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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!

      Charmaine Smith Ladd
      SSECN Special Correspondent, Florida Keys
      “Bringing you the low down from down low!”

      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

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    • Florida Anchoring Regulations – The FEDERAL Dimension

      Most of us who have been involved in the Florida anchoring rights issue for more than a few years, know there is a Federal dimension to this issue. And, that issue is, many would argue, ONLY the Federal government, NOT states, counties or municipalities, can regulate “navigation,” AND anchoring is very much a part of “navigation.”
      In fact, several years ago, a fellow cruiser sued the city of Stuart, Florida in Federal Admiralty Court for prohibiting him/her from anchoring. Not only did the cruiser win the court case in question, but the city of Stuart had to pay all the cruisers’ attorney fees, and pay a sum of money for damages.
      So, while many of us have fought the fight for Florida anchoring rights on the state level, most of us have known there is a “fall back” line of defense by way of the Admiralty Courts. Captain Robert Driscoll lays out a good case below for the notion that only the Federal government can indeed regulate anchorage.
      This is very interesting input indeed! If there are any maritime lawyers out there reading this missive, PLEASE give us your input as well by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below!

      With the understanding that an informed public, in this case the boating public, is the best way to ensure the navigational freedom that we enjoy the follwoing is submitted.
      Anchoring is an act of navigation, navigation is under the jurisdiction of Admiralty Courts. Admiralty Courts exist only at the federal level.
      The laws of the United States are superior to state laws and state laws in conflict must yield. Likewise the Federal Court rulings are supreme.
      With the foregoing in mind consider the following rulings and laws which exist at the National Level, all of which are superior to any state legislation:

      U. S. Constitution, Article III, Sec 2.1
      `The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, … (and) to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction …’

      U.S. Supreme Court, Butler v. Boston Steamship Co. 130 US 557, 141 US 1, Detroit Trust Co. v. The Thomas Baslum 293 US 21, 42
      `As the constitution extends the judicial power of the United States to ‘all admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,’ and as this jurisdiction is held to be exclusive, the power of legislation on the same subject must necessarily be in the national legislature and not in the state legislatures.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart 253 US 149, 164
      `Congress cannot transfer its legislative power to the states, … by nature this in nondelegable.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, State of Washington v. Dawson 264 U.S. 219
      In responding to and overturning a lower court decision where a state was attempting to apply a local state law to all vessels which visit or navigate in the state the U.S. Supreme Court decreed: `This cause presents a situation where there was no attempt to prescribe general rules. On the contrary the manifest purpose was to permit any state to alter the maritime law, and thereby introduce conflicting requirements. To prevent this result the Constitution adopted the law of the sea as the measure of maritime rights and obligations. The confusion and difficulty if vessels were compelled to comply with the local statutes at every port, are not difficult to see. Of course, some within the states may prefer local rules, but the Union was formed with the very definite design of freeing maritime commerce from intolerable restrictions incident to such control. The subject is national. Local interests must yield to the common welfare. The Constitution is supreme.’

      U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol 30, 55th Congress, Sess 425, Sec. 10 states:
      `That the creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States is hereby prohibited; …’

      U.S. Supreme Court, State of Wisconsin v. State of Illinois 362 US 482
      The phrase `not affirmatively by Congress’ as opposed to the phrase `affirmatively authorized by law’ which was used in an earlier similar law (51st Congress …) makes mere state authorization inadequate.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Republic Steel Corp. I11 362 US 482
      The diminution of navigable capacity is an obstruction to navigation. `Obstruction to navigation is not limited to structures specifically, but also includes diminution of navigable capacity by other means.’ {(personal comment) The State declaring areas where anchoring is not allowed is certainly a diminution of navigational capacity.}

      U.S. Law 28 USC 1333
      Admiralty jurisdiction covers every vessel under the American Flag, whether it is on the ocean or within the boundaries of a state, no matter what size or means of propulsion, or
      whether it is documented or not.

      Federal District Court, Anderson v. Reames 161 S.W.2d 957 961
      `…’rights of navigation’ include the right to anchorage, which may be exercised for either business purposes or pleasure.’

      Federal District Court, Hayn v. Culliford 3 C.P.Eiv 417
      `’navigation’ for some purpose, includes a period when a ship is not in motion, as, for instance, when she is at anchor.’

      U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis Blue Point Oyster Cultivation Co. v. Briggs 229 US 82
      When overturning a lower court case the U.S. Supreme Court said: `If the public right of navigation is the dominant right, and if, as must be the case, the title of the owner of the bed of navigable waters hold subject absolutely to the public right of navigation, this dominant right must include the right to the use of the bed of water for every purpose which is in aid of navigation.’

      U.S. Law 33 USC 471 Chap 10
      `The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized, empowered, and directed to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessel in all harbors, rivers, bays and other navigable waters of the United States whenever it is manifest to the said secretary that the maritime or commercial interest of the United States require such anchorage grounds for the safe navigation….’ {(personal comment) when the language `authorized, empowered, and directed’ is used it implies sole authority to perform the named act. The Boating Public is a definite minority and it is only by the laws which exist in this country can navigational rights be preserved.}

      I agree that it is pretty clear that Federal law should rule, but the problem is that there is absolutely no political support for this at the state and local level, and no Federal entity, particularly the Coast Guard, wants to meddle in state and local affairs either. Now, if this were some issue that had broad national political support, like gun rights, you would have state and local politicians bending over backwards. Boaters are not organized or united politically, and because of the nature of the problem they are more likely to just move along to avoid the hassle. Plus, this mostly impacts transients, who have zero local political clout. Local and state officials answer to their constituents and supporters. Sure, they could be taken to court, at great expense, effort, time, and aggravation, but who wants to deal with that? Not many of us.
      No Name Supplied

      So, who is going to front the legal costs until the courts rule in a cruiser’s favor, and who is going to eat the costs when the courts don’t?
      While some folks who cruise Florida have very deep pockets, the most aggrieved in this situation are not so fortunate.
      In the absence of a `cruising rights defense fund’ or some such construct, I’m not going to be lining up for a test case. I am not willing to double down with shrinking retirement funds on the skills of a government admiralty lawyer.
      The Bahamas are a short distance away and much more welcoming on their worst days.

      Every cruiser, EVERY cruiser needs to know this. Spread this information to every boater you know, every boating forum, any way you can. Local authorities are over-stepping their boundaries with unjust and, as we now find out, illegal anchoring restrictions.
      Thank you, Claiborne
      Larry McDonald

      I am not an attorney but I used to pretend to be one at the local pubs on Saturday nights. But seriously, being involved in this issue in Florida for many years, it is my understanding that the Federal Government handed over the jurisdiction of the local Waterways to the States many years ago, with some exceptions. Those are mostly exceptions dealing with maintenance and navigational aids which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers. The States were given the authorization to pass laws and regulations and enforce those laws and regulations. It is then up to the individual States as to whether they would in turn allow municipalities or counties to pass and enforce further regulations. And this has been the deal breaker in trying to get these anchoring regulations overturned or thrown out in Federal Court. Now my recollections could be fuzzy, so perhaps a true expert can enlighten us.
      Chuck Baier

      The United States Supreme Court has said (see Knickerbocker v. Stewart above) that the federal government cannot, repeat cannot, delegate its legislative power to the states. In doing so it would not be the first time the Federal Legislature has passed a law that would later be found unconstitutional. Unfortunately for a law to be ruled unconstitutional it must first be presented to the court, unti it is the law remains in force.
      Robert Driscoll

      I, too remember something about the feds abdicatiog responsibility for anchoring. Maybe discovered by the woman in Daytona beach who started an organization???
      I know a couple of guys who served on the `Harbor Board here in the 80’s and 90’s I will ask them about their recollections.
      Bill Dixon

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    • A Homemade Solution For CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Aboard

      One thing we are learning loud and clear while putting the Cruisers’ Net’s LPG/CNG Availability Directories together, is that Compressed Natural Gas is available in very, very few places along the coastal waters of the Southeastern United States. And, that’s too bad, as CNG is lighter than air, while LPG (Propane) is heavier, and a leak can potentially pool an explosive quantity of propane on your galley floor or in the bildge. Conversely, a CNG leak is far less serious, as the gas will rise and hopefully dissipate.
      Well, Captain Denise Gill has come up with an innovative to get CNG aboard. It takes some ingenuity, and some work (and money), but Denise’s idea is certainly interesting!!!

      Good Morning,
      I just looked over your site listing all the marinas along NC and the fuel offerings. Great job. I certainly appreciate all of the hard work and time that went into putting all of that together.
      I would like to let you know about CNG and how this too can be obtained though potentially not as easily as propane is as propane has become the defacto fuel these days ~ even though CNG is bar far a safer fuel to cook with (lighter than air).
      Any municipality that fuels their fleets ie: buses, trucks etc, and taxis or any other “green” vehicles that use CNG, well they have a CNG pump that is open to the public. Where I live in Maryland ~ Montgomery County ~ we have such a place. It is a County fueling site for gasoline and diesel but now there is also access to CNG. You simply scan your credit card and punch in the pump number and then fill up.
      There are two sides to the CNG pump. One is for 3600 psi and the other is for 3000 psi. I own a 34 foot sailboat that cooks with CNG. I have made an adaptor that allows me fill my CNG tank at this fuel fill. Where we used to have to do a “tank exchange” costing anywhere from $50 to $100 per tank, I now completely fill up my own tank for $1.25. The cost of making the adaptor ~ getting the various parts was about $225 and I have more than made back that initial outlay over the several years I have been filling the tank myself.
      I realize that geography will be the killer to our access to municipal CNG fuel sites along the ICW. But as we go forward I offer all of the above as one more option that in some locals may be convenient. Just as propane users carry spare tanks, so do CNG users.
      Very kind regards,
      Denise Gill
      s/v First Point of Aries

      By the way, the parts list for making your own CNG adapter can be obtained here:

      Good Morning,
      Thanks very much for you nice email and for this posting. While I would love to take the credit for putting this parts list together, I merely downloaded it from our Catalina 34 website and share it with anyone else who might be inclined. I figure if I could make it, it certainly can’t be too difficult. I believe, as we go forward with `clean energy’ CNG availability will increase.
      Again, thanks and I enjoy reading the Cruiser’s Net!
      Kind Regards,

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    • Warm Praise for Elizabeth City, NC (Dismal Swamp Canal Route, St. M. 50.5)

      Elizabeth City has been known as one of the most welcoming ports of call for many, many years. The late Fred Fearing used to greet cruisers with a rose for all the female members of the crew, and an incredibly warm welcome for everyone aboard. Sadly, Fred passed away a few years ago, but the “Rose Buddy” volunteer efforts he pioneered, live on in Elizabeth City, as evidenced by the message below, copied from the MTOA List-Serve.
      And, let’s not forget, Elizabeth City is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      We have just had the best experience in Elizabeth City. On one of the hottest 4th of Julys ever, the water pump for the air conditioner gave up the ghost. I disconnected the pump and took it into the little ships store here at Pelican Marina. Everyone wanted to help, but what do you do with a 22 year old pump? Finally the managers, Josh & Mike, said to take it to “Electric Motor Rewind Co” on Poindexter Street. I did, and the owner said to leave it with him for about an hour, and go eat at the Colonial Restaurant, 3 blocks away. After a great breakfast, we returned to the Rewind company and found our air conditioner water pump all fixed and ready for installation. $24.89 was all he charged us.
      Then, walking back over the bridge to Pelican Marina, we met the Bridge Master, Jack Brothers, who said if we needed a ride he would let us use his pickup truck.
      Everyone here in Elizabeth City has been really great to us. Must be something in the water.
      We’ll be back, and we’ll be recommending Elizabeth City to everyone we meet.
      Skipper Jim Powell

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For The Mariners Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Pelican Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Elizabeth City Waterfront

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    • An Overview of the Florida Anchoring/Pilot Mooring Field Program by Captain Jay Bliss

      Captain Bliss is a member of the St. Augustine, Florida Port Commission, and has been instrumental in protecting cruisers’ anchoring rights in St. Augustine. His well reasoned article below provides a good overview of this entire issue!

      Florida’s Anchoring Pilot Program is underway. Each of five sites gets to establish local ordinances, rules, for that particular site, enforceable until July 2014.
      For the cruiser heading South, it will mean abiding by local rules in St. Augustine City Limits; State rules then pertain until he reaches Martin County and the City of Stuart. Upon leaving Stuart/Martin county he’s back to State rules down through Ft. Lauderdale and Miami (or he traverses the Okeechobee to the West coast under Stuart/Martin rules), until he enters Monroe County at Key Largo, whereupon he’s under Monroe rules all the way to the Dry Tortugas. Over on the West Coast, cities St. Petersburg and Sarasota get to establish their own rules.
      The stated purpose of this abundance of rules is to encourage the establishment of additional public mooring fields and to promote the use of existing ones. If everyone uses a public mooring field the goals of the pilot program–protect environment, enhance safety, deter derelicts, etc.– are readily achieved.
      The big picture: mooring fields provide safety (we hope), sanitation, convenience, prime location. Their prime location comes from taking free anchoring sites, part of our Navigational Servitude and waters of the Public of the United States, and improving for paying patrons.
      Boaters with less (or no) ability to pay are ruled elsewhere. The present result is the exact opposite of the goals of the Pilot Program: anchoring sprawl that adversely affects maritime environment, leads to improperly stored boats, and invites chaos. In that them vs. us mode, we get enforcement efforts that can readily escalate the ill will.
      Mooring field permits, mooring field operations, should all be asked to account for the boats they displace. That account must provide for accommodation of the displaced.
      Cities, Counties, should not be asked to create further rules that wash elements of the boating into other jurisdictions. Governments must be required to absorb the less able, the less fortunate, into the mooring field system. There lies the challenge: incentive rules for free admission, reduced admission fees into PUBLIC mooring fields. The Anchoring Pilot Program needs a paradigm shift.
      Jay Bliss
      USCG Lic. Capt.
      St.Augustine Port Commissioner Seat 5

      Is it possible to get a list of the mooring fields in Florida?
      Fred Rogerson

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    • Miami Herald Newspaper Article Describes “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach”

      Those of you have been following along on the Cruisers’ Net for the last several weeks, know we were the first press organ to break the story about Captain Wally Moran’s “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach.” For those of you who have not read this story previously, the very short, over simplified version is that a water cop approached Captain Wally’s anchored vessel in Miami Beach’s Sunset Lake, courteously acknowledged that he did not have the right to ask him to move, but allowed as to how a nearby influential property owner had called the station, and requested that the police ask the vessel’s owner to move. And, apparently, they did so.
      Anyway, the “Miami Herald” has just published a story that details some of the chain of events which led to this conundrum, and a review of the whole situation on “Sunset Lake.” All cruisers interested in the Florida Anchoring Rights issue will want to follow this link:

      This link for the Miami Herald story works better.
      Jim Davis

      Click Here To Read the Original “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach” article

      Click Here To Read the “Anchoring Incident in Miami Beach (Input Received After 6/10/11)” article

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    • WARNING!!! Tickets Being Issued to Anchored Boats on Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway (near St. M. 103)

      We have no explanation for why a USACOE Park Ranger is issuing tickets to boats anchored on the Caloosahatchee River portion of the Okeechobee Waterway, but it’s a safe bet it has something to do with the low water levels on Lake Okeechobee. Perhaps the Corps is simply trying to keep as many boats as possible off the OWW during these times of historic low water.

      Time to get the bloggers going. A USACOE park ranger from the Franklin Locks is writing $100.00 fine United States District Court Violation Notices to boaters on the Caloosahatchee. If you don’t pay, you get a federal warrant sworn out for your arrest.
      Apparently the Park Ranger can write these boating tickets based on the 1948 Flood Control Act, Central and South Florida Project, that governs the Caloosahatchee, Lake O and the St. Lucie Canal.
      I asked the attorney from the Jacksonville Office why a park ranger from the Franklin Locks is writing tickets on the River now when there hadn’t seemed to be any in the past. Of course the attorney didn’t know anything about it’¦.. (they don’t seem to know much up there..)
      Chilling effect on local businesses along the River?
      Best regards,
      Jody Foster

      The tickets are being written to those anchored off (or Mediterranean moored to) the LaBelle City Dock. At least one arrest warrant has already been issued.
      W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.
      Stuart, FL

      I’ve also heard an ACOE ranger is writing tickets by the Indiantown Marina.
      Jody Foster

      Here’s a update from Captain Foster, as of 7/8/11:

      Thanks for your continued interest. I’m very concerned that an Army Corp park ranger is cruising up and down the Caloosahatchee writing tickets that may or may not be legitimate even under the federal statute. Of course the big problem is the expense of fighting the ticket in federal court in Fort Myers rather than paying the $100.00 fine. The only response I got from the Army Corp is they have authority to write them under Title 36. And of course getting any response from the Army Corp took about 10 phone calls on my part. Good to know our federal tax dollars are being put to such good use’¦.
      Neither the Hendry County sheriff nor FWC were aware of these tickets. If I hear any more I’ll let you know.
      Best regards,
      Jody Foster

      Assuming the boaters were doing nothing illegal, I would suggest they immediately contact the larger local newspapers and television stations with their story.
      John Kettlewell

      Didn’t the word get out? Everything is illegal.
      Richard Glenn

      Did not see anything in the title that shows anchoring as a violation, maybe it’s hidden somewhere else or would someone post the details on the actual ticket’¦
      SUMMARY: Section 4 of this Act authorizes the Corps, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Army, to construct, maintain and operate public park and recreational facilities at water resources development projects (16 U.S.C. 460(d)). Local interests are also permitted to construct, operate and maintain such facilities with permission from the Secretary of the Army. Water areas of all such projects shall be open to public use generally, for boating, swimming, bathing, fishing, and other recreational purposes, and ready access to and exit from such water areas along the shores of such reservoirs shall be maintained for general public use, when such use is not found to be contrary to the public interest. The lease of public lands and structures at water projects is also authorized. Recreational uses must be consistent with State laws for the protection of fish and game. All persons designated by the Chief of Engineers for enforcement shall have the authority to issue a citation for violation of the regulations adopted by the Secretary of the Army. Amendments to this Act extend the development of recreation to non-reservoir projects.
      Dennis McMurtry

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    • Second Town Dock Proposed for Oriental, NC, AICW Statute Mile 181

      This is welcome news to those of us who have tried to find dockage in Oriental during the busy seasons. Cruisers’ Net would like to hear your opinions on the proposed town dock. Oriental harbor lies northwest of flashing green marker #1 in the Neuss River.

      Cruising News:
      A second Town Dock has been proposed in Oriental. For details of the proposal, and a map showing the location, go to:
      Richard Ross

      Good news. This is one of our favorite waypoints. The deli (now called the Bistro) [I suspect this is SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, the Village Food Emporium – Editor] has the best Rubin sandwiches in the world.
      Jim Powell

      I think another town dock would be great as the current one is always full every time we have tried to use it.
      Larry & Margie Ross aboard Wanderin L&M Hampton 55

      We stayed at a private dock once in Oriental. Other than that, we’ve had to pass by Oriental because there was no place to over-night. We’ll be hoping to visit Oriental for a few days this fall to visit friends ‘¦ if we can find dockage. We certainly encourage the town to create more space for cruisers.
      Greg & Marian Riach aboard S/V Muskoka Moon

      Current town dock has room for only 2 vessels. Anchoring space is very limited. Marinas there are relatively expensive. We like the town, but space is currently too limited’¦another place to tie up, or mooring balls would be a great improvement.

      Oriental would certainly benefit by the addition of another town dock. The only limitation to a significant increase in visitors is dockage/anchorages. We skipped Oriental because of a lack of sufficient overnight space.
      Douglas Paddock

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

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    • Fort Pierce City Marina Has a FULL Service Fuel Dock (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) 464-2589Well, these pictures speak for themselves, and we sincerely thank Captain Benton for passing them along to the Cruisers’ Net! And, let’s also note that Fort Pierce City Marina is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!!

      Here’s proof that the Fort PIerce City Marina has a ” Full Service ” fuel dock
      Bill Benton
      aboard ” Courtship”



      Many of you have asked for more info on the “vehicle” pictured in the photos below. We queried Fort Pierce City Marina, and Catpan Bill Benton was kind enough to respond:

      Anne ( at the Fort Pierce City Marina) asked me to send you a synopsis of what occurred with the seaplane that landed out in front of the marina.
      As you probably recall, this is an older seaplane built in 1947 that left on June 15 from Nassau intending to land at the St. Lucie County Airport. He almost made it but due to a fuel leak, was forced to land on the water in front of the city marina.
      The plane engine was designed to run on regular gasoline as opposed to Avgas and was refueled by Craig Kilgore at the city marina fuel pumps. The plane was equipped with a variable pitch propeller which was stuck in reverse causing him all kinds of problems trying to taxi out of the marina. I towed him out into the area in front of the marina and, frankly, was scared to death when 30 yards or so out in the Indian River and still under tow he started the engine up and began to increase the RPMs. I didn’t realize it at the time but in order to shift the propeller from reverse into forward he needed the engine at increased RPMs and oil pressure. I had visions of my 14 foot Edgewater dinghy ` Jester’ being run over by an airplane and was more than a little bit nervous. The propeller shifted into forward and I quickly disconnected the tow line and began backing away as fast as I could. The tip of the Port wing actually passed over the bow of my dinghy. He tried several times to take off but was unable to for some reason. He finally shut the engine down and I towed him back into Moore’s creek, backed the plane into the launching ramp and a good Samaritan with a pickup truck tied a line to his Tailhook and pull him backwards up into the parking lot. The plane sat there until Sunday, June 19 while the owner/pilot dealt with all of the Government agencies involved. Customs and Border Protection, FAA, Coast Guard, County Sheriff, City Police, Parking Enforcement ( parked a plane in an area reserved for vehicles with trailers) and hundreds of admirers.
      The pilot and I were involved in a number of conversations over the days and he asked me to tow him out of Moore’s creek and into the area in front of the marina early Sunday morning. In the interim, he used borrowed 5 gallon gas cans to add additional gasoline to the plane’s tank and at about 7:30 Sunday morning I towed him out to the area in front of the marina. He taxied for a few minutes out in front of the marina during which time he apparently checked his gauges and instruments, finally taking off southbound where he got airborne quickly. He made a slow circle around the Marina area and on his second pass wiggled the wings to say goodbye. He called me about 10 minutes later and told me that he had landed safely at the St. Lucie County Airport, was topping off his fuel tank and was ready to head home. He called me again early in the afternoon to thank me for my help and advise me that he was safely at home in Bell, Florida, about 30 miles west of Gainesville. So ends the story.
      Bill Benton
      aboard ” Courtship”

      Being an old airplane driver, I believe this is a Republic Aviation `SeaBee’ Republic Aviation of P-47, F-84, F-105 fighter fame went into the civil aviation business after WW II. Good to see some are still around
      Reginald Holden

      Hey, that looks just like the one I carry around on my seaplane catapult on the fantail just aft of turret four.
      Rich Gano

      Gee!, Does the airplane have right-of-way over a sailboat when its taking off???

      Wow. I never cease to be amazed at the `wonders on the water’’¦’¦’¦ Is that a officer of the law or USCGstanding there looking at the `aero-aqua craft’???
      Winston Fowler

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