At the height of the economic downturn, Yacht StarShip owner Troy Manthey said he and his wife, Jill, worried about the company’s survival.
"We were counting ice cubes," Manthey said.
But they made it. The dining cruise business that sails out of the Channelside District and Clearwater Beach rebounded nicely, adding a fleet of Pirate Water Taxis in 2016.
Now Manthey brings a newly renovated boat to its Clearwater Beach offerings on Friday. The larger Yacht StarShip IV replaces the Yacht Sensation, and will be able to seat 150 dining guests and spur the company’s vigorous wedding business on that side of the bay.
It also gives Manthey the largest dining cruise fleet on Florida’s west coast.
That’s what happens when a good captain weathers the storm. .?.?.
Seen on a bumper sticker: Warning — This Car Is A Transformer. .?.?.
The weather outside was not exactly frightful, but Saturday’s nighttime chill added to the holiday aura at Christmas Lane, the festive salute to the season at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds in Plant City.
The scene includes lights, trees, characters and, on select nights, live nativity presentations. For more, visit christmaslane.com. .?.?.
Of course, the weather may be nice for those breaking out their winter fashions, but for the homeless it is frightful.
Blanket Tampa Bay makes the difference by distributing blankets, with planned giveaways on Dec. 22 and Dec. 24 at Trinity Cafe. Check out blanketampabay.com. .?.?.
As a native, Tallahassee usually inspires warm thoughts, but lately, it has been the coldest place in the state.
That’s all I’m saying.