WHO IS CAPTAIN BOB?
What does Captain Bob have to say that will help me gain knowledge or feel that sense of adventure we all seek? Hopefully, those questions will be answered in a way that creates a desire to live a more adventuresome life and learn from life experiences that only come from doing.
The best job is one that makes you feel as if you are not working. After spending many years in corporate America doing marketing, strategic planning and sales, I realized that making a good living was not all there is to life. I had worked for BellSouth as a Strategic Planner; Human Resources Technologies as Strategic Marketing Manager; and five years in General Affairs for Hitachi High Technologies Inc. Hitachi even convinced me to return during 2008, 2009, 2010 as a consultant because of my reputation, expertise and experience. During this period, I spent every free minute (days) traveling to the Caribbean diving and sailing until it happened. I finally realized I would rather be boating.
Looking to the start when the boating bug bit in 1984, I researched what would be needed to start a dive boat chartering business. Becoming a dive master and finding a dependable boat were the main prerequisites to launch my enterprise. The first hurdle was spending six grueling months under the control of PADI Course Director, Gregg Johnson, to become a PADI certified dive master. No one should even consider doing a dive without first becoming a certified diver or diving only with a certified dive instructor. Most people who sample diving in exotic sites around the world without any prior training are horrified about the risks they took when they become certified.
During my PADI training, I designed and had a 35’ custom Duffy & Duffy dive boat built in Maine, which I named Brain Storm I. The boat was trucked to Fort Lauderdale in December 1984 and I thought I was ready to depart Florida for the Caribbean. When it was pointed out to me that I needed to hire an experienced Captain to navigate the maiden voyage and teach me the art of ocean travel, I hired “Captain Fu.” That is another story we will cover in the future.
As a result of that experience, I earned a 100 ton U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Captain’s License in 1985. Many years later, my blue water experience includes: crossing the Atlantic from South Africa; West Coast of Africa; St Helena to South America; New England; all of the Caribbean Islands, and the Bahamas. I have logged over 50,000 blue water miles and my dive log covers more than 2,500 dives reaching depths of 150 feet. Certified divers should never go below 90’ without proper training and experience. I won second place in Antigua Race Week in 1994 and owned or managed chartering businesses throughout the Caribbean for more than 10 years.
In 2004, I began searching for just the right boat and discovered Windsong in Miami in 2006. Windsong is the perfect 58’ classic Formosa yacht and can be utilized for both sailing and diving charters.
Windsong has been doing sailing charters on Galveston Bay for the past 15 years. I’m no longer running BobKat Adventures but during these 15 years I performed a complete re-fit on Windsong to enhance her beauty and create more comfort for her guests. Everyone knows that a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. This endeavor led to the creation of Dockside Boat Repair and Coastal Marine Consultants, which kept Windsong in top form and provides reasonably priced repairs and surveys on boats throughout the U.S. and Eastern Caribbean.
Each month I will cover different topics that will discuss , navigation, repairs for both sail and power, and my Caribbean Island adventures. I would like each of my readers to send in problems or questions that you would like for me to address. Also, if you have solutions or experiences that you would like to share with my readers, please send them to me.
TIPS FROM CAPTAIN BOB
1. Ever experience smelly water tanks and toilets? Why buy the expensive 8 oz. bottle of mystery chemical from a marine store, when you can spend 2 bucks on a gallon of beach? Depending on the size of your tanks will determine on the amount of beach to add. For pump toilets your toilets that use sea water to flush; buy an inexpensive inline filter and place 2 Bromine tablets into the filter. What you have is a fresh smell and clean toilet.
2. Do your sea strainers plug up often; tired of cleaning then weekly? A good solution is to stop by your local Pool Supply store and pick up a bucket of Bromine tablets. Simply fill up each strainer about half way. Don’t over fill. Then monitor your strainers about every 2 to 3 months depending on how often you run your A/C units. This will make your cleaning much easier and reduce your headaches. This will not harm your A/C as bromine is used in Jacuzzi’s.