Blue Turtle Cruising

Fort Myers Beach 10th Annual Pirate Festival

Randy and I first attended the Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival last year. Our friend, Mary Kay hooked us up with pirate costumes and we all went out. It was a blast and we decided then that we wouldn’t miss this event again.

This year, we decided to get off the dock and take Blue Turtle just north of the Mantanzas Bridge and drop anchor. This made it convenient to ding over to the dinghy dock so we could attend the festivities.

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Blue Turtle anchored just north of the Mantanzas Bridge

On Friday evening, Randy and I took the dinghy ashore in costume to meet up with friends at Nervous Nellies. As we arrived at the dinghy dock, we had a lot of stares and some actually cheering (or was it heckling?) at the restaurant. What — don’t pirates usually arrive by boat? Sheesh! After dinner and drinks we made our way towards Times Square and landed at La Olas. Randy had his pet fake parrot on his shoulder like last year, but somehow deflected most attention this year (probably because he wasn’t asking people if they wanted to pet his bird!). I did manage to snap some shots of him with fellow parrot-accompanied pirates. We decided to head home after La Olas, but as we passed Pete’s Time Out we heard and rowdy pirate band playing. We went into Pete’s and found a whole music crew in pirate attire with a banjo, fiddle, drum, guitar, etc. Captain Tom decided to buy a round of Jameson shots for everyone and they would spontaneously break out in song. They were excellent and we ended up seeing them play on the Salty Sam’s Pirate Ship during the cannon battle as well as on stage at Nervous Nellies the next day.

Randy and I (with Blue Turtle in the background) dinghy to shore
Randy and I (with Blue Turtle in the background) dinghy to shore
Randy at the dinghy dock with his pet parrot, Tiki
Randy at the dinghy dock with his pet parrot, Tiki
Looks like Tiki was thirsty too!
Looks like Tiki was thirsty too!
Our pirate crew—(l to r) Randy, me, Mary Kay, Maddie, Judy and CJ
Our pirate crew—(l to r) Randy, me, Mary Kay, Maddie, Judy and CJ
Mary Kay and Tom
Mary Kay and Tom
Randy and Tiki meet a new parrot-friend
Randy and Tiki meet a new parrot-friend
Pirates and their feathered friends
Pirates and their feathered friends
A round of Jameson shots for the pirate band
A round of Jameson shots for the pirate band
Captain Tom and the pirate band drummer
Captain Tom and the pirate band drummer

On Saturday a.m., Randy took the dinghy ashore to drive and pick up Corey. When they returned, we had a quick lunch and got in the dinghy to watch the pirate ships battle with cannons. We anchored near the Moss Marine docks so we could have a good view of the ships and the cannons being fired from shore next to Nervous Nellies. There were 3 ships in the battle all with fully dressed pirate crew with guns and cannons, however, it was the land cannon that made the loudest boom and most smoke (check out the video below). The battle went on for a half hour and the ships were determined the winners. After the battle, we made a quick stop by the boat to make sure Sophie wasn’t shaken up too much from the noise and then we headed to shore to explore the booths and exhibits.  After touring the sites, we then ended up at the Lani Kai for a rum runner and Randy and Corey decided to join the limbo contest. Both Randy and Corey did well, however, they didn’t win. We had an early dinner at Island View (restaurant on the top floor of Lani Kai) and headed back to the boat so Corey could go kayak fishing.

Heading to the cannon battle
Heading to the cannon battle
Three ships participated in the battle
Three ships participated in the battle
Big booms and smoke from shore
Big booms and smoke from shore
The shore cannon
The shore cannon
Pirate ship battles the shore
Pirate ship battles the shore
Pirate booths and booty
Pirate booths and booty
The boys stop and pose for me
The boys stop and pose for me
Corey the pirate and his trusty bull dog
Corey the pirate and his trusty bull dog
Limbo contest at Lani Kai
Limbo contest at Lani Kai
The boys on our dinghy ride back to the boat
The boys on our dinghy ride back to the boat

On Sunday, Corey had a golf tournament to go to, so we took him to shore to meet up with his mom. After that, Randy and I decided to stay another night on hook. We went to shore later that afternoon to meet Mary Kay and Tom at Doc Ford’s for a drink. We enjoyed a wonderful evening and sunset and really loved having the extra day on hook.

Randy and Corey return after some fishing on Sunday morning
Randy and Corey return after some fishing on Sunday morning
Fort Myers Beach sunset
Fort Myers Beach sunset

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