Updates for Cruisers in the Sunshine State

Updates for Cruisers in the Sunshine State

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Photographing and studying sick dolphins in Florida waters. Photo: Paulo Maurin

Sick dolphins are washing up all along the shores of Florida’s East Coast, the Intracoastal Waterway and rivers. FWC saw over 100 dolphins killed by the morbillivirus last year, but hopes the numbers are dropping. If a dead marine animal is spotted FWC urges you to call (888) 404-FWCC. myfwc.org

Anchoring in Florida’s waters may never be the same after a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) workshop this past September. After new state regulations and FWC’s Pilot Program were enacted in 2006, assessment was scheduled for 2017 with resultant legislation then. Unexpectedly, an Anchoring Public Workshop by FWC was held in September. Possible laws would prevent cruisers from anchoring next to, or disallow anchoring within 300 feet adjacent to, residential waterfront property. This buffer would essentially eliminate anchorages in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Cruisers responded that the state—not local governments—should legislate consistent anchoring laws. The common solution of municipal moorings can be expensive to cruisers, especially if moorings are poorly maintained.

NASA launches its newest spacecraft for humans December 4th from Cape Canaveral. The test flight will send the Orion capsule 36,000 miles into space, orbiting the Earth twice before parachuting into the Pacific near San Diego four and a half hours later. Cruisers can watch launches offshore. Mind bridge closures by monitoring VHF broadcasts. Call (800) 470-7232 for launch hazard areas and restrictions. Information about viewing is found at kennedyspacecenter.com/events/2014/december/launch-delta4-heavy-orion-eft1.aspx

The Boat Village, a collaborative promoting boat management and service coordination, now includes Old Port Cove Marina of North Palm Beach, North Palm Beach Marina, Palm Bay Club Marina of Miami, Aquamarina Hidden Harbor of Pompano Beach, Aquamarina Marina Road Boat Yard of Fort Lauderdale, and Aquarmarina Hi Lift of Aventura. The Florida collaborative, launched in the spring, will integrate with the DockMaster suite of marine business software soon. my-villages.com

St. Simons Island East Beach Coast Guard Station will soon include a World War II museum with renovations. During WWII, a German submarine sank two merchant ships off St. Simons Island’s coast. Volunteer shore patrols kept a vigilant watch on the beaches. With blimps overhead, U.S. Navy sailors learned about radar tracking at the King & Prince Hotel. saintsimonslighthouse.org

Online scuba diving in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is now possible with Google Maps underwater “street view.” In August, U.S. government scientists used specialized fisheye lenses in the Keys to capture endangered elkhorn coral, bleached fields of dead coral and coral nurseries in 360-degree views. The images are 20 times larger than traditional underwater photography. google.com/maps/views/profile/108517873237526057594?gl=ca&pv=2&tab=1

The Lake Worth/Lake Avenue/Robert Harris Bridge at AIW mile 1028.0 in Lake Worth, Florida, will be under repair until May 15, 2015. It will be closed to navigation from 12:05AM to 4:59AM and from 7:05AM to 10:59AM Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. It will be open once an hour on the top of the hour for the remainder of the day. Vertical clearance is 30 feet.

By Nancy E. Spraker, Southern Boating December 2014