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    • Five-Year Study on Florida’s Red Tide

      Here is an interesting article on red tide which had a recent bloom in the Big Bend region of the Gulf, see /?p=144423.


      FWC, partners unlock some mysteries behind red tide in 5-year study

      Last month, researchers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) published new findings on Florida’s red tide organism, Karenia brevis, in a special issue of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. This publication is the culmination of an unprecedented collaboration on red tide research in the Gulf of Mexico led by the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
      For more on this study, go to:


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    • More Praise for The Wharf Marina, Orange Beach, AL, Gulf ICW Statute Mile 159

      The Wharf Marina - Click for Chartview

      The Wharf Marina, at 4673 Wharf Parkway in Orange Beach, AL, is located directly on the canal-like portion of the Northern Gulf Waterway that runs between Mobile Bay and Pensacola. The review below was supplied by our friends in the AGLCA Forum.

      For all the Southbound Loopers, don’t miss your chance to stay at the best marina in Orange Beach. The Wharf is a tremendous marina and destination. The shops and restaurants are the best around. Beverly and her crew in the marina office are so very helpful to boaters. >
      The new West Marine is a few blocks down the road. Middleton Marine is also a few blocks down the road and ready to help with any boat issues you might have. Publix, a fantastic meat market, a seafood market and Walmart are nearby.
      We are here ready to help you in any way during your stop. Our boat is having repairs by Middleton here and then we will continue our way south with some of you.
      David and Diane Martin
      Endeavour 44 Powercat

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

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    • High Praise for Orange Beach Marina, off Northern Gulf ICW, near Statute Mile 165

      Orange Beach Marina - Click for Chartview

      Orange Beach Marina, at 27075 Marina Rd, Orange Beach, AL, is south and west of Statute Mile 165 of the Northern Gulf ICW by way of St. Johns Bayou, and sits near Perdido Pass inlet.

      Orange Beach Marina is the best active marina on the gulf coast. They have two great restaurants on site and you are within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. They have covered slips, and lots of amenities.
      Daniel Simpler

      Ahoy Daniel! I’m not clear on your criteria for designating Orange Beach Marina as ‘ the best active marina’ on the gulf coast. OBM is a very nice facility, however I would direct you to Lulu’s Home Port Marina, the Wharf Marina, Palafox Pier Marina, Baytowne Marina, Bluewater Bay Marina, Bay Point Marina, Scipio Creek Marina, Port St. Joe Marina, and The Moorings of Carabelle as first rate stops for cruisers.
      Bob Riggs

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

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    • Praise for The Wharf Marina, Orange Beach, AL, Gulf ICW Statute Mile 159

      The Wharf Marina - Click for Chartview

      The Wharf Marina, at 4673 Wharf Parkway in Orange Beach, AL, is located directly on the canal-like portion of the Northern Gulf Waterway that runs between Mobile Bay and Pensacola.

      We stayed a couple nights at The Wharf last fall on our way between Mobile and Panama city—it was a nice facility with floating docks, and there was a whole complex of shops, restaurants, a multi-plex theater and even a ferris wheel, if I recall correctly. It was right on the ICW, near Orange Beach.
      Anita & Don

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

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    • More on the Vertical Clearance of Perdido Key – Gulf Beach Bridge (Statute Mile 172)

      Perdido Key - Gulf Beach Bridge - Click for Chartview

      The height of this bridge has elicited numerous comments and concerns as to its vertical clearance which is charted at 73ft. See link below for more comments.

      Been under that bridge numerous times with a 62′ mast.
      R. Holiman

      4 deck towboats transit this area; when did the confusion start?
      Capt. Jerry Robbins

      Click Here To Read Earlier Comments on Perdido Key Bridge

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Perdido Key ‘“ Gulf Beach Bridge

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Matt -  November 5, 2016 - 9:08 am

        I think people are confusing Perdido Pass with Gulf Beach Bridge

        Reply to Matt
    • “Homeland Security” Performing Searches Near Mobile Bay

      Yikes! Watch out on the waters from Mobil Bay, moving east to Perdido Key

      Cruising News:
      Mariners be advised that multijurisdictional boardings and vessel searches are being conducted AT DOCKS IN PRIVATE MARINAS in the area extending from Ingram Bayou/Orange Beach to marinas on Mobile Bay. Cruisers report first contact by Homeland Security vessels with alongside questioning at the entrance/exit of Bon Secour Bay. US Coast Guard, local police, drug dog, Alabama Marine Police, and Border Patrol/customs officers are seeking documentation info and ID of captains and crews but do not appear interested in safety or sanitation inspections. We would advise our fellow boaters to be on guard and be prepared. Even if permission is not given, boaters are being informed that the officers are going to “search your boat anyway.” Have all information in order related to liquor carried aboard as well as a ship’s log and other proof of where you have been and where you are going. It was repeatedly asserted to us that we had been in the Bahamas when in fact we had not, and the origin of a bottle of liqueur was closely questioned because it was named “Nassau Royale” even though in fact this product is widely available in the US and is manufactured in Puerto Rico.
      Remember that the officers are authorized to LIE in order to gain information and in severe cases of unreasonable search & seizure without permission, be prepared to request an attorney before answering ANY questions.
      Scott & Cyndi Perkins

      In a country that always trumpets its self designated superiority because it ‘˜follows the rule of law’ your government doesn’t seem to recognize any Constitutional limits. Rule of law for the proles but for the rich and their badged minions not so much.

      WE just came through this area and wasn’t boarded, however, we did see a USCG RIB stopping fishing boats and spending a lot of time with them.
      James Angel

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

    • Clearance of Perdido Key – Gulf Beach Bridge Questioned (Statute Mile 172)

      We received the following inquiry from Captain Steve:

      I question the bridge clearence stated. I have seen a clearence of 65′ published in several other areas. 73 feet is wonderful but I have yet to see any sailboat even close to 40′ in the perdido area. The height needs to be officially confirmed.

      While I agree that this is an unusual amount of vertical clearance for a Northern Gulf ICW fixed span, a check of the latest NOAA chart confirms these specs. Check out:

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Perdido Key ‘“ Gulf Beach Bridge

      Been under that bridge with a 55 ft mast and we weren’t even close. Looked to clear by at least 10 to 15 ft.
      Bill Lloyd

      I went under with 61′ mast and it looked to be quite a bit higher than my stick.

      4 deck towboats transit this area; when did the confusion start?
      Capt. Jerry Robbins

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    • Praise for Orange Beach Marina

      To find your way to Orange Beach Marina, you must depart the Northern Gulf ICW by way of St. Johns Bayou, then traverse the channel from Perdido Pass to Terry Cove. Then, turn to the west and hug the southern banks. A marked channel will lead to the marina.

      I spent the last two winter seasons at Orange Beach Marina and really enjoyed it. There are 2 restaurants on the property and Tacky Jacks across the street. They have two SUV’s for loaner cars and are very nice people. There is a boatyard and haul out facility on property with very clean restrooms and showers. All slips are covered and you are only ten minutes from Perdido Cut. Everything you need is very close.
      Slow Flight

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    • Great Review of Wharf at Orange Beach Marina and Bay Point Marina

      The message below was copied from the AGLCA mail list, and is in response to a request for marina recommendation along the Northern Gulf coastline.
      The Wharf at Orange Beach Marina is located directly on the canal-like portion of the Northern Gulf ICW that runs between Mobile Bay and Pensacola, near Statute Mile 159.

      You will certainly get plenty of recommendations but I would offer the Wharf at Orange Beach. It has the village environment you mentioned and is relatively safe from storms. Bay Point Marina in Panama City is the second choice only because it is a little further away from things and its village is more limited. Both marinas are offering the same fantastic rates to AGLCA members. Neither marina will do your yard work, Saunders in Orange Beach is good and the nearest place to the Wharf unless you want to go back to Mobile Bay where you have several good choices.
      Stay safe,

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    • Good Times at Orange Beach Marina (Orange Beach, Alabama)

      Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, AL is continuing their winter special this year…$525 a month for under cover in a fully protected marina with two restaurants, two transient cars, an on-site boatyard (Saunders) and tons of amenities off-site, including great shopping, condos, bike and walking trails, public workout facilities (not for free, though) and super weather. Call Jimmy or Donna at 251 981 4207 for the particulars and to make reservations.
      Cyndi and I are going when we finalize our “new” boat purchase, so we’ll see y’all down there. We had a wonderful winter last year. No…we don’t work for Orange Beach Marina…just spreading the joy.
      Jim and Cyndi McKay

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    • Orange Beach Marina (off AICW between Big Lagoon and Mobile Bay)

      Wow, what a great review of this facility. Note that this message was copied off the AGLCA mail list.

      Hi, everyone. Hope y’all are safe.
      I’ve told y’all about Orange Beach Marina and what a wonderful marina it is…they are especially kind to Loopers and fly the Looper flag proudly. They have a VERY SPECIAL winter rate to May 1…$525/month regardless of size. Power is extra, but my bill runs just a tad under $25.
      They are in a lush, tropical setting with excellent security, new docks and in a quiet residential neighborhood. The transient vehicle is a late model Yukon Suburban. Close showers and a laundry on site next to the transient dock. Two on-site restaurants and two others (expecially Tacky Jacks) a short walk away. The beach, renowned for its sugary sand, is only 2.3 miles away.. A huge, respected boatyard (Saunders Yachtworks).
      And there’s more: Covered barbecue and picnic areas, boat washing and detail service on site, upscale dock store, taxi service, the best, friendliest service help around.
      Both Orange Beach are minutes from each other and both offer libraries, indoor pools, exercise areas, a great wildlife area well within walking distance (deer and other wildlife abound), golf courses, great shopping. In short, it is a paradise!
      And Pensacola Naval Air Station’s world famous air and space museam is really close by.
      Free first night dockage with fill up of 300 gallons or more attract lots of folks…and its just for us Loopers.
      I hate to sound like a shill for the marina, but it is a superb overnight or long-term place to be.
      Just ask for Jimmy at 251 981 4207.

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    • Ingram Bayou Anchorage (Statute Mile 164)

      Ingram Bayou lies off the northern flank of the ICW, west of the Waterway’s with St. Johns Bayou and Perdido Pass. This is one of my favorite anchorages of all time. It just doesn’t get better than this gang – plenty of depth, good shelter, wonderfully natural shores and ample swing room! See you there!

      Ingrams Bayou anchorage MM164.0 is wonderful. Go all the way in to the charted six foot pool at the back. We found minimum seven feet in the entire pool, except for one short six foot section at the very opening of this pool. Protection is great from all sides, and plenty of swinging room. Several places on shore to land a dog. I suggest getting there early. We arrived about 1500 to find one boat in the back pool. By 1600 we had been joined by five more sailboats.
      Bill Root

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    • Watch Our For Arnica Bay – Mill Point Shoal (Statute Mile 165 to 167)

      The charted shoal referred to below by Captain Root lies just east of Bear Point Marina, and south of the ICW channel. A quiick look at chart 11378 will show these shallows quickly, and apprently they are building to the north. Sounds like good advice to favor the northern or red side of the Waterway passage.

      For those behind us, be aware that the marked shoal on the green side of the channel, just past the marina east of MM 165, extends farther out than charted. I suggest favoring the reds MM 165 to MM 167.
      Bill Root

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    • Lulu’s at Homeport Marina (St. M. 155)

      Homeport Marina, home of Lulu’s Restaurant, is located along the northerly shores of the Northern Gulf ICW’s run through a man-made canal, east of Mobile Bay. It lies just a stone’s throw east of the high-rise Gulf Shores – Highway 59 bridge.

      Subject: Lulu’s at Homeport Marina Gulf Shores AL
      Cruising News: Lulu’s was a great stop on Halloween. The local high school created a haunted house in the pavilion with $5 entrance donation going back to the school group. A costume contest topped off the evening. This restaurant and “play area” at Homeport Marina, Gulf Shores AL, is one of our favorite stops when delivering a boat to Mobile or west. The “beach”, pavilion and large outdoor restaurant host music and kid/family-friendly activities every day. Don’t pass up the gift shop for your Lucy Buffett souvenir.
      Capt. Wendy Young
      Punta Gorda FL

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    • New ICW (Alabama Canal) Marina Between Pensacola and Mobile Bay

      It seems as if there is a whole collection of new marinas sprouting up along the ICW, between Pensacola and Mobile Bay. GOOD NEWS for cruisers! 

      Subject: Barber Marina
      Cruising News: A beautiful new marina has just opened at ICW  MM 161 which is just east of the entrance into the Alabama Canal.  Together with The Wharf and Lulu's HomePort marinas this stretch of the ICW offers transient more first rate docking opportunities than any other stretch of the Northern Gulf.  Bob Riggs
      Bob Riggs

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