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Boating: Water hole changes drive us nuts!

February 1, 2012
By boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

I'm an old time movie fan because I'm old and I am a movie fan. It makes sense to many of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" members. I guess we resent change for that same reason. They like the local watering holes we frequent and most of us have strong opinions about our favorite place. I prefer the 'Lawrence of Arabia' water hole story. One leader of a tribe of Arabs kills another lower-ranked member of a competitive tribe for drinking from his tribe's well.

The watering holes of which I write aren't in the middle of a barren dessert but along the Gulf of Mexico and the Back Bay behind Fort Myers Beach. We are so blessed by the bountiful waterfront resources, most of which escaped the latest development madness. The 'club' is bewildered by some of their new directions. We discussed these over the best local breakfast always at Marty's, just the other day. "You youngsters don't remember when the Channel Mark was the 'Sea Breeze and the Pit'," said Cracker John as he surveyed the latest change to his favorite waterfront bar. "No one called it the 'Sea Breeze' that I could recall, to locals it was always the Pit!"

"I beg your pardon, John but I landed in this berg just a day or two before a fire closed those places," I said with an air of indignation. "You can't be wishing for those old days?"

"He's going to tell you that it was better back then," said 'Cincy Bob,' who still longs for the days when all the drivers around him were from Ohio.

"Things began to change a lot after they took out the swing bridge. It seems like just yesterday that they "four-laned" San Carlos up to the sky bridge. Biggest waste of money. They just moved the traffic jams off of Summerlin but that wasn't good enough for them Sanibel richee-riche. They had to build a darned fly over to make sure none of us regular folks got in their way," said Cracker John.

"Everything changes, John. You have to admit that the Channel Mark was an improvement over the Pit? That building is so much better," I said.

"The wider bridge took at least 10 parking spots, maybe more. That's the philosophy since them Yankee traffic engineers took over. Widen the roads and install traffic signals at every intersection. It all bottlenecks at the foot of the big bridge and that's why I travel by boat all winter," said John.

"I guess you didn't like the change to the Nauti Turtle, either." John answered vehemently that he wasn't from Ohio and only Ohio people worked there or went there. "Your wrong, John. At first they were all Ohio winter transplants but now they're mostly young Fort Myers Beach workers," I said.

"There isn't a better view around than the Nauti Turtle. It's pristine, uncluttered and a favorite, but your right Cracker John, the parking is tight but the valet guys and girls are real careful. I don't go there much and I don't know why," said Boston Bob.

"I wish the Fish Monger was on the water. I love their fresh fish! Maybe they could move on the water down by Bonita Bills," said Cap'n Crunch wistfully.

"I was there with my brother-in-law from New York city the other night. He's used to really good restaurants so the Fish Monger was my only choice because they serve the freshest fish, and he wanted fish," I said. "He was very impressed with the great fish and the price."

"They don't serve beer-battered fish," said Cincy John. Most everyone present rolled their eyes.

"Do you beer batter Lake Erie perch," asked Cleveland Jack. Cincy Bob nodded and everyone from the Great Lakes region groaned loudly.

"If you have to have beer-battered fish, go to the Bayside Bar and Grill on Fridays. They are from Ohio and make big, crunchy beer-encrusted fish, but they don't beer batter their grouper," said Boston Bob.

"I wish you'd quit picking on me," said Cincy John. He probably won't because it's too much fun.

"I think we should hire a party bus and do the Super Bowl and critique all of our great watering holes," said Boston Bob.

"No way! They are all taking reservations so I don't think walk-ins will be allowed," said Cleveland Jack.

"The Big Game should have plenty of space, and I think they're giving away one keg of free beer until it's gone starting at 5:30 p.m. I get the updates on my face book page and maybe we should friend them on our "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" Facebook page," I said.

We left the Super Bowl plans up in the air because it isn't an official function. Hope to see a lot of our members at the Game for the Game?

Send questions and comments to or the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" Facebook page. Boatguy Ed is a retired bottom paint maker,



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