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Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Overhead Cable Work, St. Johns River, south of Palatka


    Replacement of these Florida Power and Light transmission lines should not affect our tall masted friends, but if in doubt, give them a call at 561-722-0889. This power line is just north of Porter Cove Anchorage and normally has a vertical clearance of 90ft.

    FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER: FPL Aerial Crossing Work
    FPL will be replacing some overhead electrical transmission line structures within the St. John’s River, in Putnam County, south of Palatka. Barges will arrive the week of 23 March 23 and work will take place until approximately 20 May, 2015. The structures are along the east and west bank and will not be in the central portion of the river. Coordinates for the two poles that are being replaced are: 29-37-21.49N/81-35-42.60W and 29-37-18.40N/81-35-58.55W in the vicinity of Rivercrest Light 11 (LLNR 8250). The vessel operators will be monitoring VHF-FM Channel 16. The point of contact is Mr. Mark Denman of FPL (561) 722-0889. Chart 11487 LNM: 12/15

  • John J. Kettlewell on SB 1548, Florida Anchoring Rights Bill

    Renowned author and longtime cruiser, John J. Kettlewell, addresses the many contradictory issues raised by a current bill before the Florida legislature, SB 1548. To read the bill, go to: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147397 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147455. While the restrictions to anchoring found in this bill pertain only to Florida, those restrictions, if enacted, might well find their way into restrictions imposed by other coastal states.

    Anti-Anchoring Bill is Anti-Safety
    John J. Kettlewell

    Once again Florida boaters and cruisers from all over are fighting an ill-conceived anti-anchoring bill (SB 1548 [link to: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1548/BillText/Filed/PDF]) that purports to be about “safety,” but in reality would limit the number of safe harbors to a handful in much of the state. The main thrust of the bill prohibits overnight anchoring within 200 feet of most developed parts of Florida. As has been discussed here and in many places online, this measure would essentially outlaw all overnight anchoring in many popular places such as Manatee Pocket, anywhere in Ft. Lauderdale, most of Miami, Marathon, and most of North Lake Worth.

    All of these locations, and many more, are where cruisers routinely anchor safely while waiting for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas, or just to ride out a stretch of bad weather. I have done so in all of these places. During the peak winter season it is highly likely that there would be no marina berths available in these same locations, mooring fields would be full, and there would be no alternative but to keep moving night and day despite the weather. Even with the current availability of anchorages it is very difficult to find a marina berth or a mooring in high season.

    Sure, there are safety exceptions in the proposed law, for “mechanical breakdown or when imminent or existing extreme weather conditions impose an unreasonable risk of harm.” Who is to judge whether or not the weather is “extreme,” and whether or not it poses an “unreasonable risk of harm?” Am I supposed to move on in a gale because it isn’t “extreme?”

    Even in good weather what would an ordinary cruiser do? It is impractical and dangerous to run the ICW 24/7, and sometimes even if the weather isn’t “extreme” it is very difficult and uncomfortable to proceed outside down the coast while fighting the Gulf Stream. In short, this bill makes safe and comfortable cruising all but impossible in south Florida, and makes it very difficult in the entire state.

    Cruising boaters are above all else safety conscious. We spend thousands of dollars on safety equipment far in excess of any Coast Guard or other regulations. We do so to protect our lives and property, often valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    At the same time, we enjoy visiting new places where we can anchor safely, go ashore, enjoy restaurants and shopping, re-provision our vessels, and purchase marine equipment. On various trips to Florida I have spent many thousands of dollars specifically on safety equipment: liferafts, epirbs, radios, safety harnesses, anchoring gear, satellite phones, etc. etc. Most cruisers will not go where they would be forced to operate their boats in an unsafe manner, which is what this law would do.

    To anyone who has cruised Florida it is obvious that this bill would “impose an unreasonable risk of harm” to boaters on a regular basis. This is more than an anti-anchoring bill–it is anti-safety and anti-boating.

    John J. Kettlewell
    Author of Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook Norfolk to Miami, 6th Edition

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  • Reeves’ Reports: Hontoon Island Marina at the State Park and Blue Spring Park, St. Johns River


    Skipper Reeves continues his exploration of the St. Johns River with a visit to Hontoon Island State Park Marina/Dock, south of Lake George and north of Lake Monroe near Deland, FL. located east-southeast of flashing daybeacon #53 and the northeasterly mouth of Hontoon Dead River.

    Very quiet and laid back. Lots to explore here with many creeks to visit in the dink.We are planning on moving our residence to Florida next week and we can visit here for half price $10 a day all inclusive. I wanted to stay here for ever. There is a marina across the river that does not have good reviews and is very high on fuel prices. Right around the corner is Holly Bluff Marina that has better prices and service. Rick in the shop found me a hose to fix a problem and was very helpful. Rick carries a lot of parts and can get anything you need. Several boaters in little trailer tugs came by and said they stop here all the time. This is not nowhere but you can see nowhere from here.

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    Anchored at Lungren Island with the dink at the island for a dog walk.

    Hontoon Island State Park has a lot of slips but only the T dock has enough water for our trawler and we plowed a little soft mud at 5 ft on the T dock to the West. We picked up WiFi from across the way and the dock has 50 amp service, water and is almost new. Very nice park with hot showers and clean restrooms. The rangers are super nice. No groceries or laundry. All this for $20. a night. Only $10 if you are a Florida resident. https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Hontoon-Island

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    Docked at Hontoon Island only 5 boats were there the week we were there.

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    At Blue Spring you can beach and tie up to the South of the swim area. Do not dock on the dock. Self serve on park fee of $1.00 per person. We want to come back when they allow swimming in the spring . The water is 72 F year round.
    Looks green to me but they call it Blue Spring. The board walk goes all the way down to the “Boil” of over a 100,000 gals per hour.
    blue

    Additional Information from Skipper Reeves on 6/15/2015

    A most excellent place to be on the river. The rangers are hard working and very helpful. The deep water (we saw 5 ft) is at the T dock as you approach from the North it is first one on your starboard. Do not get too close to the shore when you come in. The nice floating docks are self serve. Rangers are not allowed to help you dock. The T dock has 50 amp power and water. $10 a nite if Fl resident, $20 if not. The inside docks are for small craft only. We stopped for a few days going to Sanford and a few more on our return trip. From here you can visit Blue Springs and take a trip in your dink or kayak all the way around on Snake Creek. The Rangers rent canoes. Just like the Amazon with all the wildlife. We visited in winter. Watch your pet around the shore. Alligators everywhere. The park trails, the fishing, all is Good! We had some wifi from across the river on our booster. The park has limited supplies, more across the river. It is a no wake zone but idiots will blast through sometimes. Very quiet and laid back at night and week days. You can anchor in the creek to the North if you wish. The showers are hot and clean. Day use is allowed for a small fee. See more and pictures http://ontheofficewautoteacher.blogspot.com/2015/03/hontoon-island-state-park-has-lot-of.html

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Hontoon Island State Park

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hontoon Island State Park

  • Request for Comment on Lake Okeechobee Restoration

    This request asks for your comments on lake restoration in South Florida, including Lake Okeechobee.

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    Public input sought on permit request allowing FWC lake restoration in south Florida
    Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 03/11/2015 10:06 AM EDT March 11, 2015

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District to conduct restoration activities on four lakes and water bodies in the FWC’s South Region.
    This permit is required pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The request is part of an overall initiative in which the FWC is working with the Corps to obtain permits for routine restoration work in 95 lakes and water bodies throughout Florida.
    The public can review the request and comment on it (see link below).

    The following water bodies within the FWC’s South Region are included in the permit application:
    •Lake Okeechobee in Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Martin and Palm Beach counties;
    •Lake Trafford in Collier County;
    •Lake Hicpochee in Glades County;
    •Lake Osborne in Palm Beach County.

    The Corps permitting process requires the opportunity for public comment. The Corps has published a Public Notice for the proposed work on its website at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. To view the notice, click on the following file number to open the Public Notice: SAJ-2015-00641 (SP-SLR). If you would like to provide comments or have any questions regarding the Corps permit process, please follow the directions included in the Public Notice. Note that the Web address is case sensitive and should be entered as it appears above.

    Click Here to read the complete Bulletin

  • Southern Boulevard Bridge to be Replaced, AICW Statute Mile 1025


    This article by Angel Streeter in the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel outlines plans for a new drawbridge to replace the Southern Boulevard drawbridge, which has a closed vertical clearance of 14ft and crosses the Waterway and southern Lake Worth at Mile 1025 in West Palm Beach. Flagler Memorial Bridge, Royal Park Bridge and Southern Boulevard Bridge always present a challenge to a skipper’s patience if an opening is needed, especially during these continuing periods of construction.

    State makes plans to replace Southern Boulevard Bridge in West Palm Beach
    By Angel Streeter
    Sun Sentinel
    Construction on new Southern Boulevard Bridge in West Palm Beach will begin in 2016.

    The Southern Blvd Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway looking west from Palm Beach. The Florida Department of Transportation is unveiling its plans for replacing the Southern Boulevard Bridge. The new Southern bridge will cost about $78 million, and work is expected wrap up in late 2016. (Mark Randall, Sun Sentinel)

    Another drawbridge is coming down in Palm Beach County — but just until its replacement is built.
    The Florida Department of Transportation is unveiling its plans for replacing the Southern Boulevard Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach while it’s still in the midst of building the replacement for the Flagler Memorial Bridge. Both bridges connect West Palm Beach to Palm Beach.

    This time, the state hopes to avoid the pitfalls that have come with replacing the Flagler bridge. The state transportation department plans to build a temporary bridge to the north of the existing Southern Boulevard bridge to keep traffic moving between the mainland and the island.

    Click Here for the rest of the article.

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Flagler Memorial Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Flagler Memorial Bridge

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Royal Park Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Royal Park Bridge

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Southern Boulevard Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southern Boulevard Bridge

  • Report from Anchorage near Bakers Haulover Inlet, north of Miami, AICW Statute Mile 1080


    This is a report on an anchorage not listed as such in SSECN’s directory and is in response to a 2012 report on the site, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=81100. The anchorage is in northern Biscayne Bay on the west side of the Waterway between the campus of Florida International University Biscayne Bay to the west and Oleta State Park to the east.

    Took the turn toward Oleta park anchorage off of the ICW at red marker 6A. Keep red marker 6A on your port side as your coming in and head west for the docks. Kept 10 feet of water the whole way through off the ICW and anchored in Oleta park in 10 feet of water. Beautiful protected anchorage before Miami, didn’t go to land however.
    @wickedsaltywes
    Stay Salty

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

  • Free Dock at Bryant’s Wharf, Welaka, FL, St. Johns River


    Skipper Reeves continues his exploration of the St. Johns River, stopping at spots a bit off the beaten track – good for you Sonny! (See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147232.) Bryant’s Wharf is on the east shore of the river where “Ramp” is charted.

    Locals very friendly. Nothing here. Other than a nice metal concrete floating dock that is well lighted at night. Small 20 x 24 ft slips. Good depths, Most boats on River slow down but wakes are minimal. The town appears closed up there is a convenience store a few blocks East. Restaurant onsite is closed. A grill and cafe is a hike. We did not go there. Restrooms reported at top of hill in a recreation park. Old Florida small town pop 586. Dock is free with no electric, water or trash pick up.
    Sonny Reeves

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    Dock from hill looking West

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    Public boat ramp to South of the free dock.

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    A closed maritime museum

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    Showers at Welaka Park

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bryant’s Wharf

  • Updated: Good Visit to Murphy Island, St. Johns River, Palatka, FL


    Murphy Island is south of Palatka and separated from the mainland by Murphy Creek, making for good exploring by dinghy as Skipper Reeves mentions in this report which makes picturesque Murphy Island sound so nice compared to the commercialism of large marinas.

    The dock is short for our 40 ft boat. Water depth is 6 ft at dock and over 30+ ft in river. But it is a nice floating dock with ramp to picnic and camping. We stayed two nights and saw no one except fishermen going fast on the river that waked us. The island has a marked trail that winds around. Very nice! The bugs did not bother us. We were fogged in both mornings until 10ish. Did not see any sign requesting fee. There is one porta potty and some fire pits for campers. The treat is a dink ride around the island. Lots of wild life, alligators and eagles. Would not want to be here in heat of summer. Exposed to North. Georgia Boys Marina on Dunn creek to East.
    Sonny Reeves

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    Click Here for more photos of Murphy Island

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

  • Good Review of Crystal Cove Marina, St. Johns River, north of Palatka


    Our thanks to Skipper Reeves for this thorough review of Crystal Cove Marina which lies on the western banks of the St. Johns River with a well marked entrance channel.

    Laid back with Southern hospitality. Don the dockmaster could not be more helpful. The crew is very nice Jerry and Billy handled the lines and met us late Sunday. We stayed the week, very quiet. There is a pool we did not try due to the weather. Restrooms showers, etc all here. Old docks but safe. Easy approach with 5-6 ft depths. Very little current or tide. The electrical was good and the wifi worked for us to watch movies. Rental car from enterprise. Gas on site. Diesel by truck. Town is a few miles to shopping center. $5.00 a ft is quoted price for a month. Pets welcome. Lots of liveaboards. The 45 slips were full when we got there. They rent pontoon boats and the boat ramp is used by fishermen. One restaurant at hotel was closed for renovation, A Grill Cafe is open, Hotel onsite with laundry. The grounds are kept up clean. We will be back!
    Sonny Reeves
    crystal2crystal

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

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

  • St. Augustine Cruisers’ Shuttle Service Launched, AICW Statute Mile 778


    Port of Call, St. AugustineWhat a great service! Thank you Port of Call St. Augustine, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS NET SPONSOR! As you take advantage of this new convenience, send us a review. St. Augustine City Marina overlooks the western shoreline, just south of the Bridge of Lions and Hidden Harbor Marina lies on the western shores of the San Sebastian River, northwest of marker #37.

    Port of Call St Augustine has launched their new Cruisers’ Shuttle servicing Mariners at the City Municipal and Hidden Harbor Marinas. The current schedule will transport visitors to all the necessary provisioning spots and watering holes.
    shuttle
    Clean and efficient transportation at a great price has finally arrived. Five dollars will buy you an all- day pass and Albert, the extraordinary bus driver, makes every effort to be sure your provisioning is complete. Our Shuttle is designed to meet every requirement of the transient mariner. For example, the West Route can accommodate your propane tanks with the best price in town on refills. As far as purchasing supplies, there is no such thing as buying too much. The back of the Shuttle is designed to stack and carry all the groceries and supplies you can stand to buy. Our eight passenger Scuttle bus will tie up any loose ends with the 10 am Scuttle Run which handles everything from clearing Customs to supply deliveries from the local chandleries. Special handling can be arranged through our office if you call ahead. Tune into the local Cruisers Net Radio at
    9am VHF CH 72 for daily information or go to our website portofcallsa.com for the latest information on the Shuttle schedule.
    PORT OF CALL SAINT AUGUSTINE: YOUR SOURCE ON THE WATER
    Portofcallsa.com
    904-429-5045

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine City Marina

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

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

  • AIWA Winter Newsletter

    Because these are our home waters, SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’NET is especially proud to be a member of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association and of supporting their invaluable work. If you are a cruiser of “The Ditch” you will want to join in support of the AIWA.

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  • Good Report on St Augustine Inlet Buoys, near AICW Statute Mile 776


    Our thanks to Skipper Newsome for the link below showing the placement of markers in June of 2013. Since that date an additional red marker has been added, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=145360. With other possible changes in mind, the report Buoy Assessment is a handsome report and still well worth the time to read.

    The link below to a power point presentation title STA Inlet Buoy Assessment 01-Jun-2013 seems to correlate to the April 16, 2013 meeting notes and provides a good visual and reference to the buoy positions and inlet in general.

    http://www.staugustineport.com/projects/04JUN2013_InletAssessment.pdf

    James Newsome

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Inlet

  • SSCA’s Position on FWC Anchoring Summary Released

    The Seven Seas Cruising Association has long been a strong advocate for boaters’ rights, especially the right to anchor without undue restrictions. SSECN applauds SSCA’s publication of their position on FWC’s recent summary of anchoring rights, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=146797, and urges Florida boaters to contact their respective legislators asking for support for anchoring rights.

    PRESS RELEASE
    For More Information Contact: For Immediate Release
    Barbara Theisen, Editor 2/12/2015
    Seven Seas Cruising Association, Inc.
    2501 East Commercial Blvd., Suite 203
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
    954-771-5662 – Home Base
    editor@ssca.org
    SEVEN SEAS CRUISING ASSOCIATION RELEASES
    FLORIDA ANCHORING RIGHTS POSITION
    The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has published its position on the new Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Anchoring Survey results. The FWC will propose legislative changes to anchoring rights. Some are positive, but some will prevent Florida boaters from anchoring, only to preserve the waterfront view of a very few landowners. Every Florida Boater needs to contact their elected representatives to preserve their Florida anchoring rights.
    SSCA approves the following FWC proposal: (Numbering preserved from the FWC Executive Summary. )

    3. The storing of vessels on the water in deteriorating condition would be prohibited. (However, SSCA’s position is that Florida legislators must approve funding for the regulation and removal of these “derelict” boats).

    However, SSCA does not approve of the following FWC anchoring rights proposals as reasonable concepts:

    2. A setback distance where anchoring of vessels overnight in close proximity to waterfront residential property would be prohibited.

    5. If authority was granted to local governments to regulate anchoring in their jurisdiction, an allowance could be created for other anchoring regulations where need is demonstrated.

    Florida anchoring rights are important to all boaters. Florida is a bellwether state for water rights, and if
    Florida restricts federal rights of boats to travel and anchor on public waters, just to preserve the view of a
    few landowners (residential setback), other states may follow. Also, proposal 5 (approval of local regulation) would create an impossible patchwork of differing regulations across the state, subject to the whims and enforcement of local cities and counties. This is what the current mooring field regulations were enacted to eliminate. But SSCA agrees with FWC’s proposal to define and remove derelict boats, if funding is also approved for this regulation and removal.
    Seven Seas Cruising Association, Inc. is the oldest and largest non-profit organization of voyaging cruisers
    in the world. SSCA has nearly 8,000 members sharing the dream of sailing the seas as a lifestyle. The goals of the original founders are still the goals of SSCA today: sharing cruising information, camaraderie, and leaving a clean wake. For more information, go to www.ssca.org

    See: Executive Summary of FWC Anchoring Survey Results at:
    http://myfwc.com/media/2981012/Anchoring-Survey-Executive-Summary.pdf

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  • Daytona Marina and Boatworks, AICW Statute Mile 831


    This excellent report by Skippers Valentine comes to us via the AGLCA Forum. The entrance channel to Daytona Marina runs west-southwest from the Waterway south of marker #39A and the southerly entrance cut for Halifax Harbor Marina.

    I would like to report excellent service that we received at Daytona Marina and Boatworks (http://www.thedaytonamarina.com). After an unplanned meeting with the bottom we limped into their yard with damaged running gear. Both Kevin Mooney, the manager at Daytona Boatworks and Mark, the owner of Tomoka Propeller were very responsive and efficient. They were also considerate of our status as transients, and went out of their way to keep us floating while work progressed, including a couple of short hauls. We can’t say enough about how pleased we were with this facility and with the entire staff. If you are a cruiser needing some maintenance do yourself a favor and consider having it done here. They did what they said, when they said, and, even with a couple of surprises, stayed pretty darn close to the estimate. The transient docks are in great condition- fixed wooden lay alongs, the laundry and showers are clean and the dockmasters are efficient and helpful. If you need repairs or maintenance consider this your stop. If you just want a nice stop, with a restaurant on the premises and a short walk from the downtown area, give them a try.
    Larry & Theresa Valentine m/v Lauren Grace

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Daytona Marina and Boatyard

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

  • Unhappy Stay at Fort Lauderdale Municipal Docks at Las Olas Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 1064


    One of three municipal docks in Fort Lauderdale, the Las Olas docks lie off the Waterway’s eastern shoreline immediately north and south (mostly on the north side) of the Las Olas bascule bridge. Skipper Finley’s report is in contrast to other reviews posted on SSECN. However, with municipal budget cuts, it is possible that conditions at the marina have deteriorated in the last year or so.

    This facility is not being maintained in accordance to the prices being charged. The restrooms are NASTY and not being cleaned regularly. Feces on the toilet seats for 3 days now. toilet paper out. Security I have seen 2 times in 10 days.. People come in at night by walking in with paying customers. Boats come in after dark and leave before dawn. I had a guy urinating off the bridge behind my boat and called security, he was at the fisheries and I never saw him that night. Boaters communicate through the web. I like to be persistent to foster change for a better future for the mariners. I cannot agree I paid $1500 to park a 34ft. boat for this kind of treatment. We need to do better people!
    Scott Finley

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Las Olas Municipal Docks

  • US Power and Sail Squadrons Honored by BoatUS

    Boat U.S.USPower and Sail Squadrons provide valuable local community services with their public boating safety inspections and boat handling courses, as recognized here by BoatUS, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    NEWS From BoatUS
    Boat Owners Association of The United States
    880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304

    power sqd

    (L to R) C/C Robert Baldridge; Cdr. Sterling Wyland, Ocean City; Lt/C. Bonnie Kanoy, North Strand; Cdr. JB Bagby, Ft. Macon; Cdr. Dick Todd, Lake Norman; Cdr. Jim Strothers, Sanibel-Captiva; D/C Mary Dodd, USPS District 8: Ted Sensenbrenner, BoatUS.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

     

    MD, NC, SC and FL United States Power Squadrons Bestowed With Honors

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla., February 5, 2015 — At the US Power Squadrons (USPS) Annual Meeting held recently in Jacksonville, Florida, five Squadrons from across the country and one District were honored with Distinguished Civic Service Awards. Sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the awards are given annually to the USPS District and Squadrons in recognition of exceptional service and public boating safety education and service to the boating community.

    “While America’s recreational boaters are enjoying the water with friends and family, Power Squadron members work hard giving up their own time to help make boating safer. They offer boat owners free vessel safety checks, provide boating safety instruction, and more. We greatly appreciate their commitment to ensuring everyone has a safe day on the water,” said BoatUS Foundation for Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner.

    Top Squadron honors went to Sanibel-Captiva Sail and Power Squadron, Florida. Some of their activities included: participating in an on-water wreath laying ceremony honoring lost members of the armed forces, helping a local food pantry, and working to increase safety for paddlers. “They showed how difficult it can be to see kayakers at dusk and in times of limited visibility, and how simply adding white reflective tape to paddle blades can be a real lifesaver,” said Sensenbrenner.

    Second Place for Top Squadron went to Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron, North Carolina, for their work with youth and bringing a new Sea Scout Ship to the area, as well as support of the “The Dolphin Project,” a local non-profit that performs surveys to monitor the health of dolphin populations.

    Third place went to North Strand Sail and Power Squadron, South Carolina, which hosted shoreline clean up events, collected donations for their local Helping Hands charity and Sea Haven, a residence for homeless teens offering crisis services.

    Runners up for Top Squadron included Ocean City Power Squadron, Maryland, for their community participation in parades, clean up events and their work with a respite care home to take families fishing and sightseeing. Another runner up was Fort Macon Sail and Power Squadron, North Carolina, for their work with the local visitors center to spread safety message as well as publishing boating safety stories and reaching out to boating families.

    Top USPS District Award, which recognizes the collective efforts of all of the squadrons within a region, went to USPS District 8, which includes South Florida and the Keys. The award is based on the amount of classroom hours logged, community outreach hours and number of vessel safety checks performed. These voluntary and free safety reviews are designed to educate boaters about recommended and required safety equipment aboard recreational vessels and to assess the condition of the safety equipment they have aboard.

    US Power Squadrons began with the efforts of Charles Chapman, who in 1914 realized that owners of recreational powerboats needed instruction on how to operate safely and with confidence. Today, the USPS has over 400 regional Squadrons for owners of both sail and powerboats.

    About United States Power Squadrons:

    Organized in 1914, United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. Our members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. We enjoy participating with our fellow members on the water and in the classroom. USPS has nearly 40,000 members organized into over 400 squadrons across the country and in some US territories. USPS is America’s largest non-profit boating organization and has been honored by three US presidents for its civic contributions. Each squadron’s activities involve the three primary objectives of USPS: community service, continuing education, and enjoying the friendship and camaraderie of our fellow members. For more, go to USPS.org.

    About BoatUS and BoatUS Foundation:

    Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, services such as 24-hour dispatch, on water boat towing as well as roadside assistance for boat trailers and tow vehicles, feature-packed boat insurance programs, money-saving benefits and vital information that improves the boating, fishing and sailing lifestyle. Its 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating, and provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe. For more, go to BoatUS.com or BoatUS.org.

  • Florida Wildlife Commission 2014 Anchoring and Mooring Survey Results

    Here are the long awaited and much debated results of FWC’s survey on anchoring and mooring in Florida’s waterways. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=145783 for background information.

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    2014 Anchoring and Mooring Public Survey Results and Analysis

    This page contains the results of the Anchoring and Mooring Public Survey which took place November 21st – December 7th 2014. Below you will find an Executive Summary of the overall results. The Full Analysis of the surveyed concepts with public comments attached and a document form of the Original Survey are also available for viewing. In the specific analysis of the surveyed concepts, you will find links to view the free text public comments given for each concept. Thank you for your input and interest in this matter.
    The referenced documents may be accessed at this site: http://myfwc.com/boating/anchoring-mooring/survey-results/

  • Report from USCG Hearings on Proposed RR Bridge Closings


    Our thanks to Captain Wright for this first hand report from USCG public hearings concerning the proposed All Aboard Florida railway service from Miami to Orlando, as described earlier this month in http://cruisersnet.net/?p=146374.

    I attended and spoke at the USCG hearings in Stuart re: St. Lucie River RR Bridge [http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5739] closings issue.
    While the USCG did state that they have no jurisdiction over the railroad, and therefore cannot take a position on the viability (or not) of All Aboard Florida’s (AAF) attempt to add 32 highs speed trains per day to the tracks between Miami and Orlando, USCG did say they are responsible and have jurisdiction over the waterways in so far as safe navigation is concerned. They can (and did in CT at the CT River Amtrak bridge in the 80′s) limit the closing of RR bridges if they interfere with the safe passage of vessels.
    The proposed AAG 32 high speed trains between Miami and Orlando would increase the “bridge close time” to a total of 75 minutes every hour (greater than one hour for those not mathematically inclined) which represents not only a navigation safety issue, but is in actuality a “BLOCKADE”.
    To be successful with the USCG in this matter, we must focus on what the USCG can affect, which is the impact of the bridge closings on safe navigation of the waterways.
    Capt. Ken Wright, North Palm Beach, Florida

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Britt Point RR Bridge

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

  • 2014-2015 Florida Wildlife Commission Boating Improvement Report

    The Florida legislature has long been a bell weather for the good, the bad and the ugly on how to deal with the boating public. FWC enforcement has been especially singled out for heavy-handed tactics in their enforcement of the ever changing rules and regulations enacted by Tallahassee. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=146628. This report affords some insight into the driving force behind all state legislation, money.

    Boating Improvement Program Report
    The Florida Boating Improvement Program (FBIP) is a state financial assistance program that provides funding through competitive grants for boating access projects and boating-related activities on coastal and inland waters within the state. Eligible program participants include county governments, municipalities, and other governmental entities of the State of Florida. The program is administered by the Division of Law Enforcement, Boating and Waterways Section of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). This report provides a brief description of the FBIP and outlines the status of the program as required by s. 206.606(3), F.S.
    View the 2014-2015 Boating Improvement Program Report

  • Palm Beach Boat Show, February 28-March1, 2015

    Don’t miss the Palm Beach Marine Flea Market and Boat Sale February 28 – March 1, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the South Florida Fairgrounds 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, Florida 33411

    Winter Boat Show and Sale Announced For Palm Beach This February – Boats, Boats and More Boats!!!

    Marine Flea Market – International Food Festival – New and Used BOAT Sale
    For discount tickets and more event info emailed to you CLICK HERE

    BOAT SHOW and SALE…Warm up with hot deals. Boat sales are the place to buy! Hundreds of new and used boats are available to buy on site. Often some of the best prices of the year are available as exhibitors offer special show pricing or other incentives. Plus, it’s the perfect time to order a new boat to ensure it arrives ready to launch in the spring.
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