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Welcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. AugusVero Beach MarinaNew Smyrna Beach Marina, 201 N. Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, 386-409-2042Amelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaPort of Call, St. AugustineFULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOME The Town of Marineland has opened its ports with a brand new marina facility creating a destination for boaters on the Intracoastal Waterway between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, FL.
 Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589Transient Moorings in Miami at Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 24 hour launch & security, Short walk to Coconut Grove, Daily & Monthly Rates
(305)-444-4571 EXT  16, manager@cgsc.orgFernandina Harbor MarinaHammock Beach Resort & Marina Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Westland Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Titusville, Florida. Near Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Merritt Island and Cocoa BeachGuest Coupon Available On Our Web Site

Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Good Service at Inlet Marina, AICW Statute Mile 775.5, St. Augustine, FL

    Inlet Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! borders the eastern banks of the AICW, immediately south of the Vilano Beach high-rise bridge. As you can see, Skipper Reese was definitely pleased with the service!

    Just fueled up@ Capt. Jay ‘s Inlet Marina. Great service from Capt Bob!
    Sonny Reeves

    Inlet Marina

    Inlet Marina

    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

  • Good Report from Rivers Edge Marina, off AICW Statute Mile 780

    Rivers Edge Marina in St. Augustine, FL, is found well off the AICW, on the San Sebastian River, near this body of water’s upstream cruising limits. Our thanks to Skipper Reeves for this report and photo.

    When we travel the ICW to visit St. Augustine we stay at Rivers Edge, back when it was Oyster Creek we stopped in our sailboat. Why do we stop here for overnights rest and relaxation? Easy in and out, Quiet, No or little current.
    Paul the dockmaster is the best! Sure the docks are old and the walkways are some what tricky. Watch you step type of tricky. But there is a fresh fruit and veggies market around the corner with great prices. Hurricane Patty’s is on the site with a discount for boaters that Paul will give you. Low price fuel delivered by truck, Call Paul before hand. Stores and Sailors Exchange in walking distance or ride your bike.
    The old city is a long walk or a shot bike ride away. Enjoy!
    Sonny Reeves

    rivers

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Rivers Edge Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of River’s Edge Marina

  • Good Words for Palm Coast Marina, Palm Coast, FL, AICW Statute Mile 802

    Like others before, Skipper Reeves sends good remarks about the facilities at Palm Coast Marina. This marina is found on a small canal which indents the Waterway’s western banks south of St. Augustine and north of Daytona Beach.

    Great stop over! Clean restrooms showers, nice dog walk. Easy walk to restaurants and shops. The pizza at Mezzaluna Pizzeria is above average. Very little tide or current. Sheltered from high winds.
    Sonny Reeves

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Palm Coast Marina

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

  • Destroyed Daybeacon South of Wabasso Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 944.5, 6/11/2014

    This destroyed daybeacon is on the west side of the Waterway channel south of Wabasso Bridge.

    FLORIDA – AICW – TOLOMATO RIVER TO PALM SHORES – INDIAN RIVER NORTH SECTION: Hazard to Navigation.
    Indian River (North Section) Daybeacon 92 is destroyed. The remains of the pile is leaning at a 45 degree angle two feet out of the water and is a hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11485 LNM: 23/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Mile 944

  • Notes on Jacksonville Landing and Main St Bridge, St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL

    It’s a 13 mile cruise up the St. Johns River from the AICW to the Jacksonville waterfront, where mariners will discover Jacksonville Landing, on the north side of the St. Johns, midway between the Main Street Bridge and the Acosta Bridge. This complex is a downtown shopping mall/food court with a stage area for special events and concerts, featuring its own dock for visiting pleasure craft.
    Skipper Burnhams’ experience with the Main St Bridge illustrates the navigation headaches that Jacksonville boaters have suffered the past year. For a recent posting on the Main Street Bridge, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140564

    Additional info: At the Jacksonville Landing the “No Wake Zone” is often ignored and smaller cruisers can be rocking the night away. If overnighting at Jacksonville consider the more comfortable floating berth at the Metropolitan Park Marina. Also there is a free “light rail” Central station just north of the Jacksonville Landing that will give to a ride every 30 minutes over to the south shore where you can visit the MOSI museum and fall asleep for a short nap in the comfort of the planetarium…:D
    A note about the Main Street Bridge: It was recently under repair with 2-4 hour reservations required for openings. I called 904-891-2191 at 0345 on Sunday morning and was given an 8am reservation at the bridge…maybe she thought it was a hoax because when I called the bridge tender on Channel 9 at 7am to let them know I was tied up at the Jacksonville Landing, HE told me that as no one was working on the bridge on Sunday that he was opening the Main Street Bridge on demand, of course!
    David Burnham

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Main Street Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jacksonville Landing and Main St Bridge

  • A Good Visit to Mill Cove Anchorage, St. Johns River, east of Jacksonville, FL

    Mill Cove is east of Jacksonville, 4 nautical miles upstream (west) of the point where the Waterway crosses the St. Johns and lies on the south side of the main shipping channel. This anchorage should not be confused with Mill Cove in Doctor Lake south of Jacksonville.

    Anchored here last month and again last night in our 54′ motor yacht with 4.5′ draft. We found a spot about 200 yards back from the entrance near the charted 14′ area on the west side. Holding was good in 10-15K winds and one 180 degree tidal swing. Not much small boat traffic or waking from the main river channel, but still pretty exposed. Fun watching the container ships loading/unloading across the river. Could easily accommodate vessels to 60 feet. Anchor came up clean as a whistle in the morning.
    Bill

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

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

  • Crandon Park Marina Recommended, AICW Statute Mile 1094, Key Biscayne, FL

    Crandon Park Marina at 4000 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne, FL, is a Miami-Dade County facility asociated with Crandon Park Beach. They do take transients on a space-available, no advance reservations basis. Located on the eastern shore of Biscayne Bay, the location looks very inviting.

    Crandon Park Marina
    I’m surprised that no one mentioned this marina which is about due east of Dinner Key on the other side of Biscayne Bay, on the northern end of Key Biscayne. I have kept my Sabre 28 in the mooring field there for over 10 years with no complaints. I know they accept transients, if they have available moorings. You can hail them on VHF or call them at 305-361-1281. The only downside is, it is not convenient to restaurants or food markets, although there is a store at the dockmaster’s which sells soft drinks and sandwiches, as well as a fuel station.
    Walt Grifel

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

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

  • Vertical Clearance Report on Port Orange Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 835.5

    Port Orange Bridge crosses the Waterway at Statute Mile 835.5, south of Daytona Beach and south-southeast of unlighted daybeacon #56.

    63′ on the gauge on June 1, 2014 near high tide.
    Ken Norris

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Port Orange Bridge

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

  • Derelict Facts in the State of Florida

    The derelict issue, problem, controversy, whatever one chooses to call it, has loomed large and will continue to be hashed about in political and economic circles all along the Eastern Seaboard until a feasible plan is found to address abandoned vessels. We are grateful to Chris Waln for sharing his research with us. To access the Derelict Vessel map features, click Queries at lower right, select a county, then Search.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (http://myfwc.com/) as an excellent (not yet fully implemented) online tool (https://public.myfwc.com/LE/ArrestNet/DerelictVessel/VesselMap.aspx) for tracking location and essential information on derelict boats. For the Florida East Coast, when the underlying data is parsed it reveals:
    66% of derelict recreational boats are Florida registered, and this percentage is slightly understated because the “Registration NA” boats probably contain some number of Florida registered boats.
    Of the derelict boats for which length data is available (87%), the median boat size (all types) is 26 feet and the mean is 27 feet (discounting an outlier). Two thirds are between 22 and 32 feet.
    Across both registration categories sailboats account for 40%, cabin-power for 19%.
    75% of the 170+ derelicts are in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Brevard and Broward Counties, but…
    In Broward County 68% of the boats identified as derelict are in slips.
    Most of the pictures of “Registration NA” boats and many of the “FL Registered” depict hulls so old that removal would entail little legal effort.
    Caveats

    The few commercial hulks, barges, etc were not counted.
    The boat registration and length data is extracted from graphics files in the FWC tool by hand; there may have been a few errors.
    What can we draw from this?

    The registration data doesn’t support derelict boats being driven by out of state/foreign cruisers.
    The size data doesn’t support derelict boats being driven by cruisers, period. Yes, we have taken over 500 and 1000 mile trips in a 23 footer (1976) and a 29 footer (1980), but what we see on the waters today is 35-45 footers. Although to be balanced, 18% of the measured derelicts are 35 feet or greater — the same percentage as boats 21 feet or less.
    From the FWC photos, the sailboats, with few exceptions, are not equipped as long range cruisers, they look to be local boats that were either uninsured or insured and totaled, and the local owners just walked away.
    Broward County’s slipped derelicts should be discounted when talking about anchoring issues.
    Money for removal is more of an issue than authority for removal.
    Finally (well, that apparently never happens in this debate), we don’t like looking at or being anchored near derelicts or imminent derelicts any more than any other Floridian. We don’t like them clogging up our few and far between safe anchorages. We don’t like them driving municipalities to create maritime ghettos that wipe out those few and far between safe anchorages.

    We believe the data above is a reason for the latest shift to attempting to ban anchoring on the basis of defamatory accusations rather than data. It’s pretty clear from the data, cruisers don’t come to Florida to abandon their boats.
    Chris Waln

    Derelict boats are completely different than cruising boats. It’s the difference between a car driving down the freeway, or parked at a rest stop, and one jacked up on blocks on the side of the road. I don’t for one minute believe that the people behind the anchoring restrictions can’t make this distinction, and I still believe the derelict boat problem, while a real problem, is being used as a smokescreen/false flag operation, for getting rid of non-derelict cruising boats that are messing up the views from waterfront condos of people who are used to getting their way on everything.
    R. Holiman

    Interesting analysis. I would add that another important factor in anchorage bans is financial. There are interests that think boaters anchoring for free are getting away with something and they should be forced to pay for the privilege. The funny thing in Florida is that this often involves creating a mooring field at huge expense that is paid for by taxpayers that then forces boaters to pay for moorings and marina space that even then is not self-supporting. The Marathon mooring field and marina only survive due to hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds. These fields are not self supporting in Florida. I have yet to figure out why Florida mooring fields are so hugely expensive to construct, but the per-mooring cost is often four or five times what it would cost for an individual to put in the finest mooring set up. You would think that purchasing in bulk, etc. would save money. Someone is making money off of that aspect of this too.
    John Kettlewell

  • AQUADICE Adrift off the Coast of Florida

    Here is something to make your next off-shore trek even more exciting. If you happen to “stumble upon” these sculptures, take a photo and send it to us! Although this Local Notice dos not give a current lat/lon, the position of the drifting dice can be monitored on Facebook.

    ATLANTIC COAST – TRIANGLE FORMED BETWEEN THE CANARY ISLANDS, PORT D’ESPAGNE VENEZUALA AND JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA: Giant Ocean Dice (AQUADICE)
    The US Coast Guard received a report of two adrift independent 8′ x 8′ x 8′ orange cubes. The cubes known as a “floating sculpture” called AQUADICE. AQUADICE will be highly visible at sea. The bodies of the dice will be painted a bright phosphorescent orange with blue pips on each face. In addition each face will have constantly flashing lights visible up to 5 kilometers and with life spans of 2 years. The beacons will provide electronic signals. The voyage of AQUADICE will serve as a feasibility study for unmanned, non-sail; wind powered Trans-Atlantic shipping. This sculpture does not readily present a danger to navigation. Mariners are advised to be on the lookout. For complete information refer to the website http://aquadice.net/AQUA_DICE.html

    aquadice2

  • New Shipyard and Marina Coming to St. Augustine, San Sebastian River, off AICW Statute Mile 780

    The San Sebastian River departs the Waterway to the northwest at statute mile 780. The new facility will be upstream on the western shore across from San Sebastian marker #20. Land address is 255 Diesel Rd, St. Augustine 32084. For the full story, go to: http://www.staugustineshipyard.com/

    St Augustine Shipyard is part of a proposed Merchant Marine Community located on the west bank of the San Sebastian River, southwest of Historic Old St Augustine. In addition to the marina, commercial development plans include a pedestrian “promenade” offering a variety of shops, restaurants and lodging.
    The Shipyard Marina is under construction with restaurants, shopping and offices in various stages of planning and approval and is scheduled to open in September 2014.

    Thank you for this wonderful service.
    Ron Cousino

    san sebastian2

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

  • Extreme Shoaling Reported in Sisters Creek, AICW Statute Mile 735, 5/21/2014

    This report of shoaling in Sisters Creek is not the first sent to SSECN (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=105056) about the waters at Mile 735, however, it is the first Local Notice to Mariners about the shoaling. Gunnison Cut is midway between Nassau Sound and the St. Johns River/ICW intersection.

    FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – GUNNISON CUT: Shoaling
    There is extreme shoaling at low-tide in the vicinity of Gunnison Cut DBN 73 (LLNR 38270). Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11489 LNM: 20/14

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

  • Report on Green Cove Springs Marina, St. Johns River near Jacksonville, FL

    Green Cove Springs Marina - Click for Chartview

    Green Cove Springs Marina – Click for Chartview

    Green Cove Springs Marina lies on the St. Johns River’s southwestern shores, in the heart of the old Navy Base, upstream of the Green Cove Springs City Dock, between Jacksonville and Palatka.

    Someone else mentioned Green Cove Springs. My recommendation there is only if you want to store the boat ashore as their in water slips are not nice at all. They have a ton of boats out of the water there and it is more of a
    working yard than a true marina. The facilities there are terrible and transportation from there will be much more difficult. There is very little within walking distance there. This is more of a storage facility or working on the boat out of the water facility. Plus, it is another 20 or 25 miles downriver and there is not much to see in this part of the river.
    Dave & Nan Ellen Fuller

    The river may not be much, but gorgeous black creek is just north of Green Cove Springs. South of the Shands bridge are Trout Creek and 6 Mile Creek. Not only is there good food at Outback Crab Shack, but if your boat will clear the bridge, you can go a ways up the narrow creek. Dinghy rides up both are recommended from this local resident.
    Carolyn Frazier

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida/St. Johns River Marina Directory Listing For Green Cove Springs Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Green Cove Springs Marina

  • Excellent Review of Ortega Landing Marina, Ortega River, off the St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL

    Ortega Landing Marina – Click for Chartview

    Ortega Landing, the first facility you will encounter upon entering the Ortega River from the St. Johns, only a mile or so upstream from downtown Jacksonville, is indeed a fine facility.

    I can VERY highly recommend Ortega Landing Marina off the St. John’s River in the Ortega River just past downtown Jacksonville. This recommendation is based on several factors. First, you are about 20 or so miles inland and that provides a nice
    buffer for storms coming off the ocean. Second, our boat insurance (Boat/US)
    considers this inland waters as long as we remain upstream of the I-95 bridge in downtown Jacksonville about three miles away. Our insurance is SUBSTANTIALLY less expensive here and was a nice surprise. Third is the marina itself. It is one of the nicest marinas we have stayed in and will rival or beat many Yacht Clubs. They have regular monthly social events – some free- some low cost, but always fun. They have free washers and dryers, deluxe showers, free ice, a nice pool and hot tub, and a terrific clubhouse for gatherings. Security is pretty good as well. The best part is a brand
    new Wi-Fi system on the docks. The signals are strong, blazingly fast and good enough for streaming. I have conducted video conferences on this system and watch movies in the slip. The tide here is about a foot and a half and the water brackish, but on the floating concrete docks, tide is not an issue at all. You do get some slime on the bottom of the boat, but little to no hard growth.
    Publix and West Marine are about two blocks away and there are several nice restaurants also within walking distance. There are a large number of nice restaurants in every category just a short drive away in Avondale, West End, and Riverside if you have a car.
    We chose this marina because of the facilities, the people, and the area. It is about 6 hour drive from our home in Atlanta. If you need to fly somewhere, the Jacksonville airport is about 20 minutes away. The marina can arrange for an Enterprise rental car for you as they have an agreement with Enterprise, but they have no marina car to loan you. You can almost certainly find another boater with a car to take you for errands if you ask around. A very friendly and accommodating group of people here. They do not have fuel or services other than a pumpout, but there are multitudes of mechanics and craftsmen in Jacksonville. If you need a haul out or fuel close by, you can take the boat to the other side of the bridge to Lambs for a haul out.
    By the way, we had no ice in the marina last winter in spite of one of the coldest winters on record there. We have an automatic bilge heater to keep things from freezing and leave the cabin heat turned on at 60 degrees. If you take the boat out
    of the water, you will need to winterize it, but if you leave it in the water, just drain any water lines above the decks in areas that could freeze (hoses and sinks, etc.) and you will be fine. Be sure to close up the air vents to the bilge and the surrounding water will keep things from freezing.
    Dave & Nan Ellen Fuller

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Ortega Landing Marina

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

  • Liveaboards No Longer Allowed at Loggerhead Marina in Stuart, FL, departing the AICW c. Statute Mile 987

    Loggerhead Club - Click for Chartview

    Loggerhead Club – Click for Chartview

    Formerly the Harbourage Marina and Yacht Club, The Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart lies northwest of Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River marker #23, and east of the US1/Stuart high-rise bridge.

    Claiborne,
    It pains me to notify you that we were told that liveaboards are no longer allowed at Loggerhead Marina in Stuart. Seems the condo people have deep pockets and have convinced the city & county that we are causing problems, especially the environmental kind.(No proof has been established) and will not give Loggerhead the appropriate permits for liveaboards. We are in the process of finding another local marina that will accommodate us for the time being, till we figure out what to do. It is a shame that Stuart cannot see the advantages of seasonal and full time cruisers staying in their area. I guess they’ll find out just how much they have to lose when they lose it.
    Susan Leaf

    Adding to the above email, boaters can still stay on board 5 days consecutive, 10 days total a month. You have to physically leave your boat to comply. Most cruisers will not burn fuel up the St. Lucie River just to spend 5 days in Stuart. Sunset Bay is still here, but normally full up.
    It’s not Loggerhead’s fault. They have tried to get the permits, but the condo owners here have been fighting them from day one.The city, county and now the DEP are involved. BoatUS has been notified, but they say it is a marina, not anchoring rights issue.
    Susan Leaf

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Loggerhead Club of Stuart

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Loggerhead Club of Stuart

  • Watch Out For Shoal East and Southeast of AICW Marker #49 (Statute Mile 772), 5/16/2014

    On the morning of 5/16/14, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net received a telephone call from Francis aboard “Easy Rider.” She reported that they were northbound on the AICW, and had just observed a larger powercraft hard aground, AT HIGH TIDE, on the charted shoal east and southeast of marker #49. She went on to say that this was the very same spot where they had a grounding problem with their own vessel a year ago.
    While we cannot yet confirm this hypothesis, it seems likely that the charted shoal east and southeast of #49 has built out farther towards the AICW channel. Prudent skippers will pass #49 well to its western and southwestern side.
    If anyone has any additional information about this hazard, PLEASE use the “Comment” function below and share that information with our fellow cruisers! Our thanks to Skipper Michelle for confirming the advice to favor the west side of the channel.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position Near AIcW Marker #49, North of St. Augustine.

    SeaTow mentioned this area as a problem to our group recently. I went up to check it out yesterday and it is very shallow E and NE of green marker 49. Your suggestion is spot on to stay on the west side of the channel.
    Michelle

    We passed 49 about 150 to the West in about 30 ft of water at just about the beginning of a rising tide without a problem on June 3 at 1140am
    Diane Jack Toomey

  • St. Johns River, AICW Crossing to Jacksonville – An Article by SSECN Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy

    The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is very pleased and honored to welcome veteran cruiser, Captain Jim Healy, aboard as our first “Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Contributing Editor.” Many of you know Jim from his participation in MTOA and various on-line nautical forums. Many are the cruisers who have sought Jim’s advice about computers, networking and wi-fi aboard.
    It also occurred to the SSECN that Jim is just a really GOOD writer as well. In fact, one of the best we’ve come across in quite some time. So, after some conversation at the recent MTOA Rendezvous in Fernandina Beach, Florida, Jim has joined the SSECN team, and it’s really GREAT to have him aboard.
    In his first SSECN article as “Contributing Editor,” Captain Healy guides us from the AICW/St. Johns River intersection upstream to the sprawling city of Jacksonville, and nearby Ortega River with its impressive collection of marinas and repair yards!

    jimhealy

    Captain Jim Healy

    Imagine the portion of the St. John’s River – between the ICW crossroads at Sister’s Creek/Pablo Creek and the intersection of the Ortega River southwest of the City of Jacksonville – as shaped like a hockey stick. Imagine the handle oriented mainly east/west and the paddle turned south. Imagine Jacksonville city located at the transition from the handle and the paddle.
    This 24-mile stretch of the St. John’s River offers an eclectic mix of vistas which include expansive bridges and overhead power lines, a coal-fired electric generating station that has cooling towers resembling those of a nuclear power plant, large scale military and civilian shipping/seaport infrastructure, large southern mansions, residential neighborhoods with docks lining the shoreline, and undeveloped marshlands. Quite a mix.
    Between the AICW crossroads and the City of Jacksonville, virtually all of the commercial seaport infrastructure is on the “north” shoreline. This includes cargo terminals and fuel terminals with docks that extend well into the river. By contrast, the “south” shore has very little large-scale commercial development. Jacksonville city itself occupies both sides of the river. Beyond Jacksonville city, the river turns south, widens and shallows.
    The current in the St. John’s can run to 3 knots at ebb, which can be of significant help or hindrance to slow and/or low-power vessels. Navigation of the river can be very easy. Along commercial channels, Sanctuary and crew prefer to operate just outside the shipping channel lateral markers. On the St. John’s, we chose to run the “south” shoreline. That keeps us well away from the various security zones along the commercial “north” shore. However, on the south side, we did encounter numerous crab pots, some in as much as 40’ – 50’ of water.
    Concentration and situational awareness are essential. Vessels encountered on the river will include open rowboats, kayaks and canoes, all variety of pleasure craft, large and small cruise liners, very large tows, research, military and commercial cargo vessels. The large Crowley barge tows accommodate 3 levels of tractor-trailer and RR freight car-sized vehicles. These very large barges are managed by multiple towboats, with one tug pulling the barge, via cable, and one or more tugs handling the stern swing of the barge. On AIS, these tows appear as a tight cluster of slow-moving vessels, but they definitely occupy a lot of river.
    As might be imagined, there are many law enforcement swift boats from several agencies, including US navy and USCG patrol boats, Customs & Border Protection, Immigration and a plethora of state and local authorities.
    On the north shore of the St. John’s, approximately 7 miles east of downtown, is Trout River. This creek offers anchorage and marina options to cruising boats. Just east of downtown, there is a public marina with floating docks, power and water. Dockage is free; power is $8.50/day. The stay limit is 72 hours.
    Downtown at Jacksonville Landing, cruisers can tie up to a free wall. This location is a no-wake zone. There are no services, but it’s fine for the self-sufficient cruiser. Local attractions at the location include Chicago Pizza, Hooters and a variety of local eateries.
    Just to the west of Jacksonville Landing is the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad bridge. This bascule bridge is normally open except when a train is approaching. Virtually everyone will need this bridge to be open. There is a lighted sign that tells boaters the approximate wait time. If that time is long, tie up at Jacksonville Landing and “stretch your legs.”

    Proceeding southwest through the FEC RR bridge, the St. John’s turns south and the character of the river changes. It’s just a short 2 – 3 mile run to the Ortega River. The Ortega River is reached by turning to the southwest (260°) at approximate position 30°17.35’ N, 081°40.6′ W. There are no obvious landmarks except for a large, square building on the western shoreline. The Ortega is marked red-right-returning, and boats coming from the St. John’s are “returning.” Honor the markers.
    The Ortega River boat channel carries 10’ – 12’ and is well marked. There is a road bridge (Ortega River Bridge) that most boaters will need opened. The bridge is not restricted.
    Depending upon final destination, there is a CSX/Amtrak railroad bridge that boaters may need opened. The RR bridge is normally opened except when a train is approaching. The RR bridge is an old single-track bridge that carries the classic Amtrak east coast passenger services, like the Silver Meteor, Silver Star and Auto-train. The RR bridge periodically experiences operational problems. Plan accordingly.
    There are several large marina and boatyard operations along the Ortega River. Note particularly Lamb’s Yacht Center, which has a 100-ton boat lift and a large, well stocked onsite chandlery. Lamb’s allows liveaboards, and the folks there – staff and residents – are very friendly and helpful.
    I would suggest that this area is not truly a “destination” in itself, but if planning to have work done or needing to take cover from nasty weather, it is a good, safe, secure refuge. There is a full-scale shopping center within walking distance. The shopping center boasts a Publix, CVS, UPS Store, West Marine, Belks, and several restaurants. The “Metro restaurant” is especially good for breakfast. “Tom and Betty’s” is great for home cooking at reasonable prices.
    There is a large marine consignment operation (“Sailor’s Exchange;” http://www.sailors-exchange.com/) and a large “used book” store operation (“Chamblin’s Book Mine;” http://www.chamblinbookmine.com/default.aspx) in that immediate neighborhood. Bus service is available to downtown Jacksonville. US Rt. 17 is less than 5 minutes from the Ortega River marinas.

    That was a nice informative post concerning the Jacksonville and Ortega area. I have a couple of voyage planning tips to add for those of you transiting the downtown Jacksonville area that may save you some fuel, time and engine wear:
    As strange as it may seem, slack water does not occur in this area at high or low tide. It can be as much as 2 hours later. So, if you want to transit at slack water or “ride the tide” to save fuel, consult the Tidal Current Tables not the Tide Tables. If not, you may be bucking the current for a while with much frustration.
    Also, the Main Street lift bridge in downtown Jax will be under rehab for all of 2014. So, read the weekly USCG Local Notice to Mariners online for updates, restrictions, reduced clearance and Bridge Tender contact info.
    Dave Chappell

  • Shoaling Reported South of Fernandina Beach, AICW Statute Mile 719.5, May 13, 2014

    This shoaling seems to lie two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek.
    NOTICE that the USCG has established a “TEMP Buoy 2″ to mark these shallows!!!

    FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – FERNANDINA BEACH : Shoaling
    There is excessive shoaling visible at low tide in the vicinity of Fernandina Beach LT 3 (LLNR 37990). The Coast Guard has established Fernandina Beach TEMP Buoy 2 in position 30-38-54.689N 081-29-03.486W. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11489 LNM 19/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Light #3

  • Shoaling Reported in St. Marys River, East of St. Marys, GA, May 13, 2014

    For cruisers wanting to make a side trip to visit historic St. Marys, GA, the  St. Marys River departs the Waterway at statute mile 712. This reported shoaling is in the dogleg just a mile east of St. Marys docks. The charted shoal between markers #6 and #8 would suggest that favoring the east side of the channel would be best. For more on the St. Marys River, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=123715

    GEORGIA AND FLORIDA – CUMBERLAND SOUND – FERNANDINA HARBOR TO KINGS BAY – ST MARYS RIVER: Shoaling.
    There is excessive shoaling protruding approximately 15ft into the channel between St Marys DBN 6 (LLNR 6805) DBN 8 (LLNR 6810). The Coast Guard has re-established St Marys TEMP Buoy 6A in position 30-42-52-379N 081-32-00.613W. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11503 LNM 19/14

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

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Langs Marina

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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Anchorage Directory Listing For the St. Marys Waterfront Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To St. Marys GA

  • Reports on Peck Lake Anchorage Now Cleared of Dredge Equipment, AICW Statute Mile 992

    Peck Lake Anchorage – Click for Chartview

    The Peck Lake Anchorage immediately off the AICW’s path, south of the Waterway’s intersection with the St. Lucie Inlet, has been virtually unusable because of the onsite equipment related to the dredging of St. Lucie Inlet (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=1278860). From the reports by Downtime 47 and Skipper Cooper it seems that the dredge barges have been removed ahead of schedule and the anchorage is back in business. If you anchor in Peck Lake successfully, please let us hear from you.

    Just passed the Peck Lake anchorage in the ICW, Statue Mile 992, and observed no dredging equipment. Green marker #19 has been replaced with a can, but all else looks normal.
    There was one boat anchored, when there are normally a dozen, so thought I should report the lack of equipment as previously reported. Is it officially open now?
    Downtime 47

    We turned out of the channel about 50 yards south of G19 but could not bear the 060M course to the structure with the danger sign due to anchored boats. Instead we headed 030 then 050 and ran all the way to shore. With dead low at +.3 feet we never saw less than 10 feet depth and the least was just after we left the channel.
    At low water the shoal to the south is clearly visible. We see no signs of a shoal to the north in this lake but have not investigated further.
    Regards,
    Glenn Cooper

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

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

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