The offseason is far from “off” for many Sea Tow Captains around the country. But for some, the slowdown during winter comes as a time spent with families and on other incredible hobbies. Two of Sea Tow’s Captains, John Ward and Tom Kehnlenbach, know how to make the most of their time.
Captain John Ward has many lines in the water, so to speak. He’s not only the new owner of Sea Tow Lake Norman / Lake Wylie, which is in North and South Carolina, but he also runs leading Sea Tow operations in Destin, Pensacola, and Kerr/Gaston Lake.
When his season starts to slow down, he becomes a familiar face at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola where he races a 400 HP, 1987 Monte Carlo on a half-mile track.
“I’ve been racing for several years and love it,” Captain Ward said. “I even met my wife at the racetrack and we’ve made our time there a fun, family affair. My dad was in the car business as well and I’ve always loved racing.”
Captain Ward has been in several wrecks and walked away without major injuries. He’ll try his skills behind the wheel Dec. 1-4 during the 49th Annual Snowball Derby.
Another Captain, Tom Kehlenbach of Sea Tow Central Connecticut, also makes the best of the offseason. He has been with Sea Tow for more than 20 years as a franchise owner and captain. During this time, Captain Tom and crew have safely serviced over 10,000 boaters in distress. He is 40-hour Hazmat-certified and has his 8-hour Hazmat Supervisor Certification.
When he’s not pursuing new certifications, he and his daughter are gearing up for snow.
“We like our toys, specifically snowmobiles,” Captain Kehlenbach said. “Any time my daughter and I can get away, we head to the Adirondacks and ride up to 150 to 200 miles a day on our snowmobiles.”
His relationship with his daughter has always been close as he used to coach her lacrosse team when she was younger. They are working hard to make memories that last a lifetime.
Annual maintenance, updating equipment and preparing for the upcoming season are all part of the offseason for these captains. They have made it a priority to use their time wisely, both on and off the water.