By Jim Hulen, North Myrtle Beach Online.com
August 1 though September 15, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, Sc - It is the people that you get to know along the road we travel in life that create joy and adventure! North Myrtle Beach Online has teamed up with Norstar Ventures to offer you a chance to win a North Myrtle Beach Adventure – an eight hour sunset cruise. Let us introduce you to the people that will make that adventure fun, exciting and memorial.
Just outside North Myrtle Beach and before you get to Little River is a beautiful community, Lighthouse Village that hosts a welcoming marina. Lightkeepers Marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway at Coquina Harbor and is home to Norstar, a 34' Crealock-designed Pacific Seacraft sailboat. Norstar was built for cruising comfort and safety with a wide open deck plan with plenty of shade under the bimini and dodger.
John and Beth SchwabCaptains of the Norstar are people you really want to get to know. They make sailing enjoyable and special.
John and Beth Schwab, have a combined 70 years of sailing experience. They grew up on the waters off Rhode Island and moved to the North Strand 30 years ago. Boats have always been a part of their life. Sailing was something they took up after they moved here. Beth said, “After years of power boating, we wanted to do something new.”
They started with a 22-footer and gradually moved up to the 34-foot Norstar. They got their captain’s licenses and chartered many makes of boats in different areas around the Virgin Island in the Caribbean. In past years, John ran a fishing charter and, today, still captains boats that owners want to move from one area to another – like from here to the Florida Keys – and then bringing them back in the spring..
How they got into chartering is a tribute to how much they love what they do. Beth said, “We realized we love being on the water; we love sailing and how fortunate we were that we could do it all the time. There were so many people that had never been on the ocean let alone experienced it under sail; the quiet with just the wind pulling you along. We would take friends out and they would be amazed at how wonderful it is. We realized how fortunate we are and decided that we would share our love for sailing with others.”
This is the sixth year they are doing charters. “It is a lot of fun. We have met some really great people. Our motto is we sail for fun. We have that on our license plate,” added John. “We have had people from all over the world. One couple was recently from the Ukraine. Others have been from all over the U.S. and Canada. From all walks of life. When they come down, they are looking for something different to do. One couple has been out with us for over eight times. ”
Beth joined in, “Let me tell you about our very first charter. The couple was from Kansas. They had never been away from their children. They had worked hard and needed a couple’s vacation. And they had never seen, let alone, sail on the ocean. They booked it for November, which we all know can be iffy weather. They booked an all day charter. It was the most beautiful calm day where you could just sail along. They saw all kinds of wild life. They saw turtles. They saw dolphin. They were so amazed and everyone just enjoyed it. “
They remembered one West Virginia couple that booked a charter on a Friday –a sunset cruise. They came down early on Friday, sailed with us and left the next morning to return to West Virginia. “It was on the guy’s bucket list,” John added. “but they have been back a couple of times.”
Several times John and Beth believe they might have been responsible for a folks buying a sailboat. They might have sailed in years past, come out with them and rekindle their love for sailing.
Special occasions are among the many reasons people will book a charter with Norstar. Lots of couples will book for a celebratory cruise recognizing an anniversary or to create a magic moment that will last a lifetime.
“Planned proposals are one reason people book with us – this year about 4 or 5. They pop the question on the way back in with the sun setting. It’s a real nice backdrop to a romantic, memorial moment. We are in the background taking pictures that we provide. We will try to cater to whatever their tastes are – maybe a bottle of champagne, fresh flowers for the lady, special food and music that they may prefer,” explained John.
Beth said, “One proposal had me in tears. He had booked four months in advance. I was right there in the background taking their pictures. He got down on his knee and what he said to her was just so beautiful that I was crying. It was just so special! Not all of them make me cry, but this one did.”
Last year a mother and daughter booked with Norstar. The mother had just finished her treatment for lung cancer. She was still pretty sick. “They were from Ohio. The daughter decided that she really had to spend some time with her mother, so she planned this road trip. And since her mother had never been sailing, she booked with us. It was a special time for them and for us, “said Beth.
Now you know a little about the people of Norstar Venture and their desire to make a sailing cruise special for you and some of the great memories they have helped create by doing something that they love so much. Vist their web site and read the testimonials. Really impressive.
How you can have a chance to be a part of this is very simple. Go to our Facebook Page and click on the sailboat picture with the word “WIN” and just follow instructions.