September is Coming to a Close…

This has been a busy month. I’ve been performing about 25 shows a week, on the weekends and trying to get my wife Pat’s web site up to snuff. In fact if you like garlic, just go up to www.PatTheGarlicLady.com and check out some great recipes, recipe of the week and some of the greatest garlic products in the world.

She’s been doing this business for the past 15 years and has built quite a customer base all over the country and I’ve been trying to get her store up and running so she can sell on line. It’s up. It’s ready and it needs tweaking, but so does everything…

On the home front of Magic Wind Adventure Sailing, Captain Ron has been going above and beyond the call of duty down there in the great American South East. The phone has been ringing and he has been taking people out in the Gulf for some real sailing adventures.

During this time of year, sailing in Florida, we have afternoon thunder storms and weather happening. It’s pretty easy to see what’s coming and when you are out, we can keep an eye on the radar and bounce around the gulf and miss the majority of the squalls and major downpours, but every once and a while Ron has had to do some, how do I say, creative sailing to keep everyone comfy.

Notes from Ron’s Log Sep. 13, 2007

Yesterdays sail was fun. I did not put on the main and I mentioned that to them before we set sail and they were fine with it because she is totally scared of the water and being on the boat. So, I took it real easy with them. Neither are boat people. But he claims to be this big boater. We also had thunderstorms rolling in so I talked to them about that before leaving. They were cool with everything.

Left the dock,,, bad bad bad current! outgoing. Got out there, and took them directly to see the Sanibel light house… tried to find dolphins,, no go… wind came up a little with the thunderstorms and he wanted to go sailing all of a sudden… against wifes wishes…. but I talked to her and she was ok with it,,, so hoisted the jib out… was doing 5.4 knots with just the jib with around 11-14 knots of wind. Apparently the scum must have come right off the bottom of the boat. Last saturday, you could not see anything on the bottom of the boat. Looked clean.. yesterday when I showed up, it looked like there was 1 inch of grass on the bottom… could not see it when we came back in..

Anyhow, sailed for close to 1.5 hours, very nice, about 5-10 degree heel, and just moved right along. Finally got to see a dolphin.. and flying fish. then wind died and we sailed toward the pass at like 1.5 knots watching for the sunset, which is what she really wanted… timed it a little late or the cloud cover over our heads made it dark very very quickly because I was at the outer green when no round was left to the sun above the horizon,, and when I hit the bridge, it was fricken dark!! black dark! had a bitch of a time for myself trying to see. Dock was smooth as a baby butt in landing! 🙂

They wrote something in your book, paid me, gave me a tip in my new little tip jar.. :)… and said that they had a wonderful time….
tied up the rowboat,, turned the A/C on… checked lines again… left.

Ok,, talk to you tomorrow
Ron

Notes from Ron’s Log Sep. 18, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, Capt. Ron had a charter of people out and was watching the radar and noticed that there was a dry line coming in and he knew that it was a direct hit. I’ll put in the photo’s and lines from his log for you to read here:

Remember how you always keep telling me how you really want to know if your boat can handle a storm? Well, here is your proof in the pictures!

Started with a sunset cruise for a couple from St Louis. Last night in town. Checked weather, very spotted scattered thunderstorms inland approaching Naples/Bonita Springs. Very spotted green on the radar. Winds 4-6 variable from the NNE. Partly cloudy. Headed out of pass and headed south along Beach. Kept eye on weather radar, and looked like a small development. Decided to change heading to 195 degrees (more to open Gulf Waters ) in hopes of this small storm development to come through and pass on to the north.. 30 minutes later, storm is far larger, massive, and huge amounts of red on radar. Dry line approaching us.. looks far worse to south. Headed due north back towards Matanzas pass. As the dry line approached it was evident that we were not going to make it… Then tornado hit Ft Myers Beach, damaging roof to Lani Kai and removing the tiki hut and all of their furniture from the top deck. Watch tornado move cars on bridge, and head north along Estero Island. Then the dry line hit us and the lighting was everywhere, with cracks of thunder so close you felt like you were in the clouds. As the dry line passed us, the winds picked up to 68 MPH. Rains hit us as well. No longer could see any land marks (heck, for more then 30 minutes, I could not even see the bow of the dang row boat! ). Decided to try and hold position and headed boat towards open water, and attempted to hold position until storm passed. Around 7pm had an opening in the sky with little rain and decided to run for the marina. Docked at 730pm.. no problem. Clients were smiling and said that they had a good time, and wanted to know if there was an extra charge for the rainbow. Sunset was spectacular with the thunderstorms in the distance as the sun set. Just another beautiful day in Florida! And just another great sail! Ok, so it wasn’t a hurricane, but hey, I will take destruction anywhere I can get it!

So, there you are, your boat is storm tested. Just need to do a little bimini repairs! haha What? You thought you could go through such a storm and not have anything go wrong? There is only one thing that can make me happier then this event for me! Got Milk!

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I hope you understand that this is not the normal weather that we sail in, but it does show that Captain Ron and myself can still show you a good time in all weather and that the vessel that you are sailing on is sea worthy and will get you back to port in perfect condition.

Notes from Ron’s Log Sep. 21, 2007

Tonights Sunset Sail – Well, my date did not show up….. asked her if she wanted to come along for a sunset or to meet me after the sunset and we would go out then. She was or at least acted like it would be so wonderful to go out for a sail. 5pm tonight… date did not show…… clients here……..left dock with 4 clients. Winds WSW 5-11 variable, mostly cloudy with spotted thunderstorms and rain. Went out past the outer channel, hoisted all laundry. Had top speed tonight of 5.8 I think with wind at 10.3 . Good thing,,, all clients novices at sailing. Track line on the GPS looked like the Capt. was drunk because we had to keep dodging bullets the whole evening. No sunset….. cloudy……. dophins were good. Beach lights were pretty. Came in to pass…… drizzle hit at the bridge…… asked clients if they wanted to just go below and stay out of the rain coming……..rain hit by the time I docked. Docked…….lines hooked, electric hooked, went below and clients were chatting… When Elizabeth finally asked when are we docking? I told her we were docked. Clients paid up,,, wrote in the guest log. Every one said they were happy and would love to do it again.

Elizabeth and Joel were on their first date as a couple. Jim and Margarette were married for 13 years and down visiting their parents here.

Notes from Ron’s Log Sep. 22, 2007

Todays sail: Winds ESE 7.1 , Left dock at 9am, clear skies, sailed out towards outer nun bouy, not good boat speed today with only a top speed attained of 3.8, around 1015am it started to cloud up to almost total cloud cover, at 12 noon charters wanted to swim, anchored off Lanai Kai in 9 feet water, charter went swimming, motored in at 1235pm, docked at 110pm, charters said they had a great time, paid cash with a 30 spot tip, then I spent the next hour until it started to rain cleaning the dang boat. These people were chocacoholics! Everything they ate was covered or had chocolate in it, which not only the kid (9) managed to get all over, the the grown ups as well! GEEZ! Rain with 22mph squall hit marina at 205pm. Ate at Parrot Key, talked with Phil who is turning out to be a really nice guy, and then went home……oh yea, on the way home,,,,,, called Capt Paul West up and played a little joke on him………hmmmmmm,,,,, you think he be wise to me by now…… but then,,,, he is like an old wife…….has to call me up all the time and check on me…. jajaja

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Things discovered today: for some reason, george kept coming up “no data” , should have shut off the circuit breaker and cycled him but did not. Need to fill up the water tank,,, ran out of water making everyone shower when coming back on the boat from swimming,,,,,,,, and really really need to have two windows put into the bimini, one on the back half behind roll bar and one in the front half ahead of the roll bar. Also, fluke anchor needs to be removed from anchor locker so that windlass can be used un-obstructed.

Now you know what our logs look like. Sometimes not pretty, but it is the only way we know how to keep track of what is good and bad and how to make it work better the next time.

So there you have it. On this blog, we don’t pull any punches. It is here not only to show how the charter business works, but what goes on and why we do what we do.

Other charter captains read this blog, and people that want to be charter captains read this blog. As well as the general public. The purpose is to tell it all. The good, the bad and the ugly.

If there are issues with maintenance, we will put it here. If there is a drunk that falls over board, it will be here. Not to point fingers, but to inform boaters, customers and captains on how these things effect us and to come up with ideas of how to expand on the wonderful experiences that we have and how to fix the problems that we don’t want to happen again.

We welcome comments through the link below. So that’s your chance to ask questions, make comments and/or make suggestions.

I have some great overnight charters coming up in October and November, so if you are wanting to make a reservation, just contact me and I will get you on the books.

I have a ball playing with and showing everyone the wonders of the sea. Please join m this year while you are visiting Fort Myers Beach.

It Continues & Continues…

It’s beautiful sailing the waters of the Gulf of Mexico right off Fort Myers Beach. Hurricane season is doing well this year. Everything is pushing south. To tell you the truth, I don’t want them to hit anywhere, but I’m thankful that they are not hitting here.

Ron is continuing putting Star of Orion back in shape for this season of sailing. With her new bottom, shaft seal, and clean hull she is taking folks out and giving them the ride of their lives. She is a great boat and Ron continues to dink around and make her better and better.

Here’s the latest. He went down and pulled her dodger and main sail. Now the dodger had a hole in the seam and needed repair and some reinforcement. It’s a low profile dodger and the top of my head has taken a beating and even some of you have popped yourself a good one heading down to the cabin. A new design is in the planning and I just need to get down there and find the people that I want to do it. I can make a nice big room out of that area and think it’s a good idea.

As for the main sail… Ron took it into the Loft there in Fort Myers Beach. Jeff is a good guy and took on the project of getting it back into shape. Ron didn’t like the shape from the beginning so between the two of them they found the problem. Seems that the sail has a rope in the luff that gives the strength, but it shrunk up about six inches and needed to be unstitched and then lengthened and then re-stitched. I had both the chaffing patches replaced with new ones and a couple of batten pockets repaired and replaced. Then Jeff went over the entire sail and stitched here and there and she is good to go.

As you can see in the photos all is looking like the project is about done and Shirley is working on upgrading my ol’ sail cover and then Ron will put the pieces back together and get ready for Star of Orion’s next sail on the 12th of the month. Blake from Mississippi and his wife will get to check out the new sail and Capt Ron may get his 8.5 knots this time. I’m sure I’ll get the call when it happens.

So there you go… The project continues. We’ve got about 10 more things on the list and when those are done I guess we’ll have 20 more. She is a boat. A good boat, but a boat non the less.

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