Sunday, May 28, 2006

All Aboard the "Gloria's Sun"

Happy Memorial Day!

So after flying back to NJ for the weekend I picked up my new used car (which will easily be the sexiest car in Ft. Lauderdale) and drove 22 hours (with a two hour nap in SC) back down to Lauderdale. The drive down was uneventful except for getting pulled over by a SC Sheriff K-9 unit. How much circumstancial bullshit does it take to make a case? Well let’s start with being pulled over for “weaving” (apparently my slot car pin jumped out of the track). Then I was under suspicion because I had an air freshener in the car! And the final thing that clinched my guilt was that I was “acting nervous”. Question: who wouldn’t be a little nervous being pulled over in the deep south by some hick with a gun, mace, handcuffs and a big scary German Shepherd for no reason other than being a young (looking) male driving alone?!! Anyway it wasn’t any use in arguing with his airtight case. But I could exercise my constitutional right against illegal search, so I politely did. Of course, he said that he was going to use the dog and wouldn’t you know it, the dog “showed interest”! But I wouldn’t be surprised if they train the dogs to “show interest” every time to bypass our semblance of protection. Really, it’s quite possible. So right about now I’m wondering if the old man that had the car before me was a Glaucoma patient. I knew I didn’t have anything in the car, but I was praying the old guy didn’t have a secret stash tucked away somewhere. But the cops search turned up nothing and I drove away.
So I moved on to the Motor Yacht, “Gloria’s Sun”, named after the owner’s late mother. The crew quarters are pretty small and I do share them with Captain Pierre, but he spends most nights with his girlfriend so it’s not bad. So I’m settling in to the grind. We did an overnight charter for Michael’s (owner) Girlfriend’s son, Deshaun who turned 10. In the morning we cruised up the New River where I got to get a feel for driving the boat and docked. Then about 15 kids and 15 adults came aboard and the festivities began. As you can imagine they kept us busy. If I had put out a tip jar on the bar I would have had my best bartending night to date. Even with all the running around, in the end there were only 3 injuries, all minor.

Eventually they all left except for 4 of Deshaun’s friends who stayed for a sleep over. In the morning the Captain was sweating because he neglected to make reservations for brunch. He didn’t realize how big a deal “Mother’s Day” is in America (He’s French). But luckily we managed to get a table right before they stopped seating and had a really nice meal. Of course they charged twice the usual price because of the holiday, but Michael was buying so it was gratis for us. We spent the afternoon there and when high tide came in the evening we ventured back home.

So we spent the next week doing what we do, maintaining the boat. Not much of interest to share there. I’ve gotten back into working out: either biking, running or using the elliptical machine on board. I’m keeping an eye on the wave forecast because I sure would like to get some surfing in soon, but South Florida might as well be on a lake. I’m considering buying a kite surfing rig!

Right now Pierre is on vacation in France so I’ve already made it to “Captain”, well “Acting Captain”. Not bad only one week into the gig. I thought it was going to be a really quiet time, but I’ve only be alone on the boat a total of one day so far. This thing is as popular with Michael’s friends as a Holiday Inn. No sooner does someone leave when someone else shows up. But it’s all good.

Just before Pierre left he took me to one of Michael’s clubs, Pure Platinum, “a Gentleman’s Club”. A really nice one. We got the VIP treatment and didn’t pay for a thing (lap dances included) which is good cause you could easily blow your retirement savings there in a night.

So right now I’m working through my list of jobs at a relaxed pace and enjoying some leisure before things start heating up. In ten days we are doing a 4 day charter to Miami for Mo Williams, a Minnesota Vikings Football player. Then right after that we are doing a ten day charter to the Bahamas. The car is registered and tagged in Florida and interestingly you don’t need an inspection or smog check here. Maybe it’s because the plethora of Lamborghinis and Ferraris would have a hard time passing the emissions test!

So it’s Memorial Sunday and the beaches were packed, the water is warm and right this instant I’m drinking a beer in honor of all the men and woman, past and present serving our country, especially those unnecessarily in harms way this very day. Here’s to them and you……Cheers! (And I don’t have to say it’s not Busch Beer, although wouldn’t it be nice if we could piss out Bush and flush it down the toilet!)