Now You Know: Coast Guard Auxiliary’s new fall classes, mail ballots, more

Will Watts
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary is holding a fall session of their safe boating course ‘Boating Skills & Seamanship.’

“An educated boater is a safe boater,” a motto from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAux), Marco Island.

The group recently announced fall classes in boater education, including “Boating Skills and Seamanship,” “Boater’s Local Knowledge-Marco Island,” “Boater’s Local Knowledge –Backwater Edition,” “Suddenly in Command,” and “Paddlecraft Safety.”

All classes are facilitated by USCG Certified instructors.

Boating Skills and Seamanship is a comprehensive instructional program that includes categories such as “Which Boat Is For You,” “Equipping, Trailering, and Handling Your Boat,” and best practices for navigation, dealing with weather, rules and the radio.

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student will qualify to receive a Florida-issued Boater Safety Identification Card (BSIC) which is required for any individual born after January 1, 1988, to operate a motorized vessel of more than 10 hp. Many insurance companies offer discounts with the BSIC.

Instruction begins Oct. 10 and is taught over four weeks, 5 until 7:30 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays. A course textbook is provided on the first night.

“Boater’s Local Knowledge-Marco Island (BLK)” provides information on how to navigate waterways in and around Marco Island. This course is recommended for the novice, and intermediate boaters, or boaters new to this area. Each course is approximately 3.5 hours long and taught three times: 5 p.m., Oct. 25, Nov. 8 and Dec. 6. Top Spot Chart #204 is required for use during this class.

“Boater’s Local Knowledge-Backwater Edition” course begins where BLK ends, providing navigation tools, and waterways knowledge for boaters wishing to explore the unique backwaters of the 10,000 Islands. Each course is approximately 3.5. Chart #204 is required for use during this class.

Both courses extensively use aerial and on-the-water photos as well as Google Earth mapping.

“Suddenly in Command” is a 3-hour boating safety primer is designed for those not generally at the helm and will help you be prepared with the basics in case of an emergency. If a captain of a vessel is incapacitated or falls overboard, it’s a “wake-up call” for your responsibilities. You will learn about your vessel and operating principles when you are “Suddenly in Command.”

The class is 5 p.m., Nov. 9.

“Paddlecraft Safety” is for paddlers to be aware of the basic issues and needs for paddling safety, the basic equipment you should have, and provide some information about paddling that will help keep you a more knowledgeable and safer paddler.

The class is 5 p.m., Nov. 15.

All classes are held at USCGAux Station, 903 Collier Court, Caxambas Park, Marco Island.

For more information about these and other boating courses offered by the USCGAux, call 239- 384-7416 or

A 2022 Florida vote by mail ballot.

Collier County Supervisor of Elections begins vote-by-mail ballots

September 21, 2022: The Collier County Supervisor of Elections office will begin sending vote-by-mail ballots for the upcoming general election. 

Vote-by-mail ballots for overseas and military voters will begin to be mailed on Saturday, Sept. 24 and vote-by-mail ballots for domestic voters will begin to be mailed on Thursday, Sept.29.

The deadline to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot is 5 p.m., Oct. 29. Voted ballots must be physically returned (not just postmarked) to the supervisor of elections by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.

The United States Postal Service recommends that voters mail their voted ballots one week before the due date to account for any unforeseen events such as weather issues and to allow for timely receipt and processing by the election office. Vote-by-Mail ballots can also be dropped off to an early voting site during the early voting period (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 27-Nov. 5).

To request or track your ballot for the General Election, visit or contact the Supervisor of Elections office at 239-252-VOTE (8683).