04/21/2013, Southport, NC
Spent last night at the free dock at the Provision Company and had a good dinner there. Left the dock this morning and headed out to the Cape Fear River...and promptly turned back. It was BRUTAL! Winds have been in the upper 20's gusting into the 30's ALL DAY! Forecast is for more of the same through tomorrow into tomorrow evening. We've moved down to South Harbour Village Marina about a mile south of last night's dock. A delightful marina with friendly, helpful staff, reasonable prices, nice showers, 2 restaurants on site, a huge park down the street for Daisy to get some exercise, and reliable WIFI! What more could you ask for?? I know, less wind - we're bouncing even tied to the dock!
So, like Daisy in the picture above, we are taking naps, watching TV, reading, walking Daisy, and meeting new people along the docks. LOTS of folks here from New England. Met a couple that had sundowners with Barb and Rich in Maine! Small world! They have now relocated to Solomons and came down to Myrtle Beach for the winter and are headed back to Solomons. They seem to look for the same weather conditions as we do, so we will probably see them frequently as we each head further north. Even without the wind, we are slowing down a bit to give our Canadian friends, Bill and Martha, a chance to catch up to us...they are about 2 days behind us.
As I was relaxing in the cockpit this afternoon, a liveaboard couple from Blackfin (Marathon, FL) came motoring by on their way to Baltimore. You just never know who you will meet along the way!
I probably won't post again until we start moving...and have WIFI. Hope everyone at home is keeping warm...last temps we saw were still pretty chilly. If it's any consolation, we've had to wear the jeans and sweatshirts the past couple of days, too!! :(
04/20/2013, Isle of Palms to N. Myrtle Beach
As much as we like the Low Country, we DO NOT like the bugs. We have had our fill of gnats, no-see-ums, and mosquitos...and now flies!
On Tuesday, we stopped at Isle of Palms Marina, north of Charleston, after seeing that our intended anchorage for the evening afforded no protection from the strong winds we were having. Since we still had plenty of daylight, we took Daisy for a walk to the beach about 3 blocks away. She had a blast swimming and playing on the beach!
The next morning we continued north, traveling through one of my favorite parts of the ICW - the Waccamaw River. It is a beautiful river, with cedar tree lined banks. We actually saw 4 alligators along the banks during the trip. We spent the night at the mouth of Cow House Creek - another pleasant, calm night!
Sunk at the dock in the Waccamaw...this will ruin your day!
Sunset at Cow House Creek - our anchorage on the Waccamaw River
Thursday morning we headed for North Myrtle Beach and pulled into Barefoot Landing (where we hung out as Sandy went up the coast). The tigers were back at the mall...for a fee you can have your picture taken with one of them...you should have seen the line of folks signing up!!
...and the kittens
We planned to stay 2 nights due to forecasted storms and winds. The second day a Power Squadron group came in for the weekend. We agreed to have a safety inspection since they were training a couple of their members and then they invited us to their "docktail party". These folks know how to party! The food was delicious and it was nice meeting so many new folks. Several were former sailors, and a couple had moved south from New Jersey.
Today we are off towards Southport...stay tuned....
The painting of the hull and bottom is complete! It looks like a new boat! Can't believe how shiny it is...you can see your reflection!
We were quite surprised how quickly the whole process moved along once the weather cooperated. The guys sure don't let any grass grow under their feet - working diligently and long hours.
primed and masked for the accent and boot stripe.
two days later...complete! Bottom was painted, through-hull removed, plugged and fiberglassed over the next day!
Now we just had to wait for high tide to be splashed!
We moved back aboard on the 14th, then waited for the tide to start coming in to leave today. With a bit later start than usual, we only got as far as Mosquito Creek. Since B&B Seafood was on their "winter hours" and was not open, we had a free dock for the night :)
Heading for Charleston in the morning...
04/08/2013, Beaufort, SC
We have been in Beaufort, SC now for a week. The original plan was to be here for 2 weeks for the boat to be painted. However, we've had a bit of bad weather (quite a bit of rain) during the beginning of the week. So now it looks like we might be here a bit longer than 2 weeks. But as of yesterday, the hull had been stripped of vinyl and sanded. Today is supposed to be a nice day, so maybe they will get the primer on.
Al found this wonderful B&B for us to stay in - Beaulieu House on Cat Island. I thought I'd share our temporary home with you...
Front view of Beaulieu House
Bedroom with comfortable King size bed
Huge bathroom - shower has 4 shower heads! The huge shower stall made it easy to give Daisy a much needed bath with warm water!
Comfortable sitting room with view of the water.
Huge kitchen with lots of storage room for all the stuff (food) I had to take off the boat.
While there is a front AND back porch, we mostly use the back porch since it is screened in (lots of no-see-ums here) and overlooks the water. I love watching the dolphins swim up and down the creek :) Since there is a table and chairs as well as the two rockers on the back porch, we can even eat al fresco, should we choose to do so.
This area is truly a bird lover's paradise! As I sit here on the back porch writing this, I'm watching a pair of bluebirds build a nest in a box attached to a tree in the backyard of the main house. Also watching a pair of cardinals, woodpeckers (the bluebirds got really miffed when the woodpecker drummed on the side of their "house"! LOL!), house finches, warblers, sparrows, and listening to crows in a nearby tree. When Daisy and I took our sunrise walk this morning, the air was filled with the melodies of many different songbirds and I lost count of how many different birds we saw - some of them on their northern migration. The surrounding marsh provides them with much needed sustenance for the long trip.
There is also a local herd of deer that we usually see in the late afternoons/early evenings. You never know when you'll come out your front door and find one standing there looking at you! Unfortunately, the only photo I've gotten so far is way too blurry to post.
They don't call this the "Lowcountry" to be cutesy. As you can see from this photo, the water/marsh comes VERY close to the houses. Docks built along the creek are VERY long to accommodate the 6-7 ft tidal swing. In fact, the marina where we are having the boat painted can ONLY haul boats at high tide as there is no water in the well during low to mid tide! We have to wait until at least mid-tide to leave their docks so there is enough water to accommodate our 4'2" keel. Geez! You might think we were in Georgia!!
We have been spending our time doing a couple of "boat cleaning" tasks, and a LOT of relaxing and reading, and taking Daisy on long walks. Since I'm using up most of the food that was on the boat, I'll have to do a pretty sizable reprovisioning before we leave. I anticipate that we will anchor out more on the way home than we did on the way down. We've actually gotten pretty good at it - thanks to the new Spade (love that anchor!). As long as we don't have opposing strong winds and strong currents! LOL!
Thanks, Dom, for the heads-up on The Chocolate Tree!!! What a great store!! Since I was on sensory overload while there and couldn't make a decision, we purchased 2 boxes of "seconds"...Yumm-O!!!!
We also had a chance, last week, to visit with friends from home, Cookie and Mike. They were at their timeshare on Edisto Island, not far from here. We drove down to Savannah with them for the day and had a delightful tour of the city and a delicious meal.
What a beautiful city :) Just love all the old homes and the numerous squares - really beautifies the city!
We received news from Boot Key Harbor that one of our new acquaintances there was demasted during a bad storm they had last week with 50-60 kt. winds! But not surprisingly at 9 am the next morning, no less than a dozen dinghies from around the harbor showed up to help him get the mast out of the water and secured to the boat. The cruising community is truly awesome!
Stay tuned, folks...more to come....
04/01/2013, Beaufort, SC
I'm still shaking! On the way over to Marsh Harbor Marina where the boat is going to be painted, Al walked up on deck to pull up a fender we forgot to pull in...and he FELL OVERBOARD!!!! Good thing we've practiced Man Overboard drills! He's OK...shaken and cold, but OK :)
April Fools! Gotcha!
03/31/2013, On the way to Beaufort, SC
Happy Easter everyone!
We finally left Daytona Beach Shores/Port Orange at 8 am on Wednesday, the 27th and we were able to put 57 miles behind us, ending up at the St. Augustine mooring field for the night. Thursday morning we fueled up and caught the 7:30 opening of the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine (one of the prettiest bridges on the ICW). Amazingly, we were able to do another 61 miles, getting to the Fernandina Beach mooring field just before sunset. Have to admit, we didn't think we were going to get that far! We had TWO "Always $umthing Events" on the way which delayed us for at least 3 hours!!!!
Since unpleasant things always seem to happen in 3s, we had our third "ASE (Always $umthing Event)" the next day just as we passed St. Simons Island. All of a sudden the engine started belching black smoke and we realized a decrease in power. Anchor down, pan pan issued on the VHF, and Al was starting to make phone calls. After changing both fuel filters (which had been changed in Marathon before we left), we were back in business. We found a nice anchorage in Buttermilk Sound behind Dolbow Island and had a peaceful night in spite of a ripping current.
Yesterday, was our 2nd best travel day...67 miles in just under 10 hours. We were able to get the Genny out and were rolling along at almost 9 kts for a while! We stopped at Isle of Hope Marina in Savannah - hot showers, dinner out thanks to a courtesy car, and a very quiet night. As an extra bonus, Easter Sunrise Service was being held right at the marina.
Plan is to get to Beaufort, SC today, anchor in Factory Creek, and go into Marsh Harbor Marina, where the boat will be painted, in the morning. With it being Easter Sunday, there will not be any staff at the marina today and having been there on the way south we know that assistance docking there is almost mandatory.
It's been a wild ride, but we are almost at our destination for the next 2 weeks. It will be very strange sleeping in a "regular" bed and having a full sized bathroom...stay tuned!
PS - We arrived in Beaufort at 3:14 - Took 7 hrs to go 54 miles today...SLOW day :(
This is the largest "ship" we've passed since leaving Marathon. We've commented on how little traffic there has been on the ICW since leaving the Keys.
Daisy grooving on some Buffet tunes :)
As the sun sets at Dolbow Island in Buttermilk Sound...
...the moon rises over a peaceful Sound.
Sunrise over Dolbow Island as we hauled anchor.
Covered deck at Isle of Hope Marina. Easter Sunrise services were held here by the local Presbyterian Church. There were over 100 people in attendance!
View from the Isle of Hope deck looking out over the marsh. Always $umthing on far right :)
Once we got "settled" for the night at Lady's Island in Beaufort (Factory Creek), we got a brief rainshower...then this double rainbow! As I walked Daisy to on shore, a third rainbow developed, but of course I didn't have the camera with me :(
03/26/2013, Daytona Beach Shores/Port Orange
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
You know how sometimes you say something and then hope it doesn't come back to bite you in the butt?? Well my last comment on this blog has done just that! :( We left Manatee Pocket last Thursday morning to continue north. Along the way we noticed a severe drop in oil pressure in the engine. Made the decision to stop at Vero Beach to see if we could get it checked out. We took a mooring ball and began the process of troubleshooting/trying to get assistance. Long story short, when the oil was changed in Marathon prior to leaving, the oil filter turned out to be defective and all the oil leaked out of the engine! New filter, new oil, clean-up the mess...life is good again.
Vero Beach mooring field - not quite as crowded as Thanksgiving, but almost!
We watched this fire for miles near Wabasso as the winds made it difficult for the fire fighters to keep up with the spreading.
Friday was a good travel day! We made it all the way from Vero Beach to Titusville (73 miles) and took a mooring. We were able to get moored easily, and less than 2 minutes later the sky opened up! Talk about good timing!
Now THIS is how to make your boat work for you! (Seen near a bridge north of Vero Beach)
Leaving Titusville on Saturday we headed for a marina we had used on the way south in Daytona Beach Shores/Port Orange. Reasonably priced, no frills, very accomodating and helpful staff. Little did we know we would be here for 3 days! Initially winds and dangerous storms rolled through and all around us...then the winds just wouldn't let up...still 25 kts this afternoon. Being here a couple of days enabled us to get a couple small projects/boat-keeping tasks done, get to a grocery, and I was able to get Daisy to a Vet within walking distance to get her treated for tapeworms. So goes the boating life. We will move when we can and when it is safe. At least we aren't shoveling snow this week! :)
Community of white pelicans on approach to Haulover Canal. The Canal connects the Indian River with Mosquito Lagoon a bit north of Titusville.
We leave you with this parting shot of Pat's Riverfront Cafe - restaurant on-site here at Seven Seas Marina. This is perhaps the best kept secret in the Daytona/Port Orange area! All "home cooked" meals at reasonable prices - breakfast and lunch only. Good eats!
03/20/2013, Manatee Pocket, FL (St. Lucie Inlet)
Oh my! Where does the time go??? Before leaving Marathon we were so busy with last minute social activities as well as getting "ready" to leave...not to mention also nursing a cold...and the blog suffered. Apologies to all.
So here it is March 20. We have been traveling for 5 days and this is the first time we've had reliable internet service! So here's what's been going on:
The 37th Annual Marathon Seafood Festival was held March 9 & 10. Our group of friends all volunteered to work at the festival - our way of "giving back" to the community that is so "cruiser friendly". The festival is quite large with over 200 vendor booths, children's activities, blood drive, powerboats on display, all-day live entertainment (that was quite good!), and of course all of the seafood vendors selling "Keys caught" seafood. And lets not forget the adult beverage vendors as well :)
The 11th through the 15 was spent getting the boat ready to go, reprovisioning, having dinner with friends, and our last Wing Night with "The Crew" at the Hurricane (photo above).
Also found time that week to get hauled up sv/Queequeg's mast to install a new VHF antenna and reposition their topping lift. Thanks to Al for this great picture of my butt! LOL!
Left Marathon early on Sat. March 16 and headed up the gulf side. We had a perfectly peaceful night at anchor at Jewfish Creek. We lost a bit of travel time due to an "always $umthing experience", but had a pleasant trip through the creeks and sounds to our second night's anchorage in Miami.
This was the sunset we enjoyed with a glass of vino after taking Daisy to shore. We were anchored at Marine Stadium - thanks to Barb and Rich for the great suggestion! Marine Stadium is a well protected area with room for LOTS of boats just north of the cruise ship docks. Back in the day, they used to have powerboat races there, hence the name. THIS is Marine Stadium (on the southern shore) today...
The Miami skyline after dark from our anchorage.
Monday evening we stopped at Las Olas Municipal Marina so we could have dinner with my cousin and her husband. We caught a fairly early bridge opening at Las Olas to continue north on Tuesday. Bridges, bridges and MORE bridges! The trip south went MUCH more smoothly! We had to wait 1/2 hr for openings at least twice.
Back in the land of ICW Opulence - nice diversion from dealing with bridges :)
When we got to Palm Beach, we discovered that we had overlooked the fact that the Palm Beach Boat Show is this coming weekend. They start bringing in all the mega-yachts almost a week early! As we tried to get through the Flagler Bridge, we had to thread our way between a bevy of beauties waiting for their dockage assignments, all with a price tag in the millions. All of a sudden our 37 ft. sailboat seemed very, very tiny! LOL!
We initially planned on anchoring in North Palm Beach, but decided to take a slip at Old Port Cove so that we could invite Sally and Joey, our snowbird friends from home, for dinner.
Today's plan was to get as far as we could, and figured we'd at least get to Fort Pierce. But once again we lost a 1/2 hour at one bridge, and more time than we'd like at others. As we approached the St. Lucie inlet, storm clouds were building and more storms are forecasted overnight with winds increasing to the 20's and low 30's. We made the decision to stop early at Manatee Pocket rather than get "caught" in nasty weather. While we haven't gotten ahead of our "schedule" (not that you can really have one on a boat), we are still on-target. Here's hoping the weather holds for us and we don't get held up for days, somewhere along the way, before we get to Beaufort, SC.
03/04/2013, Marathon, FL
. . . has found us. The past few days have been quite chilly, windy, and a bit of rain (as evidenced by the pic above of our friends bundled up and wearing long pants in Key West). Temps are in the 50's during the day with the nights requiring the heat on for a while in the boat. But we aren't complaining! We have had such wonderful weather since arriving on December 4th. Tomorrow, we will have been here for 3 months. Where does the time go?
Since the last post, we've managed to keep quite busy. We finally got down to tour the Turtle Hospital here in Marathon. They do a wonderful job of rescuing, treating, rehabilitating, and releasing injured and sick sea turtles - mostly Greens and Loggerheads, some Hawksbills and Kemps Ridleys. Of course I forgot to take the camera when leaving the boat, but if you want to see lots of pictures of the turtles they are rehabilitating and photos of releases, check out their website at www.turtlehospital.org. It was a very educational tour and I'm amazed at the numbers of turtles they are able to treat, rehab, and release back into the wild. There are currently 13 permanent residents that are unable to be released back into the wild due to the nature of their injuries (mostly "bubble butt" from boat strikes). The conservation efforts in general here in the Keys are quite extensive - turtles, dolphins, manatees, pelicans and other wild birds, etc. The organizations involved are truly making a difference and educating the public is just as important as helping the distressed wildlife.
Feb. 23 was a busy day! I rode down to Sugarloaf Key with a gal I met at City Marina, who is also a quilter, to attend the local guild's Quilt Show. Lots of beautiful quilts. I was surprised the show was as large as it was and that the local guild was large enough to put on the show. After all, there is only 1 quilt shop and 1 craft store that carries fabric in the Lower Keys - both of them in Key West.
One of the many beautiful quilts at the show
As soon as I got back to the boat, we helped to celebrate National Pig Day by going to the Pig Races at The Stuffed Pig - a local eatery across from City Marina. All the pigs we bet on lost, but it was a fun outing :)
Al and Daisy waiting for the races to start.
The Big Guys race - the Pot Belly Pig Heat might have been the slowest race on record! LOL! Do they ever RUN???
That evening, a group of us just HAD to go to Salty's to hear Eric Stone again! Always good music and a good show :)
"Rockin the Tiki" as they say, to the music of Eric Stone and Steve Hall.
February 27 was the 42nd Wedding Anniversary of Bill and Bette Neumyer (sv/Sea Mist). We helped Bill surprise Bette with a small gathering of friends at the Tiki Hut at City Marina.
The Happy Couple - Bette & Bill Neumyer (sv/Sea Mist)
The group of well-wishers. For our Chesapeake friends, the guy sitting on the floor next to Al and his wife (first on left, first row standing, blonde hair) are Kathy & Gary on sv/Gatsby. Their homeport is Spring Cove Marina in Rock Hall. They are dockmates of the Ramseys, Yeomans, et al. Small world. They are staying at Marathon Marina (where George and MaryAnn Abbott are).
Sat., Mar. 1 found us back down in Key West. We took the bus down with 2 other couples then split up when we arrived. Al and I toured President Truman's Little White House and Ernest Hemingway's House.
Truman's Little White House - no photos allowed inside :(
Ernest Hemingway's House - largest (and highest elevation) single home property in Key West.
Obviously, this cat can't read!
One of the polydactyl cats (commonly called six-toed cats) on the grounds. There are currently 45 cats living on the grounds - all carrying the polydactyl trait, approx. 1/2 of them showing the trait.
After our tours, we caught up our friends at Kelly's for Happy Hour. Then dinner at Red Fish Blue Fish. We had some time to kill before the bus ride back, so we wandered along Duval St and wound up at Willie T's for some music and refreshment before heading to the bus.
We met 3 couples we've become friends with at the movie theater today to see Life of Pi. The cinematography was terrific! The Community Theater is doing The Sound of Music which opens next week...we are hoping we can get tickets to see it before we leave.
The Marathon Seafood Festival is next weekend. We have volunteered to help - and will be working in the Food Tent Sat night for a couple of hours. The Seafood Festival is a major annual event here...they have live local music all day, lots of activities, over 188 booths of vendors/community service orgs, and of course the food tents of seafood, beverages, and Key Lime Pie!
Several of our neighbors have already left Blackfin with plans to return again next year. Only about 2 more weeks and we will also be heading north...stay tuned.
Oh yeah...will someone please turn down the wind and send the sun back down here??? LOL!
02/21/2013, Marathon, FL
(Apologies to Jim Morris for the blog title today...)
My goodness! It's hard to believe it's been just over a month since I last updated this blog! We have been thoroughly enjoying the Florida sunshine and relaxation, but have been quite "busy". Seems there's always something to do or someplace to go :)
We made another trip down to Key West with friends to see Jesse Brown at Hogs Breath and Jim Morris at Margaritaville. We rented a car this time since Jim didn't start until 9 pm and the last bus wouldn't give us enough time to enjoy the show.
Chillin' at Hog's Breath/Jesse Brown Band/Jim Morris at Margaritaville/John Patti playing the "road case" as a bass drum! Gotta love the ingenuity!
While we had the car, we drove up to the Dolphin Research Center at Grassy Key and spent a couple of hours there watching the dolphins and learning more about them and their training.
Dolphins "painting" a T-shirt
Momma with new baby born in December...too cute! You can just see baby to the right of momma - still learning how to navigate.
A couple of girlfiends (Bev and Bette) from Boot Key Harbor and I took the bus down to Big Pine Key where there is a large Flea Market each weekend. We actually went 2 Saturdays in a row and shopped until we dropped! LOL! Got some really good buys :)
Riding the bus to Big Pine Key / To buy or not to buy...????
Our friend Mike Wagner from Boot Key Harbor had a role in the Community Theater play reading of "Looking", so a group of us went to see it. Hysterically funny show. If you ever get a chance to see it, you MUST go!!
A gal I met online through the Quilter's Club of America sent me a message saying she was going to be in Marathon in Feb. It was really special to be able to meet her and her husband face to face. We got together for sundowners and dinner a couple of times and they met us at Big Pine for the Flea Market. They had planned to go to "Looking" with us as well, but unfortunately Steve injured his toe pretty badly and was in too much pain that evening. Thankfully, he is healing well. It's amazing how much Carol and I have in common...both retired teachers, both boaters, both quilters, both Creative Memories consultants (well, I used to be), and both have grandchildren.
Carol and me at the Flea Market
Carol and Steve aboard Always $umthing
The brightwork is well underway. AND we bought an auto pilot!!! When it arrived, the directions were fairly complex. I suggested Al ask for help on the cruiser's net the next morning. THREE gentlemen from Boot Key Harbor (2 that we knew fairly well) walked up to our marina that afternoon to help!! This community is amazing!!! With all of their knowledge and suggestions, Al was able to install the auto pilot the next day without a lot of frustration and swearing! Now we just have to take the boat out for sea calibration - hopefully within the next couple of days. Two of the guys even offered to go along to help with that part.
We have managed to cross a few things off our "Marathon Bucket List" and plan on working on the rest of it next week. Hard to believe it's time to start thinking about the trip home - it will be here before we know it :(
01/21/2013, Marathon, FL
So the question seems to be, "What have we been doing with ourselves for the past couple of weeks?" The short answer is, of course, immensely enjoying being in Paradise!
We have been enjoying the laid-back lifestyle. Being on "island time" seems to require living by the mantra, "Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow" - LOL! But we haven't ALWAYS waited until tomorrow...
We joined friends at The Hurricane (on-site restaurant/bar) to listen to a group called The Doerfels. It is a family of 10 children, the oldest being 20 (I think), that have formed a band. 6 of the kids play in the band (since they "kicked Dad out of the band for talking more than playing"), and 2 of the youngest join them on stage to sing a selection or two. While their roots were in Bluegrass, their music has become all inclusive with the exception of rap/hip hop. They are VERY good! We listened to them for 2 hrs before heading back to the boat and they hadn't taken a single break in that time. The boys have even made their guitars out of hockey sticks! It really was very entertaining.
The "older" kids performing. The 6th sibling is the drummer behind the rest of them.
The 2 youngest join in for a "special" song.
One morning we rode our bikes down to Pigeon Key and toured the island. This is one of the islands where the railroad workers lived while the original 7 Mile Bridge was being constructed. Very informative and interesting. From the boat and back, that was a little over 8 miles of biking. Good exercise!
The Barracks for the workers - now converted into a museum.
The Bridge Tenders House.
Riding back to Marathon - 2 miles of bridge to go...
One Saturday evening we walked down to City Marina at Boot Key Harbor with Daisy and listened to several musicians staying in the harbor perform - including a couple of youngsters. This is usually a weekly happening at City Marina, so Saturday night "date night" is a freebie! Good music & dancing + good friends=another enjoyable evening.
One Friday evening we rode down to the City Park and learned Contra Dancing - a cross between square dancing and line dancing. Had a lot of fun with fellow cruisers! We'll probably go again in February.
"Circle left" - we met the folks we are dancing with in Vero Beach at Thanksgiving dinner.
"Balance and spin"
The next evening we went to a local eatery/bar (Salty's Waterfront) to hear Eric Stone. Great show!!
Eric Stone (on the left) was accompanied by a musician that is on a boat in Boot Key Harbor. With dancing 2 nights in a row, we may have to get new dancing shoes! LOL!
We were also lucky enough to catch another TropRock musician we like, Howard Livingston & Mile Marker 24 at Boondocks on Ramrod Key. It was so convenient getting there...we walk 2 blocks to get the bus (cheap!) and it drops you off right at the door to Boondocks!
At each of his shows, Howard auctions off a blender full of Margaritas made with his Evinrude Blender. The winner of the auction is given a gallon of Tequila, a gallon of Margarita Mix, and Triple Sec. They concoct the Margarita as they wish. Three guesses as to how much Margarita Mix and Triple Sec go into the blender - LOL! 100% of the money raised goes to Care Camp - a camp for children with cancer. This particular night's winner paid $1,100 for the margaritas. Folks we were with have seen them go for $5,000!
Our table for the evening. As you can see, it was SRO! And yes, the dancing shoes got a bit MORE worn that evening :)
More snowbirds have arrived here at the Marina so our group/pot-luck dinners and fish-frys are growing! I've eaten more fish since being here than in the past 58 years! LOL! This is such a nice place, the same people keep coming back year after year and it's like a big family reunion :)
We actually had a "cool day" (70 deg.) that was overcast, so we biked up to Crane Point - site of the first home in Marathon (and oldest outside of Key West) and nature walk. Also rescue/rehab/hospital site for wild birds in the area.
The Adderley House on Crane Point.
Took a LONG dinghy ride toward Vaca Cut...water got so shallow by Rachael Key that we had to pull the motor up and paddle! :)
And of course there are the never ending boatkeeping tasks - when your boat is your home, you need to keep it up just like you do at home. And I've finally gotten the teak stripping and refinishing started!
Unfortunately, we are still battling fleas - Frontline doesn't work down here, so have ordered new product. Poor Daisy - she's got some terrible bites. :(
Still on the "Marathon Bucket List" is:
Ø Another trip or two to Key West. We'll be going down one evening in Feb. to see Jim Morris at Margaritaville and want to go another day to do some more of "the tourist thing".
Ø 1/2 day of SNUBA at the reef - compliments of Santa.
Ø Trip out to Sombrero Beach
Ø Visit: The Turtle Hospital
Ø Check out the Flea Market on Big Pine Key.
Ø We'll also be meeting up with a fellow quilter (a "virtual" friend) from
Minnesota when she and her husband arrive in Marathon in Feb.
Ø Go to Keys Fisheries for their Lobster Reuben.
Note to Barb & Rich - Harbor is finally starting to fill up...Dockside threw in the towel and is now officially closed (they were trying to do repairs to stay open).
Last week, we had our first "real rain" - for about and hour in the morning. But the sun soon came out and it was a gorgeous day!
Since arriving in Florida, Al has been convinced that manatees don't really exist & the "Manatee Area" signs are a ploy to make boaters slow down. Well 2 nights ago (Sunday) a manatee came swimming up to our boat!
You really aren't supposed to touch the manatees, but this gal kept swimming around and when she was up close to us, she kept rolling over for belly rubs...so we obliged! I know the picture looks like the dinghy motor was touching her, but it's just the perspective...there was plenty of room :)
Hope 2013 is starting well for everyone back home! We miss you! We also miss the snow - NOT!!!!!
01/01/2013, Marathon, FL
Happy New Year!
Al and I rang in the New Year with a group get-together here at the marina...we AGAIN feasted on oysters, lobster, clams, mussels, numerous appetizers and side dishes and the plethora of "adult beverages". Our friends from Boot Key Harbor came up to join us and Mike brought his guitar and harmonica so we had quite an evening of entertainment and sing-a-long and lots of laughs, followed by nice fireworks on the beach provided by folks staying on the property next door :) Of course we had to hang up the "Hangover Windchimes" this morning - LOL! Seriously, it was a very nice way to usher in the new year.
We want to wish all our family and friends a new year filled with many blessings, good health, happiness, and prosperity!
12/25/2012, Marathon, FL
Christmas greetings to all!
I know I'm behind on updating you all on our activities, but I'm going a bit out of order since it's Christmas...will fill you all in on last week within the next day or two.
Last night, everyone at the Marina gathered between our boat and the motor home parked next to us for a Christmas Eve celebration.
More lights went up around the palm trees, tables and chairs came out, "the boys and Daisy" donned their Christmas bandanas, and the cooking began!
We had enough food for an army and feasted on oysters, lobster, homemade conch fritters, fresh caught fish, lots of sides and sweets - and a few "adult beverages". Yum!!!
Cooking the lobsters/ seafood/sides/sweets
After dinner Kevin got out his guitar and we all sang Christmas carols (and laughed A LOT!!)
Even Daisy got into the singing :)
Muffet, on the other hand, at 4 mos old was still trying to figure out what all the commotion was about.
It was a wonderful evening and a great way to spend Christmas Eve!
Al, Daisy, and I want to wish you and yours a most blessed Christmas and holiday season!
12/12/2012, Key West, FL
Today we joined Flint & Leslie Firestone and their friends George and Jan and hopped on the bus to Key West. Since the bus only cost $1.50 each way (Sr. Rate), it didn't make sense to drive down with the gas rate approaching $4/gal!
We decided to take the Conch Train Tour since it has been MANY moons since we were last there, and memories aren't always as sharp as they used to be. Very informative and pleasant tour of the island, lasting about 90 mins.
After the tour, we trolled the waterfront for a place to eat an early dinner. Wound up at the Oyster Bar below A&B Seafood and enjoyed Happy Hour 1/2 price appetizers and drinks as our dinner :) Once our stomachs were happy, we walked over to Mallory Square for the famous "sunset party". Interesting place with the square filled with street performers and vendors, LOTS of people, and large number of boats in the harbor for "sunset cruises". Took some pictures that are quite possibly the best sunset photos I've ever taken - especially with a point & shoot camera :) No "green flash" this time...maybe next time.
Al and I enjoying the sunset
After sunset we continued to enjoy some of the street performers then walked up and down Duval Street before heading to the bus stop to come home.
Do you think Al was a wee bit tired from all the walking???
Trivia time: The Mile Marker 0 sign is the most stolen sign in the state - possibly in the country!
Looking forward to going to Salty's Waterfront with friends we made at Old Port Cove (Palm Beach) to listen to Eric Stone on Saturday night! Whoo Hoo!
'Tis the Season...
Even in warmer climates, folks decorate for Christmas. Here are some pics of the decorations around the marina:
And I would be remiss if I didn't include pics of our decorations aboard Always $umthing:
Holly garlands with lights and our Christmas Tree :) We also have lights and garland around the nav station but they didn't photograph well :(
Tomorrow we are planning to go to Key West with friends...more later!