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From the Boathouse: It's parade time, from coast to coast

December 13, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Christmas boat parades are underway across the nation, and I hope that everyone has a chance to view a parade. I have the fortune of viewing such events near and far, and this weekend, I will be joining in the Discovery Bay Yacht Club's Christmas Lighted Boat Parade aboard EDGE Motorworks' yacht.

This is the final weekend for Dana Point's Boat Parade of Lights, which will cruise the harbor starting at 7:30 p.m. on the 13th and 14th. There are plenty of spots for you to watch from the shoreline. For those of you who may be heading north, the 59th Annual Christmas Ship Parade is scheduled on the Columbia and Willamette rivers in Portland, Ore. The Christmas ship fleet sails every night, weather allowing, from Dec. 6-21.

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In Florida there are numerous boat parades in the panhandle this time of year. This Saturday is the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade which will cruise easterly on the New River in Fort Lauderdale and then north on the Intracoastal to end in Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. This parade has a 12-nautical-mile route, and it's deemed the "Greatest Show on H20."

If your waypoint on Saturday is north of Florida, then Annapolis is holding the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade that cruises Annapolis Harbor. This parade is an annual signature event, which will start at 6 p.m., and will be streamed live online. Go to new.livestream.com/EYCLightsParade/events/1663042 to see the action.

Heading to an exotic location this weekend? The St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade, the largest in the Caribbean, is also Saturday at 6 p.m. Boats will cruise through Christiansted Harbor. I am still waiting for my invitation to host the St. Croix parade, so perhaps in 2014.

Lastly on my list of parades for this week, we can jump on a flight to Hawaii and the 17th Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Boat Parade. The Oahu parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 21, sponsored by the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Assn. . The parade will start near Duck Island after a couple of passes in front of the judges at Towne Center before cruising through most of the harbor. The boats will finish just sly of the Wailua Bridge at the end of Mariner's Cove.

Tip of the week is more of my advice for those who will be skippering in a boat parade to make it an enjoyable experience for you and your guests. I have been skippering in parades as a professional captain for decades aboard small boats, mega yachts and almost every size in between.

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