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    • Captain Charmine Comments on Reaction to Her Latest Florida Anchoring Rights Article

      Captain Charmaine’s message below is actually a reaction to multiple comments received in response to her latest article concerning developments vis-a-via the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program in the Florida Keys (see /update-on-floridas-pilot-program-marathon-fl-mpac-meeting-held). However, I knew this article would get more visibility published as a fresh posting. so here it is.
      If you are at all interested in the question of Florida anchoring rights, PLEASE read Captain Charmaine’s thoughts below. They are worthy of every cruisers’ time and attention!

      Thank you all for your comments. Public outrage is exactly what is needed to stop this gross manipulation of the law by a few at the total dismissal of the expressed wants of the majority. It is even more stomach turning when one realizes the `chosen’ sites for the Pilot Program are mostly comprised of the same cities that have been caught red-handed enacting and enforcing illegal anchoring ordinances. They lost in court, yet they continue to flex their muscles once again by creating a ploy to go around existing law.
      Law enforcement is caught in the middle of a political game and are being used to do the bidding of a few powerful people. The Pilot Program is a tool being used to dictate to law enforcement how to enforce the otherwise unenforceable. The politicians who backed the Pilot Program will distance themselves and run for cover once the general public grasps the enormity of the Pilot Program’s hidden agenda and total disregard for the protection of boats in navigation under the law. FL Statute 327.60(2) was written to shut the door on their attempts’“the Pilot Program does not have to adhere to that Statute. Does it make it right to concoct an instrument that circumvents existing law? The Right of Navigation includes anchoring.
      Those who want to own the land and the water shall not succeed if we stand together to expose their greed and arrogance. Safety at sea is priority one. It should also be the FWC’s number one priority. Where it is permissible to anchor and for what length of time should not be a concern for any captain whose thoughts should be concentrated on safety first and foremost. This is a recipe for disaster. A captain may, in his or her haste to avoid an anchoring violation, leave an area under pressure when it otherwise would be prudent to stay. It is obvious that landlubbers who know nothing of why the Right of Navigation is imperative to safety, are the driving force behind the Pilot Program and its open door to enacting anchoring time limit ordinances.
      Please write the FWC and send a copy of it to Boat US. Allow your objections to be on the record. It doesn’t matter where you live, as the waters of Florida are held in the Public Trust for all. There is power in numbers and we need to speak up. Tell others about this injustice. Our servicemen and servicewomen fight for the freedoms of others abroad, yet we are still fighting to retain freedoms among ourselves right here in America. That is a very sad state of affairs.
      Tim’s comment made me recall this quote:

      `The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government ‘“ lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.’ ‘“ Patrick Henry

      Again, many thanks!
      Charmaine

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    • Update on Inland Waterway Provision Company Store in Oriental, NC, Statute Mile 181

      McCotters Marina, Washington, NCWe are delighted to learn that this well-known business in Oriental, NC will remain open. For years, it has been the place to get boat gear and clothing in Oriental. McCotter’s Marina, which suffered a devastating fire earlier this year, is located in nearby Washington, NC and is A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      A new owner, McCotter’s Marina of Washington, NC has decided to restock and keep the Inland Waterway store open. The decision was made last Monday and it was open for the Memorial Day weekend. Stock will take a while to rebuild.
      Skipper Jim Duggan

      The Inland Waterway Provision Company re-opened in April of 2011 under new management. The folks from McCotter’s Marina (Washington, NC) are now running the store.
      Captain Ben

      And from the new owners:

      Inland Waterway Provision Company, ICW Mile Marker 181
      Newly re-opened in the heart of “downtown” Oriental!
      Visit us for all your boating and fishing needs. We have marine hardware, electrical and plumbing components, cleaning supplies, charts, line, and safety gear. We are the local dealer for AB dinghies. We offer clothing, Sperry shoes, and nautical gifts.
      If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can order it for you, usually with free overnight delivery on parts.
      We can help you with fishing equipment, ice, and bait. The helpful advice is free!
      Inland Waterway Provision Co. is conveniently located on the Oriental harborfront, right between the Town Dock (free dockage for 48 hours!) and the town anchorage. We have free loaner bicycles for visiting boaters.
      We’re an Oriental landmark! Come see why.
      Monday-Saturday 9-6, Sunday 12-4
      Phone: (252)249-1797
      iwpc@dockline.net

      I am so glad that Inland Waterway is back in business and I really hope it can stay that way! Show them some love if you’re in town.
      Jeffrey Sampson

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

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

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of McCotter’s Marina

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    • Marker Restored and Hazard to Navigation Removed On Bowlegs Cut, Florida Keys Inside Route (Staute Mile 1165)

      A Week 31 LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS warned of an exposed I-beam in Bowlegs Cut, creating a dangerous situation in the passage and warranting a Navigation Alert on Cruisers’ Net. That danger has apparently been removed and the area returned to normal, as Capt. Grass assures us with his two passages.

      Went through Bowlegs cut on August 5 and everything appeared to be back to normal.
      Capt. Martin Grass

      Currently anchored in Cowpens. I returned northbound through Bowlegs Cut this afternoon (8 August) at idle speed and everything appeared normal to me.
      Capt. Martin Grass

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

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    • Avoid Channel Leading from Cape Fear River Marker #41, to the AICW at Marker #162A, Just West of Snows Cut (near St. M. 299), 8/1/11


      The “channel” described in the message below leads from Cape Rear River marker #41, south and southeast until it rejoins the path of the AICW at marker #162A, just west of Snows Cut’s westerly mouth. In years past, this passage was navigable, but shoaling on its southernmost leg, northwest of #162A, has changed the status of this cut to “dinghies only.”
      Coming south from Wilmington, Manfred is not the first cruiser to be tempted to try this shortcut channel to avoid going the extra 5 miles south and then northeast to rejoin the Waterway just west of Snows Cut. The three legs of the channel are charted at 11ft, 10.5ft, then 2ft!! Manfred is absolutely correct when he recommends this shortcut only to “zero” draft vessels.
      We are declaring a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Navigational Alert for this so-called channel!Cruising News:
      Cape Fear River Shoal
      Following the ICW from south to north, between St M 300/ St M 295 in the Cape Fear river. An excursion to Wilmington NC was made. Coming back to the ICW, from Wilmington, a small channel is marked from G41` to ICW R 162A` leading to the ICW, east of the main river channel.
      At marker ‘ž1` we were on ground, showing 3 ½ feet, 2 hours after high water. Calculating back to high water at this day, the depth would be only 5 ½ feet. This passage can not be recommended at any time, only boats with “no” draft may use it with excessive care.
      Skipper Manfred Rausch aboard SV Balimara, Bonn Germany

      I too fell victim to this shortcut, having no problem navigating this at flooding tide going up river, tried it on the way back, and at red 4 found 3 feet needing 4. Sea Tow had to thread the needle to get to me with his motors tilted. Think markers need to be removed, or at least re-worked.
      Skipper Mike Williams aboard s/v Chardonnay

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the Channel Running from Cape Fear River Marker #41 to AICW Markers #162A

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    • Update on Florida’s Pilot Program – Marathon, FL MPAC Meeting Held

      As usual, Captain Charmaine does a wonderful job of presenting her news. It’s really good to hear that, at least in the Florida Keys, it looks as if the Pilot Mooring Field Program will NOT result in severe anchorage time restrictions!

      July 31st, 2011
      Update on Florida’s Pilot Program
      Marathon, FL MPAC Meeting Held
      by Charmaine Smith Ladd
      Each month, Monroe County’s MPAC (Marine & Port Authority Committee) meets here in Marathon. The agenda often covers a variety of topics. The meeting of 27 July, last Wednesday evening, included the Pilot Program as part of the agenda. There were very few from the public in attendance, but that is not unusual. Most do not realize the MPAC meetings are open to the public. Before sharing what occurred, please note that the next meeting of the MPAC will be held on September 7th at 6:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Government Center, 27th & Overseas Highway, 2nd floor, on Bayside (just follow the road at 27th Street to the building).
      The general consensus of the Pilot Program’s impact on the Keys is quite reassuring to cruisers. It gives me great pleasure to report that the phrase “Less is more” was uttered often by Committee members in relation to the question of whether or not to enact City ordinances. There are very concerned committee members who are doing their best to do the right thing for this wonderful community. Boating is an integral part of what makes the city of Marathon attractive to tourism. Also on the agenda was a discussion about Marathon most likely becoming a Port-of-Entry. As Americans become free to travel to and from Cuba by air and sea; Marathon becoming a Port-of-Entry represents a boon to local tourism. We are a boater and cruiser friendly community.
      It was quite interesting to hear news shared by Committee members who attended a meeting held in Orlando of representatives of all five Pilot Program sites. The sites are: St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Stuart, and Monroe County. Those who reported back were in agreement that the other four sites are not taking the “Less is more” attitude towards anchoring in the waters of their respective cities as we here of Monroe County. Two of the sites have 10-day anchoring limits already being proposed as a solution to their problems.
      Time limits are out of the question as far as cruisers are concerned. Time limits are what cause cruisers to hurry. When one is under a time limit, many things have to be considered that shouldn’t be a concern. The first concern of any captain is vessel and crew safety as it pertains to weather windows and the seaworthiness and readiness of vessel and crew. This is what the right of navigation is all about and why it is upheld by Admiralty Law. Those who think they can pass such ordinances and not end up with a plethora of lawsuits are kidding themselves. One accident caused by being under the duress of having to hurry out of a city because of time limits will put an end to such nonsense.
      Those of you who want to cruise the waters of the sites that are not as considerate as the Keys, please take the time to attend all meetings that have the Pilot Program on their agendas. If you cannot attend, please write Boat US. Boat US speaks for the rights of America’s cruisers and recreational boaters–and there is power in numbers! It is not too late to get your voice heard before decisions that will negatively impact your right to anchor in these site areas are made into ordinance. Fortunately, Florida still has the Keys. Down here, life is looked at as free and easy. The people here are more laid back and steer away from the overdoses of governmental intrusions. Sure, we have some problems down here…but the laws on the books prior to the enactment of the Pilot Program are sufficient to address such. We need not go along with those who take the stance that prohibiting anchoring is the only course of action to solve issues in their waters. Safety should always be priority one. Anchoring time limits will impede the right of navigation and no doubt prove detrimental to the safety of cruisers.
      We cannot just sit and wait to see what transpires. Instead, we all must play an active role in making sure that the decisions made are ones that are in the best interest of we who navigate the waters. Pilot Programs have a way of becoming mainstream. Is that really what you want?
      Charmaine Smith Ladd
      SSECN Special Correspondent, Florida Keys
      “Bringing you the low down from down low!”
      http://www.SeptemberSea.com

      The ten day limits Charmaine tells us are proposed are exactly what many cruisers feared this pilot program would lead to.
      And Charmaine is right that these types of ordinances will lead to the type of grief that led Florida to enact 327.6. We need to immediately put a stop to this sort of thing from these municipalities.
      Cruiser action and involvement will be required for this to happen.
      Wally Moran

      Further to my previous post, I give seminars at several boat shows, including two here in Canada, on traveling south on the ICW. I generally speak to around 1000 cruisers each year in Canada and it is my intention to advise them that they should contact the various authorities in FL to convey their views on anchoring restrictions, and also to consider bypassing these communities should such restrictions be put in place. Hopefully, the threat of economic loss will put these politicians on notice that we will not accept their crap. We’ve fought them before and we can do so again.
      Wally Moran

      Hi Charmaine:
      Just a note to say Thank You very much for your reports and input to the cruising communitiy as well as your efforts on our behalf. Thank you for being close to the situation.
      Hopefully we will be able to get a chance to meet you and extend our thanks in person in the Keys this Winter. We will be at the Marathon Marina on Dec 1st for the Winter.
      You have a great website that I will be going back to enjoy what you have put up. Love the Sunset gallery.
      Fair Winds and safe Cruising
      Captains Helen & Bob
      lying Cocoa Village Marina, Cocoa, FL
      M/Y ALLEZ! MT50 WB

      Greetings, Helen and Bob! Thanks so very much for your kind words and appreciation. Looking forward to meeting you both in December!
      Hugs,
      Charmaine

      Anchoring restrictions that impede the safety of myself, my crew or vessel will be met with equal restrictions on the authorities travel, housing and safety. I cannot emphasize how strongly i feel the need to express my opinion that i took an oath to defend the constitution when i joined the service in 1974. Part of the constitution deals with maritime law. any officer,judge or other official who attempts to enforce a local ordinance contrary to the constitution and against me or my vessel or crew will be met with force since the supreme court has ruled that any law or ordinance in violation of the constitution is null and void. All the local authorities have to do is back off. I did not start this fight but i sure will be there to finish it
      Tim

      Submitted on 2011/08/21 at 4:41 pm

      I was surprised to learn from these reports that local ordinances are even in the picture ‘“ my superficial impression had been that the state law was enacted to provide one, uniform statewide law for both boaters and municipalities to comply with. Thanks, Charmaine for the clarification. If my understanding is correct, a `pilot program’ is just the first step ‘“ ultimately the resulting legal framework will apply throughout the state once the `pilot’ phase is complete. It’s not clear to me how each jurisdiction writing it’s own law not necessarily conforming to the state law is going to play our once the pilot phase is over.
      It is good to know the current Marathon powers that be are of the less is more variety, as in many places people get involved in government because they believe government is the solution to all our ills.
      A couple of years ago we were in the Virgin Islands where they have the same derelict boat issue. In `the lagoon’ on the SE shore of St. Thomas there had been similar problems, and the authorities (federal I think, rather than local) came through a few years back with the litmus test that boats had to be able to get underway in 3 hours. Those that didn’t meet the standard were removed, I think using a one time grant from Uncle Sam. There were still a lot of boats there that many of us might consider derelict but at least it’s a way to define `navigable’. Our impression is the lagoon is where folks ended up that didn’t have enough money to make it to Coral Bay.
      Anyway, keep up the good work.
      Jim Kevern, S/V Ubiquitous

      Jim,
      Thank you for your well thought out and `spot on’ comments. Many boaters and cruisers are totally confused because in the State of Florida we have the `liveaboard’ and `non-liveaboard’ definitions that cloud the issue as to whom will be affected by the Pilot Program. The Pilot Program opened the door for CRUISERS (boats that navigate are called `Non-liveaboards’ whether or not one actually lives aboard). It is so true, this Pilot Program will run as a test for two years’¦but we know where that will lead. Cities all over Florida are installing mooring fields as I write this. The writing is on the wall.
      We must all speak up now, write to FWC and let them know we need options, not ordinances restricting our right to anchor outside of mooring fields. Some areas are talking about 2.5-nearly a 5 mile buffer zone around their mooring fields. Clearly, the Pilot Program overrides what the public demanded they wanted: FL Statute 327.60(2) to remain intact to protect our right to anchor outside mooring fields. The Pilot Program is the back door that many do not understand. B.A.R.R. (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities) has been established earlier this month to dispel the myths and get the truth out so CRUISERS will know what is happening and make their voices heard. The FWC is listening, they will do what the PUBLIC wants. Perhaps once and for all, the municipalities and areas that have a documented history of enacting illegal anchoring ordinances will finally realize they must stop. They do not know where to draw the line and are not creative enough to address the problem issues with current existing laws ‘” instead, they want to regulate ALL boats. We do not have to allow this to occur.
      Claiborne has been very kind to tout my new Group, B.A.R.R. (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities) dedicated to protecting our anchoring rights and promoting responsible boating. I am proud to have him in my corner. I’ve been quite active with the Pilot Program since the beginning, and am also very proud that my efforts here in Monroe County are bringing an understanding to those in charge that less is indeed more! Whenever I speak at public meetings or in private with the powers that be, they all know I represent all of you here at SSECN as well.
      Please join B.A.R.R., as we have power in numbers. Spread the word! http://www.marinersbarr.org ‘“ I’m working hard on the website even today and will have more information up soon. We have a great Organization that is only a couple of weeks old but has nearly 500 members. In the meantime, please use the link at the BARR website to `Join Us at the BARR’ on Facebook (called `Mariner’s Barr)! We have lots of documents there to help you keep your right to anchor. Many thanks!
      Hugs,
      Charmaine

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    • Fort Pierce City Marina Waterway Cleanup Activities (Statute Mile 966.5)

       Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589Take a gander at the two photos Captain Ann Maurer of Fort Pierce City Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) sent along, showing the removal of a “tiny, little tire” from the nearby Fort Pierce waters. The good Samaritans who got this thing out of the water had to carry flotation with them, stuff the tire with these floats, and then tow it back to the marina. There, Fort Pierce Public Works Department had to employ a CRANE to finally remove the tire. Boy, talk about trash along the AICW! This must be some sort of first in the way of size!

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Pierce City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Pierce City Marina

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Gail Byrd -  August 1, 2011 - 3:44 pm

        We thought our crews brought in a large tire from the Intracoastal Waterway spoil island near the St. Lucie Inlet, but we will have to relinquish the award to you!
        Gail Byrd

        Reply to Gail
    • Bio Diesel Now Available In the Florida Keys

      Another GREAT article authored by the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Florida Keys Special Correspondent, Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd. How great to hear the story of how Bio Diesel is now available in the Florida Keys!!

      July 16th, 2011
      Bio-Diesel Fuel Company in the FL Keys
      by Charmaine Smith Ladd
      My dear friend, Captain Jack Burnett, has lived in the Keys for nearly four decades. We have known one another and have been truly “family” for nearly nine years. He loves to talk of old times in the Keys and has been a plethora of local knowledge for me since first landing here. During all that time, I’ve only questioned one thing he’s ever shared with me: the recommendation of using discarded restaurant vegetable oil for running September Sea’s Yanmar diesel engine.
      Captain Jack has been running his 33-foot sailing vessel on the vegetable oil he obtains from local restaurant fryers for quite some time now. Vegetable oil from the fryers restaurants would otherwise discard is recycled by Captain Jack as he strains it and pours it into his boat’s fuel tank. He swears by it. He says his vessel actually has never run better!
      Well, Captain Jack was absolutely right! The proof is now making big news as Marathon fisherman, Jeff Lillie, has recently put his brainchild, Marathon Bio-Diesel, on the map as the first bio-diesel fuel company in the Keys. It took him seven years to do it, but he’s well on his way as the word spreads of the advantages of using recycled vegetable oil instead of diesel. Buyers use it not only to fuel their water crafts, but also as fuel for their automobiles and tiki torches! Some begin by using a 50% ratio of the bio-diesel with regular diesel. Many soon find, sometimes after some minor modifications, 100% bio-diesel is their fuel of choice! Captain Jack made no such modifications and uses 100% vegetable oil with no problems for years.
      It’s a different way to “Go Green,” that’s for sure. But Green is always a good thing when helping to preserve our natural resources.
      This writer must admit that the aroma of french fries while motoring is a remarkably refreshing improvement over the smell of burning diesel fuel. Besides…smelling french fries is almost as good as eating them; and inhaling involves no caloric content! Ha!

      http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/12/2315460_fill-it-up-with-biodiesel.html#storylink=addthis

      Charmaine Smith Ladd
      SSECN Special Correspondent, Florida Keys
      “Bringing you the low down from down low!”
      Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com

      Thank you for mentioning us in the Cruisers Net. We look forward to fueling up those who make it to the Florida Keys.
      Nancy Kukkue
      http://www.marathonbiodiesel.com

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    • Florida Anchoring Regulations – The FEDERAL Dimension

      Most of us who have been involved in the Florida anchoring rights issue for more than a few years, know there is a Federal dimension to this issue. And, that issue is, many would argue, ONLY the Federal government, NOT states, counties or municipalities, can regulate “navigation,” AND anchoring is very much a part of “navigation.”
      In fact, several years ago, a fellow cruiser sued the city of Stuart, Florida in Federal Admiralty Court for prohibiting him/her from anchoring. Not only did the cruiser win the court case in question, but the city of Stuart had to pay all the cruisers’ attorney fees, and pay a sum of money for damages.
      So, while many of us have fought the fight for Florida anchoring rights on the state level, most of us have known there is a “fall back” line of defense by way of the Admiralty Courts. Captain Robert Driscoll lays out a good case below for the notion that only the Federal government can indeed regulate anchorage.
      This is very interesting input indeed! If there are any maritime lawyers out there reading this missive, PLEASE give us your input as well by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below!

      With the understanding that an informed public, in this case the boating public, is the best way to ensure the navigational freedom that we enjoy the follwoing is submitted.
      Anchoring is an act of navigation, navigation is under the jurisdiction of Admiralty Courts. Admiralty Courts exist only at the federal level.
      The laws of the United States are superior to state laws and state laws in conflict must yield. Likewise the Federal Court rulings are supreme.
      With the foregoing in mind consider the following rulings and laws which exist at the National Level, all of which are superior to any state legislation:

      U. S. Constitution, Article III, Sec 2.1
      `The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, … (and) to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction …’

      U.S. Supreme Court, Butler v. Boston Steamship Co. 130 US 557, 141 US 1, Detroit Trust Co. v. The Thomas Baslum 293 US 21, 42
      `As the constitution extends the judicial power of the United States to ‘all admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,’ and as this jurisdiction is held to be exclusive, the power of legislation on the same subject must necessarily be in the national legislature and not in the state legislatures.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart 253 US 149, 164
      `Congress cannot transfer its legislative power to the states, … by nature this in nondelegable.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Dawson 264 U.S. 219
      In responding to and overturning a lower court decision where a state was attempting to apply a local state law to all vessels which visit or navigate in the state the U.S. Supreme Court decreed: `This cause presents a situation where there was no attempt to prescribe general rules. On the contrary the manifest purpose was to permit any state to alter the maritime law, and thereby introduce conflicting requirements. To prevent this result the Constitution adopted the law of the sea as the measure of maritime rights and obligations. The confusion and difficulty if vessels were compelled to comply with the local statutes at every port, are not difficult to see. Of course, some within the states may prefer local rules, but the Union was formed with the very definite design of freeing maritime commerce from intolerable restrictions incident to such control. The subject is national. Local interests must yield to the common welfare. The Constitution is supreme.’

      U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol 30, 55th Congress, Sess 425, Sec. 10 states:
      `That the creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States is hereby prohibited; …’

      U.S. Supreme Court, State of Wisconsin v. State of Illinois 362 US 482
      The phrase `not affirmatively by Congress’ as opposed to the phrase `affirmatively authorized by law’ which was used in an earlier similar law (51st Congress …) makes mere state authorization inadequate.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Republic Steel Corp. I11 362 US 482
      The diminution of navigable capacity is an obstruction to navigation. `Obstruction to navigation is not limited to structures specifically, but also includes diminution of navigable capacity by other means.’ {(personal comment) The State declaring areas where anchoring is not allowed is certainly a diminution of navigational capacity.}

      U.S. Law 28 USC 1333
      Admiralty jurisdiction covers every vessel under the American Flag, whether it is on the ocean or within the boundaries of a state, no matter what size or means of propulsion, or
      whether it is documented or not.

      Federal District Court, Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957 961
      `…’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.’

      Federal District Court, Hayn v. Culliford 3 C.P.Eiv 417
      `’navigation’ for some purpose, includes a period when a ship is not in motion, as, for instance, when she is at anchor.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis Blue Point Oyster Cultivation Co. v. Briggs 229 US 82
      When overturning a lower court case the U.S. Supreme Court said: `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.’

      U.S. Law 33 USC 471 Chap 10
      `The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized, empowered, and directed to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessel in all harbors, rivers, bays and other navigable waters of the United States whenever it is manifest to the said secretary that the maritime or commercial interest of the United States require such anchorage grounds for the safe navigation….’ {(personal comment) when the language `authorized, empowered, and directed’ is used it implies sole authority to perform the named act. The Boating Public is a definite minority and it is only by the laws which exist in this country can navigational rights be preserved.}

      I agree that it is pretty clear that Federal law should rule, but the problem is that there is absolutely no political support for this at the state and local level, and no Federal entity, particularly the Coast Guard, wants to meddle in state and local affairs either. Now, if this were some issue that had broad national political support, like gun rights, you would have state and local politicians bending over backwards. Boaters are not organized or united politically, and because of the nature of the problem they are more likely to just move along to avoid the hassle. Plus, this mostly impacts transients, who have zero local political clout. Local and state officials answer to their constituents and supporters. Sure, they could be taken to court, at great expense, effort, time, and aggravation, but who wants to deal with that? Not many of us.
      No Name Supplied

      So, who is going to front the legal costs until the courts rule in a cruiser’s favor, and who is going to eat the costs when the courts don’t?
      While some folks who cruise Florida have very deep pockets, the most aggrieved in this situation are not so fortunate.
      In the absence of a `cruising rights defense fund’ or some such construct, I’m not going to be lining up for a test case. I am not willing to double down with shrinking retirement funds on the skills of a government admiralty lawyer.
      The Bahamas are a short distance away and much more welcoming on their worst days.
      Chris

      Every cruiser, EVERY cruiser needs to know this. Spread this information to every boater you know, every boating forum, any way you can. Local authorities are over-stepping their boundaries with unjust and, as we now find out, illegal anchoring restrictions.
      Thank you, Claiborne
      Larry McDonald

      Claiborne,
      I am not an attorney but I used to pretend to be one at the local pubs on Saturday nights. But seriously, being involved in this issue in Florida for many years, it is my understanding that the Federal Government handed over the jurisdiction of the local Waterways to the States many years ago, with some exceptions. Those are mostly exceptions dealing with maintenance and navigational aids which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers. The States were given the authorization to pass laws and regulations and enforce those laws and regulations. It is then up to the individual States as to whether they would in turn allow municipalities or counties to pass and enforce further regulations. And this has been the deal breaker in trying to get these anchoring regulations overturned or thrown out in Federal Court. Now my recollections could be fuzzy, so perhaps a true expert can enlighten us.
      Chuck Baier

      The United States Supreme Court has said (see Knickerbocker v. Stewart above) that the federal government cannot, repeat cannot, delegate its legislative power to the states. In doing so it would not be the first time the Federal Legislature has passed a law that would later be found unconstitutional. Unfortunately for a law to be ruled unconstitutional it must first be presented to the court, unti it is the law remains in force.
      Robert Driscoll

      I, too remember something about the feds abdicatiog responsibility for anchoring. Maybe discovered by the woman in Daytona beach who started an organization???
      I know a couple of guys who served on the `Harbor Board here in the 80’s and 90’s I will ask them about their recollections.
      Bill Dixon

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    • A Homemade Solution For CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Aboard

      One thing we are learning loud and clear while putting the Cruisers’ Net’s LPG/CNG Availability Directories together, is that Compressed Natural Gas is available in very, very few places along the coastal waters of the Southeastern United States. And, that’s too bad, as CNG is lighter than air, while LPG (Propane) is heavier, and a leak can potentially pool an explosive quantity of propane on your galley floor or in the bildge. Conversely, a CNG leak is far less serious, as the gas will rise and hopefully dissipate.
      Well, Captain Denise Gill has come up with an innovative to get CNG aboard. It takes some ingenuity, and some work (and money), but Denise’s idea is certainly interesting!!!

      Good Morning,
      I just looked over your site listing all the marinas along NC and the fuel offerings. Great job. I certainly appreciate all of the hard work and time that went into putting all of that together.
      I would like to let you know about CNG and how this too can be obtained though potentially not as easily as propane is as propane has become the defacto fuel these days ~ even though CNG is bar far a safer fuel to cook with (lighter than air).
      Any municipality that fuels their fleets ie: buses, trucks etc, and taxis or any other “green” vehicles that use CNG, well they have a CNG pump that is open to the public. Where I live in Maryland ~ Montgomery County ~ we have such a place. It is a County fueling site for gasoline and diesel but now there is also access to CNG. You simply scan your credit card and punch in the pump number and then fill up.
      There are two sides to the CNG pump. One is for 3600 psi and the other is for 3000 psi. I own a 34 foot sailboat that cooks with CNG. I have made an adaptor that allows me fill my CNG tank at this fuel fill. Where we used to have to do a “tank exchange” costing anywhere from $50 to $100 per tank, I now completely fill up my own tank for $1.25. The cost of making the adaptor ~ getting the various parts was about $225 and I have more than made back that initial outlay over the several years I have been filling the tank myself.
      I realize that geography will be the killer to our access to municipal CNG fuel sites along the ICW. But as we go forward I offer all of the above as one more option that in some locals may be convenient. Just as propane users carry spare tanks, so do CNG users.
      Very kind regards,
      Denise Gill
      s/v First Point of Aries

      By the way, the parts list for making your own CNG adapter can be obtained here:
      http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=CNG_Refill_Adapter

      Good Morning,
      Thanks very much for you nice email and for this posting. While I would love to take the credit for putting this parts list together, I merely downloaded it from our Catalina 34 website and share it with anyone else who might be inclined. I figure if I could make it, it certainly can’t be too difficult. I believe, as we go forward with `clean energy’ CNG availability will increase.
      Again, thanks and I enjoy reading the Cruiser’s Net!
      Kind Regards,
      Denise

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    • Warm Praise for Elizabeth City, NC (Dismal Swamp Canal Route, St. M. 50.5)

      Elizabeth City has been known as one of the most welcoming ports of call for many, many years. The late Fred Fearing used to greet cruisers with a rose for all the female members of the crew, and an incredibly warm welcome for everyone aboard. Sadly, Fred passed away a few years ago, but the “Rose Buddy” volunteer efforts he pioneered, live on in Elizabeth City, as evidenced by the message below, copied from the MTOA List-Serve.
      And, let’s not forget, Elizabeth City is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      We have just had the best experience in Elizabeth City. On one of the hottest 4th of Julys ever, the water pump for the air conditioner gave up the ghost. I disconnected the pump and took it into the little ships store here at Pelican Marina. Everyone wanted to help, but what do you do with a 22 year old pump? Finally the managers, Josh & Mike, said to take it to “Electric Motor Rewind Co” on Poindexter Street. I did, and the owner said to leave it with him for about an hour, and go eat at the Colonial Restaurant, 3 blocks away. After a great breakfast, we returned to the Rewind company and found our air conditioner water pump all fixed and ready for installation. $24.89 was all he charged us.
      Then, walking back over the bridge to Pelican Marina, we met the Bridge Master, Jack Brothers, who said if we needed a ride he would let us use his pickup truck.
      Everyone here in Elizabeth City has been really great to us. Must be something in the water.
      We’ll be back, and we’ll be recommending Elizabeth City to everyone we meet.
      Skipper Jim Powell

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

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

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

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