Oh Captain, My Captain

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Captain Kurt Meiss


Compared to the experience that we provide, Amelia River Cruises is a fairly small company. Just like any other small business like ours, it is paramount that we are careful in selecting new professionals to bring aboard if you’ll pardon the pun! In keeping with our standards, we are very pleased to take a moment and point the spotlight at Captain Kurt Meiss, the first captain Kevin ever hired to work for Amelia River Cruises. Kurt, hailing from the town of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, learned to sail from his father’s teachings at the age of 3! There is definitely something to be said for getting your sea legs months after learning to use them at all! The new captain was quite versed in athletics as a boy and young man. Playing hockey for some 15 years and skiing competitively both are character building experiences. He was an undefeated Junior Olympian swimmer at the age of 10 and also became a certified diver that year. This led him to love the water and he still enjoys surfing between cruises today. It’s not happened to date, but if someone ever decides to take an involuntary swim…Captain Kurt would be the ideal rescuer to have on hand!

Captain Kurt Meiss

Captain Kurt

Kurt would go on to join the Navy and attend the Naval Academy. Furthering his mariner skills there running a 44ft Luver’s Yawls NA12 undefeated, he was eager to hit the next step. So, one day Kurt walked into a yacht broker’s office to look for a possible position. Unfortunately, the receptionist had to inform him that there were no positions to be had at the time. She referred him to a few different marinas and the like. As he was walking out of the office discouraged, he heard a voice from the back thick with South African tones. The voice queried, “How would you like to sail to New Zealand?” Through meeting his new South African friend, he would go on to sail a 34’ Grampian sailboat from Annapolis to Panama. He also would later sail the Panama Canal in 1975. He also sailed a 44ft Guster to Acupulco!

More recently, Kurt first met our proprietors (Kevin & Cecilia McCarthy) while working for the company that sold them their first vessel, the Ryan K. Being that they had no Captain to man the helm at the time, Kurt was hired on the spot as their first! He then became a certified log home builder and would return to Fernandina Beach in 2005. We are ecstatic to have Captain Kurt Meiss as a member of the ARC family and island community as a whole! Call and book your cruise today and request a cruise with Capt Kurt! You’ll have no regrets!


Until next time….

Stay salty friends!


Bring your kids and enjoy a amazing Family Sunset Cruise with Captain Kurt.  (more…)




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