Captain Ray Temeyer’s journey from an Iowa farm to the Bahamas is a tale worthy of Robert Louis Stevenson himself. In his case it was a story by Charles Kuralt about an Iowa farmer who had built a boat in his cornfield and planned to sail it around the world. The lure of the voyage hooked the young college student like a prize game fish. After a trip down the Mississippi in the middle of winter our intrepid traveler found himself in the Bahamas. Unfortunately the farmer and his wife had changed their plans and our would-be John Paul Jones found himself without a ship. Fate intervened in the form of a freighter owned by a Boston lawyer that was being taken down to the Caribbean. Joining an intriguing crew that included a cook who had two ships shot from under him during WWII, Ray made it to St. Barth’s.
Ray met his life-long first mate on shore leave in Iowa. Along with Jeanie, then a schoolteacher, Ray spent time camping and canoeing before they traveled back to make Miami their homeport.
With his captain’s license in hand, Ray went to work for Blackbeard’s Cruises. Jeanie also joined the crew by cooking. Captain Ray was familiar figure to many visitors as he took the wheel for trips to the Bahamas. For more than ten years he was in charge of personnel, oversaw maintenance and managed installations. But Ray was no landlubber. After years at Blackbeard’s (and three children) Ray and Jeanie purchased a 65-foot ketch, the Avalon, and started Lost Island Voyages. With the experience he had gained before the mast, Ray and a group of friends that he met in the dive industry completely re-outfitted the boat.