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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 vesRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersSlips 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
Regatta Pointe MarinaSt. Andrew's MarinaPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destination

Archive For: NORTHERN GULF – All News

  • Important – Mobile Bay Navigational Hazzard

    Wow, here’s a piece of news and no mistake! It could really ruin your whole day on the water to hit the “pole or iron post” described below by Captains Tood and Brenda. May I be so bold as to suggest that EVERYONE who will be cruising the waters of Mobile Bay, get out their charts and plot the position of this obstruction!
    If anyone else has more info about this navigationa hazzard, PLEASE either click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, or send e-mail to me at

    Morning All,
    Life’s2Short just crossed Mobile Bay and is headed north on the  Tenn-Tom.  Yesterday as we were headed across the bay at low tide we saw  what appeared to be a large barnacle encrusted stump or pole or iron  post.  We were in 11′ of water and this baby was not moving and was 30+  inches in circumference, it was definitely attached to the bottom.  We did  contact the Coast Guard and reported it’s position but I also wanted to let the  list know of  it’s coordinates;  30.22.161 N  87.54.686 W    When Life’s2Short cross’s Mobile Bay, headed west, we always leave  the GIWW shortly after entering Mobile Bay and head N.W. on a direct line  to Dog River.  The obstruction is on that line about an hour north of  the GIWW.  The scary part was that we were following our old track on the  Cap’n software and we came within 10 yards of it before we saw it sticking out  about 6″ above the water!!
    Todd  & Brenda Lanning

    We recently completed a cruise from Punta Gorda, FL to Tennessee aboard our Viking 43 DCMY. We saw something like a stump just outside the west side of the channel and just south of Dog River in Mobile Bay. Anyone interested in fresh info the the cruise up the Gulf Coast, Tenn-Tom and Tennessee River can check out our blog at
    Tom Murphy

  • Free Fort Walton Beach City Dock

    If memory serves, and sometimes it does not, there was an earlier posting here on the Cruisers’ Net about the free city dock at Fort Walton Beach. In any case, what a deal, assuming, of course, you can clear an 17-18 foot fixed bridge (see below)!

    Ft Walton Beach free dock if you can clear 17-18 ft bridge . Low amp electric & H2O available . Length & beam probably not a problem if you can clear the bridge . Airport short hop .
    Jim Tharp

    There are 50′ bridges at Navarre to the west and downtown Fort Walton (to the east Brooks Bridge) to navigate to get to the city dock. It is indeed free but you must call city hall or after hours the police department to request permission to stay. Numbers are posted on the dock.
    Steve Purvis

    We stopped here last spring on the way north. We did NOT spend the night but did use the free pump-out, and while I took care of that Jennifer went to the market for supplies. I don’t recall any low (18′) bridge to get into this dock. The free city dock is just off the ICW and just west of the high bridge.
    Jim & Jennifer

  • Apalachicola, Florida Cruising Notes

    Apalachola is one of the most enjoyable ports of call in the Southeastern USA. I highly recommend a stop here. Looks like vern though Captain Reggie had a few marina problems, the local dining was pretty good!

    Subject: Apalachicola
    Cruising News: Arrived Apalachicola 5/24 in late afternoon.  Miller Marine would not answer phone or VHF.  Scipio Marina would not answer phone or VHF.  We wanted to buy fuel and do some shopping and go to a reataurant for much hailed oysters.  We ended up at the Raw Oyster Bar which has free docks for those who eat there.  We ate there.  Oysters were adequate, some being more cheeese than oyster.  Conch fritters were interesting.  Prices seemed a little high for the fritters and the deep fried zuccini.  We had a nice night at anchor just east of R"20" just downstreem of the railroad bridge.  quiet, good holding and if you did drag, you would drag to deeper water.  We did not drag.
    We're transiting in a Cal Cruising 36 sailboat with 48.5 ft mast and antenna clearance and 5.5 draft.  When headed from East Pass to Apalachicola, stay left as you approach the bridge.  Right side shoals into the channel to 4 ft.
    Reggie Good

  • Bay Point Marina (Panama City, Grand Lagoon)

    Bay Point Marina is located in Grand Lagoon, just off the Panama City Inlet. This is a FINE facility!

    This Marina located in Panama City,Fl. is worth the stop.  Great service, excellent layalong docks with a great swiming pool and Deli.  Steve the Manager runs an excellent operation, you couldn/t ask for more. Highly recommend.
    Ray & Patsy
    on the Patsyray

  • More Praise for Port St. Joe Marina

    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, FlIt's getting commonplace for me to post laudatory message for Port St. Joe Marina here on the Net's "Northern Gulf'" section. I could not agree more. This is a superb facility, and they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR!

    We are in beautiful Port St. Joe.  What a great Marina, everyone so friendly and a first class run Marina here!  I can see why everyone likes the Port St. Joe Marina. . .  After enjoying Port St. Joe I am not sure if we can leave this place.  It is very charming
    and all the needs for a looper are within walking distance.    Lovely place with lovely people.
    A Fellow Cruiser

    Port St. Joe Marina let us use two nice cruiser bikes this morning and we had a great bike tour of Pt. St. Joe.  The homes are charming and the community shows a sense of pride and commitment in keeping things up.  A neat memorial and musem to the home of the Floriday Constitution; baseball fields, lovely kept parks with trails and lakes.
    There are quite a few neat new business ventures in town, and we tried and enjoyed Mama Joe's for a wonderful salad with fresh greens, artichokes,kalamata olives and  garden fresh onions.  The pizza was wood fired and a fine renedition with three types of mushroom and cheese and fresh basil.  It was a great Sunday brunch meal and a nice young man that has started the place is doing a great job.  Neat interior and nice wine and beer bar.  Indirect lighting, well decorated with great black and white photographs of the coast artistically hung.  Uncluttered and tasty atmosphere and food.  Highly recommend.
    Looks like Tuesday is our departure headed west, and know Pt.St. Joe will be in our return plans.
    Thom and Ouarda
    The Black Pearl

  • New ICW (Alabama Canal) Marina Between Pensacola and Mobile Bay

    It seems as if there is a whole collection of new marinas sprouting up along the ICW, between Pensacola and Mobile Bay. GOOD NEWS for cruisers! 

    Subject: Barber Marina
    Cruising News: A beautiful new marina has just opened at ICW  MM 161 which is just east of the entrance into the Alabama Canal.  Together with The Wharf and Lulu's HomePort marinas this stretch of the ICW offers transient more first rate docking opportunities than any other stretch of the Northern Gulf.  Bob Riggs
    Bob Riggs

  • Destin Harbor Entrance

    The entrance to Destin Harbor from East Pass inlet has ALWAYS been subject to shoaling. I remember once some years ago when depths got so bad, even local boats could only enter and exit at high tide. From Captain Gordon's note below, looks like we are just about in that state again. If the past is any guide, the harbor entrance will probably be dredged, but, until that happens, enter Destin with the greatest caution!

    Subject: Destin Harbor
    Cruising News: Cruisers beware of entry to Destin Harbor.  The depth around Noriega Point is extremely shallow.  Stay close to bridge and don\'t cut the entry short from the South.  City is trying to correct, but it won't be soon.
    Gordon Fornell

  • Shields Marina (St. Marks River – east of Dog Island and Carrabelle)

    Shields Marina sits in the tiny, but interesting community of St. Marks. By land, it is almost due South of Talahassee, but by water, you must run a long, but extremely well marked channel from the Gulf of Mexico, to the waterfront. This is an excellent facility that more cruisers should use!

    We are back home for a week or so. Stopped at Shield Marine in St. Marks Fla today. Chuck and his son Brent Shields own the Marina. They have built a new Marine store..Opening in a couple weeks. Bob & I have never seen a such a Magnificate Facility for selling boats and a Marine store combined. The detail especially ..I have no words for this..I gave Chuck Shields you web site and name. You do have them on your site. Cruisers that are doing the Loop..This is the place to stop. We remember Chuck Shields in a small store that has been flooded many times. We kept our 30′ Allures Classic in St. Marks.Claiborne their store blew us away. Chuck took us on a tour..I could not take pictures. As we were leaving the county inspectors came up the elevator for COO. We will get back there for pictures before we leave
    Claiborne You know how to Publish the news. I said to Mr. Shield that you Penned all of the cruising Guides

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

  • Port St. Joe Marina (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, FlI, too, have always been impressed with Port St. Joe Marina. You must depart the ICW, and cruise down the “Gulf County Canal” into St. Joseph Bay, in order to reach this facility, but the trip is more than justified.

    Deborah Ann has moored at Port St. Joe Marina for the past Month. We wanted to escape the Wisconsin winter and enjoy the warmer weather of the South.
    Most of the Loopers have passed this point by now, but for those still heading this way, give Port St. Joe a try. The sign at the harbor entrance says “Port St. Joe Marina, the friendliest marina on the Gulf Coast”. I think it should say “on the Great Loop”. Port St. Joe Marina is owned and operated by the same companies that own and operate Bay Point in Panama City, which also receives high marks.
    The staff has been helpful beyond expectations, the locals have been great. When you arrive you will possibly be greeted by Ray Whitney, commodore of Port St. Joe Yacht Club, a wonderful ambassador of the Port St. Joe area. There is a grocery store nearby, sporting goods store, laundry, restaurants, and a nice downtown, all within walking distance.
    Winter slip rate is $1.00 per foot per day. Long term transient rates are very attractive. We plan on staying for another month before heading part of the way back north, and hope to see some Loopers that are continuing South.
    Jeff DeVries
    Deborah Ann
    Nordic Tug 37

    Subject: Diesel Price
    Cruising News: Port St Joe Marina just lowered their price of Diesel to $1.88 gallon. with 10 cent off for boat U.S. and Sea Tow membership.
    Ray Whitney

    This is a great place to stop and fuel up and provision very friendly staff that arevery helpful. Diesel fuel is $1.88 per gallon with a 10% discount for boat us. Resturant on site as well as well within walking distance like 2 blocks. Grocery store at the gate.

  • Apalachicola & Carrabelle, Florida Marina Recommendations

    I copied the question and answer below from the AGLCA list. Captain Jame’s advice sounds spot on to me!

    The MV lady lee 34′ trawler will be in Apalachicola about Dec 09 & 10, looks like bad weather window for big bend route. What are the best Marina’s to stay at in Apalachicola & Carrabell3.We will need crossing information. We travel at about 7 MPH.
    Joe & Jamie Schwartzott
    34′ trawler Lady Lee

    In Carrabelle you have two marina’s I would suggest…either ‘The Moorings’ (850-697-2800) or ‘C-Quarters’ (850-697-8400).? The latter is less expensive, but The Moorings offers more amenities (pool, boaters lounge, etc.), so depends on what you are looking for.
    Re: crossing information, “Buddy” at The Moorings can give you good information, and you can call the National Marine Weather service out of Tallahassee (850-942-8833). They welcome calls from mariners making “the crossing” anytime of the day or night, and will give you updated marine WX info based on current & forecasted conditions in addition to what they are broadcasting on the local WX VHF channel.
    Tom Jones

    We left Carrabelle on Thursday afternoon and arrived in Clearwater on Friday morning. We stayed at the Moorings and one added advantage is they are close to a company called Marine Systems who can help you with any mechanical/electrical problem you have. It is run by Eric Pfeufer and he is on top of most jobs that they take on. Tom Conrad’s weather forcasts are very helpful. Have a safe crossing.
    Neil Shaw
    Adagio Due GB52
    m/v Marbles

    Apalachicola: the best marina is Scipio Creek Marina.
    Carrabelle:  I say the best is The Moorings, (new name Moorings Marina  Sea Change).
    Many loopers stay at C Quarters then walk to The Moorings for Buddy’s  advice on crossing the Gulf.
    Alan  Lloyd

    In Appalachicola, we stayed at the Water Street Hotel Marina.  It was
    just fine for a one-night stay.  Appalachicola Bay is very exposed.
    If you plan/need to be there multiple days, perhaps a conventional
    marina would be better depending on what you want.

    In Carrabelle, we stayed at C-Quarters.  It was fine.  Cheap.  The guys were very welcoming and helpful.  Never did met “Buddy,” but met several fishermen who seemed to know those waters pretty well.    We left our transit plan with C-Quarters, and they were glad for us to do so.  We called when we got to Tarpon Springs to let them know were had arrived safely.  Great service for $25 and change.
    Peg and Jim Healy, aboard Sanctuary
    currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL

    We were at Scipio Creek marina in Sept. as we had made a short trip over from Panama City.  Although the people are nice, I don’t suggest this marina as they are over run with ants.  We had to leave our boat for a week and when we came back we were totally infested with them. Were told by the lady who owns the marina that they fight them constantly.  No fun. C-quarters in Carrabelle is a better bet.
    Many blessings,

  • Fort Walton City Dock

     Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Copied the discussion below from the Net's "Ask Your Neighbor" page. I thought it would be of equal value here!

    Hello All, Does anyone have the proper procedure to stay at the Ft. Walton City dock.
    Joe & Jamie Schwartzott
    MV Lady Lee

    You have to check in with the city manager's office before 5:00 pm at  850-833-9500.
    Search "Ft. Walton dock" on the forums and you will find several posts about the dock.  Perhaps the most helpful is one from Chuck Gorgen on ODYSSEE posted November 27, 2007.  In case you have trouble with the search, here is the gist of his post:
    "We stopped at the Fort Walton Beach town dock at MM 222.6 on the GICW, 0.4 miles before you get to the bridge, north of R8.  There are three usable 45' slips, one 35' slip, and 100' of face dock  to tie to, and free water and pump out, in about 6 1/2' of water.  There is a city park with a gazebo and an emergency launch ramp.  Library is across the street, Publix is less than 2 blocks to the east, and there is a town trolley that operates up and down the main drag.  You are required to check in with the city manager before 5:00 PM to get permission and notify the police that you are here.  Call
    850-833-9500.  GREAT STOP!"
    It is worth every penny (free)!

    We agree the Ft. Walton dock is super.  The only problem we encountered is that if you arrive there on Saturday or Sunday when the town manager's office is closed it isn't quite as simple.  We arrived
    about a month ago, called the office, and since it was closed we talked to someone else.  I'm not sure who, but I thought it was the police.  Anyway I was told that only the manager could give
    permission.  When I asked if we could get permission from someone else since she wasn't there, I was told no.  I then asked what would happen if we did and the reply was we would get a ticket.  Anyway we stayed, enjoyed the town and left early the next day.
    If you'll arrive on the weekend, Try to call on Friday so you don'thave that uncomfortable feeling all night.  Enjoy your stay!

    Three of us Loopers (C-Life, Wanderin' L&M, and Bella Luna) stayed at Ft.  Walton City Dock on Friday after Thanksgiving.  I called the number listed in Skipper Bob, I don't have that number with me, but the police dispatcher answered.  I requested permission to stay at the dock and he responded that he would get permission from his Capt. and call me right back.  He called back shortly and said permission granted and to have a great evening. Several police cars patrolled the area that evening, and a city worker came down to check the pumpout on Saturday morning, which he said that they do every morning.  We had a pleasant stay.
    Robert & Kay Creech

  • Thoughts on Cruising The Missisippi Sound

    I can only add a hearty, “Hear, Hear!”

    And don’t forget the sound, the Mississippi Sound. It’s shallow and can be treacherous. Trick is to get on it when it’s settled down after a front al passage and get back off it before another comes through. There are almost no all weather anchorages so it’s either hang out in marinas or get across it quickly.
    Larry and Teri

  • Panama City Municipal Marina Has New Web Site

    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 vesIt is a pleasure to bring you this good news about Panama City Municipal Marina. It is, without a doubt, one of the best municipal marina faclities I've run across in my 28 years of being a cruising guide author. And, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR!

    Subject: New web site
    Cruising News: We would like to announce that Panama City Marina has a new stand alone web site separate from the city.  The new site,, has much more information specific to the marina & the local area.  We hope this will be helpful to boaters passing through our area. Some areas of it are still under construction but the site is up & running.  We welcome any feedback.
    Bill Lloyd

  • Gulf Shores, Alabama Marina Facilities

    Looks like there are at least two excellent choices when it comes time to visit a marina in Gulf Shores, Alabama. For those new to these waters, Gulf Shores lies directly on the path of the Northern Gulf ICW, just east of Mobile Bay.

    We have stayed at “Lulu’s Homeport Marina” and “The Wharf ” for the last few nights and found both to be the finest marina facilities we have stayed at thus far.  Nice floating docks. Lulu’s has added a bath house and laundry room and Lulu’s restaurant is excellent The Wharf has shopping and a number of good restaurants. Lulu’s was $1.50/ft with BoatsUS discount.  The Wharf was $2.00/ft. We had heard that both of these marinas were cost prohibitive.  We didn’t find that to be the case and are glad that we did not miss these “jewels”.  Both had diesel at $3 a gallon and said it would be dropping into the $2′s soon.  PTL
    Brad and Patti Salvage
    “Salvage Crew”

    Staying at The Wharf at Orange Beach AL.  Modern floating docks with free wifi, cable and plenty of power.   On property modern outside mall with stores, restaurants, bars, and movie theater. Very nice stop.

  • Pass Christian, MS Harbor Slated For Expansion

    Always glad to hear of marina expansion plans, particularly on a coastline that is still recovering from hurricane damage!

    Subject: Ms Gulf Coast Marinas
    Cruising News: Pass Christian Harbor has just recieved 25 million dollars for harbor expansion and there is also a proposed marina being built in Bay St. Louis, Ms.  So happy to see the coast coming back!
    Russell Traina

  • Free City Dock – Fort Walton Beach, Florida

    If memory serves (which sometimes it does not), there was a much earlier posting here on the Net’s “Northern Gulf” section about the free city dock at Fort Walton Beach. However, the series of messages below are much more detailed than any previously posted here!

    Fort Walton Beach City Dock, on the panhandle of Florida, is a free dock. Although there is no electricity, it is a very nice dock, with several fingers.  There is room for 8 boats.  There is a 24 hour limit and permission is needed from the City Manager to stay, but that is only a phone call (850-833-9500)
    There is a Publix very close and a West Marine a little further.
    Darrell & Beth Berge
    M/V L’Attitude Changer

    As i recall only 2 maybe 3 of the docks had 4.5′ to 6 ‘ of water. i believe the outward 2 on the west side were safe.

    George, your memory is correct, water is a little skinney on the east finger docks and those closer to shore.  If you find there is still a white water hose coiled at the water faucet, that is mine.  After watering up two of us last December, hose was nicely coiled on the dock, and left there, not realising the hose belonged to us.
    George and Miriam, we look forward to seeing you in a few days in Beaufort, assume you must be getting close.
    Chuck and Claria Gorgen
    ODYSSEE, waiting for spring in Rimouski, Quebec

  • Bay Point Marina (Panama City, FL)

    Bay Point Marina lies on the shores of Grand Lagoon, whose entrance channel runs off Panama City inlet. This passage can be just a little tricky.
    Bay Point Marina is a fine facility, and I have always been very impressed with its staff and physical plant. Coupled with the equally excellent Panama City Municipal Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR), this community can claim pleasure craft facilities second to none in the Florida Panhandle.

    The next stop eastbound that we recommend is Bay Point Marina just west of the ship channel inlet at Panama City. Call Steve Arndt, Harbormaster at 850-628-1740 (he spoke at your Fall Rendezvous), or click on:
    Enjoy the Emerald Coast with us!
    Dick Hanson
    on Souvenir in the FL Panhandle

  • Baytowne Marina (San Destin, FL)

    Baytown Marina at San Destin is found on the southern shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, east of Destin and East Pass., It always interesting to read opinions from other cruisers. In the past, I have only been moderately impressed with this facility, but  message is certainly going to cause me to take another look!

    The biggest life-changing discovery for us on our Loop in '03 was the FL Panhandle. We're now in our 8th winter at Baytowne Marina, Sandestin, FL (on the south shore of Choctawhatchee Bay, just east of the Mid-Bay Bridge at Destin).  Check out the marina (and resort) website: Or call Capn Ron, Dockmaster at 850-428-1016.
    Enjoy the Emerald Coast with us!
    Dick Hanson
    on Souvenir in the FL Panhandle

  • Mary Walker Marina (Pascagoula, MS)

    Mary Walker Marina IS off the beaten path, and has a bit of a backwater feeling. I bet Captain Reggie did raise a few eyebrows in bringing a sailcraft to this marina!

    If you want to raise eyebrows, go to Mary Walker Marina in a sailboat!  Can be done, crossing the marsh.  Makes you pucker if your draft approaches 6 feet.
    Really nice people.  We were having problems and they were great help.  Engine water pump died.  Leon knew where to get one.  Margaret took me there and back.  King's Machine Inc is a full service machine shop and diesel engine shop.
    no fuel
    no diesel.  We needed diesel so Leon "Little Boy " Mendenhall, employed there 43 years, took us for two loads in gerry cans. 
    all their fuel pumps need to be replaced since hurricanes. 
    no pumpout.
    50 amp electricity at our dock but useless to us since se didn't have a 50to30 adapter and neither did they.
    no onsite repair services.

  • Anchored On Pearl River

    The Pearl River acts as the coastal division between the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. It has MANY cruisable miles, and lots of anchorage possibilities. Just watch for barge traffic on the main Pearl River channel coming downstream from the Stennis Space Center.

    Tucked in tonight at anchor just east of the CSX Pearl bridge on the Pearl River.  Fish are jumpin’, owls are hootin’, beautiful scenery.  soft bottom.  hooked on third try.8-9 ft of water.
    Reggie Good

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