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THE BEAUTIFUL & WONDROUS WORLD OF BEN HICKS

Tropically Impaired

A stoked raffle winner of a Ukulele poses with photographer Ben Hicks and Tom Warnke of the Surf History Project.

A stoked raffle winner of a Ukulele poses with photographer Ben Hicks and Tom Warnke of the Surf History Project.

Author: Travis Suit / Photo by Travis Suit

At a recent showing for his latest photography collection focused on 'the waves and nature near the surface', global photographer and traveler Ben Hicks delivered a memorable exhibition for the crowd at the Surf History Museum in Delray Beach.  It was a fascinating trip behind-the-scenes of the magical and mysterious world of Ben Hicks and his exotic photography. Kids and parent's oohed and awed at the the dreamy images as they were projected onto a large screen. Clearly, the photos of adorable baby sea turtles were among the fan favorites.

Ben is a stoic and humble down-to-Earth guy who lives for adventure in the raw and rugged landscapes of Nature's grandeur.  He has endured to live a life that most can only imagine, blending a free enterprise commercial business as an entrepreneur with the free spirit of an adventuring photographer.  He strives to capture incredible shots of 'the familiar in extraordinary ways', all while creating awareness to communicate environmental conservation.  To support his efforts, follow his adventures on Instagram and Facebook, and don't miss his next event!!!

Overall, it was a fun-filled night that included an exciting raffle with great sponsor prizes, refreshing beer from Saltwater Brewery, tasty food from the Surf Shack, and plenty of fresh popcorn for the kids. To view and purchase Ben's works, check out his website below.  And to book the Surf History Museum for your next special event, contact them at the link below.

BEN HICKS WEBSITE: http://benjhicks.com/

SURF HISTORY PROJECT & MUSEUM: http://www.surfhistoryproject.org/

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A TALE OF A GOOD TIME

Tropically Impaired

Author: Travis Suit / Photos by Travis Suit

Author's Note: I have been visiting Sanibel Island annually with my family since the year I was born.  More than six months of my life has been spent exploring the lush island, building sandcastles, fishing, beach-cruising, shelling, and soaking up the beautiful expansive views of sunrises and sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.  Sanibel is a rare gem among Florida destinations.

The Suit family sandcastle circa 2015.

The Suit family sandcastle circa 2015.

VOTED BEST FAMILY VACATION SPOT IN THE US

Sanibel Island was voted the best family-vacation spot in the U.S. by The Today Show.  Among the many reasons to fall in love with Sanibel, there are two distinct characteristics for why this island is so charming.  First, is due to their conservation efforts, which have effectively preserved over 60% of the natural environment and ecosystem. Sanibel is one of the best places for bird watching; it is also the most populated place on Earth for bottle-nose porpoises.  The second defining feature is that the building code mandates the height of the condos, therefore, you will not find any buildings taller than the palm trees, which is a refreshing perspective.

Featured above is one of the amazing sunrises you can experience at the tip of the island.

Featured above is one of the amazing sunrises you can experience at the tip of the island.

GET HOOKED ON THE TARPON TALE INN

Tucked among the sea grapes and gumbo limbo trees is a home-away-from-home.  A quaint little paradise cottage known as the Tarpon Tale Inn.  It is perfectly situated in 'Old Town Sanibel' within walking distance to some of the island's most revered spots.  Directly across the street is the world famous Lighthouse Cafe, Tuttle's Sea Shop, and Pinocchio's Ice Cream.  Hop on a beach cruiser bike and take a quick ride down to the tip of the island to watch sunrise underneath the towering historic Sanibel Lighthouse.  If you're interested in dropping a line, the Sanibel Island fishing pier is just around the corner as well. 

The Tarpon Tale Inn is located in the sweet-spot of Sanibel Island's Old Town.

The Tarpon Tale Inn is located in the sweet-spot of Sanibel Island's Old Town.

RELAXATION AT ITS FINEST

From your private patio or hammock you can enjoy the intoxicating aroma of blossoms that fills the morning air on Sanibel.  As you embark on a new day, you can stroll down to the beach for an unforgettable sunrise, watch osprey dive-bombing their prey in the shallow tidal waters, discover sand-dollars and starfish, do the 'Sanibel-Stoop' searching for shells, or just kick back and watch the afternoon thunderstorms roll across the Gulf toward Ft. Myers beach.  People watching is also very entertaining on the beaches of Sanibel, as your likely to see a diverse cross-section of families and tourists from all over the world. (Insert memory of that one confident European middle-aged man wearing a bright red speedo bending over to pick up a shell. Lol!)

Once the sun goes down, it's worth braving a few rogue mosquitos to witness the clarity and brilliance of Sanibel's night sky.  The lack of light pollution allows for the dark backdrop of our Universe to showcase millions of bright stars.  During the summer months, fire-flies illuminate the dense brush near the bike paths and giant colorful Tokay geckos bark their territorial mating call.

The Tarpon Tale Inn offers a truly relaxing getaway.

The Tarpon Tale Inn offers a truly relaxing getaway.

ISLAND EXCELLENCE

Whether your plan is to grill out or chill out, if you are looking for the best kind of island living on Sanibel, the Tarpon Tale Inn is the place to stay.  They've been awarded the Certificate of Excellence and inducted into the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame.  The staff on premise is incredibly accommodating and even the check-in process has it's own unique charm on arrival.  You'll love every minute!

And don't forget to sign the guest book!

Cheers!

Cheers!

FIND MORE INFO ON THE TARPON TALE INN HERE: https://tarpontale.com/

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THE BEST OF KEY WEST SERIES: PART 1 - GRAND ADVENTURES

Tropically Impaired

Postcard from paradise, shot from the Jolly II Rover Schooner sunset sail.  Photo Credit: Travis Suit

Postcard from paradise, shot from the Jolly II Rover Schooner sunset sail.  Photo Credit: Travis Suit

Author: Travis Suit / Photos by Travis Suit & Fury Water Adventures

Key West is one of the most frequented islands in the world by travelers near and far with an estimated 2.7 million annual visitors in 2013.  In a recent visit to the Southernmost point in the continental United States, we discovered some of the very best things to do that will make your trip to the capitol of the Conch Republic unforgettable!  These GRAND ADVENTURES are highly recommended!!!

GET HIGH WITH THE CONCH REPUBLIC AIR FORCE BI-PLANE RIDES

Flying high above the Southernmost point in a bi-plane.  Photo Credit: Travis Suit

Flying high above the Southernmost point in a bi-plane.  Photo Credit: Travis Suit

THRILL (noun) - A sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure.

It's hard to imagine a better word to describe the feeling of climbing into a 1942 bi-plane, strapping on a seatbelt, dawning ear muffs and goggles, and gripping onto the cockpit rails as you taxi down the runway on your way to lift off.   The propeller engine revs before your eyes and sends vibrating chills down your body.  This is only the beginning of what is surely one of the greatest rides of your life.

The Bi-Plane Rides of Key West & Conch Republic Air Force is a three-generation family operated business and has been since the 1980's.  Their hanger is the home to three of the coolest planes in Key West.  Our bi-plane ride was one of many options that include a sunset flight and fully acrobatic flight, in which case, the pilot will intentionally stall the plane into a free fall...yeah, a late night on Duval Street the night before is NOT recommended.  The prices are fair, and in comparison to the experience, are a worthwhile investment you'll be coming back to Key West to make again.

As you rise above the tarmac, the nervousness fades into a serene, humming cruise through the moist tropic air (AIR SPEED 80 MPH on the dial).  Our pilot, Captain Raymond, made several big loops and banking turns for spectacular aerial views of Key West.  It could be classified as a spiritual journey that takes you away from the busy hive below and reminds you of the grandiose nature of our Earth, the smallness of our human existence, and the rare geological formation of the Florida Keys.

SOAK UP THE SUNSET ABOARD THE JOLLY II ROVER SCHOONER SUNSET CRUISE

Sunset view from the Jolly Rover II Schooner sunset cruise.  Photo Credit: Travis Suit

Sunset view from the Jolly Rover II Schooner sunset cruise.  Photo Credit: Travis Suit

WELCOME ABOARD! Exclaimed one of the most charming men alive in Key West (at least that's what the starry eyes of many of the guests on board the boat implied).  He is a tan, rugged, long-haired, mid-30's, Key West local and experienced captain and sailor...named of course...RIO.  He told us of a historic sailboat race from Key West to Cuba where he barely escaped a sinking vessel. Captain Rio is the charismatic host of the famous 80 foot Jolly II Rover Schooner that provides remarkable views of dazzling Key West sunsets. 

Couples and families alike quickly boarded up and we got underway, gliding effortlessly along the clear shallow waters below.  Luckily, there was just enough of a summer breeze to help fills our sails and gently guide us around the salty paradise.  With a gorgeous 360 degree view of Key West and the island-dotted horizon, there is no doubt this is one of the best places on the planet to experience a sunset. The peaceful cruise is occasionally interrupted by cannons that are loaded and blasted at 'enemy' boats as they pass by, a super cool treat, especially for the little ones; just remember to cover your ears! You are encouraged to bring your own drinks to stash in their coolers, a wise recommendation.

For two hours, time ceases to exist as you sink into the picturesque setting. You're reminded of that deep meditative breath you rarely take back in the land of concrete and cars.  A calming sense of acceptance, gratitude, and pure joy become the only state of mind that pervades those fortunate souls who get to sail on the Jolly II Rover's blessed decks.

FLOAT ON CLOUD 9 WITH FURY WATER ADVENTURES PARASAILING

Getting dipped in the warm waters off of Key West.  Photo Credit: Fury Water Adventures

Getting dipped in the warm waters off of Key West.  Photo Credit: Fury Water Adventures

You remember that one time...

Take a moment to analyze the picture above.  What do you see?  You are looking at the first ever parasail ride for two of the happiest people in Key West.   In this photo, in 90 degree heat, under the shade of a gigantic Fury parachute, we are being dipped by the captain into the beautiful and refreshingly cool waters below.  The spray of the seawater hitting your face is more than just a salty cool down, it is an exhilarating experience that will have you begging for more.

This parasailing trip is one of thousands that the incredible team at Fury Water Adventures leads each year in Key West.  In their bevy of outstanding activities, you can choose from parasailing, jet skis, glass-bottom boat tours, snorkel trips to the outer barrier reef, and the list goes on and on! Our superb crew consisted of Captain JP (just perfect) and his super cool sidekick of a mate, Christina, who snapped photos while managing harness setup, a genuine entertainment routine, and an impressive balancing act...wow...just saying (did I mention she might have been an undercover mermaid slash ninja? Reference photo at the top of the blog post).

The lift-off is steady and graceful, as you rise slowly, with your legs dangling, from the back of a moving boat.  When you reach the limit of the towline that tethers you back to reality hundreds of feet below, the view from that vantage point is awe-inspiring.  Once you've remembered to close your mouth from the breathtaking views, you and your partner in-flight may exchange elated smiles, share words of love, hold hands, or just soak up the amazement in the soaring silence.

FALL IN LOVE WITH KEY WEST

Life is perspective, choose the best.  That's one way to describe how to 'see' Key West.  The grand adventures described above are strongly suggested for anyone that is planning a trip to the most romantic, liberating, historical, and beautiful tropical town in the United States.  Please check out the companies and information below and use this guide as a resource for booking reservations with 'The Best of Key West'.

Photo Credit: Travis Suit

Photo Credit: Travis Suit

BI-PLANE RIDES WITH THE CONCH REPUBLIC AIR FORCE  http://www.keywestbiplanes.com/

JOLLY II ROVER TOPSAIL SCHOONER SUNSET SAIL  http://schoonerjollyrover.com/

FURY WATER ADVENTURES                              https://www.furycat.com/

 

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THE CATCH OF A LIFETIME!!! WEST PALM BEACH FISHING CLUB 13TH ANNUAL KDW CLASSIC

Tropically Impaired

Author: Travis Suit / Photos: Leonard Bryant Photography & Travis Suit

The West Palm Beach Fishing Club's 13th Annual KDW Classic had a record year at the scales at the Riviera Beach Marina.  As check out began at 6:30am, a tournament field of 238 boats roared past an oncoming cruise ship at the mouth of the inlet, creating a washing machine of waves, whitewater, and wild rides, but a calm sea beckoned just beyond the take off zone.

Sunrise peaking through the clouds on the horizon.   Photo Credit: Travis Suit

Sunrise peaking through the clouds on the horizon.   Photo Credit: Travis Suit

THE TRIUMPHANT UNDER DOG!

The Crew of the Dirty Dog took home the largest prize of the tournament with a 51.8 lb bull dolphin that landed them a $4,000 cash prize total.  It's amazing what they accomplished considering they were fishing out of one of the smallest boats in the tournament.  One of the Dirty Dog anglers explained how it all went down, "We were trolling and kept having these little tiny dolphin tearing up our baits, so we killed the engine, put out a chum bag, and started drifting live baits in some scattered weedlines.  Then out of nowhere, he came up behind the boat, so we started pitching baits at him, not realizing he had already swallowed one of our other lines." Continuing he said,  "He was so big I had to gaff him three times to get him in the boat!  We've caught 25 and 35 pounders, but this was the catch of a lifetime."

Crew of the Dirty Dog hoisting there Tournament winning catch!  A 51.8 lb dolphin caught in a 17ft. boat.  Photo Credit:  Leonard Bryant

Crew of the Dirty Dog hoisting there Tournament winning catch!  A 51.8 lb dolphin caught in a 17ft. boat.  Photo Credit:  Leonard Bryant

WAHOOO!!!!!

It was a record year for the leader board, which filled every slot for qualifying species of Kingfish, Dolphin, and the rare Wahoo.  One local captain accredited the East winds and nearing full moon for the hot bite.

One of the many bountiful catches brought into the scales.  Photo Credit: Leonard Bryant

One of the many bountiful catches brought into the scales.  Photo Credit: Leonard Bryant

BIG WINNERS

The anglers with the biggest fish weren't the only lucky winners in the tournament.  If there is one thing the West Palm Beach Fishing Club does incredibly well, it's to make everyone feel like they've got a shot at something awesome.  Prizes include thousand dollar paychecks just for being present with your boat number!  For $20 in raffle tickets, you've got a chance at an unbelievable list of high quality goods provided by the sponsors.

Luck of the draw!  We were one of the many lucky winners of the Treasure Chest contest where boat numbers were pulled to determine who got to select a key that gave you a chance to win prizes galore.                       Photo Credit: Leonard Bryant

Luck of the draw!  We were one of the many lucky winners of the Treasure Chest contest where boat numbers were pulled to determine who got to select a key that gave you a chance to win prizes galore.                       Photo Credit: Leonard Bryant

AN ARMY OF VOLUNTEERS

As President of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club, Tom Twyford said, "It takes an Army of Volunteers to make this event possible."  And there is no doubt you are in good hands at the Captain's meeting, weigh-in, or awards ceremony.  This event is one of the best in South Florida for this reason alone...because there are great minds and hearts at work behind the scenes.  As a non-profit organization, the venerable West Palm Beach Fishing Club (now celebrating it's 80th anniversary) and the club's 501(c)3's charitable affiliate, the Palm Beach County Fishing Foundation, does a lot more than just host fishing tournaments.  With their thousands of Members from all over the world, they introduce the fun of fishing into the lives of disadvantaged children who really deserve a day out on the water.  

Learn more here: http://www.westpalmbeachfishingclub.org/

Leonard Bryant Photography: https://plus.google.com/+LeonardDurhamBryantJr/posts

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STICK FIGURE FEVER

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Lead singer Scott Woodruff honors fan-favorite tour dog Cocoa.

Lead singer Scott Woodruff honors fan-favorite tour dog Cocoa.

Author & Photos: Travis Suit

“As close to perfect as you’re gonna get”, a young bohemian dressed woman said to her friend at the end of the show, a statement that holistically sums up the story of the night. 

The colors of sunset were fading fast from the sky when the Stick Figure fans started streaming into the salty kingdom of The Inlet Grill, a Ft. Pierce beach jewel. It was early and the fans were just getting warmed up to Kash’d Out, who jammed originals and a couple stylistic reggae cover renditions of ‘Shake It’ by Taylor Swift and ‘All About That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor .  It was an upbeat performance from the Orlando crew that set the stage well for the following acts.

There was a noticeable shift in energy when the local Jensen Beach based band The Ellameno Beat took the stage.  Ardent local fans held hands while swinging their arms and kicking their feet.  The approval of home-based support was solidified through the whistles, whoops, screaming, clapping, and dancing.  Talented lead singer Reggie Froom, a young star in the making, is winning the ladies over.  A beautiful young blonde exploded with excitement when her favorite song came on, “He has a really unique voice”, Theona from Jensen Beach explained as to why she loves their shows.  In a one-on-one conversation at their merchandise table after the show, Reggie explained, local Jupiter legend Bryce Rutkowski from Box Elder was an inspiration and one of the first songs he learned, and Bryce’s mellifluous tone and natural spirit on stage lives through the newcomer, with a little dose of Sublime, and a touch of Marley.

The flood of Stick Figure fans crowded near the front of the stage during transition.  Then Stick Figure walked out to the deafening applaud of hundreds of fans.  If Dorothy had the Wizard of Oz, Stick Figure fans have lead singer Scott Woodruff, the Wizard of Vibe. In his opening address to the audience he proclaimed, “We got a crowd that looks like it’s gonna get rowdy.”  His prediction, no doubt, came true.

John Allen of Ft. Lauderdale hanging the colors.

John Allen of Ft. Lauderdale hanging the colors.

It’s as if their music taps into a deeper universal alignment in the soul, and with that, a blending of loving and open energies that enables the participant to feel one with the experience.  “They are quite mesmerizing”, said Jonah of Ft. Pierce.  A pivotal moment was the poignant and strategic introduction of a fan favorite song, Smokin’ Love, which elicited and sparked an uplifting response from the crowd early on in the night, heightening the overwhelming positive vibes.  “Smokin Love is one of the sexiest reggae songs ever!”, commented Rachel from Tampa, Florida.  Credit for the solid sound and show is Deuterman Productions, who orchestrated flawlessly behind the scenes.

As always, one of the biggest stars of the night was the tour dog ‘Cocoa’, who has a charming way with the fans.  When you watch her, you realize she is different. She exudes a calmness and presence, as if she ventured off from a Buddhist village and found her home in the timeless rhythms of reggae music, a story that many fans of the genre have experienced through Stick Figure.  Super-fan, Ashley, a traveling nurse by trade from Washington State, brought a tasty treat for the revered furry icon, and was accompanied by fans who presented Cocoa with new chew toys.

Cocoa the tour dog is chillin before the show.

Cocoa the tour dog is chillin before the show.

It was a long-overdue celebration for some fans who have been waiting patiently for the SoCal band to return to SouthEast Florida.  For others, it is a non-stop celebration; a wave of energy they ride from show-to-show across State-lines proving the endurance of their fandom.   In true showmanship, Scott Woodruff announced three birthdays in the house, and a Mother’s Day shout-out to his beloved parent’s who reside in Vero Beach.  One of the special birthdays was for Cathy, an inspirational super-fan who was turning 64.  “I stopped listening to Led Zeppelin, and now all I listen to is Stick.”  And then in response to her age, “I don’t like that I’m getting older, but the music never dies”, a profound point of faith from the ever expanding range of Stick Figure fans.  Cathy has been to six Stick Figure shows in the last year and she is fervently adding seven more shows to her calendar by July.

At one point, when Stick Figure played ‘Breathe’, it was an amazing literal expression of the song’s lyrics, being under the moon and stars and breathing in fresh ocean air.  The beach-front tropical environment is part of what made this first-time appearance at this venue for Stick Figure unforgettable.

The fan accolades went on and on with each conversation.  “They are so refreshing and awakening; they should be headlining every tour they’re on.” said Steve, a Contractor from Ft. Lauderdale. Matt from West Palm Beach said about bass guitarist Tommy Suliman, “He is one of the best bass players I’ve ever seen and heard.”  Saiyed, another super-fan from Orlando, but originally from Guyana in the South Caribbean, praised Stick Figure passionately, "for keeping it real and making beautiful music everyone can love. In my opinion, they are one of the best reggae bands since Bob Marley and the Wailers…they should be on tour in the Caribbean.”

Scott Woodruff with super fans Saiyed, Victoria, Ashley, & Crystal (from left to right).

Scott Woodruff with super fans Saiyed, Victoria, Ashley, & Crystal (from left to right).

The fever for Stick Figure was inescapable.  For the fans, it was more than the eyes could see, more than the ears could hear, it was the heart that could feel the abundance of love that thrives with Stick Figure’s music and performance.  We all look back in hindsight at artists we wish we could have seen at intimate venues in their early heyday; it will be no different for future generations who fall in love with the ineffable vibe of Stick Figure.

Author's note:  This was my sixth Stick Figure show and I am always impressed with their stellar performance, superb professionalism, and continued fan engagement.  They are earning every bit of love they deserve.  Travis.

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STICK FIGURE WEBSITE:                                      http://www.stickfiguremusic.com/

Check out Deuterman Productions here: http://www.deutermanproductions.com/

The Inlet Grill, Ft. Pierce, FL: https://www.facebook.com/InletBeachBarAndGrille

Read more about Cocoa the tour dog here:                http://www.thepier.org/cocoa-the-tour-dog/

The Ellameno Beat:                              https://www.facebook.com/TheEllamenoBeat

Kash'd Out:                                               https://www.facebook.com/kashdoutmusic?fref=ts

MOTHER OCEAN MAKING WAVES FOR THOSE WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS

Tropically Impaired

Pipeline to a Cure surf camp 2015. Stuart Public beach.  Photo Credit: Jack Bates

Pipeline to a Cure surf camp 2015. Stuart Public beach.  Photo Credit: Jack Bates

Author: Travis Suit

Big surf and strong winds didn't stop the fun in the sun for the Pipeline to a Cure Surf Camp hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Palm Beach.  It was bright sunshine and warm waters at Stuart public beach this past Sunday where families gathered to enjoy the health benefits of Mother Ocean during Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month of May.

The Pipeline Surf Camp is hosted in tandem with the Pipeline to a Cure Cocktail Party being held on May 16th at Out of the Blue in Jonathan's Landing, with proceeds supporting the critical research needed to keep the 'Pipeline' of development for CF drugs going strong.  The CF Foundation paved the way in the early 1990's for discovering the scientific correlation between saltwater activities like surfing, and the health benefits to those living with Cystic Fibrosis.  Salt or sodium chloride present in ocean water that becomes aspirated and breathed in while surfing breaks down the mucus in the lungs and allows children with CF to breathe more easily and have fun at the same time.

A CF family is stoked to receive a Firewire surfboard from Kelly at Share The Stoke Foundation. Photo Credit: Jack Bates

A CF family is stoked to receive a Firewire surfboard from Kelly at Share The Stoke Foundation. Photo Credit: Jack Bates

Thanks to the Share The Stoke Foundation, three children with Cystic Fibrosis were awarded brand new Firewire surf boards!!!  The Share The Stoke Foundation is committed to creating new possibilities for young people globally to support them in having their dreams of surfing come true.  The goal with the Pipeline to a Cure Surf Camp is to not only get kids interested in surfing, but to develop long-term mentorship so they can continue to receive the health benefits the ocean offers.

Join us at this years 3rd Annual Pipeline to a Cure Cocktail Party!  Enjoy live music by the Feeder Band, a reggae red carpet, delicious food and drinks by Out of the Blue, and dance the night away while watching the sunset over the marina! BUY YOUR TICKETS TO THE PIPELINE COCKTAIL PARTY HERE: http://www.cff.org/Chapters/palmbeach/index.cfm?id=28591&event=28591

THANK YOU to all of our amazing Pipeline Surf Camp sponsors and partners: SHARE THE STOKE FOUNDATION, OCEAN TEC, OHANA SURF SHOP, WHOLE FOODS, JACK BATES PHOTOGRAPHY, SURFTECH, BLUELINE SURF & PADDLE CO, CHIESI, CHASIN A DREAM PHOTOGRAPHY, THE JUPITER COURIER, & MCCRANELS ORTHODONTICS.

CHECK OUT THE SHARE THE STOKE FOUNDATION HERE: http://sharethestokefoundation.org/

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MUCH MORE THAN JUST A BOAT RIDE

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A joyous group aboard the Mariner III, thanks to the Freedom Waters Foundation.

A joyous group aboard the Mariner III, thanks to the Freedom Waters Foundation.

Author: Travis Suit

The sincere smile of a child can be one of the most heart-warming moments in life.  Especially when that child has endured incredible pain and suffering at such a young age and can still discover pure joy.  The Freedom Waters Foundation has a mission to ensure these marine-related therapeutic experiences on the waters of South Florida continue to exist.  We were fortunate enough to be invited by our dear friend Lori Griffith, from Chasin a Dream Photography, to share in this special experience.

Ashley is stoked about her new pink hat!

Ashley is stoked about her new pink hat!

At 11am we arrived at the docks to the elated greetings of a love filled crew of volunteers.  As we loaded the Mariner III, which is an impressive 122-foot classic motor yacht operated by Captain Sean Kennedy, it was hard not to be overwhelmed by the ships magnificence.  Built in 1926, it is a beautiful example of the style and sophistication of the American 1920's.  In its remarkable tenure, the vessel has been host to John F. Kennedy, Madonna, Brooke Shields, Peter Frampton and many other icons.

It wasn't long after we pushed off from the North Palm Marina that the fun began! The children waved excitedly as the Sunday Funday boat traffic in the intracoastal waterway zoomed past and returned friendly waves back. The highlight of the trip was the music and dancing that filled the top deck while we circled the gorgeous views of picture perfect blue-green ocean water, rushing in around Peanut Island at high tide.

The Freedom Waters Foundation was created by John Weller, a six-time brain cancer survivor.

The Freedom Waters Foundation was created by John Weller, a six-time brain cancer survivor.

In three short hours, a home-away-from-home was created through the bonds of strangers facing mutual struggles.  This was much more than a fun boat ride; it was a window that framed the beauty that this life has to offer, an opportunity to honor the human will to fight beside each other as brothers and sisters, and to help provide a challenged generation of kids the strength to meet each day with a renewed sense of hope and dignity.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Lori Griffith, the Freedom Waters Foundation, all the amazing volunteers, and the honorable Captain Sean Kennedy and Crew!

Our incredible host Lori Griffith with Janiyah.

Our incredible host Lori Griffith with Janiyah.

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To find out more about the Freedom Waters Foundation, please click here:  http://www.freedomwatersfoundation.org/

To book or contact Lori Griffith at Chasin a Dream Photography, please click here:  http://www.chasinadreamphotography.com/

For information on booking the Mariner III,  please click here:  http://mariner3.com/

SPRED THE DUB PUTS ON AN EPIC PERFORMANCE FOR THEIR 8TH ANNIVERSARY!!!

Tropically Impaired

Spred The Dub unleashes mayhem on E.R. Bradley's for the release of their second album 'Coming Home Drunk'.  Photo credit: Travis Suit.

Spred The Dub unleashes mayhem on E.R. Bradley's for the release of their second album 'Coming Home Drunk'.  Photo credit: Travis Suit.

Author: Travis Suit

My ears are still ringing from the ‘Coming Home Drunk’ album release and 8th Anniversary party for Spred the Dub!  It was a beautiful congruence of special occasions that provided the launchpad for a packed house and an epic night at E.R. Bradley’s.

It all started with the Boynton Beach boys from LFTD LVLS (Lifted Levels) providing the first dose of stoke and smoke on the unofficial national holiday of 4/20. Up next, The Helmsmen from Jupiter designed and delivered a seamless sequence of versatile rhythms such as the crowd favorite ‘Coconut Shuffle’, a beat dropping rendition of ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, and blended notes of James Taylor meets Jack Johnson with ‘Get Back to the Sea’. 

The scene was set and a quick rundown of savory moments paints a clear picture of the nights shenanigans.  First came Jack Daniels in the ice luge, then came Jack Daniels in the form of a bottle-shaped cake that was presented to Spred the Dub as they took the stage.  The show kicked off with an incredible drum line while beach balls and the green velvet smell of herbs filled the air.  Silly string was blasted across the audience and draped like wet noodles from the ceiling fans.  The vibe was high and love was abundant.

As the sound flooded and smoke floated like the rise of a super moon, one epic moment followed by another charged like a hurricane swell.  E.R. Bradley’s pulsed with ‘good time reggae’ off the new Spred the Dub album, ‘Coming Home Drunk’, a title based on a true story from a previous Bradley's encounter.  A flawless fire of fresh songs burned across the dance floor and had the entire place grooving.

Spred The Dub's new album 'Coming Home Drunk'.  Photo credit: Travis Suit.

Spred The Dub's new album 'Coming Home Drunk'.  Photo credit: Travis Suit.

Their new album was a solid year in development and proved itself a champion of the night. Spred the Dub definitely spread the love with the impressive cast of fellow artists they invited on stage to jam.  DJ Higrade helped crank it up on the mic through the final songs of the performance.  Spred the Dub lead singer Mick Swigert, who was fourteen shots deep of Jack when they took their final bow nearing 3am, orchestrated a legendary show!

And so it was…the Universe served up a shining example of the power of music, the power of community, and the power of love.  Memories of the epic night will plaster the walls of social media and be cherished in our souls forever.  If home is where the heart is, then music is the blood that flows, and 'Coming Home Drunk' captures it perfectly.  It was an honor to have been there to experience the show!

Congratulations to Spred the Dub from the entire Tropically Impaired family!

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