This Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net Alert is the mostly lengthy we have ever published, BUT there is just so much interesting and important cruising news. Polish up your glasses and read on!
| Eastern Florida
I. GREAT NEWS - LUK Fuel Offers Discount to Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net Users
HERE'S SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS. Beginning 10/1/12, and stretching until 11/30/12, SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR Luk Fuels is offering a 5 cent per gallon discount on purchases of gasoline or diesel fuel to anyone who merely mentions that they saw this special offer on the SSECN!!! HOW'S THAT FOR A DEAL!!!
Luk Fuel provides tanker truck deliveries to locations in Southeastern Florida's Palm Beach County, Broward County, Dade County, and the Florida Keys. They have the deserved reputation of offering some of the best fuel prices anywhere, and now, with this special offer in hand, the best just got better!
Full details at:
| South Carolina
II. Missing AICW Marker in Coosaw River (Statute Mile 527)
Follow the link below to discover the full story on a missing flashing green marker which lies just north of the AICW's entrance into Brickyard Creek, on its way south to Beaufort, SC. As our fellow cruiser, Captain Poovey correctly notes, the absence of this marker is a real concern, as shoal water (a spoil bank) lies just south of its position.
All cruisers plying the AICW between Charleston and Beaufort should click through forthwith to:
| Western Florida
III. "Report" from Matanzas Pass Entry Channel, Fort Myers Beach, FL
It's been said before, many times, but it's worth repeating again. "A picture is worth a thousand words!" And, if you ever needed proof of that maxim, take a gander at this photo submitted to the Cruisers' Net by Captain Art Armstrong.
Think there might just possibly be a little unmarked shoaling happening on the primary entrance from the Gulf of Mexico to the very popular mooring field (plus several marinas) at Fort Myers Beach, Florida (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR)?
Follow this link to learn how you can avoid this marker/shoaling problem!
V. Missing Lighted Buoy at Hawk Channel End of Angelfish Creek, north of Key Largo, FL
Angelfish Creek is the northernmost of the useful Florida Keys "connector passages" that allow access from the FLK Inside Route to Hawk Channel, or the other way around. The easterly mouth of Angelfish Creek cuts the shores of Card Sound, northeast of Pumpkin Key.
For years, some cruisers have reported an "underwater rock" near the intersection of Angelfish Creek and Hawk Channel, but I have personally never been able to find this hazard, in spite of repeated soundings taken in these waters. Others however, have told me on numerous occasions, they have found this rock "the hard way." So, clearly, any navigation of the Angelfish Creek channel requires the greatest caution.
As if the "rock" weren't problem enough, back in August of 2012, we published an extract from the Local Notice to Mariners, describing a critical, missing aid to navigation on the Hawk Channel side of the Angelfish Creek passage. Now, here we are in early October, 2012, and one would think that this marker had been replaced.
On 10/4/12, a question from an SSECN user, prompted our Senior Editor, Captain Larry Dorminy, to check on this aid to navigation's status. Surprise, surprise, as of today, October 4, 2012, according to the USCG in Islamorada, the marker in question has NOT been replaced. Thus, we have reprinted our earlier warning. We strongly suggest that all Florida Keys cruisers run, not walk, to:
VI. Good Words for Turtle Cove Marina - Tarpon Springs, off the Anclote River
It's always a pleasure to publish a good review of a marina facility, particularly when the marina in question is a relatively new establishment, with some unique features.
We had the good fortune to visit Tarpon Springs and Turtle Cove Marina, in particular, this past February. I was impressed with the wet slip dockage, mostly located on an artificial island, set out into the creek, and joined to the mainland by a man-made causeway. There are also many, many good seafood and Greek style Tarpon Springs restaurants within easy walking distance. An all around good place to spend a night or three and rest from your travels.
Follow this link to discover how Captain Davis agrees with this assessment:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=98102
Virginia to North Carolina
VII. Portsmouth, VA City Government Not In Tune With Cruisers
The article linked below was sent to the SSECN from Captain Bob McBride, owner of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, Mile Marker 0 Marine Supplies, located in Portsmouth, Virginia. As you will read, the situation along this community waterfront will provoke a lot of head scratching within the cruising community.
Apparently, the city has put up signs along the waterfront which seem to ban overnight docking. Captain Bob reports that these regulations are NOT being enforced, but this situation has still had a serious effect on his business, as well as any number of other firms operating near the downtown waterfront. You know, sometimes I truly believe that if anyone is elected to public office, they must sign a pledge to abandon ALL common sense.
Anyway, WE URGE THE CRUISING COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT CAPTAIN BOB, MILE MARKER 0 MARINE SUPPLY, AND ALL THE OTHER MERCHANTS IN DOWNTOWN PORTSMOUTH! These new, apparently unenforced, regulations are NOT their idea, and, in fact, they are fighting them tooth and nail. So stop by, talk with Captain Bob, and express your support (and give him some business)!
Follow this link to discover what Captain Bob has to say about all of this:http://cruisersnet.net/?p=98289
VIII. Dredging Underway in Big Foot Slough Channel, Ocracoke, North Carolina - off the AICW in Pamlico Sound
Big Foot Slough Channel is the primary entrance from Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke and Silver Lake Harbor and is used by the vast majority of cruising craft and both Ocracoke car ferries. It is a narrow channel and caution should be exercised in the vicinity of dredge equipment.
Because of shoaling in the channel, we have had a Navigation Alert posted since January of this year. Happily, Big Foot Slough is currently being dredged, and this project should be complete by October 10, 2012. It is to be hoped that this dredging will vanquish this passage's shoaling problems for some time to come.
Full details at:
| Eastern Florida, Florida Keys, Western Florida
IX. Florida "Sojourner's Permit" Explained and Forms Provided
A couple of years ago, we published an in-depth discussion on the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net about what a Florida Sojourner's Permit is, and why it was/is so important. Well, it's time to refresh that information as the fall, 2012 transient season gets underway.
The Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net staff has sifted through the often conflicting information and advice concerning this little understood Florida permit. Linked below, you will find our very best shot at explaining just what a Sojourners Permit is, why it is important to have one, and how to acquire such a creature. We also provide a link to the latest version of the form you will need to have in hand to obtain a Sojourners Permit.
So, if you plan to stay in Floridian waters this winter season (or any other time for that matter), for a period that exceeds 90 days, spare to effort to visit:
X. Two North Carolina Marinas Once Again Welcome Visiting Cruisers (near Belhaven, NC and Manteo, NC)
We are happy to report that not one, but two North Carolina marinas have returned to the ranks of those facilities that welcome cruising visitors. One has finally recovered from severe storm damage, and the other is the beneficiary of new ownership and management.
Let's start with Shallowbag Bay Marina in Manteo, NC. To reach this port of call, cruisers must leave the familiar confines of the AICW, and cruise into northern Roanoke Sound, before approaching the Manteo waterfront via Shallowbag Bay channel.
Thanks to a recently published article, authored by frequent SSCEN contributor, "Captain Parky," we have learned that Shallowbag Bay Marina, in the community of Manteo, North Carolina, on Roanoke Island, is under new ownership and management, and is once again welcoming visiting cruisers.
Shallowbag Bay Marina is accessed via a marked channel, running south from Shallowbag Bay channel marker #10. This passage can be a bit tricky for first timers.
Check out Captain Parky's words to wisdom at:
and/or peruse this facility's updated listing of services, prices and specs on the Cruisers' Net's North Carolina Marina Directory, at:
Farther to the south, the AICW runs first west and then south along the course of Pungo River. Soon after passing the charming river village of Belhaven, NC, Pungo Creek indents the river's/Waterway's western banks.
Here, on Pungo Creek's northern banks, and going back a few years, the cruising community was actively commenting on what was then a newly revamped marina facility. Pungo Creek Marina was pumping fuel, had a newly opened ship's store and lounge, and was (and still is) set in one of the most peaceful places imaginable.
Then, along came strong storms and this facility was all but laid waste. I visited here in March of this year, and could not find any management to speak with, but a long time resident boat owner was most helpful, and it became apparent from our conversation that the future, if any, of this marina, was "iffy."
Now, we are very happy to report that new owners have taken over, fuel is once again being pumped, and transients accepted for overnight dockage. And, it just so happens, the boat owner I spoke with back in March, Captain Allen McMurtry, is the new, and super friendly, dockmaster!
So, follow this link, and learn how southbound AICW cruisers, as well as year round Tar Heel captains, now have another alternative to consider on Pungo River:
| Okeechobee Waterway
XI. Update: Okeechobee Waterway To Be Partially Obstructed Between Clewiston and Moore Haven Until 2015, Statute Mile 75
We have just updated an earlier SSECN posting which reported that the useful Okeechobee Waterway, which links the eastern and western coastlines of the Sunshine State, will be partially blocked UNTIL 2015 between Clewiston and Moore Haven. There is NO DEEP WATER ROUTE AROUND THIS POTENTIAL OBSTRUCTION, so all cruisers bent on traversing the Okeechobee need to follow this link now:
| Eastern Florida
XII. Construction Barge Traffic on the St. Johns River Between AICW Intersection and Jacksonville Could Interrupt River Cruising (near AICW Statute Mile 740)
The construction project described in the below linked article, is being staged approximately 6 nautical miles west of the Waterway's intersection with the St. Johns River. While the resulting equipment traffic will not inconvenience cruisers sticking strictly to the AICW, mariners bound upstream to Jacksonville or other St. Johns River ports of call could encounter a different story.
Full details at:
| Eastern Florida
XIII. Good Depths Reported in St. Augustine Inlet After Dredging Project (Statute Mile 775.5)
During 2011, depths in St. Augustine Inlet (or lack thereof) were a hot topic here on the SSECN. Then, during the early months of 2012, we were happy to report that a significant dredging project had erased, at least for the time being, the earlier reported upon shallow water problems in this seaward cut. Follow this link for a just published article, authored by Captain Hipple, which confirms this happy state of affairs:
XIV. (Reprise) Bizarre Proposal to Partially Fill North Lake Worth, North Palm Beach, AICW Statute Mile 1014
Back on 5/17/12, the Salty Southeast Cruisers's Net published an article about a totally crazy plan to partially fill North Lake Worth, principally to render this body of water unfit for anchorage by cruising craft (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=83837). Sadly, this hair-brained notion is still alive.
WE URGE ALL MEMBERS OF THE CRUISING COMMUNITY WHO HAVE ANY INTENTION OF VISITING FLORIDA TO UPDATE THEMSELVES ON THIS THREAT TO OUR ANCHORING RIGHTS!
Eastern Florida, Florida Keys, Western Florida
XV. Florida Marina Liveaboard Discussion
Week before last, there was a lively discussion on the American Great Loop Cruisers' Association forum (http://www.greatloop.org) about the issue of liveaboards, particularly as this issue relates to facilities in Florida. All of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net are aware of the importance of this topic to the cruising community, and will soon make available a comprehensive, professionally researched list of marinas where liveaboards are welcome.
Until that happy event, listen to what our fellow mariners have to say by visiting: