The thrum of the speedboat's engine carries through the water like an ice-cream truck's jingle. A 4-foot-high wake trails behind, fanning out into a fork as the speed increases and the passengers ready their cameras. Soon, a glistening fin breaks the surface. The first bottlenose dolphin seems to levitate on top of the wave while it bodysurfs for the sheer fun of it, then disappears back into the sea. Its pod follows suit, leaping, splashing, and riding the swells, soaking up the attention of the human spectators.
Sights like this are typical on the Dolphin Racer Speed Boat. The sunny yellow craft skirts across the Gulf of Mexico on 60- to 75-minute trips while up to 125 people lounge on the open deck and the captain narrates the sights of the passing beaches. Ample viewing space ensures that cameras can capture split-second jumps and spins when the dolphins heed the call to play. Whether it's because of the thrill of breaching, the pride in their celebrity status, or an underwater bet to see who can communicate with humans first, the dolphins' presence is virtually guaranteed—the boat offers a complimentary future cruise in the case of no-shows.
Dr. Allan Spiegel was known in his community for donating specialized services to wounded veterans. When he knew that treatments could help veterans regain the ability to function, he would conduct the procedure, regardless of their abilities to compensate him on their own or through Veterans Affairs. He founded Healing Heroes Network (HHN) to organize doctors who felt a similar calling to help heal "those who protect and serve [the] nation." HHN sends wounded service members to a network of carefully selected local medical professionals when their insurance will not cover the costs of necessary treatments, and it also ensures that all necessary services are covered. In addition to providing medical services, the organization raises awareness about the need for greater funding for veterans' medical care.
The industrial-rock force of Filter pipes more than 17 years of raw, cathartic hits into the ears of fans, hammering crowds with its signature blend of mechanical mayhem and guitar-driven calamity. From the band's debut album Short Bus, which bore the mid-'90s smash “Hey Man Nice Shot,” through its latest collection of screamable valentines, The Trouble With Angels, lead singer and guitarist Richard Patrick’s urgent voice conveys a football coach’s heartbreak and a guidance counselor’s angst. Helping to fill State Theatre's lush interiors with impenetrable tunes, local rockers From This Fire and Nation Of Wealth entwine bodies in sinewy guitar lines and lobe-stroking sing-alongs.
With nearly 30 years of glass industry experience, professional artist Kathleen leads students of all levels in creating works of art. Her classes—which are kept small to allow for individualized attention—teach the basics of stained glass, fused glass, and mosaics, as well as creating jewelry items such as beads and pendants. Kathleen can also be commissioned to create custom pieces, such as church windows and stained glass doors.
Looking out at the quiet, moonlit waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s impossible to know what’s on the line, other than that it’s big. Word has spread around the deep-sea-fishing boat, and now a crowd has gathered on either side of you. You pull the fishing pole back and guide whatever is snagged on the other end of the line nearer and nearer. The splashes gradually become louder. A few fellow fishermen help pull the creature onto the boat, and proudly hold the fish up for the crowd.
There are countless deep-sea-fishing tales like this one to be told at Hubbard’s Marina. During its many day or night fishing trips, its crew and guest fishermen board the US Coast Guard–certified vessels for excursions into the Gulf to reel in fish of all sizes. Not only does Hubbard's Marina offer fishing trips, but they also allow opportunities for people to visit and observe Florida wildlife in their natural habitat. Animals such as dolphins, pelicans,manatees, and bald eagles can bee seen from the boat. After cruises, visitors can go shopping along the picturesque boardwalk and enjoy the local culture and history in the quaint fishing village.
They also captain sunset cruises, dolphin-watching cruises, kayak tours, rent kayaks and paddle boards, and even take to the streets during segway tours.
Green Organix Restaurant, an extension of Peter Gillham’s Nutrition Center, culls from organic ingredients to make up dishes that reflect many cultures and styles, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The restaurant stocks house-baked breads along with 100% organic, free-range, and grass-fed burgers. A recent addition to the menu, the organic salad bar shows off 20 different fixings and local ingredients, along with made-from-scratch salad dressings and freshly plucked salad bowls.