The Dames Point Cutoff is an extension of the St. Johns River about 10 miles west of the St. Johns River entrance and seven miles northeast of Jacksonville (as the crow flies). Mainly an industrial area, the Dames Point Cutoff is often busy with commercial traffic from the gigantic Blount Island Containership Facility on the north side of the channel.
The image above is a view from the east-northeast looking west-southwest over the Dames Point Cutoff with the Dames Point Bridge (169-foot fixed vertical clearance) visible toward the top of the image. Dames Point is located on the north (right) side of the Dames Point Bridge, and the southwest point of the Blount Island facility is can be seen on the center right portion of the image.
Use NOAA Chart 11491.
Though not tricky from a navigational standpoint, the Dames Point Cutoff can be a bit challenging due to the strong current and commercial ship traffic from the Blount Island Container Facility.
From flashing red 42 (near waypoint 30 23.386N 081 31.732W), pick up the Dames Point Cutoff range on an approximate course of 264 degrees magnetic. Past flashing red buoy 42 to the north is a charted security zone that is part of the Marine Corps Logistics Center on Blount Island; be sure to stay clear of the area (staying inside the Dames Point Cutoff Range will keep you out of the security area).
Once you have cleared the security area, set yourself toward the west-southwest to clear the center span of the Dames Point Bridge. Past Dame Point, the channel takes a turn to the north as the St. Johns River winds its way back toward Jacksonville. There are few marinas in the area, and the closest facilities are located about three miles to the northwest in the Trout River.