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  • Weekly Highlights from the City of Gulfport, Fl, June 27 – July 3, Boca Ciega Bay


    Gulfport Marina includes dry boat storage, ship store, bathroom, public boat ramp, parking, fueling stations, lighted range markers and guest docking facility.One of our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, Gulfport Municipal Marina has recently undergone renovations and is also adding a nearby mooring field. The marina and harbor are found on the northern shores of Boca Ciega Bay and are easily accessible from the Western Florida ICW, just north of Tampa Bay.

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    Plan your calendar with the City of Gulfport Florida!
    June 27 – July 3, 2016

    CLICK HERE for the Official Website for the City of Gulfport, Florida.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Gulfport Municipal Marina

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

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Gulfport Anchorage/Mooring Field

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Gulfport Anchorage/Mooring Field

  • Bahamas Chatter: West end bound

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: West end bound
    West end bound
    Posted: 25 Jun 2016 06:07 PM PDT
    Getting geared up for a crossing to west end from east coast fla – Jupiter/ Stuart/ wpb tbd possibly as early as the first week of July to mid month to be in Hopetown by the last week of July. Looking for any buddy boats and or weather links/ recommendations. 41′ american tug 4’10” draft cruising 10+ knots thanks Hooty Hoo II

  • Captain Jim Healy on Charleston and Beaufort, SC and Savannah, GA

    Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, shares his perspective on Charleston and Beaufort, SC and Savannah, GA where several SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORs are located. Thank you Jim!

    Charleston_city_marina_130x130_2

    Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA: magnificent old southern cities with many points-of-charleston-harborinterest and fine restaurants; our strategy is to take a tour bus around the city.  Look for a tour company that has same-day on-and-off privileges.  (We do this every time we arrive somewhere we’ve not been before, including Canada).  We take the entire tour circuit first, then go back to places that we think we’d like to know more about.  At Charleston, start at the Welcome Center.  Or, take the tour boat to Fort Sumter; nice stjohnsaquarium near the Ft. Sumter ferry docks.  In Charleston, there is a water taxi from the Charleston Maritime Center that goes back and forth to Patriot Point, which is savanahhyattdockswhere the USS Yorktown is located.  In Savannah, there is a nice stage theater within walking distance of the downtown waterfront (http://www.savannahtheatre.com).  The Savannah waterfront is very interesting, with a large riverwalk, wonderful park overlooking the River, and large shipping and commercial traffic as well as every kind of small-isleofhopeboat and pleasure craft.  There are several architecture tours in both cities, and both have lots of weekly and seasonal activity for visitors.  From Savannah (there are marina options in downtown Savannah on the Savannah River or at Thunderbolt and Isle of Hope), boaters can also visit Tybee Island (light house and Fort Pulaski).

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    Beaufort, SC: from the Beaufort Downtown Marina, take a carriage tour through the historic ante-bellum homes in the area.  The downtown is friendly with many shoppes and good restaurant options.

    Jim Healy

  • July 4th Celebration at New Bern Grand Marina, Trent River, off Neuse River, New Bern, NC


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    The New Bern Grand Marina lies in the heart of downtown New Bern, North Carolina, along Trent River’s northern banks between the low-level Trent River highway and railroad bridges.

     

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    New Bern Grand Marina Yacht Club

    Watch the FIREWORKS AT THE NEW BERN GRAND MARINA YACHT CLUB comfy and cozy nestled in your boat! We have a few slips still available for rent.
    Event Title: New Bern’s July 4th Celebration

    Dates/Times: Monday, July 4, 2016… See More

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For New Bern Grand Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of New Bern Grand Marina

  • July Events Calendar for Elizabeth City, NC, Dismal Swamp Route


    Elizabeth City, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, located at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route, and the friendliest-to-boaters community on the Waterway, continues its calendar of exciting events!

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    “Things to See & Do in Elizabeth City during July”

    CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE JULY CALENDAR

    www.DiscoverElizabethCity.com    www.DiscoverElizabethCity/blog

    Our mailing address is:
    Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
    400 S. Water St., Suite 101
    Elizabeth City, NC 27909

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

  • Okeechobee Update

    Our sincere thanks to Captain Greg Allard for this excellent report and photos of the Okeechobee Waterway. Greg is an experienced cruiser and his observations and advice are definitely to be trusted and heeded.

    Okeechobee Update – June 24, 1016

    We just finished crossing the Okeechobee waterway from east to west.  Some observations:
    1) Obstruction report at MM34:  On January 12, 2016 the Cruisers Net contained a report of a vessel which hit an object and sustained damage in the vicinity of MM 34 on the St. Lucie Canal.
    On June 22, 2016, while we were underway we observed the scene below, at approximately MM34:Version 2
    This bird was perched on the limb of a tree, on the south side of the waterway.  The water was very murky, so we could not see any other parts of the tree or limb to be able to tell how far it extended into the waterway. The bird is approximately 30’+ from shore.
    I hit the MOB button, and recorded the location as we passed:  27 degrees 00.8582’N; 080 degrees, 32.8102′ W.
    In re-reading the report about the damaged vessel from January 12th, it appears that the vessel was “along the side of the canal which is the starboard side coming East from Port Mayaca,”which would have put it in approximately this location.  Of course we can’t be certain that this was the earlier reported obstruction.
    This type of hazard is not unusual along this portion of the St. Lucie Canal.  Just a mile further west, we took this photo:DSC_2417 (1)
    On both sides of the canal, there are stands of trees, including some tall casuarinas on the right side.  If one of them fell into the canal, it could easily become a hazard. The lesson here is to “stay in the middle”.  That won’t protect you from free-floating logs or pilings, but it will minimize the risk of contacting fallen trees.
    2) Lake Okeechobee water levels:  The water levels in the lake have been high, due to heavy rains.  Most cruisers use “Route 1” to cross (as opposed to Route 2, the southern rim route).  This link takes you to the Corp of Engineers site, showing you the current depths for each route:
    According to the Corps, the shallowest part of Route 1 is in the SW corner of the lake, from Clewiston out to where the channel stops its zig-zags. Follow the markers carefully, and don’t drift off.  When we crossed on June 22, the level was over 8.8’.
    It’s important to try to cross the lake as early as possible in the morning, before any strong winds develop, especially if the winds come from the north/northeast, or east. Where the water is only 8’ deep, if winds cause waves in the lake 2-4’ in height near the SW corner of the lake, a boat with a 5’ draft may start to bottom out in those conditions.  The bottom there is rock, not sand.
    3) Algae conditions:  
    Due to the heavy rains, there are severe algae blooms in the St Lucie canal, lower St. Lucie River, and the lake.  We saw none on the Caloosahatchee River side.  The algae is kelly green in color. Here’s what it looks like:DSC_2450
    According to local news reports, samples have been sent to
    Florida’s health lab for testing, so as of the time of this report it is unknown whether it will be considered toxic or not.  We observed no cooling issues with our engines as we passed through these patches. It is thin and “whispy” and did not accumulate at all in the engine strainer baskets.
    Favorite places to stay overnight:
    1) To position yourself for an early morning Okeechobee crossing, going west to east:
        a) Moore Haven docks (just before the lock). $1.00 a foot; electric available.
        b) Roland Martin’s Marina, in Clewiston.  Probably the best layover place; right on the edge of the lake.  The outdoor bar is terrific: it reminds us of the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie.
    When we stayed there in March on the way east, the small lock at Clewiston was actually in operation (the first time we have ever seen that.)  Our 65’ LOA boat barely fit into the lock.  On our most recent return trip, the lock was fully open, not in operation, and allowed full pass-through to the marina.   The Clewiston lock is not operated by the Corps of Engineers – it is private, and the people who run it are well intentioned, friendly amateurs.  Just because they tell you to do something, it doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about.  They put about 20 bass boats into the chamber with us, and they were hanging all over us, banging into us, and cutting us off as we entered the chamber; it was bedlam.
    Roland Martin’s is still the best place to stay on a west to east trip.  The dockmaster Sam is excellent.  Call for a reservation.
    2) To position yourself for an east to west crossing of the lake in the morning:
         a) Indiantown Marina: A true old fashioned time-warp. They have limited slip space, but at $1.00 a foot, it is a bargain.  It’s about 9.9 Statute Miles from the Port Mayaca lock, where you would begin to cross the lake.
         b) If Indiantown can’t take you, the River Forest marina, just 1/2 mile west of the St. Lucie lock, is a good alternative, at $1.35 a foot.  It will take you longer to get to the eastern edge of the lake in the morning, but there aren’t any other choices.
    4) Ortona Lock Restrictions:
        The Ortona lock is undergoing repairs, and there are restricted openings which have been reported on the Cruisers Net.
    Note that the restricted openings do not apply on weekends, when the lock will open on demand from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
    On our recent trip across the waterway from east to west, we stayed at the River Forest location in Moore Haven, just 1/4 mile east of the Ortona lock. It’s perfectly positioned to allow us to arrive at the Ortona lock in time for the 7:00-7:30 limited opening.  We did hear the lockmaster, on the VHF, allowing a boat to lock through at a time other than the restricted windows, so it does not hurt to ask.  It depends on whether construction is actually going on.
    Corp of Engineers Contact:
    The day before we begin any Okeechobee crossing, we call the local Corp of Engineers office directly (they are in Clewiston), to be sure there aren’t any lock shutdowns or bridge problems. They are always very helpful.
    Here’s the phone number:  863-983-8101
    Many of our cruising friends would never consider using the Okeechobee.  We enjoy the trip.  It’s much shorter than going down through the Keys and then heading north, up through the endless and tiresome Florida Bay, which can be loaded with crab traps.  It is also easier to run the waterway in bad weather.  It presents a fascinating slice of old time Florida.  Scenes like this sunrise make it worthwhile:DSC_2494
    Greg Allard
     M/V “Meander”
  • More Good Words for Longboat Key Club Moorings, GICW Statute Mile 77.5, Sarasota, FL


    longboatLongboat Key Club Moorings, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, guards the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the city of Sarasota, and south of Longboat Pass. With the advent of mooring fields in Florida, you might mistake this marina as just another set of mooring balls. But, believe you me, this is one gorgeous marina. Anna’s comments are typical for this excellent facility and we are glad they stumbled upon it!

    My husband and I stayed here last week while on vacation….we actually stumbled upon it. What a beautiful resort. We were pleasantly greeted by Pete the dockhand. He was very helpful. We were very impressed by the amenities, pool (pool towels are given at office) and very nice showers, bicycles for loan, Publix within walking distance. Harbor masters store and staff was awesome. We didn’t make it to Portofinos but will visit it next time.
    We will definitely be back.
    Anna

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Longboat Key Club Moorings

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Longboat Key Club Moorings

  • Not Impressed with ‘Tween Waters Inn and Marina, near GICW Statute Mile 10


    Anna’s comments are in contrast to other more favorable reviews of ‘Tween Waters Marina we have received, such as http://cruisersnet.net/149457, but seems to be in line with these comments: http://cruisersnet.net/148730. Tween Waters Inn and Marina lies southwest of the Roosevelt Channel’s marker #19 off Pine Island Sound.

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For ‘Tween Waters Marina

    My husband and I visited this marina before our vacation to preview it. We drove our car and when we got to the marina we weren’t impressed. The docks were in need of repair with nails poking through. We went into the dock masters office to inquire about pricing…the older lady working there was helpful but the gentleman there was to busy to even acknowledge our presence. We even asked him a question and he never looked up at us. Then we went to check out the restaurant and the older lady working there was very rude to us when we inquired about the menu as they weren’t open yet. Needless to say we will never stay at this place.
    Anna

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of ‘Tween Waters Marina

  • Celebrate July 4th at Old Port Cove, North Palm Beach, AICW Statute Mile 1014


    Old Port CoveA SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Old Port Cove is located on the western shore of the northern Lake Worth channel, near unlighted daybeacon #7.


    TRANSIENT BOATERS GET 15% OFF* & Bottle of Wine to Kick off the Weekend!*
    Enjoy your stay with a discount! Show us your BoatUS Membership Card and Transient boaters will receive a 15% discount off the daily rate.  If you need fuel, there’s a discount for that too! (*Min. 2 night stay at New Port. Utilities not included.)
    In-House Boaters – Ask about Complimentary Reciprocal Dockage!
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    ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR &
    MENU SPECIALS
    at Sandpiper’s Cove at Old Port Cove Marina
    HAPPY HOUR ALL DAY! 
    Lunch & Dinner Specials
    Baby Back Ribs, Roast BBQ Chicken, Bar Bites, Slider Trio, All American Burger & Jumbo Beef Hot Dogs, Plus our full menu!
    THE SAND BAR PRESENTS:
    LIVE MUSIC BY
    TRIPLE PLAY!

    Enjoy Live Music in The Sand Bar at Sandpiper’s Cove by local band,TRIPLE PLAY. Rockin’ South Florida with party favorites,classic rock and Americana songs for the 4th.The fun begins at 4pm.

    MAKE D O C K A G E RESERVATIONS TODAY!
    ~ ~ ~

    Old Port Cove Marina 561-626-1760
    Sandpiper’s Cove Restaurant & Bar 561-626-2280

    (for restaurant information)

    North Palm Beach Marina 561-626-4919
    New Port Cove Marine Center 561-844-2504

    Or Click This Link to Reserve

    Every Hour is Happy Hour on the Water!  Join us won’t you?

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Old Port Cove Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Old Port Cove Marina

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