by Shayne Benowitz
Today on the parasail boat, Captain Davey and I were pulling down our parachute after flying a group of passengers off of the Ultimate Adventure when a teenage girl onboard exclaimed jokingly, “Geez, you’re making the girl do all the work!”Davey responded, “Well, if she wants to do a man’s job, she has to be able to do the man’s work.”I couldn’t help but add, “And do it better!” with a mischievous smile.
I was surprised when the whole boat (including Davey) laughed and clapped at my quip. A lot of playful ribbing goes on at work and I often feel like Annie Oakley with her refrain, “Anything you can do I can do better!” Being one of the only girls at Fury, there is a sense of constantly having to prove myself. Countless are the number of times customers have asked me if I need help putting the snorkel gear away or even tying the dock lines. If I’m the one taking the trash to the dump, I’ve heard a million times, “Why don’t you get one of the guys to do that?” Being a senior mate at Fury, I know how to do the job right. I am often in the position of training new mates, many of which are guys, and I’m not shy about showing them what to do. Granted, I know my limitations. I’m smart enough not to pick up a keg or our drawbridge-like gangway all by myself the way the guys do.
The bottom line is that girls are just as capable of working on boats as guys. That is part of why I love my job. It makes me feel tough and strong.
It’s not always as glamorous as it may appear, though. I love that a great tan comes with the job and since the work is so physically demanding, I don’t have to worry about scheduling gym time. It’s fun strutting around in a bikini on a boat surrounded by cute boys in red board shorts all day, but I have certainly incurred my fair share of battle wounds trying to keep up with those boys. I’ve cut my ankle on the boat propeller while trying to untangle a line, I’ve had a chunk of a mangrove tree puncture my calf after being dragged into them while wakeboarding, I’ve fallen off my longboard and skinned my knee, and I’m constantly plagued by other minor “boat bites.” Somehow the fun and the friendships that I have on the boats continues to outweigh the boo-boos (and I hate getting hurt. I turn into a big baby—just ask the boys!).
We definitely have a lot of fun at Fury and a lot of hard work goes into our days. You just have to muscle through it! For example, tonight, we spent two hours with Captain Marius and Dennis making a repair to our water trampoline for the Ultimate Adventure. While we were working, we got caught in a heavy downpour—and it was cold—but as we headed back to the Margaritaville Marina the rain cloud broke and we were treated to a sunset show by a huge pod of dolphins. They swam close to the boat and one of them even jumped into the air completely before it splashed back into the water. It’s that kind of hardship and beauty that is characteristic of a day on the water at Fury.
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer who is working on her debut novel. Shayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.