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    • The Primadonna Saga Continues, from Oriental, NC to Nassau

      Toucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NC

      A search for a number of weeks in response to a request (/?p=129228) by Oriental merchant, Pat Stockwell, the errant sailing vessel, Primadonna, and her crew have been found.. Our thanks to Dave Boxmeyer for sending us this update from TownDock,

      It appears that the saga of the S/V Primadonna continues. The crew is in jail in Nassau and their boat has been stripped. And now it seems that the French government has gotten involved.
      While it is hard to feel any sympathy for the Primadonna’s crew, based on there stay in Oriental; I have absolutely no respect for the crew of the Fata Morgana. Things are pretty bad when we have started to eat our own.
      Dave Boxmeyer

      Very interesting’“thanks for the follow up. For some reading this I think there is some grey area here. For example, I remember seeing an intact motorboat washed up on the rocks in New England and by the morning it was toothpicks and an engine sitting on the reef. It might have been better to try to salvage some things off the boat before it became trash on the rocks. Sometimes it is hard to tell when a boat has been truly abandoned. I personally would not take to salvaging stuff unless I had the owner’s or the insurance company’s permission or somehow knew for certain that the boat was abandoned, but how would you ever know? Also, most of us are used to being in a country where a boat like Primadonna wouldn’t stay there for long, someone would come with a towboat and take it away. In the Out Islands of the Bahamas salvage would likely have been more expensive than the worth of the vessel, so essentially it was just trash on the reef.
      John Kettlewell

      We do not know the vessels involved but before we pass judgement, does anyone have relevant information as to what is correct in Bahamian & maritime law/rights? The vessel will most likely never be salvaged out there so who can give us more information? How does Dave know what went on and anything else that is pertinent.
      Dick Anderson

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    • Another Vote For a Visit to Washington, NC

      Whether you want to revisit the past or satisfy your curiosities, discover the arts or explore your true nature, you can do it from the heart of the Inner Banks - Washington, North Carolina. 800 546 0 Skipper Susan Landry, co-owner of Beach House Publications, producers of the notable “Great Books of Anchorages” series, confirms what MANY have said before. It’s well worth all cruisers’ time to get off the familiar confines of the AICW, and cruise upstream on charming Pamlico River to the excellent city docks on Washington, NC’s downtown waterfront. And, these fine folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET sponsor!!!

      We enjoy side trips off the ICW instead of just rushing north and south. One recent side trip we took was to Washington, NC. The free town docks are in a well protected basin and across the street from the historic district.
      Susan Landry

      How are the plans going for the new shower facilities in Washington? I think they would really help make the trip worth the extra effort.
      Dick Parker


      Washington City Docks

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Washington City Docks

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

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    • Reminder: Rules for Meeting/Overtaking on the ICW

      From Rule 35 of the USCG Navigation Center for Inland vessels:
      Rule 35
      (a) When power-driven vessels are in sight of one another and meeting or crossing at a distance within half a mile of each other, each vessel underway, when maneuvering as authorized or required by these Rules:

      (i) shall indicate that maneuver by the following signals on her whistle:

      one short blast to mean “I intend to leave you on my port side”;
      two short blasts to mean “I intend to leave you on my starboard side”;
      three short blasts to mean “I am operating astern propulsion”.
      (ii) upon hearing the one or two blast signal of the other shall, if in agreement, sound the same whistle signal and take the steps necessary to effect a safe passing. If, however, from any cause, the vessel doubts the safety of the proposed maneuver, she shall sound the danger signal specified in paragraph (d) of this Rule and each vessel shall take appropriate precautionary action until a safe passing agreement is made.
      (d) When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. [Such | This] signal may be supplemented by at least five short and rapid flashes.
      Remember that “Port” and “Starboard” always refer to your vessel.
      Our thanks to the AGLCA and the Burkes for this good advice and reminder to review the Rules of the Road!

      We live on the waterway just south of Mile Marker “0” and in the last week there have been two occasions of “five” whistles by passing tugs pushing barges. The Southbound tugs sounded signals at approaching Northbound cruisers. Each event was started by the tugs sounding appropriate passing whistle signals . . . the cruisers ignored the proposal, and the five whistle signals followed. Vessels passed very close, fortunately there were no mishaps. Norfolk is a very busy place and as the summer season is soon to begin, and, with the looper meeting taking place here in Norfolk, please know that we urge every boater to monitor channel 13 in the Harbor and to talk early to approaching large ships and tugs. Call them on 13 as soon as you see them. They will work with you and like very much to hear you on the radio, channel 13. They then know you see them, have a better feeling regarding your competence, all resulting in understanding and a reduction in everyone’s level of concern. Be sure you have a clear correct understanding of the Rules concerning One Whistle and Two Whistle passing. Be safe out there.
      Charlie & Bonnie Burke
      M/V SONATA (GB42 Ocean Marine Portsmouth)

      IMHO it is not wise to use actual horn signals. Commercial vessels rely on radio communication and they are unlikely to be able to hear your puny horn’“use VHF channel 13! Other pleasure boaters may be able to hear your horn, but 90+% won’t know what it means and it will just cause anger/confusion. Instead, first try contacting the other boat on the VHF’“usually channel 16 works for pleasure boats. Failing that, assume the other boat may do something unexpected and don’t try to cut it close in a narrow channel until you know it is safe to pass. If you do get a horn blast from another boat it often means `pull over to your starboard, I’m coming through’ irregardless of what the actual horn signal means. So if you hear one blast from astern and you see a fast boat coming up don’t immediately swing to port! The chances are very good they don’t understand what one horn blast means.
      John Kettlewell

      I have noticed that from Louisiana to Florida’s west coast, most recreational boaters, and all commercial skippers use the terms `one or two whistles’ according to the rules. On the east coast from Florida to NC, most recreational boaters say I am passing you on the port or starboard side, which can be very unclear in an overtaking situation. Is this a regional thing? Also, I have handled court cases involving boating accidents, and disregarding the proper sound signals will certainly work against you in that venue.
      Berwick Duval

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    • Advice on Depths in Smokehouse Bay – Marco Island Anchorage, Marco Island, Southwestern Florida Coastline

      Smokehouse Bay – Click for Chartview

      Smokehouse Bay lies in the heart of northern Marco Island. This fortunate body of water plays host to Esplanade Marina and a good anchorage. Its entrance channel leaves the unofficial Marco Island to Naples waterway west of marker #14. Our directory for this anchorage lists 4’6″ft as a minimum depth, so a 5’7″ draft seems questionable. Skipper Oldershaw’s comments are in response to earlier questions about navigating Smokehouse Bay, /?p=137310.

      Smokehouse Bay has a fairly narrow 3′ mlw bar running north south in the center of the north half of the bay. Depths outside this bar around the edges of the bay are typically 12′ in soft, smelly mud. There’s plenty of room to anchor away from the bar in the eastern half of the bay away from the entry channel that heads south to the marina. The shallowest spot is in entrance route in the eastern corner of Collier Bay at 25 57.955N, 81 43.900W. Keep away from the marker R2 and hug the seawalls as you make the turn to starboard but watch for outbound vessels that don’t know why you’re doing that. A 6′ draft can be carried to the bay.
      The bar in Smokehouse Bay can be faintly seen in the aerial view of the Collier County Property Appraisers GIS web site at when you zoom in. The cloudy water on the west side of the bay is not shallow.
      Lee Oldershaw

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Smokehouse Bay – Marco Island Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Smokehouse Bay – Marco Island Anchorage

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    • Eye Opening Video of the Debate in the Florida Senate Concerning the “Margolis Amendment”

      By now, just about everyone who has visited the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net within the last 24 hours knows that an effort was mounted in the Florida State Senate yesterday by Senator Margolis from Miami, that would have allowed Broward and Dade counties to pretty much institute any local anchorage regulations they wished. That amendment was withdrawn, BUT there is a new effort TODAY (4/23/14) to attach the same amendment to a Florida House bill. For more on this, please see /?p=139367.

      Courtesy of the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s “Concerned Cruisers Committee” we can present to you a video of the debate which took place in the Florida State Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday. THIS IS VERY REVEALING, particularly when Senator Margolis states that “we certainly don’t want to hear from the public,” or words to that effect.

      To make this work, without having to watch the entire 8 hours worth of video, you must follow this procedure.

      First, go to:

      When the page opens, there will be a video window on the left side of the page. Click the play arrow. Let the video begin, and then hover your pointer near the bottom of the video window. A slide will appear. You will need to keep sliding this slider button to the right, until you reach the 462.30 minute mark. The debate concerning the “Margolis Amendment” is shown between time reference 462.30 and 469.5.

      It’s not often that members of the cruising community can actually see their “enemy” in regards to Florida anchoring rights, but this is an exception. We urge all cruisers to take advantage of this opportunity. And, oh yes, PLEASE let us know what you think, by using the “Comment” function below!

      I believe it is also important to recognize Davis Childs (NMMA rep.) and Bonnie Basham (Boat US rep.) both were there and both had cards in to speak if necessary.
      R, Phil

      I agree totally with Captain Phil’s comment above. Both NMMA and Boat/US have been invaluable and responded at light speed to this “out of the blue” situation! So, THANKS Bonnie Basham and Davis Childs!

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      1. David Burnham -  December 24, 2014 - 9:31 pm

        I’ve not heard of an instance of a complaint from the boating community when a waterfront private property owner builds a pier or dock out over navigable water that belongs to the boating public. So why should a waterfront private property owner complain when those public boaters are enjoying the navigable waters that were not obstructed by his pier or dock?

        Reply to David
    • Great Photos Of Jacksonville Landing Dock – Downtown Jacksonville, FL on the St. Johns River

      Here are several revealing photos of the free docks (no power or water connections), provided to us by our dear friends, and SSECN strategic partners, Susan Landry and Chuck Baier. As many of you already know, Chuck and Susan are the owners owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (! THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN!
      One word of warning – I know from personal experience that it can get surprisingly right at the Jacksonville Lnading dock, so keep an eye on the weather and wind!




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    • New Entry Channel Markers to Maximo Marina, near Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 115

      Maximo Marina is on the charted canal cutting into Boca Ciega Bay’s southeastern shores, east-northeast of unlighted daybeacon #14. Our thanks to Skipper Burnham for this excellent report.

      The Maximo Marina on the east end of Boca Ciega Bay at Gulfport, Florida is accessed by a long channel that has just recently been remarked by new unlit daymark pilings which prevents deep draft boats from running aground as they enter Boca Ciega Bay when leaving Maximo Marina and turn north to go to the Gulfport City Marina. These unlit daymarks are not on any charts or chart plotters and the western most pair of the 3 sets of unlit daymarkers, green#7 and red #8, extend into Boca Ciega Bay as far as the pair of markers, #14 and #15, just to the south or them that mark another channel coming from Tampa Bay. Green #15 is a lighted marker, red #14 is unlit.
      The real confusion comes from the fact that the daymarks on the channel to the Maximo Marina, the northern channel, have the even numbered red daymarks on the right (as they should), and the southern channel coming from Tampa Bay, has the red marked pilings on the left as you approach the southerly channel from the west. The two unlit red daymarks that mark the two channels are less than two tenths of a nautical mile apart and look identical from a distance. Until chart plotters are updated, cruise carefully after dark on the west end of Boca Ciega Bay.
      David Burnham

      The photos of the new Maximo Marina entrance channel day markers I took yesterday did not give enough detail to be useful. However, I am sending you this Google Earth image of the approximate locations of the new markers so that you can compare this image of the east end of Boca Ciega Bay with your charts.


      Maximo Marina Entrance Channel

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Maximo Marina

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

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    • Don’t Miss “Oriental Nautical Wheelers” in Oriental, NC (Statute Mile 181)

      Nautical Wheelers - New Bern NCIMG_7778rzedOver the weekend of April 19-20, 2014 I had the good fortune to attend the Oriental, NC Boat Show, and hold three seminars. During the show, I made the acquaintance of Bill and Camilla Wheeler and their unique business, “Oriental Nautical Wheelers.” I am very pleased to say that this firm is our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
      Oriental Nautical Wheelers is located in a historical Oriental homeplace, right on (411) Broad Street (252-249-0359), in downtown Oriental. It is within easy walking distance of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Oriental Marina and Condos, and Oriental Harbor Marina, plus the town’s two free docks. From Whittaker Creek, you will need to have auto transportation available for a visit.
      How to describe Oriental Nautical Wheelers? I could say that this unique establishment contains everything “coastal” from clothing, to shoes, to home furnishings and accessories, to Adirondack chairs. However, that would overlook the wine section, the voluminous selection of all types of gifts and personal items, not to mention the “revolutionary Keira Watering Cans.”
      The selection and range of merchandise is staggering, in a very good way, you understand! EVERY cruiser visiting Oriental will want to be SURE to include a stroll to “Oriental Nautical Wheelers.” Don’t believe me? Well, then just follow the photo gallery link below!

      Click Here To Visit Oriental Nautical Wheelers Web Site

      Click Here To Visit Oriental Nautical Wheelers Photo Gallery

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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

      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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