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    • Port Royal Landing Marina Announces Cruisers’ Thanksgiving Dinner (Statute Mile 540)

      Boaters are our business and our only business. We are located directly on the ICW, and offer Exceptional Lowcountry facilities and hospitality. The Beaufort/Port Royal area is a beautiful and historiWhat a wonderful, wonderful service by an excellent marina, and these good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

      PRLM will have its annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Cru38-port-royal-landing-marinaisers. Dinner will be at 1:00 Thanksgiving day.The marina will furnish smoked turkeys,bring your favorite side to share and eating utensils. PRLM is offering a fall special; stay 2 nights get the 3rd one free. For more information contact Capt Bill Mote; 843 592 3344.
      Capt Bill Mote
      S/V Eclipsse

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Port Royal Landing Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Port Royal Landing Marina

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    • Use East Pass Inlet (near Dog Island and Carrabelle, FL), Not Government Cut Inlet (near Apalachicola, FL) When Cruising to or From the FL Panhandle

      Here’s an important message for all cruisers plying the waters of the eastern Florida Panhandle, and especially for those looking to the cross Florida’s “Big Bend” section. I agree wholeheartedly with Captain Tom that East Pass is far more reliable than Government Cut, and his recommendations about the WONDERFUL anchorages along the northern shores of Dog Island, are right on the money!!!

      Each year I give the recommendation of using the East Pass to enter the Gulf, not Government Cut closer to Apalachicola. Government Cut is a man made access to the Gulf and Mother Nature keeps laughing as she pushes the sand back the way she wants it. After a dredging, the Cut is deep enough but sometimes it doesn’t stay that way for very long. The second major reason for recommending East Pass is that anchorages are nearby, on the north side of Dog Island. A good strategy is to come across Apalachicola Bay, stick your bow out to the sea buoy at East Pass to create a GPS track line, then anchor for the night. By following the track line in the dark, you can feel assured you have a clear line to get into the deeper waters of the Gulf. Lastly, the distance across the Gulf is the shortest from East Pass and your vessel will be closer to land for some wave protection. Even for those boats going around the Big Ben, enter the Gulf at East Pass,
      Stay safe,

      We came southeast from Apalachicola to John’s Pass (just N of Sarasota) on 11/8-9/2011. We were following a deeper-draft sailboat out Government Cut (had not read this posting, and they do this every year’¦), when they slewed strongly to starboard and came to a stop. They were able to power off and continue. We are a catamaran, loaded for cruising, with a draft about 2’11’³ and WE also bumped in that spot. It was well within the channel, not in the riprap-protected part of the cut, but farther in toward the bay, where it’s sandy. Position was 29 37.25’N: 084 57.768’W and depth registered at under 3 feet.
      So stay much closer to the greens than the red markers when transiting the sandy `inner’ extent of this cut, and when we go back, we will probably give East Pass a try! Thanks, all.
      Heather and Derek
      S/V Parallax

      I was fishing in Government Cut this past Sunday, Nov. 13, and can attest to the fact that the channel there has shoaled just inside (bay side) of the cut, as it often does. A large recreational boat ran aground briefly at close to low tide, but was able to get underway again promptly. As an aside, it was very rough in the cut due to a rapidly falling tide and southerly winds. Using East Pass provided a much more sheltered passage and, I imagine, an easier time exiting the bay into the gulf.\
      John Watson

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of East Pass Inlet

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

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    • Anchoring/Mooring Field Editorial From Captain Jay Bliss, St. Augustine Port Commissioner

      The following article is reproduced by special permission from both Captain Jay Bliss and

      Letter to the Editor
      St. Johns County and Vilano homeowners have reached an accord, DEP and Army Corps of Engineers have permits in place, and significant dredging will take place this winter in the StAugustine channel entrance and off Porpoise Point. Massive federal funds, $20M plus or minus, will pay for dredging and renourishing StAugustine Beach sands. The inlet channel will be twice its width and as deep as 30 feet. Turtles have nested and before they return to lay eggs in Spring 2012 the dredging should be done.
      Boaters will be able to access the inlet in relative safety. An onshore wind and an outgoing tide will still create a rollercoaster ride. Once inside, StAugustine’s unique waterworld offers scenic wonders whatever your course. Boaters can look for a new floating dock off the Vilano fishing pier by Spring 2012, providing free short-term docking and ready access to Publix’ new supermarket at Vilano Beach. B&B guests downtown might embark by water taxi at the City dock to shop the Vilano Publix. Certainly boaters at anchor or on moorings will enjoy the convenience of a market close to the water.
      City Commissioners and staff are intent upon maximizing revenue from the mooring fields. There are bills to pay, debts to amortize. Their Pilot Program ordinances increase `no anchoring’ zones. Moorings are convenient, and at $20 a night, not a bad deal. Anchoring does enjoy a following, however. Picky boaters place their trust in their own equipment. Boaters who read fine print might not sign off on the liability release on the mooring contract. One proposed ordinance limits time at anchor. Similar time limit laws have been declared invalid in Federal courts in Stuart and Naples. Navigation laws, anchoring precedents, predate even StAugustine’s history.
      More importantly, we (County, Port, City, residents) need to ask: what has the placement of mooring fields done, and what can we project with the Pilot Program ordinances?
      Putting the mooring fields in place required energizing enforcement: we discovered that about ten boats had been long abandoned. The mooring fields then displaced some 28 boaters/boats from the downtown area and from Salt Run, and they’re part of the anchored fleet S of the 312 and N of the Vilano bridge, beyond City limits. Google `StAugustine city limits’ for a map.
      Imposing the Pilot Program ordinances will further displace about 15 boats beyond City limits. Those boaters will join others who cannot afford to be part of the mooring system. The ordinances will demand more time from City and County and FWC law enforcement. Increasing their duties, adding to the laws, will not improve enforcement of laws already on the books. Overboard dumping, derelicts, are already covered by laws on the books. (Call FWC 407 275 4150 to report on-the-water problems). Those very real challenges do not justify further Pilot Program ordinances. The challenge is enforcing what we have. Will revenues increase significantly?
      Every motorist expects to be duly notified with a yellow line, or ` no parking from here to corner’ sign. It’s difficult to imagine how we will legally notify our boating guests of all these prohibited anchoring zones, and still generate goodwill.
      Our image with the boating public is at risk. We disregard the effects and consequences of anchoring sprawl, and add more fine print, more laws. We court failure in Federal court. We need to make mooring fields more appealing, affordable, rather than make anchoring more prohibitive. When boaters cruise in the StAugustine inlet, they should be greeted with hospitality and choices.

      Fantastic even handed commentary from a government official. Yes indeed there are already laws against dumping sewage and against derelicts. Yes you will drive anchorers away including me. I know what my anchor will hold and what condition my rode is in. I sleep better on my own tackle. Looking forward to trying the free dock to shop at publix in the spring of 2012.
      Bill Dixon

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    • Reported Anchoring Hassles Near Anna Maria Island (near St. M. 92, south of Tampa Bay)

      This is the first report we’ve had here on the Cruisers’ Net that mariners dropping the hook just south of Tampa Bay, near Anna Maria Island, are being hassled. Can anyone else give us a report on a similar or dissimilar experience in these waters?????

      Sarasota is working with boating community, which is good. A place boaters want to avoid is Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, just noryh of Longboat Key. The code enforcement officer [there] will harass boaters for anchoring in waters around the island. Bestt o bypass Anna Maria Island and go to anywhere where boaters are treated with
      Captn Steve

      We utilize the anchorage off Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island southwest of the Cortez Bridge for our `homebase’ during the summer. This summer we had a skirmish with the City of Bradenton Beach. The had enacted a requirement for an `anchoring permit’. When approached by their police boat I informed the officer he was violating state law and he hit the throttle and left. Another cruiser received a citation. I contacted FWC, they responded and called the city attorney to `educate’ her, city commissioners repealed their illegal ordinance and dropped the case against the cruiser who was cited!
      We are now south for the winter but I recently hear that the city police, coast guard, border patrol and FWC did a `lights out’ raid on anchored boats there and in Longboat Key! Supposedly for `Homeland Security’ looking for drugs, outstanding warrants, and sewage handling. Nothing of significance found or cited according to news reports. No question there are a few unsightly boats anchored there inhabited by some colorful `characters’. As a result the police chief in Bradenton Beach demonstrates an attitude of no respect for federal or state law regarding anchoring, or the constitutional or civil rights of boaters!
      Please don’t avoid anchoring off Cortez, Anna Maria Island or Longboat Key because of this. If you are legally anchored and meet all safety equipment and MSD regulations they can’t `run you out of town’! This is not the old wild west, it is still the U.S.A!
      Larry Sherman

      No, it’s best to point out to this guy that he is acting illegally and to advise them if he doesn’t go away, you’ll call the police to deal with him. He has no business bothering boaters whatsoever and needs to be told.
      You should send a copy of this issue to, he’s their [Florida Marine Industries Association] lawyer and will send a rude letter to the offending municipality.
      Wally Moran

      A correction to my post above ‘“ Dickerson is with the National Marine Manufacturers Association ‘“ not sure what my fingers were up to typing that note. And what Dick sends won’t be rude, although it might be a rude awakening for the municipalities involved.
      Given the publicity the state’s anchoring law has received, it’s hard to believe that Bradenton Beach had the nerve to put up an ordinance in direct violation of the law. Seems to me that the City of BB should be up on charges itself ‘“ their lawyer absolutely HAD to know the ordinance was illegal, if not, he should be fired. And the fact the officer sped off when challenged is proof that the city knew the ordinance was illegal.
      What IS it about Florida? How can their elected officials be so ‘“ so ‘“ someone help me, what is the word we should use here?
      This is why it is so important that every boater becomes involved in the fight against the Pilot Program ‘“ because if you don’t, you can expect to see your anchoring rights taken away in Florida. Join Charmaine’s group on Facebook, check out the facts at my blog,, but get informed and get involved.
      Wally Moran

      I am sorry to read all of this. We anchor out on a regular basis at Jew Fish Key (where Long Boat Key ends and Anna Marie Island starts). We dinghy into Moores Stone Crab and Mar Vista restaurants all the time.
      We anchor there at least 1 or 2 weekends a month and NEVER have been bothered by any law inforcement at all.
      Matter of fact if they see me on the swim platform they come over to just chat for a while.

      On our way to FL for first time. Want to tour east side, Keys and westside before we’re shut out. Could be our one and only trip to the totalitarian state of FL.

      My wife and I are getting ready to go cruising full time in 2012 and we are wondering. Don’t government agencies need probable cause for searches of your boat. I get the Coast Guard inspections and have gone through that, and I understand about stopping and searching boats at sea for drug and immigration enforcement. I don’t understand it being conducted in anchorages on properly registered boats. Can anyone explain?
      Peter Treiber

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Anna Maria Island


      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Jeremy -  December 25, 2015 - 6:51 pm

        I’ve got 13 bogus tickets from officer Eric hill. Who gave us anchor light tickets, when We live in a special anchorage with amenities. I got anchor lites, led. He gave me more tickets. Been to court our lawyer got 5 of 7 thrown out. He then chased us all around the island trying to give me a nav lite ticket. 20 minutes before Sun down. We have written several letters to police chief and mayor. He stopped harassing us for a week of Christmas. I’m very disappointed in Bradenton bch for not firing this prick. He has been so unprofessional. Rammed our boat several times. Causing hundreds of dollars in damage. I’m fighting for not just my rights. But all boaters rights. We are Americans. We are strong together United. Seperate we fall.

        Reply to Jeremy
    • What Cruisers Truly Bring to Tourism – An Editorial by Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd

      I have been saying for years and years that the state of Florida is playing with FIRE, when it comes to anchorage regulations, MSD boardings and midnight safety inspections. Let’s all remember that the marine industry is the second largest in the Sunshine State, second only to tourism (and the success of Florida’s “Tourist Industry,” it can be argued, is somewhat tied to the success of the “cruising industry” as well).
      Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd, our very special Florida Keys Correspondent, shares her thoughts below on this very issue!

      November 4th, 2011

      What Cruisers Truly Bring to Tourism
      by Charmaine Smith Ladd
      It just dawned on me that I’ve never seen a glossy magazine cover showing a mooring field. It’s the magazine cover that piques the interest of a potential consumer, it is there to draw them in to buy it. With that said, there is no vicarious romance with mooring fields. LOL
      Boaters and cruisers are always shown having a wonderful time. Or if only a vessel or vessels are shown, the depiction is usually that of in an idyllic, exotic locale that makes the landlocked wannabes’ mouths water. That is the romance of cruising.
      All cruisers have friends and family who live vicariously through them. My website has more landlubbers who profess to me their envy at we who lead such rich and rewarding lives. It’s not a monetary stash of riches, but riches that money cannot buy: freedom, or the semblance of freedom. This is why during the winters, cruisers have no shortage of friends and family (and often just mere acquaintances) who wish to visit them. And visit they do!
      Most cruisers have blogs or websites that narrate a lot of their travels. We introduce others to places they had not thought about visiting. With us there first, we open the door for others to visit these places as well. This is an overlooked fact that landlubbers who think cruisers are just, well, cruisers sitting in their waters, do not realize. We bring more tourism to their areas each time we visit. Others love destinations to explore, especially when relatives and friends are already there and tout the friendliness, warmth, and beauty of a new-to-them community.
      Our guests fly or drive to meet up with us. They stay aboard with us a day or two, if that, and the remainder of the time are guests at local hotels and motels. We entertain them and they entertain us. We frequent local establishments and enjoy the sights. We are cruisers and tourists, yet the tourism from cruisers brings in more tourists to the area.
      Areas in Florida are contemplating placing regulations on cruisers. This truly should been seen in the bigger picture as we actually do more for these areas than is commonly perceived. In all of the continental U.S. there is no place quite like Florida in the winter. Our northern friends and relatives relish the thought of we cruisers sitting down here where it is warm and flock to us. They come where we go.
      Sitting in a mooring field is not the romance depicted on the magazine covers, and with good reason. There is a place for mooring fields as they serve a very useful purpose. However, there’s nothing quite like swinging from the hook and enjoying cocktails at sunset with those who have never experienced it. It is a romantic impression they do not forget. So much so, that many come back on their own to the areas where they first climbed aboard our vessels. We may have cruised on to another destination, but they will fly in and stay at your hotels and remember “when.”
      May those making regulatory decisions about the future of anchoring in Florida’s waters also remember “when.”
      Charmaine Smith Ladd
      SSECN Special Correspondent, Florida Keys
      “Bringing you the low down from down low!”

      Well said Charmaine! Over the course of many years of visiting Florida we have often had guests fly in to visit us aboard, while often staying at hotels ashore for part of their trips too. In fact, we too have stayed in hotels, rented cars, eaten at restaurants, gone to amusement parks, visited museums and zoos, purchased things in stores, and spent money on all sorts of `normal’ tourist attractions while being based on our boat in Florida. However, we prefer to anchor out and we don’t go to places we can’t anchor. It is not just the mooring field that will not get our money if they force us away.
      John Kettlewell

      Well said, Charmaine. Keep it up.
      Steve and Sheila Kamp,
      S/V Carolina, Southbound

      Well said and true. I am lucky enough to own a home on a canal in Key Largo. I purchased this home so that I could sail whenever I wanted.
      As a resident, taxpayer and boater I think we are lucky to have such a vibrant live aboard community.
      I frequently stay at different anchorages and 99% of boaters are respectful and kind. They are outgoing and would give you the shirt off their back.
      Let’s never treat them (me) as second class citizens in any way, shape or form.
      Jason McPeak, S/V TwoCan, Key Largo, FL

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    • Why Anchorage Restrictions and Random Boat Searches Are Hurting the Florida Marine Industry

      We have been asked, and will do so, to protect the author of the article below as a “confidential source.” All I will say is that the author is a fellow journalist, and her/his remarks deserve the most serious attention of both the cruising community and Florida governmental authorities.
      It’s sentiments like these that are driving people, particularly cruisers, away from the Sunshine State. All of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ continue to be concerned about the reputation that Florida is garnering in the cruising community and beyond. I guess all that any of us can do is to keep fighting the good fight!

      For several decades we have worked with the goal of retiring back to our native state of Florida. We have purchased a home in the Sarsota area with plans to move our boat there from the Chesapeake. We have read with some dismay about the mooring fields issue that seems to be pervading the state. But we were shocked to read about the “Lights Out” boarding by a cadre of federal,, state and local law enforcement officials invading the privacy of boaters in the Sarasota area, apparently under the pretense of “Homeland Security.”
      What gives them the right to invade someone’s home just because that home floats? Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution forbid entering someone’s private residence without a search warrant? Doesn’t a boat qualify as a private residence? After all, you sleep and eat there.
      Didn’t our founding fathers stake their lives and thousands of American military personnel die to fight against such government abuses?
      A police officer cannot stop a vehicle at random just because he or she feels like it.
      It seems that Florida politicans, and law enforcement agencies, are declaring a defacto war on people who cruise that state’s waterways. Perhaps this needs national attention to let Americans decide what’s really happening to the freedoms boaters once enjoyed.
      Name Withheld by Request

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    • “Why Live in Doubt”

      Well, I picked up this little item from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mailing list. CAPTAIN BADHAM’S WORDS SPEAK TO ME LATE IN THE AFTERNOON!!!

      I don’t know about you—- but after a few cosmopolitans I start to have serious doubts regarding the ice machine’s ability to keep up. Stand up, and take few steps, and peek in the ice maker you say? Not necessary any more– The Ft. Lauderdale Boat show has a better solution—I saw a large digital display that indicating in real time the amount of ice in the ice maker and alarmed at the 1/4 level. Now I wonder how I ever lived with out such a device.
      Why live with doubt any longer?
      Edmond Badham
      Wilmington, NC

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    • Watch for the No-Wake Zones at Pungo Ferry! AICW Statute Mile 28

      Fair warning and a word to the wise! Pungo Ferry lies along the North Landing River, just north of the VA – NC state line.

      Cruising News:
      A word of warning…yesterday traveling from Norfolk to Coinjock at Pungo Ferry we were stopped by skiff manned by three VA police officers. Our offense? Violation of a no wake zone. We are running a 55 ft. Fleming weighing 70,000 lbs. We had just done a slow pass of a small sailboat. The no-wake sign was buried in a marsh. Our wake was probably 6 inches. We were stopped and detained for about 45 minutes, while they also stopped other boats, mostly sailboats. They were “guilty” of doing about 6 knots…imagine that!! What huge wakes!
      Bob Scalia

      Came through today (11/2) no one in site. Could this have been a holiday prank?
      Ken Christian

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pungo Ferry

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    • Cruisers Voyaging Through Beaufort, NC – Don’t Miss the Latest Artifacts from Blackbeard the Pirate’s Ship (St. M. 201)

      Be sure to follow the link below and read the article which appeared in the “Jacksonville Daily News.” This will clue one and all into why this is an exciting prospect, and how to view the artifacts!

      For those of you heading south still – stop in Beaufort, NC and see the artifacts from Blackbeards ship – salvage underway!!! Check out:

      Frank Erwin

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

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