I’ll never forget my first charter. There was a Dentist’s convention in Duluth,
MN, that weekend and their wives were all looking for something to do. A group of six of them hired a charter out of
Bayfield, Wisconsin and I was called upon to be their captain. Chauffeuring and babysitting six boozy,
belligerent, high maintenance and very menopausal women around the Apostle
Islands in Lake Superior was an interesting experience, to be sure. I was less “captain” and more “cabin boy,”
that’s for sure, but those “ladies” had a great time!
Alas, when I moved here from Texas, I knew I would miss
the water. Yes, I’m well aware that
Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (truthfully, the exact number is closer
to 11,186); but Texas has a grand share of beachfront property that kisses a
“small” body of water called the Gulf of Mexico! So, one of the first things I did when I
moved here was to seek out some “big water” and I found Lake Superior. I decided to take the required written and
physical tests necessary to gain a captain’s license for Lake Superior and at
the end of my first full summer I was on the Harbor Master’s list of “Charter
Captains” for sailing vessels, forty feet and under.
The typical 40’ sailboats in the marina in Bayfield would cost you about $250,000.
I certainly don’t have that kind of cash but fortunately, the boat
owners make their yachts available for charter during the weeks and weekends
that they aren’t using them. This is a
great deal for everyone, the tourists get to sail around the Apostle Islands
for a two or three day weekend (for a modest fee), the boat owner keeps the
cash, and the captain gets a free weekend of sailing on an amazing boat that he
didn’t have to buy!
A three-day trips would typically cost $1,000. The boats could easily accommodate groups of
6-8 people though, and if you all split the cost, $150 each for a three day
sail is quite reasonable. Bring along
whatever you want to cook, grill, and eat or drink, and you’re all set for an
You don’t have to be gone for three days, or even for
two. Charters are available for ? day,
full day, etc. The next time you need to
host a client for a business meeting, why not consider a venue outside of the
cold, mundane confines of a Holiday Inn conference room? Consider an afternoon on a nice boat, or an
afternoon at a ballpark? What about a
terrace reservation on a balcony that overlooks something scenic and
different? Be creative, be unique and schedule
a meeting with a client that they won’t forget.
I know after ten years, I still remember Gloria and the
dentist’s wives. Hoo, boy, do I ever
you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc,
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