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    • Florida Keys Government Declares State of Emergency and Closed to Visitors

      Monroe County and the city of Key West declared a state of emergency Sunday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monroe County encompasses all the Keys. See Virus News for more local input.

      3/24/20 The Florida Keys have been closed to tourists and visitors as part of coronavirus fight
      Sun Sentinel

      Click link for Florida Keys government declare state of emergency
      Miami Herald

      Monroe County, FL – Official Website

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    • “Going North” by Bob Sherer, March 19, Stock Island Marina Village, CANCELLED

      This presentation by author and experienced cruiser, Bob Sherer, HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

      Robert Sherer
      March 2 at 12:24 PM
      “Going North” from Key West to Hampton, VA by Bob423

      I will be giving a “Going North” presentation (see agenda below) at the Stock Island Marina Village on 3/19/2020. There is no fee for the event. Come one, come all. It will be informative and fun. There will be door prizes too! The event is open to all.
      https://stockislandmarina.com/

      12:30 – 1:30
      Have lunch with Bob423, meet and greet. I will need lunch and you’re invited too at Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen and Bar, it’s excellent!

      1 Facebook Likes, 1 Facebook Reactions

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    • Liveaboard Shot by FWC Officer, Key West, FL

      Cruisers Net is not privy to any more details than mentioned in this report and cannot confirm or deny the accuracy of the report. We post this only because of the recent issues revolving around freedom to anchor. Further information should arrive soon.

      Click here for Key West: FWC CAPTAIN SHOOTS LIVEABOARD ON HIS HOUSEBOAT

      0 Facebook Likes, 7 Facebook Reactions

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Wally Moran -  October 29, 2019 - 11:01 am

        Sorry to spoil everyone’s Sunday, but the following video about a Florida Fish and Wildlife captain shooting and nearly killing a boater is something we all need to see and respond to. Clearly, the situation in FL is out of hand. All of us as leaders in boating, in media and as leaders in the fight to preserve the rights of boaters – we need to respond to what is going on.
        Even if you aren’t a Florida boater, or your business/area of responsibility doesn’t include Florida, many of those with whom you deal are, and they look to you to speak up on their behalf.

        In addition to what is represented here in this video, we currently have several communities violating Florida statute 327.60 by enacting/enforcing illegal ordinances, creating permits to anchor, or seeking to create a no anchoring zone – à la Miami Beach. This is something I said several years ago would happen when the SSCA/AGLCA/MTOA capitulated on the issue and gave up the Sunset Lake, Venetian Blvd and Middle River anchorages in Fort Lauderdale.
        Madeira Beach is the most recent new ordinance, and Jacksonville has been reportedly seeking a no anchoring variance from the State. There are other locations seeking restrictions, as we all know.

        I recognize that this video doesn’t represent the entire story, but the situation in Florida is out of control. I understand that the individual who was shot has had ongoing issues with the FWC which involved tickets for non display of hull numbers. However, I very much doubt that an appropriate response by the FWC extends to shooting a man.
        There are conflicting reports on this incident. That concerns me. We need to know the truth about what happened.
        Regardless of what happened to this boater, the testimonies of the people in this video demonstrate that, even without this incident, there is a problem in Florida that needs addressing.
        FWC does have a history of harassing boaters in the Keys as we saw some years ago in Marathon/Boot Key Harbor. A series of public meetings appeared to have resolved those issues, but I recall that the FWC Captain involved in this shooting was also involved in the problems in Marathon.
        These problems involved overly aggressive enforcement and boats – with children aboard – being boarded at night with guns drawn for minor issues such as anchor lights.
        I have asked Key West locals and others to contact me with further details on this video and its background and the people involved. I will update you as more information comes in. I have also contacted local media reporting on this story for further details and background.

        Yes, I agree, a lot of these people such as the houseboaters don’t represent what we see as a boating constituency. Some of the boats are pretty marginal, and that’s being kind.
        But local officials and wealthy waterfront homeowners, as we’ve seen too many times, lump all boats – derelict, transient, liveaboard and gold platers – in the same category and so we need to be concerned about these people. Their problems are, or will be at some point, our problem as Martin Niemöller so clearly showed us.

        I have already spoken to several of you in Annapolis receiving this note about the need for a new organization separate from those now dealing with the anchoring issue. The approach we have used in the past is clearly not sufficient to the issues we need to deal with.
        We’re not getting anywhere, we continue to go on defending – and losing – our rights.
        I’ll expand on this new organization concept in a forthcoming email – in the meantime, this video will outline just how bad things have become and make clear why we need to act.
        When police officers are boarding boats with guns drawn, with people being shot, we need to pay attention to what is going on.
        I will close with this comment – we all must be more involved. We need to comment boldly on these incidents, we need to work together to deal with the problems in Florida, at every level. We need, most of all, to be proactive in finding solutions, not reacting constantly to problems and challenges that come up.
        We need to create programs that educate the public about boating/landowner issues and work with communities to help them resolve their problems with derelicts and problem boats/boaters, show them alternative methods to handling boating/anchoring issues using laws currently in place, educate legislators at every level.
        We need to work towards eliminating what are actually social welfare problems of people with substance abuse issues, mental health issues and just plain poverty issues who are choosing a boat as a place to live – as opposed to a cardboard box under a bridge.
        Most importantly of all, we need to educate boaters so that these problems do not arise.
        If we fail to do these things, the problems are only going to continue to go downhill, as well as migrate to other locations, as we’ve seen happening in Georgia. This battle has been ongoing for over 40 years in Florida – it’s time we took real steps towards ending it.
        Please feel free to forward this email to other industry leaders you feel should be involved, and if you would, please copy me so I can include them in future communications on this issue.
        I look forward to your opinions on this incident, and on how we need to proceed. Here’s the video:

        https://thebluepaper.com/key-west-fwc-captain-shoots-liveaboard-on-his-houseboat/

        Sincerely,

        Wally Moran

        Reply to Wally
    • LNM: Naval Operations, August 21-24, 26-28, Key West, FL


      Hopefully more details will follow in future Local Notices.

      STRAITS OF FLORIDA – NAVAL OPERATIONS
      Naval operations will be conducted in Key West on August 21-24, 26-28, 2019 between the hours of 9:30am until 6:00pm, coordinates listed below. For more, contact USCG Sector Key West, Waterways Management Division at (305) 292-8768 or email SKWWaterways@uscg.mil
      24 00N 80 56W
      24 33N 80 55W
      24 43N 79 41W
      24 18N 79 23W
      24 00N 79 51W

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    • Coast Guard, NOAA Seize Illegal Shrimp Catch, Dry Tortugas Shrimp Sanctuary



      Coast Guard, NOAA seize illegal shrimp catch
      MIAMI — The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seized approximately 6,000 pounds of shrimp with an estimated price of $60,000 from the 68-foot fishing vessel Ronald E. near the Dry Tortugas Shrimp Sanctuary Preservation Area, Friday.

      The vessel Ronald E. was observed fishing inside the marine sanctuary and was boarded by a Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans and NOAA joint boarding team. The boarding team cited the vessel for illegally fishing inside a national marine sanctuary and safety violations.

      “This case demonstrates the importance of strategic partnership,” said Capt. Jeffery Janzsen, commander, Coast Guard Sector Key West. “Within the Florida Keys, we take protecting the National Marine Sanctuary very seriously. Boaters and fishermen should familiarize themselves with the boundaries of the sanctuary to make sure they are complying with federal law.”

      Fishing within federally protected waters is illegal.

      “The partnership between NOAA and the Coast Guard allows for efficient enforcement of the commercial fishing fleet in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Wolstenholme, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans. “Integrating NOAA enforcement officers into our boarding teams ensures quality at sea inspections of both required safety equipment and fishing gear.”

      The evidence package for this seizure has been forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service, who will determine if a formal Notice of Violation will be issued.

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    • Fantasy Fest Underway in Key West, Oct 20-29

      Hotels are open and Fantasy Fest is going full steam!

      Fantasy Fest 2017 is running!  October 20-29.

      Key West Mayor, Craig Cates, said they are targeting October 20th as their goal to officially reopen to tourists in time for the annual “Fantasy Fest”.

      1 Facebook Likes, 1 Facebook Reactions

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    • Stock Island Marina Fuel Docks OPEN, Stock Island Village, Key West


      A phone call to the marina and a call from Mike Ahart confirms that any fuel issues have been solved and the Stock Island Marina is pumping fuel again. Stock Island Marina occupies the westerly shores of Safe Harbor, north of marker #5.

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Stock Island Marina Village

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Stock Island Marina Village

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    • Report from Galleon Marina (Key West Bight)


      Galleon Marina will be the first marina that will come abeam to your starboard side as you enter Key West Bight. This facility has an excellent reputation, and it certainly lies right in the heart of Key West!

      Stayed over Christmas . Helpful staff, patient at directing me to a berth between the riprap and the pontoons, which I didn’t think could be the way in as it was so narrow. Never did get my iPad to hook up to the wifi, which the marina staff know is an issue for Apple products. They gave me a number for tech support, but of course on the afternoon of 24 December I never got a call back before leaving on the 27th. The Windows laptop did connect, but service was slow. Can’t believe their tech guys can’t figure it out.
      Resort bar good for sundowners after a dip in the large pool and the hot tub.
      Tom Syrett

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Galleon Marina

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

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    • Good Words for Key West Bight City Marina, Key West, FL


      Key West Bight City Marina occupies a good portion of the rear (southeasterly shores) of Key West Bight.

      We have stayed at Key West Bight Marina for three years in a row. Each we time we stay for about 5 or 6 months. The staff is great. The marina has great water and is close to downtown. We highly recommend this place.
      Radler

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Key West Bight City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West Bight City Marina

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    • Praise for Garrison Bight/Fleming Key Mooring Field, Key West


      The Garrison Bight/Fleming Key mooring field lies along a broad swath of water between Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park, north-northwest of Garrison Bight and is managed by Key West City Marina.

      We spent two winters in Key West at Garrison Bight mooring field. Wonderful spot. One mile to Garrison Bight, 2 miles to Key West bight and Rat Key is in the anchorage for doggie walking. Grocery and other shopping within dingy distance. We loved evenings in Key West bight and dog walking from Garrison Bight docks through the lovely ‘˜Meadows’ neighborhood. Key West is fun on a daily basis. Be sure to use Key West Marine for all your boating needs, and if you have head problems, use the Head Honcho. The Cubanos at KW Marine will hook you up. Great Thai food at Garrison Bight and generally great fun and food are available in short range from the moorings.
      Cap and Linda Munday

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Key West City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West City Marina

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    • More Abuse by Florida Wildlife Commission Enforcement Officers

      Skipper Starling’s report comes in response to an earlier posting on the heavy-handed practices of some FWC patrol officers, /?p=133874. Despite numerous complaints filed by experienced and law abiding boaters, Florida seems unable to control the over-zealous enforcement present in the FWC enforcement division, practices definitely not limited to the Keys.

      Predatory practices by FWCC toward boaters in Key West
      Being shadowed by a boat with no lights while underway to the dock at sunset is unnerving , but when it turns out to be FWCC , it is worse.
      Now pulled over by FWCC, they mention running lights so I mention the sunglasses they still have on. No matter that it is literally moments after sunset. Their intention is to write a citation and generate income for FWCC and at the moment I have become that revenue resource.
      Minor infractions that should warrant a verbal warning are tickets.
      Worse yet , a few weeks later I receive a certified letter from FWCC .
      Inside, a citation for a non operational anchor light , which was issued in my absence from the vessel. It was issued at 6:32 , just after sunset when the ambient light was bright enough to keep the photo cell on my Davis auto anchor light from activating. This anchor light is an industry standard and turns on and off automatically . My vessel was not anchored in State waters but Navy bay bottom and not in navigable waters.
      I have lost any respect for the newly inducted Officers, as they lack the skills necessary to gain the confidence of the Citizens and form relationships that would benefit the FWCC and boating community. Older Veteran Officers do not operate in this manner and know that it creates animosity and results in the boating community not helping FWCC in investigations of serious violations due to bad experiences and distrust.
      FWCC wonders why the boating community doesn’t trust them , and refuses to cooperate . This is one example of their perception of boaters as a income revenue resource.
      Lee Starling

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Rick Emerson -  January 30, 2015 - 7:29 pm

        Sorry, but never ever not ever tell any officer something like “you’re wearing sunglasses after sunset”. Your ticket for the anchor light was, no doubt, payback for the comment.

        Reply to Rick
    • Questions about Garrison Bight/Fleming Key Mooring Field, Key West


      Skipper Petra posed the questions below for a contributor who had commented on the Garrison Bight/Fleming Key mooring field (see /?p=144908) which lies along a broad swath of water between Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park, north-northwest of Garrison Bight and is managed by Key West City Marina. SSECN is happy to facilitate the following exchange. Skipper Petra would welcome your input as well.

      Hi James,
      Are there any docks, balls or cheap marinas from Big Coppitt Key to the Boot Key Ball area? I am going to be working in a music duet in that area while also a novice captain of a 38′ Morgan w 3.6 draw. I would want to avoid that North wind chop and also rely on a bicycle due to knee problems. My more secure alternative now only seems to be the Boot Key Balling area. Any help or suggestions are appreciated.
      Charly Petra

      Hi Larry,
      I have been in the Key West Garrison Bight Mooring Field for seven years. There is a 3′ wave during heavy North Eastern Cold Fronts that last two to three days and then it’s flat. These fronts are not a problem for me since I am in a 45′ Gulfstar S/V and should not be a problem for a 38′ Morgan. If there is a wind generator on board he will get plenty free electric that keeps my refrigeration and Satellite Dome humming. The cost is $323/M free water, parking, bath house, and parking for dinghy and car. The cheapest Marina I believe is on Stock Island and I am not sure of it’s name. It is next to 3D boat yard. I would guess the docking fee around a $1,000 a month. The facilities are brand new and it is nice with Restaurant and bar. In Key West it would cost closer to $2,000 + per month. There are some spots to anchor free that his draft would handle. One is in Key West by Christmas Tree Island which is a zoo, west of Fleming Key in KW., another would be Cow Key Channel which is between Key West and Stock Island. There could be some spots near Boca Chico Island north of the air base. You would need to search these out, but I have heard of some spots near there.
      Jim

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Key West City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West City Marina

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    • More Good Words for Garrison Bight/Fleming Key Mooring Field, Key West


      The Garrison Bight/Fleming Key mooring field lies along a broad swath of water between Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park, north-northwest of Garrison Bight and is managed by Key West City Marina.

      An affordable alternative to a marina in Key West or Stock Island are the mooring balls at Garrison Bight Marina in Key West. The overnight rate is in the neighborhood of $20, I’ve ball parked that because I always go for the monthly rate $323. and change. You need a dinghy for a 10 to 15 minute ride in to the dinghy docks. Included in the fee is a: bathhouse with laundry facilities, showers and restrooms, parking space for car and dinghy. There are bicycle racks, bikes not included in fact it is a dangerous place to leave a bike cabled and locked. Best to sleep next to bike I have had four stolen. It is a mile walk into town and the bus station and stop is two buildings to the north.
      James T. Holtzinger

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Key West City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West City Marina

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    • Good Words for Garrison Bight/Fleming Key Mooring Field, Key West


      The Garrison Bight/Fleming Key mooring field lies along a broad swath of water between Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park, north-northwest of Garrison Bight and is managed by Key West City Marina.

      The mooring field is a nice security versus anchoring.
      The second plus plus is the showers at the dinghy dock.
      But no security, gate does not lock at the dinghy dock. This is the second year that I witnessed this problem. Second there is no fuel.
      Bram Clement

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

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    • Conch Harbor Marina, Key West, Florida Keys


      Conch Harbor Marina flanks the southeastern banks of Key West Bight, northeast of of Key West Bight City Marina.

      Terrific marina, good staff. You can borrow a bike for free and washers/dryers are free as well. There is a little area with barbecue and chairs separate from Dante’s for marina guests only.
      AliOoops

      I stayed there earlier this month when windy weather kept us in port longer than planned. It is a good marina and a first rate staff. My only comment is it caters to the party crowd and that is not me. Nice pool at the foot of the docks, but don’t expect a quiet swim. They have a DJ playing loud music that was intrusive even inside our closed-up air conditioned boat halfway down the dock.and the pool area is packed with a singles bar atmosphere. If you like that this is the place to stay in Key West. However, if your style is more Jimmy Buffet than hip hop there are other places, even in busy Key West Bight that are a better fit for you.
      Brad Hines

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Conch Harbor Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Conch Harbor Marina

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    • County Commissioners Address Derelict Vessel Issue in Keys

      Key West – Click for Chartview

      At the April 16 meeting of the Monroe County Commission in Key West, Commissioner George Neugent intends to outline proposals targeting the derelict vessel problem in the Florida Keys. Because of the expense involved with their removal, the issue of abandoned vessels, not only in the Keys but in all coastal harbors, has become a major problem for municipalities. The below linked article by Kevin Wadlow of KeysInfoNet.com reports on plans by Key West officials to deal with derelicts. The referenced Tug Tilly sank in March, see /?p=136965

      http://www.keysnet.com/2014/04/16/496194/following-the-sinking-of-an-81.html?sp=/99/106/

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West

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    • Proof of Pumpout to be Required in Key West

      This is an important story for those to know who will be visiting Key West. What it boils down to, is that if you anchor, or pick up a mooring in Key West, this proposal would make it mandatory for cruisers to show proof of a recent waste pump-out before coming ashore by dinghy. Now, let me stress, such a regulation is made far LESS onerous courtesy of the fact that the city of Key West provides regular, FREE pump-outs to boats at anchor and on a mooring. Nevertheless, this new requirement is one of which NEW cruisers, and cruisers visiting Key West for the first time, need to be made aware. The issue of proof of pumpout has been a topic of discussion for cruisers for sometime now, see /?p=131066. The article linked below by Sean Kinney of KeysInfoNet.com outlines the proposed pumpout regulation for Key West cruisers.

      http://www.keysnet.com/2014/03/29/495799/city-owned-marina-likely-to-require.html?sp=/99/106/

      So what do those of us who don’t pumpout do (composting toilet)? The Keys seem to be doing everything in their power to drive away transient cruising boats.
      John Kettlewell

      Sooner or later, communities are going to get the message that all it takes to keep their waters clean of recreation boat waste, is a free pump out boat. Use some of those free flowing federal dollars for something that doesn’t benefit anyone but the taxpayers.
      Not many people will pump waste overboard if there is a feasible and reasonable alternative. But, everybody has to, sooner or later, if there isn’t.
      R. Holiman

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    • Restaurant Recommendations in Key West, FL

      Key West – Click for Chartview

      This list of tasty eateries comes from our friends at Trawler and Trawlering and, although the Gantts are skippers of a land yacht, their recommendations can be heeded by crews of water vessels just as well!

      We take our “32′ Avanti Land Yacht (motorhome)” to the Key West Naval Air Station RV park every year for 3 months Jan-Mar. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants:
      The Commodore (downstairs) located 700 Front St on waterfront. Great mahi-mahi sandwich.. comes w/fries or broccoli for $9.95 at lunch. Wife and I get one of different sides and share.
      Abbodanza’s located at 1208 Simonton Street. Great Italian food…. very large servings. The Abbodanza spaghetti and meat balls comes with a salad and is enough for two to share… just order another salad
      Camille’s (next door to Abbodanza). Great breakfast and lunch. Lunch special includes 1/2 chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich and cup of soup. A favorite that is always tasty.
      Hogfish Bar and Grill, 6810 Front St, Stock Island serves a great hogfish sandwich.
      Too many others to list….
      Reid and Karen Gantt

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West

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