Proximity to downtown isn’t the only perk of the Crows’ nest. Being located so close to the Gulf, fantastic ﬁshing opportunities are also just a hop, skip and a thrust of the joystick away. Randy loves taking his son, Steve, and 10-year-old grandson, Carson, to the reefs oﬀ Fort Myers beach or the area’s back bays in search of ﬁsh.
“My grandson… From the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed, I’m not kidding, he loves being out there,” Randy says with a laugh. “At his age, we’re ﬁshing for anything that’s biting when he gets his mid-winter or spring break. With summer coming up, he called to remind me, ‘We’re coming down and we’re going to do some SERIOUS fishing!’”
The Crows enjoy taking all of their grandkids — Carsen (10), Camryn (7), Barrett (4) and Gunnar (5 months) — to explore nearby destinations including Marco Island, Pine Island, Sanibel and Lovers Key. The tiny village of Matlacha is a favorite, with its super-colorful architecture and easygoing pace. “The water is SO blue, then all of a sudden this funky little ﬁshing town appears,” Abby describes. They’ll pack sandwiches and make a day of it, stopping to swim and play, and making sure each little one has a chance to “sit on papa’s lap.”
Whether they’re cruising into downtown or exploring farther aﬁeld, the Crows value the strong sense of community they get from other Whaler owners. They’ve enjoyed docktail parties hosted by their dealership, MarineMax, and frequently run into fellow customers. “Rarely do you encounter another Whaler where somebody isn’t waving to you,” Randy says.
True, they get plenty of warm-fuzzies from non-Whaler owners, as well. Their eye-catching home, the Rockin’ Crow duo and coordinating crow-themed “No Wake” signs all add up to an irresistible photo opp for the many boaters who pass by on their way into town.
The Crows still have a home back in Michigan, where they own a full-service marketing agency, RCP Marketing, and Abby works for Source One Digital, which specializes in retail, decor and sports signage. Randy also records voice tracks for clients for TV and radio commercials. The Gear Group is their promotional products and apparel company. That all helps explain how they’re able to decorate their Florida property and hook up their guests with crow-themed swag including Crow Bar cups, coasters, T-shirts and koozies. “Things to put a smile on the faces of family, friends and passersby,” Randy describes.
Abby heads back up north regularly to meet with clients, conduct tours of the print shop and do press checks. Thanks to technology, though, they’re able to conduct most of their work remotely — even as remotely as out on the Vantage. “Abby worked on the 270 the other day,” Randy says. “It’s such a quiet boat. You can slow down to an idle and answer calls, answer clients’ questions, then back to boating we go!”
They consider themselves very fortunate to have found and embraced the Florida boating way of life. “We really never thought we’d own a house a block from the beach, or own one boat down here, let alone two!” Randy says. But like their namesake, the Crows have truly taken to their surroundings — and have watched their boating dreams take wing.