Marco Islanders were treated to a spectacular boat parade which wound its way through the Marco River, into Collier Creek and Collier Bay and eventually into Smokehouse Bay. When they arrived, those participants tied up and rafted up to each other at the Esplanade and CJs on the Bay who hosted the Fort Myers Offshore Fun Run.
It was their annual event that is made from the Cape Coral/Fort Myers Beach each year between Christmas and New Year’s. There were literally tens of millions of dollars of marine craft that could be seen entering the Marco Waterways, many of them high-speed offshore craft.
Al Doherty, who splits his time between Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Cape Coral, had four passengers aboard his craft for the run down to Marco.
“We just love being out on the water down here and off of Sanibel. The trip down here can see speeds reach 80 mph when the conditions are right. Today it took about 45 minutes for the larger powered boats to make the run down to the outer marker in the river,” said Doherty.
“The Stooges” was another favorite boat of those that came out to see the participants as they docked at the Esplanade Marina on Saturday. That particular boat was powered by four 450hp Merc Racing Engines and was owned by three young Canadian partners out of Ontario. They winter here in the Cape Coral/North Fort Myers area and own a marine operation in North Fort Myers.
“We love making this trip down here. The folks here at this place are just so great to deal with,” said Pierre Brousseau, one of the three owners of “The Stooges.”
Over 200 people would disembark from the 50 plus boats which joined in the event on Saturday. Each boat paid $100 to enter the event and all proceeds would go to the organization’s scholarship fund.
Fort Myers Offshore, Inc. is a Not-for–Profit Corporation, consisting of a group of offshore boating enthusiasts in SW Florida, dedicated to raising funds and awarding several academic scholarships each year to help worthy individuals graduating from high school to continue their education at institutions of higher learning as approved by the Board of Directors.
Their next big event taking them into Collier County will be on January 25th, when they will venture into Naples at the Hyatt Hotel at the entryway to Downtown Naples and 5th Avenue.