The balmy April air seems warmer as sonic webs of reggae and island music weave their way throughout the Martin County Fairgrounds. Backed by a laid-back symphony of live steel drums and vocals, visitors to the third-annual fete wend through merchant stalls and scope out displays of marine-themed art and new and used fishing or boating equipment, including rods, kayaks, and lures flavored like medium-rare worms. A public boat auction draws bids on new and used watercrafts, while an antique boat show recalls seafaring days of yesteryear. A host of sage boating and fishing gurus helm workshops and seminars throughout the festival, waterlogging attendees’ neurons with nautical topics. To prevent growling stomachs from interrupting precious boat-gazing time, festival chefs whip up toothsome seafood to remind eaters of their love for the sea and quests to eat every inch of it.
Sculpted on a 28-acre estuary between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Jupiter Dunes Golf Club presents a short par 3 course that features prominent water hazards that come into play on 12 holes. Coastal trade winds routinely knock approach shots off course on their way onto small paspalum greens, a challenge only mitigated by careful shot selection or digging wind-free fairway tunnels. Even with these obstacles, the course's truncated length lets beginners make an enjoyable foray into the game, and more experienced players can work on short game acumen.
Jupiter Dunes’ resident golf pro Jeff Leishman strives to make golf a pleasant pursuit for all players, including juniors. Jeff creates an instructional regimen that best fits each player, helping adults to lower their handicaps during lessons and showing juniors how to make a golf-cart booby trap at summer camps for kids aged 6–14.
The 18 holes of Palm Beach Gardens Golf Course slither through the natural marshes and wetlands of the Loxahatchee Nature Preserve, testing golfers' mettle with frequent changes in fairway direction and lots of water. Players scoot about the Roy Case-designed layout aboard golf carts equipped with GPS systems, which help them ascertain exact distances to greens and around sunbathing caddies. The fairway of the par 5 ninth hole -- dubbed "Mucho Agua" -- lies on an isthmus between two large bodies of water, leaving little room for error as players try to reach the green in two. The fairway of the 13th hole, also a par 5, doglegs twice into a unique Z shape, earning it the name of "Zorro's Revenge." Before players may turn in for the day, they must deal with two shots over water on the last hole, named "Swamp Thing" for its proximity to marshland and proclivity for early '80s horror movies.
Akin to the Batmen of the sea, the divemasters and instructors at The Scuba Club lead underwater adventures from their multi-level seaside mansion, using only the very best toys. After outfitting customers with gear from their Scubapro Platinum Dealer shop, they cart passengers to the many dive-ready sites a mere 20-minute journey away aboard their U.S. Coast Guard-certified boat. Beneath the waves, divers encounter turtles, eels, sharks, and rays in an aquatic parade of regular reef creatures and Atlantic water visitors.
From the New Riviera Beach Marina, Blue Water Powerboat Rentals looks out on three prime boating destinations: Peanut Island, Palm Beach Island and Singer Island. The rental shop also nestles near Lake Worth Inlet, a Gulf Stream-proximate locale ideal for fishing and drift diving.
Renters can jet towards these sites, or simply explore the intracoastal waterways, in whatever vehicle they deem the chosen one from the company’s fleet of Yamaha Waverunners, kayaks, and pontoon boats. The selection also encompasses CraigCats, lightweight motorized catamarans, whose twin bucket seats are ideal for two passengers. For those apprehensive about taking the wheel, the shop’s captains can show the areas most idyllic underwater and above-water sights on boating and snorkeling tours.
Sailors navigate the glittering waters of Palm Beach in one of The Boat Fleet's many vessels, which include center consoles, walkarounds, deck boats, cabin cruisers, and bowriders. Seafaring parties may adventure to nearby Peanut Island, cruise up and down the coast to spot sprawling waterfront mansions, or relax while floating in their private patches of ocean. The 21- to 33-foot boats include rigs equipped for fishing trips—including stainless-steel rod holders, game-spotting GPS, and lures that look like Bugs Bunny in a wig—and all ships stow Coast Guard safety gear and lifeboats aboard.