These quick and easy seafood bites will make short work of common pantry items. This recipe makes a great appetizer for those coming aboard for a cocktail party. Don’t skimp on the hot sauce!
4 Tbsp. butter
5 oz. jar Kraft Old English Cheddar cheese spread, Velveeta or shredded cheddar
1 ½ tsp. mayonnaise
¼ Tsp. garlic salt
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
6 oz. can crabmeat (or canned shrimp), drained
6 English muffins split in half
Soften butter and cheese in microwave or on the stovetop. Add mayo, garlic salt, and hot sauce; mix well.
Add crab and fold in gently. Spread muffin halves with crabmeat mixture, and chill for 30 minutes– this makes the crabmeat easier to cut. Cut muffin halves into quarters. Place on cookie sheet and broil until browned, bubbly and crisp. Makes 48 pieces.
The Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the South Caribbean. Located off the coast of Venezuela, they’re known collectively as the ABC islands. The islands have a unique blend of West Indian and Dutch heritage. The ABC islands have the unique luxury of being located outside of the so-called “hurricane belt”, so visitors can visit the islands at almost any time of year.
Aruba is the most developed of the ABC islands. You’ll find picturesque beaches, but also golf courses and casinos in the capital of Oranjestad. Shallow waters and near-constant trade winds make the island a windsurfer and kiteboarding paradise. Explore ancient caves, rugged beaches, or extravagant resorts. One exploration not to be missed is Arikok National Park, where you can experience dramatic caves and a landscape unlike any other. At only 70 square miles, you’ll be able to eat, drink, and explore across the entire island.
Hands down one of the best places to dive, swim, and snorkel in the entire Caribbean. Bonaire has 86 official dive sites that will suit almost any diver. Dedicated to marine conservation and protecting the waters, the primarily Dutch island has unparalleled dive sites. The island is dedicated to conservation and preservation throughout all of its tourism initiatives. Bonaire pursues projects that will reduce the CO2 effects on the planet and works toward being an eco-friendly destination.
Curaçao has one of the most diverse cultures in the Caribbean. That’s in part to a long, varied history and its close proximity to South America. It’s also a beach haven. With more than 35 different beaches to explore, you’re sure to find one to love. Another thing you’re sure to love: the music. Live music fills the air every night of the week in styles ranging from jazz to pop to soca (a unique blend of soul and Calypso styles). Fun and festive bars are the spot to drink up the music on this ABC island.
In mid-June, Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory got word that boaters were watching whale sharks on the surface just 20 miles west of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. That’s fairly close to the Gulf shoreline for this species, the largest of all sharks with some as large as 40 feet. The polka-dotted whale shark doesn’t eat other fish (or humans). It’s a wide-mouth filter feeder that survives mostly on plankton and fish eggs.
Mote researchers grabbed their gear and sped off in a 42-foot Yellowfin powered by three 400-horsepower Mercury Verado outboards. The team located five whale sharks from 20 to 40 miles offshore and took underwater and above-surface photos and videos to record each sighting. Furthermore, they were able to get close enough to tag two of the sharks with real-time tracking devices. In about six months, the implants will self-release and float to the surface. Mote specialists then will be able to remotely download timelines of water depths and temperatures.
One of the tagged whale sharks was about 25-feet in length and nicknamed Minnie. Yes, as in Minnie Mouse. This was a salute to the Walt Disney Company for its financial support of the implant project. Another, about 16 feet, is nicknamed Colt for Colt Nagler who assisted the team. His father, Captain Wylie Nagler, owner of Yellowfin Yachts, supplied and captained the fast, spacious vessel that helped make the expedition successful.
Trawlerfest and its wealth of information for mariners and aspiring cruisers will return to Baltimore this month to coincide with the completion of renovations at Harbor East Marina. Seminars run the gamut of the cruising world and will run Tuesday, September 25th through Saturday, September 29th with an in-water boat show running Thursday through Saturday.
The seminar “Everything You Need to Know About Diesel Engines” will be hosted by author Nigel Calder and columnist Steve Zimmerman and will be held from 8:30 AM to 5 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Both Calder and Zimmerman are experienced cruisers with plenty of knowledge to pass along. This two-day session combines classroom time with hands-on engine time in a shop. It also combines theory and practical troubleshooting instruction.
“The Great Loop: How to Prepare, What to Expect,” with Kim Russo and other veteran loopers, will run from 1-4PM on Tuesday. Russo, executive director of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, will give a detailed briefing and allow plenty of time to answer questions. She will also address which boats are most suitable and how to handle a budget.
Additional seminars throughout the event include “Cruising Hidden Florida,” “Practical Marine Weather,” “Boat Buyer’s Survival Guide,” “Cruising the Intracoastal Waterway,” “Guns & Governments: Local Laws on the East Coast & Down Island,” and many other interesting topics.
Cruising the coast: Our New England Cruising Guide
Late summer and early fall are the best times to plan a tour of coastal New England. Slightly cooler temperatures mean the summer beach crowds have thinned considerably, so you’ll be able to fully enjoy the experience. And, more importantly, find dock space. Hence, this New England Cruising Guide.
I’ve been struggling to put a timeline on this New England cruising guide. Ideally, you’ll have two full days at each location to fully immerse yourself in the culture and quirks. Plus, there were five or six other other locations I wanted to add but ran out of space. Damn you, word count! So, use this as a loose guide to planning out your perfect New England cruise. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.
The what: One of the most historic cities in America.
To do: Walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail and immerse yourself in the history of the American Revolution. Or head over to the Boston Public Market (100 Hanover Street) and peruse all manner of unique New England specialty items. If you are a baseball fan, catch a Sox game at Fenway (4 Yawkey Way). If the kids are with you, check out the New England Aquarium (1 Central Wharf).
To eat: A greasy classic is a must, so grab the fish and chips at the Barking Crab. Oh, and you can’t leave the city without trying its namesake Boston Cream Pie. We like the twist they add at Legal Sea Foods.
To dock:Boston Waterboat Marina. Located on historic Long Wharf in Boston Harbor, Boston Waterboat Marina is just steps from the attractions above. If you needed any more history, Boston Waterfront Marina is the city’s oldest continually operating yachting facility.
The what: Picturesque rocky shores, some of the state’s best beaches. Oh, and lobster. Did we mention lobster?
To do: Take a ride out to Goose Rocks Beach or walk along the cliffs of Marginal Way, a paved path that wraps around rocky shores.
To eat: Do I need to say anything here? Lobster. Have some lobster at the famed Clam Shack (2 Western Ave). Then have some more lobster at Chowder House (79 Pier Road).
To dock:Chicks Marina on the Kennebunk River. Their concierge service is top-notch.
The what: Quintessential Cape Cod. The pilgrims landed here, as did some more eccentric types. Beaches and artists make P-Town a must-see.
To do: See where the Pilgrims first landed at the Pilgrim Monument. Stroll Commercial Ave for the best people watching around.
To dock: The aptly named Provincetown Marina. Anchorages are lovely here as well.
The what: The classic summer destination. This idyllic whaling town turned quaint little summer getaway is a favorite to many.
To do: Marvel at the gorgeous architecture, rent a bike and test yourself on the cobblestone streets. The entire island is designated as a National Historic Landmark, so the Historical Society has some suggestions for you.
To dock: Moorings are first come, first served at Nantucket Moorings. Our advice? Come first.
The what: If you want to see Martha’s Vineyard in her full glory, you need to see Chilmark.
To do: Pretend you’re on the set of Jaws. Parts of the Spielberg classic were filmed on the Vineyard. A good portion of it was set in Chilmark. Or, take in the sights at Gay Head Light.
To eat: It’s BYOB at the Chilmark Tavern (1435, 9 State Rd) if you’re into that sort of thing (I am). Or for the butteriest lobster bisque you’ll ever have, try the Menemsha Fish Market (54 Basin Rd).
To dock: The harbor is tight, but there are moorings available at the east and west sides of the harbor entrance. Contact the harbormaster for more information.
The what: America’s first resort town is full of mansions, music festivals, and boating.
To do: If you’re there on time, you can visit the Newport Boat Show in September. If not, shop on Thames Street. Walk off the inevitable seafood feast you’ll consume on the picturesque Cliff Walk. The mansions along the way can barely compare with the ocean views.
To eat: If you’ve had enough lobster, take a breather with some Mexican-inspired cuisine at Diego’s or Perro Salado.
Other amazing locales to squeeze in if possible include Bar Harbor, ME or Block Island, RI and Montauk, NY. I have fond memories of Shelter Island as well. All are accessible depending on how you plan your trip. Bar Harbor could be after Kennebunkport, Montauk is a quick jaunt from Block Island.
Where are your favorite places to cruise in New England? What should we have included on the list? Let us know in the comments below!