Bahamas Poker Run 2020 – NEW DATES >>>> CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED INFORMATION
As we all continue to ride this wave of uncertainty with the Covid-19 crisis, we are forced to postpone another annual poker run event until we are in the clear. The Bahamas Prime Minister recently issued a notice that the country remains on lock-down through May 30th and possibly into June, blocking all forms of travel and tourism. Our planned dates for June 19-24, are therefore postponed until we have a green light from Bahamian officials, including Customs & Immigration, along with the necessary lodging partners in Bimini and Paradise Island.
Since the pandemic escalated in mid-March, Florida Powerboat Club has been forced to cancel/postpone a total of five planned boating events, and we remain committed to recovering at least (some) of these events before the end of 2020, provided that we take control of his Covid-19 crisis. As we watch the daily media updates, it is no secret that we are far from achieving this objective, and we can only ask that everyone remain patient, and be proactive in following the guidelines prescribed by our healthcare professionals and government leaders.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE: THE SOMBER REALITY OF COVID-19 & BOATING
For many of us in Florida and around the nation, the warm spring temperatures have allowed many of us to get out and at least do some family boating close to home. In South Florida, record numbers of boaters have been out on recent weekends, in spite of the fact that the boat ramps and marinas were closed for several weeks. With social distancing guidelines in place, modification in boating behavior is necessary, like limiting the number of passengers on board and refraining from “raft-up” parties where multiple boats and dozens of crew members are now in close-quarters. These are part of the new-normal practices that we must all adapt to, or face the scrutiny of local law enforcement and possibly, the general public as well. This weighs in especially with organized poker runs.
As President and founder of Florida Powerboat Club, I must be brutally honest with all of our members and marine trade partners about where we are headed, as an organization while we react to this Covid-19 Killing Machine. Breaking news….We are a recreational boating club and are completely Non-essential in the whole scheme of this national emergency. We can not, and will not be the target of public disgrace and scrutiny, because we were too eager to jump in our powerboats, fire the engines for an escape to Paradise! Yes, it sounds tempting, but while the rest of our nation is suffering from the emotional scars and financial loss of the tragic pandemic, we must remember that we are Americans and we are in this together!! I urge all other poker run organizers and powerboaters to keep this in mind. Social media can be our best friend, but can also be our WORST Enemy. This is not about American freedom and proving we can do as we please. It’s about being respectful to the rest of the county in a time of suffering. Getting the wheels of the economy turning again, and getting back to work…Yes, I agree that’s important. However, Poker Runs are not part of the national economy.
I feel very blessed that operating this organization is our livelihood which has provided the daily bread for the Jones household for almost three decades. And with no events to stage for six months it has taken its economic toll the same way it has affected everyone else in the travel and tourism industry. Thankfully, through the FPC members and their annual renewals, along with the financial support of sponsoring organizations, we have managed to ride this wave, adapt to the new normal, and turn this lock-down time into a positive outcome for the club. Our YouTube channel is ON FIRE, with almost 26,000 subscribers and record viewing numbers, over 20,000 views daily! So please respond to our renewal notices, and if you are considering joining FPC…we would love to have you on board!
We will await any updates from Bahamas officials on a postponement date for the Bahamas Poker Run, and meanwhile, our next scheduled event is the Emerald Coast Powerboat Week, Aug 12-16, 2020. Cross your fingers and squeeze in a few prayers…we hope to see you all there!!