As boaters who frequently operate out of Santa Cruz Harbor know, depth in the entrance channel can become shallow (or shoaled) following a major storm or swell event.
Boaters are advised to contact the dredge crew on VHF channel 8 for passing instructions. While the dredge crew can advise boaters about the position of dredge equipment and anchor wires, and provide passing instructions to reduce the potential for a collision with dredge equipment, the dredge crew is not in a position to advise boaters as to whether depth conditions are suitable for passage.
It is the skipper's responsibility to know:
- Entrance conditions prior to transit by reviewing the sounding or contacting the harbor office on VHF channel 9, or by telephone at (831) 475-6161;
- Tide conditions prior to transit;
- What your vessel draws.
Boaters needing current information about depth conditions in the harbor entrance are urged to contact the harbor office on VHF channel 9. They can provide boaters with information about controlling depth, tides and the deepest passageway. It is the skipper's responsibility to assess whether safe passage is possible for their particular vessel based on that information.