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    • BOLO: 32′ Center Console, Light Blue, stolen from Jacksonville, FL

      This just posted on St Augustine Cruisers’ Net.

      Michelle Bennett shared a post.
      Admin · 2 hrs
      Keep an eye out for a 32′ Seacraft light blue hull color, twin 275 Mercury outboards named “Reel Cracker”. It was stolen while on it’s trailer somewhere in the Jacksonville/St Aug area last evening.

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    • More Praise for Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, AICW Statute Mile 775.5


      Welcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. Augus

      Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, A CRUISERS NET SPONSOR, continues to receive words of praise for its facility and staff. Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor is located just off the Waterway’s western shoreline, south of unlighted daybeacon #7 and north of the Vilano Beach Bridge.

      A failing battery brought me back to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor on our cruise south. The staff at the Yacht Yard were helpful, friendly, and prompt. Technician quickly diagnosed the problem, rounded up four new 8D batteries, and replaced my old ones within a few hours. For anyone needing help in north Florida, Camachee Yacht Yard is a great resource.
      David Grimes

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

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    • Possible Openings, St. Augustine Mooring Fields, FL AICW Statute Mile 778


      The two St. Augustine mooring fields are north and south of the Bridge of Lions in the heart of St. Augustine. The northern mooring field is nearest the St. Augustine inlet and is more often subject to wind and wave action. Our thanks to Lisa Wilson Tarlecky for this notice on St Augustine Cruisers Net’s Facebook page.

      For those looking for a mooring ball for the next few weeks, I heard a few spots may have opened up.
      Good luck.
      Lisa Wilson Tarlecky

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Southern St. Augustine Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Southern St. Augustine Mooring Field

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Northern St. Augustine Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Northern St. Augustine Mooring Field

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    • Update on St Augustine Inlet, near AICW Statute Mile 776


      St Augustine inlet is always subject to channel shifting and almost continual dredging is SOP. These reports from various contributors are from Bob423 Facebook page.

      How is the St. Augustine inlet these days? We heard from someone who said they were advised not to use it. We are preparing to head that way. It was fine when we left there in the Spring. Just the ever-present dredge. Lots of weather since then, though.
      Rich Reavis

      The inlet is fantastic. Stay in between the buoys , you’re golden
      John Cunningham

      We came in Wednesday night. No problems other than the usual unlit buoys.
      Sherry Matas

      There is no dredge there now is there? It was a fixture over last winter. Definitely shooting for daytime entry.
      Rich Reavis

      It’s fine. Just stay within the Buoys. At least 23’ depth in the middle.
      Kelli Koleilat Meacham

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Inlet

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Perry McDonald -  November 9, 2018 - 8:08 pm

        Call SeaTow or BOATUS and ask for current conditions before entering.

        Reply to Perry
    • The Turkeys are Coming! 1-4 PM, Nov 22, Municipal Marina, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778

      Welcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. Augus
      Port of Call, St. Augustine

      Please join these fine folks and many of your fellow cruisers in celebrating a day of giving thanks in St. Augustine, home to two CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS: Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor and Port of Call. Municipal Marina is just south of the Bridge of Lions a few steps from downtown.

      The turkeys are coming! The turkeys are coming!

       


      6th Annual Thanksgiving Potluck
      Lisa Wilson Tarlecky

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    • St. Augustine Cruisers’ Net VHF Back on the Air, October 25, St. Augustine, FL


      Welcome to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor! Located in America’s oldest city- St. Augustine, Florida- Camachee Cove is a fully protected marina adjacent to the ICW, and less than a mile from the St. Augus
      Port of Call, St. Augustine

      St. Augustine Cruisers’ Net is a VHF broadcast service on Channel 72 offering welcome events, news, advice and other local information for visiting cruisers. And although this service is not related our website, Cruisers Net, we are proud to share their name, in part at least. For more on this dedicated group of boaters, see St. Augustine Cruisers’ Net.  St. Augustine is home to two CRUISERS NET SPONSORS: Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor and Port of Call.

      Saint Augustine, Florida – the St Augustine Cruisers Net will start back up their morning vhf broadcast on October 25th, tune in to channel 72 at 8am. The group hosts regular gatherings for cruisers in the area, more info can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/CruisersNet.
      Thanks for passing along the info to your readers.
      Best regards,
      Michelle Bennett
      s/v Aquamarine

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

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    • 5th Annual First Coast Nautical Flea Market, November 3-4, St. Augustine, FL

      Annual First Coast Nautical Flea Market

      HOSTED BY SAILORS EXCHANGE, INC

      FREE TO THE PUBLIC

      DATES: NOVEMBER 3 & 4, 2018

      TIMES: SATURDAY 8 AM – 4PM SUNDAY 9AM – 3PM

      LOCATION: 7 ½ SAN BARTOLA DRIVE, ST AUGUSTINE, FL 32086   

      **$20 SELLERS 10X10 SPACE**

      RESERVE YOURS NOW SPACE IS LIMTED

      CALL JOHN @ 904-808-0667 M-F: 9AM-5PM Sat: 9AM-2PM

      SUBMITTED BY:

      LINDA ALLEN

      SAILORS EXCHANGE, INC

      222 West King St

      St Augustine, FL 32084

      904-827-9135

      EMAIL: sailorsexchange.inc@gmail.com

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    • The Burnham Log 3/9/18: Palatka to St. Augustine, FL, St Johns River to AICW Statute Mile 770

      Cruisers’ Net is always glad to hear from experienced cruiser David Burnham, a true Cruiser Helping Cruisers and we look forward to the next log page of his current cruise. Be assured that David’s observations and advice can be trusted and passed along to your cruising colleagues. See Closures Ahead for the latest LNM on the FEC RR bridge in Jacksonville.

      I took a sailboat from Palatka, Florida (on the St. Johns River) around through Jacksonville and down to Saint Augustine today. Apart from the FEC railroad bridge problems in downtown Jacksonville, I have a few other items that may interest cruisers.
      In Green Cove Springs, Florida, the public dock has reopened and there is electricity available. However, the telephone contact number at the city office is no longer posted at the dock. I tied up our sailboat overnight and left again in the morning without any contact from the city.
      At the downtown “Jacksonville Landing”, only the downtown shuttle ferry is making a landing as the signs that the “dock is under repair and no docking is permitted” are still in place and there is no sign of any work in progress.
      This will make it a bit difficult for cruisers who arrive to find that the FEC railroad bridge is closed until the 18th of March.
      Heading south from Jacksonville on the AICW, green floating marker #7 is found just after turning south into the AICW from the St Johns River. However, it seems to have floated out of position as it was sighted a little outside, and on the wrong side, of the channel and to the southeast of red markers #6 and #8. Southbound Cruisers should not try to leave green #7 to port until it is returned to its proper position on the northeast side of the channel. Northbound cruisers should be able to see that green #7 is not on the correct side of the channel as they approach the St. Johns River crossing.
      Further south on the AICW near the St. Augustine Airport, green marker #41 is normally a lighted mark, but it was not lit after dark when I passed it today.
      David Burnham

      See also EF Local Notices to Mariners for other navigation issues

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Norman Mason -  April 23, 2018 - 8:02 pm

        This should be included in one of your frequent briefings.

        There is no diesel fuel available south of Doctor’s Lake Marina on the St. John’s River, including at Monroe Bay Marina in Sanford. Waterway Guide’s 2018 Southern edition shows it available at several places.

        Trout Creek Marina near Palatka is accessible if you can get under a 17 foot fixed bridge. This is the listed height on the NOAA chart, however some resources say the clearance is 14 feet. This marina told us their credit card machine was not working and they would only accept cash.

        We did not check with Mandarin Holiday Marina, but it is just across the river from Doctor’s Lake.

        Georgetown Marina, at the north end of Lake George, told us their diesel system was destroyed by the hurricane. Not sure which one, but no indication it would change.

        St. John’s Marina South, north of Hontoon Island, told us their diesel pump was not working, with no indication it was going to be fixed anytime soon.

        Sanford Boat Works, which is south of Sanford, nay have it available, but there was no answer when trying to contact them on a Saturday. Access to this facility is questionable for deeper draft cruising boats, according to several we talked to.

        Anyone cruising the St. John’s should know this, and be sure to fill at Doctor’s Lake Marina, before heading farther south.

        Norman Mason
        Peggy Sue, Monk 36
        California, MD

        Reply to Norman
    • Municipal Marina Losing Revenue, St. Augustine, FL , AICW Statute Mile 778


      The City Marina has re-opened after being severely damaged by Hurricane Irma and is accepting transients. The marina has no fuel at this point, but the marina is staffed 24/7, has ice and the dinghy dock is open. Call ahead, 904-825-1026 to request services or make a reservation.

      St. Augustine Municipal Marina losing half of its revenue

      CLICK HERE FOR THIS VIDEO REPORT by Jessica Clark of WTLV

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine City Marina

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    • Healy Report: St. Augustine Marker R60, AICW Statute Mile 776


      The Marker R60 to which Jim refers is just west of the St. Augustine Inlet proper. Our continued thanks to Peg and Jim Healy for sharing their observations and advice. The Healys are dating themselves and showing their sense of humor with the reference to Will Robinson.

      ALERT, Will Robinson! ALERT!
      At St. Augustine – Experienced cruisers know that southbound approaching St. Augustine, the ICW hugs the barrier island to the east, and takes a hard STBD at floating R”60.” Well folks, EITHER R’60” has been relocated and I missed the announcement OR R”60″ is way off station. In any case, R”60″ is not where it’s always been. I don’t know if the shoal that it formerly guarded is there or not. People laugh at me for the detail of my routes. But today, I was very glad my boat knew where it was supposed to turn. R”60″ is MISSING IN ACTION.

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Rock Creek, Pasadena, MD
      http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Inlet

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Mike Cam -  November 3, 2017 - 2:29 pm

        Passed here 11-3-17. Agree with report. Was giving instructions to a first time cruiser on how to pass through here and when we got there it was not how we described it. Red face. Sigh.
        Improbability

        Reply to Mike
    • St. Augustine Municipal Marina has Re-Opened, AICW Statute Mile 778


      According to their answering recording, the City Marina has re-opened after being severely damaged by Hurricane Irma and is accepting transients. The marina has no fuel at this point, but the marina is staffed 24/7, has ice and the dinghy dock is open. Call ahead, 904-825-1026 to request services or make a reservation.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine City Marina

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Vicki Latham -  November 19, 2017 - 9:38 am

        This is a message I got from a boater friend who went through St. Augustine several weeks ago:

        Marina is open. Some docks destroyed. Some moorings not usable. I stayed there on a mooring and it was fine. They won’t rent the bad ones. Launch runs to 6 PM. I used my dinghy. There is s dinghy Dock.
        Vicki

        Reply to Vicki
    • USCG: City’s Request to Adjust Bridge of Lions Openings Denied, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


      A call by city officials and the local populace to further restrict the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions has been under consideration by the USCG for most of this year. This decision not to restrict the opening schedule is good news for boaters. See Schedule Controversy from April of this year.

      USCG denied city’s request to adjust Bridge of Lions openings

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bridge of Lions

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    • Curfews Imposed Across Northeast Florida

      CURFEWS IMPOSED ACROSS NORTHEAST FLORIDA

      Jacksonville, FL – Curfews have been imposed in many parts of Northeast Florida because of Hurricane Irma.

      The curfew for Jacksonville’s beaches started Saturday night at 10PM and continued through 6AM Sunday. That will continue until further notice. Alcohol sales have also been prohibited until further notice.

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    • Concern over Published Bridge Clearances


      All of us “short masted” vessels have experienced the concerns that Bill Raynor expresses. Considering wind tides, varying lunar tides, displaced clearance boards and sea rise, bridge clearances, even at fixed bridges, have become almost mystical. Whatever the particular situation, good communication with the bridge tender is required and erring on the side of caution should be the byword. SSECN will continue to publish “official” clearances with the admonishment to boaters to approach any fixed structure with caution, especially where currents are adverse. Thank you, Bill, for raising this issue.

      Since recently buying a trawler after 18 years on a sailboat, “Closed Bridge Clearances” have suddenly become of interest to me, since my trawler requires 19 feet. I have traveled from Ft. Pierce to St. Augustine, and have found two errors, both of which affected my boat. Your bridge info on Main Street Bridge in Daytona, shows 22 feet and in actuality it is 19 feet. The bridge tender said that the board reading was the clearance at the center (which I believe was wrong), so I had him open the bridge. The Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine is listed on your website at 18 feet, but in actuality is 20 feet. The bridge tender stated that the board reading was the minimum, and there was 4 feet more at the center. I think that is the correct information. I went through at low tide, and the board read 24 feet, so there was actually 28 feet at the center. I was on the flybridge when I passed through, and I’m sure I had at least 8 feet more than I needed. Since they are on such a restricted opening schedules here, and you have published lots of stuff, you should have the correct clearances on your opening schedule. I’m sure the other “stinkpot” owners with 18 to 20 foot clearance requirements will appreciate it.
      Best,
      Bill Raynor
      m/v Pau Hana

      Saw the item about bridge clearances – fyi, I have an article coming out in September’s Cruising World on just this issue, but on the 65 foot height issue. You might want to mention that to your readers.
      Wally Moran

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Main Street Bridge

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Main Street Bridge

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bridge of Lions

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Miles -  June 16, 2017 - 2:16 pm

        All bridge clearances are listed at the lowest point or the point closest to the water. There is always a bit more at the center if the bridge has any arc to it. That way you know the minimum at whatever point you pass through. This is how it has always been done.

        Reply to Miles
      2. Raymond Smith - MV "Fire Dog" -  June 15, 2017 - 8:56 pm

        What type and brand of boat do you have????

        Reply to Raymond
    • Elske visits St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


      David and Jaculeyn continue sharing the log of Elske via their delightful blog, The Voyage of Elske on America’s Great Loop. This page recounts their visit to the historic St. Augustine LightHouse which stands 161ft on St. Augustine Beach east of the Waterway.

      CLICK HERE FOR ELSKE’S LOG AND PHOTOS

      The St Augustine Lighthouse is well worth visiting on Anastasia Island. The Museum is highly educational for all ages. If a person is inclined, the 14 stories can be climbed- 219!steps! David & I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the exhibits but did not attempt the climb … perhaps some other time.

      We learned about the history of the many shipwrecks, hurricanes and even an earthquake affecting St Augustine over the centuries. This Lighthouse saw Loyalist refugees from Charleston arrive after the Revolutionary War. The Civil War had immense influence here. It was directly affected by German UBoat submarines in WW2. Much archeological investigation is continuing here into the life local inhabitants such as the Lighthouse Keepers.

      Another part of the property was devoted to the promotion and preservation of wooden boat building skills. The boats being built were exquisite.

      Elske departs At 0705 on Memorial Day. We hate to leave after a long sojourn.

      It is a very low “astronomical” low tide. The Bridge of Lions usually has a clearance height of 18 ft but today the side board registered 23 ft.

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine Lighthouse.

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    • Elske visits St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


      David and Jaculeyn continue sharing the log of Elske via their delightful blog, The Voyage of Elske on America’s Great Loop. This page recounts their visit to St. Augustine, a popular north Florida stop for Waterway cruisers.

      CLICK HERE FOR ELSKE’S LOG

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine

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    • Maritime Fun Fest, May 20-21, St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival, St. Augustine, FL

      Fun for your kids and your dog, too. What more could you want?

      A Florida Not for Profit Corporation, and 501(c)(3)


      Besides games for kids, the Fest includes a contest developed especially for the festival: Astillero de Perro, our amateur dog agility contest. The term Astillero de Perro is Spanish that translates the Dog Who Owns the Boatyard, with many cruisers now having canine companions on their boats, we especially want to peak their interest in participating or joining with their pups as spectators. The festival is a dog friendly venue. Of note, the Scottie dog in the first boat is a caricature of our First Mate, Sassy, who traveled aboard our Ingrid 38. She was a 1st Place 2015 winner in the “Diving for Treasure” competition.
      Linda R Allen

      4TH MARITIME FUN FEST St Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival
      Dates: Saturday May 20, 2017 and Sunday May 21, 2017
      Location: Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave, St Augustine FL 32084
      Time: Saturday, May 20 9am to 5pm Sunday, May 21 9am to 5pm
      Festival highlights: Quick N’ Dirty Boat building teams and Race Competition, Astillero de Perro (Amateur Dog Agility) Contest, San Agustín Bartender’s Rum Challenge, Kids Maritime Games/ Activities, Food, and Beer/Wine Tents, along with the park’s living history heritage exhibits, cannon firing demonstrations and more all taking place on 15 acres of St Augustine prime waterfront. This is a Dog Friendly event.
      For additional info: http://staugmaritimeheritage.org/

      A Saturday (5/20/17) 6pm-8:30pm evening event is offered:
      The 14th Colony’s Evening with Governor James Grant. Food menu by sponsor S.A.i.R.A. Live music and dancing under the stars at the Pavilion transports to a time in the 18th century when Governor Grant wined and dined with the good people of St Augustine. Tickets are $30 per person and are available for purchase on line at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/14th-colonys-evening-with-governor-james-grant-tickets-34263798945?aff=es2

      Submitted by:
      Linda R Allen
      SAMHF Media Director
      info@staugmaritimeheritage.org
      904-501-8597

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    • Update on Bridge of Lions Schedule Controversy, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


      Marine Trawlers Owners Association continues to be active in seeking political settlements to legislative actions adversely affecting boaters. A call by city officials and the local populace to further restrict the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions is currently under consideration by the USCG. Our thanks to Mike Bodin and Peter Colket for this information.

      A large Ahoy Mates call is sent out to the boating community to protect our boating rights from unnecessary new laws that will restrict our use of the waterways [including the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, FL].

      Please include this update on the Bridge of Lions. The St. Augustine Fl. city residents are now at a count of over 100 responses to reduce bridge openings to the Coast Guard.

      Another matter on the AICWW, boats traveling south through Florida will encounter the Bridge of Lions (18’ vertical clearance) in St. Augustine. The local newspaper, “St. Augustine Record”, is encouraging residents of the city to flood the Coast Guard with comments favoring reduced bridge openings due to automotive traffic back up

      Please, if you would, contact,
      https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCG-2016-0723-0001
      Stating your opposition to any further Bridge of Lions opening restrictions and you may want to include a couple of the enclosed points of interest. Your communication only needs to be a few sentences.

      The city of St. Augustine recently replaced the Bridge of Lions across the AICWW at St. Augustine which is causing major traffic jams. The city chose to duplicate the 90-year-old antiquated architecture of the original 1927 Bridge of Lions. Today, St. Augustine has 4 million tourists per year and the city’s residential population has dramatically increased from 1927. The City of St. Augustine has created their own never ending problem with regards to traffic congestion.

      A few years ago, the city contacted the Coast Guard to establish bridge opening restrictions. The Coast Guard conducted their open comment time and determined the citizens of St. Augustine were justified in their request and granted their requested opening restrictions. The city is now requesting even further restrictions. In the past, boating groups were not organized nor involved in preserving reasonable access to the waterway.

      Basic present opening restrictions
      Daily bridge openings on the hour and half from 7:am-6:pm except 8 am, 12 noon, and 5 pm, Weekends on the hour and half from.7:am-6:pm

      Proposed restrictions;
      Daily increase hour and half opening time from 6:pm to 9 pm, including no openings at 8 am, 12 noon, 5pm. Weekends extend hour and half openings from 6 pm to 9 pm and no
      openings from 3:pm to 4: pm.

      Points of Concern:

      > Bridge of Lions 76’ width is the narrowest of the 91 bridges along Florida’s AICWW, it is the most struck bridge by vessels, and determined not to meet Coast Guard bridge regulations.

      > Extreme perpendicular to the bridge currents are encountered due to the presence of the Atlantic Ocean inlet, high spring tides and lunar tide rates.

      > Modern Route 312 bridge (65’clearance) is located just 2 miles south of Bridge of Lions and could help to relieve Bridge of Lions traffic congestion
      .
      > 2 marinas, a mooring field, and an anchoring area next to the Bridge of Lions is a cause for increased vessel congestion

      >The AICWW traffic has increased from 1927 rates due to more boaters traveling with air conditioning upon it for destinations to the Keys, Bahamas, and now Cuba

      > With only 18’ vertical clearance all sail boats passing will require openings. Due to high currents, sail boats will have to circle for 30 or 60-minutes waiting for the bridge to open.

      > Increased currents make it difficult for power vessels to stand position, while sail boats in close proximity are for the anticipated bridge opening in close proximity

      > Increasing the 6pm to 9pm period for half hour opening restrictions will result in winter months when it’s dark for boats to stack up to wait for the next bridge opening, sail boats will be circulating, power standing position, marina and mooring boats leaving and arriving, the city lights in the background all in a close proximity is dangerous.

      >The two commercial Tourist boats go out and return 4 times each, daily they require bridge openings. Request they proceed south along the AICWW requiring no bridge openings

      > The U.S. Department of Transportation concluder a six-year study and presented it to the city of St. Augustine in 1999 concluding the Bridge of Lions 1927 design was “functionally Obsolete”. St. Augustine disregarded the DOT study and completed the Bridge of Lions in 2005 to the original 1927 design. Thus, traffic congestion was not relieved.

      > The city is asking for automotive traffic relief at the expense by increasing boating congestion to the determent of safety.

      Pease send a comment to the Coast Guard expressing opposition for unjustified proposed navigation restrictions
      upon the AICWW by reducing Bridge of Lions openings.

      Thank you,
      Mike Bodin
      MTOA Public Advocate

      ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
      Posted by Peter Colket, President MTOA on USCG comments page:

      I am commenting on behalf of Marine Trawler Owners Association. MTOA is a national boating club of the 2.341 members, 29% of whom are Florida residents.

      MTOA members oppose further restrictions to the Bridge of Lions opening schedule because of boaters’ safety. Reducing the number of openings at any bridge causes congestion on the waterway, which can increase the likelihood of collisions. This is especially true in locations where swift currents affect the movements of vessels. Bridge of Lions is such a location. In addition to swift currents, boaters must be concerned about the proximity of mooring fields on both sides of the bridge, the City Marina on the South side, and vessel traffic entering and departing the marina and moorings.

      We sympathize with people in land vehicles waiting for bridges, and we understand the traffic congestion issues in St. Augustine. But solving those problems by increasing hazards on the waterway is no solution. We urge the U.S. Coast Guard not to change the Bridge of Lions opening schedule as requested by the City of St. Augustine.

      Respectfully,
      Peter K. Colket
      Palm Coast, Florida
      President
      Marine Trawler Owners Association

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bridge of Lions

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Gregory Yount -  April 28, 2017 - 2:28 pm

        I have made my views known? Have you???

        Reply to Gregory
    • More on Proposed Changes at Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, FL, AICW Statute Mile 778


      Our thanks to experienced cruiser and long-time Cruisers’ Net contributor, Gregory Yount, for this Federal Register posting requesting comments on proposed changes to the opening schedule at the Bridge of Lions. See our earlier postings Changes Possible to Bridge of Lions? and Request for Further Comment for more information.

      Here is the notice regarding bridge opening restrictions:

      Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, FL

      This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Coast Guard (USCG)

      For related information, Open Docket Folder
      Action

      Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.
      Summary

      The Coast Guard is seeking comments and information concerning a proposal to change the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, Florida. The City of St. Augustine is concerned that vehicle traffic is becoming exponentially worse with each passing season and that on-demand bridge openings are contributing to vehicle traffic backups. The proposed modification would extend the twice an hour draw opening period from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and preclude the bridge draw from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.
      Dates

      Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 15, 2017.
      Addresses

      You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0723 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.
      For Further Information Contact

      If you have questions about this notice, call or email MST1 Timothy Fosdick, Sector Jacksonville, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 904-714-7623, email Timothy.P.Fosdick@uscg.mil.
      Supplementary Information
      Table of Abbreviations

      CFR Code of Federal Regulations

      DHS Department of Homeland Security

      FR Federal Register

      NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

      ANPRM Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

      § Section Symbol

      U.S.C. United States Code
      A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

      We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

      We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

      We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

      Documents mentioned in this ANPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.
      B. Regulatory History and Information

      In 2015, the City of St. Augustine approached the Coast Guard with a recommendation to amend the Bridge of Lions operating schedule. Shortly thereafter, a meeting was held with the City of St. Augustine, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), bridge owner, and the U.S. Coast Guard to seek improvements to reduce the vehicle traffic backups at the intersection of A1A, the Bridge of Lions, and Avenida Menendez. During the meeting, FDOT agreed to work with the City traffic engineers to develop better traffic signaling techniques to reduce the vehicle traffic backups. In May 2016, the City of St. Augustine proposed an amendment to the bridge operating schedule to reduce vehicle traffic backups in the affected area. The City would like to extend the 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. twice an hour opening schedule to 9 p.m., daily and preclude the bridge draw from opening at 3:30 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.

      The current operating schedule, as published in 33 CFR 117.261(d), reads as follows: Bridge of Lions (SR A1A) bridge, mile 777.9 at St. Augustine. The draw shall open on signal; except that, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour; however, the draw need not open at 8 a.m., 12 noon, and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays the draw need only open on the hour and half-hour.

      In accordance with Nautical Chart 11485, 37th Ed., Nov. 2014, the Bridge of Lions has a vertical clearance of 18 feet in the closed (down) position at mean high water and a horizontal clearance of 79 feet. Additionally, there is a note on the chart stating “Strong tidal currents run perpendicular to the Bridge of Lions opening. Vessels engaged in towing and pushing operations are advised to transit the bridge opening during slack tide and, if necessary, breakdown the tow in small units or use adequate tugs.” In regards to the Bridge of Lions, the U.S. Coast Pilot 4, Chapter 12, Edition 47, 2015 also states “Caution is advised because the tidal currents, particularly ebb, run at right angles to the bridge. It is advisable to drift large tows through this opening at slack water. Normal flood currents of 1 knot and ebb currents of 1.5 knots may be expected. Several mishaps involving the bridge being hit by vessels, which have lost maneuvering control during periods of ebb currents, have occurred. Caution is advised when transiting the area.”

      The original Bridge of Lions was built in 1927 and replaced in 2010. The new bridge was completed with no modifications to the vertical or horizontal clearances; therefore, there was no impact to the number of bridge openings due to vessel traffic.
      C. Basis and Purpose

      The legal basis and authorities for this ANPRM are found in 33 U.S.C. 499, 33 CFR 1.05-1, and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. The Coast Guard is considering a change to the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, St. Augustine, Florida. The Coast Guard received a request from the City of St. Augustine to modify the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions in an effort to decrease vehicle traffic backups caused by the significant increase in vehicle traffic combined with the on-demand bridge openings. The purpose of this ANPRM is to solicit comments on a potential proposed rulemaking concerning a request to change the operating schedule for the Bridge of Lions.
      D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

      Amending the twice an hour opening schedule to a 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. period should not have an unreasonable impact on navigation. However, amending the bridge operating schedule to exclude a 3:30 p.m. opening on weekends and Federal holidays may have a negative impact to the public, as there are many tourists in vehicles and vessels in St. Augustine during these periods. Additional input will be required from the City of St. Augustine to understand why this particular time was selected. It will also be essential to determine whether any commercial vessel operators would be directly impacted by amending the bridge operating schedule.
      E. Information Requested

      To aid the Coast Guard in developing a proposed rule, we seek any comments, whether positive or negative, including but not limited to: The impact on vessel traffic and/or marine businesses in the area when extending the twice an hour opening; any potential negative impact to vessel traffic or marine businesses of not opening the bridge between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; whether the extension to 9 p.m. of the Bridge of Lions twice an hour opening schedule would reduce traffic congestion and; if traffic congestion would be reduced if the bridge did not open between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends and Federal holidays.
      Dated: March 9, 2017.
      S.A. Buschman,
      Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
      [FR Doc. 2017-05071 Filed 3-14-17; 8:45 am]

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Bridge Directory Listing For Bridge of Lions

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bridge of Lions

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