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Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • LNM: Shoaling Reported in Boca Raton Inlet, near AICW Statute Mile 1045


    Shoaling is so common in Boca Raton Inlet that a warning is printed on official charts. Do not attempt to use this inlet without very reliable local knowledge. The shoaling is in the inlet proper, not the intersection with the Waterway

    FLORIDA – JUPITER INLET TO FOWEY ROCKS – BOCA RATON INLET: Shoaling Reported
    Shoaling has been reported in the Boca Raton Inlet. All vessels are strongly encouraged to use extreme caution while transiting the area. See Coast Pilot 4, 2016 (48th) Edition for more information on the inlet.
    Chart 11467 LNM 13/17

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

  • Changes Possible to Bridge of Lions? St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


    Our thanks to Brad Pickle, Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association for this article from The St. Augustine Record. With a closed vertical clearance of 18ft, the Bridge of Lions Bridge crosses the Waterway connecting the heart of downtown St. Augustine with St. Augustine Beach to the east.

    Dear Supporters of the AIWA,
    Our partners in Florida asked us to make everyone aware of these proposed changes in the St. Augustine area of the AIWW. The AIWA is not supportive of these changes and will be drafting a letter of concern to the U.S. Coast Guard. We wanted to make sure everyone was aware of these changes in case you also wanted to comment.
    Respectfully,
    Brad Pickel
    Executive Director
    Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

    Posted March 21, 2017 04:40 am – Updated March 21, 2017 11:38 am
    By SHELDON GARDNER sheldon.gardner@staugustine.com
    City of St. Augustine asks for U.S. Coast Guard’s help in easing traffic congestion

    READ MORE!
    The times could be changing for the Bridge of Lions.

    The U.S. Coast Guard, which controls the bridge’s operating schedule, is looking for public comments about whether to adjust how often the bridge closes to vehicle traffic and opens to boating traffic.

    As it stands, the bridge opens for boat traffic on the hour and half hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, except for 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. on weekdays that aren’t federal holidays. Outside of those times, the bridge opens on-demand for boats.

    Those on-demand times cause more frequent bridge draws and add to traffic congestion, city officials said.

    So the city is asking the Coast Guard to extend the every-half-hour operating schedule from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and also to stop the bridge from opening at 3:30 p.m. on the weekends and on federal holidays.

    “The idea behind it is to at least extend it further into the evening so it’s not opening whenever there’s a commercial vessel … to provide a little more rhythm to the city,” said Reuben Franklin Jr., the city’s mobility program manager.

    Details on the plan are in a recently published notice from the Coast Guard in the Federal Register. The plan will be open for public comment through May 17.

    The comments will help the Coast Guard determine whether to make changes at all or whether to tweak the city’s plan, said Michael Lieberum, Coast Guard bridge management specialist.

    The guard has raised some concern about part of the plan.

    “Amending the twice an hour opening schedule to a 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. period should not have an unreasonable impact on navigation,” according to the notice. “However, amending the bridge operating schedule to exclude a 3:30 p.m. opening on weekends and federal holidays may have a negative impact to the public, as there are many tourists in vehicles and vessels in St. Augustine during these periods.”

    If the plan does move forward, it still has to go through another round of public comment once the proposed rules are final, he said.

    If the guard supports the changes, getting from here to a revised scheduled at the Bridge of Lions will likely take more than a year, he said.

    Lieberum said the Coast Guard approaches these types of requests with caution. Typically, the Coast Guard doesn’t issue an “advance notice” like they are in this case.

    Sometimes changing a bridge opening schedule can actually make traffic worse, he said.

    “You have to judge all this together,” he said. “It’s easier to say changing the bridge will make traffic better. It’s not necessarily the case.”

    And this nice bit of history from Glen Moore on AGLCA’s Forum:

    Kim,
    Thanks for informing the membership of the City of St. Augustine’s request to reduce opening times for the Bridge of Lions, in downtown St. Augustine. And, more importantly, sharing the information on how to comment to the Coast Guard.

    The Bridge of Lions, originally built in 1927, was declared unsafe and required to be replaced in 1999. There was much discussion among residents about the rebuilding. One group (Save Our Bridge) wanted to keep the historic appearance of the bridge, the other group wanted to build a higher bridge to eliminate or reduce the number of openings. The historic group won.

    The cost of building a new bridge was doubled by this decision as a new parallel concrete bridge (only to be dismantled later) was built next to the old bridge to carry traffic while the new bridge was built in the same location. And, it is a new bridge – only the four towers are original. The City claimed that they were just rehabbing the old bridge to get around the Coast Guard regulation that new bridges built in noncompliance with CG regulations must be open-on-demand. The city chose appearance over convenience of vehicular traffic. Now, they want to disadvantage boaters because of their decision. This will only be the first of the reductions. Auto traffic in a city designed long before cars will continue to be congested and more requests for reductions in bridge openings will occur.
    This is an opportunity to let your voice be heard.
    Glen Moore
    Last Dance

    And this advice from Kim Russo, Director of AGLCA

    I’ll be commenting on behalf of AGLCA based on what I hear from our members. But I still believe it’s important for individual members to submit their well-thought out comments. Here’s a direct link to submit your comments. There is a link on that page to a “Commenter’s Checklist” that will give you some tips on constructing your comments. https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCG-2016-0723-0001
    Kim Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
    krusso@greatloop.org

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

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

  • Banned Anchoring Zones in Sunset Lake and Middle River, Fort Lauderdale, FL, near AICW Statute Mile 987


    A big thank you to Bill Murdock and our friends at Waterway Guide for submitting this Sunset Lake anchoring ban notification. Click Here for a March 2017 report on anchoring there.

    Florida anchoring ban takes effect July 1
    Date Posted: 2016-06-23
    Source: Waterway Guide Staff

    Florida legislation banning overnight anchoring in certain areas popular with cruising boaters takes effect July 1, 2016. It will be illegal for any vessel to be at anchored any time during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in the areas noted, with some exceptions. READ MORE!

    Areas where overnight anchoring will be banned starting July 1, 2016. Four areas in Miami Beach (left) and Middle River in Fort Lauderdale (right). Graphic and interpretation: Mike Ahart, News Editor, WaterwayGuide.com

    Waterway Guide sent the above graphic to law enforcement for confirmation of the areas, particularly the sections between certain islands along the Venetial Causeway. The area designations have been confirmed by members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Miami Beach Police Marine Patrol. “Your “tip to tip” interpretation (of the banned areas between the islands) is an interpretation we share,” wrote Capt. Tom Shipp of FWC in an email response. “In our training we show Officers map slides with the areas affected by the statute “circled” for reference…we then discuss the applicability issues, including the boundaries.”

    “I spoke with our Captain who oversees (the Marine Patrol) operations – the graphic you provided appears to be correct,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, Public Information Officer for the Miami Beach Police Department.

    “There will be no special enforcement per se…we will be dealing with any folks in violation on a case by case basis and enforce the Florida State statute to the best of our ability,” said Rodriguez.

    Currently, there are several small sailing dinghies in Sunset Lake anchored adjacent to the residence of Fredric Karlton – a vocal advocate of anchoring bans in Miami Beach. In a public workshop held by the State Affairs Committee of the Florida House of Representatives on October 8, 2015, Karlton stated that he anchored the boats there to restrict others from the ability to anchor near his house. According to the new law, Karlton must remove the boats or risk citations. “The owner of those (boats) has already been spoken to and is aware of the law, and we hope there will be compliance by the time this takes effect,” said Officer Rodriguez.

    According to Rodriguez, one other sailboat is anchored in the soon-to-be banned areas between the Venetian Islands, and Miami Beach Police is attempting to get in contact with owners.

    Each of the other banned areas is adjacent to the residences of other vocal advocates of anchoring bans. The section of Middle River in Fort Lauderdale is adjacent to the family home of a co-sponsor of the legislation, Rep. George Moraitis, Jr.

    The Anchoring Limitation Areas bill was approved by Florida Governor Rick Scott on March 24, 2016. Many boating and cruising advocacy groups were against the legislation, and had representatives speak at each of the hearings during the 2016 Florida Legislative Session, including the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA), BoatUS, and the Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA).

    Boaters and cruisers have expressed concern with losing these particular anchorages, but many are more concerned that other safe anchorages will be added to the ban year after year in municipalities all over Florida, and in other states.

    The provisions of the law will sunset if and when new legislation is enacted as a result of the recommendations from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program – its report is due to be submitted to the Florida legislature by January 2017.

    According to the legislation, starting July 1, 2016, it will be illegal to anchor at any time during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in the areas noted, with exceptions outlined below:

    The section of Middle River lying between Northeast 21st Court and the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County. (Middle River is one of the very few viable anchorages for cruising-sized boats in the Fort Lauderdale area.)
    Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County. (This Miami Beach anchorage is popular for cruisers waiting for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas, and in the past afforded easy access to Miami Beach for services and provisioning. The City of Miami Beach recently passed an amendment to an ordinance which now makes it unlawful to tie a dinghy to the canal wall to visit the city, leaving only limited dinghy access – see related WaterwayGuide.com article: Miami Beach cracks down on dinghy access. Miami Beach has also been issuing warnings and citations to vessels anchored more than seven days “within city limits,” citing a 2005 municipal code which considers such vessels as “live-aboards” even if they are being used for active cruising – see related WaterwayGuide.com article: Miami Beach cracks down on anchored vessels).
    The sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County lying between Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island, San Marino Island and San Marco Island, and San Marco Island and Biscayne Island (these areas are also considered in the jurisdiction of Miami Beach).
    The exceptions:

    If the vessel suffers a mechanical failure that poses an unreasonable risk of harm to the vessel or the persons onboard unless the vessel anchors. The vessel may anchor for 3 business days or until the vessel is repaired, whichever occurs first.
    If imminent or existing weather conditions in the vicinity of the vessel pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the vessel or the persons onboard unless the vessel anchors. The vessel may anchor until weather conditions no longer pose such risk. During a hurricane or tropical storm, weather conditions are deemed to no longer pose an unreasonable risk of harm when the hurricane or tropical storm warning affecting the area has expired.
    During events described in statute 327.48 or other special events, including, but not limited to, public music performances, local government waterfront activities, or fireworks displays. A vessel may anchor for the lesser of the duration of the special event or 3 days.
    Vessels owned or operated by a governmental entity for law enforcement, firefighting, military, or rescue purposes.
    Construction or dredging vessels on an active job site.
    Vessels actively engaged in commercial fishing.
    Vessels engaged in recreational fishing if the persons onboard are actively tending hook and line fishing gear or nets.
    The bill provides that “any person cited for a violation of any provision of this subsection shall be deemed to be charged with a noncriminal infraction, shall be cited for such an infraction, and shall be cited to appear before the county court. The civil penalty for any such infraction is $50, except as otherwise provided in this section. Any person who fails to appear or otherwise properly respond to a uniform boating citation shall, in addition to the charge relating to the violation of the boating laws of this state, be charged with the offense of failing to respond to such citation and, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A written warning to this effect shall be provided at the time such uniform boating citation is issued.”

    SSCA, MTOA and AGLCA formed the Boater’s Heritage Freedom PAC to raise funds to contribute to legislators who are for preserving anchoring rights. All Florida legislators are running for election this fall and the campaigns are in full swing. “We need to support our legislative supporters with our pocketbooks, so please act now,” stated Phillip Werndli, Chairman of the PAC. “When the election is over, it will be too late. If you are a Florida resident, you can also help by attending local candidate forums to urge them to support boater’s rights. There will be a strong fight this next (Florida legislative) session and we need the members to know we are a force.”

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

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

  • Report and Excellent Advice from Monumental Island Anchorage, near AICW Statute Mile 987


    Hibiscus Island and Monumental Island anchorage are on the north side of the MacArthur Causeway in northern Biscayne Bay. The anchorage is northeast of Monument Island, accessible from the north and from the Waterway west of the area. Our thanks to Janice Callum, who is replying to Crackdown on Dinghy Landings Access, for this report and for her excellent advice on being good citizens while visiting “foreign waters” lest we be labeled as the “ugly boater.”

    We are anchored off Hibiscus Island in Miami Beach. READ MORE!

    No visits from police or problems with anything! Boats are anchored off Star Island and the Collins Canal, no hassle. Many more derelict looking boats are anchored on the north side of the East Venetian bridge, but they also seem to be left alone. We saw one trawler named Lady J get pulled over by the water police…the officials are especially protective of the sea grass seedlings in this area and the No Wake zone in Maloy Channel, so crawl along those shores! Sunset Lake remains boat free; as well as free of the dinghies that were anchored around to obstruct cruiser’s anchoring. How ’bout if we all just leave that spot alone until the “unwelcome” (caused by the fellow who considers himself a Cuba expert who sails a near derelict red boat) wears off (and do let him know if you see him that none of us Snowbirds have appreciated the mess he’s caused for us down here). The good news, that we have not seen posted anywhere on the www, is that there is a wonderful dinghy dock up the Collins Canal across the street from the boater-friendly Publix….not just a chain, a real dock! But, fellow cruisers, please, PLEASE stop jamming your trash into the waste receptacle on the street by the dock! It’s beyond comprehension that anyone thinks this is an appropriate spot for trash bags; and, you are risking this spot to tie up for all of us! The police docks and park wall under the bridge (on the other side of the canal) are all posted Tow Away Zone or 20 Minute Loading Zone No Mooring. Let’s all be welcome visitors and do something helpful while we are here! Pick up your dog’s waste, keep your stereos down, anchor well off folk’s backyards and go somewhere else if you can’t handle the wakes.
    Best regards, Janice Callum, “Calamus”

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

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

  • FWC Advises Taking Boater Education Classes

    Another reminder of this important advice, see 2017 NC Public Boating Safety Classes.


    FWC encourages boaters to ‘Spring Aboard’ by taking a boater education class
    March 17, 2017 Read More

    World-class fishing, crystal blue waters, endless sunshine – there’s so much about Florida’s waterways to enjoy. During the week of March 19-25, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourage all boaters to take part in the national “Spring Aboard” campaign by taking a boating safety course.

    “We know that an educated boater is safer on the water. If a boat operator has taken a boating safety education course, the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater for them as well as their passengers,” said Stephanie Weatherington, president of NASBLA. “March is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins.”

    Many course providers will offer incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course during the “Spring Aboard” campaign. For a summary of Florida’s regulations and available courses, go to MyFWC.com/Boating.

    “In Florida, boaters who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1980, are required to complete and pass a boater safety education course. But everyone interested in boating should take a course – it’s the smart thing to do,” said Maj. Robert Rowe, FWC’s Boating and Waterways section leader. “Boaters have many ways to get educated, from classroom courses offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime day or night. There’s no reason to head out on the water without this knowledge.”

    Florida boating accident statistics from 2015 indicate that, when the level of operator education was known, 72 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

    About NASBLA
    The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. The association offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 73.5 million American boaters.

  • Report and Depth Warning from Lake Boca Raton Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 1048


    Boca Raton Anchorage on the northeastern section of Lake Boca Raton, east of flashing daybeacon #65, and, as reported by friends from AGLCA Forum, the preferred entrance channel seems to be on the north side of marker #65.

    We are currently anchored in Lake Boca and have been for a while. It is a great anchorage and we have noticed a lot of AGLCA members moving northbound lately, stopping in for the night and it has been great meeting AGLCA friends.
    Read More

    This week I have helped four members that grounded trying to anchor or that swung into the sandbar. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t mind helping but would rather have a drink with them instead of pulling them out.

    First… Lake Boca is shallow. The middle of the Lake is spoil and only 6″ of water near the center a low tide. The charts show 3 to 4 but that is wrong.

    2…you have to enter the anchorage north of G65

    3… there is a sandbar just south of G65 that extends east about 120′. Only 1ft in that area. So you need to drop the hook at least 200′ past G65 to avoid swinging into the sandbar

    4… get there early. It gets busy.

    5… the only space suitable to drop anchor is the NE corner of the lake.

    6…there is 6ft of water in a channel around the perimeter of the lake but when your turn at G65 there in a bump not far from the marker that goes down to 4′ at low tide.

    Hope this helps and happy looping.

    Ps.. if you stop in, drop by and say Hi!

    Danny & Beth Poulin
    M/Y Dragonfly
    Port Colborne, ON

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Boca Raton Anchorage

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

  • Report from Titusville Mooring Field, AICW Statute 879


    Westland Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Titusville, Florida. Near Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach

    The Titusville Anchorage/Mooring Field lies south of the Titusville harbor entrance channel. Our thanks to Roger for this report. Titusville is home to SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Westland Marina.

    Looks like most of the mooring are stored behind the dumpsters [onshore]. Read More

    There are about 15 in the field, a long way from the tiny dinghy dock. Went in one day and a 14 ft sailing trihull was straddling the dinghy dock. Since I was going to be on land a few days, I asked about leaving my dinghy someplace out of the way. The guy said leave it where it was.
    Watch your depth near the dinghy dock ramp.
    Roger

    Click Here To View the West Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Titusville Anchorage

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

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

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

  • LNM: Mar-a-Lago Security Zones, March 17, Palm Beach, FL, AICW Statute Mile 1025


    With Mar-a-Lago now designated as the “southern Whitehouse” you can expect these security zones to be in place often, if not every week, as well as these last-minute notices. See http://cruisersnet.net/162797

    News Release
    Mar. 16, 2017
    U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast
    Contact: 7th District Public Affairs
    Office: (305) 415-6683
    After Hours: (786) 367-7649

    Coast Guard, partner agencies to establish security zones near Palm Beach Read

    MIAMI – The Coast Guard is scheduled to establish security zones Friday in the Intracoastal Waterway and offshore near Palm Beach.

    The security zones are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. Friday, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, to include certain waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon, Intracoastal Waterways and the Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of Mar-a-Lago Club and the Southern Boulevard Bridge in Palm Beach.

    The security zone is necessary to protect the VIP and accompanying official party, the public, and the surrounding waterway from terrorist acts, sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other causes of a similar nature. Entering, stopping, or anchoring in this security zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Miami or a designated representative. The security zone will be broken into three zones.

    Palm Beach security zone restrictions:

    Zone (1): This zone is always in effect. No vessels or person will be permitted to enter this zone consisting of the waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon from the southern tip of the Everglades Island in the north to approximately 1,000 yards from the south of the Southern Boulevard Bridge on the south and eastern shore line west of Fisherman Island.
    Zone (2): This zone is always in effect. All vessels transiting the second zone shall maintain a steady speed and shall not slow or stop from waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon including the Intracoastal Waterway from the southern tip of the Everglades Island in the north to approximately 1000 yards from the south of the bridge on the south and from the western shore line to the western edge of the Fisherman Island in the east. Vessels needing to wait for the Southern Boulevard Bridge to open in zone 2 are permitted to wait in this zone only for the draw bridge to raise for safe passage.
    Zone (3): This zone is always in effect. All vessels transiting the third zone shall maintain a steady speed and shall not slow or stop from waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the Banyan Road in the north to Ocean View Road in the south and from shore to approximately 1000 yards east of the shoreline.
    Vessels seeking authorization to transit security zone 1 must contact the Coast Guard via marine-band radio via VHF-FM channel 16.
    Violation of a security zone may result in a civil penalty in excess of $88,000, a criminal penalty up to $10,000, and/or imprisonment up to 12 years.

    Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

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

  • Shoaling Reported in South Amelia River, AICW Statute Mile 727


    This reported shoaling from experienced cruiser, John Wampler, is northwest of Nassau Sound. Thanks you John!

    Shoaling in South Amelia River at position N30* 33.1 W081* 28.0 south of Marker 42 mag bearing 172* at 0.4 miles. +1.2 feet above Fernandina tide datum. Charted depth is 11 feet. Published course goes right over shoal. Bumped while floating over shoal. Draft 3.4 feet. Reported to USCG ANT JAX.Click for Photo


    John Wampler

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

  • A Cruiser Helping Other Cruisers!


    Every now and then a fellow cruiser goes out the way to correct a situation that poses a hazard to other boaters. Joe Plunkett is just such a Cruiser Helping Other Cruisers. Joe’s efforts chronicled below have caused the USCG to relocate markers in a shoaling zone that has existed for years. Hats off to Joe Plunkett! This is Seamanship at its best.

    Gentlemen:
    This is the e-mail I sent to the USCG back in December in response to the request for public comments. It is gratifying to see that a problem of long standing is now being addressed.
    Joe Plunkett Read More

    From: Joseph T Plunkett CPA
    Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:57 PM
    To: D07-SMB-DPWPublicComments@uscg.mil
    Subject: CG 7th District LNM 07482016

    To whom it my concern:

    I wish to comment In regard to the proposed elimination of Fernandina TRUB 2 and establishment of Fernandina Beach Daybeacon 2 (LLNR 37988) in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29.03.486W.

    On September 4, 2016 at approximately 13:30 hours I ran aground in the Amelia River while piloting Happy Hagar, my 40’ Burns Craft Sun Deck Motor Yacht. The point of grounding was in the vicinity of 30-39-104N/081-29-089W. Time was approximately 1.5 hours after high tide. The shoal in this area is unmarked. The USCG Station at Jacksonville, Florida should have a record of my contact on that day. The grounding resulted in the loss of our portside prop shaft and prop, bending of a prop strut and a bent port side rudder post. I was successful removing the boat from the shoal and stemming the flooding from the loss of the shaft. I anchored my vessel and waited approximately two hours for a tow from Towboat US from Brunswick. Total damage including yard repairs and towing may exceed $20,000. The missing shaft and prop are on the bottom of the Amelia River somewhere in the vicinity of the grounding.

    While awaiting the tow I observed an outboard powered boat run aground in the same area. The outboard powered vessel was able to free itself from the unmarked shoal by trimming up their motor while throwing up a rooster-tail of sand. I have no information as to what damage, if any, that vessel may have incurred.

    The Towboat US operator informed me that the problem shoal has been present for at least nine years. I have attached a photo of my chart plotter showing Happy Hagar’s track up to the point of grounding, at anchor after the grounding and while under tow heading toward Fernandina Beach Marina. The chart plotter image is shown as course-up with the top of the picture being SSW. The end of my track extending furthest south would be the point of grounding. The chart indicates a depth of 12-15 feet at that point. I have also attached a photo of a sailing vessel that grounded in the same area taken by Towboat US, date unknown.

    I ask that you consider relocating Daybeacon 2 to the vicinity of 30-39-104N/081-29-089W, the point at which I grounded, subject to conducting your own survey. The existing Fernandina TRUB 2 could be replaced by a semi-permanent Daybeacon 4 in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29-03.486W.

    Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my comments.

    Joseph T. Plunkett

    M/V Happy Hagar, Official Number 660256

  • Florida Anchoring Update March, 05, 2017

    See also Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program and Lobbyists’ Report: Florida Legislation Sessions.

    Florida Anchoring Update March, 05, 2017

    Capitol Access is contacting other Lobbyists that have an interest with the navigable waterways, to understand each of their positions relative to ours. So far, the groups are synchronized in their positions fairly well … they are not promoting any issues or amendments that are averse to ours. This process of collaboration among all similar (and dissimilar) groups must take place continually, on a day-to-day basis, throughout the session.
    Read More!

    Currently, Capitol Access is tracking House and Senate bills to identify any amendments that might get filed … they are ready to take a position on them as the bills get scheduled for hearings throughout the committee process. We are well-positioned with this. Capitol Access will keep us updated as amendments may be filed and as the bills get scheduled for hearings.

    Survey: A lobbyist for Rybovich Superyacht Marina in Palm Beach County (http://www.rybovich.com/directions) has mentioned interest in anchoring restrictions at or near their entrance channel to ensure adequate ingress/egress/turn-around for the large vessels that they service. We not familiar with that channel. Presumably there are areas in this proximity where cruisers commonly anchor. If an amendment is filed to create a no-anchoring zone, we need local knowledge to assess the scope/breadth of the language relative to the
    facts on the water.

    Please advise if any boater can offer information relating to anchoring on the ICW between West Palm Beach and North Palm Beach. Respond to Mike Bodin mbmtoa@gmail.com

  • Lobbyists’ Report: Florida Legislation Sessions

    See also Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program and Florida Anchoring Update March, 05, 2017.

    Capitol Access, Jerry Paul, Esq. Lobbyists at Florida’s State Capitol; News Release

    Today marks Day 1 of the annual 60-Day Legislative Session. Although the House and Senate Committees have been meeting fairly continuously since December, the actual session, including consideration of bills on the full chamber floors, begins today. The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. and the House convenes at 10 a.m. Read More!

    The opening day will largely be consumed with ceremonial events. Thereafter the pace will pick up quickly. This should be an interesting session. There are many newly-elected legislators following the recent elections and the conclusion of term limits for many past members. Of course many officials are already looking to their next election so some policy positions tend to be colored by that. (Remember, all of Florida’s Cabinet members – Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Chief Financial Officer – are up for election in just 20 months). But, there are also many serious matters on which the chambers will ultimately come together to resolve, not the least of which is the State Budget which will exceed $82 Billion. Although the State is expected to have a small surplus, the funds are largely already obligated so it is expected that it will ultimately be a tight budget year, particularly in the context of pending requests filed by members totaling more than $100 Million.

    Today also marks the deadline for filing bills. The House and Senate bills on anchoring have both been officially filed. They are essentially identical and still reflect the provisions that we previously circulated. These bills will now move through the committee process including 3 committee hearings in the House and 3 committee hearings in the Senate. Then the bills will be heard on each of the full chamber floors and, if passed, would then go to the desk of the Governor for his consideration. The lead on these bills is Representative Holly Raschein (RFlorida
    Keys) who has invited me to attend a Stakeholder Meeting on Thursday during which all represented interests will sit together and go through provisions of the bill(s) to discuss any opposition. I will also be meeting with Senator Lauren Book who is the Senate Sponsor. We will provide a debrief to you thereafter.

    Submitted by Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

  • Update on Groundings South of Fernandina Beach, AICW Statute Mile 719.5


    Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of 2014 (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702).This shoaling lies c. two miles south of Fernandina Beach harbor just north of the Waterway’s turn into Kingsley Creek. Our thanks to Joe Plunkett for sending this 9/2016 report.
    Now Joe sends us a welcome new report on changes in the Nav Aids around the shoaling.

    READ MORE!
    3/4/2017
    Problem area 300 meters north of old temporary red #2 in Amelia River south of Fernandina Beach has been addressed. Passed by this area on 3/3/17 and noted that the USCG has installed a new marker [Red 2] at the sandbar I grounded on 9/4/16. [See LNM below for [position] USCG requested comments in December replacing temporary red marker#2 with a permanent marker. I used the opportunity to comment and am pleased to see the USCG response. Semper Paratus.
    Joe Plunkett

    And Joe adds in response to Bob’s question:

    I copied the following from the the District 7 Local Notice to Mariners, Week 10-17:
    FLORIDA – AICW – ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – FERNANDINA BEACH- ST. JOHNS RIVER – FERNANDINA BEACH
    The following changes have been approved to the Aids to Navigation System in St Johns River, Fernandina Beach:
    Fernandina Beach TRUB 2 will be permanently discontinued
    Fernandina Beach Daybeacon 2 (LLNR 37988) will be established in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29-03.486W

    And this:

    When I passed through the Amelia River south of Fernandina last week I noticed a new red temporary marker had been placed at or near the location where I grounded last September. I did not take note of the number on the temporary channel marker. Back in September there were three channel markers identifying the channel: a green #1 at the northeast end, a green #3 and a temporary red #2 at the south/southwest end of this section of the Amelia River. There are now four channel markers: The original green #1 at the northeast end of the channel, a new red temporary marker near the location of my grounding, the original green #3 and a new permanent red marker replacing the old temporary marker at the south/southwest end of this section. I did not note the numbers on the new markers. I do not find these new markers on my charts. I use Navionics on my chart plotter and updated the Navionics chip the evening before departing Fernandina heading south. I expect the changes have been or will shortly be published in the Notices to Mariners.
    Joe Plunkett

    9/4/2016
    Encountered less than 3′ at near high tide 300 meters north of Temporary Red #2. Time was Approximately 1330 Hours on 9/4/16. Pulled out port shaft attempting to get off. About ninety minutes later while awaiting tow, observed outboard run aground near same spot. With outboard trimmed up, operator was blowing substantial amounts of sand.
    You must favor the green side when approaching Green #3 from the north or departing Green #3 from the south. Came through this area northbound in late June and did not have any trouble.
    Joe Plunkett aboard Happy Hagar

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

  • Welcome Martin County, Our Newest Sponsor! Stuart, FL, AICW Statute Mile 986


    Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is very proud to be working with Martin County Florida, truly home to that good “Old Florida” feeling so rare today in the Sunshine State. At the intersection of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Okeechobee Waterway, Martin County is a hub of boating activity, including a 2017 Trawler Fest. Stand by to see all that is going on through their news on Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.

    Discover Martin County, FL on Florida’s Treasure Coast!

    A Trip Through Martin County Video (60 seconds) Read More

    Nerissa Okiye
    Tourism & Marketing Manager
    Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing
    County Administrative Center
    2401 S.E. Monterey Road
    Stuart, Florida 34996
    nokiye@martin.fl.us
    Office: (772)288-5445
    Cellphone: (772)631-8534

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of 2017 Trawler Fest

  • MTOA Anchoring Florida Legislative Update 2/24/2017

    Our thanks to Mike Bodin of Marine Trawler Owners Association for this updated perspective on Florida’s anchoring restrictions. See Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program and Anchoring Rights Lobbying Volunteers Needed

    Anchoring Florida Legislative Update 2/24/2017 READ MORE


    Presentation of the Proposed Committee Bill (“PCB NRPL 17-01 – Vessels”) was positive. The Chair of the committee and its members have been accessible to us and responsive to our positions. Our lobbyists, Capitol Access have been in constant contact with committee members prior to the drafting of the bill and continuing.

    So far, the team effort lead by MTOA along with AGLCA, SSCA, DeFever and many others has worked well to help shape the initial draft of the Bill that has been filed in the House as a Committee Bill by the House Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee The Bill itself is consistent with the input from our team, which collectively considered all provisions recommended by the FWC (Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission). All positions
    of our cruisers groups are reflected in the bill as it is currently drafted. Good job to all and appreciate your thoughtful, timely response.

    On Wednesday, the Committee meet to hear the bill publicly and vote on whether the Committee itself would move forward as its official sponsor. Our lobbyists, Capitol Access, attended and represented us including Jerry Paul, our lead lobbyist, who provided comments to the committee stating our general agreement with the provisions and thanking the committee for excluding provisions that would have created no-anchoring set-backs from residential
    property; excluding provisions that would carve out specific no-anchoring zones; and including provisions ensuring that anchoring regulations remain in the jurisdiction of the State rather than allowing local jurisdictions to create a confusing patchwork of anti-anchoring ordinances.

    Mr. Paul also mentioned our intent to seek a reduction of the 300-foot buffer around mooring fields which is a provision in the current version of the bill. The committee voted unanimously to proceed forward with the bill.
    Next, it will receive referrals to multiple committees that will hold hearings and consider amendments that may be filed. Chair of the originating committee has agreed to meet with us and continue working with us. We will be vigilant in all committees to review and represent ourselves as to any amendments that may be adverse to our interests. There may be a need for cruisers to attend such hearings in Tallahassee.

    Also, we are anxiously awaiting the filing of a bill on the Senate side. The process there will repeat that of the House as described above. The committee hearing process will continue until a final bill on the House and Senate reach their respective chamber floors for final votes which will occur sometime prior to the end of the official 60-day Legislative Session which begins on March 7.

    We will continue to keep you updated. For now, you can be proud of the success you are having as a team that took the time to step up and speak out. However, we have future challenges ahead, and your presence at Florida’s Capitol may be requested for one (1) day. If you can attend you are requested to bring a burgee attached to a wooden rod aprox.3/8” Día X 24” Long. This will give committee members an additional visual demonstration of the boating
    community’s support for unnecessary new anchoring regulations.
    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate
    mbmtoa@gmail.com

  • LNM: Shoaling at AICW St Johns River Crossing, Statute Mile 740, 2/23/2017


    This Waterway shoaling is building on the northeast side between Green Markers #5 and #7, just south of the Waterway crossing of the St. Johns River.

    FLORIDA – AICW –ST SIMONS SOUND – TOLOMATO RIVER – PABLO CREEK: Shoaling
    The Captain of the Port Jacksonville advises all mariners transiting in vicinity of Pablo Creek and Mile Point on the Intracoastal Waterway, that a shoal is forming on the northeast side of Pablo Creek. The shoal extends from east of Pablo Creek temporary Lighted Buoy 5 (LLNR 38360) to southeast of Pablo Creek Temporary Buoy 7 (LLNR 38370) and encroaching to the south and west of Pablo Creek. Minimum depths of 7 ½ feet are recorded in this area. Mariners transiting this portion of Pablo Creek with draft concerns are advised to navigate with caution while passing through this area. Chart 11489 LNM 08/17

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

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