Time To Give Up The Ship!

Newport Beach man fights to keep 42-ton yacht in his    


Orange County News      Thursday, June 16, 2011

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — The city of Newport Beach plans to take a resident to court for refusing to remove a 72-foot, 42-ton yacht from his yard.

“She's the love of my life,” said yacht owner Dennis Holland. “She's just so amazing. When I first saw her, I was 8 years old and I fell in love with her right off the start.”

Holland adores his yacht, but some neighbors find it a nuisance.

“It's huge,” said neighbor Dalia Lugo. “It's bigger than my house. It is taller than my house.” 

Holland had permission from the city to bring the vessel to his yard initially. But since then the city has changed the rules, forbidding boat building in residential neighborhoods.

“Originally when it came in it wasn't anticipated to stay long, and he kept it there,” said City Attorney David Hunt. “Now he says it will take 10 to 15 years to complete it, and that's simply far too long to have a vessel inside of a residential neighborhood.

The yacht has been in the neighborhood for six years, and in January the city started fining Holland every week. So far, he's refused to pay.

“That's an admission of guilt, because by standards I'm not guilty of anything,” said Holland. “They're making the laws up to incriminate me.”

Holland has supporters in the neighborhood.

“We're a boating community,” said neighbor Alan Payne. “And people should be interested in a 100-year-old boat.”

But Lugo says she's not interested in seeing it from her bedroom window for half a decade, and says other neighbors feel the same way.

“If you are looking at property values and you want to sell anytime soon, it is something that is affected,” said Lugo. “I love the project, as long as it's elsewhere.”  

Citing problems with privacy, debris and the sheer size of the yacht, the city has filed a civil suit to have the vessel removed. 

But until that happens, Holland will keep living with the love of his life.

Simply Carrabelle

Carrabelle River
Carrabelle River

There are few places in Florida where you can experience solitude on an abandoned beach while watching the sun set over the Gulf. However, a small town on the Forgotten Coast is just the place if you're looking to get away from the crowds, traffic and endless displays of Florida t-shirts. Carrabelle is located about an hour south of Tallahassee, along Highway 98. Recently we decided to take a look for ourselves and see if this small fishing village had anything to offer. With the boat in tow, we made the 4-hour trip from Jacksonville with no preconceived notions.
Carrabelle is not exactly forgotten, it's just not talked about much. (Its claim to fame is the world's smallest police station.) Why does this quaint little town seem removed from the mainstream of Florida’s tourism industry? Is it the fact that it was a haven for pirates who ambushed ships in St. George Sound in the 1700s? Or maybe it's because captains avoided the area in the 1800s due to rumors of bears, wildcats and other life-threatening animals? Whatever the case, Carrabelle is still one of Florida's best kept secrets.
For our lodging, we chose a condo at Pirate's Landing. The three story, one bedroom unit with twobalconies and a screened porch was more that I could have hoped for. Not to mention the price tag!

Carrabelle River Marina

Ranging from $99-150 a night, the accommodations couldn’t be beat. The property next door is a full service marina, which makes this an outstanding choice for the boating enthusiast. Carrabelle River Marina and Fish Camp provided just the atmosphere we needed for a weekend getaway. There's great boat ramp, gas, dockage, ice, bait and a restaurant that will even prepare you a box lunch for your day on the water. The staff was friendly and made us feel like part of the community. We never even took the car out of the garage. Everything we needed was accessible by water.
Of course, as a writer for Florida By Water, my task is not just to explore the town but also to experience the water. Boating in the area is some of the best I have found. Fishing is abundant, whether it be inshore, near shore or offshore. Every location could be accessed within minutes. The beautiful emerald

Dog Island

green water and white sands along the beaches were alive with activity. Personally I'm not much of a fisherman, and even I managed to catch a fish or two in this bountiful habitat.
If you're more into cruising or spending an afternoon anchored in a secluded cove, this is your place as well. The first island you should explore is Dog Island. Accessible only by boat, Dog Island is located about 3.5 miles from the mouth of the Carrabelle River. The island is about 1/2 mile wide and 7 miles long, and serves as one of the barrier islands between the Gulf of Mexico and St. George Sound. Places like Skipper’s Cove or Tyson's Harbor are just the spots to spend an afternoon relaxing, swimming or just walking along the shore. Also, a few more active boaters seemed to find this a great place to pull a tube around and entertain the kids.
Across the channel to the west, you will find the sixth best beach in America (rated by Dr. Beach, 2011).

St George State Park
St George Island State Park

St. George Island State Park is the ideal beach for solitude. On our visit, we anchored on the Gulf side and waded a few feet to shore. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June, we found ourselves to be the only ones on the beach. No foot prints but our own dotted the seashore. Nature watching and shelling were were great activities for this location.
Carrabelle, Florida is truly not what I expected. It was much less — and that’s exactly what I was hoping for. A small Florida town with open waters and tall pines, this is truly the Forgotten Coast and if I had my way…. I would keep the secret. (Shhh!)
For More infomration go to http://carrabelle.org or call 850-687-2585

By Rusty Gardner

The Euphoric Chronicles: The Tale Of Tonii the Mermaid

   Most fairy tales begin with “Once Upon a Time” but this is not your standard fairy tale. This is a story that has been born by pure chance, that rare occurrence when everything in the universe seems to be in some sort of cosmic harmony and then comes crashing to the ground with the speed of a meteor and years later when the stardust has settled the landscape has been forever changed.

   So our story begins not in a land far, far away but on an island in the Florida Keys only they weren’t the Florida Keys just yet. They were known by another name, the Lollashire Islands. The Lollashires were actually a chain of islands that stretched from what it is now the southernmost part of Florida to Cancun. The Gulf of Mexico was called Loch- Loch Whoostheer and was a veritable watery Garden of Eden. It was known worldwide to be one the three Majestics of Euphoria, natural wonders so grand they defied all possible descriptions although there had been many a bard and poetess that had tried. The magic that permeated all living things within the Lollashires and Loch-Loch Whoostheer was so strong that it voided the vocabulary of the people that tried to describe its beauty.

   The Lollashires were ruled in a just and fair fashion by Keeves. The Keeves were more protectors than true royals and the head of the family was more a high sheriff than a king. Over generations they had come to see it as their duty to ensure the safety and livelihoods of those that lived in the ‘shires. They were also the guardians of the Loch and all the creatures that inhabited the waters within the chain of the Lollashire Islands.

    At the time of this tale the head of the Keeves was Seejay Keeves. Seejay had been the protector and guardian for far longer than most people could remember. He was the older of two brothers and his younger brother was called Gregee. Where Seejay was kind and respected by all those in the ‘shires, Gregee was the complete opposite and was known to be vain and unnecessarily cruel. Where Seejay had skin that had been bronzed by the sun and stood tall among his fellow man, Gregee was hunched, his body twisted in ways that no mortal man could ever possibly endure and his skin had an unnatural translucence to it. It was whispered among many that if the sun was directly behind him you could see the inner workings of his body. People often wondered but never spoke aloud of how these two brothers could have ever been born within the same family. It was long rumored that Gregee was a changeling, switched for a human baby soon after birth by the Taverneer, a sea troll said to inhabit the waters outside the protection of the Lollashire Islands and who coveted the abundance of exotic sea-life within the Loch.

    Now in most romantic fairy tales there is a girl, a princess or some damsel in distress and we are not too far removed from that scenario with exception that the female in question was not a young girl, a princess, or a damsel in distress. She was the daughter of a simple fisherman of the Loch. She had grown up surrounded by the amazing, seemingly depthless crystal clear waters of Lollashire and to be sure it turned out that her first love was that of the water. To be in it, on it, or near it is what she lived for. It was said that she could swim before she crawled and could dive five meters beneath the clear waters before she could walk. When she turned ten years of age she started to go out upon the waters in her father’s boat, a fishing craft known as a Holt. The Holt was 32 feet long and 12 feet wide and boasted two sails that enabled it to make its way out onto the Loch and set its fishing nets out to catch its allotted share of fish.

    By the time she was 12 she could handle the Holt almost as well as her father, who had been working boats of its size since he was a boy of nine. His father had fished these waters as his father’s father had and so on for many generations. She was the only daughter of the fisherman and in fact was his only child. Her mother had died shortly after her birth and it had been left to her father to raise her on his own. He never sought to remarry such was the sadness at the loss of his wife but the joy and happiness of his daughter dulled the ever constant ache of lost love. He thought to name her after her mother but knew in his heart that it might be too much of a reminder of his loss. He went out in the Holt one night with his newborn daughter and sailed out onto the Loch. The wind was calm but there was enough of a breeze to fill the sails and the night sky was clear with a mass of stars staring down on him and his daughter. This is where he liked to come, out on the water, to think and contemplate what he perceived as life’s mysteries.          

    He came to a spot he knew by his heart, so much so there was no need for one of his tattered Loch charts. He dropped the sails and let them fall gently onto the worn deck. They fluttered down, falling and folding upon themselves as if they had a mind of their own. He looked down at his sleeping daughter, her breaths pushing through her slightly open mouth. He looked up and out onto what seemed like an endless expanse of water. It seemed to go on forever and although he was but a simple fisherman he was by no means simple in his thinking. He had a learned knowledge of his place in this world. He could read and write, add and subtract numbers. All useful things for someone who made his living on the water but they were by no means necessary. He knew plenty of his fellow tradesmen that could do neither but they knew the water, they knew how to fish and as far as they were concerned that was all they needed. He made himself available and taught those who wished to be taught and helped those who did not want to be bothered with such worldly concepts. It was because of his nature, his being of who he was, that he met the woman who would eventually become his wife and the mother to their daughter if but only for a few hours.

   He reached down and picked up his daughter and held her tightly in his arms. The gentle rocking motion of the boat providing something he hoped that he would be able to provide to her, comfort and peace. He looked up and was searching the patterns and shapes that the twinkling lights made. He knew the names of most of the shapes and there were some people who held those shapes responsible for their fate. He was not one of those people but he repeated the names silently to himself as his eyes swept the sky; Mantoo, Ashki, Farnk, Bolof, Eber, Crasstil, Jezeri, Bodipal, and there was one more but he could not yet see it. He lowered his gaze to the barely discernible horizon and started sweeping his eyes back and forth all while moving his head up. He was looking straight towards where the winds came during the cold time and he found the brightest spot in the sky. Now he started to look down and to the right, searching and there it was, right where it always had been and as far as he knew where it always would be. It sparkled brighter than the other points of light except for one other. It was one of two stars that were the eyes within the shape. Its twin was just to its left and it shone and sparked in the night sky just as brightly. This was Tonii, known to be to those who believed, the protector of the seas. It was at that moment he knew that this is what he would name his daughter. He pulled the blanket down from her small pink face and whispered to her “Tonii, I will protect you and and honor the memory of your mother for it is because of my love for you and your mother that I live”

   The baby girl opened her eyes, a startling iridescent blue, and looked up at her father and cooed softly. She closed her eyes, once, twice, and then was asleep once more. Her father laid her down in the bunchu, a type of bassinet, and covered her with another blanket. Once he was sure she was secure in her sleep he raised his sails and started to work the Holt back to the village. He became aware of how long he had been out on the Loch when he saw the thin sliver of light breaking across the horizon.

To Be Continued……………………

The Future Of Boating Is Here You Just Can’t Hear It

Orlando, FL (June 2, 2011) – The 100% electric Ski Nautique E pulled the head-to-head slalom exhibition with legendary skiers Andy Mapple and Kris LaPoint during the 52nd Masters Water Ski Tournament.

“It was not until after the event that I fully realized what had happened; we just skied an event behind the world’s first 100% electric tournament ready ski boat,” said Andy Mapple. “By developing this boat and including it at the Masters, Nautique once again demonstrated its forward thinking for the industry and our sport.”

For its first major event in front of thousands of spectators, the Ski Nautique E pulled LaPoint on Saturday and Mapple on Sunday through the slalom course, and also led the parade during the opening ceremonies on Sunday, kicking off the Masters Finals.

“It was amazing to watch the crowd react to the 100% electric Ski Nautique E,” stated Nautique President/CEO Bill Yeargin. “Everyone was incredibly quiet and captivated as they watched the electric boat in action.”

Celebrating 86 years of boat building excellence, Correct Craft, Inc. is the producer of the Nautique line of boats. The manufacturer of Nautique is known for delivering superior quality product, cutting-edge technology and exceptional service experiences. nautique.comSee the complete Nautique line at nautique.com.