Regatta Pointe MarinaPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationFULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOME Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.The Pilot House Marina is located on secluded Lake Largo just minutes from downtown Key Largo. This choice location borders on John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an underwater park famous among snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersKey Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, 305-451-3438,
Transient Moorings in Miami at Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 24 hour launch & security, Short walk to Coconut Grove, Daily & Monthly Rates
(305)-444-4571 EXT  16, manager@cgsc.orgBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaOn the Water GuidebooksThe FROLI System, developed in Germany has made a big hit with the USA  recreation and leisure travel market. Nickle Atlantic will be at the Annapolis Sail Boat Show, October 8 - 12, in Booth Dockside Cafe - Marathon, Florida on Boot Key Harbor

All Florida Keys Cruising News

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-29-2009


Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of Florida Keys cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO NARROW YOUR SELECTION of FLK cruising news to those messages which pertain to a specific geographic sub-region, locate the RED, vertically stacked menu, on the right side of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages. Click on “Florida Keys.” A drop down menu will appear, with a blue background, Now, click on “FLK Regional Cruising News.” A sub-drop-down menu will now appear, listing 13 Florida Keys geographic sub-regions. Select your waters of interest, and after clicking on your choice, a list of messages will appear, confined to the sub-region you have picked!

Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings

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Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-15-2008

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Proof of Pumpout to be Required in Key West

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

This is an important story for those to know who will be visiting Key West. What it boils down to, is that if you anchor, or pick up a mooring in Key West, this proposal would make it mandatory for cruisers to show proof of a recent waste pump-out before coming ashore by dinghy. Now, let me stress, such a regulation is made far LESS onerous courtesy of the fact that the city of Key West provides regular, FREE pump-outs to boats at anchor and on a mooring. Nevertheless, this new requirement is one of which NEW cruisers, and cruisers visiting Key West for the first time, need to be made aware. The issue of proof of pumpout has been a topic of discussion for cruisers for sometime now, see The article linked below by Sean Kinney of outlines the proposed pumpout regulation for Key West cruisers.

So what do those of us who don’t pumpout do (composting toilet)? The Keys seem to be doing everything in their power to drive away transient cruising boats.
John Kettlewell

Sooner or later, communities are going to get the message that all it takes to keep their waters clean of recreation boat waste, is a free pump out boat. Use some of those free flowing federal dollars for something that doesn’t benefit anyone but the taxpayers.
Not many people will pump waste overboard if there is a feasible and reasonable alternative. But, everybody has to, sooner or later, if there isn’t.
R. Holiman

Florida’s Derelict Vessel Issue Addressed by Legislature

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

The issue of derelict vessels in Florida’s anchorages has been brewing for years with much discussion as to how to remedy the situation. New bills now before the Florida congress attempt to offer a solution that will remove the offending vessels without imposing on the rights of legitimate cruisers. It will not be an easy task, since the enforcement of any new regulations will been given to local marine law enforcement which, in the past, has not been on the best of terms with the cruising community, especially transients. The excellent article linked below from by Timothy O’Hara discusses the bills in detail.

Laws and regulations already exist that cover this issue thoroughly, but nobody wants to assume the responsibility or pay for the operation to remove the boat. The FWC has developed a detailed and logical set of regulations and procedures for dealing with true derelict vessels. It is not lack of laws, but passing the buck that has caused the real problems. In the Keys the headline grabbing costs have mostly been generated by a few large commercial vessels, like the tugboat that sank recently. Most truly derelict vessels are not insured and in many cases the owners have no assets to seize. I suppose you can now throw them in jail, further costing the taxpayers large sums for years to come.
John Kettlewell

Lets hope that local law enforcement doesn’t consider any and all anchorages on the ICW to be “adjacent to heavily travelled channels”. I believe that , as worded, this leaves too much open to interpretation.
Cambren Davis

Dockside Tropical Cafe (Boot Key/Marathon, Florida) Offers LOTS of Activity During April, 2014

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-04-2014

Dockside Cafe - Marathon, Florida on Boot Key Harbor One of the newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, Dockside Tropical Cafe, is offering up quite an impressive list of FUN activities during the month of April. Some veteran Florida Keys cruisers will know this establishment by its former name of Sombrero Dockside Cafe and Marina. This facility is located on the southern shores, near the easterly tip of Book Key Harbor, east of marker #5A. Trust me, a GOOD time is had by ALL at this establishment!

And, resuming April 21 Dockside Tropical Cafe Co-owner, Kim Hess-Stone will once again begin teaching yoga MWF 8 am on the dock in front of the stage. Check Kim out at:

Key Largo to Get Next New Mooring Field, Key Largo, Inside Route 1143

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-02-2014

Buttonwood Sound - Click for Chartview

Buttonwood Sound – Click for Chartview

A mooring-field feasibility study, presented to Monroe County commissioners at their March 19 meeting in Marathon, concluded that Key Largo Bay, particularly Buttonwood Sound, would be the location of a new managed mooring field. For more on this story by Kevin Wadlow in, go to


Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Buttonwood Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Buttonwood Sound

Skipper Seeking Advice on a Southerly Cruise

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-30-2014

Skipper Jerry is asking for your input into a cruise he is planning. He has given us his email so you can communicate directly. While the bulk of the cruise will be well beyond the waters covered by SSECN, we know that many of you have made the trip he is proposing. If you have advice for Skipper Jerry, give him a shout!

I’m looking for input from SSEC members who have sailed recently to Guatemala through Mexico. I will be sailing from Fort Myers Beach and am interested in any customs problems and piracy issues.

Summer Vacation Availabili​ties and Job Openings, Key Lime Sailing Club, Key Largo, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-19-2014

key limeKey Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, 305-451-3438, www.keylimesailingclub.comOur good friends at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR Key Lime Sailing Club offer these summer specials and job opportunities. Key Lime Sailing Club is on the Inside Route side of Key Largo.


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Photo by our guest Amy Broman

KLSC Needs Sailing Instructors!

Is sailing your passion? Are you interested in teaching sailing for a living? Become part of our energetic crew and share your knowledge and love of sailing here at Key Lime Sailing Club, Key Largo! We have a few full or part time positions available.

- Housing on land / boat or an anchor location for your boat could be provided.

- We teach mostly “learn to sail” classes aboard 22’ Catalinas, normally one couple or a small family (2 adults & 2 kids) at a time on how to take control and SAFELY sail our boats on the waters the Florida bay.

- Are you kind, patient, and know how to sail? We can teach you how to teach our specific class.

- Over all class time is about 12 hrs per class (two 5-hour days and one 2-hour day).

- If you have an ASA or Boat US Instructor license, much better! We are a small place with lots of boats and room to expand.

- We are also looking to do captained charters from Key Largo to Key West on our 47′ Lagoon Catamaran. 

Send your resume to and let us see how we can work together!

Summer Vacation 
If you are looking for a laid back, rustic, quiet, friendly, and fun place for your summer vacation, come down here at Key Lime Sailing Club! Book as early as now and enjoy our summer rates starting May. We also have some open cottages left for April.

Here are our available cottages and dates till June:

Cottage rental includes free use of 22′ sailboat, kayaks, paddle boards, water toys, bicycles, snorkel, & fishing gear! We also give out a free sunset cruise around the Florida Bay! 

Sailing lessons and sailboat charters are also available!

Call Theresa 305-451-3438 for reservations or just reply to this email. For more information you can visit our websites www.keylimesailingclub.comand

Florida Keys Events from April until June

Key Largo / April 20 – 27 
Key Largo Conch Republic Days
The week-long family-friendly and lighthearted independence celebration is to showcase the unique historical and cultural characteristics of Key Largo. Visit website for complete event details. 
Contact: 305-394-0205

the Florida Keys / October 15  May 15 
Stone Crab Season
Those succulent claws, brought to shore fresh daily from the waters surrounding the Florida Keys, will drip with drawn butter and mustard sauce on the chins of hungry locals and visitors. A series of food festivals during the season celebrate the sustainable seafood resource throughout the Keys. 

Key West / May 1 – 4 
Key West Paddleboard Classic
During this ocean paddleboard race, participants enjoy a challenging 12-mile course over crystal blue waters, circling Key West through scenic mangroves, passing by the Historic Seaport district and more. The race around Key West is open to paddlers on standup paddleboards, prone boards, outrigger canoes, dory boats, surf skis and kayaks. Other weekend beach and paddling activities are planned.
Contact: Sue Cooper 305-304-4259

Key Largo / May 1 – 4 
Humphrey Bogart Film Festival
The second annual Humphrey Bogart Film Festival is to screen a rotating selection of Bogie classics and a group of movies centered around the festival’s theme, Romance. Celebrating the life and films of the man the American Film Institute named “America’s greatest male screen legend,” the festival is the only event of its kind to be backed by the Bogart Estate, which is producing the event in partnership with the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce. 
Contact: Key Largo Chamber 305-451-1414

Key Largo / May 15 – 18 
Key Largo’s Original Music Festival 
Enjoy the food, entertainment and ambiance of Key Largo during this singers and songwriters event. Featuring “on the water” venues, unique entertainers and local musicians. Presented by the Upper Keys Business Group. 
Contact: Sue Finney 305-394-3736

Win Free Stays at Key Lime Sailing Club

To our guests and friends, get a chance to go back and vacation at KLSC for free by sending us pictures of your stay here! Win our 4th KLSC Photo Contest and get a 3 free night stay. Check here for details.

Got a talent for video making? Join our KLSC Video Contest and get a chance to win a free 5 night stay! Check here for details.

We at Key Largo Cottages at Key Lime Sailing Club love our guests and we will be happy to have you guys here again for another fun filled and relaxing Florida Keys vacation!

Facebook Twitter

Join our Facebook and Twitter to receive our updates before we send them out to our email subscribers.

Cindy in Reservations is standing by @ or call 1-305-451-3438

Thank you and Sea Yah all in the Florida Keys!

Top 12 Things to Do in The Upper Keys

1.Take a free tour of Key Largo Fisheries,see where most of the fish and lobster in the Keys come from. 1-800-432-4358

2. Complete Senor Frijoles’ Free On-line Key Largo Treasure Hunt. Fill it out and take to Senor Frijoles to win your free gift.

3. Take a dip at the Beach at Marker 88, and while you are there, enjoy a refreshing beverage.305-852-9315

4. Feed the Tarpon from the dock at Sundowners 305-451-4502

5. See the Pontune’s Pirate Ship sail at sunset 305-393-5593

6. Learn Sailing at Key Lime Sailing Club 

7. Get a bird’s eye view of the Keys with Key Largo Parasail 

8. Visit the Christof the Abyss Statue and name at least 5 fish on the reef. 305-451-3595

9. Kayak around Key Largo 305-451-3018

10. Visit the Wild Bird Center at feeding time. 

11. Swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin’s Cove or Dolphin’s Plus. 

12. Visit the Everglades Alligator Farm in Florida City and take an airboat ride 305-247-2628

Key Lime Sailing Club

101425 Overseas Hwy. #922
Key Largo , FL 33037
Tel: 305-451-3438 


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Hazard West of Main Channel into Key West Harbor, Key West. FL, March 12, 2014

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-12-2014

Tug Location - Click for Chartview

Tug Location – Click for Chartview

This mast of a sunken vessel is in the same area as the sunken tug, MV TILLY, may be the tug’s mast. The Coast Guard has marked the wreak with a lighted temporary buoy. See Local Notice to Mariners

The Coast Guard received a report of a sunken S/V with a mast sticking out of the water in approximate position 24-30.55N/081-50.455W. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Ref: Sector KWT BNM 045/14 Charts 11441, 11446, 11447 LNM: 10/14

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position West of Key West Channel

81-foot Tug Sinks off Key West, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-11-2014

Tug Location - Click for Chartview

Tug Location – Click for Chartview

The sunken tug, reported below, lies well west of the main channel into Key West harbor. With the lighted buoy in place (see below), the wreck should not present as serious a hazard to navigators as would have been true otherwise. However, the Coast Guard has now upgraded the site as a Hazard to Navigation, see For more on this story go to from

FLORIDA-KEY WEST HARBOR-KEY WEST MAIN CHANNEL: Temporary Establishment of Lighted Buoy
The following aid has been temporarily established to navigate around the sunken M/V TUG TILLY. A temporary Lighted Buoy with Fl Q R characteristics, 3NM in position 24-31-13.199N/081-49-50.819W is marking the Tug. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Charts 11441, 11446, 11447 LNM: 09/14

This sad incident is the type of thing that has created the mistaken impression that derelict boats are a huge problem and a large cost for the citizens of Florida, when in reality it is a very few problems like this one. This has nothing to do with legitimate boaters or cruisers going about their activities, so I hope it doesn’t become an excuse for more onerous regulations impacting us.
John Kettlewell


Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, for the Location of Sunken Tug

A Month-Long Stay at Sombrero Marina, Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-08-2014

Sombrero Marina - Click for Chartview

Sombrero Marina – Click for Chartview

Sombrero Marina resides on Boot Key Harbor’s southerly banks, near the bay’s easterly limits, just east of unlighted daybeacon #5A. Skipper Reeves points out the marina’s pro and cons.

We stayed @ Sombrero Dockside for 1 month. Never could get internet as promised. The people on the docks are wonderful and are very welcome to new comers. They love the place. Dave the Prince of Poop is a hard worker and will POUT on Thursdays and Mondays if needed the fee is $5 and $10. Dave is always cheerful even when replacing old dock boards in the hot sun. The parking lot is right at the docks and locals/tourists speed through the curve fast so watch out when biking/walking to nearby stores. There is a golf course across the street with a nice walking trail. A patch of grass is provided as a dog walk and some users from the marina never pick up after their large dogs.
The Dockside Cafe is on the grounds and is a good place for a cold beer and has a great Mahi sandwich, but the music is so loud the acoustics so bad you can’t hear the music for the sound level. I assume the singers are good.
The tiny kitchen is quickly overwhelmed by the crowd and service depends on the size of the crowd. You share the showers and such with the bar. The laundry is in a shed and seemed to always have one or more machines out of order. The huge demand for dock space in the winter keeps the place full at $23 @ Ft plus elect and pump outs.

Sombrero Marina

Sombrero Marina

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Sombrero Marina Dockside

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

A Good Visit to Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors’ Center, AICW Statute Mile 1106

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-08-2014

Boca Chita Key – Click for Chartview

Boca Chita Key is a smallish island surrounded by the waters of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami. It is part of Biscayne Bay National Park, and the Park Service maintains a small harbor and “marina” here. Services are minimal, and we have never been able to find more than 4 1/2 feet at MLW, while making our way to the dockage basin. On the other hand, many, including Skipper Reeves and yours truly, find a visit to Boca Chita to be quite charming, particularly on weekdays.

We stayed here two nights in January 2014 on our travel south. Beautiful and safe . Tied up to the wooden wall around the man made basin. Walked the grounds. Winds high enough for no bugs, nice! Two boats tied up during our stay. We were there during the week and not on weekend.
Saw 7 ft at HT coming in. Suggest you hug the island on entering. Last green marker is missing. Sorry to say we picked up a stowaway that we finally caught two days later. A large rat. The rat apparently climbed the dock lines and was topsides. A good old Victor trap fixed the problem. We will tie up next time with Clorox bottles on the dock lines as we did in the Bahamas to prevent the little pests from boarding.
Sonny Reeves



Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors’ Center

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Boca Chita Key Marina

More on Vessel Tax and Registration in Florida

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-24-2014

Vessel taxes and registration in the state of Florida are an ongoing topics on SSECN  (see  and the comments below offer more good information about keeping your boat legal in regards to taxes and registration. The link for applying for the Sojourner Permit mentioned below is:

They only allow you to be there 90 days, or else you will have to register the boat and pay Florida sales tax. Florida has reciprocal agreements with other states so proving you paid sales tax in another state will give you credit in FL for that payment.
We just registered our boat in FL (in order to stay longer than 90 days. Registration cost us just under $200. FL does not tryto collect sales tax so long as the boat did not enter Florida waters for at least six months after you purchased it.
If you want to stay in the state more than 90 days consecutively (or 183 days per year) you may apply for a Sojourner Permit. This will extend the visiting rights for a registered vessel for an additional 60 days, and it gives a documented vessel an additional year.
Here is where it gets complicated. The Sojourner Permit is issued by the county. It is a state wide permit but the county issues it. This has lead to a great deal of confusion because many county employees do not know about it. And there are a variety of different interpretations. If you are going to be in Florida for over 90 days you would be wise to educate yourself in advance and get the permit form on line (HSMV 87244 “Application to Register Non Titled Vessels”). Fill it out and take it to the county tax office and be prepared to educate the clerk when you arrive.
Tom Hale

Following up on earlier comments — we had no state registration whatsoever (it’s a documented boat) until we came to FL. It is not required by our state of domicile (SD), and we deliberately chose a DE hailing port for the boat and a DE registration for our tender to avoid any “where’s your state sicker” questions — DE does not require or issue registration stickers on documented vessels. (And, yes, I know it matters not one whit what hailing port is chosen for a documented vessel, but there are, apparently, some LEOs who choose to remain blissfully unaware of this fact).
The permit of which you speak generates a good deal of confusion, as you’ve noted. You can only get one if you already have a registration from another state (yes, even if your boat is federally documented). Also, many tax collectors know nothing about it. See this discussion on the SSECN:
In our case, we’d first need to persuade DE to issue us a registration sticker, which is uncommon for documented vessels and therefore can not be done with just a few mouse clicks (unlike, for example, our tender). That sticker would cost us about the same $200 annually as the FL registration. Then we’d need to apply for the sojourner permit, which would only give us 11 months.
For the same $200 we now have a regular FL sticker and we can come and go to FL as we please. Also, we have a real sticker to show any other state who wants to play the “show me your sticker” game. We did not have to pay FL sales tax on the boat, although, to be fair, we had the boat for more than a year before we first arrived in FL waters.
BTW, we did all this at the Martin County Tax Collector in Stuart, and the person who handles boats there was well-versed in the intricacies of FL boat registrations. She collected six months’ worth of marina and fuel receipts from us to establish that the boat had remained outside FL for a full six months after purchase. If you plan to go the same route, make sure you have such documentation — your log book alone will not suffice. We established this practice when we bought the boat, so that we would always have documentation for any state officials that we had not overstayed our welcome in their waters. We also get and keep pump-out receipts for the same reason. FWIW and YMMV.
m/y Vector

Not to add to the confused state of this topic, but there’s a big distinction that needs to be drawn regarding the type of tax being discussed. This applies to all major purchases (cars, trucks, boats, etc). There is a _sales_ tax which is paid to the state at the time of purchase (if the state has a sales tax – some don’t).
There is a _USE_ TAX (pronounced “yoose”) which is paid to the state where the item is being used (if a state has a sales tax, they’ll most likely also have a USE tax). The purpose of this tax is to equalize the tax consequences for someone who goes to a no-tax or low-tax state to purchase a high-priced item, thereby _attempting_ to avoid the state sales tax.
Florida (and many other states), for example, has both a sales and a use tax. The discussion on this thread regarding taxes generally is dealing with the use tax, not the sales tax.
There are a number of exemptions to paying the use tax. In Florida, owning the property and keeping it out of the state for more than six months will result in no use tax liability. There are other exemptions as well, including a credit for sales tax paid in another state as well as for a use tax paid in another state.
Your friendly local tax collector can probably help sort things out (as long as their familiar with their own state’s tax rules).
Federal documentation of a boat doesn’t affect the tax situation one way or the other; that’s been the case since the 1950s.
Bob McLeran and Judy Young
MV Sanderling

Re “They only allow you to be there 90 days, or else you will have to register the boat and pay Florida sales tax” exactly what “SALE” took place? You already owned the boat when you entered Florida, so I don’t see what sale took place when you entered Florida waters.
Bob Peterson
Lopaka Nane

None, but they want to make sure you paid sales tax somewhere. I’ve never seen the “fairness” in this, but Texas did the same thing when the started requiring Documented boats to register. If you had owned the boat less than 4 years and kept it in Texas over 90 days you had to pay Texas sales tax if you had not paid it elsewhere, no matter where or when you bought the boat.
Texas, at least gave us the 4 year “loophole”. Not sure Fla has a time limit on ownership. Maybe someone on the list can tell us. With the 4 year rule in Texas, you can imagine all the dodging that was going on for those of us folks that had owned our boats just under the 4 year limit. Lets just say I got to do a couple of lovely cruises to Lake Charles, La and bought fuel while I was there.

Here’s a Florida interesting fact: when your boat becomes 30 years old the state registration fee goes way down. Mine was $7.00 this year. It was $5.26 last year.
The Motor Vehicle people will not offer this information and you need to remind them and fill in a simple form to get it but it saved me more than $200.00 a year.
This may happen in other states as well; worth checking into.
Fred Sorensen
OA 43

We purchased our boat in 2009 in Maryland and paid the sales tax plus got a 90 day Maryland registration recommends by the dealer. Immediately took it to Florida where we registered it and it has been ever since.
Two times since then New York State, where we live, has contacted us for prove that we paid the sales tax and said, if you ever bring the boat into NY waters, or pass through NY waters, we must pay the difference between Maryland and the higher NY sales tax.
Chas & Bev

Interesting idea about saving marina and fuel receipts for six months, but for me on a sailboat with large tankage that might be nothing more than a couple of fuel receipts, if that. I almost never stay in a marina. Seems like it might be hard to prove a negative like you have never been someplace. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Bottom line is you were dealing with an ornery official who was probably making the rules up to suit their own agenda. Also, as some have pointed out, never rely on any official to actually know the laws they are supposed to be enforcing. Read up on the statutes in play and be prepared to bring copies of them to show. I have encountered numerous cases of bureaucracy not knowing their own rules.
John Kettlewell

Good Words for John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Largo Sound Mooring Field, Key Largo, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-24-2014

Largo Sound - Click for Chartview

Largo Sound – Click for Chartview

The entrance channel to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Marina is found off Hawk Channel, on the east side of Key Largo, at flashing red marker #2 which lies west, northwest of Hawk Channel marker #35 off Mosquito Bank. Largo Sound Mooring Field is managed by the State Park marina.

In Key Largo, depending on your draft, John Pennecamp park has moorings with great access to many local restaurants, the Fish House and Shipwrecks at the top. Too many waterholes to list, Most with great sunset views. Fishing, diving and snorkeling choices are many. Don’t miss snorkeling Molasses Reef or a dive on the Spiegel Grove. Ocean divers has a great dive program. Swim with the dolphins at dolphins plus.
Then spend some time enjoying boating.

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For John Pennekamp Marina

Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Largo Sound Mooring Field

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Largo Sound

Good Words for Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina, Florida Keys Inside Route Statute Mile 1160

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-24-2014


Lorelei Marina – Click for Chartview

Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina lies perched on the northwesterly shores of Upper Matecumbe Key, hard by the southeastern corner of the popular Islamorada anchorage. This review comes from our friends at Trawlers and Trawlering.

Our favorite bar/restaurant in the keys is the Lorelei in Islamorada. It includes a small marina, and the local anchorage is 300 yds away. They have the best happy hour specials we have found, and there is nearly always live entertainment at the tiki bar from around 5PM on. There’s a nice small grocery a few blocks south, and the local public library another couple blocks south.
Mark Richter

Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina

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

Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Islamorada Anchorage

Praise for Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-24-2014

Boot Key Harbor - Click for Chartview

Boot Key Harbor – Click for Chartview

Home to a very popular, busy anchorage and mooring field (usually has a waiting list), Boot Key Harbor lies in the heart of Marathon and north of Vaca Key. This review comes from our friends at the “T&T” (Trawlers and Trawlering) nautical mailing list.

Boot Key harbor in Marathon has a few hundred mooring balls at a reasonable rate that includes dinghy dockage, showers, car parking and laundry access. The harbor has better breezes than on the mainland or in canals.
There are many restaurants nearby, Sunset Grill facing west adjacent to the 7 Mile Bridge being our favorite. There are many other favorites too with great Happy Hour specials such as Lazy Days. The popular Salty’s however recently burned to the ground. There is a local theatrical group and movie theatre plus Publix, Winn-Dixie and Kmart are nearby. Next door is the city park with ball fields, tennis courts and amphitheater. During the winter months there are numerous flea markets, festivals and other special event.
Its 50 miles to Key West by city bus, inexpensive.
Rick aboard “Dark Star”, 44′ Marine Trader DC

Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

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

Restaurant Recommendations in Key West, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-21-2014

Key West – Click for Chartview

This list of tasty eateries comes from our friends at Trawler and Trawlering and, although the Gantts are skippers of a land yacht, their recommendations can be heeded by crews of water vessels just as well!

We take our “32′ Avanti Land Yacht (motorhome)” to the Key West Naval Air Station RV park every year for 3 months Jan-Mar. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants:
The Commodore (downstairs) located 700 Front St on waterfront. Great mahi-mahi sandwich.. comes w/fries or broccoli for $9.95 at lunch. Wife and I get one of different sides and share.
Abbodanza’s located at 1208 Simonton Street. Great Italian food…. very large servings. The Abbodanza spaghetti and meat balls comes with a salad and is enough for two to share… just order another salad
Camille’s (next door to Abbodanza). Great breakfast and lunch. Lunch special includes 1/2 chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich and cup of soup. A favorite that is always tasty.
Hogfish Bar and Grill, 6810 Front St, Stock Island serves a great hogfish sandwich.
Too many others to list….
Reid and Karen Gantt

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crisis – A MAJOR Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Editorial

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 02-21-2014

CYheadshotreducedAtlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crisis
How Did We Get Here And What Can Be Done
A MAJOR Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Editorial
Claiborne S. Young

Fellow cruisers, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway faces a maintenance crisis, the likes of which we have not seen since the mid 2000’s. Portions of the AICW in South Carolina and Georgia are now all but impassable at low tide for the vast majority of cruising sized vessels. Something must be done about this state of affairs, and done SOON!

Of course, all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are well aware that the Waterway has shoaling problems. A goodly portion of every day is spent researching, geographically cataloguing and publishing reports from members of the cruising community about waters along the AICW which have less than ideal depths, sometimes grounding depths. Four weeks ago, however, we discovered that we were missing the forest for the proverbial trees, or, put another way, we weren’t really in touch with the big picture of Waterway problems. Now, all that has changed, and changed in a big way!

This process began wtih a telephone call from Skipper Chase Fields, dockmaster at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Isle of Palms Marina, located directly off the Waterway, north of Charleston, SC. Chase expressed concern about low water depths along the AICW stretch which passes just north and west of his facility. And, with good reason!

As reported in an earlier SSECN posting (see, the latest US Army Corps of Engineers survey shows 2 ½ foot MLLW depths on portions of the Waterway channel as it passes north of the Isle of Palms and east (you can think of that as “north”) of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Yikes

Skipper Chase asked us what the chances were of getting this stretch dredged in 2014. This was our “call to action,” not only to answer Chase’s question, but also to discover how the Waterway had come to this point.

And so, we set off to interview Brad Pickel, Executive Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, various officials in the USACOE, and other US Congressional sources who have asked us not to reveal their identity.

What we learned is not only very interesting, but it is also VITAL KNOWLEDGE for each and every cruiser who ever intends on cruising the length of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Let’s start with how the Waterway got into this condition.

Prior to 2008, the AICW was also having some real shoaling issues. Then, along came the “stimulus package” which the first Obama administration was able to push through Congress. Whatever you may think of this bill, it did funnel more moneys than had been available for years into the USACOE coffers, and the AICW received a whole raft of much needed dredging. Except for two trouble spots in southern Georgia (Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek are special situations), the Waterway was, all of a sudden, in the best shape it had enjoyed since at least the early 1990’s!

And, for the next year or two, some additional dredging took place courtesy of what’s known as “earmarks.” These are, or more precisely, “were,” additional funding appropriations which were inserted into bills which had nothing whatsoever to do with the projects that were funded.

Then, as part of the so-called reform movement in our Congress, earmarks were abolished. Now, the Waterway had to sink or swim on specific bills introduced and passed to maintain its depths. Quite simply, no such bill has ever made it through either the US House or Senate since the abolishment of earmarks!

Needless to say, we asked, “Why?” and were somewhat taken aback by the answer. From sources whose identity we will exercise our First Amendment rights to protect, we were told that the lack of funding for the AICW is an up close and personal example of the total, partisan gridlock now logjamming the US Congress!

We’ve all heard about this sorry state of affairs on the news, so amply sponsored by BOTH political parties, but, WOW, talk about bringing a situation to light in a venue that really HURTS; that’s just what we have front and center with this lack of Federal funding for AICW maintenance.

Furthermore, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has been informed that there is 0% CHANCE OF BREAKING LOOSE ANY FEDERAL MONEYS FOR WATERWAY DREDGING DURING 2014, AT LEAST! And, the future of any Federal Waterway funding seems problematical, to say the very least!

So, we have the following “AICW Problem Stretches” which are simply going to get worse and worse:

AICW Channel South of McClallanville, SC to Awenday Creek (see

AICW North of Ben Sawher Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge (see

Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (see

Intersection of Wright River and Northern Fields Cut (see

Fields Cut (see

Hell Gate (see

Little Mud River (see

Jekyll Creek (see

AICW Channel Through Cumberland Dividings (see

Now, those who are very perceptive may have noticed that none of the “Problem Stretches” listed above reside in the states of Florida, or North Carolina. Herein lies HOPE for the future of the AICW!

Since the 1930’s Florida has had a state agency known as the “Florida Inland Navigationa District (or “FIND”), which is funded by a portion of the taxes collected from all state citizens. Put in its simplest terms, where the Federal government does not dredge the Florida portion of the Waterway (and other coastal waters such as inlets), “FIND” does!

Far more recently, my home state state of North Carolina made a bold move in 2013 to improve both maintenance of the AICW and inlets along the Tar Heel coastline. A new bill was passed by the legislature in Raleigh which diverts a portion of the revenues collected by both boat registration and taxes paid on marine fuel purchases, into a fund to dredge coastal waters. Along with some Federal hurricane relief moneys courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, this new law has resulted in currently underway dredging projects which will address ALL AICW Problem Stretches along the North Carolina portion of the Waterway. A completion date for all this dredging activity is slated for early April, 2014 (see

Unfortunately, as I have been preaching for the last 15 years (at least), if the AICW becomes unnavigable in one place, that disrupts the entire semi-annual “snowbird migration” cycle. And, the entire Southeastern USA pleasurecraft industry, including marinas, repair yards, boat manufacturers and equipment suppliers, is predicated on this twice a year movement of vessels north or south on the AICW.

So, no matter how good the condition of the Waterway in North Carolina and Florida might be, there are still two other states in the middle. If the AICW deteriorates in SC and GA, the migration will be disrupted, and we are back to proverbial “square one.”

What must be done is to convince the state legislatures in South Carolina and Georgia to undertake a similar plan of action as that adopted by North Carolina in 2013. Until and if the situation in Washington is straightened out, our sources tell us this is the only viable plan of action.

How can members of the cruising community help? First, as you are cruising south or north on the Waterway, or just doing some in-state exploration of your home waters, and you observe depths that are less than what is expected on the AICW, SEND THE SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET THAT INFORMATION AT YOUR EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. We will not only make sure fellow cruisers share in your observations, but, working through the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, we can use this data as “ammunition” with the South Carolina and Georgia legislatures.

Secondly, we urge you to spend a whole, whopping $25.00 and join the Atlantic Intracoasal Waterway Association (“AIWA,” These good people are taking the LEAD in lobbying the Palmetto State and Peach State legislatures to do their part in taking care of the AICW. THE AIWA DESERVES THE SUPPORT OF EVERY CRUISER WHO PLIES THE WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY!

Finally, and on a personal note, so my late Mother told me, I have been cruising the Waterway since I was 2 years old (really don’t remember that first trip or two), and I grew up making the semi-annual trek from North Carolina to Fort Lauderdale in the fall, and then reversing the process come spring time. I can’t imagine Southeastern USA cruising without the AICW, and I bet you can’t either.

Let’s all do our part to preserve this magnificent resource, and save it for future generations of cruisers.

Thanks so much for your time and attention. Good luck and good cruising to all!

Great article. Thanks for bringing this important issue to light. We are Florida residents and understand the positive impact that FIND has had on maintaining the intracoastal waterways for use by all.
For the last 20 years, FIND has been very proactive by purchasing land for dredge material management sites that will be needed in the future to provide for proper maintenance of the ICW. The taxes are actually collected only from residents of the 12 counties located on the east coast of Florida. The board of FIND is comprised of a member from each county. FIND has been doing great work, and is an excellent example of how government agencies, when properly run, can have positive benefits.
Thanks again for your article.
Lenny Schelin

On behalf of the AIWA Board of Directors (who are copied on this email), we truly appreciate your efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in your major editorial (link #1 in the alert below). We also appreciate our partnership in spreading the word in other emails and newsletters.
Please let me know how I can be of further service to you and our waterway cruisers.
Brad Pickel
Executive Director
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

What used to be somewhat lovingly called “The Ditch,” is rapidly become “a ditch.” Where I grew up, that was wadin’ water.

We no longer bother going north of Brunswick and once we can get insurance in FL we probably won’t even go that far north. We would rather pay the outrageous premiums than persistently endanger the boat traveling farther north. We don’t expect the waterway to be an amusement park tunnel of love, but we do expect national infrastructure to be managed for national benefit. At this point a new magenta line is moot unless it comes with the caveat, “use only at highest tides.”

We had planned to go from New Bern to Cumberland Island, and return in March and April. It now looks like it will be trouble than it is worth. A few trips to Ocracoke and other “local waters” will probably be it.
Sorry South Carolina and Georgia will get no revenue from us this spring.
John and Georgie

We sail from Fernandina to Beaufort, skipping all the problem spots. Taking all our money with us.

Suggest you also submit your letter to several boat magazines to see if one or more might publish them. Southern Boating comes to mind as well as Soundings.
Tom Wemett

Claiborne, excellent article and I hope the powers that be pay attention to it, but as one who does the ICW twice yearly at a minimum, the ICW is not (yet) impassable, despite comments such as I see here from others.
With proper planning, the trouble spots in SC and GA are easily passable, even by deep draft boats. It shouldn’t require this level of caution, no – but for those such as John and George, or Chris, above- perhaps it’s better that they remain in their local waters and spare the rest of us the difficulty of saving them when their lack of navigational skills lands them in trouble.
Regardless of all this, SC and GA do need to ‘get on board’ and dredge their waters as required.
Wally Moran

Joined AIWA today…great suggestion.
Wonderful eulogy for Jack Dozier…he was one hellva good guy.
Jim Schofield
BoatU.S. (retired)

There is a huge difference in the support for maintaining the ICW between Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas because of the fact that the ICW is what gives millions of Floridians waterfront property. Anyone who has traveled the coasts of Florida’s knows that much of it is a channel between rows of waterfront homes. Those homeowners provide lots of political clout and lots of tax dollars for maintaining their lifestyle, whereas there is no significant political or monetary constituency for the Little Mud River area in Georgia. You’ll note that the more populated the area the better maintained the ICW is, in general. In the past the ICW was much more of a commercial highway for barge traffic. As recently as the 1980s, when I first started doing the ICW, a lot of the excitement was dodging enormous barge strings. That business has gone away, and with it the political clout those large businesses had. Sportfishing is still big business, but many of those folks are much less concerned with shallow channels than cruising boaters, which are such a tiny group that they have no political clout. Not sure what the solution is.
John Kettlewell

I could be wrong but have felt that South Carolina and Georgia have also been parsimonious on the waterway marker expenditures. In so many spots it is just an educated guess as which side of the ditch to favor.
Beverly Feiges

Lightning Strike in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL, off Hawk Channel

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-20-2014

Boot Key Harbor - Click for Chartview

Boot Key Harbor – Click for Chartview

Boot Key Harbor lies east of Marathon and north of Vaca Key. The crew of Mi Amante was very fortunate indeed to have escaped with only equipment damage.

We were hit by lightning at Boot Key Harbor the night before Thanksgiving. Suffered a lot of electrical component damage but we lived. 1:30AM – ‘CRACK – BOOM!”. Our neighbor on her mooring ball saw the strike – “sparks everywhere at the top of your mast!”. We are fortunate…
Mo s/v Mi Amante

Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

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

Mooring Fees In Marathon, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-12-2014

Marathon, FL – Click for Chartview

The current rates for mooring are: $22 daily, $110 weekly and $300 monthly. For more information on pricing, go to:

What are the fees for mooring balls and anchoring in Marathon?
Jim Upfold

Jim, Dinghy dockage and mooring balls from the city rent for $22 per day, with lower rates for longer terms. Basically it costs as much to anchor as to moor, unless you don’t go ashore much. Anchoring itself is free, if you can find a spot in the small remaining area.
John Kettlewell

Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

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