Chart View Search

Search Waterway by Nautical Mile

Select Waterway:
Statute Mile:

(Min: 0nm Max: 1095nm)

Search by Latitude/Longtitude

Degrees/Minutes/Decimal Minutes Format
Degrees/Decimal Degrees Format
Latitude:
Longitude:
(Degrees/Decimal Degrees Format Only)

Latitude:
Deg:   Min/Dec. Min:   

Longitude:
Deg:   Min/Dec. Min:   

(Degrees/Minutes/Decimal Minutes Format Only)

Close
The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Possible Tender Solution to “All Aboard Florida” Railway Bridge Closures

    Remember the many discussions among boaters last year concerning the proposed All Aboard Florida high speed trains? See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=143201. The addition of a full-time tender may be a solution, as reported in this article by Michael Turnbell in The Sun Sentinal.

    For the first time in years, boaters have a full-time tender to communicate with at the New River railroad bridge in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
    It’s part of a six-month test by the U.S. Coast Guard that, if successful, could ease boater concerns about All Aboard Florida, which plans to run 32 trains a day on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.

    The marine industry insists All Aboard Florida’s trains will keep the bridge down too long, choking access for boats and damaging a key industry in an area known as the yachting capital of the world.
    A draft study by the Federal Railroad Administration found the new trains will have a negligible effect on boating. All Aboard Florida vowed to coordinate schedules with other trains, publish timetables and invest in new equipment to cut average crossing times from 18-20 minutes to 10-12 minutes.
    The test will determine if having a tender present will improve the speed of the bridge’s opening and closing. It also will see if improved communication will allay boater concerns over when the bridge will be closed and for how long.
    The Coast Guard said in a posted notice its new test “will promote equal usage of waterways and railroad for all parties involved.”
    The New River bridge, built in the 1970s, is currently kept open for boats and only closes when a freight train passes — up to 14 times a day. But when the new high-speed passenger service starts in late 2016, the bridge would be required to close 16 additional times a day.
    That is a problem for boaters because at high tide, the closed bridge sits about four feet above the water, making it hard for even a kayak to pass underneath.
    Under the test, which will run through October 16, the bridge will be closed for not more than 60 minutes in any two-hour period.
    “We’re excited to see how it works,” said Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. “It’s been unpredictable so this should add more reliability for people who use the river.”

    While the bridge is still controlled by operators in Jacksonville, Purcell said the new tender will be able to tell them to slow trains if a boat needs more time to make it through. Towboat operators hauling large yachts can be warned ahead of time when the bridge will be down. And the tender can tell dispatchers to more quickly raise the bridge once a train passes.
    “Sometimes the bridge is currently shut when there is no train, or after the train passes, the bridge isn’t raised right away,” Purcell said.

    Click Here for the full article.

  • Question re Possible New Shands Bridge over the St. Johns River


    The fixed Shands Bridge, lying southeast of Green Cove Springs and marker #20, sets the vertical clearance limit for the upper St. Johns River with its height of 45 feet. Sailcraft that cannot clear this span must forego exploration of what is to our collective minds, the most beautiful section of this lovely stream. Many a sailor has shaken a fist and employed colorful language while coming about at the Shands Bridge! Perhaps even Skipper Bosque? Our thanks to Skipper McDonald for the official response.

    Any updates on the construction of a new Shands Bridge? Are they building one with a 65′ clearance?
    Raul Bosque

    Approved, but not funded. Where have we heard this before?!?

    May 11, 2015
    Larry
    This is a recent reply I received about the FDOT plans to replace the Shands Bridge on the St Johns river in Green Cove Springs. Unfortunately, for those of us with a mast height in excess of 45′ we will remain restricted from traversing the river.
    Perry McDonald

    The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) current plan is to replace the existing Shands Bridge with a new bridge that will have 65 feet of vertical clearance. However, the project is not funded in FDOT’s Five Year Work Program and will likely not be replaced for ten or more years. Replacing the bridge is a high priority to FDOT and the replacement could be advanced if funding were to become available.
    Thank you for your interest in the First Coast Expressway project. If you have any questions or comments, please call or email.
    James M. Knight, P.E.
    Urban Planning and Modal Administrator

    Florida Department of Transportation District 2
    2198 Edison Avenue
    Jacksonville, FL 32204

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Shands Bridge

  • A Conclusion to Florida Anchoring Rights Issue?

    The anchoring rights issues raised in Florida Senate Bill 1548 have thankfully been laid to rest, for now at least, as reported below by Kim Russo, Director of America’s Great Loop Cruising Association. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147397 for background information on SB 1548.
    A belated Bravo to all individuals and organizations that facilitated the non-passage of any bill with anchoring restrictions. Keep your collective fingers crossed for a future non-passage!

    The Florida Legislature adjourned today without making anchoring restrictions law in Florida! So anchorages in Florida, for now, remain open to overnight cruisers. Following is a release from Phil Johnson, the Chair of Seven Seas Cruising Association’s Concerned Cruisers’ Committee:

    Release: 28 April 2015, Tallahassee Florida
    The 2015 Florida Regular Legislative Session has come to a close. It occurred 3 days earlier than scheduled by way of the House adjourning. We are elated to report that the freedom to anchor in Coastal Florida waters remains intact. Not one bill was adopted that includes any bans on anchoring.

    We applaud the way that the cruising and boating family came together this session, became organized, developed a clear strategy and then implemented it in a methodical, controlled way. We are proud of our association with
    the Lobbing firm Capitol Access and Lobbyist Jerry Paul, Robert Shave, and Jamie Miller. We are also appreciative of our team mates at Boat US and especially Bonnie Basham.

    Special thanks to the crew that worked so hard on this by attending the hearings and working the rigging from off-shore via their keyboards. At the risk of leaving someone out, We especially applaud the efforts of Judy Mkam, Kim Russo, Jim Neff, Mike Bodin, Phil Werndli, Jackie Werndli, G.W. “Casey” Jones, Bob Burns, Sue Ross, Kingsley Ross, Sally Marcinek, Becky DeVillier, Eric Eiscle, Brian Davidson, Brian Schaefer, Glenn and Eddie Tuttle, Scott Berg, Ken Chumley, Jay Campbell, Dave Skolnick, Wally Moran, Mike Ahart, Mark Doyle. These, and so many others in the extended online community, are true Salt Water Heroes.

    Remember, of course, that this annual process begins again tomorrow. There is an ongoing need to work through some of the problems raised by proponents of anchoring legislation. We will need to formulate a position on this and come to a reasonably amicable resolution so that this issue does not continue to a recurring threat. We are confident that we can do this in a way that does not eliminate the freedom to anchor throughout Florida’s coast. There will be a host of workshops held this summer and we will want our boating community to actively participate through their
    visible attendance. Also, we will need to continue building our political strength and this will require that we provide some support for our growing list of legislative champions. If you have not donated to the Fund Me drive, now is the time to help us pay the bills for this effort.
    http://www.Gofundme.com/Right2Anchor

    It is safe to celebrate. To all those captains and sailors at anchor in Florida today (or contemplating it), raise a glass to toast Maritime Freedom!
    Kim Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association

    Larry, In my opinion, the declaration that we have won regarding the Florida anchoring restriction Bill is a bit premature. The Bill was not passed because the Florida Legislature decided to close down early and go home. This Bill and many others are just sitting and waiting for the Legislature to reconvene. Once they return, the Bill could very well come up for immediate vote or the compromise House Bill could be adopted. So we shouldn’t crack the champagne corks just yet. The Bill was not defeated, it has simply not been voted on…YET?
    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    The Great Book Of Anchorages
    Navigation Notices
    Our Blogs
    Trawler Beach House
    Voyages of Sea Trek

  • Report from Open Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 970


    Open Anchorage, located four statute miles south of Fort Pierce, is not your typical cove style anchorage, so we are grateful for this report from Skipper Hundley.

    Great holding. Comfortable night anchored south of marker #9 with winds from north/northwest.
    Kris Hundley

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Open Anchorage

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

  • Lake Avenue Bridge back to On-Demand Openings, Lake Worth, Eastern Florida AICW Statute Mile 1029

    Lake Avenue Bridge - Click for Chartview

    Lake Worth/Lake Avenue Bridge crosses the Waterway at Statue Mile 1029, south of marker #33 and has a closed vertical clearance of 35ft. Our thanks to Skipper Johnson for this update!

    As of May 1, 2015, Lake Worth Bridge is back to On Demand.
    Ted Johnson

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Lake Avenue Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Lake Avenue Bridge

    Click Here For An Earlier Notice Concerning the Lantana Bridge.

  • Update on Florida’s Anchoring Restrictions Bill

    This Florida senate bill restricting anchoring has been much in the news for several weeks, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147527 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147397. This update is from Kim Russo on AGLCA’s Forum

    Below is an update provided this morning from the team working on defeating the proposed anchoring restrictions in Florida. Thanks to all the Loopers and our Sponsors who have taken steps to help with this issue. We’ve made
    a lot of progress!

    1. There are 8 days left in the regular session.

    2. On the House side, there is currently no remaining bill that includes the anchoring ban. The bill that most logically could have been a vehicle for such a provision passed 119-0 this morning on the House floor (i.e. vote by the full House). This was after the anchoring ban amendment was defeated in its last committee hearing. Therefore, when it was brought up for a vote of the full House (on the floor) it contained no anchoring ban provisions. Unlike last year, no anchoring ban amendment was filed on the floor although our team was poised, ready to respond rapidly … as were the House members who have become champions for the boating and cruising
    community. That bill is now going to the Senate for a vote.

    3. On the Senate side, the bill containing the anchoring ban made it through the 2nd of its 3 required committees 2 weeks ago. With 8 days left, the bill is not currently scheduled for a 3rd committee hearing.
    Currently, that 3rdcommittee is not scheduled to meet again, although that could change.

    4. We are working continuously to monitor and track every bill and every potential amendment to a bill that could create the anchoring ban. We are in constant communication with a full host of House and Senate members who are with us.

    5. At this stage, broad messaging from the boating community to legislators is not an effective strategy. If, however, any threatening bill or amendment emerges, we will again engage promptly with messaging that is tailored, timed and targeted.

    6. The boating and cruising community has done a great job throughout this session. It has strengthened its voice and its effectiveness. It has broadened and diversified its sources of messaging. For example, recently
    there was effective proactive messaging from the veterans boating community and the Boy Scouts/Sea Scouts boating community that was influential in conjunction with the balance of the boating and cruising community family.

    7. We still have 8 days. Readiness is the key.

    Kim Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association

  • Praise for Fernandina, FL, AICW Statute Mile 716


    My family has been vacationing in Fernandina for more than 50 years and it gets better every year, as Skipper Pink obviously confirms! And a berth at Fernandina Harbor Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, puts you right in the heart of the wonderful things to do and see in this special port.

    We never go there without eating at LuLu’s, nuff said.
    The palace bar, where the ship captains of yesteryear drank, don’t let the bar (front room) fool you, the opening behind the bar that looks like a kitchen opening leads to other rooms and entertainments. 2-3 years ago now I think when we were there last.
    Roy Pink

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fernandina Harbor Marina

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

  • Good Suggestions for Manatee Pocket Anchorages, off the AICW Statute Mile 988


    Manatee Pocket is off the St. Lucie River between the AICW intersection and downtown Stuart, FL. There are two official anchoring areas, one on the waters of the large bay indenting the western banks of Manatee Pocket and another smaller area just to the south. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=107612 for charts showing the official anchoring areas. And for a webcam shot of Manatee Pocket, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=124827.

    Gas prices are cheaper the deeper you go into the pocket. Christmas week 2014.
    Great breakfast place whistle stop on the main street (A1A? I don’t recall, ask anyone) short walk from the end of the canal by Manatee Island bar and grill, tiki hut style bar (fun place).
    Twisted Tuna restaurant, great, really great sushi, at the head of the same canal, behind the second anchorage-deeper into the pocket.
    The Grove for your eye opener hole in the wall place.
    Other restaurants we did not have enough time in the pocket.
    RPink

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Manatee Pocket

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Manatee Pocket

  • Model Letter re SB 1548 by Jim Healy

    Here is a well-written, insightful letter to Florida legislators that should serve as a model for those of you who plan to write in opposition to SB 1548, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147754. Thank you Captain Healy.

    Chairman Hon. Alan Hays
    Vice Chairman Hon. Oscar Braynon
    Senator Hon. Thad Altman
    Senator Hon. Charles Dean
    Senator Hon. Tom Lee
    Senator Hon. Gwen Margolis
    Senator Hon. Wilton Simpson

    Dear Chairman Hays and members of the Senate Committee on General Government Operations:

    I am writing in reference to SB1548, titled “An Act Related to Vessel Safety.” I am a legal resident of Green Cove Springs, Clay County, and an active boater. I have previously written to Sen. Rob Bradley requesting that he decline to support Senate Bill 1548 in its present form. While I do not object to the core safety-related provisions of SB1548, I do object to the anchoring setback provisions contained in the bill. The setback provisions reduce the availability of safe anchoring locations all across Florida, thereby acting against the goal of promoting safety in navigation on state waters. Furthermore, the setback provisions represent revocation of lawful pubic access rights to public trust lands. These lands are held by the state in trust for use by the public, not for the aesthetic preferences or personal use of adjoining waterfront landowners or for the promotion of waterfront business interests.

    Although limitations on anchoring may favor certain business interests, the origin of the setback provisions in the bill appears to be isolated disputes between waterfront landowners and occupants of anchored vessels. Some of these disputes have been highly publicized, but do not justify a sweeping statewide law which would restrict the rights and freedoms of hundreds of thousands of boaters throughout the maritime waters of coastal Florida. These disputes are not based on safety concerns. They can and should be resolved on a case-by-case basis through noise and nuisance proceedings in the judicial branch of municipal, county and state government.

    House Bill 7123 deals with derelict vessels without changing current Florida-wide anchoring rights. When we first moved to Florida in 2004, there was a confusing and inconsistent patchwork of local, city and county laws that restricted or disallowed anchoring in Florida’s intracoastal public trust waters. Compliance with that patchwork of local ordinances was impossible. Florida Statute 327.60 ended that inconsistency in anchoring policies and local manipulation of navigation rights and rules. At this time, HB7123 creates an “at risk” category of boats and gives local governments new tools to manage these situations. Because local governments sometimes seek to promulgate anchoring restrictions as a means of managing problems with “at risk” and derelict vessels, I strongly believe that HB7123 is an excellent step to deter vessels from becoming derelict in the first place.

    I ask that SB1548 be aligned with HB7123. I also ask that as the opportunity presents itself in the future, that the committee act to maintain the statewide consistency of anchoring rules the legislature previously established in FS 327.60, and act to prohibit local or regional exceptions to this state wide policy.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    James B. Healy
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Daytona Beach, FL
    http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
    Monk 36 Hull #132

  • Luxury Boat Stranded in West Palm Beach, AICW Statute Mile ?


    If you have witnessed this apparently grounded vessel, please send us a location. This story is from WPTV News 5 in West Palm Beach.

    Luxury boat stranded in Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach
    by Jason Hackett


    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – If you were anywhere near the Intracoastal Waterway Thursday in West Palm Beach you probably saw a strange sight – a boat just sitting there apparently stuck.
    It prompted quite a few calls to our newsroom.
    NewsChannel 5 made some calls and found out that it ran aground earlier in the day.
    We also learned that a tow company, Boat U.S., was at the scene trying to help the boat out, but it was unsuccessful.
    It was the topic of the day for people walking along the Intracoastal.
    Much of the speculation focused on what happened to the boat and the people on board.
    “They’re in West Palm Beach somewhere,” says Geri Vistein, who watched the boat from the shore. “They could be listening to the music over there at a fancy restaurant…who knows what they’re doing?”

    26.713000503366896,-80.05366060838541

  • Updates on Fort Pierce Inlet


    Fort Pierce Inlet remains closed to navigation for vessels over 6ft draft. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147108 for the events related to this tragic incident. Our thanks to Captain Baier and Anne Maurer for these updates.

    This salvage operation has been going on since February 24th. The Fort Pierce inlet will be restricted or closed once again to attempt removal of the sunken barge.
    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/boater-traffic-restricted-as-sunken-barge-recovery-continues-at-fort-pierce-inlet_69715710
    Chuck Baier on AGLCA’s Forum

    We just wanted to give you a heads up on the Fort Pierce Inlet. The inlet will be closed beginning @ 9AM on Saturday morning for boats that have a draft bigger than 6 foot. All leisure and fishing boats will have no problem getting through.
    Anne Maurer
    Fort Pierce City Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    When in doubt, call SeaTow [or TowboatUS] on CH16 ahead of time. They gave us the green light on March 30th when we were headed to Vero Beach after the Palm Beach Boat Show… when earlier warnings had been issued. No problem.
    Bob Johnstone on AGLCA Forum

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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Pierce City Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Pierce City Marina

  • Shoaling Reported at Matanzas Inlet Problem Stretch, AICW Statute Mile 793


    This Problem Stretch was dredged back in 2012, but it seems to be filling in again exactly where Skipper Dammeyer reports. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=84969 for an earlier report.

    Larry,
    Please forward this as appropriate. While North bound rounding the big bend at Ft Matanzas at about a boat length from 81A we hit hard with 5′ draft at low tide. We slide over the bump with our wing keel. Cruisers should favor the Reds according to Boat US. I’ve not read about a problem on the net. It’s probably time to post it as the North migration has begun.
    Rick Dammeyer
    Promise
    Catalina 445

    And this from Week 14 LNMs. Note: The USCG does not give a specific location, so their warning may or may not be the above Problem Stretch. The LNM does coincide with the above advice to favor the red side (west) of the channel.

    FLORIDA – AICW – TOLOMATO RIVER – PALM SHORES – MATANZAS RIVER: Shoaling
    The Coast Guard conducted soundings at low tide and found the center of the channel to be between 12 and 18 feet while on the east side of the channel is between 6 and 12 feet. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution and local knowledge is advised. Chart 11485 LNM: 14/15

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Matanzas River Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Praise for Inlet Marina, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 775.5


    Inlet Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, borders the eastern banks of the Waterway, immediately south of the Vilano Beach high-rise bridge. We continue to hear good things about Inlet Marina and their personal service.

    These people are fantastic!! We got our first fuel since we left home. Overnight on their dock. Wonderful restaurant.
    Phil and Sandy on board m/v Options

    Displaying 20150331_173433.jpg

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Inlet Marina

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

  • More Opinions on Florida’s SB 1548

    Here are a number of well worded essays from Florida residents, some opposing SB 1548, a Florida Senate bill restricting anchoring, from newspress.com and some explaining the need for such restrictions.

    Insane bill proposes to strangle Florida cruising
    W. DeHaven Porter 2:48 p.m. EDT March 29, 2015
    porter
    Oh, the ignominy of it! Me, a lifelong Republican, about to take up pen and castigate a sitting member of the Florida Republican Party.
    The subject of my discontent? It is Florida SB1548, a proposed draconian bill that would absolutely destroy the reputation of my home state as a cruising mecca for thousands of boaters who relish the freedom to anchor their vessels in a wide choice of beautiful and convenient anchorages. The unintended byproduct of which, I am sure, will be their departure to more welcoming cruising destinations such as the Bahamas or, if opened, the crystal clear waters of Cuba. Loss of their patronage at Florida businesses and marine facilities will certainly exacerbate already tough times and result in layoffs and countless job losses in Florida’s multimillion-dollar marine industries.
    State Sen. Charles S. Dean’s spiteful bill would remove thousands of Florida’s finest anchorages from cruisers’ itineraries. He obviously means to placate self-absorbed coastal residents who get upset when they awake to see a boat anchored anywhere within their range of vision. Indeed, the bill restricts boaters from anchoring overnight within 200 feet of developed waterfront property (single family, multifamily, townhouse or condo.) 200 feet! Good grief, when did God reserve enjoyment rights for thousands of miles of Florida coastline for fat cats living in waterfront gated communities?
    Ah, but you say surely if cruisers are denied anchorages, they will flock to the marinas and thus inflate the pocketbooks of marina operators and local businesses. Not so my friend.
    It may be so in the landlocked brain of the Republican Dean, a career politician who hails from landlocked Inverness. But most cruisers will simply go elsewhere. It is Sen. Dean who has launched this monstrosity of a bill. Of course, he lives too far inland to smell salt air, so perhaps he should be excused for his ignorance of the thousands upon thousands of U.S. and Canadian boaters who annually enjoy the coastal waterways of our gorgeous state. Anyone who lives near a coast is well aware of cruisers’ presence and the millions they contribute to local economies.
    Having been among their numbers for over seven years of cruising life, I hasten to point out that most cruisers not only patronize Florida marinas, but also alternate between renting a slip and hanging overnight on the hook (anchoring for you landlubbers). Indeed, my fondest memories are of many enjoyable anchorages and other congenial boaters enjoying a quiet spot in space and time. Empirical evidence indicates that most cruisers do the same.
    Local water Nazis will ticket offenders. The miscreants are then ordered to physically report to the county court for fining (up to $250). When? Put yourself in the position of a cruiser who must put off your well-planned cruising expectations, rent a car and find the county courthouse at some future specified date, not to mention finding a marina slip in which to leave your vessel. Of course you could just pick up the hook and depart, but that would mean a second-degree misdemeanor charge and a fine of $500. Government out of control? You bet.
    Sen. Dean’s misguided bill is filed under the heading of water safety. It has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with stroking wealthy campaign contributors who think their purchase of waterfront property has granted them exclusive rights to the enjoyment of water views and sunsets.
    Write, email or call your Florida senator and demand equal rights for boaters by defeating SB 1548. I am.
    W. DeHaven Porter lives in Fort Myers.

    From AGLCA’s Forum:
    In the interest of trying to present both sides of an argument, let me try to explain why the Florida anchoring ban surfaced again in this year’s Florida legislature. First of all let me begin by saying I am a jet skier that has completed over half the great loop. As a member of both the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U S Power Squadron, I have been teaching boating safety over 30 years. In my boating safety classes I always say “There is no such thing as a bad jet ski. . . . There are only bad Jet skiers”. You know, the jet skiers who don’t take a boating safety course, don’t obey the rules of the road and leave wakes everywhere they go.
    As a current owner of three waterfront properties and former owner of two others, I definitely see the land owner’s desire to restrict the area adjacent and directly behind their waterfront property. Public waters are
    held in the public trust but, unfortunately, there are a few (only a few) “bad” boaters who anchor out, play loud music, throw trash into the water and party hardy into the wee hours and abuse their public trust. You are
    welcome to come by my dock any Saturday night and spend the night. I will let you listen and experience what it is like to live on waterfront property with a live band and bar that plays loud music 1/2 mile away. It is because of these “few” bad boaters (or bad bar owners) that waterfront property owners want them banned after normal quiet time hours. Not banned all the time just after “reasonable” quiet hours.
    Several members in this forum believe this is a “rich land baron” issue. This is not a “have” verses the “have nots” clash. This is about restoring peace and quiet to public waters after the sun goes down. Just like most
    marinas have “quiet” hours, land owners are asking for similar civil rules.
    I hope responsible boaters like the members of AGLCA will find a way to help the waterfront owners restore civil behavior and tranquility to the public waters we all love and respect.
    Douglas Townes
    Atlanta, GA

    I can certainly understand your frustrations. HOWEVER, there are laws and ordinances already in affect that that address ALL of these issues. As a homeowner, why are you not outraged that local law enforcement is not doing
    their job to enforce these regulations? Instead of taking a negative statewide stand against all boaters. If cars speed up and down the street in front of your house, will you push for a law forbidding cars from using your street? I doubt it, yet you advocate the same treatment for boaters.
    The obvious answer would be for the police to enforce the speed limit. And there in lies the problem with both these regulations and the “excuses” used to push them forward.
    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    AGLCA Forum

    April 13, 2015
    First, as a member of the MTOA which doesn’t seem to want to get in the fight over FL anchoring, I applaud and thank you for picking up the slack. I am already a member of BoatUS and will be joining AGLCA shortly.
    Second, I have made my donation to help you in this cause. I’d like it to be more, but as you know a boat is an expensive hobby, lifestyle.
    Third, I don’t know if SSCA is a membership organization and if so I have looked all over your site for the ability to join and couldn’t find anywhere to do so. Please advise.
    Thanks again and keep up the fight.
    Charles Williamson
    April 14
    I am pleased to say the MTOA has sent their letter to the politicos voicing the power of MTOA membership (5000+) and it’s opposition to the anchoring debacle in FL.
    Charles Williamson

    Editor’s Note: You may join Seven Seas Cruising Association by going to their Homepage and scrolling down the left hand column to SSCA MEMBERSHIP JOIN TODAY

  • Report on Florida’s SB 1548 Hearing

    The introduction of a senate bill restricting anchoring rights has raised many voices in opposition.  See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147397. This report on yesterday’s committee hearing in Tallahassee by Kim Russo was posted on AGLCA’s Forum, www.greatloop.org.

    There were no surprises at today’s Florida Senate Committee hearing on this issue. Testimony was kept to an absolute minimum because votes on six bills were scheduled for a two hour time period, and the bill with the provision to prohibit overnight anchoring was the last on the agenda. The committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill. But AGLCA’s voice was heard, as was that of SCCA and Boat U.S., who had lobbyists and representatives there. Chairman Dean’s comments during the hearing, and in a brief conversation afterward, suggest that he is willing to work to find a compromise that meets all parties’ needs. Senator Dean has been a proponent of maintaining the rights of boaters to anchor in the public waterways in the past, so the next step is to work with him to make sure he understands our opposition to anchoring restrictions. The next step in the process for the bill is a vote before another committee, which is likely to happen next week. I’ll keep you posted.
    Kim
    Kim Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association

  • Spring Boating and Manatees

    While this reminder comes to us from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, manatees do roam further north, even here in Charleston. So keep a good watch in the warm waterways!

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

    Springtime brings close encounters of manatees, boaters
    manatees
    As springtime arrives, chances increase that manatees and boaters will have close encounters.

    Boaters can enjoy opportunities to observe one of Florida’s unique species but to avoid colliding with manatees, people on the water should take basic steps such as slowing down, watching out for the animals and complying with regulations in manatee zones.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers will be on patrol in state waters to remind boaters of the seasonal manatee speed zones that go into effect in April. They will be taking enforcement actions when necessary.

    “Our officers do their very best to support conservation of this species,” said FWC Capt. Gary Klein. “We ask that boaters take notice of the zones and do their part as well.”

    In effect from April 1 through Nov. 15, seasonal manatee zones require boaters slow down in certain areas to prevent manatees from being struck by motorboats or personal watercraft. For more information on manatee zones and maps, go to MyFWC.com/Manatee and select “Protection Zones,” where there are links to county maps.

    In spring, manatees leave their winter warmer-water habitats, such as freshwater springs and power plant discharge areas, and disperse along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts and inland waters.

    Because manatees are large, slow-moving and difficult to detect when underwater, operators of boats and personal watercraft need to take basic steps to avoid causing injury to the marine mammals:

    Wear polarized sunglasses to help spot manatees.
    Look for the large circles on the water, also known as manatee footprints, indicating the presence of a manatee below.
    Look for a snout sticking up out of the water.
    Slow down and comply with manatee speed zones.
    The FWC also asks anyone seeing an injured, distressed, sick or dead manatee to call the agency’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 888-404-3922 (FWCC) or dial #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.

    People can support the FWC’s manatee research, rescue, rehabilitation and management efforts by purchasing a “Save the Manatee” Florida license plate at BuyaPlate.com, or by donating $5 to receive an FWC manatee decal by going to MyFWC.com/Manatees and clicking on “Decals.”
    manatee

    fwc6
    For more about manatees, go to MyFWC.com/Manatee, where you can find the brochure, A Boater’s Guide to Living with Manatees.

  • Overhead Cable Work, St. Johns River, south of Palatka


    Replacement of these Florida Power and Light transmission lines should not affect our tall masted friends, but if in doubt, give them a call at 561-722-0889. This power line is just north of Porter Cove Anchorage and normally has a vertical clearance of 90ft.

    FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER: FPL Aerial Crossing Work
    FPL will be replacing some overhead electrical transmission line structures within the St. John’s River, in Putnam County, south of Palatka. Barges will arrive the week of 23 March 23 and work will take place until approximately 20 May, 2015. The structures are along the east and west bank and will not be in the central portion of the river. Coordinates for the two poles that are being replaced are: 29-37-21.49N/81-35-42.60W and 29-37-18.40N/81-35-58.55W in the vicinity of Rivercrest Light 11 (LLNR 8250). The vessel operators will be monitoring VHF-FM Channel 16. The point of contact is Mr. Mark Denman of FPL (561) 722-0889. Chart 11487 LNM: 12/15

  • John J. Kettlewell on SB 1548, Florida Anchoring Rights Bill

    Renowned author and longtime cruiser, John J. Kettlewell, addresses the many contradictory issues raised by a current bill before the Florida legislature, SB 1548. To read the bill, go to: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147397 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147455. While the restrictions to anchoring found in this bill pertain only to Florida, those restrictions, if enacted, might well find their way into restrictions imposed by other coastal states.

    Anti-Anchoring Bill is Anti-Safety
    John J. Kettlewell

    Once again Florida boaters and cruisers from all over are fighting an ill-conceived anti-anchoring bill (SB 1548 [link to: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1548/BillText/Filed/PDF]) that purports to be about “safety,” but in reality would limit the number of safe harbors to a handful in much of the state. The main thrust of the bill prohibits overnight anchoring within 200 feet of most developed parts of Florida. As has been discussed here and in many places online, this measure would essentially outlaw all overnight anchoring in many popular places such as Manatee Pocket, anywhere in Ft. Lauderdale, most of Miami, Marathon, and most of North Lake Worth.

    All of these locations, and many more, are where cruisers routinely anchor safely while waiting for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas, or just to ride out a stretch of bad weather. I have done so in all of these places. During the peak winter season it is highly likely that there would be no marina berths available in these same locations, mooring fields would be full, and there would be no alternative but to keep moving night and day despite the weather. Even with the current availability of anchorages it is very difficult to find a marina berth or a mooring in high season.

    Sure, there are safety exceptions in the proposed law, for “mechanical breakdown or when imminent or existing extreme weather conditions impose an unreasonable risk of harm.” Who is to judge whether or not the weather is “extreme,” and whether or not it poses an “unreasonable risk of harm?” Am I supposed to move on in a gale because it isn’t “extreme?”

    Even in good weather what would an ordinary cruiser do? It is impractical and dangerous to run the ICW 24/7, and sometimes even if the weather isn’t “extreme” it is very difficult and uncomfortable to proceed outside down the coast while fighting the Gulf Stream. In short, this bill makes safe and comfortable cruising all but impossible in south Florida, and makes it very difficult in the entire state.

    Cruising boaters are above all else safety conscious. We spend thousands of dollars on safety equipment far in excess of any Coast Guard or other regulations. We do so to protect our lives and property, often valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    At the same time, we enjoy visiting new places where we can anchor safely, go ashore, enjoy restaurants and shopping, re-provision our vessels, and purchase marine equipment. On various trips to Florida I have spent many thousands of dollars specifically on safety equipment: liferafts, epirbs, radios, safety harnesses, anchoring gear, satellite phones, etc. etc. Most cruisers will not go where they would be forced to operate their boats in an unsafe manner, which is what this law would do.

    To anyone who has cruised Florida it is obvious that this bill would “impose an unreasonable risk of harm” to boaters on a regular basis. This is more than an anti-anchoring bill–it is anti-safety and anti-boating.

    John J. Kettlewell
    Author of Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook Norfolk to Miami, 6th Edition

    kettlewell

  • Reeves’ Reports: Hontoon Island Marina at the State Park and Blue Spring Park, St. Johns River


    Skipper Reeves continues his exploration of the St. Johns River with a visit to Hontoon Island State Park Marina/Dock, south of Lake George and north of Lake Monroe near Deland, FL. located east-southeast of flashing daybeacon #53 and the northeasterly mouth of Hontoon Dead River.

    Very quiet and laid back. Lots to explore here with many creeks to visit in the dink.We are planning on moving our residence to Florida next week and we can visit here for half price $10 a day all inclusive. I wanted to stay here for ever. There is a marina across the river that does not have good reviews and is very high on fuel prices. Right around the corner is Holly Bluff Marina that has better prices and service. Rick in the shop found me a hose to fix a problem and was very helpful. Rick carries a lot of parts and can get anything you need. Several boaters in little trailer tugs came by and said they stop here all the time. This is not nowhere but you can see nowhere from here.

    hontoon2

    Anchored at Lungren Island with the dink at the island for a dog walk.

    Hontoon Island State Park has a lot of slips but only the T dock has enough water for our trawler and we plowed a little soft mud at 5 ft on the T dock to the West. We picked up WiFi from across the way and the dock has 50 amp service, water and is almost new. Very nice park with hot showers and clean restrooms. The rangers are super nice. No groceries or laundry. All this for $20. a night. Only $10 if you are a Florida resident. https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Hontoon-Island

    hontoon3

    Docked at Hontoon Island only 5 boats were there the week we were there.

    hontoon4
    At Blue Spring you can beach and tie up to the South of the swim area. Do not dock on the dock. Self serve on park fee of $1.00 per person. We want to come back when they allow swimming in the spring . The water is 72 F year round.
    Looks green to me but they call it Blue Spring. The board walk goes all the way down to the “Boil” of over a 100,000 gals per hour.
    blue

    Additional Information from Skipper Reeves on 6/15/2015

    A most excellent place to be on the river. The rangers are hard working and very helpful. The deep water (we saw 5 ft) is at the T dock as you approach from the North it is first one on your starboard. Do not get too close to the shore when you come in. The nice floating docks are self serve. Rangers are not allowed to help you dock. The T dock has 50 amp power and water. $10 a nite if Fl resident, $20 if not. The inside docks are for small craft only. We stopped for a few days going to Sanford and a few more on our return trip. From here you can visit Blue Springs and take a trip in your dink or kayak all the way around on Snake Creek. The Rangers rent canoes. Just like the Amazon with all the wildlife. We visited in winter. Watch your pet around the shore. Alligators everywhere. The park trails, the fishing, all is Good! We had some wifi from across the river on our booster. The park has limited supplies, more across the river. It is a no wake zone but idiots will blast through sometimes. Very quiet and laid back at night and week days. You can anchor in the creek to the North if you wish. The showers are hot and clean. Day use is allowed for a small fee. See more and pictures http://ontheofficewautoteacher.blogspot.com/2015/03/hontoon-island-state-park-has-lot-of.html

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Hontoon Island State Park

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hontoon Island State Park

  • Request for Comment on Lake Okeechobee Restoration

    This request asks for your comments on lake restoration in South Florida, including Lake Okeechobee.

    fwc
    Public input sought on permit request allowing FWC lake restoration in south Florida
    Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 03/11/2015 10:06 AM EDT March 11, 2015

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District to conduct restoration activities on four lakes and water bodies in the FWC’s South Region.
    This permit is required pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The request is part of an overall initiative in which the FWC is working with the Corps to obtain permits for routine restoration work in 95 lakes and water bodies throughout Florida.
    The public can review the request and comment on it (see link below).

    The following water bodies within the FWC’s South Region are included in the permit application:
    •Lake Okeechobee in Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Martin and Palm Beach counties;
    •Lake Trafford in Collier County;
    •Lake Hicpochee in Glades County;
    •Lake Osborne in Palm Beach County.

    The Corps permitting process requires the opportunity for public comment. The Corps has published a Public Notice for the proposed work on its website at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. To view the notice, click on the following file number to open the Public Notice: SAJ-2015-00641 (SP-SLR). If you would like to provide comments or have any questions regarding the Corps permit process, please follow the directions included in the Public Notice. Note that the Web address is case sensitive and should be entered as it appears above.

    Click Here to read the complete Bulletin

Cruising News and Reference Directories
Boat Broker Partners