The Nautical Blog

Name that Seagull Contest (TNL) needs Your help in naming this mascot!

What better one to have than our infamous seagull which resides on the cover of our Mascot
book Boating Secrets: 127 Top Tips to Help You Buy and Enjoy Your Boat.  With that said, I have been asking around at the various boat shows and events for names.

Thank you to everyone who has participated to date.
Here’s a list of what we have far:

Salty Sammy Winthrop Montagu
Popeye Fly n Rats Sassy Seagull Bart
Rusty Dangerous Gold Power Bird
Honk Gavietta Skallywag Cleotis
Sally Dog Sandy Gary
Birdie Patricia Skyrat Bert
Frederick Seymour George Harriet
Sarah Sunny Ben Lily
Booby Throttles Pepe Griffen
Minnow Admiral Beaky


This contest will run throughout the month of December until January 15, 2015.

Please take a moment and vote for the name you like best Or, if you have a name
you like better, enter that one.

Either way, enter the information in the comments below.

Winner receives a t-shirt with our seagull on the front and the winning name.






Bulow Plantation Ruins Sits in Palm Coast, FL

Posted in SmyrnaLife Magazine 2014 Nov/Dec Vol. 2 – Issue 1 under DayTrip

After weeks of driving by the sign for Bulow Plantation, I finally turned down the dirt road to see what it was all about. Out of the car the ruins glowed in front of me in all its glory. The way the sun Bulow Plantation Palm Coast FLshined on the stones made it seem so mystical. I just had to go back to the car and get my camera. There was a group of pleinair painters (open air painters) behind easels capturing both the light and the moment. Back at the car I was able to talk with the painters who were finished for the day. I found out they drove down from St. Augustine. I asked one of the painters how she learned about Bulow Plantation. She said, “my friend has asked me for maybe 5 years. He and his wife came to dinner one night and said let’s go painting. I just found it interesting and the history of the sugar mills. I think it’s a fabulous place and more people need to come here and see it.”

I agreed. During a meeting with Libby at Smyrna Life we agreed to follow up with a story.

In the Mid 1800’s

– 1823 John Joachim Bulow inherits Bulowville at the age of 16; ending his schooling in Paris. His job was to run one of the 12 plantations between Cape Canaveral and St. Augustine; Bulowville being the largest and wealthiest. Bulow used one thousand acres for cotton and 1500 acres for sugar cane. Small buildings lined the outer rim in a horseshoe shape. Bulow’s house stood at the open end.

– 1830 a census shows 193 slaves present on the plantation. Bulow believed human energy as well as steam power produced sugar cane faster.

– 1836 According to folklore, Bulow had a relationship with the Seminole Indians and relied on Read the rest of this entry »

Pelican Place – Pompano Beach, FL

Ah, now I can relax! My drive down from Palm Coast took less time than I anticipated. However, by the time I arrived in Pompano Beach I was exhausted and my clothes were soaked from the hot sun. Of course it didn’t help that the sun roof Pompano Beach 2014was open the entire drive.  My destination is the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show.  Pelican Place, Pompano Beach is where I’ll stay for a few days. Elaine Fitzgerald, proud owner of Pelican Place, and I were scheduled to meet in an hour.  A quick phone call and we moved up our meeting time.

The main entrance greets you with a trellis of flowers, cozy tables and chairs clustered on the front porch. Right away you get the feeling this could be your new home away from home. I parked myself on one of the chairs while I waited.

When it comes to her guests, Elaine likes to meet every one.  If you arrive late at night, Elaine will meet you the next morning.   She feels it’s important to go over everything on the property and let you know where to find things. In fact, Elaine tries to put herself in her guests shoes; what makes them tick and how to make their stay most enjoyable.

Pompano Beach 2014Each cottage has a 3-ring binder packed with pages of listings.  This includes the best walk-in emergency center close by and a dental office.  Elaine told me one of her guests did or still does write for Zagat which you can find in the notebook. “Some reviews may be a year old,” says Elaine “but they’re spot on.”  All the supplies you’ll need for cooking and cleaning as well as beach towels, chairs, and cooler are available as well.    Read the rest of this entry »

An Interview with Peter C. Stone

About a year ago I attended a lecture at Whitney Labs in St. Augustine, FL. At the time I never heard of Whitney Labs, never mind going to hear some guy talk about Right Whales. However, I went and learned quite a bit.

What I learned was that the guy’s name is Peter C. Stone and he’s from Massachusetts. He loves to sail, paint, and write books. So, I did what anyone would do who’s a Fleet Captain of Meetings for a sailing club. I hired him to speak at Pelagic Sailing Club sometime during the year when he’s back in Boston.

As Peter’s talk for Pelagic approached, we reconnected and he sent me an email saying he was coming back to Flagler Beach, FL for a showing at the Ocean Art Gallery. It was here that we met again and this time I scheduled some one-on-one time to interview Peter myself.  We met a few days later at Palm Coast Marina in Palm Coast. Peter also took time to talk with Harbormaster Debbie Hogan.

Below is a 15 minute interview we did while sitting outside under a tent in the pouring rain (makes great background noise).    Enjoy!


Palm Coast Marina and Peter C Stone   Palm Coast Marina and Peter C Stone   Palm Coast Marina and Peter C Stone

Aloft BWI Hotel, Linthicum Maryland

Pulling up in front of the Aloft BWI Hotel it looked no different than any other hotel. Your typical beige concrete front, six floors, lots of windows, circular driveway under an awning that leads you to the front door. Aloft Hotel - BWILots of cars parked around providing the look and feel of a full house. Luckily, there was a parking spot right next to the front door. More importantly, I didn’t have to move my car again till the morning commute.

When I first walked into the lobby, I thought for sure there was a mistake. This place was in with other “Airport hotels” yet it reminded me of a retro hotel in NYC I had stayed in 15+ years ago with my son Joshua. Also, a recent hotel stay in South Beach, Miami. Okay, I remember thinking – it’s only for two nights.  Gingerly and exhausted from a 10 hour drive I approached the circular front desk to give my name. Two young ladies were working; both polite and friendly. Room key in hand, I began to walk back outside to retrieve my duffle bag, laptop, and cooler. Parked next to the door were the coolest luggage carts. The same kind you find at the airport except here you didn’t need to insert a coin nor take them off a chain. This I could handle and just then I knew everything would be okay.

Once inside my room I walked over to the windows and checked the views. One window overlooked the parking lot. Another window overlooks the bank of elevators and outside patio. Except for the elevator view it was a nice view from six stories up. The room itself had one king size bed with two nightstands, a desk with all the data ports you’d need including a place for your iPod and soft music already established. The shower has shower gel and conditioner already on the wall and available at the push of a button. It’s been a long time since I’ve stepped into a college dorm room, but that’s exactly what this reminded me of. Instead of a closet there was a wall with shelves, coffee maker, safe, and rod with hangers. Underneath the sink hangs a black cloth bag that holds the hair dryer and a mini dorm size refrigerator. After freshening up a bit, I grabbed the luggage cart and my salad then headed down to the front lobby.   Salad in hand, I sat in the dining area and had a look around.

Aloft Hotel - BWI “The Aloft is a yuppie hotel,” says Kory Davis, General Manager. “It’s different from your usual hotel. It’s more relaxed. We have a pool table in the lobby and a great bar called WXYZ. It’s for business travelers just to feel more relaxed – not to down beat, we have music at night time at a level where you can enjoy.”

“I came here as general manager,” continues Kory. “Working here is different because everybody comes through to be more relaxed and upbeat. We get a lot of mid-aged crowd and also get the older crowd that comes to relax. They like the difference. It’s different from your regular hotel where you come in, check in – it’s normal. We try to make everybody Read the rest of this entry »

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