June Boat-A-Cade 2016
This year's Boat-A-Cade was a beautiful trip to the Keys and a lot of fun as usual. The trip started with 11 boats. Everyone met at Bayfront Park in Homestead. Bayfront is a county park with a swimming lagoon, restaurant, and large marina. Most boats arrived during the day Friday, launched their boats, and got into their slips. Friday evening we met at the restaurant where they served us hors d'oeuvres. After we ate, we went downstairs to the patio area where we had our Captains Meeting. After the meeting, Gary Schack had a chart meeting to give an overview of how we planned to run the trip.
Saturday morning we left Homestead and were very glad to be rid of the no-see-ums! We ran the outside route on the Atlantic, where the seas were calm as a pond. We arrived in Key Largo at Marina Del Mar where everyone got tied up and checked in. Then it was pool time for cooling off and camaraderie. We all ate dinner in small groups at several of the nearby restaurants.
Sunday, after a little boat repair, we headed farther south to Marathon Marina. After relaxing in the pool, we all had dinner at Lazy Days Grill at the marina.
Monday, the wind picked up, blowing out of the east, which was at our backs as we headed to Key West. It was a little bumpy, so we ran a little slower, but still made it in about two hours. One of our group leaders, Half Fast, was not running well, so opted to stay at Bahia Honda State Park. There were some other boat club friends from CFCC staying there, so he wasn't alone. Once in Key West, we got tied up and enjoyed sightseeing, shopping, and visiting historic Key West. Our second day in Key West, we did some boat repair to Nauti Nan. That evening, we had a Docktail party on the picnic tables in the shade. The food was good and a relaxing time was had by all.
Wednesday morning we headed back to Marathon. We had been worried about the weather, but when we got up, the wind had dropped to almost nothing and it was a great ride back. Some of the boats stopped at Looe Key for some snorkeling before heading to Faro Blanco Marina. Faro Blanco is a brand new marina on the gulf side. It has a hotel, restaurant, and several pools. The marina even gives free ice. The marina offered us a special discount at the restaurant, so we all enjoyed a very nice meal together that night.
Thursday night, we had a real treat. Capt. Ray Phillipone, who is a past director of Boat-A-Cade, is living on his boat in Marathon. He is captaining a big catamaran that does snorkeling trips and sunset cruises. He came and picked everyone up at Faro Blanco for a sunset cruise. Dinner was provided by the club, thanks to Pam Zinsmeister, who picked up a delicious fried chicken dinner from Publix that everyone enjoyed. Ray captained the boat into a perfect sunset.
Friday morning we headed out again up the Gulf side back to Key Largo to Marina Del Mar. That night, we all walked across A1A to Doc's Diner. They opened their restaurant just for us and did a fabulous Italian buffet for our banquet. At our banquet, we talked about all of our experiences, both good and bad. We gave out awards, both good and bad. Tom Zinsmeister received the Bent Prop Award for having the worst boat trouble on the trip. But, to their credit, even though their boat broke down after the first day, they took it home and continued with us by car for the rest of the trip. The King and Queen awards went to Bill and Penny Waldo from Jacksonville (Penny's Loafer) for their dedication to Boat-A-Cade and making most of the trips over the last 40 years. After a lot of laughs and funny stories we headed back to our boats.
Saturday morning we headed back to Homestead in calm seas for the last leg of the trip. Once there, everyone loaded their boats, said their goodbyes and headed home. Another great Boat-A-Cade was over.