2022 Update from Captain Randy
In 2020, several things changed in our country, and our business. The first was COVID-19 that caused massive shut downs to the tourism and travel industry. Many thanks to Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey who encouraged everyone to get outdoors. Unfortunately, our vessels fall under United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations and other federal rules and regulations that supersede the state, and so the pandemic affected our charters.
With a vessel the size of Weather Or Knot, it was not feasible to operate with a smaller number of passengers. We made the decision to sell her and return to a smaller vessel which was more fuel efficient and allowed for more customer interaction.
We purchased a vessel from Destin, Florida, a 65’ Navigator Boatworks, a sister ship to Reel Surprise. This is the newest vessel that we own. She has a composite core, is light weight and is powered by twin diesel Caterpillars along with new electronics. We like the layout and design of this vessel as she has large fish boxes and two restrooms on deck. This greatly helps with those of us getting older to not have to travel up and down steps at sea to use the restroom. When we first saw the vessel, we were taken by artwork on the hull. An artist from Louisiana painted the hull with many sea creatures using marine grade paints. The detail is incredible and something that we have not seen before. The trip from Destin, Florida to Orange Beach, Alabama was made by me and my daughter, Elizabeth. It was uneventful other than we rode in 3-to-4-foot seas all the way to Orange Beach. The boat cruised at 14 knots and we were impressed with the seakeeping ability and the lightness of the boat.
We are upgrading and making repairs to suit our needs. We are very excited to have this vessel, Swoop, and looking forward to the 2022 fishing season. We will be taking Reel Surprise and Swoop to dry-dock in March and we will post pictures for everyone to see.
We are waiting on the new breaker panel to be delivered so that our slips will have electricity restored. With a few plumbing repairs and a little luck, we believe 2022 will be our year for peace and prosperity along the Gulf Coast.