Mar 26, 2020

Pucker ProSeveral dozen fans of the fluted, pink-lined conch shell displayed their pucker power Saturday March 1st, during Key West’s 58th annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest in the Florida Keys.

When the “conch honk” concluded, Canadian Alliszon Zaichkowski of Victoria, BC was named the women’s division winner. A French horn player for the Royal Canadian Navy, Zaichkowski impressed the judges by playing excerpts from several melodies including composer Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Zaichkowski, who said she traveled to Key West specifically to compete in the contest, is such a fan of the conch shell that she has one tattooed on her arm.

Pucker Pro“I like to think of the conch shell as my travel horn, because I can’t bring my French horn everywhere -- and you also don’t want to be playing a French horn at the beach,” she said. “So I always just take my shell with me and that’s what I play at the beach.

“It’s more my vacation instrument,” she added.

The tradition of blowing a conch (pr conk) shell in the Florida Keys began centuries ago. In the 1800s, when the local economy was largely based on salvaging shipwreck cargoes, sailors attracted attention by blowing piercing blasts on the shell.

Today the conch shell remains an enduring symbol of the Florida Keys, and the island chain is often called the Conch Republic.

Pucker Pro

Contest entrants included men, women, kids and groups, with winners chosen for the quality, duration, loudness and novelty of the sounds they produced.

The men’s division winner was Vinnie Marturano of Big Pine Key, Florida, who blew an excerpt from composer Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” embellished with offbeat high-pitched squeals.

The contest was presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, founded in 1960 to advocate preservation of Key West's culture and historic buildings.

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. Our Virtual Show will continue to grow so visit frequently and check it out. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston...........