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    • Matecumbe Bight Anchorage (FL Keys Inside Route, St. M. 1166)

      Matecumbe Bight Anchorage is located off the Florida Keys Inside Route, just south and west of Lignumvitae Key. This is not a spot where you want to be if fresh northerly winds are in the offing, but there’s good shelter during times of southerly breezes.
      I’m familiar with the “creek” described below by Captain Dixon. It’s a tiny, SMALL CRAFT ONLY cut-through from the Lignumvitae Channel. During daylight hours, I’ve used this passage myself as a short-cut, but running it after dark at planing speed, well, the thought of this activity gives me the shudders.

      Matecumbe Bight. Anchored here May 5, 2012. Things were good until shortly before dark. Fishing boats started buzzing us. One came so close to our bow that I thought he was going to hit us. One boat stopped by and told us we were in the fishing boats `runway.’ So, even though it was dark, we pulled up anchor and moved farther NE behind the mangroves. There apparently is a creek that you can see on the chart, but not the naked eye, the fishing boats use.
      Mary Dixon

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Matecumbe Bight Anchorage

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

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    • Welcome Mat Out for Cruisers at Washington, NC, off the AICW on Pamlico River

      Whether you want to revisit the past or satisfy your curiosities, discover the arts or explore your true nature, you can do it from the heart of the Inner Banks - Washington, North Carolina. 800 546 0Read Captains Jim and Talley’s newsy note below, and you will discover more reasons than ever to leave the familiar confines of the AICW, and journey upsteam on the Pamlico River, to the Washington downtown waterfront. This SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR has sooo much to offer the cruising community. Tell them we sent you!

      Cruising News:
      So much fun coming to Washington N.C. by boat, rather than so many times by car. This little town is just on the edge of renascence, and they want cruisers to be part of it. The Dock Master, Guy Blackwell, also works at the local West Marine, and is full of information and local history. The city merchants have put together a `Welcome to Washington’ bag stuffed full of coupons, business cards, flyers and advertisement for businesses all within a four block walk of the docks. We even ran into people we know. Charming town full of friendship, promise, great restaurants, and art galleries. Come here. You’ll love it.
      Jim and Talley Powell

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

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

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    • Good Depths and Gasoline Found in Everglades City (south of Marco Island – Western Florida)

      Glad to hear that Captain Steve discovered good depths moving upstream on the Indian Key channel to Everglades City. Some other cruisers have reported thin soundings at low water along certain stretches of this channel.
      And, while Steve did discover some self service gasoline to pump, that does not solve the problem of finding Diesel fuel in Everglades City. Has anyone found a place to purchase diesel here??????

      I posted a question some time ago about finding Fuel in Everglades City. I had found a marina there just up the river from the Rod and Gun club online and they advertised fuel. You posted my question and no one had any experience at
      that time. I just wanted to let you know, i did go back there and found the fuel. I had plenty of depth. It was a self surface pump (gasoline only) that takes credit cards. There was a very nice floating dock and ramp. It was very
      convenient and offered us a nice stop on the way to Key Large for refueling.
      Thanks,
      Steve

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For the Rod and Gun Club

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Rod and Gun Club and Everglades City

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    • More on Okeechobee Waterway Obstruction

      Back on 3/5/12, the SSECN published an article entitled, “Okeechobee Waterway To Be Partially Obscured Between Clewiston and Moore Haven Until 2014 (near St. M. 70 to 75)” – see /?p=81398. Below, we hear from Captains Rusty and Betty that the data in this earlier message is not only accurate, but the described “obstruction” can lead to unhappy and expensive consequences. ALL cruisers bent on an Okeechobee Waterway passage prior to its closing on 6/11/12 (for maintenance) should be SURE to read both the account below, and our earlier posting linked above!

      On April 15, 2012 I misread the temporary channel markers next to the cofferdam construction, got too close to the east bank (lake side), and ran the Cooper onto rocks. Even at 5 mph the momentum was enough to ground us. We got off with the help of The Spirit of New York, but scraped the keel, bent the shaft and propeller. We made it safely to Indiantown where repairs are underway.
      Rusty and Betty Huges

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    • Shallow Water at Marker #43, South of McClellanville, SC, AICW Statute Mile 434.2


      Due to persistent shoaling, in early 2011 we designated the Waterway south of McClellanville to Awendaw Creek, as an “ACW Problem Stretch.” As before, we recommend passage at mid or high tide.
      And what began as a caution has turned into an excellent discussion on GPS. Read and learn!

      Yesterday we traveled from Charleston to Georgetown on the ICW. At GREEN 43 we were dead on the magenta line when the depth under our props went to 0.2 feet. We draft only 39 inches so this is really a problem for most boats.
      We put out a securite call on the VHF and saved a couple of boats from going aground. I later heard chatter from a couple of sailboats we had passed earlier that they were having to wait for high tide to traverse this section. It was only a bar and lasted a few seconds as we cleared it but it gave us a start. Today I heard locals in Georgetown talking about trouble in the same place. Be careful out there.
      Rusty and Jan Carlisle

      I too experienced the shallow water following the magenta line on my Garmin 4210 in this area. I have found that Mr Garmin has put my “boat cursor” in the marsh while in the waters of Georgia and S. Carolina. I have find deeper water by going off the magenta at slow speed usually toward the inside of turns. I poke around a bit and find the “real channel”. With all this said, I still love my Garmin electronics. Most of the time the magenta is right on.
      Rick, Sun Gypsy

      I think you meant the outside of the turns. General rule of thumb is stay 2/3 rds of width to the outside. Imagine the current flow scouring out a channel. The scouring velocity is greatest on the outside of the turn.Seek the side with larger vegetation and steeper banks. Of course there are many other factors that can cause variations with this “thumb” rule.
      Joe

      This may or may not be another example of what can happen by spending too much time following the magenta line rather than using visual observations and following the channel markers instead. Often coming up and down the waterway, we found our plotter showing us crossing land instead of being in the channel. We have transited this section many time and were told by other boats over the VHF that there was shallow water, one telling us they
      found 4 feet in the channel. When we crossed we actually found 8 feet of water in the channel some five minutes after they passed through. There are other areas like Cumberland Dividings where following the chartplotter will put you solidly aground. I’m not saying this is the case here, but would caution everyone to not depend on the plotter for more than a reference and use good old fashion navigation. When I hear any reports that the boat was aground and on the magenta line, I have to ask myself how accurate the plotter is in this section. Many boats will make the same mistake and before long there are several reports of groundings because too many of us religiously follow the magenta line. The towing companies will often tell us that they have pulled many boats off shallows in the area. The reason is because following the plotter into shallow water is a common problem. We often see many boats running from green to the next red marker down a channel instead of staying well in between the markers. Many channel markers along the ICW sit in one or two feet of water, but boaters will think that as long as they are inside the markers the channel is deep. Running up close to them will almost always lead to a grounding. Since our first trip south on the ICW in 1993 we have observed so many boats hard aground in what they thought was the channel, while we passed safely by. The depths do change for a variety of reasons and caution is always needed, especially in known problem spots. We too follow the various websites looking for the latest information, but often find reports that are based on operator inattention more than poor conditions. Some channels are less forgiving than others should one stray too far.
      Chuck Baier

      The problem isn’t with the chart plotter, it’s the map they used. The GPS is telling you exactly where you are, but the channel has moved relative to the chart that is published that was used on the chart plotter. The magenta line is published on the chart, and so if the channel has been moved by the moving water, which it has, then the magenta line will lead you astray.
      Follow the channel, NOT THE MAGENTA LINE! Makes no difference how new your chart plotter is, it has to do with when the chart used was updated. When you update your chart plotter, hopefully they have used the latest charts available.
      Chuck Gorgen aboard ODYSSEE

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Waterway south of McClellanville to Awendaw Creek

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

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    • Dinghy Dockage Rules on Smokehouse Bay Anchorage (Marco Island)

      Apparently, Esplanade Marina on Marco Island’s Smokehouse Bay will no longer allow dinghy dockage unless you spend all your time ashore at the marina and its surrounding shopping complex. It’s a good thing there is another source of dinghy dockage nearby at the local Winn Dixie (see below).
      We verified this report by calling Esplanade Marina on 4/23/12, and were told their “dinghy slip space is for patrons of the Esplanade.” So, looks like Captain Noel’s info is accurate!

      April 19, 2012 ‘” We are anchored in Smokehouse Bay and just notified the harbormaster of our intention to come ashore to do some shopping and sightseeing around the island. We were informed that new rules have been adopted that anyone coming into the Esplanade docks will be required to remain on Esplanade property. I was informed that a dinghy found at he dock earlier was going to be `locked up’. The harbormaster was very polite and informative. I’m sure the rules are not his to decide ‘“ only enforce. We will be proceeding to the dock behind the Winn-Dixie where we expect our presence and money will be more welcome.
      Noel

      It’s their private property. I see nothing wrong with this. Especially with a great dock at Winn Dixie.
      Ted

      And, well considered input directly from the folks at Esplanade Marina:

      While the above reports are true, I think that it is important to clarify that this rule actually has always been in effect and is contained in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions that were filed 04/02/2003 with Collier County, FL. In this document we have USE RESTRICTIONS that outline how and what of our marina will be used for the general boating public. This outlines that in fact the general boating public has access to the Esplanade to conduct business at the Esplanade. (Para phrasing of course with consideration to time and space with no change to the intent),. In addition it goes on to say that the Esplanade Marina Board of Directors has the full responsibility of enacting and enforcing rules regarding dockage and the entire marina facility property.
      With all of that stated; in the past, the Marina Board, my staff and I attempted to be very generous with our enforcement of the rules when it came to cruisers moored in Smokehouse Bay. However after having our generosity taken advantage of more and more over the last 24 months by cruisers who have trespassed on to locked private gated docks to dump trash and fill water, cruisers who came in to walk pets and did not pick up after the pets, documented and proven cases of cruisers who have been pumping waste straight overboard into the water, and more and more cruisers who would leave dinghy’s tied to our docks for 5,6,7 and 8 hours a day without contacting the Dockmaster we decided that we needed to take a more defined level of enforcement regarding how our docks are being used.
      So with all of that said here is our current policy that follows our Use Restrictions, and Marina Guidelines generally related to dinghies and Boaters moored in the bay so there is no question:
      All vessels entering into the Esplanade Marina must abide by all Coast Guard Regulations or will not be allowed to dock.
      The Esplanade Marina technically does not provide any dingy dockage however will allow those with dinghies to dock only on the single floating slip to the left of the mole located between B and C dock. If a powerboat is in this spot than unfortunately we will have no dingy dockage at that time regardless of what other space exists at that time. All guest dockage is limited to 2 hours.
      All Guest dockage is for the use of the Esplanade Businesses only. You may not dock your dingy and leave the Esplanade Property; if you do so your dingy may be locked to the dock and or towed at the owner’s expense.
      All Boats needing dockage must contact the Dockmaster either on VHF ch.16 or by phone number provided on the whalers of all docks.
      The Esplanade will not accept any Trash from any boat and will not fill water containers.
      The Esplanade Marina will provide Pump Out services to any boat based on Dockmaster availability. You must schedule your pump out in advance.
      It is and always has been the intent of the Esplanade Marina Board of Directors, its Staff and Slip Owners to be good neighbors and great Stewards of the Sea’s that we all share. It is however our responsibility to those individuals and businesses invested in the Esplanade Property to make sure that we are taking each one of them into consideration when it comes to how we manage the Marina Property. We hope that all Boaters can understand and appreciate the knowledge that we welcome you to our property with the understanding that while you are here you are our guests and must follow a simple set of rules that we have set forth.
      We look forward to seeing you on the water and on the docks.
      Kris Greenough
      Dockmaster

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

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

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    • Umbrella Cut a Good Alternative to St. Andrews Sound, AICW Statute Mile 686

      The choppy water problem while running the AICW’s passage across Georgia’s St. Andrew Sound results from the Waterway’s passage practically out into the briny blue, in order to clear Horseshoe Shoal, which occupies the Sound’s mid-width. Recognizing the potential for very dusty crossing here, the US Army Corps of Engineers has provided an alternate route, known as Umbrella Cut, BUT low water depths on this alternate passage can run as thin as 4 1/2 feet.

      Cruising News:
      Just a note that I recently rounded the north end of Cumberland Island and used the pass out of Saint Andrew bay marked “the hole” on the chart. Once around the north end of Cumberland it became apparent how dangerous this area is with shoals and breaking waves on both sides. Prudent cruisers should avoid this area at all cost. You could easily lose your boat here. The local tow boat captain told me he is not allowed to respond to calls out there. Too dangerous.
      Chris Hadden

      There is another route to avoid the worst of St Andrews Sound. You can go around the west end of Horseshoe Shoal and have over 8′ of water except for one small spot. Just south of G7 buoy, there is a sharp peak that rises to 4′ MLW. The charted depth of 8′ here is not accurate.
      Richard Ross M/V Chez Nous

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the AICW’s Passage Across St. Andrew Sound

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Northern End of Umbrella Cut

      Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on Umbrella Cut

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    • Statement by Captain Charmine Smith Ladd To the 4/18/12 BOCC Meeting/

      Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd is both our own very special SSECN Florida Keys correspondent, and the Executive Director of BARR (Boaters Anchoring Rights and Responsibilities). What a great statement below on her part, which will be read at the 4/18/12 BOCC meeting. This is the organization, by the way, which is in process of formulating what anchoring regulations will become a part of Monroe County’s (all of the Florida Keys) participation in the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program.
      While Captain Charmaine is too modest to make such a claim, make no mistake about it, the generally cruiser friendly tenor of most of these proposed regulations is due to her own hard work, alongside other fellow members of BARR. On behalf of the entire cruising community, THANKS Captain Charmaine!

      April 17th 2012 (submitted to Rich Jones for inclusion at the BOCC Meeting of April 18th)

      Greetings. On behalf of of the thousands of boaters represented by Mariner’s Barr and SSECN (Claiborne Young’s Salty Southeast Cruisers Net) it gives me great satisfaction to applaud the efforts of Rich Jones and all those involved who have done an exemplary job of working with the public and boating organizations to put forth an ordinance that is effective for Monroe County without overreaching regulations. The BOCC has been very receptive throughout this process to the needs of those who frequent the waters of the Keys and it has not gone unnoticed.

      Talking with Rich Jones recently, I conveyed to him that in the cruising community the climate is that the requirement of the USCG Aux decal is unnecessary. The safety equipment check is of items already required by law via the Coast Guard. Navigators are fully aware of what is required as far as safety equipment aboard. These items are needed in the best interest of safety for passengers, crew, and vessel. The theory of the decal is good, but the reality is that since the equipment is already required by the USCG, boating tourists perceive it as being intrusive because the presumption of being law-abiding is lost. It is therefore recommended this specific requirement be removed from the proposed ordinance.

      The remainder of the ordinances look very good and other concerns are minor at this point.

      All your efforts in creating palatable and cruiser friendly ordinances for Monroe County, yet addressing the needs of the County are a model for others to follow. Thank you again for the opportunity to voice the concerns of the cruising public to you. It is with great respect that I ask the BOCC for its consideration of our concerns.

      Most sincerely,

      Charmaine Smith Ladd, Executive Director, Mariner’s BARR (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights & Responsibilities) marinersbarr.org
      SSECN Special Correspondent & Representative (cruisersnet.net)

      Good work Captain’¦
      I view the the decal in the same manner as the little decal you get for your car’s back window when you GIVE your donation to the sheriff over the phone. Does the officer forgive your poor judgement and pick another vehicle to pull over for a roadside donation when he sees that your current sticker is displayed on your vehicle?
      It should be a matter of safety aboard your boat that you have done due dilegence in making certain that all your equipment meets the laws and standards that are provided as a guide for your safety. If you want a sticker to display to show your compliance, don’t imagine that it will be a sign of the `passover’ when the next person wearing a uniform is charged with following the `order of the day’ from their superior. `Hi, I’m from the government’¦and I’m here to help!’
      David Burnham

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    • Good Words for Cricket Cove Marina, AICW Statute Mile 345

      Cricket Cove Marina flanks the ICW’s northern banks, immediately east of flashing daybeacon #11, in the heart of Little River, SC. Moving south from North Carolina to the South Carolina portion of the AICW, Crickett Cove is the first marina you will come across in Palmetto State waters.

      Made a quick stop here for gas before leaving South Carolina heading North on ICW. Very friendly staff and the best gas/fuel prices along the SC ICW. Last stop before you get into North Carolina’s high prices. They are trying to keep boating affordable given the high energy cost we are experiencing. They should be patronized for this fact alone.
      Doyle and LaVisa (Halifax)

      Just wanted to let the loopers know about the best fuel price we have seen in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina! Cricket Cove Marina at Little River, SC 29566, is selling diesel at $3.80 per gallon, including taxes! We just fueled up the boat and saved $$$ here! If you are cruising north this spring or heading south in the fall, check out this marina’s prices! Bill Cramer is the manager and his # is: 843-249-7169. Great restaurant at the marina too!
      Stanley and Colleen Anderson

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Cricket Cove Marina

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

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    • “Homeland Security” Performing Searches Near Mobile Bay

      Yikes! Watch out on the waters from Mobil Bay, moving east to Perdido Key

      Cruising News:
      Mariners be advised that multijurisdictional boardings and vessel searches are being conducted AT DOCKS IN PRIVATE MARINAS in the area extending from Ingram Bayou/Orange Beach to marinas on Mobile Bay. Cruisers report first contact by Homeland Security vessels with alongside questioning at the entrance/exit of Bon Secour Bay. US Coast Guard, local police, drug dog, Alabama Marine Police, and Border Patrol/customs officers are seeking documentation info and ID of captains and crews but do not appear interested in safety or sanitation inspections. We would advise our fellow boaters to be on guard and be prepared. Even if permission is not given, boaters are being informed that the officers are going to “search your boat anyway.” Have all information in order related to liquor carried aboard as well as a ship’s log and other proof of where you have been and where you are going. It was repeatedly asserted to us that we had been in the Bahamas when in fact we had not, and the origin of a bottle of liqueur was closely questioned because it was named “Nassau Royale” even though in fact this product is widely available in the US and is manufactured in Puerto Rico.
      Remember that the officers are authorized to LIE in order to gain information and in severe cases of unreasonable search & seizure without permission, be prepared to request an attorney before answering ANY questions.
      Scott & Cyndi Perkins

      In a country that always trumpets its self designated superiority because it ‘˜follows the rule of law’ your government doesn’t seem to recognize any Constitutional limits. Rule of law for the proles but for the rich and their badged minions not so much.
      Bosunj

      WE just came through this area and wasn’t boarded, however, we did see a USCG RIB stopping fishing boats and spending a lot of time with them.
      James Angel

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