This year’s cruise started in Carabelle, Florida on Saturday, June 22nd with four boats arriving by water and nine on trailers. Everyone attended the Captains Meeting on Saturday night and enjoyed pizza and wings provided by Boat-A-Cade. Those who didn’t previously meet their groups and leaders got to know one another.
We left Carabelle Sunday morning in groups bound for Panama City. First out were our one go-fast boat, Half Fast, and our one big boat, Disciple (36 foot Carver). The Four Aces, Bonita, Never Ending, and Angler led by Nauti Nan were next. Finally, the All Stars consisting of Blue Moor Money, Dark Dream, Pam’s Paycheck, Moore Fun, Pier Pressure, and Richochet led by Just Add Water headed out.
We had some mechanical problems almost immediately, but dealt with them with the exception of Half Fast, who blew an engine and had to pull out in Apalachicola. Blue Moor Money also pulled out there and trailered up to Panama City to repair and rejoin us there.
In Panama City everyone relaxed, reorganized, dined out, and prepared for our departure to Destin on Tuesday. Some even swam on the clear cool water in the marina basin!
On Tuesday everyone departed for Destin. We all anchored up in the beautiful waters inside the inlet at Destin and were served a hot dog lunch provided by Just Add Water. It was Jim Crooker’s birthday so he was serenaded. Everyone enjoyed the lunch and the swim. After tying up in the marina in Destin, we all took the water taxi to Dewey Destin’s, a seafood restaurant, for delicious seafood. Some then went over to the fishing fleet docks and enjoyed the live music, drinks, and shopping.
Wednesday, we headed back east to beautiful Baypoint Marina & Resort in Panama City Beach. A few enjoyed a smooth ride on the outside with the rest returning via the Intracoastal Waterway. We spent the next three days enjoying activities at the beaches, bicycling, etc.
Friday, we had our banquet there (which meant the trip was unfortunately nearing completion). New captains received their certificates. Nauti Nan won the Bent Prop Award for an incident occurring as they came into Baypoint (enough said). Mike (Alabama) Weeks was named "King" and Valerie Crandall was named "Queen". These awards are presented each year to those who were especially friendly and helpful during the cruise.
On Saturday, we experienced bad rain storms. A few left early for Carabelle in their boats and made it back safely. Some of us caught a ride back to Carabelle and returned to Panama City to pull out and head home.
All made it home safely with the exception of Disciple who was too big to trailer and too slow to beat the front moving in. They spent several days in Carabelle before heading back to their home port in St. Petersburg, a week plus later.
Despite some problems, we all had a great time! Hope to see many more next year!