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    • A New, High Volume Dredge Arrives at Amelia Island Yacht Basin (Statute Mile 720.5)

      Amelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island Florida In December of this year, after a personal visit to this facility, we reported that SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Amelia Island Yacht Basin, was awaiting the arrival of a new, high-volume dredge that would be permanently located here. Amelia Island has always offered superbly sheltered dockage, and full on-site services, including repairs. The rub has been depths both on the canal-like entrance channel and in the dockage basin. Well, all that will begin to change very soon.

      New Amelia Island Yacht Basin Dredge

      New Amelia Island Yacht Basin Dredge

      While attending the just completed MTOA Spring Rendezvous in Fernandina Beach, I again made a personal visit to Amelia Island Yacht Basin, and had a most informative conversation with General Manager, Bill Galloway and Office Manager, Kristen Galloway. I was very pleased to learn that the NEW DREDGE HAS JUST ARRIVED! Some piping must still be delivered, but in a few weeks, dredging of the entrance channel will begin.
      Bill explained to me that this new dredge can “do in a few hours what took our old dredge a few weeks to accomplish.” While it will take a bit of time to get the entrance channel and harbor to the depth targets set by marina management, once that is accomplished the on-site dredge will only need to do a bit of maintenance dredging from time to time.
      Wow, what a wonderful improvement to an already excellent facility. We’ll keep you informed as the dredging operations proceed!

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Amelia Island Yacht Basin

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Amelia Island Yacht Basin

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    • More Information on Bridge Pointe Marina (New Bern, NC, on the Trent River)

      Bridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCWe announced a few months ago, that SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Bridge Pointe Marina in New Bern, NC, had reopened after a year-long rebuilding project. I have twice undertaken a personal inspection of Bridge Pointe’s new reincarnation, and it can be stated with no fear of inaccuracy, that this is now a state-of-the-art facility. Below, we hear more from dockmaster, Jesse Schmucher, about his newly revamped marina.

      Our new state-of-the-art marina includes 150 Brazilian hardwood [decked] floating deep water slips ranging from 30FT ‘“ 150FT, cable television, free wireless internet, metered electric and fresh water connections for each slip. Our newly redesigned and completely renovated boater’s lounge includes showers, restrooms, charcoal grills, laundry, and a comfortable air conditioned sitting area. Monthly dockage rates are $6.50 per slip foot, plus a $20 Pedestal Fee + Metered Electric (13 Cents per kilowatt). We will be offering a special rate for a limited time, so be sure to contact us today at (252)637-7372 or by email at bridgepointemarina@colwenhotels.com.

      For more information on Bridge Pointe Marina, follow the links below:

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bridge Pointe Marina

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

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    • Advice on Shoaling in Longboat Pass, near Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 85.


      Longboat Pass - Click for Chartview

      Longboat Pass – Click for Chartview

      Longboat Pass separates Longbeach and Bradenton Beach south of Tampa Bay near Statute Mile 85. The shoaling described is in the Longboat Pass channel, not the intersection with the Waterway. SSECN posted a Navigation Alert for this area in 2013: /?p=104390

      FLORIDA- CHARLOTTE HARBOR TO TAMPA BAY – LONGBOAT PASS: Shoaling
      Shoal exists across the entire channel of Longboat Pass reaching a minimum depth of 4 feet. Shoal begins at Longboat Pass DBN 1 (LLNR 21757 [27°26.2645N / 082°41.9870W, 27.437741 / -82.699783]) and continues to Longboat Pass Bascule Bridge. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution. Chart 11425 LNM 14/14

      Claiborne, this is not a reply to your topics, but report on the gulf side entrance to longboat key bridge [Longboat Pass Bascule Bridge]. Stay away from the first green day marker. keep to the south and head for the first red and second green. once your through them it’s a straight shot to the bridge. If it is a sunny day and the water is clear, you can see the shallows by the first green. Another bit of advice is to not come out if the wind is piping up to 30 knots and anywhere from the southeast to the north west. The swells or waves can be rather large and the depth is not the best. If you draw over 5 feet, you most likely bump on the low part of the swells or waves. I went in and came out last week, quite an experience.
      Nick

      Captain Nick is correct as I live near LBK Pass and use it often in a 44-foot powerboat. You hug the red markers (RRR) and forget about the green markers that are near/in the shallow sand bar. Keep marker (shown on chart) Mo (A) 16M “LP” on your starboard (treat as green) on your approach. The natural, and rather deep channel is a “J-hook” that turns south, so boats approaching from the north would go past the inlet opening and then U-turn back to enter LBK Pass.
      Joe Curley

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Longboat Pass

      .

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    • REMINDER: Northern Mouth of Alligator River, Problem Stretch, AICW Statute Mile 81

      A reminder to everyone that the location of markers through this stretch does not coincide with older charts or with the Magenta line. Our oft repeated advice: follow the markers, not the Magenta line! Smaller buoys are often difficult to spot and require a reduction in speed and a sharp lookout!
      For more comments on the area, see /?p=125911 and /?p=101600 and /?p=56971.

      Temporary floating red buoy! Didn’t go aground but S/V ahead of us did! Slow and easy!
      Adventure

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the North Mouth of Alligator River

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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    • More Discussion of Longer FEC RR Bridge Closures in Store for South Florida?

      Wow, here is a piece of sobering news from our “man on the scene” in Stuart, Florida, Captain Ted Guy. Ted is a maritime attorney and the past president of the Treasure Coast Marine Industries Association, and is unusually knowledgeable about all things nautical when it comes to Eastern Florida and the Okeechobee Waterway. Looks like we may all have more time to wait at railway bridges in Florida, starting in 2015!

      Claiborne, my friend,
      A local controversy has sprung up in the boating community about FEC adding 16 passenger trains each way each day to about ten or twelve freights each way each day, more than doubling the bridge closure down time per day. It will affect their drawbridges from Cocoa Beach to Miami. The new service starting in 2015 is called “All Aboard Florida”, although I’ve heard they may rename it. Check out www.allaboardflorida.com .
      W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.

      This is going to be a huge problem if it ever comes to completion. Some estimates say the bridge will be closed up to 75% of the time for train crossings.
      In addition the bridge is beyond it’s end of life and the RR company (FEC) does not intend to replace it. A breakdown is very likely.
      For more information, see the grass roots campaign at:
      http://www.floridanotallaboard.com/
      Paul Sears
      Sailing Vessel `Aurora’ currently in Palm City to the West of the RR bridge!

      Vero Beach county officials are raising concerns about the impact of the All-Aboard Florida passenger rail service as outlined the article by Lisa Zahner linked here from VeroNew.com:
      http://www.veronews.com/news/indian_river_county/traffic/county-vero-beach-raise-concerns-about-all-aboard-florida/article_3d54f83e-ba10-11e3-87b7-001a4bcf6878.html

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    • Report from Moore Haven City Dock, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 78

      Moore Haven – Click for Chartview

      Moore Haven City Dock, the first stop west of Lake Okeechobee, is located at Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 78, on the Moore Haven waterfront. This report comes to us from our good friends, Peg and Jim Healy.

      The muni docks at Moore Haven are in good shape, have power and water, and are $1.00/ft. There is a good enough Mexican restaurant about 1/2 mile from the docks, but generally, Moore Haven has limited options. It’s a very convenient stop which we use and recommend.
      Peg and Jim Healy

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Moore Haven

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    • Good Advice on Okeechobee Lake Route Approach to Clewiston, FL – Statute Miles 60-65

      Approach Channel - Click for Chartview

      Approach Channel – Click for Chartview

      The portion of the Okeechobee Waterway “Lake Route,” described below by the Healys is found between Statute Miles 60 to 65 and is charted as Approach Channel.

      The one additional thing to highlight about the Lake crossing that I have not seen mentioned is that the area charted from Rocky Reef to Clewiston is a narrow channel exposed to whatever prevailing crosswinds are to be found on the lake. It is a man-made, dredged channel. The natural bottom is sandstone; hard, not soft, and so, the channel edges are also hard. The markers at the Lake end of the channel are further apart than the markers at the shore end. They can be hard to see depending on daylighting conditions. BE SURE YOU STAY IN THAT CHANNEL. DO NOT ALLOW THE BOAT TO GET PUSHED OUT OF THAT CHANNEL BY CROSSWINDS. Backsight to make sure you really are *in* that channel. Sandstone is soft rock, but it’s plenty hard enough to hurt bronze propellors and SS rudders and shafts.
      Peg and Jim Healy

      Excellent advice! We were in Roland Martins marina in Clewiston a couple years ago, and there was a brand new 54 foot trawler being delivered to a boat show on the face dock. The delivery captain just barely missed a turn in that channel, and took out both props, shafts, and rudders. I don’t even want to think about that yard bill!
      Jonathan Gorham

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

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    • Request for Information on National Park Service Docks in Ocracoke, Pamilco Sound, NC

      Silver Lake - Click for Chartview

      Silver Lake – Click for Chartview

      The Ocracoke National Park Service Docks are on the northern shores of Silver Lake Harbor, just east of its entrance.

      Would love to hear if anyone has stayed at the NPS dock in the past few months. We sailed to Ocracoke about a year ago and the NPS docks were covered in bird droppings and looked to be in disrepair. The fellow at the desk at the adjacent museum (or whatever that building is) wasn’t happy to be answering questions about it! So we just anchored that time, but would like more current information for an upcoming trip.
      Kathrine Noel

      I’m reporting in [from Ocracoke] that the NPS docks are closed and `under construction’. There is obvious construction on the sidewalks and there was a tiny sign saying the docks were closed. There is a new dingy dock that is very nice. We used it, though it’s behind the construction area, so it probably couldn’t be used during the work week. Had a delicious dinner at the Flying Melon. I did forget to say that the docks are supposed to be ready for service in May. We’ll see; I’m not confident!!
      Headed to Belhaven tomorrow to wait out the yucky weather. Will post a review of that visit too!
      Kathrine Noel

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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ocracoke National Park Service Docks

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    • Proof of Pumpout to be Required in Key West

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

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

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

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

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