CLOSED: Public Boat Ramps in Manatee County

CLOSED: Public Boat Ramps in Manatee County

Since COVID-19 is now spreading around the country, public boat ramps in Manatee County are now closed. These closures went into effect on Thursday, March 26th. Commercial fishermen with a Florida Saltwater Products License and a U.S. Coast Guard Six-Pack Captain’s License can still access the Coquina South Boat Ramp in Bradenton and the Riverside Boat Ramp in Palmetto. However, charter fisherman are currently restricted from using public boat ramps in Manatee County. The Coquina South Boat Ramp in Bradenton is open daily from 7am to 7pm. The Riverside Boat Ramp in Palmetto is open daily from 7am to 3pm. The Riverside Boat Ramp consists of two ramps located side by side. One side is blocked by large concrete blocks. After 3pm, a large city vehicle is parked to block the other side for the rest of the day. Law enforcement officials are stationed at both ramps to check licenses, names, and vessel numbers.  The public boat ramp closing does not restrict...
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Practice Social Distancing With Kayaking

Practice Social Distancing With Kayaking

Social distancing is becoming the norm for all of us as COVID-19 spreads. So, how do you continue to get out on the water while also keeping yourself and others safe? Kayaking is a great option! Here are a few ways to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you while kayaking during these uncertain times. Explore new locations…Now is the perfect time to explore isolated, less-popular areas. Stay away from dense, crowded regions of the water. The 6ft rule still applies, even on the water, so if you stumble upon a group of people, turn around and head in the opposite direction.  If you want to kayak with friends…You can still go kayaking with friends and family, as long as you keep a safe distance from each other and avoid crowds. This is a great way to connect while staying healthy. Here are a few tips for group kayaking. Keep the group small. Stick to 2 or 3 people, max....
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Spring Cleaning Your Boat: 5 Essentials

Spring Cleaning Your Boat: 5 Essentials

Spring is blooming, and you’re probably excited to get back on the water! Before boating season begins, take some time out of your week to deep clean your beloved boat. Here are five cleaning tips that will save you a lot of time and money and help you keep your boat in great shape. 1. Clean the exterior. Grab a hose, and get to it! For this first step, you should have a pressure washer to cut through all the algae and scum that accumulates on the hull of your boat. Afterwards, grab a boat brush and dip it into a marine-friendly wash mixture. Use a high-quality soap that won’t ruin your paint, and rinse the exterior thoroughly when you’re done.  2. Wax. If you don’t wax your boat after you wash it, your paint job will suffer. Ideally, you should wax your boat once a year. We know it’s a big job, but it’s important. There are plenty of boat services out there...
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6 Tips For Bringing Your Dog On Your Boat

6 Tips For Bringing Your Dog On Your Boat

Dogs and cats aren’t just pets. They’re family. It’s only natural that we want to take them with us wherever we go. If you’re considering taking your dog on a boat ride, there are some precautions and preparations you’ll want to consider. Here are six tips to make the process easier. Buy your dog a lifejacket.Animals need lifejackets, too! Even dogs who are strong swimmers can end up drowning in rough currents. Your dog’s lifejacket should be snug and comfortable. Fortunately, they come in many sizes. Introduce them to the dock and your boat.Before you embark on your boat ride, introduce your dog to the dock and your boat. Teach her how and where to get on and off. If you have a smaller dog, keep a fishing net on board so you can quickly sweep them out of the water, in an emergency. Start the boat’s engine while she’s on board to get her accustomed to the...
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How to Choose The Best Anchor For Your Boat

How to Choose The Best Anchor For Your Boat

If you have a boat, an anchor is essential. It allows you to park your watercraft and keeps you safe during dangerous weather. Your anchor needs to be heavy enough to keep your boat secure once it’s been dropped into the water. However, there are a lot of other things to keep in mind when you’re anchor shopping.  1. Fluke AnchorsThese anchors have a shank and multiple flukes. These flukes catch in the sandy ocean or muddy river bottom as the boat floats forward and provides resistance. Flukes are great at holding larger boats without being overwhelmingly heavy. 2. Plow AnchorsThese anchors have a metal wedge (that looks like a hook) and a shank. These are great for catching hard surfaces, such as rocky areas. Plow anchors are extremely heavy, which is necessary for hooking tough ground.  3. Claw AnchorsThese anchors look similar to plow anchors but they have multiple claws instead of a single plow. This design is great for rocky...
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5 Romantic Restaurants in Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice

5 Romantic Restaurants in Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice

It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to enjoy a romantic evening on the town. If you’re trying to plan a sensual night out with your loved one, you’ve come to the right place! Here are five romantic restaurants that are sure to impress.  1. Beach BistroThis gorgeous Anna Maria Island restaurant is right on the beach, with stunning views of the Gulf Coast. They use only the best ingredients and serve delicacies such as lobstercargots, scallop pan roast, and steak tartare. Visit at sunset for an incredible experience. beachbistro.com 2. IndigenousSteve Phelps, the award-winning chef and owner of this restaurant, works magic with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The menu at Indigenous changes throughout the year based on ingredient availability, and they focus largely on sustainable seafood. indigenoussarasota.com 3. Duval’s Fresh. Local. SeafoodThis restaurant does, indeed, serve fresh, local seafood! They also pride themselves on their superb service, fine wine, and creative cocktails. Duval’s is truly a staple in Sarasota’s seafood cuisine. If...
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Boating For Beginners: 6 Basic Tips

Boating For Beginners: 6 Basic Tips

Boating is very much a specialty hobby that requires knowledge, certifications, and experience.  But the only way to get experience is to take the plunge and get out there! If you’re a rookie boater, here are six tips to help you navigate your first boating season.  Don’t ever forget to check the weather.You can never check the weather too many times! Check a few hours before you leave, right before you leave, and while you’re out on the water. Remember that storms can sneak up on you out of the blue. If you’re a new boater, you don’t want to get stuck in dangerous weather.Layer, layer, layer.It might be warm at the marina, but if the breeze picks up on the water, it could get cold. Bring long sleeve shirts, a waterproof jacket, and more. Better to be overprepared and have whatever you need on hand than to get stuck in cold weather. Drive slow when docking. The last thing you want...
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6 Ways To Stay Safe In The Sun During Your Boat Trip

6 Ways To Stay Safe In The Sun During Your Boat Trip

Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. However, there are several steps you can take to lower your risk. If you’re planning a boat trip to sunny Florida, be cautious of too much sun exposure. If you’re lucky enough to avoid cancer, you’ll still have to deal with premature signs of aging, like wrinkles and age spots. Here are six tips to stay safe in the sun.  Protect yourself.Try to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, and wide brimmed hats as often as possible. If you find such clothing too oppressive in the Florida heat, slather yourself in sunscreen and linger in the shade.Wear sunglasses.UV rays can cause serious eye problems, such as cataracts. Wear sunglasses that block UVB and UBA rays to protect your precious eyeballs.Limit your time in the sun.Sun rays are strongest from 10am to 4pm. Plan to be in the sun early in the morning or later in the afternoon. If you...
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5 Famous Sarasota Restaurants You Should Check Out

5 Famous Sarasota Restaurants You Should Check Out

From casual to fine dining, here are five of Sarasota’s most famous restaurants that you have to check out! 1. Bijou CafeIf you want a classic Downtown Sarasota experience, plan to stop at The Bijou Cafe before catching a show afterwards. This fine-dining spot is located right next to the Sarasota Opera House. Featuring delicious menu options such as bijou crab cakes, tuna tartare, tagliatelle pasta, and lamb shank, Bijou Cafe has experienced many talented chefs over the years.  2. Dry Dock Waterfront GrillIf you’re looking for something more casual, grab a grouper sandwich at Dry Dock Waterfront Grill. Enjoy your sandwich and the weather with a fantastic view of Sarasota Bay. You won’t regret it. 3. Ophelia’s on the BayPerfect for couples seeking romantic dining on the water, Ophelia’s features two glass-walled dining rooms and patio seating with beautiful views of Little Sarasota Bay. The menu is printed daily and features local seafood fishes and Florida-grown fruits and vegetables. Imagine...
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5 Beach Safety Tips For Your Florida Boat Vacation

5 Beach Safety Tips For Your Florida Boat Vacation

Are you planning a boat vacation to Florida to escape the winter blues? While you might believe the beach is all sunshine and smiles, there are some dangerous things that must be taken into consideration. While you’re preparing for your tropical escape and getting your boat ready for voyage, make sure you also properly prepare for beach and ocean safety.  Wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.Sunburn can ruin even the most well-planned, luxurious vacations. Make sure you lather yourself up with 30 SPF and reapply either after two hours of sunbathing or after swimming. While you’re at it, stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol (especially if you’ll be driving the boat), and drink plenty of water. Protect your feet.The idea of a long walk on the beach might sound romantic, but romance can quickly turn into an emergency if you step directly on a sharp edge of the rocky coastline. Pack some water shoes, such as Tevas or Chacos, to prevent cuts from...
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