Day 247, December 24, 2012 (Marco Island via Fort Myers, FL): First of all, we wish our many friends on and off America’s Great Loop happy and fun-filled holidays and a good New Year in every way. We especially recognize the folks at S2 Tiara who refurbished and refit Sequel and at Coastal Carolina Yacht Sales who participated in our project in countless ways. Thanks to Jerry and his team at S2 Tiara in Holland, MI, and Craig, Maria, Joe, and Drew at Coastal Carolina in Charleston, SC.

Today, we are at the Marco Island Yacht Club. The Marina Association that runs the dockage is a class act featuring 360-degree shelter, floating docks, heated pool, and access to the club’s restaurant. Shopping is a 15-minute walk away to a small shopping center anchored by Publix and including several restaurants.

Legacy Harbour Marina is Fort Myers is a similarly fine place to hang out. Relatives from Canada visited. also, we were fortunate to encounter Jim’s Joy and Loopy Kiwi. We have traveled with them prior to this encounter. Word has filtered back that seven or eight of us who have traveled in a pack, hung at marinas, hung out on the hook, packed the many locks to our brand of  locking music, and generally partied down during the summer and fall have become known as The Flotilla. I don’t know if the declaration is tinged with happy or sad because the flotilla has split up to tend to various individual year-end obligations.Nevertheless, Sequelis forging ahead, solo. We look forward to more encounters and an ever wider circle of friends as  2012 draws to a close.

If the birds and the sunsets entertained us on Captiva the hot spots of downtown Fort Myers took over. With the marina being in the heart of downtown there is plenty to do. Main street was closed off for a display of  antique cars. Directly across the street is a pub that features greasy  hamburgers (for those so inclined) and beer with nightly entertainments. Here, the headliner is none other than Captain Phil Johnston of Loopy Kiwi. Yes, he is a New Zealander, over from Auckland doing the loop because he is tired of being an oil and gas magnate at home. He is quite good with the guitar as long as he is fed—beer and burgers.