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  • Home
    Seattle Boat Show celebrates 75th anniversary

    Feb 4, 2022 through Feb 12, 2022.

    Seattle Boat Show Celebrates 75th Anniversary

    The Seattle Boat Show will be celebrating 75 years on Feb 4, 2022. The show will feature 255 exhibitors with more than 800 new and brokerage boats, as well as 13 marine dealers.

    The event will be held indoors at Lumen Field Event Center and on the water at Bell Harbor Marina. Boats on display will include a 1948 20′ custom Chris Craft, a 1955 Chris Craft Capri and a very rare 1958-59 Chris Craft Silver.

    A historical photo display of the past 75 years will document the show’s moves from the Washington National Guard Armory to the Seattle Center Coliseum to the Kingdome, followed by dropping anchor at Seahawks Stadium and Exhibition Center in 2000 – which is now known as the Lumen Field Event Center.

    The display will include a look back at boats and outfits through the years and classic promotions such as Boat Show Queen and Boat Show Family of the Year.

    There will also be a long putt challenge, starting on Feb 4, and running until Feb 11. Attendees can play mini golf at the Long Putt Challenge located inside the Boaters Lounge. All participants will receive a gift certificate to Flatstick Pub for a complimentary round. Winners who sink a putt will win a gift certificate of at least $50 and be entered into a raffle for the grand prize.

    On February 7, women can attend the show for free and enjoy numerous seminars designed specifically for women, by women boaters.

    It’s the perfect opportunity to meet, learn and get inspired by some of the most experienced and talented women boaters around. Visit Seattle Boat Show to print the complimentary pass. Women are free at both locations. Seminars are at Lumen Field Event Center.

    There’s a special day at Lumen Field Event Center just for furry first mates, on February 10. Their owners can make a custom dog tag at the on-site engraving machine and stop by the photo booth, have some fun with the props and enter to win the cover dog contest.

    The winning dog will be featured on the cover of a springtime issue of 48° North. Those arriving after 5pm for Yappy Hour can take home a dog life vest courtesy of Connelly Watersports (while supplies last). Dogs are welcome every day of the show at Bell Harbor. 

    Entertaining and educational, the seminars are always one of the most popular features at the show. New for the 2022 show is an online component.

    Attendees who can’t make all the in-person seminars on their list, or wish to revisit a favourite seminar, can watch the complete library of nine show days’ worth of boating and fishing seminars from the comfort of home for three months post-show.

    The $99 dollar seminar ticket package includes multi-day admission to the show (a $36 value) and a boatload of goodies, including a copy of the Waggoner Cruising Guide.

    Boat Show U classes will be offered as online webinars and are available to watch live (online only)during the show or on-demand until May 15,2022 with a seminar package ticket. This is an incredible value add to the ticket as Boat Show U courses were previously $55 each.

     

    Tickets

    Adult Admission: $18.00

    9 – Day Pass: $36.00

    2 For 1 Tuesday: $18.00

    Seminar Package: $99.00

     

    Seminar Package includes 9 days admission to the show, a Waggoner Cruising Guide, a BOAT U.S Basic Membership, and 3-month access to the online seminar library, to re-watch all fishing, boating, and sailing seminars as well as Boat Show University classes.

    Kids 17 and under get in free.

     

    A free shuttle runs continuously between both locations.

    For specific details about hours, exhibitors, seminars and attractions, visit www.SeattleBoatShow.com.

     

    The show will be following all State and local Covid-19 protocols.

     

    Contact:

    Lisa Samuelson

    Samuelson Communications

    Cell: 206-954-2574

    Email: lisa@samuelsoncom.com

     

Eastern US

  • Home
    Florida’s Best-Kept Secret

    FROM THE PBC VAULTS:

    The Okeechobee Waterway opens up a little-known chapter in the book on southern cruising in Florida.

    By Michel Gilbert & Danielle Alary

    When most people think about cruising Florida, they imagine the Keys, the Intracoastal Waterway or the Gulf of Mexico. But there is another route that few boaters take – and it’s the best-kept secret in the Sunshine State.

    We started off with a simple question. How could we find a Pleasant cruising destination suitable for novice charterers? What’s more, it had to be accessible by car from our home and allow us to experience the thrill of discovery without having to brave galeforce ocean winds.

    Florida
    One of the many locks along the route.

    To find the answer we looked at the map of the North American continent and started searching. We wanted a warm destination since we were going to cruise in late March. 

    Our final choice was Florida, but the exact destination was not a household name in chartering destinations. Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Canal are not exactly the capital of boat chartering. Yet there is something very special about this route, otherwise known as the Okeechobee Waterway.

    A Boater’s Dream in Florida

    Having the opportunity to charter a boat and operate it in a controlled environment is a new adventure, especially for those boaters who have paid their dues, received the proper navigation education and cruised home waters. For boaters with enough experience, who have handled larger units (in the 28- to 40-foot range), coming to Florida to experience a cross-state trip might be the next logical step.

    The Okeechobee Waterway (OW) was built in 1937 by the US Army Corps of Engineers to connect the east and west coasts of Florida through Lake Okeechobee, the second largest fresh water lake in the United States at 730 square miles. At 152 miles from end to end, the OW can be explored in a week.

    You may even want to bring your own boat down since there are marinas and campgrounds all along the OW. However, making such a trip is the perfect reason to experience liveaboard units, either motoryachts or trawlers. The latter is a good choice since you cannot cruise the OW at 60 mph and there is no reason to do so.

    Choosing A Florida Charter Company

    Choosing a charter company is simple, yet you must take the time to make a selection based on the operator’s experience and service level offered. You can always look in the classified ads to find an individual willing to rent his prized possession, but your best bet is to contact a well established charter outfit. Well-known charter companies have a consistent track record and, since they own or operate a number of units, should a major problem occur with the boat of your choice, they would be in a position to make arrangements to replace the unit, without cutting your vacation short.

    These operators also have mechanics and speed boats at their disposal to help you in case an emergency arises. Also, fleet maintenance is done on a preventative basis, which helps reduce or eliminate the number of potential breakdowns.

    If you can, check with friends or ask for credentials provided by the charter company.

    Acquired Skills

    If you do not have the experience or skills necessary to skipper your own boat, many companies offer courses, either group or private, that can help you get proper qualification.

    When you fill in the charter company form detailing your boating background, always tell the truth about your experience or navigational knowledge. It will help you avoid trouble. For example, if you lie about your skills, insurance coverage might be voided in case of an accident. Worse still, you can put you and your passengers at risk. Besides, experienced charter company representatives can quickly identify inexperienced boaters.

    Do not hesitate to ask questions. Before you cast the lines, the charter operator will brief you on the boat and on the cruising grounds. Listen carefully and raise any question that comes to your mind. Pretending you know everything is a recipe for disaster. There is no stupid question and the operator will appreciate if you tell him/her that you are unfamiliar with some systems and need a refresher.

    Florida
    Just one of several marine services.

    Ask about proper anchoring/mooring procedures for the area. 

    One company that has a lot of experience in the area we planned to charter is South Florida Yachts (SFY- www.swfyachts.com). Owners Vic and Barbara Hansen have been in the business for over 20 years and they specialize in Florida’s west coast and Okeechobee Waterway charters. At the time of this article, their powerboat fleet encompassed 11 units, ranging from 32 to 42 leet. motoryachts or trawlers.

    For two people, the Grand Banks 32 Classic Trawler is the perfect choice. With a single Lehman 90 hp engine, she cruises at 5-7 knots, burning less than 2 gph. With this boat you can spend a week cruising the OW for less than $300 worth of fuel!

    Those who want more power could choose a motoryacht like the Bayliner 3988 that reaches 10-20 knots at 10 gph. Such power is probably overkill for the Okeechobee Waterway, considering the number of locks and relatively short distances between stops.

    Air conditioning is a must for such a trip and all of South Florida Yachts units are so equipped.

    The Itinerary

    Based on Barb Hansen’s suggestion, we chose an itinerary that would bring us from Fort Myers to Stuart in three days. This gave us a one-day buffer during a seven-day cruise.

    Leaving South Florida Yachts’ base located near the Caloosahatchee Bridge at ICW marker 52, we headed east towards La Belle, a small community with docking space, about 20 miles away. Halfway through this leg, we passed the W.P. Franklin lock. With an early morning departure, this is a nice spot to have lunch at a nearby anchorage. There are even picnic tables on the shore.

    Since the locks close for scheduled maintenance, your best option is to inquire before making your final arrangements for the trip. You can call the Corps of Engineers at 813-983-8101 or 904-791-2539.

    When navigating, you have to call the lock master in advance to ask which side of the boat to put your fenders. Going east usually means fenders to the starboard side and vice versa.

    You will also need all the boat’s documentation for the lock master. The entire locking procedure takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes. There are many drawbridges along the way but they open on demand during normal operating hours.

    Leaving the W.P. Franklin lock, we continued at a leisurely pace, passing villages like Owanita, Alva and Denaud. A good piece of advice is to avoid cruising here during national holidays and popular vacation “windows” since portions of the route can get crowded. 

    When charting your course, take into account the waiting time at the lock and build in some extra time to allow for normal delays due to traffic and other unforeseen surprises. It is always best to arrive at your destination when the sun is still high above the horizon. It disappears quite rapidly in the South so plan to be at anchor/dock at least 45 to 60 minutes before sunset.

    For our trip, we decided to charter the Grand Banks trawler, slowly cruising along, mile by mile releasing the stress of our normally hectic everyday workplace.

    The salon/dining area IS surrounded by windows. You can sit, sipping a cold drink, and simply admire the view or enjoy the scenery from the flybridge. And, believe it, nothing beats the smooth taste of an ice-cold beer at the end of a warm day once the boat is secured and the barbecue is just a few minutes away!

    Big Decision

    On the second morning, a 6:30 departure brought us to Ortano, the second lock, quite early. Fifty feet wide and 280 feet long, the lock can accommodate numerous boats (as can all the locks on the waterway). Most cruising guides suggest it is better not to be the first or the last boat to avoid turbulence during the operation of the lock.

    Between La Belle and Ortona lock, we opted for a non-stop leg of our trek since we had to pass the third lock at Moore Haven. We needed to reach this town before or at noon because we had to make our ”big decision” during lunch hour!

    Lake Okeechobee (from the Seminole Indian word meaning “Big Water”)is a vast expanse of water, 33 miles from north to south and 30 miles from east to west. It is a wildlife paradise as well as the most important source of fresh water for South Florida residents. Lake level is critical to the economy of the State. 

    Docked at the Moore Haven city docks, we had plenty of time to weigh the alternatives that lay in front of us. There were two ways we could cross Lake Okeechobee. First was the direct, open lake route, a 39-mile trip that meant sleeping in Moote Fiaven and spending most of the next day cruising on the lake. The other option involved cruising the rim canal, a 5O-mile journey that can be broken into shorter segments since there are towns on the way where we could spend the night.

    Barb Hansen’s suggestion was to take the rim canal route. This allowed us to spend the night in Clewiston, a small town located roughly 10 miles from Moore Haven. Dropping the anchor in Clewiston means an early arrival, well before sunset. An interesting fact about Clewiston: this village was built by the U.S. Sugar company. It’s worth spending some time ashore to sample the local cuisine.

    There are two other benefits to the southern route. Being a canal, it is well protected, should the wind decide to wreak havoc on the lake. It is marginally longer than the openlake route and gives you more of a chance to observe wildlife as you make your way along the banks of this incredibly rich area.

    The scenery is beautiful, with moss-draped live oaks hiding sable palms. The range of wildlife here, and along the Okeechobee Waterway, ranges from alligators, turtles and snakes to wild birds such as ibis, herons cormorants and herons. You might even spot an eagle nesting in the high trees or the occasional manatee. 

    Fishing, too, is great. Lake Okeechobee is renown for its largemouth bass and the famous Okeechobee catfish as well as black crappie. Even tarpon and snook travel to the W.P. Franklin and St. Lucie locks.

    Up before dawn, we revved up the engine and made our way at 6 knots,  pace that would put us in Stuart late that clay. En route to our destination we encountered the Port Mayaca lock which marks the end of the lake segment.

    Florida
    One of many sights in Stuart, Florida.

    Following this interlude, we meandered to the St. Lucie lock, the last one before our destination and turning Point, Stuart.

    Spending a full day in the Stuart/St. Lucie area or taking a short cruise to the coast before embarking on the return trip is a good idea. This gives the crew a chance to relax and enjoy the area before heading back.

    7 Is Good, 10 Is Even Better

    As you can see it is possible to cross Okeechobee Waterway and come back in a week. But, if you want more free time, extending your stay to l0 days is even better. This gives everyone the chance to visit more villages along the way or simply enjoy a longer cruise at a slower pace.

    On the return trip, taking the open-lake route saves l0 miles and brings another view of this fresh water “ocean.” Cast a line along the way and you might catch some delicacy to eat for dinner.

    Cruising the Okeechobee Waterway with your own boat or a charter unit is the perfect way to see the “other” Florida, this is a unique experience, very well suited for a family vacation without the fear or anxiety of the open sea.

    So, next time you consider a trip to Florida, buy a copy of the Southern Waterway Guide and plan a cruise that will be a unique memory and a lifetime experience.


    FloridaImportant Florida phone numbers

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Florida Operations office  863-983-8101

    W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam 239-694-5451

    Ortona Lock and Dam 863-675-0616

    Julian Keen Jr. Lock 863-946-0414

    Port Mayaca Lock and Dam 561-924-2858

    St. Lucie lock and Dam 772-287-2665

Western Canada

  • Home
    How healthy wetlands support biodiversity

    Thriving biodiversity starts with clean water and healthy wetlands

    Contributed by Ducks Unlimited Canada

    The phrase “water is life” is simple and true. All living things, from microscopic bacteria to massive blue whales, need water to survive.

    Today, as the world faces historic biodiversity losses with more than one million species at risk of extinction, the phrase is also a reminder of where we must focus our attention and conservation resources.

    Across Canada, lakes and rivers supply drinking water to millions of people, provide habitat for thousands of species and serve as the backdrop to many of our favourite outdoor activities. Enjoying our country’s beautiful natural landscapes and all they have to offer is a part of our identity. What’s more Canadian than skating on a frozen pond or paddling a canoe across a calm lake? But access to a clean, abundant water supply is something many of us take for granted.

    wetland
    A moose and waterfowl in an Alberta wetland. © DUC/Darwin Chambers

    Canada’s troubled waters

    Canada is home to approximately 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater resources. But the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are impacting our lakes and rivers. Run-off, pollutants, invasive species and toxic blue-green algae are becoming larger threats. This past summer, in provinces across the country, many beaches were temporarily closed due to poor water quality.

    How can we be more responsible with this crucial resource and its ecosystems? As a country, we need to work together and commit to a clear plan of action to support biodiversity and protect our freshwater ecosystems by conserving and restoring our coastal and inland wetlands. Fortunately, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) can help.

    Ontario Research - wetland
    Wetlands like this help slow runoff, keeping excess phosphorus, nitrogen, and other harmful nutrients from entering lakes and streams. © DUC

    Wetlands: a nature-based solution

    We know there is an effective solution for chronically sick waterbodies that can be implemented at individual and community scales: wetlands. Wetlands are the link between land and water and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. They include marshes, swamps, bogs, ponds, estuaries and fens, which serve as important components of watersheds. These powerful, and often underappreciated, ecosystems help slow runoff from the surrounding landscape, keeping excess phosphorus, nitrogen, and other harmful nutrients from entering lakes and streams. Wetland vegetation traps sediment and pollutants, and wetland microorganisms break down the contaminants. This allows clean water to flow downstream where native flora and fauna can flourish.

    Wetlands themselves are rich in biodiversity. It’s estimated that up to 40 per cent of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands. Some wetland species like dragonflies are highly sensitive to changes in the environment, and their welfare has become an important indicator of the overall health of the ecosystems where they live and breed.

    As populations of these indicator species decline due to habitat loss and water quality degradation, we need to take notice. What befalls one befalls another, which increases the risk of “extinction cascades” where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

    Science shows wetland conservation and restoration improves water quality

    For more than 80 years, DUC has been leading the way in wetland conservation and research that’s helping address issues related to Canada’s water quality and quantity. Today, safeguarding a clean, reliable water supply is of paramount importance, as water continues to be contaminated by runoff from urban centres, agriculture and other industrial activities.

    “Our science tells us that wetlands act as nature’s water filter,” says Mark Gloutney, DUC’s national director of science, education and business planning.

    Gloutney points to a two-year study on newly restored wetlands in the Lake Erie watershed. DUC researchers monitored water inflows and outflows to measure how efficiently unwanted nutrients, such as phosphorus, were captured. Excess phosphorus is a key contributor to blue-green algae growth that can be toxic, killing fish and harming other wildlife.

    DUC research has proven the effectiveness of restored wetlands in filtering out these nutrients before they reach our waterways, with results from this study showing us that these small wetlands were effective at filtering water under a variety of conditions—protecting downstream rivers and lakes in all seasons.

    “By identifying and quantifying the functions and values of wetlands relative to the supply and quality of fresh water in North America, we can showcase the economic and ecological benefits of protecting and restoring these ecosystems,” says Gloutney. “This is particularly important in agricultural landscapes where wetland conservation and restoration can offer natural solutions that can support food production while also protecting nature.”

    Wetland Scenic
    DUC research shows that wetlands are effective at settling and filtering water under a variety of conditions—protecting downstream rivers and lakes in all seasons. © DUC

    Taking action for wetlands, clean water and biodiversity

    Without clean water, communities face declining health and opportunity. As we lead up to the COP15 conference in Montreal, discussions will focus on protecting nature and halting biodiversity loss around the world, with the importance of clean water as one of several priorities. Although much progress has been made, more work is needed. Some key actions we believe need to be taken to bolster watershed resilience include:

    • Protecting wetlands through the establishment of effective policies in all provinces and territories that recognize wetlands as nature-based solutions and valuable natural capital.
    • Continuing to partner with agriculture to develop sustainable solutions that work within the context of modern agricultural practices.
    • The successful creation of the federal government’s new Canada Water Agency aimed at keeping Canada’s water safe, clean, and well-managed.

    Clean, accessible water is fundamental to human health, the environment and a sustainable economy. Restoring the lost functions of wetlands in watersheds are a natural solution to sustaining biodiversity and supporting clean drinking water for all Canadians.

    Clean water for all

    Make a donation to Ducks Unlimited Canada to support our work conserving wetlands, sustaining biodiversity and supporting clean drinking water for all Canadians.

Eastern Canada

  • Home
    How healthy wetlands support biodiversity

    Thriving biodiversity starts with clean water and healthy wetlands

    Contributed by Ducks Unlimited Canada

    The phrase “water is life” is simple and true. All living things, from microscopic bacteria to massive blue whales, need water to survive.

    Today, as the world faces historic biodiversity losses with more than one million species at risk of extinction, the phrase is also a reminder of where we must focus our attention and conservation resources.

    Across Canada, lakes and rivers supply drinking water to millions of people, provide habitat for thousands of species and serve as the backdrop to many of our favourite outdoor activities. Enjoying our country’s beautiful natural landscapes and all they have to offer is a part of our identity. What’s more Canadian than skating on a frozen pond or paddling a canoe across a calm lake? But access to a clean, abundant water supply is something many of us take for granted.

    wetland
    A moose and waterfowl in an Alberta wetland. © DUC/Darwin Chambers

    Canada’s troubled waters

    Canada is home to approximately 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater resources. But the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are impacting our lakes and rivers. Run-off, pollutants, invasive species and toxic blue-green algae are becoming larger threats. This past summer, in provinces across the country, many beaches were temporarily closed due to poor water quality.

    How can we be more responsible with this crucial resource and its ecosystems? As a country, we need to work together and commit to a clear plan of action to support biodiversity and protect our freshwater ecosystems by conserving and restoring our coastal and inland wetlands. Fortunately, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) can help.

    Ontario Research - wetland
    Wetlands like this help slow runoff, keeping excess phosphorus, nitrogen, and other harmful nutrients from entering lakes and streams. © DUC

    Wetlands: a nature-based solution

    We know there is an effective solution for chronically sick waterbodies that can be implemented at individual and community scales: wetlands. Wetlands are the link between land and water and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. They include marshes, swamps, bogs, ponds, estuaries and fens, which serve as important components of watersheds. These powerful, and often underappreciated, ecosystems help slow runoff from the surrounding landscape, keeping excess phosphorus, nitrogen, and other harmful nutrients from entering lakes and streams. Wetland vegetation traps sediment and pollutants, and wetland microorganisms break down the contaminants. This allows clean water to flow downstream where native flora and fauna can flourish.

    Wetlands themselves are rich in biodiversity. It’s estimated that up to 40 per cent of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands. Some wetland species like dragonflies are highly sensitive to changes in the environment, and their welfare has become an important indicator of the overall health of the ecosystems where they live and breed.

    As populations of these indicator species decline due to habitat loss and water quality degradation, we need to take notice. What befalls one befalls another, which increases the risk of “extinction cascades” where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

    Science shows wetland conservation and restoration improves water quality

    For more than 80 years, DUC has been leading the way in wetland conservation and research that’s helping address issues related to Canada’s water quality and quantity. Today, safeguarding a clean, reliable water supply is of paramount importance, as water continues to be contaminated by runoff from urban centres, agriculture and other industrial activities.

    “Our science tells us that wetlands act as nature’s water filter,” says Mark Gloutney, DUC’s national director of science, education and business planning.

    Gloutney points to a two-year study on newly restored wetlands in the Lake Erie watershed. DUC researchers monitored water inflows and outflows to measure how efficiently unwanted nutrients, such as phosphorus, were captured. Excess phosphorus is a key contributor to blue-green algae growth that can be toxic, killing fish and harming other wildlife.

    DUC research has proven the effectiveness of restored wetlands in filtering out these nutrients before they reach our waterways, with results from this study showing us that these small wetlands were effective at filtering water under a variety of conditions—protecting downstream rivers and lakes in all seasons.

    “By identifying and quantifying the functions and values of wetlands relative to the supply and quality of fresh water in North America, we can showcase the economic and ecological benefits of protecting and restoring these ecosystems,” says Gloutney. “This is particularly important in agricultural landscapes where wetland conservation and restoration can offer natural solutions that can support food production while also protecting nature.”

    Wetland Scenic
    DUC research shows that wetlands are effective at settling and filtering water under a variety of conditions—protecting downstream rivers and lakes in all seasons. © DUC

    Taking action for wetlands, clean water and biodiversity

    Without clean water, communities face declining health and opportunity. As we lead up to the COP15 conference in Montreal, discussions will focus on protecting nature and halting biodiversity loss around the world, with the importance of clean water as one of several priorities. Although much progress has been made, more work is needed. Some key actions we believe need to be taken to bolster watershed resilience include:

    • Protecting wetlands through the establishment of effective policies in all provinces and territories that recognize wetlands as nature-based solutions and valuable natural capital.
    • Continuing to partner with agriculture to develop sustainable solutions that work within the context of modern agricultural practices.
    • The successful creation of the federal government’s new Canada Water Agency aimed at keeping Canada’s water safe, clean, and well-managed.

    Clean, accessible water is fundamental to human health, the environment and a sustainable economy. Restoring the lost functions of wetlands in watersheds are a natural solution to sustaining biodiversity and supporting clean drinking water for all Canadians.

    Clean water for all

    Make a donation to Ducks Unlimited Canada to support our work conserving wetlands, sustaining biodiversity and supporting clean drinking water for all Canadians.