Captain Lamar Taylor - striving for excellence
Like so many others, Lamar Taylor grew up not quite knowing what he wanted to pursue as a life-long career. But once he started working in water sports, he knew immediately, that he had found his calling.
Now, an accomplished boat captain employed to Captain's Water Sports, in Ironshore, Montego Bay, Taylor sees only the sky as his limit. Initially, he joined the company as a lifeguard, but in less than a year on the job, his quest for knowledge, combined with a diligent work ethic quickly moved him up the ranks in the organisation.
Despite his accomplishments to date, Taylor's journey to Captain's Water Sports was not an easy one. He experienced a childhood that was woven in poverty, and he lacked vital family support when he decided to move away from his native St Catherine, to Montego Bay, in pursuit of employment opportunities and an overall better life.
"No one believed in me, but I am naturally motivated and I am all about moving forward. I don't like people limiting me, and I really don't like limiting myself. Whenever I see that I have reached one goal that I was aiming towards, then I want to go further, I just want to keep going and going," Taylor told Hospitality Jamaica.
Now into his fourth year as a boat captain, Taylor, who is also a past student of the Cumberland High School in St Catherine, is considered by his boss, Bryan 'Captain' Langford, to be his foremost employee.
"Lamar is one of my best staff; he is energetic and he is very willing to do any job. No job is too small or too big for him and he is always on time and can be seen doing something productive. Even when the other staff are slacking off a little bit, he still takes care of what he has to do and he make sure his boat is always clean and ready for business," said Langford.
It was this very same work ethic that got Taylor his job with Langford. When he first came to work in Montego Bay, he was employed as a horse trainer, doing horseback riding and swimming tours. But after outperforming himself in that job role, his then employer recommended him to Langford, in a bid to push his career to higher heights.
"Since I have been employed by Mr Langford, I have gotten certified as a lifeguard, a boat captain and an open water scuba diver. I am now currently in training for my master diver's certificate which will allow me to instruct other divers and oversee diving expeditions. The next goal I want to accomplish is to get my coastal licence which will allow me to captain bigger vessels," Taylor said.
Deep-sea fishing, water skiing and cruising around the Montego Bay coastline are some of the expeditions Taylor has with his guests. But before he embarks on any outing, there is one important feature about his boat, the Cobalt, which he always maintains, "I like my vessel clean and ready for work, I cannot drive an untidy boat," he said.
Taylor readily admits that his ascension to boat captain was not without help from Langford and his fellow colleagues, namely Lance 'Hurcules' Erskine and Cossaly 'Moon' Ennis.
"Mr Langford has taught me a lot about how to be a good boat captain and he continues to encourage me to go further with my career. Hurcules and Moon are very fine captains and I really admire them. Hercules is one who taught me how to interact with the tourists and how to drive the boat properly and Moon taught me about the engine and how to fix mechanical issues," he said.
Taylor, who confessed to being a foodie and especially enjoys eating chicken and dumplings, said some of his most fascinating sights out on the water include the sighting of a pilot whale and experiencing a pod of dolphins swimming so closely to his boat, one could reach out and touch them.