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A brisk and steady northeast wind was blowing when 10 MBYC boats departed on Friday, March 17th for Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. In order to avoid higher seas further out, we ran up the coast about ½ mile out on an otherwise beautiful boating morning. Boats and their respective crew and guests included “Cookin’” with P/C Brent & Susan Cook, “Nauti Buoy” with Dave & Mary Ellen Mount, “Therapy III” with Mike & Cindy Brown, “Sea Ya’ll” with P/C Charlie and Paula Skillern and guest Angela, Paula’s sister, “Che Jac” with Jack & Cheryl Coffin, “Too Many Wakes” with Commodore Frank & Marianne Mulligan, “A Blast” with Rick & Linda Geschrei, “No Agenda” with Mark & Joanne Daugherty, “Divergent” with Bill Schroeder, and brand new members Bob & Sandy LaMontagne on “Karine”. The LaMontagne’s are very experienced cruisers, having completed the “Golden Loop”. Joining the group by car, John & Janine Holm were guests on the Daugherty’s boat “No Agenda”.

On Friday, after a brief ride on the Ft Myers Beach trolley, we all enjoyed a St Patrick’s Day dinner at one on the group’s favorite Ft Myers Beach restaurants, “Fresh Catch”. Saturday morning, most of us enjoyed a great buffet breakfast in a private room at the resort restaurant “Jack’s”. On Sunday evening, the group enjoyed “Docktails” (food prepared and shared by club members) in one of the resorts meeting rooms, otherwise, our time at Pink Shell was taken up with pool time, beach walks, walks into and shopping in Ft Myers Beach, and of course afternoon Canasta and Mexican Train. On Monday, our last full day at Pink Shell, the Daughertys hosted a late afternoon celebration of Janine Holm’s birthday with Pina Coladas and cake on the Daughertys boat “No Agenda”. That evening, most of us ended up at Jack’s for dinner and a beautiful sunset. Also on Monday, we said goodbye to the LaMontagne’s and the Coffins and again early Tuesday morning to the Daughertys – all had schedules and obligations that required an earlier return to Marco.

On Tuesday, after a 4 night stay, we departed Pink Shell for an hour long cruise, mostly at idle in the Miserable Mile and approaches to Tarpon Point, to the “Tarpon Point Resort & Marina” in Cape Coral for a 3 night stay. Tarpon Point is a large, beautifully developed, multi-use development featuring a 19 story all suite Westin hotel, shops and restaurants, condos, and single family and carriage homes – all centered around a 200 slip marina on the north shore of the Caloosahatchee River, just off the ICC, in Cape Coral. Joining the MBYC cruise group for a total of 9 boats were “My Turn” with Barry & Claudette Gelfand, and “O Sea D” with Vern & Ann Graham who had come from Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda.

Originally scheduled for Thursday, March 23rd, but advanced to Tuesday the 21st due to returning to Marco weather concerns, “Cookin’”, captained by P/C Brent Cook and “Too Many Wakes”, captained by Commodore Frank Mulligan, took most of us on a short late afternoon cruise to “Rum Runners”, a bar and restaurant on the canals in Cape Coral. We all took in the sunset on the early evening return to Tarpon Point. The following evening, most of us strolled to “Pinchers” in the marina, where we enjoyed dinner and a celebration of the March birthdays of Dave Mount, Mike Brown, and P/C Charlie Skillern. After dinner, the Browns treated the cruise group to chocolate covered strawberries on the flybridge of their boat, “Therapy III”. The final day featured ladies shopping (accompanied by wine!), general laziness, reading, pool time, and afternoon Canasta and Mexican Train. The weather intruded only on the final late afternoon with a few thunderstorms and brief periods of rain. On our last evening, most of the group enjoyed dinner – organized by Cindy Brown – at the Westin’s Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro.

Departure day to Marco, Friday, March 23rd, featured “small craft warnings” and 18-20 knot winds from the east, but again, by hugging the coast on the southbound return to Marco, we cruised peacefully in 1 foot seas. “O Sea D” and “Therapy III” ran further outside, but reported only 1 & 2 to occasional 3 foot seas.

As usual, a wonderful and relaxing time was enjoyed by all in the MBYC cruising family.

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