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Boating: “Dead End Canal Yacht Club” Day

January 30, 2013
by boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

"Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer, Losing my timing this late in my career? And where are the clowns? ?There ought to be clowns. Well, maybe next year."

I liked the musical and especially this song. Nothing whatsoever to do with this column except I am writing about the club, and we are loaded with clowns. The board of directors of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" has decided to join the "Pennsyltuckey Hayride." You know, the stampede by bar owners to take advantage of snowbirds by honoring a whole state, such as Ohio Day, Wisconsin Day, Pennsylvania Day, etc. These are quite popular days. So popular that the Nauti Turtle has their Ohio Day one whole day ahead of the Big Game Waterfront Grill's Ohio day.

Don't get me wrong, these are pretty good parties that start in the early afternoon, which is perfect for homesick snowbirds. There are food and drink specials for the participants, some better than others but pretty good all around. No one checks identifications, so you don't really have to be from any particular state in 'Pennsyltuckey.'

Several years ago I saw some Ohio State paraphernalia mixed in with a wash of Michigan State green and Michigan maize and blue at a Michigan Day. Nary a cross word beyond some razing between the two Michigan factions. The cross border dress was obviously due to tribal border raids and the whisking away of female captives. This happens quite often around the Put'n Bay and the Toledo area, I am told.

It is fascinating to watch these ex-expatriates flock to these venues just to be immersed in the up-home glow. "Well I had an ex-sister-in-law whose second cousin was from Zelenople, or was it Zanesville?" No matter, they are from the same area if not the same state. It's all Pennsyltuckey to me!

So back to our day! We intend to honor our beloved "Dead End Canal Yacht Club." We've always held this event in the fall just after a Hurricane. This year we've decided that with the declining club membership and increasing fragility of our members, to hold it some day in early March. Many of my loyal readers have expressed a desire to participate in club activities, so now's your chance.

One prerequisite for whichever establishment we choose to hold our day is that they have to have some nautical fare on the menu. I'm not talking about any gruel or watery grog, I mean stick to your ribs overnight passage fare that sailors can eat with one hand while on watch. Power boaters could still enjoy the heartiness even if served on pansy white china.

Sure, a ham and Swiss on rye might fill the bill but for tired passage makers, hot and spicy is the only way to go. I mean hot like spicy hot not necessarily warm hot. A three-hour night watch is a long lonely time even with the flying fish and the florescent algae to keep you company. Radar, autopilot GPS and an egg timer are great aides for the tired sailor. The egg timer allows for a quick power nap of ten minutes or less.

If the seas are too strong for the autopilot device, then there is no time for a nap. Strong coffee and spicy food is the only way to go. I know that sounds like a lot of work, an uncomfortable wet ride and something a power-boater would never do, but many sailors love the night passages in open ocean.

Start writing down your favorite recipes so we can submit them to the chef of the establishment we choose for the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" Day. I still prefer Cap'n Neil's recipe of ground chuck (substitute ground turkey?), spicy Spanish rice, a whole lot of cheddar cheese (if your a one-handed sailor) and corn, layered up in a backing dish and cut into squares for the watch.

So, first we have to find out if there are enough associate members and potential associate members willing to join us for the party. Everyone who registers will become an associate member and have the opportunity to fork over a huge amount of dough for club paraphernalia including t-shirts, club burgees and the like. Of course, this is optional.

An optional navigation and safety seminar will be conducted several times during the day to explain to those who just trailered their boats down from Lake Woebegone what those poles with funny signs actually mean. We don't judge the lack of knowledge associated with these knuckleheads, we want to educate.

So rally around the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" Day. It's going to be a heck of a party. All you need to do is vote for your choice of where to have it. Send your nominations to That's with an "I" not a "Y". Okay? We need to get this rolling before most of you leave in April. Why I'll never know. So hurry, hurry, hurry!

Boatguy Ed is a supposedly retired marine manufacturer who still makes the best anti-fouling bottom paint. ( He is a past Commodore of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" and a former award-winning television producer of shows no one watched. Don't EVER try to buy him a beer or throw one in his face.



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