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Image of the Week: Why Gilbert’s Rules

If you’ve ever been to the Florida Powerboat Club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run, which ended yesterday, odds are good that you know what you’re looking at in the photo below—and that it resonates with you. For those of you who haven’t been so blessed, you’re looking at Gilbert’s Tiki Bar, the lunch stop for the annual poker run, in Key Largo, Fla. And thanks to photographer Jay Nichols who provided this photo exclusively to speedonthewater.com, you’re seeing it at its very best.

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A perennial classic—the scene at Gilbert’s Tiki Bar during the 2013 Miami Boat Show Poker Run lunch stop. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

Lines and lines of rafted go-fast catamarans and V-bottoms, one of the best poker run fleets you’ll ever find in one place, on a perfect February day, last Thursday as it happens, in the Florida Keys.

Check out the color of the water and foam lines across it. Check out the anchored sailboats and cruisers, most of them decidedly out of commission. Check out the guy in the jet pack putting on a show in middle of the channel, and probably annoying more than a few captains who just want to get by him and go on with their day.

It’s a scene, for sure, but one like no other, a scene you can only find in the Florida Keys.

Nichols actually shot this image from his his car on the bridge above the channel—without slowing down.

“I’ve started driving with a camera on the passenger seat when I’m heading west on Alligator Alley in the afternoons, and realized at the on-ramp this shot would be a possibility,” Nichols said. “So I had the camera in my hand. Traffic was heavy so I couldn’t go slow. The water-show going on below was pure gravy, and I caught it out the passenger window shooting one-handed at 60 mph. A bit of luck never hurts.”

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