Eric Ravenschlag is the Harbourmaster of Legacy Harbour Marina located in Fort Myers, FL.
What or who brought you to this marina?
Haywood Sullivan, founder of Legacy Harbour Marina. I lived across the street from the marina and watched it being built. At the time, I was commercial fishing in Alaska and raising a family in Fort Myers. Thankfully Haywood hired me, which enabled me to transition from fishing to eventually becoming Harbourmaster.
If you didn’t work at a marina, what would be your dream job?
Flying a float plane in the Caribbean. I’ve always had a passion to fly floatplanes. It is the best of both worlds — flying and boating.
If you could spend a day on the water with anyone in the world, whom would you choose?
For ol’ times sake, I would like to spend a day on the water with Ron and Wes Kellow, the two brothers who owned the fishing vessel, Winona J, in Kodiak, AK. They believed in a kid from Colorado and taught me a tremendous amount about seamanship and how to be a competent captain, as well as many other life lessons.
Where do you like to send people for an authentic dining experience when they arrive at your marina?
The Veranda, a Fort Myers tradition since 1978. The Veranda’s romantic setting in two turn-of-the-century homes, combined with their Southern cuisine is a must-visit while in Fort Myers.
Describe yourself in three words.
Loyal. Dedicated. Persevering.
If you won a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My favorite place in the world: the North shore of Kauai in Hanalei Bay.
What is your favorite marine animal?
Orca or killer whales. They are the largest of the dolphins and the world’s most powerful predator. It is an unbelievable display of power to watch these very intelligent creatures hunt for their prey in nature.
What’s the best safety tip you can give to a new boater?
Marine education, education, education. You can never stop learning while on the water. My best advice is to practice with your crew what could go wrong and have a contingency plan for captain and crew. Some examples: man overboard, fire, sinking, medical emergency, grounding, dragging anchor, helping other vessels in distress, and operating your onboard ditch bag.
What is the one thing that everyone should do or see in Fort Myers?
It would have to be the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. You will explore 20 acres of historic gardens, a museum and a laboratory. It is amazing to think how many inventions these men are responsible for.