CASTING OFF: maritime news
Two regional coastal observing systems operating hand in hand off the Carolinas have won nearly $2 million in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants.
"It keeps us in the game and keeps us moving forward," said Richard DeVoe, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium director, who oversees the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, one of the systems.
The association is part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System, a web of offshore buoys and platforms taking readings on conditions such as sea temperature, waves, currents and salinity. It's a hands-on tool to manage everything from fish stocks to forecasting rip currents, storm surge or tsunamis.
The real-time computer network ideally would feed data to and from instruments around the country and around the world, right down to the boater in his boat. The groundbreaking concept eventually could make life easier for everyone who lives or works along any coast. Part of $1.2 million won by the Carolinas Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction System, the other operator, will be used to put the Capers Island buoy back online, to improve a near-shore wave modeling program that forecasts conditions such as high surf and rip currents.
The Capers buoy is one of six put in place off South Carolina in 2003. One by one, they have been shut down as money to maintain them dried up.
Part of nearly $800,000 won by DeVoe's system will go to enhance high frequency radar that tracks ocean circulation, essentially largescale currents. The tracking makes search and rescue operations more accurate, shipping more cost-efficient and fishing more exact.
Both grants also will go to data management, taking the information generated and creating products such as interactive Web pages that can be used by the rescue, shipping or fishing groups who need it. The grants also open a door for both systems to seek other money, such as $500,000 won by the Carolinas group that will go to developing the marine weather model.
Meanwhile, information from a larger network of 50 offshore stations in the two Carolinas has helped researchers put together programs such as marine weather modeling that has been adopted by the National Weather Service and has become the model for similar programs nationwide.
Air Company, a full-service kite shop serving the local kiteboarding and sport kiting scene since 2002, has spread its wings, is launching a new shop devoted to extreme ground sports called... drum roll please...Earth.
The basic thinking behind the expansion? "When there is no air to catch, you can always ride the earth," Adam Von Ins, the founder of both companies, said.
From skateboards to longboards, ground boards, mountain boards, Freebords and Flexdex, Earth carries anything and everything you can skate, kick or plant.
As with Air, which specializes in kitesurfing, kiteboarding, stunt kiting, buggying, kite flying and kite repair, Earth is an eco-friendly venture.
"Our goal is to promote low environmental impact, green extreme sports," Von Ins said.
At the same time, Air and Earth promote health and wellbeing, allowing participants to exercise by interacting with natural elements instead of exhausting them.
To accommodate the expansion, Air and Earth began operating under one two-story roof at The Shoppes at Seaside Farms in Mount Pleasant in May.
Air also launched its own sportclothing line in June. AirWear offers T-shirts and board shirts with graffiti-like designs and urban pop art. The line is a joint creation of local artists Ishmael and Scott Debus, whose work covers the walls of the store, and the owners of Air and Earth. Later in the year, the company will add other watersports products.
The South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation establishing a new alligator hunting season beginning this fall.
Applicants for the new season will be required to apply and pay online through the application available on the Department of Natural Resource's Web site. (Click on the red "buy" button found on the upper left corner of the homepage, then select "Apply for an Alligator Permit online.") The new season will begin on the second Saturday of September and run until the second Saturday of October, which for 2008 is Sept. 13-Oct. 11.
Applicants must pay a $10 nonrefundable fee, and a randomized computer drawing will determine the hunters. If selected, a $100 fee for a permit is required, and each hunter will be allowed to kill one alligator.
Find out more at: DNR.SC.Gov/wildlife/alligator .
Ashley Yacht Sales, operating in Charleston for more than 23 years, changed ownership in May.
The retailer was purchased by five of its brokers and will continue operations under the name Ashley Yachts, LLC while continuing operations at The Marina Building, 3 Lockwood Dr. in downtown Charleston.
The new owners are Bruce Smith (Certified Professional Yacht Broker), Edward James (CPYB), Bill Welch, Carlton Poulnot and Greg Williamson.
Ed Norton will continue serving as a broker with the firm, making Ashley Yachts, LLC one of the largest yacht brokerage firms in South Carolina measured by staff size and sales volume.
Ashley Yachts handles the sale of brokerage power and sailing vessels with sales throughout the world.
With the launching of the e-commerce store on TheCharlestonAngler.com in May, Shimano and Daiwa rods and reels, G. Loomis, Sage, Winston and Orvis fly rods, flies, hard and soft plastic lures, terminal tackle and even Guy Harvey T-shirts are just a click away.
The company's T-shirts, hats, visors and Tervis Tumblers sporting the popular redfish logo are also available online.
For those less technologically savvy, you can still get all the fishing gear you need at The Charleston Angler's two brick and mortar stores: 654 St. Andrews Blvd., Charleston and 1795 S.C. Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant.
Sea Kayak Carolina, a full-service kayak shop, opened June 2 at 1731 Signal Point Road on James Island.
In addition to a complete line of equipment, owners Sue Kershaw (a chief financial officer), Deb Michum (a nurse) and Scott Szczepaniak (a Coast-Guard-licensed boat captain) will offer test paddles to ensure a perfect match for patrons purchasing a boat as well as classes and lessons taught by American Canoe Association certified instructors and guided tours.
"Our tours are customer-centered excursions tailored to clients' interests," said Szczepaniak, who, along with the other two owners, is an ACA certified instructor. "Natural interpretation of the coastal environment,
refining skills or just watching the numerous animals we usually see on our paddles - we will provide our customer with anything they want to see and do."
If you know of an interesting event, newsworthy story or business development, please let us know. Contact Staff Writer Abi Nicholas at 843-958-7375 or firstname.lastname@example.org , or Tideline Editor Matt Winter at 843-937-5568 or email@example.com .