Moana: Disney Joins the Outrigger Revival

December 18, 2014

The latest entity riding the outrigger revival, and probably the most well known, is none other than Disney. Word broke on the upcoming computer animated feature, Moana, a new musical film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, with concept art of the project complete with the heroine sailing an outrigger.

  • MOANA-First-Look-Concept-Art-Disney
    Concept art from Moana, Disney’s 56th animated film. Credit: Disney
Due in theaters in November 2016, Moana is set to be the 56th film to join the Disney animated canon, and has been described by Disney as a “mythic adventure set around 2000 years ago and across a series of islands in the South Pacific.” Title character, Moana Waialiki, a Polynesian princess and born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island to complete her “ancestor’s quest.” Along the way, she teams up with demi-god Maui (rumored to be voiced by The Rock) to help her traverse the seas where they encounter monstrous sea creatures, and explore the underworlds and ancient folklore of Oceania and the South Pacific.
  • Moana---Concept-Art-from-Disney---Detail-of-Outrigger
    Detail of the outrigger in Moana. Credit: Disney
The concept art (detail pictured above) caught our eye, not just for the amazing visual, but that sea-going vessel. Representing a traditional outrigger setup, we couldn’t help but notice the similarities with the Pacific 16, a modern day revival of the ancient sailing vessel coming from the combined shops of Makai Projectand Offshore Catamarans. Though the Moana representation looks to be constructed of wood, probably koa, with traditional rigging of the times, the similarities with the Pacific 16 are quite striking. Which brings us to the larger outrigger revival.
  • MakaiBanner-Moana
    The Pacific 16 - Moana’s modern-day outrigger equivalent.
Over the past few decades, multihulls have gone from a relative oddity to a common sea-going performer, especially among ocean racing ( America’s Cup is strictly multi-hulls now—flying ones at that), cruisers and charter trips. Which is no surprise: when just looking at the evolution of sea exploration through history, the Polynesians, who covered unbelievably large swaths of ocean in the South Pacific millennia’s ago, were staunch multi-hullers, while the single hullers of the Mediterranean, Europe and Middle East took centuries to explore just their own backyard at roughly the same time. And now, it looks like there is a renewed interest in outrigger canoes. Kuddos. These small little sailing/paddling vessels are a blast to captain, catching the wind and letting things fly as the ama skips off the water when conditions are just right. Its about time for an Outrigger Revival!

The Retro Indie Market comes to Boynton

January 10, 2013

One of the coolest hodgepodge of crafters, designers, artisans and decorators will be congregating February 2 for the third annual Retro Indie Market at the historic Boynton Beach Women's Club. A flea market of all things vintage, retro and handmade, more than 70 local vendors will be on hand, each representing a different facet of handmade, artisan work. From all natural bath and beauty products, hand-stitched plush toys, vintage and refurbished clothing, and jewelry to home décor, kitchen ware, art and artisanal foods, the Retro Indie Market is part art show, part open market.

  • Retro-Indie-Market
More community than market, Retro Indie is a hive of artisans co-opting for an afternoon, showing their work, but more over, sharing ideas. Founded and promoted by longtime friends and artists Amanda Linton and Michelle Parparian, the Retro Indie Market is just one of the Sugar Circus portfolio of shows.

  • The Retro Indie Market will set up shop at the Boynton Beach Women's Club on Saturday, February 2 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • Admission is $5.

  • For more information, please visit

The Boynton Beach Woman’s Club

1010 S. Federal Hwy.

Boynton Beach Fl 33435

Art Rock, a “cash and carry” art show featuring local artists, jewelers, fashion designers and home décor crafters, was created to give locals a way to get their wares to the market. Hosted by the Armory Art Center in 2012, the 2013 show is scheduled for April 27.

  • For more information, please visit and stayed tuned for more details.

Sticth Rock, the market that started them all, is the largest annual indie craft fair in South Florida. With more than 80 vendors on display, ranging in mediums from fashion and home décor to street art, vintage re-fabricators and all-natural beauty and bath products, among much more, Stitch Rock has become a haven for indie creators and artisans. This year's installment is slated for October 5 at Delray Beach's Old School Square.

  • For more information, please visit and stayed tuned for more details.

Sugar Circus' Downtown Open Market is where flea market meets craft fair meets green market. Scheduled one Sunday a month from September through May, the Open Market sets up shop at Royal Palm Place, inviting an array of more than 40 vendors to share their wares, giving the community a chance to shop local on a regular basis.

  • The remaining Downtown Open Market schedule is as follows: January 20, February 17, March 24, April 21 and May 19.

  • Admission is free.

  • For more information, visit

Royal Palm Place Monument Piazza

308 S. Federal Hwy

Boca Raton, Florida 33432

Shakespeare by the Sea XXII

July 13, 2012

The seaside is getting cultured this July when the 22nd installment of Shakespeare by the Sea takes to Carlin Park's Seabreeze Amphitheater. This year, the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival [PBSF], and cultural partner the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, revives the Twelfth Night for the third time in the festival's history, but with a definitive twist.

Taking some liberties with the classic comedy, the PBSF is fast forwarding 400 years and moving the setting from the Mediterranean province of Illyria to a deserted island. What's more, the premise of the shipwreck, casting Viola onto the shores of Illyria, the entire cast is stranded on the island due to a mysterious plane crash and, for reasons known only to production (and the audience come Act 5), are acting out Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Though with the modern setting and the mysterious twist the play takes at the end, the PBSF's version of the Twelfth Night still holds true to the witty banter and dramatic plot twists Shakespeare made his mark with, and still hinges on one of the Bard of Avon's go-to comedic devices, a case of mistaken identity.

  • seabreeze_amphitheater
    Seabreeze Amphitheater at Jupiter’s Carlin park.
The play runs the normal five acts, with Viola playing double duty as both herself and gender-bends as Cesario. Though running afoul of the original plot line, which Viola washed ashore an established kingdom, the PBSF version keeps the character roles tight and alined. Cesario (Viola) takes on the role of adviser to Orsino (Duke of Illyria), who is hopelessly smitten with widowed Lady Olivia. Thinking Cesario a man, Olivia falls for him, while Viola falls for Orsino—classic Shakespeare love triangle. All the while, a cast of secondary characters add a heft of comedic malfeasance to the play, with the tragic clown Feste, middle-aged and quite cynical, heading a plot to ruin Malvolio, steward of Olivia. As a final plot twist, Sebastian, Viola's thought-to-be-dead twin brother returns to the scene and marries Olivia, her thinking he is Cesario. In the end, Viola reveals herself to Orsino, who takes her hand. Now this is all for naught with Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival version…or is it? You'll have to head to Jupiter's Carlin Park to see for yourself.

  • The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare by the Sea XXII with the re-imagined production of the Twelfth Night July 12-15 and 19-22 at Carlin Park's Seabreeze Amphitheater. Admission is free (though a $5 donation would be appreciated), gates open at 6:30 p.m. with pre-curtain court jester entertainment, curtain is at 8 p.m. with a run time of 2-hours. Vendors will be on hand, but Shakespeare by the Sea is a BYOB event, and guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets, lawn chairs and bug spray!

  • Next year, Shakespeare by the Sea XXIII is evolving to a repertory production of two plays and expanding to a three-week run. This will allow the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival to grow its audience base and make July an even more cultured month, alternating a comedy and tragedy nightly.

Seabreeze Amphitheater

Carlin Park

750 S. A1A
Jupiter, FL 33477

Loxahatchee River Center Shines a Light on Coral Reefs

May 31, 2012

The Loxahatchee River Center is dedicating itself to coral reefs this Friday, June 1, when Dr. Raymond Waldner of Palm Beach Atlantic University [PBAU] joins the Friends of the Loxahatchee River for the lecture “Natural History of Coral Reefs.” Somewhat of a crash course on coral, Waldner's lecture will explore the life cycle and evolution of one of Earth's most bio-diverse species on the planet, shining light on the symbiotic relationship they depend on as well as create by building habitat that provides shelter for more than 25-percent of the world's marine animals.

  • FK_schoolgrunt_D-13
    School of small mouth grunts swimming at a reef.

Starting at noon, the Loxahatchee River Center will take visitors below the surface and discover the amazing of some of the most prolific builders on the planet, while shining a little light on the plight this ancient species is up against due to human impact, including: ocean acidification, coral bleaching, degradation due to over fishing, invasive/introduced species and harvesting for jewelry and home decor. By talking about the natural history of coral, Waldner is helping ensure a future for this precarious species.

Join the Friends of the Loxahatchee River at the Loxahatchee River Center, Friday, June 1 at noon, and be apart of the solution of saving our reefs. To RSVP and details of the June 1st lecture, please call 561-743-7123, or email 805 N. U.S. Hwy. 1, Jupiter, 33477

  • FK_polypcloseup
    Closeup of coral polyps on boulder star coral.

Dr. Waldner's lecture, “Natural History of Coral” lecture is rather timely, with coral reefs recently making waves in the news when NOAA's Status Review Report went public in mid-April. The 581-page Status Review Study of 82 Caribbean and Indo-Pacific coral species conducted by NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service, found that 56 coral species are expected to be extinct by 2100, five of which live off the coast of Florida. This study has spurred NOAA and service to consider 82 species of coral for under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Though the findings from this Status Report are extremely alarming, stating specific impacts directly from man, it has largely been ignored outside the marine biologist community. This ignorance can have a devastating effect on our state in particular, however, with Florida's reefs receiving an estimated $6 billion annual impact on our economy through tourism. The effects are even more dire when considering the impact reefs have on our fisheries. Florida's coral reefs act as micro habitats for juvenile and reef fishes, many of which find their ways to plates in restaurants around the world. Lobster, stone crab and shrimp all call reefs home, while innumerable fish species rely on them for habitat, cleaning symbiosis (i.e. mutualism cleaning from species like wrasses, blennies, gobies and cleaner shrimp), and a drive-thru gourmet diner for the migratory species—not to mention acting as a natural breakwater for surging tropical storms and hurricanes. The importance of reefs here in Florida is simply priceless.

  • two-wrasses
    Two wrasses removing dead skin and ectoparasites.

The problem with marine ecosystems is once we realize there is a problem, the pendulum has already swung; we are simply reacting to the effect instead of getting in front of it. Now is the time to act, become a steward of our sea before it is too late. Below are a few ways you can help.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is currently inviting public comment concerning the species of coral considered for protection. Let your voice be heard on the Coral Status Review Report and Draft Management Report, and help protect 82 species of coral stave off extinction:

  • FK_shallowreef
    Shallow-water coral reef with sea fans, soft corals and boulder star coral.
Find a beach cleanup and pitch in! Trash is choking our oceans, collecting in the great gyres in each hemisphere, percolating plastics, dispersing it around the globe. This plastic is finding its way into smaller bait fish and moving on up the food chain, ultimately served on your plate. Do what you can and help, check these websites for upcoming beach cleanups: * Keep Palm Beach Beautiful * Loxahatchee River Center * John D. MacArthur Beach State Park * Loggerhead Marinelife Center * Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Contact your state and federal politician and tell them to act! They work for you people, so let your voice be heard. It is the ones who yell the loudest that are heard, so lets tell them loud: Save Our Seas!

U.S. Senate:

U.S Rep (PBC):

Florida State Senate (PBC):

Florida State Rep (PBC)

Easy Access Snorkeling: Cato's Bridge

April 29, 2012

One of the great things about South Florida is the direct access to the sea. The temperate weather makes enjoying the seas a year round affair with activities suited for each season and condition Poseidon can throw at us. And the close proximity to the Gulf Stream brings a wealth of sea life to our waterways, from the native critters to the visiting behemoths taking a breather on their marathon migrations.

Our waterways are stacked with sea life, so colorful and multifarious that even the most extensive aquariums come up left wanting. And unlike so many places around the country, and even the state, SoFlo offers an abundance of snorkel spots that are not only varied, from artificial to natural coral reefs, to man made structure and shoreline marine parks, they are also easily accessible without a boat.

In this series, we look at the local snorkel spots that visitors can make a day out of without the need of an anchor.

Cato's Bridge, Jupiter

Jupiter is a lucky place. At times one of the closest points the Gulf Stream comes to the state, cruising just a few hundred yards off the shore at times, Jupiter is flush with sea life and pristine ocean water. The Jupiter inlet, one of the county's only natural inlets, is dictated by the tides, making it particularly treacherous that charts embolden “Local Knowledge Only” when depicting the narrow shoot. At high tide, the inlet is flushed with clean ocean water, bringing with it superb visibility, a bounty of marine life and great snorkeling near and around the mouth of the inlet.

  • catos-bridge
    Cato’s Bridge is a great, accessible snorkel spot in Jupiter.

Just under a mile and a half mile from the inlet, in the shadow of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, sits Cato's Bridge, a small draw bridge spanning the Intracoastal Waterway connecting Jupiter to Jupiter Inlet Colony, and one heck of a snorkel spot accessible by car.

Along the west side (mainland), just under the bridge around the western support, is the best place to snorkel. The eastern side of the bridge along Jupiter Inlet Colony is much shallower, mainly consisting of sea grass and sand, and much less to see, but not a bad place to lounge and explore with a kayak.

Under the western side of the bridge, from shore to support sits a small stretch of water, no longer than 25-feet at high tide, that plunges deep quickly, close to 15-feet on a good day. The area stretches beyond the bridge support, along the bridge channel barrier of wooden planks attached to cement pylons, running little more than 100-feet. Along this area some great snorkeling can be found, but can be hazardous at certain times in the tide cycle.

  • yellowtail-snapper
    Native fishes, like yellowtail snapper, school around Cato’s Bridge.

The deep channel makes for some strong currents, so the best time to go is right after high tide has arrived. On the incoming tide, the currents are so swift you drift out of the spot within 20-seconds, and with the outgoing and low tides, visibility is shot from the Loxahatchee River; you're barely able to see you own hand while cruising. This is also a relatively dangerous spot for beginners and small children. Cato's Bridge is a very active draw bridge with a wake zone just north of bridge, which is a pretty great place to cruise with a boat, with lots of sandbars to beach at, and wide and spacious sections of the Intracoastal that are great for tubing and wake-boarding. So just feet from the protected snorkel area of the bridge, on the east side of the support, is the main channel of the bridge with tons of boat traffic. With unpredictable and strong currents, and the amount of drinking done on our waterways, an accident is just waiting to happen if you are not comfortable in the water.

With that said, the best spot of this snorkel location is in between the channel wall and the western support of the bridge. This narrow channel, about four-feet at the widest, is painted in shadow, but full of sea life. Eels, visiting lobsters and stone crab, angel fish, parrotfish, tropicals, lionfish, groupers, snappers, hog snapper, shrimp and crabs, rays, turtles, octopus and squid all come through this spot. Schools of tropicals cruise along the pylons, parrotfish gnaw on pylons and support wall for algae, sponges give a dash of color, and the occasional shark, manatee and eagle ray cruise along looking for less populated spots. Be careful when cruising through this tight spot though; barnacles will slice through skin like razor blades.

  • lionfish
    Invasive species, like this lionfish, hideout among the natives fishes along the bridge’s pylons.

The coolest thing I have seen here is a school of Caribbean squid floating seemingly motionless in the channel, hovering as if neutrally buoyant, changing color and pattern like living camouflaged torpedoes—a scene straight out of Discovery Channel, and they shoot ink! They tend to hangout here in the warmer months, as well as octopus, which borrow cylindrical holes in the seabed, or take refuge in discarded bottles, unfortunately a common addition to this man made structure. Keep your eyes peeled, there is always something hiding out or cruising along.

To the north is an outcropping of mangroves and shallower sandy spots, a popular haunt of puffer fish and mangrove snappers. To the south lies federal land surrounding the lighthouse and Coast Guard property, with small beaches and some decent places to hangout in the shade. There are a few felled trees just off shore that attract crabs and shrimp cruising along for food.

  • sea-urchin
    Urchins, shrimp, crabs and other bottom dwellers flock to the crystalline waters in the Intracoastal Waterway.

  • Type of snorkel spot: Man-made structure/Bridge
  • Depth: Roughly 15 to 20 feet
  • Accessibility: Car/foot
  • Bring: Mask, snorkel and fins; water, there are no facilities
  • When to go: High tide dive spot
  • Avoid: Walls and barnacles; boat channel!
  • What to see: Tropical and reef fish; invertebrates (squid and octopus); eels; rays; crustaceans (lobster, stone crab, blue crab, shrimp); manatee; sponges, soft corals and anemones.
  • What not to bring: Spears and Hawaiian slings—must be 100 feet from the bridge!

Tips: When heading to this spot, check the tides and schedule accordingly. If the current seems too strong, stick to the shallower spots, wait it out, or head a little south and drift into the spot and on through. Bring water and a snack; there are no facilities near by, so you are on your own in terms of restrooms and supplies. Fins are needed; swimming against current is exhausting and futile. There are a handful of parking spots just west of the bridge, but on a nice day they usually fill up. Alternative parking is a hike away and can be found at:

Lighthouse Park 500 Captain Armours Way Jupiter, FL 33477

Disingenuous Jupiter

February 22, 2012

The Town of Jupiter is tied to the water like no other, wrapping along the waterways that have come to dominate South Florida's way of life, where traffic patterns are dictated by bridges, a restaurant just is not a restaurant without waterfront views and locally caught hog snapper on the specials board, and an afternoon lazying on the beach is considered a full-time job. But what is difficult to understand is how easily the town will ignore the bond between the environment and the citizens, all in the name of progress.

The recent case against the Byrd family, who have been fined $1.6 million for clear cutting mangroves on their property, not only made national news but also gave people a reminder of how important mangroves are to the ecosystem, not just locally but beyond our waterways. The ocean ecosystems are interconnected in ways we cannot even began to fathom, so every time we as a collective do something like clear cut a nursery for young fishes and crustaceans, the ramifications are realized much later than sooner, once ecosystems sit on the brink of collapse. So when Jupiter went after the family, it was heralded by some, looked greedy and excessive by others, but in all, made for a reminder.

  • Burt-Reynolds-Park-w-Google-Earth
    Photos courtesy of and Google Earth
But during all of this back and forth, where the town made itself out to be the great steward of the local ecosystem, the quiet development of River Walk continued to march on. A tenant of this grandiose plan is Phase 3 at Burt Reynolds Park. Along the south end of the park, the Town of Jupiter and the Palm Beach County government plans to build a 80 slip marina right along the Jupiter Creek. This proposed site is smack dab in the middle of a red mangrove glen, where thousands of red mangroves would need to be clear cut in order to build congested dock-space. This mini ecosystem, though dark and murky from tannins in the water, is rife with sea life, a nursery for juvenile fishes that many dine on on a regular basis (lots of snapper, grouper and red fish come through here, not to mention snook and their favorite prey mullet and greenies). There are crabs, from blue to stone, baby lobsters make an appearance, and I have even seen juvenile sharks swim up the creek from time to time, their dorsal piercing the surface like a triangular heat seeking missile. But these plans of creating a marina (after they just allowed the sale of the marina along the Carlin White Bridge to be turned into yet another restaurant) will rip out thousands of trees, wiping out nearly a third of the ecosystem along Burt Reynolds Park and the Jupiter Creek for more seawalls and pollution from boaters.

This proposal would not only congest this small, narrow waterway that manatees and even river otters come to swim along freely, safe from high speed props, but will also destroy the area for locals and visitors who enjoy kayaking and paddle-boarding along the calm waters. What makes this place so unique and quaint will essentially be ruined, pumped with petrol, empty beer cans and seawalls, rendered into another typical development., while decimating a healthy habitat of red mangroves, the same tree and specie the town is so adamant in protecting.

Though the property belongs to the county, do not think for a minute that the town has not been lobbying hard for the clearing of the property for this marina. And of course the city and county will claim to plant just as many mangroves that they cut down. But where? Space is extremely limited, and planting mangroves in an area that is already populated with the trees is inadequate. When a micro-ecosystem is destroyed for development, a new one should be created, not just adding onto an existing one. That is a disingenuous act, especially after continuing to levy fine after fine for someone doing essentially the same thing.

The ironic thing about this entire proposal is that Burt Reynolds Park, the site of the proposed marina, is home to the River Center, an organization dedicated to educating the public on the unique ecosystems here in North County. Their mission is to educate in order to save for future generations, save the same ecosystem the town wants to clear cut and develop in the name of progress. Jupiter and the PBC Gov. is literally destroying the River Center's mission, within their own backyard!

This is not only disingenuous but downright insulting. The recession that has left Florida in limbo was spearheaded by excessive building and development. While some believe building can get us out, others say we already have so much empty space, how can you justify building more. This area has nearly been developed to capacity, while the city continues to look for more space to cram shopping centers and retail space. I have a modest proposal, why not, instead of building more, creating new plazas for more Supercuts, Metro PCS stores and Publix, try to reinvigorate existing neighborhoods and communities. Abacoa is a prime example. The place teemed with commerce when the movie theater was there, but as soon as Downtown at the Gardens opened, the place became a ghost town. Now the area has one of the highest turnovers in tenants in the area, with businesses coming and going as fast as spring training. Take some of the resources used in these development projects and help the neighborhood retain tenants and businesses, making it the thriving community it once was. Put in a community water park, create a entertainment facility, do something to create vibrancy versus a couple of bars that over-serve and keep Jupiter PD busy arresting people for DUIs, draining more income.

It is not rocket science. The area is prone to be a hub of biomedical research, where well paid residents live and would stay if there were more to do. The eyes of the sporting world will be on Abacoa as the new Miami Marlins' roster and the Pujols- and La Russa-less World Champ Cardinals come to town in March for spring training. You would think the city would have some foresight to create some buzz around this, slap some lipstick on the place, so when ESPN broadcasts out to the country, people see a temperate and subtropical locale, where business and commerce thrives, and looks like a great place to visit or potentially live. Instead, empty storefronts and For Rent/Sale signs will fill the viewfinder, showing the nation the ineptitude of the local government. Stop trying to pave over the one thing that makes this place unique, and improve and support the places that are struggling.

Tell the town of Jupiter
  • Stop paving over our last vestiges of natural Florida and send the mayor an email here: Karen Golonka,

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