Cape Coral Cruise Clubs 2015 Recap.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club, founded in 1963, is unique among S.W. Florida boat clubs in that it owns a portion of a private island on the Caloosahatchee River east of the Franklin Lock near Alva. Over the years a covered pavilion has been built where members enjoy monthly elaborate picnics, bocce, horseshoes and other relaxing activities.

CCCC is a group of active cruisers. Monthly cruises are planned for September through June each season. If you have a boat with overnight accommodations, reside in the Cape Coral – Ft. Myers area, and would like to get out on your boat with fellow boating enthusiasts, take a look at the destinations of past CCCC organized cruises.

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We regularly visit South Seas Resort and ‘Tween Waters Resort on Captiva Island; Pink Shell Resort and Snook Bight Marina on Ft. Myers Beach. Boca Grande Marina, Uncle Henry’s Marina, Burnt Store Marina, and Fisherman’s Village have all been on the Club’s list of favorite destinations.

Going further north on the GICW we’ve visit both Palm Island Marina and Gasparilla Marina, as well as attractive locations in Sarasota and Longboat Key. The spring 2015 trip had twelve boats cruise further north to Tarpon Springs.

Local short cruises include Tarpon Point and Cape Harbour in Cape Coral, as well as Legacy Harbor in downtown Ft. Myers. Naples is an annual fall tradition with a several day visit to the Naples Boat Club, or Pelican Isle Marina being favorite destinations.

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Venturing further south the Club visited Marco Island in November 2015, and in the past has cruised to Everglades City. Marathon, in the Keys is a set destination for April, 2016.

Each year an extended cruise is planned. In 2014 that destination was to the South Georgia Isles. For 2016 the extended cruise in May will be to the Abacos in the Bahamas leaving from the Club owned island near Alva on the Caloosahatchee Waterway, with stops in Stuart, West Palm Beach, and/or Lake Worth, before making the crossing.

For those interested in extending their local boating distances, or who may be new to the area and are looking for an active boating group, the Cape Coral Cruise Club has had a booth at the Ft. Myers Boat Show in November at the Harborside Event Center & City Yacht Basin for several years.

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The WORD IS OUT, this is an active cruise club, and it will assist folks new to S.W. Florida in how critical it is to start cruising with folks who know local waters. If you like to cruise in your own boat, and wish to do this with like-minded boaters, CCCC is the club for you!

The Club plans no December cruise as this is the when the Club has its only formal meeting, the Change of Watch, where current officers are applauded for their service and new officers are installed for the upcoming year.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

Cape Coral Cruise Club returns to Marco Island

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Eleven boats were greeted with sunny skies for the November trip to Marco Island Marina, a destination that had been off the Club schedule for a few years.  All boats were neatly snuggled into their slips with the aid of dock master, Elmer Mimas, who located the entire group on one dock for our convenience.  Cruise leaders for this cruise were Terry and Laurie Carlson. The boats no sooner got tied up and the fun began as all boaters were introduced to the cruise leader’s Marco Island Poker Run, receiving their score cards and their first playing card.  Subsequent cards were issued at different scheduled events throughout the three day cruise.

Tuesday evening was kicked off with Heavy hors d’oeuvres by the pool, followed by a Cape Coral Cruise Club Member Trivia game prepared by cruise leaders,Terry and Laurie Carlson.  Participants enjoyed learning little known facts about Cruise Club members that had been gleaned from Bio’s that are soon to be published on the Club website.  Gary Taake was the winner of the competition.  Valuable prizes were awarded!

Breakfast was served Wednesday morning by the cruise leaders. Main dishes included Apple Monkey Bread, Sausage Hash Brown Casserole, a Stuffed Pancake casserole and more.  Pretty sure nobody left hungry.  Wednesdays daytime activity was a fun trip to the Marco Island Farmers Market that ended with a nice lunch/drinks at the Esplanade marina.   The Wednesday evening meal, provided by the cruise leaders,along with contributions from other cruisers, was centered around the Carlson’s “almost famous backyard smoked” pulled pork with all the trimmings.  After dinner entertainment was provided by John and Patti Queen and their “When the Hell was that?” competition.  Winner was Pat Kryger with runner up Donna Overstreet.  Once again, valuable prizes were awarded. CCCC has neat contests…

Thursday morning brought yet another breakfast by the pool with Scrambled eggs with cheese, rolls and fruit.  Later that morning a trip to the Marco Island Museum was on tap.  Approximately 10 people enjoyed learning the history of Marco Island from ancient times to present modern development.

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Thursday evening was our dinner out at CJ’s on the Bay at Esplanade. Cruisers were treated to a beautiful facility and marina on the bay at the Esplanade with a wonderful menu that provided something tasty for everyone.  The after dinner highlight was the culmination of the Marco Island Poker Run.  Final cards were drawn and the winners were Bill and Donna Peterson… and yes, valuable prizes were awarded.

Friday morning all boats cast off, bid a fond farewell to Marco Island Marina and headed back north for a smooth Gulf ride back to the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org  Like us on  Facebook.

 

By Terry and Laurie Carlson

Cape Coral Cruise Club Revisits Fisherman’s Village Marina

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Despite a rocky, rolling, breeze driven, Charlotte Harbor, eleven hardy Cape Coral Cruise Club vessels and their crews maneuvered their way to Fisherman’s Village Marina in Punta Gorda for the October 21-23 cruise. Counting the boat crews and folks who traveled by land yacht, over 30 club members enjoyed all or some of planned activities over the 3 day event.

While some went fishing, others played card games, went biking on Marina provided bicycles, or visited the local art galleries. All enjoyed shopping at the local craft and tourist shops on Fisherman’s Village concourse. Warm weather and light breezes added to the pleasure of afternoon pool time where many members floated and shared stories of the day.

Steve and Nell Winner coordinated the cruise and attending members enjoyed daily hot breakfast casseroles prepared by Nell. As is customary with this group each afternoon ended with happy hour snacks and docktails in the Captain’s lounge. The staff at Fisherman’s Village Marina are quite accommodating in that the Marina makes the Captain’s lounge available at no added cost.

Wednesday was a pre-arranged pizza party in the Captain’s lounge with several pizzas delivered by a local restaurant. All enjoyed pizza along with their favorite beverages.

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Thursday evening was the group dinner party at the “Captains Table” restaurant on the second floor at the north end of the concourse. All participants enjoyed a wonderful salad bar and meal overlooking Charlotte Harbor while watching the sun set on a beautiful clear evening.

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The Friday morning departure saw all boaters safely exiting the harbor and traversing much calmer conditions on Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The Cape Coral Cruise Club has been making Fisherman’s Village Marina a fall cruise destination for years and it is a cruise that regularly takes all the slips that the marina makes available.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Steve and Nell Winner

Cape Coral Cruise Club Enjoys a fun time at Naples Boat Club.

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Seventeen boats braved the “unknown” by taking a trip down the Gulf of Mexico for our annual trip to the beautiful Naples Boat Club. Why that adjective? September on the Gulf of Mexico… are you going to deal with a potential hurricane or be delighted by a gorgeous sunny day. Some southbound boaters experienced bumpy seas, but all arrived safely. Those cruising were Y Knot, Phil and Pat Kryger;, Infinite Sea, Paul and Stephanie Carrico; The Geezers, Stu and Jane Harelik; MarKate, Mark and Kate Lewis; Princess, Jim and Edie Limbright; Surface Interval, Bruce and Sue Longman; B Mine, Joe and Kelli Mille;, Hardee II, Hal and Dee Moss; Sharon Ann, Len and Sharon Palmisano; Luna Sea, Doug and Michelle Rhees; Spoiled Yacht’n , Armond and Pam Sykes; Still Crazy, Jeff and Joanne Ziemer ; C R Side, Bob and Carol Peterson; Wine Down, George and Carol Smith; Happy Ours, Gary and Kathy Taake; Knot Again, Larry and Maryanne Habich; and Sunkissed, Phil and Lyn Quick.

Club members experienced three days of clouds and lots of rain. However, it did not lessen our appetites for food, drink, and fun & games. So that everyone could relax on arrival day, cruise leaders Phil and Lyn Quick, saw to it that no one would go hungry. One hundred and fifty pieces of fried chicken were provided along with hot buttered biscuits, potato salad, and sliced tomatoes. Way too much chicken. Pumpkin pie with lots of whipped cream was a wonderful finishing touch. Needless to say anyone requiring chicken for the rest of the cruise did not have to look past the refrigerator to find plenty of leftovers.

Cruise leaders Phil & Lyn Quick announced at this first night dinner that the cruise FUN activity was a three day “triathlon”. Goal? Win in each one of the three night cocktail party sporting events.

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1. An adult version of Pin the Tail. We super imposed a picture of POTUS on a pictured donkey. Members were paired up for each of the three day triathlon with others’ spouses to keep things interesting for all the games. For pin the tail one of each couple was blindfolded, spun around and attempted to pin the tail on the jackass. Lots of laughs were had by all. Various table games finished off the evening and then everyone retired to their floating homes for a good nights’ sleep.

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Day two provided us with even more rain. Therefore several card and other table games became the activity for many in the beautiful Naples Boat Club Clubhouse. After a nice continental breakfast of pastries and fresh fruit several members pulled out their rain gear and walked to Tin City and Fifth Avenue to help stimulate the local economy.
 
2. 2nd night of the triathlon – Couples must break the balloon. Female members had a balloon secured to their back. And partner had to squeeze the balloon between the couple from behind and break it. Tight squeezes and booms of breaking balloons brought lots of laughs. After this activity, with the help of some members who drove down, members were shuttled to Fifth Avenue for a splendid Italian dinner at Cafe Luna. Forty-four members had a satisfying dining experience.

Thursday morning had more bakery delights provided as another gloomy wet day was upon us. No one was brave enough to put on bathing suits and sit by the pool the entire trip. A bus trip to the Naples Zoo was cancelled due to rain. Most people figured a way to offset the weather and make the best of the day. Happy hour was moved up a half hour to allow for the final leg 3 of the triathlon.

3. Pantyhose bowling brought more belly laughs. To understand this game, a ball is placed in the foot of one leg of panty hose stocking. The waist opening is then placed over your head. Water bottles placed on the floor, like bowling pins must be knocked over by swinging the ball, no hands please. This was a timed event meaning downing the three bottles quickly wins. Prizes were then awarded to the top five couples who bested their counter parts in each of the three daily events.

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We then walked to the front of the Naples Boat Club building to the Wharf Tavern to have a wonderful lobster dinner with all the trimmings. Luckily it was a short, sheltered walk, because…you guessed it…yep…still raining!

Most folks retired early knowing the forecast for a northbound departure day was again uncertain. Some left at daybreak and some left at their leisure to take on a smooth Gulf and relish the great times we all had. We look forward to the next cruise trip to again enjoy the camaraderie and boating that the Cape Coral Cruise Club provides.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

Cape Coral Cruise Club Cruises to Pink Shell Marina – (unofficially)

Each month, the Cape Coral Cruise Club takes a scheduled cruise to a different marina in SW Florida and stays for several days enjoying the area’s amenities and hospitality. We do that nine times a year along with an extended cruise each Spring. We take a break during the summer months of July and August as many members leave the area. However, sometimes a marina offers the Club a special off-season discounted rate to visit their marina.

That happened when the Pink Shell Marina and Resort in Fort Myers Beach offered the Club an attractive discounted rate for staying at its marina during the month of August. I won’t say how low the offer was, but it was certainly an offer we couldn’t refuse. So, it was decided to organize an unofficial cruise to the marina for any interested Club members.

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Unofficially, nine boats made the trip, and this article is the unofficial account of that trip. Over the days of August 20th to 23rd we scheduled this cruise to arrive Thursday and depart on Sunday so that some members who may work during the week could join the fun.

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Eight boats arrived Thursday, and one boat arrived Friday. The marina either coincidentally or intentionally assigned us slips that resulted in all boats being lined up from the smallest to the largest as you walked down the dock. Yellow Club burgees flew on the bow of each boat sporting our club mascot – a dolphin holding a drink of some sort (an adult beverage, I would surmise). After safely docking Thursday, sixteen club members convened in the late afternoon for cocktails, snacks and conversation.

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For dinner, we had CIFO’s. (Circular Italian Food Objects). 5 large pizzas were picked up and we dined in the Pink Shell conference room provided by the resort. After dinner, I hosted a game of Jeopardy created on my laptop and projected onto the wall. Special categories such as “Local Waters” and “Cape Coral History” were developed. (For example, are you aware that the first traffic signal in Cape Coral was placed at the intersection of Cape Coral Pkwy and Coronado in 1969?)

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On Friday, we again provided members breakfast, and then everyone went off to enjoy the pool, Ft. Myers beach, or other amenities around the resort. I decided to join several friends at the pool which was not heated, nor needed to be. After being in the pool for several minutes, I recalled my new iPhone was with me in its water proof case. It was checked for calls and, to my utter dismay, found that the “water proof” case was not so water proof. Yikes! So much for making phone calls the rest of the week.

For Friday night, a group dinner was arranged at Matanzas Inn Restaurant in Fort Myers Beach and eighteen boaters along with fifteen other Club members who arrived by land yacht, converged on the restaurant at 6:00 PM. Since we had a small crowd of 33, the manager had reserved the back area of the restaurant so that we could all dine together. It was great to see so many club members show up. Everyone was anxious to catch up on life’s happenings since we had not been together for a month or so. We also celebrated one member’s birthday. Well, not on that day specifically, but the same date of many, many years prior. You know what I mean.

On Saturday, we again fed the boaters breakfast and then sent everyone off to enjoy the day. Saturday was pretty much an ‘on your own’ day, so we didn’t have much planned as far as club activities. Fortunately, Mother Nature was quite cooperative during the time we stayed at the marina and our need for umbrellas was minimal. However, her hot days reminded us that we were indeed in southwest Florida in the middle of August.

On Sunday morning we cast off lines and headed for home ports. Much appreciation goes to Dave O’Conner, the Dockmaster at Pink Shell Resort and Marina. His hospitality and special accommodation to the Cape Coral Cruise Club made this unofficial cruise officially happen!

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The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By John Queen, Vice-Commodore, Cape Coral Cruise Club

Cape Coral Cruise Club 2015 Fall Schedule

The Cape Coral Cruise Club, founded in 1963, is unique among S.W. Florida boat clubs in that it owns a portion of a private spoil island on the Caloosahatchee River east of the Franklin Lock near Alva. Over the years a covered pavilion has been built where the members enjoy elaborate monthly picnics, bocce, horseshoes and other relaxing activities.

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A major advantage for members is that the Island has ample dockage for member’s boats. Over the years, four docks have been installed on an inside oxbow off the ICW with both 30amp and 50amp electric service. This allows docking for as many as 16 member boats up to 45′ in length to be docked for the weekend at minimal cost. Ferry service across the ICW aboard the club’s 24′ covered pontoon boat, manned by a licensed captain, is provided for members & guests who drive up for the monthly picnic.

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Because the Club is a cruising organization, in addition to the Island picnics, members can participate in monthly cruises to local destinations. Fall 2015 cruises include:

September destination: For the last few years the Naples Boat Club has become one of the most popular Club cruise destinations. With a first class onsite restaurant, beautiful pool and outstanding docking facilities this cruise always has a wait list. Cruise leaders have been known to plan very interesting and different activities including a variety of Naples dining adventures.

October destination: Once again the Club returns to Fisherman’s Village Marina on Charlotte Harbor. With abundant shopping on Fisherman’s pier and the close proximity to activities in downtown Punta Gorda, this is a very popular and well attended cruise.

November destination: For a change in 2015, the CCCC has planned a return cruise to Marco Island. Due to the distance and potentially rough weather this has not been a regular Club destination. Members are looking forward to making this again a popular cruise.

Also in November the Club hosts a booth at the Ft. Myers Boat Show. Members are present to answer questions on membership and point out many other fun Club functions.

December: Traditionally no cruise is planned for December as the Club holds a formal “Change of Watch” dinner where past Club officers are recognized for their achievements and officers for the coming year are installed. This is the only annual Club “Coat & Tie” event.

Several other destinations, including South Seas Resort, Palm Island, Pink Shell Resort, Legacy Harbor, and Snook Bight Marina are in the works for the spring of 2016. Although not yet determined, generally a long (10 day to two week) spring cruise is planned. Past locations have included the Bahamas, short loop to Key West, Tarpon Springs, and the south Georgia Isles.

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The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

August 11,2015

CCCC returns to ‘Tween Waters Inn

What an interesting and unusual cruise! Unlike most Cape Coral Cruise Club outings, we sailed without our fearless Commodore, whose Gulfstar is on the hard getting its bottom redone. Although 8 boats had planned to join the group, “stuff happens” was in full swing so we started Tuesday with just 4 boats; Jon Lynch & Elise on Desperado, Doug & Michelle Rhees on Luna Sea, Phil & Pat Kryger on Y Knot, and Gary & Kathy Taake with grandchildren Jake and Jada, making the maiden voyage on their brand new 45’ Formula, Happy Ours.

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Those arriving early enjoyed sunning, swimming and chatting around the pool. ‘Tween Waters’ tiki hut provided many boaters with its’ famous lunch specials. Arriving by car to enjoy docktails and a fabulous, 2-for-1 prime rib dinner in the Old Captiva House at ‘Tween Waters were Commodore Lee & Brenda Jetton, Mike & Brenda Stewart, John & Mary Brehm, Bruce & Sue Longman and Rear Commodore Edie Limbright. After dinner, we all toured Taake’s new boat and toasted her maiden voyage.

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Wednesday morning brought us a clear beautiful day. Each of the cruising couples entertained themselves with swimming, poolside lounging, fishing, reading, or bike rides and long walks through town and on the beach. Kelli & Joe Miller came by car to enjoy docktails complete with Phil Kryger’s famous fish bites. A puzzle contest of the Jurassic variety pitted the wits of each crew to assemble their dinosaur as quickly as possible. Kryger’s skill put us all to shame as they finished in just a few minutes.

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The official ‘Tween Waters cruise leader had been sidetracked at the hospital, so Edie and Jim Limbright arriving on Princess, graciously stepped in with marinated flank steak, cooked to perfection right on the dock using a portable camp stove set up by ingenious Phil Kryger. All crews pitched in providing side dishes. Desert was “to die for” . . . coconut layer pudding provided by Michelle Rhees and cupcakes from Kelli Miller put each of us way over our calorie count for the day!

By Thursday morning, after all the storms had skirted ‘Tween Waters, the crews of all boats enjoyed a relaxing day. The Taake’s took their grandchildren to the beach only to sight sharks swimming close to the beach. Needless to say, the pool became very appealing. A few of the ladies played a wicked game of 3-handed Wizard on Y Knot prior to getting ready for docktails at 4:30pm. The Petersons, with Bob having been released from the hospital and feeling much better, joined our group of 16 for a delightful dinner at The Green Flash, followed by a beautiful sunset. Friday had the boaters heading back to their home ports. All-in-all, another wonderful cruise enjoyed by CCCC boaters.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Elise Soyza

Cape Coral Cruise Club returns to Palm Island Marina

Led by Jon Lynch and Elise Vannoy on Desperado, a flotilla of 10 boats cruised up the ICW to a club favorite destination, Palm Island Marina. Under sunny skies and seas that were surprisingly calm and slick as glass, many boats made record time. Many boaters voiced their surprise at the number of dolphins spotted during the trip. Joining in the fun were Commodore Lee Jetton and Brenda Butler on Moonlighter, Vice Commodore John and Pati Queen on Semper Paratus, Doug and Michelle Rhees on LunaSea, Phil and Lin Quick on Sunkissed, Bob and Carol Peterson on CR Side, Joe and Kelli Miller on B Mine, John and Mary Brehm on Panacea, Jeff and Joanne Ziemer on Still Crazy, and last but not least, Jim and Rear Commodore Edie Limbright made their maiden voyage on Princess, their recently purchased Viking.

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Arriving by car were Brenda and Mike Stewart as well as Mac & Bobbie McEwen. Most of the boaters gathered at Leverock’s for lunch on Tuesday then adjourned to the pool or games under the pavilion shade which made for a leisurely afternoon. Gathering for our traditional happy hour, cruising tales and mechanical advice freely flowed. With heavy hors d’ouevres supplied by each of the boats made for a sumptuous buffet.

Wednesday proved to be another perfectly sunny day enticing many to visit the beach and have a bite of lunch at Rumrunners, take a walk, float and chat in the pool or play cards. As we enjoyed our happy hour, all members participated in two brainteasers. Winners of the “Name that Boat” and “Flying Colors” quizzes were Jettons and Ziemers. Congratulations! Mike Stewart demonstrated his Grill Master credentials by cooking 26 burgers to perfection. Many thanks to Edie Limbright for a wonderful Spinach Salad, Michelle Rhees and Brenda Stewart for luscious desserts. After dinner, crews toured Jim and Edie Limbright’s new “Princess”.

On Thursday, a continental breakfast of berries and sweet rolls started the morning followed by a polite game of keep away which quickly devolved into a rowdy dunking session providing entertainment for onlookers and lots of laughs for participants. Beach goers collected perfect and imperfect shells as well as sharks teeth. Since it was Red Nose Day, each couple posed with a red nose. During happy hour, crews chatted and revealed items remaining on our “bucket lists”, then headed to Leverock’s for a group dinner full of laughter, stories and good company.

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Friday morning boats departed Palm Island Marina as a good time was had by all.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Jon Lynch and Elise Vannoy

Cape Coral Cruise Club – 2015 Extended Cruise

Each spring the Cape Coral Cruise Club plans a “long cruise”, which is to say a much longer itinerary is planned than its normal three day monthly cruises to local destinations not more than a 3 to 6 hour boat trip. The Martins began planning the 2015 trip to Tarpon Springs last fall, making marina and restaurant contacts, searching for interesting places to visit at each planned location.

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The two week 2015 long cruise began April 13 with fourteen member boats departing Cape Coral, bound for Palm Island Marina in Cape Haze, Florida.  After all boats were secured in the slips, several club members enjoyed the marina’s pool, and on-site restaurant.  Other members opted for the complimentary water taxi to the marina’s Gulf front beach. Four other members ventured off in a dinghy looking for the channel to Rum Bay on the beach. A minor incident occurred when the captain, wanting to get the dinghy up on plane, encountered the large wake from a passing boat that caused a wall of water to wash over the bow.  The dinghy captain’s quick action, plus an efficient bilge pump, prevented almost certain swamping of the small boat.  The only casualties were two wet women, and a cell phone that ended up under several inches of water on the bottom of the boat. On the second day of our stay at Palm Island, the cruise leaders prepared breakfast, and later, with help from other cruisers, grilled sumptuous herb-crusted beef tenderloin for dinner.

The next morning the boats departed Palm Island traveling north to the gorgeous Longboat Key Club Marina and Resort. Due to an unannounced bridge closing on the GICW just north of the Venice Inlet three boats went out the Venice Inlet and proceeded north to New Pass Inlet returning to the GICW and into Longboat Key. Most of the boats were in slips along a sea wall less than fifty feet from the beautiful pool and a fabulous restaurant.

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The next morning, breakfast was provided by the cruise leaders before members headed out on their own; some taking the Longboat shuttle bus to St. Armand’s Circle for shopping and the many fine bars and restaurants.  Others opted to borrow the resort bicycles, ride around the resort, and/or pedal the 3-1/2 mile trip to St. Armand’s.  As a side note, on the way to Longboat Key, one member drifted out of the channel, and ran aground in soft sand. Assistance from a tow boat got the boat back in the channel with no apparent damage.  Such is boating in the sometimes skinny waters of Southwest Florida!  Everyone knows how important it is to stay in the channel, but it is so easy to drift out. Two days later the cruise leaders drifted not more than fifteen feet off channel and ran aground.  Again, a tow boat was called, and the boat suffered no apparent damage.

Our third stop on the trip was Loggerhead Marina in St. Petersburg.  Two boats could not clear a nearby twenty foot fixed bridge and stayed at Maximo’s Marina.  We all gathered by the pool under the Tiki huts and cooked burgers and brats, with lots of tasty side dishes.

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Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs was our northern most stop for three nights.  On our first night the town was celebrating “Night in the Islands”; a very romantic Greek food themed evening where several restaurants filled the street with long tables and strung up small overhead lights.  Odyssey, one of the best Greek bands in Florida, supplied soothing, sensual, traditional Greek music. While some people danced in the streets, others formed a large circle where local ladies instructed them on traditional Greek dances. All this, while the wait staff continually delivered tasty Greek food and wine to the large crowd made this a truly memorable evening.  Over the next two days members were on their own to explore the town.  One night, we gathered at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery. Everyone was able to select a Greek dish to suit their desire.  Several dishes of Saganaki (flaming cheese) were delivered to our tables as shouts of Opa made the meal festive.

Turtle Cove Marina was very accommodating to our club, dock hands were prompt, helpful, and attentive.  One night, with a threat of rain, the marina opened the lounge for us as Phil and Gary prepared their famous fish bites.  We also used the lounge the next morning where the cruise leaders prepared a pancake breakfast.  One note here; a guest on a member boat slipped on the ramp of the dock, and fell, injuring his leg.  An ambulance was called, and he was transported to a local hospital for x-rays. Fortunately there was just severe bruising with nothing broken.

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Our first stop on the return trip was a single night at Clearwater Beach Marina. The dock master was alone, and overwhelmed with our arrival, so it was up to the members to help get all our boats secured up in the slips.  A short walk had several members taking in the fabulous Clearwater beach along with its several bars and restaurants.

The next to last stop on our trip was the always popular Marina Jacks in downtown Sarasota.  After breakfast by the cruise leaders, several members hopped on the shuttle to visit the Ringling Circus and Art Museum and the John Ringling Mansion. Others opted for the great shops and restaurants in downtown Sarasota.

The final stop before heading back to Cape Coral was Gasparilla Marina. A final happy hour under a huge canopy by the docks gave the cruising members the opportunity to express their thanks to the cruise leaders for arranging a great itinerary, and or course assuring that the winds were calm and the weather outstanding.

All boats returned home safely, ending the “Long Cruise” for 2015.  Bonnie and I want to thank all the participating members of CCCC for joining us on this cruise, and we hope that everyone else had as much fun as we did!  The fellowship and cohesiveness of our club is like none other, and is so apparent in a setting such as the CCCC’s long cruise.  We can all be very proud of the courteous and proficient seamanship displayed at all times, by all our members!

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Robert and Bonnie Martin