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    • Miami Marine Mechanic Recommended

      I’ve often said, but it’s worth repeating, recommendations by fellow cruisers of good service personnel, are worth their weight in GOLD. Here is a good one for the greater Miami region.

      Early on we crossed paths with Ivy and Bob Neubauer on Karma. They are just about done and on the last leg to crossing their wake in Cocoanut Grove, Miami, FL. Very nice and friendly people. Bob has come to our assistance a number of times with mechanical issues that were scary puzzlements to we rusty boaters and novice loopers. Bob is an expert boat mechanic with a very wide range of talents – engine,
      transmission, electrical, electronic, water, leaks, unidentifiable things, etc. Also, he is neat and leaves behind a clean boat. He runs a marine service and salvage company in Miami called Odd Job Marine (305 331 1670).
      One of his specialties is refitting large boats but he works for we small boat types also. We recommend him highly and will be getting a list of work done by him in Miami when we get there in a couple of weeks or whenever – depending on the weather.
      Marcia and Russ Barron
      Paper Moon
      Grand Banks 42 MY

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    • Steep 275% to 1025% North Carolina Boat Fee Registration Increases Proposed

      This important Action Alert concerning all recreational boat owners in North Carolina was issued to North Carolina BoatUS members this week. To contact your NC legislator, click on the link below.

      March 8, 2013
      Dear North Carolina BoatU.S. Member:

      The North Carolina General Assembly is considering legislation that would significantly increase registration fees on recreational boats to raise revenue for coastal dredging projects. BoatU.S. is dedicated to preserving access to waterways but S.B. 58 places an unfair financial burden on recreational boaters while ignoring the responsibility of commercial fishing boats and for-hire charter fishing and headboats.

      S.B. 58 will now go to the Senate Finance Committee and could be heard as early as Tuesday, March 12. Please contact your State Senator today and respectfully urge them to vote `No’ on S.B. 58.

      Here’s why:

      ‘¢Boaters who solely boat on the state’s lakes and rivers will be paying for projects they will never use.
      ‘¢The fee for a 20ft boat would jump 275% for a 3-year registration. For a 40ft boat, a 3-year registration will skyrocket 1025%!
      ‘¢SB 58 would make the Tarheel State the most expensive state in which to register a boat of its coastal border states.
      Please let your State Senator know that you oppose S.B. 58 as drafted and ask them to consider a more reasonable way to pay for dredging North Carolina’s coastal inlets and essential waterways.

      To take action, click here:

      Sincerely Yours,
      Margaret B. Podlich
      President, BoatU.S
      703-461-2878 x3201

      Great issue. I live in MI but am finally going to make it to the coast this spring. Did some research on the NC tax issue. Couple items left out. Documented boats do not have to be registered. And the current cost of registration is dirt cheap compared to most other states, at least Great Lakes states. In NC my vessel would be 40 for 3 years. In MI it is 244.
      I don’t want to see any government raise taxes. But NC will still be cheap relatively speaking.

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    • Report from Islamorada Anchorage, Inside Route Statute Mile 1160, Upper Matecumbe Key.

      Islamorada Anchorage - Click for Chartview

      Islamorada Anchorage is found in Barley Basin on the northwest side of Upper Matecumbe Key, north of Little Basin and southeast of marker #86. Lor-e-li Restaurant, Cabana Bar and Marina lies within dinghy distance, southeast of the anchorage on Upper Matecumbe Key.

      Anchored in the Southwestern part of Barley basin in light winds. Good holding and more than adequate depth for 5′ sailboat draft. Took 10 minute dinghy ride into Lor-e-li restaurant dock which was the quintessential beach restaurant/bar experience. Good food and service. Crowded at sunset. Live music on a Tuesday evening. Many more land patrons than boat patrons. All in all a very good experience.

      Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Islamorada Anchorage

      Click Here To View This Facility’s Full Listing of Services on the Florida Keys Marina Directory

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

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    • Don’t Dare Miss A Stop in Southport, NC (Statute Mile 309)

      Southport MarinaAs a boy, I spent many a summer living aboard in the old Southport Harbor. I still have many fond memories of this delightful village!
      Much of the dockage Captains Kay and Bob speak about below is located in the older, easterly basin, while modern Southport Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies just next door, and within easy walking distance of all the old harbor’s dining attractions.
      Really, folks, don’t miss a stop in Southport! Those who just cruise on by are missing one of the great ports of call along the AICW!

      We are from Southport, NC, and think that Bald Head and Southport are both great stops. Bald Head does charge a “day Dockage” fee for docking and dining but last summer it was $20. Their overnight dockage is between $1.50 and $2.00 per foot, and again a great stop. There are several restaurants that offer free dockage, no power or water, if you dine with them, [Yacht Basi] Provision being one of the most popular, plus the City of Southport offers one free dock for overnight, with 15 amp. power and water, in the back of the Yacht Basin.
      Also, Southport Marina is just next to the Southport Yacht Basin, $1.75 per foot, and an easy walk to the restaurants and downtown.
      We have seen the movie Safe Haven, filmed in Southport, and think that it is great, and accurately reflects our town.
      Make Southport and Bald Head Island a stop on your travels!
      Kay and Robert Creech

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Mairna

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

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    • Update on Bayboro Harbor in Proposed St. Petersburg Anchoring Regulations

      Bayboro Harbor - Click for Chartview

      Here’s a quick but important word about the anchorage regulations proposed by the city of St. Petersburg, in regards to this community’s participation in the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program.

      Re the anchoring restrictions: The comment period for the St Petersburg ordinance ended on March 18, but all should know that if adopted as proposed there will be no anchoring in the various basins except for a limited area in Bayboro Harbor, west of the entrance to the Harborage Marina.
      Chuck Waygood Sr

      March 8, 2013
      Bayborough is also off limits. I was just there and can buoys proclaim the area is a construction area and vessels will be removed. Cruisers are not welcome here. I’m not spending one red cent in st pete.
      Steve Roth

      There are countless boater friendly spots in Pinellas county and Tampa. Boaters have no need to run the St. Pete anchoring gambit. Vote with your wallet.
      Glenn Parker

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bayboro Harbor

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    • Breakwater Construction Underway at St. Augustine Municipal Marina, AICW Statute Mile 778

      St. Augustine City Marina - Click for Chartview

      The following is an excerpt from an article by Douglas Jordan published February 21st in the St. Augustine Record. For the full story see the link below.

      The breakwater project at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina just south of the Bridge of Lions is finally under way.
      A breakwater is a structure designed to mitigate waves. The St. Augustine Municipal Marina is getting one to shield its docks from big waves resulting from storms, said Harbormaster Sam Adukiewicz. The project will cost about $2.4 million.
      `The city has had a plan for a breakwater since long before I was hired, and the funds were finally allocated this year,’ Adukiewicz said. `Almost every year, the marina has gotten a good amount of storm damage. So, we’re excited that we’re finally getting a little extra protection from the forces of nature.’
      Jim Piggott, director of general services for the City of St. Augustine, said the plan has been in the works for at least six years, and the money for the current project came from an allocation for the marina out of an $18 million city bond put into effect 18 months ago. Piggott said the breakwater will eventually pay for itself in the savings it provides by preventing major damage to the facility.
      By Douglas Jordan
      Special to The Record

      And, these informative photos just received 3/9/13 from Captains Glen and Jill Moore:

      Noted a post on SSECN about the breakwater construction in St. Augustine. Since we were downtown today, I wrangled a couple photos for you. Hope they help you and your readers “see” how the construction is progressing.
      The aerial photo was a bit tough to get for one traveling by boat.
      Glen and Jill Moore
      DeFever 40 Last Dance

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For St. Augustine City Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Augustine City Marina

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    • Good Words For Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina – off the AICW on Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC

      Bennett Brothers, Luxury Yachts for Sale by Bennett Brothers YachtsAlways very nice to hear that a fellow cruiser has had a good experience with one of our SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS! Great dockage and quality repairs are what you will find here. In addition to the “mile” dinghy ride, mentioned below, you can also take a quick taxi ride into the downtown Wilmington district, where you will find much to see, do and EAT. By all accounts, don’t dare miss the Pilot House restaurant!

      We had work done there this Spring and were very pleased with the results. The docks are nice floating docks just north of town…not a great location for sightseeing unless you dinghy about a mile southward, but a great location as a hurricane hole or to get work done
      efficiently and reasonably.
      Betsy Johnson
      Rick ‘n Roll

      And, from our good friend, Captain Tricia Bennett, owner of this fine facility:

      Bennett Brothers Yachts is located in a hurricane safe haven at the Cape Fear Marina in Wilmington, NC. Historically, ships have fled to the location on the Northeast Cape Fear River to seek refuge. Bennett Brothers Yachts is the full service boatyard on site at the marina. The location is recognized by insurance companies as a safe haven and they may reduce your premium or contribute to a hurricane haulout at our facility. We have our 2013 Hurriance Reservation Plan, available on our website – There is no cost to sign up. For more information, please call Bryan Henderson, Service Manager – Bennett Brothers Yachts.
      Many thanks.
      Best Regards,
      Patricia Donovan Bennett
      Bennett Brothers Yachts, Inc.

      Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina

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    • Free Dock at Welaka, Florida (St. Johns River, between Palatka and Lake George)

      The old Floridian community of Welaka guards the St. Johns’ eastern banks south of Palatka and north of Lake George, between markers #48 and #50. I must admit I did not know there was a free city dock here, but that ignorance is now in the past.
      Has anyone else tied to the docks at Welaka? Are there power and/or water connections available dockside, and are any shoreside services such as showers in the offing? If you have any info on this facility, please either use the “Comment” function below, or follow the “Click Here to Contribute Cruising News” link on the upper right of this page.
      Thanks ever so much in advance!

      We did enjoy our trip from Jacksonville to Sanford. We anchored out almost every night but found free docks in both Palatka and Welaka. We met the mayor of Welaka as he came down to check out the docks. There is a free aquarium in Welaka. We recommend Cafe Bleuu for the food and the owners who are entertaining.
      Joy Poole

      And now, thanks to Captains Glen and Jill (see below), we have lots more info on the Welaka city dock!

      There is a free city dock in Welaka. While it seems to be set up for smaller fishing boats, and is often populated with a few folks fishing, it can handle cruising size boats. The T at the end of the dock is about 60 feet long and is the easiest place to tie up. But, there are triple dolphins outside the T, making it a very long step from the boat to the dock. It is possible to side tie to the south side of the dock, but you have to squeeze between the end of the T and a boat at the neighboring residential dock. The north side of the dock has finger piers, 20 feet long, 24 feet apart. While they are designed for two small boats, a cruising boat can fit. Longer boats could Med moor, dropping an anchor to secure the bow and back into the slip. The outer two slips have 15 foot depths. There is no electricity or water. The park up the street has restrooms and a shower.
      Glen and Jill Moore

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Welaka, FL

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    • New St. Johns River “Marina” Facility (Astor, Florida)

      First, let me say that, over the years, Captain Bobbie Blowers and I have exchanged much information. She is an excellent observer and a superb writer.
      It has been my experience that the sorts of “fish camp” type facilities, as described by Captain Bobbie below, can be real finds for cruisers. Of course, if you prefer all the amenities, this is probably not the place for you, but those of us who cherish the feeling that every puff of wind, or turn of the screw, carries us a bit farther from the maddening crowd, may find Parramore’s absolutely delightful!

      Hey Claiborne!
      Greetings from a long time cruiser, recently resurfaced! I just read the most recent account of St John’s River cruising and would like to add some info gleaned from 2 winters of experience in the Astor area.
      While our trusty old trawler Namaste was on the hard in a shed in the Chesapeake getting numerous repairs done, we spent our winters in a motorhome (Yep..the Dark Side!) at Parramore’s Fantastic Fish Camp. It is located about half a mile from the St John’s River on a deep water oxbow (Morrison’s Creek) just north of the Astor bridge. (This is the northern arm of the last oxbow east of the river before the bridge.)
      The facility is definitely `Old’ Florida but has most everything a cruiser could want ‘“ plenty of anchoring room, boat ramp and dinghy dock, small café (Buck N Kat’s open 7 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week), club house, pool, tennis courts, laundry, small bait/sundries store, loads of country roads for walking and most of all, nice and friendly folks.
      I spoke with one of the owner managers (Laurie) about cruisers’ use of the facilities. She was thrilled about the idea of cruisers coming in, especially to the café. The laundry has several machines and is available for any who want to use it. If you have a group, she can arrange use of the clubhouse facilities. Sorry..I neglected to ask about use of the pool, tennis courts and showers, but I feel sure if someone wanted to use these and spoke with her, she could make arrangements for those as well. Parramore’s telephone number is: 386-749-2721
      We have cruised the St John’s twice and if we ever do so again will most definitely anchor in Morrison’s creek oxbow and dinghy in to Parramore’s. Try it!
      Fair winds and the ever elusive `cheap’ fuel!
      Bobbie Blowers
      M/V Namaste

      You can come ashore on the west bank under the draw bridge or at one of the restaurants. You will be in walking distance of the Ace hardware store (propane), the post office, and several marine mechanics and boat shops.
      Sandy and Nancy Graves

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Morrison’s Creek, off the St. Johns River

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    • Good Dining and Beer In Downtown Sarasota, Florida (off the Western Florida ICW at St. M. 73)

       Sounds like Darwin’s would be a great place to unwind and slake a healthy appetite after a long day on the water!

      Darwin’s on 4th in Sarasota is a great upscale restaurant and brewery that just won several awards in Tampa. And the bonus is that right next door is the Blue Rooster, a blues bar serving southern foods, that has great bands 7 nights a week, including Sunday afternoons! Don’t miss this one, not far from Marina Jack’s!
      Allan and Cheryl Goode

      Actually this restaurant and all the great restaurants in downtown Sarasota are about a 10 minute walk from Marina Jacks (0.6 mile) so no taxi is necessary. Enjoy Barnacle Bills, Floribbean, Patricks, El Greco, Etc.
      Chris Barlow

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

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