10/27/2011, Marathon, FL
Looks like our weather window for heading to the Bahamas has arrived. We will be heading out tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, no Fantasy Fest for us this year.
Plan is to head out tomorrow morning at about 9:00. We will stop at Burdine's to fill up the diesel tank before leaving Marathon. We will then head out to the Hawk Channel and go up towards Key Largo. If everything still looks like a go we will then go through Molasses Reef and head up to Bimini. Should take us a total of about 24 hours, non-stop.
10/21/2011, Marathon, FL
Here is a pic of the flooding on Sombrero Blvd next to the marina.
10/21/2011, Marathon, FL
In a weeks time we went from 90 degree temps with high humidity to wearing long sleeve t-shirts. It's like someone just turn off a switch and boom the weather changed. After 3 days of heavy rain the humidity is gone, air conditioner is off and hatches are open to let in the cool breezes.
We are almost all provisioned for our 6 month trip to the Bahamas, only last minute things left to buy......now if the wind would cooperate we would be happy. Next ten days weather forecast is 15+ mph winds out of the north - not a good time to cross the gulf stream. Unless the weather people are wrong, looks like we will be here for at least another 10 days. The positive to that is I get to go to Fantasy Fest in Key West on the 29th.
If we still are stuck here after the 1st of November we will probably leave the marina and go out to the mooring field here in Boot Key Harbor.
09/29/2011, Marathon, FL
The above picture reflects how bored we are these days, even living in paradise. Bill and I both love cherry tomatoes so we decided to make a "topsy turvy" to grow our own. Theoretically we should have fresh cherry tomatoes by the time we get to Georgetown, Great Exuma Island (about 70 days!!!).
Still counting down the days and preparing to heading to the Bahamas. Each day we are buying a few things to cross off the provisioning list. We have our route mapped out, thinking we will do an overnight passage from Marathon to Bimini. From there head across the Great Bahama Bank to Chubb Cay, then Nassau then down the Exumas.
My son, Chris, is attending Hall's International Career Institute and Diving Center here in Marathon to become certified as: Scuba Diving Instructor, Master Diver, Dive Equipment Repair, Resort Sales & Operations and Search & Rescue. He finishes at the end of November and is hoping to get a job in some exotic location. I think he inherited his wonderlust from me.
The only excitement around here is Bill just got a ticket today for not wearing his seat belt.......first over in over 20 years. The cop was apparently standing next to his motorcycle, saw Bill wasn't wearing his seat belt when he was stopped at the light next to Publix grocery store and ran on foot over to the van and gave him a ticket. I refrained from the "I told you so" since I am constantly reminding him to wear his seat belt. Guess he will start wearing it unless he wants another $116 reminder. Speaking of the van, we are just waiting for the title from Minnesota to finally arrive so we can sell it. Once it is sold we will be back to our rusted bikes, less than a year old and they look 20 years old. We haven't decided if we will take them to the Bahamas with us.
09/13/2011, Marathon, FL
Walk A-Bout was hauled out at Marathon Marina for new bottom paint and prep for installing a Y-value to be able to discharge overboard. Pump out facilities in the Bahamas are rare so all our waste must be discharged overboard. Pumping overboard is a real no-no on inland lakes and most of the US but not so in the Bahamas. We stayed at a condo at Key Colony Beach for 3 nights while the boat was hauled out, very nice to have a real bed and shower again.
Other Bahamas preparations in the last week: we had the 8 hp outboard overhauled, a patch in the hard bottom dinghy, ordered an Explorer Chartbook for the Exumas, ordered an SSB receiver and antenna, ordered a supply of E-cigarettes (maybe I'll finally quit!!), purchased a Garmin GPS Bahamas Chip, created a spread sheet for provisioning, created a spread sheet with waypoints and info from Active Captain (great internet site) for all the anchorages, purchased a head rebuild kit, bought bottom paint for the dinghy.
Of course, depending on weather, hoping to leave Marathon in about 6-8 weeks. Really, really ready to get going again!!!!!!
Just found out that I'm going to be a Grandmother - congratulations Laura!!
08/07/2011, Marathon, FL
We knew it was going to be hot but this heat wave at 90+ degrees every day with no car air conditioning and sleeping in a tent at night is not our idea of fun.
Our first camping stop was General Coffee State Park in George then Black Rock Mountain SP both in Georgia. We liked Black Rock Mountain the best. We visited Tuckaleechee Caverns while staying at Cades Cove in Tennessee. Next was Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky, we had reservations for 2 nights but the flies were so bad that we only stayed one night. On our way here we stopped at Fort Boonesborough for a couple of hours.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful in the Great Smokey Mountains and we did see lots of wild critters including elk, wild turkeys and deer.
We stopped at our friend Craig's house for a night in Kokomo, Indiana and, as always, had a good time reminiscing about our past adventures together. Craig made us a great dinner of home made ribs and all the fixings, good job Craig!
Arrived in Minnesota on Friday and camped with my daughter Laura and her boyfriend Jay. We had a good time tubing down the Cannon River. Big party night at the campground. I guess we're getting too old, couldn't do the loud music and partying until 3 am a second night. Heard a hotel room calling our name and acted on it.
We were watching 'Emily' to see if she might turn into a hurricane and decided spur of the moment to head back to Florida just in case. We were tired of camping and couldn't afford to spend weeks in hotels so we left Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon and arrived back on Walk A-Bout on Friday afternoon.
So, our 4-6 weeks ended up being 2 weeks. 'Emily' turned out to be nothing, but we were done with camping anyway. The regret was not being able to see friends that we were really looking forward to seeing.
Heading to 'Aqua' in Key West today to play some Texas Hold Em. Back to our normal routine.