N. Gulf Cruising News – ICW, Panama City, Inlet and St. Andrews Bay (Statute Mile 295 to 284.5)
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Despite 2018 hurricane devastation in several of these communities, residents are managing to carry on their tradition of greeting the New Year with celebrations. A reminder to spectator boats, that the time immediately following the displays, when boats are weighing anchor and departing, requires slow speed and sharp lookout. Please get back to your homeport alive!
FL – MEXICO BEACH – Fireworks Display
Mexico Beach CDC will be conducting a fireworks display on December 31, 2018, at midnight. The fireworks will be fired from the Mexico Beach Pier. Mariners are urged to remain a minimum of 420 feet from launch site due, to hazards associated with fireworks. For up-to-date information, mariners can contact the U.S. Coast Guard Waterways Branch at (251) 441-5976. Chart 11389, 11393 LNM 52/18
FL – SANTA ROSA SOUND – Fireworks Display
The Portofino Island Resort will be conducting their 2018 Season of Fireworks display on multiple dates through December 31, 2018. Specific dates will be announced by Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Displays begin at 9:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from a floating platform anchored 500 feet off the end of the resort’s pier. Mariners are urged to remain a minimum of 280 feet from the floating platform due to hazards associated with fireworks. For up-to-date information, mariners can contact U.S. Coast Guard Sector Mobile, at (251) 441-5976. Chart 11385 LNM 52/18
FL – GIWW – FORT WALTON BEACH – Fireworks Display
The Fort Walton Beach New Years Eve fireworks display will be conducted on December 31, 2018, from 11:00 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from a floating platform in approximate position 30-24-05.3N 086-36-27.4W (30°24.0883N / 086°36.4567W, 30.401472 / -86.607611), in the GIWW, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Mariners are urged to remain a minimum of 175 feet from the barge due to hazards associated with fireworks. For up-to-date information, mariners can contact the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Mobile, at (251) 441-5976. Chart 11385 LNM 52/18
AL – GULF OF MEXICO – FORT MORGAN – Fireworks Display
The Beach Club in Fort Morgan, AL., will be conducting its New Years Eve Fireworks display on December 31, 2018, from 11:55 p.m. until 12:15 a.m., January 1, 2019. The fireworks will be launched from approximate position 30-13-44.5N 087-52-32.1W (30°13.7417N / 087°52.5350W, 30.229028 / -87.875583) . All mariners are requested to remain a minimum of 300 feet from the pier, due to hazards associated with fireworks. For further information, mariners can contact the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Mobile, at (251) 441-5976. Chart 11373, 11374 LNM 52/18
Panama City, on the eastern shore of St. Andres Bay northeast of Mexico Beach where Hurricane Michael made landfall, suffered devastating damage from Michael. Panama City Marina and St. Andrews Marina are both CRUISERS NET SPONSORS and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to all in the area who sustained losses.
I spoke St. Andrews Marina management this morning and they do not have dockage nor fuel.
The only thing open is their Marina Store. They are hoping to have fuel in January or February
but will not be open for probably over a year…still in clean-up phase.
Panama City Marina closed completely.
Panama City, on the eastern shore of St. Andrews Bay northeast of Mexico Beach where Hurricane Michael made landfall, suffered devastating damage from Michael. Panama City Marina and St. Andrews Marina are both CRUISERS NET SPONSORS and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to all in the area who sustained losses. Our thanks to Rich Gano for this report.
Panama City as a stop along the way for loopers is pretty much done for by Michael. The two city marinas are disaster zones and will be a long time recovering. Most businesses are out of action due to damage, loss of power,
and loss of employees who have fled the area. The ports to the east of Panama City like Port St Joe and Apalachicola got it even worse that PC. Plan on having enough food and fuel to bypass this area.
211 Big Bend is a United Way Agency in the eight-county region of the big bend.
For Assistance After The Storm 2-1-1 Big Bend
Following Hurricane Michael, individuals and families in need can contact 2-1-1 by simply dialing 211 from a cell phone or landline. 2-1-1 is a free, 24/7, hotline available in multiple languages, that provides information to individuals seeking community resources like shelter, food and water, recovery support, short-term counseling and other basic needs before, during and after disasters.
Calls are free, confidential and anonymous. Trained hotline counselors are available to listen and provide emotional support, crisis counseling, suicide prevention, and information.
Dial 2-1-1 or (850) 617-6333 for 24/7 human service information and assistance.
Bilingual and translation services are available. TDD/TTY or 711Florida Relay is available for hearing impaired individuals.
For more information, visit www.211bigbend.org
About 2-1-1 Big Bend
2-1-1 Big Bend, A United Way Agency, is your gateway to human services in the eight-county region of the big bend. 2-1-1 Big Bend is a non-profit 501c3 organization accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems and the American Association of Suicidality. The agency’s mission is to provide assessment, emotional support, crisis assistance, education, training and referrals with accurate, up-to-date resource info.
Panama City, on the eastern shore of St. Andres Bay northeast of Mexico Beach where Hurricane Michael made landfall, suffered devastating damage from Michael. Panama City Marina and St. Andrews Marina are both CRUISERS NET SPONSORS and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to all in the area who sustained losses. Diana Pieper, who sent this report, lost her house.
Panama City Marina GONE….destroyed.
St. Andrews Marina had a lot of damage.
We can’t even get in to our home with a u-haul to remove what furniture is salvageable because of the trees down. Our neighborhood was hit harder because of the old oak trees and pine trees that we are famous for.
My family and I are staying in hotels until we can find temporary housing of some kind. I wish we had the RV I sold after my husband died.
Again, thanks for your concern. The entire city is destroyed or damaged (actually the whole county). Both large hospitals have been closed indefinitely due to extreme damage. Our entire infrastructure is broken.
Recovery is in years and not months.
Startling images of the hurricane devastation to Mexico Beach, FL a small beach community southeast of Panama City.
NOAA published images of Mexico Beach, Florida, southeast of Panama City.
With a fixed vertical clearance of 50ft, the DuPont Bridge crosses the Gulf Waterway at Mile 295.5.
Fender damage repairs to the Southwest dolphin is scheduled between May 7, 2018 and May 18, 2018, during daylight hours only, 5-days a week, Monday through Friday, at the Dupont Bridge crossing the GIWW, mile 295.5, of St. Andrews Bay, Bay County, Florida. The main channel will not be blocked. A crane barge measuring 150 feet by 45 feet and excavator will be spud south and southwest of the dolphin. The barge will be properly lighted at night according to the “Inland Navigational Rules of 1980”. While onsite, the contractors will monitor VHF-FM Channel 16. In an emergency, mariners can contact (850) 960-4839. Mariners should be alert for equipment in the waterway at all times and pass exercising extreme caution at slowest safe speed to minimize wake. Chart 11389 LNM 39/17
Our thanks to AGCLA member, Terry Godhold, for these words of praise for longtime CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Panama City Marina, located on the eastern shore of St. Andrews Bay.
I rarely, if ever, recommend a marina however, this is different. Yesterday, on the way to Panama City, I blew a oil hose. We had to call Sea Tow to tow us 17 miles where we successfully secured the Magic. The marina was given a “heads up” that we were being towed in. Rick, the harbor master, met us, helped us tie, gave us mechanics recommendation and all in all, was more helpful than almost any other marina we have visited.
This is one of those housekeeping postings that you will be glad to read. The pumpout system at Panama City Marina, A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, has been inoperable since July, but is now repaired. Residents, transients and staff are relieved (pun intended) !
Our Pumpout is now working!!! Yahoo.
Panama City on St. Andrews Bay is home to SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Panama City Marina. If you are headed for Panama City Marina and need a pumpout, SSECN suggests you phone ahead to check the repair status of their pumpout: 850-872-7272
This is Panama City Marina, Panama City, FL.
Our pumpout is not working, and there may be some delay in repairing it.
If you sight this vessel, please contact Tony at 850-851-8619, local authorities or SSECN via email email@example.com.
About two weeks ago, a crewmate stole my 43′ Gulfstar sailing ketch from Panama City Florida. The name of the boat is “The Solution”. She has white hill with red sail covers and red canvas over the cockpit.
The guy who stole it is 18 yrs old named Bear McGinty. He has his girlfriend on board with her 6 month old baby boy. Believe they are headed to Galveston Texas.
If anyone sees the boat please call me at 850.851.8619.
Robert A. (Tony) Hicks
This call for a fleet formation of Gulf crossing vessels is from our good friends at AGLCA.
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
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.
This 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.
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:
Thanks to our friends at AGLCA for this report from Bay Point Marina which is accessed off Panama City Inlet and lies on the shores of Grand Lagoon. Visit Bay Point Marina at http://www.baypointmarina.net for more information.
Consider Bay Point Marina, Panama City (beach) where we have been since May. The marina is well protected from wind and waves, looper friendly, safe (behind gated entrance), delivers newspaper to your “porch” every day, offers coffee and danish Sat/Sun morning, clean restrooms and shower, swimming pool and Daniel and his staff are great. On the downside, it is about 2 miles to Wynn Dixie, Publix, West Marine and restaurants and has no courtesy car, but Enterprise will pick up and hertz is within walking distance at an adjoining resort.
Scott & KC Calkin
Panama City Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is one of two facilities owned and operated by the City of Panama City, Florida. The marina is located directly on the Northern Gulf ICW, a short hop from Panama City Inlet, and only one block from the downtown Panama City business district. Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vessels, from 30 feet to 120 feet with drafts to 10 feet.
Reprinted from the June 9th Panama City New Herald, Ali Helgoth, News Herald Writer.
PANAMA CITY ‘” Panama City’s plans to redevelop the downtown marina include bringing private enterprise to help invigorate the area’s economy. But, before city officials can try to convince businesses to locate there, they have to convince state officials to allow it. Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Director William Whitson said he is hopeful discussions will go well and the issue will be resolved this summer, keeping the project on schedule.
`The state talks about wanting economic development, so here’s a real opportunity to help create jobs and to partner together, and that’s what we’re hoping we can achieve out of this process,’ he said.
The marina property was built up more than 50 years ago and leased to the city for public use. Commercial enterprises are not considered public purposes, so before the project can be a revenue generator, which is a goal, the lease must be changed.
In a letter written earlier this week to Whitson, William Harrison, an attorney hired by the city to represent its interests in the process of changing the lease, outlined the recent history of the lease.
In December 1991, the state leased the marina property `only for public purposes,’ and in January 2011 renewed the lease through 2018 for operation of the marina and boat ramp with an upland commercial marina, he wrote.
Harrison is waiting for a determination from the state about whether a change in the lease is needed before the first phase of renovations can begin.
Phase one, which is still on schedule, includes rerouting parking for those who use the boat ramp, seawall repair and the lighthouse park, which will include a splash pad and an amphitheater, among other features. It is estimated to cost $3.92 million. The total cost of the project is estimated between $11 million and $28 million. The difference is attributed to questions about the extent of work needed to repair or replace the seawall. Changes to the submerged land lease likely would be needed before construction begins on the second phase. It includes improvements to the city park, the area between City Hall and the civic center, and at City Hall. There are pads identified for potential commercial use, and Mayor Greg Brudnicki has advocated relocating City Hall to allow the area to be used for commercial purposes. He has spoken in support for a major attraction, like an aquarium.
During a CRA meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Harrison will give an update on the process of changing the lease and explain the different avenues for commercial development on the marina. In his June 4 letter, Harrison wrote the city has two paths to reaching its objectives: be the developer or sublease specific locations for private development.
Harrison recommended `the CRA as sub-lessor be given serious consideration.’
Whitson said he’s not sure which way the CRA board, which is comprised of city commissioners, will want to go.
`I don’t know yet,’ he said. `I think it’s kind of early yet to figure out exactly how we’re going to approach this.’
What a great service by our friends at Bay Point Marina. This facility is accessed off Panama City Inlet, and lies on the shores of Grand Lagoon.
If your travels bring you close to Panama City during the week of Christmas, please join us for a Cajun Christmas Potluck lunch at Bay Point Marina on Wednesday, December 21st. We’ll supply the delicious Cajun fried turkey, dirty rice, soft drinks and tea, and encourage you to bring your favorite holiday dish. Come celebrate a Gulf Coast Christmas with us, complete with Zydeco Christmas music!
Located just a day’s travel from Apalachicola and Carrabelle, Bay Point is an excellent spot to wait for a good weather window, stock up on essentials, or simply relax and enjoy the warm southern hospitality of the Florida Panhandle. Visit us at http://www.baypointmarina.net for more info on Bay Point Marina.
Bay Point Marina
Clearly, the text below is an “advertisement” which originally appeared on the Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Rendezvous. However, as this announcement contains lots of useful info concerning this facility, we have posted it here.
Lighthouse Marina and Boayard lies on the northern shores of Grand Lagoon, which is accessed via a narrow channel running off the western flank of Panama City Inlet. Observer all markes at the Lagoon’s entrance very carefully!
Very exciting news from Panama City Beach, FL. Lighthouse Marina and Boatyard . . . in the Panhandle of Florida. Rates are $1.00 per foot per night includes power, water, cable, wifi ; $4.00 per foot per week includes power, water, cable and wifi; $350 per month includes power, water, cable, wifi. Each day includes free courtesy car, free washer and dryer, and discounted fuel for AGLCA members. Newspapers delivered daily to each looper, complimentary coffee and pastries available in Marina store. The Boatyard Restaurant, on Marina property, overlooks the Grand Lagoon and is rated the best restaurant on the beach. Lighthouse Marina is minutes away from grocery stores, marine supply stores, doctors, dentists, and veterinarians. The Marina Boatyard
facility includes 50 ton travel lift and self help is welcome. Call for more information and to make reservations @ 850-234-3939 or 850-234-5609.