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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.
      Jane

      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!
      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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