26 February 2014
We sincerely hope this liveaboard family recovers from this accident soon. Only minor damage reported to other boats at Barber Marina, located at GIWW Mile 163 EHL. From a fox10tv.com article:
A boat explosion Monday night, February 24, left an Elberta family not only homeless, but also hospitalized.
The explosion of the boat docked at Barber Marina was felt by all of the surrounding vessels.
“We just finished eating dinner, we were watching tv and we heard a boom, a very loud boom. It shook our boat,” Denise Stott, one of the neighbors said. “And my husband immediately got up and stepped out the door and he disappeared. And then the next thing I know, here comes Brian into our boat.”
Brian is the 14-year-old son of Mike Basco, the boat’s owner. His other son, John, 18, happened to not be on the boat at the time of the fire. The 1968 Concord is now a total loss. Read more (video)...
10 February 2014
The Emerald Coast Convention Center is near the Brooks Bridge, GIWW Mile 223 EHL. From the show web site:
ISLAND VIEW CASINO AND RESORT presents the 2014 Emerald Coast Boat Show. This show now utilizes both the Indoor and Outdoor exhibit space of the Emerald Coast Convention Center. Over 35 Vendor Booths ranging from Brokers and Electronics to Tower Builders and Accessories.
Over 50 Boats on display in the climate controlled Exhibit Hall with over 150 more outside.
This show has grown dramatically since its resurrection in 2013. Now with over 40 Boat Brokers, Dealers, and Vendors the Emerald Coast Boat Show is one of the best and the only boat show on the Florida Panhandle.
The show will have hundreds of Center Consoles, Cruisers Runabouts, Pontoons, Deck Boats, and Skiffs, all represented by the coasts top dealers. See web site for more information.
The Yacht & Boat Show takes place in beautiful Gulfport Small Craft Harbor on the Mississippi Sound (click here for Marina Close-Up). From the event web site:
The Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show began in 2010 in Orange Beach, Alabama. Orange Beach was a tremendous location, but was outgrown in just 3 years. The decision to move the show to Gulfport, Mississippi, was made after searching the entire upper gulfcoast for a location not only for the immediate solution, but a long term one as well. Now a partner with the city of Gulfport, the show thrives today reaching thousands of boating enthusiasts nationwide.
2014 will bring more boats, more vendors, and more manufacturers than ever before. Currently over 150 vendor booths have been sold, ranging from engines and generators to electronics and accessories. These vendor booths are being sold to major manufacturers and corporations that have identified this show as one of the best in the country.
It is expected that by showtime next spring over 800 boats and over 100 million dollars of inventory will be on hand, both in water and on land. Boats and accessories are just the beginning as the 2014 show will offer some of the best features on the water today.
The 2014 Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show will feature a Live Sea Lion Show, Live Shark Encounter, and a Great White Shark Exhibit all aimed at entertaining and educating the entire family.
Hands on seminars for both powerboats and sailing vessels by Discover Boating and Discover Sailing, will put you behind the wheel of new boats with professional instructors.
Nationally recognized cruising seminars by Captain’s Chris and Alyse Caldwell will give attendees the ins and outs of cruising the most popular waters and destinations.
Exotic Vehicle displays will be showing off some of the most expensive cars, suv’s, and motorcycles available today.
Incredible daily demonstrations by Power Up Watersports featuring the Fly Boy Jet Boots will amaze you. Exclusive demo rides provided by Yamaha, with the most powerful engines available today. These attractions are just part of what attendees can expect in 2014.
The show starts off with a Thursday red carpet VIP preview day, that includes a wine tasting tour that will rival any wine festival. The VIP day will offer wine samples from around the globe, along every aisle and dock in the show. Live entertainment and celebrity guest appearances will all add to this one of a kind VIP party. If you visit one boat show this year, see the one, the only, the Gulfcoast Yacht and Boat Show… it’s where the action is!
For more information visit www.gulfcoastyachtandboatshow.com
28 January 2014
The funds are associated with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), set up after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster in April 2010. From a News Herald article:
Residents can offer feedback Wednesday on the more than $5 million in proposed projects for Bay County, funded through early released BP money.
The dollars will go toward six projects, including $2 million for the Panama City Marina; $250,000 for the St. Andrews Marina; $1.2 million for docks, boat ramps and a fishing pier in Parker; and $1.6 million for a boat ramp and finger piers at the Mexico Beach Marina. Read more...
23 January 2014
From the event web site:
The Apalachicola Antique & Classic Boat Show will be held April 19, 2104, at the city wharf and other town locations. Antique boats, examples of classic and traditional vessels, workboats, and fiberglass and aluminum classics will all be on display on from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Special highlights include authentic oyster boats, workboats, and home-built boats by skilled craftsmen, plus antique outboard engines.
Antique automobiles will line Avenue E. Studebakers, Model A’s, Chevys and more. Studebaker car club holds their annual meeting at the show.
The classic, gaff rigged schooner, The Governor Stone, will be featured dockside. Built in 1877, it has been totally restored and is an exhibit unto itself and is a National Historic Landmark.
Questions? Please call (850) 653-9419 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dog River Marina is located in Mobile AL at GIWW Mile 134 EHL and is a favorite stop for cruisers – click here for Marina Close-Up. Congratulations, Sonny and crew! From a Soundings Trade-Only article:
Fuel additive maker ValvTect is set to give its Marina of the Year Award to the largest marina in Mobile, Ala.
Dog River Marina and owner Sonny Middleton will be honored Jan. 29-31 in Fort Lauderdale at the annual ValvTect Marina of the Year dinner during the International Marina & Boatyard Conference. Read more...
21 January 2014
Ed. Note: The following is an except of "Tom's Weather Musings" (weather info omitted) in response to a post by Jeff Siegel (ActiveCaptain) on a DeFever Owners' Forum, where Siegel accused Conrad of fear-mongering. Having never made this particular passage, I cannot add any nuance to the specific issue; however, I strongly agree that no skipper should use just one "input" of information when making important decisions.
I also think the motto of "Preparation, Prudence, and Patience" should guide every cruiser in his/her decision-making. I'd rather "risk" spending an extra day – or week – in port rather than risk even an uncomfortable passage, much less a potentially dangerous one. Loopers and coastal cruisers tend to have smaller, lighter vessels. For most of us, cruising is a lifestyle – not a sport. We're navigating our "homes" from one place to another, and it's chock-full of our belongings, pets, and family members. We understand our levels of seamanship, and the levels of safety and comfort our vessels can provide our crews in different weather and sea states. A schedule is the most dangerous thing you can have on board – it's best to err on the side of caution and comfort.
Moreover, we rely on many sources of information, including NOAA and local weather reports and radar, buoy reports, and observations and advice from seasoned cruisers. Tom Conrad has been "giving back" to boaters for over a decade, and has posted his Gulf passage "musings" on AGLCA (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Assn.) for six years. Folks like him, Chris Parker, Herb Hilgenberg and others have added an important perspective to help us make passage decisions. They each state very clearly that the weather is not always predictable – their advice is not always going to be "right." But I would rather have access to the "musings" of these experts than not have them at all. (One of the reasons Herb Hilgenberg retired was harsh criticism for his "too conservative" advice – see related post.)
Thanks, Capt. Tom for this post...and for all you do for the cruising community. --Mike Ahart, News Editor, Waterway Guide
Boating and many things in life are about choices we make. On the water, we make those choices every day, whether it is to put on another dock line or cross the Gulf. Our choices should always be made with the best and most reliable information available to us and not just following some perceived leader. We each need to have control of our own fate since we are responsible for our choices. The following is a repeat of the musings or thoughts I wrote earlier this year but offer it as another opportunity to decide where we each fit.
Jeff Siegel of Active Captain recently made his first crossing of the Gulf while doing the Loop. He departed from Port St Joe to Clearwater and recorded 200 nautical miles distance in his 50+ foot vessel. Jeff's opinions and writings of Carrabelle and Tarpon Springs ports and channels were negative. Although I respect every captain's decision in their choices for the safety and comfort of their vessel and their crew, I believe telling others that there is no other way except to follow Jeff's example is dangerous for most Loopers in much smaller boats and with a more cautious goal. Here is why I believe a departure from Carrabelle is a better choice.
A copy of this posting will be sent to Jeff's forum for his awareness.
Disclaimer: The preceding is my opinion based on my experiences and must be taken as only what I would personally do with my own vessel, a 28-foot, open cockpit, sailboat. Under no circumstances is it to be used as a substitute for your own observations and research. Even after considering all available information, including that offered here, captains must decide their action based on the capability of their vessel, the seasoning of their crew, and their own ability as captain while realizing safety must never be compromised.
17 January 2014
Thanks, Capt. Bill Hezlep for the heads-up -- sounds like a great, tasty time. Fulton is located on Aransas Bay near GIWW Mile 518 WHL. From the event website:
Each year the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department sponsors Oysterfest, a salute to the tasty bi-valve found in our local waters. Oysterfest features carnival rides, games, food, an oyster eating contest, live music, unique vendor booths and most of all - FUN!
The Fulton Volunteer Fire Department is pulling out all the stops in preparation for the Annual Fulton Oysterfest. The 2014 festival is scheduled for Thursday, March 6th – Sunday, March 9th, on the waterfront in Fulton, Texas. With over 36,000 visitors in 2011, it was the most successful festival in Oysterfest history.
Oysterfest officials have been working with seafood sources along the Texas Gulf Coast to locate the freshest oysters and other seafood for the event as well as the most popular entertainment. Each year's celebration is a labor of love for the Fulton Volunteer Fire Dept. Over the past 34 years, they have used funds from the festival to purchase equipment and saved to build a new fire station. The New Fire Station is Now Complete. Money raised now goes towards Equipment, Training, & Maintenance. Oysterfest proceeds are the major source of funding for life-saving and fire fighting equipment in the community.
Come join us in Fulton for a fun-filled weekend!! See website for tickets and more information.
03 December 2013
The show takes place at the South Shore Harbour Marina on Clear Lake. From the event website:
Buyers and sellers of boats are set for a great year with some of the best deals and incentive programs at the South West International Boat Show -- Mar. 27-30 -- "Houston’s In-Water Boat Show."
As the Southwest’s premier Power and Sail Show, and the largest in-water boat show in Texas, the show will feature over 200 vendors and a display of every type of vessel, sail and power, from 10ft to 80ft at the South Shore Harbour Marina, and with plenty of free parking and ongoing entertainment, there is no better place to go boat shopping whilst enjoying a great day out with the family.
Boat Show attendees will again have access to free hourly seminars throughout the four days of the Show, and both new and seasoned boaters have the opportunity to sign up for the Discover Boating on water educational programs.
Other attractions within the Show will include the Be A Diver Pool, Live Bands, a Craft Beer Garden and Gourmet Food Trucks.
See website for tickets and more information.
If you see any injured or dead dolphins, please report it. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is reportedly offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. From an Associated Press article:
Over the past several months, dolphins have washed ashore along the northern Gulf Coast with bullet wounds, missing jaws and hacked off fins, and federal officials said they are looking into the mysterious deaths.
The most recent case was of a dolphin found dead off the coast of Mississippi, its lower jaw missing.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday they're asking everyone from beachgoers to fishermen to wildlife agents to be on the lookout for injured or dead dolphins – and any unusual interaction between the mammals and people. Read more...
21 November 2013
The America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association Blog Talk Radio Show airs at 10 a.m. each Friday; however, each show is archived so you can listen anytime you want after the air date. From Janice Kromer, Executive Director, AGLCA:
Jim Stark, Executive Director of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, will be our co-host on the AGLCA Blog Talk Radio show this coming Friday, November 22, 2013. If you're interested in an update on this important waterway, please listen to our show at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.
Go to the tab for Free For Everyone at http://www.greatloop.org (http://www.greatloop.org), scroll down and click on AGLCA Radio. Click on the player that says Listen to AGLCA.
You may also go to http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/) and search the Travel section. You might have to scroll through a few pages to find the AGLCA show. When you do, just click on Play/Chat to listen.
15 November 2013
UPDATE: The New Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor Marina will build a fixed 350-foot "day pier," open to all boaters for day access to the city, rather than the floating dock previously planned...see new WLOX.com article.
11/15/2013 Marina construction is expected to be completed in May. Bay St. Louis, LA, is located off GIWW Mile 55 EHL. From a WLOX.com article:
The $20 million harbor marina now under construction in Bay St. Louis will bring with it an unexpected bonus: It's given city leaders a chance to create a new outdoor venue to attract more tourists.
Officials say the natural design of the marina and the nearby seawall will allow them to create an un-planned amphitheater on the beach front.
A large area of the harbor that protrudes out into the Bay will eventually be covered with concrete. It's normal function will be a loading dock for boaters. But city leaders have identified an additional use.
"It will be utilizable as an events deck," said Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame. Read more...
15 October 2013
Lakewood Yacht Club is located on Clear Lake, off Galveston Bay. From a Houston Chronicle article:
The Lakewood Yacht Club was named Marina of the Year for 2013 at the Marina Association of Texas installation and awards dinner Oct. 8.
"Lakewood was chosen after several site visits by members of the Marina of the Year Committee, whose job it is to visit applicant marinas and determine the marina that best meets the high standards of the award. In order to qualify for the Marina of the Year award, the marina must first be a Certified Clean Marina," according to a release from the club. Read more...
12 September 2013
From an All At Sea article:
The Boy Scouts of America’s Sea Scout program is expanding in Texas with the construction of a $30 million facility with a 50-slip marina on Galveston Island (off GIWW Mile 358 WHL). Amenities include a pool, foot paths and eco-friendly gardens. When completed, the project is expected to serve up to 20,000 Scouts from around the country annually.
The base is located between the northern bank of Offatts Bayou and Broadway Boulevard, across the water from Moody Gardens and nearly adjacent to Pelican Rest Marina. It includes a pedestrian bridge over the highway connecting to additional land for parking and future facilities. In June, a 135-foot crane began lifting concrete pilings for a five-story, 65,000 square-foot building with meeting places, dorms for the scouts and staff, as well as community rooms. Read more...
09 May 2013
UPDATE: The transformation of this section of the GICW has started -- Acme Oyster House has broken ground and is expected to be open by early spring, along with other improvements, according to reports.
(5/9/2013) This little Alabama beach town at GIWW Mile 155 EHL might be best known for Jimmy Buffett's sister's restaurant -- LuLu's. Another famous restaurant may be opened soon as part of the new "Waterway Village" plan -- Acme Oyster House. From a WKRG.com article:
A part of Gulf Shores that most folks never see is being developed as the city's second coast, the intracoastal waterway.
"We have an opportunity to create something special over here." Gulf Shores mayor Robert Craft says "Waterway Village" will take what has been an un-used area and make it a focal point. "We intend to create an alternate vacation destination for dining, shopping, entertainment like Lulu's and Tacky Jack's we're wanting to add to that." Read more...