The following article is taken
from the Fort Myers News-Press and reprinted
with the permission of the Fort Myers News-Press,
Saturday, December 23, 2000.
Novice boaters eager
to learn water ways. Several sources offer
help or answers.
BETSY CLAYTON, The News-Press
Boaters are making more than
SOS calls these days.
From Charlotte harbor to the Ten Thousand
Islands, boaters are calling manufacturers,
two companies and government agencies asking
about everything from shallow water and getting
lost to where to find bait.
They're asking dispatchers at the U.S. Coast
Guard, state marine patrol and town companies
a huge array of questions.
"I'd like to make dinner reservation
to the nearest marina."
"I've got a snook on and need to know
the legal size limit."
"I'm right here by this mangrove island
next to this piling and I need a tow."
The increasing number of inquiries even has
fueled a course designed for the first mates
- the ones often charged with finding the
answers - and a members- only FirstMate Hotline
that bills itself as the sea-goers' concierge.
"Boaters need to have more information
than they used to because they don't have
the room to get out of the way," said
Capt. Joe Cote, who teaches the new First
Mates Course at Florida Sailing and Cruising
School in North Fort Myers.
-Contact Betsy Clayton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here For Rest of Article)
Mate Course Schedule
October 15-16, 2001
October 27-28, 2001
6 students per class!