Issued by the Great Salt Lake State Marina
Navigation Notice: 2008006
Subject: Marina Mouth – Shallow w/ hazards
Dated: August 23, 2008
This notice has been rescinded and is no longer active
The mouth of the Great Salt Lake Marina is now shallow again with humps, rocks and other debris in several areas. This year did not produce the moisture we were all so desperately hoping for. In fact it brought just the opposite. Great Salt Lake seems to be in its own drought with only 60% of its normal moisture since January 1st.
If we had not dredged this year 40% of the boats in the marina would not have had a sailing season at all. But we did dredge taking over two feet of rock and hard clay out of a very shallow mouth. Mother nature did not cooperate though and now we are wrestling with a mouth that again is shallow. And we are not bumping again. Bringing the Lucin down from Promontory marina helped but probably only bought us a few weeks to a month for the deeper draft boats. And August is being very cruel to us with evaporation.
And so here is the problem and the warning: When we took out the two feet of mud and clay from the bottom of the mouth we also took out the “known”. What we are left with is the “Unknown”. Those trusty tricks and paths that we knew so well are no longer there. Everything has changed and we just don’t know what the new contour is. I can tell you that there are still rocks down there in the mouth. Some of the boats have hit these in the last few days. Trust me, these are not the same old trusty rocks from last year; the rocks that you knew where they were. These are rocks that are two feet below those old pesky “bottom paint blue and red” rocks.
And lets not forget all those hundreds of beer and pop cans (more on that later). When the Lucin came through here early this week it literally kicked up hundreds of these cans from the bottom of the marina.
We cannot simply put the small orange buoys out this summer and guide you through the obstacles because we do not know where they are yet. The water is too murky and is not likely to clear up in the very near future. When it does I will dive in the mouth. I will find and learn everything I can about the mouth. And then I will pass it on. Until then, please use extreme caution. Don’t rely on the old tricks. Consider leaning your boat over as you go through the mouth. And know that, if you hit a rock or other debris, it may damage your boat. Know when it is time to call it quits for the year for your own boat.
The sailing season is almost over for a large part of us; the deep draft boats, of which I am one of. But this does not mean marina life or Great Salt Lake life is over. There are many alternatives for those that have a passion for sailing or the Great Salt Lake. First of all there are all our friends with shallow draft boats. There are always dinghies and kayaks. We could make great friends with the Hawaiian Canoe Club and the Great Salt Lake Row club (wont’ they be thrilled). There are always socials and dock parties that can be planned. Fall is a great time for the road trips to those far and exotic places around the lake.
And there is always the Virgin Islands.