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  • Myrtle Beach Yacht Club Awarded Clean Marina Certification, AICW Statute Mile 346

    Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is unmatched for its Lowcountry charm and gracious hospitality. Myrtle Beach Yacht Club on Coquina Harbor has been a great stopping place and a friend to cruisers for years and now they are a friend to the environment. Naturally, they are a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Sponsor!

    Cruising News:
    We are proud to announce that Myrtle Beach Yacht Club is now a Certified Clean Marina Destination in the state of South Carolina. MBYC was presented with the Clean Marina Certification and Flag by the South Carolina Marina Association on Saturday, June 11th.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Myrtle Beach Yacht Club

  • Why Florida Anchoring Regulations Hurt the Sunshine State Marine Industry (and More!)

    The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net received the note below, and we thought it so thoughtful, we have obtained the author’s permission to reprint it here, without attribution. This missive is typical of more and more that we are receiving, that imply some cruisers are simply not going to take their boats to Florida anymore, or at least keep them there a shorter time. And, that’s why so many of us are fighting so very hard to bring sense to the Florida anchoring and MSD issues.

    Claiborne,
    I have restrained myself mightily from getting too involved in the anchoring dialog on SSECN because I’m not on scene. But two things bode ill for the ultimate outcome. First, the public meetings have been scheduled for well after cruising migrations have removed most of the truly representative cruisers from the dialog. Second, when governments seek to end-run a prohibition they do so by making access so onerous as to drive people away in disgust. It is particularly disturbing to see a cruiser apparently abetting the process as in Sarasota.
    We lived in Florida for seven years (and may again, when day-sailing is all we do). What we learned while there was its margins are either backwaters ruled by Bubba Oligarchies, or Kitsch and Glitz ruled by Plutocracies. The backwaters are disappearing and plutocracy is dominating. The Miami dust-up is a good example. And, unfortunately, your contributor’s response to it may make him feel good, but it is wrecking goodwill in an area that was short of it to start with. [My Dad was a Sheriff’s Deputy.] We have already adjusted our cruising plans to seriously de-emphasize the Keys in favor of the Bahamas. For us Florida cruising now stops around Fort Pierce. The only serious interest in cruisers south and west of there is how to run them off or suck their wallets dry. All this discussion of mooring fields and buffer zones is a local tactic for coming up with ways to do both without violating Federal law.
    The Florida tourist culture is come here and spend more money per day than you would at home and then leave. That culture is the operating under-layer of the anchoring dialog. The ultimate injury Floridians feel is, those people at anchor are not spending money. Derelict boats and derelict liveaboards are clearly an issue. But aside from the people who want to enjoy their drugs in their waterfront backyards unobserved, it all comes down to money. One disgusted cruiser working as a part-time St. Augustine marina dockmaster told us the objective was to drive everyone into a marina, onto a mooring, or out of St. Augustine waters.
    Unfortunately, (even if one could be organized) a cruiser protest focused on hitting Florida service providers in the pocket book has no future. The state tax structure favors waterfront condos over marinas* and Florida chandleries make the lion’s share of the their money off local boaters. *[Yes, there were changes, but my discussions with marina, condo and marina-condo owners indicate the changes were wiped out by recession and after two years marinas discovered they were no better off. More and more marinas are condos themselves with the “Marina” being a disinterested collector of rents for the individual slip owners.] And don’t look for help soon from SSCA. The Concerned Cruisers Committee is now essentially defunct. The Florida Open Water Society has disappeared. And many other voices in the dialog have declared victory and moved on.
    Florida will win this one — and arguably they should, it’s their state. Florida is under no obligation to do anything other than respect Federal Law. And there are already plans in three jurisdictions to use Federal environmental bottom lands protection laws (as in the Keys) to prevent anchoring otherwise allowed by Federal navigation law.
    The forum you provide is an essential part of democracy, and I honor you for it, but cruisers (nomads) are easy to divide and conquer.
    Name Withheld by Request

    Very well said and I couldn’t agree more. The saddest part of all this is that I believe it is a small minority of well-connected business owners and local citizens that drive these onerous anchoring restrictions, while the silent majority that is not well connected doesn’t even know this is happening. Most people like to look out at boats at anchor. If nothing else it adds to the scenic beauty of the harbor. The nature of those that anchor is that they are transient and therefore have no political clout in the community, if they are even around when these laws are proposed. The good news is that there are still thousands of great places that welcome those who anchor and that is where we will go!
    John Kettlewell

    Alas, Name Withheld tells it as it is. The situation is compounded when FWC’s Pilot Program has a clear aim of helping municipalities fill their mooring fields. Freedom of choice–anchor or pick up a mooring$–will disappear. There are more freedoms granted to Winnebago landyachts than there are to Cruisers. The numbers of Cruisers economically affecting towns like StAugustine is insignificant compared to the influx of tourists driving in. We’re dollar driven.
    Jay Bliss

    With all due respect to the previous posters, and John’s remarks about transients: we transients CAN make a difference, provided we act. I’ve been in two anchoring battles now – Melbourne, and now, Miami Beach. The Melbourne battle was with the city proper, the MB issue is with a private citizen who is using the police to do his dirty work.
    Melbourne bailed on its three day anchoring ‘law’ when an article I wrote about the issue appeared in a Florida regional sailing magazine.
    In Miami Beach, City Hall has informed me that Karlton will get no further support from the police – and Claiborne, sorry but I haven’t had the opportunity to announce that to your readers as yet. I’ll send you the details in an email, plus a response to Mr. Mystery, whose father was a sherrif’s deputy.
    My dad was a cop. Cops hate having to break the law because someone with political clout gets a favor. Contrary to what Mr. Mystery says, the marine police will appreciate being out from under this guy’s thumb, so they can get on with their jobs.
    The point is – there are laws, and those we elect have an obligation to see that they are enforced – and not to attempt end runs around them in whatever manner they deem appropriate. That was Melbourne.
    And there are laws, and those we elect have an obligation to see that they are not enforced so as to favour those with money and/or political clout. That was Miami Beach.
    However – and this goes for both places – I was not the first and certainly not the only person to have issues over anchoring.
    In both places tho, it appears that I was the only person with the gumption to stand up on my feet and bark at the authorities.
    That’s typical. The reason politicians and others get away with the crap they do is because – now read this carefully – WE LET THEM.
    Shall I type that slower, or did everyone get it? We’re letting these people get away with this crap. It’s our fault.
    So the next person who wants to post his or her little whine here about how terrible the authorities are to us poor cruisers – you’d better be prepared to tell us – me – what YOU – ya, YOU – plan on doing about it.
    And, by the way, for those who don’t know me – I’m not even an American, I’m a Canuck. If I can win these fights here, in YOUR country, there’s no reason you, paying taxes and with the right to vote, can’t do the same thing.
    So don’t sit here and complain. Contact your senator, congresspuppy, local councilman/woman, get your concerns known and kick some butt.
    If you’re unhappy that these meetings are scheduled when cruisers are out of town, then complain. Make it clear, put it in writing, and get it to the local media. Copy Claiborne on it so others hear about it. Copy Boat US, and the NMMA. Each of them has a stake in the issue and will help you as they can.
    And when you’ve done all of that – then come on here and complain. At least you’ll have earned the right then.
    Wally Moran – no mystery about that.

    The . . . is right, if you give a damn, and contact the powers that be, the newspapers and, if you have to ,get a lawyer you can fight the bastards and win. I have done so and have been sucessfull, you can too. This whole thing is ours to win or lose. If you care, FIGHT.
    Pete

  • New Idea for “Anchoring Permits” Proposed in Regards to the Sarasota, Florida Pilot Mooring Field Project

    Captain Ken DeLacy is a fellow live-aboard cruiser who has been working very had for several years in concert with other Sarasota boaters to bring about sensible mooring field/anchorage regulations which both preserve the rights of cruisers to anchor, yet address the problem of derelicts and “live aboard hulks.” In our collective opinion, his idea, outlined below, for Sarasota “Anchoring Permits” goes a long way towards solving these twin concerns. In a nutshell, as you will read, there is no time limit set for anchoring in Sarasota waters, as long as the vessel in question can pass a simple USCG Safety Inspection. This one simple act, will quickly cut out the derelicts and “live aboard hulks.”
    We believe this is an idea WELL WORTHY OF CAREFUL CONSIDERATION!

    Cruising News:
    Being a resident in Sarasota, one of the Pilot Program sites, and a concerned cruiser I made the drive down to Key Largo last Tuesday to attend the Public Workshop meeting. While I noticed about 40 cruisers in attendence only about 5 spoke. I did pitch the idea of Anchroing Permits as an alternitive to buffer zones and time limits to sort of test the waters. Some positive feed back was received by 2 cruisers, 1 condo resident who previously spoke supporting more mooring fields, and the FWC. We are looking for further thoughts on the idea and so I thought I’d paste it below.
    Thanks for any input and a special thank you to Claiborne and this network.
    Ken DeLacy

    Sarasota Anchoring Permit – draft 2
    The City of Sarasota will issue 90 day and Annual anchoring permits to all vessel owners who meet the following requirements. (90 day for cruisers and Annual Permits for cruisers/locals)
    1. a. Vessel shall obtain a USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Check (VSC) and receive either a “Yes” or “N/A” in order to receive the VSC decal. (Inspects Marine Sanitation Device, life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, etc.)
    b. Vessel shall also be required to receive a “Yes” for Items I – VI under “Recommended and Discussion Items” of the VSC. (Inspects anchors and line, bilge pump, marine radio, 1st aide kit, etc.)
    c. Vessel shall be required to navigate under it’s own power to a USCG facility, or other location which still demonstrates vessel’s ability to navigate, for VSC inspection. (USCG Aux. has assured willingness and ability to perform inspections at their dock at Centennial Park. They are volunteers – no cost to City.)
    d. Vessel shall display an up to date decal at all times. (Issued by USCG Aux. upon a passing inspection)
    2. All anchoring permit holders will be required to use pump-out services. (The VSC will require a functioning Marine Sanitation Device. The City pump-out boat which is currently servicing anchored vessels will report non compliant vessels to Marine Police.)
    3. Annual anchoring permit holders will be required to have a licensed diver inspect their anchoring system once their boat is anchored. The permit holder will be responsible for all these associated costs, and the diver must check off the following requirements. (Keeps costs away from City and placed upon the Anchoring Permit holder.)
    a. Vessel in location not adversely effecting seagrass, navigation, or another anchored vessel.
    b. Appropriate type and size line / chain used with no obvious defects.
    c. Appropriate amount of scope deployed.
    d. Anti chafe gear in place and in good condition.
    e. (1). Two anchor system set approx. 180 degrees apart. (2). Three anchor system set approx. 120 degrees part. (3). Four anchor system set approx. 90 degrees apart. (4). One anchor system not permitted.
    4. Applicant responsible for presenting VSC and Diver Inspection to Marine Police in order to receive the Anchoring Permit. Failure to do so within 30 days of arrival may result in violation of City Ordinance 07-4711(x)(x)(x).

    Shouldn’t short-term anchoring be permitted for at least a week without requiring a permit? Or will adequate moorings be available for rent? Last I heard, work had been stopped on expanding the very small mooring field.
    Will White

    The mistake I see in all of this is buying into their argument that a problem exists. The Sarasota proposal does that on steroids.
    bosunj

    What isn’t clear is what does this mean to someone who might want to anchor for a week. To go through all this rigamarole and expense for a short stay is a non-starter for us. The rules for clearing in and out of Cuba are simpler.
    Chris

    This could be the way to go as it will help with the derelict vessel problem but needs a little tweaking. the diver inspection would be a problem because if no diver corps have the right permitting they just will not offer the services which will make all the rest obsolete. there should be no third party involved but city and state otherwise there will be price gouging and corruption and we have all had enough of that
    Dave C.

    Terrible idea! You might as well just outlaw anchoring. Why should those who wish to anchor have to submit to this sort of drastic limit on their freedom? I for one consider having to fill out forms and taking tests to be totally against the spirit, and for that matter, established law of anchoring. It would absolutely guarantee I won’t visit Sarasota by water. I wouldn’t want to waste the time and money. This is a very slippery slope. Once one town gets a law like this on the books, the others with mooring fields will institute similar laws, but with different requirements. Before long we will have to register and submit forms, and of course pay fees to administer and enforce all this, to anchor anywhere. Other problems: a USCG auxiliary inspection requires equipment above what is required by law–unenforceable, and I suspect someone could have the ticket thrown out of court for this reason. Many of us don’t use holding tanks and don’t require pumpouts–I have a composting system. Having a licensed diver inspect your anchor = $$. Having someone else determine how I should be anchored is something I will not submit to. I have anchored thousands of times and I know how to anchor. This is obviously just a way to make it so much hassle that it will drive the anchorers away.
    John Kettlewell

    You HAVE to be kidding! We just spent 10 days anchored off Island Park in Sarasota. The bum boats are mostly gone already, lots of anchoring room, police towed two remaining abandoned boats away while we were there. We really enjoyed our stay, spent lots of money in their stores downtown, restaurants, etc. If this “anchoring permit” idea goes into effect we will NEVER again stop in Sarasota!!!
    I would not be willing to waste my time going into an inspection station even though my vessel meets all of the requirements just so I could anchor for a short time in Sarasota. This “anchor permit” will deter all cruisers who just want to spend a few days enjoying Sarasota from ever stopping there again. BAD idea, might as well just ban all anchoring in Sarasota waters. I would rather deal with a time limit (even a short one) than to submit to all this bureaucratic nonsense!!
    Larry Sherman

    Cruisers who want to anchor for less than 90 days don’t and shouldn’t need a permit to limit their freedom to do so.
    Non-cruisers, local residents or NOT, who want to STORE their boats at anchor for more than 90 days should be subject to oversight to protect the other cruisers using adjacent waterways from becoming victims of their neglect. An anchoring permit is a reasonable solution if you cannot STORE your boat on land.
    If the permit is a device to get derilect boats removed from sight, it will fail because you can comply with all the requirements of the permit and still have an unsightly boat.
    David Burnham

    Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the “multi’ anchor folks.
    Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
    S/V Endeavor

    I personally think USCG Aux. Vessel Safety Checks are a great idea, and we do one every year as a routine, ongoing safety program. I can support that idea in principle, and I ass/u/me it would also include the equivalent check from the US Power Squadron. One issues is that the stickers are based on a calendar year and expire in December. There needs to be a grace period recognizing that the program is an annual calendar-based program.
    I also agree with the idea that there needs to be a short term exclusion. It *is not* reasonable to require a permit for short stays; perhaps less than 14 days.
    One poster does raise an interesting point. What happens if one anchors in violation of a permit? Penalty? Fine? I wonder if a permit violation based on requirements that exceed state law and CG regulations would be enforceable? That criteria would just waste everyone’s time and energy, generate enormous dissatisfaction and resentment, and seems like it would be contrary to the spirit test.
    Finally, I agree that any ordinance needs to have a clearly defined statement of purpose and objective. If Sarasota’s is about derelict boats and derelict boats are not a problem, then there should be no ordinance.
    Jim Healy, aboard Sanctuary
    Monk 36 hull 132

    Not sure why a two anchor system is preferred over a single good anchor. Two anchors will lead to different swing patterns and will not increase holding as the weakest link in the chain is still the worst anchor. For the transient cruiser it is a major hassle to deal with the “multi’ anchor folks.
    Stop increasing regulations and start enforcing the existing rules. Most derelicts do not have current registration or sanitation devices. Enough to violate existing regulations.
    S/V Endeavor

    I too do not agree with over regulation. Particulerly when one of the city of Sarasotas complaints is the cost of enforcing current laws. However Ken’s proposal is much more cruiser frindly then plans that state no longer then 72 hours on anchor in city waters. That require the use of the proposed Marina Jacks managed mooring field after 72 hours. The city has been chosen as a state pilot program site. There will be regulations put in place. I would perfer the people pushing the mooring field not write them. To add to all of this the city claims that after there last mooring field failure. They are to invested to permenently abandon the plan. At the same time they will not rent showers, laundry facilitys, WiFi, or parking passes to cruisers or resident boat owners. Opening these services to boaters (not on Marina Jack’s docks) who can prove they have a safe navigable vessel. Could recover there loss with out adding to there debt. Aswell as bringing in more of the cruisers who would pay for those on shore luxuries. On the anchoring topic I do not care how you anchor. Just dont hit me and dont swing in that horried 200 ft 1 anchor ark. However when you pull up a ball of lovely Sarasota bay muck. Dont cry when you hit the beach or worse yet me.
    Bryan Makepeace
    S/V Albatross

  • Interesting Article on Ocracoke, NC (off the AICW, on Pamlico Sound)

    What a great report from Captains Greg and Susan concerning one of the North Carolina’s most popular ports of call. Note that this cruising duo note the same shoaling in the Big Foot Slough Channel, on which we reported last week, but they also reflect a later report of dredging here. Follow the link provided below to check out this earlier article.
    Even if you don’t plan on visiting Ocracoke this summer, Greg and Susan’s account of the “movie” in Ocracoke, plus the offshore research trip, is well worth a read!

    Allegria is spending and extended weekend at the USNPS docks in Ocracoke, NC. This idyllic village on the outer banks is the perfect place to enjoythe summer’s heat with a cooling breeze. The docks were only half full and we got a great spot along with enough power to be comforable with our A/C. Since we are over 62 years old we can use our Golden Passports here to get a 50% discount on the dockage, quite a bargain. The channel entering the Silver Lake anchorage was extremely shoaled with barely 6′ on the green side and seabirds walking around on the red side. Fortunately, there is an USACOE dredge working there right now.
    Last night in Ocracoke, there was a feature movie played right behind our boat on a big inflatable screen, of a Disney from 2009 entitled Oceans. It had some of the most spectacular wildlife footage I have ever seen. One scene in Alaska had a pod of grey whales herding bait fish into a ball using air bubbles. Then a dozen full grown grey whale exploded to the surface en-mass from deep down. The slow motion showed their mouths, which sieve out the fish from the water, bloated and distended with their catch as they fell back. Truly do not miss this film, it is unlike anything else I have ever seen. See some clips at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765128/
    There is an 85′ NOAA research vessel in residence which is working on a project to locate and photograph wrecks that are offshore from the Battle of the Atlantic, the extended battle between U boats and merchant and US Navy ships that resulted in dozen of sinkings in the early part of WWII. They have a sophisticated free ranging, self propelled side scan sonar device that they release to run track lines along the bottom. When retrieved, the data can be downloaded and reviewed. This is much easier than towing the device behind a ship and running track lines. The National Geographic has a film crew documenting the project so look for a future piece on TV and in print. This is related to the Marine Sanctuary program of NOAA surrounding the Monitor archeological site just offshore.
    Greg and Susan Han
    USCG 100GT Master, Near Coastal
    Key Biscayne, FL
    Allegria — Krogen Whaleback #16

    Click Here To Read An Earlier Article About Shoaling and New Dredging on Ocracoke’s Big Foot Slough Channel

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Ocracoke’s National Park Service Docks

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Ocracoke’s Anchorage Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor and Its Approach Channels

  • Elizabeth City Gets Better and Better, Dismal Swamp Route, Statute Mile 50.5

    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop programElizabeth City and the Rose Buddies have been charming cruising visitors to the City Docks since 1983. Over 15 years ago, my family and I were privileged to meet the original Rose Buddy, Fred Fearing, who passed away in 2007, and we got the same warm greeting and assistance as did Ken and Francie. Isn’t it wonderful that some things do not change! The city docks are officially called Mariner’s Wharf City Docks and dockage is free for 48 hours, although we were once allowed to stay for three days when high winds prevented the Alligator River Bridge from opening. We are proud to report that Elizabeth, NC is A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Elizabeth City has major improvements for boaters since our last stop a few years ago, thanks to former mayor Atkinson who now owns a trawler. Enjoy Saturday morning farmer’s market at mariner wharf May – October. Farm Fresh market, a great new grocery store, picks boaters up at the wharf with a phone call. We enjoyed First Friday gallery walk and new art center downtown. The new library and Albermarle museum exhibits are terrific. We highly recommend Elizabeth City to anyone cruising the area.
    Capt. Wendy Young aboard “Blue Crab” 32′ Island Gypsy, Punta Gorda FL

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Elizabeth City’s Mariners’ Wharf City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Elizabeth City Waterfront

  • Dangerous Navigational Mistake on St. Johns River (near intersection with Trout River), 6/8/11

    The Cruisers’ Net has just been contacted by Captain David Kudley (http://www.oldmillcove.com) about a potentially dangerous situation which might arise for captains and vessels cruising downstream (east) on the St. Johns River between Jacksonville and the AICW/Mayport. This is a bit of a complicated matter, and it will probably make more sense if you can follow along while referencing chart 11491.
    First, find where the St. Johns intersects with Trout River, and then look across on the opposite shore, east of St. Johns River marker #63. You will spy a very long, unmarked “channel” which eventually leads east and southeast from Reddie Point to Mill Cove.
    Captain David informed us that some downstream bound captains, either by mistake or by way of trying to take a shortcut, are leaving the main St. Johns channel hard by charted Reddie Point, and following this errant, Mill Cove Channel. Vessels that take this route INEVITABLY RUN AGROUND AS THEY COME ABEAM OF PAULINE ISLAND, IF NOT SOONER, AND, THE LOCAL TOW BOAT SERVICES ARE UNDERSTANDABLY VERY RELUCTANT TO TAKE THEIR VESSELS INTO THESE TREACHEROUS WATERS TO PULL OFF GROUNDED CRAFT!
    There is a good reason that boats run aground in the Reddie Point – Mill Cove “channel.” The purpose of dredging this channel WAS NOT TO MAKE IT NAVIGABLE. Rather it was dredged in order to slow or halt silting in Mill Cove by increasing tidal current. That objective has been accomplished, but that does nothing for navigational purposes.
    The bottom line is that ALL CRUISING VESSELS need to avoid the Reddie Point – Mill Cove “channel” like the proverbial plague, and simply stay in the main St. Johns River channel. To accomplish this objective, be SURE to pass west of marker #63 and northwest of marker #61!!!

    My home is Jacksonville, Fl and my vessel is homeported at Jax Beach Marine, a very a ccomodating, professional, and great place to dock your vessel. I know this area of the St John’s well. If you are cruising in a northward direction Reddie Pt will be off to your right just as the river bends to the right. There is a long dock extending off from thaet point. Pauline Island is just across from that dock. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT make your turn towards that dock and between that island. You will run aground. Stay in the maiin channel.
    Skipper John Hartman

    Could not have said it better myself…….print it…..You might tell them that in emergency they can phone William Maulden, Jacksonville Sheriffs marine division @ 904-318-2023……..Bill lives at the Lions Club next to Reddie Point.
    Thanks,
    and the folks in Mill cove thank you,
    Dave

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the St. Johns River West of Reddie Point

  • Lyme Disease May Be a Danger to Cruising Pets in the Bahamas

    Cruising News:
    While cruising the Staniel and Sampons Cays in Dec. Our dog Andale came down with Lyme disease. We heard reports at Long Is. and Gearge Town and later were told by June the weather lady her friend’s dog died. Well we turned and got back to the states and dog in for test. Never did we find a tick, I checked paws and pads, ears and belly. She swims daily,but on the beach she got into some briar patch that drew blood. Maybe that is the link, I just don’t know. Test confirmed Lyme and medications saved her. I suggest having the meds on board and watch for signs. Good Luck and beware for your pets sake.
    Kat Luchene

  • AIR FORCE SYSTEM TESTS, SAVANNAH GEORGIA

    Do not know if this will affect any of you, but just in case…

    LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS: Week 22/11
    The U.S. Air Force will be conducting tests and training operations on nationally controlled frequencies between Hunter Army Airfield and Savannah International Airport during the period of June 6-10, 2011. Reduced reception may occur that could interfere with the range of 2900-3100MHz on some USCG radar systems.
    Mariners are urged to exercise caution and transit at their slowest safe speed if affected by any radar range reduction. If this reduction is noted, please contact the Coast Guard Sector Charleston on VHF radio channels 13 or 16 or by phone at (843)740-7050 immediately

  • Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach

    Captain Wally Moran, author of the “open letter” below, sent to the mayor of Miami Beach, is a reporter and writer for “Sail” magazine. Thanks to Captain Moran for sharing this very interesting, if a bit lengthy, note with the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.
    After reading Wally’s missive below, you may want to refer to my earlier anchoring editorial, “Whence Come the Anchorage Regulations” (/florida-anchoring-editorial-1-whence-come-the-anchorage-regulations). In particular, check out my “#2” reason behind such regulations.

    An open letter to Miami Beach Mayor Bower:
    I know that running for office can be expensive, and that politicians often seek financing from those with the money to contribute, but at what price to the politician? And just what is the price to the people represented by that politician?
    The balance of this letter, Mayor Bower, is intended to put the onus on you to stop the abuse of rights in Miami Beach that wealthy political contributors think they have purchased when they finance a politician’s campaign, not only in the specific circumstances outlined in my letter.
    My sailing students and I had only just anchored at Sunset Lake in Miami Beach, behind the house at 2344 N. Bay Road, when the police boat came up to us. The officers aboard politely requested that we move the boat a couple of hundred yards south. They very carefully explained that we didn’t have to do this, that they had no right in law to make the request, but that they would appreciate our doing so.
    The reason for their request? We had anchored in front of the home of a man with considerable political clout, apparently purchased with substantial donations to various politicians, although the police didn’t give specifics. The man had phoned the police, probably before our anchor had finished sinking to the bottom. The officers had been ordered to respond, and did so in less than ten minutes. I’m quite certain that there are victims of crime in Miami Beach who would be astonished by the speed of this response, but as we were discovering, wealth does have its advantages.
    We and the officers had an entertaining fifteen minutes discussing the merits – or lack thereof – of the situation we found ourselves in. The officers were clearly disgusted at having to do the bidding of the man who had complained, but since they were acting on a superior’s orders, they really had no choice.
    After the officers left us, we sat for a half hour and enjoyed watching the instigator of this situation surreptitiously watching us as he pretended to clean his boat. We left after a half hour at anchor, not because of this man but out of respect for the officers, who were only doing their job – no, belay that, they were doing what they had been told to do – which was most decidedly not their job.
    My question here is this: are the politicians of Miami Beach, and the senior police officers giving the orders and who appear to leap at the politicians beck and call, so craven, so spineless, so hungry for political largesse that they will order their front line officers to break the law? Because that is exactly what happened here – with their request, these officers were violating our rights. They knew it, and clearly didn’t like being ordered to do it.
    It’s not like these officers didn’t have more important things to do, it was a busy weekend on the water. No, they were ordered to break the law, to go after us, to get us to move on, all because one man has money and the politicians of Miami Beach (who are in his pocket) don’t have the backbone or integrity to tell him that his money doesn’t buy him that privilege. Quite frankly, if I were a voter in Miami Beach, I’d be asking some very difficult questions of the mayor and the Chief of Police.
    For those who would like to ask those questions, Mayor Bower’s email is mayorbower@miamibeachfl.gov. The Chief’s email apparently isn’t publicly available.
    There is something else that we can do about this as free citizens. I’d like to invite all Miami Beach and area boaters to an ‘Anchor Fest’, to be held on July 4th, starting at 2 p.m. The Anchor Fest will be a celebration of American freedom, particularly the freedom Americans have to see all legal rights respected by our politicians.
    I’d like to see several hundred boats anchor in view of this man’s home, to help bring home to him the fact that, while he may be able to buy politicians, the Miami Beach Police do not answer to him through them, they do not violate the rights of others because he is displeased.
    I’d also like to see the politicians of Miami Beach get the message that someone with money doesn’t have the right to force police officers to break the law through political patronage. I’d like Miami Beach’s politicians to remember and understand that they answer to the voters of the city – all of them, not just ones with lots of money and attitude.
    I’d like to thank the officers for their courtesy and for the job they do for us. I know you’ll be with us at Anchor Fest in spirit.
    I’d like to see everyone have a great time at this man’s expense, for him to see that his money doesn’t buy him the right to abuse the rights of others.
    And I have a suggestion for this man: if you don’t like boats anchored where you can see them, buy a home inland. I’d suggest New Mexico or Arizona.
    I hope to see everyone at Anchor Fest. You can get more details on Facebook, just search for Anchor Fest or Anchor Fest Miami Beach.
    W. J. Moran

    I just sent off the following email to the Mayor and encourage others to do the same….
    “Mayor Bower, Would you be so kind as to respond to the reports that a wealthy land owner and political contributor is using the Miami Beach Police Department for personal use to harass boaters that anchor near his home in Sunset Lake. This is a complete abuse of power, since the order either comes from the Chief of Police or his superior. And we all know who his superior is. With tight budget constraints in almost every city today, how do you justify the cost to the citizens of Miami Beach for the Officers time and use of a boat to coddle to this one individual and ask your police officer to harass innocent boaters in clear violation of Florida State law. It is the hopes of all of the boating public that an investigation by higher authorities will provide answers if you will not. But I did feel it necessary to voice my opinion in this matter and give you the chance to respond. I await your answers.
    Sincerely, ”
    Chuck

    Ah, the man often referred to in blogs and discussions of anyone who has anchored in or near Sunset Lake. The man who also abuses his (land) neighbors rights by blasting loud, obnoxious music to try to drive cruisers away, and shines spotlights on the boats as well.
    This man has to be the single biggest waste of time for the Miami Beach Marine Unit’s officers. Anchor Fest should be a weekly event.
    Lynn Kaak

    I wish I could be at your anchor fest. Thank you for speaking out. I suggest you put the notice out on utube or twitter. That will get a lot of young ones involved. They need to be aware of their future. Once again boaters are being a target. The politicians should have their benefits and salaries cut like many of the locals are having major cuts in their every day common life. Maybe they would not be able to afford the extras in life. Like a police force.
    Kat

    Thank you for doing this Wally Moran! I have experienced this citizen first hand and know that he can be nasty when he wants to be! We will be further north for the 4th of July but we will be there in spirit!! Please post photos, we would love love love to the see them!!
    This is the email I sent today to the mayor of Miami Beach as well as the Miami Herald. I changed the citizen’s name in this posting to not put Cruiser’s Net in an awkward position of posting his name but I did not call him Citizen X in my letter to the mayor. I encourage ALL boaters who care about anchoring rights to email the mayor and to other cruisers who have first hand experience with this citizen, SPEAK UP!
    Dear Mayor Bower,
    As a cruising sailor that has enjoyed Miami Beach on several occasions on my sailboat over the past few years, I have to ask do you not understand what visiting boaters contribute to your community? By allowing your city’s police officers to essentially politely harass visiting boats anchored legally in Sunset Lake in Miami Beach you are discouraging boaters from visiting your city. Do you not realize in a recession how important tourist dollars are to your town? Do you think just because a visiting boat does not stay in a marina, we do not have money to spend? Boating is not a cheap lifestyle. Miami Beach is a great city full of interesting things to do, great places to eat, and wonderful places to shop. Trust me, when one visits Miami Beach, one spends money!
    Citizen X has repeatedly called the police about boats anchored LEGALLY in the PUBLIC waters behind his house and he should be considered a nuisance to the city’s police force. He is trying to harass private citizens (tourists mind you!) engaging in LEGAL activities and the Miami Beach PD is doing his bidding!
    I know from personal experience on two separate occasions how citizen x can be. A year ago we were anchored in front of his house as we were transiting the ICW south and he came up to our boat in his power boat and politely asked us if we would consider anchoring in front of the vacant lot instead of in front of his house. It really made no difference to us and he was polite so we moved.
    This past winter he called the police on our friends and when the police boat came out they were extremely apologetic and specifically told our friends that they had a legal right to be there and the Police visit was pretty much for show to appease “a certain neighbor”.
    That is an utterly appalling waste of police resources!! As the mayor you’d think that you would be concerned about that, not condoning it! It would be an entirely different story if these boats were doing something illegal or something to bother Mr. Karlton but boats using public waters legally is really none of citizen x’s concern is it? You would think after the first couple of phone calls the police would tell him they are not going to respond to it anymore but I am guessing someone higher up the political food chain is putting a little pressure on the police force…
    If you Google Anchor Fest Miami Beach, bully on the waterway in Miami Beach, or “citizen x’s name you will see the negative attention this story is getting on the major cruising boards across the internet. Trust me, people will stop visiting Miami Beach on a matter of principle, anchoring boaters as well as the boaters who utilize the dock space in Miami Beach, because us cruisers, we stick together.
    Hope “citizen X’s” political contributions were worth it for you.
    Nicole Chambers

    This is one incident that is becoming the norm here in Florida and will become law by way of ordinances if we don’t get busy and let our voices be heard.
    What we’re talking about here are CRUISERS. Cruisers (called “non-liveaboards” even though cruisers may indeed live aboard) and includes the recreational boater who navigates the waters cannot by regulated with regard to anchoring, according to FL Statute 327(60). The People of Florida demanded that Statute stay intact. IT DID.
    But a 13th hour FWC Pilot Program goes around that and is exempt from adhering to the Statute. As FWC posted on their site “Due to pressures from homeowners and some others….” [they added the Pilot Program and submitted it along with what the PUBLIC agreed would be revisions to the Statutes]. This was AFTER it was submitted to the Legislature: done without Public input or knowledge…a back door loophole for those who have political pull to continue to try to override the majority of what Floridians wanted. THIS is what is so scandalous about the Pilot Program.
    Five sites were to be named yet Sarasota immediately jumped the gun and put up a 72-hour anchoring limit. It was challenged and they dropped it, but everyone who knew anything knew that Sarasota would definitely be one of the five sites to participate in the Pilot Program. It is a self-serving program for a few to get what they want despite what the people have used due process to show as their choice: NO ORDINANCES ON ANCHORING for Florida cruisers! When they named the five sites, it was incredulous that one site is ALL OF MONROE COUNTY! This is what happens when people are confused and don’t know what is going on. The Pilot Program is nothing more than a way to ignore the majority and quell the whining of a few powerful minority to take away the freedom of boats in navigation, and use our tax dollars to do it! Misuse of government resources is blatant here.
    The Pilot Program is not focused on derelict boats or hulks as those vessels are already subject to regulation and have been since 2006. Cruisers and recreational boaters are the ONLY ones outside of being regulated, based on our right to navigation as per Maritime Law. We need choices and options — not anchoring ordinances! By confusing people and making them think the Pilot Program was needed to help rid harbors of derelicts and sewage is exactly what they want you to think. They can already do that! I fought from day one the Pilot Program and saw it for exactly what it was…but so many others could not see that there are people this powerful and this brazenly arrogant that they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. “How can they do that?” Well, this Miami Beach incident is a perfect example and they are and will do it unless we stand up and expose it. The Pilot Program will eventually make it legal for them to do it by way of ordinances.
    The FWC will be holding more workshops on the issue of anchoring rights for NON-LIVEABOARD VESSELS (that is all cruisers and recreational boaters whether you liveabord or not). See how confusing this is?! It is meant to be. This is so important, my good people. Get involved or lose your freedom.
    There is a Workshop at the Government Center in Marathon, FL on June 8th at 6 pm. If you cannot attend, let your voice be heard by writing. We cannot let this happen. Public trust is being manipulated and we can help our local authorities fight back against those misusing that trust with our voices saying or pens writing that we won’t stand for our rights and wants being ignored.
    Our authorities are essentially being forced to represent a few rather than the majority and the actual LAW. Just imagine what will happen if ordinances are allowed and cruisers and other recreational boaters are subject to anchoring restrictions by law. No thanks!
    One ordinance outside of mooring fields will lead to another ordinance outside of beaches, then another, etc. There is no end to anchoring ordinances for cruisers and recreational boaters if we allow them to BEGIN.
    The People of Florida said NO to them the first time and kept the Statute intact that protects our rights to anchor. This back door called the Pilot Program has got to be exposed for what it really is and SLAMMED SHUT. It is not about derelict vessels, or liveaboard hulks, it’s about YOU the boater, the cruiser, the person who navigates the waters of Florida, and enjoys dropping the hook without a visit from authorities telling you how long you can stay.
    Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd

    Well written, Capt. CSL. Yes, the Pilot Program seems to be a carte blanche for 5 sites to screw with regs between now and July 2014. After that the Legislature supposedly writes into FL law whatever has been effective. OR dumps the kitnkaboodle.
    Continued appreciation to Claiborne Y who traveled to StAugustine to specifically address StAugustine’s Pilot proposed ordinance ideas. Claiborne got his three minutes in, and then in typical small town “we’d rather hear ourselves talk” the mike got passed on. Not to be forgotten: a few years back we put MLKing behind bars. We’re more suave now, but City still gets to do things as City sees fit.
    Captain Jay Bliss
    St. Augustine Port Commissioner

    I wrote the mayor with my protests, and if we were not many miles north, we would most certainly participate in the Anchor Fest.
    Beverly Fieges

    I am a 66 year old cruiser, now in the Chesapeake for the summer and early fall, and a retired attorney having practiced privately in Miami for almost 25 years. Before that I was a trial atorney with the US Dept of Justice in Washington, DC. During the winter my wife and I often go out for overnighters and weekends and I’ll be damned if I will obey the illegal order of any officer, no matter how courteous, concerning moving from a legal anchorage. While anchored, we cause no disturbance or neuisance whatsoever. If I am arrested I will make sure that the source of the illegal order, presumably the mayor, will be prosecuted. The same is true for any homeowner causing the arrest.
    Seth Stopek

    As a long time member of the USpower Squadron , Key west aand now North Carolina, I feel its my duty to inform the resident at 2344 N Bay Rorad, Miami Beach, Sunset Lake Area that I will make  a point at our next regular meeting to encourage all our members to locate and utilize that location when in the area as a palce to anchor and party. If you are at all familar with the Key west Squadron that can be a very noisy group of sailors.
    Billy Ray

    This string is getting so lengthy, that I ‘m placing a link below for the continuing input received from 6/11/11, onward. If you are interested in this topic, don’t fail to follow this link, as you will read some very interesting correspondence between Captain Wally and the Miami Beach Chief of Police:
    Click Here To Read Input Received Concerning the “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach” after 6/11/11

  • Memorial Day, 2011

    May 30th 2011
    Memorial Day: Honoring, Remembrance, and Ringing in Summer
    by Charmaine Smith Ladd

    On a brighter note, Memorial Day is also viewed as the first day of summer vacation. Families and friends gather to celebrate with cookouts (whether at the beach or in the backyard), games, activities, and general fun just being together. In the boating and cruising communities, there is a tremendous increase of people out on the water enjoying the merriment of ringing in summer. “Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high….” Love that song!

    The long weekend is a perfect time for cruisers to get out and about. Whether by motor or sail, Memorial Day weekend is the time many get their boats off the hard and into the water. If already in the water, they get out of the marinas, mooring fields, and harbors and go out for fun and adventure. Everyone loves summer and the ideal weather it brings as its invitation to participate in various activities in, on, and around the water.

    Fun on Ft. Myer’s Beach!

    There is nothing quite like sailing all day and finding a nice place to drop the hook before sunset. The peace and tranquility is second to none. Boating is a recreation, a time for rejuvenation of the senses with adventure instead of that which has become routine. Sailing, exploring, enjoying nature’s marine life, fishing for a delectable dinner, and then watching the stars come out without city lights nearby to dull their brightness. Life for the full time cruiser is not for most as it takes skill to know and maintain all your own systems. But the reward is priceless. The window of opportunity for this lifestyle is not very long for we who have waited until our children reached adulthood. Our bodies age with each day and before we know it: our physically demanding sailboat becomes an easier to use trawler; our trawler becomes a house back on land with a wheelchair ramp. We are as young as we feel; as long as we keep the freedom to feel young!

    September Sea and her Crew comfy at anchor after a long day sail. Son Bj in hammock. He so loved life aboard!

    In memory of those who have fought and died for freedom of all Americans, and to those who continue to serve and help others of this world gain their freedom…the petty bickering of those who sit on land and complain of we who sit afloat seems surreal. There are real problems and issues in this world that demand our attention. “Visual intrusion” is not one of them. Anchoring rights for cruisers are key to navigational safety and freedom. One of the last freedoms of this great Country of ours will be harnessed and fenced to a fault if we as its citizens do not speak up against it.

    “To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.” – Ella Wilcox Wheeler, American Poet

    Please attend the Pilot Program Stakeholder Workshops. If you are not able to attend, then write to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). But let your voice be heard. Do not let the sun set on the rights of cruisers to anchor. The photo shown below is one I took a few years ago while anchored blissfully outside Boot Key Harbor. The cloud formation reminded me of a Native American Chief, his spirit watching over the waters and keeping them free to all who wish to navigate, anchor and enjoy.

    Big Chief Autumn Sunset

    Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day!

    Charmaine Smith Ladd,
    s/v September Sea
    SSECN Correspondent, Florida Keys
    “Bringing you the low down from down low!”

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