"We've got more canoes, kayaks and SUPs than fingers and toes to count them," Captain Wendy explains. "Also, two sailboats, eleven pontoons??all rentable. The funny thing is, this business came from a big accident." She's referring to the company?s inception in 2002, when a devastating hurricane led a friend to sign his company?s single sailboat over to Wendy and her husband, Bruce. "We were in marketing??then, suddenly, we were in boating." More than 12 years later, Windsong Charters & Boat Rentals has flourished under the duo?s stewardship. The company now performs 200 weddings each year and equips a wide range of patrons to revel in the breathless joy of cutting through playful zephyrs and out across the water. Wendy and Bruce encourage fishing and bringing pets on boating voyages, and the two share stories to delight guests or calm champagne bottles propped next to brand-new yachts. As propellers hum to life and paddles make a gentle kissing sound against the surf, visitors scan the horizon for the variety of wildlife that slips along just below the surf's surface or comes wheeling out of tufts of cumulonimbus. "I wish the animals would give us their schedules,? Wendy says, ?but, on a given day, you could see manatees, dolphins, stingrays, and lots of birds."
Shots of all caliber soar above a landscape of well-kept fairways lined with palm trees, cypress trees, and australian pine trees at Magnolia Valley Golf Club’s 18-hole, 6,600-yard course. The par 72 layout challenges golfers and evokes an appreciation for nature with sweeping views and flagsticks that recite transcendentalist poems. Before taking to the course, golfers can warm up swing muscles at the driving range, hone putting strokes at the practice green, or fuel up with food and drinks at the bar and grill. In addition to its championship layout, Magnolia Valley features a par 33 executive course for players looking to squeeze in a round before the sun sets and their golf bag turns back into a pumpkin.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par 72 course
* Length of 6,600 yards from the farthest tees
* Course rating of 68.2 from the farthest tees
* Slope rating of 121 from the farthest tees
* Five tee options
During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
Registered yoga teachers Janel Norton and Christina Lowden mix up their years of exercise experience with their passion for alternative healing methods for a yoga stew chock-full of therapeutic benefits. Whether helping students striking their first tentative poses in beginner-friendly Hatha yoga classes or pushing patrons’ muscles to the brink during the hot power yoga series, Janel and Christina create a safe, friendly atmosphere through strong guidance and focused instruction. In addition to power, restorative, Hatha, and Yin yoga classes, they host Pilates mat-work sessions that bolster cores and 30-minute Body Blast classes that send students moving through time-tested, old-school routines—such as squats, pushups, and Model T flipping—to build muscle and character.
At Flow Yoga, it's all about the individual. That's why every class is small, which is ideal for personalized attention so the experienced teachers can modify poses and help as necessary. Whether students are in a heated class, detox, or gentle yoga session, each person is encouraged to work at his or her own pace. Along with regular yoga and Pilates classes inside the studio, some classes move outside, weather permitting. Other services at the wellness center include massages, personal training, nails, and facials.
A Chat with Captain Devon Gaudin
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
I am a full-time US Coast Guard-licensed fishing captain, putting me on the water five days a week, minimum. The time on the water provides me with daily knowledge of local fishing hot spots.
What is the experience customers can expect?
This is what I do. I have the best equipment, amazing support from family, friends, and sponsors that allow me to do what I love and provide a great day of memorable fishing.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
I am a second-generation fishing guide.
What do you love most about your job?
Taking my clients where they have never been before. Exploring what Florida fishing is all about.