Captain Steve Bitner is the archetypal Midwesterner, friendly, kind, easy going and enthusiastic. He was raised on the farmlands of Ohio and Indiana. As a youth, Steve was picking corn, running combines and sailing, fishing and splashing about on sparkling inland lakes. He undertook his certification scuba dives in the liquid ink of the nearby rock quarry. From these beginnings, hard work, study and experience paid off when he achieved his Master Scuba Training Instructor certification and 100-ton Captain license.
Steve’s first Captain job was with the Boy Scouts of America at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base in the Florida Keys. He continues to be involved with the program, teaching the boys whatever they are enthusiastic about. Hands-on learning ranges from hoisting sails to repairing teak to celestial navigation.
Captain Steve: “It is one of the most uplifting things I’ve ever done in my life.
Doing a week with the boy scouts makes me whole. On FAIRSKIES, if guests want to learn, we teach everybody everything we can. I’ve had 10-year-olds at the helm. I stand behind them, tap them on the shoulder; give them the commands; forward, neutral, reverse. They pull it off perfectly.”
Captain Steve spent years running yachts in the Florida Keys.
He also helped restore the 103-year-old African Queen, docked in Key Largo. The famous boat was used in the 1951 movie The African Queen starring Humprey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. (For Bogey fans, the Bogart Film Festival is October 18-22 in Key Largo.) He also has extensive yachting experience throughout the Bahamas, where diving conditions are sublime.
Want to learn to dive? Captain Steve is qualified to turn guests into certified divers on a one-week charter. “They complete the boring bookwork on line and we do the fun part on charter,” he says with a broad smile. You can tell he loves to share undersea adventures. And if you’re a bit apprehensive about the water, don’t be. Steve has specialized training in underwater phobias. He even taught a paraplegic to enjoy being in the sea.
FAIRSKIES carries an armada of water toys and gear. Charter guests can splash about for endless hours. Captain Steve also knows how to create family-style fun without getting wet. Beach picnics and Frisbee golf. Golf cart hide and seek with the VHF radios. (For the big kids, golf cart tag is even better.) For evenings on board, power down for spooky, flashlight hide and seek. Afternoon adventure walks along New England shore have a real wow factor when Steve flies his drone. Imagine the bird’s eye view of crashing waves, unforgiving cliffs, and inaccessible caverns, broadcast live on tablets.
Captain Steve has great plans for New England charters aboard FAIRSKIES.
There will be lots of historic ports to visit, island hopping, fishing, diving, lobstering and photographing whales. One of the things he loves about New England is how people really appreciate the summertime. “Everybody’s Happy”, he says. “We take full advantage of that.” And according to guest testimonials, that happiness is very contagious.
FAIRSKIES is a classic Burger 90 with elegant interiors and modern upgrades. Three guest staterooms include a master with king bed and dual bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. Lots of deck space make outdoor living exquisite and there are loads of toys for watersports fun. FAIRSKIES charters in New England this summer.
Contact Select Yachts for additional information, destination and itinerary suggestions and booking assistance. Embark on an unforgettable voyage!