Editor: Dave Gleason
 February 2017

February Entertainment

Have you noticed how many big television events are in February?  There's the Super Bowl, and the Grammy's, and the Academy Awards, to name just a few.   So have you ever thought "why are there so many things to watch on TV in the winter?

We all know the answer, don't we.   It's because those poor folks up north are trapped in their houses and have nothing else to do.  Television is their lifeline to civilization.  They have to have their food passed in through attic windows!

Ok, Ok, I'm overstating a little.  But contrast the photo above with our life here in sunny PGI, and more importantly, take a look at the events planned by your Seafarers' Board for the months ahead.  I mean, c'mon, we even get to watch the Super Bowl around the pool with friends, if we can fit it in among our other activities!

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


Commodore's Report: by Harry Ensley

Let me start by saying that I feel privileged to be Commodore of the Seafarers for the coming year.  We have a great bridge and I’m sure we are going to have boatloads of fun again this year. The Seafarer Board for the coming year is:


Vice Commodore
Peter Fucini
Brad Gamblin
Janice Davis
Cruise Director
Gary Cameron
John Tiller
Social Director
Mike Slattery
Dave Gleason
Membership Director
Gayle Clark
Past Commodore
Mike Clark

The New Year started with a bang!  In January, the Seafarers had a lunch cruise to Bert’s, a weekend cruise to Legacy Harbor Marina and Trivia Night at the Ice House, in addition to our usual Happy Hours at Saint Andrews.  In February, we will have a lunch cruise to the Lazy Flamingo, a who-done-it ride on the Murder Mystery Train in Fort Myers and a weekend cruise to South Seas Marina.  

The winter has been very kind to us, so far, this year – only a couple of cool days.  The rest has been shorts and shirt weather – ideal for boating activities.  Is this a great life, or what!!!

The combination of the enthusiasm of our newer members and the local knowledge of our long-term members makes the PGI Seafarers a welcoming group dedicated to having fun on and off the water.

Laissez les bons temps rouler,
(Let the good time roll,)



Membership Report: by Gayle Clark, Director

Due to the usual resignations at the end of the year, our membership now numbers 285.  And, since our by-laws say that anyone who has not paid their dues by February 1 shall be terminated, that number is likely to decrease.




Education Report: by John Tiller, Director

Emergency Gear Suggestions

Last year, an article in this space addressed “Some Additional Practical Tools” to have on any boat to perform simple repairs.  In the same vein, this article addresses some emergency gear that you should always have on board. 

The first set of items is straightforward: most of us maintain equipment required by the Coast Guard and many other items.

1.            A VHF-FM Marine Radio will connect you direct with the Coast Guard on Channel16, does not have spotty reception, and can be heard by nearby boaters, all advantages over a cell phone.

2.            An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) sends a distress signal with your exact coordinates.

3.            A GPS, a Radar system, and a Chart Plotter provide extensive information about where you are and how to get somewhere else, as well as the danger along the way.  Nautical Charts provide much information about the area around you.  I rely on electronic versions, but I suspect it is a good idea to carry some hard copy version as well.

4.            A throwable life ring can be essential for rescue of a “man overboard.”  A ring with a strobe light can be invaluable at night or when immediate rescue is difficult.

5.            A life jacket of the appropriate size for each individual on board. 

6.            A variety of distress signals are available and important.  The Coast Guard requires all vessels over 16 feet to carry specified signals, depending with the size of the vessel.  Be sure to keep all devices up to date.  The primary versions of signals are outlined below.

a.       Flags or orange handheld flares for daytime distress.  Note that these flares only burn for about a minute, so use them appropriately.

b.      Night or day/night combination flares are most often red and includes aerial “shooting” devices.  The handheld versions are relatively bright and last about 3 minutes. Normal aerial flares last only a few seconds, but can be seen from a large distance.  Also available are parachute flares that rise to about 375 feet and can be seen up to 25 miles away, but still last only a few seconds.

The second list of items is intended to be taken with you should you have to abandon ship.  This list is personal, but here are some suggestions to start your brain.

1.            Water in portable containers, like water bottles, and enough for everyone.

2.            A water bottle sling to be used even if you wind up in the water.

3.            Medicines for 1-5 days, depending on where you are headed and how essential the meds are to you or others on board.  Some people may benefit from motion-sickness medicines.

4.            Food bars in watertight bags may not be appetizing, but they provide a lot of calories in a small space.

5.            An easily carried first aid kit.

6.            A knife, or perhaps two – one for smaller tasks and one for larger ones.

7.            A signal mirror can be seen from long distances and by planes.  Putting it on a lanyard can be a good idea.  A lighter in a watertight bag can be used for signaling a night or starting a fire if you find land. Some smaller flares are a good idea.

8.            A compass can be essential in orienting yourself to try to head in the best direction.  A luminescent one can be used day and night.

9.            A Mylar foil blanket can be valuable in colder climates or when someone has been in the water.  Something warm to wear may be useful.

10.        A waterproof watch can help with estimated location and speed.

11.        Reduce your exposure to the sun.  Bandanas and hats are essential for keeping the sun from baking your head and face.  Sunscreen helps the rest of your body.  Sunglasses and straps reduce eye strain, which can be severe on the water.

12.        A powerful whistle with a lanyard can help your group find each other and help rescuers find you.

13.        A portable VHF transceiver is needed to initiate and maintain contact with the Coast Guard and others.

         Third, it is a good idea to file a float plan leaving someone with information about who is on board, where you intend to go, and when you intend to return.  This information can be left with a family member, friend, marina office, or anyone you trust.  It can be invaluable should an emergency befall you.

         Fourth, just be careful and smart.  Do not ask the boat or yourself to do more than is reasonable. 



Cruising Report: by Gary Cameron, Director

Greetings and welcome to the 2017 Seafarer Cruising season. We will attempt to provide our membership with as many cruising opportunities as possible throughout this coming year. As always, the success of any cruise, lunch, anchor out, or destination depends on YOU. Your participation is key to the enjoyment of the cruise by all involved. If you have an idea of a destination you would like to visit let me know, if you would be willing to organize a cruise, even better. We will provide you with all the assistance you will need to plan a cruise. It's not that complex.

January has started our year with a lunch cruise to Bert's Bar in Matlacha. Organized by Bob Dickson, the weather cooperated with a cool but sunny day that allowed most Seafarers to boat to Bert's. We had 36 Seafarers in attendance and all enjoyed their lunch on the outside deck. Rene Ley won the trivia contest and the liquid refreshment prize. Mike Fauci gets the most ambitious prize for attempting to deepen the "cut" to alligator creek....unsuccessfully!

Betty and Laddie planned a destination cruise to Legacy Marina in Fort Myers beginning on the 20th. We had ten boats signed up for the trip. Weather concerns on an impending storm and strong winds for Sunday caused several boats to cancel their plans to attend. The four hardy boats who attended benefited from the hard work Betty put into the planning of the cruise. We thank both of this month's cruise organizers for their efforts in providing our club with these opportunities.

February currently has two cruised planned...a lunch cruise to the Lazy Flamingo on the 9th and a South Seas cruise on the 24th thru the 26th. Please see information on the website.

One last note to all cruisers. Many of the marinas we currently visit are beginning to enforce a more strict registration/attendance policy. Please be advised that all have cancellation policies that have time limitations. Be aware that if you do not cancel any reservation within the required time frame prior to your arrival date you may be charged for one nights stay.

Happy Cruising.....



Lazy Flamingo Lunch Cruise
February 9

South Seas Resort Cruise
February 24 - 26

Burnt Store Lunch Cruise
March 9

Capt Con's Lunch Cruise
March 22

Pink Shell Cruise
March 28 - 30


Social Events: by Mike Slattery, Director

Over 40 Seafarers enjoyed a great meal and Trivia at the Ice House on January 23rd.   Thanks to Mike Slattery for planning this social.

We had a pizza party at the January 24th General Meeting.  Everybody loved the pizza from Luigis.  Thanks to Betty Bernz for arranging the food and the kitchen crew.

It's time to break out your Sherlock Holmes Detective Kit as we head for the Murder Mystery Dinner Train on Friday February 17th at 5:45pm.  Thanks, Peggy Ensley for planning this social.  Sign up on the website today.

Now that we are in the middle of 'Winter', it's a good time to have some comfort food at our February 28th General Meeting.  Food for the meeting will be Chowder, Chowder, Chowder, and more Chowder.  Ralph Steele has volunteered to arrange the 'Seafarers Chowder to The Max Chowderfest'.  Look for details on the web site and the first blast email.

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





Murder Mystery Dinner Train
February 17


Events at a Glance



Lazy Flamingo Lunch Cruise
Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
Murder Mystery Dinner Train
Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
South Seas Cruise
General Membership Meeting and Chowder Fest PGICA 5:30 pm


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