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About Terry Conway

 For the past fifteen years I’ve been a contributing writer to a variety of national & regional magazines, daily newspapers and websites. I have written about an array of topics such as arts & culture, chefs, food & drink, business entrepreneurs, travel, history, thoroughbred racing, and the animal and natural world.

I'm currently a regular arts & culture contributor to WFIT's website (the NPR radio station in Melbourne.), Vero Beach Magazine and Florida Today and 32951 - Melbourne Beach newspapers on a number of topics . Over recent years my work has been published regularly in Blood-Horse, Long Island Boating World and The Hunt and PA Equestrian magazines. I've also contributed articles to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, the Delaware County Times, and the Montgomery County Newspapers. I have been an Arts & Culture correspondent for Newsworks, the website for WHYY-TV (PBS in Philadelphia).

I have been a correspondent to ESPN.com, America's Best Racing, the Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Racing Commentary. I am a regular contributor to the following top-flight travel websites: JustLuxe, JustSayGo, Gallaghers Travels and SeeTheSouth, as well as the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association website.

After spending the past two decades in Wilmington, Delaware, my wife Jane, our Toller retriever Smarty and I have moved to Melbourne Beach, Fla. Located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, Melbourne Beach sits on the southern end of Florida's "Space Coast." The famed coastal highway A1A runs directly along the Atlantic. Melbourne Beach (pop. 3,500) offers unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and thousands of beautiful seabirds and long-legged shorebirds.MB 04

Head north 25 miles on A1A and you arrive at Cape Canaveral, for decades our nation's gateway to exploring and understanding our universe. Today, Cape Canaveral is a hub for many of the most exciting new private space projects such as SpaceX, the rocket and spacecraft company founded by Elon Musk (manufacturer of Tesla vehicles). Upwards of 30 launches are planned in 2016.

Back down to earth traveling on two-lane A1A south from Melbourne Beach's compact business area brings you to a series of secluded and undeveloped natural beaches. Bonsteel Park's two-acre beach provides an excellent vantage point to catch glimpses of passing dolphins, while the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is recognized as the most important nesting area for loggerhead turtles in the western hemisphere. It's also home to the gigantic leatherback turtles.

MB 02Nearby is Sebastian Inlet State Park which connects the Indian River Lagoon with the Atlantic Ocean. Its jetty break is recognized as one of the surf world's high-performance hot spots. Three generations of world-class surfers have surfed here, including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater. The 600-acre park is also celebrated for world-class fishing, and plenty of seabirds and wildlife.

Through my writing over the past decade I have traveled to spectacular destinations such as Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev. and Sun Valley, Idaho; Cody, Wyoming/Yellowstone Park; Saratoga Springs, the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs and Rhinebeck, New York; Port Clyde and Monheghan Island, Maine; Avalon and Stone Harbor, New Jersey; Middleburg, Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia.

Other travel adventures have included Tampa and St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, Florida; and St. Simons and Jekyll Island, Georgia. My travel articles thoughtfully explore the history of the region along with museums, music and the arts, chefs and restaurateurs, wineries and craft breweries, outdoor and sporting adventures as well as profiling intriguing personalities of those regions.

In addition to my writing career I owned a marketing company where I represented a diversified list of clients in the areas of publicity, marketing and business development-- such as the famed Baldwin's Book Barn, Thoroughbred Charities of America and the Kahunaville restaurant chain. In another life I was the founder, publisher and editor of Life Sports Magazine.

Along with Jane and Smarty I look forward to writing about new adventures in Melbourne Beach, the "Space Coast" and other Florida destinations. That's Smarty below with his pals Willie and Nelson.

Smarty XmasCard

Shooting for the Moon, $20 Million Prize Print E-mail

by Terry Conway 

Melbourne Beachsider

February 16, 2017

Call it the "Great Moon Rush." The race is on to launch the first privately funded lander to the moon by the end of the year. That's the deadline for an international contest where the winner takes home the Google Lunar XPRIZE's $20 million grand prize.Moon 1

The competition requires the winning team's spacecraft to land on the moon and maneuver (hop) at least 500 meters to another landing site, and beam high-definition video, photos and data back to Earth. It marks a return to the moon for the first time in 40 years.

For the space startup Moon Express, based in Cape Canaveral, it's full speed ahead. Their lunar lander is the MX-1E. The size of the fictional robot character R2-D2, the spacecraft is designed to ride to a high Earth orbit on the top of a commercial rocket where it'll fire its engines and head to the moon.

However, Moon Express will not utilize the Cape Canaveral complex as a launch site. They've found a better deal. It plans to launch the MX-1E on an Electron rocket from U.S.-New Zealand company Rocket Labs. The vehicle is scheduled to make the first of three test launches from a pad in Auckland, New Zealand in March. Four other space teams have their launch contracts in place to compete for the Google Lunar XPRIZE as well.

In an historic ruling Moon Express became the first private company to win U.S. government approval to fly a commercial deep space mission. Moon Express submitted an application to launch missions beyond the Earth orbit to the U. S. Federal Aviation Administration that took months to work its way through a number of other government organizations.

 
Restoration Work Aids Endangered Coral Reefs Print E-mail

Melbourne Beach 32951

February 9, 2017

On an early morning in September, Florida Tech marine biologist Robert van Woesik and fellow researchers from the Coral Restoration Foundation, Kayla Ripple and Steven Miller, are aboard a 25-foot Dusky, headed for Pickles Reef off Key Largo. They are going out to dive the reef to examine the fate of the staghorn corals planted two years ago from a local coral nursery.Coral 3

Wrapped tightly in wet suits, the trio of divers pops regulators into their mouths and slip overboard into the warm blue seas. Slowly they descend to 15 feet to an underwater research site. On Pickles Reef the fish life is plentiful, snapper, parrotfish and the beautifully colored wrasse flash by. The scientists are interested to find whether the corals survived, if the colonies are bleached or have disease, and also what sea life is found next to the nursery reared corals.

The abundance of other corals, algae, and sponges may provide some clues as to their fate. The scientists lay down fiberglass tapes along the reef, careful not to damage anything, and systematically quantify the plants and animals. They record data on waterproof paper with pencils. The divers spend over 90 minutes at each research site, but as their air supply gets low they ascend. They surface for a drink of water and a snack, before descending again. On this day, there will be four dives.

Coral reefs are among the greatest natural wonders of the world. Their beauty is a powerful attraction for local residents and the masses of vacationers who visit Florida in order to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling, marveling at the coral's bright colors, sculptural shapes, and stunning diversity.

 
"Private Lives," It's Complicated Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)

February 3, 2017

He was Brit's first pop star. An English actor, director, painter and raconteur, Noel Coward was known as ‘The Master’ among his friends and colleagues for his artfulness in writing plays and composing songs. His breakthrough moment in playwriting occurred with the controversial Vortex (1924) which featured the themes of drugs and adultery.Private Lives_1

Coward's runaway celebrity reached a peak in 1930 with Private Lives. Considered his greatest success, the play took him just three days to write. It earned an astonishing £3,200 for him every week on stage, making him the highest-paid writer in the western world.

Nearly ninety years ago, Coward cleverly spotlighted human shortcomings, delivering barbs at the mores and marriages of his time. It still works today in this crisp James Brennan production with an excellent cast. Amanda and Elyot are quintessential creations of Coward in Private Lives at Vero's Riverside Theatre.

Private Lives is what every romantic-comedy strives to be: laugh-out-loud funny, sexy, rambunctious with bucket loads of bad behavior. Recognized as one of the most sophisticated, witty, and entertaining plays ever written, Brennan brings the high octane story to life with the adventures and misadventures of two couples honeymooning in a swanky Deauville, France seaside resort.

 
Spotting the Rarest Whale on Earth Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World

February 2017

Thar she blows!6 RightWhale_FFWCC

Each year from December through March a remarkable event takes place. North Atlantic right whales migrate to the warm, calm coastal waters of the southeast Atlantic coast to give birth and nurse their calves. Then in the spring they head back north to feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy between Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Some come within a couple hundred yards of the beach. Mothers can be seen schooling newborn calves, while juvenile whales frolic nearby. One of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, North Atlantic right whales reach lengths of up to 55 feet and can weigh from 40 to 70 tons. Mostly black with whitish patches on the head and belly, they have a graceful and deeply notched "fluke," or tail. Two blowholes on the top of its head give a distinctive V-shape to a right whale's spout.

In the early 1900s whalers, ironically, tagged them the "right whale" to kill. Residing in shallow coastal waters the whales stayed close to land and swam slowly. Easy to harpoon, they tended conveniently to float after they died, thanks high levels of blubber, which whalers turned into valuable oil. Even more valuable was the baleen from its upper jaw. A tough yet flexible material in long strips that was finely fringed, it was coveted for everything from buggy whips ( "I'm going to whale on you") to corset stays and umbrella ribs.

 
Bird Land: Parrot Rescue and Adoption Print E-mail

Melbourne Beach 32951

January 20, 2017

Say hello to Kiefer. He's a talker, or should I say squawker. The handsome white cockatoo accentuates his conversations with frenetic head bobs while madly flapping his wings in upward scoops. Kiefer tends to get his point across. Native to Maluku Islands in Indonesia, this 18-inch high bird has resided at LuAnn Apple's non-profit parrot rescue and rehab facility in Melbourne Beach for the past 16 years.Parrot 1

Known for their bright plumage and intelligence, parrots are the third most popular pet in the U. S. Cockatoos, in particular, have strong personalities that can get them into trouble.

"These birds are so misunderstood," Apple laments. "They are friendly and loving birds, but people give them up because they scream or screech too much. They are sociable and curious, can learn tricks and be trained. An isolated cockatoo will instinctively call out. But if you keep a cockatoo in an environment with other people or pets, he relaxes, making him a well-behaved avian companion."

Apple has been working with cockatoos and other members of the parrot family for the past 35 years. She grew up in Valley Forge, Pa., and knew little about parrots when she moved to Ft. Lauderdale in the late 1970s. There she met a cockatoo that pulled at her heartstrings and soon Apple developed an affinity for exotic parrots.

 
Easy-Going Anna Maria Island Print E-mail

Florida Today

January 15, 2017

Longboat Key, the glitzy island just south, grabs all the buzz. That sits fine with Anna Maria Island residents who are more than content to hang out on the seven mile stretch of powdery white sand or kayak alongside a pod of bottle nosed dolphins in the Gulf's teal-colored waters.Anna 1

Tucked on a slim barrier island 40 miles from Tampa, Anna Maria Island is dominated by palm trees and low slung Crayola-colored beach cottages. The ladle shaped island is actually three small communities-- Anna Maria to the north, Holmes Beach in the middle and Bradenton Beach to the south. It feels like the type of beach town that you visited when you were a kid. No fast food joints or buildings higher than three stories. There are scores of renovated old-timey motels, one grocery store, and no cinema. So go catch a gorgeous sunset.

Legend has it that a Spanish explorer discovered and named the place Ana Maria Cay in honor of the Virgin Mary and her mother Anne. The island’s first homesteader, George Emerson Bean, purchased a tract of land on the north end of the island in 1893. Two decades later Charles Roser-- the man who invented the legendary Fig Newton-- sank his million-dollar windfall into developing the town. Home sites were hacked out of a jungle. Built in 1912, Roser's original clapboard home still stands next to the Siam Garden Resort.

 
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