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Default Update on Marina Damage -- FL Coasts

Special Salty Southeast Florida (and Alabama) Hurricane Damage
Supplement September 24, 2004

Hello Fellow Cruisers:

Below you will discover a compendium of ALL the hurricane damage data
that has come our way so far. In the case of Eastern Florida, the
listing of marinas is the result of my long suffering assistant, Carol
Meyer, actually calling each and every marina that offers transient
dockage and/or fuel between Jacksonville Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
The really disturbing thing is that the list of damage to Eastern
Florida marinas may well be outdated by the first part of next week.
As I suspect everyone on this list knows, that's when Hurricane Jeanne
may well come calling. I guess all we can do now is hope for the best.
May I be so bold as to ask all Salty Southeast subscribers to
appreciate that this supplement was put together in great haste. Some
of the formatting may not be perfect, and some messages from our
fellow cruisers may contains some misspellings. HOWEVER, it is my
sincere belief that these imperfections are minor when weighed beside
the importance of getting this data out to the cruising community
without delay! Enough rambling from me. Here's what we know so far!

Claiborne Young
Watermark Publishing

http://www.CruisingGuide.com

EASTERN FLORIDA

Damage along Florida's eastern coastline was caused primarily by
Hurricane Francis. Of course, that may change next with Jeanne lurking
in the wings!


Here is the listing of marinas along this coastline that suffered
damage, based on my Carol's phone calls. Note that in the haste of
preparing this data, the marinas below are listed in the order by
which we established contact, NOT in geographic order. Only marinas
that reported damage, or those who did not answer, are listed.
Caribbean Jack's Marina (Daytona Beach) - fuel docks not useable, so
no service. 50 ft. slips are gone. There is transient dockage for
boats 30 ft. & under.

Daytona Marina & Boat Works - floating dock broke apart. Docks east of
the charthouse are gone & rebuilding them. Transient & fuel docks are
operational.

Lighthouse Boat Yard (north of New Smyrna Beach) - Transient docks are
gone & will take several weeks to rebuild - they have the wood for
them.

Intracoastal Marina (Melbourne) - docks were affected & are closing up
for the next hurricane.

North Causeway Marina (New Smyrna Beach) - dock damage. No gas or
transients for awhile.

Smyrna Yacht Club - docks damaged. No transients at this time.

Kennedy Pt. Yacht Club (south of Tituville) - no transients & no fuel

Diamond 99 Marina (Melbourne) - few docks torn up & rebuilding, which
will take several weeks. Fuel dock working.

Sebastian Inlet Marian (Hiram's) - lost marina, including docks - long
rebuilding process. Restaurant is ok.

Vero Beach Yacht Club - docks will be replaced. Water got inside
clubhouse. Should reopen Nov. 1.

Vero Beach Mun. Marina - South dock was being redone, but no damage,
so is now behind schedule. Other docks damaged, but useable on short
term transients. Winter mos. dockage (long term) up in the air.

Riverside Marina (north of Fort Pierce) - no transient dockage

Outrigger Yacht Harbor (north of Stuart) - lost some docks & power
heads. 2 mos. back to normal, hopefully. No long term transient right
now. Fuel dock open - slightly damaged. 6 ft. of water off fuel dock.

Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club - no transient docks. Beg. repairs next
week.

Sailfish Marina (Stuart) - fuel dock not open yet. Waiting on
clearance. Transient dock useable.

Mariners Cay (Stuart) - lost 6 slips, a few finger piers. Transient &
fuel dock should be open by Nov.

Pirates Cove (Stuart) - lost some docks, but stayed operational.

Ft. Pierce City - have a mess. Gas & diesel should be working in a
month; transient dock - Jan.

Hutchinson Island Marriott Marina- lots of damage; no power & water
connections, no transients presently, no fuel, repairs underway ASAP

Pelican's Nest (Stuart) - boats on the bottom. Ofc. - 3 ft. of water.
No elec. One phone working. Dock & Marina damage. Some transient
dockage.

Harbor Inn Boatel (Stuart) - no transient dockage for a mo.

Slims Fish Camp (Okeechobee Waterway) - All 5 floating docks down.
Will replace, but will take awhile.

PGA Marina (north of Palm Beach) - no transient dockage - 50% lost.
Fuel dock - ok.

Old Port Cove (North Palm Beach) - lost 40 slips & pilings, but do
have transient dockage & fuel. Few slips under repair.

Cannonsport Marina (Palm Beach, near Lake Worth Inlet) - docks gone.
Nothing there.

Palm Beach Yacht Club - Transient dockage ok if available. No fuel til
Nov.

Frenchman's Marina (south of Palm Beach)- 6 pilings knocked over. Lost
dock boxes. Limited dockage. Fuel - ok.

Northside Marina (Stuart) - 2 docks (end); lost 6 slips. Gas dock
broken - 2 mos. to repair.

Lighthouse Point Yacht Club (south of Palm Beach) - no fuel dock as of
June '04 anyway.

No Answer or Message Left:

Fish Island
Smyrna Marina
Sebastian River Marina & Boat Yard
Pelican Yacht Club
Port La Belle Marina
Riviera Beach Municipal Marina
Delray Beach
Boca Raton Resort & Club Marina
Hall of Fame Marina

And, below we present information directly from our fellow cruisers:

I'm sure some folks may have used the Ft. Pierce City Marina in the
past, but I think it's going to take awhile to get it put back
together this time. This marina was even shown as damaged on the
weather channel right after the hurricane. Good luck to the boaters
coming down from the north... Henry & Rose

Hi Claiborne

[Report on] Daytona Beach
Halifax Harbor fared well with floating docks.
Daytona Marina And Boat Works lost a building full of new Carvers, but
the yard is operational. Carribean Jacks, formerly English Jims, lost
most of their docks, (really should bolt the stringers, nails are not
enough) but shore facilities are OK. All I have seen from Downtown
Daytona Bill Schwartz, Daytona Beach Sail and Power Squadron

We just walked the marina in Palm Coast, Florida, and everything was
in good shape...no damage...we are 1/2 hr. north of Daytona Beach.
Cheryl & Ernie Kazmier

Ft. Pierce City Marina is no more. All of the floating docks were
wiped out --- gone entirely. I heard that 38 boats were sunk and 22+
are still missing. Photos are overwhelming. Interior docks are still
there. They are not taking any transients.
Captain Hiram's in Sebastain, FL -- docks are gone.
Intracoastal Marina in Melbourne, FL almost totally destroyed. A few
boats there, but I don't know if they are taking transients

Claiborne:Just a quick note to say that according to my sister in-law
in Palm Beach County the Palm Beach Post had a story today about the
damage to all the marinas in its area. She said one could go to the
web site: www.palmbeachpost.com
and find the story....hope this helps. I know for sure Ft.Pierce city
marina is gone, and here in Jacksonville both Beach and the one on the
other side are fine. There was damage further down the St. Johns but
not too sure where. One story talked about JAX Naval AirStation marina
suffered major damage and one marina on the Trout river took a hit.
Bob Carroll, Jacksonville

THE FT PIERCE CITY MARINA HAD EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO THEIR DOCKS AND MANY
OF THEIR BOATS IN HURRICANE FRANCES. SOME OF THEIR PERMANENT BOATS
WHICH HAD NOT BEEN DAMAGED WERE MOVED TO THE ST. AUGUSTINE CITY DOCKS
TEMPORARILY. CAPT HIRAMS MARINA AT SABASTION INLET WAS SEVERELY
DAMAGED BUT SABASTION RIVER MARINA NEXT DOOR HAD ONLY LIGHT DAMAGE.
BOTH OF THESE MARINAS HAD RESTAURANTS AND FUEL. LIGHTHOUSE MARINA IN
PONCE INLET HAD SOME DOCK DAMAGE BUT IS STILL OPERATING AS A HAUL OUT
FACILITY. IT CAN HANDLE VESSELS UP TO 65 FEET. INLET HARBOR MARINA IN
PONCE INLET HAD ONLY STACK HOUSE DAMAGE. THEIR FUEL DOCK AND
RESTAURANT ARE STILL OPEN. DAYTONA CITY MARINA IS FINE AS IS PALM
COAST MARINA.

Claiborne, I want to pass on a bit of information concerning the city
marina at Ft. Pierce. We have talked to friends who had boats at that
marina, and they say the marina suffered extensive damage during
Frances. One said the floating dock system on the "outer" part of the
marina is gone. We received copies of a couple of photos of the back
part of the marina, and even there the damage looked awful. Our
friends were lucky; their boats were still afloat. This was one of our
favorite marinas, as the people and facilities were so nice, but we
are wondering where we will go this year. If I hear more I will pass
it along. Berry Stout

Damage Report from St Augustine FL.
We have little or no DAMAGE to public docks and general repair
marinas.
There were a few sinkings and groundings of local boats, and several
private docks were destroyed.
We are seeing a fare amount of power boat canvas damage, but almost no
sail destruction.
From Edward Sargent, Sailmaker/Canvas Shoppe.
904 810 1966

WESTERN FLORIDA

Hurricane Charley was the culprit in Western Florida, south of the
Panhandle. Fortunately, damage along this coastline is confined to the
waters between the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River and Venice
(though Venice, happily, did NOT suffer extensive damage.

Caloosa Isle Marine in North Fort Myers is also open, never having
sustained any damage. They stored my boat during Charlie and Frances.
Although I don't know for sure, I doubt any marinas along the
Caloosahatchee, at least in the Fort Myers area, sustained any
appreciable damage. Our tidal surge was negligible, although the wind
blew over a few trees and did some cosmetic damage. I live on the
Caloosahatchee River here in Fort Myers. South Seas Plantation Marina
is closed until further notice, it's entrance is roped off. Sanibel
Marina is up and running, I just spoke to them and it's business as
usual. Carl Schultz

Claiborne - I received an update on FCYC Clubs either destroyed or
seriously damaged as of today: Pensacola Yacht Club, Charlotte Harbor
Yacht Club, Isles Yacht Club-Punta Gorda, Captiva Yacht Club, Harbor
Ridge Yacht Club - Stuart, Moorings Yacht Club-Vero Beach, Vero Beach
Yacht Club. Damage estimates and return to service estimates vary
widely. Any of these clubs should be contacted by any cruisers. It
stands to reason that public marinas in these same communities were
also hard hit.
Bill Jacobs

I have a home in Punta Gorda and a boat there also both of which
survived nearly unharmed by Charley. This is not the case for many
others in that area who are still trying to fit the broken pieces
back together.The marina situation in Punta Gorda continues to be very
grim and this is not due to Charley. The largest facility known as
Fishermans Village has been closed for over a year and I do not know
the reason for this. The Punta Gorda Municipal Marina is trying to get
permission to dredge a channel to the relatively new 40 slip facility
at Laishley Park on the Peace River, however, they all ready have a
waiting list and there is a problem with the height of the Hwy 41
bridge for most sailboats as it is only 45' at high tide. I keep my
boat just upstream from there at Punta Gorda Marina which is a very
small repair yard sporting two travel lifts and about15 slips.
However, the big problem here is any vessel with more the 3 1/2' draft
will find it very difficult to get in.
Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte (
across the river) have numerous canals with not so modest homes
situated on them and a large number of sailing craft parked there.
Charley did a lot of damage to the homes and the vessels in these
areas. Hope this information helps. Jay

Just received this message...
Park Closure Announcement
Cayo Costa State Park sustained significant damage as a result of
Hurricane Charlie. At this time it is unknown when the park will be
re-opened for visitors. At this time private vessels are permitted to
use the beach area only. Please check the website for status updates.
Reggie Norman - Park Manager

I was through there a few weeks ago. Ft Myers to Boca Grand pass on
the Intracoastal Waterway. All day marks had been repaired. I did not
notice any change in depths on the Intracoastal or in Boca Grand pass.
Sorry no marina reports I did not stop.
Michael Holley
M/V "Princess Hope"

Claiborne -
Good news:
Ft. Myers - City of Ft. Myers Yacht basin and Centennial Harbour
Marina were not hit by hurricanes and are fully open.
Englewood area on ICW - Palm Island Marina and Johnny Leverock's
restaurant and Palm Island resort were not hit by Charley and are
fully open.
Venice - Crow's Nest marina and Venice Yacht Club were not hit by
Charley, had some temporary storm surge from Frances - now fully open.
Going north to Clearwater Beach area - marinas were not damaged by
Charley or Frances and are operational. Clearwater Beach marina had
power outage from Frances but is now fully open.
Bad news:
Sanibel/Captiva Islands - South Seas Plantation and Tween Waters were
hit by Charley and are not open for business.
Punta Gorda - very damaged area with no dockage available. Fisherman's
Village marina was closed for renovation before Charley and remains
closed. Best Western motel docks are damaged and hotel is closed.
Mid-Island marina docks at Holiday Inn were damaged and hotel is
closed. Isles Yacht club and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club are very
damaged and not open for business.
Charlotte Harbor still has lots of debris (trees, roofs, etc.)
requiring very close attention. ICW north of Boca Grande inlet is
relatively free from excess hurricane debris. Watch out for debris
south of Boca Grande inlet on the ICW.
Burnt Store marina had some dock damage but is relatively intact. One
condo area had severe damage, but most of the complex came through
Charley with less severe damage. Portobellos, the restaurant, is open
for business. Boaters should check in advance on dock availability at
Burnt Store Marina. I expect their repairs to move along faster than
in downtown Punta Gorda. Capt. Wendy Young
USCG licensed master
Punta Gorda, FL

South Seas Plantation is out of business for now. They said they were
going to open up in November but I doubt that the marina will be
ready. The channel to get back there is only a few feet deep. They
will probably open with only a few buildings to start with. Chadwick's
restaurant and CW's Deli are open now.
I heard that Useppa Island has nothing left.
No report on Cabbage Key Restaurant but a guess would be that it is
gone.
Tween Waters lost 120ft of dock. They have no water or electric on the
little bit of dock they have left. Our cruise club was scheduled for a
cruise over there in a couple of weeks, but it has been canceled. I
didn't hear if the Old Captiva house Restaurant was gone or not.
The City Yacht Basin in Ft Myers had no damage. There was no damage in
the city.
Marina Town in North Ft Myers is OK.
Cape Harbour Marina in Cape Coral is OK and Burnt Store is also fine.
Moss Marine at Ft Myers Beach is OK.
Ft Myers Yacht Yard had no damage and are busy with repairing boats.
Most small marinas on Charlotte Harbor are out of business or just
have a dock to tie up on, if you want to take a chance on dodging
sunken debris to get in there. Fisherman's Village is out of business.
Most who are out of business plan to rebuild. But I am sure there are
some who will sell to developers rather than rebuild.
Everything in Marco Island & Naples is fine.
Nyla Deputy

NORTHERN GULF COAST

Only those who have had their heads buried in the sand have failed to
hear how Hurricane Ivan laid waste to the Northern Gulf Coast between
Gulf Shores Alabama and Choctawhatchee Bay. The good news is that the
marinas on Mobile Bay, and those in Panama City are up and running!
HOWEVER, as you will see below, many fellow cruisers note that some
portions of these waters are temporarily closed to pleasure craft
traffic, while all carry the potential of sunken wrecks and all sorts
of other debris. The bottom line is that cruising along this coastline
between Choctawhatchee Bay and Mobile Bay is going to be VERY iffy for
months to come!

Notes from Bill Huessman - our sales representative for the Northern
Gulf Coast - Bill lives along the banks of the Northern Gulf ICW, just
east of Mobile Bay. His condo was partially flooded, but, thankfully,
his sailcraft survived with only very minor damage

Tidal surge along the Gulf Shores section of the ICW was 8 to 8 feet
(above Mean High Water) during Hurricane Ivan Pirates Cove is
devastated Bear Point inner docks survived, but the outer piers are
gone Orange Beach Marina took a hit Zekes Landing is basically out of
business - their dry storage collapsed Sportsmans has no dockage Trent
Marina took a hit As of Thursday morning the eastern shore of Mobile
Bay was closed to pleasure boating traffic Even though western portion
of bay is open, local authorities have cautioned pleasure boaters not
to navigate these waters Unless you are in the salvage business and
received a permit from the state of Alabama, you are prohibited from
salvage operations in Alabama waters. If you try to raise a boat
without the proper credentials, you WILL be arrested


Claiborne: The ICW from at least Ft. Walton to Pensacola and probably
beyond has the majority of channel marks either gone or grossly
misplaced. There is lots of stuff in the channel if you could find it
like: houses, sunken boats with masts or not. Personally I would not
attempt passage for some time. I was supposed to take my boat to
Pensacola for bottom paint this week but not now. All of the channels
in Pensacola Bay are officially closed and subject to fine for usage.
George F. Goodall 1986 Catalina 30 TRBS "Frantic" Fort Walton Beach,
Fl.

Thursday: Alabama Department of Marine Resources boat tour Wednesday
showed hurricane debris in all quarters of Mobile Bay-trees, telephone
poles, sections of decking from bay front piers, ladders, overturned
boats, sailboat masts, dumpsters, portable toilets, roofs and huge
chunks of asphalt. Channel markers were missing from every marked
channel on the bay. In some places such as the Weeks Bay channel there
appeared to be no markers left.
This report from Mobile Bay is the good news. The real problems are to
the east!

Moonshine survived but was hit by a few sailboats and had some rub
rail damage and paint scrapes...nothing major... She was anchored in
Rocky Bayou with an FX 85 with 200 3/8" chain, and a 55 lb DEEPSET
with 200' 3/4 nylon... she dragged as did every other boat there, but
was the "slow" dragger so she was hit by the faster sailboats whizzing
by her on their way to grounding and for some destruction. Winds were
reported at 122 MPH at Eglin AFB but then their wind gauge broke.. so
we do not know Max beyond that. I am busy cutting up trees, and
restoring Moonshine gear. One sailboat dragged from Rocky Bayou headed
west and went about two miles into Sarah Ann Bayou and was snagged by
a shimmer and safely secured...with. Not a Scratch!! Giuseppe's wharf
in Niceville has been destroyed with many sunken boats...there are a
number of Sailboats up on Hwy 20 just at the edge of the road... Ted
Brustowicz MD(ret)
"MOONSHINE", DeFever 43
Niceville, Florida

Hi Claiborne,
I am reporting about the Santa Rosa Yacht Club. The Santa Rosa Yacht
Club is a condo stile YC owned by the slip owners of I am one. The
marina is located in Gulf Breeze FL. right at the base of the bridge
to Pensacola Beach. Ivan and his 15 to 20 ft storm surge caused major
destruction to the marina. All the docks including the fuel dock were
destroyed. All of the club facilities including the office were also
destroyed. The rack storage building and the boat inside received only
minor damage. Only one boat was still in the marina when the storm hit
and it was destroyed sinking in the slip. We and our boat are safe and
sound in Nashville, but are not sure where we are going to spend the
winter.
I enjoy reading the Salty Southeast and your other email.
Thanks,
Bill Cook
M/V BonnFire

Yes. We were so luck that our boat was in a yard in Pensacola [Ship
Yard] for an Awlgrip job when Ivan came through. We keep our boat at
Bayou Grande Marina at NAS Pensacola. This 300 slip facility no longer
exists! All that remains is 10 or 12 pilings and stacks of sunken and
destroyed boats. Same is true for every other facility between Mobile
and Destin. We were out this morning trying to find a marina on Mobile
Bay to relocate our boat once we can get out of the yard and the ICW
is open. Cruisers should sit tight where they are until the situation
here clears. Mobile Bay marinas are already stacked up.


The ICW is closed between mile 135 to St. Marks, FL. USCG is trying to
reopen from Mobile Bay to Pensacola in order to deliver supplies to
that city. Pensacola and Destin ship channels are closed. Perdido pass
is closed. USCG urges recreational boaters to stay off waterways.
There are no marinas left in Pensacola: Bahia Mar, Palafox, Seville
Quarter, Southwind, Rod and Reel, Bayou Grande, etc. Damage to the
waterways and marine facilities from Mobile Bay to Panama City is
virtually total.


Claiborne,
I live at Fowl River in Mobile, AL and I wanted to respond to your
email regarding the marinas around Mobile Bay. I can't offer any
definitive info, but I have seen pictures of Dauphin Island Marina and
it looks like it is pretty smashed up. I think everything on the
eastern shore is in bad shape too. Pelican Reef at Fowl River was
under water when I saw it on Thursday 9/16. I think that Dog River is
probably in the best shape of anything around Mobile Bay at this time.
The Lake Forest Yacht Club on the northern end of the bay in Daphne,
AL has a lot of damage. Virtually all of the piers are gone and there
are a lot ofboats sunken inside the marina. The harbor master's
building and the clubhouse suffered damage also. On the bright side, I
didn't much, if any, damage to the boats stored on trailers there.
However, I don't know if they actually rode out the storm at that
location or if they may have been returned there since it passed. Fly
Creek Marina and Fairhope Yacht Club appeared to be in very good
shape. They were doing a lot of clean-up work at FYC, but everything
looks to be in order on both sides of the basin there. The Fairhope
Municipal Marina and Pier, on the other hand, is severely damaged.
Concrete piers here are destroyed with most if not all boats that
stayed here on the bottom. Two large cruising vessels, one power and
one sail, are high and dry on the shore in this area. The bath house
on the pier is a wreck and I have heard that there was damage to the
Fairhope Pier itself, but did not see it. The pier is closed right
now, so I couldn't walk out on it to have a look. The marina at the
Grand Hotel in Point Clear looked to be in order. As mentioned in my
earlier email, the pictures that I have seen of the Dauphin Island
Marina are not encouraging. There appears to be a lot of damage there.
You might want to include in a Salty Southeast Supplement that
thewhereabouts of a lot of boats is unknown and they may present a
hazard to navigation in this area for some time. Thanks for keeping
everyone informed. Respectfully submitted, Keith Morrison Fowl River,
AL

Hi Claiborne,
We rode Ivan out onboard our EndeavourCat 30, Wind Song, while berthed
at the PSMC marina at Pensacola. You can go to our website for the
story and some photos.
www.SpiritWindCharters.com and click on the
link for the story. We had quite a night! Had we not been onboard to
re-secure her after another boat snagged our bow anchor, we'd have
surely suffered severe damage, if not a total loss. As it was we lost
our diesel outboard and pod when she impacted a concrete piling at her
stern. We had a 10 or 11 foot surge, and winds gusting to
approximately 160mph. The Shipyard fared better than any other marina
in the Pensacola area....but even there we had many sunk and crushed
vessels. Cranes are already hard at work clearing rubble and wrecks so
the haul outs can get underway. Obviously, there will be many weeks of
heavy crane work just to clear the area to see what actual facility
restoration and repair is possible. The devastation is really quite
overwhelming.
Other marinas, Palafox, Seville, Bayou Grande, Bahia Mar, Pitt Slip
and the Pensacola Yacht Club are basically gone. Boats and docks are
piled high and scattered over wide areas. Waterways are cluttered with
many sunken and partially sunken vessels and rubble from destroyed
docks and piers. Photos don't do it justice, but in addition to our
site, you should check out the many photo journals at
www.pensacolanewsjournal.com .
We are indeed fortunate to be alive and unharmed.
Susan McCanless

East Pass Marina in Destin Harbor received extensive damage and lost
most of their docks and their gas pumps. Repairs are already underway,
however will most likely be 2-3 weeks before they may be open again.
Approximately 75% of the docks on the north side of Destin Harbor
received damage. There are still several partially submerged boats
throughout the harbor. There are also numerous boats sunk in Santa
Rosa Sound and Cinco Bayous. Extreme caution is necessary if
navigating through any of these areas. Many of the channel markers and
nav aids have also been displaced.
The Sea Buoy at Destin is now resting approximately 100 yards west of
the West Jetties of Destin's East Pass. Destin's East Pass was
experiencing shoaling before the storm, and depths could be very
shallow in the pass now. I do not have an update on the pass' depth at
this time.
Captain Scott Miller / Destin, Florida

TO THE NORTH

My good buddy, and fellow cruising guide author, Fred Myers, has
graciously allowed me to share his note below (which originally
appeared on the Great Loop Cruiser's mailing list).

As all of you know from a previous post, Claiborne Young and I are
aware of how the results of hurricane related weather may affect those
of you heading south. Water conditions on the Tennessee upriver from
Mile 215.3 will be of particular interest if you are attending the
AGLCA Rendezvous to be held October 2-4 at Wheeler State Park Marina
at Mile 277.0. Claiborne will be piecing together information on
facilities along the northern Gulf Coast and sharing it with you as it
becomes available. That will help you plan your trip as you leave the
inland rivers and continue south toward Florida.
And from my vantage point I will keep you abreast of what's happening
on the Tennessee, Cumberland and Tenn-Tom. As the remnants of Ivan
were moving through, several locks on the upper Tennessee were closed
to both commercial and recreational boat traffic. That was because of
high water caused by excessive hurricane related rainfall. Also, the
entire Tennessee River system was still at summer pool which greatly
reduced the system's capacity to store water. After years of study,
TVA began a new program this year that provides for water levels to be
maintained at summer pool levels until after Labor Day. In previous
years, the process of pulling the water down to the winter pool level
began in late July. So it's ironic that the system received water from
back-to-back hurricanes the first
year this new procedure was used.
The system, however, is working fine . And for cruising boaters, the
news is good.
Water levels have already peaked and as of this morning (Tuesday) they
are slowly dropping including here at Florence, Alabama, at Mile 256.1
and are expected to continue to drop.
Reduced water flow will, in turn, reduce the current immediately below
the mainstream dams on the Tennessee. That will be of particular
interest to those attending the rendezvous who will not only be
passing through Kentucky Dam and Pickwick Dam but also Wilson and
Wheeler. Still, the current will be somewhat greater than normal.
Although that shouldn't cause you any serious problems, it could make
for a long day as you come up the Tennessee to Pickwick Lock & Dam at
Mile 206.7. So you may want to consider shortening it by staying
overnight at Clifton Marina at Mile 158.5. That's the closest full
service marina downstream from the dam. Finally, despite the high
water, there has been only a slight increase in the amount of trash in
the river. So that shouldn't be a concern. The story on the Cumberland
is short and sweet: Water levels are near normal. As for the Tenn-Tom
Waterway, water conditions also are good. An important aside to
remember is that water levels on the Tennessee don't affect those on
the Tenn-Tom. That's because no water passes through Whitten Dam, the
first dam on the Tenn-Tom off the Tennessee, except what's needed for
lockage. The three locks on the Tenn-Tom that have been closed the
last two weeks for maintenance are scheduled to reopen on October 1,
as planned. As for the extreme southern end of the Waterway, except
for minor damage and power outages, Ivan didn't seriously affect the
marinas in the immediate Mobile area. Eastern Shore Marina at Fairhope
and Dog River Marine and Grand Mariner Marina are open. The widespread
destruction begins immediately east of there in the area of Gulf
Shores and Orange Beach. Be aware, however, that Mobile Bay is
officially closed to all boats "until further notice." That's because
authorities are still trying to account for missing boats and people.
The word is that if you are caught out there in a boat, you will go to
jail. I will make later posts as needed. In the meantime, have a great
time on the water. Fred Myers CruiseGuide Author & Publisher



















Overall, not a pretty picture.
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