Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why I Don't Worry About Sharks Anymore

It's a pretty common question we get here at TripShock.

"We are scared to go on this tour because of sharks...."

Let's face it, we all think about it when we get into the ocean no matter how many times we've stepped in. Even though it's still in the back of my mind when i go ocean swimming, I had a moment in my life that made me completely forget about those worries.

Several years ago, I had my peace with sharks after I went fishing in the Destin area. We had a really great time and caught two 5 foot sharks in the bay. When we brought these sharks on the boat, they were absolutely helpless. Without water or space, they sat there exhausted and with little to protect themselves. Aside from the occasional tail whip, they were at our mercy. We took some photos and put them back in the water.

that's me in the middle!

After I got done fishing that night, I thought about the sharks we caught and how these infamous creatures were no different than any other animal. They didn't posses any supernatural powers nor did they eat us alive on the boat. To make myself clear, they are a really big fish with teeth!

So are these teeth for eating humans? No.

Sharks eat fish, just like other fish like to eat fish too. Shark attacks are typically caused from humans being confused as fish. Sharks are also not the only fish that confuse humans as food as even the pin fish will nibble at your fingers and toes!

If I ever get bitten by a shark in the future, I will know it was a big fish confusing me for food and it was totally random. We have to accept in our society that random and freak accidents do occur and we have to live our days with the possibility of anything happening. 

If I still don't have you convinced to let your guard down, you can take a few preventative steps to lower your odds of being bitten. Happy swimming folks!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why You Need To Take Your Children Sailing

Photo courtesy of Emerald Lady Sailing in Destin, FL
I had the opportunity to experience sailing a few years ago and it wasn't soon after we departed that I knew I'd be doing this a lot in the future. After my first trip, I was taking every opportunity I had to get on a sailboat. I don't really know why I love sailing so much. Maybe it's because the nostalgic aspect of sailing intrigues me. We live in a society that is consumed by electronics and machines so the fact that we are using the power of mother nature to enjoy this experience was gratifying. Without a boat engine grumbling in the water, the calm and serenity of the wind and ocean is all you can hear. I'm sure most American who sailed before can relate to my assessment!

I know that most of our customers that book sailing charters are typically older, but I'm here to say that sailing is a must for children. Every time I see a child get behind the wheel and get the feel for what being a captain is like, I can see a sense of pride and excitement. In a world dominated by machines, children are prisoners of their own devices and sailing is something that liberates them. They know that they are completely in control and its very real!

There are private sailing tours all over the Gulf Coast and they are not much  more than what a dolphin cruise costs. The captains are very accommodating and have an interest in sharing their passion with families and children. Next time you visit, don't miss out on this opportunity to enlighten your children who may be consumed by a world that is leaving behind these amazing experiences. Happy Sailing!

Monday, August 11, 2014

5 Reasons Why Fall Is The Best Time To Travel To the Gulf Coast

As the Summer starts to wind down and the kids go back to school, the Gulf Coast changes from a bustling tourist town to a sleepy beach destination as it was before the area was promoted worldwide. Those that are able to visit the Gulf Coast in the Fall can take advantage of less traffic, short waits at restaurants, and discounted lodging and tours. Here are the top 5 reasons why Fall is the best time to visit the Gulf Coast (In no particular order).

1. Weather

The weather on the Gulf Coast would be considered perfect by some. Mild humidity and temps (75-85 degrees) make it comfortable to be outside for long periods of times. It may get a little cool at night, but a light jacket or sweater is all you need to fix that. Just because it's cooler out, don't underestimate the powerful sun! Use sunscreen when on the beach at all times to prevent sunburns.

2. Traffic

The traffic on the Gulf Coast during the Summer is worse than any major city in the US during rush hour. It certainly makes you want to stay in your hotel all week long! However, in the Fall the traffic is 1/4 of what you'll see in the Summer. Don't waste your precious vacation time sitting in a car.

3. Deals

My favorite part of visiting in the Fall has got to be the deals! Hotel rates will decrease by up to 50% from Summer and activity prices also drop significantly. This makes a great opportunity to make a quick getaway if you're on a budget. Visit TripShock.com for a lot of great deals on hotels and lodging

4. Festivals 

Some of the best festivals on the Gulf Coast happen in the Fall. In Destin, the annual Seafood Festival is in September that kicks off the October Fishing Rodeo. Also, the popular Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores kicks off in early October. Check out the city or county websites for your Gulf Coast destination for more information on festivals and events in the Fall.

5. Parking & Restaurant Waits

Who likes spending hours trying to find parking spots at crowded shopping malls or wait hours for a table at a restaurant? In the Fall, you don't have to worry about that! Restaurants are so hungry for business that not only do you get seated right away, but a lot of coupons and specials are available. 

Did we make a good case for the Fall? :-)