Marco Island Yacht Club holds Commodore’s Ball celebrating change of watch

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On Jan. 22, the Marco Island Yacht Club held its annual gala event, the Commodore’s Ball and change of watch. New officers of the bridge, a nautical term for center of operations, were installed at the formal change of watch ceremony in the courtyard, followed by dinner and dancing upstairs in the Harbor dining room.

During Saturday’s event, outgoing Commodore Geoff Walker handed over command to the new commodore, Tom Wentworth. This transfer was marked by a change of watch ceremony that lowered the past commodore’s burgee (triangular flag) and replaced it with the new commodore’s burgee.

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After the transfer of command, the new commodore led a colors ceremony. The change of watch events concluded with a moving rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” led by the rich and resonant voices of Commodore Wentworth and past commodore Walker.

The new Commodore has been a boater since he was a child living on Marathon in the Florida Keys, going fishing with his dad on their 30-foot Chris Craft. Later in life, when his career took him to the Midwest, he enjoyed freshwater boating on inland lakes in Minnesota. Currently he has a 53-foot Carver yacht, “Uncorked,” on which he and his wife, Kelley, have cruised up and down both Florida coasts, going as far as St. Augustine on the East Coast, and traveling through the Florida Keys to the South. He also enjoys sharing cruising aboard Uncorked with fellow Yacht Club Members at MIYC events.

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In his new position as Marco Island Yacht Club commodore, he’ll have overall responsibility for the cruising fleets, sailing program, boating events and matters relating to the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs. Accepting his command, Commodore Wentworth swore to uphold the MIYC mission to “Provide an extraordinary Member Experience of boating, social events and dining in a beautiful Club setting where fun and friendships thrive.”

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Following the installation of the new officers, the festivities moved inside for dinner and dancing at the Commodore’s Ball, in the beautiful dining room overlooking the club’s new Riverside Marina and the Jolley Bridge.  Past Commodore Geoff Walker thanked everyone for their support over the past year of his command and wished the new Commodore good luck in the year ahead. 

Members enjoyed a gourmet dinner prepared by Executive Chef Robert Aylwin, while the mellow jazz sounds of the Stu Shelton Orchestra provided the perfect ambiance. A lively and active dance floor capped the evening.