by Chris Anders, Contributing Writer
Paddle boarding under a full moon has become widely popular by all paddle board enthusiasts. There is something about being on the water when very few boats are out and it seems like you are the only one out there. The sound of your board cutting through the water is so distinct and clear. The darkness of the water is so calming yet mysterious and the light of the moon is so bright that it lights up all that’s afloat. So many people want to join us on our full moon paddle but there are some do’s and don’ts that you want to know before heading out for your first full moon paddle.
Don’t travel alone. If you are the only one out there and all you have is a small light, other traveling boaters may not see you.
Do travel in groups of 10-12 people. If you have too many people, it’s hard to keep track of your crew especially if they had a few drinks while enjoying the full moon.
Don’t allow novice paddlers out on a full moon. There are enough safety hazards to worry about just being out on the water at night. The last thing you need is someone that may be over confident and ends up being separated from the rest of the paddlers.
Do make sure that everyone is an intermediate to advanced paddler so that they are strong enough to stay with the group. It’s no fun when someone gets separated from the group.
Don’t travel without proper safety equipment, such as a proper PFD, whistle, board leash, and proper lighting.
Do make sure that you are wearing a PFD at night with reflective material, and have lights on your board that can be seen from all directions. Glow sticks are fun, but nothing beats lights that indicate port side (left) red and starboard side (right) green and stern (rear) is white. You can get suction cup lights at most marine stores. Head lamps are also the best way to see your way around and they can see through the water on a clear trip.
Don’t travel in areas that have a lot of boat traffic like busy restaurants, inlets, and channels. Avoid holidays or events on the water because there may be too much boat traffic.
Do travel in idle only areas with little boat traffic.
Don’t get drunk while partying and paddling under the full moon. This happens quite often and then someone has to babysit that person and that just isn’t fun. You need to respect the ocean and other waterways. Respect Mother Nature.
Do have someone in charge of watching the group. Make sure everyone stays together. That means no one leaves or goes back before the others. If one person leaves, you all leave together.
Do all the “do’s” and you and your friends will have many great Full Moons on the water.
Chris Anders, CEgO
Palm Beach Boat Club and Paddleboard Shop
255 E. 22nd Ct. Rivera Beach • 561.840.1901