by Shayne Benowitz
That is probably my favorite question for passengers aboard a Fury catamaran or parasail boat. Since I grew up on the west coast and have lived in both the southeast and northeast, I can usually make some kind of connection with our customers. Not to mention the fact that traveling is my favorite thing in the world to do!Fury customers come from all over the world, and it’s fun for me to practice my rusty Spanish or my nearly non-existent French when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes I’ll be serving beer on a sunset trip and overhear a group with a familiar southern accent that reminds me of my mother and her family who are from Georgia. The Fury crew represents a pretty diverse sampling of the country (it’s not very common to meet someone who is actually from Key West). I have learned a lot about places in the US that I never would have considered before, especially the Midwest.
Today on the parasail boat, for instance, the customers represented a virtual timeline of my life. Our first tandem were two pretty girls who told me they were from California. Of course, I prodded further, and when they said Orange County, I told them I grew up in Newport Beach. It turned out that they worked as nurses at the same hospital where I was born. The very next tandem was a couple of college kids from Blue Ridge, Georgia which is only about half an hour north of Cartersville where I went to high school and where my family still lives today. If that wasn’t enough of a coincidence, the next couple that we parasailed lived in midtown Manhattan, the same city where I started my career as a teacher.
It is fun to reminisce with customers about cities where I once lived that I miss very much. It is also great to learn about new places. Today alone we had passengers who came from as far away as Peru, Argentina, and the Netherlands.
That is one of the great things about Key West, it is a total melting pot, and once you get here you can just relax, take it easy, and be yourself completely without any worries.
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.