Who knew that cruising to Hawks Cay on Duck Key in the middle of July could be so much fun? I did! As an avid boater with a passion for all things related to water and the Florida Keys, I eagerly accepted an invitation by Pursuit Boats to attend and represent Marinalife at their annual rendezvous. Having joined a few rendezvous in my boating career, I knew this event was one I did not want to miss.
Early in the morning, we arrived at Bahia Mar Resort & Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, where the Pursuit team and 14 boats waited at the marina docks. We loaded up and headed toward Duck Key, which is roughly a six-hour trip by boat. Along our journey through clear turquoise waters, we were captivated by sightings of dolphins and other aquatic creatures swimming in the mangroves. Boaters coming in the opposite direction waved a cheery hello as if they knew we were going someplace special.
The first benefit of being part of this rendezvous is that everyone sticks together. We hit some rainy weather, but the lead boat made sure that everyone was comfortable and safe. Pursuit company boats were in the mix within the lineup to ensure that no one lagged behind or had any issues. This level of care never stopped. From arriving at Duck Key and informing everyone about the technique to enter the marina to having a crew ready to take your lines and help you dock, everything went like clockwork.
No one was too big to help. The President of Pursuit, VP of Sales for Malibu boats and other executives grabbed lines, helped people off boats and made sure everyone was docked safely and securely. To toast our successful trip, we were greeted with cold drinks before checking in.
Nearly 130 people from all along the Atlantic seaboard attended this rendezvous. We started the night with a welcome reception that offered everyone a chance to get acclimated and meet other boaters in attendance. The friendly, energetic group made introductions easy as we surveyed our schedule of events, which included snorkeling at the local sandbar in Marathon, racing in the very fun Poker Run around Sombrero Key Lighthouse and competing in a week-long daily fishing tournament. You could just relax in Hawks Cay's three pools or the fresh fed saltwater lagoon. Daily events at the pool ranged from sing-a-longs to kids' games.
Pursuit also offered one-on-one seminars from experts at such places as The Chapman School of Seamanship. They offered time with anyone who wanted to gain experience and training on topics such as docking boats, or guests could learn different ways to handle their boat. Pursuit arranged to have Yamaha engineers on hand to field questions or fix minor issues. Specialists from Fischer Panda Generator, as well as Seakeeper and JL Audio were available all week to make sure we had time to address all our needs. The staff was busy walking around and helping to remedy problems or answer questions. And you left knowing you had a person to call if other issues arose, and they'd be sure to remember you.
On the last night of the rendezvous, we came together for an awards dinner. Pursuit handed out prizes for everything from the biggest fish, the best poker hand, to the youngest fisherman. Everyone from the seasoned boaters to junior crew mates felt part of the rendezvous experience. Boaters made new friendships, and laughter filled the event hall. The grand finale slide show gave photographic proof that fun was had by all!
In a time when many new boaters are hitting the water and people are using their boats to gather in smaller groups, rendezvous are a terrific option. Whether you've recently moved to a new waterfront community or have spent years cruising familiar waters on a Pursuit boat, everyone at these events encounters something enjoyable and finds opportunities to meet new people. These events also help keep people in boating longer, because they have a good time, develop stronger boating skills and discover new places to go.
If a similar rendezvous sounds right for you, ask your boat manufacturer, yacht club or local marina if they host similar events. It is an experience you can get hooked on! For more information about Pursuit or their next rendezvous, go to pursuitboats.com or learn about our memberships at marinalife.com/pursuit-concierge-club
Editor's Note: Pursuit offers a membership program to new 2022 Pursuit owners and everyone who attended this year's rendezvous. The Pursuit Advantage Club and Pursuit Concierge Club memberships are powered by Marinalife, which offers offer discounts on fuel, dockage, hotels and in some cases full concierge service and a one-year Gold Level membership to Sea Tow.