One of the premiere fishing destinations in northeast is St. Augustine where a stop at any marina in the area and there will be an abundance of boats polished and ready to tackle any species in the area. But Life as a Charter Boat Captain and guide service is not as glamourous and simple as it appears.
For Captain Chris Castle of St. Augustine, Fla. Life has been a winding roller coaster that has taken him through many turns that most captains would buckle under and give up.
The bottom line for any successful Captain regardless of what area that they fish in is Capital. For Captain Castle this was not a problem once he started Wide Open Charters in 2006. At the time Castle was a successful real-estate agent for Exit Realty Destinations. In a matter of a year in 2007 once the housing market took a turn for the worst so did his life.
In the next 10 years Castle was involved in a divorce from his wife Laurie Baker; lost his job as a realtor; the house where he raised his kids was being foreclosed, and both of his charter boats are mechanically failing.
Castle was forced to find a new place to live and store the gear used on his various charters. Castle was graciously taken in bye his new girlfriend Kathy that lives in the St. Augustine Beach area.
Not as extravagant as many big money boats with endless tackle bags these rigs sit waiting to be used. Much of Castles gear is very old and tarnished but still gets the job done.
Contrary to public beliefs Captains do not live the life of Luxury. In Castle’s case a series of unfortunate but self inflected events got him to this point.
The helm that has seen it all from days of jubilation offshore catching mahi mahi or dolphin as locals say to putting out small electrical fires that sparked because of faulty wiring. Castle has put his 17 foot Kenner through hell and back in his eyes.
Known bye the Locals as Captain Hook one can only imagine the reasoning behind the name. The nickname given to Castle was acquired after he had a rotator cuff operation that turned fowl. Castle then experienced a decline in business because of his limited mobility which further spiked his problem with alcoholism.
Castle lives day bye day trying to put his past behind him but is constantly reminded of his past.
Pictured here is Karl Herwig on Friday, April 18, 2014 in St. Augustine, Fla. Herwig is only one of the many students who admits to participating in binge drinking.
Kayla Olson a senior at Flagler College can attest that many of her reckless actions are directly attributed to drinking.
Kathy ‘Rockstar’ favors the ‘lets rage attitude.’ This mind set in particular has become quite popular amongst 20-somethings who are active participants of the nightlife atmosphere.
Zach Lang’s favorite alcoholic beverage is Tequila and orange juice.
Caitlin Ludwig is not a stranger to the party life style. She enjoys spending her nights out with friends on the town. These nights, she admits, are filled with drinks and party favors.
Allison McElhinny has witnessed many of her friends lose their inhibitions to alcohol. McElhinny is particularity careful of driving while intoxicated.
Ryan Hall does not consider himself a binge drinker. He knows however, that by definition he would be considered one. “Our pre-game parties before the bars alone would define me as a binge drinker,” said Hall.
Hydrocodone is a used to treat moderate to serve pain. It is refereed to as a painkiller and like other painkillers, is being abused. Many students have admitted to using painkillers as a ‘party favor’ and way to save money on drinks while at the bar.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported in 2010 that 12 million Americans older then 12 reported using painkillers for non-medical purposes.
Ryan Hall a Senior at Flagler College started drinking when he was a freshman in high school. ” I didn’t drink a lot though because it was always hard to sneak around and keep it from my parents.