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Thank you from Take Me There

Thank you from Take Me There!

We want to take a few minutes to express our sincerest THANK YOU to all of you who have sailed with us in the last year and a half. We do not take our business relationships for granted and we are so grateful that you said TAKE ME THERE!

As many of you know, we spent 2020 in the Salt Creek Marina and DIY Boatyard with Take Me There up on land while we literally tore her apart and then put her back together in order to create the most beautiful vintage boat (as well as the safest) that would also meet restaurant standards. We spent a year being dirty! But we learned so much and enjoyed the journey.

Take Me There at Salt Creek Marina

We did not know whether we could make this private sailing charter business work– especially during COVID. We were experiencing supply chain issues and not being able to get parts, we struggled to get the qualified labor to help us (so we just did it ourselves), and there was so much about opening a restaurant with a beer/wine license that we did not know. Many times we felt like we were flying blind. But one thing we were always sure of- we believe in giving exceptional service, having a great time, and treating people fairly and with respect.

After a year of renovations, we called a few dear friends and asked them to accompany us on our maiden voyage as a sailing charter boat to Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda. Thank you, Michelle, Joanne, and Chris!

Friends aboard Take Me There

Within a few days of putting our signs up in the marina, the phone started ringing and it was time to actually do the work that we had been planning and preparing to do! As a licensed restaurant with a beer and wine license, we quickly became known as the go-to charter for special events.

We want to say THANK YOU to all of you who called on us to host family gatherings,

Honeymoons,

honeymooners aboard Take Me There

Anniversaries,

Annoversary aboard Take Me There

Many birthdays,

birthday aboard Take Me There

And many, many family and friends gatherings!

friends gathering aboard Take Me There

We did lots of eating!

food aboard Take Me There

LOTS of drinking!

Drinks aboard Take Me There

And of course, we did lots of sailing and enjoyed a lot of amazing sunsets and beautiful Florida skies!

Florida Sky

We kayaked, floated, swam, snorkeled, enjoyed the beaches, and most importantly made INCREDIBLE MEMORIES! For all of these amazing experiences, we want to say THANK YOU! We hope that we have given you opportunities to have memories that you will reflect on over and over again.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for welcoming us into your life events. And thank you for trusting us to help you create unforgettable memories.  Take a look at our short video that shows you more memories made aboard Take Me There.

And if all of this was not exciting enough, we have a lot more exciting things happening onboard Take Me There.

  • We have now partnered with NauticEd to provide sailing instruction
  • We have our CUA (Commercial Use Authorization) to charter in the Dry Tortugas
  • We just finished installing our new dive compressor so we can provide you with multi-day diving experiences in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.

Our online calendar is always up to date so you can visit our website anytime and see if your desired date is available. Remember- we love planning special events so be sure to let us know if you are celebrating something special or are looking to make this an “over the top” memory. We will take care of all the details. And if you want something special- just ask. We will do everything we can to say YES.

We look forward to making more beautiful memories with you! Thank you for saying, “TAKE ME THERE”

 

Relax and enjoy the moment aboard Take Me There

5 Pros to Choosing a Sailing Charter Vacation

Is it time to start planning your next family vacation or maybe just a mini getaway for the two of you? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of your options? Where do we go? How much money do we budget for this vacation? What is the best place to go to do the things we want to do? And are we going to get the most bang for our buck? Yikes- there’s a lot to think about when it comes to planning your next vacation. It almost makes you want to throw in the towel and decide to just stay home.

BUT WAIT! You deserve that vacation, and you need a break from all the hustle and bustle of work, kids’ activities, and keeping up with the cleaning and cooking around the house. You need this getaway, and we want to make it happen for you! Here are the 5 pros to choosing a sailing charter vacation.

Reason #1: It’s time to get out of the house!

One of the top reasons for choosing a sailing charter vacation is because it is time to get out of the house. Particularly since the outbreak of Covid, many of us are feeling cabin fever and dreading being cooped up inside. Do you just feel like running out the door shouting, “I’m free”? If so, then choosing a sailing charter vacation is the perfect release for you. There is nothing like laying on the deck, looking at the stars and the moon, and experiencing the wide-open expansiveness of the water and space. It’s time to break free and there is no better way to do that than choosing a sailing charter vacation.

reasons to choose a sailing charter vacation

Reason #2: You want to try something different!

The second reason for choosing a sailing charter vacation is because it is different and unique from the other trips you have planned. When you think of Florida or if you have taken a Florida vacation what do you think of or what did you do when you came to Florida for your vacation? You probably went to the beach, enjoyed a theme park or two (or three), and visited some great beachy restaurants for seafood. But did you book a sailing charter vacation? It may not have even occurred to you that you could do that easily and inexpensively.

How much did you spend for your family at one of those theme parks? Tickets are around $150 per person and that does not include food, drinks, or parking. What if I told you that you could choose a daysail aboard Take Me There for around the same price per person and that we include all your food, drinks, and activities? Now that’s a vacation- not worrying about how often you pull out the credit card to pay for just one more thing. So now it’s time to think of Florida as the place for choosing a sailing charter vacation.

Reason #3: You do not want to plan or arrange for anything – you’re on vacation!

The third reason for choosing a sailing charter vacation is that you deserve a break from planning, preparing, organizing, scheduling, and basically being the one to make everything happen. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up when you want to wake up, have coffee already brewing and ready for you whenever you decide it’s time for caffeine, and then breakfast arrives when you’re hungry and all the clean up is done for you and you just get to relax until the next plate of food arrives? Doesn’t that sound just heavenly? I can’t speak for other sailing charters, but that’s the way it works aboard Take Me There. You do YOU and let us do everything else.

Reason #4: There needs to be something to do for everyone!

The next reason for choosing a sailing charter vacation is because you are thinking of everyone else in your family and you want to make sure that no one is bored. Bored? On a sailing charter? Not aboard Take Me There. You can choose to lay on deck and grab some sun, hang out in the shade of the cockpit with a good book or just listen to music that’s piped in through the sound system. But wait- there’s more aboard Take Me There! You could also choose to strap on some snorkel gear and see what’s swimming around the boat or relax in the floats with your tumbler full of something cool to drink.

There’s still more- you may also decide to kayak over to an island and explore some of the sandy beaches or drop a line in the water and see what’s biting. Jumping off deck is always fun to cool off and hanging out in the hammock chairs is also a great way to relax. In the evenings we play cards or board games while snacking on sweet or salty snacks, and in the morning, we get up and do it all over again.

Reason #5: We do the sailing and you do the relaxing!

When you board Take Me There, we take care of everything for you. We do the navigating to find the best places to be, we do the sailing so you can enjoy your time on deck and in the water, we do the cooking so you can enjoy the tasty treats, and we do all the clean up so you can enjoy more down time. How many times have you returned home from vacation only to say that you need a vacation to recover from your vacation?

Well- not when you choose a sailing charter vacation aboard Take Me There. You will arrive home rested, rejuvenated, and restored back to life. So then all you have to think about is your next sailing charter vacation!  Book Now for your next sailing charter vacation! All you have to say is, “Take Me There”!

5 pros for choosing a sailing charter vacation

Fun Sailing Trip

5 Ways to Have a Fun Sailing Trip

Hi there sailing friends! Are you looking for a fun sailing trip? Are you planning a special event like a birthday, anniversary, family vacation, or honeymoon? Being aboard a sailboat can be a great way to spend time together as a family and create amazing memories. But there is more to creating a fun sailing trip than just renting a boat or hiring a sailing charter company to take you out on the water.

When you think about a fun sailing trip what do you think about? Is the wind blowing lightly in your hair, are you lounging on the deck while you work on your tan, or are you exploring beautiful beaches? Ahhhh… that sounds like the ideal fun sailing trip!! But it doesn’t just magically happen that way. And the reality of being on the water on a sailboat does not always match that vision and so it may not end up being the fun sailing trip that you imagined. We work hard to create a fun sailing trip for you and want to share the top 5 ways that you can get the most out of your time on the water and have the greatest chances of the most fun sailing trip possible.

5 Ways to have a fun sailing trip

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare for your fun sailing trip.

We are all about the experience! And the first ingredient to a fun sailing trip is planning, planning, and more planning to make sure that our guests have an exceptional experience. Let’s face it- being on the water is a fun adventure but when the winds are too great, the seas are too high, or the rains are too hard- it’s difficult to have a fun sailing trip. Captain Steve spends a lot of time looking at the weather in ways that many people may not think about. Most people look at the general forecast to see if it is going to be sunny with little chance of rain. But there is so much more than temperatures in order to analyze the weather for a fun sailing trip.

Steve looks at the radar to determine what kinds of weather activity is going on in the Gulf of Mexico or coming at us from land. 4-5 days before a charter begins, we are looking at how the temperatures are expected to rise or fall, what the barometric pressure is, what direction the winds are coming from, how the cloud systems, wind, and temperatures are working together to create the weather conditions in Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. Depending what the weather looks like, will impact what direction we sail, how much motoring versus sailing we will do, and how much fuel that will take. After Steve determines the routes, then Kimberly starts provisioning the boat for the charters that are occurring in the next three-four days.

As a licensed restaurant with a beer and wine license, we want to make sure that we are serving meals and small plates that are tasty and fresh. We are also concerned with maintaining our costs so we can keep our prices to our customers reasonable and affordable for the value that we are providing. We look for the fruits and vegetables that are in season and we look for the suppliers that have the freshest ingredients for the least expensive prices. Provisioning for our charters and then preparing the tasty treats is what Kimberly loves to do! And she loves finding new tasty combinations like watermelon and feta or goat cheese with pecans and honey. (And so much more!)

2. It’s all about the journey AND the destination for your fun sailing trip.

Steve and Kimberly LOVE to be on the water. But we will both tell you that we have no desire to cross an ocean. We will be perfectly honest with you – sailing, and sailing, and sailing for long periods of time with no activities, or appealing sites to admire, or a destination to be excited about can be boring. One reason that we brought Take Me There to Charlotte Harbor from Tampa Bay is that there is so much to see in Charlotte Harbor and beautiful destinations are just a few hours sail away. On a day sail, we can enjoy Cayo Costa, or Fisherman’s Village, or Cabbage Key, or Boca Grande.  These are all beautiful and picturesque places with activities to do once you get there. When you think about your fun sailing trip, make sure that you have destinations in mind that will offer you activities that you enjoy.

3. Bring all the toys!

One of the things that we like about our 60-foot sailboat is that we have plenty of room to store all of the fun activities on board. Kayaks, hammock swings, an inflatable 10 ft tender, paddleboards, party floats, snorkel gear, and fishing gear are all stored aboard for your enjoyment. We feel that it’s important that once you get someplace, you have the toys you need to enjoy your fun sailing trip. And there is no better place to enjoy these toys than in Charlotte Harbor and its surrounding waters. The Charlotte Harbor watershed contains 13 named lakes/ponds, 21 rivers/streams/canals, and 2 bays/bayous making it perfect to explore the area in a kayak, small boat, or paddleboard. If you’re going to have a fun sailing trip, make sure you have all the toys to enjoy the area. And when you come aboard Take Me There, if we don’t have the toys, we will arrange for them to be brought to you. Are you looking to include a couple of hours of jet ski riding during your overnight sail? Just let us know and we will coordinate jet skis to be delivered to us by Riptide Rentals. Just say, “Take Me There” and we will get you there or bring them to us!

4. Sailing makes you hungry and thirsty!

We have already mentioned the importance of planning your provisions for your fun sailing trip, but you can never have too much food or drinks when you are out on the water and so this topic is worth mentioning twice. When you are planning for a fun sailing trip, food and drinks are essential and we want to do all of that preparation for you so you don’t have to worry about it. If you are entertaining out-of-town guests or want to have a small getaway with some friends, don’t worry about doing the shopping, preparation, or cleaning up- let us do that for you. A fun sailing trip means RELAXING and REJUVENATING, so let us do all of that for you and then you can sit back and enjoy your friends and family. This is what we love to do- so just come aboard and we’ll have the drinks cold and ready when you get here.

5. It takes power to keep everything in motion.

A fun sailing trip includes taking pictures and videos to capture your favorite moments. In order to keep your devices powered up, we have plenty of USB outlets to plug in your phones so you can take pictures and not worry about running out of juice before the day is over. You will also need to keep your devices charged up to you can connect your music to our Bluetooth system to enjoy your favorite music selections. And of course, we have plenty of battery and generator power for our overnight trips to enjoy movies and popcorn after taking in our gorgeous sunsets, hot showers at the end of a busy day in the water, and hot coffee or tea on deck in the morning as you enjoy the sunrise. And let’s not forget about plenty of power to provide you with cold drinks from the coolers and plenty of ice for your drinks as well as keeping your food at the proper temperatures in our commercial refrigerators.

We have thought of everything aboard Take Me There so that all you get to do is enjoy your trip!

When you are thinking about a fun sailing trip, be sure to consider the preparation, destination, water toys, food/drinks, and power that it will take to ensure that you have an EXCEPTIONAL sailing trip. As you can see, it takes a lot of time and energy to prepare for a sailing trip. Let us do all the work, so you don’t have to. Give us a call. We would love to start planning your trip for you. Just say Take Me There!

 

private yacht

Top 3 Reasons to Sail Take Me There!

Hi Everyone! I think it’s important to remind folks of the reasons to sail Take Me There. Are you as ready as we are for 2020 to be over? We’ve experienced things this year that we never dreamed would ever happen… It’s been a year of social distancing, toilet paper shortages, quarantining at home, take-out food and grocery home delivery, canceled gatherings, work at home or no work at all, and limited seating at important life events.  While we want to encourage everyone to be safe and stay healthy, we think that you can have a balance of safety and fun and that you don’t have to choose to be safe but not have any fun. You can still get out and have fun AND stay healthy at the same time. So it’s time for #funin21! And we know just how to do it. Here are our top reasons to sail Take Me There.

So why should you sail Take Me There? Here are our top three reasons why we think you should choose to sail Take Me There:

  1. We know how to live a balanced life is the first reason to sail Take Me There. We saw 2020 as the year of extremes. On one end of the spectrum, some people threw caution to the wind and got up close and personal with others despite warnings of social distancing and threw their masks away as soon as they were told it was not mandatory. At the other extreme were those who never left their house out of fear of catching COVID19. Steve and I did neither of these things. We balanced safety with necessity. We incorporated Take Me There Sailing in January 2020. When COVID19 hit the news, we were in the middle of renovating Take Me There. Take Me There was up on land and torn apart to begin top to bottom updates and we couldn’t just close up shop and go home. So we put on our masks every morning, made our runs to Home Depot, Lowes, Fiberglass Coating and Pinellas Fastener, used a ton of hand sanitizer, and kept our distance. But then we went to work in the beautiful Florida sunshine and turned Take Me There into an amazing work of art. We will offer you the same balance. We will continue to keep our distance, wear our masks, wash our hands, sanitize our boat regularly and turn on the UV lights to ensure that we keep the germs to a minimum. But you will see our smiles through our masks, our eyes twinkle and our voices exude excitement as we share the thrill of snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and enjoying good food and drinks as we sail the Southwest coast of Florida.
  2. We do it right- is the second reason to sail Take Me There! While there are many private charters out there to choose from, we have the licenses and credentials to offer you the security of knowing that we have gone above and beyond to serve you. When we decided to be “all-inclusive” and serve food and alcohol, we started calling DBPR (the Florida Department of Professional Regulations) to find out how we would legally be able to offer food and beverage service that was so much more than bottled water and gas station sushi. The process was much harder than I originally thought. Aren’t we a bed and breakfast? No, not really. Aren’t we like a food truck? Nope. We are just like your favorite sit-down restaurant that caters to private functions of 6 people or less. We are a licensed Florida restaurant meeting all the health department codes of safety standards just like any other restaurant. And we are also licensed to serve beer and wine with a COP2 license. It was not an easy process. It took a great deal of time and effort to accomplish these credentials. Why did we go through this effort? Because, we believe in doing the right thing, even when no one is looking and because YOU DESERVE EXCEPTIONAL! This is just one of the certifications that we hold. Here are the other qualifications that make us unique in the private sailing charter world!
  3. Vintage charm with modern conveniences with personal touches and lots of love is the third reason to sail Take Me There! The last of the BIG 3 reasons why we think you should sail withTake Me There is because we offer a vintage boat with lots of personal touches. There are certainly newer boats to charter (Take Me There is a 1975 Gulfstar), and there are certainly boats that are bigger than ours (Take Me There is 53 feet long and almost 16 feet wide). But I would challenge you to find another charter boat that has been loved on, fully renovated, and has owners that have taken the time to install as many extras as we have or added as many personal touches. There are charging ports in ALL areas of the boat including your personal cabins to keep all of your devices charged and ready to use. There is a complete surround sound system to connect your phone to so you can enjoy the music of your choice throughout your charter, comfortable new mattresses, a fully equipped kitchen for us to serve you your favorite meals, and so much more! Take a look at our amenities page to see everything we offer.

We are excited to have you aboard Take Me There so you can add your reasons why you decided to sail with us. Book your exceptional experience today!

Steve and Kimberly aboard Take Me There

 

The Story of Take Me There

The story of Take Me There.

We all have a story, right?  Well, our story happens to include a boat. As we bring our website live and we start taking reservations for charters, I thought some of you might like to know the history behind Take Me There. We believe in building relationships, and the way to build a relationship is to get to know the other person. So grab something to drink, kick back and enjoy the story of how Take Me There came to be…

I’ll start by taking you back to July 30, 2011 when Steve and I got married. The following year, after taking a cruise for our first anniversary, Steve confessed to wanting a boat. It was certainly something that I never would have seen in my future, but if Steve wanted a boat, a boat he would have. And the more I thought about it, the more I could picture us enjoying afternoons on Tampa Bay in a little 20 foot sailboat. Imagine my surprise when I came home one day to find Steve looking at 75 foot sailboats! I could see that we were going to have to compromise. After about 4 months of traveling around Florida looking at boats for sale, we came across this one- a 1975 53 foot GulfStar Motor Sailer. A family of 6 had lived on this boat for about 10 years. It was worn, but greatly loved. With three cabins, 2 bathrooms with separate shower enclosures, 16 feet wide, with a washer/dryer combination, a spacious cockpit, and a few other extras that Steve really wanted, we knew that we had found our new weekend enjoyment.

And enjoy we did! Steve had a project to tinker with, and I had a place to lounge, read, and relax. For two years, we enjoyed day sails, weekend trips and a few week-long adventures in the Tampa Bay area. Take Me There became the perfect weekend getaway spot for us.

In 2014 when Steve retired from the Army, he was offered a consulting job that would require us to move to the DC area. It was actually my bright idea to sail the boat from Florida to the Potomac River and turn Take Me There from a weekender to a liveaboard boat. The stern became the perfect spot for my garden of tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers, while the cockpit became the perfect nesting spot for me to work on my Ph.D. dissertation. After three winters and a completed doctoral degree, we decided that we were done living where it snowed. It was time to move on to warmer climates.

Take Me There was about to make another transition. After living aboard in a marina with both cars at our disposal, we were about to make a significant change. We relocated our cars to our home in Florida, pulled away from the dock and became full-time cruisers. I learned how to provision enough to feed us for 4 monthsat a time, how to bake bread and many other useful skills that come in handy when you live full-time on the water. We increased the number of batteries onboard to increase our power capacity, reacquainted ourselves with the water maker so we could convert salt water to fresh water and off we went. Down the East Coast and on to the Bahamas. While Steve was thriving in our nomadic lifestyle, I felt a bit homesick. Much to Steve’s disappointment, it was important to me to bring Take Me There back to Tampa, close to our land home and convert her back to being a weekender.

But our lives had changed since we first bought Take Me There in 2012. We had aging parents and a young granddaughter who needed our attention. And my consulting business was still in full swing and clients around the country needed leadership assistance. Take Me There wound up spending over a year parked at a dock with very little love or attention and it seemed that the right move was to put her up for sale.

By mid-2019, Steve seemed a little lost without being at the helm of Take Me There. We had a few lookers come to the dock, but Steve was not too excited at the proposition of letting Take Me There go. Them in mid-August, I had a vivid dream. I awoke startled and yet peaceful that what we needed to do was close down my consulting business and begin a new business venture together with Take Me There at the core. We would pull Take Me There out of the water for a complete renovation and turn her into a professional sailing charter boat. Take Me There was about the embark on the biggest transition in her 44 years. She was no longer going to be only for us, she was now going to be available for others to enjoy. Masts were removed, sails were repaired, rigging was redone, additional lighting was installed, walls were replaced and bathrooms were updated; not to mention new beds, bedding, linens, and all the extras. The biggest conversion occurred in the galley. Since we are offering food and drink aboard, we are required to be licensed as a full-service restaurant. The old appliances were removed, and all new appliances were installed to meet restaurant health and safety standards. Easier said than done! But we did it!

2020 marked a pivitol time for Take Me There and for us. It has been a long year in the boatyard with Take Me There being at the center of the construction. Now its time to have some fun! We are excited (and ready) to have the opportunity to share Take Me There with others and we are looking forward to hosting people aboard and making new friends.

So now you know a bit of Take Me There‘s story. Let us be a part of your story. Whether you are popping the question, planning a honeymoon, need  time away with friends, or are celebrating a special occasion- Come sail with us, because you deserve exceptional!