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.
The inventory of kites, flags, and advertising products at TradeWinds Kites relies on the power of the wind to entertain the flightless masses. Customers can also use their own images in creating photo-to-fabric prints. Due to ABA-Tex adhesive technology, prints can safely be applied and re-applied on any wall with no professional installation required. In addition to its fleet of rentable diversions, TradeWinds extends its breezy business to include a wide variety of flags, including Old Glory, as well as advertising products such as inflatables, balloons, and flying banners.
Located at the rear of Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, TradeWinds Restaurant faces the Chesapeake Bay. A covered patio, buffered only by tall grasses, abuts the waters, which wash over every aspect of TradeWinds, from the bayside ambiance to the menu's locally sourced oysters, salmon, and crab. Fresh seafood pairs with new york strip steak at dinner and with salads and sandwiches at lunch. During Sunday brunch, the bright dining room fills with the aromas of made-to-order omelets and seared yellowfin tuna slathered in a variety of spices and sauces.
Members of Sail Ventures take turns cruising in a fleet of new or late-model Jeanneau and Beneteau sailboats. The system, known as fractional yachting, teams up members who share their luxury vessels on a monthly basis. A rigorous training program ensures sailors are seaworthy, and the club picks up maintenance, slip fees, and other costs. Sail Ventures also hosts special membership events throughout the year, such as regattas, boat christenings, and boat-show parties.
HoustonPBS, the country's oldest educational television station, beams critical knowledge, entertainment, and news into households in more than 30 counties in southeast Texas. Support by members, which makes up more than 60% of the station's budget, sustains their varied schedule and offers viewing alternatives to the bloodsports and commemorative bloodsport-plate sales that dominate commercial channels. In addition to celebrated programs for adults and children, including Frontline, Arthur, and Austin City Limits, the schedule brims with locally produced fare such as InnerVIEWS, which has featured illuminating discussions with Edward Norton, Arianna Huffington, Dan Rather, and other notables.