Here are some useful hints and tips to make your Florida paddling experience more enjoyable and safe.
- Wear your lifejacket
- Bring plenty of drinking water
- Bring trash bags for litter. Help keep our waterways beautiful
- Be aware of water hazards
- Do not jump or dive off docks, bridges, trees, or rope swings
- Always wear shoes or water socks
- Respect fisherman and landowners. Respect private property
- Use a strap for eyeglasses and sunglasses
- Carry gear and personal items in watertight containers or bags
- Tie car keys to canoe or kayak or leave with outfitter
- Do not feed or molest wildlife, keep your distance from wildlife so they are not disturbed.
- File a float plan or make sure someone knows where you are going.
- Abuse or use of intoxicants is dangerous and may lead to arrest or worst!
- Don't cut or damage living trees and scrubs
- Put out campfires, don't leave burning wood or trash in firepits
- Bury, burn, or carry out toilet paper
- Follow the "Rules of the Road". Contrary to popular belief, human-powered vessels do not always have the right-of-way. The vessel with the least manuverability must be given "lee" or right-of-way. I.E., a supertanker has the right away, a boat in the Intercoastal Waterway. The tanker can't make sharp turns and like the motorboat, has to stay in the assigned channel to run. And that's a two-way street. Motorized watercraft need to afford the slower, less stable human-powered vessels lee when necessary and all need to exhibit common courtesy to each other. Share the waterway and play nice!
Visit http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=Top_10 for all kinds of paddling info. Info is for the beginner but there is all kinds of excellent info for paddlers of all stages of experience.
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