Sunday, October 08, 2006

Most Wanted

So after being picked up at the airport it was straight back to work! Michael had guests onboard and they were just coming back to the dock as we arrived so we took their lines and tied up the tender.

Before I get into the guests' story a little background information may be helpful. Michael (Gloria's Sun's owner) is a businessman. His business happens to be clubs. Mainly "Gentlemen's Clubs". For this he did five years in prison. It seems that the conservative powers that be weren't very keen on the idea of having, god forbid, hot naked woman making a great living in the state that resembles a flacid penis, Hhmmm, coincedence?? So they trumped up some charges and put him away.

As I understand it, while he was in the bighouse the Russian Mofia took over the biz and by the time five years was up they were all too happy to have Michael back. Since then he has been further vindicated by the Florida Supreme Court which handed down a decision absolving him of all wrongdoing and basically said that the charges were erroneous, unjust and just plain illegal. Great, "Can I have my five years back please?!?"

Anyway, while in jail Michael met a guy named Eddie Maldanado. Eddie had the dubious honor of being showcased on the television show "America's Most Wanted"! Whether or not the show had anything to do with it is debatable, but he was eventually caught and convicted of weapons smuggling. A man can change alot in 15 1/2 years (his time spent), but he's seems like a good guy now and I suspect that he wasn't such a bad guy then. Just a guy trying to make a buck notwithstanding the ethical and Karmic dilema. So while in jail Eddie started a program to revitalize old donated bicycles and pass them on to needy children.

To make a long story short, Michael and Eddie became friends and recently Eddie became a free man. Now the pair are taking the idea and adding fuel in the hopes that it will blow up (in a good way). The program is called "Bicycles Most Wanted" and it is gaining momentum in a suprisingly short period of time. They're pretty busy getting the programs going and with some coporate backing (notables: WalMart and Coke) it seems that all systems are a go. The program gets schools, police and at risk kids together (and off the street) in an after school situation. The kids learn the skill of turning old donated clunkers into working bikes and share in the merit and pride of getting them into the hands of children not unlike themselves who otherwise would never know the joy of riding a bicycle.

So for the week we had an "America's Most Wanted" rehabilatated criminal on board along with his two brothers, Albert and Willie. Albert also provided some interesting insight into the world of today as he is a Infantry Marine awarded the Purple Heart. He was one of the first guys into Iraq and for a guy that has been through Hell and back (bullet, shrapnell, buddies lost, etc) he seems to have come through it remarkably intack. How I don't know? What he has gone through is inexcusable. He's served his country to the nth degree, but has his country served him? I don't think so! But I don't have the will to go off on a rant here so I'll leave it at that. But, Don't Forget, elections are just around the corner. You hired them, don't hesitate to fire them!

So the guys spent some nights stuffing dollars into G-strings, and we took them down to South Beach with the boat and everyone had a good time. Well, except for the last day when Michael took a dive off of the waverunner at full speed and took away a couple of cracked ribs and a shoulder tear. We refer to the waverunner as a "toy", but watch out! The seas were rough on the day of our departure so we took a new alternate route via the Intercoastal Waterway. Slower and requiring much more awareness (no autopilot for that trip), but something new and different.

This week we spent the time preparing for a weekend party cruise, but a 5pm on Friday we got word that it wasn't going to happen. Oh well, I lose the tip, but gain my weekend off. I'm not compaining. Till next time.