Boca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, Florida239 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 MarinaSouthwest Florida YachtsTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comGulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-437-0881
gulfharbourmarina@comcast.netLocated at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City of Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350
St. Andrew's MarinaThe Town of Fort Myers Beach proudly operates and maintains the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field. The field boasts 70 mooring balls available for public rental year-round, and accommodates vessels up to 48 feet in length. The mooring field is located east of the Sky Bridge between San Carlos and Estero Islands in Matanzas Pass. For recreational cruisers, the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field is a wonderful destination. Coming ashore at the Town’s dinghy dock puts boaters in walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and public transportation. Mooring ball rental fees are $13/day or $260/month. All renters MUST register with Matanzas Inn upon arrival. The dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). The dock is located beneath the Sky Bridge between Matanzas Inn Restaurant and the public fishing pier. Punta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationRegatta Pointe MarinaThe Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, FlRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersThe Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of ves

North Yacht Basin Anchorage (Tampa Bay – St. Petersburg)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-28-2010

Take a gander at chart 11416, and peruse the St. Petersburg waterfront. Notice the three side by side basins. The southern and central are part of St. Petersburg Municipal Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR), while the northern basin is home to the Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina, and an anchorage which is the subject of Captain Rick’s message below.

This can be a very rough anchorage when the wind is out of the NE-E and blowing 15K or more. The incoming wavelets bounce off the surrounding concrete bulkheads and set up quite an irregular chop. Otherwise, a great anchorage close to lots of downtown activity and if you are lucky an outdoor concert or event.
Rick Parish

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

Thoughts on Crossing Florida’s Big Bend Section

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-11-2010

For those who have never ventured north of Clearwater and Anclote Key on the Western Florida shoreline, be advised there is NO protected intracoastal waterway that serves this section of the Florida coastline. So, to cross this section, a basic choice must be made. You can either cut the corner and head straight for Carrabelle and Dog Island (or Apalachicola, or Panama City), or you can follow the Big Bend coastline around, staying SEVERAL miles offshore to avoid the huge shelf of shallows that extend out into the Gulf’s waters in this region. The former route puts you well out to sea (or “Gulf” in this case), and is often undertaken at night by southbounders to avoid arriving at the crab pot infested waters near Anclote Key after dark. If bad weather threatens, you may be out of luck.
The nearer shore, or, as it’s often called, “Big Bend Route” has the advantage of allowing mariners to duck in to the various rivers which penetrate this section of the Sunshine State’s coastline, but all of these have long, sometimes tortuous entrance channels, and none are what could accurately be described as “deep.”
Get four experienced cruisers together to talk about crossing the Big Bend, and you will get at least five opinions, maybe six. So, in that vein, below is an exchange which originally appeared on the GL (Great Loop) mail list.

You have to run out a few miles off shore before running up and down thecoast but otherwise, no special navigation issues are present. Back in the days before GPS and depth sounders, the long low coast was probably much more difficult to deal with. But with a chart plotter and keeping track of where you are on the charts, there is nothing particularly difficult. Cedar Key was the most complicated area and as long as you took your time and stayed in the channel, it wasn’t too difficult.
St Marks Channel is unlikely to be much help as a bail out point. It’s so far off the route, that it’s almost always closer to turn back or forge ahead. Unless the wind and waves left that as the only reasonable direction to travel, but with it being a daytime crossing, wait for a good weather window and it shouldn’t be a problem. Yes, the weather report isn’t always right, but waiting can minimize the chance of problems and it’s not a sin to turn back if it’s worse than expected.
Lose power off just about any coast and you may be in trouble. Assuming you are running in 6-8 ft of water, and conditions aren’t bad, it should be relatively simple to drop the hook and sort things out without running aground.
Unless you want to do an overnight run (or are fast enough to run to Tarpon Springs during daylight), I highly recommend the coastal route [Big Bend Route] for a nice look at what Florida used to look like before it got overbuilt.
Mike & Tammy
Valhalla II

I agree with you Mike. My boat only drafts three feet but it would not have been difficult with a deeper drafted boat. And, the rivers of the big bend should not be missed in my humble opinion. Steinhatchee (rhymes with bean) and St Marks were beautiful!! If I had to do it again I think I’d pass on Carrabelle and stay in Apalachicola. Something had taken the life/hope out of the people I met in Carrabelle (could have just been an off day for the locals).
Besides that it’s not hard navigating and since I was solo and on a slow boat it made sleeping easier!
Ken

Good Words About Burnt Store Marina (Charlotte Harbor)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-10-2010

Burnt Store Marina is a huge complex, that guards the eastern shores of Charlotte Harbor, just a short hop north from this body of water’s southern entrance. They offer just about everything that one could ask for!

We stayed at Burnt Store for 2 months last year while doing the loop and liked it so much that we came back to spend a few months this past winter. We stayed in the north basin as it’s more residential for an extended period, although a short walk to the main basin which has the restaurant and boater’s pool and laundry facilities. It’s a nice stop!
Barbara and Jim Benjamin and Golden Retriever, LIly
Golden Lily – Nordic Tug 42

Burnt Store is our home port. For all fellow [cruisers], I can tell you it is worth the trip across Charlotte Harbor to visit this marina. The staff is the best, the surroundings are beautiful, and there are 27 holes of golf on the property. Very nice pool and laundry facilities as well. Great place to spend your winter months. It’s easy to explore places like Sanibel, Captiva, Boca Grande, and Cabbage Key from here. For those interested, the property values here on condos and homes have never been better.

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

Bradenton Beach Mooring Field On Hold

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-08-2010

Looks like plans for the controversial Bradenton Beach Mooring Field have been put on hold, at least for the moment!

Subject: Bradenton Beach Mooring Discussion continues
Cruising News: It was reported in the 6/9/2010 Islander newspaper (http://www.islander.org) that on 6/3/2010, Bradenton Beach Council canceled the contract for the grant of $165,000 for a mooring field due to incomplete financial studies and the short time frame in which to accept the grant.
Jonathan Cook

High Praise for Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Myers on the Okeechobee Waterway St. M. 135.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 06-01-2010

Legacy Harbour Marina is located along the Caloosahatchee’s southeasterly banks in the heart of downtown Fort Myers, southeast of flashing daybeacon 49.

I heartily agree with the positive comments about Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Myers. We were part of a group of four boats from Solomons, MD that went south this past winter. Some of our group had visited Ft. Myers and vicinity by car the previous winter to check out potential places to stay and Legacy Harbour as well as Ft. Myers came out as top choice. All of the perks mentioned above are true. We arrived towards in early February just before it began to blow and blow and blow. Once there, we never left until heading back home across the lake. It was just too cold and windy. Apart from the amenities discussed above, the cruiser’s group there has potluck dinners each week. There was also a group dinner out each week to a new restaurant with those with cars driving those without. We were tied up on D dock, the outer breakwater and that was an experience when the winds were from the northwest across the river. Dave and his staff at Legacy Harbour really made everyone welcome and went out their way to help out. Another plus coming up in the installation of dockside pump outs for all the docks. D dock will probably be last on the list but, this amenty is really welcome. After checking out Naples and Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers and Legacy Harbour would surely be our choice for a return visit.
Curt Larsen

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

Bradenton Beach Anchorage (near Statue Mile 87)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-28-2010

I have personally researched the waters Captains David and Patty refer to below, in depth. I’m sure the locals do find good anchorage here, but the unmarked nature of the entrance channel has always prevented me from listing this spot in the Net’s “Western Florida Anchorage Directory.”

Subject: Bradenton Beach Anchorage
Cruising News: An excellent anchorage will be found just south of the relatively new Bradenton Beach city pier. Although it appears to be just off the ICW south of the Cortez Bridge, access is barred by a three foot shoal. To enter the anchorage, head into the well marked channel for Bradenton Beach Marina, at unlighted daybeacon #49, just south of the Cortex Bridge. As you come to marker #3, turn to the south and cross in front of the pier, taking the “T” to starboard. Access depths were about six feet. Continue on into the anchorage and find a spot to drop the hook. The pool of deep water is larger than it appears on the chart. According to our chart plotter, we were on top of the three foot shoal, when we were actually in six feet at low tide. Some depths exceeded eight feet. Protection is primarily from the west. There is a dinghy dock along shore and restroom and shower facilities on the pier itself. Once on shore, we found retail stores, restaurants, the beach on the Gulf, and ice cream. There is also a free trolley that runs the length of the island.
David & Patty Power
S/V Two If By Sea

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

Factory Bay Anchorage (Marco Island, south of Naples)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-28-2010

Be careful when dropping the hook on Factory Bay. There is a charted “Official Anchorage” in this bay, but at low tide the water is about 2 feet (or less) deep here. Fortunately, there are other parts of Factory Bay that make for excellent anchorage. Follow the link below Captain Ron’s message to learn the best places to drop the hook.
If you’re more into staying at marinaS, please let us note that, the Marina at Factory Bay, is also located here, and these good people are one of our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS!

We’ve spent weeks at Factory Bay waiting for weather. It is well protected and you have access to everything you need. The bottom is all mud and if you have a Danforth, it won’t hold in a blow. We dragged twice with two hooks set-Danforth and Fortress, in a blow and had to change to our heavier plow to dig and sink in the mud for a good hold. Also, if you stay a bit longer than anticipated, your anchor rode will be studded with tiny seashells and a muddy mess when you pull the hook.
Ron

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

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Marina at Factory Bay

Useppa Island, Western Shore Anchorage (Statute Mile 21.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-28-2010

The neat little anchorage described below by Captain Ron lies almost directly opposite the marked channel leading to Cabbage Key. Here you will discover a truly funky inn and restaurant, that is like no other!

Anchor outside the channel in 8-10 feet over sand and gravel. We anchored here one night in 30 knots steady and 50 knot gusts and held tightly on a 12/1 scope. After the blow, things settled down and the next afternoon we went to Cabbage Key by dingy for a “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” A real old time Keys bar if you need some socialization.
Ron

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

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

Venice Anchorage (Statute Mile 58)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-28-2010

The anchor down spot we term the “Venice Anchorage” lies along the marked channel leading from the AICW to my friends at the Venice Yacht Club. It’s then only a short dinghy ride to the city dock at Hiegel Park (right beside the Venice Yacht Club). Overnight dockage is no longer allowed at this city pier, but you can still easily dinghy ashore here. Then, it’s only a walk of some four to five blocks to have dinner at wonderful Crows Nest Restaurant (at Crows Nest Marina). Trust me on this one, fellow cruisers, this one of the very best chow down spots in all of Florida!

During cruising season, better get here early. This is a very crowded anchorage and people seem to drop the hook anywhere along the channel. I would not use this if other options exist. We were well secured one night and another boat anchored literally on top of our hook. As the tide turned, he came within inches of our boat several times during the night. Needless to say, it was a derelict craft and captain. Why bother?
Ron

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Acnhorage Directory Listing For The Venice Anchorage

Mandalay Channel Anchorage (Statute Mile 136.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-28-2010

The channel cutting west to Mandalay Channel leaves the Western Florida ICW, north of the high-rise Clearwater Beach Bridge. As Captains Dave and Patty note, this passage is reasonably well marked, and it brought them to a secure anchorage just off the main channel. Note also the presence to two “city supported dinghy docks nearby.” I’ve asked for more info about where these facilities are located, and voila, Captains David and Patty have now provided that data in the second message posted below. Many thanks to this seagoing duo!.

Because of strong westerly winds, we decided to take advantage of the protection offered by the principal Mandalay Channel. The route off the ICW was easy to follow, was marked well, with sufficient depths for vessels with up to six foot drafts. We anchored off the western banks, near the fixed bridge, in 15 feet of water. There was a fair amount of current coming through the bridge. Because this channel is used by fishing vessels during the night, the Coast Guard did come by to make sure certain boats were not anchored in the marked channel from the bridge. The wind gusted to 25 to 30 knots from the west during the night. There was very little fetch and with 100 feet of chain/rode, there was no threat of dragging. In addition, there were two city supported dinghy docks nearby to give access to Clearwater Beach and to a grocery store. This was a great anchorage with excellent protection from every direction, except the north.
David & Patty Power
S/V Two If By Sea

In response to your inquiry, there are two city/dinghy docks off the Mandalay Channel. For the first one, as you approach the fixed bridge at the south end of the channel, head easterly, past the Island Yacht Club on the north, along the causeway to the south. Proceed past the Clearwater Marine Science Aquarium towards the end of the canal. The dock will be on the north shore. They, at first, appear to be the docks for a restaurant located there. However, there is a posted notice by Clearwater Beach authorizing free use during the day. No overnight dockage. The docks, which consist of numerous slips, appear to be brand new and are in excellent condition. From there, you have access to the free trolley system and a Publix is within one block.
The other city/dinghy dock is located just off the western shore of the Mandalay Channel, north of the fixed bridge. There are several commercial and residential/condo dock facilities. Then, there will be a city recreational/library facility that includes the new city/dinghy dock, also consisting of numerous slips. It will be obvious. Again, there is a posted notice authorizing free use during the day, but no overnight dockage. A security gate was being installed when we were there and I assume the dock is locked at night.
David & Patty
S/V Two If By Sea

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Mandalay Channel Anchorage

Gasparilla Marina (Statute Mile 34)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-24-2010

In spite of its name, Gasparilla Marina is not located on Gasparilla Island, but rather it is to be found along the northeastern banks of the AICW, just south of the Gasparilla Island Causeway/Bridge. This is a large facility which offers a wealth of services, and there is now an on-site restaurant, plus the Fishery Restaurant is withing walking distance. We have not yet sample the bill of fare at the on-site eaterly, but Fisheries is WONDERFUL!!!

We spent several days at Gasparilla Marina in May 2010. Jeff, Carol and Jennifer were wonderful hosts. They were very helpful. Jeff offered the use of his car if we needed to grocery shop. A Publix is about 2 miles away. Evening dinghy rides to the nearby islands is a sheltered trip. My wife struck it rich in her search for shells on the north end of Gasparilla Island. Now I have a boat full of sand dollars, etc, etc. Restrooms are large and clean. Wi-Fi, excellent. Lounge with TV. Nice sheltered area with tables for evening socializing if other transients are around. Huge service business associated with the marina if you need repairs. Good food (bar food) and music at the on site Watersides Restaurant. The Fishery Restaurant is a short walk. It is also excellent.
Rick Parish

Let me reiterate our recommendation of Gasparilla and the on site restaurant.
Admiral Deb and I give Gasparilla Marina our highest recommendation! We called via cell phone 2 days prior to arriving and talked to the Manager, Jeff. Jeff is ‘a prince among men’! We talked with him for several minutes about details of the marina and the surrounding points of interest. Jeff offered us the use of his car (a brand new Crown Vic) to go shopping when we got there. We’d never met him before! On arrival the staff was always very helpful, interested in our welfare and the welfare of our vessel. Their restaurant The Waterside Grill had indoor and outdoor seating, lots of large wide screen TVs and the staff was friendly and efficient. We stayed 7 days, 2/20/10 – 2/26/10, and ate 2 meals each day. The food there was far superior to the food at the local well known restaurant half a mile away. The showers were private room sized and clean. Wi-fi was fast with no connectivity problems while we were there. Easy in and out, wide fairways right on the gulf ICW.
Lou Spagna,
s/v Wu-Hsin

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

Twin Dolphin Marina (on the Manatee River, off Tampa Bay)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-24-2010

Cruisers should note that Captain Shanley, author of the message below, works with Twin Dolphin Marina. HOWEVER, since this absolutely first-rate facility supports us by being a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, we are pleased to pass on Mike’s description of his marina. Trust us, you simply cannot find a better place to coil your lines off Tampa Bay!

Subject: Twin Dolphin Marina – Manatee River
Cruising News: Cruising the west coast of Florida we found premier resort marina nestled safely along the beautiful Manatee River in Bradenton, Fl. The marina is within walking distance of the historic downtown and is quaint Old Main Street. The historic Bradenton Pier, centrally located within the marina is host to the famed Mattison’s Riverside Restaurant where we enjoyed fine dining in a relaxed waterfront atmosphere . I recommend that all cruisers stop by there and enjoy the best of what the Gulf Coast has to offer. The amenities are as follows:
Beautiful Heated Pool and Spa
♦ Concierge Services
♦ Fuel Dock (Diesel/Gas)
♦ 225 Wet Slips to 100 feet
♦ New Modern Floating Docks and Fixed Docks
♦ Pump Out at your Slip
♦ Laundry and Private Shower Facilities
♦ Yacht Brokerage on-site
♦ Upscale and Casual Waterfront Dining at Mattison\’s Riverside Restaurant
♦ Full Time Harbormaster
♦ Annual, Transient and Overnight Slips
♦ Power 50/30 amp, Water, Cable TV and Phone at Each Slip
♦ Cable TV Package from Brighthouse Networks, Channels 2-99.
♦ Boat Clubs and Organized Groups Accommodated
♦ No Bridges to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico
♦ Superior Business Center Services
♦ Fax and E-Mail Service Available
♦ High-speed Wireless Internet Service Available
♦ Rental Bikes Available
♦ Gas Grills Located at the Pool
♦ Poolside Parties
♦ Designated Clean Marina
And the staff is spot on incredible. Their website is www.twindolphinmarina.com
Mike Shanley

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

Cruising Florida’s Big Bend Discussion

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-22-2010

There has been a lively discussion over the past several days on the GL (Great Loop) list about cruising the “Big Bend” section of the Western Florida coastline. If you are not familiar with this region, there is NO intracoastal waterway that serves the Big Bend region. So, if you’re northbound, cruisers must either cut the corner and head straight across the Gulf for Carrabelle/Dog Island or Panama City (to name only two possible Panhandle ports of call), OR follow the coastline as it curves to the west, staying WELL offshore to avoid the broad band of shallows that extends well seaward from this section of the Sunshine State’s coastline. Ask any three cruisers what is the best strategy to cross the Big Bend, and you’ll hear four opinions. So, with that in mind, please peruse what our fellow cruisers are saying below, and join in this discussion by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

Okay, I need to collective knowledge of the group again. It was invaluable leaving the keys. I’m in St Pete for a few days then river hopping up to Steinhatchee River to do the crossing to Carrabelle.
What is the best weather window and easiest way to do this? I really appreciate the help here!! Thanks!!
Ken

Joanne and I did it a few years ago , but opposite from you . We had anchored out from Carrabelle , Early that morning NOAA was saying the seas would lay down around 12:00 , so we started out in rough seas. As we passed Dog Island , we agreed then, that either the seas would lay down or we would anchor at Dog Island , but we were not going to lose sight of Dog unless we got calm water . Just like NOAA promised the seas laid down at lunch time , to the point it was so calm we we even went on plan for a while , to make up time. Except for the shallow spots , it was smooth sailing . Getting into Steinhatchee and not running aground was quite a job . There was very little water even in the channel. Whole crossing was around 12 hours
Glenn

Sea Hag Marina is an Old Florida style marina [in the village of Steinhatchee on the Steinhatchee River]. In fact the whole community is Old Florida . In the evenings the old men wander down to the marina to see what the fishermen brought in . Its a nice laid back kind of place.
There’s only one anchorage in Steinhatchee and its a small one . We anchored there one night and I being worried about letting out to much rode , didn’t let out enough and we dragged a little .
Our next visit we stayed at Sea Hag .
Glenn

We did it Carrabelle to Cedar, and the next day to Caladesi State Park. First day is a long one, left before down in the fall, but 2nd day was not so bad, time wise.
See you on the Waterways!
Capt. Sterling

Have things changed in the last couple years? When we went in there was a well marked channel with 8′ the whole way in. Don’t remeber what the tide stage was but it’s only around 3′ so unless you hit it at dead low tide or you have a 6′+ draft, it shouldn’t be much of a problem getting in.
We enjoyed our stay at Sea Hag Marina. I would recommend calling ahead as all but the outer slips dry out at low tide.
Mike & Tammy

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 the Steinhatchee River

Legacy Harbour Marina (Fort Myers – on the Caloosahatchee River – Okeechobee Waterway St. M. 135.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-18-2010

21 March to 13 April 2010.
We chose Legacy over the nearby municipal marina as it had a reduced weekly rate, a rarity in this part of the world. Staying a second week, it was cheaper paying for a month although we pushed on after three weeks and it was still a bargain. I heartily agree with all of the superlatives previously posted
Comparing it with the other marina which we visited by foot as it has a nice small marine store with a complete supply of local government charts, Legacy is within easier walking distance to a Publix. The municipal marina is closer to downtown which offers boutique-type shops, restaurants, a coffee house and a newly opened, well-stocked, dollar store. The Thursday farmer’s market is handy to both marinas.
The big plus for us was metered electricity. Instead of paying up to $12/day for 30 amp service, our entire three-week stay amounted to $5.85, or $.30/day. For the first and only time, we were able to see exactly how much we were paying in excess of our actual usage.
The fixed break-wall at municipal offers more protection from the swell from river traffic and wind blowing across the wide expanse of river. Legacy’s floating dock break-wall dampens it down but the entrance, open to the north, allows the swell to snake in. Finger dock slips are available extending from the break-wall that offer a nice view of the river but in stronger winds it’s an adventurous trip navigating to shore whilst dodging the odd wave breaking over the dock. We were on a floating dock closer in.
Most of the cruisers we met at Legacy were repeat customers, coming back year after year to stay for a week or two like us, taking advantage of a reduced rate for a period shorter than a month.
We made good use of the Fort Myers bus system as well as periodically renting cars for day trips. There is an Enterprise, Avis and Hertz nearby. All offered to pick us up and return us to the marina.
A nearby restaurant, Sub & Pub, is unique and good value for money. Neither a submarine sandwich parlor nor a true pub, it offers daily home cooked specials – hearty portions at bargain prices – as well as regular fare. The relaxed, folksy decor was a welcome change from the restaurant chains. In the latter category, a Joe’s Crab Shack is located on the marina premises, replete with dancing waitresses and loud music. Still, it was hard to resist the odd visit as the irresistible odor of crab cakes and fish wafted over the marina each day!
Austin Whitten

I thoroughly agree with Mr. Wittens observations. Legacy Harbor is a great, and well managed, marina! The two downtown marinas do more to help each other help the boaters, than any others I am aware of. Job well done Dave!
Leif Lustig,
FMYB Dockmaster

I heartily agree with the positive comments about Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Myers. We were part of a group of four boats from Solomons, MD that went south this past winter. Some of our group had visited Ft. Myers and vicinity by car the previous winter to check out potential places to stay and Legacy Harbour as well as Ft. Myers came out as top choice. All of the perks mentioned above are true. We arrived towards in early February just before it began to blow and blow and blow. Once there, we never left until heading back home across the lake. It was just too cold and windy. Apart from the ammenities discussed above, the cruiser’s group there has potluck dinners each week. There was also a group dinner out each week to a new retaurant with those with cars driving those without. We were tied up on D dock, the outer breakwater and that was an experience when the winds were from the northwest across the river. Dave and his staff at Legacy Harbour really made everyone welcome and went out their way to help out. Another plus coming up in the installation of dockside pump outs for all the docks. D dock will probably be last on the list but, this ammenty is really welcome. After checking out Naples and Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers and Legacy Harbour would surely be our choice for a return visit.
Curt Larsen

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

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

Smokehouse Bay Anchorage – Marco Island

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-17-2010

This is the second posting we’ve had about anchoring on Smokehouse Bay since the first of May (2010). We WILL get this anchorage on the Net’s “Western Florida Anchorage Directory” this week!

We live in Naples and Marco Island’s Esplanade Marina in Smokehouse Bay is one of our favorite day trips. We simply follow the marked channel into Collier Bay and then Smokehouse Bay. Currents can be strong as you turn from the Marco River into the channel, you need to be alert, but I’ve never had a problem. There is plenty of shallow water in Collier Bay, but you have to get out of the channel to find it. We went at a fairly high tide today and I did not note a single depth indication less than 9′. You may find some shallow water in Smokehouse Bay, but I haven’t. And I frequently see boats anchored there.
Jeff
M/V Toto

Boca Grande Marina (Statute Mile 28.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-15-2010

Boca Grande is a good marina, though there is a shoaling problem at the mouth of the bayou that leads to this facility, First timers should follow the link below to Boca Grande Marina’s listing in our “Western Florida Marina Directory” and call the dockmaster for entry instructions.
What really makes Boca Grande Marina so great, is that it’s within walking distance of the village of Boca Grande, one of the great cruising gems of the Southeastern USA coastline. Don’t miss dinner at the Gasparilla Inn, and you can reprovision at Hudsons Grocery. There is sooo much more to see and do in this charming community! Don’t miss it!!!!!

This was the third night on our trip from Ft. Lauderdale to the Gulf Coast and this was BY FAR our favorite. The marina is a wonderful little place and the staff are the best I’ve ever encountered. They went out of they’re way to help and had wonderful attitudes. There are two restraunts on site, we dined up stairs and had a wonderful meal. The town is a neat place, we rented a golf cart to explore a little and found several neat looking restraunts and a well stocked local grocery store. We didn’t have much time so we didn’t get to see a whole lot but this place is one I certainly want to return to.
Cahoots

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

Marina Operations/Marina Jacks (Statute Mile 73)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-15-2010

While the official name of this facility, located in the heart of downtown Sarasota, is Marina Operations, ALL the locals call it Marina Jacks. That really the name of the restaurant closest to the water, but, hey, who am I to argue with the locals.

This was the fourth night in our trip from Ft. Lauderdale to the Gulf Coast and it was another great marina. The docks extremely well maintained, the staff helpful and the onsite services excellent. Again, we did not get to stay long but by report they have a local shuttle that is very helpful to resupply and get you around town a little. We are planning a trip back to explore the west coast of Florida hopfully next year and Marina Jack will most likely be our base of operations. Forgot to mention that the onsite dining is excellent. There are several restaurants on site and I forget which one we ate at, but it was excellent and by report all the others are as well.
Cahoots

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

Clearwater Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 136)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-15-2010

Good review of a superior municipal facility!

This was night five in our trip from Ft. Lauderdale to the Gulf Coast. We had intended to run from Sarasota to Tarpon Springs but got a late start and this was as far as we got before the sundown, and it was a lucky break. We didn’t stay long as we finished cleaning the boat after dark and were off the next morning at first light to cross to Apalachicola but the marina appeared nice and the dock master was very accomodating staying a little late to find us a slip as we were unscheduled to stay here. If we return the west coast we will plan to stay here again as our destination crossing from Apalachicola. There is easy walking access to several restraunts and the beach.
Cahoots

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

Cruising From Florida Keys To Cape Sable (Southwestern mainland Florida)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-13-2010

The two messages below were copied from the “GL” (Great Loop) mailing list. Both were in response to a question about what cruisers could expect while cruising through the Florida Bay waters between the Florida Keys (Marathon or Channel Five) to Cape Sable (south of Marco Island and Everglades City).

Florida Bay usually isn’t too bad with an east wind because there is so much shallow water upwind of you. There are two strategies that you might consider.
1. Leave early in the morning. Like at first light. The wind is usually less in the morning.
2. From Islamorada, go to Old Dan Bank, then Through the “Yacht Channel” at Arsenic Bank and then past Sprigger, Schooner and Oxfoot Banks on your way to East Cape at Cape Sable. It only about 15 miles from Islamorada to Yacht Channel and then less than 20 miles to East Cape. The course is generally NWish so you should have a good trip, even in 20 kts.
Regards,
Randy Pickelmann
MORNING STAR

The water will be choppy but doable. The biggest problem between Islamorada and the southern tip of FL will be seeing the crab pots in the choppy water. After you get off the southern tip of FL you can hug the coast and have smooth water all the way into Shark River. From Shark to Goodland should also be fine in those east winds, you will run out of the crab pots for the most part and have pretty smooth water.
Been there, done that,
Todd & Brenda Lanning
Life’s2Short
1985 40′ Oceania Trawler

Redfish Pass (between Captiva and North Captiva Islands (near St. M. 13.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-07-2010

Redfish Pass is an inlet that cuts out towards the briny blue between Captiva and North Captiva Islands. I’ve been sounding this pass for 18 years. Sometimes it’s been shallower, sometime deeper, sometimes the marks have been more numerous, other times less. Looks like this channel is now passable, at least according to Captain Power, but always watch out for future shoaling. Note that Captain Power’s message below contains superb, very useful navigational info!

Subject: Redfish Pass
Cruising News: This Pass is easily navigable. If coming off the ICW, enter the South Seas Plantation channel off of ICW #38 and pick up their # 24, but NOTE that these marks are for the Pass, so keep red to port. This channel was a minimum of 6 feet or more. Proceed past the resort and follow the markers. Depths range from 7 to about 30 feet right at the Pass. The outer marks in the Gulf, going out are floating marks. Number 1, the outermost mark was at 26 degrees 33.187′ N, 82 degrees 12.699′ W.
David S Power

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