SECTION B - News-y & Cruise-y

SARASOTA'S MARINE FLEA MARKET & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL takes place March 31 -  April 1 (9 'til 6)
at Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd. with new and used boats, a Kids' Zone, Reggae music and more. Contact 954 205 7813 or check out

New GUY HARVEY® Florida Lottery Scratch-Off Game
— For fans of marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey there’s a new collector’s artwork series that will be available starting on April 3rd—priced at just $2.

Dr. Harvey and the Florida Lottery are officially launching the GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off game that day, featuring a series of six colorful wildlife illustrations which will represent original Guy Harvey® Collector’s Series artwork. Licensing proceeds from the sale of the tickets will go entirely to The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a non-profit organization that directly benefits Florida’s coastlines.

Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell anticipates sales of the GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off Game to generate about $3.5 million for Florida’s education system.

Dr. Harvey, referring to a second chance promotion that offers players to win the fishing trip of a lifetime said: "This partnership with the Florida Lottery is unique and I am happy to launch a product that will help Florida’s schools as well as the state’s precious natural resources ... I am especially looking forward to fishing with the winner of the Grand Cayman trip. We will have a great time!”

 The $2 GUY HARVEY® Scratch-Off game offers cash prizes of up to $30,000 and overall odds to win of one-in-4.37. Additionally, non-winning GUY HARVEY® tickets may be entered in the Guy Harvey® Sportsman’s Paradise Second Chance Promotion on the Lottery’s website:

Four drawings will be held between April 25 and June 27 with 12 winners selected in each drawing.


Click photo for larger view.

  • Grand prize winners will receive a Sportsman’s Paradise fishing trip for two to one of several fantastic fishing destinations including St. Petersburg Beach, Duck Key, Rum Cay in the Bahamas, or Grand Cayman Island, where one lucky winner and a guest will get the opportunity of a lifetime – to go fishing with Guy Harvey himself!
  • Second prize winners in the drawing will receive an original Guy Harvey® framed watercolor painting and the third prize winners will receive a $200 gift certificate to

The Florida Lottery is working closely with the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission to promote the game to Florida’s licensed anglers and to help underscore the importance of conservation to Florida.

“Acknowledged as the ‘Fishing Capital of the World,’ Florida has vast natural resources we are duty-bound to protect,”  said Chuck Collins, Regional Director of the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Commission). “Every effort to highlight the beauty of our waters, the abundance of species and our need to respect and conserve them for residents, visitors and our future generations is a worthwhile effort.”

Florida voters, by a two-to-one margin, approved a constitutional amendment in 1986 authorizing the state to operate a lottery for the purpose of generating significant additional moneys for education. To date, the Florida Lottery has funded Bright Futures scholarships for more than 550,000 Florida students to attend college in our state. Floridians continue to show their support by purchasing billions of dollars in Lottery products per year, resulting in contributions of more than $23 billion to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund since 1988. For more information regarding the Florida Lottery, its games and its contributions to education, visit


Atlantis (the resort on Paradise Island) has announced Spring Savings on Airfare and Hotel Rooms ... Good to have if you're not cruising over, or will be joined by friends.

Reserve Rooms from $199 per night plus receive up to $400 Airfare credit. Book by April 9 by calling 888-208-6872. See details at

Second Annual Billfish Invitational May 30-June 2 - BIMINI

ALICE TOWN, BIMINI—MARCH 26, 2012—Promoters of the 2012 Billfish Invitational Tournament,, today announced that legendary fisherman and Saltwater Sportsman editor, John Brownlee, will be  Master of Ceremonies for the tournament’s May 31st dinner roast of international sport fishing angler and entrepreneur Tim Choate at the historic Bimini Big Game Club. 
Brownlee, inducted into the Big Game Room Hall of Fame at the Miami International Boat Show, will be joined by celebrated marine wildlife artist, scientist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey, who with some partners reopened the Bimini Big Game Club in 2010 as a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort & Marina.

Choate, who shares similar conservation goals as does Brownlee and Dr. Harvey, will be presented with the Frank Johnson Trophy for Personal Achievement in the Advancement of Big Game Sport Fishing at the roast and special recognition dinner event. Frank Johnson himself was the first year honoree.
Administered by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the IGFA, tournament proceeds will be reinvested in Bimini and surrounding waters. For registration and further details, contact Captain Ned Stone at or call 954-524-2225 (office) or 954-205-9595 (cell).

New boathouse to display historic sailboats in PINELLAS COUNTY

The Optimist Pram was the brainchild of local boat builder and Clearwater Optimist Club member Clark Mills. In the 1940s, Mills was challenged to design a boat that could be used by young sailors in a local, water-based “soap box derby” youth event.

The first Florida Pram Regatta took place in Clearwater in 1948. The pram’s easy-to-make and easy-to-sail design made it a favorite of young sailors everywhere, and more than a quarter million of these boats had been produced worldwide at the time of Mills’ death in 2001.

A vintage Optimist Pram, along with historic Windmill, Sun Cat and Snipe boats will be on display in a new boathouse addition to Heritage Village scheduled for completion by the fall of 2012.


Click Photo to enlarge.

The groundbreaking takes place on Sunday, April 15, 3:30 p.m. behind Heritage Village’s Greenwood House near McKay Creek. 

Construction of the new boat house is made possible through a unique public-private partnership with Pinellas County government, the Pinellas County Historical Society, the Clearwater Yacht Club, Ed Hoffman Architects and Proefke Construction.  Donated funds will be used for permits and supplies; volunteer labor will be used to design and build the facility.

The structure will feature a 24’x40’ display area for the boats, plus a smaller, air conditioned 12’x40’ display room.  This boathouse will profile an important chapter of coastal living in Pinellas County and will include trophies, tools and other memorabilia from the museum’s collections.

Heritage Village is located at 11909 125th St. N. in Largo. This living history museum brings more than 150 years of local history to life.
Visitors can tour 28 authentic buildings and structures, and experience historical Pinellas County through hands-on exploration. Paths wind through 21 acres and connect with the Florida Botanical Gardens and the Pinewood Cultural Park campus.

Heritage Village is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. It is closed Mondays, Tuesdays and all Pinellas County holidays. For more information on Heritage Village visit, or call (727) 582-2123.

 Ladies, Lets Go Fishing, the
No Yelling School of Fishing. has set the following schedule for 2012 ... The group continues to do a great job and the ladies learn and have fun at the same time. 
Planned Seminars include ...

  • Fort Lauderdale - April 20-22
  • Stuart - May 18-20
  • Islamorada - November 9-11.

Details for all their events are on their very interesting site:
Phone is 954-475-9068; Fax is 954-474-7299.

The ELC, located at the west end of the Wabasso Bridge, is a great place to visit. Many of their activities are planned for families. Their Summer Camp offerings have just been announced in time for this April update:

Wabasso Island, FL –An exciting array of Summer Ecology Adventures are offered again this summer by the Environmental learning Center (ELC) for students from pre-kindergarten through high school. These adventures provide groups of students the opportunity to learn about and appreciate our natural environment by exploring it up close and personal under the direction of a professional naturalist. Six programs, divided by age groups, are offered during June, July and early August.

“Wild Waters” is a five day, four night camp for students entering the 8th through 12th grades to discover our wild local waters. It
includes kayaking the Indian River Lagoon, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, and parts of the St. Sebastian River. It also includes a day of snorkeling at Bath Tub Beach in Stuart and visits to the Barrier Island Center and the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. Nights are spent camping at points of interest along the way. The camp begins at noon on Sunday, June 10, and ends at noon on Thursday, June 14. The cost is $395 ($10 discount for ELC Members) per camper which includes all gear (except bedding), kayak, tent, nets, mask with snorkel, transportation during camp, entrance fees, all meals and snacks. The program is led by the ELC Education Director and an adult chaperone.

“Marine Safari” is a three day camp for action oriented students entering the 6th and 7th grades. It is held from 8:30 AM to 4 PM each
day. Activities include team building games at the ELC, a visit to the North County Aquatics Center for water safety and snorkeling practice, pontoon boat trips on the Indian River Lagoon, a canoe scavenger hunt, trips to both the Barrier Island Center and the Florida Oceanographic Center, and snorkeling at Stuart’s Bath Tub Beach. There are three camps scheduled: June 25-27, July 9-11, and July 25-27. The cost is $120 ($10 discount for ELC Members) per camper which includes chartered bus, canoe and pontoon boat excursions, snorkel gear, nets, water safety class fee and admission to FL Oceanographic. This program is lead by the ELC Education Director and two camp counselors.

“Island Adventure” is a three day program for students entering the 4th and 5th grades. It is held from 8:30 AM to 4 PM each day. Adventures include a water safety class at the North County Aquatic Center, a scavenger hunt, a trip to the McLarty Treasure Museum, learning the basics of geocaching using GPS devices, a visit to the Barrier Island Sanctuary, canoe excursion, and a pontoon boat trip to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and Sebastian Inlet State Park. Five camps are scheduled: June 6-8, June 13-15, July 9-11, July 18-20, and August 1-3. The cost is $110 ($10 discount for ELC Members) which includes chartered bus, canoe and pontoon boat excursions, nets, GPS use, and water safety class fee. The program is conducted by a professional naturalist and two camp counselors.

“Our Living World” is a four day program for students entering the 2nd and 3rd grades, held from 8:30 AM to 12noon each day. Campers
 spend most of the four mornings outdoors on the ELC campus, exploring the touch tank and the web of life on the ELC’s island campus, creating animals with recycled material, seine netting the surrounding waters, and dip netting in the ELC pond. They will identify animals collected from the water, and learn about the animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects that populate our area. Three sessions are scheduled: June 11-14, June 25-28, and July 9-12. The cost is $60 ($5 discount for ELC Members) which includes the instruction, and snacks and drinks each day. Each camp is led by an ELC Naturalist and three counselors.

“Young Explorers” is a four day program for students entering the 1st grade, held from 8:30 AM to 12noon each day. Each day campers will address a different theme. They will explore healthy habitats, study insects, dip net in the ELC pond, create fish prints using rubber models, and learn about pollinators and parts of plants, and take part in a nature scavenger hunt. Three sessions are scheduled: June 25-28, July 16-19, and July 23-26. The cost is $60 ($5 discount for ELC Members) per camper which includes the instruction, snacks and drinks each day. Each camp is led by an ELC Naturalist and three counselors.

“Little Wonders” is a four day camp for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children who are at least 4 years old. The camp takes place on the ELC campus, both outdoors and in the classroom. Campers will learn what may be in their backyards through books and scavenger hunts, dip net in the pond, spend time in the touch tank, learn about various insects, and study native plants. Four sessions are scheduled: June 11-14, July 9-12, July 16-19, and July 23-26. The cost is $60 ($5 discount for ELC Members) per camper which includes the instruction, snacks and drinks each day. The camp is led by an ELC Naturalist and three counselors.

Additional information on these summer programs may be found at the ELC website Advance registration is required and may be made by calling the ELC at (772) 589-5050. For safety reasons and the highest of educational value space is limited for each session. Thanks to generous funding from clubs and individuals, a limited number of scholarships are available. Information on them can be found by contacting Rosemary Badger, ELC Naturalist, at or (772) 589-5050.    

The Environmental Learning Center is located north of Vero Beach off County Road 510. Its campus includes exhibit areas, native plant gardens, picnic facilities, gift shop, and visitor center. ELC membership benefits, a list of its many field excursions, EcoVentures, including nature walks, canoe excursions, and boating adventures can be found at Admission to the ELC for public visitation is $5 per person, children 12 and under free, and ELC members receive free admission year-round. The first Saturday of every month is free to all.

Contact: Holly Dill, Executive Director / (772) 589-5050 or

Address is 255 Live Oak Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963.


As this company's Press Release says: "A 30-year anniversary is a very big deal in the recreational boating industry." We agree, as we have just published our 30th edition of the FCD!

Anticipating its big Three-Oh, Southwest Florida Yachts announced a three-year "Berth Day" party culminating in 2014.

Barb Hansen, co-owner and manager, said the premiere chartering firm will give charter customers free cruising days in 2012,2013 and 2014 on all power and sailing vessels.

Hansen said it works like this: if you set up a three-days or longer cruise between December 15 and April 30 you'll get one free cruising day. That's the winter season. And if you cruise in the summer season you'll get two free cruising days.

ONGOING ANNIVERSARY ACTIVITIES: Their FLORIDA SAILING & CRUISING SCHOOL is also getting in on the 30th Anniversary Promotion by presenting graduates between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014 with a Weems & Plath navigation tool.

For more about this long-time Barb and Vic Hansen-owned company visit,, or contact them by e-mail at; phone 800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339.

Office and mailing address: 3444 Marinatown Lane, NW, N. Fort Myers, FL 33903.


The not-for-profit museum, located at MM 83 Bayside in Islamorada (Phone: 305-664-9737) is open daily, 10AM-5PM and schedules the following: Sea Hunt, the original TV Series with Lloyd Bridges is shown every Saturday between 3 and 5 PM and a Comprehensive safe boating course under the instruction of a USCG Master Captain is presented FREE to Monroe County Students on the first Sunday of every month. (Donations are appreciated from all others.) Classes are scheduled from 10:30AM-12:30PM and prospective students should register by phone at 305-664-9737.

Immerse Yourself! programs remain free of charge thanks to support provided by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
Visit the Museum's site at

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