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Captain's Bio

Captain Stuart Keel is originally from Martin County, North Carolina where he spent his life hunting and fishing along the banks of North Carolina's Pamlico Sound. Every summer, he would visit family in St. Petersburg, Florida for several months exploring the incredible waterways there at every available opportunity.  He describes his love for the water as something that feels like as an inherited trait. In fact, he has two brothers and a nephew that are also boat captains and his ancestral surname "Keiller" actually means the "Pilot of the Long Ships!"

From his teen years until his mid-twenties, he lived and worked in Wake County, NC but felt compelled to be "close to the ocean full time" so in 1988, he moved to Cape Carteret, NC. He studied and earned his USCG six passenger (6-pack) Captain's license in 1989 and bought his first charter fishing boat, a 23-foot Aquasport which he named the "Reel Keel." He quickly became popular and well known on the Goose Creek docks in Swansboro, NC with other captains and mates wanting to see the trophy class fish he caught on a regular basis (and to hear his entertaining stories!) He spent over a decade there, fishing every weekend and also placed in several tournaments such as the Atlantic Beach, Hardee's & Memorial Day King Mackeral tournaments.

Captain Stuart has spent many off season days and nights fishing and flounder gigging in the beautiful waters of Bogue Inlet, Beaufort Inlet, around Cape Lookout's Core Sound and in the Pamlico Sound. In 2000, he bought a 36 foot Hatteras Sportfish Convertible, the Reel Keel II. Subsequently, he spent a lot of time off shore in the Gulf waters charter fishing as well as conducting pleasure charters to the Southern Outer Banks barrier islands. It was during this time that he also became interested in scuba diving and got his PADI Certification. To date, he has been on over 400 dives in North Carolina's "Graveyard of the Atlantic" and also off of several different islands in the Caribbean. During his southern latitude travels, he chartered yachts numerous times in the British Virgin Islands as well as in the Bahama's Out Islands. Captain Stuart has led the way for many people to find their own "adventurous side" whether that might be big game fishing, spearing flounder at night or going scuba diving at world renowned shipwrecks.

In 2006, he bought a 45' Carver Voyager yacht so he and his family could live more comfortably off shore for extended periods of time. Captain Stuart is definitely a "people person" and loves to teach folks of all ages all about fishing, boating and navigating in the ocean. In 2013, he upgraded his six passenger Captain's license to a 50-ton Master's license and started Gulf Island Tours, Inc. He and his wife/first mate, Angela, offer customizable overnight extended stay pleasure cruises as well as inshore fishing charters aboard their spacious yacht, the "Reel Keel" III.   In 2013, Captain Stuart moved his business to Englewood, Florida and currently offers charters to many barrier islands in Southwest Florida and also offers 10-12 day private yacht charters to the Florida Keys.  

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