Steve Erwin Was No Fluke - Flying Sting Ray Attacks Woman on Fishing Charter by Ryan

The eagle ray weighed about 300 poundsA while back (2006), beloved nature explorer and television personality Steve Irwin was "accidentally" killed by a "confused" Sting Ray. Having suffered a massive puncture wound to the heart, Irwin died on the scene before help could arrive. Nature sympathizers and sting ray supremacists alike declared the event an isolated incident in which Irwin was the clear provocateur. In typical fashion, the left wing media failed to report that the sting ray, a known Obama supporter, attacked Irwin with an unlicensed stinger barb. Now it appears this "isolated incident" was anything but! CNN is reporting that a massive 300 pound eagle ray has assaulted a Florida woman on a fishing charter for photographing their movements. Intelligence reports suggest that the Eagle Ray is the faster, and more maneuverable sting ray breed, often used for stealthy assaults.

CNN reports...

A huge eagle ray weighing as much as 300 pounds landed on top of a woman on a boat in the Florida Keys last week, throwing her to the deck and pinning her underneath it, the captain of the boat told CNN. The woman, Jenny Hausch, was on the chartered boat Friday with her husband and three children, taking pictures of a group of eagle rays as they flew out of the water. "These eagle rays, they were flying through the air," said Kelly Klein of Two Chicks Charters. "These giant things go out of the water and slam back down." Hausch was in the front of the boat, snapping away, Klein said. "One of the rays jumped in the air and she gets this perfect shot," the captain said, adding that rays always jump twice. On the second jump, one ray hit her in the chest and she fell down, hitting her head, Klein said. "It keeps slamming and slamming on top of her, trying to swim away," she said. Hausch's husband and children watched in horror. Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers Aja Vickers and Bret Swensson were patrolling the water near the tour boat when they heard screams. "We turned around and looked and saw the eagle ray thrashing around in the boat and at that point we realized we had a problem," said Vickers.

When Vickers was questioned about the Eagle Ray's motives, she responded, "In 2008, a woman died from the impact when a ray jumped out of the water and hit her as she boated in the Keys, but [this was a]  freak accident. This is a total one-in-a-million chance. These animals aren't attacking by any means. One theory is these animals jump during mating season."

Make note everyone, the sea rays are on the war-path again, and Vickers is a sympathizer! Early reports show that the giant river rays have not allied themselves with the eagle rays yet, but both parties have been trying to reach a strategic agreement for some time. Unless sanctions are brought against all tributaries and estuaries actively supporting all terrorists and radical oceanites, the problem will only spread.

Giant Stingray

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Day Charters - Eventuality or not Feasible? by Trevor

The world of air travel is far different from getting around by boat. However, both markets have relative high costs of entry and considerable longterm upkeep costs and considerations. If you cannot afford this full price to purchase, or it simply is not feasible based on your location or lifestyle, you can still enjoy the perks by leasing or chartering. There are many timeshare styled boat clubs and rental organizations out there to cover the lower end of the market, and obviously higher end charter for the extreme top end of the market. However, there are few reputable organizations to cater to the middle of the market. Say you have a dozen business associates that you would like to take out for the day. Or, extended family who would like something different from the typical landlocked get together. A quick look at Freedom Boat Club shows their biggest boat in a few markets is a 20' bowrider. This is not large enough or comfortable enough for a large, discerning group. Not to mention that places like the Freedom club require an upfront fee, and monthly dues, and do not cater to the one-time ride.

Aviation has had these organizations, such as Netjets, which does have its dues for X hours of usage. Now there is an entry to allow people who do not want to sign up for the long term, but want to fly in style for a few occasions:

JetSuite's fleet of 4-seat Embraer Phenom 100 jets are the best, most fuel-efficient aircraft in their class with speeds up to 450 miles per hour, an operating altitude of up to 41,000 ft, a stylish interior cabin designed by BMW and the largest baggage compartment in its category. The company provides service to major cities (AKA "SuiteSpots") throughout the Western United States, Canada and Mexico. They aim to make the luxury of flying private more accessible and affordable with prices starting at just $999 for a one-way flight – for the whole plane.

So, rather than a Netjets Membership with a $100-$250k commitment, you can have plane ready to go, on a whim, at an affordable price (airfare for 4 one way is often close to $999). Also $999 is the base rate, it does get more expensive the farther you travel.

Let's see this with some boats! An equivalent to this would be somebody wanting to take out a million dollar boat for the day, with no long-term commitment, and no necessary worries other than showing up on time. Typical charter prices establish a base rate, with incidentals (fuel, food, tip) being tacked on top. I don't think it is unimaginable for a flat-rate package to be assembled.

Trevor's boating packages:

  • The large trip. A 60ft motoryacht, with a captain and 1 stew. Capable of entertaining a dozen executives, or a family gathering. Capabilities of the boat allow extended trips, anchorages for the day, and plenty of toys on board. Also, a full galley allows great flexibility with meals.
  • Mid Size. A 40-50 Express. Still with range and comfort, but for a smaller group. A Captain would be all the crew required. Lunch trips, dinner trips, or certain destinations could be offer, such as a remote sandbar, or a lake/home tour.
  • "Picnic" boat. Not saying this has to be a certain manufacturer's Picnic boat, but a well laid out day boat is far more luxurious and appealing than the idea of renting a white fiberglass bowrider. A Captain would still be provided, and could serve appetizers and wine on sunset cruises.

What else would make these packages more attractive? Well suited boats for the roles? Suggested locales? Let's hear it in the comments!

iPad For Your Next Charter by Ryan

Jared Paul Stern at Luxist just posted about Lürssen's awesome new iPad integration into their $600,000 Solemate charter package. Stern writes... The captain hands each guest their own iPad upon boarding, which remains theirs for the duration of the voyage. Via the device they can control the shipboard entertainment and climate systems, adjust the blinds and lights in their cabins, and even summon a crewmember to bring more cocktails.

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