The 2014 Florida Keys Rendezvous started on June 21st when Team Galati, a magnificent 2014 Prestige 550 Flybridge, left the St. Petersburg Pier en route for the Naples Boat Club. Located in the historic heart of the Olde Naples waterfront, the boat club served as the perfect venue for a kick-off “docktail party.” Here we enjoyed food and drinks and listened to the captains meeting, where they discussed the cruise to Duck Key.
Early the next morning the group headed for Hawks Cay Resort Marina. This island retreat is located midway down the Florida Keys where boaters gather to relax and celebrate the sea! Our guests were hungry by the time we arrived and enjoyed dinner at one of the many local restaurants. Some dined at Ocean, where the menu embodied the feeling and flavors of the Mediterranean, while others enjoyed Latin dishes at Alma. Some chose Caribbean seafood dishes at Beach Grill, while still others opted for chicken wraps and PB&J sandwiches at Indies Grill.
Overnight boaters have access to Hawks Cay’s pools and attractions, and on Monday, June 23rd the crowd took advantage of these spectacular amenities. Guests chose from a number of adventures that best suited their style and experience levels. Some swam in the saltwater lagoon, while others swam with the playful dolphins. Others opted to get exercise on the tennis courts or during a challenging game of ping-pong. For the more adventurous, kiteboarding lessons and guided diving explorations were available. That night, appetites were hearty, and Team Galati grilled burgers and brats for all to enjoy, along with delightful dishes that guests brought to share.
Team Galati led the rendezvous partygoers to Key West, Florida on Tuesday. After the fleet of Prestige, Tiaras, Cruisers, Sea Rays and Carver yachts pulled into the beautiful Galleon Marina and settled into their slips, guests were free to do as they pleased for the rest of the day. Some of the group chose dinner and drinks, while others made their way to the world famous Mallory Square, where talented street performers entertained large cheering crowds just before sunset. In anticipation of Wednesday’s full day of fun in the sun, after the show, most guests called it an early evening.
With full bellies and the breakfast dishes cleared, everyone jumped on the 550 Prestige Flybridge at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and set off to the beautiful reefs of Key West. The crystal-clear water was perfect for snorkeling; we saw coral, lots of tropical fish and a couple of barracuda. Once back aboard the Prestige, guests enjoyed a delicious lunch and a wonderful sightseeing cruise back to the docks. On Thursday, we spent the day exploring Hemmingway’s home, The Butterfly Emporium, The Little White House, and many of the unique shops along Duval Street. After a full day of sightseeing and shopping, it was back to Team Galati for a breathtaking sunset cruise around the Gulf of Mexico.
The next morning we departed for Pink Shell Resort in Ft. Myers Beach. The resort was wonderful with its three pool areas, breakfast buffet, bar and grill, and beach front with rentable water toys. The group’s activities ranged from relaxing poolside to parasailing around San Carlos Bay. On Saturday, Galati Yachts (with tremendous help from Phil and Mary Letourneau and the sponsor, Frank Baker of Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Marine Insurance), hosted a party and served tasty hors d’oeuvre and succulent desserts. Everyone expressed their excitement about the rendezvous and shared experiences about their trip. On Sunday morning, we said goodbye to all our friends, then the 550 Prestige departed for the last leg of our journey home back to St. Pete, Florida.
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Originally Published By: Jay Jackson