Our thanks to Sandy Flowers at Port of Call for this information.
St. Augustine Municipal Marina’s fuel dock has re-opened. A few slips available for short rem – no power or cable.
ALL NAV AIDS IN THE INLET ARE GONE – DO NOT USE!!
Our thanks to Sandy Flowers at Port of Call for this information.
St. Augustine Municipal Marina’s fuel dock has re-opened. A few slips available for short rem – no power or cable.
ALL NAV AIDS IN THE INLET ARE GONE – DO NOT USE!!
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
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
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!
This discussion comes from Kevin Wadlow on keynoter.com.
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.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206
Definitely good advice!
FWC says use caution in aftermath of Hurricane Matthew
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT
Hurricane Matthew: Scenes from Friday afternoon
Our thanks to Communications Specialist Erica Skolte of the Jacksonville USACE for this notice.
US Army Corps of Engineers is preparing for impacts from Hurricane Matthew. We have adjusted the operating hours at the locks on the Okeechobee Waterway, and are ensuring users of our recreation facilities are aware they may need to evacuate. More information is attached and copied below.
Please contact me if you have questions. Thanks for your help.
John H Campbell SAJ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Corps prepares for Matthew; issues guidance to boaters & campers Read More
The Jacksonville District activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at 7 a.m. today (Oct. 4). This action allows district staff to devote added attention to the response actions that might be necessary should Matthew cause impacts as it passes near Florida.
“Our staff is coordinating with state and local officials,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for Jacksonville District. “We are adjusting our operations to ensure the safety of those who use our facilities and our staff in south Florida.”
Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance on its operations in south Florida:
* For boaters, the Corps has extended operating hours for its navigation locks on the Okeechobee Waterway; they will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 4) and Wednesday (Oct. 5). Operating hours on Thursday will depend on the track of the storm. To ensure safety of lock operators, the Corps will suspend operations when lightning is in the area, or when winds exceed 35 mph.
* For campers and visitors to recreation sites, Jacksonville District park rangers will monitor conditions at Corps’ campgrounds and recreation areas. If a county government issues an evacuation order for mobile homes or RV parks in an area where there is a Corps’ campground or recreational facility, rangers will order an evacuation of the facility and advise on shelter locations. Visitors should move all campers, motor homes, tents, vessels, and trailers from facilities under evacuation orders.
* Today, field staff are conducting a pre-storm evaluation of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The current lake stage is 15.78 feet. While no immediate threat exists, the Corps advises people living and working around the lake to be prepared to take action should conditions warrant.
More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil.
John H Campbell
Public Affairs Specialist
Jacksonville District, US Army Corps of Engineers
This is one very important survey that cruisers definitely will want to take. We can only keep our fingers crossed that the right questions will be asked and that our answers, observations and suggestions will be heeded, unlike past conversations with the FWC.
FWC seeks public input on anchoring and mooring rules, pilot program
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking feedback from cruising boaters, local boaters and other residents in evaluating the state’s Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program and related ordinances.
The FWC has posted a brief online survey to accept this feedback. It should take approximately five to 10 minutes to complete and will be available to the public Oct. 1-9. Survey
Read More for Survey Discussion and Link
The Florida Legislature established the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program in 2009. The intent was to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields throughout the state.
After public input, the FWC selected the cities of St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Stuart (in conjunction with Martin County) and the cities of Key West and Marathon (in conjunction with Monroe County) as five sites for the pilot program. They were granted temporary authority to regulate mooring in their jurisdictional waters through local ordinances.
All ordinances enacted under authority of the pilot program will expire on July 1, 2017, and will be inoperative and unenforceable thereafter, unless re-enacted by the Legislature.
Participation in the survey will help determine the effectiveness of the program, developed ordinances, and a variety of concepts related to specific restrictions on anchoring of vessels which may be considered in the future.
To access the survey and for more information, go to MyFWC.com/Boating.
And this from Glen Moore on the AGLCA Forum:
The Florida anchoring issue will be with us every year. This survey is part of the planning for next year’s legislative session and more legislation limiting anchoring. More communities will be vying to be included in the anchoring bans that were granted in two south Florida counties last year. Read More
As a life-long resident of Florida, I have watched the law-making process over many decades. It is ironic that a state legislature with the majority of its members being elected on the platform of less government continue to issue laws regulating all forms of personal choice, including where one might anchor. Sorry if this sounds political, but this is a political issue and I have attempted to craft words in a benign manner.
If any of you are Floridians, and have decided to provide input through this survey, please take your time in studying each question (and there are many, particularly if you have anchored in a pilot project area since 2011) before answering. As an example, some of the questions refer to the appropriate distance to be anchored from residences or marine structures such as boat ramps. While you might have a great opinion of how far you believe is appropriate, any answer of a distance could result in laws regulating how far you must anchor. Any distance required could be difficult to follow given how large your swing circle could be. You could anchor at the appropriate distance, the wind direction change resulting in your boat swinging into an illegal spot. In many areas, laws regulating how far one can anchor from a residence will create overlapping illegal areas that essentially bans anchoring.
Last year, I wrote my State Senator questioning the proposed, and eventually passed law for south Florida. He responded that the anchoring law was needed for safety – that people water skied in the area and boats at anchor are a safety issue. I responded that they law did not prohibit anchoring in the day time, when there were people water skiing, only at night when people did not water ski – so the proposed law had no impact on the safety of skiers. He did not respond and voted for the anchoring prohibition.
We have some tough battles ahead. Our fight in Florida is not just for reasonable anchoring laws in Florida. Legislatures tend to copy laws from other states. As anchoring laws in Florida get legislated, other states will soon follow – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina . . .
My recommendation on the survey is to use the comment box at the end of the survey to build your case that no additional anchoring laws/restrictions are needed in Florida.
Be aware that waterfront homeowners will also be responding to the survey.
Last Dance, DeFever Passagemaker 40
Flagler Beach, FL
Located on the Ortega River just above the Roosevelt Blvd. Bridge and just upstream of the intersection of the Ortega and St. Johns Rivers, Ortega River Marina is especially convenient to the Riverside section of Jacksonville. This report comes from our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.
Ortega River Marina. Paul Howe is the dock master at 912-661-3437. We keep our PDQ there in the summer and fall and are very happy with it. ORM (it used to be Ortega Yacht Club Marina) is a smaller marina than “Landing”, with clean bathrooms and laundry, a small pool, and friendly, helpful boat owners. ”Read
Only a mile or so upstream from downtown Jacksonville, Ortega Landing is the first facility on your starboard as you enter the Ortega River from the St. Johns. This report is from our friends at America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
The Ortega Landing Marina is a great spot. I have kept my boat there for the past three years and am very pleased. Modern floating concrete docks, spotless bathrooms, swimming pool, and an experienced staff make this an excellent choice. Contact the Dockmaster, Bruce, at 904-387-5538.
The “Ponce” is a popular, heavily traveled inlet which intersects the Waterway at Statute Mile 839.5, with a second southerly intersection near St. M. 843. Other than the Nav Alerts currently posted on SSECN, Rick is asking for “local knowledge” for the area around the Inlet. If you are a frequent navigator of the Inlet and the ICW/Inlet intersection, let us hear from you.
Thanks for your quick reply. A few years ago we were traveling around Ponse Inlet or New Smyrna Beach where there was reported shoaling and frequent marker relocations, is this still a problem and can the area be identified?
43’ Tiara “Rock On”
There were reports of groundings in the Ponce back in July (/157074) which resulted in our posting a Nav Alert (/158393) immediately after the initial report.
Note that these groundings are in the ICW west and south of the Inlet proper. We have not received reports of shoaling in the Ponce Inlet itself.
This release of water has to be attributed to rains from Hermine. Increased water releases from Lake Okeechobee earlier this year resulted in massive fish kills downstream of the release.
Corps of Engineers increasing Lake Okeechobee discharges
by Scott Sutton
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday plans to increase the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee over the next week….
A fellow boater asks for your opinion on long term mooring in the St. Augustine harbor. The mooring field has a northern portion and a southern portion. General consensus is that the southern portion, below the Bridge of Lions, is more protected from wind and wake. Let us hear from your experience anchoring there. For more opinions, go to /112455.
I am considering mooring my 43′ pontoon houseboat here long term, but am concerned about wake from winds, boats, and the current. What are your opinions of how this would work out?
Charted depths in this area do not suggest good anchorage. However, if you have found suitable depths, let Jerry and SSECN hear from you. The nearest SSECN recommended anchorage in that area is ten miles south of Haulover Canal at Titusville/Mwx Brewer Bridge.
Would anyone know if anchorages are still available in the Haulover Canal, Florida @ Mile 869.5 in the basin just past the bridge southbound?
33’ Pearson with a 4’ 2” draft.
Definitely not a good day!! He should have drunk plain old Sweet Tea!
Boater admits to drinking Long Island Ice Teas before stranding 72-foot yacht on Palm Beach
8:56 AM, Sep 7, 2016
1 min ago
PALM BEACH, Fla. – A boater, who said he had been drinking Long Island Ice Teas before the incident, was arrested Wednesday morning after an 80-foot yacht washed ashore on Palm Beach.
Thomas Henry Baker, 63, Belle Isle, Fla., a suburb of Orlando, told police he “failed to navigate his vessel into the Palm Beach Inlet and ran the vessel into the beach.”
The 72-foot yacht named “Time Out” was spotted floating at the shoreline right next to the Palm Beach Inlet.
With the 2016 hurricane season underway, this is additional information for boaters navigating the waters of South Florida. This notice comes to us from our good friend, Specialist Erica Skolte, US Army Corp of Engineers.
For Immediate Release, August 26, 2016
Corps prepares for tropical activity; issues guidance to boaters & campers
With the possibility of tropical activity in south Florida in the coming days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is preparing to respond as needed and providing information to boaters and campers on operational adjustments that will take place at navigation locks and recreation facilities.
The Jacksonville District activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at noon today (Aug. 26). This
action allows district staff to devote added attention to the response actions that might be necessary should a tropical cyclone or heavy rain develop.
“Our staff is coordinating with state and local officials,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division
Chief for Jacksonville District. “We will staff our EOC over the weekend, and dispatch liaison officers to the state EOC and other locations as appropriate.”
Banana River Marina flanks the Banana River’s western banks near unlighted daybeacon #24 off the Waterway via Canaveral Barge Canal. Our thanks to Cap’n Parky for this detailed report and advice.
Banana River Marina, Florida. A Five Star Rating.
Up and down the ICW and Chesapeake Bay there are nice smaller marinas at much lower costs than average. The Banana River Marina just south of Cape Canaveral is one of them. Only $7.50 per ft per mo plus metered power. No liveaboard fees or any other hidden charges.
There are certain things to be aware of however – as always. READ MORE
Once safely docked, you will find this marina a very friendly laid back place indeed. With around 60 slips of differing widths, you will find at least 10 liveaboards here – many have been here for years. The toilets and showers are clean but not air conditioned. The laundry is good along with a fine exchange library. Soft drink machines are available but no marine store. There is an adjacent haul out crane and DIY yard with mechanics and other experts available for hire. There are picnic tables – but in the late afternoons the ‘no see ums’ will try to eat you alive. Inside the docks are around 6 huge manatees quietly grazing. Because of the enclosed nature of the marina, it is a fine local hurricane hole – bear this in mind should one be approaching as you too are approaching – you might find no room at the inn……
Within an easy bike ride is a Walmart, other stores and restaurants – though liveaboards with cars will often offer a ride. I’m told there is a free shuttle bus to and from Orlando but haven’t as yet tried it. This is a great spot to see any rocket launch from the Space Center – alas not as frequently as in the heady days of Apollo.
This is a nice peaceful old style inexpensive marina with always someone around to have a chat with or help you with some problem. My intent is to stay here at least for the winter but who knows – maybe I’ll stay around for years and feed the manatees. I could do a lot worse.
Low slip rates, friendly environment, hurricane hole – gets a Five Star Rating in my log.
As this report by Susannah Bryan Contact Reporter at Sun Sentinel states, the anchoring ban put into effect July 1st is not working in Broward County. Go to /156265 for more on the anchoring ban.
“No Beaching, No Landing, No Launching, No Tying Up,” say the signs that went up in April.
But so far, the signs don’t seem to be working. The dozen or so live-aboard boaters anchored in the cove at North Beach Park are not only coming ashore on their dinghies, they’re using the signs as tie-up posts.
CLICK HERE for the full report from Sun-Sentinal
With the 2016 hurricane season underway, this is valuable information for boaters navigating the Ockeechobee Waterway or the Canaveral Barge Canal in South Florida. This notice comes to us from our good friend, Specialist Erica Skolte, US Army Corp of Engineers.
OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY AND CANAVERAL HARBOR LOCK OPERATIONS DURING TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES
1. Notice to Navigation
Notice is given that 72 hours prior to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane making local landfall locks will be open 6 AM to 10 PM supporting vessel safe harbor passage. Lock operations will stop 8 hours prior to land fall as Rail Road and drawbridges will be lowered or rotated and locked into a secure position. It’s important that all vessels are at their intended destination before bridges are secured and passage across the waterway suspended.
For Lock Operator safety the locks will:
1. Stop locking vessels or working outdoors if lightning is observed within five miles of the lock and
operations will not resume until lightning has not been seen in the area for 30 minutes.
2. Stop locking vessels when winds exceed 35 MPH.
After a storm it could be days or weeks before the waterway is reopen depending on damage to structures and
how quickly debris creating navigation hazards can be removed.
For up to date Lock information contact the shift operator 7 AM to 5 PM at:
Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421
St Lucie Lock & Dam 772-287-2665
Port Mayaca Lock & Dam 561-924-2858
Moore Haven Lock & Dam 863-946-0414
Ortona Lock & Dam 863-675-0616
WP Franklin Lock & Dam 239-694-5451
Digitally signed by WILLIAMS.CARL.MABRY.IV
Date: 2016.08.22 14:57:47 -04’00’
Chief Navigation & Flood Risk Management
South Florida Operations
Aren’t boat shows fun? The best “shoppin’, shoppin’, shoppin'” there is!
South Florida Fall Boat Show 2016
The South Florida Fall Boat Show is set to sail into West Palm Beach Friday September 23rd through Sunday September 25, 2016 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach, Florida. 33441
While boats are the main attraction, this show offers much more. The Fairgrounds will be packed with an impressive display of marine accessories.
Click Here for more information.