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The image above is a view from the west looking east over the twisting canals of the Hernando Beach area. The dredged entry channel is visible as it enters the image above from the lower left (west) and proceeds east in toward Minnow Creek. Hernando Beach is a decent stopover for cruisers traveling north and south along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway that want to rest for the night in relative protection.
Hernando Beach is a quiet and fairly remote town, but there are a couple of marinas inside Minnow Creek that can assist traveling mariners with a tie-up for the evening and a small marine repair shop is located ashore. Technically, most of the marine shops and marinas are located within the ZIP code that encompasses Spring Hill, which is located right within Hernando Beach.
Navigating the Water:
Use NOAA Chart 11409.
Hernando Beach is approached from the Gulf of Mexico via a passage from the northwest across the flats of the surrounding waters that eventually runs into Minnow Creek at Hernando Beach. Boats with drafts of more than four feet need not apply; the waters here are shallow.
The actual approach to Hernando Beach begins slightly northwest of the town, although local boats will often forego the formal entrance and proceed directly in to Coon Key Point. The recommended procedure is to first set a course to arrive in the area of waypoint 28 31.092N 82 42.216W, which should place you near green daybeacon “1” and red daybeacon “2” at the beginning of the channel. Once you have picked up these markers strictly follow the other aids to navigation until you reach green daybeacon “13.”
Once you have arrived at green daybeacon “13,” set a course of about 162 degrees magnetic so pick up the dredged channel on the and of Cedar Key Point. From here, follow the length of small aids to navigation in, minding the depth sounder and proceeding slowly through the narrow channel.