Watchin’ Gustav and Hanna

As this weekend begins, I'm sitting here watching a couple more storms develop and I just wish they would go to the north Atlantic and just go away.  It doesn't look like the case this time.

Gustav seems to want to hit the north Gulf Coast.  Now that's a shame, but I'm still watching to make sure it misses Florida.  Sure, we'll get some rain and some wind, but let it just go away.

As for Hanna…  Now that's a screwy track.

Once you get there, just click on her name to checkout what she's planning on.  I thought she was just going to head north, but it looks like a swing to the south is in her plans.

Capt. Ron has secured Star of Orion and has her all ready for the weather.  Hope we never have to test the strength of the docks at Salty Sam's Marina.

Speaking of Capt. Ron…  He loves it when he can put the rails in the water and push Star of Orion to the limits.  As you can see from this graphic next week may be a good week to do that.  So Captain, if you head out to play in the wind, file that plan and keep the VHF and phone on.  Stay out of trouble and be safe.

As for me, all my thoughts and prayers go out to the people that have to deal with the weather that is coming in.  I know it's the season, but it is just a drag to have to deal with hurricanes.

I'll be working hard this weekend in MN and remember the phone is still working.  Get your name on the list to go sailing soon.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is a wonderful way to spend the day with your family and friends.

Capt. Paul



Calm in MN, Gustav in the Caribbean

I do have to report that MN is feeling pretty good weather wise.  The temps have been in the low to mid 80's and in the upper 50's and low 60's for the lows.  Kind of like Florida in the winter…

The show is going great.  With the weather the way it is right now people want to be outside.  Me too.  I am loosing my tan up here.  I'm trying to get out on the water as much as possible.

Last week I had the pleasure of sailing on Lake Minitonka with Mike and Barb, some good friends here in the cities.

Here's a shot of the sun behind the clouds as we were heading in.

As you know, I love sunsets.  I didn't have a conch shell aboard to blow, but it was still a site to behold.

The transition from day to night on the water is one of the best things I know of.  We all have our special times on the boat.Ascow

While we were out, we ran across a fleet of 

A Scows.  They were a site to see.  Man do those guys fly.  The crews were 6 to 8 and when they popped the spinnakers off they went.

Well this week I have a buddy that is going to take us up the St. Croix River from Stillwater.  I understand it's a beautiful ride.  He has a pontoon boat and him and his wife sail with me when they come down to Fort Myers Beach.

They also have a triplex that they rent down on Estero Island.  I'll get the info and let you know about it here.

Well now I'm sitting here at my little table in my little apartment watching Gustav.

It will be nice when hurricane season is done. He's looking like he's going to shoot out to the middle of the the Gulf of Mexico.  We'll catch the tropical storm weather.  At least that's where it is at the moment.  It changes, so that's why I watch.  Not much I can really do from up here except keep the insurance paid and keep you posted.  You can watch too from clicking the link below.

Right now you have choices of where you want to click on the map.  There's three other lumps to watch too.

Well getting ready for my sister-in-law to come stay with us for a few weeks.

Keep calling and booking your sailing dates.  Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is getting pretty popular.  Call early to reserve you dates.

Capt. Paul West

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Fay Be Gone…

Well at least from our neck of the sea…

Just a quick update that Capt. Ron's prep of Star of Orion must have scared off the storm.  Tropical storm Fay stayed a tropical storm and passed through with winds about 50 mph and dropped a lot of water. Good girl…

We are just fine down here and Star of Orion had a great fresh water bath.

Thanks for all your calls and emails.  It's good to know that people still care about people.

I'll be catching you up as soon as I can.  Things are pretty busy right now, but check back soon and often.

The next project coming up here is my podcast.  I'm working on it right now and will have #1 up soon. It will be a short interview with Mike & Barbara Barns while sailing on Lake Minitonka here during our visit in Minnesota.

Keep calling.  Sailing in Fort Myers Beach continues to be a great way to spend an afternoon or a day or a weekend.  Call me and let me put together a voyage you will never forget.

Capt. Paul



Tropical Storm Fay… And May She Stay That Way!

Well here she comes…


Let's keep her a tropical storm…

The track is heading up the west coast of Florida.  I can't change that, but I can pray that she stays a tropical storm.  Star of Orion's been out in those kind of winds, so I know she'll do fine. But she is close quartered and tied down. She'd do better with Capt. Ron sailing on the Gulf during this storm.  In fact, he called me and told me to fly down and we could go sailing tomorrow.  He's been looking for some wind.

You can track the storm at NOAA's site by clicking on the link below:

You can also click on the information links on the left side of the page, like satellite, and check out photo's of the storm.

You can watch the local weather reports from News Channel 2 by clicking the link below:

Wink 5 has a video for you at the following link:

I have a bunch of other models, but you need passwords to view them, but you'll be able to see what's going on from the two links above.

As long as the power is on, you can check out a web cam of Fort Myers Beach at the link below:

So there you go…  Capt. Ron has battened down the hatches,  protected the sails, put the dingy in the garage and bounced from marina to marina today to make sure that a few other boats are in a safe position for the blow tonight.  Thanks Ron.

May everyone be safe and blessed during this storm, no matter where they are in Florida.

Tomorrow, I'm going sailing with a friend of mine here on one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes.  We have a great forecast and I'll be doing a segment for my new podcast that will be up and running on the site soon.  Watch for the link.  It will be a sporadic podcast and cover a lot of interesting people, sailors and places that may be of interest to you travelers out there looking for different things to do.

Send your energy to everyone in Florida and the connecting states where we are going to be dealing with wind and water for the next couple of days.  We thank you.

Capt. Paul West



Always Watchin’

It's just that time of year.  I like to keep any eye out for the occasional storm that may be tracking it's way across the Atlantic.

They go as fast as they come and that's what we all hope for.  If they do develop into anything than let them shoot north, into cold water and then just go away.

I'll keep you posted if anything comes around.

Capt. Ron always hopes for a big one just so he can get some great deals on boats to fix up.

I guess that's the other side of the coin.

In any case, tis' the season and as Buffett says, "There ain't no reason to hurricane season."

The phone is ringing for the sailing season.  Fall is looking good right now.  I guess I'll have to get a coat of wax on the hull.

Capt. Paul



An “E” Ticket Ride

Captain Ron had a charter last Friday and Saturday.  Great folks from the get go.  A pleasure to set up the charter.  Good communication.  Fun and easy to talk with.  I wish they all could be this way. Thank you Michelle.

As you can see in the shot to the left, everyone had a smile.  It was good family time and from what Ron said, they chilled out and enjoyed the ride.

It was a two day charter.  They left from Fort Myers Beach and headed up the Intracostal Waterway into to Charlotte Harbor.  Winds were better than expected, but very manageable.

Once into Charlotte Harbor, they headed east and pulled into Burnt Store Marina for the night.

Up early in the morning.  The plan was to head to Cayo Costa and dingy into shore to check out the island.  Mother nature had a different plan which seems to be the case this time of year.

There was a bunch of slop moving in from the north, so they headed outside the islands and headed south.

As I was in Minnesota while this charter was going on, I watched his weather very closely on the 4 different weather models that I watch to make sure all was well.

I really didn't like the lightening that I was seeing, so I called Capt. Ron.  No answer.  I figured he was busy so I waited a while to call back…  No answer.  Waited a few…  No answer.

So I called the clients contact cell phone.  No answer…

This isn't like Capt. Ron, so I started to put my calls out.  First TowBoat US to check on any reports that may have been made during the day.  No reports.

Next was the Coast Guard to check on reports.
There were no reports, but the guy said he saw a sailboat come in under the bridge with a mast down that was close to my description.  That didn't help my imagination.

Next Salty Sam's Marina to see if Ron was in yet and to see if they could raise him on VHF. Nope. So I called Capt. Glenn to keep an eye out. Next I put my information together in case I had to report a Pon Pon.

Around 6:00 p.m. I get a call from Capt. Ron telling me what a great day he had with the storm.  As you can see, he's wet and smiling.

Good boy Ron.  He did take on a mate at Burnt Store Marina.  He's a great Captain, now we just have to work on getting him to answer his phone.  He had me and the charter covered, and I had his back so all was well.  It's hard to watch the weather and know that Star of Orion was right in the middle of the mess.  But she is a great vessel and was being handled by a great crew.  What more can I ask for.  (Maybe someone to answer a *%^%#$%@ phone.)

Oh by the way for you readers that are having a problem with the "E" Ticket Ride in the title.  Disney used to have tickets in the 'ol days.  The "E" ticket was the thrill rides at the time.  Thought I'd better make that note.

So this is why it's called Magic Wind ADVENTURE Sailing.

Join us.  Come and play on the sea and let's create a memory that you can take with you.  A story you can tell.  A connection with nature that just can't be acquired anywhere else.

Sailing on the Gulf of Mexico is and will always be an adventure.

Capt. Paul


Transition… Changing Hats

You know I've had a hard time figuring out how to keep this blog up about the charter business while sitting in Minnesota getting ready to start the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  As most of you know I'm a professional magician, and have been for the past 34 years.  I've been doing the MN faire for the past 19 years, so it's always good to get back here and do what I do…  But this blog was set up for the adventures of sailing off the coast of Florida.

So here's the deal…  I'm going to continue to post and catch you up on all sides of the charter business. For those that are interested, I'll be letting yo in on the marketing, advertising and designing part of the business and also keeping you up on the maintenance that Star of Orion is going through as well as where she is and what she's doing.  I'll put up photo's and tell the good stories as well as the bad.

Captain Ron just returned from a 2 day charter…  Now that's a story I'll post tonight.

So there you have it.  Keep checking in and catching up.  Lot's of new ideas floating around my brain that will be posted here.  Lots of new plans that I'll put up here and bounce off of you.  Thanks for hanging around and I'm sure that you'll pick up some information that you may be able to use along the way.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is alive and well, so give me a call and I'll do my best to get you on the water.

Capt. Paul


And the Fun Continues…

It’s a great day when you get asked to be a special part of someone’s birthday plans, but it’s even better when that person is a wonderful young lady that is turning 16.

A couple of weeks ago Captain Ron had that special invitation.  He jumped in and showed this party what day on the water with Magic Wind Adventure Sailing could do.  It was a success.

Here’s a photo of Capt. Ron with the birthday girl to his right and her invited friends.  Her brother was there as well as her Mom and Dad.

There was a threat of rain and thunderstorms, but the day went well.  They were aboard Star of Orion for 6 hours.  Listened to music and had a chance to do a bit of swimming.

Capt. Ron put them on floaties and gave ’em each a rope to hang onto.

I didn’t get a chance to go on the sail, but I met them all after the sail.

Capt. Ron got the clients and Star of Orion home with just minutes to spare.
The sky opened up and the thunder rolled.  Ron also had a ripped lifeguard deliver the cake on the dock when they returned.

When I got there, I couldn’t help borrowing a deck of cards and showing them a couple of my favorite card tricks.  These guys were great.

So if you decide you have a special occasion, and you want to spend on the water to celebrate, just give me a call and I’ll see what can be arranged.

Also once again, I’m on the road.  Capt. Ron will be holding down the fort for the next couple of months.  I’ll be in Minnesota performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  This is my 19th year with that show and I’ll keep going back as long as they will have me.  It’s a great show and a real good time.

Sailing charters in Fort Myers Beach will be there for you.  Just call Magic Wind Adventure Sailing and give me a chance to share the magic of the sea.

Capt. Paul