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Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

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

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

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

    John Wampler

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

  • A Cruiser Helping Other Cruisers!

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

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

    From: Joseph T Plunkett CPA
    Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:57 PM
    Subject: CG 7th District LNM 07482016

    To whom it my concern:

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my comments.

    Joseph T. Plunkett

    M/V Happy Hagar, Official Number 660256

  • Florida Anchoring Update March, 05, 2017

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

    Florida Anchoring Update March, 05, 2017

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

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

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

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

  • Lobbyists’ Report: Florida Legislation Sessions

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

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

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

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

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

    Submitted by Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

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

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

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

    And Joe adds in response to Bob’s question:

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

    And this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • MTOA Anchoring Florida Legislative Update 2/24/2017

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

    Anchoring Florida Legislative Update 2/24/2017 READ MORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Derelict Boats Accumulating along Central Florida Coast

    Derelict and abandoned vessels are a huge factor in the increasingly restrictive anchoring regulations in Florida. See MTOA Florida Legislature Update 2.

    Derelict boats accumulating along Central Florida coast
    The Intracoastal Waterway is among the gems of the Central Florida coast, but rotting, sinking and rundown boats are marring the landscape. Volusia County officials are working to remove derelict boats from the county’s waterways, but officials said it won’t happen overnight.
    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT and Video from Claire Metz of NBC WESH News 2, Orlando

  • MTOA Florida Legislature Update 2, 2/16/2017

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

    MTOA Florida Legislature Update 2/16/2017
    Enclosed is the latest review from Capitol Access in Tallahassee representing the following Boating
    consortium: SSCA, Standing Watch, AGLCA, MTOA, CFFW. Read More!

    We are promoting safe and considerate use of anchorages, and opposed to unjustified regulations of
    Florida’s waterways.
    The Boating consortium has had great success with the initial bill that was filed last night. The provisions
    of the bill are consistent with essentially all components of the consortium’s position:

    1. The STATE reserves all authority to adopt anchoring and mooring regulations (therefore avoiding a
    patchwork of differing regulations at the local level).

    2. There are no anchoring setbacks measured from residential waterfront properties.

    3. The setbacks from boat ramps, launch facilities and marinas is 150 feet.

    4. The buffer around existing mooring fields is 300 feet (as-recommended by FWC

    5. There are no additional anchoring limitation areas throughout the State
    This bill will be filed by the House Committee on Natural Resources and Public Lands, Chaired by Rep. Holly Raschein whose district covers the Florida Keys. The next step will be for the Committee to vote on whether the Committee itself will file this as a bill sponsored by the Committee (rather than a bill filed and sponsored by an individual member). Following that vote, the bill (called a PCB or Proposed Committee Bill) would then receive referrals to multiple committees and be heard in each one successively. Of course, Capitol Access would be in attendance at every step and provide their input.

    Capitol Access will watch for any amendments that are filed. There may be a need for our boaters to appears and give testimony.

    There is no Senate bill filed yet. Capitol Access is lead lobbyists.

    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

  • High Praise for Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, AICW Statute Mile 775.5

    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. Augus

    Camachee Cove Marina,A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, continues to garner words of praise for its facility and staff. Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor is located just off the Waterway’s western shoreline, south of unlighted daybeacon #7 and north of the Vilano Beach Bridge.

    Encountered some electrical problems with generator and AC en route to S. Florida. Called Camachee Yacht Yard in St. Augustine and was connected to its president, Peter Sabo. He arranged for me to have service the next day. Technician arrived at boat right on time and quickly resolved both problems. Entire staff could not have been more helpful and competent, and rates were very reasonable. The service was outstanding. Plus, it’s the only marina I have encountered that has its own navigation range! High praise for Camachee Yacht Yard at Camachee Cove Marina!
    David Grimes

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

  • Security Zone Ahead!! What do I do?

    With Federal Security Zones, such as the one this weekend at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach (, becoming more frequent for south Florida boaters, many beginning Waterway cruisers may have questions, even qualms, about how to approach and navigate a Federal Security Zone. Many might be asking what role these zones will play as they navigate through Palm Beach and what should a skipper expect when approaching on-site security personnel?

    If you have experienced Security Zone passage, please share your observations and advice for those for whom such passage may seem down right frightening, especially in the crowded and already intimidating waters of south Florida. Let us hear from you!

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

  • Waterway Cleanup, March 4th, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    This March 4th Waterway Cleanup is a good way to become personally and tangibly involved with our waterway environment.

    South Florida waterway cleanup set for March
    Posted on February 2nd, 2017

    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE from Sounding’s Trade Only Today
    The cleanup, the county’s largest and longest-running environmental event, will take place March 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at multiple locations.
    Read More

    The cleanup is presented by the Florida Inland Navigational District and organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and the Marine Industry Cares Foundation.

    “As the Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale recognizes that clean waterways are critical to the economic and environmental sustainability of our city,” Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler said in a statement.

    “To that end we are proud to partner with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the Florida Inland Navigational District and the Marine Industry Cares Foundation for this important event that raises environmental awareness, safeguards our marine ecosystems, promotes sustainability and offers families, friends and neighbors an opportunity to work together to help protect one of our most precious natural resources.”

    At the event, volunteer registration will be open and sponsorship opportunities, scholarship guidelines, site locations and details for the annual Trash Bash after-party will be announced.

    The first Waterway Cleanup was held in the late 1970s and it brought marine industry businesses together with the community and raised awareness among volunteers to the importance of keeping waterways clean.

    In 2016 nearly 1,500 land-based volunteers of all ages and 100 boats worked at 35 sites across the county to remove 22 tons of trash and debris from waterways, rivers, and canals.

    “We encourage everyone to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Waterway Cleanup by volunteering your time, talent and energy to help preserve and enhance the health, quality and beauty of our waterways, rivers, and canals today and for future generations,” Seiler said.

  • Good Words for Oasis Boatyard and Marina, San Sebastian River, St. Augustine, FL

    Oasis Boatyard and Marina is on the north eastern shore of the San Sebastian River upstream of AICW Statute Mile 780. Their website is Our thanks to Roger Long for this report.

    Read More
    I’ve designed and supervised the construction of multi-million dollar research vessels, owned three vessels, and cruised about thirty thousand miles. I’ve seen a thing or two. We just had a bent strut replaced and both powertrains overhauled at Oasis Marina and Boatyard in Saint Augustine. On time and under budget with the best service attitude I’ve ever encountered. Ryan Barnes especially is making a legend for himself on net forums like this. It doesn’t get any better and this is now our goto yard.
    Roger Long

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



  • Florida’s Anchoring Program, MTOA Updates, 1/30/2017

    Our thanks to Mike Bodin of Marine Trawler Owners Association for this updated perspective on Florida’s anchoring restrictions. See Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program. See link below to donate to these lobbying efforts.

    Florida’s Anchoring Program Update 1/30/17 MTOA Read More

    Boaters’ rights to anchor in public waterways are under attack again in Florida. SSCA, MTOA,
    and AGLCA, are raising money to fund a professional lobbyist to defend our rights. The
    lobbyist team Capitol Access, Tallahassee, is now representing boaters from unjustified
    regulations. Help us to stop the attack on Florida’s anchorage areas. Please donate TODAY: “BOATERS’ RIGHTS FUND”  {Note: Click on Chart below Boaters’ Rights Fund, then ignore Log In to Contribute and go directly to name/address form.}

    Many wealthy Florida waterside residents, condominium units and cities complained to their local
    governments about anchoring boats spoiling their water views. Federal government owns the land
    under waterways and relinquished semi-control to Florida state. This anti-anchoring consortium
    contacted their state representatives to change the law to prohibit anchoring in front of their
    waterside property
    Florida enacted a study called Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program in 2009. The study is to be
    completed July 1, 2017. Final recommendations to be submitted by January 1, 2018. The multi-million
    dollar 244-page report is available for review. “Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program Final Report of
    Findings and Recommendations 12/21/2016” in Adobe PDF. During last year’s legislative season the
    report was accepted as submitted. 2017 is the final year. Florida legislature has stated they will accept
    the state recommendations for state law. The report has several anti-anchoring provisions that must
    be changed to better represent the needs of the boating community. One glaring item of concern; If
    enacted, county governments can easily contact the state for an exemption to control and regulate
    local anchoring without any input from the boating community. The unintended consequence of the
    legislation would be the precedent it would set for other states along the eastern seaboard to follow
    banning anchoring.
    A large “AHOY MATE” call is now being made to fellow boaters. As a boating community, we can be
    complacent, stand back and complain when our previously used anchoring areas are no longer
    available or put on some heavy weather gear and ride the storm out while still keeping the heading.
    This will ensure future anchorage availability for us and our children. How is this accomplished? As any
    boater knows you must have the right gear. 1) We need a knowledgeable professional lobbyist. 2)
    Money is required for this lobbyist: $35k, 3) How do we get the funds? The boating community unites
    and individual boaters to donate as they can. Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) has engaged
    the services of Capitol Access, an outstanding lobbying firm with offices in Tallahassee to represent all
    boaters interest from unjustified regulation upon the waterways., Today combined funds from
    members of American Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA), and Seven Seas Cruising Association
    (SSCA) are assisting with contributions from their membership. Additional funds are required to
    continue a pro- anchoring strategy to roll back unjustified regulation of anti-anchoring language in the
    proposed bill. Your support is requested. Marine Trawlers Owners Association has set up the following
    site for your donations from the boating community at large: Go to: highlight tab “FL Anchoring Rights Fund”
    We need your financial support. The following is a time progression review demonstrating the need
    for a professional lobbyists and active boater participation to win the pro-anchoring debate.
    2016 over whelming defeat for pro-anchoring advocates required a change in tactics for boaters right
    to anchor. MTOA closely reviewed the situation and with board consensus agreed a professional
    Lobbyists was required to prevent 2016 outcome for the 2107 legislative season.
    We have now finalized the engagement and compliance registrations for our lobbyist in the Capitol
    (Jerry Paul of Capitol Access). As you may know, Jerry is a member of MTOA, SSCA, AGLCA and DeFever
    Cruisers. He is an active cruiser, a former marine engineer, merchant mariner, attorney and former
    elected member of the Florida Legislature. He lead our successful efforts in Tallahassee 2 years ago
    under the lead of SSCA.
    This year MTOA is the lead client and coordinator working closely with Jerry. Special thanks to SSCA
    and AGLCA for joining the team and for providing additional funding support for the effort. Thank you
    also for the contributions by members of our organizations and others such as the DeFever Cruisers.
    We are up and running. Jerry is in communication with key legislators who will be involved in this
    process throughout Florida’s Annual 60-day Legislative Session which begins on March 7. There are 3
    remaining “Committee Weeks” that will occur prior to March 7 during which legislators will be filing
    bills and even holding hearings in preparation for the regular session.
    Through the counsel of our lobbyist, we will apply the approach that worked well when we were last
    organized a couple of sessions ago. For example, he will keep us updated regularly as he collects
    information. Through him we will coordinate effective messaging (some wholesale and some retail)
    that leverages our vast number of cruisers and the merits of our position. But, it is important that we
    maintain control of the message. It needs to be tailored to the specific issues that are critical to the
    moment as legislation makes its way through multiple committees comprised of different elected
    members (and staff), each with unique perspectives. Our messaging must be respectful and
    professional. Finally, it must be timed precisely and targeted surgically in varying ways (email, phone,
    and even personal appearances in Committees). This is a running process so timing is important. Mike
    Bodin, MTOA, Public Advocate will be coordinating these activities.
    So far, it appears as though there will be a bill filed that implements some of the recommendations of
    the Report by the FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission) which was prepared to summarize the
    results of the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Project that expires this year. This is the report that was
    recently heard by the Senate Environment Committee (the committee that originated the language a
    couple years ago, that including certain anchoring bans). A draft of the bill is not yet available. We are
    in communication with the key likely sponsors and we’re already messaging our opposition to such
    bans. So far, it appears we have some key members who associate with our view. We are hopeful that
    the initial draft(s) will not include the adverse provisions. If it does, we will work to get it removed. If it
    does not, we must be vigilant until the end of the Session to ensure that the adverse language does not
    get amended into it.
    We will report on these developments and follow up with effective calls-to-action by our members and
    all who share our desire to preserve Florida’s rich maritime history of freedom to safely anchor
    throughout the public’s coastal waters of the State
    2016 REVIEW
    Yeas, represent the Anti- Anchoring votes by the committees and legislature:
    1/26/16 House Committee Vote yeas 12 Nays 0
    2/25/16 House Committee Vote yeas 15 Nays 1 Note: Extreme spread
    3/04/16 House Vote yeas 105 Nays 12
    3/0716 Senate Vote yeas 36 Nays 2
    3/09/16 Signed by officers and presented to Governor HJ 980
    3/24/16 Approved and signed by Florida’s Governor Rick Scott (chapter 2016-96)
    7/01/16 Effective Date for state law banning anchoring by county designation. The state law banned
    overnight anchoring within areas of Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
    Once it was seen there was no opposition from pro- anchoring groups, anti-anchoring legislation
    emerged and gathered enough momentum to easily pass. Do not underestimate the extent to which
    that momentum is perceived to still exist in Tallahassee. It was quite evident at the Senate
    Environment Committee (the Committee that originated the bill we defeated 2 years ago). Notice that
    this Committee chose to place the topic on its agenda early in the process. The cruising/anchoring
    interests have been unrepresented for a while and that has been noticed.
    Note: The boating community was complacent. No Lobbyists, No boating community involvement.
    Capitol Access was not retained.
    2015 REVIEW
    No set back or anchoring restrictions—Capitol Access, Active Lobbyists, Active boating community
    2014-2012 REVIEW
    No set back or anchoring restrictions—Capitol Access, Active Lobbyists, Active boating community
    It can plainly be observed if boaters are again complacent in 2017, the 2016 results can be expected.
    We salute such groups as American Great Loop Cruising Association, Seven Seas Cruising Association,
    Marine Trawler Owners Association, and DeFever Cruisers for their active and financial support. These
    great organizations have started the process. Now your financial support is needed to continue.
    Donation site highlight tab

    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

  • Seven Seas Cruising Association Asks Your Support to Defeat Florida’s Anti-Anchoring Legislation

    The Concerned Cruisers’ Committee (CCC) of Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has, for many years, supported the rights of cruisers to navigate, anchor and enjoy the “Seven Seas” both in the U.S. and abroad. We have had recent success in Annapolis and in Georgia, and we are engaged in South Carolina, Washington and California.

    CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOTE: Ignore the “Log In to Donate” and go directly to name/address form.

    1/23 A good news update from MTOA Public Advocate, Mike Bodin:

    But as of now (1/23/2017), SSCA, AGLCA and MTOA have raised over half of the funds from their membership for the Lobbyists. Capital Assets has agreed to represent the boating community and their office is in Tallahassee.Read More!

    And this from Mike Bodin:

    As you know Florida’s legislative session has started. The Environmental Preservation and Conservation committee heard the first presentation by The Fish and Wildlife Conversation commission (FWC) on the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program. [See] Anti-anchoring representatives were present and offered presentations.

    The window is closing for us to be effective with ongoing legislation. Capitol Access team did a great job representing our anchoring concerns in 2014,and 15. Without professional representation I fear legislation will be made and passed into law prohibiting anchoring by county designation with state approval. This Florida law can be the basis of others to follow along the ICW corridor. Like cancer, a small start than it spreads and very difficult to stop.

    Time is against us to raise monies for a professions lobbyist. MTOA donation survey results are very promising, AGLCA is now surveying their members and results will be available shortly.

    SSCA CCC has lead the boating community in the past. Anti-Anchoring is a pain in every boater’s thoughts. Future state laws to prevent anchoring along the ICW surely can be compared to the spread of cancer. We must unite and knock it out before it gains traction.

    Enclosed is a boaters rights donation form to your GoFunfMe site. Due to the tremendous time limitation now in place we request SSCA blast email the form to your membership. Within a couple of days, we will have a good idea if a lobbyist can be added to our anti-anchoring efforts.

    Thank you for consideration and hopefully participation.

    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate


    And from America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association:

    Boater’s Rights Interest Survey
    Florida’s 1,000-mile intracoastal waterway has often been called the boaters’ highway. Wealthy waterside residents in conjunction with several counties want to enact anti-anchoring laws. Last year Florida’s governor signed into law temporary nighttime anti-anchoring restrictions in several counties. Boaters must unite to stop the spread of anti-anchoring legislation.


    CLICK HERE for more information on Seven Seas Cruising Association


  • AGLCA Fights for Boaters’ Rights Update

    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association has joined other boating organizations is requesting donations toward lobbying for boaters’ rights in Florida. See for more information.

    As a result of the recent survey on anti-boating legislation, AGLCA is beginning to accept donations along with other boating organizations to hire a lobbyist to represent our interests at the Florida Legislature. Read More!

    This link can be used to make your contribution to the Boaters’ Rights Lobbyist Fund. When making your contribution, consider how much money you save in slip fees by having the ability to anchor. If you would like more information on this issue, you can view my recent forum posting.

    Thank you for joining AGLCA in this lobbying effort. I will keep you posted as we move forward with this issue.
    Kimberly Russo
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association 


    The three associations leading this charge (AGLCA, MTOA, and SSCA) are doing well in the fund raising effort. To date, 161 AGLCA members have contributed. We’re so thankful for all of those contributions, but there are about 100 more of you who answered our survey last week expressing your intention to contribute. If you have not yet done so, please make your contribution by clicking here as soon as possible.

    Although we are not yet at the $35,000 goal, we believe that number is attainable. In addition to contributing substantial time, effort, and administrative expenses, AGLCA and MTOA have agreed to help bridge the gap, if one exists after all contributions are in, to reach the needed amount. Since the amount needed is within reach, we have retained a lobbying firm (Capitol Access) in Tallahassee to represent our interests this legislative session. The goals have been defined as follows:

    Prevent the passage of Florida legislation that would ban or curtail overnight anchoring on public waters in locations defined by proximity to upland private dwelling units including but not limited to other provisions that unduly restrict anchoring on public waters.
    Monitor and track all legislation that could adversely affect our members’ interests.
    Increase our presence among officials in Florida government to build an enduring image of strong influence for the boating and cruising community on matters related to the lifestyle of boaters and cruisers on Florida’s waterways.
    Our lobbyist/consultant has agreed to:

    Monitor, track and report to the AGLCA all legislation and amendments filed or otherwise considered in Florida that could affect the interests of our members.
    Meet with key officials within Florida government to introduce AGLCA as a leader for the interests of cruisers and other boaters that it is now represented in Florida’s Capitol.
    Provide proactive lobbying and advocacy to actively support the legislative positions of AGLCA including but not limited to opposing Florida legislation that would ban or curtail overnight anchoring on public waters in locations defined by proximity to upland private dwelling units. This will include the organization of messaging and public appearances in the Capitol by members of the cruising community who support AGLCA’s positions.
    Report to AGLCA at least monthly the meetings and activities conducted on behalf of AGLCA.
    Jerry Paul, President of Capitol Access, is a trawler owner, lifelong cruiser, marine engineer, attorney, former elected member of the Florida Legislature and former Presidential-Appointed, U.S. Senate-Confirmed Official within the U.S. Department of Energy. He has extensive experience in the transportation field, maritime industry, boating, cruising, energy, government affairs and communications including a balance of experience in operations, regulatory, legislative, finance and restructuring work. Jerry is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and has held U.S.C.G. licenses as an engineer and captain. Jerry has also extended our coalition of boating associations a very generous discount for his services. Thank you, Jerry!
    Kim Russo
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association

  • LNM: Change to Lake George South Range Light, St. Johns River, FL

    Part of this popular Waterway side trip, Lake George has adequate depths through the long straight channel across the lake, but this range light is a big help as you enter the south exit where depths decrease drastically.

    FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER – LAKE GEORGE: Changes to the Aids to Navigation System
    Lake George South End Range Front Light (LLNR 8775) has been changed to a lateral aid named Lake George Light 14 displaying Fl R 2.5s characteristics, 5NM range, TR on pile. Chart 11495 LNM 04/17

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Range Front Light

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