So not every day on the water is a happy time, there are some days where things go wrong and thank goodness the times where I have felt that everything has gone wrong is very rare but still has happened. Not that things go wrong all the time, for the most part our trips are successful but on occasion things go wayward and you need to keep a positive outlook because if we freak out then our customers freak out and we can’t have that. We never hide anything from our guests, if something has gone wrong we will let them all know. If it is something that will hamper their experience we give them the choice of staying out and pushing through or going back and getting a refund. Most decide to push through, we have only had one set of guest decide to go back and get a refund. I don’t blame them at all, they paid for a full experience and were not going to be getting it.
This happen to us this passed weekend, thankfully though our guests booked for the next weekend because they were too excited to just not go out. But who wants to spend a whole day on the water without a working bathroom? So we refunded our guests and even gave them a discount for the following weekend just for the inconvenience of having to come back out. We didn’t realize the bathroom wasn’t working until we had gone out already and the first guest needed to go, but came back out quickly to ask what was wrong with the toilet. We have a fixed plumping system on board with a holding tank and that had gotten plugged up somehow and needed to be serviced before we could use it again because it would have been a terrible idea to use it for obvious reasons. So after it was decided that we should just head back in, my husband had to get on the phone and make some calls to find a company that could come out right and that was able to fix a marine bathroom before we lost more customers.
Surprisingly not ever plumper knows how to fix a marine toilet and not all that do have a emergency service to come out right away. But luckily our 24 hour plumbing company in Canton that install it had an emergency service and was able to come out right away. Unfortunately we lost the customers that day but were able to save the customer for the rest of the weekend since that is our most busiest time. Hopefully the guests that had to reschedule will come back next weekend, I would hate to lose customers for bathroom issue, I would hate to lose to customer for any reason actually. We tried to give out guests the best experience that we can because word of mouth and repeat customers are how you stay in business. So lesson learned, we will now check to make sure the bathroom is working correctly, why we didn’t do that in the first place is beyond me.
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We have had our charter business for many years now and my husband and I thought we had seen it all until this passed weekend. I am sure if you have ever gone on a charter boat then you have taken a camera with you to take pictures, it is no different with us or our guests. But over the weekend we had a group of people that brought a professional photographer with them, so they would not have to have to worry about getting pictures. They said that this way everyone could be in the pictures because usually the camera man gets left out. They wanted good quality pictures with the glare and people not being in good spots. I say hey to each their own. We have one price for a certain amount of people so it really doesn’t matter who is in their group.
The photographer was never in the way, which was good but he could never get real pictures. Well, real in my opinion because when someone caught a fish it was hard for him to be right in the thick of things because he was wary of dropping his camera. So after the excitement died down, we would replay the “scene” so the guy could get a “action” shot in a controlled environment. I mean, I guess that it is just a picture and they did get to enjoy the moment as it was happening but still I feel that you would look at that picture and know that it wasn’t taken in the moment. Or maybe that’s just me.
These guests did mention that they do this all the time, so I guess if they are OK with it, then so should I. It’s just that I have never seen this sort of thing before and it through me for a loop. I didn’t know what to make of it and I guess that I still don’t. I know that professional photographers are at certain types of parties and what not but on a charter boat? That just seems unnecessary. The poor guy was trying to get pictures of the guests pulling the fish out of the water but could never get a good angle, so he just stood to the side and did his thing over there.
In all my years doing this I have never had this happen, all of our other guest have just brought their own camera or just used their phones, we also have a camera on the boat that we use for a group shot that we can print off of our computer with the date stamp on it and if the groups wants to we can put graphics in it for the. This seems to be enough for most people but I guess if you want quality pictures with no glares or red eyes, then most definitely bring a professional on board, we will never tell you no unless that person makes us go over our limit on how many people are allowed on board.
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Josh and I wanted to start a charter business because we love the water. We both were born and grew up on the west side of Michigan and we have spent our whole lives on the water. Both our families have had boats for what seems like forever, we are all avid fisherman, well maybe not me so much, I find it extremely boring but it can be fun when you have a group of people and make an adventure out of it. It the times when you have to get up early and spend the day on a quiet lake that bores me, I don’t mind it so much on the big lakes because you have to always be aware of your surroundings because anything could happen on the big lakes.
If you go far enough out you can almost pretend that you are in the ocean, granted the waves are never as big as the ocean but you can pretend that it’s a calm day. You can catch some pretty big fish on the Great Lakes and I love taking people out who love fishing because they have the greatest time. There are some times though when our guests don’t catch anything and that is a bummer because I feel like I failed to take them to a good spot for fishing but I know that it’s not that but that there are just times when the fish just are not biting. But still I always want people to have the best time they can so that they will want to come back.
We take our guests around to as many piers and lighthouses as well, this is my favorite thing to, more than the fishing. Lighthouses are such an amazing place. There is so much history surrounding lighthouses, why they were put there, the people who manned them and each ones specific purpose. Every story is different and each one is unique to the area. People love looking at the lighthouses, most of them are still active today because we still have a lot of shipping boats traveling around the Great Lakes. You can travel from one to another, they all connect, even though some of the path is a tight squeeze for some of the journey.
Summer time, of course, is the best time to take a charter out on the lakes but we run them all year long, weather permitting. We don’t let a little bad weather stop us from going out on the water, just when the weather can be hazardous. Such as during a thunder storm or when a blizzard is approaching. Most people don’t mind a little rain, however, we do notice that we are much busier during nicer weather than bad but we still have appointments when the weather is not at her best. Which makes sense. We have three boats that are manned by three people a piece at all times, this way we can get the most people out when we need to.
I hope all of you who read this come to Michigan at least once in your life to experience this awesome state.