Imagine blue skies, calm blue water as far as the eye can see and camaraderie in a paradise that Jimmy Buffett labels as 'Margaritaville'. The Florida Keys are a destination for divers, fishermen, water enthusiasts and those seeking an escape from the everyday stress of their routine to enjoy the laid-back life for just a short while.
On Saturday, August 17, 2013, Key Largo welcomed the annual 'Anything That Floats Race' where wacky is fun and creativity was the name of the game. It all took place at Mile Marker 104, Bayside on Blackwater Sound. As the name implies, homemade vessels of materials such as cardboard, PVC, duct tape, water bottles, old bikes and anything that is recyclable and will float, took to the water in a competition filled with cheering fans ready for some fun.
Although there were a handful of ingenious sailors of the high seas, Team Likely Story made up of a team of two, Mac McGiliver and Stephanie Rue, rushed to the finish line in a boat made of corrugated plastic, plywood, zip ties and duct tape. It may have seemed like it was ready to sink but this unique ship kept afloat long enough to cross the finish line in front of cheering fans.
There was even a boat constructed of casket vault molds followed by a boat of bubble wrap and various other household items.
Starting on a high note were the 'Barnacle Babes and the Big Blue Whale' made of a converted 50-gallon recycled blue drum barrel boat. This team won the coveted title of 'Best Two-Person Boat.'
Just about every boat that entered was recognized for their team spirit, originality and the desire to make it to the finish line before the boat could fall apart. Entrants were not only local but came from as far away as Scotland and as far across the country as Washington State.
After a rough day in the water, it was time to kick back, enjoy some cold cocktails and appetizers at Sundowners Restaurant in Key Largo and watch the sun set as we recapped a day of true water adventure.
Some enthusiastic boaters are probably already thinking about the boat they will build for the 2014 'Anything That Floats Race.'