Tags Posts tagged with "Christine Carpenter"

Christine Carpenter

SB: What sets West Marine apart from other competitors in the field? How has it accomplished this and how will it continue to do so?
DR: For many years, West Marine has been the world’s largest boating supply retailer, offering over 85,000 products at our 280 retail stores, through our call center at 1-800-BOATING, and online at westmarine.com. We know boating and cruisers, and we can outfit just about anyone who enjoys recreating on the water. An important aspect that sets us apart from many of our competitors is the expertise of our associates, both at the stores and at the call center. We provide our customers with solutions for all their questions and the right products for their boating needs.

SB: How has the company developed and changed over the years?
DR: West Marine’s founder Randy Repass started selling sailing rope for his daysailer out of his garage in Palo Alto—he was frustrated with the disorganization and limited selection at local chandleries. While sailing is still an important core of our business, over the years West Marine has expanded its merchandise to cater to powerboaters, fishing and paddling enthusiasts. Most recently, we’ve introduced a great selection of stand-up paddleboards and kayaks which are some of the fastest growing watersports trends.

SB: What attracted you to work for West Marine? What things ignite passion and excitement in your job?
DR: I’ve spent most of my career in retail, including senior management positions at The Home Depot and Sports Authority. My husband and I are avid sailors—both racing and cruising—so the position at West Marine was an exciting opportunity to combine my career and my passion. I’ve been a West Marine customer for over 15 years and to be part of the expansion to reach water enthusiasts is exciting for me.

SB: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
DR: As West Marine expands its product selection to include more “waterlife” products, our marketing team is evolving our vision to include creative campaigns that share the passion of being on and around the water. It’s not just about products, it’s about the excitement and the joy that goes with boating—whether it’s sailing, power boating, fishing, or paddling.

SB: What do you love most about what you do?
DR: What sailor wouldn’t want to spend their days talking about boating? My favorite thing about working for West Marine is the opportunity to meet and talk with our store associates across the organization. Their passion and love for West Marine is contagious and makes me excited to come to work every day.

SB: How has West Marine made a difference in the marine industry? Give some specific examples of how your company has enriched mariners’ experiences on the water.
DR: West Marine has certainly raised the bar of people’s expectations for selection and service. One example is engine parts—one of the biggest headaches for cruisers. There are so many different models and when something breaks, even seasoned cruisers often aren’t sure where to start to get the right part. West Marine’s new flagship store includes dedicated engine parts counters, for example, with thousands of parts in stock. For customers who aren’t near those stores, westmarine.com has a new “Engine Parts Selector” section that allows you to find parts by engine make, model and year, or by part number. A process that could take days (or weeks) of phone calls to manufacturers is now done in minutes, which gets our customers back on the water faster.

SB: What should we expect to see from West Marine in this upcoming year?
DR: In addition to the latest specialty items for boating, we’re introducing new lines of lifestyle products for the whole family. You’ll see more women’s clothing, expanded assortment of paddle sports like stand up paddleboards and kayaks, and lifestyle electronics such as waterproof Bluetooth speakers. You’ll also see continued enhancements to our website westmarine.com.

SB: What product would you recommend cruisers consider?
DR: Check out the new inflatable stand-up paddleboards, such as the Jimmy Styks Puffer. It’s great for exploring and exercise and packs up to the size of a duffel bag. They’re a great alternative to kayaks. I have two of them that we use when we go camping up in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

SB: Tell me about your boating experience. Do you currently own a boat?
DR: I am ASA certified to sail up to 60-foot monohull and catamaran boats, and we’ve bare-boated in the B.V.I., St. Maarten and throughout California. One of the best perks we have at West Marine is our company’s 40-foot Santa Cruz sailboat that we race on Wednesday nights here in Santa Cruz. I’ve also coordinated several “Women on the Water” boating events where associates can learn how to sail or just enjoy being out on the water. Other weekends, we are out kayaking or paddleboarding around the Central Coast.

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Exposure

For the Techy:



StickUp Speakers are portable, waterproof and has a built-in microphone and Bluetooth capability with smartphones, tablets and laptops. The suction cup provides convenient placement and with eight colors and two size options, it’s the perfect gift. MSRP $19.99; stickupsound.com

Weatherflow Wind Meter instantly measures wind speed, Weatherflowdirection, average, and gusts using your IOS or Android device. It reads in meters per second, miles per hour, kilometers per hour, and beaufort scale to be the most accurate handheld anemometer on the market. MSRP $34.95; weatherflow.com

Aqua_VaultAqua Vault protects your valuables by locking itself around the framework of chairs and tables at the beach, pool, boat, waterpark, etc., for peace of mind during family adventures. MSRP $39.95; theaquavault.com

Bad Elf iPhone GPS for Lightning Connector is licensed by Apple and quickly acquires a satellite lock anywhere in the world without a cell tower. Supports iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPod touch 5th generatiBad-Elfon. No Internet connection or monthly subscription required. MSRP $129.99; bad-elf.com


For the Fashionista:

FlopEezeFlopEeze Wetsuit Sandals protect men and women’s feet from hot sand, sharp shells and other unpleasant surfaces in and out of the water. Akin to walking barefoot, the wetsuit material is flexible, lightweight and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. MSRP $12.99; flopeeze.com

Guy Harvey Sea Prism Necklaces are inspired by guy-harvey-jewelrythe prisms that were set into the decks of early sailing ships to redirect sunlight below deck. Both sides of the stone are hand faceted to fit the signature sterling silver Guy Harvey frame and are available in seven unique colors. MSRP $99.95; guyharveyjewelry.com



SWIMS Dora rubber rain boots are fun and versatile with elastics on each side to provide comfort and ease to slip on and off. MSRP $98.58. SWIMS Stella rubber rain boots reference the shape and design of traditional tall riding boots with a slim, feminine silhouette. MSRP $123.53; swims.com


Costa’s Tern Sunglasses have a sleek,Costa-Sunglasses rectangular frameshape with 5-barrel optical hinges and no-slip Hydrolite nose pads. Choose from pomegranate fade, coconut fade, topaz fade, and shiny black and amber with Costa’s gray, copper or amber 580P™ lenses. MSRP $159; costadelmar.com

For the Angler:

Scatter-Rap-lureRapala Scatter Rap Jointed lure
combines the familiar broken-back minnow anglers love with the game-changing innovative Scatter Lip. This creates a one-of-a-kind erratic, evasive swimming action with a jointed body style causing the lure to undulate through the water to trigger strikes from otherwise disinterested or hesitant fish. $9.99; rapala.com

Williamson’s saltwater fillet knives offer a 10- or 12-inch Williamson-Knivescurved blade, a 6½ or 8-inch straight, no-flex blade and a 6½ or 8-inch slim blade with medium flex. Manufactured by Marttiini, each knife has razor sharp edges and a co-molded handle for comfortable, fatigue-free filleting. MSRP $32.99-$38.49; rapala.com/williamson/

Stetson-hatDorfman Pacific’s new Stetson No Fly Zone hats combine function and fashion by repelling mosquitos, ticks, ants, and fleas with its material, while shielding against the sun. The No Fly Zone hats are EPA registered and environmentally friendly. MSRP $30; dorfman-pacific.com

DuraSafe-e-lockDuraSafe E-Lock Max’s new package includes two E-Lock electronics locks and an option swivel mount lock to secure your pricey fish finders and boat electronics onboard. In addition to the increased security, the locks are keyed alike to maximize convenience and eliminate the need for multiple keys. MSRP starts at $49.95; durasafelocks.com

Perko LED Surface Mount Trim Tab Underwater Light is a versatile light with removable bracketsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA for mounting flexibility. Position it horizontally or vertically on the trim tab to adjust the beam as the tab moves up and down, or surface mount it on the transom with wiring directly behind the light. MSRP single pack $200; perko.com

For the Adventurer:

Dual-Fuel-cooktopDual-Fuel Portable Cooktop by Seth McGinn allows you to boil water and cook meals using butane or propane with an easy-to-use electronic ignition. The convenient compact size and 5-pound weight is ideal for camping, hunting, fishing, and tailgating. $55.99; cancooker.com

Olympia RG850 LED flashlights are high-performance and rugged toOlympia-flashlight illuminate every situation. Each light uses aircraft-grade aluminum with Type III hard-anodized, anti-abrasive finish. Waterproof to IPX-8 and impact-resistant to 1.5 meters, this rechargeable lightweight collection is ideal for adventurers. MSRP $89.99; shop.olympiaproducts.com

esky-coolerColeman’s Esky Coolers hold ice 44 percent longer than the competition. Features include a built-in cutting board for food prep, an antimicrobial liner, catch-free latches with a recessed design for security, and a dual drain with a fitting for a hose and two-inch wide mouth opening. MSRP for 55-quart starts at $339.99; eskyseriescoolers.com

Deep Glow Underwater Lighting introduces their newly updated bestselling underwater dock light that elimiDeepGlownates the ballast box on the dock. It provides flexibility in light placement, clean installation and ease in grouping lights together. MSRP $409; deepglow.com

For the Entertainer:

LIQS-shotsLIQS premium pre-mixed cocktail shots are packaged in plastic glasses for on-the-go entertaining. Flavors include Tequila Cinnamon Orange, Vodka Cucumber Lime, Vodka Lychee Grapefruit, and Vodka Kamikaze. MSRP $17.98 for 2 packs of 3 shots; liqsshots.com

Spin Chill cools beverages in 60 seconds by spinning cans and bottles in ice, and Spinchill doesn’t shake your container, so there’s less foam! MSRP $29.99; spinchill.comSpinChill

TEAgel-oilTRAC TEAgel eco-friendly air purifier harnesses authentic Australian Tea Tree Oil to naturally eliminate odor causing mold, mildew and bacteria, leaving a fresh, pleasant odor behind. Available in 4 oz., 8 oz. and 16 oz. jars. MSRP starts at $26.99; trac-online.com

ecostoneEcostone Bluetooth speakers are rugged, portable, waterproof, and offer a screw mount for convenient mounting. Color and pattern options include camouflage, and the rear-mounted subwoofer delivers heavy bass and sound quality. MSRP $149.99; ecoxgear.com

NoodleMon Chillraft offers the Original, Sport, Double Lounger, Big Waters Edition, and Party Mat—each designed to be portable, comfortable, durable, and long lasting. MSRP starts at $259; dothenoodle.comNoodleMon

Lady anglers should mark their calendars for November 14-16 for the “Ladies Let’s Go Fishing” outing in the northern Florida Keys—Tavernier and Islamorada. This three-day event combines fishing and friendship in a fun, hands-on experience.

The weekend starts Friday, November 14th with a happy hour, “master chef” appetizer contest and a silent auction raffle at the Elks in Tavernier (mile marker 99, Bayside). The classroom presentations on offshore, bottom, inshore, and fly-fishing begin Saturday at 8:30AM with lunch provided and hands-on fishing demonstrations led by world-class captains until 4:30PM.

Sunday is an optional fishing adventure, with rates for this deep-sea angling action and overnight accommodations found at ladiesletsgofishing.com. The Keys University rates start at $118 for early registration. Ladies, don’t miss your opportunity to better your angling skills in the sportfishing capital of the world!

By Christine Carpenter

November 13th-15th marks the 3rd Annual Cheeca Lodge Backcountry Fishing Tournament at mile marker 82 on Islamorada’s Oceanside. This prestigious fishing event lures anglers from around the world to compete for individual and team prizes for the release of snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon, and permit with tackle divisions that include fly, artificial and general. The fishing headquarters is World Wide Sportsman, just half a mile from Cheeca Lodge & Spa.

This tournament’s new format hosts a Welcome Reception and Cocktail Party November 13th in the Sunrise Ballroom and Terrace at 5:30PM with the rules meeting at 7:00PM mandatory for all guides. The tournament begins the 14th with an extravagant All-American BBQ on Cheeca’s beach, and an awards ceremony and banquet on the 15th to conclude the event. “This new format allows our guides to get home early on Saturday evening, and allows our anglers to have a full day Sunday to relax or travel home,” says Tournament Director Julie Olsen.


The entry fee of $2,000 per angler includes entry into each of the three social events for the individual, a guest, and the angler’s guide and guest, plus breakfast and lunch each day. The event’s goal is to raise funds for the locally based Guides Trust Foundation, which assists Florida Keys fishing guides and awards scholarships to local students. For information or donation forms, visit guidestrustfoundation.org. Contact Julie Olsen for questions or entry forms. (305) 517-4449; jolsen@cheeca.com; cheeca.com/all-american

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Boating October 2014

SB: Please tell our readers about Sailors for the Sea and how it came into fruition.
MD: Sailors for the Sea was founded in 2004 with the idea that the boating community has a profound passion for the sea and awareness of the importance of ocean health. Our programs were created to unite the community and give a voice to this collective rallying cry that enables cruisers to help heal the ocean.

SB: How and in what ways has Sailors for the Sea most noticeably impacted not only the marine environment but also the boating industry?
MD: In the last ten years, I believe there has been a noticeable shift in the boating industry and community. The media within the marine industry and beyond has helped share our story of ocean conservation. We have now grown to 2 million media impressions a month, thanks to this impressive industry and our dedicated social media following. Additionally, we have had over 600 events participate in the Clean Regattas program, which greatly changes the norm for running water-based events.

We are also working to protect the marine environment by educating future generations of cruisers with KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans). Whether it’s a 7-year-old in an Opti [sailing race] or a 12-year-old at summer camp, KELP has already connected 45,000 students physically and academically to the marine environment.

SB: In what ways have you seen Sailors for the Sea grow since you started working at the organization? What are you most proud of accomplishing as President?
MD: We have grown tremendously through a rigorous 10-month strategic planning process. In this exercise we have charted a path for scaling up the impact of our programs and created a multi-platform communications plan that will decipher complex ocean health issues for the boating community and enable them to take personal action to improve ocean health.

SB: What is your favorite story or fond memory while working with Sailor for the Sea?
MD: With my one-year anniversary on October 1st, I can say it has been an absolute joy to be able to combine my passion for boating with my work on environmental matters. Our board is exceptional and the management team is extremely talented.

SB: How can boat owners become involved with your organization?
MD: Boat owners and marine lovers alike can start by educating themselves on the issues that our ocean currently faces. Our online periodical Ocean Watch translates the language of marine science into timely and fascinating articles that make ocean health personal and relevant. Each essay has opportunities for individuals to take action that are connected to the ocean health issue they just learned about. Additionally, cruisers can work with their sailing clubs to implement the Clean Regattas program—the world’s only sustainability certification for water-based events. And of course without the generous financial support of donors, we would not be able to have the reach and impact that we do.

SB: What’s new with Sailors for the Sea in 2014-2015?
MD: Just this month we published a new logo on our website and as the year ahead starts to unfold, we will be publishing a pledge to educate cruisers on how to reduce their carbon footprint. I can’t give too much away, but one exciting statistic we recently learned was that if 10 percent of U.S. mariners stopped using single-use plastic bottles for one year, that would reduce our carbon footprint as much as planting 500,000 trees!

SB: Has Sailors for the Sea received any awards?
MD: Yes, just this past February our co-founder and chairman, David Rockefeller, Jr., was named the 2013 YachtWorld Hero.

SB: What are some of the most challenging hurdles you have to face with your organization in this industry?
MD: Within the industry we have not faced many hurdles—people are very excited to protect and heal the ocean. The most important hurdle for us to jump over is connecting cruisers with ocean health issues. When you are on top of the water, it often looks the same whether or not there is a healthy and functioning ecosystem underneath. The most important aspect of ocean conservation is education and helping people understand how their daily actions, purchases and even investments may connect to ocean health—which affects the health of their children and grandchildren!

SB: How often do you frequent the water? Do you own a boat? Tell us more about yourself?
MD: I get out on the water almost every day in my kayak either before or after work to enjoy our beautiful harbor in Newport. During these excursions I pick up any trash I come across, and these trips are a great reminder of why I come into the office and do the work that I do everyday. I am also a proud co-owner of Blue Moon, a 21-foot Ensign, with my sister. I am a native of Mills River, North Carolina, and lived in Wilmington for five years while attending college. During that time I had the opportunity to live on a 47 Grand Banks and a 37 Tartan sailboat. There was nothing finer than living on the ICW and being to get off shore in short order. I spent so much time on the water in my 20s that I earned a USCG 100 Ton Masters License.

SB: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
MD: At Sailors for the Sea, we define sailors as “a traveler by water” and we want to invite all of your readers to engage in our ocean conservation mission! Visit sailorsforthesea.org to learn more today or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Exposure

This LPGA hall-of-famer trades her golf clubs for fishing poles in the off-season to play on a different kind of course…one that leads to monster fish aboard her 32-foot Intrepid.

Karrie Webb is recognized as one of the greatest female golfers of all time. The world’s fifth-ranked female player holds the record for most Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour victories with an impressive 41 major titles. When Webb won the Women’s British Open in 2002, she became the first player in LPGA history to achieve the “Super Career Grand Slam” by winning all five majors, including the du Maurier, which is no longer held. In just the last six months, Webb kicked off the season by winning the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February and the JTBC Founder’s Cup in March.

Webb’s grandparents introduced her to golf, and she was inspired to pursue it as a career after she watched Greg Norman play the Queensland Open in 1986. “I would go out with my grandparents every Saturday morning with plastic clubs, but by the time I was seven years old I was too strong and kept breaking them. My grandparents promised they would get me a set of golf clubs for my eighth birthday so that was my official start in golf,” says Webb. That was in the early 1980s, the same time Greg Norman was becoming known as the best player in the world. “When I was 11 years old I told my parents I was going to be a professional golfer when I grew up, and I never wanted to do anything else.”

Webb’s parents and grandparents also inspired her love for boating and most of all, fishing. “I grew up along the coastline of Australia near the Great Barrier Reef. I did some deep-sea fishing with my family, but we mainly stuck to backwater creek fishing. My parents and grandparents had a ‘creek hut’ on a sandy out-crop at the mouth of a large creek with the Pacific Ocean on the other side. We could only get there by boat and we spent all our free time there,” reminisces Webb, the eldest of three girls. “Until I was 12 or 13 years old, I was kind of like my dad’s little boy. Wherever he wanted to go, I wanted to go—and he really loved fishing—so all my memories of hanging out with him on the water are my favorite fishing stories. He instilled a true passion for boating in me.”

Years later Webb moved to Orlando, Florida, but soon realized she couldn’t be away from the coast so she moved to Boynton Beach, where Ayr Waves II found its home on her boatlift. “In ’06, I had a really good year on the tour, so my Intrepid 32 was my reward, and I still love it. If I ever get another boat, I’ll get another Intrepid. Being on my boat is definitely my main hobby when I’m not on the course. I’m pretty fair-weather when it comes to fishing, but even if it’s really windy I don’t mind cruising along the Intracoastal—and I don’t think about golf at all while I’m out there,” says Webb, who taught herself the prep work required for fishing. “Since my dad would always help me, I could bait my hook but that was about it. I wanted to learn all the techniques and be able to do everything, so now I feel like a true angler.”

Like most fishermen and women, Webb says her dream day fishing is a day filled with catching with a fish fry at the end of it. “There is a lot of work that goes into deep-sea fishing, so it’s definitely more enjoyable when I can stand on the dock and filet a big catch. Since my hands are a pretty important part of my career I filet my fish a little slower than others, but I still filet them alongside everyone else.”

Webb primarily fishes off the coast of South Florida but has taken Ayr Waves II to the Florida Keys a few times. “I’ve gone down to the Keys for lobster miniseason a few times and since I’m competitive, chasing a lobster to get it in my bag becomes a mission. I don’t dive as much as I fish, but it is another activity on my list of things to do more often once my schedule slows down. The last 10 years, the British Open has been scheduled for the same week as mini season.”

As a professional athlete, Webb enjoys the thrill of the game…big game fish, that is. “I’ve never caught a tarpon, so that’s definitely on my list of dream catches, along with all the great game fish. I’ve caught a big dolphin and a white marlin off of Boynton inlet, but I’ve never caught a sailfish. I also want to make it to The Bahamas when the tuna are running.” Webb says many other choice catches are where she grew up near the Great Barrier Reef and insists they are some of the best-tasting fish in the world—coral trout is her favorite and she also enjoys barramundi, a relative to snook that is just as tasty and highly regulated.

As much as Webb would like to make more time for boating and fishing, her sights are set on June 2016—the qualifier for the Summer Olympics. “I’ve accomplished so much in golf, so goal setting has been really hard in the last few years except for trying to win golf tournaments. So when it was announced that golf could be in the 2016 Summer Olympics for the first time since 1904, that became my goal.”

Webb turns 40 this year to round out a remarkable 18-year professional career. Once the 2016 Olympics are over she will consider taking more time off the course. “I’ve only made one trip across to The Bahamas, but I want to do a lot more of that. It’s hard to find the time right now because the best time of year to go is the summer, which is my busiest season with golf, but The Bahamas is my biggest bucket list item,” says Webb, who adds that she also wants to charter a crewed catamaran and cruise the Virgin Islands. “When I start to wind down my professional career and have more time, I will fill it with anything that has to do with being on a boat.”

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Boating July 2014

North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks (SOBX) represents one of the few remaining natural barrier island systems in the world. Strung together with 85 miles of silken coastline—56 being the protected Cape Lookout National Seashore—the Crystal Coast is both a place and a state of mind set apart from the ordinary.

This chain of islands is a culinary lover’s dream-come-true with a mixture of eateries tailored to suit any palate on any budget, from tasty seafood shacks to waterfront pubs to fine dining bistros. Thanks to the Carteret Catch program—a joint venture between local restaurants, retailers and fishermen—the Crystal Coast features a “fish to fork” initiative, serving only seafood caught that day by local fishermen. Boasting no chain restaurants, the program supports the 85 privately owned restaurants that change their menus daily depending on the fresh catch of the day.

But even if you’re not a foodie, tales of swashbuckling pirates, Civil War triumphs and tragedies, and deep-rooted maritime heritage are sure to entice history buffs. Glimmering waterways welcome eco-adventurers with stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and world-class fishing. And for the shopping enthusiasts in your crew, unique treasures await in every charming town that dots the Crystal Coast.

Atlantic Beach

Part of the Bogue Banks, Atlantic Beach is the oldest of the five resort towns on the Crystal Coast. Home to Fort Macon National Park, this town is directly linked to skirmishes in the Civil War. Fort Macon—built from 1826-1834—is impeccably preserved to educate and entertain visitors. Once a month on Canon Day, volunteers in traditional dress fire a canon over the wall to exemplify how the Confederates defended the fort over one hundred years ago. Twice a year, Fort Macon commemorates the Civil War with a battle reenactment that requires over 40 volunteers who sleep in the fort for an entire weekend. fort.macon@ncparks.gov.

Fort Macon State Park also offers unspoiled fishing, hiking, swimming, and picnicking amidst serene coastal settings. Take a break from an enriched day of history to enjoy a fresh spin on traditional seafood dishes at the waterfront Channel Marker Restaurant. The she-crab soup and ahi tuna are staples on their menu, with delectable daily specials you won’t want to miss. Watch the sunset and sip a cocktail on their boardwalk as your plan your next day’s adventures.


Cruise down Taylor’s Creek to look for wild Shackleford horses on Carrot Island across from charming Beaufort, dubbed “America’s Coolest Small Town.” This gem is the third-oldest city in North Carolina bustling with fresh, tasty restaurants and coffee shops that neighbor the perfectly manicured gardens inside the white picket fences of each picturesque coastal cottage. Dive into the history, ghost stories and folklore at the world-class ship diving spot where the legendary pirate Blackbeard’s infamous ship Queen Anne’s Revenge lies in a watery grave just three miles off of the sandy shore.

Enjoy a double-decker bus tour around the town to learn which historic character lived in each house dating back from the 1700s. beauforthistoricsite.org Share in the rich maritime history rooted in Beaufort at the North Carolina’s Maritime Museum with official artifacts from Blackbeard’s ship, which illuminates the life of early 18th-century pirates. The museum also offers on-the-water sailing and boating courses, paddle boarding along the historic shore, and boat-building for all skill levels. ncmaritimemuseums.com

Morehead City

Known for some of the most diverse fishing, the Crystal Coast also has one of the longest fishing seasons on the entire Atlantic Coast. If you aren’t an experienced angler or simply prefer to take advantage of local knowledge, rows of charter fishing boats bob along the docks for a day of action and offer private charters, or choose a more affordable family-friendly fishing trip for up to 100 people. If you’re looking for more booty than just a fresh fish dinner, several fishing tournaments on the Crystal Coast offer big cash prizes. For folks not keen on a salty day reeling in the sun, the quaint shopping district has lovely art galleries intermixed with antique stores, as well as the Morehead Center for the Performing Arts.

Pine Knoll Shores

Teddy Roosevelt’s family previously owned this peaceful, eco-friendly, residential community. The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is the second largest aquarium in the state and features animal feedings, live animal programs, dive presentations, and touch tanks with some of the most unique fresh and salt-water creatures. Expand your visit with a behind-the-scenes tour, kayak tour or fishing lessons for children. An attached ice cream shop and nearby beaches will delight everyone at this fun, interactive stop. ncaquariums.com

Emerald Isle

The most prominent of Crystal Coast’s banks, Emerald Isle is located at the western end of the Bogue Banks and named for its flourishing lush greenery. The town is also noted for its massive beachfront mansions known locally as “sand castles.” Its prime location sets it apart for watching the sunrise over the Bay side and the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

Stop by Hot Wax Surf Shop for exercise combined with sightseeing as you glide along the water on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Guided flat-water eco-tours wind amidst the grassy outer banks to look for river dolphins and coastal birds—you might even spot a bald eagle. Rent a surfboard or take a lesson if you want to catch one of the Atlantic coast’s premier waves. hotwaxsurf.com Fill up hungry stomachs with lunch at The Village Market— sandwiches, salads and award-winning key lime pie won’t disappoint. The neighboring bait shop can help prepare you for some fishing action in the afternoon and evening.

After the sunset, stop by Amos Mosquito’s Swampside Café for some unique specialties in a down-home atmosphere. Don’t let the name fool you—there are no pesky mosquitos, except for the funky décor—and the seafood favorites will satisfy with their gourmet preparation and hearty flavor. Named after an old family joke, the restaurant’s husband and wife manager and chef stay busy with upscale family favorites popular with the locals. I can confidently recommend everything—and double-recommend the oysters and mojitos—which you might need after 9PM once karaoke starts. Be sure to pack a light jacket to sustain the coastal breezes as you stargaze along the shore—the Milky Way is in full view on a clear night.

Cape Lookout

Cape Lookout National Seashore offers a 56-mile stretch of unspoiled, undeveloped beaches accessible by boat—as always, ensure you have current navigational charts. Visit the historic black-and-white checkered lighthouse, watch for herds of wild Shackleford horses that roam freely, and fish or camp on the beach of this national seashore. Be sure to bring everything you might need, as there are no stores or restaurants—although they do have clean bathroom facilities and a covered pavilion. If you prefer to leave your boat in a safe marina, the Island Express Ferry Service departs from the town of Beaufort Gateway and Harkers Island Visitor Center with guided routes to Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks. islandexpressferryservices.com

With an endless list of activities, sightseeing, eating, drinking, and discovering to be had at North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks, set your course for these barrier islands this summer. Visit crystalcoastnc.com to plan your trip around one of the festivals, tours, and food and wine events held in these charming towns. I guarantee you’ll be planning your return trip before you even leave.

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Boating June 2014

Cruise to these coastal amusement parks for memories the whole family will cherish.

Summer in the South is filled with hot, sunny days, making water and sweet tea key ingredients for cool family plans. And the more, the better! Lucky for me, my dad’s dad instilled a fervent love of boating in our family, and we have many memories of summers spent together on the water. When we weren’t on the boat we’d pack up the car and head to amusement parks. Turkey legs, cotton candy, roller coasters, and favorite movie characters parading down the streets at theme parks beckon the young—or simply the young at heart.

Lucky for boat-loving, adventure-seeking, family-oriented folk, many amusement and water parks have coastal locations, which make for dynamic family cruising destinations. From north to south, set your course this summer toward these amusing parks and ports for a fun, unique vacation your entire family will never forget—or outgrow.

Palace Playland Boardwalk Beachfront Amusement Park on the sandy shores of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, hails as New England’s only beachfront amusement park. Kiddie rides for your younger passengers, family-friendly water rides, and adrenaline-junkie drops and roller coasters suit cruisers of all ages. Passengers who opt out of rides will enjoy the old-fashioned carousel or the 24,000-square-foot arcade filled with classic games. palaceplayland.com

Marston’s Marina- 4.2 miles; (207) 283-3727; marstonsmarina.com

Luna Park on Coney Island, New York, offers mild, moderate, high, and extreme thrill levels, so everyone on board will find their favorite. Luna Park is only four years old this May with a state-of-the-art facility that delights thousands of guests who visit the historic location each year. Luna Park is an ideal stop for cruisers who want to catch a cab, ride bikes or take a stroll as they cruise the northeast. lunaparknyc.com

Marine Basin Marina- 1.3 miles; (718) 372-5700; marinebasinmarina.com
Venice Marina- 2.7 miles; (718) 646-9283; shopvenicemarina.com
Kings Plaza Marina- 3.8 miles; (718) 344-3551; kingsaplazamarina.com
Sea Travelers Marina- 4.0 miles; (718) 377-0216; seatravelersmarina.com
Gateway Marina- 4.2 miles; (718) 252-8761; gwmarina.com

Rye Playland—a historic Amusement Park in Westchester County, New York, on Long Island Sound—has given cherished memories to families since 1928. One of the only government owned-and-operated amusement parks in the U.S., it welcomed guests after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the area. The park is newly renovated with a kiddie land, family rides, thrill rides, ice casino skating rink, and a private beach and pool. ryeplayland.org

Tide Mill Yacht Basin- 2.1 miles; (914) 967-2995; tidemill.com

Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterpark in Wildwood, New Jersey, is the Mecca of coastal boardwalk amusement parks. Five separate piers sit on the beach in a row—Mariner’s Landing Pier, Surfside Pier, Adventure Pier, Raging Waters Waterpark, and Ocean Oasis Waterpark & Beach Club—to offer extreme entertainment and an eclectic mix of family fun. Enjoy the Breakfast in the Sky package with white tablecloths and a gourmet menu aboard the charming ferris wheel. moreyspiers.com

Spray Dock Marina- 1.0 miles; (609) 522-1277; spraydock.com
Bridgeport Marina Family LLC- 1.0 miles; (609) 729-1244; bridgeportfamilymarina.com
Schooner Island Marina- 1.2 miles; (609) 729-8900; schoonerislandmarina.com
South Dock Marina- 1.4 miles; (609) 522-0900; southdocknj.com
Lighthouse Pointe Marina- 1.5 miles; (609) 729-2229; lhpmarina.org
Pier47 Marina- 2.4 miles; (609) 729-4774; pier47.com

Family Kingdom with Splashes Waterpark is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s only seaside amusement park, making this famous cruising destination an even better stop for families looking for cool summer plans. Six brand new rides complement old-time favorites such as the Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, Log Flume and the 110-foot free-fall, Slingshot Drop Zone. For passengers who aren’t as comfortable zooming about, neighboring Splashes Waterpark offers slides, a lazy river and a children’s area. familykingdomfun.com

Hague Marina- 4.1 miles; (843) 293-2141; no website
Marina at Grande Dunes- 6.9 miles; (843) 315-7777; grandedunes.com
Osprey Marina & Grill- 8.7 miles; (843) 215-5353; ospreymarina.com
Marlin Quay Marina- 12 miles; (843) 651-4444; marlinquaymarina.com

Rapids Waterpark in Riviera Beach, Florida, is South Florida’s largest waterpark with 30 action-packed attractions and 35 of the biggest, wettest, most thrilling water rides. Prepare to get drenched on the Rapids Racer, Body Blasters, Alligator Alley, Big Surf wave pool, FlowRider wave simulator, Lazy River, and Tadpool kiddie section. Cabana rentals are available for comfort and relaxation. rapidswaterpark.com

Riviera Beach Marina- 3.4 miles; (561) 842-7806; rivierabeachmarina.com
Loggerhead Marina- 3.6 miles; (561) 840-6868; loggerheadrivierabeach.com
Rybovich Marina- 3.7 miles; (561) 844-1800; rybovich.com
Lake Park Marina- 3.8 miles; (561) 881-3353; lakeparkmarina.com
Palm Harbor Marina- 5.0 miles; (561) 655-4757; palmharbor-marina.com 

Sun-N-Fun Lagoon on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Naples welcomes families with many water attractions geared towards younger cruisers. The Dolphin Dive and Lap Pool allow for older visitors to show off their skills or work in some cardio as youngsters visit the park’s five water slides, Sunny’s River and Turtle Cove. napleswaterpark.com

Boat Clubs America- 5.0 miles; (239) 430-2582; boatclubcamerica.com
Cocohatchee River Marina- 5.0 miles; (239) 513-7919; colliergov.net
Bonita Bay Marina- 7.4 miles; (239) 495-3222; bonitabaymarinaclub.com
Naples Harbour- 8.0 miles; (239) 213-1441; floridamarinaclubs.com
Port-O-Call Marina- 8.8 miles; (239) 774-0479; naples-boatrentals.com

Busch Gardens is a one-of-a-kind, safari-themed amusement park in Tampa, Florida, with a collection of roller coasters that earns the moniker of Florida’s thrill ride leader. World-class shows such as the Iceploration and Madagascar Live, and attractions such as the Serengeti Railway, Bird Gardens and Serengeti Safari give plenty of options to your low-key cruisers. Multiple hands-on, educational experiences allow children and adults to appreciate the exotic African animals as they take a break from the Jungle Flyers, SandSerpent or other high-octane rides. buschgardens.com

Jean Street Shipyard- 3.8 miles; (813) 239-2526; jeanstreetshipyard.com
Ricks on the River- 6.2 miles; (813) 251-0369; ricksontheriver.com
Marjorie Park Marina- 7.8 miles; (813) 259-1604; tampagov.net 

Adventure Island located next to Busch Gardens is a premier 30-acre water park. Ten waterslides include the tandem Aruba Tube and Caribbean Corkscrew; four different pools range from a wave pool to the Paradise Lagoon and a Splash Attack kids zone; and Spike Zone beach volleyball courts are just a handful of attractions that entice cruisers. adventureisland.com

Shipwreck Island in Panama City, Florida, opened its 20-acre location the summer of 1983. It is widely known for its lush landscape, tasty treats and the professional, hospitable staff. The Tadpole Hole with its Pelican Slide and Silly Sub suits smaller guests, while the wave pool, lazy river, racing slides, raging rapids, and lagoon pool with rope swings entertain older cruisers. shipwreckisland.com

Bayside Marina of Panama City Beach, LLC- 4.6 miles; (850) 234-7650; baysidemarinapcb.com
Sun Harbor Marina- 5.5 miles; (850) 785-0551; no website
Capt. Anderson’s Marina- 5.6 miles; (850) 234-3435; captandersonsmarina.com
Treasure Island Marina- 5.7 miles; (850) 234-6533; treasureislandmarina.net
Lighthouse Marina- 5.7 miles; (850) 234-5609; lighthousemarinapcb.com
Pirates Cove Marina- 5.8 miles; (850) 234-3939; piratescovemarinapcb.com

Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City, Florida, just opened their brand-new, expanded location in April with three extra acres of rides and attractions. Nine new rides, a water playground, classic carnival games, and a midway devoted to delectable delicacies will delight everyone who spends a day at this coastal park. ms-pp.com

Waterville U.S.A. is an amusement and water park that covers 20 acres of the Alabama Gulf resort community of Gulf Shores—just a quarter mile from the beach. The waterpark admission includes all the waterslides, lazy river, wave pool, Shrimp Boat Village, Wa-Wa World, and Flowrider. The amusement park admission includes all the rides, the Nascart Go-Carts, 36-hole miniature golf, Trampoline Thing, Fun Depot kiddie rides, House of Bounce, and the full arcade. watervilleusa.com

Homeport Marina- 1.6 miles; (251) 968-4528; homeportmarina.net
Wharf Marina- 4.2 miles; (251) 224-1900; thewharfmarina.com

Schlitterbahn Waterparks have offered families splish-splashing fun since 1966 with three incredibly unique parks along Texas’ Gulf Coast in Galveston, South Padre Island, and a brand-new waterpark resort coming this summer to Corpus Christi. The combination of water rides and resort accommodations make Schlitterbahn a standout in waterparks across the country. schlitterbahn.com

Pelican Rest Marina- 1.1 miles; (409) 744-2618; pelicanrestmarina.com
The Marina at Teichman Point- 1.6 miles; (409) 692-9415; tpointmarina.com
Payco Marina- 1.7 miles; (409) 744-7428; paycomarina.com

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Boating June 2014

Marlow’s highly anticipated 2014 Spring Rendezvous celebrated a record number of christenings in true Gatsby style.

Each year, members of the Marlow Marine Cruising Club (MMCC) swap stories and compare notes with old and new friends at the highly anticipated Marlow Spring Rendezvous. Celebrating the 19th consecutive year of festivities, guests arrived at the four-day event held April 24-27 and were greeted with a complimentary exterior boat wash accompanied by friendly and familiar faces. Sparing no detail, Marlow kicked off the weekend in grand style with a personalized tote bag gifted to members with their boat name embroidered on the front.

The premier South Seas Island Resort in Captiva, Florida, was the perfect location for MMCC members to share and celebrate aboard their Marlows during this Gatsby-themed weekend getaway. Buffet breakfasts on the immaculate waterfront lawn fueled each day’s events, such as a golf cart scavenger hunt around the resort, two half-day educational seminars with a round table discussion led by David Marlow, and six new boat christenings—a new record for this event. The newly christened vessel models included a Marlow 53, 58, 62, two 70s, and an 80. Guests welcomed new members into the Marlow family and celebrated current members trading up in size.

Friday night’s “Great Gatsby” party was in full swing, bringing the mystique of the Roaring Twenties alive with glitz and glam. Members paid careful attention to the professional dance instructors teaching the Charleston, with a Charleston dance contest following—let’s hope they videotaped that! A spectacular five-piece band entertained throughout the entire evening with the casino tables opened and active following the fantastic buffet dinner. Everyone’s pinstripes, lace and pearls set a festive tone for a truly Gatsby-inspired shebang.

Saturday night’s awards dinner on Sunset Beach was paired with yet another mouthwatering buffet and a time of fellowship among MMCC members. Outstanding prizes were awarded for event participation, original costumes, and overall ownership with friendly competition and laughter shared. Everyone said “Bon Voyage” on Sunday, with an impressive Marlow fleet cruising out into the Gulf waters until their return for next year’s 20th celebration, sure to be an epic event.

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Boating June 2014

An Affair to Remember: Cruise to your Destination Wedding
in The Bahamas

Weddings are the stuff of dreams, a wonderful day filled with family and friends to help celebrate the start of your life with your one and only—but wedding planning is not typically as welcome as the grand celebration. If you have a ring on your finger (or plan to in the future) and want to choose the perfect place to make magical marriage memories, look no further than The Bahamas.

Less than 200 miles off the Florida coast, The Bahamas are home to some of the most sought-after cruising waters and soft, sandy beaches in the world—and for good reason. This dreamy locale sets the tone for romance and offers a number of unique, all-inclusive resort wedding packages for romance and ease when you say “I do.” Your bridal party and guests won’t hesitate to RSVP—after all, why wait until the honeymoon to share a luxurious, picturesque island getaway?

We’ve selected some of the most enchanting beachfront resorts offering all-inclusive, hassle-free, truly memorable wedding packages located on some of the most scenic Bahamian islands. And with marinas onsite or nearby, you and your guests can cruise to and from your special day.

Sandals Emerald Bay on Great Exuma Island has a wedding package wrapped up in a luxury vacation so grand, it’s called a “WeddingMoon.” With a six-night stay in any room category, your “beautiful beginnings” wedding package is free with an included wedding planner, signature cocktails, breakfast in bed, honeymoon dinner, and a reception for six—all with customizable upgrades. Sandals offers five other impeccably themed packages starting at $1,700 and includes special party packages for larger groups who have come to help you celebrate your WeddingMoon. You can also opt for unique Caribbean destination wedding packages for families, or “FamilyMoons.” Visit the website for more details on the wedding packages and marina information. sandals.com/weddingmoons

Dockage: Marina Emerald Bay; marinaemeraldbay.com

Grand Lucayan in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island offers three highly customizable wedding packages to deliver the ultimate in dream weddings as understated or lavish as desired. Renewal of Vows starts at $900, Romance with Elegance starts at $3,000 and Grand Experience starts at $7,000—all with a unique ceremony site, transportation, flowers, photography, cake, catering, and musicians. Contact Grand Lucayan’s professional wedding planner at weddings@grandlucayan.com or (855) 531-8870. grandlucayan.com/wedding

Dockage: Port Lucaya Marina; portlucayamarina.com

Abaco Beach Resort has four wedding packages—each with a wedding planner, photography, flowers, food, and drinks—all tailored to your desires. Tropical Affection starts at $1,565 and is simple yet classy, with a ceremony in the lush gardens or on the beachfront. Seaside Elegance starts at $1,845 and is breathtaking with its authentic seashells and sand theme. Hand in Hand, Toes in the Sand is the barefoot beach theme starting at $2,200 for a luxury wedding. Junkanoo Love starts at $3,540 and offers an exciting celebration bursting with color. Visit abacobeachresort.com/weddings for complete details to select the perfect package for your paradise wedding!

Dockage: Boat Harbour Marina; abacobeachresort.com/marina

Bimini Sands Resort & Marina offers beautiful, bespoke weddings on the soft sandy beach for couples who want true toes-in-the-sand nuptials. Bimini Sands’ wedding packages vary in price according to your culinary desires with an optional cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, decadent dinner reception and after-dinner cocktail party tailored to your desires. Choose from one of the pre-arranged menu packages or create your own. Receptions are commonly held at Bimini Twist, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant, and the resort condos sleep six comfortably ranging from $250 to $425 per night. The number of guests attending can influence discounted condo rates and affects the availability of certain menu items. Visit biminisands.com for more information on planning your dream day.

Dockage: Bimini Sands Marina; biminisands.com/bahamas/marina/marina.htm

Pelican Bay Hotel at Lucaya is a tropical oasis on Grand Bahama Island that boasts intimate weddings with only one event hosted per day and four specific wedding packages to choose from. Options include the $3,900 Beach Bliss with a ferry ride to a secluded island ceremony; the $2,925 Water’s Edge Wedding under a classic gazebo overlooking Bell Channel Bay; the $1,299 Renewed Romance to rekindle your flame; or the Bahamian Junkanoo Wedding with an authentic celebration to follow your vows. Contact Pelican Bay’s professional wedding planner, Marva Munroe, at (242) 373-9550 or weddings@pelicanbayhotel.com to discuss details for your ideal celebration. pelicanbayhotel.com

Dockage: Port Lucaya Marina; portlucayamarina.com

Stella Maris Resort offers a relaxing wedding escape to exchange vows on the breathtaking shores of Long Island without the stress or fuss of event planning. The resort’s complimentary wedding planner helps arrange your dream day, whether you opt for the Barefoot wedding package starting at $499; the At Ease wedding package starting at $1,100; the all-inclusive No Stress wedding & honeymoon week package starting at $4,095; or want to renew your vows with the Rekindle Your Love package starting at $799. stellamarisresort.com

Dockage: Stella Maris Marina; stellamarisresort.com/marina

Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros Island provides simple oceanfront wedding ceremonies with a reception for up to 40 guests with every detail from the cake, videographer and photographer included. Choose from a multitude of ceremony venues including the glass room, pine grove, sandy shore, or even underwater—yes, there is a scuba-diving minister available with advance notice. Wedding packages start at $750 and can be arranged over the phone or via email. smallhope.com/weddinghoneymoons

Dockage: Andros Lighthouse Yacht Club & Marina; androslighthouse.com

Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort in the Abacos has an oceanfront beach wedding package that offers high value for its $650 base price. The tranquil island resort provides a relaxed atmosphere, and Treasure Cay Beach hosts more weddings than most venues in The Bahamas’ Out Islands. Choose from five resort locations—the beach gazebo, oceanfront arch, poolside waterfront, harbor view sundeck, or the honeymooner’s lake on Treasure Cay Golf Course. Contact wedding and romance coordinator Avis Miller at avis@treasurecay.com or (242) 365-8801. treasurecay.com

Dockage: Treasure Cay Marina; treasurecay.com/marina

Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island features spectacular Bahamian scenery and magnificent oceanfront views for a first-class, top-notch wedding experience. With 18 unique, breathtaking venues and 7 detailed wedding packages ranging from $1,950 to $25,000, Atlantis caters to each couple to provide celebrations that are nontraditional and casual, or elegant and formal. Recite your vows barefoot on a white sand beach or declare your love in an elegant ballroom—then commemorate your romantic day with a special photo shoot at locations across the resort with the enormous aquariums or rocky ocean ledges as backdrops. Contact Atlantis’ wedding specialists today at (888) 528-9758 to book your spot at this resort that pulls out all the stops for your ideal day. atlantis.com/groups/weddings.aspx

Dockage: Marina at Atlantis; atlantis.com/thingstodo/activities/marina.aspx

If the soft white beaches and warm turquoise waters aren’t enough to entice you to choose these islands for your dream destination wedding, The Bahamas is upping the ante even more. Couples worldwide are invited to enter a dream destination-wedding giveaway to take place January 16, 2015. “‘16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day’ will showcase The Islands of The Bahamas as the premier destination in the region of romance—weddings, honeymoons, vow renewals, and romantic escapes,” says Bahamas Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe. “The 16 islands represent a diverse collection of destinations with distinct characters, flavors and attributes.” In addition to being provided with airfare, accommodations and meals, the 16 winning couples’ dream weddings will also include the wedding rings, bridal gowns, tuxedos, wedding ceremonies, cakes, and receptions.

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Boating May 2014


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