SECTION B - News-y & Cruise-y Items

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR SHIP's STORE SALE!
See information on our store's 50% OFF sale at the beginning of this update...
 

NEW FOR AUGUST

AN INVITATION TO KAYAKERS from ST AUGUSTINE'S DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION & PARKS

Hello Kayakers and Nature Explorers

I would like to invite you to an informal meeting at Trout Creek to share experiences and talk about how and why kayaks hauls are shaped the way they are.

We will meet at 9:00 am, Friday, August 8th in the gazebo by the water front dock.

We will cover the following topics:  hard vs. soft chine, rocker, effects of the water line, sit inside or on top, flat and V-shaped bottoms (all have their own purpose). When choosing a boat for yourself I always recommend paddling as many types of Kayaks as you can. I will have at least 3 types of boat for you to look at and we will discuss other shapes not present.

Please bring your questions, comments and your boat (if you have one).

Please RSVP if you would like to attend.

Mr. AyoLane Halusky, St. Johns County Naturalist
Department of Recreation and Parks
Trout Creek Park
6795 Collier Rd.
St. Augustine  Fl. 32092
904-209-0348 office
www.sjcfl.us/recreation
www.sjcfl.us/CountyNaturalist/

 

VIEW FROM THE MARINA

BEING SAFE ON THE WATER


By Barb Hansen

Boating is popular year round in Florida.  However, this time of year boaters are taking to the rivers, lakes and oceans from coast to coast.  But it just breaks my heart when I read news stories about boaters who suffer serious injuries – sometimes -- even death because, for whatever reason they didn’t follow good safety practices.
I saw this story about three friends out in the evening to enjoy the weather and lights on shore when they crashed their 23-foot boat into a 36-footer with its anchor lights on and occupants asleep.  Fortunately, no one on board the anchored boat was injured, but one of the passengers on the small boat died.  Officials were uncertain what caused the crash, but had sufficient reason to take a blood sample from the operator of the smaller craft. 
While this incident is very sad of itself, it does corroborate what the U.S. Coast Guard detailed in its latest report on boating accidents.  The top five contributing factors to boating accidents are: excessive speed, lack of experience on the part of the operator, not paying attention, not maintaining a proper lookout and machinery failure. 
Last year, the Coast Guard reported 560 deaths, 2,620 injuries and more than $39 million of property damage as a result of boating accidents.  Even though boating accidents were down compared to the previous year, those Coast Guard numbers got my attention.  So what can we do to avoid becoming one of those statistics?
If you are new to boating, please consider taking a boating safety course.  Information is easily accessible online.  The same is true of vessel safety checks, -- not only what the maker of your boat suggests but also what the Coast Guard recommends.  Be vigilant about maintaining your vessel and making sure that things like flares and fire extinguishers are kept up to date.
Canoeing, kayaking and paddle-boarding have grown in popularity across the country, as well.  If you enjoy one of these sports, make sure you know what your limits are so you don’t find yourself out at sea and out of personal “gas” or short on daylight.
Carbon monoxide or CO is sometimes referred to as the silent killer.  It is a potentially lethal boating danger despite the fact that boating is an outdoor endeavor.  Make sure that any vessel with a cabin has a CO detector as well as a smoke alarm, particularly those with a generator.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but please don’t mix boating and booze.  The Coast Guard notes that alcohol use is even more hazardous on the water than on land.  It is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.  The marine environment – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker’s impairment.  And a boater with a blood alcohol concentration above .10 per cent is estimated to be more than 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than an operator with zero blood alcohol concentration.  Please not the key word there is “die”.
Yes, there are differences in life jackets.  As with so many things, you get what you pay for.  Some are designed to keep your head above water and help you remain in a position permitting proper breathing.  The last thing you or your crew would want to be thinking as you are floating in the Gulf, hoping to be rescued is, “I wish I had spent the money for a better life jacket.”
No, adult life jackets won’t work for kids.  Each adult and child on board must have one that fits him or her properly.  They should be tested for buoyancy and checked for wear at least once a year and properly stowed when not in use.
A “Float Plan” is a great way to let family and friends know your boating plants.  Whether you are heading out for a day on the lake or a two week cruises to the Keys, be sure that you complete a float plan before casting off.
I realize that despite your best efforts to equip and maintain your vessel properly and everyones best intention to be careful, boating accidents can happen.  In those instances, remember Federal Law requires the boat operator to file a boating accident report with our state reporting agency, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at: www.myfwc.com
The Coast Guard’s website, www.uscgboating,org, has a great deal more information on boating safety and available courses.
Have a great time boating this summer, and please be safe.
Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school.  Contact her at info@swfyachts.com, phone: 239/257-2788

 

ONGOING FRANKLIN COUNTY EVENTS...

turtle

Be Kind to the Turtles
The beaches of Franklin County are home to  endangered loggerhead sea turtles which arrive annually at this time of year to nest on the beach. Visitors are reminded please to remove chairs, tents and beach toys at the end of the day so the turtles can move about the shoreline freely as they come ashore at night to lay their eggs.

Visitors interested in learning about sea turtle nesting can attend 2 pm turtle orientation meetings on Wednesdays during July at the Apalachicola National Estaurine Research Reserve Visitor Center in Eastpoint. The presentations are hosted by the SGI Volunteer Turtlers and ANERR. Common sense turtle tips include removing all beach chairs and umbrellas at the end of the day and use red filtered flashlights when walking on the beach at night to avoid disorienting hatchlings. Click here to learn more.

 

Upcoming Summer Art Workshops
The Apalachicola School of Art continues a series of art workshops this summer.
 
Painting "IN THE MOMENT" with Lori Putnam - September 11-14
Spend 4 days working en plein air with American Impressionist Lori Putnam, capturing the culture and history of Apalachicola.

 

artificial reef

Area Features Dozens of Artificial Reefs

There are nearly 50 artificial reefs located offshore from the Franklin County shoreline. These fish hotels stretch from Alligator Point to Apalachicola and are responsible for providing valuable habitat for hundreds of fish species that migrate through the region. You can see the list of reef locations by clicking here.
 
Charter captains are booking trips now! For a complete overview of Franklin County's fishing scene, click here.

 

Grouper

For a complete list of tournaments planned for later this summer as well as other events in the county, click here. For area marina, charter and general fishing information, click here.

 

Paddling 8-23

Paddling Trip Aug. 23
Join the Apalachicola Riverkeepers on their monthly paddling trip on August 23 in and around the Apalachicola River and Bay. The trips, which are hosted each fourth Saturday, are free to members and $30 for non members.
We’ll explore one of the many creeks or tributaries of the mighty Apalachicola River, and sometimes the mighty Apalachicola River itself. Most of these trips are suitable for paddlers of many different levels of skill and experience. Just let us know what your level is, and we’ll almost always be able to accommodate you. On those rare occasions that require more skill, we’ll suggest a future trip that’s more suitable.

We have kayaks available on “first-reserve, first-get basis.” Each one-person kayak includes a PFD (personal floatation device) and paddle. If you bring your own kayak, don’t forget your own paddle and PFD, which must be worn at all times while on the water.
Please plan to reserve your space (and your kayak, if needed) at least two days in advance. Reservations for 4th Saturday Paddle trips can be requested by email or by calling the Apalachicola Riverkeeper office at 850-653-8936. Prior to the paddle, the trip organizer will contact paddlers and provide them with additional details (time, point of departure, weather uncertainties, etc.).

DON’T FORGET! Paddlers need to bring: water; snacks/lunch; sunscreen; bug spray; hat; camera; and any other items you might want/need, and all in a water proof bag which can be secured to the boat. Make sure you wear clothing that won’t weigh you down if it gets wet.

 

Lodging Providers Offer Spring Season On-line Specials
 
Many of lodging providers in Franklin County are offering Spring vacation deals.  Click here for a complete listing of accommodations.

Visit  SaltyFlorida.com to explore attractions, natural amenities and cultural heritage as well as our beaches. Accommodations History Fishing and Outdoors Arts and Heritage Birding Eco Tours Museums Marinas and Boating Outdoor Exploration Parks Shopping

Franklin County Tourist Development Council • Post Office Box 819 • Apalachicola, Florida 32329
Toll Free: 866-914-2068 • www.saltyflorida.com

 

Estuaries Day Sept. 26
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) celebrates the annual National Estuaries Day at its Research and Visitor Center in Eastpoint on September 26. The festivities will run from 1:30-6 p.m. and will feature family-friendly activities and exhibits.  The Visitor Center is located near the St. George Island Bridge at 108 Island Drive, Eastpoint.
Feeling like doing more for the environment? Join your neighbors Sept. 20 for Franklin County's annual Coastal Cleanup. There are cleanup locations throughout the county.

 

Forgotten Coast Paddle Club Hosts monthly paddle event
Can't get enough paddle love? Join the Forgotten Coast Paddle Club for their monthly paddle event in August. The club, which recently hosted an attempt to break the world's biggest kayak gathering are already planning next year's attempt. Contact the Paddle Club for the schedule.

 

Ice Festival in August
Honors Dr. John Gorrie, Father of Modern Refrigeration
Apalachicola will honor Dr. Gorrie next month as part of the upcoming Water Street Festival of Ice.
On Friday August 15 noted author and ice expert Ellie Morris will present a talk about the impact the introduction of ice on early North Florida development. Morris’ ice presentation will be the first in the City’s 2014-2015 Visit Florida funded lecture series.
Saturday, August 16, the town will host a re-enactment of the first delivery of ice to Apalachicola and celebrate Dr. John Gorrie's induction into the Florida Hall of Inventors with a proclamation from Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson and ceremonial champagne toast. Ice carving, snow cones and music will follow at the John Gorrie Museum located at 46 6th Street. Later in the month, Aug. 30, the cool continues with a cool jazz concert on the docks. Click here for details.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER - GUIDED BOAT EXCURSIONS

Wabasso Island, FL – The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) conducts numerous kayak and canoe excursions around Wabasso Island, Pelican Island, and the St. Sebastian River. In addition to seeing wonderful scenery, including multiple bird species, fish rising to the water surface, and various kinds of native vegetation, many lucky boaters spot dolphins, manatees, and alligators in their natural habitat. Boating is the best way to explore this environment in a close-up way.

Canoe excursions are held every Saturday. They are led by knowledgeable guides who explore “off the beaten path” canoe trails where water birds and mangrove tree crabs abound. The guide will explain ways that participants can positively impact the ecology of the Lagoon. The fee, including canoe rental and gear, is $15 per adult and $7 per child ($3 discount for ELC members).

Canoe

Three kayaking excursions are offered by the ELC for both experienced kayakers and beginners. Instruction is included for beginning paddlers. One trip explores the shallow waters around Wabasso Island to see beautiful views of the Indian River Lagoon not accessible from motor boats. Another explores America’s first national wildlife refuge, Pelican Island. The third paddles up the St. Sebastian River, one of the few remaining natural coastal rivers in Florida. The cost, including kayak rental is $30 per adult and $25 per child ($2 discount for ELC members). The schedule of the various boating excursions is available on the ELC’s web site, www.DiscoverELC.org. Reservations may be made by calling (772)589-5050 ext. 114.

The Environmental Learning Center is located north of Vero Beach off County Road 510 at the western end of the Wabasso Bridge; address is 255 Live Oak Drive. The  campus includes exhibit areas, native plant gardens, picnic facilities, gift shop, and a visitor center.

Find ELC membership benefits, a list of its many field excursions, Ecology Adventures, including nature walks, canoe excursions, and boating adventures at www.DiscoverELC.org. Admission is $5 per person, children 12 and under free, and ELC members receive free admission year-around. The first Saturday of every month is free to all.

 

RudderClub

 

Welcome to the First Coast Sailing Association Website! www.sailjax.com/
FCSA is a volunteer group formed to coordinate PHRF sailboat racing in the NE Florida region.
Board members are from the area yacht clubs and sailing organizations.

 

Junior Sail
Fall
 
Director:
Hal Runnfeldt
 
Contact:
jrunnfeldt@bellsouth.net
 
September 7th and 21st
October 5th and 19th
November 2nd and 16th
 
1300 - 1500 or later

 

Gourmet Aviator Website www.gourmetaviator.com

 

Adult Sailing
2014 Session Dates:
0900 to 1500
 
July 26th, 27th
August 1st, 2nd
September 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th
 
Contact:
office@rudderclub.com

 

St. John’s Riverkeeper’s Message

Recent SJR dolphin deaths
 
Please alert River Patrol members to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Hotline to report any ill or deceased dolphins:
 
888-404-FWCC (3922)
 
Unfortunately, dolphin mortality is still occurring in the area, including areas near JU and well within the River. One carcass was recently retrieved from Putnam County.
 
Rose Borkowski, DVM
Dept. of Biology and Marine Science
Jacksonville University - Jacksonville, FL.

 

Joel Shannon Summer Camp

2014 Session Dates:
0800 to 1630
 
July 14th - 18th
July 21st - 25th
July 28th - August 1st  
 
Contact:
office@rudderclub.com

 

Beer Can Racing

2014 Session Dates:
2nd and 4th Saturdays 1500
 
July 12th, 26th
August 9th, 23rd
 

WATERY KEY LARGO RACE TAKES ANY BOATS THAT FLOAT AUG. 16

KEY LARGO, Florida Keys -- Trashy items like PVC pipe, buckets, pool noodles, plastic wrap, lawn furniture or cardboard can be bound together as "hulls" during Key Largo's Anything That Floats regatta race set for Saturday, Aug. 16.

On the third Saturday of August each year, organizers of the wacky race task resourceful crews of two, four or more people to reuse, recycle and regenerate floatable items found around the house to construct their boats.

Boat builders need to bind together their vessels with all-purpose duct tape, plastic wrap or other sticky substances long enough to hold team members inside during the half-mile dash through a buoyed course set in Blackwater Sound from Key Largo's Caribbean Club to Sundowners and back.

High-spirited teams can employ oars, paddles or even hoist old T-shirts as sails to propel their vessel. However, entries can be disqualified for incorporating "offenders" including motors, foam, floats, rafts or pool toys.

A captains party is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at Seρor Frijoles, mile marker 103.9 bayside. Saturday is race day, with team check-in beginning at 2 p.m. at Seρor Frijoles. Race events begin at 3 p.m., and boats depart from the waterfront dock at the adjacent Sundowners Restaurant. The offbeat challenge is free to enter and to watch.

Prizes are awarded in categories such as best-costumed crew, most creative vessel, fastest vessel, best hard-luck story and vessel containing the most participants that still floats. Participants must be 13 or older.

Key Largo's waterfront locations offer excellent viewing areas where spectators can cheer on team favorites and enjoy sunset with post-race live music and more fun.

Event information: www.keylargoanythingthatfloatsrace.com
Key Largo visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • www.keysvoices.com • www.youtube.com/floridakeystv

 

NEWS RELEASE

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA YACHTS OFFERS DISCOUNT FOR THREE-DAY OR LONGER POWER/SAIL CHARTERS IN 2015


Cape Coral, Florida – (July 15, 2014) – Southwest Florida Yachts  has announced a special 5 per cent discount for 2015 power or sail charters of three days or more.
“We are so pleased to begin our thirty-first continuous year of power and yacht charters, power and yacht courses that we wanted to express our gratitude to our wonderful customers and those we hope to introduce to our company and great cruising area in the near future,” said Barb Hansen, Southwest Florida Yachts’ co-owner.
The discount applies to charters that begin on or after January 1, 2015 and end on or before December 31, 2015. For example, a $4,000 per week motor yacht charter will receive a discount of $200 off the charter fee.
Based at Tarpon Point Marina here, Southwest Florida Yachts has fleet of power and sail yachts for captained or bareboat charters.  The power fleet includes trawlers from 32 to 42-feet, while the sailing fleet is comprised of vessels from 29 to 41-feet.  Power and sail courses include hands-on, liveaboard instruction for real-life sailing and cruising experience.  
“We are hands-on owners doing what we enjoy,” said Hansen.  “We take an intensely personal interest and delight in the success and enjoyment of our customers and friends, always striving to provide more than what is expected.”
For more information, visit www.swfyachts.com, email: info@swfyachts.com, “like” us (Southwest Florida Yachts or Florida Sailing and Cruising School) on Facebook or call: 239/257-2788 or 800/262-7939.  The address is 6095 Silver King Boulevard, Cape Coral, Florida 33914.

 

South Florida Fall Boat Show and 7th Annual Florida Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival

Fall Boat Show – Marine Flea Market – Seafood Festival  Used Boat Showcase – Public Boat Auction

Advance Discount Tickets Available now! Purchase your admission tickets online and save 50% to purchase CLICK HERE
 
September 12-14, 2014, shoppers and guests will be able to view and purchase a wide variety of marine items including boating equipment, engine parts, boating apparel, diving equipment, antiques, maps, furniture, marine artwork, jewelry, marine artifacts, floating docks and more.
 
Those looking to sell or purchase a boat or watercraft can head to the Boat Showcase where private sellers and boat dealers will be on hand, separate from the Marine Flea Market, providing a convenient location for negotiations and browsing. Alternatively, there is a Public Boat Auction on Sunday featuring more than 100 boat repossessions, short sales, dealer trades and private liquidations for sale.
 
Warm up with hot deals. Boat shows are the place to buy!  New model and closed out boats are available to buy on site. Often some of the best prices of the year are available as exhibitors offer special show pricing or other incentives. Plus, it’s the perfect time to order a new boat to ensure it arrives ready to launch in the spring.
 
Visit the South Florida Fall Boat Show website for more information, special hotel rates and specific driving directions: www.SouthFloridaFallBoatShow.com. Boat Dealer applications are still being accepted. For information and discount tickets, visit the website or contact Under the Sun Promotions, Inc. at 954-205-7813, FAX: 561-395-5389

 

FLORIDA FALL BOAT SHOW

Florida Fall Boat Show is set to sail into West Palm Beach on Friday, September 19th through Sunday, September 21, 2014 at the South Florida Fairgrounds
While boats are the main attraction, this show offers much more. The Fairgrounds will be packed with an impressive display of marine accessories. The Marine Mart will have all types of motors including inboard and outboard gas and diesel. A wide range of other types of marine products --- hardware, electronics, nautical hardware, clothing, shoes, and nautical gifts will on sale.  
Warm up with hot deals. Boat shows are the place to buy! Hundreds of new model and closed out boats are available to buy on site. Often some of the best prices of the year are available as exhibitors offer special show pricing or other incentives. Plus, it’s the perfect time to order a new boat to ensure it arrives ready to launch in the Spring.
In addition to the boats and merchandise, seafood vendors will be ready to satisfy hungry customers, offering delicious seafood including lobster, conch, shrimp, crab and fish served up many different ways. 
Admissions is $10.00 and children 12 and under are free. As always there is plenty of free parking at the fairgrounds.
Held in Conjunction With The 6th Annual Florida Nautical Flea Market and Seafood Festival www.FLNauticalFleaMarket.com

 

GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION COUNCIL MAKING PROGRESS

Approval of project-vetting process for the Council-Selected Restoration Component
 
TALLAHASSEE – The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council has made significant progress in finalizing the processes for implementing large-scale restoration projects throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Approval of this process means council members can begin submitting projects as early as next month, with project-vetting activities taking place later this fall. The Council will invest in specific actions, projects and programs that can be carried out in the near-term to help ensure on-the-ground results to restore the overall health of the ecosystem.
The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) was signed into law early in July 2012. The RESTORE Act allocates 80 percent of the Clean Water Act administrative and civil penalties paid in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The Council was established by the RESTORE Act and includes representatives from the five Gulf States and several federal agencies. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission work closely together on Council activities.  
“The state of Florida Gulf restoration priorities align very well with the Council’s Initial Comprehensive Plan goals,” said Mimi A. Drew, who serves as Governor Rick Scott’s designee to the Council and is a former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. “The Council-Selected Restoration Component amounts to more than $200 million, and we look forward to the development of many significant restoration projects in Florida.”
The state of Florida will continue to seek broad participation from stakeholders and anticipates convening community conversations to provide information about the project-vetting process as well as to collect input that will inform the development of a draft Funded Priorities List (FPL). Dates and locations can be found on FDEP’s Deepwater Horizon site as more information becomes available.
The projects the Council intends to prioritize for funding will be included on the draft FPL, which the council plans to publish for the public to review in late 2015. After considering all public comment, and making any necessary changes, the Council will finalize the initial FPL and selected projects will be funded with available Transocean settlement funds.
“Two years after the passage of the RESTORE Act, and four years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the council is well-positioned to begin the process of selecting restoration projects. These foundational steps will serve to expedite our ability to fund ecosystem restoration projects,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, executive director of the council.
DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

 

FLORIDA KEYS
'HEROES SALUTE' EVENT PLANNED FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN MIDDLE KEYS

DUCK KEY, Florida Keys — Military, fire rescue, police and medical personnel are to be honored with specially priced rooms and recreational programs as part of an annual Heroes Salute Labor Day Weekend held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. Events are centered at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key, off U.S. Highway 1 at mile marker 61 oceanside.

Highlights of the "heroes in action" weekend include a family fun night Friday, Aug. 29, with a Touch-a-Truck event, food, games and contests. Set for 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., the event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, an early morning Heroes Salute 5k Run/Walk is planned followed by a post-race party. Also scheduled is an evening cookout and honorary lighting of the fire pit with a photographic video tribute at sunset to honor fallen heroes and those formerly and currently in action.

A participation fee applies for the 5k and cookout events. Runners can register for the 5k at www.themeruns.com/home/heroes-salute/.

Sunday features an American-style barbecue, live music performance from country music and television star Daniel Lee Martin and fireworks show to conclude the evening.

Tickets for the All-American barbecue are available for advance purchase and cover admission to the evening events. Ticket prices are $25.95 for adults, $13 for kids age 4-12 and free for children 3 and under.

Each year Hawks Cay Resort partners with fast-casual restaurant franchise Firehouse Subs to donate a portion of proceeds to the chain's primary charity, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

Accommodations at several Marathon-area hotels, inns and lodging properties are available during the Labor Day weekend in addition to specially priced guest room rates at Hawks Cay Resort.

Heroes Salute also includes value-added offers at Hawks Cay Resort on Dolphin Connection programs, fishing, diving, water sports and spa treatments between Aug. 17 and Nov. 25, 2014.


Event information: www.hawkscay.com/events/
Marathon visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/marathon or 1-800-262-7284
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • www.keysvoices.com • www.youtube.com/floridakeystv

 

KEY LARGO TO HOST SEPTEMBER LIONFISH DERBY SEPT. 13

FLORIDA KEYS -- Divers can help preserve Florida Keys reefs and earn cash prizes during a fun, competitive derby event to capture and remove as many non-native lionfish as possible from Keys waters.

Reef Environmental Education Foundation is sponsoring a one-day derby Saturday, Sept. 13, at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, located at mile marker 102.5 in Key Largo.

REEF partners with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the dive community to cultivate hands-on, focused opportunities for Keys visitors who enjoy the natural resources to take action and remove lionfish, a popular aquarium fish believed to have been introduced to Florida waters during the 1980s.

The lionfish is considered an invasive species whose rapidly growing populations in Atlantic waters are outcompeting native fish for food and territory.

Derby divers vie for more than $3,500 in prize money. First- through third-place teams are rewarded for the most lionfish captured as well as the largest and smallest individual lionfish.

Teams of up to four people can hunt from sunrise to 5 p.m., collecting lionfish by netting or spearing while on SCUBA, snorkeling or free diving. The public is invited to watch the derby scoring and filleting demonstrations and taste free lionfish samples.

Early registration fee is $120 and includes one pair of puncture-resistant gloves per team. A mandatory participants meeting to cover lionfish ecology, their safe handling, and collection tools and techniques is set for Friday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Participants can dive from a private vessel or a professional dive operator's charterboat.

Event information: www.reef.org/lionfish/keylargoderby or 305-852-0030
Florida Keys diving: www.fla-keys.com/diving
Florida Keys visitor information: www.fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • www.keysvoices.com • www.youtube.com/floridakeystv

 

BREWFEST TO RULE KEY WEST'S LABOR DAY WEEKEND

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- More than 150 beers and ales, including unique microbrews, are to be on tap at Key West BrewFest, scheduled Thursday through Monday, Aug. 28 through Sept. 1.

The selection is to include such intriguingly named offerings as Andygator by Abita and Toasted Coconut Porter by Orange Blossom Pilsner. Specialty brews from groups such as the Conch Republic B.U.B.B.A.'s brewing club and shortly-to-open Florida Keys Brewing Company are to be available as well.

BrewFest begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, with a beer school featuring the Dogfish Head Brewing Company at the World of Beer, 511 Greene St. A kick-off party is set for 5 p.m. at the Smokin' Tuna Saloon, 4 Charles St., featuring some of the Tuna's craft and specialty beers.

Subsequent festival events include beer dinners and late-night gatherings, a pool party at the Southernmost Hotel, 1319 Duval St.; a craft beer and music event at Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval St.; the All AmeriCAN Sunset party featuring leading craft beers in a can at Ocean Key Resort's Sunset Pier, 0 Duval St.; a home brew happening, beer breakfasts and even an early morning beer-and-footrace challenge dubbed the Magic Hat Hot Trot — where participants are encouraged to wear wacky "magic hats."

The celebration's centerpiece, the BrewFest Signature Tasting Festival with more than 150 beers from around the world, is set for 4-8 p.m. Saturday on Key West's South Beach at 1405 Duval St. Admission is $35 per person in advance, $40 at the door, or $75 in advance for entry to the tasting and a 3 p.m. VIP hour.

Presented by the Southernmost Hotel Collection and the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club of the Conch Republic, the Labor Day weekend event benefits the club’s charitable efforts.

Lager lovers can find festival details and tickets at the BrewFest Hospitality Suite at the Southernmost Hotel. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.


Event information and advance tickets: www.keywestbrewfest.com or 305-295-6519
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • www.keysvoices.com • www.youtube.com/floridakeystv

 

 

KEY WEST CELEBRITY S.L.A.M. TOURNAMENT TO ENTICE ANGLERS SEPT. 5-7

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Anglers, guides and celebrities are to fish for elusive shallow-water gamefish during the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Fishing Tournament, set for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 5-7.

Tournament competitors target tarpon, permit and bonefish, and scoring all three in one day is known as a flats grand slam. Points are earned for catching and releasing fish in fly, artificial or bait categories, with prizes awaiting champion anglers, teams and guides.

The S.L.A.M. is the first in an annual Florida Keys trilogy of angling challenges that raises money for the fight against cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening chronic lung disease that is the United States' leading genetic killer of children and young adults.

Celebrity participants are to include Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and former NASA astronaut Bruce Melnick.

The Superfly, a one-day, one-fly tournament sponsored by The Angling Company in Key West, is scheduled the day before the S.L.A.M. The Superfly is based at Hurricane Hole Restaurant & Marina, mile marker 4.5 oceanside, and fishing takes place Friday, Sept. 5.

Registration for the S.L.A.M. is set for 4-6 p.m. Friday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd. A reception, rules meeting, silent auction preview and live auction are scheduled as well.

Fishing is slated for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Celebrities, anglers and the Redbone family are to gather for 3-5 p.m. dockside parties both days at Hurricane Hole.

An awards banquet and silent auction are to begin at 7 p.m. Sunday at the DoubleTree Grand Key.

Entry for the S.L.A.M., which includes two days' charter fees with a professional guide, is $3,700 for a two-angler team. Superfly entry, which does not include a guide fee, is $350 per angler who also fishes the S.L.A.M. or $500 for just the Superfly.

Tournament information and registration: www.redbone.org or 305-664-2002
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Florida Keys fishing information: www.fla-keys.com/fishing
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • www.keysvoices.com • www.youtube.com/floridakeystv

 

LADIES, LET’S GO FISHING

Check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Press Release in Section A for future LLGF events or visit ladiesletsgofishing.com , call 954-475-9068 or email info@ladiesletsgofishing.com

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August 2014 Section B

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