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  • Festivals, June at a Glance and New Museum Trail – Edenton, NC, Albemarle Sound


    Edenton, NC - the prettiest town in the South!

    Historic Edenton, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, always has an exciting calendar of community events in June with a full schedule of activities for all ages! Edenton is always young! Come and let them prove it!

    EDENTON

    *Edenton Music and Water Festival *  
      Friday, June 3rd
    Dancing and Listening under the stars with Greenville’s Spare Change Band and Beer Garden along with a Sunset Paddle on Edenton’s Waterfront (7 – 10 pm)
    Saturday, June 4th
    Local and Regional Musicians entertain while paddling demos; complimentary boat rides; sailing on the Periauger; car show; sidewalk sale; roving musicians; Heritage Parade and Fest at John A. Holmes High and close out the day with the US Air Force Heritage of America Band The Blue Aces on the Edenton Bay Waterfront  (10 am – 7 pm)
    Festival Sponsors
    Albemarle Bank & Trust; ElectriCities of NC; Kitty Hawk Kites; Regulator The Offshore Life; Scotch Hall Preserve; Vidant Chowan Hospital
    CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
    * June At A Glance *.……

    Baseball with the Steamers; Bees and Beekeeping at the Library; Fishing Derby at the Hatchery; Farmers Market; Sunday Trolley Tours and Music by the Bay at the Penelope Barker House Welcome Center ………..                  
    CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

    * Edenton Is A Museum *

                   An exploration of Edenton and its rich historic assets can be seen in a wonderful self-guided, mobile-friendly walking tour throughout the Historic District featuring 10 signs with outstanding graphics; photography and interpretation to keep you following the Trail
    This newly created innovation is a collaborative effort between the Edenton Historical Commission; Historic Edenton State Historic Site and many local historians and photographers  
    CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
        Like us on Facebook    
    * Shop *  Dine *  Stay  *
    Chowan County Tourism Development Authority, PO Box 245,101 W Water Street, Edenton, NC 27932

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Edenton Harbor (City Docks)

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Edenton Harbor (City Docks)

  • Help Protect Our Coastal Birds!

    Be a good citizen and give our feathered friends a wide berth!

    fwc

    For immediate release: May 25, 2016
    Media Contact: Carli Segelson, FWC; 772-215-9459
    Jonathan Webber, Audubon Florida; 954-593-4449

    Audubon and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ask boaters and beachgoers statewide to help coastal birds this Memorial Day Weekend

    This Memorial Day Weekend, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Audubon are reminding Floridians to share our beaches and islands with rare and declining species of waterbirds that are currently nesting statewide.
    “Memorial Day is always a fun time to be around or on the water, but we’re not the only ones who think so,” said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida’s Deputy Executive Director. “The end of May is a critical time for some of Florida’s most iconic coastal birds and their fluffy chicks. Roseate spoonbills, black skimmers, snowy plovers, American oystercatchers, least terns and more are using Florida’s beaches and islands right now to raise their young.”
    Unfortunately, when boaters or beachgoers approach nesting birds too closely, parents are flushed from their nests, leaving chicks and eggs vulnerable to predators, overheating in the summer sun, crushing under foot (in the case of beach nesters), or falling and drowning in water beneath the nest (in the case of tree nesters). A single, ill-timed disturbance can destroy an entire colony.
    “While the disturbance is seldom intentional, the result for the birds can be deadly,” said Brian Yablonski, Chairman of the FWC. “Together we can ensure this holiday weekend is safe and enjoyable for people and birds alike.”
    Each year along Florida’s coast, the FWC and local officials, along with Audubon volunteers, staff and partners, post many of the state’s beach and island nesting sites to make sure people know where the birds are nesting and to help prevent disturbance. Additionally, volunteer “bird stewards” from local Audubon chapters and other partners will help chaperone nesting bird colonies on many Florida beaches this weekend. These stewards help educate beachgoers about the breathtaking spectacle of these colonies while reminding pedestrians not to enter protected areas. Volunteers also help monitor colonies to collect important citizen science data about the birds’ nesting efforts through the Florida Shorebird Alliance (www.flshorebirdalliance.org).
    In 1980, Florida had 10 million residents. Today, we have 20 million, with another 100 million tourists visiting annually. At the same time, populations of many coastal birds have plummeted.
    The birds need your help: to learn about volunteer bird stewarding opportunities, email flconservation@audubon.org for more information.

    Memorial Day Beach Tips:
    Respect posted areas, even if you don’t see birds inside them. Birds, eggs and nests are well-camouflaged with the beach environment, and disturbance by people can cause the abandonment of an entire colony.
    Give colony islands a wide berth, and when fishing, be sure not to leave any equipment behind. Always dispose of fishing line and tackle appropriately.
    Avoid disturbing groups of birds. If birds take flight or appear agitated, you are too close.
    Refrain from walking dogs or allowing cats to roam freely on beaches during the nesting season. Even on a leash, dogs are perceived as predators by nesting birds, sometimes causing adults to flush at even greater distances than pedestrians alone.
    Don’t let pets off boats onto posted islands or beaches.
    If you must walk your dog on beaches, always keep it on a leash and away from the birds.
    Please do not feed gulls or herons at the beach, or bury or leave trash, picnic leftovers, charcoal or fish scraps on the beach. These scraps attract predators of chicks and eggs, such as fish crows, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and laughing gulls.
    Leave the fireworks at home and attend an official display instead. Impromptu fireworks on Florida’s beaches and waterways have catastrophic effects for vulnerable chicks and eggs.
    Beach-nesting birds sometimes nest outside of posted areas. If you notice birds circling noisily over your head, you may be near a nesting colony. Leave quietly, and enjoy the colony from a distance.
    Most people would never want to hurt baby birds. If you see people disturbing nesting birds, let them know how their actions may hurt the birds’ survival. If they continue to disturb nesting shorebirds or if you see people entering closed Critical Wildlife Areas, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline: 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone, or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com.
    Photos and videos are available for use in your publication. Please credit the videos to Audubon Florida and the photos to the individual photographer listed in the file name.

  • Shoaling in Indian River Marked with New NavAid, AICW Statute Mile 967


    This shoaling at Waterway Marker #188 was reported as on May 5 as a Nav Alert, http://cruisersnet.net/156695. Waterway Marker #188A has been added to indicate the shoaling.

    FLORIDA – AICW – PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH: Temporary Lighted Buoy Established to Mark Shoal.
    Indian River (South Section) Lighted Buoy 188A has been temporarily established in position 27-27-02.163N/080-18-54.202W to mark a shoal encroaching the channel from the west. The TRLB has a Fl Q R light. Water depths were found as low as 4ft in the channel. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marker #188A

  • Destroyed Range Light, Northern Tampa Bay


    This destroyed range light is northern Tampa Bay.

    FLORIDA – TAMPA BAY – PORT SUTTON CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation
    Port Sutton Channel Range Front Light (LLNR 23575) is destroyed. The steel wreckage is marked with a TRLB, with Fl Q W characteristics, 4M and set approximately 5 yards channelward of the wreckage in position 27-53-56.681N/082-26-29.340W. Chart 11416 LNM 21/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Northern Tampa Bay

  • Destroyed Daybeacon, near Lake Worth Inlet and AICW Statute Mile 1017


    This private marker is on the northern side of the north channel leading from the Waterway into Sailfish Marina.

    FLORIDA – PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH – SINGER ISLAND CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation
    Singer Island Channel Daybeacon 8 (LLNR 10213) is destroyed. The steel pile is leaning in the channel above the waterline and poses a hazard to navigation. Wreckage is marked with a TRLB WR8, with FL Q R characteristics, 4M and set approximately 3 yards channelward of the wreckage in position 26-46-55.856N/080-02-36.657W.
    Chart 11472   LNM 21/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position near Statute Mile 1017

  • Coast Pilot 5-NEW EDITION

    Coast Pilot 5-NEW EDITION
    PUBLICATION–National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)–U.S. Coast Pilot 5, Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands, 44th Edition, 2016, has been issued and is ready for free download and weekly updates at http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/cpdownload.htm.
    Only Print-on-Demand (POD) bound copies are available for purchase; see http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/charts.htm#POD.
    The 2016 Edition cancels the preceding 2015 Edition, and incorporates all previous corrections.  LNM 21/16

  • Bridge Openings and Road Traffic Delays, Sarasota Bay, Gulf Coast


    Our thanks to Officer Michael Lieberum for sending this very interesting report covering discussion between the USCG, FDOT and local community leaders concerning road traffic delays from bridge openings. Both these bridges cross inlet that are subject to frequent shoaling and New Pass is not recommended by SSECN for use.

    With a closed vertical clearance of 23ft, New Pass bridge connects Longboat Key and Lido key. With a closed vertical clearance of 17ft, Longboat Pass Bridge crosses Longboat Pass which separates Longbeach and Bradenton Beach, south of Tampa Bay near Statute Mile 85.

    Commissioners gave Town Manager Dave Bullock direction to invite Coast Guard and FDOT officials to a future meeting to discuss bridge openings.
    by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

    When New Pass Bridge goes up, and there’s not a boat in the water, Mayor Jack Duncan calls the bridge opening “incredibly frustrating.”
    “You have a few boats in the water and thousands of cars backed up on the road, and the bridge opens without a boat in sight,” Duncan said. “It’s counter intuitive.”

    2015 traffic counts
    The Longboat Key Police Department’s license-plate recognition system has the ability to count the number of cars entering and exiting the island. Below is a snapshot of traffic counts so far this year:

    January: 318,984
    February: 520,568
    March: 490,564
    April: 559,289
    May: 492,769
    June: 420,091
    July: 310,971*
    August: 386,823
    * A camera malfunction caused readings to not be counted for one week.

    Key resident and retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steve Branham was asked by Commissioner Lynn Larson and Town Manager Dave Bullock to look into the drawbridge openings on the Key to see if they can be adjusted to ease seasonal traffic. Branham spent months perusing Coast Guard data and crunching traffic count numbers with resident Lenny Landau.
    His conclusion at the Sept. 9 Longboat Key Town Commission regular meeting?
    “New Pass Bridge and Longboat Pass Bridge are not a primary contributor to the traffic problem,” Branham said. “It’s opening once a day on average when you look at the numbers. It’s very difficult to convince the Coast Guard and FDOT we have a problem with a bridge that averages opening once a day on average.”
    But the Town Commission will continue to press the issue, noting the island’s two bridges go up many times just for maintenance and not for boat traffic.

    By the Numbers
    13 – Cars per minute crossing New Pass Bridge in March 2015
    20,000 – Estimated cars per day crossing New Pass Bridge during season
    7 – Minutes it takes for bridge to open and close
    17 – Steps a bridge tender must follow to open and close the bridge
    387 – Openings for New Pass Bridge in 2014
    32 – Average openings a month for New Pass Bridge

    For the week of Jan. 24 this year, Branham noted New Pass Bridge opened 18 times, but only five of those times were because boats were in the water.
    Branham told the Longboat Observer Tuesday that FDOT has agreed not to open the bridge for maintenance from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    “That’s a siginificant amount of time the bridge won’t open for that purpose,” Branham said.
    Branham explained it would cost the Coast Guard a premium amount to perform maintenance openings at night instead of during working hours.

    Bridge openings
    The New Pass Bridge opens every 20 minutes when boats are present, which can be up to three times an hour between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., the bridge must open on signal with at least three hours’ notice. The Longboat Pass Bridge opens on demand for boaters. The Cortez Bridge, which connects Bradenton Beach to mainland Manatee County, opens on demand every 20 minutes between May 16 and Jan. 14 and every 30 minutes on demand from Jan. 15 through May 15.
    But Duncan says it’s worth pressing the issue further and even deciding if it’s worth the town helping to pay the extra cost to perform night maintenance openings.
    Younger agreed.
    “Motorists get frustrated when they’re sitting and sitting and don’t even see a boat go through,” Younger said.
    Commissioners gave Bullock direction to invite Coast Guard and FDOT officials to a future meeting to discuss the issue. http://www.yourobserver.com/article/bridge-openings-don%E2%80%99t-clog-traffic-study-shows

    Michael Lieberum
    Seventh Coast Guard District
    Bridge Branch
    Operations Section
    305-415-6744

  • Shoaling in Ponce de Leon Inlet, near AICW Statute Mile 840-843


    This article by Saul Saenz, Volusia County Reporter on News 13 reports shoaling in Ponce de Leon Inlet. The “Ponce” is a popular, heavily traveled inlet which intersects the Waterway at Statute Mile 839.5, with a second southerly intersection near St. M. 843..

    Boaters fear growing sandbars in Volusia’s waterways
    PONCE INLET —
    Dangerous sandbars are growing along the Intracoastal Waterway in Volusia County, and boaters want officials to do something before watercraft lovers hit the area for Memorial Day weekend.

    Sandbars around the Intracoastal Waterway and Ponce Inlet are growing past shoaling markers
    Volusia County and Army Corp of Engineers aware of problem
    Ponce Inlet Port Authority hopes to move shoaling markers before Memorial Day weekend

    CLICK HERE for full article

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ponce de Leon Inlet

  • Bahamas Chatter: Trip to Bimini early June

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Trip to Bimini early June
    Trip to Bimini early June
    Posted: 22 May 2016 05:15 PM PDT
    Anyone interested in buddy boating to Bimini from Ft. lauderdale or Key Biscayne area May 31 or June 1?

    Joe

  • Bahamas Update: Berry Islands & Exumas by Greg Allard

    Bahamas Update: Berry Islands & Exumas
    by Greg Allard

    Great Harbour Cay, the Berry Islands:
    a) The biggest news from Great Harbour Cay is that the island now has a full time doctor. Dr. Allan Cho is from the Philippines, with a specialty in Emergency Medicine. We met him and toured the clinic. Apparently the Bahamian government has hired full time physicians for several of the out islands. Cruisers are welcome to receive treatment at the clinic: the cost for non-Bahamians is $30 a visit. The clinic does basic blood testing, and has its own stock of common prescription drugs, but they do not yet have an x-ray machine.

    Dr. Allen Cho, and nurse Linnessa Davis, in the clinic at Bullocks Harbour settlement, Great Harbour Cay

    Dr. Allen Cho, and nurse Linnessa Davis, in the clinic at Bullocks Harbour settlement, Great Harbour Cay

    b) At the marina, there is a new grocery store, Krum’s Market, at the east end of the dock, across the street in a separate building which also has housed a small inn on the second floor. The new market is clean, well organized and we are told they receive fresh fruits and vegetables and other fresh food direct from the U.S., instead of through Nassau.
    c) Also at the east end of the marina dock, a new take-out “deli” opened, with breakfast, lunch and dinner items. There are tables and umbrellas on the adjacent dock.
    d) In the Bullocks Harbor settlement, next to the hardware store, a new beverage store offering liquor, wine and beer is now in business. It too is clean, well organized and up to date; prices are not bad and the selection is very good.
    e) A new building, across from the police station, has been under construction for over two years; it is supposed to be for a bank. Until that happens, cruisers are reminded that there are no ATMs or banks on the island and most local businesses include a 5% surcharge on all credit cards.
    Highbourne Cay, Exumas
    Highbourne Cay Marina has added a new long dock at the north end of the basin, which can accommodate two large mega-yachts, or multiple smaller ones on its south side; the north side of the new dock (near shore) has only enough water for boats such as center consoles towed by large yachts. The dock will have power, including three phase power, in the near future.
    Highbourne Cay Marina is without question the nicest, best run marina in the southern Bahamas.
    Staniel Cay, Exumas
    The airport reopened a number of months ago. Watermakers Air, which has scheduled flights to Staniel, now provides regular and charter service to multiple other islands in the Bahamas. See their website: www.watermakersair.com.
    One of the best ways to have boat parts or other important items shipped to you while in the Exumas is by contacting Watermaker’s Air, who will walk you through the process, and arrange it all. Their terminal is at the Executive Airport in Ft. Lauderdale (not the main international airport). They are really efficient at arranging to get your package through Customs, and delivering to you for pickup at Staniel Cay.
    Tip: When you receive your cruising permit upon entering the Bahamas, take a good photo of it, and download it to your computer. If you need to ship items for the repair of your boat to the Bahamas, you will then be able to e-mail a copy of your cruising permit to Watermakers, who will use it to have your parts enter the country duty-free, as long as the part is necessary for the operation of the boat. (That will not prevent you from having to pay the V.A.T.) If you have guests flying anywhere from the U.S. to the Bahamas to join you on your boat, your guests will also need your permit to show Immigration officials, who want to be sure that everyone entering their country has a place to stay.

    Cave Cay, Exumas
    This cay, south of Little Farmer’s, is relatively unknown and not frequently visited. The owner has built a first class marina with excellent floating docks, power and water. He has also built a series of buildings while are planned for a restaurant and rental cottages, but it appears that those are a way off. The island generates its own electricity, makes its own water, and is raising a modest amount of vegetables. There are a couple of excellent beaches, but no restaurant and no store. They have wi-fi, and the reception from the BTC tower on Little Farmers can be good, depending on where you are. There are a series of superb caves to explore.
    Most importantly, this marina serves as an excellent hurricane hole: the basin is completely surrounded by land. One caution: the entrance at MLW has a six foot spot.

    The entrance to Cave Cay.

    The entrance to Cave Cay.

    This 57’ Nordhavn with at least a 6’ draft, has just come through the cut. With an approximate three foot tide fall, this marina should be accessible to most cruising boats with proper planning around the tide.

    The docks at Cave Cay.

    The docks at Cave Cay.

    The buildings on the far hill are the maintenance sheds, with the island’s generating and reverse osmosis plants. The photo was taken from the hill which overlooks the marina looking west; the Exuma Sound is behind the camera, to the east – showing how much protection this harbour offers. There is limited dock space though, and anchoring is not permitted in the harbour.
    For slower boats who can’t make it from Georgetown to the Staniel Cay area in a single day, Cave Cay is a perfectly positioned, protected layover spot when conditions don’t permit you to anchor.
    Blackpoint
    Lorraine’s Restaurant has expanded. What used to be the wi-fi café is now a bar area, and the dining area is much larger. Why? Because several tour operators from Great Exuma, or Nassau, are running fast, large open boats, often holding dozens of people, on “grand” tours of the Exumas, to include Allens Cay’s iguanas, Big Major’s pig beach, Compass Cay’s sharks, Staniel’s Yacht Club, and Blackpoint – with a buffet luncheon at Lorraine’s. Lorraine said that sometimes twenty to seventy people a day come to Blackpoint on these tours. While it surprised us (and disappointed us, to some extent) to see a group of twenty-five pasty-skin tourists who were now sunburned to a day-glo red, walking on the usually tranquil main street of Blackpoint, overall this is economically good for the island. And don’t forget to go next door to Lorraine’s mother’s house, and buy some fresh Bahamian bread.

    This is one of the smaller tour boats, making its rounds, pulling into Staniel Cay. We saw some big go-fast tourist boats with over 50 people in them.

    This is one of the smaller tour boats, making its rounds, pulling into Staniel Cay. We saw some big go-fast tourist boats with over 50 people in them.

    A final note about when to cruise the Bahamas: In our view, the best time to cruise the Bahamas is in April, May and June. We urge our cruising friends, many of whom go to the Bahamas in December and return in March, to try the Bahamas in the spring. It is not nearly as busy, the water is warmer and you don’t have to deal with “northers”, those nasty cold fronts which come through frequently in the winter, with their strong N/W to N/E winds, which make it difficult to find a good anchorage. In the spring, good anchorages are easier to find, and if you want a slip at a marina, those too are easier to secure.
    We realize that some people need to comply with their insurance company’s requirement that they be north of a certain location by June 1st. Since we are based in Florida, we have full coverage on our boat, including hurricane season (with of course a higher deductible) and the cost was not nearly as bad as we expected.

    unnamed (4)
    This is why it’s Better in the Bahamas in the spring. This picture was taken on May 19, 2016 at the Exumas Land and Sea Park, at Warderick Wells. In high (winter) season, ALL of these moorings would be taken, and there would be a long waiting list to get one.
    You can see two larger yachts (far left) out on the moorings next to Warderick Cut, designated for 150’ boats. Other than those two boats, we were the ONLY boat on any of the 22 or so moorings in the north mooring field. Now is the time to be here!
    Hurricanes? Yes, we do pay close attention to tropical developments as we get closer to hurricane season. We look at multiple sources of weather at least twice a day. Marv Market sends us excellent Tropical Updates, sometime days ahead of anyone else. (Send Marv an e-mail, and ask to be put on his mailing list for both excellent daily reports based on Buoy Weather, and for his periodic tropical reports: Marvboater1@aol.com.)
    Finally, we always have a back-up plan. What are the safe places we can get to, if we need to? Our list in this part of the Bahamas includes Cave Cay, Compass Cay, Highbourne, Great Harbour, or further north in the Grand Bahama Yacht Club at Port Lucaya. The docks at Staniel Cay are not an option; if there are strong winds forecast from the west they will ask you to leave, which is a good thing, since you don’t want to be there anyway in those conditions. There are other good places, such as Norman’s Pond, for shallow draft boats.

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