It’s a relaxing time of year in Florida. The New England snowbirds have migrated north and the beaches and restaurants are uncrowded. Due to the sea breezes, Florida is actually cooler at this time of year than places up north—a secret we hope our Alley Cat readers will keep to themselves!
In Florida, the scuba diving this time of year is wonderful—calm, warm seas and clear water. On most dives we see sea turtles — Loggerheads, Greens, Hawksbills, and, occasionally, Leatherbacks. It’s always fun at this time of year to get up for an early morning swim and see the trails they’ve left on the beach from their overnight nesting activity—a smooth path leads from the ocean to a messy mound of sand (the nest), then loops back to the surf. Their seasonal migration takes them up the East Coast, across the Atlantic to Europe, and and then back to Florida to lay their eggs. In recent years, their numbers have grown, thanks to conservation efforts.
In addition to turtles, we see large groupers, schools of multi-colored reef fish, moray eels, barracudas, sharks, lobsters and much more. If you’re making a visit, we recommend diving with the Scuba Club (www.thescubaclub.com). It’s conveniently located on the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach and has a wonderful staff.
On the restaurant front, we note that Joy’s (www.joysnoodlesandrice.com), one of our favorite restaurants, is thriving, even in the summer with its delicious, pan-Asian entrees. Joy has just left for Thailand, and we expect her to return with more ideas for great dishes.
A newcomer this summer is Table 26 ° (www.table26palmbeach.com). The name is a reference to Palm Beach’s latitude. A low-key, nautical theme is emphasized by navigation charts on the ceiling and underwater images on the walls. We enjoyed the restaurant’s outdoor seating on a small terrace (although the indoor dining area is also popular). The cuisine is, according to owners Eddie and Ozzie, “global, home-style comfort food,” which, perhaps, understates its sophistication. Our perfectly prepared sautéed wild salmon and Arctic char entrees preceded an irresistible, homemade strawberry shortcake.
Among our favorite places to dine is the Seafood Bar (www.thebreakers.com/restaurants_lounges/the_seafood_bar) at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. Here’s exquisite cuisine and service plus an up-close ocean view. We’ve also discovered the dining and cabaret series at Palm Beach’s Colony Hotel (www.thecolonypalmbeach.com), featuring top performers from Manhattan and elsewhere, offers yet another relaxing way to spend an evening.
Despite all the local diversions, we remain busy with projects and assignments: serving as editor-in-chief of a quarterly design and lifestyle magazine (published out of Charleston, South Carolina—now over 280 pages!), producing illustrated feature stories on new destinations, and completing a variety of multimedia projects.
We’re also completing an update to our website that will be published in September. In addition to new (and larger) images, the site will feature one or more photographic essays. The first will be on Sana’a, Yemen, one of the most exotic capital cities we’ve ever explored. Another essay, titled Reverence, involves a look at people worldwide practicing their faith. Also, in the site’s Multimedia gallery, we’ll be adding short, documentary films about extremely photogenic places: Palm Beach, New Zealand and Austria.