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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
New Smyrna Beach Marina, 201 N. Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, 386-409-2042Welcome 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. AugusFULL 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.Amelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaExplorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and ExumasVero Beach Marina
Fernandina Harbor MarinaGuest Coupon Available On Our Web Site Westland Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Titusville, Florida. Near Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Merritt Island and Cocoa BeachRoyal Marsh Harbour Yacht ClubHammock Beach Resort & Marina Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas. Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589

Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Great Experience In the Dinner Key Mooring Field (Miami – Coconut Grove, near St. M. 1094.5)

    There was an announcement here on the Cruisers’ Net several months ago, informing one and all that the new mooring field at Dinner Key (southern Miami) was now open for business. Looks like Captain had an excellent experience there.

    The Dinner Key Mooring Facility was the most professionally operated and best value I have ever experienced. I will definately visit there again!
    Capt. EJ Maguire

  • Boat Tree Marina (on the St. Johns River near Sanford, FL and Lake Monroe)

    Boat Tree Marina lies just north of the St. John’s entry into Lake Monroe. This facility features a well sheltered harbor.

    Boat Tree Marina in Sanford is our home marina. We will be returning to it when we complete the loop in March. We agree it’s a great spot. Very well protected with an excellent crew. Locked gates to each dock. Restaurant/bar and pool on premises. Pump-out at each slip if you are in the 40’+ slips. Some staff has changed recently due to the down economy. Call me if you want to discuss.
    Bill & Kathleen Root
    Aboard MV Tucandu in Key West
    43′ Hatteras DCMY

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Boat Tree Marina

  • Dinner Key Marina and Coconut Grove – Captain Jane Reports (St. M. 1094.5)

    Our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar, turns her discerning eye to Dinner Key!

    View from the marina office entrance. Note the wide fairway and how long a walk it can be from your boat to the gate!

    A convenient stop on your way to the Keys is Dinner Key — not just for dinner, of which there is plenty offered — but maybe even for a day or two checking out the historic sites, not the boring it’s good for you kind of sites, the really fun kind of interesting sites as you’ll see in part 2 of this report.
    This was our first visit and as some of the best things in life are, it was one we had not planned. Out mast too tall for the 56-foot Julia Tuttle Bridge, we seized a brief weather window to make the outside run from Lauderdale to Miami but needed a safe place to sit out the next storm. So, having at least advanced our position if not to The Keys to at least a place with Key in its name, we found ourselves waiting out the weather at Dinner Key Marina owned by the city of Miami. At $2.50 a foot plus tax for a slip with hook-ups, it’s hardly a bargain by more northern standards, but it’s a real deal compared with close to $4 a foot in nearby Miami and, for our touring tastes at least, there’s much more to do and see within walking distance of our boat.
    There are almost 600 slips at the modern cement fixed docks; during the second week of January, transient slips appeared plentiful. During this stormy weekend, we found ourselves comfortable and well protected from the winds and waves on adjacent Biscayne Bay.
    Moorings are plentiful here — over 200! — for boats 40 feet LOA and under at $18 plus tax per night. Call ahead though as there are moorings in depths of as little as 4 feet; marina staff told us there was plenty of room for a 5-foot draft and that despite the written maximum of 40 ft, they could take a boat up to 42 feet LOA. Depths may improve by spring as a $1.4 million 7-month dredging project in the marina has been underway since December 2009. There is shuttle service that runs on demand during the week and on the half hour during weekends between the mooring field and the main dock; schedules are at the office.
    In contrast with Vero Beach Municipal Marina, this is the kind of marina a cynic would imagine a city marina would be. We were welcomed on VHF Channel 68 with somewhat unclear directions to our slip. This was followed by what my first rate first mate calls “the unobtrusive” style of docking assistance. Not only did no one in a bright colored parka wave to us and with a smile point out our slip, no one even at the last minute offered to take a line. There was, to put it simply, no one to help us. On the other hand, fairways are twice as wide as most marinas so it is easy to maneuver and spin around. Oh, and what the heck, it’s good to know that the marina staff has confidence in our docking skills. Be sure, however, to ask which side of the numbered pier your slip is on. The slips are not numbered with all the odd numbers on one side of the pier and all even numbers on the other.
    Clean showers and heads are adjacent to the marina office, all of which is in what I call prison architectural style. If you are at a slip, bear in mind that it can be a very long walk to these facilities. The good news is pump outs are easy — a mobile pump out service is available. Laundry machines look good, but this is such a huge marina for the number of machines, I would not count on this as a laundry stop unless you don’t mind practicing the fine art of getting on line for a set of machines. I’ve seen more machines at marinas a fourth of its size.
    There is no fuel available at Dinner Key Marina, but there is fuel at two adjacent locations, though at Grove Harbour Marina where there is a Shell sign, we were unable to find anyone to help us and we refueled much later down the water way.
    While we did not sense the lively community “it’s camp!” spirit of Vero Beach City Marina and Marathon City Marina, perhaps this was due to everyone huddling in their boats during the cold snap that caused our four-day stay here.

    DIY Docking at Dinner Key Marina

    Dinner Key — still worthy of its name.
    At first glance, Coconut Grove looks like an over-developed city — much like Lauderdale, just smaller. But if you walk just a few blocks from the Marina, it quickly morphs into a charming village of shops and restaurants. If you want to eat out, it appears the Dinner Key appellation still holds and you have a lot of non-chain choices — Italian, Thai, Japanese, Argentinian, French, Spanish … From the marina office, walk to your left and then follow the edge of the marina, past the small commercial fishing vessels and to the main street. Cross the street and head slightly up hill and you’ll start to see the “charming” part of Coconut Grove, hang a left onto Main Avenue and you’ll find lots to choose from.
    For us, this stay, partly due to the excellent provisioning opportunity here (see below) was Dinner on the Boat Key, so we have no restaurant reviews to share. However, it was the weekend of Taste of the Grove, a food and music charity fundraiser held in Peacock Park adjacent to the marina. We can tell you that the items we sampled there at lunch, promising non-chain restaurants include: Atchana’s East/West Kitchen inside the Mutiny Hotel, just across from the Marina; Mayfair Grill at the Mayfair Hotel (excellent pork and jicama salad; and great skirt steak). First mate Michael vouches for Al Fresco’s penne a la vodka. The food at the Ideas restaurant which features “authentic food from Spain” also looked good, but we got full too soon. The Chart House also had attractive looking offerings. We also passed by a restaurant called Focaccio Rustica that looked excellent.

    Easy Provisioning Stop
    For those who prefer to dine on board, this is an excellent provisioning stop. If you don’t follow your iPhone GPS directions, the Fresh Market, a high end super market, is a 10-minute walk to the right (facing the land) basically tracking the shore line and walking through parking lots, going past City Hall in its historic building and Grove Harbour Marina.
    If you are here on a Wednesday, which we were not, check out the Green Market in town; it’s open from 11 to 4 PM. It’s supposed to have locally grown organic produce, local honey and local prepared foods. It’s in the Mayfair Atrium, in the main “cute” shopping area described above.
    While we would have preferred no storms and no record cold snaps, we thank the inclement weather for getting us stuck at Dinner Key.
    Jane Tigar
    S/V Lady Jane

    Stayed at Dinner Key as well, agree with the total lack of signage, very little (none) help from the staff, moored out in the middle of Biscayne bay, nasty chop. Old men have more water pressure than the showers, pump out was doityourself with no assistance and the pump didn’t work. Too many white shirts with VHF radios, nobody gets their hands dirty.They can learn a lot from Vero Beach. Not a good experience
    Peter Marrek

    Our experience exactly ….including non responsive dock hands, ….difficulty in finding slip numbers….etc. etc.
    But we love the downtown area and have taken public transportation to downtown Miami….recomend on sunday only. we checked in here upon returning from the Bahamas and had to go to the cruise ship area to check in.
    Pierre McCormick

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Dinner Key Marina

  • S. F. Travis Hardware Great For Crusiers (Cocoa, FL, near St. M. 897)

    If you need ANYTHING in the way of hardware while visiting Cocoa, run, don’t walk to S. F. Travis Hardware. This establishment is within easy walking distance of Cocoa Village Marina

    Hi Claiborne,
    We have not made a decision on our trip without consulting your Cruising Guides and website, and virtually all of our marina decisions are the result.
    Even today, you came through again with the recommendation of S.F. Travis Hardware in Cocoa, FL. I needed a cable to lock the dinghy. Got one made there. I’ve never seen a hardware store to equal it. And I thought Riddick and Windley in Belhaven was the best. They now have competition for that status!!
    As always, thanks for all you do for us,
    Best regards,
    Norman Mason

  • Harbour Isle Marina (Fort Pierce, FL, near St. M. 966)

    Here’s a facility in Fort Pierce, Florida that is not yet listed in the Net’s “Eastern Florida Marina Directory.” We will remedy that situation SOON!

    In the Ft. Pierce area there is a hidden secret. It’s called Harbour Isle Marina. The Marina Manager is Sarah Anderson (772)461-9049. This is a large condo community with great floating concrete docks, pump outs available at your slip, plenty of transient slips, very little current and excellent wind protection. They don’t have fuel, showers, or laundry facilities but laundry and great restaurants are an easy walk. But the BEST is that they are running a special deal! $1.00 per foot plus $5.00 electricity per day. If you stay five nights you get two nights free! Easy access off Faber Cove (turn at ICW marker 188) down their channel on the left into the protected marina. It’s across the bay from Ft. Pierce and a much better deal then anything else in the area. We highly recommend it. Very nice folks there too. Great place to stay.
    John Howe

  • Problems at Beach Marina (Statute Mile 748)

    10/16/2010 I strongly recommend against this marina, especially for sail boats. We pulled into the marina basin late yesterday and promptly ran aground (we only draw 4.5′). The dockmaster encouraged us to continue forward saying that they had 6′. Since we were cold and tired, we continued on.
    The floating docks seem fairly new but they have no rub-rail or any other protection from the bent and exposed aluminum sides. The metal lining is very sharp with exposed edges and joints. We docked in heavy current and stiff winds with no help from the marina staff. We scratched the side of the boat but were happy it wasn’t much worse.
    Unless or until they put some protection on those docks, I would recommend by-passing this marina.
    Mary & Clay

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Beach Marine

  • Anchoring Hassels in Hollywood, Florida

    We have a REAL problem developing in Florida in regards to local communities which are flagrantly ignoring that state’s new anchoring law, a prime example of which you will read about below in Captains Mike and Sue’s message. THIS WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF A MAJOR SSECN EDITORIAL SOON! In the meantime, we would really like to hear from as many members of the cruising community as possible who are being hasseled when anchoring!

    Dear Claiborne
    We have now started cruising south to the Florida Keys. We arrived at the small cove anchorage immediately south of the Sheridan Street bridge in Hollywood on Thursday afternoon with a blown alternator. We have been here 2 nights while we caught buses around Hollywood to get the new parts needed . We went off to West Marine on the bus this morning for some more parts and we got back there was a police launch alongside our anchored and tied back boat. They asked us how long we had been here and we said 2 days while we sorted out our problems and the 2 young policemen told us they had received a complaint about us being anchored here (we are not sure but the only thing overlooking this tiny cove is a large building with apartments in it). We apologised and the police told us that Hollywood has a 24hr emergency anchoring policy only. They had not identified us as a Uk registered vessel, asked if we had a cruising permit and we said no – we had a permission to proceed paper from Lake Worth Customs office. The guys were fine with us and pleasant but advised us to move on tomorrow morning. One of the policeman had boarded our boat and for some reason was doing something on the flybridge when we hailed them from the shore.
    As we had been ashore unfortunately we did not have the Boat US Anchoring Information form with us. I did say that we thought the law had changed last October to stop councils chasing cruisers off but they replied Not in Hollywood!!
    So we thought you may be interested to know that nothing has changed in Hollywood, FL. Funny enough another cruising motor boat has arrived tonight and anchored next to us – we spoke to the people and told them and they said but this anchorage is in all the pilots including Dozier’s!
    Anyway we won’t argue with the police in a foreign country to us so we shall be moving on in the morning.
    Kind Regards
    Mike and Sue Ward
    Mainship 34′ JENNY

    Be careful about the lack of a cruising permit. If you did not check in with Miami you are in violation of the Customs act and subject to 10 thousand dollar fine. You must check in at customs ports if stopping for more than 24 hrs in their jurisdiction, you really dodged a bullit there, if those cops knew the law, you would have been in trouble. A cruising permit is the proper document to have on board. I researched this very thouroughly with both Miami and Ft Lauderdale offices including downloading the various sections of applicable acts from Gov’t websites.
    So, be really careful and cover your butt.
    Dennis Mc Murtry

    We too were hassled in Hollywood back in the the spring of 2009. The police told us that there was NO overnight anchoring permitted in the jurisdiction of Hollywood.
    Neal & Terri Musto

    I’ve often anchored in that location and have been bothered only once, and only minimally, the police left after I showed them I had an anchor signal for my rigging.
    Things seem to have changed. I may well be there in a few days, I’ll report back if anything happens.
    btw, the Hollywood police are fortunate that Terri (above) didn’t take a round out of them, she’s a feisty lady. Just ask Neal!!
    Wally Moran
    Tartan 37 Abraxas

  • Saving Florida Sales Tax

    The string of messages below is copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list, which, as always, we HIGHLY recommend as an adjunct to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. Anyway, perhaps these words of wisdom from our fellow cruisers might help to save some of us a bit of money, or at least a bit of confusion!

    A broker told me , as a selling point, that if I use a “broker” to sell my Florida boat, and then use a “broker” to buy the next boat, that I would be able to save the sales tax on the value of what my boat sold for.He claimed that was only doable with a broker.
    Anyone have any knowledge of this?
    See you in Paradise!
    Capt Sterling

    I’m not convinced he is representing the matter entirely truthful.
    According to Florida law, the purchase of your new vessel and the trade-in of your old vessel must be consummated in one single transaction.
    Your trade-in vessel must be placed into dealer inventory for resale.
    http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2009/gt800006.pdf
    Ryan

    I have first experience with this in Washington State. It worked here.
    Cheers –
    Peter

    Florida brokers can reduce the sales tax due for a buyer by subtracting the selling price of the trade-in vessel therefore making the total amount taxable the difference between the selling prices.
    This must be properly documented and executed. If you play by the rules, the savings can be significant.
    Judy

    But, the same does not hold true if an individual trades with another individual…correct?
    RC

    A vessel may be traded in towards the purchase of another vessel with the resulting sales tax savings only through a Florida registered and licensed yacht broker or dealer. It must be a sale and purchase by a Fl. broker/dealer in a single simultaneous transaction. This answers the questions of FSBO and trade in with intention of delayed purchase.
    Judy

    Well — perhaps it could if done correctly. If you are trading a $60,000 boat for an $80,000 boat, it seems to me that you could sell your boat for $1,000 and buy the other boat for $21,000. Just a thought.
    Alan

    All this sales tax thru brokers assumes the boat will stay in Florida and you are a Florida resident. You have, I think, 90 days to get out of Florida if you are not a Florida resident and you avoid Florida sales tax altogether. I bought privately in Florida and left in 2 weeks; no Florida sales tax.
    Ed

    But I believe in that situation you are liable to your state of residence for the sales tax. If they discover your purchase and if they realize you did not pay Florida sales tax they’ll send you a bill
    for it. There was a lot of turmoil some years back on a similar issue regarding Internet sales.
    Marty

    Florida has extended the Sales Tax Exemption from 90 days to 180. So yes, if you buy a boat in Florida through a licensed broker, you can stay in the state for 180 days without paying sales tax, certain conditions apply.
    But I think the point of the original post is that if you are buying a boat in Fl. and required to pay sales tax, trade-in under certain conditions can help save the sales tax total due.
    Judy

    I bought privately in Florida and left in 2 weeks; no Florida sales
    tax.”

    I just caught this mistake. Private buyers must pay sales tax in
    Florida!

    It is only licensed brokers that can offer the Affidavit for Sales Tax Exemption.
    If someone bought a boat privately in Fl. without paying sales tax, I would recommend seeking advice from a Florida maritime attorney if you plan to return to Fl. or if you plan to sell it to a buyer who might cruise Florida.
    Judy

    Just so there’s no confusion in terminology and to clear up a minor point.
    The exemption for a purchaser in Florida who is going to remove the purchased boat from the state applies even to private sales. Florida licensed brokers are required by the state to collect the sales tax due, unless a specific exemption applies (in the situation being discussed, removal from Florida within the “grace” period – Judy says it’s now 180 days). The seller in a private sale is not required to collect the sales tax; the burden is on the buyer to pay the sales tax (if the boat isn’t exempt).
    The tax paid to the “other” state where the boat is going to be taken after the purchase is a _USE_ tax, not a sales tax. Generally speaking, a state’s USE tax is the same percentage as it’s SALES tax.
    This is generally true in any state that has a sales tax or use tax. The exemption period may vary as well as the tax rates.
    I won’t go into any more of a discussion on this here, but just wanted to clear up some misperception that has already creeped into the several posts on this topic. There’s lots of info about the subject of taxes (both sales and use) on the internet and in the archives.
    Bob and Judy

    Bottom line — When you go to register your vessel, you will either pay sales tax at time of sale, or you will pay sales tax when you attempt to register your vessel in your home state.
    There are two ways to reduce your sales tax burden — via a trade in which reduces the taxable amount (because you already paid tax on the trade in), or by purchasing the boat for export (i.e. forming a corporation in the Cayman Islands that purchases the boat). Going the offshore route has its advantages, but unless the boat is a high dollar item, the fees associated with maintaining offshore ownership often outweighs the tax advantages of doing so.
    Gone are the days where you can cheat the guvmint out of their share. They will find out whether you paid or not and they *will* collect.
    Ryan

    There is no “exemption” anywhere.
    You will either pay sales tax in the state in which you purchase the vessel or you will pay sales tax in the state in which you register the vessel, but one way or the other, you *will* pay sales tax. Which state you pay in is determined by whether your state and the state in question have a reciprocity agreement in place. Some states do; others do not.
    Here are the rules for Florida:

    http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2009/gt800006.pdf

    If you are from out of state and buy from a broker, the broker will not collect sales tax with the caveat that you get the boat out of Florida within either 90 or optionally 180 days if you purchase an extension decal.
    This does not absolve you of your sales tax burden however. When you attempt to register the boat in another state, they will want to see proof that sales tax has been paid. Since you paid no sales tax in Florida, you will have no proof of same and will be required to pay sales tax in your state in order to successfully register your vessel.
    If your state requires the payment of sales tax in conjunction with the purchase of a vessel, you *will* pay that sales tax, regardless of which other state you purchased the boat.
    It is for this very reason that you will often see boats advertised “not for sale to US citizens while in US waters.” The boat was originally purchased by an offshore shell corp. or some other offshore entity for the purposes of avoiding taxation. If the boat were to be sold in the US, taxes would have to be paid by all parties. Since the seller doesn’t want to pay those taxes, he can only sell the boat to another offshore entity.
    Unless you take your registration offshore, you are obligated to pay.
    Ryan

  • St. Augustine, Florida And Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

    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. AugusThis is the second article to be submitted to the Cruisers’ Net by our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar!!! What a great report about one of our favorite ports of call in northeastern Florida!

    St. Augustine is a favorite stop of ours and this year, our late start, while troublesome from the point of view of one cold front and small craft advisory after another, also meant we spent Christmas and New Year’s in St. Augustine. This happenstance means we can enthusiastically recommend a visit to St. Augustine during the winter holidays. Do they put on a light show! It’s just magical to walk around downtown at night with the Bridge of Lions and shops and streets all lit up.

    Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor
    Our favorite place to dock in St. Augustine is Camachee Cove [A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR]. I know, I know, unlike from the city marina, you can’t just walk into downtown, but staying on the north side of the Bridge of Lions opens to you other charms of this great city you might otherwise skip. Besides, with two courtesy cars and easy pick up service from Enterprise a mile or so away, all of the city is available to you.
    Camachee Cove features enthusiastic ‘can do’ staff, the afore-mentioned two courtesy cars, clean and modern facilities, three strategically-located heads/showers/laundry, a restaurant, a breakfast and lunch cafe, the best book swap on the ICW, a great engine guy and ship’s store, and now, there’s also a place to buy fresh fish.
    It also offers superb sunrise and sunset vistas and, as it is surrounded by wetlands, there is wonderful birdwatching. The proof is in the two photographs here from A dock.
    Camachee Cove features easy access with a clearly marked channel on the ICW parallel to the Vilano high rise bridge. Make note that this is a great place to stop Northbound if you want to get the Bridge of Lions current opening issues out of the way. Just keep an eye on the side-moving current as you enter the channel — you may need to keep up the revs to stay on course.

    Vilano Bridge at Sunrise

    New at Camachee Cove: Fresh seafood store.
    Camachee Island Seafood opened three months ago. We bought a beautiful piece of fish, reasonably priced, from proprietor Bill Bailey. His son caught this Cobia, not your usual fish item at the super market and it was delicious. While you are waiting for Mr. Bailey to wrap your fish, check out the photos on the wall, including some “vintage” photos of Mr. Bailey fishing and some more recent of his son. One particularly striking photo shows his son releasing a marlin. By the way, I have never seen a cleaner fish store. The day we were there, there was a good selection of fresh wild caught fish, shrimp, and clams and also some items in the freezer like snow crab legs. Mr. Bailey also sells a variety of condiments such as cornmeal fry coating and sauces on shelves.

    Camachee Cove: A great stop for engine work, canvas, or boat supplies.
    This is also a good stopping point on your way south or north if you need any work done on your boat. We had some canvas work done at Coopers, right here in the Camachee Cove complex; they did a superb job at a fair price. We have had excellent experiences over the years at First Mate. Bo does fantastic and smart engine work — we’ve relied upon his talents and services over the years and been very pleased. They also have a well-stocked ship’s store.

    I hope this gives you an idea of why Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor is a favorite home away from home for Lady Jane. If we need to leave the boat here we know she is safe and well looked after.
    While you are here, you may see the famous vessel “Chez Nous.” Yes, it’s “the” Chez Nous owned by cruising writers Tom and Mel Neale. If they’re in residence, stop by and say hello. Their daughter Melanie, whose growing up aboard the first Chez Nous is well chronicled in books you may have in your ship’s library, is now grown up and works at Camachee Cove Marina. In fact, she may be the one who answers your hail for docking assignment and instructions.

    "A" Dock Resident - Snowy Egret Reprovisioning

    Our favorite things to do in St. Augustine.
    I love the antique carousel that is at the intersection of A1A and the road to Camachee Cove. The colorful horses, the friendly guy who makes sure you know if you got on one of the horses that doesn’t go up and down, the smiling children, the parents snapping photos outside … Bah Recession Humbugs, you can get all this joy for a dollar a ride.
    If you’ve never sampled the sulfury brew from the Fountain of Youth — that’s a tour you should take at least once in your life. It’s hokey, historical, pseudo-historical and just plain fun. The same goes for the planetarium show — this is a very old planetarium and it’s a hoot and there’s a special kind of magic when you are seeing something this great great grandparent (gender neutral!) of the modern day high-tech planetarium shows that leave comparatively little to the imagination.

    Food, food, food.
    Our St. Augustine rituals include at least one visit to the Gypsy Cab Company restaurant. If you’re staying at Camachee Cove, you can book the courtesy car and it’s a short drive across the Bridge of Lions to get here. Don’t miss their house-made salad dressing — it’s liquid gold as the proprietor says. Made fresh every day, if you buy a bottle, note that you have to use it up within two weeks — no preservatives, this is the real deal.
    St. Augustine isn’t St. Augustine for us without a pilgrimage to the Manatee Cafe. It’s technically health food-oriented, but even a health-food phobic person will have a good time here. We won’t reveal his name but we witnessed a hard core meat and potatoes guy chow down a lunch that included sprouts and admitting, with a wry smile that this is really good food.
    Manatee Cafe is only open for breakfast, brunch and lunch — and despite the whole grains and vegetarian emphasis, they incongruously serve the best home fries I’ve ever had.
    Michael, my first mate, and I are both fans of the burritos — full of fresh raw vegetables, hummus, black beans…
    And, there’s a little store section in the front if you need to re-provision some of those special health-food items, from local honey in bear squeeze bottles to brewer’s yeast and yes, that important staple for some of us — organic chocolate bars.
    We also have enjoyed Little Havana restaurant downtown — it’s a surprisingly low-cost restaurant delivering authentic (we think!) Cuban food. The specials are very gentle on the wallet and some nights there is live music.
    For Camachee Cove transients, note that you can book the courtesy car for the evening, or, as we did on Christmas Day, we shared a car with another transient sailboat, making friends while we were at it.

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

    Capt. Jane got it right. This resident shares the high regard for Camachee, and would only add that Sailors Exchange on west King street is a great place to discover treasures you always wanted and never expected to find.
    Capt. Jay

  • Slow Fueling at Grove Harbour Marina (near Dinner Key Marina, St. M. 1094.5)

    Grove Harbour Marina is located in the complex of marinas and marine service firms at Dinner Key/Coconut Grove.

    Despite having personally walked over to Grove Harbour Marina adjacent to Dinner Key Marina and inquired about fueling up the day before and  having received directions and opening hours, late this morning, no one answered our hails on 16 and we circled for 15 minutes while trying to reach the fuel dock by phone. After several calls, someone claiming to be in the know said someone was coming but it was like waiting for Godot. We gave up and left. I hope this is an aberration.  Based on our experience, I wouldn’t count on this for a fuel stop.
    Captain Jane Tigar

  • Unhappy Times at Miami Beach Marina (near Government Cut Inlet)

    We stayed here for 3 nights in early Jan 2010. We will never stay there again! The rates are exorbitant. The bathrooms were cold. The laundry had only 2 machines.
    Worst was the heavy current and the incessant rocking back and forth at the dock. We have a 42 foot sailboat and had out multiple lines, yet we slammed the dock pilings and could barely sleep for the motion and the noise of water slapping against the hull 24/7. We had one line that had chafe gear break during the night.
    The fuel dock is handy, and that is the only service that we will use here again. This marina is just too exposed to the winds and currents and boat traffic of the heavily used Government Cut Channel.
    It is an easy walk to the heart of South Beach, Publix grocery, Staples, Best Buy, Post Office, Church, and the south point park is beautiful for walking or jogging.
    If you stop here, have a big wallet and be ready to open it wide.
    Paul Dunn

  • Great, Breakfast Spot In St. Marys Village

    We just love to break off from the AICW, immediately north of the Georgia – Florida state line, and track our way up St. Marys River to the like named village. This little community is a delight, unless the winds happen to be blowing from one of the nearby paper mills (and that doesn’t happen too often).
    St. Marys has always had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to good places to satisfy a healthy appetite, but over the last several years, breakfast has been sort of left out. No More! Read Captain Wilson’s message below, and you’ll know where to chase away the night-time hunger goonies
    !

    Just 2 1/2 blocks from the waterfront in St. Mary’s, GA on Osborne St. Is the Cedar Block Cafe that serves breakfast starting at 7:00 am. It’s the only game in town during this time of year and at this hour. They just opened December 1st of 2009. Very warm welcome and specialty coffees to boot.
    John Wilson

  • Faber Cove Anchorage (Fort Pierce, FL, near Statute Mile 966.5)

    We have a real problem in that some local and county authorities in Florida are NOT recognizing nor abiding by the new Florida state anchoring law. Stay tuned to an SSECN editorial about this problem soon!

    We anchored in Faber Cove due to the East wind protection. About an hour after anchoring the Coast Guard came by and said that we were reported “in distress” we told them no that we had just anchored and were fine. They saw no problem with our position, wished us a good day and left. About an hour after that the Fort Pierce Police boat arrived and said that we could not stay there because we were too close to the channel and if we caused any accidents we would be financially responsible and that if we dinghied in our dinghy would be stolen and we’d be financially responsible for that too. It was four guns to none, so we moved out further in the bay and anchored in 12′ and no further problem. Florida has passed legislation in 2006 that you can anchor anywhere if you are not a live aboard boat, so what’s up? By the way, Harbour Isle (just off Faber Cove) is running a special dockage at $1.00 per foot with $5.00 per day for electricals. Nice place, floating docks, easy walk to restaurants and stores.
    John Howe

    “Anywhere” doesn’t mean in a channel.
    John C.

  • Cape Marina (Canaveral Barge Canal, near St. M. 894)

    Cape Marina is located on the seaward side of the Canaveral Barge Canal. You must either come in through the inlet, or pass through the canal lock to reach the docks.

    I would like to thank Clairborne for establishing such a great website……….living proof that you can make money AND still provide valuable service.
    ON TO CAPE MARINA COMMENT: “The Prudent Skipper Should ALWAYS Have a Second Plan”
    We made an overnight passage from St Augustine to Cape Canaveral. Arriving around noon we had plenty of time to transit the triple bridge, pass through the lock, and anchor in the Banana River or Cocoa.
    However, we were lured in by Cape Marina’s advertising: e.g. $67 FOR 45′. We prudently tied up at the fuel dock to plan for docking. Indeed they had a slip for the advertised price: It was a fixed dock with a small finger pier in a fairly narrow fairway. Probably not your first choice on a gusty and breezy day.
    At this point another option came on the table: “You could stay at the floating dock for a small additional charge”. Somewhat exhausted AND without a backup plan, we took the bait. Fairly close to the old “bait and switch” eh?
    So here we are for $2.30/ft tied up behind some shrimp boats along the Barge Canal. There are a few restaurants within 1/2 or 3/4 mile but not much of anything else. If you prefer to always tie up at a marina, this may work for you. Personally I like to get more value for my money.
    Skipper Jim
    “Feelin Lucky”

  • Rickenbacker Marina (Key Biscayne, near Miami, near Statute Mile 1091.5)

    I am sorry to hear that things are not going well at Rickenbacker Marina. This faciltiy is owned by the city of Miami, and its fortuntes rise and fall with the city’s current state of affairs.

    We were long term customers here, both mooring and slip.
    The moorings are in the middle of allot of power boat and jet ski activity, in and around the marina, and also exposed to northerly winds which tend to be the stronger winds we get in the winter, what I did and would recommend, pay for the mooring to have access to the marina facilities but anchor in the marine stadium that has excellent holding and is very well protected, gets just a chop even in high winds. You’ll sleep well there. Bear in mind that I have heard over and over that anchoring will be prohibited there but last I heard boats were still anchoring there. On the plus side the moorings are well maintained, screw type and our boat at the time an Oday 39 survived hurricane Wilma on the mooring.
    The dingy dock at the marina is just a mud bank under some mangroves so your shoes get muddy and your dingy will quickly foul from the wet decaying leaves inside your boat. That was always a headache. If you are there for just a few days you can put up with it. The bathrooms are in poor condition so you may prefer to shower on your boat.
    The marina facilities are in urgent need of a renovation and last I heard the City of Miami had a complete renovation plan for Virginia Key that included the marina putting up some millions for a major refit. Don’t know if the renovations have begun yet or if they will ever materialize.
    As for the slips, they have no finger piers which was a major headache with our now double ender, not so bad with other type boats but not ideal at all, and just two pilings outboard, not ideal for tying up either, and with no central pilings it’s very easy to end up banging into the boat alongside on a windy day. With all the power boat action outside the marina and mega yachts passing by on the inter coastal, strong wakes come in and really thrash the boats especially on weekends but sometimes even in the middle of the night I thought I was going to fall out of my bunk. Double up the lines and get a slip as far in as your draft will allow and if you have a choice don’t get a slip beyond 3/4 out on the piers. On the plus side security is extremely tight, cameras everywhere. Nothing get’s lifted at these docs without it being filmed.
    An excellent, very friendly and helpful staff, unfortunately at a marina needing a breakwater and major renovations / redesign. Hopefully it will get done.
    Jules Robinson

  • Bel Marra Anchorage (Statute Mile 1042)

    The Bel Marra Anchorage, described by Captain Thomason below, consists of a lake like body of water, just a short hop off the AICW, north of Fort Lauderdale. There is some shelter from foul weather, but, as Jean notes below. wakes from vessels passing on the Waterway can be a bit of annoyance.

    This is one or our favorite anchorages along this stretch. We are usually the only boat anchored here. Once there was another boat which turned out to be people we knew! At close to high tide the center of the basin is over 13 feet. The only drawback is that boats passing on the ICW send in wakes. This isn’t a problem at night and not much on a weekday. A weekend might be another story. While the shore of the lake is all privately owned, there should be places out on the waterway to land a dinghy and dog.
    Jean Thomason
    DOVEKIE

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For The Bel Marra Anchorage

  • North Palm Beach Waterway Anchorage (Statute Mile 1013)

    To reach this anchorage, you must leave the AICW northwest of the North Palm Beach/Parker Bridge, and then track your way upstream on a local canal, until you reach a squared-off cove. Be SURE to follow the link below to the “Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory” lisiting for this overnight haven, and check out the chartlet. You might also click on the chartlet to bring up a “Chart View” page centered on this haven.
    Some have reported poor holiding ground here, but Captain Jean does not seem to have had this problem during her two visits (see below).

    This is the second time we’ve anchored here and haven’t had a problem with holding but the wind isn’t very strong either, It’s a nice anchorage – over 13 feet at low tide in the center of the first basin and plenty of swing room.
    Jean Thomason
    (DOVEKIE)

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The North Palm Beach Anchorage

  • Peck Lake Anchorage (Statute Mile 992)

    I have always loved the Peck Lake Anchorage, not the least reason for which is that it’s wonderful to dinghy ashore and explore the more and less deserted beach which lies between this anchorage and the briny blue.
    Sometimes, we have found depths between the AICW and the anchorage to be on the thin side, but looks like Captian Jean did not have this difficulty (see below).

    We anchored at Peck Lake last night with 15-20 k wind from the NW. It was a little noisy with waves hitting the hull but not enough to keep us awake. This is the third or fourth time we have stayed here and only once was the weather such that we felt like walking the beach which is a beautiful undeveloped stretch. There is room for a number of boats (there were six last night). We had 7.4 ft at low tide at N27 06 85. W080 08 58. There was over thirteen feet a little farther to the north. There are wakes from the ICW during the day.
    Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE)

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Peck Lake Anchorage

  • Fernandina Harbor Marina (Statute Mile 716.5)

    Below are a couple of in-depth reports and some great pics centered on Fernandina Harbor Marina, some by way of our fearless Waterway reporter, Captain Jane Tigar. To be somewhat succinct, Fernandina Harbor Marina is a great place to stay, and now that they have new showers and a Laundromat, it’s even better. The adjacent downtown business district is packed with great places to eat and shop. Give this facility your most serious consideration!

    It was an exhilarating and rough day on the waterway. A vessel in Jekyll Sound reported 39 knots; it felt like at least that and it was wind against current. We are calling it our literal shake down cruise. Having done Jekyll creek, the gale on Jekyll Sound and Cumberland Dividing, we decided we earned a treat. What a great treat it was.

    Whole fresh flounder at Marina Restaurant in Fernandina. They are running an unbelievable special of two dinners for the price of one if you buy two beverages. $20.95 for two whole flounders cooked to perfection with two sides. Salad was real and fresh. Pepper and salt grinders on the table. Honest good food, truly the best flounder we have ever had. Plus the people are so friendly; couldn’t ask for cheerier hostess and servers. The hosteas and servers seemed to know many of the customers by name and their ‘usual’. The place was packed by 6:30 PM. No mystery there.

    I forgot to mention, I think, we found over 20 feet at an hour and a half or so before high tide at inside face dock. 12-13 feet at entrance channel. Also, supreme kudos to marina staff who expertly spun us off our stern to leave in conditions of gusty wind and a strong current. Truly professional.


    Here is a view of the larger basin at Fernandina Harbor Marina.

    Most of the vessels you see on the inside of the face dock are refugees from today’s galenon Jekyll Sound. It was blowing here, too, and dock hands were throughly professional getting us all in safely.


    The low modern looking building, to the left of Atlantic Seafood, houses the boaters lounge and facilities. The building with the peaked roof to its left is the tourist office.


    Cruisers’ Lounge – Fernandina Harbor Marina.

    By the way, free wifi at the marina. Transient rates $2 a foot with electric.

    It’s been several years since we have stayed here. Big improvements! Clean and modern showers, heads and laundry and a boaters lounge with free wifi. The lounge is open early morning to sunset. Showers, heads and laundry 24/7.
    S/V Lady Jane

    After spending a few days on the hook, we decided to treat ourselves as well and head into the Fernandia Harbor Marina. The weather didn’t improve much so we took advantage of the new great Captain’s lounge. This room offers hot coffee, huge flat screen tv, comfy seating or for cruiser’s that work aboard a table and wi’fi reception. It’s a marvellous clean room and very airy, we met several cruisers waiting out the weather and it was a treat. We also ventured to the Italian restaurant Pompeo’s and had a marvellous meal!! Excellent stop!
    Dick and Elle Lssman

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

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