After three years, the Florida Powerboat Club management opted to relocate the annual Sanibel-Fort Myers Poker Run to a new home-port…Naples Bay Resort in the heart of downtown Naples. A small group of powerboats ranging from 29′ to 80′ in length headed out through Gordon’s Pass, and turned southbound, passing Marco Island and the Cape Romano shoals, before turning eastbound to Indian Key Pass. Not a typical daytrip for most boaters in the area, the winding waterway became the gateway to the small, often forgotten community of Everglades City. After a wonderful luncheon in the clubhouse of the Everglades Isle RV Resort, FPC members and participants took to the swamps for adventurous airboat rides, exploring a unique part of Florida, offiicially titled the Ten Thousand Islands, truly a gem of Florida’s Paradise Coast. A late afternoon monsoon caught a few of the airboat tours in the heavy rains, but it didn’t dampen the poker run spirit, and participants took shelter in the Everglades Isle Clubhouse, awaiting the late afternoon poker run restart. After the storm cleared, the remaining boats had a safe and dry ride back to Naples, where the group congregated at the Riverwalk Restaurant in TIN CITY, for wonderful dinner and the comaraderie that makes it all worthwhile!
SUNDAY featured the Taste of Collier Food Festival at nearby Bayfront, a popular waterfront retail and dining complex, which is popular with boaters due to the abundance of floating docks. Samplings of great food from all of the areas most popular restaurants gave visitors the chance to enjoy a variety of treats, from stone crab claws to sushi and succulent beef tenderloin, the choices were endless! Entertainment included and ice sculpting contest, live music and it was a great day that raised money for local charities.