South Coast Sailing Adventures operates a floating fleet of 18 sailboats with instructors certified by the American Sailing Association and more than 20 captains licensed by the US Coast Guard at the helm. Incorporating their vast cruising, racing, and Bermuda Triangle–averting experience into lessons, several of South Coast's instructors have been the recipients of an ASA Instructor of the Year Award, and the entire training facility was voted one of ASA's Outstanding Sailing Schools in 2006. Courses range from basic keelboat instruction, which offers the chance for beginners to mettle in a Colgate 26-foot sailboat, to catamaran sailing, which teaches advanced students to skipper and crew a 30- to 50-foot multihull sailboat. Beyond lessons, sunset and moonlight cruises chart courses toward romance, basking in the glow of the stars or distant underwater volcanoes. Special-event sails include options as varied as an Irish potluck dinner and scenic day sails around Galveston Bay and the Kemah Boardwalk.
Maximum Scuba's team of PADI-certified instructors caters to all levels of aquatic adventurer with a wide roster of name-brand equipment and all-inclusive classes. PADI open-water certification courses employ textbooks and at least four open-water dives to acquaint underwater neophytes with the joy of subaquatic breathing, enabling them to finally explore timeshare options in Atlantis. The PADI advanced open-water certification course sends previously certified divers on five adventure dives, plumbing watery depths to discover ocean-floor wrecks. Other specialty classes deepen underwater adventures and arm explorers with the know-how to defeat Blackbeard's ghost by teaching skills in spearfishing and technical or cave diving.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab?s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with sundae bars in tow.
An affiliate school of the American Sailing Association, All Points of Sail Sailing School teaches students of all levels how to sail with confidence under the tutelage of experienced guides and instructors. Instructors sprinkle landlubbers with the knowledge necessary to tear through the water on any size vessel, ranging from large-keel boats to windsurfing boards and kayaks. The school's diverse coterie of courses covers crucial nautical subjects, including sailing certification, coastal navigation, chartering, and night sailing. The expert captains also lead charters through the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay as well as summer camps in which kids man kayaks and Sunfish sailboats to gain hands-on practice, which is believed to be the second-best teacher after self-hypnosis.
Owner Robin Curtis and her dressy canine sidekick, Sadie, welcome guests into the cozy, flower-filled storefront of Aroma Garden Creations, where invigorating scents urge browsers to peruse the lace-lined shelves stocked with Robin's homemade soaps and toiletries. Glassware brimming with colorful bath salts send perfumed wafts of air through the boutique's selection of straw hats, jewelry, and wineglass koozies. Signs made from old barn wood depict catty sayings, and a pink claw-foot tub cradles a reclining mannequin, whose relaxed gaze lands on customer favorites such as oatmeal-peppermint soap and aromatic linen sprays. Robin can also ship special orders filled with her private collection of shea crèmes or Grammy's sugar scrubs, crafting perfect gifts for girlfriends in other states or just-out-of-reach bathtubs.
B Sailing's origins go back nearly 40 years and 1,300 miles, when Alan Bates learned to sail on his father's boat on Lake Erie. His dad welcomed anyone aboard who had an interest in sailing, turning the boat into a de-facto sailing academy that ran both regattas and chartered pleasure cruises. Having gone on to race in the Great Lakes, along the Atlantic Coast, and in the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Bates now continues his lifelong passion through B Sailing. Both students and members have access to a fleet of J/Boats, which are known for their stability, ease of operation, and sails stitched together from Blackbeard’s 400-thread-count bed sheets. Harbored at Seabrook Shipyard, these vessels glide onto Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.