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Amelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaVero Beach MarinaWelcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. AugusPort of Call, St. Augustine The Town of Marineland has opened its ports with a brand new marina facility creating a destination for boaters on the Intracoastal Waterway between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, FL.FULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOMEOld Port Cove HoldingsNew Smyrna Beach Marina, 201 N. Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, 386-409-2042
 Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Hammock Beach Resort & MarinaWestland Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Titusville, Florida. Near Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589Fernandina Harbor MarinaGuest Coupon Available On Our Web Site Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club

Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • Good Report on River Haven Marina (Western Florida Big Bend Region, Steinhatchee River)

    River Haven Marina is the most upstream facility catering to cruising size craft on the Big Bend’s Steinhatchee River.

    We had a very pleasant experience at River Haven Marina Sept.12,2011. We were running late and called and told them we would probably not get there by their 1800 closing and to please give us our slip assignment. They said not to worry they would stay until we got there. As it turned out were were only minutes late but appreciated their kind attention. We actually stayed an extra night and enjoy a dink ride up the river,secure in the advice they gave us about the rocks ahead.
    They also offered to pick up a prescription for us at a pharmacy 20mi away. River Haven will go 20 times the extra mile for their customers.
    Dolores Reinecke

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

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

  • Legacy Harbour Marina (Caloosahatchee River – Fort Myers Waterfront)

    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.Legacy Harbour Marina is one of two side by side SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, on the downtown Fort Myers waterfront, the other being the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin. Clearly, Legacy Harbour has a LOT going for it, and all the many Fort Myers downtown attractions and dining are within easy walking distance!

    My wife and I enjoyed our stay, last winter, at the Municipal Marina, however, we’re looking forward to staying at Legacy Harbor Marina this winter. We’ve visited (walking) their facility on several occasions and are very impressed. Not only are their facilities impressive, the staff was extremely pleasant and down-to-earth. Looking forward to staying there this winter!
    Mike

    Your recent posting about Legacy Marina in Ft. Myers is absolutely true. It is a great place to stay.
    All docks are floating and in excellent shape. The staff is most accommodating and available.
    The ability to walk to nearby downtown facilities is also very good. A very fine Oriental restaurant exists just southeast of the marina, within a few blocks walking distance. This marina is a “must” when transiting the Ft. Myers area.
    Capt. Ken Wright
    North Palm Beach, FL

    December 2010 and January 2011 we spent at Legacy and loved every day of it. The staff is knowledgeable, very helpful and an asset to the marina. The Edison-Ford Museum is just down the street and is a must-see. We could easily spend 5-6 hours there. Ft. Myers downtown has been revitalized and is also a short walk. We look forward to our next visit to Legacy Harbour Marina.
    Laura Bender

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

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

  • A Good Visit to Sea Hag Marina (Western Florida Big Bend Region – Steinhatchee River)

    We have long held the opinion that Sea Hag Marina is the most cruiser friendly facility in Florida’s Big Bend region. Looks like Captain Dye agrees!

    Cruising News:
    I had a great experience at Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee, Florida. I was helping the new owner of a 1982 Egg Harbor move his new purchase from Punta Gorda to Destin. Because of weather and maintenance issues, we decided to go into Steinhatchee. The marina isn’t a regular stop for transient cruisers, but Sea Hag was easy to get into and they welcomed us. We explained the maintenance
    issues and they said, “No problem.” Thorough, professional, clean and technically competent, they did an amazing job! Charlie Norwood is the owner and ever-present. His professional and friendly personality permeates the entire organization. Sea Hag is one of those pleasant finds while cruising.
    Jake Dye

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

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

  • Hernandon Beach Channels To Be Dredged (Western Florida Big Bend Region)

    Hernando Beach is a small community with a little used (by visitors anyway) channel, which lies north of Western Florida’s Anclote Key, and south of Homosassa River. I sounded these channels some years ago, and found them so shoally, that I have never recommended them to visiting cruisers. So, the dredging reported below in the Local Notice to Mariners, could hardly be bestowed on waters that need such a project more.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-ANCLOTE KEYS TO CRYSTAL RIVER-HERNANDO BEACH-HERNANDO BEACH CHANNEL: Dredging Operations (UPDATE September 6, 2012).
    B.C. Peabody Construction Services dredging operations ongoing through January 1, 2012 in the Hernando Beach Channel, Hernando Beach, Florida. The mechanical Dredges “800” (orange 800 Hitachi excavator) and “400” (yellow 400 Komatsu excavator) will conduct operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will monitor channel VHF 68. Hydraulic Dredge and all associated pipeline has been removed from the channel. Associated workboats are material barges, push boats skiffs and a secondary barge with smaller yellow excavator “200”. Barges will continue to be spudded down in the channel and material barges will be constantly moving material. All watercraft will be lighted and clearly marked. Hernando County Parks & Recreation is working closely with B.C. Peabody. For further information please contact the Project Manager, Mr. Wayne Konga, 941-545-6188. Chart 11409

  • Punta Gorda Mooring Field Ready For Business (Charlotte Harbor – Peace River)

    During the morning of 9/1/11, we heard from Captain Jay Buckley, Chairman of the Punta Gorda Waterfront Development Advisory Commission. Captain Jay gave us excellent details about a mooring field recently established by the city of Punta Gorda, on the western mouth of the Peace River, a short hop east of the Highway 41 Bridge, and the charted overhead power cable.
    This field consists of 32 balls, and is administered by nearby Laishely Park Municipal Marina. Call 941-575-0142 for information and to reserve a mooring.
    One caveat to this field is that your vessel must be able to clear the fixed 45-foot Highway 41 bridges to access the moorings. Taller sailcraft are out of luck!
    Mariners moored in the field can make use of dinghy dockage at Laishley Park Municipal Marina. A host of shoreside businesses, including quite a collection of restaurants, are in easy walking distance of this facility. Ask the friendly staff at Laishleys for recommendations.
    So, now there is another wet storage opportunity available to facilitate a visit to charming Punta Gorda. See you there!

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Punta Gorda Mooring Field

    All enjoyed Punta Gorda and their Marina, hope it is a success for all and other towns and |cities pay attention to how to bring in business.
    Dennis McMurtry

    It is too bad that the mooring field is east of a 45′ bridge. I think there is a dock to dinghy up to and there are few places within walking distance.
    Since my mast is 60′ I usually anchor west of the bridge off Fisherman’s Villiage where there are many restaurants and shops. If you are not going to spend the night you can tie up along side the shops and restaurants. The marina usually has slips also.
    I hope the field does well but there is more to see and do at Fisherman’s Village.
    Jerry & Linda Villines

    Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
    Centered on the Location of This Anchorage:

  • Hazard to Navigation, Hernanco Beach Channel

    The waters west of Hernanco Beach are extremely shallow and Hernanco Beach Channel leads westward to depths of less than 3 feet. The daybeacons mentioned below do not show on Chart 11409. Dredging is in progress in this area until September 2, 2011

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-ANCLOTE KEYS TO CRYSTAL RIVER-HERNANCO BEACH CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation.
    The Coast Guard received a report of a sunken 25ft S/V with 2 masts showing above the waterline in approximate position 28-29.9N 082-40.1W in the channel between Hernando Beach Channel DBN 64 (LLNR 27770) and Hernando Beach Channel DBN 66 (LLNR 27780). [Ref: STP BNM 877-11] Chart 11409

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hernanco Beach Channel

  • Captain Charmine Comments on Reaction to Her Latest Florida Anchoring Rights Article

    Captain Charmaine’s message below is actually a reaction to multiple comments received in response to her latest article concerning developments vis-a-via the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program in the Florida Keys (see http://www.CruisersNet.net/update-on-floridas-pilot-program-marathon-fl-mpac-meeting-held). However, I knew this article would get more visibility published as a fresh posting. so here it is.
    If you are at all interested in the question of Florida anchoring rights, PLEASE read Captain Charmaine’s thoughts below. They are worthy of every cruisers’ time and attention!

    Thank you all for your comments. Public outrage is exactly what is needed to stop this gross manipulation of the law by a few at the total dismissal of the expressed wants of the majority. It is even more stomach turning when one realizes the “chosen” sites for the Pilot Program are mostly comprised of the same cities that have been caught red-handed enacting and enforcing illegal anchoring ordinances. They lost in court, yet they continue to flex their muscles once again by creating a ploy to go around existing law.
    Law enforcement is caught in the middle of a political game and are being used to do the bidding of a few powerful people. The Pilot Program is a tool being used to dictate to law enforcement how to enforce the otherwise unenforceable. The politicians who backed the Pilot Program will distance themselves and run for cover once the general public grasps the enormity of the Pilot Program’s hidden agenda and total disregard for the protection of boats in navigation under the law. FL Statute 327.60(2) was written to shut the door on their attempts–the Pilot Program does not have to adhere to that Statute. Does it make it right to concoct an instrument that circumvents existing law? The Right of Navigation includes anchoring.
    Those who want to own the land and the water shall not succeed if we stand together to expose their greed and arrogance. Safety at sea is priority one. It should also be the FWC’s number one priority. Where it is permissible to anchor and for what length of time should not be a concern for any captain whose thoughts should be concentrated on safety first and foremost. This is a recipe for disaster. A captain may, in his or her haste to avoid an anchoring violation, leave an area under pressure when it otherwise would be prudent to stay. It is obvious that landlubbers who know nothing of why the Right of Navigation is imperative to safety, are the driving force behind the Pilot Program and its open door to enacting anchoring time limit ordinances.
    Please write the FWC and send a copy of it to Boat US. Allow your objections to be on the record. It doesn’t matter where you live, as the waters of Florida are held in the Public Trust for all. There is power in numbers and we need to speak up. Tell others about this injustice. Our servicemen and servicewomen fight for the freedoms of others abroad, yet we are still fighting to retain freedoms among ourselves right here in America. That is a very sad state of affairs.
    Tim’s comment made me recall this quote:

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” – Patrick Henry

    Again, many thanks!
    Charmaine

  • Grounded 27-Foot Sailing Vessel Reported on Caloosahatchee River, North of Fourmile Point (near OKW St. M. 137)

    We have plotted the position of the grounded sailcraft reported in the Local Notice to Mariners extract below, and it lies fairly close to the Caloosahatchee River’s western shoreline, north of Paradise Yacht Club. Considering its position, this derelict will probably affect most cruising craft, absent a rather gross navigational error. Nevertheless, all navigators operating on the waters of the Caloosahatchee River near Paradise Yacht Club, should take extra caution.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-FORT MYERS-CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER: Hazard to Navigation
    There is an aground 27FT white sailing vessel anchored and lit in the Caloosahatchee River in approximate position 26-37.8N 081-54.7W. All
    mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area. Chart 11427

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the General Location of the Grounded Vessel Reported Above

  • Fishermens Wharf Marina Park (Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 57, Venice, FL)

    Cruisers making their way through the charming community of Venice, Florida have probably, for the last several years, noticed a series of docks and slips overlooking the northeastern shores of the Western Florida ICW, just northwest of the Hatchett Creek Bridge, and southeast of marker #4. Then, within the past two weeks, we received the two messages below, so we undertook some fairly extensive research concerning this facility and discovered it has been in a semi-open state for some time now; new docks have been constructed, but apparent permitting problems have prevented them from opening; the marina is accepting overnight transients at other, fixed piers which are currently open. The person I talked with said they “hoped” the necessary permits would be ready within the next several month.

    Hey, a note that the Fisherman’s Wharf Marina at marker 4 (right before the Hatchett Creek bridge heading south bound) is open. Good rates for overnite and not as much current as the inlet marina [Crows Nest Marina].
    Jane Smith

    Cruising News:
    Dockage in Venice is always a bit tight. We are now sitting at a nice new floating dock at the Marker 4 Grill. These docks have been here for about five years involved in a an obscure and complicated discussion of which I am not a party. Available dockage here is either at the Venice Yacht Club -appropriate reciprocal membership required- which is full up right now or at the Crow’s Nest which is a miserable place to put in except at slack tide. Marker 4 does not advertise but can be contacted by phone at 941-484-0344. Great location. Just across the bridge from downtown.
    N27 deg06.294
    W82deg26.736
    Fred Sorensen
    OA43

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fishermens Wharf Marina Park

  • Florida Anchoring Regulations – The FEDERAL Dimension

    Most of us who have been involved in the Florida anchoring rights issue for more than a few years, know there is a Federal dimension to this issue. And, that issue is, many would argue, ONLY the Federal government, NOT states, counties or municipalities, can regulate “navigation,” AND anchoring is very much a part of “navigation.”
    In fact, several years ago, a fellow cruiser sued the city of Stuart, Florida in Federal Admiralty Court for prohibiting him/her from anchoring. Not only did the cruiser win the court case in question, but the city of Stuart had to pay all the cruisers’ attorney fees, and pay a sum of money for damages.
    So, while many of us have fought the fight for Florida anchoring rights on the state level, most of us have known there is a “fall back” line of defense by way of the Admiralty Courts. Captain Robert Driscoll lays out a good case below for the notion that only the Federal government can indeed regulate anchorage.
    This is very interesting input indeed! If there are any maritime lawyers out there reading this missive, PLEASE give us your input as well by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below!

    With the understanding that an informed public, in this case the boating public, is the best way to ensure the navigational freedom that we enjoy the follwoing is submitted.
    Anchoring is an act of navigation, navigation is under the jurisdiction of Admiralty Courts. Admiralty Courts exist only at the federal level.
    The laws of the United States are superior to state laws and state laws in conflict must yield. Likewise the Federal Court rulings are supreme.
    With the foregoing in mind consider the following rulings and laws which exist at the National Level, all of which are superior to any state legislation:

    U. S. Constitution, Article III, Sec 2.1
    “The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, … (and) to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction …”

    U.S. Supreme Court, Butler v. Boston Steamship Co. 130 US 557, 141 US 1, Detroit Trust Co. v. The Thomas Baslum 293 US 21, 42
    “As the constitution extends the judicial power of the United States to ‘all admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,’ and as this jurisdiction is held to be exclusive, the power of legislation on the same subject must necessarily be in the national legislature and not in the state legislatures.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart 253 US 149, 164
    “Congress cannot transfer its legislative power to the states, … by nature this in nondelegable.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Dawson 264 U.S. 219
    In responding to and overturning a lower court decision where a state was attempting to apply a local state law to all vessels which visit or navigate in the state the U.S. Supreme Court decreed: “This cause presents a situation where there was no attempt to prescribe general rules. On the contrary the manifest purpose was to permit any state to alter the maritime law, and thereby introduce conflicting requirements. To prevent this result the Constitution adopted the law of the sea as the measure of maritime rights and obligations. The confusion and difficulty if vessels were compelled to comply with the local statutes at every port, are not difficult to see. Of course, some within the states may prefer local rules, but the Union was formed with the very definite design of freeing maritime commerce from intolerable restrictions incident to such control. The subject is national. Local interests must yield to the common welfare. The Constitution is supreme.”

    U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol 30, 55th Congress, Sess 425, Sec. 10 states:
    “That the creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States is hereby prohibited; …”

    U.S. Supreme Court, State of Wisconsin v. State of Illinois 362 US 482
    The phrase “not affirmatively by Congress” as opposed to the phrase “affirmatively authorized by law” which was used in an earlier similar law (51st Congress …) makes mere state authorization inadequate.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Republic Steel Corp. I11 362 US 482
    The diminution of navigable capacity is an obstruction to navigation. “Obstruction to navigation is not limited to structures specifically, but also includes diminution of navigable capacity by other means.” {(personal comment) The State declaring areas where anchoring is not allowed is certainly a diminution of navigational capacity.}

    U.S. Law 28 USC 1333
    Admiralty jurisdiction covers every vessel under the American Flag, whether it is on the ocean or within the boundaries of a state, no matter what size or means of propulsion, or
    whether it is documented or not.

    Federal District Court, Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957 961
    “…’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.”

    Federal District Court, Hayn v. Culliford 3 C.P.Eiv 417
    “’navigation’ for some purpose, includes a period when a ship is not in motion, as, for instance, when she is at anchor.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis Blue Point Oyster Cultivation Co. v. Briggs 229 US 82
    When overturning a lower court case the U.S. Supreme Court said: “If the public right of navigation is the dominant right, and if, as must be the case, the title of the owner of the bed of navigable waters hold subject absolutely to the public right of navigation, this dominant right must include the right to the use of the bed of water for every purpose which is in aid of navigation.”

    U.S. Law 33 USC 471 Chap 10
    “The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized, empowered, and directed to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessel in all harbors, rivers, bays and other navigable waters of the United States whenever it is manifest to the said secretary that the maritime or commercial interest of the United States require such anchorage grounds for the safe navigation….” {(personal comment) when the language “authorized, empowered, and directed” is used it implies sole authority to perform the named act. The Boating Public is a definite minority and it is only by the laws which exist in this country can navigational rights be preserved.}

    I agree that it is pretty clear that Federal law should rule, but the problem is that there is absolutely no political support for this at the state and local level, and no Federal entity, particularly the Coast Guard, wants to meddle in state and local affairs either. Now, if this were some issue that had broad national political support, like gun rights, you would have state and local politicians bending over backwards. Boaters are not organized or united politically, and because of the nature of the problem they are more likely to just move along to avoid the hassle. Plus, this mostly impacts transients, who have zero local political clout. Local and state officials answer to their constituents and supporters. Sure, they could be taken to court, at great expense, effort, time, and aggravation, but who wants to deal with that? Not many of us.
    No Name Supplied

    So, who is going to front the legal costs until the courts rule in a cruiser’s favor, and who is going to eat the costs when the courts don’t?
    While some folks who cruise Florida have very deep pockets, the most aggrieved in this situation are not so fortunate.
    In the absence of a “cruising rights defense fund” or some such construct, I’m not going to be lining up for a test case. I am not willing to double down with shrinking retirement funds on the skills of a government admiralty lawyer.
    The Bahamas are a short distance away and much more welcoming on their worst days.
    Chris

    Every cruiser, EVERY cruiser needs to know this. Spread this information to every boater you know, every boating forum, any way you can. Local authorities are over-stepping their boundaries with unjust and, as we now find out, illegal anchoring restrictions.
    Thank you, Claiborne
    Larry McDonald

    Claiborne,
    I am not an attorney but I used to pretend to be one at the local pubs on Saturday nights. But seriously, being involved in this issue in Florida for many years, it is my understanding that the Federal Government handed over the jurisdiction of the local Waterways to the States many years ago, with some exceptions. Those are mostly exceptions dealing with maintenance and navigational aids which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers. The States were given the authorization to pass laws and regulations and enforce those laws and regulations. It is then up to the individual States as to whether they would in turn allow municipalities or counties to pass and enforce further regulations. And this has been the deal breaker in trying to get these anchoring regulations overturned or thrown out in Federal Court. Now my recollections could be fuzzy, so perhaps a true expert can enlighten us.
    Chuck Baier

    The United States Supreme Court has said (see Knickerbocker v. Stewart above) that the federal government cannot, repeat cannot, delegate its legislative power to the states. In doing so it would not be the first time the Federal Legislature has passed a law that would later be found unconstitutional. Unfortunately for a law to be ruled unconstitutional it must first be presented to the court, unti it is the law remains in force.
    Robert Driscoll

    I, too remember something about the feds abdicatiog responsibility for anchoring. Maybe discovered by the woman in Daytona beach who started an organization???
    I know a couple of guys who served on the “Harbor Board here in the 80′s and 90′s I will ask them about their recollections.
    Bill Dixon

  • Thoughts on Summertime Western Florida Cruising by Captain Barb Hansen

    Southwest Florida YachtsCaptain Barbara Hansen is a long time friend of yours truly, and the co-owner of Southwestern Florida Yachts, the premiere chartering agency in southwestern Florida, and a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    View from the Marina
    It’s Summertime and the Cruising is Easy
    By Barb Hansen
    July 2011
    I was browsing you-know-what and read something a parent posted online. I Googled manatees. It was about Florida manatees, of course, but this entry reminded me about the wonderful age of 10.
    And, may I suggest, it also was about why cruising in Florida ought to be on the summer vacation to-do list for every young family.
    It was posted on an online form and the parent wrote, “We just got home from our wonderful trip to Sanibel for the first time. We saw a mother manatee nursing two babies near the lighthouse close to the shore on Friday Aug. 7… She also had about five other babies waiting their turn just poking their little noses out of the water. What an awesome sight for my 10 yr old daughter and me.”
    This was an awesome sight and awesome times 100, I think, because it was shared by a parent and 10-year-old. Ten-year-olds – I’m sure you know this – are the perfect age for an experience like this but, hey, I’m sure this would be a wonderful thing to see for all children above the age of reason up to and including their parents.
    The thing is, seeing manatees and frolicking dolphins in the wild is not at all unusual in Florida in the summer, especially when you’re on a boat. They call this the “low season” but manatees and dolphins don’t know that. For Florida’s wildlife, summer is the high season.
    By the way Sanibel, mentioned by the parent of the 10-year-old, is one of our famous Gulf barrier islands and it helps shape the popular, protected cruising corridors on either side of Pine Island.
    Here at Southwest Florida Yachts the summer pace is a tad more relaxed after a busy “high” season of chartering vessels to snowbirds escaping the cold up north. In the summer the calls often come from moms and dads asking what summer cruising is like because this is summer vacation and their kids are out of school. They’ve done Disney, and they are so over Disney.
    Oh it’s very good, I say. Then I’m off on a summertime is the best time riff. Cruising is the just right thing for a family with children to do on summer vacation.
    I tell them about seeing manatees and dolphins in the wild. I tell them about seeing a thousand wading birds feeding on a shallow flat and a thousand stars twinkling from the dark sky at night. It’s summertime. Living is easy. Fish are jumping.
    I like showing off our lovely part of Florida to visitors during the low season and I’ve always thought it way too sad that so many fail to come here at a time of the year when Florida really shines.
    This is “Real Florida,” as the tourism people call it. It really is. And the cruising is easy.
    Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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