Wavehunter Print E-mail

Florida Today

July 2, 2017

Wheels up! In mid-May Duane De Freese and long-ago college pal Mike Ryan flew across the Pacific headed for Kandui Resort, a surfing mecca in the Mentawai Islands chain in Indonesia.DF Fla01

Lying roughly 75 miles off the west coast of Sumatra, Kandui is located right in the middle of one of the world’s most prolific wave regions— commonly known as “Playgrounds” in the Indian Ocean. It is hidden among the palms on this remote island of stunning beaches, lush vegetation and turquoise lagoons. There are 21 ocean breaks within a 30-minute long dugout canoe ride from the small Karamajet Island, home of Kandui Resort. Epic surf can soar through the spring and summer months.

Welcome to the sixth go-round of the Senior Citizen's Surf Tour.

If the name Duane De Freese sounds familiar, it should. For more than three decades he has been one of the key Florida voices championing the economic and environmental values associated with common-sense ocean and coastal conservation. Currently the executive director of the Indian River Lagoon Council, De Freese regularly faces a multitude of challenges in the monumental clean-up effort of the lagoon.

 
Peak Performance Print E-mail

 Florida Today

May 25, 2017

For 35 years it was our perfect wave.FirstPeak 1

An incredible surfing performance enhancer, Sebastian Inlet's First Peak was recognized as one of the best launch ramps around the globe. World champions C. J. Hobgood, Lisa Anderson, and Kelly Slater-- the greatest competitive surfer in the world-- all cut their teeth here.

The original Sebastian Inlet jetty had a concrete wall where swells rolled in and bounced off the structure to create a hollow emerald wedge that could double the wave's height at its peak. It translated into a stunning run of speed. Florida's greatest wave nurtured eight World Tour competitors and dozens of Hall of Fame members. They were able to hone skills that would be needed to excel at the top surfing spots around the world.

Then poof, it was gone. In the early 2000s repairs and rehabilitation to the jetty were made in an attempt to curb beach erosion and keep the busy boat channel from filling in with sand. The new pilings placed up in front of the concrete wall defused the waves' energy. The upshot is that over the last dozen or so years, First Peak hasn't produced a single World Tour surfer, let alone champion. The wave was assumed to be lost forever.

 
SpaceX Makes History: Launches and Lands Reuseable Rocket Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World

May 2017

Elon Musk brings new meaning to the word irrepressible.SpaceX LIBW1

In early March the SpaceX founder and CEO stunned the spaceflight community by announcing the first joy ride into space. In 2018 he plans to launch one of his rockets to transport not astronauts, but two wealthy private citizens around the moon. The pair have already put down a “significant deposit” for the 300,000 mile trip that will take a week. This will be the first private company to take civilians beyond lower Earth orbit.

When Musk dreamed up the idea for his commercial space exploration company 15 years ago his core principle was to recycle flight-proven rockets, a strategy that would dramatically reduce the cost of space travel and make it more available for commercial audiences.

When a two-stage, 23-story tall Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 6:27 p.m. on March 30 from Complex 39a at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Musk's dream turned into reality. Originally flown in April 2015, the booster rocket returned nine minutes later settling softly on the bulls-eye of the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic 200 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral.

Touchdown. In both senses of the word.

 
Derby Shaping Up as Four Horse Race Print E-mail

 Florida Today

May 4, 2017

Truth be told, the run up to this year's Run for the Roses has been a muddled mess.FLT KY2

Inconsistent performances have been an epidemic. Win a nice prep race, run a dreadful one in the next. One highly touted colt refused to train, twice! And then there are injuries that knocked out Not This Time, One Liner, and Mastery. The top rated 3-year old, Mastery uncorked a scintillating prep race in the San Felipe Stakes in March only to be pulled up moments later with a condylar fracture of his left front leg.

In recent years, the Kentucky Derby has been a race largely dominated by horses favored to win, or in racetrack vernacular, “chalk.” The last four years we've seen Orb, California Chrome, American Pharoah and Nyquist all shine on the first Saturday in May-- each a race day heavy favorite. Many pundits think it's a wide open contest. I'm not one of them. I think Derby 143 comes down to four classy, fast colts who have the ability to open up daylight off the far turn in the biggest race of their young careers on May 6.

With a dazzling stakes debut in the Florida Derby in late March, trainer Todd Pletcher's Always Dreaming is getting a lot of attention. The bay colt's winning time of 1:47.47 was the fastest Florida Derby since Alydar’s 1:47 flat in 1978. Though he won the Florida Derby by a decisive five lengths, he did not notch a triple-digit Beyer Figure, earning a 97. Over the past 25 years, no prep race has produced more Kentucky Derby winners than the Florida Derby, including Nyquist in 2016.

 
Fresh and fabulous, Sebastian's seafood market Print E-mail

April 13, 2017

Sebastian's waterfront has a long and rich history of local fishermen. Bill Tiedge is doing his best to move it forward.Crab 4

Tiedge launched Crab E Bills Seafood Market in 2011 with a mission of consistently offering superior, sustainable seafood caught by local fishermen and divers. Tucked in the heart of the Sebastian waterfront, fishing boats bob at the docks, while sunlight shimmers off the Indian River. Soon after docking, a bounty of day-boat fish and seafood is delivered to the market's back door.

Housed in a building that has been a waterfront fixture for 90 years, Crab E Bills boasts a wooden beam ceiling, hardwood floors and quirky nautical displays. The gleaming front counter cases shows off a dazzling array of fresh-caught fish lying on pristine beds of ice. Plucked from the sea, the local catch is brought to the market usually within the span of a day or less.

The market prides itself in a wide selection such as snapper, hogfish, grouper, mahi, pompano, kingfish, and amberjack and yellow fin tuna that are teamed with fresh northern fish such as cod, haddock, halibut, and Scottish salmon. There are also succulent sea and bay scallops, oysters, petite spiny Florida lobsters and shrimp such as luscious Royal Reds and Key West Pinks.

 
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