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Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • More Praise for Port St. Joe Marina (Florida Panhandle Between Apalachicola and Panama City)

    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, Fl

    Port St. Joe Marina - Click for Chartview

    The praise just keeps pouring into the SSECN concerning this wonderful facility. It is accessed via the Gulf County Canal, which departs the Northern Gulf ICW between Apalachicola and Panama City, and runs south to St. Joseph Bay. Port St. Joe Marina lies hard by the town of, what else, Port St. Joe. And, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Our stay at Port St Joe Marina was ideal. Everyone was so helpful. This is certainly a good stop for getting ready for your crossing. Please see previous tome on that subject.
    Tom

  • Florida “Sojourner’s Permit” Reprise

    Recently, there has been a lively and ongoing discussion taking place on the AGLCA Forum about the so-called Florida Sojourner’s Permit. This string of messages was kicked off by a posting which opined that the Sunshine State had cancelled the Sojourner’s permit.

    NOT SO! That, as pointed out in all the subsequent messages on the AGLCA forum, was bad info from a badly informed Florida county official. And, by the way, many Florida county officials are NOT fully (or sometimes even partly) informed about this important document for cruisers.

    So, even though the SSECN presented a thorough discussion of this issue back in September of 2012 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=97389) we thought a perusl of the various AGLCA messages on this subject below, would be very helpful to the cruising community.

    First, though, why is it important to get a Sojourner’s Permit if you plan to have your vessel in Floridian waters longer than 90 days. There are at least two reasons:

    1. If your vessel is registered in another state besides Florida, you can operate in Floridian water for up to 90 days without a problem. HOWEVER, if your vessel is Federally Documented, and NOT ALSO state registered, you MUST register it with the state of Florida, or you may be ticketed immediately upon entering Floridian waters. Or, put another way, Federally Documented vessels MUST ALSO be state registered (either with Florida or another state), or you face the possibility of a ticket.
    By the way, it’s this onerous feature of Florida state law that used to allow the “Venice Water Nazi” to ticket boats coming and going in the city of Venice.
    If your vessel remains in Florida for longer than 90 days, even if it’s registered in another state, YOU MUST ALSO REGISTER IT IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA UNLESS YOU OBTAIN A SOJOURNER’S PERMIT! Conversely, iF you succeed in getting a Sojourner’s Permit in hand you will not have to fork over for a costly FL state registration (again, see below) for stays up to 11 months.
    My, my wasn’t that fun!

    2. With a Sojourner’s Permit, you will NOT be hassled to pay sales tax on your vessel. I know this sounds crazy, but if your boat has been owned out of state for less a year before being brought into Florida, and the state in which you purchased your vessel does not collect sales tax on purchases of pleasure boats, the Sunshine State will actually try to charge sales tax on your vessel’s purchase price, if you stay in Floridian waters longer than 90 days (without a Sojourner’s Permit). So, to avoid this ridiculous and expensive charge, get a Sojourner’s Permit. Again, crazy, I know!

    OK, so the above is why obtaining a Sojourner’s Permit is a really good idea. How does not obtain such a document?

    We are pleased to report that our good friend, Captain Mike Dickens at Paradise Yacht Sales and Service (Fernandina Beach, FL, http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/CruisingCenter2.html) provides what cruisers need to obtain one of these permits on his web site. Follow the links below.

    Sojourner’s Permit Form – http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/87244.pdf

    Sojourner’s Permit Instructions – http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/Sojourner1.pdf

    Hopefully, along with a little cash, that’s all you will need to cruise tax free in the Sunshine State for up to 11 months.

    I went to the County Tax Collector today to register my vessel The owner of a vessel registered in another state or a documented vessel is required to register the vessel prior to operating or storing it in Florida more than 90 days. I downloaded and completed the Application Form beforehand; the clerk really appreciated that.
    http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/87244.pdf
    I took Certificate of Documentation and Photo ID. (I also took the Bill of Sale to show sales tax paid to another state but the clerk did not ask for it.) The fee for boats under 40 feet is $124.63 and $198.88 for boats over 40 feet. One third of this amount is a county fee. Some counties do not charge the county fee but I don’t know which ones. The fee is scheduled to increase effective July 1st, 2013 then every five years hence. The annual fee is not prorated; it expires on your birthday. My wife’s birthday comes later than mine so we used her birthday as the expiration date since she is a co-owner.
    Alan Lloyd
    Author, Great Loop Navigation Notes
    http://www.NavigationNotes.com
    Visit web site for more information

    I realize this post was originally from 2009 but just so there’s no confusion, the Sojourner’s permit has been and is still available in Florida. Unfortunately not all tax offices know how to process it.
    http://www.leetc.com/vehiclevessel.asp?page_id=vesselsojourner
    Chuck

    If your boat is 30 or more years old in Florida you can qualify for an antique vessel. Once your boat is recognized by the Florida tax authorities as antique, the registration process for a documented antique is less than $10. We registered our 1982 trawler a few weeks ago and its dink at the same time. Cost more to title and register the dink than the trawler !!
    R.

    I purchased a sojourner’s permit in the downtown tax collectors office in Pensacola in mid December(2012), just a few weeks ago. I believe it is still in force!
    Mike
    One September

    I recommend that anyone who falls in this category and has a USCG Documented vessel do extensive due diligence before approaching this process. Sometimes, the “do nothing” case is the best available alternative. That means, in English, never kick a sleeping dog! It may wake and bite you.
    To wit: not all states “register” boats that are USCG Documented. Maryland and North Carolina are two examples. Since Florida does register Documented Vessels, Florida statute appears to be written to require current “registration” from another state for Sojourner’s Permit eligibility, but folks from state’s without registration for documented vessels won’t have that. If you discover that while standing at the HSMV counter, now the discussion will turn to registering the boat in Florida. Do you really want to open that ditty bag?
    The original poster on this topic is/was absolutely right; it is very clear that not all Florida HSMV offices understand the Sojourner’s Permit or the process for issuing it. However, what little I’ve seen suggests the
    Florida Sojourner’s Permit appears to go with the boat, not the owner. I know personally of one case of a Florida Resident (that is, *not* an out-of-state resident), but with a boat registered out-of-state, who in an
    attempt to be “legal,” did get a Sojourner’s Permit for the boat for a winter season. That may have been an error on the part of the issuing office, but if not, it suggests the permit goes to the vessel.
    Do due diligence before facing off with HSMV on their home turf! Look up the statutes yourself. I haven’t personally done the due diligence around this, but it obviously can be tricky, and can lead to (expensive)
    unintended consequences. Caveat Emptor!
    The simple reality is, because state laws are different, one from another, it *may not* be possible to be completely, totally, unequivocally “legal” everywhere at any one given time. Now isn’t that interesting to
    contemplate?! If you don’t believe that, take a look at gun laws!
    Jim
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

    I’ve heard this discussion come up every year since 2005, but I never met a cruiser in Vero or Boot Key harbor who has a sojourners permit, or who had legal troubles with a documented boat in FL more than 90 days.
    I suspect that the problem could be Florida’s assertion of rights in excess of their authorization. We have an analogous situation with Florida anchoring rights. Many suspect that Florida’s laws would be struck down in federal courts considering maritime law and international treaties, but the question hasn’t been adjudicated yet.
    Maritime laws and treaties are designed to allow vessels to travel freely without these local hassles. Queen Mary II owned by Cunard can come into Florida. or any other port globally, without local registration. Nations bind themselves to that by treaty, and subdivisions of those national governments (like states) are not allowed to modify those rules. Legally, Queen Mary II is the same as my documented vessel or yours.
    Imagine if Florida tried to seize a Luftansa 747 that landed in Miami because it didn’t have a Florida registration. Vehicles and vessels need to be able to travel internationally relying on treaty rights signed by national governments.
    That leaves ordinary citizens like us in a pickle. It would cost a fortune to push the issue through Federal courts to prove the State of Florida wrong. So what do we do in the meantime? It is against our culture to defy a state law enforcement officer on the grounds that the state law is invalid. All we can do is fret and worry.
    In all the discussions I’ve heard on this subject, I never heard of these Florida laws being enforced against a documented vessel. Of course if they’re never enforced, they can’t be challenged in court. What do other cruisersnet.net readers say? Have you ever had these Florida laws enforced on you? If so, what happened?
    Dick Mills

  • More Good Words for Port St. Joe Marina, St. Joe Bay, Northern Gulf

    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, Fl

    Port St. Joe Marina - Click for Chartview

    This wonderful facility is accessed by the Gulf County Canal, which departs the Northern Gulf ICW between Apalachicola and Panama City, and runs south to St. Joseph Bay. Port St. Joe Marina lies hard by the town of, what else, Port St. Joe. And, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    We have been in Port St Joe Marina for 2 days now and have been told 3 times that the water is too shallow for our 5 feet draft. Folks, that is just not so. We have seen water only down to 8 feet at the transient dock and that is at low tide with a north wind blowing. The marina has even deeper spots available. Give them a try, even Mikie likes it (am I showing my age to remember that?). Stay safe,
    Tom

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

  • Interesting Night in Russell Pass Southern Anchorage, between Indian Key and Everglades City

    Russell Pass Southern Anchroage - Click for Chartview

    Russell Pass sits between Indian Key and Everglades City. The marked Indian Key Channel, which eventually leads to the Barron River and Everglades City, allows relatively easy access to Russell Pass. The southern anchorage is found on the waters of charted Russell Pass which opens into the northern flank of the Indian Key-Everglades City channel, southwest of marker #7.
    Granted, Captain Kydd’s info is a bit dated, but we suspect the same, strong currents are still very much present on these waters.

    In February 1980, while my wife, Helen and I were cruising in our 26 foot Pearson sailboat, we were anchored in Russell Bay when the anchorage became very choppy and we moved to Russell Pass. During the night we dragged anchor and at 0300 were wakened by mangroves running both sides of the boat. I rowed the dinghy till I found the pass again, went back and motored out to re-anchor with two anchors. The current in these passes can be pretty strong.
    What a beautiful cruising area.
    Ed Kydd

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Russell Pass Southern Anchorage
    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Russell Pass Southern Anchorage

  • Good Words for Bird Key Anchorage, Terra Ceia Bay, off the Manatee River

    Bird Key Anchorage - Click for Chartview

    Bird Key anchorage is found on the tongue of deep water north-northeast of Bird Key and north of marker #13.

    We sail a Catalina 36 and have stayed at bird key and in the North end many times. Great anchorages.
    Kim Updyke

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Terra Ceia Bay – Bird Key Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Terra Ceia Bay – Bird Key Anchorage

  • New Pink Shell Resort Marina Opens in Fort Myers Beach

    Pink Shell Resort and Marina - Click for Chartview

    We had an earlier contact here at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net with the dockmaster of what was then the as yet unopened marina at Pink Shell Resort. Sounds like this facility is going to be a GREAT addition to the cruising scene for the waters hard by the southerly genesis of the Western Florida ICW, and the westerly extreme of the Okeechobee Waterway/Caloosahatchee River.
    From Captain Smith’s report below, looks like some of the marina’s wet slips are already open and ready for business, while the rest will be coming online by the 25’th of this month (January, 2013).
    From our previous research, we know that Pink Shell Resort guards the southern shores of the Mantanzas Pass channel, west of Moss Marine, making this new marina the first facility encountered as one enters from the waters of the open Gulf!
    It’s really great to get such an early, positive report of a new marina such as this one. Can’t wait to check out this facility in person!

    Cruising News:
    AT LAST! the Pink Shell Resort, located just inside Matanzas Pass on Fort Myers Beach, has finally opened their new docks – and what a lovely spot it is indeed! Brand new floating docks, with all the amenities of the resort for your use and enjoyment.
    We were fortunate to be among the very first customers at the new docks for this past New Years weekend. While the new docks aren’t yet complete (I was told by the dockmaster that all 41 slips should be done by Jan 25), this new facility sure shows a lot of promise. Once checked in, you get the run of the Pink Shell Resort, including all the pools, fitness center, and spa, as well as easy access to the newly restored beach, all just across the street from your docks. It is absolutely first class! There is also an inexpensive trolley service to the hub of Fort Myers Beach at Times Square – a delightful walk along the beach if you choose.
    Contact Dock Master Dave O’Connor at doconner@pinkshell.com or marina@pinkshell.com for details – group rates are also available.
    Capt Mike Smith
    S/V Blue Skye

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pink Shell Resort and Marina

  • Confirmation of Low Water Shallow Depths at Entrance to Suwanee River (Western Florida, Big Bend Region)

    There have been MANY other postings here on the SSECN about a shallow water bar at the entrance to the Suwanee River, from the Gulf’s waters. Never before, however, have we heard of someone with a draft of 15.5 inches having problems. Looks like Tranqilo found deeper water with a bit of work.
    And, their note about “avoiding all shoals” may be a bit optimistic. I have never found more than 4 1/2 feet of water over the entrance bar a low tide.

    Our draft is 15.5 inches. We had 1 problem with shoaling at low tide coming out of Suwannee River. We are able to pole back into deep water with a boat hook and a zodiac paddle. A route can be plotted that avoids all shoals. Try a mid tide for entry into any of the well-marked channels to these out of the way places.
    Tranquilo

  • A Word From the New Director of Marker One Marina (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 142)

     Captain Steve Arndt, author of the message below, and the new dockmaster at Marker One Marina, gained a superb reputation for his welcoming, can-do attitude towards all cruisers during his former directorship at Bay Point Marina in Panama City, Florida. With Captain Steve at the helm, we feel strongly that things will look up very quickly at Marker One.

    Now you’ll be able to enjoy that same level of friendliness and service at a new location a few miles farther south! Marker 1 Marina, (http://www.marker1marina.com – my new home in Dunedin, FL) is located on the [Western Florida] ICW just north of Clearwater and is a wonderful stop along the Loop. With grocery stores, restaurants, banks and thrift stores just a few blocks away, you’ll find just about everything you need close by. Caladesi Island State Park (recently named the Best Beach in America) is just a short kayak or dingy ride away. Meanwhile the town of Dunedin is proud of their Scottish roots and has a diverse selection of bars, restaurants and shops that just beg to be explored. And with 300 feet of lay along transient dock, private showers and 24 hour security, your boat will feel right at home, too.
    I look forward to sharing my new hometown with many of you in the coming years!
    Thanks,
    Steve Arndt
    Director, Marker 1 Marina

    Click Here To View the Westerb Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marker One Marina

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

  • Millers Marina and the Suwanee River

    The Suwanee River is arguably, along with the Withlacoochee River, the most beautiful of the Western Florida Big Bend rivers. The Suwanee offers many superb anchorages, and one basic marina.
    HOWEVER, there is an entrance bar which carries a slim 4-feet, or even slightly less, at MLW. Once on the stream’s interior reaches, depths improve considerably, but you may have to work the tides to make good your entry and egress!
    Like Captains Judith and Paul, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the seafood at Salty Creek Fish Company restaurant. Year in and year out, it’s been some of the very best I’ve ever had!
    See you there!

    The wild and beautiful Suwanee River was next on the list, bypassing Cedar Key about which we had not heard good things. We stopped at Miller’s Marina for fuel and a pumpout. This is a very basic place on a lovely pool approached from the river by a leafy narrow canal. A short walk to The Salt River Seafood Company Restaurant provided us with a delicious lunch. We understand they will let you stay the night at their dock for free if you eat there. 350 people call this village home with 750 vacation homes–small is an overstatement. Predicted stormy weather prevented our anchoring out up the Suwannee which we very much wish we had been able to do–you know, the song and all!
    Judith and Paul
    Tranquilo
    26′ C-Dory

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

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

  • Twin Rivers Marina (on the Crystal River – Western Florida Big Bend Region)

    Personally, I prefer Pete’s Pier, farther upstream on Crystal River, to Twin Rivers Marina, but, hey, that’s just me, and it is certainly a far longer cruise from the Gulf to reach Pete’s. So, read up on both, and make your decision accordingly.

    After a few hours of being hammered on the open Gulf, we slipped into the first marina on Crystal River, Twin Rivers Marina. They are 6 miles from town, but had a floating dock for us which we prefer, being so small. One
    could stay in town at Pete’s Pier. TRW is a full service marina, and we need a wiper repair and a stove repair after our Gulf ride. Crystal River is home to the largest herd of manatees in Florida. Photographing manatees
    is similar to dolphins–as soon as you focus, they are gone.
    We are waiting here for a window to get down to Tarpon Springs and back on the ICW. We have met friendly people and had quiet, secure havens and would highly recommend Florida’s “Forgotten Coast” to complete your Loop experience.
    Judith and Paul
    Tranquilo
    26′ C-Dory

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

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

  • Sea Hag Marina (Steinhatchee River – Western Florida Big Bend Region)

    Sea Hag Marina is the best facility for cruising size craft on the Big Bend’s Steinhatchee River. While, as is usual with Big Bend Rivers, the Steinhatchee entrance channel is a long, drawn-out affair, from the deeper Gulf waters, it is well marked and perhaps the deepest of the Big Bend river channels.

    Next we went to Sea Hag marina in Steinhatchee. There is a post office, good grocery store and several restaurants. Fiddler’s Restaurant will come to the marina, pick you up and bring you back. Delicious seafood dinner. We took our zodiac up the river for a few hours as the weather was not condusive for anchoring out.
    Judith and Paul
    Tranquilo
    26′ C-Dory

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

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

  • Shields Marina (Western Florida Big Bend Region – off the St. Marks River)

    It’s a long trek down a well marked channel from the waters of the Northern Gulf to reach Shield’s Marina, but it’s worth it. We have always found this to be a superior marina.
    I’m particularly intrigued by Captain Judith’s reference to the “new Shields Marina.” Perhaps there have been improvements here since I last visited. Anyone have more info about that?

    Our first stop was St. Mark’s (20 miles south of Tallahassee), staying at the new Shield’s Marina (showers/laundry/well stocked chandlery/full service) and a couple of anchorages in the beautiful St. Mark’s River. We lunched at the Riverside (Paradise) Cafe, walked the park, museum/fort, and the railroad converted to bike path. The area/fort has been significant historically since the 1500’s (and 12,000 yrs before) under the control of 9 different cultures. The area provided the most important salt for the Confederate troups. They have a post office and a limited grocery store and are the heart of the Stone Crab industry with a festival in October. A man came to talk with us for awhile and loaned us his car to go to the St. Mark’s Wildlife Preserve and The Lighthouse. We saw many alligators sunning. We found out later, the owner will loan you his car for Walmart or the lighthouse/nature preserve tour.
    Judith and Paul
    Tranquilo
    26′ C-Dory

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

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

  • Great Account of Cruising Western Florida’s Big Bend Region, North to South

    I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Get a dozen veteran cruisers together, put forward the question about the best way to cross Western Florida’s waterwayless “Big Bend” region, and you’ll get fourteen different opinions. For those not familiar with these waters, it’s basically a question of whether to cut the corner, if southbound, and head directly for Anclote Key or Clearwater (this often involves an overnight passage), or, staying well offshore, follow the Big Bend coastline around, with the opportunity to anchor or moor on one of the regional rivers. Almost all of these are naturally beautiful, but all have long, torturous, and sometimes shallow entrance channels from the open Gulf.
    Captains Judith and Paul give one of the best arguments below I’ve heard in some time as to the good attributes of taking the Big Bend coastline route.

    We opted to travel The Big Bend from Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs. The distance is greater than the cross-Gulf trek, but well worth it. This area is of historical significance and is comprised of small/tiny fishing villages among marsh, cypress, fir, hardwoods, palm trees and alligators, not to mention dolphins and a myriad of sea/woods birds. Fishing is the name of the game here. There were large, deep draft boats in all the marinas, but one would have to watch the tides. This would be a much better trip if it were a bit earlier in the year before the northerlies arrive. The ubiquitous crab pots/fishing pots are easily seen and avoided
    as long as the seas are 1-2′ and the sun is not in your eyes.
    Our first stop was St. Mark’s (20 miles south of Tallahassee), staying at the new Shield’s Marina (showers/laundry/well stocked chandlery/full service) and a couple of anchorages in the beautiful St. Mark’s River. We lunched at the Riverside (Paradise) Cafe, walked the park, museum/fort, and the railroad converted to bike path. The area/fort has been significant historically since the 1500’s (and 12,000 yrs before) under the control of 9 different cultures. The area provided the most important salt for the Confederate troups. They have a post office and a limited grocery store and are the heart of the Stone Crab industry with a festival in October. A man came to talk with us for awhile and loaned us his car to go to the St. Mark’s Wildlife Preserve and The Lighthouse. We saw many alligators sunning. We found out later, the owner will loan you his car for Walmart or the lighthouse/nature preserve tour.
    Next we went to Sea Hag marina in Steinhatchee. There is a post office, good grocery store and several restaurants. Fiddler’s Restaurant will come to the marina, pick you up and bring you back. Delicious seafood dinner. We took our zodiac up the river for a few hours as the weather was not condusive for anchoring out.
    The wild and beautiful Suwanee River was next on the list, bypassing Cedar Key about which we had not heard good things. We stopped at Miller’s Marina for fuel and a pumpout. This is a very basic place on a lovely pool approached from the river by a leafy narrow canal. A short walk to The Salt River Seafood Company Restaurant provided us with a delicious lunch. We understand they will let you stay the night at their dock for free if you eat there. 350 people call this village home with 750 vacation homes–small is an overstatement. Predicted stormy weather prevented our anchoring out up the Suwannee which we very much wish we had been able to do–you know, the song and all!
    After a few hours of being hammered on the open Gulf, we slipped into the first marina on Crystal River, Twin Rivers Marina. They are 6 miles from town, but had a floating dock for us which we prefer, being so small. One
    could stay in town at Pete’s Pier. TRW is a full service marina, and we need a wiper repair and a stove repair after our Gulf ride. Crystal River is home to the largest herd of manatees in Florida. Photographing manatees
    is similar to dolphins–as soon as you focus, they are gone.
    We are waiting here for a window to get down to Tarpon Springs and back on the ICW. We have met friendly people and had quiet, secure havens and would highly recommend Florida’s “Forgotten Coast” to complete your Loop experience.
    Judith and Paul
    Tranquilo
    26′ C-Dory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • High Praise for Marina Jacks, Sarasota, FL, Statute Mile 73

    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, and the maritime part of the operation is officially known as “Marina Operations.” For twenty years, I’ve never heard a single, fellow cruiser use this official moniker.
    Whatever you call it, the food at Marina Jacks is certainly good, In March of 2012, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Sarasota Power Squadron, upstairs at Marina Jacks. A GOOD time was had by all, particularly yours truly!

    We had just started exploring the Gulf Coast, the first fuel stop being Marina Jacks. Our experience was so pleasant that we decided to extend our stay (with 6 kids in tow this time). The dock manager (Sam), and deck hand who assisted us (Keith), were so welcoming that it was almost disconcerting to us New Yorker’s – being generally accustomed to a more “reserved” attitude at local marinas, yc’s and fuel docks. If you’re in the Sarasota area and looking for a very family friendly, spotlessly clean, & welcoming environment – Marina Jack’s is the place.
    Paul & Hakuna Matata’s crew

    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

  • In Praise of Cruising Western Florida’s Ten Thousand Island Region (south of Marco Island, FL)

    I agree with everything that Captain Jim says below about cruising the anchorage rich waters of the Ten Thousand Island region. Just know there is also a LOT of shallow water here. We strongly recommend that you have a well functioning GPS chart plotter aboard and operating whenever you cruise the Ten Thousand Islands!

    As you’re working your way south (or in the planning stages) you might want to take a closer look at the Everglades. If you like the beauty of unspoiled nature you could spend time anchoring out and or exploring the many Passes that work back into the Everglades and don’t forget the Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City.
    Jim

    Click Here To View our Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing for the Ten Thousand Island Region and Cape Sable

    Click Here To View our Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing for the Ten Thousand Island Region and Cape Sable

  • Warning of Less Than Ideal Depths in Western Florida’s Ten Thousand Island Region (south of Marco Island, FL)

    Captain Chuck knows whereof he speaks when he cautions against shallow water in the Ten Thousand Islands region of the Western Florida coastline, south of Marco Island. There are VERY FEW aids to navigation in this region, and, with some notable exceptions, waters of less than 5-foot depths, are common. Check out our Western Florida Anchorage Directory for this region (linked below), to discover some places where cruising size and draft vessels can drop the hook safely, at least, that is, if you have a well functioning GPS chartplotter aboard!

    We just came down to the Keys from Goodland after spending the last year in the Fort Myers, Naples, Marco Island area. What a great cruising area. The only thing I would ad is to watch your draft if cruising around the 10,000 Islands. It can get pretty skinny in spots,
    including the channel up to Everglades City at low tide. It’s best to check with the Rod and Gun Club for the shallow spots coming in the channel.
    Chuck

    Click Here To View our Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing for the Ten Thousand Island Region and Cape Sable

    Click Here To View our Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing for the Ten Thousand Island Region and Cape Sable

  • Little Shark River Southern Fork Anchorage

     Looks like Captains Ken and Pat are reporting on (or near) the second anchorage we recommend on Little Shark River moving upstream from the stream’s mouth. In our “Western Florida Anchorage Directory” (follow link below), we recommend dropping the hook north of the “island,” but, hey, Little Shark River is one of those places where you could spend a month, and never exhaust all the anchorage possibilities!

    I wish we would have spent more time exploring the Everglades. We did anchor in Little Shark River, and enjoyed exploring in the dinghy.
    We went up the mouth of the river, turned right at the T, and anchored below the first Island. Very nice spot!
    Ken & Pat Goewey

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Little Shark River Southern Fork Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Little Shark River Southern Fork Anchorage

  • Praise for City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin, Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway

    City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin - Click for Chartview

    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 ofCapt. Barry’s remarks are in response to needed recommendations for good live aboard marinas.

    Go to the Ft Myers City Yacht Basin. Great staff, great downtown, great facilities. NO PROBLEM with live aboard but there was a $75 per month live aboard fee. we lived aboard and cruised SW FL for 4 years. Fantastic.
    Bob Barry

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

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

  • Platinum Point Yacht Club (at Burnt Store Marina – Charlotte Harbor)

    Platinum Point Yacht Club is located in the impressive Burnt Store Marina complex, which guards the eastern shores of Charlotte Harbor, well south of Punta Gorda. I have had the good fortune to speak at Platinum Point Yacht Club in the past, but I must say I did not know they featured their own dockage facilities.
    Platinum Point is not a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, but from my own experience and that reported by below by Captains Jim and Vaughn, this club is well worth a visit.

    Platinum Point Yacht Club is located at Burnt Store Marina on the east side of Charlotte Harbor. This is east of the ICW anchorage at Pelican Bay/Cayo Costa SP, south of Punta Gorda and north of Ft Myers/the Okeechobee waterway.
    They have a three docks at the marina. first night free, second and third night $1/ft. Call ahead for availability but they are mostly empty .
    The Burnt Store Marina also offers AGLCA Looper Discounts.
    If you are a member of a YC, you can get the PPYC deal!
    Jim and Vaughn

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Marina Directory listing for Burnt Store Marina

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

  • Shallow Depths Encountered at Field Yacht Club (Sarasota, FL – Statute Mile 71)

     Be sure to read all the remarks in both messages below before drawing any conclusions about the Field Yacht Club in southern Sarasota. As you will see, there are many positive attributes reported, but depths are clearly a problem at this facility for some vessels.
    I have had the good fortune to make presentations at the Field Club on many occasions over the years, and I have always been very impressed with the clubhouse and the greeting I received. As far as the wet slip dockage is concerned though, looks like it’s time for a dredging project!

    Yesterday we went into the SFC at mid-tide. We have a 50′ Ocean Alexander with a 4′ draft. They were expecting us. In the channel approaching them, our depth finder was reading .2!! We continued very slowly into the marina
    to our assigned slip. As we backed into the slip, we were churning up mud. We waited 3 hours for high tide and left. The marina had never warned us.
    Mark & Allyn Callahan

    After reading the above note, which originally appeared on the “GL” (Great Loop) Mail List, we e-mailed Captains Mar and Allyn, and asked for clarification as to whether the “SFC” was indeed the Field Yacht Club in southern Sarasota. We received the following affirmative reply:

    Yes it is the Field Yacht Club in Sarasota. A beautiful Club but for us the approach was very thin and the slip we got would have been a problem at dead low, which was in the morning when we would have had to leave. Don’t want to take anything away from the Club and they were great let us wait for the tide to come up and then we left, no charges for Electric or the slip. Very accommodating.
    Mark Callahan

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Field Yacht Club

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

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