SECTION B - News-y & Cruise-y Items




These two groups are very active and we suggest that NE Florida sailors check out their site -

Tell Tales includes race results and schedules of upcoming events (near and far) ... with details on items such as monthly meetings, summer camp opportunities, classified ads, local fleets, crews needed and willing and more. Visit the site and get all the news and check out the links to several other interesting websites.

To contact the club via email:, or phone: 904-264-4094.







Hello Fellow Kayakers and Nature Explorers:

Trout Creek Up or Down Every 3rd Friday of each Month at 10am

The St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department would like to invite you to participate with AyoLane Halusky, our County Naturalist, in a 2.5 hour paddle up or down Trout Creek. This is a new paddling series will be held at Trout Creek, to support the St. Johns County Scholarship Fund for under privileged youth in our area. All costs and donations will benefit local youth for after school programs like; Basket Ball, Swim Lessons, triathlon and more exciting youth programs offered through the county.

Every 3rd Friday of each Month at 10am we will meet at the Trout Creek Community Center and boat ramp (6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine, Fl. 32092) to start their adventure with a quick paddle class.  Bring along your questions about the local history, the flora, fauna and creatures that can be found along the shoreline.  If further information is needed, please call AyoLane Halusky at (904) 209-0348. If you bring your own kayak and equipment the cost is $20; if you need a kayak and equipment the fee is $40. You must reserve your spot in advanced; we will limit the number of paddlers in order to provide a more personal experience as well as to also limit the impact to our natural areas. RSVP before the trip date by calling AyoLane Halusky at (904) 209-0348 or emailing

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



Join free fun at Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza
Contact: Greg Workman, 352-732-1225

Suggested Tweet: Lake Apopka will be hoppin’ for annual Wildlife, Birdapalooza Festival!   #free  @MyFWC #Florida

Join friends and neighbors for free birding tours, live entertainment, exhibitors and much more at Birdapalooza, a celebration Feb. 7 of the rich diversity of birds and wildlife on Lake Apopka on the shores of one of Florida’s largest lakes.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is one of many sponsors involved with the festival. The Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. Feb. 7 at Magnolia Park, 2929 S. Binion Road, Apopka.

“Worthwhile” is the word Dennis Renfro, an FWC biologist, uses to describe Birdapalooza. “It will be a day of fun and learning for the whole family.”

This year’s event features nature and photography walking tours on the Lake Apopka Loop Trail, bus tours, music and entertainment, exhibitors and vendors, a bounce house, a tree giveaway, face painting, live animal demonstrations and more.

For more information on the third annual event and to register for tours at this year’s Birdapalooza, visit its website at and check out the options under “Birdapalooza” in the banner across the top of the page.



Wabasso - Welcome to our 64-acre island campus

Start your tour with a stop in our Entry Pavilion to pay the small admission fee. Our Greeter will describe what you can do on campus. Learn about our history and ask about our cell phone audio tour, discovery guides, and site map.

Then go out to take a walk and learn about this beautiful, diverse and ecologically authentic place. It’s diverse because it ranges from hammock (high ground) through salt marshes (sometimes underwater) to mangrove forest (with its feet in the water). It’s ecologically authentic because before we built our pavilions, we cut down all the exotic invasive trees like the Brazilian peppers and the Australian pines and replaced them with indigenous (native) species such as live oaks, cabbage or sabal palms, coontie and wax myrtle.

It’s beautiful because, well, just look around. But beauty is not just skin deep here. Our surroundings are especially beautiful because they provide a natural habitat for birds, fish, crustaceans, and mammals of many kinds. In fact the Indian River Lagoon, the big body of water that nearly surrounds us, is home to more than 4,000 different species, 36 of which are endangered or rare. It’s such a diverse estuary (the most diverse in North America) that the Environmental Protection Agency has named it an Estuary of National Significance.

Try to be quiet during your walk about so that the birds and small animals will show themselves. With luck you’ll see an otter. Or down by the canoe dock, a dolphin or a manatee. Look up, look down; there’s a lot to see. Follow the signs posted near the paths and boardwalk. Stroll our boardwalks into mangrove swamps. See our ospreys. The sunshine and our unique island habitats: they’re all yours for a visit! You can’t get lost and you can learn a great deal. By the way, be sure to take your cellular phone on your exploration. We have 13 stops where you can dial a number to hear an ecological message.

Then come inside our buildings. At the Entry Pavilion look into the Nature Nook, a nature-oriented gift shop whose profits help our educational mission.

The Discovery Station is home to the largest brackish water aquarium in Indian River County, a touch tank (open limited hours) where you can get up close and personal with some of the critters that occupy the Indian River Lagoon, 3 other aquariums, dioramas with lift panels, hands-on exhibits and a life-size replica of a manatee’s head where you can experience how a manatee eats seagrass from the lagoon floor.



St Lucie Blessing



‘Critical Wildlife Area’ signs go up around Bird Island in Martin County

Last week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Martin County installed signs around a small island in Martin County, known locally as Bird Island, identifying it as a “Critical Wildlife Area” (CWA). The spoil island, also known as MC2, is an important nesting site for a variety of wading birds and one shorebird species. Bird Island received its CWA designation at the June 2014 Commission meeting.

For protection of these birds, the entire island, its breakwater structure and the waters immediately surrounding are closed to public access throughout the year in order to create a protective buffer. The buffer is marked by the newly installed signs. The FWC and Martin County accomplished this designation with the support of various partners, including the town of Sewall’s Point, city of Stuart and several other stakeholder groups.

Based on the abundance and diversity of birds using the island, biologists consider Bird Island one of the top 10 water-bird colonies in south Florida. The two-acre island provides nesting habitat for at least 17 bird species, eight of which are state or federally listed as species of special concern or threatened, and roosting habitat for many more.

Bird Island is the first critical wildlife area to be established by the Commission in more than 20 years. CWAs are established by the FWC to protect important congregations of one or more species of wildlife from human disturbance during critical life stages. Human disturbance can cause wildlife to abandon high-quality habitat that is necessary for their survival. Currently, there are 19 CWAs throughout Florida, which are managed for nesting and wintering shorebirds, wading birds, gopher tortoises and bats.

Located next to the town of Sewall’s Point, Bird Island is one of seven spoil islands in Martin County created as a result of dredging in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

For more on critical wildlife areas, go to, click on “Terrestrial Programs” then “Critical Wildlife Areas.”



Marine Flea Market



Product of the Week: McMurdo Smartfind S20 Personal AIS Beacon

Friday January 23, 2015
The McMurdo Smartfind S20 is a personal AIS MOB device worn on a lifejacket and activated by sliding off the safety tab and lifting an arming cap to deploy the antenna.

The compact, lightweight unit is an effective aid to recovering crew and passengers who have fallen overboard by sending alert messages, GPS position and a special identity code directly to AIS receivers within approximately a four mile radius. A flashing LED light aids location at night. mcmurdo_S20

A built-in high precision GPS receiver - which updates every 60 seconds – provides precise location, distance and bearing data. Onboard crew members (and nearby AIS-enabled receivers) receive all the information they need to locate the position of the person in difficulty, enabling a speedy recovery.

The S20 will transmit continuously for a minimum of 24 hours and has a seven year battery storage life. It is made of ultra durable ABS and waterproof to five meters. MSRP US $299.00.

More info:  or your nearest McMurdo dealer.

McMurdo - 11750 Beltsville Drive - Beltsville, MD 20705 USA

Product of the Week prepared by Home Port Marine Marketing





Atlantis Jan1 















FLORIDA KEYS -- The Florida Keys & Key West provide year-round entertainment for visitors, from festivals focusing on the area's colorful history, artistic culture and eccentric ambiance to events celebrating the Keys underwater paradise and culinary offerings.

Feb. 6-8: Civil War Heritage Days. Key West. Colorful Civil War re-enactments and tours of Key West's historic Civil War-era Fort Zachary Taylor highlight the journey into the island's past. Visit  and click "Events" or call 305-292-6850.

Feb. 7-8: 21st Annual Pigeon Key Art Festival. Marathon. More than 80 artists and craftspeople are to exhibit their work at Marathon Community Park, MM 49 oceanside, in this nationally recognized outdoor fine arts celebration. Renowned marine life artist Wyland is to create an ink painting for live auction, and other attractions include live music and food. The festival is a fundraiser for historic Pigeon Key, a tiny island where Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad workers lived in the early 1900s. Visit or email

Feb. 16-22: 31st Annual Winter Star Party. Big Pine & the Lower Keys. Approximately 600 astronomers from around the world gather to view southern constellations, comets and stars in the Lower Keys' clear night skies -- virtually the only place in the continental U.S. where they can be viewed. Lectures, programs and workshops round out the event. Visit

Feb 19-22: 20th Annual Miami Boat Show Poker Run to Islamorada. This annual four-day event features over 100 teams that embark on an escape to the Florida Keys. Many leading powerboat manufacturers take their newest creations on display at the Miami International Boat Show to the water to attend this event, headquartered at the Postcard Inn and Marina. Free general admission is available for powerboat viewing. Visit or call 954-545-1414.

Feb. 21-22: Old Island Days Art Festival. Key West. The 50th annual juried outdoor fine art festival features oil paintings, watercolors, sculpture, photography and other offerings by more than 100 artists from around the United States and beyond. The event takes place on lower Whitehead Street in historic Old Town. Visit or call 304-294-1243.

Feb. 27: Garden Walk 2015. Key Largo. This unique self-guided tour showcases beautiful private garden properties in the Upper Keys. The event also includes a private garden tea party with live music, artisans, plant sales, original art, refreshments and more. Visit or call 305-393-2976.

MARCH 28-29: Island Fest to celebrate spring in Islamorada Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Founder's Park, mile marker 87 bayside in Islamorada. Admission to Island Fest is free and on-site parking is available for a $5 donation. Organizers suggest attendees bring lawn chairs and blankets to maximize enjoyment of a full day's fun. Events are to take place rain or shine. Founder's Park is next to Plantation Yacht Harbor, Islamorada's City Marina. Contact 

Event information: or 305-664-4503
Islamorada visitor information: or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Social: Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Keys Voices


Florida Keys events calendar:  
Florida Keys fishing information:
Florida Keys visitor information:  or 1-800-FLA-KEYS (1-800-352-5397) 
Islamorada visitor information: or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Key West visitor information: or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Lower Keys visitor information: or 1-800-872-3722
Marathon visitor information:  or 1-800-262-7284

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February 2015 Section B

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