The crew at Reel Mania Charters customizes fishing trips for anglers of all abilities. As tunes blast from iPods and drinks emerge from coolers, groups cast out lines and reel in fish that range from flounder and porgy to striped bass and sea bass. After a full day of fishing and watching the sun glisten off rolling waves, coolers transport fish home for eating, trophy mounting, or displaying to neighbors to prove that the ocean exists.
Before helming Paddle Board RI, John Andel was working as an IT consultant, itching to hop onto his board as the hours crept by each day. An erstwhile surfer, scuba diver, and spear fisher, John had encountered standup paddleboarding while visiting Costa Rica and fell in love with the aquatic pastime faster than two cupids in an archer's duel. "You get a whole different perspective,” he says of standing up on the board. “Sometimes you can see 20 feet down into the water.”
Drawn to the sport’s flexibility, John has engineered a diverse selection of tours, including the full-moon paddle, the business’s most popular tour, which takes groups out on quiet waters to gaze up at the glowing orb and stake out real estate for the moon colonies of the future. Another tour, the Tuckered Dog, invites pooches to hop on board with their owners at a dog-friendly pond. Paddle Board RI also offers classes from introductory lessons to less traditional options, such as paddleboard yoga taught by a certified yoga instructor, meditative sunrise sessions, and muscle-sculpting workout classes.
Although his business has taken off, Andel still leads the vast majority of the tours: at the heart of the venture still beats his own passion for being out on the water and sharing his love of paddleboarding with others. “We’re not just a rental company,” he says. “We’re about enjoying the water.”
Film buffs across six states stare wide-eyed at large cinema screens, losing themselves in first-run Hollywood movies and the smell of fresh, buttery kernels within Your Neighborhood Theatre's 17 locations. Though all theaters prioritize comfortable seating, old-fashioned friendly service, and high-stakes preshow trivia slideshows, each location encompasses its own distinct charm, be it through arthouse décor, 3-D screens, or Rhode Island's vintage 1950's drive-in setting.
Seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, the Boss Ice Arena opens its doors to college athletic teams, amateur ice skaters, and budding hockey enthusiasts. Operated in conjunction with the University of Rhode Island, the facility hosts the university’s men’s and women’s hockey games, as well as intramural sports, public skating sessions, and hockey-centric camps and clinics for youngsters aged 6 to 18. The arena also features an ice-skating instructional program for both children and adults, public hockey sessions, and caters to events such as birthday parties. On game days, up to 2,500 fans fill the arena with a deafening howls and as they cheer on their nationally ranked teams, and on non-game days, non-professional skaters practice their elaborate post-goal dances before stopping into the on-site pro shop to stock up on gear or pet the store’s mascot, Jack the dog.
A crimson curtain rises to unveil the operas, nationally touring musicals, children's shows, and films that pass under the historic movie palace's gilded ceiling. Originally built in 1926 as a home for vaudeville performances and motion pictures, the grand venue has survived more than eight decades with the help of The Garde Arts Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that formed in 1985 to both preserve the building and pursue its mission "to engage, enrich, entertain, and inspire the region of Greater New London." Today, the center stages a slew of performances and events that keep guests on the edges of all 1,472 seats.