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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
  • UPDATE on Anchoring Ban in Florida ICW – HB1051

    As reporter Branon Edwards relates in this article in the Broward/Palm Beach New Times, HB1051 is being presented today (1/26) by a group of Florida legislators. Bill is reported on 1/27 as passed with 12 Yea votes. Click Here for related opinion.

    February 3 UPDATE from our friends at AGLCA Forum

    UPDATE ON FLORIDA ANCHORING LEGISLATION
    An amended version of the HB1051 (now CS/HB1051) passed a committee last week. SSCA and AGLCA members, along with our other boating partners, spoke against the amended bill which included a safe harbor provision and the ability for law enforcement, government boats and rescue boats to anchor overnight. The prohibition on overnight anchoring remained, which we don’t support. We are working to modify that provision. At present calls and emails should be directed to members of the House State Affairs Committee stating the following:

    “I am (a Florida resident/Florida tourist) and cruise extensively in Florida waters. I oppose the present language in CS/HB1051 because the bill does not give cruising boats the ability to anchor for a reasonable time while in navigation under federal law. We are also concerned that this bill opens the door for communities to pursue similar legislation without adequate justification which would result in unfair, random and unreasonable anchoring restrictions. A better way to address the issues in these areas is to pursue enactment of a comprehensive mooring/anchoring planning and adoption process that would apply to all communities, not just selected ones.”

    If you are a Florida resident, please look at the member list below, if you live in one of the member’s area, you should send a separate note to them stating you are a constituent.

    Here is link to the committee website:

    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?CommitteeId=2851

    anchoring

    Yachts anchored in Fort Lauderdale’s Middle River basin, which would be illegal if proposed legislation passes. Branon Edwards

    BY BRANON EDWARDS TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2016 | 3 HOURS AGO
    A battle is heating up between rich owners of waterfront property and boaters who, instead of docking, use anchors to keep their boats cheaply (free!) in the Intracoastal Waterway. The rich have argued that these anchored boats ruin their view — especially vessels that have been abandoned and become decrepit. Many boaters, however, contend that they are responsible and have rights to use the waterway.

    As they say, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” In this case, the squeaky wheel appears to be wealthy property owners along Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, and the grease is a nasty bit of proposed legislation known in the House as HB1051 and in the Senate as SB1260. Both bills in Tallahassee aim to make it illegal to anchor overnight in parts of the Intracoastal Waterway despite the waterway having been used for this purpose since its inception.

    CLICK HERE for the full article by Branon Edwards

  • Sailing Vessel Sunk West of Key West Main Shipping Channel, 2/3/2016


    This sunken sailboat is in the Southwest Channel west of the Main Shipping Channel into Key West Harbor.

    The S/V PAPEETE is sunk in approximate position 24-30.599N/081-50.460W. The mast is floating on the waters surface, not protruding above the water. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11471, 11476, 11477  LNM 5/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Key West Harbor Approaches

  • Praise for Key Largo Harbor Marina, Hawk Channel, Key Largo, FL


    Key Largo Harbor Marina overlooks the northern banks of Port Largo Canal, hard by this stream’s 90 degree turn to the west.

    Just had our 42′ sailboat, Pura Vida, hauled out and the bottom painted and topsides detailed. We can’t say enough good things about the staff at this marina. The owners are there everyday and very active in the operation of the yard. Highly recommend their services, very meticulous and thorough. Very secure 24/7. They are making improvements to the facilities and getting better everyday. It’s never fun to live “on the hard,” but the staff here made us feel at home. Pictures of the haul out and work on or FB page at http://www.facebook.com/OurLifeAquaticPuraVida/
    John-Michael on s/v Pura Vida

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Key Largo Harbor Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key Largo Harbor Marina

  • Florida Keys Stewardship Act — Senate Bill 770

    Interesting letter to the Editor in the Miami Herald addressing the Florida Keys Stewardship Act and its impact on tourism in the Keys which are “the highest per-capita generator of sales tax for the state.”

    Keys’ assets need to be valued, protected

    Monroe County is the southernmost county in Florida and includes the Florida Keys. Its coastline extends from the Everglades all the way to the Dry Tortugas, encompassing the third-largest coral reef in the world, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, three national parks, five state parks, four national wildlife refuges and three state aquatic reserves. Quite simply, the area’s environmental significance is immense.

    Read more here

  • Report from Northeastern Pumpkin Key Anchorage, Card Sound, West of Key Largo


    Iain’s report should assist a September discussion about the Pumpkin Key Anchorages, see http://cruisersnet.net/advice-sought-on-pumpkin-key-anchorages-card-sound-west-of-key-largo/.
    Pumpkin Key is on the Inside Route almost due west of Key Largo.

    DEC 24 2015 – Moored NW of Pumpkin to shelter from 17kts wind from SE. Initially well sheltered, but Wind swung during night to be direct from East and we dragged badly, about 400 yards before I realised at 3 am, even though we were only 150 yards from the island & I would have thought we would be better protected. Good in that I was blown into deeper water but from looking at the anchor flukes the bottom is sand/mud which does not hold well. The wind protection from Snapper is not great, there is enough open water for the wind to get up speed. However lovely location, with dolphins feeding at dusk & super quiet at night tho dawn brings some traffic from Angelfish Key.
    Iain

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For NE Pumpkin Key Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of NE Pumpkin Key Anchorage

  • Report from Galleon Marina (Key West Bight)


    Galleon Marina will be the first marina that will come abeam to your starboard side as you enter Key West Bight. This facility has an excellent reputation, and it certainly lies right in the heart of Key West!

    Stayed over Christmas . Helpful staff, patient at directing me to a berth between the riprap and the pontoons, which I didn’t think could be the way in as it was so narrow. Never did get my iPad to hook up to the wifi, which the marina staff know is an issue for Apple products. They gave me a number for tech support, but of course on the afternoon of 24 December I never got a call back before leaving on the 27th. The Windows laptop did connect, but service was slow. Can’t believe their tech guys can’t figure it out.
    Resort bar good for sundowners after a dip in the large pool and the hot tub.
    Tom Syrett

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

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

  • High Praise for Crew at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, FL


    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.

    I needed desperately to get to the pump out at the marina. I called ahead and told them I did not have a lot of experience running the 44 ft catamaran I was sailing thru keys with my family. They told me where to find the pump out dock. I asked about the wind and they informed me it was blowing hard onto the dock. Tough conditions. When I got in they had three captains at the dock to lend a hand. After one aborted attempt we docked well and safely in very challenging conditions. I sat and talked with them all about the exit off the dock and got some great advice. Got off safe and well. They are truly a fantastic group.
    Cat Hopeful

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

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

  • A Sports Fisherman Responds to Angelfish Creek Comments, Palo Alto Key


    Angelfish Creek, like Broad Creek just to the north, connects Card Sound and Hawk Channel and sees a lot of traffic, especially large sportsfishing vessels. Capt. Abell is responding to comments made earlier in http://cruisersnet.net/?p=100355 on traffic in Angelfish Creek and offers good advice about sharing the narrow, but short channel. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=153759 for a recent Navigation Alert for Angelfish Creek.

    As Capt. Copeland stated it is necessary for large sport boats to stay on top to transit this stretch of water… I to captain a 50+ foot sport fish and have a draft of 5′-3″ and always run through at 25 plus KTS. I sometimes will have to wait for the East channel to be clear before shooting though and every once and a while there is someone in a center console that just doesn’t get it and we will meet in the worse possible spot… I cannot stop as it would result in disaster, so please pay attention to the larger boats up on top transiting Angelfish creek, we’re not trying to show off, only trying to get through!
    Wes Abell

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Angelfish Creek

  • A Question re Anchoring and Mooring Fees at John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Hawk Channel


    A phone call to John Pennencamp Coral Reef State Park (305-451-6325) confirms that anchoring outside the mooring field is not allowed and there is no monthly rate for the mooring balls. The daily rate, including taxes and Monroe County fees, is $21.85. Sorry Jeff! Largo Sound in the State Park lies between Key Largo and El Radabob Key off Hawk Channel. The Sound is accessed through narrow South Sound Creek (which also allows access to the marina associated with the Park) at the tip of Lower South Sound Point.

    Largo sound does not appear to be part of the Monroe county pilot program. It would seem it’s no problem to anchor then under current laws? Do they have a monthly rate on the moorings?
    Jeff Goff

    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

  • More on Red Tide Risks on the Beaches of Florida

    These latest warnings must be heeded if you have children or pets playing at the beach. See “Red tide public health risks” below.

    fwc
    For immediate release: October 30, 2015
    Contact: Kelly Richmond, FWC 727-502-4784

    Red tide confirmed in Florida: What you need to know

    Red tide is a naturally occurring, higher-than-normal concentration of microscopic algae. In Florida, the species that causes most red tides is Karenia brevis. This organism produces toxins that can affect the central nervous system of aquatic organisms such as fish and marine mammals. Red tide toxins also pose a human health risk. The toxins can aerosolize and be carried to beaches with onshore winds, leading to respiratory irritation in people. Toxins can accumulate in shellfish and result in illnesses if contaminated shellfish are consumed. Shellfish harvesting areas are closed when blooms are present.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) researchers are currently monitoring two blooms along Florida’s Gulf coast, one located in northwest Florida and the other in southwest Florida.

    “We confirmed the presence of both blooms in September, and they have persisted since that time,” said Alina Corcoran, FWC research scientist. “The bloom in the Panhandle is currently affecting Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties. In southwest Florida, patchy blooms have been confirmed along Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties. Extensive fish kills and respiratory irritation have been associated with the bloom in the Panhandle but in southwest Florida the effects have been less.”

    Red tide public health tips:

    People in a red tide area can experience varying degrees of eye, nose and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms usually go away.
    People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.
    In some red tides, dead fish wash ashore; during these conditions it is advised that beachgoers avoid swimming in water where dead fish are present.
    Pet owners are advised that red tide poses a risk to animals brought to the beach. If a pet swims in a red tide patch at the beach, rinse off its fur and paws as soon as possible with fresh water. Also, do not let pets eat fish or drink water from the red tide.
    Recreational harvesting of bivalve mollusks such as hard clams, oysters and mussels from approved shellfish harvesting areas is banned during red tide closures. To determine whether harvesting of shellfish is permitted in an area, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Aquaculture website.
    FWC researchers work closely with partners, including Mote Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and NOAA, to track blooms, share information and develop products that help to inform both citizens and scientists about bloom conditions.

    “Citizen scientists play a vital role in tracking blooms. Volunteers can provide the majority of water samples for bloom tracking in regions like the Panhandle,” said Corcoran.

    For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or learn more about red tide, visit MyFWC.com/RedTide. To report fish kills to the FWC, contact the Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online.

    Additional red tide resources:

    Red tide facts and information pocket guide and Fact sheet
    Florida Department of Health
    Shellfish Harvesting Area Status
    Mote Marine Laboratory Beach Condition Reporting System at Mote.org/Beaches
    USF Collaboration for the Prediction of Red Tides (CPR)
    NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS)
    redtide4

    And this from WTSP 10 News:

    Red tide sparks tourism concerns
    Eric Glasser, WTSP 5:40 p.m. EST December 9, 2015

    St. Petersburg Beach, FL — Pictures of dead fish washing ashore in the Bay area are not the images that tourism officials want popping up on social media.
    But red tide, say marine scientists, is now here. And how long it will last, they admit, is a mystery.
    Visitors like Kathy Keleher who came to St. Petersburg from Canada to experience its cuisine and culture have seen the images of bloated fish now floating in Boca Ciega Bay.
    “And then it’s gross, and it stinks,” said Keleher, “I don’t expect that at all. I expect beautiful white sandy beaches and clear water and palm trees. Not that,” she said.
    It’s not what those who rely on tourism want people texting their friends and relatives back home.
    “No, I mean it’s horrible for business obviously,” said Wade Parrish, head chef at O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille in Gulfport.
    “You know, the smell would be a deterrent for people to come out here and sit outside and enjoy the wonderful view that we’ve got here,” said Parrish.
    Bob Weisberg with the University of South Florida’s Marine Sciences lab in St. Petersburg, says red tide, or Karenia Brevis as they call it, can kill fish and even cause respiratory distress for people and marine mammals in high enough concentration.
    “There is very little we can do about the red tide,” said Weisberg, describing it as simply too large.
    “This particular plant can get a foothold, and when it does it then dominates,” said Weisberg, “which is what’s happening right now,” he said.
    The red tide algae, says Weisberg, makes its way inland from deep in the Gulf of Mexico riding along strong underwater currents.
    Scientists, he says, could better predict how long it might stick around if they were able to take more offshore observations.
    Unfortunately, he says, the estimated $300,000 cost to consistently send a boat out into the Gulf of Mexico to take those readings is regularly cut out of the state budget.
    Commonly, red tide will begin to dissipate this time of the year, said Weisberg.
    But he also warned that there have been some seasons when the algae bloom has survived well into the summer.
    For a closer look at the underwater current charts Weisberg and his colleagues at USF use to try to predict the direction red tide may be moving, click here.

  • Ports to Visit on the Southeast Coast

    Skipper Hoff is responding to a reader’s earlier inquiry about ports to visit on the east coasts of Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas. There are great suggestions here.

    Regarding other locations – we have only stayed at Marathon overnight so can’t really say much about it. We have spent more time at Islamorada, Key Largo and Biscayne Bay, almost always at anchor. We tend to like either remote (Biscayne Bay, Dry Tortugas, etc.) or interesting cities (Key West) – but that is our preference. Biscayne Bay is a place we like to hang out at anchor – swimming, kayaking, walking the beach, etc.

    As you head north we time a stop at West Palm Beach for their Farmers’ Market – one of the best, if not the best, on the east coast and my wife has made me stop at all of them from Maine to Key West. They have a large free day dock we spend all day at then move a couple 100 feet off to anchor for the night – all the benefits of a marina with none of the cost. Let me know if you plan to stop there and I can give you further advice since the peak current can be strong.

    Downtown Ft. Lauderdale (New River) is also an interesting spot – a world away from relaxing in the Keys but interesting to see 100+ foot yachts go by one after another. Good restaurants, interesting people watching, reasonable dockage, etc.. Easy spot to have people arrive and depart from since the airport is very close by.

    If at all possible we try to run outside from Ft. Lauderdale to Lake Worth (just north of West Palm). Otherwise along the ICW there are bridges, bridges and more bridges – plus some crazy boaters. Combine these and it doesn’t make for the most enjoyable travel. However the benefit of inside along the ICW is looking at the huge houses with their 100+ ft yachts docked outside.

    You will probably leave from Lake Worth to cross to the Bahamas. This is where the weather is most important – don’t even consider it with any form for NE wind the day you go or during the previous few days. A few years ago I helped a friend bring a brand new 69 ft Nordhavn back after their maiden voyage crossing in 25 kt NE winds. He said it tossed the 250,000 lb boat around like a cork plus stood it on end a few times – he said they were never sicker in their lives (very experienced boaters having taken a 55 ft Nordhavn all the way to Alaska and back around to New England). His wife wouldn’t do the return crossing so I helped him. Last time I crossed with my Fleming we waited five days for good weather and finally went in what we thought would be ok weather – ended up with 15+ footers out the Gulf Stream – not fun. On the other hand my return crossing on the Nordhavn was ~1 footers – all depends on the day.

    We have only spent time at West End in the northern Bahamas so I can’t say anything about the Abacos. We have spent an entire winter in the southern Bahamas and enjoyed it.

    Hope you find this helpful.

    Regards,
    Curtis

  • Trawler Skipper Requesting Navigation Route, Naples to Key West

    Skipper Crenshaw is seeking advice on the run from Naples to Key West. If you have experience in these waters, let us hear from you.

    We hope to do our first trip from Naples , Florida to Key West. We will depart from Naples at end of December. We are not comfortable too far out in gulf and we do not mind making in two day trip with one overnite preferably in marina. We have 42 trawler with 4 foot draft . We cannot seem to select best track.
    Can you help with some suggestion tracks/paths down west coast side?
    Thanks
    Bob Crenshaw
    Sea Path Marina
    Wrightsville Beach, NC

  • Cost of Pumpouts in Florida to be Possibly Paid by Boaters

    As local commissioners struggle to fund the current free pumpout service, it becomes apparent that those costs may soon transfer to boaters, as reported in the article below by Kevin Wadlow in KeysInfoNet.com.

    Boat sewage pumpout costs likely to be assessed on the boaters
    BY KEVIN WADLOW
    A boat-pumpout program launched to protect Florida Keys nearshore waters from sewage discharges stands as a model for the state, but state funding for the program is drying up.

    Money from the state’s Clean Vessel Act “dropped significantly this year,” Monroe County Marine Resources administrator Rich Jones told county commissioners Wednesday at their Key Largo meeting.
    Local contractor Pumpout USA “had a lot of trouble making ends meet this year,” Jones said.
    Monroe County in 2015 will spend about $367,000 on the program, with the state funding around $319,000 toward an estimated 18,000 vessel sewage pumpouts.
    The county’s share works out to $21.10 per pumpout. Overall, average total per-pumpout cost is about $40, down from $55.70 in 2014.
    The state Department of Environmental Protection now seeks “throughout the state to build sustainable pumpout programs, using Monroe County’s pumpout program as a model,” Jones said in a report to commissioners.
    To reduce the number of illegal sewage discharges in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary waters, the pumpouts are offered free of charge to boaters. However, commissioners have urged staff to work toward some type of fee system for boaters.
    “I am concerned about the long-term viability of free pumpouts,” Commissioner Heather Carruthers said. “We can’t count on the state for anything.”
    Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said her office receives “a constant supply of comments” from land residents “who pay for sewage” while anchored liveaboard residents “are not paying taxes or rent or anything else, and we’re paying for their sewage.”
    “I like doing something to keep sewage from going in the bay or ocean but sooner or later we’re going to get on the stick and make them pay,” Murphy said.
    Pumpouts are mandatory inside local managed anchoring areas, where Jones said compliance “is close to 100 percent.”
    Commissioners asked about extending the pumpout requirement to all nearshore Keys waters, but questions about jurisdiction and enforcement were cited as potential obstacles. Staff is “looking at any and all alternatives,” Jones said.

  • Good Words for Marathon Marina and Boat Yard, Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL


    Marathon Marina and Boat Yard lines the northern banks of the western Boot Key Harbor approach channel, west of the now permanently open bascule bridge.

    We have stayed here several times and love it. The pool has the best view around and the people are friendly. Brought the boat down from Naples and booked a month and will go back and forth. I would recommend this marina highly.
    Nancy Meyers

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marathon Marina and Boat Yard

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marathon Marina and Boat Yard

  • September Specials at Key Lime Sailing Club, Key Largo, FL

    key lime

    Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, 305-451-3438, www.keylimesailingclub.comOur good friends at Key Lime Sailing Club, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, have some very special offers for their September visitors! Key Lime Sailing Club is on the Inside Route side of Key Largo.

    99a

     

     

     

     

     

     

    $99 per Night Cottage and Low Season Rates!
    Why is it still great to come down for a Florida Keys vacation during these months? Because the water is still warm, the air is still warm, and you can enjoy a less crowded Keys experience, plus everything is a better DEAL! Like our Key Lime Sailing Club & Cottages Special below:

    Take advantage of our last minute vacation special! Book our Hideout Cottage for a minimum of 5 nights on any dates from August 30, 2015 until September 30, 2015 and get it for only $99 per night! Shorter stays also available for other cottages with our low season rates.

    Here are our available cottages and dates for September:

    99

     

     

     

     

    Cottage rental includes unlimited use of a 22’ sailboat (for qualified sailors), kayaks, paddle boards, water toys, bicycles, snorkel and fishing gear, and a sunset cruise once or twice a week on our 47’ Catamaran at no extra cost . Visit our website www.keylimesailingclub.com and send us a Request to Book! You can also call our reservation specialist at 305-451-3438.

    CLICK HERE For more offers and news from Key Lime Sailing Club.

    Key Lime Sailing Club
    101425 Overseas Hwy. #922
    Key Largo , FL 33037
    Tel:305-451-3438
    Email: Keylargocottages@Keylimesailingclub.com

  • Derelict Boats a Major Issue in the Florida Keys

    This excellent article on derelict boats by Kevin Wadlow was taken from KeysInfoNet.com. The problem of abandoned boats is not limited to the Florida Keys but found up and down the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

    derelict

    Boats like this are scattered throughout the Keys.

    No easy answers for derelict-boat problem
    BY KEVIN WADLOW
    kwadlow@keynoter.comAugust 15, 2015
    State marine officers pointed to notorious derelict-vessel cases in Florida Keys waters as prime examples of the need for new rules.

    “We see a lot of red dots in Monroe County,” said State Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo), referring to a state map showing 304 derelict vessels off Florida shores.

    “Obviously it’s an issue here,” Raschein said at a Thursday workshop conducted by the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo.

    Removing derelict vessels “costs a lot of money,” she said, “and they’re a pain.”

    FWC officers and staff outlined eight concepts being considered as the basis for a Florida Legislature bill to prevent some poorly maintained boats from sinking at anchor.

    The rules could include stricter requirements to repair at-risk boats deemed likely to sink and requiring boats to be able to navigate on their own under power or sail.

    Certain large boats — commercial boats more than 65 feet long or older boats made of wood or steel — could be required to post a bond at registration, since those type of vessels are very expensive to remove after a sinking.

    “Some boats cost more than others to remove,” FWC attorney Emily Norton said. “The big ones cost a lot more.”

    Program administrator Phil Horning noted boats in that description represent 3 to 5 percent of vessels removed with state money but “represent 50 percent of the removal costs.”

    In 2009, the abandoned 84-foot gambling boat Pair-O-Dice was removed from a grounding off Key West, where it created a navigation hazard near a busy channel for months, state officials said. It was removed at a state cost approaching $125,000.

    The derelict shrimp boat Santa Lucia caused a half-mile of seagrass scarring near the Keys in addition to costing $59,000 in state funds to remove, Horning said. A photo of the capsized shrimper opened the presentation to a crowd of about 50 people.

    Many of the concepts would apply only to anchored boats, not those tied to a private dock or marina.

    Rules that could force longtime liveaboards off the water concerned several speakers at the Key Largo meeting.

    “Thousands of people down here cannot afford normal accommodations,” said Jon Strydom, a charter captain. “This is a really expensive area to live in, and we need these people down here. It’s already hard enough for them.”

    “We don’t want to make anybody homeless,” FWC Capt. David Dipre said, but he noted that some vessels used as liveaboards are “half submerged and filled with cockroaches.”

    “It might be a place to live but its not a great place to be,” Dipre said.

    Vessels “are supposed to be operational so when [the next] Hurricane Wilma comes along, you can do something about it and take control of your own boat,” he said.

    Henry Feddern and Anne Baxter said the state should consider some long-established sunken boats as part of the marine environment since they provide shelter. They pointed to the recent removals of a sunken barge off Rodriguez Key near Key Largo and a heavily damaged houseboat off the Upper Matecumbe Key bayside as examples.

    Results of resident surveys taken at a series of meetings will be used to craft legislative proposals.

     

    Now, here is a solution: Derelict Bounty Hunters! Listen Up FWC!

    Track down the owners and make them pay. Fine them and I will track them down for 50% of the paid fines. Bounty hunters for boats!
    Sonny Reeves

    And here is another great idea from Skipper Burnham. Listen up FWC!

    Give the general public access to state boat registration database so that we can contact the owner based on the FL number as it is bearing down on us when no one is aboard. Then there will be no problem about finding out who is the responsible owner. You will be able to know your neighbors soon after dropping your anchor just like you can by viewing the county property tax website for your home based on your street address.
    David Burnham

  • Thieves in Paradise! Florida Keys Target of Marine Thefts

    Maybe it’s a sign of our economic times, but loss of any items, valuable or not, will certainly put a damper on a beautiful day in the Keys. This report is from South Dade News Leader.

    $5,000 Bounty For Keys Marine Thieves

    Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2015 3:55 pm | Updated: 4:15 pm, Thu Aug 6, 2015.
    Frank Maradiaga
    Marine thefts are on the rise in Monroe County. Pillaging water crafts and docks for expensive (and easily portable) gear has become an opportunistic gold mine for criminals.suspects
    To help curb this rising problem the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys are collectively offering $5,000 dollars for any information that leads to an arrest. That’s $2500 from Crime Stoppers and another $2500 from the Sheriff’s Office.
    “We really need some help on these cases,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay in a statement. “We are doing everything we can possibly do, but we really need people to come forward and help us nail these criminals.”
    Thefts can include cherry and costly GPS systems or simple fishing equipment. Basically anything that isn’t tied down and looks appealing.
    The Sheriff department says they have been “inundated” with reports of high-end electronics and thefts of lower units.
    Police say the thefts are occurring countywide but are largely concentrated in the Middle and Lower Keys.
    From a department release:
    “Equipment is being taken from boats in residential canals, parked on the street on trailers and from boats stored at marinas. The investigations of these thefts is complicated by the fact that many victims are part time residents who don’t discover they have been victimized for days or even weeks. Additionally, the equipment being stolen is relatively easy to remove, to transport and to sell.”
    Photos and some video clips from surveillance equipment are being circulated in the hopes that someone will be able to identify these alleged thieves.
    “There are people out there who know what is going on. They know who is responsible. We want those people to pick up the phone and report it. You don’t have to tell us who you are. And we will pay you well for your information,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “It is a win-win for the person who calls. They can make a substantial sum of money and the suspect or suspects they report will never know who turned them in.”
    If you think you have the goods on these thieves contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-481-8060. The Crime Stoppers hotline is 1-800-346-TIPS.

  • Good Words for Key West Bight City Marina, Key West, FL


    Key West Bight City Marina occupies a good portion of the rear (southeasterly shores) of Key West Bight.

    We have stayed at Key West Bight Marina for three years in a row. Each we time we stay for about 5 or 6 months. The staff is great. The marina has great water and is close to downtown. We highly recommend this place.
    Radler

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Key West Bight City Marina

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

  • New Sombrero Key Light, Hawk Channel, Florida Keys


    Sombrero Key is south of Marathon and on the south side of the Hawk Channel. The new light is on the north side of the key.

    STRAITS OF FLORIDA – ALLIGATOR REEF TO SOMBRERO KEY – COFFINS PATCH: THE FOLLOWING AID HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED
    SOMBRERO KEY LIGHT has been established in position 24-37-40.080N 081-06-31.260W (LLNR 1001) displaying FL W (4) 60s, 7NM. The old structure “Sombrero Key Light” (LLNR 1000) is unstable and the Coast Guard is unable to provide service due to safety concerns. All optic equipment and the RACON have been permanently discontinued. The old structure will be charted as Abandoned, structure is unstable and considered unsafe. Chart 11452 LNM 30/15

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

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