Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boaters Escaping Oil

Gulf Coast oil disaster has boaters heading to other locations

Many recreational boaters that would normally be motoring or sailing around the Gulf of Mexico this time of year are taking refuge elsewhere. Lakes, reservoirs and rivers, as well as much of the Eastern Seaboard, are all in play.

Heading East
We've heard anecdotal stories of larger than normal crowds of boats on Florida's east coast and in the Keys, as boaters look to escape the oil-infected Gulf. In fact, Keith Still, blogging for the AJC, noted that many families that usually head to Gulf region for summer vacation "have set their sights on the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and eastern Florida," and that it is "difficult to find beach lodgings available on the Atlantic during the weeks they can go on vacation."

Heading North
THV's Amanda Terrebonne reported recently that many visitors have come to Lake Ouachita, the largest lake in Arkansas, to escape the mess in the Gulf. And just yesterday, David Elliott reporting for WLOX.com, mentioned that people "are traveling to the 640 acre lake at Flint Creek in Stone County (Mississippi)" to find cleaner water for recreation.

We understand many boaters and fishermen, especially those who make a living on their boats, have been busy doing what they can to help clean up the oil – participating in the "Vessels of Opportunity" program. Lending a boat and lending a hand seems to be a common theme, and it's good to hear some stories of people getting paid and feeling useful in the wake of this disaster.

Talk Boats
If you're a displaced boater in the Gulf, we want to hear from you. Are you able to get your boating fix near home or are you traveling far to find cleaner water? Are you changing your travel plans and towing your boat elsewhere?

Tell us about it. Please comment on the Daily Boater or on the FirstBoat page on Facebook.

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