, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Venice Villas Studio #57 // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Under five minute’s walk to a private beach, we loved Villa #57 at Venice Villas. We wanted an Airbnb with a small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, and this was available at a reasonable nightly rate. A weekend of shark tooth diving in Venice, Florida led us to search for something with either a pool or a waterfront view, and this fit the bill perfectly. The beach is a very short walk, about a half a block, and the pool is an even shorter one.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

We stayed one night at a waterfront home on Roberts Bay in Venice, FL to do some shark tooth diving. This was our first stay at an Airbnb with an owner living in the same house – a first shared space, first room in a house instead of an entire house or living space to ourselves. As our first Airbnb stay at an owner’s residence, we were pretty unsure of what to do – ring the doorbell? Bring wine? Take off our shoes?

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Eliminating Plastic in the Kitchen // Surprise Holdouts

After a thorough go-through of our bathroom, I thought I had eliminated most of the plastic in our home. What a surprise when I realized that we still had one holdout – the kitchen. I realized that many of the items I use daily were still plastic! Somehow, the very items I touch most often, look at most often, and are in plain sight were still unattractive, depressing, non-compostable plastic pieces. How did I miss them? What could I do?

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

St. Johns River // Bartram Frolic // Riverboat Tour in Palatka, Florida

Every September, the Putnam County Bartram Trail in Putnam County, Florida hosts their annual Bartram Frolic commemorating William Bartram’s travels on the St. Johns River in 1774. This year’s frolic was the 245th anniversary of William Bartram’s travels through Palatka. I serve as the riverboat captain, commanding a 45 foot pontoon boat powered with twin 200 hp Yamaha outboard‘s on jack plates. This boat is a dream to operate, and the guided riverboat tours are a favorite part of the historic weekend.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Reducing your dive gear overall weight for traveling is going to take a few adjustments, however, it’s well worth the effort!

I’m sharing some easy methods of reducing the weight of your dive gear. Some take a bit of investment, others employ “use what you have decorating” to accomplish the goal of reducing the weight of your dive gear for traveling.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Simple Method to Preserve Dive Artifacts, Pottery Shards, Sand Dollars, Sea Biscuits and More

When I was doing some top-secret black water diving searching for early Indian artifacts, I learned how to preserve delicate artifacts the way the professionals do. Here’s a recipe for easily preserving your dive find such as delicate sand dollars and sea biscuits! It works on pottery shards, wood artifacts, just about anything that is porous.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

What to Wear in Cuba // Packing Light for Warm Weather

Before traveling to Cuba, I did a bit of research on what to wear since we each were limited to 50 pounds of checked-in luggage, one carry-on, and we were bringing dive gear. Our group of four are all Florida residents, and so we thought we were ready for the June Cuba heat. It turned out to be hotter, muggier, more humid, and sunnier than we had imagined.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Trinidad, Cuba // Sanctus Spiritus // Casa Lyosman y Yanin Casa Colonial en el Centro Historico // Airbnb Review

Our visit to Trinidad began with a stay in a family-owned 1800 home joined with a 1900 home combined in one spacious and delightful property. Managed by Lyosman and Yanin, their home is on a 500 year-old immaculate cobblestone street in historic Trinidad. As in my last Cuban Airbnb review, once again, the softness of the beds and the thread count of the sheets simply did not matter. What mattered was meeting the people, making lifelong friends, experiencing the Cuban resiliency, and learning how to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center // Key West NOAA // Mote Marine Laboratory

I can’t say enough about the exhibits and the work being done at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. It features over 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits. Native plants and animals of the Florida Keys are displayed, and there’s even a model of Aquarius, which is the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory. The exhibits were educational and interesting. What a great place to visit on a rainy day, or a seriously hot day.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

How To Choose a Good Sailing School

Determining what questions to ask before choosing a sailing school when you don’t even know what to ask can be overwhelming. Here’s a start to what questions you should ask, and a bit about what you should hear. There are a lot of considerations when choosing a sailing school. You’re about to invest a lot of money in your learning and experience, so you want to make sure you not only enjoy the process, but also get the most out of it.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Powerboaters Adrift in the Inlet // Why Boaters Need Emergency Situation Plans

We had for a pretty strange exchange one Sunday with some powerboaters. I was teaching a sailing class, and we were on our final leg of the sail. Those statistics about the most dangerous time on the water being 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon were running through my head when I saw the small power boat not under command and adrift.

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Why You Should Take Sailing Classes From A Recognized School

The question of which is better – teaching yourself or taking sailing classes from a recognized sailing school comes up pretty frequently when I am teaching sailing classes.

My fast answer is that following a set curriculum ensures that you are covering all of the material. This means it is taught by a qualified instructor, and in a logical order. And there’s a lot more to it than that!

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Fast Three-Day Weekend of Diving at Blue Heron Bridge // Riviera Beach

Want to cram in some quick fun diving in Florida? Here’s a Blue Heron Bride Dive Weekend Schedule for an easy, rewarding, fun-for-everyone dive weekend.

There are several reasons to dive at Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach. One reason is that even your non-divers can either have fun on the snorkel trail, sunbathe on the beach, or, even park a chair under the bridge – you’re at the beach, but out of the sun. There are a lot more great reasons!

, Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Finding a Boat to Rent // There’s an App for That Too // Boat Rental Apps

Although I’m familiar with Airbnb for renting houses and rooms, and Uber and Lyft for vehicle rides, it wasn’t until I read an article in a trade magazine that I actually realized there are apps for renting boats! This article covers the ones that are available on mobile phone as well as computer because I like to conduct trip planning something larger than the cell phone screen.

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