I am absolutely going to claim credit for the weather! Clearly insuring sunny skies and fair breezes is the Cruise leader’s responsibility. A number of boats actually sailed a good part of the way. At anchor Friday were Bridgett O’Toole; Chase the Clouds; Rum Daze; Blown Away; Trust Me!!!; Jolly Mon; Gopher Baroque; Ranger; Miller Time; Samphire; Ariel and the fashionably late Foxy Lady. Add our dozen to the boats down from St. Pete and the assembled fleet was impressive. Miller Time served as the venue for Happy Hour and the rum tasting. Thanks Tim & Deedee!
There were 7 bottles vying for this year’s crown. Since no one can keep 7 different rums straight, the tasting is run like March Madness. We pit 2 rums (conveniently referred to a ‘Rum 1’ and ‘Rum 2’). A sample of each is poured (some requested splashes, some sips and some claimed to be sharing and needed enough for 2). Then it is binary decision time – Rum 1 or Rum 2. This seemed to be within the skill set of the crowd.
First, we pitted the Panamanian rums against each other. Kaniche Perfeccion won in a landslide against Marti 3yr. Then it was Barbados- Cockspur VSOR 12 versus The Real McCoy (really). Cockspur won but it was closer. Then we did a round of ‘Pirate’ themed rums- Kraken and Pyrat. Kraken won. Maybe if Gordon hadn’t told everyone he got the Pyrat at the Dollar Store it would have done better. Now we are to round 2 and things are getting fuzzy. We ran Kaniche against Cockspur and Kaniche moved through to the finals. Kraken took on El Pasador de Oro XO from Guatemala. The later had a bye in the first round as it had the most expensive looking bottle. The bottle didn’t disappoint and El Pasador de Oro moved into the final. Julie and Barry arrived and the finals began. The pours were heavy and there was resampling going on as the crowd was committed to making the right decision.
In the end, El Pasador de Oro XO (Gold smuggler) was the crowd favorite. It and Blown Away/Roy Malkin are the Rum Champs for the year. Congrats to Roy and thanks to all for bringing a bottle and participating in CMCS March Madness. The quality keeps going up each year. There was not a bad rum in the bunch.
Once the sunset and the boat traffic died, it was a very pleasant and peaceful night at anchor. The next morning Trust Me!!! dressed ship so we’d have a clear target for the return
trip from Woody’s. A little after 11A, the dinghy parade (and every other kind of powerboat parade) headed into St. James and up the Monroe Canal. It was hopping. Bob’s old Cuban band was not available so Nancy had found a young Cuban band. We were worried as the only table to be had was close to the band. They were just right in a Latin Jazzy sort of way. Jo and Mark Beauvois; Misenheimers; Kremskis(old timers would know); Elise; Vetters and many I am sure I missed braved the Matlacha Road Crawl. We ate, we drank, we bought books and we mellowed with great music, shade and a cool breeze. No suffering here.
Another great sunset and another cool quiet night and we all went home. Hopefully Bob is busy on next year’s book so we can do it again…..