Welcome to the end of summer. Yep, still hot, muggy and buggy, but we’re on the last dog legs of the summer season. September is here and fall is coming.
November is one of the best sailing months of the year. I like it. Waters are still warm, the winds are comfy and the Gulf of Mexico is always calling. We will be up and running around the first week of November this year. Panacea is getting some major upgrades. If you’ve sailed with me before, you’ll notice the changes.
This year, we’ve taken the plunge for all new standing rigging. This includes a two new masts. The main will have in-mast roller furling and a new boom. The mizzen mast will still be a hank on because it is small and easy to handle. New boom there also. We are in hopes to put the stay sail on roller furling this year too. All new wire and replacing some chainplates. This is HUGE project, but she’s worth it.
Our decks were freshly painted last winter with new non-skid too. We are replacing our bimini with FRP paneling which is an experiment as well as a work in progress. The jury is out on that one and we’ll see if we go back to canvas or continue to fabricate the FRP to our liking. Time will tell.
We rebuilt our windless and are getting ready to upgrade our anchor, rode and chain. All is good. She’s going to get all waxed up and pretty too. Summers are tough on boats in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Hot, wet, sunny, and rippin humid.
So check back in now and then. We’re in MN right now selling a ton of garlic and marketing CellGrasp as much as the budget allows. I’ll keep you updated on that project as it goes. Yes. The patent was approved. Whew!
Until later. Watch some magic on the streets and drop a load of money in their hats. It just may be me out there. lol
Good luck and continued success…
See you on the dock…
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 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.
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.
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.
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…”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• The Short Sail – 2.5 hours on the water. Twice daily unless the half day is booked.
I just posted a long blog entry and when I went to check it out, it wasn't there. Hmmm… Sometimes I love technology. In any case, I will give you the highlights and move on, like I have a choice at this point.
It's been a busy couple of weeks. I had Panacea towed in a couple of weeks ago. She just wouldn't turn over and try as I could, she was dead in the water. Thanks to TowBoatUS. It's good to have them around.
It ended up to be a starter PLUS a ground cable from the battery to the engine block. Alex and I pulled the starter first and checked it out and it was bad, so ordered one, overnight, whew! I had to because I had a charter coming up on me fast. We got it installed and still no go.
Had another guy come in at that point and he pointed to to a bad ground wire and we replaced that and there you have it. Panacea's lights are brighter than they've ever been AND she starts right up. That's a plus.
So now I'm continuing to rub, scrub and getting ready to touch up the paint and then lay down some new non-skid on the deck. It's needed and after all the polls, it's going to be white. It's clean and cool in the summer. I was shooting for a color of Pelican Poop, but it was to psychedelic.
Just a reminder, you need to book early for New Years Eve here in Fort Myers Beach. There are a lot of boats that go out for that special night and we are proud that we only take a total of 6 passengers. It's a great private sail and with the food, drink, music and fireworks at midnight. It's a very special way to bring in the new year.
Speaking of VERY, VERY SPECIAL Specials. Check out the front page of the website and read about the Voyage For Dreamers. Imagine taking you and someone special or you and up to five other friends or family out for a sail on your own private yacht. The captain and 1st mate will take care of everything for you. It's a full day sail then once back in port, you have two staterooms onboard for the night.
Also check out the Online Availability Calendar, also on the front page and pick you dates. Call early it's going to be a great season and don't let that special time get away from you. As I've always said, "If not now, when?"
On that note, I'm off and running. Lots to catch up on and I'll be putting up some photos here within the next couple of days, so check back, tell your friends to check in and let's get out there on the water. It's Time to Sail…
Wow, I haven’t been up here for a while. Seems like FaceBook has spoiled me, but I just realized that I miss my blog page and so now I have to blow the dust off the keyboard and get it working with my iPad. Yep, Pat and I took the plunge and went iPad.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my laptop. But there’s a difference between being a consumer and a producer. My MacBookPro is a producer. That’s where I do my work. My videos, my layout productions for our businesses and photo work. It produces.
Pat wanted an iPad, so I started the research. Yep, that’s all it took. I found it to be an intriguing little tablet. Then I checked out the reviews, videos, anything I could find on it. I became hooked. It all made sense since it had apps for a bunch of stuff for me too. It has a good A-GPS chip, so I could get most of the charts for the east coast and west coast of Florida and northern Bahamas. It works as a great trip planner and keeps me on track with way points and information about the areas I’d be sailing to.
It’s light fast and easy to use. As far as collecting emails, blogging, watching movies, communicating, and such, the consumer stuff, it is easy to carry around and works great. So we are iPadders now. So far, we like ’em.
As for business, it’s slow down here in southwest Florida. Over Thanksgiving weekend, the bridge didn’t even get backed up. We had no problem getting on and off the island. The weather was great, but seems like it was a little slower this year so far. I’m hoping it’s not a trend of things to come. We’ll see as time passes.
Panacea is doing just fine. She’s beautiful and ready to go sailing. Be sure and check the reservation calendar on the front page of the web site. I want you to get the date you want. Just booked a 5 day trip to Key West with a great couple I’ve known for years from Minnesota. I love sailing to Key West. Just a nice hop from here and if the weather is good, it’s great, if not, we adjust the sails.
Panacea just got a new starter and new ground cable. She’s up and running fine. We’re doing some painting touch up and then laying down new non-skid on the decks. After all the polls I took, we’re keeping her deck white. It’s clean and cool in the summer.
As for varnish, it’s like painting the Golden Gate Bridge in SF. Start at one end and when you’re done, go back to the biggining and start again. Actually it’s not the bad. She has just enough wood on deck to keep her looking classic, but not too much to have to dedicate you life to it. I’m so glad I didn’t get that Vagabond 47 I was in love with. She had a ton of wood.
So there you have it. I want you to consider your dates and give me a call so I can get you on the books.
There are several boats going out for New Years Eve this year, so you need to make your reservations early. A nigh sail and anchor off the pier for midnight fireworks along with food, drink and party favors. We are proud to only take 6 persons out, so get those reservations in early.