Captain Randy Meeker has been with Ride the Wind for more than 18 years, providing private airboat rides in Fort Lauderdale. He has 40+ years of airboating experience under his belt, gliding around the ‘Glades since his younger years. When he’s not taking people out where they can see alligators in the Everglades, he enjoys navigating fishing charters in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. As much as he likes to go freshwater and saltwater fishing, he likes to hunt dove, quail, and black-bellied ducks as well. On top of regularly partaking in several different outdoorsy hobbies, Captain Randy is a cigar connoisseur. He is happily married with six children, five of which are adopted – and they’re all Nicaraguan.
Captain Randy was born and raised in sunny South Florida. His father worked at Port Everglades, so he has spent a lot of time on the water, driving airboats, fishing, scuba diving, and more. He had his first airboat ride before he could even walk!
His grandfather, PAP, was a ‘Glades man since the early 20’s – in other words, “he was the Clint Eastwood of the Everglades.” He taught Randy everything he knows, including how to work with alligators and the other animals who call the Everglades their home. PAP was so good with the gators of the ‘Glades because he was a nuisance hunter for a living. He would come to your home or business and remove alligators or other animals that were a nuisance, and Randy would help him.
Randy dropped out of school to work for his grandfather until he passed away in 1979. In 1980, he joined the General Offshore Corporation, working for President Ronald Reagan. His unit assisted the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corp. In the first year of his contract, he obtained the United States Coast Guard License (USCG) 100-Ton Master Captain. In the fourth year of his contract, Randy was a scuba diver for NASA Space Center.
He returned to the United States and started doing gator shows, private airboat tours in the Everglades out of Fort Lauderdale, and tours of the parks and Indian Reservations in South Florida. He worked part-time running a scuba diving operation, with over 4,000 dives just in Fort Lauderdale!
In 1999, Captain Randy opened Ride the Wind, where he now offers private airboat charters and Everglades airboat tours in Fort Lauderdale.