Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Dreamlander blesses new fleet

Captain John Hamrick, Captain Joshua Erickson, Pastor Ben Sprankle, Art Cueller and Steven Banks with Pastor Sprankle’s family, all take part in The Blessing of the Fleet. PHOTO BY NATALIE STROM/COATAL BREEZE NEWS

Captain John Hamrick, Captain Joshua Erickson, Pastor Ben Sprankle, Art Cueller and Steven Banks with Pastor Sprankle’s family, all take part in The Blessing of the Fleet. PHOTO BY NATALIE STROM/COATAL BREEZE NEWS

By Natalie Strom
natalie@coastalbreezenews.com

Dreamlander Eco-Adventure Tours of Marco Island recently carried out the ancient tradition of the “Blessing of the Fleet.” Expanding its paddle board and kayak operation to include wave runners and boat tours, the paddle – and now power – friendly company is doing things right, starting with The Blessing.

The Blessing of the Fleet is a centuries-old tradition originating in southern European fishing communities. The Blessing is used to ask for the safety of mariners, good harvest from the sea, clean waters and good will and peace among peoples of the world.

Launching its “Dolphin and Friends” boating tours and “The Living Everglades” and “Marco 360” wave runner adventures, Dreamlander Tours received The Blessing of its new fleet on November 2, at the 951 Boat Ramp. Pastor Ben Sprankle of The Family Church of Naples performed The Blessing to ensure a safe and bountiful season.

Moving into the motor-operated marine world is a new adventure for owner and operator, Steven Banks. For the past six years, Banks has been running a tight ship of his paddle board and kayak operation. Working side by side with Art Cuellar, the two have built Dreamlander’s excellent reputation one tour at a time.

For Banks, expanding his fleet to include an an eight-person pontoon boat and three brand new wave runners also meant expanding his crew. Master Captains John Hamrick and Joshua Erickson will be leading the boating and wave runner adventures.

Captain John Hamrick is a retired firefighter from Indianapolis who, as a high-angle rescue expert, fixes flag poles to fund his non-profit organization, Team R&R. Through Team R&R, Captain Hamrick travels to areas hit by disaster in his fully equipped Hummer to aid those in need. A master diver and trained firefighter, Captain Hamrick’s priority is always safety.

Captain Joshua Erickson has been an area tour guide on Marco Island and Saipan, a tiny American colony near Guam in the South Pacific. A former camp counselor and lifeguard, Captain Erickson was recently honored with the Galahad Award by the Marco Island Fire Foundation and Coastal Breeze News for aiding in three separate crisis scenarios on or near Marco’s waters. As an Environmental Studies and Biology major at Florida Gulf Coast University, Erickson boasts extensive knowledge of Southwest Florida’s flora and fauna.

Hiring men of quality was no accident, according to Banks. With a business philosophy that states: “Build our business to bless others and our business will be blessed,” Banks wanted to ensure his staff was both experienced and compassionate. Dedicated to blessing others, a percentage of all Dreamlander Tours sales are used to support one of three charities close to Banks’ heart.

Banks and his highly experienced crew are ready and eager to give customers a brand new eco-adventure experience. Boating excursions, beach days, paddle board lessons, wave runner experiences, kayak tours and more await. Visit www.dreamlandertours.com to learn more.

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