STEINHATCHEE*

The entrance to Steinhatchee (pronounced STEEN hatchee) is located off the ominously-named Deadman’s Bay. From early July through September Steinhatchee is a Mecca for recreational scallopers seeking the succulent blue-eyed bivalve and literally hundreds of boats are out on the water at the start of the season and on weekends afterwards. Even in the off season it’s an endless boat parade coming and going to and from the Gulf.

The run into the river from the Gulf is several miles long and the waters on either side of the marked channel are very shallow. Shortly after you get inside the land you come to a No Wake Zone that extends for a couple of miles up to a fixed bridge that would stop any boat with a mast.

There are two marinas in the town, Sea Hag on the left and Good Times Marina and Hotel just beyond on the right. Both sell gas and diesel and have restaurants. Docking can be a little tricky with the swift current running in the river.

The anchorage for boats begins a little ways up river from Good Times Marina. The holding ground is good sand and mud. There are a dozen or more boats anchored in there on the right hand bank of the river. Since it’s tidal don’t try anchoring too close to the bank if you’re not sure of the height of the tide or you’ll find yourself aground. 

On the left side there is a small restaurant with a floating dock where you can tie up and dine and they’ll let you leave your boat there for a while so you can hike to the small store about a half mile away to do some basic shopping.

Since the river is basically a long No Wake Zone in order to get an early start into open water in the morning it’s easy to stage yourself by anchoring around Red Day Marker 22 near the start of the No Wake Zone. You won’t be bothered by wakes.

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