Blue Turtle Cruising

Lights & festivities abound at the annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Last weekend marked our third attendance at the annual Fort Myers Beach Boat Parade organized by the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Salty Sam’s Marina. Last year, we cruised from Snookbight Marina to Salty Sam’s to the stay the weekend and enjoy the parade which was being staged there. This year since we are already at Salty Sam’s, we were already in parade central and so we decided to have family and friends over for a parade party.

Salty Sam's sailboat Christmas Tree
Salty Sam’s sailboat Christmas Tree

Of course, this meant that we had to get the boat cleaned up (which is quite a chore!) and then decorate with lights. After a couple trips back and forth to Walmart and Target to purchase new and replacement lights, we finally had Blue Turtle looking festive. Randy secured our wiener dog reindeer to the bow pulpit and anchor as the finishing touch.

Our adorable Sophie look-alike is the perfect “hood ornament”
Blue Turtle all lit up and ready for the holidays
Our garland wrapped mast sports a new red bow this year

The morning of the parade was spent running errands and getting ready for the party. Salty Sam’s crew was busy moving boats and tending to the incoming parade boats. Crews of various parade boats were busy putting the finishing touches on their decorations. It was hard to believe we were all getting ready for Christmas when the temperature was 85 degrees. Thankfully, as our guests and parade-goers started to arrive the temps cooled a bit. There were flashes or green and red all over the docks as folks moved about decorated in their Christmas best.

Salty Sam’s crew preps the tent for the boat parade crew after party
Blue Turtle crew looking festive and ready for the parade
Our neighbors, Joe and Glenda, enjoying the festivities from their bridge
Joe and Glenda’s Mainship Trawler decorated for the holidays
Boat number “24” in the parade is a local charter
Down our dock, a parade party was in full swing
Salty Sam’s marina starting to look festive
Family and friends aboard Blue Turtle
Sitting on the bow of Blue Turtle and watching the festivities
Overview photos of Salty Sam’s Marina
“C” Dock was a happening spot
The Chamber of Commerce boat was parade-ready and even had a Santa up top
Pretty lights on one of the many boats

This year’s parade was no disappointment. We had boats of all sizes with colorful lights, each trying to stand out from the others with huge dolphin on the bow, lighted sharks and blinking displays that dazzled the waters. The parade began at Salty Sam’s Marina and went though Matanzas Harbor passing such establishments as Matanzas on the Bay, Nervous Nellies, Doc Fords, Dixie Fish Co., Shrimp Dock, and Bonita Bills where folks lined up to view the boats.

As we had food and drinks on Blue Turtle, we waited for the return of the parade boats where we could get a good view of them out on the water. Marina friends, Will and Tiff (check out their blog), let us invade their Bluewater, Wiffersnapper, for the best view in the marina. They are located at the end of our dock giving us full access to the parade as it entered the marina. We humbly thank them for letting 10+ folks come view the parade from their bridge. Once the parade was over, it was time for our friends and family to head home. Randy and I walked the docks to get a closer look at some of the boats and check out the afterparty going on in the Chamber tent for the parade participants.  We decided that this would be an annual event for us if we remain at Salty Sam’s since it is so much fun and a great opportunity to invite our friends and family aboard.

Johnny, April, Randy and Sophie looking festive and ready for the parade
Our neighbor, Scotty, had a snowman as part of his decorations…don’t see many of those around here
Friends relaxing on the bow of Blue Turtle
On the bridge of Wiffersnapper getting the best view of the parade
Lighted boats approach the marina

A huge dolphin grabs the attention of everyone
This trawler has a lighted shark on the bow
Walking the docks, we get to see what Blue Turtle looks like from “D” dock
Getting a closer view of some of the boats

3 thoughts on “Lights & festivities abound at the annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade”

  1. It was nice to meet you while we were at FMB ares marina shopping. The people working at Salty Sam’s told us no liveaboards allowed.I thought that was a little confusing. I guess that won’t work for us.

    • It was great meeting you as well. I’ve heard that they aren’t accepting anymore live aboards as well. This is quite common for marinas to change their live aboard policy from time to time. Really, the best way to find out about whether marinas are accepting live aboards these days is to call each one since this information tends to change all the time. Hope you guys find a place that suits you.


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