Kayaking the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest panoramic

CLICK for interactive panorama!

kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Cool panoramas from the seat of my kayak  in the darkness of  Electroluminescent Lights and the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade.
CLICK for interactive full screen version!

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The Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade is one of a handful held each year in South Florida celebrating the Holidays with processions of colorful and elaborately lit boats. The most well known of these is the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Human powered watercraft are not excluded, and it’s possible to take part in a kayak! Already having paddled the Winterfest Boat Parade several times, this year I paddled the Boca Raton parade with Ted of the Palm Beach Water Yaks meetup group.

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The ten mile segment of the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade that we paddled.

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The Boca Parade runs down the Intracoastal Waterway, starting at the C-15 Canal on the northern Boca Raton city boundary.

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Satellite view of Silver Palm Park in relation to Lake Boca Raton and Boca Inlet on the intracoastal waterway.

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Ted planned out our best bet would be to launch at Silver Palm Park, off Palmetto Park Rd. This is a public boat ramp with free parking under the bridge. Since the waterway runs straight north/south, this would be a very ‘monolithic’ paddle. We’d have to paddle 5 miles north to join up with all the other boats and then those same 5 miles back with the parade!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton satellite Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Launch from Silver Palm Park in Boca Raton.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Setting up the kayaks at Silver Palm Park.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Ted has planted a Palm tree in his back hatch!

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We used Electroluminescent Wire (EL) lights on our kayaks. These aren’t bulbs or LEDs, rather a solid thin line of light visible from all angles. Looks very cool!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Detail of EL wire lights tucked under bungees on my kayak.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Ted’s britches and EL wire lights.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Bruce Gipson launching his Sufrski at the boat ramp.

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We arrived early to set up our boats and beat the crowds, as Silver Palm Park also happens to be where spectator bleachers are placed for the general public. By chance, Bruce Gipson of Venturesport Inc. just happened to be walking by with his Surfski kayak in hand, going for an afternoon workout paddle. Bruce has been a competitive paddler and a main driving force in South Florida racing and fitness paddling for 30 years. His record for crossing the Gulfstream by kayak, paddling from Bimini to Ft Lauderdale set back in 1984 still stands today!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Paddling off into Lake Boca Raton.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Nearly done with the kayak decorations .. Rudolph had been silenced~

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The EL wire lights run on AC power, as such a very small transformer/inverter runs off a pack of AA batteries sealed inside a dry box. The output current is very weak, but enough juice to give a small jolt!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Detail of dry box holding the electronics and batteries for the EL wire lights.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Paddling north through a rain shower on the Intracoastal Waterway in Boca Raton.

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Paddling up the Intracoastal Waterway in Boca Raton we encountered some rain showers and paddled past James A Rutherford Park on the left and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center complex on the right. A few minutes later we passed by Spanish River Park also on the right. It was fun because people were already lining up to watch the parade, so they’d call out to us.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Looking back south ..

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Ted stands next to his Palm tree in kayak!

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We were short on time and decided to pull up on a small tidal beach next to some old dock pilings. This happened to be just shy of the C-15 Canal, and thus we were able to avoid all the boat fumes! 🙂

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton satellite Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Detail of C-15 Canal area at the starting line of the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Boats heading up the Intracoastal to the parade start line.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Testing EL wire lights on the kayaks..

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

A Palm tree in paradise!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Ted field fixing the EL wire lights on my kayak.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

The captain is happy. Rudolph is happy. Peace!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

My kayak ready to go. Note 4 foot stern white light wrapped in reflective tape and Christmas lights!!

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Safety requirements don’t change for the boat parade, so kayaks must have one white stern light when operating at night, as always! I like mine on a 4 foot stalk so that it is visible 360 degrees around when I’m in the kayak.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

The Santa Sombrero rides yet again! 😉

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Unlike at the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft Lauderdale where human powered boats lead the parade by 20 minutes to avoid mixing in with powerboats,  at the Boca Raton parade we were to be at the very end. We launched just as the last boats were going by. In retrospect we should have launched earlier .. more on this later.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Launching into the Intracoastal to join the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

EL wire lights here without flash .. as seen on the water look pretty sweet!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Ted paddling his Palm tree around..

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Fireworks barge at the lead put on an impressive show!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest fireworks

Watching the fireworks show from my kayak.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Holiday Boat Parade in the Intracoastal Waterway.

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Paddling in the parade was easy as we were now going with the current. This Boca Raton parade is much smaller scale than Ft Lauderdale’s Winterfest Boat Parade. Yet the experience felt more personal and intimate because of it! Me and Ted had a lot of fun with whistles, duck callers, and boat horns taking turns doing renditions of Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland .. or Who let the Dogs Out. I even did the whistle parts for DJ Icey’s – ‘Sign’ – though few would notice, I’m sure.  😉

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest panorama

Watching the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade procession from a kayak.
CLICK for fullscreen zoomable panorama!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

Paddling in the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade.

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

The Rudolph’s watch the boats go by at the Boca Boat Parade.
CLICK for fullscreen superwide panorama!

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All in all this was a fun 10 mile paddle! We managed to avoid inhaling boat fumes, our EL wire lights worked great and we managed to spread a lot of Holiday cheer to the shoreline crowds. One disappointment was that the organizers shut down the judging area as soon as the last powerboat went by, apparently not aware that we were just 5 minutes right behind. C’est la vie – here’s to better organization next time! This was a very family friendly vibe and crowd, with good cheer for the Holidays!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

The show’s over back at Silver Palm Park.
Big thanks to Ted for organizing!!

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Holidays, Florida style!

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But wait .. there’s more!

CLICK below and check out Paddling the Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft Lauderdale:

Kayak Aerial kayakfari photography pole everglades birds eye flex maslan canoe

CLICK for story on Kayaking the Winterfest Boat Parade in Ft Lauderdale!

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kayakfari.com Boca Raton Holiday kayakfari Parade kayak flex maslan lights night boat photo winterfest

I don’t always roll on Christmas, but when I do, I prefer to stay on top!

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Enjoy!

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year !!

🙂

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© 2013 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com. All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER:: The maps and images on this site are not intended for navigation, I am not a guide; use any and all information at your own risk! Your mileage may vary .. so use good judgement before venturing out!

With that said.. Blessings friends!

:)

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4 comments on “Kayaking the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade

  1. Pingback: Paddling in the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

  2. Pingback: Lights, boats and Happy Holidays – Rejoice the paddling trips of Season’s past! | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

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