Tag Archive for: sailing charter


amazing shrimp ceviche aboard take me there

Amazing Shrimp Ceviche Recipe Aboard Take Me There

Hi sailing and foodie friends! You guessed it- this post is going to be about one of my favorite appetizers aboard Take Me There.  Shrimp ceviche – Take Me There style has again gotten rave reviews this week and when the third person asked me for the recipe, I decided it was time to publish my recipe so you can make this amazing shrimp ceviche at home. After seeing how easy this is to make, you’ll want to make this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe for your next get-together. And with June just days away, this appetizer has cool summer snack written all over it.

So let’s jump right into the ingredients for this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe. Ready? The list is so short you may miss something if you read too fast. So slow it down and take it all in.


  • 8 Campari tomatoes (They are little so that is why you need so many)
  • 1 red or yellow pepper
  • ¼ small red onion
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped cilantro (Buy a full bunch and then you’ll just need about 1/5 of the bunch)
  • 10-12 large cooked shrimp (you can buy raw and boil them yourself or buy them already cooked)
  • 2 limes
  • 1/8 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Before I jump right into the step-by-step part, let’s talk a little bit about the ingredients.

Short FAQ list for your amazing shrimp ceviche recipe

Why Campari tomatoes? Can’t I use any kind of tomatoes?
I’ve tried several different kinds of tomatoes in this recipe. And while large tomatoes are certainly easier to slice, remove seeds, and dice the meat of the tomato, there is something about the sweetness and richness of Campari tomatoes that I absolutely love. There is usually 8-10 in a small plastic tub. And remember that tomatoes NEVER get refrigerated. Store them in a cool, dark place and they ripen beautifully and provide the savory sweetness for this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe.

Why red or yellow and not green peppers?
Another great question. Red or yellow peppers have a sweetness to them that is missing in green peppers which tend to be a bit more on the tart side. Red peppers are the sweetest, but yellow peppers add more color to your amazing shrimp ceviche recipe against the red tomatoes. In these photos, you’ll notice that I used red pepper this time.

Does it have to be red onion?
Yup, red onions have a sweetness to them that you won’t find in raw white onions. The slight purple color also looks appealing.

I notice a jar of minced garlic in the picture, can I use fresh garlic?
Absolutely, you can use fresh garlic. I happen to like the punch that you get from minced garlic (And I really hate to use a garlic press). Another reason- I use a LOT of garlic in many recipes and being able to stock up and open a jar when I need it makes my life easy. And shouldn’t life be easy sometimes?

Can I use dried cilantro or already bottled lime juice for this recipe?
NOPE! What makes this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe is really not the shrimp, it’s the fresh cilantro, fresh limes, and the Campari tomatoes.

Can I cheat and use frozen shrimp?
YES! I have done that too and honestly; I do not notice a difference. Buy the already cooked frozen shrimp and you will be just fine! Lately, fresh shrimp has been too expensive, so I have been buying frozen raw shrimp. I defrost the shrimp (Defrost slowly in warm water) and then boil a pot of water. I put the shrimp into my metal colander and poach them in the boiling water for about 2-4 minutes until they are fully cooked. What I DO NOT do is use raw shrimp and allow the shrimp to “cook” in the lime juice, as many restaurants do. The shrimp must be fully cooked and then diced. But do not overcook the shrimp because then it gets rubbery.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
YES! Here’s the trick. Mix together the tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic, diced shrimp, and cilantro and refrigerate. The morning that you are going to serve this amazing shrimp ceviche, juice your limes and make a dressing out of the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the other ingredients and let it marinate in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Stir it before you serve it and you are ready to go! You can make this up to 4 days ahead of time and it stays fresh in the refrigerator if you do not have the dressing on it.

I’ve seen other ceviche recipes mix the cilantro into the lime juice as part of the dressing. Can I do it that way?
You could do it that way, but I have found that part of what makes this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe is that you are not mottling the fresh cilantro into the lime juice and making the cilantro soggy. The cilantro stays crisp when you mix it with the other vegetables rather than using it as part of the dressing.

What if we don’t like shrimp?
WHAT??!! Just kidding! That’s ok. I have substituted conch, cooked halibut, roasted chicken, or mango in place of the shrimp. My second runner-up to this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe is made with fresh mangos.

So with those FAQs out of the way, you already have an idea of what the steps are to making this amazing shrimp ceviche recipe, but here it is anyway! 😊

raw ingredients with a bowl of amazing shrimp ceviche


Dice your onion and pepper and put them into a mixing bowl.

Cut your Campari tomatoes in half and remove the seeds and the core. Then you can dice the meat of the tomatoes and mix it with the onion and pepper.

Dice your cooked shrimp.

Chop your cilantro finely – about 1/5 of the bunch.

Mix onion, pepper, tomatoes, shrimp, garlic, and cilantro together and refrigerate.

Juice your limes. Mix the juice with a dash of extra virgin olive oil, a few grinds of salt and pepper and whisk together. At least a few hours before you are ready to serve, pour the dressing over the shrimp ceviche and refrigerate.

juicing limes for amazing shrimp ceviche


Serve your amazing shrimp ceviche recipe with Tostitos Lime flavored chips. DONE AND YUM!

amazing shrimp ceviche with lime chips

There you have it folks- your amazing shrimp ceviche recipe. But if you don’t feel like making it yourself, we hope you get some friends together and come enjoy it with us on your next sailing charter- where all food and drinks are just part of your sailing adventure. Just say, “TAKE ME THERE”!

amazing shrimp ceviche with take me there tumblers


kayaking while sailing charlotte harbor

4 Awesome Days Sailing Charlotte Harbor

Hi there Take Me There sailing friends! We hope you are well and enjoying life. We just finished an amazing 4 days of sailing Charlotte Harbor, Florida and I’m excited to share some of the highlights of our trip. When I tell folks that we are on a four-day sail, they often ask how far we traveled. Did we go to Marco Island or the Keys? They are surprised when I tell them that we stayed in Charlotte Harbor for 4 days and thoroughly enjoyed sailing Charlotte Harbor.

Remember that just because you book a sailing trip, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to spend 8-10 hours each day sailing. It’s important to have destinations to enjoy and fun things to do that are close to home- that’s why we really enjoy sailing Charlotte Harbor. There is plenty to do in the area and beautiful things to see right here close to our home port of Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda.

So let’s take a look at the 4 awesome days we spent sailing Charlotte Harbor with a beautiful family of 6. It’s important to note that this family flew in from out of state and had not been to this area of SW Florida before. If you are from this area, you may take these sights for granted, but for those that are traveling from afar, these are some wonderful things to do while you are sailing Charlotte Harbor.

Day 1 of sailing Charlotte Harbor

After a very late flight the night before, the first thing on the agenda was sleeping in a bit in order to feel refreshed and ready to enjoy fun in the sun. It’s hard to enjoy a vacation when you’re tired, and the intensity of the Florida sun takes its toll on you, so it’s important to be well-rested and stay hydrated in order to enjoy sailing Charlotte Harbor. So after a good night’s rest and a breakfast of waffles with all the fixings, we arranged for a jet ski ride with our business partner Riptide Rentals. Riptide Rentals brought the jet skis to us, and after a thorough safety briefing, we jumped aboard Take Me There’s dinghy and escorted the teens out of the channel where they could enjoy some time letting loose in the harbor. Because Charlotte Harbor is 10 miles long and 10 miles wide, the open space is not only good for sailing Charlotte Harbor but also for jet skiing fishing, and just hanging out in the water by the islands.

After we said goodbye to Riptide Rentals, we readied the boat for sailing Charlotte Harbor. Our first destination was Fisherman’s Village. From Burnt Store Marina, this is about a 3.5-4 hour sail, making it the perfect amount of time to enjoy getting the sails up. With the music playing, and the food and drinks being served, everyone enjoyed a fun afternoon sailing Charlotte Harbor. We anchored just outside Fisherman’s Village and enjoyed a dinghy ride into the Village to enjoy the shops and the nightlife at the tiki bar.

Dinner onboard included fish tacos, citrus coleslaw and roasted corn salad. Since we were celebrating birthdays that weekend, each of the dinners was followed by a birthday cake. Take Me There enjoys our local businesses that help us provide exceptional service. All of our cakes and sweet treats come to us from the Publix bakery in Punta Gorda.

Day 2 of sailing Charlotte Harbor

After a breakfast of egg bites, homemade onboard following the Starbuck’s recipe, we set sail for Cayo Costa State Park. We love this area and sailing Charlotte Harbor would not be complete without a visit to Pelican Bay. Cayo Costa State Park is one of Florida’s 175 state parks and it is one that is only reachable by boat. If you do not have your own boat, you can get here by the ferry, but we think the best way of seeing this natural beauty is aboard Take Me There.

While anchored in Pelican Bay, we enjoyed taking the dinghy to see the manatees, kayaking to the island, and floating in the temperate waters. Take Me There carries all the toys onboard to enjoy time off the boat as much as time aboard sailing Charlotte Harbor.

After a dinner of kabobs on the grill (and another birthday cake) it was again time to break out the games. In addition to the water toys, Take Me There stocks a variety of games to play in the evenings for continued family fun. The game of choice on this trip was Cards Against Humanity (the family version!).

Day 3 of sailing Charlotte Harbor

After a breakfast of pastries, eggs, and sausage rolls- it was time to enjoy more of Cayo Costa State Park. There is so much to see and do at this park, one afternoon is just not enough. And when you are sailing Charlotte Harbor, we feel it’s important to enjoy places you visit and not feel like you have to pack up and sail each day. So day 3 was not a “travel” day but was just a relaxing day.

When it is not a travel day of sailing Charlotte Harbor, our guests can sleep in, have breakfast when they want, and each person can do what brings them joy. Some folks got up early to watch the sunrise, some got up just after sunrise to enjoy coffee on the deck, and others slept in a bit later to enjoy the importance of relaxing while on vacation. We love sailing Charlotte Harbor, but we also enjoy taking time to enjoy the sites in the area. Sailing is not always about sailing, but it’s about relishing the moments of joy while sailing Charlotte Harbor!

It was a beach day at Cayo Costa, so coolers were packed with drinks and backpacks were stuffed with snacks. A short dinghy ride from our boat to the dock gave our guests an opportunity to explore the island. It is a one-mile walk from the Pelican Bay side of the island to the Gulf of Mexico side. Swimming, shelling, and walking the beach was enjoyed by all. And then of course more time having fun in the water off the boat!

As I mentioned, we celebrated birthdays while this beautiful family was onboard with us for the sailing of Charlotte Harbor. In addition to birthdays, we also celebrated Easter while they were aboard! And what would Easter be without streaming church services and dying Easter eggs? And Easter would not be complete without a ham dinner, with homemade potato salad, deviled eggs, sweet and saucy baked beans, followed by watermelon and of course another birthday cake! (Take Me There is well equipped to stream services and has enough refrigeration for all of this amazing food!)


Day 4 of sailing Charlotte Harbor

This was the final day of sailing Charlotte Harbor for this family. Pelican Bay has some shallow areas and it’s important to watch the tides when planning a trip into or out of this area of Charlotte Harbor. We needed to be pulling anchor by 9 am. It was then a beautiful 3-hour trip back to Burnt Store Marina as we enjoyed the final day of sailing Charlotte Harbor.

When you are booking your trip of sailing Charlotte Harbor, it’s important to remember to think about how much sailing you would like to do, and how much sightseeing and activities you would like. Take Me There customizes our itineraries, so we are here to meet your needs and do what makes you happy. We will always make sure we have enough food and drinks aboard, and all the fun toys for you to enjoy your vacation. We are all about having fun and creating exceptional experiences! Just say TAKE ME THERE!

“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” – Sandy Gingras, Writer & Illustrator

Sailing Charters

You have 8 Sailing Charter Packages to choose from at Take Me There Sailing

When we thought about the types of sailing charter options we wanted to offer at Take Me There Sailing, we looked at what was already being offered. We did a great deal of googling of sailing charters! Here is what we found: There are quite a few sunset dinner cruises offered and there are also quite a few options for what is called bareboat chartering (this is where you rent the boat, but there is no captain or crew aboard- you have to do all the sailing yourself).

Here is what we DID NOT find: Sailing charter options that would enable guests to have a captain and chef at an all-inclusive price for overnight or multi-night charters based in the Charlotte Harbor, Florida area. We knew we wanted to be based out of the Charlotte Harbor area in order to best serve Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Captiva Island, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg, and Key West. We looked and looked and couldn’t find a business like ours- so we decided that it was time to fill that gap and offer this kind of service.

After much research, we determined that Punta Gorda is the best area to be based in order to serve those areas on the West Coast of Florida and still be able to offer longer sailing charter packages to the Bahamas.

We met with the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and according to them, we are a unique business offering overnight, all-inclusive sailing charters in the Charlotte Harbor area. That was wonderful news for us to hear. So it was settled- we would offer all inclusive, overnight and multi-night concierge level sailing charters based in Burnt Store Marina. We love this area and there is so much to offer our guests. Here are the sailing package options you have to choose from:

1 night charters – If you are looking to book a reservation at a fancy restaurant, why not extend that dinner date into an overnight event aboard Take Me There? Whether you are popping the question or celebrating a birthday or anniversary, we will make it a night to remember.

2 night charters – We are all ready for a weekend getaway, aren’t we? If you are planning a family excursion, a bachelorette party, mother/daughter outing, or a romantic weekend with your partner, we have just the sailing charters you are looking for!

3 night charters – This is the LONG weekend that we all crave! 4 days and 3 nights of sailing, swimming, kayaking, dinners on deck, snorkeling, and so much more! This sailing charter is just for you.

With 3 different choices of 1 night sailing charters, 3 choices of 2 night sailing charters and 2 choices of 3 night sailing charters, the world is your oyster! These sailing charters are packaged at just the right price for up to six people to enjoy a private mini-vacation.

Are you looking for something longer than 3 nights? We’ve got you covered at Take Me There Sailing. You can also choose to customize a sailing charter of 4-7 nights, 8-14 nights, or even 15-30 nights if you want more time to relax, explore, and spend time with your loved ones.

Our mission at Take Me There Sailing is Enriching Lives through Exceptional Experiences. The activity of sailing is not as important as the time that you will be spending with your family and friends aboard Take Me There. We will help you plan a memorable event, ensure that you enjoy a multitude of culinary delights, and have plenty of time to connect with the important people in your life. Come sail with us- because you deserve exceptional! Contact us for more information about the sailing charter that will best meet your needs. We look forward to hosting you aboard Take Me There.