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Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
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Archive For: East FL – 8 – Melbourne Beach to St. Lucie River and Stuart

  • The Good and the Less Than Good at Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, Fl – Okeechobee Waterway St. M. 7)

    The recently rebuilt and enlarged facility has garnered a host of favorable comments here on the Cruisers’ Net. Below, Captain takes a look at both side of the proverbial coin.

    Lots of good comments regarding this marina and staff here. I moved over here in January from another local marina with intent on making this my permanent home port but am leaving after 4 months. Some good points to be aware of ‘¦ some not so good.
    Sunsets are to die for here. Locals and tourists line up on the seawall by the restaurant to watch and photograph them.
    Pricing was considerably more expensive here for a lift slip than where we came from. But given the resort-like feel, the proximity to my house, nice ship’s store for sundries, cleanliness and the comments here about staff we felt this was a good move and that the $250 more per month we would pay would be worth the cost increase.
    The lifts are brand new and there are 10 or 12 of them at the marina. I had to adjust the bunks to my specifications after the staff told me that the bunks could not be tilted (they can be). They are a bit slow and have no automatic raise/lower feature enabled, but there is a good 8 feet of water under them. The current happens to run in-line with the lifts so getting on and off even in a cross-wind is easy.
    For transients, this is definitely one of the better marinas in Stuart in terms of facilities, boat access and nearby amenities. Note the comments above with other posters really reflect and center around the transient and live-aboard populations.
    Fuel pricing is competitive with the other local marinas. The problem of boats running the Okeechobee waterway at speed parallel to the fuel dock has been resolved with a `Slow, Minimum Wake Zone’.
    For locals, parking is incredibly limited and gets way worse during weekends when the Sailors Return restaurant gets wound up. The marina started using a valet parking service in an attempt to deal with what they even admit is a very poor parking lot design with small spaces and too few spaces.
    At first the valets were best described as rude and confrontational with the paying marina partrons and restaurant customers but that seems to have been ironed out. A parking permit sticker is made available to marina patrons and we get priority handling without the attitude from the valets.
    My experience with the staff was mixed. Some were among the most customer-oriented and customer-friendly people I have conducted business with. Others not so much ‘¦ with some pretty surprising authoritarian and uncaring attitudes toward the paying customer from a few. Once in a while is just a bad day but there are a couple of guys there that just do not get it and it is recurring enough to be noticed.
    One example of staff not meeting my expectations: We had one recurring issue with dock people driving their three wheel electric scooters at high speed on the narrow docks. Even after repeatedly asking the offending staff guys to slow down, the behavior continued. The Harbormaster did tell me after complaint to him that he would slow them down, but it did not happen.
    After nearly being hit on the narrow dock while getting some supplies from my dock box once too often, we decided to move on. You cannot hear these scooters coming so be aware of this safety issue especially of you end up on the `A’ dock that has the fuel dock at the end. Be told `coming through!’ as the dock boy flies by is just not acceptable.
    Another example of staff not meeting expectations: Last weekend while I was not there, my son was reportedly told by one of the staff that he was not allowed to wash our boat due to South Florida Water Management District regulations forbidding water use. I was not there to see who actually said this but that was incorrect.
    When I talked to the Harbormaster about this and to point out that SFWMD does not have a rule forbidding boat or car washing, he agreed and stated that he did not ask people to not wash boats. He did state that the marina has high water bills and that they are asking people to conserve water. I suspect something got lost in interpretation with one of the staff when this issue was discussed with them.
    So’¦ *some* staff is great and `gets’ it. Others I am not so sure I would say do.
    Ultimately, we just did not feel we were getting the value and service expected for the *premium* price charged us. Granted there are a good 300 slips here and our experience needs to be taken in light of how many seem happy. We were disappointed to have to leave but decided it was for the best for us.
    I hold no ill will with Sunset Bay Marina and wish them luck. They just have a few things to work on as I suspect they have back-slid a bit since opening.
    Bill Barrett

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

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

  • Liveaboards Permitted at Harbortown Marina, N. Ft. Pierce, AICW Statute Mile 965

    This note is response to a request for a liveaboard marina on the east coast of Florida.

    Harbortown Marina in North Fort Pierce; Perhaps the only fresh water marina just off the ICW (has a fresh water creek that flows through the marina); great restaurant / bar on premises; laundry on premises; walking distance to many stores – food, liquor, barber, etc. and West Marine. Full service repair yard next door with travel lift and full repair capabilities, including a canvas shop. We kept our boat there over a winter when we were on the Loop.
    John and Judy Gill

    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

  • Ft. Pierce City Marina Allows Liveaboards, AICW Statute Mile 966.5

     Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589This note is response to a request for a liveaboard marina on the east coast of Florida. Note that liveaboards are not permitted at the City Marina’s north section, Fisherman’s Wharf, above the Ft. Pierce high-rise bridge.

    Fort Pierce City Marina [south section]. Good location; Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings; good restaurants in the area; ship’s store; laundry facilities, etc. Friends spent two winters there.
    John and Judy Gill

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

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

  • Jones Fuel Dock, Now a Thing of the Past (Statute Mile 945.5)

    Waterway veterans will remember fondly stopping at Jones Fruit dock, north of Vero Beach. Once upon a day, you could tie up here, go ashore and purchase very fresh citrus fruit from Orange Groves literally next door.
    Unfortunately, for most of us those days ended some years ago. The “dock” has been is such poor shape of late that I have not recommended stopping here since the mid 2000’s. I am very sorry to hear of the final passing of Captain Richard Jones. He will be missed up and down the AICW!

    On a sad note, we arrived at Jones Fruit Dock in the Indian River and found everything locked up and the dock empty. We learned from a neighbor that the owner passed away last Saturday, March 26. We had never had the chance to visit the dock before, but had heard from other loopers that it was a stop we should make. We pressed on, but 2 or 3 other looper boats behind us did tie up for the night. The neighbor had no idea what would become of the place.
    Larry & Jane Pfeifer
    on Bavarian Cream

    Here is the Obituary. “>

    Ted Stehle, Editor
    WaterwayGuide/Skipper Bob Publications

    Thats a real shame
    Jim Lowry

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Old Location of Jones Fruit Dock

  • Vero Beach Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 952)

    Vero Beach MarinaHere’s a brief but very encouraging remark about SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Vero Beach Municipal Marina!

    Vero Beach:Nice marina. Big cruising commuity. Call early if you are going peak season. They have a free bus that goes to shopping areas.
    Mike and Tammy

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

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

  • Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart (formerly Harbourage Yacht Club & Marina, Stuart, FL on the Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River)

    This facility lies along the northern shores of the St. Lucie River, hard by the new, high-rise US 1 Bridge. Formerly known as the Harbourage Yacht Club and Marina, this is a quality facility in every sense of the word. Several restaurants and multiple shopping possibilities are within easy walking distance.

    Cruising News:
    We have spent 2 months here and love the facilities, access to Stuart and the excellent day staff.
    However there is no night security and excessive noise both from inconsiderate boaters and the adjoining Wahoo’s Restaurant is a real issue on weekends. If you can, avoid slips on A and B docks
    Ian Rasmussen

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart

  • Positive Review of Vero Beach Mooring Field (Statute Mile 952)

    Vero Beach MarinaThe Vero Beach Mooring Field is managed by the adjacent Vero Beach Municipal Marina, which is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. The combined marina and mooring field are a well run operation, and cruisers can coil their lines here with confidence. There is also very inexpensive bus service to nearby shopping and dining, plus a healthy but do-able walk will take you to the beach, where visitors will discover another set of restaurants and fine shops.

    We have been in Vero’s mooring field several times. It is a well protected harbor. When we have are dingy in the water we always have two lines secured to it at night and have never had a problem. At vero they have a dingy dock to go into and tie up for the day. We do have a padlock on our motor at all times to deter the less determined individuals. But in eight years of traveling and 24k nm we have never had an issue.

    We just spent 5 days in Vero Beach mooring field. Our original plan was for two days, but Vero Beach was just wonderful and we stayed 3 extra days. The staff was friendly and helpful and the long term residents were delightful. There is a bus that runs in front of the Marina.
    We did lock our dinghy when we were gone for the day, but we do that where ever we go.
    The Vero Beach Yacht Club and US Power Squadron are located next door to the Marina. The Power Squadron was having a party and the guys yelled to our boat to “come on over!”
    James & Gloria Crawford

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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Vero Beach Mooring Field

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

  • A Visit to Vero Beach Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 952)

    Vero Beach MarinaGlad to hear such a positive, if brief report about SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Vero Beach Municipal Marina, from former “Coastal Cruising” magazine publisher, Ted Jones.

    We decided to take a slip at Vero Beach Municipal Marina for the night so we could get organized, do laundry, take showers, and leave packed bags ashore in the rental car we will pick up tomorrow.
    Vero Beach is a great destination and very popular. The heads and showers are good, as is the laundry, and the city provides free bus service from the marina (and elsewhere) to such important stops as West Marine and Publix.
    Ted Jones

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

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

  • Good Words About Sunset Bay Marina (on the Okeechobee Waterway, at Stuart, FL)

    Sunset Bay Marina is the new incarnation of the Stuart City Marina and later South Pointe Anchorage. This facility was rebuilt a few years ago, wet slip dockage added, and the adjacent mooring field expanded. By all reports, the new facility is really first-class, and it’s VERY convenient for those who are about to run, or those who have just completed the Okeechobee Waterway.
    Sunset Bay is located just upstream of the old Roosevelt Twin Bridges, on the South Fork of the St. Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway.

    We have been at Sunset Bay for 2 weeks now and will most likely be here another week. What a pleasant surprise this marina has been! We are on a mooring.
    The staff is great; facilities are excellent and easy walk to town make this the best overall marina situation that we have experienced since we left home in NC.
    Highly recommend it even if you planning to continue South; it is worth getting off of the AICW and take time to enjoy this marina.
    Pat Kenefick

    I could not agree more with the compliments on Sunset Bay Marina. Very nice people and facilities. I would highly endorse this stop.

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

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

  • Captain Jane Reports on the Vero Beach Art Museum

    The always-worth-visiting Vero Beach Museum of Art has some great offerings right now and through January 11, 2011. It’s only a 15-minute stroll from the city marina and it would be well worth visiting, even if it is two shuttle buses away from where you are docked. For those at the city marina, turn right at the marina exit, cross the highway (not so bad — there are traffic lights); the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway will be on your right; follow the signs to the museum.
    Our favorite exhibit of the current three is Metamorphosis: Abstract Works by Federico Uribe — and he’s not kidding about the metamorphosis part. The artist uses CDs, vinyl records, retired library books, chopsticks and plastic forks and transforms them into works of art. Federico Uribe was born in Colombia and now lives in Florida. This small exhibit packs a wallop — each item gave us a double-take as in “those are chopsticks?!!!”
    Don’t just look around you, also look up in the corners of the ceiling — in this installation the metaphor of “art is everywhere” is also literal. I asked the security guard which of Uribe’s work was his favorite and he said: Everything! I urge you to visit this exhibit and promise you that plastic forks will never be the same.
    The featured special exhibit, Fay, is a selection of William Wegman’s charming and bizarre photographs of his second weimaraner Fay Ray; the entrance fee is $5 and includes two 30-minute movies in the auditorium and on a video monitor outside the exhibit a series of shorts he did for Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live. The Saturday Night Live dog baseball game is a hoot.
    Mr. Wegman bought Fay three years after the death of what may have been the most photographed Weimaraner in the world — Man Ray. As bereft as Wegman was, a four-month old weimaraner puppy named Cinnamon Girl captured his heart and he was soon taking pictures of dogs again. He renamed the puppy Fay Ray and she proved to be quite the actress and performer. A docent is on hand to give you background information on Mr. Wegman and his work.
    Just across the hall is a small salon with the third special exhibit, but don’t let the small size fool you — this is a fascinating, varied exhibit worth savoring. Clearly Color offers selections from the museum’s collection of glass works. Each item is a jewel. Note that some of the works are by Dale Chihuly, his first assistant and the assistant’s student. It’s fun to see the relationships of teaching and inspiration in their works.
    If you are headed for Vero Beach after January 11, check out the next series of special exhibits. It’s a wonderful, creative museum with a splendid sculpture garden and sense of humor.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

    Basic Information:
    Vero Beach Museum of Art,
    Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 4:30
    Sunday, 1 to 4:30

  • Captain Jane Reports on Vero Beach Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 952)

    Vero Beach MarinaWow, what an active social life and great community spirit at this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! If you are cruising through VERO, please stop off here if time permits, and let them know how much you appreciate their support of the cruising community, by way of their support for the SSECN!

    View of the Bridge just south of the entrance channel to Vero Beach City Marina

    Here is your 2010/2011 season update on Vero Beach City Marina. This AICW Cruisers Mecca is hopping. While you can sometimes get a mooring ball for yourself, boats are doubled and tripled up on
    mooring balls as I type this, a vessel spent the night at the fuel dock and one boat is heading to a mooring after two at the dock because a previous reservation bumped her. If you want a slip ($1.50 a foot), we recommend you reserve at least several days in advance.

    The social life on shore has changed just a bit, so here’s a summary of how it appears to be for the moment.

    1. Weekly Cruisers Breakfast hosted by Vero Beach’s CLOD (Cruisers Living on Dirt) continues on Wednesday mornings at 8 at 2002 restaurant (the Publix stop on the free Vero Beach GoLine shuttle bus.)
    2. Thursday Night Is Happy Hour, bring your own beverage and bring an appetizer to share at the picnic area near the main dinghy dock. I think this begins at 4:30 PM; there are signs in the cruisers lounge. If you are a musician, bring an instrument. It was hopping this past Thursday.
    3. Free GoLine Shuttle Bus seems to have more routes than ever. Note that the stop at Publix has changed — it no longer stops right in front of this reprovisioning gift to cruisers, but it’s only a short walk across the parking lot. Ask the driver to point to the new return spot just across from where you get out. The GoLine bus stop sign is still in front of the Publix, but don’t let that fool you — or so we were told.
    4. Free Wifi now at Vero Beach Municipal Marina — but it’s a little peripatetic at the moment. Yachtspots is gone and the city marina is in the process of upgrading and installing high speed wifi. The staff may ask you to limit your heavy internet use to the hours of 7 PM to 7 AM until the full upgrades are in. When they are up and running, the high speed signal should reach all the way to the most Northern moorings. Ask for the pass code and current status at the office. For now, easy on the Skype and hold back on Netflix streaming during office hours. 😉
    5. Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. The 10 AM GoLine Shuttle will take you there and pick you up an hour later. Or you can walk. It’s a pleasant 20 minute stroll there and a little less pleasant on the way back if while shopping you forgot you will be walking back.
    6. Recycling is gone, temporarily, we hope! Most cruisers want recycling and value marinas who offer it. From what I have learned, recycling is expensive and the marinas need our help to make it work. Most of us do it right, but it only takes a few to muck it up and it seems some transients have created a problem at Vero which the marina is earnestly trying to resolve. The staff is trying to come up with a way to train cruisers into behaving so that recycling can resume. It seems that some transients, particularly in the summer, have been dumping garbage in the recycling containers and the recycling company did not have the time or person power to sort through the garbage. The marina staff, out of personal commitment to recycling, then set up their own bins and tried marking them really clearly — but then they experienced personally why the recycling company gave up. So, please urge your fellow boaters to behave. Marina staff asked me to ask folks also to please, please, please honor the recycling of oil rules; they collect $1 for disposal and it truly costs them more in labor and fees to provide this important environmental service. Please don’t mix anti-freeze in with the oil or other contaminants as it slaps the marina with a huge bill later in the process. Also, please don’t skirt the rules and dump used oil by the trash or outside the trash bins. Those who tuck in their oil-related trash between the bins and the doorrs create opportunity for costly and time-consuming cleanup when the trash area doors are opened and everything topples over.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

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

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

  • Praise for Pelican Yacht Club, AICW Statute Mile 965.5

    Pelican Yacht Club is located on the southern shores of the Fort Pierce Inlet, east-southeast of flashing buoy #13.

    Spent the last couple of nights here and wanted to mention that it’s a little slice of `Old Florida’ here just off the Fort Pierce Inlet. Nice folks, well kept (fixed) docks, a little tight for maneuvering in and out but plenty of water for our 5’6’³ draft. Two good restaurant finds within a five minute walk: Dave’s Diner, for what we might argue is the best of several very good breakfast places that we have found along the Waterway, and the `Tiki’ like bar and grill On the Edge ‘“ great setting, very good food, welcoming service, mix of locals and visitors.
    Captain Leigh Hough

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pelican Yacht Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pelican Yacht Club

  • Accolades for Fort Pierce City Marina (Statute Mile 966.5)

     Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589You will seldom (if ever) find a better run municipal watercraft facility than Fort Pierce City Marina. Dockmaster Dean and his staff do everything that can be done to make cruisers welcome, and encourage them to linger for awhile. And, of course, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Ft. Pierce City Marina ‘“ Ft. Pierce, FL, ICW 966. This is our southern destination. We stay here for at least 2 months each winter. It is just off of the Indian River, very accessible, and has an excellent inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. The `old town’ city center of activity is at the marina! There is a weekly farmer’s market, parades, monthly old car rallies, motorcycle rallies, great restaurants, shopping, and all other necessary services. This marina is really well managed, with an excellent staff, and is a terrific stop for ocean/ICW travelers.
    Sabra Morgan

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

    Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
    Centered on the Location of This Marina:

  • Praise for The Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart, Fl departing the AICW c. Statute Mile 496

    Formerly the Harbourage Marina and Yacht Club, The Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart lies northwest of Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River marker #23, and east of the US1/Stuart high-rise bridge.
    We stayed at the Harborage Marina and Yacht Club, now Loggerhead Marina, in Stuart. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The clubhouse and pool area are gorgeous. The restroom-shower facilities are the best we have found in Florida. (We felt like we were at a spa rather than a marina). There is a nice live aboard community there on both the floating docks and the fixed docks. Saint Lucie Inlet to the East gives easy access to the Atlantic and the Bahamas. Saint Lucie River to the West gives access to the Okeechobee Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. The only negative is there are no marine or grocery stores close to the marina.
    Captain Jeff Prahm aboard mv Java Girl

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Loggerhead Club of Stuart

  • Praise For Sunset Bay Marina (South Fork, St. Lucie River, on the Okeechobee Waterway)

    Since the city of Stuart leased out this property, and the facility was rebuilt as Sunset Bay Marina, we have received nothing but praise for Sunset Bay here on the Cruisers’ Net.

    There is no doubt that Sunset Bay is the BEST marina in the Stuart area. It was opened in 2009 so is not yet in many cruiser’s guides. Everything is new, great facilities, although mostly transient, it would pay to book ahead as many people come in for an overnight, then stay for 2 weeks. There is also a mooring field.
    Keith and Laurie Rawlings
    M/V “KenBane”

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

  • Pirates Cove Resort and Marina (on Manatee Pocket, off the St. Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway)

    Pirates Cove is one of the most upstream facilities on Manatee Pocket. This body of water lies near the intersection of the AICW/Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River, known locally as “The Crossroads.” I’ve always been impressed with Pirates Cove, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sailcraft at their docks. Always has been 100% power vessels.

    We stayed here on 4/5/2010 for one night and had a nice stay. Since we were there for one night they put us on the fuel dock which was fine with me since access into and out of the slips looked like it could be a little tight (50′ LOA). We were enroute from Ft. Lauderdale to the northern Gulf Coast and some of our group who were driving a vehcile home stayed in the rooms and reported them as nice. The restraunt was pretty good, the marina staff were helpful. I’d stay here again. The location is very good if your headed to the west coast of Florida and you’re breaking the trip across into two days.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pirates Cove Resort and Marina

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, on the South Fork St. Lucie River)

    Here’s a different point of view on Stuart’s Sunset Bay Marina. Heretofore, the messages received here on the Net concerning this facility have been overwhelmingly positive!

    8 March 2010. It looked like it would have been a great marina but available only to folks who book six months in advance. When we asked for a one-night transient dock, we were told to come back in June! There were empty slips and a big inside protected fuel dock that no one was on. Something wrong here.
    Obviously no transient slips were reserved, despite the Waterway Guide claim of there being 60. This was the first marina we encountered that had nothing available for transients, keeping in mind our size usually guarantees a spot can always be found for us.
    The facilities for the mooring field were excellent but as noted by others, it is completely open to high speed waterway traffic, subject to gunnel-to-gunnel rolling and wet dinghy rides. And why is there no bum boat available for such a large mooring field?
    Two of the three other marinas in the area also claimed to be filled, with only the Harborage Yacht Club and Marina having transient places available. One said they don’t take sailboats despite the visible masts. For short term stayers like ourselves, Stuart wasn’t that attractive of a place. We anchored up the North Fork after the first rolly day on a mooring, moved to Harborage for a day for provisioning, walking over the bridge, cabbing back.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y `Discovery II’, Vancouver 27

    Below is a response from the management at Sunset Bay Marina:

    As Assistant Harbormaster at Sunset Bay Marina I can tell you that our marina is always available to transients and since we opened last year we have not had to turn down, due to lack of availability, any transients who have wished to come in on a daily basis. We offer side to ties on our fixed docks for transients of all size vessels from 25′ to 125′. We have, however, had to put those who own vessels under 40′ and who wish to have a long term dockage on a waiting list as all of our slips that accommodate those size vessels filled up almost as soon as we opened last year. We are trying to accommodate these vessels on our waiting list as soon as slips become available.
    The Okeechoobee Waterway traffic problem that we have had in the past has been addressed as the entire area surrounding the mooring field and the marina has just recently been designated as a no-wake zone by the State of Florida and slow no-wake signage has been installed.
    As far as the `bum boat’ goes, unfortunately we do not have one but we have always personally patrolled our mooring field several times each day with our carolina skiff and constantly offer assistance to our mooring field guests in any way we possibly can, helping them with provisions, etc.
    We apologize for any misunderstandings that may have occurred.
    Ruth Conrad

    <a href=”/43a-sunset-bay-marina”><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina</strong></span></a>

  • “Potty Patrol” Once Again Underway on AICW/Indian River

    Notice that the inspections Captains Bob and Judy describe below are taking place at MARINAS. I would bet there are also cruising craft being stopped while underway as well.

    According to today’s issue of Florida Today newspaper [4/26/10], over the weekend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) launched onboard inspections of sanitation systems of live-aboard boats in marinas and boats on the ICW. Over the weekend they inspected boats in marinas on Merritt Island, Melbourne and Vero Beach. The operation is going to continue until Friday (April 30th).
    Bob McLeran and Judy Young

    I had the experience personally yesterday. Went to Sanderling to do a little work after posting the article to this list. The young FWC officer had no idea that only a few places in Florida are no discharge
    zones (he’d spent most of his short career in the Keys, which IS a NDZ) and he’d never heard of a Lectrasan/Electrascan. I proceeded to provide a modest amount of education, he called his supervisor and confirmed that his new teacher was correct. Very receptive, courteous, not an issue. Got a receipt from him that Sanderling was in compliance.
    A friend in another marina where sanitation inspections were taking place yesterday told me that the FWC officers were taking “samples” from the Lectrasan boats for testing. How they did that I’m not sure, but I’d never take either of my Lectrasans apart to allow a sample to be taken, nor would I break the overboard line for that purpose (there are couplings to do so. If the FWC officer wanted to get into the engine room to do it, with the assurance that they’d be responsible for any damage, I’d CONSIDER letting them do so!
    We’ve been boarded several times by water cops (local sheriffs or FWC officers) for sanitation inspections and when we’d tell them we had 2 heads and 2 Lectrasans they all said “thanks” and departed!
    Bob McLeran and Judy Young

    We were boarded in Vero Beach mooring field shortly after arriving on Saturday and the dye test was done. Then again on Sunday when we were on the ICW heading to Cocoa, the same two officers came up to our boat but recognized us and laughed and said didn’t we check you yesterday? Just doing their job.
    Capt. RL & Karen
    s/v Last Call

    How are they treating boats with Porta potties and pump out systems that are legal? Also how are they dealing with wag Bag owners/

  • Harbortown Marina (Fort Pierce, St. M. 965)

    Harbortown Marina is located north of downtown Fort Pierce. We also strongly recommend that you consider nearby Fort Pierce City Marina, and not just because this latter facility is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. They are also an absolutely first-class, city run marina in every way, shape and fashion!

    I left my boat here while visiting friends in Vero Beach. The cost for the slip, with power (monthly rate) was the same as staying at a mooring at Vero Beach Municipal Marina. Of course, this only works if you have access to a car. Great staff, nice restaurant, and yes, the docks do need some attention. If you look at an unprotected piling (most are wrapped with some material that hide the damage), you wonder how they stand up to the stress.
    HB Koern

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Harbortown Marina (Fort Pierce)

  • Secluded Anchorage (near Statute Mile 945.5)

    This little anchorage lies just north of what used to be the Jones Fruit Dock,  but only Waterway veterans will remember that place. For everyone else, let’s just say that it lies north of Vero Beach. This a great spot to drop the hook, but swinging room is a bit skimpy, and may only be appropriate for vessels 32 feet and smaller.

    We stop here almost every time we pass by, including Mar 31, 2010. We usually anchor about halfway up behind the island, but this time a little more to the south, about 150 feet south of a buoy midstream. We had our usual quiet night but in the morning, pulled up a heavy chain attached to an old mooring and caught on our anchor. I had seen two moorings here in previous years and wondered where one of them went ‘“ now we know! So be aware that there have been moorings midstream behind the island and there is the possibility of catching one with your anchor. Other than that it’s a delightful, protected spot.
    Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE)

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

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