SECTION B - News-y & Cruise-y Items

 

 

EDITOR's NOTE: This month's News-y & Cruise-y starts with two worthwhile reads for our website visitors. Learn more about Lightning and Fire ... right here.

NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United Statesboat lightning strike
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA  22304
Read this press release online at: http://goo.gl/yoqoA8
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact:  D. Scott Croft

Photo Caption: The jagged line in this sailboat’s hull paint is a "lightning track" that shows how the electrical charge passed from the bobstay to the jackstand to reach the ground.

BoatUS: Lightning Facts

Analysis of Decade of Lightning Strike Insurance Claims and What It Means

ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 17, 2015 – The odds of getting struck by lightning are about one in a million. But if you own a boat, the odds of it being struck by lightning are significantly higher – about one in a thousand. However, not all boats are created equal when it comes to lightning. A just-released analysis of 10 years of insurance claims by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) shows that certain boats are significantly more at risk than others. But which ones? And, what can you do if you’re caught on open water? BoatUS has some answers:

Let’s first state the obvious: While even PWC’s can be hit, it’s a no brainer why monohull sailboats with their tall masts pointing to the sky have significantly more lightning claims than powerboats – 3.8 chances per 1,000 versus a 0.1 chance in 1,000 for bass boats-runabouts-pontoons. The national average for the probability of a boat lightning strike claim for all types of boats and sizes is 0.9 chance per 1,000.

Size matters: It’s also not a stretch to understand why larger boats of all types – which present a larger target to the skies – are struck more often than smaller ones. A boat 40-65 feet in length has 6 chances per 1,000 while boats 16-25 feet have just a 0.2 chance per 1,000. Increasing the height of a sailboat mast from 35 to 45 feet nearly triples the odds of being hit.
Location matters, too: Where boating populations are dense and lightning is common, strike insurance claims are high. Six of the top 10 states in terms of frequency of lightning claims – Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina – all lay within the thunderstorm hotspot in the Southeast and midsection of the country. Heading west, the frequency of lightning claims falls to about 1 chance in 10,000 along the Pacific Coast, or about 1/10th the national average.
The effect of two hulls: A multihull sailboat is almost twice as likely to have a lightning claim as a monohull. But this is true only for sailing craft – the frequency of pontoon boat lightning claims is well below average. Why sailing cats get hit more is unclear, although theories include lack of a keel, more wetted surface, larger footprint, the dockage of cats at the outside edges of a marina, and higher average mast height.

What can you do to lessen the chance of a strike on open water? According to the University of Florida’s “Boating Lightning Protection” by William Becker, it’s better to run for protection than remain in the open, so long as you can make it all the way back to shore and take shelter in your car or an enclosed building and are not caught at the shoreline.
If that’s not possible, pull in the fishing lines or wakeboarders early as strikes can occur a mile in front of thunderstorm cloud. Listen to the weather reports and learn to read weather conditions. Lower antennas. In an open boat, stay low, keep arms and legs inside. If there’s an enclosed cabin go below to the center. If your boat has a lightning protection system, avoid touching anything connected to it such as a mast. Turn off any electronics and don’t touch them. That includes avoiding the VHF if possible. If you can, remove it and store down below.

To view the full analysis online, “Striking Lightning Facts”, in the January 2015 issue of BoatUS Seaworthy Magazine, go to BoatUS.com/lightningfacts.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

BoatUS is the nation¹s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS insurance program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.
 

 

VIEW FROM THE MARINA – February 2015

ANOTHER – BUT VERY IMPORTANT - NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
By Barb Hansen

With the beginning of a New Year there’s always a lot of attention given to resolutions.  You know everything from dropping a few pounds to really trying to learn a new language and a whole lot of others.

We had an incident that took place at the marina where we are based that prompts me to offer one more resolution, but this one is very important to those of us who love the boating life.  I think that after reading this you will put this resolution at or very near the top of your list.

Here’s what happened.  A 32-foot cruiser stopped for fuel and just a few seconds after its tanks were topped off there was an explosion and fire.  Despite very prompt response by local firefighters, the boat was a total loss.  Thank goodness, there were no serious injuries and no other boats were affected by the explosion, fire or resulting shrapnel.   This takes me back to resolutions for the New Year and this one is two-fold: what to do when an on board fire occurs and how to prevent such things from happening.

Boat U.S. reports the #1 cause of onboard fires is AC and DC wiring/appliances. That’s followed by engine or transmission overheating and fuel leaks.  Failure to use the blowers on gas engine boats after fueling is also often the cause of an explosion and resulting fire.  While I’m not sure of what caused the fire at our marina, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the above.

The message here is clear.  Either check your boat’s wiring, cooling and fuel lines or have someone in the know do that for you on an every so often basis.  Next is to familiarize yourself with the fire extinguishers on your boat.  Understand how to use them and check them regularly to make sure they are fully charged.
If a fire does start, find its location and size; inform the Captain and notify all on board; make a distress call to the Coast Guard and nearby vessels and activate emergency firefighting equipment.  Next is restricting the fire by shutting off its air supply, de-energized affected electrical systems, confine the fire, shut off the fuel supply, maneuver the vessel to minimize the effect of wind on the fire.  Make sure there are no crew members in the fire area before activating the firefighting system.  Once the fire is out, muster the crew and account for all personnel and establish procedures for monitoring the fire scene and any re-flash.

Here are some tips for proper extinguisher use in the event of a fire.  If a fire occurs, grab the extinguisher, activate it and direct it at the base of the flames using short bursts and sweeping it from side to side, covering the area of fire until the fire is completely out.  If the fire is not extinguished but the extinguisher is empty, grab another and repeat the process until the fire is out.  It’s easiest to remember with the PASS technique: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the flame, Squeeze the trigger and sweep side to side.

As part of your prep work, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the classifications of fire and the right extinguishing agents to use.   There are some do’s and don’ts here that are important to know so you use water, foam, dry-chemical, carbon dioxide and halon in the right combination to successfully distinguish a fire.  The wrong mix could be disastrous.   The website www.boatssafe.com  has good information in that regard.

I hope you keep this resolution, but never have to use its lessons.  Be safe and enjoy the boating life. 

Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, liveaboard yacht school.  Barb can be reached at info@swfyachts.com or by phone: 239-257-2788.

 

 

NEWS 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.

Halifax River Yacht Club

The Halifax River Yacht Club was founded in 1896 in Daytona, Florida. We are the oldest yacht club on the eastern seacoast still on its original site. In the Daytona Beach area, we are proudly known to be the one private organization in continuous operation from 1896 to the present - spanning three centuries.

The objects and purposes of the Halifax River Yacht Club are the encouragement of boating & yachting and boat & yacht building, the cultivation of seamanship and naval science, and the promotion of sociability, entertainment, enjoyment and benevolence among its members.

Race #1 - March 1, 2015
Race #2 - March 15, 2015
Race #3,4&5 - April 18-19, 2015 (SYC Lipton Cup)
Race #6 - May 3, 2015
Race #7 – June 20, 2015 (SYC Summer Solstice)
HRYC Double Handed Race – July 12, 2015
Race #8 - July 26, 2015
Race #9 - August 23, 2015
St. Augustine Dash – Sept. 4, 2015
Race #10 - September 20, 2015 (Old Timer’s Race)

To contact the club via email: office@RudderClub.com, or phone: 904-264-4094.

 

 

SE US Boat ShowThe Southeast US Boat Show Friday, April 10, 2015 10:00 AM - 08:00 PM

METROPOLITAN PARK AND MARINA
1410 GATOR BLVD
JACKSONVILLE , FL 32202
United States

904-759-2758 (Main Phone)

Pricing/Ticket Info
Adults $10.00 Children 16 and under are FREE

Ed. Note: The marina's Jim Suber tells us it's going to be a GREAT SHOW!

 

 

 

 

 

ST. JOHNS COUNTY RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT INVITE

WE HAVE 4 NEW BOATS ADDED TO THE FLEET, SO IF YOU NEED TO RENT ONE AND WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU GET A SINGLE PERSON KAYAK PLEASE RSVP NOW.

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 advance; 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 ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

... and MORE for the ST. JOHNS RIVER KAYAKERS AND NATURE EXPLORERS

... Received Late February .....

Hello Kayakers and nature lovers, (Mystery question below)

Here are the latest Kayak trip we are offering in April. Don’t forget about the 11th Annual Bartram Bash on April 18th at Alpine Groves Park we will bring the kayaks down for free tours.

Hallowes Cove Exploration Kayak Trips

St. Johns County, FL – The St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department is hosting guided kayak tours of the Hallowes Cove at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 2nd and Saturday April 4th . Participants will launch from River Town Park, located Between Switzerland and Orangedale on State Road 13, across from River Town Community in St. Augustine, FL 32259. The trip will provide participants with the opportunity to spend the day exploring a riverfront wilderness, learning about the local history, and discovering the flora and fauna found along the St. Johns River with St. Johns County Naturalist AyoLane Halusky. The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants with their own kayak. The fee to reserve a county kayak and attend the trip is $40 per person. Seats are limited. To RSVP for a seat, or for additional information, please call 904.209.0348.

Trout Creek Exploration Kayak Trips

St. Johns County, FL – The St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department is hosting guided kayak tours of Trout Creek at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 24th. Launching from the boat ramp at Trout Creek Park, located at 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine, Fl. 32092, the trip will provide participants with the opportunity to spend the day exploring the urban wilderness environment, learning about the local history, and discovering the flora and fauna found along Trout Creek with St. Johns County Naturalist AyoLane Halusky. The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants with their own kayak. The fee to reserve a county kayak and attend the trip is $40 per person. Seats are limited. To RSVP for a seat, or for additional information, please call 904.209.0348.

Thank you for participating in the nature Mystery question:

Last month we ask to list 5 medicinal weeds that grows in St. Johns County.

Here is one of your answers
1.Aloe
2.Dandelion
3.Elderberry
4.Wax myrtle
5.St Johns Wort

Here is the new Nature Mystery Question.

What is Nature’s way of telling us Spring is on its way? Signs-Sounds-Smells-Feelings,,, Stories are welcome here….
What some encouragement? This time, The best story shared about your signs of Florida Spring will get a free kayak trip for a future date and I agree post on the next email notice for all to read.

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/

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER

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.

 

 

‘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 www.MyFWC.com/Conservation, click on “Terrestrial Programs” then “Critical Wildlife Areas.”

 

 

Palm Harbor Marina1

Palm Harbor Marina2

 

 

DANIA BEACH MARINE FLEA MARKET FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Mardi Gras Casino
831 N Federal Highway
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

THE LARGEST EVENT OF IT'S TYPE ANYWHERE!Mango vendor

The Marine Flea Market is recognized as the largest event of its type in the world. Private individuals and corporate vendors sell marine equipment, coral encrusted antiques, used boats, fishing tackle, diving gear, marine artwork and other boating related items in a pleasant, almost party-like, atmosphere. The Dania Marine Flea Market provides the ideal environment for buyer and seller to engage in friendly and, sometimes, intense ‘bargaining.’ Thousands of boating related items are bought and sold through a system of dickering and dealing at a fraction of their retail value.

When you look through the aisles of the Marine Flea Market, you will find antique ships’ clocks displayed next to state-of-the-art electronics. New and used SCUBA gear finds its place in a booth with outboard motors and marine artwork. Need a replacement prop? You can find hundreds - new and used in all sizes at giveaway prices. From anchors (a) to zinc collars (z), there are literally acres of incredible deals and huge savings for the whole family at the Marine Flea Market. Sorry, no pets of any kind allowed!

 

 

FLORIDA KEYS & KEY WEST 2015 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

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.

UP TO $500,000 UP FOR GRABS AT KEY LARGO'S JIMMY JOHNSON NATIONAL BILLFISH CHAMPIONSHIP

KEY LARGO, Florida Keys -- Two-time Super Bowl–winning coach Jimmy Johnson combines two of his favorite sports, football and fishing, during his namesake "Quest for the Ring" National Billfish Championship set for March 18-21 in the Florida Keys.

The fourth annual team event, a must-do for competitive blue-water anglers, is characterized by high-energy parties and fishing action. It typically attracts notable National Football League players and celebrities along with some of the sport’s toughest billfish competitors to target sailfish and other billfish species.

Johnson, who makes his home in the Keys and is an analyst on "Fox NFL Sunday," calls the annual challenge a "Super Bowl of billfish tournaments" with top-notch post-angling social activities each evening.

A captains and rules meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the Big Chill bar, restaurant and cabana complex at mile marker 104 bayside in Key Largo. The venue serves as tournament headquarters. Late registration is set for 3-6 p.m. followed by a kick-off party with live music, food and drinks.

Thursday participants can enjoy a pre-tournament fishing day with a celebrity from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a post-fishing party and awards ceremony.

Tournament fishing is scheduled Friday and Saturday, March 20-21. A cocktail hour, charity auction, dinner and awards ceremony, followed by an after-party, concludes the event Saturday.

Cash prizes and trophies await the first- through third-place boat teams, with prize amounts set at $50,000, $18,000 and $12,500, respectively. All anglers on the winning boat receive authentic, custom-designed Jimmy Johnson's NBC Championship rings.

A number of other prize categories offer cash winnings and trophies. Prizes are based on a minimum field of 50 boats.

Registration is $4,500 and includes admission to all social events and a gift bag containing a variety of apparel, fishing merchandise and more. There is no limit on the number of anglers per boat.

Anglers who want to participate in the event but do not own a boat or prefer to travel to the tournament without one can book a professional charter boat operator in the Upper Keys.

The prestigious event benefits the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a South Florida–based cancer-related research, diagnosis and treatment facility.

Tournament info: questforthering.com
Key Largo visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088
Florida Keys Fishing information: www.fla-keys.com/fishing
Social: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Youtube • Keys Voices

 

 

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 info@islamoradachamber.com 

Event information: www.islamoradachamber.com or 305-664-4503
Islamorada visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Social: Facebook · Twitter · Instagram · Youtube · Keys Voices

 

 

FLORIDA KEYS OCEAN FESTIVAL AND 5K RUN TO BENEFIT KEYS' UNDERSEA WORLD

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- The unique marine environment of the Florida Keys island chain, which includes the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef, is to be celebrated Saturday, April 4, during the sixth annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival & Waterfront Craft Show.

The Smokin' Tuna Saloon 5k Tuna Trot is to be held in conjunction with the festival, offering runners and walkers a competitive challenge that supports the Keys' undersea world.

Presented by Florida-based Mote Marine Laboratory, the family-friendly free-admission Ocean Festival is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Scheduled attractions include live music, arts and crafts, kids' activities including nautical themed face painting and a treasure hunt, educational displays, food and beverages, a silent auction and more.

World-renowned marine life artist Wyland is to be a special guest, giving painting demonstrations, painting with attending kids and auctioning his work to support the underwater environment.

The festivities take place at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, located at 35 E. Quay Road on Key West's Truman Waterfront. The visitor center for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the facility houses exhibits that showcase the region's unique ecosystem including a living reef exhibit created by Mote Marine Laboratory.

Attendees at the lively festival can explore conservation and environmental exhibits from numerous organizations, meet live animals and experience touch tanks, view and purchase the work of local marine artists and craftspeople, rock to the sounds of favorite local entertainers including Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24, bid on silent auction items, play a "Passport to the Ocean" game and vie for prizes.

A free fishing seminar is planned for kids ages 5 to 11 that features instruction and barge fishing. One hundred spaces are available and free rods and spinning reels await the registrants. To participate, youngsters must register online at www.keysoceanfest.org.

Running and walking enthusiasts can compete in the 5k Tuna Trot beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 4, at the Eco-Discovery Center. Racers are to follow a flat, fast course through Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and the Truman Annex harbor area. Participants can register at www.keysoceanfest.org.

Proceeds and donations from the festival and race are to support Mote Marine Laboratory’s coral reef restoration, research and reef protection programs.

Event information: www.keysoceanfest.org 

Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest  or 1-800-LAST-KEY

Social: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Youtube • Keys Voices

Florida Keys events calendar: www.fla-keys.com/calendarofevents  
Florida Keys fishing information: www.fla-keys.com/fishing
Florida Keys visitor information: www.fla-keys.com  or 1-800-FLA-KEYS (1-800-352-5397) 
Islamorada visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Lower Keys visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 1-800-872-3722
Marathon visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/marathon  or 1-800-262-7284

 

 

Register To Win A Carrabelle Coastal Adventure Getaway!

Register now to be entered in the Carrabelle Coastal Adventure Getaway Contest sponsored by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council. The contest, which runs through March 31, will feature a two night  stay in Carrabelle between April 7 and May 31, 2015, two meals at area Franklin County restaurants, a half day fishing or eco-tour trip and tickets to climb the Historic Crooked River Lighthouse. This is a perfect time of year to enjoy the coast. Register today by clicking here.

Spring Break!

Franklin County features Spring Break options that offer relaxation without the crowds. March is one of the best months to camp at the St. George Island State Park, hike in the Tate's Hell National Forest, fish, or paddle the many rivers, streams and quiet shallows of the area. Feeling adventurous? Join Paddle Florida March 14-20 for six days on the Ochlockonee River located at the easternmost border of Franklin County. You can also join the Apalachicola Riverkeepers for their monthly paddle trip each fourth Saturday of the month.

Lodging Providers Offer Off-Season On-line Specials

Most of The Vacation Rental Companies in Franklin County are offering seasonal discounts for vacations during the late winter season. Click here for a complete listing of accommodations.

St George Island State Park March Events

Hike with a Park Ranger
Saturday, March 7. 9 a.m. Enjoy a one mile hike from the campground to East Slough and back. 

Panhandle Seashells
Saturday, March 14. 9 a.m. Join a hands-on ranger led shell identification program in the interpretive center.

Working Apalachicola Bay
Saturday, March 21.1 p.m. Join us for an exciting talk about the local seafood industry. 

Unless otherwise specified, the programs are free with paid park entry.

Dixie Theatre Performances

March 7 - Jim Croce Tribute
John Reno, a native of New Orleans, takes us on a musical journey through the songs of Jim Croce with his accompanist Detroit born Brett Gambino as they blend acoustic guitars and vocals to capture the essence of Jim Croce. 

March 14 - Sligo Line 
Formerly The Ned Devines, this talented group had the audience cheering during the 2014 Season 17.

March 21 - Earl David Reed -
We are so lucky to have this fabulous comedian bring his tour to the Theatre.

March 28 - Sarah Mac Band -  The House Band, back for their 5th Season.
Click here for the entire Dixie Theatre Season Schedule.

Carrabelle Literary and Music Events

Carrabelle Coastal Art Exhibit The Carrabelle Artists Association is presenting its Annual Coastal Art Showcase beginning March 6 at the Rio Carrabelle Gallery in Carrabelle and running through April 26.

A month long presentation featuring local noted artists, art exhibits  will be presented Click here for details.
Literary Night - March 7

Florida writers read from their current work & Special Musical Guest -- $10 cover. Rio Carrabelle.
Brandon Robertson - March 28 Brandon Robertson BIG BAND – Swing Tunes and Vocalist Avis Berry -- $10 cover. Rio Carrabelle.

Lighthouse Climb

The St. George Lighthouse will host a full moon climb March 5 from 6-7:30 pm. Climb to the top of the Cape St. George Light to watch the sunset and the rise of the full moon. The Sunset/Full Moon Climb includes light hors d'oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the full moon.  Cost is $15.00 for the general public and $10.00 for members of the St. George Lighthouse Association. Click here for details.

Apalachicola Artwalk March 21

Art in all forms will be woven in and around picturesque downtown Apalachicola on March 21 during the annual artwalk event where artists and musicians will be showing, selling, and demonstrating their talents from 11:00-6:00 pm.  The festivities continue into the evening with a wine tasting at 3:00 pm.  Afterwards area chefs will prepare dishes at their restaurants pared with special wines. Click here for more information.

Carrabelle Hosts First People March 14

In celebration of March being Archaeology Month in Florida, the Carrabelle History Museum and Historical Society are hosting the program: “The First People of the Forgotten Coast “on Saturday, March 14th. Demonstrations and displays of local artifacts will be exhibited.  Bring your questions and learn about the very first folks to live here and fish in our waters. Click here to learn more.

Ilse Newell Concert Schedule

The Florida Guitar Quartet
Sun., March 8, Trinity Episcopal Church, Apalachicola.
Bay Area Choral Society Sun., April 19, Trinity Episcopal Church, Apalachicola. 

Unless otherwise noted, all concerts begin at 4 pm (ET). Click here to watch a video about the event. Click here to view the entire Ilse Newell Concert Series schedule.

 

 

Product of the Week: New Crewsaver® Next Generation Inflatable Life Vests
Friday, February 13, 2015

Crewsaver® has introduced its range of ErgoFit and Crewfit inflatable life vests manufactured especially for use in the USA.Crewsaver
With so many boaters still failing to wear lifejackets, the new Crewsaver range offers comfortable, safe, stylish and affordable solutions for all types of boating and fishing activity. (Pending approval by the US Coast Guard, expected summer 2015)
Encompassing innovative Fusion 3D technology, a Crewsaver vest will mould to the shape of your body and sit off your neck to give you total freedom of movement – so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing it.

More info: www.crewsaver.com.

 

 

FISHERMEN’S VILLAGE TO HOST ANNUAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION
Punta Gorda, FL—Fishermen’s Village will play host to a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, 10 am until 8 pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.  The day’s festivities include:

•Vendors throughout the Village with fun, informative, educational displays

• Singer/Guitar Player Pat Surface, 11 am-3 pm, first section

• Singer/Guitar Player Paul Cottrell, 12  Noon-3 pm, Center Court

• Paul Strowe, the Human Jukebox, 12 Noon-3 pm, third section

• Seaview Radio Broadcast with Jeff Collins, “The Golden Hippo”, 4-6 pm, second section

•Lee County Pipes & Drums performance/parade, 5:30 pm, begins at main entrance

• Irish Music, Kelly & Emily Ann Thompson, 6-8 pm, Center Court

Village Restaurants will feature Irish food specials (call for details/reservations)

Fishermen’s Village is located off Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, FL.   941 639-8721 www.fishville.com.

READER'S CHOICE AWARDS FAVORITE SHOPPING DESTINATION!                                                                                           1200 West Retta Esplanade #57A
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

“HAPPINESS WALL” RETURNS TO FISHERMEN’S VILLAGE FRIDAY, MARCH 20TH

Punta Gorda, FL (Feb 16, 2015) – Is there still room in America for the “pursuit of happiness?”  “YES! Absolutely” according to several local Southwest Floridians who will be part of the International Day of Happiness. And, there will be an “Acts of Happiness” erected at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda to celebrate the International Day of World Happiness.  The Acts of Happiness wall is part of a worldwide movement to focus on personal and worldwide happiness.  Visitors to Fishermen’s Village on Friday, March 20, will be able to come and post their acts of happiness on the local wall (located near center court) between 10am and 3pm.  A Live “Happy Music Jam” takes place at Center Stage from 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM with local entertainer “Hawaii Tom” & Friends.

Worldwide Happiness Day

 “We were happy to host the “The Happiness Wall” next to Village Fish Market last year and were thrilled with the results,” says Kathy Burnam, Marketing Director for Fishermen’s Village.  “The Village  is such a happy place to be, and many visitors that day were thrilled to stop by the wall and post their reasons to be happy. This year we are adding to the level of happiness by providing live music from 12 noon until 2 pm featuring Hawaii Tom and Friends. It promises to be a fun and positive event for everyone!”

Fishermen’s Village is located off Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda, FL.  Visit  www.fishville.com  or contact 1-800-639-0020.

Kathy Burnam
Marketing/Events Manager
Fishermen's Village
kathyb@fishville.com
READER'S CHOICE AWARDS FAVORITE SHOPPING DESTINATION!
1200 West Retta Esplanade #57A
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
P  941 575-3007
F   941 637-1054

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