Top 5 Places to See Manatees in Miami
Are you looking to see a manatee? Check out our list of top viewing locations in Miami and Beyond
It’s that time of year when Florida’s most endearing snowbirds make the trek south, flocking to warmer waters to escape the winter chill. Manatees, or “sea cows” as they’re affectionately called, congregate in the warm waters of South Florida’s power plant discharge canals and many of the state’s crystal clear springs farther north when the water temperatures drop below 68 degrees. Although they are massive in size, manatees have very little body fat, so they can often be found huddling together for refuge in warmer waters during manatee season (November 15-March 31).
Here are a few local spots where you can catch a glimpse of these majestic sea mammals before they head north for the summer, along with some road-trip worthy destinations to clear blue crystal springs for the ultimate viewing experience.
Manatees traverse Miami’s extensive canal system during the winter months. A popular spot for them is the area from Black Point Park & Marina near Biscayne National Park to Biscayne Bay. Manatees typically poke their whiskery snouts out of the water every 2 to 5 minutes, but can stay submerged for as long as 20 minutes, so be sure to pack your patience.
Power plants are a hot spot
for manatees, so its no surprise the warm-water outflows of Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) Riviera Beach Next
Generation Clean Energy Center is an ideal location for manatee watching. For the most ideal viewing opportunities, visit when cooler temperatures continue over a period of two to three days with minimal cloud cover. If you can’t make it to the lagoon, be sure to check out their Manatee Cam live stream. (Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to
Managed by Ft. Pierce Power Authority, the Manatee Observation, and Education Center is a waterfront environmental education and wildlife viewing center. Overlooking Moore’s Creek, the Center provides a resting spot for manatees and a covered observation walkway and second story observation tower providing visitors the perfect spots to see manatees and other wildlife. Swampland Tours and Lisa’s Kayaks provide adventure tours to get on the water for closer observation. (Open Tuesday-Sunday during Manatee Season)
National Seashore, located along the east coast in both Volusia and Brevard counties, features a manatee observation deck where the Kennedy Parkway crosses the Haulover Canal. This spot is popular with manatees and tourists alike. The observation deck features benches for visitors to enjoy the view and manatee information displays. If you don’t have any luck at the Manatee Observation Deck, head over to Bairs Cove Boat Ramp, also along the Haulover Canal.
People come from around the world to interact with manatees at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1983 to protect the then-endangered Florida manatee by creating a refuge to preserve the last unspoiled and undeveloped spring habitat in Kings Bay, which forms the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge provides critical habitat for the manatee
populations that migrate here each winter.
The most popular area to view manatees is Three
Sisters Springs, a designated manatee sanctuary between November and March. Several park programs allow visitors to snorkel alongside the manatees, but you can also see them from the boardwalk, viewing points along the roads and on the bridges inside the refuge.
Although no longer endangered, the Florida manatees’ status is
considered “vulnerable” due to its declining population. Their biggest threat is humans. When viewing these gentle giants, keep in mind that It is illegal to harass manatees (that includes hugging), so be sure to give them their space. Check out Crystal River Refuge’s “Manatee Manners” video on how to swim near manatees in a safe and fun way for you and the manatees.
2019 Miami International Boat Show
What you need to know about the Miami Boat Show
The Miami International Boat Show runs from February 14 through 18 at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, Virginia Key. Explore more than 3,000 boats and 2,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest in marine technology, gear, and accessories.
The Miami Boat Show takes place in two locations; the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin and Miamarina at Bayside. At Miamarina at Bayside is the Strictly Sail Boat Show. You do not want to miss this incredible event. There is truly something for every boating lifestyle and budget.
Premier Day (Thursday): $40 Adult (age 13+): $25 Two-day pass (Friday–Monday, February 12–15): $45 Five-day pass: $100 Children (12 & younger): FREE with a paid adult admission.
Getting to the Event
There is limited parking near the event site and only one road in and out. It is strongly recommended to take an UBER or the free water taxi or shuttle bus to the event. You can access both from the American Airlines Arena and Bayfront Park.
For more details, visit the Boat Show Website at http://www.miamiboatshow.com/.
Miami Holiday Boat Parade 2018
Celebrate the start to the holidays season with the 21’st annual Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade
Happy Holidays from everyone at Happy Trailer Storage. To kick off the holiday season, you will not want to miss The 21st Annual Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade that will take place on Saturday, December 15, 2018. This family-friendly event will showcase more than 100 boats decked out in lights, decorations, and music. The boat parade begins at 7:00 pm and can be viewed from the Bayfront Park where there will be Food Vendors, Bounce House, DJ, and Firework Show at 9:00 pm.
Pelican Harbor Marina Beautification Project
Boat Ramp Parking Lot Get’s a Much Needed Overhaul
We are excited to announce the Pelican Harbor Boat Ramp and Marina is getting a much-needed overhaul this fall. Located at 1275 NE 79th St., Miami, on Biscayne Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway, Pelican Harbor Marina is near our boat storage facility and offers nearby ocean access to the Haulover Inlet and Government Cut.
The city of Miami-Dade has implemented the “Pelican Harbor Marina Boat Ramp Parking Lot Beautification Project,” valued at $2.6 million, to modernize, upgrade and improve the overall facility. Construction started this September and expected to be completed in the fall of 2019. The boat ramp will remain open during the project with limited parking spaces available.
Beautification Project Highlights:
- Reconfiguring traffic flow to reduce congestion.
- Reconfiguring parking spaces to accommodate 150 trailers and 24 vehicles.
- Replace and resurface asphalt
- Installing new signs
- Installing a new eight-foot-wide pedestrian concrete walkway
- Improving parking lot stormwater drainage
- Installing new landscaping
- Making lighting improvements
- Installing new fire hydrant.
Learn more about the Pelican Harbor Marina Beautification Project, click here.
Top Lobstering Equipment
See our list of lobster catching gear for the Florida Spinney Lobster Season
The 2018 Florida Lobster Season started off with much success for local divers in Miami with plenty of lobster for everyone. Personally, we limited out in the first few hours of mini-season opening and most recently scored 11 bugs off the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea using our Airline hookah system.
With the first few dives under our belt for the season, we noticed some of our gear breaking down and in need of replacement. Now that it’s time to purchase new lobstering equipment we want to share with you our list of top lobster catching gear for 2018.
Low Volume Dive Mask
Kevlar Dive Gloves
Lobster Tickle Stick
Lobster Deveiner Tool
- D Vein https – $14.99
5 Tips for the 2018 Lobster Season
Happy Trailer Storage welcomes the 2018-19 Lobster Season
The Lobster Mini Season in Miami will officially begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 25th and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 26th. The regular 8-month lobster season will start on August 6th and runs through March 31, 2019. Before you head out on the water review our tips below to ensure a safe and successful hunt!
- SAFETY FIRST
There is always a risk associated with scuba diving, especially during the lobster mini-season. With thousands of recreational boaters on the water at one time, make sure to have your dive flag visible, bring a spotter, and keep your eyes and ears open. Also, as tempting, as is it may seem to reach into a hole or under coral to grab a bug, do not. You can get stuck or injured by an unknown fish lurking below.
- KNOW YOUR LIMITS
During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park. In the primary season, one can take a maximum of 6 lobsters per person per day.
- SIZE MATTERS
It is important to remember the body of the lobster excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water. One should carry a measuring device at all times. Possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water.
- BUY A “LICENSE” OR GET FINED
You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them up from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.
- PURCHASE THE CORRECT EQUIPMENT
There is nothing more frustrating then malfunctioning equipment during a dive. From a leaking mask to a broken regulator, make sure to have your gear tested and prepped for this season.
Where to Watch Fourth of July Fireworks
Top 6 Places to Watch Independence Day Fireworks by boat in Miami
Happy Independence Day from everyone at Happy Trailer Storage. The Fourth of July holiday is on Wednesday this year. There are many independence day celebrations in Miami that will feature fantastic fireworks displays you can see by boat. Below we have compiled a list of the top six destinations to watch the fireworks in Miami by boat.
1. Bal Harbour
Fireworks: 9 p.m. fireworks display at the jetty on the beach
Address: located on the north end of Bal Harbour Beach at 101st Street, overlooking Haulover Inlet.
2. North Miami Celebration by the Bay
Address: 3000 NE 151st St. North Miami Beach, FL 33181
3. Key Biscayne’s Fourth of July Parade
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Address: view the event from the Atlantic Ocean Crandon Boulevard from Harbor Drive to West Enid Drive, Key Biscayne.
4. Americas Birthday Bash in Bayfront Park
Fireworks: 9 p.m.
Address: view from Biscayne Bay, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami
5. Miami Beach Fire on the Fourth Festival
Fireworks: 9 p.m
Address: View the event from the Atlantic Ocean near the North Beach Bandshell on Collins Avenue and 73 Street
6. South Pointe Park
Fireworks: 9 p.m
Address: View the event from the South Jetty. 1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane
The Hurricane Season in Miami runs from June 1st through November 30th. Make sure your boat is prepared to weather a storm.
The Hurricane Season is from June 1st through November 30th. Last year was one of the most destructive seasons on record with six major hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma that caused destruction throughout the entire state of Florida. Keeping this in mind, we strongly recommend having a hurricane plan in place for your boat to help prevent damages that can be caused by these storms.
For the 2018 Hurricane Season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an average year, with up to 16 named storms, and four major hurricanes. No matter how many storms we see this season; it only takes one to cause significant destruction to your vessel. With the 2018 Hurricane Season officially here, there’s no better time than now to prepare your boat to withstand a major storm.
CREATE A HURRICANE PLAN
The first step to prepare your boat for the hurricane season is to have a plan and know where you will keep it during a significant storm. The safest place to keep your boat during a hurricane is at a dry storage facility like North Beach Marina. Our in-door facility securely holds many vessels all keeping them dry and away from the hurricane force winds. You can also store your boat and trailer on dry land at your home or a boat storage facility like Happy Trailer Storage. We recommend selecting a location with minimal exposure to the wind. You can also reinforce your boat with straps for additional safety measures.
REVIEW YOUR BOAT INSURANCE
It is wise to make sure that you have all of your boat documents up to date and in an easily accessible location. Also, make sure to call your insurance company to make sure the policy is current. To help facilitate a timely insurance claim, take photos and video of your boat before and after to show proof of damages.
SECURE LOSE ITEMS
You will want to remove everything lose on the boat and remove equipment that could be damaged by a storm. These items include antennas, radios, life jackets, fishing equipment and canvas tops. If you cannot remove the electronic equipment from your boat, you can use shrink-wrap tape to protect it.
FIND A SAFE HARBOR
If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor it. Once you locate a safe place, preferably on a canal with tall pilings that can allow your boat to rise and fall with the storm surge. You should use long ropes with fray protection and can use pilings from other dock slips to create more distance. When your boat is secure in the water, it should look like a spider in the middle of a web. You can also use buoys to protect the vessel from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.
Most importantly, don’t wait until three days before a storm strikes to prepare your boat. Should you need assistance preparing your boat for hurricane season call us at 786-728-9988.
Winter Shark Diving in the Bahamas
Looking for an adventure this winter? Take the short ferry ride over to the Bahamas and experience shark diving at its finest.
Written by: Carli Shekels
Photo by: Paula Herman
Winter in South Florida brings high winds, cold water, and isn’t quite the perfect time for boating but there are undoubtedly other ways to play during this season! If you’re a diver and are looking for something fun during Miami’s winter months, consider taking the FRS Caribbean Ferry over to Bimini in the Bahamas to dive with Hammerhead Sharks! Bimini Undersea Dive Shop offers a unique trip that’s very close to home. After a 2-hour ferry ride, the shop will escort you to the dive boat where you will suit up, travel to the dive site, and wait for the Hammerheads to arrive. Once the first Hammerhead appears, you can jump in and watch the feeding. Typical dives can last well over an hour, and even though it’s a bit chilly (especially for us South Floridians!), the beauty and excitement of seeing these fantastic creatures can keep you warm.
I had the privilege of diving last weekend, and the experience was truly incredible. The dive staff was very accommodating, professional and promoted safety, which is something that I always appreciate. The feeder was a pro, and he made sure to put the safety of the divers first. The water was full of large, hungry Nurse sharks when we jumped in and eventually; the Hammerheads came to have a mid-afternoon snack. They ranged from 10’-12’ and we got to see a “baby” 10’ Tiger Shark cruise by, as well. The water was cold; however, with a 3mm wetsuit, a hood, and gloves, it was bearable for the 75-minute dive. Other divers (maybe with warmer blood!) stayed down longer before heading back to the boat. Once back at shore, we had just enough time to change and have some conch salad before heading to the ferry to return home. It’s a full day of adventure but well worth it if you are interested in seeing some impressive sharks!
Take advantage of our proximity to the Bahamas from Miami and the quick ferry trip to enjoy shark diving and exploring while your boat hibernates this winter.
Happy Trailer Rentals Hours & Holiday Closures
Happy Trailer Rentals would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year. Please make a note that we will have special marina operating hours during the holidays. Be sure to review the details below so that you are not inconvenienced. If you have any questions, please call us at 786-728-9988 or click here.
Christmas: Sunday, December 24, 2017
- Closed at 1:00 PM
Christmas Day: Monday, December 25, 2017
- Closed/ No Access
New Year’s Eve: Sunday, December 31, 2017
- Closed at 1:00 PM
New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1, 2018
- Closed/ No Access