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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. AugusAmelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaPort of Call, St. Augustine The Town of Marineland has opened its ports with a brand new marina facility creating a destination for boaters on the Intracoastal Waterway between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, FL.FULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOMENew Smyrna Beach Marina, 201 N. Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, 386-409-2042Vero Beach Marina
Guest Coupon Available On Our Web Site Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589 Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Fernandina Harbor MarinaWestland Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Titusville, Florida. Near Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Merritt Island and Cocoa BeachHammock Beach Resort & Marina

Archive For: East FL – 4 – St. Augustine

  • Docking Woes at St. Augustine City Marina, AICW Statute Mile 778 and Downtown Marina of Beaufort, AICW Statute Mile 536.5

    St. Augustine City Marina lies on the western side of the Waterway just below the Bridge of Lions in downtown St. Augustine.

    We were at the fuel dock at St. Augustine Municipal Marina by 1400.
    I’ve decided I really don’t like this marina, which is a shame because most of the people are very nice, and the facilities are excellent. The floating docks are aligned parallel to the shore, which normally would be appropriate. However the current does not flow parallel to the shoreline but the axis of both flood and ebb flow is 10 degrees or so off parallel, and therein lies the problem. It is difficult to line up with a slip, and as we found out a year ago, impossible to back out of a slip against the current when it pushes your boat sideways before it can clear the slip. There is, then, no way to escape. The engineers who laid out the docks (if, indeed they were engineers) should have angled everything to line up with the current flow. Added to the problem on the north side is the close proximity of the Bridge of Lions. Getting sideways to the current here could sweep your boat under the bridge leaving your rig behind. Docking at marinas which are aligned with strong currents (I’m thinking Ashley Marina and the City Marina in Charleston) is a piece of cake as one can use the current to advantage both when it’s favorable or contrary. Not so in St. Augustine.
    Captain Ted Jones

    Similar docking woes in Beaufort, SC. Nevertheless, Downtown Marina of Beaufort is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! and is on the AICW at Statute Mile 536.5.

    The Downtown Marina Of Beaufort, SC, 1006 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 524-4422 or Marker #239 on ICWI encountered almost the same situation at the Beaufort, South Carolina municipal marina, and on trying to back out against the current with ample on shore help was in fact caught and turned sideways against the main dock. It was quite a feat getting the bow turned back into the current and finally out. For power boaters this is not much of a problem, but for sailboats with single screw auxiliary diesels it is a big challenge.
    James Williams

    Never attempt nor accept a down current slip assignment at St. Augustine’s City Marina. The slack current time at high and low tide is VERY short. “WARNING” Always dock into the current at a slip at this marina. Stay on the fuel dock until the current is in your favor before moving to an assigned slip with a single screw vessel.
    “The VOICE of experience”
    David Burnham

    Having read a negative comment about the St. Augustine City Marina, I would like to post a favorable comment as I would hate to see anyone miss this great place that is so friendly and convenient to the historical district, not to mention they have the best fuel prices I could find in a 60 mile radius. The docking here was a breeze and my better half easily maneuvered our 48 foot powerboat “Tropical Breeze” into her assigned slip. During our 3 days here we observed many arrivals and departures of all kinds of boats, none came close to being swept under the bridge.
    Doug Cordello

    Read and heed Larry’s earlier posts. This is tricky if you are not familiar with this marina and the tide. I learned to only approach this marina during a slack tide with my boat. I have a Hunter 36. Crew safety has to be your number ONE concern.
    Perry McDonald

    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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Downtown Marina of Beaufort

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

  • Rivers Edge Marina (St. Augustine, Statute Mile 780)

    Rivers Edge Marina is found well off the AICW, on the San Sebastian River, near this body of water’s upstream cruising limits.

    Rivers Edge (formerly Oyster Creek Marina), St Augustine: Not high end but comfortable and well protected from wakes with a nice cruising community and walking distance to downtown and to shopping.
    Mike & Tammy
    Valhalla II

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Rivers Edge Marina

  • Quiet Night Wished for at River’s Edge Marina, departing AICW at Statute Mile 780

    River’s Edge Marina is on the San Sebastian River at marker #29 with a channel departing the Waterway to the west-northwest, south of marker #12 and just north of SR 312 Bridge in St. Augustine, FL.

    Visited friends that are at Rivers Edge but will NOT be making the visit again. Music is too loud from the restaurant and there was a rather loud party at the grills that lasted well into the night. The next morning, there was a terrible mess; beer bottles, trash, etc. According to my friends, the prices are very reasonable, but I think that if it were me, I’d pay a little more for a quieter evening.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For River’s Edge Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of River’s Edge Marina

  • GREAT Chocolate Shop Found in St. Augustine – Captain Jane Reports

    Every December, I seem to get at least one email with purported scientific evidence that chocolate is good for you. Yet, I promise, we weren’t looking for chocolate, we were just waiting for the Red Coats Are Coming parade the other night in St. Augustine … And there was the sign: Claude’s Chocolates. Hand made Belgian chocolate. Oh.
    So, here’s my theory. If you’re going to have sweets and other things good cruising yogis and yoginis are supposed to avoid, I say, do it right, with intention, focus and complete commitment to the present moment. Make indulgence an art form.
    Claude’s Chocolates in St. Augustine is here to help. In the name of yogic science, infused with the holiday spirit of historical reenactment parades, and out of abiding respect and love for our editor Claiborne Young and his first rate first mate Karen, I sampled the following items at Claude’s and pronounce them worthy of chocolate yoga:
    1. Dark chocolate bark with hazelnuts and almonds.
    2. Dark chocolate covered orange peel dusted with ancho chili powder.
    3. Dark chocolate covered almonds dusted with cocoa.
    4. Dark chocolate bark with nuts and fruit.
    I’m allergic to milk, but my first rate first mate Michael tried — twice — the soft serve chocolate ice cream.
    I asked the lovely lady who served us whether the chocolate is really made here and she said, not here but in our other store on US 1 in St. Augustine. She added: “He buys the chocolate from Belgium, but it is all made here.” Close enough for “here”; note to self-rationalizing self: Locavore virtue added to it tastes ridiculously good.
    Is he nice? I asked. “We’ve been married for 35 years,” she replied with a wink. “I think so.” Note to self-rationalizing self: Nice chocolatier, nice chocolatier’s wife, this really is hand-made.
    I have two words for you: Go there.
    Claude’s Chocolates. 51 King Street, St. Augustine (short walk from Municipal Marina). Phone: (904) 808-8395.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

  • St. Augustine’s New Recession-Friendly ($10 and under!) and First Rate Greek Restaurant “Gyro House” (St. M. 778)

    Wow, sounds like our fearless, roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar, has come up with a real cuisine find in St. Augustine. See you at the Gyro House!!!

    Unless you are an aficionado of “hole in the wall” restaurants, don’t let this unassuming-looking little storefront style restaurant fool you. Gyro House of St. Augustine offers truly fine and truly home-made authentic Greek and Middle Eastern food — with a touch of Sicilian thrown in.
    It’s hard not to make a fuss over the reasonable prices, but please trust us on this — this is great food at any price. This is artisanal real food made by someone who knows food and cares about feeding you well.
    Gyro House’s short yet varied menu offers the best gyro (bearing no resemblance to the ubiquitous salty mystery meat that goes by the same name) we have ever tasted. Actually, everything we tried was the best version we’d ever tasted.
    Almost everything is house-made and the short yet varied menu of this little restaurant reveals the owner’s and his wife’s combined ethnic heritages — Greek, Middle Eastern and Sicilian. Adam, the half-Greek and half-Jordanian owner, says the Gyro is the crown jewel of his sandwiches. He chops, spices and compresses the gyro meat on premises before cooking it on the rotisserie. Grape leaves are also house-made using Jasmine rice from Egypt — I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a fresher or more tender stuffed grape leaf, ever.
    The falafel — this ranks right up there with the falafel on the Rue des Rosiers in Paris. That’s not some kind of inside joke, until this week, that was our favorite falafel on the planet. Fresh, full of cumin (I love that spice!), not over-cooked, perfect balance of crunchy outside and tender inside. Kibbee — pine nuts and I frankly don’t remember what else, but again, best version I’ve ever had. The tortellini feature a Sicilian pesto; the pita mini-pizzas feature a Genovese pesto. The other sandwich offerings include Chicken Shawarma, Chicken Caesar and Mediterranean Veggie.
    Sandwiches are $6.99 and for $9.99 you can upgrade to a platter with a choice of two sides including tortellini, jasmine rice, kibbee, falafel, olives from Jerusalem, spanakopita, house-marinated artichokes. There are also salads, including Greek Salad, Tomato Salad with mozzarella pearls and basil, Caesar Salad and Tortellini Salad at $4.99 for a small and $6.99 for large. If the salad that was tucked in our gyros is any indication — fresh, crisp romaine, shaved onion and fresh chopped parsley — then the salads will be excellent, too.
    We were too full for dessert but reports are that the home-made baklava is, yes, you guessed it, the best ever. Based on the other offerings, I’m willing to bet it’s true.
    If you’re lucky, you will happen upon Gyro House just when you’re running out of olive oil on board. Organic olive oil from Genoa is for sale by the liter for $20.
    Gyro House is a moderate-to-short walk from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, located at 210 St. George Street; that’s on the left side of the central park (facing in-land). Hours are 11 AM to 7 PM, 7 days a week, except major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

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

  • Good Visit to St. Augustine Mooring Field, AICW Statute Mile 778

    Praise for the two new mooring fields near downtown St. Augustine continues to come in. The mooring fields lie just north and south of the Bridge of Lions.

    Had a very nice three day stay (November 21-23) in the new mooring field north of the new Bridge of Lions; this is the “SM” (for San Marco) field that is in front of Bay Street and the Castillo de San Marco. For $20/day, you have access to the dinghy dock and the bathhouse (very nice facility), and to a pump out boat (we didn’t use the service so I don’t know the schedule). The moorings are about a month old at this writing; we had not understood the system, and when the installer came by he told us how to correctly attach ourselves (with the “keyhole” much closer to the boat than we had understood) and even sent his diver to detach us so we could easily make the correction. I know the installation of moorings has been controversial in the cruising community, but given the shallow depths, the proximity of the seawall, the channel and the bridge, and the excellent access to marina services and the attractions of Saint Augustine, I have to say that I think the $20 is a bargain. Discounts for longer stays, I understand. Captain Leigh Hough

    A reader requested an explanation of the term “keyhole” and here is Captain Hough’s response:

    Hi Larry. I was afraid that terminology would be confusing. So there is a yellow “float” attached by a line to the ball itself. It may be sitting down inside the “bowl” on the top of the ball. Above that float is a loop (it is rigid, not a line, therefore my description of it as a “keyhole”) through which you want to pass your line (we attached to something below the float originally, and the installer came along and corrected us, and said they had seen several folks make the same mistake). The office is supposed to be giving people better directions now (so said the installers); the moorings had only been in for a month or so when we were there in November. I am attaching a not-great photo; I may have another more helpful one and will dig it out and send it along. Happy New Year!

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For St. Augustine Northern Anchorage Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For St. Augustine Southern Anchorage Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Mooring Fields

  • Excellent Customer Service at 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. AugusCamachee Cove Yacht Harbor is off the Waterway’s western shoreline, south of unlighted daybeacon #7 and just north of the Vilano Beach Bridge. And, of course, Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor is A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    November 20, 2010
    I believe most boaters generally feel as though they are at the mercy of yacht yards and marinas, and that they always overpay for most goods and services associated with boat ownership and operations. It is not unusual to read of such dissatisfaction in boat related magazines and web sites. Every now and then however, someone in the marine industry goes above and beyond that which is reasonably expected of someone in any business. When that happens I believe we should make that known as well.
    In my recent case, that someone was one Peter Sabo, President and owner of the Camanchee Yacht Yard located at 3070 Harbor Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084. The yacht yard is associated with the full service Camanchee Yacht Harbor Marina. Both are just off the ICW and just 2 miles from down town St. Augustine.
    Our story began on the evening of Saturday, October 30, 2010 at around 1800 hrs. Cheryl, the admiral, and wife of the captain, was below preparing dinner. I was lounging in the cockpit with an adult beverage. That is when I heard “Why won’t the stove stay lit?” Well, in the interest of brevity, it was determined rather quickly that the electric solenoid controlling the propane was defunct.
    That was certainly an inconvenience, but did not seem to be a big problem as we would simply delay our departure one day and go to the local West Marine to pick up a solenoid in the morning. I called West Marine first thing Sunday morning to ensure they had the item in stock. Well, “no, we don’t have that item in stock, but I can get one from the warehouse in California and have it here on Wednesday” was the reply.
    We had been underway, from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts toward home, in Burnt Store Marina, Punta Gorda, Florida, since July. By now we had very itchy feet, and did not relish a delay of three or four days. Based on the advice of another cruiser, I placed a call to the Camanchee Yacht Yard in hopes they might have a solenoid in stock. I heard the fully expected voice recording to “leave a message and we will return your call ASAP”. I was not the least bit surprised, after all, it was Sunday. I didn’t bother to leave a message, as I needed this part today.
    I decided I could by-pass the solenoid with a simple pipe coupling then turn the gas bottle on and off the old fashion way. While I was on the phone, locating a hardware store, another incoming call went to voice mail. Cheryl retrieved the voice mail and told me it was from a fellow named Peter Sabo, from Comanche Yacht Yard and Marina, and that he was apologizing for not getting to the phone in time and missing the call. Huh? It’s Sunday.
    I called Mr. Sabo right back. He again apologized for missing the call. I explained I just took a chance and really hadn’t expected anyone to be in the office on a Sunday. He explained he was not in the office, but at home doing yard work, and, that he has the calls forwarded to his cell phone. I apologized for disturbing him on a Sunday, at home. He assured me it was no problem, explaining he owns the Comanche Yacht Yard, and “how can I help you”? My, oh my. I apologized again further explaining, with some embarrassment, that I was not even staying at his marina. He said cheerfully “that’s OK, how can I help you”?
    I explained my dilemma. He was certain he did not have a solenoid in stock. He agreed that my idea to bypass the solenoid would work as a temporary fix. He thought he might have just what I needed. He then explained he was just on his way to Home Depot, would stop by his shop on the way, and then swing by the city marina to deliver the part. If he did not have the part I needed in the shop, he would pick one up at Home Depot. He just asked for some time as he had been working in the garden. I was in total disbelief, but very grateful, for his most generous offer. We agreed to meet ashore in an hour or so.
    As promised Peter Sabo arrived at the city marina with the piece I needed. The price marked on the piece was $4.95. As I pulled some cash from my pocket, he apologized for not having any change for my five-dollar bill. Obviously, I said that’s no problem. He then refused, very much to my disappointment, to accept any further monetary expressions of my gratitude for his extraordinary customer service to a non-customer.
    Needless to say both Cheryl and I thanked him profusely. He appeared genuinely happy just to have been able to help us out. Needless to say, the next time I pass through St. Augustine, I will stay at the Comanche Yacht Yard and Marina. Simply based on our experience with Mr. Sabo, the Camanchee Yacht Yard and Marina must be a top-notch operation and I would highly recommend it to anyone else.
    Gordon & Cheryl Fogg aboard S/V Foggy Notion

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

  • Praise and Suggestions for New St. Augustine Mooring Fields, AICW Statute Mile 778

    The new St. Augustine mooring fields are located just off the path of the AICW, north and south of the Bridge of Lions in the heart of St. Augustine.These twin fields have been warmly welcomed by those who cruise those waters.

    Dear Taylor Engineering and St. Augustine Marina,
    First of all, thank you for the new mooring fields!…and for including BIG boats in your plan. Unfortunately, there is a significant design mistake: the painters are too short for larger powerboats…and they end in an eye slice, which, even if the painter were long enough, cannot be dropped over a cleat. In my case, a 58 ft motoryacht, we could not even reach the eye slice from the bow, which is 9 ft off the water. Remember, Auggie almost always has current and wind, so the mooring ball is seldom immediately under the bow (at least this captain is not that good).
    Other well conceived mooring fields (i.e. Newport, Nantucket, even Little Harbour in the Abacos) have long painters which can be snagged with a boat hook and simply pulled aboard and dropped on a cleat. The extra length allows you to snag the painter even if you are not directly over the mooring ball…or, more likely, allows you drift room as you attempt to pull the loop aboard. I suggested to the St. Augustine marina office that a loop extension was needed for the larger boat moorings, but I fear it fell on deaf ears.
    Meanwhile, if you have a tall bow, you must moor from the stern and transfer to the bow after you splash the dinghy, as I did. However, due to the significant Auggie current, the slack created in the transfer needed the power of the windlass to pull aboard.
    A ten-foot loop through the eye slice would solve the issue, which, if brought aboard and dropped on a cleat, would not effect the swing radius of the design. We love moorings…please consider making these more usable. Thanks,
    Captain Robert Calhoun Smith Jr, aboard M/V MARY KATHRYN

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

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

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

  • High Praise for St. Augustine Mooring Field, AICW Statute Mile 778

    The new St. Augustine mooring fields are located just off the path of the AICW, north and south of the Bridge of Lions in the heart of St. Augustine.These twin fields have been warmly welcomed by those who cruise those waters. Captain Shreve describes them well below.

    Cruising News:
    Two nights ago (11/9) we spent the night at the new mooring field at St. Augustine and we could not have been happier. Like others we have anchored there in the past and the current is daunting to say the least. The moorings are easy to pick up and the spacing of boats is excellent. Gone are the derelicts that used to clutter the sea scape there. Also, for the $20 nightly fee (plus tax of course) not only do you get use of the dinghy dock (that cost $12 last year alone) but also free pump out at your mooring. We’ve paid $20 just for pump out at some marinas, so in my eyes the $20 is a bargain. The only thing that they haven’t worked out yet is paying the fee over the phone, but if your dinghy is on the deck or your outboard is out of commission they will come by your boat and pick you up in the pump out boat and ferry you to the office. The guys there are working their butts off to make everyone feel taken care of (I wish the bridge tender at Bridge of Lions was as concerned about customer service: last year we were told to hurry up and get through the bridge or we might lose out mast!)
    Captain Barry Shreve

    In my reply to Barry, I commented how nice it is to see a Florida city doing things to make transient boaters welcome, to which he responded:

    It is indeed refreshing. Compared to our visit last spring with all the derelict boats bunched together the mooring field was a breath of fresh air.

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

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

  • Good Words for Rivers Edge Marina, St. Augustine, AICW Statute Mile 779

    Rivers Edge Marina is located upstream from the AICW/San Sebastian River intersection, on the western side of the Waterway.

    We were just there earlier this month(October). Found everything close. Bathrooms, laundry room- clean and working. Loved the people here. Capt Eric and Annie were are neighbors and what a help they were. Hurricane Patti’s is right there and offer drink specials to the boats at the marina. This is a DEF for stopping again. Easy to get in and out and you were away from the wind.

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Rivers Edge Marina

  • More Observations on St. Augustine Mooring Fields, AICW Statute Mile 778

    The new moorings fields in St. Augustine are immediately north and south of the Bridge of Lions in the heart of town. The south field, the larger of the two, is just south of the City Marina and closest to the dinghy dock and amenities. For rates and reservations, contact the City Marina at (904) 825-1026.

    Drove in a car through St. Augustine and across Bridge of Lions today returning home from Savannah along A1A (a beautiful drive from Amelia Island, BTW). We had to stop as the draw raised to allow a sailboat to pass, so we had a chance to glance at the new mooring fields. The southern mooring field had a high occupancy rate – in fact we couldn’t see any available mooring balls but it was quite some distance away. I was surprised to see that there was also a mooring field north of the bridge with at least five mooring balls (three with boats); there were quite a few other smaller white balls on the north side in several lines which were much smaller than those with the boats – not sure what they were – might have been markers for future mooring balls. There were several boats anchored further to the north in the bend as the river turns toward the inlet.
    Bob McLeran and Judy Young

    Click Here To View An Earlier Update on St, Augustine’s Mooring Fields

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

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

  • Updates on North and South Anchorages in St. Augustine, Fl, AICW Statute Mile 778

    Captain Bliss is a member of the Port Authority and is requesting your input regarding anchoring north and south of the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine.

    City moorings now cover most of the S anchorage. $20/night. Anchoring can take place further S of the mooring, but that’s pretty far from the city dock…. I’d like to know cruisers’ experiences here in St Augustine. I’m on the Port authority board (NOT part of City moorings) and we’d like to be informed, thank you.

    City has a mooring installation contract here in the N anchorage, operating slowly along the seawall and just off the Castillo San Marco. Call City Marina 904 825 1026 for updates or mooring availability. You’ll see boats anchored outside the perimeters, which should be fine. Email me with grins or grimaces, thanks.

    Salt Run is in the process of having City moorings installed. Limitied anchoring might be available around the boat ramp at the base of the Lighthouse. Dredging is being conducted in the channel until early December. Best to call Cdr Fox, SAPD, 904 825 1073 if you want to disembark. City Marina is 904-825 1026. Email me with your gins or grimaces.
    Capt Jay Bliss

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


  • Praise for Rivers Edge Marina, formerly Oyster Creek Marina (St. Augustine, Statute Mile 779)

    Rivers Edge Marina is located on the San Sebastian River. This stream leaves the northwestern banks of the AICW, southwest of marker #12.

    We are docked here at the Rivers Edge Marina for the 2010 hurricane season and we really love it here,, great boaters and staff.. super clean marina and the city is the best!!! by far!!! This is our third time staying here now,, (even back when it was called Oyster Creek Marina), and we will be back in the spring of 2011. Check out their new web site
    Cheers, Annie & Capt. Eric

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Oyster Creek Marina

  • Photo of New St. Augustine Mooring Field (Statute Mile 778)

    On 9/16/10, we posted a combined notice from Captain Pete Peterson aboard s/y “Brilliant” and Captain Sterling informing the cruising community that a new, 30-ball mooring field, managed by the nearby City Marina, had just begun operation in St. Augustine, south of the Bridge of Lions. (see Now, Captain Sterling has sent along a very nice photo the the new mooring field (see below).

    Hey Claiborne!
    Delivering my boat to it’s new owners in Jacksonville Beach. New to me boat is under contract in Punta Gorda.
    I am attaching a picture of the mooring field ad ST. Augustine. It is open for biz and the southern sections is completed.
    See you on the Waterways!
    Capt. Sterling

    I think this mooring field is an excellent addition to the city. I would caution, however, be very careful loading and unloading, as the currents are strong here. Slip overboard and you’re gone!
    Captain Sterling

    Any information on the length of a boat at the mooring in St. Augustine. Thanks for the photo and latest info.
    Captain Maryann

    It would seem that the U.S. Supreme Court would disagree with St. Augustine’s opinion.
    In U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis Blue Point Oyster Cultivation Co. v. Briggs, 229 US 82 the court states: “If the public right of navigation is the dominant right, and if, as must be the case, the title of the owner of the bed of navigable waters hold subject absolutely to the public right of navigation, this dominant right must include the right to the use of the bed of water for every purpose which is in aid of navigation.”
    Federal District Court in Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957, 961 states: “….’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.”
    It is well established that the public right of navigation is the dominant right on the waters of the U.S.
    Robert Driscoll

    While I am not a fan of forced mooring nor the banning of anchoring, let’s face it – derelict boats and selfish boaters have been pushing municipalities to their limits for decades. Most laws banning extended anchoring have been shot down in court but it takes years and lots of money to fight them so cities have gotten away with these laws sufficient to break even against those who would drop an anchor or two and just stay in one place forever. Perhaps that right exists, but I’ve seen many boats that became the responsibility of the local taxpayers, sunk, or refused to obey sanitary laws. Personally, I’ll probably skip St. Augustine in the future at the rates they are charging for these moorings, but I can’t entirely blame them for their actions.
    Peter TenHaagen

    All cruisers, however, are not as enthusiastic about the new mooring field.

    The city is now telling people that once the mooring field is in, they will be banning all anchoring between the Vilano and 312 Bridges. They say they can do this because they own the land under the water on a grant from the King of Spain. This continues the cities movement to get rid of boaters. They have precluded anyone who resides on their boat from getting the reduced rates for the mooring field. Residency requires a utility bill even if they have lived here for more than 10 years and own a business.

    I anchored there several years ago and found the current daunting. I can’t see how they can require one to take a mooring. It is an open body of water. How is it enforced?
    Jim Owens

    While I would personally agree that derelict boats and extremely long term anchorage might be a problem I am certainly against the entire boating public paying the price for the misconduct of a few. The city could just as well set and enforce responsible time limits (even though that too is probably illegal), but the whole class should not be punished for the misconduct of the few!
    Robert Driscoll

    A grant from the King of Spain? Which King? How preposterous. They have to make this claim of course because they have no other legal basis for the anchoring ban. And of course whichever King they are citing has been dead a few hundred years. So getting his views will be tough. St Augustine marinas are generally overpriced. No surprise then the mooring balls are following suit. And while I am at it… I don’t buy the argument that these communities have to do this in “self defense.”. Self defense from what? Drive the hoods of St Augustine or any other coastal city. You will see run down homes, unkempt lawns, non running cars in driveways blah blah blah. Even in the multi million dollars spots there are homes that look like crap. There are of course ordinances that can address some if this. But if people want to live like slobs it is (still) a Fred country. These communities pick on the boating community because we are an easy target.
    Eric Vahlbusch

    We have anchored about a dozen times in St. Augustine. The tides and current (and bottom) there can be treacherous, and we are pleased to see the installation of a mooring field. The nightly fee of $20 is a little bit stiff, but since they have charged $10 for a dinghy landing for a number of years, it doesn’t seem too bad. If they keep the field clean and open, it is welcome to us.
    One Eyed Parrots

    Has anyone addressed a size limit in the new mooring field?
    Ed Potter

    re: anchoring in St augustine… see which summarizes the fl laws… i’d think any spanish grant was passed to the state when fl became state. therefore, all fl laws re waterways apply.
    Captain Guy
    Deliveries & Instruction-Power & Sail
    New Smyrna Beach FL USA

    Wasn’t the king of Spain granted his rights by GOD!!
    Capt. Tom aboard M/V Pleiades

  • Praise for St. Augustine City Marina (Statute Mile 778)

    St. Augustine City Marina is a fine municipal facility, and it is located within easy walking distance of the city historic and business district.

    St. Augustine, FL, ICW mm 778. This is a MUST STOP for us on our way south!!! The staff is very skilled, the marina offers excellent services, and the proximity to downtown is unmatched! We love this marina and the town, and highly recommend it to all who are heading south. They have an inlet that provides superb access to the Atlantic Ocean, or you can stay on the ICW on your southbound journey. Either way, this stop is well worth the effort!
    Sabra Morgan

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

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

  • Much More on the Bridge Of Lions Vertical Clearance Issue (St. Augustine, FL, Statute Mile 778)

    If you have been following the Cruisers’ Net, or most any of the other nautical web sites or mailing list, you almost certainly know there is an issue about whether the newly rebuilt Bridge of Lions that crosses the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine, Florida, has less than its charted, mean high water, closed vertical clearance of 25 feet. One week ago today, we issued an alert in response to a message we received from Ms. Laurie Sanderson, Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lion Rehabilitation Project, in which we put forward our belief that this span now has only 22 feet of closed vertical clearance.
    All this discussion was initiated by a report from Captain Bob Mimlitch, who noticed that his craft’s antennae seemed MUCH closer to the bottom of the bridge than they should have been, when he passed under this span. Over the past several days, Captain Mimlitch has copied the Cruisers’ Net on a LIVELY series of messages which have passed between himself, Ms. Sanderson, and two members of the USCG! Read on!

    I told some of you that I would report on the Bridge of Lions when we passed it northbound. Here are my findings:

    Approaching the Bridge of Lions from the south

    The following two photos were taken on 15 June 2010 at 9:49am, as we passed under the bridge.

    The south clearance gauge (tide board)

    After photo analysis, the clearance gauge reads 19.5′, plus or minus an inch, which is clearance at “low steel”. The sign also states 4′ additional clearance at center. Thus clearance at center is 19.5′ plus 4′, or 23.5′. All drawbridges are governed by 33 CFR, which states:

    § 117.47 Clearance gauges.
    (a) Clearance gauges are required for drawbridges across navigable waters of the United States discharging into the Atlantic Ocean south of Delaware Bay (including the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, DE) or into the Gulf of Mexico (including coastal waterways contiguous thereto and tributaries to such waterways and the Lower Atchafalaya River, LA), except the Mississippi River and its tributaries and outlets,
    (b) Except for provisions in this part which specify otherwise for particular drawbridges, clearance gauges shall be designed, installed, and maintained according to the provisions of §118.160 of this chapter.

    § 118.160 Vertical clearance gauges.
    (a) When necessary for reasons of safety of navigation, the District Commander may require or authorize the installation of clearance gauges. Except as specified in §117.47(b) of this chapter for certain drawbridges, clearance gauges must meet the requirements of this section.
    (b) Clearance gauges must indicate the vertical distance between ‘‘low steel’’ of the bridge channel span and the level of the water, measured to the bottom of the foot marks, read from top to bottom. Each gauge must be installed on the end of the right channel pier or pier protection structure facing approaching vessels and extend to a reasonable height above high water so as to be meaningful to the viewer. Other or additional locations may be prescribed by the District Commander if particular conditions or circumstances warrant.

    The hand painted north clearance gauge (tide board)

    After photo analysis, the clearance gauge reads 22.5′ plus or minus an inch, which it states is clearance at center, not “low steel” as required by 33 CFR. This nonstandard clearance gauge does not conform with 33 CFR.
    The south side indicates 23.5′ at center and the north side states 22.5′. There is a one foot discrepancy.
    The listed clearance on the charts and according to the contractor rebuilding the bridge is 25′ at center. Charted heights are based on clearance at Mean High Water (MHW). MHW for the tide station next to the Bridge of lions at the St. Augustine City Dock is listed as 6.41′. MHW reference:,%20FL&type=Datums
    This means that if you pass under the bridge at a low tide of zero, the clearance at center would be 25′ plus 6.41′, or 31.41′. We passed under the bridge with a tide of 4.0′ so we should have had a clearance of 31.41 minus 4.0′, or 27.41′. Said another way, we were 2.41′ less than MHW, so 25′ plus 2.41′ or 27.41′.
    When we passed under the bridge at 7:45AM on 28 April 2010, with a 4.5′ tide the north clearance gauge read 22′ at center, which was our boat’s height with VHF antennas up. Because we were almost 2′ below MHW, we expected 25′ plus 2′ or 27′ at center. When we saw the north clearance gauge reading 22′ at center, Sue ran to the upper helm and watched the antennas miss the bridge by less than a foot. If the listed 25′ clearance was correct, we would have had 5.5′ above our antennas.
    Sue did not miss estimate our clearance as less than a foot instead of 5.5′. The north gauge appears to be correct, which means the listed clearance of 25′ cannot be correct. The listed clearance may be off by as much as 4 or 5′.
    According to Laurie Sanderson, the Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lions, the Contractor still maintains that the listed clearance of 25′ is correct.
    I don’t have all the answers, but I know the following calculations for clearance at center, based on a 4′ tide, don’t match:

    South clearance gauge = 23.5′
    North clearance gauge = 22.5′
    Listed clearance = 27.4′

    Something is still very wrong. Was the old bridge really 25′ and the new bridge 20′ or 21′?
    Captain Bob Mimlitch
    USCG 100 ton Master Captains License #1002684

    And, below, based on the above described observations, is a copy of an e-mail sent from Captain Mimlitch to Ms. Laurie Sanderson:

    I realized that as Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lions, you may not realize the importance to mariners of the Vertical Clearance listed on the charts and in the cruising guides. As a Captain, I don’t know in advance what the clearance gauge is going to read until I am very close to the bridge. Any Captain knows that in normal conditions and at tide levels less than Mean High Water (MHW), he should have more than the listed Vertical Clearance. It is against the law for me to request a bridge opening when my boat height does not required – thus I must plan ahead. As I approached the bridge on 28 April, I had planned on the listed Vertical Clearance of 25′ plus two additional feet because the tide was 2′ below MHW. This should give me a Vertical Clearance of 27′. My boat required 22′ of Vertical Clearance, so I did not request an opening.
    I approached the bridge with the current behind me. The current here can reach 2 knots in this area. To maintain rudder steerage of my vessel I need a speed through the water of 4 knots. Heavy currents passing under the bridge and between the fenders can cause eddy currents and challenging steering. Thus I am approaching the bridge at about 6 knots and expecting 5′ of clearance above my antennas.
    What I found was a 5′ disparity between my planned clearance and the tide board reading. What do I do? I can slam both engines into reverse and try to stop in time, back out of the bridge entrance and try to resolve the real height. If I had thought that I only had a couple of feet clearance, with the current behind me, I would have requested an opening just to be safe. Because the listed Vertical Clearance is wrong, my planning was in error.
    We, as boaters, should not have to wait for an accident and the accompanying law suits to resolve the true Vertical Clearance of the bridge. Organizations such as the Waterway Guide, ActiveCaptain, and[Salty]  Southeast Cruiser’s Net stand ready to get the correct bridge height out as soon as the contractor can determine it. Please, as the Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lions, insure that the contractor knows that this Vertical Clearance must be based on MHW.
    Thanks for your help in this matter.
    Bob Mimlitch

    And, Ms. Sanderson’s reply:

    I appreciate the e-mails you have sent this morning. I also appreciate your position, and the very real concern you present. The information I have provided to you is that which was provided to me by the project engineers and the contractor’s personnel. I have forwarded the e-mails you sent this morning to the Senior Project Engineer and to the contractor, so they may hear directly from you the concerns which you have detailed for me. Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention.
    One tiny edit, if you please:
    “According to Laurie Sanderson, the Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lions, the Contractor still maintains that the listed clearance of 25′ is correct.”
    The contractor actually maintains that their tide gauge is correct, not that the listed clearance of 25’ is correct. If the listed clearance of 25’ is incorrect, the Department of Transportation believes it is not within their jurisdiction, but within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard, to make that correction. The Department of Transportation is responsible for overseeing the contractor and ensuring that the tide gauge is correct. I have forwarded your e-mails to the Senior Project Engineer and to the contractor.
    Laurie Sanderson
    Public Information Officer
    Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project

    From Captain Mimlitch:

    I don’t know whether it is DOT’s responsibility or the USCG’s responsibility, I would assume that Laurie is correct; so who do we contact in the USCG. I hope that one of you have contacts.

    Below, Captain Mimlitch brings this matter to the attention of Mr Dragon, the USCG Chief of the Bridge Branch

    Dear Mr. Dragon;
    I would like to bring a situation with the Bridge of Lions to your attention. I have been discussing this with Laurie Sanderson, the Public Information Officer for the Bridge of Lions, and others for about two months and in todays email Laurie states that the responsibility for insuring the accuracy of the 25′ Vertical Clearance listed on nautical charts and published on government website is the responsibility of the USCG. Below Laurie’s reply, you will find my email detailing my findings and photographs of the conflicting bridge height data.
    Thank you for your help.
    Bob Mimlitch

    And that, sport fans, is where things stand as of late Friday afternoon, June 18. We’ll keep you apprised as more develops!
    In any case, for the moment, we strongly suggest that all skippers count on a MAXIMUM closed vertical clearance of 22 feet when passing under the Bridge of Lions, possibly 21 feet!

  • Rivers Edge Marina (San Sebastian River, St. Augustine, near St. M. 779)

    Rivers Edge Marina is newly renamed Oyster Creek Marina. This facility is accessed by way of the San Sebastian River,  which leaves the AICW south of  the St. Augustine City Marina and anchorage/mooring field.

    10 May 2010.
    I heartily agree with the previous comments. Paul is a gem and where else can you go where you will find a Winn Dixie and a West Marine in the same shopping plaza, a short walk away? The next door to the marina restaurant and pub, Hurricane Patty’s, is excellent value for money, and for marina patrons, it is at all-day happy hour prices. Ask Paul about it.
    The marina has changed its name to River’s Edge for some reason, risking confusion with one further north on the ICW. Signs for both names remain on the property.
    When Paul learned about our ice box and $.30/day electricity usage, he charged us only a couple of dollars for our 5-day stay, saying it was ridiculous to ask for more. At last, a sane marina operator! Paul told me some of his story, a sailboater coming from New England – Nantucket – finding it increasingly difficult to find an available, affordable mooring, receiving a pink slip at work and deciding to sail away for other climes.
    Paul was informative about what is driving marina pricing these days which is useful for understanding their side of the story, at least up to a point. Paul said municipalities are increasing charges to marinas for city services – water, sewage, electricity – in order to stay within their cash-strapped budgets, despite marinas telling them they will pass the costs on to their customers.
    Marinas, however, are not equipped to meter usage so they apportion costs by dividing their bill amongst their clients, with little regard to the difference between say, a 30-foot sailboat using ice for refrigeration and a 30-foot power boat, more common from our experience – or sailboat, less common – with air conditioning and a refrigerator.
    The result is, some people make out like a thief while others are required to pay for the thievery and marinas are let off the hook for installing metering. Am I surprised marina customers are mostly powerboats in Florida these days?
    What is not being acknowledged, however, is another factor – the corporatisation of marinas. River’s Edge – nee Oyster Cove – is a family-run operation. The industry – attempting to establish “industry standards” – is increasingly being taken over by corporations – buying or managing. From my experience, marinas have traditionally been owned by people who love the business. It has never been a huge money-maker but a labor of love – obvious if you look at the reality of overhead and effort involved in running marinas.
    When corporations move in, the corporate bottom line dominates to maximise profit. They offer access to “resort facilities” – swimming pools, etc – at a price. It’s nice to dip into but deadly if that is all that’s available.
    For the sake of those who cherish the old cruising values and want the option to continue, it is useful to support the existing family-run marinas. May they always continue.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten, S/Y Discovery II

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Rivers Edge Marina

  • Bridge of Lions Vertical Clearance in Question (Statute Mile 778)

    For those of you who have not been following the Cruisers’ Net, or have not cruised through St. Augustine over the past two years, the historic Bridge of Lions has undergone a radical rebuilding. For a time, a temporary bridge was in place to serve automobile traffic, while the older span was being rebuilt. Now, the Bridge of Lions has reopened, and the temporary bridge is being removed.
    Below, Captain Bob presents some IMPORTANT information (copied from the MTOA List-Serve) which could easily be interpreted to mean that the new Bridge of Lions incarnation ACTUALLY HAS LESS VERTICAL CLEARANCE THAN WHAT IS LISTED ON THE NOAA CHARTS and in the Federal Registry.

    Here was the situation; we were approaching the Bridge of Lions in St Augustine at 7:45AM on 28 April 2010, with a tide level of +4.5′ and a listed bridge clearance at “low iron” of 25’ above Mean High Water (MHW). According to NOAA, the MHW level for the St Augustine City Dock, which is next to the Bridge of Lions is 6.41′ (see NOAA link below). The tops of our VHF antennas were measured at 22’ above the water level. My calculations were:
    Charted Bridge Clearance +25′
    Plus Mean High Water +6.4′
    Minus the Height of Tide -4.5′
    Calculated Clearance 26.9′
    Simply said, the listed bridge clearance 25′ is measured above MHW, and if the tide was at zero, the actual clearance would be 31.4′ (25′ + 6.4′); but we had a 4.5′ tide so the clearance should be 4.5′ less, or 26.9′ (25′ +6.4′ -4.5′).
    Here is what we found as we approached the opening between the old temporary bridge, which is being demolished, and work barges from the north. Sue spotted a temporary tide board below the new bridge with red spray painted numbers indicating the current clearance was 22′ at low iron. We passed under the bridge with less than a foot above our antennas at the center of the bridge. I think the temporary tide board was correct, which would mean the actual clearance is closer to 20’ above MHW, and not 25’.
    What am I missing? I contacted the Bridge of Lions and their contractor told
    them that when I passed under the bridge the tide was extremely high and thus I
    had less than the listed 25’ clearance.

    MHW for the St Augustine City Dock:,%20FL&type=Datums

    Bob and Sue Mimlitch
    M/V Our Independence

    I asked Captain Bob to send me additional info when possible, and received the heartwarming reply below:

    I should have said more about the difference between the listed bridge height on the charts and cruising guides, which is clearance at the center; versus the tide board which is clearance at low iron. A few bridges in Florida have signs that specify the number of feet of additional clearance at center.
    I love Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net. Thanks for all your efforts.
    Bob Mimlitch

    As of Monday, 5/17/10, the new Bridge of Lion’s vertical clearance has become a HOT topic! The Cruisers’ Net, Waterway Guide and ActiveCaptain are all in the hunt for information. We thank Waterway Guide editor, Chuck, for the info below. Since we received Chuck’s e-mail (actually a posting on the MTOA list-serve), I have personally spoken with both Captain Jay Bliss, member of the St. Augustine Port Commission, and Ms. Laurie Sanderson with the Bridge of Lion’s rehabilitation project. As Chuck notes below, this question will arise at a meeting tomorrow, and we have everyone’s promise to shoot us the results ASAP!!!! I will post this data the second it’s received, and probably send out a special “Alert” as well!

    I have just spoken with Laurie Sanderson from the Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project and the bridge clearance is up for discussion at their meeting tomorrow. According to the contractor on site, the MHW clearance for the new bridge is indeed 22′ regardless of what the charts say. We will post more tomorrow after the meeting and more details are known.

  • St. Augustine City Marina (Statute Mile 778)

    St. Augustine City Marina is a good facility, and it has the advantage of being within easy walking distance of the historic districe, but don’t overlook Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, just to the north, and Conch House Marina on Salty Run. Both of these latter facilities are SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS!

    Just stayed there 4 days. Nothing bad about this marina except the noise of the construction crews working to dismantle the temporary bridge used when they were doing the major overhall of the Bridge of Lions. Very convient to downdown St.Augustine. One of our favorite cities in our cruise down the ICW this spring.
    Highly recommend this marina.
    SV Aquarius

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

  • St. Augustine City Marina (Statute Mile 778)

    St. Augustine City Marina does sit near the near to the town’s wonderful historic district, but please remember that two other nearby facilities, Cammachee Cove Yacht Harbor and Conch House Marina Resort are SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS!

    St Augustine City Marina is great. Good docking help, immaculate restrooms, near many great restaurants.
    Capt Dave

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Cammachee Cove Marina

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

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Easern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

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