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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • PLEASE Help Captain Sara With Her Listing of SW Florida Waterside Restaurants

    Captain Sara contacted me and asked if the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net would be interested in publishing a list of on-the-water, cruising craft accessible restaurants in SW Florida. I may have gotten a bad case of whip-lash from saying “YES!!!!” soooo quickly.
    Anyway, check out Sara’s message below, and PLEASE send her info directly if you can.
    Once their June cruise is complete, we will publish Sara’s dining directory here so it can be a lasting tool for the cruising community!!!

    In advance of my bareboat charter out of St. Pete down to the Keys in June, I’m compiling a list of restaurants that offer tie-ups to boaters. I will be collecting lat/long, depth, dockage description, dining experience and any other relevant data for each restaurant. This information will then be made freely available to the boating community. If you have info to share that would make the resource more useful to all, please contact me via email at:

    saraburns2000 AT yahoo DOT com

    If all goes well, I believe I might have found another interesting and productive hobby! Thanks! :)
    Sara Burns
    Facilitator, The Work of Byron Katie
    Transforming Education in America

  • Riviera Marina (on the western shores of Charlotte Harbor, between Burnt Store Marina and Punta Gorda)

    Honestly, I have always considered this facility to be a “train wreck” on each and every occasion I have visited here since the first edition of my “Cruising Guide to Western Florida” in 1993. Clearly, there are others with a very different opinion, and Captain Broom (see below) is not the first to defend this facility and its owner.

    The above comments [earlier reviews of this marina – editor] are a little out of date. Barry has continued to work on cleaning up after Charlie. Most all of the old boats are gone. Environmental problems have been taken care of. The biggest complaints come from cultural differences. Those of us that want a old Florida style DIY marina and those that have moved in recently and want a modern yachty marine. It is still a good usable marina that takes care of the locals here. Part of the problem has been people bringing in old boats to work on and then abandoning their. It would also help if people would stop dropping off their unwanted cats there, knowing that Barry will take care of them.
    I have been a twenty year year resident in the neighborhood and not afraid to post my name.
    Ted Broom

    Well, as you will see below, I was challenged to amplify my “train wreck” comment above.

    I have to say that describing a place as a “train wreck” is not very useful. What exactly does that tell me? Some details about what is wrong (or right) with the place would help others to know what to expect and to make a decision whether to stop there or not.
    Don Million

    Well, here goes. I’ve never been at this facility where I did not spy a host of ugly, abandoned craft, spread around the grounds, and sometimes at the docks. The entire marina is overrun with the largest population of stray cats I’ve ever seen, and the odor of cat urine wafts its way through the air everywhere. There has always been other trash lying around, and the one time I met the marina owner, I was, to be blunt, not impressed. In short, this is one of those marinas/yards, where I’ve sometimes paused to ask myself how it could possibly have survived this many years. Clear enough?

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

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

  • Riviera Dunes Marina Resort Offers Summer, 2012 Dockage Specials (on Manatee River, off Tampa Bay)

    Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersSALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR Riviera Dunes Marina is offering some really appetizing summer dockage and long term dockage special. TAKE A LOOK!

    We are currently running the following specials:

    I. 3 month lease for the annual rate of $10/ft

    II. Month-to-month @ $12/ft. (vs $16)

    III. Annual lease gets you the 13th month free

    We now also have 4 dedicated slips for small boats (up to 26’) for $219/mo. or a 3 mo. lease that includes the fuel discount for tenants. All 3 month deals end after 3 months; no renewals. Special Hurricane Safe Harbor Storm Reservation Program
    Doc

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

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

  • Good Depths and Gasoline Found in Everglades City (south of Marco Island – Western Florida)

    Glad to hear that Captain Steve discovered good depths moving upstream on the Indian Key channel to Everglades City. Some other cruisers have reported thin soundings at low water along certain stretches of this channel.
    And, while Steve did discover some self service gasoline to pump, that does not solve the problem of finding Diesel fuel in Everglades City. Has anyone found a place to purchase diesel here??????

    I posted a question some time ago about finding Fuel in Everglades City. I had found a marina there just up the river from the Rod and Gun club online and they advertised fuel. You posted my question and no one had any experience at
    that time. I just wanted to let you know, i did go back there and found the fuel. I had plenty of depth. It was a self surface pump (gasoline only) that takes credit cards. There was a very nice floating dock and ramp. It was very
    convenient and offered us a nice stop on the way to Key Large for refueling.
    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 Everglades City

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

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

    If you want to experience a top notch marina while visiting a wonderful Florida city, consider a night or two or an entire season at the Legacy Harbour Marina in downtown Fort Myers. It will fulfill your every dream, ie floating docks, protected harbor, dockside pumpout, cable TV, Internet, attentive dock hands when coming or going, security fences, boaters lounge, swimming pool, cabana for hanging out, free parking, walking distance to bakery, Publix grocery story, liquor store and restaurants, weekend entertainment at adjacent city park, marina movie nights, and competive rates. If you need work done on your boat, they have a full service of
    contractors. Try it the next time you are in the area and you will find it hard to beat.
    Stay safe,
    Tom (the weather guy)

    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

  • An Unhappy Experience at Fishermens Wharf Marina Park (a. k. a. Marker 4 Marina) – Venice, FL (St. M. 57)

    Saw the signs for “Dock and Dine” at the Marker 4 marina. Tried to contact on vhf with no answer. Called the restaurant and they said “sure, come on in, just pick a slip”. Up to this point, everything is great. Great restaurant, grocery store near by, and good food and vibes at the restaurant. However, at sunset, here comes the so called dock master, who wants two dollars a foot for dockage, forget the “dock and dine” sign. Forget that you have no power or water or that you just go suckered into a “dock and dine” situation. I have just about crossed Venice off my list of stop over sites. it seems like just when you think everything is going OK, someone intervenes and give the town a bad reputation for cruisers.
    I paid the dock master $1.50 a foot just to keep peace for a slip. I’m sure the cash never made it out of his pocket into the confers of the marina owners.
    Bob & Pat Hutchison
    S/V Maverick

    Doesn’t dock and dine mean just what it said? You had free dockage while you dined. How do you expect to get a free night of dockage after that? You eat, you go back to your boat and you leave to drop your anchor back in a proper anchorage, not think dock and dine entities you to stay all night for free and then accuse the dock master of pocketing what was actually less than the required fee.
    You can actually still drive a boat after eating and at night.
    Jesse

    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

  • Dinghy Dockage Rules on Smokehouse Bay Anchorage (Marco Island)

    Apparently, Esplanade Marina on Marco Island’s Smokehouse Bay will no longer allow dinghy dockage unless you spend all your time ashore at the marina and its surrounding shopping complex. It’s a good thing there is another source of dinghy dockage nearby at the local Winn Dixie (see below).
    We verified this report by calling Esplanade Marina on 4/23/12, and were told their “dinghy slip space is for patrons of the Esplanade.” So, looks like Captain Noel’s info is accurate!

    April 19, 2012 — We are anchored in Smokehouse Bay and just notified the harbormaster of our intention to come ashore to do some shopping and sightseeing around the island. We were informed that new rules have been adopted that anyone coming into the Esplanade docks will be required to remain on Esplanade property. I was informed that a dinghy found at he dock earlier was going to be “locked up”. The harbormaster was very polite and informative. I’m sure the rules are not his to decide – only enforce. We will be proceeding to the dock behind the Winn-Dixie where we expect our presence and money will be more welcome.
    Noel

    It’s their private property. I see nothing wrong with this. Especially with a great dock at Winn Dixie.
    Ted

    And, well considered input directly from the folks at Esplanade Marina:

    While the above reports are true, I think that it is important to clarify that this rule actually has always been in effect and is contained in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions that were filed 04/02/2003 with Collier County, FL. In this document we have USE RESTRICTIONS that outline how and what of our marina will be used for the general boating public. This outlines that in fact the general boating public has access to the Esplanade to conduct business at the Esplanade. (Para phrasing of course with consideration to time and space with no change to the intent),. In addition it goes on to say that the Esplanade Marina Board of Directors has the full responsibility of enacting and enforcing rules regarding dockage and the entire marina facility property.
    With all of that stated; in the past, the Marina Board, my staff and I attempted to be very generous with our enforcement of the rules when it came to cruisers moored in Smokehouse Bay. However after having our generosity taken advantage of more and more over the last 24 months by cruisers who have trespassed on to locked private gated docks to dump trash and fill water, cruisers who came in to walk pets and did not pick up after the pets, documented and proven cases of cruisers who have been pumping waste straight overboard into the water, and more and more cruisers who would leave dinghy’s tied to our docks for 5,6,7 and 8 hours a day without contacting the Dockmaster we decided that we needed to take a more defined level of enforcement regarding how our docks are being used.
    So with all of that said here is our current policy that follows our Use Restrictions, and Marina Guidelines generally related to dinghies and Boaters moored in the bay so there is no question:
    All vessels entering into the Esplanade Marina must abide by all Coast Guard Regulations or will not be allowed to dock.
    The Esplanade Marina technically does not provide any dingy dockage however will allow those with dinghies to dock only on the single floating slip to the left of the mole located between B and C dock. If a powerboat is in this spot than unfortunately we will have no dingy dockage at that time regardless of what other space exists at that time. All guest dockage is limited to 2 hours.
    All Guest dockage is for the use of the Esplanade Businesses only. You may not dock your dingy and leave the Esplanade Property; if you do so your dingy may be locked to the dock and or towed at the owner’s expense.
    All Boats needing dockage must contact the Dockmaster either on VHF ch.16 or by phone number provided on the whalers of all docks.
    The Esplanade will not accept any Trash from any boat and will not fill water containers.
    The Esplanade Marina will provide Pump Out services to any boat based on Dockmaster availability. You must schedule your pump out in advance.
    It is and always has been the intent of the Esplanade Marina Board of Directors, its Staff and Slip Owners to be good neighbors and great Stewards of the Sea’s that we all share. It is however our responsibility to those individuals and businesses invested in the Esplanade Property to make sure that we are taking each one of them into consideration when it comes to how we manage the Marina Property. We hope that all Boaters can understand and appreciate the knowledge that we welcome you to our property with the understanding that while you are here you are our guests and must follow a simple set of rules that we have set forth.
    We look forward to seeing you on the water and on the docks.
    Kris Greenough
    Dockmaster

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

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

  • Seafood Shack Marina and Restaurant, GICW, Statute Mile 87

    The Seafood Shack Marina and Restaurant guard the eastern flanks of the Western Florida ICW, only a few miles south of the Waterway’s entrance into Tampa Bay, hard by the Cortez Bridge. The marina part of this operation has always seemed a bit “casual” to me over the years, but our dining experience here has always been good.

    Nice people at the restaurant. Docks are in terrible disrepair.
    M. Farinas

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

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

  • Good Words for Longboat Key Moorings (Statute Mile 77.5)

    Step off deck at Longboat Key Club Moorings and come ashore to our Four-Diamond beachfront resort offering a private white-sand beach, 45 holes of challenging golf, the Island House Spa, six on-site restaurants, the award-winning Tennis Gardens and so much more.Longboat Key Moorings, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies along the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the like named city, and south of Longboat Pass. LKM is blessed with a very well sheltered harbor, and there is an excellent shopping center with supermarket and multiple restaurant within easy walking distance, And, would you believe, there’s even a golf course next door!

    Very classy marina. Helpful staff. Excellent facilities. Italian restaurant needs a real Italian chef.
    M. Farinas

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

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

  • Southwest Florida Yachts (North Fort Myers, FL) Addis PDQ 34-Foot Catamaran to Their Charter Fleet

    Southwest Florida YachtsWe simply can’t praise our good friends, Barbara and Vic Hansen at Southwest Florida Yachts enough. Not only are these good people a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, but they also offer one of the best power and sail charter fleets in Florida, and all within easy cruising distance of the cruising rich waters of Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor. What’s not to like?

    PDQ 34-Foot Catamaran Joins Charter Fleet at Southwest Florida Yachts
    Named ChriSea, the roomy power cat has two queen bed cabins and offers economical cruising in the Pine Island-Sanibel-Captiva corridor
    NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla., April 5, 2012 –Southwest Florida Yachts has added a new PDQ 34 Power Cat – ChriSea — to its charter fleet for cruising the scenic Pine Island-Sanibel-Captiva corridor.
    The spacious catamaran features two cabins with queen-sized beds, a fully-equipped galley and a roomy head with a separate shower. It has a large dinette with a settee that converts to an extra large bed for additional sleeping room. Amenities include a generator, color TV, washer and dryer, and a CD player with stereo speakers. The skipper’s array of navigation and operation electronics includes GPS and autopilot.
    Barb Hansen of Southwest Florida yachts said the power vessel is economical to charter and to operate. It charters for only $3273 per week in the summer and $4090 in the winter. The vessel is known for being stingy with gasoline. It is powered by twin Yanmar diesel engines, each generating 100 hp.
    Hansen said summer charters of three days or longer will earn two free days of cruising as part of a three-year celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary in 2014. Winter cruises of three days or more from Dec. 15 to April 30 earn one free day of cruising.
    Hansen said ChriSea is docked at Marinatown Marina in N. Fort Myers. Marinatown Marina provides quick cruising access, via the Caloosahatchee River, to the sheltered Gulf ICW. ChriSea is now part of a fleet of nine power cruisers from 32 to 50 feet The company’s five-boat sailing charter fleet is based at Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda.
    Southwest Florida is ranked as one of the best cruising and sailing areas in the world. Visitors have scored the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva as the best islands to visit for their ambiance, beaches, friendliness, restaurants and scenery.
    For more information about Southwest Florida Yachts and Florida Sailing & Cruising School visit http://www.swfyachts.com, http://www.flsailandcruiseschool.com, http://www.swfyachtsales.com Mailing Address: 3444 Marinatown Lane, N.W., N. Fort Myers, FL 33903. Telephone: 800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339, or email info@swfyachts.com

  • Caution for Higel Park Anchorage and Good Words for Fishermens Wharf – Marker 4 Marina, Venice, FL

    Higel Park is a city maintained park with a wooden dock and anchorage for stays up to 18 hours. And, as Capt. Sullivan points out, Fishermens Wharf-Marker 4 Marina lines the northeastern shores of the Western Florida ICW, just northwest of the Hatchett Creek Bridge, and southeast of marker #4.

    Tried to anchor at Higel Park anchorage March 19, 2012, but found it too shallow even for our 3′ draft. Unable to find an anchorage, we docked at Marker 4 Marina which we can recommend. Well protected, good facilities, friendly people, and lower dockage rate than Crow’s Nest. Good restaurant, too. I read they were damaged by the hurricane but they are in business now. Marker 4 Marina is located at Marker 4 just NE of the Tamiami North bridge, just N of the “ditch” going S from Venice. Main business, like Crow’s Nest, is a restaurant [Marker 4 Oyster Bar and Restaurant]. But they have large new floating docks with plenty of space and welcomed us at $2/ft. I didn’t inquire about depth, as we docked at the end and only draw 3′, but there were several large boats there. In the absence of a good anchorage, they would be my first choice at Venice.
    Dennis Sullivan

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fishermens Wharf Marker 4 Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fishermens Wharf Marker 4 Marina

  • Detailed Notes on Redfish Pass (off Pine Island Sound/Western Florida ICW, Between Captiva and North Captiva Islands)

    Our thanks to Captain Jay Wheeler for the welcome, in-depth account of the Redfish Pass channel below. Captain Jay also sent us notes on the channel from Redfish Pass to South Seas Resort Marina, which we have posted separately (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=84905)

    Cruising News:
    I wanted to shorten my passage from Naples to Useppa and decided to use Captiva Pass. After speaking with Tween Waters and South Seas Resort Marina, they pointed out that Captiva Pass was the only unmarked Passage into Pine Island Sound. Neither of them was familiar with Captiva Pass but they were both familiar with Refish Pass and recommended it over Captiva Pass.
    Unfortunately, my North Star and Garmen Chart Plotter as well as my old NOAA charts are not as up to date as the Chart that you have here on Cruisers Net has online. And, if I had inquired online before i made this voyage, i would have had a much better idea as to what i was facing.
    Coming into Refish pass from the Gulf involves following the correct marker confirguration, which requires red right returning. Even as the bottom [soundings – editor] shown on ALL the charts has not changed in years, AND IS TOTALLY INACCURATE AT THIS TIME, this is after all an inlet and subject to radical changes. The marks to Redfish Pass are marked “private’ but now that South Seas Resort has adopted the traditional Port and Starboard marking configuration, you need to follow that routine when approaching Redfish pass from the Gulf.
    On all the charts there is an outside green marker G 1, which is a good starting place for coming in through the Pass. After you pass G 1, line your self up between the Red N 4 and Green Can 5 and proceed with caution. The locals follow this route and the channel is deep enough to get you past Red Nun 4 and into some very deep water in the center of the Pass. From here you want to look for the first Green marker just off the the NE tip on Captiva and stay inside of it, running in along the shore of the island until you are able to pick up the South Seas Resort channel running from their Marina out to deeper water in a SE direction. Remember to leave the reds, going into Pine Island Sound, in this direction to Starboard, Red- Right- Returning from the Gulf. I did this at almost high tide drawingh 5.5 ft. and had not trouble, once I got the buoys straightened out..
    Coming in through Refish Pass from the Gulf saved me a lot of time heading North to Useppa and Cabbage Key.
    Jay Wheeler

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

  • South Seas Island Resort Marina Entrance Channel (Statute Mile 13.5)

    Captain Wheeler is quite correct in stating that the entrance channel which leads cruisers from the Western Florida ICW’s run through Pine Island Sound, to South Seas Island Resort Marina, has been completely altered within the last year or so. Several earlier postings here on the Cruisers’ Net have also noted this change, but we thank Captain Jay for pointing it out anew.
    This can be a VERY confusing situation if you arrive without the very latest paper chart aboard, or if your chartplotter still shows the older channel!

    The current Cruisers Net chart [“Chart View” – editor] correctly shows, as several mariners have commented, that the South Seas Marina passage has been completely re-routed. On the OLD NOAA charts and many chart plotter’s, the privately marked channel from the ICW to South Seas Resort Marina runs in an easterly westerly direction. The new channel runs, as has been previously noted, in a sotheasterly to northwestly direction and starts well west off the ICW from Pine Island Sound, as shown on the Cruisers Net chart. The markers are correctly configured port and starboard, so coming in from the ICW, you leave the reds to PORT!
    Jay Wheeler

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

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

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Now Readily Available in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties, Florida

    Within ten minutes of receiving the important message below from Captain Hyde, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net was on the telephone with Wise Gas, Inc. to determine their area of service. That’s one of the advantages of being a “non-wicki,” professionally moderated web site. Anyway, what we discovered is a potential boon for cruisers in southeastern Florida. More on that in just a second.
    So, why is a ready source of CNG such big news for the cruising community? Quite simply, CNG is a superior fuel for all on-board cooking and heating purposes, as compared to propane/LPG. As many of you already know, LPG/Propane is heavier than air and, should there be a leak, can accumulate in bilges or a low place in a boat, leading to a potentially explosive situation. Conversely, CNG is lighter than air, and tends to naturally disperse.
    The problem is, as we so clearly learned while formulating the SSECN’s LPG Availability Directories, that CNG is hard to obtain. Quite simply, there are very few dealers to which cruisers have easy access where their CNG tanks can be refilled.
    Back to Wise Gas, Inc. Our telephone call revealed that this company will pick up, refill and deliver back to your vessel, CNG tanks from the “tri-county area” of southeastern Florida, which is comprised of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties. Additionally, WITH ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS, sometimes the same procedure can be undertaken along the west coast of Florida, particularly in the Tampa Bay region.
    So, while it’s still not a perfect solution, nor one so broad ranging as we would like, at least now from North Palm Beach to Miami, cruisers can be sure of having a source to refill CNG tanks. It’s a start!

    Claiborne —
    On your recent visit to Punta Gorda, Florida I mentioned to you that if I was ever able to locate a source of CNG for those using the gas onboard their boats, I would let you know. I have finally found a source. Wise Gas, Inc., 1058 Bluewood Terrace, Weston, FL 33327 is source of CNG for vessels and vehicles in south Florida. Its website advises the following:

    “At present time, Wise Gas, Inc. is offering CNG tank refills to marine boaters in the South Florida area only. We do anticipate expanding this service in terms of geography and service options in the future. Call Wise Gas, Inc. in advance at (954)-636-4291 to coordinate a CNG refill. A member of our team will meet you, pick up your current, approved cylinder in good condition and refill it for you and deliver it back to you.”
    The cost of this service varies based on cylinder size and location. Call in advance to schedule your refilling needs.
    E-mail: info@wisegasinc.com
    Phone: (954)-636-4291

    I recently met with a Wise Gas representative who was in Punta Gorda making deliveries on the west coast and exchanged my empty tank for a full one. It was a smooth and convenient process. The cost was $40.
    I would advise your readers to visit the Wise Gas website at http://www.wisegasinc.com for all the information. I hope this helps and thanks for a great presentation to the boaters of Punta Gorda.
    Noel Hyde
    s/v Kismet

  • Marco Island to Naples Waterway Reprise

    The two notes below were actually submitted to the Cruisers’ Net in late March of 2012, in response to an earlier article about the Marco Island (Coon Key Pass) to Naples “waterway,” which appeared in January, 2012 (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=25439). However, as there is good data here for Western Florida cruisers, we have put up a fresh posting here to increase visibility.
    This “waterway” that runs from Coon Key Pass, behind Marco Island, and eventually north to Gordon Pass and Naples, is NOT a part of the official (maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers) Western Florida ICW. HOWEVER, for vessels that draw 4 feet or less, this passage is an intriguing alternative to cruising between Marco and Naples.
    There some real navigational quirks, and the depth limitation outlined above is based on one 4 1/2 foot spot, found near Goodland (southern Marco Island). Perhaps the trickiest section is an easy to miss marker, just south of the Goodland Bridge. If you miss that ATON, you’ll be giving Sea Tow some business every time.

    We have run this inside route many times, but only once on a high tide, and that was really easy.
    At below mid tide, skinny.
    Also, don’t forget the markers change at the Marco Bridge, and the chanel takes a strange jog.
    Capt. Sterling

    I headed out in early on this route from Marco to Naples. I draw 4′ on my Hatteras and it was getting too skinny for me so I retraced my steps and went outside. The gulf was calm and we had a lovely cruise south. Turns out a large Searay which ran by me going full out found the bottom and ripped out his running gear. It likely a lovely passage, but very shallow.
    John

  • Don Pedro Island Anchorage (Statute Mile 37, Western Florida ICW)

    The anchorage discussed below lies just off the Western Florida ICW’s trek through Lemon Bay, north of Gasparilla Island and south of Venice. We have always found this to be a pretty good overnight haven, except during full gales.

    We anchored a little further south than where the marker is located on the chart. We found 6 feet at low tide and good holding. No wakes as this is a “no wake” zone on the ICW. A great spot to anchor if you want to visit Don Pedro State Park which is easy to get to by dinghy.
    James Angel

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Don Pedro Island Anchorage

  • Good Times at Clearwater Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 136)


    The direct channel to Clearwater Municipal Marina (there is another entrance from Clearwater Pass Inlet), cuts sharply west, just south of the high-rise Clearwater Beach Bridge. Yes, indeed, Captain Bill is quite right. There is plenty of shopping, dining, and a very nice beach within easy walking distance!

    We pulled into Clearwater Beach Muni a couple of days ago & love it. After a long 23 hour crossing from Panama City we like the beach close, quaint shopping within blocks, & CVS 2 blocks away. The only draw back is the commercial boats constantly in & out of the harbor. I’d still give it high marks.
    Bill Borchert

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

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

  • Thoughts on Visiting Everglades City (south of Marco Island)

    Captain Jim Healy, author of the article below, is a frequent contributor here on the Cruisers’ Net, and many other nautical mailing lists/forums. This posting is excerpted from a long submission to the GL (Great Loop) mailing list!
    Like Captain Jim, we love visiting Everglades City and the Rod and Gun Club. This is most certainly a place that time has forgotten, and it is still possible to catch a glimpse of what Florida was like in the days of Baron Collier. Don’t miss it, but do be aware that at low tide, the entrance channel from Indian Key to the Barron River can get as thin as 4 1/2 feet, possibly a little less, in places.

    Definitely go up the Barron River to Everglades City. Stay at the Rod and Gun Club (aka, the Sportsman’s Club). No credit cards; cash or personal checks only! Great, if small, local heritage museum. Truly a glimpse of Old Florida. More great dinghy exploring.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
    Currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
    Monk 36 Hull #132

    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

  • Warm Muffins and Good Food at Sanibel Island Marina (near southerly foot (“Miserable Mile”) of the Western Florida ICW)

    Below, Captain Mike presents a very balance look at this facility, It is accessed via a marked channel, north of Sanibel Island’s southerly, Point Ybel, tip.

    We stayed for 2 nights here 11/12/11 & 11/13/11. This is a very well kept marina. It is fairly small with a limited number of transient slips. The staff was extremely accomodating and their ship store manager Tom is a great guy. Bike rentals are available but it is something you should set up in advance as the bikes are delivered to the marina by a local bike store. Gramma Dots has very good food and stays busy. There is little to do here at the marina itself and you are a ways from shopping so a bike is best. You can walk down to the south end of the island and see the lighthouse at about .5 mile each way (maybe a bit longer). Sanibel Island is a beautiful island but extremely busy in the winter season and is hard to access without transportation. The best part for me about this marina is that warm muffins delivered to your boat with a newspaper every morning! Great stuff! But again, there is little to do in the immediate area and you are a bit out of the way from the main area of the island. Coming prepared with your own bike/s is the best idea to really get around. The owner family of this marina has deep roots in ocean sailing (ie: America’s Cup, etc.).
    Mike

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

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

  • Burnt Store Marina and Country Club (off the Western Florida ICW on Charlotte Harbor)

    The vast complex known as Burnt Store Marina and Country Club guards the eastern banks of Charlotte Harbor, not far from this body of waters’s southerly mouth. There is just about everything to be found here that a cruiser could ask for, except a nearby town or business district.

    My wife and I live here so my comments may be a bit skewed as we think this is a wonderful marina. It is certainly one of the largest marinas on the west coast of FL. We are a bit isolated but we have three 9-hole golf courses with a club house where you can get pub type foods and beverages. Portabello’s restaurant is the large restaurant located in the south (main) basin that is next to the ship store and fuel dock. Included with your slip fees are a swimming pool and shower house/laundry facilities. Pump outs are also available at the fuel dock. Tennis is available across the street for a fee at the community health club. The closest grocery stores (Publix) are about 9 miles in either direction off of Burnt Store Rd. There is a lot of room for bike riding and walks throughout the community. The whole property is a gated community with 24 hour guard service. If you need a place to stay for a night or a few months this is a great place to hang out. We discovered Burnt Store in 1995 and have been residents since around 2000. If you boat and golf this is a real bonus marina for you! If not it is still one of the best marinas in SW Florida!
    Mike

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

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

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