlling depth of a channel is the least depth
within the limits of the channel; it restricts the safe use of
the channel to draughts of less than that depth.
The centreline controlling depth of a channel applies
only to the channel centreline; lesser depths may exist in
the remainder of the channel.
The mid−channel controlling depth of a channel is the
controlling depth of the middle half of the channel only.
2
Federal project depth is the design dredging depth of a
channel constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The project depth may or may not be the goal of
maintenance dredging after completion of the channel and
for this reason, project depth must not be confused with
controlling depth.
3
Depths alongside wharves usually have been reported
by owners and/or operators of the waterfront facilities, and
have not been verified by government surveys. Since these
depths may be subject to change, local authorities should
be consulted for the latest controlling depths.
Tables of Controlling depths are given on Admiralty
charts, which are updated by Notices to Mariners. When
the depth is greater than the project depth, only the Project
depth is given.
NAVIGATIONAL AIDS
Lights
1.23
1
In the United States, lights are the responsibility of the
Coast Guard.
Major lights are those with a nominal range of 15 miles
or more.
Light structures only are described in this volume; for
further details see Admiralty List of Lights Volume J.
Beacons
1.24
1
A beacon is a fixed artificial navigation mark which can
be recognised by means of its shape, colour, pattern or
topmark; it may carry a light, radar reflector or other
navigational aid. In the United States unlit aids are known
as daybeacons.
Daymarks
1.25
1
The term daymark refers to a large unlit beacon but the
term is also used to denote a topmark or other
distinguishing mark or shape incorporated into a beacon,
light−buoy or buoy.
2
Daybeacons in the United States are used where
navigation at night is negligible or where the conditions are
such that it is impractical to operate a light. Reflective
material is applied to daybeacons to improve their
identification at night with the aid of a searchlight.
The lateral system for fixed artificial aids is based on
that used for buoyage.
Landmarks
1.26
1
Caution is necessary when evaluating the description of
some landmarks, such as trees and buildings, that are given
in this volume or on some of the older charts. New
buildings may have been erected and old trees or houses
destroyed, so that such marks, which may at one time have
been conspicuous on account of their isolation, shape or
colour, may now be difficult to identify or no longer exist.
Buoyage
Warning on use of floating aids to navigation
to fix a navigational position
1.27
1
The aids to navigation depicted on charts comprise a
system consisting of fixed and floating aids with varying
degrees of reliability. Therefore, prudent mariners will not
rely solely on any single aid to navigation, particularly a
floating aid.
2
The approximate position of a buoy is represented by
the dot or circle associated with the buoy symbol. The
approximate position is used because of practical
limitations in positioning and maintaining buoys and their
sinkers in precise geographical locations. These limitations
include, but are not limited to, inherent imprecisions in
position fixing methods, prevailing atmospheric and sea
conditions, the slope of and the material making up the sea
CHAPTER 1
5
bed, the fact that buoys are moored to sinkers by varying
lengths of chain, and the fact that buoy body and/or sinker
positions are not under constant surveillance but are
normally checked only during periodic maintenance visits
which often occur more than a year apart. The position of
the buoy body can be expected to shift inside and outside
the charting symbol due to the forces of nature. The
mariner is also cautioned that buoys are liable to be carried
away, shifted, capsized, sunk, or damaged (see 1.3).
Lighted buoys may be extinguished or sound signals may
not function as a result of hurricanes or other natural
causes, collisions, or other accidents.
3
For the foregoing reasons, a prudent mariner must not
rely completely upon the position or operation of floating
aids to navigation, but will also utilize bearings from fixed
objects and aids to navigation on shore. Further, a mariner
attempting to pass close aboard always risks collision with
a yawing buoy or with the obstruction the buoy marks.
IALA Maritime Buoyage System
1.28 1
The IALA Maritime Buoyage System Region B (red to
starboard) is in use throughout the area covered by this
volume but mariners are cautioned that in minor locations,
and where navigational aids are privately maintained,
non–IALA buoys and marks may be encountered.
2
For full details of the system see The Mariner’s
Handbook and IALA Maritime Buoyage System.
Radar reflectors are not charted; it can be assumed that
most major buoys are fitted with radar reflectors.
Ocean Data Acquisition System
1.29 1
ODAS buoys (special) may be encountered within the
area covered by this volume. These buoy systems, which
vary considerably in size, are used for environmental
research purposes; they are marked “ODAS” with an
identification number. The large systems should be given a
clearance of at least 1 mile, and in the case of vessels
towing underwater gear this distance should be increased to
2½ miles.
2
As the buoys have no navigational significance, and as
they are liable to be moved or withdrawn at short notice,
they are not normally mentioned in the text of the book.
See The Mariner’s Handbook for further details.
PILOTAGE
Deep−sea pilots
1.30 1
A deep−sea pilotage service, manned by master mariners
licensed by the US Coast Guard, is available for Gulf of
Mexico and Florida Strait, to provide assistance in heavily
congested areas. Pilots are on call to board vessels
whenever required within the area of operation at 48 hours
notice to:
2
GULF OF MEXICO PILOTS
3741 Memorial Boulevard
Port Arthur
Texas 77640
Cable address: GOMPILOTS
National pilotage
Cuba
1.31 1
Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels except Cuban
warships, merchant ships and fishing vessels under
500 tons. There are pilot stations in every large port. Small
ports are served by pilots from the nearest large port.
Mexico
1.32 1
All vessels of 500 tons or over are required to take a
pilot when entering or leaving a port in Mexico. A master
who refuses to take a pilot will pay the pilot dues as if he
had engaged one and will be held responsible for any
damage caused by failure to employ a pilot. If no pilot
offered his services and for this reason the master entered
without one, he will not be obliged to pay the pilot fees.
2
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
further details.
United States of America
1.33 1
Pilotage is compulsory for all foreign vessels and, apart
from a few exceptions, United States registered vessels
engaged in foreign trade. It is optional for US vessels in
the coastal trade, provided they are under the control and
direction of a pilot duly licensed by Federal Law for the
waters that vessel is navigating.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
further details.
Other countries
1.34 1
There are no national pilotage regulations for Costa
Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. See local pilotage
for certain ports.
RADIO FACILITIES
Electronic position fixing systems
Loran (C)
1.35 1
Groundwave ranges of from 800 to 1200 nautical miles
are typical, so providing accurate fixing (plus/minus 500 m)
over most of Gulf of Mexico and in Yucatán Channel.
Coverage of the less accurate skywave signals extends over
the remaining area described in this volume. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for further details.
Satellite navigation systems
1.36
1
Global positioning system. The Navstar Global
Positioning System (GPS), a military satellite navigation
system owned and operated by the US Department of
Defense, provides world wide position fixing.
The system is referenced to the datum of the World
Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) and therefore positions
obtained must be adjusted, if necessary, to the datum of the
chart being used.
2
Global Navigation Satellite System. The Russian
Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is similar
to GPS in that it is a space−based navigation system which
provides world wide position fixing.
The system is referenced to the Soviet Geocentric
Co−ordinate System 1990 (SGS–90) and as for GPS
positions must be adjusted, if necessary, to the datum of
the chart being used.
CHAPTER 1
6
3
DGPS compares the position of a fixed point, referred
to as the reference station, with positions obtained from a
GPS receiver at that point. The resulting differences are
then broadcast as corrections to suitable receivers to
overcome the inherent and imposed limitations of GPS.
4
Within the area covered by this volume DGPS data is
broadcast from the following places:
Aransas Pass (7.57)
Galveston (7.182)
Mobile Point (10.119)
New Orleans (English Turn) (8.54)
Tampa (9.38)
5
Caution. Satellite navigation systems are under the
control of the owning nation which can impose selective
availability or downgrade the accuracy to levels less than
that available from terrestrial radio navigational systems.
Therefore satellite based systems should not be relied upon
as the sole navigational aid.
6
The US Coast Guard, which is the Government interface
for civil users of GPS, has established the Navigation
Information Service (NIS) to meet the needs of the civil
user.
For full details on the above systems and NIS see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
Other radio navigational aids
Radar beacons
1.37 1
There are a number of racons in the area covered by
this volume, as shown on the charts, to aid offshore
navigation and entry into harbours. See Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volume 2 for details.
Radio stations
1.38
1
For full details of all the radio stations in the area
covered by this volume see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volumes 1(2) and 6(5).
Radio navigational warnings
Long range warnings
1.39 1
The waters covered by this volume are included in
NAVAREA IV, West Atlantic (N of 7°N), of the
World−wide Navigational Warning Service. The area
co−ordinator is United States of America and navigation
warnings are issued by the National Imagery and Mapping
Agency (NIMA) and broadcast through:
2
a) Boston.
b) The International SafetyNET Service via Inmarsat
Land Earth Stations (LES) at Miami and New
Orleans for Gulf of Mexico and its approaches.
For further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 3(2).
Local warnings
1.40
1
Local warnings are issued by US Coast Guard for
United States coastal and harbour areas. These warnings are
broadcast by the appropriate US Coast Guard radio station.
2
Navtex messages transmitted from Miami (radio station
located within the area covered by West Indies Pilot Volume
1) and from New Orleans may be received within part of
the area covered by this volume. For details of Navtex
broadcasts and other local warnings see Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volume 3(2).
Radio weather reports
Warnings and bulletins
1.41
1
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has
established a global service for the transmission of high
seas weather warnings and routine weather bulletins,
through the Enhanced Group Calling International
SafetyNET Service. The waters covered by this volume lie
in METAREA IV.
2
Weather warnings and routine bulletins are also
broadcast through US Coast Guard and other radio stations.
For full details of all radio weather services and the
stations from which they are issued; see Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volume 3(2).
Meteorological broadcasts by radio−facsimile
1.42
1
The area covered by this volume lies within the
radio−facsimile broadcast coverage area of US Coast Guard
facsimile stations. For details see Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 3(2).
NOAA Continuous VHF Weather Broadcasts
1.43
1
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) broadcasts continuous weather information for
United States coastal waters on VHF frequencies. For
further information see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 3(2).
Telephone/telefax weather information services
1.44
1
Weather information for United States areas covered by
this volume is available through the telephone and fax. For
details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 3(2).
Medical advice by radio
1.45
1
In United States waters the US Coast Guard will
respond to DH MEDICO messages by providing advice
that is immediately available or by referring requests to the
International Radio Medical Centre at Rome, Italy. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 1(2).
REGULATIONS
International regulations
Pollution from ships
1.46 1
See The Mariner’s Handbook for information concerning
the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution
from Ships 1973 (MARPOL 1973) and the 1978 Protocol to
MARPOL 1973.
Facilities for the disposal of oily waste, where they are
known, are described in the text under the appropriate port.
Submarine cables and pipelines
1.47 1
Mariners are advised not to anchor or trawl in the
vicinity of pipelines. Gas from a damaged oil or gas
pipeline could cause an explosion, loss of a vessel’s
buoyancy or other serious hazard. Pipelines are not always
buried and may effectively reduce the charted depth by up
to 2 m. They may also span seabed undulations and cause
fishing gear to become irrecoverably snagged, putting a
vessel in severe danger. See Annual Summary of Admiralty
Notice to Mariners No 24 and The Mariner’s Handbook.
CHAPTER 1
7
2
See also The Mariner’s Handbook for information on
The International Convention for the Protection of
Submarine Cables.
Traffic separation schemes
1.48 1
IMO adopted TSS in the area covered by this volume
include:
In Bay of Campeche, centred on 19°20′N 92°10′W.
In the approaches to the port of Veracruz (19°12′N
95°57′W).
Off Cabo San Antonio (21°53′N 85°07′W).
Off La Tabla (22°24′N 84°45′W).
In the approaches to Galveston Bay (29°08′N
94°22′W to 29°19′N 94°39′W).
2
See IMO Publication Ships Routeing for general
provisions on ships routeing. The regulations for IMO
adopted schemes are contained in Rule 10 of International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (1972).
Costa Rica
General information
1.49 1
No vessel is permitted to enter a Costa Rican port until
visited by a Health Officer, the Captain of the Port and a
Customs official.
2
A vessel’s ETA at her first port of call in Costa Rica
should be given as soon as possible after leaving her
previous port of call and at least 72 hours before arrival. A
change of 1 hour or more in the ETA should be reported
24 hours before arrival. The original message should
include the ship’s draught, the cargo, the consignees and
her requirements.
United States of America
General information
1.50 1
The US Coast Guard includes amongst its duties:
Enforcement of the laws of the US, including those
of navigation and neutrality, on the high seas and
in the coastal and inland waters of the US and its
possessions.
Administration of the Oil Pollution Act.
Establishment and administration of anchorages.
2
Inspection and documentation of vessels.
Operation of aids to navigation.
Operation of AMVER.
SAR operations.
Publication of Lights List and Local Notices to
Mariners.
3
Coastguard Marine Safety Offices, which combine the
functions of Captain of the Port and Marine Inspection
Office, in the area covered by this volume are situated at:
Corpus Christi; 400 Mann Street.
Houston−Galveston; PO Box 446, Galena Park.
Port Arthur; 2875 Jimmy Johnson Boulevard.
Tampa; 155 Columbia Drive.
Code of Federal Regulations
1.51
1
The US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) governs all
marine regulatory requirements and should be consulted for
detailed information on any of the following summarised
regulations, or any other US Federal Regulation. Extracts
from CFR can be found in the relevant edition of the US
Coast Pilots.
Selected extracts from Title 33 CFR are given in the
Appendices to this volume.
Pollution of the sea
1.52 1
Oil and hazardous substances. The Federal Water
Pollution Control Act, as amended, and the Fishery
Conservation and Management Act of 1976, prohibit the
discharge of oil or any hazardous substance into any United
States waters to the limits of the exclusive economic zone.
Any spillage that does occur must be reported immediately
to the nearest US Coast Guard station by radio, or by an
established nationwide toll free telephone number,
1−800−424−8802. Vessels are required to have on board
and available for inspection an International Oil Pollution
Prevention Certificate verifying compliance with MARPOL
73/78 and that all necessary equipment is fitted and
operational, also to maintain a new Oil Record Book
reporting all oil transfers and discharges.
2
Garbage and refuse. The Refuse Act of 1899 prohibits
the dumping of any refuse into United States waters. Whilst
within US waters all garbage and refuse matter must be
contained in leak−proof receptacles for supervised
off−loading at the next US port visited.
3
No−discharge zones (NDZ) have been established at
numerous specific locations throughout the United States.
These zones, which may or may not be shown on the
chart, are areas into which the discharge of sewage
(whether treated or untreated) from all vessels is completely
prohibited. For further details see the US Environmental
Protection Agency website at www.epa.gov.
National Marine Sanctuaries
1.53 1
National Marine Sanctuaries are described in the text. In
general terms, the purpose of the sanctuaries is to protect
and preserve the ecosystems, including marine birds and
mammals and other natural resources, and to ensure the
continued availability of the areas as research and
recreational resources.
2
Prohibited activities, consistent with international law,
include hydrocarbon operations, dumping of certain
substances, placing of structures on the seabed, disturbance
of marine life, the removal of historical or cultural
resources.
The area described in this volume is Flower Garden
Banks National Marine Sanctuary (7.4).
Navigation
1.54 1
Navigation Safety Regulations require all self−propelled
vessels over 1600 tons gross navigating in United States
waters to carry up−to−date charts, Sailing Directions, Light
Lists, Tide Tables, Tidal Current Tables, etc. Information on
these regulations is given in Appendix IV and in Annual
Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners No 22 of each
year.
2
US Notices to Mariners may be consulted at: Coast
Guard district offices, National Ocean Survey field offices,
National Imagery and Mapping Agency offices and agents
for handling charts and publications.
3
Channel depth information is usually published in US
Notices to Mariners. The information can be obtained also
at the local district offices of the Corps of Engineers, US
Army.
CHAPTER 1
8
Navigation Rules for US Inland Waters
1.55
1
Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980 modifies
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea,
(1972), for use in United States inland waters, inshore of
established lines of demarcation. These rules apply in all
inland waters of the US. The COLREG demarcation lines
are defined in the general information of each chapter of
the text, with reference to the area covered by that chapter.
2
The Navigation Rules, International−Inland
(COMDTINST M16672⋅2 series), are published by the US
Coast Guard, obtainable on request from USCG Marine
Inspection offices in major US ports, or by writing to:
Superintendent of Documents,
US Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402–9325.
3
Any vessel intending to navigate in US inland waters
should obtain a current copy of the document mentioned
above.
See Appendix III for further information.
Shipping safety fairways
1.56
1
Shipping Safety Fairways may be established by the US
authorities. These fairways are lanes or corridors in which
no artificial island or fixed structure, whether temporary or
permanent, will be permitted. See 1.10.
Special anchorage areas
1.57
1
Vessels not more than 19⋅8 m (65 ft) in length, when at
anchor in any special anchorage area, shall not be required
to carry or exhibit white anchor lights required by the
navigation rules.
Notice of arrival, departure and hazardous conditions
1.58
1
Appendix II gives extracts from US regulations
concerning Ports and Waterways Safety.
Regulated Navigation areas
1.59 1
Areas of regulated vessel movement designated as a
Regulated Navigation Area, a Safety Zone, or a Security
Zone may be established under certain circumstances by
the U.S. Coast Guard. For further information see
Appendix V and United States Coast Pilot Volume 5.
2
In the designated safety zones described in this volume,
special regulations apply and are given in the relevant text.
Danger Zones and Restricted Area regulations
1.60
1
A number of areas covered by this book are subject to
regulations concerning danger zones and restricted areas,
and are described in the relevant text. For further details
see Appendix VI and United States Coast Pilot Volume 5.
Communication between vessels
1.61 1
For details of US Vessel Bridge−to−Bridge
Radiotelephone regulations see Appendix I.
Vessel arrival inspections
1.62 1
Vessels subject to United States quarantine, customs,
immigration, and agricultural quarantine inspections
generally make arrangements in advance through ships’
agents. Government officials conducting such inspections
are stationed at most major ports. Mariners arriving at ports
where officials are not stationed should contact the nearest
office providing that service.
Quarantine
1.63 1
All vessels arriving in the United States are subject to
inspection by the Public Health Service. Vessels subject to
routine boarding for quarantine inspection are only those
which have had on board, during the last 15 days preceding
the date of expected arrival or during the period since
departure (whichever period of time is shorter), the
occurrence of death or ill person amongst passengers or
crew (including those who have disembarked or have been
removed). The master of a vessel must report such
occurrences immediately by radio to the quarantine station
at or nearest the port at which the vessel will arrive. In
addition, the master of a vessel carrying 13 or more
passengers must report by radio 24 hours before arrival the
number of cases (including nil) of diarrhoea in passengers
and crew recorded in the ship’s medical log during the
current voyage. All cases that occur after the 24 hour report
must also be reported not less than 4 hours before arrival.
2
Specific public health laws, regulations, policies and
procedures may be obtained by contacting US Quarantine
Stations, US Consulates or the Chief Program Operations,
Division of Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control,
Atlanta, Ga. 30333.
3
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 1(2) for
Quarantine reports from ships at sea.
Coral fisheries
1.64 1
The Magnuson Act regulates certain forms of fishing
and fishing for coral within the Fishery Conservation Zone
(FCZ) in Gulf of Mexico, which is allowed only with the
appropriate annual permit. The FCZ means that area
adjacent to the United States which, except where modified
to accommodate international boundaries, encompasses all
waters from the seaward boundary of each of the coastal
States to a line on which each point is 200 miles from the
baseline from which the territorial sea of the United States
is measured.
1.65 1
Prohibited coral means:
A species of coral belonging to the class Hydrozoa
(fire corals and hydrocorals).
A species of coral belonging to the class Anthozoa,
subclass Zooantharia (stony corals and black
corals).
2
A seafan, Gorgonia Flabellum or Gorgonia Ventalina.
A coral reef, except for allowable octocorals.
Coral in a coral Habitat Area of Particular Concern
(HAPC).
CHAPTER 1
9
SIGNALS
Belizean visual storm warning signals
1.66 1
The flag signals (Diagram 1.66) may be displayed.
United States Navy vessels
1.67 1
Certain types of U.S. Navy vessels, which cannot
comply fully with the requirements as to the number and
positioning of navigation lights, will comply as closely as
possible in accordance with Rule 13 of International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (1972). They
may also display other lights such as coloured recognition
lights, special coloured flashing lights, or landing lights for
aircraft or helicopters (details are given in US Notices to
Mariners annually). When darkened during naval
manoeuvres, navigation lights will be temporarily displayed
if possible on the approach of other shipping.
Submarine Emergency Identification Signals
and Hazard to Submarines.
1.68 1
US Navy submarines are equipped with signal ejectors
which may be used to launch identification signals,
including emergency signals. Two general types of signals
may be used: smoke floats and flares or stars. A
combination signal which contains both smoke and flare of
the same colour may also be used. The smoke floats, which
burn on the surface, produce a dense, coloured smoke for a
period of 15 to 45 seconds. The flares or stars are propelled
to a height of 300 to 400 ft from which they descend by
small parachute. The flares or stars burn for about
25 seconds. The colour of the smoke or flare/star has the
following meaning:
2
(a) Green or Black. Used under training exercise
conditions only to indicate that a torpedo has been
fired or that the firing of a torpedo has been
simulated.
(b) Yellow. Indicates that submarine is about to come
to periscope depth from below periscope depth.
Surface craft terminate anti−submarine counter
attack and clear vicinity of submarine. Do not
stop propellers.
3
(c) Red. Indicates an emergency condition within the
submarine and that it will surface immediately, if
possible. Surface ships clear the area and stand by
to give assistance after the submarine has
surfaced. In case of repeated red signals, or if the
submarine fails to surface within a reasonable
time, she may be assumed to be disabled. Buoy
the location, look for submarine buoy and attempt
to establish sonar communications. Advise US
Naval Authorities immediately.
4
(d) White. Two white flares/smoke in succession
indicates that the submarine is about to surface,
usually from periscope depth (non−emergency
surfacing procedure). Surface craft should clear
the vicinity of the submarine.
5
Submarine Marker Buoy consists of a cylindrically
shaped object about 1 m by 2 m with connecting structure
and is painted international orange. The buoy is a
messenger buoy with a wire cable to the submarine; this
cable acts as a downhaul line for a rescue chamber. The
buoy may be accompanied by an oil slick release to attract
attention. A submarine on the bottom in distress and unable
to surface will, if possible, release this buoy. If an object of
this description is sighted, it should be investigated and US
Naval Authorities advised immediately.
6
Transmission of the International Distress Signal (SOS)
will be made on the submarine’s sonar gear independently
or in conjunction with the red emergency signal as
conditions permit.
7
Submarines may employ any or all of the following
additional means to attract attention and indicate their
position while submerged:
(a) Release of dye marker.
(b) Release of air bubble.
(c) Ejection of oil.
(d) Pounding on the hull.
8
US destroyer−type vessels in international waters will,
on occasion, stream a towed underwater object at various
speeds engaged in naval manoeuvres. All nations operating
submarines are advised that this underwater object in the
streamed condition constitutes a possible hazard to
submerged submarines.
Survey vessels and Buoy tenders
1.69 1
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) vessels engaged in survey operations which limit
their ability to manoeuvre, and United States Coast Guard
vessels handling or servicing aids to navigation, each
display the lights and shapes required by Rule 27 of
International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea
(1972).
2
Wire drags, used by the National Ocean Survey in
sweeping for dangers to navigation, may be crossed by
vessels without danger of fouling at any point along their
lengths, except between the towing launches and the large
buoys near them. Vessels passing over the drag, when it is
in motion, are advised to cross it at right angles, as a
MeaningSignal
Tropical depression has moved into, or developed, anywhere in the quadrant S of 21°N and W of 80°W; or tropical storm has moved into, or developed, anywhere in the quadrant S of 21°N and between 80° and 83°W.
Tropical depression has moved into, or developed, any where in the quadrant S of 20°N and between 83°W and 85°W.
Belize - storm warning signals (1.66)
Tropical depression has moved into, or developed, anywhere in the quadrant S of 20°N and W of 85°.
Tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane has passed and no longer poses a threat to Belize and coastal waters.
CHAPTER 1
10
diagonal course may cause the propeller to foul the
supporting buoys and wires.
3
No attempt should be made to pass between the wire
drag launches while the wire is being streamed or taken in,
unless it would endanger a vessel to do otherwise. In
streaming or taking up the wire drag, the tension on the
bottom wire is released and the floats at each 30 m (100 ft)
section may cause the wire to be held near the surface. At
the same time, the launches are usually heading either
directly towards or away from each other and the operation
of taking up or streaming may be clearly seen.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
General information
1.70 1
For general information concerning distress and rescue,
including helicopter assistance, see the Annual Summary of
Notices to Mariners and The Mariner’s Handbook.
Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
1.71
1
GMDSS enables search and rescue authorities on shore,
in addition to shipping in the immediate vicinity of a vessel
in distress, to be rapidly alerted to an incident so that
assistance can be provided with the minimum of delay.
For details of GMDSS, including the responsible
agencies in Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 5.
Ship reporting systems
Automated Mutual−assistance Vessel Rescue System
1.72
1
AMVER system provides world wide cover and is
operated by the United States Coast Guard, details are
given in Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 1(2).
Merchant vessels of all nations making offshore voyages
are encouraged to send movement reports and periodic
position reports to the AMVER Centre. US Maritime
Administrative regulations require certain US flag vessels
and foreign flag “War Risk” vessels to report and regularly
update their voyages to the AMVER Centre.
Rescue services
United States of America
1.73 1
The US Coast Guard conducts and co−ordinates SAR
operations. SAR vessels have special markings including a
wide slash of red−orange and a small slash of blue on the
forward part of the hull or fuselage.
2
US Coast Guard stations provide look−out,
communication and/or patrol functions to assist vessels in
distress. The National VHF−FM Distress System provides
continuous coastal radio coverage outwards to 20 miles on
channel 16. Coast Guard stations are located as follows:
3
Florida:
Fort Myers Beach (26°28′N 81°57′W).
Cortez (27°28′N 82°41′W).
Saint Petersburg (27°46′N 82°38′W).
Clearwater Air Station (27°55′N 82°42′W).
Clearwater (27°57′N 82°50′W).
4
Yankeetown (29°02′N 82°42′W).
Panama City (30°10′N 85°45′W).
Destin (30°24′N 86 32′W).
Pensacola (30°21′N 87°17′W).
Alabama:
Mobile Base (30°39′N 88°04′W).
5
Mississippi:
Pascagoula (30°21′N 88°34′W).
Louisiana:
Venice Aids to Navigation Team (29°16′N 89°21′W).
Grand Isle (29°16′N 89°57′W).
New Orleans Base (29°58′N 90°02′W).
New Orleans Air Station (29°50′N 90°01′W).
New Orleans (30°02′N 90°07′W).
6
Texas:
Sabine (29°44′N 93°53′W).
Galveston Base (29°20′N 94°46′W).
Houston Air Station (29°37′N 95°10′W).
Houston Port Safety Station (29°44′N 95°15′W).
7
Freeport (28°57′N 95°18′W).
Port O’Connor (28°26′N 96°26′W).
Port Aransas (27°50′N 97°04′W).
Corpus Christi Air Station (27°42′N 97°17′W).
Port Isabel (26°04′N 97°10′W).
Mexico
1.74
1
The Mexican Navy is responsible for co−ordinating
Search and Rescue operations within the limits of the
Exclusive Economic Zone of Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico
and Caribbean Sea. Certain Mexican Coast Radio Stations
maintain a continuous listening watch on international
distress frequencies. For further details see Admiralty List
of Radio Signals Volume 5.
Guatemala
1.75
1
There is an MRCC in Guatemala City.
CHAPTER 1
11
COUNTRIES AND PORTS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Central America
General description
1.76 1
Central America comprises the seven smallest countries
of Latin America: Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua,
Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize. El Salvador
has a coastline on Pacific Ocean only, Belize’s coastline is
on Atlantic Ocean only, the coasts of the remainder border
both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Except for Panama and
El Salvador, all are described in this volume.
2
The seven countries occupy 544 700 sq km, which is
less than the size of Texas. The degree of development in
the countries varies; Costa Rica has one of the highest
standards of living, rate of social development and literacy.
3
Geographically the countries have much in common. All
are mountainous, all share a wild beauty and all have much
the same products: bananas, sugar, cotton, coffee, cocoa,
gold and silver.
4
There are, however, sharp differences in the ethnic
heritage of the various countries. It may be this factor
which prevented the formation of a Central American
Federation, when independence from Spain was achieved in
the early part of the nineteenth century.
Early history
1.77 1
The remarkable and advanced culture of the Mayan
Empire, which had flourished in the north and east of
Guatemala, broke up probably in about 600 AD and moved
further N to the N part of Yucatán. That empire was
conquered later by the Toltecs, who were conquered in turn
by the Aztecs. Other small cultural groups were to be
found in different parts of the area.
2
Columbus reached the mainland of Central America on
his fourth voyage in 1502. Thereafter the Spanish conquest
and occupation began, with Cortes moving N to the
conquest of Mexico and Pedrarias and others to the S.
3
The revolution in Spain in 1820 precipitated revolt in
Central America. The various provinces were declared
independent in 1823, but bound together as federates of the
United Provinces of Central America.
THE REPUBLIC OF COSTA RICA
General description
1.78 1
The Republic of Costa Rica (the “Rich Coast”) is
bounded NE by Caribbean Sea, SE by Panama, SW and W
by Pacific Ocean and N by Nicaragua. With an estimated
area of 51 000 sq km the country is, with the exception of
El Salvador, the smallest of the Central American republics
and only Panama and Belize have fewer inhabitants.
2
The capital city is San José, founded in 1737; in 2000
the population of its metropolitan area was 1⋅2 million.
The coastal lowlands have tropical climate but the
interior plateau, with a mean elevation of about 1200 m,
experiences a temperate climate. The coastal area has a dry
season from December to April, with the rainy season from
May to November.
National limits
1.79 1
A limit of 12 miles is claimed for the Territorial Sea
(TS) and 200 miles for the Exclusive Economic Zone
(EEZ). For further information see the Annual Summary of
Admiralty Notices to Mariners and The Mariner’s
Handbook.
History
1.80 1
The first European landfall was made in 1502 on
Columbus’ fourth and last voyage and settlement began in
1522. For nearly three centuries the region was
administered by Spain as part of the Captaincy General of
Guatemala. The country was called ‘Rich Coast’ by the
early settlers in anticipation of finding gold and other
valuable minerals but this did not transpire and agriculture
became the main industry. In 1821 the country became part
of the Central American Federation, which seceded to
Mexico in 1822−23, becoming the United Province of
Central America. In 1838, long after the federation had
ceased to exist, Costa Rica formally withdrew and
proclaimed its independence. With only two relatively brief
lapses, the country has continued as a peaceful democracy
from 1899 to the present day.
Government
1.81 1
Costa Rica is a democratic republic. Executive powers
are vested in the President who is elected, by popular vote,
for a term of 4 years. There are two vice−presidents and a
15 member cabinet.
Legislative powers are vested in a Legislative Assembly
of 57 deputies who are elected by proportional
representation for a term of 4 years.
2
The Supreme Court of Justice heads the judiciary, with
magistrates elected by the Legislative Assembly at intervals
of eight years.
The country’s seven provinces are headed by governors
appointed by the president.
The army was abolished in 1949, although domestic
police and forces for internal security are maintained.
Population
1.82 1
The population at the census of July 2000 was
3⋅81 million. Most of the inhabitants are of Spanish and
mixed descent; only about 5000 of the indigenous Indian
population survive.
Languages
1.83 1
The official language is Spanish. A Jamaican dialect of
English is spoken around Puerto Limón.
Physical features
1.84 1
The country can roughly be described as an elevated
tableland, intersected by lofty mountain ranges, and fringed
along the coast by low−lying marshes and lagoons,
alternating with rich soil and wastes of land. The
mountains slope sharply on both the Pacific and Atlantic
coasts, the coastal lowlands being narrow on the Pacific
side and broad on the Atlantic side. The distance between
the two coasts varies between 74 and 175 miles. The
highest peak, Cerro Chirripó Grande, situated SE of San
CHAPTER 1
12
José, attains an elevation of almost 4000 m and is one of
the highest peaks in Central America.
2
The combination of ample sunshine and moisture,
coupled with a fertile soil, means that almost any fruit or
flower can be cultivated; medicinal plants are found in all
parts.
There are many National Parks and Nature Reserves.
Flora and fauna
1.85 1
The forests abound with mahogany, cedar, rosewood,
lignumvitæ and many dye−woods. Medicinal plants are
found in all parts.
Industry and trade
1.86 1
The principal industries are agriculture, including dairy
farming and cattle raising, construction materials, fertilizers,
food processing, textiles and clothing. Manufacturing and
industry’s contribution to GDP overtook agriculture during
the 1990s.
2
Exports include coffee, cocoa, bananas, sugar and beef;
imports comprise chemicals, fertilizers, foodstuffs, fuel and
mineral oils, machinery, manufactured goods and transport
equipment.
3
Tourism is growing and is a major contributor to the
economy; it now (2000) earns more foreign exchange than
the previous staple exports of coffee and bananas
combined.
THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA
General description
1.87
1
For general information regarding the Republic of
Colombia refer to South America Pilot Volumes III and IV.
THE REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA
General description
1.88 1
The Republic of Nicaragua is bounded N by Honduras,
E by Caribbean Sea, S by Costa Rica and W by Pacific
Ocean. It is the largest of the Central American states, with
an area of 131 812 sq km. The capital is Managua, situated
on the Pacific coast near Laguna Managua, with an
estimated population (1999) of 930 000.
National limits
1.89 1
Nicaragua claims a limit of 200 miles for both its
Territorial Seas and its Fishery Zone. For further details see
the Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners and
The Mariner’s Handbook.
History
1.90 1
The E coast of Nicaragua was visited by Columbus in
1502 and in 1519 the territory was overrun by Spanish
forces. It formed part of the Spanish Captaincy−General of
Guatemala until 1821, when, after linking with the other
Central American territories, full independence was attained
in 1838.
Government
1.91 1
Nicaragua is a constitutional democracy with executive,
legislative, judicial and electoral branches of government.
The present constitution, which was reformed in 1995, and
again in 2000, provides for a unicameral National
Assembly of members elected by proportional
representation. The President and Vice President are
directly elected for a 5 year term. The country is divided
into Departments.
Population
1.92 1
The estimated population of 5⋅34 million (2002) is of
mainly Spanish and Indian origin, with a number of
Afro−Americans along the Caribbean coast.
Language
1.93 1
The official language is Spanish.
Physical features
1.94 1
Nicaragua is traversed by two great mountain ranges.
with volcanic peaks rising to 1730 m. The W, or coastal
range, is the principal line of volcanic energy and
comprises seven peaks from 900 to over 1700 m high,
besides several peaks of lesser height. Between this range
and the E range lies the great interior basin in which are
situated Lago de Nicaragua and Lago de Managua. The
Caribbean coast is intersected by numerous shallow rivers
which form an almost continuous line of swamps and
lagoons along the shore.
Industry and trade
1.95 1
The principal industries are agriculture and forestry.
Exports include: coffee, seafood, beef, sugar, industrial
goods, bananas, gold and sesame. Imports are: petroleum,
agricultural supplies, manufactured and consumer goods.
There are few mineral deposits; although gold and silver
are still mined they are of minor importance to the
economy.
THE REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS
General description
1.96 1
The Republic of Honduras is bounded N by Caribbean
Sea, SE by Nicaragua, SW by Pacific Ocean and El
Salvador and NW by Guatemala. It has an estimated area
of 112 100 sq km; it has a narrow Pacific coastal strip,
about 60 miles long, in Golfo de Fonseca, but its N coast,
on the Caribbean, is some 380 miles long.
2
The administrative capital is Tegucigalpa, with a
population of 819 867 (2001). The commercial and
industrial centre is San Pedro Sula, population 483 384
(2001).
3
Honduras is larger than all the other Central American
Republics except Nicaragua, but has a population less than
El Salvador, a country less than one−fifth its size. Much of
the NE part of the country is very sparsely populated and
even in the S, where most of the people live, the clusters
of population are often separated by tracts of empty land.
On its W frontier, the distance between Pacific Ocean and
Gulf of Honduras in Caribbean Sea is little more than
150 miles.
4
The wet season is from May to October; the dry season
from November to April.
National limits
1.97 1
Limits of 12 miles are claimed for the Territorial Sea,
24 miles for the Contiguous Zone and 200 miles for the
CHAPTER 1
13
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). For further details see
Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners and The
Mariner’s Handbook.
History
1.98 1
Honduras was originally discovered and settled by the
Spanish at the beginning of the 16th century. It formed part
of the Spanish−American dominions for nearly three
centuries until 1821, when independence was proclaimed.
After a brief period of annexation to the Mexican Empire it
joined the newly formed Central American Federation in
1823 before finally declaring itself an independent
sovereign state in 1838.
Government
1.99 1
Honduras is a multi−party republic. The present
Constitution came into force in 1982. Deputies are elected
to the Legislative Chamber. Executive authority rests with
the President, who is elected for a 4 year term of office.
The National Assembly elects the members of the Supreme
Court, the Court of Appeal, Justices of the Peace and lesser
tribunals. The country is divided into 18 Departments, each
having its own administrative centre.
Population
1.100 1
The population was 6⋅53 million (2001). About 90% of
the population is of mixed Spanish and Indian descent
(mestizos).
Language
1.101 1
The official language is Spanish.
Physical features
1.102 1
Much of the country is mountainous; the principal
ranges are the Merendon, a branch of the Cordilleras,
running from Mexico through Guatemala to the N coast,
and the Celaque, traversing the centre of the country, some
of which is volcanic. The rugged terrain makes large areas
unsuitable for any kind of agriculture, and nearly one−third
of the country is covered with forests; only about 16% of
the land is under cultivation.
Flora
1.103 1
There is an abundance of valuable timber; the most
important types being pine, mahogany and cedar.
Industry and trade
1.104 1
The main sectors of the economy, in order of size, are:
industry, commerce, agriculture, forestry and fishing. The
principal export crops are coffee, bananas, lumber, shrimp
and lobster, sugar, fruits, basic grains, and livestock. Other
exported products include zinc/lead concentrates,
soap/detergents, and tobacco. Local industries are small,
turning out a wide range of consumer goods. Imports
include: petroleum, manufactured goods, machinery and
chemicals. Much of the economy and infrastructure was
devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the worst natural
disaster ever to strike the western hemisphere; extensive
debt relief, and United States aid, has assisted recovery.
THE REPUBLIC OF GUATEMALA
General description
1.105 1
The Republic of Guatemala is bounded E by Belize and
Caribbean Sea, SE by Honduras, SW by the Pacific Ocean
and NW and N by Mexico. The country, which has an area
of about 109 000 sq km, is the most populous of the
Central American Republics and is the only one that is
largely Indian in language and culture. There are still large
areas of the land unoccupied, particularly in the N of the
country. Two thirds of the country is mountainous and the
forests are extensive.
2
The capital is Guatemala City, founded 1776, which in
1999 had a population of 3⋅1 million.
National limits
1.106 1
Limits of 12 miles are claimed for the Territorial Sea
and 200 miles for the Exclusive Economic Zone. For
further details see the Annual Summary of Admiralty
Notices to Mariners and The Mariner’s Handbook.
History
1.107 1
The Mayan and other civilizations flourished throughout
the area before the Spanish conquest of 1523−4. The
country became independent in 1821 and formed part of
the Federation of Central America from 1823 to 1839.
After the Federation was dissolved, Guatemala passed
through a series of dictatorships broken only by short
periods of representative government. A new constitution
came into effect in 1986 and elections held in 1990 marked
the first transition from one democratically elected civilian
government to another in modern times. The constitution
was subsequently amended in 1994. Peace accords signed
late in 1996 ended 36 years of internal conflict.
Government
1.108 1
A constitutional, democratic, republican government has
been established. The Head of State and of Government is
the President, who is elected for a term of 4 years. There is
a unicameral Legislative Assembly comprising 113
members who elect judges to the Supreme Court of Justice.
The country has 22 Departments, excluding Guatemala
City.
Population
1.109 1
The population was 11⋅2 million (2002).
Languages
1.110 1
The official language is Spanish, but 40% of the
population speak Indian languages including Quiché,
Cakchiquel, Kekchi and Maya−Mopan.
Physical features
1.111 1
The country, generally, is mountainous, and is traversed
from SE to NW by a mountain chain in which there are
several volcanic peaks rising to a height of nearly 4000 m.
This chain of mountains lies about 50 miles inland from the
Pacific coast. The mountains are covered with forests.
Earthquakes are frequent.
2
The N part of the country is the great Plain of Petén,
which comprises about one−third of the area of the state; it
consists of level or undulating country, covered with grass
or forest; in recent years large scale tree−felling has greatly
CHAPTER 1
14
reduced the area of this tropical rain forest. The greater
part is uncultivated, although many districts have an
extremely fertile soil and abundance of water.
Industry and trade
1.112 1
The agricultural industry accounts for about
three−quarters of exports; coffee is the largest commodity
followed by sugar, bananas, cotton, beef, essential oils and
manufactured goods.
Imports comprise petroleum products, vehicles,
machinery and foodstuffs.
The industrial sector is beginning to expand and most
manufacturing is light assembly or food processing.
BELIZE
General description
1.113 1
Belize is bounded N by Mexico, E by Caribbean Sea
and both S and W by Guatemala. It has an area of 22 965
sq km. The town of Belmopan which in 2000 had a
population. of 8130, became the capital in 1970 after
Belize City, the former capital, was devastated by a
hurricane in 1961.
National limits
1.114 1
A limit of 12 miles, restricted to 3 miles measured from
straight base lines in Gulf of Honduras, is claimed for the
Territorial Sea and 200 miles for the Exclusive Economic
Zone (EEZ). For further details see Annual Summary of
Admiralty Notices to Mariners.
History
1.115 1
The Mayan civilization spread into the area of Belize
between 1500 BC and 300 AD and flourished until about
1000 AD. Major archeological sites, such as those at
Caracol, Lamanai, Labaantun, Altun Ha and Xunantunich,
reflect the advanced civilization and greater population of
that period. European contact began in 1502 when
Columbus sailed along the coast. The first settlement was
established by shipwrecked British seamen in 1638. From
that date until 1798 the settlers held their own despite
sporadic Spanish attacks. The settlement was declared a
colony subordinate to Jamaica in 1862. It became a
separate colony in 1884, internally self governing in 1964
and an independent country within the Commonwealth in
1981.
Government
1.116
1
Belize is a parliamentary democracy with the British
Monarch as head of state represented by a Governor
General, who is a Belizean.
The head of the Government is the Prime Minister.
Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political
party in parliament and usually hold elected seats in the
National Assembly concurrently with their cabinet
positions.
2
The National Assembly consists of a House of
Representatives and a Senate. The 29 members of the
House are popularly elected to a maximum 5 year term. Of
the Senate’s eight members, five are elected by the prime
minister, two by the leader of the opposition, and one by
the the Belize Advisory Council.
3
Members of the independent judiciary are appointed.
The judicial system includes local magistrates, the Supreme
Court and the Court of Appeal. The country is divided into
six districts: Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize, Stann
Creek and Toledo.
Population
1.117 1
The population at census is 240 204 (2002).
Languages
1.118 1
The official language is English. Spanish, Creole,
Garifuna and Mayan are also spoken.
Physical features
1.119 1
The land near the coast is mainly swamp or low terrain.
Inland there is a gradual elevation to the central mountain
range.
Flora and fauna
1.120 1
High rainfalls and temperatures ensure a rich and varied
flora and fauna. Nature conservation has become a priority,
with the establishment of numerous reserves eg for swamp
forests, watershed and primary forests, reef eco−systems,
jaguar, wildfowl, baboon and butterfly.
Industry and trade
1.121 1
The principal industries are: agriculture, beverages,
clothing and tourism. Exports include: bananas, citrus fruit,
clothing, fisheries products and sugar. Imports are: building
materials, vehicles, consumer goods, food, machinery and
petroleum products.
CUBA
General description
1.122 1
The area between Quebrado de Buenavista (22°29′N
84°29′W) and Cabo Corrientes (21°46′N 84°31′W),
including Cabo San Antonio (21°52′N 84°57′W) and
Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, is the only part of Cuba to
be covered by this volume, forming as it does the main
landfall for vessels passing through Yucatán Channel on
through routes from Panama Canal to North American
ports. The island of Cuba, the largest of the islands in the
Caribbean, is about 610 miles in length and varies from 20
to about 110 miles in width. The estimated population is
11.2 million (2000) and the official language is Spanish.
See West Indies Pilot Volume I for further details.
THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES
General description
1.123 1
Mexico, or its official name, The United Mexican States,
occupies the S part of North America and has extensive
seaboards on both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is
bounded N and NE by the United States of America, E by
Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, SE by Belize and
Guatemala and SW by Pacific Ocean. Mexico is the third
largest country in Latin America and the most populous
Spanish speaking country in the world. It has an area of
almost 2 million sq km, excluding inland waters.
2
The capital is Mexico City; in 2000 the population was
about 13 million.
CHAPTER 1
15
National limits
1.124 1
Limits of 12 miles for the Territorial Sea, 24 miles for
the Contiguous Zone and 200 miles for the Exclusive
Economic Zone are claimed by Mexico. For further details
see the Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners
and The Mariner’s Handbook.
History
1.125 1
Long before the Spanish conquest there were highly
advanced cultures in the area now known as Mexico; they
included those of the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs and Aztecs.
In 1519 Hernando Cortés landed near the present Veracruz
and in 2 years had overthrown the Aztecs and established
300 years of Spanish rule. In 1810 a revolution led by Fr
Miguel Hidalgo proclaimed independence from Spain, and
after years of strife the republic was established in 1824.
2
Texas declared itself independent in 1836 and was
annexed by United States of America in 1845. This led to
the war of 1845−48 between Mexico and the United States
which was settled by the Treaty of Guadeloupe−Hidalgo.
As a result of the treaty Mexico was forced to cede the
northern provinces of Texas, California and New Mexico to
United States of America.
3
French troops invaded Mexico in 1862, and, in 1864, an
Empire under the Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian of
Austria was declared. This was short−lived and in 1867, on
the overthrow and execution of the Emperor, the Republic
was restored.
4
The modern system of federal government stems from
the revolution of 1910 to 1921. A period of over 70 years
of single party power was ended in 2000.
Government
1.126 1
The constitution dates from 1917 and has been amended.
The country is divided into 31 states and a federal district
which includes the capital, Mexico City. Each state runs its
own internal affairs and all are united in the Federal
Republic. The President is elected for a 6 year term of
office. He is both Head of State and Government.
Legislative power is vested in a bicameral Congress,
comprising a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. The
judiciary, which includes both federal and local systems is
headed by the Supreme Court.
Population
1.127 1
The estimated population is 97⋅5 million (2000).
Languages
1.128 1
The official language is Spanish. Some English is also
spoken.
Physical features
1.129 1
For the most part, the interior consists of an immense
tableland, the N part of which, commencing in United
States of America, rises from a height of 1130 m at El
Paso, on the N frontier of Mexico, to one of more than
2470 m, at Marquez (the highest point touched by the
Central Railway) 76 miles N of Mexico City; a mean
elevation nearly as great as the latter elevation is
maintained in all the S central part of the plateau. The N
part of the plateau is low, arid and thinly populated; the
mountainous S part, the heart of Mexico, has ample rain
and though only about one−seventh of the area of the
country it holds nearly half the population.
2
The escarpments of this plateau form most of the
so−called Cordilleras. The most important range is the
Sierra Madre, more than 3000 m high, which extends from
Tehuantepec into United States of America; parallel to this
range run the ranges of the E coast and of Baja California.
The range within the E coast lies from 10 to 100 miles
inland. Peninsula de Yucatán, N of Belize, is for the most
part a flat plain. The surface of the country is much broken
up by short cross−ridges and detached peaks.
3
The highest mountains are volcanoes, the principal of
which, in the E range, are Pico de Orizaba (5700 m high)
and Pico Cofre de Perote (4282 m high); the former is a
dormant volcano and is perpetually snow−clad.
Flora and fauna
1.130 1
The flora of Mexico is unrivalled; the most striking
characteristics of the flowers is their deep rich colour.
Among the animals are the puma, jaguar, wolf, deer,
rabbit, horse, sheep, cattle and goat. Birds, of which there
are over some 400 species, are famed for their brilliant
plumage.
2
Venomous snakes and insects are found in the forests of
the hot lands, and the honey bee abounds all over the
country.
The waters off the coasts, as well as the rivers and
streams teem with many varieties of fish. Alligators are
common in the estuaries, and turtles of all kinds are
abundant.
Industry and trade
1.131 1
The country has natural resources of uranium, oil, silver,
copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas and timber; it produces
about one−quarter of the worlds supply of fluorspar.
2
The principal industries are mining and petroleum, and
both light and heavy industry is continuing to expand; the
production of motor vehicles for both the domestic and
export market is rapidly expanding. Agriculture, though still
a large employer, is steadily declining in importance; the
principal crops are maize, beans, rice, wheat, sugar, coffee,
tobacco, cotton and fruit. Tourism makes a major
contribution to the economy of the country.
3
Major imports include computers, automobile assembly
material and automobile parts, chemicals, machinery and
pharmaceuticals. Principal exports are oil, automobiles fruit
and vegetables, shrimps and coffee.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
General description
1.132 1
United States of America, including Alaska and Hawaii,
comprises fifty states and the Federal District of Columbia,
extending across the North American Continent from the
Atlantic to Pacific Ocean a distance of about 4800 km.
Except for Alaska and Hawaii, they are bounded on the N
by the Dominion of Canada, and on the S by Gulf of
Mexico and The United Mexican States (Mexico). The area
of the fifty states and the Federal District cover an area of
about 9⋅2 million sq km.
2
Washington is the capital city, in the Federal District of
Columbia; in 2000 the population of the city was 572 059.
The States which border the coast of Gulf of Mexico
are: Texas (Tex), Louisiana (La), Mississippi (Miss), Florida
(Fla) and Alabama (Ala). They are described separately
below.
CHAPTER 1
16
National limits
1.133 1
A limit of 12 miles is claimed for the Territorial Sea,
24 miles for its Contiguous Zone and 200 miles for the
Exclusive Economic Zone. For further details see Annual
Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners and The
Mariner’s Handbook.
History
1.134
1
The area which is now the United States was first
inhabited by nomadic hunters, who it is thought arrived
from Asia circa 30 000 BC. The first (failed) European
colony was founded by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585. By
1733 there were 13 British Colonies, which were made up
largely of religious non−conformists who had left Britain to
escape persecution; the French and Spanish had also
founded colonies.
2
The War of Independence broke out in 1775 largely
because of the colonists’ objection to being prevented from
expanding westward by the British Government, (a
restriction that was to reappear with similar results nearly a
century later) and partly because some influential colonists
were affronted by their exclusion from the British
establishment. The forces of the British government were
defeated with French, Spanish and Dutch assistance. The
Declaration of Independence which inaugurated the United
States of America was signed on 4 July 1776; Britain
recognised American sovereignty in 1783. The first federal
constitution was drawn up in 1787; ten amendments,
termed the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791. The 13
original states of the Union ratified the constitution between
1787 and 1790. Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee were
admitted in the 1790s but most of the states acceded in the
19th century as the opening up of the centre and the west
led to the creation of new states and European or
neighbouring countries ceded or sold their territories to the
USA.
3
This expansion greatly increased the tensions between a
dynamic industrial north, and a conservative agrarian south,
who held opposite views on whether the institution of
slavery should be allowed westward into the new
territories. Fearing exclusion, the southern states seceded
from the Union, and this secession, declared invalid by
President Abraham Lincoln led to armed rebellion by the
south, and civil war. Ultimately the greater resources of the
north prevailed and the country was reunited in 1865.
4
The United States emerged as a world economic and
military superpower in the 20th century and played a
decisive role in the two world wars. Its economic and
military (including nuclear) supremacy gave the US a key
role in shaping the post−war world.
Government
1.135
1
The constitution is that of a Federal Republic consisting
of fifty states and the Federal District of Columbia and of
the outside territories. Of the present fifty states, thirteen
are original states, seven were admitted without previous
organisation as territories, and thirty were admitted as
organised territories.
2
By the constitution of 1787, and as subsequently
amended, the government of the United States is entrusted
to three separate authorities. The executive (President and
Cabinet), the Legislature (Congress), and the Judiciary. The
President is elected every 4 years; his tenure is limited to
two terms.
3
Each state manages its own affairs and has a Governor,
Senate and House of Representatives, or institutions of
corresponding authority.
Population
1.136 1
The population was estimated to be 293⋅66 million
(2004).
Language
1.137
1
The language spoken is English but there is a significant
minority who speak Spanish.
Physical features
1.138
1
Structurally, the United States mainland may be divided
into three main divisions. The Appalachian Mountains to
the S and E, separated from the Atlantic by a coastal plain.
The Central Plains which stretch from Arctic Ocean to Gulf
of Mexico. The Western Highlands, or Cordillera, which
take up nearly a third of the total continent area.
There are many navigable rivers, the major ones being
the Hudson, Mississippi, Missouri, and Red.
Flora and fauna
Flora
1.139
1
The natural vegetation of the United States has been
significantly modified by human activity, but its general
nature is still apparent over much of the continent. The
most notable forest is the taiga, or boreal forest, an
enormous expanse of mostly coniferous trees (especially
spruce, fir, hemlock, and larch) that extends from Canada
into Alaska. In the E United States a mixed forest,
dominated by deciduous trees in the N and by various
species of yellow pine in the SE, has mostly been cleared
or cut over, but a considerable area has regrown since the
1940s. In the W portion of the continent, forests are
primarily associated with mountain ranges, and coniferous
trees are dominant. In California, the redwood and giant
sequoias are to be found, many of which are protected
because of their great age and beauty.
Fauna
1.140
1
The native wildlife of the United States was once
numerous and diverse, but the spread of human settlement
has resulted in contracting habitats and diminishing
numbers. In general the fauna of the states is similar to that
of the N areas of Europe and Asia. Notable large mammals
include several kinds of bear, the largest being the grizzly;
bighorn sheep; bison, now only in protected herds; caribou;
moose, called elk in Europe; musk ox; and wapiti. Large
carnivores include the puma and, in S regions, the jaguar;
the wolf and its smaller relative, the coyote; and, in the far
N, the polar bear. One species of marsupial, the common
opossum, is indigenous to the continent. A few of the
many reptiles are poisonous including the coral snake, pit
vipers such as the rattlesnake and copperhead, and the gila
monster and bearded lizard in the SW of the US, the only
poisonous lizards in the world. A great variety of fish and
shellfish live in the marine waters, and many kinds of fish
are found in its freshwater rivers and lakes.
CHAPTER 1
17
Texas
General description
1.141 1
The State of Texas is bounded on the E by Louisiana
and Arkansas, SE by Gulf of Mexico, SW by Mexico, NW
by New Mexico and N by Oklahoma. It has an area of
692 400 sq km, including 11 315 sq km of inland
waterways. The capital is Austin.
History
1.142 1
Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1836 and
remained independent until it entered the Union on 29th
December 1845 to become the 28th State.
Population
1.143 1
The population is 20 851 820 (2000).
Physical features
1.144 1
The coastal region from 30 to 100 miles inland is level
with a rich alluvial soil. Numerous rivers, bays and bayous
lie behind the shoreline, but, unless improved by dredging,
shallow bars prevent their use by all but small craft.
Industry and trade
1.145 1
The principal industries are: agriculture, chemicals,
mining and petroleum.
The Texan economy is massive in scale and diverse in
character, with extensive developments around the port
areas and, in the case of the oil industry, for many miles
offshore.
Louisiana
General description
1.146 1
The State of Louisiana is bounded N by Arkansas, E by
the Mississippi River and the State of Mississippi, S by the
Gulf of Mexico and W by Texas. The area is 125 650 sq
km, including 8 850 sq km of inland waters. The capital is
Baton Rouge with a population of 227 818 (2000).
History
1.147 1
Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi in 1541.
La Salle claimed the land for France in 1682. Louis XV of
France later transferred ownership to his cousin Charles III
of Spain. Napoleon regained Louisiana for France in 1801.
It became US territory in 1803 through the Louisiana
Purchase and entered the Union as the 18th State in 1812.
Population
1.148 1
The population is 4 468 976 (2000).
Physical features
1.149 1
The coastal region, especially near Mississippi Delta, is
so low that it is often inundated. The delta is nowhere
more than 3 m above the sea. Within the salt−marshes and
swamps of the coast the land is heavily wooded. The
principal navigable rivers are the Mississippi and the
Sabine.
Industry and trade
1.150 1
The Louisianan economy is both diverse and large in
scale. It includes agriculture (especially grain), commerce,
fisheries, hydrocarbons, timber, maritime trade, tourism and
shipbuilding.
Mississippi
General description
1.151 1
The State of Mississippi is bounded N by Tennessee, E
by Alabama, S by Gulf of Mexico and W by Louisiana and
Arkansas. The area is 123 600 sq km, including 1280 sq km
of inland waters. The capital is Jackson, which had a
population of 184 256 (2000).
History
1.152 1
Mississippi was first settled by Europeans in 1716,
organised as a Territory in 1798, and admitted into the
Union as the 20th State in 1817. The present constitution
was adopted in 1890.
Population
1.153 1
The population is 2 844 658 (2000).
Industry and trade
1.154 1
The principal industries are: agriculture; minerals,
offshore oil; petroleum and timber.
Alabama
General description
1.155 1
The State of Alabama is bounded N by Tennessee, E by
Georgia, S by Florida and the Gulf of Mexico and W by
Mississippi. The area is 133 650 sq km, including 1420 sq
km of inland waters. The capital is Montgomery with a
population of 201 568 (2000).
History
1.156 1
Alabama was first settled by Europeans about 1700 as
part of the French province of Louisiana. It was ceded to
Britain in 1763, organised as a Territory in 1817 and
admitted to the Union in 1819 as the 22nd State.
Population
1.157 1
The population is 4 447 100 (2000).
Physical features
1.158 1
The country rises gradually from the low coastal lands
to elevations of 460 m in the N part of the state. The
principal river open to navigation is the Alabama.
Industry and trade
1.159 1
The principal industries are: agriculture; minerals;
offshore oil and steel.
Florida
General description
1.160 1
The State of Florida is an extensive peninsula lying
between Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico and bounded
CHAPTER 1
18
in the N by Alabama and Georgia. It has an area of
151 650 sq km, including 11 160 sq km of inland waters.
The capital is Tallahassee with a population of 150 624
(2000).
History
1.161 1
Europeans first sighted Florida between 1497 and 1512.
The first permanent settlement in the entire area now
known as United States of America was made at Saint
Augustine in 1565. The land was claimed by Spain until
1763, ceded to Britain then back to Spain in 1783 and
ceded to the USA in 1821, when it became a Territory. It
was admitted to the Union in 1845 as the 27th State. The
present constitution dates from 1885.
Population
1.162 1
The population is 15 982 378 (2000).
Physical features
1.163 1
Florida is divided topographically into two zones about
the 28°N parallel of latitude. The N part is more elevated,
broken and wooded than the S which is, in general, marsh
or level ground. The centre rises gradually to hills of no
great height. The S end terminates in sharp rocks, covered
with small pines.
Industry and trade
1.164 1
For the most part the state economy is based on tourism,
forestry and agriculture, while the cities and ports around
Tampa Bay are centres for commerce and trade.
PRINCIPAL PORTS, HARBOURS AND
ANCHORAGES
1.165 Columbia
Place and position Remarks
Isla de San Andrés
Saint Andrew harbour
(2.21) (12°33′N 81°41′W)
Sheltered anchorage and
wharf for small vessels;
Naval Base
Isla de Providencia
Puerto Catalina (2.27)
(13°23′N 81°23′W)
Secure anchorage for
small vessels
Costa Rica
Puerto Limón (3.22)
(09°59′N 83°01′W)
Port and open anchorage;
subject to swell
Puerto Moín (3.34)
(10°00′N 83°05′W)
Port exposed to N wind
and swell
Nicaragua
Bluefields (3.60)
(12°00′N 83°41′W)
Sheltered port for small
vessels
Puerto Isabel (3.85)
(13°21′N 83°34′W)
Pier and open anchorage
for small vessels
Puerto Cabezas (3.98)
(14°01′N 83°23′W)
Pier and open anchorage
for small vessels.
Exposed to E wind and
swell
Honduras
Place and position Remarks
North Coast, East Part
Trujillo (4.30)
(15°55′N 87°57′W)
Pier and open anchorage
for small vessels; Port of
Entry
Puerto Castilla (4.34,
4.181) (16°00′N 85°58′W)
Commercial, Coast Guard
and yachting port
Puerto La Ceiba (4.47)
(15°47′N 86°47′W)
Pier and open anchorage
Islas de la Bahía
Coxen Road (4.96)
(16°18′N 86°32′W)
Sheltered port for small
vessels; only Port of
Entry for the islands
North Coast, West Part
Tela (4.125)
(15°47′N 87°28′W)
Small port with pier;
open anchorage
Puerto Cortés (4.135)
(15°51′N 87°57′W)
Commercial and oil port;
Coast Guard base;
anchorage
Islas Santanilla
Great Swan Island (2.53)
(17°25′N 83°56′W)
Open anchorage
Guatemala
Puerto Barrios (4.167)
(15°44′N 88°36′W)
Pier and anchorage
Puerto Santo Tomás de
Castilla (4.34, 4.181)
(15°42′N 88°37′W)
Port and anchorage
Belize
Belize Harbour (5.54)
(17°28′N 88°12′W)
Port; oil terminal;
anchorage
Mexico
Isla Cozumel
San Miguel (5.84)
(20°30′N 86°57′W)
Open anchorage, three
cruise terminals and Free
Port
Gulf of Mexico Coast
Progreso (6.35)
(21°17′N 89°40′W)
Mole and pier; open
anchorage
Campeche (6.81)
(19°50′N 90°30′W)
Piers and open anchorage
for small vessels
Cayos Arcas Terminal
(6.102)
(20°10′N 91°58′W)
Tanker Terminal with
open moorings of
superbuoy size
Puerto Ciudad del
Carmen (6.123)
(18°33′N 91°51′W)
Secure harbour for small
vessels; Naval Base
Puerto Frontera (6.133)
(18°35′N 92°39′W)
Port for small vessels;
Port of Entry; offshore
oil industry construction
Dos Bocas Terminal
(6.142)
(18°27′N 93°11′W)
Oil port, with offshore
moorings of super buoy
size
CHAPTER 1
19
Mexico
Place and position Remarks
Río Coatzacoalcos
Coatzacoalcos (6.157)
(18°09′N 94°25′W)
General cargo and oil
port; Port of Entry;
Naval Base
Nanchital (6.183)
(18°04′N 94°25′W)
River oil port
Minatitlán (6.185)
(18°00′N 94°32′W)
River oil port
Puerto de Veracruz
(6.209)
(19°12′N 96°08′W)
General cargo and oil
port; Port of Entry;
Naval Base; good
offshore anchorages
Tuxpan (6.257)
(20°57′N 97°24′W)
Commercial and fishing
river port; offshore oil
terminal; Naval Base
Puerto de Tampico
(6.289)
(22°15′N 97°48′W)
Commercial and oil river
port; Naval Base; exposed
offshore anchorage
Altamira (6.324)
(22°29′N 97°53′W)
Industrial port
United States of America
Texas
Port Brownsville (7.12)
(25°57′N 97°24′W)
Major port; construction
facilities for offshore oil
industry
Port Isabel (7.42)
(26°04′N 97°13′W)
Deep sea, fishing and
barge port; offshore oil
facilities
Port Mansfield (7.60)
(26°33′N 97°26′W)
Oil exploration base;
fishing port
Corpus Christi (7.65)
(27°49′N 97°24′W)
Major port; Port of
Entry; Free Trade Zone
Harbor Island (7.107)
(27°51′N 97°04′W)
Crude oil port
Port Ingleside (7.107)
(27°49′N 97°12′W)
Oil terminal
La Quinta (7.107)
(27°53′N 97°16′W)
Bulk cargoes
Matagorda Bay
Port Lavaca (7.126)
(28°37′N 96°38′W)
Fishing port; Port of
Entry
Point Comfort (7.126)
(28°39′N 96°34′W)
Aluminium wharf
Freeport (7.133)
(28°56′N 95°18′W)
Major port; Port of
Entry; Free Trade Zone
Galveston Bay
Bayport (7.225) (29°37′N 95°01′W)
Major port; petroleum
and petrochemicals port
Galveston (7.193)
(29°19′N 94°47′W)
Major port; Port of
Entry; Shipyards
Place and position Remarks
Texas City (7.208)
(29°22′N 94°53′W)
Major port
Houston (7.232)
(29°45′N 95°17′W)
Major port; Port of
Entry; Free Trade Zone;
Shipyards
Sabine Lake
Port Arthur (7.268)
(29°50′N 93°58′W)
Commercial port; Port of
Entry
Beaumont (7.300)
(30°05′N 94°05′W)
Port of Entry; Shipyards
Port Neches (7.318)
(30°00′N 93°57′W)
Wharfage for petroleum
and petrochemical
products
Orange (7.320)
(30°05′N 93°44′W)
Port of Entry; Shipyards
Louisiana
Port of Lake Charles
(7.345)
(30°13′N 93°15′W)
Port of Entry; Free Trade
Zone
Morgan City (8.19)
(29°42′N 91°13′W)
Deep sea and barge port;
Port of Entry; offshore
oil exploration base
Louisiana Offshore Oil
Port (LOOP) (8.27)
(28°53′N 90°02′W)
ULCC oil port in open
sea with moorings of
superbuoy size
El Paso Energy Bridge
Deepwater Port (8.16)
(28°05′N 93°03′W)
Offshore LNG terminal.
Mississippi River
New Orleans (8.75)
(29°57′N 90°04′W)
Major river port; Port of
Entry; Coast Guard and
Naval Bases; Shipyards
Baton Rouge
(1.146, 8.120)
(30°27′N, 91°11′W)
River port; Port of Entry
Florida
Port Boca Grande (9.16)
(26°43′N 82°15′W)
Petroleum port and
yachting harbour
Tampa Bay
Saint Petersburg (9.76)
(27°46′N 82°38′W)
General cargo and cruise
ship port; Port of Entry
Port Tampa (9.87)
(27°52′N 82°33′W)
Bulk handling port
Tampa (9.100) (27°55′N 82°27′W)
Major port, including
cruise ships
Port Sutton (9.114)
(27°54′N 82°26′W)
General and bulk cargoes
East Tampa (9.126) (27°51′N 82°24′W)
Bulk cargoes
Big Bend (9.138) (27°48′N 82°25′W)
Bulk cargoes
CHAPTER 1
20
Place and position Remarks
Port Manatee (9.149) (27°38′N 82°34′W)
General, fruit and bulk
cargoes
Crystal River Power
Station Terminal (9.174)
(28°57′N 82°42′W)
Bulk coal wharf
Port Saint Joe (10.13)
(29°49′N 85°18′W)
Secure harbour and port
facilities
Panama City (10.42)
(30°09′N 85°39′W)
Secure harbour and port
facilities
Pensacola (10.75)
(30°25′N 87°13′W)
Commercial port and
anchorage; Port of Entry;
Naval Base
Alabama
Mobile (10.141)
(30°41′N 88°03′W)
Major river port; Port of
Entry
Mississippi
Pascagoula (10.178)
(30°21′N 88°34′W)
River port; Port of Entry;
Shipyards
Gulfport (10.224)
(30°21′N 89°05′W)
Port of entry; Free Trade
Zone
PORT SERVICES−SUMMARY
Docking facilities
1.166 1
Mexico
Coatzacoalcos. Patent slip; lift 508 tonnes (6.157).
Vera Cruz. Dry dock; vessels to 80 000 dwt (6.209).
Tampico. Dry dock; lift 55 000 tonnes (6.289).
Nicaragua
El Bluff. Patent slip; length 30 m (3.60).
2
United States of America
Galveston. Mechanical lift dock; lift 762 tonnes
(7.193).
Houston. Dry dock; 14 225 tonnes, length 122 m
(7.232).
Port Arthur. Dry dock; lift 64 000 tonnes (7.268).
Beaumont. Floating dock; lift 17 500 tonnes (7.300).
3
Orange. Dry dock; lift 11 000 tonnes (7.320).
Morgan City. Floating dock; lift 7000 tonnes (8.19).
New Orleans. Floating dock; lift 81 297 tonnes (8.75).
4
Tampa. Dry dock; length 276 m, width 46 m, depth
over sills 6⋅7 m (9.100).
Panama City. Patent slip; lift 250 tonnes (10.42).
Pensacola. Patent slip; lift 789 tonnes (10.75).
Mobile. Floating dock; lift 50 000 tonnes (10.141).
Pascagoula. Floating dock; lift 38 600 tonnes (10.178).
Other facilities
Salvage services
1.167 1
Deep sea salvage equipment is available at Galveston
(7.193), Port Arthur (7.268), Beaumont (7.300), New
Orleans (8.75), Tampa (9.100) and Mobile (10.141).
Deratting
1.168 1
Deratting can be carried out and the necessary
certificates issued at the following ports, in accordance with
the International Health Regulations:
Mexico: Isla de Cozumel (5.84), Coatzacoalcos
(6.157), Tampico (6.289), Vera Cruz (6.209).
Exemption certificates only can be issued at
Progreso (6.35).
2
United States of America: Brownsville (7.12),
Houston (7.232), New Orleans (8.75). Certificates
may be issued at certain other ports by special
arrangement.
De−ratting exemption certificates can be issued at
Belize City (5.54).
Measured distance
1.169 1
Tampa Bay (9.49).
CHAPTER 1
21
NATURAL CONDITIONS
MARITIME TOPOGRAPHY
Charts 4401, 4402
General remarks
1.170 1
The Antilles and Central America form a large region of
faulting of the earth’s crust. Seismic and volcanic
disturbances occur frequently. Gulf of Mexico and
Caribbean Sea are sometimes known as “The American
Mediterranean”, containing three great basin systems
described below.
Seabed
1.171 1
Eastern and Western Caribbean Basins. These two
basins are separated by a ridge less than 1500 m deep,
extending NE from Nicaragua and Honduras. The W basin
contains Cayman Trench with a greatest depth of 7680 m
and the Yucatán Basin with a depth of 4684 m.
2
Along the Central American coast the 20 m contour is
close inshore and the continental shelf is narrow, except off
Nicaragua, Honduras and Yucatán. The transition from the
shelf to the deep, known as the continental slope, is gentle,
except to the NW of Yucatán, where depths increase
rapidly. Caribbean Sea is connected to Gulf of Mexico by
Yucatán Channel, which has a sill depth of less than
1400 m. The sediment in the W part of Caribbean Sea is
mainly mud or sand and mud, with only a few areas of
sand.
3
Gulf of Mexico Basin. The Gulf has an area of about
620 000 square miles. Its bathymetric features are regular,
with a central plain without large submarine trenches or
ridges. Sigsbee Abyssal Plain (24°N 92°W), in the central
Gulf basin, has a maximum depth of 4377 m.
4
West of Florida and N of Yucatán Peninsula the
continental shelves are wide, relatively smooth platforms of
calcareous sediments, broken by terraces on which lie coral
reefs and ridges. These terraces occur, in particular, near
the 50 m contour. They are associated with periods when
the sea level was lower than at present. At the seaward
margins of these shelves the bottom slopes gradually at
first, then very sharply from depths of 1000 to 3000 m.
5
Off the N coast of Gulf of Mexico the continental shelf
is wide and composed of sand and clay sediments brought
down by the Mississippi and other rivers. Much of the
continental slope in this area is formed by a broad fan of
these sediments which spread out over the abyssal plain.
6
On the W shore of Gulf of Mexico the continental shelf
is narrow and slopes steeply to the abyssal plain, where the
bottom is mud.
CURRENTS AND TIDAL STREAMS
Chart 4400
Currents
1.172 1
General information. The North Equatorial Current and
the Guiana Current flows W or NW through Windward
and Leeward Islands and enters Caribbean Sea to become
the Equatorial Current or sometimes called the Caribbean
Current. This current continues W or NW through the
Caribbean and then strongly NW or NNE through Yucatán
Channel to fan out into Gulf of Mexico. After circulating
the Gulf by various routes the water flows strongly E
between Cuba and Florida Keys as the Florida Current and
turns N between Florida and Great Bahama Bank. It is then
joined in the neighbourhood of Bahama Banks by the
waters of the Antilles Current and becomes the Gulf
Stream. In the Caribbean sector countercurrents occur along
N−facing coasts. In general there is little seasonal variation,
but what little there is will be outlined in the text. Thus
Diagram 1.172.1 represents the general predominant current
circulation throughout the year while Diagram 1.172.2 and
1.172.3 illustrates the variability of currents by means of
current roses.
Current Diagrams
1.173
1
In the current diagram 1.172.1 arrows indicate
predominant direction, average rate and constancy, which
are defined as follows:
Predominant direction. The mean direction within a
continuous 90° sector containing the highest proportion of
observations from all sectors.
Average rate, to the nearest ¼ kn, of the highest 50 per
cent in the predominant sectors as indicated by the figures
in the diagram. It is emphasised that rates above and below
those shown may be experienced.
2
Constancy, as indicated by the thickness of the arrows,
is a measure of its persistence, e.g. low constancy implies
marked variability in rate and, particularly, direction.
1.174 1
Currents of the western part of Caribbean Sea. The
Equatorial or Caribbean Current sets W or NW through
Caribbean Sea towards Yucatán Channel. Its constancy is
mostly moderate with an average rate of around or
somewhat over 1 kn, but there is often a band, some 100
miles wide, about half−way between the S shores of
Greater Antilles and the N coast of South America with
high constancy. A few currents have been observed in
excess of 2 kn and the maximum rate reported is between
3 and 4 kn. As the current approaches Miskito Bank the
greater part is deflected NW and flows over Rosalind Bank
with an average rate of about 1¼ kn. On rounding Miskito
Bank the Equatorial or Caribbean Current sets W to NW
across the Gulf of Honduras with an average rate of about
1 kn, passing to the N of Isla de la Bahía, towards the
off−lying cays of Yucatán Peninsula. Here the current is
deflected NNE and increases in rate; in the wet (summer)
season it attains a rate of 1½ to 2 kn at it sets towards
Yucatán Channel.
1.175 1
Miskito Bank and off−lying Islands. The predominant
current sets NW through most of the off−lying islands S of
Rosalind Bank with a moderate to high constancy and at an
average rate of a little over 1 kn. However, SW of a line
from Isla San Andrés to Puerto Cabezas (14°01’N
83°23’W) and, from October to February, Isla San Andrés
to Cabo Gracias á Dios, a branch of mainly moderate
constancy and with an average rate of 1 to 1½ kn is
deflected quite sharply SSW, then SE past San Juan del
Norte and later ENE round Golfo de los Mosquitos
(NP7A). Conditions, however, vary from year to year and
may differ considerably from normal; for instance, early in
January 1987 a ship reported a change from a NW−going
1 - 2
1/2 - 1
1/2
1 - 1
1/4
1
1
General current circulation throughout the year (1.172.1)
3/4
1/2
3/4
1/2
1 - 1
1/4
1/2 - 1
1/2 - 1
1/2 - 1
1 - 1
1/4
1/2 - 1
3/4 - 1
1/4
Average rate in knots is indicated in figures.
Arrows indicate the predominant direction.
The constancy of a current is indicated by the
thickness of the arrow thus:
High constancy >75%
Moderate constancy 50%-75%
Low constancy <50%
KEY
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
22
CHAPTER 1
1
3
22
23
4
2
5
6
11
12
13
14
15
8
9
10 7
16
17
18
19
20
21
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Current distribution template for diagram 1.172.2
23
CHAPTER 1
Current Roses (1.172.3)
1 2
3
4
5 6
7
8 9 10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18 19
20
21 22
23
0% 10 20 30 40 50%
Arrows indicate direction of set and
are divided according to rate:-
The length of each division indicates
percentage frequency on the scale:-
25
0.5
1
2 3+kn
The figure within the circle gives the
percentage of occasions with currents
less than 0.5 knots.
41
44 46
35
5451
25
28
536666
38
323448
55
52 57 41
39
5962
36
24
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 1
25
to a S−going current some 50 miles W of the NW
extremity of Rosalind Bank.
1.176 1
Gulf of Honduras. The Equatorial or Caribbean
Current, on rounding Miskito Bank, sets W to WNW
across this Gulf with an average rate of ½ to 1 kn; passing
N of Islas de la Bahía and S of Misteriosa Bank. The
greater part of this current is deflected NNE as it reaches
the banks and cays off the E coast of Yucatán Peninsula
and increases in strength; it attains a rate of 1½ to 2 kn off
this coast in the wet (summer) season. The rate increases
further to 3 kn as it sets over Arrowsmith Bank towards
Yucatán Channel. A part of the main current is deflected S
at about the latitude of Belize City towards the head of
Gulf of Honduras where it turns E to reach the vicinity of
Cabo de Honduras, usually keeping S of Isla de Bahía as it
does so. Between Cabo de Honduras and Cabo Gracias á
Dios the current flows W or NW for much of the year, but
in autumn it becomes rather variable in direction. Both the
S set and the E−going countercurrent are stronger in the
winter season, especially during and after ‘Northers’
(1.201).
1.177 1
Yucatán Channel. The greater part of the flow of water
across Caribbean Sea is constrained to flow through
Yucatán Channel towards Gulf of Mexico. The W boundary
of the current through this channel is Campeche Bank and
the E boundary lies some 25 miles WSW of Cabo San
Antonio in W Cuba. At 10 miles ENE of Isla Contoy the
average rate is about 1 kn, at 25 miles about 4 kn, 35
miles about 3 kn, 45 miles about 2 kn and 60 miles (45
miles from Cabo San Antonio) about 1 kn. Although rates
may fall somewhat in late autumn and early winter, more
especially W of 86°W, there is little overall change through
the year. The boundaries of the current contract when the
rate decreases, and expand when the rate increases. Apart
from this seasonal variation there is a marked daily
variation. The daily maximum, quoted above, occurs about
9 hours before the moon’s transit of the local meridian. On
one occasion the rate increased by nearly 3 kn in 5 hours
and decreased to the original value in the next 9 hours. On
another occasion it increased by 3½ kn in 5 hours. The
daily variation is more marked on the W side of the
channel than on the E side. Some sets slightly in excess of
5 kn have been experienced in a N direction within the
channel and in a N to NW direction within Gulf of Mexico
as far N as 23°N between longitudes 86°W and 88°W.
2
Within 20 miles of Cabo San Antonio, the flow of water
is either NE towards Florida Strait or SE then E along the
S coast of Cuba. At times the current setting E along the
coast from Cabo San Antonio towards Cabo Corrientes may
attain 4 kn with S winds. This set is dangerous to
navigation and it is advisable to give this part of the S
coast of Cuba a wide berth.
3
On the W side of Yucatán Channel, inshore of the W
limit of the main stream, the currents are variable and are
largely dependant on the prevailing wind.
1.178 1
Gulf of Mexico. The strong current setting through
Yucatán Channel fans out in all directions between W,
through N, and E with a marked decrease in constancy and
rate as it passes into the Gulf. The fanning out of the main
current results in the formation of three main branches
which are of mostly moderate or low constancy as shown
in Diagram 1.172.1
2
The W−going branch sets across Campeche Bank S of
around 24°N, rounds Yucatán Peninsula and crosses Golfo
de Campeche. Between about 24°N and 21°N the average
rates are usually ½ to 1½ kn, but S of 21°N the current is
of very low constancy with average rates in the order of ½
kn. South−going sets of about ¾ kn occur in association
with ‘Northers’ (1.201). Mexican and United States
researchers have noticed the presence of an anti−clockwise
eddy, some 100 miles across, which may be located in the
central or W parts of Golfo de Campeche, while a mainly
subsurface current, some 60 miles or so wide, is reported
to flow S to SW along the W side of Campeche Bank
towards Punta Zapotitlán or Roca Partida, where it may
come as close as 10 miles off the coast before recurving to
join the E side of the anti−clockwise eddy. This S to SW
setting, mainly subsurface, current is said to interact with
the surface flow to produce confused seas at times. Coastal
countercurrents occur in other parts of Golfo de Campeche,
particularly in winter. On approaching the W side of Golfo
de Campeche the branch turns sharply N to NNE towards
the mouth of Rio Grande, increasing in constancy and rate
with S winds in summer, but sometimes being neutralised
or even reversed by ‘Northers’ in winter. N of Cabo Rojo
(21°33’N 97°20’W) increased strength and constancy of the
N to NNE setting current in summer, combined with the
configuration of the coastline, causes the incidence of
anti−clockwise eddies and resulting coastal countercurrents
to be highest in that season. In an area bounded
approximately by 24°N to 26°N and 92°W to 95°W the
currents set predominantly to the NE.
3
The second main branch sets N to NW in the general
direction of the Mississippi delta. Although the highest
recorded rates are around 4 kn, the average rate is about 1
kn. As the main branch sets NW with moderate constancy,
some of the water on its E flank recurves clockwise to
form a SE setting current back towards Florida Strait. The
SE setting current is initially weak, and rather variable, in
the S but increases to moderate constancy further N. The
NW setting current, and the more N part of the SE setting
current is sometimes referred to as a “Loop Current”.
Clockwise eddies, sometimes referred to as “Loop Current
Eddies”, are on occasions shed from the main NW setting
current and generally move W or WSW across the N Gulf
at a rate of around 2 miles per day. Each of these eddies
may have a life of up to one year and their movement is
usually characterised by a series of sprints and stalls.
4
The NW setting current, on reaching about 90°W, is
deflected WNW by the coast in the direction of Galveston,
its constancy being mostly moderate within about 100 miles
of the coast, but mainly low further offshore. In this area
the current increases with E winds and decreases, but
seldom reverses, with those from the W. Beyond Galveston
the branch is steered WSW by the configuration of the
coast and at about 27°N it meets the N setting branch from
Golfo de Campeche. Surface flow E from this area is
insufficient to compensate for all the incoming water and
research suggest that the excess is removed by subsurface
currents.
5
The third main branch from Yucatán Channel sets ENE
towards Florida Strait with an average rate of 1 to 2 kn,
forming as it goes a clockwise eddy off NW Cuba. Part of
the current is deflected N along the W coast of Florida and
Alabama coasts to form, in combination with the previously
mentioned SE setting current from the direction of the
Mississippi Delta, an anti−clockwise circulation in the NE
part of the Gulf. For the most part the coastal current flows
N to NW with moderate to low constancy and with an
average rate of ½ to 1 kn, but S of Boca Grande and less
than about 20 miles offshore it flows NE to NNW with a
CHAPTER 1
26
moderate or even high constancy and with an average rate
of up to 2½ kn. A set of 6 kn has been recorded off Cape
Romano.
1.179 1
Effects of tropical storms on currents may be
considerable. See The Mariner’s Handbook for details.
Tides
1.180 1
Along the coasts covered by this volume the range of
the tide is small. It only exceeds 0⋅6 m in a few localities
at certain periods in the month. See Admiralty Tide Tables.
Also unlike most of the shores of Atlantic Ocean, the tides
in this area have a very marked diurnal inequality, ie one
HW of the day is much higher than the other and/or one
LW of the day is much lower than the other. This
inequality is most marked during the two periods each
month when the moon’s declination is high, N or S; in
fact, at such times there is frequently only one HW and
one LW each day.
Tidal streams
1.181 1
This behaviour of the tides is reflected in that of the
tidal streams. They are, in general, very weak throughout
the area and are subject to considerable diurnal inequality.
In many places, when the moon’s declination is high, N or
S, there is only one tidal stream each way in the day,
which runs for about 12 hours continually in the one
direction before turning to the other direction.
2
As a general rule, the tidal streams offshore set to the N
and W on the rising tide and vice−versa on the falling tide,
though neighbouring coasts will greatly modify the
directions in any particular locality.
3
Since comparatively strong currents flow off all the
coasts concerned, it will be appreciated that the tidal
streams are generally of negligible navigational importance.
Only close inshore, in the entrances to lagoons or river
mouths or where the water flow is constrained by offshore
banks or islands, do the tidal streams become perceptible;
they are then semi−diurnal for most of the month and
diurnal when the moon has a high declination. The
strongest true tidal streams in the area occur in the entrance
to Galveston Bay at a rate of about 3 kn maximum when
the moon is near its greatest N and S declination, when
there is only one in−going and one out−going stream
during the day and about 2 kn maximum when the moon is
near the equator with two in−going and two out−going
streams each day. In other places the total flow may exceed
3 kn in a particular direction where it is the resultant of a
tidal stream and a current or river flow.
4
Details of the tidal streams and inshore currents, if
observations have been made, will be found under the
particular localities concerned in the text.
SEA AND SWELL
Waves
1.182 1
For definitions of sea and swell, and the terminology
used in describing their characteristics, see The Mariner’s
Handbook.
Sea waves
1.183 1
The S part of the area covered by this volume is
affected by moderate seas during all seasons. Raised by the
persistent North−east Trade Winds, waves of 1 m or higher
are recorded on around 50 to 70 per cent of all occasions
in the autumn and on about 70 to 90 per cent for the rest
of the year. Calm seas are usual, except in the autumn
when the percentage frequency is about 2 to 4 per cent.
2
In Gulf of Mexico, in summer, sea waves are frequently
less than 1.5m in height, however, in winter, a strong
‘Norther’ (1.201) can give rise to very rough to high seas.
Swell conditions
1.184 1
Diagrams 1.184.1 and 1.184.2 give swell roses for
January and July. The roses show the percentage of
observations recording swell from a number of directions
and for various ranges of wave height. Swell waves from
the NE or E, generated by the North−east Trade Winds,
affect the S part of the area during all seasons and are
generally low to moderate with a longer period than the sea
waves raised by local winds.
2
In Gulf of Mexico the swell is mainly from between E
and S in summer but is more variable in winter. Swell
heights are generally much lower than those experienced in
W Caribbean Sea; however, a strong ‘Norther’ over Gulf of
Mexico can result in a moderate N swell in the S.
Sea and Swell waves associated with tropical storms
and hurricanes
1.185 1
Mountainous and confused seas are raised by the violent
winds associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. Near
the centre of a storm, groups of large waves moving in
different directions, create very irregular wave heights and
can combine together to give exceptionally high waves.
Waves travel radially outwards from the centre as swell
waves, with the highest swell moving ahead of the storm
and roughly in the same direction as the storm. When a
storm approaches a coastline, high tides may occur, due to
the addition of the heavy swell and later the very high
seas. These tides may cause severe flooding in low−lying
areas. In extreme cases, an exceptionally huge wave, some
6 to 7 m, may precede the storm centre with catastrophic
consequences.
SEA WATER CHARACTERISTICS
Sea Surface temperature
1.186 1
Diagrams 1.186.1 to 1.186.4 show the mean sea surface
temperature for February, May, August and November.
In the S, the mean sea surface temperature only varies
by some 3° to 4°C between February and August with a
maximum of around 28° to 30°C in August. To the N of
21°N there is a marked decrease in sea surface temperature
in winter with an annual variation of 12°C near the NW
coast of Gulf of Mexico.
2
Variations in the monthly mean sea surface temperatures
in the S are small but can vary by as much as 3° to 4°C,
especially in winter, in the N.
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.1-2.2
2.3-4.2
4.3-6.2
6.3-8.2
8.3+
3
Swell direction is towards the circle centre. The figure within the circle gives the percentage of calms.
This scale is further subdivided to indicate the f requency of swel l of di f ferent hei ght s (i n metres) according to the legend:
EXPLANATION. The frequency of swell from any direction is given according to the scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
27
CHAPTER 1
Swell distribution - JANUARY (1.184.1)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.1-2.2
2.3-4.2
4.3-6.2
6.3-8.2
8.3+
3
Swell direction is towards the circle centre. The figure within the circle gives the percentage of calms.
This scale is further subdivided to indicate the f requency of swel l of di f ferent hei ght s (i n metres) according to the legend:
EXPLANATION. The frequency of swell from any direction is given according to the scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
28
CHAPTER 1
Swell distribution - JULY (1.184.2)
2
0
1
8
2
2
2
4
2
4
2
6
2
6
2
6
2
8
2
0
2
2
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean sea surface temperature (°C) FEBRUARY (1.186.1)
29
CHAPTER 1
3
0
3
0
2
6
2
6
2
4
2
2
2
8
<30°C
<30°C
<26°C
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean sea surface temperature (°C) MAY (1.186.2)
30
CHAPTER 1
2
9
3
0
2
9
2
8
2
9
3
0
3
0
3
0
>30°C
>30°C
>30°C
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean sea surface temperature (°C) AUGUST (1.186.3)
31
CHAPTER 1
2
6
2
4
2
6
2
8
2
8
2
8
2
8
<28°C
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean sea surface temperature (°C) NOVEMBER (1.186.4)
32
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 1
33
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
General information
1.187 1
The following information on climate and weather
should be read in conjunction with information in The
Mariner’s Handbook which explains in more detail many
aspects of meteorology and climatology of importance to
the mariner.
2
Weather reports and forecasts are broadcast regularly in
English and Spanish and hurricane and storms warnings are
also widely promulgated when required: for details see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 3(2).
General conditions
1.188 1
Over the S tropical half of the area covered by this
volume, moderate to fresh E to NE Trade Winds prevail at
sea for most of the year. To the N the winds are more
variable but, in summer, the winds are mainly light to
moderate from between E and S. In winter, occasional gale
force winds may affect the region but particularly in the
NW and the extreme SE of the area.
2
There is much clear and sunny weather over the whole
of the sea area. To the S, the wet season lasts from May to
December with frequent heavy rain and thunderstorms. In
the N, the autumn and winter months are generally the
driest but with more cloudy periods.
3
The hurricane season normally lasts from June to
November with the majority of tropical storms moving into
the area from the E, then veering N or NE. Over the area
covered by this volume, hurricanes are rare to the S of
12°N and with only a few, in any season, ever reaching the
W coast of Gulf of Mexico.
4
The whole of the area is generally warm or hot although
frost and snow can occur at times along the N coast of
Gulf of Mexico, when severe wintry weather moves S due
to the intensification of the North American anticyclone.
Pressure
Average Distribution
1.189 1
The average pressure distribution at mean sea level in
February, May, August and November is shown in the
accompanying diagrams 1.189.1 to 1.189.4. The area is
situated at the extreme S to SW edge of a ridge of high
pressure that normally extends W from the Azores
anticyclone. To the S of the area lies the ITCZ (1.198),
which marks the belt where the Trade Winds airstreams of
the N and S hemispheres meet. In winter the ITCZ lies to
the S of the area covered by this volume but moves N in
summer to about 10°N.
Pressure variability
1.190 1
Large pressure fluctuations are unusual in the area and
pressure variability from one day to another and from one
month to another is generally small. Apart from the
well−marked and regular diurnal variation in pressure
(1.191), small disturbances known as Easterly Waves
(1.199) arise in the vicinity of the ITCZ (1.198). These
W−going troughs may cause minor pressure changes of
about 2 hPa as they pass.
2
Any abnormal or appreciable change of pressure,
particularly a fall, should be heeded as it may indicate the
proximity of a potentially dangerous storm. Pressure at the
centre of a tropical storm is extremely low (Hurricane
Wilma in 2005 had a record minimum pressure of 882 hPa
and Hurricane Dennis, also in 2005, fell to 930 hPa) and,
as a storm approaches, a rapid and large fall of pressure
usually occurs, followed by a similarly rapid and large rise
as the storm moves away.
Diurnal variation
1.191 1
Diurnal variation of pressure, in the form of an
oscillation, has an amplitude of about 2⋅5 hPa (mb) in the S
part of the area and 2 hPa in the N. Daily pressure maxima
occur at about 1000 and 2200 local time, and minima at
around 0400 and 1600. When disturbances do occur,
changes in mean pressure can be masked by the diurnal
variation and therefore remain undetected. To obtain an
average pressure tendency it is therefore important to apply
the correction for diurnal variation, using the following
table, and then compare it with either the monthly values
given in the climatic tables (1.220) for a number of coastal
stations, or with the average barometric pressure shown in
Diagrams 1.189.1 to 1.189.4.
Correction (hPa) to be applied to the barometer reading to allow for diurnal variation in latitudes 10° to 20°N.
Local time Correction Local time Correction
0001 −0⋅5 1200 −0⋅7
0100 −0⋅1 1300 −0⋅1
0200 +0⋅3 1400 +0⋅5
0300 +0⋅7 1500 +0⋅9
0400 +0⋅8 1600 +1⋅2
0500 +0⋅7 1700 +1⋅2
0600 +0⋅3 1800 +0⋅9
0700 −0⋅2 1900 +0⋅4
0800 −0⋅7 2000 −0⋅1
0900 −1⋅1 2100 −0⋅5
1000 −1⋅2 2200 −0⋅8
1100 −1⋅2 2300 −0⋅8
Note. The above corrections should not be applied to barometric
pressure values entered into the weather log nor to those
transmitted in weather reports.
Abnormal falls
1.192 1
If the barometric pressure (corrected for diurnal
variation) should fall by more than 3 hPa in 24 hours, or
have a value of 5 hPa or more below the normal monthly
average, then the existence or impending development of a
tropical depression in the vicinity should be suspected.
These depressions are liable to intensify into tropical storms
or hurricanes and therefore it is important to check mean
pressure values regularly.
Anticyclones
Azores anticyclone
1.193 1
A ridge of high pressure extends W from the Azores
anticyclone to affect mainly the NE part of the area. The
intensity of the ridge is variable but tends to be strongest
in July and weakest in October/November.
1
0
2
0
1
0
1
8
1
0
1
6
1
0
1
6
1
0
1
4
1
0
1
2
1
0
1
2
HIGH
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean barometric pressure (hPa) FEBRUARY (1.189.1)
34
CHAPTER 1
1
0
1
8
1
0
1
6
1
0
1
4
1
0
1
4
1
0
1
2
1
0
1
2
HIGH
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean barometric pressure (PhA) MAY (1.189.2)
35
CHAPTER 1
1
0
1
8
1
0
1
6
1
0
1
4
1
0
1
4
1
0
1
2
HIGH
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean barometric pressure (hPa) AUGUST (1.189.3)
36
CHAPTER 1
1
0
2
0
1
0
1
8
1
0
1
6
1
0
1
4
1
0
1
2
HIGH
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Mean barometric pressure (hPa) NOVEMBER (1.189.4)
37
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 1
38
North American anticyclone
1.194 1
This anticyclone forms over N America in winter as the
land mass cools and, on occasions, a ridge may extend S
over the Gulf of Mexico to bring cold unstable conditions
with strong winds. The anticyclone normally weakens in
the spring as the land warms up and pressure falls.
Depressions
Frontal depressions
1.195 1
Some frontal depressions form, mainly in winter, in the
N part of Gulf of Mexico and generally move ENE across
Florida into the North Atlantic Ocean.
Tropical storms and hurricanes
1.196 1
Tropical depressions are liable to affect all parts of the
area covered by this volume and may intensify into tropical
storms and hurricanes. In extreme cases, winds of over
100 kn have been recorded together with torrential rain,
mountainous seas and abnormally high tides. However, only
occasional tropical storms or hurricanes strike the W coast
of Gulf of Mexico or, in the area covered by this volume,
move S of about 12°N.
2
The highest frequency of occurrence of tropical storms
and hurricanes, in the area, is between June and November.
For a general description of tropical storms and hurricanes,
including signs of approach and recommended evasion
action, see The Mariner’s Handbook.
3
Early and late in the hurricane season, most tropical
depressions develop in the W Caribbean Sea and Gulf of
Mexico and usually move N, but a few move W towards
Mexico. In August and September initial development may
be as far E as the W African coast. These tropical
depressions generally move W or WNW at about 10 to
15 kn at latitudes of about 10° to 15°N. Some may recurve
to the NW and then the NE over Atlantic Ocean, as they
move into higher latitudes. Others may continue towards
Gulf of Mexico. It is emphasised that the movement of any
depression can be extremely erratic and mariner’s should
remain alert to any changes in direction and speed; see
Diagram 1.196.1 for examples of typical tracks and
Diagram 1.196.2 for actual tracks during 2005.
4
A considerable number of the tropical depressions that
do form remain weak and do not develop further, especially
those which occur early and late in the season. However,
others can rapidly intensify into tropical storms or
hurricanes. Storms that move over land usually weaken
quickly but may regenerate if they subsequently move out
over a warm sea (>26°C).
5
The following table gives the average monthly frequency
of tropical storms and hurricanes over Gulf of Mexico, the
Caribbean and the NW Atlantic Ocean. It is emphasised
that there can be large variations in the number of tropical
storms from year to year and in the areas affected. During
2004 there were 14 named tropical storms of which 9
intensified into hurricanes, and in 2005 there was a record
27 named tropical storms of which 14 became hurricanes –
another record. The first named tropical storm Arlene
formed on 8 June 2005 and the last, named Zeta, dissipated
on 6 January 2006 – another record.
Average occurrence of tropical storms and hurricanes in Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and North Atlantic Ocean.
Month Number reaching
at least tropical
storm intensity
Number which
intensify further to
hurricane strength
Jan, Feb,
Mar, Apr
Rare Rare
May 1 every 5 years Rare
June 1 every 2 years 1 every 3 to 4 years
July 1 every 1 to
2 years
1 every 2 to 3 years
Aug 2 to 3 per year 1 to 2 per year
Sept 3 to 4 per year 2 to 3 per year
Oct 1 to 2 per year 1 per year
Nov 1 every 3 years 1 every 6 years
Dec Rare Rare
Annually 9 to 10 per year 5 to 6 per year
There has been a steady increase in hurricane frequency
since 1995 and this is likely to be due to the small but
steady increase in sea surface temperatures; tropical storms
and hurricanes require sea surface temperatures greater than
26°C to maintain their momentum. The 2005 hurricane
season is estimated to have cost the USA around $US 100
billion in damages and with the loss of over 1,700 lives
(mainly from Hurricane Katrina which came ashore near
New Orleans). In Mexico, over 2,000 people have been
confirmed dead due to Hurricanes Emily, Stan and Wilma
and with billions of dollars in damages. Cuba was struck
by Hurricane Dennis – the worst hurricane to have hit
Cuba in over 40 years. Most Central American countries
were affected by one or more tropical storms/hurricanes in
2005; Nicaragua suffering a direct hit from Hurricane Beta.
The total cost, for the area, in lives and property for 2005
is still being assessed.
Fronts
Cold fronts
1.197 1
In winter occasional cold fronts, often associated with a
‘Norther’ (1.201) or an E−going depression, may affect the
N part of the area covered by this volume. They generally
weaken as they move SE but are some times accompanied
by squalls. A detailed description of cold fronts is given in
The Mariner’s Handbook.
Intertropical Convergence Zone
1.198 1
The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), or
Doldrums, marks the boundary between the Trade Winds of
the N and S hemispheres; see The Mariner’s Handbook for
details. Between July and September the ITCZ lies
approximately E−W over the extreme S part of the area
covered by this volume, at about 10°N, and moves S to lie
along the equator in February.
Easterly Waves
1.199 1
Easterly Waves are W−going disturbances within the
Trade Wind flow and take the form of troughs with axis
orientated approximately NNE−SSW. During the wet season
they are generally positioned to the N side of the ITCZ,
KEY
June
July
August
September
October
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Typical tracks of hurricanes and tropical storms (1.196.1)
39
CHAPTER 1
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
2005 tropical storm and hurricane tracks (1.196.2)
40
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 1
41
between 10° and 25°N, moving at a speed of about 15 kn.
Winds ahead of the wave may back from NE to NNE then
veer SE as the wave passes with a pressure dip of about
2 hPa. Fine weather ahead of the wave is usually followed
by squalls and heavy thundery downpours, which can be
delayed for a few hours after the passage of the trough
line. A number of Easterly Waves may follow each other at
intervals of 3 to 6 days and some may dissipate, then
reform, or develop into a tropical storm.
Winds
Average distribution
1.200 1
Wind roses showing the frequency of winds of various
directions and speeds for January, April, July and October
are given in Diagrams 1.200.1 to 1.200.4.
Over the sea
1.201 1
Over the open sea, S of about 20°N, the North−East
Trade Winds predominate throughout the year with wind
directions between E and NE at a strength of about force 4.
In the absence of tropical storms/hurricanes, it is unusual
for winds to exceed force 5 to 6. However, in the extreme
SE of the area, the combination of afternoon sea breezes
and the intensification of the North−East Trade Winds can
cause winds of Force 7 and over on about 5 to 10 per cent
of occasions. Over Gulf of Mexico itself the winds are
more variable but mainly from an E point. In spring and
summer there is an increase in the incidence of SE winds
and in the autumn NE winds.
2
In winter there is a marked increase of winds from a N
point over the whole of the area covered by this volume. N
winds are often referred to as a ‘Norther’ and are generally
cold and dry in the N. They are caused by the North
American anticyclone intensifying and drifting S, causing
strong, or occasionally gale force, winds over the W half of
Gulf of Mexico. S of about 20°N these winds generally
weaken and become less persistent. In the S half of Gulf of
Mexico, between October and April, the appearance of a
bank of dark cloud to the NW will often give some 12
hours to 3 days warnings of the onset of a ‘Norther’.
Over the coastal areas
1.202 1
Within about 20 miles of the coast, winds may be
greatly modified by local topography and by the effects of
land and sea breezes, as described in The Mariner’s
Handbook. For example, on the W coast of Florida in
summer, the mainly E winds are frequently replaced by W
sea breezes during the afternoon.
Squalls
1.203 1
Whenever a cold ‘Norther’ moves S over the warm
waters of Gulf of Mexico, the air becomes very unstable
and can give rise to rain squalls with gusts of 50 kn or
more. Along the Mexican coast, bordering the Gulf,
between September and April, N winds (which are not
always due to a true ‘Norther’) are usually accompanied by
violent squalls with gusts to 60 kn. Squalls are also
encountered in association with thunderstorms, especially in
the S between May and December and near mountainous
coasts. White or clear air squalls, which are squalls with
little or no associated cloud, may occasionally occur in any
season.
Gales
1.204 1
Winds of gale force to hurricane force occur within the
circulations of tropical storms and hurricanes and can affect
all areas covered by this volume; details of which are given
at 1.196 and in The Mariner’s Handbook. Other than those
associated with tropical storms and hurricanes, winds of
force 7 and above are infrequent. Even in winter, the
percentage frequency of winds of force 7 and over are
around 1 to 3 percent of occasions over the N part of Gulf
of Mexico, around 8 to 12 per cent in the SW and S parts
of Gulf of Mexico, around 3 to 5 per cent over Yucatán
Channel and Gulf of Honduras and 5 to 10 per cent in the
extreme SE of the area. In summer, the percentage
frequency is less than 2 per cent across the whole of the
area except for the extreme SE of the area where is
remains at around 5 to 10 per cent of occasions.
Tornadoes and Waterspouts
1.205 1
The tornadoes of the United States are very much like
waterspouts over the oceans, except they are slightly larger
and far more destructive. They usually stretch downwards
towards the land from extensive cumulonimbus cloud in
conjunction with thunderstorms or tropical storms and
hurricanes. On average they are only about ¼ mile wide
and travel about 15 to 20 miles, however, in extreme cases
they can be around 1 mile wide with a track in excess of
200 miles. Average speeds are about 20 to 40 kn but with
very destructive winds. Along the N coast of Gulf Of
Mexico, tornadoes reach their maximum frequency in the
spring with a mean of about 4 to 8 tornadoes per 10 000
square miles.
2
Waterspouts sometimes occur as a result of tornadoes
moving out over the sea, or form directly over the water,
and, like tornadoes, are most frequent in the spring along
the N shores of Gulf of Mexico.
Cloud
Over the sea
1.206 1
During winter the average cloud amount is 4 to 5 oktas
over the whole of the area, although in the N cloud
amounts can be very variable throughout the year. In
summer, the average cloud amount is 3 to 4 oktas in the N
of the area and increases to 5 to 6 oktas in the extreme S
of the area. Trade Wind cumulus predominates and is
generally well broken except for the extreme S of the area
in summer.
In the vicinity of Easterly Waves (1.199), and within the
circulation of tropical storms or hurricanes, skies become
cloudy to overcast with banks of massive cumulonimbus
cloud.
Over the coastal areas
1.207 1
The N coasts generally enjoy fine conditions in summer
with small amounts of cloud, although there is frequently a
build up of cloud in the afternoon. In winter, lines of thick
thundery cloud often move S in association with N winds.
2
In the summer rainy season of the S, cloud is normally
more persistent with frequent afternoon showers. Clear
skies are infrequent and short−lived; see Climate
Information at the end of this Chapter, which give the
average cloud amounts for a number of coastal stations
within the area.
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
<1
2
Wind direction is towards the circle centre. The figure within the circle gives the percentage of calms.
4
This scale is further subdivided to indicate the frequency of winds of different Beaufort force according to the legend:
EXPLANATION. The frequency of wind from any direction is given according to the scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
42
CHAPTER 1
Wind distribution - JANUARY (1.200.1)
<1
1
1
3
<1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
1
<1
Wind direction is towards the circle centre. The figure within the circle gives the percentage of calms.
4
This scale is further subdivided to indicate the frequency of winds of different Beaufort force according to the legend:
EXPLANATION. The frequency of wind from any direction is given according to the scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
43
CHAPTER 1
Wind distribution - APRIL (1.200.2)
1
4
5
5
1
2
3
3
5
<1
1
1
1
<1
Wind direction is towards the circle centre. The figure within the circle gives the percentage of calms.
4
This scale is further subdivided to indicate the frequency of winds of different Beaufort force according to the legend:
EXPLANATION. The frequency of wind from any direction is given according to the scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
44
CHAPTER 1
Wind distribution - JULY (1.200.3)
<1
1
2
2
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
4
3
Wind direction is towards the circle centre. The figure within the circle gives the percentage of calms.
4
This scale is further subdivided to indicate the frequency of winds of different Beaufort force according to the legend:
EXPLANATION. The frequency of wind from any direction is given according to the scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
45
CHAPTER 1
Wind distribution - OCTOBER (1.200.4)
CHAPTER 1
46
Precipitation
1.208 1
The Climate Information (1.220) at then end of this
Chapter give the average amounts of precipitation for each
month at several coastal stations and the mean number of
days in each month when significant precipitation is
recorded.
South of Yucat
á
n Channel
1.209 1
Over the tropical S part of the area covered by this
volume, there are well defined wet and dry seasons with
the wet season usually lasting from May to December,
although Puerto Límon has a relatively drier spell in
September. Rain generally falls as showers and varies from
light falls, usually in the dry season, to the torrential
thundery downpours of the wet season. Over the open sea
showers mainly develop overnight or during the early
morning, whilst along the coasts maximum shower activity
occurs during the afternoon. Rainfall amounts are generally
high but variable, with windward coasts reporting the
highest totals. Coastal values vary from 1000 to 1500 mm
in the N of this region to about 2000 to 3000 mm in the
S. During the wet season significant precipitation can be
expected on about 10 to 15 days per month in the N of
this region and on around 15 to 24 days per month in the
S.
Gulf of Mexico
1.210 1
Over Gulf of Mexico rainfall amounts are variable and
are greatly influenced by any tropical storms or hurricanes
that may affect the area. The highest monthly values are
generally recorded between June and early October and are
mainly in the form of showers. Annual precipitation along
the W coast of the Gulf, and the W coast of Yucatán
Peninsula, varies from about 500mm to 900mm, but along
the S coast of Golfo de Campeche the average is around
1000−1500mm. Rainfall amounts steadily increase along the
N coast of the Gulf from W to E, averaging around
900mm in the W and 1300 to 1700mm in the E, but is
around 1200mm on the W coast of Florida.
Thunderstorms
1.211 1
Thunderstorms in winter occur on 1 or less days per
month but in summer the frequency increases to between 2
and 11 days per month; the thunderstorm frequency being
highest along the SW and NE coasts of Gulf of Mexico.
Snow
1.212 1
Wintry spells with snow and sharp frosts may
occasionally occur N of about 25°N in association with
strong ‘Northers’ but rarely persist for longer than 2 to
3 days.
Fog and visibility
Fog
1.213 1
Fog over the sea is rare. However, there are 1 to 2 per
cent of occasions in winter and spring, when warm moist S
air may give rise to fog over the relatively cool waters and
estuaries of the N and NW parts of Gulf of Mexico.
Radiation fog may form in some areas in the N but this
normally disperses soon after dawn.
Visibility
1.214 1
Poor visibility is most likely during torrential downpours
and in some instances may near fog limits of 1 km. Over
the N and W parts of Gulf of Mexico, in winter and
spring, visibilities of less than 5 miles are reported on
around 5 to 10 per cent of occasions and with a slightly
higher percentage in the S around Coatzacoalcos.
Air temperature
South of Yucatán Channel
1.215 1
Temperatures are high throughout the year and show
little change from one season to the next. Extremes of
temperature are modest with no excessively high or low
temperatures.
2
Over the sea the mean air temperature ranges from
around 25°C in the N of this region to 27°C in the S
during January, February and March. In summer the mean
air temperature across the whole of this S region is around
28° to 29°C. Diurnal variation is small with temperatures
generally remaining within about 2°C of the mean.
In winter, mean air temperatures, in the N towards
Yucatán Channel, are usually around 1° to 3°C lower than
the mean sea surface temperature and within 1°C in the S.
In summer, the mean air temperature is usually within 1° to
2°C of the mean sea surface temperature across the whole
of this region.
3
Over the coasts mean temperature variations are greater
than over the open seas, but extremes of temperature are
still limited. Mean daily maximum temperatures are around
27° to 29°C in winter and in summer between 30° and
34°C and with the higher temperatures in the N of this
region. May is usually the hottest month in this region.
Gulf of Mexico
1.216 1
The variation in air temperature between winter and
summer steadily increases with higher latitude and with
wind direction.
2
Over the sea, in February, the mean air temperature
varies from 16° to 17°C in the NW part of Gulf of Mexico
to around 25°C near the Yucatán Channel. By August the
mean air temperature is around 28° to 29°C. In winter the
mean air temperature is usually 1° to 3°C lower than the
mean sea surface temperature and with the lowest
difference being over Golfo de Campeche. In summer, the
mean air temperature is usually within 1° to 2°C of the
mean sea surface temperature for the whole of this region.
However, marked differences are possible in winter with
strong cold N winds and moist S winds over the cooler N
waters of the Gulf.
3
Over the coasts, temperatures are generally lower in
winter with a mean daily maximum of 16°C on the NW
coast of the Gulf, 26°C on the S coast and 22°C on the W
coast of Florida. The onset of N winds in winter can, on
occasions, reduce overnight temperatures in the extreme N
of the area to between +2° and −2°C but these cold spells
seldom last for more than 2 to 3 days. Mean daily
maximum temperatures in summer range from around 32°
to 36°C. May is often the hottest month in the SE of this
region but August is normally the hottest month in the N.
Humidity
General information
1.217 1
Humidity is closely related to air temperature and
generally decreases as the temperature increases. During the
CHAPTER 1
47
early morning, when the air temperature is normally at its
lowest, the humidity is generally at its highest, and falls to
a minimum the afternoon. The airstreams affecting the
whole of the are covered by this volume have a long sea
passage and humidity is therefore high at all times of the
year, except with a ‘Norther’ (1.201).
Over the sea
1.218 1
The winter humidity is relatively high over the whole of
the area with a mean between 72 and 78 per cent but
increasing to around 80 per cent in the extreme S of the
area. In summer the mean humidity increases from around
75 to 77 per cent over the N Gulf of Mexico to around 83
per cent in the S of the area. Diurnal variation is slight and
instances of low humidity normally only occur with
persistent N winds, particularly in the N half of the area.
Over the coastal areas
1.219 1
Average values around Gulf of Mexico coasts are 86 to
91 per cent around dawn and decreasing in the afternoon to
around 69 to 79 per cent. To the S of Yucatán Channel the
average dawn values are 90 to 95 per cent and the
afternoon values between 75 and 87 per cent. Northerly
winds and land breezes, especially in the vicinity of
mountainous areas, generally give rise to significantly lower
humidity values.
CLIMATE INFORMATION
1.220 1
The Climate Information, which follows, gives data for
several coastal stations that regularly undertake weather
observations. Some of these stations have been re−sited and
so the position given is the latest available.
2
It is emphasised that these data are average conditions
and refer to the specific location of the observing station
and therefore may not be totally representative of
conditions to be expected over the open sea or in
approaches to ports in their vicinity. The following
comments briefly list some of the differences to be
expected between conditions over the open sea and those at
the nearest reporting station:
3
Wind speeds tend to be higher at sea than on land,
although funnelling in narrow inlets can result in
an increase in wind strength.
Cloud amounts at a coastal station may differ
considerably from that over the adjacent sea area.
Precipitation along mountainous wind facing coasts
can be considerably higher than at sea to
windward. Similarly precipitation in the lee of high
ground is generally less.
4
Air temperature over the sea is less variable than over
the land.
Topography has a marked effect on local conditions.
See The Mariner’s Handbook for further details.
BLUEFIELDS
CAMPECHE
HYY VERACRUZ
BELIZE
MOBILE / BATES FIELD
APALACHICOLA
TAMPA
AIRPORT
NEW ORLEANS /
MOISANT AIRPORT
GALVESTON
BROWNSVILLE
AIRPORT
TAMPICO
COZUMEL
LIM
IT OF NP69A
LIM
I
T OF N
P
6
9
A
COATZACOALCOS
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
PUERTO LIMON
PUERTO LEMPIRA
TELA
100°
100°
95°
95°
90°
Longitude 90° West from Greenwich
85° 80°
80°
75°
75°
30°
25°
35°
10°
10°
15°
30°
35°
20°
25°
20°
15°
Location of climatic stations (1.220)
48
CHAPTER 1
1.221
1.222
1.223
1.224
1.225
1.226
1.227
1.228
1.229
1.230
1.231
1.232
1.233
1.234
1.235
1.236
1.237
BLUEFIELDS
PUERTO LIMON
PUERTO LEMPIRA
E
LA
15
20
25
30
35
40
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 33ºC
Mean annual minimum = 19ºC
Period maximum = 35ºC
Period minimum = 18ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
12 yr period
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1012 hPa
12 yr period
6
6.2
6.4
6.6
6.8
7
7.2
7.4
7.6
7.8
8
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0600 local mean= 7;
1500 local mean= 8
0600 local
1500 local
12 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
0 days per year
12 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
20 days per
year
12 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
2516 mm per year
5 yr period
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 92%;
1500 local mean 84%
0600 local
1500 local
12 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
148 precipitation days per year
5 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
1 day
per year
12 yr period
WMO No 78767 PUERTO LIMON
10°83'N 83°03'W. Height above MSL - 3 m Climate Information for period 1994 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Station Wind Distribution - 1500 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
27
26
23
28
30
34
49
1.221
BLUEFIELDS
PUERTO LIMON
PUERTO LEMPIRA
TELA
15
20
25
30
35
40
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 33ºC
Mean annual minimum = 20ºC
Period maximum = 34ºC
Period minimum = 19ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1007
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1012 hPa
22 yr period
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0600 local mean= 6;
1800 local mean= 6
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
4 days per year
22 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
18 days per year
22 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1989 mm per year
3 yr period
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative
humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 94%;
1800 local mean 86%
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
156 precipitation days per year
3 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
Below one day per year
22 yr period
WMO No 78745 BLUEFIELDS
12°00'N 83°46'W. Height above MSL - 5 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
2
2
3
8
11
14
20
11
12
5
6
10
50
1.222
CAMPECHE
BELIZE
COZUMEL
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
PUERTO LEMPIRA
TELA
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 35ºC
Mean annual minimum = 15ºC
Period maximum = 38ºC
Period minimum = 11ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1012 hPa
22 yr period
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 5;
1500 local mean= 5
0600 local
1500 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
0 days per year
22 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
35 days per
year
22 yr period
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1211 mm per year
16 yr period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 90
%;
1500 local mean 80 %
0600 local
1500 local
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
134 precipitation days per year
16 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
Less than one day per year
22 yr period
WMO No 78711 PUERTO LEMPIRA
15°13'N 83°48'W. Height above MSL - 13 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1500 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
12
1
0
3
3
5
2
27
20
20
11
14
51
1.223
CAMPECHE
BELIZE
COZUMEL
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
PUERTO LEMPIRA
TELA
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 36ºC
Mean annual minimum = 15ºC
Period maximum = 38ºC
Period minimum = 14ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
17 yr period
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1013 hPa
17 yr period
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 5;
1500 local mean= 5
0600 local
1500
local
17 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
0 days per year
17 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
13 days per
year
17 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1255 mm per year
12 yr period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 95
%;
1500 local mean 81 %
0600 local
1500 local
17 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
85 precipitation days per year
12 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
Less than one day per year
17 yr period
WMO No 78706 TELA
15°43'N 87°29'W. Height above MSL - 3 m Climate Information for period 1989 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1500 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
71
32
19
15
14
33
41
73
79
87
76
66
52
1.224
CAMPECHE
BELIZE
COZUMEL
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
PUERTO LEMPIRA
TELA
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 35ºC
Mean annual minimum = 15ºC
Period maximum = 37ºC
Period minimum = 12ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
29 yr period
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1014 hPa
29 yr period
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 5;
1500 local mean= 5
0600 local
1500 local
29 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less than one day
per year
29 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
44 days per
year
29 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1493 mm per year
13 yr period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 93 %;
1500 local mean 81 %
0600 local
1500 local
29 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
131 precipitation days per year
13 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
11 days per year
29 yr period
WMO No 78583 BELIZE
17°32'N 88°18'W. Height above MSL - 5 m Climate Information for period 1977 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1500 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
51
43
46
57
60
52
23
7
8
9
31
40
53
1.225
CAMPECHE
BELIZE
COZUMEL
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 38ºC
Mean annual minimum = 10ºC
Period maximum = 40ºC
Period minimum = 10ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
13 yr period
1006
1008
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1013 hPa
13 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0600 local mean= 3;
1800 local mean= 4
0600 local
1800 local
13 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less then one day per year
13 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
13 days per
year
13 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1091 mm per year
9 yr period
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 96 %;
1800 local mean 76 %
0600 local
1800 local
13 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
109 precipitation days per year
9 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
2 days per year
13 yr period
WMO No 76698 FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
19°42'N 87°54'W. Height above MSL - 12 m Climate Information for period 1993 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
NO DATA AVAILABLE
95
91
97
99
93
91
54
1.226
CAMPECHE
BELIZE
COZUMEL
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 35ºC
Mean annual minimum = 15ºC
Period maximum = 36ºC
Period minimum = 10ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
6 yr period
1004
1006
1008
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1013 hPa
6 yr period
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 4;
1800 local mean= 4
0600 local
1800 local
6 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
1 day per year
6 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
1 day per year
6 yr period
0
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
Data not available
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 90 %;
1800 local mean 78 %
0600 local
1800 local
6 yr period
0
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
Data not available
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
Less than one day per year
6 yr period
WMO No 76648 COZUMEL
20°31'N 86°57'W. Height above MSL - 3 m Climate Information for period 1983 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
58
78
12
19
36
59
47
66
87
93
75
59
55
1.227
CAMPECHE
BELIZE
COZUMEL
COATZACOALCOS
FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
P
TELA
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 40ºC
Mean annual minimum = 11ºC
Period maximum = 43ºC
Period minimum = 9ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
1018
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1013 hPa
22 yr period
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0600 local mean= 3;
1800 local mean= 4
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less than one day per year
22 yr period
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
7 days per year
22 yr period
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
590 mm per year
Data Unreliable
16 yr period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 93 %;
1800 local mean 76 %
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean
precipitation
d 0 1
49 precipitation days per year
Data unreliable 16 yr period
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
8 days per year
22 yr period
WMO No 76695 CAMPECHE
19°51'N 90°33'W. Height above MSL - 5 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
57
14
3 8
19
14
20
42
49
64
60
52
56
1.228
CAMPECHE
HYY VERACRUZ
BELIZE
COATZACOALCOS
T
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 39ºC
Mean annual minimum = 15ºC
Period maximum = 42ºC
Period minimum = 13ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1006
1008
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1014 hPa
22 yr period
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud
cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 5;
1800 local mean= 4
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
2 days per year
22 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
17 days per
year
22 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1307 mm per year
10 yr period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 88 %;
1800 local mean 78 %
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
85 precipitation days per year
10 yr period
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
7 days per year
22 yr period
WMO No 76741 COATZACOALCOS
18°08'N 94°25'W. Height above MSL - 22 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution
- 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
21
2
1
0
2
3
4
26
23
24
20
19
57
1.229
CAMPECHE
HYY VERACRUZ
BELIZE
TAMPICO
COATZACOALCOS
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 37ºC
Mean annual minimum = 13ºC
Period maximum = 40ºC
Period minimum = 12ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1008
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1015 hPa
22 yr period
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 5;
1500 local mean= 5
0600 local
1500 local
22 yr period
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
6 days per year
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
42 days per
year
22 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1180 mm per year
10 yr period
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 89 %;
1500 local mean 80 %
0600 local
1500 local
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
79 precipitation days per year
10 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
26 days per year
22 yr period
WMO No 76692 HYY VERACRUZ
19°09'N 96°07'W. Height above MSL - 16 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1500 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
14
14
15
13
10
9
1
1
1
0
0
0
58
1.230
CAMPECHE
HYY VERACRUZ
BELIZE
TAMPICO
COATZACOALCOS
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 38ºC
Mean annual minimum = 9ºC
Period maximum = 42ºC
Period minimum = 8ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1008
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1015 hPa
22 yr period
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 5;
1800 local mean= 5
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less than 1 day per year
22 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
13 days per
year
22 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
822 mm per year
7 yr period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 89 %;
1800 local mean 76 %
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
71 precipitation days per year
7 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
16 days per year
22 yr period
WMO No 76548 TAMPICO
22°12'S 97°51'W. Height above MSL - 25 m Climatic Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
42
5
2
1
2
4
10
44
55
62
42
38
59
1.231
GALVESTON
BROWNSVILLE
AIRPORT
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 38ºC
Mean annual minimum = 2ºC
Period maximum = 41ºC
Period minimum = -1ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1008
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1015 hPa
22 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0600 local mean= 3;
1800 local mean= 3
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
No data available
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
10 days per
year
22 yr period
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
568 mm per year
20 yr period
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 92 %;
1800 local mean 71 %
0600 local
1800 local
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
82 precipitation days per year
20 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
17 days per year
22 yr period
WMO No 72250 BROWNSVILLE AIRPORT
25°55'N 97°25'W. Height above MSL - 8 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station
Wind Distribution
- 0600 local
Station
Wind Distribution
- 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
9
0
1
0
0
1
2
8
12
19
19
13
60
1.232
MOBILE
/
NEW ORLEANS /
MOISANT AIRPORT
GALVESTON
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 36ºC
Mean annual minimum = 0ºC
Period maximum = 39ºC
Period minimum = -3ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
21 yr period
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
1022
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1017 hPa
21 yr period
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0600 local mean= 4;
1800 local mean= 4
0600 local
1800 local
21 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
1 day per year
21 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
17 days per year
21 yr period
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
976 mm per year
9
y
r period
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 82%;
1800 local mean 74%
0600 local
1800 local
21 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
89 precipitation days per year
9 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
22 days per year
21 yr period
WMO No 72242 GALVESTON
29°18'N 94°48'W. Height above MSL - 16 m Climate Information for period 1974 - 1994
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
3
3
61
1.233
MOBILE / BATES FIELD
APALACHICOLA
TAMPA
AIRPORT
NEW ORLEANS /
MOISANT AIRPORT
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 36ºC
Mean annual minimum = -3ºC
Period maximum = 38ºC
Period minimum = -6ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
32 yr period
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
1018
1019
1020
1021
1022
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1018 hPa
32 yr period
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 4;
1800 local mean= 5
0600 local
1800 local
32 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
1 day per year
32 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
26 days per
year
32 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1487 mm per year
20 yr period
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 87 %;
1800 local mean 69 %
0600 local
1800 local
32 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
108 precipitation days per year
20 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
15 days per year
32 yr period
WMO No 72231 NEW ORLEANS / MOISANT AIRPORT
29°59'N 90°15'W. Height above MSL - 9 m Climate Information for period 1974 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1800 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
12
7
3
4
8
8
12
15
28
36
25
16
62
1.234
MOBILE / BATES FIELD
APALACHICOLA
TAMPA
AIRPORT
NEW ORLEANS /
MOISANT AIRPORT
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 36ºC
Mean annual minimum = -5ºC
Period maximum = 41ºC
Period minimum = -8ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
22 yr period
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
1018
1019
1020
1021
1022
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1018 hPa
22 yr period
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 4;
1200 local mean= 4
0600 local
1200 local
22 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less than 1 day per year
22 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
29 days per
year
22 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1628 mm per year
19 yr period
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 89 %;
1200 local mean 70 %
0600 local
1200 local
22 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
121 precipitation days per year
19 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
26 days per year
22 yr period
WMO No 72223 MOBILE / BATES FIELD
30°41'N 88°15'W. Height above MSL - 67 m Climate Information for period 1984 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1200 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
7
4
1
2
7
6
9
12
18
22
13
10
63
1.235
MOBILE / BATES FIELD
APALACHICOLA
TAMPA
AIRPORT
-10
0
10
20
30
40
50
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 28ºC
Mean annual minimum = 2ºC
Period maximum = 39ºC
Period minimum = -4ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
8 yr period
1010
1012
1014
1016
1018
1020
1022
1024
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1018 hPa
8 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in oktas
Annual 0700 local mean= 2;
1300 local mean= 2
0700 local
1300 local
8 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less than 1 day
per year
8 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
No data available
0
50
100
150
200
250
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1312 mm per year
5 yr period
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0700 local mean 88 %;
1300 local mean 77 %
0700 local
1300 local
8 yr period
0
5
10
15
20
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
130 precipitation days per year
5 yr period
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
21 days per
year
8 yr period
WMO No 72220 APALACHICOLA
29°44'N 85°02'W. Height above MSL - 6 m Climate Information for period 1998 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0700 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1300 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
14
99 99 99 99 99 99
17
27
39
15
13
64
1.236
TAMPA
AIRPORT
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean maximum and minimum
temperatures ºC
Mean annual maximum = 36ºC
Mean annual minimum = 1ºC
Period maximum = 42ºC
Period minimum = -4ºC
Mean monthly maximum
Mean daily maximum
Mean daily minimum
Mean monthly minimum
32 yr period
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
1018
1019
1020
1021
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean sea level pressure in hPa
Annual mean 1018 hPa
32 yr period
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cloud cover in Annual 0600 local mean= 4;
1500 local mean= 5
0600 local
1500 local
32 yr period
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with winds > force 6
Less than 1 day per
year
32 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with thunder
41 days per
year
32 yr period
0
50
100
150
200
250
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation in mm
1176 mm per year
11 yr period
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Relative humidity %
Annual 0600 local mean 88 %;
1500 local mean 71 %
0600 local
1500 local
32 yr period
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Mean precipitation
days > 0.1mm
103 precipitation days per year
11 yr period
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Days with fog
14 days per year
32 yr period
WMO No 72211 TAMPA AIRPORT
27°58'N 82°32W'E. Height above MSL - 3 m Climate Information for period 1974 - 2005
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Station Wind Distribution - 0600 local
Station Wind Distribution - 1500 local
Wind flow is towards the circle. The figure
in the circle gives the percentage of calms.
The frequency of wind is given by scale:
0% 10 20 30
40
50%
4
Beaufort force is indicated by:
14
4
1
2
7
6
8
14
23
17
13
16
65
1.237
66
1.238
METEOROLOGICAL CONVERSION TABLE AND SCALES
Fahrenheit to Celsius
°Fahrenheit
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
°F
Degrees Celsius
−100
−90
−80
−70
−60
−50
−40
−30
−20
−10
−0
+0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
−73⋅3
−67⋅8
−62⋅2
−56⋅7
−51⋅1
−45⋅6
−40⋅0
−34⋅4
−28⋅9
−23⋅3
−17⋅8
−17⋅8
−12⋅2
−6⋅7
−1⋅1
+4⋅4
10⋅0
15⋅6
21⋅1
26⋅7
32⋅2
37⋅8
43⋅3
48⋅9
−73⋅9
−68⋅3
−62⋅8
−57⋅2
−51⋅7
−46⋅1
−40⋅6
−35⋅0
−29⋅4
−23⋅9
−18⋅3
−17⋅2
−11⋅7
−6⋅1
−0⋅6
+5⋅0
10⋅6
16⋅1
21⋅7
27⋅2
32⋅8
38⋅3
43⋅9
49⋅4
−74⋅4
−68⋅9
−63⋅3
−57⋅8
−52⋅2
−46⋅7
−41⋅1
−35⋅6
−30⋅0
−24⋅4
−18⋅9
−16⋅7
−11⋅1
−5⋅6
0
+5⋅6
11⋅1
16⋅7
22⋅2
27⋅8
33⋅3
38⋅9
44⋅4
50⋅0
−75⋅0
−69⋅4
−63⋅9
−58⋅3
−52⋅8
−47⋅2
−41⋅7
−36⋅1
−30⋅6
−25⋅0
−19⋅4
−16⋅1
−10⋅6
−5⋅0
+0⋅6
6⋅1
11⋅7
17⋅2
22⋅8
28⋅3
33⋅9
39⋅4
45⋅0
50⋅6
−75⋅6
−70⋅0
−64⋅4
−58⋅9
−53⋅3
−47⋅8
−42⋅2
−36⋅7
−31⋅1
−25⋅6
−20⋅0
−15⋅6
−10⋅0
−4⋅4
+1⋅1
6⋅7
12⋅2
17⋅8
23⋅3
28⋅9
34⋅4
40⋅0
45⋅6
51⋅1
−76⋅1
−70⋅6
−65⋅0
−59⋅4
−53⋅9
−48⋅3
−42⋅8
−37⋅2
−31⋅7
−26⋅1
−20⋅6
−15⋅0
−9⋅4
−3⋅9
+1⋅7
7⋅2
12⋅8
18⋅3
23⋅9
29⋅4
35⋅0
40⋅6
46⋅1
51⋅7
−76⋅7
−71⋅1
−65⋅6
−60⋅0
−54⋅4
−48⋅9
−43⋅3
−37⋅8
−32⋅2
−26⋅7
−21⋅1
−14⋅4
−8⋅9
−3⋅3
+2⋅2
7⋅8
13⋅3
18⋅9
24⋅4
30⋅0
35⋅6
41⋅1
46⋅7
52⋅2
−77⋅2
−71⋅7
−66⋅1
−60⋅6
−55⋅0
−49⋅4
−43⋅9
−38⋅3
−32⋅8
−27⋅2
−21⋅7
−13⋅9
−8⋅3
−2⋅8
+2⋅8
8⋅3
13⋅9
19⋅4
25⋅0
30⋅6
36⋅1
41⋅7
47⋅2
52⋅8
−77⋅8
−72⋅2
−66⋅7
−61⋅1
−55⋅6
−50⋅0
−44⋅4
−38⋅9
−33⋅3
−27⋅8
−22⋅2
−13⋅3
−7⋅8
−2⋅2
+3⋅3
8⋅9
14⋅4
20⋅0
25⋅6
31⋅1
36⋅7
42⋅2
47⋅8
53⋅3
−78⋅3
−72⋅8
−67⋅2
−61⋅7
−56⋅1
−50⋅6
−45⋅0
−39⋅4
−33⋅9
−28⋅3
−22⋅8
−12⋅8
−7⋅2
−1⋅7
+3⋅9
9⋅4
15⋅0
20⋅6
26⋅1
31⋅7
37⋅2
42⋅8
48⋅3
53⋅9
Celsius to Fahrenheit
°Celsius
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
°C
Degrees Fahrenheit
−70
−60
−50
−40
−30
−20
−10
−0
+0
10
20
30
40
50
−94⋅0
−76⋅0
−58⋅0
−40⋅0
−22⋅0
−4⋅0
+14⋅0
32⋅0
32⋅0
50⋅0
68⋅0
86⋅0
104⋅0
122⋅0
−95⋅8
−77⋅8
−59⋅8
−41⋅8
−23⋅8
−5⋅8
+12⋅2
30⋅2
33⋅8
51⋅8
69⋅8
87⋅8
105⋅8
123⋅8
−97⋅6
−79⋅6
−61⋅6
−43⋅6
−25⋅6
−7⋅6
+10⋅4
28⋅4
35⋅6
53⋅6
71⋅6
89⋅6
107⋅6
125⋅6
−99⋅4
−81⋅4
−63⋅4
−45⋅4
−27⋅4
−9⋅4
+8⋅6
26⋅6
37⋅4
55⋅4
73⋅4
91⋅4
109⋅4
127⋅4
−101⋅2
−83⋅2
−65⋅2
−47⋅2
−29⋅2
−11⋅2
+6⋅8
24⋅8
39⋅2
57⋅2
75⋅2
93⋅2
111⋅2
129⋅2
−103⋅0
−85⋅0
−67⋅0
−49⋅0
−31⋅0
−13⋅0
+5⋅0
23⋅0
41⋅0
59⋅0
77⋅0
95⋅0
113⋅0
131⋅0
−104⋅8
−86⋅8
−68⋅8
−50⋅8
−32⋅8
−14⋅8
+3⋅2
21⋅2
42⋅8
60⋅8
78⋅8
96⋅8
114⋅8
132⋅8
−106⋅6
−88⋅6
−70⋅6
−52⋅6
−34⋅6
−16⋅6
+1⋅4
19⋅4
44⋅6
62⋅6
80⋅6
98⋅6
116⋅6
134⋅6
−108⋅4
−90⋅4
−72⋅4
−54⋅4
−36⋅4
18⋅4
−0⋅4
+17⋅6
46⋅4
64⋅4
82⋅4
100⋅4
118⋅4
136⋅4
−110⋅2
−92⋅2
−74⋅2
−56⋅2
−38⋅2
−20⋅2
−2⋅2
+15⋅8
48⋅2
66⋅2
84⋅2
102⋅2
120⋅2
138⋅2
HECTOPASCALS TO INCHES
950 960 970
980 990
1000 1010 1020
1030 1040
1050
28 29
30 31
INCHES
millimetres
50
0
10 20 30
40
60 70 80 90
100
(1) (for small values)
0
0⋅5 1⋅5
3⋅52⋅5
1
3
4
500 1000
1500 2000
2500 3000
millimetres
(2) (for large values)
0
5 10
20 30 40
50
60 70
80 90
100
110 120
inches
HECTOPASCALS
MILLIMETRES TO INCHES
2
0
inches
NOTES
67
2.9 2.50 2.26
396
1218
1220
2579
0206
MEXICO
BELIZE
HONDURAS
NICARAGUA
COSTA RICA
PANAMA
CUBA
JAMACA
Grand
Cayman
CARI BBEAN
SEA
Isla de
Providencia
NP 7a
South America
Pilot Vol IV
NP 70
West Indies
Pilot Vol I
68
20°
21°
22°
23°
19°
18
17°
16°
15°
14°
13°
12°
11°
10°
9°
20°
21°
22°
23°
19°
18°
17°
16°
15°
14°
13°
12°
11°
10°
9°
79°
78°
77°
80°
81°
82°
83°
84°
85°
86°
87°
88°
89°
79°
78°
77°
76°
80°
81°
82°
83°
84°
85°
86°
87°
88°
89°
Chapter 2 - Through routes
76°
69
CHAPTER 2
THROUGH ROUTES
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 4400
General description
2.1 1
Chapter 2 describes the Through Routes in the area
covered by the book. The routes fall into two main
categories: those that pass close to dangers and those in
oceanic depths. In the first category the principal N/S route
from Panama Canal to Cabo San Antonio and the principal
E/W route from Saint Vincent Channel to Belize are
described below. The routes across Campeche Bank are
described in Chapter 6.
Ocean routes
2.2 1
Florida Strait to New Orleans.
North−East Providence Channel to New Orleans.
Crooked Island Passage to New Orleans and Belize.
Caicos Passage to New Orleans.
Turks Island Passage to New Orleans and ports in the
Gulf of Mexico, Belize, Cólon.
Mona Passage to Belize.
Sombrero Passage to Belize.
Galleons Passage to New Orleans.
2
Routes from Yucatán Channel to the eastern part of
Caribbean Sea are given in Ocean Passages for the World
(NP 136) together with distances from the various entrances
to Caribbean Sea to ports in the area by different routes.
Natural conditions
2.3 1
For the main weather and current systems in the W part
of Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico see 1.172, 1.187 and
1.220.
PANAMA CANAL TO CABO SAN ANTONIO
General information
Charts 396, 1218, 1220
Routes
2.4 1
Between Cristobal (9°21′N 79°55′W), at the N entrance
to Panama Canal and Cabo San Antonio (21°52′N
84°57′W) (2.59), at the W end of Cuba, the route leads
NNE to round Bajo Nuevo (15°52′N 78°39′W), entering
the limits of the area covered by this volume in the vicinity
of position 13°N 79°W; thence NW to pass W of Grand
Cayman (19°18′N 81°23′W); thence continuing NW to pass
W of Cabo San Antonio, through the Yucatan Channel. See
South America Pilot Volume IV and West Indies Pilot
Volume I for information on Cristobal and Grand Cayman,
respectively. See tables after 1.220 for the Cristobal
climatic table.
2
Vessels have frequently taken the shorter route W of
Serrana Bank (14°20′N 80°20′W), passing between
Rosalind Bank (16°30′N 80°35′W) and Thunder Knoll
(16°23′N 81°28′W). It is also reported (1999) that vessels
have regularly crossed the E side of Miskito Bank, passing
E of Gorda Bank (15°35′N 82°15′W) on a straight line
course from 14°38′N 81°35′W to 17°06′N 82°05′W, in
depths of not less than 16 m.
3
The reverse route usually follows the same track,
although the alternative of passing between Bajo Nuevo
and Alice Shoal, about 40 miles NW, is also available.
Caution. These routes are not recommended without
local knowledge, as they have not been surveyed to modern
standards and reports of dangerous shoals near the tracks
are often received, as indicated on the charts.
Topography
2.5 1
The small length of coastline and the isolated cays near
the route are low lying and without distinguishing features,
other than a limited number of navigational lights. The
edges of the coral banks drop away steeply to ocean
depths.
Local knowledge
2.6 1
Local knowledge is required to navigate among the
islands, reefs and banks described below, as the charts have
been compiled from old and imperfect surveys and must be
used with caution.
Traffic Separation Scheme
2.7 1
TSS have been established off Cabo San Antonio
(21°52′N 84°57′W) and La Tabla (22°24′N 84°45′W). See
2.62 for further details.
Natural conditions
2.8 1
Currents. The Equatorial current sets W or NW through
Caribbean Sea towards Yucatan Channel. Its constancy is
mostly moderate with an average rate of around or
somewhat over 1 kn.
Local weather. The North−east Trade Winds prevail for
most of the year. Hurricanes may cross part of the area
during the season from June to November. See 1.187,
1.220 for further details.
Directions
Principal marks
2.9 1
Major lights:
Albuquerque Cays (charted as Cayos de Albuquerque)
Light (white tower, black bands) (12°10′N
81°50′W).
Bajo Nuevo, Low Cay Light (white tower, red bands
(15°52′N 78°38′W).
Grand Cayman, South West Point Light (white metal
tower and base) (19°16′N 81°23′W).
CHAPTER 2
70
2
Grand Cayman, Airport Light (19°18′N 81°22′W).
Grand Cayman, Boatswains Point Light (white metal
tower, black base, 6 m in height) (19°23′N
81°25′W).
Cabo San Antonio Light (yellow round masonry
tower, 23 m in height) (21°52′N 84°57′W).
2.10 1
From a position off Cristobal (9°21′N 79°55′W), at the
N end of Panama Canal, the route leads NNE for 400 miles
to pass E of Bajo Nuevo (15°52′N 78°39′W); thence NW
for 516 miles to enter the TSS (2.62) off Cabo San Antonio
(21°52′N 84°57′W), passing:
2
Between the SW edge of Pedro Bank (16°48′N
78°57′W) and the NE edge of Alice Shoal
(16°10′N 79°20′W), thence:
NNE of the NE edge of Rosalind Bank (16°47′N
80°28′W), thence:
W of Grand Cayman (19°20′N 81°15′W).
3
See 1.172 for remarks on currents.
Caution. Due to inadequate survey coverage and reports
of dangerous shoals near the track, the shorter route W of
Serrana Bank passing between Rosalind Bank and Thunder
Knoll, is not recommended without local knowledge. See
also 2.4.
Useful mark:
Conspicuous wreck on Bajo Nuevo (15°52′N
78°33′W).
Cayos de Albuquerque
Chart 396 (see 1.18)
General information
2.11 1
Cayos de Albuquerque (12°10′N 81°50′W) are two small
islands on the E side of an isolated coral bank, about
100 miles off the E coast of Nicaragua. They have been
part of the territory of Colombia since 1822. The bank is
about 5 miles in length, with steep−to sides. The islands are
1 to 2 m high and heavily wooded with palm trees about
18 m high.
Major light
2.12
1
Albuquerque Cays (charted as Cayos de Albuquerque)
Light (12°10′N 81°50′W) (2.9).
Directions
2.13 1
The approach is made from the W, with entry through a
narrow channel between drying banks 1½ miles NW of
North Cay.
Anchorage
2.14 1
The anchorage is about 2½ miles W of Albuquerque
Cays (charted as Cayos de Albuquerque) Light, in reported
depths of 9 to 11 m, on the W edge of the bank outside the
reef.
Cayos del Este Sudeste
General information
2.15 1
Cayos del Este Sudeste (12°24′N 81°28′W) are a group
of small islands on the S part of an isolated coral bank,
24 miles ENE of Cayos de Albuquerque. The bank is
crescent shaped and about 7 miles in length, with steep−to
sides. The largest island, Cayo Bolívar, is about 2 m high,
with some palm tree cover. The light is maintained by
Colombian authorities. Fishermen erect huts on the cays
during the turtle season from March to August.
Anchorage
2.16 1
Anchorage may be found on the W edge of the bank,
outside the reef.
Major light
2.17
1
Cayo Bolívar Light (white tower, elevation 40 m)
(12°24′N 81°28′W).
Other aid to navigation
2.18
1
Racon:
Cayo Bolívar (12°24′N 81°28′W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
Isla de San Andrés
General information
2.19 1
Isla de San Andrés (12°33′N 81°43′W) is situated about
16 miles WNW of Cayos del Este Sudeste, on a coral bank
nearly 10 miles in length.
2
It is the administrative centre of a Colombian territory
which includes Isla de Providencia (2.26) and the
surrounding small cays. The territory has been developed as
a tourist resort, with numerous marine sport activities. The
population is about 61 000. See (1.87)
3
There is a centre line ridge of hills on Isla San Andrés,
with a distinctive cliff at the N end. The highest point of
the ridge is at Samwright Hill 82 m, about 2 miles N of
Punta Sur. The town and port facilities are at the NE point
of the island.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 34 vessels with a
total of 118 766 dwt.
4
Currents. Off the N end of the island the set is usually
W at a considerable rate, except with ‘Northers’ when it is
S. Variable currents may also be experienced.
Pilotage
2.20 1
Pilotage is compulsory. It is available by day only. The
pilot boards in position 8¼ cables S of Cayo Córdoba Light
(2.22). See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Harbour
2.21 1
The main wharf, 300 m in length with charted depths of
6⋅7 to 8⋅5 m alongside, is situated about 6 cables SSE of
Isla San Andrés Aero Light. The approach channel
light−buoy (safe water) is 2¾ miles SSE of the same light.
The harbour extends between these two positions, sheltered
by a coral reef near the edge of the bank. The harbour is
reported to be suitable for vessels drawing up to 4⋅6 m.
There is a small naval base on the W side, close inside the
entrance.
2
Major lights
Punta Sur Light (12°28′⋅9N 81°43′⋅7W) (orange
tower).
Isla San Andrés Aero Light (radio mast) (12°35′⋅1N
81°41′⋅7W).
CHAPTER 2
71
Directions
2.22 1
The approach is made from the S with Punta Hansa
(12°35′⋅0N 81°41′⋅3W) bearing 359°, just open E of Cayo
Córdoba Light. The harbour is entered passing the approach
light−buoy (2.21), through a channel marked by light−buoys
(lateral) leading NNW for a distance of 2¼ miles to the
wharf.
Caution. Uncharted shoals have been reported to exist
in the entrance approaches.
2
Useful mark:
Cayo Córdoba Light (white tower, red bands,
(12°33′N 81°41′W).
Anchorages
2.23 1
Anchorage is available at:
No 3 Anchorage; a rectangular area centred 2¾ cables
NW of Cayo Córdoda Light (2.22) with depths of
between 7 and 11 m.
No 4 Anchorage; a rectangular area centred 5½ cables
SW of Cayo Córdoba Light (2.22) in depths of
between 9 and 14 m, sand.
Anchorages Nos 1 and 2 lie close NE of the main wharf,
and are for yachts and fishing boats respectively.
Port services
2.24 1
Other facilities: hospital.
Communications: airport on W side of town.
Rada el Cove
2.25 1
Rada el Cove (4 miles SSW of Isla San Andrés Light
(2.21)) is a small inlet on the W coast. It has a narrow
entrance about 40 m wide, opening into a basin almost
2 cables in length. There are reported depths of 4 to 7 m
close inside the entrance. Temporary anchorage with
restricted swinging room may be obtained 2½ cables W of
the entrance in depths of about 15 m, sand and shells.
2
Useful mark:
Cove Light (orange tower) (12°31′N 81°44′W).
Isla de Providencia
General information
2.26 1
Isla de Providencia (13°21′N 81°22′W) lies on the S end
of a steep−to coral bank, about 18 miles in length and
50 miles NNE of Isla de San Andrés (2.19). It is part of
Colombian territory. See 1.87.
2
The island is volcanic in origin, with three hill peaks of
nearly equal height. The terrain is rugged. A rock chasm
on Split Hill, about ¾ mile from the N end of the island, is
prominent on the skyline from the NW and SE. A barrier
reef extends around the E side of the island. The W side is
generally foul ground. The population is about 3000. The
chief settlement lines the shore at Puerto Catalina (2.27).
3
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by four vessels with
a total of 13 194 dwt.
Currents. There are strong and irregular currents in the
vicinity of Isla de Providencia.
Harbour
2.27 1
Puerto Catalina (13°23′⋅0N 81°22′⋅7W), situated on the
NW side of the island, affords secure anchorage for vessels
drawing up to 4⋅6 m.
Major light:
Cayo Palma Light (red tower, white band,)
(13°24′⋅1N 81°22′⋅2W).
South End Light (red tower, white band 18 m in
height) (13°19′⋅5N 81°23′⋅5W).
Directions
2.28 1
From a position in the vicinity of the approach channel
light−buoy (safe water) (13°23′⋅9N 81°23′⋅7W) the line of
bearing ahead (143°) of Fairway Hill (13°21′⋅8N
81°22′⋅0W) leads SE through Canal de Morgan for
1¾ miles to Santa Catalina Bay. The channel, which has a
least depth of 4⋅1 m, suitable for vessels up to 3⋅7 m
draught, is marked on both sides by light−buoys.
2
Local knowledge is essential.
Caution. A dangerous wreck is charted in position
13°22′⋅4, 81°25′⋅0W on the 102° leading bearing (US chart
26083).
Useful mark:
Low Cay Light (red tower, white band, 20 m in
height) (13°32′N 81°21′W).
Anchorages
2.29 1
Anchorage outside the harbour is available:
In position 13°30′⋅6N 81°21′⋅0W, about 1 mile S of
Low Cay; depths 10 to 18 m; good temporary
anchorage.
2
In position 13°23′⋅0N 81°24′⋅2W, about 1¼ miles W
of Morgan Head, a prominent black rock; depths
11 to 13 m.
Anchorage inside the harbour is charted 5 cables SSW of
Morgan Head in position 13°22′⋅7N 81°23′⋅1W in depths of
about 3 m.
Communications
2.30 1
The airport has daily flights to Isla de San Andrés
(2.19).
Roncador Bank
Chart 396
General information
2.31 1
Cayos de Roncador (13°34′N 80°05′W) are a group of
small, barren cays, not more than 4 m high, on Roncador
Bank, a steep−to, isolated coral bank, 8 miles in length,
about 70 miles E of Isla de Providencia (2.26).
2
A restricted area has been declared, with a radius of
1 mile from Roncador Cay Light. Permission is required to
enter the area from the Colombian naval authorities. The
light is maintained by the Panama Canal authorities. A
conspicuous wreck stands on the S end of Roncador Bank.
Both the wreck and the S end of the bank were reported
(1981) to lie 1½ miles SE of their charted positions.
3
Current. There is usually a NW−going current which
may attain a considerable rate.
Major light:
Roncador Cay (Charted as Cayos de Roncador) Light
(red tower, white band) (13°34′N 80°05′W).
Anchorage
2.32 1
There is good anchorage in the NE Trade Winds, on the
W edge of the bank in the following designated areas:
Anchorage A; a rectangular area centred 3½ cables
SW of Roncador Cay Light with depths of
between 12 and 17 m.
CHAPTER 2
72
Anchorage B; a rectangular area centred 2 miles S of
Roncador Cay Light with depths of between 12
and 14 m.
Local knowledge is required.
Serrana Bank
Chart 1218
General information
2.33 1
Serrana Bank (14°20′N 80°20′W), with several groups of
cays inside its barrier reef, is situated about 45 miles NNW
of Roncador Bank (2.31). The bank, which has an irregular
shape with steep−to sides, is reported to lie about 1¼ miles
E (1985) of its charted position. It is about 20 miles in
length and 12 miles wide.
2
A barrier reef extends around the edge of the bank on
all but the W and SW sides, where there are numerous
heads of live coral. The swell breaks heavily on the E side.
Strong currents may be encountered in the vicinity of the
bank.
Fishermen erect huts on the cays during the turtle season
from March to August. The light is maintained by the
Panama Canal authorities.
3
Southwest Cay (14°17′N 80°24′W), about 5 cables in
length, is the largest islet on the bank. It is grass covered
and has stunted brushwood, 10 m in height. The best
landing is on the N side, through a channel around the E
end of the cay.
4
A restricted area has been declared, with a radius of
1 mile from Southwest Cay Light. Permission is required to
enter the area from the Colombian naval authorities.
5
Tidal streams attain rates of 1½ to 2 kn, both in−going
and out−going, through the reef channels.
Major light:
Serrana Bank, Southwest Cay Light (red tower, white
band) (14°17′N 80°22′W).
Anchorage
2.34 1
Temporary anchorage may be obtained in a rectangular
area centred 8 cables NW of Southwest Cay Light, in
charted depths of 14 to 18 m; white sand. Local knowledge
is required.
Quita Sueño Bank
General information
2.35 1
Quita Sueño Bank (mid−position 14°20′N 81°10′W) is a
isolated coral bank rising from ocean depths, about
35 miles W of Serrana Bank (2.33). It is about 34 miles in
length and 22 miles wide. A barrier reef, which is above
water in a few places, extends about 23 miles in a N/S
direction from a position just inside the steep−to E side of
the bank.
2
Heavy surf running over the W of the bank, foul with
rock patches, prevents safe navigation, even for boats. A
number of stranded and dangerous wrecks lie on the E side
of the bank.
The light is maintained by the Panama Canal authorities.
3
Current. The current sets strongly W over the bank.
Major light:
Quita Sueño Bank Light (red tower, white band)
(14°29′N 81°08′W).
Anchorage
2.36 1
Good anchorage is available on the W edge of the bank
outside the foul ground, in the following recommended
anchorages:
1¾ miles W of Quita Sueño Bank Light in depths of
about 20 m.
15 miles SSW of Quita Sueño Bank Light in depths
of about 19 m.
Thunder Knoll
General information
2.37 1
Thunder Knoll (16°23′N 81°28′W), about 110 miles N of
Quita Sueño Bank (2.35), stands at the N end of an
extensive steep−to coral bank about 80 miles in length. It
has a least reported depth of 10⋅9 m.
See 2.4 for remarks on reported dangers.
Rosalind Bank
General information
2.38 1
Rosalind Bank (mid−position 16°30′N 80°35′W) is about
35 miles ENE of Thunder Knoll (2.37). It has a least
charted depth of 9⋅7 m close to the SE side; a wreck with a
depth of 9 m over it lies on the E side of the bank in
position 16°21′N 80°20′W. The bank is steep−to from
ocean depths and 65 miles in length.
A report (1996) states that the 200 m depth contour,
approximately 22 miles NE of the N edge of Rosalind
Bank, has extended farther N than is charted.
2
Currents. A NW−going current generally sets over the
bank, sometimes attaining a rate of 1½ kn. A race is
formed on striking the SE edge, which has the appearance
of breakers.
3
Another large but unnamed bank lies between Rosalind
Bank and Thunder Knoll (2.37) in mid−position 16°15′N
81°00′W. The bank has a least reported depth of 7⋅3 m near
the SE edge and is about 40 miles in length.
See 2.4 for remarks on reported dangers.
Serranilla Bank
General information
2.39 1
Serranilla Bank (mid−position 15°50′N 79°55′W) is
about 15 miles ESE of Rosalind Bank (2.38) and steep−to
from ocean depths. There are extensive areas of reef on the
S part of the bank, on which stand a number of small cays.
The largest cay is Beacon Cay (charted as Cayo Serranilla),
2 m in height and 5 cables in length, composed of sand and
broken coral, covered with samphire grass. The W part of
the bank, for 7 miles within its NW edge, has reported
depths of 15 to 46 m with clean coral sand. The N part has
irregular depths.
2
Flow. The predominant current sets NW at 1 to 1¼ kn.
No perceptible tidal stream is reported.
Useful mark:
Cayo Serranilla, Beacon Cay Light (white tower red
bands, on concrete base) (15°48′N 79°51′W).
Anchorage
2.40 1
Good anchorage is available during trade winds in a
circular area of radius 2½ cables centred ¾ mile NNW of
Beacon Cay Light, in 11 m depth, but clear of shoal
patches.
CHAPTER 2
73
Alice Shoal
General information
2.41 1
Alice Shoal (mid−position 16°04′N 79°23′W) is 15 miles
ENE of Serranilla Bank (2.39). It has a least charted depth
of 12⋅3 m and is steep−to from ocean depths. The shallow
SE part, which is distinctly marked by current ripples, is
composed of coral, while in other parts the bottom is fine
white sand. Unconfirmed reports (1983) indicate that depths
on the W part of Alice Shoal may be considerably less
than charted.
2
Current. The predominant current sets NW at 1 to
1¼ kn. However at the E end of Alice Shoal an ENE set
of 1 kn has been encountered, so it would seem that the
shoal can produce eddies.
Bajo Nuevo
General information
2.42 1
Bajo Nuevo (15°50′N 78°40′W) lies about 35 miles ESE
of Alice Shoal (2.41). It is 20 miles in length and steep−to
from ocean depths. East and West Reef have an unsurveyed
opening about a mile wide between them. The reefs dry in
places with small sand bores or cays. Low Cay, on which
stands Bajo Nuevo Light, is situated at the N end of West
Reef. It is a barren islet of sand and broken coral, about
1⋅5 m high. Seal fishing vessels from Isla San Andrés and
Isla de Providencia visit the bank in March and April.
2
Current. The predominant current in the area sets NW
at 1 to 1¼ kn, but it is reported that when passing E of
Bajo Nuevo allowance should be made for a local W set of
1½ to 2 kn.
Principal marks
2.43
1
Landmark:
Stranded wreck (conspicuous) (15°52′N 78°33′W).
Major light:
Bajo Nuevo, Low Cay Light (white tower, red bands)
(15°52′N 78°39′W) (2.9).
Anchorage
2.44 1
In moderate weather anchorage may be obtained with
Low Cay bearing 100°, distant 1½ miles, in a depth of
14 m, clear of a coral head and foul ground in the vicinity.
Pedro Bank
General information
2.45 1
South−West Rock (16°47′N 78°12′W), about 60 miles
NNE of Bajo Nuevo Light (2.9), is situated at the S edge
of Pedro Bank. The rock, 1 m high and the only part of the
bank above sea level in the area covered by this volume,
stands on a live coral and sand shoal in depths of 7 to 9 m.
It is best approached on the SE side.
2
Pedro Bank has an irregular shape about 95 miles long
and 50 miles wide, rising very abruptly from depths of
more than 200 m. The bottom is of white sand and dead
coral, but at the edges of the bank and in the vicinity of
Pedro Cays it is composed of live coral and weed. The top
of the bank slopes gently from the area of the cays in the
SE to depths of 30 m in the NW. The sea over the bank is
usually rough with overfalls, even in moderate weather.
3
See West Indies Pilot Volume I for further information on
Pedro Bank and Pedro Cays.
SAINT VINCENT CHANNEL TO BELIZE
General information
Chart 4400
Route
2.46 1
Between Saint Vincent Channel (13°30′N 61°00′W) and
Belize Harbour (17°28′N 88°12′W) the route leads W
across Caribbean Sea, clear of dangers, to enter the area
covered by this volume when S of South−West Rock, Pedro
Bank (16°50′N 78°10′W) (2.45); thence WNW to pass
NNE of the N edge of Rosalind Bank (16°55′N 80°55′W)
(2.38); thence W to pass S of Islas Santanilla (17°25′N
83°57′W) (2.53); thence continuing W for Belize Harbour
or as required for ports in Gulf of Honduras.
Charts 1218, 1220
Topography
2.47 1
Only the two small islands of Islas Santanilla (2.53) and
South−West Rock (2.45), Pedro Bank, rise above sea level
adjacent to this route, although large areas of bank lie just
below the surface. The edges of the banks fall away
steeply to ocean depths.
Local knowledge
2.48 1
Local knowledge is required to navigate among the
islands, reefs and banks described below, as the charts have
been compiled from old and imperfect surveys and must be
used with caution.
Natural conditions
2.49 1
See 1.172, 1.187, and 1.220 for remarks on currents and
weather.
Directions
Principal mark
2.50 1
Major light:
Great Swan Island Light (17°24′⋅5N 83°56′⋅5W) (also
known as Islas Santanilla).
South−West Rock to Gulf of Honduras
2.51 1
From a position S of South−West Rock, Pedro Bank
(16°50′N 78°10′W) the route leads WNW for 135 miles to
a position in the vicinity of 17°10′N 80°30′W, passing:
NNE of the NE edge of Bajo Nuevo (15°55′N
78°32′W) (2.42), thence:
Between the SW edge of Pedro Bank (16°48′N
78°57′W) (2.45) and the NE edge of Alice Shoal
(16°10′N 79°20′W) (2.41), thence:
NNE of the NE edge of Rosalind Bank (16°47′N
80°28′W) (2.38).
2
Rosalind Bank to Gulf of Honduras
From a position in the vicinity of 17°10′N 80°30′W the
route leads W for 200 miles to pass S of Islas Santanilla
(17°25′N 83°57′W) (2.53), thence continuing W for
CHAPTER 2
74
240 miles to Belize Harbour (5.54) or as required for ports
in Gulf of Honduras, passing:
N of the N edge of Rosalind Bank (16°54′N
80°55′W), thence:
N of the N edge of Explorer Shoal (16°58′N
83°16′W) (2.52).
3
Useful marks:
Conspicuous wreck (15°52′N 78°33′W).
Bajo Nuevo Light (15°52′N 78°38′W) (2.9).
Explorer Shoal
General information
2.52 1
Explorer Shoal (mid−position 16°55′N 83°15′W) is
130 miles W of Rosalind Bank (2.38). The bank has an
irregular shape, about 14 miles in length, with a least
reported depth of 19 m.
Islas Santanilla
General information
2.53 1
Islas Santanilla (mid−position 17°25′N 83°55′W) are two
small islands which are reported to be radar conspicuous,
standing on a narrow bank about 14 miles in length,
35 miles NW of Explorer Shoal (2.52). The islands are
Honduran.
2
Little Swan Island, about 1½ miles in length, is the E
island, separated from the other by a passage almost
blocked by coral, about 1 cable wide. The coast is bold and
landing is difficult. The island is a coral limestone plateau,
about 18 m in height, densely overgrown with trees and
bushes.
3
Great Swan Island, about 1¾ miles in length, is flat
and thickly wooded. A Honduran Naval Post exists on the
SW end of the island.
Pilotage is not compulsory but pilots are available if
requested, both by day and by night, about ½ a mile
offshore.
4
Climate. See climatic table after 1.220.
Principal mark
Major light:
Great Swan Island Light (17°24′⋅5N 83°56′⋅5W).
Anchorages
2.54 1
Fair weather anchorage is available about 5 cables off
the W end of the island, with the NW extremity of the
island bearing not more than 054°, in 13 m depth, in order
to avoid foul ground on the N edge of the bank.
During N winds sheltered anchorage can be taken close
inshore S of the W end of the island. During S and SW
gales anchorage can be taken N of the island, nearer the E
than the W end.
Rosario Bank
General information
2.55 1
Rosario Bank (18°30′N 84°00′W) is about 60 miles N of
Islas Santanilla (2.53). The bank, which has a least charted
depth of 19⋅5 m near the E end, is 10 miles in length and
is steep−to from ocean depths.
2
There are a number of other shoal depths out to
45 miles ENE and 12 miles WSW of Rosario Bank, as
charted. The most significant include Vidal Knoll with a
depth of 159 m, 12 miles ESE and a shoal with a depth of
15 m, reported, 15 miles WSW, respectively, of Rosario
Bank.
Misteriosa Bank
General information
2.56 1
Misteriosa Bank (18°50′N 83°55′W) lies 8 miles N of
Rosario Bank (2.55). It is 30 miles in length and has a least
reported depth of 11⋅8 m near the S side. The bank is
steep−to from ocean depths, with red coral.
Current. The Equatorial current sets NW at an average
rate of ¾ kn over Misteriosa Bank.
Grand Cayman Island
General information
2.57 1
Grand Cayman Island (19°20′N 81°15′W) lies about
135 miles E of Misteriosa Bank (2.56). See West Indies
Pilot Volume I for further information.
CUBA−WEST COAST
General information
Chart 3867
Route
2.58 1
The coastal route from Cabo Corrientes (21°46′N
84°31′W) to Quebrado de Buenavista (22°24′N 84°27′W)
(2.65), 43 miles N, leads W to enter the TSS off Cabo San
Antonio (21°52′N 84°57′W), thence N to round the cape,
thence NE to enter the TSS off Banco de Sancho Pardo,
thence ENE, outside a chain of islands, cays and reefs
which front Golfo de Guanahacabibes (2.59).
2
In passing Cabo San Antonio and the W end of
Peninsula de Guanahacabibes the coastal route meets with
the Through Route from Panama Canal to Cabo San
Antonio (2.4) and a number of other routes crossing West
Caribbean Sea for ports in Gulf of Mexico.
Topography
2.59 1
Bahía de Corrientes forms a deep bight between Cabo
Corrientes and Punta Hollandes (2.65), 16 miles WNW.
Both headlands have low cliffs, with dense mangrove and
sand beaches in between the two. The coastline is steep−to
and fringed by a narrow ledge, on which the seas break
constantly.
2
Cabo San Antonio is low and tree covered. The cape is
identified by the lighthouse only (2.9), as the curve of the
coast is slight.
3
Golfo de Guanahacabibes is an extensive shallow area
between Cabo San Antonio and Cayo Buenavista. General
depths are over 7 m (24 ft), but there are numerous cays
and shoal patches with lesser depths. The coastline is low,
scrub covered woodland, fringed with mangrove. Arrecifes
Colorados are a chain of islands, cays and reefs on the
seaward edge of the coastal bank which partially enclose
the gulf. Soundings fall away rapidly to ocean depths
outside the reefs.
Depths
2.60 1
The water is very deep throughout the coastal passage.
Soundings give little or no warning of proximity to danger.
CHAPTER 2
75
Local knowledge
2.61 1
Local knowledge is required to enter Golfo de
Guanahacabibes due to the intricate nature of the channels.
Regulations
2.62 1
National regulations. Pilotage is compulsory in
territorial waters. For information concerning speed
restrictions, sound and light signals in reduced visibility
and movements through narrow channels, in internal
waters, see West Indies Pilot Volume I.
2
Traffic Separation Schemes. There are two TSS on the
route. One is charted off Cabo San Antonio, in
mid−position 21°53′N 85°07′W and the other is off La
Tabla in mid−position 22°24′N 84°45′W. These TSS are
IMO−adopted and Rule 10 of International Regulations for
Preventing Collisions at Sea (1972) applies.
Currents
2.63 1
Confused currents and tide rips have been observed on
the outer edge of the bank, where depths are less than
200 m (100 fm) in the vicinity of Cabo San Antonio and
over Banco San Antonio, 10 miles WNW of the Cape.
Directions
(continued from West Indies Pilot Volume I)
Principal mark
2.64 1
Major light
Cabo San Antonio (Roncalí) Light (21°52′N
84°57′W) (2.9).
2.65 1
From a position S of Cabo Corrientes the route leads W
for about 30 miles, thence N for 15 miles, thence NE for
35 miles, thence ENE for 10 miles, passing (with reference
to Cabo San Antonio Light (21°52′N 84°57′W) (2.9)):
S of Punta Hollandes (9 miles ESE), a rock cliff,
10 m in height, with a prominent red patch at the
extremity of the point, thence:
2
W of Cabo San Antonio, a low tree covered coast,
within the TSS (2.62), thence:
NW of Banco San Antonio (10 miles NNW), thence:
NW of Cayo La Tabla (31 miles NNE), on which
stands a light (white framework tower, on piles,
8 m in height), within the TSS (2.62), thence:
3
NNW of Quebrado de Buenavista (45 miles NE of
Cabo San Antonio and 4 miles NW of Cayo
Buenavista), on which stands a light (white
framework tower, on piles, 8 m in height).
Anchorages
2.66 1
Cabo Corrientes. There are two anchorages in the
vicinity of Cabo Corrientes. The S berth is about 3½ cables
offshore, nearly abreast the S end of a prominent bluff,
with Cabo Corrientes bearing 155° and Punta Caiman
(21°49′N 84°31′W) bearing 013°. South−west winds raise a
heavy sea in this anchorage and a very noticeable current
runs out of the bay at such times. The N berth provides
excellent anchorage, well sheltered from the prevailing
winds, 2½ miles N of Cabo Corrientes, in depths of 11 to
22 m (36 to 72 ft).
2
Cabo San Antonio (21°51′N 84°58′W). Temporary
anchorage only is available SSW of the lighthouse (2.9),
with the left hand tangent of land bearing 023° and the
right hand tangent of land bearing 135°, in a depth of 16 m
(54 ft). The bottom is foul. Landing can be made at a small
wharf close to the lighthouse in fair weather.
HONDURAS
NICARAGUA
COSTA RICA
PANAMA
Puerto Cabezas
Puerto Limón
Punta Tirbi
San Juan
del Norte
Punta del Mono
Cabo Gracias à Dios
Cabo
Camarón
Punta
Patuca
Bluefields
3.18
3.46
3.59
3
.
7
7
3.96
3.115
3.135
3.133
3.142
3.98
3.22
3.49
3.60
2425
605
1139
2145
55
56
1798
B
o
c
a
d
e
l
D
r
a
g
o
5
6
B
o
c
a
s
d
e
l
T
o
r
o
5
6
1218
396
0206
1798
B
a
h
í
a
d
e
M
o
í
n
1
7
9
8
1220
76
84° 83° 82° 81°
17°
16°
15°
14°
13°
12°
11°
10°
9°
81°
16°
17°
15°
14°
13°
12°
11°
10°
9°
85° 84° Longitude 83° West from Greenwich
85°
Chapter 3 - Punta Tirbi to Cabo Camarón
77
CHAPTER 3
PUNTA TIRBI TO CABO CAMARÓN
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 4400
Scope of the chapter
3.1 1
The chapter covers the whole of the E coasts of Costa
Rica and Nicaragua and the NE coast of Honduras, from
Punta Tirbi (9°26′N 82°21′W) (3.19) to Cabo Camarón
(16°00′N 85°02′W) (3.144), 422 miles NNW, including the
reef areas on Miskito Bank, off the E coast of Nicaragua.
The route which is described is the only recommended
route crossing a little surveyed area with few navigation
marks and frequent shoals. The main ports are Puerto
Limón (9°59′N 83°01′W) and Bluefields (12°00′N
83°41′W).
Topography
3.2 1
In the S high and rugged mountains are visible on a few
clear days. Further N the coast is mainly a flat densely
wooded plain, with many rivers, lagoons and marshes. The
islands, reefs and cays of Miskito Bank extend N and E
from Punta del Mono (11°35′N 83°39′W).
Radar characteristics
3.3 1
The coasts and cays are reported to be poor radar
objects, except for the mouths of rivers which show up
well.
Charted depths
3.4 1
Charts are based on lead line surveys undertaken in the
19th century and uncharted shoals may exist. See 1.4 and
The Mariner’s Handbook for remarks on coral growth.
Hazards
3.5 1
Fishing. The area is fished extensively by large numbers
of local craft working out of small harbours and rivers, and
also by vessels from as far away as Cayman Islands fishing
on Miskito Bank.
Poor visibility. While fog is rare, frequent heavy rain
may reduce visibility as much as the thickest fog.
Seizure of vessels
3.6
1
Nicaragua has boundary disputes with its neighbours,
especially Honduras. Fishing, and other, vessels have been
seized by Nicaraguan authorities. Any boat caught fishing
illegally in the Nicaraguan Exclusive Economic Zone is
subject to a heavy fine.
Weather
3.7 1
The North−east Trade Wind prevails over most of the
year, with periods of strong N winds especially during the
winter months. Hurricanes may cross the region during the
season between June and November, but they seldom reach
S of latitude 15°N. There is much clear weather with
sunshine, except during the wet season between May/June
and November/December, which is marked by frequent
heavy rain squalls and thunder storms of short duration.
Currents
3.8 1
The predominant current sets NW across the N part of
Miskito Bank (13°18′N 82°47′W) at an average rate of
about 1 kn. South−west of a line between Isla San Andrés
(12°33′N 81°43′W) and Puerto Cabezas (14°01′N
83°23′W), or Isla San Andrés to Cabo Gracias á Dios
(15°00′N 83°10′W) between October and February, a
branch of mainly moderate constancy and mean rate of 1 to
1¼ kn is deflected quite sharply SSW, then SE past San
Juan del Norte (10°56′N 83°43′W) to follow the trend of
the coast.
PUNTA TIRBI TO SAN JUAN DEL NORTE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 396, 2145
General description
3.9 1
From Punta Tirbi (9°26′N 82°21′W) the route leads NW
to a position off Puerto Moín (10°00′N 83°05′W) in deep
water and continues NW along the coast to a position off
San Juan del Norte (10°56′N 83°43′W), 120 miles NW. The
route includes the whole of the Caribbean coast of Costa
Rica and its principal port, Puerto Limón (3.23). While
there are no known outlying dangers, safe anchorage, with
minor exceptions, is only available with offshore winds.
2
The National Parks at Punta Cahuita (3.19), with its
drying coral reef, and at Tortuguero near Turtle Bogue hill
(3.47), where turtles are protected, are of major scientific
importance. The area is sparsely inhabited.
The boundary between Republics of Panama and Costa
Rica reaches the coast at Río Sixaola (9°33′N 82°34′W).
Topography
3.10 1
High and rugged mountains with intermittently active
volcanoes are visible from seaward on only a few clear
days. The coastal belt is low and covered with dense rain
forest, with numerous rivers, lagoons and swamps. Deep
water lies close to an exposed coast, where a heavy swell
breaks on long stretches of straight dark sand beach.
Fishing
3.11 1
Numerous local craft fish out of small harbours and
rivers.
CHAPTER 3
78
Weather
3.12 1
The North−east Trade Wind prevails.
Flow
3.13 1
Currents flow SE, following the trend of the coast,
between San Juan del Norte (3.49) and Punta Tirbi (3.19).
PUNTA TIRBI TO PUERTO LIMÓN
General information
Chart 2145
Route
3.14 1
Between Punta Tirbi (9°26′N 82°21′W) and Puerto
Limón (9°59′N 83°01′W), 52 miles NW, the route leads
NW in deep water.
Topography
3.15 1
The coastline is mainly low with swamps and numerous
rivers. The dark sand beach is fringed by a reef. The
foothills of a mountain range, Cordillera de Salamanca, lie
within 10 miles of the sea. Cerros Matama lie close SW of
Puerto Moín (3.34).
Local knowledge
3.16 1
Local knowledge is required to enter the small coastal
anchorages and rivers.
Currents
3.17 1
Between Punta Tirbi (3.19) and Puerto Moín (3.34) the
current sets SE following the trend of the coast, at 1 to
1¼ kn.
Directions
(continued from South America Pilot Volume IV)
Principal Marks
3.18 1
Landmarks:
Volcán de Chiriqui (8°49′N 82°34′W), described in
South America Pilot Volume IV.
Pico Blanco (9°16′N 83°02′W), a rounded peak.
These two remarkable peaks are seen occasionally at a
great distance at dawn or near sunset or on the cessation of
very heavy rains.
Punta Tirbi to Puerto Limón
3.19 1
From the vicinity of 9°32′N 82°16′W (NE of Punta
Tirbi, described in South America Pilot Volume IV) the
route leads NW for 50 miles to the vicinity of 10°02′N
82°58′W (NE of Puerto Limón), passing (with positions
from Punta Tirbi):
NE of Sixaola Light (white metal framework tower,
12 m in height) (13 miles NW), thence:
2
NE of Punta Carreta (20 miles NW), a well defined
broad headland of white cliffs, thence:
NE of Grape Hill (27 miles NW), a prominent
isolated hill, thence:
NE of Punta Cahuita (33 miles NW), a low narrow
projection of the coast, fringed by a drying reef
extending 3 cables offshore, thence:
3
NE of Isla Uvita (51 miles NW) (Isla Uva chart
2145). A floodlit cross stands in position 10°00′N
83°01′W.
(Directions continue, for Puerto Limón at 3.31,
for Puerto Moín at 3.38 and for
San Juan del Norte at 3.46)
Anchorage and harbour
Puerto Vargas
3.20 1
General information: Puerto Vargas (9°44′N 82°49′W)
is a natural harbour, sheltered from all directions except E
and S, being protected by the reef extending SE from Punta
Cahuita (3.19); local knowledge is required to enter.
Anchorage exists SW of the SE part of the reef in
depths of 13 to 16 m (42 to 54 ft).
Finley−ville anchorage
3.21 1
General information: Finley−ville anchorage lies
3 miles W of Punta Cahuita (9°44′N 82°49′W). It is
sheltered from the prevailing wind and sea by that point.
Depths are from 13 to 16 m (42 to 54 ft). Local knowledge
is required to enter.
PUERTO LIMÓN
General information
Chart 1798 plans of Puerto Limón, Approaches to Puerto Limón
Position
3.22 1
Puerto Limón (10°00′N 83°02′W) is situated close S of
a bold headland, on the NE coast of Costa Rica.
Function
3.23 1
Puerto Limón is the principal port of Costa Rica with
facilities for bulk, container, general, Ro−Ro and tanker
cargoes. There is a Trade Free Zone and a refinery. It is an
increasingly popular port for cruise ships. Estimated
population 62 000 (2000).
Topography
3.24 1
The port stands on a palm fringed shore at the combined
entrance to Ríos Limóncito and Cieneguita, partly sheltered
by Punta Blanca, a bold promontory of white cliffs, 76 m
in height, at the foot of a mountain chain, Cerros Matama.
An islet, Isla Uvita, (Isla Uva), lies 5 cables offshore.
Approach and entry
3.25 1
The recommended approach is from the SE, keeping
clear of charted wrecks.
Traffic
3.26 1
In 2001 the port was used by 389 vessels with a total of
23 036 408 dwt.
Port authority
3.27 1
Junta de Administración Portuaria (JAPDEVA), PO
Box T, Puerto Limón.
Limiting conditions
3.28 1
Deepest and longest berth. Container wharf: see 3.32.
CHAPTER 3
79
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅3 m. For
further details see Admiralty Tide Tables and 1.21.
Density of water: 1⋅025 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled.
Length 210 m,
draught 9⋅5 m.
2
Local weather. The area is subject to the North−east
Trade Wind and an ENE swell which affect both the
anchorage and alongside berths, making boat work difficult
and requiring the use of hauling off buoys when alongside
certain berths. It is also affected by poor visibility during
heavy rain storms, which may be expected at all times of
the year.
Arrival information
3.29 1
Port radio. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Notice of ETA: 24 hours.
Anchorage is available in an area marked by
light−buoys, centred about 8 cables ESE of the port, as
shown on the chart, in depths of 10 to 15 m, sand and
mud, with good holding.
2
Pilotage is compulsory; it is available day and night.
The pilot boards about 1 mile off the port. For further
details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Tugs are not available.
Traffic regulations. Entry may be made between 0600
and 1800. Permission to enter at other times must be
obtained in advance.
3
Quarantine. Pratique must be obtained before
proceeding alongside. Officials are available between 0600
and 1800. There is a quarantine station on Isla Uvita
(5 cables ENE of the port).
Harbour
3.30 1
General layout. Port facilities have been constructed in
the partial shelter of Punta Limón (9°59′⋅4N 83°01′⋅6W)
with a container terminal wharf at the point and berths at
jetties and a pier close W.
Currents. The current sets SSE in the approach to the
port between Isla Uvita and the mainland at about ¾ kn.
There is a strong out−going current from the river mouth in
the NW part of the port during heavy rains.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 3.19)
Approach and entry
3.31 1
From a position on the coastal route about 4 miles ESE
of Isla Uvita, the route leads WNW towards the anchorage
and pilot boarding position, passing SE and SSW of Isla
Uvita and clear of charted wrecks.
2
Useful marks (with positions from Isla Uvita (9°59′⋅6N
83°00′⋅7W) (3.19)):
Container Terminal Light (6 cables SW).
Radio towers (9 cables WNW).
Isla Pájaros (4 miles WNW), a wooded islet on which
stands a light (3.38).
Berths
3.32 1
Alongside berths.
Container wharf No.11; length 215 m, depth alongside
10 m.
Ro−Ro berth 230 m long with inner and outer island
dolphins at the seaward end, equipped with
bollards.
2
There are a number of other berths, including a Ro−Ro
berth at the NW of Container wharf and Muelle 70 at the
W end of the port.
Port services
3.33 1
Facilities: hospital; ballast and slops reception available.
Supplies: diesel and fuel oil; fresh provisions; fresh
water.
Communications: there is an airport at El Coco, 6 km
S, for internal flights. International flights may be made
from the capital, San José.
2
Harbour regulations. Refuse must not be discharged
overboard while alongside.
Rat guards must be placed on all mooring lines.
PUERTO MOÍN
General information
Charts 1798 plans of Bahía de Moín, Approaches to Bahía de
Moín
3.34 1
Position and function. Puerto Moín is situated at the
head of Bahía Moín, close W of a bold headland on the
NE coast of Costa Rica. The port handles banana, general
and tanker cargoes.
2
Topography is similar to that at Puerto Limón, situated
on the opposite side of the same headland, Punta Blanca
(3.24). Estero de Moín enters the bay at the S end of the
wharves and an islet, Isla Pájaros, stands close N of the
port.
Approach and entry. The port is approached from the
NNW and entered through a marked channel.
Limiting conditions
3.35 1
Controlling depth. The Entrance channel is dredged to
15⋅0 m, and depths of 12 m are available alongside the
berths.
Caution: Depths have been reported (1993) to be as
much as 1⋅5 m less than charted due to earthquake activity.
Deepest and longest berth: No 3 Tanker berth (3.40).
2
Tidal levels. There is almost no tidal range at Puerto
Moín.
Maximum size of vessel handled. Tankers up to 10⋅7 m
draught.
Arrival information
3.36 1
Port radio. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Notice of ETA: 24 hours.
Anchorage. Centered about 1¼ miles NNW of Isla
Pájaros in depths of 15 to 24 m, as shown on the chart
good holding ground.
2
Pilotage is available, daylight hours only. The pilot
boarding place is 1 mile N of Isla Pájaros. The pilot will
board also off Puerto Limón (3.23), if on a first visit. See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Tugs are available.
Traffic regulations. Vessels intending to berth alongside
must arrive off Puerto Limón before 1500 local time.
CHAPTER 3
80
Puerto Moin (3.37)
(Original dated 1997)
(Photograph − Crown Copyright)
Harbour
3.37 1
General layout. Port facilities have been constructed in
partial shelter provided by the headland on the E side of
Bahía Moín. A dredged entrance channel leads into the port
from the NNW.
Fishing. Lobster pots are laid in the approaches during
the December to January season.
2
Natural conditions.
Current sets SE along the coast at 1 kn, increasing to
3 kn and setting more towards the coast near the
head of Bahía Moín.
Swell is most pronounced during N winds in
December and January, which can cause vessels to
surge whilst alongside the berths.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 3.19)
Approach
3.38 1
From a position in the vicinity of 10°02′N 82°58′W the
route leads W for about 6½ miles to the Pilot Boarding
Place 1 mile N of Isla Pájaros (10°01′N 83°05′W) passing:
N of Isla Uvita (10°00′N 83°01′W) (3.19), thence:
N of a bold headland separating Puerto Limón (3.23)
from Puerto Moín, thence:
N of Isla Pájaros Light (tower) (10°01′⋅1N
83°04′⋅6W), thence:
2
The track leads W for approximately 8 cables to the
Fairway Light−buoy (pillar, black and white
stripes) (10°01′⋅9N 83°05′⋅4W).
Useful mark (with positions from Isla Uvita (3.19)):
Radio towers (9 cables WNW).
Entrance channel
3.39 1
From a position in the vicinity of the Fairway
Light−buoy (3.38) the alignment (151°) of Puerto Moín
Leading Lights leads through the centre of the entrance
channel, marked by light−buoys, for about 1 mile to the
wharves:
2
Front light (white mast, black bands) (10°00′⋅3N
83°04′⋅6W).
Rear light (similar structure) (130 m SSE of front
light).
Both lights are difficult to distinguish.
Berths
3.40 1
Alongside berths. The following berths are positioned
from Isla Pájaros Light (3.38):
Nos 1 and 2 (8 cables S); length 470 m, depth
12⋅0 m; used for the banana trade.
No 3 (6 cables S); length 218 m, depth 14⋅5 m; used
by tankers. A Ro−Ro berth is nearby.
2
No 2 berth is close N of No 1. Vessels berth port side
to, heading S. There is no turning basin, vessels are towed
out stern first and turned when clear of the harbour. The
tanker berth also accepts general cargo.
Port services
3.41 1
Facilities: hospital.
Supplies: fuel, fresh water.
Communications: airport 9 km from port for internal
flights; international connections may be made at the
capital, San José.
PUERTO LIMÓN TO
SAN JUAN DEL NORTE
General information
Charts 2145, 1139
Route
3.42 1
Between Puerto Limón (9°59′N 83°01′W) and San Juan
del Norte (10°56′N 83°43′W) the route leads NW for
70 miles in deep water.
Topography
3.43 1
The coast is mainly low, with swamps, lagoons and
numerous rivers. Near San Juan del Norte the terrain
CHAPTER 3
81
becomes mountainous. A heavy swell breaks on an almost
straight beach of dark sand. The whole area is densely
wooded.
Local knowledge
3.44 1
Local knowledge is required for entry into the rivers.
Current
3.45 1
The current sets SE along the coast from San Juan del
Norte, increasing from 1 to 3 kn near the head of Bahía
Moín and turning more towards the shore.
Directions
(continued from 3.19)
Principal mark
3.46 1
Landmark. Volcan Turrialba (10°02′N 83°45′W), a
remarkable and clearly defined peak, seen occasionally at a
great distance at dawn or near sunset, or on the cessation
of very heavy rains.
Puerto Limón to San Juan del Norte
3.47 1
From the vicinity of 10°02′N 82°58′W (NE of Puerto
Limón) the route leads NW for 70 miles to the vicinity of
11°01′N 83°37′W (NE of San Juan del Norte) passing:
NE of the entrance to Río Parasmina (10°22′N
83°23′W), thence:
2
NE of Boca del Río Colorado (10°47′N 83°36′W),
thence:
SW of Morris Shoal (reported 1859) (10°58′N
83°29′W).
3
Useful mark:
Turtle Bogue hill (10°35′N 83°33′W), a small isolated
hill, which appears wedge shaped from the NE and
as a rounded lump with a perpendicular side from
the SE.
(Directions continue at 3.59)
Chart 1139
International boundary
3.48 1
General information. Boca del Río Colorado (10°47′N
83°35′W) is the S outlet of Río San Juan. The river forms
the international boundary between Costa Rica and
Nicaragua. The bar has depths of 2⋅1 to 2⋅4 m (7 to 8 ft)
over it.
San Juan del Norte
3.49 1
General information. San Juan del Norte (Greytown)
(10°56′N 83°43′W) is situated at the W shore of the Río
San Juan delta. The harbour is now closed to shipping due
to silting. The place is notable as being the Caribbean
terminus of the proposed Nicaraguan Ship Canal project,
which was abandoned in 1893.
2
Anchorage. The best anchorage is in the vicinity of
10°59′⋅3N 83°42′⋅6W; in depths of 18 to 20 m (60 ft to 11
fm); mud and sand. From December to April it is better to
anchor further E, due to the confused seas at the harbour
entrance caused by the strong out−going river current
meeting the heavy in−going swell.
SAN JUAN DEL NORTE TO PUERTO ISOBEL
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 1139, 605, 1218
General description
3.50 1
From San Juan del Norte (10°56′N 83°43′W) the route
leads offshore and in deep water to the vicinity of 11°35′N
83°29′W (E of Punta del Mono (Monkey Point) (3.59)),
thence passing Bluefields (12°00′N 83°41′W), among the
reefs and shoals of Miskito Bank, to Puerto Isabel (13°21′N
83°34′W), a mining port, 150 miles N. The route described
in this chapter is the only one which has been followed
traditionally in the navigation of the S part of Miskito
Bank. It is an advantage to have an experienced look−out
aloft and the sun high overhead or astern when close to
shoal water.
2
The local economy is based on timber, fishing and
mining. The area is remote from centres of population.
There are few navigational marks.
Topography
3.51 1
In general the mainland is a deeply forested, wide belt
of lowland, with a number of rivers which enter extensive
areas of lagoon and marsh. The islands, reefs and cays of
Miskito Bank extend N and E from Mosquito Point
(12°21′N 83°37′W).
Charted depths
3.52 1
Charts are based on lead line surveys undertaken in the
19th century and uncharted shoals may exist.
Weather
3.53 1
The area is hot and humid. Heavy rains are experienced,
particularly between May and December, 300 cms being
recorded in San Juan del Norte (3.49).
SAN JUAN DEL NORTE TO BLUEFIELDS
General information
Chart 1139
Route
3.54 1
The route from San Juan del Norte (10°56′N 83°43′W)
to Bluefields (12°00′N 83°41′W), 65 miles N, passes
offshore to the vicinity of 11°35′N 83°29′W (E of Punta
del Mono), thence, in increasingly shoal water with few
navigation marks, along a rocky coast.
Topography
3.55 1
For the most part the coast is low lying and densely
wooded, with many rivers and lagoons behind the shore.
The beach, on which the sea breaks heavily, is of dark
sand. In the vicinity of Punta del Mono, between 30 and
50 miles N of San Juan del Norte, the coastal features
change to rocky bluffs of considerable height with small
sand bays. Punta del Mono lies at the SE end of a chain of
mountains extending inland for 60 miles. A number of
islets, cays and reefs lie close to the coast. Depths along
the route are regular.
CHAPTER 3
82
Fishing
3.56 1
Large numbers of vessels fishing for lobster have been
observed about 10 miles E of Bluefields Bluff (3.62) during
the season around November. They are reported to mark
under−water obstructions temporarily with light−buoys.
Local knowledge
3.57 1
Local knowledge is required when navigating into the
coastal anchorages and rivers.
Currents
3.58 1
North of San Juan del Norte the predominant SE current
can be strong at times, especially during ‘Northers’, but
slight or negligible at other times. Off Bluefields the
predominant current is S or SW−going at mean rates of 1
to 2 kn. In a few instances it has been reversed at a
reduced rate, without apparent cause.
Directions
(continued from 3.47)
San Juan del Norte to Bluefields
3.59 1
From the vicinity of 11°01′N 83°37′W (NE of San Juan
del Norte) the route leads NNE for 35 miles to the vicinity
of 11°35′N 83°29′W (E of Punta del Mono ), thence NNW
for 25 miles to the vicinity of 11°58′N 83°39′W (SE of
Bluefields Bluff), passing:
2
ESE then ENE of Punta del Mono (Monkey Point)
(11°35′N 83°39′W), the S of four remarkable
headlands, thence:
Between the 18 m (60 ft) shoal depth (11°45′N
83°30′W) and
Frenchman’s Cay (11°44′N 83°36′W), wooded with a
flat summit, thence:
3
ENE of Cayo de la Paloma (Pigeon Cay) (11°48′N
83°39′W), with a saddle−shaped summit, thence:
ENE of Cayo de Guano (Guano Cay) (11°53′N
83°40′W), with red cliffs and covered by
vegetation, thence:
ENE of underwater rocks (11°54′N 83°40′W and
11°57′N 83°40′W), over which the sea breaks.
4
Useful mark:
Bluefields Bluff Light (red metal framework tower,
8 m in height) (12°00′N 83°41′W).
(Directions continue, for Bluefields at 3.69
and for Puerto Isabel at 3.77)
BLUEFIELDS
General information
Charts 1139, 605 (see 1.18)
Position
3.60 1
The harbour (12°00′N 83°41′W), known locally as El
Bluff, is situated at the mouth of Río Escondido. The town
of Bluefields lies 3 miles W across a shallow lagoon.
Function
3.61 1
Bluefields imports general cargo and exports agricultural,
timber and fisheries products. There is a tanker terminal.
Population about 18 000.
Topography
3.62 1
The harbour is sheltered by Bluefields Bluff (about 42 m
high) (close E of the harbour), a bold, wooded headland on
which stands a light (3.59). The bluff is prominent above
the surrounding low swamp land and has the appearance of
an island from offshore. Inside the harbour a shallow
lagoon extends S for 10 miles. While, in general, depths
reduce gradually towards the shore, there are a number of
reefs and cays which lie 3 to 4 miles offshore, in addition
to coral reefs well offshore, as shown on the chart.
Approach and entry
3.63 1
The harbour is approached from the SE across the bar
and entered by the channel of Río Escondido, close W of
Bluefields Bluff. The navigable channel has a width of 1 to
2 cables.
Traffic
3.64 1
In 2004 the port was used by 2 vessels having a total of
15 229 dwt.
Port authority
3.65 1
Empresa Nacional de Puertos, Apartado Postal 3570,
Managua.
Limiting conditions
3.66 1
Controlling depth. Least depth of about 3⋅6 m (12 ft)
reported at HW over the bar.
Deepest and longest berth. Customs House wharf
(3.70).
2
Tidal levels. See 1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables.
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅3 m.
Density of water is 1⋅025 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled. Length 168 m,
draught 3⋅5 m, 1500 dwt.
3
Local weather. From June to August the NE trade
winds and swell, coupled with the steady S current, cause
vessels to lie uncomfortably at anchor off the port. During
the ‘Northers’ season from November winds blow with
considerable force between NW and N, raising heavy seas.
Although vessels can usually ride them out, there is an
alternative anchorage under the lee of Pearl Cays (3.78),
about 25 miles NNE.
Arrival information
3.67 1
Outer anchorage, with good holding, 1½ miles S of
Bluefields Bluff Light (3.59) in a depth of about 7 m, soft
mud.
Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot boards about 5 cables
off Bluefields Bluff.
2
Tug. Reported to be available.
Quarantine. Health officials board, with Customs
officials, at Customs House wharf on arrival. Mosquitos are
prevalent.
Harbour
3.68 1
General layout. A single wharf is situated on the banks
of Río Escondido at the NW side of Bluefields Bluff
(3.62). There is a confined anchorage area off the wharf.
Río Escondido is navigable by small vessels to the port of
El Rama (12°10′N 84°13′W) (3.71), 90 km upstream.
2
Developments. There is a dredging project in progress
at the entrance bar. This project includes the dredging of a
CHAPTER 3
83
manoeuvring basin and the channel to 5.5m depth and
dredging of the wharf to the same depth.
3
Flow. The current sets mainly S off Bluefields Bluff,
with rates of 1½ to 2 kn. During the dry season the
in−going tidal stream in the river runs for about 3 hours
and the out−going stream for 9 hours, the difference being
due to the river current. In the wet season the out−going
current sometimes runs continuously.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 3.59)
3.69 1
Landmark. Bluefields Bluff Lighthouse (12°00′N
83°41′W) (3.59).
2
Approach and entry. From a position in the vicinity of
11°58′N 83°39′W the approach route leads W for 1½ miles
to the Pilot Boarding Place, thence NW across the bar with
the W end of Casaba Islet (11°59′⋅4N 83°41′⋅6W) bearing
328° and thence N into the channel of Río Escondido
(11°59′⋅9N 83°42′⋅1W).
Berths
3.70 1
Anchorage. There is a confined anchorage area, about
5 cables long and 1 cable wide, off El Bluff dock.
2
Alongside berths.
El Bluff dock (4 cables NW of Bluefields Bluff Light
(3.59)) has one berth only, of concrete
construction, length 120 m, depth alongside 3⋅8 m;
Ro−ro facilities.
El Rama
3.71
1
Steel floating berth, 93 m in length, depth alongside
6.6 m; can handle ro−ro vessels. Handles general cargo,
containers, cars. See 3.68.
Port services
3.72 1
Repairs. Three small slipways, able to handle vessels up
to 30 m in length.
Facility: hospital.
Supplies: diesel; provisions; limited quantities of other
supplies.
2
Communications: airport 7 km from port has daily
internal flights. International flights are available from the
capital, Managua.
BLUEFIELDS TO PUERTO ISABEL
General information
Charts 605, 1218
General description
3.73 1
Between Bluefields (12°00′N 83°41′W) and Puerto
Isabel (13°21′N 83°34′W), 82 miles N, the route leads NE
and offshore to clear the dangers of Pearl Cays (3.78),
thence N to a position off the coast E of Puerto Isabel.
Topography
3.74 1
The mainland coast is low and heavily wooded, with
numerous swamps, lagoons and rivers. A heavy swell
breaks on long stretches of dark sand beach. From
Mosquito Point (12°21′N 83°37′W) to the N large numbers
of cays, reefs and shoals, forming the S part of Miskito
Bank, lie offshore to a distance of 13 miles, with isolated
features at a greater distance. Corn Islands (Islas del Maiz)
lie 35 to 38 miles E to ESE of the same point.
Local knowledge
3.75 1
There is a requirement for local knowledge for entry
into the anchorages and rivers.
Natural conditions
3.76 1
Local magnetic anomaly is reported to occur in the
vicinity of Pearl Cays (mid−position 12°27′N 83°23′W).
Current is usually S, following the trend of the coast, at
1 to 1¼ kn.
Directions
(continued from 3.59)
Bluefields to Puerto Isabel
3.77 1
From the vicinity of 11°58′N 83°39′W (SE of
Bluefields) the passage leads NE for 38 miles to the
vicinity of 12°22′N 83°10′W (SE of Pearl Cays), thence N
for 60 miles to the vicinity of 13°21′N 83°14′W (E of
Puerto Isabel), passing:
2
SE of Pearl Cay Point (Punta de Perlas) (12°23′N
83°30′W), prominent from S, with white sand
beach, foul ground extends up to 2 miles E,
thence:
SE of Seal Cay (12°25′N 83°17′W), a small strip of
coral and sand, 1 m high, the most SE of Pearl
Cays (Cayos de Perlas), thence:
W of 16 m (52 ft) shoal depth (12°24′⋅7N
83°08′⋅1W), thence:
3
E of Seal Cay, thence:
E of Little King Cay (12°45′N 83°19′W), with foul
ground extending up to 7½ cables from shore,
thence:
E of Tyra Rock (12°55′N 83°19′W), a barren rock
and steep−to on E side, thence:
E of Man of War Cays (13°00′N 83°22′W), a group
of low islets, thence:
Clear of 14⋅6 m (48 ft) isolated shoal depth (reported
1994) in approximate position 13°05′N 83°12′W.
4
Useful mark:
Mount Pleasant (12°10′⋅3N 83°02′⋅7W), the summit
of Great Corn Island (3.79).
(Directions continue, for Puerto Isabel at 3.85
and for Puerto Cabezas at 3.96)
South part of Miskito Bank
General information
3.78 1
The S part of Miskito Bank covers a very large area of
shallow water, inside the 100 m contour, between Punta del
Mono (3.59) and Puerto Isabel (3.85) out to a distance of
between 25 and 85 miles from the coast. There are
numerous shoals, reefs and cays, as shown on the chart.
The area is dangerous to approach on all sides, requiring
the utmost caution, as there are neither navigation marks
nor identifiable features. It is frequented in season by
vessels fishing for turtle and shrimp. The chart is based on
19th century lead−line surveys. The main features are:
Great Corn Island (12°10′N 83°03′W) (3.79), Little Corn
Island (12°18′N 82°59′W) (3.80), Pearl Cays (mid−position
12°27′N 83°23′W), King Cays (12°45′N 83°19′W), Tyra
Cays (12°55′N 83°19′W) and Man of War Cays (13°00′N
83°22′W) (3.84).
CHAPTER 3
84
Great Corn Island
3.79 1
General information. Great Corn Island (Isla del Maiz
Grande) (12°10′N 83°03′W), a popular holiday resort, is a
part of Nicaragua. The current in the vicinity sets S to SW
at a rate of 1 kn. A pier, 98 m in length with depths
alongside of 2⋅1 to 4⋅0 m, extends from the shore at the
head of South West Bay (12°09′N 83°04′W).
2
Anchorage, for which local knowledge is required, is
available in the following positions:
Long Bay (12°09′⋅5N 83°02′⋅5W), on the SE side of
the island, in a depth of 9 m (30 ft), sheltered from
NW.
3
South West Bay, with W end of island bearing 005°
and S end of island bearing 116°, distance
5 cables, in a depth of 9 m (30 ft), sheltered from
the North−east Trade Wind.
Communications. There is an airstrip at the head of
South West Bay, with regular flights from Bluefields (3.61).
Little Corn Island
3.80 1
General information. Little Corn Island (Isla Pequeña
del Maiz) (12°18′N 82°59′W) is also part of Nicaragua,
situated about 7 miles NNE of Great Corn Island.
2
Anchorage is available in Pelican Bay (12°17′N
82°59′W), with the W end of island bearing 342° and S
end of island bearing 106°, in a depth of 11 m (36 ft),
sheltered from the Trade Wind. Local knowledge is
required to enter the anchorage.
Anchorages and harbours
Pearl Cay lagoon
3.81 1
General information. The entrance to Pearl Cay lagoon
lies between Mosquito Point (12°21′N 83°37′W) and Bar
Point, about 1 mile S. Local knowledge is required for
entry to an extensive area, about 30 miles in length and
from 1 to 6 miles wide. English Bank settlement, 3¼ miles
SW of Mosquito Point, is the largest of several trading
posts in the lagoon. The entrance channel is from 2 to
4 cables wide, with a least reported depth of 2 m (7 ft) over
the bar.
2
Anchorage is available 2½ to 3 miles SE of Mosquito
Point, in depths of 6 to 8 m (21 to 27 ft) and 2¾ to
3¾ miles E of the same point, in depths of 4⋅6 to 5⋅5 m
(15 to 18 ft), mud bottom, with good shelter from N.
Little Tungwarra Cay
3.82 1
Anchorage, with good holding, is available 2½ cables
SW of Little Tungwarra Cay (12°29′N 83°23′W). Local
knowledge is required to enter. The approach is from the S,
avoiding a 2 m (7 ft) shoal, 4 cables SW of S end of the
cay. A mooring buoy is reported to lie 2½ cables W of the
cay.
Río Grande
3.83 1
General information. The town of Río Grande
(12°54′N 83°32′W) stands close within the mouth of the
river on the N bank. There are two small wharves handling
lighters serving anchored vessels. Bluefields (3.61) is the
port of entry for Río Grande.
2
Anchorage. Vessels usually anchor at Man of War Cays
(3.84).
Man of War Cays
3.84 1
General information. Man of War Cays (13°00′N
83°22′W) consists of a group of low islets, covered with
trees and brushwood. A bay on the W side of the most W
cay in the group was formerly used to load fruit lightered
from the mainland. The bay, with depths of 4 to 7 m (13 to
22 ft), is sheltered from NW, through N, to ESE. Local
knowledge is required to enter.
2
Anchorage exists about 5 cables SW of the most W cay
in the group, in a depth of 16 m (54 ft), sand and shell.
Pilotage is reported to be available, in daylight only,
from Puerto Cabezas (3.98) and Bluefields (3.61).
Puerto Isabel
3.85 1
General information: Puerto Isabel (13°21′N 83°34′W)
is a mining settlement. A pier, 76 m long, with a single
berth at its head, extends about 3 cables E from the shore;
there are depths of 4⋅6 to 5⋅2 m alongside. A hauling−off
buoy is moored near the berth. A cross−current makes
berthing difficult.
2
Anchorage is available 2½ cables E of pierhead in
depths of 5 to 7 m (18 to 24 ft), hard sand. Good holding
is reported.
Pilotage. Not available. Berthing is in daylight hours
only.
3
Leading lights. The alignment (276°) of leading lights
leads towards the pier:
Front light (roof of pier shed) (13°21′N 83°33′W).
Rear light (90 m W of the front light).
Facility: hospital.
PUERTO ISABEL TO CABO GRACIAS Á DIOS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 1218, 2425
General description
3.86 1
From Puerto Isabel (13°21′N 83°34′W) the route leads
offshore and N to Puerto Cabezas (14°01′N 83°23′W), a
single pier facility, thence by various courses to pass
inshore of Cayos Miskitos (3.121) through Miskito
Channel, thence offshore NNE to Cabo Gracias á Dios
(15°00′N 83°09′W), 100 miles NNE. Edinburgh Channel
(3.120) crosses Miskito Bank from the E to join the coastal
route SSE of Cabo Gracias á Dios. Navigation is made
difficult by the absence of marks, the low lying aspect of
the terrain and the numerous reefs and cays. The area is
remote from centres of population. The reef areas are
frequented by fishing craft.
Topography
3.87 1
A wide, densely forested, lowland plain is drained by
numerous rivers and lagoons. The coastline is without
feature, except for some remarkable mounds N of Wounta
(13°32′N 83°33′W) and the bluff at Puerto Cabezas. Cayos
Miskitos (14°22′N 82°46′W) are the largest group of cays,
reefs and rocks, many as yet unsurveyed, on Miskito Bank.
CHAPTER 3
85
Depths
3.88 1
Charted depths, based on 19th century lead line surveys,
are irregular.
Local knowledge
3.89 1
Local knowledge is required when navigating outside the
main routes.
Fishing
3.90 1
The remote cays and reefs are frequented by fishermen
during the turtle season, from as far away as the Cayman
Islands. They have been employed as pilots in the area for
many years.
Natural conditions
3.91 1
Weather. The North−east Trade Wind prevails for most
of the year, although strong to gale force N winds are
frequent during the winter months. The area is generally
hot and humid.
2
Currents. A N set at a rate of ¾ kn is generally
experienced in the vicinity of Cayos Miskitos (14°22′N
82°46′W). South of Cayos Miskitos a branch of the current
flows SSW at 1 to 1¼ kn. A S−going counter current may
be experienced inshore of Cayos Miskitos, particularly after
‘Northers’.
PUERTO ISABEL TO PUERTO CABEZAS
General information
Chart 1218
Route
3.92 1
The route from Puerto Isabel (13°21′N 83°34′W) to
Puerto Cabezas (14°01′N 83°23′W), 40 miles NNE, passes
well offshore to clear the coastal reef area. There are no
navigational aids until Bragman Bluff Light (3.96) is
sighted.
Topography
3.93 1
A wide belt of densely forested lowland, with a number
of rivers, lagoons and marshes, lies behind the coast. Surf
breaks heavily on a dark sand beach. Several prominent
mounds, 25 m in height, line the shore N of Wounta
(13°32′N 83°33′W).
Charted depths
3.94 1
Charted depths, which are very irregular both inshore
and to seaward of the offshore route, are based on a 19th
century lead line survey.
Currents
3.95 1
A branch of the equatorial current is deflected sharply
SSW in the area S of Puerto Cabezas (14°01′N 83°23′W),
at a mean rate of 1 to 1¼ kn.
Directions
(continued from 3.77)
Puerto Isabel to Puerto Cazebas
3.96 1
From the vicinity of 13°21′N 83°14′W (E of Puerto
Isabel) the offshore route leads N for about 40 miles to the
vicinity of 13°59′N 83°21′W (SE of Puerto Cabezas) in
deep water, gradually reducing from 20 to 10 m, passing
(with positions from Bragman Bluff Light (southern square
water tower) (14°02′N 83°23′W):
2
W of 14⋅6 m shoal depth (45 miles SSE), thence:
E of Barra de Wounta (29 miles SSW), the entrance
to a large lagoon, with a reef extending 3 miles
offshore, thence:
E of an obstruction, reported (1926) (17 miles S),
thence:
E of Barra de Wawa (9 miles SSW), the entrance to a
large lagoon, with depths of 1⋅2 m over the bar.
3
Useful mark:
Bragman Bluff Light (14°02′N 83°23′W).
(Directions continue, for Puerto Cabezas at 3.107
and for Cabo Gracias á Dios at 3.115)
Río Prinzapolka
3.97 1
General information: Río Prinzapolka (13°24′N
83°35′W), one of the main rivers in Nicaragua, enters the
sea at the village of the same name, close N of Puerto
Isabel (3.85). There is a distinctive wooded ridge to the W
of the entrance.
2
Anchorage (13°24′N 83°32′W) is available with a small
signal tower near S entrance point of river bearing 260°,
distant 2¼ miles, in a depth of 9 m.
PUERTO CABEZAS
General information
Chart 1218 (see 1.18)
Position
3.98 1
Puerto Cabezas (14°01′N 83°23′W) is situated on the E
coast of Nicaragua, near the S end of the Miskito Channel.
Function
3.99 1
The port exports timber and fish, and imports general
cargo. Population about 22 000.
Topography
3.100 1
The port is situated at the S end of Bragman Bluff, a
bold headland, 30 m high. The E aspect of the headland is
identified by red cliffs, 18 m high, about 5 cables in length.
The coast is generally low and densely wooded, with
numerous rivers and lagoons.
Approach and entry
3.101 1
The approach is from the SE in general depths reducing
from 20 to 10 m. See 3.108 for details of wrecks.
Traffic
3.102 1
In 2004 the port was used by 1 vessel of 5269 dwt.
CHAPTER 3
86
Port authority
3.103 1
Empresa Nacional de Puertos, Apartado Postal No 3570,
Managua, Nicaragua.
Limiting conditions
3.104 1
Controlling depths. The maximum draught of vessels is
usually limited to 4⋅3 m due to the swell, even though a
depth of 6⋅7 m is available on the outer 120 m of the jetty.
A depth of 5⋅2 m over a sand bar was reported (1985) to
lie close SW of the jetty.
Deepest and longest berth.
There is only one berth at
the jetty (3.108).
2
Tidal levels. See 1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for
details.
Maximum
tidal range about 0⋅5 m.
Density of water is 1⋅025 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled:
length 91 m, draught
4⋅3 m.
Local weather.
Both jetty and anchorage are exposed to
the prevailing E wind and swell.
Arrival information
3.105 1
Notice of ETA: 24 hours.
Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot boards 1 mile off the
head of the jetty. Daylight operation only. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Tugs. None at the port.
Harbour
3.106 1
Current. A counter current flows S to SSW at up to
1¼ kn near the head of the jetty.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 3.96)
3.107 1
Approaches. From the vicinity of (13°59′N 83°21′W)
the route leads NW for a distance of about 2 miles to the
Pilot Boarding Place (3.105), clear of dangers. The jetty is
reported to show up well on radar to a range of 14 miles.
Useful mark:
Bragman Bluff Light (3.96).
Berths
3.108 1
Anchorage, as required, between SE and S of the head
of the jetty, distances 4½ to 7½ cables, depths 6 to 8 m,
sand bottom with mud inshore, good holding. A number of
wrecks lie 3 to 7 cables between E and ESE from the head
of the jetty.
2
Alongside berth. South−west side of jetty (6½ cables SE
of Bragman Bluff Light (3.96)); berth length 120 m; depth
6⋅7 m.
Port services
3.109 1
Facility: hospital.
Supplies: fresh water; fuel.
Communications: there are regular flights to the capital,
Managua.
PUERTO CABEZAS TO
CABO GRACIAS Á DIOS
General information
Chart 1218, 2425
Routes
3.110 1
The route from Puerto Cabezas (14°01′N 83°23′W) to
Cabo Gracias á Dios (15°00′N 83°09′W), 60 miles NNE,
passes through Miskito Channel (Mosquito Channel).
Navigation in this channel is made difficult by the absence
of marks and the featureless aspect of the coast and cays. It
is an area of many scattered reefs and rocks, with variable
currents. The coast should be kept in sight from Puerto
Cabezas until clear N of Miskito Channel (14°25′N
83°10′W), to avoid Cayos Miskitos (14°22′N 82°46′W).
2
Directions are also given for crossing Miskito Bank
from the E, using Edinburgh Channel (3.120).
Topography
3.111 1
The coast is low lying and densely wooded, with many
rivers and lagoons behind the shore. It is generally a poor
radar target, except for the mouths of rivers which show up
well. Cayos Miskitos (14°22′N 82°46′W) (3.121) is a large
group of islands, islets, reefs and rocks, which extend at
least 44 miles from the shore.
Least depths
3.112 1
Depths vary in Miskito Channel (14°25′N 83°10′W).
The least charted depth in the channel is 11 m (36 ft),
based on lead line surveys undertaken in the 19th century.
Local knowledge
3.113 1
Local knowledge is required when navigating outside the
coastal route described in 3.115. Cayos Miskitos (14°22′N
82°46′W) are well known to the Cayman fishermen, who
are skilled pilots for the area, when working locally.
Currents
3.114 1
The highly constant Equatorial current sets NW on to
Miskito Bank at about 1 kn. In the vicinity of Cayos
Miskitos the predominant set is N at ¾ kn, but a S−going
counter current may be experienced close inshore,
particularly after ‘Northers’.
Directions
(continued from 3.96)
Puerto Cabezas to Cabo Gracias á
Dios
3.115 1
From the vicinity of 13°59′N 83°21′W (SE of Puerto
Cabezas) the route leads NE for about 22 miles to the
vicinity of 14°17′N 83°08′W (SE of Punta Gorda), thence
N for about 18 miles to the vicinity of 14°35′N 83°09′W
(NW of Auiapuni Reef), thence NNE for about 27 miles to
the vicinity of 15°00′N 82°57′W (E of Cabo Gracias á
Dios), passing:
2
SE of the entrance to Río Hueson (14°08′N
83°18′W), thence:
Between Tsiankualaia Rock (14°19′⋅5N 83°04′⋅0W)
and areas of discoloured water (1930) (14°20′⋅0N
83°09′⋅0W), thence:
W of Auiapüni Reef (14°30′⋅5N 83°06′⋅0W), thence:
E of Uatlatara Rocks (14°33′⋅5N 83°12′⋅0W).
CHAPTER 3
87
3
Less water was reported (1928) off Cabo Gracias á Dios
(15°00′N 83°09′W).
Useful mark:
Bragman Bluff Light (14°01′N 83°23′W) (3.96).
(Directions continue at 3.134)
Puerto Cabo Gracias á Dios
Chart 2425
General information
3.116 1
Puerto Cabo Gracias á Dios (15°00′N 83°10′W) is a
small port and town with a Customs House. It is situated
on the S side of Isla Martinez, at the mouth of Río Coco
(Wanks). The main exports, bananas and lumber, are loaded
into vessels at anchor outside the bar.
Anchorages
3.117 1
Off the bar in settled weather, clear of charted
wrecks. There is good holding.
Off Bahía Sunbeam (14°58′N 83°10′W) in N winds,
clear of charted wrecks. There is good holding.
Supplies
3.118 1
Small quantities of fresh meat and water are available.
Río Coco
International Boundary
3.119 1
Río Coco (Wanks), which reaches the sea at Cabo
Gracias á Dios (15°00′N 83°09′W), forms part of the
international boundary between Nicaragua and Honduras.
North part of Miskito Bank
Chart 2425
Edinburgh Channel
3.120 1
General information. Edinburgh Channel (14°45′N
82°45′W) is one of the main channels crossing Miskito
Bank used to close the coast. Apart from an isolated 9⋅4 m
(31 ft) shoal patch, charted depths in the fairway, which is
about 5 miles wide, are 16⋅5 to 27 m (54 ft to 15 fm).
2
Directions. From the vicinity of 14°44′N 82°31′W the
route leads W for about 34 miles to join the coastal route
in the vicinity of 14°44′N 83°05′W, passing (with positions
from Edinburgh Cay (14°48′⋅6N 2°41′⋅6W)):
3
N of 7 m (23 ft) shoal depth on Coral Patches
(11 miles SE), thence:
N of a 9⋅4 m (31 ft) isolated shoal depth (8½ miles
SE), thence:
S of the 18 m (60 ft) depth contour (2½ miles SSE),
at the S end of Edinburgh Reef.
4
Anchorage is available 4 cables S of Edinburgh Cay
(14°48′⋅6N 82°41′⋅6W) in depths of 15 to 16 m (48 to
54 ft), coarse sand and gravel, as charted.
Offlying reefs and cays
3.121 1
Cayos Miskitos (14°23′N 82°46′W) is the collective
name given to a very large group of cays, covering about
1000 square miles, in the vicinity of Punta Gorda (14°21′N
83°12′W). It is also the name given to the largest cay in
the group. The area is dangerous to approach on all sides,
requiring the utmost caution, as there are neither navigation
marks nor identifiable features. It is frequented by
fishermen in season, from as far as Cayman Islands. The
chart is based on 19th century lead line surveys. Dangers
extend to Franklin Reef (14°06′N 82°43′W), a shoal with a
depth of 4⋅6 m (15 ft) in the S, South−east Rock (14°10′N
82°29′W), a depth of 2⋅7 m (9 ft) on which the sea
sometimes breaks in the SE, up to 6 miles beyond Martinez
Reefs (14°37′N 82°38′W) in the NE and to Outer Mohegan
(14°35′N 82°59′W) in the NW, as shown on the chart.
2
The group known as Cayos Miskitos (14°23′N 82°46′W)
are low, tree and mangrove covered cays of mud and sand,
uninhabitable due to mosquitoes. Fishermen sometimes
erect huts on piles on the reef SW of the largest cay.
3
Cayos Morrison Dennis (14°28′N 82°53′W) consist of a
large number of reefs and cays which are mostly
unsurveyed, separated from Cayos Miskitos by Blue
Channel (14°25′N 82°50′W). This channel lies N/S and is
at least 1 mile wide, with a least depth of 9 m (30 ft).
Anchorage used by fishermen exists in Blue Channel
(14°27′N 82°47′W), as charted.
CABO GRACIAS Á DIOS TO CABO CAMARÓN
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 1218, 1220
General description
3.122 1
From Cabo Gracias á Dios (15°00′N 83°09′W) the
coastal route leads NW to pass Cabo Falso (15°15′N
83°24′W) farther to seaward than is usual due to shoal
water inshore, thence WNW to leave the reef areas of
Miskito Bank and pass Punta Patuca (15°49′N 84°18′W),
thence W until Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W) is
reached, 112 miles WNW. Miskito Bank is crossed by two
channels from the vicinity of Cabo Gracias á Dios and
Cabo Falso to reach oceanic depths, Main Cape Channel to
the NNE and the other, unnamed, NNW. There are no ports
or recognised anchorages and few navigational aids. The
cays are frequented by fishermen and cruising yachts.
Topography
3.123 1
The coast is low and densely wooded, with sand
beaches. Large areas of shallow lagoon and swamp lie
behind the shore. Numerous cays, reefs and rocks lie N to
E from Cabo Falso across the major part of Miskito Bank,
which extends up to 120 miles from the coast.
Depths
3.124 1
Charted depths are based on 19th century lead line
surveys.
Hazards
3.125
1
Damage to navigational aids. In 1998 it was reported
that as a result of Hurricane Mitch all marine navigational
aids along the Honduran coast have either been destroyed
CHAPTER 3
88
or are unreliable. For further details the local authorities
should be consulted.
Natural conditions
3.126 1
Weather. The North−east Trade Wind prevails for much
of the year, although strong N winds are frequent in the
winter months. The area is generally hot and humid.
Currents. The current follows the trend of the coast in a
NW to W direction, but may be reversed inshore following
‘Northers’. At the outer edge of Miskito Bank the set is
NW at about 1 kn.
Offlying reefs
General information
3.127 1
Large areas of coral reef, frequented by fishermen and
cruising yachts, rise abruptly from general depths of 20 to
30 m on Miskito Bank. The principal reefs are:
Arrecife Alargardo (15°05′N 82°22′W) (3.136).
Arrecifes de la Media Luna (Half Moon Reefs)
(15°12′N 82°39′W).
Cayos Cocorocuma (15°44′N 82°59′W) (3.146).
Cayos Cajones (16°04′N 83°11′W) (3.146).
CABO GRACIAS Á DIOS TO CABO FALSO
General information
Charts 2425, 1218
Routes
3.128 1
The coastal route from Cabo Gracias á Dios (15°00′N
83°09′W) to Cabo Falso (15°15′N 83°24′W) leads NW for
30 miles, passing farther to seaward than is usual due to
shallow water inshore. Directions are also given for the
offshore route to clear Miskito Bank to the NNE using
Main Cape Channel (3.135).
Topography
3.129 1
The coast is low lying and densely wooded, with sand
beaches. Offshore numerous cays, reefs and rocks extend
NE for over 70 miles.
Least depths
3.130 1
The least depth, based on 19th century surveys, is 16 m
in the coastal route and 18 m in Main Cape Channel.
Local knowledge
3.131 1
Local knowledge is required when navigating outside the
coastal route and Main Cape Channel.
Currents
3.132 1
Over the coastal and offshore area the predominant set is
NW at ¾ kn, but a SE going counter current may be
experienced inshore after ‘Northers’.
Directions
(continued from 3.115)
Principal mark
3.133 1
Major light
Cabo Falso Light (red and white metal structure)
(15°15′N 83°24′W).
Cabo Gracias á
Dios to Cabo Falso
3.134 1
From the vicinity of 15°00′N 82°57′W (E of Cabo
Gracias á Dios) the route leads NW for 30 miles to the
vicinity of 15°23′N 83°15′W (NE of Cabo Falso), passing
(with positions from Cabo Falso Light):
2
SW of Banco del Cabo (3.135) (25 miles E), thence:
NE of 3⋅9 m (13 ft) shoal depth, position doubtful
(9 miles E), thence:
NE of Cabo Falso, a low point with brushwood and
several isolated trees, on which stands a light
(3.133).
(Directions continue at 3.142)
North part of Miskito Bank
Main Cape Channel
3.135 1
General information. Main Cape Channel (15°10′N
82°55′W) is one of the main channels crossing the Miskito
Bank, leading from the vicinity of Cabo Gracias á Dios
(15°00′N 83°09′W) to deep water NNE. General depths in
the fairway, which is at least 5 miles wide, are 18 to over
30 m.
2
Directions. From the vicinity of 15°00′N 82°57′W the
route leads NNE for about 100 miles to oceanic depths in
the vicinity of 16°37′N 82°24′W, passing (with positions
from Cabo Falso Light (15°15′N 83°24′W)):
ESE of Banco del Cabo (Main Cape Shoal) (25 miles
E), over which the sea seldom breaks, thence:
3
WNW of Arrecifes de la Media Luna (41 miles E)
(3.127), thence:
WNW of 7⋅3 m obstruction reported (1970) (37 miles
ENE), thence:
ESE of Bancos del Cabo Falso (26 miles NE), thence:
4
ESE of Cayos Pinchones (41 miles NE), thence:
WNW of 16⋅4 m shoal depth (59 miles NE), thence:
WNW of Cayo Gorda (68 miles NE) (3.136), thence:
ESE of Cayos Cajones (Hobbies) (50 miles NNE)
(3.146).
Offlying reefs
3.136 1
Arrecife Alargardo (15°05′N 82°22′W) is the most E
visible danger on Miskito Bank, on which the sea breaks
heavily. The current sets on to the E side of the reef, which
is steep−to.
CHAPTER 3
89
2
Gorda Bank (mid−position 15°35′N 82°15′W) is a very
extensive bank with depths of less than 20 m, on which
stands Cayo Gorda (15°51′N 82°24′W) near the N end.
Cayo Gorda is composed of sand, broken coral and large
stones. The best landing place is at the NW end of the cay.
Cayo Gorda is inhabited by a few fishermen.
CABO FALSO TO CABO CAMARÓN
General information
Chart 1218, 1220
Routes
3.137 1
The coastal route from Cabo Falso (15°15′N 83°24′W)
to Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W), 112 miles WNW,
passes clear of the dangers of Cayos Miskitos. Directions
are also given for the offshore route to the NNW.
Topography
3.138 1
The coast is low lying and densely wooded, with large
areas of swamp and lagoon behind sand beaches. Numerous
cays, reefs and rocks extend N and NE from Cabo Falso
for over 50 miles.
Charted depths
3.139 1
Charted depths are based on 19th century surveys.
Local knowledge
3.140 1
Local knowledge is required when navigating outside the
coastal and offshore routes.
Currents
3.141 1
See 3.126 for details.
Directions
(continued from 3.134)
Principal Marks
3.142 1
Major Lights:
Cabo Falso Light (15°15′N 83°24′W) (3.133).
Punta Patuca Light (red and white metal structure)
(15°49′N 84°18′W).
Cabo Camarón Light (red tower, white bands)
(16°00′N 85°02′W).
Cabo Falso to Punta Patuca
3.143 1
From the vicinity of 15°23′N 83°15′W (NE of Cabo
Falso) the route leads WNW for 75 miles to the vicinity of
16°01′N 84°22′W (NNW of Punta Patuca), passing (with
positions from Cabo Falso Light (15°15′N 83°24′W)):
2
NNE of Barra de Caratasca (20 miles WNW), a
prominent radar object and the entrance to a large
lagoon, thence:
SSW of 10 m shoal depth (reported, 1972) (48 miles
NNW), thence:
NNE of Barra de Laguntara (51 miles WNW), the
entrance to a lagoon.
Chart 1220
Punta Patuca to Cabo Camarón
3.144 1
From a position NNW of Punta Patuca (15°49′N
84°18′W) the route leads W for 38 miles to a position N of
Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W), passing (with positions
from Punta Patuca Light (15°49′N 84°18′W)):
2
N of Barra de Brus (19 miles W), thence:
N of Río Negro entrance (34 miles W), thence:
N of Cabo Camarón (43 miles W), a low rounded and
wooded point, on which stands a light (3.142).
(Directions continue at 4.15)
North part of Miskito Bank
Chart 1218
Cabo Falso to north−north−west
3.145 1
General information. The route is one of the main
channels crossing Miskito Bank leading from the vicinity of
Cabo Falso (15°15′N 83°24′W) to deep water NNW.
General depths in the channel are 20 to 37 m.
2
Directions. From the vicinity of 15°23′N 83°15′W (NE
of Cabo Falso) the route leads NNW for 60 miles to
oceanic depths in the vicinity of 16°17′N 83°42′W, passing
(with positions from Cabo Falso Light (15°15′N 83°24′W)):
3
WSW of Bancos del Cabo Falso (25 miles NE), over
which the sea breaks, thence:
WSW of Vivorillo Bank (38 miles N), thence:
ENE of 10 m shoal depth (reported, 1972) (48 miles
NNW).
4
Useful mark.
Cayos Vivorillo light (15°50′N 83° 17′W)
Offlying reefs
3.146 1
Cayos Cocorocuma (15°44′N 82°59′W), on which the
sea breaks heavily even in the finest weather. The best
anchorage and shelter is about 5 cables NW of the largest
cay in depths of 11 to 13 m.
2
Cayos Vivorillo (15°50′N 83°17′W) are several cays,
covered with trees and bushes. A light stands on Cayos
Vivorillo.
3
Cayos Caratasca (16°02′N 83°19′W) are mostly bare.
Depths of 4 to 9 m extend about 1 mile off W side.
Cayos Cajones (16°04′N 83°11′W) are several cays
covered with low bushes and a few coconut palm trees,
standing on a broken reef, about 13 miles in length.
Cabo
Camarón
Trujillo
La Ceiba
Tela
Puerto Cortés
Puerto Barrios
Punta
Gorda
BELIZE
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
CARIBBEAN SEA
Isla de Utila
Isla de Roatán
Isla de Guanaja
513
513
1573
12201220
2988
2988
2988
2988
0206
4.15
4.27
4.90
4.75
4.108
4.128
4.153
4.145
4
.
2
9
4
.
1
2
3
4.30
4.47
4.125
4.135
4.167
4.104
4.85
4.70
4.6
1
4.155
90
15°
16°
17°
89°88°
87°86°
85°
17°
1616°
15°
89°88°
Longitude 87° West from Greenwich86°
85°
Chapter 4 - Cabo Camarón to Punta Gorda
91
CHAPTER 4
CABO CAMARÓN TO PUNTA GORDA
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1220
Scope of chapter
4.1 1
The chapter covers the area between Cabo Camarón
(3.144) and Punta Gorda (4.166), 220 miles W and includes
the whole of the N coast of Honduras and the NE coast of
Guatemala. It is a sparsely populated region, for many
years best known for growing bananas, coffee and cotton.
The ports of Trujillo (4.30), La Ceiba (4.47), Tela (4.125),
and Puerto Barrios (4.167) and the railway links behind
them were developed for the export of bananas. Recent
industrial changes have led to the construction of additional
port facilities at Puerto Cortés (4.135) and Puerto Santo
Tomás de Castilla (4.181).
2
Coastal passage directions for the area between Cabo de
Honduras (16°02′N 86°01′W) and Punta Caballos (15°51′N
87°58′W) are not well defined, partly because the area has
not been subject to modern medium scale surveys and
partly due to the small amount of commercial traffic to the
N Honduran ports until recent years. Routes, where stated,
are taken from the tracks of individual ships and generally
approach the ports from the N.
Topography
4.2 1
The flat, swamp lands of E Honduras end at Cabo
Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W) and the whole of the
subsequent coastline W to Punta Gorda (16°06′N 88°48′W)
is both heavily wooded and mountainous with but few
exceptions. Islas Guanaja (4.70), Roatán (4.85) and Utila
(4.105) are a natural extension of these mountains, which
form a chain of islands off the coast in the mid part of the
area. Between the islands and the shore SW the seabed
topography on the continental shelf is complex, with
frequent coral pinnacles. The S end of the Belize Barrier
Reef lies only 14 miles ENE of Cabo Tres Puntas (15°58′N
88°37′W).
Depths
4.3 1
Numerous shoals exist between Islas de Cochinos
(15°59′N 86°29′W) and Punta Sal (15°55′N 87°36′W),
particularly in the area N of Tela (15°47′N 87°28′W).
Many of these were discovered by passing ships. For
remarks on the growth of coral see The Mariner’s
Handbook. The charts are compiled mainly from old and
imperfect surveys (2003) and must be used with caution.
Hazards
4.4 1
Fishing takes place along the coast from small craft
working out of the local harbours.
Damage to navigational aids. In 1998 it was reported
that as a result of Hurricane Mitch all marine navigational
aids along the Honduran coast have either been destroyed
or are unreliable. For further details the local authorities
should be consulted.
Natural conditions
4.5 1
Weather. Prevailing winds are E over most of the
region, with E to NE winds towards the head of Gulf of
Honduras. Heavy rain should be expected in the winter
months. Coastal ports are much affected by the severity of
‘Northers’. See 1.201 for remarks on ‘Northers’.
2
Flow. The equatorial current flows WNW to the N of
Islas de la Bahía (16°23′N 86°25′W) and a counter current
is formed S of the islands, resulting in a mainly E coastal
current. Rates and direction of these currents are much
influenced by winds. The E coastal current may be
increased considerably after ‘Northers’. The tidal range is
0⋅5 m or less and tidal streams are slight.
CABO CAMARÓN TO ISLA UTILA
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1220
General description
4.6 1
From Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W) to Cabo de
Honduras (16°02′N 86°01′W) the coastal passage leads W
for 60 miles in waters clear of danger. Between Cabo de
Honduras and La Ceiba (15°47′N 86°47′W), 47 miles
WSW, coastal routes cross a complex area of continental
shelf with few navigational aids. This area includes the
three ports of Castilla (16°00′N 85°58′W) (4.34), a
deep−water port, Trujillo (15°55′N 85°57′W) (4.30), a
coastal trading port, and La Ceiba (15°47′N 86°47′W)
(4.47), a banana exporting port.
Topography
4.7 1
The land is mainly mountainous W of Cabo Camarón
(16°00′N 85°02′W). Two large headlands, Cabo Camarón
and Cabo de Honduras, are both low and well wooded.
Sierra Congrejal rises behind La Ceiba (15°47′N 86°47′W)
to 2435 m. A low, narrow plain lies between the mountains
and the shore. The shore is generally low, wooded and
bordered by sand beaches. West of Cabo de Honduras
depths are very irregular. An extensive area of reefs and
shoals lies SW of Islas de Cochinos (15°59′N 86°29′W).
Depths
4.8 1
Charts have been compiled from old and imperfect
surveys and must be used with caution. Dangerous
uncharted shoals are likely to be encountered anywhere
CHAPTER 4
92
within the 200 m depth contour W of Cabo de Honduras
(16°02′N 86°01′W). See The Mariner’s Handbook for
remarks on coral growth.
Natural conditions
4.9 1
Weather. The coastal winds are E throughout most of
the year with a marked diurnal variation. Calms and light
offshore winds are frequent during the late night and early
morning. Heavy rainfall should be expected between
November and January. See 1.201 for remarks on
‘Northers’.
2
Flow. The usual set of the coastal current is E, but the
direction is much affected by wind and tide.
CABO CAMARÓN TO
CABO DE HONDURAS
General information
Chart 1220
Route
4.10 1
Between Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W) and Cabo
de Honduras (16°02′N 86°01′W) the route leads W passing
through deep water, clear of dangers other than the shoals
N and NW of Cabo de Honduras.
Topography
4.11 1
The mountains of Sierras La Cruz rise abruptly close
SSE of Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W) and extend W
for 40 miles, where they terminate equally abruptly in the
valley of Río Aguán (Aquán) (15°57′N 85°41′W). Although
Cerro Payas (16 miles SSE of Cabo Camarón) is often
hidden by cloud, Pico Panoche (5 miles N of Cerro Payas),
625 m high, is usually visible. West of Cabo Camarón the
coastal plain is low and thinly wooded, with sand hills up
to 18 m high towards the W end of a long, curving bight
which ends at Cabo de Honduras. Cabo de Honduras is a
narrow neck of low land, covered in brushwood, about
5 miles in extent.
Depths
4.12 1
The chart has been compiled from old and imperfect
surveys and must be used with caution. Soundings are few.
Depths are irregular in the vicinity of Cabo de Honduras
(16°02′N 86°01′W) with shoals of 17⋅8 m 7 miles N and
10⋅3 m 4 miles NW of the cape, as shown on the chart.
Local knowledge
4.13 1
Local knowledge is required for navigation in the rivers
and offshore anchorages.
Natural conditions
4.14 1
Tidal stream. With a rising tide the stream sets W and
N and with a falling tide S and E.
Current rates and direction are uncertain, particularly
during the summer months, but generally the set is E.
Directions
(continued from 3.144)
Major lights
4.15 1
Cabo Camarón Light (16°00′N 85°02′W) (3.142).
Cabo de Honduras Light (16°02′N 86°01′W).
4.16 1
From a position N of Cabo Camarón (16°00′N 85°02′W)
the route leads W for 60 miles to a position in the vicinity
of 16°10′N 86°00′W, N of Cabo de Honduras, passing
(with positions relative to Cabo Camarón):
2
N of Piedracito (15 miles WSW), a small distinctive
rocky bluff, thence:
N of Santa Rosa de Aguán (38 miles W), a trading
village.
(Directions continue for the coastal route at 4.26, for
Puerto Castilla at 4.43 and for Trujillo at 4.29)
Río Aguán
General information
4.17 1
Río Aguán (Aquán) (15°57′N 85°41′W) enters the sea
through two mouths about 2 miles apart. The branches join
2 miles up river. The village of Santa Rosa de Aguán
stands on the E bank of the river 1 mile within the E
entrance. Heavy mahogany trunks are brought off in rafts
to the anchorage offshore. Depths over the bars are liable
to change, but they are reported to be 2 m over the E bar
and 1⋅5 m over the W bar.
Directions
4.18 1
Vessels bound for Río Aguán should first call at Trujillo
(4.30) for clearance inwards and outwards. They should
maintain a distance of 2 to 3 miles offshore E from Cabo
de Honduras (16°02′N 86°01′W) and approach the
anchorage from the NE.
Anchorage
4.19 1
Anchorage may be obtained about 1 mile off the E
entrance, in depths of 8 to 9 m.
CABO DE HONDURAS TO ISLA DE UTILA
General information
Chart 1220
Routes
4.20 1
Between Cabo de Honduras (16°02′N 86°01′W) (4.11)
and Isla de Utila (16°06′N 86°56′W) the route leads W for
45 miles in deep water, between Islas de la Bahía (4.65)
and the mainland, to a point mid−way between Isla de
Utila and Isla de Roatán. A secondary, short passage leads
S from Cabo de Honduras to ports in Bahía de Trujillo
(4.30). A third route to Puerto La Ceiba (4.47) leads S
from Isla de Utila, crossing a very irregular sea−bed with a
number of dangerous shoals, as shown on the chart.
Topography
4.21 1
The terrain is densely wooded and mountainous with a
narrow coastal plain and low, sand beaches. Cerro
Congrejal lies 10 miles SW of Punta Congrejal (15°48′N
CHAPTER 4
93
86°47′W). The offshore islands are also densely wooded,
with the highest point being the summit of Isla de Guanaja.
Numerous islets, reefs and shoals lie near the main features
of a complex and little surveyed area.
Depths
4.22 1
The chart has been compiled from old and imperfect
surveys and must be used with caution. Dangerous shoals
must be expected anywhere within the 200 m depth
contour.
Pilotage
4.23 1
Pilots are available at Puerto Castilla (16°00′N
85°58′W), Trujillo (15°55′N 85°57′W), and the main ports
of the principal islands. For further details see Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Local knowledge
4.24 1
Local knowledge is required for entry into the small
ports, rivers and anchorages.
Natural conditions
4.25 1
Tidal streams set W and N on a rising tide and E and
S on a falling tide. The tidal range, 0⋅5 m, is greatest at
Isla de Roatán (16°25′N 86°20′W).
Currents. North of Islas de la Bahía the equatorial
current flows WNW. An E−going counter current is formed
S of the islands. Rates and direction are much affected by
winds and tides.
Directions
(continued from 4.16)
Principal marks
4.26 1
Landmark:
Cerro Congrejal (15°38′N 86°53′W) (Chart 513),
appears as a sharp cone when seen from the NE.
Major Lights:
Cochino Grande Light (red and white metal structure)
(15°59′N 86°29′W).
Punta Oeste Light (16°16′.1N 86°36′.1W) (4.90).
Charts 1220, 513
Cabo de Honduras to Islas de la Bahia
4.27 1
From a position N of Cabo de Honduras, the route leads
W for about 45 miles to a position near the mid−point
between Isla de Utila (4.105) and Isla de Roatán (4.85),
passing:
Clear of a 10⋅3 m shoal depth (16°05′N 86°03′W),
thence:
2
N of a 9⋅1 m shoal depth, reported (1962) (16°07′N
86°33′W), thence:
S of Punta Oeste (16°16′N 86°36′W), from where a
light (4.90) is displayed.
(Directions continue for the offshore route at 4.123,
for La Ceiba at 4.60 and for Tela at 4.128)
Bahía de Trujillo
Chart 1220 (see 1.18)
General information
4.28 1
Bahía de Trujillo (15°58′N 85°59′W) is a large, deep
water bay which provides shelter from the prevailing winds
and access to Puerto Castilla (4.34) and Trujillo (4.30).
Pico Colentura, 1235 m high, lies 3 miles S of Trujillo
(15°55′N 85°57′W). There is usually very little current, but
with W winds an anti−clockwise set is experienced around
the bay, with rates up to 2 kn.
Directions
(continued from 4.16)
4.29 1
From a position NW of Punta Caxinas (16°02′N
86°01′W), the NW extremity of Cabo de Honduras, the
route leads S passing 1 to 1½ miles off the same point, to
a position SW of Punta Caxinas, thence SE for about
6 miles to Trujillo, passing (with positions from Cabo de
Honduras Light (16°02′N 86°01′W)):
2
SW of Puerto Castilla (2 miles ESE) (4.34), thence:
Clear of 8⋅8 m shoal depth (4½ miles SSE).
Useful mark:
Tank at Puerto Castilla (16°00′N 85°58′W), prominent
above the surrounding vegetation.
Trujillo
4.30 1
General information: Trujillo (15°55′N 85°57′W) is a
port of entry for coastal shipping. The town stands on the
S shore of Bahía de Trujillo at the foot of a chain of
mountains, which rise to Pico Colentura (3 miles S of the
town), 1235 m high.
Tidal levels. The tidal range is about 0⋅5 m.
2
Anchorage. An open roadstead, 5 cables NW of the
‘Trujillo’ jetty in 8⋅5 m; but this anchorage is not safe in
Northers. Coasters shelter during ‘Northers’ in a small
bight in the NE of Bahía de Trujillo.
Pilotage is recommended, though not compulsory. There
are few navigational aids. Entry and departure may be
made by day only.
3
Landmark. The twin towers of the church are
prominent.
Berth. Trujillo jetty extends NW from a position in the
centre of the town. It is reported to be 61 m in length, with
a maximum depth of 4⋅9 m alongside the SW face.
4
Facilities: there is a hospital in the town.
Supplies: limited quantities of fresh water, meat and
provisions are available.
Communications. Trujillo airport has a weekly air
service to the international airport at La Ceiba (4.47).
Islas de Cochinos
General information
4.31 1
Islas de Cochinos (15°59′N 86°29′W) consist of two
small, hilly islands and a number of cays with rocks and
shoals which extend up to 9 miles SW. Shoals also extend
in an arc from the N to the W, as shown on the charts.
Cochino Grande, on which stands a light (4.26), is about
130 m high. Both islands are covered with ancient
hardwood forest. Banco Providencia, an extensive reef with
depths of less than 2 m over it, lies 2 miles SW of Islas de
Cochinos.
CHAPTER 4
94
Anchorage
4.32 1
Temporary anchorage is available in prevailing winds,
close under the NW end of Cochino Grande, in depths of
11 to 13 m.
Local knowledge is required to enter.
Río Papaloteca
4.33 1
Río Papaloteca enters the sea at Punta Catchabutan
(15°49′N 86°30′W). Foul ground extends more than one
mile N of the point and a narrow spit, with depths of 9 m
over it, extends about 2½ miles farther N.
PUERTO CASTILLA
General information
Chart 1220 (see 1.18)
Position
4.34 1
Puerto Castilla (16°00′N 85°58′W) is situated on the N
shore of Bahía de Trujillo, about 2 miles SE of Cabo de
Honduras Light (4.15).
Function
4.35 1
The port handles bulk and general cargo. The town is a
centre for the meat and shrimping trades. A Coast Guard
station is situated at the port.
Topography
4.36 1
The land is low and wooded, with swamps and
extensive areas of mangrove. The beaches are narrow and
mainly composed of sand.
Approach to the port
4.37 1
The approach is via Bahía de Trujillo (4.28) directly to
the pier.
Traffic
4.38 1
In 2004 the port was used by 13 vessels with a total of
291 834 dwt.
Port authority
4.39 1
Empresa Nacional Portuaria administer the port through
the Port Superintendent, Puerto Castilla.
Limiting conditions
4.40 1
Deepest and longest berth.
One berth only is available
for commercial vessels (4.45).
Tidal levels. Tidal range is about 0⋅5 m.
Density of water is 1⋅028 to 1⋅030 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled: length 153 m,
draught 11 m, 11 893 dwt.
2
Local weather. The port is well sheltered from NE to S
winds, but becomes dangerous with NNW and W winds. A
strong swell enters the bay with ‘Northers’.
Arrival information
4.41 1
Port radio. Six days a week RT service. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Pilotage, provided by Empresa Nacional Portuaria, is
compulsory. For further details see Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5).
Tug: available.
Traffic regulation. Entry may be made day and night.
Harbour
4.42 1
General layout. A single concrete pier has been
constructed adjacent to a paved area with warehouses and
storage facilities.
Local weather. The prevailing wind is E, with high
rainfall between November and January.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 4.16)
Principal marks
4.43
1
Landmark:
Tank (16°00′N 85°58′W), at Puerto Castilla.
Major light:
Cabo de Honduras Light (16°02′N 86°01′W) (4.15).
4.44 1
From a position NW of Punta Caxinas (16°02′N
86°01′W) (4.29) the route leads S passing 1 to 1½ miles
off the same point, to a position SW of Punta Caxinas;
thence following the trend of the coast direct for the pier.
Berths
4.45 1
Anchorage, sheltered from all except W winds, is
available 2½ cables S of the pier in a depth of 33 m. The
bottom is hard sand and mud.
Alongside berth. Commercial pier (16°00′N 85°58′W):
length 225 m; accommodates container and Ro−Ro vessels
with draughts up to 11 m.
Port services
4.46 1
Facilities: de−ratting; medical clinic; naval divers; tank
cleaning.
Supplies: fresh water; fuel and provisions.
Communications: the nearest airport, with connections
to the international airport at La Ceiba (4.47), is at Trujillo
(4.30), 16 km distant by road.
PUERTO LA CEIBA
General information
Chart 513
Position
4.47 1
La Ceiba (15°47′N 86°47′W) is situated close W of
Punta Congrejal, at the mouth of the river of that name.
Function
4.48 1
Puerto La Ceiba is a port of entry and one of the main
Honduran ports for the export of fruit and timber. The town
is the administrative centre of Atlantida Department. In
CHAPTER 4
95
1994 there was a population of about 86 000. Recent
reports (2001) indicate that this port may be out of service.
Topography
4.49 1
The town stands close W of a low, sandy point at the
foot of a mountain range which rises to Cerro Congrejal
(11 miles SW).
Approach
4.50 1
The approach is from the N across an irregular seabed.
See 4.3 for a caution regarding depths.
Traffic
4.51 1
In 2001 the port was used by 4 vessels with a total of
10 004 dwt.
Port authority
4.52 1
The port is administered by Empresa Nacional Portuaria,
Apartado Postal No 215, La Ceiba.
Limiting conditions
4.53 1
Deepest and longest berth.
There is only one pier for
commercial vessels (4.63).
Tidal levels.
The tidal range is about 0⋅3 m.
Maximum size of vessel handled.
Length 183 m,
draught 7⋅0 m.
Arrival information
Port radio
4.54 1
There is a port radio service. See Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Notice of ETA
4.55 1
Notice is required no more than 24 hours and no less
than 8 hours in advance.
Anchorage
4.56 1
Anchorage is available in an open roadstead 1 mile NW
of pier, in a depth of 15 m. The bottom is sand and mud,
with good holding. Anchorage off the E side of the pier is
prohibited.
Pilotage
4.57 1
Pilotage is compulsory when berthing alongside. The
pilot boards about 1 mile NW of the pier. For further
details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Tugs
4.58 1
Tugs are not available.
Traffic regulations
4.59 1
The quarantine flag must be displayed until pratique is
granted. Vessels may berth only during daylight hours.
Harbour
4.60 1
General layout. A jetty extends NNW from a position
near the centre of the town. Vessels berth on either side at
the outer end, which is exposed to the weather.
Natural conditions:
Local weather is generally calm with gentle breezes
from the NE by day and SW by night, except
during ‘Northers’.
2
Currents are reported to be about ½ kn E, although
they are much affected by winds. Discoloured
water from the mouth of Río Congrejal extends for
some distance off the coast.
Directions
(continued from 4.27)
Principal mark
4.61
1
Landmark:
Cerro Congrejal (15°38′N 86°53′W) (4.26).
Approach and entry
4.62 1
From a position NE of Isla de Utila (4.105) the route
leads S for about 24 miles to La Ceiba, passing (with
positions from Punta Oeste Light (16°16′N 86°36′W)):
W of 11 m shoal depth (19 miles SSW), the most W
of charted dangers to the E of the route, and:
2
E of 11 m shoal depth (24 miles SW), the most E of
charted dangers to the W of the route.
Clear of 12⋅5 m isolated shoal depth (21 miles SW).
A shoal depth of 5⋅5 m has been reported 3½ cables NE
of the pier head. The best times for berthing alongside are
just after sunrise or in the evening.
3
Useful mark:
La Ceiba Pierhead Light (wooden tower) (15°47′N
86°48′W).
Berths
4.63 1
La Ceiba Pier, West (15°47′N 86°47′W): length 427 m,
depths 5⋅8 to 10⋅0 m at outer end. Another berth is located
on the east side of the pier, with lesser depths.
Port services
4.64 1
Repairs: shallow water diving service.
Other facilities: hospitals.
Supplies: fresh fruit; fresh provisions; fuel and water.
Communications: airport, with international connections.
CHAPTER 4
96
ISLAS DE LA BAHÍA
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1220 (see 1.18)
General description
4.65 1
Islas de la Bahía include three large islands, Guanaja
(16°28′N 85°55′W), Roatán (16°25′N 86°20′W) and Utila
(16°06′N 86°56′W), as well as a considerable number of
small coral islands and cays. They are part of Honduras.
The population, which is bi−lingual, Spanish and English,
is about 21 500. The economy relies on fishing, the export
of fruit, and tourism.
Routes
4.66 1
Through routes from the E Caribbean to Gulf of
Honduras ports pass to the N of the islands in oceanic
depths, from the vicinity of 16°50′N 85°40′W to 16°15′N
87°10′W. Vessels on passage from Yucatán Channel, not
fitted with modern electronic navaids, have been advised in
the past to make a landfall on Isla de Roatán (16°25′N
86°20′W) before attempting to navigate amongst the reefs
and shoals of the Honduran coast.
2
Coastal routes from Cabo de Honduras (16°02′N
86°01′W) to Gulf of Honduras pass between Isla de Roatán
(16°25′N 86°20′W) and Isla de Utila (16°06′N 86°56′W),
to avoid the dangerous shoals between Isla de Utila and the
N coast of Honduras.
Inshore routes and inter−island routes are described in
the pages which follow under the name of the main island.
Topography
4.67 1
The islands lie in an arc, about 75 miles in length,
which extends NE from Punta Obispo (Izopo) (15°51′N
87°22′W) (4.128). They are densely wooded and, with the
exception of Utila, hilly. Utila is mainly low lying, but has
a distinctive conical hill at the E end of the island. Their
coastlines are deeply indented with coves and lagoons.
Over much of their length deep water comes close to the
shore. The islands are surrounded by coral reefs, with
numerous islets, cays and shoals, as shown on the charts.
Depths
4.68 1
While charts for Isla de Roatán have been compiled
from modern small scale surveys, those around Islas de
Guanaja and Utila are derived from old and imperfect
surveys and must be used with caution. Dangerous
uncharted shoals are likely to be encountered anywhere
within the 200 m depth contour to the S of Utila. See The
Mariner’s Handbook for remarks on coral growth.
Natural conditions
4.69 1
Weather. Prevailing winds are SE in the summer
months. During the winter they are likely to be from any
direction. See 1.201 for remarks on ‘Northers’ and 1.196
on hurricanes.
2
Flow. Currents in and around the islands are uncertain,
particularly during the summer months. They are much
affected by both wind and tide. In general the equatorial
current sets W when N of the islands and a counter current
sets E when to the S. The tidal stream sets W and N on
the rising tide and S and E on the falling tide. The range
of the tide, 0⋅5 m, is greatest at Isla de Roatán.
ISLA DE GUANAJA
General information
Chart 1220
Route
4.70 1
From the vicinity of 16°31′N 85°37′W, E of Isla de
Guanaja, the route leads SW for 10 miles to close the land
and remain outside the reefs, until in a position SE of the
island’s main settlement and fishing harbour of Guanaja
Town (16°26′N 85°54′W). The route then continues first
SW then W for about 8 miles until clear SW of the island
in the vicinity of 16°21′N 86°00′W.
Topography
4.71 1
Isla de Guanaja (16°28′N 85°53′W), called ‘The Island
of Pines’ by Columbus, consists of rugged, densely wooded
hills which rise to a height of 415 m near the centre of the
island. The NE extremity is a bold headland with cliffs
30 m high. The coastline is deeply indented with lagoons
and bays. The island stands on a steep bank of coral, with
a large number of cays, rocks and shoals, particularly on
the SE side.
Pilotage
4.72 1
Local fishermen are available to pilot vessels into the
anchorage off Guanaja Town (4.82).
Local knowledge
4.73 1
Local knowledge is essential for passing through the
various openings in the reef and for entering the charted
anchorages around the island.
Natural conditions
4.74 1
See 4.69 for remarks on currents and tidal streams.
Directions
Major light
4.75 1
Black Rock Point Light (16°30′N 85°49′W).
South−east coast inshore passage
4.76 1
From a position off the NE extremity of Isla de
Guanaja, the route leads SW for about 9 miles to a position
S of Pond Cay Light (grey concrete column, 9 m in height)
(16°26′⋅2N 85°53′⋅0W), thence W for 9 miles to a position
SW of Ochre Bluff (16°24′⋅2N 85°57′⋅1W), passing (with
positions from Pond Cay Light (16°26′⋅2N 85°53′⋅0W):
2
SE of Black Rock Point (5½ miles NE), thence:
SE of Josh’s Cay (3½ miles NNE), the SE most of a
line of cays standing on a drying reef extending
2¾ miles SSW/NNE, thence:
SE of Half Moon Cay (2 miles E), thence:
3
SE of Lark Ridge (1½ miles SE), thence:
SE of Southwest Cay (1½ miles S), thence:
S of Ochre Bluff (5 miles WSW), a bold ochre
coloured cliff, 31 m high.
(Directions continue at 4.90)
CHAPTER 4
97
Guanaja Town
General information
4.77 1
Guanaja Town (16°26′N 85°54′W) stands on the two
islands of Sheen Cays and on piles constructed between the
cays. It has been referred to as ‘The Venice of Honduras’.
It is the principal settlement of Isla de Guanaja, which has
a total population of about 5000. The main activities are
fishing and tourism.
Controlling depth
4.78 1
The least charted depth in the E approach channel is
7⋅3 m, about 4 cables SW of Half Moon Cay.
Pilotage
4.79 1
The pilot boards about 5 cables E of Pond Cay Light
(4.76). Contact is reported to be available via RT.
Quarantine
4.80 1
Bills of health are examined by the local Commandant.
Directions
4.81 1
East approach. From a position in the vicinity of
16°26′⋅2N 85°50′⋅0W the route leads W for 2½ miles to the
Pilot Boarding Place, passing (with positions from Pond
Cay Light (16°26′⋅2N 85°53′⋅0W) (4.76)):
2
S of Half−moon Cay (2 miles E), thence:
N of two 6⋅4 m shoals (1¾ and 1¼ miles SE), thence:
S of 6⋅4 m shoal depth (1 mile ENE).
Berths
4.82 1
Anchorage. Good anchorage is available 6 cables W of
Pond Cay Light (16°26′⋅2N 85°53′⋅0W) (4.76); in depths of
15 m; sand and coral. Anchorage is also available 7 cables
NE of Pond Cay Light in similar depths.
Alongside berths. There are three small piers with
depths alongside of 3 to 5⋅5 m.
Port services
4.83 1
Supplies. Food and fuel are available in limited
quantities. There is a plentiful supply of water.
Communications.
The island is reported to have two
airfields with daily flights from Roatán (4.85). Vessels also
call enroute from Puerto Cortés, La Ceiba, Trujillo and
Grand Cayman.
Storm anchorage
4.84 1
During ‘Northers’ smooth water anchorage may be
found on the bank between Southwest Cay (16°25′N
85°55′W) and Ochre Bluff (3¾ miles W of Southwest
Cay), the SW extremity of Isla de Guanaja, taking care to
avoid the charted shoal depths.
ISLA DE ROATÁN
General information
Chart 1220, 513 (see 1.18)
Route
4.85 1
From a position SE of Isla de Roatán, the route leads W
for about 30 miles until in a position S of the island’s main
harbour at Coxen Road (16°18′N 86°32′W). The route then
continues WSW for about 10 miles until clear SW of Punta
Oeste (16°16′N 86°36′W).
Topography
4.86 1
Isla de Roatán (16°25′N 86°20′W) lies 14 miles W of
Isla de Guanaja (4.70). Three small islands, Isla Barbareta,
Isla Morat and Isla Santa Elena lie close off the E
extremity of the island. Roatán is densely wooded and rises
to two peaks, Puerto Real Peak, 235 m high, 7 miles from
the E end and an unnamed hill, 244 m high, 6 miles from
the W end of the island. The S coastline is deeply indented
with lagoons and bays, some of which have protecting
reefs to form natural harbours suitable for commercial
vessels. The island stands on a steep bank of coral with
numerous cays and shoals, as shown on the charts.
Shoal depths
4.87 1
The charts have been compiled from small scale surveys
and must be used with caution when close inshore.
Pilotage
4.88 1
Local pilots are available for entry into the port of
Coxen Road.
Natural conditions
4.89 1
Tidal stream and current information is the same as for
Isla de Guanaja. See 4.69 for details.
Directions
(continued from 4.76)
Major light
4.90 1
Punta Oeste Light (16°16′N 86°36′W).
South coast inshore passage
4.91 1
From a position SE of Isla Barbareta (16°27′N 86°09′W)
the route leads W for 30 miles to a position S of Coxen
Road (16°18′N 86°32′W) (4.96), thence WSW for 10 miles
until clear SW of Punta Oeste, the W extremity of the
island, passing (with positions from Punta Oeste Light
(16°16′N 86°36′W)):
2
S of Isla Barbareta (30 miles ENE), thence:
S of Puerto Real (20 miles ENE), thence:
S of La Punta (15 miles ENE), thence:
S of French Harbour (10 miles ENE), thence:
S of Dixon Cove (7 miles ENE), thence:
S of Daring Shoal (6 miles ENE), the SE danger off
Banco Cordelia, thence:
3
S of Coxen Road (5 miles NE), thence:
SSE of Punta Oeste Light, thence:
SSE of a 15 m shoal depth reported (1985),
3½ miles W.
CHAPTER 4
98
Useful mark:
Church (16°17′⋅4N 86°34′⋅5W), a prominent white
building with red roof and square bell tower.
(Directions continue at 4.107)
Anchorages and harbours
Local knowledge
4.92 1
Local knowledge is essential for entering all the
harbours and anchorages around the island.
Puerto Real
4.93 1
Directions: Puerto Real (16°24′N 86°17′W) is a large
and sheltered harbour, with considerable historic interest.
The approach is from the S and entry is through a channel
1 cable wide between Fort Cay (16°24′⋅2N 86°17′⋅2W), on
which stands the ruins of a fort, and Long Reef to the W.
The edges of the reef are steep−to and easily distinguished
by eye. Puerto Real Peak (4.86), which lies about 1½ miles
NW of Fort Cay, is a useful landmark. Depths in the
entrance channel have been reported to be 5⋅5 to 8⋅2 m, but
no recent information is available (2002).
2
Anchorage is available about 3 cables WNW of Fort
Cay, in depths of 11 m; sand bottom. Anchorage can also
be found in the E part of the harbour, in general depths of
9 to 18 m. In several places the coast is so steep−to that
vessels of moderate draught can lie alongside.
Oak Ridge Harbour
4.94 1
General information. Oak Ridge Harbour (4 miles W of
Puerto Real), used by fishing craft and coasters, is entered
through a narrow channel, with a depth of 6⋅1 m, leading N
to the anchorage off the town.
Anchorage is available for vessels drawing up to 4⋅9 m,
in depths of 6 to 8 m.
French Harbour
4.95 1
General information. French Harbour (16°21′⋅0N
86°27′⋅5W), used by fishing craft and coasters, is
approached from the S and entered by a narrow channel
through the offlying reef.
Anchorage may be obtained, in depths of 22 to 36 m,
within the lagoon.
Coxen Road
General information
4.96 1
Coxen Road (Coxen Hole) (16°18′N 86°32′W) is the
principal port in the island and the only port of entry for
all the ports in Islas de Bahía. The town lines the N shore
of the harbour, which is sheltered from the E by Coxen
Cay. The main industries are boat building, fruit export and
tourism.
Traffic
4.97
1
In 2004 the port handled 27 vessels with a total of
738 205 dwt.
Port radio
4.98 1
See the Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
details.
Pilotage
4.99 1
Pilots board about 2 miles SSW of the harbour entrance
in response to the international signal.
Directions
4.100 1
Approach with Hendricks Hill, a conspicuous hill 45 m
high 4 cables N of the bight, bearing 020°, passing:
WNW of Banco Smith (1 mile SSW of Coxen Cay),
thence:
WNW of W extremity of Coxen Cay reef.
Anchorages
4.101 1
The best anchorage is close NW of Coxen Cay, with the
SW extremity of the cay bearing 156°. The depth is about
13 m and the bottom sand and coral.
Berths
4.102 1
A small wharf at the town has depths alongside of 1⋅8
to 3 m. A dock (reported 2004) with alongside depth of
10⋅4 m on its S side, can berth vessels up to 365 m long.
Port services
4.103 1
Supplies. Water and provisions are available in limited
quantities.
Communications. An airstrip, with daily inter island
flights and connections with the mainland, is situated E of
the town. There is also weekly communication by sea with
La Ceiba (4.47).
ISLA DE UTILA
General information
Chart 513 (see 1.18)
Route
4.104 1
From a position near the mid−point between Isla de
Roatán and Isla de Utila the route leads WSW until SW of
Puerto Este (16°05′N 86°54′W), the island’s principal
harbour, thence continues WSW until in a position S of
Cayo A’spero anchorage (16°03′⋅5N 87°00′⋅0W). The route
crosses the coastal route (4.11, 4.20) between Cabo de
Honduras and Puerto Cortés.
Topography
4.105 1
Isla de Utila (16°06′N 86°56′W) lies 18 miles WSW of
Isla de Roatán (4.86). It is a good landmark and easily
identified when approaching from the N. Although much of
the land is low and swampy the N side is bold, with a
ridge of hills rising to Pumpkin Hill, a distinctive conical
peak, at the E end of the island. Utila lies at the edge of
the continental shelf on a narrow bank of coral, with an
extensive area of cays and dangerous reefs to the SW. The
N coast is fringed with drying reefs over most of its length
and provides shelter for local fishing craft only. The S
coast is steep−to and contains the harbour of Puerto Este
(4.110).
Shoal depths
4.106 1
The chart has been compiled from an old lead−line
survey and must be used with caution. See The Mariner’s
Handbook for remarks on coral growth.
CHAPTER 4
99
Natural conditions
4.107 1
Tidal stream and current information is the same as for
Isla de Guanaja. See 4.69 for details.
Directions
(continued from 4.91)
Major light
4.108
1
Pumpkin Hill Light (16°07′⋅7N 86°52′⋅8W).
South−south−east coast inshore passage
4.109 1
From a position to the ENE of the island in the vicinity
of 16°10′N 86°43′W the route leads WSW for 12 miles to
a position off Puerto Este (16°06′N 86°54′W), thence a
further 7 miles to a position SSW of Roca Salmedina
(16°02′N 86°59′W), passing (with positions from Pumpkin
Hill Light (4.108)):
2
SSE of the E end of Isla de Utila (1 mile SE) on
which stands Pumpkin Hill (4.105), thence:
SSE of Puerto Este Light (small wooden building)
(16°05′N 86°54′W), thence:
SSE of Water Cays (6 miles SW), thence:
SSE of Roca Salmedina (8 miles SW).
Puerto Este
General information
4.110 1
Puerto Este (16°06′N 86°54′W) is the principal harbour
in the island. A small settlement lines the shore. Reefs,
through which there is a narrow channel, extend at the
entrance of a large bay to form a sheltered anchorage.
Pilotage
4.111 1
Pilotage is compulsory. Pilots board about 1 mile SSW
of the harbour entrance in response to a signal of one long
blast on the siren or whistle. Local knowledge is essential
for entry into the port.
Directions
4.112 1
From a position SW of the harbour, in the vicinity of
16°03′N 86°55′W, the route leads NNE for 1½ miles to the
pilot boarding place. The entrance is about 1½ cables wide
and must be navigated by eye. Depths in the fairway are
9⋅3 to 11⋅2 m.
Anchorage
4.113 1
Sheltered anchorage is available in the harbour in depths
which reduce to about 7 m when 2 cables off the N shore.
The bottom is clay over coral.
Supplies
4.114 1
Limited quantities of provisions and fuel are available.
Water of good quality is plentiful.
Cayo A’spero anchorage
General information
4.115 1
Good anchorage, sheltered from all directions except S,
is available in a position 1½ miles SSE of Cayo A’spero
(Ragged Cay) (16°05′N 87°00′W), in depths of 11 to 29 m.
Local knowledge is essential for safe navigation. Entry is
from the S between Roca Salmedina (16°02′N 86°59′W)
and Arrecife Sur (16°01′N 87°02′W).
2
Useful mark:
Light tower (disused) (16°05′N 87°00′W), black
framework tower, 31 m in height.
ISLA DE UTILA TO PUERTO CORTÉS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 513
General description
4.116 1
From Isla de Utila (16°06′N 86°56′W) to Puerto Cortés
(15°51′N 87°57′W), 55 miles WSW, the main route passes
N of the 200 m contour in oceanic depths until N of Punta
Sal (15°56′N 87°36′W), where it joins the coastal route.
The coastal route S of Isla de Utila, used by small vessels,
requires local knowledge. The route to Tela (15°47′N
87°28′W) leads SW from the main route, passing NW of
Isla de Utila. There are few navigational aids.
2
Tela (4.125) is a banana exporting port and Puerto
Cortés (4.135) is the principal trading port in Honduras.
Local craft may be encountered fishing out of the small
natural harbours.
Topography
4.117 1
Punta Sal (15°56′N 87°36′W) is a bold promontory
which appears to stand out from the coast like an island
until close−to. There is a group of rocky islets lying close
off its NE extremity. The point divides the coast into two
distinctive parts. To the E a large number of dangerous
shoals are located on an extensive area of continental shelf.
To the W deep water lies close offshore.
2
Sediment from the main rivers, Ríos San Juan and Leán,
discolours the coastal waters. The main feature offshore is
Isla de Utila (4.105).
3
The wide valley of Río Ulúa lies between the
mountainous regions of Tela and the land behind Puerto
Cortés. Punta Caballos (15°51′N 87°58′W) is at the W end
of a low neck of land, on which Puerto Cortés stands. The
whole terrain is densely wooded. The beach is mostly sand
between a few rock headlands.
Depths
4.118 1
Dangerous uncharted shoals are likely to be encountered
anywhere within the 200 m depth contour. See The
Mariner’s Handbook for remarks on coral growth. Charts
have been compiled from old and imperfect surveys and
must be used with caution.
Natural conditions
4.119 1
Weather. Coastal winds are E for most of the year, with
a pronounced diurnal variation. Calms and light offshore
winds are frequent during the late night and early morning.
CHAPTER 4
100
Heavy rainfall should be expected between November and
January. See 1.201 for remarks on ‘Northers’.
2
Current. The general set of the current is E near the
coast, at a rate of about ½ knot. This set is increased in
strength and may be experienced as far N as 17°N in the
winter months after a prolonged spell of ‘Northers’. The
increase is particularly marked off Punta Ulúa (4.134).
OFFSHORE ROUTE
General information
Chart 513
Route
4.120 1
Between Isla de Utila (16°06′N 86°56′W) and Puerto
Cortés (15°51′N 87°57′W) the route leads W for 50 miles,
then SW for 20 miles in deep water. This oceanic route is
recommended in preference to the more direct coastal route
due to the dangerous shoal areas inshore.
Topography
4.121 1
See 4.117 for details.
Charted depths
4.122 1
See 4.118 for details.
Directions
(continued from 4.27)
Principal marks
4.123 1
Major Lights
Punta Sal Light (15°55′N 87°36′W) (4.124).
Punta Obispo (Izopo) Light (white framework tower,
15 m in height) (15°50′⋅9N 87°22′⋅5W).
Punta Caballos Light (red metal tower, white band)
(15°51′N 87°58′W).
Isla de Utila to Puerto Cortés
4.124 1
From a position near the mid−point between Isla de
Utila (4.105) and Isla de Roatán (4.85) the route leads W
for 50 miles, then SW for 27 miles, passing:
N of a disused light tower (16°05′N 87°00′W),
thence:
N of a 19⋅6 m shoal depth (16°06′N 87°22′W),
thence:
2
N of a 18⋅3 m shoal depth, reported (1966) (16°04′N
87°31′W), thence:
N of Punta Sal Light (white framework tower, 15 m
in height) (15°55′N 87°36′W), thence:
NW of Punta Ulúa (15°55′⋅5N 87°43′⋅5W), a low,
well defined, sand point, thence:
3
NW of an 18⋅3 m shoal depth, reported (1960)
(15°55′N 87°54′W).
Useful mark:
Cerro Cardona (15°53′N 87°50′W) (not charted), an
isolated conical hill.
(Directions continue at 4.153 and
for Puerto Cortés at 4.145)
Tela
Chart 513 plan of Tela, 513, (see 1.18)
General information
4.125 1
The banana port of Tela (15°47′N 87°28′W) is situated
at the S end of the bay of the same name. The town, built
on flat land at the foot of a mountain range, has a
population of 24 800 (1994).
The site of the first Spanish settlement on the mainland
lies at the village of Triunfo, 3 miles NE.
2
Traffic: in 2004 7 vessels used the port with a total of
400 882 dwt.
Port Authority. The port is administered by Empresa
Nacional Portuaria, Tela.
Limiting conditions
4.126 1
Maximum size of vessel: 183 m LOA.
Tidal level. The tidal range is about 0⋅3 m.
Swell. It is recommended that vessels remain at
immediate notice during the winter months, as they may
need to put to sea quickly due to the occasional and
sudden build up of swell.
Arrival information
4.127 1
Port radio. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5) for details.
Anchorage is available in an open roadstead up to
1 mile N or NW of the head of the jetty in depths of 14 to
18 m, or 1 mile W of Punta El Triunfo (4.128) in depths of
18 to 22 m.
2
Pilotage. Pilots board 1¾ miles NNW of the pier.
Vessels are advised to berth heading N at the pier. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Quarantine. Quarantine officials board at the pier.
Directions
(continued from 4.27)
4.128 1
From a position NW of Isla de Utila, the route leads
SW for about 30 miles into Bahía de Tela, thence S for
4 miles to the pilot boarding place off Tela, passing (with
positions from Punta Obispo Light (15°51′N 87°22′W)
(4.123)):
2
NW of a 16 m shoal depth, reported (1968), (15 miles
NE), the most NW of charted dangers in the
vicinity, thence:
Clear of a 13⋅7 m shoal depth reported (1973)
(12 miles NNE), thence:
NW of a 12⋅5 m shoal depth (4 miles NW), the most
NW of charted dangers in the vicinity, thence:
3
E of an 8⋅4 m shoal depth (7 miles W), the most E of
charted dangers to the W of the route, thence:
W of a 9 m shoal depth (reported 1980) (4¾ miles
W), the most W of charted dangers to the E of the
route.
4
W of Punta Obispo (Izopo), a bluff, rocky headland
covered in trees. A rocky islet (6 m in height) lies
2 to 3 cables NNW of the point.
W of Punta El Triunfo (4 miles SW), a bold, rocky
headland.
Alongside berths
4.129 1
Tela Jetty (East) (15°47′⋅1N 87°27′⋅5W): length 220 m,
depth 6 to 10 m. There is another berth on the W side.
CHAPTER 4
101
Both berths are at the outer end of a jetty 610 m in length.
In 2005 the jetty was in ruins and it is not known if the
berths remain serviceable.
Port services
4.130 1
Facility: hospital.
Supplies: fresh provisions; fuel and water.
Communications: the nearest airport is at La Ceiba
(4.47).
Anchorages and harbours
Chart 513 (see 1.18)
Puerto Sal
4.131 1
General information. There is good shelter from N
winds at Puerto Sal (15°54′N 87°37′W) in depths of 7 to
8 m, but the anchorage is exposed to the E.
Puerto Escondido
4.132 1
General information. Puerto Escondido (15°54′N
87°38′W) is a cove used by coasters, which lies on the
opposite side of the promontory from Puerto Sal (4.131). It
is sheltered from the E and exposed to N and W winds.
Laguna Tinto
4.133 1
General information. The entrance to Laguna Tinto
(15°53′N 87°39′W), used by coasters, lies 1 mile SW of
Puerto Escondido.
Anchorage. In moderate weather there is good
anchorage 5 cables off the entrance, in depths of 14 m;
mud bottom. Farther offshore the bottom is rock.
Río Ulúa
4.134 1
General information. Río Ulúa (15°55′N 87°43′W) is
reported to be navigable by light−draught vessels for
140 miles. Depths over the bar do not usually exceed
2⋅1 m. Mud carried out by the river discolours the coastal
waters.
Anchorage is available (March to December) with the
mouth of the river bearing 191°, in a depth of 7 m.
PUERTO CORTÉS
General information
Chart 2988 plan of Approaches to Puerto Cortés and
Puerto Cortés
Position
4.135 1
Puerto Cortés (15°51′N 87°57′W) is situated close E of
Punta Caballos (4.117), in the NE of Bahía de Cortés.
Function
4.136 1
Puerto Cortés is the principal port of Honduras, with
facilities for container, LASH transport system, bulk liquid
and general cargoes. There is an oil refinery and a Free
Trade Zone. The population is 33 500 (1994).
Topography
4.137 1
The port stands on a low, marshy promontory within a
large bay, sheltered from the prevailing winds. Close S of
the bay Montañas de Omoa rise to their highest point with
Cerro Negro de Omoa (985 m), 8 miles SSW of Puerto
Cortés. Prominent red cliffs, up to 30 m in height, mark the
SW end of the bay. A large and deep lagoon, Laguna de
Alvarado, lies close SE of the town, behind a narrow spit
of land. Numerous shoals, best seen from the chart, lie
between the 10 and 50 m contours.
Approach and entry
4.138 1
The recommended approach is from the NNE, passing
close W of Punta Caballos (4.117). An alternative route
from the W requires pilotage from a position N of Punta
de Omoa (4.157).
Traffic
4.139 1
In 2004 the port was used by 283 vessels having a total
of 18 507 271 dwt. In 2002 the port handled 5.79 m
tonnes cargo.
Port authority
4.140 1
Empresa Nacional Portuaria, PO Box 18, Puerto Cortés.
Limiting conditions
4.141 1
Controlling depth. The least charted depth in the
approach channel is 10.5 m lying about 9 cables SW of
Punta Caballos Light (4.123). However, it was reported
(2003) that the National Port Authority had commenced
dredging an access channel from 11½ to 14 m in depth.
2
Deepest and longest berth. No 1 berth (oil pier head
with dolphins). See 4.147.
Tidal range: see Admiralty Tide Tables for details.
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅2 m.
Density of water is 1⋅028 to 1⋅030 g/cm
3
3
Maximum size of vessel handled.
Maximum draught
alongside is 13⋅1 m for tankers and 10⋅1 m for container
vessels. Maximum size of LASH vessel is 19 000 grt.
Local weather. The wharves are exposed to W and SW
winds which may cause occasional berthing problems.
Prevailing winds are from E to NE.
Arrival information
4.142 1
Port radio. There is a port radio service. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Notice of ETA: 72, 48 and 24 hours.
2
Pilotage is compulsory. Pilots board ¾ mile NNW,
1¼ mile SSW, and 5½ miles WSW of Punta Caballos Light
(15°51′N 87°58′W (4.123)), as charted. For further details
see Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Tugs. The use of tugs is compulsory for vessels over
1000 grt.
3
Local knowledge is required to use the W approach
channel which leads from a position 2 miles N of Punta
Omoa (4.154).
Traffic regulations:
Vessels may enter and depart at any time, subject to
prior arrangement.
4
Clearance is available between 0600 and 2000.
Clearance at other times is subject to prior
arrangement.
Vessels anchoring in the bay may do so no closer
than 5 cables from any wharf.
Quarantine. Officials board vessels at the wharves.
CHAPTER 4
102
Harbour
General layout
4.143 1
A single line of wharves extends along the N shore of
the bay, with deep water close to the port. A large
anchorage area is available to the S and SW of the
wharves. Land is being reclaimed in the shallow water at
the E end of the town. The Coast Guard Pier is at the head
of the bay.
Natural conditions
4.144 1
Currents in the harbour are reported to be uncertain and
may often be contrary to the wind.
Local weather. W or SW winds may result in moderate
to heavy seas in the anchorage.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 4.124)
Principal marks
4.145 1
Landmarks:
Cerro Cardona (15°53′⋅0N 87°50′⋅5W), an isolated
conical hill.
Refinery towers (15°51′⋅0N 87°57′⋅4W).
Saddle Hill (15°44′⋅5N 87°55′⋅5W).
Water tower (15°49′⋅5N 87°55′⋅9W).
2
Major light:
Punta Caballos Light (15°51′N 87°58′W) (4.123).
4.146 1
From a position in the vicinity of 15°55′N 87°57′W,
4 miles N of Punta Caballos Light (4.123) the approach
route leads SSW for 4 miles to the entrance channel, which
is marked by buoyant light−beacons (lateral). Thence the
route continues S for 5 cables through the channel; thence
E and NE as required to close the berths or anchorage,
passing (with positions from Punta Caballos Light (15°51′N
87°58′W)):
2
WNW of 9⋅1 m shoal (3 miles NNE), thence:
ESE of 10⋅9 m shoal (reported 1960) (2 miles NNW),
thence:
WNW of ‘O’ Light−buoy (safe water) (15°51′⋅9N
87°57′⋅9W) (6 cables NNW), marking the
beginning of the approach channel, marked by
buoyant light−beacons, and with a controlling
depth (reported 2002) of 11 m, thence:
3
Between No 1 and No 2 Buoyant Light−beacons
(lateral) (4½ cables WSW) standing 2 cables apart,
thence:
Between No 3 and No 4 Buoyant Light−beacons
(lateral) (9½ cables SSW) standing 3 cables apart;
an isolated 9⋅7 m shoal lies close SW of the latter.
Thence:
4
S of the 10 m depth contour (7½ cables SSW),
thence:
N of a 9⋅5 m shoal reported (1976) (1¼ miles S).
A stranded wreck, shown on the chart, lies 2 miles S of
Punta Caballos Light.
Berths
4.147 1
Anchorage. There is good anchorage off the town, in
depths 9 to 16 m; mud and sand.
2
Alongside berths. No 1 berth, Texaco Pier (15°50′⋅6N
87°57′⋅7W): length 120 m (pier head), depth 13⋅7 m; used
for oil. No 1A pier approximately 250 m E of No 1 Pier
has a reported depth of 13 m alongside. This pier is for the
importing of refined petroleum products. No 2 berth is out
of service. Ro−Ro available at Nos 3 and 4 berths.
3
No 5 berth (15°50′⋅5N 87°56′⋅8W): length 343 m, depth
10⋅1 m; used for containers.
Port services
4.148 1
Repairs. Facilities available for small repairs.
Other facilities: limited oily waste disposal; hospital
and medical clinics.
Supplies: fuel oil; diesel; fresh water; provisions.
Communications. The nearest airport with international
connections is at San Pedro Sula, 72 km by road.
2
Harbour regulations.
Landing is prohibited from vessels at anchor in the
bay.
GULF OF HONDURAS — SOUTH SHORE
General information
Chart 1573
Route
4.149 1
The route to ports in Bahía de Amatique (15°59′N
88°39′W) leads W in deep water from a position NNE of
Punta Caballos, thence WNW in increasingly shoal water to
a position N of Cabo Tres Puntas, thence SSW to enter the
bay between Punta Gorda (16°06′N 88°48′W) and Cabo
Tres Puntas (15°58′N 88°36′W), 39 miles W. The route
traverses the whole of the Caribbean coastline of
Guatemala.
Topography
4.150 1
Bahía de Omoa extends W of Omoa (15°47′N
88°03′W). The coastline to the E is backed by Montañas de
Omoa. The highest peaks of these mountains are seldom
visible except during the dry season at dawn. Cerro Negro
de Omoa (4 miles S of Amoa) is sharply pointed and
prominent. The coastline to the W is low and swampy to
Cabo Tres Puntas (15°58′N 88°37′W), which stands at the
NW extremity of a low peninsula. The coastline between
Bahía de Omoa and Cabo Tres Puntas is unsurveyed. A
tableland feature (180 m high) (15°44′N 88°30′W) is
prominent.
2
Bahía de Amatique (15°55′N 88°45′W) is a large bay
behind Cabo Tres Puntas. The land to the SE and NW is
low, flat and swampy, while to the SW the land is higher
and backed by Montañas del Mico. The whole terrain is
densely wooded.
3
The S end of the Belize Barrier Reef (5.7), which
extends along the whole coast of Belize, lies about 14 miles
ENE of Cabo Tres Puntas.
Depths
4.151 1
The chart has been compiled from old and imperfect
surveys and must be used with caution. Dangerous shoals
must be expected anywhere within the 200 m depth
contour.
CHAPTER 4
103
Natural conditions
4.152 1
Flow. The currents off this part of the coast are reported
to be both strong and variable at times, but in general the
set is SE and follows the trend of the coast.
Tidal range. The maximum tidal range is about 0⋅5 m at
Río Dulce entrance (15°50′N 88°45′W).
Local weather. Prevailing winds on the coast are E and
NE. See 1.201 for remarks on ‘Northers’.
Directions
(continued from 4.124)
Principal marks
4.153 1
Landmark:
Cerro Negro de Omoa (15°43′N 88°01′W) (4.137).
Major lights:
Punta Caballos Light (15°51′N 87°58′W) (4.123).
Cabo Tres Puntas Light (white framework tower)
(15°58′N 88°36′W).
Puerto Barrios Light (15°44′N 88°36′W).
Punta Caballos to Cabo Tres Puntas
4.154 1
From a position about 9 miles NNE of Punta Caballos
(15°51′N 87°58′W) the route leads W for 22 miles, thence
WNW for 18 miles, thence SSW for 4 miles to enter Bahía
de Amatique (4.150) in a position WNW of Cabo Tres
Puntas (15°58′N 88°36′W), passing:
N of Punta de Omoa (15°47′N 88°03′W), a low and
prominent point, thence:
2
N of Río Motagua (15°43′N 88°13′W) (4.158),
thence:
S of 12⋅8 m shoal depth (15°57′N 88°17′W), the most
S of shoal depths in the vicinity, thence:
3
NNE of a 12⋅8 m shoal depth (16°00′N 88°34′W),
position approximate, the most NNE of shoal
depths in the vicinity, thence:
4
NNE of Cabo Tres Puntas (15°58′N 88°36′W), a
prominent well wooded point, on which stands a
light (4.153).
WNW of Cabo Tres Puntas.
Chart 2988 approaches to Puerto Barrios & Santo Tomás de
Castilla
Cabo Tres Puntas to Punta de Palma
4.155 1
From a position to the WNW of Cabo Tres Puntas
(15°58′N 88°36′W), the coastal route leads SW for 6 miles,
thence SE for 8 miles, to a position NNE of Punta de
Palma (15°45′N 88°38′W), passing (with positions from
Cabo Tres Puntas Light (15°58′N 88°36′W) (4.153)):
NNW of Ox Tongue Shoal Light (white and orange
framework structure) (6½ miles SW), thence:
2
SW of Ox Tongue Shoal Light, thence:
NE of Heredia Shoal Light (white and orange
framework structure, 6 m high) (8 miles SW),
thence:
To a position in the vicinity of ‘ST’ Light−buoy (safe
water) (15°48′N 88°36′W).
(Directions continue for Puerto Barrios at 4.177,
Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla at 4.186 and
Belize by the offshore route at 5.13)
Anchorages and harbours
Chart 2988 plan of Approaches to Puerto Cortés
Local knowledge
4.156 1
Local knowledge is required for entry into the various
anchorages off the entrances to rivers. Channels leading to
them are unmarked and the water is muddy. These
anchorages are mainly used by local craft for the river and
timber trades.
Omoa harbour
4.157 1
General information. Omoa harbour is situated in a
small bay close S of Punta de Omoa (15°47′N 88°03′W). It
is sheltered from the prevailing winds, but exposed to
‘Northers’ and to any N swell. It is not a port of entry.
Castillo San Ferdinando de Omoa stands at the N end of
the village.
2
Directions. The approach route is from the N, keeping
2 miles offshore until the jetties are sighted, thence SE to
the anchorage. The harbour is not easy to identify.
Anchorage is available 2 to 3 cables off the NE side of
the bay, in depths of 6 to 15 m.
Jetties. Some small jetties extend SW from the E side
of the bay.
Chart 1573 (see 1.18)
Río Motagua
4.158 1
General information. Río Motagua (15°43′N 88°13′W)
forms the international boundary between Honduras and
Guatemala.
Anchorage, exposed to prevailing winds, is available
1 mile NE of river entrance in a depth of 24 m. The
holding ground is good.
Charts 2988 plan of Puerto Barrios and
Santo Tomás de Castilla, 1573
Ox Tongue Bight anchorage
4.159 1
Ox Tongue Bight anchorage lies 3½ miles S of Cabo
Tres Puntas Light (15°54′N 88°36′W) (4.153) clear of three
submarine cables as shown on the chart; depths of 21 to
24 m, mud. The anchorage is well sheltered.
Bahía la Graciosa
4.160 1
General information. Bahía la Graciosa (15°51′N
88°32′W) is an expanse of shallow and protected water,
surrounded by swampy land, with an entrance leading SE
from Ox Tongue Bight (4.159).
Chart 2988 plan of Puerto Barrios and Santo Tomás de Castilla
Anchorage in the approaches to
Bahía de Santo Tomás de Castilla
4.161 1
Anchorage is available 2 miles N of Bajo Villedo Light
(aluminium framework tower) (15°45′N 88°37′W); in
depths of 9 to 10 m. The holding is good.
Livingston
4.162 1
General information. The port of Livingston (15°50′N
88°45′W) is used both for the transhipment of goods from
the interior by lighter into vessels in the anchorage and as
a fishing port. Local knowledge is required for entry. The
town (population about 3000) stands on the N shore of Río
Dulce. An oil refinery is situated 1 mile NW of Livingston.
CHAPTER 4
104
Anchorage is available 2 miles NE of town, as charted,
in depths of 7 to 11 m; soft sand bottom. The anchorage is
exposed to prevailing winds.
Communications: the airstrip is close NW of the town.
Chart 1573
Punta Cocolí
4.163 1
General information. Punta Cocolí (15°52′N 88°50′W)
is a prominent round bluff situated 6 miles NW of
Livingston (4.162). Río Cocales enters the sea about
7 cables SW of the point.
Anchorage, exposed to the prevailing winds, is available
1 mile NW of the point, in a depth of 7 m.
Río Sarstoon
4.164 1
General information. Río Sarstoon (15°54′N 88°54′W)
forms the international boundary between Guatemala and
Belize.
Anchorage, exposed to the prevailing winds, is available
about 1¼ miles ENE of the river entrance, in a depth of
6⋅4 m.
Temash and Moho Rivers
4.165 1
General information. The sea breaks heavily on the
bars of both Temash River (15°59′N 88°56′W) and Moho
River (16°04′N 88°51′W). Their banks are swampy and
lined with impenetrable mangrove for about 90 km, after
which they become firm and covered with mahogany trees.
The river current is about 1 kn in the rainy season.
2
Anchorages, exposed to the prevailing winds, are
available in the following positions:
1¼ miles ESE of Temash River entrance; in depths of
5 to 6 m.
8 cables ESE of entrance to Moho River; in a depth
of 4 m.
Punta Gorda
4.166 1
General information. Punta Gorda town (16°06′N
88°48′W) has a population of 4329 (2000). The main
activity in the area is agriculture. The coast is flat and
densely wooded. Local knowledge is required to approach
the anchorage.
2
Useful marks:
Punta Gorda Light (white mast, 17 m high) (16°06′N
88°48′W).
Radio mast (6 cables SW of Punta Gorda Light)
(125 m high).
3
Anchorage, exposed to the prevailing winds, is available
2½ miles SE of Punta Gorda Light, in depths of 10 to
11 m.
PUERTO BARRIOS
General information
Charts 2988 plan of Puerto Barrios and
Santo Tomás de Castilla, 1573
Position
4.167 1
Puerto Barrios (15°44′N 88°36′W) is situated at the
entrance to Bahía de Santo Tomás de Castilla (4.169).
Function
4.168 1
The port handles bulk, general and container cargoes. It
is the principal port of Guatemala and administrative capital
of Izabal Department. The estimated population is about
39 000 (1995).
Topography
4.169 1
The port stands on low land at the E side of Bahía de
Santo Tomás de Castilla. This large, shallow bay is
surrounded by woods and swamps. The coastline to the SW
of the bay is backed by Montañas del Mico, whose highest
point is Cerro San Gil (15°40′N 88°47′W).
Approach and entry
4.170 1
The approach is from the N, passing through Bahía de
Amatique (4.150) and the entrance to Bahía de Santo
Tomás de Castilla (4.169). Both Puerto Barrios and Puerto
Santo Tomás de Castilla (4.181) use the same approach
channel.
Traffic
4.171 1
In 2001 the port was used by 68 vessels with a total of
4 765 998 dwt.
Port authority
4.172 1
The port is administered by Commandante del Puerto,
Puerto Barrios.
Limiting conditions
4.173 1
Controlling depth. Latest depths should be obtained
from the Port Authority. The approach channel was dredged
to 11⋅0 m (1996).
Deepest and longest berth. South pier, outer. See 4.179.
2
Tidal levels. See Admiralty Tide Tables for details.
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅5 m at Río Dulce (4.162).
Density of water is 1⋅025 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled: length 183 m,
draught 8⋅5 m.
Arrival information
4.174 1
Notice of ETA: 72 and 24 hours.
Pilotage is compulsory for vessels over 500 grt.
The pilot boards:
4 miles WSW of Cabo Tres Puntas Light (15°58′N
88°36′W) (4.153), by special arrangement.
3 miles N of Bajo Villedo Light (15°45′N 88°37′W)
(4.161).
2
1 mile N of Bajo Villedo Light.
For further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Tugs. The use of tugs is compulsory when berthing
alongside the pier.
Traffic regulations: Normally entry is permitted only in
daylight, but can be arranged at night given sufficient
notice. Departure is permitted at any time.
3
The following signals are required on the whistle or
siren:
Two long blasts on arrival off the pier.
Two long and two short blasts when berthed
alongside.
Quarantine. The quarantine officer boards vessels when
alongside the pier, between 0600 and 1800 only.
CHAPTER 4
105
Harbour
General layout
4.175 1
A single jetty, with the limits of the adjacent dredged
areas marked by buoys, extends W from the NE shore of
the bay, at the town of Puerto Barrios. A former WNW
extension to the jetty, damaged by earthquake, lies
submerged and the W extremity is marked by a light, and a
buoy (special). A large anchorage area is available in the
bay. The approach channel leads from the N.
Natural conditions
4.176 1
Currents. Off the pier the out−going current sets NW at
0⋅4 kn, very occasionally reaching over 2 kn. The in−going
current sets SE at 0⋅2 to 0⋅6 kn.
Local weather. Prevailing winds are land and sea
breezes, from the N by day and the S by night.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 4.155)
Principal marks
4.177 1
Landmark:
Conspicuous tower (15°43′⋅5N 88°36′⋅0W).
Major light:
Puerto Barrios Light (15°43′⋅9N 88°35′⋅9W), position
approximate.
Entrance channel
4.178 1
Leading lights. From a position in the vicinity of ‘ST’
Light−buoy (safe water) (15°48′N 88°36′W) the alignment
(189½°) of Puerto Santo Tomás Leading Lights leads
through the centre of the entrance channel:
2
Front light (red triangular mark on metal framework
tower) (15°41′⋅6N 88°37′⋅2W).
Rear light (red triangular mark on metal framework
tower) (347 m S of the front light); both lights
reported visible on leading line only.
The entrance channel is marked by light−buoys (lateral).
3
Useful marks:
Bajo Villedo Light (15°45′⋅3N 88°37′⋅0W) (4.161).
Muelle de Puerto Barrios Head Light (15°44′⋅2N
88°36′⋅7W).
Conspicuous wreck (15°42′⋅3N 88°36′⋅8W).
Berths
4.179 1
Anchorage, as required, is S to SW of Puerto Barrios
jetty in depths of 4 to 9 m, mud bottom, but clear of the
following:
the entrance channel;
the approaches to and N of Puerto Barrios jetty;
submarine pipeline charted N of Puerto Santo Tomás
de Castilla turning basin (15°42′N 88°37′W).
2
Alongside berths. South pier (outer) (6 cables WNW of
Puerto Barrios Light (4.177)): length 305 m (total length of
pier), depth reported as 9.3 m (2000).
There is one additional berth at the inner end of the S
side of the pier and two berths, depth 7⋅3 m (1990), on the
N side.
Port services
4.180 1
Facility. Hospital.
Supplies. Provisions; fresh water.
Communications. Airport at NE edge of town.
2
Harbour regulations. The following signals are required
on the whistle or siren:
Three long blasts when requesting port officials to
board.
One short blast when pratique has been granted.
PUERTO SANTO TOMÁS DE CASTILLA
General information
Chart 2988 plan of Puerto Barrios & Santo Tomás de Castilla
4.181 1
Position. Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla (15°42′N
88°37′W) is situated on the S side of Báhia de Santo
Tomás de Castilla.
Function. The port is the principal port of entry for
Guatemala and is of modern construction. It handles
container, dry bulk, general and Ro−Ro cargoes.
2
Topography. See 4.169 for the topography of Bahía de
Santo Tomás de Castilla.
Approach and entry is the same as for Puerto Barrios,
except that the entry channel is about 2 miles longer. See
4.170.
3
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 181 vessels with a
total of 16 025 749 dwt. In 2002 the port handled 4⋅93 m
tonnes cargo.
Port authority. Empresa Portuaria Nacional, Santo
Tomás de Castilla.
Limiting conditions
4.182 1
Controlling depth. Latest depths should be obtained
from the Port Authority. The approach channel was dredged
to 11 m (reported 1993).
Deepest and longest berths. East end main wharf. See
4.188 for details.
2
Tidal levels. The tidal range is about 0⋅3 m.
Density of water is 1⋅015 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled: length 229 m,
draught 8⋅8 m.
Arrival information
4.183 1
Anchorage. See 4.179 for details.
Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels arriving, departing
or manoeuvring within the port. See the Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volume 6 (5) for details.
See 4.174 for details of pilot boarding places.
2
Tugs. The use of tugs is compulsory for any type of
manoeuvre within the port.
Traffic regulations. Entry and departure may take place
by day or night.
Quarantine. The quarantine officer boards either at the
anchorage or alongside the wharf as required, throughout
the day.
Harbour
General layout
4.184 1
A single wharf extends ENE from a position ½ cable
NW of the entrance channel front leading light (4.178). A
turning basin has been dredged off the wharf which was
reported (2000) to have been dredged to 11 m. Construction
work is being carried out on the shore NE of the wharf
which is being extended 500 m. A large anchorage area is
available N of the port facilities, clear of the channel.
CHAPTER 4
106
Natural conditions
4.185 1
Currents. A weak current, seldom exceeding ½ kn, sets
SW across the turning basin.
Local weather. Prevailing winds are land and sea
breezes, from the N by day and the S by night.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 4.155)
Principal marks
4.186 1
Landmarks:
Tower, conspicuous (15°43′⋅5N 88°36′⋅0W).
Wreck, conspicuous (15°42′⋅3N 88°36′⋅8W).
Major light:
Puerto Barrios Light (4.177).
Entrance channel
4.187 1
Directions are similar to those for Puerto Barrios
(4.167), but the entrance channel continues 2 miles further
S on the same alignment (189½°), to the turning basin and
berths.
2
Lights in line. The alignment (237°) of lights in line,
close NNW of the front leading light (4.178), is used to
assist when anchoring stern to the wharf; the holding
ground in the turning basin is not good:
Front light (15°41′⋅7N 88°37′⋅4W).
Rear light (290 m WSW of the front light).
Useful marks:
See 4.178 for details.
Berths
Alongside berths
4.188 There are a number of berths on the same wharf
reported dredged to 11 m (2000). Vessels usually berth
stern to the wharf.
Port services
4.189 1
Facility: hospital.
Supplies: diesel and fuel oil by tanker lorry; fresh
water; fruit and provisions.
Communications: the nearest airport is at Puerto
Barrios, 8 km by road.
NOTES
107
BELIZE
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
MEXICO
CARI BBEAN
SEA
Chetumal
Punta
Gorda
Tencah
Puerto
Calica
San Miguel
Isla Cozumel
C
a
b
o
C
a
t
o
c
h
e
Punta Herrero
Reef Point
Belize
Harbour
Dangriga
P
.
C
o
r
t
e
s
&
A
p
p
r
.
Big Creek & apprs.
C
o
m
m
e
r
c
e
B
i
g
h
t
1797
959
522
1797 513
1573
1220 1220
2988
2988
2988
2988
0206
1
7
9
7
5.13
5
.
4
9
5
.
3
2
5.36
5.47
5.13
5.77
5.94
5.82
5.98
5.84
5.54
5
.
3
8
108
Chapter 5 - Punta Gorda to Cabo Catoche
89° 88°
87° 86°
89° Longitude 88° West from Greenwich
87°
86°
20°
21°
22°
19°
18°
17°
16°
20°
21°
22°
19°
18°
17°
16°
109
CHAPTER 5
PUNTA GORDA TO CABO CATOCHE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1220
Scope of chapter
5.1 1
The chapter includes all the coast of Belize and the
Mexican E coast of Yucatán Peninsula, between Punta
Gorda (16°06′N 88°48′W) and Cabo Catoche (21°36′N
87°04′W), 345 miles NNE. Belize Harbour (17°28′N
88°12′W) is the only port able to take up to medium
draught vessels between Puerto Barrios (15°44′N 88°36′W)
and Progreso (21°17′N 89°40′W).
2
The land to the N is particularly remote and sparsely
populated, although tourist developments have brought large
increases in the populations of Isla Cozumel (5.22), Isla
Mujeres (5.106) and Cancún (5.106).
3
Navigation is affected by the absence of marks, the low
lying aspect of the terrain and the numerous reefs and cays.
Topography
5.2 1
The plain behind Punta Gorda (4.166) is backed by the
foothills of the Mayan mountains. Elsewhere the land is
generally very low, flat and densely wooded. There are
numerous rivers and lagoons behind the coast S of Bahía
Chetumal (5.71). The main coastal feature is the Belize
Barrier Reef (5.7), said to be the second largest area of
coral reef in the world, which extends N to include Bahía
Chetumal. The topography of the seabed on the reef shelf
is complex and subject to change from the growth of coral
and as a result of storms. Still further offshore low lying
reefs and atolls are steep−to down to ocean depths.
Depths
5.3 1
Although the more important channels have been
surveyed in more recent years (2003) (see source data
diagrams) some of the charted information stems from 19th
century lead line surveys and must be used with caution.
Fishing
5.4 1
Fishing takes place along the whole coast from small
craft working out of local harbours.
Natural conditions
5.5 1
Weather. Prevailing winds are E or SE for most of the
year, with N winds in winter. See 1.201 for remarks on
‘Northers’. Rainfall is plentiful. The region is affected by
the passage of hurricanes; see 1.196 for details. See 1.220
for climate information.
2
Currents. The equatorial current flows W on to the
Belize Barrier Reef and NW on to Yucatán Peninsula,
thence strongly NW to NNE through Yucatán Channel. A
counter current flows S inside the edge of the reef along
the coast of Belize.
THE BELIZE BARRIER REEF
General information
Chart 1220
Route
5.6 1
See 5.26 for the route between Punta Gorda (16°06′N
88°48′W) and Belize Harbour (17°28′N 88°12′W) through
Inner Channel.
Topography
5.7 1
The Belize Barrier Reef (see also 5.43) lies between a
position close S of Hunting Cay (16°07′N 88°16′W) and a
position off the N end of Ambergris Cay (18°11′N
87°51′W), 130 miles NNE. The reef extends for a distance
of between 10 and 22 miles from the mainland. A very
large number of cays, reefs and rocks, whose positions are
best seen on the charts, stand on the shelf which varies in
depth from less than 5 m to the N of Belize Harbour, to
between 10 and 12 m S of Belize Harbour and increases to
45 to 55 m in Gulf of Honduras. The seabed is very
irregular and slopes steeply from the edge of the reef to
oceanic depths.
5.8 1
There are two main types of cay, sand and mangrove,
referred to locally as ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ cays respectively.
Sand cays are usually found at the seaward margin of
Barrier Reef. They are typically up to 700 m N to S and
200 m E to W, 1 to 2 m high, covered with palm trees and
surrounded by sand beaches. Mangrove cays are mostly
found closer to the coast and have been described as mud
mounds colonised by vegetation. Some have shallow
lagoons while others may be crossed by deep, narrow
channels called ‘bogues’. They are typically larger than dry
cays, being up to 5000 m N to S and 2000 m E to W.
2
The size, shape and vegetation of the cays is much
affected by the passage of a hurricane in or near the area.
Local knowledge
5.9 1
Local knowledge or pilotage is required for all entrances
and channels across Barrier Reef, except for Inner Channel.
See 5.29 for details.
Minor entrances to Barrier Reef
Charts 1573, 1797
5.10 1
The following unmarked entrances, for which local
knowledge is required, are used by coastal vessels and
fishing craft:
Sapodilla Cut: 1 mile SW of Hunting Cay (16°07′N
88°16′W); nearly 5 cables wide; depths of 7 m
reported.
2
Ranguana Entrance: 1½ miles SE of Ranguana Cay
(16°20′N 88°09′W); about 3 cables wide; depths of
6 m reported.
Queen Cay Entrance: 1½ miles E of Silk Cays
(16°27′⋅2N 88°02′⋅3W); depths of 5 m reported;
numerous shoals and cays make entry difficult.
CHAPTER 5
110
3
Gladden Entrance: 1½ miles SSW of Gladden Spit
(16°31′N 87°59′W); about 4 cables wide; depths of
5 m reported; leads into narrow and tortuous
channels.
OFFSHORE ROUTE AND
PRINCIPAL ISLANDS
General information
Charts 1573, 1797, 959, 1220
Route
5.11 1
The offshore route from Gulf of Honduras, in the
vicinity of position 15°55′N 88°15′W, to Cabo Catoche
(21°36′N 87°04′W), 345 miles N, passes SE of Glover Reef
(5.16), ESE of Lighthouse Reef (5.18), Banco Chinchorro
(5.20), and Isla Cozumel (5.22) and clear of Arrowsmith
Bank (21°10′N 86°25′W) (5.91), to join the coastal route
off Isla Contoy in the vicinity of position 21°30′N
86°25′W.
Currents
5.12 1
The current generally sets towards the islands and the
Belize Barrier Reef, but see 5.46 for seasonal variations.
Directions
(continued from 4.155)
Principal marks
5.13 1
Major lights
Sandbore Cay Light (red metal framework tower,
25 m in height) (17°28′N 87°30′W).
Punta Celeraín Light (white round masonry tower,
25 m in height) (20°16′N 86°59′W).
Other aid to navigation
5.14
1
Racon: Cayo Lobos Light (18°24′N 87°24′W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
Gulf of Honduras to Isla Mujeres
5.15 1
From a position in the vicinity of 15°55′N 88°15′W the
route leads NE for 60 miles, thence NNE for 50 miles,
thence generally N for 230 miles, passing:
SE of Hunting Cay Light (silver metal framework
tower, 23 m in height) (16°06′N 88°16′W), situated
on a small, inhabited cay, densely covered with
coconut palms, thence:
2
SE of Gladden Spit (16°31′N 87°59′W), a prominent
E point on the Belize Barrier Reef, thence:
SE of Southwest Cays Light (white metal framework
tower, 11 m in height) (16°43′N 87°51′W), at the S
end of Glover Reef, thence:
3
ESE of Amounme Point Light (white metal
framework tower, 11 m in height) (16°55′N
87°43′W), at the NE edge of Glover Reef, thence:
ESE of Half Moon Cay Light (17°12′N 87°32′W)
(5.48), situated on a prominent SE point of
Lighthouse Reef.
(Directions for S approaches to English Cay
continue at 5.47)
4
The route continues, passing ESE of Sandbore Cay
Light (17°28′N 87°29′W) (5.13), situated on a
wooded islet near the N end of Lighthouse Reef.
(Directions for N approaches to English Cay
continue at 5.49)
5
The route continues, passing E of Cayo Lobos Light
(truncated pyramidal tower, 13 m in height)
(18°24′N 87°24′W), at the S end of Banco
Chinchorro.
6
E of Cayo Centro (aluminium truncated pyramidal
tower, 15 m in height) (18°36′N 87°20′W), situated
on a low ridge of sand in the centre of the lagoon
on Banco Chinchorro.
E of Cayo Norte Light (white round concrete tower,
10 m in height) (18°45′N 87°19′W), situated near
the N end of Banco Chinchorro, thence:
7
E of Punta Celeraín Light (20°16′N 86°59′W) (5.13),
situated on a low, wooded point at the S end of
Isla Cozumel, thence:
E of Punta Molas Light (20°35′N 86°44′W) (white
round concrete tower, red bands), situated at the
NE end of Isla Cozumel, thence:
8
W of a shoal (21°06′N 86°27′W), with a depth of
16⋅5 m over it, on the W edge of Arrowsmith
Bank, thence:
E of Isla Mujeres SE Point Light (white 8−sided
concrete tower, 11 m in height) (21°12′N
86°43′W).
(Directions continue at 5.94)
Glover Reef
Chart 1797
General information
5.16 1
Glover Reef lies between South West Cays Light
(16°43′N 87°51′W) (5.15) and Amounme Point Light
(16°55′N 87°43′W) (5.15), 14½ miles NE. The reef is a
large coral atoll with a number of low, wooded cays, as
charted, at the S end, with three entrances into the lagoon,
at the S, SE and NE points respectively. The S entrance
has been reported as 1600 m wide and up to 12 m in depth.
Local knowledge is required to enter. The inside of the
lagoon, which is unsurveyed, is foul with numerous coral
heads. There is a narrow shelf outside the reef from which
the bottom falls steeply to oceanic depths. Tourism and
fishing are established on the cays.
Anchorage
5.17 1
Temporary anchorage may be obtained 1½ miles W of
the SW cay in depths of 11 to 12 m, sheltered from the
Trade Winds by the SW end of the reef.
Lighthouse Reef
Chart 959
General information
5.18 1
The main part of Lighthouse Reef lies between Half
Moon Cay Light (17°12′N 87°32′W) (5.48) and Sandbore
Cay Light (17°28′N 87°29′W) (5.13), 16 miles N. The reef
also extends SW from Half Moon Cay in an arc for
7 miles. Like Glover Reef (5.16), the reef is a large,
steep−to, coral atoll awash, with foul ground and numerous
rocks in the lagoon. There are several low, wooded cays on
the reef, as charted, some of which are inhabited. Local
knowledge is required to enter by the only channel, which
lies close W of Half Moon Cay. The latter cay has been
CHAPTER 5
111
declared a National Bird Sanctuary and a Natural
Monument, with certain restrictions concerning birds and
shell fish. The best approach is from the W end of the cay
to land on the N side near the light tower. Blue Hole, a
remarkable natural phenomenon, is situated near the centre
of the lagoon and is reported to be 140 m deep, with a
diameter of between 2½ and 3 cables. The bottom is
calcareous mud, having a strong odour of hydrogen
sulphide.
Anchorage
5.19 1
Good anchorage is available 2 to 3 cables S of Half
Moon Cay (5.48); 9 m depth; sand and mud bottom.
Banco Chinchorro
Chart 1220
General information
5.20 1
Banco Chinchorro lies between Cayo Lobos Light
(18°24′N 87°24′W) (5.15) and a position close N of Cayo
Norte Light (18°45′N 87°19′W) (5.15), 23 miles N. Like
Lighthouse Reef (5.18), it is a steep−to coral reef awash
with a shallow central lagoon strewn with coral heads.
There are three openings into the lagoon: close NW of
Cayo Lobos, close NW of Cayo Norte, with depths up to
2⋅1 m and about 11¼ NNE of Cayo Lobos, with depths of
2⋅4 to 3⋅7 m. Local knowledge is required to enter the
lagoon. The three principal islets on the reef, Cayos Lobos,
Centro (18°36′N 87°20′W) and Norte, are low, sand cays.
Cayos Centro and Norte are densely wooded; all are
marked by lights. Cayo Centro and a number of wrecks off
the E side of the bank are reported (1971) to give good
radar responses.
Anchorage
5.21 1
Temporary anchorage may be obtained in moderate
weather W of Skylark Ledges (18°23′N 87°25′W); in
depths of 9 m.
Isla Cozumel
General information
5.22 1
Isla Cozumel (20°26′N 86°55′W) is 24 miles in length.
Lights are displayed from the S and N extremities at Punta
Celeraín (5.13) and Punta Molas (5.15), respectively. The
island is a tourist resort for recreation, fishing and sailing.
It is low, flat and wooded, with sand beaches.
2
The town of San Miguel (20°31′N 86°57′W), with many
prominent buildings, stands on the NW coast. See 5.84 for
details of port facilities. There is a Coast Radio Station on
the island; see Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 1(2)
for details.
3
Castillo del Rey ruins, distinguishable at a distance of
10 miles, stand on the E coast about 5 miles SSW of Punta
Molas Light. Banco de Cozumel, with a bottom of sand
and weed, extends NE from Punta Molas for 15 miles. The
E edge of the bank is clearly defined by current ripples.
Elsewhere the coast is steep−to to oceanic depths. A nature
reserve extends off the S part of the island to a distance of
about 1 mile offshore, as shown on the chart.
Anchorage
5.23 1
There is good anchorage on Banco de Cozumel in
position 20°38′N 86°52′W, as charted; depth 11 m; sand
bottom; clear water; protected from the E swell and out of
the current, but open to ‘Northers’.
PUNTA GORDA TO BELIZE HARBOUR
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1220
General description
5.24 1
The area between Punta Gorda (16°06′N 88°48′W) and
Belize Harbour (17°28′N 88°12′W) is sparsely populated
and made over to agriculture, with some tourist facilities on
the reef islands and fishing out of small harbours. There
are, in general, few navigational aids or distinctive marks.
Topography
5.25 1
The features of the coast include the Belize Barrier Reef
(5.7), the many channels which cross the reef, the offshore
coral atolls of Glover Reef (5.16), Lighthouse Reef (5.18)
and Turneffe Islands (5.52) and the rivers, swamps and
lagoons which border the sea. Seabed topography is
complex and very irregular with numerous coral heads,
rocks, shoals and islets on the reefs. In contrast the land is
generally low, flat and densely wooded. The foothills of the
Mayan mountains lie about 10 miles behind the coast in the
S part of the area.
PUNTA GORDA TO THE SOUTHERN
APPROACHES TO BELIZE HARBOUR
General information
Charts 1573, 1797, 959
Route
5.26 1
Between Punta Gorda (16°06′N 88°48′W) (4.166) and
the S approaches to Belize Harbour, 80 miles NNE, the
route called Inner or Main Channel, marked by
light−beacons and light−buoys, leads NE, thence NNE and
N, passing on the W side of the edge of the Belize Barrier
Reef (5.7).
Topography
5.27 1
The topography is unique in its variety, with the reef
extending more than 20 miles offshore, the irregularity of
the seabed and the many swamps, rivers and lagoons which
lie behind the coral shore. The coast is generally low and
densely wooded. Apart from Seven Hills (16°12′N
88°46′W), NNE of Punta Gorda, which are conspicuous,
the coastal plain is also generally very low.
Depths
5.28 1
While depths along the route have been surveyed to
modern standards those outside the route and on the outer
CHAPTER 5
112
reefs have not. See The Mariner’s Handbook for remarks
on coral growth. The shoal depth of 7⋅1 m in position
16°20′⋅5N 88°23′⋅6W indicates a prudent controlling depth
for passage of The Narrows.
Pilotage
5.29 1
Pilotage for Inner Channel is available; see 5.45 for pilot
boarding place. A daylight passage of The Narrows is
recommended for vessels without pilot assistance.
Local knowledge
5.30 1
Local knowledge is required to navigate outside the
described route.
Natural conditions
5.31 1
Flow. A W current with a rate of up to 1 kn sets on the
outer edge of Barrier Reef, with a heavy swell. The
direction is much affected by local winds. A S−going
current is experienced in Inner Channel, especially after
‘Northers’, with a rate of 1 kn or more. Tidal streams are
not significant.
2
Local weather varies from still, calm, clear days to
overcast, with squalls of 25 to 35 kn and heavy showers.
Directions
(continued from 4.154)
Major light
5.32 1
Cabo Tres Puntas Light (White framework tower)
(15°58′N 88°36′W) (4.153).
Placentia Lagoon Aero Light (Mast) (16°32′⋅0N
88°25′⋅2W).
Punta Gorda to Monkey River
5.33 1
From the vicinity of 16°00′⋅0N 88°40′⋅7W, NW of Cabo
Tres Puntas (4.154) and about 9 miles SE of Punta Gorda,
the route leads NE for 20 miles to a position 4 miles ENE
of East Snake Cay Light (silver metal framework tower,
21 m in height) (16°13′N 88°31′W), passing (with positions
from East Snake Cay Light):
2
NW of 7⋅3 m shoal depth (8¾ miles SSE), thence:
SE of East Snake Cay Light.
Thence, from the position ENE of Snake Cay Light, the
recommended track 019°/119° shown on the chart leads
NNE for about 6 miles to a position ESE of Monkey River
Light.
Monkey River to Dangriga
5.34 1
From a position ESE of Monkey River Light (16°22′N
88°29′W) (5.33) the recommended track leads NNE for
16 miles, through The Narrows (16°27′N 88°21′W), to a
position ESE of False Cay (16°36′⋅0N 88°20′⋅3W) passing
(with positions from Bugle Cay Light (white framework
tower, 19 m in height) (16°29′N 88°19′W)):
2
Close WNW of a 7⋅1 m shoal (5.28) (9½ miles
SSW), thence:
ESE of Monkey Shoal (8½ miles SW), marked by
No 1 light−buoy (E cardinal), thence:
WNW of a 4⋅7 m shoal depth (6¾ miles SSW),
thence:
ESE of Penguin Shoals (5¼ miles SW), thence:
3
ESE of No 2 light−buoy (E cardinal) (3½ miles SW),
thence:
Between Potts Shoal (2½ miles WSW) and 4⋅6 m
shoal depth (1 mile SSW), thence:
4
ESE of Placentia Cay (2½ miles WNW), thence:
WNW of Lark Rock (3 miles NNE), thence:
WNW of a 4⋅7 m shoal depth (3½ miles NNE).
5.35 1
From a position ESE of False Cay (16°36′⋅0N
88°20′⋅3W) the route via the Inner Channel leads NNE for
13 miles, then N for 11 miles to a position E of Dangriga
passing (with positions from Sittee Point Light (white metal
framework tower) (16°48′N 88°15′W)):
2
WNW of a 4⋅2 m shoal depth (3½ miles ESE),
thence:
ESE of Sittee Point, a low, well defined and wooded
headland, off which Sittee Point Light stands on an
islet, thence:
W of a 4⋅5 m shoal depth (4 miles E), thence:
W of Coco Plum Cay (9 miles NE), thence:
E of Dangriga (10 miles N).
3
Useful marks:
Placentia radio mast, conspicuous (16°32′N 88°25′W).
Dangriga radio mast, conspicuous, 101 m in height
(16°58′⋅3N 88°13′⋅6W).
Charts 959, 522
Dangriga to Belize Harbour approaches
5.36 1
From a position E of Dangriga, the route leads N for
20 miles to a position in the S approaches to Belize
Harbour at the entrance to Southern Grennels Channel, in
the vicinity of 17°19′N 88°13′W, passing (with positions
from Colson Point Light (white metal framework tower)
(17°04′N 88°14′W)):
2
E of a 4⋅5 m shoal depth (3¼ miles SSE), thence:
E of a 2⋅4 m shoal depth (2½ miles SE), thence:
E of Colson Point, a prominent headland off which
stands Colson Point Light, thence:
Between a 7⋅4 m shoal depth (11¼ miles N) and a
6 m shoal depth (12½ miles NNE), thence:
Between a 6⋅4 m shoal depth (14½ miles NNE) and
Rambler Shoal (3⋅7 m) (15 miles N).
3
Useful marks:
English Cay Rear Light (white tower, 19 m in height)
(17°19′⋅6N 88°02′⋅9W).
Robinson Point Light (white framework tower, 12 m
in height) (17°21′⋅9N 88°11′⋅9W).
(Directions continue at 5.51)
Anchorages and harbours
Chart 1797 plan Big Creek and Approaches
Big Creek
5.37 1
General information. There are three small ports on the
shores of Placentia Lagoon described below.
Big Creek (16°30′⋅8N 88°24′⋅3W), situated at the W side
of the entrance to the lagoon, has a quay and turning basin
reached by a dredged channel from deep water.
2
Placentia fishing harbour lies about 6 cables NE of
Placentia Point (16°30′⋅5N 88°22′⋅5W), also at the entrance
to the lagoon.
The banana exporting port of Mango Creek lies on the
W edge of the lagoon, about 2 miles NNW of Big Creek.
3
Traffic. In 2004 the port handled 17 vessels having a
total of 442 997 dwt.
Tidal levels. See Admiralty Tide Tables for details;
maximum tidal range about 0⋅1 m.
Maximum size. Vessels up to 70 m LOA are accepted.
CHAPTER 5
113
Pilotage is compulsory. Pilots will board off English
Cay (5.45) by prior arrangement.
4
Directions. Big Creek is approached from the vicinity of
No 2 Light−buoy (E cardinal) (5.34) in The Narrows. The
approach is via a recommended track, shown on the chart
and marked intermittently by buoys and light−buoys
(lateral); thence entry is through a channel dredged to
7⋅0 m and marked by light−buoys.
5
The channel to Mango Creek, marked by beacons, is
entered close S of Little Harvest Cay (16°30′⋅3N
88°22′⋅9W).
Anchorage is available 4 cables SSE of Placentia Point,
in a depth of 6 m.
6
Berths:
Quay at Big Creek with a dredged depth of 6⋅7 m
(1992).
Small jetty (6 cables NE of Placentia Point), well
sheltered by Placentia Cay, has a depth of 4 m
alongside;
7
Pier (about 7 cables within entrance to Mango Creek)
has a width of about 18 m and a depth of 5⋅5 m
alongside.
Supplies: fish; limited quantities fresh water and fuel.
Chart 1797 plan Commerce Bight
Commerce Bight
5.38 1
General information. Two piers (16°55′⋅9N 88°14′⋅2W)
have been constructed on the N shore of Commerce Bight.
Depths of more than 5 m are charted at the main pier, from
which a light is shown. A smaller pier lies close NW of
the main pier.
Traffic. In 2004 the port handled 3 vessels having a
total of 18 757 dwt.
Chart 1797
Dangriga
5.39 1
General information. Dangriga (16°58′N 88°13′W) is
the chief town in Stann Creek District; population 8 814
(2000). Produce includes fruit and general food crops.
Pilotage. Bar across the creek prevents all but boat
traffic, for which local pilotage is available, from entering
the harbour.
2
Anchorage 5 cables off the creek entrance; depth 7⋅3 m.
Berths: boat jetty (2½ cables NNW of the creek
entrance), length 122 m; also jetty (5 cables S of the creek),
length 183 m.
Facilities: hospital.
Supplies: limited quantities of provisions only.
Communications. Daily flights to Belize International
airport, 15 km WNW of the city.
APPROACHES TO BELIZE HARBOUR
General information
Charts 522, 959, 1220
Routes
5.40 1
South−east approaches. From a position SSE of Half
Moon Cay Light (17°12′N 87°32′W) (5.48) the route leads
W for about 25 miles, thence NNW for 12 miles between
Turneffe Islands (5.52) and the Belize Barrier Reef to the
pilot boarding place off English Cay Channel (17°20′⋅5N
88°04′⋅0W); thence W and NW for about 15 miles through
English Cay and One Man Cay channels to a position N of
Frank Knoll Light (17°24′N 88°12′W) (5.50), to enter the
harbour.
5.41 1
North−east approaches. From a position NW of
Mauger Cay Light (17°36′N 87°46′W) (5.49) the route
leads SSW for about 23 miles between Turneffe Islands
(5.52) and the Belize Barrier Reef to the pilot boarding
place off English Cay Channel; thence as described in 5.40.
5.42 1
South approaches. From a position E of Rambler
Shoals (17°19′⋅4N 88°13′⋅3W) the route leads NE and NW
for about 7 miles, through Southern Grennels and One Man
Cay channels, to a position N of Frank Knoll Light. The
passage W of Grennels Cay (17°21′⋅1N 88°11′⋅4W) is not
recommended without local knowledge, due to the presence
of detached coral patches.
Topography
5.43 1
The Belize Barrier Reef is an extensive area of coral
reef awash, lying up to 15 miles off the coast, on which the
sea breaks heavily. A chain of low, mangrove covered cays
lies at the outer edge of the reef. A single deep channel
through the reef, with its entrance close E of English Cay
(17°20′N 88°03′W), provides access to the harbour.
Turneffe Islands (17°25′N 87°50′W) lie E of English Cay.
Farther E and SSE of Turneffe Islands, with their outer
limits up to 45 miles offshore, lie Lighthouse Reef
(17°20′N 87°30′W) and Glover Reef (16°50′N 87°45′W),
respectively. Turneffe Islands, Lighthouse Reef and Glover
Reef are all low coral reefs awash, which rise steeply from
oceanic depths.
2
For a more detailed description of the Belize Barrier
Reef and the principal islands off the reef, see 5.7.
Controlling depths
5.44 1
Controlling depths for the main channels crossing Belize
Barrier Reef are:
English Cay Channel (17°19′⋅0N 88°01′⋅9W) 11⋅9 m.
Southern Grennels Channel (17°19′⋅9N 88°12′⋅0W)
14⋅0 m.
One Man Cay Channel (17°23′⋅7N 88°11′⋅2W)
11⋅6 m.
Pilotage
5.45 1
Pilotage for Belize Harbour is compulsory and available
24 hours. Pilotage is also available for Inner Channel
(5.29). The pilot boards in position 17°19′⋅5N 88°00′⋅0W.
E−mail: portbz@btl.net
2
A big sea is raised with strong E winds in this area. A
secondary boarding position for vessels awaiting lighters
lies 2 to 3 miles SSW of Fort George Light (17°29′⋅4N
88°10′⋅9W) (5.50). See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5) for details.
Currents
5.46 1
The direction of currents in the vicinity of Glover Reef,
Lighthouse Reef and Turneffe Islands changes with the
seasons as follows:
November to January; N−going with W winds and
S−going with N winds.
February and March; mainly N−going at 1 kn.
April and May; S−going at 1½ kn.
June to November; N−going at 1½ kn.
CHAPTER 5
114
2
In the vicinity of the Belize Barrier Reef the current
generally sets towards the reef, accompanied by a heavy
swell.
There is little or no tidal stream in English Cay
Channel.
Directions
(continued from 5.15)
Major lights
5.47 1
Sandbore Cay Light (17°28′N 87°30′W) (5.13).
Belize International Airport Aero Light (radio mast)
(17°32′N 88°19′W).
Chart 959
Half Moon Cay to English Cay
5.48 1
From a position SSE of Half Moon Cay (17°12′N
87°32′W) the track leads W for 25 miles, thence NNW for
12 miles to a position E of English Cay (17°20′N
88°03′W), passing:
2
S of Half Moon Cay, a small, low, wooded cay on
which stands Half Moon Cay Light (silver metal
framework tower, 24 m in height) (17°12′N
87°32′W), thence:
Half Moon Cay Light (5.48)
(Original dated 2004)
(Photograph − NGA)
S of Lighthouse Reef (17°07′N 87°37′W), thence:
3
S of Cay Bokel, a small, low cay with coconut palms
and some buildings, on which stands Cay Bokel
Light (white metal framework tower, 10 m in
height) (17°10′N 87°54′W), thence:
NE of the Belize Barrier Reef in position 17°05′N
87°59′W, thence:
WSW of Cay Bokel, thence:
4
WSW of Turneffe Islands in position 17°16′N
87°58′W, thence:
ENE of a 6⋅7 m shoal depth (17°18′⋅3N 88°02′⋅1W),
the E edge of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Useful mark:
English Cay Rear Light (17°19′⋅6N 88°02′⋅9W)
(5.36).
(Directions for Belize Harbour continue at 5.50)
English Cay (5.48)
(Original dated 2004)
(Photograph − NGA)
Mauger Cay to English Cay
5.49 1
From a position E of Sandbore Cay Light (17°28′N
87°29′W), the track leads WNW to a position NW of
Mauger Cay (17°36′N 87°46′W). Thence the track leads
SSW for 23 miles to a position E of English Cay (17°20′N
88°03′W), passing:
WNW of Mauger Cay, a small, low, wooded cay on
which stands Mauger Cay Light (white metal
framework tower, 19 m in height) (17°36′N
87°46′W), thence:
2
WNW of Turneffe Islands in position 17°23′N
87°55′W, thence:
ESE of a 6⋅4 m shoal depth (17°20′N 88°01′W), the
E edge of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Useful mark:
English Cay Rear Light (17°19′⋅6N 88°02′⋅9W)
(5.36).
Chart 522
English Cay to Frank Knoll
5.50 1
From a position in the vicinity of the pilot boarding
place (17°19′⋅5N 88°00′⋅5W) off English Cay, the track
leads generally WNW across the Belize Barrier Reef for
about 12 miles, through English Cay Channel, between 4
and 6 cables wide, thence NW through the narrow entrance
to One Man Cay Channel for 3½ miles, to a position N of
Frank Knoll (17°24′N 88°12′W).
2
Front light (concrete pillar, 7 m in height) (17°19′⋅7N
88°02′⋅6W).
Rear light (5.36) (300 m WNW of the front light).
The alignment (about 300°) of English Cay Leading
Lights leads clear of the SW end of Buzzard Shoals
(17°19′⋅3N 88°01′⋅7W), which extend across the entrance to
English Cay Channel:
Caution. This alignment leads over an 11⋅9 m shoal
depth (reported 1971).
When past Buzzard Shoals and about 7 cables from the
front light described above, the track leads NNW for 1 mile
to the channel entrance, thence on various headings through
a wide and deep channel marked by light−beacons passing:
3
WSW of Sandbore Light (red concrete pile, 5 m in
height) (17°20′⋅3N 88°02′⋅1W), reported (1995) to
be 2 cables E of its charted position, thence:
CHAPTER 5
115
W of Water Cay Spit Light (red concrete pile, 5 m in
height) (17°21′⋅3N 88°04′⋅6W), thence:
4
N of North−East Spit Light (green concrete pile, 5 m
in height) (17°22′⋅8N 88°05′⋅5W), thence:
SSW of White Grounds Spit Light (yellow concrete
pile, 5 m in height) (17°22′⋅7N 88°07′⋅0W), thence:
NNE and NW of Spanish Cay Spit Light (green
concrete pile, 5 m in height) (17°22′⋅6N
88°08′⋅4W), thence:
5
Between Halfway Light (red concrete pile, 5 m in
height) (17°22′⋅1N 88°09′⋅7W) and Halfway SW
side Light (green concrete pile, 5 m in height)
(17°21′⋅9N 88°09′⋅9W) marking the SW entrance
to One Man Cay Channel, thence:
6
SW of Sugar Berth B Light (red concrete pile, 5 m in
height) (17°23′⋅4N 88°10′⋅6W), thence:
NE of Frank Knoll Light (yellow concrete pile, 5 m
in height) (17°23′⋅7N 88°11′⋅9W).
7
As an alternative entry into English Channel, the line of
bearing of 274° on English Cay Rear Light passes between
shoal depths of 6⋅7 m and 7⋅0 m (1¼ miles E and ESE
from English Cay Rear Light respectively); when about
9 cables E of the same light the track leads NNW, as
described above.
8
Useful marks:
Spanish Lookout Cay (17°24′⋅7N 88°04′⋅3W).
Sergeants Cay (17°23′⋅7N 88°02′⋅3W).
Goff’s Cay (17°20′⋅9N 88°02′⋅2W).
Robinson Point Light (17°21′⋅9N 88°11′⋅9W) (5.36).
Fort George Light (white concrete pillar, red band on
base, 16 m in height) (17°29′⋅4N 88°10′⋅9W).
(Directions for Belize Harbour continue at 5.66)
Rambler Shoals to Frank Knoll
(continued from 5.36)
5.51 1
From a position ESE of Rambler Shoals (17°19′⋅4N
88°13′⋅3W) (5.42) the track leads NE for 3½ miles through
Southern Grennels Channel, 9 cables in width; thence NW
for 3½ miles through the narrow entrance to One Man Cay
Channel, marked by light−beacons, to a position N of
Frank Knoll, passing (with positions from Frank Knoll
Light (17°23′⋅7N 88°11′⋅9W) (5.50)):
2
Between Long Cay (4 miles SSE) and Ramsey’s Cay
(2½ miles SSE) passing clear of a Storage Vessel
(3½ miles S), thence:
Between Halfway Light and Halfway SW side Light
(2½ miles SE) marking the SE entrance to One
Man Cay Channel, thence:
SW of Sugar Berth B Light (1¼ miles ESE).
3
Useful marks:
Three Triangles Light (black concrete pile, 5 m in
height) (17°21′⋅4N 88°12′⋅5W).
Robinson Point Light (17°21′⋅9N 88°11′⋅9W) (5.36).
(Directions for Belize Harbour continue at 5.66)
Turneffe Islands
Chart 959
General information
5.52 1
Turneffe Islands lie between Cay Bokel (17°10′N
87°54′W) and Mauger Cay (17°36′N 87°46′W), 27 miles
NNE. They are surrounded by a narrow ledge of coral reef,
steep−to down to oceanic depths. Numerous islands,
intersected by boat channels and lagoons, many of which
are unsurveyed, lie on the reef and have the appearance of
one large, low, mangrove covered island. A small number
of detached islets lie N of the main group. Cay Bokel, on
which stands a light (5.48), is a fishing and diving centre
with an airstrip and regular flights to the mainland.
Anchorage
5.53 1
Good anchorage may be obtained in E winds with Cay
Bokel Light (5.48) bearing 103°, 8 cables, in a depth of
16 m, sand. The ground is foul near the 180 m contour.
BELIZE HARBOUR
General information
Chart 522
Position
5.54 1
Belize Harbour (17°28′N 88°12′W) is situated at the
mouth of Haulover Creek, the S arm of Belize River.
Function
5.55 1
There are facilities for container, petroleum and general
cargoes; a growing number of cruise vessels are also
handled (2002). A storage vessel is moored at the S end of
Southern Grennels Channel, 1¾ miles S of Robinson Point
Light (5.36). Belize City population is 49 050 (2000).
Topography
5.56 1
The land is low, with swamps and lagoons. Numerous
shoals and cays surround the harbour and port facilities.
Depths are irregular.
Port limits
5.57 1
The limit is at English Cay Pilot Boarding Place (5.45)
for vessels arriving from the NE and SE approaches, and at
anchor in Belize Harbour for vessels arriving from the
Inner Channel.
Approach and entry
5.58 1
The harbour is approached through English Cay Channel
(5.50) or Southern Grennels Channel (5.51) and entered
through One Man Cay Channel (5.50) N of Frank Knoll
(17°24′N 88°12′W).
Traffic
5.59 1
In 2004 the port was used by 95 vessels with a total of
3 924 373 dwt.
Port authority
5.60 1
The port authority is Belize Port Authority, Caesar
Bridge Road, PO Box 633, Belize City. E−mail:
bzportauth@btl.net
Limiting conditions
5.61 1
Controlling depths:10 m in the dredged access channel,
and associated turning basin.
Access channel: length 4600 m width 120 m.
Turning basin: diameter 340 m.
Deepest and longest berth.
King Pier (17°28′⋅4N
88°12′⋅1W). See 5.68.
2
Tidal levels.
See Admiralty Tide Tables for details.
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅2 m.
CHAPTER 5
116
Abnormal levels.
‘Northers’ lower sea levels by 0⋅6 to
0⋅8 m.
Density of water is 1⋅021 g/cm
3
during the dry season,
but varies with the outflow from rivers during the wet
season, July to December.
3
Maximum size of vessel reported at the anchorage is
25 280 dwt. The maximum draught of vessel accepted at
the fuelling berth has been reported to be 5⋅9 m.
Vessels required to use the access channel and turning
basin, which have bow thrusters, are restricted to 122 m
LOA.
4
Vessels required to use the access channel and turning
basin, which do not have bow thrusters, are restricted to
90 m LOA.
Vessels not required to use the access channel, being
under 5⋅5 m draught, are restricted to 122 m LOA.
Arrival information
5.62 1
Port radio. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5) for details.
Notice of ETA should be sent 24 hours before arrival.
Pilotage. See 5.45 and Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5) for details.
Tugs are available.
Quarantine. Pratique is granted by the Port Health
Officer on arrival at berth or anchorage.
Harbour
General layout
5.63 1
King Pier (17°28′⋅4N 88°12′⋅1W) is the only alongside
berthing facility. A floating oil terminal lies 5 cables SE of
King Pier. A large anchorage area is situated S of Fort
George Light (17°29′⋅4N 88°10′⋅9W), farther offshore.
There is a dredged access channel to King Pier, marked by
light−buoys, between 17°25′⋅4N 88°11′⋅9W and 17°28′⋅4N
88°12′⋅1W; and a dredged turning basin in the vicinity of
the Ro−Ro berth on the pier.
Natural conditions
5.64 1
Currents. During the summer there is little or no
current in the harbour. South−going currents, at rates up to
3 kn, have been reported after ‘Northers’ during the winter
months.
Local weather. The prevailing wind is E.
Climate. See climate information after 1.220.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 5.51)
Principal marks
5.65 1
Landmarks:
Tanks (white) (17°28′⋅8N 88°12′⋅0W).
Factory (two storey building, white sides) (17°28′⋅3N
88°15′⋅0W).
2
Major light:
Belize International Airport Aero Light (17°32′N
88°18′W) (chart 959) (5.47).
5.66 1
From a position N of Frank Knoll (17°24′N 88°12′W)
the track leads N for about 1½ miles, thence as required for
King Pier, Oil Terminal or anchorage berths, passing:
W of Westward Patch, marked by a light−buoy
(starboard hand) (17°25′⋅8N 88°11′⋅8W) lying close
NW of a ruined beacon, thence:
2
W of Buckle Rock (17°26′⋅4N 88°10′⋅8W), thence:
W of a 5⋅2 m shoal depth (17°27′⋅0N 88°10′⋅9W).
Useful marks:
Middle Ground Light (red concrete pile, 5 m in
height) (17°28′⋅1N 88°10′⋅6W).
Fort George Light (17°29′⋅4N 88°10′⋅9W) (5.50).
Berths
Anchorages and moorings
5.67 1
Anchorage: 1 to 3 miles S of Belize City; depths
generally 7 to 9 m, mud, clear of charted shoals.
Exceptionally, vessels of 9⋅8 m draught have anchored
1¼ miles SE of the cay on Stake Bank (17°27′⋅7N
88°07′⋅6W), depth 11 m, mud.
Oil Terminal berth (17°28′⋅1N 88°11′⋅7W): 5 mooring
buoys, floating connection pipe; vessel heading ENE.
Alongside berths
5.68 1
King Pier (17°28′⋅4N 88°12′⋅1W) main berth has 67 m
across the pier face which is 21 m wide. There is depth of
10 m reported alongside. Vessels secure to dolphins. The
pier face alignment is 120°/300°.
Ro−Ro berth (situated on the N face of the pierhead) has
a deck 2⋅4 m above MSL and a depth of 4⋅7 m reported
alongside.
Port services
5.69 1
Facilities: hospital; de−ratting exemption certificates.
Supplies: diesel; fuel oil; provisions and water in limited
quantities.
Communications. Phillip SW Goldson International
Airport, about 15 km WNW of the city, has regular
international connections.
BELIZE HARBOUR TO CABO CATOCHE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1220
General description
5.70 1
The area between Belize Harbour (17°28′N 88°12′W)
and Cabo Catoche (21°36′N 87°04′W) is, in general,
remote and sparsely populated. However, major tourist
developments have taken place on the coast at Isla
Cozumel (20°25′N 86°55′W), Isla Mujeres (21°15′N
86°45′W) and Isla Cancún (21°05′N 86°45′W). The many
archeological sites in the area are also of importance to the
economy; the so−called Mayan seaport of Tulum, near the
light (5.77) of the same name, is an example. A number of
small ports sheltered by reefs or islands, described below,
CHAPTER 5
117
exist for the coastal trade and fishing. There are no major
ports and few places where shelter may be taken.
Topography
5.71 1
Reef Point (18°07′N 87°50′W) (5.78) marks a change in
the topography from the wide coastal barrier reef to the S
and the steep−to coast to the N. Bahía Chetumal (18°25′N
88°05′W) is a large, shallow bay opening behind the reef.
The coast N to Cabo Catoche is low, flat and densely
wooded land with long stretches of coral reef and sand
beach. There are no major rivers. Banco Chinchorro (5.20)
is a reef awash, Isla Cozumel (5.22) a low island, and
Arrowsmith Bank (5.91) a sea−mount. All three are large
features, which lie 13, 9 and 15 miles offshore,
respectively, rising steeply from oceanic depths.
Protected Areas
5.72
1
In the area between Belize Harbour and Cabo Catoche,
along the coast of the district of Quintana Roo, several
national parks and reefs are protected areas. In these areas
visitors must obey the following regulations:
2
Collection of fauna or flora, on both land and sea, is
prohibited;
Vessels must not anchor;
Dumping of rubbish, hydrocarbons and oil derivatives
is prohibited;
Fishing is prohibited;
Molesting of natural fauna is prohibited.
3
Anyone who commits an offence will be punished in
accordance with current legislation for the protection of the
environment issued by the Federal Government via the
Secretary of State. For further details see Annual Summary
Mexican Notice to Mariners.
Weather and currents
5.73 1
See 5.5 for remarks on weather and currents.
BELIZE HARBOUR TO SAN MIGUEL
General information
Chart 959, 1220
Route
5.74 1
Between a position NW of Mauger Cay (17°36′N
87°46′W) and San Miguel (20°30′N 86°57′W), 180 miles
NNE, the coastal route leads NNE to a position ESE of
Punta Pájaros (19°34′N 87°25′W), thence N to a position
ENE of Salta Imán (20°12′N 87°27′W), thence NE to San
Miguel.
Topography
5.75 1
The N limit of the Belize Barrier Reef (5.7) is at Boca
Bacalar Chico (18°11′N 87°51′W), a boat channel
separating Ambergris Cay from the mainland. To the S of
this point the reef is both wide and shallow, leading into
Bahía Chetumal (5.71). The coast is low, flat and covered
by mangroves, with numerous lagoons. To the N the coast
is remarkably straight and formed by low cliffs with a
narrow fringing reef, except where two large bays, Bahía
del Espíritu Santo (19°20′N 87°30′W) and Bahía de la
Ascension (19°45′N 87°25′W) are entered through gaps in
the reef. The coast is steep−to from the edge of the reef.
Offshore, Banco Chinchorro (18°36′N 87°20′W) (5.20) and
Isla Cozumel (20°25′N 86°55′W) (5.22) are low and
steep−to.
Currents
5.76 1
In the S of the area the current generally sets towards
the islands and the Belize Barrier Reef. In the passage
between Isla Cozumel (20°25′N 86°55′W) and the mainland
the NE current attains a rate of 3 kn.
Directions
(continued from 5.50)
Principal marks
5.77 1
Major lights:
Punta Celeraín Light (20°16′N 86°59′W) (5.13).
San Miguel de Cozumel Light (white concrete
truncated conical tower) (20°30′N 86°57′W).
2
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: Cayo Lobos Light (5.15)
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
5.78 1
From a position in the NE approaches to Belize
Harbour, NW of Mauger Cay (17°36′N 87°46′W), the route
leads NNE for 120 miles, thence N for 40 miles, thence NE
for 24 miles to a position off San Miguel (20°30′N
86°57′W), passing:
2
ESE of Reef Point (18°07′N 87°50′W), a low point at
the E extremity of Ambergris Cay, thence:
In mid−channel between Banco Chinchorro (18°36′N
87°20′W) (5.20) and the mainland, thence:
ESE of Punta Herrero (19°19′N 87°28′W), on which
stands a light (white, metal truncated pyramidal
tower, 22 m in height), with narrow steep−to reefs
extending 4 miles N and NE, thence:
3
ESE of Punta Pájaros, a low point on which stands
Punta Pájaros Light (aluminium truncated
pyramidal tower, 9 m in height) (19°34′N
87°25′W), with a drying reef extending about
6 cables E, thence:
E of Tulum Light (20°12′N 87°27′W) (white, square,
concrete tower, 11 m in height), thence:
4
NW of Punta Celeraín (20°16′N 86°59′W), a low,
wooded point on which stands a light (5.13),
thence:
SE of Caleta de Xel−Ha Light (aluminium truncated
pyramidal tower, 8 m in height) (20°28′N
87°16′W), thence:
NW of San Miguel de Cozumel Light (20°30′N
86°57′W) (5.77).
5
Useful marks:
Punta Gavilán Light (white metal truncated pyramidal
tower, 12 m in height) (18°25′N 87°46′W).
Cayo Lobos Light (18°23′N 87°23′W) (5.15).
Roca La Bandera Light (El Majahual) (metal
truncated pyramidal tower, 9 m in height) (18°43′N
87°41′W).
6
Cayo Norte Light (18°46′N 87°19′W) (5.15).
Ubero Light (aluminium truncated pyramidal tower,
10 m in height) (19°04′N 87°33′W).
(Directions continue at 5.94, for San Miguel at 5.87,
and for Puerto Calica at 5.102)
R
20m
20m
10m
10m
R
R
W
SAN MIGUEL DE COZUMEL
Muelle
Fiscal
Punta Langosta Pier
International Pier
Puerta Maya Pier
Hotel
20°
30´
N
20°
30´
86°
58´
Longitude 86°
58´ West from Greenwich
N
Not to be used for Navigation
San Miguel de Cozumel (5.84)
118
CHAPTER 5
119
International boundary
5.79 1
The international boundary between Belize and Mexico
meets the sea at Boca Bacalar Chico (18°11′N 87°51′W)
(5.75).
Small ports
Xcalak
5.80 1
General information. Xcalak (18°17′N 87°50′W) is a
fishing port sheltered by a barrier reef. Local knowledge is
required to enter. Anchorage for vessels drawing up to
4⋅6 m may be obtained in depths of 5⋅5 m inside the reef;
mud and rock bottom; good holding ground. Depths of
2⋅4 m are reported inside the port.
Majahual
5.81
1
General information. Majahual (18°44′N 87°41′W),
also known as Puerto Costa Maya, is the first Mexican port
designed exclusively for the cruise industry.
Traffic. In 2004 19 vessels having a total of 647 526
dwt used the port.
Berths. A 390 m quay connecting with a 340 m pier
can accommodate up to three vessels at once.
2
Pilots. Costa Maya Pilot Station may be contacted on
VHF channels 16 and 14. The pilot boards ½ to 1 mile
from the the pier. The pilot vessel has a black hull with
white superstructure marked PILOTO.
Useful mark:
Roca La Bandera Light (El Majuahal) (5.78)
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: Cayo Lobos light (5.15)
Tencah
5.82 1
General information. Tencah (20°16′N 87°24′W) is a
small port with depths of 2⋅4 to 3 m reported alongside a
pier. It may be identified by:
Small stone temple on a truncated pyramid,
overgrown with vegetation, about ½ mile inland of
the port;
2
Beach of white sand, forming a break in the coastline
that elsewhere rises to heights of 12 m;
Group of rock ledges, on which the sea breaks, about
5 cables NNE of the pier.
Bahía Caleta
5.83 1
General information. Bahía Caleta (20°28′N 86°59′W)
is a small cove with a jetty, on the W coast of Isla
Cozumel. It has depths of 2 to 3⋅5 m and an entrance
channel only 45 m wide. A conspicuous hotel stands on the
SW side of the cove.
San Miguel
General information
5.84 1
Position and function. San Miguel (20°30′N 86°57′W)
is the principal town on Isla Cozumel (5.22). It is reported
to be a Free Port, administered by the Captain of the Port.
There are numerous prominent buildings in and near the
town, which can be distinguished at night by their lights.
In recent years San Miguel has seen rapid growth as a
cruise destination, and is now considered to be the world’s
second cruise port after Miami.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 75 vessels with a
total of 8 608 690 dwt.
Arrival information
5.85 1
Port radio. There is a port radio station. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details. There is also
a Coast Radio Station on the island (5.22).
Pilotage is compulsory and available during daylight
hours only. The pilot boards 3 miles NW of the pier. See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Natural conditions
5.86 1
Current. A strong NE−going current is experienced
close to the shore. It was reported (1994) that the current is
significantly greater during the winter months, up to 3 kn,
than during the summer. Near the N end of the pier a
current of up to 2 kn can be experienced in either a NW or
SW direction with no discernible period between the two.
Climate. See, under Cozumel, the climatic table after
1.220.
Directions
(continued from 5.78)
5.87 1
From a position 3 miles NW of the pier the track leads
SE towards the anchorages or alongside berths. The
approach is steep−to and clear of dangers apart from a
wreck within 1 mile of the pier.
2
Useful marks:
Hotel (20°27′N 86°59′W), a conspicuous building at
Bahía Caleta.
San Miguel de Cozumel Light (20°30′N 86°57′W)
(5.77).
Aero Light (radio mast) (20°31′N 86°56′W).
Hotel (20°33′N 86°56′W), conspicuous.
San Miguel de Cozumel Light (5.87)
(Original dated 2004)
(Photograph − NGA)
Berths
5.88 1
Anchorages:
North west of Muelle Fiscal; not closer than 2 cables
offshore; depths 9 to 12 m. Four anchorages are
available. Use of the anchorage should take into
account the proximity of the airport runway. The
anchorage closest to the runway should not be
used when a NW wind is blowing.
Additional anchorages are available off the Town
Quay at Playa del Carmen on the mainland. These
are overflow anchorages for use when the port is
crowded and vessels are waiting to enter.
CHAPTER 5
120
2
Alongside berths:
Muelle Fiscal: concrete pier: length 165 m; charted
depth 3.3 m alongside the head; extends NW from
the shore adjacent to the centre of the town, about
1 mile NE of the old lighthouse.
Dolphin berth for small tankers; close to San Miguel
Light.
3
Punta Langosta pier: L−shaped and 600 m long,
extends NW then NNE from the shore NE of the
Governor’s Palace. It is primarily for use by
passenger vessels.
International Pier (formerly known as Muelle
Transbordador): situated 1 mile NE of Bahia Caleta
(5.83) and about 1½ cables SW of a conspicuous
hotel. It is L−shaped with depths of 12⋅8 m and
14 m along its E and W sides respectively. The
pier can accommodate vessels up to 244 m in
length.
4
Muelle Puerta Maya, also known as Muelle Terminal
TMM: it is L−shaped and stands close SW of
International Pier. There are Ro−Ro facilities; a
vehicle ferry service to Playa del Carmen on the
mainland runs from this pier.
Port services
5.89 1
Facilities: medical services available; de−ratting.
Supplies: fresh provisions and water.
Communications: airport situated close NE of town.
SAN MIGUEL TO CABO CATOCHE
General information
Chart 1220
Route
5.90 1
Between San Miguel (20°30′N 86°57′W) and Cabo
Catoche (21°36′N 87°04′W), 65 miles N, the coastal route
leads NE to a position E of Isla Mujeres (21°13′N
86°44′W); thence NNW and finally W to a position N of
Cabo Catoche.
Topography
5.91 1
The coast SW of Puerto Morelos (20°50′N 86°53′W) is
low, flat and wooded, with a steep−to coral reef close
inshore. An area of irregular seabed extends SE of Puerto
Morelos. To the N of the same port the land is also low
and wooded, but with lagoons and sand hills, while on the
coastal shelf there are numerous reefs, rocks and islands.
Arrowsmith Bank (21°10′N 86°25′W), which lies between
15 and 25 miles off the coast, rises steeply from ocean
depths and is covered by a large area of shallow water.
Local knowledge
5.92 1
Local knowledge is required to enter the small harbours
and anchorages.
San Miguel de Cozumel − International Pier and Muelle Puerta Maya (5.88)
(Original dated 2004)
(Photograph − NGA)
CHAPTER 5
121
Currents
5.93 1
A NNE current sets across Arrowsmith Bank (21°10′N
86°25′W) at a rate of from 2 to 3 kn. The W edge of a
strong N flowing current through Yucatán Channel lies
about 10 miles ENE of Isla Contoy (21°30′N 86°48′W). In
this position the mean rate is about 1 kn. The rate increases
towards the E, while closer inshore the currents are
variable and largely dependent on the prevailing wind.
Directions
(continued from 5.15 (Offshore route) and
from 5.78 (Coastal route))
Principal marks
5.94 1
Major lights:
San Miguel de Cozumel Light (20°30′N 86°57′W)
(5.77).
Puerto Morelos Light (white round concrete tower,
15 m in height) (20°50′N 86°53′W).
Gran Puerto de Cancun Light (white round truncated
pyramidal tower, 48 m in height) (21°11′N
86°48′W).
Isla Contoy Light (white round masonry tower, 32 m
in height) (21°31′N 86°48′W).
Cabo Catoche Light (white square masonry tower, red
band 14 m in height) (21°36′N 87°06′W).
Other aid to navigation
5.95
1
Racon: Isla Contoy Light (21°33′N 86°49′W).
5.96 1
From a position NW of San Miguel (20°30′N 86°57′W)
the route leads NE for 44 miles, thence NNW for 47 miles
to round the NE extremity of Yucatán Peninsula (Pen
í
nsula
de Yucatán), thence W for 20 miles, passing (with positions
from Isla Contoy Light (21°32′N 86°49′W)):
2
SE of Puerto Morelos Light (42 miles S) (5.94), off
which a ridge extends about 9 miles SE, with a
shoal depth of 20 m charted in position 20°44′N
86°46′W, thence:
3
SE of Punta Nizuc Light (aluminium truncated
pyramidal tower, 9 m in height) (30 miles S),
situated at the S end of Isla Cancún, a tourist
centre with a number of prominent buildings,
thence:
4
NW of a 16⋅5 m shoal depth (33 miles SE) on the W
edge of Arrowsmith Bank; a 24 m (79 ft) shoal
patch (reported 1994) lies SW of Arrowsmith
Bank, in position 20°55′⋅4N 86°36′⋅0W. Thence
Clear of an isolated shoal (existence doubtful) with a
depth of 10 m over it in position 21°12′⋅1N
86°30′⋅7W, thence:
ENE of a dangerous wreck (18 miles SSE) off Isla
Mujeres, thence:
ENE of Isla Contoy Light (5.94), thence:
WSW of a dangerous wreck (18 miles ENE) (position
approximate), thence:
WSW of a wreck (reported 1968) with a least depth
of 18⋅3 m over it (15 miles NE), thence:
5
Clear of a dangerous wreck (17 miles N), thence:
N of Cabo Catoche (17 miles WNW), a sandy point
marked by a light (5.94), thence:
Clear of a 6⋅4 m shoal depth (reported 1932)
(24 miles NW).
5.97 1
Useful marks:
Punta Cancún Light (white round concrete tower, red
bands, 12 m in height) (21°08′N 86°45′W).
Isla Mujeres SE Point Light (21°12′N 86°43′W)
(5.15).
(Directions continue at 6.26)
Puerto Calica
Chart 1220 (see 1.18)
General information
5.98
1
Position. Puerto Calica (20°35′N 87°06′W) is situated a
few miles S of Playa del Carmen (5.104).
Puerto Calica (5.98)
(Original dated 2001)
(Photograph − Crown Copyright)
CHAPTER 5
122
Function. The main function of the port is handling
bulk carriers loading lime stone. It also handles cruise
vessels.
Traffic. In 2004 6 vessels having a total of
415 871 dwt used the port.
Limiting conditions
5.99
1
Controlling depth. Depths in the 200 m wide main
channel are from 12⋅8 to 13⋅7 m. There are reported to be
depths of about 12⋅2 m at the sea−buoy moored about
1½ cables off the port entrance.
Arrival information
5.100
1
Pilotage is available. Pilots board 1½ miles N of the
sea−buoy (5.99).
Natural conditions
5.101
1
Current. There is a current of about 1½ to 2 kn setting
045°.
Local weather. Prevailing winds are from the SE; it is
reported that a swell sets into the harbour from that
direction.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 5.78)
5.102
1
The harbour is approached from N, stemming the
current, and entered stern−first.
Berths
5.103
1
South berth: bulk cargo terminal which handles bulk
carriers to 230 m in length. The berth is also used for
cruise vessels.
North berth: 270 m in length, depth 10 m. Used by
cruise vessels.
Small harbours and ports
Playa del Carmen
5.104 1
General information. Playa del Carmen (20°37′N
87°05′W) is a fast growing tourist centre visited by cruise
liners. There is also a fishing port, marked by a light
(5.94).
Traffic. In 2004 6 vessels called with a total of
194 524 dwt.
Berth. Length 135 m, depth alongside 5 m.
Puerto Morelos
5.105 1
General information. Puerto Morelos, situated close
SSW of Puerto Morelos Light (20°50′N 86°53′W) (5.94), is
a small commercial and fishing harbour and also a ferry
port for the service to Isla Cozumel (5.22).
Traffic. In 2004 5 vessels having a total of
117 662 dwt used the port.
2
Directions. The approach route leads W towards a point
on the coast 1¾ miles S of Puerto Morelos Light, passing
close S of the S extremity of the outer reefs. The entrance
channel is reported to be marked by light−buoys.
3
Leading bearing. The line of bearing 024° on Puerto
Morelos Light passes between the outer reef and the
shallow coastal bank into the harbour.
Anchorage. There are depths of 8 to 9 m in the
anchorage off the village inside the reef. It is advisable to
moor due to the confined space.
4
Berths. A pier with three berths, used for general cargo,
containers and a ferry terminal, has a length of 390 m with
a reported depth of 8 m.
Services. Fresh water available.
Chart 1220 (see 1.18)
Bahía Mujeres
5.106 1
General information. Bahía Mujeres (21°10′N
86°45′W) is a large bay in which anchorage may be
obtained, sheltered by Isla Mujeres and reefs. Puerto
Mujeres is a naval base and fishing harbour in the NE of
the bay. The resort of Cancún, population 397 191 (2000),
lies in the SW of the bay.
Port Radio. There is a port radio station.
Currents. A N current, at a rate of up to 1½ kn, sets
through the bay.
Tidal levels. See Admiralty Tide Tables for details.
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅1 m.
2
Directions. The alignment (290°) of El Meco leading
lights leads into Bahía Meco.
Front light (El Meco Light) (white truncated
pyramidal tower, 5 m in height) (21°12′⋅8N
86°48′⋅0W).
Rear light (aluminium truncated pyramidal tower, on
concrete base, 16 m in height) (21°13′⋅0N
86°48′⋅0W).
3
Useful marks:
Roca la Bandera (Roca Becket) Light (two black
spheres vertically mounted on black round concrete
tower, red bands, 6 m in height) (21°10′N
86°44′W).
Isla Mujeres SE Point Light (21°12′N 86°43′W)
(5.15).
Submarine cable is laid E from a position on the coast
1¾ miles S of El Meco, thence ESE through the bay,
passing between Isla Mujeres and Roca la Bandera Light.
Anchorage may be obtained in a designated area
centred 2 miles WNW of Roca la Bandera Light in depths
of 7 to 8 m. Vessels should anchor SSW of the 290°
leading line previously described, and no more than
2½ miles from Roca la Bandera Light, in order to keep
within the designated anchorage and to avoid the submarine
cable.
A mooring buoy for cruise vessels lies near the centre of
the anchorage and a further two mooring buoys lie E of the
restricted area around Punta Cancún.
4
Restricted areas, into which entry is prohibited for all
vessels over 2 m in length, have been established as
follows:
Close SE of Roca la Carbonara (21°15′N 86°45′W).
Around the S end of Isla Mujeres.
5
An area around Punta Cancún extending 2¼ miles N
from the shore in position 21°08′⋅3N 86°45′⋅2W,
thence 2½ miles E, thence 3¾ miles S, thence
2½ miles W to the shore in position 21°06′⋅7N
86°45′⋅5W.
6
An area around Punta Nizuc extending 1½ miles E
from the shore in position 21°02′⋅4N 86°46′⋅8W,
thence 3½ miles SSW, thence 2½ miles WNW to
the shore in position 21°00′⋅0N 86°49′⋅3W.
Communications. There is an international airport at
Cancún and a naval airstrip at Puerto Mujeres.
NOTES
123
6.57
6.26
6.44
6.132
6.8
7
6.137
6
.
6
8
6.56 6.55
6.153
6.179
6
.
1
9
4
6.226
6
.
2
4
0
6.249
6
.
2
8
0
6.320
6.63
6.35
6.81
6.123
6.133
6.142
6.157
6.209
6.257
6.289
6.324
6.332
6.59
6
.
3
2
3
6.121
6.111
6.7
1
6
.
7
0
Río Grande
GULF OF MEXICO
C
a
b
o
C
a
t
o
c
h
e
Punta
Yalkubul
P
u
n
t
a
R
o
c
a
P
a
r
t
i
d
a
MEXICO
Punta del
Morro
Cayo Arenas
Arrecifes
Triángulo
Cayo Arcas
Arrecife
Alacrán
Progreso
Campeche
Ciudad
del Carmen
Frontera
Dos Bocas
Coatzacoalcos
Vera Cruz
Tuxpan
Tampico
Altamira
La Pesca
1220
1225
2626
373
373
373
374
374
374
373
374
376
376
373
3849
0206
373
124
18°
19°
20°
21°
22°
23°
24°
25°
26°26°
18°
19°
20°
21°
22°
23°
24°
25°
98°97°96°95°94°93°92°91°
90°89°88°87°86°
98°97°96°95°94°93°Longitude 92° West from Greenwich90°89°88°87°86°
Chapter 6 - South and western shores of the Gulf of Mexico: Cabo Catoche to the mouth of the Rio Grande
125
CHAPTER 6
SOUTH AND WESTERN SHORES OF THE GULF OF MEXICO:
CABO CATOCHE TO THE MOUTH OF RÍO GRANDE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 4401
Scope of the chapter
6.1 1
The chapter includes that part of the coast of Mexico
which lies to the NW of Cabo Catoche (21°36′N 87°06′W),
Banco de Campeche, and the Gulf of Mexico shore up to
the border with United States of America at Río Grande
(25°57′N 97°09′W).
Radar characteristics of the coast
6.2 1
The radar response from the coastline, being generally
low, is indistinct, apart from a small number of areas where
mountain ranges reach near the shore and where
breakwaters have been constructed at the mouths of rivers.
Fishing
6.3 1
Gulf of Mexico is rich in fishing grounds. Fishing craft
may be encountered at any time. Large numbers of shrimp
boats work between Campeche (19°50′N 90°30′W) and
Ciudad del Carmen (18°39′N 91°51′W).
Offshore oil and gas fields.
6.4 1
Numerous structures, usually carrying lights, pipelines,
submerged obstructions and wrecks, sometimes marked by
buoys, exist in certain areas of Gulf of Mexico, mainly
within the 200 m contour. See charts for details.
Natural conditions
6.5 1
Weather. Winds are variable, mainly between N and SE.
North winds are rather frequent in the coastal belt and may
reach gale force at times. Normally there is much clear,
sunny weather in the open sea, where wind speeds are
mainly light to moderate, outside the hurricane season.
2
For information on hurricanes see 1.196. For information
on ‘Northers’ see 1.201. See also climatic tables after
1.220.
3
Currents. The strong surface current setting through
Yucatán Channel fans out in directions between W, through
N and E, with a marked decrease in constancy and rate as
it passes into the Gulf. The flow of water within the Gulf
is variable to a large extent and often depends on the
prevailing winds.
4
Within 30 miles of the coast the current circulates in a
clockwise direction around Península de Yucatán and Gulf
of Mexico, reaching as far N as Río Grande. The N
element of this current increases in rate with any S winds
in summer and decreases, or is even reversed, with
‘Northers’ in winter. Largely as a result of this reversal, a
counter current often exists in the winter months which sets
anti−clockwise round the coasts. A branch of the current
sets NW or NNW towards the Mississippi delta.
5
See 1.172 for further details on currents.
BANCO DE CAMPECHE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 1220, 1225
General description
6.6 1
Several offshore and through routes cross Banco de
Campeche leading into Golfo de Campeche and Gulf of
Mexico. These include; routes from Yucatán Channel to
Coatzacoalcos, Tampico, Corpus Christi and Galveston. The
coastal route between Cabo Catoche (21°36′N 87°06′W)
and Dos Bocas (18°26′N 93°11′W) is suitable only for light
draught vessels.
2
The states of Yucatán and Campeche, as well as the
territory of Quintana Roo, lie within the area. The capital
of Yucatán is Merida (20°58′N 89°37′W).
Most of the population is Mayan. The ancient cities of
Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, both within 80 miles of Merida,
are of outstanding archeological importance. The principal
port is Progreso (6.35).
Topography
6.7 1
Península de Yucatán extends from Río Hondo (18°29′N
88°18′W) on the E side to Laguna de Terminos (6.130) on
the W side, forming part of the S coast of Gulf of Mexico.
Much of the land is an arid, lightly wooded, sandy plain,
only slightly elevated above the sea. There are very few
conspicuous landmarks. A range of hills rises to Cerro de
Xal, 250 m high, near the mid−point of the peninsula.
Fishing
6.8 1
Fishing craft are frequently encountered.
Natural conditions
6.9 1
Weather. See 6.5 for details.
Flow. Between Cabo Catoche and Sisal (6.78) S of
Latitude 23°N the current is W−going, with a rate of from
½ to 1 kn. North of this latitude it becomes NW going and
its rate decreases as it approaches the edge of the bank,
where it almost dies away. Sea level is often stationary for
several days, depending on local conditions of wind and
current.
OFFSHORE AND THROUGH ROUTES
General information
Chart 1220, 1225 (see 1.18)
Topography
6.10 1
Banco de Campeche extends up to 150 miles N of
Península de Yucatán. General depths increase gradually
away from the coast, although shoal depths are very
CHAPTER 6
126
irregular. The edges of the bank are steep−to and marked
on the E and N sides by heavy rippling and confused sea
states, but within them the water is comparatively smooth.
The bottom between the E and N edges as far W as
Arrecife Alacrán (22°30′N 89°40′W) is chiefly sand, shells
and coral.
2
The area has not been surveyed to modern standards and
reports of newly discovered shoals are frequently received,
as indicated on the charts.
Local knowledge
6.11 1
Local knowledge is required for safe navigation in and
around the reefs and banks of Arrecife Alacrán. The
dangers on the bank are steep−to and the water becomes
discoloured at only a short distance within the edge of the
bank. A vessel’s position should be checked to identify the
point of crossing the bank, due to the strong N set of the
current in Yucatán Channel.
Directions
(continued from 5.96)
Yucatán Channel to Bahía de Campeche ports
6.12 1
From a position off Cabo Catoche (21°36′N 87°06′W)
the route leads W, keeping in general depths of 20 to 45 m,
to the vicinity of 22°13′N 89°41′W (about 10 miles S of
Arrecife Alacrán), passing clear of charted shoals; thence as
required for the ports.
Yucatán Channel to ports in Gulf of Mexico
6.13 1
From a position in Yucatán Channel off Cabo Catoche
(21°36′N 87°06′W), Gulf of Mexico can be entered passing
either N or S of Bajos del Norte (23°25′N 88°45’W) and N
of Arrecife Alacrán (22°30′N 89°40′W) (6.14) across the E
end of Banco de Campeche, passing clear of charted
shoals; thence as required for the ports. Depths are
irregular.
Arrecife Alacrán.
General information
6.14 1
Arrecife Alacrán (mid−position 22°30′N 89°40′W)
covers an area about 14 miles from N to S and 10 miles
from E to W. The NE side of the reef is composed of a
compact mass of coral, awash, on which the sea breaks
heavily. The SW side is composed of detached coral heads
and sandbanks, with deep water between some of the
features. Soundings give little indication of the proximity of
the reef. The most prominent features are:
2
Isla Desterrada, situated about 3 miles within the N
edge of the reef, is a sand cay 3 m high, covered
with grass and bushes.
3
Isla Peréz, situated about 1¾ miles within the S edge
of the reef, is a narrow ridge of sand, about 4⋅3 m
high, covered with light vegetation and trees.
Fishermen’s huts are built on the island from time
to time. A stone tower stands close NNW of Isla
Peréz Light (6.15). Two small, low, scrub covered
cays about 1⋅5 m high, Isla Chica and Isla Pájaros,
lie near the edge of the reef, about 1¼ miles ESE
of Isla Peréz.
Major light
6.15
1
Isla Peréz Light (white round concrete tower, red bands
and dwelling, 18 m in height) (22°23′⋅5N 89°41′⋅5W).
Other aid to navigation
6.16
1
Racon: Isla Peréz Light (6.15).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Currents
6.17 1
Currents are generally W−going at a rate of about 1 kn
in the vicinity of the reef, but for some distance off the W
side a strong N−going eddy will be found.
Isla Peréz anchorage
6.18 1
Local knowledge is necessary to approach the
anchorage.
2
Directions: Isla Peréz anchorage is approached from the
SE through an unmarked channel about 1 cable wide and
with charted depths of less than 5 m.
3
Anchorage (about 3 cables E of Isla Peréz) is available
for coasters in depths of about 11 m, fine sand, mud and
coral.
Useful mark
6.19 1
Isla Desterrada Light (aluminium truncated pyramidal
tower, 12 m in height) (22°32′N 89°47′W).
Bajos del Norte
General information
6.20 1
Bajos del Norte (mid−position 23°25′N 88°45′W) is a
large coral bank near the NW edge of Banco de Campeche,
about 100 miles N of Punta Yalkubul (6.28). The bank has
a least depth of 5⋅5 m and covers an area about 23 by
20 miles. Depths are very irregular and the water is
discoloured.
CABO CATOCHE TO PROGRESO
General information
Charts 1220, 1225
Route
6.21 1
The route between Cabo Catoche (21°36′N 87°06′W)
and Progreso (21°17′N 89°40′W), 145 miles W, lies parallel
to the coast, avoiding the numerous shoals indicated on the
charts.
Topography
6.22 1
A chain of lagoons lies immediately behind the coastline
between Cabo Catoche and Progreso. The coast is generally
low and sandy with trees, including coconut palms.
Between Lagartos and Punta Yalkubul the coast is slightly
more elevated (up to 50 m in height).
Depths
6.23
1
There are numerous shoals within 10 miles of the coast,
whose positions are best seen from the charts. Significant
shoals are described in the directions which follow.
CHAPTER 6
127
Local knowledge
6.24 1
Local knowledge is required to enter the small harbours
as they are not charted in any detail. Sounding with an
armed lead will indicate a bottom of sand and clay at most
of the coastal anchorages, but this is only a thin layer over
rock. The holding ground is very bad and it is necessary to
ease the anchor down to prevent damage to the flukes.
Natural conditions
6.25 1
See 6.5 for natural conditions.
Directions
(continued from 5.96)
Principal mark
6.26
1
Major light
Lagartos Light (white square concrete tower, 20 m in
height) (21°36′N 88°12′W).
Cabo Catoche to El Cuyo
6.27 1
From a position N of Cabo Catoche Light (21°36′N
87°04′W) (5.94) the route leads W for 34 miles to a
position N of El Cuyo Light (red round concrete tower,
7 m in height) (21°31′N 87°42′W) passing (with positions
from Cabo Catoche Light):
Clear of 6⋅4 m shoal (reported 1932) (13 miles N),
thence:
2
N of Banco Corsario (12 miles WNW), thence:
N of a spit extending 6 miles N from Punta Mosquito
(13 miles W), thence:
N of 3⋅7 m shoal (reported 1895) (32 miles W).
Useful mark:
Isla Holbox Light (aluminium truncated pyramidal
tower, 9 m in height) (21°33′N 87°18′W).
El Cuyo to Punta Yalkubul
6.28 1
From a position N of El Cuyo Light (21°31′N 87°43′W)
(6.27) the route leads W for 52 miles to a position N of
Punta Yalkubul Light (red concrete tower, white bands and
dwelling, 20 m in height) (21°32′N 88°36′W) passing (with
positions from Punta Yalkubul Light):
2
N of a stranded wreck (44 miles E), thence:
N of Bajo Antonieta (18 miles ENE), thence:
Clear of a 4⋅6 m shoal (reported 1889) (19 miles NE),
thence:
Clear of a stranded wreck (22 miles NNE), thence:
Clear of an obstruction (9 miles N), thence:
Clear of Roca Ifigenia (existence doubtful)
(26 miles N).
Punta Yalkubul to Progreso
6.29 1
From a position N of Punta Yalkubul Light (21°32′N
88°36′W) (6.28) the route leads W for 62 miles to a
position N of Progreso Light (white truncated conical
masonry tower, 33 m in height) (21°17′N 89°40′W) passing
(with positions from Punta Yalkubul Light:
Clear of a 4⋅1 m shoal (reported 1895) (11 miles
NW), thence:
N of Bajo Pawashik (9 miles W), thence:
Clear of Bajo Granville (45 miles WNW) over which
the sea occasionally breaks.
2
Useful marks:
Dzilam de Bravo Light (white round concrete tower,
10 m in height) (21°22′N 88°54′W).
Telchac Light (white round tower) (21°20′N
89°15′W).
(Directions continue, for Progreso at 6.44
and for Campeche at 6.68)
Anchorages and harbours
Boca de Conil
6.30 1
Boca de Conil (21°29′N 87°29′W) is the W entrance
channel leading to Chiquilá and other villages in Laguna
Conil. Anchorage is available off Boca de Conil with Punta
Mosquito bearing 099° distant 10 miles; depth 7 m, sand
and mud bottom; exposed to ‘Northers’.
Las Colorados
6.31 1
General information. Las Colorados (21°36′N 88°01′W)
has two small piers which are used for the export of salt.
The piers are exposed to ‘Northers’. The approach is clear
of dangers. A landfall buoy is moored 1 mile N of the
piers.
Dzilam de Bravo harbour
6.32 1
Anchorage is available in a depth of 7⋅3 m, 4½ miles
NW of Dzilam de Bravo (21°22′N 88°54′W), a fishing
harbour. Local knowledge is required when using the
anchorage.
Telchac
6.33 1
Directions. Telchac harbour (21°20′N 89°14′W) is
approached on the alignment of leading lights passing
between breakwaters, each with a light at its head.
Xhicxulub
6.34 1
General information. There is a small pier at
Xhicxulub (21°17′N 89°37′W).
PROGRESO
General information
Charts 373 plan of Progreso and Yukalpetén, 1220, 1225
Position
6.35 1
Progreso (21°17′N 89°40′W) is situated on a low,
narrow strip of land separated from the mainland by a
shallow lagoon lying parallel with the coast.
Function
6.36 1
Progreso handles general cargo, petroleum and cruise
ships. It is the only port on the Yucatán coast which can
handle vessels larger than fishing and other small craft. The
principal exports are sisal, known locally as henequén,
chicle, fish and honey. Population about 40 000.
Approach and entry
6.37 1
The approach is from N in depths of 20 m (11 fm)
about 15 miles offshore reducing to 9⋅1 m (5 fm) in the
anchorage NW of Terminal Remota (6.47). Entry to
Terminal Remota is from N through a dredged channel
extending some 4 miles N of the terminal.
CHAPTER 6
128
Traffic
6.38 1
In 2004 the port was used by 122 vessels with a total of
6 467 306 dwt.
Port Authority
6.39 1
The port is administered by the Comision Nacional
Coordinadora de Puertos, Edificio de la Aduana Maritima,
Progreso.
Internet. www.puerto−progreso.com.mx
E−mail. apiprogreso@mail.multired.net.mx
Limiting conditions
6.40 1
Controlling Depth: The approach channel is dredged to
11⋅6 m (38 ft) (2001)
Deepest and longest berth: Terminal Remota (6.47).
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m.
Density of sea water: 1⋅015 g/cms
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled: Commercial vessels
210 m LOA, 32⋅5 m beam; cruise ships 320 m LOA, 48 m
beam. Larger vessels with enhanced manoeuvrability may
be handled.
Local weather. The prevailing winds are between NE
and SE. ‘Northers’ occur in the winter months. Vessels
should be prepared to put to sea in the event of bad
weather, as the port and roadstead are unprotected.
Arrival information
6.41 1
Port operations. There is a port radio station and a
Coast Radio Station at Progreso. See Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volumes 6(5) and 1(2) for details.
Notice of ETA: 24, 4 and 2 hours.
2
Anchorage. Designated anchorage areas are established
in the port approaches as follows:
General Anchorage (centred 21°26′⋅0N 89°42′⋅5W),
close W of the entrance to the dredged approach
channel.
Dangerous Cargo Anchorage (centred 21°26′⋅0N
89°40′⋅0W), close E of the entrance to the dredged
approach channel.
Anchorage for vessels less than 7 m (23 ft) draught
(centred 21°22′⋅5N 89°43′⋅0W), W of the dredged
channel about 3 miles NW of Terminal Remota.
3
Pilotage is compulsory and available on a 24−hour
basis, but vessels over 210 m LOA are not handled during
the hours of darkness. Pilots board vessels over 7 m (23 ft)
draught at Pilot Station No 1, close to the entrance to the
dredged channel. Other vessels are boarded at Pilot Station
No 2, about 3 miles NW of Terminal Remota (6.47). For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
4
Tugs are available. The use of tugs is compulsory for
vessels over 1500 gt and all vessels carrying dangerous
cargo.
Quarantine. A quarantine officer boards vessels either
at the anchorage or alongside. See 1.168 regarding the
issue of deratting exemption certificates.
Harbour
General layout
6.42 1
A causeway, 3⋅5 miles in length, extends N from the
shore, with berths both at the seaward end and also 1 mile
from the coast. A small jetty is situated close W of the
root of the causeway. Waiting and loading anchorages lie
close to the causeway.
2
There is a harbour for small vessels, at Yukalpetén
(6.73), 2 miles W of Progreso Light (6.29).
Storm signals
6.43 1
Storm signals are displayed from a flag−staff, painted
red and white in bands, close to Progreso Light (6.29). A
blue flag is shown when the port is closed in bad weather.
Directions
(continued from 6.29)
Principal marks
6.44 1
Major light:
Progreso Light (21°17′⋅1N 89°39′⋅8W) (6.29).
Landmark:
Light on tank (21°16′⋅8N 89°39′⋅7W).
Other aid to navigation
6.45 1
Racon:
Fairway light−buoy (21°26′⋅6N 89°41′⋅4W)
For details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 2.
Approach and entry
6.46 1
The approach should be made with caution, due to the
irregular seabed topography and lack of modern surveys. A
stranded wreck, marked close N by a light−buoy (isolated
danger), lies 13½ miles NW of Progreso Light (6.29).
Progreso Light−tower (21°17′N 89°40′W) (6.29) is
usually the first object sighted. The causeway, with
warehouses at its root, is prominent from a distance of
4 miles. The town itself appears as a group of low, grey or
white buildings.
2
Progreso Leading lights:
Front light (aluminium truncated pyramidal tower,
12 m in height) (21°18′⋅8N 89°41′⋅3W)
Rear light (similar structure, 24 m in height) (8 cables
S of front light).
From the vicinity of the Fairway light−buoy (safe water,
racon) (21°26′⋅6N 89°41′⋅4W), the alignment (179°) of
these lights leads S for about 5 miles through a dredged
channel, marked by light−buoys (lateral), to a dredged
turning circle off the berths.
3
When the main channel is busy, vessels of less than 7 m
(23 ft) draught may approach or depart from Pilot Station
No 2 (6.41) by remaining close outside the W boundary of
the dredged channel.
4
Caution. Mariners should avoid the N side of Terminal
Remota and the E and W sides of the mole, as shown on
the chart, due to the dumping of construction material.
Berths
6.47 1
The berths (with positions from Progreso Light (21°17′N
89°40′W) are located within three separate areas.
CHAPTER 6
129
Terminal Remota (3½ miles N) consisting of the
following berths:
Cruise Terminal; finger jetty with two berths; depth
alongside 11⋅6 m.
Container Terminal; berths 5 and 6, length 210 m,
depth alongside 8 m. Handles general cargo as well
as containers.
Bulk Terminal; berth 8, length 188 m, depth alongside
8 m.
PEMEX Terminal; berth 8, length 188 m, depth
alongside 8 m. Handles bulk petroleum products.
2
Intermediate Terminal (Muelle Fiscal) (1 miles N);
length 204 m, depth 4⋅9 m. Reported to be not in use
(2005).
Muelle Pino Suárez (2½ cables NW); length 183 m,
depth 2⋅7 m.
Port services
6.48 1
Repairs: minor mechanical and electrical repairs can be
undertaken.
Other facilities: oil waste disposal: garbage disposal;
de−ratting exemption certification.
Supplies: potable water; fresh fish and fruit; fuel oil in
small quantities, larger amounts may be obtained from
Mérida (6.6); ships chandlers supplies are available.
Communications: the nearest international airport is
37 km from the port, at Mérida (6.6).
PROGRESO TO CAMPECHE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1225
Topography
6.49 1
The W coast of Península de Yucatán is generally low
and featureless. The coastal waters are shallow. The
continental shelf, with numerous reefs and islets, extend up
to 130 miles offshore. There are few harbours. The area has
not been surveyed to modern standards and reports of
newly discovered shoals are frequently received, as
indicated on the charts.
Local knowledge
6.50 1
Local knowledge is required for safe navigation in and
around the reefs on Banco de Campeche. The holding
ground for anchoring is very bad N of latitude 21°N and it
is necessary to ease the anchor down, otherwise the flukes
are liable to damage.
Natural conditions
6.51 1
Prevailing winds are between NE and SE. Strong squalls
may be experienced between June and September, as well
as the ‘Northers’ of the winter months.
There is seldom any current, outside the small tidal
influence, off the W coast of Península de Yucatán, except
after ‘Northers’, when a S set of about ¾ kn occurs.
OFFSHORE ROUTES
General information
Chart 1225
Routes
6.52 1
The offshore routes lead from a position S of Arrecife
Alacrán (6.14) W and SW into Gulf of Mexico and Bah
í
a
de Campeche, passing clear of the shoals on Banco de
Campeche.
Topography
6.53 1
The offshore islets are low lying and composed of coral.
There are few navigational aids.
Directions
(continued from 6.12)
Yucat
á
n Channel to Bahía de Campeche
6.54 1
The offshore routes between Yucatán Channel and ports
in Bah
í
a de Campeche divide into three separate tracks, to
Tampico, Veracruz and Coatzacoalcos, when in a position
to the S of Arrecife Alacrán, as described below.
Arrecife Alacrán to Tampico
6.55 1
From a position about 10 miles S of Arrecife Alacrán
the route leads W, keeping in general depths of 44 to 86 m
(24 to 47 fm) until clear of the continental shelf and
passing, subject to draught (with positions from Cayo
Arenas Light (22°08′N 91°24′W) (6.59)):
2
Clear of a 27⋅4 m (15 fm) shoal, reported (1979),
(58 miles ENE), thence:
Clear of a 25⋅6 m (14 fm) shoal, reported (1978),
(52 miles ENE), thence:
Clear of a 29⋅3 m (16 fm) shoal, reported (1949),
(39 miles ENE), thence:
N of a 27⋅4 m (15 fm) shoal (17 miles ENE), thence:
N of an 11 m (36 ft) shoal, reported (1968), (15 miles
ENE), thence:
Clear of an 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal, reported (1961),
(24 miles NW), the position of which is
approximate, thence:
Clear of an 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal (30 miles WNW).
3
The route then continues W passing:
Clear of ODAS Light−buoy No 42055 (special)
(22°01′⋅0N 94°02′⋅7W), thence:
Clear of an obstruction, reported (1921), (22°21′N
97°13′W); another obstruction, reported (1967), lies
1½ miles WNW. Thence:
Clear of a 10 m (33 ft) shoal, reported (1926),
(22°20′N 97°22′W), thence:
Clear of a production platform (22°14′N 97°30′W)
situated in the Tampico offshore oil field. Two
more platforms lie 2 and 3 miles NW, respectively.
Thence:
N of a dangerous wreck (existence doubtful)
(22°15′⋅2N 97°43′⋅4W), thence:
To a position close N of Tampico sea buoy
(22°16′⋅4N 97°43′⋅9W).
(Directions continue at 6.308)
CHAPTER 6
130
Arrecife Alacrán to Veracruz
6.56 1
From a position about 10 miles S of Arrecife Alacrán
the route leads WSW, in general depths of 14⋅6 to 53 m (8
to 29 fm), until clear of the continental shelf, to pass
through the 4 mile wide channel between Arrecifes
Triángulo (20°59′N 92°18′W) (6.61). The route passes,
subject to draught (with positions from Triángulo Oeste
Light (20°59′N 92°18′W) (6.61)):
2
Clear of an 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal (84 miles ENE);
another 18⋅3 m shoal lies 5 miles farther WNW.
Thence:
Clear of a 14⋅6 m (48 ft) shoal (77 miles ENE),
thence:
Clear of a 21⋅9 m (12 fm) shoal, reported (1986),
(74 miles ENE), thence:
3
Clear of a 21⋅9 m (12 fm) shoal, reported (1986),
(69 miles ENE), thence:
Clear of an 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal (42 miles ENE),
thence:
NNW of a 12⋅8 m (42 ft) shoal (43 miles ENE),
thence:
SSE of a dangerous wreck (21 miles NE), thence:
4
SSE of a 12⋅8 m (42 ft) shoal (5 miles NE), thence:
SSE of Triángulo Oeste, and:
NNW of Triángulo Este (6 miles S), thence:
NNW of Ciudad Condal Shoal (9 miles S).
5
The track then continues WSW to a position in the
vicinity of 19°15′N 95°45′W, at the eastern approach route
to Vera Cruz.
(Directions continue at 6.226)
Arrecife Alacrán to Coatzacoalcos
6.57 1
From a position about 10 miles S of Arrecife Alacrán
(6.14) the route leads SW, in general depths of 26 to 37 m
(14 to 20 fm), until clear of the continental shelf, passing
either side of Cayo Arcas Light and Oil Terminal (20°12′N
91°58′W) (6.63). The route passes, subject to draught (with
positions from Cayo Arcas Light (20°12′N 91°58′W)):
2
NW of an 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal (130 miles NE);
breakers were reported (1909) 4 miles SW of the
shoal. Thence:
NW of Madagascar Reef (120 miles NE) (6.78),
thence:
NW of Snake Rock (111 miles NE), thence:
Clear of an 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal (98 miles NE),
thence:
3
NW of the NW edge of the 18⋅3 m (60 ft) depth
contour (88 miles NE), thence:
Clear of Pear Bank, with a depth of less than 10 m
over it (31 miles N), thence:
Clear of New Bank, with a depth of less than 10 m
over it (24 miles N), thence:
Clear of Arrecifes Obispo (21 miles NW) (6.62), with
depths of less than 3 m over them, thence:
4
Clear of a 20⋅1 m (11 fm) shoal, reported (1956),
(7 miles NNW). thence:
Clear of a 14⋅0 m (46 ft) shoal (10 miles NW),
thence:
Clear of a shoal, depth unknown, reported (1935)
(6 miles NW).
The route then continues SW to the vicinity of 18°12′N
94°26′W at the pilot boarding area off Coatzacoalcos.
5
Although New Bank and Pear Bank are useful guides to
navigation, care must be taken not to mistake one for the
other, as their shoalest areas are only 10 miles apart.
Shipping using Cayo Arcas Terminal (6.102) may be
encountered in the vicinity of the anchorage SE of Cayo
Arcas Light (6.63).
(Directions continue at 6.179)
OFFSHORE DANGERS
General information
Chart 1225 (see 1.18)
Topography
6.58 1
Banco de Campeche extends between 100 and 130 miles
W of Península de Yucatán. General depths increase
gradually away from the coast, although shoal depths are
very irregular. The edge of the bank, at the 200 m (100 fm)
contour, is steep−to. The numerous reefs and shoals on the
bank are described below.
2
Soundings give little indication of the proximity of the
reefs.
Cayo Arenas
6.59 1
Cayo Arenas (22°07′N 91°24′W) lies on the SE end of a
detached reef, about ¾ mile long. A ledge extends about
5 miles W from the cay. Another reef, 1¼ miles long and
with a coral islet at each end, lies 1 mile E of Cayo
Arenas.
2
A stranded wreck lies 2 cables W of Cayo Arenas Light
(white square concrete tower, 20 m in height) (22°08′N
91°24′W).
3
Anchorage may be found in a channel, about 4 cables
wide, between the two reefs, in depths of 15 to 27 m (48 ft
to 15 fm), close E of the light−structure.
Exercise area. Firing practice takes place N of Cayo
Arenas, in an area shown on the chart.
Other aid to navigation. Racon at Cayo Arenas Light.
Bajo Nuevo (New Shoal)
6.60 1
Bajo Nuevo (21°50′N 92°05′W) lies 40 miles WSW of
Cayo Arenas. The bank has a drying area of about 270 by
630 m, with shoal water extending 5 miles NE and 3 miles
NW of the reef. A beacon, 3 m high, should not be relied
on due to the exposed position.
The current sets NW over the reef.
2
Anchorage may be obtained 4 cables W of the beacon
in a depth of 17 m (56 ft).
English Shoals are two reefs of coral and sand, which
lie 5 miles ESE of Bajo Nuevo.
Arrecifes Triángulo
6.61 1
Arrecifes Triángulo (20°59′N 92°18′W) are two groups
of reefs which lie about 53 miles S of Bajo Nuevo.
Triángulo Oeste, on which stands Triángulo Oeste Light
(red rectangular concrete tower, 22 m in height) (20°59′N
92°18′W), is a sand and coral cay at the SW end of a reef,
with narrow coral ledges which extend 7 miles NE.
2
A rock awash was reported (1921) to lie 18 miles NNE
of Triángulo Oeste.
Triángulo Este, which lies 6 miles SE of Triángulo
Oeste, is a sand and coral cay on a drying reef extending
1 mile NE. A narrow ledge extends a further 1 mile NE.
3
Triángulo Sur is a small sand cay on a reef which lies
close SW of Triángulo Este and separated by a narrow
channel. A stranded wreck lies in the channel.
Anchorage may be obtained in a depth of 13 m (42 ft),
sand and coral, 1 mile SW of Triángulo Sur as indicated on
the chart.
CHAPTER 6
131
Arrecifes Obispo
6.62 1
Arrecifes Obispo (20°29′N 92°12′W) are two coral and
sand ledges, which extend N and S over a distance of
about 8 miles and lie about 24 miles S of Arrecifes
Triángulo. Discoloured water over them is visible from
5 cables.
Chart 2626
Cayo Arcas
6.63 1
Cayo Arcas (20°12′N 91°58′W) is a group of three islets
which lie about 18 miles SE of Arrecifes Obispo. An ‘Area
to be Avoided’, associated with the marine oilfield
extending over a wide area to the S, lies close SW of the
group. Soundings do not give any warning of the proximity
to the reefs when approaching from the E.
Prohibited anchorage. Anchoring is prohibited within
an area which includes Cayo Arcas and Cayo Arcas
Terminal.
2
Cayo del Centro is the most N and the largest in the
group. It has a light covering of sand, grass, bushes and
palms and lies on the SE edge of a reef which extends
1 mile NW and 5 cables W. The area is obstructed by foul
ground.
Reef Rock stands on the reef 2½ cables N and a
stranded wreck lies on the reef 4 cables NW of the cay.
3
Cayo del Centro Leading Lights. The alignment (107°)
of leading lights is reported to be used by vessels
anchoring WNW of the cays:
Front light (metal truncated pyramidal tower, 5 m in
height) (20°12′⋅4N 91°58′⋅2W).
Rear light (white round concrete tower) (80 m ESE of
front light).
4
A tripod structure daymark stands on the line of the
lights 50 m behind the rear light.
A radio mast, 61 m in height, stands 50 m SW of the
rear light. The radio mast and the daymark are in line
bearing 064°.
There is a radar station on Cayo del Centro.
5
Cayo del Oeste is a small heap of broken coral situated
7 cables W of Cayo del Centro. A landing place is afforded
some shelter between two arms of the reef extending
3½ cables WNW and 1½ cables WSW of the cay.
Cayo del Este is another small heap of broken coral on
a detached reef situated 3 cables SE of Cayo del Centro. A
stranded wreck lies on the edge of the reef 1½ cables NE
of the cay.
Cayo Arcas Terminal lies close SW of the cays, within
the limits of an ‘Area to be Avoided’ associated with a
marine oilfield. See 6.102 for a description of the terminal.
Deepwater anchorage may be had in depths of between
40 and 45 m in an area centred 10 miles ESE of Cayo
Arcas Light, as shown on the chart.
COASTAL ROUTE
General information
Charts 1225, 2626
Route
6.64 1
The route between Progreso (21°17′N 89°40′W) and
Campeche (19°50′N 90°30′W) follows the trend of the
coast, avoiding the numerous shoals indicated on the charts.
Topography
6.65 1
A chain of lagoons lies parallel to and immediately
behind the coastline between Progreso and Real de las
Salinas (6.80). The coast is generally low and sandy, with
some vegetation, which turns to mangrove swamp between
Real de las Salinas and Punta Sanit (20°00′N 90°26′W).
2
There are numerous reefs and shoals within 15 and
55 miles of the coast, whose positions are best seen from
the charts. Significant shoals are described in the directions
which follow.
3
The coast between Punta Boxcohuo (6.70) and
Campeche (6.81) is bordered by a shoal bank which
prevents all but shallow draught vessels from approaching
sufficiently close to sight the land.
Local knowledge
6.66 1
Local knowledge is desirable when using the coastal
route. The small harbours are not charted in any detail.
Currents
6.67 1
See 6.5 for remarks on currents.
Directions
(continued from 6.29)
Principal marks
6.68
1
Major light
Campeche Light (white square concrete tower, 12 m
in height) (19°49′N 90°35′W).
Other aid to navigation
6.69
1
Racon at Punta Boxcohuo Light (6.70).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
Progreso to Boxcohuo
6.70 1
From a position to the N of Progreso (21°17′N
89°40′W) (6.35) the route leads WSW for 46 miles to a
position off Punta Boxcohuo (21°02′N 90°17′W), passing
(with positions from Sisal Light (white round concrete
tower, red bands, on fort, 20 m in height) (21°10′N
90°02′W)):
SSE of a stranded wreck (22 miles NE), marked close
N by a light−buoy (non−IALA), thence:
2
NNW of Sisal Light, thence:
SSE of Sisal Reef (Arrecife Sisal) (12 miles NNW)
on which lies an obstruction marked by a
light−buoy, thence:
NNW of a 6⋅4 m (21 ft) shoal (6 miles NW), thence:
3
NNW of Punta Boxcohuo, (Punta Palmas) a low,
sandy point and the NW extremity of Península de
Yucatán, on which stands a light (white round
concrete tower, 39 m in height) (17 miles WSW).
Thence:
NNW of a 2⋅7 m shoal (9 ft) (18 miles WSW).
4
The area between Yukalpetén and Sisal is clear of
known dangers.
Useful mark:
Chuburná Light (21°14′N 89°50′W).
Punta Boxcohuo to Cuidad del Carmen and Dos Bocas
6.71
1
From a position NNW of Punta Boxcohuo (21°02′N
90°18′W) the route leads SW for 88½ miles to a position
13 miles E of Cayo Arcas (6.63).
CHAPTER 6
132
The area between Punta Boxcohuo and Cayo Arcas is
clear of known dangers.
Punta Boxcohuo to Campeche
6.72 1
From a position NNW of Punta Boxcohuo (21°02′N
90°18′W) the route leads SSW for 48 miles to a position
WSW of Isla Arena thence S for 22 miles to a position
NW of Campeche (19°51′N 90°31′W) (6.81), passing (with
positions from Isla Arena (20°37′N 90°28′W)):
2
Clear of reported shoals (29 miles N and 32 miles
NNW), thence:
WNW of dangerous wreck (14 miles NNE), thence:
WNW of Isla Arena on which stands a light (white
round concrete tower, 10 m in height).
The area between Isla Arena and Campeche is clear of
known dangers.
3
Useful mark:
Celestún Light (white round concrete tower, 12 m in
height) (20°52′N 90°23′W).
(Directions continue, for Ciudad del Carmen at 6.111
and for Campeche at 6.87)
Yukalpetén harbour
Chart 373 plan of Progreso and Yukalpetén
General information
6.73 1
Position and function. Yukalpetén harbour (21°16′N
89°42′W) is a fishing harbour situated 2 miles W of
Progreso Light (6.29). There were about 500 craft in the
fishing fleet in 1990. It is a Free Port.
Arrival information
6.74 1
Anchorage may be obtained 2¾ miles NNE of the
harbour entrance, as charted, in a depth of 7 m (22 ft). The
holding ground is good, but exposed to prevailing winds.
Directions
6.75 1
The alignment (169°) of Yukalpetén Leading Lights
leads S for a distance of 3 miles from the fairway
light−buoy (special) (21°20′⋅0N 89°42′⋅7W) to the harbour
entrance, passing (with positions from the front leading
light (21°16′⋅2N 89°42′⋅1W)):
E of a dangerous wreck (reported 1988) (3 miles
NNW), thence:
W of a light−buoy (special) (1½ miles N), thence:
Between the harbour breakwaters, each with a light
(red truncated pyramidal metal tower, 7 m in
height) at its head.
2
It was reported (1996) that the leading lights are
working at reduced power and that when approaching
during daylight a tree is obstructing the leading light
beacons.
Harbour
6.76 1
Berths: two quays, Muelle de Turismo and Muelle de
Pescadores, lie close inside the entrance with depths of
2⋅4 m alongside.
Port services
6.77 1
Facilities: cold storage plants and ice factories for use
by the fishing industry.
Anchorages and Harbours
Charts 2626, 1225
Sisal
6.78 1
Directions. There are a number of reefs and shoals to
the NNW and NW of Sisal, whose positions are best seen
from the chart. The approach from a position to the N of
Sisal Light (21°10′N 90°02′W) (6.70) leads clear of danger
passing (with positions from Sisal Light):
2
E of breakers reported (1909) (26 miles NNW),
thence:
E of an obstruction, position approximate (20 miles
NNW), thence:
E of Sisal Reef (12 miles NW), thence:
E of 6⋅4 m (21 ft) shoal (6½ miles NW).
3
The approach from the E is clear of any known dangers.
A vessel coming from the N should not approach
Madagascar Reef (Arrecife Madagascar) (22 miles NW)
within a depth of 25 m (14 fm) unless sure of her position,
nor attempt to pass between that shoal and Sisal Reef. In
2005 it was reported that Madagascar Reef extended
7 cables NNE of its charted position.
4
The sea does not break on Madagascar Reef, which is a
coral ledge covered by dark weed.
Anchorage is available 1½ miles N of the pier in a
depth of 6 m (19 ft); clay and mud over coral. The holding
ground is bad.
Puerto de Celestún
6.79 1
Directions. Puerto de Celestún (20°51′N 90°24′W) is
approached on the alignment of leading lights passing
between breakwaters, each with a light at its head.
A dangerous wreck lies 1½ miles SW of Celestún Light
(6.72).
Anchorage is available in an open roadstead off the
village.
Real de las Salinas
6.80 1
The entrance to Real de las Salinas (20°45′N 90°26′W)
leads into an extensive lagoon backing the coast. There is a
depth of 1⋅8 m (6 ft) over the bar.
CAMPECHE
General information
Chart 2626
6.81 1
Position. Campeche (19°50′N 90°30′W) is low lying and
not easily seen from the sea. It is situated at the W end of
a fertile plain, surrounded by hills on three sides.
2
Function. The city of Campeche is the capital of
Campeche state. It is one of the few ports on the
Campeche coast able to handle vessels larger than fishing
vessels and other small craft. It is the main distribution
centre for the area. The principal exports are sisal, known
locally as henequén, chicle, bags and beverages.
3
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 10 vessels with a
total of 443 814 dwt.
Port Authority. Port Authority of Campeche, Km 2−5
Unidad Administrativa, Carretera Lerma, Campeche.
Limiting conditions
6.82 1
Controlling depths.
General depths reduce from 7⋅3 m
at the seaward end of the leading line to 3⋅6 m alongside
Muelle de Castillo Bretón.
CHAPTER 6
133
Deepest and longest berths.
Muelle de Castillo Bretón
(6.89), about 5 cables W of Campeche Light (6.68).
Tidal levels. See 1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for
details. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅8 m.
Arrival information
6.83 1
Anchorage is available, as indicated on the chart,
9½ miles W of Campeche Light (6.68), in a depth of 6 m,
fine sand over hard bottom.
Pilotage is compulsory for merchant ships when
berthing alongside.
Harbour
General layout
6.84 1
The port facilities, which include a number of piers, are
situated near the village of Lerma, 3 miles SW of the city.
Signals
6.85 1
Storm signals (diagram 6.85) are displayed from a
flagstaff at Fuerte San José, 5 miles NE of Campeche
Light.
Natural conditions
6.86 1
Local weather. Squalls have considerable force at times
during the rainy season from June to September. ‘Northers’
are less frequent than at other Gulf ports.
Currents. There is seldom any current.
See also climatic table after 1.220.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 6.72)
Major light
6.87 1
Campeche Light (19°49′N 90°35′W) (6.68).
6.88 1
The alignment (139°) of Lerma Leading Lights leads SE
for a distance of 8 miles to the wharves:
Front light (truncated pyramidal metal tower, 14 m in
height) (19°48′⋅4N 90°36′⋅0W).
Rear light (similar structure, 4 m in height) (1 cable
SE of the front light).
2
Useful mark:
Radio mast situated 3 cables NE of Campeche Light
(6.68).
Berths
6.89 1
Muelle de Castillo Bretón (5 cables SW of Campeche
Light (6.68)): length 213 m, depth 3⋅6 m; has 122 m of
berthing space reserved for fishing craft. Other berths are
available at small piers in the vicinity.
Port services
6.90 1
Facilities: medical services and hospitals; de−ratting
service.
Supplies: diesel oil in drums; fuel oil piped to the
wharf; fresh provisions; water, in drums, which should be
boiled before drinking.
Communications: the airport is situated close to the E
suburbs of the city.
CAMPECHE TO DOS BOCAS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 2626
Description
6.91 1
Offshore routes cross the area between Cayo Arcas
(20°10′N 91°58′W) and the S coast of Bah
í
a de Campeche
(Bay of Campeche) and link the oil and gas offshore fields
with neighbouring ports. The coastal route serves the ports
of Ciudad del Carmen (18°38′N 91°51′W), Frontera
(18°32′N 92°39′W) and Dos Bocas (18°27′N 93°11′W), as
well as numerous rivers used by fishermen and local trade.
Vessels may be encountered anchoring from 1 to 2 miles
off the mouths of rivers to load mahogany. Villahermosa,
the capital of Tabasco State, is situated about 45 miles
upriver from Frontera.
Topography
6.92 1
The coastline is generally low and backed by lagoons,
except in the area around Campeche (19°50′N 90°30′W),
where the hills, with heights up to 75 m, reach close to the
shore. Farther S a line of more broken hills extends away
from the coast and ends abruptly with a prominent ridge,
110 m high, 7¾ miles SE of Champotón (19°21′N
90°43′W). Between Champotón and Ciudad del Carmen,
77 miles SW, there are many miles of long, straight, sandy
beaches, backed by a low, wooded coastal area. Mountains
are occasionally visible about 50 miles inland behind
Laguna de Terminos (mid−position 18°38′N 91°34′W),
especially before ‘Northers’. There are a number of shoal
banks offshore, as shown on the charts.
Oil and gas offshore fields
6.93 1
Oil and gas offshore field developments extend over a
wide area of the S part of Bah
í
a de Campeche, from as far
N as Cayo Arcas (20°10′N 91°58′W) to Punta del Tigre
(18°48′N 91°30′W) in the S and to Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N
94°25′W) in the W.
Areas to be avoided
6.94 1
Most of the associated platforms are in an ‘Area to be
Avoided’, whose mid−position is 19°25′N 92°10′W and
which has a radius of about 13 miles.
MeaningSignal
Bad weather.
Port closed.
Storm signals (6.85)
CHAPTER 6
134
2
A smaller ‘Area to be Avoided’ exists surrounding the
Distribution Platform at the Cayo Arcas terminal, whose
mid−position is 20°10′N 91°59′W.
Production platforms and other related developments
have also been established over an extensive area outside
the ‘Areas to be Avoided’.
Submarine pipelines
6.95
1
Oil pipelines connect the marine oil fields with the Cayo
Arcas and Dos Bocas terminals. Gas pipelines connect the
gas fields with the coast 14 miles W of Barra Principal
(18°40′N 91°53′W). See 1.47 for remarks on submarine
pipelines.
Anchorages
6.96 1
Oil and gas offshore field anchorages are charted as
follows:
Mid−position Depths
20°10′N 91°47′W 40 to 45 m.
19°18′N 91°54′W 20 to 35 m.
18°45′N 93°10′W 35 to 50 m.
Traffic regulations
6.97 1
Description of routeing system. An IMO recommended
routeing system exists in the area of oil and gas offshore
field activity, for use by vessels of 1000 grt and larger. The
system, as shown on the chart, comprises the following:
(i) Two ‘Areas to be Avoided’ containing the oil and
gas fields and Cayo Arcas terminal.
2
(ii) Recommended tracks in both directions from the
approaches to Ciudad del Carmen (18°38′N
91°51′W) to:
Dos Bocas (18°27′N 93°11′W).
The marine oil and gas offshore fields.
E of Cayo Arcas (20°12′N 91°58′W).
(iii) Two Precautionary Areas at the junction of the
above tracks.
6.98
1
Prohibited anchorage. Anchoring is prohibited within
the following charted areas:
The ‘Area to be Avoided’ (mid−position 19°25′N
92°10′W).
The area limits surrounding Cayo Arcas (mid−position
20°11′N 91°58′W).
An area surrounding ECO−1 radar station, 23 miles
NNW of Barra Principal (18°40′N 91°53′W).
Within 1½ miles of production platforms, or oil and
gas pipelines.
6.99 1
Traffic management. A mandatory Maritime Traffic
Control System is in operation in conjunction with the
routeing system (6.97) throughout the oil and gas offshore
field area between Cayo Arcas, Ciudad del Carmen and
Barra de Dos Bocas. Control centres are located at Cayo
Arcas, Dos Bocas, and on certain platforms. A chain of
radar stations, marked by radar transponder beacons,
monitors the movement of ships within the area. Any
vessel planning to enter the area is requested to contact the
traffic controller on channel 16 and to comply with
instructions while transiting the area. For further details see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Fishing
6.100 1
Large concentrations of shrimp fishing boats may be
encountered within the 36 m contour between Campeche
and Punta Xicalango, 105 miles SW.
Natural conditions
6.101 1
Winds are mainly from the N.
Currents set SW over most of the year. From
November to January the predominant set is NE, although
SW sets are still frequent. Rates can be up to 2 kn.
CAYO ARCAS TERMINAL
General information
Chart 2626
6.102 1
Position and function. The distribution platform
(20°10′N 91°58′W) for the terminal is situated 3 miles S of
Cayo Arcas Light (20°12′N 91°58′W). The terminal
complex is included in an ‘Area to be Avoided’, which is
enclosed by a prohibited anchorage area, as shown on the
chart.
2
The terminal supplies crude oil to tankers from storage
vessels.
Traffic. In 2004 the terminal was used by 170 vessels
with a total of 55 814 693 dwt.
Limiting conditions
6.103 1
Maximum size. Vessels up to 290 000 dwt can be
accepted.
Arrival information
6.104 1
Outer anchorage. The waiting anchorage lies 10 miles
ESE of Cayo Arcas Light (20°12′N 91°58′W) (6.63).
Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot is embarked 2½ miles
SW of the Distribution Platform (6.102). See Admiralty List
of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for further details.
2
Tugs are available to assist berthing.
Traffic regulations:
Movements. Vessels berth in daylight hours only, but
may depart at any time.
Prohibited anchorage. Anchoring is prohibited
within an area surrounding the terminal complex
and Cayo Arcas, as shown on the chart.
Terminal
6.105 1
General layout. Pipelines are laid from the distribution
platform (20°10′N 91°58′W) to four SPMs whose positions
are as follows:
SBM No. 1 20°12′⋅1N 91°59′⋅7W
SBM No. 2 20°10′⋅2N 91°58′⋅7W
SBM No. 3 20°09′⋅6N 91°59′⋅2W
SBM No. 4 20°08′⋅8N 91°58′.7W
There is a flare close S of the platform.
2
Landmarks
Distribution platform (20°10′N 91°58′W) visible at 14
to 16 miles.
Cayo Arcas Light (20°12′N 91°58′W) (6.63).
3
Other aids to navigation
Racon: Distribution platform (above).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
CHAPTER 6
135
Terminal services
6.106 1
Supplies. Diesel oil; fresh water; fuel oil; all supplied
from coastal tanker by previous arrangement.
CAMPECHE TO CIUDAD DEL CARMEN
General information
Chart 2626
Route
6.107 1
From a position off Campeche (19°50′N 90°30′W) the
route follows the trend of the coast in a SW direction for
105 miles to a position off Ciudad del Carmen (18°38′N
91°51′W). The route is free of dangers other than the
charted shoals between Banco de Champotón (19°23′N
90°53′W) and Banco de Sabancuy (19°08′N 91°13′W).
2
Vessels over 1000 grt should use the IMO recommended
route from Cayo Arcas to Ciudad del Carmen (6.111).
Local knowledge
6.108 1
Local knowledge is required for entry into the small
fishing harbours.
Directions
(continued from 6.72)
Principal marks
6.109
1
Major light:
Punta Morro Light (white, eight sided concrete tower,
16 m in height) (19°41′N 90°41′W).
Other aids to navigation
6.110
1
Racons:
Ciudad del Carmen (18°39′⋅8N 91°48′⋅6W)
AKAL−C platform (19°23′⋅9N 92°02′⋅4 W)
ECO−1 platform (19°01′⋅7N 92°01′⋅0W)
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Cayo Arcas to Cuidad del Carmen
6.111 1
From a position about 13 miles E of Cayo Arcas (6.63)
the route follows the S bound lane of the IMO approved
routeing measures (6.97) for about 85 miles to the
precautionary area N of the approaches to Ciudad del
Carmen, passing with positions from AKAL−C platform
(6.110):
2
E of Cayo Arcas Terminal (6.102) (45½ miles N),
thence:
E of ECO−C platform (22 miles S).
Thence into the precautionary area 11½ miles N of
Punta Atalaya Light (18°39′N 91°51′W).
3
Useful mark:
Punta Atalaya Light (white truncated conical masonry
tower, red cupola, 23 m in height) (18°39′N
91°51′W).
(Directions continue, for Ciudad del Carmen at 6.122
and for Dos Bocas at 6.132)
Anchorages and harbours
Punta Mastún anchorage
6.112 1
There is anchorage for vessels drawing up to 5⋅5 m,
3½ miles west of Punta Mastún Grande (19°45′N
90°40′W), as indicated on the chart, with Punta Morro
Light (6.111) bearing 160° and the cathedral at Campeche
bearing 063°, just open of Lerma.
Puerto de Seybaplaya
6.113
1
The port of Seybaplaya (19°39′N 90°42′W) lies
2½ miles SSE of Punta Morro (6.111) and consists of a
quay, 300 m long, protected by two breakwaters; a 250 m
long Ro−Ro berth exists on the N breakwater. Depth within
the basin is reported as 4⋅6 m (15 ft). Container and Ro−Ro
vessels are handled.
Barra de Puerto Real
General information.
6.114 1
Barra de Puerto Real (18°48′N 91°31′W) is the NE
entrance to Laguna de Terminos (6.130). The entrance,
which is 2 miles wide, lies between Punta del Tigre
(18°48′N 91°30′W) and Punta Noreste, the NE point of Isla
del Carmen.
2
The fishing village of La Aguada lies at the extremity of
Punta del Tigre. Puerto Real is situated at Punta Noreste.
La Unidad Bridge, a road bridge, spans Barra de Puerto
Real. Its vertical clearance is not known.
Depths and local knowledge
6.115 1
There are a number of dangers in the entrance, the
shoalest of which is a depth of 1⋅4 m, lying 2 miles NW of
Punta del Tigre. Local knowledge is required to enter Barra
de Puerto Real.
Tidal streams
6.116 1
The rate of the in−going tidal stream is up to 1 kn and
the out−going up to 3 kn.
Anchorage
6.117 1
Vessels may anchor in an open roadstead about 4 miles
NW of Punta del Tigre in depths of 7 to 9 m, with good
holding.
Directions
6.118 1
Vessels from N and NE approach on the alignment
(151°) of leading lights:
Front Light (white round concrete tower, 12 m in
height) (400 m NNW of Punta del Tigre Light).
Rear Light, Punta del Tigre Light (18°48′N 91°30′W)
(white concrete tower, 20 m in height).
2
Vessels from the W and NW approach with Punta
Noreste in line with Punta Rompida (the E tip of Isla del
Carmen) bearing 144°, altering to maintain a line of
bearing of 098° on Punta del Tigre Light. Least charted
depth on this track is 2⋅7 m.
Berths
6.119 1
Small vessels anchor close S of the village of La
Aguada (4 cables SE of Punta del Tigre Light (6.118)) in
depths of 6 to 9 m, sand and mud.
CHAPTER 6
136
There is a lighter berth at Puerto Real, 2 cables S of
Punta Noreste. It is marked by two light−beacons.
Barra Principal
Chart 373 plan of Ciudad del Carmen
Description
6.120 1
Barra Principal, the NW entrance to Laguna de
Terminos, lies between Punta Atalaya (18°39′N 91°51′W)
and Punta Xicalango, 5 miles WNW. The entrance narrows
to a width of 2 miles between the S part of Ciudad del
Carmen (6.123) and Punta Zacatal, on the opposite shore,
before opening into the lagoon. El Zacatal Bridge,
prominent, spans the navigation channel at the narrows.
Sandbanks and shoals, on which the seas break, extend in
an arc to Punta de Restinga, which almost dries, 4 miles
NNW of Punta Atalaya Light (18°39′N 91°51′W) (6.111).
Shoals, with a least depth of 0⋅3 m and covered by the red
sector of Punta Atalaya Light, extend between 1¼ and
2½ miles WNW of the same light.
Directions
(continued from 6.111)
Principal marks
6.121
1
Major lights:
Hacienda Xicalango Rear Leading Light (18°38′⋅4N
91°54′⋅5W) (white truncated conical masonry
tower, red bands, 28 m in height).
Punta del Zacatal Light (truncated pyramidal tower, 14 m
in height) (18°37′N 91°52′W).
6.122 1
Hacienda Xicalango leading lights:
Front Light (white metal truncated pyramidal tower,
12 m in height) (18°38′N 91°54′W).
Rear Light (6.121) (185 m S of front light).
2
From a position in the precautionary area the route leads
S to the vicinity of the light−buoy (safe water) (18°43′⋅7N
91°54′⋅5W) the alignment (180°) of Hacienda Xicalango
Leading Lights leads S for 3 miles, passing E of Punta
Xicalango (18°42′N 91°57′W) (chart 2626):
3
At the N limit of the red sector of Punta Atalaya Light
(6.111) bearing 113°, the track, shown on the chart,
continues SE for 2⋅2 miles, then E to the port of Ciudad
del Carmen, passing (with positions from the front light):
SW of Bajo Cascajal, an extensive shoal with a least
charted depth of 1⋅2 m (4 ft). A light−buoy is
moored on the NE part of the shoal. Thence:
SW and S of Bajo de la Guitarra (2 miles NE). A
light−buoy is moored on the S part of the shoal.
Thence:
4
Close SW of Punta Atalaya Light (3¼ miles ENE)
(6.111).
The route then leads SE to the anchorage off the town,
or to an alongside berth or continues SSE into Laguna de
Terminos (6.130), passing NE of Bajo de los Bagres
light−buoy (safe water) (18°38′N 91°51′W) and beneath El
Zacatal Bridge.
5
Useful marks:
Punta del Zacatal Light (6.121).
Conspicuous water tower (18°43′N 91°40′W).
Conspicuous radio mast (not charted) (18°39′⋅3N
91°50′⋅6W).
Other aid to navigation
Racon at Ciudad del Carmen (18°39′⋅8N 91°48′⋅6W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
CIUDAD DEL CARMEN
General information
Charts 373 plan of Ciudad del Carmen, 2626
6.123 1
Position. Ciudad del Carmen (18°39′N 91°51W) is
situated at the W end of Isla del Carmen, at the NW
entrance to Laguna de Terminos.
A Landfall Light−buoy, (red and white pillar), has been
established in position 18°43′⋅7N 91°54′⋅5W.
Function. The port serves vessels operating in the
offshore oil industry of the Gulf of Campeche, is a
distribution centre for commerce, a Naval Base and a
fishing harbour, with new construction facilities for the
fishing fleet.
2
Approach. The approach is from Barra Principal
(6.120).
Traffic. In 2004 the port handled 13 vessels having a
total of 19 281 dwt.
Port Authority. The Captain of the Port, Ciudad del
Carmen, Calle 20, No 29 Esplanada Muelle Fiscal, Carmen.
Limiting conditions
6.124 1
Controlling depth: 3⋅7 m in Barra Principal (6.120).
Vertical clearance. To the S of the city, El Zacatal
Bridge links Isla del Carmen to Punta Zacatal, 2 miles
farther SW. The vertical clearance beneath the bridge is not
known.
Deepest berth: Naval Base jetty (1 mile SE of Punta
Atalaya Light) (6.111).
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See
Admiralty Tide Tables for further details.
Arrival information
6.125 1
Port operations. There is a Coast Radio Station at
Ciudad del Carmen. For details see Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 1(2).
2
Outer anchorages. Anchorage may be obtained 8 miles
NNW of Punta Atalaya (chart 2626), in depths of 7 to 9 m,
mud bottom, good holding ground, and 6 miles N of the
same point in a depth of 5 m. These anchorages are not
safe in the ‘Norther’ season.
Pilotage is compulsory. For further details see Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Harbour
6.126 1
General layout. The harbour consists of numerous
jetties and wharves which project from the W shore of the
town area. There is a fishing vessel haven, Puerto de
Abrigo, to the N of the jetties. The Naval Base is situated
to the S of the harbour. The main approach channel lies
towards the centre of Barra Principal (6.120), which is
about 2 miles wide opposite the town.
2
Natural conditions. The harbour offers only limited
protection from the N. The in−going stream has a rate up
to 1½ kn and the out−going up to 2 kn.
Local weather: winds are mainly N.
3
Major lights:
Punta del Zacatal Light (18°37′N 91°52′W) (6.121).
Hacienda Xicalango Rear Light (18°38′N 91°54′W)
(6.121).
CHAPTER 6
137
Directions
6.127 1
See 6.121 for directions in Barra Principal.
Berths
6.128 1
Muelle Fiscal (government wharf) (18°38′⋅9N
91°50′⋅7W): length 130 m, depth 3⋅3 m.
Naval Base Jetty (18°38′⋅6N 91°50′⋅4W): length 70 m,
depth 5⋅5 m.
There are numerous jetties which line the western shore
of the town, close to Muelle Fiscal.
2
Anchorage may be obtained by coasters close to Muelle
Fiscal (18°38′⋅9N 91°50′⋅7W). A gas pipeline crosses the
harbour, as shown on the charts, from a position close SE
of Punta Atalaya Light (18°39′N 91°51′W), in a SW
direction to the opposite shore.
Port services
6.129 1
Facilities: medical services and a hospital.
Repairs: several workshops and small yards are
available for minor repairs.
Supplies: diesel, fuel oil and petrol, provisions and fruit,
water, all in limited quantities.
Communications: an airfield is situated close east of
Ciudad del Carmen.
Laguna de Terminos
General information
6.130 1
Laguna de Terminos (18°35′N 91°35′W, chart 2626) is a
large expanse of shallow water, about 35 miles long by
15 miles wide, immediately behind Isla del Carmen. There
are two entrances into the lagoon, Barra Principal (6.120)
to the NW and Barra de Puerto Real (6.114) to the NE.
The shores are low and marshy. General depths are
between 3 and 4 m. A number of smaller lagoons open
onto Laguna de Terminos, as well as several streams and
rivers.
2
The principal rivers which enter the S shore of the
lagoon are:
Río Candelaria, with Boca de los Pargos Light (white
concrete masonry tower, 7 m in height) (18°37′N
91°17′W) situated on the N side of the river
mouth.
Río Chumpán.
3
Río Palizada, which has a depth of 1⋅5 m. Isla Tío
Campo, on which stands Isla Tío Campo Light
(truncated conical tower, 9 m in height) (18°31′N
91°48′W), lies 1 mile N of the river mouth.
CIUDAD DEL CARMEN TO DOS BOCAS
General information
Chart 2626
6.131 1
Route. Between Ciudad del Carmen (18°39′N 91°51′W)
(6.123) and the oil terminal at Dos Bocas (18°27′N
93°11′W) (6.142), 75 miles W, the IMO recommended
route leads generally W, then SW, N of the shallow coastal
banks and S of most of the charted oilfield platforms,
passing the port of Frontera (18°32′N 92°39′W) (6.133).
2
Topography. The coast is generally low and without
distinctive feature.
Marine oilfields. See 6.94 for details of marine oilfields
adjacent to the route.
Directions
(continued from 6.111)
6.132 1
From a position in the precautionary area to the N of
Ciudad del Carmen (18°39′N 91°51′W) the route leads
generally W for 52 miles to a position NW of Punta Buey
(18°36′N 92°42′W), thence SW for 27 miles to a position
N of Dos Bocas terminal (18°27′N 93°11′W), passing (with
positions from Frontera Light (white metal tower, red
bands, 30 m in height) (18°36′⋅8N 92°41′⋅3W):
Through the precautionary area (40½ miles ENE)
established NW of Barra Principal, thence:
2
S of 9⋅1 m depth (existence doubtful) (31 miles ENE),
thence:
S of 7⋅3 m depth (existence doubtful) (26½ miles
ENE), thence:
N of 10 m depth contour (3 miles offshore), thence:
N of San Pedro village (13½ miles E), thence:
Between two production platforms (12½ and
8½ miles NE respectively), thence:
3
N of Punta Buey (1½ miles SW), thence:
NW of a dangerous wreck (19½ miles WSW),
position approximate, thence:
NW of Chiltepec Light (white round concrete tower,
13 m in height) (25 miles WSW) (18°26⋅3′N
93°05′⋅0W), thence:
NW of Barra de Dos Bocas (28 miles WSW)
(18°26′N 93°09′W).
4
Two submarine pipelines land on the coast 30 miles E of
Frontera Light. Anchoring is prohibited in the vicinity of
the pipelines, as shown on the chart.
(Directions continue at 6.154)
Frontera
Chart 373 plan of Frontera
General information
6.133 1
Position and function. Frontera (18°32′N 92°39′W) is a
port of entry, used mainly by coastal vessels.
Traffic. Approximately 50 vessels with a total of
115 000 dwt visit the port each year.
Approach and entry. The port is approached from the
N across a bar and entered along a buoyed channel whose
position is changing constantly.
Port authority. The Captain of the Port, Frontera.
Limiting conditions
6.134 1
Controlling depths. Depths over the bar and in the
channel are reported to vary from 3⋅7 to 4⋅9 m, depending
on the flow of water in Río Grijalva. The bar has the least
depth over it when the river is at its highest level. When it
is at its lowest level the channel, being contracted, is
scoured out and becomes deeper.
2
The shoreline between Punta Buey and the entrance to
the former Grijalva Canal (1½ miles S) is reported to have
extended considerably to the N and W.
3
Vertical clearances. An overhead cable, with a safe
overhead clearance of 36 m, spans the river close N of the
town.
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Maximum size of vessel handled. Vessels up to
3000 dwt, 80 m length, 4⋅5 m draught.
CHAPTER 6
138
Arrival information
6.135 1
Outer anchorages:
Anchorage is available outside the bar in depths of
7⋅3 to 9⋅1 m (24 to 30 ft).
It is also available 1½ miles SW of Punta Buey
(18°36′N 92°42′W) as shown on the chart. A
dangerous wreck, marked by a buoy, lies
2½ cables SSW of this anchorage.
Both anchorages are exposed to ‘Northers’.
2
Pilotage is compulsory and available 24 hours a day;
pilots can be contacted by VHF. One hour should be
allowed for the pilot to come out from Frontera.
Tugs are available.
Harbour
6.136 1
General layout. The town and berthing facilities at
Frontera are situated about 5 miles upstream from the
mouth of Río Grijalva. The former canal entrance into the
port (Grijalva Canal), about 1½ miles S of Punta Buey, is
no longer in use. Isla Buey is a wooded islet situated with
its seaward extremity 3 miles SSE of Punta Buey. The main
channel lies E of the islet.
2
Storm signals: flown from a tower, banded red and
white, on the town river bank.
Directions
6.137 1
Entrance channel. The approach is from the N, passing
the light−buoy (safe water) moored 2¼ miles WNW of
Frontera Light (18°37′N 92°41′W) (6.132), along a channel
marked in certain locations by light−buoys, as shown on
the chart.
Berths
6.138 1
Anchorage: available for coasters off the town.
Alongside berth: Muelle Fiscal (5 miles SSE of
Frontera Light (18°36′⋅8N 92°41′⋅3W) (6.132)); length
300 m, depth 5⋅5 m.
Port services
6.139 1
Repairs: minor repairs may be undertaken.
Facility: hospital.
Supplies: fresh provisions, in limited quantities; fuel oil;
water.
Communications: a ferry crosses the river from the
town.
El Bayo
Chart 1225
General information
6.140 1
Position and function. El Bayo is situated about
17 miles upriver from Punta Buey (18°36′N 92°42′W). The
port is operated exclusively by PEMEX to load and
discharge pipelines and machinery. Petroleum products are
not handled.
Limiting conditions
6.141 1
Controlling depths. Vessels are limited in draught to the
depth of water available over the bar at the mouth of Río
Grijalva (6.134).
Maximum size of vessel handled. Only small vessels,
including barges and tugs, use the port due to the tightness
of the bends in the river.
DOS BOCAS TERMINAL
General information
Chart 2626
6.142 1
Position. The port and shore installations of Dos Bocas
terminal (18°27′N 93°11′W) are situated 5½ miles W of
Chiltepec Light (18°26′⋅3N 93°05′⋅0W) (6.132). Two SBMs
are moored 10 miles offshore (mid−position 18°37′N
93°10′W).
2
Function. The harbour serves as a base for supply
vessels operating in the oil and gas offshore fields. Tankers
load with crude oil at the offshore terminal.
Approach and entry. The port is approached from the
NE and entered by a narrow channel cut through the
foreshore.
3
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 123 vessels with
a total of 24 948 588 dwt.
Port authority. The port is operated by PEMEX
(Petroleos Mexicanos).
Limiting conditions
6.143 1
Maximum size of vessel handled. Vessels up to
250 000 dwt, LOA 345 m, draught 21⋅95 m, are accepted at
the offshore tanker moorings.
Local weather. Berths must be vacated in bad weather.
Arrival information
6.144 1
Notice of ETA: 72, 48 and 24 hours.
Outer anchorage. There is a waiting anchorage 18 miles
N of the port, as shown on the chart.
Prohibited anchorages. Anchoring is prohibited in the
vicinity of the port of Dos Bocas, the offshore terminal and
pipelines, as shown on the chart.
2
Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot boards 2 miles N or
NW of the offshore terminal. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5) for further details.
Throughout the vessel’s stay at the SPM buoys the
following shore personnel remain onboard: Pilot, Loading
Master, one or two Pemex representatives, Cargo Inspector
and up to 10 mooring crew.
Tugs are available to assist berthing.
Harbour
6.145 1
General layout. The entrance and approach channels
have been cut through the foreshore into a lagoon, to
permit vessels to lie alongside in fair weather only. The
harbour entrance is 150 m wide. There is 2000 m of
berthing space available, with a maximum depth of 5⋅2 m
alongside. A tank farm and a radar station are located
nearby.
Port services
6.146 1
Repairs: minor repairs can be undertaken in the port
workshops.
Supplies: diesel oil; fresh water; petroleum; provisions.
CHAPTER 6
139
DOS BOCAS TO COATZACOALCOS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1225
General description
6.147 1
The edge of the continental shelf approaches close to
this part of the coast. The shelf is only 30 miles wide off
the port of Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N 94°25′W).
There is considerable oil and gas offshore field activity
in the area. See 6.94 and 6.152 regarding production
platforms and other related developments.
Vessels may be encountered anchoring from 1 to 2 miles
off the mouths of rivers to load mahogany.
Topography
6.148 1
The coast is fringed with mangroves and palms, with a
low cliff behind the beach. It is generally featureless.
Extensive areas of lagoon and marsh lie behind an almost
straight shoreline. Numerous rivers discharge into lagoons
or direct into the sea.
Least charted depths
6.149 1
Depths are irregular on the route to Coatzacoalcos, with
dangerous shoals reported as follows:
Depth Position (from Barra de Santa Ana
(18°18N 93°51W))
10⋅7 m (35 ft) 23 miles N
Rocks awash 9 miles NW and 17 miles NNW.
Traffic regulations
6.150 1
See 6.99 for traffic control arrangements in the oil and
gas offshore fields.
Natural conditions
6.151 1
Offshore currents set to the W at ½ kn between April
and September and to the E, reportedly, at up to 1½ kn on
occasions, between October and March. North of
Coatzacoalcos and outside the continental shelf, the current
meets with the counter current setting S along the coast of
Veracruz, resulting in a combined current setting to the
NNE.
2
Winds are from between NW through N to E from
April to the end of July. ‘Northers’ (1.201) may be
expected during the winter months at intervals of about
eight days.
COASTAL ROUTE
General Information
Chart 1225
Offshore oilfields
6.152 1
Offshore oilfields extend from a position NW of Barra
de Tupilco (18°26′N 93°24′W) (6.155) to a position NE of
Río Tonalá (18°13′N 94°07′W). Mobile drilling rigs,
platforms and associated structures may be encountered
anywhere within this area. Numerous pipelines exist within
the offshore fields and between these and the shore.
Directions
(continued from 6.132)
Major light
6.153
1
Coatzacoalcos Light (white 8−sided masonry tower, 21 m
in height) (18°09′N 94°24′W).
Dos Bocas to Coatzacoalcos
6.154 1
From a position N of Dos Bocas (18°27′N 93°11′W) the
route leads W for 13 miles to a position N of Barra de
Tupilco, thence WSW for 58 miles to a position N of
Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N 94°25′W) passing (with positions
from Barra de Tupilco (18°26′N 93°24′W):
2
N of Barra de Tupilco, the entrance to Laguna de
Tupilco, where stands Barra de Tupilco Light
(white round concrete tower, 23 m in height)
(18°25′N 93°25′W), thence:
N of offshore oilfields (mid−position 20 miles W),
thence:
Well clear of shoal depth 10⋅7 m (35 ft) reported
(1981) (27 miles NW), thence:
Well clear of rock awash reported (1979) (33 miles
WNW), thence:
3
NNW of Barra de Santa Ana (18°18′N 93°51′W), the
entrance to the Laguna del Carmen (27 miles
WSW), thence:
Well clear of rock awash reported (1979) (33 miles
WNW), thence:
NNW of the entrance to Río Tonalá, where stands
Tonalá Light (red square masonry tower, white
bands, 17 m in height) (18°13′N 94°07′W).
4
Useful mark:
Disused lighthouse (18°26′⋅4N 93°24′⋅1W).
(Directions continue, for Coatzacoalcos at 6.179
and for Veracruz at 6.194)
Anchorages and harbours
Tupilco
6.155 1
General information. Barra de Tupilco (18°26′N
93°24′W) is at the entrance to Laguna de Tupilco. The
village of Tupilco is situated, amidst numerous coconut
trees, on the W side of the entrance. There is a disused
light−house (6.154) on the E side of the entrance. Barra de
Tupilco Light (18°25′N 93°25′W) (6.154) stands close SW
of the village.
2
Anchorage is available, in fair weather only, about
1 mile outside the bar in depths of 9 to 11 m (30 to 36 ft).
Tonal
á
6.156 1
General information. Barra de Tonalá (18°13′N
94°08′W) is at the entrance to Río Tonalá. Two prominent
scrub covered sandhills, visible from a distance of 8 miles,
stand on each side of the river mouth. The small village of
Tonalá is on the W bank of the river, about a cable inside
the bar. Tonalá Light (6.154) is close by the village.
2
Local knowledge is required to enter the river.
Directions. There are depths of 2⋅4 to 3⋅0 m (8 to 10 ft)
over the bar. A pair of leading lights, which are moved to
meet changes in the channel, mark the entrance.
Anchorage is available, in fair weather only, 1½ to
2 miles NW of entrance, in depths of 9 to 18 m.
CHAPTER 6
140
COATZACOALCOS
General information
Chart 373 approaches to Coatzacoalcos and Pajaritos
Position
6.157 1
Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N 94°25′W), formerly known as
Puerto Mexico, is the most S port in Bah
í
a de Campeche
and is situated close within the entrance to Río
Coatzacoalcos.
Function
6.158 1
Coatzacoalcos is the principal oil port in Mexico. It is a
port of entry and a Naval headquarters. There are Free Port
facilities for bulk, container and general cargo. The
population is about 190 000.
Approach and entry
6.159 1
The harbour is approached from the N and entered
between breakwaters at the mouth of the river.
Traffic
6.160 1
In 2001 the port was used by 355 vessels with a total of
38 541 554 dwt.
Port Authority
6.161 1
Comision Nacional Coordinadora de Puertos, Edificio
Zona Franca, Antiguo Puerto Libres, Coatzacoalcos.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
6.162 1
Depths over the bar are variable and may decrease due
to local conditions. The Port Authority should be consulted
for the latest information.
Vertical clearances
6.163
1
A bridge, which has a vertical clearance of 35 m when
raised, spans the river 3 miles above the breakwater heads.
The bridge is opened for shipping daily at 1100, for about
1 hour.
Deepest and longest berths
6.164 1
Free Port: Nos 7 & 8 berths (6.181).
Pajaritos: Nos 4E, 6 & 7 berths (6.181).
Tidal levels
6.165
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See Admiralty Tide
Tables for further information.
Abnormal water levels
6.166 1
Strong ‘Northers’, which generally occur between
November and March, raise the water level at the port
considerably.
Maximum size of vessel handled
6.167 1
Maximum length: Free Port 200 m; Pajaritos 250 m.
Coatzacoalcos Entrance (6.159)
(Original dated prior to 2003)
(Photograph − Administracion Portuaria Integral de Coatzacoalcos)
CHAPTER 6
141
Coatzacoalcos Entrance from N (6.159)
(Original dated prior to 2003)
(Photograph − Administracion Portuaria Integral de Coatzacoalcos)
Local weather
6.168 1
The port is occasionally closed due to strong ‘Northers’,
in some cases for 2 or 3 days.
Arrival information
Port operations
6.169 1
There are port radio facilities using VHF, including a
separate service for the oil terminal at Pajaritos (6.176) and
an information service. There are also Coast Radio Stations
at Coatzacoalcos and Pajaritos. For details see Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volumes 6(5) and 1(2) respectively.
Notice of ETA
6.170 1
Notice of ETA for Coatzacoalcos is at least 24 hours via
agent and for Pajaritos 72, 48 & 24 hours.
Outer anchorages
6.171 1
Designated anchorages are:
Designation Mid−position, as charted, from
Coatzacoalcos Light (6.153)
A: Gas tankers
7½ miles NW.
B: Vessels less than
5000 tons
5 miles NW.
C: Vessels more than
5000 tons, except
gas tankers
6½ miles N.
2
It is reported that the holding ground in the anchorages
is poor. Vessels are liable to drag anchor during ‘Northers’.
Pilotage
6.172 1
Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot boards from a black
hulled motor−boat 2 miles NW of the breakwaters; in bad
weather just inside the breakwaters.
2
Pilotage is available for vessels of up to 220 m in length
24 hours per day, for vessels over 220 m in length between
0600 to 1700 hours, for Coatzacoalcos Free Port and
Pajaritos.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
further details.
Tugs
6.173 1
Tugs are available. Their use is obligatory for harbour
movements.
Quarantine
6.174 1
A quarantine officer boards vessels when alongside.
Offshore oil terminal
6.175
1
Rabon Grande offshore oil terminal, comprising of two
SBMs connected to the shore by a submarine pipeline and
enclosed within a restricted area, is charted E of the port
approaches.
It is understood, however, that the terminal has been
decommissioned.
Harbour
Chart 373 plan Coatzacoalcos and Pajaritos
General layout
6.176 1
The harbour is divided into two parts, with the Free Port
on the W bank of the river and an oil port, owned by
PEMEX, in a separate basin off the E side of the river, at
CHAPTER 6
142
Pajaritos. The town is built on flat ground mainly on the W
side of the river, surrounded by low hills.
2
Berths on the Free Port wharf are situated about 2 miles
inside the breakwater heads. No 1 berth is at the N end of
the wharf.
Berths at the tanker and liquefied gas terminals are
situated at Dársena de Pajaritos, which opens off the river
about 1¼ miles inside the breakwater heads. No 1 berth is
near the centre of the S wall of the basin.
Traffic and storm signals
6.177 1
The port signal station is at Coatzacoalcos Light (6.153).
Currents
6.178 1
Offshore the current sets W, but near the breakwaters a
counter current sets E at times. The set across the
breakwaters may be strong.
2
In the river the strength of the current varies according
to the state of the tide, reaching between 5 and 5½ kn
about 2 hours after HW, but during the first 3 hours of the
in−going tide it averages only 2½ to 3 kn. The maximum
rate is found in a belt of water, about ½ cable wide, which
shifts its position from side to side of the river. When the
stream is at its weakest a counter current develops along
the E side of the river abreast No 2 wharf, which is of
assistance in turning a vessel in this position.
3
Vessels berth at Coatzacoalcos heading N or S
depending on the stream.
There is no current or tidal stream in Dársena de
Pajaritos.
Directions
(continued from 6.57 and 6.154)
Principal mark
6.179 1
Major light
Coatzacoalcos Light (18°09′N 94°24′W) (6.153).
6.180 1
From the vicinity of the pilot boarding place in position
18°12′N 94°25′W the route leads SSE for about 2 miles to
the entrance; thence the alignment (162½°) of the outer
leading lights leads through the breakwaters into a channel
marked by light−buoys (lateral), for a distance of 1½ miles:
2
Front light (white truncated pyramidal metal tower,
orange bands 33 m in height) (18°08′N 94°24′W).
Rear light (white metal truncated pyramidal tower,
orange bands) (290 m SSE of the front light).
3
Thence the route divides, one part leading SSW directly
to the wharves at the Free Port, the other continuing SSE
for 5 cables, where the alignment (180°) of Pajaritos
Leading Lights leads S for 8 cables into Dársena de
Pajaritos:
4
Front Light (white tubular metal tower, red bands,
15 m in height) (18°07′N 94°24′W).
Rear Light (white round concrete tower, red bands,
24 m in height) (300m S of the front light).
Berths
6.181 1
Coatzacoalcos Free Port: No 7 berth; length 288 m,
depth 9⋅7 m. There are other berths on the same wharf,
with the same depth.
Pajaritos: No 4E berth; length 250 m, maximum
draught 11⋅9 m. There are other berths in the same basin
and more are being constructed (2002). It has been reported
that vessels berthed at No 7 berth may be affected by surge
caused by the movement of vessels into and out of the
basin.
Coatzacoalcos − Free Port wharves from NNE (6.181)
(Original dated prior to 2003)
(Photograph − Administracion Portuaria Integral de CoatzacoalcosI)
Port services
6.182 1
Repairs: Two slipways for small vessels, capacity 500
and 150 dwt, draught 2⋅4 m (See 1.166 for details of other
docking facilities); workshops for minor repairs.
Other facilities: de−ratting; fumigation; hospital; oil
waste disposal.
Supplies: fresh provisions; fuel; water.
Communications: an airfield is situated about 16 km
SW of the town, at Minatitlán (6.186).
Other river ports
Chart 1225
General information
6.183 1
The oil port of Nanchital is about 6 miles above
Coatzacoalcos and the refineries at Minatitlán are a further
14 miles above Nanchital. Río Uspanapa has its junction
with Río Coatzacoalcos 3 miles above Nanchital.
Concepcíon is an oil station on Río Uspanapa 27 miles
above Nanchital.
2
A maintained channel is available for vessels with
draughts up to 8⋅2 m as far as Nanchital. Thereafter, vessels
with draughts not exceeding 6⋅6 m can reach Minatitlán.
3
The bed of the river is generally mud, except at the
extremities of Islas Tocoleno and Yeguero, about 7½ and
9½ miles, respectively, above the breakwaters, where sand
and gravel are found. Below Nanchital there is a rocky
section. The banks of the river are low and overflow
during the rainy season, except at Pasa Nuevo, about
8½ miles above the entrance.
CHAPTER 6
143
Coatzacoalcos (6.181)
(Original dated prior to 2003)
(Photograph − Administracion Portuaria Integral de Coatzacoalcos)
4
Above Minatitlán the bed of the river is generally foul
ground, with many shoals and rapids.
Directions
6.184 1
Navigation of the river above Coatzacoalcos is
undertaken by day only. Vessels bound for Nanchital or
Minatitlán should embark a pilot not later than 0800.
The channel is well marked by leading beacons and
buoys. The beacons are white posts, the front beacons
having discs and the rear ones triangles on top.
2
Vessels should keep very close to the E bank near
Nanchital, where there is a comparatively large obstruction,
marked by a red spar buoy. Anchoring is prohibited at
Minatitlán due to the narrow width of the river.
Nanchital
6.185 1
General information. Nanchital is an oil port standing
on the E bank of the river. A tug, or tugs depending on
size, normally accompanies vessels proceeding to Nanchital
as far as Coatzacoalcos bridge. Tugs again join vessels on
arrival at Nanchital. Vessels usually berth port side to at the
berths. They are able to turn a short distance above the
port, if required, where the river is about 140 m wide and
dredged to a depth of 10⋅7 m. There are no mooring buoys.
Vertical clearance. Bridge at Coatzacoalcos (see 6.163).
Maximum size of vessel handled: length 177 m;
draught 8⋅4 m.
2
Berths. There are two T−headed piers with depths
alongside of 8 and 9 m, respectively and a marginal quay,
240 m in length, with a depth of 8 m alongside.
Facilities. The nearest hospital is at Coatzacoalcos.
Supplies: fresh, but not potable, water; fuel.
Communications. The nearest airport with regular
flights to Mexico City is at Minatitlán.
Minatitlán
6.186 1
General information. Minatitlán, which stands on the N
bank of the river, has one of the largest refineries in the
country. The population is about 145 000.
2
Vessels proceeding to Minatitlán unload at Nanchital
(6.185) until their draught is reduced to 6⋅4 m and, after
arrival at Minatitlán, discharge the remainder of their cargo.
The reverse procedure is used when outward bound. A tug,
or tugs depending on size, accompanies each vessel during
the river passage.
Vertical clearance. Bridge at Coatzacoalcos see 6.163.
3
Maximum size of vessel handled: length 145 m,
draught 6⋅4 m.
Harbour. The access channel is 70 m wide. The turning
basin off the berths is 850 m long and 190 m wide, with
depths of between 7 and 11 m.
Berths: marginal quay; length 450 m, depth 6⋅7 m;
fertiliser and tanker berths are close to the quay.
CHAPTER 6
144
4
Repairs: there is a dry dock with three slipways for
vessels up to 2⋅4 m draught, near Minatitlán; minor repairs
can be undertaken.
Facility: hospital.
Supplies: fresh provisions; water is laid on to the berths;
fuel.
Communications: airport at Minatitlán.
Concepcíon
6.187 1
General information. The oil station at Concepcíon,
27 miles above Nanchital, can be reached by vessels of
4⋅7 m draught, not exceeding 90 m in length.
COATZACOALCOS TO VERACRUZ
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 1225
General description
6.188 1
The waterway between the ports of Coatzacoalcos
(18°09′N 94°25′W) and Veracruz (19°12′N 96°08′W),
115 miles WNW, is mainly deep and clear of dangers.
Reefs in the approaches to Veracruz are described in 6.203
and 6.229.
Topography
6.189 1
Between Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N 94°25′W) and the
entrance to Laguna de Ostión, about 11 miles W, the coast
is low and featureless. The coast is backed for the next
50 miles by Sierras de San Martin, which include Volcán
San Martin Tuxtla (6.194). The volcano may be seen from
a great distance in clear weather. When active, the column
of smoke by day and the flames by night make an
excellent landmark.
2
Punta Roca Partida (18°42′N 95°10′W), with
perpendicular cliffs, is situated 45 miles NW of Ostión.
From a point about 10 miles W of Punta Roca Partida to
Puerto de Alvarado (18°46′N 95°46′W), 23 miles W, the
land becomes low again with lagoons behind sandhills, 15
to 60 m high on the shore.
3
Punta El Coyol (19°03′N 95°58′W), a low and rocky
point, is on the landward side of a reef area which extends
up to 12 miles offshore.
4
Between Punta El Coyol and Punta Mocambo, 9 miles
NW, the coast forms a crescent shaped sandy bay behind a
rocky shore, backed by low sandhills which rise to their
highest point of 80 m 3 miles W of Punta El Coyol. Boca
del Río (19°06′N 6°06′W) lies in the centre of the bay,
which is clear of dangers.
5
The principal rivers are Río Papaloapan, which flows
into Laguna de Alvarado (18°46′N 95°46′W) and Ríos
Jamapa and Moreno, which enter the sea at Boca del Río
(19°06′N 96°06′W).
6
The edge of the continental shelf, at the 200 m (100 fm)
contour, approaches to within 10 miles of the coast off
Punta Roca Partida.
The bottom is generally sand and soft mud.
7
Mountains rise behind the city of Veracruz (19°12′N
96°08′W) to heights above the snow line. Volcán
Citlaltepetl is about 63 miles W of the city. The volcano
has been inactive since 1856. Its crater, some 3½ miles in
circumference, may be seen from a great distance in clear
weather. The N slopes are angled at 45°, resting on a rocky
and terraced base. Cerro Nauhcampatepetl, with a
distinctive square shape, is about 60 miles NW of the city.
COASTAL ROUTE
General information
Chart 1225
Route
6.190 1
The route from Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N 94°25′W) to
Veracruz (19°12′N 96°08′W) leads NW for 116 miles
following the coast. It is for the most part clear of danger
until Punta El Coyol (19°03′N 95°58′W) is reached.
Numerous reefs mark the approaches to Veracruz.
Depths
6.191 1
In addition to the dangers of the reef areas off Punta El
Coyol (6.203) and Veracruz (6.229), a depth of 21⋅9 m
(12 fm) was reported (1950) to lie 39 miles NNW of
Coatzacoalcos Light (18°09′N 94°24′W).
Exercise area
6.192
1
Firing practice takes place between Punta Zapotitlán
(18°31′N 94°48′W) and Punta Roca Partida (18°42′N
95°11′W), as shown on the chart.
Natural conditions
6.193 1
Winds. The Trade Winds prevail between NE and ESE.
The ‘Northers’ season is from October to March, after
which changeable weather, light N winds, calms, squally
rain and thick weather, may be experienced up to the
middle of August, when the Trade Winds resume.
Currents are variable and uncertain. They usually set S
in winter and N in summer.
Directions
(continued from 6.154)
Principle marks
6.194 1
Landmark:
Volcán San Martin Tuxtla (18°33′N 95°11′W).
Major light:
Santiaguillo Light (red round concrete tower, white
bands, 32 m in height) (19°09′N 95°48′W).
Coatzacoalcos to Punta Roca Partida
6.195 1
From a position N of Coatzacoalcos (18°09′N 94°25′W)
the route leads NW for 29 miles to a position NE of Punta
Zapotitlán, thence WNW for 26 miles to a position NE of
Punta Roca Partida passing (with positions from
Coatzacoalcos Light (18°09′N 94°24′W) (6.153)):
NE of the entrance to Laguna de Ostión (11 miles
W), thence:
2
NE of Punta San Juan, with an islet close off the
point (15 miles NW), thence:
CHAPTER 6
145
NE of Punta Zapotitlán (32 miles NW), a prominent
point on which stands Punta Zapotitlán Light
(white round masonry tower and dwelling, 28 m in
height) (18°31′N 94°48′W), with a reef extending
about 6 cables offshore, thence:
3
SW of a 30 m (12 fm) depth, reported (1950),
(39 miles NNW), thence:
NE of the entrance to Laguna Coxcoapan (40 miles
NW). A light (white tubular concrete tower, 10 m
in height) stands on the N entrance point of the
lagoon. Thence:
NE of Punta Roca Partida, on which stands Roca
Partida Light (square concrete tower, 13 m in
height) (18°42′N 95°11′W). There is a rocky islet
close off the point.
Charts 376
Punta Roca Partida to Veracruz
6.196 1
From a position NE of Punta Roca Partida (18°42′N
95°11′W) the route leads NW for 41 miles to a position NE
of Arrecife Santiaguillo, in the vicinity of the TSS (6.221)
approaching Veracruz (19°12′N 96°08′W) passing (with
positions from Roca Partida Light (18°42′N 95°11′W)
(6.195)):
2
NE of the entrance to Puerto de Alvarado (32 miles
WNW), thence:
NE of the area to be avoided (6.204) encompassing
the reefs lying NE of Punta El Coyol (6.203)
(49 miles WNW), thence:
3
To the vicinity of the entrance to the TSS (19°12′⋅5N
95°49′⋅0W) in the approaches to Veracruz.
Apart from the reefs which lie between Arrecife
Santiaguillo and the coast, the route is free of known
dangers.
(Directions continue, for Veracruz at 6.227
and for Tuxpan at 6.241)
Puerto de Alvarado
General information
6.197 1
Position and function. Puerto de Alvarado (18°46′N
95°46′W) is a port of entry and fishing port situated on the
W side of the mouth of Río Papaloapan and Laguna de
Alvarado. A radio mast stands close NW of the town. The
lagoon is used as a landing area for amphibious aircraft.
2
Approach and entry. The approach is from the N, the
channel being difficult to distinguish from other directions.
Entry is made between sandhills, 15 to 60 m in height, on
both sides of a channel marked by light−beacons. Local
knowledge is required to enter.
Limiting conditions
6.198 1
Depths of less than 10 m extend 1 mile N and a
detached shoal, with a least depth of 4⋅3 m over it, lies
about 1¼ miles N of the E entrance point.
The river is navigable by vessels drawing up to 3⋅0 m as
far as San Miguel, about 24 miles above the entrance.
2
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Current. During the rainy season there is a strong
out−going current over the bar, which nearly always breaks.
Discoloured water extends for a considerable distance to
seaward.
Arrival information
6.199 1
Anchorages. There is anchorage in depths of 18 to 22 m
about 2½ miles outside the bar and off the town in 5 to
11 m.
The outer anchorage is not considered to be safe during
the winter months. Submarine telegraph cables cross the
harbour in the vicinity of the town.
Pilotage is compulsory. Pilots, equipped with VHF,
come out in response to the International Code signal.
Landmark
6.200
1
Monte Simón Light (red square concrete tower, 8 m in
height) (18°47′N 95°45′W), which stands on Monte Simón,
a prominent sand bluff on the E side of the entrance,
considerably higher than any other in the vicinity.
Berth
6.201 1
One quay: length 800 m, depths 3 to 5 m.
Port services
6.202 1
Repairs: minor repairs may be undertaken.
Other facility: hospitals; ballast and slops reception
available.
Supplies: fuel; water.
Bajos de Antón Lizardo and anchorage
Chart 374 plan Punta El Coyol to Punta Zempoala
General information
6.203 1
The dangers of Bajos de Antón Lizardo extend about
11 miles NE of Antón Lizardo anchorage (19°04′N
95°58′W), with the outer limit marked by Santiaguillo
Light (19°09′N 95°49′W) (6.194). The positions of
individual reefs are best seen from the chart.
The entire area lies within an IMO adopted Area to be
Avoided: see 6.204.
2
The passages between Arrecifes El Rizo, de Enmedio
and Chopas should not be attempted without local
knowledge. The passage between Arrecifes Blanca and
Chopas is foul.
The reefs are marked by light−beacons. The station at
Santiaguillo Light can communicate with Veracruz in case
of emergency.
3
Antón Lizardo anchorage serves as a safe haven for
small vessels. It is so well protected by Bajos de Antón
Lizardo that it is considered to be as secure as many
harbours. It may be approached from either the SE or the
NW, in both cases passing outside the reefs.
Area To Be Avoided
6.204
1
An area to be avoided, shown on the chart, has been
established in order to protect the National Marine Park
from the risk of pollution. All vessels of more than 500 grt
and vessels of less than 500 grt transporting oil, chemical,
toxic or nuclear waste should avoid the area.
Local Weather
6.205 1
A frequent haze obscures the land during the winter
months, when viewed from near the reefs. Under such
conditions it is safer to pass N of Bajos de Antón Lizardo
and make the land W where it is clear of dangers,
proceeding to the anchorage through the NW channel.
CHAPTER 6
146
Directions
6.206 1
The route to the anchorage from the SE leads from a
position E of Santiaguillo Light (19°09′N 95°49′W) (6.194)
SW for 6½ miles to a position SE of Arrecife El Cabezo
Sur Light (red concrete tower 7 m in height) (19°03′N
95°50′W); thence W for 6 miles to a position SE of the
anchorage, altering to maintain a line of bearing of 299° on
Arrecife Blanca Light (white truncated pyramidal concrete
tower, 9 m in height) (19°05′N 96°00′W) and anchoring as
convenient in the lee of Arrecife de Chopas (19°05′N
95°58′W), passing (with positions from Santiaguillo Light):
2
S and SE of Arrecife El Cabezo Sur Light (5½ miles
SSW), thence:
S of Arrecife El Rizo (8 miles SW). A light (red
rectangular concrete tower, 10 m in height)
(19°03′N 95°55′W) stands at the SE edge of the
reef. Thence:
Into the Area to be Avoided NNE of Punta El Coyol
(10¾ miles SW).
3
The route to the anchorage from the NW leads from a
position E of Arrecife Anegada de Adentro Light (19°14′N
96°04′W) S for 8½ miles to a position WNW of Arrecife
Blanca Light (19°05′N 96°00′W), thence ESE into the Area
to be Avoided, thence to the anchorage in the lee of
Arrecife Chopas (19°05′N 95°58′W).
4
Useful marks:
Arrecife Anegada de Afuera Light (white round
concrete tower, 12 m in height) (19°10′N 95°52′W)
Arrecife Anegada de Adentro Light (green round
concrete tower, 9 m in height) (19°14′N 96°04′W).
5
Arrecife El Cabezo Norte Light (white square
concrete tower, 7 m in height) (19°06′N 95°52′W)
Isla de Enmedio Light (truncated conical concrete
tower, hut, 14 m in height) (19°06′N 95°56′W)
Giote Light, Arrecife El (red square concrete tower,
7 m in height) (19°04′N 96°00′W).
Anchorage
6.207 1
The anchorage (19°04′N 95°58′W) is suitable for small
vessels of less than 500 grt, in depths of 13 to 20 m (42 ft
to 11 fm), sand and mud bottom (See 6.204). The holding
ground is better close to the reefs, although due allowance
must be made for swinging room. Mooring buoys have
been laid in the S of the anchorage.
Anchorages and harbours
Chart 1225
Zontecomapán
6.208 1
General information. The village of Zontecomapán
stands on the W side of Laguna Coxcoapan (18°32′N
95°00′W), about 4 miles within the entrance, which may be
identified by a high sandhill on the E side. It is also
reported that a prominent umbrella−shaped tree stands on a
bluff close to the W side of the entrance.
2
Controlling depth. The bar, known as Barra
Zontecomapán, has a least depth of 1⋅8 m (6 ft) over it.
Anchorage may be obtained off the bar in depths of 11
to 13 m (36 to 42 ft), with the entrance bearing 220°.
PUERTO DE VERACRUZ
General information
Chart 374 plan Punta El Coyol to Punta Zempoala,
plan Approaches to Veracruz, plan Puerto de Veracruz.
Position and function
6.209 1
Veracruz (19°12′N 96°08′W), the capital of the state of
Veracruz, is the principal port of Mexico, a port of entry
and a naval base. The port handles general cargo and crude
oil. Population 411 582 (2002).
Port limits
6.210 1
Light−beacons on those reefs which are within 4 miles
of the harbour breakwaters mark the limits of the port.
Approach and entry
6.211 1
The approach to the port is sheltered by seven large
coral reefs which, with one exception, all have deep water
between them. The reefs are marked by light−beacons.
Entry into the port is between two breakwaters. A reef at
the S side of the entrance restricts the width available for
deep draught vessels.
Traffic
6.212 1
In 2004 the port was used by 561 vessels with a total of
29 849 380 dwt.
Vera Cruz Harbour Entrance (6.211)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G Kirk, MV Logos II)
S breakwater
N breakwaterMuro de Pescadores
CHAPTER 6
147
Port authority
6.213 1
Comisión Nacional Coordinadora de Puertos, Edificio
Oficinas Ligadas al Puerto, Plaza de la Republica 210, 6°
Piso, Veracruz.
Limiting conditions
6.214 1
Controlling depths. A vessel with a draught greater
than 7⋅3 m must await high tide before berthing. Water
levels are lowered during ‘Northers’.
2
Deepest and longest berths:
Fiscal pier No 6 (6.233); general cargo.
PEMEX pier (6.233); oil.
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅5 m. See
1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Maximum size of vessel handled:
40 000 dwt.
Arrival information
Port operations
6.215 1
The port office has VHF radio equipment. There is also
a Coast Radio Station at Vera Cruz. For details see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volumes 6(5) and 1(2)
respectively.
Notice of ETA
6.216 1
Notice of ETA: 24 hours.
Outer anchorage
6.217 1
An anchorage area, shown on the chart, has been
established centred approximately 7 miles SE of Veracruz
and between Precautionary Areas A and B (6.221) and the
area to be avoided (6.204).
Pilotage
6.218 1
Pilotage is compulsory; it is available 0800 to 1800
only. The pilot boards from a boat marked with the pilot
flag on the bows. The pilot boarding place is situated
6 miles E of the harbour entrance or farther out on request.
Anchoring within the reefs and inside the harbour must be
carried out with the assistance of a pilot. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Tugs
6.219
1
Tugs are available to assist berthing.
Traffic regulations
6.220 1
All vessel movements inside the harbour require
permission from the Port Captain.
Vessels must give advance notice if wishing to enter
at night.
Vessels over 2500 tons require two or more tugs,
depending on size.
Anchoring in the main approach channels or harbour
entrance is prohibited.
6.221
1
Traffic Separation Scheme has been established in the
approaches to Veracruz, incorporating E and N approach
routes radiating from a central Precautionary Area B
(19°12′⋅5N 95°57′⋅0W).
2
The E approach comprises entry and exit traffic lanes,
1 mile wide, extending between 13 and 21 miles E of the
outer breakwaters. Both traffic lanes abut the E side of the
central Precautionary Area B. This approach lies to the N
of the area to be avoided (6.204).
3
The N approach comprises entry and exit traffic lanes,
1 mile wide, extending between about 7 and 12 miles NE
of the outer breakwaters. Both traffic lanes abut the N side
of the central Precautionary Area B.
This traffic separation scheme is IMO−adopted and Rule
10 of International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at
Sea (1972) applies.
4
Precautionary Area A has been established comprising
the islands and reefs surrounding Veracruz. The area is
bounded by an arc of radius 4⋅7 miles from Isla Sacrificios
Light (6.226), and is shown on the chart.
Quarantine
6.222 1
The quarantine anchorage is in the lee of Isla Sacrificios
(19°10′⋅5′N 96°05′⋅5W). Personnel are not permitted to land
from vessels or boats until cleared by the Port Health
Officer.
Harbour
General layout
6.223 1
Veracruz is a mainly artificial harbour, about 1 mile in
length, which is sheltered by coral reefs. The city lies on
the SW side of the harbour on a narrow coastal plain. Piers
project from the city water−front shore. To the N and NE
wharves have been constructed on reclaimed land. The
historic fortress of San Juan de Ulúa is near the centre of
the NE side. Farther SE dry docks, the Naval Base,
shipyards and an oil port line the shore up to the
Vera Cruz − Harbour Berths (6.223)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
Castillo de
San Juan de Ulúa
CHAPTER 6
148
Vera Cruz − Isla Sacrificios (6.226)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
breakwaters. The Naval College is situated near the root of
the S breakwater.
Traffic and storm signals
6.224 1
There is a signal station at the head of the S breakwater,
from which traffic and storm signals are flown.
Local weather
6.225 1
See climatic table after 1.220.
Winds alternate between sea breezes by day and land
breezes by night. Humidity is high with October the least
humid month. Vessels should be prepared for ‘Northers’,
which come without warning.
Directions
(continued from 6.56 and 6.196)
Principal marks
6.226 1
Major light:
Isla Sacrificios Light (white round tapered concrete
tower and low balcony, black bands, on masonry
base, cantilevered dwelling) (19°10′⋅4N
96°05′⋅6W).
2
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: Isla Sacrificios − as above.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Approach
6.227
1
From E: From a position NNE of Isla Santiaguilla, in
the vicinity of 19°15′N 95°45′W, the route leads 8 miles W
through the entrance traffic lane, then WSW for 7½ miles
through Precautionary Area B, to a position about 3 miles E
of Isla Verde (19°12′N 96°04′W), passing (with positions
from Isla Santiaguilla Light (19°09′N 95°48′W)):
2
N of Isla Santiaguilla Light (6.196), thence:
N of Arrecife Anegada de Afuera (4 miles WNW); a
light (6.206) is exhibited from the NW end of the
reef, thence:
NW of Isla de Enmedio (8 miles WSW) from where
a light (6.206) is exhibited.
6.228
1
From N: For vessels approaching from N, the
recommended route leads from the vicinity of 19°19′S
96°00′W, 4 miles S through the entrance traffic lane
(6.221); thence E of Arrecife Anegada de Adentro Light
(6.206), to a position about 3 miles E of Isla Verde
(19°12′N 96°04′W).
(Directions continue at 6.230)
Entry
6.229 1
Veracruz is ringed by a number of reefs, whose positions
are best seen from the chart, out to a distance of 4½ miles
from the harbour entrance. For details of Precautionary
Area A, to the NE of Veracruz, see 6.221. The reefs, which
are well marked by light−beacons, are covered by breaking
seas except at HW in calm weather, when they may not be
distinguished until very close to. There is deep water in the
channels between the reefs, except for the channel between
Isla Sacrificios (19°10′⋅4N 96°05′⋅5W) and Arrecife Pájaros
(5 cables NNE) which is foul. Normally one of two routes,
either from the SE or the N, is taken through the outer
reefs.
6.230 1
From a position about 3 miles E of Isla Verde (19°12′N
96°04′W), the route leads SW then NW to a position
WNW of Isla Verde, thence W for the harbour entrance,
passing (with positions from Isla Sacrificios Light
(19°10′⋅4N 96°05′⋅6W) (6.226)):
2
SE of Isla Verde (2 miles NE), on which stands Isla
Verde Light (red truncated conical concrete tower,
6 m in height) (19°12′N 96°05′W), and:
Clear of Veracruz landfall light−buoy (2 miles NE)
(spherical), thence:
Between Arrecife Pájaros (1 mile N), marked by
Arrecife Pájaros Light, and Isla Verde, thence:
SW of a 5⋅2 m (17 ft) detached shoal (2 miles NNE).
Vera Cruz − Isla Verde from S (6.230)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
CHAPTER 6
149
6.231
1
N route. When approaching in thick weather or at night,
a vessel taking the N route should make the land N of
Veracruz, within range of the lights of Arrecife Anegada de
Adentro (19°14′N 96°04′W) (6.206) and Isla Sacrificios
(about 4 miles SSW) (6.226).
2
From a position to the NE of Veracruz, in the vicinity of
19°17′N 96°04′W, this alternative route leads S in the white
sector (187°−195°) of Isla Sacrificios Light (19°10′⋅4N
96°05′⋅6W) (6.226), to a position WNW of Isla Verde
(19°12′N 96°04′W), thence W for the harbour entrance.
6.232
1
Thence the alignment (263¼°) of Entrance Leading
Lights leads W for 2 miles between the breakwaters into
the harbour:
Front light, Muro de Pescadores Light (white concrete
tower, 12 m in height).
Rear light (about 5½ cables WSW of front light).
2
Caution. The line of bearing (263¼°) of the leading
lights passes very close to Arrecife La Lavandera which,
with depths of less than 5⋅5 m (18 ft) over it, extends
1¾ cables N of the S breakwater. The alignment of
light−buoys (port hand) moored 1½ cables NNW and
2½ cables ENE of the S breakwater head, clear depths less
than 3⋅6 m (12 ft).
3
Useful marks:
Legend Position from
Isla Sacrificios Light (6.226)
Radio tower 2 miles WNW.
Silo (conspicuous) 3 miles NW.
Arrecife Galleguilla Light
(white round concrete
tower, 9 m in height)
3¾ miles NNW.
Berths
6.233 1
Fiscal Pier No 6 (19°12′⋅5N 96°08′⋅3W): length
302 m, depth 10⋅0 m.
Grain berth (19°12′⋅8N 96°08′⋅1W): length 168 m,
depth 10⋅0 m.
Container berth (19°12′⋅7N 96°08′⋅1W): length 250 m,
depth 10⋅0 m.
2
PEMEX Pier (19°12′⋅3N 96°07′⋅4W): length 374 m,
depth 10⋅0 m.
Other berths are numbered clockwise from the SW
corner of the harbour.
Port services
6.234 1
Repairs: all types of repair, including major work, may
be undertaken. Divers are available. The largest dry dock is
271 m in length, 36 m in breadth, and can handle vessels to
80 000 dwt. See 1.166 for details of other docking facilities.
Other facilities: de−ratting; hospitals; Ro−Ro berth;
garbage disposal.
2
Supplies: fresh water; fuel; provisions.
Communications: Heriberto Jara airport is situated
15 km from the city, with daily flights to Mexico City
international airport.
Harbour regulations. Refuse must not be thrown
overboard in the harbour.
Vera Cruz − Muro de Pescadores (6.232)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
Vera Cruz − Pemex Berth from WSW (6.233)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
CHAPTER 6
150
Vera Cruz Container Berths (6.233)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G Kirk, MV Logos II)
VERACRUZ TO TUXPAN
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 376
General description
6.235 1
Although the area N of Nautla (20°12′N 96°46′W) has
not been the subject of modern surveys, the waterway
between Veracruz (19°12′N 96°08′W) and Tuxpan (20°57′N
97°24′W) is mainly deep and clear of dangers. Offshore
oilfields have been developed SE of Tuxpan, a major port.
Topography
6.236 1
The coastline is mountainous between Pico Zempoala
(19°33′N 96°27′W) and Cerros Dos Hermanos, 41 miles
NNW. Thereafter the shore is backed by sandhills and a
low plain, with a number of rivers and lagoons. The
principal river is Río Tuxpan, which enters the sea below
Tuxpan (20°57′N 97°24′W). Shoaling, caused by silt, may
be expected off the mouths of all rivers.
2
The edge of the continental shelf lies only 12 miles E of
Punta del Morro (19°51′N 96°27′W).
Offshore oil fields
6.237 1
Offshore oil fields have been developed in an area
extending from E of Tecolutla (20°28′N 94°46′W) NW for
73 miles to Cabo Rojo (21°33′N 97°19′W). Mobile drilling
rigs, platforms and associated structures, sometimes unlit,
may be encountered anywhere within this area. Oil
pipelines connect the group of structures which lie to the E
and SE of Tuxpan (20°58′N 97°19′W) with the shore at
Punta de Piedra (20°50′N 97°14′W), as shown on the chart.
Local knowledge
6.238 1
Local knowledge is required to navigate into the rivers
and offshore anchorages.
COASTAL ROUTE
General information
Chart 376
Route
6.239 1
Between Veracruz (19°12′N 96°08′W) and Tuxpan
(20°57′N 97°24′W), 123 miles NW, the route leads NNW
then NW following the trend of the coast, in generally deep
water, until Bajo Blake (20°43′N 96°58′W) is reached,
25 miles SE of Tuxpan. Bajo Blake is the most S feature of
a number of offlying islands and shoals near the route.
Directions
(continued from 6.196)
Principal marks
6.240 1
Major lights:
Punta del Morro Light (white round concrete tower
22 m in height) (19°51′N 96°27′W).
Barra de Cazones Light (white concrete tower, hut,
16 m in height) (20°45′N 97°12′W).
Río Tuxpan Light (white truncated conical tower and
hut, 22 m in height) (20°58′N 97°18′W).
Veracruz to Nautla
6.241 1
From the exit lane (19°19′N 95°58′W) in the N
approach route to Veracruz the route leads NNW for
40 miles to a position NE of Punta del Morro (19°51′N
96°27′W), thence NW for 31 miles to a position NE of
Nautla (20°13′N 96°46′W) passing (with positions from
Punta del Morro Light (19°51′N 96°27′W) (6.240)):
2
NE of Bahia Vergara (42 miles SSE), a landing place
for submarine cables (not charted), thence:
NE of Punta Gorda (40 miles SSE), thence:
NE of Punta Zempoala, a rock fringed point 1½ miles
N of which lies Arrecife Juan Angel (25 miles
SSE), thence:
3
NE of Bajo Zempoala (21 miles SSE), thence:
NE of Punta Villa Rica (11 miles SSE), 5 cables SE
of which lies Isla Bernal Chico, thence:
CHAPTER 6
151
NE of Punta del Morro, a low headland of white
rocks on which stands Punta del Morro Light,
thence:
NE of Barra de Palmas (24 miles NW).
4
Useful marks:
Pico Zempoala (19°33′N 96°27′W).
Bare Chimney Rock (19°36′N 96°24′W).
Bare Rocky Hill (19°40′N 96°25′W).
Nautla to Tuxpan
6.242 1
From a position NE of Nautla (20°12′N 96°46′W) the
route leads NW for 49 miles to a position SE of Tuxpan
(20°58′N 97°19′W) passing (with positions from Río
Tuxpan Light (20°58′N 97°18′W)):
2
Clear of two platforms (35 and 43 miles SE), and:
NE of Río Tecolutla Light (6.240) (34 miles SE),
thence:
SW of Bajo Blake (25 miles SE), thence:
SW of 7 m reported (1967) shoal depth (21 miles
SE), thence:
Clear of a dangerous wreck (18 miles SE), position
approximate, and:
3
NE of Punta Cazones (15 miles SE), a round
prominent headland from where a light (white
truncated pyramidal tower, 11 m in height) is
displayed, thence:
NE of Punta de Piedra, a rocky headland off which
breakers extend 1 mile to seaward (10 miles SE).
4
Submarine oil pipelines land on the shore between Punta
de Piedra and a point 1¾ miles S. Anchoring is prohibited
within 1½ miles of these pipelines and associated platforms,
as shown on the charts.
The information shown on chart 376 for the area N and
E of Nautla (20°12′N 96°46′W) is derived from old and
imperfect surveys and must be used with caution.
5
Useful mark:
Arrecife Tuxpan Light (orange truncated pyramidal
concrete tower) (21°02′N 97°12′W).
Other aid to navigation
Racon: Arrecife Tuxpan Light (above).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
(Directions continue, for Tuxpan at 6.249 and
for Tampico at 6.280)
Anchorages and harbours
Isleta Bernal Chico
6.243 1
General information. Shelter from the N and W may
be found off Isleta Bernal Chico (19°40′N 96°23′W). The
channel between Isleta Bernal Chico and the shoal water
off Punta Villa Rica (5 cables NW) should not be attempted
without local knowledge, even though there is a depth of
9 m in the channel. The islet is otherwise clear of danger.
Anchorage may be obtained in a depth of 11 m,
8 cables S of the islet.
Punta del Morro
6.244 1
Anchorage is available about 1 mile N of Punta del
Morro (19°52′N 96°27′W), abreast a wharf, in depths of 11
to 15 m.
Barra de Palmas
6.245 1
General information. Río Misantla enters the sea at
Barra de Palmas (20°10′N 96°43′W).
Directions. The peaks of Cerro Las Botellas (20°06′N
96°52′W) in line lead to the river entrance.
Anchorage is available off the river entrance, in a depth
of about 16 m.
Nautla
6.246 1
General information. The village of Nautla (20°12′N
96°46′W) stands on the S bank of Río Nautla, about
2½ miles within the entrance.
2
Principal mark: Nautla Light (20°14′N 96°48′W),
situated about 7 cables S of the river entrance.
Anchorage may be obtained 2 miles off the mouth of
the river, with Cerro Las Botellas bearing about 217°, in a
depth of 16 m.
Río Tecolutla
6.247 1
General information. The village of Tecolutla (20°28′N
97°00′W) stands on the N bank near the mouth of the
river. The town of Gutiérrez Zamora is on the W bank
about 5 miles upstream. The approach may be identified by
Tecolutla Church and by the summit of Cerro Burras, about
8¾ miles SW.
Anchorage is available with Tecolutla Church bearing
225°, distant about 1½ miles, in depths of 13 to 15 m.
APPROACHES TO TUXPAN
General information
Chart 376
General description
6.248 1
Arrecife Tuxpan (21°02′N 97°12′W) is the S of three
reefs which lie in the approaches to the port of Tuxpan,
between 5 and 6 miles offshore. Arrecife Enmedio and
Arrecife Tanhuijo lie 4½ and 7 miles NNW, respectively, of
the same shoal. A marine oilfield extends E and SE of
Arrecife Tuxpan. SBMs (6.251) are moored between the
reefs and the shore.
Directions
(continued from 6.242)
Principal mark
6.249
1
Aid to navigation:
Racon: Arrecife Tuxpan (21°01′N 97°12′W) (6.254).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
further details.
6.250 1
From a position in the vicinity of 20°53′N 97°09′W (NE
of Punta de Piedras) the route leads NW for 9 miles to the
pilot boarding position 4 cables N of Tuxpan Landfall
Light−buoy (safe water) (20°59′⋅3N 97°16′⋅3W) passing SW
of Arrecife Tuxpan (21°02′N 97°12′W) (6.254) and the
marine oilfield extending SE of the shoal.
(Directions continue at 6.271)
Tuxpan offshore oil terminal
General information
6.251 1
There are three SBMs moored off Tuxpan (with
positions from Arrecife Tuxpan Light (6.242)):
No 1 (3½ miles W).
CHAPTER 6
152
No 2 (5 miles WNW).
SBM 2 (7 miles WNW).
Submarine pipelines connect the two S buoys with the
shore about 2 miles N of Tuxpan Light (6.240).
Limiting conditions
6.252 1
Maximum size of vessel handled. Tankers drawing up
to 18⋅2 m can use the SBM, the deepest of the three
offshore berths.
Arrival information
6.253 1
Waiting anchorage: centred in a position 4 miles E of
Tuxpan Light.
Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot boards in the waiting
anchorage. For further details see Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5).
Arrecife Tuxpan
6.254 1
General information. Arrecife Tuxpan (21°01′N
97°12′W), marked by Arrecife Tuxpan Light (6.242), is
situated about 6 miles ENE of Tuxpan Light (6.240). It has
a small sand cay, 1 m high, which is not visible until close
to. Depths of less than 11 m extend up to 1½ miles from
the shoal, except on the W side which is steep−to.
2
Anchorage. There is good holding off the SW side of
Arrecife Tuxpan, about 2 cables from edge of reef, in
depths 13 to 16 m, coarse sand.
Arrecife Enmedio
6.255 1
General information. Arrecife Enmedio (21°05′⋅0N
97°15′⋅5W), which dries, lies 4½ miles NNW of Arrecife
Tuxpan (6.254).
Anchorage. There is anchorage available off the SW
side of reef, in depths of 9 to 16 m.
Arrecife Tanhuijo
6.256 1
General information. Arrecife Tanhuijo (21°08′N
97°16′W), which dries and is marked by Arrecife Tanhuijo
Light (orange truncated conical concrete tower, 10 m in
height), lies 2 miles NNW of Arrecife Enmedio (6.255). A
deep bight on the W side almost divides the reef into two
parts. There are depths of 5 to 7 m close to the reef, except
at the SE end where a shoal bank extends about 1 cable.
2
Anchorage. There is good holding about 1 cable off the
deep bight on the W side of reef, in a depth of 11 m.
TUXPAN
General information
Chart 373 plan Tuxpan
Position and function
6.257 1
Tuxpan (20°57′N 97°24′W), which is situated 6 miles
above the mouth of Río Tuxpan, is a commercial, fishing
and naval harbour. There is an offshore oil terminal close
NE of the port (6.251).
Port limits
6.258 1
Port limits are 1 mile off the port entrance breakwater
lights and 1 mile off all offshore oil port installations,
including SBMs.
Approach and entry
6.259 1
The port is approached from the E and entered along
leading lines between breakwaters. A sunken lighter is
reported to lie close N of the Light−beacon located 1 cable
ENE of the N breakwater head.
Traffic
6.260 1
In 2004 the port was used by 152 vessels with a total of
14 046 185 dwt.
Port Authority
6.261 1
Administracion Portuaria Integral de Tuxpan, Carretera a
la Barra, Norte km 6.5, Ejido la Caldaza, 92800, Tuxpan,
VER, Mexico.
Internet. http://www.tuxpanport.com.mx
E−mail. info@tuxpanport.com.mx
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
6.262 1
Dredged depth over the bar 11⋅9 m (39 ft). Reduced
depths may be found after gales.
Maximum draught of vessels using the dry cargo berths
is 5⋅4 m.
Deepest and longest berth
6.263 1
Muelle Fiscal (6.272).
Tidal levels
6.264
1
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅5 m. See Admiralty Tide
Tables for further information.
Density of water
6.265
1
Density of the water is 1⋅025 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled
6.266
1
Vessels up to 220 m in length can be handled.
Currents and sea state
6.267 1
Currents across the harbour entrance are reported to be
both strong and uncertain in direction at times. The
out−going river stream may reach 4 kn. There is seldom
any in−going stream.
Vessels should not attempt to enter except with a smooth
sea.
Arrival information
6.268 1
Port radio. VHF; manned by day only. See Admiralty
List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Notice of ETA: at least 24 hours.
Outer anchorage. Anchorage is available 2¾ miles E of
the entrance to Río Tuxpan in depths of about 17 m (56 ft).
The bottom is mud and sand; good holding ground.
Pilotage is compulsory. Pilots will board 2½ miles NE
of Tuxpan Light. Entry and departure are restricted to
daytime only. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume
6(5) for details.
2
Tugs: available.
Prohibited anchorage. Anchoring is prohibited in the
vicinity of submarine pipelines, as shown on the chart,
close N of the harbour entrance.
Quarantine. A doctor boards vessels on arrival.
CHAPTER 6
153
Harbour
General layout
6.269 1
The town of Tuxpan is situated on both banks of Río
Tuxpan, about 6 miles above the river mouth. A low road
bridge, which spans the river, links the two parts of the
town. Port facilities line the river on either side between
the bridge and the sea. The part of Tuxpan which lies on
the S bank of Rio Tuxpan is called Santiago de la Pena.
2
Canal del Chijol provides a sheltered route, used by
small craft and barges, between Tuxpan and Tampico
(6.289), 80 miles NNW. The canal enters the N bank of the
river 1¼ miles inside the harbour entrance.
3
Muelle Fiscal is 2¾ miles, Muelle de Pemex 3½ miles,
and the fishing port 4¾ miles, above the harbour entrance.
A submarine pipeline crosses the river about 1 cable
below Muelle de Pemex.
Storm signals
6.270 1
Storm signals are exhibited from a mast near Río
Tuxpan Light (6.240).
Directions
(continued from 6.250)
Entrance channel
6.271 1
As an aid to identification, the land to the S of the
entrance is somewhat higher and more densely wooded
than to the N. The breakwater lights are reported as not
easy to see against the lights of numerous fishing vessels in
the vicinity.
2
From a position 7½ cables ENE of Tuxpan Light the
alignment (240¼°) of the outer leading lights leads WSW
for 1 mile, passing between the breakwaters through the
entrance channel:
3
Front light (orange daymark on white metal truncated
pyramidal tower) (20°57′⋅8N 97°19′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (420 m WSW of the
front light), thence:
4
The alignment (256°) of the middle pair of leading
lights leads WSW for 1 mile past the settlement of
Tampamachoco on the N bank:
Front light (orange daymark on white metal column,
11 m in height) (20°57′⋅5N 97°20′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure, 16 m in height) (250 m
WSW of the front light), thence:
5
The alignment (246¼°) of the inner pair of leading
lights leads WSW for 9 cables, past the settlement of
Tabuco on the S bank:
Front light (orange daymark on white metal
framework tower, 11 m in height) (20°57′⋅3N
97°20′⋅6W).
Rear light (similar structure, 13 m in height) (95 m
WSW of the front light), thence as required for the
designated berth.
6
Caution. In poor visibility, a vessel should remain in
depths of at least 27 m and anchor until the visibility
improves.
Useful mark:
Río Tuxpan Light (20°58′N 97°18′W) (6.240).
Berths
6.272 1
Muelle de Pemex (20°56′⋅6N 97°21′⋅5W): length 90 m,
depth 6⋅6 m.
Nuevo Muelle Fiscal: length 300 m, depth alongside
10 m.
Other berths, including Ro−Ro, line the river nearby.
Port services
6.273 1
Repairs: A dry dock is available for small vessels up to
250 grt. Other minor repairs may be undertaken.
Other facilities: hospitals; garbage disposal; de−ratting
certification; fumigation; warehousing.
Supplies: fresh water; fresh provisions; supplies can be
obtained from Tampico with 24 hours notice; fuel.
Communications: Domestic airport at Tuxpan. Nearest
airport with international connections is at Tajin, about
55 km by road from Tuxpan.
TUXPAN TO TAMPICO
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 376
General description
6.274 1
The waterway between the mouth of Río Tuxpan
(20°58′N 97°19′W) and Tampico (22°15′N 97°48′W)
includes an extensive offshore oilfield (mid−position
21°20′N 97°11′W) and an area of reefs (mid−position
21°30′N 97°15′W), both lying SSE of Cabo Rojo (21°34′N
97°19′W). Another and smaller offshore oilfield lies about
15 miles E of Tampico in an area of isolated shoals. The
remainder is mainly deep water and clear of dangers.
2
Tampico is an international and coastal trading port.
Topography
6.275 1
The coast is low swamp, bordered by a sand beach on
which the sea breaks continuously. Cabo Rojo (21°34′N
97°19′W) is a blunt headland, composed of sandhills, trees
and scrub about 11 m high, which protrudes from an
otherwise gently curving shore. A reef, with depths of less
than 4 m, extends 1¾ miles E of the cape. Laguna de
Tamiahua is an extensive area of shallow lagoon behind
Cabo Rojo, about 55 miles in length by 10 miles at the
widest point, which joins Canal del Chijol to form an
inland waterway between Tuxpan and Tampico.
2
Abandoned oil storage tanks line the shore from a
position 15 miles NNW of Tuxpan to a point 7 miles SSW
of Cabo Rojo.
3
Behind the coast Sierra Otontepec Tantima, a mountain
range lying about 32 miles NW of Tuxpan (20°57′N
97°24′W), reaches its highest altitude with Cerro
Potrotepetl.
The edge of the continental shelf is only 11 miles NE of
Cabo Rojo.
Local knowledge
6.276 1
Local knowledge is required to enter Barra de Tanhuijo
(21°05′N 97°22′W) and the outlet of Laguna de Tamiahua
CHAPTER 6
154
at Espino (21°15′N 97°26′W), which are both shallow, as
well as for anchoring in Puerto Lobos (21°19′N 97°19′W).
Natural conditions
6.277 1
Winds. The winds are mainly E in the summer and N in
the winter. During the summer the breeze comes from the
land from about midnight to about 0900 when it gives way
to the sea breeze. ‘Northers’ (1.201) are frequent during the
winter months and may last from 8 to 24 hours.
2
Currents. The current sets S in summer and N in winter
at about 1 kn, at a distance of between 15 and 20 miles
offshore.
COASTAL ROUTE
General information
Chart 376
Route
6.278 1
Between Tuxpan (20°58′N 97°19′W) and Tampico
(22°15′N 97°48′W), 86 miles NNW, the coastal route lies
between 5 and 18 miles offshore to avoid the offshore
oilfield SSE of Cabo Rojo (21°34′N 97°19′W). N of Cabo
Rojo the route follows a direct line to Tampico.
Offshore oilfields
6.279 1
South−south−east of Cabo Rojo. An offshore oilfield
(mid−position 21°20′N 97°11′W) is charted in the area
between Arrecife Tanhuijo (21°07′N 97°17′W) and Cabo
Rojo, 27 miles N.
2
Tampico offshore oilfield (mid−position 22°15′N
97°31′W) is charted E of Tampico. Three production
platforms stand 13½ to 15 miles E of the harbour entrance.
Two pipelines are laid E from a position 1¾ miles N of the
harbour entrance to the N platform, and from this platform
to the other two platforms. The position of the S pipeline is
indicated by the alignment of two lights in line (22°17′N
97°48′W) on the shore.
3
Anchoring is prohibited in the vicinity of the platforms
and pipelines.
Mobile drilling rigs, submerged pipelines, platforms and
associated structures, sometimes unlit, may be encountered
anywhere in this area.
Directions
(continued from 6.242)
Principal marks
6.280
1
Major lights:
Río Tuxpan Light (20°58′N 97°18′W) (6.240).
Isla de Lobos Light (white truncated conical concrete
tower, 30 m in height) (21°28′⋅3N 97°13′⋅5W).
La Barra Light (white metal 6−sided tower, 40 m in
height) (22°16′N 97°48′W).
2
Other aids to navigation:
Racons:
Arrecife Tuxpan (21°02′N 97°12′W).
Isla de Lobos Light (21°28′⋅3N 97°13′⋅5W) (above).
La Barra Light (22°16′N 97°48′W) (above).
For further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 2.
Tuxpan to Isla Lobos
6.281 1
From a position in the vicinity of 20°53′N 97°09′W (NE
of Punta de Piedras) the route leads N for 35 miles to a
position E of Isla de Lobos (21°28′N 97°13′W) (6.284)
passing (with positions from Arrecife Tuxpan Light
(21°01′N 97°12′W) (6.242)):
E of Arrecife Tuxpan (6.254). Thence:
E of Arrecife Enmedio (4½ miles NW), thence:
2
E of Arrecife Tanhuijo, on which stands a light
(7 miles NW) (6.256), thence:
E of Espino, the S entrance to Laguna de Tamiahua
(18 miles NNW),thence:
Clear of the dangers (both charted and uncharted)
within the offshore oilfield (mid−position 21°20′N
97°11′W).
3
Useful mark:
Arrecife Tanhuijo Light (21°07′N 97°17′W) (6.256).
Isla de Lobos to Tampico
6.282 1
From a position E of Isla de Lobos (21°28′N 97°13′W)
(6.284) the route leads NW for 55 miles to a position E of
Tampico (22°15′N 97°48′W) passing (with positions from
Isla de Lobos Light (21°28′N 97°13′W) (6.280)):
Clear of a dangerous wreck (3 miles NE), thence:
NE of Arrecife del Medio (3 miles NW) (6.285),
thence:
NE of Arrecife Blanquilla (6 miles NW) (6.286),
thence:
2
NE of Cabo Rojo (8 miles NW) (6.275), thence:
NE of a platform (reported 1967) (21°57′N 97°36′W),
existence doubtful, thence:
NE of 18⋅3 m (60 ft) shoal depth (41 miles NW),
thence:
NE of a dangerous wreck (47 miles NW), thence:
NE of a 2⋅5 m (8 ft) shoal depth (52 miles NW),
thence:
Clear of the dangers within the offshore oilfields off
Tampico (mid−position (22°18′N 97°35′W), thence:
NE of charted dangerous wreck (22°15′N 97°43′W),
existence doubtful, in the approaches to Tampico.
3
Useful marks:
Arrecife Medio Light (orange daymark on white
truncated pyramidal metal tower, 7 m in height)
(21°30′N 97°15′W).
Arrecife Blanquilla Light (orange truncated pyramidal
concrete tower, 9 m in height) (21°32′N 97°16′W).
(Directions continue at 6.320)
Island and Reefs South−east of Cabo Rojo
General information
6.283 1
Isla de Lobos, Arrecife Medio and Arrecife Blanquilla,
described below, lie SE of Cabo Rojo (21°34′N 97°19′W).
Oil rigs are moored in the area SE of the group outside the
20 m contour.
2
The passages between the island and the reefs have
depths of from 24 to 51 m in them. It is doubtful if the
passage between Arrecife Blanquilla and the reef around
Cabo Rojo is safe, as the depths are irregular.
6.284 1
Isla de Lobos (21°28′N 97°13′W) lies 8 miles SE of
Cabo Rojo, at the S end of a coral reef. It consists of
heaped up sand covered with trees, about 9 m high. The
seas break heavily on the island and landing is difficult.
The edge of the reef lies 9 cables offshore to the N
CHAPTER 6
155
3½ cables to the E and 2½ cables on the S and W sides of
the island. Foul ground extends another mile from the reef
edge, with depths of less than 11 m, except at the NW
extremity where the reef is steep−to.
6.285 1
Arrecife Medio (21°31′N 97°15′W), a small steep−to
reef on which stands a light (6.282), lies about 3 miles NW
of Isla de Lobos Light (6.280).
6.286 1
Arrecife Blanquilla (21°32′N 97°16′W), a small
steep−to reef on which stands a light (6.282), lies about
2½ miles NW of Arrecife Medio and about 5½ miles SE of
Cabo Rojo (6.275). The sea breaks heavily on the reef.
Anchorages
6.287 1
Anchorage may be obtained in the following positions:
Five cables SSW of Isla de Lobos (21°28′N 97°14′W)
(6.284), in depths not less than 18 m; well
sheltered from ‘Northers’.
Isla de Lobos Light bearing 135°, distance 6 cables,
in a depth of 27 m.
Anchorage
Puerto Lobos
6.288 1
Puerto Lobos (21°19′N 97°19′W) is a semi−sheltered
anchorage in a bight in the coast between the Barra de
Tanhuijo (21°05′N 97°22′W) and Cabo Rojo (21°34′N
97°19′W). The bight gives some protection from ‘Northers’,
which blow with violence during the winter, on account of
the NE trend of the coast and the reefs to the SE of Cabo
Rojo. The coast, in this vicinity, may be approached by
sounding in thick weather. The bottom is mud and sand.
A stranded wreck lies in approximate position 21°28′N
97°20′W.
PUERTO DE TAMPICO
General information
Chart 374 plan Tampico
Position and function
6.289 1
The port of Tampico (22°15′N 97°48′W) is situated near
the mouth of Río Pánuco. It is an oil, commercial and
military harbour. The population is 295 442 (2000).
Port limits
6.290 1
Port limits are from a position 1 mile to seaward of the
mouth of Río Pánuco up river for a distance of 16 miles.
Approach and entry
6.291 1
The port is approached from the ENE and entered along
a leading line between breakwaters at the mouth of the Río
Pánuco.
Traffic
6.292 1
In 2004 the port was used by 326 vessels with a total of
15 129 179 dwt.
Port authority
6.293 1
Administracion Portuaria Integral de Tampico, S.A. de
C.V., Recinto Fiscal Portuario, Ex−Edificio de Marina 1
Piso, Tampico, Tamaulipas, C.P. 89000 Mexico.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
6.294 1
Depths over the bar are liable to considerable change as
a result of gales and the effect of floods during the rainy
season which brings down deposits of silt; they are
maintained by constant dredging. The latest depths are
passed to ship’s agents each week.
Vertical clearance
6.295
1
Road bridge, Puente Tampico (22°13′⋅6N 97°50′⋅2W),
has a vertical clearance of 47⋅9 m.
Puente Tampico (6.295)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
Bulk Loading Berth
CHAPTER 6
156
Deepest and longest berth
6.296 1
Bulk Loading Berth (6.311).
Tidal levels
6.297
1
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See 1.21 and
Admiralty Tide Tables for further details.
Abnormal water levels and currents
6.298 1
The water level and current in the river is much affected
by floods during the rainy season and to a lesser degree by
the tides. For several months in the year the rate rarely
exceeds 3 kn. But during summer freshets rates of 8½ kn
between the breakwaters and 6 kn off the town have been
observed.
2
The coastal current is varied both in direction and rate.
It can reach a rate of 2 to 2½ kn across the breakwater
heads.
Maximum size of vessel handled
6.299 1
Length 217 m, draught 9⋅8 m, 45 000 dwt.
Local weather
6.300 1
From November to March ‘Northers’ sometimes close
the port for up to 48 hours.
Arrival information
Port radio
6.301 1
There is a port radio station and a Coast Radio Station
at Tampico; for details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volumes 6 (5) and 1 (2) respectively.
Outer anchorages
6.302 1
Temporary anchorage may be obtained 3½ miles E of La
Barra Light (22°15′⋅8N 97°47′⋅7W) (6.280), close S of the
charted prohibited anchorage. The holding ground is good,
but in winter a vessel that cannot cross the bar must leave
directly a ‘Norther’ is forecast, as the anchorage is exposed
to the full force of the wind and sea.
Pilotage and tugs
6.303 1
Pilotage is compulsory and requirements should be
signalled at least 24 hours in advance. Pilots board, weather
permitting, in position 22°16′⋅4N 97°44′⋅8W, 2½ miles ENE
of La Barra Light. They do not cross the bar when a
‘Norther’ is blowing, but wait inside displaying a white
flag. A stranger may, in these circumstances, either remain
at sea or proceed to Isla de Lobos (6.284) for shelter. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
2
There are no restrictions to night movements.
Tugs are available.
Traffic regulation
6.304 1
Permission from the Port Captain must be obtained
before vessels anchor in the river.
Quarantine
6.305 1
The quarantine station and jetty is at La Barra, close S
of La Barra Light.
Harbour
General layout
6.306 1
The town of Tampico is situated on the N bank of the
Río Pánuco, between 2 and 6 miles above the river mouth.
Port facilities line the N bank of the river.
Submarine pipe−lines and cables restrict the anchorage
space available. Their positions are indicated on the chart
and marked by beacons.
Climate
6.307 1
See climatic table after 1.220.
Directions
(continued from 6.55 and 6.281)
Principal mark
6.308 1
Major light:
La Barra Light (22°15′⋅8N 97°47′⋅7W) (6.280).
Tampico Pilot Berth and Light (6.308)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
CHAPTER 6
157
Tampico Entrance Breakwaters from E (6.309)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
Entrance channel
6.309 1
From a position close N of the light−buoy (safe water)
(22°16′⋅4N 97°43′⋅9W) the alignment (256½°) of Entrance
Leading Lights leads WSW for a distance of 3½ miles,
passing between breakwater head lights (white towers, 6 m
in height) (1¼ miles E of La Barra Light):
2
Front light (metal truncated pyramidal tower, 16 m in
height) (22°15′⋅5N 97°48′⋅0W).
Rear light (truncated pyramidal metal tower, 31 m in
height) (2½ cables WSW of front light).
3
Thence the channel leads generally SW and S for about
4 miles, passing under a road bridge, Puente Tampico
(6.295), then through W to WNW when approaching the
second set of leading lights.
4
The alignment (110½°), astern, of Canal de Pueblo Viejo
Leading Lights leads WNW for 1¼ miles, passing SSW of
the berths at Fiscal Quay and the Naval Dockyard:
Front light (white truncated pyramidal concrete tower,
5m in height) (22°12′⋅3N 97°50′⋅7W).
Rear light (white concrete tower, 9 m in height)
(3½ cables ESE of the front light).
5
The river is marked by a number of navigational lights,
whose positions, mainly on the S bank of the river, are best
seen from the chart.
6
Useful mark:
A directional light (aluminium truncated pyramidal
tower, 7 m in height) (22°15′⋅5N 97°47′⋅5W) is
situated at the root of the S breakwater, for use by
vessels leaving port.
Berths
Anchorages
6.310 1
Anchorage for small vessels may be found in the greater
part of the harbour. The bottom is soft mud. See 6.306 for
remarks on obstructions.
Alongside berths
6.311 1
PEMEX No 2 (22°15′⋅4N 97°48′⋅3W): length 180 m,
depth 10⋅9 m; oil berth, with others in the vicinity.
Bulk Loading Berth (22°13′⋅3N 97°50′⋅3W): length
290 m, depth 9⋅1 m; used for metals and minerals.
Fiscal No 7 (22°12′⋅7N 97°51′⋅8W): length 180 m,
depth 9⋅8 m; used for general cargo; there are
other cargo berths near by.
Vessels berth bows up river.
Port services
6.312 1
Repairs: dry dock, length 225 m, breadth 37m, capacity
55 000 dwt. See 1.166 for details of other docking facilities.
Most types of repairs can be undertaken.
Other facilities: deratting; hospitals; Ro−Ro berth;
garbage disposal.
Supplies: fresh water; fuel; provisions.
2
Communications: the nearest airport is 9 km from the
town, with regular flights to Mexico City and other
international airports.
Tampico − Pemex Berths from E (6.311)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
CHAPTER 6
158
Harbour regulation. Mooring ropes must be fitted with
rat guards and vessels kept fended off the wharves.
Río Pánuco
General information
6.313 1
The entrance to Canal del Chijol, the intracoastal
waterway between Tampico and Tuxpan (6.257), joins the
S bank of the main river 1¾ miles above La Barra Light
(6.280). Above Fiscal Quay (22°12′⋅6N 97°51′⋅6W) there
are depths of not less than 6⋅1 m (20 ft) up to the railway
bridge, 11 miles above La Barra Light, where there is a bar
with a depth of 3⋅7 m (12 ft). Río Pánuco is navigable by
vessels drawing up to 2⋅4 m (8 ft) as far as the town of
Pánuco, about 38 miles above Tampico and by some
smaller vessels for as much as 200 miles above Tampico.
TAMPICO TO RÍO GRANDE
COASTAL ROUTE
General information
Charts 1225, 4401
General description
6.314 1
The waterway between Tampico (22°15′N 97°48′W) and
the mouth of Río Grande (25°57′N 97°09′W), 224 miles N,
is mainly deep and appears to be clear of dangers, apart
from the activity associated with the offshore oilfield off
Tampico (6.279).
2
There is one port, Altamira (22°29′N 97°52′W), and one
fishing harbour, La Pesca (23°46′N 97°44′W), on the coast.
The charts have been derived from old and imperfect
surveys and must be used with caution.
Topography
6.315 1
The coastline seldom varies from miles of long, straight
beach, backed almost all the way by extensive lagoons.
Cerro Metate is a well−defined, round, flat−topped hill
which lies 50 miles NNW of Tampico (22°15′N 97°48′W).
Behind the coast, bush and tree covered sandhills, 20 to
60 m (66 ft to 33 fm) high lead on to the narrow coastal
plain for about 135 miles to latitude 24°30′N. From this
point N the mountain ranges lie farther from the coast.
2
Numerous rivers enter the sea, either directly or passing
through lagoons across shallow bars. Most of the lagoons
have a maximum depth of 0⋅9 to 1⋅2 m (3 to 4 ft).
The bottom is mainly sand, though in some cases it is
mixed with mud.
Depths
6.316 1
Depths are irregular between Tampico (22°15′N
97°48′W) and Barra Tordo, 48 miles N, with a line of
shoals between 12 and 15 miles offshore. There is a least
depth on these shoals of 24 m (13 fm), 46 miles NNE of
Tampico. Other depths reduce gradually towards the shore.
Exercise area
6.317
1
Firing practice takes place between Punta Jerez (22°53′N
97°46′W) and Río Indios Morales (23°24′N 97°46′W), as
shown on Chart 1225.
Local knowledge
6.318 1
Local knowledge is required for entry into the shallow
rivers and lagoons.
Currents
6.319 1
Research between 1962 and 1976 indicates that the
current on the continental shelf is likely to set to the N
when N of Cabo Rojo (21°34′N 97°19′W), although
information is scarce.
Directions
(continued from 6.281)
Principal marks
6.320 1
Major lights
Altamira Rear Leading Light (metal tower, 36 m in
height) (22°29′⋅2N 97°53′⋅9W).
Punta Jerez Light (white round concrete tower, 20 m
in height) (22°53′N 97°46′W).
El Mezquital Light (white round metal tower on
concrete base, 30 m in height) (25°16′N 97°27′W).
2
Other aid to navigation
Racon: Altamira Light (22°30′N 97°52′W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Chart 376
Tampico to Punta Jerez
6.321 1
From a position E of Tampico (22°15′N 97°48′W) the
route leads N for 36 miles to a position E of Punta Jerez
(22°53′N 97°46′W) passing (with positions from La Barra
Light (22°15′N 97°48′W) (6.280)):
Clear of the dangers within the offshore oilfield
(mid−position 16 miles E), thence:
E of a fish haven (centre 10¾ miles NNE)
surrounding an artificial reef marked by a
light−buoy (isolated danger), thence:
2
E of the port of Altamira (14 miles NNW) (6.324),
thence:
Clear of a dangerous wreck (19½ miles NNE),
thence:
E of Barra de Chavarría (25 miles N) (22°40′N
97°50′W), thence:
3
E of Punta Jerez (38 miles N), a low sand point on
which stands Punta Jerez Light (22°53′N 97°46′W)
(6.320). A reef extends not more than 2 miles off
the point.
4
Useful marks:
Rihl Field Aero Light (beacon) (22°12′N 97°49′W).
Altamira Light (8−sided concrete tower, 36 m in
height) (22°29′N 97°52′W).
Charts 1225, 4401
Punta Jerez to La Pesca
6.322 1
From a position E of Punta Jerez (22°53′N 97°46′W) the
route leads N for 53 miles to a position E of La Pesca
(23°46′N 97°44′W) passing (with positions from Punta
Jerez Light (22°53′N 97°46′W) (6.320)):
CHAPTER 6
159
2
Clear of 24 m (13 fm) shoal depth (15 miles ENE),
thence:
E of Barra Tordo Light (23°04′N 97°46′W) (10 miles
N), thence:
Clear of a 35 m (19 fm) shoal depth (33¼ miles
NNE), thence:
E of the entrance to Río Indios Morales (31 miles N).
3
Useful mark:
La Pesca Light (white round concrete tower, 16 m in
height) (23°46′N 97°44′W).
Chart 4401 (see 1.18)
La Pesca to Río Grande
6.323 1
From a position E of La Pesca (23°46′N 97°44′W) the
route leads NNE for 135 miles to a position E of Río
Grande (25°57′N 97°09′W) passing (with positions from La
Pesca Light (23°46′N 97°44′W) (6.320)):
E of Barra de Jesus María (42 miles N) (6.333),
thence:
2
E of Boca Sandoval and Boca Ciega (73 and 76 miles
N respectively), outlets from Laguna Madre,
thence:
Clear of a dangerous wreck (position approximate)
(79 miles NNE), thence:
E of the entrance to Canal de Chavez (129 miles
NNE), where stands Canal de Chavez Light (white
round concrete tower, 16 m in height) (25°38′N
97°14′W).
(Directions continue at 7.57)
Altamira Industrial Port
Chart 376 plan of Altamira
General information
6.324 1
The port of Altamira (22°29′N 97°53′W) is situated
about 14 miles NNW of La Barra Light (22°15′N 97°48′W)
(6.280) and is one of the most modern in Mexico. The port
handles bulk, container and general cargo.
2
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 315 vessels with
a total of 21 017 511 dwt.
Port authority. Administracion Portuaria Integral de
Altamira S.A. de C.V. (API Altamira), Recinto Fiscal
Autorizado, C.P. 89600 Altamira, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Limiting conditions
6.325 1
Controlling depth: 12⋅5 m in the approach channel.
Maximum size of vessel: length 300 m, draught 11⋅6 m.
Arrival information
6.326 1
Anchorage is available 3 miles NE or SE of the
breakwaters, in depths of 18 m.
Notice of ETA.
Vessels should forward their arrival time
48 hours in advance to their local agents, and confirm
2 hours prior to arrival. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5) for details.
2
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards in position 22°28′N 97°48′W, about 3 miles
ESE of the breakwaters.
Tugs are compulsory for vessels over 4000 gt.
Vessel Traffic Service scheme is in operation, see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Harbour
6.327
1
Development. In 2005 a liquefied natural gas terminal
was being built, expected to start operating in late 2006. It
will comprise two storage tanks, and be able to
accommodate vessels up to 200 000 cubic metre capacity.
Directions
(continued from 6.321)
Principal marks
6.328
1
Major light:
Altamira rear leading light (22°29′⋅2N 97°53′⋅8W)
(6.329)
2
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: Altamira Light (22°30′N 97°52′W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Altamira Light (6.328)
(Original dated 2002)
(Photograph − G. Kirk, MV Logos II)
Approach and entry
6.329 1
Altamira leading lights:
Front light (truncated pyramidal metal tower, 7 m in
height) (22°29′⋅2N 97°53′⋅3W).
Centre light (truncated pyramidal tower, 7 m in
height) (229 m W of the front light).
Rear light (800 m W of the front light) (6.320).
2
From a position in the vicinity of Altamira Light−buoy
(safe−water) (22°29′N 97°42′W), the alignment (270°) of
these lights leads between lighted breakwaters to the berths.
Berths
6.330 1
Marginal quay (22°29′N 97°53′W): length 250 m, depth
13 m; Ro−Ro.
Multi−use terminal: length 750 m, depth alongside 12 m;
mainly for general cargo.
CHAPTER 6
160
Altamira Container Berths from NE (6.330)
(Original dated 2002)
Petrochemical terminal: 2 berths, 10 m depth alongside.
Fertiliser berth: length 135 m, depth alongside 12 m.
Port services
6.331 1
Repairs: minor only.
Other facilities: ballast and slops reception available;
hospitals at Altamira city and Tampico.
Supplies; diesel, provisions and fresh water are available
by truck from Tampico.
Communications: the nearest airport is at Tampico
(6.289).
Small harbours and anchorages
Chart 4401
La Pesca
6.332 1
General information. The fishing village of La Pesca
(23°47′N. 97°44′W) lies on the N bank of Río Soto la
Marina, 2½ miles above the entrance. Cerro de Palmas,
about 6 miles WNW of La Pesca and Cerro de Corizo,
about 8 miles N of Cerro de Palmas, are useful guides for
identifying the entrance. Lighted breakwaters extend a short
distance ESE from the entrance of the river.
2
Anchorages. Open anchorage is available 2 miles E of
the entrance to Río Soto la Marina in a depth of 13 m and
4 miles E of the same point in 18 m.
Barra de Jesus María
6.333 1
Barra de Jesus María (24°28′N 97°42′W) is one of
several outlets of Laguna de la Madre, which stretches for
over 90 miles behind the coast. The outlet has been
reported to be 4 cables wide with a depth of 4⋅6 m over the
bar. There is good anchorage in the lagoon, close inside the
entrance.
Chart 3849
Río Grande
6.334 1
General information. Río Grande (river entrance
25°57′N 97°09′W) forms the international boundary
between United States of America and The United Mexican
States (Mexico) for 1078 miles of its length. The river is
closed to navigation by international agreement.
2
Brownsville (U.S.A.) (7.12) lies on the N bank 55 miles
up river. The Mexican town of Matamoros, with a
population of about 240 000, stands on the S bank of the
river opposite Brownsville. It is one of the main border
towns with a highway link between the two countries.
The International Boundary Commission has several
claims on the river to prevent fresh water wasting into Gulf
of Mexico.
3
Anchorage is available off Río Grande bar, in a depth
of 6 m (20 ft). A dangerous wreck and a fish haven are
charted 4½ miles ENE of Río Bravo Light (white round
concrete tower, 16 m in height) (25°56′⋅8N 97°08′⋅7W) and
an obstruction lies 2½ miles NE of the same light.
NOTES
161
Río Grande
Port
Mansfield
MEXI CO
P
o
r
t
B
r
o
w
n
s
v
i
l
l
e
Corpus Christi
Port Comfort
Freeport
Houston
Texas City
Galveston
Port Arthur
Beaumont
Port of Lake Charles
C
a
l
c
a
s
i
e
u
P
a
s
s
.
USA
GUL F OF MEXI CO
3849
0206
3184
3184
3850
3854
3183
3192
3190
3190
3192
3183
3186
3187
3188
3184
3854
7.57
7.59
7.91
7.125
7.122
7.129
7.123
7.341
7.172
7.171
7.124
7.169
7.157
7.182
7.264
7.266
7.343
7.365
7.60
7
.
1
2
7.65
7.126
7.133
7.232
7.208
7.193
7.268
7.300
7.345
162
95°96°97°
98°
94° 93°
Longitude 95° West from Greenwich96°97°
98°
93°
30°
29°
28°
26°
27°
30°
29°
28°
26°
27°
Chapter 7 - Rio Grande to Calcasieu Pass
163
CHAPTER 7
RÍO GRANDE TO CALCASIEU PASS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3849, 3850, 4401
Scope of the chapter
7.1 1
The chapter includes the whole coastline of the state of
Texas, from Río Grande (25°57′N 97°09′W) to Calcasieu
Pass (29°46′N 93°21′W), 305 miles NE. The major ports
are Brownsville (7.12), Corpus Christi (7.65), Freeport
(7.133), Galveston (7.193), Texas City (7.208), Bayport
(7.225), Houston (7.232), Port Arthur (7.268), Beaumont
(7.300), Orange (7.320) and Port of Lake Charles (7.345).
Lightering Areas have been established for the transfer
of oil at sea, adjacent to the approach routes to major
ports, as charted.
2
Safety Fairways (1.10), designed to provide shipping
lanes which are free of oil well structures, lead through the
marine oilfields from deep−sea and along the coast.
The Intracoastal Waterway (1.12) links all the ports by a
sheltered route using canals, rivers and bays.
Topography
7.2 1
The outer coastline lies on a shallow curve with few
distinguishing features. It consists of long, low, narrow,
sand islands and peninsulas, which shelter a chain of bays
and lagoons, some of considerable size. The mainland
coastline is low with extensive marsh land, numerous rivers
and streams. Harbour entrances have, in many cases, been
improved by the construction of breakwaters and training
walls, known as jetties on this coast. The main ship
channels leading to deep−sea ports are maintained by
dredging across the bars, bays and land cuts.
2
For most of the area the marine topography has a
uniform and regular change in depth towards the coast. But
to the E of Freeport (28°56′N 95°18′W) depths are
irregular, with a number of shoals as much as 100 miles
offshore. Numerous offshore oilfields are located on the
continental shelf, which varies in width from 45 miles in
the SW to 130 miles in the NE.
Lightering
7.3
1
Designated Lightering, and Prohibited from Lightering,
Zones have been established in Gulf of Mexico. Within the
area covered by this chapter lie the Southtex and South
Sabine Point designated zones and the Claypile and Flower
Garden prohibited zones. For further details see
Appendix VII.
National Marine Sanctuary
7.4
1
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary lies
within the waters described in this chapter; it consists of
three separate areas of ocean water surrounding West
Flower Garden Bank (27°52′N 93°50′W), East Flower
Garden Bank (27°56′N 93°36′W) and Stetson Bank
(28°10′N 94°18′W). These are coral reefs with depths of 16
to 18 m (54 to 60 ft) over them. To help preserve the coral
structures, these areas have been designated coral Habitat
Areas of Particular Concern (HAPCs).
2
Within the sanctuary various regulations apply, which
include the prohibition of lightering, anchoring or otherwise
mooring of a vessel greater than 30⋅5 m (100 feet) in
length. For further details see 1.53.
Pilotage
7.5 1
A deep−sea pilotage service is available for Gulf of
Mexico to provide assistance in heavily congested areas.
See 1.30 for details.
Natural conditions
7.6 1
Weather. The coastal climate ranges from warm and
humid in summer to moderately subtropical in winter.
Summer weather includes showers, thunderstorms and,
occasionally, a tropical storm. In winter there are periods
when N frontal systems produce low temperatures and
strong, cold winds, known as ‘Northers’ (1.201).
Temperatures seldom fall below freezing.
2
The hurricane season is from late May to early
November. On average sustained wind speeds reaching
85 kn and wave heights of 10 m may be expected every 10
years. Such winds often blow onshore.
7.7 1
Flow. Although coastal currents seldom exceed 1 kn and
are mainly due to wind effects, it is reported that strong N
to NE winds cause a shoreward set of considerable speed.
Local magnetic anomaly. An anomaly has been
experienced between positions 26°52′N 94°48′W and
26°41′N 94°18′W, about 150 miles ESE of Aransas Pass.
R
Í
O GRANDE TO ARANSAS PASS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3849
General description
7.8 1
The area between Río Grande (25°57′N 97°09′W) and
Aransas Pass (27°49′N 97°00′W), 105 miles N, borders the
State of Texas. It contains the major ports of Brownsville
(7.12) and Corpus Christi (7.65), as well as a number of
other ports equipped for specialised cargoes. Charted Safety
Fairways lead through the marine oilfields from the edge of
the continental shelf to the approaches to the main ports,
where they join the coastal route.
Topography
7.9 1
Padre Island forms the E edge of Laguna Madre, a very
large, shallow waterway between the outer coastline and
the mainland. The island is a long, low, narrow strip of
land with few natural distinguishing marks. Openings into
the lagoon, which may appear after storms, should not be
used for navigation.
CHAPTER 7
164
2
The marine topography has a uniform decrease in depth
towards the coast, except between Brazos Santiago (7.31)
and Port Mansfield (7.60), where slight irregularities in the
seabed occur.
Marine exploitation
7.10 1
Parts of the area have been developed as a marine
oilfield, in which there are numerous production platforms,
submerged wellheads, cables and submerged buoys. See
1.10.
Weather
7.11 1
May and September are the peak months for
precipitation which is usually accompanied by thunderstorm
activity. Prevailing winds are onshore. Tropical storms may
be expected between June and November when the season
for ‘Northers’ starts.
PORT BROWNSVILLE
General information
Charts 3184 plan of Brazos Santiago to Port Brownsville, 3849 (see 1.18)
Position
7.12 1
Port Brownsville (25°57′N 97°24′W) is situated 15 miles
from the open sea, at the WSW end of Brownsville Ship
Channel. The city of Brownsville is 5 miles WSW of the
port.
Function
7.13 1
The port handles liquid and dry bulk, general cargo and
container traffic. Offshore oil rigs are constructed. The city
is both a summer and winter resort, which lies on a major
route into Mexico at the centre of a rich agricultural valley.
The population was 117 326 (2000).
Brownsville is the terminus of the Intracoastal Waterway,
a sheltered route over a distance of 1059 miles from
Carrabelle, Florida (9.181).
Topography
7.14 1
The coast is bordered by a line of low, narrow, barrier
islands on the E side of an extensive shallow lagoon. On
the W side of the lagoon the mainland is flat with
numerous smaller lagoons, bays and marshes.
Approach and entry
7.15 1
The port is approached from the E within a Safety
Fairway and entered through a dredged channel.
Traffic
7.16 1
In 2004 138 vessels having a total of 6 009 538 dwt
used the port.
Port authority
7.17 1
Brownsville Navigation District, 1000 Foust Road,
Brownsville TX 78521.
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
7.18 1
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Federal project dimensions for the channels leading to
Port Brownsville are:
Channel Depth Width
Entrance (7.34) 13 4 m (44 ft) 91 m
Laguna Madre 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 76 m
Brownsville Ship 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 76 m
Brownsville Turning
Basin
12⋅8 m−11 m
(42 −36 ft)
152−365 m
Deepest and longest berths
7.19 1
Grain Elevator wharf (7.40) is deepest and Dock Nos 12
and 13 combined is longest.
Tidal levels
7.20 1
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m at Brazos Santiago
(7.31).
Abnormal levels
7.21 1
Storm surge levels up to 4⋅6 m have been recorded
during a hurricane.
Density of water
7.22 1
Density of water is 1⋅032 g/cm
3
.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.23 1
Maximum dimensions are: length 267 m, beam 41 m,
draught 10⋅7 m.
Local weather
7.24 1
While hurricanes are rare at Brownsville the effect they
have has been reported as being extreme. See 7.6 for
remarks on hurricanes.
Arrival information
Notice of ETA
7.25 1
Notice of ETA: at least 2 hours.
Outer anchorages
7.26 1
Fairway anchorages have been established, soft bottom,
at the following locations:
South anchorage in mid−position 26°01′N 97°01′W.
North anchorage in mid−position 26°07′N 97°03′W.
See 1.11 for general information concerning Fairway
anchorages.
There are no satisfactory anchorages for deep draught
vessels inside Brazos Santiago Pass.
Pilotage
7.27 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night.
Pilots board in position 26°03′⋅8N 97°06′⋅5W, as charted.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) under
Brazos Santiago.
CHAPTER 7
165
Tugs
7.28 1
Tugs are available. They are normally used for berthing
movements only.
Traffic regulations
7.29 1
Safety Fairway. The charted Safety Fairways should be
used when approaching the port.
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn across the seaward end of
Brazos Santiago Pass breakwaters. See Appendix III.
2
Speed. A limit of 8 kn in Brownsville Ship Channel and
4 kn in the turning basin is enforced.
Port regulations are issued by the Port Commissioners,
who also control movements in Brownsville Ship Channel.
Quarantine
7.30 1
Vessel arrival inspections are usually made at alongside
berths.
Harbour
General layout
7.31 1
A dredged channel leads through Brazos Santiago
(26°04′N 97°08′W), a natural opening protected by
breakwaters and an underwater breakwater, between two
islands and across a lagoon. The channel then cuts through
marsh land into the turning basin of the port. Berths and
harbour facilities lie on the N and S side of the turning
basin and its immediate approaches. Brownsville fishing
harbour is situated on the N side of the channel, 3½ miles
below the turning basin.
2
Port Brownsville and Port Isabel (7.42) share a common
entrance channel as far as Junction Basin (26°02′⋅7N
97°12′⋅1W).
Climate
7.32 1
See climatic table after 1.220.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 6.323)
Principal marks
7.33 1
Landmark:
Coast Guard Station radio mast (26°04′⋅4N
97°09′⋅9W).
Approach and entry
7.34 1
From a position off the mouth of Río Grande, in the
vicinity of 25°57′N 96°58′W, the approach track leads N
for 6 miles, keeping clear of the two dangerous wrecks, a
mooring buoy and a platform, all lying within 2 miles of
26°00′N 96°59′W, to enter the charted Safety Fairway;
thence W for 7½ miles passing Brazos Santiago Light−buoy
(safe water) (26°03′⋅9N 97°06′⋅6W). Entry is along a
dredged channel leading W then SW, marked by
light−buoys and light−beacons, described below.
7.35 1
Entrance Channel. The alignment (269½°) of Entrance
Channel leading lights leads W for 3⋅1 miles through the
centre of the channel between breakwaters into Laguna
Madre:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (26°03′⋅9N 97°10′⋅4W)
Rear light (similar structure) (5½ cables W of the
front light).
7.36 1
Laguna Madre channel. Thence the alignment (056°),
astern, and the near reciprocal (236¼°), ahead, of Laguna
Madre channel and “A” leading lights respectively, leads
SW through the centre of the channel for a distance of
3⋅4 miles:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (26°04′⋅1N 97°09′⋅8W).
Astern rear light (similar structure) (4 cables NE of
the front light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower) (26°01′⋅8N
97°13′⋅5W).
Ahead rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (8 cables SW of the front light).
7.37 1
‘C−B’ channel. Thence the alignment (063°), astern, and
the reciprocal (243°), ahead, of ‘C’ and ‘B’ leading lights
respectively, leads WSW through the centre of the channel
for a distance of 2⋅1 miles:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower on piles)
(26°02′⋅2N 97°12′⋅7W).
Astern rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (8 cables ENE of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower on piles)
(26°00′⋅9N 97°15′⋅8W).
Ahead rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (9 cables WSW of the
front light).
7.38 1
‘E−D’ channel. Thence the alignment (058¼°), astern,
and the reciprocal (238¼°), ahead, of ‘E’ and ‘D’ leading
lights respectively, leads WSW through the centre of the
channel for a distance of 4⋅8 miles:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower on piles)
(26°01′⋅4N 97°14′⋅6W).
Astern rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (8 cables ENE of the
front light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower) (25°58′⋅4N
97°19′⋅9W).
Ahead rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (8 cables WSW of the front
light).
7.39 1
‘G−F’ channel. Thence the alignment (069°), astern, and
the reciprocal (249°), ahead, of ‘G’ and ‘F’ leading lights
respectively, leads WSW through the centre of the channel
for a distance of 3⋅9 miles to the entrance of the turning
basin:
CHAPTER 7
166
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower on piles)
(25°58′⋅8N 97°19′⋅0W).
Astern rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (7½ cables ENE of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on framework tower) (25°57′⋅0N
97°24′⋅2W).
Ahead rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (1⋅9 miles WSW of the front
light).
Berths
7.40 1
South side Brownsville Ship Channel:
Grain Elevator wharf (25°57′⋅4N 97°22′⋅9W); length
122 m, depth 10⋅1 m, deck height 3⋅7 m; used for
petroleum products and chemicals.
2
North side turning basin:
Dock No 1 (1 cable from head of basin); length
183 m, depth 8⋅8 m, deck height 3⋅7 m; used for
ores and other bulk materials.
3
South side turning basin: Dock Nos 12 and 13
(4 cables from head of basin); length 335 m, depth 8⋅5 m,
deck height 3⋅7 m; used for general cargo, ores and scrap
metal.
Numerous other berths line the channel and basin, with
depths of 6⋅4 to 12⋅8 m.
Port services
7.41 1
Repairs: the nearest port with dry dock facilities is
Galveston (7.193); several firms are available to undertake
above water repairs; a patent slip takes vessels up to 250
tonnes.
Facilities: hospitals; oil waste reception; de−ratting.
2
Supplies: chandlers stores; fresh water; fuel of all types;
provisions.
Communications. Brownsville−South Padre International
Airport is 6 km E of the city.
Harbour regulations: Brownsville is a Customs Port of
Entry for the USA and Mexico; the port includes a Free
Trade Zone.
PORT ISABEL
General information
Charts 3184 plan Brazos Santiago to Port Brownsville, 3849
7.42 1
Position. Port Isabel (26°04′N 97°13′W) is situated
4 miles from the open sea, at the NW end of Port Isabel
channel, which branches WNW from the Laguna Madre
Channel (7.36).
2
Function. The port handles dry bulk, general cargo,
petroleum, seafood products, sand and gravel. Much of the
trade is carried by barge. Port Isabel has an oil refinery,
facilities for the offshore oil industry and for a large fishing
fleet.
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the turning
basin at Port Isabel.
3
Topography. See under Port Brownsville at 7.14.
Approach and entry. See 7.15.
Port Authority. Port Director, Port Isabel−San Benito
Navigation District, PO Box 218, Port Isabel,
TX78578−0218.
Limiting conditions
7.43 1
Controlling dimensions. The chart and port authority
should be consulted for the latest controlling depths.
Federal project dimensions for the channels leading to
Port Isabel are:
Channel Depth Width
Port Isabel 11⋅0 m (36 ft) 61 m
Turning basin 11⋅0 m (36 ft) 305 m
7.44 1
Deepest berth. General cargo wharf (7.48).
Maximum length of vessel handled. The maximum
length is 244 m.
Arrival information
7.45 1
Notice of ETA. See Port Brownsville for details of ETA
at 7.25.
Outer anchorages. See 7.26.
Pilotage. See 7.27.
Traffic regulations. A speed limit of 8 kn in Laguna
Madre and Port Isabel channels and 4 kn in the turning
basin is enforced.
Harbour
7.46 1
General layout. The channel branches off the Laguna
Madre Channel (7.36) into the turning basin and wharf area
of the port.
Directions
Approach and entry
7.47 1
See Port Brownsville (7.35 and 7.36) for Entrance and
Laguna Madre channel directions.
From a position near the SW end of Laguna Madre
channel, in the vicinity of Junction Basin (26°02′⋅7N
97°12′⋅1W), the track curves WNW then NW for 8 cables
to lead directly into the turning basin through Port Isabel
channel, which is marked by light−beacons.
2
Useful mark
Port Isabel Light (white conical tower) (26°04′⋅6N
97°12′⋅4W).
Berths
7.48 1
West side turning basin:
General cargo wharf (26°03′⋅5N 97°12′⋅8W); length
168 m, depth 9⋅1 m; also used for crude oil
shipment, sand and gravel.
2
Other berths line the W side of the turning basin. They
are used by the offshore oil industry and for lay−up
purposes. Numerous shallow draught berths are used by the
seafood industry and marine services.
Port services
7.49 1
Repairs: the nearest port with dry dock facilities is
Galveston (7.207); a patent slip takes vessels up to 800
tonnes.
Other facilities and supplies. See Port Brownsville
(7.41); garbage reception; fuel can be supplied by barge
from Corpus Christi.
2
Communications: Cameron County Municipal Airport is
situated 15 km NW of the port.
Rescue: Port Isabel Coast Guard Station (26°04′⋅4N
97°09′⋅9W), S end of Padre island, has search and rescue
CHAPTER 7
167
facilities and may provide lookout, communication and/or
patrol functions to assist vessels in distress.
RÍO GRANDE TO ARANSAS PASS
APPROACHES
General information
Chart 3849
Routes
7.50 1
Between the mouth of Río Grande (25°57′N 97°09′W)
and Aransas Pass (27°49N 97°00′W), 105 miles N, the
coastal route passes within the charted Safety Fairway
throughout its length. The use of Safety Fairways, while
not mandatory, is recommended.
2
Safety Fairways lead across the continental shelf to join
the coastal route at the approaches to Brazos Santiago
(7.31) and Corpus Christi Bay (7.65), respectively.
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through Laguna
Madre, a shallow expanse of water linking Port Isabel with
Corpus Christi Bay.
Topography
7.51 1
The coastline lies on a long shallow curve, with many
miles of almost straight sand beach. Padre Island, a
national park, is low and narrow. It shelters Laguna Madre
and all the mainland lagoons, rivers and bays along the
Intracoastal Waterway. There are few distinguishing
features.
Depths
7.52 1
Least charted depths are 26 m (14 fm) at the S end, and
20 m (11 fm) at the N end, of the coastal route.
Marine exploitation
7.53 1
Much of the area has been developed as a marine
oilfield, in which there are numerous production platforms,
pipelines, submerged wellheads and cables. (See also 1.10).
Local knowledge
7.54 1
Local knowledge is required to enter Port Mansfield
(7.60) and other small ports on Laguna Madre.
Rescue
7.55 1
See Port Isabel (7.49), Port Aransas (7.110) and Corpus
Christi Bay (7.110) for details.
Currents
7.56 1
See 7.7 for details.
Directions
(continued from 6.323)
Principal mark
7.57 1
Other aid to navigation
Racon:
Aransas Pass Fairway Light−buoy (27°48′N
96°57′W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for details.
Rio Grande to Aransas Pass
7.58 1
From a position E of the mouth of Río Grande, in the
vicinity of 25°57′N 96°58′W, the route leads N for
110 miles within a Safety Fairway, to a position in the
vicinity of 27°47′N 96°56′W, in the approaches to Aransas
Pass, passing:
2
Clear of the charted two dangerous wrecks, platform
and mooring buoy, all lying within 2 miles of
26°00′N 96°59′W, thence:
About 9 miles E of Brazos Santiago entrance channel
(26°04′N 97°09′W), thence:
Clear of a dangerous wreck (26°08′N 96°58′W)
(position approximate), thence:
About 17 miles E of Port Mansfield entrance channel
(26°34′N 97°17′W).
3
Useful mark:
Cut ‘A’ E Range Light (rear) (red vertical mark,
white stripe, on framework tower, concrete base)
(27°51′N 97°03′W).
(Directions continue for Corpus Christi at 7.91 and for
Aransas Pass to Freeport at 7.122)
Safety Fairways across the continental shelf
Continental shelf to Aransas Pass approaches
7.59 1
Inward passage. From a position at the edge of the
continental shelf, in the vicinity of 27°25′N 96°09′W, the
track leads WNW within the inbound lane of a Safety
Fairway, with one small change of direction, for 48 miles,
to a position in the vicinity of 27°47′N 96°56′W, ESE of
Aransas Pass, passing:
2
Clear of a dangerous wreck (27°40′N 96°41′W),
position approximate.
3
Outward passage. From a position ESE of Aransas
Pass, in the vicinity of 27°47′N 96°56′W, the track leads
ESE within a Safety Fairway, with one small change of
direction, for 48 miles, to a position in the vicinity of
27°23′N 96°11′W, at the edge of the continental shelf.
Port Mansfield
Chart 3849 (see 1.18)
General information
7.60 1
Port Mansfield (26°33′N 97°26′W) is a fishing harbour,
a base for oil exploration in Laguna Madre and a
recreational centre. Entry is obtained through Port
Mansfield Channel, which has been cut through Padre
Island.
Controlling depths
7.61
1
Controlling depths (2002) are 2⋅4 m (8 ft) in Port
Mansfield Channel, thence 4⋅3 m (14 ft) in the turning basin
and 3⋅7 m (12 ft) in the fishing basin.
Traffic regulations
7.62 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters (see
Appendix III) must be followed inside a line drawn
between the entrance breakwaters.
Speed limit is 4 kn in the harbour.
Directions
7.63 1
From a position on the coastal route in the vicinity of
26°34′N 96°58′W, the track leads W for 16 miles, in a
CHAPTER 7
168
channel marked by light−beacons, beacons and light−buoys,
keeping clear of charted dangerous wrecks and passing Port
Mansfield Light−buoy (safe water) (26°34′N 97°15′W),
thence:
2
Between breakwaters at the entrance to the cut
through Padre Island, thence:
Continuing W for 8 miles across Laguna Madre and
into Port Mansfield.
Berths
7.64 1
There are numerous berths accommodating vessels up to
39 m in length.
CORPUS CHRISTI
General information
Chart 3184 plans of Port Aransas to Corpus Christi and Corpus
Christi Harbor
Position
7.65 1
Port of Corpus Christi main harbour (27°49′N 97°24′W)
is situated on the N side of the city, about 19 miles from
the entrance to Corpus Christi Bay.
Function
7.66 1
Corpus Christi is a Customs Port of Entry and one of
the major seaports of the United States in terms of the
volume of trade; having dry and liquid bulk, general cargo,
container and petroleum facilities. Petroleum is the largest
volume commodity. A Free Trade Zone has been
established.
2
The city is the most important commercial centre on the
Texas coast SW of Galveston. The principal industries are
based on agriculture, chemical, paper and petroleum
products, fishing, manufacture and oilfield development.
The population is 266 958 (2000).
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the bay.
Topography
7.67 1
The coast is bordered by a line of low, narrow, barrier
islands on the E side of Corpus Christi Bay, a shallow bay,
about 15 miles long in an E/W direction and 11 miles wide.
Approach and entry
7.68 1
Approach is from the ESE within a Safety Fairway,
through Aransas Pass and thence by dredged channels.
Entry is from the W end of Corpus Christi Channel.
Traffic
7.69 1
In 2004 the port was used by 522 vessels with a total of
62 718 539 dwt.
Port authority
7.70 1
Port of Corpus Christi Authority, PO Box 1541, Corpus
Christi, TX 78403. The Port Authority has jurisdiction over
both the Port of Corpus Christi and other ports in Corpus
Christi Bay, including Port Aransas (27°50′N 97°04′W),
Harbor Island (27°50′⋅5N 97°04′⋅5W), Port Ingleside
(27°49′N 97°12′W) and La Quinta (27°53′N 97°16′W).
Corpus Christi Harbor from E (7.65)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
169
Aransas Pass from SE (7.68)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
7.71 1
Federal project dimensions for bay and harbour channels
are:
Channel Depth Width
Outer Bar (7.93) 14⋅3 m (47 ft) 213−183 m
Jetty Channel to Cline
Point
14⋅3−13⋅7 m
(47−45 ft)
183 m
Inner Basin, Harbor Island
13⋅7 m (45 ft) 183−476 m
Cline Point to W end
Humble Basin
13⋅7 m (45 ft) 183 m
Corpus Christi (7.94) 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 183−91 m
La Quinta (7.107) 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 91−122 m
Corpus Christi Turning
Basin
13⋅7 m (45 ft) 91−244 m
Industrial Canal (7.97) 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 122 m
Avery Point Turning
Basin
13⋅7 m (45 ft) 122−297 m
Chemical Turning Basin 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 122−366 m
Tule Lake 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 61−122 m
Tule Lake Turning Basin 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 91−366 m
Viola 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 61 m
Viola Turning Basin 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 213−274 m
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Vertical clearances
7.72
1
Inner Harbor Bridge (27°48′⋅8N 97°23′⋅7W), a fixed
highway bridge, with a vertical clearance of 42⋅1 m
(138 ft), crosses the main harbour at the E entrance to the
turning basin. A lifting bridge (3¼ miles W of the fixed
bridge), also has a clearance of 42⋅1 m (138 ft) when
raised. A power transmission line (2¾ miles WNW of the
lifting bridge) has an overhead clearance of 49⋅7 m (163 ft).
Deepest and longest berths
7.73 1
Harbor Island, American Petrofina Pipeline Co. berth
(27°50′⋅7N 97°03′⋅7W) (7.107) is deepest.
Corpus Christi Turning Basin, wharves 8, 14 and 15
(27°48′⋅7N 97°24′⋅3W) (7.108) are longest.
Tidal levels
7.74 1
Port Aransas (27°50′N 97°03′W): maximum tidal range
about 0⋅4 m. The tide is usually diurnal. See 1.21 and
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Abnormal levels
7.75 1
Hurricanes may raise sea level by as much as 5 m. See
1.21.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.76 1
Maximum size of vessel is 232 700 dwt with maximum
draught of 13⋅7 m at Harbor Island.
CHAPTER 7
170
7.77 1
Vessels having a draught of 13⋅7 m can also be handled
in Corpus Christi Harbor.
Local weather
7.78 1
Easterly winds cause a rough sea on the bar and raise
the water level in the bay by as much as 0⋅6 m. Westerly
winds have the opposite effect. A sudden change of wind
from S to N causes a very rough sea on the bar for a short
time.
Arrival information
Port radio
7.79 1
There is a port radio station at Corpus Christi; see
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5).
Notice of ETA
7.80 1
Notice of ETA: 2 hours.
Outer anchorages
7.81 1
The limits of Outer Fairway Anchorages are charted
(Chart 3849) with the following mid−positions:
North: 27°50′N 96°50′W; general depths 16⋅4 to
23⋅8 m (54 to 78 ft); keeping clear of charted
wrecks and platforms. A mooring buoy lies in
approximate position 27°50′⋅5N 96°49′⋅5W.
South: 27°44′N 96°55′W; general depths 22 to 23 m
(12 fm).
Submarine cables and pipelines
7.82 1
Submarine cables and pipelines cross the channel at
various locations, the positions of which are best seen from
the chart.
Pilotage
7.83 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards close W of Aransas Pass Light−buoy, in
position 27°47′⋅6N 96°57′⋅4W. Pilot boats have a black hull
and white superstructure. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5).
Tugs
7.84 1
Tugs are available. Three tugs are required for a loaded
vessel at Port Aransas.
Traffic regulations
7.85 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters (see
Appendix III) must be followed inside a line between the
breakwaters at each side of Jetty Channel (27°50′N
97°02′W).
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory, the use of
Safety Fairways is recommended.
Speed should be restricted to 4 kn inside the harbours.
2
Safety Zone. A moving safety zone of 500 yards radius
is established around a vessel loaded with liquid petroleum
gas. The safety zone applies while the vessel is transiting
Corpus Christi Channel inward of the outer end of the
breakwaters at Aransas Pass (27°50′N 97°02′W), La Quinta
Channel (7.104), and the entire channel within Corpus
Christi Harbor (7.96) to, and including Viola Turning Basin
(7.103). It remains in effect while the vessel is mooring
and unmooring.
Only authorised vessels may enter the moving safety
zone.
3
Security Zone. A security zone is established for all
waters of Corpus Christi Inner Harbor from Inner Harbor
Bridge (7.72) to and including Viola Turning Basin
(27°50′⋅6N 97°31′⋅3W). Passenger vessels, recreational
vessels and commercial fishing vessels require authorisation
to enter the area.
4
For general rules governing safety and security zones,
see Appendix V.
5
Restricted area encompassing the turning basin exists at
Port Ingleside (7.107) as shown on the chart. Mooring and
anchoring are prohibited although commercial vessels at
anchor are permitted to swing into the area.
Quarantine
7.86
1
Public Health Service regulations apply. Officials usually
inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
General layout
7.87 1
Main harbour facilities extend for about 7½ miles on
both sides of a series of channels and turning basins on the
N side of the city. The main harbour berthing area for
general cargo is at Corpus Christi Turning Basin. The other
berths are, in general, for specialised use. A nearly straight,
dredged channel leads across Corpus Christi Bay from
Aransas Pass to the main harbour.
2
Port of Corpus Christi Authority berths are also located
at other ports in Corpus Christi Bay, including Port Aransas
(27°50′N 97°04′W), Harbor Island (27°50′⋅5N 97°04′⋅5W),
Port Ingleside (27°49′N 97°12′W) and La Quinta (27°53′N
97°16′W). A US Naval Station is located at Port Ingleside.
Seaplane restricted area
7.88 1
A seaplane restricted area (mid−position 27°42′N
97°16′W) has been established adjacent to the US Naval
Air Station, Corpus Christi.
Hazards
7.89 1
Risk of collision. Caution is advised where Jetty
Channel and Corpus Christi Channel cross the Intracoastal
Waterway alternative route, about 1½ miles above the
entrance breakwaters; and where the latter crosses the
Intracoastal Waterway main route, about 7 miles farther W.
Collisions, groundings and close quarters situations have
CHAPTER 7
171
been reported by both deep and shallow draught vessels in
these areas.
2
The US Coast Guard has requested that a safety
message is transmitted on VHF channels 12 and 13 prior to
crossing the Intracoastal Waterway, particularly during
restricted visibility.
3
Marine exploitation. A large number of oil production
platforms, wells and pipelines too numerous to clearly
chart, exist adjacent to Corpus Christi Channel (See also
1.9 and 1.10).
Natural conditions
7.90 1
Tidal streams. Rates of 2 kn or more flow in Aransas
Pass (27°49′N 97°00′W). The streams, which are much
affected by wind speed and direction, set close along the N
breakwater.
2
Winds. Prevailing winds are SE. The season for tropical
storms is from June to November, with August and
September being most likely for hurricanes. ‘Northers’ may
be expected in the winter from November.
Fog is likely in the vicinity of Aransas Pass between
November and February.
Directions
(continued from 7.58)
Principal marks
7.91 1
Landmark:
Tower (27°50′⋅8N 97°03′⋅9W), conspicuous.
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: Aransas Pass Light−buoy (27°47′⋅6N
96°57′⋅4W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Outer approach
7.92 1
From a position in the vicinity of 27°47′N 96°56′W, the
approach track leads WNW through the charted Safety
Fairway, passing Aransas Pass Light−buoy (safe water)
(27°47′⋅6N 96°57′⋅4). Entry is along a dredged channel
described below, marked by light−buoys and light−beacons,
keeping clear of charted wrecks and obstructions.
7.93 1
Outer Bar and Jetty Channels. Thence the alignment
(301°) of Harbour Island Leading Lights leads through the
centre of the channel for a distance of 3⋅9 miles, to pass
between the entrance breakwaters:
2
Front light (framework tower) (27°50′⋅8N 97°03′⋅7W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7½ cables WNW of the
front light).
Useful mark:
Cut ‘A’ East Range Light (rear) (27°50′⋅8N
97°02′⋅7W) (7.58).
Light tower (red and brown brick) (27°51′⋅8N
97°03′⋅4W).
Inner approach
7.94 1
Corpus Christi Channel. Thence the alignments
(078¼°), astern, and the near reciprocal (258¼°), ahead, of
Cut ‘A’ East Range and Cut ‘A’ West Range Leading
Lights, respectively, lead through the centre of the channel
for a distance of 9⋅7 miles, passing NNW of Cline Point
(27°50′⋅5N 97°03′⋅5W) and SSE of Inner Basin (27°50′⋅7N
97°03′⋅6W):
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (27°50′⋅7N 97°03′⋅3W).
Rear light (5 cables ENE of the front light) (7.58).
3
Front light, ‘A’ West, (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on framework tower on piles) (27°48′⋅5N
97°15′⋅0W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 mile WSW of the
front light).
7.95
1
Thence the alignments (089¾°), astern, and the
reciprocal (269¾°), ahead, of ‘B’ East and ‘B’ West
Leading Lights, respectively, lead W through the centre of
the channel for a distance of 7⋅7 miles:
Front light, ‘B’ East, (platform on pile) (27°48′⋅6N
97°13′⋅7W).
2
Rear light (framework tower on piles) (2½ miles E of
the front light).
Front light, ‘B’ West, (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on building) (27°48′⋅6N 97°23′⋅6W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (1¼ miles W of the front light).
3
Useful marks:
Tallest building (27°48′⋅0N 97°23′⋅5W).
Cupola (27°47′⋅7N 97°23′⋅8W).
Main harbour channels
7.96 1
Thence the alignment (101¼°), astern, of Corpus Christi
Harbour Leading Lights leads through the centre of the
channel under the bridge (7.72) and into the Turning Basin,
for a distance of 7 cables:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (27°48′⋅5N 97°22′⋅0W).
Rear light (similar structure) (301 m E of the front
light).
7.97 1
Turning Basin. Thence the track leads W along the
basin for a distance of 1 mile.
Industrial Canal. Thence the alignment (293½°) of
Industrial Canal Leading Lights leads through the centre of
the canal for a distance of about 6 cables to the turning
into the next bend in the channel and for a further distance
of about 3 cables to the end of the canal:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (27°49′⋅2N 97°26′⋅0W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (228 m WNW of the front
light).
3
From a position about 6 cables along the track described
above, the track leads in a generally WNW direction to
pass, in a gentle turn, through Avery Point Turning Basin
(27°49′⋅2N 97°25′⋅7W) and Chemical Turning Basin
(27°49′⋅4N 97°26′⋅7W), for a distance of about 1 mile.
7.98 1
Tule Lake Channel. Thence the alignment (066½°),
astern, of Tule Lake Channel Leading Lights leads through
the centre of the channel for a distance of 9 cables:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (27°49′⋅5N 97°26′⋅2W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (612 m ENE of the front light).
CHAPTER 7
172
Corpus Christi − Industrial Canal from ESE (7.97)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
7.99 1
Thence the track leads in a generally W direction, in a
gentle turn, for a distance of about 3 cables, passing N of
No 9 Light−beacon (port hand) (27°48′⋅9N 97°27′⋅7W).
7.100 1
Thence the alignments (103°), astern, and the near
reciprocal (282¾°), ahead, of ‘C’ and ‘B’ Leading Lights,
intensified on the leading line, lead through the centre of
the channel for a distance of 7 cables:
2
Front light ‘C’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (27°48′⋅9N 97°27′⋅2W).
Rear light ‘C’ (similar structure) (160 m ESE of the
front light).
3
Front light ‘B’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°49′⋅2N 97°26′⋅0W).
Rear light ‘B’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (596 m WNW of the front
light).
7.101 1
Thence the alignments (116¾°), astern, and the
reciprocal (296¾°), ahead, of ‘E’ Leading Lights,
intensified on the leading line, and Tule Lake Turning
Basin Directional Light lead through the centre of the
channel for a distance of 6 cables:
2
Front light ‘E’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (27°49′⋅0N 97°28′⋅3W).
Rear light ‘E’ (similar structure) (185 m ESE of the
front light).
Tule Lake Turning Basin Directional Light
(framework tower) (27°49′⋅7N 97°29′⋅8W).
7.102 1
Viola Channel. Thence the alignments (127¼°), astern,
and the reciprocal (307¼°), ahead, of ‘F’ and Viola
Channel ‘G’ Leading Lights, intensified on the leading line,
lead through the centre of the channel for a distance of
1⋅7 miles, passing through Tule Lake Turning Basin
(27°49′⋅6N 97°29′⋅6W):
2
Front light ‘F’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°49′⋅1N 97°28′⋅7W).
Rear light ‘F’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (591 m SE of the front light).
3
Front light ‘G’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on sills) (27°50′⋅6N 97°30′⋅9W).
Rear light ‘G’ (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (456 m NW of the front light).
7.103 1
Thence the track leads in a generally NW direction, in a
gentle turn, for a distance of about 2 cables.
CHAPTER 7
173
Viola Turning Basin. Thence the alignment (283¾°) of
‘H’ Leading Lights, intensified on the leading line, leads
through the centre of the channel into Viola Turning Basin,
for a distance of 4 cables:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (27°50′⋅6N 97°31′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (479 m WNW of the
front light).
Side channels
7.104 1
Aransas Channel. From a position at the WNW end of
Jetty Channel (27°50′⋅5N 97°03′⋅0W), the track leads NW
in a dredged channel, marked by beacons and
light−beacons, for a distance of 4 miles, thence WNW for
1¼ miles, to the fishing port of Aransas Pass (27°54′N
97°08′W). The controlling depth was 2⋅7 m (9 ft) (2001) in
mid−channel.
2
La Quinta Channel. From a position close S of No 36
Light−beacon (red triangle, point up, on pile) (27°49′⋅0N
97°12′⋅8W) the track leads in a generally NW direction in
a gentle turn for about 6 cables, passing between Nos 3 and
4 Light−beacons (about 6 cables WNW of No 36
Light−beacon) to enter the dredged channel, marked by
light−beacons.
7.105 1
Thence the alignments (156½°), astern, and the near
reciprocal (337°), ahead, of La Quinta Channel Leading
Lights, lead through the centre of the channel for a
distance of 3⋅4 miles:
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°48′⋅7N 97°13′⋅2W).
2
Rear light (similar structure) (806 m SSE of the front
light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°52′⋅5N 97°15′⋅0W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1⋅1 miles NNW of the
front light).
7.106 1
Thence the track leads in a generally WNW direction, in
a gentle turn, for a distance of 8 cables directly into the
turning basin and jetty area.
Basins and berths
Alongside berths
7.107 1
Harbor Island:
American Petrofina Pipeline Co. Berth (27°50′⋅7N
97°03′⋅7W); length 268 m with dolphins, depth
16⋅2 m. One other berth is situated 1½ cables SW.
Viola Turning Basin from S (7.103)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
174
Berths are used for the receipt and shipment of
crude oil.
2
Heavy loads are placed on berthing lines of vessels
secured at Harbor Island, particularly during the in−going
stream when the vessel is forced away from the berth.
Vessels passing in the main ship channel can cause severe
surge effects.
3
Port Ingleside:
Ingleside Terminal Wharf (27°49′⋅2N 97°12′⋅0W);
length 395 m, depth 10⋅7 m; used for crude oil.
4
La Quinta:
Sherwin Plant Pier (27°52′⋅7N 97°15′⋅8W); length
215 m, depth 12⋅8 m; used for bauxite.
Other berths, with depths of 11⋅3 m, are situated
adjacent. They are used for fuel oil, chemicals and
aluminium.
7.108 1
Corpus Christi Turning Basin:
No 1 Oil Berth (27°48′⋅9N 97°24′⋅1W); length 305 m,
depth 13⋅1 m (1993), used for petroleum products.
Northside General Cargo Terminal wharves Nos 9,
10, 12: maximum length 229 m, depths 9⋅1 to
11⋅9 m (1993).
2
Southside General Cargo Terminal wharves Nos 8, 14
and 15 (27°48′⋅7N 97°24′⋅3W); length 323 m,
depth 13⋅6 m (1993).
Other berths, with depths of 4⋅6 to 13⋅1 m, are situated
nearby.
3
Industrial Canal:
Grain Elevator Wharf (27°49′⋅1N 97°25′⋅4W); length
305 m, depth 10 m (1972).
Southwestern Oil and Refining Co. No 2 Berth
(27°48′⋅8N 97°25′⋅0W); length 244 m, depth
13⋅7 m (1993); used for the receipt and shipment
of petroleum products.
4
One other berth is situated nearby. It is used for the
receipt and shipment of petroleum products.
Avery Point Turning Basin:
PPG Industrial Pier (27°49′⋅1N 97°25′⋅8W); length
134 m, depth 6⋅7 m (1993); used for petrol and
diesel oil shipment.
7.109 1
Tule Lake Channel:
Interstate Grain Co. Elevator Wharf (27°49′⋅0N
97°28′⋅2W); length 274 m, depth 11⋅3 m (1993).
Champlin Petroleum Co. No 3 Oil Berth (27°49′⋅5N
97°29′⋅5W); length 305 m, depth 11⋅6 m (1980);
used for crude oil and asphalt shipment.
2
Bulk Terminal (27°49′⋅1N 97°27′⋅6W) used for dry
bulk commodities. Dock 1: normal maximum
length 213 m, depth 12⋅5 m (1993). Dock 2:
normal maximum length 259 m, depth 12⋅5 m
(1993).
Numerous other berths, with depths of 9⋅1 to 12⋅8 m, are
situated nearby; used for crude oil and petroleum products.
3
Viola Turning Basin:
No 8 Oil Berth (27°50′⋅5N 97°31′⋅3W); length 305 m,
depth 11⋅3 m (1993); used for crude oil and
petroleum products.
One other berth, with a depth of 8⋅2 m (1993), is
situated 1 cable W of the above; used for the shipment of
petrochemicals.
Port services
7.110 1
Repairs. Several firms are available for making above
water−line repairs.
Other facilities: hospitals; garbage reception; reception
of oily wastes.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and fresh water.
Communications: airport 13 km from the port.
2
Rescue. Corpus Christi Coast Guard Station (27°42′⋅1N
97°16′⋅5W), situated on the S side of Corpus Christi Bay,
has search and rescue capabilities and may provide lookout,
communication and/or patrol functions to assist vessels in
distress. Port Aransas Coast Guard Station is situated on
the SSW side of Jetty Channel (7.93). See 1.70 for further
details.
Port Ingleside from S (7.107)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
175
ARANSAS PASS TO GALVESTON BAY
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3849
General description
7.111 1
The area between Aransas Pass (27°49′N 97°00′W) and
the approaches to Galveston Bay (29°09′N 94°26′W),
155 miles NE, borders the State of Texas. It includes the
major ports of Freeport (7.133), Galveston (7.193), Texas
City (7.208), Bayport (7.225) and Houston (7.232), as well
as a number of smaller commercial and fishing ports.
Offshore waters have been developed extensively with
marine oilfields. Charted Safety Fairways lead through the
oilfields from the edge of the continental shelf to the port
approaches, where they join the medium draught coastal
route. Lightering Areas are situated well offshore in the
approach routes to Freeport and Galveston Bay.
Topography
7.112 1
Most of the coastline consists of long, low, narrow strips
of land, both islands and peninsulas. Large areas of shallow
bays and bayous lie between this outer coastline and the
mainland with its rivers and marsh shore. The coastline is
subject to continual change. Around Freeport (7.133) there
are fewer bays, but shoals have formed off the mouths of
two large rivers.
2
The marine topography has a uniform decrease in depth
towards the coast except in the E of the area, which marks
the limit of the influence of the delta of Mississippi River
with lesser depths at considerable distances offshore.
Marine exploitation
7.113 1
The whole area has been developed as a marine oilfield,
in which there are numerous production platforms,
submerged wellheads, pipelines and cables. (See 1.9 and
1.10).
Weather
7.114 1
Winters are usually mild, with the occasional ‘Norther’.
Temperatures seldom falling below zero. Spring is
characterised by frequent showers and a stable weather
pattern. Hurricanes are a threat from late May to early
November. Fog can be a hazard for a small number of days
between December and April. The prevailing wind is SE.
ARANSAS PASS TO FREEPORT
APPROACHES
General information
Chart 3849
Routes
7.115 1
Between Aransas Pass (27°49′N 97°00′W) and the
approaches to Freeport (28°45′N 95°06′W), 115 miles ENE,
the coastal route passes within the charted Safety Fairway
throughout its length. The use of Safety Fairways, while
not mandatory, is recommended.
Safety Fairways also lead across the edge of the
continental shelf from the deep Gulf of Mexico, to the
approaches to both Matagorda Ship Canal (7.129) and
Freeport (7.133).
2
An offshore route to ports on Mississippi River (8.38)
leads E for 420 miles, within a Safety Fairway, from a
position in the vicinity of 27°34′N 96°34′W, in the ESE
approaches to Aransas Pass, to join the coastal route S of
South West Pass (8.62).
The Intracoastal Waterway (1.12) passes through the
shallow water between the coastline and the mainland.
Topography
7.116 1
The coastline consists of low, narrow islands and
peninsulas, which lie on a long shallow curve. It shelters
numerous shallow bays and lagoons, some of considerable
size. There are few distinguishing features.
Depths
7.117 1
Least charted depths are 20 m (66 ft) at each end of the
coastal route.
Marine exploitation
7.118 1
See 7.113.
Pilotage
7.119 1
See 1.30 for remarks concerning deep−sea pilotage in
Gulf of Mexico.
Local knowledge
7.120 1
Local knowledge is required to enter Port Lavaca
(7.126) and other ports in Matagorda Bay.
Rescue
7.121 1
See Port O’Connor (7.132) and Freeport (7.162) for
rescue details.
Directions
(continued from 7.58)
7.122 1
From a position off Aransas Pass, in the vicinity of
27°47′N 96°56′W, the route leads ESE for 5 miles, thence
ENE for 110 miles, within a Safety Fairway, to a position
in the vicinity of 28°45′N 95°06′W, at the SE end of the
approach fairway to Freeport passing clear of two
dangerous wrecks in the vicinity of 27°46′N 96°47′W and
an obstruction (28°39′⋅5N 95°14′⋅7W).
(Directions continue for Galveston Bay at 7.170)
Safety Fairways across the continental shelf
Continental shelf edge to the approaches to
Matagorda Bay
7.123 1
From a position at the edge of the continental shelf, in
the vicinity of 27°38′N 95°49′W, the route leads NNW,
within a Safety Fairway, for 37 miles, to a position in the
vicinity of 28°11′N 96°04′W, close SE of Matagorda Ship
Channel Light−buoy (7.129).
Continental shelf edge to the approaches to Freeport
7.124 1
From a position on the offshore route between Aransas
Pass and the Mississippi River, in the vicinity of 27°44′N
94°25′W, the route leads N for 22 miles, thence NW for
53 miles, within a Safety Fairway, to a position in the
CHAPTER 7
176
vicinity of 28°45′N 95°06′W, SE of Freeport, passing clear
of a dangerous wreck (28°22′N 94°42′W), position
approximate.
Offshore route to Mississippi River
7.125 1
From a position in the ESE approaches to Aransas Pass,
outward passage, in the vicinity of 27°34′N 96°34′W, the
route leads generally E for 340 miles thence NE for
60 miles, within a Safety Fairway, to a position in the
vicinity of 28°49′N 89°26′W, off South West Pass.
2
No Anchoring Areas. Flower Garden Banks National
Marine Sanctuary lies about 7 miles N of the Safety
Fairway. For further details see 7.4 and Appendix VII.
(Directions continue for
Mississippi River ports at 8.38)
Port Lavaca and Point Comfort
Charts 3849 (see 1.18)
General information
7.126 1
Position. Port Lavaca (28°37′N 96°38′W), which is a
Customs Port of Entry, is situated on the W shore of
Lavaca Bay, about 20 miles from the open sea.
2
Function. The city is a farming, fishing and industrial
centre. Point Comfort (28°39′N 96°34′W), with a large
aluminium plant, lies on the E side of the bay, opposite
Port Lavaca. The port handles general cargoes, containers,
and dry and liquid bulk cargoes.
3
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 176 vessels with
a total of 12 854 758 dwt.
Port Authority. Port of Lavaca and Point Comfort, The
Calhoun County Navigation District, PO Box 397, Point
Comfort, Texas 77978, represented by the Port Manager.
Limiting conditions
7.127 1
Controlling depths. Project depths for the channels
leading to Point Comfort are:
Bar to Jetty Channel (28°25′N 96°19′W) 11⋅6 m
(38 ft), thence:
Point Comfort Turning Basin 11⋅0 m (36 ft).
2
The port authority should be consulted for the latest
controlling depths.
Maximum length of vessel accepted at Point Comfort is
228 m.
Arrival information
7.128 1
Outer anchorages:
North−eastern Fairway anchorage area (mid−position
28°21′N 96°11′W) in depths of 13 to 20 m (43 to
66 ft).
South−western Fairway anchorage area (mid−position
28°18′N 96°15′W) in depths of 16 to 22 m (54 ft
to 12 fm).
Both Fairway anchorage areas contain dangerous wrecks,
platforms and submarine pipelines. The NE anchorage area
also contains a shallow suspended well. Caution must be
exercised to ensure their safe clearance before anchoring.
See also 1.11
2
Pilotage. Available by day and night. Vessels with
dimensions greater than beam 31⋅1 m, length 221 m, will be
piloted during daylight hours only. The pilot boards close
to Matagorda Bay Light−buoy (safe water) (28°23′N
96°17′W), from a launch with a black hull and white
superstructure, upon which the word ‘Pilot’ has been
painted. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5)
under Matagorda Bay for further details.
3
Local knowledge is required to enter.
Traffic regulations. Navigation rules for US inland
waters must be followed inside a line drawn the breakwater
heads at Jetty Channel (28°25′N 96°19′W). See Appendix
III for details.
Directions
7.129 1
Matagorda Ship Channel. From a position on the
coastal route, in the vicinity of 28°11′N 96°04′W, the route
leads NW for 16 miles, within a Safety Fairway, passing
clear of Matagorda Ship Channel Light−buoy (safe water)
(28°12′N 96°05′W) and Matagorda Bay Light−buoy
(28°23′N 96°17′W) (7.128).
2
Thence the track leads NW for 2½ miles to pass
between the breakwaters at the entrance to Jetty Channel,
thence continues NW for 17 miles to cross Matagorda Bay
and part of Lavaca Bay, thence N for 3 miles to Point
Comfort Turning Basin, within a dredged channel marked
by light−beacons and leading lights.
3
Port Lavaca Channel. From a position at the NW end
of the NW/SE section of Matagorda Ship Channel the track
leads NNW for 3½ miles to the basin, within a dredged
channel, marked by light−buoys and light−beacons.
4
Side channel. Pass Cavallo (28°23′N 96°23′W) is a
natural entrance to the S part of Matagorda Bay. The pass
Point Comfort from W (7.126)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
177
is obstructed by a bar which is subject to frequent changes
in position and depth.
5
Useful marks:
Matagorda Bay Entrance Light (red vertical mark,
white stripe, on framework tower) (28°25′⋅3N
96°19′⋅1W).
Matagorda Light (black conical tower) (28°20′⋅2N
96°25′⋅4W).
6
Other aid to navigation
Racon: Matagorda Ship Channel Light−buoy
(28°12′N 96°05′W).
Racon: (B) Platform 28°04′⋅5N 96°11′⋅5W
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Berths
7.130 1
Calhoun County Navigation District Wharf (N side
Point Comfort Turning Basin); length 76 m, depth 11⋅0 m;
used for general cargo. Vessels up to 228 m in length
handled. Other berths are situated close by, used for special
trades, including a 335 m long bulk liquid terminal with a
depth alongside of 11 m.
Port services
7.131 1
Facilities. Oil waste reception.
Supplies. Limited chandlers stores; diesel oil by truck;
fuel oil by barge; provisions; water.
Port O’Connor
7.132 1
General information. Port O’Connor (28°27′N
96°24′W), is situated on the W coast of Matagorda Bay
and on the N side of the Intracoastal Waterway.
2
Rescue: Port O’Connor Coast Guard Station (28°26′⋅0N
96°25′⋅6W), situated on the Waterway close W of the town,
has search and rescue facilities and may provide lookout,
communications and/or patrol functions to assist vessels in
distress.
FREEPORT
General information
Charts 3849, 3854
Position
7.133 1
The port of Freeport (28°56′N 95°18′W), known locally
as Brazosport, is situated close SE of the town near the
mouth of Old Brazos River.
Function
7.134 1
The port is a Customs Port of Entry handling dry and
liquid bulk, general cargo, containers, oil fuel and
petroleum. The main industries are chemicals, fisheries and
oil. A Free Trade Zone has been established. The
Intracoastal Waterway (1.12) passes through the harbour
below Brazosport Turning Basin.
Topography
7.135 1
Old Brazos River has been dammed about 6 miles above
the entrance to Freeport. The river has been diverted W of
Matagorda Bay − Entrance Channel from SE (7.129)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
178
the town, entering the sea 5½ miles SW of the present
harbour entrance. The old channel is now a tidal harbour,
protected by works against flood conditions. Due to foul
ground, shoals and the presence of logs, the new river
mouth is not used for navigation. The Intracoastal
Waterway crosses the river 1½ miles above the new river
mouth. The land is generally low, with large areas of
marsh. The buildings, chimneys and tanks of the chemical
plant are prominent, as is the high arch of the road bridge
crossing the Waterway close N of port. There are few other
distinguishing features.
Approach and entry
7.136 1
The approach should be made from the SE, within the
charted Safety Fairway. Entry is made through a dredged
channel marked by light−buoys (lateral) and leading lights
(7.159) between breakwaters (28°55′N 95°17′W).
Traffic
7.137 1
In 2004 the port was used by 328 vessels with a total of
37 502 650 dwt.
Port authority
7.138 1
Port of Freeport Authority, Brazos River Harbor
Navigation District of Brazoria County, 1001 Pine Street,
PO Box 615, Freeport, Texas 77541.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
7.139 1
Federal project depths for approach and harbour
channels are:
Channel Depth
Freeport entrance channel (7.159) 14⋅3m (47 ft)
Channel Depth
Breakwaters to Upper Turning Basin
(7.160)
13⋅7 (45 ft)
Brazos Harbor Approach Channel
(7.160)
11⋅0 m (36 ft)
Brazos Harbor Turning Basin 11⋅0 m (36 ft)
Upper Turning Basin to Stauffer
Turning Basin
7⋅6 m (25 ft)
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Vertical clearances
7.140
1
The following structures cross the harbour channel:
A power transmission line (about 1 mile above the
Upper Turning Basin (28°56′⋅5N 95°19′⋅8W)) with
vertical clearance 19⋅2 m (63 ft).
2
A tide gate (close above the power line) with
clearances of: horizontal 22⋅9 m (75 ft), vertical
18⋅3 m (60 ft); and a depth of 4⋅9 m (16 ft) over
the sill.
A fixed road bridge (3 cables above the power line)
with a vertical clearance of 18⋅3 m (60 ft).
Tidal levels
7.141 1
Freeport Harbor Entrance (28°56′N 95°18′W): maximum
tidal range about 0⋅5 m. The tide is diurnal. See Admiralty
Tide Tables for further information.
Density of water
7.142 1
Density of water is 1⋅020 g/cm
3
.
Deepest and longest berths
7.143 1
Dow Chemical USA Wharf A−14 (7.161) is deepest.
Brazos Harbor Public Facility wharf (7.161) is longest.
Freeport − Entrance Channel from SE (7.136)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
179
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.144 1
Length 228 m, draught 11⋅6 m.
Local weather and currents
7.145 1
See 7.114 for remarks on hurricanes. Large vessel
navigation is affected by strong cross winds and currents at
the breakwater entrance and at the junction with the
Intracoastal Waterway, when strong currents are setting
down the Waterway.
Arrival information
Port radio
7.146 1
There is a port radio. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5).
Notice of ETA
7.147 1
Notice of ETA: at least 2 hours.
Outer anchorages
7.148 1
The limits of Outer Fairway Anchorages (see 1.11 for
general information) are charted in the following
mid−positions:
North−east (28°51′N 95°08′W): in general depths of
15 to 20 m (50 to 65 ft); keeping clear of charted
dangers.
2
South−west (28°47′N 95°13′W): in general depths of
12 to 20 m (40 to 66 ft); keeping clear of charted
dangers.
The NE anchorage is preferred due to the set of the
prevailing current on to the platforms in the SW anchorage.
Pilotage
7.149 1
Pilotage is compulsory and normally available day and
night, subject to draught and length of vessel. The pilot
boards 1 mile SE of Freeport Entrance Light−buoy (port
hand) (28°52′⋅6N 95°14′⋅1W). Pilot boats have a black hull
and a white superstructure. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Tugs
7.150 1
Tugs are available. Large vessels are difficult to turn in
the smaller Upper Turning Basin.
Traffic regulations
7.151 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters (see
Appendix III) must be followed inside a line between the
breakwaters at each side of Freeport Entrance (28°56′N
95°18′W).
Speed should be restricted to 7 kn in the channels and
4½ kn when passing wharves or moored vessels.
Quarantine
7.152
Public Health Service regulations apply. Officials usually
inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
General layout
7.153 1
Main harbour facilities extend for about 5 miles within
the breakwaters, on the banks of the old river channel. The
main berthing area for general cargo is at Brazos Harbor
(7.161). Other berths are, in general, for special use.
Several fixed structures (7.140) cross the channel above
Brazos Harbor.
2
There are facilities for small vessels able to pass beneath
the structures described at 7.140 and drawing up to 3⋅0 m
(10 ft) at the town wharves, the upper part of the port.
Development
7.154
1
In 1999 work was in progress dredging and widening
Freeport Harbor Channel to a depth of 13⋅7 m and a main
channel width of 122 m. Berth Nos 1 and 2 are being
extended E to provide a new berth with a length of 195 m.
Berth A is being extended by 152 m.
In 2004 Freeport Harbor Channel had a least project
depth of 13.7 m (45 ft) to Upper Turning Basin, with main
channel least project width 122 m (400 ft) as far as
Brazosport Turning Basin.
Marine exploitation
7.155 1
Numerous production platforms have been erected in the
approaches to Freeport. Oil drilling rigs may also be
expected. (See 1.9 and 1.10).
Currents
7.156 1
There is usually a W−going current off the entrance, and
a counter current largely influenced by the wind, near the
beach.
Directions
Principal marks
7.157 1
Landmark:
Radio tower (28°59′N 95°19′W).
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: Freeport Light−buoy (28°52′⋅6N 95°14′⋅2W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Approach and entry
7.158 1
From a position on the coastal route, in the vicinity of
28°45′N 95°06′W, the approach track leads NW through
the charted Safety Fairway for 11 miles, to the vicinity of
Freeport Light−buoy (safe water) (28°52′⋅6N 95°14′⋅2W).
Freeport Entrance Channel
7.159 1
Freeport Leading lights:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (28°56′⋅7N 95°18′⋅3W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, concrete base) (7 cables NW of
the front light).
2
From the vicinity of Freeport Light−buoy (safe water)
the alignment (317½°) of these lights leads through
Freeport Harbor Channel, marked by light−buoys (lateral),
thence between the breakwaters and through Jetty Channel.
CHAPTER 7
180
Freeport Harbor
7.160 1
Thence the track continues NW, then W in a gentle turn,
for a distance of about 4 cables, passing S of Lower
Turning Basin berths (7.161), adjacent to the Intracoastal
Waterway.
2
Thence the alignment (083¼°), astern, of Freeport
Harbor Leading Lights leads through the centre of the
channel for about 5 cables to enter Brazosport Turning
Basin,
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (28°56′⋅6N 95°18′⋅2W).
Rear light (similar structure) (438 m E of the front
light).
3
Thence the track leads first SSW, then NNE and finally
W, in a series of sharp turns, for a distance of 2½ miles to
enter Stauffer Turning Basin (28°57′N 95°20′W), passing
(with positions from Freeport Jetty Inbound Front Leading
Light (7.159)):
4
Through Brazosport Turning Basin (7 cables W),
thence:
WNW of Seaway Docks (1 mile SW), thence:
E of Brazos Harbor Approach Channel (1½ miles
WSW), thence:
Through Upper Turning Basin (1¼ miles W).
Basins and berths
Alongside berths
7.161 1
Lower Turning Basin, Dow Chemical USA Wharf
A−14 (28°56′⋅7N 95°18′⋅4W): maximum size of vessel:
length 250 m, draught 12⋅8 m: handles naptha and LPG.
This area is a designated security zone, see 1.59 and
Appendix V.
Brazosport Turning Basin, Dow Chemical USA Wharf
A−2 (28°56′⋅5N 95°19′⋅1W). length 144 m, depth 9⋅8 m;
general cargo, chemicals.
2
Brazos Harbor, Public Facility Wharf (28°56′⋅4N
95°20′⋅4W): length 381 m, depth 9⋅1 m; general cargo,
chemicals; Ro−Ro at W end of wharf. This area is a
designated security zone, see 1.59 and Appendix V.
Numerous other berths are situated on the banks of
Freeport Harbour Channel.
Port services
7.162 1
Repairs: the nearest port with dry dock facilities is
Galveston (7.207); a patent slip, situated on the Intracoastal
Waterway about 2 miles NE of the port, takes vessels up to
76 m in length.
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of oil wastes.
2
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and water.
Communications. A scheduled air service operates
between Angleton (13 km from Freeport) and Houston
International Airport.
3
Rescue. Freeport Coast Guard Station (28°56′⋅5N
95°18′⋅2W), on the NE side of the harbour entrance, has
search and rescue facilities and may provide lookout,
communication and/or patrol facilities to assist vessels in
distress. See 1.70 for further details.
FREEPORT APPROACHES TO
GALVESTON BAY APPROACHES
General information
Charts 3854, 3850
Routes
7.163 1
Between the approaches to Freeport (28°45′N 95°06′W)
and the approaches to Galveston Bay (29°09′N 94°26′W),
43 miles NE, the coastal route passes within the Safety
Fairway throughout its length. The use of Safety Fairways,
while not mandatory, is recommended, due to intensive
development by the offshore oil industry in these waters.
Brazosport Turning Basin from E (7.160)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
181
Brazos Harbor from S (7.161)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
2
Safety Fairways lead across the edge of the continental
shelf from the S and SE to join the coastal route SE of
Galveston.
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through channels cut
through the mainland and across West Bay to link Freeport
with Galveston by a sheltered route.
Topography
7.164 1
The land topography is generally low and featureless.
The coastline lies on an almost straight beach, broken only
by San Luis Pass (29°05′N 95°07′W), a natural outlet
between West Bay and the sea. Galveston Island, between
San Luis Pass and the entrance to Galveston Bay, is low
and narrow. It shelters West Bay and the mainland lagoons,
rivers and bayous along the Intracoastal Waterway.
2
The marine topography changes from the regular depths
which lie to the SW to one with several shoal features, as
much as 100 miles offshore. Depths over such features may
be affected by storm action. West Flower Garden Bank
(27°52′N 93°49′W) and East Flower Garden Bank (27°55′N
93°36′W) have been designated Coral Habitat Areas of
Particular Concern (HAPCs), see 1.65.
Depths
7.165 1
Least charted depth in the coastal route is 13⋅1 m (43 ft)
(29°01′N 94°37′W), near the NE end.
Least charted depth in the S approach route to ports in
Galveston Bay is 12⋅2 m (40 ft), over a wreck (29°07′N
94°24′W) lying in the S part of a precautionary area
located at the junction of safety fairways. See 7.171.
Least charted depth in the SE approach route to ports in
Galveston Bay is an obstruction with a depth of 11⋅6 m
(38 ft) over it (29°05′N 94°16′W), on the SW edge of
Heald Bank. There are however dangerous obstructions and
wrecks in the Safety Fairway SE of this position. See
7.172.
Reports (1993) state that shoaling has occurred in the
Safety Fairway in position 29°05′N 94°17′W.
Marine exploitation
7.166 1
See 7.113, 1.9 and 1.10.
Lightering areas are used for the transfer of crude oil
at anchor and underway. Vessels engaged in transfer
operations are restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. For
details of Southtex and South Sabine Point lightering areas,
see Appendix VII.
Rescue
7.167 1
See Galveston (7.180) and Houston (7.255) for rescue
details.
Currents
7.168 1
Variable currents, which may be encountered in these
waters, can be a menace to navigation near the offshore
shoals.
Directions
(continued from 7.122)
Principal marks
7.169 1
Other aids to navigation:
Racon: Platform (28°47′⋅2N 95°03′⋅7W).
Racon: Platform (29°02′⋅9N 94°32′⋅2W).
Racon: Platform (29°07′⋅9N 94°32′⋅7W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for further
details.
7.170 1
From a position SE of Freeport, in the vicinity of
28°45′N 95°06′W, the route leads NE for 43 miles within a
Safety Fairway, to a position in the precautionary area in
the vicinity of Galveston Approach (GA) Light−buoy (safe
water) (29°09′N 94°26′W), passing about 17 miles SSE of
San Luis Pass (29°05′N 95°07′W) (7.164).
Useful mark:
Chimney (not charted) (29°05′N 95°09′W).
(Directions continue, for Galveston Bay at 7.182 and
for Galveston Bay to Calcasieu Pass at 7.264)
CHAPTER 7
182
Safety Fairways across the
continental shelf edge
Southern route to the approaches to Galveston
7.171 1
From a position near the edge of the continental shelf,
in the vicinity of 27°44′N 94°25′W, the track leads N for
85 miles, within a Safety Fairway, to a position in the
vicinity of Galveston Approach Light−buoy (29°09′N
94°26′W) (7.170).
2
A wreck with a least depth of 12⋅2 m (40 ft) lies in the
precautionary area, close N of the N end of the Safety
Fairway. The wreck is marked by a buoy (isolated danger).
A dangerous wreck, position approximate, lies about
2 miles W.
3
No Anchoring Area. A No Anchoring Area lies about
5½ miles E of the Safety Fairway at Stetson Bank
(28°09′⋅9N 94°17′⋅9W). It is part of the Flower Garden
Banks National Marine Sanctuary (7.4). For further details
see 15 CFR part 922.
South−eastern route to the approaches to Galveston
7.172 1
From a position near the edge of the continental shelf,
in the vicinity of 27°52′N 92°35′W, the track leads NW for
26 miles, thence continues NW, with a small change of
direction, for 100 miles, within a Safety Fairway, to a
position in the vicinity of Galveston Approach Light−buoy
(29°09′N 94°26′W) (7.170), passing clear of two dangerous
wrecks (28°40′N 93°37′W and 28°41′N 93°38′W (positions
approximate)), and two obstructions (28°33′N 93°26′W and
28°52′N 93°55′W, (positions approximate)).
GALVESTON BAY
General information
Charts 3183, 3186
Routes
7.173 1
Between Galveston Approach Light−buoy (29°09′N
94°26′W) (7.170) and the wharves above Morgan Point
(29°41′N 94°59′W), 42 miles NW, the route leads NW
passing between the NE end of Galveston Island and the
SW end of Bolivar Peninsula, thence across Galveston Bay,
by dredged channels described in 7.184. Side channels lead
off the main channel to Galveston after 21 miles, Texas
City after 22 miles and Bayport after 41 miles.
2
The Intracoastal Waterway crosses the main ship
channels in the vicinity of position 29°21′⋅5N 94°48′⋅0W,
between Bolivar Peninsula and the N end of Pelican Island;
see 7.189 for further details.
Topography
7.174 1
The land around Galveston Bay is low, with areas of
marsh, bays and bayous around the coastline. The bay has
an irregular shape, about 30 miles in length and 17 miles
across at its widest part. General depths outside the main
ship channels are 2 to 3 m (7 to 9 ft). Red Fish Bar
(29°30′N 94°52′W) is a chain of islets and shoals which
almost divides the bay in the middle. Pelican Island, close
N of Galveston (29°19′N 94°48′W), is reclaimed land
providing protection to the port from ‘Northers’.
Controlling dimensions
7.175 1
The chart and port authority concerned should be
consulted for the latest controlling depths. Federal project
dimensions are:
Channel Depth Width
Entrance (7.184) 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 244 to 305 m
Galveston Bay − Entrance Channel (7.173)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
183
Channel Depth Width
Outer Bar 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 244 m
Inner Bar 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 244 m
Bolivar Roads (7.187) 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 244 m
Houston Ship (7.188) 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
Marine Exploitation
7.176 1
See 7.113.
Pilotage
7.177 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night.
Requests for pilots should be signalled 1½ hours in advance
for Galveston and Texas City and 8 hours in advance for
the other ports. The pilot boards in the inshore
precautionary area about 4 miles SE of the jetty heads, as
shown on the chart. Galveston and Texas City pilot boats
have a black hull and white superstructure. Houston pilot
boats have a grey hull and white superstructure. See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Traffic regulations
7.178 1
Vessel Traffic Service. The US Coastguard operates a
VTS in the Houston — Galveston area, participation in
which is mandatory.
Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS). Within
the VTS, a VMRS has been established to manage and
track vessel movements within the VTS area, and is
compulsory for the following:
2
Power driven vessels of 40 m or more in length,
while navigating;
Towing vessels of 8 m or more, while navigating;
Vessels certificated to carry 50 or more passengers for
hire, when engaged in trade.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
further details.
3
Traffic Separation Scheme. An IMO adopted TSS for
the approaches to Galveston is in force. There are
precautionary areas centred around the pilot boarding
position (29°18′⋅1N 94°37′⋅4W) (7.177) and Galveston
Approach Light−buoy (29°09′N 94°26′W) (7.170) at the
NW and SE ends of the TSS. The centre−line of the
separation zone is marked by light−buoys. Owing to heavy
traffic, mariners are advised not to wait in the area other
than to embark or disembark a pilot.
4
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line between the breakwater heads at
each side of Outer Bar Channel (29°20′N 94°41′W). (See
Appendix III).
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory, the use of
Safety Fairways is recommended.
Quarantine
7.179 1
Public Health Service regulations apply. Officials usually
inspect vessels at their berths.
Rescue
7.180 1
Coast Guard Stations are situated at Galveston Base
(29°20′N 94°46′W) on the E side of Galveston Channel, at
Houston Air Station (29°37′N 95°10′W) at the Ellington
Air Force Base and at Houston Port Safety Station
(29°44′N 95°15′W) about 2½ miles below Houston Turning
Basin. They have search and rescue capabilities and may
provide lookout, communication and/or patrol functions to
assist vessels in distress. See 1.70 for further details.
Natural conditions
7.181 1
Tidal streams are mainly diurnal, with rates up to 3 kn
in the entrance channel (29°20′N 94°41′W). Streams are
semi−diurnal for 5 or 6 days during the lunar month, with
rates up to 2 kn. Easterly or SE winds may cause a
continuous in−going stream in the entrance channel for a
period of a day or more. Similarly W or NW winds may
cause a continuous out−going stream.
2
Currents outside the entrance channel have a rate
exceeding 1 kn. The direction of the set is affected by the
tidal streams and the coastal current.
Water levels. A strong wind blowing for several days
from the E or SE may raise levels by up to 1⋅2 m above
MLW. Similarly one from the N may lower levels by up to
0⋅9 m.
3
Local weather. Fog may be experienced occasionally in
December and January. See 1.187 and climatic table after
1.220 for further details.
Directions
(continued from 7.170)
Principal marks
7.182 1
Landmarks:
Lighthouse (disused) (29°22′N 94°46′W).
Building (29°18′N 94°47′W).
Grain elevators (29°18′N 94°48′W).
Water tank (29°16′N 94°51′W).
2
Other aids to navigation:
Racon: GB Light−buoy (safe−water) (29°15′N
94°32′W)
Racon: Platform (29°16′N 94°31′W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Chart 3183 plan Galveston and approaches
Approaches
7.183 1
From a position in the vicinity of Galveston Approach
Light−buoy (29°09′N 94°26′W) (7.170) the route leads
generally NW for 10 miles through the NW bound traffic
lane of Galveston Approaches TSS (7.178) to enter the
inshore precautionary area (7.178) where pilots board.
7.184 1
Entrance Channel. The Galveston Bay Entrance
Channel, marked by pairs of light−buoys (lateral) extends
NW from the inner limit of the TSS and runs through the
inshore precautionary area.
A dangerous wreck (29°18′⋅5N 94°36′⋅6W) lies within
the inshore precautionary area, approximately 5 cables NE
of the dredged channel.
From a position in the dredged channel the alignment
(301°) of Leading Lights “A” leads through the centre of a
channel between North and South Jetty heads, marked by
light−beacons, for a distance of 3⋅8 miles:
2
Front light (framework tower) (29°21′⋅3N 94°42′⋅9W).
Rear light (framework tower, on block) (2¼ miles
NW of the front light).
7.185 1
Outer Bar Channel. Thence the alignment (282¼°) of
Leading Lights “B” leads through the centre of a channel
for a distance of 1⋅5 miles:
CHAPTER 7
184
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (29°21′⋅3N 94°45′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7 cables WNW of the
front light).
7.186 1
Inner Bar Channel. Thence the alignment (266°) of
Leading Lights “C” leads through the centre of a channel
for a distance of 2⋅8 miles, passing the entrance to
Galveston Channel (29°20′⋅5N 94°46′⋅0W):
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (29°20′⋅5N 94°46′⋅9W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, concrete base) (8 cables W of
the front light).
(Directions for Galveston continue at 7.203)
Chart 3186
Channels crossing Galveston Bay
7.187 1
Bolivar Roads Channel. From a position at the W end
of Inner Bar Channel described above, the alignments
(116½°), astern, and the reciprocal (296½°), ahead, of
Texas City Range ‘A’ Outer and Inner Leading Lights,
respectively, lead through the centre of a channel for a
distance of 8 cables, passing the entrance to Texas City
Channel (29°21′N 94°47′W):
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°20′⋅2N 94°45′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (5½ cables ESE of the
front light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°22′⋅3N 94°50′⋅2W).
Rear light (similar structure) (6 cables WNW of the
front light).
(Directions for Texas City continue at 7.219)
7.188 1
Houston Ship Channel, North−west reach. Thence the
alignments (138½°), astern, and the near reciprocal (318°),
ahead, of Houston Ship Channel Entrance Outer and Inner
Leading Lights, respectively, lead through the centre of a
channel for a distance of 1⋅6 miles:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (29°20′⋅2N 94°46′⋅2W).
Rear light (similar structure) (9 cables SE of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°22′⋅6N 94°48′⋅7W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles NW of the
front light).
7.189 1
Houston Ship Channel, North−north−west reach.
Thence the alignments (156¼°), astern, intensified on the
leading line, and the reciprocal (336¼°), ahead, of Lower
Galveston Bay Outer and Inner Leading Lights,
respectively, lead through the centre of a channel marked
by buoys and light−beacons, for a distance of 8⋅3 miles:
2
Astern front light (on piles) (29°20′⋅9N 94°47′⋅5W).
Rear light (framework tower, on piles) (1¾ miles SSE
of the front light).
Ahead front light (on piles) (29°30′⋅5N 94°52′⋅4W).
Rear light (framework tower, on piles) (1 mile NNW
of the front light).
3
An alternative connecting route for vessels proceeding
northbound from the Intracoastal Waterway (N of
Bolivar Peninsular) to the Houston Ship Channel
enters near the S end of this NNW reach, as
shown on the chart. The route is one−way only
and is marked by buoys (starboard hand); it is not
regularly maintained and has no associated project
depth. Mariners should proceed with caution.
Southbound traffic for the Intracoastal Waterway
should proceed S to Buoy 26 (29°22′⋅2N
94°48′⋅1W), then E towards Bolivar Point.
7.190 1
Houston Ship Channel, North−west reach. Thence the
alignments (146°), astern, and the reciprocal (326°), ahead,
of Upper Galveston Bay Outer and Inner Leading Lights,
respectively, lead through the centre of a channel marked
by buoys and light−beacons, for a distance of 8⋅1 miles,
passing over Red Fish Bar (29°30′N 94°52′W) and NE of
Redfish Island (close NW of Redfish Bar):
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°28′⋅9N 94°51′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (8 cables SE of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
piles) (29°37′⋅1N 94°57′⋅7W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (8 cables NW of the
front light).
It was reported (2005) that the alignment of the Outer
Leading Lights is displaced a distance of between 35 and
65 feet from the centre line of the channel.
7.191 1
Houston Ship Channel, North−north−west reach.
Thence the alignments (161¾°), astern, and the reciprocal
(341¾°), ahead, of Morgans Point Outer and Inner Leading
Lights respectively, lead through the centre of a channel
marked by buoys and light−beacons, for a distance of
5 miles, passing the entrance to Bayport Ship Channel
(29°36′⋅8N 94°57′⋅5W) and Morgans Point (29°40′⋅7N
94°58′⋅9W):
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°35′⋅8N 94°56′⋅9W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles SSE of the
front light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°41′⋅4N 94°59′⋅1W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on concrete base) (1½ miles
NNW of the front light).
(Directions for Houston continue at 7.249
and for Bayport at 7.230)
Anchorages
Chart 3183
7.192 1
North−east Fairway Anchorage (mid−position 29°17′N
94°30′W) in depths of 12 to 15 m (38 to 50 ft); keeping
clear of charted dangers (see 1.11).
South−west Fairway Anchorage (mid−position 29°11′N
94°37′W) in depths of 9 to 17 m (31 to 57 ft); keeping
clear of charted dangers (see 1.11).
2
Bolivar Roads ‘A’ Anchorage (mid−position 29°21′⋅0N
94°44′⋅0W) in a depth of 10⋅3 m (34 ft) (2002); temporary
anchorage, for vessels not less than 6⋅7 m (22 ft) in
draught, for periods not normally exceeding 48 hours
without authorisation from the Captain of the Port.
3
Bolivar Roads ‘B’ Anchorage (mid−position 29°21′⋅0N
94°45′⋅2W) in depths of 6⋅4 to 10⋅3 m (21 to 34 ft);
keeping clear of charted obstructions; a temporary
anchorage.
4
Bolivar Roads ‘C’ Anchorage (mid−position 29°21′⋅0N
94°46′⋅4W) in depths of 3 to 11 m (10 to 36 ft); keeping
CHAPTER 7
185
clear of charted obstructions; a temporary anchorage, for
vessels not less than 4⋅9 m (16 ft) in draught, for periods
not normally exceeding 48 hours without authorisation from
the Captain of the Port.
GALVESTON
General information
Chart 3183 plan Galveston and approaches
Position
7.193 1
The port of Galveston (29°19′N 94°47′W) is situated
6½ miles from the open sea, close W of the entrance to
Galveston Bay, on the SE shore of the bay.
Function
7.194 1
Galveston has dry bulk, general cargo, container and
petroleum facilities. The metropolitan area, with a
population of about 196 000, is a major commercial and
industrial centre, as well as being a large seaside resort.
The principal industries are shipping, shipbuilding, grain,
cotton and fishing. Galveston is a Customs Port of Entry.
Topography
7.195 1
The land is low with marsh areas near Galveston. The
city is protected along the Gulf shore by a concrete sea
wall and by Pelican Island, which is itself reclaimed land
surrounded by a dyke. There are numerous tall buildings.
Grain elevators and a water tank are also prominent.
Approach and entry
7.196 1
The approach is made from the E by dredged channels
through the entrance to Galveston Bay (7.184). Entry is
made within the confines of the channel banks between
Galveston Island and Pelican Island at Fort Point (29°20′N
94°46′W).
Traffic
7.197 1
In 2004 the port was used by 208 vessels with a total of
16 005 919 dwt.
Port authority
7.198 1
Port of Galveston Authority, 123 25th Street, 8th Floor,
PO Box 328, Galveston, TX77553.
Limiting conditions
7.199 1
Controlling depth. The chart and port authority should
be consulted for the latest controlling depths. Federal
project dimensions for Galveston Channel are: depth 12⋅2 m
(40 ft), width 343 to 328 m.
Vertical clearances. Bascule bridge, at the W end of
Galveston Channel, with vertical clearances 3⋅7 m (12 ft)
(down), 22⋅9 m (75 ft) (lifted). A power cable adjacent to
the bridge has an overhead clearance of 25⋅9 m (85 ft).
2
Deepest and longest berth. Container Terminal, Pier 10
(29°19′⋅0N 94°46′⋅9W) (7.206).
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See
1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for further details.
Maximum size of vessel handled. There are no length
restrictions; draught is in accordance with depth at berth.
3
Local weather. Poor visibility is sometimes a problem
between November and April. A hurricane can be expected
to affect the area about once every 5 years.
Arrival information
7.200 1
Vessel Traffic Service and port radio. There is a port
radio and VTS at Galveston. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5), and 7.178, for details.
Outer anchorages. See 7.192 for details.
Pilotage. See 7.177 for details.
Tugs are available at Galveston.
Quarantine. Public Health Service regulations apply.
Officials usually inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
General layout
7.201 1
Harbour facilities, consisting of wharves, piers, slips and
docks, lie on either side of a wide, dredged channel
extending in a generally SW direction from the W end of
Inner Bar Channel (29°20′⋅5N 94°46′⋅0W), for a distance of
about 4 miles, between Galveston and Pelican Island. The
W end of the channel is closed to all but coastal traffic by
a bascule bridge (7.199), width 38⋅1 m (125 ft). There are
no anchorage areas in the harbour.
2
Underwater cables and pipelines cross the bed of the
channel in a number of locations, as shown on the chart.
Climate
7.202 1
See climatic table after 1.220.
Directions
(continued from 7.186)
Principal mark
7.203 1
Landmark:
Building (29°18′⋅4N 94°47′⋅4W).
Approach and entry
7.204 1
From a position at the W end of Inner Bar Channel
(29°20′⋅5N 94°46′⋅0W), the track leads SW directly within
the banks of a channel curving SSW thence W for 4 miles.
For the first 1½ miles the channel is marked by light−buoys
and light−beacons.
Berths
Anchorage
7.205 1
Temporary anchorage only may be obtained in Galveston
Channel for vessels preparing to berth or when leaving
berths before going to sea.
Principal alongside berths
7.206 1
Container Terminal (29°19′⋅0N 94°46′⋅9W); length
410 m, depth 12⋅5 m; used for containerised, Ro/Ro and
conventional general cargo.
Pier 25 Cruise Ship Terminal: length 244 m, depth
alongside 9⋅1 m.
Piers 27 to 29 (1¼ miles SW of Container Terminal);
length 453 m, depth 9⋅4 to 12⋅5 m; grain and general cargo.
2
Other berths are situated close by.
CHAPTER 7
186
Galveston Channel Berths from ENE (7.201)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Imperial Sugar Company Dock (1½ miles SW of
Container Terminal); length 195 m, depth 11⋅0 m.
Other general cargo berths, including Ro−Ro, are
situated close by.
Port services
7.207 1
Repairs. Several firms are available for making above
and below water repairs. There is a mechanical lift dock,
length 67 m, lifting capacity 762 tonnes. See 1.166 for
details of other docking facilities.
2
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of oil wastes.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and water.
Communications: Galveston Airport, situated close W
of the city, has flights to Houston International Airport and
a helicopter service associated with the offshore oil
industry.
TEXAS CITY
General information
Chart 3186 panels 1 and 4
Position
7.208 1
The port of Texas City (29°22′N 94°53′W) is situated
11½ miles from the open sea, on the W shore of Galveston
Bay.
Function
7.209 1
The port has dry and liquid bulk, general cargo and
petroleum facilities. The city is a major commercial centre,
with foreign and coastal trade in chemicals, fertilizer,
petroleum, tin ore and commodities. The nearest Customs
Port of Entry is Galveston (7.193).
Topography
7.210 1
The port is built on marshland. Snake Island, which
protects the harbour from the E, is a large spoil bank. A
storm levee has been constructed round the city. Prominent
objects include Texas City Dyke (7.218), some elevated
tanks and the numerous cracking towers of the oil
refineries and chemical plants.
Approach and entry
7.211 1
The approach is made from the ESE by dredged
channels leading from the entrance to Galveston Bay
(7.174). Entry is made along Texas City Channel (7.219),
marked by light−buoys and light−beacons.
Traffic
7.212 1
In 2004 the port was used by 509 vessels with a total of
79 166 434 dwt.
Port authority
7.213 1
Texas City Terminal Railway Co, PO Box 591, Texas
City, TX77592.
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
7.214 1
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. Federal project dimensions are:
Channel Depth Width
Texas City (7.219) 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
Texas City Turning Basin 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 365 m
Texas City Canal (7.222) 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
CHAPTER 7
187
Deepest and longest berths
7.215 1
Dock No 16 (7.223) is deepest. Berths Nos 40 and 41
(7.223), combined, are longest.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.216 1
Length 366 m, draught 12⋅2 m, 150 000 dwt.
Arrival information
7.217 1
Vessel Traffic Service and port radio. There is a port
radio and VTS at Texas City. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5), and 7.178, for details.
Outer anchorages. See 7.192 for details.
Pilotage. See 7.177 for details.
2
Tugs are available at Texas City for berthing
movements. They are not normally used for the transit to
and from Bolivar Roads (7.187).
3
Traffic regulations. A Safety Zone has been established
in the area of Texas City Turning Basin. Access to the
zone is limited to authorised persons, vehicles and vessels
only. Mooring, anchoring or stopping, unless in emergency,
is prohibited.
Quarantine. Public Health Service regulations apply.
Officials usually inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
7.218 1
General layout. The harbour consists of two areas of
dredged basins, protected by reclaimed land to the E. Texas
City Dyke shelters the harbour and the approach channel
from the NNE. Berths are situated on the W side of Texas
City Turning Basin and on the N side of Texas City Canal.
Directions
(continued from 7.187)
Texas City Channel
7.219 1
From a position 1 mile NW of Fort Point (29°20′⋅2N
94°45′⋅9W) at the WNW end of Bolivar Roads Channel,
the alignment (116½°), astern, and the reciprocal (296½°),
ahead, respectively, of the leading lights described at 7.187
continues to lead WNW through the centre of the channel
marked by light−buoys and light−beacons, for a distance of
2⋅8 miles, passing NNE of the entrance to the Intracoastal
Waterway after 1⋅4 miles and SSW of Texas City Dyke
Head after 1⋅7 miles.
7.220 1
Thence the alignment (105¼°), astern, and the reciprocal
(285¼°), ahead, respectively, of Texas City Outer and Inner
Leading Lights ‘B’ leads through the centre of the channel
marked by light−buoys and buoys, for a distance of
2⋅9 miles, passing NNE of No 17 Light−beacon (port hand
mark) (29°22′⋅7N 94°52′⋅7W):
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
piles) (29°22′⋅0N 94°49′⋅4W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (4 cables ESE of the
front light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°22′⋅9N 94°53′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (2½ cables WNW of the
front light).
The outer leading light is intensified on the leading line.
7.221 1
Thence the track leads through W to SW, the turn being
assisted by the alignment (049¾°), astern, of Range ‘C’
Leading Lights, intensified on the leading line, for a
distance of 4 cables, passing NW of No 19 Light−beacon
(port hand mark on pile) (29°22′⋅8N 94°52′⋅9W), to enter
the harbour:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on piles)
(29°23′⋅0N 94°52′⋅7W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables NE of the
front light).
Texas City Canal
7.222 1
The canal is entered from the S end of Texas City
Turning Basin. The alignment (090°), astern, of Texas City
Canal Leading Lights, intensified on the leading line, leads
through the centre of the canal for a distance of 1⋅2 miles,
to a turning basin at the W end:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (29°21′⋅7N 94°53′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable E of the front
light).
Berths
Principal alongside berths
7.223 1
Dock No 16 (29°22′⋅4N 94°53′⋅4W); length 86 m with
dolphins, depth 12⋅8 m; used for crude oil, petroleum and
petrochemicals.
Berths Nos 40 and 41 (5 cables S of No 16 dock);
length 332 m with dolphins, depth 12⋅2 m; receipt of crude
oil.
Numerous other berths are situated close by; the
majority are for use by the oil industry.
Port services
7.224 1
Repairs are available for barges.
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of garbage;
reception of oil wastes.
Supplies: fuel of all types by barge; provisions and
water.
Communications. The nearest airport is at Houston
(7.232).
Bayport
Chart 3186 panel 3
General information
7.225
1
The port of Bayport (29°37′N 95°01′W) is situated
27 miles from the open sea, on the W shore of Galveston
Bay. The harbour and industrial complex is used for the
receipt and shipment of petroleum and petrochemicals.
Approach and entry. Approach is from the Houston
Ship Channel (7.188) and entry is from the E by Bayport
Ship Channel (7.230).
2
Port Authority. Bayport is operated by the Port of
Houston Authority.
Limiting conditions
7.226
1
Depth. Bayport Ship Channel is dredged to a depth of
11.9 m (39 ft) (2004) and the turning basin to a depth of
9.8 m (32 ft) in the same year. The Federal project depth is
12⋅2 m (40 ft).
CHAPTER 7
188
Deepest and longest berth. No 1 Wharf (South−west
corner of basin) (7.231).
Arrival information
7.227
1
Traffic regulations. A security zone, shown on the
chart, incorporates most of Bayport turning basin and a
large part of the Bayport Ship Channel. For details
regarding security zones see Appendix V.
Harbour
7.228
1
Bayport Ship Channel (7.230) leads W from a junction
on the Houston Ship Channel, through a dredged channel
and landcut, to enter Bayport Turning Basin. Berths and
harbour facilities line the sides of the basin.
Developments
7.229
1
Bayport Terminal Project. The construction of a new
Container and Cruise terminal is underway. The first phase
is due for completion in mid 2006.
Directions
(continued from 7.191)
7.230
1
Bayport Ship Channel. From a position on the NNW
reach of the Houston Ship Channel, in the vicinity of
29°36′⋅8N 94°57′⋅3W, the alignments (089°), astern, of
Bayport Ship Channel Leading Lights, and the reciprocal
(269°), ahead, of Bayport Leading Lights, lead through the
centre of the channel marked by light−beacons, for a
distance of 3⋅2 miles, directly into the turning basin and
wharf area:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°36′⋅8N 94°57′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (6 cables E of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
pile) (29°36′⋅8N 95°01′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure), (3 cables W of the front
light).
Berths
7.231
1
No 1 Wharf (South−west side of basin): length 179 m,
depth 12⋅2 m, deck height 4⋅3 m; used for petrochemicals.
Other berths are on the SE and W sides of the basin.
HOUSTON
General information
Charts 3187, 3188
Position
7.232 1
The city of Houston (29°45′N 95°20′W) lies at the W
end of the Port of Houston complex.
Function
7.233 1
Houston is one of the major seaports of the United
States with a full range of cargo handling facilities and
numerous shipyards. It is a Customs Port of Entry. A Free
Trade Zone has been established.
The city is the largest in Texas, with a metropolitan
population of 1 700 672 in 2000. It is one of the main
distribution centres for the W and SW of the United States.
2
San Jacinto State Park, close E of the city on the S side
of the channel, is the historic site of the battle by which
the former Republic of Texas won independence. The
former battleship USS Texas has a permanent mooring on
the park shore.
Topography
7.234 1
The land is low and flat, with marsh areas, bays and
bayous on either side of the main channel, which is lined
by extensive wharfage and industrial complexes. The towns
of Baytown, Lynchburg, Pasadena, Galena Park, Clinton
Park, Manchester and Harrisburg lie on either side of the
harbour channel. The city of Houston is at its W end.
Approach and entry
7.235 1
The approach is made from Galveston Bay and entry
made E of Morgans Point (29°41′N 94°59′W).
Traffic
7.236 1
In 2004 the port was used by 1903 vessels with a total
of 224 312 987 dwt.
Port authority
7.237 1
Port of Houston Authority, PO Box 2562, Houston,
TX77252−2562.
Internet. www.portofhouston.com
E−mail. questions@poha.com
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
7.238 1
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. Federal project dimensions are;
Channel Depth Width
Morgans Point to Car-
penter Bayou
(29°45′⋅3N 95°05′⋅7W)
thence to:
13⋅7 m (40 ft) 161 to
213 m
Greens Bayou
(29°44′⋅8N 95°10′⋅1W)
13⋅7 m (45 ft) to
12⋅2 m (40 ft)
91 to 238 m
Thence to: Sims Bayou
(29°43′⋅2N 95°14′⋅5W)
11⋅0 m (36 ft) to
12⋅2 m (40 ft)
91 to 213 m
Thence to: Houston Turning Basin
(29°45′⋅0N 95°17′⋅3W)
11⋅0 m (36 ft) 45 to 129 m
CHAPTER 7
189
Vertical clearances
7.239
1
The channel is crossed by three fixed highway bridges.
The lowest vertical clearance is 41⋅1 m in position
29°43′⋅5N 95°16′⋅0W. Four sets of power transmission lines
also cross the channel. The lowest overhead clearance of
these is 49⋅4 m in position 29°43′⋅6N 95°01′⋅7W.
Deepest and longest berths
7.240 1
Jacintoport grain pier (29°44′⋅7N 95°05′⋅9W) (7.253) is
deepest.
Manchester Terminal (29°44′⋅7N 95°10′⋅5W) (7.254) is
longest.
Tidal levels
7.241 1
The maximum tidal range at Morgans Point (29°41′N
94°59′W), is about 0⋅4 m. There is almost no periodic tide
at Houston.
Density of water
7.242 1
Classed as fresh water, but density can vary with
amounts of rainfall.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.243 1
Length 260 m; beam 35 m, draught 11⋅9 m.
7.244 1
Draught in excess of 11⋅9 m requires permission from
the Coast Guard.
Fog
7.245 1
Dense fog occurs on an average of 16 days a year and
light fog for about 62 days at Houston.
Arrival information
7.246 1
Port radio and information service. There is a port
radio and VTS at Houston. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5), and 7.178, for details.
Outer anchorage. See 7.192 for details.
Pilotage. See 7.177 for details.
2
Tugs are available at Houston.
Traffic regulations. Official signs indicate speed limits.
Speed must be reduced sufficiently to prevent damage
when passing other vessels or structures in the channel.
Security Zone. A security zone has been designated in
the Houston Ship Channel from Carpenters Bayou to the
swing bridge at Buffalo Bayou as shown on the chart. See
Appendix V.
Quarantine. Public Health Service regulations apply.
Officials usually inspect vessels at their berths.
3
Safety warning signals, indicating the state of
potentially dangerous oil loading operations, are displayed
from a mast at the mouth of Boggy Bayou Basin
(29°44′⋅0N 95°07′⋅8W). The speed of passing vessels
should be reduced to prevent damage during such
operations.
Anchoring is prohibited both in the main ship channel
and turning basins, unless in emergency.
Harbour
General layout
7.247 1
Harbour facilities, which consist mainly of berths and
slips dredged on both sides of the channel, extend, at
intervals, for about 21 miles between Morgans Point
(29°41′N 94°59′W) and Houston Turning Basin (29°45′N
95°17′W).
2
A ferry service operates between Lynchburg Landing
(29°45′⋅8N 95°04′⋅8W) and San Jacinto Park on the S
shore.
Blackwell Peninsula Bridge from SE (7.239)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Alexander Island
CHAPTER 7
190
Underwater cable and pipelines cross the bed of the
channel in a number of locations, as shown on the charts.
Local weather
7.248 1
Prevailing winds are from the SE and S, except in
January when they are N. Rainfall is abundant.
Directions
(continued from 7.191)
Principal mark
7.249 1
Landmark:
Monument, San Jacinto Park (29°45′⋅0N 95°04′⋅8W).
Morgans Point to Houston
7.250 1
From a position at the NNW end of the Houston Ship
Channel (7.188), the track leads directly within the banks
of a channel marked by light−beacons and buoys, passing E
of Morgans Point (29°41′N 94°59′W); thence passing the
townships of Baytown after 3 miles, Norsworthy, 14 miles,
Pasadena, 15 miles, Galena Park, 17 miles, Manchester and
Clifton Park, 18 miles and Magnolia Park after 20 miles.
The centre of the channel is indicated by leading lights in a
number of the reaches and on some of the turns in the
lower half of the channel.
Basins and berths
Anchorages and moorings
7.251 1
There are no anchorages or moorings available in the
harbour.
Principal alongside berths
7.252
1
Barbours Cut:
Terminal 1 berth (29°40′⋅9N 94°59′⋅5W); length
305 m, depth 12⋅2 m.
Other terminals in the cut are of the same size; all
used for containerised general cargo.
2
A Ro−Ro facility is situated close E of Terminal 1;
length 19 m, depth 12⋅2 m, deck height 3⋅2 m.
A turning basin at the head of the cut provides excellent
shelter for vessels up to 46 m in length.
7.253 1
Baytown:
Pier 1 (29°43′⋅5N 95°01′⋅2W); length 411 m with
dolphins, depth 12⋅2 m; petrochemicals and
petroleum products.
2
Jacintoport:
Jetty (29°44′⋅7N 95°05′⋅9W); length 253 m, depth
13⋅1 m; grain.
Boggy Bayou Basin:
Berth (29°43′⋅9N 95°07′⋅7W); length 259 m, depth
12⋅5 m; crude oil, petrochemicals and chemicals.
3
Greens Bayou:
Bulk Handling wharf (29°45′⋅0N 95°09′⋅9W); length
198 m, depth 12⋅5 m, reported (1999). Handles
vessels to 228 m in length.
Armco Steel Corp:
Lower Wharf (29°44′⋅8N 95°11′⋅3W); length 329 m,
depth 12⋅2 m, reported (2002); coal, iron and steel.
Houston − Barbours Cut Container Terminal from ENE (7.252)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
191
Baytown from S (7.253)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Jacintoport Terminal from ENE (7.253)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
7.254 1
Manchester Terminal:
Wharf (29°43′⋅1N 95°14′⋅7W); length 463 m, depth
10⋅7 m, reported (1999); general cargo.
Turning Basin Terminal (29°45′⋅0N 95°17′⋅3W), at the
navigational head of Houston Ship Channel, includes the
wharves extending for 2 miles downstream to the bridge
(29°43′⋅5N 95°16′⋅0W) at Manchester. Maximum vessel
length 228 m.
Port services
7.255 1
Repairs. Several firms are available for making above
and below water repairs. The dimensions of the largest
floating dock, situated at the mouth of Greens Bayou
(7.253), are: length 149 m, width 31 m, depth 3⋅0 m over
blocks, lifting capacity 9000 tonnes. See 1.166 for details
of other docking facilities.
2
Other facilities: hospitals; garbage reception; reception
of oil wastes; de−ratting.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and water.
Communications. Houston Intercontinental Airport, in N
Houston.
CHAPTER 7
192
Boggy Bayou from NE (7.253)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Greens Bayou from SW (7.253)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
GALVESTON APPROACHES TO SABINE PASS APPROACHES
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3850
General description and routes
7.256 1
The area borders the State of Texas and contains the
ports of Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange, as well as
small ports associated with the offshore oil industry and
fishing. The oilfields extend for more than 100 miles from
the shore.
2
Between Galveston approaches (29°09′N 94°26′W) and
Sabine Pass approaches (29°32′N 93°44′W), 43 miles ENE,
the coastal route passes within the Safety Fairway
throughout its length. The use of Safety Fairways, while
not mandatory, is recommended.
CHAPTER 7
193
3
A Safety Fairway leads from the SE across the
continental shelf to Sabine Pass approaches. The South
Sabine Point lightering zone, for the transfer of crude oil at
sea, lies across this route, in mid−position 28°30′N
93°20′W. For further details see Appendix VII.
The Intracoastal Waterway links Galveston Bay with
Sabine Lake and the port of Orange by canal.
Topography
7.257 1
The coastline consists of a low beach, backed by
marshes. High Island (29°34′N 94°24′W) is a prominent
mound, about 1 mile in diameter and 12 metres high, with
a settlement, numerous derricks and a ruined pier close S.
Texas Point (29°41′N 93°50′W), the W side of Sabine Pass,
has a low, sand shore, almost without vegetation.
Chart 3192 plan ‘A’
Controlling dimensions in Sabine Bank Channel
7.258 1
The chart should be consulted for the latest controlling
depths in Sabine Bank Channel (7.266, 7.291).
Federal project dimensions are depth 12⋅8 m (42 ft),
width 244 m.
Chart 3850
Least charted depths
7.259 1
Least charted depths are:
Coastal route; 11⋅3 m (37 ft) at the E end of the
Safety Fairway.
Heald Bank; 7⋅6 m (25 ft) (29°08′N 94°11′W).
Sabine Bank; 4⋅6 m (15 ft) (29°28′N 93°43′W) (chart
3192). The sea breaks on this bank in heavy
weather.
Pilotage
7.260 1
The pilot boards in position 29°25′N 93°40′W, adjacent
to Sabine Bank Light−buoy, for ports above Sabine Pass.
See 7.283 for further detail.
Marine exploitation
7.261 1
The whole area has been developed with numerous
production platforms, pipelines, submerged wellheads and
cables. (See 1.9 and 1.10).
Rescue
7.262 1
Sabine Coast Guard Station (29°44′N 93°52′W), on the
W side of the pass, 5½ miles above the entrance, has
search and rescue facilities and may provide lookout,
communication and/or patrol facilities to assist vessels in
distress. See 1.70 for further details.
Natural conditions
7.263 1
Local weather. The days are mild, with fresh winds and
frequent showers in spring, warm and humid in summer
and with N winds and cold spells in winter.
Currents at Heald Bank are much influenced by winds.
2
Maritime topography. There are two principal shoal
features, Heald and Sabine Banks (7.259), both of which
are crossed by Safety Fairways. There are also a number of
smaller shoal features charted out to the edge of the
continental shelf.
Directions
(continued from 7.170)
Principal marks
7.264 1
Landmarks:
Tanks (29°44′N 93°52′W).
Lighthouse, Sabine Pass (29°43′N 93°51′W), disused.
Radio tower (29°43′N 93°51′W).
Other aid to navigation:
Racon at Sabine Bank Light−buoy (29°25′N
93°40′W).
For further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 2.
Galveston Bay to Sabine Pass
7.265 1
From a position in the approaches to Galveston Bay, in
the vicinity of 29°09′N 94°26′W, the route leads NE for
32 miles, thence ENE for 13 miles, within a Safety Fairway,
clear of charted obstructions, to a position in the vicinity of
29°32′N 93°43′W, off Sabine Pass. The pass forms the
interstate boundary between the States of Texas and
Louisiana.
(Directions continue for Calcasieu Pass at 7.341 and
for Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange at 7.290)
Safety Fairway across the continental shelf
7.266 1
From a position at the edge of the continental shelf, in
the vicinity of 27°52′N 92°35′W, the route leads NW for
95 miles within a Safety Fairway; thence N for 17 miles,
passing clear of Sabine Bank Light−buoy (safe water)
(29°25′N 93°40′W); thence N for 4 miles, passing E of
Sabine Bank Light (red conical tower, round base)
(29°28′N 93°43′W); thence NW for 4 miles to join the
coastal route in the vicinity of 29°32′N 93°43′W, off
Sabine Pass, keeping clear of a dangerous wreck
(29°31′⋅5N 93°43′⋅0W), the position of which is
approximate. An obstruction, with a depth of 9⋅7 m (32 ft)
over it, lies 1½ cables NE of the wreck. Sabine Bank
Channel is that part of the route which lies N of Sabine
Bank Light−buoy and is marked by light−buoys (lateral). It
is sometimes known as the ‘Hole in the Wall’.
Fairway anchorages
7.267 1
South anchorage in mid−position 29°16′N 93°42′W;
depth 12 m (40 ft).
North anchorages in mid−positions 29°25′N 93°38′W
and 29°25′N 93°42′W; depths 11 to 13 m (37 to
44 ft).
PORT ARTHUR
General information
Charts 3192 plans ‘A’,‘B’ and ‘C’, 3854
Position
7.268 1
Port Arthur (29°50′N 93°58′W) is situated on the W
side of Sabine Lake, about 14 miles from the open sea.
Function
7.269 1
The port has dry bulk, general cargo, container and
petroleum facilities. It is a Customs Port of Entry. The city,
with a population of about 61 000, has several large oil
refineries and chemical plants, shipbuilding yards and
CHAPTER 7
194
numerous small industrial firms. There is an extensive
domestic and foreign trade.
Topography
7.270 1
The port is surrounded by low, marshy ground.
Prominent objects include: the light−structure on the head
of the long E breakwater, a disused lighthouse and tanks,
all in the area of Sabine Pass; and chimneys at Port Arthur.
Sabine Pass (29°41′N 93°50′W) forms the approach to
the ports of Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange.
2
Sabine Lake extends about 15 miles NNE from the N
end of Sabine Pass and is too shallow for small vessels.
Sabine Pass Entrance Channel (7.270)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Approach and entry
7.271 1
The approach is from S by dredged channels through
Sabine Pass (7.270) and entry is made from Port Arthur
Canal.
Traffic
7.272 1
In 2004 the port was used by 720 vessels with a total of
112 742 788 dwt.
Port authority
7.273 1
Port of Port Arthur Authority, Navigation District of
Jefferson County, 900 Fourth Street, PO Box 1428, Port
Arthur, Texas 77641.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
7.274 1
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. Federal project dimensions are:
Channel Depth Width
Sabine Bank (7.266, 7.291) 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 244 m
Outer Bar 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 244 m
Jetty 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 244−152 m
Pass (7.294) 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 350−152 m
Anchorage Basin 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 475 m
Port Arthur Ship Canal
(7.295)
12⋅2 m (40 ft) 152 m
Taylor Bayou 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 107−61 m
Taylor Bayou Turning Basin 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 376−27 m
Sabine Neches Canal
(7.314)
12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
Vertical clearances
7.275
1
Gulfgate Bridge, with a vertical clearance of 41⋅5 m
(136 ft), crosses the Sabine−Neches Canal in position
29°51′⋅2N 93°56′⋅7W, about 2 miles above the junction of
the canal with Taylor Bayou.
Deepest and longest berths
7.276 1
Public Ocean Terminal Wharf (7.297) is deepest. Texaco
Wharf No 2 (7.297) is longest.
Tidal levels
7.277 1
Sabine Pass (7.270): maximum tidal range about 0⋅5 m.
See Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Density of water
7.278 1
Average density is 1⋅013 g/cm
3
. Density varies with the
amount of rainfall and tidal conditions.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.279 1
The normal maximum size is 50 000 dwt.
Arrival information
Vessel Traffic Service Port Arthur
7.280 1
Vessel traffic service with full radar surveillance is
maintained for the control of shipping. Full participation is
mandatory for all vessels over 40 m in length. See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Notice of ETA
7.281 1
The notice of ETA required is at least 4 hours.
Outer anchorage
7.282 1
Fairway anchorage in mid−position 29°35′N 93°40′W,
depths 8 to 11 m (28 to 37 ft).
Pilotage
7.283 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
movement of vessels above 85 000 dwt is restricted to
daylight hours. Pilot boats have a black hull and white
superstructure. Pilots board in positions:
29°25′N 93°40′W, by Sabine Bank Light−buoy.
29°35′⋅9N 93°48′⋅2W, by No 29 Light−buoy, 3 miles
SSE of East Jetty Head Light (7.293).
CHAPTER 7
195
2
The USCG recommends that all tankers with draughts of
greater than 27 feet (8⋅23 m) secure pilotage services
throughout the length of the Sabine Bank channel,
especially during periods of restricted visibility, and that
vessels embark and disembark pilots at Sabine Bank
channel light−buoy SB (safe−water).
3
The pilot station is on the W side of Sabine Pass.
For further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5) under Sabine Pass.
Tugs
7.284 1
Tugs are available. The transit from Sabine Pass to Port
Arthur is usually conducted without tugs.
Regulations concerning entry
7.285 1
Navigation rules for inland waters (see Appendix III)
must be followed inside a line drawn between the
breakwater heads at each side of Jetty Channel (29°38′⋅7N
93°49′⋅5W).
2
Regulated Navigation Area. A Regulated Navigation
Area, in which traffic movements may be controlled in
dangerous conditions, has been established in the
Sabine−Neches Waterway, including Sabine Pass Channel,
Port Arthur Canal, Sabine−Neches Canal, Neches River and
Sabine River. See Appendix V for further information.
3
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory, the use of
Safety Fairways is recommended.
Sabine−Neches Waterway Guidelines have been
established to control the meeting and passing of vessels in
the waterway. The procedures, which are promulgated by
the Sabine Pilots co−ordination service, take into account
the combined beam and draught of such vessels.
Quarantine
7.286
1
Public Health Service regulations apply. Officials usually
inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
General layout of harbour
7.287 1
Principal harbour facilities are situated in Taylor Bayou
(29°50′N 93°58′W), on the SW side of the city. There are
other berths and facilities close E, at the SW end of the
Sabine−Neches Canal (7.314). The only anchorage is in
Pass Channel (29°44′N 93°52′W). (See 7.296).
2
The Intracoastal Waterway crosses the harbour from the
NE, via Sabine−Neches Canal and leaves to the WSW from
the S end of Taylor Bayou.
Underwater cables and pipelines cross the bed of the
channel at both the S and the N ends of Sabine Pass, as
shown on the chart.
Marine exploitation
7.288 1
Numerous production platforms have been erected in the
approaches to Sabine Pass.
Natural conditions
7.289 1
Currents. The predominant current in the offing sets
WNW at about 1 kn. However, just off the entrance to
Sabine Pass the current is reported to be dependent on the
wind. Following continual N to E winds the current, which
may reach a rate of 2 kn, sets SW or W. Following S to
SW winds the current sets in the opposite direction at a
lesser rate. Rates up to 2½ kn have been observed in
Sabine Pass.
2
Local weather. Port Arthur’s climate is a mixture of
tropical and temperate zone conditions. Rain occurs
throughout the year, with the lowest fall in March and
October. Thunderstorms are most likely in July and August.
They can produce strong, gusting winds. The hurricane
season extends from late May to early November.
Hurricanes can raise sea level by as much as 2⋅7 m at Port
Arthur. Fog is most frequent in mid winter. Usually it lifts
before noon.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 7.265)
Principal marks
7.290 1
Landmarks:
Lighthouse, Sabine Pass (29°43′N 93°51′W) (7.264),
disused.
Tallest hotel, Port Arthur (29°52′⋅4N 93°56′⋅1W).
Outer approaches
7.291 1
Sabine Bank Channel. From a position on the coastal
route, in the vicinity of 29°32′N 93°43′W, the track leads
NW, within a dredged channel marked by light−buoys, for
a distance of 6 miles.
7.292 1
Outer Bar Channel. Thence the alignment (337¾°) of
Outer ‘A’ Leading Lights leads through the centre of the
channel, marked by light−buoys, for a distance of 3 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°39′⋅3N 93°49′⋅8W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (5 cables NNW of the
front light).
7.293 1
Jetty Channel. Thence the alignment (347°) of Jetty
Channel ‘B’ Leading Lights leads through the centre of the
channel, marked by light−buoys, for a distance of 3 miles,
passing WSW of East Jetty Head Light (round metal tower,
on piles) (29°38′⋅7N 93°49′⋅4W) and between Texas and
Louisiana Points to enter Sabine Pass:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°41′⋅6N 93°50′⋅3W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (3 cables NNW of the front
light).
Inner approaches
7.294 1
Pass Channel. Thence the alignment (326°) of Inner ‘C’
Leading Lights leads through the centre of the channel,
marked by light−buoys, for a distance of 4⋅8 miles, passing
NE of Sabine village and Sabine Pass town after 2½ and
4 miles, respectively:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°45′⋅4N 93°53′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (5½ cables NW of the
front light).
7.295 1
Thence the track leads WNW then NNW within the
banks of Port Arthur Ship Canal, marked by light−beacons,
passing SSW of Mesquite Point (29°46′N 93°54′W) at the
S end of Sabine Lake, for a distance of 6 miles to enter the
wharf area of Port Arthur.
CHAPTER 7
196
The centre of the channel is indicated by leading lights
in the two main reaches.
(Directions continue for Beaumont
and Orange at 7.314)
Basins and berths
Anchorages
7.296 1
Pass Channel (29°44′N 93°52′W), a basin on the E side
of the main ship channel, for temporary use by vessels of
all types.
Sabine Pass town (29°44′⋅5N 93°53′⋅5W), on W side
of the main ship channel is used by coastal vessels
as a harbour of refuge in winter.
Alongside berths
7.297 1
Public Ocean Terminal (29°51′⋅7N 93°56′⋅2W), W side
Sabine−Neches Canal: length 366 m, depth 12⋅2 m; used for
container and general cargo. Other berths are situated close
by.
Texaco Wharf No 2 (29°49′⋅6N 93°57′⋅7W), S of West
Basin: length 393 m, depth 11⋅9 m; used for petroleum
products. Numerous other berths are situated close by.
Port services
7.298 1
Repairs. The dimensions of the largest floating dock
situated on Sabine−Neches Canal, about 2½ miles above
Taylor Bayou, are: length 107 m; capacity 4200 tonnes. See
1.166 for details of other docking facilities.
2
Other facilities: hospitals; garbage reception; reception
of oil wastes.
Supplies: fuel of all types; provisions and water.
Communications. Jefferson County Airport is situated
NW of the city.
Small ports
Sabine village and Sabine Pass town
7.299 1
Sabine village (29°43′N 93°52′W), situated on the W
side of Sabine Pass, and Sabine Pass town, 1½ miles N of
the village, are both used as bases by considerable numbers
of offshore oil supply vessels and by fishing craft. Sabine
is a Customs Port of Entry.
BEAUMONT
General information
Chart 3192 plans ‘C’ and ‘D’
Position
7.300 1
Beaumont (30°04′⋅5N 94°05′⋅0W) is situated on the W
bank of Neches River, about 39 miles from the open sea.
Function
7.301 1
The port has dry and liquid bulk, general cargo,
container and petroleum facilities. It is a customs port of
Port Arthur − Public Ocean Terminal from SW (7.297)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
197
entry. The metropolitan area is the largest in E Texas. The
city has a population of 118 289 (2000). The principal
industries are petrochemicals, petroleum and shipbuilding.
There is a wide range of commercial activity.
Topography
7.302 1
The port has been built on low, marshy ground on the
W bank of Neches River. The most prominent objects are
the chimneys of the various industrial plants and some
water tanks.
Approach and entry
7.303 1
The approach is from Sabine−Neches Canal (7.314) and
entry made directly from Neches River (7.315).
Traffic
7.304 1
In 2004 the port was used by 105 vessels with a total of
4 172 436 dwt.
Port authority
7.305 1
Port of Beaumont Navigation District, PO Box 2297,
Beaumont, TX77704.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
7.306 1
The charts and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. Federal project dimensions are:
Channel Depth Width
Sabine−Neches Canal (Port
Arthur to Neches River)
(7.314)
12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
Neches River (7.315) 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
Beaumont Turning Basin 10⋅4 m (34 ft) 122−163 m
Vertical clearances
7.307
1
A fixed road bridge, with a vertical clearance of 52⋅4 m
(172 ft), crosses Neches River in position 29°58′⋅8N
93°52′⋅3W about 1½ miles above the mouth of the river.
Another fixed road bridge, with a vertical clearance of
43⋅6 m (143 ft), is under construction close E of the above
bridge.
An overhead power cable with a clearance of 50⋅0 m,
spans the river between the two bridges.
Deepest and longest berths
7.308 1
Amoco S Dock (7.316) is deepest. Harbor Island Marine
Terminal (7.316) is longest.
Water levels
7.309 1
Water levels at Beaumont depend on meteorological
conditions only.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.310 1
Length 274 m, draught 12⋅2 m, 125 000 dwt.
Arrival information
Port operations and information service, port radio,
notice of ETA, outer anchorages, pilotage, tugs,
regulations concerning entry, and quarantine
7.311 1
See 7.280 to 7.286 for details.
Harbour
General layout of harbour
7.312 1
While the main harbour facilities are situated adjacent to
Beaumont Turning Basin (30°04′⋅5N 94°05′⋅0W), numerous
other berths and facilities line the S bank of Neches River
between Beaumont and the mouth of Neches River.
The Intracoastal Waterway enters the main ship channel
at the NE end and leaves at the SW end of Sabine−Neches
Canal.
2
Underwater pipelines and overhead cables cross Neches
River at numerous positions, as shown on the chart.
A restricted area, used by the US Reserve Fleet, is
situated in mid−position 30°01′⋅5N 94°00′⋅5W, on the N
side of the main ship channel.
Current
7.313 1
During the high river season, usually from January to
the end of April, an out−going current sets across
Sabine−Neches Canal and into Sabine Lake, at the mouth
of Neches River.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 7.295)
Approach
7.314 1
Sabine−Neches Canal. From a position at the NW end
of Port Arthur Canal, in the vicinity of 29°49′⋅5N
93°57′⋅5W, the track, marked by light−beacons and leading
lights, leads generally NE within the banks of
Sabine−Neches Canal, for a distance of 9½ miles to the
mouth of Neches River.
(Directions continue for Orange at 7.332)
Entry
7.315 1
Neches River. Thence the track, marked by light−buoys
and light−beacons, leads generally NW within the banks of
Neches River, for a distance of 15½ miles to the entrance
to Beaumont turning basin, passing Port Neches (7.318)
after 5 miles.
CHAPTER 7
198
Berths
Alongside berths
7.316 1
Amoco South Dock (30°01′⋅9N 94°02′⋅0W), close SE of
the city: length 122 m with dolphins, depth 12⋅8 m; used
for petroleum products.
Harbor Island Marine Terminal (30°04′⋅6N
94°05′⋅0W), S side of turning basin: length 573 m, depth
12⋅2 m, deck height 4⋅9 m; used for general, container and
Ro−Ro cargo.
2
Wharves Nos 2, 3 and 4, N side of turning basin: total
length 418 m.
Other berths are situated close to wharves 2, 3 and 4
and also to Harbour Island Marine Terminal.
Port services
7.317 1
Repairs. The dimensions of the largest dock at
Beaumont are: length 126 m, width 110 m, capacity 64 000
tonnes. See 1.166 for details of other docking facilities.
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of oil wastes.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and water.
Communications: Jefferson County Airport is situated
16 km from the city.
Port Neches
General information
7.318 1
Port Neches (29°59′⋅5N 93°56′⋅5W), situated about
5 miles above the mouth of Neches River, has a number of
oil refineries and chemical plants. Exports include
petroleum products, asphalt and roofing material. Limiting
conditions, arrival information and directions are the same
as for Beaumont (7.300).
Berths
7.319 1
Chemical Plant wharf (29°59′⋅4N 93°55′⋅8W), 3¼ miles
W of bridge: length 100 m between dolphins, depth 12⋅2 m.
Main wharf (30°00′⋅5N 93°58′⋅5W): length 356 m,
depth 11⋅6 m; used for crude oil, petroleum products and
petrochemicals.
There are a number of other berths at Port Neches.
ORANGE
General information
Chart 3192 plan ‘C’ (see 1.18)
Position
7.320 1
Orange (30°05′⋅0N 93°44′⋅0W) is situated on the W
bank of Sabine River, about 34 miles from the open sea.
Function
7.321 1
The port has liquid bulk and general cargo facilities. It
is a Customs Port of Entry. The principal industries are
shipbuilding and petrochemical production. The main trade
is in rice and flour.
Topography
7.322 1
The port has been built on low marsh ground, on a loop
of the river and in a dredged creek. A small number of
tanks and the flare of a refinery are the only prominent
features.
Approach and entry
7.323 1
The approach is made through Sabine−Neches Canal
(7.314) and Sabine River (7.333). Entry is made directly
from the river into the wharf area.
Port authority
7.324 1
Orange County Navigation and Port District, PO Box
2410, Orange, TX77632.
Beaumont Marine Terminal from E (7.316)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
199
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
7.325 1
The charts and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. Federal project dimensions are:
Channel Depth Width
Sabine−Neches Canal (Neches River to Sabine River)
(7.332)
9⋅1 m (30 ft) 61 m
Sabine River to Municipal Wharf (7.333)
9⋅1 m (30 ft) 61−91 m
Municipal Wharf to Orange Harbor
9⋅1 m (30 ft) 61 m
Orange Harbor 7⋅6 m (25 ft) 46−61 m
Vertical clearances
7.326
1
An overhead power cable, with a vertical clearance of
52⋅4 m (172 ft), crosses Sabine River in position 30°02′⋅2N
93°44′⋅3W, about 2½ miles below Orange Harbor.
Deepest and longest berth
7.327 1
Municipal Wharf (7.334).
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.328 1
Length 272 m, 92 800 dwt.
Arrival information
Port operations and information service, port radio,
notice of ETA, outer anchorages, pilotage, tugs,
regulations concerning entry, and quarantine
7.329 1
See 7.280 to 7.286 for details.
Harbour
General layout of harbour
7.330 1
Harbour facilities are located in three main areas. The
principal berths are at Municipal Wharf (30°03′⋅9N
93°43′⋅2W), on the SE side of the city. Oil barge berths are
situated at the S end of Orange Harbor Island channel,
about 1 mile higher up the river, and a number of lay−up
berths have been constructed about 1 mile above the barge
berths.
2
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the
Sabine−Neches Canal and Sabine River, leaving the river in
an E direction about 1½ miles below Orange Harbor.
3
A number of submarine pipelines cross the river in
positions on either side of the above overhead cable (7.326)
and close below the entrance to Orange Harbor, as shown
on the chart.
A restricted area, used by the US Reserve Fleet, is
situated in mid−position 30°06′N 93°43′W, about 1 mile
above Orange Harbor. See Appendix XI.
Current
7.331 1
During the winter, when the river level is high, the river
current has a rate of up to 2½ kn.
Directions for entering harbour
(continued from 7.314)
7.332 1
Sabine−Neches Canal. From a position in the vicinity
of 29°58′⋅2N 93°51′⋅3W, at the mouth of Neches River, the
channel, marked by light−buoys and leading lights, leads
ENE for a distance of 3½ miles to the mouth of Sabine
River.
7.333 1
Sabine River. Thence the track, marked by light−buoys,
light−beacons and leading lights in some of the reaches,
leads generally NNE within the banks of Sabine River, for
a distance of 6½ miles to the berths at Orange Harbor,
passing Municipal Wharf after 5½ miles.
Berths
Alongside berths
7.334 1
Municipal Wharf (30°03′⋅9N 93°43′⋅2W), SE side of
the city: length 700 m, depth 9⋅1 m; wharf has 4 berths
which are used for general cargo.
Port services
7.335 1
Repairs. The dimensions of the largest dry dock are:
length 183 m, width 38 m, capacity 11 000 tonnes. See
1.166 for details of other docking facilities.
Other facilities: hospitals; garbage reception; reception
of oil wastes.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel and diesel oil by barge
or truck from Port Arthur; provisions and water.
Communications. Jefferson County Airport is situated
40 km from the city, between Beaumont and Port Arthur.
SABINE PASS APPROACHES TO CALCASIEU PASS APPROACHES
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3190 plan ‘A’, 3854
Routes
7.336 1
The area borders the extreme W end of State of
Louisiana and contains Port of Lake Charles, the only deep
sea port in the W half of the state. Oilfields extend for
more than 100 miles from the shore.
2
Between Sabine Pass Approaches (29°32′N 93°43′W)
and Calcasieu Pass Approaches (29°39′⋅0N 93°19′⋅5W),
22 miles ENE, the coastal route passes within the Safety
Fairway throughout its length. The use of Safety Fairways,
while not mandatory, is recommended.
3
A Safety Fairway leads N across the continental shelf to
join the coastal route at the approaches to Calcasieu Pass.
The South Sabine Point lightering zone (mid−position
28°30′N 93°20′W) lies across this route. See Appendix VII
for details.
Topography
7.337 1
The coastline is almost straight and consists of a low,
sand beach backed by marsh land.
Seabed topography is irregular, with a number of shoal
features including the E part of Sabine Bank charted
offshore, as are numerous pipelines, wrecks and
obstructions.
CHAPTER 7
200
Depths
7.338 1
Controlling depths. The chart and Port of Lake Charles
port authority should be consulted for the latest controlling
depths in Bar Channel, which is entered in position
29°27′N 93°13′W. Federal Project Depth for this channel is
12⋅8 m (42 ft).
2
Least charted depths are:
Coastal route, 10⋅7 m (35 ft) at the W end and 9⋅4 m
(31 ft) at the E end of the Safety Fairway;
South approaches to Calcasieu Pass, 8⋅5 m (28 ft)
near the entry into the dredged channel;
Sabine Bank, 5⋅5 m (18 ft) (29°30′N 93°27′W).
Marine exploitation
7.339 1
See 7.113. South Sabine Point lightering zone lies in
mid−position 28°30′N 93°20′W. For further details see
Appendix VII.
Current
7.340 1
The predominant current sets WNW at 1 to 1¼ kn.
Directions
(continued from 7.265)
Principle marks
7.341 1
Landmark
Tower (29°46′N 93°38′W).
Major light
El Paso Energy Bridge Deepwater Port Light
(28°06′⋅8N 93°02′⋅3W) (8.14).
2
Other aids to navigation
Racons:
Calcasieu Channel Light−buoy (safe water) (29°20′N
93°13′W).
El Paso Energy Bridge Deepwater Port Platform
(28°06′⋅8N 93°02′⋅3W) (8.14).
Platform (29°37′⋅6N 93°18′⋅2W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Sabine Pass to Calcasieu Pass
7.342 1
From a position in the approaches to Sabine Pass, in the
vicinity of 29°32′N 93°43′W, the route leads ENE for
19½ miles, thence NE for 3 miles passing close NW of a
charted spoil ground, within a Safety Fairway, keeping
clear of charted obstructions and wreckage, to a position in
the vicinity of 29°39′⋅0N 93°19′⋅5W in the approaches to
Calcasieu Pass.
(Directions for Port of Lake Charles continue at 7.365
and for the offshore route at 8.14)
Safety Fairway across the continental shelf
Chart 3850
Continental shelf to the approaches to Calcasieu Pass
7.343 1
From a position at the edge of the continental shelf, in
the vicinity of 27°52′N 92°35′W, the route leads NW for
56 miles within a Safety Fairway to a position in the
vicinity of 28°36′N 93°12′W; thence N for 56 miles passing
clear of Calcasieu Channel Light−buoy (safe water)
(29°20′N 93°13′W) to enter the buoyed channel; thence
NW for 8¼ miles, thence N for 1½ miles to join the
coastal route in the vicinity of 29°39′⋅0N 93°19′⋅5W off
Calcasieu Pass.
Anchorage
7.344 1
Outer Fairway: mid−position 28°58′N 93°15′W; depth
22 m (12 fm).
PORT OF LAKE CHARLES
General information
Chart 3190
Position
7.345 1
Port of Lake Charles (30°13′N 93°15′W) is situated on
the E side of Calcasieu River, about 32 miles from the
Gulf, 2 miles S of Lake Charles and the city of Lake
Charles.
Function
7.346 1
The port has dry bulk, general cargo, container and
petroleum facilities. There is a Free Trade Zone. It is a
Customs Port of Entry. The city has large chemical, natural
gas, fish oil and petroleum industries.
Topography
7.347 1
Calcasieu Pass (29°46′N 93°21′W) forms the approach
to Port of Lake Charles. The land is low marsh ground.
Prominent objects include the leading lights, a water tower
and a number of radio towers.
2
Between Calcasieu Pass and Port of Lake Charles, Main
Ship Channel follows the course of Calcasieu River for part
of the distance and along land cuts for the remainder. It
crosses Calcasieu Lake, a shallow water about 15 miles
long and 5 miles at its widest point. North of the lake the
channel crosses the Intracoastal Waterway and passes
various port facilities situated at the side of the river or in
canals or bayous leading from the river.
Port limits
7.348 1
Port Authority control extends from the N end of
Calcasieu Lake to the suburb of Westlake, on the N side of
Lake Charles City.
Approach and entry
7.349 1
The approach is made from the S through Bar Channel
(7.366), thence through Jetty Channel into Calcasieu Pass,
thence through Calcasieu Channel to Calcasieu Lake. Entry
to the port authority area is made along the same channel
from the N end of Calcasieu Lake. Breakwaters, sometimes
known as jetties in the United States, extend for about a
mile offshore at the entrance to the pass. The breakwaters
are mostly visible at HW.
Traffic
7.350 1
In 2004 the port was used by 377 vessels with a total of
41 514 075 dwt.
Port authority
7.351 1
Lake Charles Harbour and Terminal District, PO Box
3753, Lake Charles LA 70602.
CHAPTER 7
201
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
7.352 1
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. Federal project dimensions are:
Channel Depth Width
Bar Channel (7.366) 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 244 m
Jetty Channel 12⋅2 m 40 ft) 122 m
Calcasieu Channel (7.367) 12⋅2 m (40 ft) −
Vertical clearances
7.353
1
An overhead power cable, with an overhead clearance of
51⋅8 m (170 ft), and a fixed road bridge, with a vertical
clearance of 41⋅1 m (135 ft), cross Calcasieu River S of
Port of Lake Charles.
Deepest and longest berth
7.354 1
Trunkline LNG Co. Wharf (7.370)
Tidal levels
7.355 1
Maximum tidal range in Calcasieu Pass is about 0⋅5 m.
See Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Maximum size of vessel handled
7.356 1
Length 250 m, beam 32 m, draught 12⋅2 m, dwt
135 000 tonnes.
Natural conditions
7.357 1
Currents. Outside Calcasieu Pass a moderate to strong
current sets W across the channel. Close inside the pass a
S setting current up to 5 kn may be experienced with N
winds and heavy rain.
2
Local weather. The climate is humid and sub tropical.
Waterspouts may be encountered during the summer
months. Severe local storms, including hailstorms and
tornadoes, can occur in any season but are most frequent in
spring.
Arrival information
Pilotage
7.358 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available by day and night.
ETA should be signalled at least 4 hours in advance. Pilot
boats are painted white with grey trim. The pilot boards in
the following mid−positions:
2
No 4 (29°20′N 93°13′W) in the vicinity of CC
Light−buoy (safe−water), for vessels drawing over
10⋅7 m which could touch bottom on the shoals
outside the part of the channel marked by
Calcasieu Channel Light−buoys Nos 1, 2, 1A and
2A:
No 3 (29°27′N 93°13′W), for other vessels drawing
over 10⋅7 m:
3
No 2 (29°34′N 93°16′W), for vessels drawing
between 9⋅1 and 10⋅7 m:
No 1 (29°39′⋅0N 93°19′⋅5W), for vessels drawing
9⋅1 m or less.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) under
Calcasieu for further details.
Tugs
7.359 1
Tugs are available.
Outer anchorage
7.360 1
Fairway anchorage: mid−position (29°37′N 93°15′W),
depths 12 to 8 m (39 to 28 ft); clear of charted
wreck, obstructions, platforms and submarine
pipelines.
Good anchorage for vessels up to 3⋅7 m draught may be
obtained in the bend of the river at Cameron (29°48′N
93°19′W). Other anchorage is available where depths
permit anywhere in Calcasieu River, but not in the
landcuts.
Traffic regulations
7.361 1
Vessel Traffic Service. A voluntary movement reporting
system is operated by Lake Charles pilots between
Calcasieu Channel Light−buoy (29°20′N 93°13′W) and
Lake Charles (30°14′N 93°15′W). Reports should be made
2 hours before entering or moving within the area. A Safety
Call should be made 30 minutes before entering Calcasieu
Pass.
2
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5), under
Calcasieu, for further details.
Regulated Navigation Area, in which traffic movements
may be controlled in dangerous conditions, has been
established between the entrance to Calcasieu Pass up to
and including Port of Lake Charles.
3
Safety Zones are established at the LNG terminal at
Industrial Canal (30°06′N 93°17′W) and around any
non−gasfree LNG vessel transiting Calcasieu River. The
zone extends 2 miles ahead and 1 mile astern of the vessel
and for the width of the channel. Meeting, crossing and
overtaking situations within this zone must be specifically
authorised by the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port.
4
See Appendix V for further general information on
Regulated Navigation Areas and Safety Zones.
Vessels over 98 m draught must not meet opposing
traffic above Calcasieu Pass breakwaters, if their combined
beams exceed 50% of the project width of the channel.
Navigation rules for inland waters (see Appendix III)
must be followed inside a line drawn between the
breakwater heads at the entrance to Calcasieu Pass.
Quarantine
7.362
1
Public Health Service regulations apply. Usually officials
inspect vessels at their berths.
CHAPTER 7
202
Harbour
General layout
7.363 1
The Intracoastal Waterway crosses the main Ship
Channel at a point where Calcasieu River enters the N end
of Calcasieu Lake. The principal harbour facilities are
located at Industrial Canal (30°06′N 93°17′W), which leads
NE from a position close N of the Waterway and has a
turning basin at its E end; on the W bank of the river
between Industrial Canal and Port of Lake Charles; at
Contraband Bayou about 1½ miles S of Port of Lake
Charles; and at Port of Lake Charles itself.
Hazards
7.364 1
Areas of Particular Concern:
Monkey Island (29°47′⋅5N 93°20′⋅5W). Numerous
fishing and offshore supply vessels operate from
this area.
Intracoastal Waterway (30°05′⋅5N 93°19′⋅5W), which
is used extensively by towed barge traffic, crosses
Calcasieu River at this location.
2
Mud slush. Frequently a mud slush lying about 2 m
above the bottom will be found in Bar Channel and at
various places above Calcasieu Pass. The speed of vessels
encountering mud slush may be reduced and their steering
affected.
Directions
(continued from 7.342)
Principal marks
7.365 1
Landmarks:
Water tower (29°47′⋅7N 93°19′⋅2W).
Radio tower (centre of 3 towers) (29°47′⋅4N
93°18′⋅0W).
2
Other aid to navigation
Racon:
Bar Channel Caisson (29°37′⋅6N 93°18′⋅2W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Approach and entry
7.366 1
Bar and Jetty Channels. From a position on the coastal
route, in the vicinity of (29°39′⋅0N 93°19′⋅5W), the
alignment (352¼°) of ‘A’ Leading Lights, intensified on the
leading line, leads through the centre of the channel,
marked by light−buoys and light−beacons, for a distance of
7 miles, passing between the breakwaters at the entrance to
Calcasieu Pass:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°46′⋅8N 93°20′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (4 cables N of the front
light).
7.367 1
Calcasieu Channel. Thence the track leads N, with a
small change of direction, within the banks of Calcasieu
Pass, for a distance of 1½ miles, passing W of Monkey
Island (29°47′⋅5N 93°20′⋅5W).
7.368 1
Thence the alignment (357°) of ‘B’ Leading Lights leads
through the centre of the channel, marked by light−beacons,
for a distance of 2⋅2 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (29°50′⋅2N 93°20′⋅9W).
Rear light (similar structure) (3 cables N of the front
light).
Port of Lake Charles berths from W (7.363)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 7
203
7.369 1
Thence the track leads generally N within the confines
of Calcasieu Channel, marked by light−beacons, for a
distance of 28 miles, passing Industrial Canal (30°06′N
93°17′W) and Contraband Bayou (30°12′⋅5N 93°15′⋅5W) to
enter Port of Lake Charles.
Berths
Alongside berths
7.370 1
Industrial Canal. Trunkline LNG Co. Wharf (30°06′⋅6N
93°17′⋅4W): length 285 m with dolphins, depth 12 m
(2004); receipt of Liquefied Natural Gas.
One other berth lies close W.
2
Calcasieu River. Tanker Wharf (30°09′⋅5N 93°19′⋅5W):
length 393 m with dolphins, depth 12 m; crude oil and
petroleum feed stock.
Numerous other berths are located on the W side of the
river.
Port of Lake Charles. City Docks (30°13′N 93°15′W):
9 berths with a project depth of 11⋅0 m, 2 of 12⋅2 m;
general cargo and paper products.
3
Cooney Island Loop. Continental Oil Co. Dock No 3
(30°13′⋅8N 93°15′⋅2W): length 195 m, depth 12⋅2 m;
petrochemicals and petroleum products.
There are some other berths nearby.
Port services
7.371 1
Repairs. The nearest port with dry dock facilities is
Beaumont (30°05′N 94°05′W). Facilities for minor repairs
are available at Contraband Bayou.
2
Other facilities: hospitals; oil waste reception.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fresh water; fuel of all types
by prior arrangement; and provisions.
Communications: the municipal airport, close S of the
city, has schedules linked to international services.
Small vessels
7.372 1
Cameron Village (29°48′N 93°19′W), situated on the E
shore of Calcasieu Pass, is a base for fishing and offshore
supply vessels which has a number of facilities including:
berths, fuel, supplies, water; and repairs.
Port of Lake Charles − Industrial Canal berths from W (7.370)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Lake Charles Contraband Bayou
Baton Rouge
Morgan City
C
a
l
c
a
s
i
e
u
P
a
s
s
.
M
e
r
m
e
n
t
a
u
R
i
v
e
r
F
r
e
s
h
w
a
t
e
r
B
a
y
o
u
C
a
n
a
l
P
o
r
t
F
o
u
r
c
h
o
n
S
o
u
t
h
w
e
s
t
P
a
s
s
Lake
Pontchartrain
H
o
r
n
I
s
.
P
a
s
s
.
LOUISIANA
MISSISSIPPI
LOOP
GULF OF MEXICO
N
e
w
O
r
l
e
a
n
s
El Paso
Energy Bridge
M
i
s
s
i
s
s
i
p
p
i
R
i
v
e
r
S
o
u
t
h
P
a
s
s
3854
3851
3850
3857
3858
3382
3382
3384
3384
3382
3382
3382
3856
3841
3151
0206
8.23
8.35
8
.53
8.163
8.157
8
.
1
4
8
.
1
4
8
.
1
5
2
8.120
8.19
8
.
2
6
8.27
8
.
7
5
8
.
1
4
8
.
1
5
2
8.16
Chapter 8 - Calcasieu Pass to Horn Island Pass
90°89°88°
88°
91°92°93°
90°89°Longitude 91° West from Greenwich92°93°
30°
29°
28°
30°
29°
28°
204
205
CHAPTER 8
CALCASIEU PASS TO HORN ISLAND PASS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3850, 3851
Scope of the chapter
8.1 1
The chapter includes the greater part of the coast of
Louisiana and all the delta of Mississippi River, from
Calcasieu Pass (29°46′N 93°21′W) to Horn Island Pass
(30°09′N 88°34′W), 260 miles E. The major ports are
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) (8.27), New Orleans
(8.75) and Baton Rouge (8.120).
Charted Safety Fairways lead through the marine
oilfields from deep water and along the coastal route.
Topography
8.2 1
The coastal topography is flat and featureless, with
numerous bays and bayous. Much of the land is marsh.
The whole area reflects the influence of the delta of
Mississippi River and has unusual characteristics such as
‘mud lumps’ (8.42) and ‘salt mounds’ (8.10). There is a
broad continental shelf indented by an oceanic canyon and
shoal water, with reefs and small islands, closer inshore.
Hazards
8.3 1
Fishing. Large numbers of fishing fleets are based in the
locality.
Marine exploitation. Marine oilfield developments
occupy the whole of the continental shelf and, in some
cases, beyond the shelf on the continental slope. Very large
numbers of production platforms, pipelines, submerged
wellheads and cables cover the area. See 1.9 and 1.10.
2
Hurricane Damage. Within the waters covered by this
chapter damage due to Hurricane Katrina (2005) may be
encountered, particularly along the coasts of Mississippi
and Louisiana.
Mariners should be aware that aids to navigation in
these areas and structures in the Gulf of Mexico may have
been damaged or destroyed. Lighted and unlighted buoys
may have been moved from their charted positions,
damaged, sunk, extinguished or otherwise made inoperative.
3
Mariners should not rely completely upon the position or
operation of an aid to navigation, but should also employ
other methods of determining position as may be available.
Wrecks and submerged obstructions may have been
moved from their charted locations and pipelines may have
become uncovered or moved due to the force of storm
surges.
4
Mariners should exercise caution and report aid to
navigation discrepancies and hazards to navigation to the
nearest Coastguard Unit.
For the latest navigation information consult marine
safety information bulletins issued by local authorities and
US Coastguard.
Lightering
8.4
1
Designated Lightering, and Prohibited from Lightering,
Zones have been established in Gulf of Mexico. Within the
area covered by this chapter lie the Gulfmex No 2
designated zone and the Ewing and Flower Garden
prohibited zones. For further details see Appendix VII.
Pilotage
8.5 1
A deep−sea pilotage service is available throughout Gulf
of Mexico to provide assistance in heavily congested areas.
See 1.30 for details.
Marine nature reserve
8.6
1
Gulf Islands National Seashore Protected Area. The
larger Gulf Islands have been designated part of the Gulf
Islands National Seashore. This stretches 160 miles from
Cat Island (30°13′N 89° 05′W) in Mississippi to the eastern
tip of Santa Rosa Island in Florida (30°22′N 86°56′W). The
area is subject to the rules and regulations of the US
Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.
Natural conditions
8.7 1
Weather. The climate along this stretch of coast is a
mixture of tropical and temperate zone conditions. The area
receives abundant rainfall and moderate temperatures.
Navigation is hampered at times by fog, thunderstorms and
tropical cyclones. ‘Northers’ (1.201) are common between
October and February. February is also the month with
most fog. Tropical cyclones are a threat from late May to
early November. Tropical storms are experienced every 1 to
2 years, with winds reaching hurricane force about every
5 years. Winds can be expected to reach 100 kn about
every 25 years with 9 to 12 m waves.
8.8 1
Currents. The predominant current off Mississippi Delta
sets between SW and NW from about September to April
and between N and E from about May to August. Mean
rates are ¾ to 1 kn. However, the rather low constancy
indicates a good deal of dependence upon the wind and,
near the passes, the height of the river.
2
During a light S wind a NE−going current has been
observed to attain a rate of 2½ kn about 13 miles SE of the
entrance to South Pass (28°59′N 89°08′W); at the same
time there was an E−going current with a rate of ½ kn,
about 1½ miles SE of the same pass.
CHAPTER 8
206
CALCASIEU PASS TO SOUTHWEST PASS AND LOUISIANA OFFSHORE OIL PORT
CALCASIEU PASS TO SOUTHWEST PASS
BY SAFETY FAIRWAY ROUTE
General information
Charts 3850, 3851
Routes
8.9 1
Between Calcasieu Pass (29°46′N 93°21′W) and
Southwest Pass (28°54′N 89°26′W), 220 miles ESE, the
route for vessels up to medium draught joins the deep
draught route about 100 miles from the coast, passing
within a charted Safety Fairway (1.10) and outside the
major part of marine offshore oilfield developments. The
former coastal route requires local knowledge.
The Intracoastal Waterway (1.12) provides a sheltered
route between Port Brownsville, Texas and Apalachee Bay,
Florida. It enters the area at Calcasieu Landing (30°06′N
93°20′W) and passes through lakes, bayous and rivers to
link Calcasieu River with Morgan City (8.19), New Orleans
(8.75) and Gulfport (30°21′N 89°05′W). The project depth
is 3⋅7 m. Navigation rules for US inland waters
(Appendix III) apply on the Waterway.
Topography
8.10 1
The coast has the character of the delta of Mississippi
River with many miles of low, sandy beaches, backed by
vast areas of marsh. Sand and shell ridges, 1 or 2 m above
the ground, are found throughout the marshes. They are
former barrier beaches. A number of salt mounds, known
as ‘islands’ and used in the commercial production of salt,
are located near Freshwater Bayou Canal. Avery Island
(29°54′N 91°55′W) is an example. There are numerous
rivers and bays, linked to an extensive system of bayous
and canals, stretching into the hinterland for up to 75 miles
behind the coast, including present and former outlets of
Mississippi River. The area has few settlements.
2
The marine topography is generally irregular with shoal
water out as far as 30 miles from the shore. Exceptionally,
the oceanic depths of Mississippi Canyon (28°35′N
89°50′W) lie in the approaches to Louisiana Offshore Oil
Port (LOOP) (8.27). There are very large numbers of
production platforms both offshore and behind the coast.
Depths
8.11 1
There is deep water throughout the offshore route,
except in the approaches to Calcasieu Pass and Southwest
Pass, which are maintained by dredging. Least charted
depths on or near the offshore route are:
2
33 m (18 fm) (27°58′N 92°36′W), a coral shoal in
general depths of 137 m (75 fm).
32 m (17 fm) (28°36′N 89°38′W), an obstruction in
general depths of 119 m (65 fm).
Significant shoals in the approaches to coastal ports
include:
3
Trinity Shoal (29°14′N 92°10′W), about 20 miles in
length, has least depths of 3⋅4 to 4⋅6 m (11 to
15 ft). The shoal is steep−to on the SW side and
can be distinguished, in fine weather, by the
change of colour of the water and, in bad weather,
by choppy seas.
4
Ship Shoal (28°55′N 91°00′W), about 18 miles in
length, has least depths of 2⋅7 to 3⋅4 m (9 to 11 ft).
The shoal can be distinguished by choppy seas
over it in bad weather.
Apart from Barataria Pass (29°16′N 89°57′W), channel
depths in the numerous shallow passes E of Atchafalaya
Bay change frequently with storms.
Rescue
8.12 1
Coast Guard Station: Grand Isle (29°15′⋅9N
89°57′⋅4W), situated close inside Barataria Pass at the NE
end of Grand Isle, has search and rescue capabilities and
may provide lookout, communications and/or patrol
functions to assist vessels in distress. See 1.70 for details.
Currents
8.13 1
The predominant current off the coast between Calcasieu
Pass and the delta of the Mississippi sets WNW at 1 to
1¼ kn. However, a clockwise eddy, with a rate of about
¼ kn, is reported to occupy much of the bight between
Timbalier Island (29°05′N 90°30′W) and Southwest Pass
(28°54′N 89°26′W).
Directions
(continued from 7.342)
Principal marks
8.14 1
Major light:
El Paso Energy Bridge Deepwater Port Light
(platform, 25⋅9 m (85 ft) in height) (28°06′⋅8N
93°02′⋅3W).
Southwest Pass Entrance Light (tower on white
dwelling on piles) (28°54′⋅3N 89°25′⋅7W).
Offshore mark:
Lighthouse (28°55′N 91°04′W), disused, a brown
skeleton structure on piles.
2
Other aid to navigation:
Racon:
El Paso Energy Bridge Deepwater Port Platform
(28°06′⋅8N 93°02′⋅3W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2.
8.15 1
From a position in the approaches to Calcasieu Pass in
the vicinity of 29°39′⋅0N 93°19′⋅5W, the route leads
generally SSE, within a Safety Fairway, following the
reverse of the directions given in 7.343, to a position in the
vicinity of 27°52′N 92°35′W at the edge of the continental
shelf. Thence the route leads E for 130 miles, thence NE
for 60 miles, passing the approach Safety Fairway to
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (8.27) in the vicinity of
28°18′N 89°54′W, to a position in the approaches to
Southwest Pass in the vicinity of 28°49′N 89°26′W.
Considerable oil development activity takes place on and
near this offshore passage, including production platforms
and wells at the edge of the fairway in oceanic depths.
(Directions continue for New Orleans at 8.55 and for
the coastal route at 8.154)
El Paso Energy Bridge Deepwater Port
Chart 3850 (see 1.18)
General information
8.16
1
Position. El Paso Energy Bridge Deepwater Port
(28°05′N 93°03′W) is located in an offshore area, 116 miles
SE of the entrance to Galveston Bay.
CHAPTER 8
207
Function. The port is an offshore terminal, designed to
receive gas from dedicated LNG vessels. The gas is
transferred ashore by submarine pipeline.
Traffic. An estimated 42 vessels will use the terminal
each year. Vessels will be at the port for about 8 days
duration each call.
Traffic regulations
8.17
1
The following IMO adopted routeing measures consist of
three concentric circular areas, centred at 28°05′⋅27N
93°03′⋅12W:
Area to be Avoided, radius 2000 m, may only be
entered by vessels carrying out operations at the
port.
Mandatory No Anchoring Area, radius 1500 m.
Safety Zone, radius 500 m, may only be entered by
vessels calling, or those assisting, at the port.
2
US Deep−water Port Operations: Inbound vessels
must submit a notice of arrival (NOA) as
described in Appendix II, and must also report by
VHF before closing within 20 miles of the
Terminal.
Vessels must maintain an under−keel clearance of at
least 5 ft while within the area of the Terminal’s
operations.
For further details see Appendix XII.
Port
8.18
1
General layout. The terminal consists of a large buoy,
submerged to a depth of about 27 m (90 ft) when not in
use, that provides SPM and discharge facilities for visiting
vessels. Multiple moorings radiate to a distance of
6½ cables from the buoy, which is connected by a flexible
riser to a PLEM located on the seabed at a depth of about
85 m (280 ft).
High pressure gas is transferred ashore through
submarine pipelines after passing through a metering
platform located 2 miles NE of the SPM.
2
Major light:
El Paso Energy Bridge Light (platform) (28°06′⋅8N
93°02′⋅3W) (8.14).
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: El Paso Energy Bridge Platform (28°06′⋅8N
93°02′⋅3W) (8.14).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Morgan City
Charts 3850, 3851 (see 1.18)
General information
8.19 1
Position. Morgan City (29°42′N 91°13′W) is situated on
the E bank of Lower Atchafalaya River, about 22 miles
above Eugene Island (29°22′N 91°23′W) and the open sea.
Function. The main industries are cement, chemicals,
fishing, petroleum and ship building. It is a centre for
offshore oil exploration and a Customs Port of Entry.
2
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 3 vessels with a
total of 9 318 dwt.
Port authority. Board of Commissioners of the Port of
Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District.
Limiting conditions
8.20 1
Controlling depths. Federal project depth for the
dredged channel leading from deep water into Lower
Atchafalaya River is 4⋅6 to 4⋅9 m (15 to 16 ft). Depths in
the river are about 4⋅6 to 5⋅2 m (15 to 17 ft) in the
entrance, thence there is much deeper water to Morgan
City.
2
Abnormal water levels and currents. At Morgan City,
N winds lower the level by 0⋅3 m and SE winds raise it by
up to 0⋅6 m. Freshets occur frequently in May and June,
when the river overflows its banks and the current has
considerable velocity. Strong currents will also be
experienced in the dredged entrance channel with a
combination of N winds and extreme low tides. See 1.21.
3
Local weather. Fog is most prevalent in January,
February and March, with S winds.
Arrival information
8.21 1
Pilotage. Not available.
Tugs. Available.
Local knowledge is required to enter.
Traffic regulations.
2
Berwick Bay Vessel Traffic Service. A navigational
safety service is operated by the US Coast Guard
in the immediate vicinity of Morgan City and
along the adjacent Intracoastal Waterway, to
co−ordinate the flow of traffic and limit the size of
tows and certain types of cargo when high water
conditions exist. The service does not include the
area of the port approaches.
3
Vessel Movement Reporting System. A VMRS, to
manage and track vessel movements within the
VTS area has been established and is compulsory
for the following:
Power driven vessels of 40 m or more in length,
while navigating;
Towing vessels of 8 m or more, while navigating:
Vessels certificated to carry 50 or more passengers for
hire, when engaged in trade.
4
Navigation rules for US inland waters (see
Appendix III) must be followed inside a line drawn
across the dredged entrance channel at Eugene
Island (29°22′N 91°23′W).
Harbour
8.22 1
General layout. The port has several commercial berths
and a public wharf, on the E side of the river at Morgan
City.
Directions
8.23
1
Landmarks:
Eugene Island Light (green square mark, on
framework tower, on concrete platform) (29°22′N
91°23′W), covers the approach channel.
Lighthouse (29°24′N 91°30′W), disused, a square
pyramidal tower attached to a square house on
piles, on a reef.
Approach and entry
8.24 1
From a position in the vicinity of “A” Light−buoy (safe
water) (29°10′N 91°34′W) the track leads NE for 25 miles,
through a dredged entrance channel, marked by light−buoys
and light−beacons, passing SE of Eugene Island Light
CHAPTER 8
208
(29°22′N 91°23′W) (8.22) to enter Atchafalaya River;
thence the banks are a sufficient guide.
2
There are navigable channels both sides of Bateman
Island, the N point of which lies 1 mile S of Morgan City.
The channel on the W side of the island is deepest and
widest.
Port services
8.25 1
Repairs: several shipbuilding and repair yards are
available. The largest floating dock can handle vessels up
to length 92 m, beam 25 m, 7000 dwt. See 1.166 for further
details.
Other facility: hospital.
Supplies: fuel; provisions; water.
Minor port
Chart 3850 (see 1.18)
Port Fourchon
8.26
1
General information. Port Fourchon (29°06′N 90°12′W)
is situated 2 miles inland, at the NE end of Belle Pass, the
channel linking it with the Gulf of Mexico coast. The port
is located at the S end of Bayou Lafourche, which connects
with the Intracoastal Waterway at Larose, about 32 miles
above the port. Traffic consists of supply vessels for the
offshore oil industry and fishing vessels. The entrance to
the port from Gulf of Mexico is protected by breakwaters
5 cables in length.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 2 vessels with a
total of 2 564 dwt.
2
Hurricane damage. See 8.3
Depths. In 2005 the controlling depth in Belle Pass was
5⋅2 m (17 ft).
3
Port Authority. Greater Lafourche Port Commission,
16819 East Main Street, PO Drawer 490, Galliano,
LA70354.
LOUISIANA OFFSHORE OIL PORT
General information
Charts 3856, 3851
8.27 1
Position. Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) (28°53′N
90°02′W) is situated 32 miles W of Southwest Pass
(28°54′N 89°26′W), the principal entrance to Mississippi
River, and 15 miles from the coast.
Function. LOOP is a deepwater marine terminal for the
discharge of crude oil.
2
Approach and entry. The port should be approached
within a charted Safety Fairway and entered through a
Safety Zone marked by light−buoys.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 229 vessels with
a total of 94 129 267 dwt.
Port Authority. LOOP Inc., PO Box 6638, New
Orleans, LA 70714−6638.
Limiting conditions
8.28 1
Controlling depth. The least charted depth in the
vicinity of the berths is 31 m (17 fm) in position 28°53′⋅8N
90°00′⋅5W.
Maximum size of vessel handled. The terminal is
designed for ULCCs up to 700 000 dwt; length 427 m;
draught 27⋅4 m.
Arrival information
Notice of ETA
8.29 1
Notice of ETA should be reported 7 days in advance
and confirmed 72, 48 and 24 hours before arrival.
Anchorage
8.30 1
Fairway Anchorage limits, marked on the NE side by
light−buoys, are as charted in mid−position 28°52′N
89°55′W; depths are 38 to 45 m (20 to 24 fm). (See 1.11).
Pilotage
8.31 1
Pilotage is compulsory for LOOP berths. The pilot
(Berthing Master) boards in position 28°48′N 89°53′W.
Masters of other vessels intending to transit the charted
Safety Zone should obtain clearance from the Vessel Traffic
Supervisor. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume
6(5) for further details.
Service vessels
8.32 1
Service vessels, operated by LOOP, are available to
assist in mooring operations.
Traffic regulations
8.33 1
Vessel Traffic Service. A control and information
service is provided by the VTS. See Admiralty List of
Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Navigation within the charted Safety Zone at LOOP:
Movement authorization is compulsory for all vessels.
2
Areas to be Avoided have been established at a radius
of 600 m from the Pumping Platform Complex and
500 m from the proposed and established Single
Point Moorings.
3
A tanker, unless under force majeure, must not: enter
or depart except via the designated Safety Fairway,
anchor within the area or close to less than 5 miles
from another tanker under way.
4
US Deep−water Port Operations: Inbound vessels
must submit a notice of arrival (NOA) as
described in Appendix II, and must also report by
VHF before closing within 20 miles of the
Terminal.
Vessels must maintain an under−keel clearance of at
least 5 ft while within the area of the Terminal’s
operations.
For further details see Appendix XII and Admiralty
List of Radio Signals 6(5).
Port
8.34 1
General layout. The port terminal contains a Pumping
Platform Complex (PPC) and three SPM of the SALM
type. Pipelines are laid from each SALM to the PPC,
thence NNW to the shore. A Fairway Anchorage is located
close E of the terminal.
Current. Heavy outflow from Mississippi River may
cause a W current in the vicinity of LOOP, identified by
the difference in colour of the sediment in the river water,
with a rate often in excess of 2 kn.
CHAPTER 8
209
Directions
Principal marks
8.35
1
Major light:
Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Light (platform)
(28°53′⋅1N 90°01′⋅5W).
Other aid to navigation:
Racon: LOOP (platform) (as above).
See Admiralty list of Radio Signals Volume 2 for details.
8.36 1
The approach should be made within the charted Safety
Fairway from a position in the vicinity of 27°53′N
89°53′W, at the edge of the continental shelf, along a track
leading N for 25 miles to the junction with the offshore
route in the vicinity of 28°18′N 89°54′W. Thence the track
continues N for 30 miles, with one small change of
direction, to the Pilot Boarding Place in position 28°48′N
89°53′W; thence N for 1 mile and WNW for 1½ miles.
2
Entry is made within a Safety Zone, marked by
light−buoys, leading WNW for 5 miles to the berthing area,
keeping clear of charted shoals and a wreck.
Port services
8.37 1
Repairs: minor repairs only can be undertaken.
Supplies: fuel, provisions and fresh water may be
embarked at anchor or at a SALM by prior arrangement
with the LOOP authorities and ship’s agent.
Communications: the nearest international airport is
90 miles distant at New Orleans (8.75). Helicopter flights
for crew replacement may be made by prior arrangement.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3382
General description
8.38 1
The Mississippi River is described from the coast to the
major ports of New Orleans (8.75) and Baton Rouge
(8.120), as well as the small ports en route.
2
The river carries trade from numerous cities located in
the Mississippi River valley and along its major tributaries.
Historically, positions and distances on the river are given
in statute miles AHP − above Head of Passes, (1 statute
mile = 0⋅869 international nautical mile). It rises in Lake
Itasca, Minnesota, about 2145 miles above Head of Passes,
East Jetty Light (29°09′N 89°15′W). The Mississippi is
navigable, with a depth of 2⋅7 m (9 ft), to Minneapolis,
1578 miles AHP, to Chicago for 278 miles on the Illinois
River and to Pittsburg for 852 miles on the Ohio River.
During the navigable season a depth of 1⋅8 m (6 ft) is
available in the Missouri River for 660 miles to Sioux City.
The distance from Head of Passes to New Orleans is
95 miles.
3
Charted Safety Fairways lead through the marine
oilfields from deep water into the three main inlets which
provide access to the river system, Southwest Pass, South
Pass and the Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal.
4
The Intracoastal Waterway (8.9) links New Orleans with
Mississippi Sound via Inner Harbor Navigation Canal
(8.94) and part of Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal
(8.162).
Hurricane damage
8.39
1
See 8.3
Delta topography
8.40 1
The delta of the Mississippi River extends many miles
into the Gulf of Mexico in a generally SE direction. The
diverging mouths of the Mississippi, known as passes and
shaped like fingers, are narrow banked deposits of sand and
clay brought down by the river current. Sediment is also
deposited at the seaward edge of the delta, which is being
added to at an estimated rate of 90 m a year. The land near
the passes is low marsh covered with tall, coarse grass and
weed.
2
The river has a least width of 550 m and a clear
unobstructed channel, with a few shoals close alongside the
river banks. Above Bohemia on the E side (44⋅9 miles
AHP) and The Jump on the W (10⋅5 miles AHP), levees
prevent overflow at high water. Below Bohemia a 10 mile
break in the levee permits flood waters to move E into the
Gulf. The land behind the levee on the E side is given over
to pasturage and market gardens, while on the W side there
are orange groves.
3
The main pass lights are prominent, as are the numerous
production platforms in the vicinity. Shallow bays between
the passes are slowly silting up due to a process of wave
and tidal action carrying in sand from the bars and by
sedimentation from the overflow of the river above.
Unusual river features
8.41 1
Flocculation, known locally as ‘slush’, is a jelly type of
deposit found in the delta when river levels are low. It is
formed when suspended material carried downstream by the
current meets the relatively salt water entering the passes.
‘Slush’ has been observed to be as much as 3 to 5 m in
depth. It remains where deposited until flushed out during
high water levels of the river. Deep draught vessels are
able to push though slush, although speed will be reduced.
8.42 1
Mud lumps are small oval shaped mounds or islands
found in the delta, no more than 2 to 3 m high. They are
caused by the upward force of static pressure exerted by
sedimentary deposits accumulating underneath. Most lumps
never rise above the surface, but remain as subsurface
features. Their cores of plastic clay may rise from depths
as much as 90 to 150 m. Fissures develop in the lumps
which discharge mud, gas and salt water to build up low,
flat cones. The lumps take only a few weeks to appear and,
unless affected by succeeding periods of uplift, will wash
away after a few years or be overrun by the encroaching
marshland. Arcs of mud lumps are found outside the bars
off the breakwaters of Southwest and South Passes.
8.43 1
Sand waves, formed from sediments brought down river
during high stages, may lead to the development of river
bars and reduce controlling depths. They are removed by
dredging during the same high stages.
CHAPTER 8
210
8.44 1
Discoloured and breaking water from the Mississippi
may be encountered 60 miles or more from the land in
some directions.
SOUTHWEST PASS TO NEW ORLEANS
General information
Chart 3382
Route
8.45 1
Between Southwest Pass (28°54′N 89°26′W) and New
Orleans (29°58′N 90°05′W), 75 miles NNW, the track leads
within the banks of the Mississippi River.
Topography
8.46 1
See 8.40 for a description of the topography of the
delta.
Depths
8.47 1
Federal project depth is for a 13⋅7 m (45 ft) channel over
the bar and in the river to Mile 181 AHP. The project is
under constant maintenance dredging. The District Office,
Corps of Engineers, Pritanya Street, New Orleans, should
be consulted for the latest controlling depths.
2
Height of river is much affected by floods and the
annual rise and fall. The level is highest from April to July.
The average date for the highest level is in April and that
of the lowest is in October. At New Orleans the maximum
difference between highest and lowest levels is 5⋅2 m and
the mean difference is 2⋅4 m. At Baton Rouge the
maximum difference is 12⋅2 m and the mean difference is
6⋅4 m.
Marine exploitation
8.48 1
Considerable marine oil field construction has taken
place off the Mississippi delta, including production
platforms, pipelines, submerged wellheads and cables.
Pipelines are also charted in areas where they cross the bed
of the river.
Pilotage
8.49 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards in position 28°51′⋅8N 89°25′⋅3W. Three pilot
associations cover the passage from Southwest Pass and the
other commercial passes:
2
Associated Branch Pilots; sea to Pilottown at Head of
Passes (29°10′N 89°15′W); board from tenders
with red hulls and white superstructure.
Crescent River Port Pilots; Pilottown to New Orleans;
board from tenders with white hulls and the name
painted in black on the sides.
3
Associated Federal Coast Pilots of Louisiana; limited
to public service vessels and the coastal trade; sea
to Baton Rouge; board from a 42 ft, grey and
white boat, named Federal Pilot 1 or 3.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
further details.
Traffic regulations
8.50 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn between the heads of the
breakwaters at Southwest Pass. (See Appendix III).
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory the use of
charted Safety Fairways is recommended.
2
Regulated Navigation Area (see Appendix V) is
established in the lower Mississippi River below Mile
233⋅9 AHP, including South Pass and Southwest Pass. The
purpose is to assist in preventing collisions and groundings.
Speed should be reduced during high level stages of the
river to avoid damage when passing habitations or other
structures, partially or wholly submerged, including levees.
Rescue
8.51 1
New Orleans Base (29°58′⋅1N 90°01′⋅6W) on the W side
of Inner Harbour Navigation Canal, and New Orleans Air
Station (29°49′⋅7N 90°01′⋅2W) at Alvin Callender Field,
both have search and rescue capabilities and may provide
lookout, communication and/or patrol functions to assist
vessels in distress. See 1.70 for details.
Natural conditions
8.52 1
Tidal levels. In Southwest Pass the maximum tidal
range is about 0⋅4 m. See 1.21.
Tidal stream in the river is negligible.
2
River currents set straight out between the breakwaters
at Southwest Pass with a rate from zero to 4 kn. At New
Orleans the rate varies between 3½ kn at high level and
1¼ kn at low. Counter−currents are found near the banks at
several places in the lower part of the river, which can
assist vessels bound up river.
3
Local weather. From December to June, Mississippi
River waters are usually colder than the air temperature,
resulting in the formation of river fog, particularly with
weak S winds. Such fog may be encountered anywhere
from 60 miles off the delta passes to the city of New
Orleans.
Directions
(continued from 8.15)
Principal marks
8.53 1
Landmark:
Lookout tower (conspicuous) (29°12′⋅5N 89°16′⋅4W).
Major light:
Southwest Pass Entrance Light (28°54′⋅3N 89°25′⋅7W)
(8.14).
Other aid to navigation
8.54
1
Racon: Southwest Pass Entrance Light (above).
Reported to be difficult to distinguish due to clutter at the
entrance to the pass.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
8.55 1
From a position on the coastal route in the vicinity of
28°49′N 89°26′W, the approach track leads N for a distance
of 3½ miles, through the charted Safety Fairway, to a
position adjacent to Southwest Pass Entrance Light−buoy
(safe water) (28°52′⋅6N 89°25′⋅9W).
CHAPTER 8
211
8.56 1
Southwest Pass. Thence the alignment (360°) of
Entrance Leading Lights leads through the centre of the
channel, marked by light−buoys, for 1⋅6 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe on
framework tower, on piles) (28°54′⋅6N 89°25′⋅9W).
Rear light (similar structure) (2 cables N of front
light).
8.57 1
Thence, the alignment (043°) of Leading Lights ‘B’
leads through the centre of the channel for 6 cables:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe on
framework tower, on piles) (28°54′⋅9N 89°25′⋅2W).
2
Rear light (similar structure) (3½ cables NE of front
light); passing:
Between the breakwater heads, thence:
NW of East Jetty End No 4 Light (red triangular
mark on red framework tower, on piles)
(28°54′⋅33N 89°25′⋅75W), thence:
3
NW of Southwest Pass Entrance Light (28°54′⋅33N
89°25′⋅72W) (8.14); thence, the sides are a
sufficient guide for a distance of about 18 miles
while in the pass.
8.58 1
From a position at the N end of the pass, in the vicinity
of 29°08′⋅3N 89°15′⋅4W, the alignment (183°), astern, and
the reciprocal (003°), ahead, of Southwest Pass Head
Leading Lights and Pilottown East Leading Lights ‘A’,
respectively, lead into the main river for a distance of
1½ miles at Head of Passes:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe on
framework tower, on piles) (29°07′⋅9N 89°15′⋅4W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe on
framework tower) (2 cables S of front light).
3
Front light (white vertical mark, red stripe on
framework tower on piles) (29°10′⋅1N 89°15′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cables N of front
light).
8.59 1
Above Head of Passes. Thence, the fairway leads
generally NW to New Orleans E port limit (8.78). The
track to be followed lies as close as possible to the centre
of the river, particularly while levels are high.
(Directions continue at 8.98)
Anchorages
Outside the bar
8.60 1
Fairway anchorage: limits charted in mid−position
28°53′N 89°21′W; depths 25 to 66 m (14 to 36 fm). Can
be exposed to a heavy swell in winter. (See 1.11).
River anchorages
8.61 1
There are numerous designated anchorages charted on
both sides of the river below New Orleans. Temporary
anchorages may also be authorised by the US Coast Guard.
A wide berth should be given to anchored vessels during
high river levels, due to the arc of the swing caused by fast
currents. Anchoring is prohibited:
2
Outside the established areas, except in emergency.
Over revetted banks of the river.
Within any charted cable and pipeline area.
3
Emergency anchorage is available in the vicinity of
29°55′⋅8N 89°59′⋅4W, 3 miles ESE of Algiers Point, as
shown on the chart. No vessel shall occupy this anchorage,
or exceed a period of 24 hours in the anchorage, without
authorization from the Captain of the Port.
Minor ports
Southwest Pass
8.62 1
General information. There are numerous wharves on
both sides of Southwest Pass (28°55′N 89°25′W), mainly
used for the transfer of petroleum products from ship to
barge.
Pilottown
8.63 1
General information. Pilottown (2 miles AHP), on the
E side of the river, is the exchange point for bar and river
pilots.
Berth: 6 cables N of pilot’s wharf; length 183 m,
reported depth alongside 11⋅6 m; used for crude oil.
Venice
8.64 1
General information. Venice (10⋅5 miles AHP) is a
fishing harbour and a service/repair base for offshore oil
companies. There is a construction yard for oil well
platforms.
Getty Dock: about 1 mile N of Venice; length 239 m,
reported depth alongside 12⋅2 m; used for crude oil
shipment.
Empire
8.65 1
General information. Empire (29⋅5 miles AHP), on the
W side of the river, is situated at the head of Empire
Waterway (29°23′N 89°35′W). There are a number of
offshore oil bases. A church spire and tank are
conspicuous.
Port Sulphur
8.66 1
General information. Port Sulphur (39⋅4 miles AHP) is
on the W side of the river. The loading towers, tanks and
conveyor galleries of the sulphur plant are conspicuous.
Berths: length 244 m, reported depth alongside 15⋅2 m;
one other berth in vicinity.
Facilities are available for the reception of oil waste.
Pointe a la Hache
8.67 1
General information. Pointe a la Hache (49 miles AHP)
is on the E side of the river. It is the administrative centre
for the lower Mississippi River. A clock tower and water
tank are prominent. A ferry crosses the river at the town.
2
Berths: length 85 m, reported depth alongside 9⋅1 m,
used for crude oil; Magnolia Coal Terminal, designed to
accommodate large bulk carriers, is situated on the W side
of the river below the ferry crossing.
Davant
8.68 1
General information. Davant (51⋅8 miles AHP) is on
the E side of the river.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 205 vessels with
a total of 10 303 570 dwt.
Berth: length 85 m, reported depth alongside 7⋅6 m;
used for the transfer of oil.
CHAPTER 8
212
Bellevue
8.69 1
General information. Bellevue (55⋅2 miles AHP) is on
the E side of the river.
Berths: length 573 m, reported depth alongside 16 to
21 m, deck height 5 m; used for the transfer of bulk coal
and coke into barges: there are other bulk handling berths
in the vicinity.
Alliance
8.70 1
General information. Alliance (63 miles AHP) is on the
W side of the river.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 16 vessels with a
total of 1 094 391 dwt.
2
Berths: length 331 m, reported depth alongside 18⋅3 m;
used for the transfer of oil into barges: there are other
berths in the vicinity, for the shipment of grain and other
barge traffic.
Oak Point
8.71 1
General information. Oak Point (72⋅3 miles AHP) is on
the W side of the river.
Berths: length 206 m, reported depth 13⋅4 m, deck
height 3 m; used for chemicals: there is a moored grain
elevator berth in the vicinity.
Belle Chasse
8.72 1
General information. Belle Chasse (75⋅5 miles AHP) is
on the W side of the river. A ferry crosses the river close
N of the berth.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 4 vessels with a
total of 118 359 dwt.
Berth: length 73 m, reported depth 7⋅6 m; used for
molasses.
Port Nickel
8.73 1
General information. Port Nickel (76⋅5 miles AHP) is
on the E side of the river.
Berth: length 236 m, reported depth alongside 11⋅3 m,
deck height 6 m; used for nickel and ammonium sulphate:
there is one other berth in the vicinity.
Braithwaite
8.74 1
General information. Braithwaite (79⋅7 miles AHP) is
on the E side of the river.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 51 vessels with a
total of 1 916 582 dwt.
2
Berths. Lower berth, length 230 m, depth 15⋅2 m
(50 ft). Upper berth, length 177 m, depth 15⋅2 m (50 ft).
Repairs. There is a shipyard for barge construction and
repair of commercial vessels, with an 800 tonne floating
dock and a patent slip for vessels up to 91 m in length.
NEW ORLEANS
General information
Chart 3382, 3384
Position
8.75 1
The port of New Orleans (29°57′N 90°04′W) is located
on both sides of the Mississippi, where the river loops
around the city. It includes Inner Harbor Navigation Canal
and parts of the Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal.
Function
8.76 1
New Orleans is a Customs Port of Entry and one of the
largest ports in United States of America. There is a Free
Trade Zone, a US Naval Base, and a Coast Guard Base.
There are also several large shipyards. The main
commercial centre is in the city itself, which is also a
popular resort. The population is 484 674 (2000).
2
The port is at the heart of one of the busiest grain
export regions in the world and is the international
gateway, linked by the river and other forms of transport,
to and from vast trading areas of the central and southern
states of North America.
Topography
8.77 1
New Orleans is low lying. Strong levees protect the city
from the flood waters of the Mississippi River, which at
times rise to a higher level than the streets. The city is
bounded on three sides by the river and by Lake
Pontchartrain to the N.
Port limits
8.78 1
The port limits include both river side banks between 81
and 115 miles AHP, including those of the city of New
Orleans and several outlying parishes.
Approach and entry
8.79 1
The port is approached from a number of different
directions: the SSE through Southwest Pass (8.62) and
South Pass (8.157); the SE through the Mississippi
River−Gulf Outlet Canal (8.162); the NW via the
Mississippi River from Baton Rouge and other inland ports
and, by small vessels according to draught, from the N
through the Inner Harbour Navigation Canal (8.94). Entry
is made passing 81 and 115 miles AHP, respectively.
Traffic
8.80 1
In 2004 the port was used by 1387 vessels with a total
of 86 588 783 dwt.
Port authority
8.81 1
Port of New Orleans Board of Commissioners, PO Box
60046, New Orleans, LA 70160.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
8.82 1
Federal project depths for the Mississippi River are
given at 8.47 and those for the Mississippi River−Gulf
Outlet Canal at 8.162. There is 9⋅6 m at low level over the
lock sills at the S end of Inner Harbor Navigation Canal
(8.94) and, in 1995, 4⋅3 m (14 ft) over the bar at the N
entrance to the canal. The chart and the District Office,
Corps of Engineers, Pritanya Street, New Orleans, should
be consulted for the latest controlling depths.
Vertical clearances
8.83
1
Bridges and cables cross the Mississippi (with positions
from Algiers Point (29°57′⋅3N 90°03′⋅3W)):
Overhead cable (4¼ miles ESE) with an overhead
clearance of 53 m (175 feet). (see 8.92).
CHAPTER 8
213
Crescent City Connection Bridge (1¼ miles S), with a
vertical clearance of 45 m (150 ft) over a central
229 m (750 ft) width. Fixed green lights mark the
channel centreline, while red lights mark the outer
edges of the channel.
2
Two overhead power cables (4½ miles W) with
overhead clearances of 47 m (155 ft) and 53 m
(176 ft).
Huey P. Long Bridge (6 miles W), a combined rail
and road bridge, with a vertical clearance of 40 m
(133 ft) through the W span width of 229 m
(750 ft).
3
Overhead cable (7 miles W), with a vertical clearance
of 45 m.
Eight bridges and a power cable cross the Inner Harbour
Navigation Canal (8.94). Their least vertical clearance is
36⋅6 m (120 ft).
Deepest and longest berths
8.84 1
Perry Street Wharf (29°56′⋅0N 90°03′⋅3W) (8.101) is
deepest.
Galvez Street Wharf (29°58′⋅4N 90°01′⋅5W) (8.101)
is longest.
Tidal levels
8.85
1
At New Orleans the maximum tidal range is about
0⋅2 m. The tide is usually diurnal, but there is no periodic
tide at New Orleans when the river is at high level. See
1.21.
Density of water
8.86 1
New Orleans is a fresh water port.
Maximum size of vessel handled
8.87 1
The main limitation on size is that of draught. Pilots
recommend a maximum draught of 13⋅7 m at Southwest
Pass and 4⋅6 m at South Pass, with an upper limit of
21 000 dwt at the latter point of entry.
Local weather
8.88 1
Floods. Rainfall within the state of Louisiana has little
influence on flooding in the lower Mississippi River, which
results from high levels upstream. Spillways, some 33 miles
above the city, may be opened to divert flood water, if the
river threatens to become dangerously high. Prior to
Hurricane Katrina (2005), the river had not overflowed the
levees at New Orleans in the previous 100 years.
2
Hurricanes. The centres of four hurricanes have passed
over the port since 1900.
Arrival information
Outer anchorages
8.89 1
See 8.60 for details.
Pilotage
8.90 1
See 8.49 for pilotage information.
Tugs
8.91
1
Tugs are available.
Traffic regulations
8.92 1
Regulated Navigation Area. The Mississippi River is a
Regulated Navigation Area from 88 to 127 miles AHP, in
which the US Coast Guard District Commander may
control vessel traffic under certain hazardous conditions.
See 8.50, 8.96 and Appendix V for further information.
2
Safety Zones. A mandatory Safety Zone reporting
system is in force for certain sizes of vessel, in a
zone comprising the Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet
Canal and some parts of the connecting
Intracoastal Waterway. See Admiralty List of Radio
Greater New Orleans Highway Bridges from N (8.83)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Perry Street Wharf
CHAPTER 8
214
Signals Volume 6(5) for Radio Reporting Points
and other details. A safety zone is also in force at
certain times between mile marker 88⋅1, which is
in the vicinity of the lower end of Algiers lock
entrance, and mile marker 90⋅1, at Chalmette Slip
(8.101). This zone will be enforced when river
height restricts the passage of certain vessels under
the power cables.
Quarantine
8.93 1
US Public Health Service quarantine regulations apply.
The quarantine anchorage, with limits charted in
mid−position 29°56′⋅4N 90°00′⋅4W, is on the W side of the
river at New Orleans. Quarantine inspections take place in
the quarantine anchorage or at the designated berth.
Quarantine clearance is granted at New Orleans for all
ports on Mississippi River and those reached from
Mississippi River.
Harbour
General layout
8.94 1
Harbour facilities for deep sea vessels extend on both
sides of Mississippi River, Inner Harbor Navigation Canal
and parts of the Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal
(8.162). Facilities for small vessels and barges line the
canals leading from the main waterways. The port has over
28 miles of public and commercial wharves. Access
between the Mississippi River and the Mississippi
River−Gulf Outlet Canal is obtained through Inner Harbor
Navigation Canal and lock (29°58′⋅5N 90°01′⋅5W). The
same canal also provides access for small vessels,
according to draught, from Lake Pontchartrain, about
6 miles N of the lock.
2
Cables and pipelines cross the river bed throughout
much of the harbour area, as charted.
Ferries cross the river connecting Algiers and Gretna
with the city, 3 cables SW and 2⋅2 miles SSW, respectively,
from Algiers Point (29°57′⋅3N 90°03′⋅3W).
For bridges and overhead cables see 8.83.
Hurricane damage
8.95
1
See 8.3
Traffic signals
8.96 1
The movement of shipping round Algiers Point
(29°57′⋅3N 90°03′⋅3W) is controlled by traffic signals
(Diagram 8.96) when river levels are high due to strong
currents and powerful, shifting eddies in the vicinity.
2
The signals (with positions relative to Algiers Point) are
at Governor Nicholls Street Wharf (3 cables N), Gretna
(1¾ miles S) and Westwego (5 miles WSW). The
Westwego station serves to relay advanced warning of the
signal at Gretna for vessels bound down river.
Algiers Point − traffic signals (8.96)
3
Movements are controlled when river levels rise to
2⋅4 m on the Carrollton Gauge on a rising stage and until
they fall to 2⋅7 m on a falling stage.
New Orleans − Algiers Point from E (8.96)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 8
215
Climate
8.97 1
The wet season is from mid−December to mid−March,
when days of continuous rain may be expected. April, May,
October and November are generally dry. While relatively
infrequent in summer, the most damaging thunderstorms are
those which move over the city from Lake Pontchartrain,
usually accompanied by cold fronts and line squalls. See
climatic table after 1.220.
Directions
(continued from 8.59)
Landmarks
8.98 1
Chimney (conspicuous) (29°55′⋅9N 89°56′⋅4W).
Monument (conspicuous) (29°56′⋅5N 89°59′⋅6W).
8.99 1
From New Orleans E port limit (8.78), close below
Twelve Mile Point Light (green square mark on framework
tower, on piles) (29°52′⋅1N 89°54′⋅9W), the track continues
to follow the centre line of the river to the W port limit
(8.78) or to the designated harbour berth. See 8.96 for
traffic control signals in the vicinity of Algiers Point.
(Directions continue at 8.113 for Baton Rouge)
Berths
Anchorage
8.100 1
Anchorage area limits are charted in mid−position
29°56′⋅4N 90°00′⋅4W, on the W side of the river at New
Orleans. The Coast Guard District Commander may also
allocate other anchorages, on a temporary basis. Anchoring
is prohibited in the areas of submerged revetment located
on the river bottom, charted on both sides of the river.
Principal alongside berths
8.101 1
Meraux to Inner Harbor Navigation Canal:
Murphy Oil Corporation Wharf (29°55′⋅6N
89°56′⋅8W): length 231 m at face of six platforms,
depth 12⋅2 m; used for crude oil and petroleum
products.
2
Chalmette Slip (29°56′⋅6N 89°59′⋅8W) is a 518 m
long dock lying on the N bank of the river
providing calm water berths. Total berthage 908 m,
depth 11 m; used for dry bulk, break bulk and
containerised cargoes.
Amstar Corporation Wharf (29°56′⋅6N 90°00′⋅1W):
length 340 m, depth 13⋅7 m, deck height 6⋅7 m;
used for bulk sugar.
3
Alabo Street Wharf (29°57′⋅2N 90°01′⋅1W): length
401 m, depth 11⋅0 m, deck height 6⋅1 m; used for
general cargo.
Other berths in the vicinity have depths from 9⋅1 to
11⋅0 m.
4
Inner Harbor Navigation Canal:
Morrison Yard Lower Wharf (30°01′⋅5N 90°01′⋅9W):
length 168 m with dolphins, depth 8⋅5 m, deck
height 2⋅1 m; used for Ro−Ro cargo.
Galvez Street Wharf (29°58′⋅4N 90°01′⋅5W): length
753 m with dolphins, depth 10⋅7 m, deck height
2⋅7 m; used for general and container cargo.
5
Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal:
Public Bulk Terminal Wharf (30°00′⋅0N 89°59′⋅5W):
length 681 m, depth 11⋅0 m, deck height 4⋅0 m;
used for wet and dry bulk cargo.
Inner Harbour Navigation Canal to Southport:
6
Governor Nicholls Street Wharf (29°57′⋅6N
90°03′⋅5W); length 369 m, depth 12⋅2 m, deck
height 6⋅7 m; used for general and container cargo.
New Orleans − Napoleon Container Terminal (8.101)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 8
216
New Orleans − Westwego Wharf from S (8.101)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Seventh Street Wharf (29°55′⋅1N 90°04′⋅8W); length
366 m, depth 9⋅8 m, deck height 6⋅7 m; used for
general and container cargo; has facilities for
Ro−Ro, LASH and SEEBEE transport systems.
7
Napoleon Container Terminal (29°54′⋅7N 90°06′⋅5E);
length 600 m depth 14 m, capacity for 366 000
TEU inc 192 connections for refrigerated
containers.
Perry Street Wharf (29°56′⋅0N 90°03′⋅3W): length
335 m with dolphins, depth 15⋅2 m, deck height
7⋅5 m; used for general and container cargo; has
facilities for LASH and SEEBEE systems.
8
BP North America Trading Wharf (29°55′⋅0N
90°04′⋅3W): length 274 m with platforms, depth
13⋅7 m, deck height 0⋅9 m; used for petroleum
products.
Westwego Elevator Wharf (29°56′⋅3N 90°08′⋅5W):
length 549 m (1800 ft), depth 12⋅2 m (40 ft), deck
height 6⋅7 m (22 ft); used for grain.
Port services
Repairs
8.102 1
Repairs of all kinds can be carried out.
Docks and slips. There are numerous other floating
docks, dry docks and patent slips. The largest floating
dock, situated at Avondale, 12 miles above Greater New
Orleans Highway Fixed Bridge (8.83), has the following
dimensions: length 274 m over keel blocks, maximum
width 67⋅1 m; capacity 81 297 tonnes. See 1.166 for details
of other docking facilities.
Other facilities
8.103 1
Hospitals are available in New Orleans.
Oil waste reception is available.
Salvage equipment of all kinds.
De−ratting.
Supplies
8.104 1
Fuel oil of all types available.
Fresh water is available at nearly all berths.
Provisions and marine stores of all kinds are available.
Communications
8.105
1
New Orleans International Airport, 29 km.
NEW ORLEANS TO BATON ROUGE
General information
Chart 3384
Route
8.106
1
Between New Orleans (29°58′N 90°05′W) and Baton
Rouge (30°27′N 91°11′W), 65 miles WNW, the track leads
within the banks of the Mississippi River.
Depths
8.107
1
Federal project depth is for 13⋅7 m (45 ft) to Mile 181
AHP, thence 12⋅2 m (40 ft) to Baton Rouge. See also 8.47.
Height of river. See 8.47 for general remarks. At Baton
Rouge the maximum difference between highest and lowest
levels is 12⋅2 m and the mean difference is 6⋅4 m.
2
A bulletin board, showing the river stage above normal
low river, is maintained at College Point (157 miles AHP).
A river gauge is maintained at Reserve (138 miles
AHP).
Vertical clearances
8.108
1
Bridges and cables cross the river in the following
positions:
Hale Boggs Bridge (122 miles AHP).
Montz (129 miles AHP); two cables, ½ mile apart.
Veterans Memorial Bridge (146 miles AHP).
CHAPTER 8
217
Sunshine Bridge (167 miles AHP).
The above bridges have a minimum vertical clearance of
40 m (133 ft) and the cables an overhead clearance of 48 m
(160 ft).
Hazards
8.109
1
Ferries cross the river in the following positions:
Destrehan (121 miles AHP); a vehicular ferry.
Norco (126 miles AHP); a passenger ferry.
Reserve (138 miles AHP); a vehicular ferry.
Logs and other floating debris are likely to be
encountered on the river at all times.
Pilotage
8.110
1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. Four
pilot associations cover the area:
New Orleans−Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots. Between
New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association. Between
Pilottown and New Orleans.
Associated Branch Pilots. From Sea to Pilottown.
Associated Federal Coast Pilots of Louisiana, from
South and Southwest Passes to Baton Rouge.
See the Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for
details.
Traffic regulations
8.111
1
Speed. See 8.50.
Natural conditions
8.112
1
Current. For current at Baton Rouge see 8.141.
Directions
(continued from 8.99)
115 to 169 miles AHP
8.113
1
From a position at the W limit (8.78) of the port of
New Orleans at 115 miles AHP, to a position at the S limit
(8.123) of the port of Baton Rouge at 169 miles AHP, the
track follows the line of the river, where the sides are a
sufficient guide, in a channel marked at low river stages by
light−buoys and buoys at the bends and by light−beacons at
other critical places. Certain shoal parts of the river bed,
known as ‘crossings’, have been improved by dredging and
these dredged channels are marked by leading lights as
listed:
2
Fairview (115 miles AHP): the alignment (041°), astern,
and the reciprocal (221°), ahead, of Fairview ‘A’ and Davis
Crevasse Leading Lights respectively, the latter intensified
on the leading line, leads though the centre of the
‘crossing’ channel:
3
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on sills) (29°58′⋅3N 90°16′⋅9W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on concrete block) (1 cable NE
of the front light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (29°56′⋅0N 90°19′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable SW of the front
light).
4
Lower Belmont (152 miles AHP): the alignment (049°),
astern, of leading lights, leads though the centre of the
‘crossing’ channel:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°01′⋅1N 90°46′⋅1W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (½ cable NE of the
front light).
(Directions continue at 8.142)
Minor ports above New Orleans
Saint Rose
8.114
1
General information. Saint Rose (118 miles AHP), on
the N side of the river, is the site of a bulk liquids
terminal.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 106 vessels with
a total of 7 520 771 dwt.
Berth: length 774 m, depths 13⋅7 to 16⋅8 m.
Destrehan
8.115
1
General information. Destrehan (120 miles AHP), on
the N side of the river, is the site of two large grain
elevators.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 27 vessels with a
total of 1 794 233 dwt.
Berths: length 305 m, 12⋅8 m depth. There is one other
grain berth in the vicinity with a depth of 12⋅2 m.
Good Hope
8.116
1
General information. Good Hope (125 miles AHP), on
the E side of the river, is the site of a large oil storage
area.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 18 vessels with a
total of 1 522 728 dwt.
Berths: length 116 m, depth 13⋅7 to 15⋅2 m. There are
other berths with similar dimensions adjacent.
Norco
8.117
1
General information. Norco (126 miles AHP), on the N
side of the river, has oil transfer and barge facilities.
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 45 vessels with a
total of 4 614 096 dwt.
Berth: length 274 m, depths 13⋅7 to 27⋅4 m.
Gramercy
8.118
1
General information. Gramercy (147 miles AHP), has a
large aluminium reduction and chemical plant, a sugar
refinery and an ore handling plant. It is a Customs Port of
Entry. The unloading gantries, a tall chimney and two tanks
are prominent.
2
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 10 vessels with a
total of 2 693 097 dwt.
Berths: length 267 m, depth 12⋅2 m. Other berths in the
vicinity have depths of 9⋅1 to 13⋅7 m.
Tugs are available to assist berthing movements.
Other wharves
8.119
1
General information. There are a large number of
public and commercial terminals for handling oil and other
products on both sides of the river; most have only
riverside wharves.
CHAPTER 8
218
Hale Boggs Bridge
Destrehan Grain Terminal from E (8.115)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
BATON ROUGE
General information
Chart 3384
Position
8.120 1
The port of Baton Rouge (231 miles AHP) (30°27′N
91°11′W) is situated on the E side of Mississippi River, at
the head of deep water navigation.
Function
8.121 1
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, with a
population of 227 818 (2000). It is a river port of
considerable size and a Customs Port of Entry. The port
handles dry bulk, general cargo and petroleum.
Topography
8.122 1
The area is near the first change in land contour N of
Mississippi Delta. Marsh and swamp terrain stretch S from
Baton Rouge to Gulf of Mexico.
Port limits
8.123 1
The limits extend from Burnside (169 miles AHP) to
253 miles AHP.
Approach and entry
8.124 1
The port is approached from the SE through New
Orleans (8.75) and entered passing Burnside (169 miles
AHP).
Traffic
8.125
1
In 2004 the port was used by 93 vessels with a total of
10 326 876 dwt.
Port authority
8.126 1
The Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission, PO Box
380, Port Allen, LA70767.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
8.127 1
The charts and the District Office, Corps of Engineers,
Pritanya Street, New Orleans, should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths. See 8.107 for the Federal project
depth in the river to 232 miles AHP (about 1½ miles below
the Baton Rouge Railroad and Highway Bridge (8.128)),
which is the limit of deep water navigation. The project
depth above this limit to Baton Rouge Harbor (about
3 miles above the city) is 3⋅7 m.
Vertical clearances
8.128
1
Bridges and cables cross the river in the following
positions:
Point Pleasant (202 miles AHP); a cable.
Lukeville (224 miles AHP); a cable.
Baton Rouge I−10 Bridge (229 miles AHP).
North of Baton Rouge (233 miles AHP); a cable.
Baton Rouge Railroad and Highway Bridge
(234 miles AHP).
2
Baton Rouge I−10 Bridge has a minimum vertical
clearance of 38 m (125 ft) and the cables a minimum
overhead clearance of 45 m (150 ft). Baton Rouge Railroad
CHAPTER 8
219
and Highway Bridge has a minimum vertical clearance of
19 m (65 ft) and a span of 227 m (748 ft).
Deepest and longest berth
8.129 1
Exxon Co. USA Wharf (1¾ miles below Baton Rouge
Railroad and Highway Bridge) (30°30′⋅4N 90°11′⋅8W)
(8.128).
Tidal and water levels
8.130 1
To some extent water level is affected by tides to
265 miles AHP, about 36 miles above Baton Rouge.
The highest stage of the river ever recorded was 14⋅3 m
in 1927.
A Bulletin Board, showing the river stage above normal
low river, is maintained at Port Allen Lock (228 miles
AHP).
2
River gauges are maintained at Donaldsonville
(175 miles AHP) and Port Allen Lock (228 miles AHP).
Density of water
8.131 1
Baton Rouge is a fresh water port.
Maximum size of vessel handled
8.132 1
Displacement 90 000 tonnes, draught 12⋅2 m.
Local weather
8.133 1
Severe hailstorms and tornadoes are most frequent in
spring. The centres of five hurricanes have passed close to
Baton Rouge since 1900.
Arrival information
River anchorages
8.134 1
There are numerous designated anchorages charted on
both sides of the river between New Orleans and Baton
Rouge. Temporary anchorages may be authorised by the
US Coast Guard.
Pilotage
8.135 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night.
New Orleans−Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots are exchanged
off Algiers Point (29°57′⋅3N 90°03′⋅3W), boarding from a
commercial launch stationed at Arabi on the E side of the
river, 1½ miles below Inner Harbor Navigation Canal.
2
Pilotage for public vessels and coastal trading vessels is
provided by the Associated Federal Coast Pilots of
Louisiana, direct from Southwest and South Passes to
Baton Rouge. See 8.49, 8.157 and Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Tugs
8.136
1
Tugs are available to assist berthing movements.
Traffic regulations
8.137 1
Speed should be reduced during high level stages of the
river to avoid damage when passing vessels, wharves or
other structures, partially or wholly submerged, including
levees.
Quarantine
8.138
US Public Health Service quarantine regulations apply.
See 8.93 for clearance at New Orleans.
Harbour
General layout
8.139 1
Numerous berths and port installations lie on both sides
of the river between the port limits (8.113).
Hazards
8.140 1
Ferries cross the river in the following positions:
White Castle (191 miles AHP); a vehicular ferry.
Plaquemine (208 miles AHP); a vehicular ferry.
Logs and other floating debris are likely to be
encountered on the river at all times.
Natural conditions
8.141 1
Currents at Baton Rouge vary between 4 kn at high
levels of the river to 1 kn when they are low. The
maximum difference in height between these stages is
12⋅2 m.
2
Local weather. The general climate is humid and
subtropical, with light S prevailing winds. Rainfall, mostly
in showers, is plentiful, with less falling in September and
October. Continuous rain may be expected for periods
during the winter months, due to stalled cold fronts from
the N.
Directions
(continued from 8.113)
Landmarks
8.142
1
TV tower (30°22′⋅0N 91°12′.8W), 561 m (1841 ft) in
height.
State Capitol Building (30°27′⋅4N 91°11′⋅2W).
Baton Rouge S to N port limit
8.143 1
From Baton Rouge S port limit (8.123) at Burnside
(30°08′N 90°56′W) the track continues to follow the centre
line of the river to the N port limit or to the designated
harbour berth. ‘Crossings’ (see 8.113) are located as
follows:
2
Smoke Bend (174 miles AHP): the alignment (085°),
astern, and the reciprocal (265°), ahead, of Pumpkin
Bezette and Smoke Bend Leading Lights respectively, the
latter intensified on the leading line, leads though the
centre of the ‘crossing’ channel:
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°06′⋅8N 90°58′⋅2W).
3
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (1 cable E of the front
light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°06′⋅6N 91°00′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables W of the
front light).
4
Philadelphia Point (182 miles AHP): the alignment
(166°), astern, of leading lights, intensified on the leading
line, leads through the centre of the ‘crossing’ channel:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on sills) (30°09′⋅6N 91°00′⋅3W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
structure) (1 cable SSE of the front light).
CHAPTER 8
220
5
Alhambra (189 miles AHP): the alignment (044°),
astern, and the reciprocal (224°), ahead, of Alhambra ‘D’
and White Castle Leading Lights respectively, intensified
on the leading line, leads through the centre of Alhambra
Crossing:
6
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (30°12′⋅7N 91°05′⋅8W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (1½ cables NE of the front
light).
Ahead front light (red square, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (30°10′⋅5N 91°08′⋅2W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable SW of the front
light).
7
Bayou Goula (197 miles AHP): the alignment (249°),
astern, and the near reciprocal (068°), ahead, of Bayou
Goula ‘E’ and Virginia Leading Lights respectively,
intensified on the leading line, leads through the centre of
Bayou Goula Crossing:
8
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°13′⋅4N 91°09′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable WSW of the
front light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°14′⋅0N 91°07′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable ENE of front
light).
9
Granada (203 miles AHP): the alignment (083¾°),
astern, and the near reciprocal (263¼°), ahead, of Granada
‘F’ and St Louis Plantation Leading Lights respectively,
intensified on the leading line, leads through the centre of
Granada Crossing:
10
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°16′⋅9N 91°08′⋅6W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables E of the front
light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°16′⋅5N 91°12′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable W of front
light).
11
Medora (211 miles AHP): the alignment (290½°),
astern, and the near reciprocal (110°), ahead, of Medora
‘G’ and Old Hermitage Leading Lights respectively,
intensified on the leading line, leads through the centre of
Medora Crossing:
12
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°19′⋅3N 91°12′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables WNW of the
front light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°18′⋅6N 91°09′⋅9W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable ESE of the front
light).
13
Red Eye (223 miles AHP): the alignment (226½°),
astern, and the reciprocal (046½°), ahead, of Red Eye ‘H’
and Arlington Leading Lights respectively, intensified on
the leading line, leads through the centre of Red Eye
Crossing:
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°21′⋅8N 91°14′⋅8W).
14
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (1 cable SW of the front light).
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°23′⋅7N 91°12′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 cable NE of the front
light).
The Federal Project Depth for ‘crossings’ up to mile 181
AHP is 13⋅7 m, thence 12⋅2 m to Baton Rouge.
Berths
Principal alongside berths
8.144 1
East side of the river:
Exxon Co. USA Wharf (1¾ miles below Baton
Rouge Railroad and Highway Bridge); length
841 m, depth 12⋅2 to 15⋅2 m, deck height 15⋅2 m;
used for petroleum and petrochemicals. Other
berths in the vicinity have depths of 12⋅2 m.
2
Port Allen:
Port Commission Dock No 1 (on the W bank
opposite Baton Rouge, adjacent to I−10 Bridge
(30°26′⋅4N 91°11′⋅7W)); length 414 m, depth
15⋅2 m, deck height 15⋅2 m; used for general
cargo, molasses and scrap metal. Other berths in
the vicinity have depths from 12⋅2 to 15⋅2 m.
3
Baton Rouge Harbor:
US Steel Chemical Wharf (about 1½ miles N of
junction with Mississippi River) (30°33′N
91°13′W): length 71 m, depth 5⋅2 m, deck height
1⋅8 m; used by barges for petroleum and
petrochemicals. Other berths in the vicinity have
depths of 3⋅7 m.
4
Plaquemine:
Dow Chemical Co Wharf (209 miles AHP); length
272 m with dolphins, depths 10⋅7 to 12⋅2 m; used
for transfer to bulk liquid tanks at the adjacent
chemical plant.
There are other berths in the vicinity with depths of
7⋅6 to 18⋅3 m.
5
Burnside:
Bulk Handling Terminal (170 miles AHP); length
262 m, depth 12⋅2 m; used for a wide range of
materials. A tug is available to assist berthing
movements. Other berths in the vicinity have
depths of 3⋅7 to 7⋅6 m.
6
Geismar:
Geismar (185 miles AHP), on the N side of the river,
has several chemical plants with wharves to handle
liquid chemicals and petroleum. There is a floating
offshore wharf for shell, limestone and fertiliser.
Berths: length 189 m, depth 9⋅8 m. Other berths have
depths from 6⋅1 to 15⋅2 m alongside.
Anchorages and moorings
8.145
1
Four mooring buoys, used for the transfer of coal and
other dry bulk cargoes by barge, lie off the city.
Anchorage area limits are charted on the W side of the
river and in mid−stream at Baton Rouge. Temporary
anchorages may be authorised also by the US Coast Guard.
Port services
8.146 1
Repairs. The nearest facilities for major repairs are at
New Orleans (8.75). Several firms are available for minor
repairs.
Other facilities: hospitals; tank cleaning.
Supplies: chandlers stores, fuel of all types by barge;
provisions; water.
Communications: international flights may be made
from Ryan Airport, about 8 km N of the city.
CHAPTER 8
221
SOUTHWEST PASS TO
HORN ISLAND PASS
General information
Charts 3382, 3857, 3858, 3851
Routes
8.147 1
Between Southwest Pass (28°54′N 89°26′W) and Horn
Island Pass (30°09′N 88°34′W), 90 miles NNE, the coastal
route passes to the E of Mississippi Delta, thence in a NE
direction to the junction with the SE approach route to
Pascagoula in the vicinity of 29°57′N 88°19′W, thence NW
to a position off Horn Island Pass. The coastal route passes
within the charted Safety Fairway throughout its length.
The use of Safety Fairways, while not mandatory, is
recommended.
2
The SSE approach route to Southwest Pass and
Mississippi River ports leads NNW for 14 miles, within a
Safety Fairway, from a position in the vicinity of 28°37′N
89°18′W, at the edge of the continental shelf, to join the
coastal route S of the pass.
3
The Intracoastal Waterway (8.9) passes through the bays
and canals between New Orleans and Grand Island Pass
(30°10′N 89°26′W), where it enters Mississippi Sound.
Topography
8.148 1
The land is low and flat, with vast areas of marsh.
There are few distinguishing features other than the
numerous oil well structures. Chandeleur Islands (29°55′N
88°50′W) are a visible, outer edge of the Mississippi Delta
region. Breton Sound, Chandeleur Sound, Mississippi
Sound and Lake Borgne form extensive areas of shallow
water at the extremity of the delta, which, with two
exceptions, are not used for navigation other than by those
with local knowledge. The exceptions are Mississippi
River−Gulf Outlet Canal, which crosses Breton Sound and
the Intracoastal Waterway, which passes through Mississippi
Sound. See 8.40 for a more general description of the Delta
topography.
Entry to Mississippi River
8.149 1
There are numerous points of entry on to Mississippi
River navigation in addition to Southwest Pass, even as far
up river as Baton Rouge (8.120). Only those other channels
suitable for deep sea vessels are described in detail.
Depths
8.150 1
There is generally deep water in the coastal Safety
Fairway except for the following:
11⋅0 to 14⋅9 m (36 to 49 ft) off the entrance to
Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal (8.162).
In the vicinity of the entrance to Horn Island Pass
(30°09′N 88°34′W) (10.201).
2
Caution. Numerous charted obstructions lie in the Safety
Fairway in the vicinity of the entrance to the Mississippi
River−Gulf Outlet Canal (8.162); particular caution is
advised when navigating in this area.
Rescue
8.151 1
Coast Guard Station: New Canal (30°01′⋅6N
90°06′⋅8W), situated on the E side of New Canal entrance,
on Lake Pontchartrain, has search and rescue capabilities
and may provide lookout, communications and/or patrol
functions to assist vessels in distress. See 1.70 for details.
Directions
(continued from 8.15)
Principal marks
8.152 1
Major light
Southwest Pass Entrance Light (28°54′⋅3N 89°25′⋅7W)
(8.14).
Other aid to navigation
8.153 1
Racons:
Southwest Pass Entrance Light (28°54′⋅3N 89°25′⋅7W)
(8.14).
Platform (28°50′N 89°27′W)
Platform (28°43′N 89°24′W)
Platform (28°52′N 89′16′W)
Platform (29°20′N 88°53′W)
Platform (30°05′N 88°30′W)
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
8.154 1
From a position in the approaches to Southwest Pass, in
the vicinity of 28°49′N 89°26′W, the route leads SSE for
6½ miles within a Safety Fairway, thence ENE for
37 miles, thence NNW for 24 miles to a position in the
vicinity of 29°26′N 88°57′W, off the entrance to
Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal (8.162), passing:
2
SSE of the entrance to South Pass (28°59′N
89°08′W), thence:
ENE of the entrance to Pass A Loutre (29°10′N
89°00′W) (8.165), the most E pass on the delta,
thence:
SE of the entrance to Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet
Canal (8.162). (See caution at 8.150).
3
Thence the route leads NE for 45 miles to a position in
the vicinity of 29°57′N 88°19′W, to join the SE approach
route to Pascagoula (10.178) and ports on Mississippi
Sound, passing about 10 miles SE of the S end of
Chandeleur Islands (29°45′N 88°52′W) (8.148).
Thence the route leads NW for 18 miles to the vicinity
of 30°09′N 88°34′W, off Horn Island Pass.
(Directions continue at 10.200 for Pascagoula)
Useful marks
8.155 1
Lighthouse (disused) (29°08′⋅5N 89°03′⋅2W), in Blind
Bay.
Lighthouse (disused, black and white tower, spiral
bands) (29°11′⋅4N 89°02′⋅5W), on the N bank inside the
entrance to Pass A Loutre.
Interstate boundary
8.156 1
East Pearl River (30°11′N 89°31′W) forms part of the
boundary between the states of Mississippi and Louisiana.
South Pass
Chart 3382
General information
8.157 1
Route. Between the entrance to South Pass (28°59′N
89°08′W) and Head of Passes (29°10′N 89°15′W), 12 miles
NNW, the track leads within the banks of the pass, which
is one of three main commercial access channels to
Mississippi River.
CHAPTER 8
222
Topography. See 8.40 for general information on the
Delta topography.
2
Depths. Federal project depth is for a 5⋅2 m (17 ft)
channel over the bar and in the pass. The District Office,
Corps of Engineers, Pritanya Street, New Orleans, should
be consulted for the latest controlling depths. Pilots
recommend a maximum draught/tonnage limit of 4⋅6 m
(15 ft) and/or 21 000 dwt.
3
Pilotage. Pilotage is compulsory and available day and
night. The pilot boards in position 28°57′⋅4N 89°03′⋅6W.
Traffic regulation. Navigation rules for US inland
waters (see Appendix III) must be followed inside a line
drawn between the heads of the breakwaters at South Pass.
Current. The flow out of South Pass, which has a
considerable rate, sets on to the charted shoal ground on
the W side of the entrance channel.
Directions
8.158 1
From a position on the coastal route in the vicinity of
28°56′⋅1N 89°00′⋅8W, the approach track leads WNW for a
distance of 4¼ miles, within the charted Safety Fairway.
2
Thence the alignment (297°) of West Jetty Leading
Lights, intensified on the leading line, leads through the
centre of a channel, marked by light−buoys, for a distance
of 3 miles, passing between the breakwaters at the entrance
to the pass:
3
Front light (red vertical mark white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (28°59′⋅4N 89°08′⋅4W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, on white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (2 cables WNW of the
front light).
8.159 1
Thence the sides are a sufficient guide to the track,
which follows the centre of a channel 180 to 260 m wide
between the banks, marked by light−beacons, for a distance
of about 11 miles to the NNW end of South Pass.
2
Thence the route leads through the centre of a channel
for a distance of 1¼ miles, to enter the main river, passing
WSW of Head of Passes, No 16 Light (red triangular mark,
on piles) (29°09′⋅1N 89°15′⋅0W) and between the training
walls at the exit to the pass.
Useful mark
8.160
1
South Pass Light (white framework tower, black top)
(29°00′⋅9N 89°10′⋅0W).
Anchorages
8.161 1
Fairway anchorage: limits charted in mid−position
29°00′N 89°04′W; depths 15 to 73 m (48 ft to 40 fm); clear
of charted dangers. (See 1.11).
River anchorages: See 8.61 for anchorage information,
including anchoring prohibited areas.
Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal
Chart 3858, 3851 (see 1.18)
General information
8.162 1
Route. Between the entrance to Mississippi River−Gulf
Outlet Canal (29°25′N 88°59′W) and New Orleans
(29°58′N 90°05′W), 65 miles WNW, the track leads
between the banks of a dredged channel crossing Breton
Sound (8.148) and along a land cut canal.
Topography. See 8.40 for general information on the
Delta topography.
2
Depths. Federal project depth is for a 11⋅6 m (38 ft)
channel for the first 8 miles of the channel, thence 11⋅0 m
(36 ft) to the turning basin at the junction with Inner
Harbor Navigation Canal at New Orleans. Shoaling is
reported (2005); mariners should consult the District Office,
Corps of Engineers, Pritanya Street, New Orleans, for the
latest controlling depths.
3
Vertical clearances. Paris Road Bridge, situated
4¾ miles E of the junction with Inner Harbor Navigation
Canal at New Orleans, has a vertical clearance of 42⋅1 m at
mean high water over a 152 m width. Overhead power
cables, with a vertical clearance of 51⋅8 m, cross the canal
near the bridge.
4
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night.
Associated Branch Pilots take vessels to a point about
38 miles above the entrance, where they are relieved by
Crescent River Port Pilots. The pilot boards in position
29°25′⋅8N 88°56′⋅8W.
5
Traffic regulations. Navigation rules for US inland
waters (see Appendix III) must be followed inside a line
drawn from the S end of Chandeleur Islands (29°44′⋅1N
88°53′⋅0W) to a position 29°26′⋅5N 88°55′⋅6W, thence to
the shore at the N side of Pass A Loutre (29°10′⋅6N
88°59′⋅9W).
Currents. Unpredictable currents, including cross sets,
may be encountered at places along the canal.
Directions
8.163 1
From a position on the coastal route in the vicinity of
29°26′N 88°57′W, adjacent to the entrance of the
Mississippi River−Gulf Outlet Canal (8.162), the approach
track leads WSW for a distance of 2¼ miles, within the
charted Safety Fairway, thence in a generally NW direction
for 66 miles, in a channel marked by light−beacons, to
Inner Harbor Navigation Canal at New Orleans.
Anchorages
8.164 1
Fairway anchorage, east of the entrance to Mississippi
River−Gulf Outlet Canal: limits charted in mid−position
29°26′N 88°54′W; depths 13 to 17 m (42 to 57 ft); clear of
a charted dangerous wreck.
2
Fairway anchorage, north of the entrance to Mississippi
River−Gulf Outlet Canal: limits charted in mid−position
29°29′N 88°58′W; depths 10 to 12 m (33 to 39 ft); clear of
a stranded wreck and two platforms.
Pass A Loutre
Chart 3382 (see 1.18)
8.165 1
General information. Pass A Loutre (29°10′N 89°00′W)
and its branches Southeast Pass, North Pass and Northeast
Pass, all have deep water from Head of Passes to within a
short distance of their shallow entrance bars. Pass A Loutre
and North Pass have depths of about 2⋅1 m (7 ft) over the
bars.
2
Traffic regulations. Navigation rules for US inland
waters must be followed inside the passes. (see Appendix
III).
Local knowledge is required to enter.
NOTES
223
C
a
p
e
S
a
n
B
l
a
s
FL ORI DA
G U L F
O F
M E X I C O
Fort Myers
Charlotte
Harbour
P
o
r
t
B
o
c
a
G
r
a
n
d
e
Cape
Romano
Tampa
Bay
V
e
n
i
c
e
I
n
l
e
t
Tampa
Crystal River
Cedar Keys
Rock Island
NP 70
West Indies
Pilot Vol I
Saint Petersburg
3853
3852
3148
3847
3848
3848
2866
0206
3848
9.53
9.19
9.180
9.172
9.29
9.14
9.166
9
.
1
6
9.100
9.174
9.166
86°
224
85°
86°
Longitude 84° West from Greenwich 82° 81°
85° 84° 83° 82° 81°
25°
26°
27°
28°
29°
30°
25°
26°
27°
28°
29°
30°
Chapter 9 - Cape Sable to Cape San Blas
C
a
p
e
S
a
b
l
e
225
CHAPTER 9
CAPE SABLE TO CAPE SAN BLAS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3853, 3852, 4400
Scope of the chapter
9.1 1
The chapter includes all the W coast of Florida from
Cape Sable (25°07′N 81°05′W) to Cape San Blas (29°40′N
85°21′W), 350 miles NW. The only ports open to deep
draught vessels are those within Tampa Bay (9.30) and at
Boca Grande (9.16), which are approached by lengthy
Safety Fairways (1.10) leading from the W.
Topography
9.2 1
The land topography can be divided into two zones at
latitude 28°N. That to the S is low, flat and wooded, with
large areas of marsh. The N is more elevated and forested
with pines. There are few prominent features. The seabed
topography is generally irregular close to the shore and,
with only a small slope, shoals extend to a considerable
distance off the coast.
Hazards
9.3
1
Exercise areas. Areas of the waters covered by this
chapter may be used for trials and exercises by US military
authorities. See Appendix VI, United States − Danger
Zones and Restricted Area Regulations for details.
Fishing. The shallow waters on the coast are rich in
fishing grounds.
Weather
9.4 1
The region’s weather is affected by both maritime
tropical and continental polar air masses. The former bring
mild winters and warm summers with frequent thunder
storms, and may include tropical cyclones. Cold fronts
bring the occasional freeze in winter and some dense
coastal fog, particularly near Cape San Blas (29°40′N
85°21′W). Strong winds may be generated, known as
‘Northers’. See 1.187 for details.
2
The usual seasons for adverse weather are:
Cyclones, June to November;
Thunderstorms, May to September, mainly after
mid−day;
Coastal fog, December to April;
Passage of cold fronts, October to March.
CAPE SABLE TO TAMPA BAY
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3853, 4400
General description
9.5 1
The area between Cape Sable (25°07′N 81°05′W) and
the entrance to Tampa Bay (27°35′N 83°01′W), 170 miles
NNW, includes the Tampa Bay ports and Port Boca
Grande, which are the only harbours open to deep draught
vessels. They are approached by such vessels from the W
using the charted Safety Fairways. A medium draught
route, part offshore and part coastal, links the ports of Key
West (24°33′N 81°48′W), Boca Grande (26°43′N 82°15′W)
and Tampa Bay. The cities of Venice, Sarasota, Saint
Petersburg and Tampa are situated close to or on the coast
in the N of the area. Offshore a number of towers have
been constructed in deep water, as charted. There are few
navigational aids other than the lights at major ports.
Topography
9.6 1
The coast from Cape Sable to San Carlos Bay (26°27′N
82°01′W) is low and wooded with few distinguishing
features. Innumerable small, mud islands, rivers and bayous
make up Everglades National Park (9.11) and Ten
Thousand Islands. From San Carlos Bay to Tampa Bay the
coastline is a continuous line of barrier islands and sand
beach. Farther N, the lights and buildings of the main cities
are prominent.
Depths
9.7 1
Depths in the S of the area are generally shoal, with a
slight slope to the uneven seabed. North of Cape Romano
(25°51′N 81°41′W) coastal depths are more steep−to, with
the 9 m (30 ft) depth contour at a distance of 6 miles off
the coast. A number of dangerous wrecks and fish havens
lie well offshore, as charted.
Natural conditions
9.8 1
Weather. See 9.4 for details.
Currents. South of Cape Romano (25°51′N 81°41′W)
(9.10) the current sets predominantly NE across the edge of
the bank with moderate constancy and a mean rate of 1½
to 2 kn. Sets of as much as 6 kn have been observed
occasionally. As it enters the bight between Cape Sable and
Cape Romano the current is deflected NE to NNW by the
trend of the coast and its constancy is reduced as it
becomes more subject to the influence of tide and wind.
2
Between Cape Romano and San Carlos Bay (26°27′N
82°01′W), less than about 20 miles offshore the current sets
NE to NNW with moderate or high constancy and a mean
rate of 1½ to 2½ kn. Between about 20 to 40 miles
offshore it is N to NW−going, of low to moderate
constancy and with a mean rate of ½ to 1 kn.
3
North of San Carlos Bay and within 50 miles of the
coast the current is predominantly N or NW−going, with
moderate constancy and a mean rate of ¾ to 1¼ kn.
Farther out it sets mainly SE.
CHAPTER 9
226
See 1.172 for general remarks on currents in Gulf of
Mexico.
CAPE SABLE TO BOCA GRANDE
General information
Charts 1098, 3853
Routes
9.9
1
Between Cape Sable (25°07′N 81°05′W) (9.10) and
Boca Grande (26°43′N 82°16′W) the route for medium
draught vessels is the same as that from Key West
(24°33′N 81°49′W) to Boca Grande, as the water close W
of the S end of the Florida peninsula is too shoal for all
but the lightest draught vessels. The route from Key West
to Boca Grande, 132 miles N, leads N for 86 miles, then
NNW for 47 miles to the Safety Fairway which leads into
the port. The route for deep draught vessels passes W of
Tortugas Bank and Dry Tortugas Light (24°38′N 82°55′W)
(see West Indies Pilot Volume I) and remains well offshore
until the Safety Fairway is entered.
Topography
9.10
1
From Cape Sable, a low, wooded headland, the trend of
the coast is generally NNW, with innumerable small islands
and keys intersected by a network of rivers and bayous.
The islands are lumps of low mud and densely wooded.
They are mostly awash at HW and almost impossible to
identify. Shoal water extends well offshore. A number of
towers marked by lights, whose positions are best seen
from the chart, have been constructed to the W of the
18⋅3 m (60 ft) contour.
2
North of Cape Romano (25°51′N 81°41′W), which is
fringed with mangrove, coastal depths are deeper than to
the S and the coastline is more regular in outline. There are
several prominent buildings on the W side of Marco Island,
close NNW of Cape Romano.
Everglades National Park
9.11 1
The coast and hinterland N from Cape Sable to latitude
25°50′N has been designated a national park. Within the
area all the keys are closed to landing, with the exception
of marked camp sites. Killing, collecting or molesting of
animals, collecting wild plants and water−skiing are
prohibited. Regulated speed zones are posted throughout the
park for the protection of manatees. A restricted area, with
limits marked by light−beacons, extends to a distance of
between 1 and 2 miles from the coast between the latitudes
of 25°07′N and 25°50′N.
Traffic regulations
9.12 1
Safety fairway. The use of the safety fairway into the
port of Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor (9.16) is
recommended.
Naval operational training area. The E limit of an area
used for air to surface firing and bombing practice is
located about 50 miles W of Cape Sable. Entry to the area
may be prohibited when training is in progress. For more
details see Appendix VI.
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn across Gasparilla Pass
(26°42′⋅5N 82°15′⋅5W). See Appendix III for details.
Rescue
9.13 1
Coast Guard Station:
Fort Myers Beach (26°28′N 81°57′W).
Directions
(continued from West Indies Pilot Volume I)
Principal marks
9.14
1
Major lights:
Dry Tortugas Light (24°38′N 82°55′W). See West
Indies Pilot Volume I for details.
Capri Pass Light (building) (25°59′N 81°44′W).
9.15
1
From a position in the vicinity of 24°39′N 81°54′W, at
the entrance to the NW channel leading from Key West
(24°33′N 81°49′W), the route leads NNW for about
70 miles to the vicinity of 25°44′N 82°24′W, thence N for
about 50 miles to the vicinity of 26°36′N 82°24′W off
Boca Grande, passing:
2
WSW of Smith Shoal (24°43′N 81°55′W), clear of
charted wrecks, thence:
WSW of light−structure (‘E Central’ tower (PA))
(25°07′N 82°00′W), thence:
WSW of light−structure (‘N Master’ tower (PA))
(25°28′N 82°06′W), thence:
WSW of light−structure (‘NW’ tower (PA)) (25°48′N
82°13′W), thence:
3
WNW of Cape Romano thence:
W of a 6⋅4 m (21 ft) obstruction (26°25′N 82°19′W),
thence:
W of 8⋅2 m (27 ft) shoal depth (26°27′N 82°20′W),
W of Sanibel Island, thence:
W of 9⋅1 m (30 ft) shoal depth (26°31′N 82°19′W),
NW of Sanibel Island.
4
Useful marks:
Smith Shoal Light (24°43′N 81°55′W). See West
Indies Pilot Volume I.
Gasparilla Island Light (white frame dwelling)
(26°43′N 82°16′W).
(Directions continue for Boca Grande at 9.19
and for the coastal route at 9.29)
Port Boca Grande
Chart 3853 (see 1.18)
General information
9.16 1
Position and function. Port Boca Grande (26°43′N
82°15′W), a petroleum port, is situated at the entrance to
Charlotte Harbor. The town is 2 miles N of the port.
Topography. The harbour is a large expanse of shallow
and sheltered water with a number of settlements on its
shores. Radio towers and storage tanks are prominent near
the town.
2
Approach and entry is obtained through the charted
Safety Fairway and a short dredged channel. The Federal
project depth (1.22) is 9⋅8 m (32 ft).
Limiting conditions
9.17
1
Tidal levels. The maximum tidal range is about 0⋅5 m.
See 1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Abnormal levels. Water levels can be affected by up to
1⋅5 m, due to the strength and direction of the wind.
CHAPTER 9
227
Arrival information
9.18
1
Outer anchorage: mid−position 26°38′N 82°19′W, as
charted; depths 11 to 13 m (36 to 42 ft); good holding.
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards in position 26°39′N 82°21′W as charted. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
2
Tug. Available.
Traffic regulations. Navigation Rules for US Inland
Waters (Appendix III) must be followed inside Charlotte
Harbor. The port is both a quarantine and customs station.
Intracoastal Waterway crosses the harbour close E of
the pier at Port Boca Grande. See 1.12 for information
about the waterway.
Directions
(continued from 9.15)
9.19 1
From a position in the vicinity of the Pilot Boarding
Place (26°39′N 82°21′W) the port is entered along a
channel marked by light−buoys.
Thence the alignment (247°), astern, of Inner Channel
Leading Lights leads ENE for 2⋅3 miles, through a channel
marked by light−buoys, to enter the harbour between the S
end of Gasparilla Island and the N end of Cayo Costa:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
dolphin) (26°42′N 82°18′W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on tower,
on piles) (2½ cables WSW of the front light).
Useful mark:
Gasparilla Island Light (26°43′N 82°16′W) (9.15).
Anchorage
9.20 1
At inner end of entrance channel, close S of pier; depths
6 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft); good holding and shelter.
Natural conditions
9.21
1
Tidal stream. The out−going stream in Boca Grande is
reported to reach 3 to 4 kn occasionally.
Berth
9.22 1
Pier head (1 cable NE of Gasparilla Island Light) (9.15);
length 69 m; depth reported 10⋅0 m.
Port services
9.23 1
Repairs: limited facilities; divers available.
Supplies: limited petrol only; provisions; chandlers
stores; fresh water.
BOCA GRANDE TO TAMPA BAY
General information
Chart 3853
Routes
9.24 1
Between Boca Grande (26°43′N 82°16′W) and the
entrance to Tampa Bay (27°35′N 83°01′W), 60 miles NNW,
the coastal route leads NNW from a position in the vicinity
of 26°36′N 82°26′W to Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy
(27°35′⋅3N 83°00′⋅7W) (9.55); thence E through the
approach channel described in 9.55 and subsequent
paragraphs.
2
Other routes pass well offshore according to draught,
using the charted Safety Fairways to approach port from
deep water.
Topography
9.25 1
The trend of the coastline is NNW from Boca Grande
along a nearly straight sand beach, with small inlets, barrier
islands, and lagoons behind the beach. The low land is
wooded almost to the shore. There are few prominent
features other than the town of Boca Grande (9.16), and
the buildings, tanks and towers of the cities of Venice and
its near neighbour Sarasota. The 220 m fishing pier situated
2½ miles S of Venice Inlet (27°07′N 82°28′W) is also
prominent.
Depths
9.26 1
Coastal depths are generally irregular. There are
numerous wrecks and fish havens, as charted.
Local knowledge
9.27 1
Local knowledge is required to enter the small inlets,
bays and lagoons, which are suitable for light draught
vessels only and where the aids to navigation are frequently
moved.
Tidal streams
9.28
1
Tidal streams at the small inlets flow in up to 1½ to
1¾ kn and out up to 1 to 1½ kn.
Directions
(continued from 9.15)
9.29
1
From a position SW of the entrance to Boca Grande, in
the vicinity of 26°36′N 82°26′W, the route leads NNW for
67 miles to Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy (27°35′⋅3N
83°00′⋅7W) (9.55), keeping clear of wrecks, fish havens
and buoys, as charted, passing (with positions from
Gasparilla Island Light (26°43′N 82°16′W) (9.15)):
2
WSW of Venice Inlet (26 miles NNW), thence:
WSW of Big Sarasota Pass (38 miles NNW), thence:
WSW of Longboat Pass (49 miles NNW).
(Directions continue at 9.53 for ports in Tampa Bay
and for the coastal route at 9.172)
CHAPTER 9
228
TAMPA BAY
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3847, 3848
General description
9.30 1
Tampa Bay (27°45′N 82°32′W) is an estuary, 6 to
7 miles wide, which extends about 20 miles NE. It is the
approach to Old Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, Manatee
River and to the cities of Saint Petersburg, Port Tampa,
Tampa, East Tampa and Bradenton. Tampa Bay ports have
a large foreign and coastal trade.
Topography
9.31 1
Egmont Key, a low, wooded, sand island, divides the
entrance to Tampa Bay into two channels, with the main
ship channel to the N of the key. Shoal water and an
irregular seabed extend up to 5 miles offshore. The coast is
bordered by a line of low, narrow, barrier islands.
Numerous tall buildings and water tanks are prominent N
of the bay.
Depths
9.32 1
Depths reduce from 18⋅3 m (60 ft) in the approaches to
Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy (27°35′⋅3N 83°00′⋅7W)
(9.55) to the charted controlling depths in the main ship
channels. Outside these channels depths are generally shoal.
Marine exploration
9.33 1
Marine exploration activity is taking place throughout
the coastal areas of Gulf of Mexico. The entrance channel
should be approached through the charted Safety Fairways,
where the erection of oil structures is not permitted.
Pilotage
9.34 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night.
Notice of ETA required is 24, 4 and 1 hour before arrival.
Pilots board:
Egmont Channel: in the vicinity of Nos 9 and 10
light−buoys (27°36′⋅2N 82°52′⋅2W).
SW Channel: in the vicinity of No 1 Light−buoy
(27°32′⋅5N 82°47′⋅9W) or, in bad weather, SE of
Egmont Key near No 3 Light−buoy.
2
Tampa Bay Pilots serve the ports of Tampa, Saint
Petersburg and Port Manatee.
Vessels are not normally moved in dense fog.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6 (5) for
details.
Local weather
9.35 1
Thunderstorms, often accompanied by a sudden onset of
strong winds, are frequent from June to September, mainly
during the late afternoon. See 1.196 for information on
tropical storms and hurricanes, likely between June and
November.
Traffic regulations
9.36 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be followed
inside a line drawn from:
Egmont Key Light (27°36′⋅0N 82°45′⋅6W) (9.53) NE
to Mullet Key;
SE end of Egmont Key to the NW end of Bean
Point.
See Appendix III for details.
2
All the waters from Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy
(27°35′⋅3N 83°00′⋅7W), through Egmont Channel, and
including Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay and Old Tampa
Bay, are a Regulated Navigation Area. For further
information see Appendix V.
Quarantine
9.37 1
Officials board vessels at Tampa Port Authority ports at
alongside berths unless otherwise directed. See 9.75 for
quarantine anchorage.
Other aid to navigation
9.38 1
Racon: Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy (27°35′⋅3N
83°00′⋅7W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for details.
APPROACH CHANNELS TO
TAMPA BAY PORTS
General information
Charts 3847, 3848
Route
9.39 1
Between Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy (27°35′⋅3N
83°00′⋅7W) (9.55) and the wharves at Tampa (27°56′N
82°27′W), 43 miles NE, the route leads across Tampa Bay
by dredged channels described in 9.55. Side channels lead
off from junctions on the main channel to Port Manatee
after 23 miles, Saint Petersburg and Port Tampa 32 miles,
Big Bend Terminal 36 miles, East Tampa 38 miles and Port
Sutton 42 miles.
Topography
9.40 1
The coastline within the bay is low and wooded, except
in the neighbourhood of large cities. The main features are
Sunshine Skyway, over 9 miles in length, linking the NW
and SE shores, and the extensive shallows covering most of
the bay.
Controlling depths
9.41 1
Federal project depth is 13⋅7 m (45 ft) for Egmont
Channel and thence 13⋅1 m (43 ft) to the S end of the
widened area at the N end of Cut ‘F’ Channel (27°46′⋅5N
82°31′⋅3W).
2
From the latter position the project depth of 13⋅1 m
continues, through the E side of the widened area, to the N
end of Cut ‘C’ Channel (27°54′N 82°26′W) in
Hillsborough Bay.
3
A project depth of 10⋅4 m (34 ft) leads through the W
side of the widened area to Cut ‘K’ Turning Basin at Port
Tampa (27°51′⋅7N 82°33′⋅3W).
Other channels in Tampa Bay are privately maintained.
The chart and port authority concerned should be consulted
for the latest controlling depths.
Traffic regulations
9.42 1
Movement reporting. A mandatory Navigational
Advisory Broadcast System, for all vessels of 50 m in
length or over, is in operation to provide vessels and pilots
with information on marine traffic in Tampa Bay. See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for further
details, including positions of reporting points.
CHAPTER 9
229
2
Movements through the bay should not take place in
restricted visibility unless at least two sets of channel buoys
are visible ahead.
Outward bound vessels have priority under normal
circumstances.
9.43 1
Traffic schemes. A voluntary agreement to determine
safe meeting/passing locations in the bay is co−ordinated
by radio station ‘Vessel Traffic Advisory’ (station
WHX−362). See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
2
Under this agreement the combined beam dimensions of
both vessels should not exceed 64⋅6 m (212 ft) in a 153 m
(500 ft) channel under normal meteorological conditions,
neither should vessels meet or pass on bends in the
channels. Special conditions, directed by the Coast Guard
Captain of the Port, apply to the movement of anhydrous
ammonia carriers, vessels exceeding 32⋅3 m (106 ft) beam,
vessels carrying dangerous cargoes and those with
unserviceable navigational or operational equipment.
9.44 1
Safety Zones. A system of Safety Zones has been
established by regulation which applies when vessels
loaded with anhydrous ammonia or LPG use the main ship
channels across Tampa Bay. Safety Zones may be either
‘moving’ or ‘stationary’. For further information see
Appendix V.
2
The movement of such vessels is as directed by the
Coast Guard Captain of the Port and their position is
broadcast on Security Broadcast (9.42); masters of vessels
wishing to enter a Safety Zone must obtain permission
from the Captain of the Port.
9.45 1
Vessels loaded with anhydrous ammonia. A moving
safety zone is established consisting of an area 915 m
(1000 yds) fore and aft of a loaded anhydrous ammonia
vessel and the width of the channel.
2
The regulation applies to the channels between the
vicinity of Light−buoys ‘3F’ and ‘4F’ in Cut ‘F’ Channel
(9.63) and the terminals at Hookers Point and Port Sutton
(9.114), with the exception of Gadsen Point Cut Channel
between Light−buoys Nos ‘3’ and ‘7’.
3
All vessels over 5000 gt intending to pass an anhydrous
ammonia vessel moored in Port Sutton, and all vessels
intending to moor at the R.E. Knight facilities at Hookers
Point while an anhydrous ammonia vessel is moored there,
must give 30 minutes notice to that vessel so it may take
appropriate precautions.
9.46 1
Vessels loaded with LPG. A floating safety zone is
established consisting of an area 915 m (1000 yds) fore and
aft of a loaded LPG vessel and the width of the channel.
2
For vessels loaded with LPG bound for Rattlesnake
(9.99), the regulation applies to the channel between Tampa
Bay Cut ‘J’ Channel (9.70), buoy ‘10J’, and Cut ‘K’
Channel, buoy ‘11K’. When a vessel leaves the channel in
the vicinity of buoy ‘11K’ in Cut ‘K’ Channel (9.72) for
Rattlesnake slip, the zone then extends to 455 m (500 yds)
in all directions around the vessel.
3
For vessels loaded with LPG bound for Port Sutton, the
regulation applies to the channels between the vicinity of
buoys ‘3F’ and ‘4F’ in Cut ‘F’ Channel (9.63) to the LPG
terminal at Port Sutton, with the exception of Gadsen Point
Cut Channel between Light−buoys Nos ‘3’ and ‘7’.
4
All vessels over 5000 gt intending to pass an LPG vessel
moored in Port Sutton, and all vessels intending to pass
LPG vessels moored in Rattlesnake, must give 30 minutes
notice to those vessels so they may take appropriate
precautions.
9.47
1
Prohibited area. A small arms firing range, with entry
prohibited, lies close S of Interbay Peninsula, in central
position 27°49′⋅5N 82°31′⋅5W, as charted.
Submarine cables
9.48
1
A submarine cable area crosses the main ship channel
NE of Egmont Key Light (27°36′⋅0N 82°45′⋅6W) (9.56), as
charted.
Measured distance
9.49 1
Measured distances of 1853⋅2 m (6080 ft) lie 3½ miles E
of Point Pinellas (27°42′N 82°38′W), marked by beacons
and light−beacons at the N, E, S and W corners of a
square area; in general depths of 3−6 m (9−19 ft); NE/SW
courses are 037¾°/217¾° and SE/NW courses
127¾°/307¾°.
Vertical clearance
9.50
1
Sunshine Skyway Bridge (27°37′⋅2N 82°39′⋅3W) is a
causeway across Tampa Bay for the greater part of its
length. The high level 297 m (974 ft) span over the main
ship channel has a vertical clearance of 53⋅3 m (175 ft).
Sunshine Skyway Bridge from WSW (9.50)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 9
230
Rescue
9.51 1
Coast Guard Stations with search and rescue facilities
(1.70) in the vicinity are:
Saint Petersburg (27°46′N 82°38′W).
Clearwater Air Station (27°55′N 82°42′W).
Clearwater (27°57′N 82°50′W).
Natural conditions
9.52 1
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range is about 0⋅7 m at the
entrance to the bay. See Admiralty Tide Tables for further
information. There is a large daily inequality with the
out−going stream.
2
Abnormal sea levels. A strong offshore wind sometimes
lowers sea level in the bay by 1⋅2 m and retards the time
of HW by up to 3 hours. A continued SW wind raises sea
level by nearly the same amount and advances the time of
HW by as much as 1 hour.
3
Tidal streams. In−going stream seldom exceeds 2 kn.
The out−going stream reaches 3 kn in Egmont Channel. At
a position 7 miles W of Egmont Key tidal streams set N
and S, respectively, at a rate which seldom exceeds ½ kn.
Directions
(continued from 9.29)
Principal marks
9.53 1
Landmarks:
Pilot Look−out (27°35′⋅2N 82°45′⋅7W).
Old Fort (27°36′⋅9N 82°44′⋅2W).
Major light:
Egmont Key Light (white tower) (27°36′⋅0N
82°45′⋅6W).
Other aid to navigation
9.54
1
Racon: Tampa Bay Fairway Light−buoy (27°35′⋅3N
83°00′⋅7W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
Tampa approaches to south of Interbay Peninsula
9.55 1
From a position in the vicinity of Tampa Bay Fairway
Light−buoy (safe water) (27°35′⋅3N 83°00′⋅7W) the track
leads E for about 8 miles in a channel marked by
light−buoys, to enter Egmont Channel.
9.56 1
Egmont Channel. Thence the alignment (083¼°) of
Egmont Channel Leading Lights leads E for 4⋅7 miles into
the W end of the channel between Egmont Key, from
which a light (white tower) is exhibited, and Mullet Key,
1½ miles ENE:
Front light (tower) (27°36′⋅9N 82°45′⋅9W).
Rear light (tower) (1 miles E of the front light).
2
When in a position about 1 mile W of the above front
light the route leads generally ESE through a buoyed
channel for about 3 miles to Mullet Key Channel.
9.57 1
Mullet Key Channel. Thence the alignment (081°) of
Mullet Key Leading Lights leads E through the centre of
the channel for a distance of 2⋅9 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°36′⋅8N 82°39′⋅9W).
Egmont Channel − Mullet and Egmont Keys from W (9.56)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Egmont Key
CHAPTER 9
231
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (7 cables E of the front light).
9.58 1
Cut ‘A’ Channel. Thence the alignment (062¾°) of Cut
‘A’ Leading Lights leads through the centre of the channel
for a distance of 2⋅7 miles passing beneath the Sunshine
Skyway Bridge (9.50):
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, yellow
band, on framework tower, on piles) (27°38′⋅4N
82°36′⋅8W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (1 mile ENE of the
front light).
9.59 1
Cut ‘B’ Channel. Thence the alignment (037¾°), ahead,
and the reciprocal (217¾°), astern, of Cut ‘B’ and Cut ‘B’
Lower Leading Lights respectively, leads NE through the
centre of the channel for a distance of 3⋅5 miles:
2
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on piles) (27°41′⋅3N 82°34′⋅7W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on piles)
(1 mile NE of the front light).
3
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe,
yellow band, on pile) (27°37′⋅2N 82°38′⋅2W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on pile)
(9 cables SW of the front light).
The junction with the channel to Port Manatee (27°38′N
82°34′W) (9.149) lies in Cut ‘B’.
(Directions for Port Manatee continue at 9.157)
9.60 1
Cut ‘C’ Channel. Thence the alignment (061¼°), ahead
and the reciprocal (241¼°), astern, of Cut ‘C’ and Cut ‘C’
Lower Leading Lights respectively, leads ENE through the
centre of the channel for a distance of 1⋅7 miles:
2
Ahead front light (on piles) (27°41′⋅9N 82°32′⋅8W).
Rear light (framework tower on piles) (6 cables ENE
of the front light).
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
pile) (27°40′⋅2N 82°36′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (9 cables WSW of the
front light).
9.61 1
Cut ‘D’ Channel. Thence the alignment (033°), ahead
and the near reciprocal (213½°), astern, of Cut ‘D’ Upper
and Cut ‘D’ Leading Lights respectively, leads NNE
through the channel for a distance of 2⋅2 miles:
2
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
piles) (27°44′⋅5N 82°31′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (9 cables NNE of the
front light).
Astern front light (on piles) (27°40′⋅9N 82°33′⋅9W).
Rear light (on framework tower on piles) (8 cables
SSW of the front light).
9.62 1
Cut ‘E’ Channel. Thence the alignment (018°), ahead,
and the reciprocal (198°), astern, of Cut ‘E’ and Cut ‘E’
Lower Leading Lights respectively, leads NNE through the
centre of the channel for a distance of 2⋅0 miles:
Ahead front light (hut on piles) (27°45′⋅7N
82°31′⋅3W).
2
Rear light (framework tower, on piles) (6 cables NNE
of the front light).
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on pile)
(27°42′⋅7N 82°32′⋅4W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on pile)
(6 cables SSW of the front light).
9.63 1
Cut ‘F’ Channel. Thence the alignment (359½°), ahead
and the reciprocal (179½°), astern, of Cut ‘F’ North and
Cut ‘F’ Leading Lights respectively, leads N through the
channel for a distance of 1⋅3 miles:
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
piles) (27°47′⋅7N 82°31′⋅4W).
2
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (8 cables N of the front
light).
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
piles) (27°44′⋅5N 82°31′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (5 cables S of the front
light).
(Directions for Saint Petersburg and
Port Tampa continue at 9.68)
South of Interbay Peninsula to Tampa
9.64 1
The channel divides S of Interbay Peninsula (27°50′N
82°30′W), leading ENE to Big Bend Terminal, East Tampa,
Port Sutton and Tampa, while the W channel leads to Saint
Petersburg and Port Tampa. Entry continues along a series
of dredged channels across Tampa Bay, marked by leading
lights and light−buoys, described below.
9.65 1
Gadsden Point Cut. From a position 3¼ miles SW of
Gadsden Point (27°49′⋅3N 82°28′⋅4W) the alignment (069°)
of Gadsden Point Leading Lights leads ENE through the
centre of the channel for a distance of 3⋅0 miles:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°48′⋅5N 82°26′⋅9W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles ENE of the
front light).
9.66 1
Cut ‘A’ Channel. Thence the alignment (061¼°) of Cut
‘A’ Leading Lights leads ENE through the centre of the
channel for a distance of 1 mile:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on tripod)
(27°48′⋅8N 82°26′⋅7W).
2
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (1 mile ENE of the
front light).
The junction with the channel to Big Bend Terminal lies
at the ENE end of Cut ‘A’ Channel.
(Directions for Big Bend continue at 9.146)
9.67 1
Cut ‘C’ Channel. Thence the alignment (005¼°), ahead,
and the near reciprocal (185½°), astern, of Cut ‘C’ North
and South Leading Lights respectively, leads N through the
channel for a distance of 5½ miles to the entrance to Port
Sutton and Tampa:
Ahead front light (framework tower, on piles)
(27°54′⋅4N 82°26′⋅3W).
2
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles N of the front
light).
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°48′⋅5N 82°26′⋅9W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles S of the front
light).
3
Junctions with the channels to East Tampa and Port
Sutton lie almost halfway along, and at the N end of, Cut
‘C’ channel, respectively.
(Directions for Tampa continue at 9.110,
for Port Sutton at 9.123 and East Tampa at 9.134)
CHAPTER 9
232
South of Interbay Peninsula to Port Tampa
9.68 (continued from 9.63)
1
Entry is along Cut ‘G’ Channel and a series of dredged
channels across Tampa Bay, marked by light−buoys, which
are described below. The use of tugs by large vessels is
recommended to assist with the sharp turn from Cut ‘G’ to
Cut ‘J’ Channel.
9.69 1
Cut ‘G’ Channel. From a position 3¾ miles SW of
Gadsden Point (27°49′⋅3N 82°28′⋅4W) the alignment
(279¼°) of Cut ‘G’ Leading Lights leads W through the
centre of the channel for a distance of 2⋅1 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
dolphin) (27°47′⋅6N 82°35′⋅2W).
2
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (7 cables W of the
front light).
The junction with the NE channel to Saint Petersburg
lies at the W end of Cut ‘G’ Channel.
(Directions for Saint Petersburg continue at 9.83)
9.70 1
Cut ‘J’ Channel. Thence the alignment (358¾°), ahead,
and the near reciprocal (178½°), astern, of Cut ‘J’ Upper
and Cut ‘J’ Leading Lights respectively, leads N through
the centre of the channel for a distance of 7 cables:
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°49′⋅4N 82°34′⋅5W).
2
Rear light (similar structure) (5 cables N of the front
light).
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°45′⋅9N 82°34′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (8 cables S of the front
light).
9.71 1
Cut ‘J2’ Channel. Thence the alignment (010½°),
ahead, and the near reciprocal (190¼°), astern, of Cut ‘J2’
Upper and Lower Leading Lights respectively, leads N
through the centre of the channel for a distance of 1 mile:
2
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°50′⋅3N 82°34′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (4 cables N of the front
light).
3
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
dolphin) (27°48′⋅0N 82°34′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables S of the front
light).
The junction with the channel to Weedon Island
Terminal (9.98) lies at the N end of Cut ‘J2’ channel.
9.72 1
Cut ‘K’ Channel. Thence the alignment (021¾°),
ahead, and the near reciprocal (202°), astern, of Cut ‘K’
Upper and Lower Leading Lights respectively, leads NNE
through the channel for a distance of 2⋅3 miles to the
entrance to Port Tampa:
2
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
dolphin) (27°52′⋅3N 82°33′⋅0W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (7 cables NNE of the
front light).
3
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°48′⋅8N 82°34′⋅6W).
Rear light (similar structure) (9 cables SSW of the
front light).
(Directions for Rattlesnake continue at 9.99)
Southwest Channel
9.73 1
General information. Southwest Channel (27°34′N
82°46′W) lies between Egmont Key and Anna Maria
Island, 2½ miles S. Local knowledge is required to enter.
Least charted depth is 4⋅6 m (15 ft). The channel is subject
to shoaling and depths are irregular.
2
Directions. The approach is from the SW, passing SE of
No 1 Light−buoy (port hand) (27°32′⋅5N 82°47′⋅9W).
The route then leads initially NE, thence ENE, passing
(with positions from the N end of Passage Key (27°33′⋅6N
82°44′⋅5W)):
NW of No 2 Light−beacon (starboard hand) (1½ miles
W), thence:
3
SSE of Egmont Key (1½ miles NNW), thence:
Clear of a dangerous wreck (8 cables NW), thence:
NNW of Passage Key, thence:
SSE of No 3 Light−buoy (port hand) ( 1¼ miles
NNE) to the junction with the main channel at the
entrance to Cut ‘A’ Channel (9.66).
Anchorages
Outer anchorages
9.74 1
There are two anchorages N of the Safety Fairway, both
with good holding in all weather short of hurricanes:
Fairway Anchorage (27°38′N 83°03′W) clear of the
charted wreck and obstructions in depths of 13 to
20 m (44 to 66 ft).
Fairway Anchorage (27°38′N 82°58′W) clear of the
charted obstruction in depths of 9 to 14 m (29 to
48 ft).
Inner anchorages
9.75 1
There are three explosives, one quarantine and one barge
anchorage within the bay, the limits of which are shown on
the chart:
Explosives Anchorage centred 3¼ miles S of Point
Pinellas (27°42′N 82°38′W); depths 6 to 7 m
(20−24 ft).
2
Temporary Explosives Anchorage, centred 2¼ miles
SSW of Interbay Peninsula; depths 6 to 8 m (20 to
26 ft) in W end, spoil ground in E end.
Temporary Explosives Anchorage in circular area
centred at 27°50′⋅4N 82°34′⋅3W, off Port Tampa;
depths 6 to 8 m (20 to 26 ft).
3
Barge Fleeting Area Anchorage (27°54′⋅6N
82°26′⋅7W); depths 4 m (13 to 14 ft); reserved for
transient barge traffic.
Quarantine Anchorage (27°47′⋅0N 82°29′⋅9W); 3 to
10 m (10 to 33 ft); spoil ground at W end; keeping
clear of a charted wreck.
CHAPTER 9
233
SAINT PETERSBURG
General information
Chart 3848
Position
9.76 1
Saint Petersburg (27°46′N 82°38′W) is situated on the
W side of Tampa Bay, near the S end of Pinellas
Peninsula. The port lies at the S of the city waterfront.
Function
9.77 1
The port, which is a Customs Port of Entry, handles
general cargo and cruise ships. The city is a major resort,
business and industrial centre. Population 248 232 (2000).
Approach and entry
9.78 1
The port is approached from a position at the W end of
Cut ‘G’ channel (27°47′⋅4N 82°34′⋅0W) along a wide,
marked channel and entered through a short dredged
channel leading directly into the basin. See 9.55 for the
approach channels to Tampa Bay ports which lead to Cut
‘G’.
Port authority
9.79 1
Port of Saint Petersburg, 107 8th Avenue, SE, Saint
Petersburg, Fl 33701.
Mail: 300 Second Avenue, SE, St Petersburg FL 33701.
Limiting conditions
9.80 1
Controlling depth. The chart and port authority should
be consulted for the latest controlling depths. A draft of
6⋅7 m (22 ft) is available to the Port of St. Petersburg by
following the main ship channel in Tampa Bay through the
W reach leading to Port Tampa, thence turning SW into the
natural deepwater area extending to the Port of St.
Petersburg entrance channel. A depth of 7⋅3 m (24 ft) is
available in the turning basin except for lesser depths along
the E edge.
2
Deepest and longest berth. North side of the basin
(9.85).
Tidal levels. Maximum tidal range about 0⋅7 m. See
1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Arrival information
9.81 1
Outer anchorages. See 9.74.
Pilotage. See 9.34.
Tugs are available from Tampa (9.100).
Traffic regulations. See 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47, for
details.
Quarantine.
Clearance can be arranged through the port
authority.
Harbour
9.82 1
General layout. The port includes Saint Petersburg
Basin (27°45′⋅6N 82°37′⋅7W), used for commercial vessels
and Bayboro Harbor, used for fishing vessels, close W.
Short entrance channels lead directly from Tampa Bay to
the basin. Access to Bayboro Harbor is obtained through
the basin.
Directions
(continued from 9.68)
Principal marks
9.83
1
Landmarks:
Dome (27°45′⋅9N 82°38′⋅3W).
Hotel cupola (27°46′⋅7N 82°37′⋅8W).
Saint Petersburg from E (9.76)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 9
234
Cut ‘G’ channel to Port of Saint Petersburg
9.84 1
From a position at the W end of Cut ‘G’ channel
(27°47′⋅4N 82°34′⋅0W) (9.69) the route leads WSW thence
SSW for about 3 miles to the entrance channel, thence W
into the basin, passing (with positions from Dome
(27°45′⋅9N 82°38′⋅3W)):
2
NNW of a fish haven with a least depth 5⋅2 m (17 ft)
(3¼ miles E), thence:
SSE of a charted group of obstructions and a wreck
(2¾ miles ENE), thence:
SSE of a fish haven (2½ miles NE), thence:
WNW of a spoil ground (1¾ miles E), thence:
close S of No 6 Light−beacon (1¼ miles ESE).
Berth
9.85 1
North side of basin, length 457 m, depth 4⋅9 m (2003).
Port services
9.86 1
Repairs: see Tampa (9.113).
Facilities: hospitals.
Supplies: fuel, including diesel, by truck; provisions;
water.
PORT TAMPA
General information
Chart 3848
Position
9.87 1
Port Tampa (27°52′N 82°33′W) is situated at the E side
of the entrance to Old Tampa Bay.
Function
9.88 1
The port handles a wide range of petroleum and
chemical products, gypsum, citrus and animal feed.
Port limits
9.89 1
Limits include the harbour berths and slip area only.
Approach and entry
9.90 1
The port is approached from the SSW along a marked
channel and entered from a position at the NNE end of Cut
‘K’ channel (27°51′⋅3N 82°33′⋅4) (9.72) through a turning
basin directly W of the port. See 9.55 for the approach
channels to Tampa Bay ports which lead to Cut ‘K’.
Port authority
9.91 1
Tampa Port Authority, PO Box 2192, Tampa, Fl 33601.
Limiting conditions
9.92 1
Controlling depths. Federal project depth to and
including Port Tampa turning basin is 10⋅4 m (34 ft). The
chart and port authority should be consulted for the latest
controlling depths.
Deepest and longest berth. South side slip approach.
See 9.96 for details.
Density of water: 1⋅025 g/cm
3
.
Arrival information
9.93 1
Pilotage. See 9.34 for information.
Tugs are available from Tampa (9.108).
Traffic regulations. See 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47.
Port Tampa from W (9.87)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 9
235
Customs. Port Tampa is a Customs Port of Entry.
Vessels are boarded on arrival.
Harbour
9.94 1
General layout. Berths line the approach to a slip.
Directions
9.95 1
See 9.68 for details.
Berths
9.96 1
South side approach, length 289 m, depth 9⋅2 m.
There are several berths on the N and S side of the
entrance to a slip.
Port services
9.97 1
Repairs: See Tampa (9.113).
Other facilities: hospitals.
Supplies: fuel, including diesel, by barge; marine
supplies; provisions; water.
Old Tampa Bay
Chart 3848
Weedon Island Terminal
9.98 1
General information. Weedon Island Terminal (27°52′N
82°36′W) is situated on the W side of the entrance to Old
Tampa Bay. The facility is privately owned and serves the
power station on the island.
2
Controlling depths. In 1996 there were dredged depths
of 9⋅1 m (30 ft) in the approach channel and thence 8⋅2 m
(27 ft) into the turning basin. The chart and terminal owner
should be consulted for the latest controlling depths.
3
Directions. (continued from 9.71). From a position at the
N end of Cut ‘J2’ channel (27°49′⋅5N 82°34′⋅2W) the
terminal is entered through a channel marked by
light−buoys. The alignment (337°) of leading lights leads
NNW through the centre of the approach channel, 2⋅2 miles
in length, to a channel, 4 cables in length, which leads W
directly to the turning basin and berth:
4
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on tower)
(27°51′⋅7N 82°35′⋅2W).
Rear light (white vertical mark, red stripe, on tower)
(4 cables NNW of the front light).
Berth: depth 9⋅8 m.
Useful marks:
Chimneys 27°51′⋅7N 82°36′⋅0W.
Rattlesnake
9.99 1
General information. Rattlesnake (27°53′N 82°32′W) is
situated 2 miles NNE of Port Tampa (9.87) at the E side of
the entrance to Old Tampa Bay, at the E end of Gandy
Bridge. The port handles LPG and contains a number of
shipyards. Local knowledge is required. A submarine
pipeline area lies across the approach channel to the port,
between Port Tampa and the W end of Gandy Bridge. See
9.44 for regulations concerning safety zones at Rattlesnake.
2
Controlling depth. In 1982 the reported controlling
depth in the channel leading to a basin at the S side of the
bridge was 5⋅2 m (17 ft ), and 4⋅9 m (16 ft) in the basin.
The chart and terminal owner should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
3
Directions. (continued from 9.72). From a position at the
NNE end of Cut ‘K’ channel (21°51′⋅3N 82°33′⋅4W) an
unmarked channel leads N for about 2 miles, then ENE
directly into the port.
4
Berths. The centre basin has two shipyards and a LPG
terminal berth, depth 4⋅9 m.
Repairs. The largest floating dock has a capacity of
1600 tonnes, length 91 m, width 19⋅8 m, vessel draught
4⋅6 m.
TAMPA
General information
Chart 3848 plan of Tampa
Position
9.100 1
The port and city of Tampa (27°55′N 82°27′W) is
situated at the head of Tampa Bay, at the mouth of
Hillsborough River.
Function
9.101 1
Tampa is a large manufacturing, shipping and
distribution centre. Trade includes phosphate, petroleum,
sulphur, cement, chemicals, agricultural produce, scrap iron,
machinery and general cargo. Cruise ships operate from the
port. Population 303 447 (2000) in the city, about 2 million
in the Tampa Bay area.
Topography
9.102 1
The land is flat and low. The bay is shallow.
Port limits
9.103 1
Limits include the harbour area to the S end of Cut ‘D’
channel (27°54′⋅3N 82°26′⋅3W).
Approach and entry
9.104 1
The port is approached from the S along a marked
channel and entered from a position at the N end of Cut
‘C’ channel (27°53′⋅8N 82°26′⋅4W) (9.67) through a
turning basin directly SSE of the port. See 9.55 for the
approach channels to Tampa Bay ports which lead to Cut
‘C’.
Traffic
9.105 1
In 2004 the port was used by 545 vessels with a total of
35 280 688 dwt.
CHAPTER 9
236
Port authority
9.106 1
Tampa Port Authority, PO Box 2192, Tampa, Fl 33601.
Limiting conditions
9.107 1
Depths. Federal project depth for Ybor turning basin,
and Ybor and Sparkman Channels, is 10⋅4 m (34 ft), and
for Seddon Channel is 3⋅6 m (12 ft). The chart and port
authority should be consulted for the latest controlling
depths.
2
A Regulated Navigation Area (see Appendix V) has been
established to protect vessels from limited water depth in
Sparkman Channel caused by an underwater pipeline.
Vessels with a draught greater than 10⋅8 m (35½ ft) may
not transit the channel; those with draughts of 9.1 m (30 ft)
to 10⋅8 m (35½ ft) shall transit as near as possible to the
centre of the channel.
3
Abnormal sea levels. See 9.52 for details.
Density of water is affected by local rains and the flow
in Hillsborough River.
Maximum draught of vessel handled: up to 10⋅2 m
under normal conditions.
Arrival information
9.108 1
Tugs are available; large vessels usually require at least
two.
Traffic regulations. See 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47.
Harbour
9.109 1
General layout. Channels have been dredged and
developed at the mouth of Hillsborough River. The main
berthing areas are in Cut ‘D’ channel (27°54′⋅3N
82°26′⋅3W), Sparkman and Ybor Channels, close N.
2
Minor channels include Seddon Channel, which lies
NNW of Cut ‘D’ channel, and Garrison Channel, which
links Seddon Channel to Sparkman Channel. Garrison
Channel is crossed by two low bridges and is closed to all
but boat traffic. The S end of Sparkman Channel is crossed
by pipelines.
3
Seaplane basin and facility is situated at the S end of
Davis Islands (27°55′N 82°27′W).
Climate. See climatic table after 1.220.
Directions
(continued from 9.67)
Principal marks
9.110
1
Landmarks:
Elevator (27°54′⋅3N 82°25′⋅6W).
Dome (City Hall) (27°56′⋅8N 82°27′⋅4W).
Cut ‘C’ channel to Tampa
9.111 1
From a position at the N end of Cut ‘C’ Channel
(27°54′⋅3N 82°26′⋅3W) Tampa is entered along channels
marked by light−beacons and light−buoys, as charted. The
Tampa − Sparkman and Ybor Channels from SSW (9.110)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Garrison Channel Ybor Channel
Harbor Island
CHAPTER 9
237
alignment (154°), astern, of leading lights leads NNW
through the centre of Cut ‘D’ Channel to Tampa berths:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
dolphin) (27°53′⋅9N 82°26′⋅1W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (3 cables SSE of the
front light).
Berths
Alongside berths
9.112 1
Cut ‘D’ Channel: Berth 220, length 274 m, depth
11⋅7 m. Handles cement, aggregates, sulphuric acid.
Berths 223, 226, 227 and 230 (27°55′⋅1N 82°26′⋅6W)
are used for bulk liquids. Lengths 91 to 228 m, depths
alongside 4⋅9 to 12 m.
Other berths line the E side of Cut ‘D’, with facilities
and terminals for a wide variety of cargoes. Depths
alongside vary from 4⋅3 to 10⋅4 m.
2
Sparkman Channel: LaFarge Corporation Wharf
(27°56′⋅1N 82°26′⋅7W), length 262 m to dolphins, depth
10⋅4 m. Used for discharge of cement.
Other berths line the E side of Sparkman Channel,
mainly with facilities for the petroleum industry, but also
for sulphur, scrap metal and other materials. Depths
alongside vary from 6⋅7 to 10⋅4 m.
3
Ybor Channel and Turning Basin: Cargill Grain
Terminal (berth 256) E side of Ybor Channel. Length
230⋅4 m, depth alongside 10⋅1 m.
Other berths line both the E and NW sides of the
turning basin and the W side of Ybor Channel, with
facilities for phosphate, fruit, container and general cargo.
There is a cruise ship terminal. Depths alongside vary from
5⋅5 to 10⋅4 m.
Port services
9.113 1
Repairs. Shipbuilding and repairs of all kinds can be
handled at Tampa. Facilities include patent slips, dry and
floating docks. The largest graving dock has dimensions of:
length 276 m, width 45⋅7 m, depth over sills 6⋅7 m.
2
Other facilities. Compass adjustment; medical facilities;
garbage reception; oily waste reception.
Supplies. Chandlers stores, fresh water, fuel (of all
types) and provisions.
Communications. Tampa International Airport
approximately 25 km from the main port area.
Tampa Cruise Terminal (9.112)
(Original dated prior to 2003)
(Photograph − Tampa Port Authority)
CHAPTER 9
238
PORT SUTTON
General information
Chart 3848 plan of Tampa
Position
9.114 1
Port Sutton (27°54′N 82°26′W) is situated at the E side
of the mouth of Hillsborough River, on the S side of
Tampa City. East Bay opens directly NE from Port Sutton
turning basin.
Function
9.115 1
The port contains power, chemical and cement plants
and handles a wide variety of goods.
Port limits
9.116 1
Limits include the enclosed harbour area to the SW end
of Port Sutton Channel (27°54′⋅0N 82°26′⋅4W). The berths
at East Bay lie close N of Port Sutton and use a common
entrance channel.
Approach and entry
9.117 1
The port is approached from the S along a marked
channel and entered from a position at the N end of Cut
‘C’ channel (27°53′⋅8N 82°26′⋅4W) (9.67) through Port
Sutton Channel (9.116), a short channel leading directly
into the turning basin and wharf area. See 9.55 for the
approach channels to Tampa Bay ports which lead to
Cut ‘C’.
Traffic
9.118 1
See Port of Tampa Authority traffic (9.105).
Port authority
9.119 1
Tampa Port Authority, George B Howell Maritime
Center Wharf, Tampa, Florida 33605.
Limiting conditions
9.120 1
Controlling depths. Federal project depth is 13⋅1 m
(43 ft) for Port Sutton Entrance Channel and turning basin,
and East Bay Channel and turning basin, and 10⋅4 m (34 ft)
in Upper East Bay. The chart and port authority should be
consulted for the latest controlling depths.
2
Deepest and longest berths: East Bay berths 209, 210,
211, W side (9.124).
Abnormal sea levels: see 9.52 for details.
Density of water is affected by local rains and the flow
in Hillsborough River.
Maximum draught of vessel handled: up to 10⋅2 m
under normal conditions.
Arrival information
9.121 1
Tugs are available; large vessels usually require at least
two.
Traffic regulations. See 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47.
Harbour
9.122 1
General layout. Deep draught berths, barge wharves and
a slip have been dredged close S of the entrance to East
Bay (27°55′⋅3N 82°25′⋅5W). Deep draught berths also line
Port Sutton from SW (9.114)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
East Bay
Hookers Point
CHAPTER 9
239
the SE and W sides of the bay itself. Fishing vessels berth
at jetties on the NE side of the bay.
Landmark:
Elevator (27°54′⋅3N 82°25′⋅6W).
Directions
(continued from 9.67)
9.123 1
From a position near the N end of Cut ‘C’ Channel
(27°54′⋅0N 82°26′⋅3W) Port Sutton is entered along a short
channel marked by light−beacons and light−buoys, as
charted. The alignment (234°), astern, of leading lights
leads NE through the centre of Port Sutton Channel to the
turning basin and berth area:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (27°53′⋅9N 82°26′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables SW of the
front light).
Useful mark:
Power−house chimneys (27°54′⋅4N 82°25′⋅3W).
Berths
9.124 1
IMC Mooring wharf (27°54′⋅2N 82°25′⋅1W), length
213 m, depth reported (1999) 10⋅2 m
Other berths line the N and S sides of the slip, with
facilities for anhydrous ammonia, fertilizer, petroleum,
phosphate and animal feed.
2
Pasco Terminal wharf (27°54′⋅3N 82°25′⋅7W), length
198 m, depth reported (1997) 9⋅3 m.
One other berth, for scrap metal, lies close N.
Berths 208, 209 (W side of East Bay), lengths 183 m,
depth reported (1998) 10⋅6 m. Used for motor vehicles,
steel.
3
Berths 210, 211 (W side of East Bay), lengths 183 m,
depths 10⋅8 and 11⋅6 m respectively. Used for reefer
cargoes.
Cruise berths (27°55′⋅9N 82°26′⋅1W), lengths 275 m,
228 m respectively, depth 10⋅3 m.
Other berths line the SE and W sides of East Bay, the
latter at Hookers Point.
Port services
9.125 1
See Tampa (9.113) for details.
EAST TAMPA
General information
Chart 3848
Position
9.126 1
East Tampa (27°51′N 82°24′W) is situated at the N side
of the mouth of Alafia River, close S of Tampa city.
Tampa − East Bay from S (9.124)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 9
240
Function
9.127 1
The port handles phosphates and sulphur. It is
commercially owned and contains a large chemical plant.
Approach and entry
9.128 1
The port is approached from the S through a marked
channel and entered from a position on Cut ‘C’ Channel
(27°50′⋅7N 82°26′⋅7W) (9.67) through a marked channel
WSW of the port. See 9.55 for the approach channels to
Tampa Bay ports which lead to Cut ‘C’.
Traffic
9.129 1
See Port of Tampa Authority traffic (9.105).
Port authority
9.130 1
Tampa Port Authority, George B Howell Maritime
Center Wharf, Tampa, Florida 33605.
Limiting conditions
9.131 1
Controlling depth. The entrance channel is dredged to a
depth of 8.4 m (27½ ft) (2002). The chart and port
authority should be consulted for the latest controlling
depths.
Deepest and longest berth: Riverview Liquid Products
Wharf (9.136).
Abnormal sea levels: see 9.52 for details.
Arrival information
9.132 1
Tugs are available; large vessels usually require at least
two.
Traffic regulations. A regulated speed zone, in which
vessels are required to proceed at slow or idling speed, has
been established in the approaches to the port of East
Tampa for the protection of manatees. The zone is enforced
between November and March.
See also 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47.
Harbour
9.133 1
General layout. The berths are at the mouth of Alafia
River, on the NW side of the turning basin and on both
sides of the slip close N.
Directions
(continued from 9.67)
Principal marks
9.134
1
Landmarks:
Dome (27°50′⋅0N 82°28′⋅3W).
Elevator (27°54′⋅3N 82°25′⋅6W).
Cut ‘C’ channel to East Tampa
9.135 1
From a position in Cut ‘C’ Channel (27°50′⋅7N
82°26′⋅7W), East Tampa is entered along a channel marked
by light−beacons, beacons, light−buoys and buoys, as
charted. The alignment (258°), astern, of Alafia River
Leading Lights leads ENE through the centre of the
approach channel to the turning basin and berthing area:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
dolphin) (27°50′⋅7N 82°26′⋅9W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (9 cables WSW of the
front light).
Useful mark: Water tower (27°50′⋅5N 82°28′⋅4W).
Berths
9.136 1
Turning basin: Riverview Liquid Products Wharf
(27°51′⋅4N 82°23′⋅5W), length 274 m (between dolphins),
depth 10⋅4 m.
Slip berths: East side slip (close NE of turning basin
berth), length 137 m, depth 7⋅0 m.
Other berths are situated at the W side of the slip and
close SW.
Port services
9.137 1
See Tampa (9.113) for details.
BIG BEND
General information
Chart 3848
Position
9.138 1
Big Bend (27°48′N 82°25′W) is situated at the entrance
to Hillsborough Bay, 6 miles S of Tampa City.
Function
9.139 1
The port handles phosphate rock, phosphoric acid and
fertilizers. It is commercially owned and contains a power
station.
Approach and entry
9.140 1
The port is approached from the W along a marked
channel and entered from a position at the ENE end of Cut
‘A’ channel (27°48′⋅6N 82°27′⋅0W) (9.66) through a
marked channel leading directly into the turning basin and
wharf area. See 9.55 for the approach channels to Tampa
Bay ports which lead to Cut ‘A’.
Traffic
9.141 1
See Tampa (9.105) for details.
Port authority
9.142 1
Tampa Port Authority, George B Howell Maritime
Center Wharf, Tampa, Florida 33605.
Limiting conditions
9.143 1
Controlling depths. In 1996 the reported dredged depth
in the entrance channel and turning basin was 10⋅0 m
(33 ft). The chart and port authority should be consulted for
the latest controlling depths.
Deepest and longest berth: Agro Chemical Co terminal
dock (9.147), S side of basin.
Abnormal levels: See 9.52 for details.
Arrival information
9.144 1
Tugs are available; large vessels usually require at least
two.
CHAPTER 9
241
Traffic regulations. See 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47.
Harbour
9.145 1
General layout. One deep draught berth only has been
constructed at the S side of the basin, situated close E of
the turning basin. Other berths close S are for shallow
draught vessels.
Directions
(continued from 9.66)
9.146 1
From a position at the ENE end of Cut ‘A’ channel
(27°48′⋅6N 82°27′⋅0W) Big Bend is entered along a
channel marked by light−buoys and buoys, as charted. The
alignment (096°) and the reciprocal (276°) of Big Bend
East and West Leading Lights respectively, leads E through
the centre of the approach channel to the turning basin and
berthing area:
2
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
tower) (27°48′⋅4N 82°24′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (3 cables E of the front
light).
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
tower, on piles) (27°48′⋅7N 82°27′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles W of the front
light).
3
The alignment (358½°), astern, of Big Bend Pilot
Leading Lights leads S from the turning basin through the
centre of a channel, 8 cables in length, to other berthing
facilities:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on tower,
on piles) (27°48′⋅8N 82°24′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (5 cables N of the front
light).
4
Useful mark:
Chimney (27°47′⋅7N 82°24′⋅3W).
Berth
9.147 1
Agro Chemical Co. terminal (27°48′⋅37N 82°24′⋅57W),
length 457 m, depth 10⋅7 m.
Port services
9.148 1
See Tampa (9.113) for details.
PORT MANATEE
General information
Chart 3848
Position
9.149 1
Port Manatee (27°38′N 82°34′W) is situated on the E
shore of Tampa Bay.
Function
9.150 1
The port handles containers, citrus juices, asphalt,
bananas, cement, general cargo, lumber, petroleum,
phosphate, scrap metal and steel.
Approach and entry
9.151 1
The port is approached from the SW along a marked
channel and entered from a position on Cut ‘B’ Channel
(27°39′⋅6N 82°36′⋅1W) (9.59) through Port Manatee
Channel directly into the port. See 9.55 for the approach
channels to Tampa Bay ports which lead to Cut ‘B’.
Traffic
9.152
1
In 2004 the port was used by 87 vessels having a total
of 3 691 983 dwt.
Port authority
9.153 1
Manatee County Port Authority, 300 Regal Cruise Way,
Suite 1, Palmetto FL 34221−6608.
Limiting conditions
9.154 1
Controlling depth. Dredged depth (2001) is 10⋅2 m
(33½ ft) in the entrance channel and 10⋅7 m (35 ft) in the
turning basin. The chart and port authority should be
consulted for the latest controlling depths.
Deepest and longest berths: Nos 6 and 7 (9.158).
Abnormal sea levels. See 9.52.
Maximum size of vessel handled. The largest vessel to
have used the port was 259 m in length.
Port Manatee from NW (9.149)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 9
242
Arrival information
9.155 1
Tugs are available; large vessels usually require at least
two.
Traffic regulations. See 9.36, and 9.42 to 9.47.
Harbour
9.156 1
General layout. Berths have been constructed around
the basin at Port Manatee. An entrance channel has been
dredged linking the basin to the main ship channel leading
to Tampa ports.
Directions
(continued from 9.59)
9.157 1
From a position midway on Cut ‘B’ Channel (27°39′⋅6N
82°36′⋅1W) Port Manatee is entered through a channel
marked by light−buoys and light−beacons, as charted. The
alignment (127½°) of leading lights leads SE through the
centre of the approach channel into the berthing area:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on tower)
(27°37′⋅8N 82°33′⋅6W).
Rear light (similar structure) (4cables SE of the front
light).
Entry and departure is recommended at HW, as at other
times the tidal stream sets strongly across Port Manatee
Channel.
Berths
9.158 1
North side basin:
Berths Nos 6 and 7 (27°38′⋅1N 82°33′⋅6W) length
457 m, depth 12⋅2 m.
East side basin:
Ro−Ro, Berth 8A S end, depth 12⋅2 m, deck height
2⋅4 m.
Other berths line the three sides of the basin and outside
the SW corner of the basin; depths 12⋅2 m.
Port services
9.159 1
Repairs. Shipbuilding and repairs of all kinds can be
handled at the port of Tampa. Facilities include marine
railway systems, dry and floating docks. See 9.113 for
further details.
Other facilities: garbage reception; oil waste reception.
Supplies. Fuel by barge, marine supplies, provisions,
water.
TAMPA BAY TO CAPE SAN BLAS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3852
General description
9.160 1
The area between the entrance to Tampa Bay (27°35′N
83°01′W) and Cape San Blas (29°40′N 85°21′W),
185 miles NW, is generally shoal to a considerable distance
offshore. It contains a number of small ports, of which
Crystal River Power Station (9.174), Saint Marks (9.175),
Carrabelle (9.181) and Apalachicola (9.183) are the most
important. Apalachicola River (29°45′N 85°00′W) enters
Gulf of Mexico via the town and bay of the same name.
The river forms part of a major barge trading network
covering many hundreds of miles of inland waters. A
medium draught route passes well offshore outside shoals,
linking the small ports.
Topography
9.161 1
The coast between Tampa Bay and Anclote Keys
(28°11′N 82°51′W) and between Lighthouse Point (29°54′N
84°20′W) and Cape San Blas (29°40′N 85°21′W) is
bordered by a line of narrow, sand islands, with a shallow,
irregular seabed close inshore. The remainder of the coast
is generally featureless, with numerous rivers, streams and
marsh areas. Except for the city buildings around Tampa
Bay, the whole coast is flat and well wooded.
Depths
9.162 1
Depths within about 30 miles of the coast are generally
shoal, with only a slight slope to the seabed. A number of
dangerous wrecks and fish havens lie well offshore, as
charted.
Exercise Areas
9.163
1
For details of the Missile Test Area and the Air to Air
Firing Range off Cape San Blas, shown on the chart, see
Appendix VI.
Natural conditions
9.164 1
Local weather. See 9.4 for details.
Currents. Off Anclote anchorage (28°11′N 82°50′W) the
predominant current sets N to NW and is of low to
moderate constancy. The mean rate is about 1 kn, but as
much as 3 kn or so may be experienced occasionally. In
winter and spring a SE−going current of mainly low
constancy and speed may be encountered about 30 miles
offshore or more.
2
Off Crystal River Power Station (28°57′N 82°42′W)
(9.174) the predominant current sets N to NW, although
with low constancy. Rates vary considerably and may
occasionally exceed 2 kn. About 30% of the currents
observed over Saint Martin’s Reef have been found to set
towards the shore.
3
Off Cedar Keys (29°08′N 83°03′W) the predominant
current sets NW, although with low constancy. Rates are
also very variable and may occasionally reach 3 kn.
See 1.172 for general remarks on currents in Gulf of
Mexico.
Regulations
9.165 1
Coral Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC)
(1.4) exists within the area defined by the following
positions:
28°42′⋅5N 84°24′⋅8W
28°11′⋅0N 84°00′⋅0W
28°11′⋅0N 84°07′⋅0W
28°26′⋅6N 84°24′⋅8W.
CHAPTER 9
243
2
Within this area fishing for coral is prohibited, except by
permit. The use of bottom lines, pots and trawls is also
prohibited.
Offshore route
9.166
1
From a position in the vicinity of Tampa Bay Fairway
Light−buoy (9.55) the offshore route leads W for about
80 miles within the charted safety fairway, thence NW for
about 100 miles to the vicinity of 29°00′N 85°46′W, at the
S entrance to a Safety Fairway. Thence the track leads N
for about 50 miles to the vicinity of 29°50′N 85°47′W at a
junction of Safety Fairways off Cape San Blas.
TAMPA BAY TO LIGHTHOUSE POINT
General information
Chart 3852
Route
9.167 1
Between the entrance to Tampa Bay (27°35′N 83°01′W)
and Lighthouse Point (29°54′N 84°20′W), 160 miles NNW,
the route follows the curve of the coast outside the 5⋅5 m
(18 ft) depth contour.
Topography
9.168 1
From Tampa Bay to Anclote Keys, 36 miles N, the coast
is bordered by a line of low, narrow, barrier islands.
Numerous tall buildings in the cities of Saint Petersburg,
Clearwater, and New Port Richey are prominent along the
shore. Further N the coast is low with marsh, shallow
rivers and creeks.
Depths
9.169
1
Depths reduce gradually towards the shore over an
irregular bottom, with rock outcrops in deep water. Shoal
water extends up to 15 miles offshore.
Rescue
9.170 1
Coast Guard stations are situated at Clearwater Air
Station (27°55′N 82°42′W) and Yankeetown (29°02′N
82°43′W). See 1.70 for further details.
Traffic regulations
9.171 1
Navigation rules for US Inland Waters must be
followed inside the entrances to Steinhatchee River and
Saint Marks River (9.175). See Appendix III for further
information.
Directions
(continued from 9.29)
Principal mark
9.172
1
Major light:
Anclote Keys Light (black lantern on brown
framework tower) (28°10′⋅0N 82°50′⋅7W).
2
Egmont Key Light (27°36′⋅0N 82°45′⋅6W) (9.53).
Tampa Bay to Lighthouse Point
9.173 1
From a position in the vicinity of Tampa Bay Fairway
Light−buoy (27°35′⋅3N 83°00′⋅7W) (9.55) the route leads
NNW for 93 miles to a position W of Cedar Keys
(29°08′N 83°03′W), then NW for 40 miles to a position S
of Rock Island (29°58′N 83°50′W), the E entrance to
Apalachee Bay, then W for 25 miles to the vicinity of
29°45′N 84°19′W, S of Lighthouse Point, a low featureless
point at the W entrance to Apalachee Bay, keeping W and
S of the 5⋅5 m (18 ft) depth contour and clear of dangerous
wrecks, obstructions and fish havens, as charted, passing:
2
WSW of Anclote Keys (28°11′N 82°51′W). A light
(9.172) is exhibited from the S end of Anclote
Keys. Thence:
WSW of a stranded wreck (28°14′N 83°11′W)
(position approximate). A group of several
dangerous wrecks lies about 7 miles W. Thence:
WSW of No 2 Light−buoy (starboard hand) (28°55′N
83°12′W), which marks the SW limit of Seahorse
Reef, thence:
WSW of Cedar Keys (29°08′N 83°02′W), thence:
3
SW of Steinhatchee (29°40′N 83°23′W), a fishing
port, thence:
SW of a stranded wreck in position 29°49′⋅2N
83°45′⋅9W, thence:
S of No 24 Light−buoy (starboard hand) (29°51′N
84°10′W), which marks the S limit of Ochlockonee
Shoal.
4
Useful marks:
Anclote Anchorage No 1 South Entrance Light (port
hand mark, on pile) (28°08′N 82°52′W), thence:
Anclote Anchorage No 2 North Entrance Light
(starboard hand mark, on pile) (28°15′N 82°53′W),
thence:
5
Saint Martins Outer Reef No 10 Light−beacon (red
triangular mark, on dolphin) (28°26′N 82°55′W).
Seahorse Reef Light (white square framework tower,
on piles) (28°58′N 83°09′W).
(Directions continue at 9.180)
Minor harbours
Crystal River Power Station Terminal
9.174 1
General information. The terminal (28°57′N 82°42′W)
is used for the supply of coal by barge to the power
station. A number of chimneys, cooling towers and the
power station itself are prominent in the approaches. Local
knowledge is required to enter the channel.
2
Directions. The turning basin is entered through a
dredged channel, marked by light−beacons. The reported
controlling depth was 6⋅1 m (20 ft) (1982); no recent
information is available.
CHAPTER 9
244
Berth. There is a pier: length 152 m, depth 6⋅1 m.
Facilities: electrical shore power; fresh water.
Saint Marks
9.175 1
General information. Saint Marks harbour (30°09′N
84°12′W), which has oil terminals, lies about 5½ miles
above the entrance to Saint Marks River. There is also an
oil refinery and a power station. Most river traffic is
carried by barge. Local knowledge is required to enter.
2
Directions. The river is entered by a dredged channel
marked by leading lights, light−beacons, beacons and
buoys. The controlling depth (1996) was 3⋅0 m (10 ft).
Berths. There are several wharves, with reported depths
of 3⋅0 to 4⋅6 m alongside.
LIGHTHOUSE POINT TO CAPE SAN BLAS
General information
Chart 3852
Routes
9.176 1
Between Lighthouse Point (29°54′N 84°20′W) and Cape
San Blas (29°40′N 85°21′W), 55 miles WSW, the route
passes outside extensive shoal areas S of Saint George
Island and Cape San Blas, keeping outside the 5⋅5 m (18 ft)
depth contour. The final part of the route passes within a
charted Safety Fairway, W of Cape San Blas. The use of
Safety Fairways, while not mandatory, is recommended.
2
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through Saint George
Sound, Apalachicola Bay and the lower part of
Apalachicola River.
Topography
9.177 1
The coast from Lighthouse Point to Cape San Blas is
bordered by low, narrow, wooded barrier islands. Two large
expanses of water, Saint George Sound and Apalachicola
Bay, lie between the islands and the mainland. Both waters
are generally shoal with numerous oyster reefs. Cape San
Blas marks the boundary between the coral characteristic of
the coast N from Cape Sable (25°07′N 81°05′W) (9.10)
and the sand formations which lie to the W. Shoal water
extends over 9 miles offshore. There are few coastal
identifying features.
Local knowledge
9.178 1
Local knowledge is required to enter the anchorages and
harbours in Saint George Sound and Apalachicola Bay.
Traffic regulations
9.179 1
Navigation Rules for US Inland Waters (see Appendix
III for details) must be followed inside the entrances to
Saint Georges Sound and Apalachicola Bay.
Directions
(continued from 9.173)
9.180 1
From a position S of Lighthouse Point, in the vicinity of
29°45′N 84°20′W, the route leads WSW for 17 miles to a
position off East Pass, the principal entrance to Carrabelle
(9.181); thence SW for 28 miles to clear the shoals off
Cape Saint George (29°35′N 85°03′W); thence W for
40 miles to join the Safety Fairway SW of Cape San Blas,
in the vicinity of position 29°30′N 85°47′W; thence N for
20 miles within the Safety Fairway to a position in the
vicinity of 29°50′N 85°47′W, keeping clear of dangerous
wrecks and obstructions as charted and passing (with
positions from Cape San Blas (29°40′N 85°21′W)):
2
S of the S limit of South Shoal, marked by No 26
Light−buoy (starboard hand) (53 miles E), thence:
Clear of structure (51 miles E), USAF Instrumentation
Tower ‘K’, thence:
SE of entrance channel into East Pass, marked by
No 2 Light−buoy (starboard hand) (36 miles E),
thence:
Clear of USAF Instrumentation Tower ‘O’ (40 miles
E), thence:
Clear of USAF Instrumentation Tower ‘C’ (30 miles
ESE), thence:
3
SE of S limit of shoals S of Cape Saint George,
(23 miles SE), thence:
S of SSW limit of shoals SW of Cape San Blas, a
low, wooded point, marked by No 30 Light−buoy
(starboard hand) (14 miles SSW).
4
Useful marks:
Lighthouse Point Light (29°52′N 84°19′W).
Light−structure (metal pile), USAF Instrumentation
Towers, in the following positions:
29°40′N 84°22′W (K)
29°25′N 84°21′W (V)
5
29°32′N 84°37′W (O)
29°18′N 84°37′W (S)
29°25′N 84°51′W (C)
(Directions for the coastal route continue at 10.72
and for Port Saint Joe at 10.32)
Small anchorages and harbours
Carrabelle Harbour
9.181 1
General information. Carrabelle (29°50′N 84°40′W) is
a small town and harbour with several fish processing
plants.
Tidal levels. The diurnal tidal range is about 0⋅8 m.
Currents. There are strong out−going tidal currents.
Local knowledge is required to enter. Fishermen are
available to act as pilots.
2
Directions. Approach is made by dredged channels
through East Pass for about 3 miles, thence through Saint
George Sound and Carrabelle River for 5 miles to a turning
basin off the town. The channel is marked by leading
lights, beacons, light−buoys and buoys.
3
Anchorage. There is an outer anchorage with good
holding W of the W end of Dog Island in depths of 5 to
6 m (16 to 20 ft).
Berths. There are several wharves with reported depths
of 2⋅1 to 4⋅6 m alongside.
Communications. There is an airstrip close W of the
town.
Florida State University’s Marine Laboratory Basin
9.182 1
General information. The basin (29°55′N 84°31′W) is
entered through Saint George Sound and a dredged channel
marked by light−buoys. The controlling depth is 3⋅0 m
(10 ft) (1982).
Berth. There is a wharf: length 55 m, depth 2⋅4 m.
Apalachicola
9.183 1
General information. Apalachicola (29°43′N 84°59′W)
is a fishing and commercial harbour with trade in
CHAPTER 9
245
chemicals, grain, logs, petroleum and sulphur. The port is
linked with an extensive barge trading inland waterway.
Currents. Strong out−going tidal currents may be
experienced.
2
Local knowledge is required to enter. Fishermen are
available to act as pilots.
Directions. The port is approached across Apalachicola
Bay (9.177) and entered through Government Cut, a
dredged channel marked by beacons and light−buoys
between barrier islands 5 miles ENE of Cape Saint George,
with a controlling depth of 0⋅6 m (2 ft) (2001).
A route with deeper water is available through East Pass
(9.181) and Saint Georges Sound. From a position in the
vicinity of ‘2’ Buoy (lateral) (29°44′⋅5N 84°39′⋅3W) a
dredged channel leads NW for three miles through East
Pass to a point W of Dog Island. Thence the route follows
the Intracoastal Waterway through Saint Georges Sound and
Apalachicola Bay leading generally SW, for 17½ miles,
thence NNW for 4 miles, to Apalachicola.
3
Controlling depth. The intracoastal waterway has a
federal project depth of 3⋅6 m (12 ft).
Vertical clearance. State Route G1A highway bridge
has a fixed span clearance of 15⋅2 m (50 ft).
4
Anchorage may be obtained in Apalachicola Bay
4 miles N of Government Cut in depths of 2 to 3 m (7 to
10 ft).
Local magnetic anomaly is reported to occur in the
vicinity of the S end of the channel leading to Apalachicola
River.
5
Climate. See climatic table after 1.220.
Berths. There are numerous wharves and fishing piers.
Port services. There is a hospital and an airport situated
close W of the town.
GULF OF MEXICO
MISSISSIPPI
ALABAMA
FLORIDA
H
o
r
n
I
s
.
P
a
s
s
P
a
s
c
a
g
o
u
l
a
B
a
y
o
u
l
a
B
a
t
r
e
B
i
l
o
x
i
G
u
l
f
p
o
r
t
Mobile
Panama City
Port Saint Joe
Pensacola
3148
3148
3858
3151
3150
3149
3150
3841
3852
3852
3851
0206
10.221
10.217
10.174
10.129
10.200
1
0
.
2
3
6
10.118
10.72
10.170
10.109
10.66
10.96
10.32
10.58
1
0
.
1
7
8
1
0
.
1
7
7
1
0
.
2
2
0
1
0
.
2
2
4
10.141
10.75
10.42
10.13
246
Chapter 10 - Cape San Blas to Horn Island Pass
29°
30°30°
31°31°
29°
89°88°Longitude 87° West from Greenwich86°85°
89°88°87°86°85°
247
CHAPTER 10
CAPE SAN BLAS TO HORN ISLAND PASS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3852, 3851
Scope of the chapter
10.1 1
The chapter includes the S coasts of the states of
Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, from Cape San Blas
(29°40′N 85°21′W) to Horn Island Pass (30°09′N
88°34′W), 170 miles W. The major ports are Port Saint Joe
(10.13), Panama City (10.42), Pensacola (10.75), Mobile
(10.141), Pascagoula (10.178) and Gulfport (10.224).
2
Charted Safety Fairways lead through the marine
oilfields from deep water and along the coastal route. A
sheltered route for small vessels and barges is linked to the
ports and provides trade access to extensive inland
waterways.
3
A number of US Naval Stations are situated near the
ports, resulting in the use of the adjacent waters for trials
and exercise purposes. See also Appendix VI − United
States − Danger Zones and Restricted Area Regulations.
Topography
10.2 1
The main feature of the coast is the long, straight or
gently curving line of sand islands, which form some
protection to the mainland coast and the large bays and
bayous behind it. The land is low and featureless, with
many areas of marsh, particularly at the W end. The
entrance to every harbour is obstructed by a shifting bar,
over which the depths are changeable. Most of the
entrances have been improved by dredging and, in some
cases, by the construction of jetties.
Radar characteristics
10.3 1
The coast is generally low and does not give a good
radar response. Radar is an important aid in detecting the
positions of offshore oil platforms and other related
structures outside the Safety Fairways, which it sometimes
helps to define.
Hazards
10.4 1
Marine exploitation. Considerable marine oil field
construction has taken place off the coast of Alabama and
Mississippi, including production platforms, pipelines,
submerged wellheads, pipes and cables. See 1.9 and 1.10.
2
Tyndall Drone Launch Corridor. A restricted area has
been established from a point on the shore in position
30°01′⋅5N 85°32′⋅5W, extending in a corridor about 2 miles
wide in a S direction for 6½ miles. Vessels are allowed to
enter and remain in this area provided they maintain
listening watch on VHF channel 16 or CB channel 13. They
must leave the area not later than 60 minutes before any
drone launch. See also Appendix VI.
3
Navy inert mine exercise area. A restricted area has
been established in the vicinity of 30°07′⋅7N 85°57′⋅9W.
All vessels are required at all times to stay a minimum of
0⋅5 miles from this position, where numerous buoys and
surface and subsurface inert mines hazardous to navigation
are deployed. All vessels are requested to stay a minimum
of 2⋅5 miles from this position while the Navy is
conducting airborne/surface operations in the area.
4
Hurricane damage. Within the waters covered by this
chapter damage due to Hurricane Katrina (2005) may be
encountered, particularly along the coasts of Alabama and
Mississippi.
Mariners should be aware that aids to navigation in
these areas and structures in the Gulf of Mexico may have
been damaged or destroyed. Lighted and unlighted buoys
may have been moved from their charted positions,
damaged, sunk, extinguished or otherwise made inoperative.
5
Mariners should not rely completely upon the position or
operation of an aid to navigation, but should also employ
other methods of determining position as may be available.
Wrecks and submerged obstructions may have been
moved from their charted locations and pipelines may have
become uncovered or moved due to the force of storm
surges.
6
Mariners should exercise caution and report aid to
navigation discrepancies and hazards to navigation to the
nearest Coastguard Unit.
For the latest navigation information consult marine
safety information bulletins issued by local authorities and
US Coastguard.
Lightering
10.5
1
Designated Lightering, and Prohibited from Lightering,
Zones have been established in Gulf of Mexico. Within the
area covered by this chapter is Offshore Pascagoula No 2
Lightering Zone. For further details see Appendix VII.
Pilotage
10.6 1
A deep−sea pilotage service is available throughout Gulf
of Mexico and Florida Strait, to provide assistance in
heavily congested areas. See 1.30 for details.
Marine nature reserve
10.7
1
Gulf Islands National Seashore Protected Area. The
larger Gulf Islands have been designated part of the Gulf
Islands National Seashore. This stretches 160 miles from
Cat Island (30°13′N 89°05′W) in Mississippi to the E tip of
Santa Rosa Island in Florida (30°23′N 86°31′W), and are
subject to the rules and regulations of the US Department
of the Interior’s National Park Service.
Natural conditions
10.8 1
Maritime topography is generally irregular close to the
shore and, with only a small slope, shoals extend to a
considerable distance offshore, so increasing the
significance of charted wrecks, fish havens and pipelines.
2
Tidal streams reach considerable rates in all the harbour
entrances. Both rate and direction are affected by the
prevailing wind.
Sea water transparency. The sea water is remarkably
clear, enabling the bottom to be seen from aloft at depth
and at some distance, so assisting navigation in sand bank
areas.
CHAPTER 10
248
3
Weather. Tropical storms are experienced every 1 to
2 years with winds reaching hurricane force about every
5 years. During intense hurricanes winds can reach 175 kn,
with tides 8 m above normal, 12 m seas and 38 cm of rain.
Most approach the coast from between SE to SW. The
most likely season for hurricanes is from late May to early
November, with a peak in September.
See 1.196 for further information on storms.
CAPE SAN BLAS TO PENSACOLA
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3852
General description
10.9 1
The area between Cape San Blas (29°40′N 85°21′W)
and Pensacola (30°25′N 87°13′W), 110 miles WNW, is
generally free from natural dangers. It contains the ports of
Port Saint Joe (10.13), Panama City (10.42) and Pensacola
(10.75), as well as numerous small ports on the Intracoastal
Waterway (1.12). A system of Safety Fairways (1.10) has
been established to assist the safety of navigation in parts
of Gulf of Mexico, including Safety Fairways leading from
the edge of the continental shelf to the approaches to Gulf
ports. Although not mandatory, the use of Safety Fairways
is recommended. A medium draught route joins these
approach routes, passing through coastal and offshore
waters. Military training, air to air firing and guided missile
testing take place over extensive sea areas. See also
Appendix VI.
Topography
10.10 1
The coastline lies on a shallow curve with many miles
of almost straight beach. Low, narrow, sand islands shelter
lagoons and the entrances to rivers on a low, wooded coast.
Holiday homes and apartment blocks have been developed
along the coast NW of Panama City (10.42).
Depths
10.11 1
Controlling depths in the approach Safety Fairways are
generally greater than 20 m (11 fm), but such depths are
affected by a number of dangerous wrecks and
obstructions, as charted.
Natural conditions
10.12 1
Weather. The climate is excellent; there is always a
good breeze in summer and it is seldom very cold in
winter. See 10.8 for remarks on hurricanes.
Maritime topography. The slope of the seabed from the
edge of the continental shelf, which lies about 30 miles
from the shore at its closest point, is generally uniform. De
Soto Canyon, a remarkable deep seabed feature, is in
mid−position 29°20′N 87°00′W.
PORT SAINT JOE
General information
Charts 3148, 3852
Position
10.13 1
Port Saint Joe (29°49′N 85°18′W) is situated on the E
side of Saint Joseph Bay, 10 miles NNE of Cape San Blas
(29°40′N 85°21′W).
Function
10.14 1
The port is a Customs Port of Entry which handles
paper products, oil, container and general cargo. It is
reported to be one of the best harbours on the Gulf coast
for vessels up to medium draught.
Topography
10.15 1
The town wharves lie on the E side of a large bay,
sheltered by a long, narrow, sand peninsula. The coast is
low and flat near the port. The head of the bay is wooded.
Radio towers, water tanks and some town buildings are
prominent in the approaches.
Approach and entry
10.16 1
Port Saint Joe is approached within a charted Safety
Fairway (1.10). The harbour is entered by a marked and
Port Saint Joe from W (10.13)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Gulf County Canal
CHAPTER 10
249
dredged channel, across a line of off−lying shoals, through
Saint Joseph Bay. The channels, except for South Channel,
are marked by lights and buoys; lighted ranges mark the
entrance channel and North Channel.
Port authority
10.17 1
Port Saint Joe Port Authority, PO Box 280, Port Saint
Joe, FL32456.
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
10.18 1
Federal project dimensions for harbour channels are:
Channel Depth Width
Entrance to a point ½ mile N
of Saint Joseph Point (10.34)
10.7−11⋅3 m
(35−37 ft)
91−152 m
Entrance S of above 10⋅7 m (35 ft) 91 m
North Channel (10.38) 10⋅7 m (35 ft) 91 m
Turning basin (10.38) 9⋅8 m (32 ft) 198 m
Harbour 10⋅7 m (35 ft) 76 m
South Channel 8⋅2 m (27 ft) 61 m
Vertical clearance
10.19
1
Gulf County Canal (10.31) is crossed by a fixed bridge
with a vertical clearance of 22⋅8 m (75 ft) near the bay
entrance.
Deepest and longest berths
10.20 1
Amerada Hess Tanker Terminal (10.40).
Saint Joe Paper Company wharf (10.40).
Tidal levels
10.21
1
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See 1.21 and
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Abnormal levels
10.22 1
Strong SE winds may cause higher tides, strong NW
winds lower and delayed tides.
Maximum size of vessel handled
10.23 1
Vessels with draughts up to 9⋅8 m are accepted.
Arrival information
Port radio
10.24 1
There is a VHF radio station at Panama City and a coast
radio station at Mobile. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volumes 1(2) and 6(5) for details.
Notice of ETA
10.25 1
Notice of ETA: 24 hours.
Outer anchorage
10.26 1
Outer Fairway Anchorage limits are as charted in
mid−position 29°50′N 85°31′W, in depths of 10 to 20 m
(34 ft to 11 fm). Part of a spoil ground lies in the E part of
the anchorage.
Pilotage
10.27 1
Pilotage is compulsory and is supplied by Panama City
Pilots; it is available day and night. The pilot boards in
position 29°52′N 85°31′W. See Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Tugs
10.28 1
Tugs are obtained from Panama City (10.42) when
required.
Traffic regulations
10.29 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters (see
Appendix III) must be followed inside a line drawn from
Saint Joseph Point (29°52′⋅6N 85°23′⋅3W) in direction 009°
to the shore.
2
Masters of vessels intending to load or unload
explosives will be directed by the Captain of the Port to
one of two explosives anchorages (10.39).
Speed limit in the harbour is 3½ kn.
Quarantine
10.30 1
Quarantine officials board vessels anywhere in the
harbour.
Harbour
General layout
10.31 1
The port lies at the E side of Saint Joseph Bay. A
dredged approach channel crosses the bay from the N to a
turning basin and wharf, sheltered by an islet about
3 cables offshore. An unmaintained channel from the S
leads to the same wharf. Anchorage may be obtained as
required in the N part of the bay.
2
Gulf County Canal, which connects Saint Joseph Bay
with the Intracoastal Waterway, enters the bay close N of
the wharfs.
Directions
(continued from 9.180)
Principal mark
10.32 1
Major light:
Tyndall Field Aero Light (water tower, 40 m in
height) (30°04′N 85°35′W).
CHAPTER 10
250
Approach and entry
10.33 1
The approach should be made from the W through the
charted Safety Fairway, from a position in the vicinity of
29°51′N 85°47′W. Entry is along a dredged channel,
marked by light−buoys, around Saint Joseph Point as
described below.
10.34 1
Entrance Channel, east−north−east reach. The
alignment (062°) of Entrance Leading Lights ‘A’,
intensified on the leading line, leads through the centre of
the channel for a distance of 3⋅2 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on piles)
(29°54′⋅4N 85°24′⋅3W).
2
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (1½ miles ENE of the front
light).
Port Saint Joe Entrance Channel lighted range on top of
a papermill is often difficult to see because of the steam
from the mill.
10.35 1
Entrance Channel, east reach. Thence the alignment
(089¼°) of Leading Lights ‘B’, intensified on the leading
line, leads through the centre of the channel for a distance
of 1⋅4 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on pile)
(29°53′⋅7N 85°23′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7 cables E of the front
light).
10.36 1
Entrance Channel, east−south−east reach. Thence the
alignment (117½°) of Leading Lights ‘C’, intensified on the
leading line, leads through the centre of the channel for a
distance of 1⋅2 miles:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on pile)
(29°52′⋅9N 85°22′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7½ cables ESE of the
front light).
10.37 1
Entrance Channel, south reach. Thence the alignment
(358¼°), astern, of Leading Lights ‘D’, visible on the
leading line, leads through the centre of the channel for a
distance of 2⋅4 miles, passing close E of Saint Joseph
Point;
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on pile)
(29°53′⋅7N 85°23′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7 cables N of the front
light).
10.38 1
North Channel. Thence the channel, marked by buoys
and light−buoys (lateral), leads ESE for a distance of
3¾ miles directly into the turning basin and wharf area.
Useful mark:
Turning Basin No 30 Light (starboard hand mark on
pile) (29°48′⋅9N 85°18′⋅9W).
Berths
Chart 3148
Anchorages
10.39 1
Saint Joseph Bay: as required in N part of bay; depths
7 to 11 m (24 to 37 ft); hard sand or hard mud.
No 1 Explosives: anchorage limits charted in
mid−position 29°50′⋅1N 85°20′⋅3W.
No 2 Explosives: anchorage limits charted in
mid−position 29°47′⋅5N 85°21′⋅5W.
St Joseph Point Apprs. from NW (10.33)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
St Joseph Point
CHAPTER 10
251
Alongside Berths
10.40 1
Amerada Hess Tanker Terminal (29°49′⋅0N
85°18′⋅8W); depth 10⋅4 m.
Saint Joe Paper Company wharf; depth 9⋅3 m.
Both companies use adjacent locations on the same
wharf, total length 5 cables. The wharf has Ro−Ro and
container facilities.
Port services
10.41 1
Facilities: hospitals; oil waste reception.
Supplies: fuel with prior arrangement (including diesel);
marine supplies; petroleum; provisions; water.
PANAMA CITY
General information
Charts 3148 plan of Saint Andrew Bay, 3852
Position
10.42 1
Panama City (30°09′N 85°39′W) is situated on the NNE
shore of Saint Andrew Bay.
Function
10.43 1
The port, which is available for vessels up to medium
draught, handles chemicals, paper and oil products, timber,
dry bulk, general and container cargo. The city is a
commercial, industrial and resort centre. Population about
108 000.
Topography
10.44 1
The city and port are situated on the NE side of a large
harbour, sheltered by a narrow peninsula and island. The
coast is low and flat. Radio towers and chimneys are
prominent in the approaches. See 10.67 for further
information. There are two entrances. Both are narrow. The
main ship channel entrance (the SW entrance) is protected
by breakwaters and training walls which extend towards the
channel from both sides. The E entrance is not used by
shipping.
Approach and entry
10.45 1
The port should be approached within the charted Safety
Fairway (1.10). The harbour is entered by a marked and
dredged channel cut through a narrow opening between
Shell Island and the mainland.
Traffic
10.46 1
In 2004 the port was used by 13 vessels with a total of
348 491 dwt.
Port authority
10.47 1
Panama City Port Authority, PO Box 15095, 5321 West
Highway 98, Panama City, Fla. 32406.
Limiting conditions
Controlling depth
10.48 1
Federal project dimensions for the entrance channel are
depth 11⋅6−11⋅0 m (38−36 ft), width 137−91 m (450−300 ft),
thence 10⋅4 m (34 ft) in the bay.
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Vertical clearance
10.49
1
Hathaway Fixed Bridge spans the navigation channel W
of Sulphur Point, 8 cables NW of Dyers Point (10.64), and
has a vertical clearance of 19⋅8 m (65 ft).
An overhead power cable with a safe vertical clearance
of 25⋅9 m (85 ft) spans the navigation channel 1 cable N of
Hathaway Fixed Bridge.
Deepest and longest berth
10.50 1
Dyers Point S wharf (10.64).
Tidal levels
10.51 1
Maximum tidal range at Alligator Bayou (10.65) about
0⋅4 m. See 1.21 and Admiralty Tide Tables for further
information.
Abnormal levels
10.52 1
‘Northers’ (1.201) lower the level of water in the bay
and cause an out−going stream at the surface through the
entrance channel.
Maximum draught of vessel handled
10.53 1
Vessels with draughts up to 9⋅6 m are accepted at Dyers
Point wharves (10.64) and up to 9⋅0 m at the tanker
terminal.
Local weather
10.54 1
The winds are variable in winter; the strongest gales are
from the N. Moderate S winds cause heavy tide rips in the
dredged entrance channel during the period of out−going
tidal streams.
Arrival information
10.55 1
Port radio. There is a VHF radio station in Panama
City and a coast radio station in Mobile. See Admiralty List
of Radio Signals Volumes 6(5) and 1(2) for details.
Notice of ETA: 24 hours.
Outer anchorage. Outer Fairway Anchorage limits are
as charted in mid−position 29°53′⋅5N 85°43′⋅5W, in depths
of 26 to 29 m (14 to 16 fm), about 14 miles S of the
harbour entrance, adjacent to the Safety Fairway.
2
Submarine cables cross the entrance channel in
mid−position 30°07′⋅4N 85°43′⋅6W and cross the harbour
NE of Redfish Point, in mid−position 30°08′⋅7N 85°40′⋅0W.
See The Mariner’s Handbook for cable information.
3
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards in position 30°06′⋅0N 85°45′⋅6W. The pilot
CHAPTER 10
252
launch is 14 m in length and equipped with VHF/FM. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Tugs are available.
4
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line between the breakwaters at each side
of the Entrance Channel (30°07′N 85°44′W). (See
Appendix III).
Quarantine officials board vessels for inspection when
alongside the wharves.
Harbour
General layout
10.56 1
Port facilities extend over the W end and much of the
NNE shore of Saint Andrew Bay. The main berthing areas
(with positions from Redfish Point (30°08′⋅5N 85°40′⋅1W))
are:
Alligator Bayou (4½ miles WNW).
Port Authority berths, Dyers Point (4 miles WNW).
Bay harbour berths (2¼ miles E).
2
A Foreign Trade Zone is situated close N of the Port
Authority berths.
The dredged approach channel and Safety Fairway lead
NE into the bay. The Intracoastal Waterway (1.12) passes
through the harbour, entering at the ESE end and leaving at
the WNW. Anchorage may be obtained almost anywhere in
the harbour according to draught.
Hurricane damage
10.57
1
See 10.4.
Directions
(continued from 9.180)
Principal marks
10.58 1
Landmarks:
Four chimneys (30°08′⋅5N 85°37′⋅3W).
Building (30°08′⋅8N 85°45′⋅7W).
Water tank (30°04′⋅3N 85°35′⋅9W), 40 m (130 ft) in
height.
Major light:
Tyndall Field Aero Light (30°04′N 85°35′W) (10.32).
10.59 1
The water in the entrance to Saint Andrew Bay is
remarkably clear. The outlines of the channels and spits can
be distinguished by the difference in the colour of the
water, even in rough weather.
2
From a position in the vicinity of 29°50′N 85°47′W, the
track leads N for a distance of 16 miles, through the
charted Safety Fairway, keeping clear of dangerous charted
wrecks and passing Saint Andrew Light−buoy (safe water)
(30°05′⋅5N 85°46′⋅4W). Entry is along a dredged channel
marked by light−buoys, leading NE, described below.
10.60 1
Entrance Channel. The alignment (052½°) of Entrance
Leading Lights ‘A’ leads through the centre of the channel
for a distance of 2⋅7 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°08′⋅8N 85°41′⋅6W).
2
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles NE of the
front light).
3
Thence the alignment (251½°),astern, of Leading Lights
‘B’ leads 1¾ miles ENE to a position 5 cables WSW of
Municipal pier (10.64):
Front Light (red rectangle, white stripe, on tower, on
piles) (30°08′⋅0N 85°42′⋅9W), intensified on
leading bearing.
Rear Light (similar structure), (6 cables WSW of
Front Light), visible on leading bearing only.
Panama City − Entrance Channel to St Andrew Bay from SW (10.60)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Shell Island
CHAPTER 10
253
10.61
1
Saint Andrew Bay, NW part. From a position near the
inward end of the ‘B’ leading line, the track to Alligator
Bayou and the alongside berths at Dyers Point (10.64)
initially leads 2 miles WNW through a channel marked by
light−buoys (lateral), passing (positions relative to Front
Entrance Leading Light (10.60)):
2
Between the Entrance Leading light−beacons, thence:
NNE of Courtney Point (9 cables W), thence:
SSW of Buena Vista Point (1¼ miles NNW).
The track then continues through the buoyed channel,
5 cables NNW then a further 1½ miles WNW, to
the dredged entrance to Alligator Bayou, passing:
3
Between Buena Vista Point and Bear Point, 1¼ miles
NNW, thence:
SSW of light−beacon No 14 (red and yellow triangle
point upwards on piles), standing 1¾ cables W of
Dyers Point (10.64).
10.62
1
Saint Andrew Bay, E part. From a position near the
inward end of the ‘B’ leading line, the track to Bay Harbor
(10.64) leads through a channel marked by light−beacons
and light−buoys (lateral), 1 mile ESE, then 6 cables SSE,
then 1½ miles E, to a position 5 cables SE of the berths,
passing:
NNE of Redfish Point (30°08′⋅5N 85°40′⋅1W);
light−beacon No 18 (red triangle, yellow square, on
pile) stands on the N side of a spit that extends
1½ cables ENE from the point, thence:
2
SSW of Bunkers Point (30°08⋅7N 85°39′⋅4W);
light−beacon No 19 (green square, yellow triangle,
on dolphin) stands at the S extremity of shoal
water that extends 1½ cables SSW from the point,
thence:
WSW of Town Point (30°08′⋅1N 85°38′⋅8W);
light−buoy No 21 (port hand) is moored 1½ cables
W of a drying spit that extends 1 cable SSW from
the point, thence:
3
N of Palmetto Point (30°07′⋅5N 85°39′⋅0W);
light−beacon No 24 (red triangle, yellow square, on
pile) stands at the extremity of shoal water that
extends 4 cables ENE of the point. A dangerous
wreck, depth unknown, lies in surrounding depths
of about 7 m (23 ft), located 4½ cables WNW of
the light−beacon. Thence:
4
S of the entrance to Watson Bayou (30°08′⋅9N
85°38′⋅1W), thence:
N of Military Point (30°07′⋅5N 85°37′⋅3W);
light−beacon No 28 (red triangle, yellow square, on
pile) stands at the extremity of shoal water that
extends 1½ cables NNE from the point.
Berths
Anchorages
10.63 1
Good anchorage is obtained almost anywhere in the bay
according to draught.
Alongside berths
10.64 1
Principal berths are at (with positions from Redfish Point
(30°08′⋅5N 85°40′⋅1W)):
Alligator Bayou (4½ miles WNW), Coast Guard
Station restricted area.
Dyers Point (4 miles WNW); W Berths 1, 2 and 3
total length 466 m, depth 9⋅7 m (32 ft), deck
height 2⋅6 m; W Berth 4 length 61 m depth 9⋅7 m
(32 ft), deck height 2⋅6 m; South Dock total length
335 m, depth 9⋅7 m (32 ft), deck height 2⋅6 m.
2
Tanker terminal (8 cables N); length 214 m, depth 4⋅6
to 7⋅6 m.
Municipal pier (5 cables NNE).
Bay Harbor (2¼ miles E); length 281 m, depth 9⋅1 m.
Other berths are adjacent.
Port services
10.65 1
Repairs. Facilities for minor repairs only are available.
The nearest port for major repairs is Mobile (10.141). The
dimensions of the largest patent slip are: length 38⋅1 m,
cradle 34⋅1 m; draught on blocks forward 2⋅3 m, aft 3⋅7 m;
capacity 250 tonnes. See 1.166 for details of other docking
information.
Other facilities: hospitals; garbage reception; reception
of oil wastes.
Panama City − Dyers Point from S (10.64)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Alligator Bayou Bear Point
CHAPTER 10
254
2
Supplies: fuel oil in small quantities; provisions; water.
Communications. Panama City Bay County airport is
situated 6 km NE of Dyers Point (30°10′⋅5N 85°44′⋅0W).
Coast Guard Station: on the SE side of Alligator
Bayou (30°10′N 85°45′W), has search and rescue
capabilities and may provide lookout, communication
and/or patrol functions to assist vessels in distress. The
bayou is within a restricted area. See 1.70 for details.
CAPE SAN BLAS TO PENSACOLA
General information
Chart 3852
Routes
10.66 1
Between Cape San Blas (29°40′N 85°21′W) and
Pensacola (30°25′N 87°13′W), 110 miles WNW, the coastal
route for vessels up to medium draught passes within the
charted Safety Fairways throughout its length. The use of
Safety Fairways, while not mandatory, is recommended.
2
The S approach route to Port Saint Joe (10.13) and
Panama City (10.42) leads N for 48 miles within a Safety
Fairway, from a position in the vicinity of 29°02′N
85°46′W at the edge of the continental shelf, to join the
coastal route WNW of Cape San Blas.
3
The S approach route to Pensacola (10.75) leads N for
32 miles within a Safety Fairway, from a position in the
vicinity of 29°42′N 87°17′W at the edge of the continental
shelf, to join the coastal route S of Pensacola.
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the bays
adjacent to Panama City and through Choctawhatchee Bay
(10.74) to enter Pensacola Bay at the W end of Santa Rosa
Sound (30°23′N 86°54′W).
Topography
10.67 1
The coast to the E of Saint Andrew Bay entrance
channel (30°07′N 85°44′W), cut though Shell Island,
appears as a low unbroken line of woods. In contrast, to
the W of the entrance channel a succession of beach
houses and tall buildings, some up to 30 storeys high, line
the shore to the entrance to Choctawhatchee Bay (30°23′N
86°31′W). Topsail Bluff, a slightly elevated wooded knoll
which can be seen for several miles, lies about 10 miles E
of the entrance to Choctawhatchee Bay. Farther W the
tanks and towers on Santa Rosa Island and the tanks,
towers and buildings of the Naval Air Station at Pensacola
are visible above the sand beach and scattered clumps of
trees. The whole coastline forms a gently curving and
steep−to sand beach, on which seas break heavily in S
winds.
Depths
10.68 1
Least charted depths are 29 m (16 fm) in the E, 19 m
(63 ft) in the centre off Choctawhatchee Bay and 16 m
(54 ft) in the W part of the route.
Local knowledge
10.69 1
Local knowledge is required to enter Choctawhatchee
Bay and the small ports in the bay.
Traffic regulations
10.70 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters (Appendix III)
must be followed inside the entrance to Choctawhatchee
Bay.
2
Restricted areas, centred in positions 30°23′N 86°48′W
and 30°24′N 86°42′W, with radii of 5 and 3 miles
respectively, are proving grounds for the US Air Force.
Entry into these waters is prohibited during use, which is
limited to irregular daylight hours. See Appendix VI for
further information.
Rescue
10.71 1
Coast Guard station: Destin (30°24′N 86°32′W),
situated on the W side of the entrance to Choctawhatchee
Bay (10.74), has search and rescue capabilities and may
provide lookout, communication and/or patrol functions to
assist vessels in distress. See 1.70 for details.
Directions
(continued from 9.180)
Principal marks
10.72 1
Landmarks:
Four chimneys (30°06′N 85°37′W).
Building (30°24′N 86°34′), reported to be a good
radar target at more than 32 miles.
Major lights:
Tyndall Field Aero Light (30°04′N 85°35′W) (10.32).
Pensacola Light (white conical brick tower, black top,
52 m in height) (30°21′N 87°19′W).
Cape San Blas to Pensacola
10.73 1
From a position about 25 miles WNW of Cape San Blas,
in the vicinity of 29°50′N 85°47′W, the route leads NW
within a Safety Fairway for 39 miles, thence W for
26 miles, thence continuing W with a small change of
direction for 24 miles to a position off Pensacola, keeping
clear of fish havens and shoals, as charted, passing:
2
SW of Saint Andrew Bay entrance channel (30°06′N
85°46′W), thence:
S of Choctawhatchee Bay entrance channel (30°22′N
86°31′W).
(Directions for the coastal route continue at 10.118
and for Pensacola at 10.96)
Small vessels
Choctawhatchee Bay
10.74 1
General information: Choctawhatchee Bay is a large
expanse of water, about 25 miles in length, sheltered from
the sea by a narrow strip of land. Depths vary from 2 to
13 m (8 to 43 ft). Entry is through East Pass (30°22′N
86°31′W), with a reported controlling depth (2001) of
1⋅8 m (6 ft). The tanks and buildings of Elgin Air Force
Base, which cover the NW shore, are conspicuous. The
entrance is identified from close offshore by two fixed road
bridges which cross the channel inside the E end of Santa
Rosa Island. The parallel bridges have a least vertical
clearance of 15 m. The Intracoastal Waterway enters at the
E end and leaves at the W end of the bay.
2
Directions. Approach should be made from the S,
keeping clear of dangerous wrecks as charted, passing
Choctawhatchee Light−buoy (safe water) (30°22′N
CHAPTER 10
255
86°31′W). Entry is through a dredged channel marked by
light−beacons.
3
Useful mark: Choctawhatchee Entrance No 3 Light (port
hand mark on framework tower on metal pile) (30°23′N
86°31′W).
Berths: Berths are situated at the fishing village of
Destin, close N of East Pass, at Fort Walton Beach,
4½ miles WNW of East Pass, and at a number of other
settlements in the bay.
4
No−discharge zone (NDZ). A NDZ has been established
within Destin Harbour. See 1.52.
PENSACOLA
General information
Charts 3149, 3851
Position
10.75 1
Pensacola (30°25′N 87°13′W) is situated on the NW
shore of Pensacola Bay, about 7 miles from the harbour
entrance.
Function
10.76 1
The port handles forest products, asphalt, steel products,
minerals and reefer cargoes, as well as container and
general cargo. It is a Customs Port of Entry. The city is the
capital of Escambia County; it is a major resort and a base
for US Naval Air and Air Defence Stations. The population
is about 310 000.
Topography
10.77 1
Pensacola Bay, about 12½ miles in length, is sheltered
by a narrow strip of land. The coast is low and flat, with a
white sand beach to the E and a thickly wooded shore to
the W of the entrance channel. Shoals extend about
1½ miles offshore over an irregular seabed. The radar
dome, towers and tanks of the US Naval Air Station are
prominent in the approaches, as is the span of the Perdido
Pass highway bridge, 13 miles W of the entrance.
Approach and entry
10.78 1
The approach should be made from the S within the
charted Safety Fairway. Entry to the harbour is made by a
marked and dredged channel about 3 miles in length, which
is cut through the offlying shoals and leads between
Perdido Key and Santa Rosa Island.
Traffic
10.79 1
In 2004 the port was used by 10 vessels with a total of
294 081 dwt.
Port authority
10.80 1
Port of Pensacola, PO Box 889, Pensacola, FL
32594−0889.
Destin − Entrance to Choctawhatchee Bay (10.74)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 10
256
Limiting conditions
Controlling depths
10.81 1
US Naval and Federal project depths for harbour
channels are:
Channel Depth Width
Caucus (10.98) 13⋅4 m (44 ft) 244 m
Bay (10.101) 10⋅1 m (33 ft) 91 m
West (10.104) 10⋅1 m (33 ft) 91 m
East (10.102) 10⋅1 m (33 ft) 91 m
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Deepest and longest berths
10.82 1
Terminal wharf (10.107).
Tidal levels
10.83 1
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅4 m. See 1.21 and
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Abnormal sea levels
10.84 1
Surges up to 3 m above above MSL have been reported,
due to hurricanes. See 10.8 for remarks on Natural
Conditions. ‘Northers’, which blow occasionally during the
winter months, tend to lower the level of water in the bay.
See also 1.21.
Maximum draught of vessel handled
10.85 1
Vessels with draughts up to 10⋅1 m are accepted.
Arrival information
Port radio
10.86 1
There is a VHF radio station in Pensacola and a coast
radio station in Mobile. See Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volumes 6(5) and 1(2) for details.
Outer anchorages
10.87 1
The limits of Outer Fairway Anchorages are charted in
the following mid−positions:
30°11′N 87°20′W, in depths of 18 to 22 m (59 to
72 ft).
30°16′N 87°14′W, in depths of 13 to 22 m (44 to
73 ft), keeping clear of charted wrecks and
obstructions.
Submarine cables
10.88
1
Submarine cables cross the entrance channel in
mid−position 30°20′⋅0N 87°17′⋅5W.
Pilotage
10.89 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards near Caucus Channel No 1 Light−buoy (10.97).
The pilot boat is white with grey trim, 15 m in length. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Tugs
10.90 1
Previous notice is required to obtain the services of tugs,
as the company concerned is usually engaged on towage
through the Intracoastal Waterway.
Traffic regulations
10.91 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters (see
Appendix III) must be followed inside a line drawn from
Fort McRee Light (30°19′⋅5N 87°18′⋅8W) (10.100) in an E
direction across the entrance channel.
2
Restricted Areas. Restricted areas are established in the
waters adjacent to Pensacola Naval Air Station and adjacent
to Fair Point (30°21′⋅6N 87°12′⋅3W). See Appendix VI.
Quarantine
10.92 1
Quarantine officials board vessels at berths alongside
except with sickness onboard, or if from an infected port,
when they board in the bay.
Harbour
General layout
10.93 1
The port lies on the NNW side of Pensacola Bay, a
large natural harbour. A number of dredged channels cross
the largely landlocked bay leading generally NE to Inner
Harbor Channel (30°24′N 87°13′W), which serves as a
turning basin for the wharves. The final approach to the
port is made from one of two channels: East Channel leads
to berths with greater alongside depths at the E end of
Inner Harbor Channel; West Channel leads to other berths
with lesser depths alongside at the W end of the same
channel. A ship building yard is situated at Bayou Chico,
about 1 mile W of the town wharves. A Naval Air Station
surrounded by a prohibited area lies at the W end of
Pensacola Bay, with berthing facilities for both large and
small naval vessels. The Intracoastal Waterway passes
through the harbour, entering at the E end and leaving
through Santa Rosa Sound (30°21′N 87°08′W). Pensacola
Beach Bridge, with a charted clearance of 19.8 m (65 ft)
over a width of 45 m (150 ft), spans the waterway in the W
part of the sound. See 10.106 for harbour anchorages.
A causeway carrying a road divides the main harbour
into W and E parts; the port is located in the W part.
Pensacola Bay Bridge, with a charted clearance of 15⋅2 m
(50 ft) over a width of 38 m (125 ft) allows navigation
between the two parts of the bay.
Hurricane damage
10.94
1
See 10.4
Natural conditions
10.95 1
Tidal streams. The normal maximum strength of the
out−going tidal stream in Caucus Channel is 2 to 2½ kn.
This stream sets SW. The in−going stream, which sets NE,
is less strong. Severe conditions have resulted in reports of
strengths up to 5 kn off the US Naval Air Station and 8 kn
in Caucus Channel.
2
Local weather. Although Pensacola Bay affords good
shelter and is used in winter by coasting vessels as a
harbour of refuge, the wharves are exposed to winds from
the S. Large vessels are advised to leave the harbour well
CHAPTER 10
257
ahead of the arrival of storm force winds (10.8) from that
quarter.
3
Visibility. South winds between December and April
usually bring in a considerable amount of haze; N winds
disperse it.
Directions
(continued from 10.73)
Principal marks
10.96 1
Landmarks:
Building (30°19′⋅1N 87°15′⋅3).
Radar dome (30°20′⋅8N 87°18′⋅9W).
Tanks (30°20′⋅8N 87°18′⋅6W).
Chimney (30°20′⋅8N 87°16′⋅1W).
Major light:
Pensacola Light (30°20′⋅8N 87°18′⋅5W) (10.72).
Approach
10.97 1
From a position in the vicinity of 30°13′⋅5N 87°17′⋅0W,
the approach track leads N for about 2½ miles, through the
charted Safety Fairway, keeping clear of dangerous wrecks
and passing Caucus Channel No 1 Light−buoy (port hand)
(30°16′⋅3N 87°17′⋅5W). Entry is along a dredged channel
marked by light−buoys, leading NNW.
Caucus Channel
10.98 1
Entrance channel. From a position at the N end of the
approach Safety Fairway, the alignment (341¼°) of Caucus
Cut Leading Lights leads through the centre of the channel
for a distance of 2⋅8 miles:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°19′⋅6N 87°18′⋅7W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7 cables NNW of the
front light).
10.99 1
Thence the alignment (000°) of Fort Barrancas Channel
Leading Lights leads through the centre of the channel for
9 cables:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe on
framework tower, on piles) (30°20′⋅6N 87°18′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (320 m N of the front
light).
10.100 1
Thence the track leads in a NE direction for 3 cables to
round the W end of Santa Rosa Island, thence the
alignment (273½°), astern, of Navy Leading Lights leads
through the centre of the channel for 1⋅3 miles:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°20′⋅1N 87°19′⋅1W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (273 m W of the front
light).
3
Thence the track continues E for about 1½ miles and
NNE for about ¾ mile to enter Bay Channel, passing S and
ESE of a charted prohibited area.
Useful mark:
Fort McRee Light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, intensified up channel)
(30°19′⋅5N 87°18′⋅8W).
Bay Channel
10.101 1
Thence the alignment (032½°) of Bay Channel Leading
Lights leads through the centre of the channel for
3¼ miles:
Front light (framework tower, on piles) (30°24′⋅4N
87°11′⋅6W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 mile NNE of the front
light).
Caucus Channel from S (10.98)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Perdido Key Santa Rosa Island
CHAPTER 10
258
2
Useful mark:
Bayou Chico Entrance No 2 Light (starboard hand
mark on pile) (30°23′⋅5N 87°13′⋅7W).
East Channel
10.102 1
From a position at the NNE end of the channel
described above, the alignment (169°), astern, and the near
reciprocal (348½°), ahead, of East Channel and Inner
Leading Lights, respectively, leads through the centre of the
channel for 7 cables, directly into the turning basin and
wharf area:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°22′⋅4N 87°12′⋅3W).
Rear light (similar structure) (175 m SSE of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on building) (30°24′⋅2N
87°12′⋅6W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (189 m NNW of the front light).
Side channels
Pickens channel
10.103
1
Directions. From a position in the vicinity of No 17
buoy (lateral) (30°20′⋅0N 87°16′⋅9W), the alignment (228°)
astern of Pickens Channel Leading Lights leads through the
centre of the channel for about 8 cables to a turning basin
and the wharf at the US Naval Air Station (10.107):
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on piles)
(30°19′⋅7N 87°17′⋅0N).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (61 m SW of the front
light).
West channel
10.104 1
Directions. From a position near the NNE end of Bay
Channel (10.101), in the vicinity of 30°22′⋅8N 87°12′⋅8W,
the alignment (348°) of West Channel Leading Lights leads
through the centre of the channel for 1⋅1 miles, directly into
the turning basin and wharf area:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°24′⋅0N 87°13′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (184 m N of the front
light).
Bayou Chico
10.105 1
General information. Bayou Chico (30°24′N 87°15′W)
extends in a generally WNW direction for 1¼ miles from
Pensacola Bay. Much of its commerce is carried by barge
traffic. In addition there is a ship building yard and a
number of mineral plants on the bayou.
2
Depths. Federal project depth for the entrance channel
to a bascule bridge 9 cables above the entrance is 4⋅6 m
(15 ft), thence 4⋅3 m (14 ft) to the turning basin.
3
Directions. From a position in the vicinity of Bayou
Chico Entrance No 2 Light (10.101) the track leads NW for
7 cables through a dredged channel marked by
light−beacons and light−buoys to enter the bayou, thence
for a further 1 mile in a generally WNW direction to a
turning basin.
Berths
Anchorages
10.106 1
Good anchorage can be obtained in any part of the bay,
except in the prohibited area charted off the US Naval Air
Station. The usual anchorage is off Pensacola.
Alongside berths
10.107 1
Port of Pensacola Terminal (30°24′⋅2N 87°12′⋅6W) has
six berths; Berths Nos 3, 5 and 6 at the S side of the
terminal, each has a length of 145 m, depth alongside
10⋅7 m, wharf height 3⋅3 m. Berth No 7, at the E side, has
a depth of 4⋅9 m and is used for liquid cargoes. Ro−Ro
berth, N end of terminal, width 11⋅3 m, depth 6⋅4 m,
platform height 1⋅8 m.
2
There are numerous other wharves and piers at the port.
US Naval Air Station (30°20′⋅7N 87°15′⋅9W); facilities
include a wharf with a depth of 10⋅4 m (34 ft), and slips
with depths of 2⋅4 m (8 ft) to 7⋅6 m (25 ft).
Port services
10.108 1
Repairs. Facilities are available in Bayou Chico for hull
and machinery repairs. The dimensions of the largest patent
Pensacola − Berths from SE (10.107)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 10
259
slip are: length 61 m, length of cradle 56⋅4 m; lifting
capacity 789 tonnes. See 1.166 for details of other docking
facilities.
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of oily wastes.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and water.
Rescue: Pensacola Coast Guard Station (30°20′⋅7N
87°17′⋅5W), situated in Pensacola Bay 9 cables E of
Pensacola Light (10.72), has search and rescue capabilities
and may provide lookout, communication and/or patrol
functions to assist vessels in distress. See 1.70 for details.
PENSACOLA TO MOBILE BAY
GENERAL INFORMATION
Chart 3851
General description
10.109 1
The area between Pensacola (30°25′N 87°13′W) and the
major port of Mobile (10.141) at the head of Mobile Bay
contains numerous small ports on the Intracoastal Waterway
and around the shores of Perdido and Mobile Bays. A
charted Safety Fairway leads from the SE, at the edge of
the continental shelf, to Mobile Bay. A medium draught
route joins this approach route off the entrance to the bay,
passing through coastal waters. Although not mandatory,
the use of Safety Fairways is recommended.
2
Perdido Pass (30°16′N 87°33′W) marks the boundary
between the states of Alabama and Florida.
Topography
10.110 1
The coast is low, wooded and almost unbroken, straight
beach, with few distinguishing features.
Depths
10.111 1
Depths in the SE approaches to Mobile Bay are
generally more than 18 m (60 ft). However depths at the
junction with the coastal route are shoal and affected by
dangerous wrecks and obstructions, as charted.
Marine exploitation
10.112 1
Much of the area has been developed as a marine
oilfield, in which there are numerous production platforms,
pipelines, submerged wellheads and cables.
Weather
10.113 1
The summer heat is tempered by ocean and bay breezes.
During winter the sea temperature helps to moderate
extremes of climate.
Prevailing winds are S in spring and early summer, SW
in June and July and N in autumn and winter. The
strongest winds are S in summer and N in winter.
PENSACOLA TO MOBILE BAY
General information
Charts 3150, 3851
Routes
10.114 1
The coastal route for vessels up to medium draught
between Pensacola approaches (30°14′N 87°17′W) and
Mobile Bay approaches (30°06′N 88°05′W), 42 miles W, is
generally free from natural dangers, although it passes
through an area of offshore oil development activity. The
use of the charted Safety Fairways, while not mandatory, is
recommended.
2
The deep−water approach route to Mobile Bay leads
NW for 50 miles, within a Safety Fairway, from a position
in the vicinity of 29°26′N 87°29′W, at the edge of the
continental shelf, to join the coastal route SSW of Mobile
Point (30°14′N 88°01′W).
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the canals,
rivers and bays which lie behind the coastline to link
Pensacola Bay with Mobile Bay by a sheltered route.
Topography
10.115 1
The appearance of the coastline is of an almost
uniformly straight beach, backed by numerous high−rise
buildings, unbroken save for the entrance to Perdido Bay
(30°16′N 87°33′W). The shore is low and thickly wooded,
with few distinguishing features apart from some sand
dunes. Large areas of shallow lagoon lie sheltered behind
the narrow strip of beach.
Depths
10.116 1
Least charted depths in the coastal Safety Fairway vary
between a shoal depth of 10⋅4 m (34 ft) in the W and
14⋅3 m (47 ft) in the E. Depths are also affected by a
number of charted dangerous wrecks and obstructions.
Rescue
10.117 1
See Pensacola Coast Guard Station (30°20′N 87°22′W)
(10.108) for details.
Directions
(continued from 10.73)
Principal marks
10.118 1
Landmark
Lighthouse (disused) (30°11′N 88°03′W) (10.129).
Perdido Pass Bridge (30°16′N 87°33′W).
Major light
Mobile Point Light (30°14′N 88°01′W) (10.129).
Other aid to navigation
10.119 1
Racon. Mobile Light−buoy (10.121).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
10.120 1
From a position off Pensacola, in the vicinity of 30°14′N
87°18′W, the route leads W within a Safety Fairway for
42 miles to a position off the entrance to Mobile Bay, in
the vicinity of 30°06′N 88°05′W, keeping clear of charted
dangers and passing S of Perdido Pass (30°16′N 87°33′W).
(Directions for the coastal route continue at 10.174
and for the approaches to Mobile at 10.129)
CHAPTER 10
260
APPROACHES TO MOBILE
General information
Chart 3150
Routes
10.121
1
Between Mobile Light−buoy (safe water) (30°07′⋅5N
88°04′⋅2W) and the wharves at Mobile (30°41′N 88°03′W),
33 miles N, the route leads across Mobile Bay by dredged
channels described in 10.131.
2
Two side channels lead off junctions on the main
channel and provide access to installations on the W side
of the bay. Theodore Ship Channel (10.139) leads to
Mobile Middle Bay Terminal and to Marine Liquid Bulk
Terminal, both on Hollingers Island; Arlington Channel
(10.140) leads to Mobile Coast Guard Station and turning
basin.
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the bay,
entering at the SE end and leaving at the SW end.
Topography
10.122 1
The coastline to the W of the entrance to Mobile Bay
consists of a chain of low and mainly bare sand islands,
while to the E it is unbroken beach, backed by a number
of high−rise apartments amongst sand dunes and trees.
Shoal water, through which the main ship channel has been
dredged, extends more than 4½ miles offshore.
2
Mobile Bay, which forms the approach to the port of
Mobile, is a large expanse of mainly shallow water, about
27 miles in length. The coast in the S part of the bay is
low marsh, while to the N it is more elevated and built−up
close to the city.
Controlling dimensions
10.123 1
Federal project depths and widths for bay channels are:
Channel Depth Width
Entrance (10.132) 14⋅3 m (47 ft) 183 m
Lower Reach (10.135) 13⋅7 m (45 ft) 122 m
Upper Reach (10.136) 12⋅2−13⋅7 m
(40−45 ft)
122 m
Theodore Ship Channel
(10.139):
Bay Cut 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 122 m
Land Cut 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 91 m
Turning basin 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 427 m
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Offshore structures
10.124
1
There are a large number of oil production platforms, as
charted, both in the approaches to Mobile Bay and inside
the bay.
Pilotage
10.125 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night.
Notice of ETA required is 48 hours. The pilot boards near
Mobile Light−buoy, in position 30°07′⋅5N 88°03′⋅2W. See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Traffic regulations
10.126 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn from Mobile Point Light
(10.129) in a WNW direction across the entrance to the
bay to Dauphin Island. (See Appendix III).
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory, the use of
charted Safety Fairways is recommended.
Anchoring is prohibited in Entrance Channel, Lower
Reach and Upper Reach. See 10.138 for anchorage areas.
Rescue
10.127 1
Mobile Coast Guard Base (30°39′N 88°04′W), situated
at the W end of Arlington Channel (10.140), has search
and rescue capabilities and may provide lookout,
communication and/or patrol functions to assist vessels in
distress. See 1.70 for details.
Natural conditions
10.128 1
Tidal streams are much affected in direction and rate by
the winds. At the entrance channel the average rate of both
in−going and out−going stream is 2 kn, while in Lower and
Upper Reaches it is ½ kn. On the bar the in−going stream
tends to set NW and the out−going SE. The seas on the bar
caused by strong S winds and an out−going stream are
dangerous for small vessels. It has been reported that rates
of 8 to 10 kn have been observed in Lower Reach and
Entrance Channel after long periods of S wind. A current
sets S at the entrance at a rate of ½ kn. See also charted
tidal stream information.
2
Tidal levels. Tides are mainly diurnal with a small
range, being about 0⋅4 m at Mobile Point.
Abnormal sea levels. ‘Northers’ may lower sea level by
0⋅5 m and hurricanes raise it by as much as 3⋅5 m. See also
1.21.
Local weather. See 10.8 for remarks on hurricanes.
During S gales it is not always safe for vessels drawing
more than 7⋅6 m to cross the bar. There is considerable fog
during the early spring months; N winds clear it away.
Directions
(continued from 10.120)
Principal marks
10.129 1
Landmarks:
Building (30°13′⋅9N 87°53′⋅5W).
Fort Morgan (30°13′⋅6N 88°01′⋅4W).
Lighthouse (black conical tower, 40 m in height)
(30°11′⋅2N 88°03′⋅0W), the base for the former
Sand Island Light.
2
Water tower (30°15′⋅2N 88°06′⋅8W).
Radio towers (30°40′⋅9N 88°00′⋅1W).
CHAPTER 10
261
USS Alabama (30°40′⋅9N 88°00′⋅9W), an historic
battleship, moored permanently at the mouth of
Tensaw River, is conspicuous.
3
Major light:
Mobile Point Light (framework tower) (30°13′⋅7N
88°01′⋅5W).
Other aid to navigation
10.130
1
Racon:
Mobile Light−buoy (30°07′⋅5N 88°04′⋅2W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
10.131 1
From a position in the vicinity of 30°06′N 88°05′W, the
approach track leads NNE for about 2 miles, through the
charted Safety Fairway and passing Mobile Light−buoy
(10.121). Entry is along a dredged channel, marked by
light−buoys and light−beacons, keeping clear of charted
wrecks and obstructions. A pipeline crosses the S end of
Lower Reach in position (30°15′⋅4N 88°02′⋅3W).
10.132 1
Entrance channel. From a position at the NNE end of
the approach Safety Fairway, the alignment (020½°) of
Mobile Point Leading Lights leads through the centre of
the channel for a distance of 2⋅5 miles:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°12′⋅3N 88°02′⋅0).
Rear light (framework tower) (1½ miles NNE of the
front light).
10.133 1
Thence the track leads N for 4 miles passing W of
Mobile Point, a low point on which stands a light (10.129)
and clear of the anchorage between Mobile Point and
Middle Ground (10.138).
10.134 1
Thence the alignment (350°) of Middle Ground Leading
Lights leads through the centre of the channel for 7 cables,
to enter Lower Reach:
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°15′⋅4N 88°02′⋅5W).
Rear light (similar structure) (550 m N of the front
light).
10.135 1
Lower Reach. Thence the alignment (187°), astern, and
the near reciprocal (007¼°), ahead, of Lower Reach Outer
and Lower Reach Leading Lights, respectively, leads
through the centre of the channel for 11 miles.
Astern front light (platform on pile) (30°14′⋅1N
88°02′⋅5W).
Rear light (framework tower on piles) (1 mile S of
front Light).
2
Ahead front light (green square mark, red stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°26′⋅4N 88°00′⋅7W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1¼ miles N of the front
light).
Thence the track leads N for 8 cables within the marked
channel, with a small change of direction, to enter Upper
Reach.
10.136 1
Upper Reach. Thence the alignment (174½°), astern
and the reciprocal (354½°), ahead, of Middle Reach, Outer
Leading Lights and Middle Reach Leading Lights,
respectively, leads through the centre of the channel for
10⋅4 miles:
2
Astern front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°25′⋅7N 88°00′⋅7W).
Rear light (similar structure) (1 mile S of front light).
3
Ahead front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°37′⋅8N 88°02′⋅1W).
Rear light (similar structure) (9 cables N of the front
light).
10.137 1
Thence the alignment (181¾°), astern, of Upper Reach
Leading Lights leads through the centre of the channel for
3⋅0 miles, to the entrance to Mobile River and the port of
Mobile:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°36′⋅5N 88°02′⋅0W).
Rear light (similar structure) (8 cables S of the front
light).
(Directions continue at 10.162)
Anchorages
10.138 1
Outer Fairway: mid−position 30°04′⋅4N 88°04′⋅0W,
about 9½ miles S of Mobile Point Light (10.129); general
depths 20 to 22 m (11 to 12 fm).
2
Explosives: mid−position 30°14′⋅1N 88°01′⋅5W, as
charted N of Mobile Point; general depths 5 to
10 m (18 to 32 ft); Captain of the Port’s
permission is required to use this anchorage, which
may also be used by other vessels if not required
for explosives purposes.
Side channels
Theodore Ship Channel
10.139 1
From a position on the main ship channel, in the
vicinity of 30°28′⋅8N 88°01′⋅1W about 15 miles above the
bay entrance, the alignment (123½°), astern, of Theodore
Ship Channel Leading Lights leads through the centre of
the channel for 4⋅6 miles, thence along a land cut for
1⋅5 miles to the turning basin at an industrial park:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°28′⋅7N 88°00′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (8 cables ESE of the
front light).
The channel is marked by light−beacons and beacons.
Cables, with a safe overhead clearance of 15⋅2 m (50 ft),
cross the land cut 1 mile within the entrance.
A barge canal extends W from the turning basin.
3
Mobile Middle Bay Terminal lies on the N side of the
channel about 5 cables SSW of Deer River Point
(30°32′⋅1N 88°04′⋅9W), and consists of a jetty projecting
about 200 m SSE from the shore and having least charted
depths of 7⋅6 m (25 ft) (2001) in the approaches.
Marine Liquid Bulk Terminal, in the turning basin on
the S side of the land cut, can accommodate vessels up to
259 m in length; depth alongside 12⋅2 m.
Arlington Channel
10.140 1
From a position on the main ship channel, in the
vicinity of 30°38′⋅5N 88°01′⋅9W about 25 miles above the
bay entrance, the alignment (289¼°) ahead, and the near
reciprocal (109°) astern, of Arlington Channel Leading
Lights leads through the centre of the channel for 1⋅4 miles
to the Coast Guard Turning Basin (10.127):
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (30°39′⋅0N 88°03′⋅6W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on concrete base) (233 m WNW
of the front light).
CHAPTER 10
262
3
Outer Front Light (30°38′⋅5N 88°01′⋅8W).
Outer Rear Light (614 m from Front Light).
The channel, with a project depth of 8⋅2 m (27 ft), is
marked by lights and day beacons. The chart and port
authorities should be consulted for the latest controlling
depths.
4
A restricted area exists in the waters adjacent to the
Coast Guard Station. See Appendix VI.
MOBILE
General information
Chart 3150 plan of Mobile Ship Channel
Position
10.141 1
The port of Mobile (30°41′N 88°03′W) is situated at the
mouth of Mobile River, about 27 miles from the entrance to
Mobile Bay.
Function
10.142
1
Mobile is a Customs Port of Entry and one of the major
seaports on Gulf of Mexico, with an ocean terminal,
container, dry bulk, general cargo and transhipment
facilities. There are several large shipyards. Coastal trade
includes iron, lumber, petroleum products and steel. Inland
waterways trade carries coal, grain, iron, steel and sugar.
The population was 198 915 in 2000.
Entry
10.143
1
Entry is from a position at the N end of Upper Reach
(30°39′⋅5N 88°01′⋅9W) (10.136), directly into the port. See
10.131 for the approach channels which lead to Upper
Reach.
Traffic
10.144
Traffic. In 2004 the port was used by 536 vessels with a
total of 35 688 910 dwt.
Port Authority
10.145
Port Authority. Alabama State Docks Department, Port
of Mobile, PO Box 1588, Mobile, AL 36633.
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
10.146 1
Federal project depths and widths for harbour channels
are:
Channel Depth Width
Pinto Island Reach 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 213 to 244 m
Mobile Channel 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 183 m
Channel Depth Width
Mobile Turning Basin 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 61 to 205 m
Blakeley Island Reach 12⋅2 m (40 ft) 152 m
Saint Louis Point 7⋅6 m (25 ft) 152 m
Chickasaw Creek 7⋅6 m (25 ft) 76 m
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Vertical clearance
10.147
1
Cochrane road bridge (30°44′⋅0N 88°02′⋅5W), with a
vertical clearance of 42⋅7 m (140 ft), crosses the river at the
N end of the harbour.
Deepest and longest berth
10.148 1
Alabama State Docks Bulk Material Handling Plant
wharf (30°43′⋅5N 88°02′⋅6W) (10.163).
Tidal levels
10.149
1
Maximum tidal range about 0⋅5 m. See 1.21 and
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information.
Density of water
10.150 1
The port waterway is fresh water.
Maximum size of vessel handled
10.151 1
154 900 dwt, length 292 m, beam 45 m; part loaded due
to depth restriction in channel.
Arrival information
Notice of ETA
10.152
1
Notice of ETA: 48 hrs.
Submarine cables
10.153
1
Submarine cables cross the S end of Mobile Channel
(30°40′N 88°02′W) and the entrance to Chickasaw Creek
(30°44′⋅5N 88°02′⋅5W).
Pilotage
10.154
1
See 10.125 for further details.
Tugs
10.155
1
Harbour and ocean going tugs are available.
Traffic regulations
10.156
1
Vessels should not exceed a speed of 5 kn between the
entrance to Arlington Channel (10.140) and the head of
Chickasaw Creek.
CHAPTER 10
263
Mobile River from S (10.157)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Pinto Island
Quarantine
10.157
1
US Public Health Service quarantine regulations apply.
Officials usually inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
General layout
10.158 1
Harbour facilities extend for about 5 miles along both
sides of Mobile River and for a further 2 miles up
Chickasaw Creek to the shipbuilding yards. The main cargo
berthing areas are on the W bank and at the mouth of
Chickasaw Creek. Berths on the E bank are industrial,
including asphalt, bulk liquids and petrochemicals.
Threemile Creek, whose entrance is situated about 4½ miles
inside the modern port on the W bank, is used by coastal
trade and barge traffic.
Climate
10.159
1
See climatic table after 1.220.
Development
10.160
1
The channel is to be dredged to a depth of 55 feet with
a width of 550 feet as part of the Alabama State Docks
Improvement Program.
Hurricane damage
10.161
1
See 10.4
Directions
(continued from 10.137)
10.162 1
From a position at the N end of Upper Reach
(30°39′⋅5N 88°01′⋅9W) the harbour is entered directly
within the confines of the river banks and the adjacent side
channels.
In emergency, anchorage is available for shallow draught
vessels above Cochrane road bridge, with the permission of
the harbourmaster.
Berths
Alongside berths
10.163 1
McDuffie Island: Alabama State Docks McDuffie
Terminal No 2 (30°39′⋅4N 88°02′⋅0W), length 320 m, depth
12⋅8 m.
A second berth, depth 12⋅8 m, is situated close S. Both
berths are used for the shipment of coal.
A third berth is used for unloading coal and iron ore.
2
Pinto Island Reach: Mobile River Terminal Company
Ship Pier (30°40′⋅2N 80°02′⋅2W), length 305 m, depth
12⋅8 m.
Other berths, with depths of 3⋅7 to 9⋅1 m, are situated
adjacent. Berths are for ore and petroleum products.
3
Containers: Alabama State Docks, berth No 2
(30°41′⋅8N 88°02′⋅3W).
Ro−Ro: Alabama State Docks, berths Nos 6, 7 and 8
(30°42′⋅2N 88°02′⋅4W), E face 347 m, N face 178 m, depth
11⋅6 m, deck height 3⋅4 m. Used for general cargo, lumber
and pulpwood.
CHAPTER 10
264
McDuffie Island Terminal from S (10.163)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Little Sand Island
Pinto Island
Alabama State Docks from S (10.163)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 10
265
4
Mobile Turning Basin: Alabama State Docks, Piers ‘B’
and ‘C’ (30°42′⋅6N 88°02′⋅5W), length 467 m, depth
11⋅6 m.
Other berths in the area, with depths of 11⋅6 m, use the
same terminal facilities for containers, general cargo and
grain.
5
Threemile Creek: Alabama State Docks, Bulk Material
Handling Wharf (30°43′⋅5N 88°02′⋅6W), length 471 m,
depth 12⋅2 m. The berth is used for iron ore and other bulk
materials.
Port services
10.164 1
Repairs. The largest floating dock can handle vessels of
300 metres in length, 50 metres in breadth and of
160 000 dwt. Other yards are situated on Blakeley Island,
the W side of Mobile Reach, at Chickasaw. Repairs of all
kinds can be undertaken. See 1.166 for details of other
docking facilities.
2
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of oily wastes.
Supplies: chandlers stores; fuel of all types; provisions
and water.
Inland Waterways
10.165 1
The Tennessee−Tombigbee Waterway, also known as the
Tenn−Tom Waterway, links the port of Mobile with over
16 000 miles of navigable waterway in the hinterland. It is
mainly used by barge traffic.
MOBILE BAY TO HORN ISLAND PASS
GENERAL INFORMATION
Charts 3851, 3858
General description
10.166 1
The area between Mobile Bay (30°15′N 88°00′W) and
Horn Island Pass (30°09′N 88°34′W), 30 miles W, borders
the states of Alabama and Mississippi. It contains the major
port of Pascagoula (10.178), as well as a large fishing port,
Bayou La Batre (10.177). Charted Safety Fairways lead
through the marine oil fields from the edge of the
continental shelf to the approaches to the main ports, where
they join the medium draught coastal route.
2
The boundary between the states of Alabama and
Mississippi passes close to the E end of Petit Bois Island,
along the meridian of 88°24′W.
Topography
10.167 1
A chain of islands, wooded in places, but generally low
and bare, extends W throughout the area. They form the S
edge of Mississippi Sound (8.148), a large shallow
waterway between the islands and the mainland, itself low
with many rivers, bayous and marshlands.
2
The maritime topography consists mainly of a shallow
seabed of sand and silt from the Mississippi Delta. Several
shoals lie well offshore, which change to some extent with
severe storms and variable currents. The 18 m (60 ft)
contour is about 8 miles off the islands.
Marine exploitation
10.168 1
Most of the area has been developed as a marine
oilfield, in which there are numerous production platforms,
pipelines, submerged wellheads and cables. See 1.9 and
1.10.
Weather
10.169 1
Summers are warm and humid. Winters are relatively
mild. Precipitation is frequent from July to September, with
thunderstorms. Strong winds may be experienced in winter
when cold fronts prevail.
MOBILE BAY TO APPROACHES TO
PASCAGOULA
General information
Charts 3150, 3151, 3858
Routes
10.170 1
The coastal route between the approaches to Mobile Bay
(30°06′N 88°05′W) and the approaches to Pascagoula
(30°09′N 88°34′W), 26 miles W, passes between marine
oilfield developments within a Safety Fairway.
2
The deep water approach route to Pascagoula leads NW
for 65 miles within a Safety Fairway, from a position at the
edge of the continental shelf in the vicinity of 29°20′N
87°41′W, to join the coastal route SW of Horn Island Pass
(30°12′N 88°31′W).
3
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the E part of
Mississippi Sound between the offlying islands and the
coast. See caution at 10.204.
Topography
10.171 1
The islands of Dauphin (30°15′N 88°11′W) and Petit
Bois (30°12′N 88°27′W), which lie about 7 miles off the
coast, are low, wooded, sand islands, with few
distinguishing features. Fort Gaines and a water tower, at
the E end of Dauphin Island, are prominent. Both islands
have been declared National Wildlife Refuges within the
Gulf Islands National Seashore protected area (see 10.7).
Depths
10.172 1
Charted depths vary between generally more than 18 m
(59 ft) in the E and 13 m (42 ft) in the W of the coastal
route. There are a number of lesser depths charted as
wrecks, fish havens and obstructions.
CHAPTER 10
266
Rescue
10.173 1
Pascagoula Coast Guard Station (30°20′N 88°34′W),
situated on the E side of Singing River Island, has search
and rescue capabilities and may provide lookout,
communication and/or patrol functions to assist vessels in
distress. See 1.70 for details.
Directions
(continued from 10.120)
Principal marks
10.174 1
Major light:
Mobile Point Light (30°13′⋅7N 88°01′⋅5W) (10.129).
Other aid to navigation
10.175 1
Racons:
Mobile Light−buoy (30°07′⋅5N 88°04′⋅2W).
Platform (30°05′⋅0N 88°29′⋅8W).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
10.176 1
From a position S of the entrance to Mobile Bay, in the
vicinity of 30°06′N 88°05′W, the coastal route leads W
within a Safety Fairway for 26 miles to Horn Island Pass
(30°09′N 88°34′W) in the approaches to Pascagoula,
keeping clear of charted dangers and passing the entrance
to Petit Bois Pass (30°13′N 88°19′W).
(Directions continue for Pascagoula at 10.200,
for the coastal route to Gulfport at 10.217)
Small anchorages and harbours
Bayou La Batre
10.177 1
General information. Bayou La Batre (30°24′N
88°15′W), situated on the N shore of Mississippi Sound, is
a large fishing port. The town has seafood packing plants
and canneries. The approach may be made with local
knowledge through Petit Bois Pass (30°13′N 88°19′W) in
reported depths of about 1⋅8 m (6 ft) or, in deeper water,
through Horn Island Pass (10.181). The controlling depth in
the entrance channel to the mouth of the bayou was 4 m
(13 ft) (2003). The channel is marked by light−beacons.
2
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn across Petit Bois Pass. (See
Appendix III).
Repairs may be undertaken.
PASCAGOULA
General information
Charts 3151, 3841
Position
10.178 1
The port of Pascagoula (30°21′N 88°34′W) is situated at
the mouth of Pascagoula River, on the N shore of
Mississippi Sound, about 9 miles N of Horn Island Pass
(10.181).
Function
10.179 1
Pascagoula is a major trading centre and a Customs Port
of Entry. The chief industries include the manufacture of
paper products and textiles, oil refining and shipbuilding.
Trade is in dry and liquid bulk, general cargo, chemicals,
grain and minerals. The population is about 27 000.
Topography
10.180 1
Petit Bois and Horn Island, which lie between 6 and
7 miles offshore, are low and flat with few distinguishing
features. The mainland coastline is heavily wooded. The
most prominent objects are the grain elevator on the W
side of Pascagoula River and the oil refinery flares on the
E side of Bayou Casotte (30°20′N 88°31′W), together with
the shipyard cranes and the tanks around the city. The
pattern of buoys in Horn Island Pass is a useful aid to the
identification of that channel.
Approach and entry
10.181 1
The harbour is approached through Horn Island Pass
(30°12′N 88°31′W) and entered through dredged and
marked channels leading across Mississippi Sound to the
facilities at Pascagoula River and Bayou Casotte.
Traffic
10.182 1
In 2004 the port was used by 172 vessels with a total of
21 597 371 dwt.
Horn Island Pass from SW (10.181)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
Petit Bois Island
CHAPTER 10
267
Port authority
10.183 1
Jackson County Port Authority, 3033 Pascagoula Street,
PO Box 70, Pascagoula, MS 39568−0070.
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
10.184 1
Federal project depths and widths for the approach and
harbour channels are:
Channel Depth Width
Pascagoula Bar Channel
(10.201)
Horn Island Pass (10.202)
13⋅4 m (44 ft)
13⋅4 m (44 ft)
137 m
183 m
Lower Pascagoula Channel
(10.203)
Upper Pascagoula Channel
(10.205)
12⋅8 m (42 ft)
11⋅6 m (38 ft)
107 m
107 m
Pascagoula turning basin 11⋅6 m (38 ft) 274m
Bayou Casotte (10.206) 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 107 m
Casotte turning basin 12⋅8 m (42 ft) 259 m
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Deepest and longest berths
10.185 1
Grain Elevator wharf (30°21′⋅4N 88°34′⋅0W) (10.210).
Pascagoula refinery berths Nos 6 and 7 (30°19′⋅9N
88°30′⋅6W) (10.210).
Tidal levels
10.186 1
Maximum tidal range is about 0⋅4 m. See 1.21 and
Admiralty Tide Tables for further information. The tide is
diurnal.
Abnormal water levels
10.187 1
Hurricanes may raise sea levels by as much as 3⋅4 m.
Density of water
10.188 1
Density varies with wind and tide, from fresh to salt
water.
Arrival information
Port radio
10.189 1
There is a VHF radio station at Pascagoula and a coast
radio station at Mobile. See the Admiralty List of Radio
Signals Volumes 6(5) and 1(2) for details.
Notice of ETA
10.190 1
A minimum of 2 hours.
Outer anchorages
10.191 1
Deep draught vessels may anchor 1 to 2 miles S to SE
of HI Light−buoy (safe water) (30°08′⋅5N 88°34′⋅7W) in
depths of about 14 m (45 to 47 ft), clear of a charted
obstruction.
2
Explosives anchorage. A circular explosives anchorage
area (No 2) with a radius of 7 cables lies centred about
40 miles NE of HI light−buoy, as shown on the chart.
Vessels must obtain a permit from the Captain of the Port
before occupying this anchorage.
Pilotage
10.192 1
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
movement of larger vessels is limited to daylight only. The
pilot boards about 2 miles SW of HI Light−buoy (10.191).
Pilot boats have a black hull and white superstructure. For
further details see Admiralty List of Radio Signals
Volume 6(5).
Tugs
10.193 1
Tugs are available.
Traffic regulations
10.194 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn across Horn Island Pass
(30°12′N 88°31′W), between Petit Bois and Horn Islands.
(See Appendix III).
2
Speeds should be restricted to a maximum of 5 kn in
Pascagoula River and Bayou Casotte.
Movements through Horn Island Pass, Pascagoula and
Bayou Casotte Channels are limited to one way traffic only.
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory, the use of
Safety Fairways is recommended.
Quarantine
10.195 1
Public Health Service quarantine regulations apply.
Officials usually inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
General layout
10.196 1
Main berthing areas and shipyards are situated on both
sides of the mouth of Pascagoula River. The river is
crossed by bridges about 1½ miles above the entrance. All
main berths are below the bridges.
Other main berths line the E side of Bayou Casotte,
situated about 3 miles ESE of Pascagoula.
Hurricane damage
10.197
1
See 10.4.
Fishing and towage
10.198 1
Numerous fishing vessels, tugs and tows may be
encountered in the approaches, but they are reported to
keep clear of the channel.
Natural conditions
10.199 1
Tidal streams follow the direction of the channels and
normally do not exceed 1¼ kn. They are greatly influenced
by the prevailing winds. Outside the channel in Horn Island
Pass the outgoing stream sets SE and the in−going N.
Conflicting cross−currents have been reported to affect
steering in the dredged channels.
2
Local weather.
Visibility is often reduced by industrial smog.
CHAPTER 10
268
Directions
(continued from 10.176 and 8.154)
Principal marks
10.200 1
Landmarks:
Grain elevator (30°21′⋅4N 88°34′⋅0W), a tall concrete
structure on the W side of Pascagoula River.
Twin tanks (30°21′⋅6N 88°33′⋅2W) in Pascagoula.
Tank (30°19′⋅9N 88°30′⋅1W), on the E side of Bayou
Casotte.
2
Two tanks (30°20′⋅6N 88°30′⋅2W).
Tank (30°21′⋅7N 88°34′⋅1W).
Flares (30°20′⋅3N 88°29′⋅3W), at the refinery E of
Bayou Casotte, prominent at night.
Charts 3151, 3841
Approach
10.201 1
Pascagoula Bar Channel From a position in the vicinity
of 30°09′N 88°34′W, the alignment (041°) of Pascagoula
Bar Channel Leading Lights, (reported (2004) to be off the
centre line), leads through the channel, marked on both
sides by light−buoys, for a distance of 4⋅3 miles, keeping
clear of charted obstructions:
2
Front light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (30°12′⋅8N 88°30′⋅3W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (3½ cables NE of the
front light).
10.202
1
Horn Island Pass. From a position at the NE end of
Pascagoula Bar Channel the track leads NNE through the
channel, marked on both sides by light−buoys, passing the
W end of Petit Bois Island, for a distance of 1¼ miles.
10.203 1
Lower Pascagoula Channel. Thence the alignment
(174°) astern, and the near reciprocal (354°) ahead, of
Pascagoula Leading Lights ‘D’ and ‘A’, respectively, leads
through the centre of the channel for a distance of
3⋅8 miles:
2
Astern front light ‘D’ (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on framework tower, on piles) (30°13′⋅0N
88°30′⋅3W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower) (4½ cables S of the front light).
3
Ahead front light ‘A’ (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on framework tower, on piles) (30°17′⋅9N
88°30′⋅9W).
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on piles)
(5 cables N of the front light).
10.204
1
Caution. The US Coast Guard advises that vessels
exercise particular caution where the channel intersects the
Intracoastal Waterway, about 2½ miles N of the W end of
Petit Bois Island (10.177), near Light−buoys Nos 29 and
30. Situations resulting in collisions, groundings and close
quarters passings have been reported by both shallow and
deep−draught vessels. The Coast Guard has requested that
vessels make a SECURITE call on VHF−FM Channel 13
prior to crossing the Intracoastal Waterway, particularly
during periods of restricted visibility.
10.205 1
Upper Pascagoula Channel. Thence the alignment
(139¾°), astern, and the reciprocal (319¾°), ahead, of
Pascagoula Leading Lights ‘B’ and ‘C’, respectively, leads
through the centre of the channel for a distance of
4⋅2 miles to the wharves:
Astern front light ‘B’ (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on framework tower) (30°16′⋅9N 88°30′⋅6W).
2
Rear light (red vertical mark, white stripe, on
framework tower, on piles) (9 cables SE of the
front light).
Ahead front light ‘C’ (framework tower, on piles)
(30°20′⋅7N 88°34′⋅3W).
Rear light (pile) (7 cables NW of the front light).
Side channels
10.206 1
Bayou Casotte Channel. From a position at the N end
of Lower Pascagoula Channel reach, the alignment
(180¼°), astern and the reciprocal (000¼°), ahead, of
Bayou Casotte Channel Leading Lights ‘D’ and ‘A’,
respectively, leads through the centre of the channel,
marked by light−beacons, for a distance of 2⋅5 miles to the
wharves:
2
Astern front light ‘D’ (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on framework tower, on piles) (30°16′⋅4N
88°30′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (7 cables S of the front
light).
3
Ahead front light ‘A’ (framework tower, on piles)
(30°20′⋅1N 88°30′⋅8W).
Rear light (similar structure) (4½ cables N of the
front light).
10.207 1
Thence the alignment (013¼°), ahead, and the reciprocal
(193¼°), astern, of Bayou Casotte Leading Lights ‘B’ and
‘C’, respectively, leads through the centre of the bayou
channel:
Ahead front light ‘B’ (red vertical mark, white stripe,
on piles) (30°21′⋅1N 88°30′⋅4W).
2
Rear light (similar structure) (5 cables NNE of the
front light).
Astern front light ‘C’ (white vertical mark, red stripe,
on tower) (30°19′⋅3N 88°30′⋅9).
Rear light (similar structure) (1½ cables SSW of the
front light).
10.208 1
Pascagoula River is navigable for small vessels to the
confluence of Leaf and Chickasawhay Rivers, about
70 miles above the entrance. A controlling depth of
3⋅6 m (12) ft (1982) was reported between Pascagoula and
Caswell Lake, about 23 miles inland, but no recent
information is available. Between 1¼ and 2½ miles above
the river entrance the channel is crossed by a railway
swing bridge, with a vertical clearance of 0⋅2 m (0⋅6 ft), a
road bascule bridge with a clearance of 9⋅5 m (31 ft) at the
centre and two sets of power cables, with safe overhead
clearances of 20⋅7 m (68 ft) and 24⋅4 m (80 ft) respectively.
In 2000, a replacement fixed road bridge with a design
clearance of 24⋅4 m (80 ft) was under construction. River
trade includes chemicals, paper products, rubber and
processed seafood goods.
Berths
Anchorages
10.209 1
Anchorage may be obtained on the E side of
Pascagoula Channel in Mississippi Sound for vessels of up
to 4⋅5 m (15 ft) draught; good anchorage even in
‘Northers’.
Care should be taken not to anchor near the submarine
pipelines which cross Pascagoula Channel in the vicinity of
position 30°16′⋅6N 88°30′⋅7W.
CHAPTER 10
269
Pascagoula River from S (10.209)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
2
Explosives anchorage:
No 1; mid−position 30°14′⋅2N 88°29′⋅2W, 1½ miles N
of Petit Bois Island; depths 4 to 5 m (13 to 17 ft),
keeping clear of a charted pile.
3
A permit from the Captain of the Port is required before
anchoring in the Explosives anchorage.
Alongside berths
10.210 1
Pascagoula:
Jackson County Terminal, Grain Elevator wharf
(30°21′⋅4N 88°34′⋅0W), length 238 m, depth
10⋅7 m, wharf height 2⋅4 m.
Other berths line both sides of Pascagoula River with
depths of 7⋅3 to 11⋅6 m, with facilities for general
cargo, bulk materials and logs.
2
Bayou Casotte:
Chevron Texaco, Pascagoula refinery, berths Nos 6
and 7 combined (30°19′⋅9N 88°30′⋅6W), length
including dolphins 533 m, depth 12⋅8 m, wharf
height 4⋅6 m.
Other berths line the E side of Bayou Casotte with
depths of 6⋅1 to 11⋅6 m, and facilities for
chemicals, general cargo, minerals, petroleum
products and steel.
Pascagoula − Bayou Casotte Berths from SSW (10.210)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 10
270
Port services
10.211 1
Repairs. The largest shipbuilding yard, where repairs of
all kinds can be undertaken, has facilities on both sides of
the mouth of Pascagoula River. The dimensions of the
largest floating dock within this yard are: length 195 m,
width 54 m, depths over blocks 12⋅5 m; lifting capacity
38 000 tonnes. Smaller yards are situated higher on the
river and at Krebs Lake, close N of the city. See 1.166 for
further details of other docking facilities.
2
Other facilities: hospital; reception of oily wastes.
Supplies: fuel of all types; provisions; water.
Communications. Jackson County Airport, about 4 km
NE of the city, provides charter and private service
facilities only.
PASCAGOULA TO GULFPORT
General information
Charts 3858, 3151
Routes
10.212 1
The coastal route between the approaches to Pascagoula
(30°09′N 88°34′W) and the approaches to Gulfport
(30°07′N 88°55′W) leads W between marine oilfield
developments within a Safety Fairway, for a distance of
18 miles.
The deep water approach route is combined with that for
the approaches to Pascagoula, where it joins the coastal
route described above. See 10.170 for details.
2
A side channel for coastal vessels leads from a position
in the approaches to Dog Keys Pass (30°12′⋅9N 88°47′⋅5W)
to Biloxi (30°24′N 88°52′W), 11 miles NNW.
The Intracoastal Waterway passes through Mississippi
Sound.
Topography
10.213 1
Horn Island (30°14′N 88°40′W), Ship Island and Cat
Island, 5 and 15 miles W of Horn Island respectively, lie
adjacent to the coastal route at the S side of Mississippi
Sound. The N end of the Chandeleur group of islands
(8.148) lies 13 miles SSW of the same point. All are low,
wooded, sand islands.
2
The trees at the E end of Ship Island (which was cut
into two parts by a hurricane in 1969) are usually the first
objects sighted, followed by Ship Island Light (30°12′⋅7N
88°58′⋅0W) (10.218) and an old fort at the W end of the
island. A very tall building and several water tanks are
conspicuous when approaching Gulfport.
Depths
10.214 1
Depths in the W end of the coastal route reduce to 10 m
(33 ft).
Traffic regulations
10.215 1
Navigation rules for US inland waters must be
followed inside a line drawn between Ship Island Light
(30°12′⋅7N 88°58′⋅0W) (10.218) and Chandeleur Island
Light (30°02′⋅9N 88°52′⋅3W) (10.218), 11 miles SSE. (See
Appendix III).
Safety Fairways. Although not mandatory, the use of
charted Safety Fairways is recommended.
Natural conditions
10.216 1
Currents with rates up to 1½ kn have been observed in
Ship Island Pass under normal conditions and up to 3 kn
with a persistent ‘Norther’.
Tidal levels. Tides are usually diurnal with a small
range, being about 0⋅5 m at Ship Island. See 1.21.
2
Abnormal sea levels. North−east to S winds raise sea
levels in the sound and SW to N winds lower it.
Local weather. Thunderstorms are frequent in the
summer. Fog is most likely to occur in winter and spring.
The hurricane season from late May to early November
represents a serious threat to marine activities in the
Gulfport area. See 1.196 for further details.
Directions
(continued from 10.176)
Principal marks
10.217
1
Major light:
Biloxi Aero Light (water tower) (30°24′⋅4N
88°55′⋅0W).
Racon:
GP Light−buoy (10.237).
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 2 for
details.
10.218 1
From a position in the approaches to Pascagoula, in the
vicinity of 30°09′N 88°34′W, the coastal route leads W
within a Safety Fairway for 18 miles to a position in the
approaches to Ship Island Pass, in the vicinity of 30°07′N
88°55′W, close to the charted pilot boarding place, passing
S of Dog Keys Pass (30°13′N 88°48′W) and keeping clear
of a wreck and obstructions, as charted.
2
Useful marks:
Chandeleur North Island Light (white and black
chequered diamond on framework tower)
(30°02′⋅9N 88°52′⋅3W).
Ship Island Light (framework tower, concrete base)
(30°12′⋅7N 88°58′⋅0W).
(Directions for Gulfport continue at 10.236)
Anchorage
Chart 3151
10.219 1
Ship Island Bar Channel anchorage: south of the
channel within 2 miles radius of GP Light−buoy (safe
water) (10.237); depths 11 to 14 m (36 to 46 ft); good
holding.
Biloxi
General information
10.220 1
Biloxi (30°24′N 88°54′W) is the centre of a large fishing
industry. Keesler US Air Force Base is situated at the W
end of the city. There are no regular pilots, but pilotage
may be obtainable from Gulfport (10.234). Local
knowledge is required to enter. East Biloxi Channel, which
is 46 m wide, has a dredged depth of 2⋅6 m (8½ ft) (2001).
It is used mainly by local fishing vessels. Most other
vessels use Ship or Horn Island Pass and the Intracoastal
Waterway in preference to Dog Keys Pass.
2
Hurricane damage. See 10.4
CHAPTER 10
271
Directions
10.221 1
From a position at the entrance to Dog Keys Pass, in
the vicinity of 30°12′⋅9N 88°47′⋅5W, the track leads
generally N, thence NW, for about 14 miles to the wharves,
within a marked channel and Safety Fairway.
Caution. It was reported (1995) that a shoal patch of
2⋅7 m (9 ft) exists in the entrance to Dog Keys Pass in
approximate position 30°13′⋅2N 88°47′⋅3W. Another shoal
patch, of 1⋅8 m (6 ft), is reported (1994) to lie 3 cables
farther ESE.
Berths
10.222 1
Alongside berths are located in a protected basin N of
the W end of Deer Island.
Port services
10.223 1
Repairs: several yards are available for hull and engine
repairs.
Other facility: hospital.
Supplies: fuel, provisions and water.
GULFPORT
General information
Chart 3151 (see 1.18)
Position
10.224 1
Gulfport (30°22′N 89°05′W) is situated on the N coast
of Mississippi Sound, about 11 miles NW of Ship Island
(10.213).
Function
10.225 1
Local industries include aluminium, barge construction,
chemicals, fishing, steel and tourism. The port handles dry
bulk, containers and general cargo, including reefer cargo
and forest products. Facilities include a Foreign Trade
Zone. Gulfport is a Customs Port of Entry. The population
is about 40 000.
Topography
10.226 1
The land around Gulfport is low and featureless. A very
tall building, water towers and radio masts are prominent
near the harbour.
Approach and entry
10.227 1
The harbour is approached through Gulfport Channel
and entered close SW of Gulfport front leading light
(10.239), between East Pier and a submerged breakwater on
the W side of the channel.
Traffic
10.228 1
In 2004 28 vessels used the port with a total of
762 007 dwt.
Port authority
10.229 1
Mississippi State Port Authority, PO Box 40, Gulfport,
MS 39502.
Limiting conditions
Controlling dimensions
10.230 1
Federal project depths and widths for the dredged
channel to Gulfport are:
Channel Depth Width
Ship Island Bar 11⋅6 m (38 ft) 91 m
Gulfport (10.239) 11⋅0 m (36ft) 67 m
Anchorage Basin 9⋅6−11⋅0 m (32−36 ft) 338−372 m
2
The chart and port authority should be consulted for the
latest controlling depths.
Abnormal sea levels
10.231 1
A 6⋅4 m storm surge has been recorded at Gulfport
during a hurricane. See 1.21.
Gulfport Berths from SE (10.224)
(Original dated 2003)
(Photograph − Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc.)
CHAPTER 10
272
Maximum size of vessel handled
10.232 1
Length 213 m, draught 9⋅1 m.
Shelter and shoaling
10.233 1
Gulfport harbour is not considered to be a hurricane
haven. In the event of a hurricane and if unable to leave
the region entirely, anchorage should be obtained in the lee
of Ship Island. There is also a danger of severe shoaling in
Gulfport Channel under these conditions.
Arrival information
10.234 1
Port radio. There is a VHF radio station at Gulfport.
See Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
Notice of ETA: 48 hours, then 1½ hours before arrival
at the pilot station.
2
Pilotage is compulsory and available day and night. The
pilot boards from a 14 m vessel, with a red hull and white
superstructure, ½ mile W of GP Light−buoy (10.237). See
Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(5) for details.
3
Tugs. Three tugs are available. Approach and entry is
usually made under own power and tugs used only for
berthing.
Traffic regulations. Speed should be restricted to a
maximum of 7 knots between Ship Island Bar and Gulfport
harbour and 4½ kn inside the harbour.
Quarantine: Public Health Service regulations apply.
Officials usually inspect vessels at their berths.
Harbour
10.235 1
General layout. Main berthing areas are situated on
both sides of a harbour basin protected by two moles,
referred to locally as piers. The main container terminal is
at the S end of W Pier. A commercial small vessel basin
has been constructed close W of the the same pier.
2
Hurricane damage.
See 10.4.
Directions
(continued from 10.218)
Principal marks
10.236
1
Landmarks:
Building (30°22′⋅1N 89°05′⋅6W), conspicuous.
Building (30°22′⋅1N 89°05′⋅4W), conspicuous.
Radio tower (30°22′⋅7N 89°04′⋅8W), conspicuous by
night.
Chimney (30°22′⋅7N 89°03′⋅3W), conspicuous.
Tower (30°24′⋅8N 89°04′⋅5W), conspicuous.
10.237 1
Ship Island Bar Channel. From a position close to GP
Light−buoy (safe water) (30°07′⋅1N 88°52′⋅7W) the track
leads W for 2¾ miles within a channel marked by
light−buoys.
2
Thence the track leads NW for 5¼ miles, within a
channel marked by pairs of light−buoys, on the alignment
(324½°) of Ship Island Pass Leading Lights:
Front light (framework tower on piles) (30°12′⋅1N
89°00′⋅0W).
Rear light (similar structure) (3 miles NW of front
light).
10.238 1
Ship Island Pass. Thence the alignment (348½°) of
Gulfport Channel Middle Reach Leading Lights leads
through Ship Island Pass for a distance of 4 miles in a
channel marked by pairs of light buoys and light−beacons:
Front light (red rectangle, white stripe, on framework
tower on piles) (30°16′⋅0N 89°00′⋅4W).
Rear light (similar structure) (2¼ miles from front
light).
10.239 1
Gulfport Channel. Thence the alignment (144°), astern,
and the near reciprocal (323¾°), ahead, of Gulfport
Channel Upper Reach Outbound and Inbound Leading
Lights respectively, leads through the centre of the channel
directly into Gulfport harbour between Gulfport Channel
Upper Reach Front Leading Light and a submerged
breakwater on the W side of the channel:
2
Astern front light (red rectangle, white stripe, on pile)
(30°13′⋅8N 88°58′⋅9W).
Rear light (red rectangle, white stripe, on concrete
base) (1½ miles SE of the front light).
3
Ahead front light (red rectangle, white stripe, on
framework tower on piles) (30°21′⋅2N 89°05′⋅1W).
Rear light (red rectangle, white stripe, on framework
tower on concrete base) (8 cables NW of the front
light).
4
Useful marks:
Gulfport Aero Light (tower, 19 m in height)
(30°24′⋅0N 89°04′⋅4W).
Biloxi Light (white conical tower, black balcony,
16 m in height) (30°23′⋅7N 88°54′⋅1W).
Berths
10.240 1
The port has 9 berths, from 160 to 228 m in length, with
depths alongside of 9⋅7 to 11⋅0 m.
Port services
10.241 1
Repairs. Above and below water−line repair facilities
are available.
Other facilities: hospitals; reception of oil wastes.
Supplies: fuel of all types by barge and truck;
provisions and water.
Communications. The municipal airport, which has a
scheduled service, is 3 km NE of the city.
273
APPENDIX I
CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS TITLE 33 — NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
PART 26 — VESSEL BRIDGE−TO−BRIDGE RADIOTELEPHONE REGULATIONS
The following extracts are taken from the United States
Bridge−to−Bridge Telephone Act. For a complete
description of this part see 33 CFR 26.
Regulations specific to this volume are given by title only
where the area concerned falls wholly within pilotage
waters; where the regulation affects an area outside
pilotage waters, a summary of the regulation is given.
§26.01 Purpose. (See 33 CFR 26).
§26.02 Definitions. (See 33 CFR 26).
§26.03 Radiotelephone required.
(a) Unless an exemption is granted under §26.09
(waters not applicable to this volume) and except
as provided in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, this
part applies to:
(1) Every power−driven vessel of 20 m or over in
length while navigating;
(2) Every vessel of 100 gt and upward carrying one
or more passengers for hire while navigating;
(3) Every towing vessel of 26 ft (7⋅9 m) or over in
length while navigating; and
(4) Every dredge and floating plant engaged in or
near a channel or fairway in operations likely to
restrict or affect navigation of other vessels
except for an unmanned or intermittently
manned floating plant under the control of a
dredge.
(b) Every vessel, dredge or floating plant described in
paragraph (a) of this section must have a
radiotelephone on board capable of operation from
its navigational bridge, or in the case of a dredge
from its main control station, and capable of
transmitting and receiving on the frequency or
frequencies within the 156−162 MHz band using
the classes of emissions designated by the Federal
Communications Commission for the exchange of
navigational information.
(c) The radiotelephone required by paragraph (b) of
this section must be carried on board the described
vessels, dredges and floating plants upon the
navigable waters of the United States.
(d) The radiotelephone required by paragraph (b) of
this section must be capable of transmitting and
receiving on VHF FM channel 22A (157⋅1 MHz).
(f) In addition to the radiotelephone required by
paragraph (b) of this section each vessel described
in paragraph (a) of this section, while transiting
any waters within a VTS area, must have on board
a radiotelephone capable of transmitting and
receiving on the VTS designated frequency for that
area.
Note.A single VHF−FM radio, capable of scanning or
sequential monitoring, (often referred to as dual watch
capability) will not meet the requirements for two
radios.
§26.04 Use of the designated frequency.
(d) On the navigable waters of the United States
channel 13 (156⋅65 MHz) is the designated
frequency required to be monitored in accordance
with §26.05 (a), except that in the area prescribed
in §26.03 (e) (not listed − waters not applicable to
this volume) channel 67 (156.375 MHz) is the
designated frequency.
(e) On those navigable waters of the United States
within a VTS area, the designated VTS frequency
is an additional designated frequency required to
be monitored in accordance with §26.05.
Note:As stated in 47 CFR 80.148 (b) a VHF watch on
channel 16 (156.800 MHz) is not required on vessels
subject to the Vessel Bridge−to−Bridge
Radiotelephone Act and participating in a VTS
system when the watch is maintained on both the
vessel bridge−to−bridge frequency and a designated
VTS frequency.
§26.05 Use of radiotelephone.
Section 5 of the Act states that the radio telephone required
by this Act is for the exclusive use of the Master or
person in charge of the vessel, or the person
designated by the Master or person in charge to pilot
or direct the movement of the vessel, who shall
maintain a listening watch on the designated
frequency. Nothing herein shall be interpreted as
precluding the use of portable radiotelephone
equipment to satisfy the requirements of this act.
§26.06 Maintenance of radiotelephone; failure of
radiotelephone. (See 33 CFR 26)
§26.07 Communications.
No person may use the service of, and no person may
serve as, a person required to maintain a listening
watch under Section 5 of the Act, 33 U.S.C 1204
unless that person can communicate in the English
language.
§26.08 Exemption procedures. (See 33 CFR 26).
§26.09 List of exemptions. (See 33 CFR 26).
§26.10 Penalties.
Section 9 of the Act states:
(a) Whoever, being the Master or person in charge of
a vessel subject to the Act, fails to enforce or
comply with the Act or the regulations hereunder;
or whoever, being designated by the Master or
person in charge of a vessel subject to the Act to
pilot or direct the movement of the vessel fails to
enforce or comply with the Act or the regulations
hereunder is liable to a civil penalty of not more
than $500 to be assessed by the Secretary.
(b) Every vessel navigated in violation of the Act or
the regulations hereunder is liable to a civil
penalty of not more than $500 to be assessed by
the Secretary, for which the vessel may be
proceeded against in any District Court of the
United States having jurisdiction.
(c) Any penalty assessed under this section may be
remitted or mitigated by the Secretary, upon such
terms as he may deem proper.
274
APPENDIX II
CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS TITLE 33 — NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
PART 160 — PORTS AND WATERWAYS SAFETY — GENERAL
Appendix II contains extracts from Subpart C of the above
regulations issued by the United States Department of
Commerce. For a complete description of this part
see 33 CFR 160.
Subpart C — Notification of Arrival,
Hazardous Conditions, and Certain
Dangerous Cargoes.
§160.201 General.
This subpart contains requirements and procedures for
submitting Notices of Arrival (NOA) and Notice of
Hazardous Condition. The sections in this subpart
describe:
(a) Applicability and exemptions from requirements in
this subpart;
(b) Required information in a NOA;
(c) Required changes to a NOA;
(d) Methods and times for submission of a NOA and
changes to a NOA;
(e) How to obtain a waiver; and
(f) Requirements for submission of the Notice of
Hazardous Conditions.
§160.202 Applicability.
(a) This subpart applies to US and foreign vessels bound
for and departing from ports or places in the United
States.
(b) This subpart does not apply to recreational vessels
under 46 U.S.C. 4301 et seq.
(c) Unless otherwise specified in this subpart, the owner,
agent, master, operator, or person in charge of a
vessel regulated by this subpart is responsible for
compliance with the requirements in this subpart.
(d) Towing vessels controlling a barge or barges required
to submit a NOA under this subpart must submit only
one NOA containing the information required for the
towing vessel and each barge under its control.
§160.203 Exemptions.
(a) Except for reporting notice of hazardous conditions,
the following vessels are exempt from requirements in
this subpart:
(1) Passenger and supply vessels when they are
employed in the exploration for or in the removal
of oil, gas, or mineral resources on the continental
shelf.
(2) Oil Spill Recovery Vessels (OSRVs) when engaged
in actual spill response operations or during spill
response exercises.
(3) Vessels operating upon the following waters:
(i) Mississippi River between its sources and mile
235, Above Head of Passes;
(ii) Tributaries emptying into the Mississippi River
above mile 235;
(iii) Atchafalaya River above its junction with the
Plaquemine−Morgan City alternate waterway
and the Red River; and
(iv) The Tennessee River from its confluence with
the Ohio River to mile zero on the Mobile
River and all other tributaries between those
two points.
(b) If not carrying certain dangerous cargo or controlling
another vessel carrying certain dangerous cargo, the
following vessels are exempt from NOA requirements
in this subpart:
(1) Vessels 300 gross tons or less, except for foreign
vessels entering any port or place in the Seventh
Coast Guard District as described in 33 CFR
3.35−1(b).
(2) Vessels operating exclusively within a Captain of
the Port Zone.
(3) Vessels arriving at a port or place under force
majeure.
(4) Towing vessels and barges operating solely
between ports or places in the continental United
States.
(5) Public vessels.
(6) Except for tank vessels, US vessels operating
solely between ports or places in the United States
on the Great Lakes.
(c) Vessels less than 500 gross tons need not submit the
International Safety Management (ISM) Code Notice
(Entry (7) in Table 160.206).
(d) [Suspended]
(e) [Suspended]
(f) US vessels need not submit the International Ship and
Port Facility Code (ISPS) Notice Information (Entry
(9) in Table 160.206)
§160.204 Definitions
As used in this subpart:
Agent means any person, partnership, firm, company or
corporation engaged by the owner or charterer of a
vessel to act in their behalf in matters concerning the
vessel.
Barge means a non−self propelled vessel engaged in
commerce.
Carried in bulk means a commodity that is loaded or
carried on board a vessel without containers or labels
and received and handled without mark or count.
Certain dangerous cargo (CDC) includes any of the
following:
(1) Division 1.1 or 1.2 explosives as defined in 49
CFR 173.50.
(2) Division 1.5D blasting agents for which a permit is
required under 49 CFR 176.415, or for which a
permit is required as a condition of a Research and
Special Programs Administration exemption.
(3) Division 2.3 “poisonous gas”, as listed in 49 CFR
172.101 that is also a “material poisonous by
inhalation” as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, and that is
in a quantity in excess of 1 metric ton per vessel.
(4) Division 5.1 oxidizing materials for which a permit
is required under 49 CFR 176.415 or for which a
permit is required as a condition of a Research and
Special Programs Administration exemption.
275
(5) A liquid material that has a primary or subsidiary
classification of Division 6.1 “poisonous material”
as listed in 49 CFR 172.101 that is also a
“material poisonous by inhalation” as defined in 49
CFR 171.8 and that is in a bulk packaging, or that
is in a quantity in excess of 20 metric tons per
vessel when not in a bulk packaging.
(6) Class 7, “highway route controlled quantity”
radioactive material, or “fissile material, controlled
shipment,” as defined in 49 CFR 173.403.
(7) Bulk liquefied chlorine gas and bulk liquefied gas
cargo that is flammable and/or toxic and carried
under 46 CFR 154.7.
(8) The following bulk liquids:
(i) Acetone cyanohydrin,
(ii) Allyl alcohol,
(iii) Chlorosulfonic acid,
(iv) Crotonaldehyde,
(v) Ethylene chlorohydrin,
(vi) Ethylene dibromide,
(vii) Methacrylonitrile, and
(viii) Oleum (fuming sulphuric acid).
(9) Ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrate based
fertilizers, in bulk, listed as a Division 5.1 material
in 49 CFR 172.101.
(10) Propylene oxide, alone or mixed with ethylene
oxide, in bulk.
Charterer means the person or organisation that contracts
for the majority of the carrying capacity of a ship for
the transportation of cargo to a stated port for a
specified period. This includes “time charterers” and
voyage charterers”.
Crewmember means all persons carried on board the vessel
to provide navigation and maintenance of the vessel,
its machinery, systems, and arrangements essential for
propulsion and safe navigation or to provide services
for other persons on board.
Great Lakes means Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie,
and Ontario, their connecting and tributary waters, the
Saint Lawrence River as far as Saint Regis, and
adjacent port areas.
Gross tons means the tonnage determined by the tonnage
authorities of a vessel’s flag state in accordance with
the national tonnage rules in force before the entry
into force of the International Convention on Tonnage
Measurement of Ships, 1969 (“Convention”). For a
vessel measured only under Annex 1 of the
Convention, gross tons means that tonnage. For a
vessel measured under both systems, the higher gross
tonnage is the tonnage used for the purposes of the
300 gross−ton threshold.
Hazardous condition means any condition that may
adversely affect the safety of any vessel, bridge,
structure, or shore area or the environmental quality
of any port, harbor, or navigable waterway of the
United States. It may, but need not, involve collision,
fire, explosion, grounding, leaking, damage, injury or
illness of a person on board, or manning shortage.
Nationality means the state (nation) in which a person is a
citizen or to which a person owes permanent
allegiance.
Operator means any person including, but not limited to,
an owner, a charterer, or another contractor who
conducts, or is responsible for, the operation of a
vessel.
Persons in addition to crewmembers means any person
onboard the vessel, including passengers, who are not
included on the list of crewmembers.
Port or place of departure means any port or place in
which a vessel is anchored or moored.
Port or place of destination means any port or place to
which a vessel is bound to anchor or moor.
Public vessel means a vessel that is owned or demise
(bareboat) chartered by the government of the United
States, by a State or local government, or by the
government of a foreign country and that is not
engaged in commercial service.
Time charterer means the party who hires a vessel for a
specific amount of time. The owner and his crew
manage the vessel but the charterer selects the port of
destination.
Voyage charterer means the party who hires a vessel for a
single voyage. The owner and his crew manage the
vessel but the charterer selects the port of destination.
§160.206 Information required in a NOA.
(a) Each NOA must contain all of the information items
specified in Table 160.206.
TABLE 160.206. — NOA INFORMATION ITEMS
Vessels carrying CDC
Required information
Vessels not
carrying CDC
Vessels
Towing vessels
controlling vessels
carrying CDC
(1) Vessel information:
(i) Name;
(ii) Name of the registered owner;
(iii) Country of registry;
(iv) Call sign;
(v) International Maritime Organisation (IMO) international number or, if the
vessel does not have an assigned IMO international number, substitute with
official number;
(vi) Name of the operator;
(vii) Name of the charterer; and
(viii) Name of classification society.
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
276
Vessels carrying CDC
Required information
Vessels not
carrying CDC
Vessels
Towing vessels
controlling vessels
carrying CDC
(2) Voyage information:
(i) Names of last five ports or places visited;
(ii) Dates of arrival and departure for last five ports or places visited;
(iii) For each port or place in the United States to be visited, list the names of the
receiving facility, the port or place, the city, and the state;
(iv) For each port or place in the United States to be visited, the estimated date and
time of arrival;
(v) For each port or place in the United States to be visited, the estimated date and
time of departure;
(vi) The location (port or place and country) or position (latitude and longitude or
waterway and mile marker) of the vessel at the time of reporting; and
(vii) The name and telephone number of a 24 hour point of contact.
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
(3) Cargo information:
(i) A general description of cargo, other than CDC, onboard the vessel (e.g.:
grain, container, oil, etc.);
(ii) Name of each certain dangerous cargo carried, including cargo UN number, if
applicable; and
(iii) Amount of each certain dangerous cargo carried.
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
(4) Information for each Crewmember Onboard:
(i) Full name;
(ii) Date of birth;
(iii) Nationality;
(iv) Passport or mariners document number (type of identification and number);
(v) Position or duties on the vessel; and
(vi) Where the crewmember embarked (list port or place and country)
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
(5) Information for each Person Onboard in Addition to Crew:
(i) Full name;
(ii) Date of birth;
(iii) Nationality;
(iv) Passport number; and
(v) Where the person embarked (list port or place and country)
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
(6) Operational condition of equipment required by §164.35.
x
x
x
(7) International Safety Management (ISM) Code Notice:
(i) The date of issuance for the company’s Document of Compliance certificate that
covers the vessel;
(ii) The date of issuance for the vessel’s Safety Management Certificate; and
(iii) The name of the Flag Administration, or the recognized organization(s)
representing the vessel flag administration, that issued those certificates.
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
(8) [Suspended]
(9) International Ship and Port Facility Code (ISPS) Notice:
(i) The date of issuance for the vessel’s International Ship Security Certificate
(ISSC), if any;
(ii) Whether the ISSC, if any, is an initial Interim ISSC, subsequent and
consecutive Interim ISSC, or final ISSC;
(iii) Declaration that the approved ship security plan, if any, is being implemented;
(iv) If a subsequent and consecutive Interim ISSC, the reasons therefor;
(v) The name and 24 hour contact information for the Company Security Officer;
and;
(vi) The name of the Flag Administration, or the recognised security
organisation(s) representing the vessel flag Administration that issued the
ISSC
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
277
(b) Vessels operating solely between ports or places in
the continental United States need submit only the
name of and date of arrival and departure for the last
port or places visited to meet the requirements in
entries (2)(i) and (ii) in Table 160.206 of this section.
(c) You may submit a copy of INS Form 1−418 to meet
the requirements of entries (4) and (5) in Table
160.206.
(d) Any vessel planning to enter two or more consecutive
ports or places in the United States during a single
voyage may submit one consolidated Notification of
Arrival at least 96 hours before entering the first port
or place of destination. The consolidated notice must
include the name of the port or place and estimated
arrival and departure date for each destination of the
voyage. Any vessel submitting a consolidated notice
under this section must still meet the requirements of
§160.208 of this part concerning requirements for
changes to a NOA.
§160.208 Changes to a submitted NOA.
(a) Unless otherwise specified in this section, when
submitted NOA information changes, vessels must
submit a notice of change within the times required
in §160.212.
(b) Changes in the following information need not be
reported:
(1) Changes in arrival or departure times that are less
than six (6) hours;
(2) Changes in vessel location or position of the vessel
at the time of reporting (entry (2)(vi) in Table
160.206);
(3) Changes to crewmembers’ positions or duties on
the vessel (entry (5)(v) in Table 160.206).
(c) When reporting changes, submit only the name of the
vessel, original NOA submission date, the port of
arrival, the specific items to be corrected, and the
new location or position of the vessel at the time of
reporting. Only changes to NOA information need to
be submitted.
§160.210 Methods for submitting a NOA.
(a) [Suspended]
Note to paragraph (a): Information about the National Vessel
Movement Center is available on its website at
http:/www.nvmc.uscg.gov/. You may submit the notice using
any electronic format available on the NVMC website.
(b) Saint Lawrence Seaway transits. Those vessels
transiting the Saint Lawrence Seaway inbound, bound
for a port or place in the United States, may meet the
submission requirements of paragraph (a) of this
section by submitting the required information to the
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and
the Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
of Canada by fax at 315−764−3235 or at
315−764−3200.
(c) Seventh Coast Guard District. Those foreign vessels
300 or less gross tons operating in the Seventh Coast
Guard District must submit a NOA to the cognizant
Captain of the Port (COTP).
(d) [Suspended]
(e) Submission to the National Vessel Movement Center
(NVMC). Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and
(c) of this section, vessels must submit NOA
information required by §160.206 (entries 1−9 in
Table 160.206) to the NVMC, United States Coast
Guard, 408 Coast Guard Drive, Kearneysville, W.V.,
25430, by:
(1) Electronic submission via the electronic NOA
(e−NOA) available on the NVMC web site at
http://www.nvmc.uscg.gov.
(2) Electronic submission via web service of formatted
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) documents.
E−mail sans@nvmc.uscg.gov to ask for the XML
scheme details.
(3) E−mail at sans@nvmc.uscg.gov. Workbook
available at http://www.nvmc.uscg.gov;
(4) Fax at 1−800−547−8724 or 304−264−2684.
Workbook available at http://www.nvmc.uscg.gov;
or,
(5) Telephone at 1−800−708−9823 or 304−264−2502.
§160.212 When to submit a NOA.
(a) Submission of NOA.
(1) Except as set out in paragraph (a)(2) of this
section, all vessels must submit NOAs within the
times required in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(2) Towing vessels, when in control of a vessel
carrying CDC and operating solely between ports
or places in the continental United States, must
submit a NOA before departure but at least 12
hours before departure but at least 12 hours before
entering the port or place of destination.
(3) Times for submitting NOAs are as follows:
If your voyage time is:−
You must submit a NOA:−
(i) 96 hours or more; or
At least 96 hours before entering
the port or place of destination;
or
(ii) Less than 96 hours
Before departure but at least 24
hours before entering the port or
place of destination.
(b) Submission of changes to NOA.
(1) Except as set out in paragraph (b)(2) of this
section, vessels must submit changes in NOA
information within the times required in paragraph
(b)(3) of this section.
(2) Towing vessels, when in control of a vessel
carrying CDC and operating solely between ports
or places in the continental United States, must
submit changes to a NOA as soon as practicable
but at least 6 hours before entering the port or
place of destination.
(3) Times for submitting changes to NOAs are as
follows:
If your remaining
voyage time is :−
Then you must submit changes to
a NOA :−
(i) 96 hours or more;
As soon as practicable but at least
24 hours before entering the port
or place of destination;
(ii) Less than 96 hours
but not less than
24 hours; or
As soon as practicable but at least
24 hours before entering the port
or place of destination; or
(iii) Less than 24
hours
As soon as practicable but at least
24 hours before entering the port
or place of destination;
(c) [Suspended]
§160.214 Waivers.
The Captain of the Port may waive, within that Captain of
the Port’s designated zone, any of the requirements of
this subpart for any vessel or class of vessels upon
278
finding that the vessel, route, area of operations,
conditions of the voyage, or other circumstances are
such that application of this subpart is unnecessary or
impractical for purposes of safety, environmental
protection, or national security.
§160.215 Notice of hazardous conditions.
Whenever there is a hazardous condition either aboard a
vessel or caused by a vessel or its operation, the
owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge
shall immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard
Marine Safety Office or Group Office. (Compliance
with this section does not relieve responsibility for
the written report required by 46 CFR 4.05−10).
279
APPENDIX III
NAVIGATION RULES FOR UNITED STATES INLAND WATERS
Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980 modifies
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at
Sea, 1972 for use in US Inland Waters, inshore of
established lines of demarcation.
The Navigation Rules for US Inland Waters follow closely
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at
Sea, 1972, the Rules having corresponding numbers
and usually corresponding paragraph numbers as well.
This Appendix shows only those Rules for US Inland
Waters or parts of those Rules, which differ from the
International Regulations, except where the
modifications are of no navigational significance. The
modifications are shown in italic type; where matter
has been omitted, this is indicated by the use of
‘’.
PART A − GENERAL
Rule 1
Application
The complete Rule has been rewritten:
(a) These Rules apply to all vessels upon the inland
waters of the United States, and to vessels of the
United States on the Canadian waters of the Great
Lakes to the extent that there is no conflict with
Canadian law.
(b)(i) These Rules constitute special rules made by an
appropriate authority within the meaning of Rule
1(b) of the International Regulations.
(ii) All vessels complying with the construction and
equipment requirements of the International
Regulations are considered to be in compliance
with these Rules.
(c) Nothing in these Rules shall interfere with the
operation of any special rules made by the Secretary
of the Navy with respect to additional station or
signal lights and shapes or whistle signals for ships of
war and vessels proceeding under convoy, or by the
Secretary with respect to additional station or signal
lights and shapes for fish