Posted by Claiborne | 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
Tierra Verde Marina is located directly on the Western Florida ICW, just west of the Pinellas Bayway Bridge, northwest of marker #22. This facility went through a major rebuilding only a year or so ago.
Stayed one night on our 31 foot sailboat. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. They only have 50 amp service, but were able to hook up to their outlet. No showers, but is in a nice location when going to/from Tampa Bay and the Gulf Intracoastal.
Even many veteran Western Florida cruisers have never known that the “official” path of the Western Florida ICW, across the mouth of Tampa Bay, cuts east-northeast under the huge Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and then takes a LONG curl back around to the north and west before passing under the Skyway’s northernmost section (known as the Misner Brige), and eventually rejoins the “official” Waterway just west of the Misner span. We don’t know of any cruiser who actually follows this route consistently.
The vast majority of captains continue north from the Waterway’s buoy #1A, through what the NOAA charts call the “Sunshine Skyway Channel,” rejoining the Western Florida ICW at marker #15. As alluded to above, many mariners think this is all part of the “official” Western Florida Waterway.
Not so, and that means that the Sunshine Skyway channel is not as carefully maintained as the Federally sponsored Western Florida ICW. And so, the shoaling reported below by Captain Davis is actually a long standing problem between Sunshine Skyway Channel markers #3 and #2. If memory serves, which sometimes it does not, while performing research here in 1992, for the first edition of “Cruising Guide to Western Florida,” we found less that ideal depths between #3 and #2.
So, if your vessel draws more than 4 1/2 feet, try to time your passage through the southern foot of the Sunshine Skyway Channel for mid to high tide. And, note Captain Davis’ advice to favor the eastern side of the passage.
In any case, proceed with caution. Once #3 and #2 are in your wake, the Sunshine Skyway channel soon deepens all the way north to the juncture with the official Waterway.
Shoaling at marker 3 in the Yacht Channel [Sunshine Skyway Channel] just North of the Main Span of Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St Pete. Shoaling extends midway through channel, stay towards the Eastern (red) side. Hit bottom with 4.5 foot draft at mid tide.
There was a temporary red [marker] more to the east of the shoal spot a month ago. We favored the west and bumped with 4’5 draft at mid tide too. Next trip I’ll favor the east temporary red marker as suggested.
Bay Pines channel is a narrow passage of multiple markers, which departs the Waterway eastward at mile 120.5 north of St. Petersburg. The destroyed aid to navigation, #11, is the eastern-most Green marker in this channel.
FLORIDA-INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY-BAY PINES CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation.
The Coast Guard received a report of Private aid Bay Pines Channel DBN 11 (LLNR 61250) is destroyed. The remains of the pile is partially submerged and is a hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11411
St. Petersburg Beach anchorage is on the east side of Long Key just off the Gulf Waterway in Boca Ciega Bay. If you know of a dinghy landing near this anchorage, let us hear from you.
Is there a ramp for dingy anywhere at this location?
And a good answer from Capt. Million, WHICH WILL BE OF INTEREST TO ALL TRAILER CRUISERS IN THE SUNSHINE STATE:
Find ramps in Florida here…
It shows that there is a ramp at the Gulfport Marina.
Tierra Verde Marina is located directly on the Western Florida ICW, just west of the Pinellas Bayway Bridge, northwest of marker #22. This facility went through a major rebuilding only a year or so ago. Looks like the previous ownership did not survive that project.
We stayed at the Tierra Verde marina for one night. We have a Sea Ray 390 Motor Yacht. We called ahead and they had folks waiting for us and brought us into one of the floating docks. They have both floating docks and fixed docks. Please take Caution, the marina provides little protection from the elements, specially the extremely fast current the rips through the areas from east to west. This combined with a strong easterly wind made for a interesting docking experience. Also because of the location of the marina, most of the night our boat was rocking from side to side.
We arrived just before 5 and everyone vacated the facilities promptly at 5. We were told where we could obtain shore power. However, when we connected in, power was not available. Two other transit boats came in after hours and were not able to obtain shore power either. Talking with the boat broker on premises, a lot of the shore power hookups do not work. Why they parked us at one I have no idea.. but we were able to run the generator all night long. I was expecting a discount on the overnight fee due to this, but I was told none was available.
From what I have learned, the marina has just changed hands to a new owners who is trying to make improvements…. The people working there are great… but I think it is a work in progress…..
Madeira Beach – Johns Pass Anchorage lies on the western edge of Boca Ciega Bay in the large, charted offshoot striking west from flashing daybeacon #7 (on the Johns Pass approach channel).
We have a 37ftO’Day CC with a 5ft draft. We spent a quiet night in this anchorage back on Friday night just before last Memorial Day weekend. It’s just inside the John’s Pass bridge. Well protected. We have a 5ft draft and saw depths to 5ft 2in. The charts show 4 to 6 ft depths with a soft mud bottom. There are a couple of public type parks on the south side of this anchorage if you want to dingy in. It is walking distance to John’s Pass shops and restaurants.
One of the real advantage to our new ARGUS service, is that we receive advance warning of new shallow water reports directly from Survice Engineering. Be SURE to follow the “Chart View” link below to get a bird’s eye view of where this shallow spot is to be found. After following the link, turn on the new Argus layer by clicking in the “Argus (MLLW)” checkbox.
As you will see, the shallow soundings in question seem to lie just north of the intersection between the Clearwater Pass inlet channel and the marked, northward running cut which leads to Clearwater Yacht Club and Clearwater Municipal Marina, between markers #2 and #4.
We would WELCOME reports from local Clearwater area cruisers who have seen similar or dissimilar soundings along this stretch!!! Please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.
We are establishing a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Navigational Alert between markers #2 and #4!
Capt. Bill of Reality Check Sailing provides this report on the approach to Clearwater Marina. Capt. Bill noted water depths as low as 5 1/2 feet, confirming previous indications now available through Cruisers Net.
ARGUS Development Team
We ran aground between G6 and G7, less than 5 feet on that side of the channel. Favor R4 side in that area.
About 6 months ago I was in that area. Knowing the perennial problem, I did some sounding with my dinghy. I discovered that the shoaling between R4 and R2 had extended from the west clear across the channel. However, there is a deep streak (over 10 feet) just outside (east) the marked channel.
When I later went through with our 5 1/2 foot draft boat I went very close on the correct side of R4, swung out of the channel, and then came back in very close to the correct side of R2. No problem at all.
It appears that the channel may have actually moved from the charted and marked location. However, I did not verify the width of the “new” channel, and it could be quite narrow.
The direct channel to Clearwater Municipal Marina (there is another entrance from Clearwater Pass Inlet), cuts sharply west, just south of the high-rise Clearwater Beach Bridge. Yes, indeed, Captain Bill is quite right. There is plenty of shopping, dining, and a very nice beach within easy walking distance!
We pulled into Clearwater Beach Muni a couple of days ago & love it. After a long 23 hour crossing from Panama City we like the beach close, quaint shopping within blocks, & CVS 2 blocks away. The only draw back is the commercial boats constantly in & out of the harbor. I’d still give it high marks.
Gulfport is a wonderful place to visit on the Sunshine State’s western coastline. There are all sorts of good restaurants, art galleries and very interesting small shops in downtown Gulfport. This little community is truly delightful. The city marina resides on the northern shores of Boca Ciega Bay and is easily accessible from the Western Florida ICW, just north of Tampa Bay.
We kept our boat at the Gulfport Municipal Marina for the past 2 years and cannot say enough good things about it. It all starts with the outstanding staff who understand customer service and truly like working there. We can’t say enough good things about Dennis, both Tonys and Larry(retired now).
The facilities and docks are good and the basin is very protected. We never worried about our boat when we left it in the slip for the past two summers.
The walk to the waterfront restaurants and shops is under a mile and we never had a problem. Most of the time there were many other people doing the same thing. The waterfront area is unique and well worth the walk. We even anchored there a few times and took the dinghy in. And the restaurants are outstanding. Even though we will not return there this year, we will still drive to Pia’s for dinner.
We have fond memories of this marina and will return!
John and Carrie Weiss aboard S/V Zephyr Catalina 320
Pasadena Marina lies on the northernmost reaches of Boca Ciega Bay. This facility’s entry channel leaves the Western Florida ICW between markers #35 and #37
We would recommend Pasadena Marina, in St. Pete. Safe secure, clean and very reasonable prices. Plus it is right across the street from the hospital, which we hope you won’t have a need to use. Our two night stay turned in to 3 weeks due to unusual circumstances, so we got to know the staff well and would stay again any time we’re in the area.
The marked entry channel to Klosterman Bayou cuts northeast off the Western Florida ICW’s run through St. Joseph Sound (north of Dunedin and south of Anclote Key) between markers #32 and #34. Many years ago, this cut led to a restaurant, but only condos lie at the northeastern terminus of this shallow passage now, and cruising captains (wisely) seldom enter this “channel.” Thus the notice below will be of concern to very few captains, but, in an abundance of caution, we present it anyway.
FLORIDA-WEST COAST-ST PETERSBURG-KLOSTERMAN BAYOU: Hazard to navigation
The Coast Guard has received a report of a submerged 12FT Maroon John Boat in the vicinity of Klosterman Bayou in approximate 28-06.9N 082-47.6W. All mariners are requested to exercise caution while transiting the area. Chart 11411
Gulfport, Florida is a wonderful place to visit on the Sunshine State’s western coastline. There are all sorts of good restaurants, art galleries and very interesting small shops in downtown Gulfport. This little community is truly delightful.
And, the city marina is not too shabby either. It resides on the northern shores of Boca Ciega Bay, and is easily accessible from the Western Florida ICW, just north of Tampa Bay.
Some years ago, I suggested taking a taxi from the city marina to downtown Gulfport. I felt that was the right advice in those days. Since then, however, the marina neighborhood seems to have improved, and, as you will see below, Captain Steve and his family have twice hot footed this trek with no problem.
In the 7th Edition to the Cruising Guide of Western Florida, Claiborne advises cruisers staying at the Gulfport Municipal Marina to use a taxi to get to town because of the neighborhood around the marina. My wife and I have walked to town the last two nights. There are lots of people out walking dogs, etc. and all have been very friendly. The marina is a great place as indicated in the guide. We look forward to returning here in the future.
This is the second laudatory message we’ve had here on the Cruisers’ Net in the last week about what a good idea it is to coil one’s lines at Clearwater Municipal Marina on Clearwater Beach. Perhaps we should all heed this siren’s call!
Perhaps the best stay you’ll have along Florida’s West Coast is on Clearwater beach. I’ve been just about everywhere along the ICW and cannot find a better location.
Clearwater Beach boasts plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs, services, and a decent sized Publix supermarket within walking distance from Clearwater Municipal Marina which can handle boats of all sizes.
It is very family and pet friendly with lots to do on any given night. On weekends they set up a huge outdoor movie screen near the pier and show a different film each night — free of charge.
The city has two marinas; a new floating slip on the Clearwater side (right along the ICW) and the original marina located on the beach. I highly recommend the older marina as the location is incredible.
Fuel dock has diesel/gas/free pumpouts
TV: cable provided but you’ll also pick up about 40 channels of digital over-the-air channels
Cell: Sprint:4g, Verizon:4g,AT&T:3g — all very strong signals.
Food: About 20 restaurants within a fifteen minute walk. Three within a five minute walk or less; one on location.
Shopping: Two unique gift shops on location and about thirty shops within a fifteen minute walk. Publix is a twenty minute walk or take a cab for about $3.50
Entertainment: Pier is one block away along with one of the most beautiful white sand beaches you’ll ever see; almost every bar/restaurant has live entertainment on most nights.
You have got to love the Clearwater/St. Pete area
The note below from Captain Picklemann was copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list. As you can tell, this message was in response to a question about what one might do and see while in Clearwater. And, while some of these activities require auto transportation, others do not. Anyway, Randy does a great job of outlining some really neat area activities.
We are partial, but think that the Clearwater/St. Pete area is special. We are in Clearwater and can recommend any number of restaurants. For boating activity, there is a boat rental livery located at the City Marina on Clearwater Beach. Rent a small outboard boat and cruise up the ICW. Caladesi Island is a state park that is truly a treasure. Often voted to be among the top ten beaches in the world. Its an Island and the only practical way to get there is by boat. If you don’t want to rent a boat for the day, you can take a ferry. There is a kayak rental concessionaire on the island. You can easily cruise further up the ICW to the Anclote River and check out Tarpon Springs. Of course, you can also drive to Tarpon Springs.
There are boat excursions available from many different places, running the gamut from fishing trips to sunset cruises to day sailing trips to dinner cruises on mini-ships. Spring Training has started. The Phillies train in Clearwater, the Blue Jays train in Dunedin and the Yankees are in Tampa.
If you want to drive about 90 minutes north, Crystal River provides a wonderful opportunity to see and swim with Manatees. The 70 degree water is too cold for my taste, but being from Buffalo, that will probably feel like the 4th of July to you.
Sounds like a good place to check out if you are docked at the Clearwater Municipal Marina!
In Clearwater Beach near the municipal marina is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Winter the tailless dolphin, also many restaurants and tour boats in this area.
Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club is a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, for my money a collection of the most successful and prestigious yacht clubs on the Eastern or Gulf seaboards. Having had the good fortune to visit with Treasure Island myself on multiple occasion, I join my voice with the author of the note below in voicing the first class status of this facility.
If anyone is in the area of Treasure Island, FL, you just can’t beat “The Club at Treasure Island” just off from Treasure Island Causeway on the GIWW at Mile 119. Talk with Les, the Dock Master, and go to this website and he will take good care of you.
The price is right. (really, really, right.) There is a junior Olympic size swimming pool, a Tiki Bar by the pool, tennis courts, a big work out room with everything you can think of, and a good restaurant. You are within a mile of Publix and the gulf. On Gulf Blvd you can pick up the “Suncoast Beach Trolley” that will take you anywhere from Clearwater to St. Pete Beach to Pass-a-Grille. Any place else you want to go, Les or Bob will drive you or “Lady Etta”, the Harbor Host, will also help you out. They are wonderful people here and they make you feel right at home.
Just to let you know, Treasure Island Tennis & Yacht Club is no longer a member of the FCYC.
Lynne and Rich
Treasure Island Yacht and Tennis Club hasn’t been a FCYC member for sometime. Their association with the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, as a member club, ended when the Treasure Island Yacht Club was sold to the current owner.
Just north of the Western Florida ICW’s passage across the entrance to Tampa Bay, the Waterway passes under two bridge, both confusingly enough, known as the Pinellas Bayway. The southern of the two is knows at the “E span,” with the northern bridge bearing the moniker of “C span.”
Captain Dave is quite right that for sailcraft, or even slow moving trawlers, the restrictive opening schedules (follow link below for the schedules) can be “challenging.”
This bridge answers to “Structure E” and opens every 30 minutes which makes it tough to get to Structure C in 10 minutes.
And, here is a chance for the cruising community add input to this bridge situation. Carefully read Captain Michael Lieberum’s note below. In the past, Captain Lieberum has been extremely generous with his time and expertise over the years in helping us get all the bridge info on the Cruisers’ Net as accurate as possible. He also has MORE THAN A LITTLE TO DO WITH SETTING BRIDGE OPENING SCHEDULES! So, PLEASE respond to Captain Lieberum’s question, by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, or e-mail him directly at the address he provides.
If it is a problem getting from one bridge to next bridge in 10 minutes would it be better to change the schedule of Structure “C” to a 30 minute schedule; which would allow 15 minutes between bridges? Please email your responses directly to me: email@example.com
Seventh Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, Miami, FL
Clearwater Municipal Marina is definitely a well run city owned marina facility. Their marked entry channel cuts west, northwest off the Western Florida ICW, just south of the high-rise Clearwater Memorial Causeway bridge.
We visited Clearwater Municipal Marina in April 2010. The docks we experienced appeared to have been recently renovated and in solid condition.
The restrooms were inside the locking gates, in good working order, and the cleanest we have experienced. We were given a key for access upon arrival.
There are many great restaurants in the area within walking distance. Clear Sky Beachside Cafe is one of our favorites. It’s classy, upscale, and serves great seafood.
Scott and Jolene
Clearwater Beach, FL