Explore South Florida by water

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By: Shaina Wizov
Contributing Writer

COVID-19 has introduced us to a lot of trends… Masks are the new “it” accessory, and driveways are the new happy hour hotspot. While these things may eventually fade away (in time), there’s one trend that most people are hoping sticks around for good: the popularity of water activities!

Water sports in general aren’t anything new, but the amount in which people are participating in these activities has definitely grown since the emergence of COVID-19. In a way, quarantining was a blessing in disguise. It allowed us to take a step back and appreciate the beauty of the state that we live in, and how lucky we are that we have year ‘round sunshine and warm weather.

For some, taking advantage of all that the Sunshine State has to offer is why they came to Florida in the first place. “I moved here from Ohio for the weather, the beach, and the outdoor life,” Delray Beach resident Bill Dorton said. “I found myself caught up in the [Atlantic] Avenue life. Because of the COVID lockdown, I’ve been able to get back to doing the things I moved here for. Kayaking, boating, snorkeling…”

The vast open waters provide the ultimate opportunity for social distancing while still allowing people to hang out with friends, stay active, and have fun. Boynton Beach resident Angela Skane says those were the main reasons she decided to purchase a kayak, and she has a feeling her newfound hobby is here to stay. “Even now, as things are opening back up, my friends and I still opt for kayaking trips through the Intracoastal,” she said. “It’s definitely changed how I spent my free time, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.”

In South Florida, it’s not hard to get swept up in the excitement of being out on the water. There are plenty of marinas, boat clubs, places to rent water skis and kayaks, and great locations to go fishing, snorkeling and diving.

It might even be better to purchase your own equipment so you can head out into the Intracoastal or the ocean whenever you please. Boynton Beach resident Maggie Hober and her husband purchased kayaks and snorkel gear during COVID-19. “[The snorkel gear] is lightweight and easy to transport on the kayaks,” she said. “It has allowed us to explore the underwater sea life that is right here in our backyard.”

Delray Beach resident Roger Brown had been thinking about purchasing a boat for a while, but with COVID-19 and the need for socially distanced activities, he was more motivated than ever to go for it. “What better time to get out on a boat and enjoy the beautiful waterways and weather that South Florida has to offer?” he said. “We’ve also enjoyed supporting local waterfront restaurants, often which have plenty of outdoor seating, and always practice social distancing.”

While there are many aspects of social distancing that have been difficult, it’s important to choose to see the positive. “One of the silver linings of social distancing over the past five months has been spending more time outdoors and taking advantage of South Florida’s incredible waterways,” Hober said. Yes, that certainly has been a silver lining.

As summer winds down and the heat and humidity fade, it will be even more pleasant to spend time outside on the water. Whether you head out into the ocean, cruise the Intracoastal, or anchor in Lake Boca, Beer Can Island, or Peanut Island, you will definitely enjoy some socially distanced fun in the sun.

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