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 JULY
 

News for JULY from Jacksonville's Rudder Club and the First Coast Sailing Association

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

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: office@RudderClub.com, or phone: 904-264-4094

Fourth of July Burn It Party

Calling all Catamaran Sailors Musical Club Jam Friday, July 4th 1600

MENU
 
Homemade potato salad
Homemade coleslaw
Homemade ice cream
Homemade deviled eggs
Homemade brownies
Watermelon
 
Bring something to grill
 
RSVP office@rudderclub.com

 

 

Calling All Cat Sailors

Cat

Friday 0900 - ?
 
Come celebrate a day of Sailing Cats for the 4th of July.
 
To all Rudder Club members- the Club owns 5- Hobie 16’s, come help get these boats out sailing on the 4th!
 
To all others, bring your Cat down or just come down and join us to sail one.

 

 

Are you musically inclined?
 
Do you want to release your inner "American Idol"?

guitar

Bring your musical talent/instruments for a "club jam" session
 
Guitars, banjos, mandolins, keyboards...whatever. Bring your own amp & mike.
 
Singers wanted
 
Contact Rick Mannoia rmannoia@juno.com

 

 

St. Johns River Ruckus Saturday July 5th 1030
River Ruckus

St. Johns Riverkeeper and the Riverside Arts Market are partnering to host “River Ruckus”, to raise a ruckus for the river. River Ruckus is a family festival that shows Jacksonville our River is more than a scenic view
 
First Coast Outfitters Flotilla: At 10:30 a.m., flotilla patrons will meet at the St. Johns River marina to board their watercrafts and enter the St. Johns River, located directly next to River City Brewing for a round-trip floating journey over to River Ruckus! Bring your kayak, SUP board, or other floating watercraft! As long as you can row it across the river, we want you out with bells and whistles!
 
Rent a kayak through http://www.firstcoastoutfitters.com or by calling 595-5976.
 
The Rudder Club will be manning a booth at this event, if you are able, please volunteer
 
Contact: ViceCommodore@RudderClub.com

 

 

St. Augustine Yacht Club Sunday, July 13, 2014
 
 SAYC
 
The Liberty Race
 
NOR/SI

 

 

PaddlePalooza II @ Huguenot Park July 20th, 1200 -1600

PaddlePalooza II

 

 

July Fraklin

 

July Fraklin fireworks

Independence Day Festivities Planned
From Alligator Point to Apalachicola, almost every community is planning Independence Day festivities.
 
In Apalachicola, the Historic Apalachicola Main Street group presents Apalachicola Independence Day Celebration on Thursday, July 3 featuring seafood in the park, a silent auction, parade, ice cream social, live auction and fireworks at 9 p.m. Click here for details.

On St. George Island, everyone is welcome to join in the annual July 4th celebration. Stick around all day and enjoy fireworks and festivities on the beach about dark-thirty.

In Carrabelle, there will be fireworks along the riverfront at dark thirty.
 

 

July Paddle Out
Kickoff the Independence Day Celebration at Riverfront Park with a patriotic paddle event on Thursday July 3rd 9:00am - noon. Join the Forgotten Coast Paddle Club as they paddle down the Apalachicola River in this s 3-mile easy paddle.
Interested paddlers will meet at the Apalachicola Maritime Museum and be shuttled upriver where they will launch and paddle down to Riverfront Park  to join the Independence Day Celebration beginning at Riverefront Park at noon. Paddlers are encouraged to fly Red White and Blue colors so bring your flags! Need a kayak?  Club Outfitters would love to help you out. Click here for details.
 

 

Riverkeeper Group Hosts Paddling Trips
Join the Apalachicola Riverkeepers July 26 for their monthly paddling trip in the Apalachicola watershed. The trips, hosted the 4th Saturday of every month,  are free to Riverkeeper members and $30 for non-members. Local expert guides accompany paddlers to educate about the Apalachicola ecosystem, its floodplain, creeks, sloughs, and tributaries. Click here for more information.

 

 

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 the Head in Oil with Dawn Whitelaw - July 9-12
Tea ching basic principals of portraiture by painting from a live model.
 
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.
 
Green Door Gallery Hosts Summer Art Classes Through July 31
Join art instructor Emily Friedman this summer for art classes.  All supplies included, ages 5 to 15, $50 per class, book 5 classes for the price of 4.  Tuesday-Friday 2:00-4:00 and Tuesday-Friday 4:30-6:30.
For reservations please call (850) 653-1424.

 

 

Click here for a complete area event schedule.

 

 

Take a Video Tour of Events and Festivals Get an online glimpse of area events in Franklin County. See Apalachicola, St. George Island and Carrabelle.
 

 

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.

 

 

lighthouse

Cape St. George Lighthouse Features Full Moon Climb

Watch the sun set and full moon rise from the top of the Cape St. George Lighthouse on Sunday, July 12 from 8-9:30pm. Tickets are $15.00 per person, or $10.00 for St. George Lighthouse Association members, and include light hors d'oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the Full Moon.  After sunset, additional climbers are welcome at the top for a view of the Full Moon, as time and space permit. Reservations are recommended. Click here for more information.

 

 

KEY LIME PIE TO STAR IN KEY WEST FESTIVAL AND WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- The creation of the world's largest Key lime pie, the wacky Miss Key Lime Pageant, pie-eating and cooking contests and other tasty temptations await Key West visitors July 3-5 during the second annual Key Lime Festival.

Celebrating the Florida Keys' signature dessert and the tiny fruit that inspired it, the flavorful festival is to kick off Thursday, July 3, with a 2-5 p.m. Key Lime Bar Krawl. Plans call for "krawlers" to sample Key lime martinis and margaritas at local watering holes and select their favorites.

The festival's highlight is to be an attempt by event founder David Sloan, author of "The Ultimate Key Lime Pie Cookbook," and three fellow chefs to shatter their own record for baking the largest Key lime pie in history.

In 2013 the quartet created a gargantuan pie that measured more than 8 feet in diameter and required the juice of 5,760 yellow Key limes. They plan to prepare and serve the 2014 pie, expected to reach 9 feet in diameter, during a lively street party set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 4, on Greene Street just off Duval Street.

The festival's annual Key Lime Pie Eating Contest is to be staged during the street party as well.

Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie was designated Florida's official pie in 2006 by the state legislature. Its primary ingredients are condensed milk, egg yolks and Key lime juice, with the creamy filling typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.

Attractions Saturday, July 5, include a pie-making challenge for amateur and professional bakers. Pies are to be judged on criteria including appearance, flavor balance and originality, and spectators can purchase tickets to sample and cast People's Choice votes.

The festival is to conclude with Saturday night's Miss Key Lime U.S.A. Pageant, a tangy takeoff on the Miss America competition. The contestant who scores highest in the talent, costume, vintage style and Q-&-A categories will take the crown and step into the "limelight."

Festival information: www.keylimefestival.com
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

 

 

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 Se๑or Frijoles, mile marker 103.9 bayside. Saturday is race day, with team check-in beginning at 2 p.m. at Se๑or 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

 

 

Product of the Week: Bad Elf® GPS For Lightning™ Connector

slideshow_1

The Bad Elf GPS for Lightning™ Connector is a plug-in dongle licensed by Apple that quickly acquires a satellite lock anywhere in the world – without cell tower assistance - to instantly add location support for iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPod touch (5th generation). No Internet connection or monthly subscription is required.
Features a high performance, 66 channel WAAS enabled GPS that delivers latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, GPS track and time. The receiver is accurate to within 9 feet (2.5 meters) and performs up to 60,000 feet and up to 1000 MPH. The core GPS module contains support for the Russian GLONASS satellite constellation, allowing for simultaneous capture of position data from up to 33 GPS and GLONASS satellites for improved satellite coverage and position accuracy. MSRP US $129.99.

 

 

BAHAMAS

DAVID KNOWLES
NEW HARBOUR MASTER AT ABACO BEACH - BOAT HARBOUR

ABACO, Bahamas – Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina, located in the Out Islands of the Bahamas, proudly welcomes Bahamian-born David Knowles as Harbour Master. Knowles brings with him a diverse background, both on the water and in the hospitality industry, as well as deep knowledge of the surrounding waters.  In his new role, he will be responsible for all aspects of the resort’s 198-slip marina in addition to creating and managing a number of new guest services offered to resort and marina guests.

David Knowles“Since as far back as I can remember, I have had a love for the water,” said Knowles. “I am looking forward to sharing that love with the guests here at Abaco Beach Resort and creating the unique experiences only the Out Islands can provide. From eating fresh conch salad on the beach to diving and fishing, the opportunities for adventure and relaxation are endless, and I am thrilled to be playing a role in what is sure to be a memorable stay for our marina and resort guests.”


Prior to joining the Abaco Beach Resort team, Knowles established Knowles Provisioning in Marsh Harbour.  His previous positions include hospitality manager Blackfly Bonefish Lodge at Schooner Bay and various hospitality roles in the popular ski destination of Winter Park, Colorado.  He began his career as a marine technician in Nassau.

Located just 165 miles off the coast of Florida, Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina accommodates vessels up to 200 feet in length.  The resort and marina have long served as a popular stage from which to launch fishing and pleasure boating excursions. Services include 24-hour security, Internet, TV, full detailing and cleaning, electricity and fueling services seven days a week, 365 days a year. On-site customs and immigration clearance are also provided for those arriving by sea.  For more information please call 877-533-4799 or visit www.abacobeachresort.com.

About Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina

Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina is situated on 40 scenic acres of white sand beaches and lush tropical gardens in the Out Islands of the Bahamas, overlooking surrounding cays and the beautiful Sea of Abaco.  The largest hotel in Abaco's Marsh Harbour, the resort features 89 oceanfront guestrooms, suites and villas, 8,750 total square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and is home to one of the to the largest marinas in the Bahamas.

Abaco Beach Resort offers a total vacation experience with endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation.  Guests can island hop, fish and explore underwater marine life or enjoy the resort's fitness center, tennis facilities, swimming pool or dining outlets.  The resort is located just five miles from the Marsh Harbour Airport and is only a 50-minute plane ride from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach and Tampa. The Residences at Abaco Beach Resort feature nine two- and three-bedrooms condominiums available for purchase or as part of the resort, offering guests spacious accommodations featuring a contemporary, sleek island d้cor. For resort or real estate information, visit www.AbacoBeachResort.com or call 1-800-533-4799.

 

 

REPEATING IN JULY

HEMINGWAY DAYS TO HONOR ERNEST IN KEY WEST JULY 15-20

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Fans of Ernest Hemingway's literary greatness and zest for life can start polishing their prose and practicing their "Papa" personas for the 34th annual Hemingway Days set for Tuesday through Sunday, July 15-20.

The Nobel Prize–winning author lived in Key West from 1931 until late 1939, penning classics including "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "To Have and Have Not," fishing for deep-sea prey and relaxing with local and literary cohorts. The festival celebrates his writing achievements, sporting pursuits and enjoyment of the island's easygoing lifestyle.

Highlights include a "Papa" Hemingway look-alike contest, prose and poetry readings, an offbeat "Running of the Bulls," a street fair on Key West's famed Duval Street, a marlin tournament and the culmination of an internationally recognized short story competition directed by Ernest's author granddaughter Lorian Hemingway.

Events begin Tuesday, July 15, with museum exhibits celebrating Key West's leading literary residents. Attendees can explore "Hemingway in Key West" at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St., and the Tennessee Williams Exhibit at 513 Truman Ave. behind the Key West Business Guild Visitor Center.

Approximately 125 burly, bearded contenders are expected for the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest starting Thursday, July 17, at Sloppy Joe's Bar, the author's former hangout at 201 Duval St. "Ernest" entrants are to parade their "Papa" personas before a judging panel of previous winners during preliminary rounds Thursday and Friday, followed by finals set for Saturday, July 19.

At noon Saturday, look-alikes plan to stage "Photos with Papas" outside Sloppy Joe's and then spearhead the annual "Running of the Bulls" -- a wacky take-off on Pamplona's renowned run that features man-made bulls indigenous to Key West. Afterward, the bearded brethren are to host a pre-birthday event recognizing the 115th anniversary of Hemingway's July 21 birth.

Ernest’s literary legacy is honored each year with the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition winners announcement and reception. Scheduled Friday, July 18, it typically takes place at Casa Antigua, 314 Simonton St., the legendary author's first Key West residence.

Also planned are readings and book signings presented by Literacy Volunteers of America–Monroe County, as well as the Key West Poetry Guild's "The Poems of Papa."

For anglers, the Key West Marlin Tournament provides a chance to emulate Ernest's passion for deep-sea fishing. The July 16-19 challenge offers cash prizes for top catches of marlin and other fish.

The Hemingway Days Street Fair is scheduled all day and evening Saturday, transforming Duval Street into an open-air marketplace with arts, crafts, food vendors and the inaugural Bubba Cuzzy Shrimp-Off Competition. The fun benefits Helpline of the Florida Keys. For information, call 305-292-8445.

Festival events also include the 5k Sunset Run and Paddle Board Race, and Sloppy Joe's 28th annual Arm Wrestling Contest.

In addition, Hemingway fans can visit the author's former Key West home at 907 Whitehead St., now a museum open daily for tours.

Event information: www.hemingwaydays.net , www.sloppyjoes.com, www.shortstorycompetition.com, www.keywestmarlin.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • youtube.com/FloridaKeysTV
 

 

2014 Stranded Naked Beach Party .....

The new 2014 design has a cute "Burger Balloon "with a running parrot in a basket full of fries are ready and you can now place your orders. If you want to order T-shirts please do it ASAP at the link below.
 
The cut off date for ordering on the web prior to the party is June 15th. Thank you so much for your continued support and hope to see you at the party.
 
 The money collected from our shirts sells, sponsor donations and bar tips help to offset the cost of the party and are used to make improvement to the next event, buy prizes and giveaways for the people attending. This year we have added Two Large Gas Event Grills capable of cooking 24 burger at a time and a new larger gas powered french fryer.  We hope by making these two improvements that it will help move the food line along much faster than in the past years.
 
 www.strandednaked.com
 
 Also if you have a Facebook, please like us under Stranded Naked. We will keep that page updated always and you can also order shirts from our Shop located on our Facebook page.

Stranded Naked Cheeseburger Beach Party  Invitation 2014

The annual Stranded Naked FREE Cheeseburger Beach Party on uninhabited Fiddle Cay is scheduled for July 3, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. This party kicks off an amazing 10 days of sailing and racing in one of the most beautiful places in the world for sailing or cruising your boat.

If you have never boated in the Abaco, Bahamas you are truly missing one the ultimate vacation getaways available, on the water.  The Abacos bolster unspoiled beaches, reefs and friendly out-islands resorts and home rentals for the land lovers.   So pack up your boat or reserve that airline ticket and as the "Gully Roosters" from Green Turtle Cay sing, Go, Go to Abaco.

We supply- FREE- 1200 Cheeseburgers, 600 hotdogs, 350 pounds of Fries, 100 gallons of Margaritas, 100 gallons of Boat Drinks, and many giveaways for the children and adults. The first 1300 people will enjoy a free Stranded Naked 2014 stadium souvenir drink cup courtesy of American Cabin Supply. There is plenty of ice water and Kool-Aid available for the children and plenty of beach games and giveaways for their  entertainment.  Don't be scared by the name "Stranded Naked". 

This beach Party is a family event and a fun time for all ages with Free food, Free drinks, fun games and contest for the entire family.

Arrive early and bring your favorite chair and umbrella. Fiddle Cay is the next small Cay North of Green Turtle Cay. It is  approximately a 10 minute dingy ride from the anchorage at Green Turtle Cay.

Please, please NO GLASS WHATSOEVER on the beach or in the waters close to Fiddle Cay. There will be buoys and rope blocking off the swimming area.  While anchoring your boat at the party please respect the roped off swimming area for the children. These buoys are easily seen when you approach the beach by boat so please anchor outside the swimming area. Please do not remove any sea life and respect the precious sea creatures that live on and around Fiddle Cay. Please keep your dog far from the picnic area where the food is served.

For further information please email Patricia Henderson at Strandednaked@bellsouth.net

In closing,  this party began on my Houseboat many, many years ago with a just a hand full of my friends. We were preparing for the Regatta eating Cheeseburgers and having a few drinks. We were always listening to Jimmy Buffett music and attempting to replicate a little of what Jimmy's music portrays including sailing and enjoying beach life to the fullest.  20 years later we are still eating Burgers, Fries and having a few Drinks and listening to Jimmy Buffett tunes only today this beach party has become one of the largest beach parties in the Bahamas and enjoyed by hundreds.

Come join us in the Bahamas.

Most important.  We want everyone to have a fun time but safety always comes first.  Please bring plenty of sunscreen and drink and boat responsibly.

We hope to see you there,

Bobb & Patricia Henderson

 

 

FISHERMEN’S VILLAGE TO HOST ANNUAL 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION

Friday, July 4th, 2014, Fishermen’s Village will host their annual 4th of July Celebration.  Admission and parking are free and the public is cordially invited to attend.
 
The ever popular Freedom Swim begins at 9 am on the north side of the southbound US 41 bridge and ends at Harpoon Harry’s. (call 941 661-5622 for more Freedom Swim details) The Green Hibiscus Trolley will provide transportation between Fishermen’s Village and the Swim starting point beginning at 8 am and continuing until 12 Noon.  Other festivities will include:  Face Painting by Metamasque, 11 am-4 pm;  live music by the Garbage Men, 12 Noon-3 pm and The  Kollections Band, 5-9 pm.  Viewing of annual fireworks display over Charlotte Harbor begins at 9:00 pm.

Vendor space is available at Fishermen’s Village on July 4th;  to receive a vendor application form, email Kathy Burnam, Marketing Director at mkting@fishville.com

Fishermen’s Village Waterfront Mall, Resort and Marina is located off Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda. From I-75, take exit 164, turn left and proceed 3 miles to Fishermen’s Village. Call (941) 639-8721 for more information or visit on line at www.fishville.com

 

 

Pirate Fest

 

 

ONGOING FRANKLIN COUNTY EVENTS...

Grouper

Fishing Tourneys

Here are a few of the upcoming fishing tournaments scheduled throughout the county.

July 19
Youth Fishing Tournament
C-Quarters Marina. Open to all kids 16 and under. Registration required on site

August 2-3
Kingfish Tournament

Fundraiser for the Leukemia Society. C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle

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.

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

 

 

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.

 

30TH ANNUAL UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL TO ROCK THE LOWER KEYS' REEF JULY 12

LOOE KEY, Florida Keys -- Divers and snorkelers can explore a portion of the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef while rocking to a sub-sea concert during the 30th annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival.

Set for Saturday, July 12, the quirky songfest takes place at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary approximately 6 miles south of Big Pine Key. For the past three decades, the event has drawn several hundred divers and snorkelers each year to immerse themselves in the colorful marine environment.

Themed "Diving with the Stars," the marine musical event is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and staged by Keys radio station US1 Radio 104.1 FM. The music is broadcast underwater via Lubell Laboratory speakers suspended beneath boats positioned above the reef.

The concert's playlist typically ranges from humpback whale recordings to ocean-themed songs such as Jimmy Buffett's "Fins," Donovan's "Atlantis" and the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden."

Participants might even spot whimsically costumed divers or "mermaids" tooting their own horns on the ocean floor -- pretending to play underwater musical instruments like a trom-bonefish and clambourine sculpted by Florida Keys artist August Powers. They can also glimpse Powers' new "Belushi Blue," a guitar-like fish sporting a hat and shades.

Art and ocean lovers can meet Powers and view his creations, all combining elements of marine life and traditional instruments, during a pre-festival party set for 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 11. The event takes place at Artists in Paradise Gallery in Big Pine Key's Key Deer Shopping Plaza, just off the Overseas Highway at mile marker 30. Cost is $10 per person if reserved by Wednesday, July 9, or $15 per person at the door.

Divers and snorkelers interested in participating in the Underwater Music Festival can reserve space on boats run by Lower Keys dive operators or launch their own boats from public ramps and marinas in the area.

As well as offering unique enjoyment for dive enthusiasts, the festival carries a serious message of reef preservation. The broadcast incorporates diver awareness announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing impacts on the underwater environment.

Event information: www.lowerkeyschamber.com
Lower Keys visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 305-872-2411
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest  • twitter.com/thefloridakeys • 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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July 2014 Section B

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