DaY 78 & 79 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
01/19/2012, Islamorada, Upper Matecumbe Key, FL
"You can check in anytime you want, but you can never leave" That's the way we were starting to feel about Marathon. But finally the Wednesday forecast was for light winds!! Yes folks we were going to leave on Wednesday. We took Liquid Therapy off the mooring to the dock and took on water and got one more holding tank pump out so we would be ready for tomorrows departure. We celebrated in sorts by going to happy hour at our favorite dinghy dock bar named "DOCKSIDE" and had a sunset margarita. Then we went back to the boat and got our clothes and bath supplies for one more bath ashore and then to the "HOOK LINE AND DRINKER" restaurant right across route 1 from the marina. We had their famous lobster mac and cheese a dozen stone crab claws and a Florida Sushi roll. That really was a treat. It was then back to the boat for our early morning departure from our mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor City Marina..
Next morning we took the dinghy in to the marina and dropped off our keys and said farewell to the marina staff that had become family since December 28th when we arrived. Back out to the boat and lifted the dingy to find quite an accumulation of barnacles starting to grow. It took some time to scrub them off and get the dinghy in place. On the radio cruisers net I got to announce that Liquid Therapy was departing when they called for the departures part of the radio program. Then the couple from Alaska came over to say goodbye and the time started spinning by. It was 10:10AM when we dropped mooring ball E4 and we were off for Islamorada. Nice ride up the outside Hawk Channel in the calmer Atlantic. Still lots of lobster pots to dodge. Nice day and we arrived at World Wide Sportsman Marina a little before 5PM. Bought raw shrimp and a squid salad for dinner.
And todays picture is a few days old back in Key West. Susan standing next to the sponge man statue at the sponge store.
DaY 77 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
01/18/2012, Boot Key Harbor City Marina mooring E4
So, I awake to the howling wind. Which just keeps me in a semiconscious state at night when I'm trying to sleep. Things run though my mind. And all of a sudden WAY back in time the sound of the wind reminds me of something I've not thought of in years.
Believe it or not I DO remember those sounds from a radio show when I was a very small child. Yes. It was Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. Now I really barely remember Sergeant Preston on TV. But I remember the radio. Where the sound's made your mind work to imagine what was happening. And it was the sound of the wind that made that show so real in my mind as a small child.
So, the picture today is the TV character as I cannot post the wind sound from the radio show.
Well King this case is closed..
DaY 76 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
01/16/2012, Boot Key Harbor City Marina mooring E4
SUSAN'S BIRTHDAY! So we took it easy all day. NO WORK. NO PROJECTS.
We started to go out to breakfast at the American Legion. But Susan had many early phone calls wishing her happy birthday so we decided to just have cereal. Besides we were planning on eating out dinner and eating out twice in one day goes against our stomachs.
The cruisers net that we listen to every morning had been promoting a local theater production of "DIXIE SWIM CLUB". Susan and I miss the Barksdale back home and this seemed like a nice diversion from our normal routine too. The playhouse and the play were wonderful. It was a 3PM matinee and to early to go straight to dinner. So, we went back to the boat and watched the sun set. The wind will NOT slow down. So, the dingy ride is iffy about getting wet with our nicer clothes. But, we stayed dry.
Annet's Restaurant straight across from the marina and is one of the finer dinning establishments. Susan got shrimp Alfredo and I got grouper macadamia incrusted dish and chocolate covered key lime pie. Nice dinner and nice day.
Picture is Susan and me at Annett's.
DaY 75 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
01/14/2012, Boot Key Harbor City Marina mooring E4
What to say? What to say. We were leaving Boot Key Harbor today with 10-15 kts forecasted. We were going to run the Hawk Channel (Ocean side) rather than the ICW which is really the Gulf Of Mexico and has lots more open water and it's realy shallow. 7 1/2' in the channel. The wind forecast changed yesterday afternoon late and forecast went to 15-20knot until TUESDAY! So, we are staying on our mooring.
I sanded some today as the dust just flew away and the temperature was high 60s. Nice temperature for work outside. Since we were staying here and canceled our slip at Islamorada we needed to take on water and get more fuel for the generator. Getting off the mooring and back was tricky in the wind. We took on water here at Boot Key Harbor Marina. But they don't sell fuel and we went down to Burdines Marina to get gasoline. Windy in docking maneuvers. But Susan and I are seasoned to about 30 kts now. The boat is very predictable now. Not putty in our hands but we can get it done.. back on the mooring and we took time to actually sit on the Flybridge and watch the sunset. Some guy shoots a loud canon from his boat as the sun sets and lots of conch shells blow. Fun
Yes we have skipped a few days and nights on our blog. Thursday night we went with some fellow boaters 14 in all to see the Blues Brothers tribute band at Salty's Waterfront Grill. Lots of us poured into two cabs and had a great time. It is also a marina and we were walking around and there was a casting contest into some floating circles. They talked me into the last contestant and I dropped the plug into two targets tying for third. I won the cast off. Yep still got it. Lots of surf and swamp casting history in my arms and eyes.
The picture tonight is ME by the scoreboard. Didn't count them but it was right many contestants. Hey the judge gave me a Corona too!! The prize money was huge too.
DaY 72 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
01/14/2012, Key West
The day started out early for us with the alarm going off at 6AM. Today we're headed for Key West by bus to meet Wanda and Windy Chandler, our neighbors from back home. They were going to be in Key West on a cruise ship. After dinghying to shore and stopping by the "STUFFED PIG RESTAURANT" for a 'home made that morning cinnamon bun' and coffee, we hopped aboard the bus for our two hour ride to Key West. It's only 50 miles, but this 'local' bus stops often. We had a nice chat on the bus with a couple, also on their boat in our harbor, waiting for a good crossing day to the Bahamas. Exchanging tips with other cruisers is always fun. Key West was pretty much still asleep at 9:30 in the morning. As we walked toward the cruise ship docked near Mallory Square, roosters were crowing! It was not long before we met up with Wanda & Windy! It was really great to see familiar faces and we started talking just like we were back home! We walked a bit down Duval St and popped into Sloppy Joe's as they have a webcam. We sat at a table, ordered Bloody Mary's and e-mailed and called people to look at us on the webcam. Jonathan called from NY and we all got a laugh waving at the webcam. Carter, Wanda & Windy's daughter, emailed us that she had seen us too. After walking, talking and shopping much more, it was time to eat, again, this time at the Conch Republic Seafood Company. Nice yellowtail snapper and fish tacos. W & W re-boarded Enchantment of the Seas around 1:30, we walked around, and found a Wells Fargo ATM! Then we headed for a tour of the Ernest Hemmingway House. That was fun, even with the power going off, stormy, and six-toed cats running all around. Very enthusiastic, 21 yr old docent! We were able to make the 4:06 bus back to Marathon. It was dark and VERY windy! Much of our bus ride Brooke was checking Sombrero Light weather station, 5 miles off shore, directly out from our mooring ball and it showed steady 40 knots, gusting to 50! YIKES!!! We were just at Sombrero several days before to try and snorkel! Too many jelly fish. When we reached our dinghy, wind was blowing so hard, we decided to put on life jackets to go in the dark, the 200+ yards to Liquid Therapy. After Captain Brooke got us headed in the right direction,we made it safely to our swim platform!! Both of us got totally drenched from salt water coming from the waves into the dinghy. Oddest thing was this squall with such high winds was not predicted!! All in all, a fun day!
Picture is Wanda & Susan
DaY 70 OF OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
01/10/2012, Boot Key Harbor City Marina mooring E4
Day 70 january 9, 2012
Today was a work day. I started by taking off our alternator to give to a alternator guy here in Marathon. He said my old alternator probably could not put out enough current to fully recharge my batteries as I had suspected. So, he suggested a 95AMP alternator for a replacement and to upgrade my cable size for the new alternator. The problem that has been happening is not uncontrollable. But, I figured after anchoring out all night and a good days run to our next stop, that the alternator would recharge my batteries to full state before we anchored for the night. That has not been the case. So, our fall back plan is the 2000w Honda portable generator to recharge the batteries via the 2500 watt Inverter/charger. It does a great job in about 2 hours. The Honda 2000s are very popular down here on boats. And you have to have some recharge method while on a mooring ball. Most boats have solar panels and wind generators both. I thought about installing a wind generator. But then we realize we are not going to be operating our boat back in the Chesapeake in the same manner as down here. The cost of solar and wind generation will buy lots of gasoline for the Honda. For the people LIVING on a mooring (some have been here 18 years per the dockmaster) wind and solar make sense. But for us the generator and a better alternator would be a better choice. The new alternator should be the trick for the way we operate our boat. It should recharge everything during a days run with no need for the generator to run. We will see. At least I will have a spare generator in case one a failure.
Second thing was to sand some more of our teak brightwork. Those of you that have seen our boat knows it has character with all the teak. But it was the last thing on my list to work on. But sitting here on the mooring ball with a nice breeze and mid 70ºs seems like a nice time to work on it. Susan has been working on cleaning the hull and mustache that has accumulated on the bow from the dinghy. It is coming along nicely.
Todays picture is actually a moonlit picture of the Boot Key Harbor.