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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
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.netGulfport Marina includes dry boat storage, ship store, bathroom, public boat ramp, parking, fueling stations, lighted range markers and guest docking facility. 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.Pink 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 of
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, FlThe 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. Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLSt. Andrew's Marina

Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • Pasadena Marina Recommended (Western Florida ICW, St. M. 116.5)

    Pasadena Marina lies on the northernmost reaches of Boca Ciega Bay. This facility’s entry channel leaves the Western Florida ICW between markers #35 and #37

    We would recommend Pasadena Marina, in St. Pete. Safe secure, clean and very reasonable prices. Plus it is right across the street from the hospital, which we hope you won’t have a need to use. Our two night stay turned in to 3 weeks due to unusual circumstances, so we got to know the staff well and would stay again any time we’re in the area.
    Mark

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

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

  • Aids to Navigation and Signs Being Updated on Suwannee River Entrance Channel

    Well, this work couldn’t come too soon, as there have been some aids in these waters for years that didn’t mark any channel at all. Even the main Suwannee River Channel can only be relied upon to carry 4 1/2 feet at MLW.
    Once over the entrance bar, however, the Suwannee is one of the Big Bend region’s most delightful streams, with beautiful scenery and multiple anchorage possibilities. So, if new markers can really help captains make better use of this delightful river, so much the better for the cruising community.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-SUWANNEE RIVER AND SALT CREEK: Repair & Replacement of Aids and Information Signs
    Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has contracted for the repair and replacement of the Aids to Navigation (ATON) and Information Signs at Salt Creek, West Pass/Alligator Pass and McGriff Channel (Wadley Pass) at the entrance to the Suwannee River and Salt Creek. This includes the replacement of the channel entrance marine aids to navigation lanterns at GPS: N 29° 14.58222 ‘ W 083° 11.78629′ (entrance to Alligator Pass Channel) and McGriff Channel (Wadley Pass) N 29° 18.57992 ‘ W 083° 12.01615′. The project started on May 18, 2011 and is expected to be completed by mid June 2011.
    Any questions, please contact FWC Captain Richard Moore or Dawn Griffin at (850) 488-5600.
    Chart 11408

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of A Portion of the Suwannee River Entrance Channel

  • Sunken/Derelict Sportsfish Craft Reported Well Outside of Cedar Key/Main Ship Channel (Florida’s Big Bend Region)

    Cedar Key, for those of you who have never transited Florida’s waterwayless Big Bend region, is a port of call between the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers. There is an astounding “S” turn in this passage as one begins the approach to the village of Cedar Key, that has brought many mariners to grief.
    We have charted the reported position of the sunken vessel noted below, and it seems to lie well outside the Cedar Key Main Ship Channel, which many locals refer to as the “Seahorse Key Channel.” Thus, this derelict will hopefully be of little concern to cruising mariners.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-CRYSTAL RIVER TO HORSEHOE POINT- CEDAR KEYS MAIN CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation
    The Coast Guard received a report of a 27FT BLUE derelict sport vessel submerged 1320 yards NW of Cedar Keys Main Channel Light 7 (LLNR 29765) with 15FT of its mast above the waterline in approximate position 29-05.45N 083-04.51W. All mariners are advised to exercise caution while transiting the area. Chart 11408

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Cedar Key Main Ship Channel Near the Site of the Derelict Noted Above

  • Sunken John Boat Reported Near Klosterman Bayou (Statute Mile 146)

    The marked entry channel to Klosterman Bayou cuts northeast off the Western Florida ICW’s run through St. Joseph Sound (north of Dunedin and south of Anclote Key) between markers #32 and #34. Many years ago, this cut led to a restaurant, but only condos lie at the northeastern terminus of this shallow passage now, and cruising captains (wisely) seldom enter this “channel.” Thus the notice below will be of concern to very few captains, but, in an abundance of caution, we present it anyway.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-ST PETERSBURG-KLOSTERMAN BAYOU: Hazard to navigation
    The Coast Guard has received a report of a submerged 12FT Maroon John Boat in the vicinity of Klosterman Bayou in approximate 28-06.9N 082-47.6W. All mariners are requested to exercise caution while transiting the area. Chart 11411

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Intersection of the Western Florida ICW and the Klosterman Bayou Channel

  • New Idea for “Anchoring Permits” Proposed in Regards to the Sarasota, Florida Pilot Mooring Field Project

    Captain Ken DeLacy is a fellow live-aboard cruiser who has been working very had for several years in concert with other Sarasota boaters to bring about sensible mooring field/anchorage regulations which both preserve the rights of cruisers to anchor, yet address the problem of derelicts and “live aboard hulks.” In our collective opinion, his idea, outlined below, for Sarasota “Anchoring Permits” goes a long way towards solving these twin concerns. In a nutshell, as you will read, there is no time limit set for anchoring in Sarasota waters, as long as the vessel in question can pass a simple USCG Safety Inspection. This one simple act, will quickly cut out the derelicts and “live aboard hulks.”
    We believe this is an idea WELL WORTHY OF CAREFUL CONSIDERATION!

    Cruising News:
    Being a resident in Sarasota, one of the Pilot Program sites, and a concerned cruiser I made the drive down to Key Largo last Tuesday to attend the Public Workshop meeting. While I noticed about 40 cruisers in attendence only about 5 spoke. I did pitch the idea of Anchroing Permits as an alternitive to buffer zones and time limits to sort of test the waters. Some positive feed back was received by 2 cruisers, 1 condo resident who previously spoke supporting more mooring fields, and the FWC. We are looking for further thoughts on the idea and so I thought I’d paste it below.
    Thanks for any input and a special thank you to Claiborne and this network.
    Ken DeLacy

    Sarasota Anchoring Permit – draft 2
    The City of Sarasota will issue 90 day and Annual anchoring permits to all vessel owners who meet the following requirements. (90 day for cruisers and Annual Permits for cruisers/locals)
    1. a. Vessel shall obtain a USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Check (VSC) and receive either a “Yes” or “N/A” in order to receive the VSC decal. (Inspects Marine Sanitation Device, life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, etc.)
    b. Vessel shall also be required to receive a “Yes” for Items I – VI under “Recommended and Discussion Items” of the VSC. (Inspects anchors and line, bilge pump, marine radio, 1st aide kit, etc.)
    c. Vessel shall be required to navigate under it’s own power to a USCG facility, or other location which still demonstrates vessel’s ability to navigate, for VSC inspection. (USCG Aux. has assured willingness and ability to perform inspections at their dock at Centennial Park. They are volunteers – no cost to City.)
    d. Vessel shall display an up to date decal at all times. (Issued by USCG Aux. upon a passing inspection)
    2. All anchoring permit holders will be required to use pump-out services. (The VSC will require a functioning Marine Sanitation Device. The City pump-out boat which is currently servicing anchored vessels will report non compliant vessels to Marine Police.)
    3. Annual anchoring permit holders will be required to have a licensed diver inspect their anchoring system once their boat is anchored. The permit holder will be responsible for all these associated costs, and the diver must check off the following requirements. (Keeps costs away from City and placed upon the Anchoring Permit holder.)
    a. Vessel in location not adversely effecting seagrass, navigation, or another anchored vessel.
    b. Appropriate type and size line / chain used with no obvious defects.
    c. Appropriate amount of scope deployed.
    d. Anti chafe gear in place and in good condition.
    e. (1). Two anchor system set approx. 180 degrees apart. (2). Three anchor system set approx. 120 degrees part. (3). Four anchor system set approx. 90 degrees apart. (4). One anchor system not permitted.
    4. Applicant responsible for presenting VSC and Diver Inspection to Marine Police in order to receive the Anchoring Permit. Failure to do so within 30 days of arrival may result in violation of City Ordinance 07-4711(x)(x)(x).

    Shouldn’t short-term anchoring be permitted for at least a week without requiring a permit? Or will adequate moorings be available for rent? Last I heard, work had been stopped on expanding the very small mooring field.
    Will White

    The mistake I see in all of this is buying into their argument that a problem exists. The Sarasota proposal does that on steroids.
    bosunj

    What isn’t clear is what does this mean to someone who might want to anchor for a week. To go through all this rigamarole and expense for a short stay is a non-starter for us. The rules for clearing in and out of Cuba are simpler.
    Chris

    This could be the way to go as it will help with the derelict vessel problem but needs a little tweaking. the diver inspection would be a problem because if no diver corps have the right permitting they just will not offer the services which will make all the rest obsolete. there should be no third party involved but city and state otherwise there will be price gouging and corruption and we have all had enough of that
    Dave C.

    Terrible idea! You might as well just outlaw anchoring. Why should those who wish to anchor have to submit to this sort of drastic limit on their freedom? I for one consider having to fill out forms and taking tests to be totally against the spirit, and for that matter, established law of anchoring. It would absolutely guarantee I won’t visit Sarasota by water. I wouldn’t want to waste the time and money. This is a very slippery slope. Once one town gets a law like this on the books, the others with mooring fields will institute similar laws, but with different requirements. Before long we will have to register and submit forms, and of course pay fees to administer and enforce all this, to anchor anywhere. Other problems: a USCG auxiliary inspection requires equipment above what is required by law–unenforceable, and I suspect someone could have the ticket thrown out of court for this reason. Many of us don’t use holding tanks and don’t require pumpouts–I have a composting system. Having a licensed diver inspect your anchor = $$. Having someone else determine how I should be anchored is something I will not submit to. I have anchored thousands of times and I know how to anchor. This is obviously just a way to make it so much hassle that it will drive the anchorers away.
    John Kettlewell

    You HAVE to be kidding! We just spent 10 days anchored off Island Park in Sarasota. The bum boats are mostly gone already, lots of anchoring room, police towed two remaining abandoned boats away while we were there. We really enjoyed our stay, spent lots of money in their stores downtown, restaurants, etc. If this “anchoring permit” idea goes into effect we will NEVER again stop in Sarasota!!!
    I would not be willing to waste my time going into an inspection station even though my vessel meets all of the requirements just so I could anchor for a short time in Sarasota. This “anchor permit” will deter all cruisers who just want to spend a few days enjoying Sarasota from ever stopping there again. BAD idea, might as well just ban all anchoring in Sarasota waters. I would rather deal with a time limit (even a short one) than to submit to all this bureaucratic nonsense!!
    Larry Sherman

    Cruisers who want to anchor for less than 90 days don’t and shouldn’t need a permit to limit their freedom to do so.
    Non-cruisers, local residents or NOT, who want to STORE their boats at anchor for more than 90 days should be subject to oversight to protect the other cruisers using adjacent waterways from becoming victims of their neglect. An anchoring permit is a reasonable solution if you cannot STORE your boat on land.
    If the permit is a device to get derilect boats removed from sight, it will fail because you can comply with all the requirements of the permit and still have an unsightly boat.
    David Burnham

    Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the “multi’ anchor folks.
    Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
    S/V Endeavor

    I personally think USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Checks are a great idea, and we do one every year as a routine, ongoing safety program. I can support that idea in principle, and I ass/u/me it would also include the equivalent check from the US Power Squadron. One issues is that the stickers are based on a calendar year and expire in December. There needs to be a grace period recognizing that the program is an annual calendar-based program.
    I also agree with the idea that there needs to be a short term exclusion. It *is not* reasonable to require a permit for short stays; perhaps less than 14 days.
    One poster does raise an interesting point. What happens if one anchors in violation of a permit? Penalty? Fine? I wonder if a permit violation based on requirements that exceed state law and CG regulations would be enforceable? That criteria would just waste everyone’s time and energy, generate enormous dissatisfaction and resentment, and seems like it would be contrary to the spirit test.
    Finally, I agree that any ordinance needs to have a clearly defined statement of purpose and objective. If Sarasota’s is about derelict boats and derelict boats are not a problem, then there should be no ordinance.
    Jim Healy, aboard Sanctuary
    Monk 36 hull 132

    Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the “multi’ anchor folks.
    Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
    S/V Endeavor

    I too do not agree with over regulation. Particulerly when one of the city of Sarasotas complaints is the cost of enforcing current laws. However Ken’s proposal is much more cruiser frindly then plans that state no longer then 72 hours on anchor in city waters. That require the use of the proposed Marina Jacks managed mooring field after 72 hours. The city has been chosen as a state pilot program site. There will be regulations put in place. I would perfer the people pushing the mooring field not write them. To add to all of this the city claims that after there last mooring field failure. They are to invested to permenently abandon the plan. At the same time they will not rent showers, laundry facilitys, WiFi, or parking passes to cruisers or resident boat owners. Opening these services to boaters (not on Marina Jack’s docks) who can prove they have a safe navigable vessel. Could recover there loss with out adding to there debt. Aswell as bringing in more of the cruisers who would pay for those on shore luxuries. On the anchoring topic I do not care how you anchor. Just dont hit me and dont swing in that horried 200 ft 1 anchor ark. However when you pull up a ball of lovely Sarasota bay muck. Dont cry when you hit the beach or worse yet me.
    Bryan Makepeace
    S/V Albatross

  • Praise for Owl Creek Boat Works, Alva FL, east of Ft. Myers, Statute Mile 124.5

    Owl Creek Boat Works and Storage Inc. is located 10 miles east of downtown Ft. Myers on the Caloosahatchee River between markers 5 and 6, turn north at sign and follow marked channel.

    Owl Creek is one of those “old school” yards where craftsmen still take a personal pride in their work. Each man (I think the whole crew is about 13) has one or more primary skills (diesel engine repair, custom woodwork, electronics, etc) plus a secondary skill (bottom paint, propeller replacement, etc.) The owner (Butch Futch) walks the yard about twice a day keepingan eye on each project and offering suggestions. Pricing is not a bargain but is fair and reasonable for the quality of the work. And they offer 100% satisfaction guarantee. Hard to find a good yard anywhere these days (none left in Annapolis, Thunderbolt is still good, Lauderdale depends on the individual more than the yard) so finding a place like these tucked away on the north shore of the Caloosahatcheee is a find. Hope other people can benefit from what I’ve experienced there.
    Bert Jones aboard SEA BEAR 54′ Krogen trawler

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Owl Creek Boat Works

  • Important – Boat/US Releases Revised Summary of Florida Anchoring Rights!!!!

    Our good friends at Boat/US have asked the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net to help get the word out that they have just released an updated statement of Florida Anchoring Right, which are specifically designed for the use of cruisers, while they are underway. Boat/US has rendered the Cruising Community a GREAT service by formulating this document. May we humbly suggest that one and all make as much use of it as possible!


  • Anchoring Hassles in Port Charlotte (off Peace River in Edgewater Lake)

    First of all, let’s locate the anchorage where the series of events described below is centered. Edgewater Lake is accessed via a canal which cuts off the northern shores of upper Charlotte Harbor/lower Peace River, just across the way from the Punta Gorda waterfront. These waters are indeed recommended as an anchorage in both my “Cruising Guide to Western Florida” and here on the Cruisers’ Net.
    Secondly, if we believe Captain Ritchie’s assertion below that they “sail and/or maintain multiple times per week” their vessel, clearly this craft is NOT a derelict or a “live aboard hulk.”
    So, this is pretty clearly a case where the adjacent land owners simply do not want to see anchored vessels when they go out into their back yards. IN MY OPINION, THIS IS PRECISELY THE SORT OF INSTANCE THE 2009 FLORIDA STATE ANCHORING LAW WAS MEANT TO ADDRESS. According to this law, as most of you already know, LOCAL MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY AUTHORITIES HAVE NO RIGHT TO DENY ANCHORAGE ON THESE OR ANY OTHER WATERS TO ANY CRAFT (unless it is abandoned or a “live aboard hulk,” which, to be repetitive, this vessel is not).
    It’s just this sort of instance which paints all of Florida in a bad light, and why when I talk to cruising groups in the Carolinas, Georgia or the non-Floridian Gulf coast, generally the second or third query in my question and answer sessions goes something like, “Should we take our boats to Florida?”
    But, all of Florida is NOT like this. Places like Fort Myers Beach could not be more welcoming to the cruising community, and really this positive attitude towards cruisers is the rule, not the exception. However, let an incident like the Volusia County Sheriff’s office boardings of last fall happen, or what is described below, and mariners begin to have very real, very legitimate questions about whether they should avoid Floridian waters entirely.
    Well, that’s today’s unsolicited editorial. Read on and discover what prompted this stream of consciousness.

    On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, I wrote this letter to a Florida attorney who is interested in violations of Florida’s anchoring laws by local municipalities, in this case, Charlotte County.
    May 10, 2011
    Ahoy! My name is Rick Ritchie. I am a Michigan Resident staying at my mother’s house in Port Charlotte, Florida. My family and I have a 37 Irwin sailboat (registered in FL) which we sail and/or maintain multiple times per week. We anchor in Edgewater Lake, a small cove just off of North Charlotte Harbor, which is listed as an anchorage in Claiborne Young’s Cruisers’ Guide and on Cruisers.net (an online cruising guide), also designated as an anchorage on Florida’s FWC nautical chart (the one that is published for FWC for boaters). It is designated anchorage number 7 on FWC chart SGEB-61. Even the two unhappy local lake-shore landowners concede that it is an anchorage. Of course, as you know, even if it were not designated, as such, anchoring there would still be legal because it is a navigable part of Charlotte Harbor, Florida. The “anchorage” designation by FWC is just a redundancy.
    We (my family and I) have been “talked to” by the Charlotte County sheriff’s office, twice, and told to move our boat. They have told us that this navigable lake is not an anchorage. In both instances I was able to demonstrate to the officer that my boat was (and is) legally anchored. I did this by showing them the aforementioned FWC nautical chart and the reference in the cruiser’s guide. The last deputy sheriff’s parting words were that he is NOT telling us we have to move it (even though that is exactly what he told us to do at the beginning of the dialog), but that there is a time limit on the anchoring of boats in Charlotte county. My wife asked him. “what is the time limit?” and he said that he didn’t know. Then he left.
    Also, we were asked to attend a meeting of the neighborhood association (actually, just two homeowner couples showed up) to discuss my boat. The short version of the meeting is that they don’t like to look at boats anchored in “their water.” It was, actually, a gripe session where my wife and I politely listened and responded to their questions and managed to avoid rising to their baited and barbed comments and insults. One of them even offhandedly threatened us. Of course his wife said that he was not serious. (our anchor line has been cut twice while anchored there, quite probably by someone who lives nearby. We now have all chain.)
    Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, we have friendly relationships with many of the homeowners around the lake, even getting invited to use a homeowners dock for our dinghy, and another homeowner is smitten with our children and invites us into their home for beverages. So only two homeowners, it seems, are calling the sheriff and complaining. Unfortunately, the Sheriff’s office seems to dance to their tune.
    One more thing (promise): According to one of our several friends who lives on that anchorage’s shore, the sheriff’s boat has been visiting our boat on a regular basis (lately, almost daily). Today, it seems, they even tied onto it. I don’t know if they boarded it, or not. We were at my mother’s house a few miles away, at the time. That’s where we usually are if we aren’t on the water.
    This is all for your information. If you have any advise or questions please feel free to email me.
    Sincerely,
    Rick Ritchie

    More on this Charlotte Harbor Anchoring Hassle:
    May 15, 2011
    First, let me emphasize this: Deputy Katsarelas was polite during the entire phone conversation– even when I told him that he was wrong about the anchoring law. If he was unhappy about it, I couldn’t tell. He continued to be polite and professional.
    Second, I understand that this letter may find its way to the Sheriff’s office. For that reason I have been careful to be accurate in this testimony and faithful in my recreation of the events and
    quotations. Other than my speculations, which I have identified as such, this is as accurate as I can make it.
    Read on:
    My boat was just tagged as an “At-Risk of becoming derelict” vessel by Deputy Sheriff Katsarelas of the Charlotte County Sheriff Department. When I spoke with him on the phone, today, he said that the citation was based on another complaint by an Edgewater Lake homeowner. He also stated that he (Katsarelas) has never seen anybody aboard my vessel. I explained that I have been on-board my boat weekly, usually more than once per week. I also informed him that some friendly homeowners on the lake could verify this.
    [Maybe he hasn’t seen me aboard my boat because, until last week, he only patrols Edgewater Lake for a few minutes out of every month… just a guess]
    Specifically, the tag that he left on my boat states that my vessel has been identified as being “at risk of becoming a derelict vessel.” The reason stated on the tag is that my vessel is “neglected, improperly maintained, or is not able to be used for navigation.”
    This is untrue. As I stated in the letter to ATTY Dickerson, which you posted on Cruisersnet, my wife and I visit my boat multiple times per week to maintain and/or sail her.
    We don’t always get to sail her, but we ALWAYS are able to get out there and take care of her, start the engine, air it out, install a redundant bilge-pump, add another battery, replace
    hoses, replace anchor line with chain, etc..
    Deputy Katsarelas suggested that I moor my boat at my house instead of anchoring on the lake.
    After I explained to the Deputy that I was within my rights to anchor there, and cited the Florida statute, he informed me that the County has more strict anchoring regulations.
    And I quote from Deputy Katsarelas of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department: during today’s phone conversation:
    “The County has more binding regulations than the State.”
    “The county has the right to add to the State regulations.”
    “[County regulations] …are in-addition to State regulations”
    When I informed him that he was in error, I gave him the specific statute (327.60) which specifically states that local municipalities are prohibited from enacting , continuing in effect, or enforcing any ordinance or regulation regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboards. Deputy Katsarelas then stated that he was not current on the new anchoring laws.
    Again, a quote from Deputy Katsarelas:
    “I’m not up on the new anchoring laws.”
    So I offered to give him a copy of the new regulations and a copy of Boat US’s summary of the new law. He said that I could do that if I wanted to.
    So now my boat is listed in the new State-wide database of Derilict vessels. I wonder if this might be a prelude to an accusation of vessel abandonment? Swell!!!
    I guess I will send him a copy of the statute and a copy of Boat U.S.’s summary of the anchoring laws. I suspect that it won’t help, though. Maybe it’s just because a few of them make numerous complaints, but the unhappy Edgewater Lake homeowners seem to have some sort of special influence over the sheriff’s office. I speculate that I will now be hounded by the sheriff’s office.
    It would be cool if a more official type person would send the statute and a legal opinion of it to Deputy Katsarelas and the Sheriff’s Department of Charlotte County — perhaps a member of
    the BAR.
    I wonder what the sheriff dept. has in store for me? Boardings? Safety Inspections? Home visitations? Towing my vessel?
    I wonder what the unhappy homeowners have in store for me: More anchor rode cuttings (I now have chain so it’ll have to be with bolt cutters, this time)?
    Anyway, Edgewater Lake, designated as an anchorage in the cruisers guides and FWC charts (not that it needs to be), is a little less than friendly.
    P.S. In the interest of fairness and completeness, the tag that was left on my boat also stated thatthe registration numbers are not in contrast with the hull color. To that, I have to admit that Deputy
    Katsarelas may have a point. I informed him that I will the numbers from black to white and he said that would be acceptable.
    Again, this is for your information. I hope that someone out there can make good use of it.
    Rick Ritchie

    This situation is truly unfortunate and also an opportunity. Although, I’m not a lawyer I believe it is illegal for even the police to board your boat without your invitation. I would speak to your shore side friends about setting up a video surveillance(VS). Post the boat with a sign, and file charges after the violation. At the very least, you might make it known that there is VS on your boat. Harassment of this type is unacceptable and the police should be investigating who cut you rode.
    Marc Sexton

    Now, here is a well-thought note that demands some serious consideration. Read Captain Kewley’s comments first, and then peruse my editorial remarks afterward:

    Mr Ritchie,
    I would like to offer some thought to clarify a couple of points that you make in your post.I believe that the sea floor in Edgewater Lake is owned by Charlotte County since the lake like the waterways are not natural bodies of water, indicating why the County Sheriff would be involved in policing anchored boats there. This also brings into question whether the rules on anchoring in Florida State waters apply.
    I think the crux of the issue lies with the point at which an untended boat becomes a hazard or derelict. I do not believe that the residents around Edgewater Lake object to overnight or short-term anchoring since I visit the location fairly frequently. However you use the anchorage as a long-term storage facility for your Irwin while staying with relatives miles away and apparently have done so periodically for a couple of years. Barnacles growing up your anchor rode in the past have indicated infrequent movement of your boat.
    As the 2011 Hurricane season approaches and I wonder if the residents surrounding Edgewater Lake should feel reassured that your liability coverage will be adequate to compensate them should your boat’s chain anchor rode not withstand storm conditions.I think that it is a matter of reasonable consideration for others, and storing your boat for free, anchored near someone’s backyard for months at a time certainly is inconsiderate at best.
    Clifford Kewley

    Captain Kewley raises at least three interesting questions in his note above. First, there is matter of whether Florida anchoring law applies to bottomland that is the result of man-made action, e. g. dredging. I have heard some say yes and some say no. However, I do clearly recall in my political science classes, that “Federal law supercedes state law, and state law supercedes local and county statutes.” Given that truism, one must conclude that there is at least a distinct possibility that the 2009 Florida state anchoring law applies even to bottom lands that are the result of dredging. For a more definitive answer, we must defer to the lawyers among us. If anyone practicing the legal profession would like to weigh in, and please do so, then click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    Secondly, there is the matter of how long should a well maintained, non-abandoned vessel that is in compliance with all safely and MSD regulations, be allowed to anchor in one place. In my 2010 editorial entitled, “Whence Come the Anchorage Regulations,” (http://www.CruisersNet.net/florida-anchoring-editorial-1-whence-come-the-anchorage-regulations), I wondered out loud:

    “Finally, that leaves the case of what I will call “responsible liveaboards,” boat owners who religiously come to the dock (or use a “honey boat”) to have their holding tanks pumped, don’t throw trash overboard, don’t make loud noise, don’t’ trespass, and keep their vessels attractive and well secured. How long should a mariner of this ilk be allowed to anchor his or her vessel in the same spot?”

    I don’t have an answer for this instance to this day. Anyone else????

    And, finally, there is the question of damage caused by anchored vessels during a violent storm or a hurricane. A legitimate concern to be sure, but in the case of Captain Ritchie, since he is clearly in close contact with his vessel, there should be ample time for him to move his craft before a hurricane hits. Thus, I tend to think this question is a non-issue!

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Edgewater Lake

    Some may question whether or not someone “should” anchor a boat for long term storage like this, but it is crystal clear that it is perfectly legal to do so according to Florida and Federal statute. The issues about a potential for hurricane damage and being “untended” are bogus–if this was the standard throughout Florida nobody could anchor or tie up anyplace for more than a few days. The sheriff is just hunting for something, anything to allow him to make this boater move along.
    John Kettlewell

    Dear Captain Young
    Thanks for stimulating a very interesting discussion and spotlighting the issue of anchoring rights. Kinda brings to mind the Paul Simon lyric in discussing apartment living,”one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor”.
    Your essay/editorial “whence come the Anchorage Regulations” and your message discusses responsible live-aboards. In the case of Mr Ritchie, substitute the term responsible long-term storage behind someone else’s home.
    I do not know the legalities of whether ownership of the sea floor determines the applicable regulation of anchoring and, hopefully some “sea lawyers will opine on the issue.
    Clif Kewley

    Dear Clifford Kewley,
    With all due respect, you seem to be confusing my boat with another one that was, in fact, abandoned on the lake and was finally removed a few months ago (by whom, I have no idea). It was a boat called the “Wild Hare” and it did, indeed, have a barnacle-ball the size of a basketball on the anchor rode. It also had a missing companionway hatch so it was completely exposed to the elements. Its hull had a barnacle-covering that made it resemple an oyster farm. The “Wild Hare” was there when I first discovered Edgewater Lake a year ago. My friends on the lake have told me that “Wild Hare” had been there for 2 years. This, however, is NOT my boat. My anchor rode has NEVER had a barnacle ball. Secondly, I have owned my boat for only 12 months, four of which I kept her at a dock on the Ackerman waterway (e.g. from November 2010 to February 2011), and several other weeks I kept her on the harbor, next to another anchored cruiser (Jim). So your assertion that I have been storing it on Edgewater Lake for “years” is mistaken. I maintain my boat, regularly, including the achor rigging, which I have had to replace… thrice… in the last year. More importantly, I SAIL MY BOAT! True, it is on the lake much more often than it is under sail, still I get to sail her reasonably often.
    So, I am now keeping a log of my visits to my boat. I don’t suppose it will make any difference to the disgruntled landowners, but I am recording what I do during each visit. And thanks to the local police, I will now have their official verification that I was on my boat to find the tag that they left, and was there on another occasion to replace the reg. numbers with more contrasting colored ones. So between the police and the friendly landowners I should easily be able to substantiate my claim of twice per week.
    So, my question to you is (this is a serious question, I have no ill-will loaded up here because I believe it was an honest mistake): How long should I stay away from Edgewater lake between anchorings; And, how long should I be able to anchor my boat there, each time?
    Please accept my apology for anything in this letter that seems less than polite. I find that the brevity of email sometimes impersonates rudeness. I do not mean to sound harsh or rude, especially to a fellow sailor.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rick Ritchie

    Mr. Ritchie,
    I am not sure of your legal right to anchor/wet store your vessel in Edgewater Lake for long periods of time. So to move the discussion along and avoid the on-line “huffing and puffing” about anchoring rights in Florida, lets change the scenario.
    Lets say that you worked long hours for many years and sacrificed to save money to enable you and your family to enjoy your favorite locale and lifestyle. A beautiful mountain community where you paid extra for a building lot to build your home with an unimpeeded view of the mountains. Nice!
    Now lets assume that a local mountain view lover from the next town decided to situate and store his motorhome on the right of way just left of your center view of the mountains, obstructing, oh maybe 10% of your view, and he WAS legally able to do so.
    Now my thought on this is that the lot owner, you, would probably not mind or be too upset if the visitor stayed for a weekend, or maybe a week but….
    If it is only about what is legal then we are in big trouble as a society.
    Clif Kewley

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

  • Good Dining Reported at Royal Palm Marina (Statute Mile 46.5)

    Royal Palm Marina lines the eastern banks of the Western Florida ICW’s run through Lemon Bay, south of Venice. Sounds like some good eats here!

    Haven’t docked here yet, but the restaurant – Zeke’s – has excellent food. Very casual.
    The new dockmaster is friendly.
    Clyde

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

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

  • Happy Times at Fort Myers Yacht Basin (St. Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway)

    Located 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 ofWell, of course Captains Connie and Ron enjoyed their time at this first-rate, city run facility. After all, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    We were live-aboards here for over 2 years and loved it! Dock personnel are the most qualified, helpful, responsive, and friendly of ANY marina we have been in. They will even have someone stand by after hours to recieve and help you if you call ahead.
    They generally have the lowest price in the area on fuel and are very diligent in maintaining clean, filtered fuel…no water or algea contamination.
    Tell Leif and Wendy “Hi” from
    Ron and Connie!

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Myers Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Myers Yacht Basin

  • Excellent Report on Cruising Crytal River (Florida’s Big Bend Region)

    Our thanks to fellow cruisers Todd and Branda Lanning for a superb report on this Big Bend River. Moving north from Anclote Key, Crystal River is really the first of the Big Bend stream really suitable for cruising size craft. There is Homosassa River to the south, BUT iffy depths here and the lack of facilities for vessels over 30 feet usually entice us to continue on to Crystal River.

    Good Morning Claiborne,
    As per your request here is the latest & greatest on Crystal River, FL. Life’s2Short had a wonderful 3 days in the fresh waters of Kings Bay, always nice to rinse off the salt that one accumulates as they cruise north & south along the gulf coast! This is our fourth time up to Crystal River and has become one of our favorite west coast stops. We anchored in a new spot this time that is even better protected than the main waters of Kings Bay, the new anchorage is on east and then south of the main anchorage on the backside of the island located in Kings Bay. We did dinghy over to Pete’s Pier to take a look around and get some ice. Nothing has changed over there, still a pretty run down marina with no apparent need to fix anything up. I’m not badmouthing the marina as it’s still a good place to go if you need a slip, however we much prefer anchoring out in this wonderful area!
    Depths in the channel leading into the river seem to have remained steady since we were last here in 2009. All depths listed below are actual water depths and with the “Shell Island” tide station showing 1 foot above low tide. We found that you need to approach the outside markers on a due west-to-east line when you are within a 1/2 mile of markers #1 & #2, depths on this line are all about 7 to 8 feet deep. We hugged the green #1 marker as we came in and never saw less than 8 feet between #1 & #2. Only two areas we found that were somewhat skinny. Between markers #5 & #6 we registered an actual depth of 6.5 feet and then again around Shell Island we found 6 feet of actual depth. We also tended to hold to the green markers before getting to Shell Island. The key to getting through the Shell Island area is to hang close to Shell Island when you pass by. After Shell Island the depths are fine and you can relax for the 6 miles on up this beautiful river, getting pushed along with the incoming tide!
    I know many people are leery about heading up this river because of depth. Life’s2Short draws 4 feet so we had no issues whatsoever. If I was taking in a 5′ draft boat I would wait until 1/2 tide rising, and I would have no issue taking in a 6 foot draft boat if I went at high tide.
    This area is truly a gem on the west coast of Florida and should not be missed if you have the time as you are headed up or down the coast!
    Todd & Brenda Lanning
    Life’s2Short
    1985 40′ Oceania Trawler

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Crystal River – Kings Bay Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Crystal River – Kings Bay Anchorage

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pete’s Pier

  • 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

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