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Roche Harbor – A Boating Mecca

Roche Harbor – A Boating Mecca

Timing our arrival in Roche Harbor Marina to coincide with the Customer Appreciation Party! In 1845, the quaint waterside marine village of Roche Harbor, on San Juan Island, started out as a trading post for the Hudson Bay Company. By 1857 both the United States and Britain were claiming the San Juan Islands as their territories, based on a dispute over the western border of the islands. The dispute was settled in 1872 when an arbitration was rendered in favor of the United States. In 1881 the Scurr brothers bought Roche Harbor and started mining the rich limestone deposits, turning the harbor area into a mining town of 800 people. By 1956 the limestone mining business came to a close and Roche Harbor changed hands again – this is when the area started to transform into a small resort town and boating mecca. We timed our arrival to the marina on Saturday, to coincide with their annual Labor Day Customer…

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2012 Venetian Festival – Charlevoix, Michigan

2012 Venetian Festival – Charlevoix, Michigan

Charlevoix the Beautiful! In stark contrast to our time cruising the North Channel this summer was our five-day stop in Charlevoix, while on our way home, for the 2012 Venetian Festival. One of our all time favorite festivals. We called Charlevoix's harbormaster, Hal (below-right) to receive our slip assignment soon after we arrived in Round Lake. Before we knew it we were tied up snug on B dock ready to partake in the festivities. Thanks Hal! Our dockmates, Jan and Jean (above), spent considerable time and effort planning a weekend-long dock party on B dock complete with tiki hut and decorations. Nice job guys! We even had entertainment as Hal lead the way playing his guitar and singing some popular songs. We sang, we ate, we had a great time with our friends. Jim is talking about boats with "Iceman." The Friday night band was none other than Herman's Hermits. We enjoyed the old hits and Peter Noone's humorous side.…

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MTOA Low Country Boil & Crazy Hat Beach Party

MTOA Low Country Boil & Crazy Hat Beach Party

Lots of Crazy Fun at the MTOA Low Country Boil As you can see there were a lot of fun and creative hat constructions during the Crazy Hat Beach Party and MTOA Low Country Boil event on Wednesday night during the MTOA 2012 Southern Rendezvous. MTOA members pulled out all the stops and showed up in some very colorful and creative hats. We'll let the photos speak for themselves – the MTOA Low Country Boil sure was a lot of fun.         We think Robert, here with his wife Kaye, on C-Life,  should have won first prize for his hat creation – we know he had a lot of fun making it.     Frank Erwin (above), recent, past President of MTOA, is ready with his hat, a big smile and a good display of turtle pins and attire.     George Kay, here with his wife Mary (above-left), is the Awards Director for MTOA – this basically means…

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2012 Third Annual Looper “Sunset Celebration”

2012 Third Annual Looper “Sunset Celebration”

The 2012, Third Annual Looper "Sunset Celebration" was a huge success with over 120 in attendance. It was a little windy (not a problem for Loopers) – lots of good food was shared along with a chance to reacquaint ourselves with old friends. Thanks Patricia & George Hospodar for organizing the event and providing Loopers in the area with an opportunity for this fun reunion.

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2012 MTOA Gathering In Marathon

2012 MTOA Gathering in Marathon

Another fun party in Marathon. Ken Chumley, on Mosey, organized the 2012 MTOA Gathering on the docks of Sombrero Dockside Marina (same spot as our Tuesday night pot luck a few days ago). It was a good time with lots of food and conversation. Lorenzo (Little David), Lisa, Ellen and Roy (Our Turn) (below) are trying to hide from the sun under that sad little palm tree at 1 Palm Tree Ct. It was a hot one but we don't look to be suffering too much. We also got to meet Pete Donnelly (above - member 0001 - First member of MTOA). Pete shared some of the founding ideas and early events of MTOA! He was pretty excited to be at the event and we enjoyed his recollections about the club's beginnings. MTOA members are big turtle fans. This is a volunteer run organization and the more you contribute the more "turtle" pins you earn. The member (below-left) found an…

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Tuesday Night Pot Luck – 1 Palm Tree Court

Tuesday Night Pot Luck – 1 Palm Tree Court

Tuesday night was the first of three boat parties this week in Marathon. It will be followed by an MTOA get-together on Wednesday night (same spot as tonight – on the docks at Sombrero Dockside Marina) and a Looper Sunset Celebration at Banana Bay Marina on Sunday night. The 1 Palm Tree Ct. gathering (a private event – by invitation only) is held weekly by several of the boats docked close to the restaurant at the marina. Every year they put together a "boater's lounge," so to speak, right on the dock under a sad looking, half dead palm tree. They bring with them, or they scrounge up, tables, chairs, fire pit, grill, umbrella and an old TV and voila, instant outdoor boater's lounge. The sign has been updated this year and it pretty much says it all. Our friend, Ellen, on Our Turn (below), looks cool and happy at the beginning of the "Meeting." The chef's are just waiting…

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Shrimp Night Dockside, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Shrimp Night Dockside, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Two days after the Ranger Tug 2012 Southern Rendezvous planned festivities there are still five Ranger Tugs at dock, including: Roam, Kismet, Illusions, Gipetto and Caroline Ann, most staying for the week. This really give us an opportunity to spend some quality time, as a smaller group, with those still here. We figured since we are situated almost across from the shrimp boats in the harbor that we should track some down and have a party on the dock tonight. Jim and Mike, on Illusions, took a dinghy ride over to where the shrimp boats are tied up, found a seafood market and picked up some of the freshest and biggest jumbo shrimp we've seen in a long time, a bag for almost every boat. Jim came back to Kismet with our stash, cleaned and deveined them while I made cocktail sauce, cole slaw and a nacho dip. We all met on the dock at the appointed time with our…

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