News from Dolphin Central...
 
  Summer Solstice 2015
Greetings from the gorgeous Florida Keys!

Great Goddess Gaia I have GOOD NEWS! I am NOT RETIRING...yet.

The Universe has been working overtime behind the scenes and I do believe my apprentice has been presented to me. It all started last year in April just before I made the decision that I wanted to pass on my legacy. 

The Larson Family, Terry, Jan and Brianna

While walking the beach on Boca Grande that day, I had a very memorable conversation with Terry and Jan Larson's 30-year-old daughter, Brianna. She was hoping to move to Key West and was putting her resume in at the Turtle Hospital. I came away from that charter thinking how great it would be to pass on my business to such a sweet woman. Fast forward one year, the Larson family is back, they have been reading my newsletters and Facebook posts, and Brianna wants to talk business. She actually crossed my mind when I had decided to retire and then synchronicity happened! We had a great charter and the dolphins gave their blessings on our new beginning, as the moon was waxing on April 24th, 2015. The next 2 days were spent in deep discussion and we formulated a plan. 
 

Brianna will be running as my Media Mate for the month of August so she can try the shoe on, so to speak. She comes well qualified with a degree in biology, but her job as a biologist for the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis is not fulfilling her desires. She loved the Marine Science part of achieving  her biology degree and knows that is where her heart lies. By the time of the Fall Equinox in September, I most likely will be sharing the happy NEWS of the sale of Captain Victoria's Enterprises, Inc. to Brianna Larson. Keep your fingers crossed.
 

So my friends, as my dream comes true, I will be spending this next year chartering as usual and downloading my Vica-Tannica (like the encyclopedia Britannica) head full of knowledge into my apprentice, Brianna!! My plan is to record as I teach and that will be the basis for my BOOK (read my first sea story below). I don't really know of anyone who has spent 40 years with the same dolphin on a day-to-day basis, not to mention the waterways, inlets, mangroves, birds, tides, and all the sea creatures I am graced with every day. There is so much I have to share!

My dolphin friends that came to bless Brianna and her family
An important piece of news...
I will continue offering my SPECIALTY Retreats indefinitely. While I plan to retire from the day-to-day charters, I still want to co-create with you! If any of you want to bring your clients, friends or family and make a retreat of your own creation with the dolphin included, we would love it! I am not giving up my passion and source of fulfillment, just adjusting the lens in which I view life through. Taking special private retreats feeds my soul and I plan to offer that on a monthly basis. For a weekend or a week-long retreat, I want to create that experience with you. By visiting my website you can see the many options already available, but that just scratches the surface of what I can offer to you, your clients, friends and family alike.
A note from Brianna.....
Greetings and salutations to everyone! In two month's time, I will begin my training with Captain Victoria and I truly don't have the words to describe how wonderfully excited I am to begin this new chapter of my life.  My earliest memories are of the sea and I can't think of a time in my life when I wasn't fascinated by every plant and animal that lives within or near the water.  Truly, one of my greatest joys has always been learning about the natural world--especially the marine natural world--and sharing my information with anyone who will listen.  It has always been my belief that the natural world is a gift and I am so very excited to share everything I know, and will soon know, with all of you.
Specialty Retreats of 2015
A shamanic Women's Retreat, Amplify your Energy and More!!
September 20th-22nd-  Women's Dolphin Beach Retreat with Susan Wolf and Captain Victoria
 
Join us for a healing and spiritual experience of connecting to the powerful feminine energies of Grandmother Moon, Grandmother Ocean and the Earth Mother through rituals from an ancient Shamanic Tradition.  Susan Wolf Star brings over 20 years of study and teaching from a Shamanic lineage that can be traced back over 10,000 years.  
Susan Wolf and the moon
She was honored to be a recipient of many empowering teachings for women from this lineage by her teacher, Black Bear, a Cherokee Shaman.  We will be doing ceremonies and rituals to help us connect in a deep spiritual way to the feminine and to create healing in ourselves.  We will honor and pray to our dolphin relations to ask for their blessings and to see what we may do to help them.
  **ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!**
Please check this link for more information: 

October 2nd-4th

Dolphin Discovery-Ignite your Intuition with Missy Ostrishko
 

Treat yourself to an amazing engaging adventure custom designed to support you in crafting a conscious vision and action plan for achieving the life you desire and deserve. This beautiful retreat, which begins with a fire ceremony and culminates in two incredible days on the Imp II, is sure to dance your water spirit awake. When we get into Mother Nature's groove, we learn how to uncover our potential, align with our Highest, and live with purpose. Join us to ignite your passion!
 

Missy Ostrishko

Missy coins herself as a creative catalyst and insight illuminator. She is a dynamic keynote speaker and life coach who can help you bring into focus what you want and where you want to steer your life....just like I did last year, with the help of the dolphin. She is committed to unearthing the infinite intuitive wisdom of others through unique experiences and her ability to encourage and inspire is unparalleled.

 

For more info:  Dolphin Discovery

2016 Spring Equinox

Due to the incredible outpouring of love, I have already scheduled a sequel to our very successful HEALING SOUND RETREAT for the 2016 Spring Equinox in March with Kate Beloved. The Goddesses that signed up for that one turned it into a mermaid photo shoot complete with a dolphin tail fin! Be sure to sign up for that one early, as I believe most of the spots are filling quickly with those who want to make this an annual retreat. I will have my own mermaid tail by then and am excited to splash and play once more.

Retreat Registration
All of these wonderful retreats are yours for the taking! There is nothing that lasts longer than experiences and memories, except for love! Treat yourself or a loved one to a fantastic journey by registering here for any of these retreats or to book a personal retreat with the Seapriestess today!
Victoria and Art visiting Missy Ostrishko

 Other NEWS is I have not been waiting to TRAVEL with my loving husband, Art, until after I retire. I am traveling now! One of my big goals in retiring is seeing more of our world together. Our latest exploration was the coastal islands from Beaufort, North Carolina south to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Going slowly with someone you love and visiting good friends along the way is almost as much fun as being with you all in my boat!

The Seapriestess turned Author??
More NEWS, I took a big leap towards my plan/dream to write my  BOOK . Laura Jane Willoughby was divinely guided into my life. Laura is an accomplished writer and journalist who is writing a kind of history book about the Schooner Wolf, the flagship of the Conch Republic Navy. She was here doing research and interviews and we struck up quite a pleasant friendship. I was very fortunate that Laura decided she wanted to help me get started with my book of sea stories. With a great impromptu workshop she treated my friend Joyce and I to, we learned so much so fast, including meeting my muse and beginning the first few chapters of my book.

 

Laura, Victoria and Joyce finding their muse

 To titillate your fancy, I wanted to share with you one of my first sea stories, fulfilling a promise I made to all of you long ago. The title is still a work in progress, but here goes...

 

 "THE MERMAID POOL"

              or

"Life is in the Going"

                                          

"Life is in the going" has been a statement of mine every time I take a charter into the Mermaid Pool. There is only one way in there nowadays, but it is worth it. If you know the movie "The African Queen", then you know the feeling you get in this narrow, winding, peaceful, lush, tropical channel. Any time we get off the main channels in life we find rewards and this is no exception to the rule, there is just so much more to see. Meandering slowly, you get to see all the babies in this nursery, many different kinds of baby fish call this kind of area their home for a few of their early months. Stopping often to take note and maybe a picture of the many attached animals and plants that are using the mangrove roots as an opportune spot to enjoy the flow of nutrient rich water allows you to feel the magic, as this shallow waterway transfixes you and transports you to the feeling of a different reality....one with magical mermaids, maybe.

Heading into The Mermaid Pool

 

This is exactly what it did to me when I first went there with my daddy as a little girl 60 years ago. Now as I am fast approaching my 67th birthday, I still have the feeling of that long ago reality of fairies and mermaids whenever I go to the Mermaid Pool and my imagination takes hold of me once again. My daddy took me down this channel and he was always full of playful imagination too. In those days in the early 1950's, there were no other boats out there in the backcountry islands except for spongers and bait fishermen. Everyone was in super shallow draft boats that went slowly and in harmony with mother nature. Later in the late 1980's, technology jumped ahead of the need to know before you go. The jet skis and go-fast boats nearly put an end to the ecology of the flats, as the shallows are called, and the mangroves were falling back instead of growing out to protect the inhabited areas of the main highway. It got so bad that in 1989 I had been run into 19 times in this shallow snaky channel with its many turns that you can't see around, by inexperienced "weekend warriors".  Now there is a Wildlife Management Program for the area and the jet skis have been outlawed. There is a "No Wake Zone" in close proximity to the mangroves protecting the nursery once again.

 

My daddy always asked me, "What if the water was lower here?" We were in the Mermaid Pool and I named it that our first day there. I was imagining myself being a mermaid as I gazed over the side and it wasn't hard to do. Daddy said as we gazed over the side at a knoll that came up off the 16-foot bottom to about 5 feet from the surface, "that knoll down there used to be out of water". That helped me to imagine it with beautiful mermaids sitting on it with their tails hanging into the water as they combed their long hair and adorning it with the starfish I could see feeding on the coon oysters attached to the mangrove roots all around us in the beautiful green room of the pool and mangroves surrounding us. 

 

In those days, we could come and go into the Mermaid Pool from four different directions. Time has sure changed my reality, as now I have only one clear channel to navigate here in 2015. My term for the mangroves is "the land that walked to sea" and for good reason. The channel from the south has filled up with the detritus of a lifetime of falling leaves made into substrate that is now so shallow I can't get in with my 12-inch draft boat, the Imp II. That is only one foot of water I need to navigate my boat. The channel from the west has roots growing across it. I could swim under and come up into more "green rooms", but I would have to dive deep and hold my breath a long time. The channel leading north out of the pool has stopped my boat, but not me and my fearless friends.

Transpiration roots

I say fearless because it is spooky with the low filtered light under the branches that have grown across and the "breathing roots" making their way down below the surface. Those transpiration roots get huge masses of epiphytes (epi- means around and -phytes means life) attached to them. The epiphytes are both animal and plant, but they don't look like animals that you would easily recognize as an animal because they look like they are pretending to be plants half the time. There are gorgeous arrays of sponges in vibrant orange, purple and yellow and Bryozoans in variegated hues of orange and black and bright white giving this wonderful world rainbows of color. You don't want to rub the roots because there might be hydroids, animals that are very small and shaped like ferns or miniature Christmas trees and they sting! They are cousins to the Portuguese Man-O-War and Fire Coral after all. The North Channel takes you through the mangroves and you end up in a 16-foot crevice in the flats before the Gulf of Mexico.

Epiphytes on the mangrove roots

 

My Daddy could spin some great tales with his happy fun-filled imagination. One of the reasons we were out there was supposedly to bring fish home for supper. Dad always got side tracked by all the neat openings in the mangroves and he just had to go see what was in there. Any time Dad asked if any of the 4 of us kids wanted to go fishing with him, two sets of feet always hit the deck, my brother's and mine. We knew he wasn't just going to fish because the islands out there "needed to be explored". I suppose that is why I made up my mind at the age of seven that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I told Daddy my dream and he took me serious. I am so grateful he didn't look at me as different from my brother. He let us drive the boat and gave us the skills we needed, encouraged our imagination and uncovered our inner-explorer. Nowadays, they call that method of child-raising Montessori. Dad taught us everything he knew and just wanted us to get home safe in case anything happened to him. What better life could there be than taking folks out to go exploring and playing at pretending we are mermaids and mermen? Now they call it Eco Tourism and I have been gifted this life and the ability to share it with the world.

 

Channel into the Mermaid Pool
~~~~~~~~~~~
This stunning channel is worth going in, as it is a great snorkeling adventure to me. I took the great Florida Nature Travel writer, Bill Belleville, a good friend and fearless fellow along with some other folks and you would not believe how he described it. Bill wrote about it and got it published on Worldhum.com a fantastic site full of world travelers' stories. Read here of  Bill Belleville's experience of the Mermaid Pool .

 

I am continually astounded at Bill's ability as an artist painting with words. It is like reading poetry the way he describes that snorkeling adventure. I was there, I saw the same things and was enthralled by the feelings I had. Bill put my feelings into words, as well as describing the critters. If you want to be transfixed too just click the link above or hit the World Hum symbol at the bottom of my website and you will be glad you did.
My lifelong playground
Key West for Children of All Ages:
 
 I thought you all might like to know about some of my favorite things to do in and around Key West so I am sharing them, hope you like them. Please share your favorite excursions with me if you would and maybe some pictures too, I might learn something new from you!
Reef Relief Update

1st Annual Dockside Tropical Cafe Red Dress Hash
12-14 June 2015
Marathon, FL

 

Are you ready for some fun? Check out this opportunity to benefit Reef Relief in the Red Dress Hash. What's a Hash you ask? A fun run whose members often describe their group as "a drinking club with a running problem," indicating that the social element of an event is as important, if not more so, than any athleticism involved (thanks Wikipedia). Beer remains an integral part of a hash, but the balance between running and drinking differs between chapters, with some groups placing more focus on socializing and others on running. For more info and to register: Red Dress Hash

 

The Reef Relief Annual Membership meeting is    July 27th, from 6-8 pm. Click the link for more information about all the happenings at  Reef Relief.   If you are not already, become a member today!
Is it time to come and meet my friends?