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Cruisers Helping Cruisers
Twin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comSouthwest Florida Yachts Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Gulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-437-0881
gulfharbourmarina@comcast.netLocated at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City ofPink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, Florida
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, FlRegatta Pointe MarinaThe Town of Fort Myers Beach proudly operates and maintains the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field. The field boasts 70 mooring balls available for public rental year-round, and accommodates vessels up to 48 feet in length. The mooring field is located east of the Sky Bridge between San Carlos and Estero Islands in Matanzas Pass. For recreational cruisers, the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field is a wonderful destination. Coming ashore at the Town’s dinghy dock puts boaters in walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and public transportation. Mooring ball rental fees are $13/day or $260/month. All renters MUST register with Matanzas Inn upon arrival. The dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). The dock is located beneath the Sky Bridge between Matanzas Inn Restaurant and the public fishing pier. St. Andrew's MarinaFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destination

Archive For: West FL – 12 – ICW, Dunedin to Anclote River

  • Severe Shoaling in Tarpon Springs, Anclote River, West Florida, 8/6/2014

    The charming community of Tarpon Springs lies at the eastern end of the Anclote River, upstream of the northern terminus of the West Florida ICW. The turning basin is in the heart of downtown Tarpon Springs.

    FLORIDA – WEST COAST – TAMPA BAY TO PORT RICHEY – ANCLOTE RIVER: Severe Shoaling.
    There is severe shoaling in the center of the Turning Basin, Anclote River, Tarpon Springs in the vicinity of Anclote River Turning Basin Daybeacon 51 (LLNR 26360) and Anclote River Turning Basin Daybeacon 53 (LLNR 26365). Mariners are advised to use extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11411 LNM: 31/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Tarpon Springs

  • Jetty Construction on West Side of Honeymoon Island, north of Clearwater, FL

    Hurricane Pass, separating Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island, leads to south St. Joseph Sound and Clearwater Harbor. These new jetties will be on the west side of Honeymoon Island in the vicinity of charted Pelican Point. Cruisers approaching Hurricane Pass from the north should avoid this construction site.

    FLORIDA – WEST COAST – TAMPA BAY TO PORT RICHEY – HONEYMOON ISLAND CHANNEL: Jetty Construction.
    Florida Dredge & Dock, LLC will commence jetty construction on or about August 15, 2014. Operations will include constructing 3 T-groins on the gulf side of Honeymoon Island centered approximately 1 mile north of Hurricane Pass. The jetties will extend 250 feet west from high water. Hours of ops will be daylight hours only, (6 days a week) Monday through Saturday. The project will run until approximately July, 2015. Further information contact Don Fletcher, Project Superintendent (727) 942-7888. Chart 11411 LNM: 30/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hurricane Pass and Honeymoon Island

  • Shoaling Reported South of Anclote Key, near West Florida ICW Statute Mile 150, May 9, 2014

    From Skipper Bakos’ report and with the several shoalings reported on the chart, it would seem prudent to avoid the southern tip of Anclote Key when entering or exiting the ICW between Anclote Key and Three Rooker Bar. If you have navigated this channel recently, let us hear from you.

    There is also shoaling due south of Anclote Key charted as 8 to 9 feet depth. I ran hard on the shoal last night for 6 hours. It is about halfway between marker #5 on the south side of Anclote Key and the partially submerged wreck shown on the chart. There is less than 5′ at low tide there. Further south, closer to the wreck there was good depth.
    Bob Bakos

    I have seen several boats aground at the southern tip of Anclote Key over the last couple of years. The odd thing is that I haven’t run aground there yet as I seem to have a natural affinity for sand bars. On a good day, the shoaling is easy to see by the color; watch carefully for signs of breakers. Capt Bakos’ advice is good, always give Anclote a wide berth and watch your depth carefully.
    Cambren Davis

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Anclote Key

  • Good Words for Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs, FL on the Anclote River

     Anclote Key, Anclote River and the charming community of Tarpon Springs lies astride the northern terminus of the Western Florida ICW. So, this is either the jumping off point when headed north across the waterwayless Big Bend region of Western Florida, or the first possible stop when cruising south from Carrabelle, Dog Island or Apalachicola.
    Turtle Cove is one of the newest marinas in Tarpon Springs. We had occasion to visit here in February of 2012, and were favorably impressed. Most of the dockage for transient craft is located on an artificial island jutting out into the creek, and connected to the mainland by a narrow, but auto accessible neck. Neat concept!
    I might also add that all the downtown Tarpon Springs attractions, including the MANY superb Greek style restaurants are within easy walking distance, and there is a fresh seafood market literally next door to Turtle Cove.

    Turtle Cove was great last winter. We draw 5.5’ and went in and out at mid+ with no issues.
    Win Benbow

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

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

  • Good News from Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs, FL on the Anclote River

     Anclote Key, Anclote River and the charming community of Tarpon Springs lies astride the northern terminus of the Western Florida ICW. So, this is either the jumping off point when headed north across the waterwayless Big Bend region of Western Florida, or the first possible stop when cruising south from Carrabelle, Dog Island or Apalachicola.
    Turtle Cove is one of the newest marinas in Tarpon Springs. We had occasion to visit here in February of 2012, and were favorably impressed. Most of the dockage for transient craft is located on an artificial island jutting out into the creek, and connected to the mainland by a narrow, but auto accessible neck. Neat concept!
    I might also add that all the downtown Tarpon Springs attractions, including the MANY superb Greek style restaurants are within easy walking distance, and there is a fresh seafood market literally next door to Turtle Cove. The review below comes to us from the AGLCA forum.

    We’re at Turtle Cove Marina right now. We came to Tarpon Springs to have some work done on our 1976 Pearson 365 Ketch (sailboat). We’ve been here a few weeks and really like Turtle Cove Marina. Like others have said, the staff is friendly and very knowledgable, the location is very convenient to Olde Tarpon Springs (the sponge dock, the restaurants, etc) and is only a few blocks from both the Jolly Trolley (runs on weekends) and the Pinellas County Transit (runs every day) bus stops. The marina entrance was dredged recently and when we came in with the tide about 1 foot above Mean Low Water we never saw less than 6 feet (we draw 4’6″). The marina is a ‘work in progress’ with all phases to be completed this year. This includes a restaurant on the water (about a 5 minute walk from the transient docks) and a new Heads, Showers and Laundry Building ‘on the Island’ (it’s not really an island anymore but thats where the Transient Docks are). Oh, and rumour has it there’ll be an additional Tiki Bar there too.
    Dockage Fees:
    Right now it’s $1.50 a foot and that includes electric! Also, when you stay 5 days you get 2 more days free. When you stay that second week (and again, when you pay for 5 you get 2 free) you also get the next 2 weeks free!!!
    Yep, you pay for 10 days and end up staying for 30. (such a deal!)
    As I understand it from Ed, the owner, when the constuction is done and all the phases are completed he will probably increase the rate per foot but he said he will still have great discounts for transient cruisers.
    steve

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

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

  • Shoaling Hard By Anclote River Entrance, near Western Florida Intracoastal Statute Mile 150

    Anclote River Entrance Channel - Click for Chartview

    Anclote River Entrance Channel – Click for Chartview

    The shoaling described below seems be shelving to the west, on the broad swath of waters between Anclote River entrance channel marker #5 and a flashing marker #7, located well east of Dutchman Key, and marking a little used, treacherous channel, which rejoins the Anclote River passage between marker #5A and #9. Hopefully, this reported shoaling should not impede navigation in the narrow Anclote River entrance channel. However, care should be taken when approaching the westernmost set of markers from the north.

    FLORIDA-TAMPA BAY TO PORT RICHEY-ANCLOTE ANCHORAGE SOUTH ENTRANCE: Shoaling.
    Shoaling exists at the Anclote Anchorage South Entrance to a depth of 2ft at high tide in approximate position 28-09-12.60N/082-50-12.00W. The shoal runs NW to SE between Anclote Anchorage South Entrance Daybeacon 5 (LLNR 26085) and Light 7 (LLNR 26100). Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Anclote River Entrance

  • More Good Words for Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs, FL on the Anclote River

     Anclote Key, Anclote River and the charming community of Tarpon Springs lies astride the northern terminus of the Western Florida ICW. So, this is either the jumping off point when headed north across the waterwayless Big Bend region of Western Florida, or the first possible stop when cruising south from Carrabelle, Dog Island or Apalachicola.
    Turtle Cove is one of the newest marinas in Tarpon Springs. We had occasion to visit here in February of 2012, and were favorably impressed. Most of the dockage for transient craft is located on an artificial island jutting out into the creek, and connected to the mainland by a narrow, but auto accessible neck. Neat concept!
    I might also add that all the downtown Tarpon Springs attractions, including the MANY superb Greek style restaurants are within easy walking distance, and there is a fresh seafood market literally next door to Turtle Cove. Yummmmmm!

    We stayed at Turtle Cove 2 years ago and are looking at returning for a week in just a couple of days. Top notch marina, top notch people.
    Jim and Lisa Favors

    I agree, Turtle Cove is one of the best, and Tarpon Springs is always loads of fun. Be careful of your depth, if you draw more than 4′ then wait for the tide. Don’t miss the beaches at Anclote Key while you are up this way.
    Cambren Davis

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

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

  • Good Words for Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs, FL on the Anclote River

     Anclote Key, Anclote River and the charming community of Tarpon Springs lies astride the northern terminus of the Western Florida ICW. So, this is either the jumping off point when headed north across the waterwayless Big Bend region of Western Florida, or the first possible stop when cruising south from Carrabelle, Dog Island or Apalachicola.
    Turtle Cove is one of the newest marinas in Tarpon Springs. We had occasion to visit here in February of 2012, and were favorably impressed. Most of the dockage for transient craft is located on an artificial island jutting out into the creek, and connected to the mainland by a narrow, but auto accessible neck. Neat concept!
    I might also add that all the downtown Tarpon Springs attractions, including the MANY superb Greek style restaurants are within easy walking distance, and there is a fresh seafood market literally next door to Turtle Cove. Yummmmmm!

    We have been tied up here for 2 days since our crossing from Carabelle. This is probably the friendliest Marina we have ever docked at. Check in included a tour of the town in a 8 passenger golf cart. The channel can be a challenge at low tide but easy to navigate. We may stay an extra day so we have another chance at the great Greek food.
    Tom and Melesia Goodman
    “Journey” Monk 36

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

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

  • Two Good Visits to Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs, FL on the Anclote River

     Anclote Key, Anclote River and the charming community of Tarpon Springs lies astride the northern terminus of the Western Florida ICW. So, this is either the jumping off point when headed north across the waterwayless Big Bend region of Western Florida, or the first possible stop when cruising south from Carrabelle, Dog Island or Apalachicola.
    Turtle Cove is one of the newest marinas in Tarpon Springs. We had occasion to visit here in February of 2012, and were favorably impressed. Most of the dockage for transient craft is located on an artificial island jutting out into the creek, and connected to the mainland by a narrow, but auto accessible neck. Neat concept!
    I might also add that all the downtown Tarpon Springs attractions, including the MANY superb Greek style restaurants are within easy walking distance, and there is a fresh seafood market literally next door to Turtle Cove. Yummmmmm! These excellent reports come from our good friends on the Great Loop Forum.

    We stayed at Turtle Cove in Tarpon Springs, just after our crossing last January. We agree with every nice thing that’s been said about that marina. I would add that there’s a nice bike path, the Pinellas trail, that you can access not particularly far from the marina, and it goes all the way to Clearwater if I remember correctly (but be REALLY careful about riding in front of a stopped car–it might suddenly decide to take off!!!!!) Also, try Hellas Greek restaurant, and order flaming “oopa” cheese! Tarpon Springs was a fun stop, and the marina handy to all it has to offer.
    Anita & Don
    “Limelight”

    Let me chime in on Turtle Cove. I found it in a cruising magazine while we were sitting in Steinhatchee. We had been to Tarpon Springs twice before by car and knew that we did not want to stay at the city dock area. There was always too much traffic on the water there so we jumped at the chance to get in a more secluded spot. You have to be careful getting back to it and should holler at a local as you move down the canal off the Anclote River to ask about which side the locals hug. Turtle Cove was a treasure. They have this unique circular island with slips all around. I don’t know if it is manmade or not. We could walk or ride our bikes about two blocks and we were at our all time favorite restaurant “Mama’s Greek Restaurant” where they let us bring our bikes inside because they were worried someone might
    bother them. Mama’s is on the street behind the main drag. We spent several days at Turtle Cove, ate three times at Mama’s and if I could revisit any marina on the Loop it would be Turtle Cove.
    Rusty Carlisle

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

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

  • Good Advice When Visiting Dunedin, FL (north of Clearwater, near Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 139)

     To experience the many charms of delightful Dunedin, FL, we would suggest giving the nod to the Dunedin Municipal Marina. The entire downtown business district is within easy walking distance. It’s a bit more of a hike from Marker 1 Marina.
    However you get there, Dunedin is well worth a visit, and having dinner at Kelly’s Bistro is worth the entire effort!!!!
    The message below was copied from our friends at the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA, http://www.greatloop.org/).

    When you arrive at either Marker 1 or the Dunedin Municipal Marina be sure to askfor your welcome packet if the dockmaster forgets. If you’re looking for peace and quiet try the Caladesi Island State Park Marina. Caladesi has one of the best beaches in all of North America, or so it’s been rated. Lots going on all around town; restaurants, shopping, farmer’s market everyFriday/Saturday.
    Dunedin is right on the Pinellas Bike Trail, midway between Tarpon Springs and St. Pete. The Trail is an easy way to get around. On the weekends trythe Jolly Trolley for transportation between Tarpon Springs and Clearwater Beach.
    Ron & Jan Matuska

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

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

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marker 1 Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marker 1 Marina

  • Invitation from Marker One Marina, Gulf ICW, Statute Mile 142

    Marker One Marina - Click for Chartview

    Marker One Marina lies south of the Dunedin/Honeymoon Island Bridge, along the easterly banks of the Western Florida ICW.

    When making your Gulf Crossing plans, please consider staying at Marker 1 Marina! We’re only 800 yards off the ICW in Dunedin, FL (halfway between Tarpon Springs and Clearwater). We have good power, good water, well maintained docks, 24 hour security, and a well-trained staff that’s eager to please. Even better: AGLCA members receive fuel and dockage discounts! Looper transient dockage is only $1/ft/day, $5/ft/week and $11/ft/month, and includes water, power, cable TV, and WiFi. You’ll find a grocery store, pharmacy, bank, dentist, dry cleaner and several restaurants all within a half mile of the marina. And if you’re staying with us around December 7th, plan on taking part in our annual Christmas Boat Parade and join us for a Cajun Christmas Shrimp Boil!
    Thanks,
    Steve Arndt
    Marina Director
    Marker 1 Marina

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

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

  • More on Great Mobile Marine Mechanic in Tarpon Springs (off Anclote River and Anclote Key)

    Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net first heard about Frank Dudley three years ago, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=25501, and we’re glad to know he is still in business. From minor work to major installations, Captain Dudley obviously knows his business. If you need repairs anywhere near Anclote Key and Tarpon Springs, give him a call at 727-741-0775.

    Agree with positive comments about Mr. Dudley
    We were stranded as transients in tarpon springs on our cruise to orange beach AL and needed complete repowering.
    Two new engines were installed perfectly and Frank Dudley saved our boat.
    Way too involved for this message but would be glad to elaborate at above email: mickeyc05@gmail.com
    Thanks again Frank!!!!!
    Michael Chandler MD

  • Hazard: Sunken Vessel, Anclote River Near Tarpon Springs FL, May 28, 2013

    Tarpon Springs - Click for Chartview

    This sunken fishing vessel in the Anclote River lies 1/2 nautical mile west and downsteam of the Tarpon Springs City Marina.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-TAMPA BAY TO PORT RICHEY-ANCLOTE RIVER: Hazard to Navigation.
    The F/V “SKYE MARIE” is submerged in the vicinity of Anclote River DBN 49 (LLNR 26350) and Anclote River DBN 50 (LLNR 26355) near the edge of the channel. The vessels outriggers are extending up and outwards toward the center of the channel. A TRLB displaying Q R characteristics and a 4NM range has been established in position 28-09-23.229N/082-45-47.410W in the vicinity of Tarpon Springs Sponge Dock. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11411

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position in Tarpon Springs

  • Turtle Cove Marina (Tarpon Springs, FL on the Anclote River)

     Anclote Key, Anclote River and the charming community of Tarpon Springs lies astride the northern terminus of the Western Florida ICW. So, this is either the jumping off point when headed north across the waterwayless Big Bend region of Western Florida, or the first possible stop when cruising south from Carrabelle, Dog Island or Apalachicola.
    Turtle Cove is one of the newest marinas in Tarpon Springs. We had occasion to visit here in February of 2012, and were favorably impressed. Most of the dockage for transient craft is located on an artificial island jutting out into the creek, and connected to the mainland by a narrow, but auto accessible neck. Neat concept!
    I might also add that all the downtown Tarpon Springs attractions, including the MANY superb Greek style restaurants are within easy walking distance, and there is a fresh seafood market literally next door to Turtle Cove. Yummmmmm!

    Sea Biscuit here for several nights. We draw 4.6 feet, and in our case, we can only come and go at, or near, high tide. We almost sit on the bottom in our slip, but not quite. A very nice marina, we like it, just that the water depth at low tide is probably about 3 to 3.5 feet total depth at lower tides during the approach, 5 to 6 at higher tides. Easily doable, but requires a slow and careful approach, which is necessary anyway due to busy traffic, close quarters, and some narrow channels. Enjoy, as the hospitality is tops! Perfect location and excellent security.
    Sea Biscuit, Defever 44

    Visited the first week of Feb. Nice marina w/ floating docks. Looong walk to laundry and showers. New showers planned near docks. Problem being water depth. I draw 57″. At MLLW I had 32″ under boat (by lead line). Probably the shallowest dock in the marina. Poor choice by dockmaster. Great location to visit sponge dock area with restaurants and shops (two blocks) and also the downtown with cathedral, upscale antique shops and historical buildings. Approach channel had 6′ spots near high tide. Timing is important for deeper draft craft.
    Has Royer

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

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

  • TowBoatUS Tampa Bay Earns “Tower Of The Year” Award

    This just in from our good friends at TowBoat/US. Looks like the Tampa Bay franchise of this very popular service is really up to snuff!
    Notice this franchise has satellite operations on the Western Florida coastline, from Tampa Bay north through the Big Bend region!

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla., January 29, 2013 — An on-the-water towboat company that helps Gulf Coast boaters get home safely was singled out for its professionalism at the BoatUS Towing Services Annual Conference recently held in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Tower of the Year honors went to TowBoatUS Tampa Bay, which is owned and operated by Capt. Larry Tieman and Capt. Clayton Tieman. The company has eight locations along the Gulf Coast from Tampa Bay to Cedar Key, including St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Hudson, Homosassa River, Crystal River and Yankeetown.

    The company also received two additional awards – the BoatUS Membership Achievement Award for selling the most BoatUS memberships in the entire fleet, and was honored with the BoatUS Dispatchers Choice Award, given by the dispatching staff at the BoatUS 24-hour call centers for providing members with fast response and utmost professionalism during the dispatch process.

    “We have grown our business to become the largest BoatUS towing service provider in the United States and we are very proud of our accomplishments,” said Capt. Larry Tieman. “With fourteen boats and sixteen captains, we handle over 2,500 requests a year for on-the-water assistance. If you’re broken down or run out of gas near shore, we’re very proud that we can get a bright red towboat with a professional captain to your location in usually an hour or less,” he added.

    “The Tieman’s operation is the standard bearer that many in our towing fleet look up to, showing others how to run a successful on-the-water towing business in one of the busiest regions of the country,” said BoatUS Vice President and Director of Towing Services Adam Wheeler. “And they do it professionally, with the great care that our members deserve, and always with a positive attitude.”

    BoatUS Towing Services offers an “unlimited” towing plan for Florida boaters for just $149 a year, which includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, the national average out-of-pocket cost for a tow is about $600. For membership and towing information visit http://www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.

  • “Druggies” Using Crab Pots In the Gulf of Mexico??????

    OK, folks, everyone has to take a look at this series of messages just copied from the AGLCA forum. All I can add is that this reminds me very much of the lyrics of one of my favorite 1960′s songs:

    “It’s a strange, strong world we live in, Master Jack!”

    Memsahib was stopped by Homeland Security for a routine document check about 10 miles south of Tarpon Springs. The Coasties didn’t even come aboard — we just handed them our papers and that was it. But it was a nice day and they hung around talking about the boat and the trip. etc.
    One of my comments was that I couldn’t understand the economics of the stone crab business because on our Gulf crossing we started seeing pots 32-35 miles out of Tarpon in 50 feet of water. How could anyone afford to fish those traps? The boss security guy became very, very interested and asked if they were rows or singles (singles and pairs), whether there was evidence of any otherpot lines in the area (no), whether we saw any suspicious boats (no — just that night’s Looper Flotilla). Seems that planes are dropping drugs way out and marking them with crab pot floats so nobody thinks anything about it.
    Thanks to a rendezvous with Catmandu to dodge pots, we were exactly on the rhumb line to Buoy R4, so I was able to give them a pretty accurate description of where the pots were, but I didn’t have my tracking feature turned on, so couldn’t give them a GPS fix.
    I would strongly suggest that if any future crossers see single spots way out in deep water, that they plug in a waypoint and phone it in when you land. Also, that’s another good reason to reach Crabland well after dawn,
    since running into a black Cigarette boat full of drug fishermen wouldn’t be any more fun than snagging a pot line.
    Paul

    For what’s it worth, when we came across last week, the crab pots appeared to be in straight lines, typical of normal fishing style. When we saw a single, we sometimes had to really look for its mates but normally saw them. Also, we observed typical lobster boats working those traps. That said, everyone should stay alert to suspecious activity. Cruisers are the best eyes and ears for Homeland Security and they know it.
    Stay safe,
    Tom

    Tom’s right, what appear to be isolated pots could well be in lines so far apart that they are hard to spot. Still, I felt badly that I couldn’t give them a good fix, and hope any ohters spotting really dodgy ones will do so.
    Paul

  • A Word From the New Director of Marker One Marina (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 142)

     Captain Steve Arndt, author of the message below, and the new dockmaster at Marker One Marina, gained a superb reputation for his welcoming, can-do attitude towards all cruisers during his former directorship at Bay Point Marina in Panama City, Florida. With Captain Steve at the helm, we feel strongly that things will look up very quickly at Marker One.

    Now you’ll be able to enjoy that same level of friendliness and service at a new location a few miles farther south! Marker 1 Marina, (http://www.marker1marina.com – my new home in Dunedin, FL) is located on the [Western Florida] ICW just north of Clearwater and is a wonderful stop along the Loop. With grocery stores, restaurants, banks and thrift stores just a few blocks away, you’ll find just about everything you need close by. Caladesi Island State Park (recently named the Best Beach in America) is just a short kayak or dingy ride away. Meanwhile the town of Dunedin is proud of their Scottish roots and has a diverse selection of bars, restaurants and shops that just beg to be explored. And with 300 feet of lay along transient dock, private showers and 24 hour security, your boat will feel right at home, too.
    I look forward to sharing my new hometown with many of you in the coming years!
    Thanks,
    Steve Arndt
    Director, Marker 1 Marina

    Click Here To View the Westerb Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marker One Marina

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

  • Report from Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

    Caladesi Island Marina - Click for Chartview

    As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd. It lies just north of the Dunedin and the Honeymoon Island Bridge

    Caladesi is located immediately north of Clearwater Beach. The beach is still great for shellers, especially near the northern end. Dockage is $1/ft at a slip, $2/ft on a t-dock; 30 amp elec. and water included. 24/7 bathrooms on shore, and a snack bar. Florida senior citizens (65+) pay half. Limit is 14 days, but you can contact them and offer to be a volunteer: free dockage in exchange for 20 hr/wk easy labor. For example we met someone who’s job was to pick up any trash (rare) on the beach. She would carry two bags; one for trash, one for shells.
    There are signs that say “watch out for rattlesnakes” but we haven’t seen any. We have seen lots of armadillos, some raccoons, numerous types of birds, gopher tortoises, and very few people.
    The channel is shallow in places, but marked and doable for our 4’6″ draft. A great place to visit. Chosen twice by “Dr. Beach” as the best beach in the country.
    Wade Ehlen
    MT 36 Shady Lady
    New Bern NC

    Wade is spot on about Caladesi Island. It was one of our favorite weekend spots since it was so close to home yet so far away. The beach is absolutely beautiful.
    But Wade, the rattlesnakes are there, although they tend to be in the wooded areas. There used to be a skin mounted on the wall in the rangers office that must be 6′ long. We have seen them that big in the winter, warming themselves in
    a sunny spot on the nature trails.
    Regards,
    Randy Pickelmann
    Morning Star

    When we were in Caladesi last year we caught a line in the prop while in the marina so my husband hopped over to free it. About five minutes after he was back on board a rattlesnake swam by on its way over to the mangroves. We were glad we hadn’t seen it before freeing the line because we might have left the line in the prop rather than risk swimming with the snake. The next day, we also watched as a ranger chased one off the park’s work boat. Still, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. And Caladesi is so beautiful its worth the stop, even with the snakes!
    Paige Caldwell

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Caladesi Island State Park Marina

  • Praise for Tarpon Springs and Turtle Cove Marina, off the Anclote River, Gulf Coast

    Turtle Cove Marina - Click for Chartview

    Turtle Cove Marina is located off the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs channel, west of Marker #50. Detailed channel instructions are found in our Western Florida Marina Directory listing for this facility, linked below.

    Tarpon Springs is one of our favorite stops on the Loop, lots of great food, music, marina life, fresh sea food and a good place to rest up after a long crossing. Last year we stayed at Turtle Cove Marina for a week (good weekly rate) and found it to be close to everything. To read more and see photo’s of Tarpon Springs, the farmers market and more you can click on the following link: http://trailertrawlerlife.com/?s=tarpon+springs&x=0&y=0
    Opa,
    Jim & Lisa Favors

    Fish Market

    Sponge Docks

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Tarpon Springs and Spring Bayou

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