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  • Update on Inland Waterway Provision Company Store in Oriental, NC, Statute Mile 181

    McCotters Marina, Washington, NCWe are delighted to learn that this well-known business in Oriental, NC will remain open. For years, it has been the place to get boat gear and clothing in Oriental. McCotter’s Marina, which suffered a devastating fire earlier this year, is located in nearby Washington, NC and is A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    A new owner, McCotter’s Marina of Washington, NC has decided to restock and keep the Inland Waterway store open. The decision was made last Monday and it was open for the Memorial Day weekend. Stock will take a while to rebuild.
    Skipper Jim Duggan

    The Inland Waterway Provision Company re-opened in April of 2011 under new management. The folks from McCotter’s Marina (Washington, NC) are now running the store.
    Captain Ben

    And from the new owners:

    Inland Waterway Provision Company, ICW Mile Marker 181
    Newly re-opened in the heart of “downtown” Oriental!
    Visit us for all your boating and fishing needs. We have marine hardware, electrical and plumbing components, cleaning supplies, charts, line, and safety gear. We are the local dealer for AB dinghies. We offer clothing, Sperry shoes, and nautical gifts.
    If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can order it for you, usually with free overnight delivery on parts.
    We can help you with fishing equipment, ice, and bait. The helpful advice is free!
    Inland Waterway Provision Co. is conveniently located on the Oriental harborfront, right between the Town Dock (free dockage for 48 hours!) and the town anchorage. We have free loaner bicycles for visiting boaters.
    We’re an Oriental landmark! Come see why.
    Monday-Saturday 9-6, Sunday 12-4
    Phone: (252)249-1797
    iwpc@dockline.net

    I am so glad that Inland Waterway is back in business and I really hope it can stay that way! Show them some love if you’re in town.
    Jeffrey Sampson

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Oriental, NC

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For McCotter’s Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of McCotter’s Marina

  • Marker Restored and Hazard to Navigation Removed On Bowlegs Cut, Florida Keys Inside Route (Staute Mile 1165)

    A Week 31 LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS warned of an exposed I-beam in Bowlegs Cut, creating a dangerous situation in the passage and warranting a Navigation Alert on Cruisers’ Net. That danger has apparently been removed and the area returned to normal, as Capt. Grass assures us with his two passages.

    Went through Bowlegs cut on August 5 and everything appeared to be back to normal.
    Capt. Martin Grass

    Currently anchored in Cowpens. I returned northbound through Bowlegs Cut this afternoon (8 August) at idle speed and everything appeared normal to me.
    Capt. Martin Grass

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bowlegs Cut

  • Avoid Channel Leading from Cape Fear River Marker #41, to the AICW at Marker #162A, Just West of Snows Cut (near St. M. 299), 8/1/11


    The “channel” described in the message below leads from Cape Rear River marker #41, south and southeast until it rejoins the path of the AICW at marker #162A, just west of Snows Cut’s westerly mouth. In years past, this passage was navigable, but shoaling on its southernmost leg, northwest of #162A, has changed the status of this cut to “dinghies only.”
    Coming south from Wilmington, Manfred is not the first cruiser to be tempted to try this shortcut channel to avoid going the extra 5 miles south and then northeast to rejoin the Waterway just west of Snows Cut. The three legs of the channel are charted at 11ft, 10.5ft, then 2ft!! Manfred is absolutely correct when he recommends this shortcut only to “zero” draft vessels.
    We are declaring a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Navigational Alert for this so-called channel!Cruising News:
    Cape Fear River Shoal
    Following the ICW from south to north, between St M 300/ St M 295 in the Cape Fear river. An excursion to Wilmington NC was made. Coming back to the ICW, from Wilmington, a small channel is marked from G41“ to ICW R 162A“ leading to the ICW, east of the main river channel.
    At marker „1“ we were on ground, showing 3 ½ feet, 2 hours after high water. Calculating back to high water at this day, the depth would be only 5 ½ feet. This passage can not be recommended at any time, only boats with “no” draft may use it with excessive care.
    Skipper Manfred Rausch aboard SV Balimara, Bonn Germany

    I too fell victim to this shortcut, having no problem navigating this at flooding tide going up river, tried it on the way back, and at red 4 found 3 feet needing 4. Sea Tow had to thread the needle to get to me with his motors tilted. Think markers need to be removed, or at least re-worked.
    Skipper Mike Williams aboard s/v Chardonnay

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the Channel Running from Cape Fear River Marker #41 to AICW Markers #162A

  • Update on Florida’s Pilot Program – Marathon, FL MPAC Meeting Held

    As usual, Captain Charmaine does a wonderful job of presenting her news. It’s really good to hear that, at least in the Florida Keys, it looks as if the Pilot Mooring Field Program will NOT result in severe anchorage time restrictions!

    July 31st, 2011
    Update on Florida’s Pilot Program
    Marathon, FL MPAC Meeting Held
    by Charmaine Smith Ladd
    Each month, Monroe County’s MPAC (Marine & Port Authority Committee) meets here in Marathon. The agenda often covers a variety of topics. The meeting of 27 July, last Wednesday evening, included the Pilot Program as part of the agenda. There were very few from the public in attendance, but that is not unusual. Most do not realize the MPAC meetings are open to the public. Before sharing what occurred, please note that the next meeting of the MPAC will be held on September 7th at 6:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Government Center, 27th & Overseas Highway, 2nd floor, on Bayside (just follow the road at 27th Street to the building).
    The general consensus of the Pilot Program’s impact on the Keys is quite reassuring to cruisers. It gives me great pleasure to report that the phrase “Less is more” was uttered often by Committee members in relation to the question of whether or not to enact City ordinances. There are very concerned committee members who are doing their best to do the right thing for this wonderful community. Boating is an integral part of what makes the city of Marathon attractive to tourism. Also on the agenda was a discussion about Marathon most likely becoming a Port-of-Entry. As Americans become free to travel to and from Cuba by air and sea; Marathon becoming a Port-of-Entry represents a boon to local tourism. We are a boater and cruiser friendly community.
    It was quite interesting to hear news shared by Committee members who attended a meeting held in Orlando of representatives of all five Pilot Program sites. The sites are: St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Stuart, and Monroe County. Those who reported back were in agreement that the other four sites are not taking the “Less is more” attitude towards anchoring in the waters of their respective cities as we here of Monroe County. Two of the sites have 10-day anchoring limits already being proposed as a solution to their problems.
    Time limits are out of the question as far as cruisers are concerned. Time limits are what cause cruisers to hurry. When one is under a time limit, many things have to be considered that shouldn’t be a concern. The first concern of any captain is vessel and crew safety as it pertains to weather windows and the seaworthiness and readiness of vessel and crew. This is what the right of navigation is all about and why it is upheld by Admiralty Law. Those who think they can pass such ordinances and not end up with a plethora of lawsuits are kidding themselves. One accident caused by being under the duress of having to hurry out of a city because of time limits will put an end to such nonsense.
    Those of you who want to cruise the waters of the sites that are not as considerate as the Keys, please take the time to attend all meetings that have the Pilot Program on their agendas. If you cannot attend, please write Boat US. Boat US speaks for the rights of America’s cruisers and recreational boaters–and there is power in numbers! It is not too late to get your voice heard before decisions that will negatively impact your right to anchor in these site areas are made into ordinance. Fortunately, Florida still has the Keys. Down here, life is looked at as free and easy. The people here are more laid back and steer away from the overdoses of governmental intrusions. Sure, we have some problems down here…but the laws on the books prior to the enactment of the Pilot Program are sufficient to address such. We need not go along with those who take the stance that prohibiting anchoring is the only course of action to solve issues in their waters. Safety should always be priority one. Anchoring time limits will impede the right of navigation and no doubt prove detrimental to the safety of cruisers.
    We cannot just sit and wait to see what transpires. Instead, we all must play an active role in making sure that the decisions made are ones that are in the best interest of we who navigate the waters. Pilot Programs have a way of becoming mainstream. Is that really what you want?
    Charmaine Smith Ladd
    SSECN Special Correspondent, Florida Keys
    “Bringing you the low down from down low!”
    http://www.SeptemberSea.com

    The ten day limits Charmaine tells us are proposed are exactly what many cruisers feared this pilot program would lead to.
    And Charmaine is right that these types of ordinances will lead to the type of grief that led Florida to enact 327.6. We need to immediately put a stop to this sort of thing from these municipalities.
    Cruiser action and involvement will be required for this to happen.
    Wally Moran

    Further to my previous post, I give seminars at several boat shows, including two here in Canada, on traveling south on the ICW. I generally speak to around 1000 cruisers each year in Canada and it is my intention to advise them that they should contact the various authorities in FL to convey their views on anchoring restrictions, and also to consider bypassing these communities should such restrictions be put in place. Hopefully, the threat of economic loss will put these politicians on notice that we will not accept their crap. We’ve fought them before and we can do so again.
    Wally Moran

    Hi Charmaine:
    Just a note to say Thank You very much for your reports and input to the cruising communitiy as well as your efforts on our behalf. Thank you for being close to the situation.
    Hopefully we will be able to get a chance to meet you and extend our thanks in person in the Keys this Winter. We will be at the Marathon Marina on Dec 1st for the Winter.
    You have a great website that I will be going back to enjoy what you have put up. Love the Sunset gallery.
    Fair Winds and safe Cruising
    Captains Helen & Bob
    lying Cocoa Village Marina, Cocoa, FL
    M/Y ALLEZ! MT50 WB

    Greetings, Helen and Bob! Thanks so very much for your kind words and appreciation. Looking forward to meeting you both in December!
    Hugs,
    Charmaine

    Anchoring restrictions that impede the safety of myself, my crew or vessel will be met with equal restrictions on the authorities travel, housing and safety. I cannot emphasize how strongly i feel the need to express my opinion that i took an oath to defend the constitution when i joined the service in 1974. Part of the constitution deals with maritime law. any officer,judge or other official who attempts to enforce a local ordinance contrary to the constitution and against me or my vessel or crew will be met with force since the supreme court has ruled that any law or ordinance in violation of the constitution is null and void. All the local authorities have to do is back off. I did not start this fight but i sure will be there to finish it
    Tim

    Submitted on 2011/08/21 at 4:41 pm

    I was surprised to learn from these reports that local ordinances are even in the picture – my superficial impression had been that the state law was enacted to provide one, uniform statewide law for both boaters and municipalities to comply with. Thanks, Charmaine for the clarification. If my understanding is correct, a “pilot program” is just the first step – ultimately the resulting legal framework will apply throughout the state once the “pilot” phase is complete. It’s not clear to me how each jurisdiction writing it’s own law not necessarily conforming to the state law is going to play our once the pilot phase is over.
    It is good to know the current Marathon powers that be are of the less is more variety, as in many places people get involved in government because they believe government is the solution to all our ills.
    A couple of years ago we were in the Virgin Islands where they have the same derelict boat issue. In “the lagoon” on the SE shore of St. Thomas there had been similar problems, and the authorities (federal I think, rather than local) came through a few years back with the litmus test that boats had to be able to get underway in 3 hours. Those that didn’t meet the standard were removed, I think using a one time grant from Uncle Sam. There were still a lot of boats there that many of us might consider derelict but at least it’s a way to define “navigable”. Our impression is the lagoon is where folks ended up that didn’t have enough money to make it to Coral Bay.
    Anyway, keep up the good work.
    Jim Kevern, S/V Ubiquitous

    Jim,
    Thank you for your well thought out and “spot on” comments. Many boaters and cruisers are totally confused because in the State of Florida we have the “liveaboard” and “non-liveaboard” definitions that cloud the issue as to whom will be affected by the Pilot Program. The Pilot Program opened the door for CRUISERS (boats that navigate are called “Non-liveaboards” whether or not one actually lives aboard). It is so true, this Pilot Program will run as a test for two years…but we know where that will lead. Cities all over Florida are installing mooring fields as I write this. The writing is on the wall.
    We must all speak up now, write to FWC and let them know we need options, not ordinances restricting our right to anchor outside of mooring fields. Some areas are talking about 2.5-nearly a 5 mile buffer zone around their mooring fields. Clearly, the Pilot Program overrides what the public demanded they wanted: FL Statute 327.60(2) to remain intact to protect our right to anchor outside mooring fields. The Pilot Program is the back door that many do not understand. B.A.R.R. (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities) has been established earlier this month to dispel the myths and get the truth out so CRUISERS will know what is happening and make their voices heard. The FWC is listening, they will do what the PUBLIC wants. Perhaps once and for all, the municipalities and areas that have a documented history of enacting illegal anchoring ordinances will finally realize they must stop. They do not know where to draw the line and are not creative enough to address the problem issues with current existing laws — instead, they want to regulate ALL boats. We do not have to allow this to occur.
    Claiborne has been very kind to tout my new Group, B.A.R.R. (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities) dedicated to protecting our anchoring rights and promoting responsible boating. I am proud to have him in my corner. I’ve been quite active with the Pilot Program since the beginning, and am also very proud that my efforts here in Monroe County are bringing an understanding to those in charge that less is indeed more! Whenever I speak at public meetings or in private with the powers that be, they all know I represent all of you here at SSECN as well.
    Please join B.A.R.R., as we have power in numbers. Spread the word! – I’m working hard on the website even today and will have more information up soon. We have a great Organization that is only a couple of weeks old but has nearly 500 members. In the meantime, please use the link at the BARR website to “Join Us at the BARR” on Facebook (called “Mariner’s Barr)! We have lots of documents there to help you keep your right to anchor. Many thanks!
    Hugs,
    Charmaine

  • Fort Pierce City Marina Waterway Cleanup Activities (Statute Mile 966.5)

    Take a gander at the two photos Captain Ann Maurer of Fort Pierce City Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) sent along, showing the removal of a “tiny, little tire” from the nearby Fort Pierce waters. The good Samaritans who got this thing out of the water had to carry flotation with them, stuff the tire with these floats, and then tow it back to the marina. There, Fort Pierce Public Works Department had to employ a CRANE to finally remove the tire. Boy, talk about trash along the AICW! This must be some sort of first in the way of size!

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Pierce City Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Pierce City Marina

  • Bio Diesel Now Available In the Florida Keys

    Another GREAT article authored by the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Florida Keys Special Correspondent, Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd. How great to hear the story of how Bio Diesel is now available in the Florida Keys!!

    July 16th, 2011
    Bio-Diesel Fuel Company in the FL Keys
    by Charmaine Smith Ladd
    My dear friend, Captain Jack Burnett, has lived in the Keys for nearly four decades. We have known one another and have been truly “family” for nearly nine years. He loves to talk of old times in the Keys and has been a plethora of local knowledge for me since first landing here. During all that time, I’ve only questioned one thing he’s ever shared with me: the recommendation of using discarded restaurant vegetable oil for running September Sea’s Yanmar diesel engine.
    Captain Jack has been running his 33-foot sailing vessel on the vegetable oil he obtains from local restaurant fryers for quite some time now. Vegetable oil from the fryers restaurants would otherwise discard is recycled by Captain Jack as he strains it and pours it into his boat’s fuel tank. He swears by it. He says his vessel actually has never run better!
    Well, Captain Jack was absolutely right! The proof is now making big news as Marathon fisherman, Jeff Lillie, has recently put his brainchild, Marathon Bio-Diesel, on the map as the first bio-diesel fuel company in the Keys. It took him seven years to do it, but he’s well on his way as the word spreads of the advantages of using recycled vegetable oil instead of diesel. Buyers use it not only to fuel their water crafts, but also as fuel for their automobiles and tiki torches! Some begin by using a 50% ratio of the bio-diesel with regular diesel. Many soon find, sometimes after some minor modifications, 100% bio-diesel is their fuel of choice! Captain Jack made no such modifications and uses 100% vegetable oil with no problems for years.
    It’s a different way to “Go Green,” that’s for sure. But Green is always a good thing when helping to preserve our natural resources.
    This writer must admit that the aroma of french fries while motoring is a remarkably refreshing improvement over the smell of burning diesel fuel. Besides…smelling french fries is almost as good as eating them; and inhaling involves no caloric content! Ha!

    [LINK IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE] http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/12/2315460_fill-it-up-with-biodiesel.html#storylink=addthis

    Charmaine Smith Ladd
    SSECN Special Correspondent, Florida Keys
    “Bringing you the low down from down low!”
    Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com

    Thank you for mentioning us in the Cruisers Net. We look forward to fueling up those who make it to the Florida Keys.
    Nancy Kukkue
    http://www.marathonbiodiesel.com

  • Florida Anchoring Regulations – The FEDERAL Dimension

    Most of us who have been involved in the Florida anchoring rights issue for more than a few years, know there is a Federal dimension to this issue. And, that issue is, many would argue, ONLY the Federal government, NOT states, counties or municipalities, can regulate “navigation,” AND anchoring is very much a part of “navigation.”
    In fact, several years ago, a fellow cruiser sued the city of Stuart, Florida in Federal Admiralty Court for prohibiting him/her from anchoring. Not only did the cruiser win the court case in question, but the city of Stuart had to pay all the cruisers’ attorney fees, and pay a sum of money for damages.
    So, while many of us have fought the fight for Florida anchoring rights on the state level, most of us have known there is a “fall back” line of defense by way of the Admiralty Courts. Captain Robert Driscoll lays out a good case below for the notion that only the Federal government can indeed regulate anchorage.
    This is very interesting input indeed! If there are any maritime lawyers out there reading this missive, PLEASE give us your input as well by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below!

    With the understanding that an informed public, in this case the boating public, is the best way to ensure the navigational freedom that we enjoy the follwoing is submitted.
    Anchoring is an act of navigation, navigation is under the jurisdiction of Admiralty Courts. Admiralty Courts exist only at the federal level.
    The laws of the United States are superior to state laws and state laws in conflict must yield. Likewise the Federal Court rulings are supreme.
    With the foregoing in mind consider the following rulings and laws which exist at the National Level, all of which are superior to any state legislation:

    U. S. Constitution, Article III, Sec 2.1
    “The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, … (and) to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction …”

    U.S. Supreme Court, Butler v. Boston Steamship Co. 130 US 557, 141 US 1, Detroit Trust Co. v. The Thomas Baslum 293 US 21, 42
    “As the constitution extends the judicial power of the United States to ‘all admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,’ and as this jurisdiction is held to be exclusive, the power of legislation on the same subject must necessarily be in the national legislature and not in the state legislatures.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart 253 US 149, 164
    “Congress cannot transfer its legislative power to the states, … by nature this in nondelegable.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Dawson 264 U.S. 219
    In responding to and overturning a lower court decision where a state was attempting to apply a local state law to all vessels which visit or navigate in the state the U.S. Supreme Court decreed: “This cause presents a situation where there was no attempt to prescribe general rules. On the contrary the manifest purpose was to permit any state to alter the maritime law, and thereby introduce conflicting requirements. To prevent this result the Constitution adopted the law of the sea as the measure of maritime rights and obligations. The confusion and difficulty if vessels were compelled to comply with the local statutes at every port, are not difficult to see. Of course, some within the states may prefer local rules, but the Union was formed with the very definite design of freeing maritime commerce from intolerable restrictions incident to such control. The subject is national. Local interests must yield to the common welfare. The Constitution is supreme.”

    U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol 30, 55th Congress, Sess 425, Sec. 10 states:
    “That the creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States is hereby prohibited; …”

    U.S. Supreme Court, State of Wisconsin v. State of Illinois 362 US 482
    The phrase “not affirmatively by Congress” as opposed to the phrase “affirmatively authorized by law” which was used in an earlier similar law (51st Congress …) makes mere state authorization inadequate.”

    U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Republic Steel Corp. I11 362 US 482
    The diminution of navigable capacity is an obstruction to navigation. “Obstruction to navigation is not limited to structures specifically, but also includes diminution of navigable capacity by other means.” {(personal comment) The State declaring areas where anchoring is not allowed is certainly a diminution of navigational capacity.}

    U.S. Law 28 USC 1333
    Admiralty jurisdiction covers every vessel under the American Flag, whether it is on the ocean or within the boundaries of a state, no matter what size or means of propulsion, or
    whether it is documented or not.

    Federal District Court, Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957 961
    “…’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.”

    Federal District Court, Hayn v. Culliford 3 C.P.Eiv 417
    “’navigation’ for some purpose, includes a period when a ship is not in motion, as, for instance, when she is at anchor.”

    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.”

    U.S. Law 33 USC 471 Chap 10
    “The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized, empowered, and directed to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessel in all harbors, rivers, bays and other navigable waters of the United States whenever it is manifest to the said secretary that the maritime or commercial interest of the United States require such anchorage grounds for the safe navigation….” {(personal comment) when the language “authorized, empowered, and directed” is used it implies sole authority to perform the named act. The Boating Public is a definite minority and it is only by the laws which exist in this country can navigational rights be preserved.}

    I agree that it is pretty clear that Federal law should rule, but the problem is that there is absolutely no political support for this at the state and local level, and no Federal entity, particularly the Coast Guard, wants to meddle in state and local affairs either. Now, if this were some issue that had broad national political support, like gun rights, you would have state and local politicians bending over backwards. Boaters are not organized or united politically, and because of the nature of the problem they are more likely to just move along to avoid the hassle. Plus, this mostly impacts transients, who have zero local political clout. Local and state officials answer to their constituents and supporters. Sure, they could be taken to court, at great expense, effort, time, and aggravation, but who wants to deal with that? Not many of us.
    No Name Supplied

    So, who is going to front the legal costs until the courts rule in a cruiser’s favor, and who is going to eat the costs when the courts don’t?
    While some folks who cruise Florida have very deep pockets, the most aggrieved in this situation are not so fortunate.
    In the absence of a “cruising rights defense fund” or some such construct, I’m not going to be lining up for a test case. I am not willing to double down with shrinking retirement funds on the skills of a government admiralty lawyer.
    The Bahamas are a short distance away and much more welcoming on their worst days.
    Chris

    Every cruiser, EVERY cruiser needs to know this. Spread this information to every boater you know, every boating forum, any way you can. Local authorities are over-stepping their boundaries with unjust and, as we now find out, illegal anchoring restrictions.
    Thank you, Claiborne
    Larry McDonald

    Claiborne,
    I am not an attorney but I used to pretend to be one at the local pubs on Saturday nights. But seriously, being involved in this issue in Florida for many years, it is my understanding that the Federal Government handed over the jurisdiction of the local Waterways to the States many years ago, with some exceptions. Those are mostly exceptions dealing with maintenance and navigational aids which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers. The States were given the authorization to pass laws and regulations and enforce those laws and regulations. It is then up to the individual States as to whether they would in turn allow municipalities or counties to pass and enforce further regulations. And this has been the deal breaker in trying to get these anchoring regulations overturned or thrown out in Federal Court. Now my recollections could be fuzzy, so perhaps a true expert can enlighten us.
    Chuck Baier

    The United States Supreme Court has said (see Knickerbocker v. Stewart above) that the federal government cannot, repeat cannot, delegate its legislative power to the states. In doing so it would not be the first time the Federal Legislature has passed a law that would later be found unconstitutional. Unfortunately for a law to be ruled unconstitutional it must first be presented to the court, unti it is the law remains in force.
    Robert Driscoll

    I, too remember something about the feds abdicatiog responsibility for anchoring. Maybe discovered by the woman in Daytona beach who started an organization???
    I know a couple of guys who served on the “Harbor Board here in the 80′s and 90′s I will ask them about their recollections.
    Bill Dixon

  • Port St. Joe Marina (Northern Gulf ICW, St. M. 328) Offers Annual Wet Slip Dockage Special

    Port St. Joe Marina is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!  This well appointed marina is accessed from the Northern Gulf ICW, between Apalachicola and Panama City, by cutting southwest on the Gulf County Canal, to the waters of St. Joseph Bay. It’s then only a short hop to the south to the marina’s well sheltered dockage basin. Trust us on this one fellow cruisers, seldom, if ever, will you find a more welcoming facility than Port St. Joe Marina. And now, year round slip renters get an even better deal!

    Cruising News:
    Special on Annual Dockage (Wet Slip Only), prepay for a wet slip, receive a 10% discount, 1 year free membership to SeaTow and 3 free months at the end of your contract

    Learn more at: http://psjmarina.com/

  • Florida Keys Marine Port Advisory Meeting Announced – Considering Pilot Mooring Field Program Regulations

    Our thanks to Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net’s special Florida Key correspondent, for cluing us in on this important meeting. It would appear that at this meeting the process of formulating anchorage regulations for the Keys, as part of the new Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program, will begin, hopefully taking into account the cruiser input from the three public forums held earlier. As I understand it, the public can attend and perhaps even provide input at Marine Port Advisory meetings, so PLEASE ATTEND IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!!!

    Hi Claiborne,
    Just received this from Rich Jones. I just got back onto the boat, but wanted to get this to you right away. I would think the other Keys area meetings will be in the same time frame, probably as before…three days in a row. I’ll do more checking on it. I got this because I asked Mr. Jones to keep me informed, and he has stayed true to his word. These meetings are the meat and potatoes…should not be missed. You know I’ll be there.
    Charmaine

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    AGENDA
    MARINE AND PORT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    PURSUANT TO Board of County Commission Resolution No. 057-1991 the Marine and Port Advisory Committee of Monroe County will conduct a meeting on July 27, 2011 beginning at 6:30 PM on the second floor of the Monroe County Office, located at the Marathon Government Center, 2798 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida.
    ADA ASSISTANCE: If you are a person with a disability who needs special accommodations in order to participate in this proceeding, please contact the County Administrator’s Office, by phoning (305) 292-4441, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., no later than ten (5) calendar days prior to the scheduled meeting; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call “711”.

    MARINE AND PORT ADVISORY MEMBERS

    Pete Worthington, Chair
    Mimi Stafford, Vice-Chair
    Kent Edwards
    Phil Goodman
    William Hunter
    Paul Koisch
    Pam Martin
    Richard Tanner
    Sandy Walters
    Pat Wells

    STAFF
    Richard Jones, Sr. Administrator

    CALL TO ORDER
    PUBLIC MEETING
    1. Approval of Minutes from the March 1, 2011 MPAC Meeting
    2. Discussion of a US Customs Port of Entry at Marathon Airport
    3. Discussion of dredging needs in the Keys
    4. Discussion of Pilot Program for Anchoring & Mooring:
    a) Review of the June 7-9 Stakeholder Workshops
    b) Consensus building in addressing anchoring issues
    c) Prepare a report to the BOCC regarding ordinance development
    5. Committee Discussion
    6. Adjournement

    Update From Captain Charmaine As of 7/14/11
    Senior Administrator, Mr. Rich Jones, is truly a valuable asset to the cruising, boating, liveaboard and entire community of Marathon and the Keys as a whole. After speaking with him by phone yesterday, he assured me there will be no write up of ordinances at the time of the meeting on the 27th. The meeting will focus on a number of issues (see Agenda above) and open for feedback and discussions involving the public: including the Pilot Program. With regard to the Pilot Program, Rich Jones and others involved very much want to take their time on this particular issue and get as much input from the community as possible before proposing any type of ordinances.
    It was apparent when speaking with Mr. Jones, that the Keys should be viewed as “boater friendly” and the consensus with the Commission here is that they all very much desire that boater friendliness to be known. Florida has taken a lot of bad press with their unfriendliness towards cruisers and anchoring, with good reason. But the Keys are different!
    The main issues here in the Keys are how to address the problems associated with derelict boats and vessels anchored in dangerous proximity of dragging into the mooring field during Nor’easters. I certainly agree with those as problems and feel confident they can be remedied without hinderingothers who are not part of those problems. The anchorage areas in question are very small and should be manageable without much difficulty. Homemade moorings made of engine blocks and the like are indeed a detriment to the environment throughout the Keys and also need be addressed (especially in the Boca Chica area); and ensuring proper sanitation devices are used to keep our waters clean are also major concerns. All responsible boaters have the very same concerns.
    At this point, the powers that be in the Keys seem to be very aware of cruisers needing the right of navigation and the option to anchor. I am hoping the Keys will prove to be a model of how the Pilot Program sites can stay within the realm of sense rather than be used as a tool to create unnecessary nonsensical ordinances that ultimately will lead to hampering safe navigation and inconvenience cruisers and recreational boaters.
    However, the public has to play an active role in what happens down here. Please attend the meeting on the 27th if you possibly can. If you cannot, then write to Rich Jones so your voice can be heard. Let he and the Commission here know you are aware they have our best interest in mind when making decisions and it is appreciated. There are problems here that will be addressed, but as I see it from those on the panel I have had the pleasure to speak with at length, one-on-one…they are listening and have the best interest of cruisers and boaters in mind. Richard Tanner, at the helm overseeing Boot Key Harbor, has been very vocal with his firsthand knowledge as a former cruiser that anchoring must always be an option here in BKH to ensure safe navigation. With Jones and Tanner highly involved in the Pilot Program process, among other advocates on the panel who also do not want to overreach, Marathon has excellent Marine and Port Advisory members. We are very fortunate to have them on our watch as cruisers, recreational boaters and liveaboards, as they are quite determined to make sound decisions in the best interest of the entire community.
    Marathon will soon become a Port-of-Entry with lots of International travelers coming through to check-in. Boot Key Harbor is known all over as the friendliest Harbor in the Keys. I have a feeling it won’t be long before all of the Keys will be known as the friendliest boating destination in all of Florida.
    The other Pilot Program sites should be watched with diligence. Let your voice be heard. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Iowa or California, the beautiful waters of America’s Caribbean are here for all Americans as well as travelers of the world. It is not owned by us but put in our trust for all to be able to enjoy. Help us do just that.
    Hugs,
    Charmaine

    Thanks Charmaine for looking out for the interests of cruisers. The problem I see with all of these efforts to regulate anchoring is that they use the excuse that they just want to deal with the derelict boat problem, when in reality there are many other laws and regulations that could already be enforced to take care of those issues. What is needed is the will to enforce the existing statutes–sanitation, registration, etc.–while leaving cruisers free to go about their business. Requiring people to register, pay fees, undergo inspections, etc. in order to obtain some sort of permit to anchor is just as onerous as outlawing anchoring all together. Anchoring is about freedom to move about as one pleases, using one’s own resources, while treading lightly on our wonderful natural resources. Let’s keep it that way.
    John Kettlewell

    John,
    You and are on the same page. What you have stated is exactly why there is no real need for the Pilot Program. The problem issues in our Harbors and near shore waters can be dealt with by using laws which already existed prior to the enactment of the Pilot Program. The Pilot Program was put there specifically to open the door for local municipalities to regulate cruisers by way of ordinances. [The Pilot Program is exempt from the FL Statute which otherwise protects cruisers right of navigation and anchoring (FL Statute 327.60(2)].
    It is quite obvious the Pilot Program’s origin comes from a very few who want no anchoring (“visual intrusions” from their waterfront homes) in their Harbors (Sarasota Bay immediately comes to mind) and hide behind other sites to give them legitimacy. Using the public’s tax dollars to implement the Pilot Program to appease a few politically connected individuals is beyond ridiculous; as not only is it dishonest in its true objectives, but a misuse of public funds better spent for the benefit of a majority of taxpayers. It stinks to high heaven!
    Fortunately, I truly believe we down here in the Keys see the Pilot Program for what it is: a ruse for a very few to get what they want at the expense of the freedoms of others. We are cruiser friendly down here in the Keys, whether moored or anchored, and I do not see that changing.
    Perhaps as the ruse of the Pilot Program is unraveled and more understood by the general public (footing the bill), then those who have perpetuated it will realize there could be deeper investigations into whether or not the Pilot Program was ever a necessity to reach its stated objectives. If deemed not to be a necessity, then the question will be: What then is its actual purpose? That’s when those behind it with hidden agendas will scatter and run for cover.
    Charmaine

  • A Homemade Solution For CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Aboard

    One thing we are learning loud and clear while putting the Cruisers’ Net’s LPG/CNG Availability Directories together, is that Compressed Natural Gas is available in very, very few places along the coastal waters of the Southeastern United States. And, that’s too bad, as CNG is lighter than air, while LPG (Propane) is heavier, and a leak can potentially pool an explosive quantity of propane on your galley floor or in the bildge. Conversely, a CNG leak is far less serious, as the gas will rise and hopefully dissipate.
    Well, Captain Denise Gill has come up with an innovative to get CNG aboard. It takes some ingenuity, and some work (and money), but Denise’s idea is certainly interesting!!!

    Good Morning,
    I just looked over your site listing all the marinas along NC and the fuel offerings. Great job. I certainly appreciate all of the hard work and time that went into putting all of that together.
    I would like to let you know about CNG and how this too can be obtained though potentially not as easily as propane is as propane has become the defacto fuel these days ~ even though CNG is bar far a safer fuel to cook with (lighter than air).
    Any municipality that fuels their fleets ie: buses, trucks etc, and taxis or any other “green” vehicles that use CNG, well they have a CNG pump that is open to the public. Where I live in Maryland ~ Montgomery County ~ we have such a place. It is a County fueling site for gasoline and diesel but now there is also access to CNG. You simply scan your credit card and punch in the pump number and then fill up.
    There are two sides to the CNG pump. One is for 3600 psi and the other is for 3000 psi. I own a 34 foot sailboat that cooks with CNG. I have made an adaptor that allows me fill my CNG tank at this fuel fill. Where we used to have to do a “tank exchange” costing anywhere from $50 to $100 per tank, I now completely fill up my own tank for $1.25. The cost of making the adaptor ~ getting the various parts was about $225 and I have more than made back that initial outlay over the several years I have been filling the tank myself.
    I realize that geography will be the killer to our access to municipal CNG fuel sites along the ICW. But as we go forward I offer all of the above as one more option that in some locals may be convenient. Just as propane users carry spare tanks, so do CNG users.
    Very kind regards,
    Denise Gill
    s/v First Point of Aries

    By the way, the parts list for making your own CNG adapter can be obtained here:
    http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=CNG_Refill_Adapter

    Good Morning,
    Thanks very much for you nice email and for this posting. While I would love to take the credit for putting this parts list together, I merely downloaded it from our Catalina 34 website and share it with anyone else who might be inclined. I figure if I could make it, it certainly can’t be too difficult. I believe, as we go forward with “clean energy” CNG availability will increase.
    Again, thanks and I enjoy reading the Cruiser’s Net!
    Kind Regards,
    Denise

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