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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • A Distrubing Message about Anchoring in St. Petersburg, Florida (Tampa)

    Captain Burnham’s message below is somewhat cryptic, but if I read it rightly, the city of St. Petersburg, Florida is attempting to limit anchorage in their corporate waters to 3-days in a particular spot, and 9 days total, within any 30 day period. As such, these are possibly the most Draconian proposals put forward by any of the five municipalities/counties which are part of the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program. Fortunately, there is still a LOT of public comment to be registered, and the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission) must agree to all restrictions before they can be passed and enforced. As St. Augustine learned last fall, the FWC is very reluctant to approve such short term anchorage limits.
    Notice that Captain Burhnham points out that the real bugaboo in all of this is derelict vessels. Can I say it just one more time. This IS a real problem in Florida, BUT this problem can be solved by enforcement of EXISTING marina salvage laws and MSD regulations. Why try and limit anchorage for everyone, when the very real derelict problem is being caused by a tiny minority of boat owners?

    I attended the meeting and received a draft copy of the proposed changes to the City Code.
    As written, it allows me to do things on a three day weekend that would really annoy most boaters and marina operators. It allows me to anchor within 200 feet of any marina or boat ramp and stay there for 3 days as long as I am not an obstruction or a “hazard to navigation”. It would seem to me that any anchored vessel is an obstruction to be avoided…
    Within any 30 day period, I can anchor consecutively in the Central Yacht Basin, the South Yacht Basin, or Bayboro Harbor for 3 days each, allowing me a 9 day stay without mooring fees. There is no beginning time or ending time for my 72 hour stay at each location so if I drop anchor in the Basin after sundown and no one notices until the next morning, the first night is not counted in the 72 hours?
    Last night’s public forum was a good meeting for the boating public to ask the city to clearify the intent of their proposal.
    What St. Petersburg apparently wants is to prevent vessels from being abandoned by the few irresponsible owners who neglect vessel maintenance. As drafted, their proposal does not address this except to state that “hazardous” vessels are prohibited from anchoring in the waterways of St. Petersburg; which is not in agreement with Florida State Law in regards to navigation. “Hazardous” vessels means a vessel in danger of becoming a derelict for various subjective reasons listed.
    If the proposal begins constructive dialog between the boating public who visit St. Pete and the city managers, then last night was a successful beginning.
    David Burnham

    After reading the above, we asked Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd, founder of BARR (Boater’s Anchoring Responsibility and Rights), to comment on the proposed St. Pete regulations. Her response appears below.

    January 26th, 2012
    by Charmaine Smith Ladd
    csmithladd@marinersbarr.org
    For your perusal and comments, the proposed ordinance draft for St. Petersburg:
    http://marinersbarr.org/fpp/docs/st_petersburg/draftanchorrdinance-2012-01-26.pdf
    Things to note: LIVEABOARDS will not be able to anchor anywhere within the City Limits of St. Petersburg, they MUST either take a mooring or a marina slip; NON-LIVEABOARDS (cruisers) effectively will be under a 72-hour limit for anchoring. The ordinance also reads: “No vessel shall anchor in the Port of St. Petersburg.” Very broad and very disturbing.

    St. Petersburg – Scheduled Public Meetings:
    February 16th at 3:00 pm – St. Petersburg City Council Meeting, 1st Reading
    March 1st at 8:30 am – St. Petersburg City Council Meeting, Public Hearing
    Location: Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium Fish & Wildlife Research Institute
    100 Eighth Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

    Click Here To Read an Imporant and Much Lengthier Article by Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd Concerning the Developing St. Petersburg Anchoring Issue

    The postings so far had me very concerned until I carefully read the proposed ordinance. While it prohibits anchoring of liveaboard vessels anywhere in the city limits, the 72 hour rule only applies within 200 feet of marinas and boat ramps and in the three basins and the Port basin downtown. It does not apply for cruisers (non-liveaboard vessels) in other anchorages in St. Pete like Coffeepot, the two bayous, or Maximo Point (a favorite of ours). The 72 hour limit does not apply to the entire peninsula or city limits!
    If it passes approval by the FWC with the 72 hour limit intact, we will simply NEVER visit or spend our money in downtown St. Pete again. We will vote with our anchor and go to more cruiser friendly places! In it’s effort to deal with abandoned and derelict boats the City of St. Petersburg is telling cruisers that they are not welcome except for a short stay. They don’t treat tourists that way who arrive by car or plane instead of by boat.
    There is no “safe harbor” provision in the proposed ordinance so the police can kick you out into a storm if they want. My guess is that the FWC will require a “safe harbor” provision be added.
    Larry Sherman

    And now, more from Captain Burnham on this issue. Many, many thanks for his fine reporting of this critical cruising issue:

    My first comments were truly cryptic as they closely follow the draft proposal from the St. Petersburg City Code which in itself I found it to be cryptic in its intent.
    The stated intent of Article 6 in Chapter 7 is to encourage the use of the new mooring field in the North Basin. Presently, only one of the 13 new moorings is occupied. Six boats are anchored behind the seawall in the South Basin, and 5 sailboats are at anchor in the Bayboro Basin south of the Port of St Petersburg.
    These 11 sailboats are all in good condition and within their rights under Florida State Laws of Navigation even though they appear to be within the “City Limits”. I have not found how far the St. Petersburg city limits extend into Tampa Bay, but they do go from the Clearwater/St. Petersburg Airport all the way around the Pinellas peninsula to Boca Ciega Bay with the exception of the City of Gulfport!
    If all 11 sailboats moved to the mooring field, their daily rate would be 14 dollars if under 41 feet in length and 17 dollars if 41 feet to 60 feet. This is significantly less than the average 80 dollar daily rate for a 40 foot vessel at the Transient Dock. If any of these cruisers rent a vehicle while on a mooring and wish to park it at the marina overnight, the daily fee is $2.80.
    During the peak winter season, 2 months is the maximum length of stay on the moorings but you can return after 15 days if there is a mooring still available.
    The proposed 72 hour time limit for anchoring in any Basin in the city limits will only serve to push the cruisers over to Gulfport which does not yet have an established mooring field in Boca Ciega Bay or other more curtious anchorages in the Tampa Bay area.
    The FWC officers are more concerned with abandoned boats, not the well kept cruiser, and preventing boats from becoming derelicts with the associated hazards.
    The term “live aboard” is used differently in the boating community and causes confusion. Until the boaters accept the term “live aboard” to mean a vessel that is NOT used for navigation (think boat house instead of houseboat) and has no means of propulsion, cruisers staying on their boats will be unsure of the proposed rule’s intent.
    The Port of St. Petersburg, south of the city airport, where all the U.S. Coast Guard and commercial ships are berthed is not a suitable anchorage for smaller cruising boats.
    David Burnham

    While I am not familiar with the local geography of the S. Pete waters I am a cruiser-resident of nearby Plant City, Hillsborough County, Florida, and have occupied and cruised continuously aboard my vessel for 8-1/2 years. Our vessel is currently in a mooring field in San Blas Islands of Panama.
    Like the City of St. Pete, we “full-time” cruisers are also unhappy with derelict vessels. They are a hazard to navigation, safety and the environment. In inclement weather conditions they can, and have, drifted loose from their “anchored” position and damaged other vessels. If not maintained in a reasonably clean and preserved condition, they negatively impact our enjoyment of the waters in which we choose to anchor.
    I believe there should be a distinction between 1) derelict vessels, 2) vessels that are “stored” on the water, i.e., not capable of safe navigation, and 3) vessels that are anchored/moored and capable of safe navigation. And I would argue that an unoccupied vessel is not capable of safe navigation.
    Boat ownership is a responsibility that includes being a safe and considerate “neighbor” to nearby vessels and property, and to their owners and occupants.
    There is no reason to penalize a responsible owner-occupant of a cruising vessel who chooses to anchor safely for extended periods in an urban waterway.
    On the other hand, I also believe that nearby vessels and property should have protection from “derelict” and/or “stored” vessels when they present hazards to their neighbors. The longer a non-navigable, or unoccupied vessel remains at anchor, the greater hazard it represents. Storms create a great danger that such vessels will come loose and damage other vessels or property. Ill-kept, non-maintained vessels are a public hazard and nuisance. I realize that “nuisance” is hard to define, but city codes have addressed this with respect to real estate, so there is precedent in regulating such matters in a community-acceptable manner.
    I think the City of St. Petersburg should consider the above discussion in its regulation and re-write the proposed ordinance to allow for responsible, long-term anchoring for occupied vessels.
    Carl Gaines

    I have spent many enjoyable hours anchored in St. Pete’s Vinoy Basin, the North Harbour, when I first started cruising south. While there, I met cruisers from as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as the eastern Caribbean. Not a derelict vessel in sight. Never a problem.
    Now, because the city would not enforce laws available to it to deal with a half dozen near-derelict vessels in the Basin, I’m forbidden to ever again anchor there, because they’ve put moorings in?
    Let me be blunt, because I’m fed up with this crap from the state of FL.
    I’ve just spent three very pleasant weeks in Brunswick Ga., 35 miles north of Florida. It was nice to feel welcomed.
    When I leave here tomorrow, the goal is to remain offshore as much and as long as I can, until I can get to the Bahamas, and to hell with Florida.
    All of it, every bit of it. I don’t need their attitude towards me, my boat and my needs, because Florida officials cannot deal with their drunks and druggies living on derelict boats in a manner responsible to those who would visit, spend money and respect their state.
    Since I singlehand, I’ll have to come inshore to rest. But I intend to buy enough fuel and food here in Brunswick, GA so that I don’t spend a cent in their damned state.
    Wally Moran

    Well, I don’t visit cities where boaters are not welcome, nor do my MANY boating friends – AND WE DON”T SPEND OUR CONSIDERABLE MONEY THERE! WAKE UP MERCHANTS!!!!!
    August Trometer

    The money spent by anchored cruisers is quite small in the grand scheme of things. And from the ordinance writers perspective, if you won’t even spend money on a mooring ball, let alone dockage, how much money will you spend ashore? Comparing cruisers to motorists doesn’t work, you can’t camp out in the rest stops or along the side of the road. You’ll need a better angle.
    Livaboards are not the issue in St. Petes either. The Harborage marina openly welcomes livaboards, they have the city permits to allow it and have many amenities geared specifically to livaboards.
    I think it is the derelict boats that is the heart of the matter. Can Cruisers Net or other organizations come up with a plan & assistance with facilitating the removal of the derelicts.
    The other issue is “bum boats”. Those boats that are not ‘derelicts’ but do not look good at all. They are eyesores that do no good for the cause. Many (but not all) would love to see a beautiful boat at anchor in the harbor, but seeing an eyesore exacerbates this sort of issue. Hard to say what could be done. Personal responsibility can’t be legislated but it is contributing to the problem. The solution…kick em all out.
    Ted

    Editor’s Response – Ted, if you will look at my earlier editorial, “Whence Come the Anchorage Regulations” at http://cruisersnet.net/?p=4958, you will see that we have come up with a scheme to get rid of derelicts, and it requires no new laws, nor does it harass the cruising community. Of course, many others have noted these same solutions. It’s not just the SSECN!

    As a resident of St Petersburg and its environs (now Treasure Island) since 1986, and before that at Stetson Law School in the late 50′s, I have always thought of our city as a boater friendly town, certainly a very prominent sailing city with a world renown yacht club. I applaud the decision to install moorings in the Vinoy Basin where the holding has always been poor, but to link that to a limit on anchoring, whether deemed a reasonable period or not, is unreasonable – clearly the elephant getting its nose in the door as a precursor for more regulations. Address the problem of derelict boats, but keep St Pete boater friendly.
    Charles (Chuck) Waygood

    A 72-hour limit in a 30-day period is ridiculously short. It would mean that someone couldn’t visit two weekends in a row, unless they anchored in one of the other locations. It would mean someone couldn’t anchor there during the entire boat show. A prohibition of “liveaboards” anchoring at all is simple prejudice, and I suspect would instantly be ruled against in a court of law. Even though the Florida definition of “liveaboard” is narrow that doesn’t mean they suddenly become second-class citizens. This ordinance severely impacts legitimate transient cruisers, will do little to deal with the truly hazardous boats, and painst St. Petersburg as an unfriendly place that does not want boaters to visit.
    John Kettlewell

  • Little Marco Island Anchorage (north of Marco Island – Western Florida)

    I agree with Captain Linda completely. As long as you can keep off the bottom while entering this anchorage from the unofficial Marco Island to Naples waterway, this is one of the best places to drop the hook in southwestern Florida. Follow the link below to the anchor down spot’s listing in our Western Florida Anchorage Directory for more information.

    During the week, you can have your own private Gulf side beach in this little piece of paradise. This is a very quiet anchorage in the evening. Some shoaling of the long channel coming in but our 6 foot draft s/v made it eventually on a rising mid tide.
    Linda

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Little Marco Island Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Little Marco Island Anchorage

  • Markers Still Off Station in Capri Pass (just north of Marco Island, and south of Naples, Florida)

    We had two earlier reports here on the Cruisers’ Net that marker #11, on the Capri Pass channel was off station, and issued an SSECN Navigation Alert for these waters (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=77958). Captain George’s report below confirms that this marker is still not where it should be as of 1/16/02!

    As of 1/16/2012 this marker is still off station and is very near marker #2 as entering from seaward. In the daytime it is not that confusing, but coming in at night, tired from a long passage and unfamiliar with Capri Pass could cause some confusion.
    Thanks
    George
    s/v John Galt

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at the Position of Marker #11 at Capri Pass

  • Question Concerning Everglades Isle Marina (Everglades City, FL – Ten Thousand Islands Region – south of Marco Island)

    In February of 2010, we had a posting here on the Cruisers’ Net concerning a “new” marina in Everglades City, knows as Everglades Isle Marina (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=27196). Since that time, no other input has been received concerning this facility, and my own travels have not taken me to this pleasant backwater. If anyone has recent knowledge concerning this facility, PLEASE respond to Captain Steve’s request for information below by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

    Has anyone stayed at the Everglades Isle Marina? Is there enough depth to get in there and refuel with 39″ draw?
    I want to stop at the Rod and Gun club on my way down from FMB to Key Largo and would love topped off tanks before heading south. I don’t see any other marinas in the area with gas.
    Thanks,
    Steve

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For the Rod and Gun Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Rod and Gun Club and the Everglades City Waterfront

  • 7-Foot Depths Reported in Charlotte Harbor – Peace River Channel Off the Punta Gorda Waterfront, 1/7/12

    Marker #3A, from which the shoaling reported below (cherry picked from the Local Notice to Mariners) extends into the Charlotte Harbor/Peace River channel, lies just north of the Punta Gorda waterfront, and a short hop northwest of the marked entry passage to Fishermens Village Marina. While most of us can cruise through 7-foot soundings without any problem, a look at chart 11426, does suggest these shallows are encroaching from the north and northeast, southwest of Live Oak Point. Someday, the 5 and 6-foot soundings adjacent to this point of land could shelve into the main channel, but, fortunately, that day is not yet here.
    Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is declaring a Navigational Alert for these waters.

    FLORIDA-CHARLOTTE HARBOR TO TAMPA BAY-CHARLOTTE HARBOR: Shoaling.
    Shoaling has been reported to depths of 7ft extending from the vicinity of Charlotte Harbor Channel Buoy 3A (LLNR 19915) channel ward to the center of the channel. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when transiting this area. Charts 11425 11426 11427

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Marker 3A on the Charlotte Harbor/Peace River Channel

  • Routes from Marco Island (Western Florida) to Marathon (Florida Keys) (or the other way around)

    The brief discussion below is copied from the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association forum. Really, there are at least three different routes from Marathon to Cape Sable and the Western Florida coastline (or the other way around), but the first message below refers to only the easternmost of the three, known as the Yachtsman’s Channel.
    In the second message below, our good friend, Captain Chuck Baier, gives some good general advice about this passage!

    This is actually the reverse of what you want to do but it gives you some perspective. There is a place called Yachtsman’s Channel which is accessible from Channel 5 which is well north of Marathon. In fact you could take the ICW all the way to Yachtsman.
    From that channel you pass by Cape Sable and which is the edge of the gulf.
    Name Not Provided

    We have made that crossing several times. About the best advise I can give you is to wait for the weather. You don’t have any information that I can find on the type of boat you have, the draft or how fast you can travel so the question is hard to answer. Ideally you want to wait until any fronts forecast on the way are already through and the seas have settled down. You can wait at Indian Key or Shark River to be a little closer. If you have a slower trawler you will want 24 hours of wind and or seas NOT on the beam and 10 knots or less winds. We use 24 hour wind and wave reports from weatherfax rather than NOAA vhf forecasts to make our decision. Best advise I can think of is to not try and outrun any approaching fronts.
    Chuck

  • Turtle Cove Marina – Tarpon Springs (Anclote River)

    Now, here’s a new one on us. A check for chart 11411 seems to indicate that the marina spoken of so glowingly below, is located on Spring Bayou, which runs off the southern shores of Anclote River, just west of downtown Tarpon Springs. For many years, this was a shallow body of water, and that is why our on-the-water research never led us to this facility.
    That will soon be changed, however, as I will be on the scene here during the first part of February, 2012, and you can bet a visit to Turtle Cove Marina will be on the top of my list. In the meantime, if anyone who has visited here has MLW depth info, PLEASE click the “the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    We are presently at the best marina we have encountered so far and that is saying something. Many friends had warned us about the perils of getting into the city dock and the poor facilities and then I saw a chance posting about a looper who had stumbled onto Turtle Cove Marina. I looked at it on Google Earth and said why not. You ease up the Anclote River to Red 50 and turn right just past the marker. Next take the first left and be sure to hug the boats on the port side through the turn as there is a shallow spot. You will dead end at Turtle Cove which has an artificial island in a cove with slips all around . Floating docks, great electrical. I have never seen better pedestals in a marina. It all looks brand new. Secure facility with locked gates. You get a key. They have a clubhouse and pool too. Gas at pumps and diesel with one day notice delivered direct to your boat by a truck that drives on the island and backs up to your slip. Ed is the owner and Peter is the dockmaster. The marina is one short block behind the town. No current, no wind, no problem. $1.50 per foot for loopers and BoatUS. Pumpouts at every slip. Can you believe this? And it is all a hidden treasure. You can call them at 727-934-2202. If you want to see it on Google Earth it is at 827 Roosevelt Blvd. I give it an A+.
    Rusty and Jan Carlisle

    I’ve always been a great fan of the [Tarpon Springs] municipal marina because it’s so close to the main drag on the island. However Turtle Cove sounds almost too good to be true. I know “the Judge” wouldn’t lie to us. After three times at the municipal dock, with its problems just to be close to “Hellas Greek Resturant” its Turtle Cove next time!!!
    Thanks Judge!
    Dave

    Lisa and I are docked (for a week) at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs Florida. Based on prior posts on this forum, I thought I’d add our two cents worth as it relates to our positive opinion. Turtle Cove is the place to be in Tarpon Springs if you like these amenities:
    1. New floating docks
    2. Free washer and dryer
    3. Easy walk to sponge docks, restaurants and downtown
    4. $1.50 per foot or discounted weekly stay (we’re paying .75 per foot for
    a week)
    5. Hot tub & swimming pool
    6. Free pumps outs
    7. Marina will also make arrangements for a fuel truck to come to your boat
    8. Free truck and trailer storage (we have a trailerable Ranger Tug)
    Jim & Lisa Favors
    Ranger Tug R27 – Kismet

    This is indeed a nice spot with wonderful amenities as described in the post below. Ed Spaeth the GM / owner is a very welcoming individual. It was a real treat to be met & welcomed by Ed & his team after our long crossing from Carrabelle.
    Note that the approaches to this marina are not as difficult as it would appear from the posts below. Proceed up the Anclote River to red 50 and turn to Stbd and then closely hug the port shoreline passing closely to the vessels tied to shore. Avoid the shallows on the Stbd side of the channel as you enter.
    There are a number of larger boats in the marina area that likely draw more than 5 feet.
    From the marina it is a short walk into the center of town with grocery stores and bars. The floating dock area where we had tied up was very nice and new. It was however quite a long walk maybe 200 yards to the showers, laundry & clubhouse facilities
    The rate of $ .75 per foot (per day?) for weekly stays for Loopers as posted below is incorrect. The correct rate is $7.50 per foot per week. That meant that instead of $199 per week for our 38 footer we were looking at $285 per week. We required a stay of between 2 & 3 weeks. On the very positive side If you pay for two weeks you can stay the next two free. Sort of like pay for 5 days stay for the next 2 free and equally pay for 2 weeks and stay free for the next two weeks I believe?
    The Looper daily rate is 1.50 per day per foot which is a discounted rate from the normal $2.00 per foot per day rate
    Here is a link to the marina’s site
    http://www.turtlecove-marina.com/index2.html
    Kismet

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Tarpon Springs and Spring Bayou

  • Markers Off Station on Capri Pass (north of Marco Island)

    We have just had another recent posting here on the Cruisers’ Net about marker #11 in Capri Pass being off station, extracted from the Local Notice to Mariners (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=77777). Captain Bob’s report below confirms this abberation! An SSECN Navigational Alert has already been declared for these waters. Follow the Chart View link below for more details.

    Claiborne
    Last week, December 30, my wife and I entered the Capri Pass into Marco Island and found next to the red marker #2, a green can bouy with #11 markings. The green can bouy was about 10 meters to the left of the #2 red marker while the #1 green marker was probably at least 70-90 meters to the left of the red marker #2.
    When we left on January 1, the green can bouy had moved down near the #4 red marker. I hailed the Coast Guard on VHF channel 22A and was referred to a land line which I think was the Marco Island Fire Department–not really sure. I reported the situation but, having left the area, I have no idea if anything was done about this.
    This marking can be very confusing to any vessel entering or leaving Capri Pass–especially if one is not familiar with the markings.
    Bob Peterson,
    Isles Yacht Club Fleet Captain

    As of 1/16/2012 this marker is still off station and is very near marker #2 as entering from seaward. In the daytime it is not that confusing, but coming in at night, tired from a long passage and unfamiliar with Capri Pass could cause some confusion.
    Thanks
    s/v John Galt

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at the Position of Marker #11 at Capri Pass

  • Shallow Spots in Cedar Keys Northwest Channel (Western Florida – Big Bend Region), 1/6/12

    Cedar Key is one of a limited number of ports of call along Western Florida’s waterwayless Big Bend region (the Western Florida coastline between Anclote Key and Dog Island). Honestly, this has never been one of my favorite places, with difficult channels, little in the way of really good anchorages, and a downtown business district which exhibits some garish, modern development. Others disagree, however, and many cruisers stop here time and again while crossing the sometimes daunting Big Bend passage.
    Cedar Key is served by two channels, as noted by Captain Gano below. The Main Ship Channel (known to some locals as the “Seahorse Key Channel”), has an “S” turn along its easterly reaches which has to be seen to be believed.
    The other entrance and egress passage, which is the primary focus of Captain Rich’s message below, is known as the Northwest Channel. The shallow spot noted by Captain Gano has been there for years and years, and it’s not getting any deeper. That’s particularly important as it LOOKS on the charts as if the Northwest Channel might be the better entry route for southbound vessels. But, as you will read below, that’s probably not the case!
    We are declaring a navigational alert for the waters!

    In 2009, I ran hard aground (4-foot draft) going out the NW channel at Cedar Key right between markers “21” and “22”. There was a sailboat sitting a couple hundred yard farther out in the channel aimed at us, probably where he’d got stuck. Tide was low. We waited to float free and than went back out the way we had come in the day before – the Main Ship Channel.
    A smarter cruiser than we anchored off Sea Horse Key in open water and avoided the long trek up the Main Ship Channel to the anchorage right off the town. It was calm that night; so he made a good decision and was away early the next morning while we waited to float free.
    Having been to Cedar Key by car before, I knew there was no call to go ashore.
    Rich Gano
    Calypso

    I respectfully disagree with the above poster’s implication that there is little to see or do on Cedar Key. I visited it for 5-6 days this past summer…and..there is a ton of history here…an old lighthouse that gets regular park tours (Seahorse key light) which is off to port on a bluff-like island (Seahorse Key) at the main approach channel. there are old Victorian houses, a many-fingered estuary that practically bisects the island and dries out at low tide leaving all sorts of old boats and docks exposed in a surreal fashion…and it has a few good restaurants and a wonderful small library that is very accessible to get online or find hiustory books about the area, Cedar Key , IMHO, is very much worth the initial tedious Main ship channel and it’s s-turns…if your draft is 5-foot or less and you come in and out on the high tides…there’s lot’s to see and on the weekends there is a guy with a Piper cub at the nearby airport giving $25 airplane rides…what a thrill..try finding that anywhere else….it’s one other jewel in Florida’s Nature Coast and there’s lot’s more of it adjacent..whether south to Crystal River/Weekiwatchee..or a little North and around a bend out the NW cedar key channel to to Suwanee river Wildlife refuge…watch your depth finders folks…and enjoy!
    Morgan R.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Cedar Key

  • Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina (Western Shores of Tampa Bay – on the St. Petersburg waterfront)

    The Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina has the advantage of being located on the protected Vinoy Basin. This facility also underwent a complete rehabilitation project just a few years ago. Of course, just next door lies SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina, one of the finest city owned and managed marinas it has ever been my pleasure to review. Boy, talk about an embarrassment of riches in St. Petersburg when it comes to quality marinas!

    Stayed at this marina for new year 2012. Arrived December 30 and left January 2.
    What a nice marina! Service was fantastic. Wes and Stefan were extremely helpful and courteous. We felt welcome and they did everything possible to make us feel at home. The showers in the health club were great.
    Will be returning to this facility later on during 2012.
    M. Farinas

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

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

  • Great Info on Derelicts and “Live Aboard Hulks”

    I have been preaching from my pulpit for years now, that the fly in the proverbial ointment when it comes to the struggle for Florida Anchoring Rights, is the very real problem of abandoned vessels (“derelicts”) and what I term, “live aboard hulks” (vessels that are being lived on, but which will probably never move again)! These problem vessels are the excuse that the anti-anchoring forces keep throwing in the mix every time the debate rages about Florida anchoring.
    Many others here on the Cruisers’ Net, and on many other forums, have opined that the problem of derelicts and “live aboard hulks” can be solved with existing Florida laws and regulations, thereby not penalizing all other boat owners.
    Now, our good friend, and true friend of the cruising community, Captain Jay Bliss, member of the St. Augustine Port Commission, has provided us with the means below to research derelict vessels in Florida, on a county by county basis. Thank you Captain Bay for providing this wonderful resource!

    Hi Claiborne,
    Here’s the pertinent website for the identification, procedures, for Derelict, Abandoned,and AtRisk vessels in FL

    http://myfwc.com/media/407584/GeneralOrder21.pdf

    For those that reside in any particular patch in FL, they can get an idea of the problem boats in a particular county by going to this site

    https://public.myfwc.com/LE/ArrestNet/DerelictVessel/VesselMap.aspx

    At that url, examine the Legend (rh side), then clik “Queries”. The page there allows you to type in a FL county. Do that, and press Search.
    Your county will show problem boats as colored circles. Clik on a given circle, and you’ll see further details about that boat. Stats are in the lower left side of the page. You can compare counties, etc. You can learn dates boats were identified, etc. It’s a valuable tool to see how we progress in ridding our Public waters of problem boats.
    Jay Bliss

  • In-Depth Article Now Available About Anchoring on Boca Grande Bayou (Gasparilla Island, near St. M. 28.5)

    It was almost a year ago that we posted an article here on the Cruisers’ Net about the possibility of boaters being denied the right to anchor in popular Boca Grand Bayou (hard by the shores of Gasparilla Island), behind the Pink Elephant Restaurant, due to possible private ownership of the bottomland in question (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=46788). A slightly later article provided more details (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=51002).

    Gasparilla Bayou Anchorage

    Then, over this past Thanksgiving holiday, yours truly and the first-mate, first-mate spent a wonderful week in Boca Grande. I personally observed only two vessels lying at anchor in the Boca Grande Bayou Basin anchorage, where formerly there were many more. In asking around, I began to hear rumors that vessels anchored on the northern end of the basin were being asked to move along, as the bottomland was claimed to be private property.
    Last week, a fellow cruiser sent me a “Letter to the Editor” which appeared in Gasparilla Island’s superb weekly newspaper, the “Boca Beacon.” Here is a link to that article:

    http://www.bocabeacon.com/news/featured-news/4202-the-question-of-the-day-who-can-anchor-in-the-bayou

    Most importantly, I learned in a telephone conversation last week that the “Boca Beacon” editor, Ms. Marcy Shortuse, was working on an in-depth article concerning this very complex issue. I shared my insights on this subject, and sent Ms. Shortuse a link to my “Whence Come The Anchorage Regulations” editorial (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=4958). Last Friday, 12/16/11, Marcy’s article was published, and it is linked below. Her excellent, in-depth study of this situation is a must-read for anyone interested in the Florida anchoring issue:

    http://www.bocabeacon.com/news/featured-news/4208-bottomland-on-the-bayou-a-rather-sticky-situation

    We solicit additional input on the issue of anchoring in Boca Grande Bayou from the cruising community, particularly those mariners who frequent the waters of Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor. Please follow the “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” link on the upper right of this page, and share your point of view.

    I deleted Boca Grande from my website, too risky to suggest it as an anchorage.
    Mary Dixon

    Very simply and to the point the U.S. Supreme Court has already spoken on this issue.
    “1.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.””
    Robert Driscoll

    Driscoll nails it. It doesn’t matter whether or not the bottom is privately owned, there is still a right of navigation that trumps that. Anchoring is considered to be a normal part of navigation. Take a look at St. Augustine where the city has claimed they own the bottom land since forever, yet they were unable to prevent anchoring in those waters until they built mooring fields over most of the anchoring area.
    John Kettlewell

  • Cruisers’ Letter to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Dept. Concerning Blackburn Bay Anchoring Incident Pays Off

    Earlier, we posted a letter copy here on the Cruisers’ Net of a missive sent from Captain Arthur Richard, to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s department, concerning a less than happy meeting with a deputy, while anchored on the waters of Blackburn Bay (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=76631). As you will see, Captain Richard’s note got a favorable reply, and it undoubtedly clued everyone in the sheriff’s department to the latest Florida state laws concerning anchorage.

    Reference my earlier report on Anchoring in Blackburn Bay, Sarasota County, FL. It seems that our anchoring rights in Sarasota County, FL are in accordance with
    Florida law. Apparently I experienced and ill-informed, overzealous part time deputy Sheriff.
    I received the following response from the Sarasota County, FL Sheriff’s Office”

    From: Richard Mottola
    Subject: RE:Anchoring in Blackburn Bay
    Date: December 19, 2011 10:31:25 AM EST
    Mr. Richard,
    This is Captain Mottola from the Sheriff’s Office. The Marine Unit is one of the
    areas under my command (Special Operations Bureau). I checked with our two
    full-time boat captains and neither recalls speaking with you about this. It
    could very well be that you spoke with one of our part-time captains. I could
    most likely determine this if you could provide a date and time of the contact.
    Despite that, it appears you are correct in your interpretation of the statutes
    cited.
    I can only surmise that the captain you spoke with, for some reason, believed
    you were actually living aboard your vessel and therefore assumed that county
    ordinance 130-42 may have applied. Otherwise, it would not be applicable.
    County Statute 130-42. Mooring of Vessels used as dwelling units:
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/11511/level3/CD_ORD_SARASOTA_CO_FLORIDA_CH130WA
    _ARTIIIMOVE.html#CD_ORD_SARASOTA_CO_FLORIDA_CH130WA_ARTIIIMOVE_S130-42MOVEUSDWUN
    Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions (861-4049) – Or you
    may contact Captain Shipp with the Florida Wildlife Commission (Southwest Region
    863-648-3203)
    Thank you.

    Arthur Richard

    And, with the comments below received after publication of the above article, the plot thickens CONSIDERABLY! Looks like the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department is using their own version of what constitutes a “live aboard vessel,” and, by the way, this definition is in contravention of Flroida state law!!!

    Hello,
    I would like to make a comment and pose a few questions pertaining to this important subject and more specifically my recent experiences anchoring on Blackburn Bay. I have been visited by the Sarasota county Sheriffs Dept. Marine unit on 3 occasions once when my vessel was not even actually present for apparently violating the 24 hour time limit for live aboard vessels, this most recent warning requires that I move my vessel by December 22 2011 or be subject to fines of 250 to 500 dollars a day. The Deputy asked me with issue of this most recent warning if I understood the reason why he had delivered it, to which I again replied something to the effect that, and to the very best of my knowledge and understanding of the applicable Florida State Statutes regarding anchoring outside of approved mooring fields and the definition of a live aboard vessel, that I have actually never been in violation of any of these law’s. He became visibly agitated and spoke to me as if I were an insubordinate child indicating that it had absolutely nothing to do with the Florida State statutes, I thanked him and said goodbye, I am very thankful that he left. My sailboat is in fact anchored outside of any mooring field and is a fully navigable vessel with all required safety gear. Can anyone comment on the enforceability of these muni-codes in light of the Florida State Statutes regarding anchoring?
    Thanks!!
    Cap’n Ron

    The county code referenced, strictly interpreted, is favorable to people who live in houses and cruise for extended vacations. For those of us for whom our boat is our home, the code invites us to leave in 48 hours.
    Nice of the Sheriff to be civil, though.
    Chris

    Below you will find more from Captain Richard, with his reply to the Sheriff’s department, and their subsequent message to him:

    Captain Mottola,
    Thank your for your response to my inquiry. A Sarasota Sheriff boat visit to my vessel in Blackburn Bay occured on the afternoon of November 30, 2011. The Sheriff’s boat remained at least 10 yards from my vessel, and I was not boarded. The operator of the Sheriff’s boat did not give his name, nor request mine.
    I am pleased to find that my anchoring in Blackburn Bay was not in violation of county ordinances. It would be beneficial to the boating community if all of your officers were made aware of this.
    Thank you,
    Arthur M. Richard

    From Captain Mottola (Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office):
    My pleasure, and yes we are ensuring that ALL boat captains are made aware so that we do not have any further misunderstandings. Happy Holidays!

    Chris: That is incorrect. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are living aboard for more than 48 hours. As long as you vessel is used for navigation and not solely as a residence you are not a liveaboard by Florida law, which trumps any local ordinances. Florida statute says this:
    327.02 Definitions of terms used in this chapter and in chapter 328.—As used in this chapter and in chapter 328, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the term:
    (17)“Live-aboard vessel” means:
    a) Any vessel used solely as a residence and not for navigation;
    b) Any vessel represented as a place of business, or a professional or other commercial enterprise; or
    c) Any vessel for which a declaration of domicile has been filed pursuant to s. 222.17.
    John Kettlewell

  • Anchoring Hassles on Blackburn Bay (Statute Mile 61.5)

    The note below was copied to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, and shows a letter written by Captain Arthur M. Richard, to the local sheriff’s department. The “Blackburn Bay” anchorage referred to in Captain Richard’s note lies between Venice and Sarasota, directly on the path of the Western Florida ICW.
    If I may indulge in an editorial comment here, it’s a real shame that incidents of this type are still taking place in Florida waters. The 2009 Florida Anchoring Law has been on the books for some time now, and you would think that county sheriff’s departments would have gotten the word long ago!!!

    Recently, I anchored my sailboat in Blackburn Bay. I was approached by a deputy sheriff (in a Sheriff’s Department boat), and politely informed that anchoring in Blackburn Bay is restricted to 48 hours. He said that the local residents did not like boats anchoring for longer periods. Please send me a copy of the County statue which authorizes such anchor limitation.
    Are you aware that under state law, boaters who use their boats for navigation (even if only occasionally) will not have their anchoring restricted by a local city or county outside of permitted mooring fields. Cities and counties are expressly forbidden to “enact, continue in effect, or enforce any ordinance or local regulation … regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields.”
    Although local governments are allowed to regulate anchoring within the marked boundaries of properly permitted mooring fields, Blackburn Bay is not a permitted mooring field.
    The following laws apply:

    (FL law) 327.60 Local regulations; limitations)
    (2) Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be construed to prohibit local governmental authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or live-aboard vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.
    (from Chapter 2009-86, section 14)
    (3) However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of vessels other than live-aboard vessels as defined in s. 327.02.
    Therefore, your deputy was in error when he informed me that I could not anchor in Blackburn Bay for more than 48 hours. I recommend that you make yourself and
    your deputies aware of the Florida State Laws on anchoring by boats other than live-aboard and commercial vessels.
    Sincerely,
    Arthur M. Richard

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

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

  • Marco Island to the Florida Keys

    There is a wealth of good cruising tips in Captain Lloyd’s note below. His description of the “inside” passage navigational challenges, behind Marco Island, is spot on, as is his description of Little Shark River’s shoreline.
    I might also add that as of a few months ago, the entrance channel into Flamingo was still quite shallow!

    You can take the inside route behind Marco Island with a 4′ draft but avoid low tide. Charted depth is 4′ but depth increases by 3′ at high tide. Pay attention after Bear Point bridge as daymark colors switch sides. A red daymark appears to be out of position but it is not!
    Definitely stop at Goodland, an old-time fishing village that is a marked contrast to the rest of Marco Island. Calusa Island Marina is within walking distance of restaurants.
    Some boaters recommend Everglades City but I usually go directly from Goodland to Little Shark River in Everglades National Park. This area of the park consists of mangrove Islands and hardwood hammocks, not acres of sawgrass that one usually associates with the Everglades. There is a very protected anchorage about 1.5 miles up river.
    I have not been to Flamingo since it was rebuilt after the hurricane. The approach was shallow at that time. I recommend a direct route from Little Shark River to Seven Mile Bridge and stop at Marathon.
    Alan Lloyd

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

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

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

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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida 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

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

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

  • Englewood Beach Anchorage (Statute Mile 43.5)

    The anchor down spot referred to below by Captains Rick and Donna is listed in our Western Florida Anchorage Directory as the “Englewood Beach Anchorage. They are quite right in describing this spot as a “good anchorage.” In fact, it’s one of the best sheltered along this section of the Western Florida ICW, and there is a restaurant withing dinghy distance as well!

    There are no anchoring restrictions in lemon bay, except in the ICW. There is a good anchorage on the Lemon Bay side of Englewood Beach. To reach it, one bears right [southwest] after passing through [south of] the Tom Adams Bridge, leaving the ICW to your port. Stay in the middle of the channel, and head toward the moored and anchored boats off the mangrove island on your port side. Just past the moored boats there is a secure and safe anchorage. We live in North Port, and cruise Lemon Bay regularly.
    Fair Winds,
    Rick & Donna
    Reprinted from the MTOA List Serve, with permission of the authors
    Find out more about the MTOA at: http://www.mtoa.net/

    Good info, but there is nowhere to go ashore except the restaurant. So you can’t tie up there and go to the beach. Dockage is available at Chadwick Cove Marina adjacent to the restaurant (The White Elephant).
    Denny Botkin

    This is a good anchorage, but since we have a heavy Gulfstar 39 sailboat with a 5′ draft, we want to point out a shoaling area along the western (toward the Gulf) side of the ICW that you have to clear before getting into the deeper water of the anchorage. We have bumped over this bar a couple times, but during higher tides we’ve had no problem. We tend to favor the bridge side of the sandbar before heading into the anchorage and have had fewer problems with access in our sailboat. There is a strong tidal current so set a good anchor with some scope and chain.
    Mark Suby

    And, here’s some good navigational advice on how to gain entry to this anchorage with the best depths possible.

    Beware shoaling south of T. Adams Bridge along the west edge of the ICW. To avoid this shoal [when entering the Englewood Beach anchorage] that has formed further north than shown on the charts, turn toward the moored boats immediately after clearing the bridge (if southbound) and head directly toward the moored boats/mangrove. Note the additional shoaling north of the mooring field.
    Any boats carrying over 4 to 4 1/2 foot draft should avoid transitioning from the ICW at low tide – unless you have local knowledge. The best way to proceed from the bridge is to go directly toward and into the mooring field (idle speed, of course) from the bridge. Favor the south side after clearing the shoaling that parallels and is immediately adjacent to the ICW. Additional shoaling north of the mooring field extends from a point just west of the bridge almost to the docks on the western shore. If going to the White Elephant or to Chadwick Cove Marina, remain close to the docks on the western shore. Cutting the corner can put you hard aground.
    Having said that, the anchorage is protected quite nicely in virtually all weather conditions.
    Kindest Regards,
    “FAIRWINDS”

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

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

  • Thoughts on Florida Anchoring Space

    Captain Feiges is responding, in her message below, to a posting which appeared here on the Cruisers’ Net some time ago, about the victory in St. Augustine, when the city proposed ten day anchoring limit outside the mooring field, was shot down, and changed by the FWC to a thirty day limit.
    Her point in this missive is very different, and very much worth the cruising community’s thoughtful consideration. Beverly speaks of a lack of anchoring “space” in Florida due to the proliferation of private moorings!

    We are cruisers, plain and simple, and seldom stay in one spot for even a week. Even in Georgetown, in the Bahamas, where we may spend a month or more, we switch anchoring spots every so many days, depending on wind or activities ashore. Putting in mooring fields in very popular spots has the advantage of allowing many more boats to safely anchor, but it is also nice to have some room to anchor left over for those of us who may be too big for the spacing and holding power of the moorings, or too high off the water to easily pick up the mooring. Having permanently anchored boats in what is a limited area, even if they must move them every thirty days, does not help the honest to god cruiser who is passing through and wants a spot for a night or two. Even worse seems to be the unregulated dropping of private moorings everywhere it used to be possible to anchor.
    I want the right to anchor, but there must be room to do it, and in allowing people to set their private moorings all over the place, (in Maine some people have as many as five in different harbors), or to stay anchored more than 5 days without a valid reason, then this room does not exist, and you just as effectively have cut off my right to anchor. We had this experience in St. Augustine this fall, almost impossible to anchor.
    Beverly Feiges

    Virtually all anchoring regulations being promoted by FWC are in violation of Florida Statute 370.04 in the wake of two Florida Supreme Court decision favoring boater’s (almost) unrestricted anchoring rights. There is nothing to be applauded here as FWC seems to be forging ahead unempeded with its greed and rise of power with little or no sound rationale or legal foundation.
    Make your resistance known against this flagrant arrigance and disregard for formal constitutional decisions.
    Bruce Bingham

    Perhaps a private mooring can now be considered “the owner is anchored” and falls under the new regs ?? Interesting possibility…
    Dennis McMurtry

    I agree with Beverly. Sure, Florida’s mooring fields are busy in the winter, but for most of the year there are many vacant moorings that eliminate huge areas that used to be available for anchoring. St. Augustine has effectively eliminated all of the best anchoring areas by covering the harbor in moorings, most of which remain vacant most of the year. Same thing in Marathon. I have squeezed into the remaining anchorage there during the off season when half the moorings were empty.
    John Kettlewell

    Laws continue to be changed. FL Statute 370.04 I could not find. Overriding everything is our Federal Navigational Servitude and the Public Trust doctrine which provide, among other things, that navigation includes the right to anchor in all navigable waters.
    FL Statute 327.44 states “no anchoring…in a manner which shall unreasonably or unnecessarily constitute a navigational hazard.”
    Jay Bliss

  • A Humorous Look at Florida Manatee Zones

    I have NOT stopped laughing since I first read this article!!! Many, many thanks to Captain Ames for allowing us to use his words and photos. They will bring smiles, possibly outright guffaws, to anyone who has ever cruised in the Sunshine State!!!

    THE SOCIALIZATION OF MANATEES
    by Captain Allen S. Ames

    SIGN READS: MANATEE ZONE – SLOW SPEED – MINIMUM WAKE WITHIN 300 FEET OF SHORE
    Once you get into South Florida, there are all kinds of “Manatee Zones”, restricting boat movement in one way or another. In truth, boats with their propellers can be fatal to the once-endangered manatees, but the reality is a bit more political, methinks.

    SIGN READS: MANATEE ZONE – 25 MPH OCT 1-MAY 31, 30 MPH JUN 1-SEP 30
    Note that the “Summer Manatees” must be more agile than the winter ones, since they apparently can avoid boats going 5 MPH faster. Note also that few people live in their winter “cottages” along the shore in summer.

    We have noticed in the past that manatees are upwardly mobile socially and tend to hang out off the very expensive mega-mansions and condos of the super-rich. There are far more manatee speed restrictions in these areas than off trailer parks and undeveloped land. (I refuse to believe that politics or payoffs would have had anything to do with these designations for the betterment of these lovely Rubenesque mammals.)

    SIGN READS: MANATEE ZONE – SLOW SPEED MINIMUM WAKE – WEEKENDS 7AM-7PM, NOV 15 THRU MAR 31 – 25 MPH ALL OTHER TIMES
    As upwardly mobile as these animals may be, there are still some areas where they can only afford to go on winter weekends. I haven’t yet read the research that shows how they learned to read calendars and clocks, but I am delighted that some government grant or other was able to furnish them the opportunity.

    SIGN READS: BOATING SAFETY ZONE – SLOW SPEED MINIMUM WAKE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
    Some new signs are beginning to show up that weren’t in evidence two years ago. Do they signify a little less corruption in government and government-appointed employees or the simple fact that scientific research has shown that manatees are no longer endangered and that they better find another way to restrict the speed of boats off rich people’s winter homes? Next year, we expect that all the manatee signs will be replaced with ones that read:

    FILTHY RICH PEOPLE HABITAT – ANYONE THROWING A WAKE OF ANY SORT WILL BE SHOT

    I am not making this up! There are photographs of all the above signs in my
    blog at:
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/7rxcdyk

    Flagler County, Fl. is in the process of trying to make the entire ICW within their county a no-wake zone for the same issue…hope it fails!
    Bob Whitehurst

    Abolutley priceless! Thanks so much.
    Duane

  • A Quick Vote of Confidence in Salty Sams Marina (Fort Myers Beach)

    Salty Sams Marina is the most upstream facility on Estero Bay. It lies along the bay’s northern shores on San Carlos Island.

    If you want to be close to the beach, select Salty Sam’s Marina(239-463-7333) in Ft Myers Beach….very protected also and good for a short or long term stay.
    Regards,
    Tom Jones
    m/v Marbles

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

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

  • Happiness at Legacy Harbour Marina (Fort Myers Waterfront on the Calooshatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway)

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

    We stayed at Legacy and left our boat their and then decided to stay longeron our return. It was absolutely delightful. The is a new Publix foodstore two blocks away and plenty of restaurants and entertainment.
    Both marinas are good, but Legacy is the most comfortable with floating docks and pump-outs at the slip, etc.
    John Haluska
    M/V Emery El
    DeFever 40 RPH

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

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

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