A Salty Proposal to a Beautiful Mermaid

She said YES!!! The following is a behind the scenes look at a special moment that was a long time coming. You'll see how my mind works and doesn't work on the day I asked Castaway Crystal to marry me. If you read my two-part story about The Trip That Wasn't, then you'll know that I was planning to propose on Cat Island at The Hermitage on Mt. Alvernia. Crystal is a big cat lover and it's … [Read more...]

Part 2: A Trip That Wasn’t – Lessons Learned on the High Seas

...And the conclusion of A Trip That Wasn't. If you are just joining in, you can read about Part 1 right here. Grab a life jacket, the seas get a bit rougher! Day 8: We woke early and prepared for our passage taking us to Staniel Cay and Big Majors. The winds were still blowing 15-20mph from the NE but we were traveling south on the shallow lee side of the Exuma island chain. So the … [Read more...]

Part 1: A Trip That Wasn’t – Lessons Learned on the High Seas

...And when he handed me the emergency life beacon and told us to put lifejackets on, I knew it was time to pray. If you were following our latest Bahamas trip aboard the motor yacht Mermaid Tales on social media, then you might have caught on that the trip wasn't going quite as planned. Sure, the photos we were posting on Facebook and Instagram showed smiling faces as we fed the swimming pigs … [Read more...]

The REAL Life of a Caribbean Blogger

There are many dream jobs out there. Teacher, stock broker, business owner, boat captain, it all depends where your passions lie. What about Caribbean Blogger, would you add that title to the list? Since 2009, I've been lucky enough to have the title, Caribbean Blogger, behind my name. I'm not here to boast or blow my own horn though, quite the opposite. I'm here to give you a look at the … [Read more...]

Nearly Busted In Grenada

What's the first thing you think of when you think of the Grenada? Hopefully it's gracious people, nice beaches, the smell of spices, and an authentic Caribbean vibe. It's extreme southern Caribbean location keeps it from the main cruise ship tourism circuit, because of that, the island nation is rich in other commodities other than jewelry stories, t-shirt shops and other cruise ship catering … [Read more...]

Beach Ethics – The Unwritten Rules of the Sand

I wrote this story back in 2011 but thought it needed to be brought back to life. Castaway Crystal and I this past Sunday on Lovers Key here in Southwest Florida and experience a total lack of beach ethics. I'd like to tell you about the situation and then refresh the list of the unwritten rules of the beach. There we were, sitting on the white sand on the Big Carlos Pass side of Lovers Key. It … [Read more...]

A Look Back At 2014

Time. You can't see it or touch it, but you sure as hell can feel it. Goodbye 2014, hello 2015. Wednesdays are usually reserved for Boat Drinks, but being that today is New Year's Eve, I thought a moment of reflection would be more suiting. In the grand scheme of things it's just another day, but in the here and now it's a day we say goodbye to what was and welcome what's to come. I'm a … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas To All You Caribbean Castaways!

Merry Christmas Castaways! I'd like to take this time to thank each and everyone of you for reading RumShopRyan.com and allowing me to share our mutual passion for the Caribbean. This site wouldn’t be anything without all of you, for that I thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Cheers, RumShopRyan … [Read more...]

The New Ocean Inspired Tattoo

Like many of you, my love for the Caribbean runs deep into my bones. It's more than just a lifestyle that we live, it's part of who we are, it's entrenched in our DNA. I recently took that love and added a permanent reminder of it to my body. This permanent reminder was about 3 years in the making and I'd like to share the personal story with you. The Shirt It was about 3 years ago on the … [Read more...]

A Magical Sunset Cruise Aboard Old Glory

Is it possible to be a tourist in your own town? I've called the Naples/Bonita Springs/Ft. Myers area home now for 12 years now and I still can't get enough. I still hit the beach every chance I can get, I find myself in the fun touristy beach bars and I still find Gulf sunsets truly magical every time.  It doesn't matter, I've seen hundreds of them, but each one captures my attention like it does … [Read more...]

Cooking (And Eating!) Spiny Caribbean Lobster

I think I have a tapeworm. For the past three or four weeks I've been starving come lunch and dinner time. So much so that I've started eating my lunch at 10:30am and dinner around 6pm. Food has been forefront in my mind and today is no different. Must. Have. Food. The Caribbean has a rich food culture that includes ingredients like conch, jerk chicken, sweet fruits, peas and rice and of course … [Read more...]