Staying Safe While Having Fun on Vacation!

Staying Safe While Having Fun!

By Hannah M. 

Southern Florida is considered one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Renowned for the alluring natural habitats, gleaming white sand beaches, calm rivers, and especially the intriguing wildlife. During your relaxing vacation in Southern Florida, you’re sure to run into the indigenous inhabitants- alligators. Below are some safety tips to keep in mind for an enjoyable vacation.

Sharing is Not Caring!

The most essential rule to keep in mind regarding alligators is to keep your food stored away. Do not feed them! Alligators have an instinctive fear of humans, which is favorable for us, as people are natural prey in the wild. Sharing your food can be dangerous, as it emboldens the alligator, and in turn, may look for other people in search of food. A good rule of thumb is to not feed any wildlife you may encounter.

Alligator Mating Season

Spring and Summer is alligator mating season in Florida, so be extra careful during these times. Alligator nests may also be found more frequently, so if you happen to run across one, do not disturb it. Mother gators are always nearby, so just keep in mind to give the alligators their space! Their temperament may change erratically, and you may see larger gators than normal – the best thing to do is not interact with them in anyway and give them plenty of space.

Keeping Your Furry Friends in Mind

It’s not the complete vacation without Man’s Best Friend! Everyone loves to bring their pet along for a cruise on the river or to splash in the waves. It’s easy to keep your best bud safe by keeping them leashed the entire time. Headed for a lazy day on the river? Make sure to keep your dog leashed when you dock, especially during alligator mating season.

Stay Away!

These magnificent creatures may appear passive and idle, but they move rapidly. A good rule is to always keep 60 feet between you and the alligator. If they hiss or lunge at you – back up! That’s a warning sign you’re too close.

Safety while Swimming

St. John’s River is a prime destination for boating, fishing and lovely water views. From the deck, under the warm Florida rays, you may be tempted to take a quick dip in the waters. A key safety rule to keep in mind on your vacation is this: If you can’t see your feet or arms while in the water, do not swim!

Swimming where you cannot see your arms or legs should be avoided, as gators frequent these areas.

There are many gorgeous, crystal clear springs that are accessible from St. John’s River, including Silver Glen Springs. The water is shallow and alligators are rare. Make sure to visit one of these breathtaking spots during your fishing trip!

Fishing Safety

Be careful where you pick your fishing spots – some gators will be attracted to the fish on a hooked line and may grab it. Fishing in areas that are heavy in vegetation or near the water’s edge is discouraged, as those are popular gator hang outs. If you’re fishing for a fresh catch for dinner and don’t want any surprise bites, just stay in open, clear water.

Have a Safe Vacation!

Geared with these quick and easy safety tips, you’re ready for your vacation on the river! Castaways on the River can help you plan for your essential vacation. With many different rental boats to choose from in the marina directly outside your hotel room or cottage door, relaxing on the river is a Florida Must-Do!

Original Article Here

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL

If you’re not on a boat as a resident or visitor in Sarasota, you’re missing out on plenty of fun adventures on the water! From snorkeling to exploring the wildlife and luxury waterfront homes here, there are far more boating adventures than just coasting along Sarasota Bay. If you don’t own a boat, there are plenty of facilities where you can rent a boat, too. And if you’d rather not travel by boat, take out your kayak or canoe to enjoy these boating adventures in Sarasota.

Tour Sarasota’s fabulous luxury homes.

Sarasota has some beautiful mansions that you can see when boating along the Intracoastal Waterway! From luxury tiki huts to grandiose artwork in the backyard, if you go at a slower speed, you’ll get to take in all of your surroundings. Look to Bird Key and Northern Siesta Key to begin this unique boating adventure!

Cast a line at the Middle Grounds.

The Middle Grounds are one of fishermens’ favorite fishing spots in Sarasota, and it’s also a sort of hidden gem. Just head to the New Pass area in Sarasota Bay, and you will find an area brimming with spotted seatrout, pompano and cobia, just to name a few! Use shrimp as bait or try fly fishing to capture these fabulous game fish. If you need more bait, there are several bait shops nearby carrying the best in bait and any other fishing supplies you might need.

Explore the underwater communities

Anchor your boat, canoe or kayak in a sandy spot adjacent to one of Sarasota’s seagrass beds to do some exploring! You’ll likely find these these seagrass beds when you snorkel in water that’s within 7 feet deep. From underwater landscapes, spotted seatrout or even manatees, snorkeling is one of the most thrilling boating adventures you’ll want to carve out time for while in Sarasota. Just be mindful when you’re snorkeling as to not disturb these beautiful underwater communities.

Capture the natural surroundings and wildlife.

When you’re boating in Sarasota, you’ll come across a plethora of unforgettable nature views and wildlife. Capture these moments by taking your professional camera on your boating adventure and waiting for the perfect shot! Watch as dolphins come to the surface, and don’t forget to look up to see great blue herons in flight!

Next: 5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

Even if you’ve been boating for decades, it never hurts to brush up on your boating etiquette. Yes, like manners for the table—Don’t slouch! Chew with your mouth closed!—there are even manners for when you’re boating. Here are some boating etiquette guidelines to abide by when you’re enjoying your day out on Bradenton waters.

Maintain a low speed when entering and exiting.

Whether it’s your neighborhood or a marina, keeping a low speed when you’re entering or exiting either is not only respectful to your neighbors and marina, but it keeps the noise level down, too.

With respect to noise levels, keep the music down, as well.

While boaters and their loved ones like to enjoy their time on the water with their favorite tunes, some boaters would prefer to hear nature and the hum of the waters and their boat while they enjoy the sunset instead. Neither are wrong, but you should be respectful to both to practice boating etiquette.

Abide all the signage.

In general, one of the easiest ways to remain courteous and follow boating etiquette is to simply obey the signage when on the water. Though just as important as being courteous, is protecting the species that live in the waters. For instance, areas with manatees will tell you to boat at a slow speed to ensure they have ample amount of time to exit your path.

Decrease your wake when passing other boats.

Though there’s not typically a sign for decreasing your speed or wake when you’re around other boats, this is common courtesy when out on the water. Too much wake could either cause damage to other boats or cause unwanted rocking. Be respectful of other boaters and slow down when passing them.

Don’t be shy, and say, “Hello!”

Though you don’t have to necessarily strike up a full-on conversation when boating on Bradenton waters, a friendly wave is often all that’s needed to upkeep boating etiquette. Plus, you never know when you might get the latest scoop on the best fishing spots!

Next: A Quick Boating Guide for Stormy Weather

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish Riviera Dunes Marina

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Don’t think that you have to be an expert angler to love boating! There are many other reasons to love a day out on the boat, from spending time with your loved ones in a new way to simply enjoying time on the water. Here are some of the top reasons to love boating even if you don’t fish:

1. More access to waterways

One of the No. 1 reasons you will love boating is that you’ll have much more access to our hidden waterways. There are severals areas near Riviera Dunes Marina that are only accessible by boat, which means there is much territory you have yet to discover.

2. It’s a unique, affordable activity 

When you want to break up your beach routine, a day on the boat is a great way to mix it up here in Palmetto. If you don’t own a boat, you can always rent a boat for a set amount of time at an affordable rate. While we love owning boats here at Riviera Dunes Marina, renting can be a great option if you’re visiting or are only a casual boater and don’t want to worry about its upkeep.

3. New way to spend time with loved ones

Are you vacationing here? You’ll love boating because it’s a fun experience for the whole family and a new way to explore our area! From going on a sunset boat cruise to attaching a water float at the end for the kids—and even adults—to enjoy, there are several ways to enjoy the boat for the afternoon. Make sure to pack your picnic lunch if you plan to spend the whole day on the boat, then you can even bring your furry friends to join in on the fun. Plus, you can take the boat to stretch your legs in new places! Go hiking, lower the anchor for a swim or simply explore our local nature areas and its wildlife.

Next: Top 5 Nature Areas Near Palmetto

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL Riviera Dunes Marina

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL

There’s always an adventure awaiting you on the water near Palmetto, FL. Whether you’re parasailing with the breeze at your back or on an exciting tour in search of dolphins, the things to do on the water near Palmetto, FL are practically endless.

From tranquil to thrilling, here are some of the best water activities you should try when you’re visiting Palmetto, FL.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Are you looking for a full-body workout? Then try paddleboarding. Step onto a board, then use your balance and strength as you begin paddling at your own pace. Depending on the rental company, you can take your paddling up a notch and go on eco tours! 

Kayaking

Since the Palmetto area has a wealth of beautiful parks, there are optimal opportunities for you and your family to enjoy an afternoon of kayaking. Choose to go on a solo trip, or go with a group, as you explore the winding Manatee River.

Parasailing

Float above the Gulf waters as you enjoy the thrill of parasailing! Grab a friend—or two—and get ready for a unique day of fun on the water near Palmetto, FL! Who knows, you might even see turtles, dolphins and various types of fish while parasailing. You can also choose to stay dry and land on the boat deck or get dipped in the water when you need to cool off. The best part is that no prior skills are necessary!

Dolphin Tours

Now that we’re on the subject of dolphin spotting, there are plenty of opportunities to see these lovely creatures when you’re near Palmetto, FL. On a tour, the captain will take you to where the dolphins are likely to dwell. In addition, some tours will even narrate throughout the tour so that you can learn more about the area’s waterways. Often times, there are also sunset tours, which make for an even more unique, one-of-a-kind experience!

Boating

Of course we can’t talk about having fun on the water and leave out the beloved activity of boating! If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent a boat, which will vary in shapes and sizes to accommodate you and your family. Bring your fishing poles, a picnic lunch, and you’ll be set for an exciting afternoon aboard your boat!

Next: 5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL

6 Easy Tips to Better Outboard Performance

6 Easy Tips to Better Outboard Performance

6 Easy Tips to Better Outboard Performance Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Easy Tips to Better Outboard Performance

Wondering what’s best for your boat’s outboard performance? From taking an inventory of your boat’s gear to simply keeping up with its maintenance, here are six easy tips that you can take today to better your outboard performance.

  1. Leave your engines alone. While it’s tempting to modify the speed, it’s best to leave the setting to how it was manufactured. Modifying the engine, even by just a couple miles per hour compromises its reliability and voids its warranty as well.
  2. Straighten your outboard’s posture. Situate your boat so that its outboard points straight ahead. This allows the thrust to be guided to point up as well, which will increase efficiency and use your fuel more conservatively.
  3. Find the prop that works for your performance. The prop will differ very much if you’re racing one day and going on a fishing trip the next day. Try out different props to meet your desired purpose.
  4. Jack plates are your friends. When you mount your outboard on a jack plate, you’re able to achieve the optimal position for your engine. Another great benefit for using jack plates is being able to adjust the distance of the motor from the transom, which ensures that water isn’t entering the prop.
  5. Check your gear. Take an inventory of the gear that you carry on your boat. Too much gear can slow down your boat’s efficiency and speed. Boat racers estimate that 100 pounds of gear is the equivalent of 4 mph.
  6. Keep you with your boat’s maintenance. While it sounds like a no-brainer, the more you keep up with your boat, the better your outboard performance and the longer your boat’s lifespan will be. For instance, make sure you’re using the correct octane fuel and a high-quality two-stroke oil, and don’t forget to replace the lower unit’s oil. These are just a few of the many checks and balances you can make on your boat to ensure the best performance possible.

Next: Top 5 Palmetto Boating Safety Tips

Deck Boats Still Trending with Boaters

Deck Boats Still Trending with Boaters

deck-boats-still-trending-with-boaters-riviera-dunes-marina-blog

Deck Boats Still Trending with Boaters

Offering the quintessential balance of functionality and style, deck boats remain favorable among the boating community.

In 2015, the National Marine Manufacturers Association found that deck boat sales had increased by 11.3 percent, and the numbers are expected to continue to climb by the end of the year.

Boaters tend to favor deck boats for their plentiful seating capacity, which is perfect for families and friends. In addition, there’s a generous amount of room for all of the gear that accommodates an afternoon on the water without overcrowding the deck space. It’s no wonder that deck boats are still trending with boaters!

You may mistake deck boats for bowriders, but when you get up close, you’ll notice these are much more spacious, sporty and chic. Some are even equipped with full windshields so you can enjoy the ride during every season.

In addition to the extra space, deck boats have become favorable among boaters because of how user-friendly they are when it comes to the towing process versus a pontoon. They’re also easier to stow due to their lower profile. In turn, these features attract the more novice of boaters as well.  

Though the most common agreement reached among deck boat customers is the comfort that they provide along with more options for seating and entertaining as well as other amenities, such as a Porta Potti.

With all of the accommodations that deck boats have to offer, the open layout is never compromised. And that’s what is keeping the number of deck boat admirers increasing. The versatility that decks boats offer from a nice sunset cruise to an afternoon zipping across the lake are what keep families impressed as well. Manufacturers will continue improving deck boats’ features to appeal to the interests of their customers, such as technological upgrades and for performance and comfort.

Next: How to Winterize Your Palmetto Boat