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Southwest Florida Yachts
Sailing & Cruising

To celebrate our 20 Years of Yachting Excellence, we have asked our charter and school customers to contribute their cruising memories to our 20th Anniversary Scrapbook. We will post those favorite memories, logbook entries, letters, photos, or Anniversary greetings here each month for everyone to enjoy.

We also invite you to join us for our two-year long 20th "Berth" Day Party, July 13, 2003 through July 13, 2005, with discounts and other customer specials to suite the occasion. Come and celebrate with us!


Cruising With Family
May 2004

We just completed our 10th charter and reflect back on the past 10 years afloat.

In June 1994 we chartered "Blue Note" to see if the "cruising lifestyle" was for us. My wife Margaret, son Parker and daughter Elizabeth had a wonderful time. My father, my mom had just passed away, felt that it was something he wanted to do to get away so we chartered "Capella" and again had the time of our lives. But, something was missing. We hated to have to leave our other family member Franz, behind. Franz being a miniature schnauzer. So we put our boating adventures on hold. Lo and behold, the next day the "Yardarm" came with the news that pets could be crew members also. Now we could resume boating with all family members taking part.

Dad passed away in February at 89 but enjoyed the time with us cruising S.W. Florida aboard SWF Yachts. Daughter Elizabeth and her finance' Chip did a trip in May 03 aboard "Ariadne" and now ask "When are we going again?" They were married in April and after all the excitement abated, Margaret, Franz and I cast the lines on "Final Sea-Lection" for our 10th charter. While at Useppa Franz started to have problems and we departed at dawn for the trip back to Marinatown. Barb had made arrangements for us to see her vet upon arrival. Denny took care of the boat while we hurried off to try to get help. Dr. Rohlk was waiting for us when we got to his office and treated Franz as if we were regular customers. We made the trip back to Augusta the next day to continue treatments with our vet. Sadly, Franz (13) had too many problems to make a full recovery and passed away.

While we mourn the losses of Dad and Franz, we will always have the memories of our wonderful times of cruising with family together aboard "our" yachts thanks to the crew and friends at SWF Yachts.
Bruce and Margaret Ellen

"Dad" aboard "Red Dog"

"Franz" aboard "Patience"

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Under way from Marinatown at 8:45 am for the 40 mile run to Useppa Island. Small craft warning in effect with 15-20 kt north winds. The 36 ft Grand Banks handled well in the 3 ft seas overtaking us during the run down the Caloosahatchee River, but some attention to steering was needed to remain in the channel. The boat actually handled better when headed into the wind and seas during the run up Pine Island Sound. Arrived at Useppa Island at 1:45 pm, where we moored starboard side to the outer end of Pier C. Since the north wind was pushing the boat against the dock, we deployed three large fenders to protect the boat's rub rails. The fenders worked very well, although we had to go outside and adjust one of them at high tide, which occurred at about 2:00 am the next morning The wind and seas abated during the second day, making this location much more comfortable. This was one of the best marinas in our 30 years of cruising experience; with air conditioned, private dressing rooms and showers; and an excellent restaurant located in the Collier Inn. The walk from the marina to the Collier Inn along the paved, elevated "pink path" was great, with its extensive landscaping, interesting architecture, and beautiful views of the Sound. We very much enjoyed our brief visit to the Useppa Island.

-Ed & Mary
Stuart, FL

by Shauvon Powell

A champagne toast by the happy couple on their 20th wedding anniversary

Martin Luther King weekend was probably one of the coolest weekends of the year for most Floridians! But the Powell family of St. Petersburg did not feel the chill at all!  In fact, it was a time of celebration as Bob and Shauvon Powell renewed their vows on board the Grand Banks 36 trawler, "Blue Note:" to mark their 20th wedding anniversary!  Bob and Shauvon and their two sons, Alex, 18 and Brennan, 15, along with Alex's buddy, Nick (You gotta have a crew!) enjoyed a pleasant sojourn along the Caloosahatchee River to their overnight anchorage near York Island in Pine Island Sound.  With guidance from SFY dock manager, Denny, and under the command of Captain Gary Graham, "Blue Note" and crew had a most enjoyable and memorable cruise.

Shauvon & Bob Powell renewing their vows on their 20th wedding anniversary

The highlight of the Holiday was the special renewal of wedding vows on the bridge deck with brother- in-law Reverend Joseph Handman officiating.  There wasn't a dry eye on board as each of the guests contributed to the ceremony on a picture perfect, warm and sunny day!  After the ceremony, champagne was shared by all in the salon, with a a celebratory luncheon at Hurricane Harry's restaurant located at the SFY marina.  To top it off, everyone watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers soundly defeat the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time in history! (And we all know what happened in Sand Diego!)

This perfect weekend will be remembered for a long time to come!

Editor's Note: Thanks for the memories, Shauvon and Bob!  Best Wishes from all of us at Southwest Florida Yachts!

RE: Memorable experience with Southwest Charters

Dear Barb and Vic,

Aboard "Blue Note"

Last month, May 18th , 2003, we were sailing out of Matanzas Pass to watch the air show off Ft. Myers Beach.  I was observing this good looking trawler heading in, and it triggered memories of chartering the Blue Note way back in 1988.  When the stern came into view as we passed, sure enough it was the Blue Note, 15 years later, looking good as ever.

My wife, Jackie and I, along with Marge and Dave Stolee, were looking forward to the boating experience, with a side goal of "selling" Marge on their purchasing a trawler if she had a good time.  We spent the first night at Tween Waters on Captiva Island, and awoke to a beautiful sunny morning.  Just as we were about to pull away from the dock, a totally encompassing fog bank rolled across Pine Island Sound, and in minutes the whole Island was socked in.  With it came cool temperatures, and the fog hung around for two days.  We spent a lot of time in front of the fireplace in the lodge and eating out with friends on Captiva.

When the fog finally lifted, the cold front really came through with strong northerly winds.  Considering the weather forecast, (the previous night set a record low with below freezing temperatures), we decided to head back to home port with Dave and I on the bridge wearing our "Minnesota" coats that we arrived in.

In spite of the weather, we had a good time, and certainly a memorable experience.  Marge, however, wasn't impressed with boat living and Dave never got his trawler.  He has since succumbed to cancer, but he achieved one of his dreams for that week.

Engine Maintenance

One of the pictures from that trip shows Dave and I down in the engine room following strict orders from Vic, about checking the filters, and wiping up any oil leaks.  Dave is wearing white pants, and how many engine compartments can you go into with white pants and not get them dirty?  We returned the Blue Note in the same pristine condition we set out in, took with us many stories to be retold many times over the years.

Larry and Jackie Klopp


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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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