Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-29-2009
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
This posting was prompted by a recent recommendation for a fuel delivery service in the Fort Myers area: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=113209. Manatee County is the Bradenton area south of Tampa. Cruisers’ Net would like to hear the opinions of our readers on the issue of truck-to-boat fuel delivery.
Please use the “Comment” function below, or follow the “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” link found on the upper right of this, and all (except Chart View) SSECN pages.
Our Homeowners Association in Manatee County has banned the delivery of fuel to vessels in our community. I am trying to find out if this ban is legal. I am aware of three locations where such bans were overturned or rescinded. Dania, North Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. The delivery service we were using is fully insured and has been in business for many years.
The Pink Shell Resort guards the southern shores of the Mantanzas Pass channel, west of Moss Marine, making this new marina the first facility encountered as one enters from the waters of the open Gulf. This fresh facility is clearly a GREAT addition to the cruising scene for the waters hard by the southerly genesis of the Western Florida ICW, and the westerly extreme of the Okeechobee Waterway/Caloosahatchee River.
We just stayed at the Pink Shell resort 1st week April and what a fantastic Marina with a great Pool and beach access
also and great if you have kids too.
They let us use the spa bathrooms and shower and the woman could not stop talking how great they were and the price very reasonable $2.00 per ft’
The Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field, found east of the high-rise bridge, and just north of Estero Island is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. This community is also one of the most welcoming to the cruising community in the Sunshine State. Every year they have a “Cruisers’ Appreciation Day.” How many municipalities show this much welcome to the cruising community?
Best mooring field is at Ft. Myers Beach, and there is a fun, funky beachy tourist strip along the whole island. Not specifically seafood, though they do have a lot of it on the menu, but I always eat at the Plaka Greek restaurant right on Times Square.
The message below authored by Captain Farst, was part of a discussion about dinghy access on southern Sanibel Island, begun on the AGLCA group. As you will see, Captain Farst and his crew found little in way of dinghy landings in this region.
We just were there and dinghy access is a problem in that area. We were at Tween Waters and were trying to get access south near the hardware/grocery store. The Ding Darling administration said that they didn’t have anywhere, the Chamber thought the Rental Outfit would allow you to pay to tie up but they said “no”– twice.
You can go down to Sanibel Marina or up to Tween Waters but we could not find anywhere close to tie up in the middle of Sanibel. Please let us know if you have had better luck.
C. K. Farst
The anchorage reviewed below by Captain Jones lies just off the southern tip of Sanibel Island, and south of Sanibel Island Marina, within sight of the Point Ybel lighthouse. Several years ago, we removed this potential anchor down spot from out “Western Florida Marina Directory.” Several local captains informed us that the holding ground was poor, and several vessels had drug anchor into the nearby Sanibel Island Causeway and Bridge.
Obviously, Captain Jones has not had this problem on these waters, but just be aware that others have!
For many years I have anchored overnight on a ‘sailboat’ as well as ‘power’ just off Sanibel Isl south of the causeway bridge on the [south] tip of Sanibel. You will find 13 to 20 feet of water, and it is very protected from the traditional SE or SW winds. I would not recommend it with winds out of the N or NE. The area to anchor is approximately half way between the entrance to ‘Grandma Dots’ and the lighthouse on the east point of the Island. On weekends you will experience some wave action during the day from boats of all sizes transiting the area.
Regards, Tom Jones m/v Marbles
Sanibel Island Marina is located near the island’s southern tip (Point Ybel), and within walking distance of the lighthouse.
The marina staff is very friendly and helpful. Beware the channel going in which has a sand bar on the southwest side. There is plenty of water inside though the canal are tight for a sailboat. The rest rooms and showers are shared with the resteraunt so they are very crowed most of the day. Gamma Dot’s is pretty good though there are lots of eats on the island. I, personally, liked Trader’s Cafe. Bikes are extremely useful and available. The laundry is $2.00 for wash and dry(great) though the machine is next to Gramma’s. Overall, a pleasant stay.
Here’s a very brief word from a long-time SSECN contributor about Sanibel Island Marina. This facility is located near the island’s southern tip (Point Ybel), and within walking distance of the lighthouse. I would also add to Captain Alan’s notes, don’t miss a meal at Gramma Dot’s Restaurant, on the marina grounds!
Sanibel Island Marina is next. Walk to the lighthouse beach and collect shells. Try a cuban sandwich at East End deli.
Author, Great Loop Navigation Notes
We had an earlier contact here at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net with the dockmaster of what was then the as yet unopened marina at Pink Shell Resort. Sounds like this facility is going to be a GREAT addition to the cruising scene for the waters hard by the southerly genesis of the Western Florida ICW, and the westerly extreme of the Okeechobee Waterway/Caloosahatchee River.
From Captain Smith’s report below, looks like some of the marina’s wet slips are already open and ready for business, while the rest will be coming online by the 25′th of this month (January, 2013).
From our previous research, we know that Pink Shell Resort guards the southern shores of the Mantanzas Pass channel, west of Moss Marine, making this new marina the first facility encountered as one enters from the waters of the open Gulf!
It’s really great to get such an early, positive report of a new marina such as this one. Can’t wait to check out this facility in person!
AT LAST! the Pink Shell Resort, located just inside Matanzas Pass on Fort Myers Beach, has finally opened their new docks – and what a lovely spot it is indeed! Brand new floating docks, with all the amenities of the resort for your use and enjoyment.
We were fortunate to be among the very first customers at the new docks for this past New Years weekend. While the new docks aren’t yet complete (I was told by the dockmaster that all 41 slips should be done by Jan 25), this new facility sure shows a lot of promise. Once checked in, you get the run of the Pink Shell Resort, including all the pools, fitness center, and spa, as well as easy access to the newly restored beach, all just across the street from your docks. It is absolutely first class! There is also an inexpensive trolley service to the hub of Fort Myers Beach at Times Square – a delightful walk along the beach if you choose.
Contact Dock Master Dave O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for details – group rates are also available.
Capt Mike Smith
S/V Blue Skye
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Capt. Armstrong provides “‘nuf said” about the entry channel into Matanzas Pass where shoaling has drastically shifted the deep water. Click link below for a recent Navigation Alert posted on Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.
Lastest info on Matanzas Pass…don’t follow “red, right, returning”…safe to outside green markers #5 & #7, depths 8′ to 13′ on the tides.
Capt. Art Armstrong
State of the Art
In God We Trust
The shoaling described below in this article, cherry picked from the Local Notice to Mariners, is taking place in the primary Fort Myers Beach entry channel, providing access to the very popular Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field, and the various marina facilities in the area. And, as you will see, MLW soundings of 3.5 feet hard by the south-side entrance point, are really bad news for the cruising community.
FORTUNATELY, since we first posted this notice on the SSECN, Captain Glen Vetter, Commodore of the WONDERFUL Caloosahatchee Marching & Chowder Society, has chimed in with some VERY SPECIFIC advice about the below described shoaling, and HOW TO AVOID THESE SHALLOWS! Don’t dare miss Captain Vetter’s contribtuion!
We are still designating these troubled waters as an SSECN Navigation Alert!
FLORIDA-WEST COAST-FORT MYERS TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND WIGGINS PASS-MATANZAS PASS CHANNEL: Shoaling
Shoaling has been reported into the center of the channel between Matanzas Pass Channel Light 5 (LLNR 18107) and Matanzas Pass Daybeacn 6 (LLNR 18110). Depth reported to be 3.5ft at MLW. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11427
And here is very good advice from Captain Glen Vetter, Commodore of the WONDERFUL Caloosahatchee Marching & Chowder Society:
We pass through the outer Matanzas Pass Channel on the way to our home slip. On July 5 at approximately 1300 we came in through the pass at what was a +3-foot tide. There is plenty of water (+10 feet), but you must use extreme caution. At this time of day, if one attempted to proceed directly from day-mark R4 to R6, almost half the distance would be over nearly dry sand.
To safely enter Matanzas Pass Channel – as one passes between R4 and G5, bear nearly due North and make a circular turn, around the newly formed sandbar, until you are headed East between G7 and R8.
Glen Vetter – Commodore, Caloosahatchee Marching & Chowder Society
More information can be found at http://www.beach-bulletin.com/page/content.detail/id/520918.html
wow..3.5…you’re right Claiborne..this is really bad news for sailors anyways..and probably a lot of PB’ers as well…thanks for monitoring..you guys are awesome and I for one appreciate the heck what you do…keep up the good Work.
Captain Morgan – THANKS right back at you for your very kind remarks!!!
I heard last night from a boater who went in the pass on Monday. He said if you hug the green side, water depth was 10 feet.
Fort Myers Beach – Several. My favorite may be the restarant just before the bridge on your stbd side as you enter (Nervous Nellies). You cna grab a slip there. If you go inside, take the north route (hang a left) and eat at the touristy Doc Fords. If you take a right, you can eat at Mantanzas, but not as good I think as Doc Fords. Doc Fords closes down for the summer sometimes, FYI, but Mantanzas does not. You can also tie up there (better buy a drink) and take a walk to the SOB (Smoking Oysters Brewery). Pretty good and usually a live band. There are many others places there if you want to chat about it, but if you tie up around there, you are in the FMB strip and open to lots of stuff and touristy walks. If you have a dink, forget tying up and just grab a ball in the mooring field. The public dinghy dock is on the S side under the bridge.
Fort Myers Beach is blessed with a large number of waterfront restaurants. In the winter they are crowded but accessible and fairly inexpensive. The above mentioned restaurants are great but don’t forget Bonita Bills just beyond Sky bridge on Port side. Good food reasonably priced with dinghy dock, no booze. Dock Fords is good but Matanzas is as well. Big Game Waterfront Grill and Parrot Key Caribbean Grill are in Salty Sam’s Marina. Lot of dockage and fuel plus ships store and several attractions for visiting g-kids. Many others as well. Good moorings. Anchoring around back side of islands. Cruiser friendly with mutual respect!
Here’s a new one. All the discussion concerning Fort Myers Beach usually seems to center around their popular mooring field, or one of their several marinas and/or repair yards. This is the first we’ve heard about free dockage near a restaurant on these waters.
Can anyone supply a more precise, on-the-water location for the Nervous Nellie’s dock. If so, then please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.
If you go to Ft. Myers Beach, there is a wall to tie up to at Nervous Nellies and if you have dinner there they will let you stay overnight. Easy access to the delivery. West Marine is not too far maybe ten miles if someone is available to drive you. Maybe call them ask them the question.
And, as usual, a fellow cruiser responds with the needed information. Many thanks Captain Hellman!
Directions to Nervous Nellies
By Car or Boat
Parking for patrons of Nellie’s and Ugly’s is free, whether you arrive by car or boat.
Dock your yacht with the dock attendant’s
Nellie’s Snug Harbour Marina. The GPS coordinates are 26”27’23.41” N • 81”57’15.18” W.
Salty Sams Marina is the most upstream facility on Estero Bay. It lies along the bay’s northern shores on San Carlos Island.
If you want to be close to the beach, select Salty Sam’s Marina(239-463-7333) in Ft Myers Beach….very protected also and good for a short or long term stay.
What a great, one paragraph review of Naples City Pier and the many attractions available within walking distance. This is indeed a great place to coil one’s lines, BUT be sure to call ahead and make dockage reservations as transient space is at a premium!
Naples is our home port. The city docks are an excellent location. You would be within walking distance of 5th Ave. And 3rd Street for shopping and restaurants. A great foodie type grocery store and hardware store are a short bike ride away. West Marine and Enterprise just a couple miles away. By the time you walk down 5th you are only a few blocks from the beach. Our favorite restaurant (Bleu Provence and their new wine store) is within walking distance.
Naples is a MUST stop.
Betty and Rusty Hughes
Docked there earlier this year on our trip from Ft Myers to Islamorada, very nice stop, friendly people and the trolly ride is well worth the history and the opulence that exists there.
Good words below from Captain Tom about Salty Sams Marina in Fort Myers Beach. This facility is found on the northern banks of the Fort Myers Beach channel, northeast of unlighted daybeacon #28. Note also the brief comment about the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field. These good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
In Ft Myers Beach a great stop is Salty Sam’s-239-463-7333…..floating docks, fuel, wifi, fun restaurant with great food and entertainment at times. From the north proceed under the Mantanza’s bridge, turn to port and follow the channel past the shrimp boats to the marina. You can dinghy to 4 other restaurants from there, and there is a dinghy dock under the Mantanza’s bridge on the west side if you want to go to the beach. The Mooring Buoys are also reasonably priced and controlled by the Manatanza’s Inn Marina. You can reach them on VHF 16.
Our sincere thanks to Captains Gary and Mickey Wiggins for providing the input below concerning the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field. They are responding to an earlier posting here on the Cruisers’ Net (linked below) by Captain Nicole which was mildly critical of this facility.
Let us be clear about this. All of us here at the Cruisers’ Net think the Fort Myers Beach mooring field is a superb facility. In fact, with the city’s “Cruisers’ Appreciation Day,” it wouldn’t be going too far to hold Fort Myers Beach up as an example of how a field should be managed. Sure, everything isn’t perfect, but as soon as you find the 100% perfect place, be sure to let me know!
Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field
We have been staying at the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field for several years. Cruiser Nicole made some good points but I would like to expand and refute some of her points. It’s my understanding that the City of Ft. Myers Beach owns the mooring field, the pump out boat and the dinghy dock. Matanzas Inn manages the mooring rental and provides laundry and bath facilities.
- It is true that the mooring balls need attention as far as cleaning and numbers are concerned. Right before we left, at the end of March, the Harbor Master was taking new mooring balls out to the maintenance pontoon boat so hopefully the problem of the missing 18 balls, the cleaning and fresh numbers will be addressed.
- The “nuisanced indifference” comment about the staff was a bit harsh. There are a lot of new employees this year and they are trying to learn their job. Jerry, the manager has been very accommodating, helpful and friendly to us as have the other members of the staff. The boater’s were allowed to have meet & greets whenever we asked as long as there wasn’t a space conflict. We had them on the grassed area where the picnic tables are behind the office. This was a great way to meet other boaters and enjoy time together.
- Several places that we’ve been have no VHF access and you need to phone in. Our cruising guide informed us of this.
- They do keep a list in the office for pump out. You can either be put on the list or you can contact the Fort Myers Beach Harbormaster for pump out. He does work Monday through Friday and we have been pumped out many mornings. He works mornings and afternoons. We understand that if you need more than one pump out in a week, there’s no extra charge as there is in other mooring fields.
- Trash cans are extremely close to the dinghy dock for small bags and there is a dumpster for larger bags near the shower and laundry rooms. There aren’t any signs directing you but I’ve never seen such signs anywhere.
- The dinghy dock is crowded but we have always been able to find a place to park. The comment about a dinghy being under the dock, inflated, had nothing to do with the dinghy dock. We are the ones who tied up his motor but his dinghy had a slow leak in it, which had nothing to do with the current or dock.
- The sign about the Hotel Guests BBQ was probably amended when boaters asked about it.
- On March 26th there was a Boater’s Appreciation Day Party with hot dogs, hamburger, pizza, beer, wine, and soft drinks provided just for the boaters. They also had raffles for many very nice prizes. We’ve been present for at least three of these boater appreciation events. This year as in other years City Officials were present, along with folks from the Anchorage Advisory Committee asking for suggestions for improving the mooring field. In years past they have listened to and heeded our advice.
- It is my understanding that Salty Sam’s was the first manager of the mooring field and that job was taken from them and given to Matanzas. There must have been a reason.
- The bathroom sign saying “your mother doesn’t work here” came about when people were being inconsiderate and leaving the bathrooms a mess. They are busy bathrooms and we felt that was a way to remind people to clean up after themselves because housekeeping can’t clean between showers.
The people of FMB are friendly and they are very welcoming to boaters. It is a great place to stay with many activities and a beautiful beach, a variety of restaurants and close access to grocery, PO, Hardware and West Marine. We would hate for one person’s gripes to dampen or give a negative impression of the FMB Mooring Field.
Gary & Mickey Wiggins
M/V Little Mick
As you enter Fort Myers Beach from Mantanzas Pass, Moss Marine is the first facility that will come abeam on the southern shore.
We’re staying here now as mooring field is full. Marina facilities and people are very nice. A little difficult to enter when windy. Price was $2/foot with electric included,
Fort Myers Beach is a valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and all of us here at the Cruisers’ Net recommend a visit to this beachside community. We have chosen to present Captain Nicole’s note below in spite of these feelings, as her remarks seem well thought-through, and given in the spirit of constructive criticism. You will also note that Nicole’s problems are not with the community of Fort Myers Beach or really the mooring field itself, but rather the management of the field by nearby Mantanzas Inn.
Review of Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field (mixed review).
Fort Myers Beach is kind of an interesting mooring field situation as the field is not administered by the city but is run by a local place, The Matanzas Inn. Outwardly the field is nice (very strong current, the ball did a number on our hull when the current was opposed to the wind), though be careful, the #s on the balls are largely not legible… if you get your ball number wrong the Lee County Sheriff will pay you a visit to find out why you have not paid and he was not super friendly about it until we got it all straightened out. Also, if you end up in the 2nd field it’s a LONG ride in to the dinghy dock.
The good: Showers are adequate, temperature controlled for hot and cold, clean and hot. Laundry room is clean with a small book exchange. ($1.75 wash/ $1.75 dry). Pump-out guy is SUPER friendly and helpful but only available M-F afternoons if it’s not raining. They have a floating dinghy dock that is less than a ¼ mile to the beach. FMB is VERY dog friendly and most of the beach allows dogs. Mooring field is also within a no wake zone that is largely abided by.
The bad: it’s more about the Matanzas Inn… The act and treat cruisers with a kind of nuisanced indifference.
- Don’t bother calling them on VHF upon arrival, they do not respond (or haven’t the three times we have visited now). You will likely get NO VHF response for mooring assignment.
-They don’t keep a list in the office at Matanzas Inn for pump out, you must call when the pump out guy is there and actually speak to him which is kind of a crap shoot or you have to catch him out in the field.
-No trash cans available anywhere near dinghy dock. No signage at all as to where the dumpster is located either. Ask another cruiser, as you will never find it on your own and it’s a bit of hike to get to it and there are no dock carts.
-dinghy dock is CROWDED. With the current, be very careful how you tie up your dinghy. It is a floating dock but with the current and wakes from the channel we saw one dinghy mashed up under the dock deflated, fortunately another cruiser tied off their engine so it was not submerged but I can assure you they were not happy when they returned to find their dinghy like that.
It just really feels like the Matanzas Inn does not want to run the field and treats cruisers kind of accordingly. The put up kind of obnoxious signs in the bathroom about “your mother does not work here, clean up!” to the signs in the office talking about the great guest welcome BBQ that they then write on with sharpie saying “hotel guests only”… I get it, we are not staying at the hotel and we wouldn’t have tried to attend the BBQ but the signage is kind of obnoxious. They also have about a million signs say “no pets allowed anywhere on the property”. Considering that the dinghy dock is on the property, I chose to ignore this and no one bothered me about it which is good.
They just seem to go out of their way to not make things any easier or more friendly for the cruisers they are tasked to serve. Salty Sam’s Marina used to run the field apparently and I would think they are better equipped to do so now than an Inn. (Salty Sam’s by the way is very friendly, has ice and pump out. They are located on the starboard side heading towards the bridge from the 2nd mooring field next to the pirate ship.)
All and all Fort Myers Beach is a very nice town to visit, it just kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you feel as though you are almost not welcomed to some extent. I would definitely recommend staying in FMB, there are a lot of great cruisers there and it’s a neat town, I just think it would benefit the town to have someone who actually wants to run the mooring field run it.