Colombus Day Regatta (Miami)

Anyone know a suitable, safe launch and distance to a good area to view the Colombus Day Regatta and worlds largest outdoor sexathon


depending on what you want to see where…

You can put in at Hobie and paddle out and see them from some distance as they start… Or you can do same and paddle out towards the fleet (not recommended, tho’, as there’ll be lots of fringe power boaters about watching, too, and probably a jet ski or two or three. And sexathon be damned, it’s first & foremost a drinkathon! And some of those power boaters and jet skiers may get an early jump on the consumption end of things, increasing the complexities. Thanks but no thanks…

You can put in at Coconut Grove’s City ramp at 27th Avenue & Bayshore, and you’ll be in the thick of the start(s). Paddle south around the southernmost spoil island and then along the shore a ways. Problem is parking -there’s precious little of it, and if the Convention Center has anything on for the weekend, it gets even scarcer.

Farther south, there’s Matheson, on Old Cutler Road south of SW 88th Street (North Kendall Drive). You can put in at the “wading” beach (I wouldn’t wade there if you PAID me! -it is, literally, a sea weedy, yucky mess of a beach), but I suggest putting in either at the paddling put-in, on the way to the wading beach and boat ramps, but on the right just before the bridge. You launch onto the waterway, then paddle out to the Bay. Unfortunately, you have to paddle right past the boat ramps -be careful & observant. While most of the boaters are pretty good and well-behaved, some just don’t “see” kayaks -sort of like motorists not seeing motorcyclists on the highway… Paddle out and then around the bend south, then out across the Bay. The fleet will be sailing left-to-right across your bow.

South of Matheson there’s Deering Bay -SW 168th Street (Richmond Drive) and Old Cutler Road. The launch is closed now, but should be open for Columbus Day use -they’re putting in improvements Big Time compared to the bare coral rock parking lot it used to be. It’s actually about 1/3 mile south of 168th, on the Bay side of the road. Put in, paddle out south of Chicken Key, and watch the fleet sail south. Just south of here it gets interesting, because Black Ledge runs SW from the coast out into the Bay, and funnels all but the shallowest draft boats out into mid-Bay. It’s a few miles out, but because the water is generally very shallow on the mainland side of South Bay in this area, with Black Ledge acting as a barrier, you’ll be PRETTY safe paddling if you stay clear of the boating channels -but still stay awake -shallow-draft flats boats will skim by from time, sometimes at a pretty good clip.

South of Deering Bay there’s Black Creek Park -on the Bay at the end of SW 87th Avenue, about SW 248th Street. Check in with the rangers to see about opening the gate to get farther back to launch. Paddle out, clear the jetty, and watch the fleet sail south. And here it also gets interesting, perhaps even more so -because the Biscayne Bay mainland side is generally shallows, and Featherbed Bank runs in a semicircle across mid-Bay. There’s a cut through featherbed, a marked channel, and it funnels all but the shallowest draft boats into the marked pass. It makes for an interesting time of it with sailboats… It, too. is a few miles distant (maybe 3 or 3-1/2), but because the water is generally very shallow on the mainland side of South Bay in this area, you’ll again be pretty safe paddling once you clear the boating channels leading away from the Black Point Marina and avoid the main routes to the mid-Bay channel -the ICW, actually.

Finally, there’s Biscayne National Park (BNP) in deep South Miami-Dade east of Homestead at the end of SW 328 Street. It’s a free admit (as are all the others except Matheson) but it’s across the Bay, and may actually be a bit south of the fleet anchorage areas. Elliot is directly east of the BNP HQ & mainland launch site, and the Elliot Ranger Station and park and docks are just about dead east of BNP’s mainland site.

And if you’re lucky enough to actually KNOW someone who has waterfront property along South Bay, well, there ya go…! Heck, if you know someone like that, have them take you and your closest dozen paddling buddies & their yaks on one of their yachts and drop them just off the course to watch’em go by a waterline height, nice and fresh, for the paddle back to base AFTER the fleet passes…LOL!

If the weather’s good, AND we all survive Frances -and anyone ELSE who might follow! -it might be a cool thing to watch the sailors sail as we

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Thank you
Your first guide book to Biscayne bay is complete.

Were do I send my money





– Last Updated: Aug-31-04 8:45 AM EST –

At Matheson, if your hull & heart can stand it, there's the main parking lot launch area. The beach there (like that at Homestead Bayfront Park, just across the canal south of BNP) is a 'swimming lagoon', with gated access to the Bay, surrounded by a walkable moat. No launch there.

But also at Matheson, the north side of the main lot is bordered by a bight that you can launch into. There is a sizable flat there that will require walking & towing your boat in/out befor you hit paddling depth water at low tide, and the close in portions of the beach are rock-scatterred. Not as bad as the north side of Windsurfer Beach on the way to Key B, but it MIGHT give some K or glass boat owners second thoughts.

From there, you head right, east, and you can watch the fleet go by farthger out in the Bay as they head south. To get to the same area I noted from the canoe/kayak launch site (above), you'll need to paddle around the circumference of the swimming lagoon moat, and cross a couple of boat channels, untill you get to the shallows south of the County Park, passing the wading beach on your right as you head south.

You'll need to keep a good watch as you do this, as these can have boats coming back pretty quick up on plane before they hit the slow zones.

And you can contact me by email using the little envelope -I'll send you an address where you s]=can send the guide book money, LOL!

At any rate, they're all possibilities to think about and watch the mayhem and -gasp! -actual competitive sailing? -as you

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Thanks again again
Now I have to cancel my check and write another bigger and larger one.



My interest is piked (peeked?).



piqued, I THINK you kinda drolly mean “peaked” as WELL… …LOL!

And if ya’ll came down, ya’ll could “peek” as you would

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

World Famous
The Colombus day regatta is notorious for partying, nudity, complete craziness and often good old fashion lude and lacivious behavior on the decks of the many many boats that attend the festivities.


it hasn’t gotten worse but (butt?) better…

That is, a little less raucus, a little less wild, a little less adult, a little more family…

Nor are there the 100-300’ water ballon flights (and fights), or excessive (15? 20? 30?) raft-ups and boat-hopping treks. I think they segregate the variuus likely “behavioral classes”, and keep a family section as well as the other wilder ones…

Thjere’s a LOT less of the jet skis and thunderboat shenannigans crowd allowed, but…

…but there STILL is some of the genuinely lunatic -and I don’t mean humorously daft or daringly provacative, the tipsy folks and the exhibitionists, but the truely insane -stuff there.

Last year, they found a boat some 75 (or was it 150?) feet back INTO the magroves, with one body magled overboard along the way they didn’t find for a while, and one busted boat-bound buckaroo… Cut an almost straight-line swath thru the jungle… Bad stuff, rteally bad stuff… Thank goodness THAT sort of thing isn’t increasing.

Not exactly what I want in the neighborhood as I

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami