As alot of you may know, Daddy passed away on November 1, 2008. Several months afterwards I got a call from my Parrothead "Sista" Charley, with an interesting offer, would we like to let Daddy become a part of an artificial reef up in Sarasota? Pictured above with some members of the family is Al Palumbo, who was President of the Sarasota Bay Parrot Head Club at the time, and along with his wife Beth was one of the MANY Sarasota Bay Parrotheads who took such good care of us when we went up.
Here's family that went up for our first view of the "Reef Ball" Basically what they do, is use any amount of your loved ones ashes you may choose to use (or none at all!) and prepare a "pearl" that is attached to the reef ball. The reef ball itself is made up of special material that encourages growth underwater, which in turn encourages sea life by creating a environment that is safe and attractive to sea life. They then drop the ball offshore to create artificial reefs. This particular one was "super sized" for Daddy, you can see the plaques they attached to the ball, one is a picture of Daddy,
and the other was a beautiful plaque with this inscription, from PHIP Inc. which was kind enough to donate the reef ball for the family, in honor of Daddy...
They brought the reef ball out by Shrimp Boat, which was was just perfect, considering how much Daddy loved his Shrimp Boats...
And they provided us with mini Reef Balls, and flowers, so that we could contribute to the ceremony when the time came...
Here it is on the gunnel of the shrimp boat...
Then being lowered into the water..
And of course it being Capt Tony....they had to give him a proper send off..
Radio Margaritaville was playing and dedicating Buffett songs for Daddy, including of course 'Last Mango in Paris' and the music was playing over the ships speakers
They gave Daddy a 21 diver salute...
A Capt Tony's cup was involved...
It was a beautiful day with alot of emotion....And we will remember and cherish it always...
Here is a last shot of dive flags and a Conch Republic Flag. The whole concept was entirely new to all of us, and I know I can speak for the family when I say we loved the whole thing. Daddy was so unique and this was such a perfect fit. What a wonderful way to remember a loved one while helping the Ocean by giving a habitat that helps living things? People also have the option of diving on the artificial reef and seeing the progress that has been made...You can even see progress online by going to Capt.Tony's Eternal Reef after two years. - YouTube
So for anyone that is looking for a different, loving way to remember a member of your family, I highly recommend it! You can find them on Facebook, or at http://www.eternalreefs.com/index.html. And Thank You Again, for everyone that helped to make such a wonderful Memorial to Daddy!