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South of the 17th Street Causeway the waterway jogs east through busy Port Everglades with its all-weather inlet and heavy traffic. One of the world's most active cruise-ship ports, it’s open so is sometimes windy and choppy — and the chop may be from boat wakes. But it's a short and easy passage except when a cruise ship, tanker, freighter or naval vessel with attending tugboats is filling it. And these days, when this is so, the port will probably be temporarily closed to boat traffic anyway, so you shouldn't have to worry about sharing the space with a ship and tugs.

Note: during port closures, you will not be able to pass through the 17th Street Causeway and will have to remain north of the bridge until the port reopens. Northbound ICW traffic is blocked at the south end of the port and the inlet itself is closed also. We publish notices of planned closures (for special events) in our web site update (NEWS) whenever we're advised of them in time. The Port Safety Hotline is no longer in operation but a call to your nearest Coast Guard office (Useful Numbers) should get you any answers you need.

Also, security regulations require pleasure vessels to adhere strictly to the ICW channel which runs down the east side of the port's turning basin from 17th Street Causeway to the inlet. South of the inlet, the port channel narrows to ICW width, but regulations require us to stay to the eastern side as much as possible, 100 yards away from the ships, until we reach the Dania Cut-Off Canal.

Boats requiring more than 56 feet vertical clearance must head out this inlet unless they will stop north of Biscayne Bay's Julia Tuttle Causeway and its fixed bridge.

Just south of the inlet at Mile 1067, Whiskey Creek leads off east into a favorite gunkhole and picnic spot for local small boatmen that's a short walk from the beach. There's a 14-foot fixed bridge, no dockage or moorings, but most locals simply beach their boats on the sandy bank. If you follow suit, remember to mind the tide!

Whiskey Creek also has a southern entrance just above the Dania Beach Boulevard Bridge. The fixed bridge over the south entrance has an 18 foot clearance. This approach allows access to the newly rebuilt Dania Beach (ocean) Fishing Pier — but not the upper picnic area. Dania Beach City Marina remains open with more remodeling scheduled. Unfortunately, only canoes, kayaks or dinghies can make the passage along Whiskey Creek from one end to the other.

Between Everglades Inlet and the mouth of the Dania Cut-Off Canal, past the old turning basin and the warm water outlet from the big generating plant, is some of the best urban sportfishing in the country. Big tarpon and snook come to feed on the baitfish attracted by the nutrients in the warm water. Caution: It’s also an area very popular with manatees, especially in cold weather. Up the Cut-Off Canal are some of the area's largest facilities including the Derecktor yard and Harbour Towne Marina with about twenty marine businesses on site.

Downtown Dania Beach the area along Federal Highway (US 1) about a mile or so north and south of Dania Beach Boulevard — is often called the “Antique Capital of the World.” It's close to the facilities on the Cut-Off Canal, but rather a long walk. Better take a cab.

Southward from Dania Beach the waterway passes through a landcut which lasts all the way to the north end of Biscayne Bay. The mainland side is largely parks and residential areas; the barrier island side is lined with restaurants and other businesses catering to traffic on both the waterway and busy A1A all the way through Hollywood to North Miami and Biscayne Bay. Almost all have docks and are but a block or so from the beach and Hollywood's famed "Broadwalk," a wide paved walkway  that can be a lot of fun to stroll (not to be confused with planked, pier-like "boardwalks"). The Hollywood City Marina is a couple miles south on the mainland, with yet more restaurants over on the waterway's eastern shore.

Not far south of Hollywood Boulevard the marina off to the west at Harbor Islands is Loggerhead Club & Marina - Hollywood. A bit farther down on the east side, north of Hallandale Beach Bridge and filling nearly all the available land between waterway and beach, is the Westin Diplomat. Hotel and dockmaster's phones are on Chart 11. (Dockmaster number is his cell, 24/7.)

Also, north of the Hallandale Bridge, the City of Hallandale Beach has a brand new marina on the Three Islands Waterway. It is to the the West off the ICW, past Three Islands Blvd. Bridge (with 17’ clearance) with a few transient slips, showers and pumpouts.

Just after Mile 1075 the posh Loggerhead Marina - Aventura lies off the channel to the west with shops, restaurants and cafes. Another elegant marina with world-class amenities and restaurants — Turnberry Isle  — is farther south on the right. These facilities are in the City of Aventura, a largely residential (condo) community with an unusual number of shopping centers along U.S. 1. There are restaurants and one center has a 24-screen cinema. All are but a short cab ride from the facilities. There are a few other facilities (not visible from the ICW) listed on Chart 11 to the north of Maule Lake. (Continue...)

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Cruising the Gold Coast