Florida Outdoor Adventure Troupe Pages

Have a FLOAT plan when you are ready to hit the waterways.





The organizers of this group would like to welcome you and thank you for joining Florida Outdoor Adventure Troupe. We are a camping and kayaking group, but not necessarily in that order! We may also add a few special trips into the mix, like backpacking, tubing and SUP.

The FLOAT organizers love to be on the water, and we started this group to meet new people who enjoy kayaking and socializing too. The rivers and ocean are the real Florida, and there is no better way to see it than from your kayak with a group of like-minded people. We plan to host a range of events, from a short paddle to the beach to multi-day trips along the rivers. Most of our trips will be day paddles on the weekend in and around Tampa Bay. All abilities and kayaking styles are welcome.

Paddle safe and Paddle with a Purpose. Help clean up our paddling trailways. Garbage bags will be available at every paddle. We hope to see you at an event soon!

It is Your Responsibility – Be Informed! You must be of at least 21 years of age to join this group and have read the about page with full understanding.

Each participant on a FLOAT paddle must have a seaworthy boat and wear an approved PFD at
all times while on the water.

DISCLAIMER

Safety Warning: Kayaking is an active sport and involves risk of injury and even death.

FLOAT is a non-professional meet-up group that only provides a way for you to connect with others who enjoy kayaking and associated activities. Think of FLOAT as a group of new and old friends getting together for fun and mostly our brand of fun is called kayaking. FLOAT is not a professional adventure organization or outfitter operation.

Kayaking can be physically and mentally demanding. Kayaking can involve significant risks and hazards, such as collision with power boats, hypothermia, joint or trauma injuries and even drowning. Injury, both personal and property, may occur while travelling to or from a FLOAT activity. All participants in a FLOAT activity - you, family members and guests - by participation in a FLOAT activity, acknowledge awareness of the risks, foreseen and unforeseen, which are inherent in each meet-up's activities and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of the activity. These inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the dangers of serious personal injury, property damage, and death from participation in or travel to and from the activity.

This meet-up group and its organizers does not, in any way, claim to be professionals or otherwise licensed, certified, trained, etc. to provide any service. There is no claim to be professional outfitters. FLOAT activity organizers are not trained in extensive emergency medical procedures. Since most FLOAT activities occur on the water, by participating in a FLOAT activity you are acknowledging that you are aware and understand that in the event of a serious medical emergency, treatment may be multiple hours, up to days, away.

Participation in any FLOAT meet-up activity is always your own choice and at your own risk. By participating in a FLOAT meet-up event, you, your family member's and your guests' (all participants) fully understand and accept all risks and agree to forever release, hold harmless and indemnify FLOAT and activity organizers, as well as their families, from any injury, damages or death resulting from participation in an activity. To the fullest extent allowed by law, you agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the FLOAT Meet-up Group and its Organizers from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from injuries, personal or property, and while participating in or travelling to or from the Activity.

In short, by participating in a FLOAT activity you accept and assume all risks and full responsibility for losses, costs and damages for yourself, your children and your guests.


Each participant on a FLOAT paddle must have a seaworthy boat, a whistle, a white light, all other equipment required by law and wear an approved PFD at all times while on the water.

Meetings at Venues

Meetup Meetings. Through our Platform we provide tools that enable our users to arrange physical meetings (a "Meetup Meeting") at venues that include, but are not limited to, public parks, private homes or private enterprises (such as coffee shops or retail stores). We do not supervise these Meetup Meetings and are not involved in any way with the actions of any individuals at these Meetup Meetings. As a result, we have no control over the identity or actions of the individuals who are present at these Meetup Meetings, and we request that our users exercise caution and good judgment when attending these Meetup Meetings.

Release.

Because we do not supervise or control the Meetup Group Meetings or interactions among or between members of Meetups or Alliances and other persons or companies, and because we are not involved in any way with physical transportation to or from Meetup Group Meetings or with the actions of any individuals at Meetup Meetings, and because we do not control Amazon.com, PayPal, credit card companies or other payment processing companies, and because we cannot guarantee the true identity, age, nationality of Platform users, and because we have very limited control, if any, over the quality, safety, morality, legality, truthfulness or accuracy of various aspects of the Platform you agree that you bear all risk and you agree to release us (and our officers, directors, shareholders, agents, employees, affiliates, subsidiaries, and third party partners) and Organizers and their designees from claims, demands, and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed, now and in the future, arising out of or in any way connected with your use of the Platform, your Third Party Transactions, our resolution of any disputes among users, and/or your transportation to or from, attendance at, or the actions of you or other persons at, a Meetup Gathering. You further waive any and all rights and benefits otherwise conferred by any statutory or non-statutory law of any jurisdiction that would purport to limit the scope of a release or waiver. You and your guests waive and relinquish all rights and benefits which you have or may have under Section 1542 of the Civil Code of the State of California or any similar provision of the statutory or non-statutory law of any other jurisdiction (including without limitation the states of Missouri, Delaware and Pennsylvania) to the full extent that you may lawfully waive all such rights and benefits.


Each member is responsible for their own safety while on the water or traveling to and from the water way. It is highly recommended by the group organizers that members wear a PFD (personal flotation device). Be sure that you are physically prepared for the challenges that may arise on any event. The group organizers assume no responsibility for your safety or liability in the event of an incident during an event. Know your limitations and make your own decisions. By becoming a member of Florida Outdoor Adventure Troupe known as FLOAT you are also agreeing to indemnify and hold FLOAT, their organizers and or Meet Up harmless from and against any claim, damage, loss, cost, expense, or other liability (including, without limitation any attorney’s fees and costs of defense) in the event a claim is made against FLOAT, their organizers and or Meet Up as a result on your participation in any activity or event.

The Organizers have the right and sole discretion to accept, decline or remove any members at any time from an individual event or from the group entirely.

From time to time we will remove non active members and members who "NO SHOW" on events.


SHORE POLICY

As a courtesy to others be on time, avoid the risk of being left behind.

MANATEE AWARENESS

Every boater within the State of Florida should be forever mindful of the endangered manatee. One should operate in a prudent manner in and around known manatee habitats and should be cognizant of and obey designated manatee zone areas.

KAYAK RENTALS

We do not make reservations for kayaks, so you need to contact them directly and make your own arrangements. If we know of one in the area that we are going to be paddling in we will be glad to let you know how to contact them directly. You can always call Sweetwater Kayaks and ask them about rentals.

RSVP ETIQUETTE

We do not take maybes on most paddles. If you do not plan to attend please change your RSVP to allow others an opportunity to attend. There is no excuse for no shows. It takes just as long to remove your self from an event as it does to sign up for an event. We all know there are many Meet Up Groups hosting events every week. As a courtesy to others please do not sign up to multiple events on the same day. It only frustrates the people wanting to attend the events and the organizers arranging the events.

No shows, three strikes, your out!


THE NECESSARY

You will need to bring your own water, sun screen, bug spray, towel, hat, water cannon, money, snacks and any other item you think you might need for a day trip. Remember to hydrate before you hit the water. It is your responsibility to have all of the required safety equipment aboard your vessel. Wear proper foot protection, flip flops are unacceptable for kayaking but look great at the restaurant after the paddle.

A note to other organizers: Please do not copy our about page or events. Be original and create your own identity. Feel free to ask us for information regarding a paddle location.

LINKS

British Canoe Union

British Canoe Union North America

American Canoe Association

Sweetwater Kayaks

Paddling.Net

NON MUSICAL NOTES OF INTEREST

You must be 21 to be a member of FLOAT. People under 21 are welcome on most day paddles if they have the skills and stamina to keep up with the group. It is the responsibility of the parents to make that decision for the safety of their children and others in the group.

Children are welcome on most day paddle portions of a group camp out if they have the skills and stamina to keep up and once again is the responsibility of the parents to make that decision.

Most group camp outs will be adults only and others maybe organized with the younger paddler in mind.

"Due to the nature of some of the events, under 21 are not included at these events."

Common Paddling Signals

Come to me! / Can I come in?: Hold the paddle vertically or raise one arm straight up above your head. Given on open water, a group seeing this would gather around the signaller. Seen on the beach, it means the coast is clear, come in to shore. You can also use this signal to ask if the beach is clear, or to answer 'I am coming in'.

Stop!: Hold paddle horizontally above your head or hold arms horizontally out to your sides. This means stop, do not proceed. Paddlers should hold their position.

Proceed this way!: Take your paddle or your arm and point to the left or the right. Always point the direction you want to have the paddlers go, the clear and safe path. Do NOT point to an obstruction.

Are You Okay?: To ask if someone is okay, take one arm and point to the person you are asking about. At the same time pat the top of your head with the other hand. This asks the question, "Are you OK?". If the person being asked is okay, they should respond by patting the top of their head with their hand; this means, "I'm OK". Any other response, waving their arms, or a no response is taken to mean that the person is not okay and help is required.

Look over there: This is the signal we use to direct somebody’s attention to something. Use your index & middle finger, point at your eyes and then towards the thing you want to point out. the direction to look.

We need a First Aid Kit!: Cross forearms with one forearm vertical, the other horizontal

Whistle signals:
One Blast: used to attract attention.
Three blasts mean: ' I need help ' or ' Emergency '. The group assembles around the signaller.


You must have a PFD, whistle and flashlight. If you bring a fishing pole you must have a fishing Permit. Read below for the current law. We have provided this information as a courtesy.

Minimum Required Safety Equipment for
Class A Recreational Vessels
(less than 16 ft / less than 4.9m) or Canoes and Kayaks


Florida Boating Law Basics

One approved Type I, II, or III PFD for each person on board or being towed on water skis etc.
Must be USCG approved. Must be in serviceable condition. Must be properly stored.

NOTE:A Type V hybrid may substituted for any Type I, II, or III device, but must be worn whenever the vessel is underway and the person is not in the cabin or other enclosed area.

Class A:Every person on board under the age of six (6) must wear an approved Type I, II, or III while the vessel is underway.

Must carry visual distress signals for nighttime use.

Visual Distress Signal required on the high sea and coastal waters only. NOTE: Coastal waters means the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc. where any entrance is over two (2) miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to 2 miles.

Every vessel less than 12 meters (39.4 ft) in length must carry an efficient sound producing device. The sound producing device need not meet any particular specifications, as long as the vessel can produce signals required by the navigational rules.

Determining Your Skill Level

Here’s a quick guide to skill levels.

If you’re a beginner: you have no sea kayaking experience and no formal instruction.

If you’re a novice: you’re a paddler who has some some kayaking experience, perhaps a bit of paddling here and there. You have had limited formal instruction, and you consider yourself to be at a basic level.

If you’re an intermediate paddler: you have moderate sea kayaking experience and some formal instruction, and you’re familiar with fundamental strokes, comfortable with a wet exit, and can perform a basic rescue and re-entry.

If you're an advanced paddler: you are an experienced kayaker with solid skills who can travel 3-4 miles/hour and handle rough conditions.

Read the Meetup Terms of Service Agreement, especially
Section 6. Meetings at Venues
6.1 Meetup Meetings
6.2 Release

THE HISTORY of FLOAT

Back in January 2008, a small group of 11 kayakers met at E.G. Simmon's Park to share a common interest, paddling. Florida Outdoor Camping and Kayaking (aka The F.O.C.K.ers) was born.

Eddie E. came up with the name and started the group and along with Mike B. they posted events hoping that the kayak group would catch on and attract a few people. The group has succeeded and grown beyond anyone’s hope or expectations.

Eddie E. stepped down in Dec. 2008 to take some time out and further explore places of interest in Florida and beyond. In July of 2009 Florida Outdoor Adventure Troup (FLOAT) appeared on the scene with Eddie E., Ed, Sophie & Mike R. organizing. SUP (Stand Up Paddleboards) were also added to the group. In September 2009, both groups along with several Orlando groups joined together to bring you another successful Homosassa adventure. There were over 150 people attending.

In October 2009 Mike B. stepped down from the group to spend time with his new family.

Annie (AKA Sun Annie) and Brad then stepped up to lead the group. Ann added bike rides and paddle boards to the mix and expanded the name to F.O.C.C.K.ers.

While there may have been a few changes in the group, there is the one thing that has remained the same and that is the love of the water, outdoors, and the environment.

The organizers of FOCCK (Florida Outdoor Camping, Cycling and Kayaking) and FLOAT (Florida Outdoor Adventure Troupe) have put our heads together to offer more great trips to more spectacular areas for our members every week. We have merged to form one kayak club, FLOAT. We welcome Annie and Brad to team FLOAT. Brad was one of those attending the very first paddle. Annie has been an organizer of Florida Outdoor Camping, Cycling, and Kayaking for quite some time now and they are both a welcome addition along with all the members of F.O.C.C.K.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
About Florida Outdoor Adventure Troupe November 14, 2010 12:04 PM anonymous

Valrico, FL

Founded Jul 7, 2009

About us…

Organizers:

Brad Davis, Kim
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