Aolani Catamaran: New Year, No Limits

What a year it was for the Aolani team. Whether we were on a San Diego yacht charter, at a local hosted marketing event, or volunteering in our community, we were always having a good time..and that is why we do what we do, as a family.

My parents, Bruno and Cindy Schwarz, started up our company in late 2001 after realizing they could do what they love, and get paid for it..and for all of us, that’s our goal too, right? If we can find something we are passionate about, we will excel at it because it brings us satisfaction. Being out on the water almost every day, or at least around a crowd who appreciates it, is what I was born into and therefor I love it. This is exactly what I want to be doing, what we want to be doing, and so as we reavaluate our goals for the new year, we are satisfied with what we do and therefor are easily motivated to continue to make the business stronger, because we believe in it.

We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off our new year, with a charter. This wasn’t just any charter, we hosted a wedding…one of our many favorite types of charters. What is neat about a wedding is that it brings all kinds of people together, family and friends, to celebrate the union of two people that decided what they have is great enough for a lifetime. I love that I get to be a part of so many of these unions on our beautiful catamaran, and photograph them as they take the leap of faith. Capturing the smiles and the joy brings me joy, so I wouldn’t have it any other way..especially when the couple you are photographing is Sherri and Spencer.

Sherri came to visit the boat over the summer, to take a look at what we had to offer. After taking Sherri and her Mom on a tour around the catamaran, I talked with her for a while about the layout of the boat and promised her a day she would always remember. I can promise this because I know the business my family runs, and we don’t let anyone who comes on our boat walk away with a complaint. Our first priority is our customer, and we take that seriously. Trusting me, Sherri took her first leap of faith on our boat that day, and booked a date. Let the planning begin…

Fast forward a number of months and January 1,2012 had arrived. Sherri and Spencer were already staying at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel & Marina, where we are located, so they conveniently walked down to the boat once the guests had all gotten onboard. Sherri looked different then the first time I had met her, as she was now in a beautiful long cream colored wedding dress, with a bouquet of calla lilies in hand. As they stepped onboard, the moments were photographed then once Captain Stephen gave his safety talk, we were ready to set sail.

We motored out of the harbor, past the Cabrillo Yacht Club and Tom Ham’s Lighthouse and out into the San Diego Bay. Here we hoist our main sail, then begin our route down to the San Diego Skyline. Sherri and Spencer were ready for the ceremony, as was our Captain, Stephen, who provided the ceremony for them, and so it began. Reminders of love and selflessness were given, as well as direction.. ”You may now kiss your bride”.

After everyone clapped and cheered, champagne was passed around to the guests and the music of Natural Vibrations played the song “You and I”, with the lyrics” You and I could never part, ‘cause I’ve loved you from the start, just so you know”.

We sailed down to the Maritime Museum of San Diego where historic ships are maintained including the Star of India, the HMS Surprise, the Californian tall ship, and a B-39 Submarine. We then made our way past the USS Midway, where we waved to guests onboard the carrier who were excited to see a happy wedding couple onboard with us. The feeling was mutual.

As we continued past the Fish Market Restaurant of San Diego, one of our favorite places for Happy Hour after we go for a sail, we sailed by Seaport Village where we saw the Red Bull “New Year No Limits” ramp being deconstructed after the jump that was made on New Years Eve by Levi LaVallee, a professional Snowmobile racer sponsored by Red Bull Energy Drink, as well as Robbie Maddison, an Australian professional motorbike stuntman. Both LaVallee and Maddison successfully completed a jump across the harbor area at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. LaVallee brown a world record by launching 412 feet, while Maddison jumped 378 feet on his motorcycle. The event happened just hours before midnight on New Years Eve, hence the event’s title, New Year: No Limits. It was exciting to see the ramp, especially after knowing what had happened there just hours before sailing by.

As it was nearing sunset, it was time for us to catch the view and so we sailed north back toward our slip at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel and Marina. As the fog moved back over the tip of Point Loma, we saw the sun set in the distance, lighting up our city in shades of yellow and gold; a suitable backdrop for a glittering skyline. As we docked and took the last minute group pictures, we said our goodbyes to the couple and their families. However, we never really say goodbye, it’s more like see you next time.

And so, like I said, we started off our New Year in a great way, and know that the best is yet to come. We’ve got lots of exciting events coming up soon, so be on the watch. After all, it’s a new year, and there are no limits.

Lindsay Schwarz
Aolani Catamaran Sailing

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