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The perfect Key West activities for your vacation


January 22, 2020

You’ve booked your sailboat rental, but perhaps you are looking for some additional fun things you can do while in Key West, Florida. From water sports, to relaxation, Key West truly has something for everyone! Take a look at the many options the region has to offer, and join us this fall! 

Snorkeling
Key West is known for its beautiful and crystal blue waters, what better way to experience them then to enjoy some snorkeling in the warm waters. Snorkeling can give you some valuable time to experience and immerse yourself in the local habitat and wildlife - maybe you’ll be able to see more than just a few of the gorgeous local fish.

Rum
This one is certainly an adults-only activity - but it is a unique one! Have you ever wondered how rum is made? Visit Papa’s Pilar Rum distillery to get a behind the scenes look at how rum is made. Papa’s Pilar Rum is the island’s largest distillery and gives visitors the option to participate in a tasting as well! For only $10, it sure does seem worth it.

Ghosts
Do you like a good scare? Or even ghost story? Key West has long been rumored to be an extremely haunted city - making it the perfect location for a late night ghost tour. Sloan’s Key West Ghost Hunt is the perfect night tour to put your ghost-hunting skills to the test.

Sightseeing
Besides experiencing the beauty of all the natural landscape, you have quite a few places that are worth visiting. Let’s start with visiting the southernmost point of the conteinental United States in Ballast Key, Florida. Or perhaps you’d like to tour Hemingway’s home - nestled in a beautiful, historic neighborhood. Want a view from above? Several local companies offer helicopter tours from above - making sightseeing not only easy, but unique and something you will never forget! Perhaps something more adventurous such as parasailing is better for your sightseeing adventures? Sailing in the clouds is a popular tourist attraction, and something that only gets better when you are flying high above the clouds.

Water Sports
Perhaps water sports are more of your thing. Besides snorkeling, there are a number of different water sports you can enjoy while spending you time at Key West. Let’s start with scuba diving. Just 140 feet beneath the surface is the USNS Vandenberg - a ten-story tall scuba diving haven. The only thing to remember is that this might be best for those who are experienced scuba divers, as if you are inexperienced it could be dangerous. Don’t worry though - there are plenty of beautiful sites you can see while scuba diving around Key West. 

If staying above water is more your thing, try researching some local kayaking companies. There are plenty of locally-owned kayaking companies that allow you to enjoy a rental for a few hours. What better location to kayak and enjoy the great outdoors than Key West? You don’t just have to get a kayak, you can get a canoe rental as well. While they aren’t as easy to guide, they do give a slightly higher sense of safety and security. 

And of course...sailing!
Sailing in the Flordia Keys is not only fun, but it gives you a sense of freedom that other activities may not. First, let’s look at the fun aspect. You can spend as much time as you’d like on the water enjoying the beautiful weather of the Florida Keys and enjoying the company of your friends and family. You could even take your sailboat to the location you are wanting to snorkel to most, or just enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the ocean. 

Sailing provides you with nearly unlimited freedom. With traditional vacations you might have to book all of your travel and you are restricted to certain times and destinations. With a sailboat charter, you’re free to go where you want when you want. That includes visiting port cities, experience nature preserves, go swimming, and snorkeling your way through the ocean, and island hop whenever you want. You are truly in control when it comes to renting a sailboat charter. 

Not to toot our own horn, but renting a sailboat charter from Calypso Charters also makes dining while on your sailboat rental easy! Our chartered catamaran comes with an option for provisioned dining, meaning you can choose to have a pre-stocked grocery list before you even leave the bay. Your catamaran will come stocked with your favorite foods, the best ingredients for your recipes, and your children’s favorite snacks.

We can’t wait to see you in Key West! If you have not booked your sailboat vacation, contact us here at Calypso Charters. Our team will help you put together a vacation you will never forget complete with sun, sand, and activities. If you are unsure or have questions, contact us. We are here to help you learn more about a Key West sailing adventure and provide you with the information you need to book your next event. Remember, sailing in Key West isn't just about the wonderful experiences that you have on the water, but the memories that you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.
 
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How the Florida Keys became a prime sailing spot


December 11, 2019

The Florida Keys are not only known for being absolutely beautiful, but also for having an incredibly rich, dynamic, and fascinating history. In fact, many of the things we are about to share might surprise you - after all, as one of the oldest port cities in the United States there are some fascinating occurrences that have taken place here. But enough stalling, let’s get in to it.

The History
Rumors have it that not long after Christopher Columbus founded the “new world,” he set sail south to Florida looking for the historic and mystical Fountain of Youth. While he certainly didn’t make this discovery, that we know of, he did discover the Florida Keys in early 1513. While it was discovered this earlier, and written about in his writings, it wasn’t until 1822 that Pirates were chased out of the area and the United States Navy pirate fleet set down roots. 

From then on, settlers began to colonize the area, and it really took off. With its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, the area was a prime location for settlers to put down roots. With groves of key limes, the area began to thrive, paving way for a shark factory. If the term shark factory is new to you, you aren’t alone. Many decades ago shark factories were used to catch, and skin sharks. The shark skin was salted down and sent to New Jersey to be made into leather. While the factory thrived at the time, these factories no longer exist. 

The great location allowed the Florida Keys to thrive as a port cities. Trading quickly became a way of life, and ultimately the city became one of the hot destinations in Florida, until the Great Depression hit. Like many United States cities, the Great Depression hit the Florida Keys hard, and the city went bankrupt. Around this same time, hurricane season was not friendly to the Keys, and the city was in tatters. Federal aid helps the area begin to get on its feet, until World War II hit.  While most of the cities inhabitants were sent to war, the US Navy made the area its submarine base which helped the area thrive once again. 

In 1949, the Florida Keys began harvesting shrimp for the first-time...and this truly put the area on the map. Not only was the shrimp outstanding and highly sought after, it brought viable job prospects for the first time in years. Fast forward to modern day, the Florida Keys sees nearly three million visitors each year.

What This Means For You
Lucky for you - the rich history of the Florida Keys and surrounding areas provides a fantastic opportunity for fun and sightseeing. Let’s start with visiting the southernmost point of the conteinental United States in Ballast Key, Florida. Or perhaps you’d like to tour Hemingway’s home - nestled in a beautiful, historic neighborhood. Want a view from above? Several local companies offer helicopter tours from above - making sightseeing not only easy, but unique and something you will never forget! Perhaps something more adventurous such as parasailing is better for your sightseeing adventures? Sailing in the clouds is a popular tourist attraction, and something that only gets better when you are flying high above the clouds.

Another great spot to visit is Old Town Key West - an up-and-coming neighborhood in the area, and it has a rich and full history that will have you dying to move there. This bicycle tour is the perfect option for those looking for a leisurely ride - a local guide will take you to some of the most beautiful and well-known areas of Old Town Key West, including Ernest Hemingway’s house! Join Key Lime Bike Tours on your next visit to Key West - it’s perfect for a great land excursion. 

Last but not least, renting a Sailing Charter will give you the ultimate freedom in seeing all that the Florida Keys has to offer. Sailing is not only fun, but it gives you a sense of freedom that other activities may not. First, let’s look at the fun aspect. You can spend as much time as you’d like on the water enjoying the beautiful weather of the Florida Keys and enjoying the company of your friends and family. You could even take your sailboat to the location you are wanting to snorkel to most, or just enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the ocean. 

Sailing provides you with nearly unlimited freedom. With traditional vacations you might have to book all of your travel and you are restricted to certain times and destinations. With a sailboat charter, you’re free to go where you want when you want. That includes visiting port cities, experience nature preserves, go swimming, and snorkeling your way through the ocean, and island hop whenever you want. You are truly in control when it comes to renting a sailboat charter. 

Are you dying to sail the Florida Keys now? We are excited to have you! With all of the activities to do in and around the Florida Keys, and the ability to rental a charter, it is the place to be! When you set sail with Calypso Sailing Charters, the waters in and around the area are yours to visit as you like. We are looking forward to seeing you this season! Contact us at Calypso Sailing Charters where we can answer all of our questions, address your concerns, and help you book the vacation of your dreams.
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25 fun facts about Key Largo that will have you dying to visit


November 26, 2019

Have you been thinking of visiting Key Largo? Maybe even renting a catamaran charter while visiting? We have a lot of experience in Key Largo, and have a diverse fleet of vessels ready for all of your needs. Besides our experience, Key Largo is a great place to unwind and reconnect with friends and family. Take a look at some of our favorite Key Largo facts: 

Location
Did you know that Key Largo is still a part of the Florida Keys? When it was first settling (sometime around 1870) there was only sixty people and a post office. Although the post office closed just eleven years later, another post office was established. This seems to be a trend in Key Largo - but the post offices tend to grow larger with the population over the years! Also, did you know that Key Largo is the largest of the Florida Keys - 30 miles to be exact. Although it’s the largest, it’s not the most populated key. Oh, and did you know there are technically over 800 keys?

The Florida Keys in general have a very rich history when it comes to the location? There are 42 bridges on the Florida Keys that attach each key location and make it easier to navigate. The largest bridge is over 35,000 feet and is known as Seven Mile Bridge. 

As you look out over the pristine beaches, something else to consider is the fact that nearly all the sand has been shipped in from the Carribbean - which would explain the beautiful scenery and out-of-this country feel.

What is a “key” anyways? Key is version of the Spanish word for “cayo,” which means small island. 

A Rich History
There have been several rich and notable people who have lived in the Florida Keys, including: 
Ernest Hemingway: His house still resides on the island and is perfect for visiting
Shel Silverstein
Henry S. Truman
Tennessee Williams
Calvin Klein
Jimmy Buffet
John Dewey 
Shane Spencer

Now that you know they are famous residents, you might even start to notice mentions of Key West in their work. Key West has certainly left an impact on these writers and artists - particularly the ones who have specifically referenced the song.

Hurricanes
Yes, hurricanes tend to hit the Key Largo area. But did you know that Key West was one the area of one of the United States’ worst hurricanes. With wind speeds of over 200 mph, and storm surges of over 15 feet nearly 500 people died in the area. The hurricane is now known as the Labor Day hurricane (it occurred on Labor Day), and it devastated the railways and towns in the area. 

Speaking of weather, did you know that the Florida Keys is classified as tropical? In fact, the Keys is the only place in Florida that doesn’t have frost. Which might just make it the perfect spot for you to stop during winter months.

Wildlife
Are you in to scuba diving or snorkeling? Since 1981, more than 23 artificial reefs have been formed off the coast of the Florida Keys - mainly from shipwrecks. These shipwrecks have become a safe haven for tropical fish and promoted the development of additional undersea wildlife. If you get lucky, you might be able to see marine plant life, turtles, sharks (don’t worry!), dolphins, and even some incredibly unique tropical fish. Speaking of sea turtles, did you know that Key West have the most sea turtles nest in the world, and the United States. When you are looking to snorkel or scuba dive, you should visit the Florida Reef just seconds off the coast of the keys. The Florida Reef is the only living coral reef system in the continental United States.

Ocean life is not the only incredible wildlife you can spot while you are out experiencing the Keys. There are many unique birds, such as brown pelicans, that inhabit the keys. You’ll come across iguanas, crabs, and seagulls of course - perfect for the wildlife enthusiast. 

Are you dying to visit Key Largo now? We are excited to have you! With all of the activities to do in Key Largo, and the ability to rental a charter, Key Largo is the place to be! When you set sail with Calypso Sailing Charters, the waters in and around the city of Key Largo are yours to visit as you like. We are looking forward to seeing you this season in Key Largo! Contact us at Calypso Sailing Charters where we can answer all of our questions, address your concerns, and help you book the vacation of your dreams.
 
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The health benefits of Key West sailing


October 2, 2019

As one of the most well-known, professional and reliable sailboat and catamaran charter companies in Key West FL, Calypso Sailing is here to make your vacation dreams come true. But besides the fun that can come with sailing, did you know there are health and socio-emotional benefits that can be gained? Key West is known for its beautiful waters and amazing views - with pristine beaches, and beautiful sunsets, it is truly a world-class sailing experience. But let’s dive into the health benefits you can take advantage of while sailing.  

The Body
Sailing is great for building muscular strength and endurance. During sailing, you will have to hoist the sails, maneuver the boat, and even continue to adjust the sails on your journey. But doing this, you will begin to increase your strength and endurance as time goes on - after a few days of being sore of course! Building muscular strength and endurance isn’t the only thing that will happen after a sailing excursion. Sailing as a whole can be an intense activity for the body (if you are navigating everything yourself), which means you will be building cardiovascular strength and reducing the chances of hypertension, obesity, and additional heart-related illnesses. 

Finally, it can be common to struggle with agility. But with sailing, you can actually begin to increase your skills and improve your hand-eye coordination. Sailing requires sound hand-eye coordination - something that you can grow the more you sail! 

The Mind
If you’ve ever spent quite a bit of time on the ocean, it’s safe to say that you completely understand that just being on the ocean can have amazing benefits. Not only will you feel more relaxed and refreshed during your time sailing, but you will also experience pretty significant declines in stress levels for days, and even weeks, after your sailing adventure. In addition to the long lasting side effects of sailing, you’ll stay focused and organized during your sailboating adventure - giving your brain stimulation you might have been missing recently! 

Not only will you feel more relaxed and revitalized during and after your sailboating adventure, but you will also have taken away some key lessons. Sailboating requires perseverance, particularly if you are new to the craft. While sailboating it will be you versus the natural elements, and while they aren’t always extreme it will be a challenge if you aren’t used to it before. Overcoming these challenges will be a powerful reinforcement of the value of perseverance and grit- something your family will greatly benefit from learning if you are bringing little ones!

Speaking of little ones, sailboating is the perfect way to teach them responsibility, and even patience. Sailboating will require teamwork, as we previously mentioned. This teamwork will be essential in moving the boat forward, and as every member of the team will have a responsibility - this includes your little ones! Nothing like a teambuilding activity on family vacation to bring everyone closer.

Social Skills
To keep the boat moving in the right direction, communication is key! You’ll need to communicate with others on the boat to ensure your boat is on the move, and that you won't have any accidents on your journey. Everyone on board will help to play a role in your ship’s journey, learning both verbal and non-verbal ways of communicating (in an effective manor) will be essential to your success. This experience will even bring your friends, and family, closer! Building teamwork between your family, or friends, will carry on outside of your sailboating adventure and give you something to re-live together for months to come!

Keep in mind, you can always have one of our team-members sail for you if you choose to! When you are ready to book your sailboat vacation to Key West, contact us here at Calypso Charters. Our team will help you put together a vacation you will never forget complete with sun, sand, and activities. If you are unsure or have questions, contact us. We are here to help you learn more about a Key West sailing adventure and provide you with the information you need to book your next event. Remember, sailing in Key West isn't just about the wonderful experiences that you have on the water, but the memories that you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.
 
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To tourist activities in Key Largo


September 18, 2019

When it comes to catamaran and sailing charters in Key Largo, Calypso Sailing is your place to go. We have a lot of experience in Key Largo, and have a diverse fleet of vessels ready for all of your needs. The team here at Calypso Charters prides itself on decades of experience in expertly guiding families, commercial parties, and couples through their Key Largo sailboat charter adventure. Key Largo is a treasure chest of unique and fun things to do, check out our top nine favorites! 

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park 
Established in 1963, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the only first undersea park that was established to protect the coral reefs that line the state of Florida. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is connected to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary - which creates 178 nautical square miles filled with wildlife, coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and seagrass beds. Contrary to what you might think, the Coral Reef State Park offers more attractions above the surface as well. With a 30,000 gallon saltwater aquarium and theatre, as well as kayaking options and snorkeling areas - the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is perfect for a family outing or couples day out!  

Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Founded in 1980, the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge was created to protect the native crocodile habitat. This is a unique thing to do, as where crocodiles live is closed off to the public. You can only get to this area through volunteering - but what better thing to do then volunteer for a few hours on your day off and get a great experience?! Those who are not interested in volunteering can visit the crocodile habitat to learn more, as well as how to preserve and protect the environment. In addition to learning more about the crocodile’s habit, you can also visit the Butterfly Garden that houses more than 50 unique and local species of plants. 

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock National State Park 
If you are an outdoor enthusiast the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock National State Park is for you! With over six miles of nature trails to hike and explore, you and your family/friends can enjoy a day out in natural Florida habitat. There are over 80 species of protected animals and plants that reside in this national state park, and you have two options when visiting: a Ranger-led trail hikes or self-led trail hikes. Whatever you enjoy! 

Dolphin Cove
Located on the most northern area of Key Largo, Dolphin Cove is a five-acre lagoon that allows visitors to swim and meet with local dolphins. Guided tours last approximately thirty minutes, where visitors learn about the dolphins and their habitats - as well as what to expect when they come in contact with the dolphins. After the thirty minute tour, visitors have the option to participate in the dolphin swimming experience which gives visitors the chance to meet the dolphins up close and personal. 

Florida Keys Wildbird Rehabilitation Center
If you are a bird lover you should certainly visit the Wildbird Rehabilitation Center located in the Florida Keys! The Wildbird Rehabilitation Center is a safe space for injured birds to be rescued and rehabilitate before being released back into the wild. The Wildbird Rehabilitation Center is a great place for visitors to learn more about the local wildlife, how the center rehabilitates, and learn about the species residing within the center. 

USCGC Bibb
If you aren’t into wildlife, perhaps a visit to the USCGC Bibb is for you. The USCGC Bibb was involved in wartime operations in both World War II and Vietnam, and now sits peacefully at the bottom of the ocean in the gulf. The great thing about the gulf is that visibility is impeccable - making viewing of the USCGC Bibb gorgeous! You even have the option to participate in an underwater dive, where you can expect to see sharks, reef fish, and even barracudas. 

Key Largo Parasailing
Looking for an above water view of the beautiful landscape? Consider taking a parasailing adventure and seeing the beautiful Key Largo from the air. The great thing about parasailing is you an do it with a single, or double - meaning if you want to take a partner you are more than able to! 

Capt. Sterling’s Everglade Tours
Capt. Sterling’s Everglade Tours offers three unique options for you if you are interested in taking an Everglades Tour! Captain Sterling offers tours in the Everglades National Park, Florida Bay, and Mangrove Jungle. Not only will you have the opportunity to tour the Everglades, but you can take a manatee tour to experience life next to these gentle creatures. On these tours you also have an opportunity to tour Hemingway Pass, known as one of the most prettiest areas of the Everglades. 

Charter Rental
Charter rentals can be fun and ultimately put the vacation’s control in your hands. With traditional vacations you might have to book all of your travel and you are restricted to certain times and destinations. With a sailboat charter, you’re free to go where you want when you want. Sail the seas with your closest family and travel up and down the coast of the beautiful Key Largo. Visit port cities, experience nature preserves, go swimming, snorkel your way through the ocean, and island hop whenever you want. You are truly in control when it comes to renting a sailboat charter. The best part? You will be able to avoid the tourists.

Have we convinced you of a Key Largo location? With all of the activities to do in Key Largo, and the ability to rental a charter, Key Largo is the place to be! When you set sail with Calypso Sailing Charters, the waters in and around the city of Key Largo are yours to visit as you like. We are looking forward to seeing you this season in Key Largo! Contact us at Calypso Sailing Charters where we can answer all of our questions, address your concerns, and help you book the vacation of your dreams.
 
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