Thursday, May 07, 2009

Glory of Christiansted - David Retires from Chartering

This is good & bad, happy & sad news.

We are sorry to see that Glory of Christiansted is retiring from the charter fleet as David really filled a niche, plus he's a great guy. But, on the other hand, we are happy for him and wish him the best with his "new" life.

Here are some excerpts from his email that we'd like to share. I'm sure those of you who know David and Glory will enjoy reading it.
After 18 years, 500 charters, 10,000 charter meals (only 73 of which were eaten below), 50-70% annual repeats and an all-time high of one guest returning 10 times, another 9 times, others 8 and 7, too, never mind the 4s and 3s, I am retiring from the business.

...For the years before 911, I was always one of the three top-booked boats in the fleet. It was exhilerating and produced three magazine articles. I've kept in contact with many, and know the tremendous impact I've had on their lives, as boat owners, cruisers, sailing instructors, bareboaters, and professional captains, too. It is wonderful to know how many I have touched in that way. Some have been flying me around the country so as to help them with their knotty boat problems on-site.

I've made wonderful friends, had memorable moments, but the time has come. In November, I am getting married to an old old friend... my best friend of some 22 years, who sailed into Christiansted with her husband on their Southern Cross 31, about the time I was getting divorced and living on my little race-boat in Christiansted Harbor before I bought Glory, before I starting chartering. Debbie's husband, Art, has since died, but our close friendship continued, and now has blossomed to "something more than friends." It's very exciting, as well as frightening!

...I am back in St. Croix with Deb, and have blocked out my calendar for the future. Why St.Croix when I could do so many other "day" boat jobs in St. Thomas? Because St. Croix has been my home for 43 years, it is the land that I love and the land of my children's birth. The land of friends and roots. And Debbie's, too, for 22 years. While her house is 300' up on a lovely hill overlooking Christiansted Harbor's entry channel, offering million-dollar unobstructable sea views from there to east of Buck Island and miles of countryside, and we will be living there, I do not intend to sell the old girl. A friend of her's asked her, "Oh, God, if David is going to live with you, is he going to sell the boat?" She replied, "If he sells that boat, I won't marry him!"

For the time being, I am going to continue and finish the "replace the external teak" project, as well as some other things to make Ole Fatso more of a longer range cruising boat than a charter vessel. We plan to see many of the islands neither of us did in our earlier cruising days. She'd sailed from CT to the Chesepeake, up and down the east coast and back and forth to both sides of FL, to the DR, PR, the ABCs and Venezuela, and simply by chance, stopped off in St.Croix while en-route to PR again, "for a few weeks" to visit one of Art's old friends from his aerospace days. That was the 22 years ago. St. Croix has a way about her.

...When the boat projects are done, there are ideas for her house that she's wanted to implement for years. I have the skills to do that instead of hiring a contractor or $50-120/hr tradespeople. After that, well, I'll look for something else or we'll just bag it and go sailing....

Keep well.........David
And all the best for you, David & Debbie!