Bobby Alcott's love for the nautical life first took shape during college, when he paid his tuition with profits from fishing aboard a 44-foot boat he had reconstructed himself. A trip to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 2003 further fueled his passion for sailing and entertaining, as he began leading charter trips. Now, 15 years after attaining his Coast Guard master's license, he seeks to instill passengers with nautical knowledge and show them a new perspective of Palm Beach through his business, Lacuna Tours.
Captain Bobby navigates his hurricane deck boat along smooth intra-coastal waters during tours and charters, adapting the course to his passengers’ chosen sites while politely vetoing their requests to exchange courtesies with the local narwhal. He expounds on nearby sites and local history with a sense of humor, which he developed during 10 years as a ski instructor. During the day or at sunset, Bobby steers the boat during private tours or themed trips such as birthday parties and wedding celebrations.
On extended tours, he runs the vessel onto the shore of one of Palm Beach's uninhabited islands and lets passengers disembark to relax on the beach and explore the nooks and crannies of abandoned sand castles. If children are onboard, he also brings ashore a small treasure chest filled with candy, balloons, and toy jewelry, and buries it in the sand when they aren't looking. Bobby then spins tales of pirate visits to the island, inviting the wee adventurers to search for the treasure. To further the swashbuckling theme, he also provides pirate costumes and props, giving parents ample photo opportunities.
The 18 holes of Palm Beach Gardens Golf Course slither through the natural marshes and wetlands of the Loxahatchee Nature Preserve, testing golfers' mettle with frequent changes in fairway direction and lots of water. Players scoot about the Roy Case-designed layout aboard golf carts equipped with GPS systems, which help them ascertain exact distances to greens and around sunbathing caddies. The fairway of the par 5 ninth hole -- dubbed "Mucho Agua" -- lies on an isthmus between two large bodies of water, leaving little room for error as players try to reach the green in two. The fairway of the 13th hole, also a par 5, doglegs twice into a unique Z shape, earning it the name of "Zorro's Revenge." Before players may turn in for the day, they must deal with two shots over water on the last hole, named "Swamp Thing" for its proximity to marshland and proclivity for early '80s horror movies.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,500 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
Home to UFC competitors, world champions, and black belts in muay thai boxing and Jiu-Jitsu, Valor Martial Arts gives pros and amateurs alike the chance to train with competitive-grade equipment and tutelage. In the 3,000-square-foot facility, Zebra floors and wall mats set the scene for kickboxers, who hit heavy bags, and an MMA-style octagon where fighters spar. The staff strives to have something for everyone, including Jiu-Jitsu sessions for adults and kids’ programs that aim to instill senses of accomplishment, confidence, discipline, and fitness. When they’re not facing a competitor, students make use of the weight training and exercise area before retiring to the onsite changing facilities.
Ceremony and ritual are important aspects of martial arts—so much so that people can forget the very real, very practical applications of self-defense training. The instructors at Hwang's Martial Arts prepare students so that they will be ready if they need to defend themselves, whether standing up or on the ground. Instructors stage realistic self-defense scenarios in tae kwon do and jujitsu classes that instill confidence and self-discipline with each grappling or countering move. Separate classes are also offered in krav maga, the hand-to-hand combat system used by the Israeli Defense Forces. These classes emphasize effective self-defense moves and demonstrate how to take down an attacker in the shortest time possible.
When Christina Theiss, owner of Swim with Gills, was asked by a reporter from WFLX to describe the feeling of teaching a child to swim, she responded: “It’s a magical moment. I feel like I’ve saved a life.” Since she started a traveling swim school, her feeling of accomplishment has become infectious, spreading to her fleet of swim instructors and to her husband, the second half of the Swim with Gills team. Rather than forcing their pupils to swim, they focus on building a trusting relationship with each child. This method increases students' comfort level, allowing them to gradually submerge themselves in water and achieve the complexities of mermaid sign language.
Team Nogueira is a proud bully-free zone. The instructors lead students of all ages through self-defense and martial-arts classes, encouraging youngsters to build self-confidence, strength, and respect. Adults build on the same techniques during martial-arts programs.