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All in a Day’s Work: Fort Lauderdale’s First Mate

Thu, Jul 21, 2011

All in a Day's Work



Water TaxiThe Water Taxi picks up passengers for a ride on the Intracoastal Waterway. (Photo by Michael Alén / For Under the Sun)

BY Michael Alén

Chris Brennan lives and works on the water. He is the first mate on the Water Taxi that runs along the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale. When his workday is done, he goes home to a 36-foot houseboat.

Water Taxi
Chris Brennan entertains passengers on the Water Taxi. (Photo by Michael Alén / For Under the Sun)

He grew up in Florida and has watched the area change drastically. Some of his favorite fishing holes have been replaced by condominiums or shopping malls. He shares his knowledge of what Florida used to be and what it has become with passengers on the water taxi.

So how did Chris stumble upon a career on the water? Before his 2 1/2-year run as first mate, he was a Broward County park ranger for 10 years. Unfortunately, his position was eliminated due to the struggling economy. After drowning is sorrows in some cocktails with a friend, he hopped on the Water Taxi and told his buddy he could do the job of first mate. He’s been doing it ever since.


  • A trip on the Water Taxi
  • Chris Brennan’s YouTube series, Florida Fidelity, brings you to the vanishing parts of the sunshine stae


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