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  • HUGE VICTORY FOR THE CRUISING COMMUNITY – Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Sets St. Augustine Anchoring Limit at 30 Days (NOT 10 Days!)

    At approximately 1:00 pm today, 11/17/11, we received a telephone call from our very special Florida Keys Correspondent, Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd. Charmaine passed along a detailed report on today’s FWC meeting in Key Largo, Florida, which had just adjourned. This gathering was called specifically to consider St. Augustine’s request for a 10 day anchoring limit on their corporate waters, outside the city mooring field.
    The only people to speak were Captain Charmaine, representing both BARR (Boater’s Anchoring Rights and Responsibilities) and the SSECN, Bonnie Bashem, representing Boat/US, and a representative from the city of St. Augustine.

    According to Captain Charmaine, the St. Augustine representative, as you would expect, requested approval of the already much discussed 10-day anchoring limit for the waters outside of the city mooring field, while both Bonnie and Charmaine argued for a longer time limit. In fact, Charmaine asked for a 90-day limit.

    The final result of the meeting was a DENIAL OF ST. AUGUSTINE’S REQUEST FOR A 10-DAY LIMIT, AND, INSTEAD, A THIRTY (30) DAY LIMIT WAS APPROVED. Vessels which want to anchor in St. Augustine waters for longer than 30 days must leave the corporate waters for at least 24-hours, and they can then return for another 30 days.

    Now, I know some will say there should be no anchoring time limit at all, and I, for one, am not about to argue against that point of view. HOWEVER, IN LIGHT OF WHAT 24 HOURS AGO APPEARED TO BE A VIRTUAL CERTAINTY THAT ANCHORING IN ST. AUGUSTINE WAS ABOUT TO BE LIMITED TO 10 DAYS, THE DENIAL OF ST. AUGUSTINE’S REQUEST, AND THE IMPOSITION OF A 30 DAY TIME PERIOD INSTEAD, MUST BE SEEN AS A HUGE VICTORY FOR THE CRUISING COMMUNITY!

    I might also add, that this decision shows me that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission IS keeping the needs of cruisers in mind, at least somewhat, as the process of approving local anchorage regulations for those communties (or counties) involved in the Pilot Mooring Field Program, goes forward!

    The cruising community owes of a HUGE debt of thanks to Boat/US and Bonnie Bashem, Captain Charmaine and the hundreds and hundreds of cruisers who have bombarded the FWC and the St. Augustine City Government with e-mails.

    However, the fight is most surely NOT over yet. There are still details to be worked out in St. Augustine, and there are four more Pilot Mooring Field Program sites for which anchorage regulations are yet to be approved.

    So, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net’s advice is STAY VIGILANT! In the meantime, though, let’s all bask in this victory, for at least a few moments!

    As you might imagine, comments have been POURING in to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net since the above article was published. So many, in fact, that we have had to establish a separate page so that everyone’s words can be displayed. Please click on the link below, and discover what your fellow cruisers have to say on this HOT topic:

    /?p=74985

    I have been contacted in the past month by a group whom are trying to stop the anchoring in Sarasota Bay. So heads up and look out for the next boom of protest to prohibiting boaters their rights.
    Captain Kat Luchene

    I agree that having to move your boat once every 30 days is a small inconvenience for boats cruising Florida waters compared to having to move it once every 10 days.
    For sailboats it is even less of an inconvenience. I am thinking that the captain who is anchored waiting to get a part shipped for his engine so that he can continue cruising his powerboat is at a disadvantage unless he can get a friendly tow.
    I too am fed up with abandoned boats sinking in our anchorages. Boats need to be stored on land and used on the water. Just as automobiles are not stored on public highways. http://www.gibsondrydock.com
    My Cal 2-29 is on a private mooring in the St Johns River. It is moved at least twice a month but seldom for a 24 hour period. That is the one aspect of this that has me in disagreement. I am more concerned that an anchored boat is being used by its owner than how long it has to be moved from its anchorage. If the owner is aboard once a month, leaves the anchorage and returns, problems may be corrected before the boat becomes a hazard.
    David Burnham

    Thank you for this very important and needed update!
    helmut g. kramer MD,MSc

  • No Free Pumpout at Jarrett Bay Marine Industrial Park, AICW Statute Mile 197

    Jarrett Bay Marine is located on the eastern shores of ICW-Core Creek passage, south of flashing daybeacon #19.

    Cruising News:
    Buyers beware! We were in need of fuel, water & a pump out on our way south on the ICW. We checked our BoutUS Member Services Guide for a convient location our our way to Beaufort, NC. We found that the Jarrett Bay Boatworks offered a free pump out and it was right on the way. Since we had been there several time on our way north & south, we decided to pull in for the works. Well, the works is what we got! They were busy hauling a large yacht and were told we wanted to pump it out ourself, that would be OK. We did and went to the fuel dock for diesel and water. When I went into the office to pay, I then found out that the charge for a pump out is $30.00!!!!! When my wife called them they said they never offered a free pump out and the book is incorrect. Needless to say, I got the “works” that day. But, they have also lost me as a fuel customer. Buyers Beware!
    Capt. Mike

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Jarrett Bay Marine

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jarrett Bay Marine

  • North Yacht Basin Basin/Vinoy Basin Closed to Anchoring (Tampa Bay, Western Shore – St. Petersbrug, FL)


     Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350

    St. Petersburg was selected some time ago as one of five sites for the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program. And, it was previously announced their mooring field would be located in the North Yacht Basin/Vinoy Basin, which borders on the northern side of the huge St. Petersburg Municipal Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) and just south of the Renaissance Vinoy Resort Marina.
    It appears that construction is about to begin on this mooring field, and, consequently, the city of St. Petersburg is asking all the anchored vessel in the Vinoy Basin to leave.

    Cruising News:
    JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH THE ST PETERSBURG HARBOR MASTER’S OFFICE. NO ANCHORING ALLOWED IN THE VENOY BASIN DUE TO “CONSTRUCTION”. AREA IS CLOSED TIL AFTER JAN 2012. MOORINGS ARE BEING PUT IN. QUESTION I WOULD LIKE TO ANCHOR NEARBY. ANY SUGGESTIONS???
    THIS BASIN IS NOW CLOSED TO ANCHORING TIL JAN 2012 . REASON GIVEN BY MUN MARINA IS “CONSTRUCTION” NEW MOORINGS.
    WHERE ELSE CAN WE GO?? ANY IDEAS?? I AM HEADING THERE ON DEC 1?? THE “VENOY BASIN IS GREAT . WE LOST ANOTHER ANCHORAGE.
    CAPT. BILL O’MALLEY

    SEMI OFFICIAL PRICE IS $25/DAY. LIKE EVERYTHING THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE BUT WAS WRITTEN UP FOR THE “PLAN”
    Bill

    Of course, one alternative is to dock at the St. Pete Muncipal Marina. This is one of the largest, and best managed city facilities it has ever been my privilege to review, and, as mentioned above, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR.
    There are some other anchorages available on central Tampa Bay’s western shores. I have listed links to those havens below. HOWEVER, none are anything like being as convenient and as close to good shoreside support as the Vinoy Basin.

    Little Bayou Southerly Anchorage:
    /?p=4836

    Little Bayou Northern Anchorage:
    /?p=4835

    Big Bayou Anchorage:
    /?p=4834

    Coffeepot Bayou Outer Anchorage:
    /?p=4832

    Coffeepot Bayou Inner Anchorage:
    /?p=4831

    Smacks Bayou Outer Anchorage:
    /?p=4830

    Smacks Bayou Mid Anchorage:
    /?p=4829

    Smack Bayou Inner Anchorage:
    /?p=4828

    Smacks Bayou South Side Anchorage:
    /?p=4827

    Well, I can answer one of Captain Bill’s questions below. To my knowledge, the ONLY ONE of the above described anchorages with dinghy dock access is the Big Bayou Anchorage. At the back of Big Bayou is a public launching ramp, where you can tie your dinghy off temporarily. And, as a plus, several GOOD restaurants are to be found within walking distance. In particular is Munch’s Restaurant (727-896-5972), one block south. Both breakfast and lunch (open 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) are terrific.
    Now for the bad news. I would not even begin to try and navigate a 7-foot draft vessel into Big Bayou! Captains piloting vessels drawing 5 feet or less, however, may find these waters a a good, or at least acceptable, alternative.

    THE COFFEEPOT AND SMACKS BAYOU ANCHORAGES ARE POSSIBILITIES W/ GOOD DEPTH IF U CAN GET TO THEM. THE CHARTS DO NOT SHOW A CHANNEL THAT CAN PROVIDE ACCESS FOR MY 7′ DRAFT. HAS ANYONE BEEN ABLE, WHERE AND WHERE CAN U GO ASHORE? IS THIS A CASE OF DELIBERATELY NOT PROVIDING ACTUAL DEPTH .
    Bill

    The FWC Pilot Program is supposed to improve water access – I fail to see how limiting anchoring is ‘improving’ access. This is another of the Florida anchorages we are losing due to this program.
    Wally Moran

    MAYBE DEMANS LANDING. SOUTH YACHT BASIN COULD BE USED TEMPORARILY. GOOD DEPTH, HOWEVER THE ST. PETE SAILING CLUB GOES IN AND OUT OF THERE REGULARLY, PARTICULARLY THE KIDS. MIGHT BE ABLE TO ANCHOR CLOSE TO THE BREAKWALL.
    Sam Warr

    Thanks Sam the South Basin has the depth but is the airport closeness a probem? i’ll try it. Thanks
    Bill

    We have anchored in the Vinoy Basin on and off since 1986 when we first came to Florida. We used to dinghy ashore to visit the museums, shops, and grab a bite to eat about 20 or 30 times a year. Frequently, our stays were just for the day allowing us to spend our money in town. Regretfully, we will now have to find a different favorite place to go.
    Eileen Colon

    There is a small anchorage just south of the mun marina at the Harborage Marina in downtown St. Pete at the location on this link: http://www.harboragemarina.com/location.php.
    No mooring balls; use your own ground tackle and dinghy to the marina or to a sand bar at the USFSP campus and walk to town. We live aboard at the marina. Good protection and depth and easy access to Tampa Bay and the ICW.
    Bart
    M/V DEWLAP
    DeFever 49 CMY

    What will the rules and rates be upon completion?
    Bruce W. Watters

  • Happy Words About Smokehouse Bay Anchorage (Marco Island, Florida – south of Naples, FL)

    To successfully enter the excellent anchorage on Marco Island’s Smokehouse Bay, you must make your approach via a well marked, but exacting channel which cuts off from the southern approach to Capri Pass Inlet and runs through the easterly reaches of Collier Bay. Some low water depths on this approach run as thin as 4 1/2 feet (in one spot), but if you can get past these shallows, your reward will be one of the most sheltered anchor down spots in southwestern Florida, with good shoreside access! Follow the links below to learn more!

    Whole heartily endorse the anchorage in Smokehouse Bay on Marco (this is where the Esplanada is. Dinghy under the bridge and Winn-Dixie has a dingy dock you can use. There is also a great Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays – we always plan to hit there on our way through.
    Marty & Jerry Richardson

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

    Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
    Centered on the Location of This Anchorage:

  • Sunken Chain Reported West of Crystal River Barge Canal (Florida’s Big Bend Region), 11/14/11

    We have plotted the reported position of the “sunken chain” detailed in the cherry picked “Local Notice to Mariners” below, and it lies some 1.6 nautical miles west, of the westernmost of the barge canal markings which eventually split into two marked passages farther to the east. All these complicated channels are found between the Crystal and Withlacoochee Rivers.
    Cruisers plying the Big Bend region between the Crystal and Withlacoochee Rivers should avoid this hazard, and be on the lookout for the “danger sign” described below, which marks this obstruction.
    The Salty Southeast Crusiers’ Net is establishing a Navigational Alert for these waters.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-CRYSTAL RIVER TO HORSESHOE POINT: Hazard to Navigation.
    The Coast Guard received a report of an anchor 450ft of chain dropped 20NM west of Crystal River Barge Canal in approximate position 28-55.5N – 082-59.9W. A 24” buoy and a danger sign are marking the hazard. Mariners are requested to exercise caution while transiting the area [Ref STP BNM 1148-11] Chart 11408

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at The Reported Position of the Sunken Chain Described Above

  • Reports of Shoaling in Little Mud River, AICW Statute Mile 655

    Little Mud River is almost universally acknowledged to be the worst section of the AICW, some 21 statute miles north of Brunswick, Georgia. We have several reports of depths in this problem stretch.

    MM655, Little Mud River, I found similar depths as on previous runs.
    9’MLW north of G193
    8’MLW 100′ off G193
    5’MLW by the charted wreck
    7’MLW 100′ off R194
    5′ to 6′ MLW half way between G195 and the range marker
    Once on the range depths increase rapidly to 10+MLW
    MM683, Jekyll Creek, 7′ MLW is as shallow as I saw mostly near G19 and along the range. I passed about 150′ off G19 then turned on range (was northbound). Stayed on the range till past R16 ( passed about 75′ away) then split R16 with the southernmost range marker. No change from previous trips
    MM704, Cumberland Dividings, all Markers have finally been moved and are marking the shoal on the red side. 12 to 15MLW throughout.
    Capt. Pascal Gardemer

    Thanks to CruisersNet and Captain Pascal, who reported on the Little Mud River just a few days ago. We anchored at the South River to wait for a rising tide, proceeding through at 2 hours after low tide. We saw very low water (no more than 5.5′ before R 196; did touch bottom with our 5′ keel. Also saw very low water (5′) just before #198.
    Eve-Marie & crew of s/v Flash

    I passed through the Little Mud River in early October at dead low tide with no current. Stayed in center of channel and never saw LESS THAN 9.3 FEET; Crawled through at 3.5knots because of all the reports of shallow water and shoaling. This is the best I have ever seen it!
    Skipper Bill Lucas

    Claiborne
    Transited (11/14/11) Little Mud River 1520-1540, 1 1/2 hour before low tide, +1.8′ (low tide at Rockdedundy River, daymark 185 @ 1700 +1.0′). Lots of skinny water. Best water appears to be on the green side, left of center going south. Saw depths as low as 7.2′ (5.4′ @ low). One sailboat aground just on right side of center channel about midway between R194 and range light QR. We made 7.5 mph with opposing current and let the boat steer toward the best water, which was close to the bank. One plus with low water is that you can make out the edge of the channel.
    Michael Horowitz (M/V ALTAIR)

    Just came thru Mud River today 11/14/2011 starting at the north end about 8:am with 6 ft of tide. Prior to starting thru I noticed on AIS that the passanger ship Independence at over 200 feet in length and 8.5 feet in draft was entering the river from the south end. We decided to wait for it to come up thru and while we did I watched it on AIS and learned where to find the best depth.
    The ship came up the river staying well to the green side all the way.
    On our passage we did the same in reverse and found 6ft MLW between 192 and 193. Then 6 to 7 ft MLW between 193 and 195. Then 8 to 9 ft MLW from 195 to 198. All on the green side of the channel. This appears to be quite a bit more than some crusiers have found.
    Dennis Lawrence aboard S/V Thate Wata
    Catalina 42 Mk 2 Hull 758
    Draft 6ft 10in

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Little Mud River

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

  • Confirmation Received of Marker # Change At AICW/Bogue Inlet Intersection (Statute Mile 227)

    On 11/20/11, I asked for help from the cruising community concerning the report below by Captain Jerry, that the Bogue Inlet channel aid to navigation, hard by the AICW/Bogue Inlet intersection, has changed its numbering from #21 to #20. I’m glad to report that Captain Eilenn has responded!
    This is a BIG DEAL, as the Bogue Inlet/AICW intersection has long been an “AICW Problem Stretch.” Not only is perennial shoaling a problem here, but the inland-most marker on the Bogue Inlet channel is often mistaken for an AICW aid to navigation. This mis-identification often leads to groundings.
    And, the important point is that this newly numbered marker #20 is NOT an AICW navigational marker. Ignore it, and follow ONLY the Waterway buoys and daybeacons!

    The mark to be ignored at Bogue inlet is “20″, not “21″. It floats between “45″ and “45A”.
    Jerry on Suncatcher

    Cruising News:
    Definitely a red nun #20 between 45 and 45A
    Admiral Eileen
    ANKERS AWAY

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Bogue Inlet Channel Intersection

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

  • Port Royal Landing Marina Announces Cruisers’ Thanksgiving Dinner (Statute Mile 540)

    Boaters are our business and our only business. We are located directly on the ICW, and offer Exceptional Lowcountry facilities and hospitality. The Beaufort/Port Royal area is a beautiful and historiWhat a wonderful, wonderful service by an excellent marina, and these good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

    PRLM will have its annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Cru38-port-royal-landing-marinaisers. Dinner will be at 1:00 Thanksgiving day.The marina will furnish smoked turkeys,bring your favorite side to share and eating utensils. PRLM is offering a fall special; stay 2 nights get the 3rd one free. For more information contact Capt Bill Mote; 843 592 3344.
    Capt Bill Mote
    S/V Eclipsse

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Port Royal Landing Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Port Royal Landing Marina

  • Use East Pass Inlet (near Dog Island and Carrabelle, FL), Not Government Cut Inlet (near Apalachicola, FL) When Cruising to or From the FL Panhandle

    Here’s an important message for all cruisers plying the waters of the eastern Florida Panhandle, and especially for those looking to the cross Florida’s “Big Bend” section. I agree wholeheartedly with Captain Tom that East Pass is far more reliable than Government Cut, and his recommendations about the WONDERFUL anchorages along the northern shores of Dog Island, are right on the money!!!

    Each year I give the recommendation of using the East Pass to enter the Gulf, not Government Cut closer to Apalachicola. Government Cut is a man made access to the Gulf and Mother Nature keeps laughing as she pushes the sand back the way she wants it. After a dredging, the Cut is deep enough but sometimes it doesn’t stay that way for very long. The second major reason for recommending East Pass is that anchorages are nearby, on the north side of Dog Island. A good strategy is to come across Apalachicola Bay, stick your bow out to the sea buoy at East Pass to create a GPS track line, then anchor for the night. By following the track line in the dark, you can feel assured you have a clear line to get into the deeper waters of the Gulf. Lastly, the distance across the Gulf is the shortest from East Pass and your vessel will be closer to land for some wave protection. Even for those boats going around the Big Ben, enter the Gulf at East Pass,
    Stay safe,
    Tom

    We came southeast from Apalachicola to John’s Pass (just N of Sarasota) on 11/8-9/2011. We were following a deeper-draft sailboat out Government Cut (had not read this posting, and they do this every year…), when they slewed strongly to starboard and came to a stop. They were able to power off and continue. We are a catamaran, loaded for cruising, with a draft about 2’11″ and WE also bumped in that spot. It was well within the channel, not in the riprap-protected part of the cut, but farther in toward the bay, where it’s sandy. Position was 29 37.25′N: 084 57.768′W and depth registered at under 3 feet.
    So stay much closer to the greens than the red markers when transiting the sandy “inner” extent of this cut, and when we go back, we will probably give East Pass a try! Thanks, all.
    Heather and Derek
    S/V Parallax

    I was fishing in Government Cut this past Sunday, Nov. 13, and can attest to the fact that the channel there has shoaled just inside (bay side) of the cut, as it often does. A large recreational boat ran aground briefly at close to low tide, but was able to get underway again promptly. As an aside, it was very rough in the cut due to a rapidly falling tide and southerly winds. Using East Pass provided a much more sheltered passage and, I imagine, an easier time exiting the bay into the gulf.\
    John Watson

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

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

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