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  • Chartplotter and Charting Issues at Cumberland Dividings AICW Problem Stretch, (Statute Mile 704)

    Cumberland Dividings - Click for Chartview

    Cumberland Dividings, just north of where the AICW intersects the southerly reaches of the Brickhill River, has multiple problems. First, some charts and chartplotters show the magenta fairway line running on the western side of the red markers in this area. Those who blindly follow this erroneous magenta line will run aground every time. Also, and perhaps even worse, the Waterway is shoaling badly along its western flank, north of marker #63.

    AICW MM704 Cumberland Dividings Problem
    We transited this area northbound this afternoon. I was watching a Garmin chartplotter (new 2011) and the newest NOAA raster chart displaying on a laptop at the lower steering station sent to my Nexus via a VPN connection. Even the newest NOAA raster chart shows the magenta line to the west of the red daymarks (the real channel is to the east side of the daymarks). The daymarks are properly marked with the ICW triangle. A sailboat following us failed to honor the red daymarks – fortunately they stayed very close to the red (even though they were was leaving them on his starboard side) and made it through. The most current NOAA ENC chart has the correct course passing over dry land based on our track.
    This same problem has existed since at least 2005 or so. How long does it take NOAA to correct a chart?

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Cumberland Dividings

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Official US Army Corps of Engineers Okeechobee Waterway Anchoring Policy

    For several years now, there have been stories going around the cruising community, as well as multiple postings here on the Cruisers’ Net, to the effect that the USACOE has been hassling boat owners who anchor somewhere along the route of the Okeechobee Waterway. Well, the USACOE has now made this policy official, as you will see below.
    If we may interpret this “bureaucrat-ese” just a bit, it looks as if a vessel cannot anchor in any one spot for more than 24-hours without being asked to move along.
    As the USACOE is a Federal agency, and they claim jurisdiction over the Okeechobee Waterway, the Florida state law which denies counties and municipalities the right to regulate anchorage (except as part of the Trial Mooring Field Program), would NOT seem to apply here.
    So, if you had plans to anchor for more than one night anywhere between the St. Lucie and WF Franklin locks, think again!
    The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net WELCOMES comments and input from the cruising community concerning this rather bizarre policy. We will be SURE all such input is passed along to the correct authorities! Either click the “Comment” function below, or follow the “Click Here to Contribute Cruising News” link, found on the upper right of this, and all other (except Chart View) SSECN pages.
    Note, we have edited the memorandum reproduced below to show only what we consider the sections which will be of most interest to the cruising community!

    18 March
    Okeechobee Waterway Anchoring and Mooring Policy
    See the attached memorandum regarding anchoring and mooring guidance within the Okeechobee Waterway.
    For additional information regarding this issue and others maybe obtained by accessing the Jacksonville District website:
    US Army Corps of Engineers point of contact
    Mr. Robert Schnell,Supervisory Biologist at 863-983-8101 ext. 2

    The army corps of engineers has NO right to restrict anchoring’¦ the water belongs to the state! It would take a act of congress to change our right to navigate!!!
    I’m fighting a mooring ticket from the corps’¦.
    The section on National River Law discusses river ownership, use, and conservation law throughout the United States. Following is a review of what individual states can and cannot lawfully do with the rivers within their borders.
    1. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that rivers that are navigable, for title purposes, are owned by the states, `held in trust’ for the public. This applies in all fifty states, under the `Equal Footing Doctrine.’
    2. Rivers that do meet the federal test are automatically navigable, and therefore owned by the state. No court or government agency has to designate them as such.
    3. The federal test of navigability is not a technical test. There are no measurements of river width, depth, flow, or steepness involved. The test is simply whether the river is usable as a route by the public, even in small craft such as canoes, kayaks, and rafts. Such a river is legally navigable even if it contains big rapids, waterfalls, and other obstructions at which boaters get out, walk around, then re-enter the water.
    4. The states own these rivers up to the `ordinary high water mark.’ This is the mark that people can actually see on the ground, where the high water has left debris, sand, and gravel during its ordinary annual cycle. (Not during unusual flooding.) It is not a theoretical line requiring engineering calculations. Where the river banks are fairly flat, this mark can be quite a distance from the edge of the water during medium water flows. There is often plenty of room for standing, fishing, camping, and other visits.
    5. States cannot sell or give away these rivers and lands up to the ordinary high water mark. Under the `Public Trust Doctrine,’ they must hold them in perpetuity for public use.
    6. The three public uses that the courts have traditionally mentioned are navigation, fishing, and commerce. But the courts have ruled that any and all non-destructive activities on these land are legally protected, including picnics, camping, walking, and other activities. The public can fish, from the river or from the shore below the `ordinary high water mark.’ (Note that the fish and wildlife are owned by the state in any case.) The public can walk, roll a baby carriage, and other activities, according to court decisions.
    7. States do have authority and latitude in the way they manage rivers, but their management must protect the public uses mentioned above. They can (and must) prohibit or restrict activities that conflict with the Public Trust Doctrine. `Responsible recreation’ must be allowed, but activities that could be harmful, such as building fires, leaving trash, and making noise, can legally be limited, or prohibited, in various areas. Motorized trips and commercial trips can legally be limited or prohibited by state governments.
    8. State and local restrictions on use of navigable rivers have to be legitimately related to enhancing public trust value, not reducing it. Rivers cannot be closed or partially closed to appease adjacent landowners, or to appease people who want to dedicate the river to fishing only, or to make life easier for local law enforcement agencies.
    9. State governments (through state courts and legislatures) cannot reduce public rights to navigate and visit navigable rivers within their borders, but they can expand those rights, and some states have done so. They can create a floatage easement, a public right to navigate even on rivers that might not qualify for state ownership for some reason, even if it is assumed that the bed and banks of the river are private land. Note that this floatage easement is a matter of state law that varies from state to state, but the question of whether a river is navigable, for title purposes, and therefore owned by the state, is a matter of federal law, and does not vary from state to state. Note that a state floatage easement is something that comes and goes with the water: When the water is there, people have a right to be there on it, and when it dries up, people have no right to be there. But rivers that are navigable for title purposes are public land up to the ordinary high water mark, so that even when the river runs dry, people still have the right to walk along the bed of the river.
    10. Only federal courts can modify the test of standards that make a river navigable for title purposes. States cannot create their own standards, either narrower or wider in scope. They can’t make definitive rulings about which rivers are navigable for title purposes, only a federal court can.
    11. The situation gets confusing when a state agency or commission holds hearings about navigability and public use of rivers. Landowners, sheriffs, and other people tend to think that such an agency or commission can create state standards that determine which rivers are public and which are private. But these are matters of federal law which state agencies cannot change.
    12. State agencies should make provisional determinations that various rivers meet the federal test of navigability for title purposes. These provisional determinations should be based simply on the rivers’ usability by canoes, kayaks, and rafts. They should then proceed to the question of how to manage navigation and other public uses of the river. In these days of government cut-backs, the agency should look for solutions that use existing enforcement agencies rather than setting up new ones. Littering, illegal fires, offensive behavior, trespassing on private land, and numerous other offenses are all covered by existing laws, and offenders can be cited by the local police, sheriff’s office or state police.

    Thank you for the very accurate and helpful summary of the law of navigable waterways. Your many contributions to freedom, on the water and off are appreciated. If we fight this unfortunate bureaucratic water grab, we will win.
    Rick Cass

    A friend of mine was ticketed on the river a few months ago and decided to fight the ticket. On the first court date the prosecutor and officer didn’t have both ors in the water and the judge continued the date. When they went back to court the judge? Would not let the defendant say a word and fined him $5,000. He than lowered the fine to $500. Then told him if he left the river within three days he would pay $300. Only the Corp will ticket you. The FWC and Fish And Wildlife refuse to get involved. I have only seen the Corp officer, Andy on the river on Tuesday but don’t count on that. Boat US told me that the law was from the 1940’s. I don’t know. WE NEED A LAWER.
    Steve Largent

  • Temporary (Hopefully) Inconvenience at Burnt Store Marina and Country Club, Charlotte Harbor, Gulf Coast

    Burnt Store Marina - Click for Chartview

    Burnt Store Marina overlooks the eastern end of the charted channel, east of flashing daybeacon #6 on the eastern shore of Charlotte Harbor.

    We spent two nights at BSM recently. Very friendly staff and great fuel and dock prices. Unfortunately, the ship’s store was closed. I understand they are awaiting a new concessionaire or manager. Given the location of BSM, having no store is a great inconvenience. We paid $50 in round-trip cap fare to get to the `local’ publix. BSM has a great water location, but they are in the middle of no where on land. A ship’s store or convenience store is critical at BSM in my opinion.
    Albert Howes

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

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

  • Fuel Delivery Ban in Manatee County, Bradenton, FL

    This posting was prompted by a recent recommendation for a fuel delivery service in the Fort Myers area:  /?p=113209. Manatee County is the Bradenton area south of Tampa. Cruisers’ Net would like to hear the opinions of our readers on the issue of truck-to-boat fuel delivery.
    Please use the “Comment” function below, or follow the “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” link found on the upper right of this, and all (except Chart View) SSECN pages.

    Cruising News:
    Our Homeowners Association in Manatee County has banned the delivery of fuel to vessels in our community. I am trying to find out if this ban is legal. I am aware of three locations where such bans were overturned or rescinded. Dania, North Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. The delivery service we were using is fully insured and has been in business for many years.
    Les Martin

  • May River and Bluffton (off Calibogue Sound, near AICW St. M. 559.5)

    May River, a beautiful stream to explore on a fair weather day, cuts west off the AICW’s trek through northern Calibogue Sound, west of Waterway marker #29. The river channel is fully marked all the way upstream to the historic community of Bluffton. There is just barely room to anchor abeam of the town waterfront.

    Bluffton via the May River with a stop for seafood at the Bluffton Oyster Company should not be missed, a link to a fast vanishing past. I woke one morning to find myself in the middle of a fleet of decrepit outboard boats headed out oystering with their crews shouting back and forth to each other in Gullah.
    I anchor off the beach just upstream of the BOC. Lots of current so it is a good place for two anchors. Be sure to ask at the BOC for directions to their restaurant.
    Roger Long
    S/V Strider

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bluffton, SC on May River

  • A-1 Fuel Services Recommended in Fort Myers to Marco Island Area, West Florida ICW

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

    Legacy Harbor Marina - Click for Chartview

    Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!! Legacy Harbour Marina’s entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway/Caloosahatchee River, east of marker #49.

    Cruising News:
    A-1 Fuel Services (239-246-4777) is a tanker service to marinas in the Marco, Naples and Ft. Myers area. Marinas that do not sell fuel will generally allow A-1 to come and fill up vessels. Minimum is 100 gallons and they only deliver on weekdays. They deliver to Legacy Marina in Ft. Myers which does not sell fuel. Among the lowest fuel prices in southwest FL. They need at least 1 day notice and prefer 2 days before delivery.
    Mike Negley

    Click Here To View the Latest Prices at A-1 Fuel Service

    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

  • Florida Keys Summer, 2013 Festivals and Events

    Photo by Azia Keever

    Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, 305-451-3438, www.keylimesailingclub.comThe list of Florida Keys Summer events below is provided to us by SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Key Lime Sailing Club. So, before launching into our listing, it’s only fair to first hear from these good folks! Click their sponsorship panel on the left for more information!
    It should be noted that the Florida Keys are no longer a winter-time only setting. As will be obvious from the exciting line-up below, there is much to see and do during the summer months in the Florida Keys, and that goes for members of the cruising community as well.

    Can you imagine yourself spending a lovely summer day just sailing all you want? Do you want to try a kayaking adventure through a mangrove maze where manatees follow you and exotic wildlife is abundant? How about snorkeling, fishing, swimming, or just hanging around on the beach? Do you dream about taking a cruise on a sailboat with a cold drink in your hand while enjoying an awesome sunset?
    What if we told you that you can enjoy all of these while staying with us, without paying extra?
    Here at Key Largo Cottages at Key Lime Sailing Club, when you rent one of our cottages you can enjoy free use of sailboats, kayaks, water toys, snorkel gear, fishing gear, bicycles, and a sunset cruise!
    Cottage rate starts at $175 per night plus cleaning fees and taxes. Take advantage of our low summer season rates.

    Key Largo / May 2 ‘“ 5
    Humphrey Bogart Film Festival
    The inaugural Humphrey Bogart Film Festival is to screen a rotating selection of Bogie classics and a group of movies centered around the festival’s theme. There is expected to be a formal Bogart Ball, an outside screening of Casablanca, a display of Bogart memorabilia, question and answer sessions with the star’s son, Stephen Bogart, and tours on the fully-restored African Queen. Visit website for complete details. Tickets for all events, including film screenings, the Bogart Ball and special events with Stephen Bogart and special guest Leonard Maltin are available online.


    Marathon / May 11 – Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival
    The waters off Sombrero Beach are to be transformed into a swift racecourse for a day of dragon boat racing, one of the world’s fastest-growing water sports, that involves 20 paddlers moving in unison a combination of strength and teamwork. Sombrero Beach provides a pristine setting and unique, direct-from-the-beach launch for the sleek, 40-foot-long race boats whose elaborate designs originated in ancient China. The festival is free and open to the public. Food, beverages, merchandise and a variety of entertainment are to be available shoreside.

    Key Largo / May 16 ‘“ 19
    Key Largo’s Original Music Festival
    Enjoy the food, entertainment and ambiance of Key Largo during this singers and songwriters event. Featuring “on the water” venues, unique entertainers and local musicians. Presented by the Upper Keys Business Group.
    Contact: Sue Finney 305-394-3736

    Key West / June 5 ‘“ 9
    Key West Pride
    Key West shows its Pride every day, and this is your chance to be a part of the celebration! This five day celebration includes a film festival, dance parties, drag shows, bike tours, clothing-optional pool parties, water excursions, a street fair, Pride Pageants, and a ‘Pride in Our Community’ Parade down Duval Street.
    Contact: 800-535-7797; 305-294-4603

    Key West / June 22
    7th Annual Midsummer’s Night Dream and Spectacle
    Midsummer’s Night Dream and Spectacle is a night of artistic expression, music, feasting, dancing, singing, and theatrical antics celebrating the art and artists of the Keys. Co-produced by Michael Shields’ Java Studios and The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, the event benefits the Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden. Admission is $10 for adults; children under age 12 are admitted free. From 5 to 11 p.m., all ages welcome.
    Contact: 305-394-3804

    Key Largo / July 4
    Fireworks Show on Blackwater Sound
    Blackwater Sound provides the perfect nighttime mirrorlike surface to make the annual fireworks display seem like a 3-D viewing experience designed to dazzle. The show is to take place on the bayfront in Key Largo at 10 p.m., July 4. The best seating can be found at Sundowners and Senior Frijoles restaurants, Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located around mile marker (MM) 104 bayside. Reservations are suggested because seating is limited.
    Contact: Sue Finney 305-394-3736

    Key West / July 4 ‘“ 6
    The Key Lime Pie Festival
    An All-American celebration of Florida’s official and one of the most tasty pies! Highlights are to include Miss Key Lime Pie and Lil’ Miss Key Lime pageants, a Pie Eating Contest and a Key Lime Pie competition — be the first to sample pies from contestants vying for the blue ribbon in the Conch, Amateur and Professional Divisions of the 2013 Key West Key Lime Pie Championships. Check website for more delicious details to come.


    For even more information on Florida Keys Events and Festivals, please visit:

  • More Good Words for Hidden Harbor Yacht Club, AICW Statute Mile 670.5

    Hidden Harbor Yacht Club - Click for Chartview

    Hidden Harbor Yacht Club, which gladly accepts transients, is located on Troup Creek. This body of water intersects the AICW, immediately north of St. Simons Sound, near markers #237 and #238.

    Great find. Small, quaint and clean. Lovely little place. There are currently no showers, but, they do have a courtesy car, kitchen and gas grill. Beautiful views. Would stay again!
    Pete and Jorgina Colyn

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Hidden Harbor Yacht Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hidden Harbor Yacht Club

  • Shoaling Confirmed in Northern Fields Cut, AICW Statute Mile 574

    Northern Fields Cut - Click for Chartview

    The “AICW Problem Stretch” at the intersection of northern Fields Cut and Wright River was dredged three years ago and was more or less clear through the end of 2012. However, as recent reports confirm and Captain Healy observes, shoaling is once again beginning to occur.

    North entrance of Fields Cut is a BIG problem. At +1.2′, a sailboat in front of us grounded mid-channel. We saw less than 5′ on the Green side. Later radio traffic said better water depth was found in the RED quarter, but I can’t personally confirm that. Also, Later radio traffic indicated several groundings.
    So, control depth at normal low would less than 4′. Less for celestial low tides.
    Note: we followed small passenger ship American Star through Fields Cut. At +1.2, that small cruise ship can make Fields Cut, Watts Cut and Ranshorn Creek.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
    Currently at Beaufort, SC
    Monk 36 Hull #132
    MMSI #367042570
    AGLCA #3767
    MTOA #3436

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Northern Fields Cut

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Up the Savannah River to Savannah, GA (near St. M. 575.5)

    The Hyatt dock is a popular boating dock along the Savannah River that many tourists and boaters use if they are staying at The Hyatt or just stopping by River Street for some lunch.  If you're sailing along Tybee Island, park your boat and grab a burger!On 4/22/13, as part of a NE Florida – Georgia Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 575.5 ‘“ Who has cruised upstream on Savannah River, and spent a night or two along the downtown Savannah Waterfront? Where did you stay ‘“ the city dock, the Westin or River Street Market? Did you have trouble being jostled by the wake of passing, larger, ocean going freighters or tankers? How did you enjoy downtown Savannah?

    Responses follow:

    My better half and I have stayed both at the Hyatt dock and at the Market Street dock. Both are accommodating but neither is what I would call a first class facility. Wifi and cable were `iffy’ at best. And yes, to answer your question more specifically, the large boat traffic did keep us bouncing around some, and the clunk of tree limbs and other flotsam on its way to the ocean also created some anx. However, it is all worth it to visit and tour River Street and to take a horse and buggy ride through that beautiful city. Our favorite restaurants are `Vics on the River’, and just off the river, but within walking distance is the `Blue Safire’ Restaurant. We would recommend the visit and these restaurants enthusiastically.
    Tom Wilson

    We stayed at the City Marina when we went to Savannah. The dock master was very helpful. Easy walk to the shops and all the restaurants. Ate at Paula Deans. Don’t let the line fool you. We only waited about twenty minutes. They have dining on multiple levels of the building. The two nights we were there we only remember a few ships coming by. They were in the middle of the night. The wake was not that bad.

    We agree with the above posting. The only addition is that if you are tied to any of the docks on the River Street side (Hyatt, City docks) that you make sure your lines are not too tight and that they are long, meaning do not do a short tie from dock cleat to the boat cleat, since when you do get rocked by some of the large ships, your boat had room to `swing’ and not tug on your lines too hard. IN fact, using a smaller diameter line is also better since it can stretch better than a large diameter. If you do not do this, you run the risk of pulling a cleat out of your boat. Use plenty of fenders too since one may `pop out’ during the rocking. This is always good advice anyway in many situations, but especially here. You will see where some cleats are damaged on docks, I suppose from boats that did not heed this advice.
    John Winter

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Savannah Hyatt Dock

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Savannah Hyatt Dock

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For River Street Market Place Dock

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of River Street Market Place Dock

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