3 Feb 2015: Meeting Friends- Heading to Miami

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Cruising along the ICW  (intracoastal  waterway) from Venice to Fort Myers at a faster clip makes one realize that this portion of the journey is best enjoyed at a slow pace. The mid Gulf Coast has so much to offer that two weeks just bobbing along is a much more gentle way to stop and poke and enjoy all the quaint gulf towns  and yacht clubs and get the full benefit of soaking up all the positive energy along this coast. Having a individualized custom charter experience allows one to set the pace.

Doing a transition charter, however,  requires staying on course and sticking to a schedule. A transition experience is for learning new skills such as navigating the locks and getting the pace and timing of bridges. Often the captain must make decisions of going open water or protected waterways. There are many factors to consider in making these choices. Yesterday we were able to cruise the ICW in respect of the winds and currents of the time. We almost had no choice to go only open waters due to the closing of the Boca Grande bridge due to construction. That would have meant dealing with rough open seas which requires its own special considerations. The bridge changed closure dates caused by their own setbacks which gave us the desired option of running the ICW.

Our port of call for the evening was the St Charles Yacht Club in Fort Myers. We were heartily welcomed there and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner with some snowbird friends from Pennsylvania/Cape Coral.

 
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2 Feb 16: On Our Way - Miami International Boat Show

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Grampstr's Pride is on its way to the Miami International Boat Show. After waiting for the fog to lift it was smooth cruising under the Sunshine Skyway bridge working our way to the Venice Yacht Club. Just in time to witness a glorious sunset at the inlet jetty. What a wonderful way to welcome back the beautiful weather.

 

If your ready for spring break you should consider a charter with us.

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1 May 2015: John Pennekamp State Park to Marathon Yacht Club

April 30, 2015 thru May 2, 2015

Start: John Pennekamp State Park
Finish: Marathon Yacht Club

It was a beautiful sun filled morning, temperatures in the high 80's but a stiff wind coming out of the North, as we left our lovely cove at the John Pennekamp State Park and head for Marathon Yacht Club. 

The Marathon Yacht Club is small with only 30 slips, but they had a perfect place to dock our 48 Endeavour Trawler Cat.  The club was established in 1948.  What is fascinating about each club is they usually have a picture of the Commodore of the club for each year.  The Commodore is like the president of an organization with a one year term.  There is a lot of pride in the club with several activities going on each weekend. Our arrival was after a fishing tournament, where they serve the fish that are caught!  Unfortunately not enough was caught but the chief had gone out a purchased Hog Fish, local fish caught in the keys and Gulf of Mexico.  It was outstanding!

That night the winds were still very strong and we decided to lay over another day and provision as it appeared we still had a shot to get to our ultimate stop the Dry Tortugas. We took a 5 minute cab ride to town for groceries

On Friday evening May 1, we got to witness the "Lowering of the colors ceremony".  The first Friday of each month the officers of the club lower the American Flag at sun set as they play the National Anthem and Kate Smith's version of God Bless America.  At the end they fire a canon...  It was really cool!  This will be the last time for the service until the renovations are completed and a new Swimming Pool is constructed.  

On another note we learned at each of our Yacht Club stops, the club is making major infrastructure investments, either in new docks, swimming pools or other club facilities!  That says boating is alive and well and there is no better time to be on the water cruising! We are hoping you will join us for a charter with GEC Charters.

2 May 2015: Marathon Yacht Club to Key West Florida

May 1, 2015

Start: Marathon Yacht Club
Finish: Key West Florida mooring cove

We started the day with mild winds in the 10 to 15 knot range but a beautiful weather in the mid 80's. Just what you like in a southern tropical setting with GEC Charters.

Our cruise over the Key West was smooth with some chop.  The Endeavour Trawler Cats stability always stand out and are know for their comfort!  As we got close to the mooring field the winds picked up to the 25 to 30 knots!  Again the Grampstr's Pride handled the conditions admiralty with little discomfort!  Once moored we settled in for the evening! 

With the winds 25 to 30 knots we knew we could not make the 75 mile trip to the Dry Tortogas  tomorrow, just out of our own comfort.  However, according to weather forecasts we saw the winds were to decrease in 3 days, we decided head to down town Key West and dock at the Key West Marina. 

We have been talking about the weather and wanted to note that the Grampstr's Pride has 3 different sources of marine weather updates.  The US Coast Guard, the SiriusXM Marine Weather, and the best Garmin Open Array Radar with 12 kW of Power with 72 mile range.

Using a consensus of all three we can make the sound safe decisions.  There is no reason to purposely go out in the open seas in bad weather or high seas due to wind!

Sarasota was Great -- Time to take a look around the Keys

22 April


We have just finished the Sarasota Boat Show at Capt. Jacks Marina.  We want to thank everyone who stopped by the Grampstr's Pride while at the show, The Grampstr's Pride is the latest model of Endeavour Catamaran's TrawlerCat 48 one of 3 Endeavour on display at the show!   The show was great success! Endeavour signed contracts for a new 48 and 40 and GECCharters received a lot of interest for our newly added charter locations to both Ft. Myers and St Petersburg.

Sarasota itself is a great destination to visit because the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum is there and is one of our clients favorite stops when chartering out of St. Petersburg. We are planning a "no rush exploratory cruise to find charter locations for future trips for our charter guests."   We will be taking this opportunity before we start our first Grampstr's Pride transition cruise. 

 

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