Planning to cruise this spring? Don’t miss the 20th Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous.
People who join clubs tend to be a social lot, which is particularly true of the more than 450 members of the Marlow Marine Cruising Club (MMCC), which held its 20th Annual Spring Rendezvous May 5-8 at Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club in the Florida Keys (faroblancoresort.com). The resort’s signature lighthouse has been a frequently visited landmark since the 1950s and was restored in 2014 as part of a redevelopment plan. The new facilities include 125 rooms and suites under the Hyatt Place brand, a full-service marina and yacht club (74 slips accommodate vessels up to 120′) and an upscale waterfront restaurant and bar overlooking the marina.
The Faro Blanco Resort was the ideal venue to host the more than 120 MMCC members and guests, sponsors, speakers, and Marlow staff for a four-day social extravaganza. Friday and Saturday seminars included a hands-on demonstration of Yacht Controller aboard David Marlow’s own Explorer 53E Polaris, tips from Dometic’s Joe Schwab on A/C care and maintenance, advice from representatives of Ringpower/CAT to get the best performance from your engines, Ed Tillett of Waterway Guide Media on cruising Cuba, and round table discussions with David Marlow, which garnered standing-room-only attendance.
Learning opportunities continued with tours of a sea turtle rehab hospital or a short pontoon ride to tour nearby Pigeon Key, a small island that housed workers during the construction of the Overseas Railroad, a project that was initially dubbed “Flagler’s Folly.” In spite of multiple obstacles, the project was completed in only seven years and operated from 1912 to 1935, when it was irreparably damaged by a hurricane that killed more than 400 people.
Of the 22 boats in attendance—21 Marlow yachts and one Marlow Mainship—6 new boat christenings were celebrated with champagne bottles broken against the bows, and flutes of the bubbly beverage were enjoyed by spectators. Running Tide, a 2016 Marlow Explorer 49E owned by Bernie and Allison Bateman—they won Saturday night’s award for “Most Enthusiastic”—was among those christened. The Batemans plan to live on their boat and cruise extensively through late 2016 until they return to Park City, Utah, for the winter ski season, which Bernie would not miss! David Marlow’s grandson, Aidan, enthusiastically broke the champagne bottle on the bow of his grandfather’s yacht and also proved his prowess on the dance floor Saturday evening.
As with all Marlow rendezvous, the menus are worthy of royalty—Faro Blanco’s Lighthouse Grill should not be missed when in Marathon—and social event themes prove entertaining with the creative costumes MMCC members don. Friday’s Cinco de Mayo-themed fiesta began with margaritas and mariachis, and ended with costume-clad partiers continuing the fiesta on their boats well into the night. Saturday’s Awards Dinner was preceded with a lively and spirited watching of the Kentucky Derby on a huge flat screen TV, while those betting shouted for their win/place/show favorites. After a surf ‘n turf dinner followed by a four layer chocolate mousse, awards were presented to MMCC members, including Steve Samuel and Donna Hathaway as the “Newest MMCC Members”, whose Marlow Explore 58E Easyway was among those christened and open for viewing.
By the time some made it to the Sunday morning breakfast buffet, several yachts had already departed while others still lingered, most likely trying to stretch the fun weekend and savor a few more moments with new friends.
— By Liz Pasch