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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
Boca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaPink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comLocated 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 ofGulfport Marina includes dry boat storage, ship store, bathroom, public boat ramp, parking, fueling stations, lighted range markers and guest docking facility.239 461-0775 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.net Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350
The 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. Regatta Pointe MarinaFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersThe 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, FlSt. Andrew's MarinaPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destination

Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • St. Petersburg Municipal Marina – Nearby Attractions and Dining (Tampa Bay)

     Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. St. Petersburg Municipal Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) is one of the best managed city owned facilities that this writer has ever reviewed. Check out the message below for nearby points of interest!

    Downtown St. Petersburg also has excellent dining along Central Avenue. Also to be seen is the new Dali Museum and if you like art glass the Chihuly museum. Many folks take the trolley around the downtown area to sightsee and it passes the Pier which has shops, an aquarium and a restaurant on the roof overlooking Tampa Bay.
    Paul Schlechter

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina

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

  • Clearwater Municipal Marina Nearby Attraction (near St. M. 136)

    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.
    Paul Schlechter

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Clearwater Municipal Marina

  • Anchorage Regulations for Boca Grand Bayou May Still Be Brewing (Gasparilla Island, near St. M. 28.5)

    We posted an earlier article here on the Cruisers’ Net, linked below, which seemed to indicate that anchorage regulations might be in the offing for the popular “Basin Anchorage” near the charming village of Boca Grande, on Gasparilla Island. At the time, I editorialized that any such regulations would be contrary to Florida State Law UNLESS it could be shown the bottom land in the “basin” was privately owned. Based on the note below from Lieutenant Jim Brown, it looks as if someone may be trying to establish private ownership claims.

    Cruising News:
    This has been circulated by the Punta Gorda boater’s Alliance.

    The waters of Boca Grande are far clearer than is the issue of Jurisdiction and Anchoring in the Boca Grand Bayou. The issue of Boca Grand Bayou pivots on whether or not they are “Waters of the State”. Waters of the State are all navigable waters which existed at the time of statehood. They include the area from the mean high mark seaward. The problem with the Boca Grand Bayou, are the maps of this era, which are at best poor and show very little detail. Further compounding this problem is the fact that dredging took place in 1926 and possibly earlier, at least in the area of the 5th Street docks. Waters of the state do not include any private lands made navigable by artificial means such as dredging. The Florida DEP has some submerged land leases in the northern end of the Bayou and claim ownership there, but cannot confirm ownership as state land for areas of the southern end. The ownership of the water in the southern end is unclear (fifth street dock excluded) and may very well be owned by private interests. If it is privately owned then that party could regulate who used it. If it is owned by the state then state/county boating laws would apply.
    There are no county ordinances regulating anchoring at this location, but F.S.S. 327.44 relates to anchoring when it interferes with navigation. With this being said, the jurisdiction for enforcement would fall upon the Lee County Sheriff’s Officer, Law Enforcement Officers of the FWC and the United States Coast Guard. I have found a web site that gives a good look at the whole picture of anchoring. http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/flsgp/flsgpt99001.pdf I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at 239-850-9076. Should you uncover any further information on this matter please let me know.
    Sincerely,
    Lieutenant Jim Brown
    Lee County Sheriff’s Office
    Marine Unit

    Frank Cushing

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting About Possible Anchorage Regulations on Boca Grande Bayou

    Click Here To View A Second, Earlier Posting About Possible Anchorage Regulations on Boca Grande Bayou

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Boca Grand Bayou “Basin Anchorage”

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Boca Grande Bayou Basin Anchroage

  • A Mixed Review of the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field

    The 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. 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.
    Nicole

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field

  • Don’t Anchor Overnight in Tarpon Bay (Sanibel Island, near Statute Mile 5.5)

    Tarpon Bay lies off the northeastern shores of Sanibel Island, north of Dixie Beach. I’ve never recommended anchoring here, or even that cruising size craft should attempt to explore these waters, dues to the iffy depths and less than stellar channel markings. Now, below, we hear from Captain John that it’s actually illegal to spend the night here, and you could receive a ticket.
    Fortunately, there are plenty of other places nearby to drop the hook. Follow the link below for full info on the “Ding Darling Anchorage”

    We received a $75 ticket (in Nov 2009) for trespassing when we anchored OVERNIGHT inside Tarpon Bay in the Ding Darling Nat’l Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. Tarpon Bay’s waters are closed to all boats from sunset to sunrise we were informed. This is NOT posted, but we paid the ticket. No desire to get in a tussle with the Feds. And [the] Officer couldn’t have been nicer about it. He really didn’t want to write us the ticket.
    Apparently the refuge “owns” (long-term leases from the State of FL) the Refuge which includes the bottom of the Bay within the Refuge which is all the enclosed water inside the sandbar at the inner mouth. The Refuge Boundary extends beyond the Bay mouth and I believe includes “Horseshoe Bay” anchorage area. But Jim was very clear that the Refuge didn’t claim to “own” the bottom of any waters outside of Tarpon Bay itself. NO TICKETS WOULD BE WRITTEN TO ANYONE OUTSIDE TARPON BAY. Jim told us that we could anchor just beyond the sand spit “point” in front of the houses and the Refuge would have no problem. Apparently a rental company of “Party Boats” had been suggesting the Bay as a weekend late night party spot to patrons. Neighbors complained. Tickets were issued and the company was warned but I guess it was a real problem for some time. Well a neighbor saw us enter the Bay (on a Fri. evening) and called the Refuge Director.
    So the word should be spread just to be aware not to enter Tarpon Bay after dark. Apparently one fisherman has a permit to do so. Everyone else is technically trespassing, they maintain…
    We should have passed this info along at the time. Better late than never?
    John McLaughlin

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For the Ding Darling Anchroage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Ding Darling Anchorage and Tarpon Bay

  • Calusa Island Marina (Goodland – Marco Island)

    Calusa Island Marina is found on the shores of southern Marco Island, within the borders of the old fishing village of Goodland. There’s lots of good places to eat within walking distance, including my personal favorite, “Little Bar.” Entering this facility can be a little tricky for first-timers, and the shallowest portion of the unofficial Marco Island to Naples waterway lies nearby with MLW depths of as little as 4 1/2 feet.

    Calusa Island Marina update as of Feb. 1st, 2011. From Claiborne Young’s outstanding 2008 Cruising Guide to West Florida (7th ed.), he implied that Calusa would be cruiser friendly in our hour of need. They are. VERY. Our story follows the important facts: Calusa has now made available a dinghy dock fee for we who prefer the hook at night. The fee includes shoreside access, showers and laundry. Transient “dockers” are still very welcome too. Andrew Barksdale whose card says “President” and “Managing Partner”, absolutely ROCKS. I now think of him as “can do – Andrew”. That spirit runs thru what we saw of the operation. “Just ask first and we’ll make it work,” is what he told me referring to out-of-the-box arrangements. The protected anchorage in Blue Hill Creek has good depths for a half mile beyond him, Andrew said. Calusa has Block Ice! Gas prices competitive with Marco. Their water tasted very good on the day we filled up (after ASKING FIRST). Groceries, Ace Hardware with LP refill station (see our story below) and West Marine are about 3 and a half miles. We have our own bike which makes that easy for us in flat S. FLorida. Andrew has plans to have loaner bicycles available to dinghy dock users in March and I strongly encouraged that ASAP. A loaner car is hopefully in the works for next season. Goodland’s restaurants are a big draw as is prominently mentioned in the Guide (as well as above). We too have been told that Marker 8 Restaurant is good. The lunch special at Little Bar is still good at ~$6.95 we hear.
    Our story: 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning at Tiger Key about 12 miles South and East of Goodland/Calusa Island Marina. A defective back-up propane 20 lb bottle (seal completely missing!!! on Blue Rhino exchange LP bottle – we’ll check that in future before accepting an exchange) won’t connect at all, which means our fridge and its contents will soon be room temp… Claiborne’s superlative guide steers me toward Calusa as my first call (on the cell). Andrew answers. He tells me that I can get my empty tank REFILLED at the Ace in S. Marco on a Sunday. ” I just filled mine there, so I know they have it.” he tells me. “Can you be here before noon?” he asks. We do. And he drives me in his car to Ace for a very reasonable charge. And the refill was less $ than the (defective) exchange had been at Winn Dixie in N. Marco (see Side note at end). The fridge stays cold. The food is saved. And we find a truly welcoming facility for cruisers like us who genuinely prefer lying on an anchor at night to docking. Showers, laundry, block ice and a friendly welcome. Perfect.
    John McLaughlin

    We really enjoyed our stay. Even though we were towed in and had a gps track to follow, we ran aground, so be careful
    Bill Dixon

    We called Tow Boat US for EXCELLENT blow by blow tips for this “inside” route thru Marco Island. We draw 4′ & still had a few “white knuckle” moments passing thru at mid-tide. Well worth it tho.”
    Linda Gimbel Hughes

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

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

  • Bimini Basin Anchorage (Cape Coral, off the Caloosahatchee River)

    We have anchored any number of times in Bimini Basin, and you could hardly find a more sheltered spot to spend an evening. Also, as Captain Nicole describes below, the nearby dinghy docking at a public park is welcome indeed.
    On the other hand, while we have never had trouble getting our anchor to hold here, local cruisers have warned that the basin’s holding ground is not up to really heavy weather. Apparently, at least of portion of the basin bottom is silty. At all other times though, give this spot a try!

    Cruising News*: Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a great anchorage in Cape Coral that beats the moorings/anchorage in the city of Fort Myers hands down. Protected, nice dinghy dock at a park, grocery store, hardware store, west marine, and bus transfer station less than a mile’s walk away. GREAT spot to re-provision and all around great anchorage.
    Nicole

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Bimini Basin Anchroage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Bimini Basin Anchorage

  • Underwater Rock Reported West of Naples, FL Waterfront (Gordon River) Channel, 2/9/11

    Wow, here’s some input that EVERY single cruiser who plans on visiting Naples in the foreseeable future needs to note! The “underwater rock” in question lies off the western flank of the marked Gordon River/Naples Waterfront channel, north of the Naples City Pier and near marker #38.

    A dockmate just returned with a bent prop from Naples in his Tiara drawing 4 feet. Heading south on the Gordon River in vicinity of Red 38. Tide below MLW. He was hugging Green side of channel when “wham” he hit the rock. His advise stay in center or favor red side of channel. Location of rock reported as N26 08.063 W81 47.442, just above Naples City Dock.
    Kevin Hopper

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position West of the Gordon River/Naples Waterfront Channel

  • Fort Myers Boat Storage Recommendations

    Below is copied an interesting discussion from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) list about good places to store one’s boat in the Fort Myers region of the Western Florida coastline.

    I need to store my 35 ft trawler somewhere near the Ft. Myers area, while I fly up north for knee surgery. Probably 4 to 6 months.
    Anyone have suggestions for a reasonable, no frills, dry storage yard in the area.
    Glades

    All American Boat Storage and Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage are next door to one another up a freshwater canal off Charlotte Harbor north of Ft. Myers. Both are first class and reasonable.
    RC
    Punta Gorda

    I concur with Charlotte Harbor Storage. Last time I was there it was a well run, clean operation. They do allow owners to work on their own boats if necessary.
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Indian+Rocks+Beach,+Florida+33785&l l=26.87688,-82.234919&spn=0.004172,0.006877&t=h&z=17
    or Tiny URL
    http://tinyurl.com/5wewmal
    Joel Wilkins
    m/s Miss Magoo

    Glades Boat Storage, Moore Haven, FL
    863-983-3040
    Patrick and Margie

    You might want to call Owl Creek Boatworks in Alva, FL. It is just north of FT. Myers on the Caloosahatcee. He has covered fresh water storage and said no damage during Charlie.
    RB

  • Another Disturbing Report of Cruisers “Hasseled” in Boca Grande Basin Anchorage

    This is the second report, albeit a second hand one, about cruisers possibly being hassled when trying to anchor on the basin in Boca Grande Bayou, just behind the Pink Elephant restaurant. Follow the link below to check out an earlier article.
    In mid-January, I had the good fortune to address the Boca Grande Yacht Club at Gasparilla Inn. A good time was had by all, particularly yours truly. I raised the topic of anchorage restrictions in Boca Grand Bayou, and no-one there seemed to know anything about it. One must wonder who is really causing trouble for boaters in Boca Grande??????

    Boaters have reported being hassled when anchoring in Boca Grande Bayou. Anyone know which authority has jurisdiction in these waters?
    Jo Mogle

    Click Here To View An Earlier SSECN Posting About Cruisers’ Anchoring on Boca Grande Bayou

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Boca Grande – Gasparilla Island Basin Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Boca Grande – Gasparilla Island Basin Anchorage

  • Mysterious No-Wake Zone on Caloosahatchee River West of Fort Myers

    I remember the no-wake zone described below by Captain. I could find no satisfactory explanation for its presence either.

    There is a no wake zone about one mile south of the Cape Coral Bridge. It is in the middle of the river and I can see on reason for it. As you say, it is heavily patrolled.
    Do you know why and who determines the no wake zones?
    Thanks
    William Wallis

    I am not entirely sure but I believe that is part of the “miserable mile” and I think that it is a manatee area. I am not sure why else it would be no wake, though being sailors who get waked frequently we kind of like it
    BE CAREFUL there if you have a faster boat, on a busy day we have seen as many as 5 FWC, police, and/or other enforcement boats in this area.
    Nicole

    Sounds like the zone from marker 72 to 76, which is not in the miserable mile. It’s at the entrance to Gulf Harbour Marina. It is a manatee zone by name, but why it’s really there I have no idea. It is patrolled much of the time.
    David Bernstein

  • Description of Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field

    The 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. Glad to see the most positive review below of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Fort Myers Beach!

    My wife and I visited FMB last march 3/10. We had cruised there 22 years ago and we GLAD to see town moorings, and less derelicts , although it seems they still had a couple of leftovers? We enjoyed the town and the beach and many of the local restaurants and stores. The Harbormaster “bubba” runs the pump out boat and was a great help and a great source for information. However the LARGE HARD encrusted mooring balls did a number on my new alwgrip hull paint job!$#!$#!!?. If you are not able to pull the entire ball out of the water, BEWARE.!!
    Stephen Arkwright

    We had no problems with the mooring rubbing on our boat fortunately. The showers are pretty low rent – like an old motel room. You step into a bathtub to shower. The shrimp are great across the way at Tico. Fresh & very reasonably priced. Bonita Bill’s is the only saving grace in this very honky tonk beach town. It’s a veru dog-friendly bar/restaurant. But watch out for the resident cat, Splash. He roams at will. Fort Myers Beach is a fine stop over if you’re going north on the west coast of Florida or heading south to the keys. Small grocery store about a 2 mole walk on the beach.
    Linda Hughes

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field

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

  • Good Times in Naples, Fl Mooring Field

    The mooring field in Naples is fairly new and lies just off the Naples City Pier in Naples Bay.

    Had a great time in Naples! They have a limit to 4 nights for the mooring balls (something to do with the EPA owning the bay bottom, kind of a strange story if you ask me) but we got to spend 8 nights total on the Naples mooring balls. (Left for one night in between and got another 4 nights.)
    **CAUTION** The mooring balls DO NOT have a regular pennant on them. (It’s a rope loop that is about 5 inches long attached to the ball). You will not be able to pick it up with a boat hook and the dockmaster’s office for some reason does not inform you of this. When we are aboard when other boats have come in we have used our dinghy to help them.
    When we went back the second time one of us got in the dinghy when we were close and slowed way down so that we could “walk” with the dinghy forward, grab the line we had attached to the cleat, string it through the mooring pennant and then back aboard. Fairly simple if you know about it ahead of time.
    Naples is a great town to visit. There are a number of great restaurants within walking distance of the docks. (Bleu Provence is a stone’s throw away and has a great early dining special, $24.95 between 5-6pm for an appetizer, entree, and glass of wine. The food is first class, you won’t be disappointed.) Definitely can recommend Naples as a cruising destination, Enjoy!
    Nicole

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Naples City Pier

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Naples City Mooring Field

  • One Cruiser’s Opinion of Riviera Marina (Charlotte Harbor, south of Punta Gorda)

    Every cruiser is certainly entitled to their opinion, here on the Cruisers’ Net and elsewhere. However, for my money the facility in question here is a dump. We welcome others point of view. Please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below if you would like to share your impressions of this marina.

    This is one of the last truly Florida cruisers marinas. True, not a show place, but it doesn’t try to rob you blind or pretend to be what it isn’t. It is one of the few places that you can truly work on your boat and the owner and other boaters will truly help you. This is commercial fisherman and shrimper marina. So if you don’t like some commercial activity or cats, you might want to pass on this marina.
    It is truly improving and recovering from the hurricane. Almost all of the boats dumped there be locals and the county have been removed totally at the expense of the owner. The only place I know left to do a major refit on a boat if you have questions, I have been customer several times.
    Robert Burney

    Riviera Marina is 5 minutes from our house, but we prefer another place to work on our boat, even though it takes us most of the day to get there. I would call Riviera Marina a dump IMHO.
    Mary Dixon

    To elaborate on my perception/experience with Riviera Marina, a few months ago we wanted to have our mast pulled to do some work on it. We thought it would be nice to have it done somewhere close to home. Riviera Marina is a 5-minute drive by car and about an hour trip by boat. We went to the marina and watched a boat mast being pulled. It was a real fiasco. After I scraped the cat poop off my shoes we left and said “no way, we’ll go somewhere else like we’ve done in the past.”
    Mary Dixon

    1 fact about marinas that will never change is the presence of rats or cats. If you don’t like cats you will be told you are not welcome-they live there, you don’t. I personally would prefer a cat next to me when cramped in a small engine room that suddenly becoming aware of a rat crawling over. I have yet to see a rat that wasn’t fleeing the riviera marina-notice Mary left quickly and good riddance. The owner works with a local vet to keep all cats vaccinated and license-out of his own pocket-customers frequently donate food and with an automatic waterer they are taken care of better than most solitary housecats-he names them all and knows ALL of them By name. Riviera Marina is a family. “I like cats and I don’t like people who don’t”
    R.E. Ffolkes(Roger Moore)

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

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  • New Turkey Key Anchorage (north of Cape Sable and south of Ten Thousand Islands)

    We agree wholeheartedly with Captain Nicole. The New Turkey Key Anchorage is for shallow draft vessels only, and protection is not the best. On the other hand, this is pretty much the only possible overnight haven between Little Shark River and the Ten Thousand Islands.

    Good Anchorage but mind how far you swing if you don’t go all the way in. We anchored here on a calm night a swung a little to close to shore and found ourselves aground at low tide (we draw 3′9″). It wasn’t a big deal, we took the dogs for a run in the mud flats on the other side of New Turkey and floated right off an hour later but anyone with a draft of more than 4 might want to skip this anchorage.
    Nicole

    New Turkey is one of my favorite spots on the “outside passage” through Everglades National Park – but then again I draw a whopping 20 inches with engines up. It is worth noting that dogs are not allowed on shore anywhere in the ENP
    Jonathan Gorham

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The New Turkey Key Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The New Turkey Key Anchorage

  • Calusa Island Marina (southern Marco Island at Goodland)

    Calusa Island Marina sits at the southern tip of Marco Island, in the old village of Goodland. This facility’s entrance channel departs the Coon Key to Naples unofficial waterway near marker #6. Watch out from some depths as thin as 4 1/2 feet at MLW in the “waterway” channel along this stretch.
    And, while I certainly second Captain Moran’s mention of Stan’s Idle Hour bar/restaurant below, where a good time is always had by one and all, also don’t dare miss Little Bar and Restaurant, less than a block away. The seafood here is awesome!

    We ended up staying at Calusa Island Yacht Club (just a marina) at Goodland, just south of Marco Is. for a month last year. Laid back and beautiful setting and Stan’s Idle Hour Bar (http://www.stansidlehour.net/) is just up the street!! Anchorages are also available around the Goodland area if you decide to stay for a shorter time.
    Wish you warm breeze and calm seas.
    Joe Moran

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

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

  • A Quick Word About the Rod and Gun Club (Everglades City, FL, south of Marco Island)

    If you visit the still backwater (but very charming) community of Everglades City by water, THE place to coil your lines is the old Rod and Gun Club. They have good services and a restaurant on-site, though there are other places to eat in town that I prefer.
    I hope one day the entire Rod and Gun Club can be restored to its former glory, including all the guest rooms, but, for now, it’s still very much a fascinating picture of “old Florida.”
    To reach Everglades City, you must traverse the marked channel from Indian Key to the Barron River. While I have never found shallow depths along this passage, others have reported that soundings are marginal at MLW. If any of you have cruised this channel recently, please share the depths you encountered by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below

    A trip up the west coast can be enjoyable. Remote anchorages and beautiful beaches.
    Check with the Rod and Gun Club in Everglade City (http://www.evergladesrodandgun.com/) about the Seafood festival. I believe it is usually held in early Feb and it is great fun. Also a good place to hop on an Airboat ride thru the Everglades.
    Joe Moran

    just spent two days at the Rod & Gun Club with a small group of boats from Pine Island. I would most definitely return here – docks were OK, view was great, the Club a place you have to experience at least once. Food was absolutely great! Showers were clean and had plenty of hot water. There are several other spots for breakfast or dinner within an easy walk. We carried 4′6″ all the way up to the Club with NO problems, even at a very low tide.
    Captain Mike Smith

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For the Rod and Gun Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Rod and Gun Club

  • Good Visit to Smokehouse Bay Anchorage (Marco Island, Florida)

    The marked channel to Smokehouse Bay anchorage cuts off the Capri Pass channel near the northern tip of Marco Island. While we have always found MLW depths here to be as thin as 4 1/2 feet, this passage does indeed lead to a super anchorage, offering great protection from foul weather, on Smokehouse Bay.
    Captain Nicole mentions nearby “Esplanade Marina” in her comments below. We are NOT yet familiar with this facility, and would like to learn more. Those who have previously visited this facility, please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    GREAT GREAT ANCHORAGE.
    Chris, the dockmaster at Esplanade, is fantastic. Give him the courtesy of checking in with him (we walked over from the dinghy dock at Winn Dixie) and he will treat you like gold. Fantastic guy.
    It was mentioned to us that other cruising boats have “snuck” onto the dock early in the morning to take on water and leave their trash. The marina considers this trespassing, just a word to the wise. (besides if you ask the dockmaster he will probably let you do both of these things, just ask!)
    One warning: We were warned by a helpful person on the dock that if you anchor here for more than 4 consecutive nights the shoreside neighbors will call the Coast Guard and tell them you have been there for a long time and must be pumping out in the water. Apparently the CG will then send one of their small boats to visit you and I assume, do a safety and head check. Not a big deal (kind of a waste of the CGs time I think) but good to know in the event in happens to you.
    Esplanade will pump you out for free if you give them a call on VHF 16.
    Nicole

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Smokehouse Bay Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Smokehouse Bay Anchorage

  • A Good Experience at Laishley Park Municipal Marina (Punta Gorda, FL, on Charlotte Harbor and Peace River)

    Laishley Park Marina is the city of Punta Gorda municipal facility for pleasurecraft. It is located between the twin US. 40 fixed bridges, and these span’s 45-foot height limits access for sailcraft. If you pilot a powerboat, however, this is one of the best Western Florida facilities with which you might choose to visit.

    We stayed at Laishley Park Municipal Marina in Punta Gorda and were very impressed with the facility and the dockmaster Rusty, and asst John, were very happy to help you in anyway they can. The facility is new, with floating docks, free pumpout and only $8/ft per week + a small charge for electricity. It is located right in front of the Crab House restaurant which has great food. For example, we loved the Ahi Tuna Salad!! The downtown area is in walking distance, only 2 blocks away, it was perfect to celebrate New Years with friends. There are free bicycles to use. There is a great 2 mile harborfront walk for you to stretch those legs! We highly recommend this marina!
    Todd & Paula Sue Russell
    “Ocean Breeze”

    My blog includes more options at Punta Gorda, especially for sailboats that can’t get under the fixed bridge to Laishley Marina.
    Mary Dixon

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Laishley Park Marina

  • Good Times at Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 119)

    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.

    http://theclubti.com/

    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.
    Kathy

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club

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