Archive for June, 2012

Photo: Nathan Benderson Park, future site of Florida World Aquatic Center, Sarasota

The 2,000-meter rowing course at the future site of the Florida World Aquatic Center in Sarasota will offer the only tournament FISA venue in North America.

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Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival ‘Reefality Show’

Trom-bonefish, clam-bourines and reefality stars!

I think it’s accurate to say that the only place on the planet that you’d find a festival as whacked-out as the Underwater Music Festival is the Florida Keys. Which is meant as a compliment — I’m shaking my head and laughing just imaging the double-takes from the fish in the area!

The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival ‘Reefality Show’ splashes into Looe Key Reef 10 a.m. –2 p.m. July 14, 2012, offering an offbeat takeoff on popular television reality shows with divers and snorkelers costumed as contestants and judges from “Underwater Idol,” “Dancing with the Starfish” and “Subsea Survivor.” Festival attendees might spot iconic former “Idol” judge “Simon Coral” and current judge “J. Lo Tide” or previous “Survivor” winner “Richard Hatchery.”

The concert’s playlist– broadcast underwater via Lubell Laboratory speakers suspended beneath boats positioned above the reef — typically ranges from humpback whale recordings to ocean-themed songs such as Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins,” Donovan’s “Atlantis” and the Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden.” 

The festival also carries a serious message of reef preservation. The broadcast incorporates diver awareness announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing impacts on the underwater environment.

Interested in participating?

You can reserve space on boats run by Lower Keys dive operators or launch your own boats from public ramps and marinas in the area. 

Continue reading Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival ‘Reefality Show’ »

Two-Day Fourth-of-July Celebration Blasts into Delray Beach: Watch the Video!

The video explains far better than I ever could.

Take a peek and you’ll see why you should surf over to Delray Beach on July 3-4, 2012 for their very special, Two-Day Fourth-of-July Celebration. The Celebration will be brimming with entertainment, interactive activities, fun contests – like a sand sculpting contest and a beautiful baby bathing suit contest –food, drink and more than any human being could possibly list!  

More news to twirl your beach towel?

The celebration is open to the public and free. Here are the hours:

  • July 3, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • July 4, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

It would be tragic to miss it!

Continue reading Two-Day Fourth-of-July Celebration Blasts into Delray Beach: Watch the Video! »

What It’s Like to Hang Glide: Awesome Slide Show!

What's it like to hang glide?

Before you go, sometimes your mouth gets dry and your heart beats faster. When you takeoff, you get airborne very, very fast, and the earth shrinks beneath you into a patchwork of farms and swamps and lakes. Sometimes the air is perfumed with oranges, and it’s so sweet and vivid you can taste it in your mouth. Usually it’s colder and sharper as you fly higher, slicing through the layers of the sky.

It’s close to the flying you do in your dreams, where your arms are outstretched and you magically shift with the currents of the sky. And it’s beautiful. It can be so beautiful. Take a peek at my little slide show and you’ll see why it’s time to fly.

Don’t you think it’s time for you to fly, too?

You can try hang gliding– at Quest Air Hang Gliding in Groveland (west of Orlando), where this was filmed, as well as these other Sunshine State locations:

Insider’s Disclosure: My hubby manages Quest Air Hang Gliding.

Continue reading What It’s Like to Hang Glide: Awesome Slide Show! »

Photo: Ecosystem Restoration System, Niceville

Planting seagrass at the Ecosystem Restoration System, Niceville

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Photo: Fury Water Adventures, Key West

Get out on (or in) the water with Fury Water Adventures in Key West.

Continue reading Photo: Fury Water Adventures, Key West »

Delight to Dolphins

Who doesn’t adore dolphins? Here in Florida, you can touch them, watch them play and swim with them. You can even meet Winter the Dolphin, star of the hit movie ‘Dolphin Tale,’ in Clearwater.

Close Encounters

Imagine the thrill of touching a dolphin: feeling its rubbery skin, gazing into its intelligent eyes or even sharing a kiss with it. Imagine speeding through the water being pulled by one. Guess what? You don’t have to imagine! You can enjoy this mind-boggling adventure at Discovery Cove in Orlando, a private, all-inclusive, full-day resort. A limited number of people are admitted per day to play on the beach, snorkel in the fish-filled waterways and experience a 30-minute dolphin swim. The resort also offers underwater walking tours, up-close encounters with lionfish and sharks, and one-on-one interaction with diverse animals including schools of fish and gentle rays.

Wild and Free

Dolphins leap in the boat’s wake, spontaneous, graceful and powerful. They toss fish to
each other. Sometimes, they seem to be laughing. They even respond to the encouraging claps and cheers of their admiring audience. You can experience these clever animals in all of their wild, natural glory aboard the Southern Star, an 80-foot, double-decker, glass-bottom boat. The expedition explores Destin Harbor and the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Make Waves

Your 90-minute dolphin adventure tour via WaveRunner with Holiday Water Sports of Fort Myers Beach takes off with a rip-roaring, water-spraying ride through the Gulf of Mexico, led by a knowledgeable guide. The pace will slow and you’ll putter into Estero Bay to explore its pristine islands. Before heading home, you’ll turn off your engines and bob quietly aboard your WaveRunner, taking in the antics of dozens of dolphins in their natural environment – often, only a few feet away.

Create a Work of Art

Team up with a dolphin at the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon to create your own dolphin masterpiece. You choose the colors; the dolphins paint! You’ll kneel on the dock and stretch a T-shirt over the water while the dolphin dabs, smears and brushes. The shirt is yours forever, to wear or display. The DRC also offers a full range of interactive dolphin experiences, from being a trainer for a day to dolphin swims and meets. Some of their dolphins are descendants of the 1963 Flipper movie cast.

Meet a Movie Star

The true story of Winter, star of the movie Dolphin Tale, inspires people worldwide. She’s a symbol of courage, perseverance and hope – and Clearwater Marine Aquarium is the only place on the planet you can see her. The aquarium also offers three animal interaction programs, dolphin photo opportunities and stingray feedings.

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6 Spectacular Ways to Test the Water

A fishing charter isn’t the only way to get offshore and enjoy Florida’s aquamarine waters. Whether you’re soaring sky high, discovering underwater creatures, gliding across the marsh or taking
in the views from a yacht or sunset sail, there’s an onboard excursion for everyone.

Soar Above the Shore

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get a bird’s-eye view of Florida’s crystal-clear waters, sugar-sand shoreline and barrier islands? On a parasailing adventure, you’ll float up to 1,400 feet above the water, suspended in the air, but safely tethered to a boat below. With Marco Island Water Sports, you’ll see the Ten Thousand Islands in their expansive glory, a truly stunning sight, especially from the sky. Daytona Beach Parasailing will have you flying so high over “the world’s most famous beach” that you might catch a glimpse of Daytona International Speedway. In Destin, flying with the seasonal Just Chute Me is one of the best ways to see the Emerald Coast.

Swim With the Fishes

The Florida Keys is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world, spanning 2,800 square nautical miles of protected waters. Set sail aboard a spacious vessel with Fury Water Adventures in Key West for a snorkeling excursion to the reef seven miles offshore. Swimming among one of Florida’s greatest natural treasures, you’ll marvel at the coral canyons, purple sea fans and schools of tropical fish.

See Things More Clearly

Not ready for a face-to-face fish encounter? In Key Largo, discover the wonders of the reef aboard a glass-bottom boat at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Or head to Ocala’s Silver Springs – where the first glass-bottom boat was created – for unparalleled views of the famed freshwater springs.

Glide on the Wild Side

Explore a truly one-of-a-kind wilderness and the realm of Florida’s alligators and crocodiles on an airboat ride through the Everglades. Sawgrass Recreation Park in Weston offers airboat rides and a tour through its exotic wildlife exhibit. Near Orlando, you’ll spy bald eagles, blue herons and, of course, gators in the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge when you ride along with Airboat Rides at Midway.

Ride in Style

Want to feel like a millionaire for the day? Charter your own yacht, captain and all. Golden Yacht Charters in Miami Beach will have you cruising in style through Biscayne Bay aboard a powerboat, yacht or even a mega-yacht. Embark on a dinner cruise with Yacht StarShip in Tampa, and marvel at the downtown skyline while indulging in cuisine from America’s first dining cruise to boast the AAA three-diamond distinction.

Step Back in Time

Return to the age of exploration aboard a historic schooner, and relax as the motor switches off and the sails fill with wind. These double-masted tall ships offer peaceful and romantic sunset voyages. The Schooner Western Union, first launched in 1939, is Key West’s flagship at 130 feet long. St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest continuously occupied city, is home to the Schooner Freedom, modeled after a cargo schooner from the American Revolution.

Continue reading 6 Spectacular Ways to Test the Water »

Photo: Dolphin Research Center, Marathon

Dolphin painting at Dolphin Research Center, Marathon

Continue reading Photo: Dolphin Research Center, Marathon »

Photo: Amelia Island State Park

Explore the beach at Amelia Island State Park on horseback.

Continue reading Photo: Amelia Island State Park »