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    • Thoughts on the Best Boat Dog Breeds

      There has been an interesting discussion taking place on the American Great Loop Cruising Association’s (AGLCA) mailing list as of early March, 2012, as to what breed makes the best boating dog. I have copied much of this discussion, but it’s too lengthy to appear here on the SSECN Home Page. Click on the link below if this is a subject of interest to you.

      Click Here To View the “Thoughts on the Best Boat Dog Breeds” Article

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    • GREAT Fuel Price Strategy in the Florida Keys

      Recently, my good friend and host at last fall’s MTOA Rendezvous in Chesapeake Bay, Captain Ken Chumley, arranged for a Florida fuel wholesaler to bring an entire truckload of diesel fuel to Marathon’s Boot Key Harbor. Here, he and a number of other MTOA members, took on 4,200 gallons of diesel, at a really good price! Another fellow cruiser chimed in, and said they had made arrangements with the same company for a truckload delivery to Duck Key, to the tune of about 900 gallons.
      Of course, for anyone to take advantage of this service, they will have to put together a group of fuel thirsty vessels, at a Florida Keys marina where a tanker truck can back close enough to the wet slips so that a hose can be easily snaked to the waiting boats.
      If you can overcome these hurtles, give Urbieta Oil at 305-884-0008 a call, and stand by to save a significant chunk of change!

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    • Caution on Entrance to Lake Boca Raton Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 1048

      Boca Raton Anchorage on the northeastern section of Lake Boca Raton, east of flashing daybeacon #65, but, as Capt. Smith discovered, the preferred entrance channel seems to be on the north side of marker #65.

      Be careful entering this anchorage! We anchored here last night (2/28/12) and it is tricky to get into the anchorage. We entered just south of Marker 65 and almost went aground. The anchorage was crowded but everyone entered North of marker 65. We left the anchorage this morning North of the marker and had plenty of water. Nice anchorage It was crowded until dark with locals but we had a nice, quiet night.
      Steve and Regina Smith

      Good going on giving advice when entering Lake Boca. You can add that the depth is 6 plus all around the perimeter of the lake and the best depths is in the northeast end.
      Advice from a resident of Boca for 22 years.
      Harold Egor

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Boca Raton Anchorage

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

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    • Cape Harbour Marina (near western mouth of Caloosahatchee River)

      Cape Harbour is indeed one of the best kept secrets on the Western Florida coastline. Yours truly, who has spent years personally research every marina (and anchorage) I could find on these waters never knew this marina was there until a fellow cruiser brought its existence to our collective attention.
      To access Cape Harbour Marina leave the Okeechobee Waterway/Caloosahatchee River at marker #92 and follow the marked channel into Glover Bight; break off to the northwest before reaching Tarpon Point Marina and follow canal through a LOCK into Cape Harbour’s well sheltered dockage basin.

      After talking with a number of long time Florida cruisers, I concluded this is the best kept secret on the West coast of Florida. Convenient, inexpensive dockage, low diesel prices, fun restaurants and shops right by the docks, and a very cooperative staff. Try it and you will like it. `I guarantee it.’
      Charles `Chuck’ Waygood

      Amazing place and the people are nice!
      Nick

      The only disadvantage is the lock you must go through to get to the marina. We had to wait 40 minutes to get out of the marina when we were there last fall.
      James Angel

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Cape Harbour Marina

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

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    • An Appeal from Boat/US re LightSquared and GPS

      Join Today, enjoy better boating all year long. Online Special - 25% Off*, Pay Only $19.00 For a Limited Time , Annual Domestic Dues $25.00....Annual International Dues $30.00, *Discount only appliesYou need not be a Boat/US member to respond to this appeal for comments on this important issue for all cruisers. The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is proud to join with Boat?US in a appeal to the cruising community to let our collective voices be heard on this vital issue!

      February 24, 2012
      Dear Boat/U.S. Member:
      Last summer boaters sent a clear message to the Federal Communications Commission ‘“ `Don’t Mess with GPS!” As you may remember, a private company, LightSquared, received preliminary FCC approval to offer a new cellular broadband service. Tests showed this service could significantly interfere with GPS signals.

      Thanks to over 18,000 boaters who submitted comments, along with many other GPS users, the FCC required additional testing in the fall. (Thank you all for your help!) Last week, these tests revealed that the LightSquared’s network would interfere with GPS and that there are no practical fixes. As a result, the FCC has proposed to withdraw LightSquared’s approval.(http://www.gps.gov/news/2012/02/lightsquared/)

      The FCC has a new comment period (open to March 1) asking for the public’s opinion. Even if you wrote last summer, please take a few minutes now and write the FCC asking them to protect the GPS signal by saying `No’ to LightSquared’s current proposal. Given this company’s tenacity over the last year, we want to make sure that boaters’ needs are remembered as the FCC makes their final decision.

      Important points to make:
      How do you use GPS in your life ‘“ on the water, on land, or in the air?
      What would happen to your business/personal life if GPS became unavailable or unreliable?
      Wireless broadband service is important, but it should not come at the expense of GPS.
      All the studies show that LightSquared’s proposed network would cause interference and that there are no remedies.
      Tell FCC that you rely on them to protect the integrity of the GPS signal and that you support their recommendation to stop LightSquared’s current proposal

      You can submit comments directly to the FCC through their online comment form. (We regret we can’t streamline this process for you, but it is important enough we’re still asking for your help.) Here’s how:
      Click on this link for the FCC’s Electronic Comments Filing System (ECFS): http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/hotdocket/list
      Select `Proceeding Number 11-109.’ It should be near the top of the list.
      In the designated boxes, enter your name and mailing address.
      In the box that says `Type in or paste your brief comments,’ do so. Click `Continue’.
      A review page will load listing all of the information entered. If correct, click `Confirm.’
      If you have any trouble, you may contact the FCC ECFS Help desk at 202-418-0193 or email at ecfshelp@fcc.gov

      Thank you for taking action to protect the integrity of the GPSsystem.

      Margaret Podlich
      President, BoatU.S.
      GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
      703-461-2878 x8363

      For an update on this and other government affairs topics please visit http://www.BoatUS.com/gov

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    • Arcane Opening Procedure at the Moore Haven Railway Bridge (Okeechobee Waterway, St. M. 78.5)

      Click on Charlet Above to Open Chart View Page Centered on Moore Haven

      Wow, this sounds like something that might have taken place during my Dad’s cruising days in the early 1950’s! Note the VERY HELPFUL phone number provided by Captain Regina below, if you should find yourself in this same fix!
      Moore Haven is located north of Clewiston, FL, and is the gateway to the western 1/2 of the Okeechobee Waterway!

      Today our destination was Indiantown, eastbound across Lake Okeechobee, so we wanted to get an `earlier’ start at 8 a.m. We had spent the night at Moorehaven and as we went under the Moorehaven bridge, we noticed that the Moorehaven Railway Bridge was down. It’s supposed to be open unless a train is coming. Several of the cruising guides suggest sounding the horn for someone to open it. We tried that several times to no avail. Finally, we called the lockmaster at Ortona Lock for suggestions. He gave us the phone number of the CSX Dispatch in Clewiston. After a chuckle, the man at CSX we spoke with said they’d send someone in about 5 minutes to open the bridge ‘“ SO NO BRIDGETENDER ON DUTY???. After 30 minutes, a man in a pickup truck came and in 10-15 minutes the bridge was open.. So our early start wasn’t so early ‘“ we lost over an hour waiting for the bridge to open. Oh, one of the joys of cruising’¦’¦
      If you are crossing Lake O and have a questions or problems with a railway bridge, here is the number we were given for CSX Dispatch in Clewiston: 863-983-3163!
      Regina Smith

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

      There appears to be a lot of RR activity in Moore Haven lately. We came through on 2/16 and the RR bridge was down. There was a short train preparing to cross. A couple of men got off the train and walked back and forth across the bridge like they were inspecting it. The train finally crossed and we had to wait about 10 minutes to go through. I don’t know of any of RR bridges that have bridge tenders on duty.
      Susan Parker

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    • Shad Fishing In the AICW/Waccamaw River, SC

      The legal season for shad gill net fishing runs from Nov 1 to Mar 1. Gill fishing is only allowed on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Fortunately for we cruisers, there’s only a few days remaining in the season. In the meantime, watch for these local fishermen and, as usual, give their small boats a very slow, no wake pass! As a kid, I helped my Dad and Grandad tend their gill nets in the Ocmulgee River in GA and we often fished well after dark.

      Helping a friend bring his new boat from Little River, SC to Charleston, SC, we were cruising the ICW on the Waccamaw River when we cam upon a man in a jon boat waving an orange PFD at us and motioning us away from a line of what we thought were crab trap markers. We went on around and a few miles later had much the same experience only the guy waved and pulled up to us and told us he had a net strung between two floats.
      We spent the night at a marina in Georgetown, SC and asked the staff about this. Apparently, there is a certain time of year when people are allowed to place nets across the river to catch shad. They cannot block more than one half the river and must be on duty the entire time to warn boaters away from their nets. Just FYI.

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    • Dinghy Dock at the Roosevelt Channel Anchorage (near Statute Mile 13)

      The anchorage described below by Captains Mike and Twyla, is accessed by leaving the Western Florida ICW between markers #37 and ?#39, and the following the well marked Roosevelt Channel to a point south of Tween Waters Marina.
      Mike and Twyla’s note contains some GREAT advice about hot to obtain inexpensive dinghy dockage while your hook is resting in these waters. We knew that Tween Waters started prohibiting dinghy dockage some years ago, but the idea of tying up temporarily at the nearby Green Flash Restaurant is a new and inspiring idea!
      And, by the way, the Green Flash IS a good place to satisfy a healthy appetite. Some of their seafood entrees are nothing short of YUMMY!!!

      Just an FYI for anyone planning to anchor Captiva Island – We recently anchored near the ‘Tween Waters Marina. The Waterway Guide does state correctly that the marina does not offer dingy docking to anyone on anchor.
      However it does state that you can take your dinghy to McCarthy’s Marina to tie up so you can go to shore for provisions. What it fails to mention is that McCarthy’s Marina charges $15.00 to dock your dink there! No matter how long you are going to leave it – it’s $15.00 flat fee! So for those of you that find yourself at Captiva Island and in need of provisions (beer?) – there is still hope. We took the dink to the Green Flash Restaurant’s dock. We enjoyed a couple of drinks at the bar and
      walked only a few blocks to the Island Store. The bartendar there was very friendly and had no problem with us leaving the dinghy. By the way, it looked like a great place to eat but we only went to the bar.
      Safe travels!
      Mike and Twyla
      aboard NautiNell

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Roosevelt Channel Anchorage

      Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
      Centered on the Location of This Anchorage:

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    • Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field Advice (Marathon)

      Isn’t it encouraging to find a city owned and operated mooring field that ENCOURAGES cruisers to anchor just outside of the field until a mooring become available. Other municipalities in Florida would be well advised to take note!

      At Boot Key the dockmaster generally will have you anchor out until a mooring becomes available. Depending on weather and the number of folks staging to go to the Bahamas, your wait can be hours to a few days. Just remember to look at the tide charts (especially now, coming off of full moon) and gage where you anchor with
      your draft.
      PS Russell
      M/V Ocean Breeze

      We are in Marathon and while the mooring field is busy there are openings. A number of boats just headed out for the Bahamas and that makes for available openings. With your mooring you get pumped out once a week and you can pull into the Marathon City Marina and get water. You can also check with the City Marina for dockage.
      Good Luck
      Marty and Jerry Richardson
      onboard M/V Monarch

      The boats in Boot Key Harbor come and go all the time. They might be full today and have a half dozen moorings open by weeks end if a good weather window opens up. There is usually someplace to anchor in Boot Key Harbor. Depending on your boats draft, you can anchor in Newfound Harbor on the way to Key West, and depending on the weather, if the southerlies are not blowing too bad, you can anchor just outside Boot Key Harbor. There is also the anchorage in Key West. Marina availability will be a different story this time of year.
      Chuck Baier

      Cruising News:
      City of Marathon is in the process of passing Resolution 2012-21 which will restrict all anchoring in Boot Key Harbor to one small area. This Resolution can be viewed on City of Marathon website.
      Patrick Carter

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For the Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

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    • Boot Key Harbor Fee Increases Generate Letter from Fellow Nautical Writer, Captain John Kettlewell

      The note Captain Kettlewell has copied us on below, was inspired by the earlier article here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net by our very special Florida Keys Correspondent, Captain Charmaine Smith Ladd (see /?p=79332). John’s words, as they usually do, speak eloquently for themselves!

      Claiborne:
      I sent the following message to the chamber of commerce in Marathon. Charmaine suggested I forward a copy to you in case you might want to use it on your website. I have no objections.

      Subject: Boot Key Harbor fees
      From: “John J. Kettlewell”
      Date: Sat, February 04, 2012 5:35 pm
      To: ceo@floridakeysmarathon.com, visitus@floridakeysmarathon.com
      Dear Mr. Samess:
      You and your member businesses should be very concerned about the recently instituted dramatic increase in fees at the city mooring field and city dinghy dock. Snowbirding boaters in Boot Key Harbor spend lots of money in Marathon businesses on things like marine supplies, fuel, ice, groceries and shopping of all sorts, restaurants, and entertainment. The last time I was there on my boat I spent three weeks in the harbor, renting a space at the dinghy dock. In total I believe I spent several thousand dollars on refitting my boat, restaurants, and other supplies. However, as of February 1 the city has raised the daily rate for the dinghy dock by 69% to $22 per day! Imagine what it would do to business in Marathon if a parking fee of $22 per day was instituted on your streets. This fee seems particularly unfair when you note that the use of the two public boat ramps in Marathon is completely free, as is all day parking at the boat ramps. In addition, weekly and monthly fees also increased dramatically, while mooring fees also increased. In short, not many boaters will pay this extortionate fee just to tie up a dinghy and go ashore to be able to spend money–I certainly will take my business elsewhere.
      Boaters have a very well-established and efficient communication system that is spreading the word rapidly about these outrageous fees, and the unfriendly nature of Marathon. I know some boaters have already cancelled plans to visit Boot Key Harbor this winter. Marathon businesses should let the city know that the recent fee increases are bad for business.
      John J. Kettlewell

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Anchorage Directory Listing For the Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Boot Key Harbor Mooring Field

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