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    • 18. Factory Bay Anchorage

      18. Factory Bay Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 25 57.773 North/081 43.447 West
      Location: lies southwest of unlighted daybeacon #6
      Minimum Depth: 5 ½ feet
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 48 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: good, but a bit open to strong northern winds

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (3)

      1. ron -  May 26, 2010 - 2:18 pm

        We’ve spent weeks at Factory Bay waiting for weather. It is well protected and you have access to everything you need. The bottom is all mud and if you have a Danforth, it won’t hold in a blow. We dragged twice with two hooks set-Danforth and Fortress, in a blow and had to change to our heavier plow to dig and sink in the mud for a good hold. Also, if you stay a bit longer than anticipated, your anchor rode will be studded with tiny seashells and a muddy mess when you pull the hook.

        Reply to ron
      2. Capt. RL& Karen -  December 16, 2009 - 11:17 am

        We anchored between R14 & G15 along with 2 other boats on Monday 12/14/09, just across from the Snook Restaurant. Lots of water and had entertainment for the evening. Just follow the markers into Capri Pass…lots of water here. Will definitely come back.
        Capt. RL & Karen
        s/v Last Call
        45′ Island Trader, ketch

        Reply to Capt.
      3. Claiborne -  August 28, 2009 - 8:42 am

        I’ve been into Factory Bay twice this year and each time the police pass, wave and keep going. There have always been other boats anchored there, as well.
        Jake Dye

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 18A. Smokehouse Bay – Marco Island Anchorage


      Smokehouse Bay – Marco Island Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: 25 57.416 North/081 43.818 West
      Location: entrance channel cuts south from the Marco Island – Capri Pass channel between markers #12 and #14
      Minimum Depth: 4 1/2 feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 48 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: Very Good

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (10)

      1. Jim Merritt -  May 18, 2015 - 12:32 pm

        Anchored twice in Smokehouse Bay in May of this year (2015) and found the bay and the holding excellent. The Winn Dixie dock around the corner under the bridge was very convenient. The only note I would add that isn’t in the previous postings is that the navigation markers from the pass through Collier bay on the chart plotter do not match what is actually there. The marked channel runs out at “12” with three possible directions. Take the residential channel directly ahead and after going around a bend you will see smokehouse bay and “13”.

        SV Latitude Adjustment

        Reply to Jim
      2. Lee Oldershaw -  May 1, 2014 - 1:20 pm

        Smokehouse Bay has a fairly narrow 3′ mlw bar running north south in the center of the north half of the bay. Depths outside this bar around the edges of the bay are typically 12′ in soft, smelly mud. There’s plenty of room to anchor away from the bar in the eastern half of the bay away from the entry channel that heads south to the marina. The shallowest spot is in entrance route in the eastern corner of Collier Bay at 25 57.955N, 81 43.900W. Keep away from the marker R2 and hug the seawalls as you make the turn to starboard but watch for outbound vessels that don’t know why you’re doing that. A 6′ draft can be carried to the bay.
        The bar in Smokehouse Bay can be faintly seen in the aerial view of the Collier County Property Appraisers GIS web site at http://www.collierappraiser.com/webmap/Map.aspx?ccpaver=1.9.2&msize=L when you zoom in. The cloudy water on the west side of the bay is not shallow.
        Lee Oldershaw

        Reply to Lee
      3. Ken & Alta -  March 14, 2014 - 3:33 am

        Dear Cruisers, I’ve been reading your posts re: Smokehouse Bay in Marco Is.. Unfortunately, nobody has mentioned (or I haven’t noticed) the boat types involved. Our vessel is a 43′ Beneteau with a 5’7″ draft; would any of you be able to confirm to me the suitability of Smokehouse for our vessel? We appreciate your time and wish all fair winds. Ken & Alta (SV Alta Gracia)

        Reply to Ken
      4. Lee Oldershaw -  August 5, 2013 - 9:06 am

        After being advised by the Marco Is. city attorney, that the Esplanade Marina was in violation of PUD agreements by restricting public docking at the Marina in Smokehouse Bay, The management entity of the Esplanade complex has advised the marina staff to cease enforcing the restriction that public dock users can only use the dock while patronizing Esplanade businesses. The signs should be removed shortly and the city of Marco should be accessible from the Esplanade dock. The “Dumas Gang” of the successful Marco anchoring challenge participated in this effort by researching documents and bringing them to the city’s notice. The City of Marco Island was on the boaters side this time.
        Lee Oldershaw

        August 7, 2013
        With the dawn of a new day, the Esplanade Marina Association has not yet complied with the request by Commercial Realty Corporation ( CRC ), the commercial owner of the 8 public slips to remove the restrictive docking signage. I don’t know how much longer this will be in limbo. There is some indication they may be intransigent about the issue. The City of Marco Island and CRC seem to be in agreement that the current docking restrictions do not conform to the Land Use Summary of the 1998 Development Agreement. We’ll keep you informed.
        Lee Oldershaw

        Reply to Lee
      5. Lee Oldershaw -  May 20, 2013 - 1:21 pm

        This is one of the best small town harbors in Florida. When entering Smokehouse Bay from the north, keep on the west side of the bay. There is a narrow, north-south 3′ MLW mud shoal in the center of the north half of the bay. The shoal can be circumnavigated on the edges of the bay. Depths are mostly 9-12′ in slimy mud; be prepared to hose down when retrieving your ground tackle. Allow your anchor to set a while before setting as the mud is soft and deep. There is a dinghy dock at the south end and you are within walking distance of anything you desire; West Marine, hardware store, Winn-Dixie ( dinghy dock ), rental car, many restaurants, propane, etc. On island taxi’s are about $7. We’ve lived here 34 years and if we didn’t live here, this would be our premier cruising destination now that anchoring is unrestricted.
        Lee Oldershaw

        Reply to Lee
      6. Marty & Jerry Richardson -  November 15, 2011 - 10:50 am

        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

        Reply to Marty
      7. Herman -  February 24, 2011 - 3:30 pm

        I read your listing of Smokehouse Bay. And I was happy to see it. This is the best anchorage on the west coast of Florida. The chart you have bears no resemblance to reality. I don’t know if there is a more recent one, I am going to have to look around, if you are interested. There are all new markers which were put in when the marina was built. The channel is very well marked. Coming in from the Marco River it typically 8+ feet. The only shallow spot is by the first turn to starboard which is 5+ or so feet at dead low tide. The water is the deepest hugging the pilings and seawall. After that spot there is 8+ feet by following the markers into Smokehouse Bay. Smokehouse Bay is deep 10+ feet. There is only one shallow spot which is behind the first green marker on the way into the bay. Even with that there is deep water between the marker and the seawall. The problem is just that relatively small spot of about 4+ feet. The bottom is mud, so make sure your anchor is caught.
        Herman

        I e-mailed Captain Herman back, and asked if the “small spot of 4+ foot water” was part of the entrance channel, and, if so, where it would be encountered. As you will see, this one shallow spot is NOT part of the entry cut, and is easily avoided!

        The area in question is not in a channel but rather a small area in the west end of the anchorage and can be easily avoided.
        Herman

        Reply to Herman
      8. Nicole -  January 11, 2011 - 11:41 am

        GREAT GREAT ANCHORAGE.
        Chris, the dockmaster at Esplanade, is fantastic. Give him the courtesy of checking in with him (we walked over from the dinghy dock at Winn Dixie) and he will treat you like gold. Fantastic guy.
        It was mentioned to us that other cruising boats have “snuck” onto the dock early in the morning to take on water and leave their trash. The marina considers this trespassing, just a word to the wise. (besides if you ask the dockmaster he will probably let you do both of these things, just ask!)
        One warning: We were warned by a helpful person on the dock that if you anchor here for more than 4 consecutive nights the shoreside neighbors will call the Coast Guard and tell them you have been there for a long time and must be pumping out in the water. Apparently the CG will then send one of their small boats to visit you and I assume, do a safety and head check. Not a big deal (kind of a waste of the CGs time I think) but good to know in the event in happens to you.
        Esplanade will pump you out for free if you give them a call on VHF 16.
        Nicole

        Reply to Nicole
      9. Jerry Richardson -  December 15, 2010 - 11:57 am

        Have to agree with the postings on Smokehouse Bay. We use this as our primary anchoring spot when at Marco Island. Restaurants at the Esplanade are great, along with being easy walking distances to supermarkets, West Marine and a load of restaurants. One nice thing is that you can dinghy under the bridge and then bear to the left and use the dinghy dock located at the Winn-Dixie to do your shopping. Easier than shopping by car !!!!
        Jerry Richardson

        Reply to Jerry
      10. S/V Two If By Sea -  December 15, 2010 - 11:57 am

        We visited Smokehouse Bay in April. When entering after the Pass, you do need to hug the condo side of the channel and then follow the markers. Plenty of water and good holding. The marina is boater/dinghy friendly, which is a nice change from Marco River Marina and Factory Bay. I would recommend you do a courtesy checking with the dockmaster at Esplanade. They prefer the dinghies to be docked at certain spots. Smokehouse Bay is only about 10 minutes further in than Factory Bay and is well worth it.
        S/V Two If By Sea

        Reply to S/V
    • 19. Johnson Bay Anchorage

      19. Johnson Bay Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 25 59.952 North/081 44.569 West
      Location: found on the charted deep water west-northwest of the Marco to Naples waterway’s unlighted daybeacon #14
      Minimum Depth: 8-feet
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 40 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: good, but strong eastern or northeastern winds might be a problem

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Claiborne -  April 5, 2010 - 11:30 am

        If you decide to stop in the Marco Island area I’ll share info on an anchorage there that I picked up from another T & T contributor a couple of years ago.
        Take a look at a spot a short distance north of Marco Island along the channel between Naples and Marco Island, NW of R 14 (25 59.972N, 081 44.564W). It’s not very impressive on the chart, but is beautifully protected by mangroves and shallows, has great holding, and there is plenty of room for two or three boats. IMHO it’s far superior to the commonly recommended spot in Factory Bay, with its sloppy mud poor holding. The downside is that there no easy dinghy access to shore or facilities. Also, there is some wave action from passing boats in the channel, but that all stops at dark, since those channel markers are not lighted. Was even able to get fair wifi from some source there.
        Dan Stone
        St. Pete

        Reply to Claiborne
      2. George -  November 30, 2009 - 7:36 am

        We anchored here oer the Thanksgiving weekend. We draw 5’8″ and had no issues. We entered Capri Pass at low tide (0.9′ above MLW) and our lowest reading was 8′. We did favor the south side of the channel as shoaling to the north was pretty evident and we were concerned that it may be shoaling into the channel. The shoaling did help break the seas. Entering into the channel we still favored the starboard side until after turning north, at which point we favored the port side. You will feel the wake of passing boats, but for us it didn’t seem to be much of a problem. A front blew through so we had fairly strong north winds and Umbrella Island afforded a reasonable lee. Holding was very good, but the mud is sticky. We anchored pretty much right over the anchor in the chartlet provided by the Cruising Guide to Western Florida (we carry it and the Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys aboard) . It was pretty nice sitting in a peaceful and pretty anchorage, with fresh backed cookies and coffee and our diesel fireplace going.
        s/v John Galt
        Tayana 37

        Reply to George
    • 20. Little Marco Island Anchorage

      20. Little Marco Island Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 00.305 North/081 45.539 West
      Location: found on the channel running back south beside Little Marco Island, south of unlighted daybeacon #33
      Minimum Depth: 6 ½ feet
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 40 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: excellent

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Linda -  January 25, 2012 - 3:04 pm

        During the week, you can have your own private Gulf side beach in this little piece of paradise. This is a very quiet anchorage in the evening. Some shoaling of the long channel coming in but our 6 foot draft s/v made it eventually on a rising mid tide.
        Linda

        Reply to Linda
      2. Capt. Sterling -  April 28, 2010 - 1:08 pm

        Love the anchorage! Always stop here.
        Quiet, except for weekends. In a no wake zone if you go all the way down. Good holding , excellent protection, nice views. Beaches.
        Captain Sterling

        Reply to Capt.
    • 21. Rookery Bay Anchorage

      21. Rookery Bay Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 02.546 North/081 46.456 West
      Location: lies on the charted 5-foot offshoot leading from the Marco to Naples waterway, to shallow Rookery Bay, opposite unlighted daybeacon #47
      Minimum Depth: 5-feet
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 38 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good

      Rating:

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    • 22. Gordon Pass Anchorage

      22. Gordon Pass Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 06.200 North/081 47.675 West
      Location: found northwest of Gordon Pass inlet’s flashing daybeacon #13 5-foot minimum approach depths – 9-foot minimum depths in anchorage
      Swing Room: virtually unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Claiborne -  August 27, 2009 - 9:13 am

        Gordon’s pass continues to shoal on the North side so favor the red. It’s about 7 feet( IF FAVORING THE RED!) at MLLW tides it’s no problem but, I perfer a deeper water passage (8 feet MLLW) it runs on a SW heading(if your out bound) just after you pass the breakwater simply head SW. This puts all markers to the WNW or seaward of your track line as you depart. I use that route about 10 times a week doing charters (6 foot draft)or with my own boat that draws 6’8″. I like that route and use it in all sea conditions as it gets me away from the big wake maker monster boats much faster which is safer for my passengers.But it also keeps you away from the ebb tide current much longer. This is nice if a seabreeze or a frontal passage has kicked the waves up as it\’s a much smoother passage.
        There is another trouble spot during low water. If you draw over 5 1/2 feet and the tide is very low consider hugging green # 13 if you don\’t, and make for red #12 (staying on the proper side for incomming traffic) you will find shoaling about 200 feet before arriving at red #12. Once you pass by 13 (going inbound) you will be fine to get back on the proper side of the channel.
        Now I add the disclaimer to be very careful to get past the end of the breakwater before turning and try this passage in settled weather until you are comfortable with it ect, ect….But in the effort to share info, give it a try sometime you’ll like it.
        You can still anchor in the nice coves out of the current and wakes amongst the big houses. This is a great spot to overnight saving the 3 mile run up river. The most popular cove is about 150 feet before arriving at green #13. Just turn North to enter this cove. But remember you have to hug the western shore for the deepest waters. If you stay TIGHT (like 20 feet of the dock pilings!)to the western shore you\’ll have 6.5 feet at MLLW. Many boats anchor in this cove which has a very soft bottom. But if you hug the this western shore and see another bay that opens up as you look due East you can turn to starboard and head up in there. Note that as you head across this first bay and away from the western shore you where hugging the depth will get shallow. This is a very soft bottom and we get through this part with our 6′.8″ draft at a zero tide. But we have the RPM’s up as we trudge on through this soft muck. As you reach the enterance to this next bay the depth will drop off to about 8 feet. This is the bay to raft up as you are in total idle speed protection. Either bay is a great anchorage area but all private, please don’t take your dog ashore even to an empty lot as I’ve seen a cruiser do! That behaviour makes it harder on us who fight and speak in city concil meetings etc for anchor rights.

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 23. Port Royal Southern Offshoot Anchorage

      23. Port Royal Southern Offshoot Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 06.239 North/081 47.468 West
      Location: will be discovered on the waters of the charted southerly offshoot of the large body of water, indenting the eastern banks of the Marco – Naples waterway, north of unlighted daybeacon #21
      Minimum Depth: 5 ½ foot entrance depths – 7-foot depths in anchorage
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 48 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: excellent

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (3)

      1. Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE) -  March 25, 2010 - 10:14 pm

        I meant to add that Sea Tow was dealing with a sailboat that was on the charted shoal on the north side entering the canal. Be sure to stay close to the green 21 side going in for good depths.

        Reply to Jean
      2. Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE) -  March 25, 2010 - 10:06 pm

        Have anchored here twice, most recently on March 20. The mud is no worse than many other places (or maybe we North Carolinians are more used to mud!) It is a very quiet anchorage surrounded by nice homes. The only drawback is there is no way to go ashore closeby that we know of,

        Reply to Jean
      3. Charlie Singmaster -  July 17, 2009 - 2:45 pm

        Great protection but very ugly mud on the bottom. As the tide changes you will circle the anchor and dredge up some real smelly stuff. A good anchor wash down is a must.

        Reply to Charlie
    • 24. Port Royal Entrance Anchorage

      24. Port Royal Entrance Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 06.318 North/081 47.421 West
      Location: found abeam of the toe of charted 7-foot water cutting to the southwest, on the large body of water, indenting the eastern banks of the Marco – Naples waterway, north of unlighted daybeacon #21
      Minimum Depth: 5 ½ foot entrance depths – 7-foot depths in anchorage
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 48 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good, but could be a bit open to strong southeasterly winds

      Rating:

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    • 25. Port Royal Northern Anchorage

      25. Port Royal Northern Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 06.514 North/081 47.473 West
      Location: will be discovered south of the charted split in the large body of water indenting the eastern banks of the Marco – Naples waterway, north of unlighted daybeacon #21
      Minimum Depth: 5 ½ foot entrance depths – 6-foot depths in anchorage
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 48 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: excellent

      Rating:

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    • 25A. Naples Mooring Field


      Naples Mooring Field
      Lat/Lon: 26 07.907 North/081 47.605 West
      Location: south of the Naples City Pier and west, northwest of marker #34
      Minimum Depth: 6 feet
      Special Note: mooring field managed by adjacent Naples City Dock – 12 mooring balls in field – we are told that half the field is usually available almost all the time for transients
      Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 38 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: Good, only particularly strong eastern winds might be a problem

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Ron Dwelle -  May 3, 2013 - 7:31 am

        One requirement of using the Naples City moorings is that you get a pump-out first at the City Dock–no exceptions, even though we had been pumped out the previous day at Fort Myers Beach. We understand that this is a city requirement.
        Ron Dwelle

        Reply to Ron
    • 26. Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field

      26. Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field
      Lat/Lon: near 26 27.360 North/081 57.021 West
      Location: lies east of the 65-foot Fort Myers Beach high-rise bridge
      Minimum Depth: 3.5 feet (see /?p=91251)

      Website: http://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/index.aspx?nid=109

      Special Comment: call the Matanzas Inn dock at 239-463-9258 to request a mooring; shoreside showers and laundromats available for those in the mooring field
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 50 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good, slightly open to strong northwestern and southeastern winds
      Waste Pump-out Availability: this mooring field offers free mobile pump-out service. Call Matanzas Inn, 239-463-9258 or 239-463-7776, or VHF Channel 16. For more information go to:
      http://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=68

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      Comments from Cruisers (9)

      1. Riock Cass -  December 27, 2013 - 6:48 pm

        We left the Ft. Myers beach mooring field a week ago, and have nothing but great things to say about the moorings and the people at Matanzas Inn who administer the mooring fields. Always professional, pleasant and helpful, these people mad our stay there very pleasant. The pumpout boat is run by a good guy, working for the ft. Myers public works department, and is very helpful with information about the area. Now one of our top five places to stay a while.
        Rick Cass

        Reply to Riock
      2. Archie Faulkner -  December 19, 2013 - 10:59 am

        The Ft. Myers Beach mooring field was a pleasant stay with decent facilities provided. The dinghy dock is just a couple blocks from downtown attractions. A bargain for $13/night compared to $2.50/ft transient slips. It’s the way to go to pack many boats into a small area.
        Archie Faulkner

        Reply to Archie
      3. John Kettlewell -  April 15, 2013 - 1:08 pm

        Best mooring field is at Ft. Myers Beach, and there is a fun, funky beachy tourist strip along the whole island. Not specifically seafood, though they do have a lot of it on the menu, but I always eat at the Plaka Greek restaurant right on Times Square.
        John Kettlewell

        Reply to John
      4. Gary & Mickey Wiggins -  April 25, 2011 - 3:59 pm

        We have been staying at the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field for several years. Cruiser Nicole made some good points but I would like to expand and refute some of her points. It’s my understanding that the City of Ft. Myers Beach owns the mooring field, the pump out boat and the dinghy dock. Matanzas Inn manages the mooring rental and provides laundry and bath facilities.
        – It is true that the mooring balls need attention as far as cleaning and numbers are concerned. Right before we left, at the end of March, the Harbor Master was taking new mooring balls out to the maintenance pontoon boat so hopefully the problem of the missing 18 balls, the cleaning and fresh numbers will be addressed.
        – The “nuisanced indifference” comment about the staff was a bit harsh. There are a lot of new employees this year and they are trying to learn their job. Jerry, the manager has been very accommodating, helpful and friendly to us as have the other members of the staff. The boater’s were allowed to have meet & greets whenever we asked as long as there wasn’t a space conflict. We had them on the grassed area where the picnic tables are behind the office. This was a great way to meet other boaters and enjoy time together.
        – Several places that we’ve been have no VHF access and you need to phone in. Our cruising guide informed us of this.
        – They do keep a list in the office for pump out. You can either be put on the list or you can contact the Fort Myers Beach Harbormaster for pump out. He does work Monday through Friday and we have been pumped out many mornings. He works mornings and afternoons. We understand that if you need more than one pump out in a week, there’s no extra charge as there is in other mooring fields.
        – Trash cans are extremely close to the dinghy dock for small bags and there is a dumpster for larger bags near the shower and laundry rooms. There aren’t any signs directing you but I’ve never seen such signs anywhere.
        – The dinghy dock is crowded but we have always been able to find a place to park. The comment about a dinghy being under the dock, inflated, had nothing to do with the dinghy dock. We are the ones who tied up his motor but his dinghy had a slow leak in it, which had nothing to do with the current or dock.
        – The sign about the Hotel Guests BBQ was probably amended when boaters asked about it.
        – On March 26th there was a Boater’s Appreciation Day Party with hot dogs, hamburger, pizza, beer, wine, and soft drinks provided just for the boaters. They also had raffles for many very nice prizes. We’ve been present for at least three of these boater appreciation events. This year as in other years City Officials were present, along with folks from the Anchorage Advisory Committee asking for suggestions for improving the mooring field. In years past they have listened to and heeded our advice.
        – It is my understanding that Salty Sam’s was the first manager of the mooring field and that job was taken from them and given to Matanzas. There must have been a reason.
        – The bathroom sign saying “your mother doesn’t work here” came about when people were being inconsiderate and leaving the bathrooms a mess. They are busy bathrooms and we felt that was a way to remind people to clean up after themselves because housekeeping can’t clean between showers.
        The people of FMB are friendly and they are very welcoming to boaters. It is a great place to stay with many activities and a beautiful beach, a variety of restaurants and close access to grocery, PO, Hardware and West Marine. We would hate for one person’s gripes to dampen or give a negative impression of the FMB Mooring Field.
        Sincerely,
        Gary & Mickey Wiggins
        M/V Little Mick

        Reply to Gary
      5. Stephen Arkwright -  January 22, 2011 - 10:36 am

        My wife and I visited FMB last march 3/10. We had cruised there 22 years ago and we GLAD to see town moorings, and less derelicts , although it seems they still had a couple of leftovers? We enjoyed the town and the beach and many of the local restaurants and stores. The Harbormaster “bubba” runs the pump out boat and was a great help and a great source for information. However the LARGE HARD encrusted mooring balls did a number on my new alwgrip hull paint job!$#!$#!!?. If you are not able to pull the entire ball out of the water, BEWARE.!!
        Stephen Arkwright

        Reply to Stephen
      6. Bevferg -  March 5, 2010 - 5:13 pm

        We have stayed in the mooring field at Ft Myers Beach just across from the shrimp fleet and Ballard’s Fuel: $13.00 per night included is a dingy dock on the Ft Myers Beach side with good resturants. The Mooring Ball office is located just under the bridg adjacent to the Matanza Inn and resturaunt, recomended.
        Bevferg

        Reply to Bevferg
      7. Bill Welsch -  August 28, 2009 - 8:51 am

        Hi:
        Regarding item #17 (Fort Meyers Beach), on 10/21/08 approximately 15 boats from the Punta Gorda Sailing Club spent the night at the mooring ball field in Fort Myers Beach. There were plenty of vacancies and all of us were able to contact Mantanzas Inn–the folks who operate the mooring ball field– by cell phone or VHF to announce our arrival. The young lady at the desk who signed us up and took our money (around $13.50) was very pleasant. There were no complaints from our group about any problems with the mooring balls.
        I have no information for you regarding the shower facilities (We are fortunate to have a sailboat–a Catalina 350– with a great shower so we rarely use dockside facilities of that type.) And, I failed to ask others in our group about that amenity.
        Our group all convened for cocktails at the second story outdoor patio of the Mantanzas Inn and had a blast. You get your drinks on your own from the bar and bring them over to the patio area (which saves $ on tips, etc.) Several of us went downstairs later for dinner and found the food and service to be good. Entree prices were in the $20 range–a bit higher than we had expected. None of our group made it to the beachside restaurants on this trip, although, as you know, there are a number of fun ones.
        We had to abandon our plans to head South to Marco and Naples because of the front that blew in that week, but the trip to Fort Myers Beach — preceded by a couple of nights in Pelican Bay– was pretty cool.
        Bill Welsch
        S/V “Escapade

        Message: The Ft. Myers Beach Mooring Field is a great place to visit. We live in the area and frequent it several times a year. There is a public dinghy dock under the Matanzas Bridge and you are in walking distance to the beach and a host of restaurants and shopping (although not too close for a major grocery for provisioning – there is a trolley that will take you to a local Public Supermarket). The Mooring Field is managed by Matanzas Inn and boater patrons are able to utilize all of their facilities, including showers, laundry and the pool. They do have a pump-out boat that makes its rounds but we haven’t used it. Steve and Regina Smith, M/V Island Time.
        Regina Smith

        We stayed at the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field a couple of weeks ago. The overall quality of this facility is still very good. The only gripe we had is that the pennants for some of the mooring balls are really, really nasty with marine growth. The mooring we picked up was the worst I have ever seen. I highly recommend that anyone planning to use this facility should have a pair of sturdy work gloves available.
        Best regards,
        Gene and Sue Fuller
        Punta Gorda, Florida
        Yorkshire Rose
        (Catalina 42 sailboat, 5 foot draft)

        Reply to Bill
      8. Katherine Light -  August 27, 2009 - 2:00 pm

        I am chair of the Anchorage Advisory Committee for the Town of Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field and I keep my boat year round in the mooring field. We have a new floating dinghy dock under the bridge on the island side to make it easier to enjoy the island. Restaurants and shops are with a couple of blocks of the dock, and there is a trolley that can take you to grocery stores, drug stores, and all the other places cruisers need to visit. Matanzas Inn under the bridge is where you check in and has the land facilities for the mooring field. There are two beautiful shower suites with large dressing areas and a community room with four washer/dryer pairs. Water is available at Matanzas for jerry jug use. The rate is $13.00 a night plus tax and there is a monthly rate available. Pump-out (by boat) is included in the price and can be scheduled through Matanzas Inn.
        One of the complaints about our field is that the tethers are coated with slime and barnacles. They are cleaned regularly but unfortunately, the water in the bay is very fertile and stuff grows quickly. When we take our boat off the ball and are away for a few nights, slime has already grown back. We are exploring ways to alleviate this problem.
        There is much more information on the town’s website: fortmyersbeachfl.gov. Just click on the mooring field link. There is a map of the field, phone numbers for Matanzas Inn, and much more. We will be redoing the website in the coming months.
        I hope a lot of cruisers will come to our mooring field and enjoy the great town of Fort Myers Beach!!
        Katherine Light, S/V Alborada

        Reply to Katherine
      9. Paul Carroll -  August 27, 2009 - 9:08 am

        Subject: Ft. Myers Beach
        Cruising News: It’s been a long time since we’ve been into Fort Myers Beach. The old anchorage area was scary and the stories about [the] . . . administration of the mooring field were enough to keep us away.
        We have just returned from spending almost two weeks there meeting up with friends and making repairs. The Matanzas Inn staff who now run the mooring field and pumpout boat were great to deal with. The beach shuttle made provisioning very easy. We also stayed at Moss Marine and Blaine was also a pleasure to deal with. Kudos to the City of Fort Myers Beach for becoming so cruiser-friendly. We’ll be back.
        Paul Carroll
        S/V Puffin

        Reply to Paul
    • 27. Dixie Beach Anchorage

      27. Dixie Beach Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 28.000 North/082 03.101 West
      Location: found off charted Dixie Beach, flanking the southwesterly shoreline of the channel bordering the eastern and northeastern shores of Sanibel Island, between unlighted daybeacon #4 and flashing daybeacon #5
      Minimum Depth: 8-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: poor, wide open to all but western and southwestern winds

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    • 28. Punta Rassa Anchorage

      28. Punta Rassa Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 28.785 North/082 00.098 West
      Location: will be discovered on the charted deep water of the approach channel leading to Punta Rassa, southeast of the high-rise section of the Sanibel Island Bridge and northeast of flashing daybeacon #6
      Minimum Depth: 6-feet, but entry into this anchorage can be very tricky without the use of a GPS chartplotter
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter:poor, fair weather and light airs anchorage ONLY

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      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Donn Brown -  August 11, 2009 - 12:09 pm

        I have anchored in this area several times and really enjoy the location.

        Weekends are busy with boat traffic in the waterway, but the nights are quiet and there is a nice view of Sanibel Bridge.

        Donn Brown
        Namaste – W27

        Reply to Donn
    • 29. Kitchel-Miguel Key Anchorage

      29. Kitchel-Miguel Key Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 29.960 North/082 01.297 West
      Location: lies north of the new, high-rise section of the Sanibel Island bridge, and near the southwesterly tip of Kitchel and Miguel keys
      Minimum Depth: 7-feet, BUT entry without the use of a GPS chartplotter is not recommended
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 36 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: fair to poor; open to northern, southern and northwestern winds

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    • 30. Punta Rassa Cove Anchorage

      30. Punta Rassa Cove Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 30.271 North/082 00.654 West
      Location: will be found on the deep water east of the gap between flashing daybeacons #13 and #14, bordering on the western reaches of shallow Punta Rassa Cove (north of the new, high-rise section of the Sanibel Island Bridge)
      Minimum Depth: 6-feet
      Swing Room: unlimited
      Foul Weather Shelter: poor, protected ONLY from eastern, northeastern and southeastern winds

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. RJ SCHWANDNER -  August 8, 2015 - 10:06 am

        Same as Donn Brown (above), if your tired or want an early start to sail south great spot to drop the hook. The alternative is on the back side of Kitchel Key little more protective. Safe journey fair winds 2 U.

        Reply to RJ
      2. Donn Brown -  April 16, 2010 - 8:20 pm

        I have anchored here many times and it is an excellent location. Occasional wakes from passing boats heading to and from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge.

        Reply to Donn
    • Caloosahatchee River Anchorages

      Caloosahatchee River Anchorages (West of Fort Myers)

      Note that the Caloosahatchee anchorages detailed below are arranged in a rough west to east geographic format

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    • 31. Glover Bight Anchorage

      31. Glover Bight Anchorage
      Lat/Lon: near 26 32.282 North/081 59.820 West
      Location: lies on the northeasterly reaches of Glover Bight, northeast of unlighted daybeacon #9
      Minimum Depth: 7-14 feet
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 45 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good, but particularly strong southwestern winds might be a problem

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (4)

      1. Chris -  February 2, 2015 - 11:02 pm

        Good holding in this anchorage, but stay out of the SE side as others have mentioned. In the far East corner, where the bight narrows, there is a dock and gazebo. This is a Cape Coral city park with a nice boardwalk. From the end of the boardwalk where it joins the road is 2 miles to Publix, a nice jaunt for avid walkers like us or your collapsible bicicyle. Its a very high step to get out at the dock. Enjoy the usually lame music from the Westin on the weekends!

        Reply to Chris
      2. S/V Almost Somewhere -  October 5, 2012 - 1:13 pm

        This is a local spot for us..some words of caution about this anchorage. Stay on the west/northwest side of the bight..close as possible to the fuel docks/bar if you are drawing anything 4ft and over. Do NOT cut Red marker “8” to go in or you will be on the ground. The SE corner of the bight is SHALLOW…talking knee deep.. The line between the deep water and the shallows is a narrow one and shifts.
        Best to enter this as if going to the fuel dock then turning out into the bay.

        Keeping in mind all of the above it is an excellent spot with quick easy access to the Gulf, the river, or ICW/Pine Island sound. Holding is good and the warning above about strong SW winds is true and should be heeded. Tarpon Point marina has fair fuel prices but forget the “chandlery” and you may get sticker shock should you choose to eat atthe bar/restaurant

        Reply to S/V
      3. Claiborne -  February 14, 2010 - 9:32 am

        Hi from Kismet:
        Florida: Anchorage-Cape Coral
        In Cape Coral, Florida, a couple of miles up the Caloosahatchee River off the ICW, is Tarpon Point Marina. Just outside the marina basin is a well protected anchorage located in Glover Bight, it is highlighted in Skipper Bob’s book. We spent the night with only one other boat. It was quiet and surrounded by mangroves and birds.
        Safe Cruising.
        Jim & Lisa Favors – Kismet
        Fathom 40 Fast Trawler

        Reply to Claiborne
      4. Claiborne -  August 27, 2009 - 1:04 pm

        Glover Bight Anchorage – Once leaving Gasparilla Island we headed down to this anchorage to spend the next night. Once again, this was a fantastic spot which had deep water all the way in. Once again we had strong winds out of the East Northeast and this spot provided excellent protection. One other advantage of this spot is the excellent scenery in the area. One could easily spend an extra day or two kayaking the beautiful mangroves in the area as well as the many canals in Cape Coral.
        Scott Dimon
        M/V Know Agenda

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 32. Bimini Basin Anchorage

      32. Bimini Basin Anchorage
      Okeechobee Standard Mile 145
      Lat/Lon: near 26 33.624 North/081 57.869 West
      Location: found in the charted lake-like body of water named as “Bimini Basin,” on chart 11427, and lying just west of the “Cape Coral” designation on this same chart
      Minimum Depth: 6-feet
      Special Comment: some cruisers have reported poor holding ground in this anchorage
      Swing Room: sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 50 feet
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good

      Rating:

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      Comments from Cruisers (4)

      1. Susan Landry -  May 18, 2014 - 9:40 am

        This evening we will spend the night in Bimini Basin, Cape Coral. This is a well protected anchorage with access to a nice park. Excellent dinghy dock, picnic tables, and a small sandy beach. Lots of shopping within an easy walk, 3 pharmacies, groceries and especially an excellent ice cream shop right at the park.
        Susan Landry

        Reply to Susan
      2. Lori Steinbrunner -  February 16, 2014 - 5:32 pm

        Quick note to say “Thanks” for the LPG/Propane availability feature on this website (we use it all the time), and to pass on an addition. From the Bimini Basin anchorage on Cape Coral near Ft Myers, Lee County Plumbing Supply at 532 SE 46th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL, 239-542-4618 does propane refills. It’s less than half a mile walk from the anchorage which has a dinghy dock available at the park.
        Thanks again for all you do to make this cruising life easier, safer and a lot more fun.
        Lori Steinbrunner

        Reply to Lori
      3. Claiborne -  April 4, 2011 - 12:52 pm

        We overnighted at the Bimini Basin anchorage on our way to Cayo Costa and had a pleasant evening. We found the holding to be quite good in grey sticky mud – it got a test because just before dawn a squall blew through with a 180 degree wind shift and 30+ knot winds and we did not budge. The anchor was set so well I had to yank it out with the engine.
        Jonathan Gorham

        Reply to Claiborne
      4. Claiborne -  February 15, 2011 - 3:13 pm

        Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a great anchorage in Cape Coral that beats the moorings/anchorage in the city of Fort Myers hands down. Protected, nice dinghy dock at a park, grocery store, hardware store, west marine, and bus transfer station less than a mile’s walk away. GREAT spot to re-provision and all around great anchorage.
        Nicole

        Reply to Claiborne
    • 33. Whiskey Creek Anchorage

      33. Whiskey Creek Anchorage
      Okeechobee Standard Mile 140
      Lat/Lon: lies near 26 34.644 North/081 53.915 West
      Location: Whiskey Creek lies southeast of the Caloosahatchee River’s unlighted daybeacon #66
      Minimum Depth: 4 ½-feet
      Swing Room: TIGHT, sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 32 feet ONLY
      Foul Weather Shelter: very good

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    • 34. Hancock Creek Anchorage

      34. Hancock Creek Anchorage
      Okeechobee Standard Mile 135.5
      Lat/Lon: near 26 39.334 North/081 53.712 West
      Location: found south of the northern turn in the Marinatown Marina entrance channel
      Minimum Depth: 4 ½ feet
      Swing Room: TIGHT, sufficient swinging room for vessels as large as 32 feet ONLY
      Foul Weather Shelter: excellent

      Rating:

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