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    • Log of the Ideath, Surviving Hermine, Captain Randy Mims, September 3, 2016

      You only have to spend a short time talking with Randy Mims to know that he has the soul of a true sailor. Randy not only built his 27ft gaff-rigged cutter, Ideath, but each year he single-hands the cutter from North Carolina to the Northern Gulf Coast and back again. “Ideath” is pronounced Idea-th and loosely translates as “house of ideas”. Randy stops along the way to visit maritime museums and, indulging his passion for music, he volunteers to sing in church choirs along the way. He also takes time to share his travels with his friends and has agreed to allow Cruisers Net to post his emails. For more photos and more on Randy, go to http://towndock.net/shippingnews/ideath?pg=1 from TownDock.net in Oriental. See previous installment: /156986.

      Randy Mims

      Randy Mims

      soul of a true sailor and, as you will read in the log below, he is the very essence of the DYI! Randy not only built his 27ft gaff-rigged cutter, Ideath, but each year he single-hands the cutter from North Carolina to the Northern Gulf Coast and back again. “Ideath” is pronounced Idea-th and loosely translates as “house of ideas”. Randy stops along the way to visit maritime museums and, indulging his passion for music, he volunteers to sing and play in church choirs along the way. He also takes time to share his travels with his friends and has agreed to allow SSECN to post his emails. For more photos and more on Randy, go to http://towndock.net/shippingnews/ideath?pg=1 from TownDock.net in Oriental, NC. See previous installment: /157772.


      Dear Friends,
      Let me begin by apologizing to everyone that does not follow me on Facebook or Youtube for not sending a text update when I arrived back in Apalachicola. I posted a video about the nice sail from St. Pete to Apalach but forgot to tell everyone that I had made it. OOPS! Since I arrived, I have been playing a lot of music. In addition to practicing four instruments for half an hour each almost every day, I have played at the Apalachicola Farmer’s Market and various Open Mics. Of course I have resumed doing a Prelude for the church service every other Sunday and play flute along with the organ on the Processional and Recessional. I hope everyone had a great summer. It seems strange that just when you get the faintest hint that fall is actually going to get here that Hurricane season get’s the most active. Back is 2002 I went across the creek from the dock at low tide and cut a hole in the marsh grass. On what I remember as probably the hottest day there ever was, I dug a three foot deep hole that measured three feet by two feet. Out each end of this hole I dug a trench two feet deep that was about a foot wide and eight feet long. Into this trench a went a “landscape timber”. Around this timber I fastened a length of five-eights inch chain. Into the big hole (which of course was beginning to fill with the tide coming back in) I mixed eight ninety pound bags of concrete mix. This produced about a six hundred pound anchor with which to hold the boat out in the creek and off the dock when the storm surge actually gets higher than the dock. When I got back this time I noticed that the buoy that marked the end of the chain was missing. Investigating I found that over the years the massive chain had melted into something that wouldn’t hold a rowboat in place. It took weeks for there to be a low tide that wasn’t in the middle of the night. Thankfully last week the tide was right at about seven thirty one evening. With shovel and post hole digger and a piece of 3/4 inch nylon anchor line that I had prepared with a loop spliced in one end and a thimble spliced into the other I paddled across the creek not looking forward to what I had to do. Actually I had my doubts if it would even be possible. But with a positive attitude and only about an hour and a half till dark, I dug a hole on the side of the block away from the creek and a smaller hole down beside the block on the creek side and lying face down in the mud I began trying to push a drain cleaning snake through the mud under the anchor from one hole to the other. I lost track of how many tries it took but with the light failing I hit the other hole. Hallaluja!! I had my anchor back. This proved to be a very good thing. Depression Nine about which the weather service didn’t seem to have a clue did indeed become a hurricane though thankfully not a powerful one and came right to Apalachicola. I spent last night with IDEATH tied to the dock and fore and aft to the anchor across the creek and with an anchor down the creek. Every hour (until the barometer started going back up) and then every two hours I went out into the thirty to fifty mile an hour wind and the DRIVING rain and checked and adjusted lines and was thankful that the storm wasn’t worse. I love living on the boat. It is not always Fun and Relaxing, but NOTHING is more beautiful than the sunrise after a storm. The air is completely clean and the world is peaceful and new.
      Peace and Love to you All,
      Randy

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    • Gulf Crossing Roll Call

      This call for a fleet formation of Gulf crossing vessels is from our good friends at AGLCA.

      Hey all,
      We are moving to Panama City today To sort of get in position for our crossing. Since it has been awhile since the weather window opened many of us have taken Eddy’s advice and been slow floating Since getting off of the rivers. Loopers are strung out from Carrabelle back to Mobile. It looks like that when a opportunity finally arrives there will be a whole armada of us moving. It would be nice to know how many, who we are and planned crossing speed.
      Probably not too early to get a roll call of vessels who are staged intending to cross at the next window since we are at many different ports right now. Our plans a capability:

      Panama City until the window is a day or so away. Then Apalachacola or Carrabelle (if there will even be room). If no room we are capable of going direct from Panama City.
      Boat speed 7 MPH to 25 MPH. Prefer 10 – 20.
      Charlie and Kay Woodard

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Gaz -  June 7, 2016 - 10:41 am

        Charlie & Kay,

        Keep in mind that scallop season starts the 25th of June which will be an issue gaining dockage the closer you get to this date. That said there are many nice marinas reminiscent of old time Florida along the Big Bend area. Don’t expect anything fancy but you will receive great friendship and clean accommodations. All the marinas I’ll mention can handle a 3 foot draft and then some. Be cautious of the depth in this area.
        1) Swanne River ahs two: Swannee River marina 352 542 9159 & Gateway Marina 352 542 7349 Call the local BoatUS Tow for current channel depths and USE THE NORTH channel NOT the river.
        2) Yankee Town; YT marina 352 447 2529; B’s talk with Helen 352-447-5888; Riverside 352-447-2890 This is one of my vavorite stops.
        3) Crystal River: Petes’s 352 795 3302 & Twin River 352 795 3552 This area thinks highly of there dock space but if you’ve never been to Crystal River the stop might be nice.
        4) Now to my favorite river the Steinhatchee: For a nice motel with dockage call Shelter Cove. They have recently been bought out by Ideal Marine so you can be the first to review them. 352 498 5707/352-210-1781. There are also Good Times Motel never been there 352 498-8088; SeaHag 352 498-3008 lots wakes; River Haven my favorite 352 498-0709/352-356=2904;

        This is outland Florida so best to phone in advance to qualify all your requirements.

        Reply to Gaz
    • More on Red Tide Risks on the Beaches of Florida

      These latest warnings must be heeded if you have children or pets playing at the beach. See “Red tide public health risks” below.

      fwc
      For immediate release: October 30, 2015
      Contact: Kelly Richmond, FWC 727-502-4784

      Red tide confirmed in Florida: What you need to know

      Red tide is a naturally occurring, higher-than-normal concentration of microscopic algae. In Florida, the species that causes most red tides is Karenia brevis. This organism produces toxins that can affect the central nervous system of aquatic organisms such as fish and marine mammals. Red tide toxins also pose a human health risk. The toxins can aerosolize and be carried to beaches with onshore winds, leading to respiratory irritation in people. Toxins can accumulate in shellfish and result in illnesses if contaminated shellfish are consumed. Shellfish harvesting areas are closed when blooms are present.

      Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) researchers are currently monitoring two blooms along Florida’s Gulf coast, one located in northwest Florida and the other in southwest Florida.

      `We confirmed the presence of both blooms in September, and they have persisted since that time,’ said Alina Corcoran, FWC research scientist. `The bloom in the Panhandle is currently affecting Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties. In southwest Florida, patchy blooms have been confirmed along Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties. Extensive fish kills and respiratory irritation have been associated with the bloom in the Panhandle but in southwest Florida the effects have been less.’

      Red tide public health tips:

      People in a red tide area can experience varying degrees of eye, nose and throat irritation. When a person leaves an area with a red tide, symptoms usually go away.
      People with severe or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease are cautioned to avoid areas with active red tides.
      In some red tides, dead fish wash ashore; during these conditions it is advised that beachgoers avoid swimming in water where dead fish are present.
      Pet owners are advised that red tide poses a risk to animals brought to the beach. If a pet swims in a red tide patch at the beach, rinse off its fur and paws as soon as possible with fresh water. Also, do not let pets eat fish or drink water from the red tide.
      Recreational harvesting of bivalve mollusks such as hard clams, oysters and mussels from approved shellfish harvesting areas is banned during red tide closures. To determine whether harvesting of shellfish is permitted in an area, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Aquaculture website.
      FWC researchers work closely with partners, including Mote Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and NOAA, to track blooms, share information and develop products that help to inform both citizens and scientists about bloom conditions.

      `Citizen scientists play a vital role in tracking blooms. Volunteers can provide the majority of water samples for bloom tracking in regions like the Panhandle,’ said Corcoran.

      For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or learn more about red tide, visit MyFWC.com/RedTide. To report fish kills to the FWC, contact the Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online.

      Additional red tide resources:

      Red tide facts and information pocket guide and Fact sheet
      Florida Department of Health
      Shellfish Harvesting Area Status
      Mote Marine Laboratory Beach Condition Reporting System at Mote.org/Beaches
      USF Collaboration for the Prediction of Red Tides (CPR)
      NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS)
      redtide4

      And this from WTSP 10 News:

      Red tide sparks tourism concerns
      Eric Glasser, WTSP 5:40 p.m. EST December 9, 2015

      St. Petersburg Beach, FL — Pictures of dead fish washing ashore in the Bay area are not the images that tourism officials want popping up on social media.
      But red tide, say marine scientists, is now here. And how long it will last, they admit, is a mystery.
      Visitors like Kathy Keleher who came to St. Petersburg from Canada to experience its cuisine and culture have seen the images of bloated fish now floating in Boca Ciega Bay.
      “And then it’s gross, and it stinks,” said Keleher, “I don’t expect that at all. I expect beautiful white sandy beaches and clear water and palm trees. Not that,” she said.
      It’s not what those who rely on tourism want people texting their friends and relatives back home.
      “No, I mean it’s horrible for business obviously,” said Wade Parrish, head chef at O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille in Gulfport.
      “You know, the smell would be a deterrent for people to come out here and sit outside and enjoy the wonderful view that we’ve got here,” said Parrish.
      Bob Weisberg with the University of South Florida’s Marine Sciences lab in St. Petersburg, says red tide, or Karenia Brevis as they call it, can kill fish and even cause respiratory distress for people and marine mammals in high enough concentration.
      “There is very little we can do about the red tide,” said Weisberg, describing it as simply too large.
      “This particular plant can get a foothold, and when it does it then dominates,” said Weisberg, “which is what’s happening right now,” he said.
      The red tide algae, says Weisberg, makes its way inland from deep in the Gulf of Mexico riding along strong underwater currents.
      Scientists, he says, could better predict how long it might stick around if they were able to take more offshore observations.
      Unfortunately, he says, the estimated $300,000 cost to consistently send a boat out into the Gulf of Mexico to take those readings is regularly cut out of the state budget.
      Commonly, red tide will begin to dissipate this time of the year, said Weisberg.
      But he also warned that there have been some seasons when the algae bloom has survived well into the summer.
      For a closer look at the underwater current charts Weisberg and his colleagues at USF use to try to predict the direction red tide may be moving, click here.

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    • Cost of Pumpouts in Florida to be Possibly Paid by Boaters

      As local commissioners struggle to fund the current free pumpout service, it becomes apparent that those costs may soon transfer to boaters, as reported in the article below by Kevin Wadlow in KeysInfoNet.com.

      Boat sewage pumpout costs likely to be assessed on the boaters
      BY KEVIN WADLOW
      A boat-pumpout program launched to protect Florida Keys nearshore waters from sewage discharges stands as a model for the state, but state funding for the program is drying up.

      Money from the state’s Clean Vessel Act “dropped significantly this year,” Monroe County Marine Resources administrator Rich Jones told county commissioners Wednesday at their Key Largo meeting.
      Local contractor Pumpout USA “had a lot of trouble making ends meet this year,” Jones said.
      Monroe County in 2015 will spend about $367,000 on the program, with the state funding around $319,000 toward an estimated 18,000 vessel sewage pumpouts.
      The county’s share works out to $21.10 per pumpout. Overall, average total per-pumpout cost is about $40, down from $55.70 in 2014.
      The state Department of Environmental Protection now seeks “throughout the state to build sustainable pumpout programs, using Monroe County’s pumpout program as a model,” Jones said in a report to commissioners.
      To reduce the number of illegal sewage discharges in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary waters, the pumpouts are offered free of charge to boaters. However, commissioners have urged staff to work toward some type of fee system for boaters.
      “I am concerned about the long-term viability of free pumpouts,” Commissioner Heather Carruthers said. “We can’t count on the state for anything.”
      Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said her office receives “a constant supply of comments” from land residents “who pay for sewage” while anchored liveaboard residents “are not paying taxes or rent or anything else, and we’re paying for their sewage.”
      “I like doing something to keep sewage from going in the bay or ocean but sooner or later we’re going to get on the stick and make them pay,” Murphy said.
      Pumpouts are mandatory inside local managed anchoring areas, where Jones said compliance “is close to 100 percent.”
      Commissioners asked about extending the pumpout requirement to all nearshore Keys waters, but questions about jurisdiction and enforcement were cited as potential obstacles. Staff is “looking at any and all alternatives,” Jones said.

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    • Wild Crime on the Waters in Panama City, Northern Gulf ICW Statute Mile 287


      The Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesSt. Andrew's Marina Our thanks to Rich Gano for sending this note-worthy news item. We are grateful that the FWC officer survived the shootout, which occurred on the waters of St. Andrews Bay and not in a marina. Panama City is home to two SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, St. Andrews Marina and Panama City Marina.

      You can read the basics here http://tinyurl.com/pwed56z and http://www.mypanhandle.com/news/more-information-released-about-fwc-officer-shooting

      It appears that the FWC officer was responding to a disturbance of some sort on the boat the two criminals were aboard, and when he pulled up, one of them disappeared into the boat’s cabin and then reappeared with a gun. Seems he may have had a drug-related warrant out on him in a northern tier state and knew that an identity check would land him in jail. So, of course, murder was the right choice for him, duh. Seems to me that if you want to remain below the radar, you don’t create disturbances on the water. A Panama City Beach police officer was killed (first ever) by a criminal on the run from a northern tier state 11 years ago during what the cop thought was a routine traffic stop.

      In the current case, a gun battle ensued during which the officer ended up in the water, and even reloaded while in the soup firing at the criminals as they hijacked his patrol boat and tried to run him down before running the boat ashore and briefly escaping into a residential area where at least one resident confronted them with a gun.

      Don’t be surprised if FWC guys are a bit cautious when they pull you over these days.
      Rich Gano

      Click Here To View the Northern Gulf Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For St. Andrews Marina

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

      Click Here To View the Northern Gulf Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Panama City Marina

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

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. David Boone -  August 9, 2015 - 11:50 am

        Rich,
        Thank you for sharing the article on the FWC officer shooting in Panama City. Goodness, what a life we are living.
        To me, the article confirms that we are all living in this world together. For those T&T of us, we are blessed to be on the water doing what we love but we need to be mindful of events which surround us. Us likeminded T&T folks need to stay in communication, be vigilant and become proactive when we see something of concern.
        Best to all and safe Trawlering!
        D Boone
        MY Ramaela

        Reply to David
    • History Essay on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

      Here is an interesting and readable essay on the history of the Gulf ICW from the Texas State Historical Association.

      texas

       

       

      GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY.
      The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is a coastal canal from Brownsville, Texas, to the Okeechobee waterway at Fort Myers, Florida. The Texas portion of the canal system extends 426 miles, from Sabine Pass to the mouth of the Brownsville Ship Channel at Port Isabel. The grand concept of a canal system that would eventually connect Boston harbor with Brownsville harbor was introduced by Albert Gallatin, United States secretary of the treasury, in a report on Public Roads and Canals submitted to the United States Senate in 1808. By 1819 Secretary of War John C. Calhoun had published his Report on Roads and Canals, which posits an urgent need for an improved internal transportation system including waterways.

      Click Here to read the essay by Art Leatherwood.

      Art Leatherwood, “GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rrg04), accessed March 23, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

       

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    • Great White Caught off Panama City Beach, Northern Gulf


      The Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesSt. Andrew's MarinaThis report is from News5 WKRG.com, Panama City, home to two SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, St. Andrews Marina and Panama City Marina, where you will absolutely never be bothered by great whites or any other sharks! Click on the banners above to be connected to their respective websites.

       

       

      Panama City Beach –
      A rare Great White Shark sighting on the Gulf Coast, this one actually caught in the surf near Panama City Beach.
      According to the Dark Side Sharkers fishing club, Derrick Keeny caught this 9′ 8 1/2″ Great White Sunday, March 1st.
      They snapped a few pictures, tagged and released the shark.
      We found these images on Facebook.
      It’s pretty unusual to see this species in the northern Gulf of Mexico, especially so close to shore.
      You can follow the Dark Side Sharkers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DSSharkers.

      Click Here To View the Northern Gulf Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For St. Andrews Marina

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

      Click Here To View the Northern Gulf Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Panama City Marina

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

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    • Updated Fuel Prices at Panama City and St. Andrews, Northern Gulf ICW


      The Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesSt. Andrew's MarinaPanama City is home to two SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, St. Andrews Marina and Panama City Marina. Click on the banners above to be connected to their respective websites.

      As of today diesel (valvetec fresh because of fishing fleet) is $3.00 taxes included. If staying overnight you get 10 cents off = $2.90 a gal. and gas is $3.65. Nice floating concrete docks, protected and convenient to GICW. Dockage is discounted ($1.50 normally)with Boat US 25% also have a weekly rate of $6.50 a foot all inclusive. If stuck waiting for a crossing weather window it is a good spot with access to good shopping and restaurants. This applies to both St Andrews and the Panama City Marinas. By the way, weather and boat permitting you can cross via the St Andrews Inlet (aka Panama City). It is well marked and maintained for ships and is a class A inlet. We’ve crossed several times both directions to/from St Petersburg via this inlet in our slow 8mph trawler but the days are a tad short
      currently so using East Dog pass this time.
      Joe Pica
      Carolyn Ann GH N-37

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

      Click Here To View the Northern Gulf Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Panama City Marina

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

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    • Good Words for Bay Point Marina, Panama City Beach, Big Bend Gulf Region


      These words of praise come our friends on the AGLCA Forum. Bay Point Marina is located along the Grand Lagoon, which lies northwest of the St. Andrew Bay entrance channel in Panama City Beach, Florida.

      We second the place to stop or leave your boat for the holidays is Bay Point Marina in Panama City Beach, Fl. We have spent four winters at this marina. The folks are so friendly, gated community, golf course, Publix and Winn Dixie close bye, close to beach and just a great place to be. We just finished 18 months in Nashville with both of us having surgeries and rehab. We had never spent more than 6 months in a marina since we moved aboard our Gulfstar in 2003 so we were ready to cruise. FINALLY we have been given good bill of healths and are on our way by boat to Florida to Bay Point Marina for the winter.
      Roy and Elvie Short

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Grand Lagoon

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    • Thanksgiving Lunch at Turner Marine, Dog River off Mobile Bay


      We have had many positive comments about Turner Marine over the years and this Thanksgiving lunch is typical of their care and concern for boaters. Turner Marine is the first facility to starboard as you cruise under the high-rise Dog River bridge. This notice comes to us from our friends on the AGLCA Forum.

      Hi everyone! Turner Marine want to remind everyone about our Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday Nov. 26 at 12:30. Everyone is invited, all we ask is that you bring a dish. We will be providing the fried turkeys and paper products. The rest of the menu is up to YOU! Please call the office to RSVP and to make reservations for your boat, at 251-476-1444 or email at TMYS97@aol.com. We look forward to seeing everyone next Wednesday!
      Roger and Christie Turner

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

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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-banner

      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:

      http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/dbfa20

      redtide2

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    • Red Tide Outbreak on Florida Gulf Coast

      This notice is of especial interest to offshore boaters in the Big Bend area of the Northern Gulf. Our thanks to Jonathan Gorham for submitting this information.

      We have been following the progress of a red tide outbreak on the Florida Gulf Coast as we make our travel plans to the area. Currently (as of September 17) the red tide bloom has been located from 10-20 miles offshore from Levy to Pinellas Counties. It appears to come closest to shore in the area around Cedar Key. Fish kills and respiratory irritation have been reported in the bloom areas. The Florida FWC has a great site with regularly updated maps and lots of background information at:

      http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

      Jonathan Gorham
      M/V Top Cat

      redtide

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    • Seventh District False Flare Cases are Costly Events

      As detailed in this article by Adam Linhardt in KeysNews.com, this is a real No-Brainer, and surely no SSECN reader would ever be guilty of abusing the use of emergency flares. However, it is a good topic of conversation to have in public places where some of the less-informed might overhear!

      False flare cases plague Coast Guard
      BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
      alinhardt@keysnews.com

      Misuse of emergency marine flares is giving the Coast Guard headaches and costing taxpayers a ton of money, the agency said last week.
      Since June, the Coast Guard Seventh District headquartered in Miami, of which Sector Key West is included, reported more than 60 flare sightings. Watchstanders then launched air and boat crews in every instance at a total cost of more than $5 million, according to the Coast Guard.
      Each search typically costs between $60,000 and $90,000 when fuel and manpower needs are totaled, according to data released by the Coast Guard.
      “Shooting a flare in a nondistress situation is no different than dialing 911 and hanging up,” said Capt. Todd Coggeshall, chief of response management for the Coast Guard Seventh District.

      To read more, go to:

      http://keysnews.com/node/57961

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    • Vessel Insurance in Florida

      One of our readers is looking for recommendations for an insurer for a 40ft trimaran while in Florida. While SSECN is happy to pass along this request for advice, we cannot serve as a broker or even a kiosk for various insurers. Please offer Skipper Laletin your suggestions via a personal phone call to the number listed below or by email at chrislaletin@mac.com. Thanks!

      I recently relocated my 40 foot trimaran from the Chesapeake to Florida for this winter. Enough freezing snow last year and I don’t want my baby freezing again. Progressive Insurance will not renew my policy in Florida since i’m over 35 feet. Boat US wants 10% of my policy value as a premium. Any suggestions on an insurance company that will insure a 40 foot trimaran. I have never made a claim and never used my Boat US towing. JAZ is presently stored on the hard in Saint Augustine. I can be contacted directly by text or voice call at 808 seven seven two 2133.
      Chris Laletin

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    • A New Guide Release and a Commitment to a Worthy Cause

      We are greatly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” for providing superb, in-depth articles for our readers! This west coast anchorages guide is a welcomed addition to their previous guides and includes a dedication to the late Claiborne Young, co-founder of SSECN.

      A New Guide Release and a Commitment to a Worthy Cause

      Media Information: For immediate release
      Sarasota, Florida ‘“ September 1, 2014 — Publishers and long time boaters Chuck Baier and Susan Landry of Beach House Publications announce the release of their fourth guide in The Great Book of Anchorages series, The Gulf Coast, Cape Sable, FL to Mobile, AL, Including the Okeechobee Waterway. This fourth guide has been the most requested to date by fellow boaters. The authors extensive on-the-water travels and research from their trawler Beach House provides the most comprehensive Gulf Coast anchorage guide currently in print. Previous guides in The Great Book of Anchorages series are The Chesapeake Bay, Including the Potomac River, Hampton Roads and Norfolk to The Florida Keys, Including the St. Johns River, and The Bahamas ‘“ The Route Most Traveled. Details are available on the website at https://www.tgboa.com/.

      In dedication of this current release, the authors have made a commitment to donate $2.00 from every order placed between August 25, 2014 and September 30, 2014 to one of their favorite charities, The Wounded Warrior Project, http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/. They also challenge other boating publications to offer similar donations. Owner Chuck Baier is himself a veteran from the Vietnam era and understands the need to provide support and additional services to the men and women that sacrifice so much for our country and freedom.
      Beach House Publications and The Great Book of Anchorages series was conceived in August of 2012 on a laptop in the cabin of their Marine Trader trawler, Beach House. All of the guides have been researched, compiled, edited and distributed from their trawler while living aboard and cruising full time. In addition to publishing, the husband and wife team have been freelance writers for over 20 years and have shared their knowledge and experiences in such major boating publications as Cruising World, Bluewater Sailing, Soundings Magazine, Sail Magazine, Southern Boating, Lats and Atts, Marinalife Magazine, Nor’ Easter, Good Old Boat, Living Aboard Magazine and a host of internet sites. The pair often gives presentations to boating organizations such as individual Yacht Clubs, the Marine Trader Owners Association, Americas Great Loop Cruising Association and most currently, TrawlerFest Baltimore 2014.

      baier
      baier2

      If you would like more information on The Great Book of Anchorages series, would like to order books, or interview Chuck or Susan, call us at 713-244-4686 or email info@tgboa.com.
      Website, https://www.tgboa.com/
      Susan Landry, Publisher/Author/Editor
      Chuck Baier, Publisher/Author
      Beach House Publications
      P.O. Box 1418
      Sarasota, Florida 34230
      713-244-4686
      info@tgboa.com

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    • Comments on the Report from the FWC Meeting in Tallahassee, July 22-23, 2014

      These discussions and future meetings are extremely important to cruisers who prefer anchoring to docking. Please note that the mention of derelicts, a major cause of the new regulations and a real issue for coastal communities, is not found in this report. The newly established mooring field program and other anchoring restrictions, intended to solve the derelict problem, have not worked in most cases and have, in fact, severely limited the rights of legitimate boaters.

      For an interesting Public Opinion Survey taken by the FWC, go to page 157 of a 220 page report at http://myfwc.com/media/2704721/FindingsRecommendations.pdf

      NOTE: For comments from a landowner/boat owner, see Michael Bodin’s remarks below. His contribution is lengthy, but well worth reading.

      FWC holds public meeting to discuss the future of anchoring regulations in Florida
      In response to increasing concerns between local governments and boaters related to anchoring in state waters within local jurisdictions, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) conducted a public meeting in Tallahassee on July 21-22, 2014, to discuss anchoring issues and potential ways forward to resolve the conflicts.
      Attended by interested persons representing the boating industry, resident and visiting boaters and local and state governments, the two-day meeting focused on complex issues.
      `Protecting the rights of people to use the waters kept in public trust by the state is very important,’ said Lt. Colonel Jack Daugherty. `We all want to keep Florida a boater-friendly state and maintain that great part of the Florida lifestyle and economy. On the other hand, local governments have the duty to respond to the needs of their citizens. We are committed to a robust dialogue and to seeking balance between boating interests and local governments in an effort to identify points of consensus and to help resolve some of these issues.’
      This year, Florida’s Legislature extended the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program, which was authorized in 2009 to look for solutions to these problems, for three additional years in order to allow for more time to test various anchoring strategies and to engage stakeholders in exploring possible legislative solutions. During the public meeting, a framework for potential future anchoring legislation was discussed along with several draft regulatory provisions based on components of the pilot program, each aimed at solving or minimizing specific anchoring challenges.

      FWC staff will draft language based on comments from this meeting, distribute that language to interested parties and hold at least two additional public meetings to further refine a possible legislative proposal. Meeting notices and reference documents will be posted by mid-August on FWC’s Anchoring and Mooring web page, found at http://myfwc.com/boating/anchoring-mooring

      ********

      Those promoting anti-anchoring laws often use the argument that it is about eliminating derelict boats, but the reality is very different. For example, many of the laws exempt local boats that are stored’“the vast majority of so-called `derelicts.’ In some cases the laws have been pushed by local influential home owners who don’t want people anchored near their property, and in other cases they are pushed by marina and mooring field owners who want to force people to pay for using public waterways. The arguments about safety and derelicts are a smokescreen. Note that boats have broken loose from so-called safe moorings in places like St. Augustine, and yet users must sign an agreement that absolves the city of all liability.
      John Kettlewell

      I’m still not buying the party line from the real estate people that this is about derelict boats. The problem is that waterfront property owners pay a lot for that property, and believe with all their little black hearts, that those high prices mean they should control everything they see from that high priced property. The bigger problem is that people who can afford to buy high priced property, can also afford to buy high priced politicians, through high priced campaign contributions. Another problem is that it doesn’t matter how many times they get these laws or regulations brought up unsuccessfully, or lose, they can get as many bites at the apple as they can afford. And, for a lot of these people, that is a lot of bites.
      In a way we’re lucky that they didn’t just decide that they wanted boats banned, because the same legislators that are carrying the water for them on anchoring restrictions, would be more than available to do it for banning boats, too.
      R. Holiman

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Captain Michael Bodin -  August 24, 2014 - 3:15 pm

        To: Commissioners at Florida Fish and Wildlife August, 20, 2014
        Subject: Proposed Anchoring Restrictions

        Greetings,
        I would like to commend your undertaking of anchoring restrictions. The views expressed are solely my own. As a waterfront property owner in Indian Rocks Beach, Fl. and a boater harbored at Riviera Dunes Marina Palmetto, Fl. I’m quite interested with the subject. Presently I’m over 1,000 miles from Bradenton, Fl. and cannot attend the meeting.
        First: I think anchoring restrictions should be unlimited for derelict boats. The proposed 300 feet does not even come close to eliminating there view. These boats are a cancer in prime anchoring areas and often do not have a current state registration. These trash heaps are a blight upon our community. They are not kept up, often left to the ravishes of weather, it’s only a matter of time before the anchor line (rode) will let go and the boat will be in front of someone’s home causing a further expense for the community to remove. These junk boats are a pollution hazard, an eyesore and in general give the civilized boating community a poor impression to land dwellers. As a Florida tax payer I cannot emphasize enough my encouragement for this commission to rid our waterways of derelict boats.
        Second: The Trawler I have at Riviera Dunes Marina has a new price tag of just a little over $ 1 million dollars; my yearly boating operating budget is approximately $30,000-$35,000 excluding boat payments and insurance.. These continuous operating expenses are direct Florida revenues. My interest with the proposed 300’ anchoring restriction is both personal and financial, and I appreciate your open comment forum.
        In my plus fifty years of boating upon the Florida waterways I have experienced many changes;
        Marinas- have no concerns for overcharging for dockage. This is due to selling off of marinas per the state’s “best use” tax structure (for condo development) causing many of the marinas to sell during the last real-estate boom. This reduction of marinas caused increased prices for the remaining slips. Marinas are in favor of restricting anchorages, thus they could rent more slips. Safe anchorages are now very important.
        Local cities installing new docks – to promote mariners to visit the communities for local financial gain. Indian Rocks Beach just completed new beautiful docks with the following “No overnight stays”. The dockage at Venice inlet was changed to “No overnight stays”. These towns are nice to visit as well as many others during the day time but after sunset boaters must leave. Upon leaving I will often anchor at a protective area along the Intercostal waterway. I don’t like to cruise upon the waterway at night. It’s now becoming more difficult to locate a safe anchorage without a waterfront residence in view on the ICW. Also the distance from the residence to the ICW with the 300’ proposed restriction plus my anchor swing of 360’ puts me in the ICW channel, which is again restricted to only boating traffic. Now I can’t anchor. The new local city restrictions of “No overnight stays” with beautiful unused docks should be further examined for use overnight.

        Weather- as you know boats do not have foundations. If caught in a sudden weather front of high winds and often with rain that reduces visibility I will locate a safe anchorage on a leeward cove close to landside for protection, and wait the storm out. In Florida the higher winds and storms are prevalent in late afternoons. I will spend the night and continue on the next morning. My safe anchoring swing area at 10’depth and 3’ is 260’. With the proposed 300’ and my swing of 260’ would necessitate a minimum distance of 430’ without any safety distance factor, adding a safe distance factor of 50’ in the event of anchor drag, a distance of 480’ from waterfront residential property would be a safe position if the depth for keel clearance allowed anchoring. 480’ would surely prevent me from anchoring in Florida along major portions of the ICW. Again I can’t anchor.
        Waterway view erosion – as mentioned, I have been plying the Florida waterways in excess of 50 years and experienced a general reduction of the natural Florida waterway landscape. There are so many new condominiums, houses, and developments along the waterway the original natural beauty of our state has been degraded. Not to mention all the fertilizer and pesticides for the many green lawns draining into our waterways causing excess pollution. Today, when anchoring it’s almost impossible to select a pristine sight without a waterfront residential dwelling directly within view. I would encourage this commission to consider a recommendation of new construction upon the waterways to be offset to protect the natural remaining beauty of our landscaped waterways and reduce pollution.
        Bridge Opening Times—in the morning when leaving an anchorage or marina my daily run will often be around 60 miles average with a cruise speed of 7.5 knots except for the Manatee reduces speed zones. At times I will encounter bridges that open on the half hour or every twenty minutes and occasionally encounter a bridge inoperable in the lowered position. This is ok for landside use but I’m stopped in my tracks and cannot move any further until the bridge is repaired. This necessitates locating a safe anchoring location I was not planning on until the repair is completed. The 300’anchoring proposal plus my swing and depth requirement would surely be problematic. Again I cannot anchor. I can understand the reduced opening times for the landside normal to and from work schedules. But mid-day is hard to justify. During midday I have waited 20 or even 25 minutes for a 4 minute opening with none or only a few cars crossing during the wait time. The bridge opening schedule in my opinion could be improved. Also the bridge clearance sign boards should be standardized through the state. It would be nice to have the bridge name and mileage sigh board as well.
        Anchor swing- For nightly anchoring, if room allows, I normally use a 10 to 1 scope. If the depth is 15 feet plus 3’ I will let my rode out 180’. This 180’ is actually closer to 360’ swing room due to the tides in Florida. If I anchor off the proposed 300’ with a max of 660’off of developed property, is this measured on the incoming or outgoing tides? Also I must have at least 4’ under my keel, on full moon nights and low tides only selected anchorages are safe. As it is now, I cannot anchor in the majority of the waterway due to tides and lack of adequate clearance under the keel. Nature has placed additional restrictions for anchoring areas; further anchoring restrictions (300’) would almost eliminate Florida boating experience and question ownership.
        Common irritations-Recently I spent last boating season in Daytona Beach, Fl. Reading the local paper, I was amazed at the write in comments from a very small minority pertaining to “bike week” about the noise of motorcycles with suggestions for cycles to add mufflers. Furthermore, a few people that buy new houses next to airports or major highways will complain about the noise. And want restrictions on times for aircraft departures, or noise reduction fences constructed upon the highways. People that buy houses along waterways should be aware of the preexisting waterway traffic flows with anchoring boats. Now I understand that waterside residences are also upset about the new construction of wind turbines to generate electricity located upon the water.

        Florida exclusive control -of its natural waterway between all the states north, like a funnel, to the Keys and Bahamas is cause for concern. Many boaters pass through Florida waterways due to their monopoly for transit. To use the Atlantic Ocean against the Gulf Stream to circumvent this waterway monopoly is extremely hazardous for smaller boats and considered ill-advised. Being Florida has the waterway monopoly, I would encourage this review commission to consider the fact of pre-established waterway anchoring rights that have faithfully been used during my and many other boaters for past 50 years in Florida’s waters. In fact these very waterways were used for transportation and anchoring prior to waterside development. It is my intention to live/anchor if possible in harmony with my neighbors either landside or on the waterways.
        Annual Florida Boating Expenditures-The $35,000 I spend in Florida each year excludes any boat payment, insurance as well as my residence expenses. Florida has over 90,000 registered anchoring style boaters that ply the natural waterways of this state; they all spend monies, not to mention out of state boaters that cruise Florida’s waterways as well. Anchoring style boaters contribute a substantial amount of monies to local communities spread through the state. New anchoring restrictions negatively affect the boating community.
        Nautical / landside times and seasons are different. On the landside you have permanence, upon the water; decisions must constantly be evaluated by tides, weather, seasons and the boats reliability. I would encourage this commission to discuss proposed anchoring restrictions with the actual anchoring boating community. The landside community is readily available because most people live in structures with foundations. Drive cars in inclement weather and can arrive at land destinations quickly. These are advantages that the boating community does not enjoy. Many anchoring boaters 200+ will be in Daytona Beach Fl. at Halifax Harbor, and nearby marinas April 14-16, 2015. These are many of the representative boaters your decisions would mostly affect. I would encourage a mutual anchoring discussion forum for a commonly agreed upon goal. As a community we should endeavor to work together.
        Request your attendance-I will assist in setting up a round table discussion of not more than an hour with anchoring boaters at Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach, Fl. April 14-16, 2015. The specific date and time will be per your prerogative. Also, if you can attend, I will avail several boats for your review including living quarters and our dedication to pollution control levels better than landside residencies. You have heard the landside comments eloquently spoken. My only request is for an equal opportunity for comments from actual anchoring boaters prior to any final decision. This is one of the two nautical seasons for anchoring boat passage through Florida.
        Please advise if you can attend the Anchoring Forum at Halifax Harbor, Daytona Beach Fl., April 14-16 2015 with anchoring boater attendees.
        In advance, thank you for your consideration to my thoughts, and looking forward to meeting you.

        Reply to Captain
      2. Dick Mills -  August 24, 2014 - 11:52 am

        The first step should be a challenge in federal court to determine if states or municipalities have any authority to regulate anchoring in the navigable waters of the USA. It has already been established that only EPA, not states, have authority to regulate pollution in those waters. We also have the FAA/aviation as a role model. States just aren’t allowed to muck with aviation.

        To negotiate details of a proposed law with FWC and the municipalities concedes their authority (or in legal terms, their standing). If we had a lawyer representing us in federal court, I’m sure he would advise us to boycott these meetings.

        The most constructive thing we could do would be to take up a collection to fund a suitable lawyer to carry the issue to federal court. It would probably need $250,00 or more. I’m not sure how to do that.

        Reply to Dick
    • Possible Threat to Manatees by Protected Status Change

      This article/opinion by Katie Tripp of KeysInfoNet.com highlights how this ruling to reduce their protected status might affect manatees on the East Coast and the Florida Keys.

      Odds already stacked against manatees in federal study for possible downlisting
      By KATIE TRIPP

      In response to a lawsuit by the Pacific Legal Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided downlisting manatees from endangered to threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act may be warranted, and the agency is embarking on a five-year status review as part of the process.
      Let me be very clear about the seriousness of the situation.
      From 2010 to 2013, 2,441 manatees died in Florida waters, which is 48 percent of the highest minimum population ever recorded (5,077 in 2010), but we’d have to wait until after 2015 to be able to include this data. However, ignoring this information would also constitute a substantial and unacceptable bias.

      For the complete story, go to:
      http://www.keysnet.com/2014/07/23/497910/odds-already-stacked-against-manatees.html?sp=/99/116/

      manatee

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    • Port St. Joe Marina to Host Kids Win Fishing Tornament, June 13-14, 2014, St. Joe Bay, Northern Gulf

      Port St. Joe Marina – Click for Chartview

      The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, FlIf this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR facility racks up many more laudatory comments, we may have to open a separate page. In addition to being the Official Weigh-in Station for the 26th Annual Big Bend Saltwater Classic Fishing Tournament, Port St. Joe Marina will also host the Kids Win Fishing Tournament the same weekend in June. Port St. Joe Marina is accessed from the Northern Gulf ICW by way of the Gulf County Canal, which cuts south off the Waterway between Apalachicola and Panama City.

      Saturday, June14th [Kids Win Tournament] will be having meeting and giving items out on Friday, June 13th in the afternoon.
      Clara Landry

      kids

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

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    • Port St. Joe Marina to Host Official Weigh-ins, St. Joe Bay, Northern Gulf

      The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, Fl

      Port St. Joe Marina – Click for Chartview

      If this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR facility racks up many more laudatory comments, we may have to open a separate page. Really, from all reports, you can’t do better than coil your lines at Port St. Joe Marina. And now, Port St. Joe Marina will be the Official Weigh-in Station for the 26th Annual Big Bend Saltwater Classic Fishing Tournament in June. The marina is accessed from the Northern Gulf ICW by way of the Gulf County Canal, which cuts south off the Waterway between Apalachicola and Panama City.

      The Port St. Joe Marina will be an official weigh in station for the Big Bend tournament, registration will be Thursday evening June 12th at the Port St. Joe Marina. You can leave from here and fish and weigh in catch on Friday June 13th and Saturday June 14th.
      Clara Landry

      big bend

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

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    • More on Channel at Dike Break in Northern Gulf ICW between Panama City and Choctawhatchee Bay (Statute Mile 263)

      Dike at Mile 263

      Back in July, we reported that the a narrow, canal-like section of the Northern Gulf ICW (a. k. a. the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway) had been closed, due to the collapse of a dike, following torrential rains, and tons of mud and sand had been washed into the channel. Then, on 8/24/13, we published an article that dredging had partially reopened the channel, but budgetary restrictions had kept the ACOE from widening the channel to its original breadth (see /?p=119741). Skipper Sandberg’s comments are in response to this earlier posting: /?p=127419

      Passed by red and green markets 2/19/14 heading west to Fort Walton. Sufficient room to pass by both markets IF I do not encounter other traffic headed in opposite heading to yours. Stay alert since marker appear when you may Not be expecting ‘˜aids to navigation.’!! This was our first time in Grand Canyon.
      Sandy Sandberg

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Repaired Dike

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