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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. AugusPort of Call, St. AugustineAmelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaOld Port Cove HoldingsFULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOMEVero Beach Marina 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.New Smyrna Beach Marina, 201 N. Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, 386-409-2042
Guest Coupon Available On Our Web Site Hammock 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) 464-2589Fernandina Harbor MarinaWestland Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Titusville, Florida. Near Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Merritt Island and Cocoa BeachRoyal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club

Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Cruising Dog Owners Beware in Fort Lauderdale

    If you happen to berth at the City of Fort Lauderdale Las Olas piers, or stay at one of the other nearby private marinas such as Bahia Mar or Hall Of Fame Marina, be sure NOT to walk your dog on nearby Beach Avenue! Read on.

    Can’t say that I enjoyed my stay in Lauderdale last time I visited. I stayed on my 40 foot boat at the City Marina right near the beach, and took my three dogs walking on the main drag along the sand. I saw the signs banning dogs from the beach, so I kept them on the sidewalk. About 3/4 of the way through the walk, a cop stopped me, demanded to see ID, and told me that I was violating the dog walk ordinance since the beach included the street and sidewalks. I asked him how I was supposed to know that, and he gave me the ignorance is no excuse lecture.
    I wouldn’t have minded if he politely asked me to move over a couple of streets, but the cop held me up for 15 minutes as he did a record check, and thorough interrogation. FYI, I looked like a clean-cut, educated 40 y/o who gave him no lip or attitude.
    When he finally finished with me, I abandoned plans to find a restaurant and do some shopping, returned to the boat, and made plans to continue north the next day. I spent nothing during my stay aside from marina rates for one night’s berthing.
    Amazing difference between Lauderdale and most other places along my trip.
    On the plus side, when I came through the next time, I anchored for a week in Lake Sylvia, and had no problem from neighbors, cops, Natural resource officers or other boaters. Kept a low profile, and had a nicely maintained boat. Must depend on how many dirt dwellers complain to the city as to whether you get bothered or not.
    Bob Martinson

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, on the South Fork St. Lucie River)

    Seldom have we gotten just a quantity of good messages concerning a newly minted marina facility as those we have received over the last six months for Sunset Bay Marina. If you don’t already know, this facility has risen on the site of the old City of Stuart pier, later a mooring field known as Southpointe Anchorage. Sunset Bay is found just upstream of the old Roosevelt Bridges, on the South Fork of St. Lucie River.

    As I traveled the distance up the St. Lucie River to Sunset Bay Marina, I wondered if it was going to be worth the extra mileage – it was! One of the few places with floating docks – which were excellent. CLEAN washrooms/showers/laundry. Store with marine supplies. And yes the restaurant was excellent, both in terms of food and service. And that is one of the two key attractions to this facility – it has everything but it is all about SERVICE. They specialize in that. Assistance with docking and experienced advice. There’s get acquainted parties, bbqs and other activities for both long term and transient boaters to enjoy. I was only there one night but it is definitely a place I would visit again, maybe even for the long term!
    Lois Lipton

    I agree with Lois’s comments and add that the facility includes a large mooring field, with all the amenities available for boaters on the moorings. There are clean showers, new washers & dryers, bikes, cruisers’ lounge with a printer for our laptops, and friendly service. All this for only $10/night. The location in downtown Stuart is another plus: restaurants, shops, Publix, farmers’ market every Sunday, music on the Riverwalk. We stopped for a day or two, but will stay for a couple of weeks.
    Julie and John Stocksdale

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina

  • Peck Lake Anchorage (Statute Mile 992)

    As I’ve said before, Peck Lake is the best anchorage lying near the AICW between the Waterway’s intersection with St. Lucie River/Inlet, and the Palm Beaches. The only trick part, at least for me, has been finding the best spot to leave the AICW, and cruise into the anchorage’s deeper waters. Captain Murtha does a good job of answering that question below.

    We anchored in Peck Lake in early March 2010. Left ICW approximately 100′ South of G19 on a heading of 60. It was dead low tide and we never saw depths below 6.5″. Since the anchorage was a bit crowded, 10 -12 vessels, we approached the small tower and went N about 100 yards till we found readings dropping to upper 5’s. At that point we back tracked S. a bit, dropped 125′ , and had plenty of swing room for our 45IP.
    We had to leave early the next day, but it looks like one of the more interesting anchorages in that area.
    J. Murtha
    IP45, FeelinLucky

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

  • Fort Lauderdale Marinas, Dining and Shoreside Transportation – Captain Jane Reports

    I know, I know, we cruisers have plenty of grudges we could hold against Fort Lauderdale’s sometimes lack of hospitality to anchoring cruisers, however…

    Water Taxi "tour" and transportation around Ft. Lauderdale

    You could have a really good visit here at one of the local marinas. Some years ago, we stayed at Bahia Mar, partly because it figured so prominently in John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels… however, it is seriously pricey and after its recent renovation, does not seem to offer any recession appeal. This season, we briefly flirted with Bahia Mar but left it to the mega-yachts for whom the dockage is probably the equivalent of a tip to the fellow who fills their fuel tanks and returned to the more gently priced and very affable Hall of Fame Marina next door.
    Hall of Fame marina is as good as we remembered it, clean, efficient and with friendly staff. The location is excellent — a variety of restaurants and the beach are an easy walk. The heads and showers are clean, but alas, during the brutal winter of 2009/2010 they were not heated — not something usually a concern for Florida cruising. The Hall of Fame Marina is adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. If there are no swim meets going on, the Hall of Fame marina will give you free passes to swim there. So far, we’ve only managed to show up during swim meet times (we are two for two on this), but have enjoyed the sound effects of the swim meets and the excitement of the college students competing there.
    Also in the Aquatic complex is the Museum of Swimming at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. If you have any interest in the sport, this would make a worthy visit. Monitors show memorable moments of Mark Spitz going for and getting the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and include his commentary on his strategy for those races — I’m not a sports-focused person, so the strategies he employed were news to me.
    We did walk over to Las Olas City Marina, about a fifteen minute walk from Hall of Fame Marina and check it out. It looks good and the rates are competitive with Hall of Fame, except, Boat US members get an impressive 25% off for up to 3 consecutive days and for up to 6 days per calendar year. While you are closer to a water taxi here, it is a much longer, perhaps even deterring, walk to restaurants and the beach.

    Dining a short walk away.
    Luckily for us, a professional captain and his partner were aboard the mega-yacht beside us and, in addition to offering us extra heaters (this was early January) gave us better dining advice than we were getting from our iPhone Urban Spoon app. They steered us away from our planned restaurant and recommended Coconuts next door to the marina. For the exercise (and I admit, to see for ourselves,) we walked to the sports bar where we were hoping to get a good fish sandwich, took one look at the seedy crowd and a whiff of the cigarettes and walked back to Coconuts where outside the entrance door a chef was cooking up a fantastic looking paella on an open fire.
    The Captain and partner happened to be sitting at the table adjacent to ours and we followed their good advice to share an order of the paella (plenty and delicious!) and to take advantage of the Monday and Tuesday night half price on any bottle of wine. The paella is a special that was initially supposed to be a once a week or once in a while thing, but customer enthusiasm has made it a several nights a week special. They do sell out — and for good reason — so call ahead and come early if you want some.
    Other dining advice from the Captain, who is of Greek heritage, is Greek Express, a Greek diner by the beach, also only a short walk from the Hall of Fame Marina. We had excellent falafel and souvlaki there for lunch one afternoon. The place doesn’t look like much, but the food really is good.
    One more suggestion — if you like bratwurst, the Biergarten is on the way to the beach. Good, inexpensive and can hit the spot if it’s your thing.

    Getting around without a car.

    Sneak peek at the Museum of Swimming at the International Swimming Hall of Fame

    Friday through Sunday, there is a low-cost and sometimes free trolley that can get you to many places in Lauderdale, including the Publix supermarket. The website says it’s daily, but when we were there, we were told it’s only Friday through Sunday. We were not there on the weekend, so we cannot confirm this.
    We can confirm the Water Taxi, however. From Hall of Fame Marina, two stops are equidistant. One at Las Olas and one near Bahia Mar in the other direction. The water taxi runs daily and at $15 per adult ($11 for Seniors and children and a less expensive evening only rate) we think it’s pricey unless you plan to use it for a whole day’s touring. The driver generally gives entertaining schtick about the houses and megayachts you pass and local lore — my favorite is that we’re not supposed to know which yacht belongs to Mayor Bloomberg of NYC. You can think of it as an entertaining guided tour of Lauderdale that happens to get you to somewhere you’d like to go…
    We managed to get to West Marine by getting out at water taxi stop number 7 via the water taxi. It was a little more walking than we wanted but we got there and snagged a good lunch on our way back to the water taxi stop. We also stumbled upon the International Market & Wine Depot where we did a little provisioning. Proprietor Robert Pastura said he is happy to bring orders or purchases to your boat at Bahia Mar, Hall of Fame Marina and Las Olas City Marina as it’s on the way home for, if I’m remembering correctly, his sister. They have a good selection of nuts, grains, meat, cheeses, wine, etc. Their address is 1428 S. #. 17th Street and the phone number is (954) 523-1400.
    Jane Tigar

    For the latest information on the Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley go to
    Jane Tigar


    The two messages below from Captain Faughn are very good news indeed. Heretofore,  the city of Fort Lauderdale has consistently ignored Florida state law in regards to anchoring. Now, at least for the moment, they are complying. HOWEVER, there is a new threat to Florida anchoring rights on which we will shortly report!

    Subject: Ft. Lauderdale Anchoring
    Cruising News: Claiborne,
    We are currently anchored, and having a great time anchored in Sunset Lake in Miami Beach. We will be heading up to Ft. Lauderdale in a couple of days. So, I read with great interest your postings about the problems and potential problems with anchoring in Ft. Lauderdale. Since this has been a great stop for us in the past, I called the Ft. Lauderdale Marine Division of the Police Department to ask what they are enforcing right now. The officer told me they are no longer enforcing the 24 hour anchoring rule and you may anchor in Ft. Lauderdale and use your tender to land at a dock, which allows you to do so, and enjoy the town and provision your boat. They are in compliance with the new Florida state law with regards to anchoring and cruising boats. To us this was great news since we do enjoy visiting one of if not the largest West Marine Stores and of course Blue Water books not to mention many of the other attractions. I believe this is new information for you. By the way, thanks for all of the info you have on your website.
    Jim Faughn
    S/V Freedom a Gemini 105M

    Cruising News: I emailed previously that I had called Ft. Lauderdale Marine Police and they said they were in compliance with FL State Law. I am currently anchored in Lake Sylvia along with 8 other boats and everything is just fine except for the rain and front passing. It appears this should go back on the list of places you can anchor.
    Capt. Jim Faughn

  • New AICW Anchorage Just North of St. Lucie River/Inlet – Okeechobee Waterway Intersection

    Below Captain Hardin describes an anchor down spot I’ve never tried before. And, to the best of my recollection, we’ve never had a posting here on the Cruisers’ Net about dropping the hook on these waters. Has anyone else anchored here???????

    I guess the blind pig finds a acorn every once in a while. Went into manatee pocket at St Lucie, wind was blowing out of the south today at 15+. The holding was not great, Ii think that “skippy” gives it a 3. Stayed for a couple of hours and watched the anchor alarm, chartplotter did not show movement but the MKI eyeball said otherwise, pulled anchor with the intention of going to Jensen Beach at (SB) MM 981.8 as the holding was a 4. North on the ICW I turned E just past G233, north of the shoal and then back south to the island. anchored less than 100yds from the island in 7.5+ at low tide. The island blocks the south wind and the shoal 6″ protects from the wakes. Winds in the lee are less than 5. Seems like a great stop, Roxann would love to get off onto the island. Beaches are pure white sand. I think this is a very good stop with south winds and the dog can go ashore. N2711.04/W08010.92.
    Charles Hardin

  • Good Boat Upholsterer in Stuart, FL

    What an interesting business name!

    We had all our upholstery done for our boat at Covergirls Upholstery. Wewere very pleased. They may be able to help you out.
    279 Southeast Monterey Road, Stuart, FL
    (772) 286-5776

  • Unhappy Comment Concerning Melbourne Harbor Marina (Statute Mile 919)

    We were coming north and called in from the Palm Bay area to get a slip for the night and gave them all of the information about the boat and an eta of 6:40 P.M. twenty minutes after sundown. We
    were told they would be closed and there would be nobody there after hours. We asked if we could pull in and tie up to an empty slip and pay them in the morning. we were [told] that we could not
    do that and not to enter the marina after hours and to go someplace else. They advertise their marina to boaters and then turn them down when they need their services the most (it was turning
    dark with small craft warnings from the Coast Guard).
    John Adams

  • Good Review of Dinner Key Mooring Field ( St. M. 1094.5)

    If you’ve been following our fellow cruisers’ postings here on the Cruisers’ Net concerning the waters in and just south of Miami, you already know the city of Miami opened a new, large mooring field just off Dinner Key Marina, a few months ago. While we have had one negative comment here on the Net concerning this facility, all the rest, like Captain account below, have been overwhelmingly positive.

    March 2010. I stayed at the new Dinner Key Mooring Facility from 3/1/10 to 3/6/10 and it was one of the greatest experiences on the water that I have had. The mooring field is located just east of the main Dinner Key Marina. I was greeted by a shuttle boat that took me to shore to square away my paperwork (only $19/day). They have showers and a pumpout boat. It was a great deal.
    A friend asked why did I not just free anchor and sneak onto their facility to use their bathrooms. I answered him that I am not a thief nor do I want to be associated with thieves. Plus, Dinner Key Marina is really serious about their security. I witnessed the Miami Police arrest a tresspasser who thought he was entitled to free everything just because he was sailing.
    Listen, I believe you you should be able to drop anchor in the middle of nowhere, but Miami is a major city and I don’t expect to have access to upland facilities without paying something. It turns out that it’s cheaper to stay overnight at Dinner Key Mooring Facility, with all it has to offer, than to park your car in Coconut Grove over night.
    I almost forgot, the $19/day also includes parking. I LOVE the new Dinner Key Mooring Field!!

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

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, FL on the St. Lucie River, South Fork) And the Roosevelt Bridges

    There have already been many postings praising Sunset Bay Marina here on the Cruisers’ Net. For those who don’t know, this facility is the new incarnation of the Stuart City Marina, once known as Southpointe Anchorage. The new version has plentiful slip dockage, plus an extensive mooring field.
    What makes Captain Dave’s note below so valuable, is his advice about the nearby Roosevelt Bridges, which lie between Sunset Bay and the AICW. These old spans were supposed to be removed with the adjacent high-rise span opened, but that’s never happened!

    Ditto to all the good comments. We agree and will be there for the next three months.
    Note of interest: I suggest calling the Roosevelt Bridge for an opening before going under the new 65′ bridge. The bridge tender is very accommodating and will let you know when she is about to open so you can proceed safely. Be prepared to stop and possibly turn around as the railroad bridge closed without warning just after we started to go under the new bridge.
    On weekends with many boaters and a strong tide racing thru there, it can get interesting.
    Capt Dave

  • Green Cove Springs Marina (St. Johns River, between Jacksonville and Palatka)

    When I received the laudatory note below from Captain Arnold, I queried him about the reports we had received here on the Cruisers’ Net a couple of months ago, that the docks at Green Cove Springs Marina had been “condemned.” I know from my own visits to this facility, that their physical plant has never been what I would describe as “Bristol.” Be sure to read Arnold’s reply in the second note below.

    The lowest cost marina for haul out and DIY yard I have found on the entire ICW is Green Cove Springs Marina some 20 miles south of Jacksonville, FL. So much so that they are currently expanding the yard to accommodate 100 more vessels. 25 ton capacity travel lift – and they also step masts and arrange special repairs.
    This is a great marina of the old style. Lots of large bluewater sailboats here – mainly from north USA but also from Canada, Australia, Germany, Denmark, UK, Brazil. The owner types who sail the oceans as if going for a Sunday drive. Very international and friendly people. Even in the cold weather they’re playing bridge and chess on the heated patio. One sailor brought a huge case of fresh picked grapefruit – and another (limit one per person) a big box of yogourt. Not only every possible repair and renovation going on but also a bevy of salty sea stories. They have restrooms, laundry, and a ships store selling stuff at 10% over wholesale cost. Shops and stores are about a mile away – but always many people pleased to give you a ride.
    I highly recommend this marina. Check them out at
    Captain Arnold
    MV Pisces

    Good morning Claiborne.
    My understanding is that the dock issue is more of an insurance battle to raise premiums. It is also because the dock itself is the property of Reynolds Alluminum and getting them to do anything is both difficult and time consuming. There are many much larger ships at the other 11 docks and really the docks are very durable. Politics may also be involved.
    Certainly all boats once tied to the docks have had to leave – but many still store and /or liveaboard either on the hard or on the many mooring balls in 9ft of fresh water. The emphasis of the marina these days is as an excellent vey friendly DIY yard and at prices well below any other marina I have found on the ICW. They have just finished an extra area for another 100 or so boats – with electrical supply and water supply. I would guess there are some 300 boats currenly here on the hard and another 50 at slips (but full).
    It’s another Indiantown though they don’t sell fuel.
    Captain Arnold
    MV Pisces

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Green Cove Springs Marina

  • Florida Petroleum Company (Fernandina Beach, FL – near Statute Mile 715.5)

    Any of you who have ever taken a gander at my “Cruising Guide to Eastern Florida” knows already about the HIGH docks at Florida Petroleum Company in Fernandina Beach. Yes, indeed, this fracility often has good diesel fuel prices, and many cruisers fill up here time after time, but the docking accomodations are far from ideal for cruising size craft.

    Subject: FLA Petroleum
    Cruising News: We stopped here last week when the wind was blowing pretty hard from the west. The fuel dock is a commercial dock for larger boats and was about 8 feet above my lower deck. We docked ok but got lucky with that wind shoving us toward the dock. Leaving was another matter. Difficult to get away without scratching or marring something. Not the best place to go in a west wind.
    Capt Dave

    Click Here To View the Current Fuel Prices at Florida Petroleum Company

  • St. Augustine City Marina (Statute Mile 778)

    St. Augustine City Marina does sit near the near to the town’s wonderful historic district, but please remember that two other nearby facilities, Cammachee Cove Yacht Harbor and Conch House Marina Resort are SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS!

    St Augustine City Marina is great. Good docking help, immaculate restrooms, near many great restaurants.
    Capt Dave

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Cammachee Cove Marina

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Conch House Resort Marina

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Easern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

  • Beach Marine (Jacksonville Beach, near Statute Mile 748)

    Beach Marina guards the AICW’s eastern banks, just north of the new fixed, high-rise BB McCormick Bridge in Jacksonville Beach.

    Stayed here last night, 2/25/10. Easy access, limited bath/head facilities but adequate, two restaurants short walk away.
    CAUTION: We departed when an outgoing tide was running with a 3 – 4 knot northerly flow. It caught me off guard and some difficulty turning south. Had it been flowing the other direction it could have created a hazard of being swept into pilings and bridge construction equipment.
    Capt Dave

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

  • North Palm Beach – Lake Worth Anchorage (near Statute Mile 1014)

    We love anchoring near the northern end of Lake Worth. Follow the link below to the Cruisers’ Net’s “Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory” for this anchor down spot, open the “Comments” from fellow cruisers, and learn about plentiful nearby dining and shopping possibilities.

    North Lake Worth anchorage SM 1014.2
    Very quiet and well-protected. We entered by turning east just south of G27 per Skipper Bob and following the channel around behind the condos. there were quite a few boats there, mostly sailboats, but we found plenty of swinging room in the northeast corner. Holding was excellent, but winds were light. Anchor came up clean.
    Bill Root

    Recently, the village North Palm Beach deleted all local code relating to regulating anchoring in local waters, in order to comply with Florida anchoring statutes.
    This means one could anchor in the large basin on the western side of the North Palm Beach Waterway, just south of where the ICW swings from south to east, between the PGA Bridge and Parker (Route#1) bridge. Simply do not turn east as the ICW does, but continue south into the NPB Waterway, keeping the golf course on your port side. The basin is about one tenth of a mile in. No shoreside facilities or landing facilities exist here so be respectful of the private property that surrounds this beautiful, quiet and safe anchorage.
    In addition North Palm Beach will no longer be charging for, or requiring, an anchoring permit in any village waters, including Lake Worth.
    Capt. Ken Wright

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the North Palm Beach – Lake Worth Anchorage

  • Great Dining in Dinner Key – Coconut Grove (south Miami, neart St. M. 1094.5)

    Sounds yummy, and a good deal to boot!

    Want a real good meal in Coconut Grove? Try “The Ivy” in the Grove. Tell them Bob said, “Give us the local price”. Sunday to Thursday should get you 50% off on your meals. The food is great, desert even better. Also. Happy Hour 4-7 weekdays.
    Bob Gray, Sevierville, TN

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Coconut Grove Sailing Club

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Dinner Key Marina

  • Titusville City Marina (Statute Mile 879)

    451 Marina Rd., Titusville, FL 32796, Phone: 321-383-5600, Fax: 321-383-5602, Contact: Joe Stone General Manager, Hours: 8:00 am - 1:00 am, Groceries within walking distance  , Restaurants nearby  , 5 minutes from Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge  , 10 minutes from Canaveral National Seashore  , 20 minutes from Kennedy Space Center  , 1 hour from Orlando Attractions , How wonderful to receive such a glowing report on Titusville City Marina, with this facility being the NEWEST SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. Not only can you follow the link below in Captain message to receive a GREAT deal on dockage, but the same result can be achieved by clicking this facility’s new sponsorship panel contained in this posting. See you there!!!

    We recently spent a couple of nights at Titusville City Marina…weathered a strong front there, and we were in slip B-82…we did experience a little roll…but it was not bothersome… We found the facility well maintained and well run…very helpful staff.
    Don’t tell anyone I said this…but if you go to this link… you will find a good deal on their marina….
    Basically….its a deal they have going until June 30, 2010… if you stay 3 nights (consecutively) and you mention the deal….you only pay for 2 of the nights and the 3rd is free!!
    We were very pleased with our stay there, and their new docks are built very well.
    Rob Homan

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Titusville City Marina

  • Two Historic Sites Not to Miss in Coconut Grove – Captain Jane Reports

    What a wonderful report from our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar. So many cruisers spend time in the Coconut Grove – Dinner Key region of South Miami every year, whether tied to the dock at Dinner Key Marina or on a mooring at Coconut Grove Sailing Club (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) or the new Dinnery Key mooring field. Captain Jane informs one and all about two historic sites within walking distance of the docks that “should not be missed.” Give her story a read, and then let us know

    Sometimes, it’s so tempting to stay in our cocoon like boats — after all, once you are on board, why would you want to get off a boat except for laundry, land heads and supermarkets — and West Marine?
    The parade of winter storms of ’09-’10 taught us how important it is to remember to get off our boats and explore the communities we visit and as much as I cherish the lonely anchorages where it’s just us, the wind, the water, the birds and the under water life, I admit that civilization has its charms. Dinner Key is one of those places that has some serious charm. Here are two places where we found charm and connection to the essential spirit of Coconut Grove, both within walking distance of the Dinner Key City Marina.

    Close-up of part of the restored ceiling art and murals in the historic Dinner Key City Hall. Photo by Jane B Tigar

    City Hall is well worth a visit and it’s literally next door.
    If you’re here on a week day, worth a visit is City Hall, adjacent to the marina (to the right facing the land). It’s so close you can probably see it from your slip or your mooring ball. Since 1954, City Hall has been right here in the former Pan American seaplane terminal. Pan American World Airways’ flying boats were based here in the 1930s and ‘40s and Dinner Key became a main hub for air traffic between North and South America until seaplanes went out of style. At that point, Pan Am moved its hub to Miami.
    The terminal has been carefully restored and you can now see wonderful art deco murals commemorating aviation history along with Zodiac symbols on the ceiling that had been painted over in the ’50s. There is also a small display of fascinating photographs from the seaplane era, including one of Charles Lindbergh. For more information about this historic site, check out the City of Miami website:

    Barnacle House - Steve Dimse, Florida Park Services Specialist, giving us an engaging two-person "I can't believe you came out in this cold weather" tour

    Step through a Time Portal at Barnacle Historic State Park.
    The Barnacle Historic State Park is reason alone to visit Dinner Key and do so on a weekend or Monday. A 20-minute walk (just under a mile) from the marina, up Main Avenue on the left hand side, you will see a little off-set treed area with a historic marker and a path. Follow that path — in a moment you will forget the bustling commerce and you will enter a real “hammock” of indigenous Florida vegetation and towering ancient live oaks.
    You are now in the late 1890s when Miami was undeveloped and natural. Here you can explore the five acre park that was once the homestead of a real character of a guy from Staten Island who “discovered” Biscayne Bay. Ralph Middleton Munroe, a relative of the poet Longfellow, and a follower of the transcendentalist movement, settled in Biscayne Bay, first in a tent camp, and then in a house that, thanks to the generous donation by his heirs, is now the centerpiece of this Florida state park. Ralph Middleton Munroe built the Barnacle House in 1891 and it is furnished with some of his original furnishings plus antiques and other items donated by his family. He was a yacht designer, naturalist, seaman, and civic activist whom the US Parks Service describes as “one of Coconut Grove’s most charming and influential pioneers.”
    Note, the park is closed Tuesday through Thursday. It is open Friday through Monday from 9-5. Tours are at 10 and 11:30 AM, and again at 1 and 2:30.
    Check with the Park about special events. Wednesday nights at 6 PM there is a yoga class. If you are visiting the weekend of January 15, the park is hosting Shakespeare in the Park with a production of Taming of the Shrew. Sunday, January 24, 2010, there is an Old Time Dance with live music and someone teaching traditional American folk dance steps. There seems to be one or two events a month. For more information:
    If you do visit Barnacle House, and we hope you do, please post a comment here and let us know if you, too, felt the multi-faceted genius Ralph Middleton Munroe come alive. That visit alone gave us a feeling of deep connection to Coconut Grove. As you walk around town, you may see historical markers referencing his contributions to other parts of life in Coconut Grove. In fact, I’m transmitting this story to the Salty Southeast while using the free wifi in the public library, a charming historic site itself, surrounded by palm trees and garden and only a short walk across the street from the Dinner Key Marina. It’s on land donated by Ralph Middleton Munroe who started the first library in the area, acquiring and delivering books by boat. It is also the site where Munroe’s first wife is buried. Just next door to the library, is another historic site, the women’s club built in the 1890s, also on land donated by Mr. Munroe.
    Jane Tigar
    S/V Lady Jane

    Hi Jane
    Thanks for a great post. I’ve just returned from a 10 day stay aboard our boat “Cloud Nine” at Dinner Key Marina. You’re right. We can see the Miami City Hall from our slip and I never set foot inside the building. I will be sure to visit on my next trip for sure. My husband, Tom is currently in Dinner key and I will pass this site on to him. We loved the Coconut Grove Arts Festival over President’s day weekend.Much to see and do in this charming town
    Keep up the good work.
    Pam Frech
    Cloud Nine

    Great post ,good to see the old Monroe house has been preserved. I had a friend that I worked with at Bertram Yacht yard in the mid 60’s that was the care taker of the house when the Monroe where out of town. My wife would Join them on weekends at the house which was a great treat. The gardens and front lawn down to the water were magnificent in the evening.
    S/V Seamist
    Dave Skiff

  • Marina at Ortega Landing (Jacksonville – St. Johns River)

    This facility, which is the first you will encounter upon entering Ortega River from the St. Johns, has received many positive comments here on the Cruisers’ Net.

    Hi all, Not much I can add to what has been written above. Just want to add my own personal recomendation. This is really a first class marina with conveniences not found very often. I have been here a few months waiting to move on to the islands and the marina and staff have made my stay a pleasure. They recently hosted a Super Bowl Party that was superbly handled. This place is a gem and well worth stopping to visit.
    Jim Burke,

    Subject: Ortega Landing Marina, Jacksonville
    Cruising News: We would like to report on a most excellent and positive experience that we recently had at Ortega Landing Marina. This is a first class facility run by first class people. Joann, Bob, Amy, and Kris are the team behind this marina’s success. Everyone went out of their way to support us during our 11 day stay when we also enjoyed MTOA’s 20% discount. OLM, located on the Ortega River, is a quarter mile walk to West Marine, Publix, restaurants, and numerous other retail stores. It’s also a bike ride away from downtown and Jacksonville Landing. Marina resident, Ralph, of Yacht Services, gave us the attention we needed to resolve a nagging refrigeration/electrical problem. Each of these wonderful folks made our stay a memorable one and we highly recommend this facility to anyone visiting the Jacksonville area.
    Bill and Laura Bender
    M/V Kindred Spirit III

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Marina at Ortega River Landing

  • Good Words About the Dinner Key Mooring Field (Miami – Coconut Grove)

    Both the messages below paint a very different picture of the Dinner Key Mooring Field than what was shared in an earlier posting here on the Cruisers’ Net ( There has also been an earlier, very positive posting concerning this mooring field ( Read all this info, and make your own decision, but it certainly looks as the tide of opinion in the Cruising Community is now running in favor of this facility.

    While I am in favor anchoring, from time to time moorings have great advantage. And in the case of the Dinner Key area this couldn’t be truer. For years I have passed though this area, but tended to anchor away from the crowds which I might ad looked mainly unseaworth and derlict. I did this because I have experienced many times vessels draging anchor. The dinner key area has really cleaned up for the better. My experience at the dinner key mooring field was terrific. The staff was professional and the facilites were clean. I hope that the moorings continue in the future as I hope to return.
    Captain Thomas Ryne
    S/V Sea Dog

    I stayed at the Dinner Key Mooring Facility all of January 2010 and it was one of the greatest experiences I had in my 25 years of sailing. They have a great staff, shuttle service and a pumpout boat. The view of downtown Miami is increadable!! My vessel is 40 feet LOA.
    Why didn’t the 47ft Soulmates stay in the big marina – funny, they have an expensive boat but I guess their too cheep for their britches.
    Capt. Bob

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