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Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • “Report” from Matanzas Pass Entry Channel, Fort Myers Beach, FL

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Capt. Armstrong provides “‘nuf said” about the entry channel into Matanzas Pass where shoaling has drastically shifted the deep water. Click link below for a recent Navigation Alert posted on Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.

    Hi Claiborne,
    Lastest info on Matanzas Pass…don’t follow “red, right, returning”…safe to outside green markers #5 & #7, depths 8′ to 13′ on the tides.
    Capt. Art Armstrong
    State of the Art
    In God We Trust

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Matanzas Pass Channel Light #5

    Click Here To Read Earlier Comments about shoaling in This Area

  • Praise for South Seas Island Resort Marina, West Florida ICW, Mile 135

    South Seas Island Resort Marina is found at the western foot of the marked and charted channel running west between Western Florida ICW markers #38 and #39.

    Just visited this marina this last Saturday (Sept 15) with our Tartan 33, and found the experience to be thoroughly enjoyable. The Dockmaster and his staff here are among the most pleasant and helpful I’ve encountered anywhere (unlike at not-to-be-named marina a mile or so to the south). The facilities are first rate, the showers excellent (just walk right in… they provide towels, soap and shampoo!), and the grounds are tropical and very well tended. In all, a great experience. For any of you folks traveling with a boat club, be sure to negotiate club rates (maybe not in full season?). Yes, it’s a bit pricey atmosphere, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this place to anyone. I don’t mind paying a bit more once in a while, especially if I think I’m getting my money’s worth. Easy access from the ICW, and Redfish Pass is right there for a good deep-water opening to the Gulf.
    Capt. Mike Smith

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

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

  • Cruising Southwestern Florida Coastline With a 5-foot Draft

    Here’s an interesting discussion, which originally appeared on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum (an organization we continue to heartily endorse) about cruising the western coastline of the Sunshine State, between Sarasota and Captiva Island, with a 5-foot draft.
    My experience having researched this coastline since 1992, which reflects the remarks below by Captains Gina and Chuck, is that 5-feet of draft will be fine for most marinas and many anchorages. There are some exceptions, and if your vessel has 6-feet of draft, it can start to get a bit tricky!
    The message below from our good friend, Captain Chuck Baier, former General Manager for Waterway Guide, is particularly useful. Most (but not all) of the marinas he mentions as being too shallow are not even listed in the SSECN’s “Western Florida Marina Directory” as they are too small and shallow to really serve cruising size craft. Nevertheless, this is superb information!

    My husband and I are chartering a 50′ Trawler for a week out of Sarasota. We are beginning to seriously look at various style trawlers available as we get closer to retiring and beginning a cruising lifestyle for awhile. My question is, as I am studying the waters in this area, Given the depths and tides, am wondering if we are going to have trouble getting in/out of marinas etc. with a draft of 5′ Any suggestions as to how best navigate this area and where to stay would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Mary

    It shouldn’t be a problem. We made the trip from Cape Coral to Tarpon Springs and back last year. We draw 4 ft and our friends who traveled with us draws 5ft (a 53 ft Carver). Marinas were fine. South of Sarasota we stayed at Crows Nest (Venice) and Palm Island Marina. We did the whole trip inside via ICW (except for the section north of Tampa where the ICW ends) and didn’t have a problem. Between Sarasota and Captiva we did have to watch the tides through Lemon Bay as it can get skinny there.
    Enjoy your trip. It’s a beautiful area. It’s been our cruising area for 15 years.
    Gina
    M/v Island Time
    Cape Coral, Fl

    Mary,
    We traveled the entire west coast of Florida on several occasions with a 6 foot draft. There are some shallow areas but be sure and have
    current charts and you won’t have any issues. Most marinas will be accessible to you. If you get to Sanibel, Adventures In Paradise Marina might be a problem. On Pine Island Sound, Four Winds Marina will be a no go and Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort will also be iffy. In Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda Marina and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club are very shallow. In Lemon Bay, Stump Pass Marina is shallow and in Little Sarasota Bay, Turtle Beach Marina will be too shallow. In Sarasota, the problem marinas will be Sara Bay, Sarasota Cay Club and Cannon’s Marina. Some of these will be too small for you but might be considered for fuel stops. If in doubt, call ahead and ask. Other than that, pay attention to your charts and if the chart says it’s shallow it is. There will be plenty of available anchorages if you want to get away by yourselves.
    Have a great trip.
    Chuck Baier

    Mary — We live in the city of Punta Gorda at the far northern end of Charlotte Harbor and sail our Ericson 38 sloop drawing 5’1″ throughout the waters you indicated. I would agree with the comments above with the added mention of northerly winds particularly in the winter months which result in lower than normally predicted tides. Come on up Charlotte Harbor to Punta Gorda for a visit to a really quaint, beautiful waterfront community.
    Noel Hyde

    We live in Punta Gorda and have a 35′ Compac, fully loaded we consider her a 5 foot draft. We have had no issues in this area along the coast line, nor have we had any with the ICW. There are areas that you have to watch the markers and aids to navigation in the ICW, but outside is “clear sailing” so they say. You should have no problems being you have major power, but like everyone mentioned above, follow your charts and if at all possible, get some local knowledge when going into a new marina or channel or canal. Relax and enjoy!
    Lynda Leonard s/w Choctaw Brave

    Careful attention to charts and the depth sounder will keep you out of trouble.

    Most of the ICW is trouble free with 5’ if you stay in the channel. There are many places to go and some you cant but they are usually obvious. A week is not a very long time to explore the area. Sarasota is north of the middle of the SW Florida cruising area of Clearwater to Naples and the keys. You wont have time for the keys unless you want to do long days and short stops.
    Going north, Marina Jack in Sarasota, St. Petersburg muni marina, and Clearwater beach are all easily accessible with the only trouble spot being near marker 40 near longboat pass. To the south Venice, Boca Grand, Cayo Costa anchorage (no marina), South Seas resort, ( entrance a little shallow) Ft Meyers, Ft Meyers beach and Naples are all different and interesting. Narrow or shallow entrances are common but should not be a problem with proper attention. Check for current information on this site as conditions do change from charted depths.
    IMO for the best sample of area cruising go south, take your time and stay in the ICW. It is a shame to miss the St. Pete waterfront but you cant do everything in a week.
    Bruce

    Fortunately, most of the shoreline of the Gulf from Louisiana to Florida is soft albeit shallow. Keep one eye on the charts and the other on the tide tables. Frustrating as it ma be, sometimes the different tide charts seem to not agree. Live with it.
    I have sailed the Gulf along Florida’s West coast for the past 14 years and have ‘found’ most of the shoals. I could have avoided them with little bit of caution but was able to free myself with no injury or damage and sailed away with minimal delay and another sailing story.
    I think the Gulf coast has some of the best anchorages of anywhere I have been. Very well protected, plentiful and shallow. I don’t like to anchor in more than 8-10′ of water- too much work to haul the anchor and to figure swinging area.
    Always FOR SAILtoo

  • Report from Tierra Verde Marina, West Florida, Statute Mile 113

    Tierra Verde Marina is located directly on the Western Florida ICW, just west of the Pinellas Bayway Bridge, northwest of marker #22. This facility went through a major rebuilding only a year or so ago. Looks like the previous ownership did not survive that project.

    We stayed at the Tierra Verde marina for one night. We have a Sea Ray 390 Motor Yacht. We called ahead and they had folks waiting for us and brought us into one of the floating docks. They have both floating docks and fixed docks. Please take Caution, the marina provides little protection from the elements, specially the extremely fast current the rips through the areas from east to west. This combined with a strong easterly wind made for a interesting docking experience. Also because of the location of the marina, most of the night our boat was rocking from side to side.
    We arrived just before 5 and everyone vacated the facilities promptly at 5. We were told where we could obtain shore power. However, when we connected in, power was not available. Two other transit boats came in after hours and were not able to obtain shore power either. Talking with the boat broker on premises, a lot of the shore power hookups do not work. Why they parked us at one I have no idea.. but we were able to run the generator all night long. I was expecting a discount on the overnight fee due to this, but I was told none was available.
    From what I have learned, the marina has just changed hands to a new owners who is trying to make improvements…. The people working there are great… but I think it is a work in progress…..
    Roger Battistoni

    Last week I took on 240 gal of water contaminated gasoline from them. My well cared vessel with racors stopped engine damage but I still needed a tow in. And of course downtubes et cet to clear the water. They denied fuel contamination and did not offer any help whatsoever. I asked for the manager but my $1000 gas bill would not even get him off his golfcart.
    Buyer beware with this group. I will buy my fuel elsewhere.
    Red ariel

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

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

  • Eye Witness Account of How Tropical Storm Isaac Impacted Riviera Dunes Marina (off Tampa Bay on Manatee River, Palmetto, FL)

    Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersAfter reading the account below, it makes my very proud that Riviera Dunes Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    From: “First Matey”
    Subject: Isaac Preparations and Riding Out of Storm
    We were tenants at Riviera Dunes Marina, Palmetto, FL, during the approach and passing of T/S Isaac. This marina has a reputation for being a great place to be during a storm because of its location five miles up the Manatee River off Tampa Bay (thus tidal surges have a lot of space to fill before getting too drastic etc.), but being there during this one was most revealing. Doc Craig, the marina manager, had his crew use lines that the marina owns, (three strand nylon with sizes for each size vessel) actually double line every vessel in the marina. See photo that shows owners lines and the white marina lines…

            
    The marina staff started several days before the storms forecasted arrival in accordance with marina storm preparation “SOP”. Several captains volunteered to help to make sure that all vessels were properly fendered, tied, and prepared for the storm. I have never seen this in my years of cruising, although it is such a great thing to offer, I am sure it exists in some other places. I understand this marina has a special offer to insure a slip during a storm for any captains who may want to insure a spot for the ultimate protection of this 360 protected marina harbor.
    As you know, Bradenton – Palmetto, did not get much of the storm effects. Actually the wind is blowing more today, Tuesday, August 28th than it did during the day the storm was to pass. None the less, no damage, no nicks, in fact all is well and in place.
    Our prayers are with everyone who remains in the path of Isaac and hopefully all will fair without harm.
    We are in love with this area up the Manatee. Palmetto is a slice of old Florida and Bradenton has all that one could want with a beautiful river walk park. It is just nice. And we actually enjoyed riding out Isaac here with the fine folks who run Riviera Dunes, especially their Dockmaster and marina manager, Doc Craig and his lovely wife Linda.
    Our prayers are with everyone who remains in the path of Isaac and hopefully all will fair without harm.
    Thanks for all you do Claiborne in getting good info out to all.
    “First Matey”

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

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

  • Three Excellent Repair Recommendations for the Tampa Bay Region (Western Florida Coastline)

    Our sincere thanks to Skipper Sue and Capt. Warren for these recommendations. As I’ve often said, tips by fellow cruisers pointed towards talented and fair service professionals are worth several times their weight in gold!

    Dear Claiborne,
    I was cruising out of Bradenton, Fl recently and needed some quick air conditioning repairs and diesel engine repairs. As a result of some local recommendations and my own personal experience, I want to share and highly recommend these two resources.
    For my engine repairs, I learned of a young man named Jon Lynch who runs Florida Marine Power. I called Mr. Lynch and he responded quickly. The work took some time and Mr. Lynch stayed on board with us until 9:45PM until the work was completed and tested for satisfaction. His rates are fair also. What a fine young man. The point I want to make and let other cruisers know, is that I have never met such an honest and talented diesel technician. This skipper would like to highly recommend Florida Marine Power and Mr. Jon Lynch, telephone 941-545-8250. You will not be disappointed.
    Our air conditioning system repairs were met with equal responsiveness. We were told of “Brad’s Marine Air Conditioning” and a Mr. Brad Coats. Mr. Coats worked us into his schedule quickly, even though it meant coming by in the evening. He worked diligently and saved us a lot of money by repairing the compressor, rather than just selling us a new unit. I heard several skippers tell of how Brad had helped others saving money and keeping the crew cool and happy. Brad is located in St. Petersburg and covers down to Sarasota if necessary. His tele: 727-492-2622
    We’ve worked with a number of marine technicians, but these two are definitely stand outs !!
    Skipper Sue
    M/V WinSue

    I also have had wonderful service from Jon Lynch, who specializes in diesel engines, as well as general maintenance. He also works with a very talented electric tech – Eric Stammer, who can be reached via Jon Lynch.
    John Guthrie

    I would also highly recommend Patrick Halbert of Accelerated Yacht Services, Phone: (727) 656-0250
    Patrick’s a whiz at everything boats — from master woodworking to diesel repairs & repowering, and all categories in between. Also, reasonable, competitive rates.
    For Patrick’s bio, check out
    http://www.daviderdmanyachts.com/patrick_halbert.html
    Captain Paul Warren

  • Legacy Harbour Marina Designed for Storm Surge, Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway

    239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Meyers has also been designed for hurricane storm surges .. floating concrete docks on tall concrete posts.
    John
    m/v At Last

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

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

  • “Venice Water Cop” Passes Away

    Retired FWC “Water Cop,” Tim Erickson, passed away recently, and I’m sure he will be missed by family and friends. Many cruisers had another name for this “Venice Water Cop,” but with his passing, perhaps we will not recall that moniker now.
    For many years Officer Erickson was known for his tenacious, “letter of the law” enforcement of Florida statutes which require state registration of vessels, even though they may be Federally documented.
    Several years ago, the SSECN was involved in an e-mail writing campaign to the Venice City Council, protesting Officer Erickson’s treatment of visiting cruisers. Turns out he was a state employee, and this protest went for naught.
    Erickson retired several years ago, and Venice waters have been free of his presence for some time now. And so, with Office Erickson’s passing, it is a sad end to an entirely sad affair.
    For the past several days, there has been a LIVELY discussion concerning Officer Erickson on the AGLCA forum. Many of those messages are copied below!

    Many Loopers through the years have stayed or planned to stay at the “free” city park dock in Venice, FL. That became a problem when a vigorous and tenacious Florida Fish and Wildlife officer began issuing tickets for alleged various wrongdoings by boaters passing through. The officer was Tim Erickson. Tim Erickson passed away on July 22, 2012 (http://tinyurl.com/8vl56gq).
    Bill

    Tim Erickson was certainly controversial if not infamous. He used to hang out every afternoon at the Crows Nest dock and the Venice free dock checking every boat for a Florida sticker, which is usually required after 90 days in the state. Probably earned the sate many dollars in registration fees, fines and sales tax dollars. But he caused many cruisers to bypass the best town on the gulf coast.
    I wrote about Venice and its beauty in this blog when we first moved there in 2007, and the subsequent firestorm that ensued in both this and the T&T blogs made front page in the Sarasota Herald and Venice papers. The Venice town council was barraged with complaints from cruisers.
    Shortly thereafter Tim made headlines again when he was the first to respond to a horrific crash on the gulf when a news helicopter clipped a race boat with fatalities. So all his press was not bad. About a year later he retired, removing the threat to cruisers wishing to stop at the Crows Nest dock, and also their restaurant, among the best in Florida. So, RIP Tim.
    Unfortunately, the Venice Council stopped overnight docking at the nearby free dock, one of the few (maybe the only) good free docks on the coast. They were anticipating a fee-based mooring field which has not yet been developed.
    Venice is still a great destination either to visit or live, there is free anchorage near the dock and other docking options
    Bob

    Bob,
    I had long, sometimes rather heated, discussions with Tim about this issue. I was not the only person to have these discussion by any means. As I remember Tim was sort of a “pilot program” on the tax and the transient boater issue. We sure don’t need to get that monster started here again in the forum. I don’t know that he issued many actual citations for a violation of the tax law, as a state officer I don’t know that he could unless there was a Florida law violation. No question that he ruffled some feathers………
    Tim was a very nice guy. As stated in his obit, he started a very popular children’s fishing program. I”ll certainly miss my friend.
    Sharkey

    Sharkey has it right.
    I’m sure that it was not Tim’s idea to “harass” cruisers visiting Venice, but simply following orders.
    I would think sales tax collection was the driver. Tim could not know or care about sales tax on boats, just whether or not it was registered in Florida if the boat was in the state 90 days. You generally need out-of-state fuel or marina receipts newer than 90 days to avoid citation.
    When cruisers cited by Tim or other officers visit the tax office to buy a Florida boat registration, they must show on newer boats whether or not sales tax equivalent to Florida’s rate was paid. You can’t get a Florida registration unless the sales tax question is resolved first. Most states with sales tax have a similar program. We see game wardens regularly walking the docks in Racine, taking note of boats with no WI registration stickers. If they are still there a few months later the same process ensues.
    Bob Kunath
    Sans Souci

  • Praise for Legacy Harbour Marina, Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway

    239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    We’ve had our 32 ft. sailboat at Legacy Harbour for 5 years and absolutely love the place. It’s in a great location, kept in wonderful condition and the staff are the best people in the world to work with. Lots of good restaurants within walking distance along with fun things going on in Ft. Myers. Just a good place to be.
    Mary Alice Kearly

    I could not agree more. Great staff, floating docks and close to downtown Ft Myers.
    Lee Harkness

    Not to mention the swimming pool and marina lounge and the chici hut. Especially nice in season with pot lucks and movie nights. Super friendly and very knowledgeable staff. If they refer you to any service personnel rest assured they have been vetted and are the best at their art in the area.
    John Wilson

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

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

  • Praise for Legacy Harbour Marina (Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway)

    239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!! The following comments are copied from the America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum

    After checking out 7 marinas in the area, we selected Legacy Harbour in Fort Myers for our spring “base”. What a great choice! It is about 15 miles up the Caloosahatchee -safe from all the TS Debby surge, yet just a half day cruise to fabulous anchorages at Captiva, Sanibel, etc. An easy drive to Naples, Marco, the Everglades and various nature reserves. The marina is clean, with floating docks, slip-side pump-outs, nice showers and laundry, work-out room, lounge and salt-water pool. AND the staff, led by Eric and Lana, are absolutely the best. We’ll be back!
    Breandon and Kathleen Isom

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

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

  • Report from Three Rooker Bar Anchorage, Gulf ICW Statute Mile 147

    This West Florida anchorage lies near the northern tip of the Western Florida ICW, and just south of Anclote Key, Anclote River and Tarpon Springs.

    We have anchored here several times. As long as the winds are from the west, it really is not that bad of a place if you are looking for some seclusion and a great place to hang out for the day (or tender in to the islands). It should be noted, that there is A LOT of sea grass in the area, so be careful.
    Roger Battistoni

    On weekends very popular, great place.
    Edward Turner

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Three Rooker Bar

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

  • Dredging in Hurricane Bay, Fort Myers, FL

    This west coast dredging operation is in Hurricane Bay, east of the Gulf Waterway in Fort Myers. Navigation of the Waterway should not be affected.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-FORT MYERS TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND WIGGINS PASS-HURRICANE BAY: Dredging Operations.
    Energy Resources, Inc. will commence dredging operations on or about the week of July 9, 2012. The project is dredging a 40’ wide channel from Port Carlos Mobile Home Park approximately ½ mile to the main channel in Hurricane Bay in south Fort Myers, Florida. This channel is approximately 0.9 mile northeast of the highway 865 bridge at Fort Myers Beach. The operations will be during daylight hours only. The Dredge “NATE” will monitor VHF FM channel 16 and will be supported by a small 24ft tender boat “Lucille”. The only floating pipeline that is in the channel will be directly adjacent to the dredge. The project is expected to be completed in 90 days. For further information contact Energy resources, Inc., Mr. Paul Reinhardt 636-532-9558. Chart 11427

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

  • Report from Hurricane Pass, Gulf Coast, North of Clearwater, FL

    Hurricane Pass, which intersects the Western Florida ICW between Dunedin and Anclote Key, was formed by a violent hurricane in 1921 resulting in a seaward cut dividing what is now called Honeymoon Island to the north and Caladesi Island to the south. Depths in this cut run 4 feet or less and, as Captain Battistoni reports, the channel shifts constantly. Our advice: avoid this inlet like the plague.

    Cruising News:
    Not sure if this is where I report this, however we have a 43 foot Sea Ray Motor Yacht. I went through the hurricane pass which is a inlet to the ICW just north of clearwater. If you follow the markers you will run aground even during high tide as the markers have you going right through a large sandy landmass that is extending from the north. This was even during high tide. You have to go well south of the markers, and even when you do that we registered only .5 foot under the keel (and this was at high tide).
    Roger Battistoni

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

  • Sarasota July 4th Fireworks

    Everyone refers to the large, downtown Sarasota, Florida city marina as “Marina Jacks” but, in reality, that is the name of the on-site restaurant. Also, there are a number of West Florida fireworks events listed in the link below.

    The Sarasota fireworks at Marina Jack are one of the best I’ve seen (in Florida). Been in the Charles River in Boston July 4th, they are the best with the POPS [the Boston Pops Orchestra].
    Victor

    http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com/sarasota-fourth-of-july.html

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

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

  • Madeira Beach – Johns Pass Anchorage, Boca Ciega Bay

    Madeira Beach – Johns Pass Anchorage lies on the western edge of Boca Ciega Bay in the large, charted offshoot striking west from flashing daybeacon #7 (on the Johns Pass approach channel).

    We have a 37ftO’Day CC with a 5ft draft. We spent a quiet night in this anchorage back on Friday night just before last Memorial Day weekend. It’s just inside the John’s Pass bridge. Well protected. We have a 5ft draft and saw depths to 5ft 2in. The charts show 4 to 6 ft depths with a soft mud bottom. There are a couple of public type parks on the south side of this anchorage if you want to dingy in. It is walking distance to John’s Pass shops and restaurants.
    Torie Cannon

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Madeira Beach – Johns Pass Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Madeira Beach – Johns Pass Anchorage

  • Cortez Cove Boatyard & Marina (near Gulf Waterway Statute Mile 87)

    The entrance to Cortez Cove Boatyard and Marina cuts to the east of the Waterway, south of the Cortez Bridge.

    Cruising News:
    The Cortez Marina is under new management. The marina has been taken over by Yachts Solutions. The new yard is capable of hauling boats up to 70 feet and shipwrights at the yard are capable of building anything from new teak decks to hard tops and swim platforms. These craftsmen are the best I have seen at very fair prices. Of course they do basic yard work like bottom jobs and repairs. See the website, http://www.yachtssolutions.com

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Cortez Bridge and the Above Described Facility

  • Praise for Twin Dolphin Marina (Manatee River, at Bradenton, FL)

    Twin Dolphin Marina’s twin breakwater protected dockage basins are found along the Bradenton, FL waterfront section of the Manatee River, just west of the Highway 41 Business Bridge. There are multiple dining opportunities and the South Florida Museum and Aquarium, all within walking distance. And, let’s not forget, this fine facility is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    We visited Twin Dolphins in April 2012. Stayed for three nights. Wonderful place, friendly and very helpful staff. The pool and grills were great! The staff brings the pump-out hose right to your boat while at your slip. Definitely will return in the future.
    Manuel

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

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

  • Praise for Longboat Key Moorings (Statute Mile 77.5)

    Step off deck at Longboat Key Club Moorings and come ashore to our Four-Diamond beachfront resort offering a private white-sand beach, 45 holes of challenging golf, the Island House Spa, six on-site restaurants, the award-winning Tennis Gardens and so much more.Longboat Key Moorings guards the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the city of Sarasota, and south of Longboat Pass. This facility is, without any doubt, one of the premiere marinas on the entire Western Florida coastline, and we are not just saying that because these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

    LBK Club Moorings is the only quality resort marina between Tampa Bay and South Seas Plantation. Everything is on site or nearby. Stunning place. A definite must do stopover for SW FL cruisers.
    Blake Whitney

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Longboat Key Moorings

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

  • Update on Bradenton Beach Anchorage (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 87)

     The anchorage under discussion below lies just south of the Cortez Bridge, west of the ICW.
    Two important notes need to be considered when evaluating this anchor down spot. First, successful entry can be very tricky for first-timers, AND the city of Bradenton Beach has twice tried to regulate this anchorage, first by creating a mooring field, and later by city registration of boats. Both attempts failed, but who knows what may happen here in the future!

    Bradenton Beach anchorage update: As of 5/12, the city has made no further blatant efforts to harass boaters. As a member of the “Mooring Committee” I can say that the city has no interest in really developing a boater friendly community.
    Still, I recommend to everyone that, rather than avoid areas of “conflict ie. St Pete, St. Augustine, etc., they use these areas and RESIST (nicely, of course) the erosion of navigation rights.
    As for the notion of the city “noticing the reduction of boating visitors and responding accordingly”, the city of B.B. would be quite happy if no one EVER anchored a boat in “their” waters.
    W.W.

    I respectfully disagree with this assessment of Bradenton Beach. I kept two boats there for the better part of a year…the first a 24-foot sloop…then a 29-footer…A friend of mine protested the 15 dollar/year fee for using the mooring field.The mooring field was illegal but I think that the reason he fought it is the slow erosion of rights and I am glad now that he did. They backed down on advice from their lawyer and I think that even though 15 dollars/year for showers and dinghy dock is a small price to pay for a decent facility with access to free trolley up and down the whole island…I think that the costs would slowly have risen over time and a bad precedent set. Having said all that…I DO NOT think that they hate boaters and liveaboards here…especially now that some of the riff raff has cleared out. The depths are overall poor for bigger boats…the approach in front of the fishing pier is a sad joke…but there is a back door further south beyond the sand shoals you can come in from if you keep going south after coming thru the bridge from the north about 3/4 mile and then come back in…at a NW angle…All in all…this is a decent area to keep your boat for awhile…amenity-speaking…but not for more than a few months IMHO…
    BTW..in case it wasn’t clear..it was BB city comission that backed down…on advice of their attorney and they dropped the $15/YEAR sticker fee…
    Morgan R

    Hi Morgan and all,
    I did not say that B.B. “hates” boaters and liveaboards. I said that the city has no real interest in developing a boater friendly community. I base this on my own experience with the mooring committee and the council. My belief is that this is due to a lack of familiarity with the subject as well as a lack of funds to promote the area.
    I approached the city about a year and a half ago with the idea of establishing a yacht club for the purpose of promoting the area to boaters and managing the amenities and dinghy dock and to provide assistance/info to visitors re. anchoring, sanitation, etc.
    The city seemed receptive to the idea. They have strongly indicated that they would like the “anchorage community” to self regulate. This indicates, to me at least, that city has no real interest in reaching out… they would prefer that “we” do it.
    As I could not find two other qualified people to willing hold the required offices to charter a legit club, as well as volunteer time to such, I abandoned the idea. I would be most happy to revisit the subject with the city if there is enough interest.
    If the CITY were truly interested in reaching out to the boating community, I feel they would have made more/better effort to do so to date.
    I urge any and all to visit B.B. as Anna Maria IS. has some nice things to offer cruisers.
    Note: riff raff is in the eye of the beholder.
    There are still a few boats that are derelict or nearly so.
    If anyone in the local area is interested in organizing a fully chartered club, please contact me. My # is 512 903 4498
    Very Sincerely,
    Dr. W. W. Waldrope

    Thank you for the info. Last time we came through we anchored on the East side of the ICW because we could not figure out how to get into the anchorage. We anchored without problem in about 10 feet of water. The ride to the dinghy dock was a little long and there were boat wakes to crash through. BB was a great place to visit and would gladly paid a fee for the shower and/or dinghy dock but free was good.
    Frank Cushing

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Bradenton Beach Anchorage

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

  • Great Words For Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina (Western Shores of Tampa Bay, in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida)

    The Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina is found in the northernmost of the three downtown St. Petersburg dockage basins, hard by the vibrant downtown St. Petersburg dining and shopping district. I have always been VERY IMPRESSED with this facility and am pleased to hear that Captain Block had such a good experience here.
    Of course, cruisers should also consider the adjacent St. Petersburg Municipal Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and, quite simply, one of the largest and best managed city owned and operated marinas it has been my pleasure to review in my 30+ years as a cruising guide author!

    We’ve bareboat chartered sailboats in BVI, PNW, and other areas in the Gulf. All the charters were fine but none of the charter companies come close to the quality, service, and value provided by Sailing Florida Charters. The charter company crew was led by Site Manager Patrick H. The entire crew was great but Patrick was totally amazing. He was completely determined to make our charter and sailing experience a delight and he succeeded.
    We had planned to visit other anchorages and marinas in the Tampa Bay area but when we became aware of the great service and facilities at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Marina we couldn’t resist just returning there at the end of the day. Very nice dock area and right across the street from the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Each day we left the Mediterranean-style docking (backing into the wind) to Patrick and his crew.
    We spent only one night on the boat. The Resort was too enticing and we ended up spending the other nights of the charter there. Very nice – and we were given a room upgrade and a bottle of champagne when they learned we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We also became well acquainted with the nearby 400 Beach Seafood and Tap restaurant and strongly recommend their seafood salad.
    Thanks to Patrick, his crew, and others in St. Petersburg, FL for a great vacation. The only downside is that now we’re really spoiled.
    We’ll be back!
    Loren Block

    We stayed at the Vinoy Marina for most of the Memorial weekend this year. Very pleasant experience. Easy in-out to channel. Harbormaster Wes is wonderful. My bride doesn’t care much for advanced line handling, we rig the finger pier side bow and stern lines, she hands them off to Wes, tosses him line for the springs, and goes below to freshen up. He does the rest. If momma is happy – everybody is happy. Transient dock is not long, so it’s an easy walk to sea wall and street. Entry and exit is secure, there is a day head at the entry, very thoughtful. Full bathhouse amenities across the street in the Vinoy adjacent to their spa. All Vinoy dining venues are excellent. Great dining also at 400 Beach, Moon Under the Water, and Parkshore just a block away. Bayfront St. Pete is not to be missed. Lots of green park space. Very pet friendly; our dog was given a bowl of water before we were asked what we wanted to drink. Oh, I know it is bumpy when the wind is out of the East (it was while we were there). People who don’t like a little rolling should buy motorhomes. The Vinoy is beautiful. Great Italian illy coffee is available at 6:00AM in the convenience area off the lobby. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
    Blake Whitney

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina

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