Friday, 1/8/10

Friday, 1/8/10
The past couple weeks have been very busy for us with driving home for Christmas (and spending Christmas sick in bed with the flu) and working on marketing our charter business in Florida.

We had a great time with our Sunset Dinner Charter on December 15th. The weather was very nice with 10 knot winds and just a few storms in the area. I used our radar to sail around the storms as we cruised out past Sombrero Reef and into the deeper ocean waters. Our guests were interested in everything as they have just started thinking about buying a sailboat. We mentioned that dolphins usually come around the boat and, on our way back to Book Key, we could see them swimming towards the boat then playing around the bow for several minutes. Kathleen (our charter guest) was very excited. After watching the dolphins playing for a few minutes, she turned around to me and said, “How do you get them to do that?” I laughed and said something like, “We trained them well….”. It was very cool.

Just before sunset we anchored and served a great dinner. The sunset didn’t disappoint and was awesome. Back to the dock a short time later and our guests were off to other places.

The next couple days we spent getting the boat ready for it’s lonely stay at the dock while we travelled home.

I picked up the rental car on Thursday morning (12/17) and we were on the road around 10 am after packing the car and closing up the boat. The trip back to NY was pretty uneventful as we spent the next two days heading north. We typically drive to South Carolina then take I-26 to Columbia and I-77 to I-81 north. This is a little longer than staying on I-95 to NJ but you miss all the big city traffic along with about $30 in tolls. We stopped in North Carolina for the night and we at Laura’s parents house in Esperance around 9:30 PM Friday evening. 1,700 miles in about 25 driving hours.

Saturday Laura spent the day baking cookies with her mother and just relaxing from the long trip. On Sunday we drove up to my sister’s house and I was a great surprise present for her 60th birthday party. She didn’t know we were coming home for Christmas and it was a very tearful reunion.

A few days later I started coming down with a cold and ended up spending 3 days in bed over Christmas. We didn’t do any visiting other then immediate family because I wasn’t feeling well enough. Sorry to our friends that we missed.

I was just starting to feel better when we left on Monday (12/28) for our drive back to Florida. It was snowing for the first couple hours then the roads cleared up and the weather was cold but clear for the remainder of our trip back.

We had one day with the car (12/30) before we had to get it back to Avis so we made the best use of it with a long list of places we wanted to visit. Lots of shopping and dropping off flyers to local businesses were on the agenda. We also visited the local Chamber of Commerce which we wanted to join so we could put our flyers in their Visitor’s Center. We couldn’t afford it last year but, after some negotiations, they let us pro-rate our membership for the 4 months we would be in Florida.

Monday, January 4th we had another charter. This time it was our shorter 2-hour sunset cruise with a very nice couple from Pennsylvania. The winds were blowing 20 knots out of the north and it was only in the lower 60’s – very chilly for a sail. But, they had a great time and we got the boat in and out of the dock without problems (one of my worries with the big winds…).

We took out an ad in the local newspaper which will come out the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Our plan is to more money on advertising this winter to get the word out to people in the resorts. Here is a copy of the ad….

Keynoter Ad 1-7-10

Laura has started working on refinishing the interior teak while I keep plugging away on marketing. We’re hopeful that our work will pay off in more charters so we can keep doing this for awhile. It’s lots of fun for both of us and we love meeting new people while sharing the great experiences.

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