Short Stories ~ Chartering

Great FeelingThe Booking Agent had scheduled a large booking that would involve several boats.  A large corporation was having a seminar on Marco Island and to break up the monotony they scheduled for all of their employees to have some “Down Time” by either Sailing or Fishing.  We were notified of the place and time to meet the charters.  Upon arrival we were greeted by the Booking Agent who started off by handing over coolers of all shapes and sizes and large bags of  provisions.  Michael had explained earlier that in these circumstances my job was to unload everything.  Put the coolers where they wouldn’t get turned over and to play the part of Hostess by making sure everyone had a cold drink or something to eat. But he really didn’t think that I would need to offer more than once because  “once we start sailing, no one wants anything.”  And he was right.

We had a fun time sailing.  Our group seemed very anxious to let their “hair down”, so to speak.  After a couple of days stranded at the hotel listening to one speaker  after the next, it was enough for anyone to want to break away.  As we headed out the Marco River, everyone was talking,  laughing and bitching about this person or that situation.  Then as we passed thru the inlet, entering the Gulf of Mexico, the chatter started to die down.  The day was hot and in the high 80’s.  There wasn’t much wind until we got out into the Gulf of Mexico.  Michael instructed people sitting in the cockpit area to move  one direction or the other (front or back) and he began the show.  He pulled out the sails, got them set where he wanted them and then began putting people on the wheel.  As soon as they would grab the wheel and feel the wind, you could see a large grin begin to spread across their face.    Once he knew the wheel was manned, he would mingle with the others. Sometimes he would show you how to really have a good time and would sit on the bow-rail, lock his feet underneath the lower rain, lean back and stretch out his arms.  He would say that they feeling of looking at the water and the sky upside down, was great.  The defragging had begun and so did Michael’s’ stories.  He was an entertainer and people would love to hear him talk about his experiences as a Sailboat Captain.  And even tho I had heard these stories many times, I still couldn’t help but laugh, because they were funny.

The Charter was for two hours and it was a productive two hours for this group.  Several other Sailboat Charters were carrying other groups from their corporation and as we were heading back into the channel, into the Marco River, our group got excited, started yelling, laughing and waving at the other sailboats.  Then several members in the group stood up, turned around, dropped their pants midway and mooned all the other boats passing by.  The laughter and stomping of feet  was so loud that you could tell that their time on the water had done it’s job.  As we returned to the docks, people were grabbing their shoes and gear. Each of them took a turn at shaking the Captains hand. Each person expressed what a great time they had.  Then the last few off the boat  introduced themselves as the CEO’s of the  corporation.  They also said their associates probably thought they had had too many beers. And were surprised that they didn’t even finish one.  They were curious how the rest of the seminar would go.  Matter of fact, we were too.

Shortly after the docks had cleared of all of the people, the other Boat Captains from the Sailing and Fishing Boats started gathering at the Tiki Bar Hut.  Then after everyone had a drink at the bar, they started to visit the Sailboats and sit on their decks and drink up the beers that were left behind.  They knew to go to the sailboats because hardly any one wants to drink once they go sailing, it is usually when they get back to the dock and reflect on the day.


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9 Responses to “Short Stories ~ Chartering”

  1. suburbandharma Says:

    Man, you have a great job!!

    Our family must be a bunch of lushes, because our beer wench (usually my stepdaughter) stays pretty busy even when we’re under sail!

  2. Lynn Says:

    awe!! i wanna moon passing boats too! …..looking at the ocean and sky upside down seems to relaxing…michael has the gift of gab like rip it seems. another fun post forour reading pleasure, thanks shannon!

  3. Shannon Scott Says:

    You bet, Lynn! Thank you!

  4. frigginloon Says:

    My favorite location on a boat is the bowsprit , I like nothing more than sitting on the end with my feet dangling over and teasing the sharks 🙂

  5. Terri Says:

    Sounds like a beautiful day would love to try thyat some time!!!

  6. wenchhandle Says:

    It does make for a good time.

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