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A Yacht Charter Experience Abord M/Y Positive Carry
The story of M/Y Positive Carry's Captain Whitney Reiter reads a little like a novel
By: Jamie Matusow
Aug. 7, 2006 01:30 PM
The story of M/Y Positive Carry’s Captain Whitney Reiter reads a little like a novel. But while serendipity has certainly played a role in his becoming one of the youngest captains of a 142ft Trinity, it’s his skill, hard work, upbeat nature, and love of the water that provide drama and adventure for charter guests.
in order to take guests fishing. He runs several boats—then runs into an old friend from high school. The friend’s husband just happens to be a self-made multimillionaire — with a passion for boats. And, by coincidence, the couple lives directly across the canal from where an 85ft Azimut—run by Captain Reiter —is docked.
The high school friend introduces Reiter, now in his early twenties, to her husband. An instant connection is made. The husband, also a native Floridian, knows many of the same people as Reiter, and shares many of his interests, including an ardent love for fishing and spearfishing. The millionaire soon offers Reiter the position of captain on his new 100ft Broward. Three years later, “the boss” purchases a 142ft Trinity, and Reiter makes the leap—at 30 years old—to run the brand-new tri-deck motoryacht.
A Whole New Level
Reiter’s boss took possession of Positive Carry—the name comes from a financial term meaning the positive difference between the investment and the interest rate—on April 1, 2004, April Fool’s Day. But the fact that Reiter, who had never even seen the vessel was expected to step aboard and take the owner and his charter party to the Bahamas—was no joke! He had never been at the helm of anything over 100ft. Now, overnight, he was in command of a spectacular yacht that slept 10 and required a crew of nine.
Reiter and his boss arrived in New Orleans on a Thursday to pick up the vessel. They were supposed to leave on Friday for Key Biscayne. However, a last-minute holdup meant they couldn’t depart until Monday.
“Whoopee!” recalls Reiter. “I had a whopping three days to get to know a boat of such magnitude!”
But his boss, a risk-taking entrepreneur in the bond business, obviously had faith in Reiter, and knew he had what it takes.
So the Captain spent the weekend getting acquainted with his new vessel. On Monday, Positive Carry left New Orleans. “On Tuesday,” says Reiter, “I was somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, on the phone, hiring crew and placing food and equipment orders.”
When they arrived in Key Biscayne, at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, Reiter met his new crew, loaded the boat with provisions, moved the boss’s 100ft Broward alongside to transfer equipment, and got everything organized. By 4 p.m. Wednesday, Positive Carry was en route to Cat Cay, a private island south of Bimini, with the boss and all of his guests.
“Needless to say,” admits Reiter proudly, “that was one of my greatest challenges. After accomplishing that, I knew I could do anything.”
That’s why, back in Cat Cay again, one of their most frequented venues, Reiter was prepared for another of his boss’s challenging requests. The owner had flown to the Atlantis hotel in his private helicopter, but did not make it back to the chopper in time to take off before sunset. Not wanting to wait until the morning to fly out, he called Reiter and asked him to pick him up in the vessel’s tender. Crossing the Gulf Stream in a tender was not something Reiter had ever imagined himself doing, but he left Cat Cay in the Yellowfin at around 9 p.m. When he arrived at the Atlantis, he helped his boss load about 10 large shopping bags of crystal and goods from Cartier and Ferragamo onto the tender. “Not the best idea, I thought, to load crystal onto a 60mph boat,” says Reiter, but away they went.
They made it back to Cat Cay around 2:30 a.m. — a 220-mile round-trip—with all the crystal intact. The next day, the owner gathered the crew together and presented all the gals with Ferragamo bags and matching shoes, and the guys, with Cartier belts and wallets.
“He is a great boss,” says Reiter, “and never takes us for granted.” Nor does his generosity end with his crew. The reason the boss was late getting to his chopper: he was delayed in the line at KFC, buying 40 buckets of chicken for the dockmaster at Cat Cay.
Reiter says that crossing the Gulf Stream in a tender no longer seems like an unusual request. He has done it many times.
Reiter feels totally comfortable anywhere in Florida and the Bahamas—especially in the Exumas, which is where Positive Carry spends much of her time. He says that the Exumas are a great destination any time of the year, because there is protection from the weather wherever you go.
“For most of our guests,” he says, “going from Georgetown to Nassau, with stops along the way, seems to make the most people happy. The Exumas is what I feel are the true Bahamas—and what I love about the islands.” He says that the beautiful beaches, private coves, and amazing underwater life are what makes the area so special – not to mention the extraordinary fishing and spearfishing.
Where the Action Is
It is in water activities such as these that Positive Carry’s crew really stands out. They are an extremely active boat and love catering to active guests. They regularly take guests spearfishing so they can shoot their own meal. “This,” the Captain says, “usually results in shark encounters—which can scare the guests—but usually they end up intrigued! We always have two crew members in the water to help with the spearfishing, so the sharks have never been a problem—just a beautiful sight to see.”
The crew loves to fish for everything from bonefish to marlin, swordfish to snapper, or “just” wahoo and dolphin. They flyfish, deep drop, kite fish, bottom fish, or just troll. Five crew members—including the Captain and his wife, the chief stewardess—can free-dive; several can descend to over 120 feet. Slaloming stews and mates love to entertain guests by doing flips on wakeboards. Just about every imaginable water sport is offered, from tubing to scuba diving.
Versatility in crew members is a must, says Reiter, “and the youth aboard Positive Carry is what I love about it. Everyone’s young—from the owner at 35, his wife at 32, and me, now 31. If you’re not young, you have to act that way to fit in.”
The captain says that many of the crew he has hired did not have a lot of experience. He prefers youth over experience because it leads to a “can-do” attitude. He says he learns a lot from them, too, and “that there is not one crew member whom he doesn’t consider to be a friend. Friendliness and youth, he says, result in the informality onboard the yacht—and reflect his conviction to make every guest feel at home.
While Positive Carry boasts a luxurious Dee Robinson-designed interior, complete with rich Makore African cherry, silk upholstery, marble baths, and state-of -the-art entertainment systems, both the vessel and its crew exude a casual air. Since the owner has three small children, the crew are extremely child-friendly. The main saloon even has a baby gate to keep children and their toys safe in this most distinctive play area. “It throws formal out the window,” says Reiter, “and sets a fun tone for mixing with the guests.”
And fun is what this crew’s all about, says the Captain. If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing, low-key charter, you can hang out in the Jacuzzi or linger at the dining table for 10 on the main aft deck—complete with a unique air-conditioning system to cool you off when the breezes wane. The crew is always happy to oblige and honor your smallest request.
But it’s guests with an active lifestyle who will benefit the most from a week onboard, says Reiter. “We love showing people a great time,” he says, and we take pride in making everyone feel at home. It’s the crew aboard Positive Carry that makes the trip so special—and our abilities on the water that set us apart from other yachts out there. Fishing and spearfishing are sports we excel at, not just dabble in. We have over 20 fishing rods, 6 spearguns, and 10 Hawaiian slings—we do not come back empty-handed.” he promises.
A New Responsibility
In 2003, Reiter added the title of Director of Marine Operations to that of free diver, spearfisherman, golfer, tennis player, and Captain. For in that year, his boss purchased nine additional boats—one more for himself and eight as Christmas presents for relatives and friends. In 2005, his boss went on a buying spree again, and bought eight Boston Whalers as presents. He knew his young captain would be up to the challenge of managing all of them.
Positive Carry accommodates 10 guests in five cabins. Charters are available in Florida and the Bahamas at the rate of $130,000 per week, plus expenses. Contact: The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals, (954) 764-8219; www.sacksyachts.com
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