Some of my fondest memories of living in the Florida Keys are of time spent out on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. There are so many activities to enjoy — like experiencing our gorgeous blue-green waters, vivid coral reefs, and (last but not least) sunsets that will knock your socks off.
Did you know the Florida Keys are home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States (and one of the largest in the world)? Our spectacular reef tracts are only a short boat ride from shore and are often located in water that’s just 10 to 15 feet deep.
With that said, I’m excited to announce an LGBTQ charter boat outfitter offering a gorgeous 55-foot Princess luxury yacht for hire. LGBT Charters LLC is based in Key West and owned by our very own Joseph Schroeder.
The charter business is only a bit over a year old, but Joe — affectionately known as “Joey” in Key West — has been an LGBTQ business pioneer on the island for over 25 years. His many gay establishments include the Bourbon St. Pub Entertainment Complex, New Orleans House guesthouse and the 801 Bourbon Bar, all located on Duval Street in our “Pink Triangle.”
Joey’s luxury yacht charter business features his latest pride and joy, the “Bottoms Up,” which provides great new possibilities for Florida Keys watersports activities for those visiting our beautiful island paradise. FYI, Captain Joe is still in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, training with and supporting the Coast Guard.
The very well-appointed 55-foot vessel can easily accommodate 10 to 12 guests for activities that might include exploring the waters around Key West, dolphin watching, kayaking, enjoying the yacht’s various motorized and non-motorized water “toys,” or just relaxing in the sun-kissed waters along one of our many silky white sandbars.
As well as offering many different clothing-optional ocean activities, Captain Joe and his crew pride themselves on providing each charter group their own specialized “dream day at sea” (half-day adventures are available for guests whose time is limited). Passengers get to select their own local oceanic destination(s), activities, food choices and libations to bring on board.
One of my favorite water expeditions involves a comfortable ride across the crystal clear and very shallow waters of the backcountry, viewing stunning vistas of mangroves and marine life. Dolphins, stingrays and turtles occasionally appear to give passengers a true aquatic welcome.
A seven-hour journey starts at $2,400 and includes the glamorous yacht (well, for the day at least!), the services of a captain and mate, and fuel for your fabulous aquatic adventure. The sensational excursion works out to only about $200 per person for a party of 12.
(I just need to take some post-lockdown “online shopping cessation” courses, and I should be out and about on the “Bottoms Up” in no time!)
Whether you want savor a boys’ or girlfriends’ getaway, birthday bash or simply a special occasion with your partner, Captain Joe provides unique experiences at sea … along with lifelong memories of your time spent on the protected Florida Keys waters.
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