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Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Containers Drifting Offshore Confirmed, East of West Palm Beach

    As first reported in this from WPBF 25 News these containers are now confirmed to be adrift east of West Palm Beach and will require a sharp lookout for vessels sailing offshore. Our thanks to Jeff Graham for this submission.

    Coast Guard responds to container barge accident
    At least 25 containers believed to have fallen off barge
    RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. —Coast Guard crews responded to reports of multiple containers falling off a barge Sunday off the coast between Port Canaveral, Florida, and West Palm Beach, Florida.
    The U.S. flagged 136-foot Capt. Latham, was headed to Puerto Rico as it tugged a 340-foot barge, Columbia Elizabeth. The crew noticed several cargo containers hanging over the port side of the barge and believed more had fallen into the water while in transit.
    The Capt. Latham terminated their course toward Puerto Rico and diverted to the Port of Palm Beach for further investigation.
    A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Miami and a crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell responded to the report to assess the barge.
    At approximately 3:00 p.m., the vessel moored safely in the Port of Palm Beach. It was then determined that up to 25 containers were unaccounted for, with an undetermined amount falling overboard. Several of the containers were confirmed to be carrying batteries.
    One of the containers washed ashore in Port Canaveral.
    The Coast Guard is investigating the incident and plans to launch an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft to begin searching at sunrise.

    And this from WESH 2 News:

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —Thousands of coffee containers are washing up on beaches in Central Florida and South Florida, officials tell WESH 2 News.
    Thousands of bright yellow cans of coffee are washing ashore in Brevard County, many people rushing to pick them up. The cans may have fallen off a passing cargo barge, WESH 2 News has learned.
    Along the coast of Indialantic, bright cans of coffee that likely were on their way to Puerto Rico, are finding their way ashore.
    Early in the day, the first beach visitors were stunned to find cans of coffee and bricks of coffee thickly strewn on the sand.
    The United States Coast Guard reports that the containers were from the barge Columbia Elizabeth, which reported losing multiple containers between Cape Canaveral and Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday.
    Marine prevention teams from Coast Guard Sector Miami and Marine Safety Detachment Lake Worth were dispatched to the Port of Palm Beach, where the barge is currently being unloaded.

  • Update on Shoaling South of Fernandina Beach, AICW Statute Miles 717 – 720


    Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of last year (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702). Our thanks to geologist, Bill Aley, for sending these surveys to assist in guiding you through the shoals. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=153488 for further advice.

    And, thanks to Robert Sherer, we have the lat/lon locations of the turns indicated in the survey below with WP1 being the first heading south:

    Note corrections to WP 2 and 4 below, thanks to Mike. Note also that our chart centers on WP 4.

    Hi Larry,
    This posting is what prompted me to email Taylor Engineering asking for more detail, namely the waypoints for the route turns. I wanted his numbers rather than trying to interpolate from the chart. He was gracious enough to provide them. Perhaps we can nail this section of the ICW so it will never again cause agitation for boaters!
    Bob

    WP1
    30 39.815N
    81 28.6086W
    WP2
    30 39.8595N
    81 29.07316W
    WP3
    30 39.5961N
    81 29.1871W
    WP4
    30 39.263N
    81 29.049W

    At the request of the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), I’d like to share the attached figure with you. The figure illustrates an area of shoaling in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within Nassau County, FL that is a potential navigation hazard.

    The PDF file depicts some very recent mapping that shows naturally deep water to the west and south of the currently marked channel in this area. Taylor Engineering is currently working with the FIND, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US Coast Guard to relocate the federal channel and corresponding red channel marker #18 and green channel marker #1 to direct navigation traffic towards the deeper waters.
    Regards,
    Bill Aley, P.G.
    Professional Geologist
    Taylor Engineering, Inc.
    10151 Deerwood Park Blvd.
    Bldg. 300, Suite 300
    Jacksonville, FL 32256
    Phone (904) 731-7040
    Direct (904) 256 -1313
    www.taylorengineering.com
    unnamed (4)

  • Still More on Crackdown on Dinghy Landings Access, Miami Beach, FL


    Our thanks to Mike Ahart of Waterway Guide for posting this information. Collins Canal runs northeast from Biscayne Bay near AICW Statute Mile 1088. This article was first posted in August of this year. Let us hear from you if you have experienced this enforcement./p>

    Miami Beach cracks down on dinghy access
    Date Reported: Aug 6, 2015
    Reported By: Mike Ahart, News Editor
    Source: WG Staff
    Miami Beach’s anchorages have a lot to offer to cruisers, including good holding, protection, and a beautiful view of Tow-Awaythe Miami skyline. Another benefit is the Collins Canal, which allows boaters dinghy access to the beach, stores, and restaurants – well, maybe not so much anymore.

    The City of Miami Beach passed an amendment to an ordinance which now makes it unlawful to tie a dinghy to the canal wall to visit the city. Signs were installed all along the public sections of seawall on May 15, 2015, according to Nannette Rodriguez of the Miami Beach City office. SeaTow has been removing “many boats,” according to a SeaTow representative, who also said that the city is strictly enforcing the 20-minute limit for the dinghy dock at the end of 17th Street.

    Larry,
    We had heard rumors of towing dinghies. I hadn’t seen any news so I called Seatow and the Miami marine patrol. Seatow said they are towing dinghies on orders from the police. There are signs posting this policy on the Collins canal and some sea walls.
    I spoke with the police and the policy is a result of the derelict boats. They are aware that it “may cause ” an inconvenience to the transient population. He reported some of the difficulties they have dealt with,most recently a 16 month old drowned after falling overboard. He said you can tie at the police dock for short periods. The sign says 20 minutes but also said they have some latitude with that number. He also said the dock at the old Publix can be utilized. That dock is problematic at low tide.
    The officer also said the whole situation is a moving target and recommended speaking with the marine patrol when we get there.
    Jim O’Shea
    svKismet

    December 8, 2015
    Well we finally made it to South Beach after being pinned down in West Pam Beach and Ft Lauderdale. I haven’t spoken to the police yet but after talking to a local liveaboard it seems that everything I posted earlier is still true.
    That is, there is some leniency at the police dock and the only “legal place “tot tie your dinghy is at the old Publix on the Collins Canal. It may sound inconvenient but it isn’t as bad as it may sound. The problem is people tying too close too the dock so you can disembark.. This isn’t that unusual so we can adapt. I went a bit further down the wall and walked the small ledge back to the dock. The water is quite high from all the rainfall so I can’t attest to low tide conditions.
    Another thing would be to have one dinghy take multiple boats in and then pick them up, If they have large loads they could come back and get their dinghy and get the mate and packages from a convenient spot.
    All in all it is not worth crossing South Beach off the itinerary.
    Jim O’Shea
    svKismet

    Click Here for the full article.

  • Good Stay at Seven Seas Marina and Boatyard, AICW Statute Mile 835


    Seven Seas Marina & Boatyard lies east-northeast of AICW marker #56, and just north of the Port Orange high-rise bridge. And Skipper Charleston is correct, their transient dockage rate is $1.10 for the first night and $1.20 per foot for succeeding nights.

    2nd time we have stayed here, same as the first. Cooperative staff. We have a 21 ft beam CAT so we were placed on the fuel dock which is fixed and with a good NE wind, we are rocking a bit. Their fenders are keeping us off the dock adequately. PUBLIX is about a mile, restaurant on site was OK. Nothing is fancy but everything is OK. I will stay here again.
    Price was $1.20 per foot, not the 0.90 listed here.
    Bill Charleston

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Seven Seas Marina

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

  • The Bad, then the Good from Hollywood Municipal Marina, AICW Statute Mile 1071.5


    Thank you Skipper Clueless for sending what amounts to a retraction to your earlier report. SSECN is glad to hear of the needed improvements to be made. Hollywood Municipal Marina lies south of AICW marker #40, on the southern shores of North Lake.

    I’ll start by saying, this is beyond “you get what you pay for!” Spend the money, and go somewhere else! When we made the reservation, we were told that they had 50 amp electric. NOT! We pulled in late (at dusk), and there was know one to answer the radio. I had called ahead, and was given our slip assignment. Once in the slip, we discovered that they only had 30 amp. We found the “security” guard that checked us in, and asked about moving to where they had 50 amp service. He laughed and said: “don’t know what to tell ya, except you won’t use much fuel to run your generator!” Since it was dark at this point, we had no choice than to stay in the slip, and run the generator for power. This place is ridiculous! They also would not take cash! LEGAL TENDER!! Had to use a credit card!! Also, had to fill out 3 pages of legal mumbo jumbo! They insisted on a copy of our insurance! All this, and NO POWER! Ugh! Never again.
    Still Clueless

    Happy Ending!

    I would like to add (or subtract) from my previous post:
    Since writing this review, I was contacted by the NEW dock master who explained and addressed each and everyone of my issues. Has also provided a full refund for the stay. This marina is in dire need of several upgrades, and he has assured me that everything addressed will be in the works (if not already) for updating and change. They will immediately start taking cash! I promised, I would return once I have heard of the changes. They are a very inexpensive marina, and in a wonderful location. If you want to give them a try, just ASK about power prior to booking 🙂
    Still Clueless

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

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

  • Old Port Cove Marina Beckons, North Palm Beach, AICW Statute Mile 1014


    Old Port CoveA SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Old Port Cove is located on the western shore of the northern Lake Worth channel, near unlighted daybeacon #7.

    OLDPORTCOVELD2
    CS_CSUM_HDR_Beach_BS15523865
    Thanks to our tropical weather, boating and beaching opportunities never end here in the Palm Beaches. Take advantage of these handy links and enjoy all that our local waters have to offer whether on or off your boat.

    da840ea7-a934-4070-98cb-32e1982797bcDive Palm Beach! What is an Artificial Reef? Palm Beach County has sunk 54 ships, about 105,000 tons of lime rock and about 77,000 tons of concrete to build about 100 reefs. Deep-water reefs several miles offshore are for certified divers, while snorkelers can see all kinds of sea life at underwater sheltered parks recently built at Phil Foster Park and Peanut Island. Artificial Reef Map

     

    9b886f44-5562-47aa-8e3a-d43508b4ebd0How did Peanut Island get it’s name? Learn more below and explore all things “Peanut.” Download the PDF at our link.

    Explore All Things Peanut Island
    The park is a favorite destination for boaters and provides numerous recreational opportunities for visitors. Fishing and snorkeling are popular activities in the beautiful clear waters that surround the island.

     

     

    Woman's Foot With Sun-shaped Sun Cream In The Tropical Beach Conceptual Image Of VacationAre your Kids or Grandkids visiting? Beaches and State Parks are a great way to spend the day if you’re not taking the boat out. Check the handy links including web cams.

    BEACHES & INLET CAMS OF P.B.CTY.

    Know before you go! Check in with Cam! Play in the waters and the waves! Our beaches offer a little bit of everything for everyone.

    A Little Bit of Everything Beaches

    Beaches & Web Cams
    Enjoy the Beautiful Palm Beaches!

    Brought to you by:
    Old Port Cove Holdings, Inc. M A R I N A S
    Proudly Serving the Boating Public Since 1973
    Old Port Cove Marina– 561-626-1760
    Sandpiper’s Cove Restaurant & Bar 561-626-2280
    North Palm Beach Marina – 561-626-4919
    New Port Cove Marine Center – 561-844-2504

    Share Your Pics to our Facebook Pages !

    17d123be-5a45-4482-900e-c3be1b6d91ab

     

    MARKETING CONTACT: Sue Morgan, Marketing & PR Director marinas@opch.com

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Old Port Cove Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Old Port Cove Marina

  • Good Words for Melbourne Harbor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 919


    The Melbourne Harbor Marina entrance channel cuts west, abeam of unlighted daybeacon #6, south of the Melbourne twin, high-rise bridges.

    This is a good marina, close to the great restaurants and good shops of downtown Melbourne.
    Jane and Michael Tigar

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

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

  • Praise for Harbortown Marina, Fort Pierce, FL, AICW Statute Mile 965


    Harbortown Marina sits on the northern banks of Taylor Creek, which cuts into the Waterway’s western flank, south of unlighted daybeacon #184, just north of the Ft. Pierce Inlet.

    This marina is reasonably priced, clean and well managed. The staff is very friendly and always willing to help. The best part is they care. You can tell by how clean everything is. And if something is broken, they fix it!
    Douglass

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

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

  • Visit to Harbortown Marina, Fort Pierce, FL, AICW Statute Mile 965


    Harbortown Marina sits on the northern banks of Taylor Creek, which cuts into the Waterway’s western flank, south of unlighted daybeacon #184, just north of the Ft. Pierce Inlet.

    Awesome restaurant and tiki bar at the marina! WiFi was so/so even being docked in front of the marina office! Advertisement stated that they have loaner bikes for transients…. they had one that was working. Different pricing for being on the wall vs. in a slip…. found this weird and backwards! More expensive to be exposed? Also had to listen to the bar noise and pay more? ASK to be in a slip!! Less per foot!! No grass for dogs….. all area’s that were green had signs for NO DOG WALKING. Strange place, but the tiki bar was the bomb! 🙂
    Still Clueless

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

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

  • Gasoline Pumps Out of Service, Amelia Island Yacht Basin, AICW Statute Mile 720.5


    The entrance channel leading to Amelia Island Yacht Basin, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, cuts into the Waterway’s eastern shore, immediately north of the Kingsley Creek Railway Bridge and just south of Waterway marker #13. Only gasoline pumps are out of service!/p>

    fuelpumps

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Amelia Island Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Amelia Island Yacht Basin

  • Good Words for 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.

    Such an awesome little marina! Very nice staff, helpful and went above and beyond to ensure we were happy. Even provided a loaner car for a run to the Public. Beach is just a 2 minute walk!! Quiet, and deserted, we had it to ourselves! Can’t wait to stop back in the Spring!
    Still Clueless

    All of the glowing reviews posted previously are very well-deserved. Easy in and out. Staff VERY friendly and helpful. Facilities were very clean, also. By far, the best value we found traveling from NC to FL.
    Capt Jack Henry & 1st mate Steve Oakley

    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

  • Follow-up Report on Jensen Beach Bridge Anchorages, AICW Statute Mile 981


    Skipper Meyer sent us a report about these anchorages back in October, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=153405, and now he fills in many details about the area. The twin Jensen Beach Bridge anchorages lie west of the Waterway, north and south of the Jensen Beach bridge, south of unlighted daybeacon #219.

    So I ended up staying here nearly two weeks. The spot was just too good. There’s a nice park north of the anchorage that my dog loved and a bait shop west that was happy to let me use their beach for the dink. Shopping and restaurants are within a stone’s throw and there’s also a laundromat near the Publix about 1/2 mile away. The anchor did come up muddy but held well through some moderate winds.
    Chad Meyer

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Jensen Beach Bridge Anchorages

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jensen Beach Bridge CAnchorages

  • More on “All Aboard Florida” in the News Again

    As this article by Tim Hudson from WLRN in Miami describes, the conflict between All Aboard Florida RR system and the Florida waterways continues to be a source of discord for spokespersons of both industries. Much discussion has followed the introduction of the controversial plan to increase the daily number of trains crossing primary water routes. It’s hard to imagine how increased RR bridge activity will not impact the flow of water traffic.See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=149839.

    DSC_0282

    The default position for the Florida East Coast Railway bridge across the New River in Ft. Lauderdale is in the up position. Many in the marine industry worry what new passenger rail service could mean for boat traffic on the river. TOM HUDSON

    The Boat Business And A Fort Lauderdale Railroad Bridge
    By TOM HUDSON November 1, 2015
    Talking with people who make their living based on boats and many quickly mention what they think is the biggest threat to their livelihood — a bridge.
    That single bridge crosses the New River near downtown Fort Lauderdale. Florida East Coast Railway operates the bridge, which handles freight traffic now.

    However, with All Aboard Florida’s plans to run passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando over the same tracks, South Florida’s marine industry worries what that rail traffic could mean for the flow of its business on the water.

    For the better part of two years All Aboard Florida and representatives of South Florida’s marine industry have been talking about how to deal with this pinch point where the boating business and the effort to build passenger rail service come together.

    The current bridge was built in 1978, although a railroad bridge has crossed the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale since 1912. It’s a single leaf bascule drawbridge that runs 60 feet shore-to-shore.

    When not in use, the bridge defaults to its up position, allowing marine traffic to float upriver to the many marinas lining the shore of the South Fork of the New River or down river to the Intracoastal.

    For the full story and other related articles, CLICK HERE.

    And this article by Doreen Hemlock  from the Sun Sentinel:

    November 6, 2015
    The marine industry and the proposed All Aboard Florida passenger train are making peace over the New River bridge in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
    A test by the Coast Guard has proved successful in trimming the time the railroad bridge needs to be closed, allowing both boats and trains to share the river — at least for now, leaders said.
    Later, the marine industry would like to see an elevated bridge built over the river for the passenger trains to use instead, said Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.
    “Guess what? I think we’ve worked it out,” Purcell told a surprised audience at a boat show event attended by All Aboard Florida’s president Michael Reininger.
    “The test has gone incredibly well,” Reininger added in an interview. “The test worked.”
    At issue is a 1970s bridge over the New River that is kept open for boats and closes when freight trains pass — up to 14 times per day. All Aboard Florida plans to use the tracks when it starts high-speed passenger service next year, requiring the bridge be closed 16 extra times per day.

     

  • Good Words for Outback Crab Shack, Six Mile Creek, St. Johns River


    Skipper Burnham is responding to a lengthy posting/replies that Claiborne did way back in 2008, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=1237. It is nice to know that the Outback Crab Shack is still in business and that the bucket of beer is still cold. Plow on Skipper!

    The Shands Bridge at GCS limits access to the Outback Crab Shack’s 1500 foot floating dock to southbound sailboats with mast heights lower than 45 feet, although at very low tides I have been able to clear the span with the 45′ 9″ mast on the Camper Nicholson 33′. However, I have to “power thru” the muddy shoal at the entrance to Six Mile Creek on the eastern shore with my 6′ 6″ draft fin keel so there are a few 6″ wide “channels” at the entrance of Six Mile Creek leading to the floating dock at the Outback Crab Shack.
    I have read a review that pans the seafood and service at this converted bait shop/biker bar, but they probably didn’t arrive by motorcycle or boat, and forgot to order the bucket of beer before ordering their food. I’m not a big fan of crawdads or chicken wings or overpriced seafood but I’ve never left the Shack hungry or sober and the service is better than the average biker bar.
    David Burnham

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Palmo Cove and Six Miles Creek

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, In Satellite Photo (“Hybrid”) Mode, Zoomed To the Location of the Crab Shack on Six Mile Creek

  • Advice on Currents at San Pablo/Atlantic Boulevard Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 744.5, 9/26/2013

    Our thanks to Skipper Burnham for this helpful information and advice. Go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=130877 for the referenced posting. With a fixed vertical clearance of 65ft, San Pablo/Atlantic Boulevard Bridge crosses the Waterway at Statute Mile 744.5.

    If you go to the http://www.deepzoom.com website you can easily see that the Atlantic Avenue Bridge has the strongest daily currents on the entire US East Coast. Use caution and timing and enjoy the push, but wait out the adverse current if you cannot maintain over 7 kts.
    David Burnham

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For San Pablo/Atlantic Blvd Bridge

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

  • More on Red Tide Risks on the Beaches of Florida

    These latest warnings must be heeded if you have children or pets playing at the beach. See “Red tide public health risks” below.

    fwc
    For immediate release: October 30, 2015
    Contact: Kelly Richmond, FWC 727-502-4784

    Red tide confirmed in Florida: What you need to know

    Red tide is a naturally occurring, higher-than-normal concentration of microscopic algae. In Florida, the species that causes most red tides is Karenia brevis. This organism produces toxins that can affect the central nervous system of aquatic organisms such as fish and marine mammals. Red tide toxins also pose a human health risk. The toxins can aerosolize and be carried to beaches with onshore winds, leading to respiratory irritation in people. Toxins can accumulate in shellfish and result in illnesses if contaminated shellfish are consumed. Shellfish harvesting areas are closed when blooms are present.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) researchers are currently monitoring two blooms along Florida’s Gulf coast, one located in northwest Florida and the other in southwest Florida.

    “We confirmed the presence of both blooms in September, and they have persisted since that time,” said Alina Corcoran, FWC research scientist. “The bloom in the Panhandle is currently affecting Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties. In southwest Florida, patchy blooms have been confirmed along Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties. Extensive fish kills and respiratory irritation have been associated with the bloom in the Panhandle but in southwest Florida the effects have been less.”

    Red tide public health tips:

    People in a red tide area can experience varying degrees of eye, nose and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms usually go away.
    People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.
    In some red tides, dead fish wash ashore; during these conditions it is advised that beachgoers avoid swimming in water where dead fish are present.
    Pet owners are advised that red tide poses a risk to animals brought to the beach. If a pet swims in a red tide patch at the beach, rinse off its fur and paws as soon as possible with fresh water. Also, do not let pets eat fish or drink water from the red tide.
    Recreational harvesting of bivalve mollusks such as hard clams, oysters and mussels from approved shellfish harvesting areas is banned during red tide closures. To determine whether harvesting of shellfish is permitted in an area, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Aquaculture website.
    FWC researchers work closely with partners, including Mote Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and NOAA, to track blooms, share information and develop products that help to inform both citizens and scientists about bloom conditions.

    “Citizen scientists play a vital role in tracking blooms. Volunteers can provide the majority of water samples for bloom tracking in regions like the Panhandle,” said Corcoran.

    For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or learn more about red tide, visit MyFWC.com/RedTide. To report fish kills to the FWC, contact the Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online.

    Additional red tide resources:

    Red tide facts and information pocket guide and Fact sheet
    Florida Department of Health
    Shellfish Harvesting Area Status
    Mote Marine Laboratory Beach Condition Reporting System at Mote.org/Beaches
    USF Collaboration for the Prediction of Red Tides (CPR)
    NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS)
    redtide4

    And this from WTSP 10 News:

    Red tide sparks tourism concerns
    Eric Glasser, WTSP 5:40 p.m. EST December 9, 2015

    St. Petersburg Beach, FL — Pictures of dead fish washing ashore in the Bay area are not the images that tourism officials want popping up on social media.
    But red tide, say marine scientists, is now here. And how long it will last, they admit, is a mystery.
    Visitors like Kathy Keleher who came to St. Petersburg from Canada to experience its cuisine and culture have seen the images of bloated fish now floating in Boca Ciega Bay.
    “And then it’s gross, and it stinks,” said Keleher, “I don’t expect that at all. I expect beautiful white sandy beaches and clear water and palm trees. Not that,” she said.
    It’s not what those who rely on tourism want people texting their friends and relatives back home.
    “No, I mean it’s horrible for business obviously,” said Wade Parrish, head chef at O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille in Gulfport.
    “You know, the smell would be a deterrent for people to come out here and sit outside and enjoy the wonderful view that we’ve got here,” said Parrish.
    Bob Weisberg with the University of South Florida’s Marine Sciences lab in St. Petersburg, says red tide, or Karenia Brevis as they call it, can kill fish and even cause respiratory distress for people and marine mammals in high enough concentration.
    “There is very little we can do about the red tide,” said Weisberg, describing it as simply too large.
    “This particular plant can get a foothold, and when it does it then dominates,” said Weisberg, “which is what’s happening right now,” he said.
    The red tide algae, says Weisberg, makes its way inland from deep in the Gulf of Mexico riding along strong underwater currents.
    Scientists, he says, could better predict how long it might stick around if they were able to take more offshore observations.
    Unfortunately, he says, the estimated $300,000 cost to consistently send a boat out into the Gulf of Mexico to take those readings is regularly cut out of the state budget.
    Commonly, red tide will begin to dissipate this time of the year, said Weisberg.
    But he also warned that there have been some seasons when the algae bloom has survived well into the summer.
    For a closer look at the underwater current charts Weisberg and his colleagues at USF use to try to predict the direction red tide may be moving, click here.

  • More on AICW/Matanzas Inlet Intersection Problem Stretch, AICW Statute Mile 792.5


    This AICW Problem Stretch has always been one of the shallowest sections of the Waterway in Eastern Florida. Earlier descriptions of the three newest markers would indicate that shoaling is beginning to reappear. BE SURE to observe any new aids to navigation and, as always on perennial AICW Problem Stretches, be READY for new shoaling and even newer markers as you pass through. Our thanks to Skipper McLeran for sharing his observations.

    Two of us transited Matanzas Inlet southbound at mid tide 3.5 feet this morning (10/30) at 0930. Despite giving the temp greens and reds their appropriate distance we saw only 7.5 feet total depth in a few spots. Boaters still need to be careful and play the tide if necessary for the boat’s draft.
    Bob McLeran

    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

  • November is Manatee Awareness Month! Slow Down!

    fwc
    October 29, 2015
    Slow down for manatees migrating to warmer waters

    Manatee caution sign

    With winter’s chill approaching, Florida manatees are on the move. Manatees cannot tolerate cold water and may begin to seek warmer water when temperatures start to drop below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Some travel hundreds of miles to reach a warmer destination. Because of the annual migration, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding boat and personal watercraft operators that it is important to slow down to avoid manatees, particularly in shallow areas.

    Manatees can be difficult to see as they often swim and rest just below the water’s surface. Boaters wearing polarized sunglasses are more likely to spot manatees underwater.

    November is Manatee Awareness Month. There is no better time to plan a visit to observe Florida’s beloved manatees. Find these places by going to MyFWC.com/Manatee and clicking the link under the “Where can I See Manatees?” box.

    “Watching these large plant-eating mammals swim slowly through Florida waters, often accompanied by their calves, is a special experience for residents and visitors to the state,” said Carol Knox, the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management section leader. “Boaters following posted speed zones for manatees migrating to warmer waters help conserve this iconic Florida species for future generations.”

    Boaters should be aware that many seasonal manatee protection zones go into effect on Nov. 15 throughout the state. For information about manatee protection zones by county, including the seasonal changes, go to MyFWC.com/Manatee, and click on “Data and Maps.” At the bottom of that same page, there also is information on FWC Manatee COLD-weather changes to speed zones. FWC law enforcement officers will be on the water enforcing these seasonal rules to protect manatees in busy boating areas.

    People can report sightings of injured, sick or dead manatees to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922, #FWC and *FWC on a cell phone, or with a text to Tip@MyFWC.com.

    The purchase of a Florida manatee license plate at BuyaPlate.com or a manatee decal from tax collectors’ offices in Florida is another way to help manatees. The license plate and decal support the FWC manatee program, including research, rescue, rehabilitation, conservation, management and education efforts.
    fwc6

    Learn more about Florida manatees at MyFWC.com/Manatees. Click on “Manatee Habitat” to discover what plants they eat when inhabiting Florida’s rivers, bays, canals, estuaries and coastal areas. While on that page, click on “Boat, PWC & Paddle-sport Operators.” Also check out “A Boater’s guide to living with Florida Manatees” and “Guidelines for successful manatee watching in Florida.”

  • Advice for Avoiding the Shoals South of Fernandina Beach, AICW Statute Miles 717 – 720


    Reports of shoaling south of Fernandina Beach have been coming in for several years and prompted a USCG Hazard Warning in May of last year (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140702). Our thanks to cruising writer Robert Sherer, New Intracoastal Waterway Cruising Guide, for sending these charts and waypoints to guide you through the shoals.

    There is a 10 ft MLW path through the shoals south of Fernandina that I took on October 28, 2015.
    Heading south:
    Depart channel 300 ft before R16 aiming for the tongue of deep water shown on chart (Garmin) at a heading of 275M for 17.8 MLW.
    Run along the 12 ft contour line next to shore until the tongue of deep water ends as shown on the chart, then aim for G1 which will be at 245M, pass by 30 ft for 13.4 MLW, higher along the way.
    Important: do not turn immediately around G1 (shoals), continue for 170 ft, then turn due south for 500 ft before turning towards deep water as shown on charts on the green side close to shore. Run just outside the 12 ft contour line down to G3 and G5, 200 ft off. 10.4 MLW entering the 12 ft contour line, deeper after that.
    This passage is difficult because you’re avoiding three shoals:
    – one is in the middle of the marked channel in the bend that’s down to 3 MLW
    – the second one comes out off the eastern shore just south of G1
    – the third one is further south coming off the western shore
    None of these are marked.

    After six years of passing through here, I’ve settled on the above description, it works for no less than 10.4 MLW. The depths were adjusted for not only the tides but also for the higher than normal water levels as reported by the Fernandina weather station. This passage would be easy if buoyed properly, the route has been constant for the pass five years.
    A chart of the route:
    fb1
    fb2
    For those wanting the exact path, here are the waypoints with the usual disclaimers (things can change on the ICW)

    F01
    N 30° 39.804
    W 081° 28.596
    F02
    N 30° 39.805
    W 081° 28.730
    F03
    N 30° 39.853
    W 081° 28.938
    F04
    N 30° 39.803
    W 081° 29.082
    F05
    N 30° 39.713
    W 081° 29.084
    F06
    N 30° 39.613
    W 081° 29.030
    F07
    N 30° 39.409
    W 081° 28.968
    F08
    N 30° 39.254
    W 081° 28.970
    F09
    N 30° 38.824
    W 081° 29.024

    Robert Sherer
    aka Bob423
    Author of “2015 ICW Cruising Guide” available on Amazon.com
    Daily blog at fleetwing.blogspot.com

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