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    • Proposed Mandatory Inspection and Proof of Pump-out For Vessels Anchored in the Florida Keys

      There has been a very lively discussion on the MTOA List-Serve, concerning a proposed regulation to demand proof of pump-out for vessels anchored on certain Florida Keys waters. Read on and learn a whole lot more!

      Cruising News:
      Read in the local paper today, Monroe County is passing a law to require an inspection and proof of pump out in certain anchorage area, such as sunset cove in Key Largo.
      Once again they are taking away another one of our RIGHTS!

      This was tried in North Carolina, if you remember, and it was quickly forgotten about since it was impossible to verify and monitor. Perhaps the same will come of this ordinance, although the Keys have done some unusual things in the past.

      I have a pump out at my home dock in South Florida. I wonder how they will handle that. From time to time I have a guest stop by and do a pump out while they are visiting on their way to the Keys???
      Ed Potter

      These are exactly the kinds of issues that don’t get considered when these knee jerk reactions become regulations. And exactly the problem in North Carolina. But it was a lot of input from boaters that got the NC regulations put on hold indefinitely. Perhaps the same will work for Monroe County. The National Marine Sanctuary must also be part of these regulations.

      Here is the actual article and it addresses a number of issues including pump out. Note this quote, “Board members noted that the county could not ethically require pumpout of boat holding tanks if
      there are no pumpout boats or facilities nearby.” So sometimes it helps to have the entire story.

      The pump out boat offered by Monroe county is no longer operational. The rumors are they are letting it out for bids. sucker (pardon the pun) What fool would take that bid??? tis a looser.
      Of all the places I have cruised, the keys are the least boater friendly!! And I am a 30 year resident of key largo.
      See you in Paradise!!
      Capt. Sterling
      38 Marine trader

      Interesting how they reported it. It’s not an “ethics” issue. Its an issue of hypocrisy. After that its an issue of verification and enforcement.

      And, here is the rest of the story from our very special Florida Keys correspondent, Captain Charmine Smith Ladd:

      The Keys cover a lot of ground in Monroe County. The areas mentioned are Sunset Cove and Boca Chica Basin. They do not have pump-out facilities but that is being discussed. Boot Key Harbor has become a VERY FRIENDLY area for cruisers and boaters for some time now, and of that we are quite proud. Please read my article about the October 5th MPAC Meeting slated to be held in Key West, it will explain some things to you. At first they were wanting pump out logs, but now it is evident that once they get pump out facilities there, the pump out boat will have the evidence of pump out. Others have asked for a sticker system’¦these are other boaters, mind you, who comply by taking their boat to the pump out station and don’t want to be bothered by inspections. The powers that be, so far, in Monroe County are trying NOT to overreach and affect cruisers with these regulations. The Pilot Program is not needed for any of it, yet it is what is the driving force for the overkill. I have represented the readers/members of SSECN for some time on these issues and continue to fight to make some sense out of the nonsense that is the Pilot Program.
      Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd
      on “September Sea”

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

    • Report of Good Depths, AICW/Cumberland Dividings Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 704)

      This troublesome stretch that lies at the intersections of the Brickhill River, Crooked River and the Waterway, and we are happy to report good depths for now, especially in contrast to the shoaling in the spring.

      Just to reassure that there are apparently no adverse changes since spring, we passed thru here on 9/21 heading north at 1 hour past low tide, per tide chart. The lowest reading we had was 15′ at R 60. The readings from R62-G63 to G59A were all just over 20′.
      I ran approximately 100′-150′ off the Red markers and about 50′ off the Green markers. As others have said, forget your chartplotter and charts here, just keep your eyes on the markers which were all in place on the 21st and keep to the Green side.
      Ralph Small, M/V AmmyBoo

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Cumberland Dividings

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

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    • No-Wake Zones on the Western Florida ICW, Between Sarasota and Fort Myers

      Below, I’ve copied a question and answer, taken from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list, in regards to no-wake zones that will slow an inside passage between Sarasota and Fort Myers. All who cruise the western shores of the Sunshine State will thank Captain Pickelmann for such a ready and useful answer!

      On the Gulf ICW between Sarasota and Fort Myers, what percent of the roughly 75 NM is speed restricted? I am charting a transit and it seems that I recall a significant portion of the stretch particularly from Sarasota to Punta Gorda is a slow zone.
      Dan Stephens

      I’ve never actually measured it but there is a stretch of five miles or so between Sarasota and Venice that is a Minimum Wake Zone. Further on, there is another stretch of about five miles between the bottom of Lemon Bay and the Gasparilla Island bridge that is No Wake. There are other minor No Wake areas but they are pretty small. Really not a big deal.
      Randy Pickelmann

      A little less than 1/2 of the distance is wake restricted. A better choice would be to go outside until Boca Grand then go inside. The winds are easterly most of the time so the Gulf is flat.
      Ron Hoffman

      Be aware of the signs, many of them state a minimum wake outside of the ICW channel and 25 mph in the channel. Since very few trawlers go 25 you are able to continue at your normal cruising speed because you also will not be outside of the channel as this area is very shallow, only fishing boats and wave runners can navigate there. Also some of the bridges have changed names so if you have older charts they may not be correct. Enjoy your trip!
      Capt. Dana

      Caution required if deciding to go outside at Big Sarasota Pass, can be tricky if windy..
      Dennis McMurtry

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Danny Munson -  September 25, 2017 - 7:26 am

        There is an app called WakeWatch that maps out all of the no wake zones in FL. It also tells what type of zone – i.e. slow speed minimum wake, no wake, speed limits, etc. with the associated time restrictions. It also has all of the bridge heights and opening schedules.

        Reply to Danny
    • Life Aboard in the Keys: Where Last Names Are Optional

      What a wonderful, wonderful story from our very special Florida Keys correspondent, Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd. And who would have thought about such an intimate 9/11 connection in the Florida Keys!

      Monday, September 12th, 2011

      Life Aboard in the Keys: Where Last Names Are Optional
      by Charmaine Smith Ladd

      Down here in the Keys, boaters are very laid back and unassuming. Most never inquire about the past of others, nor do we often know last names. Nicknames such as “Diver Dave” and “Fiberglass Dave” serve to differentiate boaters and tout their trades. I am probably one of the very few boaters who doesn’t have a nickname. But Charmaine is a very unique name. My spouse, however, is known as “Charmaine’s Bill.” There are lots of guys named “Bill” in the boating community. LOL

      A gentleman I have known for many years, “Ed on Old Broad,” is a delightful man with a kind heart. He and his wife, Sally, are more known for their gigantic feline ‘boatcat’ than probably anything else. Or so I thought. Another boater came by yesterday and told me others were gathering to watch CNN’s feature “Footnotes of 9-11.” He told me, “Ed on Old Broad’s interview is gonna be on there.” Not imagining the connection, my friend then enlightened me that “Ed on Old Broad,” before his cruising life, was Ed Ballinger, a Dispatcher for United Airlines in Chicago. Ed Ballinger handled 16 flights for United Airlines on that tragic day ten years ago, 9-11. Two of the flights Dispatcher Ed Ballinger handled were Flight 175 and Flight 93. Both were hijacked.

      At the time of the interview, CNN came here to Boot Key Harbor (BKH) and filmed it while aboard Ed’s sailing vessel, Old Broad. Currently, Ed and Sally are just a few boats down from September Sea at a marina where we are enjoying the benefits of ample shore power for cooling off during the hot summer months here in the Keys. Last night, a number of us got together at the marina tikki hut bar, along with Ed and his wife Sally, to watch as planned. Ed was visibly shaken and cried during certain portions of the broadcast. We all cried along with him. We all consoled him. This was a real life truth to the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” We who live aboard and/or cruise full-time come from all walks of life. Our life aboard and sailing give us a freedom much yearned for, and needed for many differing reasons.

      I hope many of you will share this with others, including landlubber friends and relatives. Just as there are those who live vicariously through we who cruise and sail, embracing the thought of such freedom; contrarily, many do not understand why anyone could give up a house or condo on land and opt to live aboard a boat. For my fellow cruiser and friend, “Ed on Old Broad,” who, for a brief time last night became Dispatcher Ed Balllinger once again, today he’s back to being “Ed on Old Broad.” I like it that way. I’m sure “Ed on Old Broad” does too.

      Click the link to view the interview:

      Charmaine Smith Ladd
      SSECN, Special Correspondent for the Florida Keys
      “Bringing you the low down from down low.”, or

      Shows you how even boat names aren’t that important down here in the Keys: Ed’s boat’s full name is `Good Old Broad.’ Sorry about that, Ed, she is most certainly a ‘˜GOOD Old Broad’! Didn’t mean to hurt her feelings.

      Hi Charmaine:

      Thank you for the quick reply. What a moving story about Ed. You know ‘“ that reminds me at something my mother used to say. `Behind every window there is a light ‘“ there live people, just like me and you. You never know what they went through in life ‘“ they just try to make the best of it.’
      Ernst & Melinda

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    • NEW Beaufort, North Carolina Photo Gallery

      We are playing with an exciting new capability here at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. We have just installed NextGen Gallery in our WordPress operating platform. This really neat piece of software makes the establishment of photo galleries for marinas, anchorages and ports of call, a SNAP! In time, each and every marina, plus many of the anchorages we cover in our various Marina and Anchorage Directories, will each have their own photo albums!
      For the moment though, we couldn’t resist putting together a quick photo gallery of one of the most photogenic ports of call in the Southeastern, USA – Beaufort, NC. Everyone, please appreciate that this is our first BIG photo gallery, and I have not taken the time to perfectly sort all the 100 images included. Even so, I know that many members of the cruising community will enjoy seeing sights they have previously enjoyed, or, for those who have not yet visited Beaufort, their appetite will be whetted for a cruise to these waters.
      PLEASE let us know what you think of our Beaufort, NC gallery, by following the “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” link, found near the top right of all (except Chart View) Cruisers’ Net pages.
      Happy Viewing!!!

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    • Punta Gorda Mooring Field Ready For Business (Charlotte Harbor – Peace River)

      During the morning of 9/1/11, we heard from Captain Jay Buckley, Chairman of the Punta Gorda Waterfront Development Advisory Commission. Captain Jay gave us excellent details about a mooring field recently established by the city of Punta Gorda, on the western mouth of the Peace River, a short hop east of the Highway 41 Bridge, and the charted overhead power cable.
      This field consists of 32 balls, and is administered by nearby Laishely Park Municipal Marina. Call 941-575-0142 for information and to reserve a mooring.
      One caveat to this field is that your vessel must be able to clear the fixed 45-foot Highway 41 bridges to access the moorings. Taller sailcraft are out of luck!
      Mariners moored in the field can make use of dinghy dockage at Laishley Park Municipal Marina. A host of shoreside businesses, including quite a collection of restaurants, are in easy walking distance of this facility. Ask the friendly staff at Laishleys for recommendations.
      So, now there is another wet storage opportunity available to facilitate a visit to charming Punta Gorda. See you there!

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Punta Gorda Mooring Field

      All enjoyed Punta Gorda and their Marina, hope it is a success for all and other towns and |cities pay attention to how to bring in business.
      Dennis McMurtry

      It is too bad that the mooring field is east of a 45′ bridge. I think there is a dock to dinghy up to and there are few places within walking distance.
      Since my mast is 60′ I usually anchor west of the bridge off Fisherman’s Villiage where there are many restaurants and shops. If you are not going to spend the night you can tie up along side the shops and restaurants. The marina usually has slips also.
      I hope the field does well but there is more to see and do at Fisherman’s Village.
      Jerry & Linda Villines

      Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
      Centered on the Location of This Anchorage:

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    • Good Run in the Waterway from Charleston to Georgetown, SC

      This is certainly good news for area boaters. We’d like to hear from others about boating conditions in your waters.

      This morning took icw Charleston to Georgetown. No damage visible. No significant floating debris. Marinas at both ends doing well.
      Skipper Tom Divers, aboard m/v Tanqueray

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    • Dock Is Ready for Use at Sanitary Fish Market (Morehead City, NC, near Statute Mile 205)

      Sanitary Fish Market (Restaurant) has been a fixture on the Morehead Waterfront since my family first began coming here in the 1950’s. They are kings of fried seafood. For many, many years Sanitary has featured a dock for its patrons along the town waterfront just behind the restaurant The new, updated dock is now open to boaters.

      As per 17 August 11, water at the new floating dock is 15ft deep at low tide. Tide runs 4 to 5 feet. Tie up at the floating dock is unassisted on a first come, first served basis (Grab it and Growl). $25.00/night if you eat dinner there. $1.00/foot if you do not eat there. The $1.00/foot applies when they are closed, the Sunday after Thanksgiving until the first Friday in February.
      Jim Powell

      Ted Garner, owner of Sanitary Seafood is a friend of ours and an MTOA port capt. He has made some renovations including putting a full service bar at the restaurant in addition to the outside deck. He is just waiting for the permits to put in a new floating dock at the restaurant which he hopes will be in by the end of June. So be patient it will come. In addition, he is a very accommodating port capt. for those who plan to be in the area a need any assistance.

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

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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!

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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

      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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