Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
This very welcome information on the navigation aids in the St. Augustine Inlet and on area events is sent to us by our good friend and supporter, Port Commissioner Jay Bliss. During his tenure, Capt. Bliss has provided valuable and timely information on the St. Augustine area. Thank you Jay!
Greetings Port Observers,
Selected proceedings at yesterday’s Oct 14 2014 Port meeting: USCG Chief Bosun Mike Tomasi reported our USCG has finally been able to allocate a Large LIGHTED RED channel marker #6 for the St Augustine Inlet channel. Until last Thursday, mariners entering our inlet at night had no red lighted markers, only green ones. Thus a few unintentional landings on Porpoise point over the years….
Your Port board approved $6500 for the annual Regatta of Lights, which the St Augustine Yacht Club organizes and hosts. This year it will be Saturday December 13th. This evening event provides a spectator draw that closes down the Bridge of Lions and packs the bay front with residents and visitors enjoying the boating parade of lighted craft celebrating Christmas holidays.
Always you’ll find on the Port website a full set of the minutes of any past meeting!
My commission with the Port expires 13 November 2014. It’s been a pleasure to serve. Two very able individuals, Tom Rivers (who has been on the board before) and Conch House Dockmaster Mark Helman will fill board seats 1 and 5.
YOU get to decide the one contested seat 3 on your ballot. I’d urge you to vote for Herb Rippe. He brings balanced judgement and an even disposition as Chairman, an objective viewpoint, and is dedicated to the task.
Our community is favored with a distinguished group of contenders for City Commission seats. We can salute them all, challengers and incumbents alike, for their contributions. That said, this voter prizes the organizational and leadership skills, the integrity, and the data-based objectivity that Nancy Shaver has already brought to our community. She offers her service as candidate for City Commissioner and Mayor. She has our vote.
St. Augustine Port Commisioner
Inlet Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! borders the eastern banks of the AICW, immediately south of the Vilano Beach high-rise bridge. We continue to hear good things about Inlet Marina and their personal service.
Hey Jay….Once again it was nice to see you again . (May 2014) If you boaters north and southbound don’t stop at the Inlet Marina and see Jay, you are missing a great Guy and a nice boating experence. Jay, see you in 2015!!!
Ray & Bernie Smith – “Fire Dog”
Inlet Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! borders the eastern banks of the AICW, immediately south of the Vilano Beach high-rise bridge. As you can see, Skipper Reese was definitely pleased with the service!
Just fueled up@ Capt. Jay ‘s Inlet Marina. Great service from Capt Bob!
Rivers Edge Marina in St. Augustine, FL, is found well off the AICW, on the San Sebastian River, near this body of water’s upstream cruising limits. Our thanks to Skipper Reeves for this report and photo.
When we travel the ICW to visit St. Augustine we stay at Rivers Edge, back when it was Oyster Creek we stopped in our sailboat. Why do we stop here for overnights rest and relaxation? Easy in and out, Quiet, No or little current.
Paul the dockmaster is the best! Sure the docks are old and the walkways are some what tricky. Watch you step type of tricky. But there is a fresh fruit and veggies market around the corner with great prices. Hurricane Patty’s is on the site with a discount for boaters that Paul will give you. Low price fuel delivered by truck, Call Paul before hand. Stores and Sailors Exchange in walking distance or ride your bike.
The old city is a long walk or a shot bike ride away. Enjoy!
The San Sebastian River departs the Waterway to the northwest at statute mile 780. The new facility will be upstream on the western shore across from San Sebastian marker #20. Land address is 255 Diesel Rd, St. Augustine 32084. For the full story, go to: http://www.staugustineshipyard.com/
St Augustine Shipyard is part of a proposed Merchant Marine Community located on the west bank of the San Sebastian River, southwest of Historic Old St Augustine. In addition to the marina, commercial development plans include a pedestrian “promenade” offering a variety of shops, restaurants and lodging.
The Shipyard Marina is under construction with restaurants, shopping and offices in various stages of planning and approval and is scheduled to open in September 2014.
Thank you for this wonderful service.
A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, 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.
Good protected dockage, marine services, full service yard with haul out, restaurant/bar, and sailboat school/rentals at Camachee Cove Marina on the north side of St. Augustine.
The two St. Augustine mooring fields are north and south of the Bridge of Lions in the heart of St. Augustine. The northern mooring field is nearest the St. Augustine inlet and is more often subject to wind and wave action.
Stopped twice in Nov on the way south. Both times the mooring field was quite uncomfortable from sustained hi winds.
Great town to visit but long term on a mooring would not be ideal.
This restaurant review comes from our friends at St. Augustine Cruisers’ Net, https://www.facebook.com/groups/staugustinecruisersnet/
Took my family to Cellar 6 for dinner tonight. By far the worst dining experience I have ever had in the 12 years of eating out in St Augustine. Extremely disappointed, especially since we enjoyed the drinks when we went there for happy hour with the net [St. Augustine Cruisers net]. Needless to say will never go back.
Please note the time change and new Facebook address !
Announcing the St Augustine Cruisers Net
Start Date: Saturday, Oct 20, 2012 at 8:00am everyday on VHF Channel 72.
Find us on https://www.facebook.com/groups/staugustinecruisersnet/
The net will cover things such as:
Welcoming new boats to the harbor/saying goodbye to departing vessels
Announcements, events, and local happenings
Questions and requests for assistance and problem solving
Buy, sell, trade, and giveaway gear
Weather and tides.
So when you’re in the port of St Augustine, turn your VHF channel to 72 at 8:00 am each morning.
Linda R. Allen
Note the change in time. It’s now (as of January 2014) 0900 daily. Not 0800.
Back on 12/16/13, we published a really “fun” article about how members of the St. Augustine Cruisers’ Net Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/staugustinecruisersnet/), were searching for the best margarita in St. Augustine (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129816). At that time, it look as if Hurricane Patty’s restaurant, at River’s Edge Marina (69 Lewis Blvd, 904-827-1822) was the winner. However, in the never ending, “arduous” task of finding the best of these Mexican concoctions in historic St. Augustine, we have another entry. Looks MARVELLOUS.
I’m going to be in St. Augustine next week, and will do my very best to give a personal report. Again, such onerous duty!!!
Annnnd… We may have a winner, but disqualified for a technicality. You need a car to visit Rachel’s excellent suggestion. The research must go on. — at La Cocina Mexican Restaurant [290 Us Highway 1 S Ste D, 904-794-1610).
Dan N Jaye
This welcome report comes to us from a member of the St. Augustine Cruisers’ Net’s Facebook page/group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/staugustinecruisersnet/). Just remember, conditions on this seaward cut can change FAST, so take Captain Gundlach’s advice with an eye to changes that may have occurred since his passage.
We came in two months ago, in fairly stiff NE breeze and seas, with an ESE swell. It was difficult to find the second red – and we turned around to start over and have a closer look – but of no issue, other than the green water over our bow on the reverse out, once we’d found the second red.
I came through again a week ago, and the third red had been shifted right (north). Finding the second buoy was again a challenge, but once we had it, it was easy.
TowBoatUS advice, which I verified was the same on the second instance, was to favor the reds on the way in until the turn (into the ICW), and we never had any issues with depth (ours 7′, second one 6′).
Overnight was pretty calm, and what there was came from westerly components, which had been the case all day. From that I deduce that it should be pretty calm, despite the calls for high winds offshore.
Current offshore (40 miles) buoy shows NNW 19G23 with waves same direction 5.9/5seconds. However, early (4AM or so) wind was either calm or under 5N, and now 5-10NNW, near inshore. I’ll be checking with TBUS for a final assessment, but I’m expecting the exit to be benign.
I’ll post again when I arrive as to what I found, but I trust that the coastal waters are relatively calm, which will make our ride a glorious broad reach.
And, a later report from Captain Gundlach, as of December, 2013
Yes, it was fine. No problems. We had interesting rollers from the north, but no event or difficulty even for smaller boats would be my assessment.
There’s a slight dogleg to the right on the way out but it’s clearly marked. Favor north if you’re nervous; it’s a bit deeper than the greens at not less than 13 (greens) at low tide.
The only conditions I’d be nervous about, if you’re rigid about staying between the buoys, would be the sea state.
So, for my money, avoid rage conditions, favor red, and do it in broad daylight; you’ll be fine.
This story is potentially one of the most important ever published on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net in regards to anchoring on Floridian waters. It has the potential to change EVERYTHING! That may not happen, but there is some reason to believe it might.
This news begins with a challenge in US Federal court to St. Augustine, Florida’s anchoring and mooring policies, as set forth under the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program. However, this entire matter actually goes far deeper than a challenge to the Mooring Fields Program. In fact, it is a challenge to the rights of any state, county or local government to regulate anchorage on “navigable waters” in any way, shape or form. As I understand Captain MacDougall’s argument, only the US Federal government has this authority, and this right is guaranteed by Federal law and at least hinted at in the US Constitution!
Going back to the 1990′s, and the old, now long defunct, “Coalition of Concerned Boaters,” many have said, including attorneys within this old group, that the real key was to challenge ALL Florida state and local anchorage regulations in Federal court. The problem was that no-one has had both the will and/or financial resources to undertake such a challenge, AT LEAST UNTIL NOW!
All that has changed, with the Federal suit brought against the city of St. Augustine by Captain Michael “Wolfy” MacDougall. By following the link below to a well written story in the “St. Augustine Record,” you can find out much, much more about this still unfolding drama.
And, before giving you this link, let me just note that one of the SSECN’s newest SPONSORS, Port of Call, St. Augustine (http://www.portofcallsa.com/) is also heavily involved in trying to have all Florida anchoring regulations negated via Federal authority. You can read more from Port of Call St. Augustine concerning this issue at:
And, to peruse the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED article in the “St. Augustine Record,” please follow this link:
As we’ve said above, this is VERY INTERESTING news, no matter which side of the Florida anchoring rights debate you occupy. We would like to hear what YOU, the members of the cruising community, think about this US Federal court case. Please make use of the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, or send e-mail directly to CruisersNet@triad.twcbc.com.
I’d like to remark on this article, since I was quoted in it and now having read it and the comments accompanying it, can add the following:
Had the Pilot Program’s actual intent been as stated, a lot more cruisers such as myself would have supported it. However, its clear intention was to move boaters from areas where they have historically anchored if such activity bothered wealthy homeowners.
Another of its unspoken goals was to generate income where none was before, by ‘monetizing’ the act of anchoring. Unfortunately, and this can be born out by the experiences of the largest mooring field in Florida, Marathon, anchoring fields do not pay – they cost the municipality. That has been a long established fact. Marathon has sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into its mooring field, all taxpayer – not boater – funded.
But the main goal for most municipalities was to get rid of their derelicts – people with drug and substance abuse problems, mental issues, or simply poverty. Such lovely folks you are – instead of choosing to help these folks, who truly need it, you just shoo them on to the next jurisdiction. Proud of yourselves I trust?
However, you’ve also lumped myself and thousands of other cruisers in with your social welfare problem, by laying the same rules on us. The fact is, even the FWC noted that the real problem with derelicts was as I’ve just noted – poverty, substance abuse, etc.
I’m so sorry that so many people in Florida cannot see the difference.
I sailed in the Navy then the Merchant Marine for over 30 yrs. I learn 2 to sail a sailboat! Now that so much attention has come to our sport and lifestyle because of a small percentage of nasty kooks, I am at a loss as to how I’m supposed to perceive myself! Thanks Capt Wally, we will be seeing you around!Merry Christmas!
Captain Jerry Robbins
I agree with all above and would like to add that the Fwcs list of goals for their pilot program includes “Promote Public access to waters of the state” so how does limiting anchoring in some areas do this, it seems contradictory. I am sorry but derelict boats will always be a problem in our society. Just because someone abandons or wrecks a car on the side of the road or throw trash we do not prohibit cars from driving on the road do we. Our waterways need the Fwc to start looking at the real dangers to the Waterways of this state, pollution from agriculture including golf courses. We need to regulate runoff from land based sources. I have already spent close to 1000 dollars retrofitting my small sailboat for a legal holding tank system while I sit in my townhome in Broward County and watch all the chemicals sprayed on the golf course behind me end up draining into a canal that goes out to sea. Wake up Fwc and start doing something about this.
Thank you Captain Wolfey. I will be sending a donation for your court costs and encourage others to do so. There are laws to deal with derelict vessels and the money is there. Its just a matter of priorities. I feel its really scary when the people who are supposed to be enforcing laws are involved this deeply in creating the legislation,ie.. FWC especially when theyre breaking higher laws. Who are the real criminals?
Compliments of the Season to you also Claiborne.
All these regulations we cruising people have to put up with are mainly on behalf of marinas trying to fill their slips in a poor economy – and towns trying to get income to augment their budgets. The net result is a far lower number of cruising boats on the water than was the case some 6 years ago.
Many owners are trying to sell their boats – though only if prepared to accept low offers. Others have decided best not to cruise and save the money for whatever else might be coming down the pike. And still others are sick and tired of being boarded by all kinds of agencies trying to find a reason to give us a ticket. The irony is that many marinas today are finding it hard to make a living let alone a profit. They should be REDUCING their prices not increasing .
Glad you have added charts etc for the St Johns River. You might recall that I am the person who first built Green Cove Springs Marina – which I sold out my ownership some 20 odd years ago under precisely similar conditions – that is a Recession which always badly hits anything to do with boats. We also had to deal with Environmental Agencies which at times was a nightmare.
Now that too is much worse – very difficult for a marina to expand or even make improvements – always some official from some agency holding up approval etc.
Oh well – we are possibly a dying breed – at least until the American economy improves.
Best wishes to you
If you would like to donate $100 or more to this legal fight and get full credit of $100 toward a Vacation in the Tropical Florida Keys, that includes a cottage and a 22′ sailboat send a check to Key Lime sailing club & Cottages 101425 Overseas HWY #922 Key Largo Florida 33037 and in the memo put Anchoring Rights Fight. I will forward the funds raised and credit each Person back $100 to a future stay at Key Lime Sailing club & Cottages. Note: Credit is Limited to $100 but Please send more if you can. Lets keep our waters Free for us to “Roam about”.
Paul, Key Lime Sailing Club
It is a shame that the promoters of this anti-anchoring law ignore the actual words written into the law that say it must promote access to the waters of the state. Outlawing people from anchoring in places they have always anchored does not promote access. And, as Wally points out, the derelicts have not disappeared–just been forced elsewhere, which in some cases I suspect is ashore in the same community but now sleeping on park benches and in shelters. And too it is interesting how certain well-connected political interests have benefited from the injection of public tax dollars to create mooring facilities that then create private profits. The cost of installing a Florida mooring field is many times what it costs in other parts of the country, and then the revenues almost never cover the long-term costs. The taxpayer pays again. Meanwhile, cruisers head elsewhere.
While Captain Lee doesn’t specify a particular stretch of the Waterway, his admonition to keep a sharp lookout for crab pot buoys is a good one to heed, as all you cruisers from the Chesapeake will verify! From St. Augustine Cruisers Net, https://www.facebook.com/groups/staugustinecruisersnet/
Just a reminder to anyone cruising south of St Augustine on the ICW. The locals have been putting crab pots out in the channel. Be careful you don’t foul a prop.
Call FWC and have them removed. Pots in the marked channel are illegal state wide.
For everyone who is a fan of Margaritas, not to mention other “adult beverages,”there is a really good discussion about the “best” spots on the St. Augustine Cruisers Net Facebook page at:
Sounds like I (and everyone else) needs to check out “Hurricane Patty’s”! Did a bit of research, and discovered this contact info:
69 Lewis Blvd
Saint Augustine FL 32084 US
Once I looked at the map on Hurricane Patty’s web site, I realized this is the restaurant/bar/really fun dining attraction that’s located on the grounds of River’s Edge Marina (see http://cruisersnet.net/oyster-creek-marina/). This facility and restaurant are located on the western side of the San Sebastian River. That means that those docked at the city marina, or in the city sponsored mooring fields, will have to walk a good six or seven blocks to reach Hurricane Patty’s, but after reading the discussion on the St. Aug. Cruisers’ Net, the effort sounds more than justified!!!
Anchorage Inn and Marina is located just south of the eastern end of the Bridge of Lions. For information on transient rates and amenities, see http://www.stayatanchorage.com/
Consider also The Anchorage Inn and Marina. Mark and I took a slip there last May to do major washing, waxing, etc. that is hard to do on anchor. The current is swift, but once you’re in and planning on working, no problem. The staff is great, and you can look west to the city and sunset.
The following restaurant review was posted by Captain Skip Gundlach in the St. Augustine Cruisers Net. The American Legion Post 37 is located at 1 Anderson Circle just north of the Bridge of Lions and within easy walking distance of the City Marina.
The Admiral and I just returned from a well-kept (well, we didn’t learn about it until this weekend, and we’ve been here 5 weeks) secret:
The American Legion Post 37, on the corner at the circle just north of the bridge, is open to the public, with delicious food and drink, all of which are dirt cheap. We tried the leftover prime rib, which had been cut up and put into potato soup. Big bowl, $3, a meal in itself. Pig that I am, however, it was so good I had two.
3 bowls of soup, two beers and a coke ($1, keeps it filled, in an iced glass “glass”) came to $15 with tax. A $5 tip forced it to $20. Easily the best adult-beveraged dinner we’ve eaten here for value, and we loved it as well.
You ask, why were you eating out? The stove is on the saloon sole, and I’m having to CUT out 2 of the 3 burners we’re replacing. So far I’ve broken 6 bits for the Roto-Zip – gonna have to walk to Home Depot tomorrow…
Still loving St. Augustine!
You are ABSOLUTELY right about this being a best kept secret. I was a little leery of the article before reading it because I was afraid you were going to recommend the Santa Maria. The Santa Maria is responsible for more people getting sick on the food they serve than any other restaurant known in this area. There is a reason they advertise “You can feed the fish from your table.” Even the fish won’t eat their food.
We have enjoyed the legion on several occasions….and you meet some really neat people there, too.
Mark and Gwyn aboard sailing cat ALA
Hmmm…I’ll admit I don’t eat often at the Santa Maria in St. Augustine however, I’ve enjoyed the ravenous display by the fish eating the scraps dropped from our table. So I haven’t shared Captain Perry’s dining experience or illness from dining at the Santa Maria…
I HAVE enjoyed the hospitality of the Legion Post and admit that I have shared the “secret” with our close friends but now that the word is out to the entire cruising community, everyone can enjoy this “under the radar” secret.
Most friendly Marina & Fuel Dock I have ever stopped at. Keep up the good work. Will see you next year – south bound & north bound. Hope all is well!!!
Ray & Bernie Smith – “Fire Dog IV”
The marina review below is excerpted from Captains Mike and Mary Dicken’s, owners of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Paradise Yachts, web blog. These various accounts are recorded when this well-oiled nautical team helps new boat owners deliver their recently purchased craft to home port, or undertake yacht deliveries themselves for the same purpose. Wow, talk about service AFTER the sale – it doesn’t get any better than this. You will be seeing LOTS of excerpts from Captains Mike and Mary’s web blogs here on the SSECN. This is superb info, and we are glad to have it available to our readers.
The particular collection of blog entries from which the article below is excerpted is an account of a cruise from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Fernandina Beach, FL, assisting the buyers of a 42′ Novatec used trawler. You can read this entire set of blog entries at http://www.paradiseyachtsales.blogspot.com/2013/03/assisting-customers-service-after-sale_26.html.
St. Augustine City Marina has the advantage, and the disadvantage, of being located in the heart of downtown St. Augustine. There are MANY dining and historical sites within easy walking distance, but, as Captain Mary notes below, there are also hordes of landlubber tourists.
If you seek something a bit quieter, we would suggest you also consider SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, found off the AICW, just north of the Waterway’s intersection with St. Augustine Inlet, and a hop, skip and jump north of the Vilano Beach Bridge.
We docked at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. The current here is swift, 3-5 knots, and one must be very aware of this in order to get your boat into the slip. The facility is very nice with 8-10 foot water depths along side floating docks. Many dining facilities are very close. I give this marina a solid A.
We arrived in St. Augustine around 2 p.m. and Captain Alan did a great job getting Panacea into her slip. We all had a celebratory beer (tradition) and then we went exploring. St. Augustine is full of history but unfortunately it’s all gotten a little too commercial. There were people everywhere.
We went to dinner at A1A Ale House, a favorite of Mike’s and mine. We all enjoyed a delicious dinner and a few drinks. Back to the boat for a night cap and off to bed we west.
Captains Mary and Mike Dickens
St. Augustine City Marina overlooks the western shoreline of the Waterway, just south of the Bridge of Lions.
We just love City Marina and St. Augustine. We berthed opposite the new dock area in mid May – and the new break water and wide access made in and out easy.
We live on Hilton Head, so strong tides are just a fact of life with us. Sorry if they worry some, but they are what they are, so go with the flow.
The marina has a great location, close to the Fort and Historic Downtown. It is a shuttle stop for the trolley tour and public transportation, and has access to a myriad of restaurants. Cabs are cheap and a trip to Super Walmart (about 6 miles est.) was about $10 each way.
The marina is clean, the rest rooms are updated, the internet worked, as do the washers and dryers, and the staff was hard working, kind and pleasant.
We stayed three nights. This is our sixth visit to City Marina, including one when we left the boat for two weeks. We have never had an issue and just love the place. The new Bridge of Lions is complete, so there is no bridge construction any more, and the view is wonderful without the cranes and barges. It is well run and is a truly down-town marina. I am sure they will see us again the next time we head south.