We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
First thing, we can recommend them for all levels of seamanship education, from beginner to commercial Captain. Half of our classes were military guys and gals, and were from all over the US and Europe too.
The best thing about their classes is that half the time is spent in classroom, half on the water practicing with whatever size and type boat you want to master. They have the dormitory right at their own marina on Manatee Pocket, which was perfect. Classes are from 8 am to about 4 pm. You need to study for an hour or two after you go out somewhere fun for a seafood dinner.
Wish I had a pic of that lovely narrow lagoon, but I was usually too busy with boat handling to take a pic.
Yes, there are tricky paper exams but the practical water components are useful. Lots of boat traffic to deal with down on the intracoastal waterway in Florida.
A few observations about food, masks, etc below the fold, with a couple of pics.
- Florida seafood. Just great. Grouper is my thing in the south. The shrimp bores me. except for shrimp and grits. Yummy. Tons of seafood places of all sorts, but the marina restaurants are the most lively.
- Charts and navigation are an endlessly cool topic of study
- Handling power vessels in wind, currents, and manatees is a true challenge. Good life skill.
- Our long-time pals in Miami drove up for supper. They were amazed that our waiters spoke English. Stuart is not Miami.
- In Florida, there are churches every mile of the road. No, every half-mile.
- Masks? Nope. They would look at you as if you were mentally-ill. Bars and restuarants packed. Happy people for sure.
- I was never a Florida fan, but it has its virtues. Winn Dixie and CVS sell beer and wine. We did breakfast and lunch - if lunch - via Winn Dixie but always out for seafood at night.
- The freight trains from Jacksonville to Miami ran past our dorm. Train whistles all night - wonderful. 50% of Miami stuff arrives by train, I am told.
- Southern oysters? Terrible things. We did some from Virginia though. Not half bad, but not Wellfleets.
- As I said, certification exams required nightime study. I hate exams, but Mrs. BD and I are good with exams. We study together. It works. However, paper exams are not the same thing as real life. I am best with paper exams of all sorts.
- Mrs. BD knows Palm Beach, but not me. We have pals there. I don't think it is my kind of place.
- When you turn a powerboat hard to port, your stern swings out to starboard. Unlike a car. Woops. Yes, I knew that but not as much as I do now.
- Two engines are good, one engine is bad. Esp. for tight maneuvering.
- Do not hit a f-ing manatee with a prop.
Oh - here's a pic from our lagoon. Forgot I took that snap.
Ain’t nothing like Louisiana oysters, full of fat, I think it’s the oil leaking from the wells on to the reef.
True story,, at a major casino in the central us. Several dozen Main oysters on the half shell ,, not bad at all. Two days later same crew ,on a Louisiana bayou, several dozen big fat oysters on a plate with salt , and Tabasco.
No comparison , make you slap your momma. Ymmv.