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Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Vessel Safety Checks, May 27, Mayport, FL, St. Johns River, off the AICW


    Mayport is at the mouth of the St. Johns River east of the St. Johns/AICW intersection.


    News Release
    May 25, 2017
    U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Jacksonville
    Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Jacksonville
    Office: (904) 714-7606/7607
    After Hours: (305) 318-1864

    Media Advisory: Coast Guard Auxiliary to hold vessel safety check demonstration in Jacksonville
    READ MORE!

    WHO: Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary

    WHAT: A Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel safety check demonstration

    WHERE: Mayport Boat Ramp, 4870 Ocean St, Jacksonville, FL 32233-2428

    WHEN: Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP no later than noon Friday with Coast Guard Public Affairs at 305-318-1864.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are scheduled to hold a vessel safety check demonstration Saturday for the media at Mayport Boat Ramp.

    The event is being held as a part of National Safe Boating Week.

    A VSC allows Auxiliarists to ensure a boat, kayak, canoe or even a paddleboard is seaworthy. Auxiliarists also check other equipment aboard, such as fire extinguishers and signal flares, to ensure their proper function and make recommendations to boaters on what they should have aboard.

    This service is offered to the public for free. Anyone interested in scheduling a VSC can do so at the following link: http://cgaux.org/vsc/

    National Safe Boating Week is an annual campaign held toward the end of May to reemphasize the importance of safe boating practices and the use of boating safety equipment. Events are held throughout the country to educate the boating public and offer boating advice.

    For more information on NSBW, visit: http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com/

    For breaking news, follow us on Twitter @USCGSoutheast.

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

  • Safe Boating Week in Florida, May 20-26, 2017

    In conjunction with National Safe Boating Week, Gov. Rick Scott has issued a proclamation declaring May 20-26, Safe Boating Week in Florida.


    FWC: Safe boating saves lives

    In conjunction with National Safe Boating Week, Gov. Rick Scott has issued a proclamation declaring May 20-26, Safe Boating Week in Florida. Although Florida’s boating season never really ends, the traditional start is marked by National Safe Boating Week – a time for boaters to focus on simple and effective steps that make boating safer. Leading the nation with nearly 1 million registered vessels across the state, Florida is the boating capital of the world and is world-renowned as a prime boating spot for residents and visitors. Each year, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers respond to far too many tragic and preventable boating accidents, so they want all boaters to remember to boat safely.

    “Boating year-round is just one of the things that makes Florida special,” said Maj. Rob Rowe, leader of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “And even more people will be out on the water for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The holiday and National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26, present an opportunity to emphasize the importance of remaining safe while boating.

    “Our officers are committed to keeping people as safe as possible, but we need the public’s help,” Rowe said. “We want to reach as many boaters as we can, to help them understand that most boating accidents are preventable.”

    Boaters can enjoy their time on the water even more by taking a few safety precautions such as wearing a life jacket, using an engine cut-off switch lanyard, designating a sober boat operator, paying attention and keeping a proper lookout, having an emergency locator beacon, filing a float plan and taking a boating safety class.

    The FWC’s 2016 Boating Accident Statistical Report indicates there were 714 reportable boating accidents in Florida last year, resulting in 67 fatalities. This represents a 3 percent decrease in the number of accidents, but a 22 percent increase in fatalities as compared to 2015. The leading cause attributed to boating accidents in 2016 was the operator’s inattention or lack of a proper lookout (29 percent). Falls overboard have been the leading type of fatal accident since 2003, with drowning as the leading cause of death.

    Many of these accidents could have been prevented if the boat operators had paid attention to everything going on around their vessel, maintained a proper lookout and if everyone on board had been wearing a life jacket. Sixty percent of boating-related deaths last year were attributed to drowning, which life jackets are designed to prevent.

    “A lot of people say they don’t wear life jackets because they are uncomfortable,” said Rowe. “However, with the inflatable models that are belt packs or suspenders, you hardly know you have one on. FWC officers wear inflatable life jackets all the time while on the water.”

    For National Safe Boating Week, the FWC is releasing compelling life jacket testimonials from three north Florida families whose lives have been changed by wearing – or not wearing – a life jacket when things went wrong on the water. These dramatic accounts provide vital information and a call to action for every boater to enjoy Florida’s beautiful waters safely while wearing a life jacket.

    An engine cut-off switch lanyard is a safety device that is attached from the boat operator to the ignition. If it is disconnected, the engine will shut down, potentially preventing a boater who has fallen overboard from being injured by the moving propeller of a runaway boat.

    Boating education is critical. In 2016, 70 percent of boat operators involved in fatal accidents had no formal boater education. Florida’s current boating safety education law applies to boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, and who operate a vessel of 10 hp or greater.

    “We live in a great boating state,” said Rowe. “And we believe that safety truly is the key to enjoyment.”

    FWC officers patrol our waterways in an effort to keep all boaters safe by checking that they have the required equipment and are operating safely. Ensure your encounters with FWC officers are positive ones by planning ahead and paying attention while on the water.

    To report people who are operating boats dangerously, call 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com. More information can be found by visiting MyFWC.com/Boating. You can even search there for the Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder to help you find a great place to launch your boat.

  • Fish Where the Fish Are… in Martin County, Florida


    Martin County Florida

    At the intersection of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Okeechobee Waterway, Martin County, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is a hub of boating activity and of events of interest to boaters.

    Fish Where the Fish Are…
    in Martin County, Florida

    Martin County, Florida, is popular with fish. Lots of fish. More than 800 different species within a ten-mile radius of the St. Lucie Inlet, to be exact, according to Dr. Grant Gilmore, a renowned marine scientist.
    READ MORE!

    On the Atlantic coast, Martin County is just 85 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, in the overlap of two climate zones. This environment, along with a healthy reef system and the warm Gulf Stream current, bring lots of fish to these waters.

    Which makes for excellent fishing here, regardless of what type of angler you are and what type of fish you like to catch.

    Stuart, the county seat, has been called “Sailfish Capital of the World” since the 1950s, and with good reason. A 1949 Palm Beach Times article tells the tale of a fishing captain who ran out of bait and had to turn back after boating 19 ‘sails in a single outing. Sailfish are the fastest marine predators, and in winter months, it’s not uncommon to hook multiple sailfish at one time.

    One recent angler tells the story of reeling in a mahi when a marlin came up and ate it. An hour and a half later, the fisherman landed the marlin on a line meant for a mahi. Other salt-water species that lead to mighty fish tales include Wahoo, pompano, grouper, snapper, cobia, sea bass and kingfish.

    Martin County is renowned for its fresh-water fishing, too. The county stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the east to the fresh waters of Lake Okeechobee on the west, with a rich system of rivers and canals in between. It’s possible to fish from Stuart all the way to Fort Myers and the Gulf of Mexico via the Okeechobee Waterway. Snook, tarpon, bass, redfish and seatrout are just a few of the fish that are plentiful and fun to catch inshore.

    They call this area Florida’s Treasure Coast. Fishing enthusiasts who visit know why. It’s enough to make you say Wahoo!

    Fish Here!

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Intersection of AICW/Okeechobee Waterway

  • Maritime Fun Fest, May 20-21, St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival, St. Augustine, FL

    Fun for your kids and your dog, too. What more could you want?

    A Florida Not for Profit Corporation, and 501(c)(3)

    Besides games for kids, the Fest includes a contest developed especially for the festival: Astillero de Perro, our amateur dog agility contest. The term Astillero de Perro is Spanish that translates the Dog Who Owns the Boatyard, with many cruisers now having canine companions on their boats, we especially want to peak their interest in participating or joining with their pups as spectators. The festival is a dog friendly venue. Of note, the Scottie dog in the first boat is a caricature of our First Mate, Sassy, who traveled aboard our Ingrid 38. She was a 1st Place 2015 winner in the “Diving for Treasure” competition.
    Linda R Allen

    4TH MARITIME FUN FEST St Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival
    Dates: Saturday May 20, 2017 and Sunday May 21, 2017
    Location: Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave, St Augustine FL 32084
    Time: Saturday, May 20 9am to 5pm Sunday, May 21 9am to 5pm READ MORE!

    Festival highlights: Quick N’ Dirty Boat building teams and Race Competition, Astillero de Perro (Amateur Dog Agility) Contest, San Agustín Bartender’s Rum Challenge, Kids Maritime Games/ Activities, Food, and Beer/Wine Tents, along with the park’s living history heritage exhibits, cannon firing demonstrations and more all taking place on 15 acres of St Augustine prime waterfront. This is a Dog Friendly event.
    For additional info: http://staugmaritimeheritage.org/

    A Saturday (5/20/17) 6pm-8:30pm evening event is offered:
    The 14th Colony’s Evening with Governor James Grant. Food menu by sponsor S.A.i.R.A. Live music and dancing under the stars at the Pavilion transports to a time in the 18th century when Governor Grant wined and dined with the good people of St Augustine. Tickets are $30 per person and are available for purchase on line at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/14th-colonys-evening-with-governor-james-grant-tickets-34263798945?aff=es2

    Submitted by:
    Linda R Allen
    SAMHF Media Director
    info@staugmaritimeheritage.org
    904-501-8597

  • Elske visits Marineland Marina, AICW Statute Mile 796


     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.

    Good reports keep pouring in for SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Marineland Marina which lies south – southeast of AICW marker #87, along the Waterway’s eastern shore. Our thanks to David and Jaculeyn for sharing their delightful blog.

    Folks at Vero Beach has recommended Marineland Marina to us as a “must do” layover. We are very glad we did. This marina is undergoing renovations. Brand-new floating docks have been installed. A new dock-master’s office is under construction. The staff are delightful highly customer-service focused young men who are enthusiastic about meeting the needs of boaters. Read More

    The Atlantic Ocean is directly across the road A1A from the Marina. We were able to enjoy walking on the sand but did not go in the water as it was quite rough.

    We toured Marineland. The experience can best be described as a “blast from the past.” It is a simple place full of history and yet an active living aquatic experience for visitors today. Jackie remembers going to Marineland as a child, so this was a bit of a memory jogger for her. We had the honor of a “private” 45-minute tour with 2 delightful young women who clearly love what they do. Marineland was started in 1938 as a movie studio and then grew and changed over the years. It was the sight for WWII Naval training exercises. It was the first oceanarium and provided early training of dolphins. The first of whom was Nellie who lived to a very old age, the oldest known dolphin in captivity. Marineland now has an educational and research focus thanks to funding by the Vanderbilt Whitney family, the University of Florida and the Georgia Aquarium. There are no longer “dolphin shows” like Sea World or other amusement parks. It was fun to see pictures of the old TV shows and movies that have been filmed here. Jackie’s favorite was SEA HUNT with a very young Lloyd Bridges. We also got to see the educational part in action with a group of elementary school children on a field trip. They clearly were learning about the aquatic world and showed great enthusiasm for the dolphins and the other sea creatures here.
    David and Jaculeyn

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

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

  • Dredging Near Fort Pierce City Marina, AICW Statute Mile 966.5


     Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589

    Our thanks to Captain Chris for this notice of dredging and shoaling near Fort Pierce City Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!. The entrance channel runs to the west, just south of the Fort Pierce high-rise bridge, and well north of unlighted daybeacon #188.

    South of temporary buoy 188A. Sand bar off FP City Marina
    Discharge pipeline goes north to ship channel then out to sea and onto beach south of jetties.
    Captain Chris Caldwell CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS


    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Pierce City Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Pierce City Marina

  • Submerged Hazard, Loggerhead Marina, Vero Beach, FL, AICW Statute Mile 948.5


    This water hazard warning comes to you from John Ellor via AGLCA’s Forum. Thank you John. Loggerhead Club Marina lies west and a bit south of the AICW’s marker #122 in Vero Beach, FL.

    We entered the channel to the marina. We had to slow down for a rowing crew that cut in front of us. We were pushed to the south edge of the channel by a strong current and NW wind. All of a sudden we hit something and were unable to move. It was the submerged concrete daymark # 11. We had to be towed to Ft. Pierce having sustained a bent prop. Evidently the marker has been down for some time . There is nothing to mark this hazard, nor did anyone warn us of its existence. The maximum depth of the channel is 6′ with solid rock under the layer of silt. The daymarks have been tipped over twice in the last year because there is no way to anchor the posts on the underlying rock. We will NEVER stay here again. Marina took no responsibility whatsoever.
    John Ellor

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Loggerhead Club Marina-Vero Beach

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Loggerhead Club Marina-Vero Beach

    CLICK HERE FOR AREA SPONSORING MARINAS
  • FL Anchoring Legislation Summary

    Our thanks to Kim Russo of AGLCA for posting this summary on Forum.

    Here’s a very helpful summary prepared by our lobbyist, Jerry Paul, out-lining the action to date on the current bill and what it includes. [exoand title=”Read More!“]

    HB 7043 – “Vessels”

    2017 Florida Legislative Session

    _______________________________________________

    Pursuant to Florida Statutes adopted in 2009, Florida’s FWC (Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) conducted an Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program which concluded in 2017. The 2009 law also required the FWC to issue a report and required the Florida Legislature to act on recommendations from the pilot program. It is this mandate that HB 7043 addresses. The bill incorporates many of the findings and recommendations from the pilot program. As of May 1, 2017, the bill has been adopted by the Florida House of Representative and the Florida Senate. The bill has been “enrolled” and sent to the Florida Governor for consideration.

    Summary of the bill:

    Prohibits local governments (cities and counties) from adopting new laws that ban or restrict anchoring and mooring outside the boundaries of existing mooring fields.This regulatory authority is reserved to the State so that local governments cannot create a confusing patchwork that varies by location.

    Provides more flexibility for removal of derelict vessels. For example, a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict if the vessel does not have effective means of propulsion for safe navigation within 72 hours after the owner or operator of the vessel receives notice of such from a law enforcement officer and cannot provide proof of purchase of parts necessary for repair.

    The bill does not create any new anchoring restricted areas.The bill does not include the drastic anchoring “set-backs” had been proposed by some local governments and anti-anchoring activists.The bill does, however, include the following setbacks:

    Prohibits a vessel or floating structure from anchoring or mooring within 150 feet of a marina, boat ramp, boatyard, or other vessel launching or loading facility, within 300 feet of a superyacht repair facility.
    Prohibits anchoring within 100 feet outward from the marked boundary of a public mooring field. A local government may establish a distance less than this (but not more) upon notification to FWC.
    Provides exceptions to these restrictions in situations such as when weather requires temporary anchoring for safety.

    Note: As stated above, the bill does not create any new anchoring restricted areas. Remember, however, that a bill was adopted during the 2016 legislative session that established anchoring restricted areas in the following locations: (a) The section of Middle River lying between Northeast 21st Court and the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County; (b) Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County; (c) The sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County lying between: 1. Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island, 2. San Marino Island and San Marco Island, and 3. San Marco Island and Biscayne Island.

    Prohibits a vessel or floating structure from anchoring, mooring, tying, or otherwise affixing to an unpermitted or unauthorized object that is on or affixed to the bottom of waters of the state.

    Allows local governments to adopt the Monroe County/Florida Keys standard program for requiring proof of pump-outs within 10-14 days in certain locations such as no-discharge zones and mooring fields.

    Kim Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
    krusso@greatloop.org
    843.879.5030

    Wally Moran adds his thoughts on this legislation via his blog, LiveBloggin’ the ICW

    [/expand]
  • Suntex Purchases Loggerhead Marinas

    Loggerhead Marinas on the east coast of Florida have been popular with boaters for a number of years and SSECN wishes the new owners the very best.

    We are proud to announce the acquisition of eleven Loggerhead Marinas by Suntex Marinas, a Dallas based owner and operator of premier waterfront destination properties. Read More

    Suntex has owned and operated 37 marina properties across the United States and Caribbean, and we are very excited about adding these properties to our current portfolio of 32 Marinas in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maryland, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

    The Properties that will now be part of Suntex Marinas family:

    Loggerhead Marina – South Miami
    Loggerhead Marina – Riviera Beach
    Loggerhead Marina – Aventura
    Loggerhead Marina – Jupiter
    Loggerhead Marina – Hollywood
    Loggerhead Marina – Vero Beach
    Loggerhead Marina – South Lantana
    Loggerhead Marina – Daytona Beach
    Loggerhead Marina – Lantana
    Loggerhead Marina – St Petersberg
    The services and quality standards you are accustomed to will remain the same, sustaining the quality reputation that Loggerhead has built over the years. Additional operational support will be provided to the property by Suntex Marinas, which is led by our team of industry professionals. Everyone will be working to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. It is our goal each day to facilitate unforgettable life long memories.

    At Suntex our culture drives our daily behaviors. We have a unique set of core values that are essential in every marina we own and manage.

    MAKE IT HAPPEN
    We hold ourselves and each other accountable.
    Find solutions, not excuses. Measure performance to drive improvement. Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and get the job done.
    MAKE IT RIGHT
    We act with integrity, especially when no one is looking.
    Commit to quality. Say what you mean, do what you say. Honor your faith and your word.
    MAKE IT TOGETHER
    We succeed as one Team.
    Put the Team before yourself. Seize opportunities and face challenges collectively. Do what has never been done…together.
    MAKE IT FUN
    We love what we do and it shows.
    Work hard play hard. Bring energy and passion to everything you do. Be the reason someone smiles today.
    With the change in ownership, many of the properties will see exciting changes in the coming months, such as new dock construction and additional merchandise offerings to name a few. Announcements with more specific information and timing regarding our changes will be coming to you in monthly newsletters beginning soon. We hope you look forward to being part of the Suntex family and partnering together to continue making these marinas THE destination in Florida.

    Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this change, please feel free to give us a call at your local marina office.
    Sincerely,
    Stephen Lehn
    Suntex Marinas, Head of Operations

  • All Aboard Florida RR to Impact OWW Boaters

    The issue of RR bridge closures by additional All Aboard Florida trains in south Florida was protested and discussed by a number of folks in 2015. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=153595 and http://cruisersnet.net/153911. The additional Brightline service is scheduled to begin operation in mid-2017. Our thanks to Ted Guy for reminding us of this potential problem for cruisers.

    A big threat to OWW cruisers and local Stuart/Palm City boat owners is AAF’s plan to add 32 trains a day through Stuart over the FEC railroad draw bridge. 32 more trains per day; 20 minute closures for each; you do the math. The bridge will be closed more time than open. Most of the day!

    You may want to contact C.A.R.E. for more info: http://www.stuartmartinchamber.org/member_profile.asp?memID=11085

    W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON AAF FROM MARTIN COUNTY

  • LNM: REVISED: Dredging, Canaveral Barge Canal and Banana River, off AICW Statute Mile 894


    As stated below, this dredging is west of the Canaveral Barge Canal Lock.

    PLEASE NOTE:  this is a REVISED Notice to Navigation for including and additional dredge day at Canaveral Lock Monday, May 1,  2017 – LOCK TO BE CLOSED 7 AM – 11 AM and 12 PM – 4:00 PM. Canaveral Lock normal hours are 6 AM – 9:30 PM.

    Notice to Navigation Interests: NTN 2017-006 Banana River/Canaveral Harbor Dredging
    http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Portals/44/docs/Navigation/Notices/NTN2017/NTN%202017-006%20Rev%201%20to%20Banana%20River%20and%20Canaveral%20Harbor%20Dredge%20Operations.pdf

    BANANA RIVER AND CANAVERAL HARBOR AREA DREDGE OPERATIONS
    Revision 1
     Additional dredge day at Canaveral Lock 1 May
     2017

    Notice is given that Florida Dredge and Dock (FDD) will commence hydraulic dredging in a portion of the
    Banana River, known as “Cut 13” from approximately 12 April 2017 until approximately 1 September 2017. Cut 13 begins just North of the bridge where 528 (The Bee Line) crosses Banana River and extends north approximately 14,000ft.  FDD will also be dredging a small area of the Canaveral Barge Canal just north of 528 and immediately West of the Canaveral Locks, as well as a small area of Kar’s Park access channel, which intersects cut 13 approximately 9,400ft north of the Canaveral Barge Canal.  There will be floating and submerged pipeline running from the dredge towards the spoil site that is located directly west of the intersection of Cut 13 and Cut 14.  There will also be a booster and support equipment present during portions of the project. Construction will take place during daylight hours 7 days/week, but equipment and pipeline will remain on site during evening hours.

    Monday, 1 May 2017 one day of dredging will occur along Canaveral Lock’s west approach wall requiring the lock to be closed 07:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 1200 PM to 4:00 PM. Canaveral Lock normal hours are 6 AM to 9:30 PM. Call the Canaveral Lock shift operator at 321-783-5421 between 6 AM and 9 PM for up-to-date locking information that day.

    For specific dredge information contact Dredges BAYONET POINT and TIGER POINT both will monitor VHF-FM channel 16.  Mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake and proceed with caution around dredging equipment and pipeline. For further information contact FDD POC: Randy
    Hicks (727) 234-3346.

    ********************************************
    Share our social media posts on Twitter @JaxStrong and Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict/

    Sign up to receive updates on Notices to Navigation at:
    http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/NoticestoNavigation.aspx

    Thanks for helping to get the word out! Erica

    Erica Skolte
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Corporate Communications Office
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
    South Florida Restoration Office, West Palm Beach
    Phone: 561-472-8893
    Cell:  561-801-5734
    erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
    Twitter @JaxStrong
    Jacksonville District Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict
    Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Port Canaveral Lock

  • Good Photos and Good Words for Vero Beach Municipal Marina, AICW Statute Mile 952


    Vero Beach Marina

    Vero Beach Municipal Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, lies on the eastern shores of Bethel Creek, moving northeast and north from the Vero Beach/Merrill Barber high-rise bridge and northeast of flashing daybeacon #139. Our thanks to David and Jacquelyn for sharing this report from their blog The Voyage of Elske on America’s Great Loop.

    Vero Beach City Marina Just Gets Better
    by David & Jacquelyn

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Vero Beach Municipal Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Vero Beach Municipal Marina and the Vero Beach Mooring Field

  • Update on Bridge of Lions Schedule Controversy, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


    Marine Trawlers Owners Association continues to be active in seeking political settlements to legislative actions adversely affecting boaters. A call by city officials and the local populace to further restrict the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions is currently under consideration by the USCG. Our thanks to Mike Bodin and Peter Colket for this information.

    A large Ahoy Mates call is sent out to the boating community to protect our boating rights from unnecessary new laws that will restrict our use of the waterways [including the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, FL].
    READ MORE!

    Please include this update on the Bridge of Lions. The St. Augustine Fl. city residents are now at a count of over 100 responses to reduce bridge openings to the Coast Guard.

    Another matter on the AICWW, boats traveling south through Florida will encounter the Bridge of Lions (18’ vertical clearance) in St. Augustine. The local newspaper, “St. Augustine Record”, is encouraging residents of the city to flood the Coast Guard with comments favoring reduced bridge openings due to automotive traffic back up

    Please, if you would, contact,
    https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCG-2016-0723-0001
    Stating your opposition to any further Bridge of Lions opening restrictions and you may want to include a couple of the enclosed points of interest. Your communication only needs to be a few sentences.

    The city of St. Augustine recently replaced the Bridge of Lions across the AICWW at St. Augustine which is causing major traffic jams. The city chose to duplicate the 90-year-old antiquated architecture of the original 1927 Bridge of Lions. Today, St. Augustine has 4 million tourists per year and the city’s residential population has dramatically increased from 1927. The City of St. Augustine has created their own never ending problem with regards to traffic congestion.

    A few years ago, the city contacted the Coast Guard to establish bridge opening restrictions. The Coast Guard conducted their open comment time and determined the citizens of St. Augustine were justified in their request and granted their requested opening restrictions. The city is now requesting even further restrictions. In the past, boating groups were not organized nor involved in preserving reasonable access to the waterway.

    Basic present opening restrictions
    Daily bridge openings on the hour and half from 7:am-6:pm except 8 am, 12 noon, and 5 pm, Weekends on the hour and half from.7:am-6:pm

    Proposed restrictions;
    Daily increase hour and half opening time from 6:pm to 9 pm, including no openings at 8 am, 12 noon, 5pm. Weekends extend hour and half openings from 6 pm to 9 pm and no
    openings from 3:pm to 4: pm.

    Points of Concern:

    > Bridge of Lions 76’ width is the narrowest of the 91 bridges along Florida’s AICWW, it is the most struck bridge by vessels, and determined not to meet Coast Guard bridge regulations.

    > Extreme perpendicular to the bridge currents are encountered due to the presence of the Atlantic Ocean inlet, high spring tides and lunar tide rates.

    > Modern Route 312 bridge (65’clearance) is located just 2 miles south of Bridge of Lions and could help to relieve Bridge of Lions traffic congestion
    .
    > 2 marinas, a mooring field, and an anchoring area next to the Bridge of Lions is a cause for increased vessel congestion

    >The AICWW traffic has increased from 1927 rates due to more boaters traveling with air conditioning upon it for destinations to the Keys, Bahamas, and now Cuba

    > With only 18’ vertical clearance all sail boats passing will require openings. Due to high currents, sail boats will have to circle for 30 or 60-minutes waiting for the bridge to open.

    > Increased currents make it difficult for power vessels to stand position, while sail boats in close proximity are for the anticipated bridge opening in close proximity

    > Increasing the 6pm to 9pm period for half hour opening restrictions will result in winter months when it’s dark for boats to stack up to wait for the next bridge opening, sail boats will be circulating, power standing position, marina and mooring boats leaving and arriving, the city lights in the background all in a close proximity is dangerous.

    >The two commercial Tourist boats go out and return 4 times each, daily they require bridge openings. Request they proceed south along the AICWW requiring no bridge openings

    > The U.S. Department of Transportation concluder a six-year study and presented it to the city of St. Augustine in 1999 concluding the Bridge of Lions 1927 design was “functionally Obsolete”. St. Augustine disregarded the DOT study and completed the Bridge of Lions in 2005 to the original 1927 design. Thus, traffic congestion was not relieved.

    > The city is asking for automotive traffic relief at the expense by increasing boating congestion to the determent of safety.

    Pease send a comment to the Coast Guard expressing opposition for unjustified proposed navigation restrictions
    upon the AICWW by reducing Bridge of Lions openings.

    Thank you,
    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Posted by Peter Colket, President MTOA on USCG comments page:

    I am commenting on behalf of Marine Trawler Owners Association. MTOA is a national boating club of the 2.341 members, 29% of whom are Florida residents.

    MTOA members oppose further restrictions to the Bridge of Lions opening schedule because of boaters’ safety. Reducing the number of openings at any bridge causes congestion on the waterway, which can increase the likelihood of collisions. This is especially true in locations where swift currents affect the movements of vessels. Bridge of Lions is such a location. In addition to swift currents, boaters must be concerned about the proximity of mooring fields on both sides of the bridge, the City Marina on the South side, and vessel traffic entering and departing the marina and moorings.

    We sympathize with people in land vehicles waiting for bridges, and we understand the traffic congestion issues in St. Augustine. But solving those problems by increasing hazards on the waterway is no solution. We urge the U.S. Coast Guard not to change the Bridge of Lions opening schedule as requested by the City of St. Augustine.

    Respectfully,
    Peter K. Colket
    Palm Coast, Florida
    President
    Marine Trawler Owners Association

    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

  • Relocation of Buoys, Problem Stretch, Matanzas Inlet/AICW Intersection, Statute Mile 793

    Our thanks to Robert Sherer for his update on the Waterway/Matanzas Inlet intersection which was been the site of recent groundings in the past and was dredged in February of this year, resulting in the relocation of the buoys as outlined by Bob’s report.

    The buoy layout has been changed and the depths are now at least 12 MLW all the way through. Read More!

    R82 is a floating buoy and has been moved closer to shore. Going north I aimed at it but moved back into the charted channel until abreast of the buoy before turning, slightly toward shore.

    G81D and G81C have been removed. They are no longer needed (the channel is that wide!) The first green buoy is G81B and it appears to be too far out in the middle but that’s where the new, dredged channel is located.

    G81A and the two reds are still there, just honor them.

    Bob
    ICW Blog: http://fleetwing.blogspot.com/

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Matanzas River Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • LNM: Mar-a-Lago Security Zones, April 13-17, 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
    April 13, 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 in the Intracoastal Waterway and offshore near Palm Beach.

    The security zones are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. Thursday, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. Monday, 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

  • More on Proposed Changes at Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


    Our thanks to experienced cruiser and long-time Cruisers’ Net contributor, Gregory Yount, for this Federal Register posting requesting comments on proposed changes to the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions. See our earlier postings Changes Possible to Bridge of Lions? and Request for Further Comment for more information.

    Here is the notice regarding bridge opening restrictions: READ MORE

    Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, FL

    This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Coast Guard (USCG)

    For related information, Open Docket Folder
    Action

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.
    Summary

    The Coast Guard is seeking comments and information concerning a proposal to change the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, Florida. The City of St. Augustine is concerned that vehicle traffic is becoming exponentially worse with each passing season and that on-demand bridge openings are contributing to vehicle traffic backups. The proposed modification would extend the twice an hour draw opening period from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and preclude the bridge draw from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.
    Dates

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 15, 2017.
    Addresses

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0723 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.
    For Further Information Contact

    If you have questions about this notice, call or email MST1 Timothy Fosdick, Sector Jacksonville, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 904-714-7623, email Timothy.P.Fosdick@uscg.mil.
    Supplementary Information
    Table of Abbreviations

    CFR Code of Federal Regulations

    DHS Department of Homeland Security

    FR Federal Register

    NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    ANPRM Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    § Section Symbol

    U.S.C. United States Code
    A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this ANPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.
    B. Regulatory History and Information

    In 2015, the City of St. Augustine approached the Coast Guard with a recommendation to amend the Bridge of Lions operating schedule. Shortly thereafter, a meeting was held with the City of St. Augustine, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), bridge owner, and the U.S. Coast Guard to seek improvements to reduce the vehicle traffic backups at the intersection of A1A, the Bridge of Lions, and Avenida Menendez. During the meeting, FDOT agreed to work with the City traffic engineers to develop better traffic signaling techniques to reduce the vehicle traffic backups. In May 2016, the City of St. Augustine proposed an amendment to the bridge operating schedule to reduce vehicle traffic backups in the affected area. The City would like to extend the 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. twice an hour opening schedule to 9 p.m., daily and preclude the bridge draw from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.

    The current operating schedule, as published in 33 CFR 117.261(d), reads as follows: Bridge of Lions (SR A1A) bridge, mile 777.9 at St. Augustine. The draw shall open on signal; except that, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour; however, the draw need not open at 8 a.m., 12 noon, and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays the draw need only open on the hour and half-hour.

    In accordance with Nautical Chart 11485, 37th Ed., Nov. 2014, the Bridge of Lions has a vertical clearance of 18 feet in the closed (down) position at mean high water and a horizontal clearance of 79 feet. Additionally, there is a note on the chart stating “Strong tidal currents run perpendicular to the Bridge of Lions opening. Vessels engaged in towing and pushing operations are advised to transit the bridge opening during slack tide and, if necessary, breakdown the tow in small units or use adequate tugs.” In regards to the Bridge of Lions, the U.S. Coast Pilot 4, Chapter 12, Edition 47, 2015 also states “Caution is advised because the tidal currents, particularly ebb, run at right angles to the bridge. It is advisable to drift large tows through this opening at slack water. Normal flood currents of 1 knot and ebb currents of 1.5 knots may be expected. Several mishaps involving the bridge being hit by vessels, which have lost maneuvering control during periods of ebb currents, have occurred. Caution is advised when transiting the area.”

    The original Bridge of Lions was built in 1927 and replaced in 2010. The new bridge was completed with no modifications to the vertical or horizontal clearances; therefore, there was no impact to the number of bridge openings due to vessel traffic.
    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis and authorities for this ANPRM are found in 33 U.S.C. 499, 33 CFR 1.05-1, and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. The Coast Guard is considering a change to the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, Florida. The Coast Guard received a request from the City of St. Augustine to modify the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions in an effort to decrease vehicle traffic backups caused by the significant increase in vehicle traffic combined with the on-demand bridge openings. The purpose of this ANPRM is to solicit comments on a potential proposed rulemaking concerning a request to change the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions.
    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    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. 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. Additional input will be required from the City of St. Augustine to understand why this particular time was selected. It will also be essential to determine whether any commercial vessel operators would be directly impacted by amending the bridge operating schedule.
    E. Information Requested

    To aid the Coast Guard in developing a proposed rule, we seek any comments, whether positive or negative, including but not limited to: The impact on vessel traffic and/or marine businesses in the area when extending the twice an hour opening; any potential negative impact to vessel traffic or marine businesses of not opening the bridge between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; whether the extension to 9 p.m. of the Bridge of Lions twice an hour opening schedule would reduce traffic congestion and; if traffic congestion would be reduced if the bridge did not open between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.
    Dated: March 9, 2017.
    S.A. Buschman,
    Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-05071 Filed 3-14-17; 8:45 am]

    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

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