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Archive For: East FL – 4 – St. Augustine

  • St. Augustine Municipal Marina Closed until Further Notice, AICW Statute Mile 778

    St. Augustine City Marina overlooks the western shoreline of the Waterway, just south of the Bridge of Lions.

    St. Augustine Municipal Marina
    Marina closed until further notice

    Due the impact and damage resulting from Hurricane Irma, the St. Augustine Municipal Marina will be closed until further notice. The south docks incurred irreparable damage and must be removed and then replaced. The main dock, which connects to the fuel dock, suffered extensive damage and will need to be repaired. This includes electrical and water line damage as well as loss of and damage to dock boxes.

    As with Hurricane Matthew, our moorings were stressed and strained, whether or not they had boats secured to them. Until we are able to inspect the integrity of the moorings and have re-assigned long-term tenants, the moorings will not be available for transient guests.

    While we will be up and running as soon as possible, at this time we can offer no estimated date or time-frame for re-opening. We apologize for the inconvenience and any delays, but the safety and integrity of all our facilities and equipment is priority. Until the marina is safe for our workers and our guests to return, we will not be open to the public. We are not accepting reservations at this time; however, you can send email to if you have any questions. Please allow 3-4 business days for a response.
    SV Kestrel

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida 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

  • Report from Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, AICW Statute Mile 775.5

    Welcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. Augus

    Camachee Cove Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located just off the Waterway’s western shoreline, south of unlighted daybeacon #7 and north of the Vilano Beach Bridge.

    Hi folks! Cindy here.
    Sorry I have been Mia for a few hours. No power here still.i had been running my car trying to recharge phones but my car overheated. I also had to decompress for a bit (nap). Well needed.
    Traffic is slowly starting to trickle in here at marina. Tomorrow will start major cleanups. Please be careful for debris. Try to avoid driving over debris to save you a punctured tire.
    The East and West (main) boaters bathrooms have power at this time. Please be courteous when using outlets for recharging phones. Take turns, play nice.
    Do not attempt to turn on any breakers on docks or in main power panels throughout marina. All systems must be assessed before restarting anything. The water came as high as the parking lot on the west side.
    The office should be opening at 7 AM tues.
    Please try to keep your calls to the office to emergency or at the very least, urgent situations only. We will have as much staff as possible on hand to assist you.
    Ice will be available. We have a small supply to get us through until next delivery. Please keep your ice consumption to a minimum so there is enough to go around.
    I hope everyone’s families are all safe and sound. Once again, we have done very well. I hear city municipal wasn’t so lucky. I actually witnessed parts of their docks blowing up the intercoastal this morning.

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

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

  • Curfews Imposed Across Northeast Florida


    Jacksonville, FL – Curfews have been imposed in many parts of Northeast Florida because of Hurricane Irma.

    The curfew for Jacksonville’s beaches started Saturday night at 10PM and continued through 6AM Sunday. That will continue until further notice. Alcohol sales have also been prohibited until further notice.

  • Concern over Published Bridge Clearances

    All of us “short masted” vessels have experienced the concerns that Bill Raynor expresses. Considering wind tides, varying lunar tides, displaced clearance boards and sea rise, bridge clearances, even at fixed bridges, have become almost mystical. Whatever the particular situation, good communication with the bridge tender is required and erring on the side of caution should be the byword. SSECN will continue to publish “official” clearances with the admonishment to boaters to approach any fixed structure with caution, especially where currents are adverse. Thank you, Bill, for raising this issue.

    Since recently buying a trawler after 18 years on a sailboat, “Closed Bridge Clearances” have suddenly become of interest to me, since my trawler requires 19 feet. READ MORE!

    I have traveled from Ft. Pierce to St. Augustine, and have found two errors, both of which affected my boat. Your bridge info on Main Street Bridge in Daytona, shows 22 feet and in actuality it is 19 feet. The bridge tender said that the board reading was the clearance at the center (which I believe was wrong), so I had him open the bridge. The Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine is listed on your website at 18 feet, but in actuality is 20 feet. The bridge tender stated that the board reading was the minimum, and there was 4 feet more at the center. I think that is the correct information. I went through at low tide, and the board read 24 feet, so there was actually 28 feet at the center. I was on the flybridge when I passed through, and I’m sure I had at least 8 feet more than I needed. Since they are on such a restricted opening schedules here, and you have published lots of stuff, you should have the correct clearances on your opening schedule. I’m sure the other “stinkpot” owners with 18 to 20 foot clearance requirements will appreciate it.
    Bill Raynor
    m/v Pau Hana

    Saw the item about bridge clearances – fyi, I have an article coming out in September’s Cruising World on just this issue, but on the 65 foot height issue. You might want to mention that to your readers.
    Wally Moran

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Main Street Bridge

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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

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

  • Elske visits St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778

    David and Jaculeyn continue sharing the log of Elske via their delightful blog, The Voyage of Elske on America’s Great Loop. This page recounts their visit to the historic St. Augustine LightHouse which stands 161ft on St. Augustine Beach east of the Waterway.


    The St Augustine Lighthouse is well worth visiting on Anastasia Island. The Museum is highly educational for all ages. If a person is inclined, the 14 stories can be climbed- 219!steps! David & I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the exhibits but did not attempt the climb … perhaps some other time. READ MORE!

    We learned about the history of the many shipwrecks, hurricanes and even an earthquake affecting St Augustine over the centuries. This Lighthouse saw Loyalist refugees from Charleston arrive after the Revolutionary War. The Civil War had immense influence here. It was directly affected by German UBoat submarines in WW2. Much archeological investigation is continuing here into the life local inhabitants such as the Lighthouse Keepers.

    Another part of the property was devoted to the promotion and preservation of wooden boat building skills. The boats being built were exquisite.

    Elske departs At 0705 on Memorial Day. We hate to leave after a long sojourn.

    It is a very low “astronomical” low tide. The Bridge of Lions usually has a clearance height of 18 ft but today the side board registered 23 ft.

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

  • Maritime Fun Fest, May 20-21, St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival, St. Augustine, FL

    Fun for your kids and your dog, too. What more could you want?

    A Florida Not for Profit Corporation, and 501(c)(3)

    Besides games for kids, the Fest includes a contest developed especially for the festival: Astillero de Perro, our amateur dog agility contest. The term Astillero de Perro is Spanish that translates the Dog Who Owns the Boatyard, with many cruisers now having canine companions on their boats, we especially want to peak their interest in participating or joining with their pups as spectators. The festival is a dog friendly venue. Of note, the Scottie dog in the first boat is a caricature of our First Mate, Sassy, who traveled aboard our Ingrid 38. She was a 1st Place 2015 winner in the “Diving for Treasure” competition.
    Linda R Allen

    4TH MARITIME FUN FEST St Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival
    Dates: Saturday May 20, 2017 and Sunday May 21, 2017
    Location: Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave, St Augustine FL 32084
    Time: Saturday, May 20 9am to 5pm Sunday, May 21 9am to 5pm READ MORE!

    Festival highlights: Quick N’ Dirty Boat building teams and Race Competition, Astillero de Perro (Amateur Dog Agility) Contest, San Agustín Bartender’s Rum Challenge, Kids Maritime Games/ Activities, Food, and Beer/Wine Tents, along with the park’s living history heritage exhibits, cannon firing demonstrations and more all taking place on 15 acres of St Augustine prime waterfront. This is a Dog Friendly event.
    For additional info:

    A Saturday (5/20/17) 6pm-8:30pm evening event is offered:
    The 14th Colony’s Evening with Governor James Grant. Food menu by sponsor S.A.i.R.A. Live music and dancing under the stars at the Pavilion transports to a time in the 18th century when Governor Grant wined and dined with the good people of St Augustine. Tickets are $30 per person and are available for purchase on line at:

    Submitted by:
    Linda R Allen
    SAMHF Media Director

  • Update on Bridge of Lions Schedule Controversy, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778

    Marine Trawlers Owners Association continues to be active in seeking political settlements to legislative actions adversely affecting boaters. A call by city officials and the local populace to further restrict the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions is currently under consideration by the USCG. Our thanks to Mike Bodin and Peter Colket for this information.

    A large Ahoy Mates call is sent out to the boating community to protect our boating rights from unnecessary new laws that will restrict our use of the waterways [including the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, FL].

    Please include this update on the Bridge of Lions. The St. Augustine Fl. city residents are now at a count of over 100 responses to reduce bridge openings to the Coast Guard.

    Another matter on the AICWW, boats traveling south through Florida will encounter the Bridge of Lions (18’ vertical clearance) in St. Augustine. The local newspaper, “St. Augustine Record”, is encouraging residents of the city to flood the Coast Guard with comments favoring reduced bridge openings due to automotive traffic back up

    Please, if you would, contact,
    Stating your opposition to any further Bridge of Lions opening restrictions and you may want to include a couple of the enclosed points of interest. Your communication only needs to be a few sentences.

    The city of St. Augustine recently replaced the Bridge of Lions across the AICWW at St. Augustine which is causing major traffic jams. The city chose to duplicate the 90-year-old antiquated architecture of the original 1927 Bridge of Lions. Today, St. Augustine has 4 million tourists per year and the city’s residential population has dramatically increased from 1927. The City of St. Augustine has created their own never ending problem with regards to traffic congestion.

    A few years ago, the city contacted the Coast Guard to establish bridge opening restrictions. The Coast Guard conducted their open comment time and determined the citizens of St. Augustine were justified in their request and granted their requested opening restrictions. The city is now requesting even further restrictions. In the past, boating groups were not organized nor involved in preserving reasonable access to the waterway.

    Basic present opening restrictions
    Daily bridge openings on the hour and half from 7:am-6:pm except 8 am, 12 noon, and 5 pm, Weekends on the hour and half from.7:am-6:pm

    Proposed restrictions;
    Daily increase hour and half opening time from 6:pm to 9 pm, including no openings at 8 am, 12 noon, 5pm. Weekends extend hour and half openings from 6 pm to 9 pm and no
    openings from 3:pm to 4: pm.

    Points of Concern:

    > Bridge of Lions 76’ width is the narrowest of the 91 bridges along Florida’s AICWW, it is the most struck bridge by vessels, and determined not to meet Coast Guard bridge regulations.

    > Extreme perpendicular to the bridge currents are encountered due to the presence of the Atlantic Ocean inlet, high spring tides and lunar tide rates.

    > Modern Route 312 bridge (65’clearance) is located just 2 miles south of Bridge of Lions and could help to relieve Bridge of Lions traffic congestion
    > 2 marinas, a mooring field, and an anchoring area next to the Bridge of Lions is a cause for increased vessel congestion

    >The AICWW traffic has increased from 1927 rates due to more boaters traveling with air conditioning upon it for destinations to the Keys, Bahamas, and now Cuba

    > With only 18’ vertical clearance all sail boats passing will require openings. Due to high currents, sail boats will have to circle for 30 or 60-minutes waiting for the bridge to open.

    > Increased currents make it difficult for power vessels to stand position, while sail boats in close proximity are for the anticipated bridge opening in close proximity

    > Increasing the 6pm to 9pm period for half hour opening restrictions will result in winter months when it’s dark for boats to stack up to wait for the next bridge opening, sail boats will be circulating, power standing position, marina and mooring boats leaving and arriving, the city lights in the background all in a close proximity is dangerous.

    >The two commercial Tourist boats go out and return 4 times each, daily they require bridge openings. Request they proceed south along the AICWW requiring no bridge openings

    > The U.S. Department of Transportation concluder a six-year study and presented it to the city of St. Augustine in 1999 concluding the Bridge of Lions 1927 design was “functionally Obsolete”. St. Augustine disregarded the DOT study and completed the Bridge of Lions in 2005 to the original 1927 design. Thus, traffic congestion was not relieved.

    > The city is asking for automotive traffic relief at the expense by increasing boating congestion to the determent of safety.

    Pease send a comment to the Coast Guard expressing opposition for unjustified proposed navigation restrictions
    upon the AICWW by reducing Bridge of Lions openings.

    Thank you,
    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

    Posted by Peter Colket, President MTOA on USCG comments page:

    I am commenting on behalf of Marine Trawler Owners Association. MTOA is a national boating club of the 2.341 members, 29% of whom are Florida residents.

    MTOA members oppose further restrictions to the Bridge of Lions opening schedule because of boaters’ safety. Reducing the number of openings at any bridge causes congestion on the waterway, which can increase the likelihood of collisions. This is especially true in locations where swift currents affect the movements of vessels. Bridge of Lions is such a location. In addition to swift currents, boaters must be concerned about the proximity of mooring fields on both sides of the bridge, the City Marina on the South side, and vessel traffic entering and departing the marina and moorings.

    We sympathize with people in land vehicles waiting for bridges, and we understand the traffic congestion issues in St. Augustine. But solving those problems by increasing hazards on the waterway is no solution. We urge the U.S. Coast Guard not to change the Bridge of Lions opening schedule as requested by the City of St. Augustine.

    Peter K. Colket
    Palm Coast, Florida
    Marine Trawler Owners Association

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

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

  • More on Proposed Changes at Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778

    Our thanks to experienced cruiser and long-time Cruisers’ Net contributor, Gregory Yount, for this Federal Register posting requesting comments on proposed changes to the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions. See our earlier postings Changes Possible to Bridge of Lions? and Request for Further Comment for more information.

    Here is the notice regarding bridge opening restrictions: READ MORE

    Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, FL

    This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Coast Guard (USCG)

    For related information, Open Docket Folder

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    The Coast Guard is seeking comments and information concerning a proposal to change the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, Florida. The City of St. Augustine is concerned that vehicle traffic is becoming exponentially worse with each passing season and that on-demand bridge openings are contributing to vehicle traffic backups. The proposed modification would extend the twice an hour draw opening period from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and preclude the bridge draw from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 15, 2017.

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0723 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.
    For Further Information Contact

    If you have questions about this notice, call or email MST1 Timothy Fosdick, Sector Jacksonville, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 904-714-7623, email
    Supplementary Information
    Table of Abbreviations

    CFR Code of Federal Regulations

    DHS Department of Homeland Security

    FR Federal Register

    NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    ANPRM Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    § Section Symbol

    U.S.C. United States Code
    A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at If your material cannot be submitted using, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this ANPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at and can be viewed by following that Web site’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.
    B. Regulatory History and Information

    In 2015, the City of St. Augustine approached the Coast Guard with a recommendation to amend the Bridge of Lions operating schedule. Shortly thereafter, a meeting was held with the City of St. Augustine, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), bridge owner, and the U.S. Coast Guard to seek improvements to reduce the vehicle traffic backups at the intersection of A1A, the Bridge of Lions, and Avenida Menendez. During the meeting, FDOT agreed to work with the City traffic engineers to develop better traffic signaling techniques to reduce the vehicle traffic backups. In May 2016, the City of St. Augustine proposed an amendment to the bridge operating schedule to reduce vehicle traffic backups in the affected area. The City would like to extend the 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. twice an hour opening schedule to 9 p.m., daily and preclude the bridge draw from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.

    The current operating schedule, as published in 33 CFR 117.261(d), reads as follows: Bridge of Lions (SR A1A) bridge, mile 777.9 at St. Augustine. The draw shall open on signal; except that, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour; however, the draw need not open at 8 a.m., 12 noon, and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays the draw need only open on the hour and half-hour.

    In accordance with Nautical Chart 11485, 37th Ed., Nov. 2014, the Bridge of Lions has a vertical clearance of 18 feet in the closed (down) position at mean high water and a horizontal clearance of 79 feet. Additionally, there is a note on the chart stating “Strong tidal currents run perpendicular to the Bridge of Lions opening. Vessels engaged in towing and pushing operations are advised to transit the bridge opening during slack tide and, if necessary, breakdown the tow in small units or use adequate tugs.” In regards to the Bridge of Lions, the U.S. Coast Pilot 4, Chapter 12, Edition 47, 2015 also states “Caution is advised because the tidal currents, particularly ebb, run at right angles to the bridge. It is advisable to drift large tows through this opening at slack water. Normal flood currents of 1 knot and ebb currents of 1.5 knots may be expected. Several mishaps involving the bridge being hit by vessels, which have lost maneuvering control during periods of ebb currents, have occurred. Caution is advised when transiting the area.”

    The original Bridge of Lions was built in 1927 and replaced in 2010. The new bridge was completed with no modifications to the vertical or horizontal clearances; therefore, there was no impact to the number of bridge openings due to vessel traffic.
    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis and authorities for this ANPRM are found in 33 U.S.C. 499, 33 CFR 1.05-1, and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. The Coast Guard is considering a change to the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, Florida. The Coast Guard received a request from the City of St. Augustine to modify the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions in an effort to decrease vehicle traffic backups caused by the significant increase in vehicle traffic combined with the on-demand bridge openings. The purpose of this ANPRM is to solicit comments on a potential proposed rulemaking concerning a request to change the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions.
    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Amending the twice an hour opening schedule to a 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. period should not have an unreasonable impact on navigation. However, amending the bridge operating schedule to exclude a 3:30 p.m. opening on weekends and Federal holidays may have a negative impact to the public, as there are many tourists in vehicles and vessels in St. Augustine during these periods. Additional input will be required from the City of St. Augustine to understand why this particular time was selected. It will also be essential to determine whether any commercial vessel operators would be directly impacted by amending the bridge operating schedule.
    E. Information Requested

    To aid the Coast Guard in developing a proposed rule, we seek any comments, whether positive or negative, including but not limited to: The impact on vessel traffic and/or marine businesses in the area when extending the twice an hour opening; any potential negative impact to vessel traffic or marine businesses of not opening the bridge between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; whether the extension to 9 p.m. of the Bridge of Lions twice an hour opening schedule would reduce traffic congestion and; if traffic congestion would be reduced if the bridge did not open between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.
    Dated: March 9, 2017.
    S.A. Buschman,
    Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-05071 Filed 3-14-17; 8:45 am]

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

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

  • Request for Further Comment on Proposed Changes to Bridge of Lions Opening Schedule, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778

    With a closed vertical clearance of 18ft, the Bridge of Lions Bridge crosses the Waterway connecting the heart of downtown St. Augustine with St. Augustine Beach to the east. See comments from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association on this issue. Our thanks to Mike Bodin of MTOA for this request.

    St. Augustine FL. request Coast Guard to further restrict boat traffic under Bridge of Lions.
    Coast Guard soliciting boater’s comments.
    Read More!

    Bridge of Lions, (road A1A) was originally constructed in 1927 at 18’ vertical clearance. The bridge was rebuilt in 2010 with the same 18’ vertical clearance. Boaters pointed out 18’ vertical clearance for the new bridge was grossly inadequate for vessels traveling upon AIWW.

    St Augustine is experiencing a severe traffic problem due to increased tourism and population growth.

    To alleviate the automotive traffic problem, St. Augustine has proposed reducing the Bridge of Lions openings across the AIWW. If enacted, this would require vessels traveling north or south on AIWW to wait additional time for bridge openings at predetermined weekday schedules and an additional hour for Saturdays.
    Presently, the bridge opens for boat traffic on the hour and half hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, except for 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. on weekdays that aren’t federal holidays. Outside of those times, the bridge opens on-demand for boats.
    City officials say, those on-demand times cause more frequent bridge draws and add to traffic congestion. Some city residents dispute this claim nor has a study been conducted. St Augustine is requesting Coast Guard approval to change from the present on demand after 6 p.m. to extend the every-half-hour operating schedule to 9 p.m. weekdays and to stop the bridge from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and on federal holidays.

    Marine Trawler Owners Association requests your comments against the new unjustified proposed regulations upon Florida’s Waterways. Contact site:
    Once at the site: To add your comment go to the upper right corner and select: “Comment Now”

    Further restricting boat traffic impacts the following safety concerns.
    A> Safety is a primary consideration. Boats are not like cars. You cannot simply stop the boat, put it into park and wait for the opening. The AIWW Federal Waterway is considered a boater’s highway and heavily used by marine traffic. The newly constructed Bridge of Lions with only 18’ of vertical clearance has since its inception been an impediment to vessel traffic flow. Most of the AIWW reconstructed bridges employ higher vertical heights to account for future increased land traffic flow rates and requiring fewer opening for boaters. Boaters increasingly use this nautical highway for destinations such as the Keys, south Florida, Bahamas, and now Cuba. The present 1 hour bridge opening delay for the morning, afternoon, and evening contributes to vessel congestion. To add another hour opening delay for Saturday furthers AIWW congestion.

    B> Perpendicular to the bridge currents are flood 1 knot, ebb 1.5 knots, full moon situations increases flow rates as well as the spring period of even higher currents, increasing station keeping difficulty.

    C> St. Augustine Municipal Marina with 90 slips is located next to the Bridge of Lions on the south side, adjacent to the 110 ball-mooring field. (boating congestion)

    D> Anchoring north of the bridge is presently being utilized (boating Congestion)

    E> Single engine sail boats cannot hold position due to the current and must circle in front of the anchorages and the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. This would interfere with boats entering and departing the marina and anchorages.

    F> High wind and foul weather situations, especially Florida’s summer afternoon thunderstorms, would with the current flow, increase the difficulty of station keeping near other vessels presenting a heighten safety consideration.

    G> In winter months when it gets darker earlier, the proposed preschedule openings after 6:00 pm would further create a dangerous situation due to vessels waiting for a prescheduled bridge opening. Some vessels circulating, others holding station while boats are entering and leaving the marina would cause a very dangerous situation in the dark with moving traffic against city lights.

    As a boating community, we must take the individual effort to protect our “Boaters Rights”. Please take a few minutes and respond to the call by the Coast Guard for your input. Add your own comments or “copy and paste”

    In advance thank you for your assistance.
    Michael Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

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

  • Changes Possible to Bridge of Lions? St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778

    Our thanks to Brad Pickle, Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association for this article from The St. Augustine Record. With a closed vertical clearance of 18ft, the Bridge of Lions Bridge crosses the Waterway connecting the heart of downtown St. Augustine with St. Augustine Beach to the east.

    Dear Supporters of the AIWA,
    Our partners in Florida asked us to make everyone aware of these proposed changes in the St. Augustine area of the AIWW. The AIWA is not supportive of these changes and will be drafting a letter of concern to the U.S. Coast Guard. We wanted to make sure everyone was aware of these changes in case you also wanted to comment.
    Brad Pickel
    Executive Director
    Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

    Posted March 21, 2017 04:40 am – Updated March 21, 2017 11:38 am
    City of St. Augustine asks for U.S. Coast Guard’s help in easing traffic congestion

    The times could be changing for the Bridge of Lions.

    The U.S. Coast Guard, which controls the bridge’s operating schedule, is looking for public comments about whether to adjust how often the bridge closes to vehicle traffic and opens to boating traffic.

    As it stands, the bridge opens for boat traffic on the hour and half hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, except for 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. on weekdays that aren’t federal holidays. Outside of those times, the bridge opens on-demand for boats.

    Those on-demand times cause more frequent bridge draws and add to traffic congestion, city officials said.

    So the city is asking the Coast Guard to extend the every-half-hour operating schedule from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and also to stop the bridge from opening at 3:30 p.m. on the weekends and on federal holidays.

    “The idea behind it is to at least extend it further into the evening so it’s not opening whenever there’s a commercial vessel … to provide a little more rhythm to the city,” said Reuben Franklin Jr., the city’s mobility program manager.

    Details on the plan are in a recently published notice from the Coast Guard in the Federal Register. The plan will be open for public comment through May 17.

    The comments will help the Coast Guard determine whether to make changes at all or whether to tweak the city’s plan, said Michael Lieberum, Coast Guard bridge management specialist.

    The guard has raised some concern about part of the plan.

    “Amending the twice an hour opening schedule to a 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. period should not have an unreasonable impact on navigation,” according to the notice. “However, amending the bridge operating schedule to exclude a 3:30 p.m. opening on weekends and federal holidays may have a negative impact to the public, as there are many tourists in vehicles and vessels in St. Augustine during these periods.”

    If the plan does move forward, it still has to go through another round of public comment once the proposed rules are final, he said.

    If the guard supports the changes, getting from here to a revised scheduled at the Bridge of Lions will likely take more than a year, he said.

    Lieberum said the Coast Guard approaches these types of requests with caution. Typically, the Coast Guard doesn’t issue an “advance notice” like they are in this case.

    Sometimes changing a bridge opening schedule can actually make traffic worse, he said.

    “You have to judge all this together,” he said. “It’s easier to say changing the bridge will make traffic better. It’s not necessarily the case.”

    And this nice bit of history from Glen Moore on AGLCA’s Forum:

    Thanks for informing the membership of the City of St. Augustine’s request to reduce opening times for the Bridge of Lions, in downtown St. Augustine. And, more importantly, sharing the information on how to comment to the Coast Guard.

    The Bridge of Lions, originally built in 1927, was declared unsafe and required to be replaced in 1999. There was much discussion among residents about the rebuilding. One group (Save Our Bridge) wanted to keep the historic appearance of the bridge, the other group wanted to build a higher bridge to eliminate or reduce the number of openings. The historic group won.

    The cost of building a new bridge was doubled by this decision as a new parallel concrete bridge (only to be dismantled later) was built next to the old bridge to carry traffic while the new bridge was built in the same location. And, it is a new bridge – only the four towers are original. The City claimed that they were just rehabbing the old bridge to get around the Coast Guard regulation that new bridges built in noncompliance with CG regulations must be open-on-demand. The city chose appearance over convenience of vehicular traffic. Now, they want to disadvantage boaters because of their decision. This will only be the first of the reductions. Auto traffic in a city designed long before cars will continue to be congested and more requests for reductions in bridge openings will occur.
    This is an opportunity to let your voice be heard.
    Glen Moore
    Last Dance

    And this advice from Kim Russo, Director of AGLCA

    I’ll be commenting on behalf of AGLCA based on what I hear from our members. But I still believe it’s important for individual members to submit their well-thought out comments. Here’s a direct link to submit your comments. There is a link on that page to a “Commenter’s Checklist” that will give you some tips on constructing your comments.
    Kim Russo
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

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

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

    Welcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. Augus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



  • Good News from St. Augustine Inlet, near AICW Statute Mile 776

    St Augustine inlet, always subject to channel shifting, suffered much change during hurricane Matthew, see Our thanks to Malcolm Hunter for this update!

    November 21, 2016… all navigation aids are back in place in the Inlet. In good conditions this remains a safe Inlet. As the local TowBoat US operator said, if you follow all the buoys, no problem. People get in trouble by short cutting buoys in poor conditions. It can be hard in poor light to see where the next one is, but if you favor the red side in, no problems in reasonable conditions.
    Malcolm Hunter

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

  • Photo and Blog from post-Matthew St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 775.5

    This report is from “Harts at Sea” a blog by Barb and EW Hart. St. Augustine is home to Inlet Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, which borders the eastern banks of the Waterway and which was extensively damaged by Matthew.

    First of all…the St. Augustine community, the cruisers, the marina staff, everyone we have met during the past year, and especially our friends have been outstanding post-Hurricane Matthew. Please note that this is a time of stress for pretty much everyone in this community, whether boater and non-boater. Read

    It is heart-breaking to walk down any city street to see most of a home’s belongings piled in the yard. Cars and homes were smashed by trees; sewer water flooded stores, restaurants, and homes; and boats broke free to crash into docks, on shore gazebos, other boats, bridges, and mangroves. One marina was nearly destroyed and St. Augustine City Marina has major damage. They are not accepting reservations for at least a few weeks.
    IMG_6201We are cheerful, optimistic, and helping each other. One of our favorite bars got up and running in two days, and is asking for Home Depot and Grocery Store Cards for their staff and clients who lost nearly everything. Another woman purchased cleaning and personal care products and made up 50 bags to give to those who need them. People are helping each other. Stew and I are certainly grateful every day for all the help we’ve received.

    Still, some people don’t get it.

    The first was a local boating lady who stood to one side and listened as I talked with David at the marina just after seeing our boat. David already knew La Luna’s location and was appropriately and sincerely concerned for us. I told him the boat was in great shape and we just had to figure out how to get her back in the water. As he walked away, the woman turned to me and said, with deep sympathy, “What kind of boat was she?” I was not in the mood. “She was and still is a Cheoy Lee designed by David Pedrick. And don’t talk about my boat in the past tense.”

    Oops. Guess she struck a nerve.

    The Facilities Manager of the Bayview Retirement Center where La Luna ran ashore kept making a joke about all his new boats and how he was going to put a rope around them. I was not pleased. After dropping our anchor to shore (a signal that she was being tended and not available for salvage) we learned that Florida actually has a law that prevents others from claiming your boat for salvage. (First Florida boating law I’ve liked.)

    Gawkers have wandered down to the waterfront and usually joke a bit before they realize it is our home they find so droll. I pretty much handle that just fine. The St. Augustine Police Department has been amazing, first going out in a vessel the day after the storm to seek lost boats. They came to us during our first visit to La Luna, moved close enough to read her name and converse with us, and offered their condolences. They also made sure she was our boat and took our contact information. Other police officers have stopped by to check on us and the boats. Last I heard, the SA PD found 29 boats and posted their names and coordinates on Facebook so the owners could find them.

    EW and I love the Coast Guard. I have two wonderful, brilliant, and accomplished nephews who have made their careers with the Coast Guard, and we have met many other members of their force in our travels. My recent favorite was the CG plane who flew over us on our way up from Panama and who contacted us. Sure, he was probably trying to determine if we were drug runners, but we had a delightful conversation.

    Unfortunately, communication skills were lacking in the CG crew who showed up in a truck when EW was aboard La Luna. Like the SAPD they came within speaking distance and said, “Are you leaking oil or gas?” That was it. No, “Good morning, Captain, is this your boat?” No, “I’m very sorry to see this.” No nothing. EW answered in kind. “No, we are not, but frankly that is not my first concern.” They left.

    Now that the storm is over, some folks who weren’t affected want things to get back to normal pretty darn quick. There have been Facebook rants by area venues asking the public to give them a break. Evidently, some folks are ticked that the free concerts held on St. Augustine Beach have been suspended.

    Really? That’s a problem for you? The person who posted the rant suggested that everyone worried about their fun take a measuring tape out to four feet and make a mark around every room on the ground floor of their home. Now imagine all of that stuff wet with sewer water. Get over yourself.

    The lovely catamaran we are now guests aboard is on the north dock which has no power so EW and I are currently onshore charging all electronic devices while I write a couple of posts. This vantage point lets us listen to David Morehead respond to the calls from folks who are anxious to start their cruising adventure and want to include the beautiful city of St. Augustine. Some of them have been rather insistent that David provide them with a mooring or slip. At least one implied that there weren’t a lot of options nearby, and David suggested he check online to see the area damaged and why there were few options.

    And for those of you who love music, don’t mind the smoke, and have a place in your heart for the Trade Winds—The Oldest City’s Oldest Bar—they will rise again. When we walked past two days ago, a crew of bar staff, patrons, and friends were removing everything from the bar and dismantling the stages. Already there are Black and Decker Workmate Benches on the sidewalk where soaked plywood had been stacked. We will soon listen once again to “Those Guys”, and Joe and Rusty, and Dewy Via, in St. Augustine’s iconic bar.

    Give us some time, people. Some restaurants and stores have re-opened. Enjoy those and wait patiently for others. More importantly, there are people who have lost everything or nearly everything. If you can, help them. We have lost nothing except water under the keel. Just like the Mary Ellen Carter, La Luna will sail again. In the meantime, treat those of us in St. Augustine, Flagler, and points north with a bit of sensitivity. We have maintained our sense of humor, but some things just cut a bit too close to the bone.

    In closing, I will resurrect a comment the musician Fond Kiser made when we were discussing our first year in St. Augustine. He had just moved back here from Austin when Hermine joined us. I mentioned that we had arrived in time for the area’s coldest winter in years, hottest summer on record, and now a potential hit from a hurricane in an area known for being safe. “Hmm,” said Fond in his charming accent. “The city may want to take up a collection to pay to have you move out of town.” After Hurricane Matthew, they may want to consider his suggestion.

    NOTE: The link above for the Mary Ellen Carter was performed by Stan Rogers, who wrote it. We learned it from Maine’s Schooner Fare and I have to share that version out of loyalty. (And because I raised a stein many, many times as I belted out “Rise Again! Rise Again! Let her name not be lost to the knowledge of men.”

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Inlet Marina HURRICANE DAMAGE AND CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

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

  • Question re Mooring in St. Augustine Harbor, AICW Statute Mile 778

    A fellow boater asks for your opinion on long term mooring in the St. Augustine harbor. The mooring field has a northern portion and a southern portion. General consensus is that the southern portion, below the Bridge of Lions, is more protected from wind and wake. Let us hear from your experience anchoring there. For more opinions, go to

    I am considering mooring my 43′ pontoon houseboat here long term, but am concerned about wake from winds, boats, and the current. What are your opinions of how this would work out?

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the St. Augustine Northern Mooring Field

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the St. Augustine Southern Mooring Field

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

  • Blue Ocean Sails Newsletter

    Blue Ocean Sails (BOS) is a developing non-profit, educational organization, based in NE Florida, whose mission is to support, facilitate and assist students, educators, citizen and research scientists in all endeavors associated with marine science education and research. BOS is worthy of our interest and support.

    Friends of Blue Ocean Sails – this is the first quarterly newsletter summarizing the ongoing development and activities of Blue Ocean Sails (BOS).

    Read More

    QUICK LOOK ASTERN – Blue Ocean Sails enjoyed a very successful Ocean Sampling Day 2016 in June coordinating with NOAA/AOML and the European OSD Consortium to bring OSD/MyOSD to NE Florida. The local area response was beyond enthusiastic at all levels and volunteer sampling groups from Flagler College, St Johns River State College, Sea Grant 4-H Marine Ecology Club and University of Florida, Whitney/Osborne Laboratory conducted ocean water sampling from both coastal and offshore sample sites, processed samples and shipped them to Europe for microbe DNA analysis.
    OSD 2016 was a great kickoff to the Blue Ocean Sails primary mission – support, assist and facilitate marine science research and education for students, educators, citizen and research scientists. Throw in a 6 hour offshore sail on Sea Breeze, our Irwin 43, and you see in OSD 2016 a perfect example of what Blue Ocean Sails strives to be.
    PRESENT POSITION – Blue Ocean Sails is currently in discussion with the St Johns County school district exploring options to bring the NOAA Global Drifter Buoy Program into the classroom for both elementary and secondary students. Blue Ocean Sails will set sail from St Augustine, FL this October and deploy a NOAA drifter buoy 75 to 100 miles offshore in the core of the Gulf Stream incorporating classroom lesson plans and STEM activities for students and teachers.
    Work continues to upgrade Sea Breeze’s systems to improve her offshore capability for hosting students, educators, citizen and research scientists onboard in local waters and for a 3 to 4 week cruise to the Abacos, Bahamas next year – hopefully supporting a yet to be developed survey/research project in support of deserving students, educators and/or scientists.
    ON THE HORIZON – Blue Ocean Sails seeks to develop an active Apex Predator Tagging program in association with the National Marine Fisheries Services ongoing program. Growing out of relationships formulated during OSD 2016, Blue Ocean Sails also seeks to begin discussions soon with Flagler College, Whitney Marine Science Laboratory and the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project exploring opportunities to support, assist and facilitate ongoing programs, projects and studies.
    As Blue Ocean Sails continues to gain significant operational traction, enthusiastic support is coming from all levels of the marine science community. I haven’t yet begun to outline the unending variety of programs on the drawing board designed to champion marine science at all levels; programs such as ScholarShips for Students, Dolphin Sails, Ocean Awareness Sails, Students – STEM – and the Ocean, Marine Baseline Studies, Extended Offshore/Inshore Research Sails, Ocean Literacy Sails, Skippers for Science and much more.
    CHARTING THE COURSE – Blue Ocean Sails is growing – and we need you! Please see the letter below requesting anyone interested in becoming actively involved with organizational and program development to please contact me ASAP. Options for active involvement include becoming an advisor to Blue Ocean Sails and even sitting as a member of the inaugural Board of Directors as we move towards formal incorporation and apply for 501(c)3 non profit status.
    Blue Ocean Sails is excited to get even more involved – supporting, assisting and facilitating marine science education and research! We offer free use of a 43′ offshore capable sailboat that can be your “research vessel”! Tell us how we can be of best use supporting your projects and programs and consider volunteering to help formalize the organization and its programs.
    BLUE OCEAN SAILS IS GROWING – and needs you!
    Are you interested in marine science, marine science education, sailing or the ocean? If you are that person, please contact me. I’m seeking discussion with individuals interested in contributing ideas, discussion points, thoughts and relevant input in order to help shape the continued development, direction and growth of Blue Ocean Sails.
    We now need the ideas and involvement of others who are passionate about marine science, education and research in order to continue the growth and development of Blue Ocean Sails as a viable, contributing educational organization.
    You don’t need to be a research scientist or tenured professor to provided valuable ideas, input and suggestions. You only need to have a passion for the ocean and a desire to volunteer to help steer the development of a non-profit, educational organization focusing on marine science education and research along with sailing and boating activities.
    Near term, I envision talking with interested individuals over the next couple months, discussing ideas and gauging interest levels. Then the next step will likely be a group meeting of interested individuals as we begin to discuss options for forming a board of directors and advisory committees. Formal incorporation of the organization will follow as appropriate.
    While BOS is initially St Augustine based, the vision is to develop an organization that serves the marine science community both far and wide. As such, Im casting this net far and wide. Please don’t think you can’t participate if you live outside NE Florida – it’s a big ocean; it touches us all.
    This is an opportunity with a wide range of involvement – from as little as tossing in a few ideas, all the way to sitting on the inaugural Blue Ocean Sails Board of Directors. You decide how interested you are, how you’d like to participate – there will certainly be something for every level of interest and involvement.
    Contact me if you’re interested in helping with the development of Blue Ocean Sails. I’ll answer your questions and provide an executive summary of our progress and plans thus far.
    Please get involved – I need your ideas – I need to talk with you!
    Best regards,
    Mike Alyea
    Blue Ocean Sails
    St Augustine, FL
    FMSEA/NMEA member since 2016

    St Augustine Record OSD/BOS news article –
    Ponte Vedra Recorder OSD/BOS news article –
  • Captain Jim Healy Discusses the Waterway from Charleston to St. Augustine

    Longtime cruiser and SSECN Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, shares his knowledge and experience in these observations on this portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Thank you Jim!

    The entire region from Charleston to St. Augustine has high tidal ranges, ranging from 5′ at St. Augustine to as much as 9′ in Savannah/Beaufort/Charleston.  Those high tidal ranges create swift tidal currents, and especially for first-times, docking is easiest in the 1/2 hour before and after slack.
    There are many areas of shallow water in the region.  The very best resource for current data on low water and caution areas is available via  Two other  websites that all ICW travelers should know about are and  I’m sure you are familiar with the Waterway Guide book series.  The “Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net” (SSECN) is  really a boating group.  It was founded by Claiborne Young.  After Claiborne’s untimely loss, the group continued in operation.  The Cruiser’s Net website specializes on the US Southeast.  There is some duplication of material between the WWG site and the SSECN site, but there is unique value to both.  Both are excellent resources for fuel prices, marinas and anchorages.  These websites would make a good sidebar for any ICW article.  Two of these websites require registration – SSECN does not – and all three are free, and all are very useful to ICW boaters.  Both WWG and SSECN also have smart phone apps that duplicate and augment website information and are very useful on small-format devices.
    There are some generalizations that apply to the region, including the stretch from Georgetown, SC all the way south to below Fernandina Beach.  In some of those areas, boats drawing more than 4′ will want to consider not traveling at low tide; especially celestial low tides.  The Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for dredging the ICW.  USACE is funded by state congressional delegations.  In recent years, the money congress allocates to dredging has been diverted to “more pressing needs,” and so many areas of the ICW are shoaling, and in fact, the ICW resource is slowly being lost; well, allowed to die, really, by congress.  There is a not-for-profit called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association.  The Executive Director is Brad Pickel;  That would make another sidebar for any article on the ICW.  There are some local knowledge bypasses around some shoal areas.  All of the cruising sites above can provide additional detail.
    Renting a car in any of these venues greatly expands what a boating visitor can see and do.  Some, but not all, marinas have courtesy cars.  Generally they can’t be used for long periods, but they are useful for re-provisioning when needed.
    Hope this helps.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Ft. Myers, FL
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