Captain's Corner

About Your Captain

Published October 10th, 2014 by Captain John Blenker

I moved my immediate family to Florida in 2015 after living in California for the past 32 years. I worked in Public Safety for 30 years and was the Captain of a Rescue Patrol Boat in the San Francisco Bay Area which included the open coast from Bodega Bay 50 miles north. I was an Emergency Medical Technician and taught swift water survival. I have been coming to Florida for the past thirty-four years to visit my Mom and brothers. During that time I fell in love with the endless summer weather here and pristine waters. On the many trips here I logged much time on the water that assisted me in getting my Master Mariners license. I have been an avid boater for over 4o years and have been a Licensed master mariner since 2002. I hold a 50 Ton master captain’s license with near coastal and towing endorsement. Florida waters teem with marine life and sea birds that reflect on the true beauty of the area. Upon moving here I chose to start a charter company and named it after the Dolphin that visits the area almost every evening at Five O’clock. The dolphin was nicknamed five o’clock charlie. We have recently moved to Snead Island and will pick up customers at a public location for the boating tours.

Despite the population increase to this area over the years the waterways seem to be virtually unchanged. A school of baitfish can almost always be seen swirling back and forth being chased by larger game fish. That same school of baitfish may have several birds diving into them as well. Out of nowhere an “Osprey” dives down onto the water and removes a large fish for a meal. It’s mate hovers nearby to share the proceeds. Charlie the dolphin chases the bait fish like a cowboy herds his cattle. He then slaps the water and eats his meal. Charlie can eat up to 20 or more pounds of fish a day. I am a charter fisherman myself and respect all the rules that protect the resource. Five O’clock Charlie Boat Tours has assisted in the near past “Sarasota Bay Watch” on its 6th annual Fishing Line cleanup and recent scallop census. Removing this line from bird nesting habitat will help prevent our sea birds from fishing line entanglement which almost always results in death. As a fisherman I feel that it is our responsibility to be good stewards to the sea. This will keep the resource and protect our sea dwelling animals and birds. I am a member the Florida Guides Association.

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