Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Merry Christmas, Captain!

I know many of you are getting nervous as the Christmas season approaches. “What do I get the captain this year? That gold Rolex I got him last year seems so inadequate.” Well, you’re right. Be that as it may, you don’t have to be a dog this year.

Buying for your captain can be wrought with hazards. He runs this really big, really nice boat and has all those toys to play with. What could he possibly want? Quite a bit actually. Remember, he RUNS the boat, he generally doesn’t own it. Even if he does, he has probably put so much into its upkeep, he can’t afford to buy gas for his Lamborghini this week.

In an effort to make the season a little less stressful on you this year, I’ve compiled this list of items that will be appreciated by myself and other captains on your Christmas list. Just start at the top and work your way down. No need to buy them all this month, but by Halloween, you should have everything, except maybe the shirt, safely wrapped and hidden.

Remember, your captain doesn’t ask for much from you, that’s why this list is rather short. Unless there is smoke coming off your American Express Black card, you’re falling behind.

Weems & Plath Clock  and Barometer– Every captain worth his salt needs a barometer. We are out in the weather all the time so it affects our daily lives. What with the weather services being so horribly unreliable and full of lies, we must fend for ourselves. With a barometer we can more accurately predict approaching storms and stock up on rum and limes. The clock makes for a nice set and since you were too cheap to buy us the Presidential Rolex last year instead of just the gold model, we need something to tell time on. This clock will get us to the bar in time for happy hour. Nothing worse than a sober captain at four o’clock in the afternoon.
Shirts from Outdoor World – Nice selection of shirts for both guys and gals. Help your captain dress better than some smuggler from the 70’s.
Capt. Ron DVD – The quintessential instruction manual for all captains. Prepares your captain for everything from “gorilla” attacks to storms at sea. A must see DVD. 
Pay his or her cell phone bill for a month – If you don’t have a lot of money, this gift will still be appreciated very much, Believe me.

Boat shoes – If you can get past the odor, look at an old pair for the correct size. But don’t be surprised if they want to wear the old ones. You know, the ones that are just now getting broken in even though their toes are coming out the front.
Flip Flops - Like boat shoes, the olds will fall apart before the new ones are worn. Don't take it personally.

Pelican Box - Nothing works better at keeping the captain's potato chips from getting soggy. Or even his expensive camera.
Leatherman with a saw – One off the best tools ever devised for a captain. Just make sure to get the one with a saw blade. It can do stuff that a regular blade cannot. If you are superstitious, get the captain to give you a dollar in exchange. Some say a gift of a knife will cause an argument in a relationship.

Sandless beach blanket -  Boats and beaches seem to go together unless you drive the stew up the wall by bringing the beach back with you to the boat. This blanket will leave the sand where it belongs. Now, if they could make a swimsuit out of this stuff, maybe that rash would clear up.

LED flashlight from the kids – The kids want to give the captain something but are low on funds and you have to pay that speeding ticket or you are going to jail…again. Home Depot and Lowe’s have LED flashlights that sell in four packs for less than ten dollars. You can never have enough flashlights on a boat. I worked on a tug boat in the Hawaiian Islands and the captain had three requirements for his crew. Don’t wake him unless we were sinking, every crew member had to have at least one personal flashlight and you had to have sharp knife or you couldn’t step on board.
Dehooker – If he or she fishes, this is an essential, and in some places mandatory, item to have on board. No more teeth marks on the wrist or missing finger tips.
Hook sharpener –Great for tuning up new and used hooks. Even the new ones right out of the package are not sharp enough for the true fisherman. You might want to throw in a box of Band-Aids also.
Hand scale – Weigh your catch to make sure it’s not a record before it wiggles it way over the side again. Buy a good one though. Read the reviews.
100% cotton shirts, try and stay away from blends.
Jimmy Buffet – Almost everyone deserves boat Drinks Get all the most popular songs in this 4 cd collection.

Well, don't just sit there. Let's go shopping. Don't slam the saloon door on the way out. Don't want to wake the Captain.

Happy Holidays!

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