Harbourside Place Tag

    Harbourside Place in Jupiter has welcomed a new way for the community to enjoy the waterfront with Pontiki Boat Cruises. The third boat of Pontiki, named Shaka, is their largest boat, yet, holding around 40 passengers. Those gathering for birthday parties, reunions, wedding showers, and more will enjoy live music, televisions, as well as food and drinks as they cruise out of Harbourside Place.   JUPITER —With two wide-screen TVs, a bar for beer and wine and hot running water in the bathroom, landscaper Tom D’Alessandro says the 45-foot aluminum catamaran he partly owns and rents out in Jupiter is a dream come true. [caption id="attachment_8746" align="aligncenter" width="788"] The Pontiki, also known as SHAKA, is guided down the intracoastal waterway by Captain Chip Sandt and general manager Jonathan Rios Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The boat launches out of Harbourside for private charters and open cruises. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post[/caption] “Landscaping is my blood. I’ll never quit. And I love boating. How blessed am I to do the two things I love?” said D’Alessandro, sitting on a bar stool on the deck of the Shaka, docked at Harbourside Place. Equipped with an inflatable water slide and bright orange floating “lilly pads,” the Shaka — Polynesian for “Friendly Island Spirit” — opened for passengers last month. Customers pay $30 per person/per hour for rides north to the Jupiter Inlet, along Jupiter Island and back to Harbourside. The 51-year-old Jupiter resident has spent most of his life working with his father Tom in the family landscape business his grandfather started in the 1920s in West Palm Beach. The company did the lush landscaping at Guanabanas waterfront restaurant in Jupiter before it opened in 2009. On the side, the younger Tom started operating two six-passenger pontoon boats for rental. They docked at Guanabanas. The colorful pontoon boats, with stereos and refreshments, were a hit. Locals see them anchored at sandbars and near Cato’s bridge. Billboards posted on the side advertised for D’Alessandro Landscaping. “Our phone rang off the hook. But people weren’t interested in landscaping. They wanted to get on the pontoon boat,” said D’Alessandro. [caption id="attachment_8747" align="aligncenter" width="816"] Interior of the Pontiki, also known as SHAKA, that launches out of Harbourside for private charters and open cruises,Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post[/caption] D’Alessandro and the other two owners are confident their $260,000 floating investment will be a success. “We were turning down customers every week. They wanted a boat larger than the six-passenger crafts we were operating,” said co-owner and Jupiter resident Chris Nielsen. The other part-owner is Ray Pronto, a part-time Jupiter resident. The Shaka gives non-experienced boaters access to the water, said Nielsen. “Many people do not feel comfortable renting and driving a boat,” said Nielsen. Sightseeing isn’t the only activity on the boat powered by two outboard 15o horsepower engines. There’s live music with dancing on deck on weekends. Birthday parties, wedding parties and class reunions are popular. The two TVs attract sports fans. The crew removes the deck tables for yoga classes. Besides private charters, the public can board the Shaka on a first-come, first-served basis. “If there’s room, anyone can come for a ride,” said Nielsen.

February 20, 2018 | By Lori Griffith

Record crowds attended the 3rd Annual Palm Beach County Paddlefest, hosted by Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County at Harbourside Place on Feb. 10.

What began as a small race several years ago, at Currie Park in West Palm Beach, has morphed into a highly competitive race drawing competitors and visitors from throughout Florida.

[caption id="attachment_8644" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Maryanne Boier comes in for the win in the 12-6 SUP Female Division. (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

Making the race more official

Marine Industries Association operations director Alyssa Freeman said, “We decided to work with Paddleguru and make the race more official with timing chips, race categories for boards and kayaks, etc.

[caption id="attachment_8645" align="aligncenter" width="540"] The first wave of racers begins with the OC-1, OC-2, Surfski and Kayaks. (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

"We had about 50 racers last year and close to 50 vendors, and sold out of vendor space!" she said.

"The first two years, the event took place in May - and we made the decision to change it to February to attract more racers. And boy, did that work. We had well over 100 racers this year!

"Blueline Surf and Paddle came on as our race sponsor this year, and their support and guidance has been invaluable to the races. Napleton has also stepped up as presenting sponsor two years in a row. We are excited to see what next year brings and to keep growing this event.”

[caption id="attachment_8646" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Ana Garcia is pictured with Adam Whittington, owner of Blueline Surf and Paddle. (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

Taking top honors

Taking home top honors in the Mens 5 mile race with a finishing time of 00:55:15:11, Steve Miller began racing four year ago at Blueline Surf and Paddle’s Tuesday Night Race League and was immediately hooked.

Miller loves to compete, but said he also paddles for the exercise and loves being part of the strong paddle community in this area.

[caption id="attachment_8647" align="aligncenter" width="540"] John Meskauskas, owner of Flying Fish Board Company, congratulates first and second place winners Kim Barnes and Maddie Miller (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

“Having the Palm Beach Paddlefest right in our backyard is a blast and seeing so many paddlers young and old is great," he said.

"The course this year was perfect for this venue. It was 5 miles and 2 1/2 laps around two islands in a figure eight. I always like lap courses because it's spectator friendly and they get to see the race happen.

"It also energizes all the racers as they come by and hear the cheers from family and friends. We need more races just like this in great venues and also on the beach going in and out of the surf," he said.

"It was another great day on the water with some incredible people.”

[caption id="attachment_8648" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Billy Swezey takes third place in the Men’s 5 mile race, 14-foot SUP, with a time of 00:56:37:75. (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

'We did it for exercise and fun'

Rachel Ferguson-Chase finished second in the 5 mile Women’s race on a 14-foot board, with a finishing time of 01:10:25.97.  A little over one minute separated her from first place finisher Elizabeth Miller with a time of 1:09:23.14.

Ferguson-Chase began racing four and one-half years ago when she started dating her now husband Stephen Chase.

[caption id="attachment_8649" align="aligncenter" width="540"] The youngest competitor, 15-year-old Dylan Geiger, finished with a time of 01:05:15:90. (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

“We did it for exercise and fun. Over the years, we have become part of an amazing community," she said.

"Stephen and I have made so many friends and have multiple sponsors that support us. We have now been married for about 1.5 years and have a baby on the way. Stephen is ramping up his training since this will be the last season he can race so much for a while — and I am slowing down as the pregnancy progresses."

[caption id="attachment_8650" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Brian Pandiscio uses the race as a little pre-training for his upcoming distance paddle from Bimini to Florida - part of "Crossing for a Cure." (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

Well-run race again this year

"Palm Beach Paddlefest was a fun and well-run race again this year," she said.

"They changed up the course, which made for a welcomed change. We made more passes by Harbourside Place and the spectators were able to be more involved.

"The wind, currents and boat traffic made it interesting. I was feeling good and working with Elizabeth Miller up until the last lap when I started to overheat, got nausea and my heart rate and respirations increased. I had to back off a bit, but was happy to finish and get second to my good friend.”

[caption id="attachment_8651" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Maryanne Boier places first in the 12-foot, 6-inch SUP Female Division with a time of 00:25-36:80. (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]

Placing 3rd in the Women’s 5-mile race

Placing 3rd in the Women’s 5 mile race was Julie Allen — with an impressive finishing time of 01:17:32:88

Allen began racing about five years ago.

“One of my surfing buddies mentioned that I should compete in Blueline’s Summer Race Series because there were not a lot of girls competing and I might win something," she said.

"This is true; by competing leisurely, I won: a paddle, a book, so many shirts, stickers, hats, koozies, keychains, trophies, some money and a few local sponsorships. This was my first time attending an event hosted by Harbourside Place, and I thought it was well-organized.

Everything ran smoothly

"I think more time should be allotted for the awards ceremony, but otherwise, everything ran smoothly and relatively on time," she said.

"As a Blueline instructor and guide, these waterways are my home," according to Allen.

"The guys at Blueline Surf and Paddle spent a lot of time working on this course - and I think they did a great job!

"It’s more technical than our old course (“Powerlines”) and by integrating laps and buoys, it gives the spectators something to watch, while challenging us at every turn.”

Complete race results can be found at http://www.palmbeachpaddlefest.com/races/. [caption id="attachment_8652" align="aligncenter" width="540"] The course took racers in a figure eight around two islands, providing beautiful scenery for racers and a chance for spectators to observe all of the action (Photo: LORI GRIFFITH/SPECIAL TO THE JUPITER COURIER NEWSWEEKLY)[/caption]