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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: KEYS-All News

  • Announcement: All Florida Keys Cruising News

    PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!

    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
  • MTOA Anchoring Florida Legislative Update 2/24/2017

    Our thanks to Mike Bodin of Marine Trawler Owners Association for this updated perspective on Florida’s anchoring restrictions. See Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program and Anchoring Rights Lobbying Volunteers Needed

    Anchoring Florida Legislative Update 2/24/2017 READ MORE


    Presentation of the Proposed Committee Bill (“PCB NRPL 17-01 – Vessels”) was positive. The Chair of the committee and its members have been accessible to us and responsive to our positions. Our lobbyists, Capitol Access have been in constant contact with committee members prior to the drafting of the bill and continuing.

    So far, the team effort lead by MTOA along with AGLCA, SSCA, DeFever and many others has worked well to help shape the initial draft of the Bill that has been filed in the House as a Committee Bill by the House Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee The Bill itself is consistent with the input from our team, which collectively considered all provisions recommended by the FWC (Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission). All positions
    of our cruisers groups are reflected in the bill as it is currently drafted. Good job to all and appreciate your thoughtful, timely response.

    On Wednesday, the Committee meet to hear the bill publicly and vote on whether the Committee itself would move forward as its official sponsor. Our lobbyists, Capitol Access, attended and represented us including Jerry Paul, our lead lobbyist, who provided comments to the committee stating our general agreement with the provisions and thanking the committee for excluding provisions that would have created no-anchoring set-backs from residential
    property; excluding provisions that would carve out specific no-anchoring zones; and including provisions ensuring that anchoring regulations remain in the jurisdiction of the State rather than allowing local jurisdictions to create a confusing patchwork of anti-anchoring ordinances.

    Mr. Paul also mentioned our intent to seek a reduction of the 300-foot buffer around mooring fields which is a provision in the current version of the bill. The committee voted unanimously to proceed forward with the bill.
    Next, it will receive referrals to multiple committees that will hold hearings and consider amendments that may be filed. Chair of the originating committee has agreed to meet with us and continue working with us. We will be vigilant in all committees to review and represent ourselves as to any amendments that may be adverse to our interests. There may be a need for cruisers to attend such hearings in Tallahassee.

    Also, we are anxiously awaiting the filing of a bill on the Senate side. The process there will repeat that of the House as described above. The committee hearing process will continue until a final bill on the House and Senate reach their respective chamber floors for final votes which will occur sometime prior to the end of the official 60-day Legislative Session which begins on March 7.

    We will continue to keep you updated. For now, you can be proud of the success you are having as a team that took the time to step up and speak out. However, we have future challenges ahead, and your presence at Florida’s Capitol may be requested for one (1) day. If you can attend you are requested to bring a burgee attached to a wooden rod aprox.3/8” Día X 24” Long. This will give committee members an additional visual demonstration of the boating
    community’s support for unnecessary new anchoring regulations.
    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate
    mbmtoa@gmail.com

  • 12 Ways the Florida Keys Are Unlike Anywhere Else on Earth by Lauren Mack

    Think you will enjoy this wonderful article by Lauren Mack in The Daily Meal. Descriptions of the chain of Keys, as well as recommended eateries, are offered.

    12 Ways the Florida Keys Are Unlike Anywhere Else on Earth
    Feb 21, 2017 | 2:31 pm
    By Lauren Mack
    The Florida Keys are connected by the 110-mile Overseas Highway.
    When the Florida Keys, a 120-mile chain of islands off the Sunshine State’s southernmost tip, decided to stage a ceremonial “secession” from the U.S. in 1982, the Conch Republic was born; you can even get your passport stamped with a novelty Conch Republic stamp. Since then, the world has taken note that the Florida Keys are unlike anywhere else on Earth.
    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

  • MTOA Florida Legislature Update 2, 2/16/2017

    Our thanks to Mike Bodin of Marine Trawler Owners Association for this updated perspective on Florida’s anchoring restrictions. See Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program . 

    MTOA Florida Legislature Update 2/16/2017
    Enclosed is the latest review from Capitol Access in Tallahassee representing the following Boating
    consortium: SSCA, Standing Watch, AGLCA, MTOA, CFFW. Read More!


    We are promoting safe and considerate use of anchorages, and opposed to unjustified regulations of
    Florida’s waterways.
    The Boating consortium has had great success with the initial bill that was filed last night. The provisions
    of the bill are consistent with essentially all components of the consortium’s position:

    1. The STATE reserves all authority to adopt anchoring and mooring regulations (therefore avoiding a
    patchwork of differing regulations at the local level).

    2. There are no anchoring setbacks measured from residential waterfront properties.

    3. The setbacks from boat ramps, launch facilities and marinas is 150 feet.

    4. The buffer around existing mooring fields is 300 feet (as-recommended by FWC

    5. There are no additional anchoring limitation areas throughout the State
    This bill will be filed by the House Committee on Natural Resources and Public Lands, Chaired by Rep. Holly Raschein whose district covers the Florida Keys. The next step will be for the Committee to vote on whether the Committee itself will file this as a bill sponsored by the Committee (rather than a bill filed and sponsored by an individual member). Following that vote, the bill (called a PCB or Proposed Committee Bill) would then receive referrals to multiple committees and be heard in each one successively. Of course, Capitol Access would be in attendance at every step and provide their input.

    Capitol Access will watch for any amendments that are filed. There may be a need for our boaters to appears and give testimony.

    There is no Senate bill filed yet. Capitol Access is lead lobbyists.

    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

  • City of Marathon Mooring Field and Wet Slip Fees on Boot Key Harbor

    For 2017 rates, go to http://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/government/departments/marina-and-ports/pricing/  and to http://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/government/departments/marina-and-ports/anchorage-mooring-dockage/  for mooring field information.

    January 28th 2012
    Boot Key Harbor City Marina Increases Fees
    Marathon, FL
    by Charmaine Smith Ladd

    Tuesday of this week, the City of Marathon approved an increase in the fees for mooring and dinghy dockage at their public City Marina. An increase has been expected, as the City is challenged to keep their books in the black. However expected the increase in fees, unexpected is the enormous rise in costs for those who choose to merely anchor and access the amenities of the City Marina. Read More

    Mooring rates include dinghy dockage, one weekly sewage pump out (additional pump outs are available at $5 each), parking for one motor vehicle, and access to the marina commons (including laundry and shower facilities).
    Dingy dockage rates include all of the above except one is at anchor and not assigned the use of a mooring.
    Daily mooring increased from $21 to $22.
    Daily dinghy dockage increased from $13 to $22.
    Weekly mooring increased from $105 to $110.
    Weekly dinghy dockage increased from $45 to $85.
    Monthly mooring increased from $275 to $300.
    Monthy dinghy dockage increased from $135 to $225.
    Most transient boaters have no need for a parking space. Laundry is carded and one pays separately for use. Many cruisers shower aboard and do not use the marina for that purpose. Perhaps the City of Marathon should consider lowering fees for those who wish to simply access the City Marina for dinghy dockage. Having amenities listed and paid for on as “as needed” basis would be much more agreeable to those who have no use for many of the services included with dinghy dockage. It is the opinion of this writer that $225 per month to dock a dinghy at a City Marina facility is far too much.
    Charmaine Smith Ladd, SEECN Special Correspondent & Representative
    Executive Director, Mariner’s Barr (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities)
    csmithladd@marinersbarr.org

    Sorry Charmaine, I would love to visit you there, but I don’t willingly submit to extortion. Those prices are ludicrous for the dinghy dock. I guess that’s a good way to chase away those at anchor, if that is their intention.
    John Kettlewell

    And water is 5 cents per gallon.
    Does anyone know if the mooring field is staying full this winter?
    Ted

    That is INCREDIBLE!!! We were waiting for a weather window and intending to visit Marathon on our way from Key West to Bimini, but your article just changed our plans. Charging the same for a dinghy tie-up as for a mooring is simply insane, what were they thinking? We’d have taken a mooring if we could get one, but we are not about to pay the same if there are no mooring balls available. How very unwelcoming.
    Heather and Derek

    Maybe dockside could reopen a dinghy dock for $50 a month for those at anchor. Bring in business they lost over the years.
    Philip (formerly “Winds of Change”)

    There is no question that the city of Marathon is trying to NOT service the sailing community on a fair and non discriminatory basis. The fee now charged to anchor and use the dingy dock and showers is $225 per month for being on the anchor. The only people that can afford those rates are in general are the snow birds and a few sailors with deep pockets. For a live aboard that works every day he or she cannot afford those rates thus eliminating the less fortunate the opportunity to anchor in Boot Key Harbor within there means. Marathon City Marina is a public marina therefor any rate increases should have been equally charged to the moorings as well as the dingy dock and wet slips.
    However it appears that discrimination against the working class or less fortunate citizen continues in all forms of our government. The lucrative mooring balls were increased by 10% so why were the people who anchor there boats charged a 70% increase with no additional services?
    Ed & Bonnie Spomer S/V Almost Heaven

    Mooring Ball increase 8% / Dingy Dock increase 40% / Slip Rental under 36′ 100% over 36′ $1.00 per foot increase
    The boating community needs help to stop economic discrimination against those who choose to have small boats (Don Street for one) or want to anchor there vessels.
    Ed & Bonnie Spomer S/V Almost Heaven

    Ed & Bonnie: I agree with what you wrote, but the increase in the daily dinghy dock fee from $13 to $22 is actually about 69%! Obviously they are trying to force everyone onto the moorings, but there are times of the year when all the moorings are full, and there are also many of us that just prefer to anchor. If someone just wants to go ashore for dinner or to buy some groceries, add $22 to your bill. Imagine the uproar if a parking fee of $22 per day was put in place ashore.
    John Kettlewell

    The boating community in Boot Key Harbor is outraged to say the least. There is an effort to protest the unfair increases beginning with a first meeting on Friday February 10th @ 11:15 est. The meeting will be at the Marathon City Marina TiKi Hut.
    Ed & Bonnie Spomer S/V Almost Heaven

    Cruising News:
    Mooring Ball increase 8% / Dingy Dock increase 40% / Slip Rental under 36′ 100% over 36′ $1.00 per foot increase The boating community needs help to stop economic discrimination against those who choose to have small boats (Don Street for one) or want to anchor there vessels.
    Edwin Spomer

    We have not been to Marathon in a while. However it does hold a special place for us.
    Anyway I was just having a look at the increase in prices. Nothing really seems out of place. However my personal take on the drastic increase in Dinghy Dockage, is that the city wants people to take a mooring rather than just anchor and use the facilities. This may be over the top just a little as if the anchorage is reduced in size and people are foreced to anchor out side (during our past visits we had no choice but to anchor outside due to limited swing room) while waiting for a mooring. A suggestion would be to have a reduced Dinghy Dockage Rate while on the waiting list for the mooring field…. Otherwise yes if people want to use the shore side facilites then the demand on Water usage, Laundry, etc is exactly the same whether or not someone is on a mooring ball. You could also reduce the dinghy dockage rates a little if there was a way to control what part of the facility the person/cruiser was using…. IE – no laundry & no showers, then all they are doing is tieing up thus a less of a load on the system.
    Just a thought…
    Capt. Cameron Murray

  • LNM: Destroyed Light, Entrance Channel, John Pennekamp State Park, Largo Sound, Key Largo, FL, 2/1/2017


    This critical nav aid marks a turn in the narrow and sparsely marked entrance channel into Largo Sound, a popular anchorage for vessels with less than 4.5ft draft. See http://cruisersnet.net/156246 for recent discussion on the entrance channel.

    FLORIDA – MIAMI TO MARATHON AND FLORIDA BAY – LARGO SOUND CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation
    Largo Sound Channel Light 9 (LLNR 11815) is destroyed. The steel pile may pose a hazard to navigation. Wreckage is marked with a TRLB WR9, Fl Q G. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.
    Chart 11451 LNM 05/17

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Pennekamp State Park

    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

  • Stock Island Marina Fuel Docks OPEN, Stock Island Village, Key West


    A phone call to the marina and a call from Mike Ahart confirms that any fuel issues have been solved and the Stock Island Marina is pumping fuel again. Stock Island Marina occupies the westerly shores of Safe Harbor, north of marker #5.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Stock Island Marina Village

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Stock Island Marina Village

  • Florida’s Anchoring Program, MTOA Updates, 1/30/2017

    Our thanks to Mike Bodin of Marine Trawler Owners Association for this updated perspective on Florida’s anchoring restrictions. See Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program. See link below to donate to these lobbying efforts.

    Florida’s Anchoring Program Update 1/30/17 MTOA Read More

    Boaters’ rights to anchor in public waterways are under attack again in Florida. SSCA, MTOA,
    and AGLCA, are raising money to fund a professional lobbyist to defend our rights. The
    lobbyist team Capitol Access, Tallahassee, is now representing boaters from unjustified
    regulations. Help us to stop the attack on Florida’s anchorage areas. Please donate TODAY:

    www.mtoa.net “BOATERS’ RIGHTS FUND”  {Note: Click on Chart below Boaters’ Rights Fund, then ignore Log In to Contribute and go directly to name/address form.}

    Many wealthy Florida waterside residents, condominium units and cities complained to their local
    governments about anchoring boats spoiling their water views. Federal government owns the land
    under waterways and relinquished semi-control to Florida state. This anti-anchoring consortium
    contacted their state representatives to change the law to prohibit anchoring in front of their
    waterside property
    Florida enacted a study called Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program in 2009. The study is to be
    completed July 1, 2017. Final recommendations to be submitted by January 1, 2018. The multi-million
    dollar 244-page report is available for review. “Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program Final Report of
    Findings and Recommendations 12/21/2016” in Adobe PDF. During last year’s legislative season the
    report was accepted as submitted. 2017 is the final year. Florida legislature has stated they will accept
    the state recommendations for state law. The report has several anti-anchoring provisions that must
    be changed to better represent the needs of the boating community. One glaring item of concern; If
    enacted, county governments can easily contact the state for an exemption to control and regulate
    local anchoring without any input from the boating community. The unintended consequence of the
    legislation would be the precedent it would set for other states along the eastern seaboard to follow
    banning anchoring.
    A large “AHOY MATE” call is now being made to fellow boaters. As a boating community, we can be
    complacent, stand back and complain when our previously used anchoring areas are no longer
    available or put on some heavy weather gear and ride the storm out while still keeping the heading.
    This will ensure future anchorage availability for us and our children. How is this accomplished? As any
    boater knows you must have the right gear. 1) We need a knowledgeable professional lobbyist. 2)
    Money is required for this lobbyist: $35k, 3) How do we get the funds? The boating community unites
    and individual boaters to donate as they can. Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) has engaged
    the services of Capitol Access, an outstanding lobbying firm with offices in Tallahassee to represent all
    boaters interest from unjustified regulation upon the waterways., Today combined funds from
    members of American Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA), and Seven Seas Cruising Association
    (SSCA) are assisting with contributions from their membership. Additional funds are required to
    continue a pro- anchoring strategy to roll back unjustified regulation of anti-anchoring language in the
    proposed bill. Your support is requested. Marine Trawlers Owners Association has set up the following
    site for your donations from the boating community at large: Go to:
    www.mtoa.net highlight tab “FL Anchoring Rights Fund”
    We need your financial support. The following is a time progression review demonstrating the need
    for a professional lobbyists and active boater participation to win the pro-anchoring debate.
    2017
    2016 over whelming defeat for pro-anchoring advocates required a change in tactics for boaters right
    to anchor. MTOA closely reviewed the situation and with board consensus agreed a professional
    Lobbyists was required to prevent 2016 outcome for the 2107 legislative season.
    We have now finalized the engagement and compliance registrations for our lobbyist in the Capitol
    (Jerry Paul of Capitol Access). As you may know, Jerry is a member of MTOA, SSCA, AGLCA and DeFever
    Cruisers. He is an active cruiser, a former marine engineer, merchant mariner, attorney and former
    elected member of the Florida Legislature. He lead our successful efforts in Tallahassee 2 years ago
    under the lead of SSCA.
    This year MTOA is the lead client and coordinator working closely with Jerry. Special thanks to SSCA
    and AGLCA for joining the team and for providing additional funding support for the effort. Thank you
    also for the contributions by members of our organizations and others such as the DeFever Cruisers.
    We are up and running. Jerry is in communication with key legislators who will be involved in this
    process throughout Florida’s Annual 60-day Legislative Session which begins on March 7. There are 3
    remaining “Committee Weeks” that will occur prior to March 7 during which legislators will be filing
    bills and even holding hearings in preparation for the regular session.
    Through the counsel of our lobbyist, we will apply the approach that worked well when we were last
    organized a couple of sessions ago. For example, he will keep us updated regularly as he collects
    information. Through him we will coordinate effective messaging (some wholesale and some retail)
    that leverages our vast number of cruisers and the merits of our position. But, it is important that we
    maintain control of the message. It needs to be tailored to the specific issues that are critical to the
    moment as legislation makes its way through multiple committees comprised of different elected
    members (and staff), each with unique perspectives. Our messaging must be respectful and
    professional. Finally, it must be timed precisely and targeted surgically in varying ways (email, phone,
    and even personal appearances in Committees). This is a running process so timing is important. Mike
    Bodin, MTOA, Public Advocate will be coordinating these activities.
    So far, it appears as though there will be a bill filed that implements some of the recommendations of
    the Report by the FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission) which was prepared to summarize the
    results of the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Project that expires this year. This is the report that was
    recently heard by the Senate Environment Committee (the committee that originated the language a
    couple years ago, that including certain anchoring bans). A draft of the bill is not yet available. We are
    in communication with the key likely sponsors and we’re already messaging our opposition to such
    bans. So far, it appears we have some key members who associate with our view. We are hopeful that
    the initial draft(s) will not include the adverse provisions. If it does, we will work to get it removed. If it
    does not, we must be vigilant until the end of the Session to ensure that the adverse language does not
    get amended into it.
    We will report on these developments and follow up with effective calls-to-action by our members and
    all who share our desire to preserve Florida’s rich maritime history of freedom to safely anchor
    throughout the public’s coastal waters of the State
    2016 REVIEW
    Yeas, represent the Anti- Anchoring votes by the committees and legislature:
    1/26/16 House Committee Vote yeas 12 Nays 0
    2/25/16 House Committee Vote yeas 15 Nays 1 Note: Extreme spread
    3/04/16 House Vote yeas 105 Nays 12
    3/0716 Senate Vote yeas 36 Nays 2
    3/09/16 Signed by officers and presented to Governor HJ 980
    3/24/16 Approved and signed by Florida’s Governor Rick Scott (chapter 2016-96)
    7/01/16 Effective Date for state law banning anchoring by county designation. The state law banned
    overnight anchoring within areas of Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
    Once it was seen there was no opposition from pro- anchoring groups, anti-anchoring legislation
    emerged and gathered enough momentum to easily pass. Do not underestimate the extent to which
    that momentum is perceived to still exist in Tallahassee. It was quite evident at the Senate
    Environment Committee (the Committee that originated the bill we defeated 2 years ago). Notice that
    this Committee chose to place the topic on its agenda early in the process. The cruising/anchoring
    interests have been unrepresented for a while and that has been noticed.
    Note: The boating community was complacent. No Lobbyists, No boating community involvement.
    Capitol Access was not retained.
    2015 REVIEW
    No set back or anchoring restrictions—Capitol Access, Active Lobbyists, Active boating community
    2014-2012 REVIEW
    No set back or anchoring restrictions—Capitol Access, Active Lobbyists, Active boating community
    It can plainly be observed if boaters are again complacent in 2017, the 2016 results can be expected.
    We salute such groups as American Great Loop Cruising Association, Seven Seas Cruising Association,
    Marine Trawler Owners Association, and DeFever Cruisers for their active and financial support. These
    great organizations have started the process. Now your financial support is needed to continue.
    Donation site www.mtoa.net highlight tab

    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

  • Seven Seas Cruising Association Asks Your Support to Defeat Florida’s Anti-Anchoring Legislation

    The Concerned Cruisers’ Committee (CCC) of Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has, for many years, supported the rights of cruisers to navigate, anchor and enjoy the “Seven Seas” both in the U.S. and abroad. We have had recent success in Annapolis and in Georgia, and we are engaged in South Carolina, Washington and California.

    CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOTE: Ignore the “Log In to Donate” and go directly to name/address form.
     

    1/23 A good news update from MTOA Public Advocate, Mike Bodin:

    But as of now (1/23/2017), SSCA, AGLCA and MTOA have raised over half of the funds from their membership for the Lobbyists. Capital Assets has agreed to represent the boating community and their office is in Tallahassee.Read More!

    And this from Mike Bodin:

    Mates,
    As you know Florida’s legislative session has started. The Environmental Preservation and Conservation committee heard the first presentation by The Fish and Wildlife Conversation commission (FWC) on the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program. [See http://cruisersnet.net/161714] Anti-anchoring representatives were present and offered presentations.

    The window is closing for us to be effective with ongoing legislation. Capitol Access team did a great job representing our anchoring concerns in 2014,and 15. Without professional representation I fear legislation will be made and passed into law prohibiting anchoring by county designation with state approval. This Florida law can be the basis of others to follow along the ICW corridor. Like cancer, a small start than it spreads and very difficult to stop.

    Time is against us to raise monies for a professions lobbyist. MTOA donation survey results are very promising, AGLCA is now surveying their members and results will be available shortly.

    SSCA CCC has lead the boating community in the past. Anti-Anchoring is a pain in every boater’s thoughts. Future state laws to prevent anchoring along the ICW surely can be compared to the spread of cancer. We must unite and knock it out before it gains traction.

    Enclosed is a boaters rights donation form to your GoFunfMe site. Due to the tremendous time limitation now in place we request SSCA blast email the form to your membership. Within a couple of days, we will have a good idea if a lobbyist can be added to our anti-anchoring efforts.

    Thank you for consideration and hopefully participation.

    Mike Bodin
    MTOA Public Advocate

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM MTOA

    And from America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association:

    Boater’s Rights Interest Survey
    Florida’s 1,000-mile intracoastal waterway has often been called the boaters’ highway. Wealthy waterside residents in conjunction with several counties want to enact anti-anchoring laws. Last year Florida’s governor signed into law temporary nighttime anti-anchoring restrictions in several counties. Boaters must unite to stop the spread of anti-anchoring legislation.

    CLICK HERE FOR AGLCA’s SURVEY ON BOATERS’ RIGHTS

    CLICK HERE for more information on Seven Seas Cruising Association

     

  • AGLCA Fights for Boaters’ Rights Update

    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association has joined other boating organizations is requesting donations toward lobbying for boaters’ rights in Florida. See http://cruisersnet.net/162138 for more information.

    As a result of the recent survey on anti-boating legislation, AGLCA is beginning to accept donations along with other boating organizations to hire a lobbyist to represent our interests at the Florida Legislature. Read More!

    This link can be used to make your contribution to the Boaters’ Rights Lobbyist Fund. When making your contribution, consider how much money you save in slip fees by having the ability to anchor. If you would like more information on this issue, you can view my recent forum posting.

    Thank you for joining AGLCA in this lobbying effort. I will keep you posted as we move forward with this issue.
    Kim
    Kimberly Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
    krusso@greatloop.org 

    1/26/2017
    Update:

    The three associations leading this charge (AGLCA, MTOA, and SSCA) are doing well in the fund raising effort. To date, 161 AGLCA members have contributed. We’re so thankful for all of those contributions, but there are about 100 more of you who answered our survey last week expressing your intention to contribute. If you have not yet done so, please make your contribution by clicking here as soon as possible.

    Although we are not yet at the $35,000 goal, we believe that number is attainable. In addition to contributing substantial time, effort, and administrative expenses, AGLCA and MTOA have agreed to help bridge the gap, if one exists after all contributions are in, to reach the needed amount. Since the amount needed is within reach, we have retained a lobbying firm (Capitol Access) in Tallahassee to represent our interests this legislative session. The goals have been defined as follows:

    Prevent the passage of Florida legislation that would ban or curtail overnight anchoring on public waters in locations defined by proximity to upland private dwelling units including but not limited to other provisions that unduly restrict anchoring on public waters.
    Monitor and track all legislation that could adversely affect our members’ interests.
    Increase our presence among officials in Florida government to build an enduring image of strong influence for the boating and cruising community on matters related to the lifestyle of boaters and cruisers on Florida’s waterways.
    Our lobbyist/consultant has agreed to:

    Monitor, track and report to the AGLCA all legislation and amendments filed or otherwise considered in Florida that could affect the interests of our members.
    Meet with key officials within Florida government to introduce AGLCA as a leader for the interests of cruisers and other boaters that it is now represented in Florida’s Capitol.
    Provide proactive lobbying and advocacy to actively support the legislative positions of AGLCA including but not limited to opposing Florida legislation that would ban or curtail overnight anchoring on public waters in locations defined by proximity to upland private dwelling units. This will include the organization of messaging and public appearances in the Capitol by members of the cruising community who support AGLCA’s positions.
    Report to AGLCA at least monthly the meetings and activities conducted on behalf of AGLCA.
    Jerry Paul, President of Capitol Access, is a trawler owner, lifelong cruiser, marine engineer, attorney, former elected member of the Florida Legislature and former Presidential-Appointed, U.S. Senate-Confirmed Official within the U.S. Department of Energy. He has extensive experience in the transportation field, maritime industry, boating, cruising, energy, government affairs and communications including a balance of experience in operations, regulatory, legislative, finance and restructuring work. Jerry is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and has held U.S.C.G. licenses as an engineer and captain. Jerry has also extended our coalition of boating associations a very generous discount for his services. Thank you, Jerry!
    Kim Russo
    Director
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
    krusso@greatloop.org

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Management Area System is 75 Years Old

    FWC celebrates 75 years of wildlife management area conservation success Read More


    In 2017, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the wildlife management area system, one of the state’s greatest natural treasures. The FWC oversees this statewide network of remote and scenic lands, managing them for conservation and recreation. To celebrate the milestone and help people discover the opportunities these public lands offer, the FWC is hosting free events throughout the year.

    “Florida has one of the largest systems of public lands in the country at nearly 6 million acres, and these lands are the best of the best of what wild Florida has to offer,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “These natural communities span a variety of habitats from longleaf pine uplands and pine flatwoods to the hardwood hammocks and sawgrass savannas of the Everglades. Not only are these areas beautiful, they are managed to provide habitat for many species of wildlife and access for people to enjoy hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and more.”

    Florida’s first WMA, Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area, was established in late 1941 in Charlotte and Lee counties. By the 1960s, there were 28 WMAs. Today, the FWC is the lead manager or landowner of over 1.4 million acres, and works in partnership with other governmental or private landowners on another 4.5 million acres. These healthy habitats are essential to Florida wildlife – both common and imperiled species. The FWC uses its scientific expertise and a comprehensive ecological approach to manage a variety of wildlife while balancing public access to these wild lands.

    WMAs provide many recreational opportunities including paddling, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, photography, wildlife viewing, and target shooting at areas with a public shooting range. They also offer a wide range of hunting opportunities including special hunts for families and people with disabilities. Throughout 2017, the FWC will host a variety of events to celebrate Florida’s WMAs. Events include a statewide geocaching challenge, volunteer work days, a photo contest, guided hikes, fun opportunities to explore WMAs, and citizen science bioblitzes where members of the public help document wildlife species at WMAs.

    To learn more about upcoming events or to find a WMA near you, visit MyFWC.com/WMA75. Share your visits to Florida WMAs on social media by using #WMAzing.

  • Advice on Navigating near Everglades National Park


    This excellent advice comes from our friends at AGLCA’s Forum. The park discussed is Everglades National Park Service at Cape Sable on the southern most tip of West Florida.

    One thing you need to know about cruising within the Park boundaries, if you run aground, you are required to contact the Park ranger so he can come out and inspect any damage to the sea grass. You are responsible for the cost of re-planting any sea grass that is damaged. (Not cheap) Because of this when I run to the middle keys, I follow the park boundary, but stay outside of the park.
    Irwin Wilensky
    mv SunRaye

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Everglades National Park

  • Sunken Vessel in Hawk Channel, northeast of Key West, 12/28/2016


    This sunken sailing vessel in Hawk Channel is 2 nautical miles south of Saddlebunch Keys northeast of Key West.

    FLORIDA – BAHIA HONDA KEY TO SUGARLOAF KEY – HAWK CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation.
    A temporary WR Lighted Buoy with Fl Q G characteristics has been established to mark a sunken S/V with its mast protruding approximately 6-8ft out of the water in approximate position 24-33.598N/081-35.348W approximately 2NM south of Sugarloaf. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.
    Chart 11445 LNM 52/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position in Hawk Channel

  • Great List of 2017 Florida Keys Events and Festivals

    This excellent list of events and links comes from the Gilmer Mirror of Northeast Texas (!). This is a posting to keep by your date book!

    Florida Keys Keys & Key West Festivals and Events Span 2017

    FLORIDA KEYS — Hardly a weekend goes by in the Florida Keys & Key West without a special event or festival taking place. Providing entertainment and enjoyment for visitors virtually throughout the year, the events celebrate everything from the Keys’ colorful history, artistic culture and quirky ambiance to underwater wonders, outdoor adventure and tasty cuisine.

    Read more: The Gilmer Mirror – Florida Keys Key West Festivals and Events Span 2017

  • Seeking Deep Water Channel Marina off Northern Hawk Channel

    If you have local knowledge of marina entrance channels that can accommodate a 5’5″ draft, let us hear from you. August is asking about Hawk Channel from Biscayne Bay to Marathon.

    Our sailboat draws 5’5″. I can’t seem to find ANY marinas on the ocean side We can get in about halfway on the trip. Any suggestions?
    August Trometer,  email: atrometer@me.com

     

     

  • Excellent Discussions on Sojourner’s Permit

    These excellent and informative discussions on Florida’s Sojourner’s Permit are from our good friends on AGLCA’s Forum. Thanks to them all! If you have more to add, let us hear from you!

    The Sojourner’s Permit is a cruiser Florida Vessel Registration and Decal. Read More

    It is an annual registration, that cost $83.75 if you purchase it in a Florida County that does not add a County Tax on top of Florida’s state fee, such as Taylor County (where Steinhatchee is located on the upper Gulf coast). It can be obtained by mail. The boat’s temporary location should be provided initially, along with your regular mailing address. We travel to Florida most years to various locations but never know exactly how long we’ll be there. So, we find it easy to renew annually (on the first listed owner’s birthday). Since ours is a US Coast Guard Documented Vessel this allows us to show a Florida state small decal registration sticker on our window with other permits, such as renewed lock & mooring passes for Canada. No regular state number imprint, registration, or taxes are required. It makes life simple.
    Sandra Kay & Nelson

    Mike writes: “I am not a lawyer, but I slept in the parking lot of a Holiday Express once, I think.”
    Which is exactly what Officer Obie may think of your arguments. We can play both sides of this for months, it’s a fun Looper topic.
    The bottom line is that if you get stopped by Officer Obie on the water, there is a better than even chance (*) he’ll give you some of Florida’s finest parchment with his signature on it. Question is, are you up for a visit from Obie and a possibility of a discussion with a Judge, or do you want to buy the sticker and put it in the window and not need to worry about it.
    Please note that the charge for the permit is based on boat length, it’s not a fixed fee. Sandra posted their charges, mine for a 45′ was ~$120.
    (*) Florida passed a law about random boat stops, now days if you get stopped they most likely have a reason.
    Foster & Susan

    Ben, you are absolutely correct. There is nothing in Florida law called a sojourner’s or temporary permit. Look at the form everybody references. The title is “Application to Register Non-Titled Vessels” Nowhere do you see “sojourner” or “temporary”. Just because some webmaster in Sarasota put the words on that website it doesn’t make it so.
    There is nothing temporary about this registration. When it expires you will get a notice to renew it. Of course if you are out of Florida by then you can just let it expire. I have been renewing mine for 10 years.
    If you need more proof search this website for “sojourn” or any form of it:
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/
    You will get no hits; zero, nada.
    My guess is that some looper made up the term years ago and it has been passed down through the years as looper lore. In some county tax offices they have heard the term used by loopers so many times that they now respond with the correct form instead of saying, “What are you talking about?”
    When you go in the tax office don’t ask for a sojourner’s permit. Say, “I am going to have my boat in Florida more that 90 days and I understand that I need to register it here.” That will work in every county.
    Jim Barrentine

    Jim, when that webmaster is working on behalf of the county tax collector, it probably does matter! Is this the website for Sarasota you’re referring to? https://www.sarasotataxcollector.com/services/other-services/vessels-boating/sojourner-temporary-registration
    A quick Google search of “florida sojourner registration” found several other FL county tax assessors using the term. I’m not a lawyer, either, but laws and regulations aren’t the same thing: actual laws are usually pretty concise, but the regulations that flow from them can be quite detailed, since they need to cover so many situations that may arise. For example, Florida law includes a homestead exemption that reduces property taxes and limits their rate of increase for residents who make the state their legal domicile…but what steps one needs to take to get this exemption is left up to each county’s tax assessor. I live in Pinellas county and the hurdle is higher here than some other Florida counties even though it’s the same state! Welcome to Florida!
    Alex Ertz

    Alex is right, a lot of Tax offices know what you are talking about when you ask for a Sojourner Permit. They know about it after years of Loopers coming and asking for it. The people in the tax office in Apalachicola (Franklin County) knew about it and had me in and out (minus $120 ) in minutes.
    When I looked at the law in 2014, it did say Sojourners Permit. Not up to digging around.
    But I am up to my refrain “the purpose of the permit is to not give Officer Obie a reason to pull you over and have a long discussion when you are trying to be on the rising tide to make docktails 5 hours from then.
    Foster & Susan

    For those whose boats are over 30 years old. You can register the boat as an antique for $4.50 a year!
    Mitch & Carole Brodkin

    A while back Paradise Yachts put out this great link. It provides the instruction page and the application form. I high recommend you read the instruction page, and bring it to the Tax Office with you and all of the forms requested. Yes, some offices do not know what you are talking about, but when they see the instruction page they know how to help you. It is very easy. Here is the link.

    Sojourner Permit


    The instructions and form are highlighted near the bottom of the article.
    Happy boating,
    Jim

    guess we will need to revisit this topic again ~ a few months ago we followed all of the directions and tracked down/ contacted the lady in fernandina beach even though she had moved to another department ~ we were passing through on our way to the bahamas and we weren’t sure how long we would be in florida…what i heard her tell me is that the sojourner’s permit wasn’t done anymore or really worth anything – since all we had to do was leave for a day and go out into international waters and come back>>>> so if anyone can provide a mailing address and instructions for how to do this or if it is really necessary or tested and worked? it would be appreciated. our boat is registered in nc and also uscg documented and owned by a georgia llc with a georgia hailing port. we have plans to be back in florida in december and want to take our time cruising the keys etc. before we head back up the west coast etc. thanks!
    Ronny Jones

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