Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-19-2012
The new mooring fields in downtown St. Augustine have been both boon and bane, as Capt. Glasser describes below:
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:18:57 -0400 (EDT)
I was always in favor of a mooring field and some regulations as too many boaters left boats unattended for months making it the city’s problem…my days of boating have come down to a short boat ride to the fort, anchoring for 1-2 hrs, back to my marina and then drive to a restaurant for a nice lunch. I replaced my 40′ boat with a 22′ so I could do this with less work. Now comes the mooring field. Two days ago, the mooring field was 70% vacant so with the intent of sunning mysel for an hour I tied up to a mooring. I was willing to pay the $4 hr city dock rate, if asked. After a half hour their launch boat came by and in no uncertain terms I was told I would have to motor in to their dock, register, pay a $20 flat rate day fee or immediately vacate. Sure, I was wrong to steal time at their mooring but I like to play it safe with anchoring and the only choice I have is to anchor in the middle of the harbor or tuck into just adjacent to a spoil island just north of the fort in the middle of a small boat channel. I see no reason why the city can’t set aside a few moorings for hourly boats, have the smaller boats radio in for assignment, and pay the $4-$8 directly to the launch operator, exact change only.I’m really distressed over this whole situation and my love affair with the city is over.(Also for your info, to park a car costs $.25 for 10 minutes and the lots that have meters go to $8-$10 flat fee, 2 yrs ago, if you knew where to park, you could do so for nothing). For certain, this city is neither tourist or boater friendly on any level!!!
We came into St. Augustine last week at dusk and called for a mooring. They told us we either had to tie up to the dock to complete the paperwork, which would have required waiting for the bridge to open, or take a mooring in the north field and launch our dinghy in the darkness to get to the dockmaster’s office. Either option was the last thing I wanted to do after being at sea for three days. We stop in St. Augustine twice each year and sometimes stay awhile. I’ve never found the over-priced municipal marina welcoming. This time, we left the mooring field and made our way up the San Sebastian River to one of the marinas (Rivers Edge) where we were welcomed openly. It’s much cheaper than the city marina, more protected and just a short walk into town.