Editor: Dave Gleason
 March 2017

In Your Face!

As I'm sure you all know, March 2 is National Banana Cream Pie day.  It's hard to imagine an event more classically Seafarers in nature, as shown by the above photo of members of our Board appropriately saluting us all.

But the Board isn't just spending its time baking pies.  Take a look at the reports in this newsletter and at the calendar on the website, and you will see a dizzying array of cruises and social events, none of which are even close to half-baked.  Our directors, cruise leaders, and volunteer are indeed the cream of the crop.

To view the past 12 months' newsletters, click here (be sure pop-up blocker is off):
March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December | January | February |


Commodore's Report: by Harry Ensley

Well, here it is March already.  Hopefully all the cold weather (actually, it has been a rather mild winter) is behind us and we can get rid of the sweaters and long pants. 

The Seafarers are losing one of our long-term families – Steve and Marsha Rutherford.  Mr. Bingle, their sailboat, has been sold and they are moving up to north Florida.  I find it hard to believe anyone would want to leave Paradise (aka Punta Gorda) but Marsha and Steve are moving to a city called Niceville. 

Marsha and Steve leave a lot of very fond memories in Punta Gorda.  Some of my favorites are Steve’s Elvis impersonation and the hilarious and informative lecture on boater safety that Steve and Marsha presented to the Seafarers. One thing is for sure, Niceville will be even nicer after the Rutherfords move there.

One of the Seafarer’s non-boating events in February was a trip on the Ft. Myers Murder Mystery train.  Thirty one Seafarers made the journey.  It’s a good thing that we are all experienced boaters since the train did a lot of rocking and rolling.  The food was excellent and the theater was entertaining.  The 31 seafarers listened to the events following the murder of Billy Cooper and super sleuth Karen Hill solved the crime just as the train was pulling back into the station.

Some of the Seafarer’s activities in February involved boating.  We had a lunch cruise to the Lazy Flamingo on Pine Island.  Actually, all of the 15 attendees went by car since Mother Nature provided a brisk northwest wind that day.  However, the South Seas cruise in late February did come off as planned and more than a dozen boats enjoyed the food and fun provided by Captiva.

Let the good time roll,



Membership Report: by Gayle Clark, Director

We welcome new members:

Steve and Joey Mihnovets
Marblehead, OH

unnamed power boat


We presently have 268 members.



Education Report: by John Tiller, Director

We're starting something new this month, which we hope to continue periodically: featuring classic education reports from past newsletters.

This month we present a unique and informative report from way back in 2008, when our own Steve Rutherford was carrying the Education torch.

March’s Tip-of-the-month: by Steve Rutherford:

Information at the Press of a Button

Three boats were ‘feeling’ their way into a new anchorage with Mr. Bingle in the lead.  Soon Mr. Bingle was snugly aground, and the anchorage seemed inaccessible.  As we three captains discussed our problems on the VHF, a voice broke in. “Would you guys like to know the route into the anchorage?”  Ten minutes later two boats were anchored, and Mr. Bingle was patiently waiting for the tide to rise.

The same three boats were rocking on mooring balls in Key West’s Garrison Bight with a strong wind out of the northwest and a strong desire to be in protected in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon.  Over the VHF, the captains debated the chances of making it to Marathon that day.  Just when we were ready to concede another day to the weather, a voice broke in.  “We’re out here in Hawk’s Channel with about 12 knots of wind and only a heavy chop.  Good protection from the land and reef.  Thought you’d want to know.”  We had a great sail that day and toasted our good fortune that evening in Boot Key Harbor.

When most of us need information at home, we are quick to think of the internet – the easily accessible source of information.  Yet, on board, we seldom remember that a vast array of critical information is available at the press of a button.  It’s the transmit button on our VHF.  Need directions?  Need to find available fuel or a reasonable restaurant?  Use your VHF radio to get this critical ‘local knowledge.’

There is a reason we are called a boating COMMUNITY.  We stand ready to help one another.  You know how much you like to assist a fellow boater.  Next time you find yourself wishing you had a little more information to help you make a decision, give a fellow boater a chance to help you. Assistance is only a radio call away.

And remember, Sea Tow and Tow Boat US are also available 24/7 to help you with local knowledge whether you are a member or not.

We have a wealth of great topics from past newsletters.  Our thanks to Steve for then and now bringing us this enlightenment.



Cruising Report: by Gary Cameron, Director

Greetings Fellow Seafarers from St Maarten....lets just say it's beautiful here.

Cruising in February was led off with Joe Preece organizing a lunch cruise to the Lazy Flamingo. Unfortunately the boating weather did not cooperate so 15 of our hardy group boarded land yachts and enjoyed a great lunch and good company. Thanks to Joe for his efforts.

On Feb 19th Laddie and Betty hosted a raft up at the mouth of the Myaka River, four boats and 16 seafarers took advantage of this opportunity to boat together.

Feb 24-26 our Seafarer group converged on South Seas for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Hosted by Andy and Sandy this Marina is always a favorite destination with side ties, heated pools, ample off site eating options and the beach a short walk away.

As March fast approaches, we have the following events scheduled and posted on our web site:

March 9, lunch cruise to Burnt Store organized by Rich Toneatti
March 22 lunch cruise to Capt Conns hosted by Jack Gardner
March 28 - 30 cruise to Pink Shell Resort hosted by Jim and Jan Gorrell

Please try to take advantage of the various opportunities that your fellow Seafarers take the time and effort to plan for your enjoyment. If anyone has any suggestions for other cruising options or locations contact me.

Sea You All in March



Burnt Store Lunch Cruise
March 9

Capt Conn's Lunch Cruise
March 22

Pink Shell Cruise
March 28 - 30


Social Events: by Mike Slattery, Director

February was a really busy month for the Seafarers.   

Both happy hours at St. Andrews were well attended and fun for all.  

On Feb. 17, thirty two seafarers boarded the Murder Mystery Train to enjoy an excellent (!) meal, drama and comradery as we all tried to solve the "who dunnit" mystery. The evening of fun was a  unanimous success!!  Our super sleuth, Karen Hill, won a mug and an autographed  poster signed by the show actors. See picture in the commodore's report.  Thanks to Peggy Ensley for running this very successful event.  

We had a chowder fest at the February 28th General Meeting.  Everybody loved the wide variety of chowders prepared by our illustrious Seafarer chefs.  Thanks to Ralph Steele for arranging the food and the kitchen crew.  

Don't forget the happy hours at St. Andrews on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.  

Coming up on March 15 we have a Peace River Nature Cruise.  For those of us with boats that are too tall or draw too much water this is a great way to explore the Peace River without having to worry about running aground.





Peace River Nature Cruise
March 15


Events at a Glance



Burnt Store Lunch Cruise
Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
Peace River Nature Cruise
Capt Conns Lunch Cruise
Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
General Membership Meeting PGICA 5:30 pm
Pink Shell Cruise


The Sunshine Lady - Cynthia Cowdrey

After an absence that was covered by Marsha Rutherford, our Cynthia Cowdrey is back as the Sunshine Lady for the Seafarers.  So if you hear of anyone who is ill or is hospitalized, or of anyone who has lost a family member, you should contact her. 

Her email is ladyofpalmas@hotmail.com and her phone number is 941-575-5671.

Many thanks to Marsha, who kept the Sunshine alive during Cynthia's absence!


Original Newsletter Layout Design: John Magnin