Written by Susan Wade
April 2019

1. Charter a boat

Charter a boat to an exotic destination and rendezvous with other boaters to share the adventure. Pick a place that everyone has dreamed about but never had the chance to see.

2. Cruise the Great Loop

Circumnavigate the eastern United States. It’s a great way to see the country from a unique seaside perspective.

3. Anchor under the stars

Anchor under the stars and experience life’s simple pleasures on the seas without marina amenities. Turn off the air conditioner and electricity and let nature light your night.

4. Raft up

Raft up with a group of other boaters to enjoy a flotilla of camaraderie. It’s like tailgating on the waves in a party cove with friends.

5. Get towed

Hand over the wheel and get behind a boat on a wakeboard, water skis, raft or water tube. Go wild — ski barefoot!

6. Go fast

Drive or be a passenger in a boat running more than 100 mph to experience the thrill of speed and wind on the water.

7. Kayak through a bioluminescent bay

Witness nature’s glittery magic. Tiny glowing micro-organisms put on a nocturnal show that rivals the stars above.

8. Join a poker run

especially one that raises funds for a worthy charity.

9. Dare to try adrenaline water sports

such as jet skis, white water rafting, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding and cliff diving.

10. Swim with dolphins

sting rays, manatees or even friendly sharks. If you prefer to stay dry above the water, take a whale-watching cruise.

11. Restore an old boat

or build a boat from a kit.

12. Dive or snorkel in a cave or cenote

Sure, it can be dangerous, dark and a little scary, but fearless cave divers are rewarded with fantastic displays of rock formations, stalagmites and unique underwater creatures.

13. Grab the handles of a Sea Bob Scooter

Also known as a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV), and let the underwater scooter whisk you through the sea as if you were in a James Bond movie.

14. Study celestial navigation

Go back in time and master ancient maritime skills before GPS and electronic devices were invented.

15. Dive for your dinner

Let the seas select your menu by swimming to the bottom for regional delicacies such as lobster, scallops, oysters and fish. Use a spear, net or your bare hands to catch your feast.

16. Explore shallow waters

Find hidden coves by traveling on kayaks, canoes or stand-up paddleboards (SUPs). Escape the crowds and witness nature`s often-overlooked beauty while getting a good workout along the way.

17. Join a holiday boat parade

Whether you deck your bows with Christmas lights or sport patriotic red, white and blue for July 4th fireworks, be part of the festivities with fellow revelers.

18. Go to a docking contest or sign up for a fishing tournament

See how your skills measure up against other mariners. Win or lose, friendly competition is a blast.

19. Visit or transit the Panama Canal

Experience mankind’s ingenuity to move massive ships and small vessels through its 48-mile  intricate lock system.

20. Learn how to tie every knot in the book

From the Alpine Butterfly to the Zeppelin Bend. You’ll feel like an accomplished sailor and be ready for any nautical circumstance.

21. Cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

It’s an easy trip from South Florida to this paradise of irresistible islands surrounded by crystal clear waters and first-class fishing. Best time to go: spring and early summer.

22. Go to an international boat show

Some of the best ones in the United States are Annapolis, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Newport, Chicago and Seattle.