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Security Caution For Bahia Mar Yachting Center, AICW Statute Mile 1064.5, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-20-2012

Bahia Mar Yachting Center is located along the Waterway’s eastern banks, south of Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard bridge.

Heads-up on security here.
Arrived a few days early to attend Trawlerfest Feb. 2-4 2012. Tied up on H dock north marina. Very gusty winds that day/night, 25-30kts N-NE. Middle of the night woke up to boat moving about excessively. Went out to check lines and found both spring lines lying in the water. I’ve been tying lines for 30yrs and my knots do not come loose. Fortunately dock lines held and no damage.
Next day had a brand new Trek bicycle stolen from parking lot in broad daylight. Had been cable locked to bike posts about 100yds from the security office. Security is present but focus seems to be down at the south marina where all the big mega’s are tied up. Incident(s) reported to security and local FLD police. Police attentive, security folks not overly impressed.
Unfortunate black eye for what appears to be a well run and well maintained maintained facility.
Frank Arndorfer

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Bahia Mar Yachting Center

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bahia Mar Yachting Center

Report from Fort Lauderdale Municipal Docks at Las Olas Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 1064

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-20-2012

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.

Las Olas offers a Boat US discount of 25%. We agree with the other reviewers, the facilities are first rate and a real waterway bargain. Pump out only at fixed dock, C. Great pump out, no fee. Don’t look for dockhands to catch your lines or assist with the pump out, we couldn’t get anyone on VHF or phone. When we went into office, one employee was at his computer the other was playing with his phone, too busy to assist on the dock. Very disappointing. Also, dock numbers are written vertically on faces of posts so that one must enter the fairway to see them.
The Quarterdeck as mentioned is great; good food, reasonable prices, and good service. Also, it’s only a two block walk to the beautiful beach.

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

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

City of Fort Lauderdale – Cooleys Landing Docks (off the AICW on New River, in downtown Fort Lauderdale)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 12-26-2011

Cooleys Landing is one of three city of Fort Lauderdale owned and managed dockage facilities. Cooleys Landing is the most upstream (on New River) of these three facilities. A host of restaurants (including the memorable “Shirttail Charleys”) are within easy walking distance!

Cooloey’s Landing is a great spot from which to enjoy Ft. Lauderdale. Free trolly to beach and another up and down the beach takes you near West Marine, Sailorman, Blue Water Books, etc. We spent a most enjoyable week there just before Christmas.
Hank Evans
M/V Queen Ann’s Revenge

It was one of our favorite stops last year on our way south, spent a week also….hope they have the stealing in check now. Great spot for yacht watching, eating and walking on the water front. Enjoyed the water tours that let you on and off and back on to many stops including the beach. Would do it again..just have to time the current when docking there, can be very very strong at wrong time.
S/V Colleen Mae

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

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

Navy Equipment Lost Offshore of Ft. Lauderdale

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 08-10-2011

This LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS, Week 32/11 is of interest to those of you who navigate offshore of eastern Florida. No comments please about how our Navy could lose a piece of equipment in only 3 foot seas!

SEACOAST-FLORIDA-FORT LAUDERDALE: US Navy (SFOMF) Lost Equipment
The United States Navy, South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF) lost equipment offshore Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 1424 EST on July 27th, 2011. The lost equipment is an ”Unmanned Underwater Vehicle” (UUV). The vehicle is 6 feet long, 6” in diameter and is colored yellow and black with “WARD” stenciled on the side. Last known position of the UUV was Lat 26 03.336 Lon -080 03.918. Seas were 3’ or less the day of loss, winds out of the east, and 4 knots of current to the North. Vehicle is positively buoyant and contains no hazardous materials. Should the vehicle be found, please contact SSC Pacific: POC: Peyton Hall 619-221-5245 e-mail: peyton.hall@navy.mil Alt POC: Chris Young 619-553-5387 or 619-607-9000

Fort Lauderdale Anchorage on Middle River (Statute Mile 1063)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-08-2011

Middle River, the site of the anchorage described briefly below by Captain Nicole, cuts west from the AICW, between markers #3 and #4. I am very familiar with these waters, having operated out of Middle River a couple of years ago while researching a new edition of “Cruising Guide to Eastern Florida.”
Heretofore, I’ve always shrank from recommending anchorage on these waters due to consistent reports that cruisers dropping the hook here were being hassled by the local water cops. However, with the new Florida anchoring law hopefully protecting us all, perhaps these waters can be considered as an overnight anchorage. Of course, as Captain Nicole notes, on weekends in particular, all the jet skis and Cigarette boats can make for a very bumpy stay!

To save even more cash in Fort Lauderdale there is a GREAT anchorage in the Middle River. Gets a touch wakey on the weekends but weekdays and at night, this anchorage is well protected and has awesome dinghy dock access on a floating dock in a public park.
Nicole

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Middle River Anchorage

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

Fort Lauderdale Municipal Marina at the Las Olas Bridge – Captain Jane Reports (Statute Mile 1064)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 01-09-2011


The Las Olas Marina is one of several maintained by the city of Fort Lauderdale. All the others are found along new River, hard by the downtown section of Fort Lauderdale. The Las Olas facility also has the twin advantages of being directly on the AICW, and within walking distance of the beach.

I don’t normally supply a photograph of laundry machines for a story on a Florida marina, and if you’re not a cruiser and are reading this by accident, you might be thinking — is this what cruising is about? Well, yes, and no. It’s what makes boaters comfortable so that they can fully enjoy their cruising. To me, as a boater, this photograph speaks volumes. It says “respite”, it says “you can get your chores done and it will be a clean experience!” It says: Here’s a marina that cares about its boat-living customers.

View of Las Olas Marina from southern group of slips facing north and the bridge

I’m not sure why we never tried the Las Olas City Marina, but after recently reading veteran cruising writer Tom Neale’s glowing review of the city’s facilities at Las Olas, we decided to give it a try. Well, well, well. This is very different from what we’re used to. At first, as we spied the marina tucked under — literally — the Las Olas draw bridge, I thought, Tom, what were you thinking? But I was wrong and I now get it. This is yet another Florida city marina that shows what good government can and does do while keeping affordable and good facilities available to the transient boating public.
As I just mentioned, this marina oddly occupies both sides of the Las Olas bridge. Yes, that Las Olas, the last and huge opening bridge you encounter southbound that brings you into the heart of Fort Lauderdale. So, before you arrive, find out which side of the bridge your slip will be, North or South. The marina staff is very courteous — they offered us a slip on either side clearly explaining the advantages of each. The North side of the bridge brings you closer to the cruisers lounge and facilities and the South side gets you (a) past the opening bridge and (b) a little further from the bridge noise. One thing to note at the moment is that the pump outs on the South side are broken and there are no immediate plans to replace it.
So what’s it like living under a busy draw bridge? The bridge noise is definitely noticeable — the first night I felt like I was in a Woody Allen movie describing my childhood living under the Elevated train in Brooklyn. After a while, it became white noise. But, a bright side is that being under the bridge, you are in the no-wake zone — so there is surprisingly less wake here than from the apparently more-protected marinas we have stayed in here. Also, odds are a mega yacht will occupy the ICW T-head and lucky you will be protected even more from ICW traffic.
As for “amenities”, the cruisers lounge, laundry, heads and showers are first rate municipal facilities. They are far better than most facilities we have been offered on the ICW and certainly better than facilities we have used in neighboring private marinas in Fort Lauderdale, perhaps these facilities are designed for cruiser-customers and are not what I have experienced as barely sufficient for their purpose after-thoughts constructed for the crew of or day workers servicing a mega yacht. Euphemistically called “Comfort Stations” in Las Olas-speak, these really are.
In sum, Las Olas is an impressive facility and well located. It gets special Captain Jane Gold Kudos for its copious and accessible recycling bins (plastics 1 and 2, cans, bottles and paper!) Thank you, Las Olas for your commitment to recycling and for helping cruisers do their part to reduce our impact on the environment! This is yet another example of a Florida city marina that is in many ways superior to its privately-owned pricey counterparts.
Captain Jane
S/V Lady Jane

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For the Fort Lauderdale Municipal Marina at the Las Olas Bridge

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Fort Lauderdale Municipal Marina at the Las Olas Bridge

Drawbridge Incident at AICW Statute Mile 1062.6

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-04-2011

Captain Ehlen does not name the bridges he describes, but we assume he was at East Sunrise Boulevard Bridge which is a twin span bascule bridge north of Ft. Lauderdale. The closed vertical clearance of the bascule spans is 25 feet.

One of the draw bridges north of Ft. Lauderdale had two sailboats waiting when we arrived for the opening. Four spans rose, and as the northbound sailboat started to go through one of the spans began to close. I radioed the bridge tender. I’m guessing the high winds had something to do with the problem, but in the meantime all three boats started a mad scramble in the wind and current to get out of the way. Once the spans were up and stationary, Shady Lady went through first. As the two sailboats were going through the spans started waving again, but we all made it safely.
Captain Wade Ehlen

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunrise Blvd. Bridge

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

More on Ft. Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 09-09-2010

The days of operation and fares of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley do appear to vary with each route and some routes are free. It can understandably be a bit confusing, but for more details (or more confusion!?!), go to their website www.suntrolley.com.

Sun Trolley is 50 cents on both the A1A and Las Olas routes every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Passengers are a mix of residents and visitors to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The agency plans to expand the A1A route from Harbor Shops to the Galleria Mall on Sunrise Blvd. by October 1, 2010. Sun Trolley is the community bus service for the City of Fort Lauderdale and is managed by the Downtown Fort Lauderdale TMA, a nonprofit agency incorporated in 1992.
Patricia

Click Here To An Earlier Article on the Sun Trolley

Good Visit and Good $$ Fortune at Pier 66 Yacht Harbor in Ft. Lauderdale (AICW Statute Mile 1066.5)

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 07-29-2010

Pier 66 Yacht Harbor lies on the eastern side of the Waterway just north of the SE 17th St. Bridge. With 148 slips and every convenience imaginable, Pier 66 is a first-class marina and welcoming to transients, as Jeff and Michele relate below:

A fellow boater told me that Pier 66 had a dollar per foot special last summer and might repeat it this year. Michele called and was told that they were not doing that special this year. She started to hang up when the dockmaster said he could give us that rate for the night. A dollar per foot at Pier 66? We took it and pulled our little 34-foot Marine Trader into a slip suitable for a 120-foot mega yacht. We loved the location, the swimming pools, the restaurants and the bars (we couldn’t enjoy the revolving bar atop the Pier 66 tower since a wedding reception was being held there. The restrooms were clean with good water pressure and working AC. Laundry facilities, fuel and a small marine store are available on site. Of course, being the Yachting Capital of the World, just about any service is available in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Pier 66 is located on the east side of the ICW, just north of the 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale. You can bike east to Lauderdale Beach and the tourist shops at Beach Place. Just south of the 17th Street Causeway is Port Everglades. From there, you can continue south on the ICW to the Dania Beach Cutoff Canal or Hollywood Beach and Miami or head east out onto the Atlantic Ocean. This is a nice jumping off point to Bimini.
Jeff and Michele Prahm aboard MV Java Girl

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pier 66 Yacht Harbor

City of Fort Lauderdale New River Docks

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-10-2010

For many years, in fact since this writer was a kid here in Fort Lauderdale during the 1950′s, the city has maintained a series of docks along New River, hard by the Las Olas Boulevard business district. These facilities are not as new as the city marinas at Cooleys Landing or at the Las Olas Bridge, but it is an easy step to good dining and shopping.

The New River Docks (also owned by Ft. Lauderdale) are slightly less expensive, but you have the opportunity to give back to the community by making friends with the people who sleep/live in the park (and there are some interesting people there – and I’m not saying that in a bad way).
Chris
S/V Pelican

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For City of Fort Lauderdale New River Docks

Cooleys Landing Marina (on New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-10-2010

Cooleys Landing is the most upstream city of Fort Lauderdale owned and managed marina facility on New River. We have always found it to be a very superior stop for all pleasure craft.

Cooley’s Landing up the New River (a Ft. Lauderdale city owned marina) is a good place to go. We stayed there for a couple of weeks before heading to Key Biscayne and then the Bahamas. While there, we were able to spend lots of money on the local economy (provisioning, boat repairs, museums, mass transit, restaurants, etc.). The people at Cooley’s were great and the facilities were good. As long as you time your docking to be at slack tide (the current rips through this area so other times are tricky), it’s a nice place to be. You can certainly see some pretty crazy megayachts being tandem towed by bow and stern coming through the narrow river.
Chris
S/V Pelican

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

Lake Sylvia Anchorage (near Statute Mile 1064.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-10-2010

Anchorage in Lake Sylvia is a new possibility for cruisers, now that the city of Fort Lauderdale is adhering to the new Florida state law that prohibits local and county regulation of anchorage, except on bottom lands leased from the state by a city or county.
Lake Sylvia lies to the south, southeast of marker #13, itself just south of huge Bahia Mar Marina.

Sylvia Lake is a fine anchorage (now that you can use it) and it’s nice to have the option of the mooring field. With regards to the “expanding mooring fields in Florida” – yes, that is something to be watched closely, but the Ft. Lauderdale “field” (if you want to call it such) has been there for quite some time. During the last several years with municipalities fighting cruisers and liveaboards over anchoring rights, boats were rapidly kicked out of Sylvia Lake. With the latest regulations, it’s back to being a viable anchorage.
Chris
S/V Pelican

Fort Lauderdale Mooring Field and Florida Mooring Field Analysis (St. M. 1064)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-05-2010

Well, two for the price of one. Not only do we get news about the Fort Lauderdale mooring field, and how it works, but Captain Austin gives his views on the current situation with the expanding use of mooring fields in the Sunshine State.
I will say that Fort Lauderdale is one of the only municipalities in the state that can legally restrict anchorage, but ONLY on the cove south of the Las Olas Bridge. That’s because the city has leased this bottom land from the state of Florida, and can do with it whatever they like. Notice though, in the message below, the city is no longer restricting anchorage on Lake Sylvia. That’s because they are NOT leasing this bottom land, and to enforce anchorage regulations here would violate the new Florida statewide anchoring law!

Well, it has indeed changed. We were there on 29 Apr 2010. The only two unoccupied moorings were near the channel, subject to traffic wakes and the significant current so we went in back to anchor. Our 27-footer with all chain rode is ideal for pocket anchorages. In the late afternoon a boat labelled “harbormaster’ came around from the marina and told us the municipality has made Las Olas a no anchoring zone. I questioned this as the three cruising guides we have aboard all say anchoring is allowed for 24 hours, asking when the rules changed. He did not know, saying Lake Sylvie was the nearest designated anchorage where anchored boats can stay for up to 72 hours.
He said I should either pick up one of the front moorings or move to Lake Sylvie. I told him we were passage-making and would be off first thing in the morning and asked if he was ordering us to leave. He said he was only advising what the marine police would tell us to do if they came around. Feeling that was unlikely considering the advanced hour, we stayed.
The next morning we left early. While waiting for the Las Olas bridge to open, the harbormaster boat came around again with a different person aboard who said he knew we wanted to save money but that anchoring was not allowed. I said we were willing to pay for a mooring if an acceptable mooring had been available but to leave a comfortable anchorage for an uncomfortable mooring didn’t make much sense
The expanding mooring fields in Florida have advantages for cruisers but are motivated by what municipalities want, not designed for cruisers’ needs. The Las Olas field is first come first serve, with no reservation system. What happens if you arrive late and there are no moorings? Only the rare mooring field has a bum boat or welcomes checking in by cell phone, requiring launching your dinghy and many times enduring a wet ride. Las Olas sends around a boat, but that is also a rarity.
Cruisers are not free of blame. They buy boats bigger than they can afford to cruise in without nickel and diming municipalities, earning the “grotty yachtie” label. Visitors to Florida are the local cash crop and locals need to harvest us to some extent. Arriving with lockers full of provisions, we spend relatively little locally.
On the other hand, Floridians gouge transients whilst wooing long term stayers with deep discounts, clogging facilities designed for cruising, seemingly competing with those offering land based accommodations. It may make sense to charge more for a hotel short stay, with linen and room cleaning requirements, but not for dockage where the laundry and dirt leave with the boat! Boats are designed for moving, not for living aboard in one place for extended periods. We should not be encouraged to become “boat potatoes”, either by pricing policies or by free anchorages with unlimited staying periods.
On the south coast of England when we cruised there, it was common to charge a daily anchoring fee. This, and an imposed time limit may be ways to deal with the detritus that inevitably fills up anchorages in warm climes, those without a ‘killing frost’. We are all being forced to pay for it in some way or other.
Fair winds and following seas,
Austin Whitten
S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

67.84.70.30
Submitted on 2010/05/10 at 12:35am
While I have respect for Discovery II crew’s opinions (sharing your opinion is a great thing!), I would just like to say that our trip through Ft. Lauderdale was a bit different. I’m not an expert by any means on Ft. Lauderdale, so please correct me if I make an incorrect statement.
Sylvia Lake is a fine anchorage (now that you can use it) and it’s nice to have the option of the mooring field. With regards to the “expanding mooring fields in Florida” – yes, that is something to be watched closely, but the Ft. Lauderdale “field” (if you want to call it such) has been there for quite some time. During the last several years with municipalities fighting cruisers and liveaboards over anchoring rights, boats were rapidly kicked out of Sylvia Lake. With the latest regulations, it’s back to being a viable anchorage.
If you are looking to stay a bit longer, Cooley’s Landing up the New River (a Ft. Lauderdale city owned marina) is a good place to go. We stayed there for a couple of weeks before heading to Key Biscayne and then the Bahamas. While there, we were able to spend lots of money on the local economy (provisioning, boat repairs, museums, mass transit, restaurants, etc.). The people at Cooley’s were great and the facilities were good. As long as you time your docking to be at slack tide (the current rips through this area so other times are tricky), it’s a nice place to be. You can certainly see some pretty crazy megayachts being tandem towed by bow and stern coming through the narrow river.
Alternatively, the New River Docks (also owned by Ft. Lauderdale) are slightly less expensive, but you have the opportunity to give back to the community by making friends with the people who sleep/live in the park (and there are some interesting people there – and I’m not saying that in a bad way).
Yes, both options are a bit more than the moorings, but they are reasonably priced alternatives that can be reserved in advance. And you always have Lake Sylvia.
Chris
S/V Pelican

Cruising Dog Owners Beware in Fort Lauderdale

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-22-2010

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

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

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

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-19-2010

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

Water Taxi "tour" and transportation around Ft. Lauderdale

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

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

Getting around without a car.

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

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

For the latest information on the Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley go to http://cruisersnet.net/fort-lauderdales-sun-trolley-captain-jane-reports/
Jane Tigar

Fort Lauderdale NOW HONORING FLORIDA STATE ANCHORING LAW

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-18-2010

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

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

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

Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley – Captain Jane Reports

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 02-06-2010

As usual, Captain Jane, our fearless roving reporter, has done a wonderful job! This time, she lays bare all the mysteries surrounding Fort Lauderdale’s “Sun Trolley.” This city service can be a real boon for crusiers, particulary if you are docked at the Las Olas city marina. However, to take advantage of this service, you will need the keys to the kingdom described so ably below!

Sun Trolley approaching the Hall of Fame Marina stop

Now we know why all the information we got from marinas, hotels and the Internet was conflicting about the still wonderful but sadly diminished Sun Trolley system in Fort Lauderdale. Even the guy at the Fort Lauderdale Welcome wagon, in his trolley-like hut, didn’t have it exactly right.
So here is the scoop direct from the mouths of two trolley drivers, one of whom tore down the out of date sign as we began asking about the daily schedule and free Fridays it heralded.
Yes, the Sun Trolley exists and we rode the one you see to the right to a huge shopping center with just about anything you could need for provisioning, starting with a huge Publix supermarket.
The trolley seems to run every half hour. The return trolley stop at the shopping center is at Publix.

Myth: The Sun Trolley is free on Friday.
Fact: Every ride costs 50 cents; you can pay for two with a paper dollar and conserve those laundry machine quarters. There are no free days any more.

Myth: The Sun Trolley runs every day.
Fact: The Sun Trolley runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. 10 AM to 10 PM for the 17th street bridge route that goes from near the Las Olas Marina across the 17th Street Bridge to the shopping center with the Publix.
Fridays, the Las Olas route to downtown theaters, restaurants, the art museum: 6 PM to midnight. Saturday and Sunday the Las Olas route is 10
AM to midnight.

Myth: you can hail the trolley anywhere by waving.
Fact: The driver said if she happens to see you and you wave, she will stop. However, she promises to stop if you wave and are at a bus stop.
The bus stops are along A1A and Seabreeze Boulevard. For example, there is a stop at the Hall of Fame Marina, right in front of the Aquatic Center.

Fact without a Myth: This is a fantastic public service. Please take advantage of it — it’s a use it or lose it kind of amenity and we saw signs for public meetings in February and March to discuss how to keep the Sun Trolley viable.
Jane Tigar
S/V Lady Jane

Fact: The Sun Trolley IS free on Friday. We rode to Publix on a Friday and the driver told us every Friday is free.
Doug

Sun Trolley is 50 cents on both the A1A and Las Olas routes every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Passengers are a mix of residents and visitors to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The agency plans to expand the A1A route from Harbor Shops to the Galleria Mall on Sunrise Blvd. by October 1, 2010. Sun Trolley is the community bus service for the City of Fort Lauderdale and is managed by the Downtown Fort Lauderdale TMA, a nonprofit agency incorporated in 1992.
Patricia, submitted 9/9/2010

“Best Small Engine Diesel Mechanic In Florida” (Fort Lauderdale)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-14-2009

The glowing recommendation below comes from Captain Milt Baker, founder and former owner of Bluewater Books and Charts in Fort Lauderdale, and, I might add, good friend of yours truly and mariner extraordinnaire! Thanks Milt!

Contact Bruce Melius, in my experience the best small engine diesel mechanic in Florida. He’s based in Fort Lauderdale and he’s been my mechanic for about 25 years and four different yachts. He is thorough, methodical, professional, and extremely reliable. He has his own shop and all the tools one would ever need. Only problem is he’s a one-man shop and sometimes has trouble fitting you into his schedule. Still, Bruce is well worth waiting for and he knows Lehmans, Cats, Cummins, and Luggers like the back of his hand.
Call him at (mobile) 954-646-0283 or (office) 954-565-9143.
Milt Baker

Marina Bay Resort (Fort Lauderdale – New River)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 08-29-2009

Marina Bay Resort is located well upstream on New River, above the downtown Fort Lauderdale municipal facilities. It has been around for many years, as I remember reviewing it in the late 1980′s. From Captain Bevely’s description below, it sounds like this facility is more desirable than ever!

We have been to this marina many times over the years, even with a sailboat with a 53 foot mast, and have always been pleased, even as it was going through its transition from old, to what is now a new, first class facility. It is like being at a country club, with a beautiful pool, hot tub area, exercise room, internet room, movie room, lounge with coffee always available, monthly parties, and new floating docks. Staff is friendly, and the location, at the intersection of 95 and 84, couldn’t be more convenient. Downside is the exhaust particles from the traffic and nearby airport that coat the boat, as in most big cities, and the long passage up the New River, which is fine for longer stays, but not for a night or two. We usually rent a car, and we are minutes away from all the marine places of business, restaurants, Costco, everything you could possibly need. Highly recommend this place.
Beverly Feiges

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

Cooleys Landing Marina (Fort Lauderdale, New River)

Posted by admin | Posted on 06-15-2009

Cooleys Landing is one of the city of Fort Laudedale’s fine marina. It is the most upstream of the municipal marinas on New River. As Captain Ellis notes below, there is tons of good dining and shopping within easy walking distance. In short, this is a superior city marina in every way!

Cooley’s Landing Marina on the New River in Ft. Lauderdale rates a ten as a place to stop.  Megayachts with a tug at the bow and another at the stern pass by regularly.  The downtown and the riverwalk area are all within walking distance.  There is a multiplex theater nearby, and there is an Imax theater even closer.  Further, the Imax shows first run pictures.  There is no better way to see a movie.  There is a Publix nearby, as well as drug store, etc.
Ellis Simon

Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Cooleys Landing Marina