Experience The Tropical Paradise of Okinawa

Okinawa, a collection of fascinating islands that forms Japan’s southernmost reaches, is situated in the warm waters of the East China Sea. Here, visitors are greeted not only by a culture that is totally unique within the country and locals who have a deliciously laidback take on life, but also by any number of pristine beaches and aquatic pursuits that would rival anything the South Pacific has to offer.

Get a glimpse of forever

Book a stay at Hyakuna Garan located in Nanjo, in the south part of Okinawa Island, an easy 35-minute drive from the city of Naha. The serene surroundings of this five-star boutique hotel are replenish the soul, while the views out to sea as the sun sets are stunning. Make sure you indulge in an open-air bath in the evening during your stay, where you can lie under a blanket of stars and listen to the sound of the waves breaking on the beach below, like you are the only person on earth.

 

Reach for the stars

Taketomi Island, just 10 minutes by ferry from Ishigaki Island, is a real slice of heaven: a small, pristine island of wide beaches (head to Kondoi Beach to see for yourself) and a village of narrow laneways laid out between houses built in the traditional Ryukyu style; after all, the islands of Okinawa used to form part of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

One of the most fun things to do here is to head to Kaiji Beach and hunt for its famous star-shaped sand (in actual fact, the remains of miniscule crustaceans). Not exactly a pursuit for the visually challenged, it is said to be good luck if you can manage to find one of the tiny, pointed granules here; prospecting involves pushing your hand into the damp sand and then slowly and carefully sifting through whatever sticks to your palm until you find one of the uniquely shaped grains.

Another great place to find it is at Hoshizuna-no-Hama (Star Sand Beach) on Iriomote Island.

What lies beneath

There is some fabulous snorkelling to be had in the waters off Okinawa, especially near the islands of Ishigaki and Miyako. The reefs are relatively close to the shore here, so they are quick and easy to access, and you will be rewarded with ample sightings of colourful fish, as well as interesting coral formations.

Through the looking glass

Head out on one of the many glass-bottom boats that ply their trade around the clear, blue waters of Kabiri Bay on Ishigaki Island to get up close to the underwater world without getting wet.

 

Food Travel: Texas Food

When in Texas, don’t forget to take a bite of the most popular food in this area.

Chicken-fried steak

It is kind of blurred for the origin of this crusty, fried slab o’ beef. This masterpiece satisfies and economical, dredged in flour and pan-fried, then smothering it with cream gravy made from the drippings. It’s an offshoot of schnitzel, a specialty of the Germans who settled Central Texas’ Hill Country is a theory of its origin. Either way, while modern restaurants often take a shortcut through the deep fryer, pan-fried is weighed more authentic.

Barbecue

Producing the peak of food that presages history, for a carefully slow-smoking beef brisket or pork ribs over wood-fired heat. Who makes the best barbecue — do not get a Texan started. Purists don’t add sauce but Texans, in general, apply spice rubs and perhaps a last-minute mop. With their knowledge of smoking meats, in all probability true that the Hill Country Germans helped perfect this delicacy.

Chili

Containing no beans ever for real Texas chili. Off to competitive high art, Tolbert started the famous Terlingua Chili Cookoff and, with others, elevated the dish. Kathleen Tolbert Ryan, Tolbert’s daughter, runs the family restaurant that still produces a killer bowl of red. Fritos Chili Pie is an important chili offshoot. Starting by tearing open a bag of Fritos, adding canned chili and topping with grated cheese and chopped onions is the old-time Frito-Lay handout recipe.

Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas

Settled as a unique style nearly 100 years ago in Texas’ Mexican restaurants for Anglos, Tex-Mex is a distinguished Texas regional cuisine. Genuine cheese enchiladas may be packed with a processed cheese or yellow cheddar and some chopped onions.

It’s a must for the gravy to be traditional, meatless, ground-chili-style “chili” gravy.

Pecan pie

One of four major pecan- growing states is Texas, and pecan pie is held as the official state pie. Before, pecans were so cheap and abundant as a production of pecan pie overflows.

 

 

An Everlasting Charmer

Upon visit at the Bahia Mar marina in Fort Lauderdale, sultry would best describe the feeling when someone would lay eyes on the Vicem 58 Classic. The emulated bright morning sunlight, accenting an exceptional finish for the yacht’s glossy mahogany sliding doors. The vision made the surroundings cozy and inviting when merged with the soft feel of the teak cockpit underneath.

When the day’s rays become too strong, a sunshade expands from the hardtop on demand to shield the cockpit. An L-shaped couch that sprawls along the transom and up the port side for the relaxation space out here. There is a smaller one for two by just forwarding that couch.

Uncomplicated Style

You can find the near-flawless fit and finish of the 58’s joinery to be impressive by just running the hands across the bulkheads and cabinet corners. Creating a sense of serenity in the salon, or comparable in the staterooms, there is something unique about the supple-tone mahogany.

Dwelling Place

Vicem 58 Classic has three-stateroom. There is a two-head layout with a forepeak master for this charming yacht. There are a step-up bunk and split-head structure for the master room. The second stateroom consists of bunks abaft to port. Abaft to starboard that has twin anchorage, it portions the ensuite head of the third stateroom.

It will reveal an unobstructed salon floor plan just by using two fingers, pushing one of the cockpit doors, and both unfold in concert. Light-tone and rival couches were to port and starboard. Forward and to starboard is the helm console, with side-deck access via a door next to it. The yacht’s 4-foot-9-inch draft makes her Bahamas-friendly as the setup is solid for short-handed cruising.

With a cold-molded, mahogany hull bracing an in-house-designed hard-chine, planing hull form, she is built durable. Coming from twin 725 hp Volvo Penta D11 straight-shaft diesel for power for the 58, and helping with close-quarters maneuverability are bow and stern thrusters.

The yacht has a 25-knot cruise speed and a 29-knot top-end offered by Vicem. Swathed in a timeless design built to time-proved and exacting standards, that’s some in-depth modern performance.