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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
  • 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

     

     

  • Destroyed Daybeacon 7A, Largo Sound Entrance, off Hawk Channel, 11/09/2016


    This destroyed daybeacon is on the south side of the narrow channel into South Sound Creek  leading to Largo Sound off Hawk Channel.

    FLORIDA – MIAMI TO MARATHON AND FLORIDA BAY – HAWK CHANNEL – LARGO SOUND CHANNEL
    Largo Sound Channel Daybeacon 7A (LLNR 11805) is reported destroyed with wreckage onscene. Aid was found destroyed with wreckage 2 ft. above the water line. Wreckage is marked with a temporary lit buoy (TRLB) displaying Fl Q G. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Largo Sound Channel

  • 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

  • Discussion of Boater Education Requirement in Florida

    This discussion comes from Kevin Wadlow on keynoter.com.

    Boaters operating in Florida Bay waters of Everglades National Park must complete an online education course under a new regulation expected to take effect within months. Read More

    That pending rule prompted advisers to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to ponder whether a similar educational requirement could be adopted to help protect oceanic resources in the 2,900-square-mile sanctuary. he question returns to the volunteer sanctuary council at its next meeting, Oct. 18 in Ocean Reef on North Key Largo.

    In August, Everglades National Park planner Fred Herling briefed the sanctuary council on the park’s new Florida Bay boating rules scheduled to “roll out in late 2016.” Those will require completion of a free one-hour online boat-operator course that focuses on “resource protection, safety [and] respectful boating.”

    The course must be completed before boat owners can get an annual or seven-day permit to operate in park waters. Park boat permits likely will cost $50 per year or $25 for seven days, but fees may be phased in over a period of months. When enacted, fees to launch at the Flamingo ramp will be dropped.

    Boat-permit proceeds, estimated at $500,000 annually, would help increase funding for on-the-water enforcement rangers, marker maintenance and marine research, Herling said.

    Everglades National Park has authority to enact boat permit fees and operator-education requirements for Florida Bay waters that lie in its jurisdiction. The marine sanctuary lacks such authority.

    With an updated management plan for the Keys sanctuary taking shape, now may be the time to seek a new boating-education rule, some council members suggested in August. Others expressed doubt, pointing to a complex maze of regulatory approvals needed at the state and federal level.

    Advocates of boater education for sanctuary waters, largely intended to keep vessels from striking reefs or scarring shallow seagrass flats, have made their case since the national marine sanctuary’s inception in 1990. But enacting a sanctuary boating license remains little more than an uncertain concept.

    The Oct. 18 agenda item, “Boater Education in the Florida Keys,” is scheduled for approximately 2:15 p.m. at the Ocean Reef Cultural Center.

    “It’s essentially a continuation of the earlier discussion on the potential to seek something like Everglades National Park, whether it’s mandatory or voluntary,” Deputy Superintendent Beth Dieveney said Thursday.

    Council members could ask for more specific information on the process or vote on a resolution.

    The Sanctuary Advisory Council, comprising 20 appointed Keys representatives from community, business and conservation sectors, does not have rule-making authority. However, sanctuary staff generally give the council’s recommendations and guidance considerable weight.

    Missing managers

    Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

  • Online Survey on Florida Anchoring and Mooring Available, October 1-9, 2016

    This is one very important survey that cruisers definitely will want to take. We can only keep our fingers crossed that the right questions will be asked and that our answers, observations and suggestions will be heeded, unlike past conversations with the FWC.

    fwc

    FWC seeks public input on anchoring and mooring rules, pilot program
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking feedback from cruising boaters, local boaters and other residents in evaluating the state’s Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program and related ordinances.

    The FWC has posted a brief online survey to accept this feedback. It should take approximately five to 10 minutes to complete and will be available to the public Oct. 1-9. Survey
    Read More for Survey Discussion and Link

    Any input is greatly appreciated in evaluating and improving boating in Florida.

    The Florida Legislature established the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program in 2009. The intent was to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields throughout the state.

    After public input, the FWC selected the cities of St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Stuart (in conjunction with Martin County) and the cities of Key West and Marathon (in conjunction with Monroe County) as five sites for the pilot program. They were granted temporary authority to regulate mooring in their jurisdictional waters through local ordinances.

    All ordinances enacted under authority of the pilot program will expire on July 1, 2017, and will be inoperative and unenforceable thereafter, unless re-enacted by the Legislature.

    Participation in the survey will help determine the effectiveness of the program, developed ordinances, and a variety of concepts related to specific restrictions on anchoring of vessels which may be considered in the future.

    To access the survey and for more information, go to MyFWC.com/Boating.

    And this from Glen Moore on the AGLCA Forum:

    The Florida anchoring issue will be with us every year. This survey is part of the planning for next year’s legislative session and more legislation limiting anchoring. More communities will be vying to be included in the anchoring bans that were granted in two south Florida counties last year. Read More

    As a life-long resident of Florida, I have watched the law-making process over many decades. It is ironic that a state legislature with the majority of its members being elected on the platform of less government continue to issue laws regulating all forms of personal choice, including where one might anchor. Sorry if this sounds political, but this is a political issue and I have attempted to craft words in a benign manner.

    If any of you are Floridians, and have decided to provide input through this survey, please take your time in studying each question (and there are many, particularly if you have anchored in a pilot project area since 2011) before answering. As an example, some of the questions refer to the appropriate distance to be anchored from residences or marine structures such as boat ramps. While you might have a great opinion of how far you believe is appropriate, any answer of a distance could result in laws regulating how far you must anchor. Any distance required could be difficult to follow given how large your swing circle could be. You could anchor at the appropriate distance, the wind direction change resulting in your boat swinging into an illegal spot. In many areas, laws regulating how far one can anchor from a residence will create overlapping illegal areas that essentially bans anchoring.

    Last year, I wrote my State Senator questioning the proposed, and eventually passed law for south Florida. He responded that the anchoring law was needed for safety – that people water skied in the area and boats at anchor are a safety issue. I responded that they law did not prohibit anchoring in the day time, when there were people water skiing, only at night when people did not water ski – so the proposed law had no impact on the safety of skiers. He did not respond and voted for the anchoring prohibition.

    We have some tough battles ahead. Our fight in Florida is not just for reasonable anchoring laws in Florida. Legislatures tend to copy laws from other states. As anchoring laws in Florida get legislated, other states will soon follow – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina . . .

    My recommendation on the survey is to use the comment box at the end of the survey to build your case that no additional anchoring laws/restrictions are needed in Florida.

    Be aware that waterfront homeowners will also be responding to the survey.

    Glen Moore
    Last Dance, DeFever Passagemaker 40
    Flagler Beach, FL

  • Seeking Fellow Boater in Marathon. FL

    If you know or have seen Wayne Shosie, please contact SSECN or Laurel Long at the info below.

    Hello, I’m trying to contact Wayne Shosie on MV “Blue Max”. I’ve been told he is in the anchorage at Boot Key Harbor City Marina Marathon, FL.
    Thanks for any assistance you can give.
    Contact info: Laurel Long
    904-472-5546
    laurel382@gmail.com

  • More from ACOE on Tropical Storm and Hurricane Preparations

    With the 2016 hurricane season underway, this is additional information for boaters navigating the waters of South Florida. This notice comes to us from our good friend, Specialist Erica Skolte, US Army Corp of Engineers.

    usace_logo

    For Immediate Release, August 26, 2016
    Corps prepares for tropical activity; issues guidance to boaters & campers
    With the possibility of tropical activity in south Florida in the coming days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is preparing to respond as needed and providing information to boaters and campers on operational adjustments that will take place at navigation locks and recreation facilities.
    The Jacksonville District activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at noon today (Aug. 26). This
    action allows district staff to devote added attention to the response actions that might be necessary should a tropical cyclone or heavy rain develop.
    “Our staff is coordinating with state and local officials,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division
    Chief for Jacksonville District. “We will staff our EOC over the weekend, and dispatch liaison officers to the state EOC and other locations as appropriate.”
    READ MORE

    Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance on its operations in south Florida:
    • For boaters, the Corps plans to extend operating hours for its navigation locks when a storm is 72 hours out. The extended hours will remain in place until a storm is eight hours from landfall. To ensure safety of lock operators, the Corps will suspend operations when lightning is in the area, or when winds exceed 35 mph.
    • For campers and visitors to recreation sites, Jacksonville District park rangers will monitor conditions at Corps’ campgrounds and recreation areas. If a county government issues an evacuation order for mobile homes or RV parks in an area where there is a Corps’ campground or recreational facility, rangers will order an evacuation of the facility and advise on shelter locations. Visitors should move all campers, motor homes, tents, vessels, and trailers from facilities under evacuation orders.
    • Field staff will conduct pre-storm evaluation of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Significant rain on the lake or in the Kissimmee basin to the north could cause a rapid rise in the lake over the coming weeks. The current lake stage is 14.67 feet. While no imminent threat of failure exists, the lake stage is in the upper end of the Corps’ preferred range of 12.5-15.5 feet.
    More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil.
  • Boats Are Killing Florida Manatees in Record Numbers

    This report from Care2.com focuses on the large number of manatees killed in Florida by boats this year leading to what could be the worst year on record. Slow down in Manatee Zones and keep a sharp watch ahead.

    Boats Are Killing Manatees in Record Numbers
    manatees
    Manatee advocates are raising concerns about the number of these gentle giants who have been killed in Florida this year. They hope that increased vigilance and other measures will help keep this from being the worst year on record.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has already counted 71 manatees killed by boats as of July 22. The numbers are already higher than they were for the same period in 2009, which was the deadliest year on record with a total of 97 deaths.

    The growing death toll has caused manatee advocates to worry that the unfortunate record will be broken this year, but there are differing opinions as to why.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT

  • Comments on Sunset Cove Anchorage, Buttonwood Sound, near Inside Route Statue Mile 1143


    Andree is correct about the history of this once popular anchorage, see http://cruisersnet.net/99799. And see http://cruisersnet.net/158819 for details on a new Florida law dealing with at-risk and derelict vessels. Thank you Andree for your perspective.

    I was anchored out in Sunset Cove from 2001 to 2007 we tied our dinghies off the Bayside Resort pier. A chain link fence was put up and no trespassing sign a few years later. Thanks to some people who slept under the tree, drank , litter and trash the shore. It was a disgrace and bad image for the resort and tourists so they [authorities] did what they could to prevent it. That is why there are barely any boats there anymore. The anchorage has moved to Government center a few miles up the road.
    Andree J Hardy

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunset Cove Anchorage

  • Florida’s New “At-Risk Vessel” Law

    SSECN hopes this law will never apply to you, but if your boat is frequently left unattended for any length of time, you should be aware of the new authority granted to FWC law enforcement.

    fwc
    Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 07/29/2016 11:00 AM EDT
    For immediate release: July 29, 2016
    Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjEz2hj2

    New at-risk vessel law helps FWC officials manage Florida waterways

    A new Florida law, approved by the Legislature and Governor during the 2016 Session, will enable county and local authorities along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to more effectively manage the state’s waterways. The new law (F.S. 327.4107) allows law enforcement officers to issue non-criminal citations to owners who allow their boats to become “at risk” of becoming derelict.

    READ MORE

    “This law allows officers to take action before a vessel crosses that line between at-risk and derelict, and hopefully prompts the owner to rectify any issues with the vessel before it reaches a state of disrepair,” said Phil Horning, FWC’s derelict vessel program administrator. “Prior to this law being enacted, officers had to wait until a vessel met the legal criteria for a derelict vessel before beginning any sort of official interaction with the owner.”

    Under the new law, a vessel is deemed to be “at-risk” if any of the following conditions is observed:
    The vessel is taking on or has taken on water without an effective means to dewater.
    Spaces on the vessel that are designed to be enclosed are incapable of being sealed off or remain open to the elements for extended periods of time.
    The vessel has broken loose or is in danger of breaking loose from its anchor.
    The vessel is left or stored aground unattended in such a state that would prevent the vessel from getting underway, is listing due to water intrusion, or is sunk or partially sunk.
    If an officer observes a vessel with one or more of these criteria, a non-criminal citation may be issued that requires the owner to correct the problem or face stronger penalties after 30 days have passed. If problems are not fixed, non-compliant vessel owners can face additional fines issued every 30 days until they are.

    Officials expect that this new law will decrease the number of vessels becoming derelict, a problem which continues to burden the state’s public waterways.

    “Our goal is to keep Florida’s waterways safe and protect their environmental stability,” said Horning. “We are committed to protecting this valuable resource for the people of Florida and its visitors.”

    Vessel owners are also reminded to sell their vessels properly.

    “Many owners don’t realize that not only is the buyer required to get the vessel retitled in their name, but the seller is also required to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 30 days that they have sold their vessel,” said Horning.

    Failure to do so is a violation and may cause the prior owner of record legal troubles should the vessel become derelict at a later date. The FWC will be assisting state and local governments with derelict vessel removal grants that will be available soon. The grant funding was also approved by the Legislature and Governor during the 2016 Session. Interested applicants may contact the FWC Derelict Vessel Program office at 850-617-9540 or email DVGrant@MyFWC.com for more information.

  • More on Still Missing Sailor, Vicinity of Marathon, Florida Keys

    If anyone has knowledge of Paul Murray’s location, please contact his Dad at the number below or through our Contact number 336-446-9381.

    paulmurray

    Paul Murray

    We are looking for Paul Murray -aboard Sailboat Double Feature (Boot Key Harbor west of Boot Key bridge)

    He went to Stock Island (Key West) to help a friend (Donnie) move his boat to Marathon. They ran aground, got in the dinghy and safely made it to shore on June 16. Folks at Robbie’s Full Service Marina at Stock Island tell me that Donnie has gone to New York but no one knows where Paul is. He isn’t answering phone (likely destroyed in boat mishap), isn’t responding to texts or FB messages and hasn’t accessed his bank accounts in last 2 weeks! We have contacted his friends and family but no one has had any contact.
    If anyone has any ideas I can check out or knows anything, please let me know ASAP. I am Paul’s dad.
    Bill Murray and can be reached at 248.974.8218

    4/3/2016 Larry,
    Attached is a corrected version of the Monroe County’s press release about my son’s disappearance:
    Family, detectives looking for information about missing man 
    Sheriff’s detectives are hoping to help locate a Marathon man whose family and friends say they have not seen nor heard from him since June 16th. 
    48 year old Paul Thomas Murray, who lives on a boat in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, told family members he was going to help a friend move a sailboat from Robbie’s Marina on Stock Island to Boot Key Harbor on June 16th. A short time after that, the sailboat he was supposed to help move, called the “Hornet” was located, grounded on some rocks a short distance away from Robbie’s Marina. No one was on board. 
    A friend of Murray spoke with Murray’s father. He said the owner of the boat, Donny Vanaria, and Murray were going to move the boat together on the 16th. A man whose nickname is “Red” reportedly told Murray’s father that he woke up at 4 a.m. on the 17th and the boat was aground; he said neither Murray nor  Vanaria were on board, but Vanaria returned by dinghy and asked Red if he would take care of his dog because he had to leave town. 
    Since that time, there have been no reports from anyone who has seen or heard from Murray and his family says there has been no activity on his credit/debit card or cell phone. 
    Anyone who knows anything about Murray that might help find him, or find out what happened to him, should contact Major Crimes Detective Dawn Agusto at 305-289-2410.

    7/15/2016
    There has not been any progress in the investigation. The MCSO Major Crimes Unit is trying to investigate but there is a lack of information at this point.
    We think that Paul left Boot Key Harbor on 6-16 to help a man deliver a boat (S/V Hornet)from Stock island to Marathon. They left that evening and the next morning the boat was crashed on the rocks outside Robbie’s Full Service Marine. (it is still there on its side full of water – I will forward a pic). While the owner made it to shore and then left town immediately, Paul was not seen again.
    The sheriff’s office is looking for persons who have specific information about Paul arriving at Stock Island and boarding the boat. Right now, no one has come forward to help us figure out what actually happened.
    Thanks for your interest and help.
    Bill Murray

  • Suggested Route from Marco Island to Islamorado, Gulf Coast to the Keys


    These good suggestions come from AGLCA member, Dave Fuller, as posted on AGLCA’s Digest.

    If this is your first trip from Marco to the Keys, I recommend coming out Capri pass and proceeding south. Going the back way is a little shorter, but MUCH shallower and requires you to pay close attention. The Cape Romano shoals are the first area you need to avoid, so look at your chart and plot your course accordingly. Depending on your speed, you should consider an overnight and Little Shark River (marked by a Green 1 on a 16 ft. pole) is a well protected anchorage. Depending on wind conditions, you may want to go further up river to use the mangroves to break the wind and waves. It is plenty deep quite a ways in so you should not have a hard time finding a suitable spot. Just be aware of small fishing boats zipping by so make sure you are well lit at night. For a general route, try to stay outside the boundaries of Everglades National Park. You will notice what looks like I-beams marking the park boundaries. Inside the park boundaries, you will have less crab traps to negotiate, but the tradeoff is that the water is much shallower. So much so that I had to shut off my depth alarm as it was constantly in alarm mode, but we never touched bottom. There is one place on the chart that you must observe. I don’t know the name of the banks on either side, but it is called the “yacht channel” and is a fairly narrow opening in the bank where you make a sort of S turn. It is clearly marked on the charts. There are a number of places to cross over from Florida Bay to the Atlantic such as Channel 5, Seven mile bridge, and others depending on where you are going. When we last did the trip, we went straight to Islamorada to visit friends so we skipped Marathon. Have a fun and safe trip.
    Dave & Nan Ellen Fuller
    WACI 3

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

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

  • Keys Writer Seeks Your Input

    Well, we’ve been asked a lot of questions, but this is a first. All of us have opinions about food aboard a vessel, but if you have experience actually feeding a hungry, sun burned, exhausted crew, let Jill hear from you!

    I’m assigned a “cooking on a boat” story for a magazine. My deadline is April 20. Will you knowledgeable cruisers in the Florida KEYS help me, please? I’m supposed to answer these questions. Any replies will be helpful. Kindly add a name and maybe your boat name and roughly where you are located, e.g. Marathon, Islamorada, etc. So, here goes: How do you feed a hungry crew? How do you deal with sea sickness while preparing food? What kind of snacks are best (esp. in our humidity?!) Who cooks? Who washes up? Who uses a gimballed stoves? Is anyone still using a kerosene stove? Thank you so much for your help.
    Jill Zima Borski, Islamorada, 305-852-9886, jzimakeys@aol.com

  • Gov. Scott Signs Anchoring Ban

    This report comes from Punta Gorda Sailing Club. Click Here for the full report. Unfortunately, this legislative action may have ominous impact on other Waterway communities along the East Coast as well as other Florida ports.

    ALERT: Gov Scott signs anchoring ban bill!: Starting July 1, 2016, it will be illegal to anchor at any time during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in the following public waterways…. Read more>>

    Remember to vote against these legislators as they come up for ANY elections!
    Nancy C Detert Senator — District 28
    Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto Senator — District 30
    Senator Bill Galvano – District 26
    Representative Julio Gonzalez District 74 Sarasota County
    Representative Matt Caldwell – District 79 (Sponsor of Bill)

    Support the following Legislators: Representative Kenneth L. “Ken” Roberson District 75 Charlotte County

  • Advice Sought on Largo Sound Entrance, Key Largo, FL


    The shallow and narrow entrance channel to Largo Sound and 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. If you’ve been into the Sound recently, let us hear from you.

    Is it possible to take a 42 ft. 4ft draft cat into the sound? tidal issues? thanks,
    Joe

    Hi Larry,
    Spoke with harbor master…seems that the upper limit is 4.5 ft on draft. We draw 4’3″ so are good to go. Thanks for posting. Heading down that way on April 24th out of Ft Lauderdale.. Guidance appreciated.

    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

  • Life Jackets: Wear Them!

    fwc-banner

    April 8, 2016

    FWC PSA Availability
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    “Wear It Florida!” – Life jackets save lives

    Who: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

    Why: As boating season in Florida gets underway, boaters can choose to have fun and stay safe on Florida’s waters. And the FWC can help.

    Background: As the boating capital of the world, Florida leads the nation with nearly 1 million registered vessels across the state and is known as the prime boating spot for residents and visitors. The FWC wants everyone to enjoy boating opportunities safely. It conducts boating safety education campaigns to support this goal by encouraging boaters to wear a life jacket, 360-degree operator awareness and sober boating. FWC officers assist and educate vessel operators year-round.

    Resource: Life jacket :60 Broadcast Version: https://vimeo.com/127883864

     

     

  • Report from Channel Key Pass, Florida Keys Inside Route, Statute Mile 1179.5


    George is responding to a request for information on Channel Key Pass made several years ago by our friend Captain Charmaine Smith, see http://cruisersnet.net/58003. Channel Key Pass allows passage from Gulf to the Atlantic across Channel Key Banks north of Duck Key.

    I came through there in August 1992, 2 days after Andrew had swept through Everglade City and pounded me on Marco Island. That leg of my journey, I traveled from Marco Island headed for “someplace” in the keys. As I approached this challenging bit of navigation on the chart, I decided to lower my sails and approach it under power for greater control. Our big difference is that my 25′ Capri only had a 4 foot draft. I must admit, I was so intent upon avoiding the reef (with concern about possible unexpected current shifts), I don’t recall ever checking the depth. After I emerged and approached the Channel 5 Bridge, a coin toss decided whether to head to Key Largo or to Key West. Key West won, but I actually lived at Faro Blanco in Marathon for one year. Considering the damage a reef can do to your boat and vice versus, I would always recommend taking it slow and staying within the markers as close to the middle as possible.
    George

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

  • Vessel Inspections Underway in Florida Keys Anchorages

    A big Heads Up! if you are anchored in the Keys. According to this article by Kevin Wadlow in KeyInfoNet on Operation Liveaboard 2016, 210 vessels were inspected and 115 (!!) received citations.

    Boat inspections yield dozens of citations
    BY KEVIN WADLOW
    kwadlow@keynoter.com
    March 5, 2016

    Marine officers inspected 210 boats during the recent Operation Liveaboard 2016 in the Florida Keys.

    Three agencies — the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office — checked waters with the highest density of liveaboard vessels from Key West to Key Largo. It was done over six days in recent weeks.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE AND COMMENTS

  • Report from Dolphin Marina & Lodging, Hawk Channel, east of Little Torch Key


    Dolphin Marina and Lodging is on the western shore of Newfound Harbor Channel off Hawk Channel.

    Gas was 2.80/gal as of 2/23/16. Very tight inside, but deep water in approach (6’+) and deeper inside (8-12′). No transient moorage.
    Dan

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Dolphin Marina

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

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