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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
Boca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaPink Shell Beach Resort and Marina Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Gulfport Marina includes dry boat storage, ship store, bathroom, public boat ramp, parking, fueling stations, lighted range markers and guest docking facility.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 ofTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.com239 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.
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. Fisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLSt. Andrew's MarinaThe 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 MarinaPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by Boaters

Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage Recommended (Charlotte Harbor)

    Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage is located well inland on the western shores of southern Charlotte Harbor. You must traverse a canal to get here, but once you do, there are few better places to store your vessel on the hard.

    We just put Heavenly Ours, our 49 foot Marine Trader, on the hard for the summer at Charlotte County Boat Storage. You can also work on your vessel there w/o extra fees like most yards. Not a fancy place and its tucked away up the river but looked like a good hurricane solution. Very nice woman who answers to Shirley will walk you through pricing. Its also shown on their web site.
    Good luck
    Mark & Sylvia

  • Answer to Earlier Posting about 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. Our sincere thanks to Captains Gary and Mickey Wiggins for providing the input below concerning the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field. They are responding to an earlier posting here on the Cruisers’ Net (linked below) by Captain Nicole which was mildly critical of this facility.
    Let us be clear about this. All of us here at the Cruisers’ Net think the Fort Myers Beach mooring field is a superb facility. In fact, with the city’s “Cruisers’ Appreciation Day,” it wouldn’t be going too far to hold Fort Myers Beach up as an example of how a field should be managed. Sure, everything isn’t perfect, but as soon as you find the 100% perfect place, be sure to let me know!

    Cruising News:
    Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field
    We have been staying at the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field for several years. Cruiser Nicole made some good points but I would like to expand and refute some of her points. It’s my understanding that the City of Ft. Myers Beach owns the mooring field, the pump out boat and the dinghy dock. Matanzas Inn manages the mooring rental and provides laundry and bath facilities.
    – It is true that the mooring balls need attention as far as cleaning and numbers are concerned. Right before we left, at the end of March, the Harbor Master was taking new mooring balls out to the maintenance pontoon boat so hopefully the problem of the missing 18 balls, the cleaning and fresh numbers will be addressed.
    – The “nuisanced indifference” comment about the staff was a bit harsh. There are a lot of new employees this year and they are trying to learn their job. Jerry, the manager has been very accommodating, helpful and friendly to us as have the other members of the staff. The boater’s were allowed to have meet & greets whenever we asked as long as there wasn’t a space conflict. We had them on the grassed area where the picnic tables are behind the office. This was a great way to meet other boaters and enjoy time together.
    – Several places that we’ve been have no VHF access and you need to phone in. Our cruising guide informed us of this.
    – They do keep a list in the office for pump out. You can either be put on the list or you can contact the Fort Myers Beach Harbormaster for pump out. He does work Monday through Friday and we have been pumped out many mornings. He works mornings and afternoons. We understand that if you need more than one pump out in a week, there’s no extra charge as there is in other mooring fields.
    – Trash cans are extremely close to the dinghy dock for small bags and there is a dumpster for larger bags near the shower and laundry rooms. There aren’t any signs directing you but I’ve never seen such signs anywhere.
    – The dinghy dock is crowded but we have always been able to find a place to park. The comment about a dinghy being under the dock, inflated, had nothing to do with the dinghy dock. We are the ones who tied up his motor but his dinghy had a slow leak in it, which had nothing to do with the current or dock.
    – The sign about the Hotel Guests BBQ was probably amended when boaters asked about it.
    – On March 26th there was a Boater’s Appreciation Day Party with hot dogs, hamburger, pizza, beer, wine, and soft drinks provided just for the boaters. They also had raffles for many very nice prizes. We’ve been present for at least three of these boater appreciation events. This year as in other years City Officials were present, along with folks from the Anchorage Advisory Committee asking for suggestions for improving the mooring field. In years past they have listened to and heeded our advice.
    – It is my understanding that Salty Sam’s was the first manager of the mooring field and that job was taken from them and given to Matanzas. There must have been a reason.
    – The bathroom sign saying “your mother doesn’t work here” came about when people were being inconsiderate and leaving the bathrooms a mess. They are busy bathrooms and we felt that was a way to remind people to clean up after themselves because housekeeping can’t clean between showers.
    The people of FMB are friendly and they are very welcoming to boaters. It is a great place to stay with many activities and a beautiful beach, a variety of restaurants and close access to grocery, PO, Hardware and West Marine. We would hate for one person’s gripes to dampen or give a negative impression of the FMB Mooring Field.
    Sincerely,
    Gary & Mickey Wiggins
    M/V Little Mick

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

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

  • Quick Look at Boca Grande Marina (Statute Mile 28.5)

    I guess I shouldn’t comment too much on Boca Grande marina, as it resides in our very favorite spot on earth. Both Karen and I get a bit dreamlike when undertaking any discussion of Boca Grande. Suffice it to say, this is a WONDERFUL place.
    Do note that the entrance to Boca Grange Bayou, which also provides access to the marina, is being pinched by an ever growing shoal. The marina owner has been seeking the necessary permits to dredge at his own expense, but so far no soap!

    Stayed at Boca Grand Marina and as always it was great. Recommend you get a reservation in advance as there are not that many slips. The staff is great and the town is one of my favorites.
    RB

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

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

  • Happy Time at South Seas Resort Marina (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 13.5)

    South Seas Island Resort Marina resides near the northern tip of Captiva Island, just south of Redfish Pass. This facility has a newly marked entry channel running west of the ICW. First timers may want to call the marina in advance of their arrival to check on the latest channel conditions and markings.
    Some years ago, South Seas was trashed by a hurricane. Glad to hear below that the storm damage is now only a bad, distant memory!

    Cruising News*: Just got back from a 1 week spring break cruise. Stayed at South Seas Resort. It is expensive but worth it. I draw 5 feet and entrance channel is not a problem at mid-tide. The channel was not on my chartplotter apparently was somewhat recently moved.
    RB

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of South Seas Resort Marina

  • Couple Walks Safely from Gulfport Muncipal Marina to Downtown Gulfport (Statute Mile 115.5)

    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.

    Cruising News:
    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.
    Steve Rutherford

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

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

  • Positive Experience at Marina Jacks – Marina Operations (Western Florida ICW, St. M. 73)

    Marina Jacks is really Sarasota’s city marina, but everyone knows the place by the on-site restaurant’s name, Marina Jacks. Its real moniker is “Marina Operations.”

    Cruising News: Stayed at Marina Jacks marina one day due to storm, early April 2011. Marina staff and facilities were wonderful. Later going back south, anchored in Sarasota Bay off Marina Jacks for 2 days. Free pumpout by friendly nice young man. Just call Marina Jacks pumpout on CH 16. He even put fresh water in tank after pumping out and then pumped out again.
    Mary Dixon

    I should add that the pumpout boat came to our anchored boat.
    Mary Dixon

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Wester Florida Marina Directory Listing For Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

  • Bimini Basin Anchorage (Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 145)

    The route to Bimini Basin can be a little convoluted for first-timers, but once you get there, cruisers will discover one of the most sheltered anchorages imaginable. On the other hand, we have been told by a Fort Myers cruising authority that the holding ground here is “suspect.” We have never had any problem getting our hook to hold, and clearly, as you will read below, Captain Gorham did not have that problem either.

    We overnighted at the Bimini Basin anchorage on our way to Cayo Costa and had a pleasant evening. We found the holding to be quite good in grey sticky mud – it got a test because just before dawn a squall blew through with a 180 degree wind shift and 30+ knot winds and we did not budge. The anchor was set so well I had to yank it out with the engine. Jonathan Gorham Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Bimini Basin Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Bimini Basin Anchorage

  • A Visit to Cedar Key, Florida (Big Bend Region)

    Like Captain Duffie (see below), I have always been thoroughly unimpressed with Cedar Key as a port of call. Bob does a good job detailing the lack of dockage below, but also note that the principal (but not the only) entrance cut, Seahorse Key Channel, contains an “S” loop that has to be seen to be believed. Even if you know it’s there and are watching for this hazard, it’s easy to run aground.

    I recently visited Cedar Key by land. While you can anchor there are no docks to tie up at. I also believe the anchorages don’t provide any shelter. I talked to a sailor that keeps a boat at about the only
    decent slip at the Cedar Cove Hotel. The harbor there was badly damaged in a hurricane several years ago and has not been fixed. The town is not boat friendly. They got money to build a dock and made the
    surface so high there is no way to tie up but it does function as a fishing pier. There is a nice sheltered harbor but it has a low bridge across the entrance so larger boats can’t get into it. It’s a real shame because the town is very interesting and like a small scale version of Key West. There are lots of good restaurants, art shops, etc. You can see more at my blog post at http://bobduthie.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/
    Bob Duthie
    Katy Leigh 36GB Classic
    http://www.greatloopcruising.com

    My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Cedar Key in the summer of 1987. We’ve been back once, for our 10 year anniversary, in 1997. We remember it as being quaint and quiet, with very friendly people, (two or three different families invited us to their homes for dinner during our original stay!) great restaurants, fantastic local art, all with a very out of the way feel.
    We also remember it being not very boat friendly, at least where non-commercial fishing and non-trailer-boat interests were concerned. Weekends, the place filled with trailer-boaters from nearby Gainesville and Ocala. While we were there, one sailboat was in the ‘anchorage’ (the outer part; the low bridge over the entrance to the very tiny harbor had about 15′ of clearance.) staying only two or three nights.
    We were left with the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the folk there are happy with the way things are, that facilities to draw in cruising yachts aren’t really wanted. It would seem little has changed.
    Bill & Lisa Ballard

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

  • Sea Hag Marina (Steinhatchee River – Florida’s Big Bend Section)

    During our trips to the Steinhatchee River, Sea Had has always seemed to us to be the most welcoming spot for cruising size craft.

    We greatly enjoyed Sea Hag Marina close to the mouth of the Steinhatchee River. I am not sure if they allow liveaboards or not.
    They had a nice laid back attitude . A lot of small charter fishing boats go out from from there and it was fun watching the fishermen come in, in the evenings with their catches. It seemed like the whole town would gather at the fish cleaning stations to check out the catches .
    Glenn & Joanne Dean
    River Rats

    I would guess , that Sea Hag has about 50 to a 100 wet slips . They can accommodate deeper draft boats on the ends of their docks.
    The person who said there’s not a lot to do is right. Its a small community , in the middle of nowhere. If you are looking for a lot of action , you would get bored pretty quick. But that’s what we liked about it, was its small town atmosphere .
    Glenn & Joanne Dean
    River Rats

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

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

  • Troublesome Western Florida Bridge Schedules, Cortez Bridge and Anna Maria Island Bridge (near St. M. 87.5 and 89 respectively)

    There has been quite a discussion taking place on the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list about the opening schedules of the Cortez and Anna Maria Island Bridges. Both these spans cross the Western Florida ICW between Sarasota and Tampa Bay, and both open only on the hour and half hour. That can cause very real delays for vessels that can’t clear their 22 and 24 foot closed vertical clearances!
    Also part of this discussion is how and who determines bridge opening schedules and how the cruising community “might” affect changes in these schedules.

    These two bridges on the ICW just south of Tampa Bay (Cortez@ 22 ft and Anna Marie@ 24 ft) are approximately 1.5 miles apart. They both open on the hour and half hour which, if a boat needs to open them both, requires a wait of at least 20 to 25 minutes between the bridges. How can this get changed to schedule one of them (it doesn’t matter which) to open at 15 minutes and 45 minutes after the hour? Most bridges on the east coast ICW adhere to such logical timing.
    Bill Rea
    Ballyshannon
    Selene 53

    Bill,
    Good luck with that. I think that it is ultimately the DOT that sets the rules, but I believe that the local municipalities have some say in the matter also.
    BTW, both bridges are open on the hour, 20 min. and 40 min. after the hour for much of the year. They are restricted to hour and half hour from Jan 15 – May 15.
    Regards,
    Randy Pickelmann
    Morning Star

    A few comments: First, bridge opening schedules are created for the convenience of the vehicle traffic crossing the bridge, not the vessel traffic passing under it, so your plea will fall on deaf ears. Second, after 10 trips up/down the Atlantic ICW, I have not found bridge schedules on that side to be anymore helpful to the cruising boats than the two you mention. Finally, if your goal in owning a boat is to correct the perceived illogical behavior of shoreside bureaucrats, you are destined to be frustrated. Try to think about the millions of landlubbers who look down from their cars at you just sitting still in the water between two bridges and say to themselves “Man, if only I had 20 minutes in the day to sit on a boat and do nothing…”
    Douglas Gould

    The reason the restrictions are more onerous from January to May is because that is when a bazillion snowbirds and tourists clog the roads of Manatee County.Those two bridges are the only highways to the beaches. Not rocket science. I used to live there.
    David Sorenson

    As with any bridge over coastal navigable waters, drawbridge regulations are set by the USCG (not local authorities). Drawbridge regulations are published in 33CFR117 (and copied in Chapter 2 of the US Coast Pilot volume that covers the area in question).
    Unless authorized otherwise by the USCG, US drawbridges over federal waters are required to open on signal. If the CG has approved any restrictions at all from the open on signal rule (e.g., open on the hour), a special regulation will be published in 33cfr117 (and the Coast Pilot). In the case of the Cortex Bridge and the Anna Marie bridge, there are indeed special regulations, and these USCG regulations are published in 33CRF117.287 (see: http://tinyurl.com/3p634ts), and published in Volume 5 of the US Coast Pilot (see http://tinyurl.com/3slx6nh)
    Changing a federal regulation is a lengthy, but not impossible process. If just one person (without political pull) is asking for the change however, you can just guess how much effort you will be making doing something smelly into the wind. However, if a concerted push is made by the local boating community, with multiple request letters going in, supported by local yacht clubs and marinas, a very strong chance exists that regulations can indeed be altered – but, you have to build and prosecute your case.
    If you want to take on the work to organize and run the somewhat long and time consuming effort to do that, you need to contact the CG District 7 bridge office in Miami. You can find the contact information at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg551/District_Page.asp
    Kevin

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Bridge Directory Listing For The Cortez Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Bridge Directory Listing For The Anna Maria Island Bridge

  • Good Sources for Weather Info in Western Florida – Northern Gulf

    Wow, personalized weather where you can actually speak to a human being. Will wonders never cease!

    We are headed north on the Tenn-Tom and I wanted to share three sources of marine weather information that were exceptional as we traveled from Clearwater to Mobile. All are part of NOAA National Marine Weather Service and the exceptional part is that you can speak directly with a forecaster. Believe it or not they are available 24/7 and they welcome phone calls. They update their weather models at 4:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
    The numbers I used are Tampa 813-645-2323, Tallahassee 850-942-8833, and Mobile 251-633-6443. Ask to speak to a forecaster. The big difference between reading it on the NOAA site and talking with a forecaster is their willingness to focus on a precise area and provide more individualized details.
    Hope you get a chance to use them. They are knowledgeable and have a good attitude. Finding both together is rare.
    Wayne Prichard
    MV Segue

  • Major New Publication Available on Florida Anchoring

    Our sincere thanks to Captain Mary Dixon for forwarding the link below. We have read the document in question, and it IS LENGTHY and very wordy, BUT it is perhaps the last word on virtually ALL the issues surrounding the complex and emotionally charged Florida anchoring issue.

    Cruising News:
    New publication on Florida anchoring
    http://www.flseagrant.org/joomla/images/PDFs/anchoring%20away_03_09_11_full_web3.pdf
    Mary Dixon

  • Another Good Experience at Clearwater Municipal Marina and Clearwater Beach (Statute Mile 136)

    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.
    Scott Rosenberg

    You have got to love the Clearwater/St. Pete area
    Jim Lowry

    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 Clearwater Municipal Marina

  • Good Experience at South Seas Island Resort Marina (Statute Mile 13.5)

    Back during the terrible hurricane season of 2005, South Seas Resort suffered extensive damage, and, if memory serves, which sometimes it does not, it took over a year for the necessary work to e accomplished before a reopening of this facility. It’s good to hear Captain Bill’s report below that things are once again working well here.

    We recently spent a few days at South Seas Resort Marina in our Catalina 34, Mother Ocean. A few years ago we had a “choppy” experience there because of some abrupt staffing changes (probably as a result of the economy) and some problems with their entrance channel.
    We are happy to report that this year our experience there was excellent. The channel is now well marked. They have staffed up the marina with a very competent group. Finally, the resort, which had a few bugs in it during the years after its post-hurrican reopening, is running at full strength and very smoothly.
    While it does cost more to dock there, one should keep in mind that the full resort is available to marina guests. At present it is, in our view, one of the nicest places to tie off on the west coast of Florida.
    Bill.

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Seas Island Resort Marina

  • Anchoring East of Coconut Island A No-Go (Capri Pass, just north of Marco Island)

    I can pretty much answer Captain Trometer’s questions below. Anchorage east of so-called Coconut Island just inside Capri Pass is no longer a real possibility for cruising size craft.
    Some years ago, the state of Florida, in what a friend of mine calls its “infant wisdom” cut down all the Australian Pines which held this island’s sands in place. Consequently, the isle has pretty much eroded into the surrounding waters. The last time I saw Coconut Island, it was nothing more than a small sand bar.

    Subject*: Coconut Island, Marco Island, FL
    Cruising News*: Has anyone recently anchored on the East side of Coconut Island? What are the depths going in and at anchor?
    August Trometer

    March 31, 2011 Just went past the former anchorage in Capri Pass. Forget about it…too much wind, wave, and no cover from what the Gulf may have in mind for your evening on the hook. Factory Bay anchorage worked well in a 20 + knot blow.
    Captain Ron Rice

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

  • Things to Do In Clearwater Beach By Water and Land

    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.
    Regards,
    Randy Pickelmann
    Morning Star

    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 Clearwater Municipal Marina

  • Sarosota, FL Mooring Field Discussion (Statute Mile 73)

    Those of you who have been following the recent news concerning the selection of the first three Mooring Field Pilot Program sites in Florida, know that Sarasota has been chosen as one of the participants. This headline has prompted a very interesting discussion among a pro-cruiser group which has been wrestling with the Sarasota mooring field – anchoring issue for some time. I’ve copied some of their messages below. They make for interesting reading, no matter on which side of this issue one stands.

    We can make this work for us.
    It is my impression that we all (boaters, city, and FWC) want to encourage responsible boaters with seaworthy vessels while discouraging drunken, dumping, derelicts. To this end, I propose that, in addition to the common sense regulations I proposed in my alternative ordinance to the 500′ rule (see attachment), the city institute a free permit requirement for any anchoring beyond 72 hours contingent upon a Coast Guard Auxiliary safety inspection and regular trips to the pump out dock (to show that their boat is navigable and that their MSD is functional).
    This permitting system, with no limit on renewals, would ensure that only those responsible boaters with safe and functional boats could remain anchored in city waters for more than 3 days. It would allow for transients to pass through without hassle and a reasonable means for those who wish to stay anchored longer to do so.
    Jeff Bole

    This is the common sense approach which would have eliminated the proposed mooring field years ago, but the City has never been presented with authority to pass such requirements in the past. The Pilot Program now grants this as long as the FWC approves it. But take note only municipalities WITH a mooring field can participate in the Pilot Program. I wonder if the SSS’s mooring field would still allow Sarasota to participate if the Bayfront mooring field never came to fruition…
    Anyways it’s best to be prepared and I think we should draft a document with Jeff’s and others common sense suggestions, gather some signatures along with endorsements from the other local boating clubs, and sell the proposal to the City and FWC.
    This will be a topic at the next Harbor Assoc. meeting later this month.
    Thanks,
    Kens

    Sounds like a much preferred solution, previous discussions along this line were discounted because there was no authority to enforce the requirements.
    Kenneth

    Jeff’s proposal makes a whole lot of sense to me. If a boat can qualify for a CG Safety sticker, demonstrate it is navigable under its own propulsion and that it has a funtional holding tank and utilizes pump out, it should be permitted to anchor in our Bay. I think the boat should also be required to carry current registration.
    Harmon

    > and regular trips to the pump out dock (to show that their boat is navigable and that their MSD is functional).
    This is not a “common sense” suggestion. My boat uses a composting system which does not require pump outs.
    Also, routinely requiring people to dislodge their anchor, move the boat and then re-anchor can cause safety issues. You’re taking boats that have their anchors “settled in” and then forcing them to pull it up and plop it back down. Boats will drag due to this policy that otherwise wouldn’t have.
    Mark M.

    To me this is not a “common sense proposal.” Three days is way too short in many cases, plus I also use a composting system and therefore don’t need a pumpout, and third I do not think submitting to a safety inspection should be required if one is legally registered/documented/etc. If these rules were in place I would simply bypass Sarasota if I was passing through or possibly I would just anchor overnight. As a transient boater I prefer to spend my money in harbors that welcome me, not ones that appear to not want me to be there. Things like a nice dinghy dock, or at least a place to tie up, trash receptacles, and a cruiser friendly attitude go a long way to making me want to spend my money there.
    John Kettlewell

  • Moss Marine (Fort Myers Beach)

    As you enter Fort Myers Beach from Mantanzas Pass, Moss Marine is the first facility that will come abeam on the southern shore.

    We’re staying here now as mooring field is full. Marina facilities and people are very nice. A little difficult to enter when windy. Price was $2/foot with electric included,
    Steve McRoberts

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

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

  • Venice – Higel Park Anchorage (Statute Mile 58.5)

    Captain Sheena is quite right about the crowded conditions at the Venice – Higel Park Anchorage, which is, incidentally, located just south of the Venice Yacht Club. And, oh yes, the food at the nearby Crows Nets Marina and Restaurant is indeed OUTSTANDING!!!!

    This anchorage was packed with smaller vessels when we arrived in the evening. Although there were a few open spots depths and/or swing room was insufficient. We have a 38 foot catamaran. I would not recommend this anchorage to larger vessels. Spend the money to stay the night at The Crow’s Nest and enjoy the pub.
    Sheena

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Venice – Higel Park Anchorage

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

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

  • Useppa Island, Western Shore Anchorage (Statute Mile 21.5)

    This anchorage lies on the opposite side of the Western Florida ICW channel from the marked passage leading to Cabbage Key.

    This anchorage has a beautiful view. It has plenty of room and depth (10 feet) for several larger vessels. We had good holding over night with moderately strong easterly winds. I would highly recommend this anchorage.
    Sheena

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Useppa Island, Western Shore Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Useppa Island, Western Shore Anchorage

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