Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back to Grand Bahama for some Mango Man, Flamingo Bay, Red Beard's and Nature Tourism

The trip to Grand Bahama Island several weeks ago with the Bahama Tourist Office’s Summer Boating Fling to Port Lucaya was just enough to tempt Talkin’ Tourism to go back and find out more cool stuff about the closest island to the Treasure Coast and the “Gateway to the Northern Bahamas." With Robin still attending weddings and getting into “nuptial tourism," Radio Man will have the pleasure of sharing hosting duties with none other than Bimini Mango Man. 

Mango Man is no stranger to the Treasure Coast and is one of the most popular “one man band” acts in The Bahamas. While residing on Grand Bahama, Mango can be found engaging audiences on many of the Family Islands. Mango will probably cover Grand Bahama “wildlife” from an entertainers point of view. That should be interesting! Other guests planned include Mario Bodner, project director of Taino Beach Resort and Clubs and Flamingo Bay Hotel. Rumor has it that Flamingo Bay Hotel is a favorite “haunt” of the Coastal Angler Magazine-Flahama Team. We’ll look forward to what special deals Mario has for the boating enthusiast! 

What about great places to eat and drink on Grand Bahama? We have the expert for you. Brian Botham, proprietor of Red Beard’s Pub, an award winning and Trip Advisor recommended establishment, will tell you all about his great place and, as a restaurateur, recommend some of Grand Bahamas best eateries just for you. 

For the nature enthusiast, Grand Bahama Ministry of Tourism representative Andre Cartwright will tell our listeners all about great outdoors and nature adventures you can partake in while visiting Grand Bahama Island. From ancient caves and birding, to snorkeling in marine preserves, getting outdoors and up close and personal with the flora, fauna and fishes is a big part of the fun. 

So fans, join us this week from our beachside studio on Grand Bahama Island and get another dose of Island Times with Talkin’ Tourism. The fun begins Friday, July 1, at 10 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or from your computer at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Destination Weddings (Nuptial Tourism)

Photo courtesy of Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour,
a favorite wedding venue for many destination weddings
in the Islands of the Bahamas.
June is traditionally the big month for weddings.  So, it is only fitting that Talkin’ Tourism ring some bells and talk “Destination Weddings."  

Hitting the road to tie the knot seems to be in vogue these days. Maybe a new niche has evolved: nuptial tourism (just kidding).  Without a doubt, more and more couples are opting  to travel to a location outside of their hometown, and they are bringing the entire wedding party with them to witness the "I do's."  Ensuring your wedding day is picture perfect, regardless of the wedding location, is the job of a wedding planner who specializes in destination wedding arrangements.  A wedding ceremony demands attention to each and every detail. Now, try to pull this off in a remote location and it becomes a matter of managing the micro-details!  

This week, we have the pleasure of welcoming AnnaMarie Wintercorn, a certified Master Bridal Consultant, to the show.  AnnaMarie has presided over countless weddings from small hometown ceremonies to large affairs in unique locations.  Radio Man and History Lady already have lots of questions on the “how to” side of things.  The answers should be information and certainly entertaining.  We don’t want anyone to have “Wedding Bell Blues," especially those Godzilla Brides! Yikes!!

In addition to wedding talk, Gary and Robin have lots to catch up on.  Two weeks ago, a regional blackout in the Port Salerno area forced the repeat of the May 25th Abaco show. Then, last Friday, Radio Man was on the other side of the Gulf Stream while Robin (guess what?) attended a wedding here on the Treasure Coast!

Join us Friday morning at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or streaming live on your computer at This will be an informal, barefoot elegance affair. Wedding gifts may be sent ahead to Palmetto Island....ooops!....almost lost our heads, though host Gary and his bride Misti will be celebrating 22 years of wedded bliss on Friday. Time flies when you're having fun!

Summer Means "Bahamas Boating Fling" Time!

Early morning departure out the St. Lucie Inlet headed
east to Grand Bahama.
Talkin’ Tourism kicked off the summer boating season in style with last week’s broadcast from Port Lucaya, perched on the balcony overlooking Port Lucaya Marina. After a smooth crossing of the Stream we were ready to go. The show brought back great memories of the first broadcast done by Greg Wyatt and WPSL 1590 AM at Port Lucaya Marina from 1996 when the Flahama relationship began.

With Anthony "Tony Macaroni" Hanna as our special guest host, it was a lively and fun show demonstrating his own special humor and insights. Karen Pinder and Thomas Lockhart shared all the details about both Port Lucaya Marina and Grand Bahama Yacht Club. No vessel is too big or too small to take advantage of these great marinas and their amenities. 

Karen Pinder and Thomas Lockhart share with host
Gary Guertin all the details on Port Lucaya and
Grand Bahama Yacht Club.
Want details about the Ministry of Tourism’s Boating Fling Programme? Richard Treco, Bahamas Tourist Office vertical markets manager and leader of this trip, gave us an in depth look at this popular boating option. 

Moving along to other matters, Grand Bahama Tourism Office representative Donna Mackey gave us a rundown of activities and events happening this summer on the island. Lots of fun to be had by all for sure.

Shamine Johnson, manager of the Marina Operators of the Bahamas (MOB), shared with our listeners what the organization has accomplished over the last several months and what goals this private sector group is striving for over the coming months. The power of collaboration is certainly evident here!

Boats pulling into Port Lucaya Friday morning for a
Bahamian fun-filled weekend.
As always, Talkin’ Tourism seeks “Flahama connections” and we were not disappointed. Tony Macaroni, the proprietor of Tony Macaroni's Conch Experience located on Taino Beachand Donna Mackey both shared how they are connected to the Treasure Coast. The answers will surprise you!

By the way, where did Conch Fritters originate, the Bahamas? Surprisingly, these tasty treats originated from outside of the Bahamas…but where? If you enjoy the Bahamas and especially Grand Bahama Island, you will want to listen to this show. From West End to East End, Grand Bahama and in particular Port Lucaya is a destination where you will want to spend some time this summer.

Gary Guertin, Karen Pinder, Shamine Johnson,
Donna Mackey, Anthony "Tony Macaroni" Hanna,
Richard Treco and Thomas Lockhart post-show
along the harbour of Port Lucaya.
If you missed the live version of the show, here's the audio link. We hope that you enjoy the show as much as we enjoyed producing it for all of our Talkin’ Tourism friends and fans. Check out the photos and make plans to spend a little time in Port Lucaya. You won’t be disappointed!

Show Photos (Video to come)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Week: Bahamas Boating Flings and Grand Bahama, baby!

It’s summer time and  the boating season we all have been waiting for is finally here!  Talkin’ Tourism is getting in on the action and heading over to Grand Bahama Island on one of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Boating Flings to bring you this week’s show from Port Lucaya Marina, Grand Bahama.  

The boating flings are organized by the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida  Bahamas Tourism Office to promote boating to the Islands of the Bahamas. The primary purpose of these summer flotillas is to familiarize boaters who have never made the Gulf Stream crossing.  Only 68 nautical miles away from the Treasure Coast, Grand Bahama Island is our nearest island neighbor and this beautiful island is no stranger to Talkin’ Tourism!  Since the inception of the show in 2009, Talkin’ Tourism has broadcast three shows from Grand Bahama. Here comes number four!

Since show co-host Robin Hicks-Connors (aka History Lady) is heading to a wedding this weekend, Gary Guertin (aka Radio Man) has found a wonderful co-host, Cacique Award winner Tony “Macaroni” Hanna, who will be mixing up the show with his great sense of humor, perfect common sense and total commitment to hospitality and tourism.  And, with probably no prompting, he'll be certain to share with our listeners why his roasted conch is one of Radio Man’s favorites.

Here's the guest line-up: 
  • Betty Bethel, representative of the Grand Bahama Island Ministry of Tourism Office who will fill us in on upcoming GBI summer events and activities
  • Shamine Johnson, manager of the Marina Operators of the Bahamas organization
  • Richard Treco, manager of vertical markets-boating and diving with the Ft. Lauderdale Bahamas Tourist Office, and 
  • Karen Pinder, manager of Port Lucaya Marina.  
There may be other surprise guests as well, so tune in!

As always, we will explore Treasure Coast/Bahamas connections otherwise known as the “Flahama Connection." You may want to be sipping a Bahama Mama, Goombay Smash or a Gully Wash while listening to this show!  

The fun begins Friday morning at 10:05 a.m. on your radio dial at WPSL 1590 AM or on your computer at www.wpsl.com from Port Lucaya Marina, Grand Bahama Island. Yea, Mon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Up the Creek to Discover the Tarzan of the Loxahatchee, a Secret Radar Camp and Someone Named Murphy

Park Manager Mark Nelson, Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-
Connors checking out the scrub jay exhibit at
Jonathan Dickinson State Park.
Last week, Radio Man and History Lady were definitely up the creek but they did have their paddles!  After catching up, (it had been two weeks since they had been together on the air), show host Gary Guertin shared some of his and Misti's Abaco adventures with listeners.  There were many Abaconians to thank and tales to tell about Talkin’ Tourism’s latest trip to the Bahamas. 

Once the chit chat was over, Talkin’ Tourism's dynamic duo jumped right into the topic of the show--Jonathan Dickinson State Park and Trapper Nelson. Ironically, the tour guide show co-host Robin Hicks-Connors hoped to have on the show, who provided her and friend Paul with the tour to Trapper Nelson’s the week before, could not appear.  Why?  He had gone to the Bahamas!  Good choice if you ask Talkin’ Tourism!

Park Manager Mark Nelson started out with the 'big picture' of this Treasure Coast award-winning state park. You may be surprised to learn how big the park really is and the diversity of the habitats to discover there.  Do you know where Hobe Mountain is?  If you download the show, you will not only know where it is, but how high it is!  Secret radar installation during World War II, indeed.  The area was once known as Camp Murphy and housed a literal city.  Get all the facts here on all the park offers for outdoor enthusiasts.

Heading up the Loxahatchee River, Robin could not contain her enthusiasm for her experience of visiting Trapper Nelson’s Camp.  History Lady and Mark delved into some pretty interesting facts about Trapper Nelson, including where was he from, whether or not he was one of the first tourist attractions in the area and who would come up the river to visit him and why?  You will be intrigued and want to learn more about Tarzan of the Loxahatchee, no doubt about it.

With the hour nearly gone, the last minutes were wrapped up with Bahamas Updates, upcoming local fishing tournaments and even a scoop on a local Lionfish derby. 

As always, it was a fun and entertaining show. If you missed it, check it out, then head south on I-95, Florida's Turnpike or U.S. Highway 1 to Jonathan Dickinson State Park and see it all for yourself!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Off to the Jungle: In Jonathan Dickinson State Park

A peninsular cooter turtle. Photo credit: Jonathan DickensonState Park.
With Talkin’ Tourism back on the Treasure Coast after an excursion to Abaco, the challenge for Radio Man was where to do this Friday’s show. Since show host Gary Guertin would be out-of-pocket until Wednesday evening, co-host History Lady (aka Robin Hicks-Connors) turned into producer and pulled this week's show together.

Influenced by a very cool trip last weekend up the Loxahatchee River (a federally designated Wild and Scenic River) in northern Jupiter, Florida to visit the jungle home of Trapper Nelson, Robin thought that listeners would enjoy learning about this unique site located within Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Leave it to History Lady to come up with a historical (and wild) perspective!

Trapper Nelson came to the area in the 1930s and lived off the land by trapping and selling furs. He was a loner for the most part, who found security in this area and a way of life that was suited to his skills and temperament. He quickly became famous as the "Wildman of the Loxahatchee." Yet, with his limited education, he managed to make a living, built a much-visited wildlife zoo and acquired large land interests. After his death in 1968, the state acquired his land, preserving his home and grounds for future generations to enjoy.

You just may put a trip to Jonathan Dickinson State Park on your summer travel bucket list after listening to this week's show. This Martin County based state park offers lots of activities for the outdoor enthusiast and nature lover. Park Manager Mark Nelson will join us as we take you on a radio tour of the park outlining all it has to offer.

And, after a busy week in Abaco, Bahamas, Radio Man has many adventures to share with our listeners. Who did he meet? Where is the hometown of the current Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham? How many lionfish were caught last weekend in the Lionfish Derby in Marsh Harbour? How easy is it to get to Abaco? Will there be an Abaco/Treasure Coast Meet and Greet coming to a marina or restaurant near you?

All this and more on this week’s show for your listening and learning pleasure.

'See you' at 10:05 a.m. from Jonathan Dickinson State Park!

Been, been, been to Abaco! (And ready to return!)

You could be here at the Abaco Inn, Elbow Cay, Abaco Bahamas.
Another great road and sea trip, this time featuring the fun and adventure of Abaco, Bahamas. If you missed this show, you missed one of the best.

Sitting in for co-host Robin Hicks-Connors, Michael Albury, the president of the Abaco Chamber of Commerce and Abaco Community Tourism Foundation, jumped right into the groove in the co-host seat and was right at home even before the show began.

The conversation was fast and flowing. Judy Fortenberry, manager of the Abaco Inn, our host venue for the show, shared all the details of this fabulous property focusing in on the “Barefoot Excellence” the resort is known for. What is "Barefoot Ellegance?" If you tuned into the show, you heard. If you didn't turn into the show, you can find out by listening to the recorded audio file.

Judy Fortenberry, Michael Albury, Olivia Patterson,
Lindsey McCoy, Gary Guertin and Michelle Mikula
in a post-show, relaxed photo poolside at the Abaco Inn.
Besides providing "Barefoot Ellegance" every day, raising funds to restore a vintage 1965 Land Rover fire truck on Elbow Cay is one of Judy’s current community efforts. Can you help? Glad you asked and YES you can!! Make your $20 Hope Town Fire Truck restoration donation here!

Moving on, the conversation headed into the realm of current tourism efforts in Abaco. Michelle Mikula, from the Abaco Tourist Office, gave us a great update on her involvement on assisting wedding and other group tourism activity in Abaco. Thinking of a Bahamas wedding ceremony? Learn how long you have to be in the country and other necessary requirements you need to be aware of to make your dream wedding come true. Want to know what’s happening in Abaco over the next couple months? From the Summer Junkanoo Festival to the world famed Abaco Regatta, there is truly something for everyone.

Michael Albury outlined some of the concepts unfolding to launch a collaborative effort among the private sector to market Abaco as a tourism destination. Radio Man (aka Gary Guertin) and Michael share many same beliefs that destination development is a community-wide effort.

In most non-urban tourism destinations, the environment plays a huge role in developing and sustaining the tourism industry. The Bahamas, comprised of over 700 islands and cays with offshore, near-shore and inshore eco-systems, has a huge stake in ensuring that these precious habitats remain intact. Meet Olivia Patterson, the program coordinator for Friends of the Environment, an Abaco based conservation and education organization. This non-profit's efforts are extremely important in educating both Bahamians and visitors to respect, understand and appreciate the value of these resources for generations to come. Olivia’s comments are relevant to tourism destinations around the world.

Are you hungry yet? Lindsey McCoy, producer of Conch Salad TV, was next on the show menu. What she and her director partner Matt are doing is awesome. Want to experience the Bahamas like a local? Then dial in Conch Salad TV at Some t'ings we learned from Lindsay include: who is Gary the Explorer, where are cave shrimp found, are they sightless and how many does it take for a Cave Shrimp Cocktail, how long does it take for an experienced “conch cracker” to clean a conch, and much more. Thanks for all the great cocktail party conversation Lindsey!

Before we knew it, the hour was over. What does that mean? It means we definitely have to go, go, go back to Abaco for Part II of Talkin’ Tourism’s Abaco Adventures. So many cays, so much rum and so little time…island time that is.

Here's the link to the Abaco show's audio file. Pour yourself a nice fruity tropical cocktail, sit back, and enjoy the show! We certainly did.

Show Album

Abaco Album

Friends of the Environment 2011 Lionfish Derby

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