Compass Headings
Dedicated to raisng the bar


The Checklist:

Weather Planning
& Resources

Spare Parts &
Boat Outfit

& Equipment

Celestial Navigation
Vessel Conduct
Rules of the Road

Safety Equipment &
Vessel Paperwork

Trip Planning
Maneuvering, Anchoring
& Enroute Checks

Bar Entrances, Passes
& Narrows

Distances Reference
Mariner Math
Port Information
Panama Canal

Vessel Delivery
Selecting a Vessel
Selling Your Boat
Service Providers

Purchase Checklist

Bar Entrance, Passes & Narrows

Bar Entrance Crossing
Conditions on the bar are affected directly by the incoming swell/wave height and the speed of the outgoing tidal current.

As swell and large wind waves approach shallow water, they will slow, steepen and gain height. This is amplified greatly at the entrance during the Ebb tide.

Plan your departure or arrival to coincide with the Slack or Flood tide.
Do not cross shoal areas. Stay in the channel at all times. You can quickly find yourself being set outside the channel. If crossing during a strong Ebb current, outside conditions should be no more than a 5 foot long period swell, or a 3 foot chop.

If in doubt, call the USCG on Ch-16 for a Bar report.

Passes and Narrows
Many Passes and Narrows are extremely hazardous during Max Current.
Plan your arrival and transit as close to Slack water as possible.

Decision Making
Always plan and think ahead.
Before making a decision ask yourself the following:
Is this a good idea or a bad idea.
Does this feel right or wrong.
Does this feel safe or unsafe.
Be safe, prudent and cautious in your decision making.

Ask the Captain
The Checklist
Purchase Checklist

Purchase books, cards CDs and Calendars
Books, cards and prints
offered by author
Chris Couch
Compass Headings Publishing.