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    • Key West Anchoring WILL Be Allowed Around Christmas Tree (Wisteria) Island and West of Fleming Key

      In an earlier, now corrected, story here on the Cruisers’ Net (see /?p=96458), we opined that under the new, now approved Monroe County Anchoring plan (part of the Florida Keys’s participation in the Florida Pilot Mooring Field program) anchoring around Key West’s Christmas Tree Island (charted as “Wisteria Island”) and on the waters west of Fleming Key was prohibited. That is the way we and others read these regulations.
      However, just a few days ago, we received the following inquiry from Captain RMW:

      I think your statement that anchorages won’t be allowed around Christmas tree Island and Fleming Key is incorrect and you need to modify it. It frightened me before I did more research on my own. I think these are considered `unmanaged mooring fields’ by the gov’t. Without those anchorages, there would be NO place for cruisers to anchor while visiting Key West. However, there is no `managed mooring field’ west of Fleming Key, so I assume there is no exclusionary `buffer zone’ there, which only applies to `managed mooring fields’. The only `managed mooring field’ in Key West is at Garrison Bight in the Seaplane basin, on the east side of Fleming Key. The way I read the rules would apply to Key West, is that the `buffer zone’ would apply to the Seaplane basin, around the mooring field at Garrison Bight. That would make more sense, the water is shallow, and in the places where it is not, has poor purchase for anchors. Your article is suggesting that all of the anchorages around Key West would be eliminated. There seems to be no such plan in the works, as far as I can tell. Please clarify.
      RMW

      Well, that really sounded hopeful. We are GLAD to acknowledge mistaken interpretations, particularly when the correct take is beneficial to the cruising community. So, we got in touch with Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd, our very special Florida Keys correspondent, and the founder of BARR (Boaters’ Anchoring Rights and Responsibilities, and asked her to look further into this matter. Here is her response:

      The guy is correct in his statement that anchoring will be allowed off Wisteria (Christmas Tree Island) and Fleming Key. You may be thinking about the prior plans to put moorings off Wisteria, and making the entire west side of Fleming Key a sanctuary area for marine life–thus barring anchoring. That whole proposal got scrapped when the ownership of Christmas Tree Island became questionable. It appears the US Navy owns it.
      Thought for a minute about what the problem was as far as confusion with KW and anchorages. The entire area basically comes under the “managed anchoring” zone category which means you can anchor there but are subject to the rules and regs as established by the Pilot Program. No time limits or anything just pumping out and commonsense stuff. The only place that is different is on the east side of Fleming Key where the mooring field is…that is now a NO ANCHORAGE buffer zone. It’s a small area and very open to rough water. Most cruisers do not use it.
      Charmaine

      And, more input from Captain RMW:

      I just called the FWC yesterday and the man I spoke with there (I was connected to someone with knowledge on the topic of mooring) confirmed what I wrote to you previously. The areas west of Fleming Key are considered “managed anchorages” and will be checked for compliance with the regulations as such. That does not mean that you can’t anchor there. The man acknowledged that people live on board boats in Key West, and for many, he said, it’s “affordable housing”. The area in the seaplane basin (east of Fleming) around the city mooring field is the “buffer zone” around the “managed mooring field”, and that is where anchorages are not allowed.
      As far as Key West is concerned, I don’t see any problem with these rules – they are just putting teeth into rules that were always there.
      I think it’s a good thing – who wants sewage and derelict projectiles around their bedroom? Also I think there are allowances for composting toilets, etc.
      One more thing, when I asked him if additional funds were allocated for enforcement, he said there are no additional personnel.
      R.M. Walter

      So, it would appear that even under the new Monroe County anchoring plan, anchoring will be allowed around Christmas Tree/Wisteria Island and east of Fleming Key. HAPPY DAYS! We were never so happy to be proved wrong!

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Eastern Anchorage

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Wisteria Island (Christmas Tree Island) Northwesterly Anchorage

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Fleming Key/Man of War Harbor Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West’s Anchorages

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    • Great Visits to Cumberland Island, Georgia (AICW Statute Mile 711.5)

       Cumberland Island lines the AICW’s eastern flank, in extreme southern Georgia, just north of St. Marys River and the Florida state line. One of the best side trips you will ever make from the Waterway lies north – northeast of marker #34 on the Dungeness Greyfield Channel. Follow the wide passage, and eventually anchor abeam of the “Sea Camp Dock.” Dinghy ashore to tour the island’s spectacular maritime forest, old Carnegie mansions, and some really superb beaches. Follow the link below to learn more about this wonderful anchorage!

      Cumberland Island has always been one of our favorite destinations and anchorages. There is much history, nature and beauty to be enjoyed. Many of our cruising friends just sailed by Cumberland Island on their annual treks up and down the east coast. After convincing them to stop at Cumberland, they stayed 5 days, exploring many areas of the island. They now visit every year.
      Glen and Jill Moore
      DeFever 40* Last Dance*

      We have camped on Cumberland and boated there many times. The last time we took our son, his wife and two granddaughters and our Golden Retriever Midas to the north end ocean side for some fun on the beach.
      Mike

      Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Dungeness Greyfield Channel Anchorage

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

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    • Comments on Transiting Angelfish, Creek Card Sound to Hawk Channel, Florida Keys

      Angelfish Creek - Click for Chartview

      I don’t think any channel in the Florida Keys has occasioned more comment here on the Cruisers’ Net than Angelfish Creek. For those who don’t already know, this creek provides a means to cruise from the Inside/Florida Bay Route (from Card Sound), to Hawk Channel and the briny blue. There has always been some question about depths along this route, and we have received many reports here on the Net about an underwater “rock,” near the point where the marked passage meets up with the deeper waters abutting Hawk Channel.
      Most of Captain Copeland’s comments below concern another subject, namely, why planing hull craft tend to transit Angelfish at high speed. Boy, if the props on my vessel cost $40K each, I might do the same thing, and then again, I might not!

      In re: to Angelfish Creek navigation: As a captain of a 50′ sport fish who navigates this creek frequently (not because I have a choice’¦I do not) with my 4’10’³ draft, I have seen many posts from other boaters who seem very frustrated with `big sportfishers’ who take this channel pushing high wakes or at high speeds.
      I would like to explain WHY this is the case:
      1. I will never take this channel under two hours before or after a low tide ‘“ particularly in a west wind or a full moon.
      2. The $2M boat has wheels which costs almost $40,000.
      3. The shallowest parts of the channel is at the eastern end (a rock ledge, yes’¦rock) and western (bayside) end (which is shoaljng). For us to get up on plane enough to make this passage, it is necessary for the large sport boats to go fast! There are only a few places in the creek itself where we can slow down in enough time to get up on plane again to get out.
      4. Believe it or not big sport boat wakes are less annoying when they are up on plane and not chugging.
      Please try and understand these boats also have the right to navigate this channel. And believe me, if we had a choice, we wouldn’t!
      J. Copeland

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Angelfish Creek Eastern Entrance

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Wes Abell -  November 11, 2015 - 9:57 pm

        As Capt. Copeland stated it is necessary for large sport boats to stay on top to transit this stretch of water… I to captain a 50+ foot sport fish and have a draft of 5′-3″ and always run through at 25 plus KTS. I sometimes will have to wait for the East channel to be clear before shooting though and every once and a while there is someone in a center console that just doesn’t get it and we will meet in the worse possible spot… I cannot stop as it would result in disaster, so please pay attention to the larger boats up on top transiting Anglefish creek, we’re not trying to show off, only trying to get through!

        Reply to Wes
    • A Good Visit to Darien, GA via the Darien River, departing the AICW at Statute Mile 653

      There are several rivers flowing into the AICW stretch, just north of infamous Little Mud River. Darien River departs westward at marker #183, and runs upstream to an interesting city marina/dock at the charming community of Darien, Georgia. Here you will find free 48-hour dockage and a host of interesting restaurants and other businesses.
      PLEASE NOTE: Marker # 184 denotes the AICW passage, not the Darien River channel!

      Darien, Georgia

      AICW Marker #184

      On October 25, 2012, we are currently docked at the free Darien docks. This a wonderful place, well worth the trip of about seven miles up the Darien River. We came here on 10/24 at dead low tide. We saw two places with some shallow depths, one at R10 with 5.5 feet and one at R12 with six feet. At both locations depth went back up to 12+ feet very quickly. At low tide, the shoals are very visible, and the channel markers, and chartplotter were accurate. It took us about 1.25 hours to get here after leaving the ICW at R184. It was a pleasant run. We are a trawler, cruising with a sailboat. The town is lovely, with a Piggly Wiggly about a mile from the docks, and a hardware store about two blocks. The Wine Bar, near the hardware store is beautiful. This a wonderful side trip. Do not miss it. There are about 30 large shrimpboats docked just downstream of us. The only reason for four stars rather than five is the lack of restrooms, but it is free, including 30 amp power and water. What more can you ask for two nights free.
      Thanks Claiborne for the suggestion on this one.
      Norman Mason
      Monk 36, Peggy Sue
      Norfolk, VA

      Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Darien City Docks

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Darien, GA

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fl G Marker #183

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    • ODYSEE’s Odysee – A Trip from Charleston Harbor to Lake Marion, off the AICW

      The following narrative is an excerpt from the blog of Chuck and Claria Gorgen. To see the full journey log go to: http://www.gorgensodyssee.blogspot.com.
      This is a trip undertaken by very few cruising size craft. Most captains choose to cease their upstream explorations at the “T” on upper Cooper River. HOWEVER, as you will see below, this cruise has its charms, and perhaps should be considered more often.

      The Cooper River heads NW from the Charleston, SC harbor up to Monks Corner where it meets Lake Moultrie. Back in 1939, a WPA project dammed up the Cooper and Santee rivers to form two large lakes, Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion. This reservoir backed up the Santee River to the Congaree and Wateree Rivers, and created a water route from Columbia to Charleston. The Cooper River is deep enough to support barge traffic up to the hydro power plants that were build at the bottom end of both lakes. The Santee Cooper project was the largest WPA project undertaken.
      On Tuesday we started up the river at about 10:00. The cooper river was very deep all the way up to Lake Moultrie. 35 miles up the river we came to the first bridge we needed open. To request an opening you need to call the bridge 6 hours before you get there,and then call again as you get close, so the bridge operator can drive to the bridge you want opened, he operates two bridges about 10 miles apart.

      Another 10 miles up the river we arrived at Monks Corners, where we spent the night tied up to the dock at Gilligan’s Restaurant, free night dockage with power if you have dinner, what a deal!
      Wednesday, we needed a second RR bridge opened just before the dam and lock at Lake Moultrie. The same bridge tender arrived to do the honors. As the bridge goes up we can see the 80 foot high dam and lock. We call the lock master and proceed to the lock door. These bridges and lock have no VHF radios so all communication is by cell phone. When this lock was built back in 1939 it was the highest single chamber lock in the world at 75′.

      Once in the lock, we tied up to a floating dock that was secured to the locks bollards. YOUNG at HEART rafted up to us and we started up. the lock was very friendly with little turbulence as we went up.

      Once to the top of the 75′ lift we can see Lake Moultrie off to the NW. Once on the lake there is a 6 mile buoyed straight channel to diversion channel which connects Lake Moultrie and Marion. Parts of Moultrie are 90′ deep, and when the lake was flooded they flooded over roads, bridges, and towns, all of that stuff still down there.

      YOUNG at HEART lead the way out of the lock and across the lake, and enters diversion channel leading into Lake Marion. Lake Marion is not as deep as Moultrie, and they never cleaned all of the trees out before they flooded, so there are trees and stumps all over, it’s important to stay in the buoyed channel.

      We spent the first night anchored behind the Santee National Wildlife Refuge at the North East corner of the lake.
      Thursday morning was overcast and drizzly. We continued up the lake with the intention to get to Santee State Park. About halfway up the lake we go under Interstate 95. At this point the lake was getting shallow except for the old Santee River bed, which winds all over between the trees that continue to stand. Here YOUNG at HEART follows us through the maze.

      Friday we set out to see how far we could get up the Santee River and then up the Congaree River. As we approached the far west end of Lake Marion, the channel got narrow and shallow, with lots of growth crowding in on the channel. We found the deepest water on the outside of the river bends and we hugged the growth close.

      We anchored in a nice cove behind Santee State Park.

      Friday we set out to see how far we could get up the Santee River and then up the Congaree River. As we approached the far west end of Lake Marion, the channel got narrow and shallow, with lots of growth crowding in on the channel. We found the deepest water on the outside of the river bends and we hugged the growth close.

      The water was very skinny, running between 6-8′. It look like we wouldn’t be able to get through, but the bottom was very soft mud and many had told us we could get quite a ways up the river, so we slowly continued. They were right, within a few miles the river became a typical river, with a downstream current of 1.5 to 2 MPH, with depths along the deep channel of 12-18′. We knew there were three bridges to get under, the first a RR bridge with a reported clearance of 18′. The water is down about 1.5′, and we found about 20′ clearance. A little further upstream the Santee River ends and the Wateree goes off to the north and the Congaree goes off to the west towards Columbia. We turned left up the Congaree and soon found the second bridge, highway 601, with a new span under construction.

      About 3 miles further up the river we came to the third bridge, with an 18′ clearance per the chart. Well, this bridge was also under construction and a temporary span was across the river for the crawler cranes to use. One of the construction guys stretched his tap measure down to the water and announced the clearance was about 15′. We may have been able to get under, but YOUNG at HEART could not, so we decided we were as far as we were going.

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Peter Groen -  August 5, 2019 - 9:21 am

        The post on traveling from Charleston Harbor up the Cooper River to Lake Moultrie and on to Lake Marion mistakenly keeps referring to Lake Monroe – its really Lake Marion in SC.

        Editor: Corrected as noted. Thank you Peter.

        Reply to Peter
      2. Brent Nilsen -  February 20, 2016 - 1:33 pm

        Hello, my name is Brent Nilsen and I am very interested in making this trip. Thanks for the post. It looks like you guys made this trip in a couple of days. Do you have any of the contact information on the bridges that you need to call or prices for using the lock system? Any advice helps.

        Thanks

        Reply to Brent
    • Marco Island, FL Amends Waterway Ordinance and Removes Anchoring Restrictions

      Marco Island is a large community south of the city of Naples on the West Coast of Florida.
      After many, many years of struggle, the city of Marco Island, as you will read below, has finally given up the attempt to regulate anchorage by cruising vessels, contrary to Florida state law. Some of you may remember that back in 2007, I journeyed to Naples, entirely at my own expense, to be an “expert” (boy, did I have them fooled) witness in the trial of Capt. Dave Dumas. This brave individual undertook a “civil disobedience” by anchoring his vessel, contrary to the local statutes, with the express goal of being taken to court by the city of Marco Island. Eventually, he was found innocent, as the local regulations were clearly at variance with Florida state law.
      All this hub-bub has now been superseded by the far more cruiser friendly, but still NOT perfect, 2009 state of Florida anchoring law. Even so, it’s really good to remember those who fought so long and hard for Florida anchoring rights.
      The cruising community owes a HUGE debt of gratitude to the Sailing Association of Marco Island (SAMI), their leaders, and, particularly Captain Dave Dumas. MANY THANKS TO YOU BRAVE WARRIORS!!!

      Subject: Marco Island, FL Amends Waterway Ordinance and Removes Anchoring Restrictions

      Tonight at 6:15 pm at the Sept. 17th meeting of the City of Marco Island council meeting, the anchoring restrictions enacted in May 2006 were repealed by an amendment to their Waterways ordinance. This is the end of an over six year battle. In Jan. of 2007, Capt. Dave Dumas on his Krogen 42 “Kinship” was cited by the Marco Police for violating the anchoring ordinance. In Oct. of 2007, Att. Donald Day and his law firm in Naples, Fl defended Dumas pro-Bono and won a Collier County Court ruling when Judge Rob Crown declared the anchoring provisions of the ordinance unconstitutional after an eight hour hearing on a motion to dismiss the citation. The City finally dropped an appeal to the ruling
      in 2009 and after three more years of prodding the City Council tonight voted unanimously to remove the invalid sections from their code of ordinances.
      The support of Att. Day, the Sailing Association of Marco Is. (S.A.M.I.) and over 25 other organizations and individuals was invaluable in this rare success over “City Hall”. The rights of freedom of navigation will continue to need defending, but this success is sweet. Thanks to all who contributed.
      Dave Dumas
      Lee Oldershaw
      Herman Diebler
      Karl Henning
      for S.A.M.I.

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

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    • Lock Opening Times Verified, Dismal Swamp Canal, AICW Alternate Route

      The AICW Alternate Dismal Swamp Canal Route southbound departs the primary AICW south of Norfolk at Statute Mile 7.2 and begins officially at Deep Creek Lock at Statute Mile 10.6.

      Question:
      Does anyone know if the Dismal Swamp Locks are still restricted to just two openings per day?
      WernerS

      Answer:
      Dismal Swamp openings 2 days ago [10/20/12] were: 8:30am; 11:00am; 1:30pm; 3:30pm
      Just passed through with relatively light traffic. 3 boats at Visitors Center.
      John Esch

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

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    • VERY Interesting Newspaper Story about Depths on AICW/Jekyll Creek Problem Stretch and Jekyll Harbor Marina

      Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatThe article below is reprinted from the “Brunswick News” (http://www.thebrunswicknews.com)
      This text makes for VERY INTERESTING reading.
      First, let’s address the issue of depths and dredging at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Jekyll Harbor Marina (http://www.jekyllharbor.com/). We telephoned this facility and talked with one of the assistant dockmasters on 10/22/12. And, we were told, yes indeed, the permitting to dredge process is going forward, and Jekyll Harbor’s dockage basin will most likely be dredged sometime within the next year.
      The assistant dockmaster went on to add that there are still 6+ MLW depths on the north side slips. The shallow water problem seems to plague the southern wet slips, where, on a low tide, soundings can fall to 4-foot or slightly less. Transients, however, are almost always accommodated on the outer docks, where MLW depths are 10+ feet! So, clearly, Jekyll Harbor Marina can accommodate virtually any size and draft of transient pleasure craft, even before the aforementioned dredging project takes place.
      What is really more interesting, is what is said in the article below about depths on the AICW/Jekyll Creek section of the Waterway. Clearly, there is a real and building problem here, which must be addressed sometime in the future if the AICW is to remain open. All this is, of course, why the SSECN declared Jekyll Creek an AICW Problem Stretch years ago!
      Now, and this is also interesting, the Jekyll Harbor Marina assistant dockmaster we spoke with noted that he had just done some extensive soundings on the channel in question. He discovered that if boats pass marker #19 close aboard, they will keep to good water. He also pointed out that commercial tows are coming through Jekyll Creek all the time by employing this navigational tactic.
      Of course, having extensively sounded the Waterway passage through Jekyll Creek myself, I can tell you that this may be easier said than done on the water. Nevertheless, it is GOOD advice, at least as of October, 2012. Who knows what it will be like in a few months.Also, may I be so bold as to remind the cruising community that we strongly suggest all captains time their passage through Jekyll Creek for mid to high tide.

      Local News
      10/19/2012
      Shoaling problem worsens at Jekyll marina
      By MICHAEL HALLThe Brunswick News
      In the absence of help from the federal government, a marina on Jekyll Island is taking the issue of shoaling along Jekyll Creek in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway into its own hands. Jekyll Harbor Marina, 1 Harbor Road on Jekyll Island, is seeking a permit from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Department of Natural Resources to dredge a 1,000-foot by 150-foot section of the creek directly under its boat slips to deepen the area to 10 feet at low tide. The marina’s general manager, Scott Todd, said the dredging is necessary to maintain a business that relies on large, non-commercial vessels with drafts around 6 feet deep. “The worst spots are 4 or 5 feet at mean low tide,” Todd said. But the creek is not much deeper and the marina’s need to dredge under its dock is a symptom of a larger problem, Todd said. “I wish the dredging was in the creek instead,” Todd said. Popular boating enthusiast websites like Cruisers.net list waterway portions in Glynn County as some of the shallowest on the East Coast. Todd has heard the complaints from customers like Joe Fox and his wife, Joyce Fox, who arrived at the marina for the first time Thursday. The couple’s sailboat, Shoban II, has a keel that requires a draft close to 6 feet. “It gets pretty hairy,” Joe Fox said. “We almost ran aground coming in (Thursday).” It is so shallow that most charts of the waterway do not even attempt to recommend a route through the area, Fox said. “It’s probably the only place where they don’t,” Fox said. And he and his wife would know. The couple, along with their Jack Russell Terrier, Matey, have been traveling the East Coast in their boat since December and are on their way home to Apollo Beach, Fla. It was there where a similar problem arose. The waterway needed dredging, but the Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for waterway maintenance, did not have the funding to do it. When the waterway became too shallow, Fox said boaters would simply bypass the section by sailing into the open ocean, something he said would be tempting and easy to do when traveling through Glynn County. Boaters and yachtsmen have told The News in the past that they prefer to risk the open ocean than the waterway because of shoaling. “I bet it is costing this area big bucks in tourism,” Fox said. Boaters traveling up and down the coast often spend a lot of money at stores and on gas when stopped at marinas for a night or two, he said. In Apollo Beach, Fox said the community raised more than $1 million in four years to put towards dredging. Along with state and county governments, the funding goal was accomplished, he said. Andy MacLeod, a boater from Pennsylvania who was docked at the marina on Jekyll Thursday, said the issue will only get worse if not addressed. “There will come a day when this creek is 4 feet at mean low tide,” MacLeod said. That could very well happen in the foreseeable future. Billy Birdwell, spokesman for the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said there is no funding in the president’s budget for dredging Jekyll Creek. The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the waterways. “We estimate it would cost $6 million to clear Jekyll Creek back to its authorized 12-foot depth if we can place the dredged material into Andrews Island Dredged Material Management Area,” Birdwell said. Andrews Island is used for silt removed from the port’s shipping channel, but it has not been used for waterway maintenance. Congress appropriates funds for dredging in the waterway based on the amount of commercial traffic. Passing pleasure craft traffic is not considered commercial, Birdwell said. Birdwell also noted that the Downing Musgrove Causeway connecting Jekyll Island to the mainland disrupts the natural currents that would keep the creek clear. “Therefore it refills with material quickly,” Birdwell said.

      The truth here is that your Congressperson doesn’t give a hoot about the Intracoastal Waterway or he/she would be fighting to have funds allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers to get the dredging done.
      Richard Boehm

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    • Unhappy Report from Sunset Cove, Buttonwood Sound, Key Largo

      Sunset Cove - Click for Chartview

      Sunset Cove is one of the most popular anchorages in the northern Florida Keys. This haven is located on the waters of southeastern Buttonwood Sound, in charted Sunset Cove, near statute Mile 1143 off the Florida Keys Inside Route.
      We consider the report below by Captain Nelson to reflect a very unfortunate situation. It appears as if the local government is doing its best to try and make dinghy access from the Sunset Cove anchorage as difficult as possible. Not exactly a welcoming attitude for the cruising community.
      Then, turning the coin to the other side, Captain Bill’s remarks about those aboard what I call, the “live aboard hulks,” points out the very real problem in Florida involving this type of “vessel” and derelicts (abandoned vessels). By the way, please remember, I define “live aboard hulks” as boats that people are living on, that will probably never move again, except possibly downward to the bottom.

      There is a new 6′ fence across the county access so you can’t come ashore unless you go to the hotel or Bayside.
      My last time there will be my last time ever. Seems that some drugged out vagrants live on a few derelict sailboats. One sang and yelled for hours and hours keeping us all up until 3 am. Wish I had my red rider in these situations.
      For now this place is cruiser unfriendly and vagrant friendly.
      Bill Nelson

      I can understand the problems that Florida is having with its drugged out and substance dependent types ‘“ they’re no different than elsewhere.
      The problem is that Florida has not figured out that you and I and other snowbird cruisers are NOT the problem.
      Until they do, I’m simply either staying out of Florida, or spending as little time and money as possible there. This trip, I’ll tank up in Georgia, and fill my diesel jerry jugs before crossing the border. If they want to treat us this way, we can retaliate with our wallets.
      Wally Moran

      ASSUMING THERE ARE REGULATIONS BY FISH & WILDLIFE AND/OR COAST GUARD GOVERNING: THE LENGTH OF STAY, NOISE AND WHATEVER ELSE, WHY DON’T THESE REGULATORY BODIES SIMPLY ENFORCE THEM THEIR REGULATIONS AND NOT BE HOSTILE TO THESE VISITORS TO OUR FABULOUS FLORIDA KEYS??
      Bill Anderson

      Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Sunset Cove

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

      1 Facebook Likes, 1 Facebook Reactions

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Hunter -  December 10, 2016 - 9:17 pm

        Crazy Eric…he still does that! Harmless young guy with mental health issues. Third gen keys commercial fisherman. He is clean and would give you the shirt off his back(also clean).

        Reply to Hunter
    • Anchoring on Okeechobee Waterway Issue Heats Up Again

      Back on 6/30/11, we published a series of reports by fellow cruisers which related what seemed to be a new policy on the part of the US Army Corps of Engineers that vessels could no anchor for longer than 24 hours on the Okeechobee Waterway (see /?p=61289). Repeated inquiries by both the SSECN, and our friend, Captain Chuck Baier, reporting for MarinaLife, led to a series of denials from the USCAE office in Clewiston.
      Now, here we are in mid-2012, and, as you will see below, this nasty issue has once again reared its ugly head. We are attempting to get clarification, but in the meantime, cruisers should be aware that they might be ticketed for dropping the hook for longer than 24 hours along the Okeechobee Waterway, between the St. Lucie and W. F. Franklin Locks!
      If ANYONE has more information about this perplexing situation, PLEASE click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

      Cruising News:
      Hi all,
      we are a foreign flag vessel with a valid cruising licsense. And were approached 2 days ago by an officer from the corps of engineers, and told that boaters are no longer allowed to anchor in the Okeechobee waterway for more than one night, after which they must leave the officers jurysdiction (Franklin lock to St. Lucie Lock) or move on to a marina. Remaining unconvinced by this officers explanation we emailed the corps HQ and have now received written confirmation that the corps view the waterway only as a means to transit one side to the other and that anyone staying longer than “overnight” will be given a ticket/citation.
      Has anyone any thoughts to share?
      A Non For Now

      What is the deal with anchoring in the Caloosahatchee river? I have heard that the core of enginers are harassing boaters.
      Steve Largent

      Several months back we reported that boaters were receiving citations from the Corps of Engineers for anchoring along the Okeechobee Waterway. At that time we never received an adequate answer from the South Florida Operations Office as to whether this was common practice. Now once again we are receiving reports that boaters are being told by Corps of Engineers patrol boats that anyone anchoring for more than 24 hours will be given a citation. You must move to a marina or on to the next jurisdiction and not just a short distance to satisfy the requirements. We would suggest that if anyone would like to get details or voice any concerns, that you contact the South Florida Operations Office at (863) 983-8101.
      Chuck Baier
      MarinaLife

      And, from our friendly competitors at “Waterway Guide:”

      Many boats cruising the Okeechobee Waterway have been confused by what might seem to be new anchoring limits being enforced by the US Army Corps of Engineers. According to Robert Schnell, Assistant Chief, South Florida Operations, officers have been instructed to enforce a “one-night-only” policy for anchoring, and have told the boaters that they must continue down the waterway or find a marina or other facility.
      According to Schnell, the policy has been around since 2000: “Title 36 – Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Corps of Engineers Water Resources Development Projects, Section 327.3 – Vessels,” specifically the two sections below:

      327.3(f) Unless otherwise permitted by Federal, state or local law, vessels or other watercraft, while moored in commercial facilities, community or corporate docks, or at any fixed or permanent mooring point, may only be used for overnight occupancy when such use is incidental to recreational boating. Vessels or other watercraft are not to be used as a place of habitation or residence.

      327.3(h) Vessels shall not be attached or anchored to structures such as locks, dams, buoys or other structures unless authorized by the District Commander. All vessels when not in actual use shall be removed from project lands and waters unless securely moored or stored at designated areas approved by the District Commander. The placing of floating or stationary mooring facilities on, adjacent to, or interfering with a buoy, channel marker or other navigational aid is prohibited.

      The Corps South Florida Operations’ interpretation of these rules greatly overstep the verbiage, in my opinion:

      – Anchoring in state and federal waters is “otherwise permitted”
      – Anchoring in a river, lake or oxbow does not qualify as “in commercial facilities
      – Overnight occupancy is incidental to recreational boating
      – A vessel occupied at anchor is “in actual use”

      I contacted the Corps in other areas to understand their local policies and get their interpretations of Title 36. Similar Corps projects on the inland waterways do not limit anchoring to one night, although lengthy stays are discouraged. Some areas have policies specific to their recreation area, but these are not covered in Title 36.
      Waterway Guide’s Southern Edition 2012 does not mention anchoring limits along the Okeechobee Waterway, but we will update it in the next printing, if applicable. Meanwhile, expect to be asked to “move along” after anchoring along the Okeechobee Waterway, or risk a citation and fine, at least until this Corps office gets its policy straight.
      -Mike Ahart,
      News Editor,
      Waterway Guide

      During the week of June 11, 2012, I saw Gov. Rick Scott visiting Roland Martin Marina talking about jobs for Central Florida. I suggest everyone writing the Gov to inform him why OUR river is not the recreation paradise it should be. The ACOE must be brought under control. Recreational boaters must wait for commercial or coast guard boats to pass through the lock `if they WISH’ to go through alone!!! This can result in HOURS of delay and resultant safety hazard for us regular people.
      I also propose a `green’ project that you might write about. It involves removing the sugar cane train bridge which limits vessel height to 49 feet. Recycle the rusty iron. Remove the tilt open railroad bridge from Ft. Myers which has been abandoned for years in the open position. Sand blast, paint and reinstall, replacing the sugar cane train bridge. This allows sailboats to pass from East to West coasts! It would also eliminate the continual obstruction to vessel passage when subject bridge breaks down in the lowered position allowing only 7 feet of clearance! This is good for Florida recreation, good for jobs in central Florida and a move forward.
      Steven R. Crane

      Tickets are still being issued. This was a day after the tropical storm came through.
      Steve Largent [9/1/2012]

      We transited the Okeechobee WW this spring [2012] and anchored on the offshoot north and east of the Moore Haven lock, which is shown on cruising guides as a good anchorage. Our sailboat was parallel to the east side and well out of the channel, off of the Waterway itself. A local marine patrol officer came by and said we were blocking the waterway and would have to move. He said that this area would be full of boats early in the morning. He suggested we tie up to the barge dolphins, which we did, not wanting to risk a ticket. However, this would seem to violate the proscription against attaching the boat to structures without permission from the COE. By the way, early the next morning, we saw one, count ‘˜em, one, boat on the waterway.
      Unknown

      Copy the regulations from the thread above and keep on your boat. If you are dealing with an officer, note the persons name and what agency he is working for. Next, ask the regulation that he thinks you are violation because you have a copy of all that you think apply, on board and you dont think you are violating them. So, maybe there is a new one that you do not have. Offer the officer a copy or offer to let him read yours with the comments included. If a vessel is anchored it is in operation is a good point. If you are on a mooring or at a dock, you may be living there. The laws are obviously intended to shoo away liveaboards. If you are on vacation maybe telling the officer you are trying to enjoy Florida tourism would help. You should feel free to send letters (yes mail) to State tourism offices and copy the Governor. Florida is interested in tourism and jobs, especially in the central part.
      Now, look up every lock on the waterway and find out who is in charge. Send them a letter and ask what their policy is in their area. There is nothing in the laws stated in this thread that allows authorities to limit anchoring to any specific number of days. Do not let bureaucrats invent their own laws. Exceeding their authority allows you to contact the state attorney and file breach of peace. Enjoy your cruise.
      Steve Crane

      I got a ticket from a park ranger from the Franklin lock. The name is Phil Hart. I was anchored but he wrote it that I was moored ( lie 1 ) for more than 12 days ( lie 2 ) There is a free dock in La belle you can stay at for 3 day and off for 8 days. This I did 3 on 8 off for sometime. This guy knew this, but lied anyway. I have the dock masters and a sign in sheet to back this up.
      The FWC states that all surface water in the state is Fl. water, and the 2009 law says we can anchor anywere in state waters. This guy told me that the Okeechobee is federal water. Any lawyers looking for a case??
      Russell

      While I was doing research for an admiralty case against the Florida Pilot Program for Anchoring’¦..which is completely different than the issue with the corps’¦.I found this interesting statement regarding exactly who regulates the surface waters of Florida.

      http://www.staugustinegovernment.com/the-city/featured-stories-archive/9_06/stormwater.cfm

      The second paragraph advises exactly who regulates these waters. The state of Florida is not on the list ‘¦except for pollution control. This action by the corps on the Okeechobee may be inconvenient , but it actually supports our case against the state’s pilot program ie. the only authority who can regulate anchoring is the Corps itself’¦if they see fit’¦not any state alone’¦not on the ICW or the tidal tributaries that lead into it. Please keeps us informed. If it makes you feel any better, this will literally help us defeat the state program which is far, far more restrictive on recreational boaters.
      sandy flowers

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