The Captain Welcomes You To His Year

Days Until I Am Married:  286

Starting Weight: 189 pounds

Today is the last day of the 2006 and the first day of the Year of the Captain.  The last part of 2006 has been quite busy.  In the last few months, I have spent a week under the weather with a head cold, spent five days at Disney World, mailed off 30+ X-mas packages, and watched my hometown team win the World Series.

The one thing I haven’t been able to do is find time to get back in shape.  I’ve been slowly losing weight in Florida due to the active lifestyle that is prevalent around these parts.  I’m down almost ten pounds since I first moved down, but I’ve got a long way to go.  I’ve been stuck in that awkward stage where most of my pants do not currently fit, but I do not want to go and buy a new wardrobe.  I am determined to be fit for the wedding, and this past week has seen me start to prepare for this undertaking.  I will officially begin on January 2nd, and until then I will try and avoid the typical “one last junk food binge” approach of years past.  Well, enough talk about what I plan on doing, on to what I have been doing.

This past week was actually quite enjoyable.  The office was a ghost town, the weather was quite tropical, and my excitement level was through the roof.  I waited all week long for my first opportunity to take a boat out into the bay.  On the 22nd of this month I became a partial boat owner, and yesterday was the first day I was able to enjoy my newfound nautical status.

I guess some explanation is needed on what the hell I am talking about.

I purchased a membership to the Freedom Boat Club.  It is very similar to purchasing a membership to a country club.  The membership allows me full use of 10 different boats docked at a marina near my home.  All I do is reserve a boat, show up, take the boat out wherever I want, and dock the boat at the marina when I am finished.  The only thing I have to pay for is the gas that I use.  It’s basically like owning a boat, but I don’t have to do any of the work involved with owning a boat.

I have been interested in joining the Freedom Boat Club for several months now, but the cost of a membership was way more than I could afford.  Luckily, I happened to find a listing on Craigslist of a guy here in Sarasota who was selling his membership at a steep discount.  I contacted him as soon as I saw the listing, and purchased the membership from him the next day.

Since then my quality of life has been rising rapidly.  I spent five hours on Thursday learning how to operate a boat in the bay.  I have previously driven boats, but all my boating experience was on lakes in Missouri.  As I discovered, driving a boat in Florida is much more challenging.  First and foremost, waves make operating any boat a challenge.  Second, most of the bays around here are surrounded with extremely shallow water.  Third, the waterways are quite crowded down here with everything from jet-skis to boats and yachts, half of which are operated by drunken rednecks.  While all of this is a challenge, it’s also a lot of fun.  I am eagerly looking forward to becoming an actual Captain.

The marina has three types of boats to use, basic fishing boats, faster deck boats, and party pontoons.  Yesterday, Megan and I took out a pontoon boat for the afternoon with three other couples that we have been hanging out with a lot lately. We had a fantastic time; it was sunny in the 80’s yesterday!  Of course I insisted that everyone refer to me as Captain.  Sarasota bay is absolutely beautiful, and it’s full of multi-million dollar mansions.  After being out on the water all day, we went back to my buddy Patrick’s place to continue the party.  We are actually meeting these three couple later tonite to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  We’re all meeting at our building and walking downtown to the bar district.  I’m so stoked that no one has to drive for New Years Eve!

So with that, the Year of the Captain has begun.  While the next 286 days will involve many different things, it will always involve exercising during the week and boating on the weekends.  Tonite while everyone is saying their goodbyes to 2006, I will be celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Captain.  Cheers!

Ciao,

The Captain

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