31 January 2012 | Florida Keys
A month at Marathon, FL
Our stay here at the City Marina on a mooring ball has been very nice and we expect to be here another month or so. This time here has made it possible to get more needed work done on the boat before we, at some future time, head back to the Bahamas and beyond. This cruising area has many resources for sailors. Availability of parts, services, and expertise are many. Being here for an extended time makes it possible to tackle a lot of different issues that we have not always been able to, for lack of time. An example is with the alternator that has been a concern from the beginning has finally been resolved. The charge light on the instrument panel was always on and a small wire had showed signs of melting from overheating. That is now fixed but just as satisfying I now know more about some of the wires running through this boat. The depth finder has been working intermittently for years and by disabling the wind indicator it now is working reliably. We now have a spare starter purchased at a good price and installed to assure that it works when and if needed. Our engine hour meter failed recently and has been replaced. Our RPM gauge is erratic and needs more troubleshooting before a solution is found. I have purchased a used watermaker that will take some time to install. Some new snubber lines need to be made. Some leaks have been sealed, some of the safety equipment reviewed and updated, and some bulbs have been replaced with more energy efficient LED bulbs. We have purchased a portable SSB because the receiver we have is just about worthless. That’s just some of the things on the list of which there is always one more thing to add. Just today the Link 10 battery monitor display stopped working.
But not every day is filled working on the boat. Usually half days. On the other half we make a trip into town most every day, and sometimes the beach. We get our walk in and do the necessary shopping along with some eating out. Part of our day is spent meeting and talking with cruisers we have met along the way and others we have met here. Lots of talk of places people have been or plans they are making. We are making plans to visit the Dry Tortugas before heading back to Fort Pierce in April. Lots of interesting people and in this mooring field there is just about every kind of cruising boat. We took the bus down to Key West and spent a day there. We made it to a local nautical flea market and purchased some fishing supplies. It’s been fun to meet up with the people who sold us our sailboat 6 years ago for the first time. They came in with their trawler about a week ago and we have visited with them a couple of times. They even took us out on their trawler for a day of fishing! It was lots of fun and we hope to do that again sometime. We tried some fishing from the dinghy as well as our boat. From this port we have easy access to the Atlantic and some great fishing areas. There is a nice beach nearby and kayaks are readily available but we haven’t tried them yet. We have bikes that have been lent to us and so we get a bike ride in now and then. There is no TV reception so we get some book reading in and find ourselves listening to Garrison Keillor on Saturday nights sometimes.