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Boca Raton Harbor

Boca Raton, Florida United States
Lat: 26° 20' 3.84''
Lon: -80° 3' 48.95''
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Marinas near Boca Raton Harbor

Rain throughout the day.

83℉

Lat 26° 20' 3.84''

Lon -80° 3' 48.95''

Tide
Low05:12AM-0.013ft
High11:03AM2.510ft
Low05:27PM-0.049ft
High11:27PM2.533ft
ESE at 8 knots
Introduction:

Ponce de Leon discovered Boca Raton way back in the 16th century, but today, after several flags from many countries have flown here (with much bloodshed), Boca Raton is a bustling tourist town, relying visitors to keep the tax coffers full.

With a variety of water- and land-based activities available for most any interest, Boca Raton has become an important winter destination for cruising mariners seeking to escape the cooler weather of northern climes, and also for visitors arriving by jet travel to escape the same, even if only temporarily.

Yachting resorts and facilities abound, as do white sandy beaches, bike trails, excellent restaurants and a very active sport fishing fleet that makes daily ventures out into the Atlantic Ocean hoping for the ultimate fish story.

The image above is a view from the east looking west over the Boca Raton Inlet where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The darker water comes from the Intracoastal Waterway and Wyman Lake, which get their darker color from tannins that leach into the water from plant matter along the shorelines of the two areas.


History:

The meaning of the name Boca Raton has always aroused curiosity. Many people wrongly assume the name is simply Rat’s Mouth. The Spanish word boca (or mouth) often described an inlet, while raton (literally mouse) was used as a term for a cowardly thief. But the “Thieves Inlet,” Boca Ratones, appeared on eighteenth century maps associated with an inlet in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly applied to Lake Boca Raton, whose inlet was closed at the time. The “s” and later the “e” were dropped from this title by the 1920s, yet the correct pronunciation remains Rah-tone.

[i]Information courtesy City of Boca Raton.[/i]


Navigating the Water:

Use NOAA Chart 11467.

Navigating in and around the Boca Raton area requires a bit of diligence and concentration. Several drawbridges cross the Intracoastal Waterway (one drawbridge crosses the inlet itself) here and they all have varying schedules. It is best to come prepared to Boca Raton armed with a bridge opening schedule and a copy of Small Craft Chart 11467.

If you plan to use the inlet be very cautious; local knowledge is very much recommended. The inlet is shoal-prone and the channel is ever shifting. If in doubt and you must use the inlet, try following one of the experienced charter fishing boats in or out of the inlet. They use this area every day and are usually familiar with the shifts and twists of the shoaling.

The main obstacle to navigation in the Boca Raton Inlet is the 23-foot fixed vertical clearance Boca Inlet Bridge that crosses the channel just past the sharp northerly turn when you approach from the sea. The bridge has a restricted opening schedule, opening every quarter-hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on demand at all other times. The current edition of NOAA Chart 11467 warns visiting mariners not to transit the inlet without advance local knowledge, due to shoaling. Be sure to call ahead to one of the local marinas to ascertain current depths before making the decision to attempt the inlet.

To reach the inlet from the Atlantic Ocean, first set a course to pick up quick flashing green “1” and quick flashing red “2” on the south and north inlet jetties, respectively. Once you have picked up the lights you can head in to the inlet, keeping the aforementioned bridge schedule into mind. You do not want to have to wait for the bridge on an incoming current.

The Boca Raton Resort and Club is located on the west side of Lake Boca Raton just past flashing green “67” off the ICW Channel with extensive facilities for transient guests. Additional facilities can be found farther south off the HIllsboro River.


Local Notices to Mariners:

Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.


Things To Do/Local Events:

Sport fishing is big in Boca Raton with several charter operations offering the visiting guest an opportunity to go after sailfish, dorado, permit, snook, tarpon and other tropical warm-water game fish.

Boca Raton has plentiful white sand beaches, biking trails, city parks and a variety of facilities designed for relaxation and enjoyment of the outdoors.

See the “Helpful Links” section at the bottom of this page for additional detailed information.


Transportation:

Palm Tran, the County’s public bus transportation service, provides service seven days per week. Palm Tran also provides feeder bus service in Palm Beach County for Tri-Rail. Call for schedules and additional information (561-841-4200). Palm Tran information (schedules, fares, etc.,) is also available at City Hall, the Public Library and the Chamber of Commerce (1800 N. Dixie Highway, Boca Raton).

Tri-Rail is South Florida’s commuter railroad, operating seven days a week from 18 train stations along a 71-mile-long rail corridor from Miami to West Palm Beach. Call 800-TRI-RAIL for more information.

Boca Raton has a general aviation airport in town, but the Palm Beach International and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airports are within taxi or bus service distance, and offer regularly scheduled commercial air service.

See the “Helpful Links” section at the bottom of this page for additional detailed information.

[i]Information courtesy City of Boca Raton.[/i]


Helpful Links:

City of Boca Raton

Boca Raton Calendar of Events

City Parks and Recreation Activities

Palm Tran Public Transportation

Tri Rail Train Service

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport

Palm Beach International Airport


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