Charter Captain for a Day

Living a life that many dream of living, surprisingly, can become quite mundane. One forgets how blessed he is… until reminded by a group of visitors who by their enthusiasm and sense of wonder remind one of what a wonderful life he has. Such was the case today.

Alex, the son of our good friends, Dan and Louise, is getting married on Saturday to his sweetheart from Finland, Jenna. Several weeks ago, we agreed to take the wedding party out for a surprise day sail. Today was the day. Shortly after 9 a.m., eight members of the wedding party, the mother and father of the bride, and the father of the groom made their way aboard Beatitude. With the addition of Cindy and I, that brought our total crew to 13 people, a record for us. (Thanks to Terry, who owns our neighboring boat, for letting us borrow four of their life vests.)

Christy and Cindy before the wedding group arrived.  Christy volunteered to stay in the marina and do our laundry while we took the group out.  Thanks, Christy!

Christy and Cindy before the wedding group arrived. Christy volunteered to stay in the marina and do our laundry while we took the group out. Thanks, Christy!

Gathered in our salon.

Gathered in our salon.

Pre-charter safety briefing.

Pre-charter safety briefing.

We were honored to have such a great group of guests on board for the day. We spent about two hours making the trek to Egmont Key where we anchored for some fun and relaxation. We raised the sails once out into Tampa Bay. This was more for aesthetic reasons than practical ones. We had less than five knots of wind which would have propelled us nowhere much. The intended effect was achieved, however, with the “oohs” and “aahs” which accompanied the raising and unfurling of the sails.

Dan, father of the groom, inspecting the mainsail.

Dan, father of the groom, inspecting the mainsail.

Bride and groom with genoa as backdrop

Bride and groom with genoa as backdrop

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

We hung out at Egmont Key for a couple of hours. Most dinghied ashore for swimming and exploring on the island. I made two taxi runs in our dinghy, carrying up to five passengers on each run. Others swam around the boat while anchored in 12 feet of water. Some made a quick effort at kayaking. Many had fun jumping and diving off our bimini top which is 11-12 feet above the water’s surface.

Discovering how difficult it can be to get up on  kayak from the water.

Discovering how difficult it can be to get up on kayak from the water.

Returning from Egmont with a group of passengers

Returning from Egmont with a group of passengers

I't's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's...

I’t’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s…

Somersaulting off the bimini roof.

Somersaulting off the bimini roof.

Taxi anyone?

Taxi anyone?

Jenna and Alex in Tampa Bay at our anchorage. off Egmont Key.

Jenna and Alex in Tampa Bay at our anchorage. off Egmont Key.

After finishing up at Egmont, we returned home to our slip at Regatta Pointe. I believe genuine fun was had by all. The parents of the bride are missionaries and stated that this was an experience of a lifetime for them. We saw quite a few dolphins (the first time some had ever seem them in the wild), sea turtles, ospreys and other waterbirds. Through their eyes, I was reminded just how special my life is and how “supremely blessed” we are to live in a sailing yacht on the water.

The return trip was an excuse for napping for some.

The return trip was an excuse for napping for some.

The gang's all here (except for Cindy who was the photographer).  Bride and groom complete with Mickey Mouse ears.

The gang’s all here (except for Cindy who was the photographer). Bride and groom complete with Mickey Mouse ears.

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