Looking for a different day trip for the family? Head on down I-95 to the Merritt Island, Port Canaveral exit. It’s a bit of a drive from Daytona Beach (about 1¼ hours) so if you make reservations keep the driving time factor in mind. At the port (Exit B), there is a bit of ongoing development as the Port Authority expands their facilities. An observation deck is currently being constructed. There are already several restaurants on site including Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill.
Once aboard the Ocean Racer, depending on the weather and ocean conditions, day trippers may spot dolphin, manatee or even sea turtles as the boat idles through the channel to the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the launch towers at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral may also be seen.
The craft picks up speed as it hurtles along the beachside down to the Cocoa Beach Pier. It’s fun as the captain brings the boat near para-sailing tourists with the chute billowing out above them. Other sights that may be spotted as the boat makes her way offshore may include a casino cruise ship, fishing boats and cabin cruisers.
Guests have the opportunity to purchase water, Gatorade or beer from an ice filled cooler once on board. A variety of music plays for most of the trip unless the first mate is giving a spiel about what you're viewing.
It can be quite hot on board, especially while the boat is traveling out the channel at low speed. It is recommended to wear sun screen, non-slip shoes, sunglasses and possibly a cap or hat (just remember to hold on to it) when taking the trip. If you have a tendency toward seasickness then take something before you board.
The Ocean Racer provides a fun trip for the entire family. Some may find it a little tame for their tastes, while others may be disappointed if they don't see any marine life. However, it's always a fun day out on the water!
The Ocean Racer casts off at 11 am and 1 pm Saturday and Sunday. It’s not a cheap ride, in fact the tickets for adults are $45 and for children they are $30. However, it’s a fun family experience. Specials are sometimes offered, so check the website before making your purchase.
The Canaveral Ocean Racer is docked at 650 Glen Cheek Drive, Port Canaveral, FL next door to Rusty’s Seafood and Ocean Bar. For information and reservations phone 321-784-6300.