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Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersThe Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesSlips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, Fl
St. Andrew's MarinaRegatta Pointe MarinaPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destination

Archive For: NORTHERN GULF – All News

  • Northern Gulf ICW Partially Reopens Between Panama City/West Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay (near Statute Mile 265)

    On July 7, 2013, the SSECN published an extensive posting, inspired by information received from Captain Rich Gano, to the effect that the Northern Gulf ICW (a. k. a. the GIWW) had been closed between Panama City and Choctawhatchee Bay/Fort Walton Beach, due to the almost 20 inches of rain dumped along the Gulf Coast, [which] collapsed a levee alongside the cut. We are pleased to report that two dredges are now on-site, working 24/7 to return the channel to normal width and depth, and as of 7/24/13, the Waterway has been “partially” reopened.
    How can a Waterway be “partially reopened,” you may ask, as did we. Well, seems that some sort of narrow channel has already been restored by dredging operations, BUT, we strongly advise one and all (see below) to follow the USCG’s advice, and contact the dredge operators via VHF, for advice on how best to bypass their operations, while still maintaining the best depths. Hopefully, within another week or so, the dredges will have finished their work, and this “closure” will be only a bad, short-lived memory!

    The 11 July 2013 Mobile COE Nav note states the dredge Integrity will be on site and expected a week to clear the blockage.
    Now I have word from Stan Reynolds, who intends to move his trawler from Panama City to Destin, that the USCG says via a phone call that the “ditch” is partially opened to pleasure vessels. Just contact the dredge for passing instructions.
    Rich Gano
    Calypso (GB42 Hull # 295)
    Panama City area, FL

    Stan Reynolds got Morning Star through the ongoing dredging operation yesterday. He had previously called the USCG and had been told that the area was partially open for pleasure vessels. He was instructed to call the dredge for passing instructions. However, when he got there at about 11 AM, he found two dredges with both operators at lunch and no communications. He successfully eased on through and also found a significant shoal area on the south side of the canal at mile 270.
    The last update of the COE Mobile District’s Navigation Notes page is the 11 July comment that there is a dredge working the area.
    Rich Gano
    Calypso (GB42 Hull # 295)
    Panama City area, FL

    And, here’s some less welcome news just received from Captain Gano on 7/24/13:

    Local news reporting tonight reports the Corps of Engineers has cleared the mile marker 265 bank collapse enough to allow a barge to pass, but there is not enough money in the remaining fiscal year budget to completely clear all debris. They may be having to wait until November to complete repairs.
    Begging to be answered is the question of how the canal will fare through the rest of hurricane season. Significant rainfall in a short period of time could easily exacerbate the current problem.
    Rich Gano
    Calypso (GB42 Hull # 295)
    Panama City area, FL

    Click Here, Or on Chartlet Above, To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The “Partially Reopened” Section of the Northern Gulf ICW

  • Free Dock in Ft. Walton Now Re-Opened, Gulf ICW, Mile 223, Fort Walton Beach, FL

    Fort Walton Free Dock - Click for Chartview

    The free dock in Ft Walton Beach, located between R6 and R8 on the north side of the ICW, just west of the Brook Bridge, has been closed for repairs and, as Capt. Riggs relates, the dock is now open. The 3 deepest spots are on the SW corner of the dock, 1 being a lay along and the other 2 being the first two slips. Avoid blocking the pump out station as boaters do come to use it and then leave immediately.

    Cruising News:
    The free dock provided by the City of Ft. Walton, Fl is located just west of the fixed span Brooks Bridge at GICW mile 223. This facility has been closed for repairs for several months. The repairs have been effected, and the dock is now welcoming transient vessels effective May 29, 2013.
    Bob Riggs

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

  • More Praise for Port St. Joe Marina, St. Joe Bay, Northern Gulf

    The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, Fl

    Port St. Joe Marina - Click for Chartview

    If this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR facility racks up many more laudatory comments, we may have to open a separate page. Really, from all reports, you can’t do better than coil your lines at Port St. Joe Marina.
    This facility is accessed from the Northern Gulf ICW by way of the Gulf County Canal, which cuts south off the Waterway between Apalachicola and Panama City. The side trip is well worthy your time!!!

    My wife and I just spent four days at Port St Joe marina waiting for the weather to improve enough to make the overnight crossing. Lisa and her team are the friendliest folks you will ever meet. Their facilities are excellent and everything you need is within walking distance or a short ride on one of their complimentary bicycles. Port St Joe will always be a stop whenever we are in the area.
    Randy Hondros

    I agree. This is a great marina. The only caution is to be ready for the sharp turn coming in. We stayed here a couple of nights and loved it.
    R. Holiman

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Port St. Joe Marina

  • More on the Vertical Clearance of Perdido Key – Gulf Beach Bridge (Statute Mile 172)

    Perdido Key - Gulf Beach Bridge - Click for Chartview

    The height of this bridge has elicited numerous comments and concerns as to its vertical clearance which is charted at 73ft. See link below for more comments.

    Been under that bridge numerous times with a 62′ mast.
    R. Holiman

    4 deck towboats transit this area; when did the confusion start?
    Capt. Jerry Robbins

    Click Here To Read Earlier Comments on Perdido Key Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Perdido Key – Gulf Beach Bridge

  • Praise for C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle, FL, Northern Gulf

    C-Quarters Marina - Click for Chartview

    C-Quarters Marina is located on the Carrabelle River in Carrabelle, Florida. This full service marina features 67 boat slips. The marina has a complete ship store for your cruising and fishing needs. www.c-quartersmarina.com

    Carrabelle is a must stop for preparing to cross the Gulf and two marinas are always highlighted. We have always stayed at the Moorings which is a wonderful, up scale marina and very popular. This trip we tried C-Quarters and found that they too are a wonderful stop. They continued the Carrabelle tradition of caring about their customers and insisted that we give them a safe arrival call when we arrived at our destination. We couldn’t ask for anyone more helpful. Stay safe,
    Tom

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of C-Quarters Marina

  • More Praise for Port St. Joe Marina (Florida Panhandle Between Apalachicola and Panama City)

    The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, Fl

    Port St. Joe Marina - Click for Chartview

    The praise just keeps pouring into the SSECN concerning this wonderful facility. It is accessed via the Gulf County Canal, which departs the Northern Gulf ICW between Apalachicola and Panama City, and runs south to St. Joseph Bay. Port St. Joe Marina lies hard by the town of, what else, Port St. Joe. And, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Our stay at Port St Joe Marina was ideal. Everyone was so helpful. This is certainly a good stop for getting ready for your crossing. Please see previous tome on that subject.
    Tom

  • More Good Words for Port St. Joe Marina, St. Joe Bay, Northern Gulf

    The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, Fl

    Port St. Joe Marina - Click for Chartview

    This wonderful facility is accessed by the Gulf County Canal, which departs the Northern Gulf ICW between Apalachicola and Panama City, and runs south to St. Joseph Bay. Port St. Joe Marina lies hard by the town of, what else, Port St. Joe. And, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    We have been in Port St Joe Marina for 2 days now and have been told 3 times that the water is too shallow for our 5 feet draft. Folks, that is just not so. We have seen water only down to 8 feet at the transient dock and that is at low tide with a north wind blowing. The marina has even deeper spots available. Give them a try, even Mikie likes it (am I showing my age to remember that?). Stay safe,
    Tom

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Port St. Joe Marina

  • Good Words for Turner Marine (Dog River – Mobile Bay)

    Mouth of Dog River - Click for Chartview

    We get many positive comments about Turner Marine which is the first facility which will be spotted to starboard as you cruise under the high-rise Dog River bridge. They have been occupying this spot for many a year.

    We’ve docked at Turner 3 times. First time 4:am, thought we was at Dog River. Let us sleep til noon. Nicest people you could ask for. Treated us very fair on repairs and knew what they were doing. The only place we’ll stay in Mobile. Wish all marinas were like these folks. You’ll really feel like you have a friend when in Mobile.
    Dick and Sandy Frakes

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

  • Fort Walton Beach Free Dock Closed, Gulf ICW, Mile 223, Fort Walton Beach, FL

    Fort Walton Free Dock - Click for Chartview

    The free dock in Ft Walton Beach is located between R6 and R8 on the north side of the ICW, just west of the Brook Bridge. The 3 deepest spots are on the SW corner of the dock, 1 being a lay along and the other 2 being the first two slips. Avoid blocking the pump out station as boaters do come to use it and then leave immediately.

    When True North came by the Fort Walton Beach free dock on the north side of the ICW today, it was closed due to heavy damage from either a boat ramming it or a structural failure. Parts of the face dock were hanging into the water. A mastless sailboat was pulled into a shoreside slip but a sign was posted that the dock was closed.
    Stay safe,
    Tom

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

  • Good Words for Port St. Joe Marina, Port St. Joe, FL, Northern Gulf

    The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, FlThis wonderful facility is accessed by the Gulf County Canal, which departs the Northern Gulf ICW between Apalachicola and Panama City, and runs south to St. Joseph Bay. Port St. Joe Marina lies hard by the town of, what else, Port St. Joe. And, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Just wanted to remind everyone waiting on a good window for the Gulf crossing that Port St. Joe is a great place to hang out while you wait. The marina is top notch, the staff is friendly and helpful, they have cookies & coffee each morning in the office. The grocery store is only a block from the marina and the charming town, with cute shops and
    restaurants, is only a few blocks away. Oh, I almost forgot that they have free bikes available if you don’t have your own aboard. If you are looking for a comfortable spot to wait out rough weather on the Gulf stop in, you won’t be sorry.
    Theresa & Larry Valentine
    M/V Lauren Grace

  • Report on Hurricane Issac’s Impact on Wharf Marina, Orange Beach, Alabama

    Just a short word to let everyone know the Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama came through the storm with no damage. Although the surge level was significant, our Technomarine floating docks simply rose with the tide. The marina was full to capacity with boats seeking safe harbor and all fared well.
    We are eagerly awaiting the fall . . . season with many new amenities for this year including sparkling nautical styled marina showers and laundry and several exciting new restaurants on property. The Wharf. The Gulf Coast’s Best Kept Boating Secret.
    Beverly Morgan

  • Panama City, Florida Plans Redevelopment of the Downtown Marina

    The Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesPanama City Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is one of two facilities owned and operated by the City of Panama City, Florida. The marina is located directly on the Northern Gulf ICW, a short hop from Panama City Inlet, and only one block from the downtown Panama City business district. Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vessels, from 30 feet to 120 feet with drafts to 10 feet.

    Reprinted from the June 9th Panama City New Herald, Ali Helgoth, News Herald Writer.
    PANAMA CITY — Panama City’s plans to redevelop the downtown marina include bringing private enterprise to help invigorate the area’s economy. But, before city officials can try to convince businesses to locate there, they have to convince state officials to allow it. Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Director William Whitson said he is hopeful discussions will go well and the issue will be resolved this summer, keeping the project on schedule.
    “The state talks about wanting economic development, so here’s a real opportunity to help create jobs and to partner together, and that’s what we’re hoping we can achieve out of this process,” he said.
    The marina property was built up more than 50 years ago and leased to the city for public use. Commercial enterprises are not considered public purposes, so before the project can be a revenue generator, which is a goal, the lease must be changed.
    In a letter written earlier this week to Whitson, William Harrison, an attorney hired by the city to represent its interests in the process of changing the lease, outlined the recent history of the lease.
    In December 1991, the state leased the marina property “only for public purposes,” and in January 2011 renewed the lease through 2018 for operation of the marina and boat ramp with an upland commercial marina, he wrote.
    Harrison is waiting for a determination from the state about whether a change in the lease is needed before the first phase of renovations can begin.
    What’s planned
    Phase one, which is still on schedule, includes rerouting parking for those who use the boat ramp, seawall repair and the lighthouse park, which will include a splash pad and an amphitheater, among other features. It is estimated to cost $3.92 million. The total cost of the project is estimated between $11 million and $28 million. The difference is attributed to questions about the extent of work needed to repair or replace the seawall. Changes to the submerged land lease likely would be needed before construction begins on the second phase. It includes improvements to the city park, the area between City Hall and the civic center, and at City Hall. There are pads identified for potential commercial use, and Mayor Greg Brudnicki has advocated relocating City Hall to allow the area to be used for commercial purposes. He has spoken in support for a major attraction, like an aquarium.
    During a CRA meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Harrison will give an update on the process of changing the lease and explain the different avenues for commercial development on the marina. In his June 4 letter, Harrison wrote the city has two paths to reaching its objectives: be the developer or sublease specific locations for private development.
    Harrison recommended “the CRA as sub-lessor be given serious consideration.”
    Whitson said he’s not sure which way the CRA board, which is comprised of city commissioners, will want to go.
    “I don’t know yet,” he said. “I think it’s kind of early yet to figure out exactly how we’re going to approach this.”

    Panama City Marina

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

  • Dog River Marina No Longer Offering Free Overnight Dockage with Fill-up (off Mobile Bay)

    As of May 6, 2012, Dog River Marina, Mobile, Ala. is no longer offering a free nights dockage for a fill up. Ricky says they have lowered fuel instead.
    Joseph

    This is so disappointing. For years with our sailboat, we have stopped at Dog River Marina for fuel and transient dockage before heading up the rivers. In all fairness, we could never accept free dockage after only taking on 10 gallons of fuel for the sailboat but always remembered the Loopers offer of free dockage with a BIG fillup. Now, with our trawler, we were looking forward to the Loopers deal that is no more. We feel disappointed at being a day late and a dollar short. I hope Sonny has LOTS of diesel this week.
    Tom & Patsy

    Apparently, the free dockage with fill-up is still available for members of the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA) and the Marine Trawlers Owners Association (MTOA) only!

    Apparently it’s reported MTOA mebers are still getting the free dockage with fill up.
    Capt. Sterling

    I just talked to Ricky at Dog River Marina and he said that there was a miscommunication between the office and the fuel dock: It’s free dockage for Loopers with a fillup.
    Verify with Ricky or Mike at Dog River Marina fuel dock at 251-471-4517 or the office at 251-471-5449.
    Hope this helps clarify.
    Kris

  • “Homeland Security” Performing Searches Near Mobile Bay

    Yikes! Watch out on the waters from Mobil Bay, moving east to Perdido Key

    Cruising News:
    Mariners be advised that multijurisdictional boardings and vessel searches are being conducted AT DOCKS IN PRIVATE MARINAS in the area extending from Ingram Bayou/Orange Beach to marinas on Mobile Bay. Cruisers report first contact by Homeland Security vessels with alongside questioning at the entrance/exit of Bon Secour Bay. US Coast Guard, local police, drug dog, Alabama Marine Police, and Border Patrol/customs officers are seeking documentation info and ID of captains and crews but do not appear interested in safety or sanitation inspections. We would advise our fellow boaters to be on guard and be prepared. Even if permission is not given, boaters are being informed that the officers are going to “search your boat anyway.” Have all information in order related to liquor carried aboard as well as a ship’s log and other proof of where you have been and where you are going. It was repeatedly asserted to us that we had been in the Bahamas when in fact we had not, and the origin of a bottle of liqueur was closely questioned because it was named “Nassau Royale” even though in fact this product is widely available in the US and is manufactured in Puerto Rico.
    Remember that the officers are authorized to LIE in order to gain information and in severe cases of unreasonable search & seizure without permission, be prepared to request an attorney before answering ANY questions.
    Scott & Cyndi Perkins

    In a country that always trumpets its self designated superiority because it ‘follows the rule of law’ your government doesn’t seem to recognize any Constitutional limits. Rule of law for the proles but for the rich and their badged minions not so much.
    Bosunj

    WE just came through this area and wasn’t boarded, however, we did see a USCG RIB stopping fishing boats and spending a lot of time with them.
    James Angel

  • Cruisers’ Christmas Pot Luck Dinner Offered by Bay Point Marina (Panama City, FL)

    What a great service by our friends at Bay Point Marina. This facility is accessed off Panama City Inlet, and lies on the shores of Grand Lagoon.

    If your travels bring you close to Panama City during the week of Christmas, please join us for a Cajun Christmas Potluck lunch at Bay Point Marina on Wednesday, December 21st. We’ll supply the delicious Cajun fried turkey, dirty rice, soft drinks and tea, and encourage you to bring your favorite holiday dish. Come celebrate a Gulf Coast Christmas with us, complete with Zydeco Christmas music!
    Located just a day’s travel from Apalachicola and Carrabelle, Bay Point is an excellent spot to wait for a good weather window, stock up on essentials, or simply relax and enjoy the warm southern hospitality of the Florida Panhandle. Visit us at http://www.baypointmarina.net for more info on Bay Point Marina.
    Thanks,
    Steve Arndt
    Director
    Bay Point Marina

  • New Orleans Marinas

    Orleans Marina is the closest marina to the city (read as French Quarter). The South Shore Harbor is down by the airport, a little noisier. Both are on the south side of Lake Pontchartrain.
    http://www.marinasinneworleans.com/OM.htm
    Orleans Marina has a grocery store about six blocks away along with a few restaurants in the area. The City Marina is next door to the Orleans Marina and has not been repaired since Hurricane Katrina. Look the Orleans Marina up on Google Map or Earth satellite view as it is a bit tricky getting in the first time. Not hazardous, just huh? What the? Which away?
    Orleans Marina only has about 6 transient berths. They are fixed piers in poor condition.
    Seabrook Marina is on the industrial canal and has a long floating dock on the canal itself about 2.5 miles from Orleans Marina through the gate. However the gate is closed and won’t be reopened until maybe sometime next year.
    So this means if you’re going to Orleans Marina or South Shore Harbour you will head 8 miles up the Rigolets and then 20 miles across the eastern part of Pontchartrain to either marina.
    The Rigolets RR Swing Bridge at the entrance from the ICW and the Highway 11 Bascule Bridge on Pontchartrain will need to be opened.
    If you’re going to Seabrook, then continue on the ICW about 28 miles turn up (north) the industrial canal, get the L&N RR bridge to open and look for the marina on the left about a half mile up. Call on cell when you’re close, they don’t have VHF radio.
    Best,
    Bob & Kemba DeGroot

  • Orleans Marina Recommended (in New Orleans and West End Harbor, off Lake Pontchartrain)

    We recommend Orleans Marina on the “West End” just off Lake Pontchartrain. It is in a well protected basin and is relatively close to restaurants, grocery and drug stores and public transportation so you can get to downtown and the sites. There are other places such as Seabrook Marine on the Industrial Canal and South Shore Harbor both in Eastern New Orleans and Oak Harbor in Slidell. However, you will need a rent car from all three of these locations.
    Pam Jenkins
    Godspeed (now home in Slidell, LA)

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