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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Announcement: All Eastern Florida Cruising News


    Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of Eastern Florida cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO NARROW YOUR SELECTION of EF cruising news to those messages which pertain to a specific geographic sub-region, locate the RED, vertically stacked menu, on the right side of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages. Click on “Eastern Florida.” A drop down menu will appear, with a blue background, Now, click on “EF Regional Cruising News.” A sub-drop-down menu will now appear, listing 12 Eastern Florida geographic sub-regions. Select your waters of interest, and after clicking on your choice, a list of messages will appear, confined to the sub-region you have picked!

    Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings

    Light Blue Background Denotes Postings Concerned with “AICW Problem Stretches”
  • Excellent Discussions on Sojourner’s Permit

    These excellent and informative discussions on Florida’s Sojourner’s Permit are from our good friends on AGLCA’s Forum. Thanks to them all! If you have more to add, let us hear from you!

    The Sojourner’s Permit is a cruiser Florida Vessel Registration and Decal. Read More

    It is an annual registration, that cost $83.75 if you purchase it in a Florida County that does not add a County Tax on top of Florida’s state fee, such as Taylor County (where Steinhatchee is located on the upper Gulf coast). It can be obtained by mail. The boat’s temporary location should be provided initially, along with your regular mailing address. We travel to Florida most years to various locations but never know exactly how long we’ll be there. So, we find it easy to renew annually (on the first listed owner’s birthday). Since ours is a US Coast Guard Documented Vessel this allows us to show a Florida state small decal registration sticker on our window with other permits, such as renewed lock & mooring passes for Canada. No regular state number imprint, registration, or taxes are required. It makes life simple.
    Sandra Kay & Nelson

    Mike writes: “I am not a lawyer, but I slept in the parking lot of a Holiday Express once, I think.”
    Which is exactly what Officer Obie may think of your arguments. We can play both sides of this for months, it’s a fun Looper topic.
    The bottom line is that if you get stopped by Officer Obie on the water, there is a better than even chance (*) he’ll give you some of Florida’s finest parchment with his signature on it. Question is, are you up for a visit from Obie and a possibility of a discussion with a Judge, or do you want to buy the sticker and put it in the window and not need to worry about it.
    Please note that the charge for the permit is based on boat length, it’s not a fixed fee. Sandra posted their charges, mine for a 45′ was ~$120.
    (*) Florida passed a law about random boat stops, now days if you get stopped they most likely have a reason.
    Foster & Susan

    Ben, you are absolutely correct. There is nothing in Florida law called a sojourner’s or temporary permit. Look at the form everybody references. The title is “Application to Register Non-Titled Vessels” Nowhere do you see “sojourner” or “temporary”. Just because some webmaster in Sarasota put the words on that website it doesn’t make it so.
    There is nothing temporary about this registration. When it expires you will get a notice to renew it. Of course if you are out of Florida by then you can just let it expire. I have been renewing mine for 10 years.
    If you need more proof search this website for “sojourn” or any form of it:
    You will get no hits; zero, nada.
    My guess is that some looper made up the term years ago and it has been passed down through the years as looper lore. In some county tax offices they have heard the term used by loopers so many times that they now respond with the correct form instead of saying, “What are you talking about?”
    When you go in the tax office don’t ask for a sojourner’s permit. Say, “I am going to have my boat in Florida more that 90 days and I understand that I need to register it here.” That will work in every county.
    Jim Barrentine

    Jim, when that webmaster is working on behalf of the county tax collector, it probably does matter! Is this the website for Sarasota you’re referring to?
    A quick Google search of “florida sojourner registration” found several other FL county tax assessors using the term. I’m not a lawyer, either, but laws and regulations aren’t the same thing: actual laws are usually pretty concise, but the regulations that flow from them can be quite detailed, since they need to cover so many situations that may arise. For example, Florida law includes a homestead exemption that reduces property taxes and limits their rate of increase for residents who make the state their legal domicile…but what steps one needs to take to get this exemption is left up to each county’s tax assessor. I live in Pinellas county and the hurdle is higher here than some other Florida counties even though it’s the same state! Welcome to Florida!
    Alex Ertz

    Alex is right, a lot of Tax offices know what you are talking about when you ask for a Sojourner Permit. They know about it after years of Loopers coming and asking for it. The people in the tax office in Apalachicola (Franklin County) knew about it and had me in and out (minus $120 ) in minutes.
    When I looked at the law in 2014, it did say Sojourners Permit. Not up to digging around.
    But I am up to my refrain “the purpose of the permit is to not give Officer Obie a reason to pull you over and have a long discussion when you are trying to be on the rising tide to make docktails 5 hours from then.
    Foster & Susan

    For those whose boats are over 30 years old. You can register the boat as an antique for $4.50 a year!
    Mitch & Carole Brodkin

    A while back Paradise Yachts put out this great link. It provides the instruction page and the application form. I high recommend you read the instruction page, and bring it to the Tax Office with you and all of the forms requested. Yes, some offices do not know what you are talking about, but when they see the instruction page they know how to help you. It is very easy. Here is the link.

    Sojourner Permit

    The instructions and form are highlighted near the bottom of the article.
    Happy boating,

    guess we will need to revisit this topic again ~ a few months ago we followed all of the directions and tracked down/ contacted the lady in fernandina beach even though she had moved to another department ~ we were passing through on our way to the bahamas and we weren’t sure how long we would be in florida…what i heard her tell me is that the sojourner’s permit wasn’t done anymore or really worth anything – since all we had to do was leave for a day and go out into international waters and come back>>>> so if anyone can provide a mailing address and instructions for how to do this or if it is really necessary or tested and worked? it would be appreciated. our boat is registered in nc and also uscg documented and owned by a georgia llc with a georgia hailing port. we have plans to be back in florida in december and want to take our time cruising the keys etc. before we head back up the west coast etc. thanks!
    Ronny Jones

  • Destroyed Manatee Marker, Canaveral Canal, near AICW Statute Mile 894, 10/20/2016

    This destroyed Manatee Marker is at Harbortown Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! The Canaveral barge canal crosses Merritt Island connecting the Waterway to the Banana River to the east.

    The U.S. Coast Guard received a report of a destroyed Slow Speed Manatee Zone sign in Brevard County. The piling remains, but is not visible to boaters and poses a hazard to navigation. The sign is in approximate position 28.4092N/-80.679W. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11478 LNM 42/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Canaveral Canal

  • Damaged Light, St. Lucie Inlet, near AICW Statute Mile 985, 10/20/2016

    This damaged Inlet Light 4 is on the north side of the entrance channel. The St. Lucie Inlet interesets the Waterway at Mile 985 and the eastern entrance to the Okeechobee Waterway.

    St Lucie Inlet Light 4 (LLNR 10003) poses a hazard to navigation in position 27-10-03.183N/080-08-56.322W. The steel pile is missing both daymarks and the light is obscured. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11472 LNM 42/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at St. Lucie Inlet

  • Destroyed Manatee Marker, off Christopher Point, St. Johns River, FL, 10/20/2016

    This destroyed Manatee marker is upstream from downtown Jacksonville on the eastern shore off Christopher Point and SE of Marker #5.

    FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER: Hazard to Navigation/Manatee Marker
    The U.S. Coast Guard has received a report of a Manatee marker destroyed and partially submerged in approximate position 30-14-35.52N/081-38-16.08W. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.
    Chart 11492 LNM 42/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at St. Johns River

  • AICW Report, Ponce Inlet and Daytona to New Smyrna, FL

    Our thanks to Captain Richard Holtz who was able to get out on the Waterway and submit this report.

    Cruised this weekend 101616 from New Smyrna Beach to Daytona Beach and back.

    Heavy damage noted to Docks from Ponce inlet south to South of the North Causeway on the East side of the ICW. While some of the newest ones survived, more than 80% are in shambles. The CG Station Roof had issues, however the docks seems fine. Read More!

    The condominium marina just to the south {of the CG Station] was wiped out.

    Many commercial docks are total destroyed including Riverview Charlies and to the North of the inlet much of Inlet Harbor’s Fishing pier is gone. The floating gas dock at Inlet Harbor is OK however the restaurant took a significant hit. The floating docks at Down the Hatch seem fine, however the restaurant took a hit. The New Smyrna Marina-Outriggers Restaurant has no significant damage. In Daytona Beach Caribbean Jacks’ slips took a major hit.

    Surprisingly the Halifax River has somewhat cleaned itself and has less debris than expected.

    New shoaling South of Daymark Red “12” to Daymark Red “14” on the backside of Rockhouse Creek where Hunter Creek enters the ICW is significant. See

    The Green Daymark “11” at the CG station is gone. The North End Jetty Beacon Ponce Inlet is gone. Many floating markers appear off station. The area to West of inlet know as Disappearing Island has significant sand shifting occurring. With the very high tides it is hard to tell what will be once normalcy returns.
    Captain Richard Holtz

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ponce de Leon Inlet

  • Side Bar: Post Matthew Story

    The owner of Sunbury Crab Company in Brunswick, GA reports that the marina’s sign was damaged in pre-Matthew winds and a portion of the sign with their phone number was lost. Days later after Matthew, a phone call was received from a boater in Vero Beach FL who had found the broken sign part! Thanks to Carmen Salemno for relating this remarkable tale!

  • Post-Matthew Report from Cocoa Village Marina, Cocoa, FL, AICW Statute Mile 897

    Good to know these folks are okay, but note they are not taking reservations! Cocoa Village Marina occupies the mainland side of the Waterway, just north of the Cocoa bridge and only a few quick steps from the downtown Cocoa business district!

    Just wanted to let you know how we did here:
    The staff at the Cocoa Village Marina worked days in advance, preparing for Hurricane Matthew. We are presently in the damage identification process. Restoration of power, water and internet is underway. Availability of slips will be limited until the completion of dock damage. We are presently not taking reservations for the fourth quarter of 2016.
    Thanks, Ken

    10/17 9:45AM Just a quick heads up letting you know we are now able to take limited, daily rate transient business until further notice. Thanks,
    Ken Lunden

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Cocoa Village Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Cocoa Village Marina

  • Photo and Blog from post-Matthew St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 775.5

    This report is from “Harts at Sea” a blog by Barb and EW Hart. St. Augustine is home to Inlet Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, which borders the eastern banks of the Waterway and which was extensively damaged by Matthew.

    First of all…the St. Augustine community, the cruisers, the marina staff, everyone we have met during the past year, and especially our friends have been outstanding post-Hurricane Matthew. Please note that this is a time of stress for pretty much everyone in this community, whether boater and non-boater. Read

    It is heart-breaking to walk down any city street to see most of a home’s belongings piled in the yard. Cars and homes were smashed by trees; sewer water flooded stores, restaurants, and homes; and boats broke free to crash into docks, on shore gazebos, other boats, bridges, and mangroves. One marina was nearly destroyed and St. Augustine City Marina has major damage. They are not accepting reservations for at least a few weeks.
    IMG_6201We are cheerful, optimistic, and helping each other. One of our favorite bars got up and running in two days, and is asking for Home Depot and Grocery Store Cards for their staff and clients who lost nearly everything. Another woman purchased cleaning and personal care products and made up 50 bags to give to those who need them. People are helping each other. Stew and I are certainly grateful every day for all the help we’ve received.

    Still, some people don’t get it.

    The first was a local boating lady who stood to one side and listened as I talked with David at the marina just after seeing our boat. David already knew La Luna’s location and was appropriately and sincerely concerned for us. I told him the boat was in great shape and we just had to figure out how to get her back in the water. As he walked away, the woman turned to me and said, with deep sympathy, “What kind of boat was she?” I was not in the mood. “She was and still is a Cheoy Lee designed by David Pedrick. And don’t talk about my boat in the past tense.”

    Oops. Guess she struck a nerve.

    The Facilities Manager of the Bayview Retirement Center where La Luna ran ashore kept making a joke about all his new boats and how he was going to put a rope around them. I was not pleased. After dropping our anchor to shore (a signal that she was being tended and not available for salvage) we learned that Florida actually has a law that prevents others from claiming your boat for salvage. (First Florida boating law I’ve liked.)

    Gawkers have wandered down to the waterfront and usually joke a bit before they realize it is our home they find so droll. I pretty much handle that just fine. The St. Augustine Police Department has been amazing, first going out in a vessel the day after the storm to seek lost boats. They came to us during our first visit to La Luna, moved close enough to read her name and converse with us, and offered their condolences. They also made sure she was our boat and took our contact information. Other police officers have stopped by to check on us and the boats. Last I heard, the SA PD found 29 boats and posted their names and coordinates on Facebook so the owners could find them.

    EW and I love the Coast Guard. I have two wonderful, brilliant, and accomplished nephews who have made their careers with the Coast Guard, and we have met many other members of their force in our travels. My recent favorite was the CG plane who flew over us on our way up from Panama and who contacted us. Sure, he was probably trying to determine if we were drug runners, but we had a delightful conversation.

    Unfortunately, communication skills were lacking in the CG crew who showed up in a truck when EW was aboard La Luna. Like the SAPD they came within speaking distance and said, “Are you leaking oil or gas?” That was it. No, “Good morning, Captain, is this your boat?” No, “I’m very sorry to see this.” No nothing. EW answered in kind. “No, we are not, but frankly that is not my first concern.” They left.

    Now that the storm is over, some folks who weren’t affected want things to get back to normal pretty darn quick. There have been Facebook rants by area venues asking the public to give them a break. Evidently, some folks are ticked that the free concerts held on St. Augustine Beach have been suspended.

    Really? That’s a problem for you? The person who posted the rant suggested that everyone worried about their fun take a measuring tape out to four feet and make a mark around every room on the ground floor of their home. Now imagine all of that stuff wet with sewer water. Get over yourself.

    The lovely catamaran we are now guests aboard is on the north dock which has no power so EW and I are currently onshore charging all electronic devices while I write a couple of posts. This vantage point lets us listen to David Morehead respond to the calls from folks who are anxious to start their cruising adventure and want to include the beautiful city of St. Augustine. Some of them have been rather insistent that David provide them with a mooring or slip. At least one implied that there weren’t a lot of options nearby, and David suggested he check online to see the area damaged and why there were few options.

    And for those of you who love music, don’t mind the smoke, and have a place in your heart for the Trade Winds—The Oldest City’s Oldest Bar—they will rise again. When we walked past two days ago, a crew of bar staff, patrons, and friends were removing everything from the bar and dismantling the stages. Already there are Black and Decker Workmate Benches on the sidewalk where soaked plywood had been stacked. We will soon listen once again to “Those Guys”, and Joe and Rusty, and Dewy Via, in St. Augustine’s iconic bar.

    Give us some time, people. Some restaurants and stores have re-opened. Enjoy those and wait patiently for others. More importantly, there are people who have lost everything or nearly everything. If you can, help them. We have lost nothing except water under the keel. Just like the Mary Ellen Carter, La Luna will sail again. In the meantime, treat those of us in St. Augustine, Flagler, and points north with a bit of sensitivity. We have maintained our sense of humor, but some things just cut a bit too close to the bone.

    In closing, I will resurrect a comment the musician Fond Kiser made when we were discussing our first year in St. Augustine. He had just moved back here from Austin when Hermine joined us. I mentioned that we had arrived in time for the area’s coldest winter in years, hottest summer on record, and now a potential hit from a hurricane in an area known for being safe. “Hmm,” said Fond in his charming accent. “The city may want to take up a collection to pay to have you move out of town.” After Hurricane Matthew, they may want to consider his suggestion.

    NOTE: The link above for the Mary Ellen Carter was performed by Stan Rogers, who wrote it. We learned it from Maine’s Schooner Fare and I have to share that version out of loyalty. (And because I raised a stein many, many times as I belted out “Rise Again! Rise Again! Let her name not be lost to the knowledge of men.”

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Inlet Marina HURRICANE DAMAGE AND CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Inlet Marina

  • Fernandina Harbor Marina Closed, AICW Statute Mile 716, 10/13/16

    Fernandina Harbor Marina is closed. No dockage, no mooring field and no fuel. Their answering machine message gives no projected re-opening date. Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, that puts you right in the heart of the many wonderful things to do and see in this special port. Many cruisers are going to be disappointed. Our thanks to Wally Moran for this alert!

    From their website:
    October 12, 2016 – Transient Season Questionable Read More!

    October 13th, 2016
    To all mariners, Fernandina Harbor Marina is closed at this time. Other plans should be made for a stopping point for your travels. Our Breakwater/Outside dock, mooring field, transient dockage, fuel sales, store sales and pump out services are closed. We do not know when the marina will be back up and in full service but will use this media to keep you up to date. We wish all our customers safe travels and hope to be ready for your next trip.
    October 11, 2016 – Long Term Boaters
    October 13th, 2016
    Prior to Hurricane Matthew, all long term boats were moved to the basin behind the breakwater dock. The breakwater dock did what it was designed to do; it took the brunt of the force and protected the marina basin and the boats located in the basin.
    The City of Fernandina Beach Maintenance staff was on site early Monday morning and to assess damages and to determine what repairs could be completed safely. At this time, the docks in the basin are functional but limited. We are able to provide dockage to our existing customers but no new vessels will be permitted.
    The fuel dock is closed.
    The pump out facilities are closed
    There is NO space available for short term, transient or dingy dockage. Please help in spreading the word to other boaters that the boat ramp is closed and it has not been determined when it will reopen.
    AGAIN, there is room for our existing customers and no new customers will be allowed until repairs are complete.
    Please check back here as information will be posted as it becomes available.
    October 11, 2016 – Marina Closed
    October 13th, 2016
    Due to damages caused by Hurricane Matthew, Fernandina Harbor Marina is closed. Future repairs efforts have yet to be determined. The City of Fernandina Beach has to coordinate any repair efforts with FEMA and insurance officials. Such coordination will likely take time so a return to service for the marina cannot be projected at this time.
    Joe Springer, Dockmaster
    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fernandina Harbor Marina  HURRICANE DAMAGE AND CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fernandina Harbor Marina

  • Lake Worth South AICW Light 52 Destroyed, AICW Statute Mile 1034, north of Boyton Beach, FL, 10/13/2016

    This destroyed Waterway light is on the west side of the channel north of Boyton Beach.

    Lake Worth South Light 52 (LLNR 47095) is destroyed. The remains of the concrete pile are marked with a TRLB WR52, Fl Q R in position 26-32-10.201N/080-03-09.414W. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11467 LNM 41/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Lake Worth South


    Discrepancies to Nav Aids may be reported to 305-415-6800.

    LNM 41/16

  • Discussion of Boater Education Requirement in Florida

    This discussion comes from Kevin Wadlow on

    Boaters operating in Florida Bay waters of Everglades National Park must complete an online education course under a new regulation expected to take effect within months. Read More

    That pending rule prompted advisers to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to ponder whether a similar educational requirement could be adopted to help protect oceanic resources in the 2,900-square-mile sanctuary. he question returns to the volunteer sanctuary council at its next meeting, Oct. 18 in Ocean Reef on North Key Largo.

    In August, Everglades National Park planner Fred Herling briefed the sanctuary council on the park’s new Florida Bay boating rules scheduled to “roll out in late 2016.” Those will require completion of a free one-hour online boat-operator course that focuses on “resource protection, safety [and] respectful boating.”

    The course must be completed before boat owners can get an annual or seven-day permit to operate in park waters. Park boat permits likely will cost $50 per year or $25 for seven days, but fees may be phased in over a period of months. When enacted, fees to launch at the Flamingo ramp will be dropped.

    Boat-permit proceeds, estimated at $500,000 annually, would help increase funding for on-the-water enforcement rangers, marker maintenance and marine research, Herling said.

    Everglades National Park has authority to enact boat permit fees and operator-education requirements for Florida Bay waters that lie in its jurisdiction. The marine sanctuary lacks such authority.

    With an updated management plan for the Keys sanctuary taking shape, now may be the time to seek a new boating-education rule, some council members suggested in August. Others expressed doubt, pointing to a complex maze of regulatory approvals needed at the state and federal level.

    Advocates of boater education for sanctuary waters, largely intended to keep vessels from striking reefs or scarring shallow seagrass flats, have made their case since the national marine sanctuary’s inception in 1990. But enacting a sanctuary boating license remains little more than an uncertain concept.

    The Oct. 18 agenda item, “Boater Education in the Florida Keys,” is scheduled for approximately 2:15 p.m. at the Ocean Reef Cultural Center.

    “It’s essentially a continuation of the earlier discussion on the potential to seek something like Everglades National Park, whether it’s mandatory or voluntary,” Deputy Superintendent Beth Dieveney said Thursday.

    Council members could ask for more specific information on the process or vote on a resolution.

    The Sanctuary Advisory Council, comprising 20 appointed Keys representatives from community, business and conservation sectors, does not have rule-making authority. However, sanctuary staff generally give the council’s recommendations and guidance considerable weight.

    Missing managers

    Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

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