Don and Stella flew from New York to share time with us here in Marathon. YEAH! We took the Keys Shuttle to Key West and enjoyed touring the city. We visited the Sea Tac
Museum and then posed next to this Coast Guard Ship before going to Duval Street and then Mallory Square.
Today we biked to Pigeon Key near the Seven Mile Bridge with Sid & Bonnie. There is an old bridge adjacent to the Seven Mile Bridge and it's open to bikers, joggers, and walkers. From there you can walk the old wooden bridge to the 4-acre island of Pigeon Key. At one time Flagler had 400 men housed here in 4 barracks to work on his railroad. Many of the men came from New York to work for $1.50 a day meals and housing included.
We attended the Miami Boat Show this year with Kitty and Larry from Saildreamer. There were not as many boats this year, in fact many of the dealers who were there only brought one or two models. Catalina had the most sailboats and we checked out many of them including the new 445. No, we are not in the market - Waves of Grace is perfect for us, but you can get lots of good ideas by examining other boats. Plus new fiberglass has such a great smell!!!!
Marathon City Marina has two large dinghy docks. When cruising, your dinghy is your lifeline and without it you can't get to land.....where there are grocery stores, tennis courts, churches, and I-Hops. The dinghy dock also is a billboard of sorts showing you where everyone else is from....just check the dinghy registrations which display your home state.
Gary and Annette traveled to Key Largo with us two years ago on their Hunter 356 and showed us the "ropes" of the cruising lifestyle. This year they are spending the winter in Key Largo in an apartment with their car nearby..... They drove to Marathon to visit with us this week and we had a great time sharing dinner and stories. Gary and Walt played quite a bit of tennis and Annette and I drove to some small shops looking for bargains. It was great to see them both again even though they were boat-less!
Waves of Grace and Mystic motor/sailed to Bahia Honda State Park this week as the winds were down and the sun was up-unusual weather for this year.... The park is only 12 miles from Boot Key but there are many crab pots to watch for along the way. There is a deep channel between the old and the new bridges which opens up into a very nice anchorage. This photo is looking at the opening in the old bridge which we sailed through. The new bridge in the background is much wider. The actual park is 524 acres and offers camping, sandy beaches, and great snorkeling. We spent the afternoon with Lorrie and Gordon walking the trails. Ranger liked it too.
Yes, there is book club in Marathon! We just read PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by G. Brooks and the library hosted the discussion group of about 25. Next month we are reading MANHUNT by J. Swanson. A group of us went to the The Island Fish Company for lunch and conversation after book club. In the photo is Mary, Linda, Helene and Deborah. Mary is from Maine and is flying to Spain next week!, Linda is a retired librarian, Helene is an artist, and Deborah is an airline pilot. Needless to say, the conversation was lively and informative!
Thursday is 25 cent wing night starting at 6:00 so here we are at Hurricanes which is just a short walk from the marina. From the left: Rick & Bonnie from NYS, Kitty, Patty Ann & Hubby, Lorrie & Gordon also from NYS, Mary & Bill, and Walt. What a crew!
I never thought that I'd see the day when our boat had a generator in the cockpit.....I was so certain that the solar panels would supply all the energy that we needed to run the fridge, lights, computer, cell phones, and keep the batteries charged. And the solar panels do work....but when it rains for a day or it's cloudy, we just don't have enough power. So our Honda 2000i arrived Tuesday and she's a doll. Not only do we have plenty of power now (the solar panels still do most of the work) but I can run my vacuum, microwave, and hair dryer. We even have hot water after the Honda has been running. How cool is that?
Walt and I have been avid sailors for 38 years. Our retirement dream was to sail to Florida and the Bahamas for the winter months which we did for the first time last year, 2007-2008. We decided that we loved the cruising life
and four days after our return to Lake Ontario we traded our Catalina 320, Eagle's Wings, in for a Catalina 42 which we named Waves of Grace. We hope to continue to cruise in the Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, and the Bahamas for many years to come