My cousin, Marilyn and her friend, Marilyn, drove up from Key West to have lunch with us this afternoon and stroll along Sombrero Beach. We hosted her son, Dan and granddaughter, Allie the week before Christmas. We have stayed at Marilyn's shrimp dock in Fernandina Beach previous years. Both Marilyns live on Long Island for part of the year and in Florida when the northern winter is just too cold....
We visited the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key today which is a non-profit organization that promotes educational programs about marine mammals. We saw the dolphins at their best, performing tricks and "talking" to the visitors. There were two young pups swimming with their moms. The pups usually nurse for two years before going out on their own. One fact that I learned today is that the dolphins get almost all of their fresh water from eating fish! Drinking salt water makes them very sick.
I am amazed at how beautiful the sunsets are here in Boot Key. Yesterday we had a complete rainbow over the anchorage but alas, my camera was on the boat. I did have my camera when I saw this sunset from the dinghy on our return trip from the park to walk Ranger.
Wayne & Patti are camping near us again this year at Knight's Key. We met them five years ago when they were moored next to us in Boot Key on their sailboat, Bumm's Rest. They sailed to the Exumas that year and we followed them on their blog. This year we're planning to sail to the southern Bahamas and will take another look at their blog and check out the places they liked the best. Since they are camping, they have a truck and they picked us up and drove us to No Name Pub on Big Pine....what an awesome, off the beaten track,
pub this is! Wow! It's unique and I highly recommend a ride out. The walls and the ceiling are entirely decorated in one dollar bills....thousands of them! You'll need your GPS. The address is 30813 Watson Blvd...Enjoy!
It's been very windy and unusually rainy here this winter in Marathon but last Sunday we had a weather window to sail to Bahia Honda State Park and back. The winds were blowing 15-19 knots at 90 degrees to the boat so the sailing was awesome. We pulled our Mercury dinghy behind us just to make sure that its bottom got scraped! It was a bit too windy to anchor so we sailed into and out of the harbor between the two bridges and then back to Boot Key. Walt saw a huge sea turtle on our way back. We love sailing Hawk Channel....except for all of the crab pots!
We see iguanas everywhere here especially when we are biking around town on our boat bikes and it's sunny and hot. There were three iguanas in the one photo and two facing away in the other picture. Today we saw another manatee alongside the dinghy dock but no gators yet.....
I celebrated my 65th birthday with my great cruising friends Roy & Yasmine and Bonnie & Sid today. Walt treated me to breakfast at I-Hop in the morning and then at 4:00 we all biked to the Sunset Grill for Happy Hour and were treated to a fabulous sunset. Yasmine and Bonnie surprised me with birthday cake, champagne and goodies on Yasmine Ann. What a special day!
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