It's amazing how many people still refuse to fly these days. I get calls and emails every day from desperate vacationers wanting to take a boat from, say, Miami to Nassau. The conversation goes something like this:
" Hey Tony, we have a reservation at the Atlantis on Paradise Island next week and I'd like to take a boat from Miami because my wife doesn't like to fly."
" Sir?, it's 177 miles from Miami, it could get expensive; would you like the boat to wait for you and then bring you back?"
" How expensive could it be?" asks the victim.
" Well depending on the boat and the fuel consumption - er, maybe 50 to 80 gallons an hour, by 10 hours, there and 10 back, hmm, with fuel at $3 bucks in Miami and $5 bucks in Nassau, well, perhaps $10,000 to $15,000 without the wait time." "Oh, I forgot, and there's always the cruising tax...."
Silence at the other end of the phone. I distinctly hear someone gasp and fall off a chair.
"Wow, have you got anything cheaper?"
"It's cheaper to fly"
All of which brings me to the point of this blog, at some point in time, someone has to figure out how to make the idea of a regular scheduled ferry between Miami and Nassau into a viable business proposition. I know it's been tried, but I suspect, not with the the right vessels. I think someone needs to explore the Russian Hydrofoil technologies that are arguably the most advanced ferry technologies available. Either that or try the larger air cushion hovercraft that zip across the English Channel to France and back with regular schedules on really nasty seas.
Is there a market? Hey, to judge by the number of calls we get, there's gotta be a pony in there somewhere.....