Planning fun activities for your family and friends is a great way to bond on your boating trips. Below are some great ideas to try.

Write a message along with your email address on a piece of driftwood and set it free

What a surprise it would be to get a message back on where it ended up at?

Fun Fact: “All wood of any description which may drift onto the beach of part of this Territory shall be the property of the finder and any such driftwood may take the same for his own private use without paying a share to the Government”. Taken from the 1898 Civil and Penal Laws of Hawaii.

Learn the history of the area you are visiting    

Impress your fellow boaters with knowledge of your port of call. Before you leave home port, google where you are headed and share it over the evening’s meal.

Example: According to Wash.State Parks website, Sucia Island – The main island, surrounded by picturesque rocks and smaller islands, gave pause to the Spanish explorers who navigated its waters in 1791. They called it “sucia” or “foul,” a nautical term describing navigational obstacles such as the rocks around the island. The island and its waters are, in fact, pristine, and the satellite rocks make for interesting diving and kayaking.   On April 10, 2012, part of a femur bone from a theropod dinosaur was discovered in a rock on the island. (Theropods are a group of meat-eating, two-legged dinosaurs, including T. rex and Velociraptor.) The 80 million-year-old fossil was spotted and excavated by paleontologists at the Burke Museum.

Fly a kite off the stern

This is not as easy as it sounds. Get some great tips from the

Scavenger Hunt by dinghy

According to Florida by Water, “boating with children or disinterested spouses can make for a long boat ride. That’s why our “not so creative” department here at Florida by Water has gone old school and created a new twist on an old game to help keep your passengers from staging a mutiny”.  Go their website to find a downloadable list.

Knot tying

There seems to be a knot for every occasion. You’ve got your cleat hitch, the anchor bend, a stopper knot and don’t forget the two half hitches. Can’t you just tie a bow and call it good? shows us how to do seven essential knots and there are some great books out that can help you impress even the best of the sailors.

Theme night or Murder on the High Seas

Choose from a pirate party, luau, Gilligan’s Island or do a Murder on the High Seas mystery night. The Dollar Store is full of supplies and getting everyone to participate isn’t a problem when it comes to a night full of wackiness or drama.

Birdwatch or stargazing

Did you ever wonder what that black bird with the orange beak is, or which star is the Big Dipper or the Northern Star? Go to and find Star Watching: The Amateurs Guide or Birds of the Pacific NW Coast. Another great way to impress your fellow boaters.  Just don’t be too much of a know- it- all or you may find yourself being towed behind in the dinghy.

How many songs have the words sail(ing) in them?

“Come sail away” by Styx is an easy one. Who can come up with the most titles? And if they know the artist, even more points for them.

Write in a journal

While not all of us have the patience or even discipline to jot down what they saw, felt or did every day, it is a great way to remember places you visited, a restaurant you tried and anything else you want to recall after you get home. Even writing the locations of pictures you took, because who can remember a year from now, where that awesome waterfall was at?

Message in a bottle

And last but not least, there is the good ol’ message in the bottle. This profound idea of writing your deepest thoughts, expression of love or a riddle, sealing it into a bottle and flinging it into the ocean has inspired both songs and movies alike. No record has been found that shows just how many messages have been received through this process, but it does make for some pretty colored beach glass?



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