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We've already told you about kayaking in the Hudson, but what about those of us who'd like to explore Manhattan's waters at a faster pace? Add yachting to the list of unexpected activities you can try without leaving New York.
Manhattan Sailing School operates a fleet of boats based out of North Cove, a mini-marina set in Battery Park behind the World Financial Center. Basic sailing classes start at $590, or if you're already a serious skipper, you can become a member of the affiliated Manhattan Sailing Club and sail out on one of their 30 boats whenever you're in the mood. While it's a bargain compared to owning your own boat in NYC, membership will set you back a pretty penny at $1,190 a year.
If you're looking for a less strenuous way to hit the water, the club also has the Hudson's best kept secret: the harbor clubhouse, a floating barge docked just off Ellis Island. Think summertime drinks outdoors with stunning downtown views--and not a tourist in sight. The clubhouse is open Tuesday through Saturday evenings, and access is via a motor boat from North Cove; round-trip tickets are $10.
· Manhattan Sailing School [Official Site]
· New York City Kayaking: Completely Free, Not as Slimy as You'd Think and Fun as Hell [Jaunted]
Boats / Sailing / Italy Travel / → All Tags
There is no better way to visit Capri than by boat. So when Jaunted was handed a boat rental brochure that read, "Capri Boat: You Drive It. Lowest Prices and No Stress," we thought it was too good to be true.
Paris commuters now have a new maritime option for traveling to work--and Euro-strapped tourists are in luck with a cheaper alternative to pricey Seine tour boats.
Voguéo, a new fleet of public transportation boats, set sail on Sunday. The boats run from Gare d'Austerlitz train station on the Left Bank and make several stops throughout the city, as far as Maisons-Alfort in the Southeast suburbs.
While the 3 ($4.66) price tag is double what you'd pay on the Metro, it's a bargain for those looking to view the city from the Seine while avoiding tourist trap cruises.
The initiative is part of Mayor Bertrand Delanoë's plan to reduce car traffic by 40 percent by 2020, and the city hopes to extend the program all along the Seine in the coming years. The covered, heated catamarans run from 7 am to 8:30 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 8 pm on weekends.
By now you've covered Sanibel and Captiva like a pro: Your pockets are bursting with shells, you've seen dozens of birds, you've endured sensory overload while dining, and conquered the great outdoors on bike, boat and kayak. You deserve a civilized sunset sail and a few cocktails to boot.
Head directly to Captiva Beach--your perfect evening begins and ends at the 'Tween Waters Inn.
So your first few days on St. Croix were spent lying on the beach, preferably at Sandy Point. Now what's a sun worshipper to do? Consider a day trip to Buck Island Reef National Monument, a 176-acre island that's surrounded by nearly 20,000 acres of protected coral reef.
Located nearly two miles off St. Croix's northern coast, Buck Island was declared a part of the national park system by John F. Kennedy in 1961. Since then, its barrier reef--which encircles two-thirds of the island--has thrived with coral and marine life, making it one of the premier spots in all of the US Virgin Islands to go snorkeling. But first you have to get there.
So you were smart enough not to spend all your money on jewelry this Valentine's Day. And after all that romance, you've got an itch to angle in some of South America's most secluded spots on the ultimate mancation? Andrés Ergas is your man.
The Chilean millionaire's company, Nomads of the Seas, will helicopter you to prime fly-fishing spots throughout Patagonia, treat you to gourmet picnics and keep your glass full as you unwind on a 150-foot boat.
Ergas' ship is the Atmosphere, which in addition to holding a crew of 32 that caters to just 28 passengers, also accommodates a Bell 407 helicopter and several custom Zodiac jet boats. To the dedicated angler the real hook is the chance to cast a line in virtually untouched spots--Nomads doesn't even issue maps to its guests and supposedly keeps the locations of fishing excursions tightly under wraps.
If fishing isn't your thing, wildlife packages are also available. You can try your hand at nature photography or scout out rare and endemic birds. Whichever options you choose, be prepared to pay pretty-penny for your week-long journey: packages start at about $12,000. Good thing you didn't get her those diamonds!
At first you might've thought it a really good idea, sailing Australia's beautiful Whitsunday Islands on a schooner named "Romance" during Valentine's. But that feeling probably changed when the Romance ran aground on rocks earlier this week.
The yacht had 37 people on board, most of them backpackers enjoying a sail combined with some snorkeling and diving around the Great Barrier Reef. But stormy weather made the trip turn quite unromantic and everybody had to be winched off the boat.
The nice thing is that although the backpackers ended up at Airlie Beach, many of them without money or passports, the local Queenslanders rallied round and provided them with accommodation and meals. And to make sure they go home with good memories of cruising the Whitsundays, local operators have offered them all another cruise, for free. Presumably, after the storms have passed.
Islands / Kids / Blogs / Marquesas / Sailing / South Pacific / → All Tags
Man, Molly and Jessie Rard have the coolest parents ever. Their parents let them skip school for two years and live on the family sailboat! No detentions, no gym class, no tyrannical English teacher who leaves the class window open in January... Well, they still have homework: to help their parents, Washington state boat dealers, update a blog about their family adventures.
Yep, Jim and Jeanna Rard are the coolest parents ever. Who else would say, "Hey kids, we're taking off on a 49' yacht to sail the world for two years"? Kind of makes you want to sail out and join them holding octopi, making dreadlocks and writing nautical poetry.
[Photo: Jessie Rard]
Museums / Boats / Sailing / → All Tags
Knowing that most Aussies live near the water, it should come as no surprise that a museum related to watery things is a big attraction there. And that's why a visit to the Maritime Museum in Western Australia should place near the top of your sightseeing list in Perth.
As well as exhibits on naval defense, fishing and cargo carrying to Australia, the museum is very proud to have created a building especially to house the Australia II yacht, an important boat for Aussies since they won the 1983 America's Cup with it, taking the trophy out of the US for the first time in history. Just outside you can take a tour of a decommissioned submarine and try to imagine just how anyone can motor around inside a submerged tin can for any length of time without going batty. Fortunately, that tour only lasts about an hour.
· Australian for Museum [Jaunted]
Sure, we've all done one kind of New York City booze cruise (cough Staten Island Ferry and a fifth of Jack Daniel's cough) or another. But what if you want a more authentic experience, one where you'll throw up because of the ocean, not because of the liquor--or at least because of a combination of the two?
Then you'll want to check out the Shearwater--no relation to the Clearwater, the hippie educational boat further up the Hudson. Docked in the North Cove in front of the World Financial Center downtown, the Shearwater is a gin-u-wine eighty-two foot double-masted schooner from 1929.
If the wind is up, and it usually is, they'll hoist the sails and take you up and down the Hudson while you are plied with liquors and by the sight of men hoisting things, if that's of interest to you. It's available for charter sails, like birthdays and weddings, as well as for Happy Hour cruises on Fridays with an $45 open bar. Just hold on tight during the turns.