East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Florida Hurricane Update by Mel Neale


St Augustine:
• Camachee Cove: No damage, all services available
• Conch House Marina and Resort: Some damage, they report that they should begin pumping fuel again “any day now”.
• St Augustine Municipal Marina: Some damage, fuel and dockage available.

Dick Giddings, a former cruiser now active in the SSB “Cruisheimer’s Net” (8.152 USB at 8:30 am local eastern time), has gathered some information for us:

Caribbean Jack’s (formerly English Jim’s), Daytona Beach,
No fuel currently, hope to have temporary service soon, some dockage is available now, restaurant and boaters lounge open.

Halifax Harbor Marina, Daytona Beach
Some damage, diesel and some transient dockage available. Gas currently not available, but will be soon.

Reported to Dick from TowBoatUS in Daytona (for area between St Augustine and Titusville):

• floating debris on ICW
• many channel markers gone or moved
• ICW behind Matanzas Inlet about the same as always, meaning no significant change because of hurricanes, and generally good shape because of recent dredging (May, 2004)
• ICW behind Ponce Inlet, no known depth problems
• Ponce Inlet (from Atlantic) has all markers in place and is being used
• ICW: Mosquito Lagoon, Haulover Canal & upper Indian River to Titusville, no known depth problems
• TowBoatUS encourages that cruisers call on VHF Channel 16 for local knowledge because as the season progresses, problems may become apparent.
Anchorages in Daytona Beach (as reported by the marinas):
• Mile 829 (above & below Seabreeze Bridge) appears good
• Mile 832 appears good
Vero Beach Municipal Marina:
The harbor, channel, and fuel docks are all open. The moorings are currently being refitted and all 57 will be available for the transient season. Triple rafting will be permitted. Some docks were being replaced pre-hurricane and completion may be delayed.

We called around in Fort Pierce and received the following information:
• Harbortown Marina: some damage, fuel available, limited transient dockage (772-466-0947).
• Consolidated Port Petroleum: diesel fuel, but no gas, is available, located in the Commercial Basin, phone 772-461-1020. Use more caution than usual in approach and docking as they report that the “wood dock is no longer there.” This can be a difficult place to dock. Approach with caution; avoid in easterly winds.
• Fort Pierce City Marina: Floating piers section in front of marina gone, fuel is expected to be available around mid October, limited transient dockage space is currently available in the inside basin and more is expected shortly as repairs are made to the outside. Call ahead for updated information, 772-464-1245.
• Anchorage space outside of Faber Cove may be limited due to construction of the condo/marina on Causeway Island.

Hurricane Damage in Northern Bahamas:

Oct. 6, 2004: I just spoke to the office at Old Bahama Bay, West End, Grand Bahama. They report that they are closed and will not reopen till sometime next year, 2005. Phone is 242-346-6500.

We received a first hand report from Marsh Harbour and have been able to piece together information from various sources. There were no reports of death or injuries in the Abacos during Jeanne

Marsh Harbour: Marti Brown (author of “Marine SSB Radio for Idi-Yachts” and “HF Radio E-Mail for Idi-Yachts”) was in Marsh Harbour during Jeanne. She stayed ashore, but her boat was berthed at the Marsh Harbour Marina. She reports that the Marsh Harbour Marina and the vessels docked there suffered no major damage, although there was flooding of the Jib Room due to the 4.5 ft storm surge on top of the full moon high tide. The Marsh Harbour Marina is currently operational. The marinas on the opposite (south) side of the harbor did have major damage and are currently not operational. These would include the Conch Inn Marina, Mangoe’s Marina and Restaurant, Harbour View Marina and Port of Call Marina. Boat Harbour Marina on the opposite side of the peninsula had some damage, although it is now open for business. She had no information on Marsh Harbor Boatyard yet. There was some damage at the Crossing Beach ferry docks but the road is passable and all ferry operations should be up and running by now. The airport is also open now. Marti has been cautioned by others that there may be shoaling and shifting of channels on the Little Bahama Banks on the northern route to and from Abaco from effects of these two hurricanes.

Dick Giddings received confimation from Patti Toler (“Blue Dolphin”) as to the status of the above marinas at Marsh Harbour. She also reported that Albury’s at Man O’ War is busy unbeaching boats and cleaning up the two harbors at Man O’ War.

We have heard further on scene reports on the ham radio Waterway Net (7.268 LSB, 7:45 local eastern time) that the damaged marinas in Marsh Harbour are making repairs and hope to be up and running within a few months.

Hope Town, Elbow Cay area: Sea Spray Resort and Lighthouse Marina docks: no major damage. Both open for fuels. There was a breach in the dune at the southern part of the island during Frances, made more definite during Jeanne, but road is reported passable (reported during Jeanne and directly after at www.hopetownfirerescue.com)

NOTE: As we all are recovering and moving ahead from these four storms, accurate information is essential. Many are attempting to gather it and we’re all grateful for everyone’s efforts. We’re giving here information from first hand reports. But it’s important that we remember that as events and repairs rapidly progress, the facts may change. If you’re interested in going to any marina or fuel dock in the affected area, you should check at the time for the most recent information. They may be open and ready for business today even though they weren’t open yesterday. It’s also important to be very cautious in any area affected by the storms because of the possibilities of changed bottom characteristics.

Goodbye to a good boat
Hurricane Jeanne is the only major hurricane (Cat 3 or higher) to come ashore in the US between the Palm Beach area of Florida and Savannah, GA in the more than 100 years since records have been kept. This historical event dealt a deathblow to our home for nearly 20 years, the former “Chez Nous”, Gulfstar Sailmaster 47. She had just survived Frances 20 days earlier, relatively unharmed, at Fort Pierce City Marina. While she was one of many vessels lost in these two storms, she was more than just a “boat” to the two families who had called her home during her 25 years of life. Her second family plans to also continue the liveaboard lifestyle. She was good to us all.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale