After taking a year off, the best “almost annual” beach party on the island is happening on Saturday, March 15, at Miss Vie’s Campground, past Miss Vie’s Snack Shack on the East End.
The Coral Bay Yacht Club’s 15th almost annual Flotilla will once again benefit Guy Benjamin School this year and be open to both water and land transportation.
“This is something like our 15th year because some years it just hasn’t happened,” said Flotilla organizer and CBYC past commodore Dave Dostall. “The proceeds have always gone to something worthwhile in Coral Bay. We used to donate the funds to Emmaus Moravian Church for the hurricane shelter and the past few years GBS has been the benefactor.”
The funds aren’t earmarked for anything specific at the Coral Bay elementary school yet, but yacht club members have been working closely with GBS principal Dionne Wells and the school’s Parent Teacher Association, Dostall explained.
Participants have the option of either driving to the beach side campground around noon, or meeting at the Coral Bay dock at 9 a.m. to hop aboard one of the boats participating in the flotilla.
“There is a $20 entry fee to come by car and a $40 entry fee if you want to include a day sail, which is the best deal on island for a day sail,” said Dostall. “You can go out for two or three hours and end up at the beach where there is going to be quite a spread of food. There will be hamburgers and hotdogs and a great spread of local dishes.”
A number of captains have volunteered to take participants on their vessels, many of which usually operate as day charters, Dostall added.
People taking advantage of the huge day sail bargain should register beforehand at either Connections in Cruz Bay or Coral Bay and bring their own beverages for the sail. Once participants get to shore, however, beverages can be purchased at a fully stocked bar staffed by CBYC volunteers.
Local sensation Koko and the Sunshine Band will provide music during the event and participants expect the Coral Bay school’s namesake, Guy Benjamin himself, to make an appearance at the flotilla, Dostall explained.
“We’re expecting Guy to come out for at least one dance in the sand,” he said.
The raffle grand prize is a cool $1,000 cash and tickets, $5 each or five for $20, can be purchased at both Connections locations, St. John Hardware and from CBYC members.
While adults will be out enjoying a day sail on one of Coral Bay harbor’s many sail boats, GBS students will be heading over to Vie’s Campground via the oldest and biggest vessel in the bay, Silver Cloud, with captain Elliot Hooper.
“Any of the kids who want to are coming over on Silver Cloud,” Dostall said. “Elliot jumped on board right off the bat and said it was a great day for him and he’d love to sail the kids over.”
Hooper, who also owns Tall Ship Trading Company, is making the CBYC Flotilla t-shirts, which will feature GBS students as well as Benjamin, and can be purchased at the beach.
Anyone who enjoys a day sail or just a beach party with great food and music should mark their calendars.
“People should come out because it’s the best time on island,” said Dostall. “I think it was the original ‘Party with a Purpose.’ I think we coined that phrase first years ago.”
Participants can enjoy all that fun while supporting a good cause.
“Our GBS often gets forgotten about except by the people who care a lot,” Dostall said. “The flotilla will be a lot of fun at a beautiful beach and it’s a great bargain.”
To come by water to the Saturday, March 15, CBYC Flotilla sign up early at either Connections locations. To join the fun and stay on land, drive out to Miss Vie’s Campground around noon.
See you there!