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Sunlight reflects off the piercing blue waters of the Pawcatuck River.  Prismatic droplets decorate the hull of the vessel as beads of sweat form against sun-dried skin. Waves crash against the sides of the boat, forming mounds of white foam. The fishing line tenses as the rod rattles. This could be the big one. Captain Dan O’Malley and crew prepare for the catch.Angler Dan’s Offshore Adventures offers an exciting fishing experience for those looking for some time on the sea. Captain Dan has over 30 years’ experience in deep sea fishing, while First Mate Joe Bouthot taps into his two decades of fishing to assist both captain and adventurers, alike. Together, they are committed to creating a safe, enjoyable charter fishing adventure for all guests. With three different charter packages to choose from, there’s something for everyone. The in-shore charter package takes fishermen up to twenty miles out from the shore for either four or eight hours, where the bluefish, summer flounder, striped bass, porgy, winter flounder, and blackfish are just some of the catches that await.  He’s been doing this for a long time, and Captain Dan knows just where the sweet spots are located. It wouldn’t be called Angler Dan’s Offshore Adventures if there wasn’t an offshore charter.  Over ten to twelve hours, adventurers can fish up to sixty-five miles out, where the catches are some of nature’s oldest predators. From a variety of tuna to mahi mahi, the fish are big and the fight is strong. An adventure of this nature is a true test of an angler’s skills and determination, but with Angler Dan at the helm, the experience is unforgettable. Makos, smooth hammerheads, threshers, and blue sharks are just a few of the sharks found about sixty-five miles offshore. Angler Dan participates in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Cooperative Shark Tagging Program, which is important to study the life of Atlantic sharks. Adventurous anglers can opt for a ten- to twelve-hour excursion to assist with implanting a dart tag near the shark’s first dorsal fin. One doesn’t spend as much time in the water as Angler Dan has without having a respect for the marine life. It’s through tagging programs such as the one Angler Dan’s Offshore Adventures provides that vital information such as stock identity, movement and migration, age and growth, mortality, and behavior of different species of sharks can be obtained. Angler Dan also offers a young anglers summer program, which helps cultivate an early interest in charter fishing. Children ages ten and up learn not only different fishing techniques, but also important skills such as boating safety, sea life identification, and boat management. Captain Dan’s passion for fishing is ever apparent during his sessions with future fishing experts. From how to catch live bait to when to use which type of bait, Captain Dan’s got a lesson prepared. At the end of the day, it’s about the adventure. Angler Dan and crew ensure every guest has a satisfactory experience from start to finish, whether it’s a four-hour trip or a twelve-hour tour. Fully licensed and insured, Angler Dan’s Offshore Adventures maintains the highest level of safety. Ready? The sea is calling.
Over the last few years, the Florida Keys has become increasingly corporate. Pristine chain hotels seem to pop up every other month alongside Mattress Firms and McDonald’s. However, there’s a certain type of comfort one finds in the old vibe: the mom & pops, the low-key, the smooth sailing, wind-blown, "dive-bar-y", aesthetic of the old Florida Keys. There’s a comfort to be taken in these places, something akin to that feeling of “home.” South Dade Marina & Eco Adventures Tours, just at the mouth of the Keys, is one of these venues. Stemming from its attainment by long-standing owner of the Key Lime Sailing Club and Cottages (Ph. 305-451-3438), South Dade Marina is in the process of being transformed into an eco-friendly, sustainable operation set on educating the public through adventure and exploration of the backwoods everglades ecosystem. The marina is a sail boat only docking space located deep in everglade mangrove forests. It is in a no-wake zone to protect and preserve the delicate wildlife that surrounds the marina. More than just a marina, South Dade Marina and the surrounding area is a nursery for ocean life. “The other day I was paddle boarding through the dense mangroves of the marina, when I spotted three baby black-tipped sharks,” Captain Serene Sullivan, VIce President and yoga paddle board instructor of South Dade Marina said. “The area is just teeming with life.” In an effort to share this amazing space with the wider public, not just sailboat owners, the marina has recently opened up their doors to those wishing to kayak in see-through kayaks and paddle board through the large expanse of everglade nursery. “It’s a beautiful and important space we have here at South Dade Marina. There’s nothing like the Everglades in the entire world, and we need to protect it. Part of this process is getting people to appreciate what we have here,” Paul Keever, owner operator of South Dade Marina said. “I hope by opening the marina to the public and showing them the importance of these types of habitats, they will take the plight of climate change more seriously.” Wet storage and dry storage are available for sailboats at SDM. Manatee Bay and Barnes Sound are both ideal for day sailing. For inland cruising the intercoastal water way is nearby and the ocean can be reached through Angelfish creek. Kayaks and paddle boards can be rented from South Dade Marina or one can bring their own. Kayaking and paddle board tours through the everglade canals can be scheduled by calling the number on their website. Paddle board yoga as well as on land yoga is also available.     Even the most plugged-in of our times can admit, sometimes it’s nice to get away, to dive into nature and experience what the world has to offer.
If you are into fun, have a great sense of humor and bit of a penchant for adventure to match, you will want to take a trip to Denton, Texas.  There, you will find Jim Patrick and his wife, Rita, the self titled “masochists crazy enough” to get into the business of running the Old Irish Inn Bed and Breakfast.  A unique lodging, located on a 5.5 acre alpaca ranch, adult guests will find a wonderful place for fun, relaxation and romance.  Though there are the standard amenities, Old Irish Inn ­is not your typical bed and breakfast.  Just scroll down below the slider photos on the home page of their website and you will immediately know that the Patricks’ goal is for this place to be anything but your average bed and breakfast.  Note that the tagline under the logo reads “The Happiest and ‘Funnest’ Bed & Breakfast in the World.” The secret success formula, according to owner Jim Patrick, with an extensive background in travel and hospitality as well as entertainment (speaking, radio, literature, etc.) – is FUN.  As the homepage intro states, a stay there is “more like being in an Irish Pub on St. Paddy’s day with a group of fun people.”  Military and medical professionals – who make up over 50% of the guest population, will find that the Patricks are hands-on B&B owners. Interacting regularly with guests, Jim, the self-titled “chief leprechaun,” generously shares his quirky sense of humor and dry wit, adding to a lively and festive atmosphere –often at the “Irish pub” on the premises.  “We have fun with our guests.  We entertain them and laugh with them.” By the same token though, they do understand that guests often come for a getaway and to that end, they hold privacy in the highest regard. Diversity is cited as the main factor in achieving over 500 5-star reviews.  Seriously, a bed and breakfast located on an active alpaca and llama farm is at the very least, unique!  Guests can enjoy the Alpaca Experience, where they will “learn more than you ever wanted to know about these fun guys.” Nature lovers will…er…love…the treed and canopied property – a rare find in Texas.  Listen to the music of some 40 species of birds while staying here.  You will also find domestic fowl on the property, providing organic eggs for breakfast.  Want to go fishing?  There are three ponds to choose from, with a variety of fish.   Jim and Rita proudly boast a silver level eco-friendly rating on TripAdvisor™. In addition to the cottages, each with its own porch (and two with their own private hot tubs), guests can now enjoy RV and tent camping at Irish Acres, also located on the property.  Extended stays are an additional option at Old Irish Inn.  Attention seniors: explore Shamrock Shores when considering retirement living – a small gated community – now offering tiny homes!  Continuing with the fun and celebratory atmosphere, weddings and meetings are a significant part of the offerings at Old Irish Inn.  From proposals, to weddings to multiple year anniversaries, Jim and Rita have seen it all, and they aim to provide the “funnest” atmosphere for your celebration. There’s something for everyone at Old Irish Inn…most of all, fun!