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    • Accolades for Mile Marker “0” Marine Supplies (Portsmouth, VA)

      Mile Marker 0 is a full-service marine supply business at One High Street Landing in Portsmouth VAOf course Captain Anderson found that Mile Marker “0” Marine Supplies went the extra mile. After all, they are our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

      I’m a full time liveaboard cruiser and appreciate the information, and its’ presentation, on your website. Additionally I want to give an endorsement to Mile Marker 0 Marine Supply. Bob, the owner, will do anything – I mean it anything – to satisfy the customer. He drove to his paint supplier just to get me a quart of paint. He offered to take me shopping, look after my cats, and take me to the airport. There is free overnight dockage right in front of the store. It doesn’t get any better and I want to pass that on.
      Mike Anderson

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    • Possible Reduction of High Tide Clearance at Wrightsville Beach/S.R. 74 Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 283

      As Capt. Young expected, the Wrightsville Beach bascule bridge is charted at 20ft vertical clearance at high tide. When I spoke with the bridge tender tonight, he had 20ft and was unaware of a lessening of the high tide clearance. If you also experience a less than 20ft clearance, please let us know.

      We were very surprised to see 15′ on the signboard at Wrightsville Beach Bridge today (10/1/11) at high tide. I asked the bridge tender and she verified 15′. We clear 18′ and did not expect to wait for the hourly opening.
      Capt. Wendy Young aboard “Blue Crab” Island Gyspy 32 headed home to FL

      There should be two feet available extra at the center, the board should read low steel, so you should have had 17 feet available. I checked tide table for today and heights looked normal, was the wind blowing water in? Skipper Bobs lists bridge at 17+2 = 19 feet which may be closer to what it really is. I have cleared the bridge at lower tides and I need 21 feet, tidal range is about 4.5 feet.
      Joe Urban

      Joe –
      The reason we wrote the note was to warn MTOAers cruising south that water level in Wrightsville Beach is higher than usual and even with the 5′ tide variation and the wind blowing at that time, this bridge clearance was much less than one would expect=- 20′ minimum.
      Calvin and Wendy

      It has been my experience that this bridge only has between 17′ & 18′ clearance in the center at normal high tide
      George Grafer aboard Time Out

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Wrightsville Beach Bridge

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

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    • Southwest Florida Yachts Has A New “Boating Dog!”

      Southwest Florida YachtsI will dearly miss “Star, who I met and played with many times over the years.” What a great pooch, BUT hats off to Barb and Vic Hansen for rescuing “Skye!” Both I and the “first-rate, first-mate,” Karen Ann, have been the proud parents of a (now) ten year old Labrador Retriever, named “Sonny” for four years. I risk no inaccuracy when I tell one and all that you will never know a truer form of love than what comes your way from a rescued animal. They will give you back ten fold whatever you give them. So, please remember that when it comes time to select your next four legged companion.
      For the moment, though, a hearty WELCOME to Skye, and many thanks to Barb and Vic at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Southwest Florida Yachts for sharing news of their new friend!

      Call me Skye the Boating Dog
      By Skye Hansen
      October 2011

      My name is Skye. I’m the new Border Collie around here. My assignment is to be the office dog and security dog for the Southwest Florida Yachts charter fleet. I also serve as the personal house pet and boat dog for my new parents, Barb and Vic Hansen.
      Barb, my new mom, asked me to write this month’s column so I could tell you my story.
      I’m not a puppy. I’m already five and a half. The Hansens adopted me just a few months ago after their beloved Star passed away at the age of 16. They were very sad. One day Aunt Theresa at the animal clinic called them and told them she had a dog ‘“ that was me ‘“ who needed a home and some attention. They decided to give me a try.
      Of course, I had to be on my best behavior because I knew right away that this would be a special place. First of all, I would not have to work 24/7 and sleep outside in the yard like with my first assignment. Before I was given up for adoption, my first parents kept me outdoors all the time. Today I have my own bed inside an air-conditioned house.
      Right off the bat I learned it would not be a good idea to bother the house kittens or chew on the sofa. No big deal. Mom gives me really good food and lots of yummy treats. I’m pretty sure I’ve passed the probationary period.
      I’ve come to understand that I’ve got four big feet to fill. Star the wonder dog was Barb and Vic’s heart and joy. She was a Border Collie, too, which endowed her with exceptional skills.
      Mom told me that Star was the official greeter at Southwest Florida Yachts. Her job was to welcome all, smile, and to lie down and be quiet when they had visitors. I hear ya, Mom.
      They took me to Marinatown where the fleet boats are headquartered. Mom told me Star was very good at patrolling the docks at the marina, providing security of a sort and shooing away birds from the boats. Heck, I can do that. When I was at the pound I overheard somebody say that that the local airport was spending $5,000 to train a border collie like me to chase birds off the runway. For free dog food and medical care I can shoo birds from boats. It’s in my DNA.
      Please understand I have nothing against birds. It’s only that they need to know that there is a place for everything and a boat isn’t one of them. I went on a short weekend cruise with Mom and Dad recently and, oh boy, did I learn that lesson.
      I haven’t been on any extended cruises but I’m really looking forward to them. They told me Star liked to pace around the boat and when a dolphin surfaced she’d give a shout out to the passengers to let them know the show had started. Mom told me the more Star ran around the deck barking at the dolphins, the more they would perform. I could do that.
      I’m good to go. I could even write a guest column now and then.
      Just call me Skye the Boating Dog.

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    • Press Release Describes New Boating Rights Organization – “BARR” (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities)

      The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net unreservedly voices its support for “BARR” (follow link below), and we heartily recommend this organization to the entire cruising community!
      One of, if not “the,” prime mover in organizing BARR is Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net’s very special Florida Keys Correspondent, Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd. You go get em girl!!!!!

      Click Here To View the BARR Press Release

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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!
      Larry

      Larry,
      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.
      Chuck

      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.
      Chuck

      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.
      http://www.keysnet.com/2011/09/28/382229/county-commission-urges-workable.html
      Chuck

      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.
      R.

      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
      Symmetry

      Dan,
      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.
      Regards,
      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:
      http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/09/06/september.11.footnotes/

      Charmaine Smith Ladd
      SSECN, Special Correspondent for the Florida Keys
      “Bringing you the low down from down low.”
      Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com, or
      csmithladd@marinersbarr.org

      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.
      Hugs!
      Charmaine

      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.
      OH YES, AFTER PRESSING THE LINK BELOW, PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE BRIEF INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC SOJOURN!
      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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