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Captain Dan Mendat
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How did Dianne and I get here? How are we living in the tropics of Florida near the shores of the Gulf of Mexico? How did we escape the grips of suburbia in Northeast Ohio? How did I go from driving a semi tractor trailer to captaining a beautiful sailboat on Gulf Waters and meeting incredible people along the way? Why didn't I get to the Dry Tortugas sooner? Why is there a palm tree just outside my window in the kitchen? So many questions and only a lifetime to figure them out. Its been a while since I've spilled... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2011 at Notes From the Helm
It's just after midnight and my thoughts about today kept my brain racing so I had to sit down at the computer and type another blog. Today was like any other day..... Dianne and I took a little road trip today to visit Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda and then on to meet up with Captain Ron at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage where he is working on a vessel. The day was sunny, warm, and as usual...beautiful. Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage is a boat yard in a very obscure place on the north end of Charlotte Harbor. Its the type... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
What a great song by Jimmy Buffet. "Beautiful Swimmers". Every time I hear that song aboard Star of Orion, I reach a Zen-like state. My eyes open wide and become very observant of some beautiful things happening around me. Join me.... Walk down the dock with me at the Marina. Its early in the day. The sun is fresh and the air is thick with anticipation. Each boat you pass as you walk down the dock has a story. A job to do. A dream to fulfill. They sit patiently tethered to their slips awaiting their moment. The sound of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
What is it about that damn movie Forrest Gump that motivates and inspires people? I watched it just the other night and it motivated me to type up a long overdue blog entry. Why didn't I type one up sooner? In your best Forrest Gump voice say "I was Sailing!". I've been a busy sailor since my last entry. January and February were a little slow but March came in strong and April blew me away. April was so busy I almost forgot to stop and look around where I was. I'm working hard on developing the life style know... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
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Mar 16, 2010
Congratulations to the newly engaged couple Sarah and David pictured here on the bow of Star of Orion. Its was Valentines Day and David had prearranged for a private 1/2 day cruise so he could propose to his girl. He brought along his sister to secretly help take pictures and smuggle champagne aboard for a toast if all went well. Here at Magic Wind Adventure Sailing, we make it happen! We left the dock around 11am and headed out Matanzas Pass to the Gulf of Mexico. After seeing the wind direction was in my favor, I turned the boat towards... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
Another blog update from the helm of Star of Orion. It's been a few weeks since I've updated this and I've got a good reason to type one. Sailing charters in Fort Myers are doing great. Neither the economy nor the weather is going to stop folks looking for adventure from booking a sailboat ride with me. Here is a picture of such a group dedicated to experiencing a sailboat charter in the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These sailors pictured here are from an inland lake in Kentucky who booked my Marco Island 2 day/1 night sailing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
Every so often, I get blown away by a group of people that go out sailing with me. A few days ago it happened again. Although every sail is special and the people are great, sometimes a group just stands out. The day of this sail, the marine forecast for Fort Myers Beach was for a small craft advisory with winds blowing 20-25 knots and gusting higher at times. I had a morning half day sail scheduled at 11am but the party canceled after I told them of the conditions we would be sailing in. I understood their concerns and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
Yep, That's Me! Half way up the mast, strapped to my top-climber boson's chair, tied to my spinnaker halyard, with a boat-hook in one hand, and my other hand holding on for dare life! Ha!! Magic Wind Adventure Sailing....for real! You might ask, what going on here? Let me tell you a funny little story....... So this really nice family pictured here comes sailing with me for a sunset cruise. We motor out to the Gulf, turn into the wind, and I begin to raise the main sail. The sail goes half way up and stops. I look up and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2010 at Notes From the Helm
This little guy inspired me to do another blog update. Today I did a half day charter and then a sunset cruise. The winds were great today and each sail was special. However, this little guy pictured to the right made a special impression on me during my sunset sail. This family was from Atlanta and this was their last day before returning. As soon as this little guy got on-board with his parents and 2 friends, he immediately began exploring the boat and asking me if he could buy it from me or "just have it". Ha! I think... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2009 at Notes From the Helm
Yet another update from the helm of Star of Orion sailing the Gulf of Mexico via Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Its hard to actually put into words what I'm feeling about being a sailboat charter captain. All I can say is that as of right now I feel this is the best decision I've ever made and I feel at home in my new position. Every time I go sailing with new people I'm revitalized and come home with excitement racing through me. After 13 years behind the wheel of a semi tractor trailer, I forgot how nice it is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2009 at Notes From the Helm
Hey Everybody, Well I finally got time to sit down here and type a blog entry for any of my followers. Geez, I sound like a preacher. More like....for anyone who would like to follow my adventures as a sailboat captain here in Fort Myers Beach. I arrived safely, with my parents following me in a rented minivan, on Friday, November 27th around 11:30 pm. I had all day Saturday to get organized just enough in order to jump right in Sunday with Captain Paul, the previous owner, on learning all about Star of Orion and any quirks/issues she might... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2009 at Notes From the Helm
On short notice, Dianne and I decided to fly to Fort Myers last Friday to get our drivers licenses taken care of and check on the place. Also since my parents are following me down in their vehicle this coming Friday, I thought it would be nice to have their bedroom all set up for them after the long drive down. They are helping me out tremendously by doing some painting and repairs around Dianne and I's condo while I am out on the boat consulting with the previous owner or doing charters. We arrived in Fort Myers by noon... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2009 at Notes From the Helm
Only 4 more days of punching a time card for "The Man". Thursday November 19th, 2009 will forever be remembered by me as the day I left trucking to become a Charter boat owner/captain. What a crazy ride its been so far. 13 years behind the wheel as a local tractor trailer driver and nearly 3/4 of a million miles will not necessarily be missed. My body had been telling me for awhile now that its time to get out of the seat of that truck and do something different. As stated previously, who knew that when we visited Fort... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2009 at Notes From the Helm
First of many posts about my adventures involving Magic Wind Adventure Sailing, my new business that I'll be taking over December 1, 2009. Its a beautiful 38' Hunter sailboat located at Salty Sam's Marina in Fort Myers, Florida formerly owned by Captain Paul West. What a great guy! I was lucky to cross paths with this man in February 09, thus changing the path of Dianne and I's life forever. Who new that when I googled sailing fort myers, I would have changed my life forever! So far to date, the business name and Lee County business receipt is now... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2009 at Notes From the Helm
This is a test. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2009 at Notes From the Helm