Our Sailing Season in 2014 is Amazing!

Panacea taking a break on the hook
Panacea taking a break on the hook

Man 0 man… Our sailing season is rocking here in Florida. I’m sorry it’s so cold up north, but it’s like shaking the dust out of  a dirty carpet. All that dust is settling here. Snowbirds are flying south. Spring break is in full swing and any one that has enough money for a ticket is calling and looking for a place to stay. It also seems like there are a bunch of sailors that need a fix and are now here.

A good friend of mine John Coriell is aboard pulling the ropes and making sure you are all comfy and safe aboard Panacea. For those of you who have met John, you know he’s a nice guy and is very attentive to our guests.

1st Mate John Coriell
1st Mate John Coriell

He has replaced Alex on deck as first mate. No one can really replace Alex, he is defiantly a one of a kind, but he is Capt. Alex now and doing runs on a Jet Boat. I taught him all the best lines to use and he keeps ’em entertained. He still puts in some hours now and then with varnish and such, but he’s a pretty busy guy now and moving fast. It’s hard to tie him down to Panacea much.

So call early. I’d love to get you out on the water. 888-582-9046. Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is what you want to do when you get here.

In any case, I’m out the door. Time to swab the decks and get back on the sea…

See you on the dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea
CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com

Sailing in Fort Myers BeachSailing on the Gulf of MexicoSailing in Fort Myers

Sailin' & Hangin'
Sailin’ & Hangin’

That’s Right, I’m Back… Again.

Capt. Paul
Capt. Paul

Well my new resolution is to get my fingers flying across this keyboard and keep you up on what is really going on down here in Fort Myers Beach, the best lil’ town in the World.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach
Sailing Panacea

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is getting crazy.  You will have lots of options for your boating fixes down here. Catamarans, fast sailing boats, slow sailing boats, jet boats, jet packs, jet boots, motor boat tours, back bay tours, pontoon rentals, kayak rentals , jet ski rentals and a couple of tall ships in port too. So no matter what your taste in sailing, boating or any other kind of water sport, it is going to be here.

So there you have it.  The first thing you need to do is get down here. It’s a wonderful place to consider when the thermometer starts to drop and you are itchin’ to get your toes in the sand for a spell. I can’t blame you for that. I just put some shoes on a week or so ago and that was an awkward feeling stuffing my chubby little feet into a closed toes situation. It wasn’t bad after a while, but was just kind of odd.

Sailing Naples
Maggie & Mallory

Alex is still with me in the maintenance department. He just stripped off all the varnish on the toe rail and around the hatches. Acid washed and neutralized the wood and put on three coats of sealer.  I’m trying out a sealer for the next couple of seasons instead of varnish. It gives that nice “raw” wood look, but is sealed from the elements. Also the continuing maintenance will be easier to keep up on. It’s water based and goes on clean and fast.

Sailing Cape Coral
My buddy Brad

So far so good on that project. Time will tell. It’s kind of like putting 6 or 8 coats of good varnish on a piece of furniture and then putting it out in the sun and elements and maintaining it or sealing a deck that is in the elements and keeping it up. HUGE difference.

I had my Myrtle beach side of the family down for a nice vacation. Our granddaughter Riana came down for a couple of weeks and then the rest of the crew showed up to finish it off and they all flew home together. It was a good time and it was the first time they found a couple days off in a few years to take a break. The are buys supplying the world with Longboards. Be sure and visit them on the internet and get yourself a board and knee pads and elbow pads as well as a helmet. Happy skating.

Fort Myers Sailing
Sailing Into the Sunset

I’m working on a few new Fort Myers Beach sailing packages for you this year to make it affordable to take you out on a private charter and give you some beach time as well as some sailing time and make it just for your group. It will be 1 to 6 persons, one price, with a nice agenda and a continental breakfast, beach stop, snacks and sailing. It will also be one nice price. Keep checking out the site for details as they are created.

Are you a bit south and want to go sailing in Naples? We are not that far away. Salty Sam’s Marina is located a the north end of Estero Island (Fort Myers Beach). Check the “Directions” link at the site and you’ll see that we are just up the coast and it’s one of the most beautiful rides from Naples. You drive right by Lovers Key State Park which if you blur your eyes just a bit you could be in any Caribbean Island you choose. It’s beautiful.

I also have to announce that I have had to raise my price of the “Sunset Sail Celebration” for this coming season. Dang it. I hate doing that but as we all can see it takes just a few more dollars each month to keep all of us afloat. Pun intended. I can pretty much put my finger on it as the cost of fuel and electricity. So I’ve decided to toss in a couple of things to say, “Thanks for your understanding…”

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach
A Conch Master in the Conch Blowers Hall of Fame

Since Panacea is the most comfortable sailing vessel on the seas and you have so many options of lounging on the foredeck or aft deck or our extra large covered center cockpit, I want to give you that memory to take home. Each person, couple or group will have there photo taken, processed, framed and given to you at the end of the sail. Our complements. It’s something we have done in the past and sold for $5.00 per photo. Now on the “Sunset Sail Celebration Sail” the photos are free.

ALSO I have a, what I call, a “Rum Something” concoction that has become a hit on a lot of our overnight charters. I want you to have a taste of it. So… On the “Sunset Sail Celebration” we will toast to the Daily Transition of Life just before Sunset.

And if that’s not enough we will continue enjoy a 9 year tradition aboard Capt. Paul’s vessels with the “Original Conch Off“. That’s right I started that on our original charter vessel Magic Wind here in Fort Myers Beach and it has been happening nightly for the past 9 years ever sense. One luck and blessed person aboard Panacea becomes the “Conch Master” of the evening and there photo is added to the “Conch Blowers Hall of Fame” at our website.  Whew! and to top it off, they receive a “Certificate of Achievement” to hang on whatever it is they hang things on.

Fort Myers Beach Sailing
John C. & Pat “Headin’ South”

I may even break out my guitar or ukulele and play a tune or two or bust out some magic. I’ve been a professional magician for the past 45 years. This is going to be too much fun… Oh wait, there’s no such thing as too much fun.

So we are proud to say our “Sunset Sail Celebration” is the best, most comfortable and fun way to enjoy a Sunset here while sailing in Fort Myers Beach Florida.

Alright, enough news for the moment. Give me your comments below. I can use your thoughts. Without your feedback, I’ll just keep doing what I like best, throw a good party and hope you come along for the ride.

Check the website often. Watch the videos. Visit the new “Live Photo Feed.” Watch the “Conch Hall of Fame” page grow. But I can only say in closing, CALL EARLY. I book up fast and I really want to take you for a ride on the most amazing cruising vessel Panacea. You will fall in love as many have with her 6′ 7″ headroom, 2 restrooms and spacious deck space. We have cool water, mixed nuts and fresh fruit available while you are on board.

Call NOW! Call DIRECT. Call TOLL FREE, but call NOW! Operators standing by…

See you on the Dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea
239-770-2726 Direct Nationwide
888-582-9046 Toll Free

Email: CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
Website: http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Sailing in Fort Myers BeachSailing in Fort MyersNaples SailingCape Coral SailingPunta Gorda Sailing

Naples Sailing
Just Something to Think About…

So Much to Do, So Little Time

I can’t believe that I can start a project list, then put it in a general priority, then by the time the next day rolls around, I’ve added new stuff and the priorities have changed.  I know, I’m whining, but sometimes I wish projects would just be nice, clean and tidy as well as have 3 steps that just fall into place. But it is not the way with boats.

Ice shot
Ice Burg choking the fridge brain.

So the fridge is running a bit more that normal. After looking everyplace else, I go to slide the drip pan out from under the freezer. It’s always in the last place you look. Here is a photo of the ice burg that collected there. The problem was the ice wrapped around the thermostat sensor the brain of the fridge was saying, “This place is cold enough, I think I’ll shut down.” Then 30 seconds later, it was saying, “Nope, I need to keep running.” On and off. On and off… Take out the ice burg and problem solved.

Port-light Replacement
Knock out the old, cut to new size, shape and replace.

Now Panacea has been very forgiving lately. I’ve concentrated on maintaining and not fixing anything. I don’t want to fix a thing, I want to just take care of it before it happens being in the bilge with 6 foot seas telling me what a wimp I am. Maintain, not fix! Let me say that again… “Maintain, not fix.”

New Port-light
Clean it up and there you have it.

For example, I’m putting in new port lights. You know, those little port holes around the cabin of a boat. I have 21 of them on Panacea. Three different sizes. So I’m working on the first 10.  I have 5 in stock and as of this point I have 3 in place. The first one took me 5 days as I had to keep running up to the hardware store to buy stuff to fix the mistakes that I was making. The second one took me 5 hours. Now that’s a vast improvement. The third one took me 5 hours too. I made all new mistakes and had to fix them and also deal with some wood rot in the forward cabin.

Old Hose
Lots of old crispy hose… Gone!

I’m going in for number four in the next day or two. I have a new plan. It should only take about 2.5 hours. Keep you fingers crossed.

60 feet of new AC hose went into the bilge to run the two AC units aboard. As you can see, they were really needed.

New Hose
Replaced with nice new hose.

I’m so glad I love working on boats. If I didn’t, I’d run for the boarder and get out of Dodge. This weeks projects are to fix a bad hose in the back storage locker as well as install the old stern ladder. I’ve also got just some general stuff like an oil change, check clamps throughout and then clean strainers as well as stop a leak in the aft cabin on the starboard side. I’ve been chasing this one for a while. I think it’s coming from the toe rail and around a port light, so re-beding may be the answer. More goop.

A continuation of this blog…

Bad Hose
33 year old hose fed behind the aft wall and buried.

Now it’s May 27th 2013. Alex and I fixed the bad drain hose to the aft locker. Done. Wow, was that hose bad or what. this is what a 33 year old hose that has been put behind a wall with all the cabinetry in place looks like. It was installed and then the interior was placed and installed. I think they said, “oh what the heck, that hose will never have to be changed in the life of this boat…” Wrong. So how it’s changed and a nice clear running hose is in place.  Alex had to put in an 8 inch inspection plate to get to it, but we didn’t have to tear out a wall.

At the same time, Alex installed the old swim ladder. Cal my welder had to make new plates and weld them up with new backing plates. All is in place and everything is great. A permanent swim ladder again.

New Drain Hose
The old drain hose is now new and clean… Whew!

The oil has been changed. New hose clamps on the PSS shaft seal. The bilge has been cleaned. A few new wire connections have been improved. I even had a new depth gauge  put in. It’s a Raymarine ST-40. Numbers that can actually be read from the helm. What a concept. Oh yea and a new propane regulator. The old one was getting a bit crusty so remember, “Maintain, don’t fix.”

I had Chris of Ocean Rigging come over and climb both masts and inspect the rigging. She has a good clean bill of health. He did point out a couple things for me to save up for in the future, but all is well.

Hey, I’ve got to get this published and then catch you up about our May sailing trip with some other boats from C dock. So I’m out a here.

Remember: Call early if you want to go sailing in Fort Myers Beach. We are still taking out charters and enjoying the sea life. Sailing on the Gulf of Mexico is one of the best sailing grounds in the nation.

See you at the Dock…

Capt. Paul West
s/v Panacea
CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Capt. Paul & Maggie
Capt. Paul & Maggie…

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Ft. Myers Beach Sailing
Capt. Paul – s/v Panacea

If you haven’t noticed, I have not posted in a while. Seems like all the info ends up on FaceBook, Twitter and in personal emails, Skype and Facetime. But I still have this place to rant and ramble. So I’m back again. Jotting down my thoughts and enjoying life as a sailor.

I have a friend on the list to get a liver transplant. Brother Dan is his name and he is now living in Florida. I’m a very lucky guy to have him in my life. His caregiver and significant other continues to help keep him alive and pretty darn healthy for a guy in end stage liver disease.

He’s a singer / song writer and continues to perform, write and record. If that’s not enough, he’s a videographer too. So he’s taking on projects and enhancing peoples life through his art of video. You can check him out at: http://www.BrotherDanPalmer.com. You can also join his “Tribe” at http://HumanTribeProject.com and search for Brother Dan Palmer. Click on the link and then click “sign in”. At that point register to become a member. You will be able to interact and get to know a pretty amazing person.

Fort Myers Sailing
Panacea

Speaking of health issues… Most of us know someone that has HepC or maybe a friend of a friend. Well there is a cure now, but two companies are not playing together and the cure may not be supplied. You need to go to http://www.HepC-Cured.org. Read about it and if you are comfortable, sign the petition. Just follow your heart and at least share this information with your friends. 4 million Americans alone and millions Worldwide are suffering everyday and will die if this is allowed to continue.

NOTICE: You can click on photos to enlarge them.

On a brighter note, the World is a much better place with the Global Love Project. http://GlobalLoveProject.com. Founder Aine Belton has given the World a place where positive energy is number one. She has created eBooks for you and gives them away FREE. She has organized “Love In’s” Worldwide and continues to share posts and meditations. Get up there and get a dose of Love. It will make your inner Spirit shine.

Ft. Myers Beach Sailing
Sea Dawg Maggie

There’s a new attraction at Salty Sam’s Marina here in Fort Myers Beach. It’s called Jet Boat Fun. Remember about 3 years back, I sold my sailing charter business to Capt. Dan? Well he has now added a new boat to his fleet. It’s a jet boat named Hot Tuna. http://www.JetBoatFun.com. If you are into going fast and spinning around in a boat on the back bay, getting your heart rate up and peeing your pants, this is the ride for you. Tell him I sent you over there and he’ll buy me a beer. Now that’s a good deal. Good luck Capt. Dan & Dianne. Oh by the way, remember my first mate Alex? He is the Captain of Hot Tuna. Sometimes he sails with me, but most of the time, he’s on call for Jet Boat Fun. We miss you Alex, but congratulations on becoming a captain.

As for sailing in Fort Myers Beach… We are alive and well. Panacea has new bottom paint, varnish, some new hoses, some clamps, some new wiring, cleaner connections and a rebuild thru hull as well as a new fuel filter and an old one taken out of the system and her sails have been re-sewed. She is sailing on the Gulf of Mexico with style. She’s looking good and feeling good and sailing GREAT.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach
Anchored off of Useppa Island & Cabbage Key

She a project of Love. Piece by piece and thousands of dollars keep her together and ready for you and your family or guests. We are revamping the website soon with very special 2 and 3 day packages. Look for them up at http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com by mid to late December.

So that catches us up for now. The Christmas week is booking up fast, so if you are going to be here and want to get out on the most comfortable sailing vessel at the beach, just give me a call, 888-582-9046 and I’ll get you on the books. Call early to get the days you want.

Fort Myers Beach Sailing is alive. When you board you enjoy tropical music and as always, we have fresh fruit and mixed nuts available for snacking. We do have cool water too, but bring your own adult and soft drinks and any food you want. We have ice and refrigerator space too.

Things to do in Fort Myers Beach
Rippin’ up the Gulf

It’s Thanksgiving. I have a life that I’m thankful for. It’s a good life, filled with friends and family from all over the World. Thank you all for being a part of my family and friends. Here’s to a wonderful sailing season for us all…
See you on the Dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea

CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Sailing in Fort Myers BeachSailing in Fort MyersSailing on the Gulf of Mexico

Getting Ready for a GREAT Sailing Season here in Ft. Myers Beach

Ft. Myers Sailing
Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea

Well August and September are slipping away. August is already gone and September is about half way there. The sailing comes to a screeching halt in September. Sure a few wonderful people fall into my lap and for that I’m truly thankful, but for the most part, I get a lot of overanalyzing done. I change everything and put it all back together and start fresh.

It’s a time for rebirth and contemplation. A time for research and of course a time for maintenance. Panacea is getting ready for the season. Alex is varnishing. The hull is getting ready to be waxed. My diver Mike is down every 3 weeks trimming the weeds that grow on the bottom. My sails were just redone. I’m trying to sew hatch covers and the cushions are going to be redone too.

Along with that, is all the general checking hoses, clamps, fluid changes, through hull checks, wiring chasing and connection checks. Installing new fans, led lights cleaning and repairing wood and upgrading some appliances.

Sailboat Ft. Myers Beach
Another great sunset on the Gulf of Mexico

All this is put on a list and then put in order of importance. And as I go through the list and cross a few things off, I find new things to put on the list. That’s the way it goes…

And then, BANG! Something pops up the goes to the top of the list and everything comes to a halt as we do what needs to be done, then we re-prioritize the list and start the process over.

Every now and then, we go sailing and put our feet up and take a breath. So when you are sailing with me and I look like I’m enjoying this even more than you are, well I guess I am. It’s my vacation too. That’s why I look so happy to be on the water and so excited that everything is running so smooth. I love my life! I love my work! I love my play!

You have probably noticed that the website has been updated lately. It’s under a slow reconstruction. Nothing major, but new and different information. I’ve added some ads from people that have some good stuff out there. Be sure and visit their sites and enjoy their wares. There’s some relevant Google ads on the bottom of the front page. I’ll see how those work out and try to keep them unobtrusive.

Sailboat rentals Ft. Myers Beach
Looking aft on Panacea. Lot’s of room to move.

Coupons? Yep. I have coupons. I’ve had to raise my prices this year, on the half day sail, but if you check the new “Need a Coupon” link on the front page, you can save some money now and then, so check ’em out and check ’em often to see if there is a coupon you can use on your next sail. I will be rotating a few of them, so snag and print the ones that you can use.

There is a big project coming up that I’m working on. I think all you sailors and sailing enthusiasts will enjoy. It’s in the drawing stages but looks like it will be up and running by the first of the year. I’m excited about it and it’s hard not to say too much, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Also… Dang, can’t say anything about that either.

So keep checking back to keep up on my crazy ideas and projects. Maybe I just have too much time on my hands right now. I may come to my senses and drop everything and get back to the simple life as listed above.

Sailing Fort Myers Beach
Some say, “hot & humid…” We say, “Tropical.”

I’ve become an  ORGANizer for Life Link of Florida. Something to do in my spare time. Yea. I’m traveling around, doing health fairs, festivals driver training’s and whatever they want me to do to get out there and get the word out that we ALL need to be organ donors.

I have a friend that needs a transplant. I got involved in being one of his support team caregivers. I’ve learned so much, but most of all I learned that there are more people out there needing organs than there are donors. This is just not right. I mean, what are you going to do with those ol’ parts when you don’t need ’em anymore.

This is also compounded with the fact that most organ donors, when they pass, do not qualify to donate their organs for one reason or another. Which widens that gap in the recipient and donors equation.

So are you an organ donor? If not, we need to talk. It’s easy to get the information. It’s a personal decision. All I can suggest is get educated, understand that when you are done with your organs, you can save 8 lives and impact hundreds of people by becoming a donor. Be a hero! You really don’t need to take ’em with you. Give life instead.

Ft. Myers boat rentals
Capt Paul & Bro. Dan, just after the squall. Ahhh… Cool.

Go to http://www.DonateLifeAmerica.com. Read the information. Ask questions. Make an informed decision and then pick your state and register. It’s easy. It’s important. You will save lives and you never know when you or a friend or loved one my need a part to stay alive. Thanks in advance.

If you are a donor, go up and check the registry. I some cases, a few years ago, the DMV didn’t talk well with the registry and some people were not transfered to the new system, so it’s important to check and make sure all you wishes and information is correct. It just takes a few minutes. If yo don’t find your record, just re-register and that’s that. You can then go up at anytime and make changes, change your mind or update your profile.

Everyone should be a donor. You guys are the best!

Sailing Fort Myers Beach
s/v Panacea – 43′ Center Cockpit, blue water ketch

So thanks for checking in. We are still your number one choice for sailing in Fort Myers Beach and sailing on the Gulf of Mexico. Our Half Day Sails and Short Sails are very popular right now and I’d love to get our knees at the same helm together. Also our weather may mellow out and our Sunset Sails should be available again in October sometime.

Please, no matter what you do. Have a great time. Love each other. Be thankful for every moment and share your life with friends and family. I’m happy to be here.

See you on the Dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea

CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Sailing in Fort Myers BeachSailing on the Gulf of MexicoFort Myers Sailing

Step By Step – TS Isaac – Aug 24 – 11:35 a.m.

Fort Myers Beach Sailing
Capt. Paul

Well the good news is, at least for us in SW Florida is as of the 11:00 a.m. National Hurricane Centers forecast is that Isaac is moving a little more to the west as time progresses. For us, it means less wind and water. We are still going to get the left side of the storm so late Sunday, Monday and into Tuesday, we are going to have an interesting early week.

At this point, we are taking the storm seriously. We have plenty of water, food, candles, flashlights, emergency radios and two way CB, VHF and SSB communication equipment. We are watching and gathering all the information we can and making decisions hourly as to what precautions to take at what time.

Today, I’m reading the house and boat for a tropical storm. We are putting anything that will turn into a projectile in the garage. We are helping the neighbors do the same. We are tying down anything else that may fly through windows and such.

Tomorrow will be the time I make the decision of wether to take down sails, solar panels and such, but we will have Saturday and Sunday to finish up the prep.

Ft Myers Sailing
Tropical Storm Isaac – Aug. 24 – 11:00 a.m.

Here’s another good link that is loaded with different models for storms. Mike puts out a good page of info. It is very graphic intensive and loads slow, but the results are worth the wait. Has a lot of stuff from everywhere all in the same place. Helps us to understand where and when things happen.

http://www.spaghettimodels.com/

I’ll keep you posted here and have the link on Facebook at FantaSea Sailing and at Paul West. Be sure and click “Like” and “Share”.

Until the news changes…
Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea

CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Tropical Storm Isaac – Aug 23rd – 11 p.m.

Fort Myers Beach Sailing
Capt. Paul

Just going to bed and wanted to show you the difference in last nights track and tonight’s.

He looks like he is heading more to the west now. That’s good. At this point that’s a good thing for our storm serge here in Fort Myers Beach. We will catch the east side of Ivan which is usually the side that gets a heck of a lot of water and wind, but the serge will be less which translates into less damage from water.

You can follow this storm at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach
August 23, 2012 – 11:00 p.m.

I’ll update you in the morning…
See you on the dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea
888-582-9046

CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Okay, Okay… I’ll Start Talking About Tropical Storm Isaac

Fort Myers Beach SailingWell, we’re starting to get emails and calls about our safety here in Fort Myers Beach so it’s time to start keeping you updated on the skinny that’s happening down here in paradise.

Tropical Storm Isaac is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean and the track as of 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 22 is that it is heading to Cuba.  At that point it may swing west to the Yucatan Peninsula, east to the Atlantic side of Miami, or if it stays on the track it’s on now, he’s coming to Fort Myers, Lee County.

So we are watching closely.

The plan at this point is to watch until Friday and then make the call to strip the boat, add more dock lines and get her ready for a projected category 1 hurricane. Until then, life goes on here.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach

We have a dinner party tonight with some great friends that are leaving for Ohio on Friday. (Hmmm, did they know something that we didn’t?) And I’m taking a half day sailing charter out tomorrow. Sailing in Fort Myers Beach as normal.

We never take these things lightly though. We are making lists, making sure we have plenty of batteries and radios. Checking the first aid supplies and making plan A, B’s and C’s.

I’ll keep you updated as things progress. Even if it doesn’t give us a direct hit, Isaac is big. Monday will be an interesting day for us here. At the least wind and lots of rain…

Thanks for checking in here and please leave your comments and suggestions below. This is an interactive blog you know. I’ll answer questions and give advice if you have a problem or two.

Until later…
See you on the dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea
888-582-9046

CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach FloridaSailing in FloridaFort Myers SailingSailing the Gulf of Mexico

Summer Sailing in Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach Sailing
Capt. Paul West

Well I’m sitting at my desk. In my house. Alex is varnishing. I’m watching weather and trying to move people around in the rainy season. Summer is here in Fort Myers Beach Florida.

I love this part of the world but in summer, everyday, we get those afternoon showers AND sometimes in the morning. It’s all good. We need the rain, but it sure keeps me on my toes when people call and demand a Sunset Celebration Sail but 95% of them are just canceled. Just like that. There not on my online Availability Calendar, but people want ’em. Really I can’t blame ’em because when one does pop out in the summer sky, it’s absolutely incredible with the clouds and moisture there is nothing like it, but they really are few and far between in timing Panacea to get in and out of port.

So maintenance is the word for the season. We’re cleaning, varnishing, changing fluids, putting in new LED lighting, changing some running rigging, just had the sails re-sewed, getting ready for wax and just general upkeep to make her pretty and nice for your next visit.

Fort Myers Sailing
Sailing vessel Panacea doing what she does.

On another note, I’m not at the MN Renaissance Festival this year. I wasn’t offered a contract, so I’m here in Florida and Pat is flying in and out of MN to take care of the Garlic Shop at the festival. I sure miss her around here. BUT I did find out that all the dishes in the cupboards can fit into the two sinks in the kitchen. Who’d of thunk. Also the toilet seat is up every time I walk in there. Now that’s pretty convenient. I’ve noticed today that I can change clothes anywhere in the house that I want because there seems to be a set of clothes on the back of each chair in the house. How cool is that. I have a feeling that there will have to be some changes made before she gets home. The dinning room makes a great sewing room too.

My back is getting much stronger. I’m being careful and it seems to be working out. Maggie keeps me walking a lot and I’ve been eating well so it’s starting to show. Now time to join the gym and build up those core muscles that have been loosing shape for the past couple of years because of the pain. Slow and sure steps to a better life.

My friend Capt. Dan added a new attraction at Salty Sam’s this year. He’s got a jet boat now and is going to take folks out and pump up their adrenaline up. It’s a fast little boat that will add to your excitement when you come down next time. You can check it out at http://www.JetBoatFun.com. It holds 11 people and is an hour ride. Have fun.

We get amazing sunsets.

I’m in the middle of changing up my marketing plan here in the area. With all the “on the water” opportunities it looks like I’m going to have to compete a little more with everyone. We have schooners that take out 18 to 25 guests at a time, a paddle wheeler that takes a ton of people out for bay rides and sunset cruises. We’ve got a Pirate Ship that takes up to 90 people out a few times a day and I hear we have a guy bringing in little boats that follow the leader round the bay for a tour, four sailboat sixpackers and a motor boat or two doing sunset cruises, as well as jet skis, pontoon and other boat rentals. It’s not quite like it was a few years ago with Capt. Dave and myself so this is giving you lots of options here.

No scurvy onboard. Just snacks.

To tell you the truth, I love it! It’s new fresh energy for Fort Myers Beach and it is going to boost the economy as well as create a stir to get people out on the water.

So as for us here at FantaSea Sailing, we are gearing up for a great season. I’m choppin’ fruit, putting together new music playlists, putting on new strings on my guitar, keeping a new deck of cards onboard and offering you the boat that has the best decks in town. Lots of sun, lots of shade and comfort. We have a ball and want you to come and play with us again and again.

We are setting up “Just Another Sail” – Our new frequent sailing punch card. We have locals that have been asking for this for years and now it’s time to put it together for them and everyone else that visits us more than once which seems to be the case. Watch the website for details as we continue figuring out how much we can give away.

Sailing Ft Myers
Headin’ out. Great deck space.

We will be offering “Coupons” up online too. It’s called, “Click & Spend.” Yep, you still have to buy a ticket, but with your coupon, it will save you money. Watch for the links on the website coming out soon also.

Do you have a party of 6? Book ’em at the same time and we will knock 10% right off the top. That’s $36.00 of rum money, right back in your pocket.

We are putting together some very tasty, “All Inclusive” overnight sails for two. The perfect way to do a birthday, anniversary or maybe just a hook up. I’m just the captain so give me a call and let me get your room ready.

As for our normal rates… I’m thinking they will stay the same as they have been for years. At this time of the World, that’s really good news.

Sailing in Ft Myers Beach
Maggie the “Sea Dawg” enjoying a sunset.

So we are adding a few things and not taking anything away. Our motto is: You call as a client, board as a friend and leave as family. It’s just the way we do business. You are never considered a “one time shot” with us, because we know once you’ve sailed with us, you are going to come back. For that we are thankful and grateful. We promise to treat you the way we expect to be treated. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

So there’s a season for everything. Summer season is time to clean up and get ready for you. School season is rockin’. Those kids are now back at the books. The sailing season is right around the corner and as Jimmy Buffett says, “There ain’t no reason to hurricane season.” So enjoy the season. We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

We will continue to be your premier sailing experience in Fort Myers Beach Florida. Your safety and comfort is the most important thing to us and we are here for you. We have a bell and whistle.

Ft Myers Beach Sailing
Ahhh… New bow thruster prop.

The Short Sail – 2.5 hours on the water. Twice daily unless the half day is booked.

The Half Day Sailing Adventure – 4 hours over the lunch time.

The Sunset Celebration Sail – 2.5 hour sail that comes in 45 minutes after sunset.

And Custom Sailing Charters – 2 to 8 days on the water, built from the ground up.

Be sure and take good care of each other and enjoy every precious moment.

See you on the dock…

Capt. Paul West
239-770-1716 Nationwide Direct
888-582-9046 Toll Free

CaptPaul@FantaSeaSailing.com
http://www.FantaSeaSailing.com

Sailing the Sun Coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico

Sailing in Fort Myers BeachSailing on the Gulf of MexicoFort Myers Sailing

A Personal Sail, Alone on the Sea – Capt. Ron

I love to sail. With people, or alone. I always take something with me from my experience. It could be from a person, a moment or the sea itself. It's always good.

A week or so ago, I received a personal email from Capt. Ron. It needed to be read right here. Enjoy a day at sea with a great Captain.

Thanks Ron…

    You know, doing sailing charters this time of year has poses many difficulties that people just do not seem to understand.  First of all, it is the slow season, so getting charters is already hard enough. then when you do schedule a charter, you hope the weather is good on the day of the charter.  Then there is the cancellations, the re-scheduling, the clients who do not understand the threat of going out when there are thunderstorms in the area, especially when you tell them that the storm is 20 miles away. I guess people just do not understand that Florida is the lightning capital of the world, and also the tornado capital of the world.  We have so many small tornadoes here that towns do not even bother with sirens to warn people.  Then, when you do get to go out on a charter, then there is always the issue of "those no wind days or periods" and clients wonder why don't you put up the sails.  I guess they do not understand the concept that unless I am motoring to make the boat move, that they would be on a BBQ.  I wonder what part of "Sailing" did they not understand?

    Of course,  having the passion for the sea like I do, I guess that one cannot totally dismiss our charter clients thoughts.  On labor day I decided to take a little boat trip by myself. Yes,  no woman in my life yet, so the trip was by myself.  I had decided to go to Cabbage Key which is a beautiful Island north of here about 26 miles.  I know, what could there be on a island for me, but it is very beautiful there.  It is a lush tropical island, with beautiful birds, tortois, lizards, iguanas, and other creatures and it sits along the ICW.  It is also the place where Jimmy Buffet was inspired to write "Cheeseburger in Paradise". 

     I decided to leave around 8am but with chit chat with neighbors on the docks and such I did not leave until almost 930am.  Since I got a late start, I decided to take the ICW (inside the barrier islands) up to Cabbage Key.  What a beautiful day, a perfect weather day.  I saw manitee, dolphins,  logger head turtles, and many other creatures of the sea along with a arm full of different birds.  The boat performed flawlessly, and of course, had a perfect docking at Cabbage Key docks which is a very good thing when you are handling a 38 foot boat by yourself.

     Ok, so the restaurant is pretty cool at Cabbage Key with all the walls lined with dollar bills stating peoples names, home ports, and dates.  The restaurant owners say about 20,000 dollar bills fall off the walls every year and that they donate this money to childrens needs charities.  Pretty cool, and of course, the hamburgers are great as long as you do not turn your back on your burger while sitting outside because Vincent (a greater white egret) will steal it if you do.  Departing the docks 1.5 hours later was a breeze, again, a good thing when you are by yourself.

    The day was beautiful, and the evening seemed like it was going to be just as beautiful so I decided to take the long way back to Ft Myers beach by going farther north, and then exit out of the ICW through Boca Grande Pass out into the Gulf of Mexico and sail the deep blue back to the Ft Myers.  Out in the Gulf it was beautiful.  Winds were 12 from the WNW, seas flat at 1-2 feet, and just a beautiful aqua green. As soon as I got the sails up, I had a group of 5 dolphins swimming along side for more then 30 minutes.  Not much later, a loggerhead turtle popped up.  About an hour later, I saw a huge Manta Ray jump out of the water several times playing.   Of course, all the usual sea creatures seemed to make an appearance for me like they were welcoming me back to the ocean. There were large bonnet head sharks and hammer heads that would surface and take a look.  Flying fish would skip along the surface in front of the boat as if scared by the presence of it.  And of course, the sea birds and pelicans making their end of day dives searching for their dinner.

      Sunset was beautiful and found me just a couple of miles away from Sanibel Reef, but to the east, the sky was starting to take a change for the worse. Watching the radar, the weather was not looking good and it was all heading to the same place I wanted to go, Ft Myers Beach and the home port of the boat, Salty Sam's Marina.  What was suppose to be a beautiful evening with a full moon, now was pitch black out on the ocean, with lightning and thunder coming closer and closer.  Winds picked up to the 25mph range and I had fun sailing the breeze, but keeping a very watchful eye on the radar and weather in the sky.  Sometimes, I believe it is better to believe in my sky, then the silly radar because in the lightning I could see a dry line followed by a very large squall line and it was coming fast. 

    I secured all the sails as fast as I could, and I closed up the bimini top and secured it around the radar arch as fast as I could and just like a watch ticking away to the countdown, as soon as I got behind the wheel again, the winds came up to 47 mph and the seas grew to 6 footers rather quickly, and within minutes came the down pour of rain. A little more of an hour went by and the rains stopped, and the moon came out, and it was like glass on the ocean.  I could see another dry line and squall line coming so I motored as fast as I could to try and beat the second storm to the docks.  Now I know what a cat feels like when a dog is nipping at their heels because this second thunderstorm was filled with major lightning and thunder and it seemed to be rolling right up my stern.  I was a little worried I was not going to make it in time to the pass and begin thinking maybe I should turn and run for the open ocean again.  However, when I hit Mantazis pass, I felt safe and knew I could then make it safely to the docks before the storm hit. 

    Docking at midnight, cleaning up the boat, resecuring the canvas, and giving the boat a bath gives a person time to reflect up one's day.  What was I thinking going out by myself, all day, and then being in the storm?   But then, this is sailing in Florida in July, August, and September, and many people just do not understand all the dynamics of sailing in the Gulf of Mexico this time of year.  But, back to my question of "Was this a good idea?"   YES, because how else would you ever experience all the things I got to experience in one day, and to see all the things I got to see, in just one day, and to feel the power of mother nature, in just one day.  But, the greatest thing I got to see, was a rainbow at night. 
For those who have never seen a rainbow at night, it is like any other rainbow as it appears at the end of a storm.  For it to appear at night, you have to have almost or a full moon.  It will appear against the black storm clouds and will be a perfect arch just like a full rainbow in daylight, but it is just different shades of white.   Sailing this time of year, and by myself, hmmmm,,,,, Yes, it was a good idea.

Capt. Ron

Thanks Ron… It was good sailing with you through your words.

Capt. Paul

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