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Boating in Florida

 
 
 
Bahamas:  
 
 
West End  
 
 
Onto the Bank  
 
 
Walker's Cay  
 
 
The Biminis

 
 
 
Regulations  
 
 
Travel Tips  
 
 
 
Today's Tides
Sun 01/01/2007
  H   0:00a   L   0:00a   
  H   0:00a   L   0:00a   
   Now: Strong outgoing
   Dawn 5:30a  
   Sunrise 6:00a  
   Sunset 6:00p  
   Nightfall 6:30p  
(nautical twilight)
Today's Moon
Waxing Crescent
   Moonrise 6:00a  
   Moonset 6:00p  
   First Q 27th 7:31p  
   Perigee 27th 7:31p  

Solunar
   Overhead      0:00a   
   Beneath      0:00a   
 

Boating in Florida

If there's anywhere in the world you should have a boat, it's in Florida. With a fourth of the navigable coastline of the continental US, lakes in every back yard, and rivers enough to circle the globe twice, there is something for everyone. There are no mountains or even hills in this state. Only water, and lots of it.



The Running Free, a Luhrs 35 Sportfisher,
roaming off on the next adventure.

I've spent a lot of time in boats over the years. Trailerable boats, sportfishing boats, and some outright yachts. I've boated most of the coast of Florida, both Gulf and Atlantic, including the Keys and the northern Bahamas. I've wandered up and down the St Johns River, down the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee, and across the Okeechobee waterway coast to coast more times than I can remember. Then there's the occasional run of the intercoastal waterway from Key West to the top of the Cheasapeake Bay.

This is not a cruising guide. Buy one and keep it handy for your trip. I'll intend to put here info not found in the guides, and items to keep in mind when you make a trip. I'm aiming principally for the small boater, as veteran cruisers could write their own guides.


West End, Walker's Cay



A full moon peaks through the clouds
over south dock, Walker's Cay, Abacos.

West End, the Little Bahama Bank, and
Walker's Cay, my favorite stop in the northern Bahamas, is covered in the Bahamas Section...

 

Florida Waters

 

  • 1300 miles of navigable coastline.
  • 51000 miles of navigable rivers.
  • 7000 navigable lakes.
  • 750,000 registered boats.
  • 400,000 annual visiting boats.


Coming Soon to Boating Pages

I've recently begun filling the Boating Pages after years of "coming soon". The intent is to put information not normally found in the various guides online here where it might be useful. Items about small boats and the big ocean, gleaned from having been there. I've not found a really good reference on small boat (20-25' trailerable) operation well offshore, but that's where most of the fishing people roam, and the size boat most use. Things learned about successful and not so successful trips will be passed on to those just starting out.

I began with material I'd already prepared as handouts to the CFOA fishing club's annual Bahamas trips. The material was at hand, and gave a topic to shake down the format of the pages. Soon to come:

  • Small boats offshore operation:
    What to have beyond the CG list.
  • Running the inlets.
    Notes not in the books.
  • Annotated NOAA maps.
    Places to keep a sharp watch.
  • Bimini. How to get there, what to do.
  • The Freeport - Lucaya area.
  • Some safety info not normally in the books.
  • The St Johns River
    From SR 50 to Glen Silver Springs.
  • Kissimmee River from
    Kissimmee to Lake Okeechobee.
  • Crossing the Okeechobee waterway.
  • Beginners Weather.
  • Thunderstorm protocols...


 
 
 
 

"....there is nothing - - absolutely nothing - - half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats........"

 
 

Kenneth Grahame