Citing current pandemic restrictions and challenges in the Bahamas, Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones is canceling his outfit’s August 12-17 Bahamas Summer Blast. That the club’s late-June, 30th annual Bahamas Poker Run to Bimini and Nassau attracted a record-setting 25-boat fleet made the decision particularly difficult for Jones, who currently is enjoying his Summer Poker Run Tour with his family.
A record-setting Florida Powerboat Club fleet including this Mystic M3800 center console, which is owned by Bruce Prescott and earned the event’s “Best Center Console” award, made it to the Bahamas last month. Photos courtesy/copyright of the Florida Powerboat Club.
“We had a very memorable event in June celebrating 30 years of Florida Powerboat Club excursions and nearly 100 crossings to the Bahamas over a three-decade span,” he said. “But based on my experiences on this last event and with the ongoing government intervention and a recent 7 p.m. curfew imposed in Bimini, the Bahamas experience for FPC members is just not the same and we are pulling the August event.”
The June happening saw the fleet of high-performance center consoles, V-bottoms and catamaran tackle three- to five-foot seas during the 57-mile, Thursday crossing from Miami to Bimini, which was rough enough to have two poker-run groups turn back before reaching their Resorts World Bimini destination. Once there they enjoyed snorkeling at the famed Sapona shipwreck, checking out the friendly stingrays at Honeymoon Harbor and logging beach time on North Bimini.
Enjoy more images from the 30th annual Bahamas Poker Run in the slideshow above.
Half the group headed back to Miami on Sunday. The other moved on to Grand Bahama and settled in for a couple of days. Though some stayed at the Atlantis Resort, most club members opted for all-new, though not entirely open, Margaritaville Resort and Marina in Nassau. As a result of pandemic restrictions, the group stayed just two nights before returning to the mainland.
Despite the good—if somewhat-abbreviated and limited—experience his June event delivered, Jones opted to pull the plug on the August run.
“I would rather wait until the COVID-climate changes, because our friends in the Bahamas are still facing many challenges with absence of vaccines and virtually no medical facilities to support the current coronavirus spread on these remote islands,” he said .”It’s just going to be a wait-and-see approach for now, and we hope for the best for our neighbors to the east.”
As the Florida Powerboat Club’s June event proved, running from Miami to Bimini can be an adventure—just ask Thomas Taylor and company, who took on the crossing in his Nor-Tech 390 sport center console powered by quad Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines.
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