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  • Venice – Higel Park Anchorage And Latest on Higel Park/Venice City Dock (Statute Mile 58.5)

    This little note from Captain Fred contains two gems of cruising info. First, he reports on the anchorage just east of the Venice Yacht Club, which we call the “Venice ‘“ Higel Park Anchorage,” AND the current situation at the Higel Park/City of Venice Public Docks. Those of you who have been following along on the Net’s “Western Florida Cruising News” section know there was a huge controversy here a few months ago when the city of Venice began disallowing overnight dockage at this city facility.
    Also, it’s worth noting that swinging room is TIGHT in the “Venice – Higel Park Anchorage.”

    Subject*: Venice Florida
    Last night we anchored in Venice on the west side of the Intracoastal in that little pocket just to the east of the Venice Yacht Club. It was a nice quiet evening. There were two boats at the public dock. About 18:00 a Towboat Us went by and I asked him what the situation was re: staying at the Higel Park docks overnight was. Answer was that the prohibition on overnight dockage did not seem to be enforced. Two days earlier I had called the City Of Venice and been informed that overnight at the anchorage on the west side by the YC or in Roberts Bay was OK but not at the dock at Higel Park.
    There you are with the latest.
    Fred Sorensen
    OA 43

    This is not a good anchorage primarily because it is right along the channel that leads to the Venice Yacht Club on one side and along a shoal on the other side. As Ron said, people anchor too close together due to the restricted swing room. Best choice for a stop in Venice is to spend a few bucks and stay at the Crows Nest or the Venice YC. Otherwise, just keep on going.

    <a href=”/73-venice-higel-park-anchorage-2″><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Venice – Higel Park Anchorage</strong></span></a>

  • Shinn Creek an Alternate Entrance to Wrightsville Beach – Banks Channel Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 285

    With the problems at the entrance to Motts Channel (see Alert link below), Captain Shick recommends Shinn Creek which is two statute miles south of Motts Channel at Marker # 129. This is also the AICW/Masonboro Inlet intersection.

    The recommended (by towboat operators) channel into Wrightsville Beach is via Shinn Creek (ICW G129) and Banks Channel. Exit ICW at G 129. Wide, and no shoaling at all.
    Captain Larry Shick

    Subject: Shoaling in Motts channel Wrightsville Beach NC
    Saw several boats aground in Mott’s Channel this weekend while walking the docks at Wrightsville Marina. Was close to low tide. Two sailboat and a 50′ motor yacht. Have to favor the green marker. Red marker is still missing. Use Shinns creek as an alternate route.
    Jeff Chauvin

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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For The Banks Channel – Northside/Wrightsville Beach Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For The Banks Channel – Southside/Wrightsville Beach Anchorage

  • Fuel And Multiple Improvements at Indiantown Marina (Okeechobee Waterway)

    Indiantown Marina (772-597-2455) lies along the northern banks of the Okeechobee Waterway, some 10 statute miles east of the Waterway’s entrance into Lake Okeechobee, at the Port Mayaca lock. This facility is VERY popular with cruisers, and does a lively repair/dry storage business. Now, they offer fuel as well. A quick phone call to Indiantown reveals they now offer both gasoline and diesel fuel!

    Fuel is now available at the Indiantown Marina, new tanks, fully functional. Lot of new improvements (new docks, patio, WiFi through out the property, etc.). check it out.
    Eric Bamberg

    We communicated with Captain Bamberg, who we discovered was the Yard Service Manager at Indiantown Marina. He informed us that his facility had also gone through other multiple upgrades and enhancements over the last several years. He was invited to submit a report on all these improvements, and the note below is the result!

    Mr. Young;
    Thank you very much for your reply. Indiantown Marina is located in the Okeechobee waterway between the St. Lucie lock and the Port Mayaca lock. We are a full service and a “Do it yourself” marine repair / storage facility. We have a 50 ton Marine Travelift and haul vessels up to 15′ 10″ beam). We have made many improvements in recent years including new fuel tanks and pumps (both gas and diesel), new patio area, WiFi throughout the marina / boatyard areas, new docks, and improved landscaping. We also have a shops store and a campground area for our visitors both by land and by sea. Some of our “Do it yourselfers” enjoy working on there vessels and will bring a camper to stay on after the day is done. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the Marina staff.
    Eric Bamberg
    Yard Service Manager
    Indiantown Marina
    772-631-3272 (cell)
    772-597-2455 (main office)
    772-597-2457 (service office)
    772-597-2451 (fax) (service department e-mail) (main office e-mail)

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

  • Important – Inner Harbor Navigation Canal CLOSED in New Orleans

    The heavily industralized “Inner Harbor Navigational Canal” (also known as just the “Industrial Canal” in New Orleans, provides access from Lake Pontchartrain to the lock which leads to the Mississippi River, and points west on the Gulf ICW. Cruisers have to contend with a steeple chase of bridges to make this passage, but it’s still far more direct than the alternative.
    And, with the canal closed (see below), cruisers heading west from New Orleans, or even those east bound, and wanting to reach the marinas on the southern shores of Lake Pontchartrain, will have to traverse the ICW to the Rigolets, cruise through this impressive inlet to Lake Pontchartrain, and then back west across a significant portion of often rough Lake Pontchartrain to reach West End, site of most of New Orlean’s marina facilities.

    Cruising News:
    This is from the USCG’s local notice to mariners:
    Berwick Duval

    Effective immediately, the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal at the Seabrook Bridge will be closed to navigation due to construction of a cofferdam for the Seabrook floodgate structure. The channel will remain closed until approximately the Fall 2011. To ensure public safety during construction, all mariner traffic should avoid the area beginning at the north end Slip No. 6 to the Ted Hickey Bridge. For up-to-date information, mariners are urged to call the construction impact hotline at (877) 427-0345. Attached is the Marine Safety Information Bulletin

    I spoke with the Coast Guard N.O. district, it is the Seabrook Bridge which is closed down for repairs and will be for a long time, according to the USCG about 6 months. This blocks the Industrial canal but the lock and the ICW remain open. So if you are heading east and don’t need to get into the lake you can continue as usual along the GICWW.
    Steve W.

    Beginning September 22, 2010 and continuing through the fall of 2011, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers will be constructing a floodgate structure across the Inner Harbor – Navigation Canal (IH-NC) approximately 540 feet south of the Ted Hickey Bridge, and there will be no marine vessel access to or from Lake Pontchartrain via the IH-NC. Vessels should exercise caution and maintain a safe distance in the vicinity of the construction site, which is identified by light towers and advance warning signs. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Corps of Engineers’ Construction Impacts Hotline at 877-427-0345, U. S. Coast Guard Waterways Management at 504-365-2282 or 504-365-2284, or the Vessel Traffic Center (24 hours) at 504-589-2780.”
    Therefore, to get into Lake Pontchartrain from the Mississippi River or from west of New Orleans, you will have to go around and come in through the Rigolets.
    Coleen Barger

    We keep our boat on the N shore of L Pontchartrain at Mandeville. Actually, going W, the distance is shorter and much faster because of no Industrial Canal bridges going W from the MS Sound and L Borne through the Rigolets and then SW across the lake to W End in NO, as opposed to going through the ICW and Industrial Canal. Going E, the distance is much longer because you have to go E through the ICW into L Borne and then W all the way through the Rigolets then SW across the lake to W End.
    John C. Blackman

    Although the closing may be in-convenient–we never stop in New Orleans. Stop on the Gulf coast the day before and then cross the Mississippi and enjoy one of the anchorages or marinas just on the other side.
    Bob Austin

    Just have a comment to make. From Mobile, Al going west to Padre Island, Texas, bridge and lock tenders were so helpful, unlike those along the east coast. We ran into alot of snotty ones who were just so unhelpful coming down from Baltimore, MD headed to FL. However along Mobile, AL and south every tender was just so nice and most would even open the bridge if you were early. The same can be said about the lock masters, as they were so helpful and seemed genuine in their desire to make your passage safe.
    aboard “Dragonfly”

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To An “Alert” Position at the intersection of Lake Pontchartrain and the northern mouth of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Intersection of the Gulf ICW and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Intersection of Lake Pontchartrain and the Rigolets

  • Cautions for the Gilmerton Bridge, Norfolk, VA, AICW Statute Mile 5.8

    Cruisers attempting to transit Norfolk waters during rush hour are very familiar with the Gilmerton Bridge and its neighbor the Norfolk Southern RR bridge. In addition to the warning below, John Kettlewell’s Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook includes this warning:
    “Caution: Channel bends at bridge and approaching traffic may not be visible.”

    Be very careful approaching the Gilmerton Bridge southbound at sunrise. We were blinded this morning–couldn’t see the markers, the bridge or our chart plotter screen. We went aground and saw 3 other boats behind us make the same mistake! There’s also a construction barge in front of the bridge which makes it more difficult to see.
    Captain Harriet Hardy

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s VA to NC Line Bridge Directory Listing For the Gilmerton Bridge

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

  • Photo of New St. Augustine Mooring Field (Statute Mile 778)

    On 9/16/10, we posted a combined notice from Captain Pete Peterson aboard s/y `Brilliant” and Captain Sterling informing the cruising community that a new, 30-ball mooring field, managed by the nearby City Marina, had just begun operation in St. Augustine, south of the Bridge of Lions. (see /mooring-balls-now-available-in-st-augustine-aicw-statute-mile-778) Now, Captain Sterling has sent along a very nice photo the the new mooring field (see below).

    Hey Claiborne!
    Delivering my boat to it’s new owners in Jacksonville Beach. New to me boat is under contract in Punta Gorda.
    I am attaching a picture of the mooring field ad ST. Augustine. It is open for biz and the southern sections is completed.
    See you on the Waterways!
    Capt. Sterling

    I think this mooring field is an excellent addition to the city. I would caution, however, be very careful loading and unloading, as the currents are strong here. Slip overboard and you’re gone!
    Captain Sterling

    Any information on the length of a boat at the mooring in St. Augustine. Thanks for the photo and latest info.
    Captain Maryann

    It would seem that the U.S. Supreme Court would disagree with St. Augustine’s opinion.
    In U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis Blue Point Oyster Cultivation Co. v. Briggs, 229 US 82 the court states: `If the public right of navigation is the dominant right, and if, as must be the case, the title of the owner of the bed of navigable waters hold subject absolutely to the public right of navigation, this dominant right must include the right to the use of the bed of water for every purpose which is in aid of navigation.’
    Federal District Court in Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957, 961 states: `’¦.’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.’
    It is well established that the public right of navigation is the dominant right on the waters of the U.S.
    Robert Driscoll

    While I am not a fan of forced mooring nor the banning of anchoring, let’s face it ‘“ derelict boats and selfish boaters have been pushing municipalities to their limits for decades. Most laws banning extended anchoring have been shot down in court but it takes years and lots of money to fight them so cities have gotten away with these laws sufficient to break even against those who would drop an anchor or two and just stay in one place forever. Perhaps that right exists, but I’ve seen many boats that became the responsibility of the local taxpayers, sunk, or refused to obey sanitary laws. Personally, I’ll probably skip St. Augustine in the future at the rates they are charging for these moorings, but I can’t entirely blame them for their actions.
    Peter TenHaagen

    All cruisers, however, are not as enthusiastic about the new mooring field.

    The city is now telling people that once the mooring field is in, they will be banning all anchoring between the Vilano and 312 Bridges. They say they can do this because they own the land under the water on a grant from the King of Spain. This continues the cities movement to get rid of boaters. They have precluded anyone who resides on their boat from getting the reduced rates for the mooring field. Residency requires a utility bill even if they have lived here for more than 10 years and own a business.

    I anchored there several years ago and found the current daunting. I can’t see how they can require one to take a mooring. It is an open body of water. How is it enforced?
    Jim Owens

    While I would personally agree that derelict boats and extremely long term anchorage might be a problem I am certainly against the entire boating public paying the price for the misconduct of a few. The city could just as well set and enforce responsible time limits (even though that too is probably illegal), but the whole class should not be punished for the misconduct of the few!
    Robert Driscoll

    A grant from the King of Spain? Which King? How preposterous. They have to make this claim of course because they have no other legal basis for the anchoring ban. And of course whichever King they are citing has been dead a few hundred years. So getting his views will be tough. St Augustine marinas are generally overpriced. No surprise then the mooring balls are following suit. And while I am at it’¦ I don’t buy the argument that these communities have to do this in `self defense.’. Self defense from what? Drive the hoods of St Augustine or any other coastal city. You will see run down homes, unkempt lawns, non running cars in driveways blah blah blah. Even in the multi million dollars spots there are homes that look like crap. There are of course ordinances that can address some if this. But if people want to live like slobs it is (still) a Fred country. These communities pick on the boating community because we are an easy target.
    Eric Vahlbusch

    We have anchored about a dozen times in St. Augustine. The tides and current (and bottom) there can be treacherous, and we are pleased to see the installation of a mooring field. The nightly fee of $20 is a little bit stiff, but since they have charged $10 for a dinghy landing for a number of years, it doesn’t seem too bad. If they keep the field clean and open, it is welcome to us.
    One Eyed Parrots

    Has anyone addressed a size limit in the new mooring field?
    Ed Potter

    re: anchoring in St augustine… see which summarizes the fl laws… i’d think any spanish grant was passed to the state when fl became state. therefore, all fl laws re waterways apply.
    Captain Guy
    Deliveries & Instruction-Power & Sail
    New Smyrna Beach FL USA

    Wasn’t the king of Spain granted his rights by GOD!!
    Capt. Tom aboard M/V Pleiades

  • Welcome Hyatt Docks Savannah

    The Hyatt dock is a popular boating dock along the Savannah River that many tourists and boaters use if they are staying at The Hyatt or just stopping by River Street for some lunch.  If you're sailing along Tybee Island, park your boat and grab a burger!

    On property we have a full service hotel equipped with guestrooms, meeting space, restaurant, coffee shop, bar, business center, concierge, fitness center and indoor pool. Boat Dock guest have access to the guest amenities mentioned along with the private bathroom located in the fitness center. Catering is also available to the dock through the Hotel’s catering office.

    • ‘¢ Transient Dockage  ‘¢ Dockside Power ‘¢ Dockside Fresh Water ‘¢ WI FI
    • ‘¢ Showers ‘¢ Laundry Services ‘¢ Restaurant

    Rates vary between $3.00 per foot nightly to $1.00 per foot for day rates. Specific holidays such, as St. Patrick’s Day and 4th of July the rate is $5.00 per foot per night. Discounts are available to Marina life members at 10% off transient rate and Boat Us members at 25% off transient rate, also guest of the hotel receive 0.50 cents off per foot per night with hotel room. Group rates are also available depending on availability. Call 912 721 4654 or visit our web site!

  • Welcome Skull Creek Marina

    WIFI - Free to all dock customers!!! New antenna - let us know how you like it! Mile Marker 555 on the ICW While docked at Skull Creek Marina, experience wonderful cuisine and championship golf at the Country Club of Hilton Head, adjacent to the marina.  Complimentary Visiting Yachtsman memberships at the Club are provided by the marina.  Purchasers of a slip through our 99 year lease purchase program receive full club membership privileges as a benefit of ownership.  While docked at Skull Creek Marina, experience wonderful cuisine and championship golf at the Country Club of Hilton Head, adjacent to the marina. Complimentary Visiting Yachtsman memberships at the Club are provided by the marina. Purchasers of a slip through our 99 year lease purchase program receive full club membership privileges as a benefit of ownership.

    All yard, repair, and service work requires a signed work order or estimate; a pre-authorized credit card or deposit is required. Work orders are payable at time of launch.

    30 Ton Travel Lift (15′ beam max.)

    • Haul-Out. Transport to/from Yard & Launch
    • Haul-Out. Survey and Launch (Fixed Pier)
    • Loading/Unloading from Truck/Trailer (1 way)
    • Use of Travel Lift Crane ($250 min)

    (Travel Lift charges include lift operation labor only; it does not include other services such as moving boat to/from lift well, rig/unrig, etc.)

    • Bottom Painting ‘“ All-inclusive packages (depending on length, condition and number of coats).
    • General Labor Rate (min. 1 hr, billed in ¼ hr)
    • Materials. At suggested retail prices.

    Call for Custom Quote: (843) 681-8436. Or visit our web site!

  • Coast Guard Responds to Ferry Collision in Ocracoke, NC, Pamlico Sound

    OCRACOKE, N.C. ‘” The Coast Guard responded to a boat collision in the ferry channel in Ocracoke, Saturday night. Scroll down to article and picture below.

    Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a radio call from a crewmember aboard the ferry Carteret, which travels from Cedar Island to Ocracoke, at 8:30 p.m. stating that there had been a collision between the ferry and a 35-foot motor yacht.
    The ferry had eight passengers, one car and the crew aboard. The yacht, Tony C, had two crewmembers and two dogs aboard.
    A 25-foot Response Boat – Small crew from Coast Guard Station Ocracoke responded and transferred two crewmembers and the dogs to Station Ocracoke to awaiting Coast Guard emergency medical technicians. The two individuals were cleared with no severe injuries.
    No one aboard the Carteret was injured. Coast Guard personnel inspected the ferry and found no major damage. The Carteret was brought back to Ocracoke.
    The yacht was damaged and has a hole from slightly above the waterline to the deck.
    A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Hatters Inlet was deployed to tow the yacht to shallow water.
    The cause of the collision is under Coast Guard investigation.

    Click Here To View Capt. Ben’s Report and Photo

  • Trawler Meets Ferry in Ocracoke, NC, off the AICW in Pamilco Sound

    Be careful out there folks, especially on holiday weekends and especially around larger vessels in close quarters!

    One more concern, evidently a 36-foot Albin trawler was struck by another boat Saturday night Sept 4th somewhere near Ocracoke. We saw the wrecked boat docked over by the channel entrance. Can’t say and don’t know what hit it, but was strong enough to dislodge the bridge structure halfway off the pilothouse and crack the hull. Heard the crew got off safely. Still afloat as of morning Sept 5th.
    Good luck to the crew and with all the challenges that will inevitably follow!
    I obscured the name and hailing port to protect the owner’s privacy, but this is what happens when Trawler meets Ferry. Saw this in Ocracoke Sunday. Was told by a few locals, the ferries have an awfully hard time in the channels maneuvering or slowing down, and that the ferry captain was in full reverse trying to avoid the trawler. Good luck to the unfortunate owner.
    Capt. Ben Matthews

    Click Here To View an Earlier Posting on Ocracoke, NC

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