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It was a beautiful day for decorating the boat. Rudi had a new plan for this year and lots of new lights. We started around 9 am. Under Rudi’s guidance, everything went smoothly, except for a mix up as to what side the green and red go on in keeping with nautical rules. Imagine a boat club not getting it right the first time! I won’t say who got it wrong but you know who you are!

Everything was looking great until we got to the new sled for the flybridge. As it was being unpacked, we noticed that it was covered with glitter. After only 2 small pieces were removed from the box, the boat, and those unpacking it, were covered with the stuff. We figured it would be several years, if at all , when we would be rid of the glitter on the boat so the decision was made to skip that decoration. Barry did a great job, as usual, with the sound system. Bill Hillyer never stopped working. Several of the pics were taken by Bill from his boat. Brent was great with attaching the lights without harm to the boat. Susan and Claudette were untangling the lights as they were unpacked and kept the guys in line. The job was finished around 2 pm and the boat looked great. Bob & Linda Gagnon and their family stopped by to check us out before we departed for the parade.

We headed out of the slip for the parade around 5:15. This year, there was great visibility from the helm, at least in the daylight. We congregated around Factory Bay until it was time to line up and follow the Marco Princess on the parade route. About 15 minutes into the parade we all thought “Hey, that’s not fair! The sailboat is shooting fireworks from their mast.” We then realized that it was an arc from the power lines and the power was out around the Marco Island Yacht Club. Thankfully, no one was hurt and no boat was damaged. After a small re-routing of the boats following that sailboat, we continued without incident. Once again, Rudi sat center on the bow with a headset and handheld spotlight helping with the navigation since the Captain couldn’t see much. Night vision is kind of ruined with all the lights on the boat. The Cooks, Gelfands, Landwaards, LaMontagnes, Zimmermans, Bob Boland and Lynn Bedell were aboard for the ride. Lynn, Susan and Claudette were our elves, dancing with the music for the judges.

Because of the weather forecast, the decision was made to undecorate the boat immediately following the parade instead of the next morning. It is amazing that it only took about 1 hour to undo what took 5 hours to put up.

A great time was had by all and we won Most Creative in the over 30 foot category. Great job Marco Bay Yacht Club!

Sandy LaMontagne

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